Liberia: Officials Who Left During Ebola Crisis Ousted

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dismissed members of her cabinet who fled during the Ebola outbreak. (Photo: Google Images)

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dismissed members of her cabinet who fled during the Ebola outbreak. (Photo: Google Images)

AllAfrica.com is reporting that Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered the dismissal of some senior and junior level cabinet members that left the country amid reports of an Ebola outbreak.

The author writes:

“A week ago Sirleaf gave cabinet ministers out of the country one week to return home or they would be considered dismissed, except for those with serious health-related excuses.

Information Minister Lewis Brown said although the list of those affected is still being compiled, it includes the Chairman of the National Investment Commission and several deputy and assistant ministers.

Critics say the exodus of government officials has added to a state of uncertainty in the country.

Brown said President Sirleaf wants all her cabinet ministers at home to join the fight against Ebola.”

Clearly, President Johnson Sirleaf is not having it.

Read more at AllAfrica.com.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

Ferguson: Students Return to School Following Brown Funeral

A child protests police brutality during Michael Brown uprisings. (Photo Credit: Google Images)

A child protests police brutality during Michael Brown uprisings. (Photo Credit: Google Images)

Shantana Stewart of NewsOne.com is reporting that Ferguson school officials have welcomed back students following the internationally televised burial services for unarmed teen Michael Brown. Brown, 18 was shot and killed on August 9 by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Classes were cancelled due to civil unrest related to the suspicious circumstances surrounding Brown’s death.

Stewart reports:

“In spite of the recent unrest of the Ferguson community — with the burial of Michael Brown, the teen who was fatally shot in an incident involving Ferguson police, happening on Monday — Jana Shortt, director of communications and marketing for the Ferguson-Florissant School District (FFSD), said the district is prepared to receive its students.

Last week, the FFSD’s 2,000 employees participated in the Response, Intervention, Support and Education crisis training, so they would be better prepared to meet students’ emotional needs.

Besides the district’s normal staff of counselors, Great Circle therapists were also there on Day 1 to lend a helping hand.

‘Well, what we are hoping to provide here is a sense of normalcy, getting back to school is something students and staff are ready for,’ Shortt said. ‘There will be talks with children and conversation will be taking place in class. The district will be here to have those conversations.’”

Read more at NewsOne.com.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

R.I.P. Michael Brown: Slain Unarmed Teenager Laid to Rest; Watch Funeral Live

michael-brown-funeral-to-be-held-monday

Slain unarmed teenager Michael Brown’s graduation picture. (Photo: Google Images)

Funeral services for Michael Brown, the slain unarmed teenager killed on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, MO by police officer Darren Wilson. Mourners are gathered at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO. Watch live video of the funeral below:

Rest in peace Michael.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

Egypt, Iran and Amnesty International Criticize US Over Ferguson Unrest

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 8.04.16 AM

Aljazeera is reporting that countries often criticized for human rights violations, especially as it relates to quashing protestors rights, are criticizing the United States for its handling of protesters in Ferguson.

The author writes:

“On Sunday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commented of the ongoing demonstrations on his Facebook and Twitter (link is external) accounts. Below is an image posted (link is external) on Khamenei’s Facebook page with a quote, ‘Look, in a country that claims to support freedom and human rights, the problem of racial discrimination has not been solved yet.’ On Tuesday, Egypt’s foreign ministry called on the US to exercise restraint in its handling of the protests, mirroring language the US has used with Egypt in the past. State-run media outlets in China and Russia also joined the criticism.”

Read more at Aljazeera.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

Teens Develop ‘Five-O’ App to Track Police Brutality

Decatur, GA teen siblings Christian, 16, Caleb 14 and Asha 15 created the 5-0 app. (Photo Credit: Google Images)

Decatur, GA teen siblings Christian, 16, Caleb 14 and Asha 15 created the 5-0 app. (Photo Credit: Google Images)

Ryan Grenoble of The Huffington Post is reporting that teens have created ‘Five-O’, a mobile app “that empowers citizens ‘to record and store data from every encounter with law enforcement.’”  The data  can then be collected and shared in an effort to hold individual police officers and police departments accountable.

Genoble writes:

‘”We’ve been hearing about the negative instances in the news, for instance most recently the Michael Brown case, and we always talk about these issues with our parents,’ 16-year-old Ima Christian — who created the app with siblings Caleb, 14, and Asha, 15 — told Business Insider, explaining the inspiration behind the program. ‘They always try to reinforce that we should focus on solutions. It’s important to talk about the issues, but they try to make us focus on finding solutions. That made us think why don’t we create an app to help us solve this problem.’ In addition to the Yelp-like police rating system, the app includes a “know your rights” section, complete with information from the American Civil Liberties Union.”

