Court rules Sierra Leone government policy banning pregnant girls from attending school is a breach of human rights

Anonymous photograph of a school girl around ten years old, wearing a sleeveless blue school uniform dress and carrying a black bag, walking along pavement past motorbike

Girl on her way to school in Sierra Leone

West Africa’s top court orders Sierra Leone to revoke a ban on pregnant girls in school, ruling it's a discriminatory violation of the right to equal education.

This is a great victory! Finally, the girls have had their day in court and have emerged victorious. The ECOWAS court has given them their voices back and by that a chance at life again.”

— Judy Gitau, Equality Now

ABUJA, NIGERIA, December 12, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice has found that the government of Sierra Leone breached the right of pregnant girls to education by prohibiting them from accessing school.

In a succinct and powerful judgement, the Court found that the Government had not only put in place a discriminatory policy barring pregnant girls from school but had also failed to put in place measures to reduce teenage pregnancies in line with the National Strategy for the Reduction of Teen Pregnancies, which was adopted after the civil war.

The Court found that the Government had discriminated against the girls by setting up parallel schools that were suboptimal and limited as girls would only be taught four subjects and learn just three days a week.

In a landmark decision for the West African region and Africa in general, the Court declared the ban discriminatory and ordered the Government of Sierra Leone to lift it with immediate effect.

Further, the Court ordered the Government to put in place measures including social programmes to address increased numbers of teenage pregnancies and sensitize the communities against discrimination.

WAVES, Child Welfare Society, Equality Now and Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa IHRDA filed the case against Sierra Leone’s government in May 2018.

Speaking in Abuja at the sidelines of the judgment reading, Hannah Yambasu Executive Director Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (W.A.V.E.S) said she was overjoyed. “This victory belongs to the girls in Sierra Leone who have been degraded and dehumanized because of their status since 2014. Now our government in Sierra Leone has no option but to comply with their obligations as declared by the Court.”

Judy Gitau, Africa Regional Coordinator at Equality Now, was at court as the agent of the girls, and said, “This is a great victory! Finally, the girls have had their day in court and have emerged victorious. The ECOWAS court has given them their voices back and by that a chance at life again.”

Amnesty International was Amicus Curiae in the case and was also present at the judgment reading.

The Court sought clarification since the government of Sierra Leone had initially denied the existence of a policy and claimed it was an unfortunate statement by a state minister. The Court held that the Government took what was a sporadic practice of banning pregnant girls from accessing school and entrenched it as state policy.

The Court specifically held that:

● There exists a policy which was discriminatory against pregnant schoolgirls in Sierra Leone as it barred them from attending mainstream schools. The Court held that the Government was in breach of its commitments and responsibility under both local and international law particularly Articles 2, 3, 17, 18, 25 of the African Charter; Article 21 and 28a of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Articles 1 and 3 of the Convention Against Discrimination in Education.

● With regard to alternative schools for pregnant girls, the Court held that the establishment of separate schools with four taught subjects operating three days a week was discriminatory and a violation of the right to equal education.

● The Court ordered that the prohibitive policy be revoked with immediate effect and that the Government of Sierra Leone take steps to abolish the alternative schools established for pregnant girls.

● The Court asked the Government to develop strategies and nationwide programmes that focus on reversing negative societal attitudes that support the discrimination and bias against pregnant girls. These strategies and programmes must enable teenage mothers to attend school.

● The Government was ordered to integrate Sexual Reproductive Health Rights into the school curriculum and to increase knowledge on family planning and contraceptive to address high teenage pregnancy rates.

Editor’s notes:

Sexual violence remains widespread in Sierra Leone with women and girls bearing the brunt. In 2018, the Family Unit of the Sierra Leone Police recorded 8,505 rape cases including 2,579 that involved minors. Many more went unreported owing to various gaps in reporting systems and the associated stigma and shame.

Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (W.A.V.E.S) is a registered indigenous non-governmental organization with its vision, mission and values geared towards women’s empowerment and protection. WAVES strives to achieve a non-violent, non-discriminatory and non-exploitative environment for women and children.

Equality Now is an INGO and human rights organization founded to advance the rights of women and girls globally. It holds governments responsible for ending legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence and harmful practices such as FGM and child marriage. Equality Now champions legal and systemic change by setting important legal precedents and exposing barriers that hinder access to justice.

Equality Now has been working with W.A.V.E.S, Defence for Children International (DCI) Sierra Leone, Women’s Partnership for Justice and Peace (WPJP), Graceland Sierra Leone, Child Welfare Society (CWS), and the Education for All Coalition – Sierra Leone, to call on the government to lift the ban on pregnant girls attending regular schools; make schools are safe spaces for girls, and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence are punished.

