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US: At least 11 Jewish centres get bomb threats

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Nearly a dozen Jewish community centers across the United States received bomb threats that led to evacuations on Monday, in the latest wave of such attacks since Donald Trump became president a month ago.

The latest phoned-in threats, at 11 separate sites, bring to 69 the total number of such incidents – at 54 Jewish community centres in 27 US states and one Canadian province – according to the JCC Association of North America.

It cautioned, however, that all bomb threats made Monday, as well as on three others dates – January 9, 18 and 31 – turned out to be hoaxes and all targeted community centres have resumed normal operations.

The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are said to be investigating the incidents.

Meanwhile, local media reported that more than 100 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.

“Over the past weekend, unknown persons knocked over multiple monument headstones within the cemetery,” University City police said in a statement.

Police staff declined to confirm the number of damaged headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery as they review video surveillance on the property and nearby businesses for the ongoing investigation.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism, said in a recent report that the number of hate groups is rising and now at near-historic highs, linking it to the surge in “right-wing populism” during a bitterly fought presidential election that “electrified the radical right” and ultimately elected Trump.

But Trump’s daughter Ivanka, a convert to Judaism who has played a prominent role in his young administration along with her husband Jared Kushner, was quick to denounce the bomb threats on the Jewish community centres.

“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC,” she wrote on Twitter.

The JCC Association of North America, vowed that it “will not be cowed by threats intended to disrupt people’s lives or the vital role Jewish community centres play as gathering places, schools, camps and fitness and recreation centres.”

“While we are relieved that all such threats have proven to be hoaxes and that not a single person was harmed, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats, and the repetition of threats intended to interfere with day-to-day life,” said the group’s director of strategic performance David Posner.

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Motherland News

Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Motherland News

Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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