Message to Russia: U.S. Army kicks off major artillery drills across Europe

Message to Russia: U.S. Army kicks off major artillery drills across Europe

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U.S. Army vehicles disembark from a vessel at Albania’s main port of Durres, Saturday, May 1, 2021. Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team were being discharged from the USNS Bob Hope ahead of a two-week training of up … more >

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By Ben Wolfgang

The Washington Times

Monday, May 3, 2021

The U.S. Army this week will kick off a series of major artillery drills across Europe and northern Africa, sending a clear message to Moscow amid a buildup of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border.

Pentagon leaders said the exercises, dubbed “Fires Shock,” will continue over the next six weeks with drills in Estonia, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria and Morocco. Military officials said the initiative will demonstrate that the U.S. and its allies are capable of projecting power throughout Europe.

“From towed artillery to long-range rocket systems, U.S. Army Europe and Africa has the organic ability to rapidly deliver precision fires to support our joint force and NATO allies anywhere in Europe and Africa,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie, commanding general of 7th Army Training Command. “These exercises demonstrate our ability to command and control long-range fires across continents, using a variety of networked and multi-domain communications platforms.”

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Long-range fires are a key component of the Army’s 21st-century battle plan. Victory in any potential conflicts with Russia or China will almost surely rely on America’s ability to strike enemy targets from great distances.

The Fires Shock exercises come amid renewed Russian aggression toward Ukraine. While Russian forces reportedly have begun to pull back from the Ukrainian border, there are still thousands of troops in the area — the most since 2014, when Moscow forcibly annexed Crimea.

Biden administration officials say the situation remains worrisome and that it’s unclear what Russian President Vladimir Putin may do in the coming weeks.

“I can’t tell you that we know Mr. Putin’s intentions,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday evening. “There are any number of things that he could do or choose not to do.  What we have seen in the last few days is apparently a decision to pull back some of those forces, and we’ve some of them, in fact, start to pull back.”

“We’re watching that very, very closely,” Mr. Blinken said. 

Vancouver Sleep Clinic – Zion Lyrics

[Verse 1]
God has given me a job
So I write four-minute songs
I want the world to sing along
Every tribe and every tongue

[Pre-Chorus 1]
Thought I met a girl that was different
But she’s hiding in the filter on her Instagram
Why is everyone somebody else when they get the chance?
I’m just looking for a headline that’s what it says
I’m more afraid of life than I am afraid of death
I used to go for days without leaving bed
They say the Book of Revelation hasn’t started yet
Well I been staring down a beast counting 7 heads

[Chorus]
I thought you really liked me
I guess that I was wrong
‘Till kingdom come, ’till Zion’s sun, I’ll hit that drum
I’m marching on
I thought you really liked me
I guess that I was wrong
‘Till kingdom come, ’till Zion’s sun, I’ll hit that drum
I’m marching on

[Verse 2]
I left my laptop in the rain
Just wanna see the light of day
I lost some songs but that’s ok
There’s just so many things I gotta say

[Pre-Chorus 2]

We been fighting on the way to the promised land
Money just like manna got us separate
Everyone around me always acting like they heaven sent
I know a lot of Africa thinks different
Why’s the preacher flying in a private jet?
Why’s the church running like a business?
I’m feeling like I’m in a big social experiment
I need you more than anything

[Chorus]
I thought you really liked me
I guess that I was wrong
‘Till kingdom come, ’till Zion’s sun, I’ll hit that drum
I’m marching on
I thought you really liked me
I guess that I was wrong
‘Till kingdom come, ’till Zion’s sun, I’ll hit that drum
I’m marching on

[Bridge]
And I couldn’t hear you
And I couldn’t feel you
I prayed for your rescue
Am I on my own?
The heavens are caving
The temple is shaking
I need you to save me (save me, save me)
Save me
Save me

[Outro]
God has given me a job
So I write four-minute songs
I want the world to sing along
Every tribe and every tongue

Israeli attorney general slams Netanyahu’s vaccine diplomacy

Israeli attorney general slams Netanyahu’s vaccine diplomacy

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FILE – In this Nov. 21, 2019 file photo, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reads a statement for media, in Jerusalem. In an official letter to the national security adviser released Monday, March 2, 2021, Mandelblit slammed Israeli Prime Minister … more >

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By ILAN BEN ZION

Associated Press

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s attorney general has warned Benjamin Netanyahu that he cannot single-handedly share the country’s surplus vaccines with far-flung allies in Africa, Europe and Latin America, and that such an important decision cannot be made by the prime minister alone.

