SoHo Karen flees to California: Cheerleader, 22, grabs McDonald’s in a face shield near her family home after she ‘assaulted a black boy, 14, thinking he stole her iPhone’ in NYC

The woman dubbed ‘Soho Karen’ – Miya Ponsetto – has been seen for the first time since being named as the person who assaulted a 14-year-old black boy at a New York City hotel in a row over a phone.

By Ruth Styles For Dailymail.com and Alan Butterfield For Dailymail.com

  • The woman dubbed ‘Soho Karen’ – 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto – has been seen for the first time 
  • She was named as the woman who assaulted a 14-year-old black boy at a New York City hotel in a row over a phone
  • Seen in exclusive DailyMail.com photos, she was seen making a quick trip to McDonald’s in Fillmore, California  
  • The 22-year-old has been laying low at her family’s $389,000 home in the small town of Piru, a small farming town approximately 30 miles north of LA 
  • Despite facing potential assault and attempted robbery charges in New York,  she appeared relaxed and was smiling broadly as she grabbed her orde 
  • On Thursday, DailyMail.com obtained police reports and court records bearing her name 
  • The records show Ponsetto was arrested on February 28, 2020, for public intoxication in Beverly Hills 
  • Ponsetto was arrested again near Calabasas for drunk driving on May 28 
  • New York City police have been searching for ‘SoHo Karen’ after she was filmed attacking Keyon Harrold Jr at the Arlo Hotel on Saturday 
  • The woman falsely accused Harrold Jr of stealing her iPhone, which was returned to her by an Uber driver moments after the scuffle
  • The boy’s family and civil rights attorney Ben Crump are calling for charges 
  • Police have not officially named her but sources confirmed it is Ponsetto 

Seen in exclusive DailyMail.com photos, the 22-year-old made a quick trip to a McDonald’s in Fillmore, California – her first outing since being unmasked as the woman who accosted Keyon Harrold Jr at the Arlo Hotel last weekend.

The 22-year-old has been laying low at her family’s $389,000 home in the small town of Piru, a small farming town approximately 30 miles north of LA.

Yesterday, her mother Nicole, 42, became angry when asked about her daughter and ordered a DailyMail.com reporter off the property while insisting she was not there.

But earlier today, a black-clad Ponsetto was seen leaving the home and heading to McDonald’s in a black Range Rover SUV.

And despite facing potential assault and attempted robbery charges in New York, the 22-year-old appeared relaxed and was smiling broadly as she grabbed her order.

Ponsetto’s reappearance comes a day after DailyMail.com revealed that she is also facing court proceedings in LA after being arrested for being intoxicated in public by Beverly Hills PD in February.

Her mother Nicole was also collared along with her on the same charge and hit with an additional count of assaulting a police officer.

Both women are due in court for a hearing on the case on January 28.

Ponsetto was arrested for a second time in May and charged with four counts of DUI. Court records show she pled guilty in September and faces a sentencing hearing on January 14.

The 22-year-old’s legal problems now look set to increase, with the NYPD considering bringing charges against her over the December 26 incident.

Cops confirmed on Tuesday that they are looking at a variety of options, including assault, grand larceny and attempted robbery.

Ponsetto shot to infamy after Keyon Jr’s father, Grammy-winning jazz artist Keyon Harrold, posted a video of the 22-year-old grabbing at the child while repeatedly accusing him of snatching her phone.

He captioned it: ‘On Saturday, December 26, the woman in this video falsely accused an innocent 14-year-old teenager of stealing her cellphone,’ Harrison tweeted.

‘She then proceeded to physically attack him and fled the location before police officers arrived on scene.’

A second video released by the NYPD shows Ponsetto, who was swiftly dubbed Soho Karen, running at the child and grabbing at his waist.

Moments after the video ended, an Uber driver arrived with Ponsetto’s phone, which she had left in the vehicle.

Harrold, along with Keyon’s mother Kat Rodriguez and civil rights attorney Ben Crump are now urging officials to bring charges against her over the incident.

Ponsetto has denied assaulting Keyon and on Thursday, provided a rambling 20-minute phone interview to CNN.

In it, she claimed she was assaulted during the altercation with Keyon Sr. and his son, though failed to provide further details, including who allegedly assaulted her.

Her allegation has not been corroborated by investigators or any witnesses to the December 26 incident.

On Tuesday, NYPD confirmed they had identified the woman and may charge her with assault, grand larceny or attempted robbery.

The boy’s famous father, mother Kat Rodriguez and civil rights attorney Ben Crump are urging officials to bring charges against her over the incident.

The new footagereleased by NYPD casts new light on Saturday’s events in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan.  

It shows four people – the woman identified as Ponsetto, Keyon, Keyon Jr. and another individual standing at the bottom of the stairs in the lobby.

Keyon Jr. starts to walk away in the direction of the hotel doors. 

At this point, the woman runs and grabs the 14-year-old around the waist, latching onto him as the boy’s father runs after them.

They pass through the automatic doors in the lobby as the boy tries to shake her off, turning around as she appears to tackle him to the ground.

A close-up of the woman’s face is shown with ‘wanted’ emblazoned across it as the police urge anyone with information about the woman’s whereabouts to contact the NYPD.

‘On Saturday, December 26, the woman in this video falsely accused an innocent 14-year-old teenager of stealing her cellphone,’ Harrison tweeted. 

‘She then proceeded to physically attack him and fled the location before police officers arrived on scene.’  

After she eventually agreed to provide evidence to the network to support the claim, the woman, who lives out of state, reportedly stopped replying to CNN’s messages and calls. 

According to the woman – whose name was withheld by the network – the incident was spurred when she first demanded to see the hotel’s surveillance footage to try to pinpoint who may have taken her phone. 

After the request was denied, she reportedly then cornered someone else in the lobby to ’empty their pockets’, before turning her attention to Keyon Jr. 

‘That’s when everything got a little more serious,’ she said.  

It’s currently unclear when the alleged assault was purported to take place. The woman also provided additional information of events preceding and unrelated to the incident, which CNN said it has so far been unable to verify. 

Speaking out about her concerns over the possibility of facing charges, she said: ‘Of course I worry. That’s not who I am. I actually … try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing.’

The woman added she is willing to cooperate with any police investigation, but says she has not yet been contacted by investigators, nor has she reached out herself. 

