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Attorney General Curtis Hill Joins Other States In Urging U.S. Supreme Court To Protect…

first_img Attorney General Curtis Hill, as part of a 22-state coalition, is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the practice of lawmaker-led prayer at public meetings.The coalition filed a brief Wednesday afternoon asking the Supreme Court to hear arguments and confirm the constitutionality of the practice following an adverse ruling by a federal appeals court stemming from a North Carolina case. A follow-up ruling by the Supreme Court would clear confusion among the lower courts and, the coalition hopes, strike down the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, which could negatively affect free exercise of religion in Indiana and other states.“The First Amendment was never intended to prohibit elected officials from praying aloud at official government functions,” Attorney General Hill said. “Our tradition of liberty in America has always promoted and protected the free exercise of religion rather than stifle it.”The coalition argues that lawmaker-led prayer is woven into the fabric of American society and is fully consistent with the Constitution. The coalition notes that non-coercive expressions of faith in the public sector have long characterized official public proceedings in the United States. The brief further cites numerous examples nationwide of states, counties and municipalities that open meetings with prayers by government officials.The North Carolina case, Lund vs. Rowan County, focuses on a tradition among county commissioners of opening meetings with prayers offered by one of the commissioners. The coalition’s friend-of-the-court brief is filed in support of Rowan County.Indiana filed its brief in support of free expression of faith along with West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, along with the Governor of Kentucky.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Christmas on Long Island: Four Corners

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Christmas Tree FarmerMichael Koutsoubis is one of the few people who can say his money grows on trees. The owner of Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm in Manorville sows saplings in the Pines Barrens all year, same as he has for the 31 before, for the one month when families annually flock to saw them down, $11 per foot ($16 for Blue Spruce). It’s among the closest chop-your-own-tree farms to New York City. “I love to plant trees,” the 76-year-old Greek immigrant says in his greenhouse. “This kind of business is not to be rich; it’s just to pay the taxes and maybe a couple extra dollars.” It helps when the snow waits until the end of December and deer don’t scratch their horns on the merchandise. Fifteen years ago, he sold half the 10-acre plot to Matthew Marple, who named his cut Matt’s Christmas Tree Farm, halved by a dirt road made by a developer who wanted to build houses. The two work together and patrons tell them which farm they found their tree on. “It’s a really short season, but we do the best we can,” Koutsoubis says. “If you love something and want it to be right, you have to put a lot of work.”The Black Friday ShopperWhen it comes to sniffing out the best deals on Black Friday, Jordan Malik, 43, of Levittown has it down to a science. He’s been braving the herds of holiday shoppers packing retailers nationwide the day after Thanksgiving for the past decade and issuing advice to those looking to get in on the action since 2009 on his website, ResellBlackFriday.com. “When the crowd is going one way, I’m going the other,” he says. “You want to be able to go back to your friends to say ‘I got the latest PlayStation.’ But nobody wants to hear that you got a great deal on a toaster or a crock pot.” But he’s found that the odds are slim for most people scoring those insane deals on a 50-inch flatscreen TV, so he targets the best deals on toys, kitchenware and small electronics, such as a knife set for $9.99 after rebate that sells for at least triple that. His best tip? Check out Slickdeals.net. He’s not one to camp out overnight and cautions against unnecessarily sacrificing sleep over the hype. Recalling the trampling death of a 34-year-old Valley Stream Walmart worker on Black Friday five years ago, he asks: “Is any deal worth your life?”Saint NickIt’s not always posing for pictures under a 30-foot Christmas tree at Roosevelt Field Mall with children asking for puppies or the occasional monkey. Sometimes, such as after Sandy, the requests Santa Claus hears are more serious. “The children were asking not for toys,” says Kris Kringle of the North Pole. “They were asking for homes, heat and light.” He can’t make any promises, just replies: “I’ll see what I can do.” It doesn’t take a superstorm for heavy hearts to land in his lap, either. A terminally ill woman got on her knees and begged him for help. The father of a soldier killed in action handed him a thank you card—addressed to Santa from Dad—that read that “he really didn’t know if [Santa] was real or not and he had just lost a son in a war he didn’t believe in and he wanted to believe.” But, the endless supply of hugs ease the tough days. “Some people around the holidays, they really carry some heavy burdens…so Santa’s job is just to get a smile,” he says. “When they start doubting, I say to the children: If you don’t believe in Santa Claus, think of all the fun that you are missing!”The Bell RingerIf every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings, as is said in the classic movie It’s a Wonderful Life, then Sharon Williams is making countless spirits fly. The 61-year-old Riverhead woman is a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, reminding Long Islanders that the holiday season is not just about receiving, but giving as well. “It just touches my heart to see how generous people are,” Williams says as passersby stuff change and bills into the red kettle beside her outside the King Kullen in Hampton Bays. “We cannot receive if we don’t give back.” There are the regulars who donate daily, kids who stop by to empty their piggy banks to the charity and the occasional giver of a big bill. They all make it worth standing outside in the frigid air for eight hours, she says with a permanent smile, while shoppers stock up on supplies for a coming winter storm. “I embrace the cold,” Williams says. “I don’t let the weather stop me.” It helps that she makes plenty of friends who share their stories all day long. “I think I was chosen to do this because I’m very spiritual,” she says. “At my age to stand here, I’m just so blessed.”last_img read more

