SPORTS: The most popular sport is soccer. The national soccer team has won two FIFA World Cups and 14 Copa Américas. THEATER: Teatro Colón (Columbus Theater) in Buenos Aires is considered one of the best in the world. FOOD: A typical meal is the “asado,” a style of preparation of various types of meat cooked on a grill over an open fire. DRINK: “Yerba mate,” an indigenous drink, is Argentina’s national beverage. The country is one of the world’s most prominent wine producers. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner invites Argentines to rethink their country during the bicentennial. “The bicentennial will offer us a great opportunity to rethink our country, not looking back but looking forward, yet with a vision of those things we could have done better or where we went wrong so that we do not make the same mistakes again,” Fernández said during the official presentation of the bicentennial program in December 2009. The country is preparing to show the world the special things Argentines have to offer: LITERATURE: It has a rich history of worldclass literature. Argentine Jorge Luis Borges is one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed writers. MUSIC: Tango is the traditional music. FILM: The world’s first animated feature films were made and released in Argentina in 1917. By Dialogo January 01, 2010
By Lois Beckett, ProPublicaThe executive actions on guns unveiled last week by President Obama drew predictable praise from gun control advocates and bile from gun-rights supporters and Republican lawmakers, including some who called his actions “unconstitutional.”But, as some have noted, the actions themselves are extremely modest, raising questions about how much they will really do to stem gun violence.Obama’s most significant step is an attempt to expand the number of gun sellers who conduct background checks on buyers. To do this, he is not changing the requirements for who is required to conduct a background check and who is not. Instead, he is giving a very high level of publicity to new “guidance” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that simply explains what the current law is.Under federal law, licensed firearm dealers have to comply with a set of regulations, including conducting background checks on prospective purchasers to make sure they are not prohibited from owning a gun because of a criminal record or other disqualifying factor. More occasional sellers of guns—one private individual selling to another private individual—do not have to follow these rules.For decades, gun control advocates have decried this gaping loophole in the nation’s federal background check law. After a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Congressional Democrats tried and failed to close this loophole by passing legislation to require background checks on more gun sales.Obama is now approaching the problem from a different angle: He is focusing on gun sellers who may be operating in a gray area between being an occasional seller and a licensed dealer.According to the ATF, its new guidance breaks down how federal courts have interpreted the somewhat fuzzy line between occasional gun sellers, who are not required to conduct background checks, and people who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, who must have a federal license, conduct background checks, and comply with other federal regulations on dealers.A father selling off part of his personal collection of high-end firearms to finance his son’s college education does not need a federal firearms license, the ATF explained. But a man who lost his job and is now “buying firearms from friends and reselling them though an internet site” does need a license.Experts say there’s some indication that gun sellers operating in this gray area are a problem, and that they play a role in supplying guns to people with criminal records.Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said sellers whose livelihoods don’t depend on gun sales may exercise prudence beyond what’s required by law when making transactions. When he conducted focus groups with gun owners in Texas, he said, many said they would not sell a gun without voluntarily checking whether a potential buyer had a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon, so they could be sure they were selling to a person who could legally own a gun.But private sellers who are trying to make a profit may be less scrupulous about whether the person who is buying their gun could pass a background check, Webster said.“If you are, on a regular basis, buying and selling a whole lot of guns and are doing that to make money, I think that probably clouds judgment,” he said.Webster cited a November 2015 study by the gun control group Everytownfor Gun Safety, which analyzed a year’s worth of ads posted by unlicensed sellers on Armslist.com, an online gun marketplace. The report found that a small proportion of unlicensed sellers were selling a very large number of guns on the site: “Those offering 25 or more guns accounted for 1 in 500 sellers but offered 1 in 20 guns,” the report found. These private, high-volume sellers should be required to be licensed, the report concluded.It’s not clear how the findings of this one study might reflect the larger online marketplace for guns—or the broader patterns of offline unlicensed sales.