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This young Afro Latino teacher and voter wants to be a model for his students

This young Afro Latino teacher and voter wants to be a model for his students

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Naomi Prioleau

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Brayan Guevara in front of Irving Park Elementary School, in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he is a teacher’s assistant, June 3, 2020.

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Lynn Hey/The World

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This story is part of “Every 30 Seconds,” a collaborative public media reporting project tracing the young Latino electorate leading up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond.

Brayan Guevara comes from a long line of educators: His mother is a college instructor, and his grandparents were teachers in Honduras. 

Now, Guevara is on the same path. The 19-year-old is a sophomore at Guilford Technical Community College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and wants to become a teacher.

Before the pandemic and while school was still in session, Guevara spent his weekdays as a teacher’s assistant at Irving Park Elementary in Greensboro helping kids with their schoolwork and classroom behavior.

“At the time I was working with kindergarteners and first graders,” he said. “They’re still in their fundamental stage where they need to do [work on] three-letter words or four-letter words. I will just help them do that and mostly get their own behavior in check.”

The lack of Latino educators in the US is one reason Guevara, who is Afro Latino, is pursuing his career path. He wants to change the way teachers interact with students, especially minorities. And he wants to serve as a model for his students — especially those who are Black, Latino and Afro Latino — so that they, too, see a future for themselves in education.

“How teachers treat Black kids, which I have experienced in my time — it’s just the stigma that they already have for these kids.”

Brayan Guevara, sophomore, Guilford Technical Community College 

“How teachers treat Black kids, which I have experienced in my time — it’s just the stigma that they already have for these kids,” Guevara said. 

Related: This first-time Afro Latino voter is undecided. His biggest issue? Education.

The North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals is working to address the lack of Latino educators, especially those who are Afro Latino. The nonprofit promotes education among Hispanic youth in North Carolina.

But there needs to be more intention when it comes to recruiting Latino educators, said the group’s board chair, MariaRosa Rangel.

“If we truly believe in equity and if we really want to make a difference, we need more Latino teachers.”

MariaRosa Rangel, board chair, North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals

“If we truly believe in equity and if we really want to make a difference, we need more Latino teachers,” she said. “We also lose a lot of students because they don’t see themselves reflected in the curriculum, they don’t see themselves as reflected in the classroom.”

Guevara shares his love of teaching with his mother, Nodia Mena, a Spanish language instructor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

Mena received her teaching certificate while she was living in Honduras. She immigrated to the US in the 1990s, and worked in the corporate world in New York. After several years, Mena moved to North Carolina and earned her master’s in Spanish literature, then began teaching.

Like her son, teaching is her passion. And as an Afro Latina educator, she wants to expose her students to a world that is inclusive of all races.

“I realized that most of the Latino students are not aware of the presence of Afro descendants in Latin America, the lack of presence in the media,” she said. “It does not include Afro descendancy in it, and it’s hurtful for me.”

Related: How a trip to Honduras shaped one young US Afro Latino voter’s identity

The rise of Latinos in higher ed

The proportion of Latinos in higher education in the US is growing. In 1990, only 10% of recently arrived Latino immigrants older than 25, had a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2018, roughly a quarter of Latino immigrants had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

While this increase is welcomed by organizations that promote Latino education, more work needs to be done to close the gap. Only 24% of Latino adults in the US have an associate’s degree or higher — compared to 44% of all US adults.

it’s a myth that Latinos don’t value education, said Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO of Excelencia in Education, a national nonprofit aimed at increasing Latino student success in higher education. And the US presidential election in November will give Latinos a chance to dismantle that myth.

“I think that Latinos represent the potential for how to redesign and restructure education that can serve all students of all backgrounds better by starting with this young group.”

Deborah Santiago, co-founder and CEO, Excelencia in Education

“I think that Latinos represent the potential for how to redesign and restructure education that can serve all students of all backgrounds better by starting with this young group,” she said. “It has to be part of the voting opportunities because the elections impact investment in education. And disproportionately, that’s increasingly going to be authentic, and it has to be the way we’re investing in our future generations of populations.”

With Election Day four months away, Guevara hopes President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, will start talking more about the issue closest to him: education. 

Where the candidates stand on the topic may be the deciding factor on who gets his vote, he said, especially when it comes to student loan debt.

“As a broke college student, we don’t want to have a burden of the four years that we spent just to even get our degree,” he said. 

Guevara’s mother hopes presidential candidates will take Latinos seriously when they talk about education.

“As soon as we are identified as being immigrants, then we are treated with that stigma, the negative stigma and then all of a sudden, whatever comes out of our mouth is really seen as deficient,” Mena said.

Teaching and inspiring students is what Guevara wants to continue doing and to follow in the footsteps of his grandparents and his mother.

“God puts you on this Earth for a reason,” he said. “I know I’m still young, but this is my purpose.”

Returning travelers in quarantine hotels may have triggered Melbourne’s latest lockdown

Returning travelers in quarantine hotels may have triggered Melbourne's latest lockdown

After getting a taste of some version of normalcy, Melbourne went into another lockdown this week. Five million residents will be barred from leaving their homes except for essential reasons and orders between Victoria closed between neighboring states are shut down.

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The World staff

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Lucy Martirosyan

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A sign hangs on the door of a closed restaurant after a lockdown restrictions were implemented in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Melbourne, Australia on July 10, 2020. 

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Sandra Sanders/Reuters

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UNESCO says scammers are using its logo to defraud art collectors

UNESCO says scammers are using its logo to defraud art collectors

The UN’s cultural agency, UNESCO, warns its name and logo are being illegally emblazoned on false documents to facilitate a scam to defraud prospective art buyers. Scammers have stolen $1.1 million from unwitting victims this year alone.

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The World staff

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Stephen Snyder

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Art pieces a scammer claimed were photographed in Cameroon and authorized by UNESCO for sale and export. The art collector paid 6,000 euros before calling UNESCO and realizing the fraud.

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Courtesy of UNESCO

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Scammers are using fake certificates with UNESCO’s logo to convince art buyers to pay fees for the export of artworks.

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Courtesy of UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is warning the public of an online scam that offers and sells fake documents that will purportedly help buyers import and export African cultural heritage artwork. 

The documents are passed off as official certifications of authenticity from UNESCO, using the agency’s logo, as part of a scheme to defraud art buyers. 

UNESCO officials stress that the agency does not issue such certificates and that art collectors and tourists are falling victim to this scam. Scammers have stolen $1.1 million from prospective buyers this year alone.

The World’s host Carol Hills spoke with Cedric Bourgeois, who works in the investigation office of UNESCO in Paris, to learn about how the scam works and what’s being done to stop others from being defrauded.

Related: In the Netherlands, millers get UNESCO status

Carol Hills: How does the scam work? 

Cedric Bourgeois: It usually starts on social networks with a casual conversation. Somebody spots your interest for the arts, and the conversation starts. You have a casual conversation up to the point where your contact knows a seller who has exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve seen scammers impersonating soccer stars in Cameroon and approaching the son of a victim and then conversation, little by little moves on to other topics such as the interest for artworks. And suddenly comes a story of a seller in the US who has access to a village in Cameroon with artworks. The conversation goes on, up to the point, where a potential buyer trusts the seller enough or asks for more information and receives exactly what he needs: a fake certificate of UNESCO. I say fakes. A victim doesn’t know it’s fake.  

And does the person show pictures online of these artworks?

Then they receive pictures taken in the village, on the pictures you can see the bush, you see in the background, you’re in Africa.  It’s exactly what it should look like.

And so then the prospective victim actually sends money and then never receives anything. Is that how it works?

The goal of the scammer is to receive the first payment. And once the victim sends a first payment, let’s say, to get this certificate of UNESCO, then there’s always the next payment to issue before you receive the goods. Then it’s to clear customs. Then it’s for the transporter. Then there needs to be an additional certificate from UNESCO. Of course, all this is fake. We never issue certificates to facilitate private trading. If you see the name of UNESCO associated with private trading of artworks, beware. This is not UNESCO. This is a scam. 

No art, whether fake or authentic, has ever exchanged. This is simply passing off fake authentication by UNESCO as a way to gain the confidence and money and payments of prospective buyers who keep paying and thinking they’re going to get art and they never do. They just keep paying money?

Absolutely.

Who’s behind the scam?

We’ve identified a few people because someone was arrested two weeks ago in Cameroon. Another perpetrator was arrested in France a few months ago. But this did not stop the schemes. We see more and more victims coming. And that’s why we reach out to the general public in this global awareness campaign.

What’s the scale of the scam? I mean, are there hundreds of cases? Thousands? How big of a deal is this?

This year alone, we are talking about 20 victims for a total of $1.1 million.

Are the buyers themselves, are the prospective buyers innocent in this scam or not? It’s kind of a fuzzy area there.

It’s hard to understand what leads the buyers to send money after a discussion about artworks on social networks. For sure. Sometimes the behavior of the victim might look reckless. But if you investigate the facts further, it is clear you have perpetrators on one side, victims on the other side. 

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Visa restrictions on Chinese students will disadvantage US, says Queens College president

Visa restrictions on Chinese students will disadvantage US, says Queens College president

Chinese students make up a third of international students in the US. Under new Trump administration rules, they will not be allowed to enter or remain in the US if their colleges and universities are online-only this fall. "America risks losing its competitive advantage," says Frank Wu, president of Queens College in New York.

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The World staff

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Lucy Martirosyan

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Students and pedestrians walk through the Yard at Harvard University, after the school asked its students not to return to campus after Spring Break and said it would move to virtual instruction for graduate and undergraduate classes, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 10, 2020. 

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Brian Snyder/Reuters

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For American universities, catering to international students is big business. Each year, more than 1 million come here to study. About a third are from China.

But come fall, many may be absent. This week, the Trump administration announced that international students would not be allowed to enter or remain in the US if their colleges and universities are online-only this fall. The move drew swift backlash from higher education administrators and advocates. Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit against the government Wednesday to block the measure.

Unlike domestic students, international students often pay full tuition — which helps universities to fund scholarships and their general operations. International students injected nearly $45 billion into the US economy in 2018. 

For some international students, remote learning could mean attending classes in the middle of the night, dealing with spotty or no internet access, losing funding contingent on teaching, or having to stop participating in research. Some are considering taking time off or leaving their programs entirely.

Frank Wu, president of Queens College in New York, has written about the US government’s complicated relationship with students from China. He joined The World’s host Carol Hills for a conversation on the Trump administration’s new guidance and its impact on international students in the US. 

Related: Universities scramble to help international universities stay in US after new visa restrictions 

Carol Hills: Frank, how do you interpret this move by the Trump administration? Is it about politics or public health? 

Frank Wu: It’s about everything. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Even before this, there was suspicion and statements, including by the president himself, that almost all students coming from China are spies. That was said by the president at a private dinner. And it made the news, but the story didn’t stick, which was just one of many things that are said along similar lines. About 350,000 students per year have been coming from China. That’s pre-pandemic. So they’re the biggest part of the international student population. 

But there is a public health piece to this. I mean, one could say that you’re working on the basis of public health if you’re restricting students from overseas from coming to the US.  What’s your sense of that? 

Oh, absolutely. That probably isn’t the reason, because at the same time this ban on foreign students was announced, the president said he would pressure states to pressure schools, including colleges, to reopen. So, it doesn’t make sense to say, well, let’s have everyone reopen, but then let’s keep out people from places with lower rates of the coronavirus. 

Do you think many Chinese students enrolled at American universities will just say, “Forget it, I’ll enroll in a university in Asia or Europe instead”? 

That’s already happened. For many international students, the United Kingdom looks very popular, or just staying home. We face a real risk of a reverse brain drain. So, I’m an American. I was born here in the United States, grew up in Detroit. My parents, they were born in China. They grew up in Taiwan, and they came to the United States in the 1960s, that bygone era when America was welcoming people. And America invested in them. They didn’t just come. They came as scholarship students. America wanted to recruit them. It was a good investment because my parents became citizens, taxpayers, contributors. My family has staked its fortunes on this side of the Pacific Ocean. 

It’s pretty clear you interpret this move by the Trump administration as a move against China and Chinese students. What does the US lose if many of these students decide to go to another university and not wait it out for trying to finish at a US university? 

America risks losing its competitive advantage. What we have is freedom and opportunity — and that attracts the most talented from everywhere else. Imagine if everyone of Chinese descent just vanished overnight. What would happen to the physics department at most universities? What would happen in Silicon Valley? What we risk losing is the talent that we’ve been able to recruit that has driven American entrepreneurial activity, scientific research and progress. 

