Readers Picks of the Week

first_imgHanjin Shipping Gets Cash Injection from Parent’s ChairmanSouth Korean container carrier Hanjin Shipping received a cash injection from the head of its parent company, Hanjin Group, as well as from its former chief … Read More BIMCO: Lowest Level of Newbuilding Contracts in 20 YearsShipyards become the next victim of the deteriorating conditions in the dry bulk, container and offshore markets as 2016 looks to set the record for the lowest newbuilding contracts in more than 20 years… Read More Rickmers Maritime to Restructure Debt amid Liquidation FearsSingapore-listed containership owner Rickmers Maritime will not be able to pay USD 179.7 million of senior debt which is due in March 2017… Read More World Maritime News Staff Cargo Handling Ops at NWSA Terminals Affected by Hanjin’s MoveThe decision of the South Korean shipping company, Hanjin Shipping, to file for receivership has impacted cargo handling operations at three Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) terminals… Read More One Dead, Four Injured in Harmony of the Seas IncidentOne person was killed while four others sustained injuries after a lifeboat fell from the world’s biggest cruise ship, the Harmony of the Seas… Read More last_img read more

JP Morgan Tied to Bulker Purchase

first_imgJP Morgan Global Maritime is said to have set sights on buying the 2012-built Supramax bulk carrier Ocean Symphony.The company allegedly entered into a sub-sale agreement with Japan-based United Ocean Group, according to information provided by VesselsValue.Once the transaction is completed, the 58,100 dwt Ocean Symphony will be bought for USD 15.2 million.Currently, the market value of the 32,311 gross ton bulker stands at USD 16.06 million.Featuring a length of 190 meters and a width of 32.3 meters, the ship was built at Tsuneishi Cebu shipyard in the Philippines.Earlier this month, World Maritime News reported that JP Morgan Asset Management raised USD 480 million from insurers and pension funds aimed at investing into distressed shipping assets. The fund sparked considerable interest as the shipping sector proved to be one of the sluggish ones abounding in cheap assets.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Tumblr porn ban goes into effect puppy photos caught in sweep

