Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ Mon, 23 May 2022 19:01:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://libyamazigh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-1-32x32.png Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ 32 32 1 dead, 3 injured after falling 300ft down cliff in Palos Verdes Estates prompting rescue response https://libyamazigh.org/1-dead-3-injured-after-falling-300ft-down-cliff-in-palos-verdes-estates-prompting-rescue-response/ Mon, 23 May 2022 19:01:43 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/1-dead-3-injured-after-falling-300ft-down-cliff-in-palos-verdes-estates-prompting-rescue-response/ PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. (KABC) — A man was killed and three others were injured after falling off a cliff in the Palos Verdes Estates area on Monday morning, prompting a major rescue response.

The incident was reported around 4:30 a.m. near Paseo Del Mar, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department, which added that two men and two women fell about 300 feet down the side of the cliff.

When crews arrived, Captain Burton Kelsey said two victims were in critical condition, including the man who was pronounced dead at the scene.

One person “self-extricated” and was taken to hospital. The other two injured were also transported for treatment.

Palos Verdes Estates Police Cpt. Steve Berber said the four people fell over the cliff when a woman got “a little too close” to the edge of the cliff and slipped.

His friends tried to stop him from falling, Berber added.

“Unfortunately, all four ended up going together,” Berber said.

Berber said the group was there, hanging out at the edge of the cliff.

A hiker said the trail at the top of the cliff was near the edge and could be dangerous.

“You have to keep in mind what you are doing and how you are moving…” Rakesh Sharma said. “You have to be careful, but if you’re not from this area and think you can have fun on the trail, no, it’s a risky business.”

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.

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U.S. Senators Warren, Wyden, Sanders, Murray “Blast” private equity giant KKR, saying company “grossly substandard care and unsafe living conditions” in group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities https://libyamazigh.org/u-s-senators-warren-wyden-sanders-murray-blast-private-equity-giant-kkr-saying-company-grossly-substandard-care-and-unsafe-living-conditions-in-group-homes-for-people-with-intellectual-and-de/ Mon, 23 May 2022 12:56:02 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/u-s-senators-warren-wyden-sanders-murray-blast-private-equity-giant-kkr-saying-company-grossly-substandard-care-and-unsafe-living-conditions-in-group-homes-for-people-with-intellectual-and-de/

BuzzFeed Investigation Showed KKR Puts Profits Before Patients, Leading to Abuse and Neglect and Putting Patients’ Lives at Risk

Text of the letter (PDF)

May 23, 2022 – Washington, DC – United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senate Member for Finance and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committees; Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee; and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, sent a letter to the co-CEOs of private equity firm KKR, lambasting the company after one BuzzFeed News An investigation found that following KKR’s acquisition of BrightSpring Health in 2019, the company provided significantly substandard care and unsafe living conditions in its intermediate care facilities (ICFs) – nursing homes. group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. KKR and BrightSpring executives are poised to cash in as patient safety and quality of care decline. Senators are demanding answers from KKR over its troubling business practices, which put patient safety at risk.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

“The BuzzFeed News The investigation found that after the KKR acquisition, care at BrightSpring’s ICFs deteriorated, with regulators finding 118 cases of “dangerously understaffed” across seven states, double the rate seen at facilities. not belonging to KKR. During that same period, KKR boasted of growing BrightSpring’s revenue from $2.5 billion in 2018 to $5.6 billion in 2022. But there’s no indication that that revenue was used. to improve the quality of care in ICFs: “conditions [at BrightSpring ICFs] became so bad that nurses and caregivers quit en masse, a state banned the company from accepting new residents, and some of the most vulnerable people it cared for suffered and died,” write the senators.

The senators denounced the long-standing problem of the role of private equity in health care – which places short-term profit maximization above considerations of quality of care and patients. While KKR’s BrightSpring-owned small-scale ICFs in California, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia accounted for only 16% of ICFs, they accounted for 40% of serious citations in those states. the BuzzFeed investigation revealed that nurses and other social workers had alarming turnover rates, uncompetitive salaries and inadequate training.

BrightSpring and KKR’s failure to protect ICF patients and efforts to maximize profits have also resulted in preventable injuries and deaths. In West Virginia, state officials accused BrightSpring of ignoring multiple warnings that led to at least one preventable death and ordered BrightSpring to stop accepting new patients, ultimately closing 20% ​​of homes in West Virginia. organization in the state. Facility managers said they faced pressure to keep homes full, even with patients they could not care for, to maximize profits.

The senators criticized KKR for choosing to pocket their profits instead of improving conditions for patients. BrightSpring’s board of directors, controlled by KKR, has burdened the company with $1.1 billion in debt, and BrightSpring has paid more than $135 million a year in interest on its loans. Meanwhile, BrightSpring CEO Jon Rousseau doubled his salary to $1.6 million in 2020. Now KKR and BrightSpring executives who oversaw the company’s operations after the acquisition are ready for another payday. In October 2021, the company filed for IPO in a $100 million initial public offering, citing its access to a “combined $1.5 trillion market opportunity”.

“We have long been concerned about the deleterious impact of private equity on healthcare and patient care. Your company exemplifies how private equity firms exploit the healthcare industry to make profits at every step. Private equity has moved into healthcare services, from rural hospitals to nursing homes and hospices, to healthcare bill management and debt collection systems. , exacerbating existing issues such as surprise medical billing, inadequate training, and lack of oversight and due process,” say the senators.

The senators asked KKR to answer a series of questions about the impact of its acquisition of BrightSpring Health on patients by June 2, 2022.

