Tag Archives: historic

This Is What The Historic Anti-Government Protests In Cuba Look Like

Anti-government protests have erupted in Cuba this week over lack of access to food and basic medical supplies, amid a rise in COVID cases.

The country has suffered from massive inflation and long blackouts as long-standing US sanctions that restrict access to basic goods and financing, and decades of government corruption and mismanagement, have been made worse by a decline in tourism during the pandemic.

The protests started on Sunday and have spread rapidly across the country as thousands of Cubans are frustrated by hunger and basic supply shortages. “Our children are dying of hunger,” shouts one protester in a video posted to Facebook. Another video on Twitter appeared to show protesters calling to “change the system.”

The protests are the largest in recent memory, and government forces, which are typically quick to repress demonstrations, initially struggled to retain control. Some musicians, who along with artists faced suppression for speaking out, also made statements in support of the protesters.

Intermittent internet shutdowns and harassment and detention of journalists have made it difficult to verify events on the ground, however, photos and videos have emerged showing police and plainclothes officers beating protesters with batons and appearing to shoot at them. At least one person has been killed, and Amnesty International said that at least 150 others have been reported missing and may have been detained.

While the government appears to have softened its stance somewhat, lifting a tax on importing goods to the island, it may not be enough to quell the protests. “No, we don’t want crumbs. We want liberty. Blood has not run in Cuban streets to be able to import a few more suitcases,” tweeted blogger and government critic Yoaní Sanchez.

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This post originally posted here BuzzFeed News

HISTORIC FUNDING OF $13 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE TRANSGENDER WELLNESS AND EQUITY FUND BY GOVENOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCED

The TransLatin@ Logo

The [email protected] Coalition was founded in 2009 by a group of Transgender and Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles, California, as a grassroots response to address the needs of TGI [email protected] immigrants

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, July 15, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund would be receiving $ 13 million in funding that will provide health care services for transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) people across all of California. Resources include mental health programs, culture-based programs, medical services, as well as supportive housing help specifically for TGI people. This historic announcement is the continuation of the victory that was achieved when AB 2218 was passed in September of 2020.

The [email protected] Coalition, led by Founder and CEO Bamby Salcedo, was instrumental in advocating for the passing of AB2218 last year. Since then, she has been working tirelessly to ensure that not only would the funding come to fruition, but that a precedent would be set for other states and policymakers to follow as well.

“We are so grateful that TGI people will have the resources needed to improve our quality of life. We are privileged to live in a state that has the most inclusive legislation to support the livelihood of trans people. It is through intentional investment in the lives of TGI people through this budget allocation that collectively we are going to improve the lives of all TGI Californians,” said Bamby Salcedo, Chief Executive Officer at [email protected] Coalition.
“I’m so proud of this community vision becoming a reality. This budget allocation shows that when we let TGI people lead, great things can happen. I look forward to working to get these funds to our people here on the ground!” said Michaé De La Cuadra, Manager of Policy and Community Engagement at [email protected] Coalition.

The [email protected] Coalition will be holding a press conference next week. Details to be announced. For updates and news, follow on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/translatinacoalition
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/translatinacoalition/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransLatina_C
Please reach out with any questions or if you would like to get involved:
Website: https://www.translatinacoalition.org/
Email: [email protected]
Address: 3055 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 350, Los Angeles, CA 90010

About [email protected] Coalition:
The [email protected] Coalition (TLC) was founded in 2009 by a group of Transgender and Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles, California, as a grassroots response to address the specific needs of TGI [email protected] immigrants who live in the United States. Since then, the agency has become a nationally recognized organization with representation in 10 different states across the U.S. and provides direct services to TGI individuals in Los Angeles.
To learn more, visit www.translatinacoalition.org

Miri Rossitto
Cowe Communications
[email protected]

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This post originally posted here usnews

Prince Charles body language: Future king ‘humbled’ at historic military outing – pictures

Judi said: “With his chest strung with medals and his face wreathed in smiles, Charles looks delighted but also rather bashful to be presenting the Parachute Regiment with new colours here, beaming with genuine pride but with his posture suggesting he might also be feeling humbled by the troops he was meeting.”

Charles looked notably more relaxed than the military men he met at the event, Judi claimed.

The analyst added: “As he stands beside and in front of men who are pulled up rigidly to attention with their shoulders broadened and their body power at chest level, Charles uses a much more relaxed pose, with his head down, his shoulders and chest slightly lowered and his stomach arched out comfortably rather than pulled in.”

The future king did not try to mimic the posture of those around him, Judi claimed.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Life and Style
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Richard Branson finished his historic venture onboard his own rocket-powered plane in a landmark moment for the commercial space industry

Branson -— along with Virgin Galactic employees Beth Moses, Colin Bennett, and Sirisha Bandla and pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci — boarded the SpaceShipTwo, a winged plane with a single rocket motor that the company has spent nearly two decades developing, before the crack of dawn. Attached beneath its massive, twin-fuselaged mothership, dubbed WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle took to the skies at 8:30 am MT and climbed to about 50,000 feet in the air.
Just after 9:15 in the morning, the SpaceShipTwo detached from its mothership and dropped momentarily before its engine screamed to life and the vehicle swooped upward. On board, the passengers experienced up to three Gs of force from the burst of extreme acceleration and watched the blue sky fade into the star-speckled darkness of outer space. At the top of the flight path, more than 50 miles high, the vehicle was suspended in weightlessness for a few minutes, allowing the passengers to enjoy panoramic views of the Earth and space as SpaceShipTwo flipped onto its belly. It then deployed its feathering system, which curls the plane’s wings upward, mimicking the shape of a badminton shuttlecock, to turn the spaceship rightward as it flew back into the Earth’s thick atmosphere and glided back down to a runway landing.
Virgin Galactic spaceplane VSS Unity rockets to outer space, with Richard Branson and crew onboard.
As Branson floated around in microgravity, he taped a message using cameras onboard the space plane: “To all you kids out there — I was once a child with a dream, looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship…If we can do this, just imagine what you can do,” he said.
This flight marked only the fourth test flight of the vehicle that reached the edge of space.
Surrounding SpaceShipTwo’s takeoff was — in typical Branson fashion -— a high-production party with friends, family, employees and a few VIPs in attendance. Earlier on Sunday, Branson tweeted a picture of himself and a barefoot Elon Musk hanging out. Grammy-nominated artist Khalid is also expected to perform an as-yet-unreleased song on an outdoor stage.

What this means

Branson’s flight — which came just nine days before Amazon bilionaire Jeff Bezos is slated to rocket into suborbital space aboard his own company’s spacecraft — is a landmark moment for the commercial space industry. The up-and-coming sector has for years been seeking to make suborbital space tourism (a relatively simple straight-up-and-down flight, as opposed to orbiting the Earth for longer periods) a viable business with the aim of allowing thousands of people to experience the adrenaline rush and sweeping views of our home planet that such flights can offer.
Branson and Bezos are situated to become direct competitors in that industry, each offering tickets to wealthy customers for brief rides to the upper atmosphere aboard supersonic, rocket-powered spacecraft.
Virgin Galactic plans to conduct just one more test flight before it will begin flying paying customers. More than 600 people have reserved tickets priced at $ 200,000 to $ 250,000 so far. The company is expected to reopen ticket sales soon, though at a higher price point.
Branson’s flight also helps bolster Virgin Galactic’s reputation as the “world’s first commercial spaceline.” That’s how the company advertised itself as it signed up those hundreds of willing customers who’ve waited through development delays — and a tragic mishap — for their chance to ride aboard SpaceShipTwo.
But whether or not Virgin Galactic will really be the “first” commercially operational suborbital space company is not yet clear. Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin, appeared poised to put its founder in space before Branson, until Virgin Galactic made the surprise announcement earlier this month that he would be on the very next test flight, a departure from the company’s earlier plans.
Bezos’ flight, slated for July 20, could kick off the company’s commercial operations sooner than that, and one of his fellow passengers on the flight is a paying customer, having won a ticket through a charity auction for the price of $ 28 million. The company has not yet begun selling tickets to the public, however, nor has it set a specific date for when it plans to do so.
Neither company is expected to offer tickets that are affordable to the average American. Branson did tease a big “announcement” about his effort to “democratize space” ahead of the flight. But he revealed Sunday only that Virgin Galactic would be holding a “sweepstakes” for two free tickets, along with a tour of the facility from the winners from Branson himself.