In an official letter, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit argues that Netanyahu should have consulted the Cabinet for such a plan. The justice ministry released the letter, addressed to the national security adviser, Meir Ben Shabbat, on Monday.

Netanyahu‘s announcement last week of his decision to share some of Israel‘s vaccine stockpile had caused an uproar and was later frozen, due to legal questions in Israel, but not before thousands of vaccine doses were shipped to Honduras and reportedly the Czech Republic as well.

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Netanyahu has not identified the countries he intended to receive Israeli vaccines, but an Israeli TV station said they included a number of nations supportive of Israel’s claims to the contested city of Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel has immunized over half of its population against the coronavirus in one of the world’s most successful vaccination drives since late December. Netanyahu is casting the country’s vaccination success as a personal accomplishment as part of his campaigning ahead of the upcoming March 23 elections.

The prime minister secured deals with drug makers Pfizer and Moderna to ensure enough supplies for Israel’s 9.3 million people.

But his controversial plan has raised questions at home about Netanyahu’s decision-making as well as his choice to help nations in Africa and Latin America at a time of global shortages, and when the neighboring Palestinian territories are struggling to secure their own vaccine supplies.

Critics say Netanyahu‘s plan illustrates how the prime minister treats the vaccine as an asset that can be used for diplomatic gain.

On Sunday, Israel announced plans to vaccinate tens of thousands of Palestinians who work inside Israel and its West Bank settlements. Earlier, Israel had shared 2,000 vaccines with the Palestinian Authority to protect front-line medical workers in the West Bank.

In his letter, Mandelblit recommends that for “proper and complete government procedure,” any decisions concerning the transfer of Israel‘s vaccines to foreign countries must be made by the relevant authorities.

In light of the importance and diplomatic implications of such a decision, Mandelblit said it was “appropriate that the subject be brought for discussion in the government, Cabinet or in another forum that includes all the relevant ministers in the matter.”

Vaccine roll-out gaps a core concern for G-20 countries

Vaccine roll-out gaps a core concern for G-20 countries

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Indian villagers carry their belongings on their heads and walk towards their village on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India, Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.) more >

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By COLLEEN BARRY

Associated Press

Friday, February 26, 2021

MILAN (AP) –

The uneven distribution of vaccines between wealthier and poorer countries is a key concern of Group of 20 nations as leaders consider how to create even footing for recovery from the pandemic both in economic and health terms, Italy’s economic minister said Friday.

Daniele Franco told a virtual news conference after the meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the G-20 economies that a core priority for the group is “to grant equitable access” to safe vaccines.

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“We will not get back to our normal lives until the virus is eradicated in all countries,” Franco said. He added that the ministers and governors agreed on the necessity of a “bold and global response aimed at curbing the virus diffusion everywhere.”

He said that includes addressing the financing gap in an initiative for equitable distributions of vaccines, diagnostics and treatment for COVID-19. The World Health Organization has put the gap at $22.9 billion.

Franco said the group also addressed the “fragile and uneven” nature of the economic recovery, with a call to strengthen cooperation and coordination among G-20 countries “to put the global economy on a path of stable and sustainable growth.”

“It is essential that we remain vigilant, and learn from previous crises,’’ he said, adding that the participants agreed that “any premature withdrawal of fiscal and monetary support should be avoided.”

