Meriam Ibrahim, Sentenced to Death for Marrying Christian, Freed from Jail

meriam ibrahim 350x262 Meriam Ibrahim, Sentenced to Death for Marrying Christian, Freed from Jail

Meriam Ibrahim Charged with Apostasy for Marrying Christian Man, Freed from Prison

BREAKING:  Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man, Daniel Wani, freed from prison. This comes after a Sudanese appeals court ordered her release.

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for apostasy after refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

The Guardian reports, “The appeal court ordered the release of Meriam Yahya [Ibrahim] and the cancellation of the [previous] court ruling,” Sudan’s SUNA news agency said on Monday.

I hope the U.S. government will grant Meriam Ibrahim and her kids visa as soon as possible to they can join her husband in the U.S.

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Author Maya Angelou Dead at Age 86

maya angelou1 350x222 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Author Maya Angelou Dead at Age 86

“I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing” Writer Maya Angelou Dead at Age 86

#RIP:  “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Writer Maya Angelou dead at age 86. My heart is broken right now. I loved everything about Maya Angelou. She triumphed over adversity and rose like a phoenix from the ashes. We have lost a true giant.

Dr. Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress, died at her home in Winston-Salem, NC, her literary agent, Helen Brann.

A professor, singer and dancer, Angelou’s work spans several professions. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

She spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, but dropped out at age 14, instead becoming the city’s first African-American female cable car conductor.

Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in the mid-1950s in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.” In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Calypso Lady.”

In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.

Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.

“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”

Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.

The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for years. When she was 7, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him.

“My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years,” she said.

From the silence, a louder voice was born. Source: CNN

President Obama’s Statement on the Passing of Maya Angelou:

When her friend Nelson Mandela passed away last year, Maya Angelou wrote that “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.”

Today, Michelle and I join millions around the world in remembering one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.  Over the course of her remarkable life, Maya was many things – an author, poet, civil rights activist, playwright, actress, director, composer, singer and dancer.  But above all, she was a storyteller – and her greatest stories were true.  A childhood of suffering and abuse actually drove her to stop speaking – but the voice she found helped generations of Americans find their rainbow amidst the clouds, and inspired the rest of us to be our best selves.  In fact, she inspired my own mother to name my sister Maya.

Like so many others, Michelle and I will always cherish the time we were privileged to spend with Maya.  With a kind word and a strong embrace, she had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.  And while Maya’s day may be done, we take comfort in knowing that her song will continue, “flung up to heaven” – and we celebrate the dawn that Maya Angelou helped bring.

Maya Angelou at Bill Clinton’s inauguration reciting “On the Pulse of the Morning:”

#HotAirBalloon Crash: Univ. of Richmond Basketball Coach Ginny Doyle Confirmed Dead

 

hot air balloon crash 350x273 #HotAirBalloon Crash: Univ. of Richmond Basketball Coach Ginny Doyle Confirmed Dead

#HotAirBalloon Crash: Univ. of Richmond Basketball Staffers Ginny Doyle & Natalie Lewis Confirmed Dead (Credit: Instagram)

#HotAirBalloon Crash: Two women’s basketball officials from the University of Richmond were among three people killed after the hot air balloon they were traveling in hit some power lines, erupted in fire and crashed. A relative confirmed that one of the passengers was associate head coach Ginny Doyle, 44. The body of the pilot, who has been identified as retired U.S. Army officer Daniel Kirk, was also found.

The Washington Post reports Natalie Lewis, the director of basketball operations at the University of Richmond, was also one of the passengers riding in the balloon, ex-wife of Spiders head coach Michael Shaefer who said he participated in the outing to support his girlfriend. Lewis was an organizer of the Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival.

No official identification of the two women killed have been disclosed, pending notification to the next of kin. Investigators are looking for the body of a third passenger, thought to be that of Natalie Lewis.

 #HotAirBalloon Crash: Univ. of Richmond Basketball Coach Ginny Doyle Confirmed Dead

Darrin Campbell, Wife & 2 Kids Killed at Blaze at James Blake’s Mansion

derrin campbell 350x275 Darrin Campbell, Wife & 2 Kids Killed at Blaze at James Blakes Mansion

Darrin Campbell, Wife & 2 Kids Killed at Blaze at James Blake’s Mansion (Photo Credit: LinkedIn)

There are reports that the four people killed in the fire at former tennis star James Blake’s north Tampa mansion have been identified as Darrin Campbell, his wife Kimberly and their two kids Colin and Megan.

There are unconfirmed reports that the bodies of the victims had gunshot wounds and fireworks were tied to their heads.

Daily Mail:  Darrin Campbell was reportedly found dead on the floor, and Kimberly in a bed. It’s not clear where the children were found.

Censullo tweeted that several gas cans were found on the second floor of the mansion.

Campbell, 51, has held a number of senior jobs with south Florida based companies after graduating from Michigan University.

His most high profile position was with P.O.D.S – the company that makes portable storage containers. Based in Clearwater, he was chief executive of the company for just under three years.

Campbell, who is originally from Detroit, Michigan, began his career in 1992 at Ford Motor Co, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times.

