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Kenyan born academic and political commentator and writer on African and Islamic studies, Ali Al'amin Mazrui dies in the US after illness.
One of the foremost scholars of African studies, Ali Mazrui has died at the age of 81.
Mazrui, a leading pan-Africanist was a professor at the Binghamton University in New York at the time of his death. Reports say he had been ill for several months.
Mazrui was named one of the top 100 intellectual people in the world by American and British magazines.
His research in African and Islamic studies, international politics and culture and North-South relations is highly respected and referred to widely in the academic world.
Maine couple wins 15th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship, to take home the "wife's" weight in beer and five times her weight in cash.
NEWRY, MAINE, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 11, 2014) (SUNDAY RIVER) - Maine couple Jesse Wall and Christina Arsenault won the 15th North American Wife Carrying Championship on Saturday (October 11).
Fifty couples raced along a 278-yard (254 meter) course with the women mostly clinging upside down to the men's backs.
The race, which originated in Finland, is intended to evoke the spirit of a legendary Finnish brigand, Rosvo-Ronkainen, who made those who wanted to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks on their backs.
In the modern version, couples race along a track, tackling mud, a pool and hurdles, with the men carrying the women on their backs. According to organizers, most "wives" are volunteers.
Wall and Christina Arsenault have been competing since 2010, with two second-place results and two third-place finishes, before claiming their first North American title with a time of 1:04.10.
"It feels absolutely incredible to finally be the winners," said Wall. "As a local guy who skis Sunday River all the time-and I'm getting married here next June. So it will probably be the last time."
Wall and Arsenault took home Arsenault's weight in Shock Top beer and Johnny Appleseed cider as well as five times her weight in cash for a grand total of $482.50.
, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 9, 2014) (REUTERS) - A group of dads makig plastic rockets may not seem like a radical social experiment, but the idea of classes in learning to play with your children in London is, say organisers, to curtail the impact of work on family life.
The idea is that fathers can learn more creative and educational play skills so that they can spend more time with their children.
The so-called Dad Academy was launched after recent research revealed many British fathers are struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
32 per cent of dads told researchers there were many playtime activities they had never done due to being too busy with their careers.
"By the time you get home all you have enough time to do is put your son to bed and then you have the weekends but you have to do DIY, it's nice to be able to come here to learn a skill and then be able to share that with your son," said father Emmanuel Davis.
"I've got a three year old girl and she will love this sort of thing, so yeah we will have fun hopefully setting it off tomorrow," said another dad Daniel Jenner.
The leader of the class, which involved making plastic rockets, was scientist and TV presenter DrYan Wong.
"The main thing that is going to be structuring your child's view of the world and their education is the attitude of their parents and I am a scientist, I like science, and I would hope to sort of give that exceitement about the natural world and pass that onto my children and I would hope other people would too," he said.
The church "marriage" of a 12-year old Norwegian girl named Thea to a 37-year-old man is staged by children's development organisation Plan International to highlight the issue of child brides around the world., NORWAY (OCTOBER 11, 2014) (REUTERS) - The church "marriage" of a 12-year old Norwegian girl named Thea to a 37-year-old man was staged on Saturday (October 11) by children's development organisation Plan International to highlight the issue of child brides around the world.
Having entered the church and gone to the altar with her husband-to-be, the staged ceremony was interrupted by "protesters" - a group of actors and volunteers, intervening on Thea's behalf and chanting "stop the wedding!" and so the nuptials never took place.
In the period leading up to the mock wedding, blonde-haired, green-eyed pre-teen Thea blogged about her feelings about her upcoming union, from her make-up and hair for the big day to having to abandon her dreams of becoming a veterinarian as she will have to leave school as soon as she is married.
Peppered with "selfies" and images from her daily life, Thea's blog covered a wide range of subjects, from her love of horses and boy band One Direction to her thoughts about having sex with her "husband" and becoming pregnant at a young age.
Thea will now go back to being a normal Norwegian 12-year-old, but organisers Plan International say that thousands of others around the world won't be so lucky.
According to Plan International, 14 million young girls are married globally every year before they reach the age of 18 - an average of 39,000 per day. The organisation says that child brides are subjected to physical and emotional violence and often become pregnant at a young age, leading to physical and mental health problems.