As president of Queens College in New York, how are you responding to these new guidelines on international students? 

The chancellor [Félix V. Matos Rodríguez] of the CUNY system — we’re part of a system — issued a powerful statement as soon as the guidelines came out saying that this is bad, not just for our students, it’s bad for our institution. And I stand with him. We want to support all of our students regardless of their identity. We want to provide a high-quality, affordable education. 

Do you have students who are directly affected by these new guidelines? 

We’re taking a look. I am sure we have students who could be affected. We’re looking at everything that we can do to support them, to keep them in the system and to ensure that they’re educated and that they value what America has offered. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Reuters contributed to this report. 

Discussion: The Latino Republican: Issues and influence in the 2020 election

Discussion: The Latino Republican: Issues and influence in the 2020 election

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The World staff

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This Facebook Live discussion is part of “Every 30 Seconds,” a collaborative public media reporting project tracing the young Latino electorate leading up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond.

For the past four months, The World’s “Every 30 Seconds” project has been following the stories of eight young Latino voters in different corners of the United States, reporting on the issues, influences, concerns and challenges driving Latino decision-making and turnout for the 2020 presidential election. It’s a collaboration with public radio stations across the US.

As part of this coverage, The World’s Daisy Contreras moderated a discussion on Latino Republicans and conservatism in the US with Geraldo L. Cadava, historian and author of “The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump.” It was a continuation of The World’s earlier conversation with Cadava on the Latino conservative vote.

There are two major assumptions about the Latino vote in the US: Latinos vote Democratic, and immigration is the most important issue for decision-making. That’s often not the case.

While the majority of Latino voters went for a Democratic candidate in the 2018 midterm election, about 30% of Latinos in the US backed a Republican candidate. Over the years, the percentage of Latinos who have voted for the Republican party has stayed pretty consistent.

But conservative Latinos are not a monolithic group, and they do not vote as a bloc. Factors such as country of origin, socioeconomic status and how many generations a family has been in the US could shape their political perspectives and priorities.

UK sanctions on Russians, Saudis are a ‘milestone’ for human rights, advocate says

UK sanctions on Russians, Saudis are a 'milestone' for human rights, advocate says

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The World staff

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Daniel Ofman

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Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meets with the Magnitsky family and Bill Browder in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, following the foreign secretary’s statement on the Global Human Rights Sanctions regime given in the House of Commons, London, Britain, July 6, 2020. 

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Pippa Fowles/No 10 Downing Street/Handout via Reuters

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Nantucket businesses struggle without seasonal summer workers 

Nantucket businesses struggle without seasonal summer workers 

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Rachel Rock

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The Nantucket Bike Shop usually hires foreign students through the J-1 visa program, but this year the visa program was suspended and foreign workers could not travel to the US to work during Nantucket’s high season. Photo taken on July 2, 2020, Nantucket island, Massachusetts. 

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Rachel Rock/The World 

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It’s mid-June and already 100 degrees just outside of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Jakob Gregurić is at home near the base of Mt. Medvednica, a nature park in central Croatia. Gregurić, a 24-year-old student at the University of Zagreb, wrapped up his classes several weeks ago. Most of his friends are working summer jobs they lined up months ago, but Gregurić is still looking.

He was supposed to work on Nantucket island, a resort community off the coast of Massachusetts. Then, the pandemic hit. Visa processing came to a halt. And last month, the Trump administration further suspended many guest-worker visas like the J-1 visa Gregurić got last year. 

Related: Trump’s visa ban has technology companies worried 

“We had no news for months and months because you would have [had] your visa in like February or March and it’s June. And I still haven’t my visa. … So, we were kind of prepared for it …”

Jakob Gregurić, student and former US seasonal worker, University of Zagreb, Croatia

“We had no news for months and months because you would have [had] your visa in like February or March and it’s June. And I still haven’t my visa,” Gregurić said. “So, we were kind of prepared for it. Something’s going to happen. I mean, we are still sad. It’s a great experience.” 

In Nantucket, the population usually balloons with tourists during the summer. And the tourists are arriving. Yet, foreign seasonal workers who typically arrive from all over the world to help out during the high season are missing. 

Normally, about 100,000 J-1 temporary visas are issued every year to international college students who work at tourist spots ranging from Disneyland to Park City Ski resort to Nantucket. The visa suspensions are part of the White House’s response to job losses because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Related: US seafood workers fight unsafe job conditions amid pandemic

Last year, Gregurić hustled in Nantucket. His main job was at The Nantucket Bike Shop, but he had time left over. 

At first, I thought I would do the bike shop work and then I would probably get a second job, but I wouldn’t … work all day and night,” said Gregurić. “But when I met the guys there and everybody was working, I didn’t have anything to do. So, I found myself a second and third job.” 

He brought $8,000 back home. This summer, he says he doesn’t expect to make more than $2,000 in Croatia. He says he’ll miss the cash and also the chance to practice his English and gain work experience in the US. 

Four thousand miles away on Nantucket, Gregurić’s former boss at the bike shop, Joe Conway, says he misses the young Croatian. But — so far — he’s managing. 

“For the moment, business is slow, so it’s working out so far. … We will see how it handles with the busyness that we’ve got coming … reservations are through the roof.”

Joe Conway, manager, The Nantucket Bike Shop, Nantucket, Massachusetts

“For the moment, business is slow, so it’s working out so far,” said Conway. “We will see how it handles with the busyness that we’ve got coming … reservations are through the roof.”

The Nantucket Bike Shop usually hires foreign students through the J-1 visa program, but this year the visa program was suspended and foreign workers could not travel to the US to work during Nantucket’s high season. Photo taken on July 2, 2020, Nantucket island, Massachusetts. 

Credit:

Rachel Rock/The World 

Conway has 15 employees this summer, down from his usual 30 to 35 — normally including many foreigners on J-1 visas. He’s concerned that business will pick up and he’ll be shorthanded. 

For years, Nantucket’s economy has relied on J-1 student labor for the high season. Decades ago, before the visas ramped up, US college students did a lot of the summer work. But — at least in Nantucket — the tourist season expanded into October. US students typically return to school in August. Foreign students, though, can often stay into the fall.  

But there’s another reason that Conway prefers J-1 employees.

“They are very hard workers. They do pay attention. They listen to you,” Conway said. “It’s just been amazing, the work they do. And I’ve had a lot of students come back … and they just want to work.”

For now, Conway has hired high schoolers and a few college kids to fill his bike shop needs. The Trump administration says its decision to suspend many of the temporary work visas is about helping people in the US who have lost their jobs. But Conway is not so sure about this because he hears otherwise from people he spoke to when he offered them seasonal work. 

“They tell me, ‘Well no, I’m not going to work for $15 an hour when I’m sitting at home collecting $25 an hour [of unemployment].’ I can’t say I blame them,” Conway said.

Related: International students are in coronavirus limbo. So are universities.

Businesses all over the island are feeling the labor supply squeeze. Kristie Ferrantella is the head of Nantucket’s Chamber of Commerce.

“I think a lot of businesses are going to really struggle this year. … I was with a restaurant owner this past week who typically employs 90 people in the summer and this year she’s going to be doing it with 26.”

Kristie Ferrantella, Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, Nantucket, Massachusetts

“I think a lot of businesses are going to really struggle this year,” Ferrantella said. “I was with a restaurant owner this past week who typically employs 90 people in the summer and this year she’s going to be doing it with 26.” 

This scenario is now happening nationwide. The executive order by the Trump administration to suspend foreign worker visas until the end of 2020 is supposed to be in the interests of US workers. But David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the CATO Institute, says that the move will do the opposite.

“Tens of thousands of businesses across the US…need workers,” Bier said. “This order is going to disrupt that, ultimately delaying the recovery and causing more economic hardship.” 

The extent of this disruption — on Nantucket Island, at least — depends on how business goes during this highly unusual summer and fall. Nantucket will definitely miss the injection of international cultures, languages and the positive spirit that these young foreigners bring with them. 

Shanghai Pride went on as planned last month. But the fight for LGBTQ rights in China is far from over.

Shanghai Pride went on as planned last month. But the fight for LGBTQ rights in China is far from over.

But Shanghai Pride didn't include the typical parade filled with people waving rainbow flags. In China, parades are mostly reserved for displays of military strength. So, organizers have to use a little bit of ingenuity to pull off one of the country's longest-running Pride events.

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Rebecca Kanthor

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Participants take part in a Pride Run during the Shanghai Pride festival, in Shanghai, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, China, June 14, 2020.

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Aly Song/Reuters 

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In 2009, Charlene Liu, a Singaporean expat who lives in Shanghai, helped found Shanghai Pride. That first Pride was meant to be a one-time event.

“To be honest, back then, none of us thought that we would be organizing Pride for so long. It was just one time for one year.”

Charlene Liu ​​​​, Shanghai Pride organizer 

“To be honest, back then, none of us thought that we would be organizing Pride for so long,” Liu said. “It was just one time for one year.”

Related: Diplomats display Pride flags as LGBTQ rights threatened in Russia

Afterward, people told them how much it meant to them, so the organizers decided to keep it going.

This year, while Pride marches all over the world were canceled or moved online amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, China’s only official Pride celebration in Shanghai, where social distancing restrictions have largely been lifted, went on last month as planned. 

But Shanghai Pride didn’t include the typical parade filled with people waving rainbow flags. In China, parades are mostly reserved for displays of military strength. So, organizers have to use a little bit of ingenuity to pull off one of the country’s longest-running Pride events. 

The mid-June festival featured a full schedule of events, with parties, but also a film screening, job fair, storytelling event and forum on inclusion in the workplace and academia.

Organizing Pride events here isn’t exactly easy. China didn’t legalize homosexuality until 1997; it only stopped classifying it as a mental disorder in 2001. So, it’s legal to be gay, but it’s not a totally accepting environment.

Related: Sterilization abuse of Uighurs in China meets international legal criteria for genocide, experts say

A petition to legalize gay marriage was squashed last month, dashing the hopes many had for more legal protections. In the past few years, there have been media bans on LGBTQ content, and people have been harassed for just wearing rainbow badges.

“So, having venues closed down on us, is very common. Every year, we face the same issue. And we always have to come up with a Plan B, a Plan C, or Plan D,” Liu said.

Liu and other Pride organizers always have to be on their toes, and they try to keep festivities low key. So, no Pride Parade? Well, instead, how about a Pride Fun Run and a Rainbow Bike Ride?

“We thought that, you know, everybody exercises. We know we want to be outside outdoors, networking, as well as keeping healthy. So, we don’t necessarily have a lot of events that probably other Prides have. But we get by with what we can do here, and also what the community is interested in.”

Charlene Liu ​​​​, Shanghai Pride organizer 

“We thought that you know, everybody exercises,” Liu said. “We know we want to be outside outdoors, networking, as well as keeping healthy. So, we don’t necessarily have a lot of events that probably other Prides have. But we get by with what we can do here, and also what the community is interested in.”

Liu has noticed a real change over the past decade. Acceptance of LGBTQ people and relationships is growing in China. Whereas the first Shanghai Pride was led and attended more by foreigners, these days, most of the volunteers and participants are Chinese.

Related: How China uses malware to track Muslim Uighurs, even if they’ve fled the country

Alex Dai is a 55-year-old entrepreneur who’s been coming to Pride for years with his boyfriend. It’s become a big part of their life.

“For me, coming to Pride is like finding a home. Many of us can feel isolated, but at Pride, I found a family that accepts me, understands me and respects me.”

Alex Dai, Pride attendee

“For me, coming to Pride is like finding a home. Many of us can feel isolated, but at Pride, I found a family that accepts me, understands me and respects me,” he said.

For participants, going to Pride is fun and liberating. But behind the scenes, there’s a lot of pressure on the organizers, especially during a pandemic.

Related: Ai Weiwei: Hong Kong security law ‘the last nail of the coffin’

“This year is, we call it a very sensitive year,” Liu said. “Everything that everybody does, especially group gatherings, we are heavily monitored. And also because it’s for the safety, right, we want to make sure that everybody is safe, that we don’t get sick because we live in a city where there’s so many people.”

Now that Pride 2020 is over, Liu says she and her fellow volunteers can finally take a breather.

“Regardless of the challenges and stress, we know that at the end of the day, someone in the community will be inspired, will be encouraged, will be able to say that they are not alone and that they’re able to connect with other people in the same shoes and have the courage to be themselves,” Liu said.

