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Killer to CEO: YouthBuild’s CEO John Valverade is a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

YouthBuild is a non-profit organization which provides counseling and job skills to young, unemployed American adults

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John Valverade. YouTube

December 26, 2016: John Valverade has become the personification of a phoenix rising from the ashes. After spending 16 years in prison, Valverade is now appointed as the chief executive officer of YouthBuild USA Inc.

YouthBuild is a non-profit organization which provides counseling and job skills to young, unemployed American adults, usually between ages 16 and 24.There are 273 programs running in the US. There are programs underway in about 15 countries. The organization supports nearly 10,000 high school dropouts every year.

The organization wanted a CEO who had the vision and leadership capabilities that would set the organization on the path of growth and impact.

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The Board of Directors of YouthBuild wanted a successor to Dorothy Stoneman, Founder and CEO of YouthBuild, the man who built the organization from the ground, as a single experimental program. After a national search, Valverade was selected as the new CEO of YouthBuild.

John Valverade has spent 16 years in prison. In 1991, when Valverade was 20 years old, he decided to confront the man, Joel Schoenfeld, who had raped his girlfriend. He shot him in the head, at point-blank range. Schoenfeld was on trial for sex offences at the time.

Valverade was convicted of murder and was released on parole after 16 years. While he was in prison, Valverade earned two college degrees, taught his inmates how to read and write and worked as an HIV/AIDS counselor.

Valverade has received a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Mercy College and a master’s degree in Urban Ministry from the New York Theological Seminary. When he got out of prison in 2008, he started working as a paralegal for Osborne Association, a non-profit organization that provides treatment, education and vocational services to current and former inmates.

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In an interview with Associated Press, Valverade said, “From the first moment, I knew that what I did was wrong, but it was a long journey for me to accept full responsibility without rationalization, justification or excuse or blame.”

Valverde said that although he believes “it’s never possible to make amends for taking a life,” he decided to try to transform his own life.

Next week, Valverade will take over the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Valverade believes that it is important that he is honest with the young people he is trying to help. He wants them to know about his story: how he went from being a promising young college student to a convicted killer.

“They are just like me, and therefore their path could be like mine, and therefore they could achieve things that they never imagined,” Valverde said in the interview at YouthBuild’s Somerville, headquarters.

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Brianna Bell, who is currently enrolled in the YouthBuild program, said that she was shocked to hear the story of Valverade. But when she met him, she thought if he could turn his whole life around, then why can’t she?

Another student Karim said that Valverade showed us that no matter what you did before, you can always build a future.
According to Valverade, describing these young people as “at-risk youths” is a negative stereotype. He believes that “Opportunity youth” is a more accurate term.

According to Valverade, describing these young people as “at-risk youths” is a negative stereotype. He believes that “Opportunity youth” is a more accurate term.

prepared by NewsGram team

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2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo to be Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus Forces Delay of 2020 Olympics

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Thailand may show interest to host the Youth Olympics in 2026. Pixabay

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.

Although the International Olympic Committee had said it would spend up to a month debating the matter, the decision to postpone became inevitable after several countries said they would not send athletes if the Games were held this summer.

“The IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later that summer 2021 to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community,” the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee said in a joint statement Tuesday.

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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to the journalists in front of the prime minister’s residence in Tokyo. VOA

Both committees say they made their decision after consulting with the World Health Organization. Abe and the IOC had said that canceling the Games had always been out of the question.

“The Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC said.

Abe told reporters in Tokyo that when the Games finally gets under way, it will prove that “humanity had beat the coronavirus.”

The Summer Games were to have opened July 24.

Team USA, which represents triathlon and duathlon Olympic contenders, tweeted its thanks to the Tokyo organizers for what it says is “all you have done for a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. We wish you all the best as you keep your communities safe and offer our cooperation and support as you prepare to host the world.”

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A man takes pictures of the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan. VOA

The Olympics have been canceled three times since the modern Games began in 1896. They were scrapped in 1916 during World War I and in 1940 and 1944 during World War II.

The Games have been boycotted, propagandized by Nazi Germany, and attacked by terrorists, but have never before been postponed.

Japanese organizers said Tuesday they are also postponing the Olympic torch relay that was supposed to start Thursday.

Also Read- Tuberculosis: World’s Number 1 Infectious Killer

The flame arrived in Japan from its traditional lighting in Greece on March 12. It was supposed to have traveled around Japan, to be used to light the flame at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.

The torch will remain in Fukushima until the Games are firmly rescheduled. (VOA)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?