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Nigerians Anxious After 330 Boys Kidnapped By Extremists

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KANKARA, Nigeria (AP) — Anger, fear and exhaustion. Anxiety has overwhelmed many parents in Nigeria’s northern village of Kankara who await word on their sons who are among the more than 330 kidnapped by extremists from a government boys’ school late Friday.

Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadist rebels have claimed responsibility for the abduction of the students from the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara. Hundreds of other students managed to escape by jumping the fence during the extremists’ attack or by fleeing as they were taken into the nearby forest.

Boko Haram kidnapped the boys from the school because it believes Western education is un-Islamic, the rebels’ leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video claiming responsibility for the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group.

The Nigerian government is in talks with the attackers in an effort to free the boys, government spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement. He did not, however, identify the attackers who the government earlier described as bandits.

Parents are tired of waiting for the situation in the north, home to President Muhammadu Buhari, to improve.

“There’s no way I can measure my anger now,” said Marwa Hamza Kankara, camping outside the school Tuesday night for word of her son. “No woman wants to be outside at this hour but we cannot sleep, we cannot eat, because of our missing children. 



Parents of the missing Government Science secondary school students wait for news on their children in Kankara, Nigeria, on Dec. 15, 2020. 

Hamza says that all those missing belong to Nigeria. “I am not only crying for my child but I am crying for all the children,” she said.

When armed patrols go by, parents outside the school momentarily gain hope that they may have found their sons.

Across Nigeria, people are closely following the fate of the kidnapped boys and many criticize the government for the continuing extremist violence.

“Nobody is happy about the insecurity in the country. Even kids are afraid of being in present Nigeria because of insecurity,” said 58-year-old Syvester Anachike, who sells newspapers in Abuja. “Just imagine, the children been abducted in the president’s state! It is unfair. It’s not good.”

Friday’s abduction has become a rallying cry for Nigerians fed up with the ongoing extremist violence. #BringBackOurBoys is trending on Twitter as people express their frustrations and hark back to 2014 when the #BringBackOurGirls campaign became an international rallying cry for girls kidnapped from a government boarding school in Chibok, in northeastern Nigeria.

“One thing that seems obvious about the security challenge is that there is no fair play and transparency from the leadership,” said Chiroma Shibu, a member of the National Youth Assembly of Nigeria, a non-profit organization created by students and other young people from around country.

Salisu Masi, who has two sons among those kidnapped, said he is disturbed by claims that Boko Haram is behind the abduction. “It is very worrying,” he told The Associated Press.

A joint rescue operation was launched Saturday by Nigeria’s police, air force and army after the military engaged in gunfights with bandits after locating their hideout in the Zango/Paula forest.

The mass kidnapping draws attention to Nigeria’s persistent problem of the extremist insurgency. For more than 10 years, Boko Haram has engaged in a bloody campaign to introduce strict Islamic rule. Thousands have been killed and more than a million people displaced by the violence. Boko Haram has been mainly active in northeast Nigeria, but with the abductions from the school in Katsina state, they have increased their attacks into the northwest.

The Islamic extremist group has carried out mass abductions of students before. In Chibok, in April 2014, more than 270 schoolgirls were taken from their school in northeastern Borno State. About 100 of the girls are still missing.

In February 2014, 59 boys were killed when Boko Haram attacked the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State. 

Shoes of the kidnapped students from Government Science Secondary School are seen inside a classroom in Kankara, Nigeria, on



Shoes of the kidnapped students from Government Science Secondary School are seen inside a classroom in Kankara, Nigeria, on Dec. 16, 2020. 

“Boko Haram is an outcome of the fact that there is a low level of education in Northern Nigeria,” said Prof. Sylvester Odion-Akhaine of Lagos State University. He said the ongoing unrest is worsening the region’s socio-economic problems.

The kidnappings have highlighted that education is under attack in Nigeria, said Amnesty International.

“Schools should be places of safety, and no child should have to choose between their education and their life,” Isa Sanusi of Amnesty International said Wednesday in a statement. “Other children have had to abandon their education after being displaced by frequent violent attacks on their communities, and many teachers have been forced to flee to other states.”

Katsina State shut down all its boarding schools after the attack on the secondary school at Kankara. The government of Zamfara State, next to Katsina, has closed 10 schools as a precaution. Jigawa and Kano States have also ordered schools to close, according to Nigeria’s Premium Times.

Many Nigerians are blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the security lapses in the country.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party says the abduction of the students in Katsina, the home state of the president, who was on a visit there at the time of the attack, raises serious questions over the government’s capacity to fight insurgency.

The opposition party said that the inability of the government to ensure Nigeria’s security has opened the country “for terrorists, bandits, vandals, and insurgents.”

Olukoya reported from Lagos, Nigeria. Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal contributed to this report.





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Snoop Dogg Once Sold $10,000 Blunt To Raise Money For Charity, Seth Rogen Reveals

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Snoop Dogg once used his iconic love for blunts for a good cause.

The hip-hop hit-maker, a known advocate for weed, is said to have auctioned off a marijuana-filled cigarette for $10,000 to raise money for Hilarity for Charity — a nonprofit founded by actors Seth and Lauren Miller Rogen.

In an interview with Variety ahead of the initiative’s 10th anniversary, the couple revealed how the 50-year-old racked up a five-figure contribution for Alzheimer’s awareness in the most West Coast way.

“Snoop Dogg once auctioned off a blunt on stage for Alzheimer’s,” Seth Rogen said. His wife, meanwhile, noted the steep price for the coveted item: “I think it went for $10,000.”

The “This Is The End” star added: “I think that encapsulates how we are approaching the space differently. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get Snoop Dogg to come perform at your show and auction off a blunt for Alzheimer’s care and research, then I think that speaks very well to an unexpected but effective kind of melding of matters and sensibilities.”

The pair created Hilarity for Charity in 2012 in honor of Miller Rogen’s late mother, Adele, who battled Alzheimer’s in her final days.

Two years ago, Rogen told People how affected he was by his wife’s ability to handle her parent’s diagnosis.

“Seeing Lauren talk about it is very impressive to me,” he said at the time.

“How much she talks about it, and how willing she is to talk about it. How open she is about talking about it and seeing how that has given her a lot of control over her situation – that’s been very good, because it wasn’t like that at first.”

Hilarity for Charity’s “10th birthday extravaganza” kicks off Saturday at Rolling Greens on Mateo Street in Los Angeles.





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Miles Teller Rips ‘SNL’ Cast With Spot-On Peyton Manning Impression

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“Top Gun: Maverick” actor Miles Teller pulled off a spot-on Peyton Manning impression to break down “Saturday Night Live” cast members’ performances during the show’s cold open this weekend.

Teller hosted “SNL” for its premiere on Saturday as he – along with cast member Andrew Dismukes – played as the Manning brothers to mock the show and its new set of comedians following a summer of departures.

Teller and Dismukes did a rendition of the brothers’ “Manningcast” broadcast to critique a sketch on former President Donald Trump’s stay at his Mar-a-Lago estate during a hurricane.

Teller, in the midst of his commentary on the sketch, predicted a mediocre, error-laden performance from “rookie” cast member Michael Longfellow.

“The new guy’s fully panicking, he’s just staring in the camera,” Teller said.

“Oh God and you know what, that might be the only time we see him tonight,” Dismukes added.

Teller later looped in three-time “SNL” host and fellow “Top Gun” actor Jon Hamm to weigh in on the show’s cast.

The Trump sketch included an appearance by five-time Olympian Shaun White, who played the special master assigned to review documents the FBI seized in a search of Trump’s estate.

“I’ve decided, they’re all awesome,” White said as he held up a briefcase.

“Yeah, well, you know sometimes they need to bring in a real celebrity when the host isn’t that famous,” Hamm said of White’s appearance in the sketch.

You can watch the 48th season premiere’s cold open, and Teller fire back at Hamm, below.





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Lil Nas X Pauses Concert Due To Pooping: ‘This Is Not A Part Of The Show’

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Lil Nas X was very truthful with fans in Atlanta this week when he had to briefly pause his show.

“I’m backstage and this is, like, not a part of the show, but I’m taking a mean shit,” he can be heard saying in a video tweeted by fan account Lil Nas X News on Thursday. “So please forgive me, but I’m going to need, like, a minute or two.”

“Lmao people really thought i was joking, i was literally back there dropping demons into that toilet,” he wrote.

At least some fans appreciated his openness about the relatable moment.





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Miley Cyrus Shares Moving Voicemail From Late Taylor Hawkins, Fulfills His Song Request

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Miley Cyrus followed up her tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins this week by revealing the heartwarming inspiration for her performance.

In a tweet Wednesday, Cyrus posted an audio snippet of a voicemail she’d received from Hawkins prior to his death this spring. In it, he suggests she cover Def Leppard’s 1983 hit, “Photograph.”

“What up, Miley? It’s Taylor. Heard you’re moving,” Hawkins said in the clip. “I’m listening to ‘Photograph’ by Def Leppard. You could kill that one.”

Cyrus fulfilled that request Tuesday night, joining Def Leppard onstage at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles to perform “Photograph.”

That performance was one of many highlights at an all-star tribute concert celebrating Hawkins’ life, featuring appearances by Dave Chappelle, Alanis Morissette and Pink, among others.

Catch a snippet of “Photograph” below.

In a follow-up tweet, Cyrus noted she “missed Taylor so much like everybody else.”

“It was such an honor to celebrate him last night and perform [with] Def Leppard,” she added. “So lucky to have known him not just as a superstar but to have spent time watching him just be a dad and a husband!”

Hawkins died on March 25 at age 50. At the time of his death, he was in Bogota, Colombia, ahead of a scheduled performance with the Foo Fighters.

Cyrus previously honored Hawkins at Lollapalooza Brasil in March. Taking the stage just days after the drummer’s death, she dedicated the song “Angels Like You,” from her 2020 album, “Plastic Hearts,” to his memory.

“I would’ve done anything to hang out with him one more time,” she said at the time, wiping away tears. “So I couldn’t imagine how the Foo Fighters feel today.”





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‘Daily Show’ Has Hilariously Brutal Reaction To CIA’s Langley Invite

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The CIA is a lot of things, but perhaps it should leave being an online jokester to the pros.

The Daily Show” gave Twitter users a fresh reminder of that on Friday in a sharp exchange with the Company.

It started when the comedy show posted a segment Thursday spoofing the CIA’s announcement this week that it was launching a podcast.

In the sketch, correspondent Michael Kosta plays the podcast’s host, who shouts out the “Lang Gang,” plugs a forthcoming coup, and takes calls from people who don’t know their phones are being tapped.

CIA officials were either spying on the show or simply watching it on TV like regular members of society. But either way, they noticed.

“We see you,” the agency, which has trained death squads, overthrown governments and spied on Americans, tweeted Friday using the “eyes” emoji. The attempted joke came with an invite to visit the CIA’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters “to give you an opportunity to learn a few things about what we do here.”

But “The Daily Show,” or whoever operates its Twitter account, immediately suspected something, given that the invite came a day after host Trevor Noah, who is from South Africa, announced he was leaving the show:

Wow, our African leader steps down and immediately the CIA swoops in. Unreal.”

So far, “The Daily Show” hasn’t formally accepted the invite, but it’s possible that information is strictly classified.





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22 Of The Funniest Tweets About Cats And Dogs This Week (Sept. 24-30)

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Woof — it’s been a long, long week. We don’t have to tell you that.

Perhaps you feel like you’ve been working like a dog. If so, may we offer you the internet equivalent of a big pile of catnip? We refer, of course, to another helping of hilarious tweets about pets.

Each week, we scour Twitter to find the funniest quips and bon mots about our furballs being complete goofballs. They’re sure to make you howl.

(No need to beg for more ― you can check out last week’s batch right here.)





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Nick Cannon Announces Birth Of His 10th Child, And His Third With Brittany Bell

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Nick Cannon now has nearly enough kids to form a basketball team.

It’s the pair’s third child together following the births of a son, Golden Sagon, and a daughter, Powerful Queen.

Rise’s arrival comes just a few weeks after he announced the birth of his ninth child, a baby girl named Onyx Ice Cole Cannon, who he had with former “Price Is Right” model LaNisha Cole.

In addition, Cannon shares twins, Moroccan and Monroe, with ex-wife Mariah Carey, another son, Legendary Love, with Bre Tiesi, and twin sons Zion Mixolydian and Zillion Heir with DJ and model Abby La Rosa.

Another child, Zen, who Cannon fathered with model Alyssa Scott died in December at 5 months old after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Although Cannon’s parenting situation is not typical of most people, La Rosa said she’s found a way to make things work during a recent podcast.

“Technically speaking, we all know about each other,” she explained. “It’s just how much do you want to know, how much are you choosing to know. And I trust the connection that I have with Nick.”





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