Jammu: A day after a grenade attack at the crowded general bus stand here left two persons dead and 31 others injured, the Jammu and Kashmir Police Friday appealed to shopkeepers to install CCTV cameras to help the force to keep the city safe.Inspector General of Police, Jammu, M K Sinha made the appeal in a post on his twitter account. “Appeal to all market associations in Jammu city. Help Jammu police in keeping your city safe. Install as many CCTV cameras looking out from your shops and establishments as possible. Early action would be very helpful,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!A grenade blast rocked general bus stand Jammu in the heart of the city around Thursday afternoon, killing a teenager Mohammad Sharik of Uttrakhand and injuring 32 others. One of the injured, Mohammad Riyaz from Kashmir, succumbed to injuries at Government Medical College hospital in the early hours Friday, taking the death toll in the incident to two. Within hours of the incident, police arrested the accused based on the oral testimony of the eye-witnesses and the CCTV footage and said he was tasked by terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen to carry out the attack. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedYasir Javed Bhat, a resident of Khanpora-Dassein village in Kulgam, was tasked by HM district commander, Kulgam, Farooq Ahmad Bhat alias “Umar” to carry out the attack, Sinha had told reporters here Thursday evening. He said Bhat, who had reached Jammu along with the grenade Thursday morning after he left Kulgam the previous night, was fleeing after the attack when he was arrested by alert policemen at Nagrota on the outskirts of the city. The third grenade attack by terrorists on Jammu bus stand since May last comes just three weeks after the Pulwama terror strike on February 14 that killed 40 CRPF jawans, bringing India and Pakistan on the brink of war.
TUNIS- Tunisian premier-designate Mehdi Jomaa, tasked with forming an interim government of technocrats and overseeing fresh elections, is a political newcomer who faces mounting social grievances and the persistent threat of Islamist violence.He was picked on December 14 as the consensus candidate to head the caretaker administration and resolve Tunisia’s festering political crisis, nearly three years after the uprising that toppled former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.The little-known former industry minister has since avoided making any public statements or appearances, with Tunisia’s political climate dogged by mistrust between the ruling Islamist party Ennahda and the mainly secular opposition. Jomaa now faces the daunting task of forming a non-partisan government within 15 days and organising elections this year amid a rise in strikes and protests that often degenerate into violence, driven partly by the country’s economic malaise.Unemployment and regional inequality were driving factors behind the revolution that unseated Ben Ali, inspiring protests across the Middle East and North Africa that toppled leaders in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.After his appointment, Jomaa said his mission was to “favour the appropriate conditions for transparent and credible elections, the security of Tunisians and promote the economy with the aim of emerging from the crisis”.His political career began only in March this year when he was appointed to the cabinet.The 51-year-old father of five, who has no stated political affiliations, graduated from the National Engineering School of Tunis in 1988 before taking a higher degree in mechanics.He then went on to a career in the private sector, and headed a division of Hutchinson, the aerospace unit of French conglomerate Total.Jomaa became industry minister in the new government of his predecessor Ali Larayedh, formed in March in the wake of the crisis caused by the assassination of key opposition figure Chokri Belaid a month earlier.Since then, he has stayed aloof from political jockeying and focused on his portfolio.In particular, he has lobbied European firms to invest in the country, plagued by economic woes since the January 2011 revolution.But he has also taken the unpopular step of backing a decision to raise fuel prices this year, with Tunisia under pressure to reduce its unaffordable subsidies.Mahmoud Baroudi, of the Democratic Alliance, an opposition movement critical of Ennahda, believes Jomaa “is competent and independent enough to take on the post of premier”.But his lack of political experience, particularly on security matters, puts him at a disadvantage in confronting one of Tunisia’s most pressing problems — the threat posed by armed jihadists.The opposition repeatedly accused the Ennahda-led government of failing to rein in militants, who have mounted a wave of attacks since Ennahda was elected in October 2011, and of failing to stimulate an economic revival.If Jomaa manages to form a new government of independents, it will be indirectly due to the political crisis triggered by the killing in July of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi, which was also blamed on Islamist militants.Another possible thorn in his side will come from the influential opposition party Nidaa Tounes, which rejected the idea of a premier from the outgoing government.Issam Chebbi, a leader of the party, said Jomaa would “not be a prime minister of consensus”.But the fact his roots are not hard set in the fractious world of Tunisian politics could prove his doubters wrong.