How Virgin Galactic got here

Virgin Galactic moved into its facilities in New Mexico in May 2019 after years of delay. The glitzy building, called Spaceport America, was paid for with more than $ 200 million in mostly taxpayer money, and it had been waiting nearly a decade for Virgin Galactic to move in and open for business.
The company refurbished the building to include a lounge and other amenities that ticket holders will be able to use before their brief journey to the edge of space.
Virgin Galactic’s development program has endured a series of setbacks, including a catastrophic accident during a test flight in 2014 that left a co-pilot dead and the pilot badly injured after the SpaceShipTwo’s feathering system was prematurely deployed, ripping the spacecraft apart. The company has since parted ways with its manufacturing partner and says it has worked to enhance SpaceShipTwo with additional automated safeguards.
Branson said ahead of Sunday’s test flight that he was anxious to join the pilots and test engineers who’ve already flown on SpaceShipTwo because he felt it demonstrated a crucial vote of confidence.
Richard Branson receives some cards from children as he walks out from Spaceport America, near Truth and Consequences, New Mexico on July 11, 2021.
“You’ve got to remember that Virgin Galactic has people on every spaceflight… The fact that I’m willing to fly with those people shows confidence,” Branson told CNN Business’ Rachel Crane earlier this month. “I think the least the founder of the company can do is go up there and fly with his people.”

Historic Annapolis, Maryland Georgian Revival Mansion on Severn River to Auction No Reserve via Concierge Auctions

The Friary, 1604 Winchester Road, Annapolis, Maryland

270-degree river views and 60-foot infinity edge pool

Sprawling fully renovated historic Georgian Revival mansion

Live and entertain in perfectly appointed luxury

Located minutes to downtown Annapolis and just 45 minutes to Washington, D.C.

The Friary will auction in August via Concierge Auctions in cooperation with Listing Agents David DeSantis and Brad Kappel of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

We’re partnering with Concierge Auctions whose comprehensive database of high-net-worth individuals is sure to attract someone who will appreciate the home as much as we have.”

— Steve Phillips, Seller

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, July 2, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Nestled on 23 acres in Annapolis, the sailing capital of the world, and just 45 minutes from the nation’s capital, The Friary, a Severn River waterfront historic mansion will auction next month via Concierge Auctions in cooperation with David DeSantis and Brad Kappel of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Currently listed for $ 24.9 million, the property will sell with No Reserve to the highest bidder. Bidding is scheduled to be held on August 12–18th, via the firm’s digital marketplace, ConciergeAuctions.com, allowing buyers to bid remotely from anywhere in the world.

“We spent more than five years restoring and renovating the property—it became a labor of love and one of the finest estates in the Maryland region and also a place where countless memories were made,” said the seller, seafood tycoon Steve Phillips. “The property is special, infused with architectural beauty, history and countless nooks and crannies throughout made to relax, unwind and enjoy the scenery. We’re partnering with Concierge Auctions whose comprehensive database of high-net-worth individuals is sure to attract someone who will appreciate the home as much as we have.”

Live and entertain in luxury with over 35,000 square feet of living space. The iconic estate, located at 1604 Winchester Road, has been painstakingly renovated to balance modern luxury while paying homage to it’s Georgian roots, featuring a main core where 18th-century elements, such as the original heart pine floors and foyer arch moldings, have been flawlessly preserved. A cleverly designed limestone rotunda containing a conservatory and atrium lead to either of the home’s wings: the guest wing with spacious common room, or the chapel-turned-ballroom with a limestone fireplace, herringbone teak floors, and arched double doors with a terrace beyond. The commercial-sized gourmet kitchen and second catering kitchen make entertaining on any scale a breeze. Outdoors, its 270-degree views of the Severn River offer incredible appeal.

“The craftsmanship, attention to detail, and care that has gone into the property renovations is truly remarkable. The current owners struck the perfect balance between maintaining the home’s historical roots while upgrading it for modern luxury. By partnering with Concierge Auctions, we can combine our firm’s reach with their global database to identify a buyer who can appreciate all of the history this property has to offer,” stated DeSantis.

Not only does the construction of the home offer a rich history, with original architects inclusive of William Molting, the “Dean of Baltimore Architects,” and James Wyatt, whose firm’s iconic Baltimore designs include the Baltimore Court House, Fifth Regiment Armory, Keyser Office Building, and part of Johns Hopkins University, but the land on which the Friary now stands has vivid and curious roots traceable from 1660, when it was originally patented and later sold to the prominent Hammon family of Annapolis. History flows above and below ground as the extensive tunnel systems indicate ties to the underground railway and secret basement passageways were purportedly used to hide illegal weapons. Later purchased in 1950 by the Catholic Church, it was converted to the St. Conrad Friary, whose Capuchin Fransican Friars maintained it for 34 years.

