Prince Releases New Surprise Single, “The Breakdown”

Originally posted on GOOD BLACK NEWS:

(Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

The very same day he announced a new studio album in the works and a new partnership with Warner Bros. Records, Prince surprised fans with a brand new single, “The Breakdown,” which he dropped shortly before midnight on Friday.

The power ballad begins with a few stark, echoing keyboard chords before Prince’s sweet falsetto enters, promising listeners that “This could be the saddest story ever been told.” What unfolds is a tale of excess and regret, with a lush, string-orchestrated chorus punctuated by laser sound effects.

Prince referred to the song during an interview with Arsenio Hall in March, when asked about his current favorite song to play. “There’s a song we’ve just written called, ‘The Breakdown,'” he said. “One of the things that we try to do, though, is wait until we have other songs that go together with our favorites. That’s why it takes a long time…

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Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter Dies At 76 From Cancer.


By Jueseppi B.

Actor Denzel Wahington (L), star of the film "The Hurricane," based on the true story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (C), an innocent man who fought for 20 years for justice, poses at the film's premiere party in Los Angeles with boxing champion Evander Holyfield.REUTERS

Actor Denzel Wahington (L), star of the film “The Hurricane,” based on the true story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (C), an innocent man who fought for 20 years for justice, poses at the film’s premiere party in Los Angeles with boxing champion Evander Holyfield.REUTERS


The Hurricane Official Trailer #1 – Dan Hedaya Movie (1999) HD


Uploaded on Jan 9, 2012

The Hurricane Trailer – Directed by Norman Jewison and starring Denzel WashingtonVicellous Reon Shannon, Liev Schreiber, John Hannah, Dan Hedaya. The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.







Boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76


By The Associated Press


Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76.

He had been stricken with prostate cancer in Toronto, the New Jersey native’s adopted home. John Artis, a longtime friend and caregiver, told The Canadian Press that Carter died in his sleep.

Carter spent 19 years in prison for three murders at a tavern in Paterson, N.J., in 1966. He was convicted alongside Artis in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976.


Carter was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were set aside after years of appeals and public advocacy. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing the boxer turned prisoner.

Carter’s murder convictions abruptly ended the boxing career of a former petty criminal who became an undersized middleweight contender largely on ferocity and punching power.

Although never a world champion, Carter went 27-12-1 with 19 knockouts, memorably stopping two-division champ Emile Griffith in the first round in 1963. He also fought for a middleweight title in 1964, losing a unanimous decision to Joey Giardello.


In June 1966, three white people were shot by two black men at the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson. Carter and Artis were convicted by an all-white jury largely on the testimony of two thieves who later recanted their stories.

Carter was granted a new trial and briefly freed in 1976, but sent back for nine more years after being convicted in a second trial.

Thom Kidrin, who became friends with Carter after visiting him several times in prison, told The Associated Press the boxer “didn’t have any bitterness or anger — he kind of got above it all. That was his great strength.”


“I wouldn’t give up,” Carter said in an interview on PBS in 2011. “No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn’t give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people … found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person.”

Dylan became aware of Carter’s plight after reading the boxer’s autobiography. He met Carter and co-wrote “Hurricane,” which he performed on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975. The song concludes: “That’s the story of the Hurricane/But it won’t be over till they clear his name/And give him back the time he’s done/Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been/The champion of the world.”

Muhammad Ali spoke out on Carter’s behalf. Advertising art director George Lois and other celebrities also worked toward Carter’s release.

With a network of friends and volunteers also advocating for him, Carter eventually won his release from U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin, who wrote that Carter’s prosecution had been “predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason, and concealment rather than disclosure.”


Born on May 6, 1937, into a family of seven children, Carter struggled with a hereditary speech impediment and was sent to a juvenile reform center at 12 after an assault. He escaped and joined the Army in 1954, experiencing racial segregation and learning to box while in West Germany.

Carter then committed a series of muggings after returning home, spending four years in various state prisons. He began his pro boxing career in 1961 after his release, winning 20 of his first 24 fights mostly by stoppage.

Carter was fairly short for a middleweight at 5-foot-8, but he was aggressive and threw a lot of punches. His shaved head and menacing glower gave him an imposing ring presence, but also contributed to a menacing aura outside the ring. He was quoted as joking about killing police officers in a 1964 story in the Saturday Evening Post, which was later cited by Carter as a cause of his troubles with police.


