Utah man accused of attacking police with samurai sword was shot in the back: autopsy

Darrien Hunt image via Facebook

Darrien Hunt image via Facebook

The audacious behavior of policemen around the country, toward minorities (mainly African American men) seems a bit suspect.

 I don’t like conspiracy theories but I can’t help but wonder why all of this now?  People on the right are applauding the police who kill these guys by trolling social media and lauding their “heroism” by giving the policemen who are killing these young Black men carte blanche to continue the killing…

The media trolls the schools to get discipline records for a victim because even if he was innocent this time, he was probably a thug anyway.  That mentality is killing our young Black men and it needs to stop.

The Raw Story

African-American man,  shot to death by Utah police who claimed he attacked them with a samurai sword, was shot in the back, according to an independent autopsy requested by the man’s  family.

22-year-old Darrien Hunt, was shot and killed by police while walking around with the  souvenir martial arts weapon outside a convenience store in Saratoga Springs, Utah, last Wednesday.

According to the Associated Press, the autopsy concluded that Hunt was shot “numerous times, all from the rear.”

“This is consistent with statements made by witnesses on the scene, who report that Darrien was shot to death while running away from police,” family attorney Randall Edwards said in a statement. “It would appear difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile these facts with a story that Darrien was lunging toward the officers when he was shot.”

According to a statement issued by Utah County Chief Deputy Attorney Tim Taylor, “When the officers made contact with Mr. Hunt, he brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword, at which time Mr. Hunt was shot. There is currently no indication that race played any role in the confrontation between Mr. Hunt and the police officers.”

Bystanders have disputed the police account, with one, Jocelyn Hansen, saying  Hunt appeared to be having a normal conversation with the officers.

“They had stopped him, and they were all having a conversation,” said  Hansen, who was parked nearby at the gas station. “It didn’t look escalated or heated at all.”

Hansen said she had turned away before hearing  gunfire.

“When I looked up, I saw the young man turning away from the police, and I saw what I thought were two 2×4’s in his hands, one in each hand,” Hansen said. “Then I saw police officers running after him, and they could have both had guns, but I saw one for sure with his gun extended.”

According to Hunt’s aunt, the sword was a 3-foot long toy sword with a rounded-edge bought at an Asian gift store.

“No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away,” Hunt said.

Another aunt of Hunt, Cindy Moss, who is white, agreed that race played a part in the shooting.

“It’s difficult to make any sense out of the situation any other way (than race),” Moss said in an interview with  The Salt Lake Tribune. “The police make it sound like it was a big sword he was wielding. I’m offended that they even say he was armed with a weapon.”

Police have issued a statement that the shooting was not racially motivated, calling it, “completely unfounded and speculative.”

According to authorities, the shooting is still under investigation.

Rosie Returns to ‘The View’: A Bold, Intelligent, and Sometimes Boring Premiere

Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace join The View co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell to take group promo pictures — watch them interact now! Credit: ABC/Lou Rocco


The Daily Beast

The second coming of Rosie O’Donnell makes for a smarter View, with Rosie Perez, Nicole Wallace, and Whoopi Goldberg along for the new season. But is ‘smart’ also entertaining?

The bitch is back.

At least that’s what we’ve been promised, right?

Based on the lead-up to Monday’s season premiere of a brand new, Barbara Walters-less The View, you’d have thought Rosie O’Donnell had sent a house to fall on Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd to make way for her highly touted return. TV fans salivated at the idea of O’Donnell returning to the outlet where she was at her most explosive (and therefore most captivating) all those years ago when she famously warred with Elisabeth Hasselbeck before quitting the show.

A big Variety cover previewing her View comeback could easily have been press material for American Horror Story: Coven—there’s a storm brewing, the cover seemed to say, and the Wicked Witch of Daytime was the one conjuring it. (This is not, of course, to disparage O’Donnell at all. Lest we forget, the Wicked Witch was always the most complex, misunderstood, intelligent, and most fun to watch character in The Wizard of Oz.)

But something strange happened when O’Donnell returned to the table, this time sitting alongside veteran moderator Whoopi Goldberg, actress Rosie Perez, and longtime Republican strategist Nicole Wallace. Forget everything you used to know or expect from The View, a show famous for its cacophonous squawking, uncomfortable vacillation between serious news and tips for bra shopping, impossible to decipher bickering, and hosts who think the world is flat.

The conversation this time—which spanned Ray Rice and domestic abuse, whether Hillary Clinton should pander to women in the upcoming election, and why Robin Williams’s suicide spotlights the need to destigmatize mental illness—was jarringly serious. The debate was measured, ordered. Everyone waited for their turn to talk, and when they spoke—brace yourself—their opinions were thoughtfully constructed and well-informed.

“Some things never change,” Goldberg said early on in the episode, “and that’s great conversations with great women.” And that’s certainly true. The debate was as diverse and the opinions as passionately held as ever.

But after so many years of vilifying Elisabeth Hasselbeck for her extreme conservative points of views, lampooning the harpy nature of the panel’s clucking hens, and clamoring for a roundtable of smart and respected hosts who never posed for Playboy, this current View is almost unrecognizable. Yes, we got everything we thought we wanted in a new View. But now we should wonder whether we should have wanted it in the first place. Because this respectable, illuminating View was also—let’s face it—kind of boring.

As it turns out, The View is, first and foremost, a TV show. Does anyone want to watch an intelligent The View?

Cautiously, after this first hour, we’ll say yes. First, because it was so refreshing—transfixing, almost, in the surprise of it all—to watch an entire episode of the show that was so civilized and on which everyone was so thoughtful. Second, while the premiere carried an atypically serious tone (and, my god, was this hour so damned serious), there were hints of the whimsy, wily mischief, and godforsaken insanity that have made this show something to love all these years, and inspired so many, as Goldberg rightly noted, blatant rip-offs.

The premiere began, for example, with an utterly ridiculous skit that had the new cast bowing down and kissing the hand of Barbara Walters, who then gave them her blessing. This skit was fantastic for several reasons, including the fact that Barbara Walters was so blatantly not in the same room as the hosts when they were shooting this and they were using a body double, and second because it really is a gift to us all when Barbara Walters is asked to act. It is glorious in its stilted awkwardness, and should be cherished.

A brand new set was then unveiled as Goldberg welcomed us to the new season. (O’Donnell reportedly had the entire studio moved to a new location in New York City because she thought the old one was drab and dusty.) The new set was orange and teal and much more intimate than recent iterations, returning to the idea these hosts are supposed to be part of the conversation with women, not performing a conversation in front of women.

But if anyone was wondering if O’Donnell’s demeanor would be different this time around—or, at least different from the demeanor that’s been exacerbated in the press—the answer was immediate when the comedian began the show sitting barefoot and cross-legged on her chair, clearly at ease. Of course, some things never change, which is a wonderful thing as O’Donnell revealed (and revealed and revealed) that she was going to be as gung-ho about oversharing as ever, talking about her sciatica and showing off her pedicure and everything from her new marriage to her weight loss.

Some people may think we wanted O’Donnell back on The View because she’s not afraid to be combative when she believes in something, and that’s certainly true. But related to that, and the real reason she’s so great, is that she’s not afraid to reveal anything and everything about herself if she thinks that it’s in the interest of making a point. And make a point she does, often, and always with the sense of humor we’ve come to love. She’s great on this show because she’s vulnerable, open, smart, and funny, in a way that no other host has managed to replicate.

As for her new host-mates, Perez was clearly nervous, stuttering occasionally and losing track of her train of thought as she spun stories. But when she came out with a zinger, they were great, and she showed hints of the sassiness that people were probably hoping she’d bring to the table. With more comfort and more time, that will likely come out more.

And Wallace is likely to be the breakout star of this season. For one, a lot of attention is always paid to the View host who has the opposing view, which, as is customary on this show, is the Republican one. But there’s a warmth and easiness in the way that Wallace tells her stories and states her opinions that makes her instantly appealing. She has the same self-awareness that makes O’Donnell so relatable, which will no doubt continue to be refreshing when she talks about her political party’s more ridiculous clowns—people that the likes of Hasselbeck and McCarthy almost always had blanket, hard-to-watch defenses of. An “Ask Me Anything” segment that had her divulging the stories behind some of the most controversial moments of her time with the Bush White House was easily the most entertaining of the premiere.

Goldberg, however, is the same. A brand new panel has clearly hardly fazed her, because the appeal of Whoopi Goldberg is that you get the idea that it would take a bomb going off underneath her seat to even make her blink. She’s the same blend of silliness, seriousness, and what the hell am I even doing here? that’s made her the perfect moderator all this time. The first thing out of her mouth when giving an update about her life might be about a joke about a fart, but that doesn’t mean she’s not going to be earnest and steadfast when the segment transitions to a conversation about child abuse.

Yes, there was a conversation about child abuse. And one about domestic abuse. And depression. And suicide. And then, when that was all done, a segment about all the celebrities we lost over the summer. The episode ended with a tribute to Joan Rivers that left Rosie O’Donnell sobbing. This was a serious episode of The View, guys.

But they all won’t be. And when they’re not—when they’re the ludicrous and inane segments that love and also dread from The View—it’s kind of a comfort, and even exciting, that these four very intelligent, very congenial women with an abundance of respect for each other are going to be the ones helming it.

The bitch is back, sure, if you want to reduce O’Donnell’s return to that. But so is a watchable The View.

Walker Wants To Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients


TPM LiveWire

In an interview with the Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel, Walker said he realized that establishing a drug test requirement would not be in line with the federal government’s stance.

“We believe that there will potentially be a fight with the federal government and in court,” he said. “Our goal here is not to make it harder to get government assistance; it’s to make it easier to get a job.”

Though Walker pitched it as job creation policy, his opponent’s campaign said the proposal is just about the 2014 election.

According to the Huffington Post, requiring drug tests for welfare recipients is popular nationally.

Florida passed a law that required welfare recipients to be drug tested in 2011, but it was struck down by a federal judge last year.

Georgia also recently passed a welfare drug testing law, but in July Gov. Nathan Deal (R) delayed implementation of the law while Florida waits for a federal appeals judge’s ruling on its drug testing law.

Kirsten Gillibrand not buying Rush Limbaugh’s ‘chickifying’

Gillibrand’s letter to the NFL was panned by Limbaugh. | AP Photos


Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ripped Rush Limbaugh on Friday, after the conservative radio host said the uproar over Ray Rice and domestic abuse is just liberals “feminizing” and ‘chickifying’ the NFL.

“Well if he believes criminals should be playing in the National Football League, he’s got a serious issue. These are criminal cases of assault and battery and sexual violence. Our players are role models, we don’t young kids looking up to these folks who are beating their wives. It’s not right. And so we should have a zero tolerance policy. And he’s wrong,” Gillibrand said Friday on CNN in response to Limbaugh’s comments.

On his show earlier Friday, Limbaugh slammed a letter sent by 16 female senators—including Gillibrand—to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for a zero tolerance policy toward domestic abuse.

“We’re feminizing this game. It’s a man’s game and if we keep feminizing this game we’re gonna ruin it. If we keep chickifying this game we’re gonna ruin it,” Limbaugh said, according to a transcript.

Echoing comments he made earlier this week, Limbaugh added that politics have gotten too embroiled with sports—specifically with the NFL, which he said has “become nothing more than the latest extension of the Democrat Party leftist agenda.”

“Of course I’m against wife beating. I’m also against mixing social issues with broadcast of sporting events, too. But that line has been blurred now,” the radio host said.

“Sorry, this is not why I watch football. This is going to be the death of this sport. It is no longer an escape. It’s no longer about great athletes. It’s no longer about amazing athletic achievement and drama,” Limbaugh said. “The never-ending refrain on the Washington Redskins name, and now this? Guns, gays, domestic violence, these are topics that I frankly don’t be need to be preached to about. I don’t need to be lectured, and I certainly don’t want to turn on a football game and end up being accused of all kinds of social misbehavior.”

Lawmakers have weighed in since the released of footage Monday that showed Rice knocking his wife unconscious in a February incident inside a casino elevator. Rice’s contract with the Baltimore Ravens was terminated and the running back was suspended indefinitely by the NFL shortly after the video became public. In the days since, eyes have turned to Goodell and the league, with some—like Sen. Richard Blumenthal—calling for the commissioner’s resignation.

