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SOUSSE, TUNISIA - JUNE 26: The bodies of people are seen after an armed attack on a tourist hotel in Sousse, east Tunisia, left at least 27 people dead, including foreigners, and injured six others , on June 26, 2015. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A wave of terror attacks rocked three continents and left dozens dead on Friday, leaving the world reeling and authorities scrambling to apprehend the attackers.

In Tunisia, a gunman shot at least 28 people dead on a beach in the resort town of Sousse before he was killed by Tunisian security forces.

An attacker in France caused an explosion by plowing his car into a gas factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier. A severed head was found staked at the factory entrance, in what authorities described as a terrorist attack.

And in Kuwait City, Kuwait, a suicide bomber walked into Imam Sadiq Mosque, a Shiite mosque crowded with worshippers during Friday prayers, and blew himself up. At least 25 people were killed and over 200 were injured in the attack.

There was no indication of a direct link between Friday’s three attacks. The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the one in Kuwait — the first such attack on a Shiite place of worship in that country. Earlier this week, the group released an audio message urging followers to intensify attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.

Authorities believe the suspect in France had links to unnamed extremist groups. The Tunisian assailant was unknown to authorities.

« There is no other link other than to say that terrorism is our common enemy, » French President Francois Hollande told reporters, referring to the attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia.

In Tunisia, Peter Chervontcev, a 23-year-old from Moscow, was sunbathing on the beach in Sousse when shots rang out. « I fell to the floor and pretended to be dead, » he told The WorldPost by email.

Tunisian officials said the attacker came onto the beach hiding his Kalashnikov under an umbrella before opening fire. Security officials said the slain gunman was from the Tunisian city of Kairouan and was not previously known to authorities.

« I thought it was fireworks and then I thought, ‘Oh my God, it sounds like gunfire,' » Elizabeth O’Brien, an Irish tourist in Sousse, told Ireland’s RTE radio. « I ran to the sea to my children and grabbed our things and, as I was running towards the hotel, the waiters and the security on the beach started shouting, ‘Run, run, run!' »

In France, security forces detained a suspect in connection with the attack, as well as several other people. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve named 35-year-old Yassin Salhi as the main suspect, and said he had been monitored by intelligence agencies between 2006 and 2008 over suspected links to extremist groups.
French authorities identified the decapitated victim as a local businessman, and said he was the main suspect’s employer. The company that owns the factory, U.S.-based Air Products, said on Friday all its employees had been evacuated and accounted for.

In Kuwait, officials vowed on Friday that the terrorist attack would not succeed in fracturing the nation. « Kuwait will remain an oasis of security for all groups of Kuwaiti society and all sects, » Minister of Justice Yaqoub Al-Sanea said.
As the three countries hunted down the attackers and mourned their dead, the rest of the world struggled to respond to multiple crises on multiple shores.
Britain convened the country’s COBRA emergency committee to discuss the attacks. « This is a threat that faces all of us, these events that have taken place today in Tunisia and in France, but they can happen anywhere — we all face this threat, » British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters. In the U.S., President Barack Obama was briefed on the triple attacks, officials said.

Hollande and Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi spoke after Friday’s attacks and expressed « solidarity in face of terrorism, » according to Hollande’s office.
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A website surfaced on Saturday containing a possible trove of photos of Dylann Roof and a racist manifesto explaining why he allegedly targeted Charleston, South Carolina, in a shooting this week that killed nine African-Americans.
The manifesto’s full text is below:

I was not raised in a racist home or environment. Living in the South, almost every White person has a small amount of racial awareness, simply beause of the numbers of negroes in this part of the country. But it is a superficial awareness. Growing up, in school, the White and black kids would make racial jokes toward each other, but all they were were jokes. Me and White friends would sometimes would watch things that would make us think that “blacks were the real racists” and other elementary thoughts like this, but there was no real understanding behind it.
The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?
From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Europe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other Western European countries. Again I found myself in disbelief. As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Europe is the homeland of White people, and in many ways the situation is even worse there. From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware.
Blacks
I think it is is fitting to start off with the group I have the most real life experience with, and the group that is the biggest problem for Americans.
Niggers are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick. Black people view everything through a racial lense. Thats what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense. They are always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a White person wouldnt be thinking about race. The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race.
Black people are racially aware almost from birth, but White people on average dont think about race in their daily lives. And this is our problem. We need to and have to.
Say you were to witness a dog being beat by a man. You are almost surely going to feel very sorry for that dog. But then say you were to witness a dog biting a man. You will most likely not feel the same pity you felt for the dog for the man. Why? Because dogs are lower than men.
This same analogy applies to black and White relations. Even today, blacks are subconsciously viewed by White people are lower beings. They are held to a lower standard in general. This is why they are able to get away with things like obnoxious behavior in public. Because it is expected of them.
Modern history classes instill a subconscious White superiority complex in Whites and an inferiority complex in blacks. This White superiority complex that comes from learning of how we dominated other peoples is also part of the problem I have just mentioned. But of course I dont deny that we are in fact superior.
I wish with a passion that niggers were treated terribly throughout history by Whites, that every White person had an ancestor who owned slaves, that segregation was an evil an oppressive institution, and so on. Because if it was all it true, it would make it so much easier for me to accept our current situation. But it isnt true. None of it is. We are told to accept what is happening to us because of ancestors wrong doing, but it is all based on historical lies, exaggerations and myths. I have tried endlessly to think of reasons we deserve this, and I have only came back more irritated because there are no reasons.
Only a fourth to a third of people in the South owned even one slave. Yet every White person is treated as if they had a slave owning ancestor. This applies to in the states where slavery never existed, as well as people whose families immigrated after slavery was abolished. I have read hundreds of slaves narratives from my state. And almost all of them were positive. One sticks out in my mind where an old ex-slave recounted how the day his mistress died was one of the saddest days of his life. And in many of these narratives the slaves told of how their masters didnt even allowing whipping on his plantation.
Segregation was not a bad thing. It was a defensive measure. Segregation did not exist to hold back negroes. It existed to protect us from them. And I mean that in multiple ways. Not only did it protect us from having to interact with them, and from being physically harmed by them, but it protected us from being brought down to their level. Integration has done nothing but bring Whites down to level of brute animals. The best example of this is obviously our school system.
Now White parents are forced to move to the suburbs to send their children to “good schools”. But what constitutes a “good school”? The fact is that how good a school is considered directly corresponds to how White it is. I hate with a passion the whole idea of the suburbs. To me it represents nothing but scared White people running. Running because they are too weak, scared, and brainwashed to fight. Why should we have to flee the cities we created for the security of the suburbs? Why are the suburbs secure in the first place? Because they are White. The pathetic part is that these White people dont even admit to themselves why they are moving. They tell themselves it is for better schools or simply to live in a nicer neighborhood. But it is honestly just a way to escape niggers and other minorities.
But what about the White people that are left behind? What about the White children who, because of school zoning laws, are forced to go to a school that is 90 percent black? Do we really think that that White kid will be able to go one day without being picked on for being White, or called a “white boy”? And who is fighting for him? Who is fighting for these White people forced by economic circumstances to live among negroes? No one, but someone has to.
Here I would also like to touch on the idea of a Norhtwest Front. I think this idea is beyond stupid. Why should I for example, give up the beauty and history of my state to go to the Norhthwest? To me the whole idea just parralells the concept of White people running to the suburbs. The whole idea is pathetic and just another way to run from the problem without facing it.
Some people feel as though the South is beyond saving, that we have too many blacks here. To this I say look at history. The South had a higher ratio of blacks when we were holding them as slaves. Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black in apartheid for years and years. Speaking of South Africa, if anyone thinks that think will eventually just change for the better, consider how in South Africa they have affirmative action for the black population that makes up 80 percent of the population.
It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action.
Anyone who thinks that White and black people look as different as we do on the outside, but are somehow magically the same on the inside, is delusional. How could our faces, skin, hair, and body structure all be different, but our brains be exactly the same? This is the nonsense we are led to believe.
Negroes have lower Iqs, lower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in generals. These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior. If a scientist publishes a paper on the differences between the races in Western Europe or Americans, he can expect to lose his job. There are personality traits within human families, and within different breeds of cats or dogs, so why not within the races?
A horse and a donkey can breed and make a mule, but they are still two completely different animals. Just because we can breed with the other races doesnt make us the same.
In a modern history class it is always emphasized that, when talking about “bad” things Whites have done in history, they were White. But when we lern about the numerous, almost countless wonderful things Whites have done, it is never pointed out that these people were White. Yet when we learn about anything important done by a black person in history, it is always pointed out repeatedly that they were black. For example when we learn about how George Washington carver was the first nigger smart enough to open a peanut.
On another subject I want to say this. Many White people feel as though they dont have a unique culture. The reason for this is that White culture is world culture. I dont mean that our culture is made up of other cultures, I mean that our culture has been adopted by everyone in the world. This makes us feel as though our culture isnt special or unique. Say for example that every business man in the world wore a kimono, that every skyscraper was in the shape of a pagoda, that every door was a sliding one, and that everyone ate every meal with chopsticks. This would probably make a Japanese man feel as though he had no unique traditional culture.
I have noticed a great disdain for race mixing White women within the White nationalists community, bordering on insanity it. These women are victims, and they can be saved. Stop.
Jews
Unlike many White naitonalists, I am of the opinion that the majority of American and European jews are White. In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like niggers, most jews are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on.
I dont pretend to understand why jews do what they do. They are enigma.
Hispanics
Hispanics are obviously a huge problem for Americans. But there are good hispanics and bad hispanics. I remember while watching hispanic television stations, the shows and even the commercials were more White than our own. They have respect for White beauty, and a good portion of hispanics are White. It is a well known fact that White hispanics make up the elite of most hispanics countries. There is good White blood worht saving in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and even Brasil.
But they are still our enemies.
East Asians
I have great respent for the East Asian races. Even if we were to go extinct they could carry something on. They are by nature very racist and could be great allies of the White race. I am not opposed at all to allies with the Northeast Asian races.
Patriotism
I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White people are being murdered daily in the streets. Many veterans believe we owe them something for “protecting our way of life” or “protecting our freedom”. But im not sure what way of life they are talking about. How about we protect the White race and stop fighting for the jews. I will say this though, I myself would have rather lived in 1940’s American than Nazi Germany, and no this is not ignorance speaking, it is just my opinion. So I dont blame the veterans of any wars up until after Vietnam, because at least they had an American to be proud of and fight for.
An Explanation
To take a saying from a film, “I see all this stuff going on, and I dont see anyone doing anything about it. And it pisses me off.”. To take a saying from my favorite film, “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society.”.
I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.
Unfortunately at the time of writing I am in a great hurry and some of my best thoughts, actually many of them have been to be left out and lost forever. But I believe enough great White minds are out there already.
Please forgive any typos, I didnt have time to check it.

