BBC Africa: Escaping Boko Haram: How Three Nigeria Girls Found Safety.


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Escaping Boko Haram: How three Nigeria girls found safety

 

The story of three Nigerian girls who escaped Boko Haram

For six months the world has waited for news of the fate of more than 200 girls abducted by Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. As the Nigerian government insists a deal to release the “Chibok girls” is being negotiated, three girls who escaped their captors have told their story to BBC Hausa.

Lami, Maria and Hajara were at school in Chibok, north-eastern Nigeria, when they were kidnapped in April. Best friends Lami and Maria escaped by jumping from the back of a truck. Hajara was taken to a camp but later fled with another girl.

 

To protect the girls’ identity we have portrayed their story as an animation, and provided an edited transcript of their account below.

 

The girls’ names have been changed for their protection.

 

Animation by Luis Ruibal.

 

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Lami: It was Monday night. We had exams the following day. Then we started to hear shootings in the town. So we went out. We phoned our parents to tell them what was happening in the town. They told us to run away when we got the chance. We told them that the town was already surrounded so there was no way we could run.

 

Maria: Lami woke me up saying: “Maria didn’t you hear what’s happening? Haven’t you heard sounds of shooting from the town?”

 

I said we should climb the wall and run away. She said: “No. No-one has run away. We should gather in one place and wait to see what’s going to happen.”

 

Other girls said nothing would happen to us. “We’re girls. They don’t do anything to girls. We should wait and see what God would do.”

 

Lami: We were at the school when suddenly three Boko Haram members entered.

 

They said: “If any of you attempt to leave we’ll kill all of you.” When we went out they were everywhere. They gathered us where we have our school assembly. As we were there they kept burning the school. They burnt everything.

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Hajara: They asked us to get out of the gate, saying that when we were out they would let us go back to our homes. They said whoever did not have a headscarf or shoes should go and get them. They then asked us to climb on to a lorry, on top of the food loaded in it. The lorry was so high that we couldn’t easily climb on.

 

Maria: They said to us: “You’re only coming to school for prostitution. Boko (Western education) is haram (forbidden) so what are you doing in school?”

 

We kept quiet. I think there could have been about 100 Boko Haram members – they were all over the school. They outnumbered us. They took us away in their vehicles. We were sitting on oil drums in the vehicle. Our vehicle was really overloaded. We were saying to one another that we should throw away our shoes and scarves so that if our parents came they would know the road we had taken.

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Hajara: The vehicle became full before I could get on. There were about 100 of us walking. We stopped at one town and people brought us water. I saw one of those who brought us water changed his clothes and joined the Boko Haram men. They then put us in other vehicles.

 

They put the rest in the boots of cars. Some of the Boko Haram members were so small that if I were to grab their necks I could break them. Some couldn’t even carry their guns properly.

 

Maria: We were wondering where we were being taken to. When we entered the vehicle, Lami said to me: “Shouldn’t we jump out of the vehicle here so that we may possibly escape? There are no other vehicles close by.”

 

Hajara: I thought, it’s preferable to have these people shoot me as I run than have them humiliate me. They kept saying to us: “Make sure you put on your scarves. Make sure you put on your scarves. We’ll shoot any girl we see without a scarf. And any girl who jumps out will die.”

 

I was about to jump out when one girl held me back and said they’d shoot me if I did.

 

“What’s the difference,” I said. “Is it not to the same death we’re going? They should shoot me here and let my corpse be collected.”

 

I was crying and praying until we reached the camp.

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Lami: There was a lot of dust on the road, they couldn’t see us. When we jumped out, we started to run. We were running without shoes. We found other people. We started to run away from them thinking they were Boko Haram. But they too had run from the town.

 

Hajara: Boko Haram gathered us in a forest around noon. Some of the girls were tired and were lying down. But I couldn’t lie down. The spirit of God was asking me to go. It was telling me: “Get up and go. Get up and go.”

 

So I went. Another girl followed me. When we were going I saw some of them [Boko Haram members] performing ablutions. We stooped as if we were trying to pull out thorns from our shoes, as if we were just going to wee. We’d walk a little then bend down for a little while as if we were looking for something we’d lost.

 

After walking for a while they couldn’t see us properly since it was forest. We then started to run. After we had run for a short distance, we heard them saying “catch those girls.” We kept running. Whether they came after us not, we didn’t know.

 

Hajara: We kept going and our shoes were ripped. We found a house, where a girl could speak Hausa. Her parents gave us a place to sleep. We reached the Chibok area in the morning. A man looking for a relative among the missing girls drove us on motorbike into town.

