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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.
—Here’s Something Completely Different: —
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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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By Alex Austin
China is in the process of creating a nationwide database of “social credit” in order to not only rate the financial strength of their citizens, but also their trustworthiness.
Unlike the US or UK, China does not have a nationally recognized credit score system. However, also unlike the aforementioned countries, China’s new initiative will not only determine how good people are at paying bills. It will also be used to rate how obedient they are to the state.
Currently, this plan is in somewhat of a beta stage, as eight Chinese companies have set up sites to issue these credit scores.
Possibly the most high-profile of these is called Sesame Credit, a joint venture between Alibaba, Asia’s largest online retailer, and Baihe, China’s largest matchmaking service.
However, neither company will reveal how they determine or calculate the scores, nor will they directly speak to Western media out of fear of losing the lucrative government contract.
Conversely, they will admit that shopper’s purchases will be taken into account. As Li Yingyun, Sesame’s technology director, told the Chinese magazine Caixin:
“Someone who plays video games for 10 hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person, and someone who frequently buys diapers would be considered as probably a parent, who on balance is more likely to have a sense of responsibility.”
This is a very controversial point, as it leaves the door open to the government deciding who can do and buy certain things based on subjective, and possibly stereotyped, life decisions.
From a different angle, this type of credit system is being valued as little more than another authoritarian propaganda tool.
In the extensive government planning outline, the Chinese government states in Article 5, Section 1 that it will actively encourage competition between citizens to work for high scores by incentivizing trust-keeping and punishing trust-breaking.
Many Westerners are beginning to see this as China hiding an Orwellian “big brother” behind the façade of a game. For more on that angle, there is the relatively short, but oft-linked video from Extra Credits on the matter.
As of now, the system is opt-in. However, as part of China’s most recent Five-Year Plan, the “social credit” system, in one form or another, will be mandatory in 2020.
Cover Photo Credit: Danny Mekic’/Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 882
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This story is part of the “My Story” series by The Young Leaders.
It was a sunny morning in Haiti on January 12, 2010 – the first day of school after winter break.
Lying on my bed, I looked at the trees dancing on the ceiling.
The neighboring rooster crowed as I finally rose, put my knees on the floor and began to pray.
My mother, as always, was cooking eggs.
She spoke to me about education: “Son, you have to do well in school to succeed in life. Life and education are a competition. Please son, do not embarrass me. Avoid the wrong crowd. Promise me that good things will happen. Make your family proud wherever you go.”
As she spoke, I wondered why she told me these things.
At the time, I wasn’t mature enough to understand, so I agreed just to make her happy.
A few minutes later, I arrived at school. Already, I had fallen in with the wrong crowd, paid no attention in class, and decided not to do my homework.
After school on that day, I played marbles with friends until one of the elders in the community saw me playing and scolded me to go home and do my homework.
I listened to the elder and went home.
When I got there, my mother asked me, “Where were you?”
I replied, “Outside,” as she shook her head, obviously worried about that I was not following her instructions.
One hour later, the earth started trembling.
I heard a noise like boulders falling from the sky.
Our television and bookshelves fell to the floor.
I was terrified and thought my life would end.
We tried running away from the house, but the ground was shaking intensely.
I didn’t know what was happening.
I thought about all the advice my mother had given me.
I heard people screaming from outside, running everywhere and trying to save others stuck under demolished houses.
When I got out of the house looking around, I realized my mother and I could have been in the same position.
After the 7.0 shock-wave, my mother, my sister and I walked on the street and saw the catastrophe. Roughly 300,000 people were killed in the event and 1.5 million were displaced.
People had lost their families and everything they owned.
We were too afraid to sleep in the house, scared it would collapse.
We had no choice but to sleep on the street. The streets became beds for everyone when it’s was night-time. Aftershocks shook the ground every five minutes.
A week later, my father came from New York to get my sister and me.
I had never imagined myself leaving Haiti but there was no other choice.
I cried, and hugged my mother tightly.
In tears, I said, “Mother I’m sorry for everything. I will succeed; I will learn English and make you proud.”
My dad smiled.
I realized I would do everything in my power to make my parents proud. That moment would drive me for years to come.
When I came to America, I was ready to excel in school.
I knew no English, and communicating in school was extremely hard.
I started reading and writing to improve my English skills.
I knew I wanted to attend college.
I started working harder in classes, coming to school early every morning to study subjects that I needed to give closed attention, so I would not fall behind students who took their English for granted.
I challenged myself to become better in school by practicing for the SAT on my own and doing extra work in class.
It paid off. By the time high school came, I was in the English Honors class and the National Honor Society.