Senator Warren exposed the broken model of private equity firms and was a leader in fundamentally reshaping private equity’s grip on the economy:

  • At a hearing in February, Senator Warren called out private equity firms and other big investors for exacerbating inflation and preventing families from accessing affordable housing.
  • In October 2021, Senator Warren introduced the Stop the Wall Street Looting Act, which would fix the broken private equity model and protect the pay, benefits and security workers deserve.
  • In August 2021, Senators Warren, Ron Wyden (D-Ore), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) launched an investigation into private equity ownership of for-profit hospice care companies and subsequent reductions in the quality of care, focusing on Kindred at Home and the period when the company was purchased and owned by Humana and two private equity firms, TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe.
  • In August 2021, during a nomination hearing for the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and during an exchange with Senator Warren, a candidate for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) committed to considering changes that make it easier to sell distressed homes to homeowners, not private equity firms.
  • In July 2021, Senator Warren called on large business owners to avoid unnecessary evictions as the CDC’s eviction moratorium neared expiration.
  • Senators Warren, Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) applauded the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for accepting their request to investigate the operations of commercial Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) , the private – and often privately owned – entities that approve drug research and other studies involving human subjects.
  • In March 2021, Senator Warren called out Genesis’, a for-profit retirement home chain that “restructured” itself and ceded much of its control to private equity, for its failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and corporate greed. Genesis gave its then-CEO — who left the company on the brink of bankruptcy in January 2021 — $8 million in salary and bonuses since the start of the pandemic while leaving its workers and residents without PPE and adequate COVID-19 safety supplies.
  • Senator Warren secured a commitment from SEC nominee Gary Gensler, now chairman, to review all authorities to make the markets more honest and transparent, including through greater transparency around private equity business practices .
  • In February, Senator Warren urged Wally Adeyemo, then a candidate for Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, to commit to using the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) as a tool to address the risks that financial activities require authorities in low-income and underserved communities to address economic inequality – including recommending greater regulatory scrutiny of private equity funds.
  • In November 2019, Senators Warren, Brown and Rep. Pocan wrote to four private equity firms that have invested in businesses providing home nursing and other long-term care services, citing reports that show that investment in private equity has played a role in the decline in the quality of care in nursing homes and in asking for information on the management of this sector by each company.
  • In October 2019, Senator Warren and Reps. Pocan and Ocasio-Cortez wrote to five private equity firms that own companies providing prison support services, highlighting how the private equity firms provide food and services. of poor quality at exorbitant prices, making huge profits on incarcerated people, their families and taxpayers.
  • In October 2019, Senator Warren, Representatives Pocan and Doggett (D-Texas) wrote to five private equity firms with investments and physician recruitment and emergency transportation companies, questioning the role that these companies play into the fact that patients receive exorbitant surprise bills for out-of-network medical treatment.
  • In September 2019, Senator Warren and Rep. Pocan wrote to six private equity firms with stakes in for-profit colleges requesting information about the company’s management of colleges and universities and the issues plaguing for-profit colleges.
  • In May 2019, Sen. Warren and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) wrote to the private equity firms behind some of the nation’s largest prefab housing communities requesting information about their use of predatory practices to increase profits. in the communities they own.
  • In October 2018, she demanded answers from Vornado Realty Trust and five hedge funds over their role in the liquidation of Toys ‘R’ Us, which resulted in the loss of 30,000 workers without severance pay – after he It was revealed that the company’s bankruptcy was the result of the company’s 2005 leveraged buyout by two private equity firms.
  • In April 2018, she published an op-ed in which she spoke out against the House’s attempts to include a provision in its banking deregulation bill that would benefit a handful of large private equity firms while posing an increased risk to ordinary investors.
  • In June 2015, she was one of the original co-sponsors of the Carried Interest Fairness Act, legislation that would end the carried interest loophole that allowed private equity fund managers to pay less tax. . The legislation was reintroduced in March 2019 and is included in the Stop Wall Street Looting Act.
    Source: Senator Elizabeth Warren

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10 things to know before climbing Mount Toubkal https://libyamazigh.org/10-things-to-know-before-climbing-mount-toubkal/ Fri, 20 May 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/10-things-to-know-before-climbing-mount-toubkal/

Morocco is one of the most popular tourist destinations. It is known for its rich culture, diverse cuisine, vibrant nightlife and Mount Toubkal. As a result, many hikers and mountaineers travel to Morocco to reach the top of the mountain.

Mount Toubkal is the highest peak in Morocco and one of the most famous peaks in the world. However, the hike is not as strenuous as one might think. Toubkal is a climbable mountain that virtually anyone can tackle, regardless of their climbing expertise. Without previous hiking experience, anyone can climb to the top with the help of an experienced guide.

Climbing the Moroccan Jebel Toubkal is a very different experience from climbing the European Alps. Everyone should visit Morocco by climbing this legendary mountain, visitors can enjoy delicious Moroccan cuisine, beautiful mountain scenery and warmer conditions. Let’s go over some essential information visitors should know before climbing this Moroccan gem.

ten Height of Mount Toubkal

Mount Toubkal widely known as Jebel Toubkal. Culminating at 4,167 meters, it is the highest peak in North Africa. This legendary peak is located in the Moroccan High Atlas mountain range and offers a demanding but rewarding climb suitable for frequent walkers with a moderate level of fitness. Climbing Mount Toubkal is a difficult task that should not be underestimated; yet it is a rewarding walk with spectacular scenery of the Atlas mountain range and a perfect introduction to mountaineering adventures.

RELATED: 9 Most Unique Things To Do In Chefchaouen, Morocco

9 How long does it take to travel the Toubkal?

Climbing Mount Toubkal only takes two days, with the majority of the trek completed on the first day. Visitors travel 11 kilometers of mule roads winding through the stony valley to snow-capped peaks during the first phase of the journey, which takes about five hours. The Neltner Refuge, 3,207m at the foot of Toubkal, is the target, where guests can stay before departing early in the morning for the summit. Visitors can also opt for a three-day hike that includes two days of descent. On the day of the trek to the summit of Jbel Toubkal, people will leave around 6 a.m. and return to the Refuge in the afternoon, where they will also spend the night. The next day, visitors will begin your descent to Imlil. This hike is for anyone who wants to relax a bit and make the most of the natural beauty and tranquility.


