Man’s Spit Links Him To Cold Case Murders Six Years Later: LAPD

After six long years, authorities say a suspected killer is behind bars thanks to saliva collected from a sidewalk.

Geovanni Borjas, 32, of Los Angeles County, was charged on Tuesday for the 2011 rape and murder of Michelle Lozano, 17, and Bree’Anna Guzman, 22, after his DNA was found to match evidence from both killings, police told reporters on Tuesday.

Los Angeles police said they recovered DNA evidence from both crime scenes and entered it into their local and national databases, but there was no match. They did, however, find someone in the database whose DNA was similar to the DNA at the crime scene: Borjas’ father.

The elder Borjas had been arrested years earlier for a non-sexual assault crime, police said, which meant his DNA was already in the system. His son, however, only had a minor criminal record, so authorities had to obtain his DNA some other way.

They did that by following Borjas until he spit on a sidewalk, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

Once entered into the database, DNA from the recovered saliva sample matched the DNA at both Lozano and Guzman’s crime scenes, Beck said.

In addition to two counts of murder and rape, Borjas was charged with one count of kidnapping, according to prosecutors.

“DNA collection at time of arrest allowed us to connect this monster to the deaths of these two young women,” Beck said.

Richard Duran, Guzman’s father, choked up at Tuesday’s press conference as he publicly thanked local authorities for never giving up in their pursuit of his daughter’s killer. 

Lozano was the first of the two victims. The teenager was out walking on Easter when she went missing. Her naked body was later found in a broken container that had been dumped off a freeway, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Guzman was walking to a pharmacy the day after Christmas when she went missing, Beck said. Her body was found a month later near a freeway, prosecutors said.

Borjas’ criminal history includes an ex-girlfriend’s three-year domestic violence restraining order against him. Among other things, she accused him of breaking her nose, choking her and pushing her down some stairs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In court on Tuesday, Borjas pleaded not guilty to the charges. His defense attorney also requested bail for his client, who he said has a fiancee and a child. That request was denied.

If convicted, Borjas faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole, the district attorney’s office announced.

“A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date,” the office noted in a release.

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Liberal Lion On Donald Trump’s Least Favorite Court Lets Him Have It On Immigration

A judge on the federal appeals court that President Donald Trump isn’t fond of used his perch to condemn the administration’s punitive approach to immigration enforcement.

Stephen Reinhardt, 86, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter who is also the longest-serving member on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which Trump has often criticized, issued a sharp opinion Tuesday expressing his dismay over the move to deport a father of three with deep ties to Hawaii.

“The government’s insistence on expelling a good man from the country in which he has lived for the past 28 years deprives his children of their right to be with their father, his wife of her right to be with her husband, and our country of a productive and responsible member of our community,” Reinhardt wrote in a six-page screed that recounted the case’s unfortunate circumstances.

In Reinhardt’s telling, everything about Andres Magana Ortiz, the immigrant targeted for deportation, has the makings of the American dream: Despite entering the country without papers in 1989 from Mexico, he went on to become “a respected businessman in Hawaii and well established in the coffee farming industry.”

“He has worked with the United States Department of Agriculture in researching the pests afflicting Hawaii’s coffee crop, and agreed to let the government use his farm, without charge, to conduct a five-year study,” wrote Reinhardt, widely regarded as a liberal lion on the sprawling 9th Circuit. “In his time in this country Magana Ortiz has built a house, started his own company, and paid his taxes.”

And yet none of this, let alone that Magana Ortiz, 43, was raising a family or helping to pay for his daughter’s education at the University of Hawaii, was enough to persuade federal authorities to grant him a new stay of deportation ― which he had previously obtained in 2014 so that he could adjust his legal status through his wife, who’s a U.S. citizen.

Magana Ortiz’s latest effort to remain in the U.S., filed days before the November election, was denied in March, and he was ordered to turn himself in for deportation. He agreed to leave the U.S. in May, pending the outcome of his 9th Circuit appeal, according to court documents.

