De Blasio Administration Fails to Provide Proper Reentry Services for Those Leaving Jail Amid Pandemic, Providers Say

The mayor at a jails to jobs announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office) For Julio Medina, the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City was going to pose a unique set of challenges. As executive director at the Exodus Transitional Community, Medina focuses on support and services for the formerly incarcerated, or re-entry services. When Rikers Island became one of the most densely COVID-19-infected areas, the city released over 1,500 people either being detained pre-trial or

Officials Urge 2020 Census Participation with Just Hours Left in the Count

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to shut down counting of the 2020 Census ahead of the previously-scheduled October 31 conclusion. After several shifts in the deadline, it now appears final that New Yorkers have until Friday morning at 6 a.m. to complete the questionnaire that is required by the U.S. Constitution for counting all residents of the United States every ten years. As of Wednesday, officials reported the Census completion rate in New York City at 61.4%

Trump Decimated Refugee Admittance; Biden Promises Massive Expansion — What it Means in New York

A New York City rally in support of asylum-seeking refugees (photo: John McCarten/City Council) As part of a systematic dismantling of providing asylum to refugees in the United States, the Trump administration in October 2020 reduced the cap on resettling refugees in the country to just 15,000 for fiscal year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021, down from 18,000 for fiscal year 2020, and from 85,000 in the last year of the Obama administration.

What If Pandemic Aid Went to Tenants, Not Landlords?

It took Ziaul Hassan, a New York City taxi driver, four months to hear back after he applied for emergency rent help because the pandemic had devastated his business. By the time he received an email last week informing him that his application for New York’s federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program had been approved, he owed 12 months of back rent for his apartment in Queens, where he lives with his family of four. His landlord had taken him to court already, in 2020. “I wasn’t scar

As a major Indian city runs out of water, 9 million people pray for rain

As the sun rises, so, too, does the heat, heading toward a high of 109 degrees. Finally, at 8 a.m., water spills from the pump. But the flow is erratic, requiring a 10-minute wait before the next vessel can be filled. A sharp argument erupts between neighbors over whose turn is next. Last month, a woman in the area was stabbed when a fight over water turned violent. The situation is “mental torture,” said Vani, 44, hoisting a neon-colored plastic pot full of water to her waist before starting o

'Our whole life is disrupted': hope dries up as Chennai battles historic drought

Travelling through Chennai, it is not hard to find a row of empty pots dotting the pavements. Deep in the slums of Mylai, a long line collects behind a bright yellow tanker. The driver fills the public tank while people wait their turn to fill four pots of water. Any more than four is considered risky and can provoke clashes. Geetha is in no mood for a fight and wants to stick to her quota. The 43-year-old stands at a distance from the crowd after filling her pots, undeterred by her youngest da

'I'm scared for my daughter': Life in India's first city that's almost out of water

Chennai, India (CNN) As Manjula Sridhar went into the operation theater of a maternity ward in Chennai, the capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu , her mother began arguing with the doctor over a water shortage that threatened to delay the delivery. Cradling her little girl, Sridhar recalls the doctor saying that they would have to wait for a water tanker to arrive because all the water in Egmore's Government Hospital for Women and Children had run out "We have a problem at home a

Raju failed school exam, paid with his life

He’d skipped dinner that night, his father remembers, and had been withdrawn: “I’ll have breakfast tomorrow.” He didn’t. The villagers found Chakkali Palle Raju hanging from a tamarind tree, three days after he was told he’d failed his economics and civics school examinations—one of at least 23 Telangana schoolchildren who committed suicide after receiving their grades. Protests against the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education and examination contractor Globarena have been ranging ac

WhatsApp Rumours, Fake Videos Lead to Lynching and Deaths in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: “Go away,” screams Neela, an old woman seated on a pavement in Athimoor village in Polur, 25 kilometres from Tiruvannamalai district. The village is deserted, the shops shuttered, and the houses locked. A week ago, a 65 year-old tourist Rukmini was lynched by a 200-strong mob after she was found distributing chocolates to children in the area. Men from Athimoor and surrounding villages suspected her to be a child trafficker. Their source of information –WhatsApp. “She was giving them Ma

Sterlite Workers: 'Anil Agarwal Can't Undo Our Pain. Where Do We Go From Here?'

