APTN National NewsA 16-year-old Indigenous youth who committed suicide in a forest was failed by British Columbia’s mental health services, says a new report by the province’s children and youth representative.The boy, who was identified as “Chester” in the report to protect the privacy of his family and community, exhibited signs of serious mental health issues before his 2013 death but received little in any help from the organizations created to provide the help he needed, said the report.The report titled, A Tragedy in Waiting, said little has improved with the province’s mental health services since the tragedy which the report said was the result of non-existent proper assessments for the boy.The report said miscommunication and lack of follow-up created the perception treatment through Aboriginal Child and Youth Mental Health Services would be hampered by extremely long wait lists along with a false sense that the youth was already receiving enough support.“One might think that when faced with a tragedy such as a teenager taking his own life, providing treatment for mental illnesses for Aboriginal children and youth would become a top priority for government, but that has not happened,” said Children and Youth Representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, in a statement. “In May 2013, we lost a bright and creative young man who should still be here. Three years later, wait lists for services in this youth’s area—close to an urban centre—are still on-average 270 days, or nearly nine months. This is nothing short of cruel.”The report said that the Aboriginal agency in the youth’s area was operating below an acceptable standard and was not being properly supported by the Minister of Children and Family Development.The report said the agency couldn’t help the youth adequately because it was more concerned with organizing its records for a ministry audit and quality review.“This DAA had been struggling for years with little aid from the ministry, which is required by law to support it,” said Turpel-Lafond. “Actions taken by MCFD did not adequately address the lack of capacity in the DAA until well after Chester’s death and it remains unclear whether these issues have been resolved in a sustainable manner.”The report called on the government to increase resources to reduce the wait list for Aboriginal children and youth mental health services.It also called for the creation of a “proactive lead agency” in conjunction with Ottawa and First Nations to deliver Aboriginal and youth mental health services.“There has been much talk about reconciliation and placing children at the centre, but so little has been done to make improvements that it is impossible to say the system has progressed at all since Chester died,” said Turpel-Lafond. “Children are waiting and waiting and waiting. Even now, some children in Chester’s region are waiting as long as 12 months for services in a major urban area. This is essentially a denial of service. Quite simply, we must do better.”firstname.lastname@example.org
Tennis player James Blake arrives at City Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The police officer who tackled retired tennis player James Blake in a mistaken arrest outside a Manhattan hotel testified Tuesday that he and his family have been getting death threats since the 2015 incident.Officer James Frascatore was part of an undercover operation targeting credit card fraud and mistakenly thought Blake was one of the suspects. A security video captured Frascatore tackling and handcuffing Blake, who was let go after officers realized their mistake. The mayor and the former police commissioner publicly apologized to the ex-tennis star.In his second departmental trial connected in the incident, Frascatore said he was just following orders to arrest a man who looked like Blake. He said his career had been destroyed and described the upheaval it brought to his life and family.“The best way to describe it is hell,” he said. “I had death threats coming in to my children, my wife, myself. We had to move numerous times.”Frascatore also accused Blake of creating a “false narrative about an out-of-control cop.”“He’s part black and I’m white and it turned into a racial issue,” he said.Blake’s mother is white, and his father is black. Blake has said he thought the incident was mostly about excessive force, but also about how communities of color are generally treated.In closing remarks Tuesday, prosecutor Javier Seymour said Frascatore broke department rules.At Frascatore’s first departmental trial, police watchdog lawyers said he should lose 10 vacation days as punishment for excessive force, but the police commissioner overruled that recommendation and docked him five vacations days. Blake said the punishment was too light.The second trial was initiated by allegations that Frascatore participated in the investigation and leaked a longer videotape of the incident to the media.Frascatore denied telling anyone to leak the longer tape, saying his sister-in-law gave it out in an attempt to stop the death threats. He said he was “disgusted” the NYPD didn’t release the extended video which showed him shaking hands with Blake and apologizing after the false arrest.“It was very upsetting considering only part of it had been released,” he said.Frascatore’s lawyer, Peter Brill, said the NYPD overreacted to the incident.“The department reacts by placing too much blame. He was simply doing his job.”
