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Still Don’t Get Why Gianforte’s Assault Matters? These Two Sentences Should Make It Clear

Montana businessman and Republican candidate in the special statewide congressional election Greg Gianforte allegedly assaulted a reporter last night.

Some have made light of the incident and refused to acknowledge its importance.

If you know one of those people, share this very insightful Tweet with them:

Photo Credit: Gianforte campaign/ Facebook

Trumpcare Would Cause 23 Million People To Lose Health Insurance

The Congressional Budget Office says that President Donald Trump’s plan to get rid of Obamacare would lead to 23 million people losing their health insurance by 2026.

From Vice News:

“In its first analysis of the bill that Republicans the House of Representatives passed in early May, the CBO concluded that out of pocket costs for mental health and maternity care would increase by thousands of dollars a year in many states. The CBO predicted that the health bill would create savings of $119 billion over the next 10 years.”

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.

Racist Attack Targeted At American University Black Sorority

American University in Washington, D.C. is at the center of its second racially driven hate act in eight months.

According to a statement released by the university, bananas were left hanging from what was designed to look like nooses on three separate locations on campus.

The bananas were “marked with the letters AKA”, the letters of a predominantly black sorority.

Last September, similar incidents occurred at American including an episode when someone threw a rotten banana at a student..

Students took to social media to express their anger with the racially charged incident.

 

American’s student body president Taylor Dumpson (who happens to be the college’s first black woman SGA president) released a statement about the incident.

“It is disheartening and immensely frustrating that we are still dealing with this issue after recent conversations, dialogues, and town halls surrounding race relations on campus,” Dumpson said. “But this is exactly why we need to do more than just have conversations but move in a direction towards more tangible solutions to prevent incidents like these from occurring in the future.”

Cover Photo Credit: American University/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Alabama Senior? Be In Our “Thank You UA” Video

Are you a graduating UA student?

You are invited to participate in our “Thank You UA” video.

We think this will be a great way for you to thank Alabama for your time on campus and it should be really cool.

It will feature graduating UA seniors from all walks of life and from all parts of campus and will serve a forever reminder of the impact the class of 2017 had on Tuscaloosa.

We will chop up your contributions and mash them together to create a cool collage of voices and faces.

If you would like to be in this video then please follow the directions below.

The deadline for you to send this video back is Wednesday May 3, at 12 PM CST.

It will be released the next day to the public.

__________________________________________________

1) Be sure to record yourself using either an iPhone or a computer webcam. Do not use any other form of smart phone due to issues with our software.

2) Film yourself in a quiet place. Make sure that you are looking at the camera and that there is enough light on your face so we can clearly see its you.

3) Be sure that the camera is focusing on your face, but also try to have some depth of field behind you- meaning don’t record yourself square up against a wall.

4) You don’t have to be perfect when you read the lines. Just read them slowly and clearly. And remember the tone of the video- thankful and full of gratitude but it is also fun.

5) We want you to include your own unique reason for why you are thankful for UA. There is a space in the script towards the end to include that. It should be thoughtful and unique to your UA experience- but also no more than 15 seconds in length.

6) When are you finished recording please upload the video to YouTube and then email us the link to editor@risenews.net with the subject as [Your Name] Alabama Thank You Video.

Script: (This is what you will read on camera)
__________________________________________________

To the University Of Alabama,

Thank you.

Thank you for the great times.

Thank you for the adventures.

Thank you for teaching us about life.

Thank you for teaching us how to be champions.

Thank you for believing in our potential and giving us the opportunities to reach it.

Thank you for reminding us that we always have a home here.

Things haven’t always been easy, but they have been worth it.

Where else can you learn how to be a leader of our generation and also set up a world class tailgate?

[You can add something unique about why you love/ appreciate UA here]

This is not goodbye.

This is only the start.

Because we have some winning to do and some victories to bring home.

So we’ll see you soon UA.

Thanks for everything.

Roll tide.

__________________________________________________

Have a question? Email us at editor@risenews.net

This University President Just Smacked Down Trump In An Amazing Email

University administrators are often criticized for not speaking up about issues that their students care about. But that is certainly not the case at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

There, university president Jay A. Perman has taken a forceful stance against President Donald Trump’s anti-science agenda.