8 Is it difficult to hike Mount Toubkal?

The Toubkal does not involve technical climbing, and most individuals in good shape should be able to complete it if properly equipped. But keep in mind that this is not an easy climb. Accidents and even deaths can occur. Also, the altitude of Mount Toubkal, which has about 40% less oxygen below sea level, will surely make this trek more difficult. However, if visitors have a knowledgeable local guide, they will help them acclimatize, increasing the chances of hikers reaching the summit.

7 What is the best season to climb?

Morocco’s climate is predominantly Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and temperate, rainy winters. Mount Toubkal is best climbed in the fall and spring when the weather is nice, the roads are open, and the summit is clear of snow and ice. On the other hand, if visitors want to see stunning snow-capped peaks, take on a challenge, or are ready to be alone in the world, they have to go. Then the Mount Toubkal winter trek is for them. Visitors should wear layers as temperatures can drop below freezing if they wish to hike Mount Toubkal in winter. Visitors should also check the weather forecast before starting the climb.

RELATED: 8 Fun Things To Do In Erg Chebbi, Morocco

6 What to pack for hiking?

Visitors should ensure that they are well prepared for their trip to Mount Toubkal in order to get the most out of it. As temperatures drop considerably at night, you will need thick fleece, a good quality down jacket and a windproof and waterproof outer jacket. Hikers will also need a warm hat, scarf, waterproof/windproof mittens and a headlamp for the hike before sunrise on the day of the ascent. Good quality goggles or ski goggles will protect your eyes from high altitude glare and apply high factor sunscreen.


5 What to eat?

Since trekking consumes a lot of energy, it is essential that you consume enough appropriate food to complete the Mount Toubkal trek. Hikers should eat hearty meals to replenish energy and rejuvenate for the next stage, including a hearty breakfast on summit day. Visitors should snack on juicy fruits and crunchy salads, as well as almonds and dates throughout the day. Finally, it is essential to keep water levels constantly replenished to avoid dehydration.

4 Is a guide necessary?

Hikers can climb Mount Toubkal on their own if they have basic hiking knowledge and know how to deal with various mountain scenarios. An expert mountain guide should accompany visitors to the summit if they do not. The journey from Imlil to the summit takes about two days. Depending on how quickly visitors climb and whether they are accompanied by a guide, the hike can take two to three days. A guide can also help tourists determine their fitness level and recommend appropriate equipment and tactics. Therefore, a hiking guide can be extremely beneficial.

RELATED: 10 Most Interesting Facts About Tangier, Morocco

3 Where to Spend the Night?

Visitors can stay overnight at Imlil base camp if they wish. The region is full of hotels and guesthouses run by Berbers. The accommodations are inexpensive and offer excellent service, allowing visitors to plan their hike. On the way to Toubkal, there are two refuges, Cabine Alpine Francais (CAF) and Les Mouflons. The CAF Refuge can be booked, although there is almost always room when visitors arrive. The quality may not be as good as the accommodations at Imlil base camp, but it will suffice.

2 Which route to take?

The Mount Toubkal hike takes visitors through jaw-dropping views and jaw-dropping vistas. Visitors will be treated to spectacular views of North Africa as they pass rural villages and terraced farmhouses, as well as the warmth and hospitality of the Berber people. Hikers have a choice of two main routes. The difficulty of the two routes differs. The Northern Trail and the Southern Path are the two routes. The Northern Route seems to be more difficult, but the Southern Route is less strenuous.

1 Finally, go hiking or explore the surroundings?

It is viable to omit the rest of the program and proceed directly to Mount Toubkal. On the other hand, visitors will lose a lot of beautiful and exciting things to see in Morocco if they do. Rather than going straight for the climb, travelers can plan a vacation through an adventure travel tour operator who can give them a guide for traveling in Morocco. It will let travelers see everything they should see on their first trip to Morocco and gives the answer on how to learn a new culture.


Essaouira, Morocco

Visit Essaouira: the most charming seaside town in Morocco

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Ukrainian folk rappers win Eurovision with musical morale boost https://libyamazigh.org/ukrainian-folk-rappers-win-eurovision-with-musical-morale-boost/ Fri, 20 May 2022 09:34:40 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/ukrainian-folk-rappers-win-eurovision-with-musical-morale-boost/

DUBAI: For many Lebanese, the past can be a painful subject. A civil war destroyed large swaths of the country between 1975 and 1990. The post-war period was marked by sectarian strife and government dysfunction.

But despite the traumas of recent decades, Lebanon remains a land of immense cultural richness, with a rich history reflected in its architectural, cultural and anthropological heritage.

That’s why the Beirut Art Museum, or BeMA, which is due to open in 2026, has been touted as a “beacon of hope” in a country plagued by political paralysis, economic decline and turmoil. worsening humanitarian crisis.

When Sandra Abou Nader and Rita Nammour started the museum project, their goal was to showcase the great diversity of Lebanese art and provide facilities for education, digitization, restoration, storage and curricula. artists in residence.

“They realized that there was, in fact, very little visibility for the Lebanese art scene, in the country and abroad, and for Lebanese artists, whether modern or contemporary,” Juliana said. Khalaf, BeMA art consultant, to Arab News.

Computer-generated views of BeMA. Described as a “vertical sculpture garden,” it will feature three floors of galleries that borrow elements from local art deco designs. (Provided/WORKac)

Around 700 works of art will be exhibited in the new venue, drawn from the Lebanese Ministry of Culture’s collection of more than 2,000 pieces, most of which have been in storage for decades.

“We are going to house this very important collection,” Khalaf said. “We call it the national collection and it belongs to the public. It is our role to make it, for the very first time, accessible. This has never been seen before.

The works of art, created by more than 200 artists and dating from the end of the 19th century to the present day, tell the story of this small Mediterranean country from its renaissance and independence to the period of the civil war and the -of the.

The collection includes pieces by Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist Kahlil Gibran and his mentor, the influential late Ottoman master Daoud Corm, renowned for his sophisticated portraits and still lifes.

Works by pioneers of Lebanese modernism, such as Helen Khal, Saloua Raouda Choucair and Saliba Douaihy, will also feature in the collection, along with several lesser-known 20th-century artists, including Esperance Ghorayeb, who created several rare abstract compositions in the years 1970.

“The collection is a reminder of the magnificent heritage we have,” Khalaf said. “It shows us our culture through the eyes of our artists.”

Among the priorities of the BeMA team, in partnership with the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences, is the restoration of the collection, which includes several paintings and works on paper damaged by war, neglect, improper storage or just the passage of time. .

Collecting information about artists and their effects on Lebanon’s artistic heritage is another priority for the BeMA team, and it’s a task that has proven difficult given the lack of published resources and the means to catalog them.

QUICKFACT

* International Museum Day, held annually on or around May 18, highlights a specific theme or issue facing museums internationally.

“What was surprising was how little research was available and how much we need to do on that front, like getting the right equipment that is not currently available in the country to properly archive books and photographs,” Khalaf said.

In 2018, the BeMA team approached WORKac, a New York-based architecture firm, for ideas on the new venue. Co-founded by Dan Wood and Amale Andraos, a Lebanese-born architect and former dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, WORKac has designed museums in California, Texas, New York and Florida. .

For Andraos, who left Lebanon at the age of three, the chance to design a home for Beirut’s artistic heritage is particularly special.

“I think it’s a very personal project for everyone involved,” she told Arab News. “Everyone put their heart and soul into this idea that Beirut really needed a museum to house the national collection.

“For me, personally, I have a great attachment to Beirut, to its history, as well as to the architectural, artistic and intellectual level.”

“Everyone involved sees it as a beacon of hope, it’s almost like resistance to collapse,” says Amale Andraos, a Lebanese-born architect and co-founder of architecture firm WORKac. (Provided)

Given the country’s troubled past and complex identity, Andraos believes the museum’s collection will prove invaluable in helping Lebanon rediscover its identity and recover from the traumas of the past.

“It’s an archive that we need to go back to, to understand who we are and how we’re moving forward,” she said.

After approval of the project by the city authorities, the foundation stone was laid on the site of the new museum in February. The initial phase requires Andraos and his team to examine the site for archaeological remains.

When completed, the museum will feature three floors of galleries that borrow aesthetic elements from local Art Deco urban design. It has been described as an “open-air museum” and a “vertical sculpture garden”, due to its cubic facade which will be embellished with bursts of greenery from top to bottom.

Andraos admits she was initially skeptical of the project. Lebanon is plagued by multiple crises, including a financial collapse. Beirut, the capital, has yet to recover from the devastating explosion at the city’s port on August 4, 2020, when a warehouse full of highly explosive ammonium nitrate caught fire and exploded, leveling an entire neighborhood .

All of this, combined with the additional economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, has driven thousands of young Lebanese to move abroad in search of work and respite from the seemingly endless litany of crises.

Lebanon is experiencing financial collapse, economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic, mass unemployment and hunger, growing poverty and government dysfunction. (AFP)

For some people in the country, however, it is precisely because of these issues that a museum celebrating Lebanon’s cultural achievements is needed, perhaps more than ever.

“When I recently presented the museum to a BeMA board member, I said, ‘This is probably the worst time for a museum’, and he said, ‘This is the worst time. more important for a museum, because we need culture, education and ideas,” said Andraos.

“When people are hungry, it’s like art versus food – but art is also food, in some ways, for the mind and the spirit.

“All those involved see it as a beacon of hope and the country needs to strengthen its institutions. It’s almost like resistance to collapse. We have a history that deserves to be valued, reread and a culture that we must preserve and develop.

This is not to say that the project was well received by everyone initially.

“There is no great public attendance at museums; it’s something that really needs to be developed,” Khalaf said. “In that respect, people felt like it was a pointless project.

“But now that people see that this is a serious project and that it is happening, the attitude has changed. People say there is something to look forward to.

To date, around 70% of the funding for the project has been allocated and a public call will soon be launched to fill any shortfall. Admission to the museum will be free.

Located in the leafy, upscale residential neighborhood of Badaro in the heart of Beirut, known for its early 20th-century art deco-influenced buildings, the museum will stand on what was once the “Green Line” that separated the east and west of the capital during the civil war.

“The good thing now is that it could become the ‘museum mile’ because there’s the National Museum, BeMA, the Mim Museum, and if you go any further down you’ll actually come to the Sursock Museum” , Khalaf said.

“It changes the perspective from a war-torn Beirut to a culturally alive Beirut.”

__________

Twitter: @artprojectdxb

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Press Releases | Press | President’s Press Room | Chair https://libyamazigh.org/press-releases-press-presidents-press-room-chair/ Thu, 19 May 2022 22:02:33 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/press-releases-press-presidents-press-room-chair/

19.05.22

BuzzFeed Investigation Showed KKR Puts Profits Before Patients, Leading to Abuse and Neglect and Putting Patients’ Lives at Risk

washington d.c. — US Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), member of the Senate Finance and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committees; Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, sent a letter to the co-CEOs of private equity firm KKR, lambasting the company after a BuzzFeed News An investigation found that following KKR’s acquisition of BrightSpring Health in 2019, the company provided significantly substandard care and unsafe living conditions in its intermediate care facilities (ICFs) – nursing homes. group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. KKR and BrightSpring executives are poised to cash in as patient safety and quality of care decline. Senators are demanding answers from KKR over its troubling business practices, which put patient safety at risk.

“The BuzzFeed News The investigation found that after the KKR acquisition, care at BrightSpring’s ICFs deteriorated, with regulators finding 118 cases of “dangerously low staff” in seven states, double the rate seen at facilities. not belonging to KKR. Over the same period, KKR boasted of increasing BrightSpring’s revenue from $2.5 billion in 2018 to $5.6 billion in 2022. But there’s no indication that that revenue was used. to improve the quality of care in ICFs: “conditions [at BrightSpring ICFs] became so bad that nurses and caregivers quit en masse, a state banned the company from accepting new residents, and some of the most vulnerable people it cared for suffered and died,” write the senators.