“The bottom line: we don’t know how big this is, but we have enough evidence to know that thousands of guns are being sold by individuals who are selling a lot of guns in fairly risky kinds of ways,” Webster said.The Everytown report also concluded that the vague legal definition of who should be a licensed gun seller had undermined efforts to prosecute people for dealing in firearms without a license.Webster said it would be interesting to see if the White House’s attempt to clarify the law resulted in more cases targeting people for selling guns without a license. “Time will tell,” he said, noting that simply putting a spotlight on these sellers should also have “some deterrent effect.”Even if the president succeeds in shrinking this gray area of the gun market, it’s not clear what effect that might have on gun violence overall.Phil Cook, a Duke University gun policy expert, was one of the researchers who recently surveyed 99 inmates at the Cook County Jail in Chicago about how they obtained their guns. Very few of them described getting their guns from licensed gun dealers, or by stealing them.For people with criminal records, “most of these transactions are not with people who are in the real business of selling guns, licensed or unlicensed. It’s much more casual transactions involving acquaintances, family members, street sources,” Cook said.The White House emphasized both gun shows and Internet sales as places where it was easy to conduct risky sales with no background check requirements.But Cook said that, according to surveys, neither the Internet nor gun shows were places were “the typical gang member or robber” goes to buy a gun.“Nobody in the jail survey mentioned they had gone online,” Cook said. “I wonder if they would trust that arrangement. What they were telling us about the transactions they were involved with—on both sides, it was important that they either knew the other person or that they had somebody who would vouch for them. There was very little dealing going on among strangers.”The 2015 Everytown study, which “analyzed every federal prosecution of ‘engaging in the business’ of dealing guns without a license in 2011 and 2012” also found “defendants relied on gun shows, online markets, or print ads to buy or sell their wares” in “approximately 10 percent of cases.”At the same time, Cook said, that did not mean that gun shows and the Internet did not play a role in illegal trafficking. It’s extremely hard to track the movement of guns between their sale by a licensed dealer and the moment they are recovered at a crime scene or from someone not legally allowed to own them. Gun shows and the Internet might play a role in a chain of sales between these points, he said, and “might be supplying the pipeline of guns that are being trafficked into Chicago or New York.”The ATF has no estimate for how many additional people, if any, may decide to get licensed and start conducting background checks as a result of its new guidance, though “it is reasonable to believe that there will be some increase in the number of new applications for firearms licenses,” ATF spokesman Corey Ray wrote in an e-mail.Will the ATF start cracking down on gun sellers in the gray area that the guidance deals with? “Because this really isn’t new regulation, the requirements are already in place and enforcement is ongoing,” Ray wrote.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York read more
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionSchenectady home to summer musicAs summer draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to recognize and thank the many organizations that made for an incredible season in Schenectady County.Schenectady has truly become a hub for outstanding live music. In addition to events like Schenectady County’s Summer Night block party and the wonderful and longstanding free concert series at Freedom Park in Scotia and the Music Haven Stage in Central Park, the Harbor Jam Concert series put on by Rivers Casino & Resort at the Mohawk Harbor Amphitheatre has become a “must-see” for music lovers in the Capital Region and beyond.Harbor Jam brought in nearly 20,000 people over the eight-concert series to experience this beautiful waterfront venue, with a record-breaking crowd at their final show featuring the Little River Band. It’s been wonderful to experience the diverse and delicious array of local food and craft beverage vendors they assembled for each show and to see such a strong and enthusiastic turnout from our community. A big thank you to Rivers Casino & Resort and the Galesi Group for putting on such a quality concert series and giving so many people a great reason to discover Schenectady this summer. We can’t wait to see who you bring in next year.Becky DanielsSchenectadyThe writer is executive director of Discover Schenectady.Henry Street Pilot great for Spa CityThe Henry Street Pilot is an admirable experiment for our public space and our community.This opportunity provides for healthy recreation and encourages Saratoga Springs residents to use more sustainable forms of transportation. This program is designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets together, respectfully.Programs of this caliber enable in the goal of keeping Saratoga Springs ecologically balanced and green.This is an exciting future for Saratoga Springs under the leadership of Patty Morrison, who is running for Commissioner of Finance in November. In addition, we should involve more, such as information tents, a children’s corner-like free play and/or art and cultural workshops. It represents a stellar legacy for future generations who will live, play and work in Saratoga Springs.SoniaCarmen ArcelaySaratoga SpringsDon’t make it easy for gun thievesI’m for very strict gun control laws. But I also think they can be useless because as we know, anyone who wants a gun bad enough can get one (or two or three or more), no matter what their background check shows.And it’s made all the easier when police officers leave their car open and running with a 12-gauge shotgun inside. I’m baffled as to how something like this can happen.Ellen FruehSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 read more
