Maine: Lawrence High School students make blankets for hospice patients, and the Good Shepherd Food Bank gets $33,000.

Students in Lawrence High School’s JMG program will make more than 35 blankets to be donated to hospice patients in the Waterville area

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This holiday season, Mainers in hospice care will be receiving a gift, but it will be coming from someone they have never met.

The students in the Lawrence High School’s “Jobs for Maine’s Graduates” program, also known as JMG, are making blankets that will be donated to hospice patients in the Waterville area.

“I think this project is great. I think it gives people in the home comfort and just a little something extra for the holidays,” said Rilee Bessey, a junior at Lawrence High School.

Student plan to make more than 35 blankets to be donated. They are also making holiday cards to be distributed to the patients.

“My students are always looking for ways to give back. They really care about others and doing more things in our community to help those in need,” said JMG specialist at Lawrence High School Katherine Wood.

The students in Wood’s JMG class have worked more than 500 hours doing community service in 2018.

“Understand that not everybody has what you may have,” said Lawrence High School junior Bryson Dostie. “Everybody needs to get a little bit of something around the holidays,” Dostie added.

JMG is program across Maine in 131 schools. The organization’s students worked more than 30,000 hours this year doing community service projects.

And…

Maine’s largest hunger relief organization receives final installment of $100,000 promise!
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The Good Shepherd Food Bank received a check for $33,000 from the Maine Credit Union League to complete a three-year contribution to the food bank

The largest hunger relief origination in Maine now has in its hands, the final part of a $100,000 promise of support.

The donation comes from the Maine Credit Union League who promised in 2016 to provide the food bank with $100,000. Today the MCUL presented a check for $33,000 at the George J. Mitchell Elementary School in Waterville. The Good Shepherd Food Bank donates goods to the school’s food pantry.

At an assembly Wednesday morning, students in the school shared essays in front of their classmates about what the school’s food pantry means to them.

“To hear from students who are seeing it in their classmates and some of them likely experiencing themselves, I think that really hits home,” said Ethan Minton, the Good Shepherd Major Gift Officer.

The George J. Mitchell school food pantry has received more 60,000 meals worth of food from Good Shepherd since 2013.

“It helps highlight how much of a community effort this is and how aware people are of the hunger problem in the state of Maine and what people can do to help alleviate that problem,” said Tim Brooks, the Vice President of Corporate Marketing for the Maine Credit Union League.

The MCUL’s Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised over $8 million since starting the program in 1990.  In 2017, the credit union raised $740,000 for the cause.

AltRight Hero Alex Fields goes on trial over deadly Charlottesville rally, during which he ran into True Patriot Heather Heyer, killing her.

NewJames Alex Fields Jr, left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville where a white supremacist rally took place [Alan Goffinski/AP Photo]

James Alex Fields Jr, left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville where a white supremacist rally took place [Alan Goffinski/AP Photo]

Jury selection in the trial of a man accused of killing Heather Heyer during an August 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia is slated to begin on Monday.

James Alex Fields Jr, a 21-year-old Ohiresident, will stand trial for murder and a spate of charges stemming from the deadly car ramming during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.

During the incident, prosecutors say, Fields slammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heyer and injuring dozens more.

Earlier in the day, Fields was photographed marching with Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group, during the rally. Throughout the day, rally participants clashed with community members, anti-racists and anti-fascists across the city.ng which

Unite the Right, called to oppose Charlottesville’s decision to remove a Confederate statue, was the largest white nationalist rally in the US in recent decades.

A counterprotester holds a photo of Heather Heyer on Boston Common at a ‘Free Speech’ rally organised by conservative activists on August 19, 2017 [Michael Dwyer/AP Photo]

The rally brought out thousands of supporters of the alt-right, a loosely-knit coalition of white supremacists, white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

In Virginia, prosecutors charged Fields with 10 offences, including first-degree murder, five counts of malicious wounding, failure to stop an accident and three counts of malicious assault. If convicted, he could receive a life sentence.

Federal charges

Those charges came in addition to dozens of federal charges. In June, the US Department of Justice slapped Fields with 30 federal charges, among them hate crimes, which could result in the death penalty.

In the wake of the deadly Charlottesville protest, several articles investigating Fields’s history found a lengthy social media trail of neo-Nazi content and racist posts.

Following the rally, far-right participants from across the country faced legal backlash, with a slew of civil suits targeting organisers.

White nationalist, neo-Nazi and far-right groups that took to the streets in Charlottesville saw permits for a spate of subsequent public eventspulled or denied, while hosting services, social media outlets and tech companies cracked down on far-right individuals and groups.

