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Q&A: Nigeria kidnappings

bokowho 600Professor Michael Watts teaches geography at UC Berkeley and is the author of many books, including "Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria" and "Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta." He spoke to NAM editor Andrew Lam about the recent kidnappings of more than 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria by the radical group known as Boko Haram, and the apparent inability of the Nigerian government to either prevent or respond to their crimes. At the time of this writing, 276 of the girls that were kidnapped three weeks ago remain in captivity while 53 have escaped. On Tuesday, Nigerian officials reported that the group had struck again, abducting 11 more schoolgirls in the country's northeast region.

Who are the Boko Haram and what should we know about them?

First of all, those individuals who are identified with Boko Haram do not refer to themselves as Boko Haram. Boko Haram, in the local Hausa language, means something along the line of, "Western education is forbidden." It's a term applied to them by residents in the communities in which the movement arose in the early 2000's, in the northeast of Nigeria. They refer to themselves differently, as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad). I'm raising all of this because I think it's very important that Boko Haram is not [a name] they deployed, and it's not something that describes what they're movement is about.


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‘Jet’ magazine ends print issues

jet 600If it's not in JET, it didn't happen."

The popular catchphrase for one of the nation's premiere black publications is keeping their promise as they end their print issues and transition to digital publishing in June.

For 63 years, JET magazine has delivered the biggest and most breaking news as it pertains to black America. It currently ranks as the third leading publication in the African-American market following Essence and Ebony.

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Is Deidre Malone’s answer correct for ‘the’ question?

maloneconcentration 600Though the cheering had already started much earlier, Deidre Malone did not accept the fact of her victory in the Democratic Party primary until 9:43 p.m. Election Night.

Local Democratic Party activist Lexie Carter quieted the crowd, and from the Madison Avenue headquarter's back porch steps announced, "With 94 percent of the precincts in, she (Malone) has 13,340 votes, (the Rev. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr.) is at 12,148, giving him 33 percent. So with (County Commissioner) Steve Mulroy already conceding, Deidre has won. Mr. Whalum would have to get 5 percent of the total remaining votes to win."

Accepting the numbers at that moment, a visibly-moved Malone released a few tears. She turned and hugged her husband strongly for several seconds, then waded through the usual media blather before answering this question: Can she really beat incumbent Republican Mark Luttrell?


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It’s Malone vs. Luttrell in August

mayorraceDeidre Malone's marching orders to her constituents were succinct: "Let's take this thing."

That "thing" is the office of Shelby County Mayor. She earned the right to issue the summons to action by outdistancing the Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum Jr., who surprised many coming in second, and County Commissioner Steve Mulroy in Tuesday's Shelby County Primary Elections.

Of the votes cast, Malone polled 35.8 percent, with Whalum 32.8 percent and Mulroy drawing 31.2 percent. Those percentages reflected all but one precinct.

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foodmovie 600For movies opening May 9, 2014


"Chef" (R for profanity and sexual references) Jon Favreau wrote, directed and stars in this kitchen sink comedy as a cook who quits his job at a fancy restaurant in L.A. before returning to his Miami roots to operate his own food truck while reconciling differences with his estranged ex (Sofia Vergara). Cast includes Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr., Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale and Amy Sedaris.

"Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" (PG for scary images and scenes of peril) Animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz finds Dorothy (Lea Michele) venturing back to the Emerald City where she joins forces with a princess (Megan Hilty), an owl (Oliver Platt), a tugboat (Patrick Stewart) and a marshmallow (Hugh Dancy) after she finds the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and Cowardly Lion (Jim Belushi) under the spell of a wicked Court Jester (Martin Short). Voice cast features Bernadette Peters as Glinda the good witch, Tacey Adams as Auntie Em and Michael Krawic as Uncle Henry.


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