first_imgTumblr’s ban on adult content went into effect Monday, and it didn’t take long for users to bare their naked thoughts on the move.The blogging platform announced the change Dec. 3 in a post titled “A better, more positive Tumblr.” On Monday, a new post apologized for what the site admitted has “not been an easy transition.” Flagged content will be hidden, not deleted, the site reported.”Written content such as erotica, nudity related to political or newsworthy speech, and nudity found in art, specifically sculptures and illustrations, is also stuff that can be freely posted on Tumblr,” the post says. “Although, photorealistic imagery or photography – images, videos, or GIFs — with real humans that include exposed genitals or female-presenting (yeah, we know you hate this term) nipples or depict sex acts is not allowed per our guidelines.”Breastfeeding and nudity in art are still OK to post.  Users quickly found flaws in Tumblr’s implementation of the ban. Some found tricks to get around the flagging process, others saw legitimate content hidden.Asked for comment, Tumblr referred CNET back to the Dec. 3 and Dec. 17 posts, as well as the site’s posted updates to its community guidelines. Tags Images Tumblr users said were incorrectly hidden include:Photos of cats, birds and rocks: Things that were flagged on @tumblr: -Smoke art-BNHA fanart-A field of flowers-woman in cosplay-leather boots-men kissing-A puppy-Fat sphinx catThings that weren’t flagged: -75% of the nsfw content on my side blog-Bots-Literal NAZISFIX YOUR SHIT TUMBLR.#TumblrLogOff— Snow F. (@SnowySpaceship) December 17, 2018 A pixelated Pokemon: FREE THE FEMALE PRESENTING NIPPLE #tumblrprotest pic.twitter.com/u90s08qiXc— bukkake bitch (@bipolarhippy) December 14, 2018 Post a comment #tumblrprotest if you are boycotting tomorrow make sure to pass the plan around pic.twitter.com/4pXpsp23RK— Angharad Griffiths (@Angiepose) December 16, 2018 Too late. You blew it #TumblrIsDeadParty #nsfw #tumblrpurge pic.twitter.com/PagEG2QOIr— xstumbl (@xstumbl) December 12, 2018 I’m doing #TumblrLogOff because their idiotic algorithm thought a text post with a single pixelated pokemon was NSFW. Thanks @tumblr, your already nigh-unusable site just got worse!— Duke (@laangdons) December 17, 2018 Anyways tumblr is dead to me because they flagged these set of pictures pic.twitter.com/eqjED9mVTH— 🌙 litchi 🌙 (@suicunepng) December 16, 2018 This cosplay tutorial: In a fairly meta move, some people posted their Tumblr issues on Tumblr itself.Although the ban may have been well-intentioned, many users clearly disagreed with how it was implemented. #Tumblr how’s this for female presenting nipples #tumblrlogoff pic.twitter.com/PRNm2eoTiv— Momo (@AS_Flow_MoMo) December 17, 2018 I’m officially off #Tumblr for the next 24hrs in protest of their new policy changes that do nothing to stop porn bots & child predators but do harm artists, gamers, social justice blogs, body positivy blogs & many others #TumblrLogOff— LevelUpLynn 🦄 (@LevelUpLynn) December 17, 2018 hey @tumblr maybe you might want to listen to the people using your site, and actually ban literal nazis and pedophiles instead of “female-presenting nipples” and content you’ve deemed “nsfw” (how the fuck is my aesthetic picture of a pool nsfw?) #tumblrprotest #tumblrpurge— december chrimms time babeys 🙂 (@AgentAngelace) December 17, 2018 0 Today, we mourn the loss of female presenting nipples, but celebrate their legacy.. #tumblr— 🧛🏻‍♀️Nicole Maines🧛🏻‍♀️ (@NicoleAMaines) December 17, 2018 “…female-presenting (yeah, we know you hate the term) nipples…”……well that doesn’t sound patronizing at all…. #TumblrLogOff #Tumblr https://t.co/E4mHjR4ulj— RecordRewind (@record_rewind) December 17, 2018 And even Tumblr’s own post announcing the ban: A photo of a pool: First published Dec. 17, 11:18 a.m. PT.  Update, Dec. 17 at 11:57 a.m. PT: Adds response from Tumblr.Update, Dec, 17 at 12:17 p.m. PT: Adds Tumblr user posts relating to ban. Prudishness aside, can we address the hyphen? It implies the nipples are presenting the females.— Sad Lieutenant (@unocajone) December 17, 2018 An ancient Egyptian tomb:center_img maybe the real female-presenting nipples were the friends we met along the way pic.twitter.com/UdyMRZoCzV— Animated Text (@animatedtext) December 10, 2018 not the best look for tumblr to try cutesily distancing itself from “female-presenting nipples” while actually doubling down on it pic.twitter.com/nCQnHLLUgC— Rave Sashayed (@_sashayed) December 17, 2018 A man’s chest, but not when next to an owl: A sleepy penguin: #Tumblr just flagged as “adult” this post I published relative to the recent archaeological discovery in Egypt … pic.twitter.com/nqARBqEcMf— bittenapple (@bittenapple) December 16, 2018 YOU FLAGGED A PICTURE OF MISTER ROGERS AND A MAILMAN!That is all. #TumblrProtest— Kaylee Fuhr (@KayleeFuhr) December 17, 2018 The term “female-presenting nipples,” mentioned in the Tumblr post about images that aren’t allowed, came in for special ridicule from users, especially for the way the site acknowledged the term was problematic. the problem isn’t that We Hate That Term;), although it’s stupid and we do, it’s that the whole idea that the female body is inherently sexual is Fucked Up And Bad, yall— Rave Sashayed (@_sashayed) December 17, 2018 Hashtags including #TumblrLogOff, #TumblrPurge, #TumblrIsDeadParty and #TumblrProtest objected to the way the changes were being implemented, and some urged users to stay off the site for 24 hours in protest. My most popular #cosplay tutorial was flagged on Tumblr as inappropriate… What are they smoking over there? pic.twitter.com/OpgWOTQRoN— Quinn-tessential (@HorrorShadows) December 17, 2018 #tumblr #tumblrisdeadparty”We did it! We fixed our site by deleting all the porn!” pic.twitter.com/fu8fmkZ3eV— Takashi Shirogane (@Starry_Paladin) December 3, 2018 Signed out of @Tumblr for 24 hours. If they’re going to crash and sink their own ship, might as well make it go ALL THE WAY DOWN. #TumblrIsDeadParty— Merry Impmas (@ImperfectXIII) December 17, 2018 So here’s something. Users are testing the limits of Tumblr’s new algorithm that flags adult content (aka “censorbot”). This one found that a man’s chest was flagged, but a man’s chest next a 50% scale owl went unnoticed. Things seem to be going greathttps://t.co/FU1MudA0K9 pic.twitter.com/Tmm0JyPWJC— Chappell Ellison ٩( ᐛ )و✎ (@ChappellTracker) December 7, 2018 #tumblrpurge remember when THEIR OWN POST ANNOUNCING THE BAN WAS FLAGGEDYeahThe only people arguing that #tumblr staff know what theyre doing is the staff themselves #tumblrban #tumblrpurge #tumblrboycott pic.twitter.com/o8sAlcIP2r— Team True Alpha ⭕️ (@VOlDlAS) December 17, 2018 Share your voice Mister Rogers and a mailman (was it Mr. “Speedy Delivery” McFeely?): Pictures of my cat and photos of birds and rocks got flagged but i still had to block four porn bots yesterday #TumblrIsDeadParty #Tumblr— European Gay Disaster Girl (@kissesgrell) December 17, 2018 The items on this list, which includes “a puppy” and “leather boots”: tumblr users: “hey guys, if you could do something about the pedophiles, porn bots, and white supremacists, that would be great.”tumblr staff: “ban the female nipple but let the nazis stay. got it. 👌”users: “no, that’s not what–”staff: “w e g o t i t 👌👌👌”#TumblrLogOff— beam me up, guy (@cali4niaenglsh) December 17, 2018 this just in: porn bots on tumblr are evading being flagged/taken down by just straight up tagging their sexy posts as ‘SFW’ and it workslike, this is some Looney Tunes shit 2018 pic.twitter.com/JdnP8aoMcL— Girls and Gay (@InsomniaArrest) December 11, 2018 Online Pornography Tumblrlast_img read more