The teens, who learned to code from various online programs, also plan to use the app to highlight positive police officers and departments. They hope highlighting those officers and departments will help them model good behavior and practices for other departments.

The app is available for download for Samsung devices. The app is still awaiting approval from the Apple Store.

Read more at Huffington Post.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

George Tandy, Jr.: “Nothing lasts without a strong foundation.”

Singer and musician George Tandy, Jr. (Photo Credit: Ryan O’Neil Milton/INform Magazine)

Singer and musician George Tandy, Jr. (Photo Credit: Ryan O’Neil Milton/INform Magazine)

At a recent live broadcast of The-Steve Harvey Morning Showfrom Georgia World Congress Center, the comedian and talk show host declared before his massive audience that George Tandy, Jr. is “a bad boy.”

The transparent singer, songwriter and keyboardist croons on-stage with undeniable sincerity and clarity. Reminiscent of a classically trained pianist, Tandy’s fingers delicately glide and caress the keys. At the same time, the multi-talented performer attacks his instrument with high octane tenacity as an ode to an arena rocker.

Almost immediately following Tandy’s jaw-dropping two-song performance, he jumps off of the stage and lands into a group hug from his immediate family. “You got talent,” declares Harvey. “You came out here and did what I wanted you to do.”

Tandy is indeed well on his way to becoming one of current R&B and soul music’s most unorthodox talents. His debut LP, The Foundation, is an 11-song soundscape: combining jazz, rock, alternative, hip hop, gospel, blues, reggae and folk into a pleasant, 50-minute listening experience.

“As a new artist, I wanted to create something that was timeless because I plan on being around for a little while,” says Tandy. “My first introduction to the world needs to be something 30 or 40 years from now you can still play.”

Being honest and kind are Tandy’s musical and ethical core values. The Virginia Beach native’s current single, “March,” is an encouraging, piano-driven ballad built with a refraining drum bridge.

The song’s subject matter addresses perseverance despite failure. The album title, Tandy says, directly correlates to his musical integrity.

“I listen to everything, and I wanted to make sure everybody could feel my influences,” says Tandy wearing a teen idol smile and matching dimples. “Nothing lasts without a strong foundation. All of it influences me to this day.”

The 32-year-old avid reader has an idiosyncratic approach to crafting songs. These days, Tandy ironically doesn’t listen to music as much as he once did. Rhythms and melodies, on the other hand, are what fuel his creativity.

“One word will trigger a whole song,” says Tandy. “I’m in tune with my emotions to the point I know how to communicate them. Melodies are always popping up in my head.”

“I can hear them in people’s conversation. There’s a vibe there that can trigger something,” adds Tandy.

The performer has music and performance in his DNA. Tandy’s father is a jazz keyboardist. His mother is a singer and vocal coach. Originally playing the clarinet as a kid, a then-introverted Tandy used to sing and play music with his siblings.

The self-proclaimed “kid with a keyboard that loves music and people” relocated to Miami to pursue music at the insistence of his mother. He spent eight years as a hip hop dancer. Following that stint, Tandy became a barista at Starbucks Coffee.

Determined to make music his livelihood, Tandy recorded a demo and regularly performed at amateur nights. His fellow Starbucks partners were quite encouraging once they figured out he could sing and play by ear.

“They would play my music over the speakers sometimes,” says Tandy resting comfortably on a leather sofa. “The managers would show up to shows. The relationships I’ve built along the way is the real foundation.”

One random day at Starbucks, Tandy handed off his demo along with an iced venti black tea to RedStar Entertainment CEO Cima Georgevich. The musician’s exchange with his regular customer completely changed his fate.

“You treat people one-on-one the same way you treat anybody that walks into your house,” says Tandy. “Do what you need to do in order to do what you want to do. Be kind to everybody. You never know who somebody is.”

When Tandy walks through the doors of famed Atlanta record store Moods Music, the charismatic musician greets everyone in the store. He gives everyone hugs and handshakes.

As he sits on the store’s leather sofa, he mimics and pokes fun at Starbucks customers ordering custom beverages. He segues into eloquently articulating how he draws from the premier coffee purveyor’s guiding principles to address his intentions to share his music with audiences.

“It’s helped me to learn how to value each individual one at a time,” says an extremely personable Tandy. “When they walk in, they get an experience instead of a transaction.”

Tandy had a deal before RedStar/Republic Records, but things didn’t work out. The optimistic singer prefers not to dwell on that experience. He barely goes into any detail about the deal other than to say he was treated “less than human.”

“We already know what industry we’re in and how it can be,” says Tandy. “But can we be the example of what’s possible in a positive way and be successful?”