“It was fully within the government’s power to once more grant his reasonable request,” Reinhardt noted. “Instead, it has ordered him deported immediately.”

As a result of the government’s hardline stance, Magana Ortiz turned to the courts, hoping to get an order that would allow him to remain in the U.S. while his wife’s petition on his behalf was processed by immigration authorities. Under the law, however, there was nothing his court could do, Reinhardt said, which in turn became the catalyst for his judicial frustration.

“In doing so, the government forces us to participate in ripping apart a family,” he wrote, adding that Magana Ortiz’s deportation would leave his American children — ages 20, 14 and 12 — with an impossible choice.

“Moving with their father would uproot their lives, interrupt their educations, and deprive them of the opportunities afforded by growing up in this country,” Reinhardt continued. “If they remain in the United States, however, the children would not only lose a parent, but might also be deprived of their home, their opportunity for higher education, and their financial support.

Subjecting vulnerable children to a choice between expulsion to a foreign land or losing the care and support of their father is not how this nation should treat its citizens.
U.S. Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt

“Subjecting vulnerable children to a choice between expulsion to a foreign land or losing the care and support of their father is not how this nation should treat its citizens,” the judge added.

The 9th Circuit, which is considering a Hawaii court ruling that blocked a revised version of Trump’s travel ban on certain Muslim countries, ultimately denied Magana Ortiz’s request, citing a lack of legal authority to intervene. The 9th Circuit is also the court that ruled in February against Trump’s original executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from the Muslim countries.

Reinhardt didn’t let the constraints on his court in the Magana Ortiz case constrain him from penning a sharp rebuke of the president and his government.

“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the ‘bad hombres,’” he said. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe. Magana Ortiz is by all accounts a pillar of his community and a devoted father and husband. It is difficult to see how the government’s decision to expel him is consistent with the president’s promise of an immigration system with ‘a lot of heart.’ I find no such compassion in the government’s choice to deport Magana Ortiz.”

The judge’s entire opinion is worth reading. But it’s his closing paragraph that evokes the untold exasperation many judges and lawyers must feel in the area of immigration — where the law is deficient and often doesn’t match up with American ideals.

“We are unable to prevent Magana Ortiz’s removal, yet it is contrary to the values of this nation and its legal system,” Reinhardt wrote. “Indeed, the government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz diminishes not only our country but our courts, which are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice. Magana Ortiz and his family are in truth not the only victims. Among the others are judges who, forced to participate in such inhumane acts, suffer a loss of dignity and humanity as well.”

He concluded: “I concur as a judge, but as a citizen I do not.”

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Blackface, Lynching Reference Used In Promposals By Students From The Same School

When using a bitmoji to ask a girl to prom didn’t work for one California high schooler, he attempted to transform into the bitmoji by sporting blackface, NBC Bay Area News reported Monday.

A Los Gatos High School student asked a peer via Snapchat if she’d be interested in going to prom with him using the picture below, which was  obtained by the local news outlet. Neither student has revealed their name.

While most people use bitmojis that reflect their own appearance, the white male student chose to use a black cartoon avatar in his promposal. 

After using the bitmoji didn’t get him the response he wanted, he showed up to the young woman’s house in blackface with a recreation of the above sign, in a poorly played attempt to channel the avatar. 

The student apologized to NBC Bay Area News after his school’s newspaper shed light on the racist promposal which he posted to Instagram. 

“To dress up like my bitmoji, I had no racist intentions,” he told the station. “I didn’t mock the African American community at any point.”

“I just want to say I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That wasn’t my intention,” he continued. “I’m not a racist kid, and I just want to say this is a big misunderstanding.”

Another student at Los Gatos created a racist prom invitation of their own in April. According to KTVU News, a junior at the school made a poster that he later put on social media, asking a girl if she wanted to “be like a n****r and hang at prom?” 

The two incidents, which were both reported by the school’s paper, forced school officials to address the racial issues at Los Gatos in a letter to parents. 

“No communication about any school event should denigrate another person or group for any reason,” read the letter obtained by NBC. “We are aware of two prom asks this spring that have been of a racist nature and want this choice of behavior never to recur.”

It also stated that the prom invitations were “racially offensive and contrary to the values of inclusion and belonging that are integral to the school culture at Los Gatos High School.”

According to the letter, students and faculty will have to undergo equity training in the fall.

The school and the mother of the student who wore blackface did not return a request for comment from HuffPost.

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This Artist Is Reimagining Your Fave Cartoon Characters As Grown-Ups

If last summer’s ubiquitous “Arthur” memes didn’t leave you feeling old as dirt, imagine seeing the “Arthur” cast and your other animated faves as full-blown adults.

Welp, prepare to count your every crow’s-feet. Brandon Avant is reimagining characters from classic cartoon shows as grown-ups ― and the swag is unreal. Avant, a 29-year-old Mississippi native, began putting adult spins on classic cartoons when he drew a mature version of the “Peanuts” crew in February 2016. 

The University of Portland fashion design student regularly posts his artwork ― everything from supernatural anime creatures to politically charged illustrations ― on Instagram. But his desire to reminisce on the days of dope cartoons by aging animated characters is what has really attracted thousands of double-tapping fingers to his work.

It wasn’t until March that Avant posted more of his recreated cartoon characters, this time a tatted-up version of the “Doug” gang. 

After the “Doug” drawing, which garnered nearly 3,000 likes, Avant told HuffPost he decided to continue experimenting with the cartoon faves. He committed to doing at least 10 more drawings of the same concept because he saw it was so well-received.

“I like making people happy and making their day,” Avant told HuffPost. 

He said he enjoys reminding his audience of the earlier cartoon days, especially those that helped black children understand their culture like “The Proud Family” and “The Boondocks.”

You can relive all the blissful days of aardvarks, recess and Penny Proud below. 

If you feel he’s missing any classics *cough* “Hey, Arnold” *cough* or you’d take pride in a standalone Susie Carmichael custom drawing, Avant takes commissions. 

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The White Terror Crisis In Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. ― It’s easy to understand why Imam Mikal Shabazz doesn’t feel like Portland always loves people who look like him.

He remembers when cops choked an unarmed black man to death and then distributed T-shirts bragging about it. He lived here when a gang of neo-Nazis brutally murdered an Ethiopian student on the street. And he was here during the Northwest Imperative movement, when white supremacists moved to the Pacific Northwest to set up a white Utopia, terrorizing cities like Portland.

“All of that wasn’t too long ago in my time, on my calendar,” said Shabazz, 66. Portland, he said, shouldn’t think of that kind of terror as distant history. It’s very much still happening.

Last Friday, a white supremacist stabbed three men on the MAX train, two fatally, as they tried to protect a black teenage girl and her Muslim friend from his bigoted, anti-Muslim threats.

The murders grabbed national headlines with many asking: Portland? That liberal, progressive city in a blue state?

What people forget is that Portland is in Oregon, a “white state where most white people almost never interact with people of color,” Shabazz said.

“At the same time, there’s always been some of us here,” he added, referring to himself and other minorities.  

Shabazz is an imam at the Muslim Community Center of Portland, which has almost completed a new one-story mosque just a few miles northeast of where the stabbing occurred. On Tuesday afternoon during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month dedicated to fasting and reflection, the sounds of construction could be heard inside the mosque as a typical soft Northwest rain fell outside.

When one of the contractors there to install a security system walked through the prayer room with his shoes on ― a no-no at mosques ― one of the parishioners asked him kindly to take them off.

I’m not taking them off,” the contractor, a lumbering middle-aged white man, replied sternly.

Shabazz defused the situation, like he always does, and said, “It’s okay. We’ll clean it up. We’ve done it before.”

Portland, depicted in recent years as a quirky progressive urban Eden ― especially in the TV show “Portlandia” ― has a long history of racism. In the wake of Friday’s murders, America has rediscovered the city as a haven for hate, while local leaders like Shabazz try to reassure a very frightened community.

