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Lecture examines sexual abuse, forms of protest

first_imgThe Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism hosted a lecture to discuss the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church on Monday evening. The event featured Dr. Brian Clites of Case Western Reserve University, who spoke about his work with survivors of sexual abuse in a lecture entitled “Sacred Protests: Politics and Faith after Clergy Sexual Abuse.” Clites launched into his lecture by objecting to the term “crisis” to explain the current state of the scandal.“Crisis suggests that this is temporally bound in a very narrow and finite way,” Clites said. “I try to resist that language and I slip into it like everyone else, because this has been unfolding for a long, long time.”Clites’s research begins in the 1950s, when the “paper trail” of sexual abuse in the Church began as priests were admitted to treatment programs under the guise of alcoholism and other addictions. Clites traced the progress of the issue through the decades to the 1980s and 1990s, when the first victims began to come forward. Clites emphasized the exhaustion of survivors as the inconsistencies of public interest come and go.“When survivors are in the spotlight, when the rest of us are thinking about this problem, they enjoy a little bit of press, they’re able to share their story, they’re able to share their gospel,” Clites said. “However, they also suffer a lot. Many of them have spoken to me about the depression they go through when we inevitably switch to the next media cycle.”Clites’s research focuses on the ways in which survivors protest and how they strive to make their stories known. Clites discussed the photographs survivors often carry when marching in demonstrations. The often-staged portraits of the victim, Clites said, do not seem to reflect the emotional intensity of the abuse.“Each portrait is a snapshot frozen in time of the precise age and body of the child when they were abused,” Clites said. “Given that each survivor had endured such intimate and horrific suffering, why did they choose these very bland, common photos as the center of their public rituals? What message are they trying to convey by these portraits of their childhood selves? I only learned to appreciate these survivor portraits after I’d attended a few protests.”At these protests, Clites asserted, he learned about the concept of “soul murder,” a term that stems from psychoanalytic theory. Soul murder refers to “the loss of a victim’s sense of selfhood and the annihilation of a child’s core relationships, including with parents, friends and other key social figures,” he said. This concept is especially relevant among victims of clergy sexual abuse.“When survivors picket cathedrals while carrying portraits and artwork of themselves and their loved ones, they’re trying to communicate a spiritual death,” Clites said. “For survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse, soul murder carries the additional weight of abuse which comes ontologically from the hands of God. … When the priests consecrate the host in Mass and is acting ‘in persona Christi,’ he says, ‘Take of this, my body.’ I’ve heard from many survivors just how seriously they took the really real elements of that theology.”Clites recounted the story of Bernadette, one of the survivors he spoke with whose abuse at the hands of a priest and nun starting at the age of eight resulted in dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. Of her 70 reported identities, Clites said, Bernadette’s most powerful is that of Emily, a seven-year-old girl. For Bernadette, one of the symbols of her abuse are the toys with which she, as Emily, plays. Toys, Clites noted, are common items survivors carry in protests and symbolize the loss of childhood.Clites rehashed an experience he had at a march in Chicago that illustrated survivors’ goals in their demonstrations and how these protests serve as ways for survivors to process their suffering. Clites emphasized the importance to survivors of being seen and heard.“By displaying pictures of themselves as children and carrying relics from the time period during which they or their loved ones who were abused, Chicago survivors are not only mourning the event of sexual abuse, they’re also mourning the loss of a Catholicism that they once knew,” Clites said. “They’re mourning the loss of certainty, absolute faith … the Catholic rituals, devotions and emotional displays that characterize their pre-conciliar, pre-rape childhoods.”Despite the unimaginable suffering the survivors have gone through, Clites pointed out that many survivors continue to identify as Catholic. The images and objects they carry, Clites said, illustrate survivors’ faith and the simultaneous spiritual pain they feel toward Church.“By carrying portraits and relics from their soul murder, survivors are not only mourning the event of their abuse, but also the broader cultural possibility of ever fully resurrecting the Catholic world that they once loved,” Clites said.Clites ended his lecture with a brief discussion of what survivors might want from the Catholic community in the wake of their experiences. These responses included acknowledgement of the abuse survivors experienced, recognition of their suffering, concrete penance by the Church hierarchy, support within parish communities and reforms in the Church. Ultimately, Clites said, survivors’ aesthetic choices in their protests are intimately linked with their sense of loss and longing for a return to faith.“By showcasing both their suffering and their faith, survivors wager their need to grab public attention versus their desire to talk to fellow Catholics about the ongoing trauma of their childhood abuse,” Clites said. “Shrines and photographs materialize survivors’ suffering while also demonstrating outwardly their continued belonging within the Catholic Church.”Tags: Brian Clites, sexual abuse, The Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicismlast_img read more