When asked if Goodell should resign, Gillibrand said the commissioner should “lead the reform.” However, she added if it is true that Goodell was aware of the extent of Rice’s violence toward his wife, then he should go.

“He has to be fired. He has to step down because he won’t have the legitimacy, he won’t have the credibility to reform an organization that’s desperately in need of reform,” Gillibrand said.

10 things you need to know today: September 15, 2014

Just another backyard barbeque in Iowa.

Just another backyard barbeque in Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Week

Arab states offer to launch airstrikes against ISIS, Hillary Clinton triggers more 2016 talk, and more

1. Arab nations offer to hit ISIS with airstrikes
Several Arab governments have committed to carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Obama administration officials said Sunday. The offers came during Secretary of State John Kerry’s week-long trip to the Middle East to drum up support for the expanded fight against the Sunni extremist group. British Prime Minister David Cameron, calling ISIS militants “monsters” for beheading a British aid worker, pledged to support the U.S. effort against ISIS. [The New York Times]


2. Hillary Clinton’s Iowa trip jumpstarts campaign talk
Hillary Clinton returned to Iowa — a crucial early primary-season prize — on Sunday, renewing speculation about the possibility that she plans to make a second run for president. The former secretary of State’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, joined her at an annual steak fry fundraiser held by Sen. Tom Harkin, the state’s powerful Democratic senator, who is retiring after four decades in Congress. “I’m back!” Hillary told supporters. “It’s true. I am thinking about it.” [The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times]


3. White House says it didn’t threaten to prosecute slain journalists’ families
The White House on Sunday denied threatening to prosecute the families of two murdered journalists if they paid ransom to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to win their freedom. U.S. law prohibits ransom payments to terrorists. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on Fox News Sunday that officials merely “made it clear what the law was.” Relatives of the murdered journalists — James Foley and Steven Sotloff — said officials threatened legal action if they tried to free them on their own. [USA Today]


4. Post-truce fighting intensifies in Ukraine
Clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels killed six people in the contested city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. It was the heaviest fighting since a long-term truce took effect 10 days earlier. “It’s not a cease-fire, it’s full-on fighting,” a rebel fighter said. The two sides have shelled each other daily since the cease-fire started, but the exchanges of fire have been far less intense than earlier battles. Each side has blamed the other for violating the peace deal. [The New York Times]


5. European agency picks spot where Rosetta probe will land on comet
The European Space Agency on Monday announced the spot where the Philae lander from its Rosetta spacecraft will put down on the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, 250 million miles from Earth. The site was picked from a list of five sites deemed to be suitable for the risky Nov. 11 landing. Rosetta reached the three-mile-wide “ice mountain” after a 10-year journey. Its spider-like Philae robot will harpoon the surface and lower itself down slowly on a mission to learn more about comets. [BBC News]


6. Sweden’s prime minister quits after election loss
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced Sunday that he would resign after his center-right coalition lost a parliamentary election to opposition Social Democrats. With nearly all of the votes counted, the left-leaning bloc led by Social Democrat Stefan Lofven was ahead with 44 percent of the vote, compared to 39 percent for Reinfeldt’s coalition, which had been in power for eight years. [The Associated Press]


7. Hurricane Odile slams into Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas
Hurricane Odile hit Mexico’s southern Baja California peninsula overnight with top sustained winds of 125 mph. The storm, which weakened over the Pacific before landfall, made a direct hit on the resort city of Cabo San Lucas, dumping more than six months’ rain in one hour. Authorities evacuated coastal areas, moving people into 18 hotels set up as shelters for 30,000 tourists and locals. California storm chaser Josh Morgerman said his hotel’s lobby “exploded in a heap of rubble.” [NBC News]


8. Liberia sacks 10 officials for not returning home to fight Ebola
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has fired 10 senior officials — including six assistant ministers and two deputy ministers — for failing to return from abroad to help with the government’s efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 1,100 people in the West African nation. The officials had been ordered to return in August. In Sierra Leone, a fourth top doctor died on Saturday. She was the 135th health-care worker in the region to die after being stricken while treating Ebola patients. [The Washington Post, Reuters]


9. Actress detained after police allegedly mistake her for a prostitute
Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts, who is African-American, posted on Facebook that Los Angeles police officers briefly handcuffed her after they mistook her for a prostitute because she had kissed her white boyfriend, celebrity chef Brian James Lucas, in public. A police spokesman said Sunday the officers were responding to a complaint that a white man and a black woman were engaged in a sex act in a Mercedes near the gate of the CBS Studio Center in Studio City. Watts said she and Lucas were just “showing affection, fully clothed.” [CNN]


10. U.S. basketball team wins world basketball championship… again
The U.S. men’s basketball team trounced Serbia on Sunday, 129-92, to defend its Basketball World Cup title. The U.S. team, playing without NBA superstars such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, won their games through the tournament by an average 32.5 points. Their closest game was a 21-point win over Turkey. The U.S. team now has won 63 straight games — including 45 in tournament play — qualifying for an automatic spot in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. [The Associated Press]

The Real Threats To America’s Security Are Conservatives Within Our Borders

League of the South |

H/t: Ted


Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat or risk to health or life, status and power, security, or in the case of human beings, anything held valuable. Republicans have made political careers out of inducing fear in the population that became a valuable tool in their crusade against Islam they couched as a war on terror. Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming extremely unpopular at the end of Bush’s reign of terror in 2008, Republicans duly picked up the “Muslim threat” mantle with the election of Barack Obama as President by claiming that the President is a Muslim sympathizer at least, and a likely “jihadist” according to many neo-conservatives in the teabagger movement.

It is no secret Republicans love sending Americans to war, particularly after 2001 when they lumped all Muslims together as an existential threat to this country and embarked on a fear-mongering crusade that America’s greatest enemy was Islam. However, Americans will never hear a Republican, or teabagger, issue even a tepid warning about a very real threat to America; heavily-armed and disgruntled neo-confederates and white supremacists who harbor as intense a hatred for people of color as they do being part of the United States of America. Coupled with a growing religious extremist and anti-government militia movement, the biggest threat to America is not radical Islamists or a foreign power, but homegrown extremists intent on creating an Aryan nation founded on biblical principles.

Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) revealed that a white supremacist neo-confederate group, the League of the South (LOS), is in the process of training a uniformed, paramilitary unit tasked with advancing a second southern secession by any means necessary after years of “only threatening violence against the United States of America.” According to leaked internal documents and anonymous sources within the LOS, as well as leaked internal communications, the LOS secret paramilitary unit has been dubbed “The Indomitables” replete with white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and neo-Nazis.

The SPLC reports that “the Indomitables” were “conceptualized” at a LOS national meeting earlier in the year and apparently is growing quickly with a U.S. Army and Navy veteran in charge of training for the coming race war to create an Aryan nation. The ‘veteran’ often boasts about “earning his red bootlaces; an award in skinhead culture for “drawing blood for the movement.” He also dreams of the coming day he can throw “boot parties for enemies” (African Americans) of the LOS. The white supremacist’s signature photo is an image of himself holding an assault rifle next to a confederate flag.

The League of the South advocates for a new secession and an Aryan society dominated by “European Americans” with a stated goal of creating a “godly” nation ruled by “Anglo-Celtic” (white) elites who establish a Christian theocratic state and dominate African Americans and other minorities. The group’s leader, Michael Hill, believes that “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery,” and that returning to a “political and social system based on kith and kin rather than the idea of the universal rights of man. At its core is a European population.” According to Hill, “If the scenario of America being overrun by hordes of non-whites does not appeal to you, then how is this disaster to be averted? By the people who oppose it rising up against their traitorous elite masters and their misanthropic rule. This is both healthy and Biblical.

Hill claimed last month that the Second Amendment extends to weapons systems, guerrilla warfare applications, and listed the “primary targets” in the fight for an Aryan nation. Hill wrote in an essay that “The primary targets will be political leaders, members of the hostile media, cultural icons, bureaucrats, and other of the managerial elite without whom the engines of tyranny don’t run.” He ended his white supremacist screed by citing the Christian bible; “Blessed be the Lord my strength who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight.