A State Founded In Hate

Oregon’s history reads like a timeline of white supremacy. Its indigenous peoples were massacred. The state’s original constitution had a complete ban on blacks living in the state. It became a home to thousands of KKK members in the 1920s. It was the scene of Japanese-American incarceration during World War II. In the Jim Crow era, whites-only signs adorned storefronts just as they did in the South. This history created conditions ripe for the evolution of a robust neo-Nazi culture in the 1980s and ‘90s.

“In the eyes of a skinhead, Portland, Oregon, looks like the city of the future,” Time magazine wrote about the movement in 1993. The article went on to describe the Northwest Imperative, which drew hundreds of white supremacists to the region to found a whites-only city. 

Eric Ward, a longtime civil rights strategist and program officer for the Ford Foundation, lived in Oregon during this era and later worked with the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. He remembers a constant stream of terror back then, he said. Organized neo-Nazi groups repeatedly attacked minorities.

One such example was in November 1988, when members of East Side White Pride beat 28-year-old graduate student Mulugeta Seraw to death with a baseball bat. 

Now, Ward says, it feels like it’s happening all over again.  

He says whenever people talk to him about Portland, they always ask about “Portlandia.”

“They want to know if it’s true and is it really that quirky? Is it really that progressive? Is the food amazing? And all of those things are actually true.”

But, Ward continued, “there’s another ‘Portlandia,’ and the other ‘Portlandia’ isn’t funny. It is a ‘Portlandia’ that has a white terror crisis.”

White Terror All Over Again

A series of horrifying hate crimes have occurred over the last year and a half in the Portland area. Earlier this month, a Latino family found both of their cars’ windshields smashed in. In one of the cars was an explosive device. Their neighbor’s car was also vandalized and contained a note that said, “#Trump AT ICE—See you soon—Sorry bout that—Sorry not sorry.”  

In March, an Iranian refugee returned home to find a slew of anti-Muslim death threats written in all caps all over his house. “Terrorist” was written on the kitchen cabinet; “Fuck you terrorist” on a wall; “Muslim” and “Kill you” in the bedroom; “Die” on a mirror; and “Hate” on a door.

The day after the presidential election, just east of Portland, three men hit a black woman with a brick and beat her. One of the men reportedly said, “We got a president who finally feels how we feel and we’re going to make America great again by getting rid of n****rs like you.”

Two months before, a man on a bike pepper-sprayed a black family and screamed a racial slur at them. In the Portland suburb of Gresham, a member of the neo-Nazi prison gang European Kindred ran down a 19-year-old black man with his car, killing him. The list goes on. 

There have been other unnerving developments, too: A KKK imperial wizard from Mississippi moved to the area, neo-Nazi fliers and swastikas have proliferated in public spaces, and a then-unknown Nazi-saluting Trump-supporter appeared at a rally earlier this month ― the stabber from Friday.  

Randy Blazak, a professor and head of the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime, said this resurgence of white supremacist activity is undoubtedly linked to the political climate. White nationalists in Oregon and across the country have cheered Donald Trump’s rise.

The hate “was always there,” Blazak said, “but now it’s been given new permission.”

A City in Crisis

This latest wave of hate is different for a few reasons, Blazak said. It’s less structured than in the ‘80s and ‘90s, a time when he knew the locations of all the skinhead houses around Portland, where the neo-Nazis lived together and partied and fought.

It’s not as cohesive as it was back then, he said. White supremacists are largely radicalized online now, and the hate has a new flavor: It is increasingly directed at Muslims, something that began after 9/11.

“It’s become the convenient bigotry,” he said.

Now he’s nervous about an upcoming event: another alt-right rally on Sunday, where there’s set to be a showdown with sometimes violent anti-fascist protesters. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has called on the federal government to revoke the protesters’ permit, which provoked the ire of free speech defenders like the American Civil Liberties Union.

A “March Against Sharia” organized by the local chapter of the anti-Muslim hate group Act for America, scheduled for June 10, was canceled after public pressure and relocated to Seattle.

“It’s going to be another long, hot summer,” Blazak said.

To prepare, Imam Shabazz says he’s telling Muslims to be extra vigilant and for women not to leave the mosque unescorted.

