Persecution of Muslims in China and India Reveals Important Facts About Religion and Geopolitics

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India, China and Myanmar are three Asian countries currently engrossed in carrying out physical and cultural genocides on their Muslim populations. While the plight of Rohingya Muslims and Uighur Muslims is well known, the recent introduction of a new law expressly aimed at dispossessing Muslims of Indian citizenship has alerted many to the reality that India’s ruling BJP government sees itself as Hindu first and foremost.

Questions such as “Why aren’t the rich Arab countries saying anything?” have come up, with the implicit inference that Muslim-dominated countries are supposed to stick up for Muslims everywhere in the world. Others have pointed out that despite suffering oppression in some parts of the world, Muslims are also responsible for brutal acts of oppression against other minority groups elsewhere, which allegedly negates the sufferings of the prior group.

In this article, I will pick through these questions and viewpoints with a goal of isolating some useful truths about how religion, geopolitics and human nature constantly interplay and produce much of the world around us.

Oppression is a Matter of Perspective

Which religion is the most oppressed? I like to troll my Christian friends with the image below whenever the topic comes up about some religion or the other allegedly imposing its will at their expense.

The truth is however, that this image could apply to just about every religion on earth. As a general rule of thumb, the only limiting factor on whether or not a religion functions as an oppressive tyranny in a particular jurisdiction is the proportion of the population that practises it there. Similarly, the only thing stopping any religion from being an oppressed and downtrodden identity is whether it is a small enough minority for that to be possible.

While Muslims in India, Myanmar and China are going through untold degrees of horror because of their religious identities, Muslims in places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Northern Nigeria are simultaneously visiting very similar horrors on Bah’ai, Shia Muslims, Christians, Budhists and other minorities in those areas. It turns out that the mere fact of belonging to a religious identity does not in fact, confer unrestricted global victimhood.

This point is important because it disproves the notion held by every major religion that its adherents follow a single set of standards and do things in the manner of a global “brotherhood.” In reality, Islam according to a Rohingya Muslim hiding from the Burmese military, and the same religion according to an itinerant herder in Kogi State bear almost no similarity to each other save for the most basic tenets. Environmental factors in fact have a bigger influence on how religions are practised than their own holy books. 

The current antics of India’s ruling BJP and its Hindu fundamentalist support base provide an important case in point as to how this works. Looking at the evolution of Hinduism from a passive philosophy into an openly militant ideology gives an important insight into how religion is in fact, a thoroughly contrived and amorphous set of ideas that can be changed, adjusted, aligned and revised at a moment’s notice in justification of anything at all. 

Hinduism traditionally sees itself as a religion of thoughtful, considered spirituality as against the angry dogmas of its Abrahamic neighbours, but something interesting is happening. Some argue that it started in the days of Gandhi, and some ascribe it to current Prime Minister Nanendra Modi, but whoever started it is a side note. The key point to note is that based on political factors, i.e anticolonial senitment against the British and anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by India’s national rivalry with Pakistan, Hinduism has somehow been coopted into the narrative of a jingoistic, monotheistic, mono-ethnic state which is  historical nonsense.

India has always been a pointedly pluralistic society, and in fact the geographical area now known as “India” does not even cover the geographical area of the India of antiquity. That India was a place of Hindus, Budhists, Muslims, Zoroastrians and everything in between. Hinduism never saw a problem with pluralism because Hinduism itself is a very plural religion – it has at least 13 major deities. The conversion of the Hindu identity into a political identity movement is a recent and contrived phenomenon first exploited by Gandhi as a means of opposing British colonialism, and now by Modi to oppose the Pakistanis/Muslims – it is a historical falsity.

The creation of Hindu fundamentalist movements like the RSS (which PM Modi belongs to) is something done in response to environmental factors. Spectacles like the RSS march below are evidence of yet another religion undergoing constant and ongoing evolution into whatever suits its purposes.

Something similar happened when medieval Europe turned into colonial Europe and European Christianity transitioned into a peaceful and pacifist ideology after centuries of being a bloodthirsty doctrine. The environmental factors that created the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, book burnings and witch hunts went away with the introduction of an industrial society, and thus the religion too transitioned.

In plain English, what all this means is that nobody actually practises a religion in the pure sense they imagine they do. Everyone who subscribes to a religion merely practises a version of it that is subject to the culture and circumstances of their environment and era. This is directly connected to the next major insight raised by these events.

Geopolitics is all About Self-Interest…Everyone Gets it Except Africa

While anti-Muslim violence has continued apace for years in China, Mynammar and India, the question has often been asked: “Why are the wealthy Arab nations not saying anything?” There is a perception that since the Arabian peninsula is the birthplace of Islam and Arabs – particularly Saudis – are viewed as the global gatekeepers of the faith, they must be at the forefront of promoting the interests of Muslims worldwide.

To many, the fabulous wealth and international influence that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE enjoy, in addition to the presence of two of Islam’s holiest cities – Mecca and Meddinah – in Saudi Arabia, means that they have a responsibility to speak for the global Muslim Ummah and stand up for them when they are unfairly targeted and mistreated. Unfortunately for such people, the wealthy nations of the Arab Gulf region tend to respond to such questions with little more than an irritated silence – and with good reason.

