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.

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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.