Still, he’s also confident that the example set by the heroes on the train last Friday will inspire others to act similarly.

“Their lives certainly have not gone in vain, because now they have triggered in other people the same idea,” Shabazz said. “People can stand up for what’s right and refuse to give in under extraordinary circumstances.”

Wow Portland

— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) May 31, 2017

As the sun set Tuesday night over the Hollywood and 42nd Street station, people from all over Portland stopped by to pay their respects to Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23 ― who gave their lives protecting their neighbors ― as well as Micah Fletcher, 21, who survived.

Small children drew hearts in chalk on the station’s winding walkway up to the tracks. Adults wrote messages like, “This will not stop us” and “Your sacrifice will ignite change” and “wear your hijab with pride.” A middle-aged man in a suit pulled up in his car, laid down flowers, stood silently for a minute observing the scene and then just as quietly drove off.

A man who appeared down on his luck struggled to find the right words, until finally saying what was on everyone’s mind: “Muslims are good people, man.”

Others lit candles, and looking up at the sprawling memorial in its totality, almost everyone cried.

A young African-American man who would only give his first name, Mike, had tears streaming down his face. His girlfriend, Anna, who is white, hugged and consoled him.

“They were made of steel,” Mike said of the three heroes.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the city where 19-year-old Larnell Bruce was killed. 

America does not do a good job of tracking incidents of hate and bias. We need your help to create a database of such incidents across the country, so we all know what’s going on. Tell us your story.

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‘Join The Best Or Die Like The Rest': Pro-KKK Flyers Warn Texas City

Texas authorities are investigating after what appeared to be Ku Klux Klan recruitment flyers were found on multiple lawns in Galveston County’s third-largest city over Memorial Day weekend.

The flyers, which had been tossed in front of Texas City homes, were enclosed in plastic bags “with fishing weights and candy,” police said.

At least two versions of the flyers were distributed, according to Houston’s KHOU News. Some bore an image of a Confederate flag along with the words “Say No To Cultural Genocide,” while others featured an image of a hooded Klan member with the phrase “Join The Best Or Die Like The Rest.”

One of the residents who received the message told KTRK-TV he was horrified and broke down in tears when he saw it.

“That will bother anybody,” Ray said. “I mean by me being black and [their] passing out KKK cards.”

Texas City has a population of about 45,000, some 13,000 of whom are African-American.

Ray’s neighbor, Marvel Bliss, told KPRC News that it makes him “physically sick” that people distributed hate propaganda in his neighborhood.

“These people were in my neighborhood and on my property where my children play,” Bliss said. “I’ve been here four years and we’ve never had something like this happen.”

A call to a phone number on the flyers went unanswered on Wednesday.

The Texas City Police Department said in a statement that they consider the incident “a criminal matter and will be seeking any criminal charges applicable.” The flyers may have violated a city ordinance that requires a permit for soliciting.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic flyers have been distributed at least four other times in southern Texas this year. The ADL reports a marked increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout the country since January.

“This is a disturbing trend,” ADL Associate Director Dena Marks said in April. “Clearly, ADL is needed more than ever, and we will redouble our efforts to fight anti-Semitism and all types of discrimination.”

Texas City is also no stranger to suspected hate crimes. In January 1999, two African-American gay men ― 28-year-old Laaron Morris and 30-year-old Kevin Tryals ― were shot and found dead along with Morris’ burned-out vehicle. The crime remains unsolved.

Authorities said the flyer investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective J. Winstead at 409-643-5838 or Mainland Communities Crime Stoppers at 409-945-8477.

David Lohr covers crime and missing persons. Tips? Feedback? Send an email or follow him on Twitter.

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Jamaican-Chinese-American Woman Tells Little-Known Story Of 2 Blended Cultures

One woman’s story shows just how diverse the Chinese community actually is. 

Paula Williams Madison, a retired NBC Universal executive who’s Jamaican-Chinese-American, decided to begin actively looking years ago for ties to her Chinese grandfather, Samuel Lowe. In 2012, her search led her back to Lowe’s home country, where she not only learned about his backstory but also finally connected with her Asian relatives.  