Big win for Assam against Manipur in Vijay Hazare Cricket tournament

first_imgOur Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: A five-wicket haul including a hat-trick from medium-pacer Pritam Das guided Assam to a huge 180 runs victory against Manipur in the Vijay Hazare Cricket tournament match held at Dehradun yesterday. Pritam, who is performing consistently in the meet, scalped three wickets in the third, fourth and fifth ball of his second over and later picked up another two to finish the game with a magic figure 5-5. Roshan Alam picked up the other five wickets giving away only 18 runs. Manipur, chasing 256 to win, were bowled out paltry 75 runs in 24.4 overs.Earlier Rode on two good knocks from Gokul Sarma (88) and Riyan Parag (71) Assam scored 255 for seven in their 50 overs. Gokul took 107 balls to score 88 and there are nine boundaries in his innings. Riyan needed 64 balls to score 71 with the help of 7 boundaries and two sixes. Also Read: Pritam’s 5-22 Gives Assam easy victory Over Nagaland in Vijay HazareAlso Watch:Durga Puja 2019: Vijaya Dashami celebrated in Digboilast_img read more

Couture to start the series opener against Beavers

first_imgIn college baseball’s heavyweight division, every series is a grueling battle. This weekend’s Pac-10 prizefight is no different.USC begins its home conference schedule at 7 p.m. when the Trojans welcome No. 21 Oregon State to Dedeaux Field to start a three-game series.The Beavers (16-5) open up conference play after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. They dropped a doubleheader against Long Beach State in Corvallis, Ore., falling by a combined score of 15-5.But that has not been indicative of their play this year.The Beavers opened with three wins in four games at Hawai’i and followed that series by taking two of three from Tennessee.And before the last two games against the 49ers, they rattled off 10 wins in a row — allowing more than four runs just twice in that stretch.USC (13-12, 1-2) has been looking for that kind of consistency all season long.The Trojans continue to ride a wave of up-and-down play. They defeated Loyola Marymount 9-7 on Tuesday, but that came after they dropped two of three against Stanford last weekend.They outslugged the Cardinal in the first game, 13-8, but lost the next two. The Trojans were right in the mix in both games but fell victim to Stanford’s timely hitting in the late innings.The Cardinal won the middle game with a walk-off hit in the ninth inning and took the series finale with a tiebreaking single in the seventh.Finding that consistency will be difficult against the Beavers.They field one of the best pitching staffs in the conference, led by a couple of solid starters.Oregon State’s Greg Peavey is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA and opponents are hitting just .198 against him. Tanner Robles is off to a similar start with a 4-2 record and a 2.41 ERA.At the plate, Oregon State has the lowest team batting average in the conference, but a few stars have paced the Beavers’ offense.Stefen Romero is batting .352 with six home runs and 20 RBIs, both team-leading totals. He also sports a .461 on-base percentage and is perfect on the base paths with three steals in as many attempts. Carter Bell and Parker Berberet have also chipped in at the plate, each batting over .300 with eight and 17 RBI, respectively.USC has dominated the series with the Beavers over the years, as well as recently. The Trojans have won five of the last six games against Oregon State, including a series sweep when the two teams met at Dedeaux Field in 2008.But the Beavers have been a mainstay on the college baseball radar since winning back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007. Sweeping them again will be a difficult task.USC will throw senior Kevin Couture in tonight’s opener against Peavey. Couture last pitched Friday against Stanford and lasted just four innings, allowing seven runs.Sophomore Ben Mount will face Robles in Friday’s game, at 7 p.m. Mount continues to pitch well for USC, amassing a 2-1 record and a 3.54 ERA. He went seven innings Saturday against Stanford but picked up a no-decision in USC’s loss.Fellow sophomore Andrew Triggs will start for the Trojans in Saturday’s series finale at 1 p.m., but the Beavers have yet to announce a starter. Triggs lasted into the seventh inning against the Cardinal but also recorded a no decision.last_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, July 16, 2014

