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I have tears. 21 girls released, y’all. I’m so happy for them and their families.
(CNN) — Boko Haram militants handed over 21 Chibok schoolgirls to Nigerian authorities Thursday after a series of negotiations, Nigeria’s government said, in the first mass release of any of the more than 200 girls and women kidnapped from their school two years ago.
The 21 former captives were freed at about 3 a.m. in the northeastern Nigerian town of Banki, near the border with Cameroon, a source close to the negotiations said on condition of anonymity.
Some of the 21 freed girls appear Thursday in Banki, Nigeria, in a photo obtained exclusively by CNN.
They are said to have been among the 276 girls that Boko Haram militants herded from bed in the middle of the night at a school in Chibok in April 2014 — a kidnapping that spurred global outrage.
As many as 57 girls escaped almost immediately, and one was found this spring. Just under 200 remain unaccounted for after Thursday’s release.
September: Chibok girls’ parents react to new Boko Haram video
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss government brokered the deal between the Islamist militant group and the Nigerian government, said Mallam Garba Shehu, spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Negotiations will continue,” he said on Twitter.
Terms of Thursday’s deal were not immediately announced, but no captive Boko Haram fighters were released in exchange for the girls, the source with knowledge of the negotiations said.
After their release, the girls went to meet with the governor of northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state, and they will be taken to the central Nigerian city of Abuja, Borno officials said
It’s officially 2017 from where I am right now. Happy New Year everyone!
2016 might not ended as I expected but I am ready to welcome this 2017 with a joyful and hopeful heart❤
My 100 days of Happiness challenge has finally ended but this doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop writing. This challenge somehow helped me, again. Because it let me see the good in even the smallest things.
There’s always a reason to smile, to be happy. And sometimes that happiness just comes from within ourselves.
Forgive. Forget. Move on. Smile. Be happy.
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017.
As the year begins,
Embrace the joy of life, and
Behold its wonder.
May your skies be always blue,
And may all your dreams come true.
– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –
Welcome to 2017
Dean and I wish you and your loved ones
a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year
I honestly didn’t have a whole lot to recap this year life has been pretty, uneventful for me, however, I had a LOT of special moments this year to celebrate with my family, mostly my sisters, memories I’ll cherish forever.
For Auld Lang Syne…
2016 was the year my little sister got married, she also turned 30, my big sister became Mummy when she gave birth to my beautiful twin nieces Amber & Harper. In turn my already, awesome family expanded by 3 awesome new members. There was further celebrations this year when Kevin ended the year championship winner. Scottish Fiesta ST Champion 2016
Fun things in 2016 included seeing Beyonce live, a long weekend in Liverpool with Kevin, my sisters Hen weekend and an abundance of good times with friends.
Run things in 2016….well, with no races entered I started the year off with little challenges for myself, I ran 5k everyday in January….and not much else after that, until very recently. Here’s hoping next year has more to report on in the running category, like a completed marathon perhaps…hopefully.
I’m done with resolutions, let’s be honest who sticks to them after January anyway?
Worldwide 2016 has been a bit of a riot, still not over Brexit, or Trump but personally uneventful or not I have nothing to complain about, I mean, I kinda wish there had been some foreign travel in there and more running in 2016, but mostly I am so thankful to have enjoyed another year HAPPY, HEALTHY & LOVED.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope 2017 brings you an abundance of good health, love and happiness.
Do you have any New Years resolutions?
What did you do to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017?
I’m Scottish we party hard! Sláinte Mhath!
Thanks for reading❤️
Happy Hogmanay 😊
Modern Christmas has become a confusing mashup of pagan tradition and hedonistic consumerism masquerading as a Christian festival*, so it should come as no surprise that some Christmas music is, at best, “problematical”.
With your indulgence I hereby make the case that, if you want your children to grow up well-adjusted, and without any strange ideas about free will, authority, consent or basic geography, then you won’t let them listen to any Christmas music. At all. Ever.