He worked in various financial positions, principally financial analysis before moving to San Antonio, Texas as chief financial officer for the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer company.

In 2000 he relocated to Tampa and joined Anchor Glass Container Co. as senior vice president of sales, leaving as chief executive to join PODS. He later joined Tampa based Ivans Insurance Solutions but left three years ago. A spokesman for the company said they did not believe he had a job to go to when he quit the company.

James Blake was not at the home, located in the Avila subdivision, but at his other residence in Connecticut.

Russia Gets Hit with Additional US Sanctions Over Ukraine Crisis

russia 350x245 Russia Gets Hit with Additional US Sanctions Over Ukraine Crisis

Russia Gets Hit with Additional US Sanctions Over Ukraine Crisis

President Obama kept his word and imposed additional sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The Treasury Dept. has released a statement:

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated seven Russian government officials, including two key members of the Russian leadership’s inner circle, and 17 entities pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13661.  E.O. 13661 authorizes sanctions on, among others, officials of the Russian Government and any individual or entity that is owned or controlled by, that has acted for or on behalf of, or that has provided material or other support to, a senior Russian government official.
“In the April 17 Geneva Joint Statement, Russia agreed to take concrete steps to deescalate the situation in Ukraine, but has thus far utterly refused to do so,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.  “From the very outset of Russia’s illegitimate and unlawful actions in Ukraine, we have been clear: The United States, acting on its own and alongside our international partners, will impose increasing costs on Russia if it persists in its efforts to destabilize Ukraine and will hold Russia accountable for its provocative actions.”
Russian Government Officials
The following individuals are being designated because they are officials of the Russian government.
Oleg Belavantsev was appointed Russia’s Presidential Envoy to Crimea on March 21, 2014, by President Putin.
Sergei Chemezov was appointed by a presidential decree on November 26, 2007 as the Director General of the State Corporation for Promoting Development, Manufacturing and Export of Russian Technologies High-Tech Industrial Products, also known as Rostec.  Rostec is a Russian state-owned holding company and has not been sanctioned.  Chemezov is a trusted ally of President Putin, whom he has known since the 1980s when they lived in the same apartment complex in East Germany. Sergei Chemezov was one of the Russian Government’s nominees for the Board of Directors of Rosneft, a Russian state-owned oil company.  He was selected for the Rosneft Board on June 20, 2013.
Dmitry Kozak is a Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, a position that he has held since October 2008, and to which he was reappointed by presidential decree in May 2012.  Kozak has served in a number of capacities in the Russian Federation since 1999, including as Chief of the Government Staff and Minister of Regional Development.
 
Evgeniy Murov is the Director of Russia’s Federal Protective Service and an Army General.  Murov has worked in Russian state security services since 1971 and became Head and Director of the Federal Protective Service in May 2000.
 
Aleksei Pushkov has been a Deputy of the State Duma since December 4, 2011.  He is also the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs.
Igor Sechin is the President and Chairman of the Management Board for Rosneft, Russia’s leading petroleum company, and one of the world’s largest publicly-traded oil companies.  Rosneft is a state-owned company and has not been sanctioned.  Sechin was formerly the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation from 2008 until 2012.  Additionally, from 2004 until 2008, Sechin was the Deputy Chief of Staff for President Putin.  Sechin has shown utter loyalty to Vladimir Putin – a key component to his current standing.
Vyacheslav Volodin is the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to move into Crimea is believed to have been based on consultations with his closest advisors, including Volodin.
 