 

When I saw my elder and younger brothers, I fell to the ground crying. My mother and father were crying and all members of my family cried. Before I reached home it was as if there was a death in the house. Mats were spread. People were consoling my father and mother thinking that I had died.

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Lami: The people we met said: “Your town is far away. You can’t go there now. Come here and wait until morning when we’ll take you into the town to get transport back home.” We stayed there till morning when they asked us to get up so that we go to the town. We couldn’t walk. Our feet were full of thorns.

 

They said: “Let’s go find a vehicle to take you home.”

 

Maria: The men who helped us took us to Chibok, and I cried. It was the second time that something like that had happened to me. My dad was a pastor; Boko Haram went to our house and killed him. They also shot my mum in the stomach; they gave her 2,000 Naira ($12) to have the bullet.

 

Lami: My parents warmed up water and cared for my feet. I was taken to the hospital and it was two weeks before I could stand up.

 

Maria: I continued to live with the thought that Boko Haram members were coming to get me. I couldn’t sleep.

 

Hajara: I was having nightmares every day. There was even a day when I dreamed that they gathered all of us who fled in one place, and said to us: “You girls have defied us and fled. We’re now going to burn you alive.”

 

I haven’t forgotten about the other girls who are still in the hands of those people. I keep praying for them.

 

Lami: God will never make us meet these people again. And for our sisters who are still in the forest, may God help them. And may the whole world cry out for these girls to get out so that we continue with our education in school again.

 

Maria: They should pray to God to forgive them their sins. I’d also ask them to bring back the girls they have kidnapped because their parents are in distress. Some of the parents of the girls have already died. It was the thought of their girls that killed them.

 

Hajara: God will do what he wills, but I don’t want to look at them because of what they have done to my life. They think they’ve ruined me, but God willing, they haven’t ruined me. I’ll continue with my education.

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More on This Story

 

 

 Who are Boko Haram?

 

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  • Founded in 2002
  • Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Some three million people affected
  • Declared terrorist group by US in 2013

 

Who are Boko Haram?

 

Profile: Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau

 

Will ‘truce’ with Boko Haram free Chibok girls?

 

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The Bring Back Our Girls Hashtag Campaign

 

Published on May 9, 2014

All across the globe a campaign has started using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Be a part of this magnificent effort to bring the kidnapped Nigerian girls home. Make your own sigh and post it on social media today.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls

 

Published on May 5, 2014

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. Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.

 

 

 

#BringBackOurGirls Worldwide Protest

 

Published on May 7, 2014

Images of people the world over weeping and protesting for the return of 276 young girls kidnapped from a Nigerian boarding school. #BringBackOurGirls #BringBackOurDaughters #276

 

 

 

BBC News100 WOMEN

Who is 100 Women for?

I don’t know her name, because she lives in a remote village in India – or was it Afghanistan? She’s not a politician – nor will she ever be. She does not seek publicity, or wear shoes that cost more than a Bangladeshi worker will earn in 10 years. But hopefully one day she or her daughter will break free from male-dominated society and carve out a living as a small-scale businesswoman.

BBC audience survey

 

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100 Women BBC NEWS

 

BBC News Africa: Nigeria’s Boko Haram Abducts More Women And Girls.

 

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The Death Of Michael Brown: Some Racist Racial History From “The Show-Me Racism State.”


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Absolutely mind-boggling, don’t you agree? In this day and age, a stone-age mindset is allowed to exist in America. The Land Of The Racist And The Home Of The Cowardly.

 

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The President’s Day In California.


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President Obama: The full interview

 

President Barack Obama discusses a wide range of subjects in an exclusive interview with CNBC‘s Steve Liesman. On the docket: Tax inversions, Washington inaction, the stock market and dealing with Russia.

 

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Barack Obama to CNBC – ” FAA Israel Decision Not Based on Politics “

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

7-24-14 – ( CNBC ) – At the very end of an interview with CNBC’s Steve Liesman Thursday, President Barack Obama addressed the accusations, from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and others, that the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to ban U.S. flights from landing in Israel for 48 hours was politically motivated. Obama called the move “purely technical,” saying the United States does not make “decisions when it comes to airline safety” based on “politics” or “even our strong alliance with Israel.”