Harrold and Keyon Jr.’s mother, Kat Rodriguez, staged a rally in Manhattan on Wednesday alongside their attorney Ben Crump and Reverend Al Sharpton.

‘When I saw this story, I thought about how I was one of those kids whose father never took him anywhere for Christmas, never had brunch with my father,’ Sharpton said. 

‘And for this black man to take his black son, put him in a hotel during a pandemic, and spend Christmas with him, raising him, and to be assaulted because of the color of their skin, I wanted to stand with this man and this woman who provided for their son, and they’re being criminalized for it. The arrogance and audacity of this woman.’ 

Harrold added that had he not come down into the lobby with his son when he did, something ‘could have gone very wrong.’

‘The idea of trauma goes above any charge that we may have…I bring my son places where he shouldn’t have to deal with injustices and shouldn’t have to be profiled,’ he said.

An emotional Rodriguez also spoke during the rally, taking her opportunity to let it be known she is unhappy with the way the hotel handled the situation, and also called on ‘SoHo Karen’ to be charged with assault.

‘All that we are asking is for the police to do the right thing, for the DA to do the right thing, to charge this woman with assault of a minor,’ she said. 

‘To the hotel, which I’m equally angry at, you are trained to use those tools. I called the hotel right after it happened, and I gave them a chance to make it right, and they didn’t. You know when they made it right? When my tribe, my community spoke up.

‘It breaks my heart that this is happening to our son. This incident could have been avoided in so many ways,’ she said. 

Crump, meanwhile, called the incident an example of ‘racial injustice’ – an all-too common narrative that ‘needs to change’.

‘Can you imagine what the narrative would have been if Keyon Harrold had not videoed the incident on his cellphone?’ Crump asked the crowd.  

Keyon Harrold Sr. then played a trumpet rendition of ‘America the Beautiful’ and ‘We Shall Overcome,’ drawing applause and a few tears, according to ABC7.  

No decision has yet been made by either the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office or the NYPD as to whether the woman will be charged. 

Keyon Sr first shared footage of the incident on Instagram, writing that he and his son had left their room to get breakfast when they came into contact with the woman in the lobby. He said the woman had been staying at the hotel but had checked out three days earlier. 

It’s unclear what happened in the moments before he started filming, but in the video, the woman can be heard screaming at Keyon Jr., telling him to show her his phone. 

The one-minute-long video shows the woman and the hotel manager in the lobby with Harrold recording on his cell phone. 

‘This is my phone,’ Harrold’s son, who is not seen in the footage, is heard telling the woman and the manager.

‘You don’t have to explain nothing to her,’ Harrold tells his son.

The woman then points to the phone and tells the manager that the case is the same one that she has.

‘That’s mine,’ she tells the manager. She then tells the manager: ‘Get it back.’

Harrold responds to the woman, saying: ‘Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone made in the world?’

When the woman asks Harrold to see the phone, he replies: ‘No, get a life.’

Harrold then tells the woman that she should use the Find My app, which helps locate missing Apple devices.

The woman then tells Harrold that the Find My app can only be accessed through the phone.

The video then shows the manager approach Harrold’s son asking him to see the phone.

‘No, you can’t,’ Harrold tells the manager.

‘I’m the manager of the hotel,’ the manager tells Harrold, who replies: ‘I don’t care!’

During the exchange, the woman continues to encourage the manager to retrieve what she believes is her iPhone.

Harrold tries to plead his case, saying it wasn’t plausible that his son would have someone else’s phone since he just got to the lobby from the elevator.

‘Didn’t you see me just come downstairs out of the f***ing elevator?’ Harrold tells the manager.

The manager protests, saying: ‘I’m trying to help.’

Harrold replies: ‘My son has nothing to do with her.’

The woman once again repeats her demand to see the phone, saying: ‘No, he’s not leaving. Show me the proof.’

Harrold refuses and begins to walk away from the lobby toward what appear to be the elevators.

‘You better get on,’ Harrold tells the woman.

The woman, who appears to be highly distressed, walks toward Harrold and his son, saying: ‘No, I’m not letting him walk away with my phone.’

While the video is not clear, the woman appears to lunge toward Harrold and his son.

In the next frame, she is seen on the ground as the manager helps her back to her feet.

‘No, please get my phone back,’ the woman begs the manager.

The video clip ends with the woman once again approaching Harrold in an attempt to get the phone.

The Trumpeter said he suffered slight injuries in the incident though his son was not harmed. 

Keyon Jr. spoke alongside his father to ABC on Tuesday, telling the network he’s still ‘shell shocked’ over what happened. 

‘I don’t know what would have happened if my dad wasn’t there. These past few days, still kind of shell-shocked, but I’m hanging in there.

‘For me I was confused because I had never seen that lady ever and I didn’t know what to do in the moment. That’s why I was happy to have my dad here to help me,’ he said.   

Earlier this week, New York City Mayor De Blasio on Twitter called the incident ‘racism. Plain and simple.’

‘It would be horrific at any age, but it’s especially offensive that it happened to a child,’ he wrote. ‘To Keyon Harrold Jr. and his family: I am so sorry this happened to you.’

Amid the fallout, Arlo Hotels has also apologized for its role in the incident, saying its workers could have done better to ‘de-escalate the dispute.’

‘We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel,’ a company statement said. 

‘In investigating the incident further, we’ve learned that the manager on duty promptly called the police regarding the woman’s conduct and that hotel security intervened to prevent further violence …. No Arlo guest – or any person – should be subject to this kind of behavior.’

Famed civil rights attorney Ben Crump is leading the charge of outrage against the woman’s actions, and also called out the hotel for ’empowering’ her accusations by asking Harrold’s son to prove his innocence.

‘As this year of racial awareness is drawing to a close, it’s deeply troubling that incidents like this one, in which a Black child is viewed as and treated like a criminal, continue to happen,’ Crump said in a statement.

‘We strongly urge Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to bring assault and battery charges against this woman to send the message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable,’ Crump added. ‘This is what it will take to drive change. We also call for a civil rights investigation into the Arlo Hotel for its implicit bias in its treatment of Keyon.’ 

‘God will forgive me or not’: Inside the world of a people smuggler

By Hafizullah Maroof

Before he got on the boat to make the clandestine crossing, Shafiullah called his family in Afghanistan to tell them he was OK and on his way to Turkey.

