Intro Video

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Africa's top shots: 25-31 October 2019

A selection of the week's best photos from across the continent.

from BBC News - Africa

Drawn to open-ended problems

Vilhelm Lee Andersen Woltz, who goes by Billy, sits by the outdoor track at MIT on a New England fall day. It’s cold, gray, and misty, but it’s nothing compared to the weather during his most cherished personal cross country memory last year.

“The weather was terrible. It was pouring rain and with massive puddles. My heels were numb by the end of the race,” he recalls. The plan was to start out slow then speed up and obliterate the other team. Once Woltz came down a hill, he saw that the field to the finish line was one massive puddle. 

“I couldn’t see the ground or any rocks and was so worried about falling,” he laughs. “I had put in all this work. Like, if I fall now, then first of all, I’d lose the race, so that would suck. But I would also just be cold.” But he plunged in and placed first. 

Woltz, an MIT senior majoring in physics and in electrical engineering and computer science, is a distance runner for the Institute’s varsity track and cross country team. He dedicates at least 20 hours a week to the sport, and he can recall all of his meets in college.

Woltz takes an analytical approach to his running: “I think, ‘I want to win this race, what do I need to do to get there?’ It’s kind of like an open-ended problem and involves research and conducting my own experiments. I really like that kind of tinkering approach to my training,” he says.

Drawn to open-ended scientific questions as well, Woltz works in the lab of Professor William Oliver in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, on research to advance the cutting-edge field of quantum computing. In principle, ultrapowerful quantum computers could solve problems that are intractably complex for classical computers, but the field is still in very early stages.

When he took his first class on the subject, he was fascinated by the theory but skeptical about whether quantum computing could work on a large scale. But then he took Oliver’s graduate applied physics class, and that sucked him in.

“I was convinced,” he says. “I thought, okay, this might work. And I knew I wanted to work on it.”

Science, not football

Even though physics wasn’t offered at his high school in Logan, Ohio, a tiny town in the southeastern part of the state, Woltz always knew he wanted to do something related to science. 

“My grandma was fond of reminding me that when she would ask me what I wanted to be when I was older, I’d say ‘a scientist.’ And she was like, ‘That’s not what little kids say. Why not a professional football player?’” he says. 

Woltz, whose parents were both helicopter pilots in the U.S. Army, went to the same high school his father went to 30 years ago, which is the same school his grandmother went to 30 years before that. Logan is a football town — kids grow up dreaming of being professional football players, Woltz says. The town has a population of around 7,000, and about 25 percent of his graduating class went to college. 

Woltz’s background has given him a clear-eyed view of what public education is like for many in America. He grew up on a 64-acre farm and before going to school, he would wake up early to go break the ice that had frozen over the horses’ drinking water during the night. He lived far from the town and only had limited options for internet — none of which had high-speed internet that could handle online gaming or even streaming movies. 

Bringing coding to rural schools

Even though he now studies computer science, Woltz didn’t learn any computer programing before college. It wasn’t offered at his high school, so he asked a friend to show him the ropes when he came to MIT. 

“Computer programming should be a basic skill for the American population. It’s so useful,” he says. “To not cover it at all, that seems outdated.”

Because he did not have the chance to learn programming in Logan, he wanted to create that opportunity for people in his hometown. After his sophomore year at MIT, Woltz decided to start a one-week summer camp for kids in Logan and the surrounding areas to learn how to program. His old high school gave him a classroom, and the first year 15 students joined the free program. By the end of the week, the students were able to program their own tic-tac-toe game using Python. 

After that pilot year, the program grew. This past summer, he taught four courses with increasing difficulty levels. He also got in touch with Fugees Family, a nonprofit organization devoted to working with child survivors of war, and he taught 25 middle-school-age refugees from Syria, Bengal, and Bosnia, in Columbus, Ohio.

In total, Woltz taught close to 70 students and hopes to keep the program growing. He wants to teach the teachers computer programming so it can be sustainable and implemented across the school system. 

After he graduates, he wants to get a PhD in Physics and continue working on quantum technologies. He’s currently in the process of obtaining a scuba diving license.

“I like going to places where humans don’t belong but where we build technology that lets us go there,” he says. “I’m just curious. I like to explore and figure out what is going on in the world around me, which is probably why I’m so interested in physics and science.”

from MIT News

The African Americans discovering Ghana

Ghana has declared 2019 the 'year of return' and is encouraging the African diaspora to visit the country, but why are some deciding to make it their new home?

from BBC News - Africa

Uber and Lyft Fight a Law They Say Doesn't Apply to Them

The ride-hail companies are backing a ballot measure to overturn a California law intended to transform gig-economy workers from contractors to employees.

from Wired

Ty Hobson-Powell: Creative Entrepreneur On A Mission To Inspire The Youth

BE Modern Man: Ty Hobson-Powell

Public advocate, author, speaker; 23; CEO, NEITH L.L.C.

Twitter: @TyHobsonPowell; Instagram: @TyHobsonPowell

Born to be a statistic, the sole amazing thing that I’ve done is make the conscious choice to become a positive one and to inspire the youth and encourage others to adopt that same spirit of positivity along the way.

I graduated high school at 13 and went on to attend Howard University, becoming the youngest student in the history of the institution. I eventually graduated from college at 15, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore. The next year, I pledged Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. at the age of 16. I finished grad school at age 17 at Liberty University with my master of arts degree in 2013. I worked for the D.C. government’s Office of Youth Programs as a curriculum developer and special projects manager, for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and in the private sector doing logistics consulting after Clinton’s loss.

In the time since, I have moved to Atlanta to focus on more creative aspects of my career. In my capacity as senior editor for We The People, a youth-run digital publication, I was able to snag an interview with the embattled Rachel Dolezal before the Netflix content aired. I have published a book. I have engaged in a national speaking series called TyTalks where I visit campuses to inspire the youth. The last speech was held at Harvard University in November 2017 discussing womanism and how we must rise to the occasion to better protect our black women.

In 2018, I decided to get into music. I realized that I had a voice that people wanted to hear. I am dropping a project called “For Colored Boys Who Love Trap Music & Beethoven” in 2019. It is an exploration of conversations I wish we would have more of. It’s a pretty deep project. Music, like love, is a universal language. I want to use the language of music and love to inspire the world. With the assistance of my housemate Warren “Ghost” Hallmon, in 2019 we launched NEITH L.L.C. and incorporated it in the state of Georgia. NEITH is a creative content agency that will reweave the reality of the 21st century. People often think that creativity is limited to the arts. However, at NEITH we believe that the same ingenuity and spirit of innovation used to make an awesome movie or music video or photo could be employed to inspire the youth, revamp public school curricula, or find an effective solution to homelessness. We believe that a world full of collaboration by intellectuals and creatives is the world that we need, and we are fighting every day to make that world real. This year I will also be consulting with government officials in Caribbean nations to promote human rights equity.


I was the most proud of being able to fund a scholarship award in 2017 that helped a senior graduate from Fayetteville State University. The Colin R. Kaepernick Social Justice Award emerged from seeing the problems that face young people in trying to pay for higher education. To that end, I wanted to reward somebody matriculating through higher education that was also a pillar for community activism. I took my refund check and created a support scholarship. Even though I’m not rich, it just seemed like the right thing to do. My years in D.C. government working to avail academic and professional resources to District residents showed me that the youth of the world just want opportunity. That was my best effort toward providing such opportunity, to inspire the youth. I did not have the scholarship this year because I dissolved the fund, but I would like to pick it back up if I could get some partners to help with funding.


I am fighting to create generational wealth for my future kids in a world where I did not have it to inherit. I was born to a one-bedroom apartment, but my kids will rule over nations. My life has been a struggle that I have been working tirelessly to turn into a success story with every single hour. Should I drop dead tomorrow, it’s already a success to the extent I was able to plant seeds for trees whose shade I do not expect to sit in.


The best advice I’ve ever been given is that a child not embraced by their village will burn down that same village to feel its warmth. It motivated me to work to inspire the youth, to always have a collaborative nature with my peers and let them know that I care and will do whatever I can to assist them. We are each other’s business.


