Connect with us

Buzz

Trump signs sweeping criminal justice First Step Act into law | News

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

US President Donald Trump has signed rare bipartisan legislation addressing concerns with the criminal justice system.

Trump called the bill “an incredible success for our country” and “beyond bipartisan” during an Oval Office signing ceremony on Friday.

Lawmakers and advocates also hailed it as a hugely influential package and thanked the president for supporting the issue.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the law would give thousands of people in prison a “second chance”.

The legislation will give judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and will boost prisoner rehabilitation efforts.

It received the rare support of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers as well as conservative and liberal groups that rarely work together.

Groups that supported the bill included the Fraternal Order of Police, the Centre for American Progress and the Koch brothers, among others.

Playing a key role behind the scenes was Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, whose father spent time in federal prison when he was younger. At the signing ceremony, Trump personally thanked Kushner.

More than 2 million people in prison

The United States leads the world in the known prison population, with about 2.2 million people jailed at the end of 2016.

During Senate debate of the bill, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin noted the US had five percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s known prison population.

He added that minority groups bore the brunt of tough minimum sentences that judges have been directed to impose as a result of a decades-old law that has exploded the numbers of jailed people.

“The majority of illegal drug users and dealers in America are white. But three-quarters of the people serving time in prison for drug offences are African American or Latino,” Durbin said.

In response to criticism from some conservatives that the legislation could prompt the release of violent criminals into society, the bipartisan measure was reworked to scale back the discretion judges would have in some sentencing cases.

The passage of the bill is seen as a major victory for advocates who have worked for years on similar pieces of reform legislation, but were continually blocked by conservatives amid scepticism within the Republican leadership.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Buzz

Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling

Editor

Published

on

By

So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

For Masuma, the decision to keep her daughter home was complex: extended family members are immunocompromised and she worried the in-person learning environment would be unpleasant because of precautions. She also felt her daughter might benefit from being supported at home.

“She doesn’t necessarily enjoy school. I also found out during the pandemic that she was being bullied [last year],” said Masuma. “So I thought, why not try from home?”

To help her daughter socialize face-to-face with other kids, Masuma enrolled Hana in Baxter Forest School, an alternative education program where kids spend most of their time outside, one day a week. Hana also attends virtual Arabic classes two days a week after school. 

Masuma’s husband and Hana share the living room work space, and Masuma admits he does the lion’s share of helping their daughter stay on task. There is a possibility that he’ll be required to return to his office in the new year.

“When he goes back to work … it’s probably going to be a little bit more difficult.”

Continue Reading

Buzz

No school closures after Christmas holiday break, says Ontario education minister

Editor

Published

on

By

Ontario elementary and secondary schools will not close for an extended winter break, says Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

Closures aren’t needed given Ontario’s “strong safety protocols, low levels of (COVID-19) transmission and safety within our schools,” Lecce announced Wednesday afternoon. He said he had consulted with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and the province’s public health measures advisory table.

That ended speculation about school buildings remaining closed in January for a period of time after the Christmas break.

Earlier in the week, Lecce told reporters the government was considering having students spend “some period out of class” in January, perhaps switching to online learning.

In a statement, Lecce said that even though rates of community transmission of COVID-19 are increasing, “schools have been remarkably successful at minimizing outbreaks to ensure that our kids stay safe and learning in their classrooms.”

Continue Reading

Buzz

Windy start to the week in Ottawa

Editor

Published

on

By

OTTAWA — It’s a blustery Monday in the capital with wind gusts of up to 50 km/hour expected throughout the day.

Environment Canada is forecasting a high of 4 C with a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries before the wind dies down later this evening.

There’s a chance of flurries on Tuesday as well with a high of -1 C. The overnight low will dip to an unseasonal -9 C.  

Wednesday’s high will be just -5 C with lots of sunshine.

Seasonal temperatures return for the rest of the week..

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending