My father was a disciplinarian, Paris Michael Jackson reveals

The King of Pop’s legacy continues, not just through his art but also through his children.

Paris Jackson appeared on Naomi Campbell’s YouTube series “No Filter” Tuesday and opened up about her childhood and how famous father Michael instilled a strong work ethic and eclectic music taste in his kids.

“My dad was really good about making sure we were cultured, making sure we were educated, and not just showing us like the glitz and glam, like hotel hopping, five-star places,” she said.

The 22-year-old said she was conceived in Paris and born in LA but remembers growing up “kind of everywhere.”

“It was also like, we saw everything. We saw Third World countries. We saw every part of the spectrum,” Jackson said.

The model-singer was 11 years old when her father died, in June 2009, but she acknowledges that his influence in her life continues to this day.

“Growing up, it was about earning stuff. If we wanted five toys from FAO Schwarz or Toys R Us, we had to read five books,” she said. “It’s earning it, not just being entitled to certain things or thinking, ‘Oh, I got this.’ It’s like working for it, working hard for it — it’s, it’s something else entirely. It’s an accomplishment.”

When Campbell suggested that Paris was too famous to show up for model castings, she insisted that she is “a full believer that I should earn everything.”

“I need to … I go to auditions, I work hard, I study scripts, I do my thing,” she added.

Paris has certainly been doing her thing. Earlier this month, she starred in Stella McCartney’s ad campaign for her new collection, featuring eco-conscious vegan-leather pieces. She also released her debut album, “Wilted,” in November.

Following her family into the music industry, Paris credits her father’s music and his wide range of musical interests with guiding her own taste and sound.

“He loved classical music and jazz. And hip-hop and R&B, and obviously the Motown stuff,” she said. “But also like radio’s Top 40, and he loved rock music, soft rock, The Beatles. So we grew up around all of that, and I feel like all of that somehow influences my stuff, and if you listen to my album, even there’s some movie soundtrack-like influences as well, like Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman, as well as like rock bands like Radiohead and Manchester Orchestra.”

Paris’ older brother Prince also recently gave a rare interview for “The Mix” about his father and upbringing, giving a look into Michael Jackson’s parenting style along with bits of wisdom from his dad that are “close to my heart” and “applicable at all times.”

The 24-year-old shared that “the one that is my guiding principle is that you never stop learning.”

“I graduated, and that doesn’t mean that I stopped learning,” he added. “And my father also would say something along the lines of, ‘The minute that you stop learning is the minute that you’re going to start dying.’”

Nyanya Refuse Dump: AEPB of filt and the looming Cholera

The failure of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, to properly coordinate the cleanup of Nyanya, a satellite town of FCT is not only disastrous, disgraceful and shameful but portends danger to the health of residence. 
The refuse heep that waves road users good bye at the pedestrian bridge, phase 1 primary school is not only appalling but sickening. 
This is a refuse heep that have defiled commonsense. First, assigning a strategic place like road side as refuse dump, defeats the grains of the 21st century logic or commomsense. 
Apart from the fact that the location has a primary school behind it, which can compromise the health of the pupils, the once a week clearing of the refuse dump complicates the already messy traffic gridlock on that axis.
The health of the pupils whose body system is too tender to withstand the stench oozing out of the dump is at high risk. It is amazing how the AEPB cannot get another space out of the  7,315 km2 FCT land mass to use as refuse dump instead of advertising our failure on the access road linking nine (9) states of Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Nasarawa, Taraba, Benue Gombe, Bauchi, Kaduna.
Given the strategic nature of this road, won’t it have been sensible for the AEPB to move the refuse dump site away from road side, around which is a primary school, football field and businesses like car stand? 
If as Nigerians, we have lost our sense of sanity, what of the Ambassadors, Envoys and members of the diplomatic community that passes through the road everyday. Will they be wrong, if they call us whatever names they like? With the reek that hit every passenger that passes there, can’t someone convince AEPB to do something?
If not for anything, should the health of our minors not be of utmost concern to us? Should this also be added to the harsh condition under which our children are forced to learn? 
In scanner climes, no waste is a waste. All wastes are recycled to useable items. Since it seems we have all lost sense of what is good, we can at least, have shame to clear common refuse and relocate the dump to secluded place, where it would not constitute danger to the health of residence of the area.
AEPB, you are not only set up to collect revenue but work to protect the health of residents of the FCT. Do your work.
Omonu Gowon-Nelson is an Abuja based journalist. 

Gunmen storm Libya hotel used as Presidential Council HQ

Dozens of armed men staged a show of force at a hotel used as a headquarters by Libya’s presidential council as the nation’s deep divisions resurfaced.

The armed men were seen late on Friday at the entrance of the Hotel Corinthia in the heart of the capital Tripoli, according to images on social media. Local press labelled them “militias”.

Presidential council spokeswoman Najwa Wheba confirmed that armed men stormed “one of the headquarters where the council meets”.

She told Libya’s LANA news agency “no one was harmed” as the council does not work on Fridays, the weekly day of rest in Libya.

