LOS ANGELES (AP) –– Charlie Sheen’s recent revelation that he’s HIV-positive served as a reminder that his home state of California remains among a large group of states with HIV-specific criminal laws that activists consider outdated and that the U.S. Justice Department says should be revised.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 33 states have HIV criminal laws, generally making it a crime to expose others to HIV or fail to disclose HIV-positive status. Sheen, who says his sexual partners knew of his diagnosis, has not been charged, and there’s no indication he would face prosecution under California’s laws.
FRANK DIFIORE - Malone Telegram
FORT COVINGTON — Native American culture was front and center at Salmon River Central School on Tuesday, as hundreds of students took part in a traditional Mohawk dance and heard from local presenters and student film directors.
Native American Day has been celebrated at Salmon River for the past 12 years, according to SRC teacher and Title VII director Katsitsionni Fox.
“It’s the busiest day of the year for our staff,” said Fox.
“Everything’s really well-organized, it’s very high-energy,” said SRC senior Sierra George.
UTICA (AP) –– The pastor of an insular New York church where a young man was beaten to death and his younger brother seriously injured was among seven people charged Tuesday with murder.
Pastor Tiffanie Irwin’s mother, Traci Irwin, also was charged in a 13-count indictment, as were Irwin’s two brothers, Joseph and Daniel Irwin, all of whom were leaders in the church. Also named were the victims’ father, Bruce Leonard; their half-sister Sarah Ferguson; and two other church members –– Linda Morey and her son, David Morey.
NEW YORK - A newborn with his umbilical cord still attached was found lying in a manger at a New York church, police said on Tuesday.
At Holy Child Jesus Church in the borough of Queens on Monday, the custodian found the crying infant wrapped in towels in the indoor nativity scene he had set up just before his lunch break, a New York police spokesman said.
Father Christopher Ryan Heanue, one of the priests at the church, said he and others placed a clean towel around the baby while waiting for paramedics to show up.
Jim Bronskill, The Canadian PressJim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA -- Major Canadian airlines say they're unfairly shouldering the costs of removing from Canada people who arrive with a passport or other valid document only to be turned away by federal officials.
There are "numerous scenarios" in which air carriers must pay the tab for returning such inadmissible arrivals to their home country, Air Canada says in a submission to a federal review panel studying transportation policy.
These cases may involve people who arrive with proper documentation but are barred by Canadian authorities because they have a criminal record -- something the airline would have no way of knowing -- or their refugee claim is denied.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
LONDON -- Justin Trudeau has reacquainted himself with Queen Elizabeth, this time as the prime minister of Canada rather than the son of Canada's parliamentary leader.
Trudeau, making his second whirlwind tour on the international summit circuit in as many weeks, is at Buckingham Palace.
Afterwards, Trudeau is set to deliver a speech at Canada House in Trafalgar Square, followed by a sit-down with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street where it's expected climate change, anti-terrorism measures and the Canada-European Union free trade agreement will be on the agenda.
BOB BECKSTEAD - Daily Courier
MASSENA — While Tuesday’s announcement by Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was good news for Alcoa workers, there’s still some work to do to iron out the details for employees, according to an international union representative for the United Steelworkers.
Still unanswered is the status of some workers who will not be among the 600 full-time equivalent employees Alcoa has pledged to preserve as part of their agreement with the state, Jim Ridgeway said.
ALCATRAZ ISLAND – On Thursday morning, before sunrise, hundreds of American Indians – and non-Native allies – will gather on Alcatraz Island for “The Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony.”
Every year since 1975, American Indians have journeyed from the mainland to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay on Thanksgiving Day. Previously the day was called “Un-Thanksgiving Day.”
In modern times, Alcatraz Island has become a symbol to American Indians. It is a symbol of both struggle and hope. The affinity American Indians has with Alcatraz Island goes deep.
Sam Levine - Huffington Post
When Cedric Cromwell sits down with his family for a meal on Thanksgiving each year, the day holds a unique kind of significance.
Cromwell is the chairman and president of the tribal council of the Mashpee Wampanoag, the same Native American tribe that first made contact with the Pilgrims who arrived in Massachusetts in 1620. While the Wampanoag welcomed the Pilgrims and helped them ensure a successful first harvest, they were nearly wiped out by warfare and disease that arrived with the settlers.
