In the News This Week

by Debra Brown

hair discrimination ban

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.


New York City to Ban Discrimination Based On Hair.

Under new guidelines by the New York City Commision on Human Rights, the targeting of people based on their hair or hairstyle, at work, school or in public spaces, will now be considered racial discrimination.

In practice, the guidelines give legal recourse to individuals who have harassed, threatened, punished, demoted or fired because of the texture or style of their hair. The city commission can levy penalties up to $250,000 on defendants that are found in violation of the guidelines and there is no cap on damages. The commision can also force internal policy changes and rehirings at offending institutions.


Anti-government Protests in Haiti Over Allegations of Corruption. 

In Haiti, violent protests over government corruption have left at least seven people dead and paralyzed the capital Port-au-Prince. Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant announced emergency anti-corruption measures in hopes of diffusing the crisis.

Protesters are angry at soaring inflation and demand an independent investigation over claims that officials and former ministers misappropriated development funds from an oil deal signed between Carribean countries and Venezuela, the PetroCaribe. The alleged theft amounts to $2 billion.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and 60% of the population live on less than $2 a day, according to the World Bank.


A Coalition of 16 States Sues Trump Over National Emergency to Build Border Wall.

A coalition of 16 states filed a federal lawsuit to block Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall without permission from Congress, arguing that the president’s decision to declare w national emergency is unconstitutional.

Accusing the president of “an unconstitutional and unlawful scheme,” the suit says the states are trying “to protect their residents, natural resources and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution.”

Several nonprofit organizations already have gone to court or announced plans to sue.


Florida Student, 11, Arrested After Dispute Over His Refusal to Say Pledge of Allegiance. 

A sixth-grade student in Lakeland, Florida, who had refused to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance throughout the school year, was arrested after he had a dispute with a substitute teacher who confronted him about why he was not reciting it, police said,

The Student was taken to a juvenile detention center and charged with disrupting a school function and resisting arrest without violence. He was also suspended for three days.

Here’s an explanation of the school-to-prison pipeline.


Sierra Leone Declares National Emergency Over Rape of Young Girls.

The president of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio declared sexual violence a national emergency, vowing that sex with minors would be punishable by life in prison. Seventy percent of survivors of sexual assault are under the age of 15, the President said in a speech. Mr. Bio directed state hospitals to care for victims of rape and sexual abuse free of charge.

Almost half of Sierra Leone’s women face sexual or physical violence during their lifetime, and 90 percent of women aged 15 to 49 have been victims of genital cutting, according to United Nations data.


Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Died at 85.

Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and wildly popular designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, died in Paris. He was 85. The German designer was the artistic director of Chanel and Fendi and also created his own eponymous brand.


Bernie Sanders Announces Run For Presidency In 2020.

Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont announced that he is running for president in 2020. It will be Sanders’ second consecutive bid for the Democratic nomination after losing to Hillary Clinton in 2016.


Photo credit: @teenvogue

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