Sri Lanka president sacks intelligence chief over Easter attacks probe

first_imgFile PhotoSri Lanka’s president has sacked the national intelligence chief and will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses before the Easter suicide bombings, officials said Saturday.Maithripala Sirisena summoned an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night to oppose a parliamentary select committee probe into the 21 April attacks that killed 258 people, including 45 foreigners, and wounded nearly 500.Chief of national intelligence Sisira Mendis was sacked after testifying to the inquiry last week that the attacks could have been averted.He also said the president had failed to hold regular security meetings to assess the threat from Islamic radicals who carried out the bombings on three hotels and three churchs.Sirisena’s office did not give a reason for the sacking. Halfway through the testimony, the live telecast of the proceedings was stopped on the president’s orders, official sources said.A ministerial source told AFP Sirisena has refused to allow any police, military or intelligence personnel to testify before the committee.The source added that the heated cabinet meeting ended “inconclusively” without taking a decision on whether to suspend the parliament probe.Sirisena’s office did not comment on the meeting, but said the president had told senior police officers on Friday that he will not allow any serving officer to testify.Sirisena’s defence secretary and police chief have suggested that the president, who is also defence minister, did not follow proper protocols in dealing with intelligence warnings about the Easter Sunday bombings.Sirisena has repeatedly denied he was aware of an impending threat.A local jihadist organisation and the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks. The country has been under a state of emergency since the bombings.Sirisena said last week that he met with the national police chief and his top brass 13 days before the attacks but no officer raised warnings passed on by India and based on information from a detained jihadist.The crisis erupted ahead of a visit to Sri Lanka by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.The Indian premier is to make a brief stopover in Colombo on his return from an official visit to the Maldives on Saturday.The Sri Lankan government has admitted there were intelligence failures before the attacks.Sirisena suspended police chief Pujith Jayasundara and dismissed his top defence official Hemasiri Fernando after the bombings.last_img read more

Kimmel Vs Cruz The LateNight Host And Texas Senator Will Settle Beef

first_imgKIMMEL AND CRUZ: SHUTTERSTOCKLate-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel (left) and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (right) will play a one-on-one basketball game for charity on Saturday in HoustonThe NBA season ended last week when the Golden State Warriors claimed their second straight championship. But there’s still one very important basketball game to be played.A late-night talk show host and a senator from Texas will settle their beef this weekend on the court.It all started when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted a picture of himself courtside for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. His beloved Houston Rockets were hosting the Golden State Warriors for the right to advance to the NBA Finals.The Rockets lost, which prompted talk show host Jimmy Kimmel to mock the senator on Twitter, saying he looked like a “blobfish.”Minutes before tipoff…. @HoustonRockets #ClutchCity GO ROCKETS!!!! pic.twitter.com/0ri7pCfhJV— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 29, 2018Cruz – a basketball benchwarmer in high school – said in an interview with KERA he wasn’t taking the loss lying down.“And so I sent out a tweet. I said, ‘Alright, big guy, you talk a good game,” Cruz said. “You have besmirched my support for the Houston Rockets. Let’s settle this man-to-man: One-on-one, hoops.”On a broadcast of his nightly talk show, Kimmel said he was in.“So, I immediately went online and Googled ‘how to guard a blobfish.’ And then I went on Twitter and said, ‘I like this idea. I’ll accept on one condition: We both wear very short shorts. Which would be great, right?”A few ground rules in advance of my one-on-one basketball game with Senator @TedCruz… pic.twitter.com/eStOlVqaIP— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) June 7, 2018Wrong, said Cruz.“I laughed out loud and I tweeted back, I said, ‘Listen, as Borat demonstrated conclusively, nobody wants to see that,” Cruz said. “‘You dress yourself, I’ll dress myself.’ He then came back again and said, ‘Crop tops?’ To which I said, ‘Knock yourself out.’”So it’s settled. The late-night host and the junior senator from Texas will square off Saturday afternoon on the campus of Texas Southern University in Houston. It’s like LeBron vs. Steph, minus the skill.As a promo from Kimmel’s show describes the matchup: “It’s American vs. Canadian. Baller vs. blobfish. Kimmel vs. Cruz. The Blobfish Basketball Classic!”Cruz isn’t guaranteeing victory. But he can make one promise.“Under no circumstances will Kimmel dunk on me,” Cruz said. “If he goes up to dunk, I’ll pull his shorts to the ground rather than let him get to the rim.”We’ll get a look at just how short those shorts are on Saturday.If Cruz wins, Kimmel will donate to Houston-based education nonprofit Generation One. And if Kimmel wins, Cruz will write a check to the Texas Children’s Hospital.Am working hard to get ready for the big game on Saturday. @jimmykimmel — are you scared yet? I’m playing better than ever. #unstoppable #KimmelvsCruz pic.twitter.com/XklHueCjpO— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 14, 2018 Sharelast_img read more