In an email to the entire university community, Perman launched into the Trump administration’s “assault on science”.

UMB is a collection of graduate degree offering institutions including a world renowned School of Medicine.

Perman wrote the email in anticipation of the March for Science that will be taking place this weekend on April 22.

“The assault on science comes not only in the form of draconian budget cuts, but in ways meant to politicize science or intimidate those who undertake it,” Perman wrote. “The administration has issued gag orders on science agencies engaging in unsanctioned speech and sent letters to agency heads ordering that they identify scientists working on climate research. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump endorsed theories that have no basis in science — for instance, that vaccines are linked to autism or that climate change is a hoax.”

Maggie Davis, a law and policy analyst for the Center for Health and Homeland Security at UMB is supportive of Perman’s aggressive stance. 

I think it is an appropriate critique of budget priorities of the new administration, especially considering the hostility we have seen to researchers and scientists that work for agencies like NOAA and the EPA,” Davis said. “President Perman’s statement was clearly aimed at the policies promoted by the new administration and not President Trump as an individual, which I think is the best approach to have to build stronger support for robust funding of scientific research.” 

You really should read Perman’s entire letter. It is something else.


“To the UMB Community:

I know many of you are planning to join the hundreds of thousands of people expected to march this Saturday in Washington, D.C., to celebrate — and defend — science. I thank you for lending your voice and your advocacy to this movement because, without a doubt, science needs defending these days.

President Trump’s budget proposal cuts 31 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency, slashes the Department of Energy’s basic science research program, and zeros out a program that supports early-stage research into technologies that could reduce our national dependence on fossil fuels. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which spends $32 billion a year on biomedical research — most of which goes to universities and medical schools across this country — would see a nearly 20 percent cut, bringing the agency’s budget to its lowest level in 15 years. By no means is it only science under attack: The president’s proposed budget eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The assault on science comes not only in the form of draconian budget cuts, but in ways meant to politicize science or intimidate those who undertake it. The administration has issued gag orders on science agencies engaging in unsanctioned speech and sent letters to agency heads ordering that they identify scientists working on climate research. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump endorsed theories that have no basis in science — for instance, that vaccines are linked to autism or that climate change is a hoax.

And so I stand with those who will march this weekend to defend science and the scientific method. It is the scientific method that teaches us how to ask questions, form hypotheses, and then — critically — test those hypotheses with rigorous and replicable experiments. It is this method that protects us against specious theories and unproved (and unprovable) “facts.”

As a physician, I know that it is because of science that diseases that were once widespread and incurable are now — within my own lifetime — eradicated or treatable. This is the science that some in Congress and in the White House want to cut, attempting to persuade the American people that the basic research undertaken in labs across this country doesn’t affect them. But it does, and powerfully. Every modern medical advancement that has saved patients in a physician’s care and relieved their loved ones of grief had its origins in the research lab.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, himself a physician, defended President Trump’s proposed $6 billion cut to the NIH budget by suggesting that these cuts would be carved out of the overhead costs that universities like ours incur in doing research — costs such as operating and maintaining the facilities in which the research is conducted. However, as any businessperson knows, this overhead isn’t frivolous. It’s exactly what enables our people to keep doing the research that builds the science that ultimately saves and enriches lives. And I propose that it is precisely these kinds of efforts that many Americans want their tax dollars to support.

UMB is educating the next generation of health care practitioners, scientists, researchers, and policy experts, the people who will one day solve the greatest challenges of human health and well-being. I take this responsibility to train tomorrow’s problem-solvers seriously, and I support all of you in your fight to preserve smart and humane science policy and investment.

The budget priorities of this administration do not reflect the America I know, an America strengthened by its science and scientists, by investments made in research that protects its people, advances its interests, and enlarges global cooperation. The shortsightedness we’ve seen over the last three months undoubtedly threatens science, but science will prevail. It always does.

Sincerely,

Jay A. Perman, MD
President”


 

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.

Cover Photo Credit: University of Maryland, Baltimore/ Facebook

Republicans Don’t Deserve To Govern Alabama Anymore

This week, Alabama saw perhaps one of the strangest political moments in decades when Gov. Robert Bentley resigned amid a sex scandal and ethics violations investigation.

Bentley, however, is not the only disgraced political leader in the state.

