#BringBackOURGirls! Boko Haram To Release Chibok Girls, Agree To Ceasefire

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***THIS JUST IN***

UPDATED 10/17/14, 3:43 P.M. EST: According to Nigerian government officials, in addition to the ceasefire, the nearly 300 schoolgirls — who were kidnapped as they took exams in Chibok — will be released, reports the BBC.
Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur told BBC Focus on Africa that the agreement was sealed after a month of negotiations, mediated by Chad.
As part of the talks, a government delegation twice met representatives of the Islamist group.
Mr Tukur said Boko Haram had announced a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday and the government had responded.
“They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them,” he said.
“I am cautiously optimistic.”

While the Nigerian government hasn’t revealed what concessions they have made to secure the girls, they have said that they will be having a meeting next week to hash out the particulars of the release.
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ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s government and Islamic extremists from Boko Haram have agreed to an immediate cease-fire, officials said Friday, in a move that could end five years of insurgency that has killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest oil producer.
The fate of more than 200 missing schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents six months ago remains unclear. Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said their release is still being negotiated.
Boko Haram negotiators “assured that the schoolgirls and all other people in their captivity are all alive and well,” Mike Omeri, the government spokesman on the insurgency, told a news conference.
The chief of defense staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, announced the truce and ordered his troops to immediately comply with the agreement.
“Already, the terrorists have announced a cease-fire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in similar vein, declared a cease-fire,” Omeri said.
There was no immediate word from Boko Haram, which limits its announcements almost exclusively to videos of its leader Abubakar Shekau. Last year, when a government minister charged with negotiations announced an agreement, the group quickly published a video denying it. Leader Shekau said at that time that whoever the government negotiated with did not speak for him and that he would never talk to infidels.
It could take days for word to get to fighters of Boko Haram, which is broken into several groups. They include foreigners from neighboring countries Chad, Cameroon and Niger, where the insurgents also have camps.
There have been unconfirmed reports that at least some of the girls have been carried across borders, and some forced to marry their captors. A Boko Haram video in May showed two of the girls explaining why they had converted from Christianity to Islam.
Omeri confirmed there had been direct negotiations this week about the release of the abducted girls. Another official said the talks took place in neighboring Chad. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to reporters.
Boko Haram had been demanding the release of detained extremists in exchange for the girls. President Goodluck Jonathan originally said he could not countenance a prisoner swap.
Boko Haram – the group’s nickname means “education is sinful” – attracted international condemnation with the April 15 kidnapping of 276 girls and young women writing final examinations at a boarding school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok.
Dozens escaped on their own in the first couple of days, but 219 remain missing. Their plight drew protests around the world with demands that the military and government get them free.
The United States, Britain, France and China sent experts to help find the girls, and U.S. drones flew over the area they are believed captive. But Badeh said months ago that they feared a military campaign to free the girls would lead to many of their deaths.
Dozens more schoolgirls and boys, young women and men have been kidnapped by the extremists in a 5-year-old insurgency.
Jonathan told the United Nations last month that the extremists have killed 13,000 civilians.
Hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes, many of them farmers, causing a food emergency in the northeast of the country where the insurgency is centered.
But Boko Haram has struck elsewhere, with suicide and car bombing attacks in northern cities, in Abuja, the capital in the center of the country, and one failed car bomb in Lagos, the commercial capital in the southwest.
This week, nearly 100 soldiers have been on trial before a court-martial for mutiny and conspiracy to mutiny by refusing to fight the insurgents.
Demoralized troops have told The Associated Press that Boko Haram is better equipped and better armed, and that their officers steal some of their pay. They complain that they are abandoned to fight in the bush with no food or water.
In August, Boko Haram began seizing and holding territory where it declared a caliphate, apparently copying the Islamic State group fighting in Iraq and Syria.
But the tide appears to have turned in recent weeks, with the military wrestling some towns from the extremists and reporting to have killed hundreds of Boko Haram fighters.
French President Francois Hollande on Friday welcomed the announcement of an accord on the Nigerian schoolgirls as “good news.” He said during a press conference in Paris that “we have information that allows us to think that (the release of the girls) could happen in the coming hours and days”. He didn’t give details.

By Abena Agyeman-Fisher

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SPANISH LAKE, A Banned Documentary on Race, Class and White Flight

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By TheLip.TV

Coming on the heels of the racial tensions in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown, the director of a new documentary about race, class and white flight in a nearby community discusses the making of ‘Spanish Lake.’

The bold and uncompromising documentary – directed by Philip Andrew Morton and produced by Matt Smith – focuses on economic oppression in the suburb of Spanish Lake, Missouri, which is located just eight miles from Ferguson.

The film reveals how a lack of local government and community leadership has disastrous effects on the community, including a mass exodus of the white population in the late 1990′s.

The themes of the film parallel America’s growing political divide, underlying racism, and a rise in anti-government sentiment.

via TheLip.tv – SPANISH LAKE, Documentary on Race, Class and White Flight with Filmmakers.

‘TAGGED’: A Spoken Word Video on Modern Strange Fruit – Urban Cusp

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Sometimes the way we say things make them easier to hear…. I honestly find pain to be at the root of a lot of beautiful art… Mr.Jeff Dess proves to us that this is true….

By MrJeffDess

At any given moment my name could be a hashtag
A social place holder love remembrance
At any given moment my neighborhood could be a hashtag
Hashtag Jamaica Queens
Hashtag Elmont
Hashtag Brooklyn
Hashtag the Bronx
Hashtag Jersey City
At any given moment we could be the ones in tears
With milk running down our cheeks sudden smells of burning flesh
At any given moment my face could be the one
Attached to the unknown soul
Hashtag you’re it
If they gunned me down please remind the world of all my missteps
Hashtag
If they gunned me down please remind the world
of my use a foul language
Let them know I listened to trap music and gangsta rap
Let them know I illegally downloaded movies
And don’t forget that I stole basketball cards from the corner store in the ninth grade
And once wore white tees two sizes too big
And Timberland boots and hooded sweatshirts
But what is one to wear when a hoodie is removed and replaced by a coat of unarmed armor
When it’s too hot for hoods and the summer nights have reached boiling points
Thankfully there are buckets of ice water to be spilled
But unfortunately there are pints of blood also spilled
But neither will soothe the pain of tear gas
Wonderfully millions were raised
But sadly millions of questions went unanswered
And the scariest part is that no one was surprised
And maybe that’s because
so many times the words protect and serve
seem to transform into seek and destroy
And maybe that’s because bullies don’t understand logic
But they do know about bloody noses
And maybe that’s because peace and tranquility is often on sale
But one can never find the aisle for freedom
One cannot be stunned by the nights when you’re born in the shadows
Being labeled as the unknown is never a shock
One cannot be stunned by the night
Because the curfews have been set for centuries
And they always start at the crack of dawn
One cannot be stunned by the night
If when the rainbows appear you still fade to black
The veils had been removed
But the cloak of darkness has always remained
At any given moment my name could be a hashtag
But this was never about me
And this was never simply about the police
And this was never simply about the government
And this was never simply about our local communities
It extends further than any purple mountain majesty
You see we once signed a contract expecting freedom
But instead were met with exit interviews
Liberty and justice for fill in the blank
Hands up
Please don’t shoot
I cannot breath
Hands up
Reaching for strange fruits from the poplar trees

Published on Aug 28, 2014
This poem was inspired by the pain of young black men and women
This poem was inspired by the pain of our communities
This poem was inspired by the countless names of young brothers and sisters lost

See more.

Hey White People: An Awkward Note to America by #Ferguson Kids

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By Urban Cusp

Six black kids from #Ferguson, MO bluntly and sarcastically educate white America about the racist reality in 2014. Recruited from the very block where unarmed black teen Michael Brown was gunned down by a white police officer, these kids ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old, use sometimes uncomfortable humor to show white people the continued racism their generation faces. Armed ONLY with statistics (hands up, don’t shoot) these articulate and adorable kids are not having it while much of white America would rather pretend racism is over.

Click here to see more!.

***UPDATE***Here’s how the NFL really feels about domestic violence ***Warning Possible Trigger***

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***UPDATE***:ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A law enforcement official says he sent a video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee to an NFL executive three months ago, while league officers have insisted they didn’t see the violent images until this week.

The person played The Associated Press a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming the video arrived. A female voice expresses thanks and says: “You’re right. It’s terrible.”

The official, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, says the NFL never followed up. The person can’t confirm if anyone at the NFL watched the video.

The person said he shared the video — which he was unauthorized to release — because he wanted the NFL to have it before deciding on Rice’s punishment.

All this bandwagon Ray Rice bashing and scape goating is missing the point. Yes Mr. Rice was wrong, but the NFL had ALREADY punished him. The release of this video doesn’t change any of the facts! We saw the same incident from another angle in which it is clear how hard he had to have hit her in order to produce the end result, but harsh punishment wasn’t handed out until now…why? Do you honestly expect us to believe that the prosecutor’s office and Rice’s attorneys had this footage but the NFL NEVER saw it? This has become a public relations disaster for the league, that is the only reason we are seeing this type of delayed action. Victim blaming runs rampant when a celebrity or sports star is involved. Have we already forgotten Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend?   If the league and its endorsements are walking away from Rice, who actually admitted he hit his fiancee from the beginning, then why haven’t we walked away from any of the other players accused in similar cases but who still continued to play in the league? Ray McDonald of the 49’s has been charged with the same crime and played this past Sunday…the difference: it wasn’t caught on tape…

I’ll let Michelle Jaworski‘s write up give you a few additional examples….

This story contains descriptions of domestic violence and may be triggering for some readers.

Update: The Ravens ended Rice’s contract Monday afternoon, the team announced on Twitter.

The outrage against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been sparked anew after TMZ published new footage of him beating his then-fiancée (and now-wife), Janay Rice (née Palmer), unconscious.

The video, which is violent and graphic in nature and depicts scenes of domestic violence, showed Rice punching Palmer in the face in an elevator at the now-closed Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Previously, the public had only seen what transpired after the fight in the elevator: Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of the elevator and into a casino.

Rice entered a one-year diversionary program that, once completed, would allow the third-degree aggravated assault charges against him to be dropped, but the NFL took a different approach. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other officials with the NFL and the Ravens met with Rice and Palmer to discuss the events, which many feel prohibited her from speaking freely while her abuser was in the same room.

Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens)May 23, 2014

Rice was suspended for two games and fined $58,000, a punishment many saw as not harsh enough and the NFL has now said it got wrong. The new rules, which wouldn’t apply to Rice, called for an automatic six-game suspension without pay for policies regarding “assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force” and those who have a second offense will be banned from the NFL.Two more cases of domestic violence by NFL players have already come up in the two weeks since the NFL changed their policy on domestic violence.

At the time, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote that “the NFL and some Ravens officials have seen” the other videotape, which captured the altercation (and has since reported otherwise), while ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio said that the NFL hadn’t seen the video.

The NFL’s official statement to TMZ Monday says that while they requested all information related to the incident, “that video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

tweet

It’s unclear if the NFL will reopen the investigation into Rice. Many people are finding it hard to believe that Goodell hasn’t seen the video footage until now and are even more outraged at Rice’s punishment than before. And it does absolutely nothing to quell the growing idea that the NFL doesn’t care about women (unless it’s their money) and that sexism runs rampid.

tweetass

No less than 29 players were suspended going into the first week (including Rice), the majority of them for substance abuse or performance-enhancing drugs. USA Today has been keeping a log of every NFL player arrested since 2000, and in 2012, Slate published findings showing that 21 of the 32 NFL teams had employed a player who had a record domestic violence or sexual assault charge.

But how does that compare to other NFL players convicted of domestic violence, and even those who have been suspended on testing positive for banned substances? In comparison, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon got suspended for an entire season after failing another drug test, and it left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. And if you look at the NFL’s past stance on domestic violence, that taste doesn’t go away, even a little bit.

 

1) A.J. Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings cornerback

Jefferson, who was charged with felony domestic violence after his girlfriend told police that he choked her in November 2013, got swiftly dropped by the Vikings, but he didn’t stay unemployed for too long. Picked up by the Seattle Seahawks, the most recent Super Bowl champions, he’s currently on the injured reserve list after injuring his ankle in a preseason game. The NFL as a whole didn’t punish him.

 

2) Chad Johnson, Miami Dolphins wide receiver

At one time one of the most visible NFL players on Twitter, Johnson was arrested in August 2012 and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after his then-wife, who he married the month before, accused him of headbutting her during an argument. The Dolphins dropped him a day later, but he received no further punishment from the NFL. He hasn’t played on a team since.

 

3) Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver

Bryant turned himself in and was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence charges in 2012 after he allegedly pushed his mother during an argument. He was never punished by the NFL, and he still plays for the Cowboys, even having a part in the disastrous season opener against the 49ers. Last year, he said that he was “done with domestic abuse.”

 

4) Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears wide receiver

The Bears player was charged with domestic violence not once, but twice, and has the lengthy and troubling rap sheet to go along with it. He’s been involved in 10 separate disputes (many of them involving women) for which he’s never been charged. With everything he’s been charged or accused of over the years, he’s only been suspended one game in 2009 due to charges that he abused his girlfriend (for which he’s been acquitted), and he’s completed anger management after another arrest after he prevented a girlfriend’s taxi from leaving his house.

 

5) Quinn Ojinnaka, Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman

He received a one-game suspension from the NFL after he was arrested for pushing his wife down the stairs during an argument. He played for three more teams after leaving the Falcons and even started a professional wrestling career.

 

6) James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker

He was arrested after allegedly hitting his girlfriend, but prosecutors droppedthe charges after he entered counseling and his girlfriend didn’t press charges. He was never punished by the NFL. Eventually released by the Steelers because they couldn’t agree on a pay cut, he played with the Cincinnati Bengals before retiring as a Steeler on Sept. 5.

 

7) Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers defensive end

He was found guilty of assaulting and threatening a woman by a jury back in July and sentenced to 18 months’ probation. He faces that mandatory six-game suspension recently implemented by the NFL if his guilty verdict isn’t overturned, but right now he is still allowed to play and faces something far more trivial: a fine for violating the NFL dress code if he wears face paint of the “Kraken,” his on-field alterego.

via Click here to see what else dailydot.com has to offer.

***UPDATE***FED UP – AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY AND DVD SEPTEMBER 9TH!

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FED UP featured on “The Business Insider”  and available for rental on Netflix DVD!

Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.

Check out the website fedupmovie.com and make sure to follow the film makers on Twitter for up to date information.

 

via FED UP – Official Trailer – YouTube.

 

 

Egypt’s Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By the Company Hired to Fix It

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Saqqara, in Egypt, is the oldest stone complex ever built by humans—and within it sits the oldest pyramid in Egypt. It’s a piece of irreplaceable history that’s been crumbling for 4,600 years. But according to one local report, it’s currently being destroyed by the company hired to “restore” it.

In fact, the company hired by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities may have even committed a crime in its restoration. According to the Egypt Independent, preservation laws require that any new construction be less than 5 percent of the preserved structure. Instead, the company—which has reportedly never worked on a preservation project before!—constructed a number of new walls and structures that exceed the limit.

Now, that might not be such a huge deal. Buildings can be torn down. But according to activists speaking in the story, the new construction is actually contributing to the collapse of the pyramid, which is considered the oldest cut stone structure in the world.

You see, back in 1992, a major earthquake hit the region, and it nearly destroyed the pyramid. It sent “tons” of stone, broken free from the structure, down into the base, and created a “dome-shaped” void at its top, in the words of archaeologist Peter James, who says it was “liable to collapse at any time.”

At the time, James’ company installed an ingenious temporary balloon-style support called WaterWall. “The internally-reinforced PVC product can be inflated with air and then filled with water,” writes James. “It was this product that was used to support the inverted dome of stone.” The system worked well, and over time, restoration specialists planned to install steel rods to strengthen the pyramid permanently.

But funding ran out. And kept running out, it seems, as sociopolitical upheaval wracked Egypt. The company that was hired to take up the job has reportedly never restored an ancient structure before—in fact, it’s never completed a successful project at all. Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm and translated by the Egypt Independent, one advocate said the company is actually responsible for a collapse of one section of the structure already.

It’s a sad, and unfortunately very common throughout history, occurrence. But hopefully a structure that survived the past 4,600 years of history can weather this particular storm, too. [Egypt Independent; Co.Design]

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING….