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‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman dies of cancer at 43

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black panther Chadwick Boseman

Actor Chadwick Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown with searing intensity before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, died Friday of cancer, his representative said. He was 43.

Boseman died at his home in the Los Angeles area with his wife and family by his side, his publicist Nicki Fioravante told The Associated Press.

Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer four years ago, his family said in a statement.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said. “From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more – all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”

Boseman had not spoken publicly about his diagnosis. He is survived by his wife and a parent and had no children, Fioravante said.

Born in South Carolina, Boseman graduated from Howard University and had small roles in television before his first star turn in 2013. His striking portrayal of the stoic baseball star Robinson opposite Harrison Ford in 2013′s “42” drew attention in Hollywood and made him a star.

Boseman died on a day that Major League Baseball was celebrating Jackie Robinson day. “His transcendent performance in ‘42’ will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie’s story to audiences for generations to come,” the league wrote in a tweet.

“This is a crushing blow” actor and director Jordan Peele said on Twitter, one of many expressing shock as the news spread across social media.

“This broke me,” said actor and writer Issa Rae.

His T’Challa character was first introduced to the blockbuster Marvel movies in 2016′s “Captain America: Civil War,” and his “Wakanda Forever” salute reverberated around the world after the release of “Black Panther” two years ago.

The film’s vision of Afrofuturism and the technologically advanced civilization of Wakanda resonated with audiences, some of whom wore African attire to showings and helped propel “Black Panther” to more than $1.3 billion in global box office. It is the only Marvel Studios film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination.

The character was last seen standing silently dressed in a black suit at Tony Stark’s funeral in last year’s “Avengers: Endgame.” A “Black Panther” sequel had been announced, and was one of the studio’s most anticipated upcoming films.

Even at the outset of his Hollywood career, Boseman was clear-eyed about — and even skeptical of — the industry in which he would become an international star.

“You don’t have the same exact experience as a Black actor as you do as a white actor. You don’t have the same opportunities. That’s evident and true,” he told AP while promoting “42.” “The best way to put it is: How often do you see a movie about a black hero who has a love story … he has a spirituality. He has an intellect. It’s weird to say it, but it doesn’t happen that often.”

In addition to Robinson and Brown, Boseman portrayed the future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 2017′s “Marshall.” He humanized the larger-than-life historical figures with the same quiet dignity — interrupted by flashes of sparkling wit — that he would later bring to T’Challa.

He took on his first producing job in last year’s action thriller “21 Bridges,” in which he also starred, and was last seen on-screen in Spike Lee’s film “Da 5 Bloods” as the leader of a group of Black soldiers in the Vietnam War.

It took some time for Boseman’s moment to come. He first got into theater, acting and writing plays as an undergrad at Howard. Boseman had roles on TV shows like ABC Family’s “Lincoln Heights” and NBC’s “Persons Unknown,” but before “42” he had only acted in one film, 2008’s football drama “The Express.” Boseman attracted notice, but missed out on big parts.

“2011 was a rough year,” he said. “I was up for everything that was happening that year, really good roles. I would get down to the end and then it would go to someone else.”

Boseman completed one last performance, in an adaptation of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The Netflix film, in which Boseman stars alongside Viola Davis, finished shooting last summer.

Asked about his own childhood heroes and icons, Boseman cited Black political leaders and musicians: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Marley, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and Prince. Deeply private and often guarded in his public appearances and interviews, he made clear that he understood the significance of his work and its impact on the broader culture.

At the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Award, “Black Panther” won best ensemble, electrifying the room. Before an auditorium full of actors, Chadwick Boseman stepped to the microphone. He quoted Nina Simone: “To be young, gifted and black,” then put the moment in context.

“We know what it’s like to be told there isn’t a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on. … We know what’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day,” said Boseman. “We knew that we could create a world that exemplified a world we wanted to see. We knew that we had something to give.”

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NEWS

Kofi Annan, former UN chief, dies at 80

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Kofi Annan, the first black African to become UN secretary-general, has died aged 80 in Switzerland, his aides say.

He “passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness”, the foundation named after him said on Saturday.

Mr Annan served two terms as UN chief from 1997 to 2006, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work for his efforts.

He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

In a statement announcing his death, the Kofi Annan Foundation described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”.

“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”

The diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, died in hospital in the Swiss city of Bern. He had been living near Geneva for several years before his death.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for helping to revitalise the international body, during a period that coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Kofi Annan described his greatest achievement as the Millennium Development Goals which – for the first time – set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality.

However, Mr Annan was not immune from criticism. His critics blamed him for the UN’s failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s when he was head of the organisation’s peacekeeping operations.

Later, after the US-led invasion of Iraq, he and his son were accused of being involved in the “oil for food corruption scandal” that led some to call for his resignation, though he was later exonerated.

BBC

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BIZZARRE

Girl (11) turns wife number 3 to 41 yr-old Malaysian man

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THE marriage of a Malaysian man with an 11-year-old Thai girl has sparked outrage in the Muslim majority country with one activist on Sunday labelling the groom a “child predator”.

Malaysian Muslims below the age of 16 are allowed to marry if they obtain the permission of a religious court.

But the country’s women and families ministry said there was no record of religious authorities approving the union, which took place last month across the border in Thailand’s largely Muslim far south.

“Our officers have gone to the house and met the girl’s mother. We are waiting for more reports before deciding on the next course of action,” deputy prime minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was quoted as saying by the Sunday Star newspaper.

The 41-year-old husband could be jailed for six months if he married without permission.

Malaysian activists have called for law reform to end child marriage, which they said was widespread among the country’s Muslim population.

Some 16 000 Malaysian girls below the age of 15 are already married, advocates claim.

“Marrying an 11-year-old girl is like the behaviour of a child predator or paedophile,” said child activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi.

Alhabshi said the man was a prosperous trader and already married to two women while the girl’s parents were impoverished rubber farmers.

Muslim men are allowed to take up to four wives in Malaysia.

The United Nations children’s agency Unicef said it was “outraged” by the incident.

“It is shocking and unacceptable. Unicef… calls on the government to make good its manifesto promise to ban child marriage,” said the agency’s Malaysia representative Marianne Clark-Hattingh.

AFP

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India: 10 people found blindfolded, hanging from the roof

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New Delhi — Police in India’s capital said they found 11 bodies in a home under mysterious circumstances on Sunday, including 10 that were blindfolded and hanging.

The victims were all from the same family and most had lived in the home where they were found in Burari village in the northern part of New Delhi, said police officer Vineet Kumar.

Police are investigating whether the victims — four men, three women and four girls — died by suicide or were killed, Kumar said, adding that no suicide note was found.

Kumar said police began their investigation after they received a call Sunday morning that some “members of a family have committed suicide.”

No bullet marks, no sign of forced entry

There were no bullet marks on the bodies of the victims, and there was no sign of forced entry into the house, Kumar said. “We’re yet to reach any conclusion whatsoever,” he said.

Ten bodies, blindfolded by cotton and pieces of cloth, were found hanging from an iron grill used as a ventilator in the home’s courtyard, while the body of a 70-year-old woman was lying on the floor of the house, said a police official who spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with department policy.

The family was living in the house for more than two decades, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported. It said the house belongs to a businessman who ran a plywood shop and dairy.

The newspaper said that at around 08:00 Sunday, a neighbour with whom the businessman used to go for morning walks went to see him and found the door of the house open and the 10 people, including the businessman, hanging. He raised an alarm and people called the police.

Arjun Thukral, a relative of the family who lives in the same neighborhood, said he ran to the victims’ house as news of the deaths spread.

“I saw the bodies hanging, stools lying around, and my wife’s aunt sprawled on the floor by the bed. I couldn’t bear watching anymore,” he said.

Thukral questioned whether the family had died by suicide.

“No father can kill his own son. … How would a mother be able to kill her own children? I don’t think they committed suicide. These are murders,” he said.

A “tragic” incident

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the scene, called the incident “tragic”.

“Police are investigating. … Let’s wait for their investigation to be over,” he said. In a video posted on Twitter by Kejriwal’s ruling party, the neighbors are heard telling Kejriwal that the family was busy with wedding preparations.

A neighbor of the family said they couldn’t have died by suicide, New Delhi Television reported. The neighbor said he spoke to one of the victims Saturday night and found no sign of any stress, the report said.

Indian TV channels broadcast interviews with neighbors who said the family did not have any discord among themselves.

Police official Rajesh Khurana told reporters that all angles were being investigated. “We can’t rule out anything,” he said.

AP

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