Gay Men Are Being Rounded Up And Killed In Chechnya: Report

More than 100 gay men have been detained and at least three have been killed by authorities in Chechnya, according to a Russian newspaper cited Saturday in The New York Times.

The disturbing report from Novaya Gazeta, which cites government and police sources, follows a week of rumors about gay men mysteriously disappearing off the streets of the Russian republic, the Times reports.

Dozens of men between the ages of 16 and 50 have been detained ?in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,? according to Novaya Gazeta as quoted in the Times.

The report blamed local authorities for the men?s detention and identified three men as murder victims. It?s thought that the actual number of dead may be higher. 

A spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, denied that any such activities have taken place. He further suggested that there are no gay people in the country at all.

?You cannot arrest or repress people who just don?t exist in the republic,? spokesman Alvi Karimov said in a statement obtained by Radio Free Europe on Saturday. ?If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.?

The mass detention of gay men is said to have followed attempts by gay rights groups to stage pride parades in cities across the country. The groups expected their requests for permits to be denied, but still filed them in hopes of taking them to the European Court of Human Rights, Slate reported.

The Russian Federation is known for its hostility to the LGBTQ community. Since 2013, it has upheld an anti-gay propaganda law that sharply curtails the public expression of LGBTQ identities.

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Blind Teen Touched By Simple But Rare Act Of Getting Braille Menu

A powerful tweet is helping people realize the everyday struggles that people with disabilities face.

On March 27, Alyssa Herrera, a 16-year-old from Grove City, Ohio, went to a Red Robin restaurant with her grandmother, brother and her 17-year-old sister, Annalicia, who is blind.

Alyssa told the Huffington Post that dining out isn?t the most pleasant experience for her family.

?When we are out at a restaurant we get a lot of staring and whispers,? Alyssa told HuffPost. ?Which sometimes agitates my family but we have gotten used to it since Anna has been blind all her life.?

Alyssa also said whenever they eat out Annalicia usually orders chicken fingers and fries, which is a dish she likes and is usually available at most restaurants.

?Since most menus are in print she can?t really explore much,? Alyssa said.

But shortly after a host sat the Herrera family at Red Robin on Monday, Annalicia was asked if she wanted a menu. Their grandmother said yes, and a few moments later, the host returned with a menu in braille.

The family was stunned ? this had never happened before.

?She had a big smile on her face,? Alyssa said.

Annalicia opened it and began perusing a menu on her own for the very first time in her life.

Alyssa slyly took a picture of the special moment.

?It was pretty great,? Annalicia told HuffPost. ?But I felt like I had so much to choose from.?

Alyssa thinks her sister may have been a little overwhelmed by the experience and chose her food pretty quickly, and took less time with her menu than Alyssa did.

Annalicia ended up ordering a chicken teriyaki burger, which she absolutely loved.

?Honestly, it was the best sandwich I?ve ever had,? Annalicia said. She added that next time she goes back she wants to take her time with the menu and choose a few new appetizers.

?My 18th birthday is tomorrow, so maybe I?ll go to Red Robin!? she said excitedly.

Shortly after Alyssa took the photo of Annalicia reading the braille menu, she posted it on Twitter.

After dinner, Alyssa checked on the post and was shocked to see it had gone viral ? receiving over 300,000 likes and 100,000 retweets.

But after some contemplation, Alyssa has a theory as to why it?s resonating with so many.

?I don?t think [able-bodied people] think much about people with disabilities and how one simple [gesture] can mean a lot to them,? she told HuffPost. ?[Some people on Twitter] have realized how privileged they are to have sight. Some have wondered why there isn?t a braille menu at every restaurant.?

?Growing up having a blind older sister is hard,? Alyssa said. ?She gets mad quite often because she can?t do much of what we can do, and with Red Robin having a menu in braille and offering it to her meant a lot to all of us.?

Red Robin did not immediately reply to a request for comment from HuffPost.

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They’re Finally Going To Close Rikers Island, America’s Monument To Jail Cruelty

Rikers Island, the gigantic island of incarceration in New York City that serves as an embarrassing emblem of violence, cruelty and neglect in the American jail system, is finally on its way to shutting down for good.

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Friday that a plan was in place to shutter the complex ? the nation?s second largest ? within the next 10 years. Many of the details are yet unclear, but at least part of the plan includes moving inmates to new, smaller jails scattered across the boroughs, according to The New York Times. Building those jails could cost around $10.6 billion.