Bradley Cooper Irina Shayk no longer together will actor move in with

first_imgLady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is BornLady Gaga (@ladygaga/Instagram)Bradley Cooper will be reportedly moving in with Lady Gaga. A tabloid from Australia has reported that the co-stars of ‘A Star is Born’ will be taking this step in the next few days. The report states that Lady Gaga will be selling her Malibu home because she is searching for “a love pad” where she and her co-star can stay together. It is also being reported that Cooper led to Lady Gaga and Christian Carino’s split. And as Cooper’s relationship with Irina Shayk has also come to an end, they both decided to stay with the other. “They’re both so attracted to one another,” a source has claimed. Bradley Cooper (R) and his partner Russian model Irina ShaykGetty imagesThe report further argued that there is a reason why the two are discreetly looking for a home together and that their discretion does not surprise their friends at all. Cooper has a two-year-old daughter with Irina Shayk. He has been spending less time with Irina Shayk and more with Gaga to “dive into the next phase of their relationship.”However, this story has been debunked by folks at Gossip Cop. The fact that Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk were spotted along with their daughter and his mom dining at Jennifer Garner’s residence last week is proof that an actor is still a family man. Cooper has also purchased a $13.5 million townhouse in Manhattan. And despite having a house all to himself in Los Angeles, he spends most of the time in New York.This is not the first fake news that the tabloid has published about Cooper and Lady Gaga. A few weeks back, they had reported that Lady Gaga had proposed to Bradley Cooper and that Lady Gaga was pregnant with Cooper’s baby.last_img read more

