“The key role of urban design in building sustainable, socially integrated and prosperous urban environments.[..] can help tackle climate change. It reduces the impacts of disaster. It can help make our cities safer, cleaner, and more equal and integrative.”
2015: Better City, Better Life; Designed to live together
Recognizing the significance of urban basic services as a foundation for the overall social and economic development, the UN General Assembly designated on 27 December 2013, by resolution 68/239, 31 October as World Cities Day as of 2014.
Planned urbanization maximizes the capacity of cities to generate employment and wealth, and to foster diversity and social cohesion between different classes, cultures, ethnicities and religions. Cities designed to live together create opportunities, enable connection and interaction, and facilitate sustainable use of shared resources.
The theme of the 2015 World Cities Day promotes togetherness and harmony, making our cities and neighbourhoods inclusive and livable.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott will announce the results of an internal investigation into the actions by one of his officers at Spring Valley High School that’s caused a national uproar.
Lott said late Tuesday afternoon that an internal investigation was underway to review the actions of Deputy Ben Fields, a school resource officer at Spring Valley. Lott said his officers will look only at whether Fields acted properly under department protocols. Any possible criminal investigation will be handled by federal and state agencies.
“We don’t expect this to draw out,” Lott said.
Lott said the findings would allow him to determine if Fields will continue working for the agency.
Lott had been in Chicago for a law enforcement conference when the incident, which has made national news, happened. He cut short the trip and flew back to the area early Tuesday morning to deal with the matter personally.He said just like everyone else, he was appalled by the first video that was released.
“I wanted to throw up, it makes you sick to your stomach,” he said. “You can’t watch the video without having those feelings.”
The incident happened inside a math class at the school around 10:30 a.m. Monday. According to Lott, the student was supposed to be working on a project using her computer, but was instead had her cell phone out, perhaps to text. Lott said the girl didn’t comply when her teacher told her multiple times to put away the device. An administrator then came to the class, Lott said, and she continued to refuse to obey their requests. Fields was then called to the room to remove her from the room.
Videos that surfaced online captured part of what happened next. Fields can be heard telling the student to get up. A few moments later, he grabs the student as she was in her seat, causing the girl and the chair to flip over onto the floor. Fields can then be seen dragging the girl for several feet and restraining her on the ground.
Related Coverage:Student Who Videotaped Incident Says He Was Afraid
Lott said he was told the girl didn’t sustain injuries.
The student was charged with disturbing schools and was given over to her parents. Another student in the classroom, 18-year-old Niya Kenny, was also charged with disturbing schools but was booked at the local jail. She was released on bond hours later. Related Coverage:Student Arrested Says She was Standing Up for Classmate
Lott said the girl was in the wrong for not complying with her school officials. He also said a third video has shown that the girl struck the officer as he was attempting to remove her. But Lott said his probe won’t focus on her actions–only the officers.
“What she did is not what I’m looking at,” Lott said.
To fend off any concerns that an internal probe might be a conflict of interest, Lott requested that federal authorities investigate what happened. By midday Tuesday, the FBI and U.S. Attorneys office obliged, saying they’d launch a civil rights probe into the matter. “I don’t want anybody in Richland County or anywhere in the world to say that this is not being handled properly.” Related Coverage:Feds Open Civil Rights Investigation
The student is black, while the officer is white, but Lott said despite some suggestions from the public, he doesn’t think race is a factor.
“He’s never expressed that in the past, we’ve never seen that,” Lott said. The sheriff also pointed out that the officer dates an African-American woman.
Lott oversees a group of 87 school resource officers, who he said are instructors and offer guidance in schools. Fields also works as an assistant coach with the football team.
His officers do receive training in how to de-escalate a situation using only words, but he said often times his officers are put in difficult predicaments, where they are in charge of controlling students when teachers and administrators can’t.
“Should the officer have been called to get involved?” Lott said. “Is it proper to call an SRO in to discipline a child?”
Just before Lott spoke, Richland School District Two officials said they’d review their policies about when it’s appropriate for an officer to respond to a class. They also said they wanted to work with the department to improve training for officers. Related Coverage:Richland Two Leaders Say Incident is ‘Unforgivable’
Dr. Debbie Hamm, the district’s superintendent, said she’s worked in the school system for four decades, and said it’s one of the most upsetting incidents she’s seen.