The emotional journey is the subject of the 2014 documentary, “Finding Samuel Lowe,” which is currently streaming online for free until June 13 on In it, it’s clear that Madison’s Asian heritage has become a crucial part of her identity. 

“It felt like a hole in my heart and my soul has finally been filled,” told CNN of meeting her Chinese family members, who are of the Hakka ethnic group. 

Madison, who was raised in Harlem by her Jamaican-Chinese mother Nell, said she often asked about her family’s past but details were scarce. Lowe, a shopkeeper in Kingston, last saw Nell when she was about 3 years old, ABC News reported. He allegedly left Kingston and returned to China, where he died. 

Armed with the little information she had on Lowe, Madison chipped away at her heritage on genealogy websites, uncovering more about the grandfather’s immigration to Jamaica and past as a sugar plantation worker, according to Poynter. She ended up with a huge lead after attending a Hakka conference in Toronto, where she met scholar Keith Lowe, another Chinese-Jamaican with her grandfather’s last name. She asked him to help attempt to connect her with her family in China. 

Sure enough, the scholar reached out his family and gave Madison some eye-opening news ― his uncle’s father was Lowe, ABC News reported. 

Madison made the trip to China later that year and met with her Chinese relatives. Today, she’s close with her Chinese family members and visits the country often. She said she feels comfortable in the country. 

“(When I’m there) I’m very happy,” she told CNN. “I don’t feel like a foreigner. I’m feeling very at home.”

While Madison’s story is a rare one, her Jamaican-Chinese background isn’t all that uncommon. Hakka people, who hail mostly from South China, arrived in Jamaica in four main batches beginning around 1854. The Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica points out that although most Chinese immigrants who came to the country weren’t “coolies,” or indentured servants, those who arrived early were in fact brought there due to the “coolie” trade. They later established a social infrastructure that allowed for more migrants to follow. 

Chinese workers were initially brought to the country to fill a labor gap that opened up when the European slave trade with western and central Africa drew to a close. While these contract laborers were paid, they lived and worked in poor conditions, often similar to what slaves were subjected to. 

Several other waves of Chinese immigrants followed, many as workers from from other parts of the Caribbean, establishing a chain of migration. And by the late 19th to early 20th century, when they became a significant part of the local retail sector. 

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This Artist Will Draw Your Portrait If You Share Your Darkest Secret

Philippines-based illustrator Terence Eduarte takes the kind of secrets people would be wary to tell their closest friends and illustrates them for the whole Internet to see.

The art project ― called 100 Days of Secrets ― started two months ago, when the 24-year-old artist asked his friends to share their secrets in exchange for a portrait. Since then, he’s received secret submissions from Instagram followers from around the world. 

The resulting works explore complicated, knotty personal issues, from learning of a parent’s extramarital affair:

To confessions about catfishing:

"I catfish guys on random dating sites. I enjoy pretending to be someone who i'm not." #100daysofsecrets #the100dayproject

A post shared by Terence Eduarte (@trnz.eduarte) on Apr 21, 2017 at 11:18pm PDT

In an interview with HuffPost, Eduarte said he was taken aback by strangers’ willingness to open up to him. 

“I think the project has become an outlet for people to let out thoughts and feelings they normally wouldn’t tell anyone,” he said.

"I know what it's like to be the other woman. And it has happened more than once." #100daysofsecrets #the100dayproject

A post shared by Terence Eduarte (@trnz.eduarte) on Apr 24, 2017 at 11:04pm PDT

Some people tell Eduarte they’re just thankful to have a sounding board for their secrets, regardless of the portrait. 

“A lot of people who have written to me said they really didn’t mind if I’m not able to include them in the project,” he said. “They just wanted to share their burden with someone.”

See more of the illustrations below and head to Instagram to see the full 100 Days Of Secrets project:

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Why Climate Change Is A Women’s Issue

Multiple news outlets are now reporting that President Donald Trump is set to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark pact to reduce global warming.