We are Purposeful is a feminist movement-building hub for adolescent girls that amplifies girls’ voices; resources their resistance; builds solidarity between and across girls’ movements, and catalyzes collaborative philanthropy and support innovation in grassroots programming with and for girls.

Purposeful convened a coalition for girls’ education in Sierra Leone, launching a political advocacy campaign underpinned by media outreach to bring attention to the deep injustice of Sierra Leone’s ban on pregnant girls’ school attendance.

The Coalition for Girls Education comprises over 30 organizations among them national NGOs, UN Agencies and international NGOs that focus on conveying the importance of girls’ access to education, sparking a national conversation on the impact of the ban of the rights of girls in Sierra Leone. It is a subset of the Sierra Leone Adolescent Girls Network and works to empower adolescent girls with improved health, social, economic and cognitive assets while protecting their human rights and elevating their status.

Tara Carey
Equality Now
+44 7971 556340
email us here
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Source: EIN Presswire

Silverthread Capital Corporation Expands Services With New Hires

Silverthread Capital Corporation

Small Independent Boutique Capital Advisory Firm Attracts Talent With Its Novel Business Model

Intermediaries are the stars and thus recognized with higher compensation and support than legacy mortgage-brokerage business models are able or willing to provide.”

— Adam Petriella

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 12, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Silverthread Capital Corporation, formerly a portfolio company of a successful NYC based alternative asset management firm continues its growth as an independent Intermediary providing capital advisory to owners of commercial real estate.

Adam J Petriella, Managing Partner is pleased to announce the expansion of the Silverthread network. The most recent professionals to join the company are Richard Garfinkel, Jay Arana, and Dante Shackelford. Each of these professionals brings with them years of deal-making and finance intermediary experience and relationships.

"Silverthread is a unique platform with a simple premise, Intermediaries are the stars and thus recognized with higher compensation and support than legacy mortgage-brokerage business models are able or willing to provide," said Petriella.

Each of the new hires will be market leaders in New York, Connecticut, and Michigan, respectively.

Adam Petriella
Silverthread Capital Corporation
+1 212-500-2087
email us here


Source: EIN Presswire

Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center Now Urges a Navy Veteran in Utah with Mesothelioma to Call Them for Direct Access to Erik Karst of the Law Firm of Karst von Oiste-For a Much Better Compensation Result

“We offer a free service called the list. The 'list' documents how, where and when a Navy Veteran with mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos before the navy, while in the navy and after the navy.”

— Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, USA, December 12, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center is 100% focused on making certain a Navy Veteran with mesothelioma anywhere in Utah receives the best possible financial compensation settlement results. They are urging a Navy Veteran with this rare cancer or their family members to call them anytime at 800-714-0303 for a brief conversation about the financial compensation process and direct access to attorney Erik Karst of the law firm of Karst von Oiste. Erik and his colleagues at the law firm of Karst von Oiste are responsible for over a billion dollars for financial compensation for Navy Veterans or people with mesothelioma or asbestos exposure lung cancer.

Rather than offering a 'free' book, kit, or overnight package the Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center offers direct access to attorney Erik Karst the founding partner of the law firm of Karst von Oiste. Erik Karst has been assisting Navy Veterans with mesothelioma for two decades and he knows navy ships, submarines and navy shipyards.

It is this kind of knowledge that will be incredibly helpful for a Navy Veteran with mesothelioma because Erik Karst will know the right questions to ask the Veteran. Erik Karst or his colleagues at the law firm of Karst von Oiste can typically be in a Navy Veterans home within 48 hours for a face to face meeting about how the Navy Veteran was exposed to asbestos. For direct access to attorney Erik Karst of the law firm of Karst von Oiste a Navy Veteran with mesothelioma in Utah or their family members are urged to call 800-714-0303-anytime. www.karstvonoiste.com/

The Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center says, “We also offer a free service we call the list. The 'list' documents how, where and when a Navy Veteran with mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos before the navy, while serving in the navy and after the navy. It is this incredibly vital information that becomes the basis for a mesothelioma compensation claim-and it could dramatically increase a Navy Veteran's compensation if they have confirmed mesothelioma as we would be happy to discuss anytime at 800-714-0303." https://Utah.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

For the best possible mesothelioma treatment options in Utah the Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center strongly recommends the following heath care facility with the offer to help a diagnosed victim, or their family get to the right physicians at this hospital.

