Feds Say Workers Who Aren’t Getting Paid During Shutdown Should ‘Barter’ With Landlords Over Rent

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We are now on Day 7 of a government shutdown that, from the looks of things/Donald Trump’s ever-unhinged morning tweets, isn’t letting up anytime soon. For about 800,000 federal workers, that means no wages, which makes paying rent and bills in January fairly difficult. What says the government, re: this particular…

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Oxfam forced to suspend Ebola response in DR Congo following pre-election violence – Democratic Republic of the Congo | ReliefWeb

Oxfam has been forced to suspend its work in the Ebola ravaged areas of Beni and Butembo, due to violent protests following the announcement that people in these areas won’t be able to cast their votes for a new president, when the rest of country goes to the polls this Sunday. Raphael Mbuyi, Oxfam’s acting Country Director in the DRC said: “This is an extremely worrying situation, as every time the Ebola response has been suspended before we’ve seen a big spike in the number of new cases. This could mean Ebola spreading to even more people and potentially other countries in the region, putting many more lives at risk. “However, it’s not surprising that people who have had their votes taken away at the last minute are frustrated and going to the streets. These people deserve to have their say as well. “All parties need to find a way for people who have been devastated by Ebola and have lived through decades of violent conflict, to cast their vote. “Whatever the outcome, there needs to be an end to the years of misery people in this country have had to endure. Just because elections are being held does not mean there will be peace.”

Source: Oxfam forced to suspend Ebola response in DR Congo following pre-election violence – Democratic Republic of the Congo | ReliefWeb

Seven hospitalized in settler attack on Hebron activists | +972 Magazine

Source: Seven hospitalized in settler attack on Hebron activists | +972 Magazine

On Saturday, according to eye witnesses, the settlers had demolished parts of a storage room being constructed at the home of local Palestinian activist Issa Amro, which also serves as a community center run by Youth Against Settlements. Amro filed a complaint with Israeli police against the settlers, who he says also tore off a metal gate from his neighbor’s house.

Hebron is home to around 500 radical Jewish settlers, living in the heart of a city that is home to over 160,000 Palestinians. Israeli soldiers are permanently stationed inside the city, implementing a system of segregated roads and creating daily friction with the Palestinian population.

On Monday night, Amro, several of his family members, and volunteers from Youth Against Settlements began rebuilding the walls settlers had demolished. While they were working, Israeli settlers showed up and began kicking the activists and throwing stones that them. The settlers were able to demolish what the Palestinians had built.

Honduran Mother Whose Picture Went Viral is Finally Free in San Diego

By Manuel Ocaño


María Meza, the woman in the viral picture of a mother running with two of her children from tear gas launched by Border Patrol into Tijuana, has finally been conditionally released in San Diego with all four of her minor children.

Meza was released Friday night in San Ysidro to her lawyer, with an ankle bracelet on, 26 days after the picture was taken of her and her two little girls running from the gas near the spot where the train crossing is, east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The image of Maria and her twin five-year-old girls led to thousands of outcries, including that of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who said while in Otay that throwing gases at mothers and children seeking asylum while they are still in a foreign country is “not the United States we want.”

Meza managed to get away from the tear gas with her daughters, Cheili and Saira. Prior to her entering the U.S., she had stated that on the afternoon of Nov. 25, when the tear gas incident occurred, “we thought we would cross the border, but we never thought we would be shot at.” When she realized they were in fact shooting tear gas into Tijuana, she said “I felt very sad. I took my daughters’ hands to turn away, and that was when the gas landed very close,” and the three ran to safety.

The picture made the front pages of most printed and online newspapers, and even live newscasts complemented their video coverage with the image of Maria Meza and her daughters. She was the first caravan member to get so much coverage.

Meza and her children were also the first family from the caravan to be allowed to cross through the Otay Port of Entry, where – until then – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had disallowed entry to migrants seeking to turn themselves in for asylum.

According to attorney Nicole Ramos of the non-profit Al Otro Lado, on Dec. 18, Meza and her children approached the Otay Mesa Port of entry, where they waited for nearly eight hours for CBP officers in riot gear to allow them in so they could turn themselves in and petition for asylum.

“Every so often, one or another of the children would cry because they were tired of staying in one spot, but the family stayed to demand their right for their argument for asylum to be heard,” said Ramos.

Two Democratic members of the U.S. Congress who were in Tijuana that day to speak with deportees, Nanette Diaz Barragan y Jimmy Gomez, both from California, went to the Otay Mesa POE in favor of Mesa’s petition.

Maria Meza, in the United States

For several hours, Border Patrol insisted that the Meza family could not be allowed in to petition for asylum because the facilities were at full capacity serving the public; i.e., the crossing was full and had no space available.

However, as night fell, the Honduran family was finally allowed in to request asylum. They were held for three days before being conditionally released on Friday. At the time, their attorneys did not disclose what the next steps would be in the process.