Schoolgirl Escaped Boko Haram Aided By One Of The Kidnappers

Amina Tsawur, 17, was helped to escape by a member of the terrorist group who spoke her local language. The Boko Haram member told her to “ask to be moved away from the other hostages so she could relieve herself.” Amina followed his instructions, then fled through the jungle in northern Nigeria until she reached a highway where a passing motorist drove her to a nearby town.

Describing the moment of her capture, she said: ‘It was about llpm and we were very scared to hear shooting. We didn’t know what to do or where to run.

‘After some time we started seeing men in soldiers’ uniforms coming in the school by torchlight.

‘We thought they were soldiers. They said they had been sent to evacuate us so we would not be harmed.

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Hillary Clinton’s State Department Would Not Label Nigerian Boko Haram as Terrorists

Hillary Clinton photo
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State of the United States received assessments and urging from the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, General Ham, and some members of Congress … to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Opponents to designating Boko Haram were concerned that adding the group to the FTO list would make the United States and Western interest more of a target and would enhance Boko Haram’s status among extremist groups. The opponents were  21 U.S. based African studies academics, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell, some members of the State Department, the Nigerian government, and Scholars on Twitter.

As Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton’s leadership is open to  question. Secretary Hillary Clinton seems to have disregarded the assessments and urging from the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, General Ham, and some members of Congress.

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Putin marks Victory Day in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin marked Victory Day Friday with his first visit to Crimea since it  was annexed from Ukraine in March. As part of the May 9th events, President Putin oversaw a massive military parade celebrating  victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

“This is a holiday when all-conquering patriotic force triumphs, when we all feel especially strongly what it means to be true to the Motherland and how important it is to be able to stand up for its interests,” Putin told massed troops to shouts of “Hurrah! Hurrah!”

Watching a military parade in Sevastopol on the Black Sea, Putin said: “There is a lot of work ahead but we will overcome all difficulties because we are together, which means we have become stronger.”

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The Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls

Who are the girls in the photos being used on the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls in support of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram? The photos were used without permission of the photographer Ami Vitale. The girls in the photos are not Nigerian schoolgirls but instead are girls in Guinea-Bissau.

Ami Vitale took the photos to show the hope and resilence of people in Guinea-Bissau. The BBC removed the photos from the related blog post on the BBC website. However Chris Brown has not removed the photos.

Using those photos without permission is a huge infringement and misrepresentation of the girls in the photos,  their families, and the photographer.  The photos should be taken down by those who used them without permission.

There were three photos that were taken from either my website or the Alexia Foundation website, and someone made these images the face of the campaign….

There are many times when I get upset when people take my photos without permission, but this isn’t about that. I support the campaign completely and I would do anything to bring attention to the situation. It’s a beautiful campaign that shows the power of social media. This is a separate issue.

This is about misrepresentation.

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What Kids Are Reading

Children ReadingGreen eggs, stick figures navigating school, football, foster children, and teen battles are all found in the books American children are reading. Robin Hood, stick figures navigating school, and teen battles are all found in books United Kingdom children are reading. There are many similar authors being read by US and UK students.

The reading habits are detailed in the 2014 reports for the school year 2012-2013, which was released by Renaissance Learning. The reading choices of school children are tracked through the Renaissance Learning Accelerated Reader (AR) program.

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House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress

Lois Lerner
Lois Lerner

A contempt charge is usually to compel  either testimony or the production of documents.

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

The House voted 231-187 for a resolution holding Lerner in contempt. All the Republicans voted yes, along with six Democrats.

Lerner’s case will now be sent to the Justice Department, which then must decide whether to essentially prosecute Lerner in the case.

Minutes after the Lerner vote, the House passed a resolution asking the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS by a vote of 250-168.

House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement following the vote saying, “It’s time for Lois Lerner to account for her actions, and if she won’t then the full force of the law should be brought to bear.”