Now, every time there is even a mention of the growing threat of white supremacists pushing a race war, which is what the LOS is proposing in creating an Aryan nation, there is a tendency to minimize the threat as a small group of isolated extremists; nothing could be farther from the truth. If Americans have been paying attention to events across the nation, they know there is a simmering hatred for people of color among a larger segment of the population than they want to admit. The events in Ferguson Missouri where a white police officer brutally murdered an unarmed African American teenager, and the subsequent military response to equally unarmed African American protestors should give Americans a clue there is a deep-seated hatred of people of color in America. Don’t believe it?

In New York police are given free rein to stop and frisk African Americans for no other reason than they are not white. In Arizona, Republicans passed a law giving law enforcement the right to demand brown-skinned people prove they are American, and police across the nation are regularly gunning down unarmed African Americans with impunity. In Southern states Republicans are crusading to disenfranchise African Americans by restricting their right to vote, including recently in Georgia where a Republican state senator is livid that voting rights advocates made it easier for African Americans to cast ballots and wants to shut down the Black vote. Throughout the 2012 general election campaign and ongoing, Republicans demonized African Americans as takers stealing real American’s (read white people) assets. It was no coincidence that Cliven Bundy is a racist that attracted equally racist militias to wage war against the federal government with an African American man as President.

Many Americans errantly assume that the white supremacists threatening a race war, or advocating for an Aryan nation, are restricted to the former Confederacy and that is a gross error. Every state in the Union has neo-Nazi white supremacist sympathizers who cannot accept, and are furious, that America is a diverse and all-inclusive nation. Subsequently, they are more than willing to engage in a race war to create what the League of the South refers to as  “a godly nation ruled by Anglo-Celtic elites to dominate African Americans and people of color.” This is what teabaggers, Republicans, and their ilk refer to when they scream they want to “take America back;” back to a time before the civil rights movement when people of color “knew their place,” were restricted from voting, and were legally forced into subjection to the will of the white Christian elite.

The greatest threat to the security of this country is not from outside its borders, it is from within. There is a good reason Republicans and their conservative cohorts never warn Americans of the threat from white supremacists and it is because they would expose their base as the greatest threat to America. Remember, it was Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who said “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,” but it is not for lack of trying. Obviously, his words were a rallying cry for white supremacists to stop dreaming of a race war and begin paramilitary training to wage a race war and create a nation ruled by “angry white guys.”

Many Americans think there are pockets of racists in different parts of the country and although that may be true, it is a safe bet that every person in America knows at least one angry white person. They are the people who hate immigrants, support law enforcement targeting and killing African Americans, refer to every young Black male as a “thug,” or decry people of color “taking their stuff.” They are predominately conservatives, teabaggers, and more than likely any Republican yearning to take America back to the era when Anglo-Celtic elites dominated African Americans, and since they can hardly accomplish their mission legislatively, they are in training to accomplish it militarily. Tragically, few Americans are paying attention or fear the real threat to national security; angry white guys posing as “real conservatives” whether they are teabaggers, Republicans, or members of the League of the South.

Remember #BringBackOurGirls? This Is What Has Happened In The 5 Months Since


This photo taken from video by Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist network, Monday, May 12, 2014, shows the alleged missing girls abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. (AP Photo) | AP

This is an issue I’ve supported around the internet and in other ways.  I’m sorry to see that virtually nothing has been done in all this time…

The Huffington Post

On the night of April 14, 2014, hundreds of schoolgirls at the Chibok boarding school in northeastern Nigeria awoke to the sound of gunfire. They saw men in camouflage approaching and thought soldiers were coming to save them from a militant attack, according to survivors’ accounts.

Instead, more than 270 of the schoolgirls found themselves in the clutches of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Their abduction sparked global outrage and a huge campaign calling for their rescue, partly propelled by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Sunday marks five months since the girls were kidnapped. Here’s what has happened since.

Not one student has been rescued

In the first days after the abduction, 57 of the girls managed to escape from their captors. But not one has escaped or been rescued since then.

Even though they were reportedly located months ago

In May, a Nigerian military official claimed he knew where the girls were being held. A month later, U.S. surveillance planes also spotted a group that officials believed to be the girls.

Stephen Davis, an Australian cleric and mediator, said in June that a deal to free the girls had fallen apart three different times in one month. He says that powerful people with “vested interests” are working to sabotage a deal, and he has accused Nigerian politicians of funding Boko Haram. Nigeria’s government has defended its approach to the crisis and warned that a rescue effort might risk the girls’ lives.

Other countries have made little progress

According to the Associated Press, it took more than two weeks for Nigeria to accept offers of international assistance to find the schoolgirls.

When other countries did start to help, they didn’t get very far. The U.S. sent 80 troops in late May to coordinate an aerial search from neighboring Chad. Canada, France, Israel and the U.K. also sent special forces to Nigeria. But six weeks later, the Pentagon press secretary announced that the U.S. mission would be scaled back, saying: “We don’t have any better idea today than we did before about where these girls are.”

The troops are still in Chad and the U.S. has surveillance and reconnaissance flightslooking for the girls each week. U.S. officials have expressed concern about sharing intelligence on Boko Haram given the Nigerian military’s poor human rights record.

Meanwhile, the girls’ hometown is still in danger

Residents in Chibok face the unrelenting threat of an attack by militants. In June, aBoko Haram offensive on nearby villages crept within three miles of the town where the girls were kidnapped.

Tragically, at least 11 parents of the kidnapped girls have been killed by militants or died of illness.

And Boko Haram violence rages on

Since April, Boko Haram claims to have taken over at least five towns in northeastern Nigeria, although the military says it has won some of these back. The militant group has also kidnapped at least three more smaller groups of girls as well as dozens ofboys and young men — some of whom were later rescued.

More than 2,100 people are reported to have been killed by Boko Haram since April 14, according to data from the Council on Foreign Relations. And during a span of 10 days in August, some 10,000 people were displaced by fighting in northeastern Nigeria.

Nigeria’s military has buckled under pressure…

Nigeria’s military appears ill-equipped to deal with the challenge. Complaining of a lack of weapons, at least 40 Nigerian soldiers reportedly refused orders to fight Boko Haram in August. And during recent attacks by Boko Haram in border towns, at least 600 Nigerian soldiers reportedly fled to Cameroon. The army claimed that some of the troops were performing a tactical maneuver.

…And been accused of grave human rights abuses

Nigeria’s security forces and state-sponsored militias have long been accused of horrific abuses, including kidnappings, torture and extrajudicial killings. Following the government’s most recent crackdown on Boko Haram, evidence has emerged that authorities have tortured and killed countless civilians accused of being connected to the militant group.

While the country worries about its image problem

Nigeria’s government paid a Washington public relations firm more than $1.2 million to change the media narrative surrounding the schoolgirls’ abduction, according to a June report by The Hill. The country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, recently faced severe backlash after a group campaigning for his reelection started using the hashtag #BringBackGoodluck2015, sparking outrage among groups still campaigning for the girls’ return.

10 things you need to know today: September 14, 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron Pool Photo / Getty Images

The Week

ISIS beheads British aid worker, American sentenced to hard labor in North Korea, and more.

1. ISIS claims to behead British aid worker
ISIS on Saturday released a video purporting to show the group beheading a British man, David Haines, who was abducted last year while working for a humanitarian group in Syria. British Prime Minister David Cameron called the execution an “act of pure evil” and vowed to “hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice.” ISIS previously released videos showing the executions of two American journalists. [CNN, USA Today]


2. U.S. man sentenced in North Korea
North Korea on Sunday sentenced an American man who was detained in the country to six years of hard labor. The Hermit Kingdom’s Supreme Court claimed 24-year-old Matthew Miller, who tore up his passport upon entering the country in April, was guilty of espionage. Miller is one of three Americans known to be held in North Korea. [The Associated Press]


3. ‘Six Californias’ bid fails
A ballot initiative to split California into six separate states failed to attract enough signatures to appear on the ballot in November, according to the secretary of state. However, the bid’s backers claimed they did indeed have enough signatures — they said in July they’d accumulated 1.3 million of them — and would contest the ruling. Funded largely by venture capitalist Tim Draper, the campaign seeks to splinter California into six new entities, including “Silicon Valley” and “West California.” [USA Today]


