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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Contagious Shooting: AmeriKKKan Law Enforcement “Professionals” Use A “Pile On” Method Of Death.


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Four people are holding up this sign...#Ferguson #FergusonOctober

Four people are holding up this sign…#Ferguson #FergusonOctober

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Contagious shooting

 

A contagious shooting is a sociological phenomenon observed in military and police personnel in the United States, in which one person firing on a target can induce others to begin shooting. Often the subsequent shooters will not know why they are firing.

 

This is defined as “officers firing because others are doing so,” or according to Professor Eugene J. O’Donnell of John Jay College, “cops shoot because other cops shoot.” While commonly accepted in popular culture and police jargon, there has been yet no scientific evidence “to prove the existence of a contagious shooting dynamic,” which O’Donnell said was a “debatable notion.”

 

Additionally, a former CIA employee and FBI firearms instructor observed it in training. “Consistently, in every class, officers would shoot at their target upon hearing others shoot, even when their particular target board did not contain the called target.” He suggests that one reason it occurs is because of muscle memory: ” The targets turn or the whistle blows, and all the officers shoot together until a cease fire signal is given.”

 

O’Donnell partially reinforces this, saying that in classic cases involving contagious shooting, “a gun was shot before any officers fired,” and thus “the officers involved began shooting because of fear or because of the sound of a colleague firing.”

 

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Examples Of Contagious Shooting:

  • 2013: In California, officers involved in the search for Christopher Dorner mistakenly fired at least 100 rounds at a truck occupied by three people, none of whom had any connection to the suspect. Each of the two women injured received $2.1 million in a settlement with the city of Los Angeles.

 

  • 2012: NYPD officers responded to a report of shots fired with one victim killed in front of the Empire State Building. Officers fired sixteen rounds wounding 9 bystanders and killing the shooter.

 

  • 2011: On Memorial Day in Miami Beach several police officers fired until their magazines were empty on a stopped car after the driver smashed into other cars, killing the driver and injuring seven bystanders.

 

  • 2010: A bystander was injured in Harlem when a man “open[ed] fire on responding officers, who fired 46 times in response.” “In the Harlem episode, unlike the Bell and Diallo cases, a gun was shot before any officers fired, according to the police account. So, Professor O’Donnell said, in the Harlem case, ‘there really is a shot,’ and not just the threat of gunfire.”

 

 

  • 2006: Five officers fired 50 shots at Sean Bell in Queens, New York, including 31 by one detective – who reloaded his weapon during the incident.

 

  • 2006: Three officers fired 26 shots at a pit bull that had bitten a chunk out of an officer’s leg in the Bronx, New York in July.

 

  • 2006: Police in Lakeland, Florida fired 110 rounds at a suspect, Angilo Freeland, who had killed an officer earlier, hitting him 68 times. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd famously told the Orlando Sentinel, “That’s all the bullets we had”.

 

  • 2005: Eight officers fired 43 shots at Brian Allen, an armed man, in Queens, New York killing him.

 

  • 2005: June, six Los Angeles County, California sheriff’s deputies fired more than 50 shots into the car in which drunken driving suspect Carl Williams was driving, after his car rammed a police vehicle following a chase. One deputy had to reload his weapon during the incident.

 

  • 2004: “When 44-year-old drug suspect Winston Hayes’ SUV lurched forward he hit a police car, deputies unloaded their weapons, firing 120 shots. Four bullets ended up hitting Hayes who survived, one hit a deputy sheriff, 11 hit patrol cars and 11 hit five homes in the neighborhood (one of them ended up tearing a hole in a homeowner’s hat).” —ABC News.

 

 

  • 1998: New Jersey State Police fired 11 shots at Daniel Reyes and three other basketball players in their car in April.

 

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From Davey’ D’s article

29 Black People Have Been Killed by Police/Security Since Jan 2012: 16 Since Trayvon

 

APRIL 6, 2012 BY

 

The list below are just noting the deaths at hands of the police, its not highlighting the enormous amounts of brutality and outright disrespect many in the Black community have to endure on a daily basis.. The report below is to say the least disturbing and underscores a low wage war going on in our communities…

 

Twenty-eight Black People (27 Men and 1 Female) Killed by Police Officials, Security
Guards, and Self-Appointed “Keepers of the Peace” between January 1, 2012 and March
31, 2012

 

– 28 cases of state sanctioned or justified murder of Black people in the first 3
months of 2012 alone have been found (due to under reporting and discriminatory
methods of documentation, it is likely that there are more that our research has yet
to uncover)

 

– Of the 28 killed people, 18 were definitely unarmed. 2 probably had firearms, 8
were alleged to have non-lethal weapons.

 

– Of the 28 killed people,

 

. 11 were innocent of any illegal behavior or behavior that involved a
threat to anyone (although the shooters claimed they looked “suspicious”);

 

. 7 were emotionally disturbed and/or displaying strange behavior.

 

. The remaining 10 were either engaged in illegal or potentially illegal
activity, or there was too little info to determine circumstances of their
killing. It appears that in all but two of these cases, illegal and/or harmful
behavior could have been stopped without the use of lethal force.

 

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Thank you . Please check out his blog Hip Hop And Politics.

 

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This list of 28 names was collected between 3/28/2012 and 3/30/2012 by reviewing Google search results to the question, “who have police killed in 2012”. Only the first 65 pages out of 712,000,000 were reviewed. As you can see this compiling of data is incomplete because…..wait for it….police agencies do not, nor are they required, to document whom they kill.

 

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From Pro Publica:

 

A ProPublica analysis of killings by police shows outsize risk for young black males.

 

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater i, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.

 

The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.

 

One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.

 

ProPublica’s risk analysis on young males killed by police certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population.

 

Our examination involved detailed accounts of more than 12,000 police homicides stretching from 1980 to 2012 contained in the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report. The data, annually self-reported by hundreds of police departments across the country, confirms some assumptions, runs counter to others, and adds nuance to a wide range of questions about the use of deadly police force.

 

Colin Loftin, University at Albany professor and co-director of the Violence Research Group, said the FBI data is a minimum count of homicides by police, and that it is impossible to precisely measure what puts people at risk of homicide by police without more and better records. Still, what the data shows about the race of victims and officers, and the circumstances of killings, are “certainly relevant,” Loftin said.

 

“No question, there are all kinds of racial disparities across our criminal justice system,” he said. “This is one example.”

 

The FBI’s data has appeared in news accounts over the years, and surfaced again with the August killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. To a great degree, observers and experts lamented the limited nature of the FBI’s reports. Their shortcomings are inarguable.

 

The data, for instance, is terribly incomplete. Vast numbers of the country’s 17,000 police departments don’t file fatal police shooting reports at all, and many have filed reports for some years but not others. Florida departments haven’t filed reports since 1997 and New York City last reported in 2007. Information contained in the individual reports can also be flawed. Still, lots of the reporting police departments are in larger cities, and at least 1000 police departments filed a report or reports over the 33 years.

 

There is, then, value in what the data can show while accepting, and accounting for, its limitations. Indeed, while the absolute numbers are problematic, a comparison between white and black victims shows important trends. Our analysis included dividing the number of people of each race killed by police by the number of people of that race living in the country at the time, to produce two different rates: the risk of getting killed by police if you are white and if you are black.

 

David Klinger, a University of Missouri-St. Louis professor and expert on police use of deadly force, said racial disparities in the data could result from “measurement error,” meaning that the unreported killings could alter ProPublica’s findings.

 

However, he said the disparity between black and white teenage boys is so wide, “I doubt the measurement error would account for that.”

 

ProPublica spent weeks digging into the many rich categories of information the reports hold: the race of the officers involved; the circumstances cited for the use of deadly force; the age of those killed.

 

#FergusonOctober #MichaelBrown #KajiemePowell #JohnCrawford #EzellFord #EricGarner #VonderrickMyers

 

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Who Gets Killed?

The finding that young black men are 21 times as likely as their white peers to be killed by police is drawn from reports filed for the years 2010 to 2012, the three most recent years for which FBI numbers are available.

 

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The black boys killed can be disturbingly young. There were 41 teens 14 years or younger reported killed by police from 1980 to 2012. 27 of them were black; were white; 4 were Hispanic and 1 was Asian.

 

That’s not to say officers weren’t killing white people. Indeed, some 44 percent of all those killed by police across the 33 years were white.

 

White or black, though, those slain by police tended to be roughly the same age. The average age of blacks killed by police was 30. The average age of whites was 35.

 

 

Who is killing all those black men and boys?

Mostly white officers. But in hundreds of instances, black officers, too. Black officers account for a little more than 10percent of all fatal police shootings. Of those they kill, though,78 percent were black.

 

White officers, given their great numbers in so many of the country’s police departments, are well represented in all categories of police killings. White officers killed 91 percent of the whites who died at the hands of police. And they were responsible for 68 percent of the people of color killed. Those people of color represented 46 percent of all those killed by white officers.

 

 

What were the circumstances surrounding all these fatal encounters?

There were 151 instances in which police noted that teens they had shot dead had been fleeing or resisting arrest at the time of the encounter. 67 percent of those killed in such circumstances were black. That disparity was even starker in the last couple of years: of the 15 teens shot fleeing arrest from 2010 to 2012, 14 were black.

 

Did police always list the circumstances of the killings? No, actually, there were many deadly shooting where the circumstances were listed as “undetermined.” 77 percent of those killed in such instances were black.

 

 

Certainly, there were instances where police truly feared for their lives.

Of course, although the data show that police reported that as the cause of their actions in far greater numbers after the 1985 Supreme Court decision that said police could only justify using deadly force if the suspects posed a threat to the officer or others. From 1980 to 1984, “officer under attack” was listed as the cause for 33 percent of the deadly shootings. Twenty years later, looking at data from 2005 to 2009, “officer under attack” was cited in 62 percent  of police killings.

 

 

Does the data include cases where police killed people with something other than a standard service handgun?

Yes, and the Los Angeles Police Department stood out in its use of shotguns. Most police killings involve officers firing handgunsxl. But from 1980 to 2012, 714 involved the use of a shotgun. The Los Angeles Police Department has a special claim on that category. It accounted for 47 cases  in which an officer used a shotgun. The next highest total came from the Dallas Police Department: 14.

 

Thank you Pro Publica.

 

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If you have reached the same sad conclusion after reading this compiled information that I reached….logic and common sense will lead you to surmise that AmeriKKKan Law Enforcement is not accountable to any higher authority when it comes to murder, slaughter or shooting to kill American citizens. AmeriKKKan Law Enforcement agencies nation wide do not have to keep track, report or explain to the general public, those they are suppose to “Serve & Protect”, why, how or even when they take a life.

 

Thats a mighty big power trip to hand over to racist biased unbalanced humans.

 

Wonder how YOU’D feel if/when a cop kills your loved one, friend, spouse…and has to answer to his comrades, co-workers,  friends and a justice system that hides & protects him/her from the American public? Oh Yeah….and gives him/her a paid vacation while him/her awaits to NOT get indicted?

 

Welcome To The United States Of AmeriKKKa.

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It’s Raining Videos™ During A Twitter Storm™


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It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

Journeys to Australia

 

A documentary about the experiences of five remarkable young people who journeyed to Australia as refugees, fleeing conflict and persecution from various corners of the globe.

 

 

 

Friends Are Waiting”

 

 

 

Black Guy Breaks Into A Car

 

Is there a difference between a white guy trying to break into a car vs a black guy? Two guys test a well-known stereotype on the streets of Los Angeles.

Don’t forget to share and like this with your friends.

 

 

 

Post Maven Mars Orbit Insertion News Conference

 

 

 

NASA’s MAVEN orbiter aproaches Mars to study its atmosphere

 

 

 

Man Seen With Uva Student Faces Driving Charge

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

A man seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared was being sought Sunday on arrest warrants charging him with reckless driving, police announced at a news conference. (Sept. 21)

 

 

 

Missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham’s father John Graham pleads for help

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

Missing U-Va. student Hannah Graham’s parents appeared at a news conference Sunday. Graham’s father, John Graham, pleaded people to share information regarding his daughter who disappeared eight days ago in Charlottesville, Va

 

 

 

Massive climate rally in New York

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

Hundreds of thousands attend the People’s Climate March in New York City – two days before the UN Climate Summit.

 

 

 

Voices From The Historic 300,000+ Strong ‘People’s Climate March’

 

Published on Sep 21, 2014

TRNN speaks to some of the hundreds of thousands of participants who marched Sunday to ask them their demands of the climate justice movement and leaders.

 

 

 

NRA News Commentators | Ep. 86: Nikki Turpeaux “Knowledge is Power”

 

 

Just so you can see what stupid looks like, and observe whats wrong with The United States Of AmeriKKKa.

 

 

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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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Janelle Monae Has A Secret Video Of Barack Obama Dancing.


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From Time Magazine:

 

Janelle Monae Has a Secret Video of Barack Obama Dancing

 

Janelle Monae

 

By Zeke J Miller

 

“She can blackmail me at any time,” Obama says

If R&B artist Janelle Monaescores a Cabinet post before President Barack Obama leaves office, we’ll know why.

Obama’s three-day West-coast fundraising tour for Democratic candidates took him to the Los Angeles home of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes Wednesday, where he hobnobbed with the likes of Monae and Kerry Washington.

 

At the 450-person fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee — to which tickets started at $1,000 a head — Obama revealed that Monae was in possession of a top secret video of presidential dancing.

 

“Janelle has performed at the White House, like, 15 times,” Obama told the audience. “There’s going to be an official Janelle Monae room in the White House. We love her. Michelle and I love Janelle. We love her energy. We love her talent. But we most of all love her character. And anybody who gets a chance to talk to her, this is just a remarkable, strong, smart young lady.

 

“And I have to say nice things about her because she may be the only person in possession of a video in which I try to keep up with her and Usher on the dance floor,” Obama continued. “Now, this is top secret. She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.”

Monae called out “I love you!” to the Commander-in-Chief, to which he replied with his trademark “I love you back,” adding, “You do have that video, though, don’t you?”

Monae said she did, prompting the president to ask her to “testify” to his skills. “Now, tell the truth, though, Janelle — I wasn’t bad, though, was I? I’m just saying. Go ahead, testify just a little bit…Let me say I did not drop in splits. But I did bust a move. That I did do.”

Obama then recognized Washington, one of the earliest celebrities to back his 2008 candidacy, for being on his side when many Americans couldn’t pronounce his name correctly. “She pushed when the wagon was stuck in the mud — she was out there,” Obama said. “And she’s just been a great friend. Plus she showed me her baby pictures, and that is one cute baby.”

The West Coast swing has proven to be a controversial one for Obama, both for its timing amid multiple foreign policy crises and the secrecy surrounding fundraising events for two Democratic super PACs. White House officials defended Obama’s decision to continue with the trip despite the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the ongoing conflict in Gaza, saying that the president’s ability to manage the situations would not be impaired by keeping his schedule. While on the trip, Obama called Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday to discuss efforts to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The White House did not make public the list of attendees at the two super PAC fundraisers, one each House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC, or what they had contributed to gain access to the president. Reporters were not allowed to attend either session. “Without a doubt, I think we’ve done more to achieve the President’s commitment to transparency than any other previous administration,” said White House principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz.

Obama returns to Washington late Thursday after another fundraiser for the DNC and delivering a speech on the economy.

Thank you Time Magazine.

 

 

 

 

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