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Mourners at the event in Montenegro kissed the bishop’s body as it lay in an open coffin.- Advertisement –
Bosco Ntaganda at the ICCFormer Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda, nicknamed “The Terminator”, goes on trial before the International Criminal Court Wednesday, accused of war crimes including the rape of child soldiers by his own rebel army.The once-feared rebel commander with a flair for pencil moustaches, cowboy hats and fine dining, faces 13 counts of war crimes and five of crimes against humanity. He has pleaded not guilty.Presiding Judge Robert Fremr will open proceedings against Rwandan-born Ntaganda at 0730 GMT at the court’s Hague-based headquarters.ICC’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will speak first, followed by Ntaganda’s lawyers and those representing some 2,149 victims in the case.Prosecutors say Ntaganda played a central role in ethnic attacks on civilians in the mineral-rich but restive northeastern Congolese province of Ituri in 2002-3, in a conflict rights groups believe has left some 60,000 dead since 1999.At a hearing a year ago to confirm charges against Ntaganda, chief prosecutor Bensouda accused the former warlord of allowing his fighters to rape child and woman soldiers in his own rebel army, or keep them as sex slaves.One female child soldier received 150 lashes and was raped as punishment, with her wounds taking a month to heal, Bensouda said.“This case is highly significant because for the first time in international criminal law, the ICC has charged a commander with acts of rape and sexual slavery committed against children within his own militia group and under his command,” Brigid Inder of the Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice said in a statement.Feared warlord Ntaganda, 41, was once one of the most-wanted fugitives in Africa’s Great Lakes region until he unexpectedly walked into the US embassy in the Rwandan capital Kigali in March 2013 and asked to be sent to The Hague.He was the founder of the M23 rebel group that was defeated by the Congolese government in late 2013 after an 18-month insurgency in the vast Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu region.
Joe Biden’s announcement about his running mate selection is “unlikely” to come this week. Biden is narrowing his short list down to a final “three or four” candidates. California Senator Kamala Harris, California Representative Karen Bass and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Karen Bass was a frontrunner until she apologized to Floridians about supportive comments she made about the Castro regime in Cuba. She made the comments on FOX News when grilled by Chris Wallace over the weekend.Karen Bass CastroThere is a fear if selected as the Vice Presidential nominee Bass might cause Biden to lose Florida. Plus her name is “Karen” which is now a pejorative for white women.California Rep. Karen Bass, who is on Joe Biden’s vice presidential short list, said she now realizes that referring to Fidel Castro as “comandante en jefe,” or commander in chief, after his death in 2016 was a mistake.But her explanation — and longstanding ties to Cuba — are concerning to Biden’s Miami supporters as he enters the final phase of choosing a running mate. Biden said he will choose a vice president around August 8.
FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs wants every county resident to be aware of “smishing,” the latest attempt to steal information from unsuspecting cellphone users.“As we rely on technology and our cellphones more, thousands of people are using the same technology to target and take advantage of cellphone users,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the department. “Residents need to be aware of new attempts to commit fraud and identity theft.”Smishing is similar to the email technique “phishing,” except that it takes information from cellphones. It looks legitimate, but tricks victims into submitting their information, which is then used to steal identities. The term refers to the abbreviation for text messaging, SMS or Short Message Service. Smishing is sometimes referred to as “vishing.”Typically, a criminal begins by setting up an automated dialing system to text or call people in particular area codes or regions. Sometimes, they will use customer phone numbers that were stolen from banks or credit unions.After collecting your information, the criminal can drain bank accounts, steal identities, charge items with the credit card numbers or set up more accounts that only the criminal can access.Consumers are already aware of phishing emails, such as the Nigerian prince asking for money or winning money from the Canadian Mounted Police and other lottery schemes. Because consumers feel safe using cellphones, they are at an even greater risk of falling prey to smishing. Most of the messages cause a sense of alarm, using trigger words such as problems with bank or credit cards that people are more likely to click or call without thinking it is a scam.“Be vigilant,” said Annmarie Howley, director of the Monmouth County Department of Consumer Affairs. “Identity theft rates continue to rise at an alarming rate, and consumers must be aware of new scams. Smishing scam artists are very difficult to track, because they often operate in foreign countries. This means consumers must hesitate to click on links and call numbers they have never seen before.”If you get a text alert or email about a bank account or some other account, do not respond before you verify that it is a legitimate text alert. Keep the phone number to your bank or credit card agency in your phone’s list of contacts. That way you can easily verify that the number in the text message is the correct number and not a scam.
Lewandowski said that about 1,400 members of his union have lost their jobs since the TTF was run dry, and it could not have come at a worse time.“The fact is, this would be like retail (businesses) losing the Christmas and holiday season,” he said, in regards to summer as the key construction season in New Jersey.Recently laid-off Victoria Barden, who was a foreman at George Harms Construction Company in Howell for the past year, said that state officials need to step up to the plate.“It’s not a matter of Democrats and Republicans, it’s a matter of potholes and bridges,” said the Berkeley Township resident.Barden, along with about 50 other workers, saw their last day of work on Aug. 17. She considered herself to be one of the lucky few who made it through to the second round of layoffs.One veteran union laborer who was not afforded that opportunity was Jackson resident Wayne Goldman.“I just got forced into retirement after 31 years because they won’t release the money for the transportation fund,” said Goldman, who was a member of Local #172.While he does have a partial pension still coming in the mail monthly, the balancing act between mortgage payments and ensuring his college-student daughter can make it through the semester, the TTF depletion has worn him down.When asked if he had seen a similar occurrence in his career, Goldman responded by saying “Never. I’ve seen ups and downs, some years we’re slow and some years we’re really busy, but now it’s completely dead.”“Everybody is responsible for putting us in this situation, but everyone can be part of the solution,” Lewandowski said. Story and photo by Jay CookRED BANK – In a showing of both solidarity and disappointment, unemployed workers suffering from a halt in construction throughout the state took peaceful protests to the Two River area earlier this week.On Aug. 23, the Laborers’ International Union for North America (LIUNA) converged on Red Bank and Middletown to voice their displeasure to state elected officials regarding the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) and its depleted bank account.On Tuesday, the TTF, which is used to fund the planning, construction, engineering and repairs of bridges and roadways in New Jersey, reached the 54-day mark since Gov. Chris Christie first announced its funding had ceased.The unemployed workers are calling on senators throughout the state to take action in reinvigorating the TTF.An advertisement truck, which the Laborers’ Union of North America (LIUNA) used throughout the day, projected blaring music and pro-TTF ads on the body.“They (state officials) know the importance of this, they know what transportation means, but I don’t think they understand the urgency of why they have to do it now,” said LIUNA spokesman Rob Lewandowski.Dressed in bright orange shirts, about three dozen LIUNA members gathered outside Sen. Jennifer Beck’s Red Bank office on Monmouth Street Tuesday afternoon, using whistles and music to grab attention. Earlier in the day, the same group was outside of Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos’ office in Middletown and at the foot of the southbound side of the Route 35 bridge to Red Bank.LIUNA embarked on this protest campaign two weeks ago, and has traveled the state spreading awareness for the political traffic jam they are currently caught in.