After the call, Shafiullah, who was 16, boarded the boat. He was one of about 100 passengers that night, last June, and one of thousands of men who have have fled Afghanistan every month this year in search of a more secure life in Europe.

Shafiullah was already inside Turkey, but the people smugglers he had paid to ferry him to Istanbul were heading across Lake Van to avoid police roadblocks. The lake’s waters are dangerous, and the smugglers were setting out at night.

Somewhere across the water, the vessel they had chosen to carry their human cargo – including at least 32 Afghans, seven Pakistanis and one Iranian – sank. Sixty-one bodies were recovered, but the rest, including Shafiullah, are missing. Some bodies could be deep below the surface, Turkish authorities told the BBC, making recovery unlikely.

At least four of those thought to have perished, including Shafiullah, were sent by a smuggler in Kabul. The BBC approached the smuggler and he agreed to talk on the condition that his identity was disguised.

‘Everything is arranged by phone’

Elham Noor (not his real name) has well-established links with other criminals and claims a high success rate in sending people to Italy, France, and the UK.

“Smuggling is not an individual business, it’s a huge network,” he said. “We have connections with one another.” Nppr doesn’t travel with the migrants though. “Everything is arranged over the phone,” he said.

Noor has no shortage of clients. Many Afghans are desperate to leave their country. Afghanistan is among the poorest in the world, it has been ravaged by decades of war. According to the United Nations, 2.7 million Afghans are currently living abroad as refugees – putting Afghanistan behind only Syria and Venezuela in the list of countries which produce the most migrants and refugees.

So Noor has no need to advertise. His clients call him. Young Afghans looking to make the journey will typically seek out a trafficker who has already sent somebody else from their region.

But only a small percentage of those who try to reach Europe succeed at their first attempt, and some never return.

Shafiullah’s uncle Sher Afzal said the family knew the journey would be dangerous. “But we didn’t anticipate this,” said.

Afzal is in mourning, but it’s a strange, hollow kind of grieving that lacks certainty. Shafiullah is still listed as missing. The family, who live in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, would like to hold a memorial service for Shafiullah, but they have no remains. There has already been a ceremony for the two migrants whose bodies were recovered.

“Now we want to see his dead body. We don’t expect him to be alive,” Afzal said.

Shafiullah saw no prospect of a future in Jalalabad. He contacted Noor to get passage to Italy, paying the trafficker $1,000 (£741) as a first instalment. He was bundled together with other migrants and moved from one place to another in cars, trucks, and sometimes on foot.

Shafiullah crossed Iran and entered Turkey, but his journey came to an end on Lake Van, moments after he called his family.

Noor told the BBC he paid the money back to Shafiullah’s family and to others whose journey’s were cut short. Shafiullah’s family confirmed that they had received the money.

$8,500 to get to Italy

Noor said the tragedy had added to his misgivings about people smuggling. He recognises the human cost when things go wrong, he said. But it is a lucrative trade, and a hard one to leave after so many years.

“We charge $1,000 for Afghanistan to Turkey,” Noor said. “From Turkey to Serbia, it is $4,000. From there to Italy, we charge another $3,500. It is $8,500 altogether.”

These are huge sums of money in a country where the average per capita annual income is just over $500. Noor pockets between $3,000 and $3,500 for every migrant who successfully reaches Italy.

And all Noor has to do to is pick up the phone, arrange some money transfers and pay the occasional bribe to the Afghan authorities. He never meets anyone in person who is not known to him or a close relative or friend. He relies on his reputation to bring in clients and is wary of speaking to strangers.

It’s a comfortable life, particularly by Afghan standards, and the trappings of wealth are obvious – the cars, the clothes, the houses.

Noor knows that migrants face a risky journey without travel documents. They are kept hidden during the day and moved at night, using the network’s safe houses along the way, in cities like Tehran, Van and Istanbul, he said.

The migrants are advised not to carry any valuables like expensive jewellery or watches which could attract thieves. Noor usually tells the migrants not to carry more than $100 in cash.

The journey to Turkey, a major hub for Afghans heading to Europe, can take from a week to a couple of months, depending on what happens on the way.

One migrant who made it to Istanbul, passing through on his way to the West, was Hazrat Shah, a former soldier in the Afghan army.

After his village came under the control of the Taliban, the 25-year-old feared reprisal attacks on his family, so he deserted from his unit and decided to leave the country. He set off from Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan earlier this year, attempting to make it to Italy.

“After reaching the border [between Turkey and Iran], it took almost a month to arrive in Istanbul. I stayed there for a few months and worked in hotels to earn money to pay for the smugglers,” Shah told the BBC.

The eastern Mediterranean route, which involves crossing the sea between Turkey and Greece, is particularly favoured by migrants. The European border agency estimates that in the first 10 months of this year, more than 17,000 people crossed over to Europe through this route, and almost a quarter of these are thought to be Afghan.

It was difficult to get from Greece to Bosnia – Shah was deported several times before he made it – but his attempts to move further met with repeated failure.

“It was horrible. In the last attempt I was injured as well. The police beat me a lot,” he said. “They took our shoes and jumpers. We were forced to return in the dark. It is so hard to get through.”

‘The smugglers can’t help’

Shah is not sure if he will ever get to Italy, but he is in no mood to call the people smugglers back in Afghanistan for help. They disappear at the first sign of trouble, he said, and many who undertake the journey regret trusting them.

“There is a possibility that you can die or be injured or abducted at every stage of the journey – and nobody can help you,” he said. “It is not possible for them [the people smugglers] to help as they are afraid of the police. It is a dirty game.”

Shah said he had lived in horrific conditions for many months and has seen many die on the way.

“You will receive very little food and water to keep you alive. I saw people dying of thirst without water. Other migrants can’t help them because if you give your water to them, you face the same situation,” he said.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 1,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. This is mainly because they are forced to travel on overcrowded boats, often during rough weather. Many others, like Shafiullah, die before reaching the Mediterranean and are not even included in this statistic.

But there is no shortage of Afghans wanting to migrate. After an explosion near the German embassy in Kabul in 2017, which killed at least 150 people, most European countries closed their visa application centres in Afghanistan, which has made travelling legally to Europe even harder and only increased the flow of clients seeking the services of smugglers like Noor.