To begin with, these countries are not democracies led by the wishes of their almost uniformly Muslim populations. They are autocracies led by royal families who came to power in the colonially-influenced 20th century scramble for power and influence. Saudi Arabia, which houses Islam’s holiest sites, is named after the House of Saud, its royal family which came into power in its current form at the turn of the 19th century. The priority of the regimes in these countries first and foremost is self-preservation.

Self-preservation means that before throwing their significant diplomatic and economic weight behind any attempt to help out fellow Muslims, the first consideration is how doing so will benefit them. India for example, is a country that has close diplomatic ties with the UAE, and supplies most of their cheap labour for construction and low-skilled functions. India has even coordinated with UAE special forces to repatriate the dissident Princess Latika when she made an audacious escape attempt in 2018.

What does the UAE stand to gain if it napalms its diplomatic relationship with India by criticising Modi’s blatantly anti-Muslim policy direction? It might win a few brownie points with Islamic hardliners and possibly buy some goodwill among poor Muslims in South Asia, but how much is that worth? The regime and nation’s self-interest is best served by looking the other way, so that is exactly what they will do.

The Saudis make a similar calculation. At a time when they are investing heavily in military hardware to keep up with their eternal rivals Turkey and Iran, and simultaneously preparing for the end of oil by liberalising their society and economy, does it pay them to jump into an issue in India that does not particularly affect them? As the status of their diplomatic relationship with the U.S. remains unclear following the Jamal Khasshoggi incident, are they going to risk pissing off the Chinese because of Uighur Muslims?

In fact self-interest like that mentioned here is the basis of the considerations that underpin all international relations. Well I say “all,” but what I really meant to say was “all except African countries.” It is only African countries that take diplomatic decisions based on little more than flimsy emotions and feelings of religious affinity. Gambia for example, has dragged Myanmar before the UN and filed a genocide case against it on behalf of the Rohingya Muslims.

This would be commendable and great were it not that Gambia itself is hardly a human rights luminary, and generally has little business fighting an Asian battle when its own worse African battles lie unfought. The only thing Gambia stands to gain from fighting a diplomatic war that the rest of the world seems unwilling to touch is the temporary goodwill of a few Muslims in Asia and around the world – goodwill that cannot translate into something tangible for it.

To coin an aphorism from social media lingo, you could call it ”diplomatic clout chasing.’

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Profiles: 4 Twitter executives that visited Nigeria with CEO, Jack Dorsey

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On Thursday, 7th of November 2019, co-founder and CEO of social media service, Twitter, and mobile payments company, Square, Jack Dorsey, came to Lagos, Nigeria on the first leg of an African tour that will span Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The next day in Lagos, Jack met with entrepreneurs at the the Bosun Tijan-led Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) and afterwards headed to the University of Lagos (Unilag).

He also visited Andela and ended the day with a well-attended town hall meeting at the Techpoint Africa headquarters in Lagos.

The 14-man Twitter entourage included four executive members asides Jack Dorsey.

Kayvon Beykpour

Kayvon Beykpour is the co-founder and CEO of Twitter’s video streaming application, Periscope.

Beykpour started Periscope with Joe Bernstein in early 2014. Less than a year later, in January 2015, and before it publicly launched, the app was acquired by Twitter.

In 2017, Beykpour started overseeing all the video initiatives at Twitter as a product lead.

During the town hall meeting, Techpoint invited a Nigerian engineer, Dara Oladosu, to present the solution to Jack Dorsey. Oladosu had built a Twitter bot, called Quoted Replies, that allows users see quoted replies on their tweets.

Suggested Read: Quoted Replies: The viral Twitter bot built by a Nigerian

After the presentation, Beykpour called Oladosu back and offered him a job on the spot.

“I would love for you to maybe consider come joining the company [Twitter],” Beykpour said.

“Things went way better than I expected”. @dara_tobi, creator of @QuotedReplies, reacts to getting a job offer from Twitter. He also discusses the fate of his viral Twitter bot in this interview https://t.co/ZVQKwH6mc3 pic.twitter.com/1wgYOxjHv5

— Techpoint Africa (@Techpointdotng) November 9, 2019

Parag Agrawal

Parag Agrawal is the chief technical officer (CTO) at Twitter.

As an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, as well as having a doctorate in computer science from Stanford University, Parag was chosen in 2018 to lead the technology team of the micro-blogging site after working for Twitter as a distinguished software engineer for over six years.

According to Parag’s LinkedIn profile, he assumed the CTO position in October 2017, after six years of being in his previous role.

Before that, he focused on research in Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AT&T labs up until October 2011 when he joined Twitter.

According to Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), Parag’s contributions included “leading efforts to increase the relevance of tweets on Twitter users’ timelines using artificial intelligence.”

Parag is one of the people responsible for Twitter’s foray into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) space, and may have played a major part in utilising the technology to automate campaigns on the platform. Something that Jack Dorsey has cited as perhaps the single biggest improvement around elections since he became CEO of the company he co-founded.

During their visit to Techpoint Africa’s HQ, Parag made it clear that Twitter is looking outside the Bay Area for engineering talent.

“We’re looking to have half of our engineers out of San Francisco,” said the CTO.

TJ Adeshola

TJ Adeshola is the head of US Sports Partnerships at Twitter. He assumed the role after three years as the head of Sports League Partnerships.

In 2012, Adeshola left sports channel ESPN to join Twitter as a senior account officer. Before his current role, Adeshola managed Twitter’s partnerships with major US sports leagues, including the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Baseball (MLB).

