NEW JERSEY REFEREE WHO FORCED BLACK STUDENT WRESTLER CUT HIS DREADLOCKS BEFORE MATCH SUSPENDED

Larry White, executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association

The New Jersey referee who forced a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks before a match has been suspended as a state agency investigates the incident

The New Jersey referee who forced a high school wrestler to cut his dreadlocks before a match has been suspended as a state agency investigates the incident

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Larry White, executive director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, said in a statement that “those groups that assign high school wrestling referees in New Jersey will not assign the referee in question until this matter has been thoroughly reviewed.” The incident is now under investigation by the New Jersey Civil Rights division.

The “referee in question” is Alan Maloney, who forced 16-year-old Andrew Johnson of Buena Regional High School to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match at a Dec. 19 meet. Johnson opted for a last-minute haircut, and video of a school official cutting Johnson’s hair was tweeted by a local reporter. 

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PRESIDENT TRUMP: US, MEXICO Border wall to mark end of shutdown

FILE - A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks at one of border wall prototypes in San Diego, June 28, 2018.

FILE – A U.S. Border Patrol agent looks at one of border wall prototypes in San Diego, June 28, 2018.

ASSOCIATED PRESS|AIWA! NO!|A shutdown affecting parts of the federal government appeared no closer to resolution Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), with President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats locked in a hardening standoff over border wall money that threatens to carry over into January.

Trump vowed to hold the line, telling reporters during a visit to Iraq that he’ll do “whatever it takes” to get money for border security. He declined to say how much he would accept in a deal to end the shutdown, stressing the need for border security.

“You have to have a wall, you have to have protection,” he said.

The Washington Monument is reflected in a window of a closed information station serving the World War II Memorial, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, in Washington. A shutdown affecting parts of the federal government appeared no closer to resolution Wednesday, with President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats locked in a hardening standoff over border wall funding that threatens to carry over into January. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The shutdown started Saturday when funding lapsed for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies. Roughly 420,000 workers were deemed essential and are working unpaid, while an additional 380,000 have been furloughed.

While the White House was talking to congressional Democrats — and staff talks continued on Capitol Hill — negotiations dragged Wednesday, dimming hopes for a swift breakthrough.

With no deal at hand, members of the House were told there would be no votes on Thursday, assuring the shutdown would last yet another day. Lawmakers are away from Washington for the holidays and have been told they will have 24 hours’ notice before having to return for a vote. The Senate is slated to come into session Thursday afternoon.

Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a Trump ally who has been involved in the talks, said the president “is very firm in his resolve that we need to secure our border.” He told CNN, “I don’t know that there’s a lot of progress that has been made today.”

Nicaragua expels international human rights missions

Nicaragua expels missions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) dedicated to investigating anti-government protests

|REUTERS|AIWA! NO!|Nicaragua on Wednesday expelled two missions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) dedicated to investigating anti-government protests that turned violent, the group said.

The government wrote in a letter to the Organisation of American States (OAS), which oversees the groups, that the missions had been suspended for failing to meet their objectives.

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The IACHR said in a statement that its Mechanism of Special Monitoring for Nicaragua (MESENI) would continue to operate from Washington.

“The IACHR reiterates that the situation in Nicaragua will continue to be a priority and reaffirms its commitment to the victims of human rights violations,” the statement said.

Nicaragua is reeling from one of its worst political crises since President Daniel Ortega regained power in 2007.

Since April, thousands have taken to the streets in the Central American country to demand Ortega’s resignation. Ortega’s opponents accuse the veteran leftist of attempting to cement an authoritarian family dynasty along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, whom he chose to be his vice president.

At least 322 people have died and more than 500 have been imprisoned over eight months of anti-government protests, according to human rights organizations.

Ana Maria Tello, the coordinator of the MESENI, told reporters that the foreign ministry had instructed the groups to leave Nicaragua immediately.

The suspension of the missions was announced one day before the presentation of a final report on the violence that took place between April 18 and May 30.

In October, one of the OAS groups criticized the public prosecutor’s inability to find those responsible for the deaths of protesters.