The senators denounced the long-standing problem of the role of private equity in health care – which places short-term profit maximization above considerations of quality of care and patients. While KKR’s BrightSpring-owned small-scale ICFs in California, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia accounted for only 16% of ICFs, they accounted for 40% of serious citations in those states. the BuzzFeed investigation revealed that nurses and other social workers had alarming turnover rates, uncompetitive salaries and inadequate training.

BrightSpring and KKR’s failure to protect ICF patients and efforts to maximize profits have also resulted in preventable injuries and deaths. In West Virginia, state officials accused BrightSpring of ignoring multiple warnings that led to at least one preventable death and ordered BrightSpring to stop accepting new patients, ultimately closing 20% ​​of homes in West Virginia. organization in the state. Facility managers said they faced pressure to keep homes full, even with patients they could not care for, to maximize profits.

The senators criticized KKR for choosing to pocket their profits instead of improving conditions for patients. BrightSpring’s board of directors, controlled by KKR, has burdened the company with $1.1 billion in debt, and BrightSpring has paid more than $135 million a year in interest on its loans. Meanwhile, BrightSpring CEO Jon Rousseau doubled his salary to $1.6 million in 2020. Now KKR and BrightSpring executives who oversaw the company’s operations after the acquisition are ready for another payday. In October 2021, the company filed for IPO in a $100 million initial public offering, citing its access to a “combined $1.5 trillion market opportunity”.

“We have long been concerned about the deleterious impact of private equity on healthcare and patient care. Your company exemplifies how private equity firms exploit the healthcare industry to make profits at every step. Private equity has moved into healthcare services, from rural hospitals to nursing homes and hospices, to healthcare bill management and debt collection systems. , exacerbating existing issues such as surprise medical billing, inadequate training, and lack of oversight and due process,” say the senators.

The senators called on KKR to answer a series of questions about the impact of its acquisition of BrightSpring Health on patients by June 2, 2022.

Read the full letter here.

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The Church’s new saints ‘lived boundless lives of love’ https://libyamazigh.org/the-churchs-new-saints-lived-boundless-lives-of-love/ Thu, 19 May 2022 14:22:48 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/the-churchs-new-saints-lived-boundless-lives-of-love/

Pope Francis celebrates mass for the canonization of 10 new saints in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on May 15, 2022. Five of the new saints are from Italy, three from France, one from India and one from the Netherlands. (SNC Photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis added a new group of Catholic saints on May 15 in Piazza San Pietro, raising to the altars 10 people whom the Church declares among the blessed in heaven and worthy of emulation by faithful believers. They are: Maria Domenica Mantovani, Maria Francesca Rubatto, Giustino Maria Russolillo, Luigi Maria Palazzolo, César de Bus, Lázaro Devasahayam Pillai, Carolina Santocanale, Anne-Marie Rivier, Charles de Foucauld and Titus Brandsma.

While all of these characters have led diverse and intriguing lives dedicated to Jesus Christ and the community that still proclaims him as Lord, the last two are probably the most familiar to non-specialists or those who do not belong to particular religious orders.

Charles de Foucauld was born in Périgord in France. He ended up becoming a Trappist and then left the order to live a solitary life as a sort of contemporary Desert Father, founding the Congregation of the Little Brothers of Jesus. In the 1920s, a successful biography was written about him by René Bazin, who described him as “Explorateur en Maroc, Ermite du Sahara” – “Explorer in Morocco, Hermit of the Sahara”. Expert by immersion in the Tuareg Berber culture, he published the first dictionary to translate their language into French. He was eventually murdered by tribal bandits and declared a martyr for the faith.

Titus Brandsma was a Dutch Carmelite priest and teacher who repeatedly criticized the growing threat of the Nazi regime in Europe. Like the more famous Maximilian Kolbe, Brandsma paid for this position with his life, the latter being injected with carbolic acid in the Dachau death camp. He gave a set of wooden rosaries to the nurse who performed it, and she was later converted away from the distortions of atheist Nazi ideology to become a devout Catholic. Her pseudonymous testimony, the Report of “Tizia”, ​​was the subject of in-depth studies during the process of beatification and canonization.

On a recent visit to the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux in Darien, Illinois, I was struck by the exhibit on her fellow Carmelite, Brandsma. A few of his warnings stuck with me: “Don’t give in to hatred. We are in a dark tunnel, but we must continue. And, in the end, an eternal light shines for us. “Our mission is not really to do big things, but rather to do small things with greatness.” And, perhaps more profoundly: “Prayer is life, not an oasis in the desert of life.

My friend and colleague Miguel Diaz, former ambassador to the Holy See, was present at the canonization ceremonies. Fresh from a private meeting Pope Francis had with him and some of my Loyola colleagues, Diaz told me, “In his homily for the events, Pope Francis captures what it means to be holy: the love of God, of oneself and of neighbour. Love is the summit of the Christian life. A love that begins with the radical acceptance that it is God who loves us first and calls us to do the same with our neighbors. To be holy is to exist for and through others. This existence, the Pope reminds us, is an incarnated accompaniment. It means “touch and look, touch and look at the suffering flesh of Christ in our brothers and sisters”. The women and men he has declared saints today have demonstrated love in their lives. And as Pope Francis pointed out, like them, each of us is called to embody love in our own distinct and human way.

He went on to say that there are no “clone saints”. Rather, each of us is called to imitate Christ’s love for humanity in our own and various stages of life.

These newly canonized figures who will be remembered in elaborate liturgies, stained glass windows and marble statues around the world are above all not saints in plaster, but rather human beings better understood as those who have lived a life of love. without limits. So there is much to learn from them for our contemporary divided and contentious culture.

Originally from Collingswood, Michael M. Canaris, Ph.D., teaches at Loyola University Chicago.