I have been called a thug by strangers who know nothing of my character or background. I’ve been profiled by police for existing while black and felt the tightness in my chest that most black people do when they see red and blue cop lights in their rearview mirrors. I have been subject to monkey chants abroad and racism at home. I’ve walked on sidewalks with women who clutched their purses tighter when seeing my charcoal skin, even though I would be more likely to put money in than take any out. If I was a murderer or a thief I’d be famous already, but in my exceptionalism, there is little to no sensationalism. Still, I love everything about being a black man. Life is harder for people with darker skin all around the world, but in 2019 nothing is unattainable. We are free. What I love most as a black man who is the descendant of slaves is that very freedom that my ancestors did not have.

BE Modern Man is an online and social media campaign designed to celebrate black men making valuable contributions in every profession, industry, community, and area of endeavor. Each year, we solicit nominations in order to select men of color for inclusion in the 100 Black Enterprise Modern Men of Distinction. Our goal is to recognize men who epitomize the BEMM credo “Extraordinary is our normal” in their day-to-day lives, presenting authentic examples of the typical black man rarely seen in mainstream media. The BE Modern Men of Distinction are celebrated annually at Black Men XCEL ( Click this link to submit a nomination for BE Modern Man: Follow BE Modern Man on Twitter: @bemodernman and Instagram: @be_modernman.


from Black Enterprise

Braun MultiServe Coffee Machine Review: Finally, a Great Single-Cup Coffee Brewer

Braun’s new MultiServe coffee machine can brew batches of different volumes, from one cup to a full pot. And they all taste great. Bye-bye, K-Cups.

from Wired

Wait, There’s Hope\! Here’s How Humans Might Save Antibiotics

People have a poor track record of preventing global disasters. But for antimicrobial resistance, an unlikely group of allies is making big promises.

from Wired

Kamala Harris campaign cuts headquarters staff, moves some to Iowa

By KATHLEEN RONAYNE Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is laying off several dozen staff members and transferring others in an effort to salvage her prospects in the Iowa caucuses.

The move, which comes roughly three months before the caucuses formally usher in the Democratic contest, make the California senator the most prominent candidate so far to announce a major campaign restructuring. Harris’ campaign turned to history to make the case that in order to win the leadoff caucuses, candidates sometimes have to overhaul their operations.

“Plenty of winning primary campaigns, like John Kerry’s in 2004 and John McCain’s in 2008, have had to make tough choices on their way to the nomination, and this is no different,” her campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, wrote in a memo to staff that was shared by the campaign Wednesday.

Politico was the first to report the overhaul.

Harris had already pledged to go all-in on Iowa, joking she was moving there, and earlier Wednesday her campaign touted the 15 days she spent in the state this month as the “October Hustle.” It was more than any of her competitors spent there in October, but she’s still polling behind leading candidates such as Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

The latest changes come a full month after Rodriguez visited Iowa to evaluate the campaign’s organization and on the eve of an important Iowa Democratic fundraiser. On Friday, thousands of party activists, donors and officials — along with more than 150 members of the news media — will be listening closely to Harris’ speech for signs of new energy.

Among the changes outlined in the memo: Rodriguez and campaign consultants will take a pay cut, though it doesn’t say by how much; several dozen people will be laid off at Baltimore headquarters; and staff from New Hampshire, Nevada, California and headquarters will be moved to Iowa. The memo also doesn’t say how many people will be transferred to Iowa.

Harris plans to spend significant time in Iowa again in November, including over Thanksgiving.

The campaign, which has not yet run any television advertising, hopes to spend at least $1 million on a media campaign in the weeks before the Feb. 3 caucus, the memo said.
Rodriguez tried to distinguish the memo from what he called “gimmicks” by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Obama Cabinet official Julian Castro, who have released urgent appeals for money in recent weeks, raising the prospect of leaving the race if they couldn’t raise enough quick cash.

But Harris has underperformed on the fundraising front. She hails from California, a state that is home to many of the party’s most prominent donors and which has long served as an ATM for politically ambitious Democrats.

That hasn’t translated into success for Harris. Although she did better than her rivals in the state, she has struggled to raise money in recent months, despite keeping up an aggressive fundraising schedule.

She has consistently posted middling quarterly fundraising hauls. And during the most recent quarter, which ended Sept. 30, she revealed that she spent roughly $3 million more than the $11.6 million she took in while delaying about $1 million in payments to campaign strategists.