Carter boxed regularly on television at Madison Square Garden and overseas in London, Paris and Johannesburg. Although his career appeared to be on a downswing before he was implicated in the murders, Carter was hoping for a second middleweight title shot.

Carter and Artis were questioned after being spotted in the area of the murders in Carter’s white car, which vaguely matched witnesses’ descriptions.


Both cited alibis and were released, but were arrested months later. A case relying largely on the testimony of thieves Alfred Bello and Arthur Bradley resulted in a conviction in June 1967.

Carter defied his prison guards from the first day of his incarceration, spending time in solitary confinement because of it.

“When I walked into prison, I refused to wear their stripes,” Carter said. “I refused to eat their food. I refused to work their jobs, and I would have refused to breathe the prison’s air if I could have done so.”

Carter eventually wrote and spoke eloquently about his plight, publishing his autobiography, “The Sixteenth Round,” in 1974. Benefit concerts were held for his legal defense.

After his release, Carter moved to Toronto, where he served as the executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted from 1993 to 2005. He received two honorary doctorates for his work.

Carter’s papers will be sent to the Rubin Carter/John Artiz Innocence International Project at Tufts University outside Boston, Kidrin said.

Director Norman Jewison made Carter’s story into a well-reviewed biographical film, with Washington working closely alongside Carter to capture the boxer’s transformation and redemption. Washington won a Golden Globe for the role.


“He’s all love,” Washington said while onstage with Carter at the Golden Globes ceremony in 2000. “He lost about 7,300 days of his life, and he’s love. He’s all love.”

On Sunday, when told of Carter’s death, Washington said in a statement: “God bless Rubin Carter and his tireless fight to ensure justice for all.”

The makers of “The Hurricane,” however, were widely criticized for factual inaccuracies and glossing over other parts of Carter’s story, including his criminal past and a reputation for a violent temper. Giardello sued the film’s producers for its depiction of a racist fix in his victory over Carter, who acknowledged Giardello deserved the win.

Carter’s weight and activity dwindled during his final months, but he still advocated for prisoners he believed to be wrongfully convicted.

Carter wrote an opinion essay for the New York Daily News in February, arguing vehemently for the release of David McCallum, convicted of a kidnapping and murder in 1985.

Kidrin said Carter would be cremated, with some of the ashes given to his family. Two sisters are among Carter’s survivors, though Kidrin said Carter was alienated from many relatives.

Kidrin planned to sprinkle Carter’s remains in the ocean off Cape Cod, where they spent the last three summers together. Artis planned to bring some of the ashes to a horse farm in Kentucky the boxer loved.


Kidrin spoke with Carter on Wednesday.

“He said, `You know, look, death’s coming. I’m ready for it. But it’s really going to have to take me because I’m positive to the end.”‘

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014) was an American middleweight boxer best known for having been wrongfully convicted for murder and later exonerated after spending 20 years in prison.

In 1966, police arrested Carter for a triple homicide in the Lafayette Bar and Grill inPaterson, New Jersey. Police stopped Carter’s car and brought him and another occupant, John Artis, to the scene of the crime. There was little physical evidence. Police took no fingerprints at the crime scene and lacked the facilities to conduct a paraffin test for gunshot residue. None of the eyewitnesses identified Carter or Artis as the shooters. Carter and Artis were tried and convicted twice (1967 and 1976) for the murders, but after the second conviction was overturned in 1985, prosecutors chose not to try the case for a third time.

Carter’s autobiography, titled The Sixteenth Round, was published in 1975 by Warner Books. The story inspired the 1975 Bob Dylan song “Hurricane“.

From 1993 to 2005, Carter served as executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

Rubin Carter
Rubin Carter 4.jpg

Carter in 2011
Nickname(s) Hurricane
Rated at Middleweight
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Nationality American
Born May 6, 1937
Clifton, New Jersey
Died April 20, 2014 (aged 76)
Toronto, Ontario
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 40
Wins 27
Wins by KO 19
Losses 12
Draws 1
No contests 0

Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter





Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted

The Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) is a Canadian, non-profit legal organization with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. AIDWYC is committed to identifying, advocating for, and exonerating individuals who have been convicted of a serious crime which they did not commit and to preventing future wrongful convictions through education and justice system reform. AIDWYC was founded in 1993 by a group of volunteers who organized the Justice for Guy Paul Morin Committee. Applications to AIDWYC can be made by the convicted person or another interested party and/or through the recommendation of a lawyer.