"I think it's important because I want to show more people how bad the underage marriage situation really is," the 12-year-old said about her participation in the campaign. "There are like 39000 underage girls getting forced into married every day, and I want to help spread the word about how awful underage marriage is."
The campaign by Plan Norway spread through social media, with some observers believing that the wedding plans were real.
In reality, Thea would never have been able to legally marry in Norway at the age of 12 - like most European countries, the legal age for marriage there is 18, or 16 with the permission of parents and the county governor.
CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 10, 2014) (REUTERS) - Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon and Jane Fonda were among the honorees promoting female empowerment at the Power of Women Luncheon in Beverly Hills on Friday (October 10).
Ordinarily the talk would be all about them but instead most people on the red carpet were abuzz about Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace prize win earlier that morning.
"Yes, I was so excited. I woke up to an email this morning that said that Malala won the Nobel Peace prize. Not only is it incredible that she accomplished this but she's the youngest person ever, at 17 years old, to win the Nobel Peace prize. So, I woke up my daughter who is the first person who ever gave me Malala's book and I said, she won today, she won the Nobel Peace prize, so Ava was really excited," says actress Reese Witherspoon.
Witherspoon attended the event as an honoree for her work with the Malala Fund, promoting education for girls everywhere.
Viola Davis, who was recognized for her work with Hunger Is, raising awareness and funds for children living in poverty, was equally excited for Malala's recognition.
"Awesome I think. I heard that, my husband and I watching it this morning. And to think, you know, it was just a short time ago that she was injured and you didn't even know if she was going to live. And not only has she lived, now she's living a life even bigger than herself and impacting the world. I mean, we're talking about it here inCalifornia so I think it's wonderful," says Davis.
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating girls' right to education, along with Indian campaigner against child trafficking and labor Kailash Satyarthi, won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
Yousafzai, 17, is the youngest Nobel Prize winner.
It's supercute to the extreme - an entire museum exhibit dedicated to the past and present of Hello Kitty, just in time for her 40th birthday.CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 10, 2014) (REUTERS) - It'll be a 40th birthday to remember for Hello Kitty, and what more could a supercute girl want than an entire museum exhibition dedicated to her?
At the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, a retrospective exhibit looks at the wild life of the hugely popular mouthless cat who has become a global symbol of Japan's culture of "kawaii," or cute. From the very first use of Hello Kitty on a vinyl miniature coin purse, to giant artistic renditions of her as Cleopatra ("Kittypatra" by artist Simone Legno) and an anime-inspired action hero ("Super Space Titan Kitty" by Colin Christian), "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of HelloKitty" will satisfy her biggest fans of all ages. Even Abraham Lincoln likes Hello Kitty, or at least it would seem that way, from a portrait by Scott Scheidly that hangs in the exhibit.
Since her creation in 1974 in a design contest in Japan, she has won over legions of international supporters who admire her message of love, friendship, and caring, including Janet Hsu, the President and COO of Sanrio, the company that owns HelloKitty. Hsu remembers her admiration for the character when she was growing up.
"I grew emotionally connected with her through the years. The reason why she inspires me is she's a friend to everyone, she's a unique companion to each person," says Hsu. "She touches every part of your world, like if you saw the entire exhibition, you could literally go from morning to evening with everything Hello Kitty, and she's very relevant, she represents friendship, love, thoughtfulness."
The exhibit features two parts - a retrospective of Hello Kitty's past, including her various used marketing everything from plush toys to aircraft, and a contemporary take on her life through an array of paintings, prints, sculptures and media from artists around the world.
"I certainly see Hello Kitty very much in step with the popularity of Japanese pop culture in the United States, and certainly she was at the forefront of a kind of certainly a cute culture coming from Japan that grew in the United States," says Dr. Yano, who is also the author of "Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific."
The love for Hello Kitty was so deep for Jamie Rivadeneira, the curator of the contemporary section, that she has built a life and career out of it. Eight years ago she decided to open JapanLA, a retail store in Los Angeles that is dedicated to Japanese cuteness, with Hello Kitty as a centerpiece. She says artists are drawn to Hello Kitty because they can take liberties with her character.
"She's a really good blank canvas, she doesn't have a mouth, she doesn't really have a personality written for her, like a story. She's made to put on product, so I feel like the artist can speak through her really easily, and project their emotions and their feelings on her," says Rivadeneira, who co-curated the exhibit.