The groping, Anna further said, went on for years and happened six to eight times during mandatory confessions until she graduated from the school. “Each time, I left the confession room feeling awkward, but I did not know what to think of it, nor what to do about it.”The mandatory confessions took place in a chapel, instead of a traditional partitioned confessional, which allowed the religious leader to make direct contact with his students.Anna, afraid her stories would be dismissed by people who regarded the clergy as “old, harmless and loving”, chose to bury them until 10 years later when she got together with her childhood friends. She was surprised to know that two of her friends admitted that the same person often asked them to kiss his cheeks upon leaving the confession room.”I knew there was something not right about this priest. And so for years, we all lived with this fact and truth that he had abused his power and authority, and exploited the innocence of these girls,” she added.Vivian, also a former Sang Timur student, said the same “old” priest used to kiss her cheek and the corner of her lips several times during morning blessings between 2013 and 2014. She told her parents but they dismissed it, saying it was probably the priest’s way of showing his affection, “like showing a grandfather’s love for his grandchild”.”I try to shrug the uneasiness off, but deep down I know it doesn’t feel right to me,” Vivian said.She said the priest was still making her uncomfortable by sending her short messages, some of which came via WhatsApp.”I honestly feel uncomfortable about it, so I choose to ignore his requests,” she said.She expressed hope that other parents would never dismiss such reports of sexual abuse against their children.A child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Indonesia’s School of Medicine, Fransiska Kaligis, said separately that all reports of sexual abuse against minors should be followed up seriously to minimize any negative impacts.”These traumatic experiences can eventually affect the way children see themselves, other people and their world. These children could see others and their surroundings as something scary, and could also feel insecure in facing others,” Fransiska saidHead priest at the MBK parish, Father Krispinus Ginting, did not respond to the team’s question about what action the church was going to take to follow the media reports. The alleged perpetrator, identified only as H, also remained silent upon request for an interview by phone.The new Vatican guidelines on investigating and reporting alleged cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by perpetrators within the Catholic Church urges clergymen to report cases to the police.The clergy can open a preliminary investigation based on a “possible delict” sourced from anonymous reports, media reports or even social media reports.”The anonymity of the source should not automatically lead to considering the report as false,” the handbook, issued on July 16, states.Indonesian Carmelite order head Father Budiono said that they were always open to sexual abuse reports. “As leaders, we are open to reports or complaints. They should file the reports directly with us and inform us of their clear identity,” he said, adding that victims could make reports by phone too.All four victims who spoke to the Post and Tirto.id team said they would report their cases only if they were guaranteed protection.Anna said the other women did not file immediate reports because of the confusion and concerns felt by victims. She expressed her disappointment when she read that the former head of the parish interviewed in the reports, Father Andreas Yudhi Wiyadi, said he had never heard of any sexual abuse cases.“The Church betrays us!” Anna wrote in her message to the team.Topics : Two more victims of childhood sexual abuse at a Catholic school have spoken up following collaborative reports between The Jakarta Post and Tirto.id on abuse in the Catholic Church, as the Church continues to remain passive in dealing with sexual assault allegations.Now grown women, the victims, Anna and Vivian, who chose pseudonyms to protect their privacy, said they read the reports of Sisca and Ellen, also pseudonyms, and found similarities between their experiences.Anna and Vivian reached out to the collaboration team shortly after the reports were published last month in the hopes of bringing broader awareness to the case and “ending the perpetrator’s years of lies”. Vivian said a priest at the Maria Bunda Karmel (MBK) parish still texted her from time to time, asking personal questions such as whether she was married. He also asked her to send him pictures of her. The last message sent was in May.Anna said she experienced abuse – allegedly from the same priest – about 15 years ago when she was a student at Sang Timur Catholic Junior High School, which is located next to the MBK parish.As a Catholic, she was mandated to attend school confessions twice a year, and that was when she said the abuse began.The priest, she recalled, “would run his hand up and down my chest while I sat kneeling in front of him during confession. He did it so carefully that as a 15-year-old, I was not sure if it was his way of showing unconditional love to us, or if it was something else.” read more
J.J. Andersen became a first-time IMCA Modified feature winner on Racing For a Reason Night at Shawano Speedway. (Photo by A and H Photos)By Scott OwenSHAWANO, Wis. (July 22) – A great crowd turned out in support of the seventh annual Racing For a Reason Night Saturday at Shawano Speedway. The event raises money for local childhood cancer charities.On the track, 14-year-old Jayden Schmidt stole the show by battling with some of the best around to win his first local Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature.IMCA Modified rookie J.J. Andersen also looked like a seasoned veteran en route to his first win in the division while Dan Michonski notched his second IMCA Sunoco Stock Car win of the year.
A 22-year-old man was arrested in Delray Beach Sunday for the open carry of a firearm, police say.Jacobi Baker was arrested during a routine traffic stop after the officer on duty saw a black and tan American tactical rifle on the floorboard of his vehicle.Delray Beach police say the weapon was near the driver’s right leg and was loaded with ammunition in the magazine.Baker was charged with open carry of a firearm.According to police, the suspect violated Florida law by having the rifle in plain sight.This story is developing.