All posts by nedhamson

Activist, writer, researcher, addicted to sharing information and facts.

AP : US Puts Palestinians on Notice that there DC Office May Be Shuttered

Isreal running US foreign policy?

WASHINGTON /By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Trump administration put the Palestinians on notice Friday that it will shutter their office in Washington unless they’ve entered serious peace talks with Israel, U.S. officials said, potentially giving President Donald Trump more leverage as he seeks an elusive Mideast peace deal.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians ran afoul of an obscure provision in a U.S. law that says the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission must close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.

A State Department official said that in September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas crossed that line by calling on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis.

But the law leaves the president a way out, so Tillerson’s declaration doesn’t necessarily mean the office will close.

Trump now has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are in “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” If Trump determines they are, the Palestinians can keep the office. The official said it was unclear whether the U.S. might close the office before the 90-day period expires, but said the mission remains open at least for now.

Even if the office closes, the U.S. said it wasn’t cutting off relations with the Palestinians and was still focused on “a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

The State Department official said in an email that “this measure should in no way be seen as a signal that the U.S. is backing off those efforts.” The official wasn’t authorized to be identified by name and requested anonymity.

South Carolina women’s basketball champions decline White House invite

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  • Gamecocks decline invite to executive mansion to celebrate national title
  • Team initially planned on going but hadn’t receive invite as of September

South Carolina’s women’s basketball team, which captured their first national championship at the Women’s Final Four in April, have declined an invitation to visit the White House.

President Donald Trump will host college sports championship teams in a reception at the White House on Friday, but the Gamecocks will not be among them.

Continue reading…

Gillibrand: Bill Clinton should have resigned after WH affair

3197292441-6*100xx2667-2667-667-0.jpgSen. Kirsten Gillibrand says she thinks Bill Clinton should have resigned when an inappropriate relationship with a White House intern was revealed during his presidency, The New York Times reports.

Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, responded to a question from The Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer about whether Bill Clinton’s presidency would have withstood the scandal over Monica Lewinsky today.

Later, a spokesman said Gillibrand was emphasizing that his actions would not have been tolerated…

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LA County Probation Officer Accused of Sexually Abusing Teenage Girls in his Care is Released after Serving Less than a Month of a 1 Year Sentence

Doesn’t anyone read the case to understand, he should have served more time!!!

Less than a month ago, former Los Angeles County deputy probation officer, Oscar David Calderon Jr., 33, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of assault under the color of authority, after being accused of “inappropriately touching” girls at one of the county’s juvenile probation camps.

When he was arrested in January of this year, Calderon was originally charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child, and four counts of assault by a peace officer. Prosecutors stated that the victims ranged in age from 15 to 18 and that the abusive events began in 2014.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Calderon worked as a deputy probation officer for approximately nine years, and worked at Camp Scudder, an all-girls juvenile facility located in Santa Clarita, since 2014, which was where he reportedly made sexual overtures to some of the teenage girls at the camp, and assaulted two of them.

As a condition of his plea deal, however, Calderon was able to avoid admitting to the charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a child, and the assaults dropped down to two girls, instead of four. The original charges could have resulted in a five year prison sentence for Calderon, according to the DA’s spokesperson. In addition, he would have been forced to register as a sex offender.

Instead, on September 20. Calderon was sentenced to a year in LA County jail.

On November 14, less a month later, Calderon was released from jail and allowed to return home.

“My client is ready to start a new life and move past his mistake,” said Ambrosio Rodriguez, Mr. Calderon’s attorney.


An “escalating pattern of inappropriate attention”

The criminal charges are not the end of the matter. As WLA reported earlier, one of the young assault victims from Camp Scudder filed a civil lawsuit in federal court on July 14, 2017, alleging not just the abuse, but also that a supervisor, and a therapist, knew about Calderon’s behavior, and did nothing to intervene. The suit also alleges that multiple other co-workers observed at least some of the officer’s increasingly inappropriate actions, which should have been perceived as red flags.

According to an amended complaint filed on September 6, 2017, by the victim’s attorneys, Erin Darling and Justin E. Sterling, during the time their client was in Camp Scudder she was under the direct supervision of then-Officer Calderon, who allegedly used his power to threaten her into compliance.

“On at least two occasions,” the attorney s wrote, “Officer Calderon told Plaintiff that if she refused to obey him, ‘I will fuck up your court reports.‘”

Calderon was reportedly also in charge of where the victim worked in the camp, what personal items could be sent to her by her family, and how many phone calls she could make to family members, and other similar areas of oversight of the victim’s time at camp.

The complaint describes an escalating pattern of inappropriate attention from Calderon toward the victim, which eventually, according to the lawsuit, became a weekly pattern of sexual assault.

Calderon is described by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s inmate database as being 6’1″ in height, weighing 240 lbs, as compared to the victim, who reportedly is 5’2″ and weighs 120 lbs.