And that makes it all worth it, she added. 

Djibouti’s ‘cosmopolitan musical sound’ captured in first-ever global album

Djibouti’s ‘cosmopolitan musical sound’ captured in first-ever global album

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“The Dancing Devils of Djibouti” by Groupe RTD is the first-ever globally-released album to come from Djibouti.

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Courtesy of Janto Djassi

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In the northeast corner of Africa, right on the Gulf of Aden and facing the Arabian Peninsula, lies the Republic of Djibouti. The country of just under a million tucks into Ethiopia and sits on the Bab el-Mandeb strait, a strategic waterway connecting east and west, which has brought myriad cultural influences to the country.

Djibouti, also a neighbor of Somalia and once known as French Somaliland, gained its independence from France 43 years ago. But only now, in 2020, has a band in Djibouti recorded and released music for a global audience.

For decades, music has been governed by the state, and the country’s history of recorded music sits in the National Radio Archives. 

Related: How researchers hope to restore the unique sound of Notre Dame 

The newly released album is called “The Dancing Devils of Djibouti” by Groupe RTD, which also performs as the national radio band for formal ceremonies of state. Vik Sohonie co-produced the record. Sohonie is also the founder of Ostinato Records, the label that released the album. He spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about the new music from the East African country.

Marco Werman: So the first record ever to come out of Djibouti, really?

Vik Sohonie: Yeah, that’s actually the case, because if you look at Djibouti, it’s a very young country. It got its independence in 1977, and they’ve been governed largely by one party since. And that party believed for various reasons, being a young country, that music should fall under the domain of the state. It should be a public good. And so, from independence until now, it’s really been only the government in the state and all the cultural state institutions that have financed, supported and propped up music. And if you wanted to record music in Djibouti, there was only one studio you could do it, which was at the National Radio’s studio. And Djibouti’s entire recorded output of music over these past 43 years is just sitting in the Djibouti National Radio Archives. It’s never been packaged for commercial global release.

Related: How the Beatles created a sense of ‘place’ for this Argentinian American 

So just to be clear, “The Dancing Devils of Djibouti” — this is a new recording. This is not archived material?

No, it’s not. They are a national band. They are the national radio band. But their primary job is to perform for dignitaries when they visit. You know, they perform when they are walking down the stairs, when they arrive at the airport. They perform at presidential ceremonies, cultural holidays. They are very much the national band. They’re an all-star band that is a mix of the best older, legendary, very beloved musicians, as well as new young talent that they’ve been able to scout. But no, it’s not an archive of recording, although they draw greatly from the recordings that are sitting in that archive.

Related: Ranky Tanky honors Gullah culture with Grammy-nominated album

Groupe RTD records in studio in Djibouti. The group also performs as the national ceremony band for official events. 

Credit:

Courtesy of Janto Djassi

I’ve got to say, for the first record ever from Djibouti, it’s like an instant classic. It’s just a wonderful group, great sound. I mean, they don’t sound like a formal band playing at, you know, presidential ceremonies and stuff.

That’s their on-duty job. That’s their job they’re paid for. But, you know, when we came across them — they were just casually jamming when we came across them in 2016. And when we were introducing them, they were introduced as the national ceremony band. And we were expecting something of a national anthem, chorus or orchestra of something of that nature. But very quickly, we realized that when they’re off duty, they’re off work and they’re sitting and hanging around and jamming. They are not playing national ceremony music. They are doing what they do best, which is taking the essences of Djibouti’s cosmopolitan musical sound and just reviving it, modernizing it and adding their own lovely touch to it.

Related: This Liberian Italian beatmaker uses music to tackle racism in Italy

The music of Djibouti is influenced by the music of neighboring Somalia. But there’s a lot more to this music than Djibouti’s neighbor, isn’t there?

Yes, for sure. I mean, Djibouti, people have to understand, has historically been on a very strategic trade route. It’s partially why the United States, among other big powers, have military bases there, because so much trade passes through Djibouti. And, you know, that trade has been going on for centuries. And cultures from Asia, from the Middle East, from elsewhere have all had to pass through there. If you want to move anything from Asia to Europe you have to, or vice versa, you have to pass the strait that Djibouti sits on. So, they’ve been influenced by a great deal of cultures, east and west.

But also in their immediate independence era, when the national radio was or still is the sole broadcaster, there were three genres of music in particular that really inspired the band. And you can hear all of these. The guitarist who plays those offbeat licks — he was telling us how much he grew up listening to Jamaican reggae. The saxophonist who is really the star of the band — he grew up on a steady diet of American jazz and he would always point to the Harlem jazz era as this period of infatuation that he studied and grew up with. And the singers, they spoke greatly about India’s influence on Djibouti, the influence of Bollywood and the vocal styles of Bollywood that they would listen to, that they would learn from to be able to adapt and diversify their vocal repertoire. So, Djibouti might seem like a small country on the fringes, but for a very long time, it’s really been at the center of so much cultural mixing. It’s been so central to so much that’s been happening in the world.

Related: This trio in Spain gets through ‘confinement blues’ with socially conscious music 

So Vik, with travel, tours and things more or less at a standstill because of the pandemic, what is it like releasing a debut album with this kind of profile in the midst of a pandemic? And are we gonna be hearing more music from Djibouti?

Yes, for sure. I know it’s a sad tale because the idea was to release the album and then have them touring by the summer. But, of course, that’s not possible anymore. I mean, we’re still aiming for December. That might be optimistic. We hope things get better. We want more music from Djibouti to come out. You know, the government authorities who have been monitoring the release are very happy with the response. So, you know, everyone’s behind more music coming out of the country. But there’s more important things, I think, right now than touring. But I hope one day we’re back to concerts and live shows and being shoulder to shoulder enjoying the music.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

Putin scores victory in ‘gameshow’-like vote; Myanmar mine collapse; Ethiopian singer’s death sparks protests; Botswana’s mysterious elephant die-off

Putin scores victory in 'gameshow'-like vote; Myanmar mine collapse; Ethiopian singer's death sparks protests; Botswana's mysterious elephant die-off

By
Indra Ekmanis

Russian President Vladimir Putin shows his passport to a member of a local electoral commission at a polling station on the last day of a weeklong nationwide vote on constitutional reforms in Moscow, Russia July 1, 2020.

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Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters

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Black Lives Matter protests are shaking up how this young Latino voter views US politics

Black Lives Matter protests are shaking up how this young Latino voter views US politics

By
Stella M. Chávez

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Izcan Ordaz, an 18-year-old high school graduate in Fort Worth, Texas, will vote in his first US presidential election this November.

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Ben Torres

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This story is part of “Every 30 Seconds,” a collaborative public media reporting project tracing the young Latino electorate leading up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond.

A few weeks ago, 18-year-old Izcan Ordaz joined his high school classmates for his first protest. They called for racial justice as part of a national wave of Black Lives Matter activism. A few days later, he marched again in Keller, an affluent suburb of Fort Worth, Texas, not usually known for protests.

But similar to many places across the country, residents turned out in larger numbers than expected. Keller police estimated 3,000 people showed up. 

“I really assumed it was just going to be mostly young people, mostly a lot of minorities,” Ordaz said. “But when I got there I found that it was predominantly white Americans and lots of older families, lots of children.” 

Izcan Ordaz, left, poses with a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer at a recent Black Lives Matter protest near his high school.

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Courtesy of Izcan Ordaz

Ordaz, who recently graduated from Central High School in Fort Worth, will vote in his first presidential election this November. He falls somewhere in the middle of the US political spectrum: more conservative than his parents, but not too far to the right. Ordaz believes in capitalism and a free-market economy. And two major recent events — the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests — are shaking up how he views US politics. 

Back in April, Ordaz’s biggest concerns were getting through the pandemic, the state of the US economy and finishing high school virtually.

Related: This Latino teen voter worries about prom, graduation — and the economy

Now, the issue of racial justice is also top of mind. Ordaz said he felt compelled to do something after watching the viral video of a white Minnesota police officer press his knee into the neck of George Floyd, a Black man.

What happened to Floyd wasn’t right and was painful to watch, Ordaz said. Floyd’s death reflects a larger problem of racial injustice in the country, he added — and that’s why he’s speaking up.

“I think as young people living in the United States, it really is our job to start to step up and to really make the future of the United States go in a different direction.”

Izcan Ordaz, first-time voter

“I think as young people living in the United States, it really is our job to start to step up and to really make the future of the United States go in a different direction,” he said. 

As a young Latino, Ordaz is part of a demographic that is changing the US — politically, culturally and demographically. Approximately every 30 seconds, a Latino in the US turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote. Latinos’ sheer numbers make them an important voting bloc: This fall, they could surpass Black voters for the first time, making them the largest racial or ethnic voter group after whites, according to the Pew Research Center.

Related: Every 30 seconds, a young Latino in the US turns 18. Their votes count more than ever.

Ordaz said it’s his generation’s responsibility to not commit the same mistakes made by previous generations. While he credits older generations for paving the way in the fight for racial equality, he believes his generation can do more.

He points to high-profile cases, such as the 1992 protests that erupted in Los Angeles after four police officers who were videotaped beating Black motorist Rodney King were acquitted at trial.

“This police brutality has been a recurring issue in the United States that hopefully by the time we get to our parents’ age will not still be an issue,” Ordaz said.

Max Krochmal, an associate history professor of history at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, said it’s promising to see a new wave of activism around racial justice, which has taken cues from the 1960s civil rights movement. 

That movement pushed the country as far as white Americans were willing to go, said Krochmal, who also chairs comparative race and ethnic studies at the university. In the ’60s, Black activists marched and demanded equal rights. They won access to public accommodations, such as restaurants and movie theaters. And the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Other changes around racial equality occurred in the 1960s, but the movement eventually plateaued, Krochmal said. And in some ways, he feels like the nation has moved backward. 

“So I see the current Black Lives Matter movement as picking up that torch, as saying that the things that the nation identified that were wrong in the wake of the last wave of urban rebellions are still wrong.”

Max Krochmal, historian, Texas Christian University

“So, I see the current Black Lives Matter movement as picking up that torch, as saying that the things that the nation identified that were wrong in the wake of the last wave of urban rebellions are still wrong,” Krochmal said. “And indeed, sometimes they’re worse, and that the nation needs to come to grips with that.”

Krochmal said the country still needs to deal with underlying issues such as racialized economic inequality, police brutality and the lack of adequate political representation.

There is hope, though.

“What we’re seeing right now that I think is amazing and remarkable is that young people … are out on the streets for the first time ever,” Krochmal said. “I think most of the time, students feel alienated from that history, but right now there’s a sense among them that they’re out doing it, that they are themselves making history and they’re empowered and they’re emboldened and they believe in the capacity for change. They’re incredibly optimistic.”

Ordaz feels that, too. He believes his peers are more tolerant and accepting of others. He uses his first name as an example of that tolerance: “Izcan” comes from the Aztec language Nahuatl and means “behold.”  He says he used to feel self-conscious about it — but at school, he’s gotten compliments on it.

“The bottom line is that Gen Z as a whole does not agree with racism. It is not a political issue.”

Izcan Ordaz, first-time voter

“The bottom line is that Gen Z as a whole does not agree with racism,” Ordaz said. “It is not a political issue. Typically, the things that I see on the media or even in person, young people are normally the ones who stand against racism when it happens from older generations.”

Ordaz’s mother, Xochitl Ortiz, said she’s proud of her son for standing up for issues he believes in. She reflected on that while sitting outside her home one recent evening.

“My husband and I are just amazed that he’s able to articulate and just really see at his young age, just the ideas that he has,” she said.

Discussion: The Latino conservative vote in the 2020 election

Xochitl Ortiz, left, helps her son Izcan Ordaz to try on his graduation gown outside their home in Keller, Texas, May 28, 2020. Ordaz graduated last week.

Credit:

Ben Torres/The World

Ortiz and her husband don’t shy away from talking with their son about difficult topics, such as racial disparities, discrimination and the history of slavery. 

And she accepts that sometimes they may have different views. 

“It’s just really neat to see how he takes in information and doesn’t just quickly jump to make a decision but really kind of investigates,” she said. 

Just what impact this new movement will have on the ballot box in November remains to be seen. Krochmal said he’s noticed alliances forming between grassroots protest groups and those working toward making political changes.