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Virginians win $489 million in payday loan settlement – ​​The Virginian-Pilot https://libyamazigh.org/virginians-win-489-million-in-payday-loan-settlement-the-virginian-pilot/ Tue, 17 May 2022 20:11:26 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/virginians-win-489-million-in-payday-loan-settlement-the-virginian-pilot/

Online payday loan companies that charged up to 919% interest will spend $489 million to repay some 555,000 borrowers, to settle a class action lawsuit brought by eight Virginians.

The lawsuit alleged that Golden Valley Lending; Silver Cloud Financial, Inc.; Mountain Summit Financial, Inc.; and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc., all formed under the laws of the Habematolel Pomo Tribe of the Upper Lake Tribe in California, violated federal racketeering laws as well as Virginia’s usury and credit licensing laws to consumption.

He also leveled the same charges against three Kansas City, Missouri businessmen whose companies processed the loans, provided the capital the tribal corporations used to make the loans, and collected the bulk of the profits from the company.

Companies advertised online loans of up to $1,000 with the promise that borrowers could be approved in seconds. according to the lawsuit prepared by Consumer Litigation Associates based in Newport News, the Virginia Poverty Law Center and the law firm Kelly Guzzo in Fairfax.

One of the Virginians who sued, George Hengle, paid a total of $1,127 on three loans, with interest rates of 636%, 722% and 763%. Another, Steven Pike, paid $1,725 ​​on his loan with an interest rate of 744%, while Elwood Bumbray paid $1,561 on a loan with an interest rate of 543% and Lawrence Mwethuku paid $499.50 on a loan with an interest rate of 919%.

Under the terms of the settlement, Tribal Businesses will forgive $450 million in balances owing on their loans. The businessmen will pay $39 million, which will be distributed to the borrowers as compensation.

Borrowers in Virginia, along with those in 21 other states, will get back any money they paid to lenders that exceeded their loan principal amount.

Borrowers in 26 other states will receive the difference between their state’s statutory interest rates and the interest they paid on their loans. Nevada and Utah borrowers will not receive any refunds; Utah has no formal cap on payday loan rates, and Nevada’s cap limits interest on payday loans to 25% of the borrower’s gross monthly income.

Virginia law caps loan rates at 12% unless a business obtains a consumer credit license. For these companies, the General Assembly capped rates at 36%, after years of daily press reports of high-interest loans.

The two law firms and the Poverty Law Center that filed the lawsuit have filed several others against payday and online lenders over the years, including one settled for $433 million in 2019.

The poverty law center also operates a helpline where borrowers can call for help at 866-830-4501.

Dave Ress, 757-247-4535, dress@dailypress.com

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In Agadir, there are 11 top attractions and things to do. https://libyamazigh.org/in-agadir-there-are-11-top-attractions-and-things-to-do/ Mon, 16 May 2022 20:15:43 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/in-agadir-there-are-11-top-attractions-and-things-to-do/

Agadir’s beautiful white sand surrounds the coastline, making it Morocco’s ideal destination for a sun, beach and sea holiday.

The main attraction for many people is relaxing on the beach.

Agadir is also a fantastic starting point for day trips and longer trips to the villages and sights of the Souss Valley and the Anti Atlas if you want to combine sunbathing with sightseeing.

Sticking to the coast, the fortified seaside town of Essaouira and the surfing hamlet of Taghazout are also within day trip distance of Agadir, so there’s enough to pull you away from the sun lounger .

See our list of top attractions and things to do in Agadir for suggestions on where to go.

1. Relax on the beach in Agadir

Agadir is known for its beaches. It’s one of Morocco’s most popular beach destinations, with visitors from across Europe flocking here year-round to top up their tans.

Summer is peak season, with domestic visitors flocking to the Atlantic coast to escape the oppressive inland heat. Many European package visitors come in the spring and fall, when the skies are still clear and the days are still warm.

Agadir beach is surrounded by some of Morocco’s largest resorts and a variety of amenities, including a variety of cafes and restaurants, as well as umbrellas and deckchairs for hire. Many beachfront hotels offer visitors private stretches of sand.

2. Admire the scenery from the Kasbah

The 1960 Agadir earthquake destroyed most of the city’s ancient architecture, leaving the hilltop Kasbah of Agadir as the city’s only real historical feature.

The kasbah was built in the mid-16th century, when Agadir was an important trading hub. Only the ramparts remain today, although this walled region was once the walled city of Agadir, intended to protect this seaport from invasion.

The walls and gate remain in good condition, and their hilltop location affords superb panoramic views of the city of Agadir below and the Atlantic coast beyond.

The greatest photographic circumstances are in the late afternoon.

3. Visit downtown Agadir.

Some fascinating monuments of the new urban center of Agadir offer a 3 days tour from Marrakech to Fes sunbath.

The Great Mosque is a modernist style building unlike any other mosque in Morocco.

The Amazigh Museum (Passage Ait Souss) in Marrakech, in collaboration with the Tiskiwin Museum in Marrakech, exhibits part of Bert Flint’s ethnographic collection. The museum is a fantastic place to start learning about Moroccan Amazigh (Berber) culture and art.

The Tribute Museum of Agadir (Avenue President Kennedy) was built in memory of the devastating Agadir earthquake of 1960, which devastated the city, and has an impressive collection of black and white images from the early 20th century .

4. Go to Crocopark.

This wildlife sanctuary, 14 kilometers east of Agadir, is home to Nile crocodiles, which were unique to Morocco until the early 20th century but have since been wiped out by uncontrolled hunting.

You will be able to see and learn about these fearsome monsters up close in this park dedicated to their protection, in a setting meticulously constructed to imitate their natural habitat.

The park’s gardens are home to a wide variety of flora, both native to the Agadir region and exotic, and the park staff who provide Excursions in the Moroccan desert of the site are quite knowledgeable about both crocodiles and plants.

