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Current Event Cat of the Day: Boko Haram Havoc

Current EVent Cat - Boko Haram

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is in desperate need of good luck these days because Boko Haram is wreaking some serious havoc on his country.

On Tuesday twin car bombs exploded in a market in the central Nigerian city of Jos, killing at least 118 people. More bodies may be uncovered once the rubble from the targeted building (a crowded market and a hospital) is cleared away.

Goodluck Jonathan said those behind the terrorist attack were “cruel and evil”.

Cruel and evil, you say? All signs point to Boko Haram, the Islamist group who kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls last month.

But a double bombing wasn’t enough for Boko Haram. The next day the militant Islamists attacked another village in north-eastern Nigeria, killing more than 25 people and burning nearly all the homes to the ground. Two other villages were raided earlier this week in north-east Nigeria, killing 27 people.

Yeah, Goodluck Jonathan really needs some good luck. Maybe he should try killing an albino and using their body parts as good luck charms? And if that doesn’t work, maybe sending in 80 US Marines will.

President Obama announced on Wednesday that he is deploying 80 Marines to Chad to look for nearly 300 missing Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

“These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over northern Nigeria and the surrounding area,” Obama said.

“The force will remain in Chad until its support in resolving the kidnapping situation is no longer required.”

Well, 80 troops will probably do more than a hashtag, and will certainly do more than the Nigerian government.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Death for Apostasy

Current Event Cat - Apostasy

A Sudanese judge has sentenced a woman to hang for apostasy after she left Islam and married a Christian man.

“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death,” Judge Abbas Moham med Al-Khalifa told the woman.

Despite appeals by Western embassies that freedom of religion should be respected, the judge meant business. In Sudan, which is governed by Islamic law, the rule is that apostasy – the abandonment of one’s religious faith – is a serious crime. Apparently serious enough to warrant the death penalty.

In addition to death by hanging, the woman was also sentenced to 100 lashes. The lashes were the result of her being an adulterous slut, since her marriage to a Christian man was not valid under Islamic law, which says Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslims.

“I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy,” the woman calmly explained to the judge.

Turns out she was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood. But the judge didn’t care. Death sentence still on!

The one upside to this whole situation is that the woman is eight months pregnant. Therefore, her 100 lashes won’t be dished out until she has recovered from giving birth and the courts won’t go through with her death sentence for two years after she has given birth. Yay!

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Tanzanian Witch Doctors Arrested Over Albino Killing

African Albino

There’s nothing scarier than seeing an African albino – unless you’re looking in the mirror, in which case you should prepare to be hacked to death.

Police in Tanzania have arrested two witch doctors accused of hacking an albino woman to death. Charles Mkumbo, police chief of the Simiyu region in northwestern Tanzania, said a man and a woman, Gudawa Yalema and Shiwa Masalu, were brought in on the albino killing charges.

The victim, Munghu Lugata, 40, was killed after attackers hacked off her left leg above the knee and chopped off three fingers.

“Her grossly mutilated body was discovered outside of her home by her own niece,” a spokesperson for Under The Same Sun, a group that campaigns for the rights of albinos, said on Wednesday.

The Tuesday attack is nothing new in Tanzania, where albino men and women are hunted down more often than the endangered albino rhino. Apparently, witch doctors believe magic potions made with albino body parts can bring good fortune and prosperity.

“Witch doctors tell their clients that the skin, hair, blood and organs of persons with albinism when combined with their secret magic potions guarantee success, wealth and election victory,” the group said in a statement.

More than 70 albinos have been killed since 2000, typically in violent attacks. The last killing of an albino in Tanzania was in February 2013. And while albino killings are said to be on the decline, there are sharp spikes during election season.

With local polls coming up in October, people with albinism “fear for their lives”, the group said, adding that “the black market demand for the body parts of people with albinism escalates during these times”.

The government has been trying to curb these albino killings, even going so far as to elect the country’s first albino MP, Al-Shymaa Kway-Geer back in 2008. And if Kway-Geer needs some good luck to win the next election, all she has to do is dismember herself.

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The Boko Haram Saga Continues While Ann Coulter Mocks Nigerian #BringBackOurGirls Campaign

Kidnapped Girls NIgeria Boko Haram

The Nigerian government is no closer to bringing back the 200 plus schoolgirls who were abducted last month by the militant Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

In a video released Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said he would consider returning the girls in a swap for jailed Islamic militants.

“For those who have not accepted Islam, I swear to Allah we will never release them until after you release our brethren in your prison, ” Shekau declared.

While the Nigerian government had previously said all options were on the table to rescue the kidnapped girls, what they really meant was all options are on the table except for that one…

“As far as this government is concerned, the option of [the] swap of innocent citizens with people who have taken arms against the country… is not on the table,” Nigerian Interior Minister Abba Moro said Monday.

Since President Goodluck Jonathan and his crew seem to be taking the slow route, villagers in Nigeria are taking security into their own hands. Locals in Nigeria’s northern states have been forming vigilante groups in various areas to resist the armed group. Three villages near Boko Haram territory repelled an attack by the rebels on Tuesday, killing an estimated 200 militants.

Meanwhile, over in the US, Michelle Obama participated in the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, which began as a way to call attention to the nearly 300 kidnapped Nigerian girls.

#BringBackOurGirls Obama

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who was obviously trolling for attention, quickly posted her own iteration of the hashtag, mocking everyone who participated in the social media campaign.

Ann Coulter Hashtag

I wonder if Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau would consider returning the girls in exchange for Ann Coulter? That might be a solution that even President Goodluck can get onboard with.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Boko Haram Kidnappings

Current Event Cat of the Day - Boko Haram

Boko Haram keeps the kidnappings coming! Gunmen from the Islamic extremist group, who abducted 276 Nigerian girls last month, have added eight more to the mix.

The latest kidnappings happened on Sunday night in the village of Warabe, Nigeria. Boko Haram gunmen shot their way into the village, grabbed eight girls between the ages of 12 to 15 and, to add insult to injury, stole some livestock along the way.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said via video that he plans to sell the hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian girls in the market… most likely the black market.

“I abducted your girls,” he said. “I will sell them in the market, by Allah.”

His reasoning? Education bad, child brides good.

“I abducted a girl at a Western education school and you are disturbed. I said Western education should end. Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married,” Shekau said in the 57 minute video.

“I will repeat this: Western education should fold up. I abducted your girls.”

Got it. Western education is a sin but armed abduction and sex slavery is totally acceptable.

Three weeks ago, 276 girls were abducted from their boarding school after Boko Haram gunmen stormed their dormitories. 50 or so managed to escape the militants, but among those who didn’t, some have already been sold as child brides in Chad and Cameroon – some for as little as $12.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration have been under mounting pressure to act since the girls were taken, but he seems to have dropped the ball on this one. Goodluck has publicly promised to find the girls, but Nigerians are angry over the perceived slowness in rescuing the school children.

Since President Goodluck doesn’t seem to the doing much and Liam Neeson is too busy filming Taken 3, the U.S. decided to offer some assistance. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday he’s offered to send FBI agents into Nigeria to aid in the rescue of the more than 200 girls being held hostage by terror group. US Secretary of State John Kerry backed him up, vowing that Washington would do “everything possible to support the Nigerian government to return these young women to their homes.”

Meanwhile, President Goodluck’s wife, Patience, has been doing her part by arresting the woman leading the protests over the abduction and the government’s ineffectual response. The First Lady, a politically powerful figure in Nigeria, ordered police to detain Naomi Mutah, a representative of the Chibok community where the girls were seized from their school, after she organized a protest outside parliament. How dare someone expect the government help them rescue their kidnapped children from a dangerous terrorist group in a timely manner! The Nigerian government has better things to do with the time! Like thinking of new, creative ways to vilify homosexuals…

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Nigerian Child Bride Poisons Her Groom

Child Bride

A 14-year-old child bride in the northern Nigerian state of Kano had two choices: stay married to the 35-year-old stranger her father forced her to marry and likely be subjected to a lifetime of abuse OR kill him by concealing rat poison in his food. Spoiler alert: She chose the rat poison.

