G20 Summit 2017 Hamburg: Recap

The Harbinger

By Alexandra Reboredo

The annual meeting of the Group of Twenty (G20)–made up of 20 countries and the European Union with almost two-thirds of the world’s population–was held in Hamburg, Germany. Leaders of industrialized and economically-developed countries gathered for the twelfth time after Germany gained presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2016.

U.S. President Donald Trump made a strong presence at the G20 Summit, his second overseas trip since taking office. Throughout the informal forum, President Trump tweeted on an array of topics discussed, from meetings with Putin to a special thanks to law enforcement after prominent protesters.

As for the most anticipated moment of the Summit, Trump directly confronted Russian President…

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Social Media Posts Warn Drivers of Tactics Used by Human Traffickers

The Harbinger

By Alexandra Reboredo

Parents send their children off to school, expecting them to return home with knowledge and new friendships. But, some don’t return at all. It’s the chilling reality that no parent expects.

Human trafficking is an issue in the United States with about 100,000 cases reported each year. Florida accounts for about 400 of those cases. Overall, only one percent of sexual trafficking victims are identified. Of these trafficking victims, most common cases are usually associated with women.

Related: Teenage Sex Trafficking Happens, And It Happens Often

“What people don’t know is that about half of sexually trafficked teenagers are boys,” said Nathan Earl, founder of Ark of Freedom, a nonprofit anti-trafficking organization.

In order to combat these numbers, organizations like Ark of Freedom, Project GOLD, and Refuge for Women, make efforts to raise awareness on signs of trafficking.

For example, Jorge Veitia, the executive director of Life…

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The History of St. Patrick’s Day

The Harbinger

By Alexandra Reboredo

On March 17, people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day—the anniversary of Saint Patrick’s death. For over 1,000 years, the Irish have seen this day as a religious holiday, as Irish families traditionally attend church in the mornings and celebrate in the afternoon.

St. Patrick’s Day, which takes place during the Christian season of Lent, is usually heavily celebrated across the world. Lenten prohibitions, like the prohibitions of meat, were waived so that people can dance, drink, and eat traditional Irish foods—Irish bacon and cabbage.

The holiday is based off Saint Patrick, the apostle—Jesus’ disciple—of Ireland, who lived during the fifth century. Born in Roman Britain, Saint Patrick was captured and brought to Ireland as a slave at 16 years of age. Later, he escaped but returned to Ireland and was most well-known for bringing Christianity to its people.

Following his death, his mythology was ingrained into Irish culture…

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The 2016 Election and Russia: Hacking and Retaliation

Only 5 days away from the Presidential Inauguration, lots of questions remain unclear.

The Harbinger

By Valeria Bula

The 2016 presidential election was more than what Americans could have ever imagined. From moments of hope to heartbreak and happiness to dread, the election had its share of controversies and scandals, even after its conclusion. Specifically, speculation and questions over Russia possiblychanging the fate of the 2016 US presidential election .

Last week, a series of classified documents, including allegations that the Russians have personal and financial information in their possession about Trump, were presented to President Obama and President-elect Trump.

The allegations came from a credible British intelligence operative, however, the FBI is investigating the validity of the statements, given that its information is based on Russian sources and was compiled into a two-page synopsis.

Four of the senior intelligence chiefs: FBI director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, NSA director Mike Rogers, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper presented the briefings. These…

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Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport

The Harbinger

By Alexandra Reboredo 

Around 1 p.m. on Friday, gunshots erupted at Fort Lauderdale airport, leaving over a dozen people injured or killed. According to authorities, the shooter was working alone. He is now under federal custody.

According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Twitter, as of now, five people have been reported dead, and eight people were transported to an area hospital.

The shooting took place at the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 where the shooter shot quick bursts “randomly shooting,” with a 9 mm and approximately three magazines.

“Once he finished shooting he walked out through door 2, threw his gun on the ground, and laid on the ground spread-eagle until an officer came… about a minute later,” said eyewitness Mark Lea to MSNBC.

Senator Bill Nelson appeared on MSNBC from the Capitol in DC, confirming that the shooter was Esteban Santiago, 26: “He was carrying a military I.D…

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Silent Voices

“Amy” (as she was asked to be called for sake of privacy) stood in a court of law in front of her uncle — the reason for her tainted childhood — trying to prevent him from being released from prison. She was first sexually abused when she was four years old.

“I am a 19-year-old girl and I am a victim of child sex abuse and child pornography.”

A constant reminder of what she was put through at a young age plagues her memory: a collection of sexually explicit photographs and videos.

The collection of tapes runs through age four to nine. To this day, her images and videos are still widely viewed across the Internet.

In many cases—similar to Amy’s—the abuser is somebody close to the victim, who holds access to the child.

Raven Kaliana was forced into child pornography by her parents. She vaguely recalls being dropped off at a professional photo studio, being left with a child pornographer and raped in front of a camera moments later—all at the age of four.

Throughout elementary school, Kaliana was dropped off at photo studios during vacations or long weekends.

In many cases, images are beyond sexual photographs. Around 44 percent of them involve bondage or sadomasochism with children.

“Around the time I was 11, my value started going down because I was beginning to look more like an adult,” Kaliana says. “So they started putting me in more dangerous films, things involving torture or gang rape or extreme fetishes.”

Raven Kaliana and Amy are just a couple among the numerous cases of child sex abuse.

Around 76 percent of children in child pornography have been abused before reaching puberty; 24 percent, after. The remaining 10 percent is made up of infants and toddlers.

It would be extremely rare to find child pornography on public websites. The issue is hidden in the dark web, making it even more difficult to find victims.

In 2011, law enforcement authorities in the U.S. discovered 22 million images and videos of child pornography and submitted them to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to identify the victims.

Kaliana was able to escape her parents’ control in college, and now works to fight child abuse—something that has traumatized not only her, but Amy as well.

“I am still discovering all the ways that the abuse and exploitation I suffer has hurt me, has set my life on the wrong course, and destroyed the normal childhood, teenage years, and early adulthood that everyone deserves.” Amy admits.

Kaliana has produced a film featuring puppets in order to raise awareness for the growing issue of child sexual abuse. This film also encourages victims to speak up about their situations.

Visit her website to join her on her mission of fighting childhood trauma at outspiral.org.uk

Proposed Alternative to FSA Testing

The Harbinger

By Alexandra Reboredo

Florida lawmakers have been searching for ways to improve state testing after last year’s incident regarding servers and general dissatisfaction with the tests. Although they won’t eliminate end-of-course testing, they’ve considered an alternative:students choosing between different kinds of standardized tests instead.

The Florida Standards Assessment was implemented to replace the FCAT. A state-hired company constructed the test along with the national Common Core standardsmeant to prepare students for rigorous college education.

“It’s new standards, it’s a new test–it’s everything coming at them so quickly that it was concerning to teachers,” said Robert Runcie, Broward Superintendent, to the Sun Sentinel. “It’s still concerning. If they’re going to use high-stakes testing, they need to get it right. And we haven’t gotten it right.”

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