From migrant to trafficker

Noor himself was once in a similar situation. Like so many others, he too once dreamed of living a comfortable life in the UK. He undertook the same journey when he was just 14. His dad paid $5,000 to smugglers.

“I still remember the difficulties of my journey, particularly in Bulgaria where we were kept hidden in trains – I was even forced to jump from a moving train,” Noor said.

In Calais, Noor was offered a commission of 100 euros (£90) for every migrant he introduced to a smuggler. This is how he got his start in the business of people smuggling.

Noor reached the UK illegally and continued to work with smugglers. But he returned to Afghanistan at the age of 21 when he realised the police were looking for him, he said.

Some of the migrants who managed to reach Europe through Noor’s network passed on his details to others, and his network and reputation grew.

“Despite the uncertainty, people still trust me to take them out of the country,” he said.

Noor said about 100 people who paid him to deliver them to a better life were currently on their way to Europe. But he insisted they would be the last. He was getting out of the business, he claimed. He said the disaster with Shafiullah’s boat had hurt him, but the migrants knew the risks.

“I apologised many times to the families. I told them clearly in the beginning, anything can happen on the way,” he said. “They have accepted this. God will decide whether to forgive me or not.”

Another trafficker who knew Noor said he would find it difficult to stop.

“People will continue to call him for years to come, and the chance to make money won’t simply go away the moment he calls it quits,” the trafficker said.

Whether Noor gets out or not, the people smuggling will continue. Many thousands Afghans will still be desperate for a safer and better life.

In Autumn, not long after Shafiullah’s boat sank, two of his relatives made it as far as Turkey. They have just been deported back home.

When the weather gets warmer next summer, they may try again.

Authorities know where the kidnapped Nigerian schoolboys are, says state governor

By Eoin McSweeney, CNN

(CNN) — The location of 337 students who were unaccounted for after gunmen attacked a school in northwestern Nigeria on Friday, is now known by government authorities, according to state governor Aminu Bello Masari. Talks are ongoing to secure their release and the children are safe, he told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Wednesday.

“We’re not hearing any concrete demand, but we’ll make sure that the children are simply back home,” he said. “All the areas have been secured but the security forces here are not firing because we want to make sure that… we don’t get any collateral damage.”

Local police said a large number of attackers riding motorbikes ambushed the all-boys Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, last week. The attack may have been a kidnapping-for-ransom attempt, they said.

There have been varying estimates of the number of children kidnapped from the school. Government officials said it was difficult to accurately track the numbers, as some children ran away during the attack and others escaped and made their way back to villages and to the school through the weekend.

“We [the government] are ultimately responsible,” said Masari.

A man claiming to be a leader of Boko Haram said on Tuesday the terror group was responsible for the kidnapping, according to a short audio message shared with Nigerian media and reviewed by CNN.

“I am Abubakar Shekau and our brothers are behind the kidnapping in Katsina,” said the man in the recording. Shekau is the leader of one of Boko Haram’s factions.

Masari did not dismiss the voice note entirely but cautioned that “more concrete evidence” was needed before it could be confirmed that Boko Haram was involved.

The kidnappers have not made a direct demand yet, but a child of a teacher who was among the kidnapped contacted his father. He only complained about the air force flying overhead and mentioned they may need money.

When asked if he would pay a ransom, Masari said it’s not “the policy of our government” to do so.

“We’ll find other ways of securing the lives and the freedom of the children,” he added.

The kidnapping is outside Boko Haram’s usual area of activity. Their operations have generally focused in the northeast of the country, though security analysts believe that their reach has shifted after a security crackdown in that region.

Boko Haram claims to have kidnapped Nigerian schoolboys, in unverified audio message

There have been multiple kidnappings for ransom in Katsina State in recent years, but not on this scale.

Several witnesses told CNN that those who targeted the school were Fulani gunmen, an ethnic group that has been involved in kidnappings and criminal activities in the area.

Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram was behind the 2014 kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok. Their captivity lasted years and many of the children were never returned after a negotiated release.

In 2018, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram known as ISWAP kidnapped more than 100 girls in Dapchi. All but one was released weeks later, after negotiations.

While these are the most high-profile examples, Boko Haram has abducted well in excess of 1,000 children since 2013, according to UNICEF.

“We are now responsible and will live up to our responsibility of ensuring and making sure that we do the best we can to safeguard the lives of our people and now [the] priority is to make sure that these children are safely back into their families and back into school,” Masari said.

Amnesty condemned the attack on Wednesday and said it was a “serious violation of international humanitarian law” which “undermines the right to education for thousands of children in northern Nigeria.”

Over 900 cars paid for each other’s meals at a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Minnesota

By Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN 

(CNN) — What started as a random act of kindness from one man paying for the car behind him in a Dairy Queen drive-thru resulted in over 900 cars also taking part in the pay it forward chain.

There’s no question about it: This year has been tough for so many. Some, fighting battles we may know nothing about. But at a drive-thru in Brainerd, Minnesota, over 100 miles north of Minneapolis, people stepped up in a small way to show one another that they care.

Tina Jensen, the store manager at one of the two Dairy Queens in town, told CNN a man came by the drive-thru window on Thursday and asked if he could pay for his meal and for the car behind him.

Jensen told her cashier this tends to happen once in a while but at most it lasts for 15 or 20 cars and fizzles out.

This time, the chain continued for two and a half days with over 900 cars participating, raking in $10,000 in sales, according to Jensen.

When the next customer came to the fast food chain’s window, Jensen explained what the man in front of them had done — and the acts of kindness continued to multiply.

“The health benefits of a random act of kindness”

“There’s all different types of ways to help people,” Jensen said. “I think this touched a lot of people that we didn’t even know it touched, deeper than we know. And you don’t know what’s going on in a person’s life.”

When the chain closed for the night Thursday, one car left $10 to begin the chain back up Friday morning and again on Saturday morning. Jensen provided updates on the number of cars at each day’s end on the store’s Facebook page.

Heidi Bruse experienced that act of kindness on Friday evening during a dinner run, she told CNN.

“During times like these it kinda restores your faith in humanity a little,” Bruse said. “The way the world is now you see a lot of anger, tension, and selfish behavior. What we witnessed was pure kindness and it was a breath of fresh air really.”