Asked about concerns that differences in the vaccine roll-outs even among EU nations and between Europe and the United States might affect the recovery, Franco said the focus was on the clear lag in developing countries, particularly Africa, which will be more difficult to overcome.

The ministers and governors also discussed exploring additional tools to help meet longer-term financing needs in weaker economies, particularly in Africa, that have been more severely hit by the pandemic

Italy last December took over the rotating presidency of the G-20, an international forum bringing together major economies that account for more than 80% of the world’s GDP. Economy and finance ministers will check in on progress on issues in July in Venice, and a global summit is planned for October. Climate change and tax policy are on the agenda for July.

Israel says Equatorial Guinea to move embassy to Jerusalem

Israel says Equatorial Guinea to move embassy to Jerusalem

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FILE – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Leumit Health Care Services vaccination facility and meets Theodor Salzen, the 4 millionth person in Israel to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Netanyahu says Equatorial … more >

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By

Associated Press

Friday, February 19, 2021

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that Equatorial Guinea would move its embassy to Jerusalem in the latest sign of improving ties with African nations.

It would become the third country to move its embassy to the contested city, after the United States and Guatemala. Kosovo and Malawi have also announced plans to open embassies in Jerusalem.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Because of the city’s contested status, most countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv.

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During his term as president, Donald Trump broke with decades of U.S. policy by moving the embassy to Jerusalem in 2018 and recognizing the city as Israel‘s capital. The Palestinian Authority angrily condemned the move and cut off contacts with his administration in response.

Netanyahu said he spoke to Equatorial Guinea‘s President Teodoro Mbasogo by phone and was told that the country would be moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that Israel is continuing to deepen its cooperation with African countries and said that Israel is returning to Africa and Africa is returning to Israel in a big way,” Netanyahu‘s office said in a statement.

Netanyahu has boasted of improving ties with several countries in Africa and Asia that long shunned Israel over the conflict with the Palestinians.

Ethiopia gives UN green light to deploy 25 staff to Tigray

Ethiopia gives UN green light to deploy 25 staff to Tigray

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FILE – In this Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, refugees who fled the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region ride a bus going to the Village 8 temporary shelter, near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan. Life for civilians … more >

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By EDITH M. LEDERER

Associated Press

Monday, February 8, 2021

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – U.N. agencies received approval from Ethiopia’s government Monday to send 25 more staff members to embattled Tigray, a region where the United Nations says hunger is growing and much of the area has been inaccessible to humanitarian workers.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric called the clearance “a first step towards ensuring that aid workers in Tigray can deliver and ramp up the response given the rapidly rising needs in the region.”

A U.N. humanitarian report released Thursday said life for civilians in Tigray has become “extremely alarming” since fighting began in early November pitting Ethiopian and allied forces against those of the Tigray region, which dominated the country’s government for almost three decades before Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. Each side now views the other as illegitimate.

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The government has said well over 1 million people in Tigray have been reached with assistance but some aid workers have reported having to negotiate access with a range of armed actors, even from neighboring Eritrea, and starvation has become a major concern.

As fighting enters its fourth month, international pressure has increased on Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and the anchor of the Horn of Africa, to allow aid workers, journalists and human rights experts into Tigray. Currently, communications are patchy and little is known about the situation for most of its 6 million people.

Dujarric pointed to recent “positive engagements” between the government and senior U.N. officials, including World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley, who just wrapped up a trip to Ethiopia.

Beasley reported that WFP has accepted the government’s request “to help authorities and aid partners transport aid into and within Tigray” and also agreed “to provide emergency food aid for up to one million people in Tigray,” Dujarric said.

The U.N. spokesman said humanitarian workers “are looking forward to receiving approval” for 60 staff members from the U.N. and aid agencies who are in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, ready to go to Tigray, as well as rapid approval of future requests.

According to last week’s report from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which is funded and managed by the United States, “aid workers on the ground indicate a rising in acute malnutrition across the region.” It said that “only 1 percent of the nearly 920 nutrition treatment facilities in Tigray are reachable.”

“Many households are expected to have already depleted their food stocks, or are expected to deplete their food stocks in the next two months,” the report said. It warned that more parts of central and eastern Tigray likely will enter Emergency Phase 4, a step below famine, in the coming weeks. Health care in the region is also “alarmingly limited,” the report said.

In a separate statement, the U.N special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, said she has received reports of serious human rights violations in Tigray, including “extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, looting of property, mass executions and impeded humanitarian access.”

Kerry: US will make up for 4 years of lost action on climate

Kerry: US will make up for 4 years of lost action on climate

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Wind turbines are seen on a dike near Urk, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. A group of scientists, including five Nobel laureates, called Friday for more action to adapt the world to the effects of climate change, drawing comparisons with … more >

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By MIKE CORDER

Associated Press

Monday, January 25, 2021

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The world must take decisive action to build resilience to the devastating effects of climate change, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry told a global virtual summit Monday, pledging that President Joe Biden’s new administration would play its role.

In a video message to the Climate Adaptation Summit hosted by the Dutch government, Kerry said, “We’re proud to be back (in the Paris climate accord). We come back, I want you to know, with humility, for the absence of the last four years, and we’ll do everything in our power to make up for it.”

Biden, in his first hours in office last week, signed an executive order returning the United States to the historic 2015 Paris climate accord, reversing its withdrawal by Donald Trump, who ridiculed the science of human-caused climate change.

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Kerry said the Biden administration is working to announce its own more ambitious target for cutting emissions soon.

Outlining the new administration’s plans to promote climate adaptation, Kerry said it will “leverage U.S. innovation and climate data” to better understand and manage climate-related risks; increase the flow of finance to adaptation and resilience initiatives, work with institutions to improve resilience planning and promote greater collaboration.

Kerry was among world leaders who converged – virtually – on the Netherlands for the summit seeking to galvanize more action and funding to adapt the planet and vulnerable communities to the effects of climate change.

The meeting comes after a year in which the Earth hit or neared record hot temperature levels.

“We saw the heat waves. We saw the fires. We saw the (melting) Arctic,” top NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said earlier this month about the effects of the warming.

“Adaptation is not an option, it is an urgent task for this generation and those to come,” Chile President Sebastián Piñera said in a video message.

The Netherlands-based Global Center on Adaptation last week called on governments and financers around the globe to include funding for adaptation projects in their COVID-19 recovery spending.

World Bank President David Malpass said the bank’s financing for adaptation measures rose from 40% of its climate finance in 2016 to more than over 50% in 2020, “and we’ve committed to making it half of our total climate finance for the next five years.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the necessity of the funding, saying that a recent U.N. report calculated adaptation costs in developing countries to be around $70 billion dollars annually and that they are likely to rise to $280-500 billion in 2050.

“We’ve reached the point where it is an absolute fact that it’s cheaper to invest in preventing damage, or minimizing it at least, than cleaning up,” Kerry said.

Dutch Overseas Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Sigrid Kaag got the ball rolling by announcing that the summit’s host nation will pump 20 million euros ($24 million) into an adaptation fund for the world’s least-developed nations and 100 million euros ($121 million) into a program for sustainable farming in Africa’s Sahel region.

Kaag said by using new and existing adaptation techniques, “we can build a climate-proof future together and promote sustainable economic growth in all parts of Africa.”

President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon warned that if climate change is not reined in it could create “hundreds of millions of climate refugees in Africa by the middle of the century.” He said Africa “has no choice but to adapt and chart a climate resilient future.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson used Monday’s summit to announce a new Adaptation Action Coalition that brings together more than 120 countries along with the European Union and nearly 90 other organizations to double down on climate adaptation efforts.

The Dutch, for example, have centuries of experience in adapting to the threat of water from major rivers that run through the low-lying nation to its long North Sea coast. It shares and exports the know-how around the world to places like flood-prone Mozambique, where Dutch experts have helped strengthen drainage systems and coastal defenses.

___

Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://www.apnews.com/Climate

‘I would never go back’: Horrors grow in Ethiopia’s conflict

‘I would never go back’: Horrors grow in Ethiopia’s conflict

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Abrahaley Minasbo a 22-year-old trained dancer and Tigrayan survivor from Mai-Kadra, Ethiopia, shows wounds on his face and his partially amputated hand, inside a shelter, in Hamdeyat Transition Center near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, eastern Sudan, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Minasbo … more >

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By Nariman El-Mofty and Haleuya Hadero

Associated Press

Monday, December 28, 2020

HAMDAYET, Sudan (AP) — One survivor arrived on broken legs, others on the run.

In this fragile refugee community on the edge of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict, those who have fled nearly two months of deadly fighting continue to bring new accounts of horror.

At a simple clinic in Sudan, one doctor-turned-refugee, Tewodros Tefera, examines the wounds of war: Children injured in explosions. Gashes from axes and knives. Broken ribs from beatings. Feet scraped raw from days of hiking to safety.

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On a recent day, he treated the shattered legs of fellow refugee Guesh Tesla, a recent arrival.

The 54-year-old carpenter came bearing news of some 250 young men abducted to an unknown fate from a single village, Adi Aser, into neighboring Eritrea by Eritrean forces, whose involvement Ethiopia denies. Then in late November, Guesh said he saw dogs feeding on the bodies of civilians near his hometown of Rawyan, where he said Ethiopian soldiers beat him and took him to the border town of Humera.

There, he said, he was taken to a courthouse he said had been turned into a “slaughterhouse” by militia from the neighboring Amhara region. He said he heard the screams of men being killed, and managed to escape by crawling away at night.

“I would never go back,” Guesh said.

Such accounts remain impossible to verify as Tigray remains almost completely sealed off from the world more than 50 days since fighting began between Ethiopian forces, backed by regional militias, and those of the Tigray region that had dominated the country’s government for nearly three decades.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner for political reforms that also marginalized Tigray leaders, continues to reject global “interference” amid pleas to allow unimpeded humanitarian access and independent investigations. The conflict has shaken Africa’s second-most populous country, with 110 million people, and threatens to fray Abiy’s peacemaking in the turbulent Horn of Africa.

“I know the conflict has caused unimaginable suffering,” Abiy wrote last week but argued that “the heavy cost we incurred as a nation was necessary” to hold the country together.

No one knows how many thousands of people have been killed in Tigray since the fighting began on Nov. 4, but the United Nations has noted reports of artillery strikes on populated areas, civilians being targeted and widespread looting. What has happened “is as heartbreaking as it is appalling,” U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said last week.

Now refugees are arriving from areas deeper inside Tigray amid reports that fighting continues in some locations. These newer arrivals have more severe trauma, the doctor Tewodros said, with signs of starvation and dehydration and some with gunshot wounds.

It is the accounts of refugees like Tewodros and Guesh, and civilians who remain in Tigray, that eventually will reveal the scope of abuses that often are carried out along ethnic lines.

“Everyone looks at you and points out the part of you that doesn’t belong to them,” said Tewodros, who is of both Tigrayan and Amhara backgrounds. “So if I go to Tigray, they would pick up that I’m Amhara because Amhara is not a part of them. When I go to Amhara, they would pick up the part of Tigray because Tigray is not a part of them.”

Such differences have become deadly. Many ethnic Tigrayan refugees have accused ethnic Amhara fighters of targeting them, while survivors of one massacre last month in the town of Mai-Kadra say Tigrayan fighters targeted Amhara. Other attacks followed.

Abrahaley Minasbo, a 22-year-old trained dancer, said Amhara militia members dragged him from his home in Mai-Kadra on Nov. 9 and beat him in the street with a hammer, an axe, sticks and a machete, then left him for dead. Scars now slope across the right side of his face and neck. He was only treated six days later, by Tewodros in Sudan.