first_imgWellington Police notes for Wednesday, July 16, 2014: •1:05 a.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 600 block S. Washington, Wellington.•1:46 a.m. Kyle R. Lowry, 27, Oxford, was arrested and confined on a city of Wellington Warrant for theft, battery and disorderly conduct.•10:01 a.m. Jessica N. Henton, 36, Wellington was arrested and charged with forgery.•10:10 a.m. Katie L. Harrington, 24, Wellington was issued a notice to appear charged for dog at large.•12:08 p.m. Officers took a report of lost license plate in the city Wellington Lake area.•2:32 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of a bicycle in the 200 block N. F, Wellington.•5:55 p.m. Officers took a report of a found bicycle in the 100 block S. A, Wellington.•9:52 p.m. Officers investigated criminal trespass and disorderly conduct by a known suspect in the 300 block E. 17th, Wellington.last_img read more

Arrests made in shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery after uproar

first_imgThe GBI arrested Gregory McMichael, 64, and Travis McMichael, 34, after they fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery on a residential Georgia street while he was going for a jog back on February 23.After months of no arrests, a cellphone video of the killing was posted online by a Brunswick radio station. This called for a national outcry.The two men will be booked into the Glynn County Jail, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.The GBI opened an investigation this week after the video was posted online.  Many people believed the killing was a hate crime. The video showed two white men, a father and a son, who pursued a black male in their pickup truck while he was on a jog. The two men told police they believed Arbery was a burglar.last_img

Young Windies lose opener

first_imgMIRPUR, Bangladesh (CMC):West Indies Under-19s produced a weak batting performance to go down by eight wickets to Bangladesh Under-19s, in their opening one-day game of the three-match warm-up series at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here yesterday.Sent in, the visitors struggled from the outset and were dismissed for 114 off 39.2 overs, with opener Gidron Pope top-scoring with 31 and Emmanuel Stewart getting 30.Left-arm spinner Saleh Ahmed ran through the innings with a spell of four for 24 while off-spinners Saeed Sarkar (2-9) and Sanjit Saha (2-14) picked up two wickets apiece.In reply, Nazmul Hossain stroked 41 not out and Saif Hassan an unbeaten 39 as Bangladesh Under-19s cruised to their target in the 21st over.West Indies Under-19s are preparing for the ICC Under-19 World Cup, which bowls off later this month.last_img read more

Transfer update! Swansea won’t turn down £25-30m bid for Bony

first_imgMedia Wales football journalist Chris Wathan claims Swansea City are willing to sell Wilfried Bony for around £25-30million this January.The Ivory Coast striker has been linked with a move to Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City, as the race for his signature hots up.And Wathan told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show that the Swans won’t stand in the 25-year-old’s way – but only if they recieve a competitive price.“Wilfried Bony has made secret of his desire to go to the highest level possible, which means the Champions League,” he told talkSPORT. “The real question should be, ‘is someone going to pay the sort of money that Swansea value him at?’.“Swansea have a very good history of getting good value for their players, just look at Joe Allen going to Liverpool for £15m, Scott Sinclair to Man City for £8m and Ben Davies to Tottenham for around £10m. Swansea aren’t naive enough to think they can turn down a bid of around £25-30m [for Bony].“My surprise would be if someone is prepared to pay out that sort of cash with Ivory Coast being in the Africa Cup of Nations, which means he wouldn’t be available until mid-February. That makes him a long-term investment and, if that’s the case, then why not sign him in the summer.”last_img read more

Sustainability of resilient South African nation brand depends on socially cohesive communities