However, a senior official at Libya’s new Presidency Council denied on Saturday that men who entered the hotel had been armed or used force.

“There was no kidnapping, gunfire, or an attack on me or the hotel,” the head of the Presidency Council’s office, Mohamed al-Mabrouk, said in a social media video, adding he had been in the hotel at the time of the incident.

Mabrouk said the head of the Presidency Council, which functions as Libya’s head of state for now, would meet with the groups involved.

The show of force comes as the implementation of a UN Security Council call for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries rekindles divisions within the unity government.

A unified government?

On Monday, Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush, who is from the east, angered many in Tripoli and the west with a call for Turkey to withdraw troops it deployed during the civil war.

Those troops are widely credited in the Libyan capital with finally defeating a devastating year-long offensive by eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar in June last year. He received backing from several countries, notably Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Friday’s incident underscores the continued risks to the unity government. Both the Presidency Council and Government of National Unity have faced both internal criticisms and challenges to their authority.

In eastern Libya, Haftar and his Libyan National Army (LNA) still hold sway nearly a year after their 14-month offensive to seize the capital collapsed. In Tripoli, the armed groups that pushed Haftar back from the capital with Turkish support still control the streets.

Foreign mercenaries remain entrenched on both sides of the heavily fortified front line, despite international calls for the warring sides to pull them from the country.

‘Irresponsible statements’

Last week, Foreign Minister al-Mangoush repeated the call for all foreign fighters to leave while standing next to visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Turkey says its military presence in Libya is different to that of other foreign forces because it was invited by the previous UN-recognised government and it will not withdraw until others do.

Before the hotel was stormed on Friday, an operations room for the Tripoli armed groups said on social media it met to discuss “irresponsible statements” by al-Mangoush and later called on the GNU to formally reject Haftar.

An October ceasefire created a unified government – led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and the presidential council – as part of a United Nations roadmap for December elections.

In March, the UN Security Council called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and mercenaries, estimated to number as many as 20,000.

Libya was plunged into chaos after longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011, and over the years the conflict has drawn in several foreign powers.

An interim unity government finally came into being in March, replacing rival administrations in east and west, and aims to lead Libya to the elections.


Prince Misizulu named next Zulu king amid family feud

The eldest son of South Africa’s late Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been chosen as successor to the throne, amid a bitter family feud.

Prince Misizulu, 46, was named in the will of Zulu Queen Mantfombi Dlamini-Zulu – his mother – who died unexpectedly last week.

There were dramatic scenes as the will was read out, with some family members openly voicing their disapproval.

Prince Misizulu had to be led away from the meeting by armed security.

The reading took place at the KwaKhangelamankengane Royal Palace on Friday evening, and was televised.

South Africa’s Sunday Times reports that the new leader’s brother, Prince Thokozani, stood up to question the recognition of Prince Misizulu as heir. He was reportedly shouted down by other relatives.

Queen Dlamini-Zulu was buried earlier on Friday in a private ceremony in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

She had been appointed regent of the Zulus, South Africa’s largest ethnic group, after the death of her husband the king in March.

The throne does not have formal political power and the monarch’s role within broader South African society is largely ceremonial. But the Zulu monarchy remains hugely influential, and has a yearly taxpayer-funded budget of more than $4.9m (£3.5m).

King Zwelithini, who died from diabetes-related complications at the age of 72, had six wives and at least 26 children. But he picked Queen Dlamini-Zulu as his successor because she was the only wife with royal blood.

The queen’s death, at 65, has triggered a power struggle over the succession.

The royal family has dismissed rumours that she was poisoned as a misunderstanding. The cause of the queen’s death is yet to be announced.

Prince Misizulu is now expected to lead the Zulu nation of about 11 million people.



Florida teacher Amy Donofrio, who was suspended in March for refusing to remove a Black Lives Matter sign outside her classroom is now taking the district to court.

Donofrio, a teacher at the ironically-named Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, is being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The suit alleges the flag’s removal was a violation of her First Amendment rights. Donofrio initially put the sign outside her classroom in the fall of 2020 after Reginald Boston was killed in January 2020 by members of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Boston was a former member of the EVAC Movement, which focused on reframing the youth in Jacksonville from “at risk” to “at hope.”

The language arts teacher used her flags to demonstrate her opposition to the Civil War general who owned slaves. Donofrio also live streams her protests, some of which have gone viral on Twitter.

In March, the Jacksonville Public School District told Donofrio to take her flag down as it violated a district policy concerning political speech by employees.

Donofrio told BLACK ENTERPRISE in an emailed interview she asked the district for an applicable policy but the district could not provide one.

“And here’s the thing: it was our flag. Me and my students. And I knew what it meant to them. They’re processing these racially tumultuous times, and to remove a symbol of their humanity and safety, for a non-policy-based reason, right after our school had a meeting to debate whether or not the leader of the Confederacy appropriately represented them…no. That’s wrong,” Donofrio said. “Why didn’t I remove it? Because we in education constantly lecture kids to do the right thing, even when it may cost them, and we have an obligation to walk that out ourselves.