Virus Unleashes Wave Of Fraud In US Amid Fear And Scarcity

first_imgPhoto: PixabayWASHINGTON — A 39-year-old former investment manager in Georgia was already facing federal charges that he robbed hundreds of retirees of their savings through a Ponzi scheme when the rapid spread of COVID-19 presented an opportunity.Christopher A. Parris started pitching himself as a broker of surgical masks amid the nationwide scramble for protective equipment in those first desperate weeks of the outbreak, federal authorities said. Within weeks, Parris was making millions of dollars on sales orders.Except there were no masks.Law enforcement officials say Parris is part of what they are calling a wave of fraud tied to the outbreak. Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is leading a nationwide crackdown. It has opened over 370 cases and so far arrested 11 people, as part of “Operation Stolen Promise,” according to Matthew Albence, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.“It’s incredibly rampant and it’s growing by the day,” Albence said. “We’re just scratching the surface of this criminal activity. ”Parris was on pretrial release for the alleged Ponzi scheme when he was arrested last month in what federal authorities say was an attempt to secure an order for more than $750 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs for 125 million face masks and other equipment.“He was trying to sell something he didn’t even have,” said Jere T. Miles, the special agent in charge of the New Orleans office of Homeland Security Investigations, which worked the case with the VA Office of Inspector General. “That’s just outright, blatant fraud.”Parris has not yet entered a plea to fraud charges and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.Nationwide, investigators have turned up more than false purveyors of PPE. They have uncovered an array of counterfeit or adulterated products, from COVID-19 tests kits and treatments to masks and cleaning products.Steve Francis, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says authorities have tracked counterfeits flowing into the U.S. from 20 countries and for sale through thousands of websites.“There are people popping up who have never been in the business of securing equipment on a large scale,” Francis said.Enter Parris.From his home outside Atlanta, he claimed to represent a company, the Encore Health Group, that had 3M respiratory masks and other protective equipment. At the time, there was a mad scramble for supplies that pitted state and local governments against each other.As outlined in court documents and interviews, his pitch reached a company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that had previously done business with the state and was trying to help government agencies buy PPE. In late March, it contacted the VA, which was then dealing with a critical shortage of protective equipment.The VA was suspicious of the price, about 15 times what it was paying amid the shortage, and alerted its inspector general, which brought in Homeland Security. That resulted in a sting that led to Parris.“He had no means of producing any PPE,” Albence said. “It was just a scam.”But it had some takers. Federal authorities say a Parris-controlled bank account received more than $7.4 million, with most appearing to come from unidentified entities trying to buy safety gear in March and April, according to court documents. He wired some of the money to accounts overseas, including more than $1.1 million to a Swiss company’s bank that authorities say may be a shell corporation.The U.S. government seized more than $3.2 million from his accounts.The Ponzi scheme was unrelated to the alleged attempt to defraud the VA but “is sufficiently similar to the conduct in this case that it is relevant to his plan, intent, and modus operandi,” according to a search warrant affidavit.Miles said a person running a Ponzi scheme “is a special kind of criminal to begin with,” but a person “that will run a completely fraudulent scheme in the middle of a pandemic … that rises to a whole other level of special criminal.”In the earlier case, Parris and his business partners are accused of defrauding about 1,000 people out of at least $115 million from January 2012 to June 2018 by persuading them to turn over their savings for what turned out to be nonexistent investments, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.Another member of the partnership, Perry Santillo, pleaded guilty to fraud in November.As part of the alleged scheme, Parris and the others bought the businesses of investment advisers who were retiring and leveraged the trust those advisers had built up over the years to pitch bogus investments, with relatively modest returns, to their newly acquired clientsFlorida attorney Scott Silver, who represented some investors who sought to get their money back after the SEC shut down the operation, said Parris and the others spent most of it and there was little left to recover.He wasn’t surprised that Parris had been arrested in the COVID fraud case. “He’s already facing 20 years in prison,” he said. “What’s he worried about?”Parris, who was charged in the case in January, grew up in Rochester, New York, and worked as an insurance agent, owned a dry cleaner and got involved in local politics. He ran unsuccessfully for city council and said he was vice president of a local African American Republican committee.“So many people that know me, you know, trust me,” Parris said in a 2015 hearing with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which later suspended his broker license.One of Parris’ alleged victims in the Ponzi scheme, Jane Naylon, said she took guitar lessons from Parris’ father, a reverend at a local church and lost $150,000 in the fraud.Naylon said she attended a hearing in federal court hearing in New York this year and was dismayed when Parris was released on his own recognizance. When her daughter texted her the news weeks later that Parris had been charged for PPE fraud, she said she was in complete shock, but also pleased.“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I hope he goes to jail for life.”Parris is now jailed in Atlanta and is expected to be transferred to Washington to face charges in the VA case. 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Rebel Wilson Has a Killer Night with Assassins Star Aaron Tveit

first_imgHow did Rebel Wilson spend her evening on December 15? Hanging out in London with a cold-blooded killer! Well, not really—Aaron Tveit is as sweet as they come—but in the new Menier Chocolate Factory production of Assassins, he’s unleashing his dangerous side, playing real-life assassin John Wilkes Booth. After the show, Wilson and Tveit (and his awesome new ‘stache) snapped this sweet photo by Broadway.com photographer Bruce Glikas. See the stars collide, then catch Assassins through March 7 at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory! View Commentslast_img read more

Rocky Point Woman Killed in Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 51-year-old Rocky Point woman died in a head-on crash in Middle Island on Thursday evening.Suffolk County police said Traci Gillow, 49, of Sound Beach, was driving a Mercedes-Benz southbound on Middle Island-Yaphank Road when she veered into the northbound lane south of Whiskey Road and struck a Hyundai shortly before 5 p.m.The driver of the Hyundai, Patricia Moon, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.Gillow was taken to the same hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries after Middle Island Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames in her Mercedes-Benz.Seventh Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this crash to contact them at 631-852-8752.last_img read more

Bus Driver Gets 1 Year for Syosset DWI Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A school bus driver was sentenced Monday to a year in jail for crashing a minibus with five children aboard into a Syosset home while he was drunk last fall.Frederick Flowers had pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and other charges at Nassau County court.Prosecutors said the 66-year-old Massapequa Park man was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed the bus into a house on Teibrook Avenue in October.Flowers told the court he was “beyond sorry” and his lawyer said he repeatedly asked how the children are doing, according to NBC New York.The five kids—ages 5, 6, 8 and two age 9—were not hurt and nobody was in the home at the time.last_img read more

