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Children Of Flint Water Crisis Make Change As Young Environmental And Health Activists

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AP - VOR News Image

Flint, Michigan – Their childhood memories remain vivid: cautions against drinking or cooking with tap water, waiting in lengthy lines for cases of water, and washing in buckets filled with warm, bottled water. Some people have stomachaches, skin rashes, and hair loss.

On April 25, 2014, ten years ago, city and state environmental officials in Flint raised champagne glasses as the mayor depressed a button to stop the flow of Lake Huron water that Detroit had been supplying for almost 50 years. That triggered a public health disaster including lead and bacteria from which the city has yet to recover.

However, dozens of water crisis survivors, now teenagers and young adults, have used their pain to advocate for change. They provide feedback on public health programs, participate in social problem campaigns, distribute filters, and offer free water testing to households.

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AP – VOR News Image

Children Of Flint Water Crisis Make Change As Young Environmental And Health Activists

They realize Flint is still struggling. The population has decreased by approximately 20,000 over the last decade, leaving abandoned houses as targets for arsonists. Almost 70% of children live in poverty, and many struggle in school.

Despite the fact that the water has been confirmed safe to drink, there is widespread skepticism, and hundreds of lead water pipes remain in place since householders were given the option of not replacing them.

However, the young activists say they want to make a difference and change the way outsiders perceive their community. They seek to defy expectations.

“One of the biggest issues about growing up in Flint is that people had already decided and predetermined who we were,” said Cruz Duhart, a 22-year-old Flint Public Health Youth Academy member.

“They had ideas about our IQ, about behavioral things, but they never really stopped to speak to us and how we thought about it and the type of traumas that we were going through.”

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AP – VOR News Image

Children Of Flint Water Crisis Make Change As Young Environmental And Health Activists

Sima Gutierrez, 16, has always found it easier to express herself through painting. Drawings, paintings, and wire sculptures adorn her family’s neat cottage.

The self-described “very shy” teen, who rarely spoke up for fear of being ignored, now collects water samples from people’s homes and transports them to the Flint Community Water Lab, where over 60 high school and college interns have provided free testing to thousands of residents since 2020.

As a member of the Flint Public Health Youth Academy, she assisted in the planning of public awareness campaigns on issues such as gun violence and how racism impacts public health.

“I wanted to be surrounded by people who weren’t going to cover up the whole fact that people are still having problems,” Sima remarked. “I was able to … share my life (with) anybody else who’s going through what I’m going through.”

She complained a decade ago that drinking water made her stomach pain. Her mother insisted that it would help Sima’s body flush out the medication she was taking for an autoimmune disease, which was causing her hair to come out in sections and leaving her skin with light blotches.

Residents began reporting skin rashes and complaints about discolored, odorous, and foul-tasting water shortly after the city began drawing from the Flint River to save money before it could connect to a new Lake Huron pipeline. However, they were told that everything was alright.

Sima claimed she was unaware of the issues until one of her elementary school classmates, Mari Copeny, a 7-year-old beauty pageant winner known as Little Miss Flint, started protesting. Mari became the crisis’s face, and she continues to raise awareness of environmental justice concerns among her almost 200,000 Instagram followers, as well as funds for water filters that she distributes in communities around the United States.

“I want to keep on using my voice to spread awareness about the Flint water crisis because it’s not just Flint that has a water crisis,” Mari went on to say. “America has a water crisis.”

Almost a year and a half after Flint made the transition, homeowners dissatisfied with the water quality contacted an expert, who discovered excessive lead levels caused by the city’s inability to add chemicals that prevent pipe corrosion. State officials had stated that these were superfluous. Around the same time, a pediatrician observed that levels in children’s blood had doubled since the changeover.

Outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease, which resulted in a dozen deaths, were eventually traced to the city’s water supply.

Flint reconnected to its previous water line shortly thereafter, but the pipes continued to leak lead. The state gave households filters and bottled water.

Lead is a strong neurotoxin that can harm children’s brains and neurological systems, impairing learning, behavior, hearing, and speaking. There is no safe level of exposure throughout childhood, and issues can appear years later.

Dionna Brown, who was 14 when the water crisis started, grew interested in lobbying after taking an environmental inequality class at Howard University. She’s now building her life around it, pursuing a master’s degree in sociology at Wayne State University with the goal of becoming an environmental justice lawyer.

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AP – VOR News Image

Children Of Flint Water Crisis Make Change As Young Environmental And Health Activists

She is also the national director of Young, Gifted & Green’s youth environmental justice initiative, which was previously known as Black Millennials for Flint and was formed by Washington advocates to help Flint recover from the disaster.

Every year, Brown hosts a two-week summer environmental justice camp in Flint to educate youth about policy, climate justice, sustainability, and housing inequality. She also works with children in Baltimore and Memphis.

She claimed that the Flint water crisis strengthened the children’s resilience.

“I tell people all the time: I’m a child of the Flint water crisis,” Brown added. “I love my city. And we made it clear to the world that you couldn’t just poison a city and expect people to forget about it.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Pope Francis Says Clergy is Overflowing with “Faggottness”

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Pope Francis Says Clergy is Overflowing with "Faggottness"
Pope Francis: Getty Images

According to La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, Italy’s major circulation dailies, Pope Francis stated that seminaries, or priestly institutions, are already overflowing with “frociaggine,” a vulgar Italian phrase loosely translating as “faggottness.”

The Vatican did not return a request for comment.

La Repubblica cited many nameless sources, while Corriere cited a few unnamed bishops who argued that the pope, as an Argentine, may not have realized the Italian term he used was derogatory.

Political gossip website. Dagospia was the first to report on the alleged incident, which occurred on May 20, when the Italian Bishops Conference began a four-day conference with a private meeting with the Pope.