Heyer was among 18 people killed by white supremacists in the US last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Earlier this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigations released its annual hate crimes report for 2017. According to the report’s findings, hate crimes grew for the third consecutive year, increasing by 17 percent.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Heather-Heyer

White House aide Mira Ricardel removed after row with First Lady (and Slovenian immigrant) Melania Trump 

Composite image of Mira Ricardel and Melania TrumpMira Ricardel (left) and Melania Trump, [the “Wicked Witch of the West Wing!] (right)

White House Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel has left her post, following a high-profile row with US First Lady Melania Trump.

A White House spokeswoman said Mrs Ricardel “departs the White House to transition to a new role within the administration”. She did not elaborate.

Mrs Trump this week said that Mrs Ricardel “no longer deserves the honour of serving in this White House”.

The two reportedly feuded during a tour of Africa in October.

The removal of Mrs Ricardel comes amid reports in US media that President Donald Trump is considering a shake-up in the White House West Wing.

Mr Trump may be preparing to remove White House Chief of Staff John Kelly or Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the reports say.

What about the row with Melania Trump?

The announcement of the transfer of Mrs Ricardel was made in a statement by White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Wednesday.

The spokeswoman added that Mrs Ricardel “will continue to support the president”.

According to US media reports earlier this week, Mrs Trump and Mrs Ricardel quarrelled over seating arrangements on her plane.

During her trip there, Mrs Trump told ABC in a rare interview that there were people in the White House who she does not trust.

She said she gave the president “my honest advice and honest opinions and then he does what he wants to do”.

The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that Mrs Trump’s team believed Mrs Ricardel was behind some of the “negative stories” about Mrs Trump and her staff.

The newspaper also reported that she repeatedly clashed with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis over “staffing decisions and policy differences”.

Mrs Ricardel was hired away from the Department of Commerce by National Security Advisor John Bolton, and has decades of experience working in the US government.

She had earlier worked in the defence department under former President George W Bush as well as under Republican Senator Bob Dole when he served as the Senate Majority Leader.

US mid-terms latest: Five key things we learned

The story of election night in two minutes

The dust is settling on the results of the US mid-term elections, and it’s a tale of two chambers.

In the end, it was very much as expected – Democrats took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, and Republicans held the Senate.

There were no major shocks, but plenty of intrigue, and indications of what might happen over the next two years.

Here are our main conclusions.

The number of women running for election this year was at an all-time high, and an unprecedented number ended up winning.

Before Tuesday, there were 107 women in Congress, and that figure has been passed.

Among the many firsts: the first two Muslim congresswomen (Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar); the youngest women ever elected to Congress in New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Iowa’s Abby Finkenauer; and the first Native American women in Congress, New Mexico’s Debra Haaland and Sharice Davids of Kansas.

While we’re talking about notable firsts, it’s also worth mentioning Jared Polis of Colorado, who became the first gay governor in the US.

It’s also important to point out the part Democratic women played in flipping Republican districts. It turns out voters quite like some new energy on the scene.

At about 19:45 EST, Democrat Jennifer Wexton claimed Virginia’s 10th district, that had been held by Republicans since 1980.

At that time, it seemed like a sign of a “blue wave”, the term used for when Democrats have a particularly good set of results.

It didn’t exactly work out that way.

There was a blue wave of sorts, but in the end it rolled in gently to shore. It was a Democratic victory in the House that was totally in keeping with expectations, with no major shocks.

It won’t feel like the tsunami many on the left were hoping for, but a steadily rising tide is still lifting Democrats to enough victories to give them control of the House for the first time in eight years.

With that comes the ability to stop the Trump legislative agenda in its tracks. It also puts some teeth in congressional oversight of his administration.

The comfortable margin of victory matters for Democrats, because the more of them there are in the House, the easier it will be for them to pass votes.

But campaigns that had provided inspiration to progressives – Beto O’Rourke’s Senate race against Ted Cruz, the candidates for governor in Florida and (almost certainly) Georgia – came to naught, even if the results there ended up being closer than expected.

On a more local level, the party’s fresh blood did well, but we’re no clearer to seeing whether Democrats will rally around a progressive candidate for 2020.

It was a mixed night – the loss of the House but the Republican majority in the Senate probably increasing. The House could now launch investigations into the president, demand his tax returns, and could, though may well not, choose to impeach him.

In his first two years in office, both chambers of Congress, held by his party, have largely given him an easy ride. Not any more.

Trump is certain to savour the battle he faces in pushing through his agenda, and will surely enjoy having a bogeyman to blame.

But it was a night of gains too. Republicans were able not only to hold on to their lead but increased it. President Trump himself called it a “tremendous success”.

