Police say a group of workers were robbed at gunpoint at a Habitat for Humanity site where former President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to tour in Oakland.The Oakland Tribune http://bit.ly/1dWTHDf reports that eight Habitat staff members and AmeriCorps workers were robbed of their cell phones and wallets Tuesday at the Brookfield Court development in East Oakland.Police say a man was also shot at and pistol-whipped. He refused medical attention.Habitat spokeswoman Krysta Morgenthaler says four men robbed the workers where 12 townhomes are currently under construction. Another dozen workers were not robbed.No arrests have been made.The robbery comes less than a week before Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter are scheduled to visit Oakland and San Jose as part of a weeklong campaign highlighting Habitat for Humanity’s home-building projects.
The looming federal government shutdown threatens Our House’s eleven AmeriCorps VISTA members, who have committed a year of their lives to serving the homeless while living below the poverty line themselves.
These national service members who have come from across the country to help Our House, will not receive their meager living stipend if the federal government shuts down. These VISTAs (Volunteers In Service To America) depend on a federal stipend, which amounts to less than $5 an hour, as their only source of income during their year of full time service. As a VISTA member, they are not allowed to work or have any earned income outside of their VISTA living allowance.
Ashley Moses drove from Georgia in August for the position. She says, “I just wanted a job where I felt I was making an impact in the community and it is personally fulfilling for me. It’s a great way to give back to my country.”
But the government shutdown now impacts her daily life. “I have my rent bills, utilities, gas and student loan payments. It’s a lot on my plate and to me it is worth it to serve but it’s hard if you don’t know you are going to get paid.”
“This jeopardizes not just their livelihood, but all of Our Houses operations.” Georgia Mjartan adds. Georgia is the Executive Director of Our House. She says AmeriCorps VISTA members coordinate the 77,000 meals a year, volunteer services, children’s programs and the adult education center. “They are making a sacrifice to do national service and the national government is not there to help them in their time of need.”
Israeli forces on Wednesday placed Israeli flags on the walls of the Ibrahimi mosque and set up tents in the eastern courtyards, mosque officials told Ma’an.
Mosque custodian Hijazi Abu Isneineh said Israeli forces used the eastern enclave to celebrate the appointment of a new Israeli police commander, without providing further details.
Russian authorities on Wednesday charged five Greenpeace activists – a Briton, a Brazilian, a Finn, a Russian and a US-Swedish citizen – with piracy for protesting against Arctic oil drilling. Another 25 Greenpeace protesters are awaiting charges.
the green place that I’d known
had been watered red and died
nothing was left to atone
the sun on that day must have cried
Come on over to Pen of the Damned where there is an unusual reaping. Reaping the Harvest my newest dark poem seems oddly appropriate for the day our government in the United States has shut down.
Photography: Pen of the damned icon by Bernini
Harvest in sepia © L. Moon
“The owner has eight children who will come back from school to find they don’t have a home anymore, there is great resentment in the village. We did not refuse to negotiate with the Israeli authorities about the future of the village, but they treat us brutally,” Abu Affash added.
Palestinian member of the Knesset Talab Abu Arar said that this is the beginning of the Prawer Plan, even though it wasn’t officially confirmed by the Israeli government.
“If a Jewish man was taken out of his house because he didn’t pay his rent, the Israeli authorities would provide a home for him, but for Arabs their houses are demolished and they’re left out in the streets,” he added.
In August, Israeli forces destroyed three Palestinian homes in the Negev.
The Israeli government in January approved the Prawer-Begin Bill, calling for the relocation of 30,000 – 40,000 Bedouin, the demolition of about 40 villages and the confiscation of more than 700,000 dunams of land in the Negev.