“It was outrageous and unforgivable and it does not represent what this district stands for,” Hamm said.
“There is absolutely no place in this district for what happened yesterday,” said Richland School District Two Board Chairman Jim Manning. “Our tolerance for it is zero.”
SC NAACP Chairman Dr. Lonnie Randolph said his office was withholding making sweeping statements about what happened until they hear how law enforcement is going to respond.
During the attack, he could be heard in another video yelling to another student, Niya Kenny, “I’ll put you in jail next.” She was arrested for speaking up and questioning the officer’s brutal use of force.
The two girls were arrested after the confrontation, according to The State, a South Carolina newspaper. They were charged with disturbing the peace and disturbing schools and released to the custody of their parents, according to the television station WLTX. The confrontation drew outrage as the videos spread.
How is this officer in his behavior around other adults? Other officers? Is he violent and terrifying in his interactions with other human beings?
This officer’s use of force to remove the teen girl from the class.
Anytime force is used, the situation escalates and violence becomes more vicious and destructive.
This officer showed signs of being unable to control his aggressive behavior: grabbing the girl, throwing her violently to the floor, choking her. All of which are signs that this officer cannot control himself in a situation with another human being.
He should have been arrested for the following:
-Assault with Intent to Commit Bodily Injury;
-Terrorist Threat (against the other teen girl student who became distraught at what was happening in class)
One very important thing I saw in the videos across the Internet is the following—-all of the students in the videos were looking down with their heads in a cowered position:
past tense: cowered; past participle: cowered
crouch down in fear.
“children cowered in terror as the shoot-out erupted”
That is a red flag sign of the environment these students must work in. Schools today are built, operated and controlled as if they are a prison/military complex.
But, as of today, October 28, 2015, this officer has been fired.
RICHLAND COUNTY DEPUTY FIRED OVER SPRING VALLEY INCIDENT
October 28, 2015 2:57 PM CDT
Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has fired a deputy who forcibly removed a student from a Spring Valley High School classroom, saying the officer used improper techniques in an attempt to restrain the girl.
Lott announced his decision on the fate of Deputy Ben Fields Wednesday afternoon following an internal investigation. Lott said the formal decision to terminate fields was made around 11:30 a.m.
“Deputy Ben Fields did wrong this past Monday,” Lott said. “It’s not what I expect from my deputies, or what I tolerate from my deputies.”
That probe’s purpose was only to determine if Fields followed proper protocol in dealing with the student; separate investigations, led by the FBI, the U.S. Attorneys office, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, will determine if there was criminal activity.
Lott said the decision was not hard to make, and was based on the evidence that was collected from witness interviews and at least three cell phone recordings of the incident.
Around 10:30 a.m. Monday, students were sitting inside a math class at Spring Valley and were working on their assignments. Lott says one girl in the class had her phone out instead of working on her project. The sheriff said the girl was told multiple times by her teacher to put the phone away, but she refused. According to the sheriff, an administrator then came to the classroom, and the girl refused his requests to comply.
VIDEO: All Three Angles of Spring Valley Incident WLTX
At that point, Fields was called to the classroom to remove the girl.
“She was not allowing the teacher to teach and not allowing the students to learn,” Lott said, calling the student very disruptive. “Their education was put on hold while this student had to be dealt with.”
Videos that surfaced online captured part of what happened next. Fields can be heard telling the student to get up. A few moments later, he grabs the student as she was in her seat, causing the girl and the chair to flip over onto the floor. Fields can then be seen dragging the girl for several feet and restraining her on the ground.
Lott said the deputy had the right to put his hands on the student, but that when he threw the girl across the room, that’s when he violated training.
“The maneuver that he used was not based on training or was acceptable,” Lott said. “He was not trained to throw the student…when he threw her across the room he lost control of her.”
Lott said the teacher and an administrator both told him that they supported the actions of Deputy Fields, and he’d received calls of support from parents and students. In the end, Lott said that didn’t matter. “My decision was based on what he did as a deputy sheriff.”
Lott said he had spoken with Fields, and said he believes it wasn’t the officer’s intent, and that the man felt he was doing his job. “If he probably had to do it over again, he’d probably do it different,” Lott said.
A video still shows part of an incident involving Deputy Ben Fields and a student at Spring Valley High on Oct. 26, 2015.
Lott said officers are trained to use verbal commands and pain compliance, and that physical force is always a last resort.