* The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City: https://healthcare.utah.edu/huntsmancancerinstitute/

The states indicated with the highest incidence of mesothelioma include Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Washington, and Oregon. However-mesothelioma does happen in Utah. www.karstvonoiste.com/

High-risk work groups for exposure to asbestos in Utah include US Navy Veterans, oil refinery workers, public utility workers, power plant workers, plumbers, pipefitters, electricians, auto mechanics, machinists, or construction workers. In most instances a diagnosed person with mesothelioma was exposed to asbestos in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, or 1980’s. https://Utah.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

For more information about mesothelioma please refer to the National Institutes of Health's web site related to this rare form of cancer: https://www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma.

Michael Thomas
Utah Mesothelioma Victims Center
+1 800-714-0303
email us here


Source: EIN Presswire

Idaho US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate Now Appeals to A Navy Veteran or Person with Lung Cancer in Idaho Who Had Heavy Exposure to Asbestos to Call for Direct Access to the Lawyers at Karst von Oiste-Compensation!

To get the compensation job done for a Navy Veteran or person with asbestos exposure lung cancer in Idaho the Advocate has endorsed the remarkable lawyers at the law firm of Karst von Oiste. ”

— Idaho US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate

BOISE, IDAHO, USA, December 12, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Idaho US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate fears that most Navy Veterans or people with lung cancer in Idaho will not link their lung cancer to asbestos but people who had heavy exposure to asbestos are five times more likely to get lung cancer than people who were not. What people like this do not realize is the $30 billion dollar asbestos trust funds were not just set up for people with mesothelioma-they were also set up for people with asbestos exposure lung cancer too as the group would like to discuss anytime at 800-714-0303.

The Advocate says, "If you are the wife, adult son/daughter or a friend of a Navy Veteran or person with lung cancer and you are certain they had heavy exposure to asbestos while serving in the navy or at a workplace please give them our number and please have them call us at 800-814-0303. The financial compensation for people might exceed a hundred thousand dollars. Even if the person smoked cigarettes, we want to do everything possible to help people like this to get compensated in Idaho and or nationwide." https://Idaho.USNavyLungCancer.Com

To get the compensation job done for a Navy Veteran or person with asbestos exposure lung cancer in Idaho the Idaho US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate has endorsed the remarkable lawyers at the law firm of Karst von Oiste. The lawyers at the law firm of Karst von Oiste are responsible for over a billion dollars in financial compensation for people with asbestos exposure lung cancer in Idaho and nationwide. For direct access to the lawyers at the law firm of Karst von Oiste please call 800-714-0303-anytime. www.karstvonoiste.com/

The Idaho US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate is very proud to help the people with asbestos exposure lung cancer or mesothelioma in Boise, Nampa, Meridian, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Coeur d’Alene, Twin Falls, Lewiston or anywhere in Idaho.

High-risk work groups for exposure to asbestos in Idaho include US Navy Veterans, workers at the Naval Reactors Facility outside of Idaho Falls, miners in Northern Idaho, power plant workers, public utility workers, manufacturing workers, smelter workers, pulp or paper mill workers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, machinists, or construction workers. In most instances these types of people were exposed to asbestos in the 1950’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, or 1980’s. https://Idaho.USNavyLungCancer.Com

According to the American Cancer Society for nonsmokers who have been exposed to asbestos in their workplace the risk of lung cancer is five times that of unexposed workers. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/statistics/index.htm.

States with the highest incidence of lung cancer include Kentucky, West Virginia, Maine, Tennessee, Mississippi, Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Alabama, and Delaware. www.karstvonoiste.com/

For more information about asbestos exposure please visit the NIH's website on this topic: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/asbestos/asbestos-fact-sheet.

Michael Thomas
Idaho US Navy Veterans Lung Cancer Advocate
+1 800-714-0303
email us here


Source: EIN Presswire

Red Piranha closes latest Capital Raise oversubscribed

Red Piranha, Simplifying Cyber Security

Topping off a standout year, Red Piranha has completed its recent capital raise in the amount of AUD $2.5 million, far exceeding initial expectation.

To monitor and control sophisticated threats, we need to continue to evolve, moving from traditional security measures to apply advanced threat detection and monitoring techniques”

— CEO, Adam Bennett

SYDNEY, NSW, AUSTRALIA, December 12, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — The offer which opened on 18 November 2019 and closed on 4 December 2019, with assistance from its lead manager, Canary Capital, initially sought AUD $1 million, going to market with 4 million shares on offer, priced at $0.25 cents per share.

With the option to take oversubscriptions up to the total amount of AUD $2.5 million, or 10 million shares, Red Piranha’s board decided to accept oversubscriptions to the full amount.

This latest capital raise sees Red Piranha’s value at just over AUD $30 million.