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Senegal booked their place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan in Wellington.

After Mali’s victory over Germany earlier in the day, Mamadou Thiam’s strike was enough to see Africa occupy half of the tournament’s final four spots for the first time in a decade after they came out on top in a tight encounter against the Central Asians.

With so much at stake, the game was predictably cagey in the early stages. Both teams were sitting deep, relying on their propensity for the counter attack. Uzbekistan were sitting deep, prepared to wait for their opportunities, nullifying Senegal’s lightning pace.

As a result, the crowd had to wait 21 minutes for the game’s first chance. Zabikhillo Urinboev’s was deflected into the path of Obrokhim Abdullaev, whose effort was straight at Ibrahima Sy.

Senegal went even closer right on half-time as a mistake by Abdullaev let in Alassane Sow, but his shot was tipped over by Dilshod Khamraev.

The West Africans stated the second half stronger and Roger Gomis forced Khamraev into another good save. The Senegal skipper hit a low drive from the edge of the box, but the keeper did well to push away.

As both sides looked for a breakthrough, the game opened up, with Senegal creating the better chances. Thiam and Remi Nassalan were the African’s principle architects and they combined with devastating effect.

A warning shot was fired shortly after the hour mark when Thiam ran down the left and fed his team-mate who fired wide from just 12 yards.

The roles were reversed with greater success 13 minutes from time when a quick counter-attack saw Senegal outnumber Uzbekistan inside the Central Asians’ half. Nassalan created even more space with a neat step-over and then picked the perfect past to Thiam who made no mistake.

Senegal now travel to Christchurch to face Brazil, with the prospect of an all-African final still very much alive.
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Ibrahima Sy saved three penalties as Senegal won a dramatic shootout against Ukraine to reach the last eight at New Zealand 2015. This memorable climax came about after the sides were locked at 1-1 by the end of normal and extra time, with Artem Biesiedin’s well-worked opener in Auckland having been cancelled out by a late Sidy Sarr leveller.