The sheriff said Tuesday he didn’t believe the girl suffered any injuries, but in an interview with News19 Wednesday, attorney Todd Rutherford, who’s representing the student, said she was hospitalized, and currently has a cast on her arm. Rutherford also said the girl is experiencing problems with her back. Related Coverage: Student in Video is Injured, is Wearing a Cast
When asked about the discrepancy, Lott said Wednesday that was the information he had been given by the officer and school administrators.
The girl was charged with disturbing schools, a broadly defined law in South Carolina that allows officers to arrest students for a wide range of minor offenses related to disrupting the daily activities of class. It is a misdemeanor.
The girl was then released to the custody of her guardians. A second student in the class, 18-year-old Niya Kenny, was also arrested on a disturbing schools charge. Lott said the girl used foul language and was also stopping learning from taking place, but Kenny said she was trying to stand up for her classroom. Previous Coverage: Arrested Student Said She Was Standing Up for Classmate
“I had never seen nothing like that in my life, a man use that much force on a little girl,” Kenny told News19 Monday night following her release from jail. “A big man, like 300 pounds of full muscle. I was like ‘no way, no way.’ You can’t do nothing like that to a little girl. I’m talking about she’s like 5’6′.”
Lott says he still feels like both the students did wrong, disrupted the class, and need to be held accountable for their actions. He said at this point, there are no plans to drop the charges against them.
Tony Robinson Jr., one of the other students in the classroom, saw something brewing, was one of those who pulled out his cell phone and recorded the event.
“I’ve never seen anything so nasty looking, so sick to the point that you know, other students are turning away, don’t know what to do, and are just scared for their lives,” Robinson said. “That’s supposed to be somebody that’s going to protect us. Not somebody that we need to be scare off, or afraid.” Previous Coverage:Student Says He Was Afraid for His Life
Tony Robinson Jr. spoke exclusively with News19 Monday night about what happened between a student and an officer. WLTX
But another student who recorded the incident, who wanted to remain anonymous, told News19 that the officer was just trying to do his job. “Everybody was commenting on something and they weren’t there,” he said. “They don’t know the full story. I wanted to at least take some of the pressure off of him.” Previous Coverage:Student Says Deputy Was Trying to Do His Job
Lott was grateful for the videos that were made of the incident. “Videos are something that we welcome,” he said. “Hopefully one day soon we’ll have them on all of our deputies.”
Richland School District Two, the system over Spring Valley, officials said they’d review their policies about when it’s appropriate for an officer to respond to a class. They also said they wanted to work with the department to improve training for officers. Related Coverage: Richland Two Leaders Say Incident is ‘Unforgivable’
Dr. Debbie Hamm, the district’s superintendent,released this statement after Lott’s decision:
“I want to thank Sheriff Lott and his department for their swift response. There may be some who think this is the end of the matter. In Richland Two, however, we continue to work closely with the Sheriff’s Department and independent federal and state investigating agencies to examine exactly what happened.
“We know important work is ahead of us as we thoughtfully and carefully review the decision-making process that may lead to a school resource officer taking the lead in handling a student disruption. Conversations that have already started will continue around how we work with the sheriff’s department on improvement and coordination of our work as educators and their work as law enforcement officers.
“Our primary goal is to de-escalate situations through problem-solving and communication techniques, while avoiding actions that escalate and result in unfortunate confrontations. We will continue to move forward with this approach.”
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is annually observed on October 27 to build global awareness of issues on preserving audiovisual material, such as sound recordings and moving images.
What Do People Do?
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) works with organizations, governments and communities promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage on October 27 each year. Activities and events include:
Competitions, such as a logo contest, to promote the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.
Local programs organized as a joint effort between national film archives, audiovisual societies, television or radio stations, and governments.
Panel discussions, conferences, and public talks on the importance of preserving important audiovisual documents.
Special film screenings.
Countries previously involved in observing the day included (but were not exclusive to) Canada, Denmark, Thailand, and the United States.
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is a global observance and not a public holiday.
Many sound recordings, moving images and other audiovisual material are lost because of neglect, natural decay and technological obsolescence. Organizations such as UNESCO felt that more audiovisual documents would be lost if stronger and concerted international action was not taken. A proposal to commemorate a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was approved at a UNESCO general conference in 2005. The first World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was held on October 27, 2007.