While environmentalists are warning that is very bad news for many reasons, bringing the world far closer to the “danger limit” where extreme conditions become the norm, it could be particularly harmful to women around the world. Here’s why:

Women are more likely to live in poverty.

Women make up the majority of the world’s poor, and that simple fact means they are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change ― particularly if they live in rural areas. That’s because women tend to be responsible for securing water, food and energy for cooking, and the effects of climate change ― namely drought and/or uncertain rainfall ― make that process and responsibility all the much more onerous for them. 

“In almost all disasters, women bear the brunt more than men. Anytime there are mass movements, which is what happens when you have famine, floods, fires and other disasters, women are more vulnerable, women end up doing much of the physical labor of gathering and preparing food, fuel and water,” Dr. Richard Jackson, a professor at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, told HuffPost. 

“Climate change very much visits its greatest impact on the poor worldwide,” he added. “Wealthy people can move. Wealthy people during Hurricane Katrina could get in their cars and drive off. It’s always the poor that bear the biggest brunt of any kind of threat or disaster.”

When natural resources disappear, women are less likely to get an education.

When biodiversity declines and fresh water sources disappear as a result of climate change, it is often women world-wide who have to attempt to pick up the pieces. And that means that in some communities, they must dedicate a significant portion of their day to finding clean water or collecting wood the UN says ― time they might otherwise have spent getting an education.

“Girls are sometimes kept home from school to help gather fuel, perpetuating the cycle of disempowerment,” the group says, showing just how many ways climate change touches on women’s lives. 

They are also more likely to die from natural disasters.

A startling 2007 study found that women are much more likely than men to be killed in natural disasters, and that natural disasters also lower the life expectancy of women more than men. The reasons for that are complex: partly, it’s because of biological, physiological differences. So pregnant women, for example, are less likely to be able to rescue themselves in a natural disaster. But cultural and social norms play a bigger role, the study’s authors argue. Women may be more likely to look after relatives or to the home during an emergency, which means they do not put themselves first. They point to other research that suggests that even wearing traditional clothing, like a sari, has been known to put women at greater risk, because it impedes their movement. 

Not only that, but when social order breaks down as it sometimes does after natural disasters, women and children are the ones who are most vulnerable to things like rape and abuse, Jackson said. 

“When social order breaks down and people become out of control, the most vulnerable and the weakest are the ones that suffer the most,” he said.

Pregnancy can make women particularly vulnerable.

First and foremost, pregnant women are more likely to be affected by extreme heat events, like heat waves or long, extended hot seasons, Jackson said.

But climate change can have an affect on pregnant women in other ways, too. For example, it is looking increasingly likely that climate change may have helped drive the spread of Zika, the virus that can cause birth defects and possibly miscarriage, too. And climate change can exacerbate environmental problems that put pregnant women at risk.

“Air pollutants can cause respiratory illness in pregnant women and also lead to low birth weight or pre-term birth,” a fact sheet from Carnegie Mellon University explains. “Climate change worsens air quality because warming temperatures make it easier for ground-level ozone to form.”

Saving the planet is quite literally in everyone’s best inerest, but it’s worth remembering that it’s often those who are already most vulnerable who are impacted first.

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Aspen Capital Fund helps new restaurants in Denver

A clever way to help new restaurants in Denver.

In a highly competitive food and beverage city, Aspen Capital Fund has joined the forces of it’s subsidiary companies to address a common problem with restaurant and mico-brewery startups. Modern Marketing Supply, and  will be solving the problem of getting the word out to an attentive audience.  By joining the services of a full service digital agency and two high keyword sites, restaurants can attain a customized review, get a third party social media share, and build an online reputation.

“A lot of startups don’t realize that without an online referral or reputation,  it won’t matter how great your business is, because customers won’t find or care about you.”  Comments Alex Ferre of Modern Marketing Supply.  “You would be surprised how many companies don’t fundamentally work on digital advertising and publicity, many of those business lifespans are short.”

