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An Ohio judge spent 9 months in prison for beating up his ex-wife in 2014. He’s now accused of killing her – National




An Ohio judge who served nine months in prison for viciously assaulting his ex-wife in front of their kids in 2014 has been arrested for allegedly stabbing her to death.

Former Cuyahoga County judge Lance Mason was arrested on Saturday after the body of his ex-wife, Aisha Fraser, was found in her home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the local police department said in a release.

Mason may have tried to kill himself before attempting to flee the scene, ramming his car into a police cruiser in the process, NBC affiliate WCMH-TV reported.

READ MORE: Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ outspoken lawyer, arrested on domestic violence charge in LA

In 2014, Mason punched his then-wife 20 times and slammed her head against a car dashboard five times while their children were in the car, police said. He then continued to beat, bite and threaten her after she got out of the car.

His wife broke her orbital bone in the attack and needed facial reconstructive surgery, according to She filed for divorce days later.

Police searched Mason’s home and found an arsenal of weapons including handguns, shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, smoke grenades and a sword, reported at the time.

According to CBS affiliate WOIO, a victim impact statement read out in court revealed that Fraser had been pleading with Mason to go to counselling for two years.

READ MORE: Why don’t survivors report sexual assault? It’s a complicated, personal choice

However, the prosecutor in the case said Mason’s actions “would be an example of sometimes how good people make bad decisions or do bad things.”

It was also stated in court that Fraser had been pleading with Mason to see a counselor for two years.

Mason pleaded guilty to assault and domestic violence and served nine months in prison.

Lance Mason seen in an undated photo provided by the Shaker Heights Police Department.

AP Photo/Shaker Heights Police Department

However, less than a year after he got out of prison, Mason was hired by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson as the city’s director of minority business administration.

The mayor hand-picked Mason out of 13 candidates, WKYC 3 reported, adding that the former judge had close ties to Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who is currently challenging Nancy Pelosi in the race to be the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mason previously served in the Ohio senate and Ohio house of representatives as a Democrat.

WATCH: Nancy Pelosi says she’s the best person to go forward, unify and negotiate

On Saturday evening, the City of Cleveland issued a statement offering condolences to Fraser’s family and children and stating that Lance Mason was terminated “effective immediately.”

Fraser was a sixth-grade teacher in the Shaker Heights school system.

The district said it would close all school buildings Monday and Tuesday and offer counselling to students, teachers and their families.

“Aisha was a devoted mother and a longtime, committed teacher to Woodbury [Elementary School] students. She touched so many of our children’s lives and will be deeply missed,” Shaker Heights Schools said in a statement on its website.

“Her loss is unexpected and the impact of this news on our entire school community is unimaginable and profound.”

Shaker Heights Teachers Association / GoFundMe

The local teachers’ association set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to support Fraser’s children. The campaign had raised over $50,000 as of early Saturday evening.

The GoFundMe page was filled with comments paying tribute to Fraser.

“Ms. Fraser was one of my favourite and most memorable teachers growing up. I wish the best to her girls,” read one comment.

“Aisha, I just spoke to you and hugged you in D.C.,” read another comment.

“You are not the slain Shaker Heights teacher. You are a beautiful and intelligent soul that was taken from us and we are all better because we had you in our lives!”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali



Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

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Harris accepts VP nomination



Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself



Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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