The beautiful house then sat in wait until 2002, when the current owners revisited the then-27-bedroom behemoth and breathed fresh life into the property, where a seamless blending of classic Georgian to a more varied, yet still cohesive, homage to the owners’ love of Southeast Asian and Indian influence can be observed. One entire wing, that was once a chapel added during the monks’ tenure, became an incredible great hall with a limestone fireplace that accents the Medieval sensibility of the room and brings warmth to the herringbone teak floors. The second wing, formerly the monks’ institutional dormitory, was transformed into a one-story guest wing with two guest suites and a spacious common room. Two wide port-hole windows with an underwater view of the infinity pool just outside bathe the space in a soft blue glow. The conservatory transitions to the great hall and the guest wing and provides access to the incredible limestone indoor spa. The interior design is as carefully selected as the architectural improvements. Even the palettes for paints throughout are based on the traditional hand-painted silk wall covering in the dining room, indicative of the care put into every detail of the extensive renovation.

Additional features include a formal dining room, parlor with original moldings on the foyer arc, and eleven fireplaces, one made of original marble from the Italian family quarry of Michelangelo Buonarroti; a library with mahogany and American oak paneled walls, hand-tooled leather ceiling, and 18th century brass chandeliers; a family room with three pairs of glass arched double doors and imported teak ceilings, built-in cabinets, wainscoting, and herringbone floors; a large office space off the master suite with potential to be converted to an additional bedroom suite; an indoor spa made of limestone and radiant-heated sandstone floors with resistance pool, sauna, and whirlpool, hermetically closed from the rest of the house to retain temperature and humidity via arched double-glass doors; music room, game room, secret vault, catering kitchen, workshop, and wine cellar with original exposed brick walls and natural wood beams; an outdoor dining area that it gas and water-wired for easy addition of an outdoor kitchen, a rooftop garden, 60-foot infinity-edge pool, and tennis court; direct access by funicular to a 6-slip private dock with boat lift; and a nine-car garage with epoxy floor, built-in cabinetry, oversized tubs and sinks, and bathroom—all just minutes to downtown Annapolis, St. John’s College, and the United States Naval Academy and within one hour from three local airports including Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Dulles International Airport, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

“We are excited to be bringing this property to auction with Concierge Auctions. From selecting the date of sale, to the global marketing reach, to full transparency throughout the exposure cycle, their process allows our clients control over the sale of their property,” stated Kappel.

The Friary sits overlooking a gracious bend of the Severn River with ideal proximity to both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. As one of the most distinctive estates offered on the East Coast, it is assuredly difficult to want to leave the spectacular grounds, but the call of downtown Annapolis from mere minutes away is enough to entice exploration. The City Dock offers a new angle to admire the water from and learn why Annapolis is the sailing capital of the world. Settle into one of the many restaurants for an unforgettable meal. Hike or jog the 13.3-mile B&A Trail, stretching from Boulters Way to Glen Burnie in Baltimore, to reconvene with nature. Hit the water at the Annapolis Yacht Club or stand on solid land to watch its racing events each year. Annapolis’ countless parks are easy to enjoy with its average of 208 sunny days per year, mild springs and falls, and the inviting breeze courtesy of Chesapeake Bay.

The Friary is available for showings daily by appointment and are additionally available for private virtual showings.

As part of Concierge Auctions’ Key for Key® giving program in partnership with Giveback Homes, the closing will result in a new home built for a family in need.

Agents will be compensated according to the terms and conditions of the Listing Agreement. See Auction Terms and Conditions for full details. For more information, including property details, exclusive virtual tour, diligence documents, and more, visit ConciergeAuctions.com or call +1.212.202.2940.

About Concierge Auctions
Concierge Auctions is the world’s largest luxury real estate auction firm with a state-of-the-art digital marketing, property preview, and bidding platform. The firm matches sellers of one-of-a-kind properties with the most high-net-worth property connoisseurs on the planet. Sellers gain unmatched reach, speed, and certainty. Buyers get incredible deals. Agents earn their commission in 30 days. Since its inception in 2008, Concierge Auctions has generated billions of dollars in sales, broken four world records for the highest-priced homes ever achieved at auction, and grown its activity in 44 U.S. states/territories and 29 countries. The firm owns the most comprehensive and intelligent database of high-net-worth real estate buyers and sellers in the industry, and has contributed more than 300 homes to-date as part of its Key For Key® giving program in partnership with Giveback Homes™, which guarantees that for every property the company sells, a new home is funded for a family in need. For more information, visit ConciergeAuctions.com.