In addition to violating her rights, the English teacher said the school district constantly undermined the EVAC Movement, demoting it from a class to a club to an informal group. The district also turned down private funding for the program and blocked her from taking students on field trips during non-teaching days.

Donofrio said it hurt significantly to see the district fight the program while others were praising its efforts at the same time

“My students and I have presented at the White House, Capitol Hill, Harvard, on four occasions, and given a TED talk. Last year, we became published authors by Harvard. To see all that not be celebrated but fiercely targeted and labeled “problematic,” is deeply painful—like a slap in the face,” Donofrio told BE. “My students don’t deserve this treatment. As a white woman, glimpsing the depths of racism in these same systems that are supposed to protect and elevate them, it’s paradigm crushing.”

Donofrio is expected to face an uphill battle in court, but she’s more concerned about how her actions make her students feel, “Like they matter, because they do.”


The estate of Michael Jackson has emerged victorious, once again, in a court of law with a court’s recent ruling.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the estate of Michael Jackson went up against the Internal Revenue Service in the US Tax Court in a dispute about the eccentric entertainer’s worth at the time of his untimely death. In dispute was the amount of Jackson’s worth, with the judge ultimately deciding that the family’s stated figure was much closer to what the government claimed it to be.

The Internal Revenue Service estimated Jackson’s likeness and image to be about $434 million, while his estate stated that he was only worth about $2,000 at the time he had passed away back in 2009.

Earlier this week, U.S. Tax Court Judge Mark Holmes stated his reasoning in a more than 250-page ruling.

“From the time he was a child Michael Jackson was famous; and there were times in his life, testified his executor, when he was the most famous person in the world. There were certainly years when he was the most well-known popular-music star, and even after his death there have been years when he was the world’s highest-earning entertainer. But there were also many years when he was more famous for his unusual behavior and not his unusual talent. And there were some years where his fame was turned infamous by serious accusations of the most noisome acts. We make no particular judgment about what Jackson did or is alleged to have done, but we must decide how what he did and is alleged to have done affected the value of what he left behind.”

John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of The Estate of Michael Jackson, issued a statement:

“This thoughtful ruling by the U.S. Tax Court is a huge, unambiguous victory for Michael Jackson’s children. For nearly 12 years Michael’s Estate has maintained that the government’s valuation of Michael’s assets on the day he passed away was outrageous and unfair, one that would have saddled his heirs with an oppressive tax liability of more than $700 million. While we disagree with some portions of the decision, we believe it clearly exposes how unreasonable the IRS valuation was and provides a path forward to finally resolve this case in a fair and just manner.”

This adds on to recent court victories Jackson’s estate has won.

Late last month, a judge dismissed a molestation lawsuit against Michael Jackson. His estate also won its appeal in the HBO Leaving Neverland lawsuit. And at this time last year, judges had declared that Jackson’s estate did not have to pay legendary Quincy Jones $6.9 million in royalties.


Alleged to have fatally shot an innocent man on April 25, Norman Christopher Collier IV finds himself in an awkward legal battle – he lost his younger brother in an unsolved shooting and now he might lose his freedom.

Collier was arrested in connection with the shooting and killing of an innocent man at a balloon release ceremony held in his late brother’s honor, KWTX reported.

The elder Collier allegedly wanted to avenge the death of 19-year-old sibling Camran Collier who was shot and killed on April 22; police found his body in a 2013 Honda Accord, Complex News reported.

Believing online rumors, Collier mistakenly thought 20-year-old Kolby Marquise Graham killed his brother and took matters into his own hands when they attended a balloon release memorial ceremony held at Les Zeiger Park in DeSoto for the younger Collier—it was reported that Graham died from a shot to his head.

Graham initially survived before passing away. His dying words to his mother Tamaka Graham were, “Momma, remember I don’t have nothing against nobody it won’t be me it will be them.”

DeSoto Police are calling Graham’s death senseless, “URGING citizens to use caution & common sense when posting information to social media,” police wrote on Twitter. “Please check veracity & source of any info related to police matters. It can save a life!”

“We believe if this information about Kolby being the shooter of Camran had not been so passed on and gone viral on social media he would not even shot,” Cpl. Pete Schulte of the DeSoto Police Department told KTVT.

DeSoto Police arrested Collier and charged him with capital murder for the death of Graham. He is in custody in the Dallas County jail being held on a $1 million bond.

Source: 50 Black Enterprise 


Actress and social justice advocate Amanda Seales is calling out Vice President Kamala Harris for recently denying that America is a racist country.

Harris riled up the public last week when she seemingly agreed with the only Black Republican in the Senate, Sen. Tim Scott, and his controversial viewpoint that America wasn’t a racist country, CNN reports. “No, I don’t think America is a racist country,” Harris said in agreeance. “But we also do have to speak truth about the history of racism in our country and its existence today,” she added.

The comment offended many and left others scratching their heads as some hoped for the first female and VP of color to speak more truth to power when it comes to the ongoing issues surrounding racism in America. Once the Insecure actress caught wind of Harris’ comments, the outspoken star took to Twitter to blast the vice president.

