Cartoon: Relax, everything’s coup

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Fears for Uighur culture as scholars vanish in China crackdown

first_imgIt has been almost two years since Bugra Arkin’s father Aierken was abruptly snatched from his home in China’s troubled Xinjiang region by national security agents.Aierken Yibulayin’s publishing firm — one of the biggest in the region — translated thousands of books into Uighur before he was detained in October 2018. Arkin has not heard from him since.”My father had a strong impact on the Uighur publishing industry, and that made him a target of the Chinese government,” said Arkin, who lives in California. “This is very unacceptable and our lives were literally destroyed.”He is not the only one.At least 435 Uighur intellectuals have been imprisoned or forcibly disappeared since April 2017, according to the Uyghur Human Rights Project.The rounding up of Uighur linguists, scholars and publishers is seen by overseas advocacy groups as part of a campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to erase the ethnic group’s identity and culture and assimilate it into the dominant, Mandarin-speaking Han population. ‘Don’t know where he is’ Alim last heard from an acquaintance that his father’s trial, which began in January, had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but fears he will soon be sentenced and jailed.His mother, who lives in Xinjiang, “wouldn’t dare talk” about Hasani’s arrest.”I certainly felt very bad and didn’t know how to express it. For a long time I couldn’t concentrate on my work either,” Alim said.All 11 linguists in his father’s work unit have also been detained, including 64-year-old Hemdulla Abdurahman, who was snatched in January 2019, according to his son Yashar Hemdulla.”In March 2019, I was told my father had been taken to a ‘hospital’ … but the family acquaintance on the call mimed handcuffs on her wrists,” said Hemdulla, who lives in Norway. “I do not know where he is now.”Hemdulla knows several intellectuals whose relatives say they were first detained in camps, then given long-term jail sentences, and he is concerned his father might suffer the same fate.”At the time, I found it extremely hard. I am an only son, my mother is all alone and my father is not young — how much more can he take?” said Hemdulla.While authorities said in December that all people from vocational centers have “graduated”, researchers say they have been gradually moved to other forms of detention.Many have been prosecuted and given prison sentences of up to 20 years, said Gene Bunin, a researcher on Uighur issues and creator of the Xinjiang Victims Database.”This has partially been a trend in the last one or two years, with the camps being emptied,” Bunin said, estimating that at least 300,000 people remain incarcerated.Fears have also been raised over jailed Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti, who was awarded a top human rights prize by the European Parliament — but has not been seen in years. Renowned Uighur linguist Alim Hasani was taken by authorities in August 2018 during a Beijing work trip, according to his son Ershat Alim.Alim believes that his father, a retired division head of the Xinjiang Ethnic Language Work Committee, was detained for his research, which aimed to standardize Uighur-Han translations.Hasani, who compiled several dictionaries, was a Communist Party member whose projects had previously been approved by the state and won awards.”When I first heard that my father was arrested, I never once thought that this could happen to him. He must have been very surprised as well,” said Alim, who lives in France.More than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities have been held in re-education camps in Xinjiang following a spate of ethnic violence, according to rights groups.Chinese authorities describe the facilities as vocational education centers where Uighurs learn Mandarin and job skills to steer them away from extremism.In a statement, China’s foreign ministry said: “The so-called notion of ‘imprisoning Uighur intellectuals to extinguish Uighur culture’ is complete rumor-mongering and slander.”center_img ‘Sad and angry’ Uighur literary critic and writer Yalqun Rozi was among the first wave of intellectuals to be detained in October 2016 after hardline Xinjiang Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo took office.His relatives later discovered that Rozi had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in January 2018 for “inciting subversion of state power” — a vague charge commonly used for political prisoners. Authorities suggested that Rozi’s detention was related to his role in compiling Uighur literature textbooks that had been in use for more than a decade, said his son Kamalturk Yalqun. All his father’s textbook collaborators were also detained around this time.Since 2012, bilingual Mandarin-Uighur education has gradually been applied in schools in Xinjiang, with the aim of reaching 2.6 million students. Prior to that, classes were mostly taught in Uighur and other minority languages.”By abolishing these textbooks and eliminating Uighur language education altogether, the next generation of Uighur youth will have no way to find their link with Uighur culture,” said Yalqun.”It is a way for China to eliminate the entire Uighur identity and assimilate them to become… people that speak Chinese, think Chinese and don’t know their own history or culture. That makes me sad and angry at the same time.” Topics :last_img read more