Francis, who is 87, has been credited with moving the Roman Catholic Church toward a more tolerant stance to the LGBT population.

Pope’s message to gay seminarians

In 2013, at the start of his papacy, he famously declared, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Last year, he permitted priests to bless members of same-sex couples, eliciting strong conservative criticism.

Nonetheless, when he met with Italian bishops in 2018, he issued a similar message to gay seminarians, minus the reported swear word, instructing them to thoroughly scrutinize priesthood hopefuls and reject any suspected homosexuals.

In a 2005 declaration issued by Francis’ late predecessor, Benedict XVI, the Vatican stated that anyone who had decisively overcome homosexual impulses for at least three years might be admitted to the priesthood.

The statement stated that practicing homosexuals, people with “deep-seated” gay tendencies, and those who “support the so-called gay culture” should be excluded.

Gay men in the Catholic priesthood

The acceptance of gay men in the Catholic priesthood has long been controversial. While the Church officially forbids same-sex partnerships, many priests are considered to be gay, sparking issues about celibacy, secrecy, and hypocrisy among the clergy.

Critics claim that gay priests frequently conceal their sexuality, living secretive lifestyles that breach their vows of honesty and integrity. This secrecy can foster toxic cultures and encourage aggressive conduct. Supporters argue that a person’s sexual orientation does not determine their ability to serve God or live a faithful life.

The problem presents difficult considerations about the Church’s position on homosexuality, the function of celibacy in the priesthood, and how societal perceptions affect religious institutions. Finally, whether gay men should be allowed to become priests remains a divisive issue in the Catholic world and elsewhere.

 

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Trans Activist Jared Ravizza Arrested for Stabbing Four Girls in Movie Theatre

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Trans Activist Jared Ravizza Arrested
Jared Ravizza: Shore News Image

Jared Ravizza, a trans activist who identifies as a woman, has been detained in connection with a stabbing at an AMC theater in Massachusetts, which injured four people. Ravizza has also been named as a suspect in a second murder investigation in Connecticut.

Jason Ravizza, 26, of Martha’s Vineyard, is thought to have been involved in another violent crime in Deep River, Connecticut. According to WCVB, police discovered a body at the address associated with this investigation approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police said he also drove thirty miles and stabbed two McDonald’s employees.

On Saturday at 3:36 p.m., Connecticut State Police responded to a report of a suspicious occurrence in Westbrook. The name of the victim is unknown, but Ravizza is a suspect in the murder.

Ravizza, whose father, Jared, is an acclaimed sports psychiatrist, identifies as a woman and has been reported to be a trans activist.

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Jared Ravizza Laughed Entire Time

According to Fox News, a Massachusetts mother claims her girls were among the victims of a stabbing spree that left six people injured in two towns over the weekend, and that the suspect was “laughing the whole time” during the assault.

“I received a call from my sister informing me that my oldest daughter had contacted her and that I needed to hurry to the AMC movie theater right immediately because they had been stabbed.

Honestly, I just hopped in my car and drove right there,” Lisa Dembowski told reporters about the first incident, in which Braintree Police said four young females aged 9 to 17 had “non-life-threatening injuries.”

“They were the only four individuals in the movie theater. They’d just sat down. They had just received their concessions. And I believe he walked up behind them in the row – they were in the second row – and he approached them,” Dembowski explained.

“My oldest was leaning forward to grab something. He hit her in the back, then my other daughter in the top of the chest. Then, my last daughter crossed her arm, giggling the entire while, grabbed their friend, and went off.”

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Second attack on McDonald’s employees

Dembowski stated that her girls are now “physically fine” but “shaken up” and “terrified that they could just go to a movie on a Saturday night and this could happen, someone could just walk into a movie theater and do this.”

Officials said the movie theater stabbing occurred at 6 p.m., before Ravizza reportedly carried out a second attack on McDonald’s employees at a rest stop on Route 3 in Plymouth about an hour later.

The current investigations in Massachusetts and Connecticut are closely linked as police strive to determine the links between these terrible crimes. Further information is expected as the investigations progress.

According to a statement published by the Braintree Police Department, a man snuck into the movie without paying, and then suddenly attacked and stabbed the four young females. “The attack appeared unprovoked.”

Paramedics responded quickly to the site, while police initiated a manhunt for the perpetrator and shared a description of his car with other law enforcement agencies.

All of the girls were sent to the hospital, but none had life-threatening injuries. Dembowski described the two older girls as heroes who cared for her two smaller children before the authorities arrived.

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North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

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TOKYO — North Korea launched a missile into the sea on Monday, according to Japan and South Korea, just hours after announcing preparations to launch a rocket into space, reportedly carrying its second military reconnaissance satellite.

North Korea had previously informed Japan’s coast guard of its plans to launch “a satellite rocket” during a launch window from Monday to June 3.

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Korea | News Arab Image

North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

Following North Korea’s launch, the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office canceled a missile alert for the island of Okinawa, stating that the missile was not considered to be headed for the region.

North Korea launched its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit in November of last year as part of attempts to establish a space-based monitoring network to counter what it considers growing US-led military threats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later said at a governing party conference that the country would launch three more military spy satellites in 2024.

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Korea | NDTV Image

North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

The United Nations prohibits North Korea from carrying out any satellite launches, perceiving them as cover for testing long-range missile technologies. North Korea has consistently claimed that it has the right to launch satellites and test missiles. Kim has stated that spy satellites will help his military to better observe US and South Korean military activity while also increasing the threat posed by its nuclear-capable missiles.

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Korea | Japan Times Image

North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

North Korea provides Japan with launch information because the Japanese Coast Guard coordinates and disseminates maritime safety information throughout East Asia.

SOURCE – (AP)

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