A new book by Columbia sociology professor Alondra Nelson says that using DNA technology to find their African roots is becoming increasingly popular among Black people. In an interview with NPR, Nelson estimates that about 1 million have taken the test so far. The tests have also been popularized through Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates’ show Finding Your Roots, which traces the family history of famous Americans such as Oprah and Chris Rock.
Nelson told NPR that discovering their genetic roots was a way for Black people to fill in a missing part of their history.
“Part of what I learned in the course of doing the research is that I am an outlier in this regard. Many of the people I spoke to – whether they were 25 or 65, had lived their whole lives wanting to know where in Africa their ancestors were from,” said Nelson, author of The Social Life Of DNA.
Finding out what African ethnic group they are related to has a profound effect on Black people who take the test. Some break into tears, others have a new sense of identity now they know what ethnic group they come from. Actor Isaiah Washington used DNA technology to trace his maternal line back to the Mende people of Sierra Leone. He was so moved by the discovery that he is now a dual citizen of Sierra Leone and American and also contributed $1 million to a foundation that is building a school in the country.
Washington told The Los Angeles Times Africans in the Diaspora have the resources to help the motherland.
“If we can take our intellects and resources, and reverse the brain drain and help rebuild these countries, we can define our legacies,” he said.
Nelson told NPR that it was interesting that the Black community, which has traditionally been skeptical of medical technology, had now embraced DNA testing.
“How does a community that had really been the object of scientific and medical scrutiny for generations — with really negative outcomes — come to see science and technology as a positive thing, or something that can be used for self-knowledge and liberation? That was a question for me as well,” she said.
Apart from helping Black people gain a new sense of identity, Nelson said DNA testing could also be used as part of the argument for reparations, which has recently become a political issue. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders was recently criticized by Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates after he said reparations would be unfeasible and divisive in Congress.
“It’s an interesting case in that it’s – to the best that I could discern – it’s the first time that genetic ancestry testing is introduced in a civil case. … It continues the long drumbeat for reparations in American society by generations of people – a drumbeat that comes again in 2014 with the publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates essay in The Atlantic,” Nelson said. “And because genetics is thought here to pose a new answer to a very old and longstanding question in black political culture.”
Nelson took the DNA test and found out she is descended from the Bamileke people of Cameroon. A few weeks later her mother met a Bamileke woman at church and they informally adopted her.
“And this past Thanksgiving she was at our table with her husband and her son, she’s part of our family now,” she said.
Senator Calls for Investigation into Chinese Balloon in US Airspace
Senator Eric Schmitt of Missouri is calling for an investigation into the presence of a Chinese balloon in the United States’ airspace. The balloon is said to have hovered over critical military infrastructure and nuclear silos for over a week, raising concerns about potential espionage activities.
“I’m calling for an investigation and demanding answers from the Biden Administration on why a Chinese spy balloon was allowed to hover over critical military infrastructure in Missouri and across the interior of the US without any intervention,” Schmitt stated.
Chinese Spy Balloon Raises Concerns
The senator’s concerns about the Chinese balloon are rooted in the potential for espionage activities. The balloon hovered over nuclear silos and Air Force Bases, which raises serious questions about the United States’ ability to protect its national security.
🚨BREAKING: I’m calling for an investigation and demanding answers from the Biden Admin. on why a Chinese spy balloon was allowed to hover over critical military infrastructure in Missouri and across the interior of the U.S. without any intervention. pic.twitter.com/c25ZEGKpWC
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) February 3, 2023
In addition, Senator Schmitt believes that the presence of the Chinese balloon was a test for the Biden Administration’s response time and decision-making abilities. He believes that the Administration failed to address the situation in a timely and effective manner.
The senator is demanding a full investigation into the presence of the Chinese balloon in US airspace. He believes that the American people deserve answers about why the balloon was allowed to stay in the country for over a week without any intervention.
“The Chinese spy balloon was in US airspace for a week. It hovered over nuclear silos and Air Force Bases. In addition to intel gathering, China was testing Biden on response time, decision making & he failed miserably. Full investigation needed. The American people deserve answers,” Schmitt stated.
The presence of the Chinese balloon in US airspace has raised serious concerns about the United States’ national security and the ability of the Biden Administration to protect it. Senator Eric Schmitt of Missouri is calling for a full investigation into the situation and demanding answers from the Administration. The American people deserve to know why the balloon was allowed to remain in the country for over a week without intervention.
Derek Chauvin appeals murder conviction in George Floyd trial
Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd and sparked nationwide protests in 2020, is trying to overturn his murder conviction in an appeal trial. Chauvin, 46, was convicted by a Minnesota state court in 2021 and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. He argues that his rights to a fair trial were violated, and that the trial should have been moved due to “threats of violence.”
chauvin will remain in prison, regardless of the outcome of the appeal, as he pleaded guilty to “civil rights violations” of George Floyd before a federal judge and received a final sentence of 21 years in prison in 2022.
On May 25, 2020, Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly ten minutes, ignoring his groans and the pleas of bystanders. The incident, which was captured on video and posted online, sparked widespread protests against racism and police brutality.
During the trial, chauvin’s lawyer argued that Floyd died of an overdose and that the use of force was justified. The defense is now trying to invalidate the trial, citing threats against the jury, fear of riots if chauvin was acquitted, and media coverage that “idealized” Floyd and “demonized” chauvin.
Three other police officers who were present during Floyd’s death received sentences of 2.5 to 3.5 years in prison.
The prosecution argues that the trial was fair and transparent, that jury selection lasted two weeks, and that the verdict should be upheld. They also denied the defense’s claims that the jury was influenced by the compensation paid to Floyd’s family, and that the trial should have been moved to a different location.
The appeals trial is expected to last several days, and the outcome is uncertain. However, even if the conviction is overturned, it is unlikely that Chauvin will be released from prison, given the federal conviction and sentence.
The death of George Floyd and the subsequent trial of Derek Chauvin have had a significant impact on the United States, and continue to be a topic of national conversation and debate. The trial has also sparked a renewed focus on issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the criminal justice system.
No matter the outcome of the appeal trial, the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests have already had a profound effect on the country and it is likely that the issues it brought to the surface will continue to be addressed in the years to come.
Again A Biafran, Nkechi Chidi-Ogbolu Becomes Youngest Graduate From US University, Set For PhD
18-year old Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu has made history as the youngest person to graduate from Howard University this year and this also makes her one of the youngest in Howard’s history.
Nkechinyere just graduated summa cum laude from Howard University with a degree in chemical engineering and she’s starting her Ph.D. program at the University of California-Davis after summer.
She will be studying biomedical engineering with a focus on creating and discovering new medicines.
Nkechinyere told USA Today that she has always been the youngest person in her classes as she finished high school at 14, skipped 5th grade and attended an accelerated high school.
She left Nigeria for America after high school, and enrolled full-time at Howard University.
Nkechinyere credited her family’s support for her ability to cope with her new surroundings.
“I spoke to my mom almost every day on the phone — for over an hour almost every time. My dad and I talked really often too. Talking to them definitely helped sometimes when things were overwhelming. My support system was a very big part of why I was able to stay very grounded during the whole journey.”
Many of her extended family members live in U.S, including an aunt who lived not far from her dorm, and other family members in Texas and Alabama.
Advising teens like her, she said: “Don’t limit yourself because you think you can’t do it or because no one you know had done it. You can always be the exception to the rule and end up being exceptional.”
Obama And Hillary Clinton Heads To Jail As Congress Unveils Their Cans Of Worms
The US congress has ruled that Hillary Clinton must be tried as more than necessary information of her wrong doings surface.
Some of the things Clinton was accused of doing includes borrowing money from China and Saudia Arabia.
Obama administration sent their people to Israel to work against the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama said the Hillary Clinton can never put the national security in jeopardy.
More to come soon.
IPOB Intel – Candy Stallworth Busted, Phone Call Audio With APC Agent Leaked
Audo tape has emerged of alleged phone call between IPOB mobilization officer in the united states, Candy Stallworth and an APC agent. According to audio clip available to Afroinsider, an APC agent had contacted Miss Candy from Nigeria to do hatchet jobs for the ruling party APC and to assassinate the character of leading PDP members. The APC agent was making arrangement on how to transfer the sum of $100,000 to Candy. He also mentioned how she destroyed the image of one Chinedu Nwosu and encouraged her to do same to many others.
