ABC6: Interfaith gathering at Muslim center draws more than a hundred

ABC6: Interfaith gathering at Muslim center draws more than a hundred

By Bianca Buono


Less than 48 hours after a Muslim community center in Kingston was vandalized, the South County community came together in a show of solidarity against violence of all kinds.

Late Thursday, the center’s windows were shattered and the words “Muhammad Prophet of Butchers” were painted in red on the front of the building. It happened just moments after the terror attack in Nice.

“We time and time again are victimized as a result of other people’s actions who are acting in the name of Islam but not doing anything that stands for the religion of Islam,” said Wendy Manchester Ibrahim of the Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement.

Now, the graffiti is gone and the windows are covered. People of all faiths and backgrounds sat together Saturday afternoon to show support with the Muslim community.

“Your presence here tells me I should not be afraid,” said Nasser Zawia of the center.

At the interfaith gathering, there was a diverse group of speakers.

“When this happens to any one of our houses of worship, it happens to all of us,” said Reverend Don Anderson of the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.

“In our community we have felt the slings and arrows of hatred,” said Rabbi Howard Voss-Altman of Temple Beth El.

“We know who will ultimately prevail and it is not hatred and it is not evil. It is people like us coming together,” said URI President David Dooley.

The message at the gathering was one of positivity.

“Something beautiful has come out of something ugly. And people have come together. That room was full with people of different cultures, faiths, backgrounds, orientations,” said Congressman Jim Langevin.

South Kingstown police are still investigating the incident. So far no arrests have been made.

FedScoop: House bills seek to strengthen US-Israel cybersecurity partnership

FedScoop: House bills seek to strengthen US-Israel cybersecurity partnership

By Chris Bing

Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., and John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, introduced two bills Thursday to strengthen joint cybersecurity research and development efforts between the U.S. and Israel.

“The United States and Israel are the two top exporters of cybersecurity technologies,” said Langevin in a statement. “Our bills will leverage the reservoirs of expertise in both nations to advance the frontiers of cyber science.”

The bills seek to formalize a grant-funding program for early-stage cyber innovation and to expand an ongoing R&D program jointly conducted by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency and Israeli Ministry of Public Security.

“Our recent discussions with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu confirmed just how important it is that we unite forces to formulate ongoing, effective strategies to best address the rapidly evolving cyber threats faced by both of our nations. After all, cybersecurity is national security,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.

Introduction of the bills comes two months after a Congressional delegation traveled to Israel to meet with government officials regarding joint cybersecurity operations.

Langevin’s proposed R&D grant program — under the bill titled the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act of 2016 — would rely on a peer-reviewed application process “tailored to [the] research requirements” of the Secretary of Homeland Security and reviewed by two U.S.-Israeli scientific organizations: the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, or BSF, and Binational Industrial Research and Development foundation, or BIRD.

The BSF describes its mission as “supporting collaborative research projects in a wide area of basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes” while BIRD is more of a “matchmaking service” between Israeli and American companies that are conducting research and developing technology products.

A spokesperson for Langevin told FedScoop the funding provided by the United States-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement Act would only “be available for projects that are joint with an Israeli and an American partner.” Decisions on what constitutes such a partnership will be made by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

“Grants will be available [to applicants] across the spectrum, from academics conducting basic research in collaboration, to mature companies bringing homeland security relevant products to market. This could certainly include startups,” the spokesperson said.

The Advanced Research Partnership Act of 2016, for which Ratcliffe is sponsor, aims to add money to a standing research program between DHS and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security. Notably, the program’s expansion will now enable it to tackle cybersecurity.

In January, Israeli government officials announced the country controlled roughly 20 percent of international market share in cybersecurity products, second only to the United States.

Providence Journal: Dream shattered, he persevered, found another

By Mark Patinkin
Journal Columnist
Jim was one of those kids who always knew what he wanted to be — first a policeman and eventually an FBI agent.

He grew up middle class in Warwick with a dad who ran a hardware store and a mom who was a career counselor.

Jim was so sure he wanted to be a cop he began interning for the Warwick police at age 12. He was still doing it four years later the summer of his 16th year, clerking, answering phones and running errands. He was the kind of earnest cadet who ironed his uniform himself before each shift.

On this particular Friday, he did the same, heading to the station locker room and suiting up.

Two officers were nearby looking at a new .45-caliber semiautomatic. One officer ejected the clip and handed the gun to the other, who didn’t realize a bullet was still in the chamber. He aimed what he thought was an empty gun at a locker and pulled the trigger.

The bullet ricocheted, piercing Jim’s neck and severing his spinal cord.

The officers kept Jim breathing until a rescue arrived a minute later from the fire station across the street. By then, Jim was unconscious and his blue cadet uniform stained red as he lay on the white tile floor.

They took Jim to the Kent Country Hospital ER. Days later, by the time they eased the sedation, he was in the spinal cord unit of the University Hospital in Boston, his head pulled taut by weights drilled into his skull beneath his blond hair.

The doctors chose not to tell Jim of the severity of his injury at first. But after two weeks, Jim was able to speak, and began to ask, so they were honest. Not long after, his mother June came into his room.

“Ma,” said Jim, “they’re telling me I won’t have use of my hands or legs.”

All she could say was, “I know, Jim.” She gave his hand a squeeze and realized he was unable to squeeze back.

Jim was a sophomore at Bishop Hendricken when the accident happened. The administrators told his parents he could — and should — repeat the grade next year. But Jim’s mom and dad worried that falling behind would be one more loss for him, so they said they’d get tutors.

The administrators said it wasn’t a good idea. But the parents wouldn’t yield — Jim would finish his sophomore year. It was their way of teaching their son his paralysis did not have to limit him.

Back home, in his motorized wheelchair, Jim learned to type by wedging a pencil between his fingers and hitting the keys that way. But it was arduous so he would sometimes ask his mother to type his school papers.

She would tell him she was sorry, but with three other kids, including a baby, and dinner to cook, she didn’t have time.

“Why won’t you help me, Mom?” he’d say.

“I’m sorry, Jim.”

Then she would go into a room where Jim couldn’t see her crying, her heart broken, but she knew it was the only way to teach him perseverance.

Jim had to let go of his dream of becoming a police officer but he resolved to find a way to be a public servant.

At age 24, he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives. At age 30, he became Secretary of State.

And last week, 36 years after his accident, at age 52, with eight terms as the only quadriplegic U.S. congressman in history, Jim Langevin announced he would run again in hopes of continuing his journey of perseverance.

Providence Journal: Rep. Langevin announces reelection bid

By Paul Edward Parker
Journal Staff Writer


U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin declared his candidacy for reelection to Congress Tuesday morning, handing in papers at the secretary of state’s elections office.

“I love Rhode Island, and I feel passionate about public service,” Langevin said while chatting with reporters as his paperwork was processed. “There’s a lot of frustrations that go along with the job, certainly in this environment where it’s been so partisan. But I’m proud of the bipartisan record I have demonstrated.”

Langevin said the issues he will campaign on are familiar to those who have followed his career: career and technical education, cybersecurity and national security, especially the construction of Virginia-class submarines, which are built in Quonset Point and in Groton, Connecticut, by General Dynamics Electric Boat. “These are the things that I continue to focus on,” he said, adding that he also hopes to gain ground on campaign-finance reform and gun safety.

Langevin said he anticipated debates as part of the race. “I always make a point to debate my opponents,” he said. “I’ve always made a practice of making myself accessible to discuss the issues.”

The secretary of state’s office said that at least two opponents have begun the process of getting on the ballot: Democrat Steven Archer and independent Salvatore G. Caiozzo. Also, Republican Rhue Reis said on June 9 that he would challenge Langevin.

Langevin was elected to Congress in 2000, when Rep. Robert Weygand ran for the U.S. Senate. Langevin previously was a state representative and secretary of state. He represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, which generally covers the state west of Narragansett Bay, except for parts of Providence and several communities in or near the Blackstone Valley.

Not long after Langevin declared his candidacy Tuesday morning, the Coventry Democratic Town Committee announced that it had endorsed Langevin at its meeting Monday night.

Several weeks ago, the state Democratic Party endorsed Langevin at its state convention.

“I haven’t lost my passion for public service,” Langevin told reporters Tuesday. “I got into this years ago … to give back and show my appreciation for the people of Rhode Island.”