The company continues to set a new standard in the tech-industry with standout achievements this year, including the launch of Crystal Eye 3.0, partnering with Downer Defence to develop a security program to support Australia’s critical infrastructure, achieving 60Gbps IDP/S Suricata throughput resulting in a new world record, and the appointment of COO Terry Walsh, former CEO of CISCO Canada.

Red Piranha also took out two prestigious awards in 2019 being named ‘WA Cybersecurity Team of the year’ and taking out the coveted “Consensus Innovation Award” following in the footsteps of Atlassian and Wise Tech Global.

Since beginning its journey in October 2015, Red Piranha’s Crystal Eye is now the world's most powerful Unified Threat Management (UTM) platform featuring the industry's first in-built gateway application whitelisting as well as email scanning, data loss prevention, advanced firewall technology and several other innovative features, that collectively provide exceptional security orchestration, automation and response.

“To monitor and control sophisticated threats, we need to continue to evolve, moving from traditional security measures to apply advanced threat detection and monitoring techniques”, said Adam Bennett. Red Piranha Chief Executive Officer. “A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution uses intelligent defence, adaptive analytics and integrated controls to detect and demolish the attacks in real-time.”

Designed with the SMB industry in mind, realising the lack of affordable options available, Crystal Eye helps Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) and their clients to defend against cyber-crime, the Crystal Eye platform provides a ‘plug and play’ solution that is both easy to use and affordable with proven security techniques and multiple layers of protection to keep data safe.

Red Piranha will utilise the funds it raised to expand its core teams and further develop and commercialise Crystal Eye, capitalising on opportunities available in emerging regions in both domestic and international markets.

Through an ongoing partnership with organisations such as AustCyber – the Industry Growth Centre for Australia’s cybersecurity, Austrade and most recently Downer Defence, Red Piranha is helping increase Australia's national threat intelligence ecosystem with world-leading protection.

Read more about Crystal Eye on Red Piranha’s website: https://redpiranha.net/

For more information on future investment opportunities, please contact Canary Capital https://canarycapital.com.au/

Shannon Fleming
Red Piranha
+61 402 337 485
email us here
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Source: EIN Presswire

Survey of Guam Residents Reveals Broad and Deep Opposition to Cockfighting and Other Forms of Animal Cruelty

Cockfighting Ring

Animal Wellness Brands Logo

Cockfighting Map

Cockfighting Map

Cockfighting Match

90 percent of Guamanians want to see territorial anti-cruelty law passed, while 61 percent back the federal ban on cockfighting

Our poll results reveal that Guamanians are concerned about animal cruelty on Guam in overwhelming numbers.”

— Jay R. Merrill, President of Market Research & Development, Inc.

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 11, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Today, the Animal Wellness Foundation and Animal Wellness Action released topline polling data from a comprehensive, statistically valid survey of Guam residents about animal cruelty and cockfighting, with the survey revealing deep and broad support for an upgrade of the territory’s anti-cruelty law and for the federal ban on cockfighting. The poll, conducted by Market Research & Development, Inc. sampled 400 Guamanians, over a two-week period which concluded on December 12th.

The results of the poll indicate:

· Nine out of ten Guamanians (89%) are concerned about the mistreatment of animals on Guam.
· About 90% believe animal cruelty laws on Guam should be strengthened.
· Only 7% of Guamanians have been to a cockfight in the last year.
· Only two out of ten (21%) Guamanians favor cockfighting while 60% oppose it.
· More than half (52%) of residents are not aware of the federal ban on cockfighting scheduled to go into effect on December 20.
· When it comes to the federal ban on cockfighting, 60% favor the ban and only 25% oppose it.

"Our poll results reveal that Guamanians are concerned about animal cruelty on Guam in overwhelming numbers,” said Jay R. Merrill, President of Market Research & Development, Inc. “Nearly everybody polled wants to see the Guam’s animal cruelty laws strengthened. In addition, a solid majority oppose cockfighting and support the federal ban.

The Congress upgraded the federal law against animal fighting nearly one year ago, giving cockfighters and law enforcement a one-year grace period before the comprehensive ban takes effect. The measure takes full effect on December 20th, banning animal fighting, possessing animals for fighting, attending cockfights, and other associated activities.

“This poll should serve as a wake-up call to all of Guam’s political leaders,” noted Wayne Pacelle, founder of Animal Wellness Action, a national organization promoting legal standards against cruelty. “The people of Guam don’t support staged fights between animals, and they are appalled by the idea that people attach knives to the roosters’ legs and watch them hack each other to death – all for our entertainment and for gambling.”

All 50 states ban cockfighting, and the federal government has enacted a comprehensive ban on cockfighting. Within recent weeks, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has advised village mayors not to seek permission for cockfighting events at their festivals, because the activity is forbidden under federal law.