An independent commission, created by City Council and headed by New York state chief judge Jonathan Lippman, reportedly plans to release more details on Sunday.

?New York City has always been better than Rikers Island,? de Blasio said in a press release. ?[Its closure] will require that our state government, and each component of our criminal justice system, contribute to the reform efforts critical to reducing our jail population and improving re-entry services and educational programming.?

A draft of the Lippman?s report recommends reducing the Rikers population from 10,000 now to less than 5,000 in the near future, according to the New York Post.

?From 1991 to 2016, the daily jail population declined from more than 21,000 to 10,000,? the report states. ?The recent history of New York City clearly demonstrates that crime and incarceration can be driven down simultaneously. Contrary to what many people believe, more jail does not mean more public safety.?

If it takes 10 years to close the facility completely, it may take a lifetime to shake off Rikers? reputation.

Several federal reports over the years have found overwhelming evidence of systemic violence, excessive force and neglect at the facility. HuffPost?s Chris Mathias reports that solitary confinement is doled out like candy on Halloween. Assaults on inmates are a dime a dozen, and they?re often covered up. There are nearly 500 inmates between the ages of 16 to 18 there on any given day. It?s been called a revolving door for people of color and the poor.

Rikers also houses a disproportionate number of mentally ill inmates ? at one point, it had more mentally ill inmates than all of the state?s 24 psychiatric hospitals combined ? and critics have long said there?s not nearly enough treatment.

For many, its closure can?t come too soon.

?For too long, New Yorkers ? especially poor people of color ? have languished in this grist mill, where human rights abuses are routine,? Glenn E. Martin, president and founder of JustLeadershipUSA, said Friday. ?Countless failed attempts at incremental reform have proven that the only viable solution is to close Rikers. I am grateful that Mayor de Blasio has joined the progressive majority.?

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U.N. Nuclear Inspector: North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’

WASHINGTON ? North Korea?s nuclear weapons program has entered a ?new phase,? with the country having doubled the size of its uranium-enrichment facility in recent years, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Wall Street Journal. 

?The situation is very bad ?. It has gone into a new phase,? Amano told the publication Monday. ?All of the indications point to the fact that North Korea is making progress, as they declared.?

And while Amano believes a diplomatic solution, like the one he helped broker between world powers and Iran in 2015, is ?essential,? he?s skeptical such an agreement can be reached with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his government.

?We don?t have the reason to be optimistic,? he told the Journal.

The situation surrounding North Korea has grown increasingly tense in recent weeks, with both Kim and his regime and the United States taking a more aggressive tone. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and numerous missile launches over the last year in defiance of United Nations sanctions, Reuters reports.

During his first trip to Asia as U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson said that if North Korea elevated its nuclear threat, the U.S. would be forced to consider all options, including military action. 

?Let me be very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended,? Tillerson said. ?We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table.? 

President Donald Trump has also expressed outrage over the situation, saying in a Friday post to Twitter that ?North Korea is behaving very badly.? 

At an event in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday, Trump said that what?s happening in North Korea is ?disgraceful.? He did not elaborate. 

Earlier this month, shortly after its launch of ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, North Korea resorted to its typical belligerent language and warned it would ?reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people?s happiness in case the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory? of the Democratic People?s Republic of Korea.

Reuters reported Monday that the Trump administration is also weighing ?sweeping sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea off from the global financial system.?

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gilberto

We ask ourselves how do we convert our ideas to businesses this is whereforbes comes in. As much as we want to deny it but the most richest and successful people are acknowledged by the magazine, and it wont hurt if we could at least get one or two tips from them.. Nowadays identifying where one fits is impossible. This is because we just go for the job that we land immediately after months of searching. We no longer look at our interests but the money we earn at the end of the month if its salary based. There is no longer the satisfactory feeling people derive in .

WANTED: A NEW WAY TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

America does need to be made great again. But it cannot be done by warmed-up nationalism. It has to be done through a new political ideal. This is not an opinion. It is written into the warp and woof of American history and American identity.

The US is unique in many ways, but most importantly in this: it was settled by dissidents pursuing an idea. The settlers were seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Protestants. Their idea was a homogeneous Puritan community of independent citizens – God-fearing, hard-working, self-improving. They came armed with Anglo-Protestant – largely British – culture, values, and know-how, sharing in large part the intellectual assumptions of the European Enlightenment – a peaceful community, grounded in scholarship and progress, friendly to the arts, sciences, and commerce, and advancing human dignity, freedom, and happiness. To be sure, these were ideals not always lived up to, but they were sincerely held, and they were political or ideological, not national, in character.