Emily Roberts
Concierge Auctions
+1 212-202-2940
email us here

The Friary | Annapolis, MD

Author: Emily Roberts
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McLaughlin breaks 400 hurdles mark on historic day at trials

During the US Olympic track trials, McLaughlin finally outraced Dalilah Muhammad to earn the victory, and the record, that Muhammad kept grabbing whenever they met.

EUGENE, Ore. — Sydney McLaughlin looked to her left and saw the numbers “51.90.” Her first thought: “Oh my gosh!”

Now, at long last, the 400-meter hurdles world record belongs to her.

On Sunday night at U.S. Olympic track trials, McLaughlin finally outraced Dalilah Muhammad to earn the victory, and the record, that Muhammad kept grabbing whenever they met. McLaughlin’s 51.90 was good enough to beat Muhammad by 0.52 seconds. It shattered Muhammad’s old world record by 0.26.

“It’s one of those moments you think about and dream about and play in your head that you’ll put it together,” said McLaughlin, who not long ago aligned with coach Bobby Kersee.

Her record was the highlight of a day that included other kinds of history.

RELATED: Too hot: Track trials come to a halt as temperatures soar

Noah Lyles won the 200 meters to punch his Olympic ticket, then celebrated by kneeling on the track and clasping his hands together: “I just stopped stressing and let my body do what it does,” he said after posting a world-leading time of 19.74 that came on the heels of some lackluster runs through the 100 and 200 rounds.

He shared the spotlight with 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton, whose third-place finish makes him the youngest male member of the U.S. Olympic track team since Jim Ryun in 1964.

JuVaughn Harrison, a 22-year-old from LSU, won not one, but two titles on the same day to become the first American to make the Olympics in both the high jump and the long jump since Jim Thorpe in 1912.

“That’s a lot of years for somebody not to do it,” Harrison said. “It’s really good for me to have my name in history like that.”

It’s an amazing enough feat on a normal day. On this day — unbelievable.

Temperatures at Hayward Field reached 108 degrees and the surface of the track exceeded 150.

It forced USA Track and Field to put a halt to the action at about 3 p.m., shortly after heptathlete Taliyah Brooks was being carted off the track in a wheelchair. Brooks was in fourth place when she went down during javelin warmups. She did not make it back, and when the competition resumed some five hours later, Annie Kunz got the win.

Much earlier in the day, Paul Chelimo won by .19 seconds in a sprint to the finish in the men’s 5,000, which had been moved to the morning to beat the heat. Much later on the track, Athing Mu won the women’s 800 and Cole Hocker edged reigning Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz in the 1,500.

McLaughlin’s race was delayed by about four hours. She said the wait “was a little bit of a throw in our plan.”

“But we were prepared for that,” she said. “Bobby always talks about Muhammad Ali, and always having to be ready for that left hook.”

In this case, it was another Muhammad — Dalilah Muhammad — who has, in her own way, been preparing McLaughlin for this day.

This marked the third straight major race in which the two squared off and a world record was set. The last two times, it was Muhammad who came out on top. It happened first two years ago on a rainy day in Des Moines, Iowa, at national championships. Then again, a few months after that at worlds in Qatar. McLaughlin ran a 52.23 at worlds, but lost by .07 seconds. That mark would have been the world record had she run it before Muhammad started rewriting the book that season.

“Dalilah is a great competitor, and I was growing into my own person,” McLaughlin explained when asked if she was deflated after running such good times, only to come in second.

She also credited a renewed sense of faith and, of course, Kersee, for this breakthrough.

Kersee is the legend who has, over the years, squeezed the most out of some of the greatest in the sport, including Allyson Felix, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Florence Griffith Joyner.

He put McLaughlin on a new plan — getting her focused on improving her form by running shorter hurdles courses.

“It was trusting the process, and a lot of things you can’t really see coming,” McLaughlin said. “But just having the childlike faith in trusting everything is going to work out. Bobby’s really good at that.”