Thoothukudi: On the outskirts of this coastal city in Tamil Nadu, 34-year-old Karthiban has gone into a deep depression. Sitting crouched on a stone slab, frantically chewing fingernails on his left hand, he says: “I tried. I tried to live. But I needed to die, and dying is better than living without my right hand”. Karthiban got injured in 2017 while working at Sterlite’s copper plant here. After working for four years in the plant, his medical expenses were covered by ESI (Employees’ State In

India copper factory shutdown comes at a human cost | DW | 29.05.2018

After the Sterlite Copper factory in India's southern Tamil Nadu state was permanently shut down by state regulators Monday following a series of deadly protests, activists experienced a range of emotions. "We have won!" said Fathima Babu, a feisty activist who has been involved with the movement against the Sterlite Copper factory for over 23 years. The operators of the factory have been accused for many years of polluting the local environment in the port town of Thoothukudi. Tamil Nadu's st

'The martyrs did it': bloody end to Indian copper plant saga

David and Goliath are familiar characters in Tuticorin. The south Indian city, home to one of the country’s oldest Christian communities, has been fighting a giant. Days after 13 protesters were fatally gunned down by police, including a teenage girl, activists won a key victory over one of the world’s largest mining companies. For more than two decades, Sterlite, a subsidiary of the London-listed Vedanta Resources, has been operating a copper smelter on the outskirts of the city. Over the same

Indian copper plant shut down days after deadly protests

A British-owned copper smelting plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu that has been blamed for unnaturally high cancer rates in surrounding villages has closed, days after 13 people were killed by police during protests against the facility. The Tamil Nadu chief minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami, has ordered environmental authorities to “seal the unit and close the plant permanently”, after a 22-year campaign by environmentalists and residents against the site, owned by London-based V

Tamil Nadu fares poorly when it comes to women's safety and security; badly handled Nirbhaya Fund worsens problem

Post a recent incident in Chennai where a teenager had a knife to her throat after a stalker had noted her every movement, the deputy commissioners of various localities in Chennai were alerted. Some were pursuing the case, but some were left dumbfounded on how to handle a case of stalking. After discussing the incident, a deputy commissioner hesitated before making a point. "If we had some funding and support from the Nirbhaya Fund, we would probably be at least better equipped to put into plac

Tamil Nadu's MGNREGA Workers Left in the Lurch Due to Delayed Wages, Unused Funds

Tiravur, Tamil Nadu: “I could kill someone,” said Janaki Chinarasu in early June at her home in Tiruvarur, protecting her forehead from the heat with her hands askew. “It’s like the sun god has conspired with the rain god to punish us.” Chinarasu is a frail, strong-witted woman with a five-year-old on her lap and a husband hovering around, looking for a washcloth to go out to work. She fantasised about her life as a farmer’s wife in the past before the unforgiving drought struck in the summer o

In Rajinikanth’s Kaala, Colour Is Political

The Superstar’s latest film’s teaser is all about the colour black and its resonance in Tamil politics is historic In 1944, EV Ramasamy Naicker, who came to be better known as ‘Periyar’ (the Elder), was in the midst of mental churn. He had already dropped his caste surname of ‘Naicker’ in 1929 and had become an avowed atheist, claiming that religion was the root of all evil. It was a time when Tamil Nadu was getting steeped into his Dravidian movement – Self Respect (Suyamariyadhai) and Social

The Invisible Women Of Vellore

Off the books and without benefits – a peek into the lives of homeworkers in the leather industry of Tamil Nadu Setting down her needle and thread on the floor with her swollen fingers, 21-year-old Savitha Sagayam, of Mettupalayam village in Vellore has just begun her work for the day after sending her children to school. MR Rajendran, a well-built man in a pink shirt, carries a large black bag on his shoulder, dropping it near the petite Savitha. He towers over her while she pulls out a leath
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