I started an acting program in high school named DreamYard Art Center. I began acting in plays with the goal of becoming an actor and a director.
I want to continue being successful and I plan on working very hard to accomplish my goals.
These goals have already helped me to achieve things I never imagine I would have achieved, such as acting in front of 300 people.
These skills will continue to help me as I pursue my education.
I am currently a junior studying Social Work at CUNY York College.
My goal after achieving my bachelor in social work is to go for my master in education policy.
I want to start my career as a school counselor, however I would like to elevate myself as a principal as time progresses.
After my studies, I want to build a school and an art program like DreamYard Art Center in Haiti for children.
My purpose in pursuing higher education is to succeed in ways victims of the January 2010 Haiti Earthquake only dreamed about, since they never had a chance to make their dreams a reality.
When I succeed, my goal is to start an art program in Haiti for teens that want to pursue their dreams.
This terrible tragedy led me onto the right path and made me focus on my education.
But Haiti is still in my heart. And I’m going back home.
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: 1,508
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Cartoonist Dan Piraro looks up from his drawing monitor: “You mind if I keep working a little bit on the side here while we talk?”
Piraro is a busy man.
His one-panel comic series Bizarro is featured in more than 350 daily and Sunday newspapers, which requires him to churn out a hand-cramping seven cartoons a week.
He maintains a strict routine to keep up with this level of demand so he alternates his attention between his work station and his webcam where he chats with me via Skype.
Piraro is absolutely absorbed by his literal task at hand.
He responds to each of my questions with a laid-back gusto- not dissimilar to the feel of his daily strip, although there are some topics that get him going. Take the environment for example.
“Virtually all animals know not to shit where they sleep,” Piraro said. “They try to defecate as far away from where they live and raise their families. In a local sense we do that but in a larger sense we’re poisoning the one planet that’s inhabitable to us.”
That’s one of the few riffs Piraro goes on during our 28-minute conversation.
He is a man of passion when he feels drawn to a topic.
It was the way he was raised.
His parents were Kennedy Democrats.
Public service was a big deal in their home and they wanted their children, Dan and his sisters, to show the same sense of responsibility their beloved president had.
“I was raised to believe that certain things in life are more important than your job or social standing,” Piraro said. “We were sort of raised with that notion that it’s up to everyone to build and maintain a society worth living in.”
Piraro doesn’t hide his liberal political views in his strip but he said that he doesn’t consider himself much of a political cartoonist either.
He’s different. Hard to pin down. So is his work.
In the world of syndicated cartoons, there are humorous comic strips featuring cute kids or sarcastic animals and then there are political strips that maybe feature cute kids or sarcastic animals who have a bone to pick with a specific politician or political party.
Piraro tries to keep himself within the lines but sometimes his sensibilities get the best of him.
This happened in 2005 when he drew a panel relating to gay marriage and changed it due to concerns that it would not be received well.
Piraro said that sometimes he worries that his panel will be received differently to a general audience that he wants it to be.
“My editor will call me saying that a certain cartoon might upset people in more conservative markets,” Piraro said. “It could result in losing a newspaper client and getting my strip replaced with something that doesn’t make pointed political statements.”
Piraro will sometimes side with his editor.
It’s not worth losing a client over a panel he isn’t 100% invested in.
But most of the time, Piraro said that he will take the risk of getting his point across.
Public service, remember?
“I’m not a balls-to-the-walls political activist but with my strip I have a growing audience and a sense of obligation to address some issues that seemed to me to be social injustices that could be repaired with changes in attitude,” Piraro said.
Despite the reluctance of syndicated strips to go political, Piraro says there’s one figure everyone’s making an exception for.
“When I started doing cartoons on Donald Trump I expected a similar response as to when I was doing George W. Bush cartoons,” Piraro said. “Lose a paper here or there but nothing happened. They didn’t mind I was taking these pot shots at Trump even though I’m technically not allowed to delve into politics.”
Readers don’t seem to mind either.
Dan claims his readership has actually gone up since Trump took office but he’s not allowing for “anti-president” material to dominate his strip any time soon.
He limits himself to one Trump cartoon for every seven panels he produces.
For now, Bizarro is more focused on the patented absurdism that makes it unlike anything else in the funnies.
Whether it’s a crossdresser lamenting the pointlessness of cross dressing in the Middle East or God creating mankind when he was piss drunk over a wild weekend, Bizaroo is the product of Dan Piraro’s hypernormal imagination.
It’s not die-hard political satire but it’s not exactly a cat who for some reason enjoys lasagna.
“My cartoons are an artistic representation of the way I think and imagine things,” Piraro said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m not a millionaire.”
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: 2,679
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