Ukraine came into the match having kept clean sheets in all three of their previous encounters, but faced a side intent on tarnishing that unblemished record. Senegal’s unpredictability and willingness to improvise provided a risk in itself, as shown when Sarr flicked the ball up with his heel to set up a volleyed chance in just five minutes. The resultant shot may have been pulled disappointingly wide, but it hinted at the Africans’ approach.

The Europeans had their moments too, and might have gone in front eight minutes later if Biesiedin, stretching and off balance, had been in a better position to meet Vladyslav Kabaiev’s looping cross. Viktor Kovalenko, the tournament’s top scorer, was notably subdued during the first half but came to life shortly after the restart, forcing Sy into a crucial block with his legs after the Senegal keeper had parried Biesiedin’s initial effort.

Both keepers were required to be at their best, and at the other end Bohdan Sarnavskyi – one of the best on show at this tournament – produced a wonderful save to keep the scoreline blank. Roger Gomis had done everything right, twisting into space at the edge of the box and hammering the ball towards goal. But with the Senegal captain’s shot heading for the roof of the net, Sarnavskyi somehow stuck out a hand to tip it over.

That was with 68 minutes played and it became all the more significant within 120 seconds when Ukraine took the lead. The lively Biesiedin was the scorer, making an overlapping run to collect Yevenii Nemtinov’s clever reverse pass before opening his body to send a precise right-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

Senegal, though, weren’t finished yet and persistence finally paid off for Sarr with seven minutes remaining. Ukraine’s perfect defensive record came crashing down in spectacular style as the Young Lions of Teranga star robbed Taras Kacharaba on the edge of the box and gave Sarnavskyi no chance with an unstoppable shot high into the net.

With no further goals in normal or extra time, that left penalties to settle the outcome – and Sy to steal the spotlight. The Senegal keeper whipped up the crowd on his way to take up his position and rose to the occasion, saving from Yevhen Chumak, Yevhenii Nemtinov and Valerii Luchevych as each of Senegal’s takers dispatched their kicks with aplomb.
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The recent drownings of African migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Sicily, have caught global attention and stirred an uproar.

This is hardly the first time illegal migration by boat has claimed the lives of Africans, though this latest incident has been for many the last straw. European Union member states had to call an emergency meeting in the wake of the recent calamity, the recurrence of the phenomenon having become something of a moral burden for the West.

As former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan tweeted, « The #migrants dying in the #Mediterranean Sea are not unwanted trespassers. They are human beings. »

Annan is quite right. The deaths of thousands of human beings in such horrible conditions is nothing short of a human disaster and could not have left the « moral » West indifferent.

Conversely, on the African continent, our leaders do not seem to be bothered by this umpteenth accident. Does this attitude equate to indifference? Is it really that our leaders just don’t care? And if they don’t, how can we ever hope that this situation will improve?

The issue is far more complex than it seems. Recent events expose not only the inability of African governments to provide jobs for their predominantly youth populations, but they highlight the level of desperation of these young (mostly) men who have little hope of a better future in their countries due to the lack of clear and concrete government policies targeting their demographic.

In my view, the lack of reaction on the part of the African leadership is not due to indifference but rather to discomfort, guilt and helplessness.

One month after the event, Senegal is unable to tell how many of its citizens were victims. This is no doubt the case for each of the other African countries involved.

Senegalese officials and human rights organizations are busy discussing numbers and facts – how many died? How many similar events have taken place in the last year? Where did the Senegalese victims depart from?

Officials went as far as to say that those who have lost their lives left Senegal more than three years ago. In my view, this is a grotesque attempt to shirk the current administration’s responsibility. It also completely misses the point.

The bottom line is that even one life lost is one life too many. But as is often the case, Africans turn to the West for solutions, going so far as to critique Europe for calling a meeting to talk about illegal migration without inviting those main players involved: African leaders themselves.

This is ridiculous. It should be Africa that is calling a meeting and inviting Europe, not the other way around. If Africans don’t respect themselves, why should they expect respect in return? Why should the West take the lead in African matters?

Until now, no African body has called for an emergency meeting – neither Ecowas nor the African Union. This is despite news of more migrants’ boats being intercepted or rescued from the Mediterranean nearly every day.

African leaders need to start getting serious if they want to be taken seriously. Whenever the continent is in a dire situation, the leadership is wanting.