What happens next?  Will the Justice Department decide to prosecute?  Congress in 2012 voted to hold Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, in contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the gun-running operation “Fast and Furious.” Holder saw his contempt of Congress vote as ‘partisan sport’.  Will Holder view the House vote holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress as partisan politics and do nothing?

Expect the issue to linger through the election season.

Online:  FoxNews:  House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress
Vote Details:  On Agreeing to the Resolution: H RES 574 Recommending that the House of Representatives find Lois G. Lerner, former Director, Exempt Organizations, Internal Revenue Service, in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform

**Update: IRS finally agrees to turn over ALL Lois Lerner emails to House Republicans – a day after she’s found in criminal contempt

Less than a day after former IRS official Lois Lerner was found in criminal contempt of Congress, her old agency has agreed to turn over copies of all her emails and other correspondence to one of the Republican-led House committees investigating the scandal that led to her retirement.

 

Field of Prey Book Review

John Sanford’s new suspenseful Lucas Davenport novel Field of Prey is superb.  An amorous couple discovers a body in an abandoned cistern in Minnesota.  It develops into a major investigation when the police began excavating and the body count increases.  Someone has been using the cistern to dispose of bodies for at least 10 years.  The investigation is headed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension with Lucas Davenport and the County deputies assisting.  They are looking for a serial killer who has been operating in small towns near the cistern.  Pressure builds as the authorities search for clues that lead to a surprising conclusion.  This is one of the best Davenport novels; witty and suspenseful.  A gripping page-turner that draws you into the story.

Field of Prey available at Amazon

Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

dollar_us

Yuck! Wash Your Hands.  New York University’s Dirty Money Project found  3,000 types of bacteria on a $1 bill.

In the first comprehensive study of the DNA on dollar bills, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project found that currency is a medium of exchange for hundreds of different kinds of bacteria as bank notes pass from hand to hand.

By analyzing genetic material on $1 bills, the NYU researchers identified 3,000 types of bacteria in all—many times more than in previous studies that examined samples under a microscope. Even so, they could identify only about 20% of the non-human DNA they found because so many microorganisms haven’t yet been cataloged in genetic data banks.

Easily the most abundant species they found is one that causes acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections, the scientists said. Some carried genes responsible for antibiotic resistance.

“It was quite amazing to us,” said Jane Carlton, director of genome sequencing at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology where the university-funded work was performed. “We actually found that microbes grow on money.”

Online:  WSJ:  Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Boko Haram threatens to ‘sell’ kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls

The fate of more than 200 Nigerian girls, that were kidnapped in April by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, has turned even more nightmarish when the leader of Boko Haram announced plans to sell them.

“I abducted your girls,” the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said in the 57-minute video.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful”, has been waging a bloody insurgency to establish sharia law in northern Nigeria.

“I have kidnapped a girl in an school with Western education and that bothers you. I say that Western education must end – it must end! The girls must leave and get married,” he said.

Shekau also threatened to sell the girls.

“By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace,” he said in the video, which starts off with Islamist fighters lofting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant “Allahu akbar!” (“God is great”). France24

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Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings

Supreme Court photoToday’s Supreme Court  ruling in the case of  Town of Greece v. Galloway, upheld that the American tradition of public prayer before a legislative session does not violate the Constitution. It protects the freedom of community volunteers to pray according to their faith in a public setting, without censorship and it defends the prayer giver’s freedom of speech over an “offended” person’s demands for censorship. Common sense won!

The Supreme Court Monday ruled 5-4 that prayers given before meetings of an upstate New York town council did not violate the First Amendment even if they stressed Christianity. The decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, wrote by Justice Anthony Kennedy, is likely to have wide-reaching implications. It upholds the centuries-old tradition of offering prayers at open government meetings, even if the prayers are overwhelmingly Christian.   For years activists have sought to require prayers that have no faith specific content, for example excluding and forbidding the mention of Jesus Christ.

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