Pope donates $500,000 for migrants stranded in Mexico

Central American migrants board train wagons in an attempt to make their way to the US border, in the municipality of Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico, 25 April 2019Thousands of people from Central America are using any means necessary to reach the US

Pope Francis has donated $500,000 (£387,000) to help migrants stranded in Mexico as they try to reach the US border, the Vatican said.

The money comes from the Catholic Church’s Peter’s Pence fund, from church collections around the world.

A statement said vital aid for the migrants was falling as global media coverage of the crisis decreased.

The Pope has previously criticised US President Donald Trump’s aim of building a wall to keep migrants out.

The US has put pressure on Mexico’s government to stem the so-called caravans of people from Central America heading north.

“In 2018, six migrant caravans entered Mexico, for a total of 75,000 people. The arrival of other groups was announced,” the Peter’s Pence office said.

“All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood. The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in the hotels within dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing.”

Pope Francis looks on as he addresses reporters aboard the plane bringing him back following a two-day trip to Morocco March 31, 2019Pope Francis has encouraged governments to help those fleeing poverty and violence

Many of the migrants say they are fleeing persecution, violence and poverty in their home countries.

Last week officials detained nearly 400 migrants travelling through Mexico’s southern Chiapas state trying to reach the US.

“Media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased,” the fund added.

“In this context, Pope Francis donated US $500,000 to assist migrants in Mexico. This amount will be distributed among 27 projects in 16 dioceses and among Mexican religious congregations that have asked for help in order to continue providing housing, food and basic necessities to these our brothers and sisters.”

In March, the Pope criticised political leaders who tried to erect barriers to keep migrants out.

“Builders of walls, be they made of razor wire or bricks, will end up becoming prisoners of the walls they build,” he said.

Maine: Casco’s Kate Hall wins national long jump title

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Casco’s Kate Hall added another title to her trophy case, winning the women’s long jump at the 2019 Toyota USATF Indoor Championships in Staten Island, New York Saturday.

Hall won the long jump with a 6.51m leap.

RELATED: Catching up with newly hired coach Kate Hall

RELATED: Olympic hopeful Kate Hall gets personal about her diabetes

USATF

@usatf

Congratulations to Kate Hall on winning Women’s Long Jump at ! pic.twitter.com/j3ECwkF1ko

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The Casco native, who had an impressive career start while at Lake Region High School, will be forgoing her senior season at the University of Georgia to train in Maine for the 2019 World Championships and a shot at qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

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‘Fake’: Thousands rally in US against Trump’s national emergency

More than 250 rallies held across the US to decry Trump’s national emergency declaration to build the border wall.

People gather to protest against Trump's declaration of a national emergency at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Manhattan [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]
People gather to protest against Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Manhattan [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Washington, DC – Thousands of people rallied nationwide on Monday to protest against the national emergency US President Donald Trump declared last week to help fund his long-promised wall across the US-Mexico border.

More than 250 rallies were organised across the United States on President’s Day, a US government holiday, with protesters carrying banners and placards that called the national emergency “fake”.

“I do think we have a national emergency in this country, this is an emergency to our democratic system,” Angelina Huynh, who joined the rally in Washington, DC, outside the White House with her two preschool children, told Al Jazeera.

As the snow fell in Boston, Massachusetts, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley took to the stage to speak against Trump’s bid to bypass Congress and help free up $8bn in funds for his wall, which was one of his biggest 2016 campaign promises.

Protesters and civil rights organisations called on Congress to take action against Trump’s latest move.

“Thank you other cities & states filing lawsuits! No better way to spend Presidents’ Day than rallying to stop this crazy President [with] his fake emergency to build a wall!” tweeted Congresswoman Maxine Waters before a rally in Los Angeles, California.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Daniel Altschuler@altochulo

“Come for one, face us ALL!”

Immigrants, Muslim, Black and LGBTQ folks, and white allies standing united outside the White House and Trump’s .

Our solidarity is .

Trump declared the national emergency after Democrats refused to cave in to his demand of more than $5bn in funding for the wall. That demand led to the longest government shutdown of its kind late last year and into 2019.

The shutdown ended in late January when Trump, his fellow Republicans and Democrats agreed to temporarily fund the government while talks on border security continued.

Racing against the clock, Democratic and Republican negotiators came to an agreement last week to keep the government open. The deal did not include funds for Trump’s wall but did include about $1.37bn in funding for physical barriers.

Trump agreed to sign the legislation, but also announced he was declaring a national emergency over the border, drawing immediate challenges from Democrats and rights groups.

The president maintains that a wall is needed to stem irregular immigration and the flow of illicit drugs into the country. But statistics show that irregular immigration has been on the decline for decades and most illegal drugs enter the US through official ports of entry.

Angelina Huynh joins a rally in Washington, DC, against Trump’s national emergency deceleration with her two children on February 18, 2019. [Ola Salem/Al Jazeera]

‘How many people are angry?’

Activists and civil rights organisations were joined at rallies on Monday by those affected by Trump’s policies over the past two years since he took office, including those affected by the ban on travellers from several Muslim-majority countries, the crackdown on undocumented immigration and child separations at the border.

“I have a question, how many people are angry?” a speaker called out to hundreds of protesters at noon in Lafayette Park in the US capital. “How many people are sick and tired of being sick and tired?” the crowd was asked as they cheered in response.

Jo Hannah from Texas visited the border in 2017 and said she saw no emergency. Instead, she saw a plan that would devastate wildlife in the area and a plan that could tear down a wildlife centre in San Antonio.

“Around 10,000 monarch butterflies breed in this centre every year, and they are going to tear this centre for the wall,” she said to Al Jazeera from the Washington, DC rally.

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Deborah Rosenman@drosenman

Check out all the people at the against the and his racist agenda. Congress must act now! @MoveOn

Legal challenges

Since Trump’s announcement on Friday, several Democrats said they would challenge the declaration that would help Trump override Congress’ purse power.

Cheers erupted outside the White House as a member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) told a crowd that the civil rights group was preparing to sue Trump for declaring a national emergency.

So far, three Texas landowners and an environmental group have filed the first lawsuit challenging Trump, the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen said.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra told local media that he planned to file a suit as well. In an interview, he said the suit was “definitely and imminently” coming.

New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii and Connecticut are among several states joining the lawsuit, local media reported, quoting the attorney general’s office.

Protesters outside the White House rally against Trump’s national emergency deceleration on February 18, 2019. [Ola Salem/Al Jazeera]

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

The Montana Goose that protected the puppy – Jacqui Voltaire

I am sharing this as it always amazes me how much animals are so far ahead of humans in their instinct to protect and love each other. Something to celebrate and share.
Love,
jacqui
Image may contain: birdImage may contain: bird

A man finds a goose that was shaking with cold stuck to a pole in Montana. As he got closer he realized, wrapped up in her wings, was a tiny puppy she was shielding from the freezing temperatures. We have so much to learn from the animals. Beautiful. (Both the goose and the puppy have recovered, were adopted together, and are doing well.) ??

Kansas City Builds Tiny House Village for Homeless Veterans

FEBRUARY 5, 2019 AT 1:30 PM
Kansas City refuses to leave veterans on the streets, builds them their own “town” for free

Approximately 40 percent of homeless men are veterans, according to The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Nearly half of those suffer from mental illness such as post traumatic stress disorder and another 50 percent struggle with substance abuse.

While government programs do exist to help veterans re-acclimate to civilian life, too many fall through the cracks.

So the citizens of Kansas City and other concerned Americans have decided to take matters into their own hands.

By donating to a private, non-profit organization called Veterans Community Project, founded by fellow veterans, they’re helping build tiny-house communities for homeless veterans around the country.

The first “Veterans Village” was recently completed in Kansas City.

The neighborhood of 50 tiny houses gives struggling veterans the perfect blend of community and privacy, to help them feel more connected and safe. Many struggled to live in group shelters because of PTSD.

“We’re pulling these guys out of the trenches in their battle and saving their lives because they would have done the exact same for us,” co-founder and fellow veteran Brandon Mixon told CNN.

Mixon faced challenges with city officials who didn’t want “another trailer park” built in the city. But because of the overwhelming community support the project received, the city eventually gave in.

In the center of the tiny-house neighborhood is a community center, where the residents can get free health care, mental health care, dental care, and assistance finding jobs.

The houses come stocked with food and household necessities, which can be restocked as needed, until the veterans can get back on their feet again.

The founders say hundreds of cities are interested in replicating the project. The charity’s next stop will be in Nashville, Tennessee.

To donate, visit VeteransCommunityProject.org.

Maine: Sam Crawford, 40, dies trying to save his dog during Orland house fire!

Fire Officials say Sam Crawford escaped the Orland house fire but then went back in searching for his missing dog.

ORLAND, Maine — Fire Marshals say 40-year-old Sam Crawford died Monday night after escaping a fire at his home in Orland and then going back for his missing dog.

Officials say Crawford and four others escaped the house, including Cassandra Morse, 26, Alex Chaffee, 19 and Crawford’s two daughters, Lillian Crawford, 9, and Ella Crawford, 5.

Crawford reportedly moved his skidder to a neighbor’s property and when he returned told survivors he was going to look for his missing dog.

His body was found in the basement late Monday night in the rubble of the burned home. The dog’s body has not been found.

Officials say the fire started in the garage of the home shortly after a space heater was turned on.

