Dear Editor,Mark Kratman has served Tewksbury well over the years and always had our best interests at heart. I worked closely with Mark on both the Wilmington and Tewksbury Chamber Of Commerce and The Tewksbury Economic Development Committee; he is always available and willing to help with any issues that face our town. He is a tremendous asset to our community and continues to be a strong advocate for our small business community.Mark met with businesses that expressed interest in doing business in Tewksbury and was among the first town officials to encourage them to move in and help them navigate our Town Government to acquire all necessary permitting. During his two terms as the Chairman of the Tewksbury Economic Development Committee, he worked with our town officials to improve Town Website and solicited Amazon and Lowell General Hospital to do business in Tewksbury. Mark understands the positive affects small businesses can have on our taxes and will continue to be a strong advocate for small business in both Tewksbury and Wilmington.The citizens of this district need someone like Mark who is not afraid to speak out on key issues that affect us all. Someone who was endorsed by the late Jim Miceli and knows his way around Beacon Hill.I hope my fellow citizens will join me on Tuesday, September 4 in voting for Mark Kratman for State Representative.Sincerely,Hanson BechatLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Former Town Crier News Editor, Town Moderator Jayne Wellman Miller Endorses Mark KratmanIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Committee To Elect Mark Kratman Expresses Disappointment With Robertson Campaign’s TacticsIn “Government”A VOTER’S GUIDE To Democratic State Rep. Candidate Mark KratmanIn “Government”
Pakistani security personnel stand next to burned out vehicles in front of the Chinese consulate after an attack in Karachi on 23 November 2018. At least two policemen were killed when unidentified gunmen stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on November 23, officials said. Photo: AFPFour people were killed on Friday when gunmen armed with hand grenades and a suicide vest stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani city of Karachi, officials said, with the attack claimed by a separatist group which branded Beijing “an oppressor”.Pakistani authorities said that security forces had secured the area after the attack, the latest assault on Chinese nationals in the country, where Beijing has poured billions of dollars into one of the largest projects in its massive Belt and Road programme.China “strongly condemned” the attack and asked Pakistan to take measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in the country, as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega-project.Three gunmen tried to enter the consulate in the southern port city, but were intercepted by guards at a checkpoint, Karachi police chief Ameer Sheikh told AFP.”They were holding Kalashnikovs. First, they hurled a small (grenade) and then started firing,” said Allah Bakhsh, a guard at a nearby house who witnessed the attack.Police officials said two of their personnel were killed, along with a father and son from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, who were seeking Chinese visas and were caught in the crossfire.At least one of the attackers was wearing a suicide vest which did not detonate, another senior police official said.Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad that “all the terrorists have been eliminated”, and that all 21 staff at the consulate during the attack had been taken to a safe location.”Situation under control,” the military’s media wing added in a statement.- China is an ‘oppressor’ -The attack was claimed by a separatist militant group from Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan, which is at the centre of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the major Chinese project in the country.”We have been seeing the Chinese as an oppressor, along with Pakistani forces,” the spokesman for the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Geand Baloch, told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location, adding they were “destroying the future of Balochistan”.The BLA later emailed a statement to media in which it said the attack was “aimed at making it clear that China’s military expansionism on Baloch soil will not be tolerated”.It warned the Chinese to leave or “be prepared for continued attacks”.The group is just one of the militant outfits operating in Balochistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, which is rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.Residents of the resource-rich province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, have long complained that it does not receive a fair share of the profits made from its mineral wealth.Prime minister Imran Khan said Friday’s attack would not undermine the Pakistan-China relationship, which he described in a statement as “mightier than Himalayas and deeper than Arabian Sea”.Also on Friday a bomb hidden in a carton of vegetables killed at least 20 people at a marketplace in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region. Dozens more people were wounded, with fears the toll could rise.- Chinese investment -China, one of Pakistan’s closest allies, has poured billions into the South Asian country in recent years as part of CPEC, a massive infrastructure project that seeks to connect its western province Xinjiang with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan.The project is one of the largest in Beijing’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, comprising a network of roads and sea routes involving 65 countries.Pakistan sees the project as a “gamechanger”, but it presents an enormous challenge in a country plagued by weak institutions, endemic corruption and a range of insurgencies in areas slated to host the corridor.The subject of economic dividends from CPEC is extremely sensitive in some of those areas — particularly in Balochistan.Since the beginning of the project militants have repeatedly attacked construction sites, blowing up numerous gas pipelines and trains, and targeted Chinese workers.In August this year three Chinese nationals were among six wounded in a suicide attack on a bus transporting Chinese engineers working in Balochistan, in an attack that was also claimed by the BLA.The Pakistani military has been targeting insurgencies in the province since 2004, and has been repeatedly accused by international rights groups of abuses there.Islamabad regularly accuses its eastern neighbour India of funding and arming Baloch separatists, and of targeting development projects in the province, particularly CPEC.India’s foreign ministry swiftly condemned Friday’s attack in a statement, saying: “There can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism”.
A woman reacts during a mass burial of victims, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, at a cemetery near St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka on 23 April 2019. Photo: ReutersSri Lankan intelligence officials were tipped off about an imminent attack by Islamist militants hours before a series of suicide bombings killed more than 300 people on Easter Sunday, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.Three churches and four hotels were hit by suicide bombers on Sunday morning, killing 321 people and wounding 500, sending shockwaves through an island state that has been relatively peaceful since a civil war ended a decade ago.Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on Tuesday, without providing evidence of its involvement.Indian intelligence officers contacted their Sri Lankan counterparts two hours before the first attack to warn of a specific threat on churches, one Sri Lankan defence source and an Indian government source said.Another Sri Lankan defence source said a warning came “hours before” the first strike.One of the Sri Lankan sources said a warning was also sent by the Indians on Saturday night. The Indian government source said similar messages had been given to Sri Lankan intelligence agents on 4 April and 20 April.A woman reacts next to two coffins during a mass burial of victims, two days after a string of suicide bomb attacks on churches and luxury hotels across the island on Easter Sunday, at a cemetery near St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka on 23 April 2019. Photo: ReutersSri Lanka’s presidency and the Indian foreign ministry both did not respond to requests for comment.Sri Lanka’s failure to effectively respond to a looming Islamist threat will fuel fears that a rift between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena is undermining national security.The president fired Wickremesinghe last October over political differences, only to reinstate him weeks later under pressure from the Supreme Court.Opposing factions aligned to Wickremesinghe and Sirisenahave often refuse to communicate with each other and blame any setbacks on their opponents, government sources say.Sri Lankan police had been warned weeks ago about a possible attacks by a little-known domestic Islamist group, according to an Indian intelligence report given to Sri Lankan state intelligence services, and seen by Reuters.Sirisena, announcing plans on Tuesday to change the heads of the defence forces, said his office never received the Indian report.Junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene, an ally of Wickremesinghe, told Reuters that he was also not privy to the Indian intelligence findings.
Listen —–Arkema, the company that owns the Crosby chemical plant located about 20 miles northeast of Houston said on Monday that authorities have lifted the security perimeter established around the plant. A mandatory evacuation had been placed last week for people living within 1.5 miles of the site, after the plant flooded in the wake of hurricane Harvey and some of its containers cracked and release what At the company considered as harming fumes.The fear was that more flammable organic pesticides could release, but the materials were ignited in a controlled burn on Sunday.News 88.7’s Andrew Schneider reported: The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office said in a statement Sunday evening that all nine trailers filled with organic peroxide at the plant had burned. Earlier Sunday, authorities said that a controlled burn had started on the six trailers that had not caught fire in previous days.The company set up a hotline for people to report damage, make claims or get other necessary info on how to get help from Arkema: 877-4-ARKEMA——-Evacuation orders for Fort Bend county districts operating levees have been cancelled, after County Judge Robert Heber said that he will be reviewing the conditions in that area on an ongoing basis to ensure that once it may be safe to enter an area, residents are allowed to do so.The curfew that was in effect from August 31 until Sunday has also been terminated. Some areas of Fort Bend County were severely flooded last week, and Harvey rains caused the Brazos and San Bernard rivers to rise to record heights.Judge Hebert issued evacuation orders in many areas of the county in order to protect life and property, but the conditions have improved enough to warrant a cautious lifting of these orders for much of the county.On Sunday evening, the Barker Reservoir pool levels were still high enough to make re-entry to some neighborhoods unsafe, and the mandatory evacuation remains in place for some neighborhoods adjacent to the Barker Reservoir.Low-lying areas along the Brazos and San Bernard rivers remain under voluntary evacuation. Residents are encouraged to use extreme caution when entering these areas.————-The Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Monday that it has received more than 555,000 registrations for assistance due to Harvey. More than 176,000 survivors have already been approved for $141 million in FEMA disaster assistance. Of that amount, $50 million is approved for housing assistance, rental assistance, and more than $91 million is approved for other needs assistance.FEMA encouraged those in need of federal assistance to register online as a way to speed the process: DisasterAssistance.govThe agency explained that they are coordinating efforts with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as other federal, state and local partners to direct efforts toward recovery, including housing survivors displaced by the disaster——- As of Sunday, officials at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said that so far there are 29 confirmed deaths in Harris County as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey. 00:00 /00:53 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share X Congress could pass the first relief package for those hurt by Hurricane Harvey before the week is out. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made the announcement at NRG Center, alongside Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and much of the Houston Area congressional delegation.Members of Congress return to work Tuesday, following the August recess and Labor Day weekend. Congressman McCarthy pledged to the lower chamber would vote to send the first Texas relief package to the Senate by Wednesday. He said it would be the first aid package but not the last.Senators Cornyn and Cruz both said they would work to make sure the aid gets to those hurt by Harvey as quickly as possible. As the number two Republican in the Senate, Cornyn has a key role in shepherding any relief funding through.Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said he’ll be working on related legislation to provide targeted tax relief. He said that would include lifting the limits for charitable contributions. – Andrew Schneider, Houston Public Media– / 8Later on Monday, Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) as well as most of the Houston area congressional delegation will be volunteering at the NRG Center today. They have a press conference scheduled afterwards to talk about funding for Hurricane Harvey relief.—–The US Department of Veteran Affairs deployed four Mobile Vet Centers to Houston to provide counseling services to veterans affected by Harvey, particularly evacuees. Find more information here on locations.——Only over a week after Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast and flooded Houston with non-stop rains, another hurricane has the islands at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea making preparations for approaching Category 3 Hurricane Irma, which could threaten the area beginning Tuesday.Hurricane watches were posted for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Guadeloupe and the British Virgin Islands.Long-range forecasts indicated Irma likely would curve to the northwest beginning late Monday and skirt to the north of those islands on a path that could potentially take it to the U.S. East Coast, but it was too early to make a definitive prediction.