But that wasn’t even the best part. For Bruse, it was going home to tell her family that they played a role in the chain and kept it going.

“Not that we got free ice cream,” she said. “The gesture was way more valuable.”

Like so many others in the restaurant industry, the restaurant has faced some challenges adapting to new business practices during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Faced with having to close my restaurant, I was given a great gift”

“With the lobby shutting down, being only open for take out, being able to open for half your capacity, different things like that,” have played a role in trying to keep morale high, Jensen said. Her top priority is the safety of her customers and crew with increased disinfecting and cleaning measures, she said.

Seeing how positive her staff became with every passing car paying it forward, married to the reactions of her customers when the cashier told them their meal had been taken care of, was touching, Jensen said.

“No matter what’s going on, take care of each other, be positive, be happy and don’t focus on the negative, we’ll get through it,” she said.

Indigenous people across the US want their land back — and the movement is gaining momentum

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN

CNN)Around this time every year, Americans come together to share a feast commemorating a myth about its first inhabitants.

An indigenous tribe did eat with the Pilgrims in 1621 and sign a treaty with the colonists that had settled on their shores — an act of survival rather one of goodwill and friendship. But the relationship would eventually break down, decimating the tribe’s population and whittling away its land.
Nearly 400 years later, the descendants of the very tribe at the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday are still fighting to reclaim their lands — a fight that ironically hinges on whether or not the tribe meets the federal government’s definition of “Indian.”
“We’re kind of stereotyped as the tribes that met the Pilgrims and that’s our whole history, like we ceased to exist in 1621,” said Robert Maxim, a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. “That couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Mashpee Wampanoag marchers head to their traditional powwow grounds to hold a rally on October 6, 2018.

The Mashpee Wampanoag have lived in what’s now Massachusetts and eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years. Despite their storied history in the US, they weren’t recognized by the federal government until 2007. And in recent years, court rulings challenging whether the tribe’s reservation is eligible to be put in trust have posed an existential threat.
Their fight is one in a broader movement by indigenous people across North America to reclaim their lands — a movement that is gaining steam as the nation grapples with injustices committed against marginalized communities. 
Each battle is unique. For some, reclamation is about identity: ceremonies, connections to ancestors and traditional knowledge. For others, it’s about economics: being able to hunt for food, access clean water and build homes or schools. And it can be about sovereignty: jurisdiction and governance. 
Ultimately, it’s about getting indigenous lands back in indigenous hands. Though the fight is not new, activists are seizing on the moment to amplify their demands. Because finally, some non-Natives are paying attention.

Their claims to the land are in limbo

“The origin of being Indigenous is location and ties to the land,” said Randall Akee, an associate professor of public policy and American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
So, the demand is simple: Give us the land back.
Their claims are rooted in the US government’s dark history of removing indigenous people from their lands, whether through forced seizure or through treaties that promised them other lands or services.
After 250 years, Native American tribe regains ownership of Big Sur ancestral lands

Maxim was born in Mashpee, Massachusetts, and raised in a nearby town. He said he’s seen so many areas that once belonged to Mashpee Wampanoag citizens now overtaken by people who don’t understand its history.
In the face of everything the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe has endured, it has managed to maintain its identity. So the fact that it’s now losing its connection to the land is especially frustrating, Maxim said.
In 2015, the federal government declared it would place about 300 acres of land in Massachusetts into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, turning it into a reservation — a victory after decades of trying to reclaim land.
The trust status meant that the land couldn’t be taken away from the Mashpee Wampanoag without the approval of the federal government. It also gave the tribe sovereignty, allowing it to build housing, a school and police department on the land.
A wooden sign advises motorists of the location of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal lands in Massachusetts.

But in 2018, the Department of the Interior reversed that decision after a lawsuit brought by area residents, saying the land was ineligible for trust status because the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe wasn’t under federal jurisdiction in 1934. In March of this year, the tribe learned that the US would be taking their land out of trust.
“It’s worth underscoring how absurd it is that the descendants of the tribe that met Pilgrims, who every American learns about around this time of year, couldn’t meet the definition of a ‘tribe,'” Maxim said. “It’s just a perfect illustration of how messed up, and really, anti-Native, federal Indian policy has been throughout our history.”
A federal judge blocked the government from disestablishing the reservation, but the Interior Department appealed the ruling in August.
Now, the tribe is in limbo.

A rare triumph in a centuries-long battle

Yet, one tribe seems to be an outlier.
For thousands of years, the Wiyot people were the stewards of Duluwat Island, situated in the marshes and estuaries of what’s now Humboldt Bay along California’s northern coast. Then in 1860, a group of White settlers interrupted the tribe’s annual world renewal ceremony and massacred scores of Wiyot women, children and elders.
Members of the Wiyot tribe paddle a canoe from Duluwat Island across Humboldt Bay on June 25, 2004.

In the years since, the island had been transformed into a shipyard. By 1990, it lay vacant, scattered with scrap metal and contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Last year, the Wiyot had reclaimed almost all of Duluwat Island — the culmination of decades of efforts to get back their ancestral land.
When 1.5 acres on the island went up for sale, the tribe raised $106,000 to buy it back in 2000. A few years later, the city of Eureka agreed to give them back about 40 more acres. Then in 2015, the Eureka City Council voted to return the remaining 200 acres the city owned on the island, a commitment it made official last year.
The return of Duluwat Island is perhaps the first time that a US municipality repatriated land to an indigenous tribe without strings attached.
“It’s part of our completion story,” said Ted Hernandez, chairman of the Wiyot tribe.
The Wiyot tribe celebrates the return of Duluwat Island in a ceremony in Eureka, California, on October 21, 2019.

Since first purchasing those 1.5 acres, the Wiyot tribe has been working to restore the island back to its original state.
Volunteers helped move a large engine off the island. They did away with a wall of sea batteries that was eroding the shell midden. And they worked with other partners to remove the toxic chemicals that had contaminated the soil.
In 2014, they danced on the island again, completing the ceremony that had been cut short more than 150 years ago.
“The island is just one part of our journey,” said Cheryl Seidner, a tribal elder and former Wiyot chairwoman. “The other part of the journey is walking on the earth and knowing that it is all sacred and that we need to take care of it and watch over it.”