Good Samaritan picks up hotel tab for 70 homeless in Chicago

Good Samaritan picks up hotel tab for 70 homeless in Chicago

Ice forms along the shore of Lake Michigan before sunrise, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

A good Samaritan offered to pay for hotel rooms for 70 homeless people in Chicago who were camped out in tents amid the bitter cold that blanketed Chicago.

The offer came after the Chicago Fire Department on Wednesday confiscated nearly 100 propane tanks given the group to keep them warm as temperatures sank to negative 22 (negative 20 Celsius). The department acted after one of the donated tanks exploded.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev said city officials told the organization about their actions at the camp. The Salvation Army was about to move the people to a warming center when the city called again and informed them of the gesture.

Rachev was not sure of the identity of the good Samaritan and only knew the hotel was on the city’s South Side.

Women’s March 2019: Thousands across the US march for third year!

Women and supporters across the US march against Trump amid government shutdown and controversy within the movement.

Washington, DC – Sherry Cain, a 78-year-old Kentucky native, said she’s lived a long time and has seen a lot of change in the world, “but never anything like this in our country”.

That’s why she brought her family to Washington, DC on Saturday for the third annual Women’s March.

“I am just so fearful for their future if continue on this road,” she told Al Jazeera, pointing to the government shutdown, US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and what she called the “abdication of Congress of their duties”.

“We have to do something,” she said.

Four generations of the Cain family – Sherry, her daughter, granddaughter and great grandson – joined thousands of women and their supporters who marched nationwide.

This year’s march came against the backdrop of a partial government shutdown, now in its 29th day, that started after Trump refused to back down on his demand for more than $5bn in funding for a wall on the US southern border.

The forecast of rain and snow in Washington, DC, on Saturday, combined with the National Park Service limited snow removal services due to the shutdown prompted DC organisers to change the route of the march, according to local media. Participants started at Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House, instead of the National Mall, as initially planned.

Sherry Cain brought her daughters, granddaughter and great-grandson to the march [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Protesters marched past the Trump International Hotel chanting, “All for one and one for all, stop the shutdown, stop the wall.”

At one point, a woman released a Trump baby balloon into the air and the crowd started waving, cheering and yelling, “good-bye!”

New US Congress makes history with record number of women

Some held signs that called for Trump to be impeached, others emphasised the need to believe survivors of sexual assault and rape, and many demanded an end to the shutdown.

Raquel Chee held a sign that read, “See me. I am still here.”

“We are here to tell everybody …that we’re not going anywhere,” said Chee, a member of the Window Rock Navajo Nation in Arizona.

She told Al Jazeera she brought her four children with her to the march to give a voice to her brother, uncles and and murdered or missing indigenous people across North America.

“We are here to speak out for them, remember them and bring light on the issue that our relatives go missing and murdered all the time,” she said.

Raquel Chee said she’s march for all the indigenous people who have been murdered or gone missing [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Historic gains

The Women’s March movement began after the 2016 election of Trump. The day after his inauguration in January 2017, millions worldwide marched for women’s rights.

According to organisers, this year’s march focused on the success of the 2018 midterm elections, which saw a record number of women run and get elected to office. The first Muslim women, Native American women, and youngest woman were recently sworn into Congress.

The movement also hopes to turn its attention to the presidential race in 2020.

Thousands marched past the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, chanting ‘stop the shutdown, stop the wall’ [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

In major cities, however, participants held separate marches due to controversy within the Women’s March movement.

In November, Teresa Shook, one of the Women’s March co-founders, accused other organisers of steering “the Movement away from its true course”, referring to allegations of anti-Semitic ties directed at Linda Sarsour, who criticises the US’s policy towards Israel, and Tamika Mallory, who maintains an association with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam.

READ MORE

US Women’s March: Controversy around co-president

In a Facebook post, Shook called on Sarsour, Mallory, Bob Bland and Carmen Perez to step down and “to let others lead who can restore the faith in the Movement and its original intent”.

The four organisers denied the allegations, but Sarsour said in a statement that the movement “should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism”.

Since then several local marches and activists have sought to distance themselves from the national movement.

Despite the controversy, thousands of women showed up to marches on Saturday.

This year’s march came after a year of historic gains for women in politics in the US [Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath/Al Jazeera]

Although the number is far less than the first march in 2017, 19-year-old Howard University student Ciana Moore said it’s still important to continue standing up for everyone has been affected by Trump’s presidency.

“It’s amazing to see all different types of women, all ages, people from all over coming together,” she told Al Jazeera as the Washington, DC march was just getting under way.

“It’s really empowering to be here for each other.”

SOURCE: by / AL JAZEERA NEWS

Maine: Woman’s March 2019

Marchers in Maine marched in Portland, Bethel, Eastport, Machias, and Brunswick.

PORTLAND, Maine — The 2019 Women’s March Maine brought thousands of people together in solidarity to advocate for women all over the state.

Marchers in Maine marched in Portland, Bethel, Eastport, Machias, and Brunswick.

