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-Ken Russell is a City of Miami Commissioner who is one of the leading Democratic candidates for Congress in the 27th District.
-The seat is currently held by retiring Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the district by nearly 20 points and is considered one of the most likely Democratic pick ups in the 2018 Midterms.
-Russell has been on the City Commission since he ran in 2015. He ran after getting angry about the city’s response to a toxic park near his house. On the commission, he has been a reliably progressive voice.
-Russell used to be a professional yo-yo player and he traveled the world as an ambassador for the sport. He also ran a kiteboarding company before getting into politics.
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This story is part of a series on the 27th Congressional District race.
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David Richardson Would Be The First Gay Congressman Ever Elected From The South. Will He Also Be Trump’s Nightmare?
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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Updated: 8:34 PM EST
Over 370,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump to be banned from the United Kingdom due to his controversial statements about Muslims in recent days.
Members of Parliament will now have to decide whether they wish to debate a motion relating to the aims of the petition, which is titled, “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry”.
“The signatories believe Donald J Trump should be banned from UK entry,” The petition reads. “The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has called Trump’s rhetoric ““divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong” according to TIME.
Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Exchequer (analogous to Treasury Secretary) George Osborne also bashed Trump.
“The best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust and democratic debate, and to make it clear his views are not welcome,” Osborne said of Trump according to the Guardian.
“If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful,” the petition reads.
It is unclear whether Trump could be in any danger of actually being banned from the country.
Stay with Rise News. We’ll update this story as developments happen.
Cover Photo Credit: thierry ehrmann/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 357
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Mexico has a long and historic tradition of welcoming refugees from all over the world and unlike its closest neighbor to the north, it is still living true to that tradition.
As a gesture of support to reinforce the international community’s confidence in Mexico’s advocacy for peace, the country welcomes Syrian refugee students through its “Project Habesha“.
Project Habesha is a humanitarian initiative with the main goal of welcoming 30 Syrian students to Mexico for the purpose of providing them with a college education.
Welcoming Syrian students also provides Mexico with the opportunity of promoting intercultural dialogue as an inspiration for development and creating an atmosphere of understanding and sympathy within Mexican society.
Habesha has already brought 10 students to Mexico.
With the support of private universities and organizations, these students will receive a full scholarship as well as medical insurance and a monthly allowance for their personal expenses.
Last week, after a long flight and a rigorous selection process, Silva Namo and Jackdar Mohammed arrived to Mexico City.
“Thanks to Habesha, we have hope again and something real for the future,” Mohammed said, two days after arriving to Mexico City. “Habesha has helped us and, just as Habesha has helped us, I want to help countries that are in war. There is nothing impossible.”
Since 2011, millions of people have fled from the country as a direct result of the conflict in Syria and its neighbouring regions.
This has led to the greatest humanitarian crisis in decades.
Namo, a 22 year old student from the Syrian province of Malikiyah, reflected in an interview with RISE NEWS how the war in her homeland has affected her life.
“In the beginning, it was really difficult to live in refugee camps,” Namo said. “We were forced into another way of life with people we didn´t know. You lose everything. You lose direction and you don’t know what you’re going to do with your future; you walk around without thinking or knowing what the next step is.”
In only two days after Namo and Mohammed’s arrival in Mexico, they said that they felt big and positive changes in their lives after experiencing Mexico’s culture.
“A big change for me is the food,” Mohammed said. “In two days I have eaten a lot of things. The food is really good and spicy. I like it.”
Before attending college in Mexico, Namo, Mohammed and the other Syrian students will spend six months studying Spanish in the state of Aguascalientes.
“This is our chance to learn and to do as much as we can to be stronger and provide something in the future,” Namo said.
Mohammed’s studies were interrupted due to the increasing violence and development of the war in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
Today, he looks forward to starting his economy degree again.
“[The] Economy can help me and my country,” Mohammed about the field he is interested in pursuing. “It can have a great impact in Syria’s future. [The] Economy will be needed for rebuilding the country, creating factories and jobs and working on development.”
Namo’s goal is to make an impact not only in Mexican communities, but also in Syrian communities too.
To achieve this, she will study Business Administration.
“Everything is developing so quickly. Syria will need technology and development,” she told RISE NEWS.