“Ok! So, everybody on some bullsh-t. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool,” Seales said in a series of tweets sent out on Saturday, May 1. “That was dumb and embarrassing and she embarrassed everyone who supported her.”

“Damn, Kamala. The paradoxical political pandering is TIRED and insulting to the constituency that supported you along with affirming the doubts of those that didn’t,” she added, as captured by Atlanta Black Star. “Please fix this ASAPtuously.”

The often-vocal Seales, a former host on the daytime talk show, The Real, is used to ruffling feathers and getting reactions out of those who deem her words controversial.

“What’s dumb and embarrassing, is a BW who claims to advocate for blackness, demeaning this BW based on a spliced 12-second clip,” one Twitter user shot back. “If you knew a damn thing about our VP, you’d know she’s been among the loudest to speak on America’s “Achilles Heel,” it’s racism. Think next time,” they added.

Seales said her two cents and called it a day. She’s not the only one who has spoken out against VP Harris’s recent comments. But you can’t please everybody. Amanda Seales knows that firsthand.

Source: 50 Black Enterprise 


A white New Jersey police officer was fired and another one has been suspended for six months for portraying Black Lives Matter protestors as terrorists.

According to, two white female police officers, Sara Erwin (who was terminated) and Sgt. Mandy Grey (suspended for six months) were disciplined because of a Facebook post that Erwin wrote and Grey replied to. The police officers worked with the Hopewell Township, New Jersey police.

The Facebook post, which was written in June 2020, stated, “Last night as I left for work I had my two kids crying for me not to go to work. I don’t think I’ve ever felt the way I did last night. And then I watched people I know and others I care about going into harms way. I love my police family like my own. So when you share posts and things on Facebook I’d really appreciate if you’d THINK before doing so. I’ve seen so many black lives matter [sic] hashtags in these posts. Just to let you know — they are terrorists. They hate me. They hate my uniform. They don’t care if I die.”

Last year, in an email to NJ Advance Media, the police chief at the time, Lance Maloney wrote:

“On Monday, June 8, 2020 the township learned that multiple police officers and township employees had been accused of improper conduct involving social media. Those officers and employees were immediately placed on leave by the Chief of Police and Business Administrator. As we continue to investigate a recent Facebook post, please know that I am sorry for the hurt that this incident has caused our community,” Maloney said. “We understand that we have the obligation to make sure that our officers police in a manner that is fair and impartial.”

Source: 50 Black Enterprise 


Dr Ian Smith has insinuated that The Tamron Hall Show only features Black experts when it is for something negative.

In his interview with The Karen Hunter Show, Smith said the show conveniently does not book people of color with doctorate degrees, favoring white experts only, Madame Noire reported.

“There are a lot of people who look like me, who are equally educated, equally articulate, who are not getting a platform on major shows. And, you know, they won’t bring on African American or Latinx people as experts to talk about things like education or sociology or medicine or law,” Smith said. “They will only bring us on when we’re an entertainer or an athlete or we do something salacious. There is a talk show with an African American host and an African American executive producer that has said to publicists do not pitch us your Black clients we are not a Black show, pitch us your white clients, we don’t want to be looked at as a Black show.

“They will bring on Black experts when they do something salacious or they’re in the headlines for doing something bad. Then they’ll bring Black people on to talk about that,” he added.

Smith, in his explanation to Hunter, told her that he needed to call out Hall because he would have done so if she was white.

“I’m putting this show on blast because when white shows and hosts don’t let us on we criticize them, but the same criticism has to be held when a show is helmed and hosted by Black people that keep us off the airwaves and it’s just not right,” Smith said.

Hall started at NBC in 2007, having first joined MSNBC and later becoming a part of Today in 2014, according to Good Housekeeping. She left NBC with the arrival of Megyn Kelly and an expiring contract in 2017. She then landed her own daytime talk show series on ABC.

“Is it a she? Was she formerly on cable, and then moved to NBC and then moved on to her own show with her name on it?” asked Hunter. Smith, who was a correspondent for NBC News during her tenure, already knows the answer.

“Tamron Hall you heard it,” said Hunter.

Source: 50 Black Enterprise 

Biden gives US renters $21.6bn lifeline as eviction crisis looms

The administration of United States President Joe Biden announced the allocation of $21.6bn in emergency rental assistance to help prevent evictions of people who lost jobs during the pandemic.

The administration also announced changes on Friday in the rental assistance programme aimed at addressing criticism that the emergency support has not reached many who need the help.

This latest round of aid for renters was included in the $1.9 trillion relief package Biden pushed through Congress in March. It followed $25bn in emergency rental assistance in the $900bn COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress in December.

Administration officials said the additional support was urgently needed because nearly seven million Americans reported being behind in their rent payments in late April. More than 40 percent of those renters worry that they could be evicted over the next two months.

Among the changes announced by the administration on Friday, government agencies implementing the rental relief programme will be required to offer assistance directly to renters if landlords choose not to participate.

Also, the waiting time for delivering the assistance to renters has been cut in half if landlords decide not to participate in the programme.

