Communities in Schools (CIS), the national organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future, is delighted to welcome NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal as the newest member of its national board of directors.“Over all the years I’ve known Shaquille, he has always shown himself to be a man of integrity and principle for whom giving back to his community is a top priority,” says Communities In Schools National Board Chair Elaine Wynn. “We are privileged to have him among the volunteer leaders of Communities In Schools.”Shaquille O’Neal, former NBA basketball player and Hall of Fame inductee, is currently a sports analyst on the television program, Inside the NBA, and is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. O’Neal’s athletic accomplishments include a 19-year NBA career, four NBA championships (three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat), and 15 All-Star game selections. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP, and NBA Finals MVP in the same year.Rivaling his athletic accomplishments are O’Neal’s off-court undertakings, which include success in acting, music, television and gaming. Inspired by positive childhood experiences at the Boys and Girls Club in Newark, NJ, O’Neal has a long career of partnering with youth organizations and giving back to his community.“Every kid, no matter where they’re from or how much money their parents make, deserves the opportunity to get a good education,” said O’Neal. “My education was critical to my success on and off the court. Being in school gave me self-discipline and showed me the importance of hard work. I always knew that when my playing days were over, nobody could take my education away from me.”“Even more than Shaquille’s extraordinary athletic career, it’s really his passion and dedication to ensuring young people opportunities for success that makes him such an incredible role model,” said Communities In Schools Founder Bill Milliken.The Communities In Schools National Board of Directors is comprised of passionate supporters of the CIS mission, and leaders in a variety of fields including finance, education, marketing, law, civil rights and more. Click here to see full list of the board of national directors.
APTN National NewsThe remote First Nation of Garden Hill in northern Manitoba has been working hard to tackle food insecurity.The Meechim Farm is a self-sustaining community project.It’s creating jobs producing affordable food and teaching youth traditional food practices.It’s even caught the attention of a documentary filmmaker.APTN’s April Johnson has this story.
US president Donald Trump speaks to the press aboard Air Force One on 7 September, 2018, as he travels to Fargo, North Dakota, to speak at a Joint Fundraising Committee. Photo: AFPDonald Trump had to be tricked out of killing a US-South Korean trade deal? He threatened to move a US missile defence system from South Korea to Oregon? He ordered a plan for a pre-emptive attack on North Korea?These supposed moves by Trump, detailed in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, will cause bafflement and worry among government officials in Seoul. But, for many South Koreans, they just add more pieces of evidence to an established picture of an erratic US leader who thinks little of an alliance forged in the turmoil of the Korean War and often described here as a “bond of blood.””South Koreans have already seen Trump’s childish behaviour many times,” an editorial writer for the conservative Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s most-read newspaper, wrote in a column Friday about Woodward’s book, comparing the president to a “rugby ball that could bounce anywhere” if not watched by others.South Korea, before Trump, had become used to regular, glowing declarations from US leaders of both political parties about the eternal strength of their alliance. The country, after all, is a global success story, rising from the poverty and destruction of the war into Asia’s fourth-biggest economy; it’s a regional bulwark of democratic, capitalist values and a leader in culture, trade and good works.So long before Woodward’s book, South Koreans were shocked at Trump’s open complaints about the costs of maintaining the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea as protection against North Korean attack; at his decision, after his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to abruptly shelve major US military exercises with South Korea; at his claim that the “horrible” US free trade pact with South Korea destroyed US industry and his insistence that Seoul renegotiate.When asked by The Associated Press whether he has ever seen a US president who was so openly dismissive of the US-South Korean alliance, Kim Sung-han, a former South Korean deputy foreign minister, said, “No.””He’s the first and hopefully the last exception,” said Kim, whose last posting in the South Korean Foreign Ministry was in 2013 and who has never met Trump. “He doesn’t approach alliances with a strategic mindset, but only evaluates their transactional value. He constantly questions whether the United States needs any alliance. He thinks that if a partner wants to keep an alliance, it should pay 100 percent of the costs.”Many of the most explosive excerpts from the soon-to-be published book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” deal with the Koreas.Trump reportedly ordered a plan to pre-emptively attack the North; he suggested that a US missile defence system in the South meant to guard against North Korean attack should be moved to Portland, Oregon; and a former Trump economic official allegedly swiped papers from Trump’s desk so he wouldn’t sign an order killing the free trade agreement between the countries.In a statement provided to The Associated Press, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said it has been following the reports, but that it would be inappropriate to comment about a book that hasn’t been published yet. It refused to say whether it considers any of the stories true. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy couldn’t immediately comment on the trade deal allegations.”South Korea and the United States have been maintaining close communication and consultation on major issues such as the North Korean nuclear problem, security, economy and trade,” the Foreign Ministry said.In spite of the behaviour described in Woodward’s book, Trump’s administration has avoided policy moves that would have created major repercussions with South Korea.The United States and South Korea plan to sign a renegotiated free trade deal during the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. The missile defence system – the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System (THAAD) – remains in Seongju, South Korea. Washington and Seoul have so far cooperated in diplomatic efforts in the nuclear standoff with North Korea.Still, experts say that Trump’s attitude doesn’t bode well for South Korea.It’s possible that the alliance will end up looking much different depending on the outcome of nuclear diplomacy among Washington, Pyongyang and Seoul. Experts say Kim Jong Un, who initiated the diplomacy after a stream of nuclear and missile tests last year, sees a rare opportunity in a US president who seems eager to prove his deal-making skills and thinks less of the traditional alliance with Seoul than his predecessors did.North Korea has been demanding the United States agree to a declaration to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which some see as a precursor for pushing for the withdrawal of US troops in South Korea.”Trump will continuously cause trouble and the alliance can be persistently shaken,” said Choi Kang, vice president of Seoul’s Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Choi said South Korean government officials will be anxious about the descriptions in Woodward’s book, which he says show the United States as “dysfunctional.””I have never seen a situation like this,” Choi said.Most experts say the alliance will probably survive the Trump presidency. South Korea, along with Japan, has served a crucial role in protecting US interests in the region, a role that both Seoul and Washington may need more of in the future to check a rising China, said Lee Daewoo, an analyst at South Korea’s Sejong Institute.Kim, the former diplomat, said South Korea’s government should make stronger efforts to show the value of the US-South Korean alliance to the American public.”Whether there’s two years left or six years left, that’s more than enough time for (the Trump administration) to cause serious damage to relations with South Korea,” Kim said. “Efforts to persuade the US public are crucial, because if Trump is afraid of anything, it’s American voters.”
