She will be remembered as a committed champion of the environment, sustainable development, women’s rights, and democracy.Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan • Speaking about Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, who died Sunday of ovarian cancer at age 71. Maathai, a Kenyan, founded the Green Belt Movement, an organization that encouraged methods of sustainable development. Her work with the Green Belt Movement, which spanned over 30 years, led to her winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. “We need people who love Africa so much that they want to protect her from destructive processes,” she noted in a 2005 speech. “There are simple actions we can take. Start by planting 10 trees we each need to absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale. Get involved in local initiatives and volunteer your time for services in your community.” This world needs more people like her, not less. Based on the strong response on Twitter today, lots of people agree. source (via • follow)
… I feel more of an affinity for America than I do for Africa. I’m a black man in America. Barack Obama is more of an international. … he was raised in Kenya, his mother was white from Kansas and her family had an influence on him, it’s true, but his dad was Kenyan, and when he was going to school he got a lot of fellowships, scholarships… He spent most of his career as an intellectual.GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain • Speaking to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, in an interview he wrote for Bloomberg View. Goldberg, to his credit, corrected Cain that President Obama spent some years of his childhood in Indonesia, not Kenya, to which Cain replied, “Yeah, Indonesia.” Whether this was a sincere mistake or not is impossible to say, and frankly doesn’t entirely matter — Cain is trying to paint Obama as mysterious and foreign, as opposed to himself, an American black man who rejects the term “African-American.” He also throws in some anti-intellectualism for good measure, but really, the story here is his stoking of, if not birtherism, the core belief that allowed that rumor to spread — he ain’t one of us. In trying to seize momentum with his recent, strident remarks, Cain’s campaign slogan could easily share a title with a classic 80s film — “Say Anything.” source (via • follow)
» Why this trial is a big deal: Ghailani was the first suspect who served time in Guantanamo to face trial in a civilian, rather than a military, court. The suspect once faced much harsher charges that could’ve led to the death penalty, but instead will receive a much lighter sentence. For its part, the Justice Department is OK with that: ”We respect the jury’s verdict and are pleased that Ahmed Ghailani now faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and a potential life sentence for his role in the embassy bombings,” they wrote.