 Gene Sperling, the White House coordinator of the American Rescue Plan, said that the administration’s goal was to get rental assistance to people who need it as quickly as possible.

“We need to make sure that as we implement these emergency funds that we are nimble enough to address growing needs,” Sperling told reporters at a briefing. “Basic housing security is fundamental to the dignity of all Americans.”

A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday struck down the nationwide moratorium on evictions that had been imposed by the Trump administration last year and extended by Biden until June 30.

Administration officials at the briefing noted that the Justice Department has already filed an appeal of that decision and been granted a 10-day stay of the ruling. The administration is seeking to extend that stay until a federal appeals court can rule on the matter.


Federal grand jury indicts 4 more police officers in George Floyd’s death

A federal grand jury has indicted four former Minneapolis police officers in connection with the death of George Floyd, alleging the officers violated Floyd’s constitutional rights, according to court documents filed in federal court in Minnesota.

The indictment says Derek Chauvin — who was convicted last month on state murder charges in the Black man’s death — deprived Floyd of the right to be free from “unreasonable seizure, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer.”Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were also charged in connection with their failure to intervene in Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force, per the indictment. Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and the fourth officer, Thomas Lane, all face a charge for failing to give Floyd medical aid.FOLLOW LIVE UPDATESAccording to the indictment, “the defendants saw George Floyd lying on the ground in clear need of medical care, and willfully failed to aid Floyd, thereby acting with deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of harm to Floyd.”

What we know about the 2017 encounter that led to Derek Chauvin's second indictment

What we know about the 2017 encounter that led to Derek Chauvin’s second indictmentChauvin also was charged in a separate indictment related to an incident in which he allegedly used unreasonable force on a Minneapolis 14-year-old in September 2017, the Justice Department said in a statement Friday.The first count of that indictment says Chauvin “held the teenager by the throat and struck the teenager multiple times in the head with a flashlight,” per the DOJ statement. A second count says he “held his knee on the neck and the upper back of the teenager even after the teenager was lying prone, handcuffed, and unresisting, also resulting in bodily injury.”CNN has reached out to attorneys for all four officers for comment. Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson declined to comment, as did Thomas Plunkett, an attorney representing Kueng. CNN also has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Department and the city’s police union for comment.Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, sparked protests nationwide against police brutality and racial injustice.Bystander video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds while the 46-year-old, handcuffed and lying prone in the street, gasped for air, telling the officers, “I can’t breathe.”

A juror in the Derek Chauvin trial says 'the evidence was overwhelming' against the ex-police officer

A juror in the Derek Chauvin trial says ‘the evidence was overwhelming’ against the ex-police officerThao, Kueng and Lane were on the scene with Chauvin. They also face state charges, including aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They have pleaded not guilty, and their joint trial is expected to be held this summer.The three former officers appeared with their attorneys in federal court Friday via video conference, and all three were released on $25,000 bond. Chauvin, who’s awaiting sentencing on state convictions in June, remains in custody.The new federal charges are separate from the civil investigation into Minneapolis policing practices announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland last month, the Justice Department said Friday.The attorneys representing Floyd’s family said in a statement that they are “encouraged by these charges and eager to see continued justice in this historic case that will impact Black citizens and all Americans for generations to come.”The statement from civil rights attorneys Ben Crump, Antonio Romanucci, and L. Chris Stewart said, “the additional indictment of Derek Chauvin shows a pattern and practice of behavior.”

Derek Chauvin's attorney files motion for new trial

Derek Chauvin’s attorney files motion for new trialMinnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the state’s prosecution against Chauvin, called the charges “entirely appropriate,” saying the federal government had a “responsibility to protect the civil rights of every American and to pursue justice to the fullest extent of federal law.”News of the indictments were celebrated by civil rights leaders and activists like the Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, who said in a statement the charges show “we have a Justice Department that deals with police criminality and does not excuse it.””For many years we have tried to get the federal government to make it clear that these crimes are not only state crimes but violate civil rights on a federal level when police engage in this kind of behavior,” the statement said. “What we couldn’t get them to do in the case of Eric Garner, Michael Brown in Ferguson, and countless others, we are finally seeing them do today and this is a significant development for those of us who have been engaged in the struggle and police reform movement.”Asked about the indictments Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said they and the Chauvin verdict were reminders that “there’s still more that needs to be done.””While that was a moment of justice, certainly, that it is just the beginning,” Psaki said. “And it’s a reminder of the need to put police reform in place through our legislative process and put those reforms in place across the country.”

CNN’s Omar Jimenez, Christina Carrega, Dan Berman, Josh Campbell, Anna-Maja Rappard, Paul P. Murphy and Eric Levenson contributed to this report.

Ohio mom of 2 killed by ‘blind date’ while children home

“He was obviously pursuing a romantic relationship with her.”

An Ohio man has been arrested for the death of a mother of two who was killed at her home last month.

Kendall D. Beasley was arrested Thursday in connection to the murder of 31-year-old Shanika Bogan in her Dayton apartment while her two children were home. According to the police, Beasley killed Bogan “in the act of committing an offense of violence.” She was pronounced dead on April 30, as reported by PEOPLE.

