In the final paces to become the first American to win the Boston Marathon in 31 years, Meb Keflezighi slapped hands with fans lining Boylston Street, where two bombs detonated during last year’s race, killing three and injuring 260.“As an athlete, you have dreams,” he said. “Today was the day when dreams and reality met. My career is fulfilled.”Keflezighi led for most of the 26.2-mile run, and even earned the cheers of his competitors as he flew past them toward the finish line. He crossed the tape after 2 hours 8 minutes 37 seconds, a personal best.“This is probably the most meaningful victory for an American because of what happened last year,” he said. “I’m almost 39. I just ran a personal best. I just won the Boston Marathon. I feel blessed.”The list of winners of all major marathons in recent decades is dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians. Runners from those countries have won 24 of the 30 Boston Marathons since 1983, when American Greg Meyer won. While Keflezighi is a familiar name and successful marathoner, nothing about his life fits history or convention.Keflezighi is one of 10 children. He fled to Italy from Eritrea with his mother and his siblings while his father worked cleaning jobs to support the family and arranged for them to immigrate to San Diego. Keflezighi was a high school champion who went on to thrive at UCLA, where he won multiple NCAA championships.Keflezighi and Josphat Boit, a late entrant, pulled away from the pack midway through Monday’s race. After the runners hit the Newton hills, Keflezighi pulled away from Boit, who finished 11th.“He was so far away,” Kenyan Wilson Chebet said, “I couldn’t see Meb. I only saw straight road.”Around the 20th mile, Keflezighi said he fought off a stomach ailment and “prayed a lot” to earn the title.Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended her women’s title, pulling away in the final three miles to win Boston easily for the third time. Besides winning last year, Jeptoo, 33, also won in 2006. She set a course record of 2:18:57 on Monday, and the top four women all beat the former course record of 2:20:43.
Game of Thrones Disney Star Wars Netflix Share your voice 77 Photos TV and Movies Best Netflix series: There’s no shortage of original Netflix series to binge.Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports. Netflix tricked me on Thursday. The streaming service dropped a new video with the familiar, haunting-looking Stranger Things logo on it, and for a minute I thought: Is it? Could it be? A season 3 trailer?I pushed play and seconds later I felt like Netflix tossed me into the Upside Down. That was no trailer, but instead a two-minute video showing the kid actors from Netflix’s hit wrapping presents. Ho-ho-horribly not funny, Netflix.The Avengers: Endgame trailer is finally here, after impatient fans tweeted about it pretty much every day since Avengers: Infinity War came out in April. But isn’t it time for a Stranger Things trailer? And Star Wars: Episode 9? Maybe Game of Thrones? Here’s a look at the three trailers that have moved to the top of fans’ want lists now that Endgame ended that waiting game.Star Wars: Episode 9Movie release date: December 2019 in theatersWhat we want to know: The title (personally still rooting for this), how Princess Leia’s story will be handled since the death of beloved Carrie Fisher, what role Luke (Mark Hamill) will play after the events of The Last Jedi, are Rey’s parents really “filthy junk traders”… heck, we’re waiting for pretty much everything.How to get caught up: You can watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Netflix streaming if you’re a member, and you can rent or buy Star Wars: The Force Awakens on various online services, from Amazon Prime Video to iTunes. If you’re old-school, you can buy them on DVD or Blu-ray.The fates of Leia (Carrie Fisher) and her brother, Luke, are both up in the air in Episode IX. Lucasfilm No one’s eager to see new footage from a Star Wars movie, right? Naw, can’t imagine anyone caring about that. PSYCHE. Even Mark Hamill snarked on fans’ desire for Episode IX footage by promising an “exclusive Star Wars trailer photo” and then punking them. When? So when will the first Star Wars: Episode IX trailer make the Kessel Run into our browsers? The Last Jedi came out in December 2017, just like Episode IX is scheduled to come out in December 2019. The first Jedi trailer came out in April 2017 at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida. It’s a good bet Episode IX will follow suit. Star Wars Celebration is just over 100 days away — it’ll be held April 11-15 in Chicago. Hey, at least US tax day means something good this time.Game of ThronesSeries release date: April 2019 on HBOWhat we want to know: How will Jon and Daenerys learn that they’re not just lovers, but are related? Will any of our long-lost favorites (Syrio Forel! Khal “Aquaman” Drogo!) make a return for the show’s final six episodes? Will any Starks get a happy ending? How will that 55-day battle we’ve heard about come across onscreen? Cersei’s going to have to pay for her crimes, right, whether by the hand of brother Jaime or brother Tyrion? Oh, and almost as an afterthought: Who will win the Iron Throne?How to get caught up: The easiest way to watch previous seasons is to have HBO NOW or HBO Go. (HBO Go is the one that comes with an HBO cable subscription, but HBO NOW is the standalone service for cord-cutters and the like.) Individual episodes and seasons are also available to buy via services such as iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. Or buy past seasons on DVD or Blu-ray.Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has come a long way from that idealistic girl who once dreamed only of her prince. HBO How can Game of Thrones possibly wrap up eight seasons of drama and dragons and death in just six episodes, even if they’re super-sized? A trailer would give us a clue. And no, not a plain old tease, like the 39-second goodie dropped earlier this month that was about as generous with details as Cersei is with her wine. When? It’s hard to tell exactly when HBO will provide that real look — but here’s a new clue. Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd, who watched some of the final season being filmed, published an interview with Game of Thrones producer Carolyn Strauss this week. They mostly discussed the Deadwood movie, which she is also producing, and Hibberd flat-out asked where the trailer is. “I gotta believe something is going to come out before too long,” she said. We’ll just cling to that for now, thanks.Stranger ThingsSeries release date: Sometime in 2019What we want to know: How will the kid romances — Eleven-Mike and Max-Lucas — continue in this season, which takes place in the summer of 1985? It’d be too boring if the course of true love ran smooth. What exactly will go down at Starcourt Mall, the new mall hyped in this video from July? Can Will ever shake off what happened to him? Will “Dad Steve” stay cool? Can we ever truly understand what happened to Eleven and the the other numbered kids? And will Joyce and Hopper start sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G?How to get caught up: You can watch all the seasons on Netflix, duh, or pick it up on DVD or Blu-ray. Some of the home video packaging is made to look like old VHS tapes you might’ve picked up in the actual 1980s time period of the show. Make it a Blockbuster night!Dammit, kid, where is the trailer? Netflix Stranger Things is the master of releasing videos that look enticing, but leave you empty. Kinda like Eggos. On Dec. 9, a video delivered what are apparently the episode titles for season three, but left fans to do the detective work behind what they mean. Two of the titles, Mall Rats and The Battle of Starcourt, seem to hint there will be a big fight of some kind in the new Starcourt Mall. Class of 1985 grad here to say this rings true, we loved the mall back in the day. I’d even brave the Upside Down for an Orange Julius and a Benetton sweater.When? But when it comes to Stranger Things, Netflix is in love with its own fake-outs. Here are the episode titles! Here’s a trailer promoting the mall! Here are the kid stars wrapping gifts! Here’s a made-up holiday, Stranger Things Day, upon which we will deliver nothing! So stay strong, fans, there could be more feints before we get anything real. If season two is any guide — and it may or may not be — fans might want to get ready for some football. The first trailer for Stranger Things season 2 came out during the 2017 Super Bowl, preceding an October release of the show. The Super Bowl certainly provides a big enough canvas for the Stranger Things trailer. This year’s big game is on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia. GEORGIA. Where STRANGER THINGS IS FILMED. Coincidence? Yeah, totally, but still, you might want to mark your calendar for the big game, and try and take bathroom breaks during the gridiron action, not during the ads. Tags 0 2019 movies to geek out over Post a comment
As the end nears for the IS enclave in Syria and the fate of jihadists’ family members becomes a prescient issue, Russia can be seen as a pioneer in systematically returning children of Islamist fighters home.A potential homecoming of the many foreign women who have gone to live in the IS “caliphate” and their children, many of whom were born there, has been a subject of debate in Russia, with some security chiefs seeing them as potential threats.Earlier this month, 27 children, from four to 13 years old, were flown from Iraq to the Moscow region.Clutching stuffed toys and bundled in winter jackets, the children were carried off the cargo plane to face the Russian winter after years in the desert.After health exams, they would be given into the care of their uncles, aunts, and grandparents in the Russian North Caucasus, the majority-Muslim territory in the south of Russia that is home to most of the Russians that had joined the Islamic State group.Another 30 children were brought back in late December.”They attend school and kindergarten. Volunteers work with them and talk to them about what they have been through, explaining how they have been indoctrinated,” said Kheda Saratova, an advisor to Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has assumed a central role in the process of repatriating Islamists’ relatives.An ‘honourable’ deedRussian authorities have given sometimes conflicting figures of returnees. Saratova said that about 200 children have been brought to Russia, but nearly 1,400 are still stuck in Iraq and Syria.Kadyrov, a longtime Kremlin protege with vast resources, began efforts to bring back fighters’ children in 2017. Diplomatic negotiations are often led by Aleppo-born Chechnya senator Ziyad Sabsabi.Endorsing Kadyrov’s efforts, President Vladimir Putin in late 2017 called the drive to return the children “a very honourable and correct deed” and promised to help.”It’s very good for the image of Kadyrov. He seems somebody who doesn’t just use violence against terrorists but who builds mosques and hands out humanitarian aid,” said Grigory Shvedov, who edits a Caucasus-focused news website Caucasian Knot.When he began Russia’s intervention in Syria in 2015, Putin justified it by the need to kill jihadists before they come to Russia.Although some regions have tried rehabilitation programmes for Islamic extremists, these have failed to catch on at the national level. Young men who returned from Syria or Iraq and turned themselves in have faced harsh punishment.This month Russia’s Supreme Court confirmed a 16-year-term for a young man who went to Syria as a 19-year-old student and worked as a cook and driver on IS-controlled territory for six months.The promise of amnestyReturning the wives of jihadists is also complicated by the absence of an extradition agreement between Russia and Iraq, where many have been sentenced, sometimes to life, in prison.But there is also reluctance by Russia’s powerful security services to bring home adult civilians.FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov in November noted that many women with children exiting conflict zones have been used by jihadists as suicide bombers or recruiters.”The FSB sees them as dangerous, even though many of these wives purchase their freedom from the Kurds and will eventually return one way or another,” said Saratova.Any affiliation with Islamic State jihadists is a crime, since the group is banned under Russian law.”Some sort of amnesty has been promised to many, but it doesn’t actually happen,” said Shvedov. “They are put on trial, (charges) sometimes trumped up and sometimes real.”Last year, two women returned from Syria to their native Dagestan and were swiftly convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. The court eventually ruled to delay their time in prison until their children are older.The children themselves face a difficult reintegration process into life in Russia, a country they barely know, after spending formative years in the “caliphate”.Russian authorities hope that bringing them back into their extended families can minimise risks of radicalisation once they reach adulthood in the Caucasus, a region with a history of Islamic extremism.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire ContributorWhile there’s at least a perceived growing number of Democrats who say they want to replace California Rep. Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn has emerged as a favorite among his peers to become the first African American to hold that position.In an exclusive interview with the NNPA Newswire, the 25-year congressman said that, while he’s ready for the challenge, Democrats currently have much bigger fish to fry.Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) says that President Trump has a deep-seated hatred for people of color that manifests itself every day. (Wikimedia Commons)“The first order of business is to win the [midterm] elections on November 6,” Clyburn said. “That’s what I’ve been concentrating on.”Clyburn and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond each told the NNPA Newswire that they’ve identified 37 districts across the country they believe can be won by Democrats this year, which would wrest control of the House from Republicans.“We feel, with the right kind of effort, we can win,” Clyburn said.Clyburn listed three keys to success this November.The first key, Clyburn said, is to prioritize the Black vote; Democrats can’t afford to take the African American vote for granted.Secondly, the Democrats shouldn’t rely on an anti-President Donald Trump wave to get out the vote. Finally, Clyburn said that candidates must advertise in the Black Press, if they want to win in November.“We are also talking about districts where Barack Obama won twice and where Hillary Clinton also won, but these voters don’t turn out for the so-called ‘off-year elections,’” Clyburn said. “We can’t let these voters feel like we’re taking them for granted.”Clyburn, 78, said he was recently taken aback by one candidate, who said that he could win the Black vote by running on an anti-Trump platform.“Wait one second,” Clyburn said that he told the individual. “We can’t just go around being ‘Republican-light.’ We have to be out there putting forth an alternative message, for our base, and we have to reach out to Black voters and let them know we’re not taking them or any of our base for granted.”To that end, Clyburn said advertising campaigns must largely include the Black Press.“It’s very, very important…Chairman Richmond and I have had candidates in and we’ve been telling them that one of the best ways to demonstrate that you’re not taking the Black vote for granted is to advertise in the Black Press,” Clyburn said.The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is the oldest and largest trade group representing the Black Press, comprised of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers operating in the United States.“I’ve been in [the Black Press]. My daughter and I ran a newspaper down South, so I know that candidates tend to take Black media for granted,” Clyburn said. “They tend to judge Black media the same way they do other media and you just can’t do that, because the business model is totally different.”Each Sunday after attending Morris Brown A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., Clyburn said he and other churchgoers habitually pick up the local Black-owned newspaper.“People tend to pay attention to the headlines, the stories and the ads in the Black Press so it’s vitally important that candidates know this,” Clyburn said.A former history teacher, Clyburn said Trump’s obsession with dismantling Obama’s legacy is reminiscent of tactics employed by Andrew Johnson to demean his predecessor, Abraham Lincoln.Johnson, who was impeached by the House, had a vision of America as a White man’s government, according to historians.“If you remember, it’s the same kind of reaction Johnson had to Lincoln and I remember sitting alone once in the Oval Office with Obama and I told him that this would be the kind of reaction he could expect,” Clyburn said.“[Obama] was never going to get the kind of respect for his presidency that was shown to presidents before him,” Clyburn said. “The narrative that exists in this country is that there are certain things that Black folks are not supposed to do and one of those things is becoming the president of the United States and [President Trump] and his administration, feel they have to do whatever they can to wipe out any semblance that Barack Obama was ever president of the United States.”Clyburn continued: “[Trump] has a deep-seated hatred for people of color and it manifests itself every day.”Though he doesn’t support or agree politically with former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, Clyburn said he was deeply troubled when Trump referred to her as a “low life” and a “dog.”“I’m the father of three daughters and I’m deeply insulted by the president of the United States referring to an African American women the way he referred to her,” he said. “Politics aside, I’m insulted that the president of the United States would denigrate the office in this way.”Clyburn continued: “The president asked an important question when he was running, ‘What do we have to lose?’ Well, we have lost dignity and the respect of the presidency, because of his coarseness in the office. When you lose respect, you’ve lost about everything there is to lose.”While he still supports Pelosi, Clyburn said that if the Democrats take back the House, he’s up for the job as speaker.“I have always supported her, but I have always remembered a sermon I heard my father give a number of times,” Clyburn said. “That sermon stayed with me and he said, ‘keep your lamps trimmed and burning to be ready when the bridegroom comes.’ My point is, I’ve never forgotten that sermon so I keep my lamp burning so I’m ready.”Stacy Brown is an NNPA Newswire Contributor and co-author of “Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask: An Insider’s Story of the King of Pop.” This article was originally published on BlackPressUSA.com.