The World Day for Audiovisual Heritage aims to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken. It also focuses on acknowledging the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.
UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. This logo is often used in promotional material for the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.
2015 Theme: “Archives at Risk: Protecting the World’s Identities”
MAUREEN O’HARA, FLAME-HAIRED IRISH ACTRESS WHO STARRED IN CLASSICS
Associated Press 6:59 a.m. EDT October 25, 2015
LOS ANGELES – Maureen O’Hara, the flame-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from the grim How Green Was My Valley to the uplifting Miracle on 34th Street and bantered unforgettably with John Wayne in several films has died. She was 95.
O’Hara starred in the 1941 Oscar winner ‘How Green Was My Valley,’ along with ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’(Photo: DAMIAN DOVARGANES, AP)
O’Hara died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho, said Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager.
“She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man,” said a statement from her family.
“As an actress, Maureen O’Hara brought unyielding strength and sudden sensitivity to every role she played. Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life. She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world,” said a family biography.
O’Hara came to Hollywood to star in the 1939 The Hunchback of Notre Dame and went on to a long career.
During her movie heyday, she became known as the Queen of Technicolor because of the camera’s love affair with her vivid hair, pale complexion and fiery nature.
After her start in Hollywood with Hunchback and some minor films at RKO, she was borrowed by 20th Century Fox to play the beautiful young daughter in the 1941 saga of a coal-mining family, How Green Was My Valley.
How Green Was My Valley went on to win five Oscars including best picture and best director for John Ford, beating out Orson Welles and Citizen Kane among others. It was the first of several films she made under the direction of Ford, whose grouchy nature seemed to melt in her presence.
The popularity of How Green Was My Valley confirmed O’Hara’s status as a Hollywood star. RKO and Fox shared her contract, and her most successful films were made at Fox.
They included Miracle on 34th Street,” the classic 1947 Christmas story in which O’Hara was little Natalie Wood’s skeptical mother and among those charmed by Edmund Gwenn as a man who believed he was Santa Claus.
Other films included the costume drama The Foxes of Harrow (Rex Harrison, 1947); the comedy Sitting Pretty (Clifton Webb, 1948); and the sports comedy Father Was a Fullback (Fred MacMurray, 1949).
Often she sailed the high seas in colorful pirate adventures such as The Black Swan with Tyrone Power, The Spanish Main with Paul Henreid, Sinbad the Sailor with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Against All Flags with Errol Flynn.
With Ford’s Rio Grande in 1950, O’Hara became Wayne’s favorite leading lady. The most successful of their five films was 1952’s The Quiet Man, also directed by Ford, in which she matched Wayne blow for blow in a classic donnybrook.
With her Irish spunk, she could stand up to the rugged Duke, both on and off screen. She was proud when he remarked in an interview that he preferred to work with men — “except for Maureen O’Hara; she’s a great guy.”
“We met through Ford, and we hit it right off,” she remarked in 1991. “I adored him, and he loved me. But we were never sweethearts. Never, ever.”
O’Hara’s other movies with Wayne were The Wings of Eagles (1957), McClintock! (1963) and Big Jake (1971).
After her studio contracts ended, she remained busy. She played the mother of twins, both played by Hayley Mills, who conspire to reunite their divorced parents in the 1961 Disney comedy The Parent Trap.
She was also in Spencer’s Mountain with Henry Fonda (1963), a precursor to TV’s The Waltons; and a Western, The Rare Breed, with James Stewart (1966).
In 1968, she married her third husband, Brig. Gen. Charles Blair. After Big Jake, she quit movies to live with him in the Virgin Islands, where he operated an airline. He died in a plane crash in 1978 and she took over management of the airline before eventually selling it.
“Being married to Charlie Blair and traveling all over the world with him, believe me, was enough for any woman,” she said in a 1995 Associated Press interview. “It was the best time of my life.”
She returned to movies in 1991 for a role that writer-director Chris Columbus had written especially for her, as John Candy’s feisty mother in a sentimental drama, Only the Lonely. It was not a box-office success.
Over the following decade, she did three TV movies: The Christmas Box, based on a best-selling book, a perennial holiday attraction; Cab to Canada, a road picture; and The Last Dance.
While making The Christmas Box in 1995, she admitted that roles for someone her age (75) were scarce: “The older a man gets, the younger the parts that he plays. The older a woman gets, you’ve got to find parts that are believable. Since I’m not a frail character, it’s not that easy.”