When Facebook founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced his plans to take two months’ paternity leave following the birth of his daughter next year, the news received mixed reactions.In one corner were the cynics who claimed that he is only able to do so due to his seniority and the high profile nature of his role. In the other, were those who applauded his decision.Research has shown that fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to be more involved in their child’s life in the following years. In addition, the opportunity this affords for them to form a bond with their child at the earliest stage has been shown to aid the child’s cognitive development.In the US, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide paid paternity leave for staff, making Zuckerberg’s decision even more notable. Facebook offers its staff four months’ paid paternity leave, positioning it as one of the leaders in this area.Looking at the UK, where new fathers are entitled to paid paternity leave for the first two weeks of their child’s life, as well as having the ability to share parental leave with their partner during their baby’s first year, personally I would have expected more fathers to jump at the chance to do so. However, research by My Family Care last month found that just 2% of respondents have so far taken up the option to share parental leave.The most common reasons we hear for this are:They cannot afford to take the drop in income.They are concerned about how it would be perceived by colleagues.They fear that bosses’ attitudes towards it will hinder their career progression.Surely, then, senior figures leading by example, as Zuckerberg is doing, is a positive step?If more bosses were to follow suit, I wonder if more employees might feel freer to take longer periods of paternity leave – or even to take any at all?Debbie Lovewell-TuckEditorTweet: @DebbieLovewellBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswy
Share Shelby Knowles for The Texas TribuneRobert Roberson in court for the review of his 2003 conviction in the death of his two-year-old daughter, Nikki Curtis, in Palestine on August 14, 2018. His attorneys are asking for a new trial based on new scientific evidence.Robert Roberson shuffled into a courtroom this week wearing a striped gray jumpsuit and handcuffs, his life once again hanging in the balance.After 15 years on death row, his face has grown gaunt, and patches of dark hair shoot up from his balding head. But he has maintained during his time in prison that he didn’t kill his sickly two-year-old daughter, Nikki Curtis, though he was convicted of that crime.He says that Nikki fell from the bed where they were sleeping in their home in this small East Texas town, and he awoke hours later to find her unresponsive. But as doctors and nurses struggled to revive her blue, limp body in the emergency room that morning, suspicions of child abuse quickly arose — they said a short fall wouldn’t have caused such damage.At his trial, doctors testified that her injuries were consistent with what is often referred to as “shaken baby syndrome,” a now-questionably diagnosed condition his attorneys say helped jurors opt for the death penalty.But instead of facing the state’s death chamber — which he narrowly avoided two years ago — Roberson was back in court Tuesday, again fighting against his conviction and for his life, thanks largely to a relatively new state law that allows courts to overturn a conviction when the scientific evidence that originally led to the verdict has since changed or been discredited.“The only reason Mr. Roberson is still alive today is because the state of Texas passed a rather trailblazing statute,” his attorney, Gretchen Sween, declared to the courtroom.The law, often referred to as the “junk science law,” was the first of its kind in the nation and passed with scant opposition in 2013. In pushing for its passage, state Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat, listed infant trauma as one of several examples of faulty science the bill was meant to target.Since its passage, multiple death penalty cases have been sent back to court for further review, and it has been cited in cases like that of the “San Antonio Four,” where women convicted on faulty sexual assault evidence were exonerated after nearly 15 years in prison.In June 2016, Roberson became one of the first death row inmates to have his conviction set for reviewed under the law — a decision the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals made just days before his scheduled execution. The court was instructed to decide whether Roberson would have been convicted if new scientific evidence — like new views on fatal short-distance falls and shaken baby syndrome injuries — were available at his original trial.In the last decade, experts have become divided on shaken baby syndrome, where an infant is killed from being violently shaken back and forth. Many doctors strongly stand by the diagnoses, but others, including the doctor who is first credited with observing the condition, think it is used too liberally in criminal cases — that deaths are labeled as murder without considering other possibilities and medical histories. The Washington Post reported in 2015 that 16 shaken baby syndrome convictions had been overturned since 2001.Roberson’s attorneys argue in part that new scientific evidence has suggested it is impossible to shake a toddler to death without causing serious neck injuries, which Nikki did not have, and has linked the symptoms used to diagnose shaken baby syndrome to other conditions as well, including short-distance falls.“There has been a tremendous amount of new scientific evidence,” said Gary Udashen, board president of the Innocence Project of Texas. “Biomechanical engineering studies have shown that you can generate enough force from a short-distance fall to cause serious head injuries.”Robert Roberson’s attorneys showed this picture of him and his daughter, Nikki Curtis, during a hearing reviewing his conviction in her death.