 

He elaborated:

“The initial ban that was imposed by the FAA was based on Israel needing to show us that in fact it was safe for commercial airlines to fly in. They worked through a checklist of concerns and mitigation measures that needed to be taken. Having completed those, and convinced the FAA, we moved forward. And by the way, the European governments in terms of the regulating their airlines, did the exact same thing. So I think what happened here was in light of some scary moments a couple of days ago, the FAA took some prudent action. But it also engaged with Israel and Israel was able to answer those questions.”

 
After the FAA announced the ban on Tuesday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg swiftly flew to Tel Aviv on an El Al plane to demonstrate just how safe it was to land at that airport. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly confronted Secretary of State John Kerry about the ban during a phone call that day.

 

The concern for Israel and its allies was that Hamas would view the ban as a victory, possibly emboldening its rocket campaign. Those fears were given credence when a Hamas spokesperson admitted that Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport was, in fact, a target for the rocket strikes.

 

 

See the full interview here.

 

 

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President Obama Delivers Remarks on the Economy in Los Angeles

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in Los Angeles, California.

 

 

 

Pres Obama and Crowd Brilliantly Destroy Repeat Heckler Who Calls Him “Antichrist”

 

 

 

President Obama in LA: “You are why I ran for President in the first place.”

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical CollegePresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College in Los Angeles, Calif. July 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

This afternoon, President Obama addressed an excited and energized crowd under sunny skies at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

 

In his remarks, the President said that he was excited to be back in L.A., where he spent a few “good years” in college — and quickly explained what he was there to talk about.

 

“I’m here because I am listening to Kati’s story,” the President said. Kati Koster wrote a letter to the President a couple years ago about the effect of student loans. Kati introduced the President — and the President sat down with Kati and three other Americans earlier in the day at Canter’s Deli, to chat about the issues that matter to them.

 

I’m listening to Americans all across the country, everybody who works their tail off, is doing the right thing, who believes in the American Dream, just wants a chance to build a decent life for themselves and their family. You are why I ran for President in the first place.

 

And we’ve made a lot of progress since the President took office. Months before the President was sworn into office, the economy tanked, millions of Americans lost their jobs, some of them lost their homes, and almost everyone suddenly was much less certain about America’s future.

 

 

But we’ve bounced back.

 

Today, our businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months. The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since September of 2008. And this past year, we saw one of the fastest drops in nearly 30 years in the unemployment rate. The decisions we made not only to rescue the economy, rescue the auto industry, but to rebuild it on a new foundation — those decisions are paying off.

 

We’re more energy independent. We’re the world’s number-one oil and gas producer. We’ve done more to reduce our carbon footprint than any other country over the past eight years. Our high school graduation rate is at a record high. More young people are going to college than ever before. And millions more Americans now have quality, affordable health care.

 

“None of this was an accident,” the President declared. “It’s thanks to your resilience and resolve that America has recovered faster and come farther than almost any other advanced country on Earth.”

 

 

“We’ve recovered faster, we’ve gone farther than almost any country on Earth since the economic crisis.”

 

The President also visited Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to focus on one thing in particular: training more Americans for the types of jobs that we’re creating in the 21st century.

 

Right now, there are more job openings in America than any time since 2007. That doesn’t always make headlines, it’s not sexy so the news doesn’t report it, but it’s a big deal. And the job training programs can help folks who fell on hard times in the recession, help them find a solid path back to the middle class.

 

“Americans are the best workers in the world — if we’re given a chance,” the President said. He then called on all of us to work together to help more Americans to learn the skills that the 21st-century economy needs.

 

Earlier this week, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which makes our federal training program more geared toward high-quality jobs that are in demand today. The President stressed that we should be doing things like this more often — that Congress should be taking efforts to strengthen the middle class and help create more opportunities for all Americans.

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical CollegePresident Barack Obama delivers remarks at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College in Los Angeles, Calif. July 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

But there’s one specific issue where the President suggested Democrats and Republicans could come together — a type of corporate tax loophole called an “inversion.”

 

“Even as corporate profits are higher than ever,” the President said, “there’s a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes.”

 

Corporations don’t want to give up the perks of doing business in the United States — the best universities, a strong economy, the best military — they’re just not trying to pay for those perks. “So they’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship,” he said. “They’re declaring they’re based someplace else even though most of their operations are here.”

 

It damages the country’s finances. It adds to the deficit. It makes it harder to invest in things like job training that help keep America growing. It sticks you with the tab to make up for what they’re stashing offshore through their evasive tax policies.

 

The President pointed out that a nurse or a construction worker or a teacher doesn’t get to pick the tax rate that they have to pay — so neither should these companies.