AP AP, More than 1,700 Hondurans headed for the Mexico border, new caravan of migrants AGUA CALIENTE, Guatemala (AP) — More than 1,700 Hondurans were walking and hitchhiking through Guatemala on Wednesday, heading toward the Mexico border as part of a new caravan of migrants hoping to reach the United States.Over 1,700 migrants passed through the Agua Caliente border crossing under the watchful eyes of about 200 police and soldiers. Some migrants told The Associated Press that they crossed informally elsewhere.Guatemala’s National Immigration Institute said there were 325 children or youths under 18 in the caravan. There were also just over 100 people from El Salvador.Miria Zelaya, who left the Honduran city of Colon and was traveling with 12 relatives, said she did not know what sort of work she hopes to find in the United States but was not dismayed by tougher immigration policies under President Donald Trump.“That does not discourage me,” Zelaya said. “The need is greater.”Migrants leaving Central America’s Northern Triangle nations of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala routinely cite widespread poverty, lack of opportunity and rampant gang violence as their motivation.Many in the group registered for 90-day visas in Guatemala, saying they felt it would offer peace of mind on the 300-mile (540-kilometer) trek to Mexico’s southern border.Hector Alvarado, a 25-year-old announcer, said he had been shut out of job opportunities for belonging to the political opposition and felt forced to leave to find work. He learned about the caravan on Facebook, said goodbye to relatives and hit the road.“My loved ones have already cried over of my leaving,” Alvarado said. “Now I have to press on.”The latest trek north comes as U.S. President Donald Trump has been working to convince the American public that there is a crisis at the southern border to justify construction of his long-promised border wall. Trump’s demand for billions of dollars to that end has resulted in a standoff with Congress that has forced a partial government shutdown.The fate that awaits the migrants at the Mexico-U.S. border is uncertain. Previous caravans that were seized upon last year by Trump in the run-up to the 2018 midterm election have quietly dwindled, with many having gone home to Central America or put down roots in Mexico. Many others — nearly half, according to U.S. Border Patrol arrest records — have sought to enter the U.S. illegally.About 6,000 Central Americans reached Tijuana in November amid conflict on both sides of the border over their presence in the Mexican city across from San Diego. As of earlier this week, fewer than 700 remained at a former outdoor concert venue in Tijuana that the Mexican government set up as a shelter to house them.Mexico has issued humanitarian visas to about 2,900 migrants from last fall’s caravan, many of whom are now working legally there with visas.Also Wednesday about 100 migrants set out as a group from the capital of El Salvador, hoping to join the larger group from Honduras. Their numbers represent less than a third of the estimated 350 migrants who leave El Salvador each day.“I can’t stay. I’m leaving because the gangs have threatened me — either I join them, or they’ll kill me,” said Adonay Hernandez, 22, who was carrying just $20 in his pocket but was confident he will make it to relatives in North Carolina. “God is my shield.”Others hoped to find a better life in Mexico, where they have options for applying for refuge and work permits.“I know that in Mexico they are helping us,” said Franklin Martinez, a 34-year-old traveling with his partner and their 2½-year-old daughter. “We are going to ask for refuge and we are going to stay and work. After we have saved enough, perhaps we will go to the United States, but our goal is to make it to Mexico.”Liduvina Margarin, vice minister for Salvadorans abroad, met with the migrants before they left a downtown plaza to warn them about the dangers of the northward route. She told them that more than half the Salvadorans who left in caravans have returned to the country.“Our duty is to say to you that you are never going to be better off than in your homeland, in your communities of origin,” Margarin said.Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that Mexico has been monitoring the latest caravan closely.He said the best option is for Central American governments to persuade their citizens to stay. Those who don’t will be allowed to enter Mexico in an orderly fashion and presented with options, and their human rights will be respected, Lopez Obrador added. January 16, 2019 Posted: January 16, 2019 Updated: 6:09 PM Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, National & International News FacebookTwitter
Kolkata: A couple died in a road accident while their 4-year-old son sustained serious injuries in the same. Four others have also been injured in two separate accidents in the city.The first accident took place in Nadia’s Ranaghat where the bike, which the victims were riding, was hit by a truck on Sunday morning. Police said one Rajesh Mondal, a resident of Begopara area of Nadia was going with his wife and his 4-year-old son to Ranaghat along the National Highway 34. When they were passing Doyabari area, a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction hit them. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe truck driver and the helper fled the spot immediately after the accident leaving the vehicle at the spot. According to the locals, the truck was running at a high speed as a result of which the driver failed to control the vehicle. The locals rushed the injured victims to a nearby hospital where the couple declared brought dead while the boy has been fighting for his life in the hospital.Police have seized the vehicle and are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has been absconding since the incident took place. The accident caused traffic congestion on the National Highway 34 after the accident. Normalcy was restored after an hour following the intervention of the district police officers. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn another incident, a speeding car lost control and overturned on Mahim Haldar Street in Kalighat injuring the driver. The locals rescued the driver and sent him to MR Bangur Hospital at around 12.30 am on Saturday midnight. According to the hospital sources, the victim’s condition is serious. Police later reached the spot and seized the vehicle. Police suspect that the victim might have been driving the vehicle in a drunken state. CCTV footages are being looked into. They have started a probe in this regard.The third accident took place in Bidhannagar where two persons travelling in a car received injuries after the vehicle dashed against the road divider. The accident took place near Baguiati in the wee hours of Sunday. The victims have been identified as Md Tarif (27) , Kaushar Ali (24) and Md Samsul (26). They were taken to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.
Kolkata: The state Finance department has declared holidays on the Lok Sabha election days in Bengal. The state goes to polls in seven phases. The holidays will be effective for the respective LS constituencies on the days they are going for polls. In the first phase, Cooch Behar and Alipurduar goes to polls on Thursday, April 11. Hence, there will be holiday in all the Assembly constituencies that come under these two LS constituencies. There will be holiday on April 18, Thursday at Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Raiganj Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLS constituencies. Five constituencies, namely Balurghat, Malda Uttar, Malda Dakshin, Jangipur and Murshidabad will have holiday on Tuesday, April 23. Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Burdwan Purba, Burdwan- Durgapur, Asansol, Bolpur and Birbhum constituencies will have holiday on Monday, April 29. The bypoll for Krishnanagar Assembly constituency will also be held on April 29. Bongaon, Barrackpur, Howrah, Uluberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly and Arambagh will have holiday on Monday, May 6. Uluberia Purba Assembly constituency is also going for by-elections on the same day.