Muhammad said getting to the starting line in this, a year that started with injuries and a COVID-19 scare, was never a sure thing. She said she couldn’t break 55 seconds to start the season.

“Almost for a month straight, I kept asking (my coach) every day at practice, ‘Are you sure. Are you sure?’” Muhammad said. “I’m extremely grateful to be here today, and so thankful those setbacks are behind me.”

Up next is the Olympics. The finals in the 400 hurdles are set for Aug. 4. The world record in this event is always in jeopardy.

“She definitely pushes me,” Muhammad said during her interview on the track. Then, she turned to McLaughlin and said: “Congratulations, you world-record holder. It’s going to be a battle in Tokyo for sure.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

'You made your bed, Ireland!' Britons mock Dublin as historic Australia deal 'hammers

Britain and Australia concluded a major trade deal earlier this week after Boris Johnson met Australian Prime Minster Scott Morrison in London. According to Trade Secretary Liz Truss this will cut the amount of EU beef imported per year by 230,000 tonnes.

Irish farmers are concerned they will lose out due to increased Australian competition.

However reacting to the story Express.co.uk readers were unsympathetic arguing Dublin was obstructive during the Brexit process.

One person posted: “You made your bed Ireland.”

Another added: “Great Britain moves on while the EU goes backwards.”

A third wrote: “The process of disentanglement continues. Goodbye EU.

“Your tentacles are being prised out of our country.

“Hopefully with 5-10 years no business in this country will care about you.”

Other readers urged Ireland to quit the EU and suggested it could join a new UK created common market.

READ MORE: EU in turmoil as Germany’s Brexit fear unmasked: ‘Britain, please don’t go!’

“You know just a trading bloc, without the political power grab stuff going on with endless treaties designed to centralise power and become a federal state.

“We could start with Ireland, there’s a thought.”

Speaking to Chopper’s Politics, a Daily Telegraph podcast, Baroness Hoey suggested Ireland could follow Britain out of the EU.

The former Labour MP was a prominent pro-Brexit campaigner both before and after the 2016 referendum.

The baroness said: “While sort of 15 years ago everyone said we could never leave the EU, I believe that in the relatively short term, the Republic of Ireland will probably decide to leave.

“There’s a big debate starting there. And I think that is the logical thing to happen, that the Republic of Ireland leaves the European Union, now they’re a contributor.”

Britain is currently locked in a row with the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Under the terms of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, some customs checks now take place on trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

However this has angered unionists who argue it undermines their position within the UK.

Mr Johnson has urged the EU to show flexibility if they want the protocol to work.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Amid Historic Drought, a New Water War in the West

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Through the marshlands along the Oregon-California border, the federal government a century ago carved a whole new landscape, draining lakes and channeling rivers to build a farming economy that now supplies alfalfa for dairy cows and potatoes for Frito-Lay chips.

The drawdowns needed to cover the croplands and the impacts on local fish nearing extinction have long been a point of conflict at the Klamath Project, but this year’s historic drought has heightened the stakes, with salmon dying en masse and Oregon’s largest lake draining below critical thresholds for managing fish survival. Hoping to limit the carnage, federal officials have shut the gates that feed the project’s sprawling irrigation system, telling farmers the water that has flowed every year since 1907 will not be available.

Some farmers, furious about water rights and fearing financial ruin, are already organizing a resistance. “Tell Pharaoh let our water feed the Earth,” said a sign erected near the nearly dry irrigation canal that would usually be flowing with water from Upper Klamath Lake in southern Oregon.

The brewing battle over the century-old Klamath Project is an early window into the water shortfalls that are likely to spread across the West as a widespread drought, associated with a warming climate, parches watersheds throughout the region.

In Nevada, water levels have dropped so drastically in Lake Mead that officials are preparing for a serious shortage that could prompt major reductions in Colorado River water deliveries next year. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has placed 41 counties under a state of emergency.

While drought consumed much of the West last year, setting the stage for an extensive wildfire season, the conditions this spring are far worse than a year ago. More than half of the West faces “extreme” drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, including wide areas of California and Oregon. Scientists have said the region may be going through the worst drought period in centuries.

Here in Oregon, conservationists, Native American tribes, government agencies and irrigators are squaring off, and local leaders fear that generations of tensions could escalate in volatile new ways.

“There are folks on both sides that would really like to throw down and take things in an ugly direction,” said Clayton Dumont, a member of the Klamath Tribal Council. “I hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s a possibility.”

