UNITED STATES — On Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order, which put a 120 day freeze on immigration from 7 countries. While the Department of Homeland Security initially interpreted the Executive Order as not applicable to persons from those 7 countries who already possessed a Green Card or a temporary VISA, the White House quickly clarified they, too, were included in the travel ban. Word quickly spread that families had been detained at airports. Spouses were reportedly taken off planes and employees stranded overseas while on business trips. On Friday evening, hundreds of pro bono attorneys headed to airports to seek the release of persons detained due to enforcement of the new Executive Order.
UNITED STATES — On Tuesday morning, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was shot in the chest and back by a Louisiana police officer outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, La. By Tuesday night, protests and vigils began in that capital city. While many people were still examining the video of the shooting and processing what happened, another shooting occurred. On Wednesday evening, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, was shot by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While an official police video of the shooting hasn’t yet emerged, a video of Castile’s death was livestreamed on Facebook.
TWH — Although a signature is still needed by President Obama, it does appears that women in the United States will soon be required to register with Selective Service, making them eligible to be drafted into the military. As it stands now, all men ages 18 to 26 must register for possible involuntary military service with the Selective Service System. Women have previously been exempt due to restrictions that kept them off the front lines and out of combat roles. That all changed earlier this year when Defense Secretary Ash Carter, implementing an Executive Order from President Obama, opened all military jobs to women. The proposal was first introduced to the House Armed Services Committee by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who placed this measure in the Defense Department Spending Authorization Bill to protest the President’s Executive Order.
Minneapolis Witch Tasha-Rose knows the power of belly dance and how it can transform. She’s hoping to use that transformational energy to help at-risk girls break the poverty cycle through the empowerment found in learning a cooperative dance style know as American Tribal Style belly dance. To achieve this goal, Tasha-Rose has formed a group called Our Dancing Daughters and is seeking funding for a larger studio space and for scholarships for young women in need. Although Our Dancing Daughters hasn’t officially launched yet, the group hopes to start taking scholarship applications in January. While they received their Minnesota non-profit status as of Nov.
Harmony Tribe, the group that produces Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF), a Pagan camping festival held in SE Minnesota, celebrated its 17th year last week. While the festival has experienced ups and downs over the years, most recently a new campground zoning restriction limiting night time drumming, it now faces the challenge of finding a new location. The Harmony Tribe stewards announced at this year’s festival that it was the last time the event would be held at Harmony Park. They also said that they had not yet secured a place to hold the festival next year.*
The campground, which has hosted the festival for all 17 years, is a favorite with attendees. It’s small, private layout combined with a full grove of Burr oak trees gave the festival an intimate feeling and helped attendees connect with nature and one another.