For many years AIDWYC was headed by Rubin “Hurricane” Carter who had himself been wrongly convicted in the United States.


AIDWYC’s work has led to the successful exoneration of 18 innocent individuals. In addition, AIDWYC has been invited to provide expertise to several public inquiries related to cases or causes of wrongful convictions in Canada. Finally, AIDWYC offers accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) educational seminars for Canadian lawyers in an effort to prevent future wrongful convictions. AIDWYC is also working to increase the number of educational opportunities for the public, members of police services and the judiciary on issues related to the prevention of wrongful convictions.


AIDWYC is funded largely through the AIDWYC Foundation. The Foundation was established and incorporated in July 2010 and operates as the main fundraising organization for AIDWYC. AIDWYC also receives support from the Law Foundation of Ontario.

The Innocence Network

AIDWYC is a member of the Innocence Network, a collective of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals who have been wrongly convicted and to preventing wrongful convictions. The Network is composed of innocence organizations across the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Ireland.

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Happy Easter From The First Family


By Jueseppi B.




Weekly Address: President Obama Offers Easter and Passover Greetings



In this week’s address, the President offers his warmest greetings as millions of Americans celebrate Easter this Sunday and recounts the Passover Seder he hosted at the White House earlier this week, joining Jewish families around the world in their celebration. The President looks forward to taking part with his family in the hope and joy of the Easter season and reminds all Americans, no matter their faith, of the common thread that binds us.





Weekly Address: President Obama Offers Easter and Passover Greetings


WASHINGTON, DC – In this week’s address, the President offered his warmest greetings as millions of Americans celebrate Easter this Sunday and recounted the Passover Seder he hosted at the White House earlier this week, joining Jewish families around the world in their celebration. The President looks forward to taking part with his family in the hope and joy of the Easter season and reminds all Americans, no matter their faith, of the common thread that binds us.


The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, April 19, 2014.



Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address
The White House
April 19, 2014

Hi, everybody.  For millions of Americans, this time of year holds great meaning.


Earlier this week, we hosted a Passover Seder at the White House, and joined Jewish families around the world in their retellings of the story of the Exodus and the victory of faith over oppression.


And this Sunday, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will join our fellow Christians around the world in celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the salvation he offered the world, and the hope that comes with the Easter season.


These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago.  And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today.  They remind us of our responsibilities to God and, as God’s children, our responsibilities to one another.


For me, and for countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal.  We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him.  We recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross – all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life.  And we recommit ourselves to following His example, to love and serve one another, particularly “the least of these” among us, just as He loves every one of us.


The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.  Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission.


For me, Easter is a story of hope – a belief in a better day to come, just around the bend.


So to all Christians who are celebrating, from my family to yours, Happy Easter.  And to every American, have a joyful weekend.


Thanks, God bless you, and may God bless this country we love.



Raw: Obamas Attend Easter Service


Published on Apr 20, 2014

President Barack Obama and his family attended Easter services in celebration this Sunday. (April 20)












Statement by the President on Easter Weekend

This weekend, Michelle and I join our fellow Christians in marking Good Friday and celebrating Easter.  We will reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us and rejoice in the triumph of the Resurrection.  This season reminds us that God is always with us, in suffering and in celebration.  We give thanks for the many blessings in our lives and renew our commitments to follow Christ’s example by loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  We wish all who celebrate a blessed Easter.



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88 Nigerian Schoolgirls Abducted By Islamic Extremists, Still Missing. NO Media Coverage. Why?


By Jueseppi B.

Abubakar Shekau


LAGOS, Nigeria — The leader of an Islamic extremist group in Nigeria says his group has started kidnapping women and children as part of its bloody guerrilla campaign against the country’s government, according to a video released Monday.


Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says the kidnappings are retaliation for Nigerian security forces routinely imprisoning the wives and children of his group’s members. The video shows 12 children, a mix of boys and girls, though it does not identify them or say where they came from.



88 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists still missing


Mass kidnap of 129 students unprecedented in uprising that has killed 1,500 people so far this year





By The Associated Press in Maiduguri, Nigeria


Twenty-four more Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists have escaped but 85 are still missing, an education official said on Friday.


Some of the 129 young women who were abducted jumped off the back of a truck when they were kidnapped before dawn on Tuesday from a high school in the extreme north-east of Nigeria.