“A watershed moment”Over time, science has become an increasingly present part of criminal proceedings, but it’s always evolving — what may have been thought of as irrefutable scientific evidence 15 years ago could be balked at today. And scientific “experts” who testify in cases sometimes lack any true expertise.The origins of the junk science law, and Roberson’s renewed chance at an appeal, began to take form as the state’s skepticism of forensic science grew with the science’s prevalence — think DNA — and after several high-profile cases involving “bad science” emerged.Perhaps the most well-known is the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, a Corsicana man executed in 2004 for the deaths of his three young daughters, despite scientists discrediting the earlier fire examination and finding no reason to call the house fire that killed his children arson.But while state lawmakers passed other bills related to forensic science, like creating a statewide investigatory commission, it took several tries for the junk science law to make it out of the Capitol in Austin. Whitmire filed similar bills in 2009 and 2011, but neither piqued much interest, and some prosecutors said an already well-established appeals process made the bill unnecessary.That changed with Neal Robbins and Cathy Henderson. Both were convicted in infant deaths after the medical examiners who testified at their trials later recanted their certainty that the deaths were homicides. But their appeals based on those recantations produced opposite results.In 2011, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Robbins’ appeal on the claim that his conviction and life sentence were based on bad scientific testimony — the medical examiner had changed her original conclusion that said his daughter’s death could only be murder. Though she originally thought the child’s injuries couldn’t have been caused by the reported attempts at CPR, she later said her increased knowledge made her unable to determine a cause of death.The next year, the same court tossed out Henderson’s conviction and death sentence after scientific advancements conflicted with the medical examiner’s original testimony that dropping a baby from her arms onto the floor couldn’t have caused the fatal brain injury.“In Robbins, this Court chose finality over accuracy; in Henderson we did the opposite, and in 2013, the Texas Legislature also chose accuracy over finality,” wrote then-Judge Cathy Cochran in 2014 after the court, under the new law, overturned Robbins’ conviction. He was released from prison in 2016.Robbins’ appellate attorney, Brian Wice, said the blowback from the court’s first ruling created the support to eventually pass the bill.“It was a watershed moment, not just in Texas but nationally, because Texas was really the first state to enact a provision that was able to unlock the courthouse door to defendants like Neal Robbins,” he said.Another delay of justiceFor Roberson, the junk science law has extended his life, but it hasn’t saved him yet. His court-ordered examination finally began in what was assumed to be at least a week-long hearing Tuesday. But it was again delayed after several hours when it was announced that long-lost evidence, including Nikki’s brain scans, was suddenly found in the basement of the local district clerk’s office.Sween, his attorney, said in court that they ultimately want a new trial for Roberson, one that would include the changes in science on shaken baby syndrome and short-distance falls, as well as a deeper look into Nikki’s previous illnesses and history of breathing problems. The child had previously suffered spells where she’d stop breathing and turn blue, and she had been at the hospital only days before with a violent illness that included a 104.5-degree temperature, according to court documents. The review is also looking at whether the original accusation that Roberson sexually assaulted Nikki, which was dropped mid-trial when the evidence couldn’t be corroborated, affected his conviction. She said she’s optimistic Roberson can be given a fair shot.“All we have to do is show that the science that was presented at trial and the science that was available now … has changed in ways that more likely than not, might have changed the jury’s verdict,” she said in court.But the prosecution said it isn’t conceding anything, saying in court that the evidence was “clear and convincing” that Roberson killed his daughter.“The science has not changed as much as [Roberson’s attorneys] say,” said Anderson County Assistant District Attorney Scott Holden in his opening statement. “There was no explanation except for the intentional death of Nikki Curtis.”Shelby Knowles for The Texas TribuneSeen in court, Matthew Bowman, center, has no doubt that Roberson killed his sister, Nikki Curtis.For now, Roberson’s case is up in the air. With the discovery of the lost evidence Tuesday, the judge put it up to the county and Roberson’s attorneys to let her know after they’ve properly evaluated it. After the court does reconvene again, the judge will make a recommendation to the Court of Criminal Appeals on whether a new trial should be granted, which the higher court can either order or reject.Likely, it will be a lengthy delay, and the wait isn’t welcome news for Nikki’s older half-brother, Matthew Bowman. He still carries the weight of his sister’s death and has no doubt that Roberson killed her. He was 4 when she died, and the 20-year-old sitting in the courtroom Tuesday was in visible anguish listening to Sween proclaim Roberson’s innocence, often shaking his head with a clenched jaw. He shook and wiped tears from his eyes when an emergency room nurse on the witness stand described her lifeless body.“I do believe that all the science that’s coming up is B.S., and we shouldn’t even be here right now,” he said during a break outside the courtroom. “I think everything should have been done and taken care of a long time ago.”