Kolkata: The upcoming Panchayat polls in West Bengal are rapidly emerging as a warm up match for the BJP ahead the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the saffron party pulling out all stops to reach out to the people, political observers say. With nearly 40 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal located in villages and semi-urban areas, administered by Panchayats, an absolute control of the rural bodies is a must for political parties to have an upper hand on rivals in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe battle is interestingly poised as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is planning to play a bigger role nationally after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the BJP aiming to emerge as the main opposition to the TMC in the state.West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the results of the Panchayat polls to be held next month might not have a direct impact on Lok Sabha polls as the elections in rural bodies were held under the state administration, but it would surely give an indication in which way the wind was blowing. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”The Panchayat polls will be a warm up match for us not only to galvanise party workers but also to reach out to the people against the TMC’s misrule ahead of 2019,” he said.BJP president Amit Shah had recently said the party is aiming to win 22 seats in Bengal.According to a state BJP leader, with the BJP facing anti-incumbency in some North Indian states, the saffron camp was well aware that any reduction in the number of seats needed to be compensated with seats from West Bengal and Odisha. “We need to win maximum number of seats in Lok Sabha in order to compensate the shortfall and also to emerge as the main opposition to the TMC,” the BJP leader said.”If we have to win more than 20 seats, then it is important that we have a good presence in Panchayats across the state and for that, we have to fight the TMC and win as many seats as possible,” Ghosh told PTI.The recent clashes between the BJP and the TMC in various parts of the states were a clear indication that the BJP would not yield a single inch without putting up a fight, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy said.Even as the Congress and the CPI(M) failed to open their account properly in filing nominations across the state, the sheer number of nominations filed by BJP, which is just second to the TMC, showed how the saffron camp was serious in contesting the TMC.”The people of Bengal wants the BJP as they have seen the rule of the Congress, the TMC and the CPI(M). With each passing day, the BJP is gaining strength in Bengal despite terror tactics of the TMC,” BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvergiya claimed.The TMC leadership too accused the BJP of aggression in filing nominations and of bringing in “outsiders” to disturb the peace in the state.”They are trying hard to gain ground by use of violence but will not succeed as people of the state are with the TMC,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told PTI.The Panchayat elections will be held across 48,650 seats in 3,358 Gram Panchayats, 9,217 seats at 341 Panchayat Samitis, and 825 seats at 20 Zilla Parishads in three phases in the first week of May.The counting of votes will take place on May 8.The TMC now not only controls all the Zilla Parishads of the state but also 90 per cent of the Panchayat seats.In 2013, the TMC had won 34 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in a stellar show in Panchayat polls.The TMC’s victory in South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore Zilla Parishads in the 2008 Panchayat polls first signalled the fall of three-decade-old Left regime in 2011.According to political parties, the victory in these elections is important to reach out to the people as those living in rural areas depend on Panchayats for basic amenities such as drinking water, agricultural land, schools, social and government benefits.Galvanized after its performance in the recent Ram Navami celebrations across the state, the West Bengal BJP, which has been increasing its vote share in all the elections since 2016 Assembly polls, hopes to emerge as an opposition to the TMC by edging out the Congress and the CPI(M).Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty, however, claimed, “The divisive policy of the BJP will not work in Bengal and only the Left Front can fight against misrule of the TMC.
Kolkata: Atin Ghosh, Member Mayor-in-Council (health) has urged people to inform Kolkata Municipal Corporation ( KMC) if they are tested dengue positive so that civic doctors can monitor the method of treatment.Talking to newsmen on Tuesday afternoon, Ghosh said KMC held a convention which was attended by the KMC and the state government doctors and people from all walks of life to discuss guidelines and protocol that need to be followed to treat dengue patients. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe regretted that only a few private doctors had attended the convention and alleged that despite KMC’s best efforts, some private doctors are not following the treatment guidelines and the set protocol.Ghosh claimed that the number of people afflicted with dengue is far less than the previous years.He urged youths to come forward and take the initiative to launch drives to prevent dengue.”We have distributed leaflets, put up billboards containing the do’s and dont’s to prevent the disease but active cooperation from people is also required for effective launch of the drive.” He urged members of the Durga puja committees to do house to house campaign. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”We have requested people to clean garbage and the accumulated water from their houses which often work as the breeding grounds for Aedes Egypti mosquitoes. But despite that, some people are turning a deaf ear and when there is a dengue case in their locality, they blame the civic bodies unnecessarily.” It may be mentioned that KMC has opened 15 dengue detection centres in the city. There are doctors in every ward who are experts in treating dengue. But not many people are coming to KMC labs or consulting the doctors.