North Colombia mayor bans early classes and homework

In an attempt to “structure a real calendar that fits the Caribbean reality,” the mayor of the coastal Colombian city Soledad banned classes before 9AM and all homework.

According to Mayor Joao Herrera, these limits on hours that can be spent on formal education serve will allow a child to study “with pleasure.”


Many young students have classes as early as 6AM in Colombia, which according to Soledad’s mayor does not benefit the child’s development.


Soledad’s youth should be guaranteed sleep and free evenings, Herrera decreed.

The mayor said he wanted to “help the brain development of the child in those hours in which he must be sleeping and not be subjected to the punishment of a [cold] bath asleep, then taken to a school that turns out aggressive and where he finds a master inquisitor.”


The mayor said on Twitter he was willing to defend the decree in court if challenged by the Education of Ministry.


Many of Colombia’s school teachers have two shifts in one day, one shift for younger classes and one for senior classes.

How Soledad’s teachers plan to adapt to the mayor’s decision remains to be seen.

Toronto Man Scammed Millions via Sharia Mortgages…

A Toronto businessman accused of pocketing millions in fraudulent mortgages marketed to Muslims, emptied his accounts and led investigators on “a treasure hunt” to find nearly $2 million in gold bars, a federal prosecutor told a jury Tuesday. Six years later, where the bars have gone remains a mystery for authorities.

Crown attorney Damien Frost made his opening statement at the trial of Omar Kalair, dubbed the “Muslim Madoff” by homeowners who bought into his “Shariah-compliant” mortgages that left them thousands of dollars in the hole.

Kalair, 42, holds a graduate diploma in business, was once admitted to a PhD program in economics, and has spoken at a number of international conferences on Islamic finance — once at Harvard University.

“The case we will present to you is about theft, fraud and money laundering,”  Frost told the 12-member jury (five women, seven men) and two alternate members on the first day of the trial.

Gold bought with company’s last dollars: Crown

Prosecutors told a virtually empty courtroom that just days before Kalair’s company, UM Financial, went into receivership, Kalair and Yusuf Panchbhaya, 59, agreed to purchase over $2 million in gold and silver bullion, bought with the last of the company’s money. Panchbhaya was the chairman of a board of religious advisers who issued fatwas sanctioning the businesses mortgages as Islamic.

Kalair arrived alone Tuesday, wearing mostly black with a brown traditional cap, a poppy on the lapel of his jacket. For most of the day, he sat listening intently as the judge instructed the jury, breaking his stoic expression for just a moment looking bemused when a hunched-over Panchbhaya had fallen asleep.