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PVAMU Alumna Antoinette Gant promoted to Brigadier General, United States Army



Makes history as first African American female, active-duty engineer to be promoted to rank of general officer

Colonel Antoinette ‘Toni’ Gant, a Port Gibson native, will be promoted to Brigadier General (BG) in the United States Army this week.

She is also the first African American female to serve as a division commander in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and will be the first AA Female (active duty) to reach the rank of Brigadier General in the history of the Engineer Regiment.

Gant will be pinned officially on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the Donald Clarke Juvenile Justice and Psychology Building at Prairie View A&M University, where she graduated in 1994 and participated in the Army ROTC.

Gant is the third alumnus, including LTG Julius Becton Jr. and BG Carlton G. Smith, to host their pinning ceremony on the campus. Other PVAMU generals are LTG Marvin D. Brailsford, BG James Cheatam, BG Johnnie Forte, Jr., MG Julius Parker, Jr., LTG Billy K. Solomon and LTG Calvin A. Hoffman and Vice Admiral David Brewer, achieving ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces.

DVIDS - News - Gant assumes command of Border District

Additionally, Gant becomes the fourth female HBCU graduate to achieve Brigadier General rank, following Clara Adams-Ender (North Carolina A&T), Twanda E. Young (South Carolina Stata) and Sheila Baxter (Virginia State) with Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields (Norfolk State) rounding out the field of achievement.

Gant became the Commander and Division Engineer of the South Pacific Division (SPD), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on July 9, 2021.  Established in 1888 and headquartered in San Francisco, SPD is one of nine USACE regional commands. The region encompasses all or part of ten states with four operating districts headquartered in Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

As the SPD Commander and Division Engineer, she is responsible for leading a workforce of more than 2500 military and civilians, overseeing hundreds of water resource development, military and interagency design and construction projects valued at more than $16 billion in support of our communities, our Nation, and our warfighters.

In 2012, Gant sent a congratulatory letter to Brigadier General Margaret Burcham on her promotion as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ first female general officer.

“This was huge, especially for someone like me,” Gant said. “I just wrote this letter, and I said, ‘Hey ma’am, I know we have never met, but I think it is an honor for you to be the first female engineer general officer. Thank you for what you are doing.”

In 2018 she had the pleasure to introduce Burcham at a leadership development meeting. Burcham became a mentor to her, and now 10 years later, Gant is gaining her star.

A native of Port Gibson, Gant graduated from Prairie View A&M University in Texas as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a commission in the Engineer Regiment. She holds a Master of Science in Engineer Management from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri, and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington, D.C. She is a certified Project Management Professional.

Gant has served in a variety of command and staff positions for engineering units stateside and abroad. Prior to South Pacific Division, Gant was commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Border District from July 2020 to June 2021. Gant previously served as the combined joint engineer for the Resolute Support and OFS headquarters, Kabul, Afghanistan, military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army-Civil Works, Washington, DC, chief of operations for the engineer directorate, U.S. Army South, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, and the director for the Directorates of Public Works and Installation Support, ASG-Kuwait.

She also served as the Executive Officer for Special Troops Battalion and Brigade Engineer, 4BCT, 4thInfantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. Other USACE assignments include Commander for both the Albuquerque and Louisville Districts. She has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Freedom Sentinel.

A strong advocate for STEM, Gant has worked to develop partnerships with agencies and organizations to promote science, technology, engineering, and math initiatives. She has received several national and community awards, including the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Conference Awards (BEYA), Army Stars and Stripes Award recipient, the 2020 Women of Color Career Achievement in Government Award, the YWCA Women on the Move Award, Women of Influence in Government by Albuquerque Business First, BEYA Special Recognition Award, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., South Central Region Visionary Leader and Global Leader Awards. She is an initiate of the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. at PVAMU.

Gant’s military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (2), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal (7). She is also a recipient of the Army Staff Identification Badge, Recruiter Badge, and the Army Engineer Association Bronze and Silver de Fleury Medals. Additionally, she has received the National Defense Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the NATO Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon (numeral 3).

Gant is married to Leonard Gant of Kansas City, Mo., who is a Middle School Math Educator. They have two children, Lauryn, a third-year doctoral veterinary medicine student at Tuskegee University and Leonard II, a sophomore at Florida A&M University studying Business Administration with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.

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Home Office ordered to give full cost of Rwanda deportation plan



Top civil servant summoned to give ‘full and frank’ answers after costs of scheme rose from £140m to £290m

The Home Office has been ordered to disclose the full costs of Rishi Sunak’s secretive deal to deport migrants to Rwanda, as insiders told of turmoil within the department over the controversial policy.