Earlier this week, AWF and Animal Wellness Action announced a rewards program to run for an indefinite time that provides a $2,500 reward for any individual who provides critical information that results in a successful federal prosecution of an individual or set of individuals who violate the federal law against animal fighting (7 U.S.C. § 2156). The publicizing of the rewards program will concentrate on the U.S. territories, where cockfighting is explicitly outlawed starting on December 20, 2019. The rewards program is mentioned on the new campaign website, www.endcockfighting.org, which will serve as a comprehensive resource about the issue and call citizens to action to help. AWF and AWA also today announced the launch of an advertising campaign to raise awareness about illegal cockfighting activities and urged cockfighting enthusiasts to observe the rule of law.

“It is a great honor to be part of an organization with a group of people whose mission is to help protect and defend animals from inhumane practices and cruelty.” said Chanel Cruz Jarrett, a former Miss Guam and the anti-cockfighting spokesperson for the Animal Wellness Foundation. “I’ve always been an advocate for the fair treatment of all animals and I am thrilled to know that, of the people on Guam who were polled, there is a huge percentage who are like-minded and want to see the cruel and unfair animal practices come to an end.”

Market Research & Development has been conducting consumer and public opinion research on Guam, the CNMI and Micronesia for more than 30 years. The survey results are based upon 400 random interviews of residents selected through a two-stage random sampling of households, and then a random selection of a respondent living in the household over the age of 18. The survey was conducted via telephone utilizing published landline and mobile phone numbers. The results are accurate to with +/- 5% at the 95% confidence level.

The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Wayne Pacelle
ANIMAL WELLNESS ACTION
+12028215686
email us here
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Source: EIN Presswire

Britain Should Hold 2nd Referendum and Not Snap Election Write Fmr WH Spkmn Weiner and Analyst Clarke in The Independent

Robert Weiner

August Clarke

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 11, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Former White House spokesman Robert Weiner and Policy Analyst August Clarke wrote an op-ed just published in the Independent about how their view from across the pond is that Britain should hold a second Brexit referendum instead of a snap election. With the 2016 Brexit vote being so close, British citizens could choose to stay in the EU.

Weiner and Clarke begin, "From across the pond, there’s a question puzzling Americans: Why would your parliament issue a snap election and not a second referendum? After all, another vote would better reflect what the public wants from its leaders."

They continue, "Much like our 2016 Presidential race, voting for the prime minister comes at a highly precarious cost. Do you vote for an unpredictable and irresponsible conservative populist like Boris Johnson – who has shown he can only govern with his political fervour by ramming through legislation and illegally suspending parliament? Or do you go with Jeremy Corbyn, an establishment socialist whose policies seem skeptical and vision is unnerving?"

They explain, "This December election only reassures the UK and the EU of one thing: Johnson’s ego-centred self. The election is nothing more than a motivator for his conservative impasse to continue their unflinching dominance on the political to-do list; with withdrawing from the EU sitting high at the top of it."

They go on, "What is essentially Johnson’s vote on himself, is a temporary stall to the unending political chaos that has been plaguing your politics for years. Unfortunately, this fire is too big to put out and a quick-fix snap election is like pouring gasoline over the log that started it."

They remark, "Instead, the people of the UK should vote on Brexit for themselves. An election would further enable PM Johnson and his Conservative Party to push their scheme of pulling out of the EU without any political cost."

They write, "The first referendum vote was extremely close. With a general election on board the Brexit ship, repeating political indecision will guide it to nowhere but open water. So why doesn’t parliament and Johnson use the tool they have and vote again? Certainly, Britons might opt overwhelmingly for “Remain”, thus ending the confusion and the chaos."

They continue, "Johnson seems the most probable to win the election. Polls are still showing that Corbyn and the Labour Party – Johnson’s main opposition – are trailing by nine points. Corbyn is remarkably unpopular, which shouldn’t be shocking due to his contradictory stance on Brexit, where he is both willing to negotiate a new deal, yet backs another referendum."

They explain, "Labour’s platform is trying to please both Brexit supporters and opponents, which likely turn out to be unsuccessful. Amid such polarisation and a “once-in-a-generation” election, it would be smarter if the Labour party were thorough “Remainers” – fighting back against Johnson and his Brexiteers."

They go on, "If Johnson wins, then Corbyn will almost certainly lose his position as a leader and any chance of a second referendum would be almost off the table."

They remark, "If Corbyn won, promising an immediate second referendum once he assumed leadership should be the first thing he does as prime minister. He should make certain not to advance on negotiations or set any deadlines until the public have voiced whether they want to leave or remain."