Reports have shown that the migrants come from all over the African continent. Therefore the AU, as the continental body, should take the lead in addressing this issue. They should engage Europe on the best solutions to illegal migration that would address not only the human rights of the migrants, but also the drivers of illegal migration and how it might be curbed.

The attitude of the African leadership contrasts glaringly with that of the African youth who have been very vocal on social media, denouncing the deafening silence of their governments and expressing anger at leaders who are quick to hop on a plane with taxpayers’ money to stand with the West when it’s #JesuisCharlie, but who are voiceless when the African ship keeps submerging, when it’s #Mediterranean #Migrants #Kenya #Garissa and #BokoHaram.

We can salute Africa’s youth for taking such a stance. The issue now is how to empower them to push their governments into action. Civil societies all over Africa should go beyond blaming governments, and play a more active role in sensitizing young people and putting pressure on governments to have clear development policies and opportunities for them.

This is no easy task. But it’s one that if not addressed sooner rather than later will put thousands more lives at risk.

Khaita Sylla is OSIWA’s Grants Manager.
Follow Khaita on Twitter @KhaitaSylla

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Some images are worth a thousand words. For example, the sight of the usually shy Sidy Sarr celebrating vigorously after his last-minute winner gave Senegal a 4-3 victory over Congo DR at the CAF African U-20 Championship on 14 March.

After sliding home a left-footed finish, the Lion Cubs midfielder ripped off his shirt and sprinted towards the home fans at Dakar’s Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium, while the crowd erupted with joy. Reliving this moment in conversation with FIFA.com almost three months on was enough to coax Sarr out of his shell again: « It was a goal that we needed, plain and simple, » he said, smiling.

This is no exaggeration. The hosts had been trailing 3-2 as late as the 88th minute until their No8 equalised with a powerful right-footed strike. Three minutes later up popped Sarr once again, this time with his other boot, to clinch Senegal’s maiden win at the tournament and book their place at their first-ever FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Nevertheless, the young dynamo was unwilling to take all the credit: « I scored the goals, but it was a team effort, » he remarked, highlighting that all the players had their « hearts set » on making history for their country.

The starlet’s modesty is commendable, but there is no doubt that he was Senegal’s key man throughout the event. Besides the aforementioned brace, he scored in their 3-1 loss to Nigeria in their opening game, provided two assists and was hugely influential in their all-round play.

Not for nothing was he handed the armband by coach Joseph Koto after that dramatic Congo DR encounter and subsequently named in the CAF team of the tournament. « These sorts of things are a pleasure. I’m really proud, » replied this massive admirer of Yaya Toure when asked about this recognition, albeit not without a touch of embarrassment.

From Mbour to New Zealand
It is fair to say that few people were prepared for Sarr’s explosion onto the scene. On the books at minnows Mbour Petite Cote, whom he joined in 2015 from no less modest Senegalese second-division outfit Dakar Sacre Coeur, he does not fit the mould of your typical national saviour. On top of this, he is younger than many of his team-mates (he will celebrate his 19th birthday during the group stage) and less experienced than the squad’s Europe-based contingent, which is headed by Dijon’s Mouhameth Sane, Monaco’s Seydou Sy and Zaragoza’s Alassane Sow.

And yet it was this shrinking violet off the pitch who rose to the occasion on it to lead his side to the promised land. Just do not ask him to describe this land in detail: « I don’t know anything about New Zealand. All I know is that it’s far away, » he joked.

One figure who did, however, see the midfielder’s emergence coming was Ibrahima Wadji, Sarr’s team-mate and ‘big brother’ at club and international level. « I’m thrilled for Sidy, he thoroughly deserves it, » the winger raved to the local media following his protégé’s heroics on home soil. Fittingly, Wadji kept Sarr company in the team of the tournament too, having also netted three times.

The Mbour Petite Cote president, Mbaye Diouf Dia, is pleased to see the two youngsters flying the flag, even though the club is flirting dangerously with relegation. « It’s true that the team’s quality won’t be the same as when they were around, but good for them, » he stated, before adding: « Above all we are hoping for Senegalese football to make a big impression in this competition. »

Sarr’s response when FIFA.com put this to him was characteristically laconic: « We’ll do our best. » We have every reason to take him at his word.
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Senegal’s Gorgui Dieng continues to strive on and off the basketball court. Two years after being selected 21st overall pick by the Utah Jazz in the NBA draft and traded to Minnesota, life has never been the same again for the Timberwolves centre.