Maureen FitzSimons was born in 1920 near Dublin, Ireland. Her mother was a well-known opera singer, and her father owned a string of soccer teams. Through her father, she learned to love sports; through her mother, she and her five siblings were exposed to the theater.
“My first ambition was to be the No. 1 actress in the world,” she recalled in 1999. “And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again.”
Maureen was admitted to the training program at Dublin’s famed Abbey Theater, where she was a prize student. When word of the beautiful Irish teen reached London, she was offered a screen test, and a friend convinced her reluctant parents to allow it.
Maureen considered the test a failure, but it led to a few small roles in English films. The great actor Charles Laughton, who was producing and starring in films made in England, saw the test and was intrigued by her dancing eyes. At 17 she co-starred opposite him in a pirate yarn, Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Laughton gave her a more manageable name: O’Hara.
With the onslaught of World War II, filmmaking virtually halted in England. Laughton moved to RKO in Hollywood and starred as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, with O’Hara as the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda.
Her first husband was director George Hanley Brown, whom she met while making Jamaica Inn. When she moved to Hollywood, he remained in England and the marriage was annulled.
In 1941, she married a tall, handsome director, Will Price, and they had a daughter, Bronwyn, in 1944.
“The marriage was a terrible mistake, and we divorced in 1952,” she said. She remained unmarried until the wedding to Blair in 1968.
O’Hara’s career was threatened by a manufactured scandal in 1957, when Confidential magazine claimed she and a lover engaged in “the hottest show in town” in a back row in Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
But at the time, she told AP, “I was making a movie in Spain, and I had the passport to prove it.” She testified against the magazine in a criminal libel trial and brought a lawsuit that was settled out of court. The magazine eventually went out of business.
On the screen, O’Hara always played strong, willful women. In a 1991 interview, she was asked if she was the same woman she appeared in movies.
“I do like to get my own way,” she said. “But don’t think I’m not acting when I’m up there. And don’t think I always get my own way. There have been crushing disappointments. But when that happens, I say, ‘Find another hill to climb.’”
She is survived by her daughter, Bronwyn FitzSimons of Glengarriff, Ireland; her grandson, Conor FitzSimons of Boise and two great-grandchildren.
Actor Maureen O’Hara photographed in her front yard in Los Angeles in 1960. O’Hara, known for such classics as “The Quiet Man” and “How Green Was My Valley,” has died. Her manager says O’Hara died in her sleep Oct. 24, 2015, at her home in Boise, Idaho. Harold Filan, AP
Sudden passing: Jones released a statement Wednesday saying Ingles suffered a massive heart attack and passed away at a medical center in the LA suburb of Tarzana.
In addition to Jones, Ingels’ survivors include three stepsons, Shaun, Patrick and Ryan Cassidy, Jones’ sons from her marriage to actor Jack Cassidy; a niece, Lauren Ingerman; and 12 grandchildren. In 1960, he appeared twice as himself in NBC’s short-lived crime drama, Dan Raven, starring Skip Homeier and set on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood, California.
Ingels’ acting career dates back to the early 1960s.
Actor and comedian, Marty Ingels, known for appearances on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” as well as many other shows in the 1960s died, his actress and singer wife Shirley Jones announced Wednesday.
Along with guest shots on TV shows, Ingels also co-starred with John Astin on the 1962-1963 series “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster“. The show ran from 1962 and ended a year later, after 32 episodes.He loaned his voice to hundreds of cartoons and commercials, and later launched a talent agency.
Ingels was also involved in voice-over and commercials. He voiced Pac-Man in the 1982 animated series.
In 1974, Ingels met Shirley Jones, co-star of the 1970s TV hit “The Partridge Family“, at a party at actor Michael Landon’s home.
Among Ingels’ film projects were Armored Command, Wild and Wonderful, For Singles Only, If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Belgium, How to Seduce a Woman and Promoted. In 2002, Jones filed for a divorce, but then withdrew the petition.
The pair published the autobiography Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story in 1990.
Longtime bandmate Danny Hutton said that Wells died “unexpectedly” Tuesday in Dunkirk, New York. He said that Wells had been performing with the group until developing severe back pain in September.