“It was an intentional killing,” said Dayton Police Lt. Jason Hall. “We still have a lot of work to do on the motive end of that,” he added, noting that authorities are trying to determine a motive. “We are trying to piece together the events that occurred but I don’t have an answer for that right now.”

After reportedly serving six years in prison for aggravated burglary and intimidating a victim, Beasley was released April 5 from the London Correctional Institution. He had been out for less than a month at the time of the killing.

“It’s unbelievable that it really happened,” Bogan’s mother Tracie Berry told WHIO-TV. “Shanika wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

According to Hall, Bogan and Beasley were acquaintances and had known each other “for a very short period of time,” he said.

“She was set up basically in kind of a blind date type of situation,” Hall added. “He was obviously pursuing a romantic relationship with her.”

Bogan’s cause and manner of death have not yet been revealed.

“The investigation is ongoing, so as far as the motive behind this tragic crime, we are still working on that, still fleshing that out,” Hall said. “What I can tell you is unfortunately in this situation that two young children are without their mother.”

Bogan’s children, a 10-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl, were in the apartment at the time of her death but didn’t witness the killing, Hall said.

“She did everything for those boys,” said Berry, who told WHIO-TV that her grandson spoke to the alleged killer.

“He told my oldest grandson, ‘I’m going to give your mama a massage,’” Berry said. “I know he went in the bedroom and shut the door … and he came out told my grandson, ‘She’s taking a nap — get [yourself] some cereal to snack on and I’ll be back’ … and left.”

Beasley is facing murder and felony assault charges in the death of Bogan, according to court records.

From $40m to borrowing money for fast food, here’s how T-Pain lost all of his money

T-Pain, born Faheem Rasheed Najm, is not only a musician but an entrepreneur. Like many of his contemporaries such as Jay-Z, Akon, and Rihanna, he has an interest in multiple businesses. He first got into music as a child when he spent time with a music producer friend.

He would later convert his bedroom into a makeshift music studio. In the early 2000s, he made a grand entry into the music industry with a collaboration with Akon. He later released his debut album, Rappa Ternt Sanga, in late 2005 which became an instant hit globally.

Since then, he has featured major artists such as Chris Brown, Flo Rida, and DJ Khaled as well as winning the Grammys twice with his collaboration with Jamie Foxx and controversial rapper Kanye West.

His success in the music industry brought in quite a lot of money. In his own words, he became wealthy. However, a series of bad spending habits and investment decisions left him with zero dollars in the bank.

In a startling interview recently, the 35-year-old revealed that he had to borrow money from friends to treat his children to a Burger King meal. According to him, he once had $40 million in his account but lost all due to poor investment decisions and spending habits.

“Now I know what the high end is and what the low end is,” he said. “I’ve been mega-rich, I’ve been super broke, right in the middle of thinking I was mega-rich, and then got rich again, and you know learned how to really give a s— about money,” the rapper said in an interview with the radio show “The Breakfast Club.”

T-Pain disclosed that his most expensive purchase, apart from his home, was a $1.2 million Bugatti. That Bugatti, which he even abandoned after five months due to a fault, was the beginning of his financial woes. “At that point, I was running out of money and my accountant was like ‘You just bought a Bugatti. You’re out of money.’ And I was like ‘No, I’m not. I got this house I want to get, this other house for my assistants, my runners, my producers and stuff,’” T-Pain shared.

He said that after buying that house, he just started “going crazy with the money.” 

“I wasn’t paying attention to it. I thought if I didn’t have access to my own accounts that I wouldn’t have to look at it.”

Essentially, T-Pain and his team squandered money on real estate. “I was letting my manager do it and he was way more optimistic than I was,” the rapper said. “He would buy complete dumps and think that we could just paint.”

T-Pain shared that they never sold the properties purchased and things got really bad.

However, “The Masked Singer” singer claimed in the interview that he is currently financially stable, adding that he does not intend to chase after the $40 million. “Once you give as— about the money you’re making, then you feel much better about your accomplishments, you feel much better about what you’re doing, you start paying attention to your work that makes you money,” he said.

In addition, T-Pain said he has learned about sound financial management skills and paying attention to projects he is executing. He added that he has found a way to balance this time between his family and his hustles.

“I’m not chasing the $40 [million],” he said. “The money I’m making now, I’m just making it, I’m not trying to make it. That $40 million, I was hustling, I needed to be on everybody’s record, and every record gotta go No. 1, I gotta do this work. And at that time, I didn’t know my family at all.”

According to him, his proudest moment has been providing for his wife Amber Najm and three kids Lyriq, Muziq and Kaydnz.

“Awards are always great, but in the long run, it doesn’t really say who you are. I’m more concerned about my family, my kids, and my wife and making sure I can provide,” he said.