However, feelers from the IPOB family believe that Miss Candy has been an undercover agent of the APC while pretending to be working for the restoration of the free state of Biafra.
Candy came to the end of the road this morning when video clips emerged of her much touted invitation to the White House by Donald Trump. She made bogus claims in the video saying that the date for Biafran referendum has been fixed for the 12th of september. As a result, most Biafran began to doubt her authenticity and went into investigation and later came up with her phone conversation with APC agents.
Meanwhile, IPOB leadership has issued press statement dissociating IPOB from her nefarious activities and emplored evey Biafran to stay away from her. They encouraged IPOB members to remain resolute as Biafra is around the corner.
California, Paedophiles Can Now Marry 10 Years Olds, Court Rules
Lawmakers in California have upheld the rights for pedophiles to legally marry children as young as 10 years old, in a sick and twisted ruling.
Girls as young as ten are among over 200,000 children who were allowed to legally wed adults in the last 15 years – according to shocking new data uncovered by a Bay Area legislator:
A Bay Area legislator was shocked when he learned from a young constituent that while Californians cannot legally consent to sex until they are 18, they can — with the permission of a parent and a judge’s order — get married at any age, even if their spouse is many years older.
“I thought, that can’t be true in California,” said state Sen. Jerry Hill, a Democrat from San Mateo. “We found that it is true in California and true in many states throughout the country.”
But Hill’s resulting proposal to bar juveniles from getting hitched has been watered down after it prompted strong objections from civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
As the emotional fight unfolds in Sacramento, there’s no agreement even about a basic piece of information — how many minors get married each year in California. People who want to limit such marriages say the total is in the thousands, while those who oppose the bill say that’s vastly inflated.
The state doesn’t keep such numbers, and even efforts to change that are running into resistance.
Within the past year, elected officials in several states have pushed to restrict juvenile marriage, with a law passed last month limiting matrimony by minors in New York to 16- and 17-year-olds who have become legal adults emancipated from their parents, and one in Texas holding the line at age 17 — with a judge’s permission.
Hill wanted California to set a strict line at age 18, but the effort encountered swift opposition from fellow legislators, as well as groups that include the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
While SB273 is still alive and moving through legislative committees, amendments have removed any age restriction. The measure in its current form increases family court oversight to ensure that a minor’s marriage isn’t coerced, including a requirement that judges interview individuals privately.
It’s a compromise, Hill said, but still a positive step. “It’s our responsibility to protect those kids,” he said.
Among those disappointed by the result of the compromise is Sara Tasneem of El Sobrante, who said the amended bill won’t help children and will only make elected officials feel like they did something.
Tasneem was 15 when her father, who belonged to a cult in Southern California, introduced her to a man 13 years her senior. She was forced to marry the 28-year-old in a religious ceremony that evening. Six months later, at 16, she was pregnant and legally married in a civil ceremony in Reno.
“A person who marries a 15-year-old, there’s obviously something wrong,” said Tasneem, now 36. “Putting that label of husband and wife makes something disgusting and not OK seem normal and OK.”
As a teenager, Tasneem dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Instead, she became a mother, with two children by age 19. She would ultimately defy her husband and return to school, and later file for divorce.
“Once you leave your childhood, there’s no going back to it,” said Tasneem, now a business student at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. “All those opportunities and freedom of being a child are gone.”
Activists aiming to stop such marriages say they occur across demographic groups, spurred by religious reasons, cultural norms, pregnancy, financial incentives or, in some cases, to protect someone from statutory-rape accusations because marriage circumvents the age-of-consent requirement.
Nationally, about 5 of every 1,000 children ages 15 to 17 were married as of 2014, according to U.S. census data analyzed by the Pew Research Center — figures that don’t specify where the marriages occurred. Activists for age restrictions estimate that California sees about 3,000 marriages per year that include a minor.
The ACLU and other opponents say that estimate is inflated, noting that just 44 petitions for juvenile marriage were filed in Los Angeles County — which has a population just above 10 million — over the past five years.
The focus of efforts should be on abusive and coerced relationships, regardless of marital status, said Phyllida Burlingame of the ACLU’s Northern California chapter.
