A woman who was taken as a baby from a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1998 has been found safe, Florida authorities said on Friday, and the South Carolina woman she believed to be her mother has been arrested for kidnapping.Kamiyah Mobley, now 18, was located in Walterboro, South Carolina, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which confirmed her identity through DNA testing.She appeared to be in good health and “a normal 18-year-old woman,” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at a news conference.“This young woman was abducted as a newborn, and she is going to need time and assistance to process all this,” Williams said. “She is taking it as well as you can imagine.”The woman’s biological family was overwhelmed when they learned the news. It will be up to the victim to determine future contact, he said.Authorities found Mobley through tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She was living under a different name established through fraudulent documents, the sheriff said, declining to release that name.“She had an inclination beginning probably a couple of months ago that she may have been involved in this in some way,” the sheriff said.The baby was only hours old when a woman, dressed as a nurse in a flowered smock and green hospital pants, abducted her from her mother’s room, according to the 1998 incident report.Authorities have arrested Gloria Williams, 51, in South Carolina on charges of kidnapping and interference with custody, the sheriff said.The case generated wide attention and led authorities to pursue more than 2,500 tips, the sheriff said.“We are speaking to as many people as we can to try to paint a picture of what may have happened 18 years ago,” the sheriff said. “Lots of questions left unanswered.”Gloria Williams will be extradited to Florida, authorities said, and she faces up to life in prison.
UN special rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee (centre R-in blue jacket), being escorted during a visit to the Rakhine ethnic Sein Pan Myaing village, near the town of Maungdaw in strife-torn Rakhine State near the Bangladesh border on 20 January. AFP file photoMyanmar’s deputy defence chief on Monday urged the world to give his government “time and space” to solve a crisis involving the Rohingya Muslim minority amid concerns jihadists could exploit the situation.Rear Admiral Myint Nwe told a security forum in Singapore his government is “fully aware of the growing concern about the widespread reports on (the) situation in Rakhine state” where the Rohingya live, and was committed to address the issue and punish wrongdoers.Since October Myanmar’s army has carried out “clearance operations” in the north of the western state to root out insurgents accused of deadly raids on police border posts.At least 66,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, alleging rape, murder and torture at the hands of security forces.Myanmar has long faced international criticism over its treatment of the Rohingya. Most people in the majority Buddhist community consider them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.“The government does not condone rights abuses against innocent civilians. Legal action will be taken in response to any substantiated claim,” Myint Nwe said.The admiral was responding to a keynote address by Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at th Fullerton Forum organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.Hishammuddin warned that the situation in Rakhine-if not addressed properly-could be exploited by the Islamic State group as it seeks a base in Southeast Asia.“This horrific possibility has the potential to cause death and destruction well beyond the borders of ASEAN,” he added, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.Answering a delegate’s question, Hishammuddin said the Rohingya issue “is going to test ASEAN solidarity… It needs to be resolved, we cannot sweep it under the carpet, it affects a lot of Muslims and it’s very emotional”.Myint Nwe said both Yangon and the international community should focus on finding a “lasting solution” to the problem.“Allowing time and space is essential for the government’s efforts to bear fruit in finding a sustainable solution of this complex issue.”Hishammuddin said ASEAN-the regional bloc to which both Malaysia and Myanmar belong-should play a key role in working out a solution with Myanmar’s leaders.
By Lenore T. Adkins, Special to the AFROCaption: Maya Dennis (left), Jillian Carter (center) and Alexis Miller (right), all work at Sidebarre, a Black-owned barre company that teaches classes in D.C. and Maryland. Carter, 24, formerly a pointe ballerina, started the company in January after she noticed a lack of diversity at mainstream barre studios.“Shaking is a good thing,” barre instructor Maya Dennis tells a class of five students as they power through a complicated posture that finds them on their hands with one knee on the floor and the other bent leg moving up and down.Maya Dennis (left), Jillian Carter (center) and Alexis Miller (right), all work at Sidebarre, a Black-owned barre company that teaches classes in D.C. and Maryland. Carter, 24, formerly a pointe ballerina, started the company in January after she noticed a lack of diversity at mainstream barre studios. (Courtesy Photo)Dennis, 24, is one of three instructors at Sidebarre, one of a few Black-owned barre companies in the D.C. area.For the uninitiated, barre is a low-impact workout that uses repeated isometric movements to tone muscles. You know you’re doing it right when your body quivers.Incorporating elements from ballet, yoga, and Pilates, barre classes typically start with a warm-up, and offer individual movements tailored to strengthen legs, arms, glutes and the core. Instructors usually introduce a ballet barre into the workout. Weights are optional.With more than 700 studios popping up in metropolitan areas, barre is one of the hottest trends in fitness. Boutique studios — which includes barre studios — are driving growth in the health care industry, with more than 20 million people claiming membership in a boutique studio, according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association’s 2018 report. Women are more likely to visit yoga/Pilates/barre studios, the report said.But when Jillian Carter, 24, a technically trained ballerina from Prince George’s County started taking barre at several chain studios two years ago, she noticed a diversity problem. She remembers being one of a few, if not the only Black student in class, and didn’t see any Black instructors, which made her feel isolated. The White women also weren’t as “warm and fuzzy” with her after class she would have liked, Carter said.So in January, Carter launched Sidebarre, a company that welcomes people of color and employs three Black instructors — Carter, her cousin Alexis Miller and Dennis.“I feel like in a lot of classes you don’t really see a lot of minorities and it really goes for other workout classes in this area,” Carter told the AFRO. “And so, I think our place is for the minorities to feel comfortable. It makes them the majority.”The women lead $15 classes at Cycled! in Takoma Park, at the Dance Institute of Washington, and at the University of Maryland, College Park. In September, the ladies will add a fourth location — Joe’s Movement Emporium in Hyattsville. All three women are technically trained in ballet and draw on that experience to choreograph classes that last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.Sidebarre favors upbeat music that keeps you going. At a recent class Dennis taught, her playlist included songs from Cardi B., Beyoncé, Pharrell, India.Arie and Drake.“We try to play music that people can sing along to,” Dennis told the AFRO. “I tell my class, ‘Sing if you want to.’ I feel like fitness should be fun, so we try to keep it fun and light-hearted for everybody.”A sweaty Breanne Palmer, 27, of Silver Spring, said the soulful playlist helped her fight through some of the more complicated routines in Dennis’ energetic class that featured moves that she said left her feeling like she was “dying.”“I love it, I love it a lot,” Palmer told the AFRO. “I feel like I’m shaking a lot and using a lot of muscles I haven’t worked.”Carter’s working on finding a program to certify her and the instructors, marketing her business and launching a prenatal barre class. She would love to open a Sidebarre studio one day.Until then, clients should embrace the beats and leave whatever isn’t serving them at the door.“When working out, put all stuff to the side to focus and zone in on your workout to get the best out of it,” Carter said.