Biden Administration To Waive Intellectual Property Protection For Covid Vaccine

The Biden administration on Wednesday threw its support behind a controversial proposal to waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines, with liberals framing it as a necessary bid to speed the shots to billions in the developing world, while the drug industry warned of devastating effects to vaccine production.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the United States will now move forward with international discussions to waive the protections for the duration of the pandemic. U.S. officials helped block a World Trade Organization proposal that was introduced last year to stop enforcing patents for coronavirus-related medical products. Dozens of developing countries have pushed for the proposal, arguing that it would allow them to rapidly produce their own generic vaccines, rather than wait months or years for sufficient doses.

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines,” Tai said in a statement.

The decision to go forward with the waiver after weeks of internal deliberations was finalized at a White House meeting on Tuesday with President Biden, said senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the deliberations. Staff at the meeting included Tai, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients, and Bruce Reed, deputy chief of staff for policy, all of whom supported the decision.But Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who had concerns about the waiver, was not included in the meeting, the people said. The Commerce Department declined to comment.

Liberals had lobbied Biden to move quickly as coronavirus cases are surging in India and around the world. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and colleagues celebrated Biden’s decision as a necessary step for saving lives while restoring America’s position on the global stage.

But the drug industry said that the move would backfire, with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America predicting that allowing more manufacturers to begin making shots would spark new competition for limited ingredients, slow down existing production and even lead to counterfeit vaccines.

“If the end goal is to help other countries vaccinate their people, this is more political theater than it is substance,” said Brent Saunders, a longtime biotech CEO who now leads Vesper Healthcare Acquisition Corp., saying it could take years to build new factories to produce coronavirus vaccines. “If the government wanted to be helpful, it would help expand the manufacturing capacity of the existing companies.”

Administration officials have acknowledged their uncertainty about whether the waiver will actually speed up production of coronavirus vaccines across the world. The mRNA vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, require special technology that most countries do not have access to, raising questions about which countries will actually have the technological capacity to manufacture the complicated vaccines.

“Intellectual property rights is part of the problem,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Sunday on CBS News. “But really, manufacturing is the biggest problem. We have a factory here in the U.S. that has the full intellectual property rights to make the vaccine. They aren’t making doses because the factory has problems,” Klain added, referencing the ongoing safety issues at the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.

Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), who chairs a House subcommittee on Asian foreign policy affairs, praised the Biden administration’s move as a way to more quickly vaccinate the world and prevent new coronavirus variants from taking hold. In an interview, he also acknowledged the concerns around patent waivers and their limitations.

“I understand under normal circumstances the importance of protecting investments and [research and development] and intellectual property and in truth, it won’t be that easy for the world to ramp up mRNA vaccines because they’ll have to build up infrastructure,” said Bera, one of four Indian Americans in Congress who called on Biden to send aid to India.

Bloomberg News first reported that the Biden administration would support the waiver.

Tai cautioned that the discussions to proceed with negotiations over the waiver’s text would “take time.”Current and former officials said that a final agreement could differ significantly from the proposed waiver, which India and South Africa first introduced in October, and that deliberations could fall apart entirely.

“Text-based negotiations are important. It just takes a long time to get consensus in the WTO around specific language,” said Nao Matsukata, who served in the George W. Bush administration’s trade office and helped work on the 2001 agreement that set up the existing intellectual property protections.

Taihas spent weeks meeting with advocates and opponents of the proposal, which had divided the White House. Some administration officials focused on the domestic coronavirus response have cautioned that waiving protections on the vaccines could spark new competition for ingredients that could disrupt global production.

The waiver also sparked broader consternation in Washington over the past few months, as liberals pressed the Biden administration to support it and invoked Biden’s campaign pledge to lift patents and share vaccine breakthroughs with the world.The debate exploded in recent weeks as the United States administered hundreds of millions of doses to its own citizens while other countries, including India, saw coronavirus cases surge. While nearly half of Americans have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, only 8 percent of adults worldwide have received at least one shot, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.

House Democrats on Tuesday amped up pressure on the White House to support the temporary suspension of patent protections on coronavirus vaccines, releasing a letter signed by most of the chamber’s Democratic caucus calling on Biden to “restore America’s public health leadership on the world stage.”The Trump administration worked to delay the waiver and took other steps to disengage from global health efforts.

Liberals cheered the move as a significant step toward combating the pandemic, insisting that it would allow more manufacturers to produce vaccines and save lives.

“With this waiver, we can share vaccine recipes, largely developed with taxpayer dollars, while assuring reasonable royalties to American manufacturers,” said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.), who chairs the House Ways and Means health subcommittee and met with White House officials on the waiver last week.

“We turned up the heat, and I think the president cares deeply about keeping promises,” said Faiz Shakir, a former chief adviser to Sanders, who lobbied senior administration officials about the waiver. “For those of us who are activists, it’s important for us to remember we demand they do what they already promised. And to their credit they did so.”

But longtime pharmaceutical hands and Republicans panned the decision and predicted it would backfire, arguing it could have drastic impacts on their ability to produce vaccine doses while offshoring American jobs and chilling incentives for future inventions. They also warned that it would hand taxpayer-backed technology to the nation’s international rivals, with Chinese and Russian officials pushing for the waiver.