A new report says, going forward, few regions of the country will be affected by immigration more than Houston, and that continued immigration is increasingly important to our region’s economic future.The report from Center for Houston’s Future discusses how immigration has historically fueled the region’s economy and why it will be key to our economic future.In the audio above, Brett Perlman, the organization’s CEO, joins host Craig Cohen to expand on CHF’s findings. Listen X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /09:12
The Rev. Dr. Heber Brown addresses demonstrators from the Thurgood Marshall Memorial during Jan. 15th march on Annapolis. (AFROPhoto by R. Alejandro)Demonstrators packed the first hearing of the House of Delegates’ Judiciary Committee, a show of community strength and resolve to see law enforcement reforms passed during the 2015 legislative session in Annapolis. Organizers estimate that between 150 and 175 people came out for the march, which was marked by a heavy youth presence.The event began at the Thurgood Marshall Memorial in Annapolis, where the Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, addressed the crowd. Brown co-organized the march with Farajii Muhammad, of Young Leaders for Peace.“They thought that after a few marches, a few rallies, they thought that we would just calm down again, get back to ‘Scandal,’ get back to ‘How to Get Away with Murder,’” said Brown to those gathered at the Memorial. “But we’re here today because we’re tired of other people getting away with murder. We’re tired of the scandal in our community where Black and Brown people are being brutalized and terrorized by those who are abusing the powers afforded them.”Tre Murphy, a youth leader with Baltimore Bloc, spoke pointedly about the need for established Black institutions to stand with youth in their fight against police brutality, invoking the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a march that took place on King’s birthday (Jan. 15).Demonstrators pack the House Judiciary Committee’s first hearing of the 2015 legislative session. (AFROPhoto by R. Alejandro)“I can’t help but to think that MLK would not appreciate the silence of the Black church that has not taken a stance on these issues,” said Murphy, who also spoke out against the resistance of politicians and law enforcement officials to reform. “I can’t help but to wonder and think that MLK would not appreciate that politicians and law enforcement, whose job is to protect and serve our communities, care more about protecting killer cops than they do about persons lost at their hands.”The march then moved from the monument to the offices of the House of Delegates, where the House’s Judiciary Committee was having their first meeting of the legislative session, a rather informal gathering that consisted solely of introductions from committee members. Demonstrators filled the room, a show of strength and resolve that seemed to take many legislators by surprise.Some demonstrators in attendance expressed frustration that they did not have a chance to give any actual testimony to the legislators, while organizers explained that the day’s march was just a first step, and that there would be other opportunities to testify over the course of the session.At one point, Ricardo Flores, government relations director for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender who was attending the hearing, stood up to address the demonstrators as they discussed opportunities to testify.“You all have already had an enormous impact,” Flores told the large group present. “In all the years that I’ve been down here, there are very few groups that have been organized enough to come down to Annapolis in the first days of the first session to express, as clearly as you all have, a particular agenda. . . . To fill this room–that’s a big deal.”email@example.com
Kolkata: Six Trinamool Congress workers were killed and several were left injured when attacked by supporters of the Opposition political parties on the day of the Panchayat polls on Monday. It may be mentioned that 14 Trinamool Congress workers were killed during pre-poll clashes and on the day of the election, supporters and workers of the party were attacked at different parts of the state.Partha Chatterjee, Secretary General of Trinamool Congress, said workers and supporters of the party all across the state have shown tremendous endurance despite facing gruesome aggression. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”Most of the people killed on Monday were workers of the Trinamool Congress. Six TMC workers were killed,” he said.It was a few hours after the poll had started that a Trinamool Congress worker raised his voice finding attempts of rigging at a polling booth at Meriganj near Kultali in South 24-Parganas. The allegation was made against the CPI(M) that they have killed the Trinamool Congress worker, identified as Arif Ali Gazi. He was shot dead from a point-blank range. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe incident led to tension in the area. Police went to the spot and brought the situation under control. Locals protested against the incident and demanded immediate arrest of the accused.Another worker of the party — Sanjit Pramanik was killed at Shantipur in Nadia. Sanjit was an MA student and was beaten up mercilessly along with two of his friends. Before he could have understood anything, several people began beating them up. They continued thrashing him up till he fell on the ground. Even bombs were hurled at him. Police went to the spot and took them to Shantipur State General Hospital where Sanjit succumbed to his injuries. The miscreants hurled bombs to flee the area realising that they would get caught as police were approaching the spot.Bhola Tapadar, a TMC worker, was shot dead at Nakashipara in Nadia. He was taken on to the terrace of a house when he was returning after giving his vote and he was shot dead from a point blank range. The victim’s family members alleged that CPI(M) workers were behind the murder of Bhola.In another incident, Krishnapada Sarkar was killed at Tehatta in Nadia during a clash that broke out near a polling station in the area. Police picket has been posted in the area to ensure that law and order situation doesn’t deteriorate in the area.Moreover, several Trinamool Congress workers suffered injuries as well.