Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is briefing journalists at her official Ganabhaban residence on Monday, following her four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.Awami League president, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday expressed determination with confidence to smoothly hold the next parlimentary polls within due time despite confusions or what she termed conspiracies.“There will be conspiracies, but we will be able to overcome those. I believe in elections. The election commission will announce the polls schedule,” Hasina told a media briefing at her official Ganabhaban residence, following her four-day official visit to Saudi Arabia.At a rally on Saturday, Jatiya Party (JaPa) chairman HM Ershad, also the prime minsiter’s special emissary, expressed apprehensions over holding of the 11th parliamentary elections due later this year.When asked about such ‘uncertaintity’, Sheikh Hasina alleged, a section of people has been ‘hatching conspiracies and creating suspisions’ to hamper continuity of the democratic process.“The Awami League (AL) will move ahead despite obstacles and puruse development. My party has the strength to face the oppostion,” she said.About forging of the Jatiya Oikya Front or National Unity Front, led by noted lawyer Kamal Hossain, the prime minister claimed that her party is not concerned about the emergence of the new coalition.“I welcome the initiative. There is a necessity and they have been united. If they gain success, what’s wrong,” she told journalists, however, adding, “I don’t see any good politics in it.”On 13 October, the Oikya Front came into being, raising demand for holding free and fair elections, promising change in political culture. Bangladesh Natonalist Party is a major force in it.“We have to see who are united there. They are from different parties with different backgrounds. They are the corrupt, creators of militancy and money launderers. They are also convicted in the 21 grenade attack and 10 truck arms smugglling incidents,” Hasina said alleging that Kamal Hossain formed unity with these forces.“It’s important how the people of Bangladesh view them,” the AL president said. “I have nothing to say [about them]. If the people of Bangladesh want them, let them want,” she added.Asked if the ruling camp would invite the opposition to dialoue if the Front leaders seek it, Sheikh Hasina said, “Any mindset is yet to be created as I have not still received any letter [of request from them].”About splitting of political parties and alliances, Hasina said where there is a breach, there is reunification. “[We’ve] nothing to worry about.”Dwelling on a seven-point demand including a fair election under a neutral administration, raised by the new coalition, the prime minister said, “Let me wait and see how many demands they come up with ultimately.”On the opposition’s announcement to launch movement to realise their demands, Sheikh Hasina said the government would “do everything if any quarter wants to carry out arson attacks and kill people”.In reply to a few questions on former caretaker government adviser Mainul Hosein, Sheikh Hasina cricticised him for his remaks on journalist Masuda Vatti at a TV talk-show.
The Houston Bar Association has expanded its LegalLine to assist those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and has set up a toll free number for Texas residents outside the Houston area.Beginning Tuesday, September 5 through Friday, September 29, the HBA’s LegalLine will have volunteer attorneys answering calls from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.Extended LegalLine hours will be available from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 20. The public can call 713-759-1133 or toll free at 1-866-959-1133 and speak to volunteer attorneys who will answer their questions, provide brief legal advice and refer them to appropriate resources for help.The attorneys will be able to answer questions on insurance, landlord/issues, contracts, lost documents, FEMA matters and other disaster-related topics. The HBA’s Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL) is working with other local and state legal services providers to coordinate legal aid for low-income individuals affected by the storm. HVL will set up legal advice clinics to meet the needs of the community in various locations across the city and also will visit area shelters to provide information about how to access legal services and to answer questions. The Veterans Legal Advice Clinic on Friday, September 1, has been opened to victims of Hurricane Harvey, in addition to veterans. The clinic will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, 2002 Holcombe Blvd., 77030, first floor near the emergency room entrance. No appointment necessary. Starting on September 1, HVL will be working with Lone Star Legal Aid to staff booths at some of the shelters housing those who have been displaced as a result of the storm. There will be booths initially at the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Stadium. Booths will be expanded to additional shelters next week. Lawyers at these locations will address legal questions for those who are housed at the shelter temporarily. For updated information on legal aid and other services, visit www.makejusticehappen.org/Harvey, call 713-228-0732 or 713-759-1133. Share
By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, firstname.lastname@example.orgA leading Black psychologist recently told a conference on co-parenting in the District of Columbia that the role of fathers – particularly African American fathers – is increasingly becoming obsolete.“I take psychology from the real world,” Dr. James Ballard II, told participants at the “Inspiring Fathers, Celebrating Co-Parenting: A Community Conversation and Awards Program” held June 2 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. “I am the product of a single mother. When my father got into the picture, there was always a conflict between them. But in my mind I only had one parent to listen to and that was my mother.”Yohance Maqubela and Sunshine Muse, who received the 2018 Co-Parenting Award, are co-parenting their children even though they are divorced. (Courtesy Photo).The conference was organized by Jonetta Rose Barras, a leading District-based journalist who has written books and articles on fatherless daughters; Frank Love, author of How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship; and Wayne Young of Port of Harlem Magazine.Co-parenting is widely defined as adults raising a child even though they are not married. According to statistics compiled by the American Psychology Association 40-50 percent of all marriages in America end up in divorce for a variety of reasons such as conflicts over money, extramarital relationships, career shifts and family issues.In addition to Ballard, A. Scott Bolden, a noted attorney and managing partner at Reed Smith law firm in the District, D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), and Hyesook Chung, the District’s deputy mayor for Health and Human Services spoke at the forum.McDuffie talked about growing up in a structured two-parent household in Ward 5 “when there was chaos in D.C.”“I grew up during the crack cocaine epidemic,” he said. He said community support and his parents helped him become an attorney and a member of the D.C. Council.As the father of two daughters, McDuffie said two-parent households offer children more support than a one-parent situation.Bolden spoke extensively about his divorce from his first wife and finding out about a daughter he didn’t know about until she was 19-years-old and pregnant with a child. Bolden said men should be in their children’s lives.“We are still fathers to those children,” he said. “When I divorced my first wife, I would drive my kids to elementary school every morning, even though it was only two blocks from their house. My kids remember me being there even as 23-year-olds.”Chung said the Bowser administration embraces the idea of co-parenting and is doing what it can to help men and boys of color and homeless families.Ballard, who works as the director of internship training for pre-doctoral students at Interdynamics Inc., in Lanham, Md., said the women’s rights movement has changed the role of men. “Since women’s emancipation, the role of father’s has been in decline,” he said. “The husband has taken on female roles. Male roles have changed and disappeared and the father’s role in a family is no longer necessary.”Barras sharply took issue with Ballard. “Fathers are critical to family and to the community,” she said. “There is no change in the role that fathers should play.”Yohance Maqubela and Sunshine Muse received “The 2018 Co-Parenting Award” for their roles in raising their children even though they live in different cities. Muse was present to receive the award.