This is the third, I repeat, third high ranking Republican politician to be removed from office in the past year.

Within less than 365 days, Alabama’s Speaker of the House, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and now Governor have all left office under their own ethical failings.

In June, Speaker Mike Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts of corruption and other abuses of office.

A month later, he was sentenced to pay a $210,000 fine and spend four years in prison, and then eight years on probation.

Throughout early 2016, Chief Justice Roy Moore actively and passionate fought against the US Supreme Court’s opinion that laws preventing same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, instructing local clerks to not give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In late September, Roy Moore was found guilty on six counts of judicial ethical violations and was removed as Chief Justice for a second time.

Finally, over the past year, it has become clear that Governor Robert Bentley had not only had an illicit affair with one of his staffers, but that he used state funds to conduct said affair and cover it up.

A 3000-page report from the House Judiciary Committee found that Bentley created an atmosphere of intimidation to cover up his affair, going so far as to fire the state’s top cop Spencer Collier.

Photo Credit: Jim Bowen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

With impeachment proceedings quickly approaching, Bentley took a plea deal, admitting guilt to two misdemeanors in turn for higher level felony charges being dropped.

We are now far past the point of absurdity.

Alabama Republicans have embarrassed our state and further ruined our reputation nationwide.

When our leaders act so foolishly and without regard for the law, Americans outside Alabama view our state as a backwards spectacle without regard for so many of the redeeming nuances of our state.

These Republican figures and their actions are why at least a few times a month, there will be a segment from John Oliver or Rachel Maddow or Bill Maher roasting Alabama, turning the state into a continuous punchline.

Whether Alabamians watch these shows or not, millions of Americans do, and our reputation is flushed down the toilet every time our state provides the fodder for these jokes.

Obviously, these Alabamian leaders have some ethical issues.

But aside from all of that, these leaders also failed the citizens of Alabama by simply being bad at governing.

Alabama Republicans, much like their national counterparts, have proven that no matter how much power they control, they still have no idea how to govern.

Even without the distractions at the top, the Republican controlled state government has stagnated, while other states have passed us by in nearly every conceivable metric.

Alabama now ranks in the top ten nationwide in cancer, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and kidney disease.

Our state has the fifth-lowest percentage of residents with high school diplomas and the sixth highest unemployment rate to boot.

Over the past year, Republicans have done little to address the shortfall of Medicaid coverage, the structural budgetary deficit, and the lack of good paying jobs.

Instead, all that Republicans have done is built more prisons, disenfranchise thousands of voters, and get caught up in scores of ethics violations.

Perhaps a quote that summarizes the situation in Alabama best comes from former state representative Arthur Payne: “There is nothing good that has come from the Republicans being in power in Alabama, and I’m a Republican.”

Love Alabama? Want to make it better? Join our team

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.

Cover Photo Credit: Stuart Seeger/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

BREAKING: Gunman Reported At Merrick Park In Coral Gables

A gunman reportedly shot multiple people at Merrick Park in Coral Gables around 1 PM Sunday afternoon.

According to NBC Miami, police say that two people were shot inside the Equinox gym (370 San Lorenzo Ave) and that the gunman was killed.

An eyewitness at the scene shot video of a rescue helicopter landing at the nearby Coral Gables Senior High School.

The shooting reportedly centered around the Equinox gym in the mall.

People nearby the shooting took to social media to document scary moments:

This is a developing story. We will update as more information is known.

Cover Photo Credit: / Twitter

Star Miami DREAMer Student Able To Attend U Of Florida Because Of Community Donations

This story was originally published in May of 2015.

Getting high grades and being involved is a necessity for this generation as gaining acceptance to college is getting harder and harder.

For some students, though, their hard work and commitment to their education could fall flat due to their citizenship status.

“At school, I didn’t talk about my citizenship status,” Giancarlo Tejeda, a senior at Miami Lakes Educational Center said. “It wasn’t something that I wanted to define me and it wasn’t something that could be fixed by complaining about it so I just kept quiet.”

Giancarlo and his family left their native town of Bucaramanga, Colombia in December of 2000, when he was just three years old.

His parents left behind noble careers to pursue a new life in Miami, Florida.

“My parents had to give up their careers in Colombia to become simple laborers. My father was a college professor and my mother was a primary school teacher,” Tejeda said.