Some non-Natives are trying to make amends

Even before the current political moment, some people were searching for ways to atone for the removal of indigenous people from their lands.
Kim Bergel, a member of the Eureka City Council, first learned about the Wiyot massacre during a third grade field trip while on a ferry tour of Humboldt Bay. She remembers being bothered by the history of Duluwat Island as a child. But as she grew older, she came to understand the magnitude of what transpired there.
Years later, Bergel found herself on the same boat with Seidner. Seidner brought up that the city should return the rest of its land on the island to the Wiyot people, and Bergel said she agreed.
A photo of Duluwat Island in the morning, captured by Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel.

That prospect, along with other frustrations about Eureka’s dealings with the tribe, was why she ran for city council in 2014.
“For me, personally, it was very important for healing in our city to do the right thing,” Bergel said.
After being elected, she and fellow councilmember Natalie Arroyo began coordinating efforts with Eureka and the Wiyot tribe. By 2015, all the members of the city council were on board with giving back the rest of Eureka’s land on Duluwat Island. But because of bureaucratic hurdles, it wasn’t officially transferred until October 2019.
Wiyot Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez and Eureka, California, Mayor Susan Seaman sign the deed transferring the city's land on Duluwat Island to the Tribe.

The day that the city returned the land to the tribe was “the best, most beautiful day of my life,” Bergel said.
“After all of the horrible things that had happened, that our city was so interested in doing this and showing up, that it was a full house … it was awesome,” she said.
On the other side of the country, the United Methodist Church recently returned a plot of land in Ohio to the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.
The mission church and cemetery that sat on that land in Upper Sandusky is a historical site for the Wyandotte Nation, which once inhabited the area. A Black Methodist missionary named John Stewart encountered the Wyandottes there in the early 1800’s, and soon the church went on to set up the Wyandotte Indian Mission.
The Wyandotte Nation and the United Methodist Church gather at a cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

The Wyandottes would worship and study at that church for decades before the US government forced them to leave their homes and move west. But before they left, they entrusted the Methodists to care for the land in their absence.
As the church was preparing to celebrate 200 years of missions, it met with the Wyandottes and floated the idea of returning the land as a way of honoring their centuries-long relationship, said Thomas Kemper, the church’s former general secretary of global ministries.
The tribe accepted. And last year, the church gave back the land.
The Methodists had a friendly relationship with the Wyandottes, Kemper said, unlike other religious institutions that attempted to erase the heritage of Indigenous people. But the church’s interactions with other Indigenous tribes were sometimes uglier.
“It contributes to the healing of past wrongs — which have been done by the church to Native and Indigenous people — because it’s a concrete act,” Kemper said. “It’s not just the words, but it’s also a concrete act of giving, of returning this land, of deeding it back to the Wyandotte.” 
Thomas Kemper, the former general secretary of global ministries for the United Methodist Church, and Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend hold a deed signifying the transfer of land to the tribe.

Wyandotte Chief Billy Friend recognized the rarity of that moment. He said the tribe plans to make repairs to the church, put the land in a trust and eventually have it deemed a historic landmark.
“Very seldom do people want to give things back to us,” Friend said. “It was just an honor to see people wanting to do the right thing.”

A call to close Mount Rushmore

As more Americans reflect on and reckon with the country’s racial injustices, the nonprofit advocacy organization NDN Collective says it is partnering with groups such as the Movement for Black Lives to amplify land back movements and achieve what it calls collective liberation.
For NDN Collective, it started with demanding that Mount Rushmore be closed and all public lands in the Black Hills be returned “back to the original stewards,” said Krystal Two Bulls, an Oglala Lakota and Northern Cheyenne activist for NDN Collective.
On July 3, activists from NDN Collective were among those who assembled on a highway leading to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. They were there to protest not only President Donald Trump’s visit there that day, but also the monument of Mount Rushmore itself — a demonstration that took place as protesters around the country were demanding the removal of statues and monumentshonoring racist figures.
Activists and tribal citizens block the road to Mount Rushmore National Monument during a protest on July 3, 2020.

The massive granite carving of four US presidents is situated in the Black Hills, an area considered sacred ground for the Lakota people. The Black Hills were granted to the Lakota in an 1868 treaty, a promise that the US went back on in 1877 when gold was discovered on the land. 
The Supreme Court ruled in 1980 that the land was taken wrongfully and that the Lakota were entitled to compensation that has since grown beyond $1 billion. But the Lakota have never collected: What they want are the Black Hills.
The Mount Rushmore protest was the catalyst for the LANDBACK campaign that NDN Collective launched on Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year.
The campaign is both a vehicle to continue the fight for the return of the Black Hills and a mechanism to connect land reclamation movements across the country and coordinate resources, Two Bulls said.
“We are in a moment of the political climate with people really acknowledging what is and isn’t working for us,” Two Bulls said. “That converged into this moment that we’re currently in.”
The momentum has been building since the early organizing of their indigenous ancestors, Two Bulls said. Now, as Americans reexamine their history, it’s reached a boiling point.

Suspected Mass Grave of Kosovo War Victims Found in Serbia

Picture: A previous mass grave excavation in Rudnica in April 2014. Photo: EPA-EFE/ANDREJ CUKIC.

By Milica Stojanovic and Xhorxhina Bami, Balkin Insight.com

Forensic experts from Kosovo said they found human remains at the Kizevak open-cast mine during excavations near the Serbian town of Raska on Monday.

Arsim Gerxhaliu, director of the Kosovo Institute of Forensic Medicine, told Radio Free Europe that the next steps include “forensic medical procedures, appraisal excavations, exhumations of the remains, then identification via DNA”.

The Serbian Prosecutor’s Office said it was not possible to say how many bodies are buried at the site until an exhumation is done.

“This now falls under the jurisdiction of the High Court in Belgrade, the Department for War Crimes,” Vasilije Seratlic, a spokesperson for the Serbian Prosecutor’s Office, told BIRN on Tuesday.

The Kizevak open-cast mine near the town of Raska is not far from the Rudnica quarry, where the bodies of more than 40 Kosovo Albanians killed by Serbian forces in the 1998-99 war have already been found.

Kushtrim Gara, head of the secretariat for the Kosovo government’s Missing Persons Commission, told Kosovo TV channel KTV on Monday evening, that excavations at the Kizevak location have been ongoing since 2015, but a satellite image of the site from late 2019 had moved the process forward.