Gov. Wolf’s Vision For Longtime Prosperity for Pennsylvania Agriculture Comes to Fruition

first_imgGov. Wolf’s Vision For Longtime Prosperity for Pennsylvania Agriculture Comes to Fruition SHARE Email Facebook Twitter July 01, 2019center_img Bill Signing,  Budget News,  Environment,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s vision of a path to longtime prosperity for Pennsylvania agriculture came to fruition with the signing into law of new legislation establishing the Pennsylvania Farm Bill. The PA Farm Bill will make $23.1 million in strategic investments into the agriculture industry to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and cultivate future generations of leaders within agriculture.“The agricultural industry is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy. The PA Farm Bill is bold, aggressive, and necessary to protect our farming heritage and inspire the next generation of Pennsylvania farmers,” said Gov. Wolf. “Our commonwealth flourishes when Pennsylvanians have access to high-quality, locally sourced products – and when our farmers are competitive in a diverse range of markets. The historic investments made through the PA Farm Bill will improve the lives of all residents for years to come and create a pathway for a dynamic and prosperous farming economy in Pennsylvania.”The PA Farm Bill will provide support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry, was modeled after Gov. Wolf’s six-point plan, which he first presented publicly last August at Ag Progress Days.“In my 20 years of public service, this is the largest investment I’ve ever seen made in Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Thanks to Governor Wolf, this is the beginning of a new era of opportunities for our state’s top industry, and we’re proud to be here to witness it.”The PA Farm Bill will:Develop New Resources for Agriculture Business Development and Succession Planning• Invest $2 million to create the Agriculture Business Development Center to support business planning, marketing, diversification, and transition planning services to Pennsylvania farmers.• Create a realty transfer tax exemption for any transfer of preserved farmland to a qualified beginning farmer.• Provide for the construction and use of a residence for the landowner or an employee and provides for the subdivision of preserved farmlands.Increase Opportunities for Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Workforce• Create the PA Farm to School Grant Program, funded at $500,000, for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students to support increased nutrition and agriculture education.• Re-establish the Agriculture and Youth Development grant program with an investment of $500,000 to support workforce development initiatives for agriculture and youth organizations such as FFA and 4-H.Remove Regulatory Burdens and Strengthen the State’s Agricultural Business Climate• Expand the allowable width for use of implements of agriculture husbandry from 16 feet to 18 feet.• Allocate $500,000 to the Agriculture Linked Investment Program to provide low-interest loans for conservation practices.• Support the Conservation Excellence Grant program with $2.5 million to fund best management practices in priority areas of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.• Expand Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credits by $3 million to raise the lifetime cap and increase availability.Create More Processing Capabilities• Expand Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program, funded at $5 million, to support innovation, value-added processing, marketing, and organic transitions in the dairy industry.• Utilize $500,000 to incentivize access to meat processing inspections for small farmers or butchers to reimburse costs for federal inspection compliance to access new markets.• Invest $1 million to create the Center for Animal Agriculture Excellence, which will assist with expanding processing capacity, providing technical assistance and resources for food safety compliance and establishing hemp as an approved animal feed.Increase Market Opportunities and Grow the Organic Sector• Invest $500,000 to support a state-level Specialty Crop Block Grant program to invest in priority crops for Pennsylvania, such as hardwoods, hemp, and hops.• Bolster enrollment in the Homegrown by Heroes Program by providing an additional $1 million to the PA Preferred program.• Improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas by investing $500,000 in the Urban Agricultural Infrastructure Grant Program.• Direct $1.6 million in funding to support PA Preferred and create the PA Preferred Organic Initiative to enhance the growth of the organic sector.Protect Agriculture Infrastructure• Continue the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly and create the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account, funded at $4 million, to provide a quick response to the next agricultural disaster, whether animal health, plant health, or foodborne illness.last_img read more

