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Dec 22
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Stolen

Nineteen-year-old Alexis Manigo, who was born Kamiyah Mobley, says that she’s adjusting to life following the arrest of Gloria Williams, the woman who kidnapped her as a baby and raised her as her own daughter. Manigo grew up in Walterboro, South Carolina, thinking that Gloria Williams was her mother, when in fact Williams had stolen her from her parents, Craig Aiken and Shanara Mobley, in 1998 out of a Florida hospital by posing as a nurse. According to The Post and Courier, Williams, already a mother of two, had suffered a miscarriage days before the kidnapping. When she got home to South Carolina, no one knew that she had lost one child and returned with another.

Following the discovery of Manigo’s true identity by authorities, Manigo stood by Williams even after she was arrested for kidnapping.

“I will never have malice for her,” she said at the time. “I will always love her. She loved me for 18 years … I was given the best life.”

With her mother in police custody, Manigo has been getting to know her birth parents — who had continued to save a slice of birthday cake for their missing daughter, year after year, unaware if she was alive or dead. Manigo says that she has loved getting to know Aiken, Mobley, and the rest of her biological family, but that she’s still unwilling to cut Williams out of her life. She now calls Mobley, “Mom,” but she also calls Williams, “Mama.”

Recently, she applied to get a Social Security number — only to find the process complicated by the fact that she needed two verifying documents with her name to apply. The only identification she had under the name Kamiyah Mobley, she discovered, was her birth certificate. At some point, she knows, she’ll have to decide what name she wants to keep officially.

“I might just keep it Kamiyah,” she said. “I want to keep everyone happy.”

“Maybe,” she added, laughing, “I’ll just name myself Dandelion.”

Read the full story at The Post and Courier.

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‘Best feeling ever’

A Texas teenager became the first high school kicker to play in, and win, the state’s high school football championship on Wednesday, after the Strawn Greyhounds surged to a 78-42 win over the Balmorhea Bears.

“It’s amazing,” K-Lani Nava told The Star-Telegram after her sensational performance. “It’s the best way to end my career, my senior year, everything … it’s the best feeling ever.”

“I didn’t really think about it too much today because I didn’t want it to get too much in my head head and freak out,” she added, when asked about the historical significance of her appearance in the state championship. “I just acted like every other girl played on this field like me.”

K-Lani, a senior, has become a hero in Strawn, which has a population of just under 650 people, and an inspiration to football-loving girls across the state. Her uncle Tito Nava, said that his niece had proven that girls “can do anything.” K-Lani’s mother, Christie Nava, said that there were “no limits” on what her daughter could accomplish, and that K-Lani’s performance on the field was just another example of her determination.

“The first game she ever played, the very first time she ever stepped out on that field, after a bad snap she got laid out,” Christie Nava recalled. “She popped up, and I was like, ‘She can handle this.’”

Watch footage of K-Lani’s groundbreaking performance below. She didn’t just play in the game — she scored nine points for her team by successfully kicking all but one of her point after attempts.

Read the full story at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

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‘From the heart’

In an iconic photograph taken in 1987, an immaculately dressed Palestinian woman holding her bright yellow high-heel shoes was captured as she threw a stone toward Israeli forces in Beit Sahour, a village in the occupied West Bank. Thirty years later, and amid a new surge of protests in Palestine, the mysterious woman’s identity has finally been revealed.

“I was wearing a black shirt and top, a yellow scarf and yellow heels. There was a special mass at the church, otherwise I wouldn’t have worn that outfit for a protest,” recalled Micheline Awwad, a mother of two who now works in a hotel. The context, she explained, was Palestine’s 1987 intifada, or “uprising,” a conflict that lasted until 1993 and saw an estimated 14,000 Palestinians and 271 Israelis killed.

“We didn’t expect any demonstrations. When I saw the Israeli army approaching and young men were confronting them, I followed the young men. When I started running, I couldn’t run with those shoes. I took them off and carried them. Then I bent down and picked up a stone. I didn’t know someone was taking a picture,” she told BBC News. “It was an uprising from the heart. Young men and women passionately took to the streets. But not anymore. Young men and women today don’t want this.”