“We returned to Kizevak this year, specifically these last three weeks,” Gara said.

He added that during the latest excavations, investigators “managed to find mortal remains and to mark the exact location of the possible mass grave”.

Since 2001, the remains of over 900 Kosovo Albanian war victims have been found in four different locations in Serbia. They were killed in Kosovo and then their bodies were moved to secret grave sites in an attempt to cover up the crimes.

No one has been held responsible by the Serbian judiciary for the cover-up, but the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia convicted Serbian police general Vlastimir Djordjevic for his role in concealing the bodies as well as other wartime crimes against Kosovo Albanians.

The head of the Serbian government’s Missing Persons Commission, Veljko Odalovic, said in August that the Kosovo authorities had requested searches at Kizevak, at Kozarevo between the towns of Raska and Novi Pazar, and at the Stavalj mine near Sjenica.

In October, Serbian and Kosovo delegations along with representatives of the Red Cross visited a location near the Stavalj mine but found they needed more information to establish the location of a possible grave.

In multiple countries, alarm over hunger crisis rings louder

By EISSA AHMED, TAMEEM AKHGAR AND SAMY MAGDY, Associated Press

ABS, Yemen (AP) — The twin baby boys lay on a bed of woven palm leaves in a remote camp for displaced people in Yemen’s north, their collar bones and ribs visible. They cried loudly, twisting as if in pain, not from disease but from the hunger gnawing away at them.

Here, U.N. officials’ increasingly dire warnings that a hunger crisis is growing around the world are becoming reality.

U.N. agencies have warned that some 250 million people in 20 countries are threatened with sharply spiking malnutrition or even famine in coming months.

The United Nations humanitarian office this week released $100 million in emergency funding to seven countries most at risk of famine — Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Congo, and Burkina Faso.

But David Beasley, head of the World Food Program, says billions in new aid are needed. Without it, “we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021,” he said in an Associated Press interview last week.

In multiple countries, the coronavirus pandemic has added a new burden on top of the impact of ongoing wars, pushing more people into poverty, unable to afford food. At the same time, international aid funding has fallen short, weakening a safety net that keeps people alive.

In Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, Zemaray Hakimi said he can only give his children one meal a day, usually hard, black bread dunked in tea. He lost his work as a taxi driver after contracting COVID-19 and now waits daily on the street for day laborer work that rarely comes.

When his children complain of hunger, he said, “I tell them to bear it. One day maybe we can get something better.”

South Sudan may be closer than any other country to famine, as crisis after crisis wears on a population depleted by five years of civil war. The U.N. projected earlier this year that a quarter of the population of Jonglei State, home to more than 1.2 million, would reach the brink of famine.

Now cut off from much of the world by flooding that has affected some 1 million people, many South Sudanese have seen farming and other food routines ripped apart. The challenges are so numerous that “plastic sheets are not available, as they had largely been used for the previous flood response,” the U.N. humanitarian agency said this week.

COVID-19 has restricted trade and travel. Food prices rose. Post-war unrest remains deadly; gunmen recently fired on WFP boats carrying supplies.

“The convergence of conflict, macroeconomic crisis, recurrent flooding as well as the indirect impacts of COVID create a ‘perfect storm,’” the country director for the CARE aid group, Rosalind Crowther, said in an email. “Flooding and violence have led to massive displacement, low crop production and loss of livelihoods and livestock.”

In the Arabian peninsula, Yemen is on a “countdown to catastrophe,” Beasley, of the WFP, warned the Security Council last week.

“Famine is truly a real and dangerous possibility and the warning lights are … flashing red — as red can be,” he said.

For years, Yemen has been the center of the world’s worst food crisis, driven by the destructive civil war between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who took over the north and the capital, Sanaa, in 2014 and a Saudi-led coalition backing the government in the south.

International aid pulled it from the edge of famine two years ago. But the threat has surged back this year, fueled by increasing violence and a currency collapse that put food out of reach for growing numbers of people.

Donors have been wary of new funding because of corruption and restrictions that Houthis have put on humanitarian workers. The U.N. had to cut in half the rations it gives to 9 million people — and faces possible cuts to another 6 million in January.

The 18-month-old twins, Mohammed and Ali, weigh only about 3 kilograms, or 6.6 pounds, less than a third of the weight they should be, according to their doctor.

Their father, Hassan al-Jamai, was a farmer in northern Hajjah province near the border with Saudi Arabia. Soon after their birth, the family had to flee fighting to a displaced camp in the district of Abs.

“We are struggling to treat them,” said Mariam Hassam, the twins’ grandmother. “Their father took them everywhere.”

Two-thirds of Yemen’s population of about 28 million people are hungry. In the south, U.N. data from recent surveys show cases of severe acute malnutrition rose 15.5% this year, and at least 98,000 children under five could die of it.

By the end of the year, 41% of the south’s 8 million people are expected to have significant gaps in food consumption, up from 25%.

The situation could be worse in Sanaa and the north, home to more than 20 million people. The U.N. is currently conducting a similar survey there.

Sanaa’s main hospital, al-Sabeen, received over 180 cases of malnutrition and acute malnutrition the past three months, well over its capacities, according Amin al-Eizari, a nurse.

At least five children died at the hospital during that period, with more dying outside, he said.

In Afghanistan — like Yemen, crippled by war — the pandemic has meant further losses of jobs and mounting food prices. The poverty rate is expected to leap this year from 54% of the population of some 36 million to as high as 72%, according to World Bank projections.

Some 700,000 Afghan workers returned from Iran and Pakistan this year, fleeing coronavirus outbreaks. That halted millions of dollars in remittances, a key income for families in Afghanistan, and returnees flooded the ranks of those needing work.

Markets in Kabul seem full of food items. But shop owners say fewer customers can afford anything. More people are experiencing major gaps in their food — expected to rise to 42% of the population by the end of the year, from 25%, according to U.N. figures.

In the Bagrami displaced camp in the mountains surrounding Kabul, Gul Makai sat beside her mud-brick hut. She had spent the night shoveling out water and mud after the roof leaked in a recent snow. With early snows this year, temperatures have dropped below freezing.

Her 12 children, all 10 or younger, sat with her, hungry and shivering in the cold breeze. They were all thin. One daughter, Neamat, around 4, had the withered look that suggests malnutrition.