Matthew Rycroft, the permanent secretary of the Home Office, will be hauled before the public accounts committee on Monday, after the initial costs of the scheme rose from £140m to £290m.

He was also accused of showing an “extreme lack of respect” towards the home affairs and public accounts committee over the way the Home Office disclosed the costs, days after refusing to be transparent.

It is a further headache for Sunak as he tries to get his emergency legislation aimed at overturning court objections to the Rwanda scheme through the Commons on Tuesday. Rightwingers in his party are saying it is not hardline enough and centrist Tories are concerned that it undermines human rights.

His team are set to spend the weekend pressing Tory MPs to back the legislation, despite a lack of legal certainty about the workability of the plan. According to the Times, the government’s own legal advisers have said there is a no more than 50% chance of deportation flights leaving for Rwanda before the next election.

With pressure mounting on the Home Office, a source close to James Cleverly, the home secretary, appeared to blame his sacked predecessor, Suella Braverman, for the way the department has been run up until now.

“It’s not easy for departments that have been for months in the grip of one way of doing things that tended to produce headlines, to very quickly and successfully adjust to another way of doing things that within weeks produces results,” the source said. “But that is what they are doing.”

Culled from the Guardian

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Burkina abandons French as an official language



The Burkinabè government adopted on Wednesday a bill revising the Constitution and henceforth enshrining national languages ​​as official languages ​​in place of French which is relegated to the rank of “working language”.

The report of the Council of Ministers specifies that this bill “is part of the realization of one of the main missions of the transition which consists of initiating political, administrative and institutional reforms to strengthen the culture democratically and consolidate the rule of law.

Among the “major innovations” of this new text is “the establishment of national languages ​​as official languages ​​in place of French which becomes the working language”.

Earlier this year, Mali, governed like Burkina by the military and which also maintains terrible relations with France, had modified its Constitution by referendum and reserved the same fate for the French.

This bill, which must still be voted on by the Transitional Legislative Assembly, also provides for “the establishment of traditional and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms”.

The Constitutional Council sees its missions expanded while institutions are abolished such as the High Court of Justice which judges senior political figures or the Mediator of Faso.

Finally, the powerful National Intelligence Agency (ANR) sees its status reinforced by now being protected in the Constitution.

In recent months, several demonstrations for the adoption of a new Constitution have taken place in the country. Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who came to power in September 2022, had promised a partial modification of the Constitution two months ago.

“The writing of a new Constitution is a question of political, economic and cultural sovereignty. No one can truly flourish from the concepts of others,” Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachimson Kyelem of Tambela declared on Friday, alluding to texts modelled on the French constitution.

Since Captain Traoré came to power, Burkina has moved away from France, a former colonial power and historic partner, while moving closer to Moscow.

Since 2015, Burkina has been caught in a spiral of violence perpetrated by jihadist groups, which were already hitting neighbouring Mali and Niger and which left more than 17,000 dead.

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Former GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger says if Trump is nominee, he’ll vote for Biden



Former Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger describes himself as politically “homeless,” at odds with a party he views as “anti-constitutionalist.” He believes former President Donald Trump will be the 2024 Republican nominee — and if that’s the case, Kinzinger intends to vote for President Biden.

Kinzinger was one of two Republicans to serve on the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot that sought to derail congressional certification of Biden’s victory.

The other Republican on the committee was Liz Cheney, who says she’s considering a third party bid for the White House, although she told CBS “Mornings” Thursday, “I won’t do anything that would help him,” she said, when asked about possibly running as a third-party candidate.

Kinzinger shares that concern. “If a run as an independent for Liz Cheney damages Donald Trump, then I think it’s smart. Go for it, right?” Kinzinger said.  “The only concern I have, and this is with any third-party attempt is, you know, are you going to just take away from Joe Biden?…Donald Trump is the big threat to the country in 2024.”

Kinzinger, author of the new book “Renegade,” appeared on this week’s episode of “The Takeout” with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett.

Asked about Trump’s sizable polling lead in the race for GOP nominee, Kinzinger said, “If I was betting Vegas odds right now, I would put all my money [that] Donald Trump will be the nominee.”

But Kinzinger said the federal charges Trump faces related to his alleged role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election could upend the nominating contest. He noted that Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, could play a big part in Trump’s Jan. 6-related trials.

Culled from the CBS News

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