Others escaped into the Sambisa Forest, which bordered their school in Chibok town and was a known hideout of militants of the Boko Haram terrorist network.


The Borno state education commissioner, Musa Inuwo Kubo, said on Friday night some of the latest escapees were found on Wednesday nearly 50km from their school.


Extremists had attacked schools and slaughtered hundreds of students in the past year. In recent months they began kidnapping students, who they used as cooks, sex slaves and porters.


But this week’s mass abduction was unprecedented. The attackers also burned down many houses in the town.


A bomb in a busy bus station killed at least 75 people in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Monday. Twenty others were killed in attacks on two villages. And a soldier and police officer guarding the school in Chibok also were killed.


More than 1,500 people had been killed in the Islamic uprising this year. The attacks undermined claims by the Nigerian government and military that they were containing the insurgency.


Boko Haram believed Western influences were corrupting and wanted to install an Islamic state in Nigeria.


Nigeria’s military remained inexplicably absent from Chibok, Kubo said, and he described residents’ “displeasure” that no security forces had come to the area since the attack.


Angry parents and men from the town went into the Sambisa Forest to try to find the students, despite the dangers of confronting extremists.


The defense ministry spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, claimed on Wednesday that all but eight of the 129 abducted students had been freed by security forces.


Nigeria's defence ministry spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade. Photograph: Jon Gambrell/AP

Nigeria’s defence ministry spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade. Photograph: Jon Gambrell/AP


He retracted that statement on Thursday.






A recent bomb blast that ripped apart a bus station in Nigeria’s capital was a sign that a bloody al Qaeda-linked insurgency is intensifying, analysts say.

Boko Haram, an Islamic sect whose name roughly translates to “Western education is a sin,” is widely believed to be behind Monday’s attack that left 71 people dead and more than 120 others injured. It was the group’s first major attack on Abuja in about two years.

In a further display of strength, the group kidnapped more than 100 girls from a school in the country’s northeast just hours later. The militants duped the students into thinking they were soldiers before driving them away into a forest.

Early this year, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan described the the group’s insurgency as a “temporary challenge,” adding: “We will surely overcome Boko Haram.”

South Africa’s Daily Maverick newspaper said on Wednesday that “even then, in January, these bold words rang hollow.” Now they seem even more of a distant fantasy.

“The situation is getting progressively worse”

Based in the impoverished predominantly Muslim north, Boko Haram is waging a brutal campaign of violence against what it sees as the corrupt, Westernized and oil-obsessed government in the majority Christian south.

The group has been ruthless in bombing schools, churches and even mosques. It has burned villages to the ground and beheaded truck drivers with chainsaws.


Vehicles burn after a powerful explosion hit a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday.

Vehicles burn after a powerful explosion hit a bus station on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria, on Monday.


More than 10,000 people have been killed in the carnage since 2011 alone, according to the New York-based Council for Foreign Relations.

John Campbell, a senior fellow at the CFR, said some workers with non-governmental organizations on the ground believe even this figure is too low – and the real death toll could be five times as high.

“Since 2009, Boko Haram’s operations have been increasing in number and getting bloodier and bloodier in terms of the death tolls,” he said. “This would seem to suggest the situation is getting progressively worse.”

Campbell said the bombing in Abuja, as well as several other recent incidents in the capital, is a sign the group is no longer confined to its base in the rural northeast and is capable of bringing destruction to the relative metropolitan calm of Nigeria’s administrative center.

The goal of Boko Haram is the destruction of Nigeria’s oil-driven economy and the establishment of an Islamic state in Africa’s largest country, where 170 million people are divided evenly between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north.

“People talk about links to al Qaeda but they are chasing rabbits – this is deeply rooted in Nigeria”

The group was founded in 2002 but initially did not aim to violently overthrow the government. Under its then-leader Mohammed Yusuf, the group criticized the Islamic elite for participating in what it called a “colonial government” and advocated a withdrawal to form a state based on Shariah law.

This changed in 2009 when police clamped down on the group’s collective refusal to observe a law making motorcycle helmets mandatory, according to a study published in the Journal Of Humanities And Social Science.

This led to riots across the region and a bloodbath in which more than 800 people died in one week, according to the study. Yusuf himself was captured and shot dead in police custody.

The incident was captured on cellphone and went viral online, giving the movement an organic thrust no speech or rally could hope to achieve.

Boko Haram went on a killing spree over the next year targeting government officials, security agents and religious leaders. This morphed into the large-scale indiscriminate mass murders seen in recent years.

The group is now under the control of leader Abubakar Shekau.

The State Department has since classified Boko Haram as a terrorist organization, citing its alleged links to al Qaeda and stating it had been “conducting an ongoing and brutal campaign against Nigerian military, government, and civilian targets.”

This was prompted in part by Boko Haram being blamed for a suicide car bombing at Abuja’s United Nations building that killed 21 people in 2011.


A still from a video obtained by news agency AFP shows a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, the current leader of Boko Haram.

A still from a video obtained by news agency AFP shows a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, the current leader of Boko Haram.


But Campbell was skeptical about the extent Boko Haram should be treated as a terrorist organization and questioned the actual extent of its links to al Qaeda.

“To understand what’s going on we have to understand what Boko Haram actually is, which is a grass-roots insurgency with many different strands,” he said.

The “elephant in the living room,” he said, is his belief that while most people in the north are against Boko Haram’s violence, they support the implementation of Shariah courts and reject of the greed and corruption that has characterized the Nigerian government.

“People talk about links to al Qaeda, but they are chasing rabbits – this is deeply rooted in Nigeria, and fundamentally Nigerian in origin,” Campbell said.

As undoubtedly brutal as Boko Haram have been, the role of the government and security forces should not be ignored.

Nigeria is rated one of the most corrupt countries in the world by most organizations, including Berlin-based monitor Transparency International.

President Jonathan drew heavy criticism for exacerbating the situation when he ran in, and won, the 2011 presidential election. He has been accused of violating a gentleman’s agreement to alternate the leadership between the Muslim north and Christian south. Jonathan is expected to run again in 2015.

Nigeria’s security forces are also culpable for inflaming the situation, according to Amnesty International.

“How will this campaign end? That’s the $64 million question”

Amnesty has documented what it says are widespread extra-judicial killings, murders, and executions by Nigeria’s police and state troops.

“The scale of atrocities carried out by Boko Haram is truly shocking creating a climate of fear and insecurity. But this cannot be used to justify the brutality of the response that is clearly being meted out by the Nigerian security forces,” Amnesty’s Africa Director Netsanet Belay said last month.

According to Campbell, most of Boko Haram’s targets have been Muslims. Boko Haram regards the Islamic elite of the north as having sold out their religious values in favor of pocketing oil money from the south.

Many of these leaders pledged electoral allegiance to Jonathan in 2011 instead of a Muslim candidate. This perceived betrayal has fueled Boko Haram’s drive to create an Islamic state.

However, the scale of the group’s support is largely a mystery and the Nigerian government has imposed strict controls on the media, so reports of incidents are often scant or non-existent.

“We are all profoundly ignorant,” Campbell said. “Where is Boko Haram headed and how will this campaign end? That’s the $64 million question.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.






Boko Haram


The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad (Arabic: جماعة اهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد‎ Jamāʻat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-daʻwa wal-Jihād)—better known by its Hausa name Boko Haram (pronounced [bōːkòː hàrâm], “Western education is sinful“)—is an Islamic jihadist and takfiri militant and terrorist organization based in the northeast of Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger. Founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the organisation seeks to establish a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law, putting a stop to what it deems “Westernization”. 

The group is known for attacking Christians and government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and police stations, kidnapping western tourists, but has also assassinated members of the Islamic establishment. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013.

The group exerts influence in the northeastern Nigerian states of BornoAdamawaKadunaBauchi,Yobe and Kano. In this region, a state of emergency has been declared. The group does not have a clear structure or evident chain of command and has been called “diffuse” with a “cell-like structure” facilitating factions and splits. It is reportedly divided into three factions with a splinter group known as Ansaru. The group’s main leader is Abubakar Shekau. Its weapons expert, second-in-command and arms manufacturer was Momodu Bama.

Whether it has links to jihadist groups outside Nigeria is disputed. According to one US military commander, Boko Haram is likely linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but others have found no evidence of material international support, and attacks by the group on international targets have so far been limited. On November 13, 2013 the United States government designated the group as a terrorist organisation.

Many of the group’s senior radicals were reportedly partially inspired by the late Islamic preacher known as Maitatsine. Others believe the group is motivated by inter-ethnic disputes as much as religion, and that its founder Yusuf believed there was a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” by Plateau State governor Jonah Jang against the Hausa and Fulani people. Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian government of human rights abuses after 950 suspected Boko Haram militants died in detention facilities run by Nigeria’s military Joint Task Force in the first half of 2013. The conflicts have left around 90,000 people displaced. Human Rights Watch claims that Boko Haram uses child soldiers, including 12 year olds.



Beginning of violence

The group conducted its operations more or less peacefully during the first seven years of its existence. That changed in 2009 when the Nigerian government launched an investigation into the group’s activities following reports that its members were arming themselves. Prior to that the government reportedly repeatedly ignored warnings about the increasingly militant character of the organisation, including that of a military officer.

When the government came into action, several members of the group were arrested in Bauchi, sparking deadly clashes with Nigerian security forces which led to the deaths of an estimated 700 people. During the fighting with the security forces Boko Haram fighters reportedly “used fuel-laden motorcycles” and “bows with poison arrows” to attack a police station. The group’s founder and then leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed during this time while in police custody. After Yusuf’s killing, a new leader emerged whose identity was not known at the time.



Nigerian children at school


Mass abduction

The video surfaced the same day that an education official said a Nigerian schoolgirl, who was among the 129 kidnapped Monday by suspected Boko Haram militants, had returned home.

Even so, 84 of the girl’s classmates remain unaccounted for.

A total of 45 girls are now free, according to a statement from Borno State Education Commissioner Musa Inuwa Kulo.

This still unsettled situation began Monday night, when militants engaged in a battle with guards at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok began herding the girls onto buses and trucks and drove off, authorities said.

But some of the schoolgirls managed subsequently to escape, including 14 on Friday and others on previous days, according to Kulo.

This is a far cry from the Defense Ministry’s previous report that all but eight of the girls had found freedom, a claim that Nigeria’s military retracted Thursday.

This retraction spurred fervent criticism of the government, with Lawan Zanna — the father of one of the students — blasting it as having resorted to “blatant propaganda” by making a “blatant lie.”






Who is Shekau?

Under Shekau, who took control of the group in 2009, violence carried out by the group has flourished, according to authorities.

Questions have swirled about Shekau, including whether he’s dead or alive. In recent years, the Nigerian military has touted his death, only to retract its claim after he appeared alive and vibrant in propaganda videos.

He uses the alias Darul Tawheed, and analysts describe him as a ruthless loner and master of disguise.

The United States has put a $7 million bounty on Shekau’s head. It also designated Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist network last year.

The group is diffuse, and Skekau does not speak directly with members, opting to communicate through a few select confidants. This may be why Shekau made no mention of the kidnapping of the schoolgirls.

CNN’s Faith Karimi and journalist Aminu Abubakar in Kano contributed to this report.

Why has there been no media wide coverage of this mass abduction? Because this happened in Nigeria. Figure out why. Stumped? Nigeria is a Black nation.

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Earth Day 2014 Is Tuesday The 22nd Of April. Earth Week 2014 Is April 21st – April 25th.


By Jueseppi B.




Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature’s equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation written by McConnell and signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970.

Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.


Earth Day Worldwide observance

Tue Apr 22 2014 Earth Day Worldwide observance
Wed Apr 22 2015 Earth Day Worldwide observance
Fri Apr 22 2016 Earth Day Worldwide observance
Sat Apr 22 2017 Earth Day Worldwide observance
Sun Apr 22 2018 Earth Day Worldwide observance
Mon Apr 22 2019 Earth Day Worldwide observance
Wed Apr 22 2020 Earth Day Worldwide observance

Earth Day is a name used for 2 similar global observances. While some people celebrate Earth Day around the time of the March Equinox, others observe the occasion on April 22 each year.

Earth Day aims to inspire awareness of and appreciation for earth’s environment. It’s not to be confused with Earth Hour

What do people do

The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.  Television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.



The April 22 Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution.

Some people prefer to observe Earth Day around the time of the March equinox. In 1978, American anthropologist Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, founded by John McConnell. She stated that the selection of the March Equinox for Earth Day made planetary observance of a shared event possible.


History of the Equinox Earth Day (March 20)

The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that point in time (not a whole day) when the Sun is directly above the Earth’s equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year. In most cultures, the equinoxes and solstices are considered to start or separate the seasons.


