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Sunday News: Tens of Thousands March on Tax Day; VA Tech Shootings 10-Year Anniversary; Corey Stewart’s Confederate Act Isn’t Working


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, April 16.

  • Rep. Donald McEachin statement on VA Tech tragedy 10-year anniversary:

    “Ten years removed, the horror and the scars of the Virginia Tech tragedy have never left our hearts. Once again, we come together to remember and to mourn.

    “Like you, I am still sick at heart. Ten years ago, dozens of lives – mostly young lives – were cruelly and senselessly taken from us too soon while many others were injured. Today, we remember all those who were lost, and we mark the suffering and grief that survivors and families have had to endure. They will always have a gaping hole in their hearts, and I pray they can find eternal peace.

    “That said, we owe these men and women far more than thoughts or prayers. We owe them the kind of concrete action that could make future tragedies far less likely.

    “We must do more to help those who struggle with mental illness and we must do more to ensure that violent individuals do not have access to firearms. Both needs are urgent and important; neither supersedes the other and neither can be ignored.

    “Today is not the day for political posturing or prolonged discussion of specific policy proposals. But tomorrow, and every day that follows, is a day for action. I promise to recommit myself to addressing gun violence and the scourge of mental illness. We can ensure that others will not have to mourn as we mourned.”

  • Beyer Statement On Acquittal of Aya Hijazi and Her Co-Defendants in Egypt

    April 16, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Rep. Don Beyer hailed the news of the acquittal of his constituent Aya Hijazi, after three years of imprisonment without a fair trial in Egypt. Hijazi is a dual citizen of the United States and Egypt from Falls Church, Virginia. Hijazi’s co-defendants were exonerated as well, including her husband Mohamed.

    “This wonderful news was a long time coming,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “I feel a deep sense of joy and relief for Aya, her husband, their colleagues at Belady who were imprisoned, Aya’s mother Naglaa, and her sister Alaa and brother Basel. I offer my humble thanks and congratulations today to them and to her many friends who worked so hard to raise the profile of this case and pressure the Egyptian government to gain her freedom.

    Even as we clasp our hands in thanks for Aya’s release, we remember those who still suffer unjust imprisonment, in Egypt and elsewhere. That we have won a battle in the cause of human rights does not lessen the need to speak out and fight for justice around the world.”

    Rep. Beyer brought Aya Hijazi’s case up in a series of letters and meetings with the Obama Administration, which urged officials including Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama to apply pressure to the Egyptian government.

    He held a press conference in September of 2016 at the US Capitol, where members of Hijazi’s family, their counsel at RFK Human Rights, a friend from Hijazi’s academic program at George Mason University, representatives from human rights-focused NGOs, and fellow member of the Virginia delegation Gerry Connolly called for Hijazi’s release. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Egyptian President Sisi on Hijazi’s case in an in-person meeting several days later.

    The White House, Secretary of State Kerry, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, and leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including Sens. Tim Kaine, Ben Cardin, Marco Rubio, and Bob Corker, among others, raised the issue as well.

    According to news reports, Aya Hijazi hopes to remain in Cairo caring for street children, the calling which brought her back to Egypt upon her graduation from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

  • Video: Easter Message from Sean Spicer – SNL


  • Governor McAuliffe Attends Virginia Tech Day of Remembrance Wreath Laying

    Governor McAuliffe joined Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, and President Emeritus Charles Steger in a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence at the Virginia Tech Day of Remembrance to honor the victims of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre.

    “The whole of Virginia remembers the 32 victims that lost their lives during a tragic and senseless act of violence ten years ago today,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, survivors and the entire Virginia Tech community who have shown incredible strength and resilience while facing unimaginable grief. We should reflect on the heartbreaking events that took place and use this moment to come together to ensure an incident of this magnitude never happens again in our Commonwealth.”