Justice Tibatemwa elected to the international commission of jurists:
Following an International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) ballot conducted in December 2017 and January 2018, Justice Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza was elected as an ICJ Commissioner, for a 5-year term. She was elected together with seven other world known Judges from across the globe. The other African jurist to join at the same time with Justice Tibatemwa is the highly regarded Dr Willy Mutunga, former Chief Justice of Kenya.
Justice Tibatemwa joins two other women from Africa; Justice Qinisile Mabuza from Swaziland and Justice Yvonne Mokgoro who was the first black woman to serve on the bench in South Africa and one of only 2 women who served on the Constitutional Court of South Africa when it was established in 1994. These two are serving their second term on the Commission. The ICJ is composed of 60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world.
The International Commission of Jurists promotes and protects human rights through the Rule of Law, by using its unique legal expertise to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems. The ICJ is a non-profit and non-political association. Justice Tibatemwa is being recognized at a global level for her contribution as a highly regarded legal scholar and a Supreme Court judge.
She is a lady of many firsts. First East African female to graduate with a PhD in law. First female Professor of Law in East Africa, first female appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University and first Ugandan whose appointment to Uganda’s constitutional Court and Supreme Court was solely based on legal scholarship. Justice Tibatemwa, we congratulate you.
O Canada now officially gender neutral after bill receives royal assent:
The Canada National Anthem is now officially gender neutral after legislation altering the lyrics received royal assent on Wednesday 7th February morning, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly told reporters. Joly, standing alongside Catherine Bélanger, the wife of the bill’s original sponsor Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger who died of ALS in 2016, said the line “in all thy sons command” has now been officially replaced with “in all of us command.”
“His long advocacy for the subject has actually changed the course of our history. Now, women across this country will be well-reflected in their own national anthem,” Joly said as she looked at Bélanger’s widow. “This is a wonderful day. My granddaughters and I are on cloud nine and I am sure Mauril is smiling,” Bélanger said. Joly said she had instructed officials in her department to change the lyrics on the government’s website and alter materials the federal government distributes to schools.
Joly said no new money would be made available to promote the change, but existing departmental funds would be re-purposed to make the public aware of the new lyrics. The bill received royal assent on 7th February, and was signed into law by the Governor General’s secretary, Assunta Di Lorenzo, as Gov.-Gen on behalf of Julie Payette who was in South Korea ahead of the Olympic opening ceremonies.
She also added that Canadian Olympians in Pyeongchang already sang the altered version of the song that morning during a flag-raising ceremony at the athletes’ village. Members of Parliament traditionally sing the national anthem each Wednesday before the start of business, and Joly said she would proudly sing the new lyrics. She said she hopes Conservative MPs will also sing the gender-neutral anthem.
Kidnapped woman Susan Magara found dead:
The body of Susan Magara, a 28-year-old cashier who went missing since February 7th, was discovered on 27th February, dumped in Kigo off the Entebbe expressway. The body was found by residents of Kigo, who later alerted the police.
Magara, a cashier with Bwendero Dairy Farm (BDF) along Kabaka Anjagala road in Rubaga, was reportedly kidnapped while driving to her home in Lungujja, Rubaga Division early this month. Her motor vehicle was found abandoned on the roadside after the kidnap. Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire confirmed the discovery but said details on the circumstances surrounding her death were still scanty. “It is true we found her body. We shall give the details soon,” Owoyesigyire told Uganda Radio Network (URN) . The Police Flying Squad had been handling the search for Magara. A source within the unit told URN that the family had stopped working with the police shortly after they were asked for a ransom of Shs 60 million by the kidnappers. Other family members claim the kidnappers had raised their ransom to Shs 3 billion in recent days. “The kidnappers warned them not to bring in the police or their loved one would be killed,” said the source that preferred anonymity.
There have already been 18 gun-related incidents at American schools in 2018:
A gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday 14th February 2018 afternoon, killing at least 17 people and injuring over a dozen more, authorities said.
The shooting is the 18th gun-related incident at or near a school since the start of the year, according to a running count by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group. But a gun-related school incident can mean anything from a suicide, a stray bullet being fired into a building from off school grounds, an altercation in the school’s parking lot overnight, and, of course, an individual shooting at students.
“Most of these are sad and frightening in their own way, but they were not all cut from the same bloody cloth,” read an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in January. School shootings have become all too familiar in the wake of massacres at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, but these incidents are very different from a stray bullet ricocheting off a dormitory or a student accidentally discharging a firearm during a gun training session.
“Using the term ‘school shooting’ to describe events in which the shooter intended no harm to anyone but himself, or where a gun was fired accidentally, is plainly misleading,” opinion writer Becket Adams wrote in the Washington Examiner. “Nevertheless, 18 is a high number. By this time in 2017 and 2016, there were seven gun-related incidents both years, according to Everytown’s tally,” reported Brenan Weiss of Business Insider International.