Because Aspen Capital Fund & ACF Services operates a number of businesses that are complimentary,  it is able to blend and combine the services to solve problems of startups.  All three businesses will be working together to offer a menu of services readily available to new or startup restaurants, breweries, bars and clubs in the Denver area.





Aspen Capital Fund is a closely held Hispanic family owned business located in Colorado.  Our focus is to build minority enterprises and individual success stories.  We work directly in supporting young, innovative businesses.  We work indirectly by supporting the community and families that can improve how businesses can grow.  Our network of family, friends and partners offers some of the smartest and experienced business information and expertise available to our business communities.  We strive to be trusted business advisers for business owners and families.


Modern Marketing Supply is a full service digital agency that offers the perfect balance of skills, experiences and industrial expertise to create your brand story.  We offer bespoke strategy and personal attention to our selected client partners.

You can visit  and follow them on twitter and facebook.

Twitter @neweatsdenver


Portland Train Attack Suspect Found Fodder For Dark Worldview Online

Jeremy Joseph Christian may have acted alone, but his violent racism had company online.

On a train in Portland, Oregon, Friday, Christian allegedly targeted two women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, with anti-Muslim slurs. When bystanders tried to intervene, Christian stabbed three people, according to police. Two died, and the third victim is expected to survive.

But long before the incident on the train, Christian said he was ready to kill in the name of white supremacy. A deep dive into his social media shows a man who found comfort in violent and often fake news sites and memes ― including anti-Muslim and other racist rhetoric.

He regularly shared anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic content.

In March 2016, Christian shared a fake news article showing Hillary Clinton in a Hijab claiming she was “in the pocket of Pakistani Muslims.”

“I’ll knock that Hijab off her faster than you can say Burka in Pig Latin if she steps in Rip City,” he wrote. 

On his profile, Christian stated matter-of-factly that he wanted to kill Clinton and her supporters along with Donald Trump. He also said he wanted to murder Jews and Muslims, and generally cause mayhem.

He shared memes depicting dead Jews in mass graves during the Holocaust, and swore that he’d “defend Nazis” until “victory.”

He initially supported Bernie Sanders ― a point white supremacists and ultra-conservative sites have highlighted in the wake of the attack ― but then appeared to switch to supporting Trump in November.

“Fuck Yeah!!! Trump is the Anti-Christ!!! I should have voted for him!!” he wrote at the time. He was also quick to declare allegiance to the president should be become “the next Hitler.”

In public, he marched as a neo-Nazi.

Local authorities knew Christian as a white supremacist prior to the train attack. On April 29, police confiscated a baseball bat from him at a “March for Free Speech” rally, but later said they didn’t believe him to be a threat.

Man engaging in hate speech and giving the Nazi salute at the end of the #Portland free speech march

— Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) April 29, 2017

As Christian marched in a parking lot throwing the Nazi salute and spouting racial epithets during the rally, marchers flanked by men with “Don’t Tread On Me” and “Trump” flags screamed, “He’s not with us!”

His anti-Muslim sentiments were not his alone.

Right-wing sites and groups offered different takes on Christian’s alleged actions in the wake of the attack. Some said he was an “equal-opportunity hater.”

Neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer came to Christian’s defense, saying that he was “defending himself.” Andrew Anglin, who runs the site, worried that he’d be blamed for the attack. Instead, Anglin said, it’s Muslims’ fault for being in the U.S. in the first place.

“Again, it has to be said: when our people attack their people (if that indeed is what happened), the reason is the same as when the opposite happens: it is because they are in our countries in the first place,” Anglin wrote.

Sentiments like these used to be confined to the dark corners of the internet. But they’ve found more prominent places in the national discourse over the last year, thanks in part to Trump’s nativist campaign. He suggested a national Muslim database before his election, and afterward worked hard to try to keep people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the radical right and hate groups were more successful in entering the mainstream in 2016 than over the last half century. There were over 2,200 “anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016,” according to a report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Christian was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on murder charges.

America does not do a good job of tracking incidents of hate and bias. We need your help to create a database of such incidents across the country, so we all know what’s going on. Tell us your story.

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