Politics of Budget 2018 This year the exercise will look way beyond

first_imgPM Modi during the pre-Budget meeting with economists.Twitter Narendra ModiFinance minister Arun Jaitley may on Thursday, February 1, announce big-ticket schemes and populist changes, but beneath each and every move will work calculations to keep Modi in power at least till 2024.And what about 2024 and beyond? Expect Union Budget 2018 and those in the next few years to pave the way for policies that will let the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate after Narendra Modi continue without much backlash.Interestingly, one common refrain at the grassroots of the party seems to be “2024 tak Modi, uske baad yogi [Modi till 2024, Yogi after that].” This is Yogi Adityanath, the current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh – the state that has sent the most number of prime ministers to office.Modi himself is a Lok Sabha member from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, and the common political understanding is whoever rules UP also rules India. Thus, it won’t be surprising if the BJP chooses Adityanath as Modi’s successor, and budgets henceforth have a little extra to keep UP happy with the saffron party.This is also the BJP-led NDA government’s last full budget before the next Lok Sabha elections, and many other political calculations seem to be casting a shadow on it. For one, Modi may decide to call for the Lok Sabha elections to be held this year itself. Second, he may take the combined-election route — simultaneous Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections — to beat the anti-incumbency factor in some states. More importantly, he may take some steps to chip away at the poll planks that political rivals might use. Here’s a breakdown of how each factor may influence Budget 2018: In picture: EVMs used in the first phase of Gujarat Assembly polls being stored in a strong room in Surat, Gujarat on Dec 10, 2017. [Representational image]IANSCentral and state-wise issuesIndia is going to see Assembly elections in four major states in 2018: Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The North-Eastern states of Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland are also due for elections this year.However, since none of the North-Eastern states has much of a Congress presence, and the BJP rules all the aforementioned major states barring Karnataka, the South Indian state will be the one the BJP will focus on. And thus, the Union Budget 2018 can be expected to have some sops and development projects for the state.As for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP will be fighting the anti-incumbency factor there, besides several regional issues.In Madhya Pradesh, for example, the BJP will look to mollify farmers who have protested from time to time. In Rajasthan, on the other hand, it might have to do something for people who have been affected by the actions of cow-protection vigilantes.But the saffron party may have another ace up its sleeve to counter anti-incumbency. Farmers stage a demonstration against the killing of farmers of Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur; in New Delhi on June 15, 2017.IANSPossibility of combined and early electionsOf course, the BJP will have an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and tweak Budget 2018 accordingly. However, there is now buzz that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may call for simultaneous state and Lok Sabha elections. Combined state and Central elections are nothing new in India. That is how they happened in the first couple of decades or so since Independence. And then, Rajesh Jain – the man behind the saffron party’s Mission 272 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections – wrote in an article in the Quint on January 23 that the BJP might call for general elections “in the next 100 days.”If this happens, along with the combining of polls, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana may also see polling along with the Lok Sabha elections and the eight aforementioned states.With elections combined, voters may not want to choose candidates from two different parties in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls — something the BJP will count on to help it beat the anti-incumbency factor in the states. To that end, the BJP may make Union Budget 2018 much more broad-based, so people prefer it at the Centre, and by extension in their states.For example, the North-East may receive special focus in the form of some infrastructure and defence projects, but the garb this focus will wear is the defence against China, which the whole country may throw its weight behind.Then there is the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, aka the Saubhagya scheme, launched last year with an aim to bringing electricity to all rural areas across the country. Mint has quoted sources telling it that the scheme will find a mention in the Budget, which means the BJP will have ammunition to needle the “dark era” of successive Congress governments in India.Encroaching on Opposition agendaThe BJP is also looking to take away the caste-based or region-based agenda that several regional parties with national-level ambitions have built their voter-base on.The saffron brigade was out in full strength looking to win Dalit support when Mani Shankar Aiyar called Modi a “neech kism ka aadmi,” and the Shiv Sena – which has said it will is parting ways with the BJP for the Lok Sabha elections – will have to deal with the saffron party taking credit for the massive Shivaji statue coming up in Mumbai.The BJP is expected to continue this “encroachment” with Union Budget 2018. It has already started with the Congress’ plank of empowering women, with Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian saying: “In our bid to further the cause of women’s empowerment, the cover of Economic Survey 2018 is pink.” In picture: Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian (right) shows the pink Economic Survey 2017-18, in New Delhi on January 29, 2018.Press Information BureauAnother political move Jaitley might choose to make is bringing back wealth tax and inheritance tax. This should help the BJP firm up its pro-poor image, something it can once again use to hit back at the Congress.last_img read more

17th JS session to continue till 14 Sept

first_imgThe 17th session of the 10th parliament will continue until 14 September next.The sitting of the house began at 5:25pm with speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. Earlier, the business advisory committee of the house sat at a meeting at 4pm with the speaker in the chair to fix the duration and businesses of the session. A five-member panel of chairmen was nominated by the speaker for the 17th session of the 10th parliament. Members of the panel are Lt Col (retd) Muhammad Faruk Khan (Gopalganj-1), Motahar Hossain (Lalmonirhat-1), Suhrab Uddin (Kishoreganj-2), Fakhrul Imam (Mymensingh-8) and Mahjabeen Khaled (Women Seat-18). The speaker announced their names at the beginning of the day’s business. They will conduct the proceedings of parliament in chronological order in the absence of the Speaker and the deputy speaker.President Abdul Hamid on 22 August last called the 17th session of the 10th parliament exercising the power bestowed upon him as per Article 72 (1) of the Constitution. On 13 July last, the 16th session (4th budget session of 10th parliament) of the Jatiya Sangsad was prorogued after 24 sittings that passed the national budget for fiscal 2017-18 .last_img read more

5000 more Rohingyas enter Bangladesh

first_imgRohingya Muslim refugees who had just arrived wait for a place to stay at Bangladesh`s Balukhali refugee camp on 2 October 2017. The UN says more than 14,100 children are at risk of dying from malnutrition in wretched camps where half a million mainly Rohingya refugees depend entirely on charities for survival. Photo: AFPIn the latest influx, some 5,000 more Rohingyas entered Bangladesh through Ulubonia point of the Naf River under Teknaf upazila on Monday.Locals said the Myanmar nationals started gathering at the no-man’s land along the border since the morning. Later, they crossed the river into Bangladesh by hired boats. Nazir Ahmed, 55, son of Abul Hossain of Jabbarpara in Bhuchidang area in Rakhine State of Myanmar, said they entered Bangladesh through the Ulubonia point after walking on foot for five days.Meanwhile, members of Border Guard Bangladesh recovered 30,000 Yaba tablets and 80 cartons of cigarette searching the belongings of the Rohingyas who got down from boats at Shah Porir Dwip of Teknaf on Sunday night.A patrol team of the paramilitary force recovered the contraband items around 9:00pm. However, no one was arrested in this connection.Besides, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Monday feared that drugs and firearms might be smuggled into the country by some of the fleeing Rohingyas.Quader, also Awami League general secretary, expressed his apprehension while distributing relief materials among the Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh amid persecution on them by the Myanmar security forces in Rakhine.He, however, said the law enforcers have been on alert so that the Rohingyas cannot get involved in criminal activities here.The ruling party leader also said the Rohingya crisis will be resolved through diplomatic efforts.last_img