Some landowners have openly talked about breaching the fence surrounding the dam property and forcing open the irrigation gates. Already, they have purchased property adjacent to the head gates and staged protests there. Ammon Bundy, who led an armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, said he was ready to bring in allies to help keep the gates open, saying that people need to be prepared to use force to protect their rights even if law enforcement arrives to stop them.

“Who cares if there is violence? At least something will be worked out,” Mr. Bundy said in an interview, ridiculing those not prepared to fight for the nation’s food supply. “‘Oh, we don’t want violence, we’ll just starve to death.’ Heaven forbid we talk about violence.”

The region has a deep history rooted in violence and racial division. In 1846, U.S. War Department surveyors, led by John C. Frémont and Kit Carson, slaughtered more than a dozen Native Americans on the shores of Klamath Lake. The Klamath Tribes eventually signed a treaty surrendering some 20 million acres of their historic lands in exchange for a reservation along Upper Klamath Lake and the perpetual right to hunt and fish.

For the United States, the Klamath Project became a keystone for settling and developing the region. Homestead opportunities for veterans after the two world wars helped to stimulate the economy and to build a new kind of community.

In 1954, Congress moved to terminate recognition of the Klamath Tribes, which held lucrative timberlands, and authorized the sale of tribal lands.

And the government’s guarantee to the Klamath Tribes that they would at least be able to continue fishing ran into trouble decades ago, when populations of native sucker fish — known to the tribes as C’waam and Koptu — along with coho salmon farther downriver slipped into a perilous decline, prompting mandatory protections under the Endangered Species Act.

During a drought in 2001, the federal Bureau of Reclamation initially planned for the first time to fully cut off water for farmers over the summer. That order spurred an uprising of farmers and ranchers who used saws, torches and crowbars to breach the facilities and open the canal head gates.

U.S. Marshals eventually stepped in to protect the gates, and the Bureau of Reclamation later released some water to help farmers.

Later that year, three men were charged with going on a racist shooting spree through the town where the Klamath Tribes have their offices.

Now some in the basin are worried that the unresolved divisions are poised to erupt again.

“These are not things that are going to get better if climate change continues to give us more uncertainty and less reliable supplies of water,” said William Jaeger, an economics professor at Oregon State University who specializes in environmental, resource and agricultural policy issues. He said the drought conditions that emerged in recent decades, in part fueled by declines in snowpack, were likely to happen again in the future — and there needed to be a recognition that the Klamath Basin was overcommitted in its water obligations.

This year shows how critical the shortage is already: Even with farmers cut out of the water supply, fish are suffering.

Lake levels fell below the minimum thresholds set by federal scientists, prompting litigation and spurring fears that algae blooms this summer could devastate the imperiled fish populations above the dam; tribal researchers say insufficient flushing downstream from the dam has allowed parasites to flourish.

Already this year, juvenile salmon are turning up dead with parasitic infections. Michael Belchik, a senior water policy analyst at the Yurok Tribe, said the die-off could end up being the worst on record.

“This is really catastrophic,” Mr. Belchik said. “We are starting to talk about the ‘extinction’ word around here.”

Tricia Hill, who grows potatoes, onions, mint and other crops across some 14,000 acres in the basin, much of it within the Klamath Project, said the focus on managing individual fish species under threat had failed. Despite 20 years of efforts, including water restrictions for farmers, the fish are still in decline. And, Ms. Hill said, the economy is at a standstill and families are struggling.

“It feels really bad to see this much pain and not think that it’s doing a darn bit of good,” Ms. Hill said, standing next to a sprawling patch of desolate land on a family farm that is now in its second season with nothing but scrubby cover crops designed to keep the soil from blowing away. “This is awful — I have cried a ridiculous amount this year,” she said.

Also cut off from water supplies this year are several wildlife refuges that are home to 25 at-risk species of birds and fish.

Farmers generally have been split on how aggressively to push back against this year’s water shut-off. Ms. Hill said she disliked the idea of forcing open the gates, saying that option would do little to help. Other farmers have also called for ratcheting back the threats.

But on Thursday night, about 100 people gathered under a large tent next to the head gates on property bought recently by two farmers, Dan Nielsen and Grant Knoll, who say they have a legal entitlement to the water behind the gates in Upper Klamath Lake under state water law. They contend that the federal government’s shut-off is a violation of state and federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

Tribes and irrigators have each notched victories in court over water rights, and the legal cases are continuing.