In America, his father found jobs in construction and his mother often found herself cleaning houses.

They applied for asylum in the United States, but to no avail, and thus became undocumented immigrants.

According to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center, unauthorized immigrants comprised 4.8% of Florida’s population in 2012 and in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the foreign-born share of Florida’s population rose to 19.4%.

It is no question that the state of Florida is home to many immigrants—many of which are hard workers like Tejeda and his family.

Giancarlo Tejeda. Photo Credit: Giancarlo Tejeda/ Facebook

Giancarlo’s Advanced Placement Literature teacher, Neyda Borges, makes it known that these students are not just a number through her work and advocacy for immigrant students.

“We need to see and hear the human stories. We need to meet these children and these parents,” Borges said. “People need to see that these undocumented immigrants are not monsters or criminals, but that they are our friends and neighbors.“

Determined to be more than just a number and his legal standing- a DREAMer with deferred action status- Tejeda focuses on his studies and extracurricular activities. Giancarlo challenged himself with a full schedule of college level courses and excelled.

As an aspiring biomedical engineer- a career that merges his natural altruism and love for the sciences- Tejeda recently committed to the University of Florida.

Through local and even national support he has raised enough money to attend UF for the first year.

His teacher, Borges helped him create a page where the community could chip in at https://www.gofundme.com/rb6p5dtg.

He’s excited, but he says that he still feels frustrated about his legal status.

“Despite not being considered legal in the eyes of the United States Government, we are still part of the communities that we live in. I feel as I always have felt about my legal status – frustrated,” Tejeda said.

Borges’ admits that she’s learned of many activists groups and organizations that are out there to support DREAMers like Tejeda.

“There is a lot being done; but, is it enough? I don’t know how to answer that,” Borges said. “That’s a political question.  Luckily, I am not a politician. So, as a teacher, the answer is that it is never enough.”

Students like Giancarlo are eligible for in-state tuition to UF or any other state university thanks to a correction by the Florida Legislature in 2014, but many like the Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Schools who is no stranger to advocating for high achieving immigrant students, remain adamant in their quest to make sure that change happens sooner than later.

“A bright student like Giancarlo deserves the chance to fulfill his college dreams,” Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho said. “Like many of us, his family came here for better opportunities. We must enact reform immediately.”

Giancarlo and his family are thankful for the support from political leaders and local and national media, but remain aware that the future is untold.

They hope that an easier route to citizenship will one day be a reality and that their obstacles may serve as inspiration to others.

The Miami-Dade County Public School system has almost 350,000 active students and inevitably there are more students like Tejeda who haven’t spoken out yet.

Tejeda said that his message to them is important.

“Don’t be afraid. There is a whole community out there supporting you,” the 18- year old Tejeda said. “You will find that many people will support you if you speak out and make your situation known. If enough of us speak out, our voices will be heard everywhere and it will incite change.”

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.

Cover Photo Credit: Giancarlo Tejeda/ Facebook

What It Really Feels Like When Your Terminally Ill Child Dies

By Sheryl Steines

That Moment in Time – When it felt time to have my first child, I knew it, and approached it as inevitable.

But my next steps in life didn’t follow a straight path, it jerked sideways and turned out nothing like I imagined it would.

I define my life as the before and the after; before the birth of my twins and the single moment when I thought I had reached the end of a long struggle with infertility, hoping that the girls’ birth would minimize the sadness of the time it took to get pregnant with them.

That single moment when I realized it was far from over, and I felt myself being wrenched down an unfamiliar abyss.

While I was elated to give birth to a perfectly healthy little girl named Kayla, I also gave birth to her twin, a perfectly imperfect daughter named Stephanie, born with an undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder that in the end, would take her from us within the first year of her life.

What should have been the happiest of days could best be described as bittersweet.

For months, I was lost in that single moment, and how everything changed.

Living with a Terminally Ill Child – Emotions and senses are heightened when living with a terminally ill child.

Her muscles were weak, which affected her breathing, eating, digestion, and bowels.

She couldn’t sit or roll over.

She would never be able to eat, stand or sit without assistance.

Nothing in her life was normal, which meant that our lives became un-normal too.

