Officer killed in attack to lie in honor in Capitol Rotunda

first_imgS. Greg Panosian/iStock(WASHINGTON) –U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans, who died in the line of duty April 2 when a car struck him and then rammed into a barricade, will lie in honor Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda.President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other members of Congress will participate in a tribute to Evans at 11 a.m. Tuesday.“In giving his life to protect our Capitol and our Country, Officer Evans became a martyr for our democracy. On behalf of the entire Congress, we are profoundly grateful. It is now the great and solemn privilege of the House of Representatives and the Senate to convey the appreciation and the sadness of the Congress and Country for the heroic sacrifice of Officer Evans with a lying-in-honor ceremony in the U.S. Capitol,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement about the ceremony last week.Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also praised Evans, saying he was a “friend and favorite of many here on the Senate side” during a floor speech.“Officer Evans was famous within the Senate for his friendly spirit and easy manner. His particular post often meant he was literally the first line of defense of the Congress, the interface between these grounds and the outside world. We could not have had a kinder, more likable ambassador at this junction or a more faithful protector to keep us safe,” McConnell said. “It will be with tremendous grief but tremendous gratitude that we will walk Officer Evans through the Capitol for the final time tomorrow where he will lie in honor in the rotunda.”Evan’s family released a statement last week saying that the death “left a gaping void in our lives that will never be filled.”“The absolute most important thing in his life were his two children, Logan and Abigail,” the statement says. “His most cherished moments were those spent with them – building with Lego, having light saber duels, playing boardgames, doing arts and crafts and recently finishing the Harry Potter series. He was always so eager to show how proud he was of everything they did. Any opportunity to spend time with his children brightened both their lives and his. Their dad was their hero long before the tragic events of last week.”His family recounted his warmth, and how “funny and caring” he was, and said that he “relished bringing people together.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Oxford don calls UK visa system “Kafkaesque”

first_imgAn Oxford academic has come out in opposition to the current UK visa system. Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies and fellow at St Anthony’s college made several comments on David Cameron and the coalition’s policies regarding immigration and visa control, calling it “stupid, incoherent, short-sighted, cack-handed, intrusive and counter-productive.”Professor Garton Ash’s comments come in light of stringent new rules regarding international students coming to the UK to study. Students must now provide qualifications confirming their fluency in English and financial credentials to prove that they can pay for their course, as well as proof of a place to study. This is known as a Tier 4 visa and is required for any non-EU student to study at a UK University.This, he claims, has led to a decrease in the numbers of international students coming here to study. An example cited was the 24% drop in students coming from India in the academic year 2013/2014.He criticised David Cameron’s policy, saying it was a “careless, populist election promise”,  in reference to Cameron’s promise to reduce migration from the hundreds of thousands of incoming migrants to the tens of thousands. The Home Office also came under attack for its treatment of international students. Garton Ash cited incidents such as arbitrary and unfair English tests, the retention of students’ passports for months at a time and students having to leave the country literally the day after the end of their course.Garton Ash also argued that international students should not be considered in the same category as asylum seekers, “The student questions must be addressed on its own merits”. If incoming and outgoing migrants were counted more accurately then, in Garton Ash’s words “student numbers would be treated separately”.He highlighted the importance of international students to the UK in economic terms and in the prestige that they bring to our University sector. He underlined the critical nature of the higher education sector to the UK economy and the UK’s reputation, saying, “hosting foreign students has a cost but the UK’s universities are a vital part of Britain’s soft power, along with film, literature, music, sport and the BBC.” Some Oxford students have expressed their agreement on the basis of the importance of international students, both to the UK and to their home country. Worried about the damage that will be done to the learning environment at UK universities, Shivani Haria, PPE Society Social Secretary, said, “it does seem that the coalition is trying to score cheap political points without being honest to the public. By restricting the pool of students you not only homogenise the student population but the UK may lose out on the contributions of some of the best students.”However, she also argued for the prioritisation of asylum seekers over international students, “Whilst it would be best if we could allow both asylum seekers and students into this country from an ethical point of view we need to prioritise providing a home for people whose human rights are being abused over those who are coming for a better education”. Singapore-based biochemist Amrita Dasgupta stressed the importance of the intercultural dimension brought to a University by international students, telling Cherwell, “A better understanding of different cultures will result in better cooperation between people, and by extension countries”. She also underlined the economic benefits of international students: “local businesses generate huge amounts of revenue from us as well I believe, whether it be private student accommodation sites or aeroplane companies due to large amounts of travel”.Finally she warned of the potential loss to be made in the visa system itself, if visas were made any more expensive or difficult to get, “Visa fees are a substantial amount of money, the government itself, I believe, would stand to lose quite a lot of money in visa fees if it became more expensive and difficult to apply for them.”last_img read more

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Author Nora Roberts Sues Brazilian Writer, Claiming Plagiarism

first_imgBest-selling novelist Nora Roberts sued a Brazilian romance writer for copyright infringement, accusing her of copying or paraphrasing material from several of Ms. Roberts’s books. Roberts is suing Christiane Serruya for $25,000 and is asking for sales of Serruya’s books to be stopped. Ms. Roberts said she would donate the funds to a literary organization in Brazil.Roberts says Serruya has committed “multi-plagiarism” on a “rare and scandalous” level. Documents were filed Wednesday morning in Rio de Janeiro, where Serruya lives. The lawsuit follows other plagiarism accusations against Ms. Serruya. The plagiarism allegations even inspired the Twitter hashtag #CopyPasteCris.Serruya apologized on her social media and called allegations she had plagiarized “distressing” on Twitter. Serruya blamed ghostwriters saying she would “never intentionally plagiarize anyone.” Serruya is no longer on Twitter.The lawsuit alleges Serruya copied passages from Roberts’ “River Ends,”  “Unfinished Business,” and “Whiskey Beach.”last_img read more

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