In Portland there were hundreds lining Congress, High, and Pearl streets.

Women's March Maine 2019

Spokesperson for the Women’s March Maine Sarah Gaba says, “We’ve been organizing locally to advocate for the policies that matter to us, and impact women’s lives, and we’re flooding the streets in solidarity with our sisters in DC to remind the country that Maine resists”.

Author: Lydia Libby, Newscenter Maine

Maine: Officer Laurie Kelly becomes Presque Isle’s first female police chief!

Women working in male dominated fields is becoming more common, but seeing it happen can still inspire young girls to reach their full potential.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — So far, 2019 is looking like the year of the woman.

Janet Mills becomes Maine’s first female governor. Sarah Thomas became the first female to officiate an NFL playoff game. And Laurie Kelly becomes Presque Isle’s first police chief.

Friends, family and other chiefs have been calling Chief Kelly to congratulate her on this accomplishment, but being the first female chief was never her focus.

“I knew I would be if I got it, but that wasn’t necessarily a goal of mine. I’ve just been doing it and thought that one day I’d get this far,” Kelly said.

Sgt. Joey Seeley has worked alongside Chief Kelly for about 25 years. He says they trained together, patrolled together and supervised together.

Sgt. Seeley believes Chief Kelly is the right person for the job.

“I always knew she could do the job and there’s no question there whatsoever and she will do a good job moving this police department where it needs to go,” Seeley said.

Kelly has been on the Presque Isle police force for close to 33 years. She says she’s always felt welcomed and accepted, even as the first female patrol officer.

“I think when I first came here, understandably some of them had thought ‘oh am I going to be able to back them up or am I going to be able to do it physically,’” Chief Kelly said. “Then it was like ‘oh she’s ours’ or they were very protective.”

Those she now manages have no doubt she’s the right person for the jobs.

“I always knew she could do the job and there’s no question there whatsoever and she will do a good job moving this police department where it needs to go,” Sgt. Seeley said.

Women working in male dominated fields is becoming more common, but seeing it happen can still inspire young girls to reach their full potential.

“I think it just shows that woman can get into any field they want and excel at it and still reach the goals that they want,” Chief Kelly said.

Regardless of her gender, “I have always been basically one of the guys,” she said with a laugh.

Kelly joins the small club of five other female police chiefs in Wells, Ogunquit, Freeport, Wilton and Westbrook.

Author: Jackie Mundry, Newscenter Maine

Jayme Closs, missing US teen, found alive after 87-day search!

This file photo of an undated image released by the Barron County Sheriff's Department in Wisconsin on October 15, 2018 shows 13-year-old Jayme Closs [File/Handout/Barron County Sheriff''s Department/AFP]
This file photo of an undated image released by the Barron County Sheriff’s Department in Wisconsin on October 15, 2018 shows 13-year-old Jayme Closs

A 13-year-old girl from the US state of Wisconsin, missing since her parents were discovered fatally shot in October, will be reunited with other family members on Friday, the day after she was found malnourished and dirty after apparently fleeing her captor.

Police said they had a man in custody in connection with the disappearance of Jayme Closs and the murder of her parents, James, 56, and Denise, 46, whose bodies were found in their home on October 15.

Jake Patterson, a 21-year-old Wisconsin man, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters at a news conference on Friday.

“I just cried … lots of happy tears,” Jen Smith, the girl’s aunt, told ABC’s Good Morning America programme, describing when the Barron County Sheriff informed her that Jayme had been found alive.

The girl’s disappearance in October made national news and stunned her hometown of Barron, Wisconsin, population 3,400, about 144km east of Minneapolis and sparked massive searches with 1,500 volunteers scouring woods and fields in suburban Minneapolis.

A $25,000 reward was offered for her safe return.

A sign is seen in the small town of Barron, Wisconsin, where 13-year-old Jayme Closs was discovered missing in October [Jeff Baenen/AP Photo]

A woman walking a dog found the girl and knocked on the door of a neighbour’s home and asked them to call the authorities, reported the Star Tribune daily newspaper.

This photo provided by the Barron County Sheriff’s Department in Barron, Wisconsin shows Jake Thomas Patterson [Handout/Barron County Sheriff’s Department/AP Photo]

“This is Jayme Closs!” the unnamed woman told Peter and Kristin Kasinskas, who live around 14km east of Gordon, Wisconsin. “Call 911!”

Gordon is located around 100km north of Barron, Closs’s hometown.

The paper described her as thin and dirty with matted hair and wearing shoes that did not fit.

“‘She’s talking, she’s doing very well,’ they said,” Smith told Good Morning America. Smith said she would see Closs on Friday afternoon.

Late Thursday, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Jayme had been found in Gordon, but he had few other details.

“We promised to bring Jayme home and tonight we get to fulfil that promise,” Fitzgerald said in a statement, thanking the community.