The escalating attention, which reportedly embarrassed and worried the victim, graduated to odder forms of behavior, such as rousting the young woman out of her bed after lights out to sit with him in the darkened cafeteria. Soon the incidents allegedly intensified to incidents of inappropriate touching, kissing, and in one alleged incident, choking.

Finally, from April 2015 through June 2015, according to the harrowing narrative laid out in the complaint, Officer Calderon sexually assaulted the victim, who was by then, 18, once a week, “on approximately ten occasions.”

The alleged acts described included sexual fondling, groping, and digital penetration, among other assaultive actions, which occurred during her weekly work shift at the camp’s snack shop, where the officer could reportedly grab her out of sight of others.


“Depression of the past, anxiety of the future”

On the day of Calderon’s sentencing, the victim who signed the lawsuit read a statement in which she described what she had experienced.

“I spent almost a year in a locked-down facility, with a disgusting, horny, grown man that’s supposedly my probation officer. I’ve never been blackmailed, let alone sexually abused, until I entered that camp,” she wrote in the statement. “It’s been two years, and I still feel it. I feel the depression of the past, and the anxiety of the future. I can still smell his disgusting breath when he kissed me.”

After Calderon’s release from jail, Justin E. Sterling, one of the victim’s two attorneys, described how dismayed he was at the fraction of his sentence that Oscar Calderon has served.

“It’s unfortunate,” Stering said. “When someone is sentenced to a year, and he does less than a month. And he was also able to skirt sex offender charges, because of his plea deal. It’s very disappointing.” This is especially true, said Sterling, “when you understand both what he was accused of and what he pled to.”

Juvenile advocates we asked about Calderon’s release expressed similar dismay.

“A young girl was horrifically abused while in custody and will likely experience a ‘life sentence’ of traumatic memories,” said Jacqueline Caster, president and founder of the Everychild Foundation. “Yet the officer who victimized her, suffered virtually no consequences and is back on the street without rehabilitation. This is not only an insult to her and the other young victim, and a minimization of the abuse they experienced, it also communicates an utter lack of concern for other potential victims.”

(Caster is also a member of the LA County Probation Commission, but spoke to WLA personally, as a youth advocate.)


The matter of early release

When asked about how Calderon’s release was calculated, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which oversees the county’s jail system, sent WitnessLA the following explanation.

Inmate Oscar Calderon was released according to our early release criteria due to overcrowding. He appeared at Clara Shortridge Foltz Justice Center and was sentenced to 364, with 5 days custody credits for the charge of 149 P.C. (Assault by a Peace Officer). On November 13, 2017, it was determined that Inmate Calderon had served 11.40% of his sentenced time. The charge of 149 P.C. does not fall under the more serious traditional sentence charges also known as M-7 criteria, therefore he was required to serve a minimum of 10% of his sentence.

The LASD noted that, “as the result of a court decision commonly referred to as the Rutherford Decision, LASD is required to manage the crowding levels within the jail,” which is done using a number of strategies. Early release is one of them.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Calderon was also placed on formal probation for five years, and ordered to stay away from “all victims” during those five years.

A Cultural Way to Get Latino Kids Interested in Health Careers

By Cliff Despres
Salud Today

he U.S. Latino population has grown 243% since 1980. But the number of Latino doctors dropped 22%, a study found.

That’s why we need programs like Roots to Wings.

The innovative Roots to Wings program teams up Latino and Native American middle- and high-schoolers in Washington schools with medical students at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.

Kids getting on-the-job demonstrations of health activities as part of Roots to Wings.

The teams then “co-mentor” each other.

How?

The kids teach the medical students about their Mexican-American or Yakama Nation heritage.

The medical students teach the kids about medicine and pursuing higher education.

“Roots to Wings is actually an educational pathway for underrepresented youth to enter the health sciences,” Dr. Mirna Ramos-Diaz, who leads the program, recently told the Yakima Herald. “It makes a huge difference in someone’s medical care if I understand your native traditions and values, and I can speak your language.”

roots to wings studentsRoots to Wings participants.

The program worked with Yakama Nation tribal leaders and Latino teachers to build a curriculum. The program mixes traditional cultural dance events with demonstrative lab or clinic lessons on issues like sugar and diabetes, according to the Yakima Herald. The kids in Mt. Adams schools meet with the medical students once a month.

Roots to Wings helps the medical students learn the challenges of providing care to the underserved. It also stirs their desire to serve as doctors in rural communities.

It helps the kids gain academic confidence, and stay true to their values and traditions.

“By keeping culture front and center, directors of the program aim to show the young students that they are welcome and wanted in the medical field,” according to the Yakima Herald article.

Can you start a Roots to Wings program in your schools? Email the staff of Roots to Wings for help!

8 years ago today, Sergei Magnitsky was murdered at the hands of Vladimir Putin. We must draw strength from his example & stand with those who fight for freedom around the world. http://ift.tt/2z9X3r5;

#TraitorTrump believes what V. Putin tells him?

8 years ago today, Sergei Magnitsky was murdered at the hands of Vladimir Putin. We must draw strength from his example & stand with those who fight for freedom around the world. http://ift.tt/2zbMEes