While her aides initially tried to project California as locked up in her favor, many of her rivals have found deep pockets of support among top donors there. Last spring, Democratic megadonor Susie Tompkins Buell, who was initially a top Harris fundraiser, also started to raise money for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Associated Press writer Brian Slodysko in Washington contributed to this report.
Read the Harris campaign memo:

The post Kamala Harris campaign cuts headquarters staff, moves some to Iowa appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Goalkeeping Mandanda brothers set for hat-trick

Riffi Mandanda is set to become the third of four goalkeeping brothers to win an international cap as he is named in the DR Congo squad.

from BBC News - Africa

Rapper N.O.R.E. calls it like he sees it, says Kanye’s new album is “trash”

At least one rapper is not feeling Kanye West’s new release “Jesus is King” and that is Queens-based rapper, N.O.R.E.

Jesus Is King is trash,” N.O.R.E told Nick Cannon of Power 96 in Los Angeles, responding to a question asking for his thoughts on the album. “I love Kanye. I wanna be clear… How the f— you got Clipse on a record that’s not good? Jesus is mad at this n***a.”

N.O.R.E.’s criticism doesn’t stop there. He told Cannon he is also disappointed that Kanye didn’t sit down with journalists from “the culture” when making his press rounds promoting his album, according to Complex.

READ MORE: Trevor Noah slams Kanye West for being a hypocrite: You S**tting Me?

“I’ma be honest, I’m a hater. I’m kinda hater. Let me explain why,” N.O.R.E. said to Nick. “Zane Lowe is a person that I respect but I don’t respect. As a person who made the War Report album, I’ve done records with Mariah Carey…When I see you ever go to any place other than us—the culture—I have a problem with that.”

He went on to explain that he wasn’t miffed that Kanye didn’t sit down for an interview on his Drink Champs podcast per se, but that in general he would have respected the rapper for choosing journalists who are familiar with the recording process.

“I’m not mad at Zane Lowe at all. I’m more mad at Kanye,” N.O.R.E said to Cannon.

Comedian Karlous Miller, of Wild’n Out and 85 South Show, tweeted that Kanye “fell off” and it’s like no one wants to discuss the elephant in the room. Cardi B said the real reason people are dissing Ye’s album is because he is glorifying God.

“Kanye West found God and people call that falling off,” Cardi tweeted.

READ MORE: Donald Trump Jr. calls Kanye’s ‘Jesus Is King’ the ‘epitome of fearless creativity

Since Yeezy released his newest album on Oct. 25, some artists are expressing support in his Christian project. Lecrae tweeted “Regardless of how you feel about #KanyeWest the content is refreshing to hear. God will get His glory. And #JesusIsKing.”

The post Rapper N.O.R.E. calls it like he sees it, says Kanye’s new album is “trash” appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Could Africa's DNA help to cure sickle cell disease?

African populations contain a huge proportion of humanity's genetic data.

from BBC News - Africa

LisaRaye McCoy says she wouldn’t ‘spit’ on Duane Martin if he were ‘on fire’

LisaRaye McCoy has some stuff to get off her chest.

The actress went on The Wendy Williams Show on Wednesday to explain why she is no longer friends with Duane Martin, her one-time co-star on All of Us whom she claims went to inappropriate places with her ex-husband, Michael Misick, a Turks and Caicos politician.

“I just know he’s not my friend anymore,” McCoy told Williams about Martin. “He was my brother, I called him my brother and for me, at the time, he was my example. Being a married couple, I wanted to be around them because I wanted (them) to show me how to be a new wife.”

READ MORE: LisaRaye McCoy spills tea on why she and Duane Martin are no longer friends

Martin was married to Tisha Campbell during the time of McCoy’s allegations. Martin and Campbell have since separated.

“He started being in places he shouldn’t have been, along with the shenanigans,” McCoy continued, referring to the places Martin and Misick would go. “I made it very clear we were not friends anymore, he was not welcome in my home anymore.”

But McCoy was emphatic about clearing the air on one misconception. She told Wendy that she doesn’t blame Duane for breaking up her marriage.

“Let me be clear, I never said Duane broke my marriage up, I said he was a friend of mine and he shouldn’t have been in places that he was in with my now ex-husband,” McCoy said. “I know that he cannot break up my marriage, no one can do that, you’re only responsible — you and your husband. But there’s a code of conduct you must have when you’re in a relationship and he broke that, he broke the friendship.”

