This is a must see! Happy Women’s History Month! Happy (belated) birthday wishes to Dame Vera Lynn! Thank you for your service. She’s 100!
She brought the troops through the worst times in a war almost none of us remember except through song, movies, history books. She served. She opted for her grandmother’s Irish name because she thought it sounded better than the Welsh name.
Sir Paul chimes in several times. I think he remembers her as I do: as an institution and national treasure. I guess we both remember her songs when we were kids. I was only four when my parents had to turn off the radio when “Faraway Places” came on. I cried. I still do, and I may never know why. The war was over years before and I was a little kid. But I cried.
Her song grabbed my heart. I should explain. My uncle was in the Merchant Marine. He docked in Brooklyn and Bremerhaven and passed through London. He brought back great cheese, toys from the German docks, and music.
Today — my 19th birthday — I’m in Kenya visiting Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp.
Every year on my birthday I travel to meet girls who are struggling to go to school — to stand with them and to make sure the world hears their stories.
Today in Dadaab I met Rahma Hussein Noor, a 19 year-old who has struggled more than most of us can imagine just to go to school.
Rahma came to Dadaab at age 13, having never set foot in a classroom. She worked hard to catch up with her classmates and, in a few years, graduated primary school.
Rahma then enrolled in a secondary school in Dadaab. But when her family returned to Somalia last year, Rahma could not find another school to attend.
After two months, her father said her education was over and decided to marry her to a man over 50 years old whom Rahma had never met.
Rahma snuck out of her house and took an eight day bus ride back to the refugee camp…all to continue her education.
Rahma is not alone. Many girls from Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, Pakistan and all around the world have lost so much and are then forced to fight for a right they already have — the right to go to school.
Last year, the world agreed to provide 12 years of education for every boy and girl. Yet, nearly one year after making the commitment, where do we stand?
We are facing a global refugee crisis and more and more girls like Rahma are at risk of losing their chance to go to school — and their dreams for a better future.
We cannot allow girls like Rahma to fight alone. It’s time to do right by girls — #YesAllGirls.
Harriet Mills, a Fulbright scholar from New York who was imprisoned as an American spy in Communist China for more than four years and was widely believed to have been a victim of brainwashing, died on March 5 in Mitchelville, Md. She was 95.
The cause was complications of dementia, said her sister, Angie, her only immediate survivor.
When she was released in 1955, Ms. Mills described herself as an unpaid “espionage agent” for the United States and Britain, called Americans “warmongers” and said she believed that the United States had engaged in germ warfare during the Korean War.
Ms. Mills later wrote a magazine article saying the Chinese government was engaged in the “greatest campaign in human history to reshape the minds of men.”
Writing in The Atlantic Monthly in 1959, she said the “complex interplay of psychological and personal factors gives the technique its special character and power,” and concluded that “to be unprogressive in China is not simply a political verdict; it is social suicide as well.”
Each March, we come together to celebrate Women’s History Month — a time to lift up the legacy of every woman who has stepped forward to expand and defend freedom throughout our history.
In honor of this occasion, it was my privilege this week to be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to pay tribute to the heroic women who support and defend the American people: America’s women veterans.
Actress Hedy Lamarr would have been 101 today. Aside from being gorgeous and very funny (See Comrade X), Ms. Lamarr was an inventor of some very sophisticated technology! Happy Birthday, Hedy! Good name. You were ahead of your time and clearly also had an especially good head!
Hedy Lamarr was more than just a 1940s Hollywood movie star. She was also an inventor who helped developed technologies that made Wi-Fi possible today.
by Bonnie Burton
Hollywood legend Hedy Lamarr was inspired to try to help the Allied forces win World War II.
Google Doodle on Monday is celebrating the 101st birthday of Vienna-born actress Hedy Lamarr, who won over hearts on the big screen in the 1940s in such hits as “I Take This Woman” with Spencer Tracy and “Come Live with Me” with Jimmy Stewart.
Her biggest, yet relatively unknown achievement though had more to do with wanting to help the Allied forces win World War II.
Lamarr became knowledgeable about torpedos during her first marriage to a munitions manufacturer in Europe during the 1930s. Later, during the war, she wanted to prevent remote-controlled torpedoes from being hijacked. Lamarr helped develop a version of so-called spread-spectrum communication, which would become the starting point for such technologies as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that we use today.
Samson Dawah was nervous. For two weeks, he had waited for any bit of information regarding his niece, who was among the 234 Nigerian school girls likely kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram. This week, he gathered his extended family. He had news but also an unusual request. He asked that the elderly not attend. He wasn’t sure they could bear what he had to say.
“We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls,” he told them. ”They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants.”
The girl’s father fainted, the Guardian reported, and has since been hospitalized. But the news got worse. Village elder Pogo Bitrus told Agence France Presse locals had consulted with “various sources” in the nation’s forested northeast. “From the information we received yesterday from Cameroonian border towns our abducted girls were taken… into Chad and Cameroon,” he said, adding that each girl was sold as a bride to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira — $12.
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civic organization reported Wednesday.
At the same time, the Boko Haram terrorist network is negotiating over the students’ fate and is demanding an unspecified ransom for their release, a Borno state community leader told The Associated Press.
He said the Wednesday night message from the abductors also claimed that two of the girls have died from snake bites.
Nigeria’s presidency says it has agreed a ceasefire with militants Boko Haram which would see the return of 219 kidnapped girls.
Air Marshal Alex Badeh, chief of defence staff, said: “A ceasefire agreement has been concluded between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal Jihad (Boko Haram).
“I have accordingly directed the service chiefs to ensure immediate compliance with this development in the field.”
The president’s principal secretary Hassan Tukur told the AFP news agency that an agreement to end hostilities had been reached after talks with the Islamist group.
He said: “Boko Haram issued the ceasefire as a result of the discussions we have been having with them.
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"... ratify the Law of the Sea Convention, which has provided the international framework for exploring these new opportunities in the Arctic. We abide by the international law that undergirds the convention, but we think the United States should be a member, because the convention sets down the rules of the road that protect freedom of navigation, provide maritime security, serve the interests of every nation that relies on sea lanes for commerce and trade, and also sets the framework for exploration for the natural resources that may be present in the Arctic." -HRC, 06-03-12, Tromso Norway
What a difference one woman can make!
"... whether it's here, in the absolute best embassy in the world, or whether it's in Washington, or whether it's elsewhere, what a difference one woman can make. And that woman is right here, the woman who needs no introduction, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton." 07.05.10 - Unidentified speaker, Embassy Yerevan
"I deeply resent those who attack our country, the generosity of our people and the leadership of our president in trying to respond to historically disastrous conditions after the earthquake." - HRC 01-26-10
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Feminist: Stories From Women’s Liberation
A documentary film about the 20th century feminist revolution 1963-1970. By Jennifer Lee