5. Plan a trip to Essaouira as part of your vacation.

Essaouira, 173 kilometers north of Agadir, is one of Morocco’s most popular seaside towns, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 18th-century seafront fortifications.

Inside the medina, strolling in slow motion while appreciating the restored architecture and exploring the many small art galleries and souk shops selling local produce is the order of the day.

The western wall of the medina dominates the roaring waves of the Atlantic. The Skala du Port is the ideal place to photograph the ramparts. This tower overlooks the fishing port of Essaouira and is located on the southern edge of the western wall.

You come to Essaouira for the atmosphere rather than the specific tourist attractions, but the museum of Sidi Mohamed ben Abdullah, located inside the medina, is a must.

The museum, housed in the house of a former pasha, presents regional art, a rich ethnographic collection and a history of local musical traditions.

6. Day trip to Paradise Valley

This charming ravine, located about 60 kilometers north of Agadir, is a great place to get a taste of Moroccan country life.

Day hikes here along defined hiking trails pass through almond and olive orchards, and small settlements, all with views of the Atlas peaks rising in the distance.

Locals picnic here on weekends, so visit the valley during the week for a more peaceful experience.

It’s also a great place to get fresh local produce. Local honey and argan oil are sold at several small kiosks along the road.

7. Stroll through the fortified medina of Taroudant.

Taroudant, located 88 kilometers east of Agadir, is one of the most important historic settlements in the Souss Valley, which became an important trans-Saharan trading city in the 16th century.

The city is surrounded by massive adobe walls with spectacular defensive gates that stretch for about seven kilometres.

Many people come to shop in the winding streets of Taroudant’s souk after walking or enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride around the ramparts. Silver jewelry is very popular in the city. The main shopping area is the Souq Arabe.

The kasbah district of Taroudant is well worth a visit, but be prepared to get lost in the maze of small streets.

Taghazout is a great place to learn to surf.

Taghazout, Morocco’s most popular surfing destination, is synonymous with sea, surf, swimming and sand.

During the summer months, the beach here is particularly popular with Moroccan visitors and can get very crowded. Surfing is available year-round, although October through March are the peak months.

Taghazout is a popular location for novices learning to surf as there are dedicated surf operators offering specialist surf vacation packages, training and surfboard rentals.

The town is a quiet, laid-back village 23 kilometers north of Agadir, and can easily be visited on a half- or full-day trip from the town.

9. Hiking in the countryside of Tafraoute

Tafroute is the archetypal Moroccan mountain town, set in a dramatic mountainous landscape of pink and orange rocks, and a sanctuary for walkers, hikers, mountaineers and nature lovers.

This quiet village is located 166 kilometers southeast of Agadir in the Ameln Valley of the Anti-Atlas region, surrounded by orchards and palm groves and surrounded by rocky cliffs and mountains.

A stay here is a great contrast to the bustling modernity of Agadir and allows you to see Moroccan rural life.

You can relax and take in the scenery, while more energetic tourists can take advantage of the many hiking options.

The Ait Mansour gorges and ancient rock art near Annameur are not to be missed.

10. Go shopping in the souks of Tiznit

Lucky you, jewelry collectors. Tiznit is one of the greatest sites in Morocco to buy Berber jewelry, which makes for a wonderful and truly unique souvenir from your vacation in Morocco.

Tiznit is surrounded by spectacular fortifications which were not completed until the 19th century and are located at the end of the Anti-Atlas mountain range, some 97 kilometers south of Agadir.

The medina (old town) is a maze of winding lanes within the walls, with many souk (market) streets offering traditional Tiznit jewelry and other handicrafts.

If you want a taste of local life, come on a Thursday when Tiznit has its weekly market.

11. Birdwatching at Souss-Massa National Park

This national park, located 65 kilometers south of Agadir, is one of the best birdwatching sites in the country, with many species for experienced observers.

The 330 square kilometer terrain of Souss-Massa National Park is made up of a combination of sand dunes, beaches and marshes that hug the Atlantic coast.

Flamingos, ibis, ducks, doves, herons, cormorants and sandgrouse are just some of the species that frequent the park.

The majority of visitors, however, come to see the rare and endangered bald ibis, which is native to the area.

Spring and October are the best times to visit for bird watching.

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The invisible world of Siwi Berber in Egypt https://libyamazigh.org/the-invisible-world-of-siwi-berber-in-egypt/ Sun, 15 May 2022 17:28:13 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/the-invisible-world-of-siwi-berber-in-egypt/


The invisible world of Siwi Berber in Egypt

Siwa oasis, salt lakes | Photo credit: Rachid H via Flickr

Secluded and idyllic, Siwa Oasis is surrounded by sand and rock. Its water is clear, almost mythical, its banks cooked in salt. For some it’s an escape, a place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. As the pulse of Egypt’s western desert, the location is immensely beautiful, located right next to the Libyan border.

For others, the oasis is more than beautiful.

It is the house.

Among the palm and olive groves live the Siwi, a people of Berber origin often characterized as “independent, private and resistant to central authority”. In their own words, they are Imazighen: ‘noble and free men.’ Nomadic in nature, the Siwi are farmers and vagabonds from North Africa. Although their communities are diverse and often dotted with respective idiosyncrasies, the Siwi are best known as Swians: people who inhabit the Siwa Oasis.

Their staple crop includes olives and dates, a romantic duo associated with their plot. To a lesser extent, the Siwi cultivate wheat, barley, sorghum, onions and broad beans. Land is bought and sold between them, as well as water rights; the Western Desert is arid and inhospitable, and their dependence on the oasis is essential to their survival.

Siwa girls in their family's bridal outfits, late 20th century.
“Siwa girls in their family’s bridal outfits, late 20th century.” | Photo credit: TRC Leiden
Siwa Oasis: the most amazing oasis in the world
“Traditional music and dance in Siwa.” | Photo credit: Taziry

As Berbers, they are the most easterly compared to other Imazighen communities in Algeria and Morocco. However, the Siwi adopt a Berber dialect (Siwa) that separates them from the Arabic-speaking tribes and communities of the Western Desert. Berber as a language, also known as tamazight, belongs to the “Afro-Asiatic linguistic group, which encompasses the ancient Egyptian and Semitic languages”. Despite the connection, Siwa is not as closely related to other Berber languages.