Chris Brown & Lil Wayne Reportedly Named in Federal Drug Investigation
According to a report from the Miami Herald, both Chris Brown and Lil Wayne have been tied to a federal drug investigation, revolving around their association with Florida producer Harrison Garcia, aka Muhammad-al-Lean, aka the CEO of Sizzurp. The inquiry reportedly involves thousands of dollars worth of narcotics, including lean and marijuana.
Late last week, a Florida courtroom heard federal agents testify that text messages sent between Garcia and associates allegedly show several times Garcia bragged about delivering drugs to Wayne, calling him by name. In another exchange, Garcia shows a screenshot of a $15k bank deposit made on Chris Brown’s behalf. From the Miami Herald piece:
The messages appeared to show Garcia directing his “do-boy” to deliver drugs to Lil Wayne and his crew. “I’ll shoot u some trees,” one message read, a reference to marijuana. “It’s for Wayne,” Garcia allegedly responded via text.
The text message about Brown was more explicit. Garcia sent a bragging text message to a woman of a screen shot of the $15,000 bank deposit from “Christopher Brown” into his account.“Look who put money my account,” Garcia wrote.
The woman responded: “What that for LOL”Garcia replied with several smiley face emojis: “Drugs … lean and sh-t.”
Garcia often posted to social media, showing off exotic cars, guns, and outrageous sneakers, as well as posting pics with both Brown and Wayne (his accounts have been made private). He also appeared in one Lil Wayne video. He was initially in headlines last year, when he was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the theft of huge quantities of codeine-based cough syrup. This was around the same time TMZ reported that consuming massive amounts of lean led to Wayne having seizures.
Obama Attacks Donald Trump Says He Doesn’t Have Basic Knowledge Around Critical Issues (Video)
Terrorism – Horrific Shooting In US Night-Club, A Dozen Injured And One Person Dead
One person has been killed and at least 14 others injured at the Cameo Nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio, local police report. The victims of the shooting have been taken to area hospitals as police interview witnesses.
The shooting happened at about 2am local time on Sunday, WLWT report.
Update: Cameo Night Club 15 gun shot victims, 1 deceased. Homicide unit and all available resources are being utilized. Next update after 11
— Cincinnati Police (@CincyPD) March 26, 2017
Police in Cincinnati say there were “at least a couple of shooters” who opened fire on clubgoers, as cited by AP.
Security forces would not immediately report whether anyone was taken into custody over the shooting or what circumstances led to it.
Medic units transporting while others are still coming in to pickup additional victims pic.twitter.com/FU7GgyvnDN
— Cincinnati News (@CinciNews) March 26, 2017
According to Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate, the incident was one of the largest he has worked on in his career of over 20 years in the force, the news outlet reported.
He added that the Cameo Night Club has had issues in the past and that police are having some problems with gathering witness accounts.
“Many of them fled, unfortunately. Many of the witnesses fled, but everyone that we can identify is being interviewed,” he told WLWT.
Hundreds of people were in the nightclub when the incident happened, the official noted.
CNN – Bill Paxton’s death caused by stroke after surgery
Los Angeles – Actor Bill Paxton died of a stroke after heart surgery, according to his death certificate, issued Monday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He was 61 years old.
The surgery, which replaced his aortic valve and repaired an aortic aneurysm, took place February 14. He died February 25 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
A previous statement said his death was due to complications from surgery but included no further information.
The aortic valve is one of the most commonly replaced valves, according to the American Heart Association. Although aortic valve replacement can be a lifesaving procedure, it also comes with risks. Stroke can be a complication.
What happens during a stroke
Stroke: Understanding the causes, symptoms
An aortic aneurysm is “a weakened or bulging area on the wall of the aorta,” which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body, according to the American Heart Association. Aortic aneurysms are the main cause of death for nearly 10,000 people in the United States each year and contribute to an additional 16,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When such a problem is diagnosed, surgery is performed to repair the aorta.
A stroke occurs when a vessel carrying blood to the brain becomes blocked or bursts, depriving the brain of the essential oxygen and nutrients it needs to survive. In the minutes after a stroke, brain cells begin to die.
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Strokes are the No. 4 cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association.
Paxton’s extensive career included films such as “Twister,” “Aliens” and “Titanic.” In addition to more than 90 acting credits, Paxton was a director on films such as “The Greatest Game Ever Played” and “Frailty.”
CNN’s Jacque Smith and Holly Yan contributed to this report.
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