The morning following Tandy’s close to two-hour in-store appearance, his exceptional talents bring the massive audience to its feet. The room erupts with thunderous applause and euphoria after he performs “March.”

Serenading the room about an hour before Grammy winner John Legend sits behind the piano, Harvey reiterates to Tandy that he definitely delivered an impressive set.

Tandy, on the other hand, has his eyes set on having longevity. The 10 years he spent pursuing a professional music career are starting to pay off.

“There are millions of people who would love to be in the position I’m in because of the efforts that I put in and the relationships I’ve attached to my life,” he says.

“I care a lot about people and music, so that’s the real foundation.”

This post was written by Christopher A. Daniel, pop cultural critic and music editor for The Burton Wire. He is also a contributing writer for Urban Lux Magazine and Blues & Soul Magazine. Follow Christopher @Journalistorian on Twitter.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

OITNB: Uzo Aduba Wins First Emmy

Actress Uzo Aduba wins Emmy for portrayal of 'Crazy Eyes' on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. (Google Images)

Actress Uzo Aduba wins Emmy for portrayal of ‘Crazy Eyes’ on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. (Google Images)

Uzo Aduba as 'Crazy Eyes.' (Google Images)

Uzo Aduba as ‘Crazy Eyes.’ (Google Images)

Aduba gives her celebrated Netflix series its first acting kudo at the Emmys, and was one of the streaming service’s seven awards announced during the evening.

“‘I don’t know how to say how incredibly impressed I am to be a part of this show day in, day out,’ said a teary-eyed Aduba from the podium after presenter Morgan Freeman handed the awestruck actress her award.

Backstage, the 33-year-old found herself on the verge of crying once again. ‘I feel so full, that’s why the tears come out,’ she told reporters, adding: ‘I’m stuffed. My cup runneth over right now. Mission accomplished, thank you.’”

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

CARICOM to Unify Caribbean Business Rules

Caricom Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana. (Photo Credit: Google Images)

Caricom Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana. (Photo Credit: Google Images)

Caribbean 360 is reporting that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has begun working towards creating a unified framework within which companies and other businesses can be established and operate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). A consultancy group has been appointed to oversee the project along with  Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education (AESE).

The author writes:

“CARICOM heads are striving to ensure that the rules for establishing and operating businesses in one country apply throughout the CSME. The two year consultancy started last month, with funding through the 10th European Development Fund and is expected to be completed by July 2016.”

In addition to streamlining business rules, the initiative hopes to regulate competition, strengthen consumer protection and to create a structure for start-ups.

Read more at Caribbean 360.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

Nigeria: Ebola Experimental Drug Hopes Dashed

Photo Credit: NaturalNews.com

Photo Credit: NaturalNews.com

AllAfrica.com is reporting that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that reports of the experimental drug for treating Ebola is a pesticide and should not be used to prevent, treat or cure Ebola. Reports that nano-silver could treat or prevent the disease were widely reported, but the FDA says the claims are not true. The author writes:

“The US agency said it had received consumer complaints about the Ebola claims. ‘Individuals promoting these unapproved and fraudulent products must take immediate action to correct or remove these claims or face FDA action,’ it said.

Silver has been used as antibacterial for centuries. Tiny silver particles known as nano-silver have controversially been incorporated into a variety of consumer products such as socks and bedding to help block odors caused by bacteria and mold.”

Many had pinned their hopes on nano-silver curing the disease which experts fear may reach epidemic levels in Nigeria and Liberia if not cured.

Read more at AllAfrica.com.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

Mya Aeten-White: Howard University Student Shot During Ferguson Protests

Photo Credit: Mya Aeten-White's Instagram page.

Photo Credit: Mya Aeten-White’s Instagram page.

Manny Fantis of WUSA is reporting that Mya Aeten-White, a 2012 Howard University graduate, who was shot during the Ferguson protests, will recover from her injuries. Aeten-White says she was shot in the head on Wednesday when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowds of protestors who had gathered to protest the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Fantis writes:

“Mya White shared a photo on Instagram of her face scraped and bruised and with her neck in a brace.

On Thursday, she shared a post that read: ‘We don’t die. We multiply.’ That post was shared thousands of times and her story is becoming one of the many viral social media stories from the situation in Ferguson.”

Aeten-White was attending graduate school in St. Louis. She posted on her Instagram account that she was “okay” and in police custody.

Howard University issued a statement on Aeten-White via Twitter:

Photo Credit: Howard University/Twitter

Photo Credit: Howard University/Twitter

Read more on WUSA or EURWeb.

Like The Burton Wire on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TheBurtonWire.