In his second season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dieng doubled his playing time, has gone from averaging 4.8 points to a career-high 9.7. He also increased his rebounding averages from 5 to 8.3 boards per game.

Dieng, a prominent element for the Senegalese national team in the upcoming AfroBasket 2015 (19 to 30 August in Tunisia), featured in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge game in Brooklyn , bearing the African flag.

But it is off the basketball that Dieng has accomplished the highest prize of his life, so far.

Dieng left the University of Louisville one year early with the 2013 NCAA title under his belt to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.

However, before he entered the NBA, the former Basketball Without Borders camper, pledged to invest in his education.

Last week – 10 May – Dieng graduated from the University of Louisville, earning a degree in Communications.

Back in February, during the All-Star weekend, supersport.com witnessed Dieng reminding everyone why education was a priority for him.

« The ball is going to stop bouncing some day. You have to get something in your pocket, » he said at the time.

When asked if hoped to become a reporter at some point after his NBA career, Dieng replied: « I just need a degree, I’ll see what I am going to do later.

« I [have online classes] get up early in the morning, and do it before practice, or before game, » Dieng offered.

© supersport.com

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Legendary blues musician B.B. King died on Thursday in Las Vegas, his attorney told The Associated Press. Cause of death was not released. He was 89.

Born Riley B. King in Berclair, Mississippi, and raised by his grandmother, the future “King of the Blues” purchased his first guitar for $15 when he was just 12 years old. He dropped out of school in the 10th grade, and spent much of his early years picking cotton and working as a tractor driver.

While he began singing in a gospel choir at church, the blues took root in King during his teen years. The blues is considered by many to be the only truly indigenous American music, and over time, King would become its foremost ambassador.
After a short stint in the Army during World War II, King returned home to work as a farmer. But a tractor accident prompted him to give up that life, and start another in Memphis. There, King officially launched his musical career in the late 1940s.

He honed his vibrato style of playing, worked steady gigs at a string of clubs, got his first real break on Sonny Boy Williamson’s « King Biscuit Time » radio show and hosted a 10-minute program on WDIA as “the Beale Street Blues Boy,” a name he eventually shortened to Blues Boy and then B.B. King. Over the next seven decades, King produced dozens of albums for various labels and released a string of hits (“The Thrill Is Gone,”“3 O’Clock Blues,” “You Know I Love You,” “Woke Up This Morning,” “Every Day I Have The Blues,” “Sweet Little Angel”) that helped to define the genre’s post-war sound, Variety reported.

Although he originally played to all-black audiences, King’s distinctive voice soon won him fans the world over. Between the release of his landmark album “Live at the Regal” in 1965 — which would later be declared a recording worthy of preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry — and the charting of his 1969 LP “Live and Well,” King became a true star. And by the late 1960s, he was making appearances on the “Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Tonight Show.”

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Members of the Women In Peacebuilding Network ( WIPNET) dance and pray on May 8, 2015 in Monrovia. If there are no new infections in the next 48 hours, the World Health Organization (WHO) will declare Liberia "Ebola-free" on May 9, 2015, 42 days -- or twice the incubation period of the virus -- after the last case. AFP PHOTO / ZOOM DOSSO (Photo credit should read ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liberia is now free of Ebola after going 42 days – twice the maximum incubation period for the deadly disease – without any new cases, the World Health Organization announced on Saturday.

While celebrating the milestone, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Saturday told The Associated Press the damage wrought by the worst Ebola outbreak in history was « a scar on the conscience of the world. »

For some survivors, she said, « The pain and grief will take a generation to heal. »

Meanwhile, new cases were reported this week in neighboring Sierra Leone and in Guinea, the other two countries hit hardest by Ebola. For this reason, officials said they are cautious about openly celebrating the end of Ebola in Liberia, as the continued presence of the disease in the region means just one sick patient slipping over the border into Liberia could spark a resurgence of cases.

Sirleaf said she was confident her country was now prepared « to deal quickly with any new cases should they emerge. »

On Saturday Sirleaf, accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac, toured health centers in Monrovia, embracing and taking group photos with doctors and nurses. Nearly 200 health workers died fighting Ebola in Liberia.

In a statement given to AP earlier Saturday morning at her Monrovia home, Sirleaf lamented the damage done to her country, which was only about a decade removed from a devastating civil conflict when the outbreak struck.