READ MORE: LisaRaye On Nicole Murphy Response: ‘She Might Wanna Come See Me’

McCoy said even though she addressed Martin and told him he was not welcome in her home, he continued to drop in and go to the inappropriate places with Misick.

“When you tell a person, ‘You’re no longer my friend, if I see you, you don’t have to ever speak to me again, if you were on fire I wouldn’t spit on you. If I said these things to you, that means I no longer give a damn about you,’” McCoy told Wendy.

Wendy asked for specifics – whether Martin was hooking Misick up with other women – and McCoy reiterated that her ex and Martin were going places that they had no business going.

During the Wendy interview, McCoy also took aim at Nicole Murphy for allegedly lying about cheating with Misick and going after other married men. This past summer, McCoy tweeted what would become a viral response to photos showing Murphy kissing Antoine Fuqua: “Gurl @nikimurphy you went after @iamlelarochon husband too? … SMH so wrong … again!”

READ MORE: LisaRaye McCoy blasts Nicole Murphy for kissing scandal and says she messed around with her ex-husband too

Murphy denies the accusation that she’s a cheater.

“It says I broke up someone’s marriage, which is absolutely false. I never did that,” Murphy told Wendy. “It’s not true.”

McCoy’s response on Wednesday was don’t make me show receipts.


The post LisaRaye McCoy says she wouldn’t ‘spit’ on Duane Martin if he were ‘on fire’ appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Niecy Nash and husband use social media to announce divorce

Niecy Nash and husband, Jay Tucker, have split after eight years of marriage.

In a joint Instagram post, Nash and Tucker wrote: “We believe in the beauty of truth. Always have. Our truth is that in this season of our lives, we are better friends than partners in marriage. Our union was such a gorgeous ride. And as we go our separate ways now, we feel fortunate for the love we share – present tense.”

Nash, 49, who stars in TNT’s Claws, and Tucker, an electrical engineer, also thanked their fans for always showing them love during their marriage.

READ MORE: Niecy Nash reveals what makes her and her ‘Claws’ character ‘a boss’

“Thank you all out there for your support of us as a couple over the last eight years. We are grateful,” according to the IG post, which was signed Niecy Nash + Jay Tucker.

This was the second marriage for Nash. She was previously married to Pastor Don Nash, with whom she has three children. They divorced in 2007.

Nash and Tucker got engaged in 2010 and married in 2011 in Malibu’s Church Estate Vineyards. At the time of their engagement, Nash told PEOPLE magazine that their relationship seemed like a custom-made fit.

“I have to say, this second time around, it feels custom,” Nash said at the time to PEOPLE. “Even after I got my divorce, the ink wasn’t even dry on the paper, and I said, ‘Ooh, the next time I become a wife, I got this thing down pat!’ I always believed that there was someone built for me.”

READ MORE: Detroit woman shot 11 times by wife after asking for divorce

But a source told The Daily Mail that things grew challenging between Nash and Tucker because they lived in different cities while she filmed Claws, and because he was not comfortable with her explicit sex scenes.

The Daily Mail said the pair had been separated for months, with Nash putting her Bell Canyon, California estate up for sale for $1.2 million in July.

We wish them all the best.

The post Niecy Nash and husband use social media to announce divorce appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

PHOTOS: Halloween tricks and treats from Ciara, Missy, Nicki, Cardi B and more

Halloween came early for several celebrities this year prompting stars like Tracee Ellis Ross, Ciara, Russell Wilson, Missy Elliott, Deon Cole, and more to serve up some seriously creative costumes. Some opted to pay tribute to their favorite icons while others decided to celebrate themselves, flaunting their fierce fashion moments on social media for all to enjoy.

TheGrio was not only impressed, but even perplexed by a few of these choices. Nonetheless, dressing up is all in fun with the spirit of Halloween kicking off the holiday festivities.

Check out a few of the most outrageous Halloween looks from some of our favorites celebs:

Ciara & Russell Wilson

View this post on Instagram

Jay & Bey

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

This enviable couple paid tribute to Beyonce and Jay-Z, recreating their “Apesh*t” music video ensembles.