What in the world is a #Hashtag

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Winn What do you get when you mix auto loan programs with a desire to help others? Well, approaches that make a difference, of course. So what do you get when … Web: credituniongeek.com Details My parents still don’t understand the concept of a hashtag. If you’re reading this article, it’s possible you don’t, either. That’s ok, since I believe a lot of people are in the dark, yet feel if they asked, people would think them Luddites.Hashtags, written like #this, have only loose historical comparison (if you think of one, please comment below!). On one side, they are catchphrases akin to what you’d see on protest signage or hear repeated at a rally. “Black Lives Matter” or “Yes We Can” are contemporary examples. Upon hearing or reading those phrases, you know exactly the issues being discussed. Those using them become virtual participants in a local, regional, or global exchange.The other side of hashtags is what technology brings. On numerous social media services, from Instagram or Twitter to Snapchat or Facebook, you can add a “tag” to any post. In essence, that means you’re writing a phrase or word with the hash character attached (Ex. #myhashtagexample). It has no spaces, even if there are separate words. Here’s the cool part. When used on compatible services, they become links automatically. If you or anyone else clicks that link, they are brought to a page showing everyone else’s posts using that same hashtag phrase. Nowadays, these pages refresh real-time, meaning, new entries appear as they are written.This special page with everyone’s “tagged” posts (or pictures, videos, links, etc.) can be bookmarked (it’s called a Saved Search) for later access or followed by others with a shared interest. Ever notice the little hashtag at the bottom corner of TV shows or news segments? I remember for the show 24, the tag was #JackIsBack. Breaking news stories may have #electionday14 or similar. If enough people use the tag in a region or within a timeframe, it can be considered a “Trending Topic”. This means the social media sites will further spread it to others to show the “heartbeat” of society at that very moment.Credit Unions use them as well! I’ve been seeing one institution (Affinity FCU, no affiliation) promote a campaign comparing big banks to “Fat Cats”. They make sure to write #FatCatFree on every tweet, image, or video shared to unify them together into a single promotion.For this blog, every post relating to a new entry or just something I feel would be of interest to readers is tagged with #cugeek. Search #cugeek on Twitter and you’ll easily pull up each related post, past, present, and future, as they arrive.Technology can sometimes be overwhelming. Hashtags came into mainstream use so quickly I worry many people didn’t have a chance to understand what they were seeing. I hope this entry helps make sense of this new phenomenon. #hashtagthisyoungpeoplelast_img read more

On Compliance: Avoiding a UDAAP lawsuit

first_img continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Dodd-Frank Act’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the addition of the “abusive” test in the “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices” clause has resulted in an ongoing increase of compliance costs for credit unions. However, the focus on UDAAP is not limited to regulatory compliance risks. Financial institutions, including credit unions, have been targeted in class action lawsuits alleging inadequate disclosures of overdraft protection programs. As with UDAAP claims, the best approach for credit unions to avoid such allegations is to closely analyze their overdraft programs and disclosures and, as necessary, enhance the information provided to members.Available BalanceMany credit unions use the “available balance” (which considers transactions authorized but not yet cleared) to determine whether to pay a particular transaction and also whether to charge a non-sufficient funds fee (when returning an item) or an overdraft fee (when paying an item). Lawsuits allege that the usage of the available balance was not clear and, thus, the overdraft fees were improper because the member’s actual balance was positive.Importantly, using the available balance is allowed. And, there are no regulatory requirements outlining how and when a credit union is required to disclose its usage of the available balance. Rather, the overarching UDAAP standard results in the need to ensure the CU’s overall overdraft program—including usage of available balance—is upfront, clear and transparent to members.last_img read more

US sanctions four Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang

first_imgThe Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.However, China denies mistreatment of the minority group and says the camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.The sanctions were imposed under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, a federal law that allows the US government to target human rights violators around the world with freezes on any US assets, US travel bans and prohibitions on Americans doing business with them.A senior administration official who briefed reporters after the announcements described Chen as the highest ranking Chinese official ever sanctioned by the United States, adding that the sanction is “no joke. Not only in terms of symbolic and reputational affect, but it does have real meaning on a person’s ability to move around the world and conduct business.” The sanctions were also imposed on Zhu Hailun, a former deputy party secretary of the region and current deputy secretary of regional legislative body the Xinjiang’s People’s Congress, Wang Mingshan, the director and Communist Party secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau and former party secretary of the bureau Huo Liujun.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was also imposing further visa restrictions on Chen, Zhu, and Wang, as well as on other unnamed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, barring them and their immediate family from the United States.The US Treasury Department said that Chen implemented “a comprehensive surveillance, detention, and indoctrination program in Xinjiang, targeting Uighurs and other ethnic minorities” through the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.Chen made his mark swiftly after taking the top post in Xinjiang in 2016, with mass “anti-terror” rallies conducted in the region’s largest cities involving tens of thousands of paramilitary troops and police. He is widely considered the senior official responsible for the security crackdown in Xinjiang.The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps in the Xinjiang region.Pompeo earlier on Thursday called China’s crackdown in Xinjiang “the stain of the century … that rivals anything we’ve seen across the globe.”Former detainees of the detention camps report that fellow detainees died after torture and abuse by officials, the Treasury said.In a recent book about his time in the Trump administration, former national security adviser John Bolton said that US President Donald Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping should go ahead with building detention camps in Xinjiang.US Republican Senator Marco Rubio told Reuters the sanctions were “long overdue” and cautioned that steps needed to continue to be taken.”For far too long, Chinese officials have not been held accountable for committing atrocities that likely constitute crimes against humanity,” Rubio said.China threatened retaliation after Trump signed legislation in June with little fanfare, calling for sanctions over the repression of China’s Uighurs.”The United States is committed to using the full breadth of its financial powers to hold human rights abusers accountable in Xinjiang and across the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.Topics : The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Chinese officials, including a member of the country’s powerful Politburo, accusing them of serious human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority, a move likely to further ratchet up tensions between Washington and Beijing.The Trump administration targeted Xinjiang region’s Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who becomes the highest-ranking Chinese official to be hit with US sanctions, and the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau. The highly anticipated action follows months of open hostility toward Beijing in Washington over China’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and its tightened grip on Hong Kong.”The United States calls upon the world to stand against the CCP’s acts against its own minority communities in Xinjiang, including mass arbitrary detention, forced labor, religious persecution, and forced birth control and sterilization,” a White House official said.last_img read more