He is also the executive sponsor of Blackbirds, Twitter’s business resource group that celebrates and encourages diverse perspectives.

Adeshola is Nigerian by origin, but he is not the only Nigerian working at Twitter.

Michael Montano studied electrical engineering at The University of Toronto, graduating in 2008.

After his first startup, IPartee, which he co-founded with a roommate back in high school, Mike went on to participate in the 2008 Y Combinator (YC) summer programme to start BackType, a service that lets people find, follow, and share comments from across the web.

At YC, Mike learned how important it is to build something that people want and that building something that’s useful right away is a huge advantage.

He joined Twitter in 2011 as an engineer, and after a major reorganisation by Jack on June 28, 2018, Mike was tasked with leading the company’s engineering team.

Even as Twitter’s lead engineer, Mike admits to working from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He claims he is more productive on those days and able to spend more time on deeper, more strategic work. Tweeting under the hashtag #WhyIWorkFromHome last month, Mike explained that his journey into remote work was initially restricted to afternoons before he made it an all-day affair.

Before IPartee, Mike started a design and development company called, UrbanTwelve, but he doesn’t consider that to be a startup.

New Report: Nigerian startups raised a combined $38.01m in Q3 2019, just 7% higher than Q3 2018. Download the report.

Attend Techpoint Startup School, a 5-day intensive training for budding African tech founders and CEOs. Classes start 2nd of December. Enrol now.

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Reprieve on the way for 119 Nigerians on death row in Malaysia | P.M. News

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Malaysia execution for drug trafficking

The 119 Nigerians on death row in Malaysia may be saved from the executioner if the country’s legislature passed a bill to abolish the death penalty as being proposed by the country’s law minister Liew Vui Keong.

The minister plans to table the bill in the March 2020 sitting of Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s Lower House of Parliament.

According to Amnesty’s latest report, Fatally Flawed: Why Malaysia must abolish the Death Penalty, 1,281 people are on death row as of February 2019.

Foreigners make up a significant 44 percent, 568 people, with Nigerians accounting for 119. They were sentenced to death for drug trafficking.

“Nationals from Nigeria made up 21 per cent of this group, with those from Indonesia (16%), Iran (15%), India (10%), Philippines (8%) and Thailand (6%) following suit”, Amnesty said.

Amnesty International latest report: Nigerians on death row may get some reprieve soon

“A significant 73 per cent of all those under sentence of death have been convicted of drug trafficking under Section 39(b) of the Dangerous of Drugs Act, 1952 — an extremely high figure for an offence that does not even meet the threshold of the ‘most serious crimes’ under international law and standards and for which the death penalty must not be imposed,” AI said in the report.

The Nigerians have not been executed because of a moratorium on executions in place since October 2018 as the government mulls law reform.

A special task force led by immediate past chief justice Richard Malanjum has also been set up to study alternative penalties for laws carrying mandatory capital punishment.

Amnesty report points at various flaws in the Malaysian legal system, including denial of complete legal aid to foreigners.

Amnesty also said that insufficient funding of legal aid also hinders Malaysians from accessing proper representation, especially those who live in rural areas and who are not able to afford a lawyer.

“It is further concerning that because of how legal aid is structured in the different schemes that provide no free legal representatives until the trial is due to start, many defendants are left awaiting trial without any legal assistance for significant periods that have extended from months to, in most cases, two to five years,” the report read.

For foreign nationals, the report noted delays of more than 24 hours to several days before their respective embassies were informed of their arrests. This is despite international law which states that prompt communication is necessary.

Amnesty, which campaigns to end to capital punishment worldwide, called for competent legal representation be made available to all defendants.

It also called upon the police to inform all detainees of their right to legal aid.

‘Secretive’ pardons, executions

Aside from the pre and post-trial stages, gaps in legal aid also affected the ability of inmates to acquire assistance when filing their pardon petitions, noted Amnesty.

When it was available, the report cited a lawyer’s testimony about how prison officials pre-selected inmates who would be able to receive legal aid, all of whom were Malaysians.

“The decision on who gets that support is not transparent and creates an additional degree of arbitrariness and discrimination in the death penalty system,” it said.

The NGO further urged the government to solve the delays and lack of transparency in clemency proceedings.

Pardons can only be granted by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and the state rulers after consulting the Pardons Board. However, clear procedures for them are not laid out in Malaysian law except for some guidelines in the Prison Regulations 2000.

In practice, the report noted that inmates are often informed of their right to clemency but not the criteria for pardon consideration.

Inmates and their families are often left without any news from the authorities for a long period after submitting their petition.

The report also noted instances of delays by prison authorities in communicating the result of a pardon petition to an inmate’s family.

In the case of rejected clemency petitions, Amnesty noted that families were not informed of the date and time of impending executions except that they would happen “soon”.

“Some of the letters handed over to the families were dated two weeks earlier, suggesting that the prison authorities had held on to this information until only days before the scheduled date of the hangings,” it said.

Amnesty urged Pardon Boards to disclose all relevant information to inmates to allow them to prepare adequately for the pardon petitions.

It also wanted the boards to promptly update inmates, their families and their lawyers on the progress of their applications.

Following objections to abolishing the death penalty in total, the Pakatan Harapan government is now looking at replacing the mandatory death penalty for 11 serious criminal offences to allow for judicial discretion.