For Namo and Mohammed, coming to Mexico is not only a personal achievement.
They plan to use their studies to aid Syria in its uncertain future.
“Syria needs us,” Mohammed said. “We are the generation that has a chance to complete their studies outside of the country. That’s the people Syria needs right now for its future. We, as students, are the hope for Syria’s future.”
It’s part of Mohammed and Namo’s goal to return to Syria.
“This education is not just for me, it’s for all Syrians,” Mohammed said, “I want to learn and have new experiences so I can go back and transmit it to those who may not have a chance to complete their studies.”
Project Habesha is providing Syrian youth with an opportunity to receive a college education.
Mexico is providing these Syrians with a place to call home.
“It’s an amazing feeling to come into these people who are really nice and friendly,” Namo said. “People have welcomed us and have let us know that this can be our home too. I’m away from my country but I feel safe and I feel at peace.”
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.Post Views: 588
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By Leslie Ovalle
In 1977, after one year in prison for discussing his political beliefs, Jean-Claude Exulien—a secondary school history professor—decided to flee his home in Haiti.
Exulien said that there are times in history when a government cannot be criticized, but he is also quick to remind that as an intellectual and educator, it is impossible to suppress critical discussions.
Exulien fled Haiti during the rule of the dictator “Baby Doc”, or Jean-Claude Duvalier, seeking his own and his family’s safety. He said that if it hadn’t been for Haiti’s suppressive regime many Haitians, including himself, would not have fled the land they feel such patriotism for.
His office in North Miami, decorated with Haitian flags and cultural photographs, is evidence to his love of country.
“I’m a big witness, I would say, of what happened in Haiti during the dictatorship of Francois Duvalier and Jean-Claude Duvalier,” said Exulien, “Haitian intellectuals were obliged to leave the country to save their lives.”
Many Haitians fleeing the regime of the time decided to migrate to Montreal, Canada. This is something that crossed Exulien’s mind, but a summer school teaching opportunity and family here in South Florida is what pushed him to make this city his new home.
“Some friend told me one time ‘it’s not difficult for you, because you used to teach at a higher level.’ I said ‘no it’s not a problem because I love these people, they are my people’. Until today that is my job, to teach them how to write in French, Creole, and English,” explains Exulien.
Knowing Creole, French, English, and Spanish, Exulien embodies the importance of knowing multiple languages in a place as diverse as South Florida.
On his office desk lays an ocean of newspapers—which he refers to as his tools—and in this ocean you can find all four languages. He jokes, although in a serious manner, saying that nowadays if you speak only one language you are handicap.
“Sometimes there are news in El Nuevo Herald or Las Americas and you cannot find the same news in The Herald, for example, so we have to read more than one newspaper and in more than one language,” he said.On the side of his office cabinet hangs a quote by John Dewey, the liberal philosopher that reads, in all caps: “education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.”
Exulien takes education beyond the classroom, besides teaching literacy, history, and anthropology he has a radio show on 1700 AM Radio Mega every Saturday at 11am.
“This is a class, it’s not a radio show,” Exulien said.
His radio segment is 90% Creole and 10% English; where he discusses current events, ideas, and history with his listeners.
A very proud man of his country’s history, he is one of the founders of the Haitian American Historical Society—a non-profit organization seeking the recognition and accuracy of historical events pertaining to Haitians and those of Haitian descent.
In 2007, the organization erected a monument of Les Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint Domingue in Savannah, Gerogia. Les Chasseurs Volontaires de Saint Domingue was a group of Haitian free men who volunteered to fight in The Siege of Savannah on October 9th, 1779 against the British.
“Haitian people died there, in Franklin Square, for the independence of the United States,” said Exulien.
The organization is now working on erecting yet another monument, in St. Augustine, Florida, commemorating General Georges Biassou—a Haitian forefather who fought with Spanish royalists.
Exulien is also the president of the organization Haitian League for Human Rights, INC.
“We created this organization one year ago, because of the situation of [our Haitian] brothers and sisters in Santo Domingo,” said Exulien.
This article was originally published on Rise Miami News.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.
Photo Credits: Leslie Ovalle/ RISE NEWSPost Views: 655
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