Lazard, Davis lose out as RBS pension fund targets alternatives

first_imgA more sizable infrastructure portfolio of £120m was also awarded by the main scheme to Hastings Funds Management, and Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) – already responsible for more than £10bn of RBS Group Pension Fund’s assets – won a £17m forestry mandate.LGIM also won a further £145m global credit mandate, doubling the size of credit investments while terminating the £82m mandate held by Standard Life.The manager saw a liability hedging and cash mandate previously overseen my BlackRock split in two – between a £380m liability hedging and a £132m cash and liquidity portfolio.In the report, the fund noted that its continued diversification into alternatives allowed “a reduced concentration of risk in equities”.“The purpose of this diversification is to give the fund a more balanced portfolio, which should generate more consistent returns based on a broader range of assets,” it said.It also saw property investments increase by £200m to £1bn, largely granted to a £393m UK property mandate overseen by Standard Life. A more than £600m (€711m) reallocation of assets from equities to alternatives by the £25bn pension fund for the Royal Bank of Scotland Group has seen mandates by two asset managers terminated.In its annual report, covering the financial year to 31 March, the RBS Group Pension Fund said it reduced its equity investments to £8.6bn, increasing real estate and alternatives holdings, such as infrastructure.It fund said it outperformed its strategic benchmark by 0.9 percentage points over the course of the year, returning 13.8%, and outperformed its three-year target by 1.3 percentage points, achieving a result of 12.2%,It terminated a £377m global equity mandate held by Lazard Asset Management and a £238m mandate overseen by Davis Funds, while in its smaller, £766m section it invested £13m in infrastructure equities and £6m with Nephila Capital, a specialist manager investing in insurance-linked securities and reinsurance risk.last_img read more

Lobby group claims most New Zealanders against euthanasia

first_imgNewsTalk ZB 11 December 2018Family First Comment: “92% of submissions are against it, UP from 77% during the Health Select Committee’s earlier investigation”!Once people consider the issue in depth, the opposition is overwhelming.www.Protect.org.nzAn analysis of public submissions on the End of Life Choice Bill has found a growing number of Kiwis against euthanasia.A team of volunteers from the Care Alliance, who oppose the bill, have analysed more than 20,000 of the record-breaking 36,000 submissions received.Secretary Peter Thirkell says their preliminary analysis shows 92 percent of submissions are against it, up from 77 percent during the Health Select Committee’s earlier investigation“The thing that strikes you is that these are just regular Kiwis for the most part saying what’s important to them. Overwhelmingly, people are quite fearful aboutthe broader social implications of this bill. That comes through strongly.”Thirkell says many are concerned about vulnerable people who could be influenced one way or another.One Christchurch palliative care doctor says she doesn’t support legalising euthanasia.Doctor Amanda Landers was the former chair of the Kiwi branch of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine.She says she had to speak to the initial Health Select Committee when the bill was in its infancy and what she learned concerned her.READ MORE: https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/lobby-group-claims-most-new-zealanders-against-euthanasia/last_img read more