Joe Biden: 'I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president'

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT Biden: I’m the best qualified person in the country to be president

Former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during a speech in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 1.Yasmina Chavez / AP


‘I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president;’ Former Vice President Joe Biden pauses during a speech in Las Vegas, Saturday, Dec. 1.Yasmina Chavez / AP

Joe Biden believes he is the ‘most qualified person in the country to be president’

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Promoting his latest book in Missoula, Montana, Monday night, former Vice President Joe Biden discussed his 2020 prospects, saying he believes that he is the “most qualified person” to be president, noting a decision is coming in the next two months, and acknowledging he’s a “gaffe machine.”

“I’ll be as straight with you as I can. I think I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” Biden said to applause at the University of Montana. “The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I’ve worked on my whole life.”

Biden bemoans ‘how demeaning’ politics has become“No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I’ve been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have — even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it,” he added.

Biden said his family must now decide as a “unit” whether or not they’re prepared for a run — setting a decision time frame of the next six weeks to two months.”I have two young grandchildren my son left who love me and adore me and want me around. I want to be there to take care of them, so we’ve got to figure out whether or not this is something we can all do as a family,” he said. “We’re going to make that decision in the next six weeks to two months, and that’s the basis of the decision.”The moderator, Bruce Feiler, pointed out some of the potential liabilities of a Biden campaign, saying “He’s too old. He signed, he cosponsored the crime bill. He was the chairman of the judiciary committee during the Anita Hill hearings, and he’s out of touch in the era of Me Too. $1.5 million ain’t gonna cut it anymore, you need $100 million. Who wants to wake up at 6 a.m. for the next two years and get insults from the President of the United States?…You’re a gaffe machine. I could go on. Which of these scares you the most?””None of them,” Biden said before moving on to defend some of those potential liabilities.”I am a gaffe machine, but my God what a wonderful thing compared to a guy who can’t tell the truth,” he said. “I’m ready to litigate all those things, the question is what kind of nation are we becoming? What are we going to do? Who are we?””Whether or not I run, whoever runs, I’m going to break my neck to make sure they win,” he said. “We can’t have four more years.”Earlier in the night, Biden discussed some of the missteps of his 1988 presidential campaign, including accusations of plagiarism while he was in high school.”It all came out in the wash — I never did plagiarize, I never did — and it all was proven that that never happened,” Biden said.

Short yet intimate, the note left in the Oval Office from vanquished to victor seeded a friendship that flowered in the decades since, to a point where Bill Clinton said upon Bush's death Friday: "I just loved him."

George H.W. Bush’s Gracious 1993 Letter to Incoming President Bill Clinton Goes Viral

People
Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush

Hillary Clinton says the letter made her cry, when she first read it back then and again when she heard Bush was gone. “That’s the America we love,” she said on Instagram. “That is what we cherish and expect.”

This image provided by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum shows a note written by George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton. (George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum via AP)

This image provided by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum shows a note written by George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton. (George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum via AP)

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|It was a grace note for the ages.

“Dear Bill,” George H.W. Bush scribbled Jan. 20, 1993, to the Democrat about to succeed him as president. “When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.”

Short yet intimate, the note left in the Oval Office from vanquished to victor seeded a friendship that flowered in the decades since, to a point where Bill Clinton said upon Bush’s death Friday: “I just loved him.”

[FULL LETTER: Click here to download a larger version of the note]

Hillary Clinton says the letter made her cry, when she first read it back then and again when she heard Bush was gone. “That’s the America we love,” she said on Instagram. “That is what we cherish and expect.”

It is traditional for an outgoing president to leave a letter for his successor. Barack Obama’s to Donald Trump offered congratulations on “a remarkable run” and checked off verities of American leadership — advice to “build more ladders of success,” ”sustain the international order,” yet take time for family. It was as guarded as when they awkwardly posed for photos together and shook hands.

Bush, who months before writing his letter had warned voters to “watch your wallet” with that Democrat Clinton, was self-effacing and personal in his handoff.

“I wish you great happiness here,” he wrote. “I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described. There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

“You will be our President when you read this note,” he continued (underlining “our”). “I wish you well. I wish your family well.

“Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

“Good Luck — George”

Writing in The Washington Post on Saturday, Bill Clinton said those words showed a man with “natural humanity.”

Clinton said the two men had a respectful friendship during his own presidency, but it was after that they truly got to know each other, when President George W. Bush asked his father and Clinton to be involved in U.S. relief efforts for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster and Hurricane Karina in 2005. They traveled together far and wide in their efforts.

“His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life,” Clinton said. “I cherished every opportunity I had to learn and laugh with him.”

They were 22 years apart — Clinton, 72, Bush, 94.