“The Biden administration should not support waiving intellectual property protections, which would undermine the very innovation we are relying on to bring this pandemic to an end,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The stock prices for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna fell sharply after the news broke on Wednesday afternoon, although they made partial recoveries before the end of trading. Pfizer’s stock made an almost full recovery, closing almost flat on the day, while Moderna’s stock fell by about 6 percent on the day as investors processed the change in policy. Johnson & Johnson’s stock remained largely flat.

“The news clearly had an effect on the sector today, but the market is still digesting what it means for future innovation and their ability to license patents,” said Nicole Tanenbaum, partner and chief investment strategist at Chequers Financial Management.

Moderna also announced on Wednesday encouraging results from its booster shot in fighting against coronavirus variants. “It was expected the U.S. would come out with this news, so the market is trying to understand what that means while balancing it against the positive news coming out of Moderna,” Tanenbaum said.

Lindiwe Tsope just became the first pupil from Oprah Winfrey’s school to get a PhD

Getting into the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, a boarding school in South Africa, was not easy for Lindiwe Tsope in 2007. Out of 12 pupils from her primary school in Soweto, only two made it to the academy after a rigorous process of interviewing, she recalled in an interview. Getting to experience life on a bigger scale while at the academy, one of her biggest moments was being able to meet international movie stars, who visited the academy to give the girls motivational talks.

When she first joined the academy, it was tough having to make the shift from being taught in isiZulu at a township school to speaking English full time. But she braved all odds, and today she is the first pupil from the academy to graduate with a doctoral research degree (Ph.D.).

The 27-year-old from Soweto obtained her doctor of philosophy degree in sociology last week, a year after completing her thesis, TimesLIVE reported. She graduated from Rhodes University in her pajamas in a ceremony that was held virtually.

“When the university sent an e-mail saying I am graduating in April, it was a big deal for me. It was amazing. I am still processing the depth of it. It’s a huge milestone. It’s not my milestone, but my family’s and the community’s milestone,” said Tsope, who is overwhelmed with joy.

In her PhD research, she focused on the topic of “a narrative study of students’ and staff’s experiences of living with HIV and Aids at Rhodes University,” Rhodes University said.

“The main goal I wanted to achieve was to understand what it feels like to live with HIV, to understand what people living with HIV are saying about interventions that are in place for them at the university and to find out where they place themselves,” she was quoted by TimesLIVE.

Her research, which is the first of its kind at Rhodes University, included conducting interviews with students and staff members. She did that through the university clinic. In her final year, however, she faced some challenges due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations. The university closed and everyone went home. She said she nearly extended her degree by one more year.

“Tsope’s journey to attaining her Ph.D. was not an easy one. However, after much-needed support and encouragement from her peers and colleagues, she found the will to push herself and complete her journey within the designated time,” the university said.

Tsope has attributed her feat to the support she received from her family members, supervisors and colleagues, and of course Oprah Winfrey. “I had an extensive conversation with Mam’ Oprah when I submitted my thesis. She was so proud and she reminded me that I did this. I was thanking her for the opportunity to be academically equipped and to dream this far, but she brought it back to me to say it was my hard work that made me achieve this goal.

“She reminded me that I worked for this”.

To Tsope, the media mogul has indeed transformed her life and her family. “She went as far as investing in us as human beings. It was not just a financial investment on her end.”

Tsope now plans to work at an NGO that focuses on HIV/Aids, research and community programmes.

Source: Face2face Africa 

Pan African Heritage World museum, the biggest museum in Africa to be built in Ghana

West African country Ghana breaks ground for the construction of what is described as the biggest Museum in Africa; the facility which is named the Pan African Heritage World museum will be made up of both virtual and physical space features for user convenience. It will be situated in the Central region of Ghana.

The museum which was designed uniquely to depict Africa’s cultural elements is the brainchild of Honorable Kojo Yankah, the founder of African University College of Communications (AUCC) and also the past President of the Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST).

During the ceremony, President of the republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo who was at the event promised government’s support towards the project. “The museum is certainly an innovative pan-Africanism project and the government is accordingly supporting its development.” the president said. 

He added  that, “the precise state of the support government will provide is the subject of ongoing discussions between the executive council and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the results will be fully publicized.”

The president who is very optimistic of the various benefits of the facility stated that, “I am glad that when completed, this project will provide education in the museum’s gallery for visitors to learn more about the history, cultures, indigenous ideals of our ancestors who demonstrated their resolve to protect our environment.”

He further advised residents to ensure that the progress of the project is not impeded in any way. “I urge you, residents of the area and those within this immediate catchment area to be mindful of the fact that you will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this project, so please, do not put any impediments in the way of investors or contractors. There should be a cordial relationship among you,” he said.

In describing the purpose of the Museum, Honorable Kojo Yankah, who is the brainchild behind the project said earlier that, “after centuries of separation, people of African descent have an obligation to share a common space that helps to bridge the wide gap that exists among them as a result of deliberate mis-education and historical oppression. The Pan African World Heritage Museum fulfills this obligation.”

Face2face Africa