« Young Liberians who only months before strode confidently to school with dreams of a future as an engineer, a teacher or a doctor – all of which Liberia desperately needs – had their lives mercilessly cut short, » she said.

The international response to the Ebola outbreak has been roundly criticized as too slow and ineffective. While praising the role international partners played in getting Liberia to zero cases, Sirleaf said the fight « got off to slow start. »

« Therefore, let today’s announcement be a call to arms that we will build a better world for those Ebola could not reach, » she said. « It is the least the memories of our dearly departed deserve. »
huffpost

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Senegal’s Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye confirmed on Monday that the West African nation would be sending a detachment of 2,100 troops to Saudi Arabia as part of an international coalition cobbled together by the kingdom in its war effort in neighboring Yemen.

In late March, Saudi Arabia commenced airstrikes on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who had already driven the feeble government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa last year. Hundreds have been killed since the operation — initially dubbed « Decisive Storm » — began. International organizations have repeatedly warned of the dire humanitarian crisis sparked by the intensifying conflict, which has led either to the destruction or blockade of most of the country’s major air and seaports.

On Monday, Saudi officials said they were considering a cease-fire in order to « better facilitate humanitarian relief to areas in need. » There were conflicting reports regarding the presence of Saudi and Emirati special forces on the ground in Aden, a southern coastal city that the Houthis, a predominantly Shiite faction believed to be backed by Iran, are battling to control.

Senegal’s declared involvement in a war thousands of miles away from its borders is likely welcome news for the Saudis, who have struggled to convince friendly nations to commit ground troops to any potential operation in Yemen. Most notably, Saudi overtures to Pakistan, a longtime ally and recipient of considerable Saudi funding, were rebuffed by the Pakistani parliament last month.

« The most obvious potential benefit of a Senegalese military engagement alongside Saudi Arabia would be in the form of closer political and economic ties between the two, and almost certainly direct cash payments from Saudi Arabia to Senegal, » says Andrew Lebovich, a security and political analyst focused on West Africa.

It wasn’t initially clear where the Senegalese forces would be deployed and to what purpose. « The international coalition is aiming to protect and secure the holy sites of Islam, Medina and Mecca, » Foreign Minister Ndiaye told Senegal’s parliament on Monday.

That rhetoric echoes the messaging of other governments closely tied to Saudi Arabia, a country whose position at the vanguard of Sunni Muslim states is a consequence of both its role as the custodian of some of Islam’s holiest sites as well as the clout guaranteed by its vast petro-wealth. Even though it shied away from committing ground forces, the Pakistani government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has in public statements reiterated the importance of defending Saudi interests.

« The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [is] a policy imperative for Pakistan, » said a Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman last month.

The Saudis have framed their intervention in Yemen as a bid to bring stability to a war-ravaged, fractious, failing state — one whose instability ostensibly is a direct threat to Saudi Arabia. The actions of the past month have underlined Saudi Arabia’s more muscular posture in regional affairs, particularly as it seeks to hedge against the influence of Iran, its Shiite rival in the Middle East.

As their Yemen campaign got underway, the Saudis championed the creation of a joint Arab force as a bulwark for regional security, bringing together the expensive military assets of the Persian Gulf states with the manpower of armies like those of Egypt. But real divisions between Arab states, many of whose interests don’t always (or often) intersect, remain–and may be a stumbling block, writes Middle East expert Hussein Ibish:

There will have to be a significant transformation of relations between Arab governments. Otherwise, as wags have already noted, the joint Arab force could be seen as a “triple oxymoron.” Not “joint,” because of divisions among its members. Not “Arab,” because of sectarian differences, as well as significant numbers of Pakistani, Turkish or other non-Arab troops. And not a “force,” because it either can’t be deployed or proves ineffective.

Meanwhile, there are these curious offers of assistance from countries further afield like Senegal. It should be noted that Senegal has previously committed troops to Saudi Arabia: in the first Gulf war in 1991, it lost 92 soldiers when the Saudi transport plane carrying them crashed.

More recently, Senegal has played an active role in counterterrorism efforts in its neighborhood, including committing peace-keepers to help safeguard against an Islamist insurgency in Mali. But joining in the Yemen mission would represent something particularly noteworthy.

« Senegalese forces are deployed in a number of places around the world largely as a part of U.N. operations, » says Lebovich. « But this would likely mark a more direct combat role for Senegalese forces than they have encountered recently, including in Mali. »
washingtonpost,con

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