 

But the good news is that we’re able to do something about this. In this year’s budget, the President proposed closing these “unpatriotic tax loopholes for good.”

 

 

“You shouldn’t get to call yourself an American company only when you want a handout from American taxpayers.”

 

And the President stressed that has wasn’t interested in punishing these companies for what they’ve done — he’s simply interested in an economic patriotism where everyone in this country contributes their fair share.

 

Instead of tax breaks for millionaires, let’s give tax breaks to families to help on child care or college. Let’s stop rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas; give tax breaks to companies that are bringing jobs back to the United States. Let’s put America back to work rebuilding roads and bridges and airports. Let’s make sure the next generation of good manufacturing is happening right here in Los Angeles, and in Wisconsin, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

The President noted that the hardest thing to do in politics is to change the status quo. There’s an entire industry in Washington that feeds off of people staying cynical.

 

Cynicism is fashionable these days. But I got to tell you, cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynicism did not create the opportunity for all our citizens to vote. Cynicism has never won a war, or cured a disease, or started a business, or fed young minds.

 

I believe in optimism. I believe in hope.

 

“Cynicism is a choice, and hope is a better choice,” the President said. “And if we can work together, I promise you there’s no holding America back.”

 

Barack’s Day In Cali

 

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President Obama Surprises Canter’s Deli With Surprise Visit

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

 President Obama made a surprise visit at Canter’s Deli on Thursday greeting the crowd and workers. He got tea and pastries to go. No corned beef!? Amy Johnson reports.

 

 

 

Obama Admits His Basketball Shot Is ‘Broke’

 

Published on Jul 24, 2014

(ABC) President Obama‘s basketball game isn’t what it used to be, he revealed during a surprise stop for lunch at Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles today.
After shaking hands with the people behind the counter at this family-owned landmark, the president talked a little basketball with two older gentleman sitting in a booth.
Asked about his game, Obama told them “My shot’s broken… My elbow keeps going out.”
Rubbing his shoulder, he told them he probably makes about 80 percent of his shots (free throws, not in a game).

 

 
“I get that chicken wing,” he said motioning with his elbow. “I’m just getting old.”

 

The president made his way to a booth in the back where he sat with four people who wrote him letters, part of his effort to “meet with folks from across the country to listen to their stories, struggles, and successes, as well as the issues in their lives that matter most,” according to the White House.

 

 

 

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10:35 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews, Joint Base Andrews.

 

10:50 PM: The President arrives the White House, South Lawn.

 

 

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On Friday, the President and the Vice President will welcome President Otto Perez Molina of Guatemala, President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, and President Salvador Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador to the White House. The four leaders and Vice President Biden will discuss how to reinforce our ongoing collaboration to stem the flow of undocumented migrants from Central America to Mexico and the United States.

 

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It’s Raining Videos™ During The Twitter Storm™


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US concerned over use of Russian rockets

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

The Atlas V rocket is heavily used by the US for defense and reconnaissance projects, and relies on a Russian-made engine. Many are coming to view this, however, as a national security liability. As the relations between the US and Russia continue to sour, renewed calls are coming from Washington to revamp the defense industry to use more American-made parts. RT’s Manila Chan learns more about the topic by speaking with Marco Caceres, director of space studies for the Teal Group.

 

 

 

American Flags Replaced With White Flags On The Brooklyn Bridge

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

“Who swapped out two big American flags flying over the Brooklyn Bridge towers with Old Glories that had been bleached white? And, more important, why?

 

But a more pressing concern was how did the overnight caper happen right under the noses of the NYPD on one of the city’s most heavily guarded and constantly watched landmarks?”

 

 

 

VP Joe Biden denounces laws restricting voting rights annual NAACP convention

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Vice President Biden spoke out against voting restrictions during his speech at the annual NAACP convention in Las Vegas on Wednesday. – LoneWolf & The Three Muskadoggies “Please…. Remember Our Homeless, Hospitalized & Disabled Veterans & Fallen Heroes! Thank You….America!”

 

 

 

Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S. (July 23)

 

 

Governor Jan Brewer should be strapped into the death machine of choose to test it, before humans are executed.

 

 

PBS News Hour Full Episode | Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Wednesday on the NewsHour, Secretary of State John Kerry shuttled between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, attempting to broker a cease-fire. Also: a look at the Georgia race that will help decide who controls the Senate, what a fly’s brain can tell us about our own minds, stricter rules for trains carrying crude oil and the fate of the abducted Nigerian schoolgirls, missing for 100 days.

 

 

 

Is Israeli Public Opinion Turning After 700 Palestinian Deaths?

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Israel-based TRNN correspondent Lia Tarachansky reports on the mood in Israel in the wake of a rising Palestinian death toll

 

 

 

Breakdown, breakup, breakthrough – The gift of tough times: Tara Igoe at TEDxLaJolla

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Tara Igoe (pron. I-go) loves to learn and grow and believes her life’s purpose is to have the courage to face herself, follow her truth, and operate from love not fear – no pressure, Tara. When she is not pondering her existence, Tara is a tenured communications expert and personal/professional development coach and has worked with top companies, nonprofit organizations as well as leading experts in personal development, medicine, sports, and fitness. Tara is also a skilled comedic performer, speaker and storyteller who has appeared at top comedy and improv venues including The Comedy Store, The Improv, and Upright Citizens Brigade. She loves shares her expertise, personal stories and insights to help herself and others.

 

 

 

Bloomberg Goes Off on Blitzer for ‘Insulting’ Israel Question

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

CNN Wolf Blitzer Interviews former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg over his decision to travel to Israel in protest of the FAA ban on travel from all U.S. carriers: “Don’t be ridiculous! Why would you think that? It’s an outrage to accuse one of our agencies—-by asking the question, you’re implying our government does things for political reasons, and maybe everyone once in a while they do it, but it’s your job to prove it. Just the allegation against our government, I personally take as an offense.”

 

 

Does Michael Bloomberg believe himself to be relevant and vital to the discussion of Israeli Zionist murders versus Hamas murders?

 

 

RT stringer Graham Phillips goes missing in Ukraine

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

British national and RT freelance journalist Graham Phillips is missing in Eastern Ukraine along with a colleague from ANNA News. The last contact with Phillips was reportedly near the airport in Donetsk around 11 PM local time, and ANNA News told RT they believe the Ukrainian military may have Graham and their own journalist in custody. RT’s Irina Galushko has more details on the situation.

 

 

 

 

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It’s Raining Videos™


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FAA suspends U.S. flights to Israel

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel for what he says will show people the area is safe.

 

 

Hit Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and Israel Zionist where it matters most, in the pocketbook.

 

 

Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to “reverse course” and permit U.S. airlines to fly to Israel. Bloomberg boarded a flight to Tel Aviv on El Al Airlines Tuesday night. (July 23)

 

 

Mr. Bloomberg is a classic example of a dumbass. Would he himself fly into Israel?

 

 

American air carriers Suspend Service to Israel, Flight Diverted to Paris

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

American air carriers suspended service after reports that a rocket that struck near Israel's main airport.

 

 

Good thing nobody actually listens to dumbasses such as Michael Bloomberg.

 

 

Raw: Secretary of State Kerry in Israel

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel on Wednesday. He is trying to push for a ceasefire to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas. (July 23)

 

 

 

CrossTalk: MH17 Spin

 

Published on Jul 23, 2014

Washington has a mountain of evidence but isn’t disclosing it. What is Washington hiding? Will the investigation show something the West doesn’t want to see? And do we hear a drumbeat of war?
CrossTalking with Vladimir Suchan, Eric Kraus and Eric Draitser.

 

 

 

It’s Official, Kim Jong-un Is A Crybaby. This Viral Video Is Hilarious!

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

“A video from China has gone viral on YouTube, but the country has been asked to take the content down because the North Korean dictator it mocked was apparently offended.

 

Kim Jong-un has asked China to stop the spread of the satirical video that shows him breakdancing, running, getting pranked by President Barack Obama and holding hands with Osama bin Laden while frolicking through a field, all set to catchy music.

 

North Korean officials say the video “seriously compromises Kim’s dignity and authority,” South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo daily news site reports.” *

 

 

 

Rula Jebreal discusses the media’s bias for Israel

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Palestinian journalist Rula Jebreal called MSNBC’s coverage of the conflict in Gaza “disgustingly biased.

 

 

 

Pres Obama’s UN Ambassador Teaches Republican Warmongers a Lesson in Diplomacy

 

 

 

PBS News Hour Full Episode | Tuesday, July 22, 2014

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Tuesday on the NewsHour, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes discusses U.S. efforts toward a Mideast cease-fire and the MH17 investigation. Also: the EU weighs additional Russian sanctions, a traditional public school shares ideas and a roof with two charter schools, examining conflicting federal court rulings on the health care law and the 9/11 commission considers new challenges.

 

 

 

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