4. Pope Francis warns of World War III
Pope Francis on Saturday warned that given the recent spate of violence around the globe, the world may be seeing a “piecemeal” World War III. Speaking at a memorial in Italy’s largest military cemetery, Pope Francis decried the rise of ISIS, and mourned the loss of life in Gaza and Ukraine. “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said. [BBC]


5. At least 29 missing in Philippine ferry disaster
At least 29 people are missing after a ferry sank Saturday off the coast of the Philippines. Three are confirmed dead, and another 100 have been rescued, after the ferry sank due to “big waves and strong current,” according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. [CNN,BBC]


6. Australia commits troops to fight ISIS
Australia has committed to send 600 troops to the United Arab Emirates to support the United States’s campaign against ISIS in the Middle East. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the nation would also send up to eight fighter jets and several support vehicles to aid the mission. “We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” Abbott said. [The Guardian]


7. Rescuers search for missing Navy pilot
Search crews are hunting for a Navy pilot who went missing after his plane crashed into another one over the Pacific Ocean. The Navy said it could not release specific details of the crash, but that one pilot had been recovered and was in “fair” condition. The crash took place about 290 miles off of Wake Island. [Wall Street Journal]


8. Obama to visit CDC to discuss Ebola
President Obama on Tuesday will visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Obama will be briefed on the Ebola pandemic in West Africa, as well as on the respiratory illness plaguing parts of the Midwest, the White House said. [CBS]


9. Golfer Greg Norman injures hand in chainsaw accident
Golf legend Greg Norman nearly severed his left hand in a chainsaw accident over the weekend. Norman says he was cutting brush in his yard when the chainsaw slipped and sliced into him. “I was one lucky man today,” he wrote on Instagram, adding, “Still have left hand.” [USA Today, The Associated Press]


10. Jay Z, Beyonce spark pregnancy rumors
Jay Z and Beyonce wrapped up their On the Run tour Saturday in Paris by hinting that they may have a second child on the way. Jay Z reportedly ad libbed the line “cause she pregnant with another one” into one of his songs, and Beyonce then cried when joined on stage by their daughter, Blue Ivy. [The Associated Press]

Senator: ‘We All Get Killed Back Here At Home’ If Obama Doesn’t Send Combat Troops Back Into Iraq


Senate war mongers John McCain and Lindsay Graham have never met a war they didn’t like.  This article focuses on Graham…

Think Progress

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blasted President Barack Obama’s plan to defeat ISIS during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, calling the commander-in-chief “disingenuous and delusional” and warning that Americans will be “killed here at home” unless he sends ground troops into Iraq and Syria to defeat the terrorist threat.

Comparing the estimated 30,000 ISIS fighters to the Nazis, Graham warned that “this idea we’ll never had any boots to defeat them in Syria is fantasy.” He argued that given the growth of the “radical Islamic army” and its control of territory in northern Iraq and Syria, “it’s going to take an army to beat a army.” “This is ISIL versus mankind,” he said.

“To destroy ISIL, you have to kill or capture their leaders, take back their territory, cut off the finances and destroy the capability to regenerate. This is a war we’re fights not a counter terrorism operation,” Graham continued. “This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.” The Unites States has approximately 1,600 soldiers in Iraq advising and assisting Iraqi Security Forces, conducting intelligence operations and surveillance and reconnaissance flights.

Graham’s comments come just hours after the terrorist group released another videopurportedly showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, marking the third time the organization has beheaded a western hostage.

In announcing his strategy on Wednesday, Obama promised to build a global coalition to confront the ISIS threat, step-up air strikes across ISIS strongholds, and asked Congress to authorize $500 million for the training of moderate forces in Syria. But the president ruled out sending ground forces in a combat capacity back into Iraq. “Everybody believes there has to be some ground force on the ground taking the fight to ISIL,” White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough said during an interview on Fox. “If it’s not the Syrian opposition trained by the United States, authorized by the president and the Congress, it will have to be U.S. troops. The president has made a decision on that we’re not going to do that.”