Shelter Chief Says Hes Ready Now For Migrant Reunions

first_imgMiguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via APDignitaries take a tour of Southwest Key Programs Casa Padre, a U.S. immigration facility in Brownsville, Texas, Monday, June 18, 2018, where children are detained.The chief executive officer of the nation’s largest shelters for migrant children says he’s “ready now” to start reuniting hundreds of babies and young kids with their families.Juan Sanchez of the nonprofit Southwest Key Programs made the comments hours before a judge in California ordered U.S. border authorities to bring separated families together within 30 days of a late Tuesday ruling. If children are younger than 5, they must be reunified within the next 14 days.Sanchez said his nonprofit has located many of the parents who have been arrested for trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border so — if the opportunity arose — they could move quickly to reunite the families.“We’re ready today,” said Sanchez, who had been fearful of a long, drawn out process.Sanchez earlier said parents’ cases would likely have to first make their way through the legal system. Only then could the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement give the go-ahead to put families back together. He said there appeared to be a lack of urgency on behalf of the government, and worried that the process could take months.More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s recent “zero-tolerance” crackdown on illegal immigration — and around 600 of them are in Southwest Key facilities around the country.It’s not clear how border authorities will meet the deadline set by the California judge.Earlier Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar refused to be pinned down on how long it would take. He said his department does extensive vetting of parents to make sure they are not traffickers masquerading as parents.Sanchez finds himself in the center of political controversy after agreeing to take in more than 600 children who were stripped from their parents.Of those, 152 are younger than 5, including some babies and toddlers. The rest are between 6 and 11 years old.Newly planned family detention space could allow recently separated children to be housed with their parents, Sanchez said, adding that would not be optimal, but would be better than keeping them apart.“If it was me,” he said, “I’d say I want the child with me.”Currently Southwest Key has nearly 5,100 children in 26 shelters in Texas, Arizona and California, accounting for nearly half the unaccompanied minors being held in facilities all over the country. Most of them are older children who weren’t taken from their parents but instead tried to cross the border on their own.The nonprofit organization has booked $458 million in federal contracts during the current budget year — half of what is being handed out by HHS for placing immigrant children who came to the U.S. unaccompanied or were separated from their families after arriving.Southwest Key, meanwhile, is hoping to get a green light for a new “tender age” shelter in a Houston warehouse previously used for Hurricane Harvey evacuees.The Texas Health and Human Services Commission said it could take three weeks to inspect the site and another two months to decide whether a permit will be issued.Sanchez said he opposed the family-separation policy, but for the sake of the children he felt his organization needed to take them in.“Somebody has to take care of them,” he said. Sharelast_img read more

What Happened Before Selma

first_imgThe Coppin State University Urban Studies Program with the Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association presents, ‘1963 – One of the most tumultuous years in Civil Rights’ WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE SELMA? This historic presentation is on August 28 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Coppin State University, 2500 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216 in the Health & Human Services Building – Room 103. Contact Dr. Ken Morgan at (410) 951-4187 or Dr. Marvin Cheatham at (410) 669-8683 or via email at civilrights@verizon.net to RSVP.last_img read more

Man Charged in Fatal Shooting Found Dead in Jail

first_imgThis image released by the Baltimore Police shows Cipisirono Cole. Authorities on Friday, March 4, 2016 issued a plea for help in finding Cole, the suspect in the killing at a Department of Public Works facility a day earlier. Police say Cole faces several charges, including first- and second-degree murder. (Baltimore Police via AP)BALTIMORE (AP) — A man who was charged with fatally shooting a co-worker in Maryland has been found dead in jail.Officials found 47-year-old Cipisirono Cole dead at the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center in Baltimore on Tuesday. Gerard Shields, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said he was unable to provide additional details Wednesday, but the investigation is ongoing.Cole had been arrested on a murder charge in the shooting death of his co-worker, 34-year-old Darrin Ulysses Johnson Jr., last Thursday in the locker room of a Department of Public Works building in Baltimore. Cole turned himself in Saturday after a two-day manhunt.Cole also faced charges of assault and using a firearm in a violent crime.Officers who responded to a report of a shooting at the building found Johnson in a locker room area, shot several times, police said. Johnson was taken to Shock Trauma, where he was pronounced dead.About 100 employees report to the field depot that houses maintenance crews working on water and sewer mains, and their equipment. People must have key cards to access the building.___Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.comlast_img read more

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