The child bride, Wasilu Umar, admitted to killing her husband and three of his friends with a meal laced with rat poison.

The 14-year-old was married last week to 35-year-old Umaru Sani. The groom was quite pleased with the nuptials and invited a dozen friends to celebrate at his Ungwar Yansoro village. The bride, however, was not so pleased with the idea of marrying a man twice her age. The teenager told police she bought rat poison at a village market and used it to prepare a dish of rice. The groom and his friend died that same day while two other of his buddies died later on in the hospital.

“The suspect confessed to committing the crime and said she did it because she was forced to marry a man she did not love,” assistant superintendent Musa Magaji Majia told The Associated Press.

Well good for her! And given that childbirth and complications in pregnancy are the leading cause of death among teenage girls worldwide, she may have ended up saving her own life. But I doubt that the court will see it that way… The child bride is likely to be tried in a juvenile court and charged with culpable homicide.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Oscar Pistorius’s Vomit

Current Event Cat - Vomits at Trial

Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial is in full swing but it’s proving too much for the Paralympic athlete to handle. After hearing the graphic details of (former) girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp’s wounds, Pistorius proceeded to vomit in the courtroom.

On Monday, Oscar Pistorius because so overwhelmed while listening to expert testimony about the autopsy of Reeva Steenkamp (whom he is accused of murdering) that he appeared visibly shaken and threw up repeatedly in the middle of court.

Unfortunately the proceeding cannot be televised because Prof. Gert Saayman, head of the forensic medicine department at the University of Pretoria, argued that the details of autopsy were “very personal in nature” and could “compromise the dignity of the deceased.” Well, they should at least release a courtroom sketch of the vomit incident.

Saayman told the court how Steenkamp was struck four times with bullets from Pistorius’s nine millimetre pistol, but as more details were discussed, Pistorius broke down, his shoulders shaking, and began to spew out some vomit.

While Saayman poked some holes in Pistorius’s timeline of the events, other testimony revealed that the athlete “had a big love” for guns. 

Pistorius denies his murder charge, arguing that he shot his girlfriend through a locked toilet door by mistake because he believed she was an intruder. But the state is working on convincing the court that Pistorius and Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, reality TV star and law graduate, had an argument before the athlete fired the fatal shots.

If found guilty, the 27-year-old “blade runner” could face life in prison. And if found not guilty, Pistorius may want to think about an acting career. He seems to have a flair for the dramatic.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Algerian Plane Crash

Current Event Cat - Algerian Army Plane

If you think flying Delta is bad, wait until you fly in an Algerian military transport plane through stormy weather.

More than 100 people have died after an Algerian military transport plane crashed into mountains in the northeast part of the country. The Hercules C-130 was carrying 103 passengers and crew members (all members of the military and their families) when it took off from the city of Ouargla enroute to the northeastern city of Constantine.

Algerian news is reporting that the plane was flying “in poor weather conditions” and crashed into a mountain shortly before it was supposed to land in the city of Constantine.

“Very bad weather conditions, involving a storm and heavy snowfall, were behind the crash,” the defence ministry was quoted as saying in a statement.

One survivor has been found amid the wreckage – a soldier who is now being treated for head injuries at a military hospital in Algiers.

So far, 77 bodies have been recovered from the wreckage but rescue workers are still sifting through the mountainous terrain and wintry weather conditions for addition bodies.

This is the worst plane crash in Algeria since 2003, when 102 were killed after a civilian airliner crashed at the end of the runway in Tamanrasset. Interestingly enough there were also 103 people onboard that fight and only one survivor in the crash… So if your plane goes down in Algeria, you have a 1/103 chance of making it out alive.

Via: BBC News

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South Sudan Signs Ceasefire… And Other News

Ceasefire

In an attempt to prove they’re not the least desirable vacation spot in Africa, the South Sudanese government and rebels signed a ceasefire deal after more than a month of trying to kill each other.