Worker Safety in Grain Facilities

first_imgINDIANAPOLIS — As local farm workers prepare for this year’s harvest, the Indiana Department of Labor reminds employers and employees about grain handling facility hazards and how to prevent occupational injuries and fatalities.On July 10, 2014 a 9-year-old boy died after falling into a grain bin in Lancaster, Wis., underscoring the dangerous conditions of grain facilities. In June 2013 a Hoosier farm worker in LaPorte County was killed in a grain bin accident.Grain bins across the U.S. have killed more than 180 people and injured more than 675 since 1980. Grain dust is highly flammable and is the number one cause of grain bin explosions.“The safety of our farm workers is of paramount importance to our Indiana agriculture industry,” said Commissioner Rick J. Ruble. “Grain handling facilities are extremely dangerous, and workers must recognize the dangers and take all necessary precautions.”Employees working in or near grain handling facilities should never work alone because they are exposed to significant occupational safety and health hazards including falls, electrocution, engulfment, auger entanglement and dust explosions. Working with a partner ensures help is always nearby.Additionally, employers and employees can reduce the likelihood of worker injury, illness or death by taking the following precautions:Prevent falls: Provide all employees with a body harness and lifeline, or a boatswains chair, and ensure it is properly secured before entering a grain bin. Prevent dust explosions: Prior to entry, test the air within a bin or silo for the presence of combustible and toxic gases and make sure there is sufficient oxygen for safe entry.Employers and employees are strongly encouraged to learn about safe grain handling procedures and take the necessary precautions. To learn more about safe grain handling practices click here. Prevent electrocution and auger entanglement: Before grain bin or silo entry, shut down and lock out all equipment power sources. Station an observer outside the bin or silo to continuously monitor and track the employee inside the bin.center_img Prevent engulfment: Prohibit employees from walking-down the grain or using similar practices to make the grain flow. Prohibit entry into bins or silos underneath a bridging condition or where there is a build-up of grain products on side walls that could shift and bury a worker.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img— The Twins regained their power stroke as Jake Cave hit a grand slam and Nelson Cruz homered twice in a 14-2 assault on the White Sox. Cruz added two doubles and drove in seven runs for the reigning AL Central champion Twins, who set a major league record for home runs last year. Kenta Maeda (mah-EH’-dah) allowed two runs and struck out six in five innings to win his Minnesota debut.— Kevin Kiermaier’s first hit of the season was a two-run triple in the 10th inning that gave the Rays a 6-5 victory over the Blue Jays. The Rays scored twice in the ninth to force extra innings, then fell behind again 5-4 when Blue Jays pinch-runner Santiago Espinal stole third base and scored on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s sacrifice fly. Ji-Man Choi hit a solo homer and worked out a bases-loaded walk in Tampa Bay’s two-run ninth.— The Orioles earned a 7-4 victory against the Red Sox as Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander each belted two-run homers. José Iglesias added four hits as the Birds beat the Bosox for the second straight game following a 13-2 loss on opening day. Baltimore’s Wade LeBlanc gave up two home runs but settled down over 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and four hits while striking out four.— Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas each hit three-run homers to power the Marlins to an 11-6 rout of the Phillies. Miami rallied from 4-0 and 5-4 holes to rough up embattled Phillies starter Vince Velasquez and four relievers. The Marlins took the rubber match despite the absence of hurler Jose Urena, who was scratched about 90 minutes before the first pitch amid concerns of a team outbreak of the coronavirus.— The Tigers pulled out a 3-2 win over the Reds on C.J. Cron’s tiebreaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning. Detroit rallied after Cincinnati starter Trevor Bauer matched a career high with 13 strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Spencer Turnbull pitched one-run ball over five innings for the Tigers in his first start since he went 3-17 with a 4.61 ERA last season. UNDATED (AP) — The injury news isn’t good for a pair of Texas major league teams.Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander has a strained right forearm and will be shut down for at least two weeks.Astros manager Dusty Baker made the announcement on Sunday but denied a report that said the injury would end Verlander’s season. He said Verlander would be evaluated after two weeks.Baker said Verlander felt “tenderness” in his arm during his start on Friday, where he pitched six innings and got the win. He had an MRI on Saturday, and now he’ll miss at least roughly a third of this 60-game regular season. Meanwhile, Rangers right-hander Corey Kluber (KLOO’-bur) left his first start in almost 15 months after just one inning Sunday due to shoulder tightness. The Yanks trailed 2-0 until Torres delivered a solo homer and a go-ahead single to lead a 3-2 victory over the Nationals in Washington. Patrick Corbin retired New York’s first 11 batters and 18 of the first 19. But Torres ended the shutout bid with a long home with one out in the seventh to chase Corbin.Nats reliever Will Harris promptly served up a solo homer by Luke Voit (voyt) that knotted the score.Trea Turner homered for the Nationals.Elsewhere around the majors:— Shohei Ohtani (SHO’-hay oh-TAH’-nee) didn’t record an out in the two-way star’s long-awaited return to the mound for the Angels, allowing the first six Oakland batters to reach base in a 6-4 loss to the Athletics. The right-hander from Japan gave up Marcus Semien’s leadoff single and three straight walks before a mound visit and Mark Canha’s two-run single. The Angels wasted a big day by Mike Trout, who hit a three-run homer in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The issue was not that Williams left the bubble but that he also went to a club on that trip to Atlanta, and photographs of that visit appeared on social media. That prompted an investigation by NBA security. In other NBA news: — Joel Embiid (joh-EHL’ ehm-BEED’) is hurting, and that’s a cause for concern as the Philadelphia 76ers get set to restart their season this week. The All-Star starting center sat out Philadelphia’s scrimmage against Oklahoma City on Sunday with right calf tightness, something 76ers coach Brett Brown hopes is merely a minor blip. Embiid has an extensive injury history and has never appeared in more than 64 games in a regular season. He missed 21 of Philadelphia’s 65 games this season before the March 11 shutdown. — Boston’s Kemba Walker and Phoenix’s Ricky Rubio were back in action Sunday, going head-to-head in a Celtics-Suns scrimmage. Both missed the first scrimmages with their teams inside the NBA bubble last week. Walker missed the first scrimmage with left knee soreness. Rubio was a late arrival at Disney and the Suns wanted to get him a couple of more practices before he saw any scrimmage action. NHL-NEWS Update on the latest sports The two-time Cy Young Award winner was making his first appearance for a team other than Cleveland after an offseason trade. He threw 18 pitches while facing three batters. Colorado’s Trevor Story walked and was thrown out trying to steal. The Rangers said the 34-year-old Kluber reported feeling the tightness in the first few pitches and it got worse as the inning progressed. He was examined by a team doctor and will be further evaluated Monday. In other MLB news: — Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez says he is awaiting results of additional testing after doctors recently discovered an issue with his heart they believe is a result of his recent bout with COVID-19. The 27-year-old left-hander tested positive for the coronavirus before the start of summer camp, but was cleared and returned to workouts on July 18. He hasn’t had another positive coronavirus test, but said an MRI revealed a condition called myocarditis, that the team’s medical staff felt was serious enough to shut him down for at least a week. — Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas (moos-TAH’-kahs) went on the injured list Sunday after he woke up feeling sick. Manager David Bell said Moustakas didn’t feel well when he woke up Sunday morning and was told to stay home as a precaution. Center fielder Nick Senzel was a late scratch from Cincinnati’s lineup for the final game of a series against the Tigers. The moves came a day after Reds infielder Matt Davidson went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19. — Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman won’t travel with the team to the NHL’s Eastern Conference “secure zone” in Toronto because of a personal matter. General manager Julien BriseBois (BREEZ’-bwah) says Hedman will go from his home to the rink and back and avoid the general public in Florida this week before joining his teammates. He’s expected to be able to practice upon arrival and play in Tampa Bay’s first playoff game Aug. 3. — Well-traveled NHL forward Eddie Shack has died at 83, according to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Known for his bruising style, distinctive skating gait and larger-than-life personality, Shack won four Stanley Cups with Toronto in the 1960s. Nicknamed “The Entertainer” — with his trademark cowboy hat and luxurious mustache — he scored the winning goal for the Leafs in the 1963 final. PGA-3M OPENThompson wins in Minnesota BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Michael Thompson birdied two of the last three holes for a 4-under 67 and a two-stroke victory in the 3M Open. — The Indians were 9-2 winners over the Royals in Carlos Carrasco’s first start since being diagnosed with leukemia over a year ago. Carrasco struck out 10 in six-plus innings, and José Ramírez homered twice in the rubber match of the series. Ramírez hit a three-run homer left-handed in the fourth and added a solo shot from the right side in the sixth.— Trevor Story homered twice for the Rockies in a 5-2 decision over the Rangers. Story belted a tying two-run shot in the fourth and added a solo drive that put Colorado ahead, 4-2. Texas slugger Joey Gallo hit the first home run in the club’s new $1.2 billion retractable roof stadium, a 437-foot shot.