This was a referendum on Trump himself. A CBS poll released on Tuesday indicated the president was a factor for 65% of people as they took to the polls (39% of whom opposing him, 26% supporting him).

Trump barnstormed the critical Senate battleground states in the final days of the campaign, effectively making the contests as much about him as they were about the individual candidates.

It appears to have been an effective strategy in places like Indiana and Tennessee.

For the most part, areas that backed Trump strongly in the presidential election did so again this year.

This was very much the election of the rural against the suburban that further confirmed the gulfs that are emerging over the country.

The Democrats’ House victory was thanks in no small part to educated suburban districts that had long voted for Republicans, but contained voters that may have been uneasy with Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric.

Look at what happened in parts of Virginia, where the Republican-held 10th and seventh districts in the House outside Washington and Richmond fell to Democrats.

It was a similar story repeated in states across the country, in often surprise results in Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania, for example.

So what does this mean?

It could be a sign of a fight to come for Republicans in the 2020 presidential election. College-educated suburban Republicans backed Trump in 2016, perhaps reluctantly. They appear not be doing so any more. So how does the party bring those people back on board?

There were some interesting developments in the governors’ races. Some states that voted overwhelmingly in favour of Trump in 2016 did not back his party this time around.

Illinois – with almost 13m people and the country’s third-biggest city, Chicago – switched to the Democrats under governor JB Pritzker. In Kansas, Trump ally Kris Kobach didn’t come close in the race for governor.

But in another way, it’s good news for Trump. Vocal supporters of the US president won governorships in Georgia and Florida, after campaigns laced with racist overtones, and stand in good stead to lend him support in the 2020 presidential election.

Republican governors also held Iowa and Ohio, key swing states in presidential elections. Bear in mind that governors are able to help raise funds and volunteers before presidential elections, and this is good news for Trump.

Trump Blames Media for Inciting “Anger” After Bombs Sent to CNN & High-Profile Democrats

STORYOCTOBER 25, 2018

Federal authorities have launched an investigation after pipe bombs were sent to a number of prominent Democrats, all critics of President Trump. The targets identified include President Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Congressmember Maxine Waters and former CIADirector John Brennan. The packages listed Democratic Congressmember Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the return address. Police are also investigating a suspicious package sent to former Vice President Joe Biden and a suspicious package found today at actor Robert De Niro’s restaurant in New York. On Wednesday, CNN was forced to evacuate its New York office after it received what police described as a “live explosive device” along with a container of white powder. It came in a package addressed to Brennan. All of the targets have been vilified by President Trump in the past. Authorities said it remains unclear if the devices were operable bombs or designed to look like bombs. No one has been hurt by the devices.

Sacramento, CA: Video Shows Officers Killing Stephon Clark in His Backyard

H14 stephon clark killed by police

In Sacramento, California, police have released a pair of videos showing the moments before a pair of officers shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark, an African-American father of two who was gunned down in his own backyard. At the time of the killing, officers were investigating a 911 call reporting someone in a hoodie in the neighborhood breaking the windows of cars. One newly released video, taken from a police helicopter, shows thermal images of Clark being pursued outside his home by two officers, who draw their pistols on him.

Officer 1: “All I can tell you is he’s got a hoodie on. He’s running toward the front yard at 29th Street, 29th Street. He’s looking into another car that’s in between the fence and the front yard.”

Another disturbing video, from a body camera worn by one of the officers, shows the moment Clark was killed in a hail of 20 bullets as both officers opened fire.

Officer 2: “Show me your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun! [gunshots] 5-7, shots fired. Suspect down!”

The Sacramento Police Department says officers waited for about five minutes before approaching Clark to administer medical attention after they shot him in his own yard. The officers initially claimed they opened fire after Clark advanced toward them holding an object they believed was a gun. In a separate statement, the department later said the officers believed at the time that Clark was holding a “tool bar.” Clark was found to have only a cellphone on him at the time of his death.

Canada military builds refugee camp for refugees from US

Refugees cross at Roxham Road in Quebec

The Canadian military is building a camp to house the growing number of refugees crossing the US border, officials have said.

The camp would house up to 500 asylum seekers in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, near Plattsburgh, New York.

The construction begins about a week after Montreal turned its Olympic Stadium into a shelter for refugees arriving from the US.

More than 3,300 people crossed into Quebec between 1 January and 30 June.

The military-built camp would house hundreds of asylum seekers in heated tents fitted with flooring and electricity while they wait for their refugee applications to be processed, said a statement from the military.

Patrick Lefort, a spokesman for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation there is currently a backlog of asylum seekers at Roxham Road, a popular crossing point near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

It will take about two or three days for Canada Border Services to process the 700 asylum applications. In the meantime, there is no place for them to stay.