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Actor and comedian Rip Taylor is dead at 84

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(CNN)Actor and comedian Rip Taylor died on Sunday, his publicist Harlan Boll said.

Taylor acted on Broadway, film and television.


Actor and comedian Rip Taylor is dead at 84 - CNN

(CNN)Actor and comedian Rip Taylor died on Sunday, his publicist Harlan Boll said. He was 84.

Taylor acted on Broadway, film and television. He was known for his over-the-top personality.

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Progressives Are Divided On How To Approach The Impeachment Process

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When House Speaker support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump last week, some of the most pointed criticism of her leadership evaporated in an instant.

Need to Impeach, the nonprofit funded by billionaire Tom Steyer that had been a thorn in Pelosi’s side for the better part of two years, only had good things to say.

“People will look back at this moment as the day Congress stood up for democracy, American values, and our constitution and fought back against the corrupt, criminal president, Donald Trump,” Nathaly Arriola, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

Need to Impeach has now turned its attention to vulnerable Senate Republicans, whom it announced on Tuesday it will be pressing to back impeachment with over $3 million in television and digital advertisements. 

But beneath the praise and comity, there is some disagreement among progressive groups as to how to proceed.

At one end of the debate is a smaller group of progressive activists and experts worried that the impeachment inquiry risks at once dragging on too long and covering too few of the president’s infractions.

And on the other side of the spectrum are groups like Need to Impeach, as well as officials, activists and strategists who see no need, for the time being, to exert additional public pressure on congressional Democrats.

“We’re getting it right here,” said Greg Pinelo, a veteran Democratic media strategist who helped develop advertisements for both Obama campaigns. “You can argue about whether we should have got here sooner. But facts on the ground change ― and the facts on the ground right now suggest a really focused effort.”

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Speaker Pelosi, right, addressed reporters alongside Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Her support for an impeachment inquiry has largely quieted critics.

Not everyone is content though. Heidi Hess, who runs the progressive phone company Credo’s issue campaigns at Credo Action, expressed disappointment in Speaker Pelosi’s press conference on Tuesday. 

Hess is calling for a timeline for completing the investigation and a deadline to vote on articles of impeachment that are reported out. She fears that allowing the process to drag on could give Trump an opportunity to sow more chaos and diminish public support for the process.

“Unless we have deadlines, then for us, that is still them telegraphing that what [Democrats] want is to stall,” she said.

Credo Action, the nonpartisan, pro-democracy nonprofit Free Speech for People and several other groups have called for the House Judiciary Committee to report out articles of impeachment against Trump by Nov. 1 and a vote on those articles by Nov. 15. They are also demanding an immediate end to the current congressional recess in the interest of expediting the process.

Another priority for these liberal critics is impeaching Trump on the broadest possible grounds, which they worry Democratic leadership is not adequately interested in. Credo Action is part of a coalition of liberal groups and legal experts, under the intellectual leadership of Free Speech for People, calling for Trump to be impeached for at least 12 different reasons. The reasons, which the groups outlined in a July 30 letter to the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York, fall under the broad categories of abuse of power, corruption of the electoral process, promotion of racial hostility, and corruption and self-enrichment.

“We remain deeply concerned that Congress is not addressing this constitutional crisis with the urgency that’s required at the moment,” said John Bonifaz, an attorney and co-founder of Free Speech for People. 

Bonifaz helped develop the coalition’s list of impeachable offenses and advised Democratic Reps. Al Green of Texas and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan on their earlier efforts to initiate impeachment inquiries. He worries that failure to hold Trump accountable for the full scope of his misconduct could again set an “extremely dangerous precedent” for presidential impunity.

Hess cited the possibility of a repeat of the articles of impeachment against then-President Richard Nixon. Congress chose not to issue articles of impeachment related to Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia, which Hess and other left-leaning activists regard as a mistake that helped future presidents prosecute foreign interventions illegally.

Pelosi has not set any explicit deadlines for the House Judiciary Committee to report out articles of impeachment. But at a press conference on Wednesday, the speaker warned that refusals by the Trump administration to cooperate with the House’s investigation into Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter would be regarded as obstruction of justice. 

“We do not want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the [White House’s] strategy,” Pelosi said. 

A lot of the work on the other misconduct has already been done. I think [impeachment] will be broad and fast. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)

Pelosi has also said that House committees investigating other elements of Trump’s potential misconduct will report their findings to the Judiciary Committee, leaving open the possibility that impeachment will cover a broader range of matters.

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, stood out among his colleagues with a public appeal last week for Congress to postpone its two-week recess in order to work on the impeachment inquiry. He predicted that focusing on a broad range of Trump’s misdeeds is compatible with a rapid process. 

“A lot of the work on the other misconduct has already been done,” Khanna told HuffPost. “I think [impeachment] will be broad and fast.” 

But assurances like those are not enough for Hess, Bonifaz and some other outspoken progressives who worry that the absence of firmer commitments from Pelosi right now, when the pressure to placate the grassroots is perhaps greatest, raises the risk of a looser approach going forward. 

The trouble for these Pelosi critics is that many of their normally allied organizations and activists are thus far unwilling to publicly criticize the speaker’s management of the process. 

Spokespeople for the Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Indivisible all expressed support for an impeachment process that is both prompt and broad in scope without joining in criticism of Pelosi.

Meagan Hatcher-Mays, who runs Indivisible’s democracy program, shared Hess’ commitment to a rapid process, as well as a wide-ranging inquiry. “Every day that he’s in office is a new threat to our election security,” she said. But Indivisible is not setting out a hard deadline; Hatcher-Mays said the group hopes it nears completion before Thanksgiving. 

Similarly, PCCC spokeswoman Maria Langholz called Pelosi’s approach of having committees of jurisdiction submit to the Judiciary Committee the results of their investigations into Trump “smart.”

And Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, which rivals Credo Action and PCCC in online organizing heft, suggested a middle path in terms of the scope of the impeachment articles ― something shy of 12, but more than just one about Trump’s pressure on Ukraine.

Chamberlain said he is “not really concerned” with the speed of the process so far, but he would like to see the House move on it quickly so it can proceed to the Senate. The sooner it gets there, he argued, the sooner it can be used against Republicans senators up for reelection in swing states.

“The Senate has the most to lose here,” he said.

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Hollywood remembers Diahann Carroll

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(CNN)Diahann Carroll was in her lifetime many things: a singular talent, a trailblazer, a breaker of barriers.

Ava DuVernay

“Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep. com/ava/status/1180159835989348352?s=20″ target=”_blank”>Twitter

    Holly Robinson Peete

    “This one cuts deeply.


    Golden Globe award

    (CNN)Diahann Carroll was in her lifetime many things: a singular talent, a trailblazer, a breaker of barriers.

    Ava DuVernay

    “Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep. An icon. One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll.” — via Twitter

      Holly Robinson Peete

      “This one cuts deeply. My mom & Ms Diahann were friends since they were 14. She was a pioneer on so many levels. She made me believe I could be on television! I loved & cherished and idolized her like a daughter…RIP Diahann Carroll thank you for the gift of your life.” — via Twitter

      Debbie Allen

      “Diahann Carroll you taught us so much. We are stronger, more beautiful and risk takers because of you. We will forever sing your praises and speak your name. Love Love Love, Debbie.” — via Twitter

      Rev. Jesse Jackson

      “#DiahannCarroll was a transformative force for freedom. She identified with Dr King in the civil rights movement with a simple kiss. She brought down ancient barriers & built bridges. She left the world better than she found it. We are in her debt. We miss her so much already. RIP” – via Twitter

      Barbra Streisand

      “RIP Diahann Carroll. You gave a lot to this world. Thank you, Love Barbra” — via Twitter

      Billy Dee Williams

      “My dear, dear beautiful #DiahannCarroll passed away today . What a pioneer she was in the business….what an incredibly kind soul. We met in High School and continued our friendship for many, many years.
      The memories and the tears are flowing.” — via Twitter

      Matt Bomer

      “One of the great joys of my career was getting to work with, laugh with, sing with, and listen to Miss Diahann Carroll for 6 years on White Collar. We are all deeply saddened by her loss, and will miss her greatly. I love you Diahann, and I will never forget your wisdom, generosity of spirit, and the ever present twinkle in you eye. You broke so many boundaries, and you helped me to have the courage to push through my own. Thank you for the memories, and Rest In Peace. What a life you lived. Our hearts and thoughts are with her family today. #diahanncarroll” — via Instagram
      View this post on Instagram

      One of the great joys of my career was getting to work with, laugh with, sing with, and listen to Miss Diahann Carroll for 6 years on White Collar. We are all deeply saddened by her loss, and will miss her greatly. I love you Diahann, and I will never forget your wisdom, generosity of spirit, and the ever present twinkle in you eye. You broke so many boundaries, and you helped me to have the courage to push through my own. Thank you for the memories, and Rest In Peace. What a life you lived. Our hearts and thoughts are with her family today. #diahanncarroll

      A post shared by Matt Bomer (@mattbomer) on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:38am PDT

      Hilarie Burton

      “Working with Diahann Carroll was one of the great honors of my career. Funny, classy, stunning, warm. The first scene we shared, I opened an apartment door to find her. She winked at me. Pure mischief. I lost my words. She made this world a more glamorous place. @WhiteCollarUSA” – via Twitter

      Dana Delany

      “I once met the legendary Diahann Carroll at a luncheon in Toronto. I told her that when she starred in Julia, people used to say my mother looked like her. Without blinking an eye, she said “Was she very beautiful?” Ms Carroll was a Goddess.” — via Twitter

      Al Roker

      “Tony & Golden Globe award winning, Oscar & Emmy nominated pioneering actress Diahann Carroll has passed at 84. It was an honor to get to meet and talk with her. Her show, JULIA, made tv history with her at the helm.” — via Twitter

      Sanaa Lathan

      “Rest In Peace Queen #DiahannCarroll” — via Twitter

      Ruth E. Carter

      “It’s was an honor to work with the great Diahann Carroll. I looked up to her. She excelled in a time when being a black woman was not synonymous with beauty and class. She broke through. We hailed to her knowledge and class. She gave our culture elegance. She was a true queen.” — via Twitter

        Mario Cantone

        “Rest In Peace Diahann Carroll. Amazing. Beautiful. Historical.” — via Twitter

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        Desperate to fill teacher shortages, US schools are hiring teachers from overseas

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        (CNN)When Joevie Alvarado became a teacher, she never expected to teach American students 7,600 miles away.

        “For the first year, it’s a little bit of a struggle because I’m the kind of person who misses family that easily,” said Alvarado, who taught for a decade in the Philippines before moving to Arizona. com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191004143748-01-international-teachers-us-shortage-super-169.


         

        (CNN)When Joevie Alvarado became a teacher, she never expected to teach American students 7,600 miles away.

        “For the first year, it’s a little bit of a struggle because I’m the kind of person who misses family that easily,” said Alvarado, who taught for a decade in the Philippines before moving to Arizona.
        But “in terms of pay, let’s just say my previous pay was multiplied by eight or 10 when I got here,” she said. “So having that kind of pay, it enticed me to be here.”
        news
        Some parents may be surprised to learn their children are now being taught by international teachers.
        Tom Trigalet, who was principal at Casa Grand Union High School when Alvarado was hired, said there’s not much choice.
        “When you really don’t have any other applicants, how are you going to fill those spots?” Trigalet said.
        But hiring teachers from overseas is only a temporary fix to a widespread problem.

        A nationwide crisis

        Across the US, schools are hemorrhaging teachers while fewer college graduates enter the profession.
        In 2018, the US had an estimated shortage of 112,000 teachers, according to the Learning Policy Institute.
        us
        Arizona alone had 7,000 teacher vacancies going into this year, said Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association.
        Some of those vacancies are filled by people who don’t have a standard teaching certificate, he said. Others are being plugged by long-term substitutes, contracted agencies or teachers who must add an additional course to their day.
        So schools like Casa Grande Union High have hired several Filipino teachers using J-1 visas. Those visas allow teachers to stay in the US for up to five years.
        Alvarado is one of several Filipino teachers in their fourth year at Casa Grande teaching science — a notoriously hard subject to fill with US teachers.
        “People that have math and science degrees can make so much more money in research and in analytics and in other areas that their degree opens doors to,” Thomas said.
        “The average starting pay (for teachers) in Arizona is about $36,300.”
        While that salary may seem paltry for many Americans, Filipino teachers like Noel Que say their jobs in the US are much more lucrative, allowing them to live better.
        US schools are hiring teachers from overseas - CNN
        “You can buy anything here — not like back home,” said Que, who teaches high school biology and biotechnology at Casa Grande
        “We can eat whatever we want. We can buy whatever we want of the salary that we’re getting. … We just need to budget that salary that we’re getting.”
        The Casa Grande Union High School District says its international teachers are on the same pay scale as its American-born teachers.
        Que, like other Filipino teachers at his school, lives with roommates to cut down on expenses.
        While teaching in America has brought financial rewards, there are also emotional costs.

        Leaving his family behind

        Que said he made the difficult decision to move from the Philippines to Arizona about four years ago.
        “The economic condition in the Philippines is very different … it’s not really enough,” he said.
        “There is always a trade-off in everything that you want to get. I want this job (for) my family, and then the trade-off of that is I need to leave them there first.”
        Desperate to fill teacher shortages
        But ultimately, Que said he made the right decision.
        “I’m a family man, so it’s like my responsibility to provide for my family, for my parents, also for my mom most especially,” he said. “Half of my money goes back home and then half stays with me.”

        ‘We are not just certified, we are very qualified’

        Que and Alvarado came to the US through one of several placement agencies that connects foreign teachers with American schools in need.
        It’s a booming business. In some cases, Filipino teachers pay an upfront fee, and the agency sets up the online interviews, tests and paperwork.
        news
        “The whole process just took two months for us to complete everything,” Alvarado said.
        Over the past decade, the number of Filipino teachers coming to the US to teach on J1 visas increased from 21 to almost 800, according to the US State Department.
        But why do many Filipino teachers get selected to go to the US?
        “Filipinos are very known to be patient and hardworking, and that’s probably one of the reasons why mostly Filipinos are the participants of the J1 (visa) teacher program.,” Alvarado said.
        And unlike some teachers in the US who aren’t certified in the subjects they teach, both Alvarado and Que have years of expertise in science.
        It’s a win-win scenario, Que said.
        “It’s a very good opportunity for the Filipinos to come here in America, to experience the life that we have here rather than the one that is being told to us or the one that we look at (in) the movies,” he said.
        “I think it is also beneficial for the state (where) the number of teachers are lacking, especially on subjects like science, math, special education, things like that,” Que said.
        “And they look into the Philippines, because many of our teachers are actually qualified on the subjects that they are teaching. … We are not just certified, we are very qualified.”

        Learning to adapt in the US

        When Que came to America, he experienced culture shock — but in a good way.
        “This is the first time that I notice that every person that you will pass by, they will ask you, ‘How are you? Good morning!’ Things like that,” he said.
        “I don’t know you, why are you asking me how I am?” he joked. “We’re not used to that back home.”
        us
        The cultural differences were obvious in the classroom, too.
        “Our students in the Philippines [are] quite different from the students that we have here,” Que said.
        In the Philippines, “they are very disciplined in terms of education because they look into education as how they are going to escape poverty,” he said. “Discipline-wise, we don’t really have a problem.”
        Alvarado said she also noticed more of an initial challenge when some students pushed back.
        “When I came, they were like … ‘Why do (you) have to make us do this, do that?” And I was like, ‘Well my dear, I am here to teach you to make you learn. I am not just here to babysit all of you.’ So that was part of my struggle, classroom management,” Alvarado said.
        “But slowly, I get the hang of it, and I was able to adjust it and show that hey, I’m the teacher, not you. What I say, you do,” she said.
        Alvarado now makes all her students sign a contract on classroom policies, including cell phone use and requiring everyone be seated and ready to learn before the tardy bell rings.
        “You need to get the respect, and once you do that with them, it’s easy to teach American kids,” she said.
        Alvarado said she loves hearing students tell her she’s made a positive impact on their lives.
        “They come back to you and say, ‘Miss, can you please be in my graduation?’ Or, ‘Miss can you please be in my quinceanera?’ … And I find it so sweet,” Alvarado said.

        Inspiring a new generation

        Marissa Yap, another Filipino teacher in Arizona, said she also had challenges with some students who weren’t as well behaved as those she taught in the Philippines.
        Despite her small frame, she commands attention in the classroom where she teaches chemistry and AP physics.
        But the secret to making students behave isn’t just about being strict. It’s also about listening to students.
        US schools are hiring teachers from overseas - CNN
        “I have observed that kids over the world … they have common thing(s). They want to be listened to, and they want to be stay motivated and be interested,” Yap said.
        “Some of the kids are actually working (jobs), so in my case like when the student is sleepy, I just talk to her: ‘So, how are you doing? So did you work last night?’ “
        The drowsy student responded: “I just arrived at home at 12 a.m.”
        That’s when Yap turns the problem into a moment of positive reinforcement:
        “So you’re very sleepy, but you’re still doing your work. I really appreciate that,” she told the student.
        Desperate to fill teacher shortages
        Since then, “I have (had) no problem with her.”
        “Whenever I talk to the kid(s), they feel like a connection that I care for them, and I realize that’s … way back home, also the same time. It’s actually just the same,” Yap said.
        “When you talk to the kid and you establish that good relationship, the kids will actually also give you the respect that you deserve.”
        Elizabeth Vitela said Yap has made a profound impact on her daughter, Genevieve, who was in Yap’s chemistry class last year. On some days, the teacher stayed late to work with Genevieve until 6 p.m. or later.
        “My daughter didn’t know what she wanted to do. Because of (Yap), she’s choosing science as something she wants to do for a career,” Vitela said.
        She said Yap “just has the passion and the love to teach kids … to bring something out of them that they didn’t even know they had.”

        The clock is ticking

        Regardless of how much the Filipino teachers love their students, or how much student and school districts love them, everyone knows their time in the US is limited.
        Yap, Alvarado and Que all have less than two years before their visas expire.
        “That would probably be a sad day for us,” Yap said. “One kid already told me, ‘Oh, Miss Yap, how long are you going to be here? Are you going to be in my graduation?’ “
        news
        Alvarado said some of her students know she has to go back to the Philippines. They make it a point to tell her how grateful they are.
        “It makes me feel so good when they would say, ‘Miss I am very happy that you are one of my teachers because I’ve learned a lot from you.’ ” Alvarado said.
        “When it comes to that point, when they would say thank you, it’s a reward to myself that I have touched probably some lives of these people. But it’s just so sad that we have to say goodbye.”
        Vitela, whose daughter didn’t know what she wanted to do before she met Yap, started crying when she learned the Filipino teachers at Genevieve’s school had to leave in two years.
        “I think we need to change that,” Vitela said. “Seriously.”
        “Because if you don’t change that … we’re going to be doomed with education here in Arizona.”

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        Miss out on Startup Battlefield? Apply to TC Top Picks at Disrupt Berlin 2019

        Did you miss the deadline to apply for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Well don’t despair, founders. There’s more than one way to place your early-stage startup in front of thousands of influential technologists, investors and global media. Apply to be considered for our TC Top Picks program and the opportunity to exhibit in Startup Alley for free.

        Deadline alert: You must apply to be a TC Top Pick by 18 October at 12 p.m. (PT). It’s simple to do and it’s free. Don’t let this opportunity slip through your time-strapped fingers.

        TC Top Picks is a pre-conference competition. To be considered, your early-stage startup must fall within one of the following categories: AI/Machine Learning, Biotech/Healthtech, Blockchain, Fintech, Mobility, Privacy/Security, Retail/E-commerce, Robotics/IoT/Hardware, CRM/Enterprise and Education.

        Our TechCrunch editors — always on the hunt for the best early-stage startups — will vet each application and select up to five startups in each category. If you’re named a TC Top Pick, you’ll receive a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and a VIP experience at Disrupt Berlin.

        What sort of startup catches TechCrunch’s discerning editorial eyes? Great question. Take a look at the list of TC Top Picks from Disrupt Berlin 2018.

        The exclusive TC Top Pick cadre will exhibit in a prime location within Startup Alley and — thanks to plenty of pre-conference marketing — be on the receiving end of intense investor and media interest. One of the best perks is the live Showcase Stage interview. TechCrunch editors interview each Top Pick to showcase their company and product. We record the interview and promote the video across our social media platforms.

        If you’re still kicking yourself for missing the Startup Battlefield deadline, here’s more good news. There’s always the possibility that you’ll compete as a Wild Card. Say what, now?

        Out of all the startups exhibiting in Startup Alley, TechCrunch editors will choose one — the Wild Card — to compete in the Startup Battlefield. At Disrupt Berlin 2018, TC editors chose Legacy, and the feisty startup went on to win the Startup Battlefield and the $50,000 prize.