For Cromwell, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to give thanks, but also to highlight the way that his people suffered at the hands of the settlers.
"We are Americans as well, and so even today, I sit down at Thanksgiving with family," he said. "I do have that Thanksgiving meal on that day with family but it gives me an opportunity to speak to the kids and the family about the truth of the day, and why that day is important to give thanks."
Cromwell's perspective illustrates the dual meaning that Thanksgiving holds for some Native Americans. The day is both a chance to ceremoniously express gratitude -- a practice that existed in Native American culture before the Pilgrims arrived -- and an opportunity to highlight the challenges the community faces today. Just as some are pushing to recognize "Indigenous Peoples' Day" on Columbus Day, there is an effort to use the Thanksgiving holiday to bring an accurate representation of Native American history into mainstream American culture.
Cromwell said that it was important to both give thanks and highlight the brutal history Native Americans have faced.
"Some would say, 'Why be so dark about it?' Well, it's real, it's truthful, it was a holocaust, and that holocaust must be shared and communicated so that we ensure that mankind doesn't do that to each other again," Cromwell said. "We know this world is made up of travesty and tragedy. We also know that this world is made of a lot of goodness and hope and honesty and integrity."
On Thanksgiving, between 700 and 1,200 people will gather in Plymouth, Massachusetts, for a "National Day of Mourning" to educate people about the vicious history of the treatment of Native Americans and the issues affecting them today.
The event has happened since the early 1970s, when Frank James, a Wampanoag leader, was barred from giving a speech that portrayed Europeans unfavorably at an event celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival.
"There's nothing wrong with having a meal with friends and family, and I would say especially for many of us where our families have survived genocide, it's so important for us to be able to sit down with each other and be grateful that we have food and to enjoy spending time with each other," said Mahtowin Munro, a co-leader of United American Indians of New England, the group that organizes the event, who has attended every year since the 1980s.
"The real underlying issue is the mythology; there's a view that we're this big melting pot country, or there's a view that the Natives and the Pilgrims lived happily ever after and the Native people just evaporated into the woods or something to make way for the Pilgrims and all of the other aspects of the European invasion," she continued. "All around the country, schools continue to dress up their children in little Pilgrim and Indian costumes and the Indians welcome the Pilgrims and they all sit down together and everybody says 'Isn't that cute, that's so nice.' That's not at all what happened."
Munro said that her group encourages both Native Americans as well as non-Native Americans to attend the National Day of Mourning, where she expects speakers to touch on what happened to Native people, but also focus on contemporary issues like high dropout and suicide rates among Native American youth.
The suicide rate among Native Americans between ages 15 and 24 is 2.5 times the national rate, and the graduation rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives is the lowest for any racial or ethnic group, according to a 2014 White House report.
Munro added that she expects speakers to discuss efforts to get sports teams to change offensive mascots and names, express solidarity with the "Black Lives Matter" movement, and highlight the disproportionate number of Native Americans who are killed by police.
After the demonstration concludes, some who attend will leave to go and have a Thanksgiving meal with their families, while others will stay for a feast and social planned by event organizers, Munro said.
Ramona Peters, a tribal historic preservation officer for the Mashpee Wampanoag, said that highlighting the horrific treatment of Native Americans won't stop her tribe from having a celebration to give thanks -- something it did long before the Pilgrims arrived and does multiple times each year, not just on the day recognized as Thanksgiving.
The celebration started on the weekend before the holiday, with some Wampanoag going to church dressed in regalia to pray and then to a traditional fire where members of the tribe can gather to give thanks for the season -- an event that can last multiple days.
While Peters said that she's angry at the way that Native Americans were treated, she's proud that the United States has a holiday to give thanks.
"As far as actually extending friendliness, I don't want to be embarrassed or ashamed of that as a Wampanoag person," she said. "It's part of our culture and we had been that way long before they arrived and we still are."
Julien Gignac - APTN National News
The Mohawk community at the centre of the Oka Crisis is leading plans to hold a ceremony aimed at solidifying an Indigenous alliance against the proposed Energy East pipeline.
Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon said the ceremony is expected to take place in British Columbia this coming spring.
Simon said he first raised the idea of the alliance during a September Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs meeting. Simon said the “Indigenous Treaty” would create a “formal alliance between anyone who would be inclined to reject the pipeline proposals going through native territories.”