Exhibit A) Once in Royal David’s City
Four “lowly”s in six verses are indicative of the Victorian obsession with class, but verse three is where it really goes awry:
And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honour and obey,
Love and watch the lowly mother
In whose gentle arms He lay.
Christian children all should be
Mild, obedient, good as He.
Leaving aside the fact that it wasn’t mild obedience that got Jesus tortured and publicly executed by the political elite, let’s take a moment to consider the legacy of centuries of encouraging children to unthinkingly acquiesce to authority within the institution of the Church.
Exhibit B) Baby it’s cold outside
When you absolutely positively have to normalise rape culture in a specifically yuletide fashion, accept no substitute. This song makes “Blurred Lines” look like a thoughtful paean to consent in healthy relationships.
If you get as far as the line “Say what’s in this drink?” and still think he’s just being hospitable, you belong to the Bill Cosby school of seduction technique and you are excused from DJing the Christmas party.
Exhibit C) I Saw Three Ships
Bethlehem is 2,500ft above sea level and 20 miles from any large body of water. You didn’t see three ships. You’re up a mountain. This is the kind of bullshit whitewashing that occurs when Europeans (from the similarly landlocked county of Derbyshire, in this instance) appropriate a Middle-Eastern religion and twist its symbols and mythology in support of an authoritarian system of imperialist government with little regard for basic geography.
Exhibit D) Santa Baby
In religious Christmas music, you get to dismiss all the bits you don’t like by saying “it’s allegorical”. In secular music, there’s less flexibility to sidestep the appalling implications of what is being said.
Exhibit E) Little Donkey
This school nativity staple is a disaster of woolly logic that would be a triumph of style over substance if it weren’t also a shitty song about a donkey. In verse one, we’re on a road and Bethlehem’s in sight. Why, then, are we later following a star? This is like when you’re too busy looking at the GPS to notice you just drove past the inn. If Joseph had just stopped and asked for directions instead of relying on celestial navigation, they might have arrived in time to get a room. Also, if there’s a star, why are the “wise” men “waiting for a sign to bring them here”? Maybe they’re still trying to sail their ships up a mountain?
If they weren’t so busy being mild and obedient, even the kids would point out this is utter bullshit.
Exhibit F) Santa Claus is Coming to Town
If you’re ever wondering how Christmas tipped over the edge from “bastardised religious festival” into “pagan cult of consumer electronics” then look no further than this song about the vengeful Catholic Santa of the Old Testament, embodied with powers of omnipresence (“he sees you when you’re sleeping”), omniscience (“he knows if you’ve been bad or good”) and a sinister hint at omnipotence (“so be good for goodness sake”).
In this song, the fourth member of the Trinity is a third-Century Turkish bishop who sneaks into your house to punish or reward children so impatient to experience supernatural judgement that eternal damnation is just too damn far off. Of all the bullshit with which we coerce our children, this is the absolute worst.
Exhibit G) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Top marks to this carol’s anonymous 16th century authors for getting Satan into the first verse of an otherwise jolly song about rest, merriment, comfort, joy, and a winged serpent who tricks humans into doing wrong so he can torture them in perpetuity.
Exhibit H) It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
A pair of hop-along boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben,
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen,
Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.
Repeat after me: they’re not stereotypes. They’re examples. Extremely stereotypical examples.
Exhibit I) Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Rudolph looks different so he is subjected to bullying in the workplace until he redeems himself by undertaking additional work in a hazardous environment. If you’re not reading this normalisation of out-group hostility as an allegory for white supremacy, you’re part of the problem.
Exhibit J) Away in a Manger
You don’t have to be a hardline disciple of attachment parenting to realise that a feeding trough in a stable filled with semi-domesticated animals is not a place to put a newborn baby, especially in the middle of winter. This is a time for bonding, skin-to-skin contact, and the safe regulation of body temperature. The baby-safety-industrial-complex has worked hard to sell us the idea that babies need cribs, but if there was ever a time for co-sleeping, it’s when you’re sharing your hotel room with livestock.