…and their kids

View this post on Instagram

The Jacksons 🎤

A post shared by Ciara (@ciara) on

Sienna and Future, Jr. also got into character as Michael and Janet Jackson. According to E! News, the kids’ custom-made costumes cost between $1,200 to $1,400 to create.

Nicky Minaj and Kenneth Petty

Newly married Kenneth Petty and Nicki Minaj are stunning in their Harley Quinn and Joker costumes.

Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade

Gabrielle & Dwyane

Gabrielle Union and husband Dwyane Wade serve couple goals for our next costume idea.

black-ish cast

The cast of black-ish paid homage to Jordan Peele‘s masterpiece Us, dressing up as The Tethered for the show’s special Halloween episode.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox
Getty Images

While we’re not sure exactly who Laverne Cox is channeling, it’s safe to say she’s ready to fight some crime with a smile.

Missy Elliott

Missy decided to celebrate one of her most iconic looks (and the fact that she hasn’t aged a day in 22 years) by recreating the cover of her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly. 

Deon Cole

This funny man may have won Halloween with his take on The Last Dragon.

Tracee EllisRoss

The black-ish star dressed up as Snoop Dogg and posed with her inspiration at Gabrielle Union‘s 47th birthday party over the weekend. (Fun fact: Ross and Union are birthday twins.)

Cardi B

Cardi B

Cardi B seems to enjoy being a naughty nurse with bright red hair to match her ensemble.

EJ Johnson

EJ Johnson

Johnson decided to pay homage to another well-known socialite, Paris Hilton. Not sure if being barefoot is an intentional part of this look or not, but it seems to work.

Tika Sumpter

Kudos to Mixed-ish actress Tika Sumpter for taking it all the way there in her interpretation of Detective Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs from the 1980’s hit show, Miami Vice. 


The post PHOTOS: Halloween tricks and treats from Ciara, Missy, Nicki, Cardi B and more appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

The Libyan footballer who won half marathon bronze

With football suspended in Libya under-23 player Abu Al-Qasem Rajab decides to run a half marathon and wins bronze.

from BBC News - Africa

The Delicate Art—and Evolving Science—of Wildfire Evacuations

The still-burning Kincade Fire prompted one of the largest wildfire-related evacuations in California history—a legacy, in part, of two earlier deadly blazes.

from Wired

How to Free Up Space in Gmail

Google offers 15 GB of free storage with every account, but many users are hitting the limit. Use these tips to clear some room, and tidy your inbox while you're at it.

from Wired

AI May Not Kill Your Job—Just Change It

Don't fear the robots, according to a report from MIT and IBM. Worry about algorithms replacing any task that can be automated. 

from Wired

HBO Max Is the New $200 iPhone

The days of carrier smartphone subsidies are long gone—but streaming subscriptions are filling the void.

from Wired

NASA is Getting Serious About an Interstellar Mission

Only two human-made spacecraft have ever escaped our solar system to dip into interstellar space. Now NASA wants to go back—and soon.

from Wired

Come Hang Out With WIRED at Our 2-Day Festival

Hear from Patrick Collison, Anne Neuberger, Chris Evans, N. K. Jemison, Ron Moore, and other huge names in the WIRED world. 

from Wired

A Deal With Airbnb Turned Retrograde for These Astrologers

Astrology Twitter descended when Astro Poets announced a partnership with Airbnb. Even two sacrifices to the spirits did not erase the ill will.

from Wired

Gernot Rohr: Nigeria coach unhappy at fixture schedule

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is unhappy with the scheduling of November's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers as names a 23-man squad.

from BBC News - Africa

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Nigeria's border crisis fuelled by rice

Nigeria has closed its borders bringing checkpoints to a standstill and affecting West African trade.

from BBC News - Africa

Boeing 'doesn't understand our grief'

Zipporah Kuria's father Joseph Waithaka was one of 157 people killed when a Boeing 737 Max crashed in March.

from BBC News - Africa

Liberia's child soldiers: 'I know I killed people'

Miatta says she was forced to fight when she was 14 and can't remember how many people she's killed.

from BBC News - Africa

NFLPA Partners With College Group to Push for Student-Athlete Rights

According to Sports Illustrated, The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has linked up with the National College Players Association (NCPA) to see how college athletes can be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness.

Earlier this year, California’s assembly voted 73–0 to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act, which would make it illegal for California universities to revoke an athlete’s scholarship or eligibility for taking money. Schools would still not pay the athletes but the players could hire agents to negotiate and find business deals for them. California’s State Senate also passed the bill before California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law. New York State Sen. Kevin S. Parker also introduced similar legislation, Senate Bill S6722A also known as the “New York Collegiate Athletic Participation Compensation Act.” 

“Under this new partnership, the NFLPA and the NCPA will explore opportunities for merchandise, gaming, and other officially licensed products,” the statement revealed. “We will also review how recent developments impact television broadcast revenues in pursuit of fairness.”

“REP Worldwide was created to offer all athletes the same world-class service that NFL players have when companies want to partner with athletes to market their likeness, image, and personalities,” said NFLPA Executive Director and NFL Players, Inc. Chairman DeMaurice Smith. “We are proud to partner with the NCPA to offer this service to students who are also athletes. For the first time, a legislature has indicated that these students have rights just like everyone else and we support this continuing movement towards fairness.”

“Our business is built on the foundation that athletes in all sports have rights beyond their work,” said NFL Players Inc. President Ahmad Nassar. “By entering into this partnership, our work with the NCPA will ensure that athletes are supported in a meaningful way.”

Initially, the NCAA expressed opposition to California Senate Bill 20, arguing that the bill is “unconstitutional and would adversely affect competitive balance throughout collegiate athletics.” The organization also warned that the state’s colleges could be excluded from the league and will not be allowed to participate in championship tournaments if this law passes. On Tuesday, it was announced that “In a concession the NCAA had long resisted, the organization’s governing board directed its three divisions to immediately consider changing the rules governing such benefits for athletes, and to make any such changes no later than January 2021,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

from Black Enterprise

How Lasers Work, According to the World's Top Expert

Lasers help us pay for groceries and zap us back into health, but what's their secret? Nobel laureate Donna Strickland steps us through the science.

from Wired

Spelman College receives $2M for first ever Audre Lorde Queer Studies program

Spelman College has received a $2 million dollar gift from philanthropist Jon Stryker, to establish its first chair position for a Queer Studies program.

The program was named in honor of legendary queer Black poet, activist, and feminist, Audre Lorde.

“Spelman College has long been at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusion and education among HBCUs,” Stryker said in a statement. “By supporting this chair, the goal is to engage and empower the next generation of LGBTQ advocates to create a better world.”

On Tuesday the institution made the historic announcement, stating that the program will be a part of the larger Comparative Women’s Studies program and Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center.

READ MORE: Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. donate $160K to alma mater Spelman College

“A major theme of Spelman’s strategic plan is ‘elevating the Spelman Difference,’ that is creating opportunities to recruit and retain the kind of excellent faculty who are the hallmark of Spelman excellence,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. said. “We are honored to name the chair after the literary luminary and fierce activist, Audre Lorde.”

The generous donation will match Spelman’s $2 million fundraising campaign, Forbes reports.

Lorde’s son, Jonathan Rollins, said his mother would have been “over the moon” to know she was being honored in such a significant way.

Before Lorde’s death, she ensured that Spelman was accounted for in her will, and donated personal papers and articles to the all-women’s HBCU. She and former Spelman president, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole were also close friends.

The position makes history as the first of its kind at an HBCU, according to the outlet.

“By empowering and educating the next generation, we can help make a future where LGBTQ people have full and equal protections under the law,” said Stryker, who is the founder and president of the Arcus Foundation.

Spelman College is a historically Black college located in Atlanta, GA dedicated to educating women of African descent.

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The school has received some push-back in relation to the queer studies program, said Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, founding director of Spelman’s Women’s Research and Resource Center. She said Spelman and other historically Black schools have faced scrutiny because of religious affiliations and alumni who are not on board with the idea.

In 2017, Spelman changed its admissions criteria. The school opened the door to admit those who identify as females, despite whatever gender was assigned at birth. The Women’s Research and Resource Center saw an opportunity to pursue funding to establish a queer studies faculty position.

The school expects to hire a chair by 2022.

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from theGrio