“Cory was an incredible singer, a great performer, he could sing anything,” Hutton said in a statement. “Cory was like a brother in so many ways… I am in shock at this sudden loss.”
Three Dog Night formed in the late 1960s and racked up 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including “Joy to the World” and “One.”
The group’s singers rotated, with Wells record vocals for “Shambala” and the No. 1 hit “Mama Told Me (Not to Come).”
Three Dog Night singer Cory Wells. Cindy Ord / Getty Images File
Wells — born Emil Lewandowski on Feb. 2, 1941 in Buffalo — joined the Air Force directly out of high school. He formed a band while in the service and went on to play with other groups in his hometown after leaving the military.
He met Hutton — then a solo artist — after both were invited to tour with Sonny and Cher. Three Dog Night — named after a story about Australian aborigines in the cold outback seeking warmth — was formed after that tour.
Various iterations of the group have stayed on the road performing for 40 years.
The band said that in addition to music, Wells was passionate about fishing — filming several episodes of “The American Sportsman” and participating in charity fishing tournaments around the country.
News of Wells’ death prompted tributes from the world of music and far beyond.
Sen. Chuck Schumer called his music “part of the fabric of American,” while Motley Crue’s Vince Neil called Wells a “man with inspiration.”
Wells is survived by his wife, two daughters and five grandchildren.
His death comes just over six months after the band’s original keyboard player, Jimmy Greenspoon, died from cancer.
The United Nations’ (UN) World Development Information Day is annually held on October 24 to draw attention of worldwide public opinion to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them.
What Do People Do?
Many events are organized to focus attention on the work that the UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites. Direct campaigns may also be organized in some areas. These may use advertisements in newspapers and on radio and television as well as posters in public places.
In South Africa, indabas (gatherings of community representatives with expertise in a particular area) are often held. Representatives of local, national and international bodies are invited to share, discuss and consolidate their ideas around a particular development issue of local or national importance.
World Development Information Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development proposed measures for the information dissemination and the mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development problems. These became known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 1972.
This resolution called for introducing World Development Information Day to help draw the attention of people worldwide to development problems. A further aim of the event is to explain to the general public why it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to find ways to solve these problems. The assembly also decided that the day should coincide with United Nations Day to stress the central role of development in the UN’s work. World Development Information Day was first held on October 24, 1973, and has been held on this date each year since then.
In recent years, many events have interpreted the title of the day slightly differently. These have concentrated on the role that modern information technologies, such as Internet and mobile telephones can play in alerting people and finding solutions to problems of trade and development. One of the specific aims of World Development Information Day was to inform and motivate young people and this change may help to further this aim.
United Nations Day highlights, celebrates and reflects on the work of the United Nations (UN) and its family of specialized agencies.
What Do People Do?
On and around October 24, many activities are organized by all parts of the UN, particularly in the main offices in New York, the Hague (Netherlands), Geneva (Switzerland), Vienna (Austria) and Nairobi (Kenya). These include: concerts; flying the UN flag on important buildings; debates on the relevance of the work of the UN in modern times; and proclamations by state heads and other leaders.
United Nations Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
The foundations for a “League of Nations” were laid in the Treaty of Versailles, which was one of the treaties to formally end World War I. The treaty was signed in Versailles, France, on June 28, 1919. The league aimed to encourage disarmament, prevent outbreaks of war, encourage negotiations and diplomatic measures to settle international disputes and to improve the quality of life around the world. However, the outbreak of World War II suggested that the League of Nations needed to take on a different form.
The ideas around the United Nations were developed in the last years of World War II, particularly during the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the United States, beginning on April 25, 1945. The UN was officially created when a UN charter was ratified on October 24 that year.
United Nations Day was first observed on October 24, 1948. The UN recommended that United Nations Day should be a public holiday in member states since 1971. There were also calls for United Nations Day to be an international public holiday to bring attention to the work, role and achievements of the UN and its family of specialized agencies. These have been spectacular, particularly in the fields of human rights, support in areas of famine, eradication of disease, promotion of health and settlement of refugees.
The UN does not work alone but together with many specialized agencies, including: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); International Labour Organization (ILO); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
The UN emblem consists of a projection of the globe centered on the North Pole. It depicts all continents except Antarctica and four concentric circles representing degrees of latitude. The projection is surrounded by images of olive branches, representing peace. The emblem is often blue, although it is printed in white on a blue background on the UN flag.
