She is currently serving time at the Fort Leavenworth military correctional facility and attempted suicide earlier in the year.
She has missed numerous previously scheduled calls with supporters and her attorney has been unable to get additional information about her whereabouts.
She was sentenced to 14 days in solitary confinement for the attempted suicide. It is not clear whether she began to serve the sentence or not.
SIXTH day of no calls from Chelsea. We *still* have *no idea* what is going on. We continue to be very worried. https://t.co/0ORLZdVHgS
— Chelsea Manning (@SaveManning) October 10, 2016
Manning is serving a 35 year prison sentence for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks while on active duty.
This is a developing story. Stay with RISE NEWS for more as we get it.
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When you look at a map of the Middle East today, what you are seeing is something artificial.
The borders that define these states were not drawn up by local or regional leaders, but instead by Britain and France following World War One.
In an agreement known as the Sykes-Picot System, these borders, often made with little regard for ethno-religious differences, forced the creation of internally fragmented states with groups often in opposition to one another forced to live side by side.
Many have argued that these artificial boundaries and the European imposed version of the nation-state have been flashpoints of conflict within the region for decades, most recently embodied by the Syrian Civil War.
What would happen then if we allowed some of these artificially constructed states to simply dissolve and be replaced by smaller versions formed along ethnic lines?
Is that something that should be done, and could it usher in the peace and stability that so many long for?
Reality meets the map
There are currently several ethnically charged independence movements at play in the Middle East, the most widely known is that of the Kurds.
The Kurds are the third largest ethnic group in the world without a state and are split up among Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq where they maintain a high degree of autonomy, even issuing their own visas for example.
Other groups fighting for greater autonomy and self-governance include the Balochs in Pakistan, the Berbers in Northern Africa, and the Palestinians along the West Bank, who have yet to be official recognized as a state by the UN.
Aside from independence movements, ethnic conflict within the Middle East also takes the form of internal power struggles.
This is the case in Syria where the conflict is sectarian in nature, but doesn’t resemble a genuine effort toward greater autonomy or self-governance among the individual groups fighting.
Instead, it’s multiple groups vying for power over one another within a defined system; the Alawite minority led by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad fighting Sunni factions and the western backed Free Syrian Army for control of the country.
Given the widespread nature of these conflicts, it seems that the idea of a secular European style nation-state being able to keep the peace among various groups has failed to achieve any sort of meaningful stability.
It may be the case that this system simply does not work when applied outside of Europe.
With the last hundred years dominated by civil wars from Lebanon, to Syria, to Yemen, and Iraq, and with insurgencies in Palestine, Turkey, and Afghanistan, the nation-state system is one that lends itself to either outright failure or harsh authoritarianism to maintain order.
States in the Middle East can now be classified into two groups, those that have through strong authoritarianism been able adapt to the artificial structure, and those that have descended into sectarian violence.
The nations of Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan represent Middle Eastern nations that have, though a dense power structure, incorporated elements of the local culture and religion to build up a sense of national identity that transcends tribal relations.
This was made easy in these regions by the fact that the ethnic division were far less apparent than what we see in Syria or Iraq.
In Egypt and Iran for example, both regions have a strong majority ethnic group, Egyptian and Persian, with a rich history to build off.
In Syria and Iraq, the opposite is true.
The countries could be split almost evenly.
Here, there is no dominate group that embodies the region, and thus, attempts to mimic the authoritarianism that has seen some success elsewhere, has only divulged into a near continual cycle of violence.
In these instances, if we want to see an end to conflict, the old borders must be done away with.
We must abandon the old notion of the nation-state as we know it in the Middle East as it has caused widespread death and destruction.
Instead, we should allow smaller states along ethnic lines to spring up and establish a form of governance that fits with their culture.
Until this is achieved, we will continue to see civil wars and insurgencies throughout the region.
The Syrian Civil War has dragged on now for six years, but the Kurds have been in conflict with Turkey for 38 years, and Boloch nationalists in Pakistan have been fighting for independence now since the 1940s!
Conflicts like these won’t end until these ethnic groups are granted their own states.
It is imperative that the West support efforts to see these false states properly re-envisioned and cease polices of reluctance.
In order for such a transition to what many have called “The New Middle East” to take place, there must be a paradigm shift, both in the Middle East and the West.
The idea of the Kurds being granted independence or the resolution of the ISIS problem are both major events that could trigger such a rethinking of the current structure.
If these events were to happen, and we began to see more efforts to divide the old Middle Eastern States into new smaller ones, what then would be the consequences?
The transition would likely follow a similar progression to what we’ve seen in Europe.
Present day Europe with NATO and the EU is all buddy-buddy now, but it didn’t happen overnight or without conflict.
The Netherlands had to fight Spain, Ireland fought Britain, Greece broke off from the Ottomans, Austria-Hungary split up, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Yugoslavia became seven different states.
Oh and there were scores of conflicts that spanned the continent and the centuries.
The lasting peace that Europe has been able to achieve following the resolution of these ethnically based conflicts has not come without a price and the Middle East will likely follow a similar progression should the map be redrawn.
The old order won’t simply give up power, and the prospect of new states raises question for existing ones.
The formation of Kurdistan, which is looking increasingly possible given the support they’ve received in the fight against ISIS and the weakened state of Iraq, will certainly make Turkey nervous.
