WASHINGTON, February 3 -- Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is facing a growing tide of calls for resignation Friday night after a photo depicting two men, one in a Ku Klux Klan robe and another in blackface, appeared on a medical school yearbook page with his name on it.
The picture appeared in a "student-produced" publication in 1984, according to Jennifer McCarrell, the director of marketing and communications at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), where Northam is a graduate. "I can confirm that the picture in question does appear in a 1984 student-produced publication," McCarrell wrote in an e-mail to ABC News. "The EVMS library is open to the public and does provide access to its materials." The page in question is emblazoned with the name "Ralph Shearer Northam" at the top. In a statement released Friday evening, Northam apologized and acknowledged that he is one of the men depicted in the photo. "Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive," Northam wrote, "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."
However Northam did not say that he would be resigning his post as governor, and did not say whether or not he was the person in the Ku Klux Klan robe or the one in blackface in the photo. "I recognize that it will take time and serious effort to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important work. The first step is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their Governor," Northam added. Northam also released a video message Friday evening, further apologizing for the video, and adding that he intends to fight to earn back the trust of Virginians.
"I accept responsibility for my past actions, and I am ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust," Northam said in the video, "I have spent the past year as your governor, fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people. I am committed to continuing that fight for the remainder of my term, and living up to the expectations you set for me when you elected me to serve."
ROTTERDAM, December 28 -- A Dutch-flagged ship that rescued 32 migrants from a sinking boat near Libya.
It is still looking for a harbor where the migrants may enter and be processed as possible refugees. The Dutch Justice and Security ministry is trying to help find a port for Sea-Watch 3, part of the German organization Sea-Watch. But Sea-Watch claims that the Netherlands was one of the countries refusing to allow the ship to enter.
The Netherlands said it is hopeful a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea will provide assistance. "We approached the Coast Guard of those countries and asked whether they could offer a safe haven," a ministry spokesperson told AD. "A number of countries have reacted negatively and we are still waiting for answers from other countries."
The 32 passengers includes six minors, one of which is a baby, and two others which are rather young. There are also four women on board and 22 crew members. Aside from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Malta, and Spain have refused the Sea-Watch 3, according to the group. The aid organization was hopeful the migrants would find a place to stay during the Christmas season, Sea Watch spokesperson Jelle Goezinnen said in a statement sent to NL Times. Sea-Watch 3 has been unable to stop at a port for the past week.
Racist Sinead O’Connor claims she won’t spend time with “disgusting white people” after converting to Islam
DUBLIN, November 7 -- Recent Islamic convert Sinead O’Connor, who now goes by the name “Shuhada Davitt”, in a recent tweet declared that “truly I never wanna spend time with white people again (if that’s what non-muslims are called). Not for one moment, for any reason. They are disgusting”
The Irish singer has had a history of mental illness and had at least one suicide attempt in the last year by her own admission, being admitted into a mental hospital soon after. The singer, a self-identified feminist, only recently publicly announced her conversion to Islam, and now wears a hijab. In her most recent flurry of tweets, she says she can no longer spend time with “non-Muslims”, claiming they are “disgusting”.
Sinead O’Connor’s demise only serves to highlight how it is typically the most vulnerable and unstable people who convert to Islam. With her history of mental illness, we can only hope she receives the help she needs.