They write, "Johnson and the Conservatives are staking their political fortunes on the promise of delivering Brexit by 31 January, even without a deal at hand, which they believe they can pull off by December 2020. In the three years since the UK voted by a narrow margin to quit the bloc, the debate has gone far beyond the superficial promises of Brexiteers like Johnson, who painted a rosy and starry-eyed picture of Britain outside the Union."

They argue, "The Christmas election speaks less about what the people want and more about what Johnson wants. It is a disguised political manoeuvre that reflects PM Johnson’s interests over the populous – who may just want to remain in the EU now that they see the chaos and division that goes with getting out."

They assert, "Johnson and Theresa May, the former prime minister, have done everything but give people a new voice on the issue. And with a shaky Corbyn as the beacon of liberal hope, it is clear that the Conservatives’ decade-long dominance may continue to reign, bringing with it corruption, chaos and a possible EU-free future."

They conclude, "In America, we're not lucky enough to have your national referendum option. You are the ones who perfected democracy. All we are left with when it comes to look-alike Donald Trump is impeachment, which will happen soon in the House but will not get the super-majority in the Senate. So, we will be stuck with him until the 2020 election, but at least we have a legislative process where our appropriations can block his "wall" and we can get other things done. You, on the other hand, have a referendum process – we don't understand why you don't use it."

Link to published article: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/general-election-brexit-boris-johnson-trump-corbyn-us-second-referendum-a9240306.html

Robert S Weiner and Ben Lasky
Weiner Public News and Solutions for Change
+1 301-283-0821
email us here


Source: EIN Presswire

URGING FCC TO APPROVE 9-8-8 DESIGNATION ON DECEMBER 12

RI International and Behavioral Health Link strongly support the FCC voting to approve 9-8-8 designation on December 12.

PHOENIX, AZ, UNITED STATES, December 11, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Call 9-8-8 in Suicide and/or Mental Health Crisis
On February 16, 1968, the first 9-1-1 call was made in the US in Haleyville, Alabama. A decade earlier, the National Association of Fire Chiefs recommended use of a single number for reporting fires. At the time, families had multiple emergency numbers on the fridge pulled from the phone book. That simply wasn’t working and we collectively determined fire, police and medical emergencies required a readily accessible, easy to remember national three-digit number. The rest is history.

50 years later we still don’t have a comparable number for suicide, mental health and addiction crises. We’re the only country in the world seeing dramatic increases in suicide (49 out of 50 states), opioid deaths and alcohol-related deaths. Over 10 million Americans per year are seriously contemplating suicide, but the path to accessing care has been very confusing to most.

The legacy of crisis care has been delays and detainment in hospital EDs and jails. Denials of care have been common. On a person's worst day, we've collectively sent the message we couldn't be bothered. Establishing 9-8-8 is the first milestone to a new day and vision of caring and effective urgent and emergency care available to anyone, anytime, anywhere. (See WP article by Reps. Seth Moulton and Chris Stewart "988: How a 3-Digit Suicide Prevention Hotline Can Transform Access to Care.”)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center Network
The first mental health crisis hotline began in 1958 in Los Angeles with communities across the country following suit over the next 40 years. In 1999, the first national number was announced by US Surgeon General David Satcher with 1-800-SUICIDE. Funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the national hotline was changed to 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in 2005.

In 2019, it is anticipated that 2.5 million calls will be answered by a national network of 165 local crisis call center on 1-800-273-TALK. While this number is growing year over year, these same crisis centers continue to answer more than 10 million additional crisis calls on their local, city, county and state crisis lines. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been administered by Vibrant Emotional Health since 2005, and assures 24/7 free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress as well as to friends and family members of people in distress.

Redirect all 9-8-8 Calls to Lifeline Network
In November, FCC chairman Ajit Pai, took a critical step in announcing his intention to establish 9-8-8 as the nationwide number for mental health and suicide emergencies; mirroring what the three-digit-number 911 is for medical crises. In his announcement, Pai said all calls would redirect to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. He stated that after considerable analysis, his staff thinks the FCC can get 988 up and running faster than other 3-digit numbers and that “quicker access will mean more lives saved.”
The network of 165 accredited crisis call centers represents the best this nation has to respond to 9-8-8. These organizations are local and connected to their community resources, community mental health, hospitals, social service and first responders.

Anticipated 9-8-8 Crisis Call Volumes
National engagement in suicide prevention and improving mental health and addiction care has never been higher in the nation’s history. Quickly, promotion of 9-8-8 will yield two most important phone numbers in the US. 9-1-1 for fire, police and medical emergencies, and 9-8-8 for mental health crisis.