“What we’re witnessing is grassroots organizing in the electoral arena among people who ordinarily don’t participate in that and we’re seeing folks paying attention to local politics, particularly local politics, who’ve never noticed it before,” he said.

As for Ordaz, he said he still plans to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden. He’s critical of how President Donald Trump has politicized the coronavirus pandemic, and Ordaz doesn’t like the comments he’s made about Black Lives Matter protesters. He believes the president’s actions have polarized the country.

He said: “I personally feel that the role of any leader anywhere, anytime should always be to try to create some kind of unity with the people he’s hoping to lead.”

Evan Matthew Fuchs contributed audio for this story.

Whose Haghia Sophia? 

Whose Haghia Sophia? 

By
Durrie Bouscaren

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accompanied by his wife Emine Erdoğan, attends the opening ceremony of the Yeditepe Biennial at the Haghia Sophia Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, March 31, 2018.

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Kayhan Ozer/Turkish Presidential Press Office/Handout via Reuters 

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Passing through the stone walls of the Haghia Sophia Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, time stands still. A cross-eyed cat appraises a small group of tourists from its corner. 

For more than a thousand years, the Haghia Sophia was the largest dome in the world. In its center is a ring of Arabic calligraphy, a transcription of the 35th verse of the Quran — the verse of light. It’s like a piece of the sun. 

“It gives me goosebumps,” said Ebru Gokteke, a Turkish tour guide.

The Byzantines commissioned the Haghia Sophia as a Greek Orthodox cathedral. The Ottomans conquered it and turned it into an ornate mosque. Then, secular revolutionaries converted it into a monument to two faiths. 

Now, the Haghia Sophia may change hands again. 

Related: Is Turkey seeking a neo-Ottoman Empire? 

On Thursday, a Turkish court is expected to decide a case that challenges the 1,400-year-old monument’s status as a museum. If revoked, little will stand in the way of Turkey’s ruling party to make good on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s perennial promise to turn the Haghia Sophia back into a mosque. 

“It’s a common wish for all of us to see its chains broken and opened for a prayer.”

Abdulhamit Gül, Justice Minister, Turkey

“It’s a common wish for all of us to see its chains broken and opened for a prayer,” Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül told the country’s state broadcaster, Anadolu Ajansi. “God willing, we will see the return of the Haghia Sophia to its origin.” 

Related: How Turkey’s Erdoğan went from populist hero to strongman

Tourists take in the beauty of the Haghia Sophia interior. 

Credit:

Durrie Bouscaren/The World 

Whose Haghia Sophia? 

As a patriarchal cathedral under the Byzantine Empire, the building is a symbolic center of the Greek Orthodox faith. Members of the Turkish opposition see it as a nod to the country’s foundation as a secular republic and acceptance of minority groups.   

“The republican founding elite … turned it into a museum to neutralize it, to demystify it. And now comes a pro-Islamic government who again wants to use it as an Islamic symbol and try to convert it into a mosque.”

İştar Gözaydın, legal scholar, Istanbul, Turkey 

“The republican founding elite … turned it into a museum to neutralize it, to demystify it. And now comes a pro-Islamic government who again wants to use it as an Islamic symbol and try to convert it into a mosque,” said İştar Gözaydın, a Turkish legal scholar. “These are questions of power, at the end.” 

The original building was built in five years, between 532 and 537 — a physical representation of the mighty Byzantine Empire. Nine hundred years later, when the Ottomans seized its capital, Constantinople, the Haghia Sophia served as a refuge for the wounded and for worshippers praying for safety. 

When the city fell to the Ottomans in May 1453, historic accounts say a 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II rode his horse to the Haghia Sophia and ordered an imam to recite a prayer transforming the cathedral into a mosque; it eventually became a symbol of Ottoman conquest.   

In 1934, secular revolutionaries under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, certified the site as a museum. 

But Ismail Kandemir, a retired math teacher and preservation activist, recently opened a case to argue that the 1934 document should be annulled because Kemal Atatürk’s signature appears to be falsified. 

Related: As more journalists stand trial in Turkey, the truth becomes more elusive

Previous debates over the Haghia Sophia’s status have been punted or demurred as mere political discourse. But a recent conversion of a smaller Byzantine church in the coastal city of Trabzon, also called the Haghia Sophia, suggests that the grand Haghia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque may be a possibility. 

Turkey’s Council of State is expected to make a ruling over the Haghia Sophia’s museum designation as soon as July 2. A group of local architects is already preparing an appeal. 

What’s at stake 

Inside the grand Haghia Sophia, terraces of marble columns reach more than 100 feet toward a striped, golden yellow and dark blue dome so tall and so wide it looks like it floats over a ring of 40 windows. Mosaic angels mark each corner. 

“It’s one of the most amazing buildings mankind ever created on the surface of the Earth,” said Gokteke, the tour guide. “It’s a turning point in the history of architecture … it’s colossal, yet so elegant.”

When Gokteke is away from the Haghia Sophia, she starts to see it in her dreams. She says she misses it like an old friend. That’s the case now, as the coronavirus travel restrictions have forced the world’s tourism industry to grind to a halt. But she hopes that the building remains a museum. 

Inside Haghia Sophia, terraces of marble columns reach more than 100 feet above toward a striped, golden yellow and dark blue dome. 

Credit:

Durrie Bouscaren/The World 

“A building like that is a real historical heritage for everybody. If it’s a church or a mosque, there will be things hidden from the worshippers. … In order to fully appreciate it, we should be able to see it as a whole.”

Ebru Gokteke, tour guide, Istanbul, Turkey

“A building like that is a real historical heritage for everybody. If it’s a church or a mosque, there will be things hidden from the worshippers,” she said. “In order to fully appreciate it, we should be able to see it as a whole.” 

That history includes blended elements as well, explained Molly Greene, director of Hellenic studies program at Princeton University. When Ottoman sultans began to renovate the Haghia Sophia to function as a mosque, they maintained the mosaics of Christian figures despite Islamic religious codes against depicting human forms in places of worship. 

“The imperial vision — particularly when it came to Constantinople and Sultan Murad II — was [that] he saw himself, and the empire, as guardians as the world’s treasures. One of which was Haghia Sophia,” Greene said. 

Over the centuries, the mosaics were covered but preserved beneath coats of plaster. One of the most recent finds, the faces of angels on the ceiling, weren’t discovered until 2015.  

Covering the mosaics “was in response to moments of crisis and social strife,” Greene said, “where there was felt a need to sort of reassert the Islamic nature of the empire.”  

Greene sees echoes of the past in Turkey’s contemporary political debate over the Haghia Sophia’s status. “It’s not directed at Greece or the Christians,” said Greene. “I think this is basically directed at the opposition in Turkey … Erdoğan is actively presenting himself and Turkey as the leader of the Sunni Muslim world,” and the Haghia Sophia is a convenient way to assert this message. 

New documentary follows LGBTQ people fleeing persecution in Chechnya

New documentary follows LGBTQ people fleeing persecution in Chechnya

In early 2017, stories began emerging on how Chechen authorities were persecuting the LGBTQ community. The World speaks to director David French on his new film, "Welcome to Chechnya," which gives an inside look at the abuse and torture faced by the republic's LGBTQ people and those who try to help them escape.

By
The World staff

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Daniel Ofman

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A campaigner holds a multicoloured flower as she protests for LGBT rights in Chechnya outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain, June 2, 2017. 

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Neil Hall/Reuters

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Human rights violations have been reported in the Chechnya for decades. But it wasn’t until 2017 that the world started to better understand the abuses against gay, lesbian and transgender people living in the republic, which is part of the Russian Federation.  

A new HBO film, “Welcome to Chechnya,” documents the stories of persecuted LGBTQ people in Chechnya and the crisis workers who try to help them escape. It airs June 30 at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

Director David France, who also directed the 2012 film “How to Survive a Plague,” said it’s important to pay attention to the many atrocities happening around the world. But what’s happening in Chechnya is particularly horrific. 

“This is one that has a particularly resonant horror to it,” France told The World. “It’s a top-down, government-controlled, government-mandated campaign to eliminate the community of LGBTQ people. That makes it quantifiably and quantitatively different from anything else that’s going on that the LGBTQ community is facing and that deserves our attention. It certainly deserves the outrage of the US government because the government has remained silent on this.”

One central character in the film is Maxim, who was abducted, beaten and tortured.  He was eventually let go, but the government ended up pursuing him and his whole family. 

“I like Chechnya a lot,” Maxim says in the film. “You know, the people are great. Their kindness and their readiness to help. I’m talking about ordinary people. And so when the gay persecution began, it was a huge shock for me. I couldn’t understand how these kinds people could treat others so violently with such cruelty to gay people, who never did anything to them.”

In another part of the film, Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, is asked about the allegations of abduction and torture of gay men in the republic. 

“This is nonsense, we don’t have such people here,” Kadyrov says.

The Chechen Republic is located in an isolated area, surrounded by mountains, and it has a very insular culture. Kadyrov, the region’s leader, was placed in power by Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

France spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about the dangers facing LGBTQ people in Chechnya and those who try to help them escape.

Marco Werman: What made you want to pursue this project, a film about human rights violations against LGBTQ people in Chechnya?   

David France: It’s a film about a basket of things — certainly about the atrocities that are taking place there, but also about how the world really paid very little attention to it even once it was exposed in early 2017. It generated headlines around the globe, but it was not sustained coverage. Once the coverage went away, the campaign against the community continued. And that’s the third part of the story that really fascinated me, which was what the Russian LGBTQ community was forced to do on its own and in the shadows in the absence of any sort of effective outcry or any sort of political pressure from the outside world and certainly no hint of any movement toward justice inside the country.

Related: Gay men in Chechnya rounded up, tortured, and killed: report

So when the big headlines went away, you stayed on the story. And as you rightly point out, it’s just as much about Russia as it is about Chechnya. One important character we follow throughout your film, we know him first as Grisha and then later learned his real name is Maxim. His story in many ways seems to be kind of the heart of your documentary. Who is he?   

Well, Maxim was one of the scores of people who were rounded up in that first year and brought in because of their presumed homosexuality and beaten and tortured. Most of them dispatched in one way or another. This is early 2017 and they determined to their surprise that Maxim was not ethnic Chechen, but instead was in Chechnya working, and is from the north of Russia. They let him go. The campaign they’re waging there is a blood cleansing. They’re cleansing, they think, the Chechen bloodline of LGBTQ people. Because Maxim fell out of that umbrella, they let him go.

But then almost immediately, the authorities felt that they had made a mistake. In fact, what they had done was to send him off to be able to tell the story of what happened to him in a way that would reveal what they’re up to. They began to pursue him. And so, he went underground. They started putting pressure on his family, threatening to burn down their house, his parents’ house, his sister’s house, to kill his sister’s children. So the whole family went underground and decided at some point that they couldn’t live like that. He, in act of indescribable bravery, decided to become the first and only person to bring a criminal case against the people who abducted him and tortured him in the Russian courts. This is a huge move. No one else has come forward in this way, knowing that if they do, they put their entire families in danger. So he is alone and has become the face of the people who survived this campaign.

In the film, Maxim talks about his first impressions of Chechnya and how his views were generally positive. He later talks about how he could not comprehend the cruelty against gay people.  Later in the film, after he and his family had to flee,  his mother also talks about how the abuse is not the country’s fault and that the blame lies with certain people. Those two perspectives, they convey seemingly contradictory ideas about what Chechnya is. How did you square them?

The thing about the Lapunov family is that they have a great understanding of humanity and they are very generous in their worldview, but they’re realists. Their lives have been permanently uprooted. They are living in the shadows. They are hiding, moving from place to place through Europe as their court case proceeds, because they know that they have drawn the fire — not only of the Chechen government and the people associated with the leadership there, but also with the Russian government, which does not want attention brought to this matter and would rather it just go away quietly. I think that when Maxim’s mother speaks about individual power-thirsty men, she is really speaking a truth about what’s happening in our world today.

Related: Remembering Sarah Hegazi, the Egyptian LGBTQ activist arrested for unfurling the rainbow flag

What is the latest on Maxim’s case?  

Maxim pursued the case through the courts in Russia and it was rejected time and time again. He appealed and appealed until he exhausted all domestic remedies and he did what is left to many aggrieved Russians, which is to move the case into the European courts. His case now rests in the European Court for Human Rights, where it is being investigated and pursued. They are waiting now for Russia to respond to the charges and the preliminary findings of the investigators, and they will not let it rest. We’re expecting that they will see some sort of justice there in the European system.

The big goal for the extraction of LGBTQ people in Chechnya is asylum. Seeking asylum in Europe, the US and Canada. Canada seems to be the destination for a lot of these asylum seekers. What have you learned about asylum for LGBTQ people while making this film?  

It turns out that asylum-seeking and refugee declarations for the community are complicated, more so than many other groups of people who are seeking protection and safety elsewhere. They’re not overtly protected by most governments. So it’s harder for them to make certain claims. It’s certainly hard for people coming out of Chechnya because there has been no documentary evidence to this point and what has been happening there is actually happening there, until this film. They are also coming from a Muslim-majority part of the country, and that means that they’re hitting up against dual prejudices. And so it’s been quite difficult for the activists on the ground to find partners in the foreign offices of most governments around the globe.

The US has taken nobody that has petitioned since this tragedy has been revealed, nor has the UK. We’re in a time now, globally, where xenophobia is on the increase and paranoia that immigration has reached a peak. It becomes a burden that is a lasting one for the activists. They bring people in now into their shelter network, into their underground, and they can’t get them out. They are stuck and it becomes an impossible situation, impossibly expensive, obviously, to keep people hidden in large numbers throughout Russia and elsewhere. One of the things I hope the film will point to is — how tough it is for the LGBTQ community to make their way out of this hostile world when we know that there are 70 countries where it is still illegal to be gay or lesbian or transgender, and eight of those countries have the death penalty for people found guilty of it. So it’s really a pressing and very urgent problem.

Ramzan Kadyrov is the driving force behind all of this in Chechnya. There’s a clip in your documentary where he’s interviewed and he leaves no doubt he despises LGBT people. He says if they exist in Chechnya, he wants them all gone. Why does President Vladimir Putin support him?  

He and Putin do one another’s favors and they’re kind of unspeakable and lowly criminal favors for the most part. Putin has found his enemies shot dead in front of the Kremlin, presumably as a favor carried out by his henchmen down in Chechnya. And Kadyrov has pacified the people of Chechnya in a way that makes them no longer a problem for the regime in Moscow. There were two wars in Chechnya in the 1990s and the 2000s and it was all because Chechnya’s previous leadership wanted to secede from the federation and Putin, for economic reasons and political reasons, wouldn’t allow it and fought a tremendously bloody war. Two wars there. And Kadyrov and his father helped end those wars. Putin is repaying them by allowing them to carry out law in the region in any way that they deem necessary. And he just turns a blind eye to a vast quantity of evidence about human rights violations there. Putin just chooses to publicly state that he has seen no evidence of it, he doesn’t believe it would be happening and that the two of them are still in total lockstep.

 This interview has been condensed and edited.

‘Volcano Man’: Song from Eurovision spoof film inspires covers from real contestants

'Volcano Man': Song from Eurovision spoof film inspires covers from real contestants

A new Netflix movie starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams may fill the Eurovision-sized hole in 2020's entertainment world. Now, a song from the film is getting a few authentic covers — from Eurovision contestants themselves.

By
Amanda McGowan

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A screenshot from the trailer of Netflix’s “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.”

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Netflix’s “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” trailer/YouTube

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Under Greek law change, thousands of refugees could soon become homeless

Under Greek law change, thousands of refugees could soon become homeless

The Greek government says it wants to make room for asylum-seekers waiting out their applications in camps on the Greek islands and elsewhere. More than 6,000 refugees are at risk of being evicted and that number will keep growing every month.

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Lydia Emmanouilidou

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Syrian refugee Lama Alnasef holds her 6-month-old son Abdalrahman as her other son Omar looks on in their apartment in Athens, Greece, June 18, 2020.

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Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters 

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When Bouri al-Kaidi and her four young kids got on a boat in Turkey to make the treacherous journey to Greece a few years ago, they had virtually no other choice.

They’re Yazidis — a religious and ethnic minority — from Sinjar in northern Iraq. In 2014, ISIS launched what the United Nations has now recognized as a genocide against Yazidis — murdering, kidnapping and raping thousands.

Kaidi says her own husband was kidnapped by ISIS. To this day, she still doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive.

Related: Life goes on in Greek refugee camp amid diplomatic tensions and pandemic

Kaidi and her four now children live in a small apartment 10 minutes outside of Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. As they went through the asylum process, they were able to get housing and a monthly stipend of 400 euros — that’s about $450 — through the Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation (ESTIA) program, which is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.

Kaidi qualified for the program because she’s a single mom, and because of mental health issues she’s developed since her husband’s disappearance, she said. But recently, the payments stopped coming. And Kaidi was told she’d have 30 days, until July 1, to leave her apartment. Thousands of others face the same deadline because of a new law adopted by the Greek government earlier this year.

Under the law, adopted in March 2020, recognized refugees have 30 days to leave organized accommodations like ESTIA, and transition to living independently. Previously, the grace period was six months. The Greek government says it wants to make room for asylum-seekers waiting out their applications in camps on the Greek islands and elsewhere. Currently, more than 31,000 migrants and asylum-seekers are in overcrowded camps, living in unsanitary conditions as they wait for their asylum applications to be processed.

In a TV interview earlier in June, Greece’s Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi said the government doesn’t have the capacity to give housing, a stipend, and other services both to people applying for asylum and to those who have already secured it.

Related: Refugees in Greece support each other through coronavirus pandemic

He suggested that the program is being abused by people who no longer qualify for it, and said that there are many in the program who secured asylum in 2018 and 2019 but are still receiving the benefits. Kaidi got asylum in 2018, but wasn’t aware of any rules that she had to leave after six months, she said. So, she decided to stay.

“It’s true that the people in the camps need to taken from the mud, the makeshift tents, the trash, the unsanitary conditions, and be put in a safe housing environment.”

Zoe Kokalou, Association for the Social Support of Youth (ARSIS)

“It’s true that the people in the camps need to taken from the mud, the makeshift tents, the trash, the unsanitary conditions, and be put in a safe housing environment,” said Zoe Kokalou with the Association for the Social Support of Youth (ARSIS), a nongovernmental organization that works with asylum-seekers in the ESTIA program.

“But it’s not right to take out the already-vulnerable so that we can bring the people from the islands. It needs to work another way.”

Nongovernmental organizations that coordinate ESTIA placements say the program was always meant to bring temporary relief to asylum-seekers.

“The goal of the ESTIA is to empower people to move on, on their own,” said Lefteris Papagiannakis of SolidarityNow, another NGO involved with the ESTIA program.

“But when you lack the next step, then you just put them on their own out on the street.”

The Greek government, he said, doesn’t have a solid integration plan for recognized refugees: to help them get jobs and long-term housing and learn the Greek language. He has little faith in HELIOS, an integration program funded by the European Commission.

Related: This Syrian is stuck at a makeshift border camp in Greece

“Greece has never worked with doing integration before. Now, it becomes increasingly difficult because the policy of the government changed. The narrative of the government changed. It became more toxic.” 

Lefteris Papagiannakis, SolidarityNow,

“Greece has never worked with doing integration before. Now, it becomes increasingly difficult because the policy of the government changed. The narrative of the government changed. It became more toxic,” Papagiannakis said, adding that the fairly new Greek government, which came into power last summer, has taken an increasingly anti-migrant stance.

Integration, Papagiannakis said, requires the cooperation of Greek society. Greeks need to employ refugees, rent out apartments to them. But people are less willing to do that in this environment.

“Because when you demonize refugees and then you ask from the whole society to show solidarity, it sends mixed messages and in an increasingly toxic environment. And people react. It makes complete sense.”

As for the ESTIA program, Papagiannakis said he doesn’t buy that the government has migrants’ best interests in mind. He points to the fact that just this month, the government said it was slashing 30% of the program’s budget.

Related: Cross-border tensions wreak havoc on bucolic Greek village

“It is all being done with an end goal to deter people from coming — making things difficult in order for people to be deterred,” he said.

Greece’s Migration and Asylum office did not respond to a request for an interview.

Thousands of refugees are now waiting to see how the new rules will be enforced. More than 6,000 are at risk of being evicted and that number will keep growing every month.

As Kaidi’s deadline approaches July 1, she says she hasn’t been able to get any sleep and doesn’t know what will come next for her family. She does know that she doesn’t want to stay in Greece. When she and her kids get the right travel documents, she wants to try to go to Germany and reunite with some family members who have made it there. 

Coronavirus cases in Iran on the rise after reopening

Coronavirus cases in Iran on the rise after reopening

The number of COVID-19 infections has been on the rise since Iran started to ease its lockdown on April 11. About 11,000 people have died there since the start of the pandemic, according to official numbers.

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Shirin Jaafari

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Iranians wearing protective face masks ride the metro, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran, June 28, 2020.

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WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Reuters 

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Iranian health officials are raising alarm bells about a new surge in the number of cases of the coronavirus and deaths in the country.

Some 162 people died over the past day, the most since April 4, when the country reported 158 deaths in a 24-hour period, Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for Iran’s Health Ministry, said on Monday.

“Since yesterday, we’ve seen a significant leap in infection rates and [hospital] admissions in Tehran, which is worrying.”

Sima Sadat Lari, Iran’s Health Ministry

“Since yesterday, we’ve seen a significant leap in infection rates and [hospital] admissions in Tehran, which is worrying,” Sadat Lari said.

The number of COVID-19 infections has been on the rise since Iran started to ease its lockdown on April 11. About 11,000 people have died there since the pandemic set in, according to official government numbers.

Related: Alleged Iranian drownings of Afghan migrants spark tensions

On Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani said wearing face masks in closed public spaces and crowded areas will be mandatory starting July 5.

According to Iran’s Health Ministry, infections in the first week of June jumped 50% compared to the week before.

Mahdiar Saeedian, a physician and medical activist in the Iranian city of Mashhad, said Intensive Care Unit beds are filling up again. Ventilators are being used up, and the numbers are not good.

“Health care workers are exhausted,” said Saeedian, adding that he knows of at least 135 health workers who have died of COVID-19, while about 4,000 have contracted the virus.

Opening up the economy and managing the coronavirus is a tough balancing act that many countries across the world face. But Iran faces additional challenges — most importantly, US sanctions.

In 2018, United States President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions. Iran’s currency has fallen to its lowest-ever level against the US dollar.

Related: Iran sends mixed signals on release of foreign prisoners

At the same time, Iran has been hit with one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus in the Middle East, causing major losses for businesses.

And there is another worrying trend, too.

Last week, an anesthesiologist posted a video on social media claiming that relatives of a patient attacked and beat him. He said they broke his nose and caused severe damage to his eyes. In the video, his face looks badly bruised.

Saeedian said months of social isolation, economic hardship and uncertainty about the future have left many people on edge. What’s worse, he said, Iran is nowhere close to the end of this pandemic.

When the country reopened, it seemed like good news to makeup artist Saloume Zarandinia, who had saved money for years to start her own business. She had even picked a name — Audrey — after her favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn.

Her plans were stalled during the lockdown. And when restrictions eased, she was nervous at first, but she takes safety precautions seriously — requiring staffers to wear masks and wash their hands before and after every client and not to apply lipstick directly to anyone.

Now, it’s unclear what will happen to businesses like hers as the coronavirus cases continue to jump.

Related: Afghans in shock after attacks on a maternity hospital and a funeral

Dr. Pooya Payandemehr, head of emergency care at Sina Hospital in Tehran, said that the lockdown might have come late, but it did save lives.

“We had a few patients during the past month. … We had one or two patients daily at most.”

Dr. Pooya Payandehr, Sina Hospital

“We had a few patients during the past month,” he said. “We had one or two patients daily at most.”

In April, he said, the number of new cases went down. So, his hospital started to dismantle the coronavirus triage section. But he suspected it wasn’t over.

Related: Iranian sailors dead after ‘friendly fire’ incident

“Opening up routine activities of citizens and opening the jobs and shops and restaurants and everything else, it causes people to be in the city again without keeping away from each other and the protective policies are not respected that much,” he said.

“We are dealing with a situation that will last for one or two years,” he said. “As you can see, there is no magic medication to wipe away the illness.”
 

This Liberian Italian beatmaker uses music to tackle racism in Italy

This Liberian Italian beatmaker uses music to tackle racism in Italy

Beatmaker and producer Karima 2G uses music to speak out against racism in Italy. She advocates for second-generation Italians who are born in Italy, but denied citizenship at birth because their parents were migrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

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Angelica Marin

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A screenshot from Liberian Italian artist Karima 2G’s 2014 music video, “Bunga Bunga,” in which she raps about racism and objectification of women.

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Anna Maria Gehnyei, a petite woman with a miniafro and frayed jeans, shouts into a microphone at Piazza del Popolo, or the Peoples’ Square, a prime spot for protests of all kinds in Rome. 

The daughter of Liberians parents, Gehnyei was one of the thousands of young Italians of all backgrounds who protested on June 7,  in the wake of the murder of Black American George Floyd by a white police officer in the United States. 

Related: Black Lives Matter organizers in the US and UK compare movements

Beatmaker and producer Karima 2G at the Black Lives Matter protest in Rome, Italy, June 7, 2020.  

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Angelica Marin/The World 

In the same square where Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg met her fans last year and where Italian right-wing, populist parties go to “Make Italy great again,” protesters knelt on one knee with their fists in the air and chanted “Black Lives Matter,” wearing face masks and respecting physical distance measures. 

But in Italy, activists fighting against racism have a central demand linked to national identity: Young, Black Italians are fighting to become citizens. Born and raised in Italy, these children of African immigrants are denied citizenship at birth. By law, they are considered “second-generation” foreigners.  

Gehnyei, who was born in Rome, has become an activist for second-generation youth. Over the years, she has amplified her cause through her music as a rapper and beatmaker. 

Wherever she goes, she prefers to be called by her stage name, Karima 2G. Karima means kind and generous in Arabic and Swahili. And 2G stands for Second Generation, for the 1 million young people who grew up in Italy without citizenship, born to African, Latin American and Asian parents.    

“I do music to send a message and to express anger and the need to be recognized as an Italian, but also as a Black woman in Italy.”

Karima 2G

“I do music to send a message and to express anger and the need to be recognized as an Italian, but also as a Black woman in Italy,” Karima said. 

Karima’s style is called Bantu Juke Fever, a mix of techno, hip-hop, reggae, Chicago Juke and grime. Although she addresses an Italian niche audience, Karima 2G sings in Pidgin English — her family roots are in Liberia, but her stories come from Italy.  She often returns to a theme in her music: tackling Italian racism. 

Related: How US protests highlight ‘anti-black racism across the globe’

One of the very first songs she produced is called “Orangutan.”  In it, she slams an Italian senator who compared Italy’s first-ever Black government minister — a woman — to an ape. 

Karima tells The World that growing up as a Black woman in Rome was difficult. She’s been called the N-word. And twice, the police held her at a bus stop, assuming she was a prostitute. 

In another song titled, “Bunga Bunga,” she criticizes the objectification of Black women. 

Karima is known to stir uncomfortable conversations through her art. However, she knows how to disarm a white audience and get them to listen. In 2015, she opened a concert for American rapper Azealia Banks in Milan. That night, she went on stage in front of 20,000 people, wrapped in an Italian flag. 

“And I remember the crowd looking at me and like, ‘Oh my God, she is doing that! A Black girl wearing the Italian flag,’ so it was very provocative,” Karima told The World. “And when I explained the reality of the second generation, the crowd was completely silent.”

After the concert, a man from the audience went backstage and expressed sympathy for the second-generation struggle, which he admitted he knew nothing about. 

Second-generation foreigners can try to become Italian citizens when they turn 18.  But they only get 12 months to file an application and must wait a minimum of four years to hear back from the government.  Guido Tintori, an expert in European immigration policy at the FIERI research center in Turin, says that the odds are stacked against them. 

“They have to produce proof of continuous, uninterrupted and legal residence in Italy since birth, which is very, very demanding,” Tintori said. “Especially because their legal status is not dependent on them, it’s dependent on their parents but also on the Italian bureaucracy and the Italian laws about immigration,” he added.  If their visa expired at any point in their life, their application will be rejected. 

While most European countries relaxed their nationality laws in the 1990s, Italy made it more difficult for second-generation youth born in Italy to become Italians. At the same time, Italy provides a fast lane for anyone with blood ties to Italy. This is why an American, a Brazilian or an Argentinian with an Italian great, great grandfather can get citizenship more easily than a second-generation person, a 2G, whose entire world is in Italy.

Related: From Minneapolis to Madrid, racial profiling, harassment cost lives

Angelica Pesarini is Black Italian and teaches at New York University in Florence. She researches race and nationality, focusing on Italy’s fascist past. She says the historic period under dictator Benito Mussolini had a lasting effect on national identity. 

“Italian identity is profoundly based in whiteness, being Black and Italian for some is a sort of an oxymoron. … If Italians are white, all the Black bodies we see, they don’t belong, they must come from somewhere else, so we are not too interested in their rights.”

Angelica Pesarini, professor, New York University, Florence, Italy

“Italian identity is profoundly based in whiteness, being Black and Italian for some is a sort of an oxymoron,” she said.  “If Italians are white, all the Black bodies we see, they don’t belong, they must come from somewhere else, so we are not too interested in their rights,” said Pesarini.  

Karima 2G’s message has been out for a few years. Song after song, she pushes Italy to reexamine its relationship with race.  At the recent rally, she invited Italian people of color to organize themselves and ride the global wave of the Black Lives Matter movement.   

“I think we are living a very historical moment right now,” Karima said.  “A lot of people are still experiencing racism, but I think that we can come together and kind of create a sort of leadership, you know, to empower myself, to empower women most of all, because I believe in women, and to gain also a Black loyalty — an Italian, Black loyalty,” she said.

A US report shows big strides on human trafficking. Advocates say the message is misleading.

A US report shows big strides on human trafficking. Advocates say the message is misleading.

Advocates across the world warn that with the pandemic and economic downturn, there’s an urgent risk that more people will fall prey to human traffickers.

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Rupa Shenoy

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Rohingya refugees who were intercepted by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency off Langkawi island, are escorted in their boat as they are handed over to immigration authorities, at the Kuala Kedah ferry jetty in Malaysia, April 3, 2018.

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This year marks 20 years since the US first made a historic commitment to ending modern slavery.

“We’ve accomplished so much in the last 20 years,” said John Richmond, US ambassador-at-large of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, during the June 25 release of the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Related: ‘American exceptionalism’: EU travel bans show US is abdicating global leadership, former CDC head says

“Our engagement on this has made a difference. This report and the US have made a positive difference.”

Every year, the US issues an annual report that ranks countries by their progress fighting human trafficking. Countries in the lowest category are restricted from receiving US aid.

The 2020 report lists 22 countries receiving improved rankings for their work on the issue over the past year.

“The department put this out on time without any delays in the midst of a global pandemic and that itself serves to show the priority this administration and the secretary has placed on this issue,” Richmond said, reminding the audience that President Donald Trump had also hosted a summit on human trafficking, and issued an executive order to combat online child exploitation.

But advocates across the globe warn that with the pandemic and economic downturn, there’s an urgent risk that more people will fall prey to human traffickers. They say the report is poorly timed, and counterproductive.

“At this moment, at the 20th anniversary, the State Department wants to tell a story of success and progress. And that’s just not the story that the data tell.”

Martina Vandenberg, The Human Trafficking Legal Center

“At this moment, at the 20th anniversary, the State Department wants to tell a story of success and progress,” said Martina Vandenberg, the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Legal Center. “And that’s just not the story that the data tell.”

Especially because right now, she says, the global pandemic is making more people vulnerable to human trafficking.

Related: As Lebanon’s financial crisis worsens, migrant workers are being dumped on the streets like ‘trash’

“So, what we’re seeing around the globe is people going into greater debt. People now trapped in countries to which they have migrated, but completely unemployed,” she said. “And the likelihood is that those people will be more vulnerable to indentured servitude and more vulnerable to forced labor when the world begins to open up again.”

Vandenburg also takes issue with the US giving itself the highest possible ranking. Many advocates felt that the US deserved to be downgraded this year.

Jean Bruggeman is the executive director of Freedom Network USA. She says many of the president’s border and immigration policies increase wait times and denials, putting more people at risk for trafficking, including vulnerable populations, like LGBTQI people.

“I do not think that the United States is engaged in sustained efforts. And I think the report tells you that when they say that, you know, they maintained prosecution efforts, at best, they reduced efforts to provide protection. And the only prevention work they do is federal agency training, which is not actually prevention. It’s not actually changing the circumstances, which puts people at risk.”

Related: Options dwindle for Venezuelan migrants across Latin America during the pandemic

Neha Misra, a specialist at the Solidarity Center, a nongovernmental organization, says the report’s rankings have always been somewhat politicized, but this year’s takes it to another level. She questions, for example, the upgraded ranking of Saudi Arabia, and says it may lead that country to do less to combat trafficking.

“Even countries that don’t get US aid, reputationally, it meant a lot. It was embarrassing to be on [the] tier-three or the tier-two watchlist. And if the tier rankings don’t mean anything, then that reputational pressure is gone.”

Neha Misra, Solidarity Center

“Even countries that don’t get US aid, reputationally, it meant a lot. It was embarrassing to be on [the] tier-three or the tier-two watchlist. And if the tier rankings don’t mean anything, then that reputational pressure is gone.”

For survivors who are now in the fight against human trafficking, the report is disheartening, says Suamhirs Piraino-Guzman. He was kidnapped in Honduras as a child and smuggled into the United States by human traffickers.

Related: In Ciudad Juárez, a new ‘filter hotel’ offers migrants a safe space to quarantine

Piraino-Guzman was appointed by President Barack Obama to the US Advisory Council on Human Trafficking in 2015.

“I’ll be honest with you. I think we need to stop pretending that we’re moving forward.”

If the US isn’t honest about the reality of human trafficking, he said, it’s not really serving the people who need help the most. 

Fair & Lovely cream gets a makeover in India, but will it change prejudice?

Fair & Lovely cream gets a makeover in India, but will it change prejudice?

By
María Elena Romero

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A customer picks up Fair & Lovely brand of skin lightening product from a shelf in a shop in Ahmedabad, India, on June 25, 2020.

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Last week, consumer giant Unilever announced it will rebrand its bestselling skin-lightening cream, Fair & Lovely, and drop the word “fair” from its name in the latest makeover of the brand in response to global backlash against racial prejudice.

Unilever also said it will remove the words “fair/fairness,” “white/whitening,” and “light/lightening” from its branding and packaging.

Related: ‘Unfair and lovely’: South Asian women dare to be dark

“We recognize that the use of the words ‘fair,’ ‘white’ and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this,” Sunny Jain, president of Unilever’s beauty and personal care division, said in a press release.

Unilever and its Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Unilever Limited, have been criticized extensively for promoting colorism — the discrimination against people with darker skin tones — and for making women with darker skin shades feel insecure and inadequate.

In India, the biggest market for Fair & Lovely, marketing campaigns for skin whitening products have emphasized light skin as a positive quality. The products have been endorsed by leading Bollywood celebrities, as well as other youth icons.

Related: Author Mira Jacobs reflects on raising a brown boy in America today

The Fair & Lovely cream — and colorism — is something Mumbai-based documentarist Richa Sanwal has been familiar with since she was a child growing up in India.

Sanwal welcomes the news from Unilever, but says more needs to be done to change the stigma associated with a darker skin tone that has been perpetuated by skin lightening products.

“I do think it is a symbolic message and a step in the right direction. However, a lot of us here feel like that’s not entirely addressing the social stigma that comes with these creams because essentially you’re still selling a fairness cream brand, just packaging it as not Fair & Lovely, but whatever it is they come up with,” Sanwal told The World. “So essentially we’re still selling that same dream, just packaging it differently.”

Related: Born a crime: Talking with Trevor Noah about race and identity

As a child, Sanwal’s family members, especially her grandma, usually commented on her skin tone in comparison to that of her cousins, who had lighter skin.

As a journalism student at New York University (NYU) in 2014, Sanwal produced a documentary titled “In All Fairness” about her personal story and colorism. In it, she documents her  journey, speaking with family members about how comments about her skin tone affected her as a child and as an adult.

Sanwal says the conversations with her grandmother were not comfortable, but they were “therapeutic and cathartic” for her.

“My grandmom was born when the British were still ruling India. And I think [that idea] comes from there, that white is superior and you’re being light-skinned is the way to be. And my grandma would inevitably, just keep comparing me to my lighter-skinned cousins. And that’s why I decided to use those creams myself, you know, in order to please her and to get validation from people around me, just to be called pretty like my cousins,” Sanwal said. 

Sanwal says that the perception that “fair is beautiful” is deeply ingrained in Indian society and that will take a lot of time to change. 

“A lot of Bollywood actors who endorsed fairness cream brands were called out after Black Lives Matter protests began in the US about their own hypocrisy. They were all supporting Black Lives Matter movement, but at the same time, they were also endorsing fairness cream brands,” Sanwal said. “So I really hope that the awareness that we’re trying to spread through the documentary work that I have done or all the amazing activists that we have in our country will collectively, hopefully, create that change.”

Listen to the full interview with Richa Sanwal by clicking on the play button above.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Petraeus on Russian bounties in Afghanistan: ‘We were looking for this kind of activity’

Petraeus on Russian bounties in Afghanistan: 'We were looking for this kind of activity'

By
The World staff

Producer
Joyce Hackel

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US troops assess the damage to an armored vehicle of NATO-led military coalition after a suicide attack in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Aug. 2, 2017. 

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Discussion: How the coronavirus crisis is exacerbating food insecurities and global inequities

Discussion: How the coronavirus crisis is exacerbating food insecurities and global inequities

Updated:

June 30, 2020 · 1:30 PM EDT

By
The World staff

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Even as some countries start to reopen, the world is far from safe from the novel coronavirus pandemic that continues to rage. Two grim milestones have been reached, as the globe sees more than 10 million confirmed global infections and 500,000 deaths.

The United States remains the epicenter of the pandemic and cases are rising at an alarming pace in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas.

The pandemic has also exacerbated existing crises of food insecurity and health disparities. In the US, mass protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis continue to spotlight deep-seated inequities faced by communities of color — including access to affordable, nutritious food. Black Americans in particular have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Related discussion: How systemic racism intersects with the coronavirus pandemic

Globally, issues about potential disruptions in local food supply chains and prices have caused concern.

As part of our weekly discussion series on the global pandemic, The World’s Elana Gordon moderated a conversation exploring the global food supply and inequities, presented with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Drawing on new US Census and other data, this discussion will explore public policy and actions needed to preserve access to US federal nutritional assistance programs. The panelists also will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the global food supply and nutritional quality, especially in low and middle-income countries, as well as strategies to minimize food system disruptions and ensure food access and nutrition during and after the pandemic.

Panelists:

David Bennell, manager, food, land and water/member relations, World Business Council for Sustainable Development US Inc.

Sara Bleich, professor of public health policy, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Catherine Woteki, distinguished institute professor with the Biocomplexity Institute, University of Virginia; professor of food science and human nutrition, Iowa State University; and former undersecretary for the US Department of Agriculture’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area.

Reuters contributed reporting.

Trump denies knowledge of Russian bounties in Afghanistan; pandemic death toll reaches half a million; attack in Karachi

Trump denies knowledge of Russian bounties in Afghanistan; pandemic death toll reaches half a million; attack in Karachi

By
The World staff

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks to US troops during an unannounced visit to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2019.

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Several US service members are believed to have been killed as a result of bounties offered by a Russian military intelligence unit to Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reports. Last week, The New York Times broke the story that US intelligence officials had concluded Russia was secretly offering bounties to kill US and NATO coalition forces in the country, possibly to destabilize ongoing peace talks or as revenge for the death of Russian mercenaries in Syria in 2018, though motivations remain unclear. 

The Taliban rejected the allegations, and Russia denounced the report, essentially calling it fake news. US President Donald Trump echoed the Kremlin’s line, accusing The New York Times of a possible “fabricated Russia Hoax.” According to The Times, special forces and intelligence officers alerted superiors as early as January of the suspected Russian plot, and Trump had been briefed on this intelligence in late March, but the White House failed to take decisive action. The president denied that he was alerted to Russia’s efforts to pay bounties, adding that intelligence officials had not found the report credible and therefore had not briefed him. Trump then claimed on Twitter, “Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration,” and proceeded with an ad hominem attack on his presumptive presidential challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have demanded answers; select members are set to be briefed on Monday. Tune into The World today, as we plan to speak to Gen. David Patreus, former CIA chief, about the implications of this report. 

What The World is following

The global death toll for the novel coronavirus has surpassed half a million, with more than 10 million people testing positive for COVID-19. More than one-fifth of those cases are in the United States, where vast inconsistencies in local, state and federal responses have failed to curtail the outbreak. The pandemic, writes the Washington Post, is also accelerating the “corrosion” of the “golden age of globalization.”  

Several security officers and attackers were killed during a firefight at Pakistan’s stock exchange in Karachi Monday. The Baluchistan Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack. In recent years, the separatist group has targeted Chinese interests in the region, which is a center of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In France, The Greens party made gains in nationwide local elections marked by low turnout. President Emmanuel Macron followed up the vote, in which his party had a poor showing, by outlining his environmental agenda. Meanwhile, after traveling to the US for a photo-op with President Donald Trump last week, Poland’s President Andrezj Duda failed to get the “Trump bump” needed to secure a first-round win in elections on Sunday; a run-off election will be held in two weeks against liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.  

From The WorldThis Latina teen says the pandemic will mark her generation — and shape her vote

Marlene Herrera, 18, is a first-time voter in San Diego County. 

Credit:

Adriana Heldiz/The World

The mental health impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic will be felt for years — especially by young adults. Marlene Herrera, a first-time voter in San Diego, said it’s shaping how she’ll vote this fall. And when the Black Lives Matter protests began, she finally decided which candidate she’ll support.

As Lebanon’s financial crisis worsens, migrant workers are being dumped on the streets like ‘trash’

Former domestic workers from Ethiopia wait outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.  

Credit:

Rebecca Collard/The World 

In recent weeks, as Lebanon’s economic crisis worsens, about 100 Ethiopian women have been dumped at the Ethiopian Embassy by their Lebanese employers. Human rights advocates say the migrants have little to no recourse, and that the situation is bound to deteriorate further as more people in the country cannot afford to pay domestic workers. The coronavirus restrictions also complicate matters.

Morning focus

Canceled flights are no match for Juan Manuel Ballestero, who crossed the Atlantic in a small sailboat.

The idea of spending what he thought could be “the end of the world” away from his family, especially his father who was soon to turn 90, was unbearable. So, in a small sailboat, he set on an 85-day odyssey across the Atlantic. https://t.co/gxa7zaX10Q

— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 29, 2020In case you missed itListen: Developing ‘instant’ tests for the coronavirus

A medical worker collects a sample from a woman at a center to conduct tests for the coronavirus, amidst its spread in New Delhi, India, June 25, 2020.

Credit:

Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

A number of so-called “instant” tests for the coronavirus are being developed that could offer results within minutes. That could expand testing dramatically and help hospitals in the most vulnerable of places. And, last week’s Supreme Court ruling blocking the Trump administration from immediately ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a relief for hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their families in the US. But living with DACA status has forced some immigrants to make agonizing decisions. Also, an American mom has sparked a transatlantic battle of sorts — over tea.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Amir Tataloo – Goolehaye Barf Lyrics

وقتی قدرتِ عشـق از عشـقِ به قدرت قوی تر باشه ، چی میشه ؟ (دنيا با صلح آشنا ميشه)

میـزنه گـوله های برف بـازَم اون بیـرون ما گـرم و نـرمِ خـونَمـون
خـدایا شُکـرِت تـو هـم بِپـا که تـو این هـوا میــری بیــرون سرما نَرِه تو گَلـوت
آخـه طاقت ندارم که ببـینـم عزیـزم یه مریضــیِ سـادَتو
همیـن این یه ساعتــو که نبـودی چه سخت گذشت و ندیـدی اسـارَتو

ایـن خونه بی تو ، مِثِه انباری سرد و سوت و کوره
دلِ تو هرکاری کرد بُرد
این خـونه بی تــو ، مِثِه انبــاری ســـرد و سوت و کـوره
دلِ تو هرکاری کرد بُرد

میـــزنـه گــــولـه هـای بـرف بـه شـیـــشـه
وِلِـش کـن خــودش الآن خـسـتـه مـیـشـه
مـا میـمـونیــم و ایـن هـمـه راهِ سـفـیـــــد
مـیشـکُـفـه غـنچــه هـای خـنــده پـیـشِـت
تـــو خــوبــی و خـوبـیـات خـــز نـمیــشـه
میشه عشقـو به وضوح تو این رابطه دید
زمـستـونه و گــرمات ، سَر و سـامونه مَنِه
هـمـیـن ناز و اداهـات ، برف و بارونه مَنِه
زمــستــــونه الآن ، وَقـتِـشِــــه بارون بزنه
وقتشه خوش بگذره ، به هردوتامون یه ذره

این خونه بی تو ، مِثِه انباری ســــرد و سوت و کوره
دلِ تو هرکاری کرد بُرد
این خونه بی تو ، مِثِه انباری سرد و سوت و کوره
دلِ تو هرکاری کرد بُرد

واقعیَتِـــــش اینـــــه کــه ، اصَــــن بــدِ مطلــق وجــود نــداره
یــه ســـری چـیــزا از نـظـــرِ مـن بَـده که از نظرِ تو بد نیست

یه ســـری چـیــــزا هم از نظرِ تو بَده که از نظرِ من بد نیست
فقط کافیه که ما بتونیم با بدی های همدیگه بسازیم به خاطرِ خوبیامون
همین

داوود

Germ – Walked In Lyrics

Pull the trigger Budd Dwyer
Hahahahahaha
Walked in dick in hand nigga you feel how I’m coming (One more time)
Okay, ha
Okay, walked in yeah (Badshit)
Okay, walked in, niggas just looking and shit
The motherf*cking Hijinx tape nigga it’s coming got y’all feeling
Ayy

Okay, walked in dick in hand
Ain’t have no plan, just here for some bandz
I get the [?] head VVS bussin’ shit nasty like bloodshed
f*ck is you sayin’, I don’t like that lil nigga
f*ck it pour flame on this nigga
(He thought he was gonna get away smooth)
Ooh, lame ass nigga
I get to see a whole lotta red, this nigga gone die lit
Thanks to this four fifth, bitch we be been in these woods
Snappin’ these bandz, I feel like Tip, cap off tip
SRT too fast, buckle up nigga perc kicked in
Cup holder full of medicine, bitch I’m gone like the wind

Ever since I could remember

I was ye tall pushin’ babies over Gucci baby stroller
Had the baby pour a smooth talker
Since a toddler, why bother
f*cking with me, I was born already, done with college (ha, whoa)
I’m a f*cking scholar, and a f*cking doctor (for real nigga?)
Bitch that’s water (huh)
Bitch let’s eat (yeah, hoe)
I make racks in my sleep, come f*ck with me
Movin’ how I’m moving, you might need you a little team
Walk in [?] y’all niggas a fiend, tryna stack like me
(I do that shit like Germ)
p*ssy nigga better get you some money
I’m rocking Dior, hoes naked on tour
I came down for more, so I had to pour
Now I threw that back though
Dare you write a report, bout a nigga fall

When these back-ends on back-ends, back-ends on back-ends
Bitch gone let me hit, from the back end
Back-ends on back-ends (ha)

Teejayx6 – Punchin’ Lyrics (feat. Nle Choppa)

[Intro: NLE Choppa]
(K. Swisha on the track)
Let’s go, let’s go K., let’s go
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle, nigga
You hear me, real
Ayy (Ayy)

[Chorus: Teejayx6]
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
All I know is my cup muddy
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody
Walkin’ up on us, I don’t need nobody
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody

[Verse 1: Teejayx6]
Couple niggas still owe me money
But I ain’t really trippin’, I’m gon’ see the problem
No call back, I’ma go see about it
Sellin’ fake ass lean, puttin’ grape in a bottle
Walked out the club with a model
Scam money, like I hit the lotto
Big chop, it sound like a lawn mower
I just caught an opp at the Fillmore
Got some money, now I’m tryna get more
f*cked this bitch, now she’s tryna get more
Need some bowls, yeah, I’m tryna get four
Need some lean, yeah, I’m tryna get four
Called my phone, now she’s tryna get forty
He stole my flow, gotta take my kid to Maury
We got heavy guns, we ain’t worry
f*cked a bitch hard, I ain’t sorry

[Chorus: Teejayx6]
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
All I know is my cup muddy
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody
Walkin’ up on us, I don’t need nobody
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody

[Verse 2: NLE Choppa]
Punch too hard, I broke my wrists
f*ck too hard, I broke my dick
f*ck the police, had to throw my stick
Fresh ass fit, had to take me a pic
I don’t like fightin’, I’m pullin’ them triggers
Look at the pill [?]
Kill his brother than I f*ck on his sister
[?], f*ck up his liver
Suckin’ dick up all day better knock me
My bro called, don’t say copy
Ayy, when you catch him, we gon’ sock him
We gon’ throw his bitch ass a party
Shit bag ’em, you can say you farted
13 in this bag, I’m James Harden
I’m on beat ’cause Teejay started, ayy

[Chorus: Teejayx6]
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
All I know is my cup muddy
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody

Walkin’ up on us, I don’t need nobody
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody

[Verse 3: Teejayx6]
Broke the bitch heart, I ain’t mean to
p*ssy nigga, you see through
Louie jacket, it’s see through
New beam, I can see you
Goofy nigga, like Ebro
Scammed a kid, she was emo
Tough nigga think he Deebo
But I’ma pull this choppa out
And p*ssy nigga gon’ lay down
Need my money, better pay now
Tryna make a move, press play now
Put your face down, now the case over
f*ck one time, she tryna to stay over
Woke up late, had to lay over
She ask for money, I’ma say no
I just sinned, I gotta pray more

[Chorus: Teejayx6]
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckle
All I know is my cup muddy
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody
Walkin’ up on us, I don’t need nobody
When I pull up, I leave the whole scene bloody

[Verse 4: NLE Choppa]
Pull up too far, I broke my nail
Look too hard, get hit with the shell
I was prayin’ to God, it’s causin’ him hell
I just prayed for a body, I sent through Zelle
Bitch, I’m hot as ever, I’m high as can be
I’m disrespectful when I talk, no apologies
So who the f*ck gon’ stop me?
You can run for your life tryna rob

[Verse 5: Teejayx6]
I’ma pop you, I ain’t gotta say more
Trickin’ a lil’ straight whore
You stole from me, I would’ve gave you more
Thirty in this clip, I’ma give you three
Talkin’ crazy, we gon’ wait and see
Black and white, like a referee
Clip long, like a centipede
Lil’ nigga, you a wannabe
Say you on my head, we’re gonna see
Scared nigga, you runnin’, flee
f*cked a bitch and she want my seed
Threw the weed ’cause I seen the seed
Threw the perc ’cause I think it’s fake
Bowls in the trunk and I know they stink
Ho’s in the front and we on our way
To that place

[Chorus: Teejayx6]
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckles
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckles
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckles
Punchin’ all day, I done hurt my knuckles
All I know is my cup muddy
When I pull up, I leave the whole team bloody
Walkin’ up on the side, I don’t need nobody
When I pull up, I leave the whole team bloody

Franglish – My Salsa Lyrics (feat. Tory Lanez)

[Intro : Franglish & Tory Lanez]
Yeah
Tory (sheesh)
Oh-oh-oh, yeah

[Pré-refrain : Franglish]
Pour toi j’fais du biff toute l’année, baby, on va s’en aller
So fresh, so clean, ándale, baby, on va s’en aller
Pour toi j’fais du biff toute l’année, baby, on va s’en aller
So fresh, so clean, ándale, baby, on va s’en aller
Oh-oh-oh, bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi

[Refrain : Tory Lanez & Franglish]
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), the girls they love, uh
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), don’t talk about it
It’s my salsa, my salsa (my salsa), the girls they love it
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), don’t talk about it

[Couplet 1 : Franglish]
Baby on se barre d’ici, fais tourner l’globe
Fais tes valises, et choisis tes plus belles robes
Tu seras mon international woman
White on white, c’est le dress code
Daddy going to the bank, baby
J’récupère de quoi te mettre à l’aise, baby
T’inquiète je gère, baby
Laisse-moi faire, baby (skrt, skrt)
Everything is gonna be okay, mami
Just papi et mami, fais la fête toute la nuit
On sera loin des ennuis
Dis-moi si tu préfères avoir mon cœur ou ma CB
Si tu le mérites, allez deux bébés
Mamacita, je suis l’homme qui te manquait, yeah

[Pré-refrain : Franglish]
Pour toi j’fais du biff toute l’année, baby, on va s’en aller
So fresh, so clean, ándale, baby, on va s’en aller
Oh-oh-oh, bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi

[Refrain : Tory Lanez & Franglish]
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), the girls they love, uh
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), don’t talk about it
It’s my salsa, my salsa (my salsa), the girls they love it
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), don’t talk about it

[Couplet 2 : Tory Lanez]
Tory!
Look at me, rich, I got a hundred band-bands
And she doin’ the splits, she on a f*ckin’ handstand
When I walk in the street, she wanna talk the “yea yea” to me
Quit talkin’, p*ssy, the bomb, Baghdad
When she look at the roof, restart doin’ the dance for me
Big money, comin’ from nothing do the dash on ’em
Made in my house, caretaker runnin’ the bag for me
Ain’t no vision, on a mission, we catchin’ fast money
Look at my bitch, then take a look at my wrist
I spent a hunnid on the rocks, like I was cookin’ that bitch
I was juggin’ doing these p*ssy niggas crooked as shit
And I was broke ’till I was sick of that shit
Tory!

[Pré-refrain : Franglish]
Pour toi j’fais du biff toute l’année, baby, on va s’en aller
So fresh, so clean, ándale, baby, on va s’en aller
Pour toi j’fais du biff toute l’année, baby, on va s’en aller
So fresh, so clean, ándale, baby, on va s’en aller
Oh-oh-oh, bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi (allez viens)
Bonita (oui), viens avec moi

[Refrain : Tory Lanez & Franglish]
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), the girls they love, uh
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), don’t talk about it
It’s my salsa, my salsa (my salsa), the girls they love it
My salsa, my salsa (my salsa), don’t talk about it

Stefan Raab – Holy Burgy Gospel Lyrics

Ich war am Ende, denn ich hatte bösen Lochfraß an meinem Gerät
Doch plötzlich sah ich deine heilenden Hände

Dieter BBBBürgy, es ist nie zu spät
Waschmaschinen leben länger mit Calgon
Ich hatte Lochfraß, Baby
Und ich konnte kaum noch gehen
Da hab’ ich dich Super Dieter im Fernsehen gesehen
Ich sage Super Dieter, Halleluja
Dieter, bitte, bitte, komm zu mir
Ich war außer Kontrolle und ich wusste nicht wohin

Da gabst du, Super Dieter, meinem Leben einen Sinn
Ich sage Super Dieter, Halleluja, Dieter Bürgy, Halleluja
Dieter, bitte, bitte, komm zu mir, Super Dieter
Super Dieter, Halleluja, Super Dieter, Halleluja
Super Dieter, Halleluja, Super Dieter, Halleluja
Dieter, bitte, bitte, komm zu mir
Super Dieter

Ballyhoo! – Renegade Lyrics (feat. Ted Bowne)

[Verse 1: Howi]
Don’t like the music on the radio
Feels like it’s written for an imbecile
Dumbed down for mass consumption, there’s no feeling at all
Dumb sounding crass presumption from the industry mall

I got melodies forever, I’m a retro jukebox
It’s a felony we never see respect, we just kick rocks
But I guess these are the prices when you cling to the 90s
A time when there was substance, that’s when we started grinding

[Chorus: Howi]
I’m a renegade
Oh, ’cause I’m a renegade
‘Cause I’m a renegade
Oh, I’m just a renegade
(Oh)

[Verse 2: Howi]
Stick to your guns when someone tells you to drop it
‘Cause you got a vision and now they’re trying to stop it
You’re bound to hit bottom when you’re trying rock it
But there’s plenty of stone, pick up your hammer and knock it

They think they know what’s best
Keep your creations close to your chest
‘Cause it’s the only way that I can stay elevated
And pride is just priceless, can’t afford to go change it

[Chorus: Howi]
I’m a renegade
Oh, ’cause I’m a renegade
‘Cause I’m a renegade
Oh, I’m just a renegade

(Oh)

[Bridge: Howi]
Renegade
Wanna retain my sanity, stay in love with this serenade
Gonna go down with the ship through the crushing abyss
Disarray from the stupid mistakes and career smoke grenades
Sail away
Got my own crusade, I will not be played

[Verse 3: Ted]
Why do they think they know what’s best for me?
My hand, it moves for no one else, hey
Get up and drive and move it inside, do the same thing every day
(Every day)
Light up the vibe and move it outside, get rest and then replay
(Then replay)
Take another hit for the team, make sure you mean just what you say
(What you say)
Sell out the spot with a line around the block, get paid with no delay

[Chorus: Howi and Ted]
‘Cause I’m a renegade
Oh, ’cause I’m a renegade
‘Cause I’m a renegade
Oh, I’m just a renegade
(Oh)

[Bridge: Howi]
Renegade
Wanna retain my sanity, stay in love with this serenade
Gonna go down with the ship through the crushing abyss
Disarray from the stupid mistakes and career smoke grenades
Sail away
Got my own crusade, I will not be played

Mcnd – Ice Age Lyrics

우린 앗
차가워! Come into ice age
Come into ice age
Come into ice age
우린 앗
차가워! Make it 눈 ice hail
Make it 눈 ice hail
Make it 눈 ice hail
우린 앗
차가워! Come into ice age
Come into ice age
Come into ice age
우린 앗
차가워! Make it 눈 ice hail
Make it 눈 ice hail
Make it 눈 ice hail

Freeze
Don’t move 전부 가져와
시끄러 잔말 말고 now
Your mind and heart
니 1분 1초까지 다
누군가 물어 누구신지?
설명 안 해 우린 굳이
But 보란 듯이 지금 이 무대 위를 얼리고
손짓 하나로 가뿐히 다 부시지

구미가 당긴다면 들어와 친구들 끌어와 어서 와
Cool하다 못해 차가워 근데 이건 아직 빙산의 일각
Woah (just go, Just go)
Make it snow (앗 차
앗 차거)

Do you wanna play with me?
그럼 내 손을 잡아
Uh no matter what they say
걱정 마 우린 go up
널 끌어들여 그냥 가만히 우릴 봐
얼어버린 채 all right
원하는 걸 네게 줄게
Yeah we don’t melt

우린 앗
차가워! Come into ice age
Come into ice age
Come into ice age
우린 앗
차가워! Make it 눈 ice hail
Make it 눈 ice hail
Make it 눈 ice hail

Tell me what you think about us
두말할 것도 없이 the best
Castle J
Bic
민재
휘준 and win
이래라 저래라 쟤들이 뭐래나 맘대로 we’re chillin’
대충 할 수 없어 이젠 내 언행이 저들의 wish list

무대 위 뜨겁고 빛나 but 녹지 않아 icy 삐까뻔쩍
번쩍 전례 없던 그룹의 groovy 분위기 더 무르익었어
쏟아지는 눈과 아이컨택 중 ya
저들이 바라는 걸 만들어 줄게
그게 내 소박한 꿈 ya

Do you wanna play with me?
그럼 내 손을 잡아
Uh no matter what they say
걱정 마 우린 go up
널 끌어들여 그냥 가만히 우릴 봐
얼어버린 채 all right
원하는 걸 네게 줄게
Yeah we don’t melt

우린 앗
차가워! Come into ice age
Come into ice age
Come into ice age
우린 앗
차가워!
Make it 눈 Ice hail
Make it 눈 Ice hail
Make it 눈 Ice hail

Leggo
You can’t break us
Welcome to ice age
Watch out! Come into ice age

Let me freeze you
Let me freeze you
Let me freeze you
Break the ice now

Two Door Cinema Club – Impatience Is A Virtue Lyrics

[Intro]
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da

[Verse 1]
Are you ready to move on?
But I can tell that you’re holding onto things that won’t fly
And I can tell you don’t like it
And you’re beginning to let go of the shit to get by

[Pre-Chrous]
So hold on, hold on to what you wanna do
It won’t do you no harm
You can’t tell, you can’t tell what you’re weakest for
You have to reconcile

[Chorus]
Things are slipping out of reach
And you are getting impatient, impatient, oh
Things are slipping out of reach

And you are getting impatient, impatient, oh

[Verse 2]
And I could see in the distance
But what a way that this was not what we wanted by far
We tried a different direction
It suited better to go this way than make life that hard

[Pre-Chorus]
So right now, right now is where I wanna be
You couldn’t change my mind
You won’t know, you won’t know if it was good advice
And leave it all behind

[Chorus]
Things are slipping out of reach
And you are getting impatient, impatient, oh
Things are slipping out of reach
And you are getting impatient, impatient, oh

[Outro]
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da, da-da, da-da-da