Although the language is not the only thing that defines the Siwi.

Their city is fortified and their villages are recognizable in raw brick, separated from the whole, with a patriarchal dynamic rooted in their intra-group politics. The majority of Siwi are Sunni Muslims, although many still adhere to traditional belief systems, observing pre-Islamic customs. Interestingly, Siwa has a patron saint (sidi Suleiman) whose tomb is next to a new mosque in the center of the city.

brown concrete building under white clouds during daytime
Sheva | Photo credit: Flo P via UNSPLASH
Egypt's Berber speakers cling to language in oases as Arabic continues to dominate
Egyptian Berber | Photo credit: Global Times

Today, Siwa has nine Siwi tribes in total: three western tribes and six eastern tribes. Their central city, an unavoidable enclosure, separated organically into a West-East divide. Western tribes are Shihayam, Awlad Moussa (Son of Moses), and Sarahena. Orientals are Zanayn, al-Hadadin (the Blacksmiths), Lehamudet, al-Jawasis (the spies), Sharametaand Aghurmi.

Although they are considered a minority on Egyptian soil, the existence of the Siwi is common knowledge among the locals and, with the influx of tourism, knowledge of their communities is constantly increasing. Still, it’s important not to over-romanticize their existence; the reality of the Siwi as an isolation and a tribe manifested several problems, including risky separation from the state.

The Amazigh people in Egypt: a fragile struggle for survival - Nationalia
“Amany El Weshahy, head of the Imazighen World Congress in Egypt. | Photo credit: Marc Español via Nationalia
“Window overlooking the oasis of Siwa” | Photo credit: Rawan Yasser

While Cairo retains control of basic necessities such as water and electricity, any issues present are often overseen by the tribes themselves. Traditional processes are often favored over lengthy, costly and often discriminatory court proceedings.

Moreover, although Siwah is the predominant language spoken – and in some cases the only language – Arabic is often imposed in all forms of legislation and schooling. As reasonable as it is to assume that an Arabic-speaking country must speak Arabic, the lack of infrastructure surrounding the Siwa Oasis has impeded integration and continues to be a disconnect that separates the Siwi from linguistic, cultural and Cairo policies.

Be that as it may, it is reasonable to admire the Siwi for what they are: a colorful and enigmatic facet of Egypt before its Arabization. They are a raw, unfiltered observation of how culture can simultaneously persist through thick and thin and evolve to survive.

Growing up abroad, El Leila El Kebeera was my window into Egyptian culture

Did the Egyptian Sphinx really close its eyes?


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]]> What is the Great Replacement? Buffalo killer Payton Gendron cited theory as reason for hate crime https://libyamazigh.org/what-is-the-great-replacement-buffalo-killer-payton-gendron-cited-theory-as-reason-for-hate-crime/ Sun, 15 May 2022 07:12:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/what-is-the-great-replacement-buffalo-killer-payton-gendron-cited-theory-as-reason-for-hate-crime/

BUFFALO, NY: The 18-year-old who shot dead 10 people and injured three others at a Buffalo supermarket has reportedly released a white supremacist manifesto, outlining his step-by-step plan. Officials revealed that Payton Gendron claimed in a 180-page rant that he was ‘radicalized’ on the internet when he was bored during the early days of the pandemic, not by people he had personally met. The self-proclaimed white supremacist and anti-Semite has apparently learned through his ‘research’ that the world’s low white birth rates are a ‘crisis’ that ‘will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the people of Europe’.

Speaking of other racially motivated killings, Gendron said he “mostly agreed” with Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a man who live-streamed his attack that ultimately killed 51 at a New Zealand mosque in March. 2019. Gendron reportedly began planning the attack in January. He chose Tops Supermarket in Buffalo because “it has the highest percentage of black population” by zip code, and also because it wasn’t very far from his Southern Tier home. New York Post reported.

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In a section of the manifesto, Gendron detailed his step-by-step plans for the day of filming. He also wrote about the corned beef hash he ate for breakfast. He planned how he would get to the supermarket, wear his bulletproof vest and carry his gun. He also wrote about the live broadcast of the attack.

Reports say the Buffalo Massacre is the latest in a wave of mass shootings inspired by the Great Replacement theory – a racist theory popular among white supremacists and the far right.

What is the Great Replacement Theory?

Spread by French author Renaud Camus, the Great Replacement theory is a far-right white nationalist conspiracy theory. He states that white people are being replaced in their countries by people of color, which will lead to the extinction of the white race. The theory stemmed from the belief that the ethnic French population, as well as white European populations, was being demographically and culturally replaced by non-European people, including Arab, Jewish, Berber, Turkish and Sub-Saharan Muslim populations.

Since the late 19th century, various similar themes have characterized other far-right theories. This particular term, however, was popularized by Camus in his 2011 book “The Great Replacement”. The theory is popular among far-right anti-migrant movements in the West. These claims were dismissed by critics, who said that this belief resulted from an exaggerated reading of immigration statistics and stemmed from unscientific and racist views.

Gendron reportedly drove “hours away” in Conklin, New York, to Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. The shooting took place in a predominantly black neighborhood. Eleven of the victims were black and two of them were white. “We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, said at a conference call. hurry. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said, “It was pure evil. It was a racially motivated hate crime.”

Two people who saw Gendron said he was wearing camouflage with a black helmet. “He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what’s going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face? Braedyn Kephart, a witness, said. He described how the shooter fell to his knees, ripped off his helmet and dropped his gun, before being tackled by police.

Gendron has pleaded not guilty to the murders, his lawyer confirmed, according to the Daily mail. He allegedly scrawled the word N on his rifle before committing the massacre.

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