The ceasefire calls for an immediate end to all military operations and both parties also agreed not to attack civilians and refrain from rape, sexual abuse and torture. Sounds like a pretty ceasefire deal. 500,000 people have been forced from their homes during the violence, which began when rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar tried to stage a coup. So the good news is the conflict is over (for now), but the bad news is nobody cares because Justin Beiber’s DUI is still dominating the headlines. CNN

Kiev UltimatumAfter last week’s anti-protest laws set off days of public demonstrations and violent clashes, Kiev experienced its first fatalities when two protesters died of gunshot wounds. Now the opposition is giving President Viktor Yanukovych 24 hours to dismiss the government, call early elections, and repeal legislation limiting acts of protest. And what happens after 24 hours? Boxer-turned- politician Vitaly Klitschko will attack! “Tomorrow if the President does not respond … then we will go on the offensive,” he said a cheering crowd on Wednesday evening – which was about 24 hours ago…. New York Times

Rape Tribal EldersOh India, you so rapey. India is yet again the scene of another horrific rape – but this time it was ordered by the “court”. On the orders of tribal elders in a village in eastern India, a 20-year-old women was brutally raped in public by as many as 12 men. The court ordered gang rape was apparently punishment for having an affair with a boy from another community – what a slut! In an interview from the hospital, the girl told a reporter, “I had an affair with a man. We were dragged to a gathering where our community headman was present. They told me to pay 50,000 [rupees]. When I said I couldn’t, they brutalized me.” Eleven men have been arrested so far, including the village head, but the victim, who is currently recovering in the hospital, says she lost count of the number of attackers. So to sum up the week in current events, if you’re a women, don’t book a flight to India, if you’re a flamboyant gay man, don’t book a trip to Russia, and if you’re a person who enjoys living, stay the hell away from Syria. The Guardian

Pope InternetFinally something the Pope and I can agree on: the Internet is great! Pope Francis must have discovered cat memes or porn or something because in a statement released Thursday, he called the Internet “something truly good, a gift from God” and hailed its ability to bring people closer together. In honour of the Catholic Church’s World Communications Day the Argentine-born pope said that “unprecedented advances” in technology have made it easier to engage with people of varying religions, thereby “creating a sense of the unity of the human family.” But no Pope talk is complete without a stern warning. The Pope lectured Catholics that the obsessive desire to stay connected can actually isolate people from their friends and family and make it difficult to engage in self-reflection. Tweet your comments to @pontifiex. CBS News

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Zambian Opposition Leader Charged with Calling the President a Potato

Potato Gate

Zambian police have arrested and charged Frank Bwalya, head of the Alliance for a Better Zambia, with defamation after he called President Michael Sata the worst name he could think of: a potato.

The opposition leader allegedly described President Michael Sata as “chumbu mushololwa” during a live radio broadcast on Monday. Chumbu mushololwa, which translates into sweet potato, is a potato that breaks when it is bent and is used to describe a dic-tater that doesn’t listen very well to advice.

Apparently the potato comment crossed the line and Zambian police decided to arrest Bwalya and charge him with defamation of the president. If convicted, Bwalya faces a maximum jail term of five years. No one refers to the president as a potato and gets away with it!

But Bwalya, a former Catholic priest and former supporter of Sata, isn’t the only politician who is guilty of bad-mouthing presidents. Apparently Sata did the same before he came to power:

“President Sata is the same old man who was on all radio stations defaming former presidents Banda and Mwanawasa and nobody arrested him,” said Eric Chanda, the secretary general of Alliance.

Maybe nobody arrested Sata at the time, but talking smack about politicians in Zambia is a major faux pas. In 2005, a Zambian man, Edward Longe, was sentenced to nine months in prison for insulting then-President Mwanawasa in a bar. And in 2002, a newspaper editor was arrested for calling Mwanawasa a “cabbage”.

Note to self: do not refer to Zambian politicians as vegetables. Fruits are fair game though.

Via: Times Lives

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