Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),That’s all well and good but Cuomo will just stick it in his pocket like all the rest!,Free money again sure just keep handing it out and our taxes will just keep going up Senate Democrats / CC BY 2.0 NEW YORK – New York’s Senior Senator says the state will receive $2 billion in additional pandemic relief funds from the federal government part of an agreement with the incoming presidential administration.Senator Chuck Schumer (D) announced on Thursday the funding will be provided from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.Schumer, who will likely become the new majority leader in the U.S. Senate, says the agreement was reached with the incoming Biden administration.“President-elect Biden is laser-focused on America’s economic recovery, and this recovery begins with tackling the costs states and local governments have incurred in managing the pandemic,” Schumer said. “For New York, the costs have been huge and will take years to overcome entirely, but achieving my goal of 100% FEMA cost share to New York will mean a sigh of relief for all New Yorkers because these critical dollars will help protect essential services and workers while we deal with badly burdened budgets that have been gut-punched by COVID.” The money will be directed to help with the local costs borne by the pandemic and closed budget gaps made worse by the pandemic. The current policy allows for 75 percent of COVID-related expenses covered by a federal disaster relief fund.The deal means all expenses will be fully reimbursed within the coming months.
By Lorena Baires/Diálogo April 10, 2018 El Salvador’s National Civil Police (PNC in Spanish) dealt a new blow to the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) criminal structure. Francisco Adalberto Ábrego, also known as “Francisco” and “El Strooper,” was arrested on March 26, 2018, during an operation at a beachfront villa in La Libertad, El Salvador. Ábrego was on Crime Stoppers-El Salvador’s list of 100 most-wanted criminals. The courts had issued Ábrego three arrest warrants for the crimes of homicide of a female, aggravated homicide, and attempted aggravated homicide. He also boasted the rank of “palabrero” (leader) of the criminal cell “Directos Locos Salvatruchos,” a subgroup of MS13 linked to an extortion and drug dealing network in San Vicente, El Salvador. “Our intelligence teams obtained information a couple of days ago [March 24, 2018] that Ábrego was scheduled to go to El Tunco Beach with other gang members,” said Deputy Commissioner Karla Andrade, chief of PNC’s La Libertad Central-Southern station. “[The operation] was coordinated with units from La Libertad, and they were arrested at a private villa in route one.” Civilian help Ábrego and 10 other gang members arrived at the villa for a party in three rental cars. The noise alerted the neighbors, who called the PNC’s anonymous emergency line to report the irregularity. The tip confirmed information that authorities already had on the location of the criminals. “We had already gathered relevant evidence, and the three vehicles showed signs of having transported drugs,” added Deputy Commissioner Andrade. Two gang members who are considered highly dangerous were also in the group. Darwin Steven Castellanos, also known as José Ulises Castellanos aka “El Soviético”, had an arrest warrant for homicide, and Dennis Alfonso Flores aka “El Muco”, had accumulated five arrest warrants, three for homicide and two for being a member of terrorist organizations. Eight gang members who committed crimes under Ábrego’s orders were also arrested at the villa. The detainees, accused of active membership in terrorist organizations, were sent to a specialized court. Individually, Ábrego, Castellanos, and Flores will also have to answer for the crimes specified in the previous charges filed against them. Transnational criminal groups, gangs Faced with a growing wave of crimes and violent acts committed by criminals, both in El Salvador and the United States, the U.S. Department of the Treasury included MS13 on a list of transnational criminal organizations in 2012. The U.S. institution included the gang’s participation in serious transnational criminal activity such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, migrant smuggling, human trafficking, homicide, murder, extortion, blackmail, and immigration-related crimes. In order to bear down more heavily on members of these organized criminal groups, the Constitutional Chamber of the Salvadoran Supreme Court of Justice, the country’s highest interpreting body of legal standards, declared in October 2015 that the MS13 and Barrio 18 gangs are considered terrorist organizations. “The activities of these groups constitute organized and systematic exercise of violence, which, through the concrete violation of individual or collective legal property, seek to intimidate the population in a general way, control territory in towns, compel governing authorities to negotiate for reduced prison sentences or other concessions, and affect a nation’s economic system, within the framework of democracy and according to the system of fundamental rights provided for by the Constitution,” the Constitutional Chamber said in a document. Crime Stoppers is a program to gather information anonymously from citizens. It was created in the United States in 1976. Citizens report on criminal activity in their communities, and the program combines the information into a valuable tool for authorities. The program was implemented in El Salvador in 2012 and works in coordination with the Ministry of Justice and Public Security through PNC and the Attorney General’s Office of El Salvador.