AI accuses Myanmar of imposing apartheid on Rohingyas

first_imgRohingya refugees walk towards a refugee camp after crossing the border in Anjuman Para near Cox`s Bazar. ReutersMyanmar’s suffocating control of its Rohingya population amounts to “apartheid”, Amnesty International said Tuesday in a probe into the root causes of a crisis that has sent 620,000 refugees fleeing to Bangladesh.Distressing scenes of dispossessed Rohingya in Bangladeshi camps have provoked outrage around the world, as people who have escaped Rakhine state since August recount tales of murder, rape and arson at the hands of Myanmar troops.Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed in principle to repatriate some Rohingya but disagree over the details, with Myanmar’s army chief saying last week that it was “not possible” to accept the number of refugees proposed by Dhaka.The Amnesty report, published Tuesday, details how years of persecution have curated the current crisis.A “state-sponsored” campaign has restricted virtually all aspects of Rohingyas’ lives, the Amnesty study says, confining them to what amounts to a “ghetto-like” existence in the mainly Buddhist country.The 100-page report, based on two years of research, says the web of controls meet the legal standard of the “crime against humanity of apartheid”.“Rakhine State is a crime scene. This was the case long before the vicious campaign of military violence of the last three months,” said Anna Neistat, Amnesty’s Senior Director for Research.Myanmar’s authorities “are keeping Rohingya women, men and children segregated and cowed in a dehumanising system of apartheid,” she added.The bedrock for the widespread hatred towards the Muslim group comes from a contentious 1982 Citizenship law.Enacted by the then junta, the law effectively rendered hundreds of thousands of Rohingya stateless.Since then, Amnesty says a “deliberate campaign” has been waged to erase Rohingya rights to live in Myanmar, where they are denigrated as “Bengalis” or illegal migrants from Bangladesh.A system of identification cards is central to those bureaucratic controls, and likely to form the basis of the decision on who will be allowed to return from Bangladesh.The latest wave of persecution has pushed more than half of the 1.1-million strong minority out of the country, with those left behind sequestered in increasingly isolated and vulnerable villages.Although the Rohingya have been victims of discrimination for decades, the report details how repression intensified after the outbreak of violence between Buddhist and Muslim communities in 2012.Long before the recent mass exodus of Rohingya from northern Rakhine state-now a virtual ghostland of torched villages and unharvested paddy fields-they were unable to travel freely, requiring special permits and facing arrest, abuse and harassment at numerous checkpoints.In central Rakhine state, Rohingya Muslims were driven out of urban areas after the 2012 violence.They remain completely segregated from the Buddhist community, confined by barbed wire and police checkpoints to camps that Amnesty calls an “open-air prison”.The Muslim community is widely denied access to medical care, their children are unable to attend government schools while many mosques have been sealed off.“Restoring the rights and legal status of Rohingya, and amending the country’s discriminatory citizenship laws is urgently needed,” said Anna Neistat.“Rohingya who have fled persecution in Myanmar cannot be asked to return to a system of apartheid.”last_img

Supreme Court Delivers Blow To Republicans Declines To Take Up Pa Redistricting

first_img Share Manuel Balce Ceneta/APFormer California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in October on the day arguments took place in a case about political maps in Wisconsin.Updated at 4:39 p.m. ETThe U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a Republican challenge to the newly drawn Pennsylvania congressional map ahead of the 2018 elections.The decision means Republicans have few, if any, options remaining to try to stem a map that will almost certainly result in Democrats picking up potentially three or four seats and could make half a dozen or more competitive.Tuesday is the filing deadline for candidates for Pennsylvania’s April 26 primaries.Last month, the Supreme Court also declined to block the state court decision that said the old GOP-drawn map violated the Pennsylvania Constitution.Republicans drew a gerrymandered map in 2011 that resulted in a 13-5 congressional district advantage. That was despite Democrats having won the state in five straight presidential elections at the time.Democrats need to win a net of 24 seats to win a majority in the U.S. House.The decision comes on the same day a federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Republican congressmen challenging the new map. It’s a double gut punch to the GOP and all but guarantees that Democrats pick up a few seats, and in an election with control of Congress at stake, every seat counts.Legally, the challenge could also open the path to a slew of state court challenges.Challengers to the 2011 GOP-drawn map called into question its legality based on the state constitution, a rarity that could provide a road map for challengers in other states.The Supreme Court’s decision Monday also shows a possible reluctance to weigh in on state law when it comes to redistricting.This is not the last say the Supreme Court will have, however, on redistricting. It is hearing arguments March 28 on a Republican challenge to Maryland’s Democratic-drawn congressional map, and the court has a decision pending on a Democratic challenge to GOP-drawn state legislative districts in Wisconsin.Both cases deal with political rather than racial gerrymandering. While the court has ruled previously on racial gerrymandering, it has never ruled on political gerrymandering.The Supreme Court will hear arguments April 24 on racial gerrymandering in Texas as well. And the court also temporarily blocked a lower court’s decision in a racial gerrymandering case in North Carolina ordering the state to redraw a map that was favorable to Republicans.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Howard and Harvard Grad Comes Home to Baltimore