Makai fled seven months ago from her home in southern Helmand province after husband was killed in a crossfire between government forces and the Taliban. By begging, she scrounges up enough rice or hard bread to give her kids one meal a day. She eats every other day.

“The weather in winter will get colder,” she said. “If I don’t get help, my children may get sick, or God forbid I may lose any of them. We are in a bad condition.”

__

AP correspondent Cara Anna in Nairobi, Kenya contributed to this report. Akhgar reported from Kabul. Magdy reported from Cairo.

‘Righting a wrong’: Nevada 1st to protect same-sex marriage

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST and SAM METZ, Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Las Vegas has been known for decades as the place for exuberant nuptials blessed by the swirl of Elvis’ white capes. But for years, legal marriages were barred for same-sex couples.

Now, the state that’s home to the “wedding capital of the world” is also the first in the country to officially protect same-sex marriage in its Constitution.

“It’s literally righting a wrong,” said Karen Vibe, a businesswoman who moved to Reno shortly before voters passed a ban on same-sex marriage in 2002. 

That vote left her feeling betrayed by her new neighbors, and she couldn’t marry her wife until courts ruled against the measure more than a decade later. 

Watching people vote this election to repeal the defunct ban gave her a deeper sense of security in her home and family.

It also helped ease the anxiety she and others in the LGBTQ community are feeling about the new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court after two justices took the unusual step of criticizing the high court’s 2015 decision guaranteeing same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide.

“There’s now a looming question on many issues, including the equality and freedom of LGBT people,” said Jenny Pizer, law and policy director at LGBT rights group Lambda Legal. “The question and the anxiety, the uncertainty looms in a way that is fresh.”

It’s considered unlikely that the high court would overturn such a recent precedent that has quickly become deeply enmeshed in U.S. society, but the fact that the Nevada amendment passed with more than 60% of the vote is heartening, said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“The incredibly high margin really shows how much our country has changed on the issue,” Minter said. 

Before it could get on the ballot, the question had to clear the state Legislature twice — in 2017 and 2019. Supporters campaigned across Nevada, arguing that even if the ban was defunct it still left a scar on the state Constitution. The former lawmaker who sponsored the resolution, Nelson Araujo, said the November vote was a culmination of four years of work. 

“To see my state support me and so many of my friends and my community is an incredible feeling,” he said. 

Nevada has long been a swing state with an electorate ranging from cowboys to casino workers, though it’s been trending more Democratic in recent years. Still, the same-sex marriage vote crossed party lines, garnering a larger percentage of the vote than Democratic President-elect Joe Biden and passing in some counties carried by President Donald Trump. 

About 30 states still have same-sex marriage bans on the books, though they have been blocked by the courts. Virginia lawmakers repealed their ban this year, but similar efforts have failed in Indiana and Florida.

In Nevada, the change won’t require clergy members to perform same-sex marriages if they don’t want to. Still, some opposition remains. Kevin White, executive director of the state’s Baptist Convention, told the Baptist Press that he appreciates the exemption, but “it just saddens my heart greatly as we move so far away from God and His designed plan for our lives.”

Nevada has one of the nation’s highest proportions of LGBTQ people, just behind Washington, D.C., and Oregon, according to a 2016 report by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, law school.

The share of marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in the Las Vegas area has been on the rise since 2014, when the ban was first struck down in federal court. That year, they made up 4.6% of the total. This year, even with a sharp decline overall in marriage licenses because of the coronavirus pandemic, same-sex couples made up more than 6% of people who tied the knot in Clark County.

People have streamed into Nevada from all over the world to get hitched since at least the 1930s, pushing the marriage rate to the highest in the country and creating a $2 billion-a-year industry, Clark County Clerk Lynn Goya said. About $100 million of that economic activity is tied to same-sex weddings. 

Goya makes an effort to chat with some of the tens of thousands of people who come to her office for marriage licenses every year. 

“Something I hear consistently from same-sex couples is they feel comfortable here,” she said. “They feel like they can walk down the street holding hands and nobody will give them a hard time, and they just feel like it’s a very welcoming community.”

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Whitehurst reported from Salt Lake City. Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Bangladeshi wins children’s prize for fighting cyberbullying

– Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A 17-year-old Bangladeshi boy won the International Children’s Peace Prize on Friday for his work combating cyberbullying in his country, and he vowed to keep fighting online abuse until it is eradicated.

“The fight against cyberbullying is like a war, and in this war I am a warrior,” Sadat Rahman said after he was handed the prestigious award at a ceremony in The Hague. “If everybody keeps supporting me, then together we will win this battle against cyberbullying.” 

Rahman developed a mobile phone app that provides education about online bullying and a way to report cases after he heard the story of a 15-year-old girl who took her own life as a result of cyberbullying. “I will not stop until we will receive no more cases through the app,” he said Friday.

The award is accompanied by a fund of 100,000 euros ($118,225), which is invested by the KidsRights Foundation in projects that are closely linked to the winner’s work.

Previous high-profile winners of the prize include Pakistani human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and the students who organized the March For Our Lives after the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

After Yousafzai won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2013, she went on to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a year later for campaigning for girls to have a universal right to education even after she survived being shot by Taliban militants.

Addressing Friday’s award ceremony via a video link, Yousafzai praised Rahman’s work for contributing to internet safety. 

“All children have the right to be protected from violence no matter if it is physical or mental, offline or online,” she said. “Cyberbullying is a violation of that right.”

Federal judge says new DACA rules are invalid

By Dan Berman, Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands, CNN

Chad Wolf was not legally serving as acting Homeland Security secretary when he signed rules limiting DACA applications and renewals, and those rules are now invalid, a federal judge ruled Saturday.

Wolf in July issued a memo saying that new applications for DACA, the Obama-era program that shields certain undocumented immigrants from deportation, would not be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review.

The Supreme Court blocked a Trump administration attempt to end the program and the memo sought to buy time while the administration decided its next steps.

Saturday’s ruling would be subject to appeal if the US government chooses to do so.

There have been previous questions over the legality of Wolf’s appointment. The Trump administration has renewed a push to get Wolf confirmed before Inauguration Day; he is currently serving in an acting capacity. 

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in August saying Wolf’s appointment was part of an invalid order of succession.