Weekend Pick: National Public Lands Day in the Pisgah National Forest

first_imgSaturday, September 28th marks the 20th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day.  This is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort that benefits public lands. More than 1,900 sites around the country have registered to participate and celebrate this coming weekend.One such site is in the Pisgah National Forest at the Cradle of Forestry. There will be three main work projects. Volunteers can help with weeding and mulching the Cradle’s Seeding Nursery, sanding and repainting the antique road graders along the Forest Festival Trail, or transplanting native wildflowers around the Cradle of Forestry site. The day will kick off at 9:30am and go until 1:00pm. If you are interested in helping with any of these three projects, please contact Devin Gentry for more details regarding how to sign up.Visitors will be given free admission to the Forest Discovery Center and historic trails throughout the forest. There will be guided walks and instruction on gardening with biodiversity. The weather is shaping up to be a beautiful fall day, one that will be perfect for giving back to the outdoors!View Larger MapLooking for something a little more North? Check out our other Weekend Pick, Running the Genworth Virginia 10 Miler!last_img read more

Sudan allows alcohol consumption, decriminalizes leaving Islam

first_imgWhile Islamic tradition forbids the faithful from drinking, Muslim-majority Sudan has a significant Christian minority.Abdulbari, part of an transitional government that took power after Bashir’s ouster, also announced that converting from Islam to another religion would be decriminalized.”No one has the right to accuse any person or group of being an infidel… this threatens the safety and security of society and leads to revenge killings,” he said.Many Muslim-majority countries apply Islamic laws making leaving the faith punishable by death. Sudan is to allow non-Muslims to drink alcohol for the first time in decades and has scrapped laws that had made leaving Islam potentially punishable by death, the justice minister said.The raft of amendments comes a year after Islamist dictator Omar al-Bashir was toppled following mass protests against his three-decade rule.Sudan now “allows non-Muslims to consume alcohol on the condition it doesn’t disturb the peace and they don’t do so in public,” Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said in an interview Saturday evening on state television. Bashir, who had enforced such rules after coming to power in an Islamist-backed 1989 coup, was toppled by the army following mass protests over the country’s worsening economic crisis.Sudan’s transitional government, installed under a deal between protest leaders and the generals who took charge after Bashir’s ouster, has pursued a string of reforms including on Friday criminalizing female genital mutilation.A constitution adopted for the three-year transition period omits mention of Islam as a defining characteristic of the state.Official figures say Christians represent only three percent of Sudan’s 40 million inhabitants, although Christian leaders say the real figure is much higher.Human rights groups regularly condemned the toppled autocrat’s treatment of non-Muslims especially the Christian minority.Copts, Catholics, Anglicans and a number of other denominations are present in the country but Bashir’s Islamist regime had driven many of them underground.In 2014 a Sudanese woman was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, triggering an international outcry.Her conviction was later quashed after a global campaign to free her, and she escaped to the United States.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Saudi Arabia to hold virtual G20 summit on Nov 21-22

first_imgThey have injected $11 trillion to stem the economic impact of the pandemic and launched a debt suspension initiative for the world’s poorest countries aimed at deferring some $14 billion in debt payments due this year.Ahead of hosting the G20 summit, Saudi Arabia jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for Khashoggi’s killing in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. Saudi officials denied Prince Mohammed played a role, but in 2019 he indicated some personal accountability, saying “it happened under my watch”.Riyadh has also been trying to exit the costly conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi group for over five years in what is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  The G20 leaders summit will be held virtually on Nov. 21-22, Saudi Arabia said on Monday, as the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted Riyadh’s hopes of hosting the gathering in the kingdom to boost its international standing.Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and a leading U.S. ally, took over the G20 presidency at a time of heavy global criticism of its human rights record after the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and of the Yemen war.Riyadh has sought to turn attention to reforms launched by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to open up the kingdom and diversify its economy. King Salman, who had surgery in July, will chair the November summit, a G20 Saudi secretariat statement said.Saudi leaders had hailed the kingdom’s G20 presidency as proof of its leading role in the global economy, but the majority of the meetings have been held virtually due the novel coronavirus.The summit will focus on “protecting lives and restoring growth, by addressing vulnerabilities uncovered during the pandemic and by laying down foundations for a better future,” the statement said.The Group of 20 major economies have this year contributed over $21 billion to support measures such as the production and distribution of vaccines to fight the coronavirus outbreak.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Syracuse jumps to No. 3 in Inside Lacrosse media poll

first_imgSyracuse jumped one spot in Monday’s Inside Lacrosse Media poll to No. 3. The Orange had been ranked No. 4 for the past four weeks until their comeback win over No. 12 Fighting Irish Sunday afternoon moved them up a spot.Since its No. 13 preseason ranking, SU has not moved down in the rankings all season. Since its blown five-goal lead to No. 1 Boston College and subsequent 14-12 loss, the Orange have only risen after competing with the 11-0 Golden Eagles. SU reached No. 4 after a win over then-No. 4 Northwestern on Feb. 24 and has stayed stagnant until Monday.Over the last month, Syracuse has lost just one game — an overtime loss to undefeated Maryland — while defeating several top-15 teams including Virginia, Loyola and Florida.This week, the Orange clobbered unranked Harvard in the Carrier Dome by nine goals and Emily Hawryschuk’s late goals capped four unanswered goals over Notre Dame in a 10-9 win.The two teams above SU in the poll are their two losses — No. 1 Boston College and No. 2 Maryland. North Carolina flipped places with the Orange this week after a six-goal loss to BC last Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse next plays Albany in the Dome on Wednesday before playing another ranked opponent in No. 13 Duke this Saturday. Comments Published on March 25, 2019 at 3:25 pm Contact KJ: kjedelm[email protected] | @KJEdelman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more