        Disrupt Berlin 2019 takes place on 11-12 December, and TC Top Picks is your chance to place your extraordinary startup in front of the people who can move your business forward. If you want to exhibit in Startup Alley for free, do not miss this deadline. Apply to be a TC Top Pick before 18 October at 12 p.m. (PT). We’ll see you in Berlin!

        Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.

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        Wild oversharing comic Phoebe Robinson: ‘I do dumb things. That’s who I am!’

        Algorithmia AI Generated Summary

         

        Is the fringe ready for the brash standup who utilized to get paid in nachos as well as chicken wings. We fulfill one fifty percent of 2 Dope Queens as she loads her shoes with sweat

        What does Phoebe Robinson wish to see when she shows up at the Edinburgh edge. Just lots of dudes smuggling their bangers and also mash in their kilts.


         

        Is the fringe ready for the brash standup who utilized to get paid in nachos as well as chicken wings? We fulfill one fifty percent of 2 Dope Queens as she loads her shoes with sweat

        What does Phoebe Robinson wish to see when she shows up at the Edinburgh edge? Just lots of dudes smuggling their bangers and also mash in their kilts. Observational comic, sharp social doubter, signee of a handle ABC workshops, bestselling writer (You Cant Touch My Hair & Various Other Things I Still Have to Describe) as well as one fifty percent of 2 Dope Queens (the podcast duo transformed HBO stars), Robinson has an ideology: that comedy parched, spontaneous, periodically gross, with riffs on Googling David Bowies penis dimension after learning he has passed away can be a force for great.

        At Edinburgh, Robinson will explore her show, called Sorry, Harriet Tubman, which covers sex stuff as well as race stuff yet additionally discussing accidents in the bedroom during sex, just like lower-brow points. So I think that itll be type of a conclusion of where Im at in my life today. It suggests, like a lot of her job, that if we can be truthful concerning our greatly mistaken selves as well as our profoundly mistaken culture, possibly we can make our globe a little less screwed up. Or at the very least tell a couple of decent fart jokes along the road.

        The title, she states, stems from a running joke she and likewise her other dope queen The Daily Exposes Jessica Williams used to make on the podcast, concerning just how dissatisfied Tubman would certainly be, because, you understand, she basically led servants to freedom on the below ground railway and additionally Im like I simply wan na wreck Michael B Jordan, Robinson states.
        I ask her exactly how she has actually pulled down Tubman this week. Its only Tuesday, she items. Nevertheless after that she births in mind exactly how that day or the day previously, she and her person had been exercising at the fitness center in her structure, which while practicing a curtsy lunge, an incredibly sophisticated action, she merely discharge like the loudest, wettest fart. Her companion has his earphones in, however he still heard it. So I thought that was an ensured dissatisfaction for Harriet, she specifies.
        Robinson suches as to think of Tubman, her honorable face flecked with a solitary, excellent Demi-Moore-in-Ghost tear, hearing that fart as well, and questioning if discovering to browse by the North Star had truly deserved it.

        As authentic as possible Robinson did a standup course and fell in love with it.

        The comic, that describes herself as an off-brand Oprah, expanded up in Americas midwest, enjoying the sitcoms Moesha as well as Martin, and the sketch show In Living Color. She was an ironical child, but not one that might always fracture a joke. Funny was never her endgame. Yet in university, she signed up with an improv performers, and also after college, while functioning as an executive aide, a pal convinced her to take a standup course and she dropped in love, executing any place she could, from clubs to biker bars. She was usually paid in nachos. Or chicken wings.

        Some comics will create a character, yet Robinsons persona is herself, with all the Instagram filters shut off. Her strategy, she claims, is to be as authentic as feasible and also her brand, she states, is similar to kind of not taking myself also seriously.

        She had gotten here for lunch, at a drowsy Brooklyn restaurant, in streamlined sunglasses, worn denims, and also a pink T-shirt checking out Bonjour yall. Her sweetheart whom she calls British Baekoff (he is British, he is her bae, he takes pleasure in cooking) had actually asked her not wear it on the Paris Mtro and also which she had of program used on the Paris Mtro. So the not taking herself also seriously point checks out.

        When 2 Dope Queens relocated to HBO, Robinson would typically record discounts without makeup or while pretending that her wig was doing the talking. Fifty percent the time Im doing something truly stupid as well as I can much like conceal it, but Im like, thats who I am, she claims.

        She doesn ‘t recognize just how, or if, her oversharing design will certainly convert to the UK, yet her partner has actually alerted her that British target markets can be more suppressed. They might not be hooting and shrieking, yet that doesn ‘t mean they ‘reOriginal message also short.Original message as well short.Original text too brief. not enjoying, she guarantees herself. The possibility does not make her remotely as worried as the moment she and Williams talked to among her heroes, Michelle Obama (various other heroes: Oprah, Bono, her moms and dads, her huge bro). When she stood up after the meeting, her shoes had plenty of sweat. I was really nervous concerning sliding and also falling, she states. Thats how much sweat remained in my footwear!

        Funny, which is still really white and also still really male, hasn’t always rated to such females as her, and also she does not love concerns concerning exactly how to enhance things. It needs to be a teamwork and till straight dudes are expected to roll up their sleeves as well as get to function, she states, Im over being inquired about what males need to do. What does she need to do? Talk as honestly and truthfully as she can around hookups as well as periods and sexism and racism as well as the errors of white-lady feminism as well as shapewear knowing that the funny will constantly discover its method there.

         

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