Rohingya refugee. File PhotoRussia has reiterated its position to resolve Rohingya crisis through “bilateral negotiations” saying it will not support any resolution in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to put pressure on Myanmar engaging the UN.”China has its own policy. Our position is very similar to Chinese one that this issue (Rohingya) should be settled through negotiations. It’s a bilateral issue,” said Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander I. Ignatov at a seminar in the city on Thursday, reports UNB.The UNSC is thinking of fresh actions to push Myanmar to work with the UN to address the Rohingya crisis. Russia and China have so far boycotted discussions on a British-drafted resolution.Referring to the UK-initiated draft resolution on finding sort of comprehensive solution to Rohingya crisis, Ambassador Ignatov said they do not support 1 percent of that kind of particular draft resolution. “I don’t believe it’ll be adopted.”Asked why Russia has failed to extend support in the UNSC and beyond on Rohingya issue when Russia never faltered in extending support to Bangladesh, the Ambassador said, “Russia hasn’t failed in this regard. It’s completely wrong to say so.”He explained further saying they have different approach compared to some other countries and said putting pressure on Myanmar, they believe, will create complexities as Bangladesh and Myanmar signed bilateral agreement on repatriation of Rohingyas.The Russian ambassador said they believe in proper implementation of the bilateral agreement on repatriation.He, however, said Rohingyas should be allowed to go back to their place of origin and of course the situation for them should be humane.Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) in December 2017 to start the repatriation of around 900,000 Rohingyas who fled a brutal military crackdown in August 2017.However, the Rohingya repatriation plan, as agreed by Bangladesh and Myanmar to begin in mid-November this year, failed.The seminar on ’47 Years of Friendship: Bangladesh-Russia Relations’ was held at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on Thursday.Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque attended the seminar as the chief guest with president of Bangladesh-Russia Friendship Society AAMS Arefin Siddique in the chair.
Brenton Tarrant, the man charged in relation to the Christchurch massacre appear in the dock charged with murder in the Christchurch District Court on 16 March 2019. Photo: AFPThe man accused of shooting dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks was formally charged with terrorism for the first time on Tuesday, New Zealand police said.In addition to the terror charge, Brenton Tarrant also faces 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder over the 15 March attacks that rocked the South Pacific nation.”The charge will allege that a terrorist act was carried out in Christchurch,” police said in a statement.New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has characterised the mosque killings as “a well-planned terrorist attack” since the day Tarrant, a self-described white supremacist, allegedly carried them out.But until now the charges against him were less expansive, as New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act was only introduced in 2002 and is untested in the courts.Police said the decision to lay the terror charge more than two months after the attack was made following consultation with prosecutors and government legal experts.Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, is currently in a high-security prison undergoing tests to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial for the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history.His next court appearance is scheduled for 14 June.Police said they had met survivors and victims’ families Tuesday to explain the additional charges.”Police are committed to providing all the support necessary for what will be a challenging and emotional court process to come for the victim’s families and survivors of the attack,” they said.Ahead of the shooting, Tarrant posted a rambling manifesto on social media in which he identified himself by name and described himself as a white supremacist out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.He live-streamed himself as he opened fire in the packed Al Noor mosque during Friday prayers and then travelled across town to continue the carnage in the suburban Linwood mosque.Ardern’s government tightened the country’s gun laws in the wake of the attack and has said it will review laws dealing with hate speech.It has also pushed international efforts to ensure social media giants to do more to combat online extremism, including the so-called “Christchurch Call” unveiled by world leaders and top technology firms in Paris last week.
Jordan Johnson is a senior at the School Without Walls High School in the Northwest quadrant of the District of Columbia and like many seniors; she is looking forward to attending college. Jordan has opted to attend a historically Black college and university (HBCU), and is proud of her decision to do so.Jordan Johnson is a senior at D.C.’s School Without Walls. (Courtesy Photo/DCPS)“People may knock down certain schools, but I’m going to be somewhere where I will be comfortable,” Jordan said. Jordan isn’t alone with her assessment.On Dec. 7, 2016, School Without Walls hosted an HBCU Summit and College Fair for students in all District high schools. Hundreds of students, including Jordan, listened to speakers Keneshia Grant, a Howard University political scientist who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University (FAMU); Keith Perry, a H.D. Woodson High School, Morehouse College, and Howard Law School graduate; and others.The students were able to interact with HBCU alumni and network with admissions officials from Bowie State University, Morgan State University, Jackson State University, Grambling University, Spelman College, and Tuskegee University.DCPS’ School Without Walls hosted an HBCU Summit and College FairPerry, the executive director of the National Bar Association, said if a student wants to go to an HBCU, they should go for it. “I wanted to be able to talk with them and explain to them that there are people who have walked the same path and explain to them that there’s a path to success academically,” he said.The District’s Black residents have long had relationships with HBCUs. The city’s first HBCU was Miner Normal School, founded in 1851 for “colored girls” and through the years, Miner evolved through mergers and consolidations to become the University of the District of Columbia in 1975 by an act of the D.C. Council. Howard University, considered one of the leading HBCUs in the country, was founded in 1867 by Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, head of the Freedmen’s Bureau.A number of District leaders have received their education at HBCUs, with D.C. Council members Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) graduating from Howard and Trayon White (D-Ward 8) and Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) receiving their bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Bowie State University, respectively.Former D.C. Mayors Walter Washington and Sharon Pratt went to Howard University for their bachelor’s degrees and its law school, while Marion S. Barry graduated from LeMoyne College and received his master’s degree from Fisk University.While Perry used his undergraduate experience at Morehouse for success in law school, James McClelland Jr., an internal controls and processes manager at Fannie Mae, told the AFRO his bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Carolina A&T University helped him do well getting his master of science degree in accounting at Michigan State University (MSU).“On the academic front, my undergraduate course load was strong enough to the point where I had already taken some of the classes required for my master’s degree at A&T,” McClelland, a graduate of Dunbar High School, said. “It made matriculating through my master’s program a lot easier when compared to some of my peers from other schools, including the MSU undergrads in the program with me.”McClelland, a CPA, said the confidence he gained at A&T helped him become a leader at MSU and in his professional life. McClelland said, “An HCBU experience is second to none. The family environment helps tremendously; the professors and administrators are personally vested in the success of students and you aren’t considered a number. The quality of education is just as strong if not stronger than non-HBCUs. There are several lifelong connections made and when you walk out of the walls of an HBCU, you will, without a shadow of a doubt, be prepared to take on life’s challenges.”Jordan is considering Norfolk State University, Dillard University, Fayetteville State University, FAMU, and Virginia State University, and is interested in studying business administration and marketing, with an eye on entrepreneurship.Jordan told the AFRO she had to refute erroneous claims that students attending predominantly White institutions have a distinct advantage over those attending HBCUs in the job market.“That is completely inaccurate,” she said. “The school that someone went to plays a part but is not the primary reason someone is hired. Plus, HBCUs and their alumni have connections to industries that will help students to find jobs.”LaToya Grant is the admissions director and internship coordinator at School Without Walls and a graduate of Florida A&M University. She agrees with Jordan and McClelland about the HBCU experience. “Black colleges and universities prepare you for the real world,” she told the AFRO. “HBCU graduates tend to fare better than students who attended [White colleges] in many cases.”