first_imgBy J. K. Schmid, Special to the AFROA Baltimore native has returned home from Harvard Law School.D’Sean Williams-Brown, 25, is now studying for his bar exam after graduating in Harvard’s 2018 class.After studying at Howard University and Harvard Law School, D’Sean Williams-Brown is back in his hometown. (Courtesy photo)Born in 1993, Williams-Brown grew up on the 2600 block of Kirk Avenue before moving north in 1998 to Winston Avenue.It was in these Black communities that Williams-Brown’s interests in politics and law grew.“The neighborhood I lived in, what it looked like, the challenges that both my family faced and everyone in the neighborhood faced; the folks that were facing these challenges, all of them looked like me,” Williams-Brown told the AFRO. “The politics of the Black community, the issues were so common, but it is the truth, I couldn’t put two and two together, I just knew that something else was involved, and it led me to examine how did this happen?”He had more questions as he took more of Baltimore in.“How do I live in a block with all Black families and then when I go across to the other side of town, it looks different,” Williams-Brown said. “Why is my school set up in a certain way? We have one Black teacher in school, how do these things come into play?”While working on these questions, Williams-Brown somewhat struggled in middle school as a B-C student.“I got into mischievous stuff, joking, teasing, not listening to teachers, not really paying attention, my grades suffered with a few detentions here and there,” Williams-Brown said.He was denied admission to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, due to his subpar grades, leaving his parents with a tough choice.“My parents were left either to send me to a school in the area that was struggling, and eventually closed, or send me to private school,” Williams-Brown said. “My dad had found me a private school, he talked to my mom, he said ‘you know what, let’s give this a shot.’”With help from his three aunts and his grandparents, Williams-Brown’s family was able to raise the tuition for him to attend Calvert Hall Catholic High School.“I think that sort of sparked within me, that I need to take it serious,” Williams-Brown said. “This is not cheap, this is not easy, they really are pushing for me to accomplish, so let me go and do well. It was a different experience, coming from a city school to a private school, my only focus was to go in, put my head down and do the work and make sure that investment paid off.”It did pay off. Upon graduation, Williams-Brown was awarded a full academic scholarship to Howard University.“People call it the Mecca, it’s this center of Black culture and Black history and education for so many brilliant people and experiences,” Williams-Brown said.While studying alongside the Black elite, both peers and professors, some of the experience was taken for granted until graduation.“You go back and look at folks who graduated from Howard and contributed to society and how great and successful and prominent these folks have become and how important their work has been to the movements,” Williams-Brown said. “By the time my senior year came, I really started to appreciate what I had been a part of and being able to graduate and say that I went to an institution that was a part of that.”While there were too many Howard professors and mentors to recognize, Williams-Brown did go on at length about his Mock Trial coach, attorney Angela D. Minor, Esq. William’s-Brown was himself a mock trial attorney, his team went to nationals.“Watching her commitment, learning from her, and getting the opportunity to be able to go out and explore what my interests were, and explore my talents and get better at the trade was something that was very important to me,” Williams-Brown said. “It’s one of those things that will follow through the rest of my career.”Williams-Brown’s academic career next took him to Harvard Law School. He interned for the ACLU and was a member of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. In Boston, Williams-Brown fought evictions and foreclosures, serving as a community lawyer for the disadvantaged and vulnerable.He’s returned to and taken up residence in Baltimore, a city with an alarming and nation-leading rate of eviction.As Williams-Brown’s wrote on his Harvard application:“Knowledge of the law is empowering,” he wrote. “I witnessed this firsthand when I saw the weight lifted off my mother’s shoulders as an attorney explained the legal procedures and her potential options during the foreclosure process. Although at times limited, the law also has the ability to promote the ideals of self-determination, equality, and social justice. During my legal education, I know that I will gain the skills necessary to continue to advocate for the underprivileged in society. Motivated by my own humble upbringing, I hope to collaborate with a variety of bright legal minds and utilize legal scholarship to imagine innovative solutions and create the change that I want to see in the national community.”last_img read more