There’s a new Captain America, and he’s black. Not only that: His first villains are border militiamen.
Repeating what happened a few years ago when Marvel Comics’ film franchise cast a black man (Idris Elba) in the role of the Viking demigod Heimdahl, white nationalists have erupted in grumbling and outrage over the iconic comic hero’s change in race – perhaps somewhat predictably.
But it is the use of border militiamen as the first villains confronted by the new “Cap” that has mainstream conservative pundits in an uproar. They appear to continue to believe that armed border-militia “minutemen” who sometimes patrol the U.S.-Mexico border are just ordinary conservatives.
However, that just isn’t true. In reality, the border-vigilante movement has been a cesspool of criminality that frequently attracts sociopaths and charlatans.
Mainstream pundits confuse nativist extremists’ views with their own.
Marvel Comics editors re-launched their comic book in the summer of 2014 as the “All New Captain America,” reflective of the comic-book giant’s desire to remain current with younger readers. One of the changes in the book involved retiring Steve Rogers, the Caucasian character who has been Captain America’s “secret identity” since the 1940s. Editors chose the character of longtime Avenger Sam Wilson, a.k.a. the Falcon and an African American, to replace Rogers.
In his first issue as “Cap,” published just this month, Wilson goes up against a group of vigilante border watchers who call themselves the “Sons of the Serpent” and kidnap and harass immigrant border crossers.
“Attention all trespassers! I am the Supreme Serpent!” the masked leader tells the hapless immigrants he has caught. “By invading this sovereign land, you defy the laws of God, nature and the United States Constitution! Therefore, I hereby apprehend you by the power vested in me by the aforementioned God, nature, et cetera, et cetera.”
An immigrant pleads that he doesn’t want any trouble, and the masked villain replies: “Oh, I believe you, sir. I can see you have enough trouble with you already, trouble and disease and crime weigh heavy on your backs.”
“Until the mighty wall is built,” the villain adds, “you come here for employment that is rightfully ours! And if denied it, you seek welfare paid for by our tax dollars! Also, you know how you make me press one for English at the beginning of every call to my satellite provider? That is something I cannot abide!”
In the end, “Cap” thrashes the vigilantes and sends them packing, musing as the narrator: “I mean, come on. Who wouldn’t want to punch these guys at least a little, right?”
These scenes provoked an outcry from a number of mainstream conservative outlets, who for some reason saw themselves in the people the superhero was beating up. The Koch-funded MacIver Institute was one of the first to raise the alarm, followed by the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and Breitbart News. A number of conservative pundits, including Allen West, followed suit, all complaining that Captain America was making conservatives out to be villains.
On Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends, Tucker Carlson, Clayton Morris, and Heather Childers all discussed the comic, appalled that “conservatives” were being so badly maligned.
“The [Supreme Serpent] is an American who has misgivings about unlimited illegal immigration and the costs associated with it,” Carlson explained. “And that, according to the comic book, is evil.”
“The whole theme is the same,” Carlson added later, “which is that out there in the middle of the country between Malibu and Georgetown everyone is an ignorant, snake-handling bigot and they need to be held in place or else they’ll turn this country into Nazi Germany. It’s like, the people who run this country, a lot of them actually believe that. I live near them. They really think that.”
Whether or not the border vigilantes make appropriate comic book villains for Captain America to combat is a question best left to editors, creators, and readers. But there should be no confusion about whether the militiamen who have populated the border-vigilante movement since its inception a decade ago are ordinary conservatives who “have misgivings about illegal immigration,” as Carlson put it. They are not.
It is one thing to have such misgivings, but it is another thing entirely to take the law into your own hands by going out on potentially dangerous foot patrols in the desert while heavily armed and to brandish weapons at immigrants, sometimes arresting them – which is what border militiamen such as the Minutemen often do.
And while such activities have indeed attracted a fair number of well-meaning, ordinary conservatives, they have also attracted a large number of criminals and sociopaths, a number of whom have assumed leadership roles within the border movement. Much of that attraction is attributable to the nativism that drives the movement and the frequently violent and vicious rhetoric the border watchers use in their everyday discussions of immigration.
Chris Simcox’s booking photo
No one embodies that tendency more than Chris Simcox, who cofounded the Minuteman Project with Jim Gilchrist. The former California schoolteacher turned Arizona desert rat had a long history of unstable behavior that contributed to the split between his organization and Gilchrist’s shortly after their project’s April 2005 launch.
Simcox was arrested in July 2013 and charged with three counts of child molestation — later reduced to two — after his then-6-year-old daughter and one of her friends, age 5, accused him of sexually assaulting them. The trial is currently on hold after a lengthy dispute over whether he would be permitted to cross-examine the alleged victims (which he won). If convicted of the felony charges, Simcox could face life in prison.
Even before Simcox came along with his Minuteman concept, one of the early border-militia organizers who preceded him also had a number of brushes with the law. Casey Nethercott, another Arizona resident, was involved in a border-watch operation called Ranch Rescue at the turn of the century, and he too had a number of criminal legal problems.
The vigilantes of ‘Ranch Rescue’ at work
Nethercott — who had done prison time in California for assault in the 1990s — and some of his fellow Ranch Rescue members in 2003 assaulted two Salvadoran migrants who had crossed the border on foot and wound up on a ranch where the nativist border watchers operated. The migrants were held at gunpoint, and one of them was pistol-whipped and attacked by a Rottweiler. With the assistance of the SPLC, the migrants sued their attackers and won a million-dollar civil judgment against Ranch Rescue, including $500,000 against Nethercott, who also faced criminal assault charges in the case but eventually had them dismissed.
Nethercott eventually left Ranch Rescue and then began organizing his own border watches at a property he purchased in Arizona. Eventually he had a tense standoff with Border Patrol agents at that property; when FBI agents tried to arrest him for his role in that incident two weeks later, they wound up shooting the white supremacist who was accompanying him at the time.
Indeed, while the phrase “rule of law” even today is often bandied about by the remaining bands of vigilante nativists, the record demonstrates that this was a peculiarly flexible concept for many of the Minutemen and their associates.
Shawna Forde, the murderous Minuteman
Shawna Forde, for example, incorporated the phrase into the logo for her offshoot border-watch operation, Minuteman American Defense. Forde’s operation was widely promoted at the website of Simcox’s Minuteman Project co-founder, Jim Gilchrist; previously, she had been deeply involved in Simcox’s MCDC operations in Washington state.
Then, in June 2009, Forde was arrested and charged with masterminding the horrific murders of a 9-year-old girl and her father in the small Arizona border town of Arivaca, along with a white-supremacist cohort named Jason Eugene Bush and a local man, Albert Gaxiola, as part of her plan to create a border-militia compound. All three were convicted, and Forde and Bush wound up on Arizona’s Death Row.
After the arrests of Forde, Bush and Gaxiola, Forde’s former associates in the Minuteman movement fled from their onetime protégé. National leaders of the Minuteman movement — particularly Simcox and Gilchrist — hastily tried to put distance between themselves and Forde and her group. To this day, Gilchrist tries to claim that he had little to do with her.
But while Forde’s conviction severely damaged the border-watch movement — as one ex-MCDC leader put it, “A lot of people felt, well, you’re a Minuteman, you’re a killer” — that was not the end of it.
In April 2012, one of Forde’s associates in the desert, a Tucson man named Todd Hezlitt, was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor for an affair he had initiated with a 15-year-old girl from a local high school where he was an assistant wrestling coach. Two months later, he fled with the girl to Mexico, and he briefly became an international fugitive.
A few weeks after that, the girl turned herself in to the American consulate in Mazatlan. Hezlitt was caught a short time later and extradited. He eventually wound up agreeing to plead guilty to the sexual conduct charges in exchange for not being charged with kidnapping, and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Before committing suicide, Ready shot and killed his girlfriend, Lisa Lynn Mederos, 47; her daughter, Amber Nieve Mederos, 23; the daughter’s boyfriend, Jim Franklin Hiott, and Amber’s 15-month-old baby girl, Lilly Lynn Mederos. Investigators later found chemicals and military-grade munitions at Ready’s residence.
As Tim Steller at the Arizona Daily Star observed: “Undoubtedly, there have been bordermilitia members in Arizona who have carried out citizen patrols without harboring racist motives or having criminal tendencies. The problem for the movement … is that people with these motives or tendencies have cropped up repeatedly among citizen border-watchers.”
Given that history, Captain America probably has good reason for seeing a border militia gang as villainous. It’s not at all clear why mainstream conservatives, however, would see such a gang as one of their own.
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