At the event, organized by local activists in Mr. Bundy’s network, speakers talked about the need to take back their rights. Some floated unfounded conspiracy theories, linking the water crisis to George Soros, Bill Gates or the United Nations. A Betsy Ross flag flew above the tent while a poster inside featured a quote about freedom attributed to LaVoy Finicum, who was killed by federal agents during the standoff that Mr. Bundy led in 2016. Mr. Bundy faced federal charges for his role in the standoff but was acquitted by a jury.

The local sheriff, Chris Kaber, told the crowd that he attended because he had personal friends in the group but planned to remain publicly neutral in order to keep the peace.

Mr. Knoll told the group that the best way to open the head gates would be for the local irrigation district — on whose board he sits — to do it, in defiance of the Bureau of Reclamation. But he said his fellow board members seemed unwilling to take that step.

“The next way to open it is you know what,” Mr. Knoll told the crowd. “And that’s where all the fun begins.”

Facing a similar standoff two decades ago, in 2001, the federal government relented with a limited delivery of water to farmers, but there was no sign that agencies, facing an already depleted lake, would budge this time. An initial plan to provide a small water allocation to farmers was canceled when conditions worsened.

Ms. Hill said she expected that some farmers would be unable to make their mortgage payments this year. Some may file for bankruptcy. Ms. Hill said she expected that her operation would survive this year, but as a fourth-generation farmer, she had begun to wonder whether her daughters would be able to follow in her footsteps.

“Farmers, by their nature, are optimists,” she said. “I have to hope, but I’m definitely worried.”

Author: Mike Baker
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

'We aren't ready to give up on her just yet': Call for help after storm rips through historic family business

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The fate of a long-time family business in Bastrop County is uncertain after a devastating hit from a possible tornado Friday.

The Red Rock General Store’s roof was ripped off when strong storms moved through the area Friday evening. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it caused extensive damage.

The store’s owners say water then poured inside the building, damaging the inside and a lot of inventory. To make matters worse, the owners say the power went out, destroying even more inventory.

The family that runs the store set up a GoFundMe asking for help with repairs.

Damage at the Red Rock General Store in Bastrop County (KXAN Photo/Tim Holcomb)
The Red Rock General Store’s roof can be seen lying in the street after it was ripped off by a tornado in Bastrop County. (KXAN Photo/Tim Holcomb)

They explain on the fundraising site that the building is more than 100 years old. They’ve run Red Rock General Store since 1996 and say the storm hit just a few days before they planned to celebrate their 25th anniversary there.

“Unfortunately, business has been hard over the last few years, especially during 2020 with COVID. In recent years, we were forced to decide to either pay for property insurance or pay our property taxes. We chose to pay the taxes and forgo the insurance for the time being,” the family’s GoFundMe post reads.

For the store to survive this latest hit, they’re hoping to raise $ 20,000 to replace the roof, fix water damage and restock their inventory.

Author: Jacqulyn Powell
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Apollo Theater inducts Mary J. Blige into historic Walk of Fame

HARLEM — Hip-hop and R&B queen Mary J. Blige was inducted into the Apollo Theater’s historic Walk of Fame on Friday.While the legendary theater will not reopen for performances until January, the 125th Street was brought to life while Blige met fans as she became an official part of Harlem history.

She joins an iconic line of inductees including Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson and most recently, the original Temptations.

“Miss Blige is more than the queen of hip-hop soul, she is a multi-talented artist who has paved the way for many of the artists we see today,” said Apollo producer Kamilah Forbes.

Blige spoke at the induction ceremony on Friday before the Apollo unveiled a permanent plaque to recognize her cultural significance, international success and longevity in the entertainment business.”None of this is possible without the fans, so thank you to all the fans,” she said.

She first appeared on “Showtime at the Apollo” in 1992 with a performance of “You Remind Me,” and went on to appear on the hit series in 1995 and 2001, and at the Apollo with a sold-out concert of her own in 2002.

“My very first time performing here at the at the Apollo I was not on stage as myself, I was on stage singing background for Jeff Redd and from there on it was all history, Mary J. Blige history,” she said.

With eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (and 32 nominations), two Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and a SAG nomination — among many other accolades — Blige has cemented herself as a global superstar.Blige has a documentary about her life coming out on June 25.

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Author: KTRK

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