First, the 2.5 million calls to 1-800-273-TALK and the 10+ million calls on local city, county and state crisis lines will transition to 9-8-8. There are an additional undetermined number of callers to 9-1-1 who would more appropriately reach out to 9-8-8. And, there are thousands of families per year who don’t know who to call and are concerned about the police response of 9-1-1 and simply drive to the closest local hospital emergency department.

This means that the current 1-800-273-TALK volume will likely increase ten-fold in the first couple of years as these crisis calls collectively gather with the network of crisis call centers responding to 9-8-8; many of which are now going to local crisis lines or 911. We would anticipate a minimum of 15 to 30 million calls within three to five years.

Ensuring Financial Support for Consistent Access and Support
While there is currently a $14 million federal appropriation for 1-800-273-TALK, this funding only supports the routing of the calls to 1-800-273-TALK and the administration of the network, with research, quality, technology and national overflow. There is currently no material funding for the local crisis call centers (most receiving a token stipend annually of a few thousand dollars only).

This means that the current approach patches together the resources of local city, county and state crisis lines to deliver our national response. This does not adequately support consistent access for the current 1-800-273-TALK calls so some go unanswered and individual and/or their family are left without vital help.

At the November press conference on 9-8-8, Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, SAMHSA Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, stated we must fund these services for them to be successful. We have a roadmap for success in the Veteran Administration’s resourcing and strong success with those who call the Lifeline and press ‘1,’ for the Veteran’s Crisis Line (which is estimated to have fewer than 1 million calls in 2019, but funding of nearly $100 million).

Legislation should include careful study of all aspects of crisis service that include:
A. local crisis center costs with capacity demands and quality performance expectations;
B. national network oversight and operations costs,
C. communications and marketing campaign costs; and
D. estimated call volume projections relative to promotions campaigns and improved access.

www.RIInternational.com | #CrisisTalk | #HopeIncStories
www.BehavioralHealthLink.com | #ZeroSuicide

Karen Jones
RI International
+1 602-636-3092
email us here


Source: EIN Presswire

Reps. Grijalva, Nadler, Gaetz, Cohen, Schweikert, & Others Join to Save Our Iconic American Horses Amidst Impeachment

Wild Horse Helicopter Roundup

Wild Horse Helicopter Roundup

Bipartisan Leaders Work Together to Defend Against Special Interest Groups' Plan to Eradicate Wild Horses from Federal Lands

We must continue to do everything within our power to defend these symbols of our nation from their strategically planned eradication negotiated by the Humane Society, ASPCA, and pro-slaughter crowd.”

— Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, December 11, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote late yesterday to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate appropriations panels with oversight of the Department of the Interior (DOI) to urge funding limits and additional clarity on a dangerous and costly Bureau of Land Management (BLM) pilot program to manage wild horse populations in the West.

The letter, available at http://bit.ly/2RDM29C, is addressed to U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), chair and ranking member respectively of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; and U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and David Joyce (R-Ohio), the chair and ranking member respectively of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.

The House and Senate versions of the Interior-Environment appropriations bill – which are currently being reconciled – each include funding for an untested pilot project that calls for a dramatic increase in roundups and removals. The House bill provides $6 million in additional funding for the program while the Senate bill provides $35 million, and each bill includes report language calling for a total removal of 130,000 horses over the next decade.

As the authors point out, “That plan has never been presented for consideration in the authorizing committees of jurisdiction, would triple the number of horses and burros in holding, and could cost taxpayers billions.” They also note concerns that the House and Senate report language “opens the door to surgical sterilization procedures” that face opposition “by many stakeholders, including veterinarians.”

The authors urge appropriators to take three steps in a final conference version of the funding bill:

• Limit new funding for the pilot program to the $6 million contained in the House bill;
• Clarify report language so new funding can be used solely on implementing the Porcine Zone Pellucida fertility control vaccine; and
• Clarify report language to ensure it prohibits use of any appropriated funds to conduct surgical sterilization procedures.

In addition to Grijalva, the letter is signed by Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), who chairs the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands; and by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; David Schweikert (R-Ariz.); Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.); Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.); Joe Neguse (D-Colo.); Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.); Dina Titus (D-Nev.); Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.); Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.); and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Co-Chair of the Congressional Horse Caucus.

“We applaud Chairman Grijalva’s tremendous leadership and tireless work to prevent the devastating roundup and incarceration of our iconic American wild horses, whose very backs this country was built upon,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a lifelong horseman. “We must continue to do everything within our power to defend these symbols of our nation from their strategically planned eradication negotiated by the Humane Society, ASPCA, and pro-slaughter crowd.”