American identify was forged by two great political upheavals: the American Revolution and the Civil War. Up to the 1750s, settlers and their descendants identified principally with the state settlements – Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, or Virginia – and beyond that with “British North America” and the lands from which they came. It was only with the events leading up to the Revolution and Declaration of Independence that American national identity began to emerge, heavily associated with a political creed proclaiming the equality and individuality of free Americans.

Still, state loyalties remained salient right up to the Civil War. It was only after this cataclysm, from the 1860s to the 1950s, that American national identity became paramount for most Americans. Reflecting its origins in two traumatic conflicts, it was a very ‘political’ form of nationalism, pulsating with passion for ‘the American way’ – a set of beliefs that came to be second nature to most free Americans.
What were these beliefs? They were grounded in the radical political ideas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, and in Puritanism. In 1944, political scientist Gunnar Mydral defined ‘the American creed': “the essential dignity of all men, and of certain inalienable rights to freedom, justice, and a fair opportunity.”

If we look at the long-term trend since 1945, American nationalism and national identify have declined. The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s brought black Americans into equal citizenship, but also created separate black and African-American consciousness. The Vietnam War, both deeply unpopular and unsuccessful, weakened American national identity, as large numbers of young Americans avoided or evaded the draft, some even renouncing American nationality.

In the past three decades, huge numbers of Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants have settled in the US. Unlike earlier immigrants, they have retained close links to their home base, often remaining Spanish speaking and having dual nationality or citizenship. Some observers believe that America is evolving towards a bi-cultural, bi-lingual society.

In addition, the advance of individualism has been accompanied by a turning towards inward and self-defined identities – such as feminist, gay, and lesbian – resulting in a partial shift from engagement with the nation to one with smaller and more homogenous groupings. The decline in communal identity, and trust in political leaders, has also weakened national allegiance. Finally, as noted by Samuel Huntingdon, “elements of America’s intellectual, political, and business elites increasingly downgraded their commitment to the nation and gave privilege to trans-national and sub-national claims on their loyalties.”

The events of 9/11 led to a dramatic revival of American nationalism, but this appears to have been an exceptional and temporary spike in a long, downward trend. Events in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere have not restored a sense of American pride or surefootedness. Nor has the increasing polarization between Democratic and Republican parties, each backed since 2000 by almost exactly one-half of the electorate, helped a sense of a united America. Meanwhile, the economic collapse in the “Rust Belt” and in many once-great American cities, now reduced to near-third-world levels of squalor and poverty, has not helped either. The continued economic and technological triumphs of Silicon Valley and most of California should be a source of national pride, but just as often sparks resentment as the country becomes more economically unequal. As more and more citizens have become dependent on increased levels of welfare, and as even the middle classes have become less economically secure, even the centuries-old ideal of American individualism has appeared less relevant or widespread.

Yet we can be sure that an attempt to revive American nationalism will not succeed if it is divisive. From this perspective, the problem with extremist Muslim terrorism is not that it is too much of a threat, but that it is not enough of one, not by a long chalk. When Hitler won an election in Germany in 1933, and then seized power and began to persecute the Jews, they were numerous and rich enough to be painted, albeit mendaciously, as a threat to the nation. The same cannot be said for Muslim extremists inside or outside America today.

If a new idea is to unite and inspire the American nation, it needs to be truly popular with the great majority of Americans, which in turn requires that it needs to incorporate other sources of identity, such as Hispanic, black, feminist, gay, and, indeed, Muslim. Most of all, however, America needs to rediscover a political ideal consistent with its origins and history.

And it is an ideal that is required, not just an idea. It has to stress all that is best in America’s heritage and success. No contender in the 2016 Presidential election articulated such a vision. In 2020 the candidate who does so most effectively will win; and if nobody does so, the whole of America and the world will lose.

It’s time to begin thinking about what the new political ideal should incorporate. For starters, we could do worse than highlight three perennial themes which ring out loud and clear in the best of US history – individualism, personal responsibility, and compassionate egalitarianism. America needs a new Roosevelt, Kennedy, King, or Reagan to blend these ideals into a contemporary program which can attract the admiration and devotion of the great majority of Americans. For the sake of the free world, America can and must be made great again, but this can only happen with a new, cohesive vision, based on old American virtues.

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