John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called “Earth Day” at the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities, such as San Francisco and in Davis, California with a multi-day street party. UN Secretary-General U Thant supported McConnell’s global initiative to celebrate this annual event; and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying:


May there be only peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life.


United Nations secretary-general Kurt Waldheim observed Earth Day with similar ceremonies on the March equinox in 1972, and the United Nations Earth Day ceremony has continued each year since on the day of the March equinox (the United Nations also works with organizers of the April 22 global event). Margaret Mead added her support for the equinox Earth Day, and in 1978 declared:


“Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space.

Earth Day draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way – which is also the most ancient way – by using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the Earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March Equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible, and a flag which shows the Earth, as seen from space, appropriate.”


At the moment of the equinox, it is traditional to observe Earth Day by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell, which was donated by Japan to the United Nations. Over the years, celebrations have occurred in various places worldwide at the same time as the UN celebration. On March 20, 2008, in addition to the ceremony at the United Nations, ceremonies were held in New Zealand, and bells were sounded in California, Vienna, Paris, Lithuania, Tokyo, and many other locations. The equinox Earth Day at the UN is organized by the Earth Society Foundation.


Earth Day ringing the peace bell is celebrated around the world in many towns, ringing the Peace Bell in Vienna, Berlin, and elsewhere. A memorable event took place at the UN in Geneva, celebrating a Minute for Peace ringing the Japanese Shinagawa Peace Bell with the help of the Geneva Friendship Association and the Global Youth Foundation, directly after in deep mourning about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant catastrophe 10 days before.


Beside the Spring Equinox for the Northern Hemisphere, the observance of the Spring Equinox for the Southern Hemisphere is of equal importance ! It is a “new sign of hope” for Peace that the International Day of Peace is celebrated on the Spring Equinox of the South! right along the original intentions of John McConnell, U-Thant, Muller, Mead,


April 22 observances

Growing eco-activism before Earth Day 1970

In 1968, Morton Hilbert and the U.S. Public Health Service organized the Human Ecology Symposium, an environmental conference for students to hear from scientists about the effects of environmental degradation on human health. This was the beginning of Earth Day. For the next two years, Hilbert and students worked to plan the first Earth Day. In April 1970—along with a federal proclamation from U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson—the first Earth Day was held.


Project Survival, an early environmentalism-awareness education event, was held at Northwestern University on January 23, 1970. This was the first of several events held at university campuses across the United States in the lead-up to the first Earth Day. Also, Ralph Nader began talking about the importance of ecology in 1970.


The 1960s had been a very dynamic period for ecology in the US. Pre-1960 grassroots activism against DDT in Nassau County, New York, had inspired Rachel Carson to write her bestseller, Silent Spring (1962).



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Significance of April 22

Nelson chose the date in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an “environmental teach-in”. He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet as it did not fall during exams or spring breaks. Moreover, it did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover, and was late enough in spring to have decent weather. More students were likely to be in class, and there would be less competition with other mid-week events—so he chose Wednesday, April 22. The day also fell after the anniversary of the birth of noted conservationist John Muir.


Unbeknownst to Nelson, April 22, 1970, was coincidentally the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, when translated to the Gregorian calendar (which the Soviets adopted in 1918). Time reported that some suspected the date was not a coincidence, but a clue that the event was “a Communist trick”, and quoted a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution as saying, “subversive elements plan to make American children live in an environment that is good for them.”


J. Edgar Hoover, director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, may have found the Lenin connection intriguing; it was alleged the FBI conducted surveillance at the 1970 demonstrations. The idea that the date was chosen to celebrate Lenin’s centenary still persists in some quarters, an idea borne out by the similarity with the subbotnik instituted by Lenin in 1920 as days on which people would have to do community service, which typically consisted in removing rubbish from public property and collecting recyclable material. Subbotniks were also imposed on other countries within the compass of Soviet power, including Eastern Europe, and at the height of its power the Soviet Union established a nation-wide subbotnik to be celebrated on Lenin’s birthday, April 22, which had been proclaimed a national holiday celebrating communism by Nikita Khrushchev in 1955.


Earth Week April 21-25, 2014


This year’s theme for the week of events, “Connecting the Drops,” helps illustrate the campus’s water-saving strategies and the need for individuals to conserve water as California faces a severe drought. Events across campus—many of them led by student organizations—will engage students, staff, faculty and local community members in fun and educational activities designed to raise awareness about recycling, sustainability, water conservation and more.







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