"We commend House Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva for leading a bipartisan group of lawmakers in requesting restrictions on funding appropriated in the FY 2020 spending bill that would impact America’s federally protected wild horse and burro populations,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign. “We are deeply grateful to Rep. Grijalva for continuing his longstanding work as a great champion for wild horses.”

“We thank Chair Grijalva for his leadership on this important issue," said Ginger Kathrens, Founder of The Cloud Foundation. "The appropriation of additional funds to this program, especially as BLM has failed to present any kind of plan to Congress, would be a grave mistake. If Congress chooses to appropriate additional funds, we strongly support Chair Grijalva. There are intelligent, cost-effective ways to manage healthy herds on healthy rangelands, but this plan is not one.”

Marty Irby
ANIMAL WELLNESS ACTION
+1 202-821-5686
email us here
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Source: EIN Presswire

Surge in Children on Dangerous Psychiatric Drugs Not Just a U.S. Problem

Millions of children are given psychiatric labels for normal childhood behavior and prescribed psychiatric drugs that drive them to commit violent acts and suicide.

Millions of children are given psychiatric labels for normal childhood behavior and prescribed psychiatric drugs that drive them to commit violent acts and suicide.

The headquarters for CCHR Florida are located in downtown Clearwater.

The headquarters for CCHR Florida are located in downtown Clearwater.

The side effects for Ritalin (methylphenidate hcl), include nervousness, agitation, and anxiety as the top 3 listed effects, as well as psychosis.

The side effects for Ritalin (methylphenidate hcl), include nervousness, agitation, and anxiety as the top 3 listed effects, as well as psychosis.

Currently over 7 million U.S. children are being prescribed psychiatric drugs, with more than 600 thousand between the ages of zero to five.

Currently over 7 million U.S. children are being prescribed psychiatric drugs, with more than 600 thousand between the ages of zero to five.

CCHR calling upon lawmakers to take action in light of recent reports highlighting a dramatic increase in the number of children on dangerous psychiatric drugs.

Parents are not being told the dangers associated with psychiatric drugs and as a result they may too easily give permission for a prescription and regret it much later.”

— Diane Stein, President CCHR Florida

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, December 11, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Today in the United States approximately 7.2 million children between the ages of 0 to 17 are using prescription psychiatric drugs, and almost half of them are on drugs due to being labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This epidemic of drugging children is not just occurring in the U.S. A recent report revealed that there has been a 500% increase in the number of children prescribed psychiatric drugs over the past decade in Ireland. [1]

The psychostimulant, methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, is one of the drugs prescribed to children who have been labeled as ADHD and comes with such side effects as nervousness, agitation, anxiety as well as psychosis. [2] Methylphenidate is a Schedule II drug, which means the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies it as having a high potential for abuse. At the same time, the DEA warns that methylphenidate produces many of the same effects as cocaine and that psychotic episodes and severe psychological addiction have all been associated with methylphenidate use. [3]

One Dayton, Ohio father recounted how his son had complained of having “dark thoughts” while on drugs for what was labeled as attention deficit hyperactivity. This same father buried his son in 2018 after the teen committed suicide within 3 weeks of having been prescribed an antidepressant with a black box warning. The father states that the “black box warning was never brought up” and “neither was the fact that the drug prescribed is not FDA-approved for patients younger than 25 and therefore was off-label.” [4]

Outraged at the significant number of children prescribed psychiatric drugs, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to the protection of children, is calling upon lawmakers to take action and hold the psychiatrists prescribing these deadly drugs accountable.

“Parents are not being told the dangers associated with these drugs,” said Diane Stein, President CCHR Florida. “True informed consent is not being done and the psychiatrists doling out these drugs need to be held accountable when they violate the law.”

As part of a campaign to educate parents on their rights, CCHR hosts regular seminars and workshops on the mental health law, parental rights and the dangerous side effects of psychiatric drugs. To learn more or to reserve seats at the next seminar please call 727-442-8820.

About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969. For more information visit www.cchrflorida.org

Sources:
[1] https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/nearly-500-increase-in-number-of-children-prescribed-psychiatric-medication-965376.html
[2] https://www.rxlist.com/ritalin-side-effects-drug-center.htm
[3] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cchr-alerts-parents-about-new-federal-statistics-showing-rates-of-youth-overdose-deaths-on-adhd-stimulants-and-benzodiazepines-are-greater-than-on-cocaine-300507566.html
[4] https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/teens-and-antidepressants-what-parents-need-know-about-suicide-warnings/R0m9XBOp5rXsRG1wUBWUcP/

Diane Stein
Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida
+1 727-422-8820
email us here
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CCHR – Childhood is Not a Mental Disorder


Source: EIN Presswire