Will the 15 million ethnic Kurds living in Eastern Anatolia simply pack up their bags and leave their homes for the new nation, or will they be inspired to redouble efforts at independence within Turkey?
These are questions the Turkish government must ask itself and construct policy around.
This is the area where the West can take on a crucial role in the transition.
Western nations can help aid the development of a new Middle East by working to reduce the severity of conflicts that may arise, providing diplomatic support to the new nations, applying pressure to old ones, curbing human rights abuses, and respecting the right of self-determination.
As a leading cause of the current situation, Western nations maintain an obligation to aid the region in such ways.
Currently, major Western powers, such as the U.S., France, and Great Britain, remain reluctant to see the Middle East broken up, instead continuing to support failing governments and interfering with local politics.
Given the amount of influence they maintain in the region, this must change to make the possibility of new states surviving on their own a reality.
The damage of imperialism has definitely been done, and it will take a long time to reverse it.
What is certain though is that the Middle East must change.
It is time for the old structure to be cast off and re-envisioned in a way that takes into account the sheer diversity of the region and addresses the causes of sectarian violence.
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–Palm Beach Post reporter Lulu Ramadan was denied entry to a polling place in Boca Raton after she tried to access it to talk to voters leaving the site.
–According to a series of Tweets, Ramadan was asked to show ID when she attempted to reach the polling place located inside the Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton.
I’m at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton where there’s a polling place for inside the gated community (for a precinct with 2,217 registered voters). I was denied access to the polls as a journalist looking to check in on potential issues/talk to voters. #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/SF4Bz3XTtm
— Lulu Ramadan (@luluramadan) November 6, 2018
–The gate is closed and not open to the public. When she showed her press badge, she was turned away because she is not a voter at the precinct.
–This seems to be a violation of election law as Sun-Sentinel reporter Dan Sweeney pointed out:
Lulu, it’s state law, section 101.71. “There shall be in each precinct in each county one polling place which shall be accessible to the public on election day and is managed by a board of inspectors and clerk of election.” They are violating state election law. Period.
— Dan Sweeney (@Daniel_Sweeney) November 6, 2018
–RISE NEWS called the Homeowners Association at Woodfield Country Club (the entity overseeing the polling place) and was told by the property manager that they had made a “mistake” in denying Ramadan.
–”We just got a call from the Supervisor of Elections telling us we made a faux pas,” Joan Burres, the property manager said. “Sorry that happened.”
–Burres said that the HOA had been traditionally informed that media was not allowed on the grounds of the country club. She also said that they didn’t realize that the site became “public” when it was being used as a polling location.
–Ramadan reports that the site is one of the biggest precincts in Palm Beach County with 2,217 registered voters.
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Davian Watson is crazy for flavored nuts.
Well, actually he’s loko about them.
A junior at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Watson is also the founder and CEO of Loko Nutz.
He’s a constant presence at local farmers markets and is hustling to get his unique product out to the masses.
A Kansas City, MO native, Watson says that Loko Nutz was created out of boredom for his usual go-to snacks.
We recently spoke to Watson about his company and what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur in the Magic City.
RISE NEWS: How would you explain what Loko Nutz is to someone who has never heard of them before?
Watson: Loko Nutz are outrageously flavored nuts designed to help families and friends live a little through snacking guilt-free. The recipes originated from a combination of my Kansas City culture and newly developed pallet for Miami cuisine. I also use customer feedback to create new outlandish flavors via Facebook and in-person suggestions at my farmer’s market booth.
RISE NEWS: What have you learned from starting a business?
Starting a business has taught me the importance of maintaining an organized schedule in my personal and professional life so that Loko Nutz can develop and expand. It is my responsibility to ensure that I am performing well in school and at work as a student assistant for a high volume department so that my business will continue to grow.
RISE NEWS: What are the biggest challenges with your business?
Currently, my biggest challenge is my lack of knowledge about the business world. I want to already be at the top of the small business owner market, for everyone to know about the Loko Nutz brand, and to instinctively think Loko Nutz whenever a snack craving rises—but I know it takes years of hard work and dedication to become a household name. Therefore, I guess you can say that my second challenge is my lack of patience.
RISE NEWS: Is it hard starting your own company as a young person?
Starting your own company at any age presents its own unique set of challenges; but with determination, ambition, and the right support system, I have found myself reaching new heights and learning new information every day!
RISE NEWS: How are your sales? How are you getting your products out to the public?
I am overwhelmed at the positive responses I have received from the Upper Eastside Farmers Market, my peers, and chefs here at Johnson & Wales University. Currently, I am working on the anticipated December launch of my online store, www.lokonutz.com, and expanding my social media presence. I currently sell at Upper Eastside farmers markets located at Legion Park on Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
RISE NEWS: What does your family think about you starting your own business?
My family have been my biggest supporters and advisors. They believe with hard work and persistence anything is possible. It seems they cannot get enough of Loko Nutz!
RISE NEWS: Do you have any friends who help with it or is it all just you at this point?
I have a dedicated group of friends that are my go-to people whenever I am testing out a new flavor that will potentially join the Loko Nutz menu. Fortunately, I already know that no business gets to the top on their own and I am extremely grateful to those who have taken time out of their day to give feedback on packaging ideas, tasting new flavors, and even driving to the Upper Eastside Farmer’s Market to purchase one, two or three bags of Loko Nutz.
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