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  • Britain gives £5.2 million to Ethiopian girl band, prompting outcry

     A female pop group known as “Ethiopia’s Spice Girls” has received £5.2 million in British foreign aid, despite criticism that the funds could be better spent addressing social welfare issues within Great Britain.

    The band, Yegna, has entered into a partnership with Girl Effect (formerly known as Girl Hub), a U.K. project that strives to eliminate gender disparity through “media, technology and girl-centred community engagement.” The initiative is being supported by the Department for International Development (DFID), which gave £16 million in funding to Girl Effect.

    On its website, Girl Effect describes Yegna as “a multi-platform culture brand inspiring positive behaviour change for girls in Ethiopia.” According to a contract uncovered by The Daily Mail, an agency has been solicited to help Yegna develop a radio drama, a talk show, and new music “that champions girls and creates a national conversation about their challenges and their potential to overcome the problems.”

    This is not the first time that the five-person girl group has received money from the British government. In 2013, Girl Effect gave £4 million to Yegna. Last year, the watchdog group Independent Commission on Aid Impact reportedly called on ministers to halt the project, citing “significant concerns” that the funding may not be “merited.”

    News that Yegna received an additional £5.2 million from the DFID has prompted an outcry among some lawmakers. “How can we be spending millions on a girl band when the money could be much better spent at home on helping the elderly?” Tory MP Peter Bone said in an interview with The Daily Mail. “This is the sort of up the wall project which shows why we must not have an aid pledge linked to GDP.

    “This is not helping starving people, this is not helping refugees. We have to get to grips with this.”

    The DFID has defended its decision to continue funding the group, according to The Telegraph. “This innovative partnership is tackling forced child marriage, violence, teen pregnancy, migration and school dropout, which are holding a generation of young Ethiopian women back,” a spokesperson said, but added, “It’s vital those seeking to help the poorest strive to become more accountable so people can be assured money is going to help those less fortunate.”

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  • South Africa's government is investigating a pastor pictured spraying members of his congregation with pesticide


    South Africa's government is investigating a pastor pictured spraying members of his congregation with pesticide.

    In a Facebook post, self-proclaimed prophet Lethebo Rabalago claims a repellent called Doom can heal people.

    The company that produces Doom warned of the risks of spraying the substance.

    The country has seen a wave of practices where church members have been subjected to unorthodox rituals to receive healing.

    In photos circulating on Facebook and Twitter, Mr Rabalago, who runs the Mountzion General Assembly in the Limpopo province, is seen spraying the insecticide directly into the eyes and various body parts of his congregants.

    He also claims the spray can heal cancer and HIV.

     Source:BBC AFRICA

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  • ‘We Thank God for Our Blessing.’ Janet Jackson Announces She’s Pregnant at 50

    2015 BET Awards - Show

    It’s official: Janet Jackson is pregnant at 50-years-old, and feeling great.

    The singer exclusively confirmed to People that she’s expecting and shared photos of her baby bump. “We thank God for our blessing,” she said.

    It will be the first child for Jackson, who is married to Wissam Al Mana.

    “She is super excited about her pregnancy and is doing extremely well,” a source close to the Jackson family told People. “She actually feels very good about everything.”

    Read more at People.com, and in the latest issue of People magazine hitting newsstands Friday.

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  • 'We finally found her!' The Rock announces Billions' Ilfenesh Hadera has been cast as his love interest Stef in Baywatch reboot


    As one of the producers, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has a hand in shaping the cast of the upcoming Baywatch reboot.

    And the 43-year-old doesn't take the task lightly, frequently turning to Instagram to share the news once the team has found the perfect person for each role of their 'sand squad.'

    On Wednesday that person just happened to be Ilfenesh Hadera, as The Rock excitedly posted about her casting as his love interest Stef in the upcoming picture, gushing: 'we finally found her.

    Ilfenesh reposted The Rock's gushing Instagram on her account, joking: 'DEDICATED TO EVERYONE WHO LAUGHED AT ME WHEN I FELL OFF THE STARTING BLOCK AT THAT SWIM MEET IN 1997.'

    The Chi-Raq actress added: 'BUT SERIOUSLY- I am over the moon to be part of this project, can't wait to meet you and the rest of the cast @therock!'

    Two weeks ago the father-of-two had announced that Kelly Rohrbach had nabbed the role of C.J. Parker (originally played by Pamela Anderson) for the movie remake of the Nineties cult show. 

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3408638/The-Rock-says-Billions-Ilfenesh-Hadera-cast-love-Baywatch-reboot.html#ixzz4FulkOK2p 

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3408638/The-Rock-says-Billions-Ilfenesh-Hadera-cast-love-Baywatch-reboot.html#ixzz4FulHvIO4 

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  • Could Russian Hackers Spoil Election Day?

    ASPEN, Colo. — U.S. officials are alarmed that the Russian hack of Democratic Party emails has exposed vulnerabilities in the security of the electoral voting system that are big enough to compromise the credibility of the upcoming presidential election.

    They say it's unlikely that Russian agents or other groups would hack into individual U.S. voting machines nationwide and hand a victory to one candidate or another, but say hackers could remotely exploit any digital weaknesses in each state's electoral system to wreak havoc. A few years ago, for example, foreign hackers crashed Minnesota's whole system for several days, though not during an election.

    What's more, creating even the suspicion of some kind of digital meddling would throw the election results into disarray and undermine their legitimacy, four former Homeland Security officials and other cybersecurity experts attending the Aspen Security Forum told NBC News.

    "It's hanging chads weaponized," said Stewart Baker, a former top official at the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. He cited the paper-based voting controversy in Florida that, to many, continues to cast doubt on whether George W. Bush actually beat Al Gore in the 2000 election.

    Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said U.S. officials have to be wary because the Putin government is noted for using "information operations" to meddle in the political affairs of other governments in Europe and elsewhere.

    Like other current and former officials, Chertoff said the DNC hack has exposed significant flaws regarding "whether we are securing the data that we use in the actual electoral process."

    Electoral System Not Protected from Hackers

    With three months to go before the general election, current and former U.S. security officials confirmed to NBC News that the electoral system remains inadequately protected from hackers.

    One reason is that the systems -- from the national committees for the Democratic and Republican parties to the actual voting machines -- are not part of the vast "Critical Infrastructure Protection" safety net set up by the Department of Homeland Security

    source NBCnews 

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