Giving back to the society was always upper most in his mind, hence the idea of the Giant of Africa Basketball where young Africans could develop their basketball skills and also prepare for the future. The camp which is now in its 15th year in Nigeria has also been taken to six other African countries – Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Masai Ujiri, who recently broke the odds by taking the Giant of Africa to the refugee camp in Maiduguri, Kunle Adewale caught up with the President of NBA side, Toronto Raptors on his way to Senegal for the last leg of the Giant of Africa and he revealed some of the challenges facing the camp, the growth of basketball in Nigeria and many moreUjiri, who broke the barriers and rose to become the President of NBA Club – Toronto Raptors, the first by an African. In 2012/13 season, he was voted the NBA Executive of the Year. In what has become a yearly ritual, Ujiri was in the country to organise his yearly Giant of Africa basketball camp. The Giants of Africa basketball camp was held in Maiduguri, Borno State capital last weekend for the children in the troubled Nigerian city to mark the end of the 2018 activities in Nigeria. The programme run by Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors, provided basketball and life training to 105 youngsters at the National Stadium in Lagos from August 21 to 25 before the team jet out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Saturday afternoon for the trip to Dakar.“For us, bringing the girls camp to Nigeria after the successes recorded in Kenya has been a priority for me, but resources has always been a challenge, but I’m happy we broke that hurdle. “This year’s edition has been very successful and taking the Giants of Africa to Maiduguri has been very fulfilling.The target has always to impact on the youths, it’s not only basketball fundamentals that we teach, we also teach some of the basic things of life like honesty,” Ujiri said.Asked why he took the Giant of Africa to Maiduguri, he responded,“Sometimes you have to go and see for yourself how and what is happening in the place aside from what you read and hear in the news. I just wanted to make people understand that youths live there too and basketball lives there too. If we can take the game there and encourage young boys and girls that live there it’s not a bad idea because it is not the time neglect them and we are very well welcome by people in the community,” he noted.On how often he would be taking the Giant of Africa to Maiduguri considering the restiveness of the area.“If it’s something I can do again next year I would not mind. It’s something I would like to do often, we have to encourage youths in areas like that who are less opportune. There are kids in these areas that need opportunity because they had nothing to do with the issues happening there, they were not necessary involved with what is happening in the area, so why can’t they be given an opportunity of a game like basketball and that is mentality that we have with Giant of Africa to giving back to community like this,” the Raptors President said.He said, “Yes, it was really worth the try for us in Maiduguri. We saw the same kind of passion and talent we have seen in other places. That zone may been quite under turmoil for years now but the children there are humans like us; they love basketball and they want to live like other people in Lagos, Nairobi or New York. The situation over there is quite beyond their control but nobody can put down their passion for sports and good life.“We went there because we wanted people to know that people that can add a lot of value to the game live in Maiduguri. The visit also provided us a lot of opportunities to reflect over a lot of things. For instance my partner Godwin Owinje lived in that city as a child for about seven or eight years and had a lot of catching up to do. I lived in Zaria and had visited Maiduguri few times growing up and I saw a lot of old friends over there too.“I can’t forget how the teens and adults received us and savoured every moment while it lasted.”Ujiri however admitted that combining his position as the president of Toroto Raptors with Giant of Africa was tasking.“It’s a tight schedule and very challenging but to me coming back home and spending the month of August in the whole of Africa is an obligation. It is something that I have to do. God has given me this opportunity, people has given me this opportunity, my country gave me this opportunity, the NBA gave me this opportunity and many different people that I passed through gave me this opportunity and I have to pass that on.“I was a youth in this in this country but I was not the smartest person and now I see are lot of kids that are very smart and so talented and if I can get to where I am now there are so many kids that can do even better, and sometimes it is that low window that they need and hopefully maybe I can create that in some kind of way. If I don’t do this that means am not grateful for the opportunity that God has given to me. The joy I derive from doing it is just priceless,” he said.On why Nigeria has not done well in basketball at the global level in spite of the enormous talent in the country, Ujiri attributed it to lack of consistency.Ujiri said: “We lack continuity; we lack organisation, facilities and coaching which are key to the development of basketball at the grassroots level. We lack tournaments. When I was growing up there are a lot of competitions like the Vitamalt U-18, 7UP U-19. There were a lot of basketball competitions going on that keeps developing the game, but I don’t get to hear about them anymore.”Giants of Africa, the not-for-profit co-founded by Raptors president, Ujiri are working across seven countries across the African continent this August. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Giants of Africa has hosted basketball camps and community outreach initiatives in.Ujiri earlier on said, “Over the past 15 years, I have seen the impact basketball can have not only on one kid, but also on their entire community. “When I started Giants of Africa, I envisioned providing African youth access to the game and empowering them to achieve their greatest potential. With 63 per cent of Africa’s population below the age of 25, we have a huge goal and responsibility to help them develop. We are excited that this year we are able to extend our reach further across the continent to help realise that dream.”The organization had girls’ camps in tandem with its boys’ camps in Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal. Giants of Africa also activated local outreach initiatives in the communities of Kakuma, Maiduguri as well as Bingereville, Ivory Coast.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram