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Tennessee Amber Alert: 15 year old Elizabeth Thomas disappears

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15 year old Elizabeth Thomas is still missing
15 year old Elizabeth Thomas is still missing

   One of Tennessee’s ten most wanted, Tad Cummins, has been accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Thomas. She was reported as missing on March 13, and authorities issued an Amber Alert a day later after investigators discovered that Cummins was missing too. Her disappearance came after an incident that occurred on Jan. 23, when students saw Cummins giving Elizabeth “a peck on the lips” in a classroom. They both made statements denying that they kissed.

   On January 31, the district gave Cummins a reprimand and told him not to allow Elizabeth in his classroom. Anthony Thomas (Elizabeth’s father) had no idea about the allegation until January 31. He confronted his daughter about it, but she said nothing was going on. “She also said that Tad was just her teacher and she was sort of a friend of his … that the girl who had made the complaints had lied,” Thomas told HLN on Tuesday.

   As investigators kept researching, they found that Thomas had been searching on the internet for teen marriage. “We don’t want to go into specifics because he might still be using some of that … but suffice it to say that is an issue that we have some major concerns of because it might potentially speak to his intentions for her,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said.

   Elizabeth Thomas was last seen by her friend who dropped her off at a restaurant in Columbia, Tennessee. Cummins was captured on surveillance footage pumping gas nearby. Police and family are still on the look for her.

President Trump fails at repealing Obamacare

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  In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, there have been many varying opinions on how the rest of it will play out. From blocked travel bans to Twitter disputes, President Trump continues to keep the public on their toes.

  One of his first and most memorable promises to his followers was his plan to repeal Obamacare. When asked if he had a replacement plan, he didn’t give much insight. Trump and his administration put in a vote to repeal Obamacare, and the trial was televised, leaving no questions as to what went on in the courtroom.

  As more and more evidence was brought to light, it looked as if the case was leaning towards a disappointing outcome for the Trump administration.

  At the end of a very stressful day for President Trump, the hearing ultimately cancelled the attempt to repeal the current healthcare plan due to how expensive the replacement plan turned out to be.

  The new plan the administration was attempting to implement would start to tax the lower to middle class, based on an ideology that since the wealthy can afford their own health care, they shouldn’t have to pay taxes for those who cannot.

  This then brought up the issue of their complaint about how expensive Obamacare was for the country, and the lack of correlation between that and them now trying to tax their poorest citizens.

  President Trump has not retracted any statements on how ineffective he believes Obamacare to be, however, in the press conference Ryan Paul held after the failure, he did give insight into there being a revised plan in the works.

Donald Trump and Paul Ryan responds to the failed Obamacare repeal. Photos courtesy of nytimes.com.
Donald Trump and Paul Ryan responds to the failed Obamacare repeal. Photos courtesy of nytimes.com.

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Team USA skates toward equality

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 After months of negotiating, and nearly two weeks of striking, it appears that the American women’s hockey team succeeded in achieving full and equal wages, an endeavor that garnered support from other athletes and even Congressmen. This started nearly 14 months ago, when the female hockey players began talking with USA Hockey about a possible increasing in earnings and benefit.

  Conflict steadily increased throughout the past month, beginning on March 15, when the members of Team USA, including Meghan Duggan and Jocelyne Lamoreaux-Davidson – cornerstones of the team who have played for years – decided to boycott the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. This created issues for USA Hockey, as the championship starts March 31 and takes place in Michigan; had the players continued to boycott, it would have shone a bad – or worse – light on the organization.

  U.S.A. Hockey had been paying the women a fraction of what the men had been receiving, with barely any benefits. Originally, they refuted this, saying that the women were capable of obtaining a maximum of $85,000, a large amount of which would come from incentives. This was a statement that Lamoreaux-Davidson would later refer to as misleading “because $37,500 of the $85,000 would be earned only if the team won a gold medal, and $24,000 of that figure comes from [United States Olympic Committee], not U.S.A. Hockey,” said Seth Berkman of the New York Times.

  Things looked bleak for the strikers when USA Hockey began to turn towards high school, collegiate, and minor league female players in order to replace them. Ahiza Garcia of CNN said, “On Saturday, two high schoolers, Cayla Barnes and Natalie Snodgrass, tweeted that they’d been approached by USA Hockey and turned down spots on the replacement team.”

  However, the women were finally able to achieve full wages on Monday, after hours of discussion. This new deal, which lasts for four years between the team and the USA Hockey organization, gives the players a monthly salary of $2,000, and includes significant improvements in the quality of their treatment.

  Garcia, in a different article, said, “USA Hockey paid for the disability insurance of players on the men’s team but not for players on the women’s team.” This does not even include the fact that, prior to this new agreement, while the men sat in business class and had the opportunity to bring a guest, which the organization paid for, the women sat in coach and had to share rooms with teammates rather than guests. In addition, the female players also experienced slower and less efficient medical treatment and examination.

  According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, “This season, the women’s national team could collectively earn anywhere from $850,000-$950,000 depending on their performance the rest of the year, including at the upcoming World Championship in Plymouth, Mich., and $950,000-$1 million in the years that follow.”

  While this has been a huge step for the female Team USA – and gender equality in general – there are still some social miscues. For example, the University of North Dakota, a school renowned for its hockey teams (both male and female), which produced Lamoreaux-Davidson and her sister Monique Lamoureux-Morando, just announced that it will end its women’s team (during recruiting no less). A move that has irritated numerous members of Team U.S.A., including the Lamoreaux sisters, it makes their hunt for equality even more special.  

  The efforts of the team members (which earned support from Congress) have shown extreme courage and promise, but there is more work to be done.

  The IIHF Women’s World Championship begins on March 31, with Team USA playing Team Canada at 7:30 P.M.

After winning their negotiations, Team U.S.A hopes to win the World Championship. Photo courtesy of usahockey.com.
After winning their negotiations, Team USA hopes to win the World Championship. Photo courtesy of usahockey.com.

Spring break creates diverse plans

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A51675A7-714D-4309-AA35-7E08C4B94F7A-9215-000004ED1ABDBFBD_tmpSpring break is an exciting time of year for everyone who partakes in it. Based off of a little experiment conducted in a coffee shop in downtown Delray, there is a close relation to lots of the trips families plan!
A large majority of spring breakers we have are from places as far as Montreal and Quebec in Canada. All of the tourists I spoke to from these places spoke French and had strong French-Canadian accents. They all said very similar things when asked about why they come to Florida (Delray in particular) for spring break; all opinions coincidentally pertained to the weather. Naomi (last name unknown), fluent French speaker from Quebec, said that, “At home it’s beautiful, I will not complain ever about where I’m from. But sometimes it’s nice to get away from the 10 degree F (Fahrenheit) weather. I take a few months every year to defrost.”
Two other very popular places tourists seem to be from are New York and New Jersey. As a surprise, opinions among these families were also similar to each other’s and to the Canadians’. A large majority of tourists are fleeing from the cold, dry weather and coming to the tropical “heat,” even though for us Floridians weather has been off lately!
Obviously, our beautiful Delray Beach, Florida is a very popular tourist destination all times of year, but spring break in particular is one of the biggest and busiest times. As far as going out of town, two popular Florida spring break locations for Florida residents are Orlando (Disney World and Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure) resorts and the Florida Keys. At some point in every Floridian’s life they will vacation here.

Stopping human trafficking

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 My freedom Day is on March 14, 2017 and aims to help raise awareness for human trafficking. Human trafficking is “the practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another” according to google.com. There are three types of trafficking: sex trafficking, forced labor, and debt bondage. Forced labor, also known as involuntary servitude, is the biggest sector of trafficking in the world, according to the U.S. Department of State. The human trafficking industry makes about $32 billion dollars per year.

  Human trafficking isn’t just in the US; it’s a global problem. In Europe, over 140,000 victims are trapped in a situation of violence and degradation for sexual exploitation. In Boynton Beach, three men were accused of kidnapping a 19 year-old and trying to force her into prostitution. They were not successful.

  During an interview with the girl, she said, “I was in fear for my life” on The Palm Beach Post article by Julius Whigham II. All over the world, there are victims from at least 127 countries that have been reported to have been exploited in 137 states. In human trafficking, the average cost of a slave is $90. Out of the millions of people enslaved, 1 in 5 victims of trafficking are children, although in poorer regions they make up the majority. Women make up two thirds of the trafficking victims.

  There are many things the world can do to help annihilate human trafficking. One thing people can do is to research and get informed about the problem. Then, people can donate money to people or victims that have seen or been through human trafficking. The community can also help raise awareness to help human trafficking get attention.

A young girl, tied and bonded, symbolizing what life as a sex slave is like Credits to: thelogicalindian.com
A young girl, tied and bonded, symbolizing what life as a sex slave is like
Credits to: thelogicalindian.com

Blizzards pound the northeast

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Spring break is meant for fun. People travel to different states that house many exotic beaches and tropical getaways. Recently, snowstorms have hit the northeast. The snowstorms brought at least two inches of snow. On Monday, the biggest storm pounded the northeast this winter.

  Tuesday, the New England area was graced with more than two inches of snow. The snowstorm canceled more than 5,900 flights. With flights being canceled, many residents in the northeast were unable to go to a tropical getaway for spring break.

  The storm knocked out power to over 100,000 residents from Virginia to Pennsylvania (PA). Many schools closed, and city officials issued warnings to stay off the roads. Unfortunately, there were some incidents that occurred; a 16-year-old girl was killed on a snowy road when she lost control of her car.

  “The winters seem to be upside down now. January and February are nice and then March and April seem to be more wintry than they were in the past,” Bob Clifford, Albany resident, said. In Rhode Island, a wind turbine was knocked down due to high winds. Two homes under construction collapsed, but thankfully no injuries were reported.

  Inland areas got hit extremely hard by the storm. Vernon, Washington  D.C. and New Jersey got at least 19 inches of snow. New York was graced with 2 feet or more, while PA and Massachusetts (MA) got one foot of snow.

  There were more than 3,300 flight cancellations in the New York area, putting a halt to passengers’ planes and leaving them stuck at the Kennedy Airport. The train company Amtrak canceled transportation in the area also. A newlywed couple, Laura and Matthew Balderstone of West Yorkshire, England, planned to enjoy a tropical honeymoon in Florida, but due to the blizzards and snowstorms, they were stuck at the Newark airport.

   The New England residents have experienced heavy snowfall. This winter weather has put a halt to many people’s spring break plans. They will just to have to wait for better days and sunny weather.

 

The current winter weather advisory for the northeast is pictured above. https://weather.com/forecast/national/news/spring-temperature-forecast-march-april-may-2017
The current winter weather advisory for the northeast is pictured above.
https://weather.com/forecast/national/news/spring-temperature-forecast-march-april-may-2017

 

 

 

New footage opens eyes in Ferguson

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  New video footage has launched that can completely alter the events of the Michael Brown case from 2014. This footage, released as a portion of the documentary Stranger Fruit, posits that the Ferguson teenager may not have actually stolen a pack of cigarillos, the crime that was originally reported on Aug. 9, 2014. Instead, the video shows Brown revealing a bag which he gave to the workers of the Ferguson Market & Liquor that he would visit again nearly 12 hours later.

  Some, such as Jason Pollock, the director of Stranger Fruit, which chronicles the truth behind Brown case, believes the bag contained marijuana, and Brown had used it as a way to trade for the cigarillos. He left the pack in the store however, eventually coming back for them later in the day. According to RT News, within the documentary, Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, discussed what she believed happened. “There was some type of exchange, for one thing, for another,” McSpadden said.

  Even before this possibly revolutionary news came out, this was one of the most controversial trials in the past few years, especially since it incited multiple protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. Brown, an 18 year-old from Ferguson, MS, was chased by police officer Darren Wilson in hopes of apprehending the alleged thief.

  Although the exact events of the chase are not known, the chase resulted in Brown being shot and killed. Wilson, on the other hand, did not leave unscathed, as the New York Times said, “A medical examination indicated that Officer Wilson had some swelling and redness on his face.”

  Witnesses had conflicting statements about what happened between Wilson and Brown, but eventually when Wilson went to trial, he was not indicted for killing Brown.

  However, it seems suspicious that during the trial, only the second part of the security footage was included – the part that shows Brown taking the cigarillos moments before the police arrived. Pollock said, “They destroyed Michael’s character with the tape, and they didn’t show us what actually happened. So this shows their intention to make him look bad. And shows suppression of evidence.”

  Despite Pollock’s beliefs and the documentary that he created, it does not help to clarify anything. In fact, it makes the events surrounding Brown more confusing and has created even more arguments. Christopher Brennan of New York Daily News said, “St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said Monday afternoon that release of the video was ‘clearly an attempt to distort this and to turn it into something it isn’t.’”

  While it is unknown what will happen next with regards to Ferguson and the Brown case, this new footage, if anything, has caused more controversy.

This image, showing Brown in the Ferguson Market & Liquor store, comes from the Stranger Fruit documentary Jason Pollock created about Brown’s case. Photo courtesy of fox2now.com.
This image, showing Brown in the Ferguson Market & Liquor store, comes from the Stranger Fruit documentary Jason Pollock created about Brown’s case. Photo courtesy of fox2now.com.

Casey Anthony speaks out on life after her case

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  Casey Anthony is widely recognized from the court case involving the murder of her two year-old daughter, Caylee. The trial took place in Orlando, Florida roughly nine years ago.

  Her trial concluded in the verdict being “not guilty,” and after all of this time, she finally broke her silence in an intimate interview in which she talked about how she thought her late daughter would be living now.

  Anthony said, “Caylee would be 12 right now. And would be a total bada**,” She goes on to say, “I’d like to think she’d be listening to classic rock, playing sports.”

  Her eerily calm exterior has been something that shocks people, dating all the way back to the trial. She went as far as disclosing information about her “short lived romances” due to her past, as well as how healthily she sleeps at night. She still claims and reiterates that she has no idea what happened to her daughter.

  Since the initial interview, Anthony’s father George has put out a statement, saying that “his heart hurts” in result of the negative picture his daughter painted of the police in her interview. He goes on to speak about how he and his wife had attempted to move on from that tragic period in their lives and they were very unhappy to have been brought back to it.

  The interview served as a way to give people closure as far as the initial shock of the verdict goes. It has received many mixed emotions.download

Philly mob flashes terror in local eyes

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   Nearly 30 teenagers were arrested on Monday, March 6, after a “flash mob” of close to 100 young adults caused havoc among the streets of Philadelphia. At the moment, there is little information about the mob, although it is believed to have been organized beforehand. 

  CBS Philly said, “Police say the group gathered in the area of 15th and Market Streets around 5:30 p.m., and began fighting and running in and out of traffic with no regard for others.”

  Supposedly, the group of teens created panic and trouble, especially with civilians and people trying to stop the violence.  One police officer was even injured after attempting to prevent the mob from hurting anybody.

  However, there were multiple victims, including a group of girls who were cornered into a bank and sprayed with mace.

  Some experts and police officers are under the impression that the flash mob was organized via social media, although they have yet to find proof. They also have not figured out a corroborated reason behind this destructive movement.

  According to 6ABC, “Police say the nice weather, coupled with several area schools dismissing early, only perpetuated the war of words between various students on social media – later playing out on the streets.”

  While multiple participants in the mob have been arrested for disorderly conduct, at least four expect to be charged with aggravated assault for their actions on Monday night. A significant amount of information is missing regarding this event, but Philadelphia officials have not shied away from condemning it.

  Claire Sasko of Philadelphia Magazine said, “SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III tweeted that the flash mob was ‘definitely the worst’ he’s seen.”

  Although situations similar to this have happened before in Philadelphia, the police are looking for ways to prevent this, whether within the city or society.

 A large fight erupted among the teens participating in the mob on Monday. Photo courtesy of sputniknews.com.
A large fight erupted among the teens participating in the mob on Monday. Photo courtesy of sputniknews.com.

Strike in France on international women day

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  • france_journee_femme20090307g.jpg
    french Women protesting on International women day. image courtesy Rfi

 Yesterday was International Women’s day, a holiday that, according to the Telegraph, “celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality.” Reaching gender equality was the main goal of women in France.

 At 3:40 p.m., some walked out of their jobs because a strike was called by union and women’s right groups in France. The reason why they chose 3:40 pm was because, according to RFI, a french radio station,  “that’s the time [in] an average eight-hour work day that they effectively stop being paid compared to their male colleagues.” The gender pay gap has been a topic of discussion around the world; in France however, according to a french study conducted by Malthide Pak, women make about 80% of part time male job workers.

  One reason why most women work part-time is because they are more likely to have domestic tasks, so they cannot work full time; it would not allow them to take care of the house and sometimes children. This may be also why the average wage gap is so high, since those jobs tend to pay less than full time jobs.

  Women in France are paid about 20% less than men according to the study. These protests/strikes occurred not just in France, however, but around the world, with women asking for equal rights, work opportunities, and more.

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