The man who captured the iconic image of Awwad is an Iranian-born photojournalist named Alfred Yaghobzadeh. Yaghobzadeh’s assignments have taken him around the world, according to the bio page on his website, and he is now based in France. He has posted the image on Twitter often, sometimes alongside an illustration that his iconic photo inspired, like the one below.

A second intifada erupted in 2000, a conflict that left 3,392 Palestinians and 996 Israelis dead, according to human rights organization B’Tselem. In the wake of Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the leader of Hamas has called for a third intifada. Awwad, for her part, says she wouldn’t want her sons to participate in an uprising. But even today, she revealed, she wouldn’t have any qualms picking up a stone once more if necessary.

“I have two sons. If, God forbid, one of them gets injured and dies, I’ll be heartbroken for life,” she said. “Let my son stay at home. I’ll go out. Of course I would go out.”

Watch BBC News’ interview with Awwad below.

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Unmasked

A right-wing artist has come forward to take responsibility for the posters featuring a photo of Meryl Streep and Harvey Weinstein and the words “She Knew” emblazoned over her eyes that had been mysteriously popping up across Los Angeles this week, The Guardian reported.

Sabo, a 49-year-old ex-Marine and guerrilla street artist, said the motive behind the posters was retribution for the Oscar-winner’s public criticism of President Trump. Streep has been on a publicity tour for her new film, The Post, and has used the film “as a platform” to be critical of Trump, the artist said. “She’s swiping at us so we’re swiping back,” he told The Guardian, adding that Streep’s Golden Globes speech in January was also a motivation behind the attack posters. Sabo said he and two unnamed collaborators had cooked up the idea and posted the images around town.

Streep in recent days had come under fire from Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of rape and has been on of the disgraced movie mogul’s most vocal critics. McGowan lashed out at Streep, who has had a long working relationship with Weinstein, and others over their plan to wear all black at the upcoming Golden Globes award show as a silent protest against the culture of sexism in Hollywood. “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @goldenglobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy,” McGowan railed in posts that have since been deleted from Twitter.

“I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening,” Streep responded publicly, after saying she was unable to reach McGowan through backchannels. “Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth,” Streep added.

When the posters began showing up around L.A., some thought they were shocking and made too strong a statement. Many, including several Women in the World commenters, lamented that it was unfair that Streep was being blamed for Weinstein’s horrible behavior. Some even speculated that a woman might be behind the posters. Turns out that it was no woman at all, and was, rather, a man who has targeted Democrats and liberals many times before with his politically-charged street art. He even explained to The Guardian why, after the infamous Access Hollywood tape leaked, he didn’t think Trump deserved to be skewered by one of his incendiary works.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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Pay gap

Veteran E! News host Catt Sadler has announced that she is quitting E! Television after discovering that her male co-host, Jason Kennedy, was being paid “close to double” her salary. Sadler, who started at E! the same year as Kennedy, had worked at the network for more than a decade. Sadler, 43, said that she asked to be paid the same as Kennedy, but that the network refused to even meet its longtime employee halfway.

“Not only did [E!] refuse to pay me as much as my male counterpart, but they didn’t come close — nowhere close, not even remotely close,” she wrote on her website. She added that she was sad to leave her job and her good friend and “TV husband” Kennedy, but that she felt she had “an obligation to be an agent for change.”

“How can I operate with integrity and stay on at E if they’re not willing to pay me the same as him?” Sadler wrote. “Or at least come close? How can I accept an offer that shows they do not value my contributions and paralleled dedication all these years? How can I not echo the actions of my heroes and stand for what is right no matter what the cost? How can I remain silent when my rights under the law have been violated?”

In a statement given to The Huffington Post, E! Claimed that the discrepancy in pay between the two co-hosts was not discriminatory, and that network executives “[compensate] employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender.”

Read the full story at The Huffington Post.

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12.22.17

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