— The Diamondbacks scored twice in each of their final two at-bats to down the Padres, 4-3. Ketel Marte scored the tying run in the eighth and lifted a sacrifice fly in the ninth to put Arizona ahead. David Peralta’s RBI single capped the Diamondbacks’ scoring.MLB-NEWS Kluber pulled early, Verlander shut down Associated Press July 27, 2020 Arizona GM steps down UNDATED (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes aren’t very happy with John Chayka’s decision to step down just a week after the team opens the Stanley Cup qualifiers against Nashville.The Coyotes issued a statement saying they are disappointed in his actions and his timing of the resignation. They added that “Chayka has chosen to quit on a strong and competitive team, a dedicated staff, and the Arizona Coyotes fans, the greatest fans in the NHL.”Chayka made a name for himself as one of the NHL’s top general managers since being promoted in 2016 and recently signed a contract extension through 2024 late last year. His relationship with new owner Alex Meruelo began to deteriorate when he asked for permission to pursue another, non-NHL opportunity. The Arizona Republic reported Chayka was not invited to a recent dinner with Meruelo and new CEO Xavier Gutierrez to talk with Taylor Hall about a contract extension. In other NHL news: — The President has backed out of an opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15. Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he won’t be able to make the trip because of his “strong focus” on the coronavirus, vaccines and the economy. Trump said in the tweet: “We will make it later in the season!” NBA-NEWS Clippers’ Williams will serve 10-day quarantine, miss games LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The NBA said Sunday that Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers is being quarantined for 10 days because of his trip out of the league’s bubble last week to attend a family member’s funeral. He will miss at least two of the Clippers’ seeding games, including their July 30 opener against the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s possible he could miss more than two since his likely release will be Aug. 4, the day of the Clippers’ third seeding game. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-SCHEDULEYanks take series from NatsUNDATED (AP) — Gleyber Torres had the big hits as the New York Yankees took the rubber match of their three-game series with the defending World Series champs. — The Braves torched the Mets, 14-1 behind Dansby Swanson, who was 3-for-5 with a solo homer and five RBIs. Marcel Ozuna (oh-ZOO’-nuh), Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies also went deep as Atlanta easily captured the rubber match of the three-game set. Rick Porcello was rocked for six earned runs over just two innings in his Mets debut.— The Giants gained a split of their four-game series with the Dodgers as Mauricio Dubon poked a tiebreaking, RBI single in the sixth inning of San Francisco’s 3-1 win at Los Angeles. Darin Ruf and Donovan Solano each had two hits and an RBI in the Giants’ second straight win. Tyler Rogers worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth before Trevor Gott pitched the ninth to get the save.— Tyler Chatwood pitched three-hit ball over six innings of the Cubs’ 9-1 thumping of the Brewers. Willson Contreras smacked an RBI double in the Cubs’ four-run fourth and a long solo homer in the seventh. Ian Happ added a two-run drive in the eighth and Anthony Rizzo belted a solo shot one out later. — Colin Moran and Jose Osuna homered as the Pirates got their first win under new manager Derek Shelton, 5-1 versus the Cardinals. Shelton also was involved in the majors’ first socially-distanced umpire argument as he and plate umpire Jordan Baker each wore face coverings while jawing six feet apart. Winning pitcher Mitch Heller allowed a run and three hits over five innings to help Pittsburgh beat St. Louis for just the second time in their last 14 meetings.— The Mariners finally beat the Astros for the first time in 16 tries as Kyle Lewis hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth inning of Seattle’s 7-6 verdict over Houston. The Mariners trailed by 1 entering the eighth until Shed Long Jr.’s run-scoring single tied it at 5 with one out. Tim Lopes had three hits and scored twice for Seattle, which went 1-18 versus the Astros last year. Thompson finished 19 under in his second PGA victory, seven years after his first.Adam Long took second after a 64. Richy Werenski shared the lead with Thompson after both Friday and Saturday before shooting a 70 to fall into a tie for third at minus-16.Tony Finau finished in the third-place group after a 68.last_img read more

The ABCD North End West End Neighborhood Service

first_imgThe ABCD North End / West End Neighborhood Service Center will celebrate their annual holiday party on Friday, December 14 at 12:30 p.m, complete with a performance by the North End Music & Performing Arts Center at 3:30 p.m.See the holiday party flyer, as well as the service center’s December calendar, posted below. Click on the images to enlarge.last_img