Milestones, accomplishments, and even simple things like laughter were infrequent or just never happened.

Days and nights were consumed keeping Stephanie’s tiny, broken body stable and at peace.

For eleven months we had been successful and looking back now, the days flash by me in a blur, and yet, I can still relive them as if they were yesterday.

My daughter’s care routine involved round-the-clock nurses, feeding tubes, oxygen tanks, and medical equipment that beeped.

It was difficult to obtain medicines; and oxygen tanks ran empty on weekends.

Unfortunately, many times we were forced to wait for care because services and goods were not available until after a holiday or weekend.

These stressors tied me to a single moment in time, it is like I went through the motions.

The world was moving, but I felt stuck.

Unable to let it go, I couldn’t help but wish things had been different, normal, familiar.

I was angry, I was hurt and I was jealous.

In fact, the angst, anger, and sadness was compounded as one child thrived normally and hit her milestones with ease.

It became so obvious that Stephanie lagged far behind.

She would never roll over, sit up, drink from a sippy cup, crawl or walk.

I was forced to come to very difficult terms and make some very hard decisions.

Joy in the Darkness – From the start, we knew there was no cure for Stephanie’s disease because there was no real diagnosis.

The only truth we understood–Stephanie would die.

So I worked hard to find joy in a hopeless situation.

There might not be joy in the traditional sense of caring for a terminal patient, but what you come to understand is that there are good, kind people who give you a glimmer of help and hope.

Volunteers filled my life for 11 months.

Whether they held my child in the ICU when I couldn’t be there to do it myself or came to my house to run errands so I could have just a few moments of down time.

There are no words for the care and comfort from strangers who ask for nothing in return.

Nurses taught me how to be a mommy to a terminally ill child, encouraging me to hold my child without fear.

They offered suggestions on how to bond, by taping myself reading a book and leaving the tape at the hospital so my child would know my voice.

Stephanie did know my voice and it made her happy when she heard it.

I will never forget a very grim and private conversation with the hospice nurse, who allowed me to speak freely, without shame as I dealt with the most difficult of situations.

At the worst of times, when I could no longer travel with Stephanie, because she outgrew the only car seat that could protect her in her condition, her pediatrician came to the house to examine her.

I liked him before he did this and I would forever appreciate his kindness, long after she died.

It all Stopped the Day She Died – Life moved slowly, sluggish and tight; what I imagine walking through quicksand would feel like.

That is until a new moment jerked me from what finally felt familiar, and a new moment chased me down.

I will never forget my new single moment when I watched my baby die.

The end of caring for a terminally ill child came to me in two stages.

The first was relief that I no longer had to live in the midst of the stress nor the need to care so intensely.

Though the relief was filled with great sadness, I had little time to dwell on it.

There was still so much we had to do for the funeral, and for my surviving twin who still needed care and love.

At least for the time being, I had no medicine, beeping equipment, nurses, or that stress that comes with survival.

The second stage was the overwhelming sense of loss that finally hit me.

All of the stress and the feelings that had been tightly kept inside, bubbled to the surface.

Four months after my daughter died, I came face to face with the raw grief.

I’m part of a club that I would prefer not to be a member of.

I don’t look for a greater meaning or purpose in my daughter’s disease and death.

I simply survived it and came through to the other side with a realization that so many in this world have great struggles.

Sadness will never leave me and though I will always have a missing piece from my heart, I came out stronger, more compassionate and empathetic to others and the struggles they try to overcome.

Stephanie’s short life and eventual death inspires me to continue living, creating, growing and accomplishing; to leave behind a legacy.

I have a strong desire for my children to be proud of me, and for me, proud of myself.

I live, not because my daughter died, but because I am here.

Learn more about Sheryl Steines at www.sherylsteines.com and connect with her on FacebookTwitterLinked In and Goodreads. Her new book, Black Market is available on Amazon.

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.

Cover Photo Credit: Paulius Malinovskis/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Muslim Protestors Demand Equal Rights In Assembly Near Rome’s Colosseum

Hundreds of Muslims offered Friday prayers near Rome’s Colosseum to protest the closure of mosques and other places of worship in Italy. The prayer demonstration was staged over what they see as unfair restrictions on freedom to practise their faith in the country, according to organisers who called the protest following the recent closure of five… Read More

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