Entities
The following entities are being designated because they are owned or controlled by persons (either individuals or entities) whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13661.
InvestCapitalBank and SMP Bank are controlled by Arkady and Boris Rotenberg who were designated on March 20, 2014 pursuant to E.O. 13661 for acting for or on behalf of or materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services to or in support of, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Stroygazmontazh (SGM Group) is a gas pipeline construction company owned or controlled by Arkady Rotenberg.  Rotenberg created SGM Group in 2008 after acquiring multiple Gazprom contractors.
The Volga Group is being designated for being owned or controlled by Gennaddy Timchenko. Timchenko was designated on March 20, 2014 pursuant to E.O. 13661 for acting for or on behalf of or materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services to or in support of, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation. Timchenko is the sole shareholder of the Volga Group, an investment strategy group that holds interest in a variety of assets on behalf of Timchenko.
Transoil is a Russia-based rail freight operator that specializes in the transportation of oil and oil products.  Transoil is designated for being owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko.
Aquanika (Russkoye Vremya LLC) is a Russia-based mineral water and soft drink company. Aquanika is being designated because it is owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko. Aquanika produces drinks under several trade names including Aquanika.
Sakhatrans LLC is a transportation company engaged in the construction of the bulk terminal for coal and iron ore exports in Muchka Bay near Vanino in Russia’s far east.  Sakhatrans LLC is designated for being owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko.
Avia Group LLC is involved in ground infrastructure for the Business Aviation Center at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow offering aircraft maintenance services, including aircraft storage and organization support services for flight operations.  Avia Group LLC is designated for being owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko.
Avia Group Nord LLC provides management services for corporate aviation at Pulkovo International Airport in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Avia Group Nord LLC is designated for being owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko.
Stroytransgaz Holding is a holding company for construction assets.  Stroytransgaz Holding is designated for being owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko.
Stroytransgaz Group is a Russian construction group, comprising a number of business entities that specialize in different aspects of the construction industry.  Stroytransgaz Group is designated for being owned or controlled by the Volga Group and Timchenko.
Stroytransgaz OJSC is an electricity construction company.  Stroytransgaz OJSC is designated for being owned or controlled by the Stroytransgaz Group, the Volga Group, and Timchenko.
Stroytransgaz-M LLC is an industrial construction company focused on oil, gas, petrochemical, and other civil engineering projects.  Stroytransgaz-M LLC is designated for being owned or controlled by the Stroytransgaz Group, the Volga Group, and Timchenko.
Stroytransgaz LLC is an infrastructure construction company.  Stroytransgaz LLC is designated for being owned or controlled by the Stroytransgaz Group, the Volga Group, and Timchenko.
The Limited Liability Company Investment Company Abros is owned or controlled by Bank Rossiya.  Bank Rossiya was designated on March 20, 2014 pursuant to E.O. 13661 for acting for or on behalf of or materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods and services to or in support of, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation.  Bank Rossiya was also designated for being owned or controlled by Yuri Kovalchuk, who was designated on March 20, 2014 pursuant to E.O. 13661.
CJSC Zest is being designated for being owned or controlled by Bank Rossiya.
JSB Sobinbank is being designated for being owned or controlled by Bank Rossiya.
 Russia Gets Hit with Additional US Sanctions Over Ukraine Crisis

South Korean PM Chung Hong-Won Resigns Over Handling of Sewol Ferry Disaster

 

south korea ferry1 350x233 South Korean PM Chung Hong Won Resigns Over Handling of Sewol Ferry Disaster

South Korean PM Chung Hong-Won Resigns Over Handling of Sewol Ferry Disaster

South Korean Prime Minister has offered to resign over the government’s handling of #Sewol ferry tragedy that left 187 dead. PM Chung Hong-Won said “I wanted to resign earlier but handling the situation was the first priority and I thought that it was a responsible act to help before leaving.”

Chung Hong-Won added, “But I’ve decided to resign now not to be any burden on the administration.”

More than 100 passengers are still missing after the ferry sunk during a trip from Incheon to the island of Jeju on April 16. Many of the passengers were students and teachers. They were told to remain in their cabins until further instructions were given.

 South Korean PM Chung Hong Won Resigns Over Handling of Sewol Ferry Disaster

287 Missing and 9 Dead, in South Korea Ferry Disaster

 

south korean ship 350x196 287 Missing and 9 Dead, in South Korea Ferry Disaster

287 Missing, 9 Dead, After Ferry Carrying South Korean Students Sink

Nine people were killed, 287 remain missing, after a ferry carrying mostly high school students sunk off the southern coast of South Korea on Wednesday. Officials say the death toll is expected to rise drastically, as dozens of rescue ships and aircraft continue searching for survivors.

The ferry was set to sail from Incheon Tuesday evening heading for Jeju, a popular tourist destination about located 12 hours away. The ferry sent a distress signal at about 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning,  after it began leaning to one side. The cause of the accident has not been determined.

Student in Custody for Franklin Regional High School Stabbing Rampage

school stabbing suspect 350x194 Student in Custody for Franklin Regional High School Stabbing Rampage

Student in Custody for Franklin Regional High School Stabbing Rampage (Credit: WTAE via Twitter)

A student is in police custody in the Franklin Regional High School stabbing rampage in Murrysville, Pa., a Westmoreland county official said. Several students were stabbed and one adult. The suspect has been identified as a sophomore.

Four patients were flown to a hospital by medical helicopter. Eight were taken to Forbes Hospital in Monroeville — one adult patient and seven patients between the ages of 15 and 17. Other patients were taken to UPMC East in Monroeville and to UPMC Presbyterian and Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Source: WTAE

According to WPXI, early reports are that a person ran through the school slashing or puncturing students with a knife or other sharp object. The suspect is reportedly being transported to a hospital for treatment for hand injuries.

Murrysville Police are reportedly investigating reports that suspect made a threatening phone call last night.

 Student in Custody for Franklin Regional High School Stabbing Rampage

Marine Fatally Shoots Another Marine at Camp Lejeune

camp lejeune 350x262 Marine Fatally Shoots Another Marine at Camp Lejeune

Marine Fatally Shoots Another Marine at Camp Lejeune

BREAKING: Authorities at Camp Lejeune say a Marine standing guard at the main gate shot and killed another guard Tuesday evening.

A statement issued by the base read that the shooting, which occurred at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, involved a M4 rifle. The Base Provost Marshal said the shooting is not considered an act of terrorism. The gunman is no longer active.

The names of the Marines are being withheld until relatives are notified. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating the shooting.

This comes days after Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three and wounded 16 before committing suicide after being engaged by a military police officer at Fort Hood.

The male shooter remains in custody.