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 18 August 2016 – In preparation of the inaugural Nation Brand Forum on Wednesday 24 August 2016, Brand South Africa hosted a research reference group yesterday that looked into the issue of social cohesion. The reference group looked at whether South Africa is asking the right questions when it comes to the analysis and measurement of social cohesion in South Africa.The reference group comes within the context of Brand South Africa’s mandate to promote social cohesion and nation building. International best practice indicates that a resilient nation brand is anchored on a socially cohesive citizenry.Social cohesion is, amongst others, premised on active citizenship, where community members and citizens work together for the attainment of shared goals, designed and agreed upon to improve the living conditions for all.Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock said: “Unfortunately challenges of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, and historical divisions around race, class and gender make it difficult to arrive at a socially cohesive and united society as fast as we would want to. Through such reference groups, we aim to map out ways on how to recreate these challenges in moving us towards an ideal socially cohesive society.”Dr de Kock made reference to the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), and indicated how these articulate in one way or another ways for the nation to deal with the question of Social Cohesion.He added: “Transformation of the South African society, economy, identity, education, and interactions with our immediate region and the world, are all in one way or another aimed at human development, and greater social cohesion – and this is outlined in the NDP.“The process of building nation brands, including brand South Africa, requires a consistent and coordinated efforts, which is heavily reliant on nation building. Nation-building in the context of South Africa, calls for a rethinking, on what social cohesion, linked to nation building, should be. It is premised on these reasons that we are interrogating the concept of social cohesion. Inputs, suggestions and actions recommended by participants at today’s research reference group will inform planning for the Nation Brand Forum scheduled for 24 August 2016.Dr de Kock concluded: “The reputation of a country, nation, or nation brand is shaped by a multitude of factors. Importantly, a reputation is not a fixed once off outcome of an action, or set of actions. It is a continuous process that needs to be refined based on the challenges and opportunities presented for the nation.”Media are invited to participate in the inaugural Nation Brand Forum as follows:Date: Wednesday 24 August 2016Time: 08h30 – 15h00Venue: The Maslow Hotel46 Rivonia Rd, Sandton, 2146RSVPS/Enquiries: Tsabeng NthiteEmail [email protected] number 076 371 6810Brand South Africa will also be able to facilitate any requests for interviews.Follow the conversation on #SANationBrandlast_img read more

Safe Online Shopping Tips for THE FESTIVE SEASON

first_imgThe festive season is upon us and with it comes a rise in consumer spending. With barriers to internet entry coming down in South Africa, online shopping transactions are bound to increase significantly. Let’s be honest, if you can shop in the comfort of your home with a few simple clicks, why deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic and long, unending queues?However, as convenient as it is to shop online, citizens are urged to take extra caution in a digital era that brings with it with vulnerabilities and exposes people to possible online fraud.As part of government’s efforts to improve cyber-safety for citizens, Minister of Communications & Telecommunications in South Africa, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams recently launched a cyber-security awareness campaign in Eersterust, Pretoria. The campaign creates awareness around internet usage, teaching community members the basic dos and don’ts of using the Web. According to IT Web, the campaign is driven by the National Assembly’s decision to pass the Cyber Crimes Bill.Much of our personal data is stored in cookies. (According to Mozilla Firefox, a cookie is information stored on your computer by a website you visit.) Because information on the internet is easily accessible, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development drew up the Cyber Crimes Bill to “create offences which have a bearing on cybercrime, to criminalise the distribution of data messages which are harmful, and to provide for interim protection orders, among other issues”.Increase in internet penetration and social media usage has encouraged entities like Facebook to seek appropriate partners in communities across South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa for economic cohesion in the ICT space.In a recent interview, Head of Facebook Africa, Ms Nunu Ntshingila, told Brand South Africa: “We work with NGO’s and youth groups such as JOX Africa and J Initiative across the continent to provide them with collateral focused on youth safety.”In South Africa, Facebookhas launched a Youth Online Safety Programme (Ilizwe Lam – a Xhosa word for My World) in partnership with Digify Africa. Aiming to train 1 000young people between the ages of 13 and 18 nationwide, the programme explores cyber security andprovides practical tips and guides on how to manage privacy online.How can you protect yourself online?Tips:Capitec shares the following pointers on staying safe in the digital banking space:– Never give your personal details and banking information to anyone– Treat emails and pop-up windows asking for your personal details with suspicion– Never respond or reply to an email that:– Prompts you to enter your personal details directly into the email or submit this information in any other way– Threatens to close or suspend your account if you don’t take immediate action by providing your personal details– Asks you to participate in a survey where you have to enter your personal detailsFor general cyber security tips, Cybintsolutions.com suggests:– Practicing good password management. Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your device for any length of time, ensure that it is locked.– Practicing safe clicking. Be aware of attachments or links in email, especially if you don’t know the source.– Beware of Browsing. Banking or shopping, should only be done on your personal devices via a trusted network.– Backing up your data regularly. Don’t be afraid to invest in a good, secure anti-virus software that is always up to date.Additional sources: IT Web, Capitec, Cybintsolutionslast_img read more