Another patient, 65-year-old farmer Gebremedhin Gebru, was shot while trying to run from Amhara militia members in his town of Ruwasa. He said he lay there for two days until a neighbor found him. People “will be hit if they are seen helping” the wounded, Gebremedhin said.

For Tewodros, the conflict has been one civilian casualty after another since shelling began in early November as he worked at a hospital in Humera. Some shelling came from the north, he said, the direction of nearby Eritrea.

“We didn’t know where to hide,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do.”

Fifteen bodies arrived at the hospital that first day, and eight the next, he said. Then, as shelling continued, he and colleagues fled, transporting wounded patients on a tractor to the nearby community of Adebay. They abandoned that town when fighting intensified.

Tewodros and colleagues hid for two days in the forest, hearing gunfire and shouting, before walking for more than 12 hours, hiding from military convoys, and crossing a river into Sudan. There, he accepted a volunteer position with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society treating fellow refugees.

“Where we are now is extremely unsafe,” he said of the reception center near the border, citing the Amhara fighters who approach the riverbank and threaten the refugees. The militias “are more dangerous than the Ethiopian national forces,” he said. “They are more insane and crazy.”

He doesn’t know what lies ahead for his wife and two small children in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. He hasn’t seen them in 10 months, and the children always ask him when he can come home.

Ethiopia’s prime minister often speaks of “medemer,” or national unity, Tewodros said, in a country with more than 80 ethnic groups. “Medemer would have been me. Medemer would have been my kids.” But he no longer knows if his children, also of mixed ethnicity, have any future in the country.

Guesh, a father of three, knows even less about what’s to come. He left his wife and three children behind a month ago in Adi Aser village, where a farmer was giving them shelter. Now, like many refugees torn from their families, he doesn’t know if they are alive or dead.

Every time he sees another new refugee arriving in Sudan, he holds out photos of his family, so emotional he can hardly speak. In this conflict that remains so much in the shadows, he now relies on strangers to know their fate.

___

Hadero reported from Atlanta. Cara Anna in Nairobi contributed.

Adrian Bejan, Duke University professor, ties coronavirus spread to Neanderthal retreat

Scientist ties coronavirus spread to Neanderthal retreat

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Chinese people are more susceptible to COVID-19 because they have a larger percentage of Neanderthal DNA, according to one theory. (Associated Press photograph) more >

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By James Varney

The Washington Times

Sunday, December 6, 2020

THE BIG TALK

An occasional interview series with Americans who are challenging the status quo.

There is a reason the coronavirus has swept from east to west and an explanation for some degree of its limited lethality as well: It’s in our DNA.

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It’s not the virus, but susceptibility to it, said Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University.

“The virus was flying around the globe like blood in the human body,” Mr. Bejan said. “And I know why.”

Part of Mr. Bejan’s theory lies in his constructal law of thermodynamics, an element of physics holding that “for a finite-size flow system to persist in time it must evolve so that it provides easier access to its currents.”

In layman’s English, organisms maximize the flow of what is important. An aerial view of a big river delta, a mature oak tree and its leaves, and a lightning bolt all follow similar patterns per constructal law.

“Things are obvious, irrefutable, yet seemingly disconnected,” said Mr. Bejan, 72, offering one observation that helped him develop the law.

COVID-19 followed an established trail, too, tracing in reverse the path that humans first trod out of Africa. On that original path, homo sapiens had three interbreeding events with Neanderthals. Anthropologists consider these events sudden rather than gradual.

Today, those with the most Neanderthal DNA (the maximum in any human is 4%) are the most at risk, Mr. Bejan said, and Africa has never suffered the massive infections once predicted for it.

He put forth his theory in a paper last week, “Coronavirus invasion and Neanderthal retreat.”

Given how connected the world is today and how quickly those connections can be made, the outbreak pattern from China seeping westward tells the story, Mr. Bejan said.

“The conflict between the easy explanation and the pattern in the data (chronology, geography, spreading) means only one thing: people on the globe are not uniformly susceptible to the coronavirus,” he wrote. “If not equally susceptible, then why?

“The answer lies in a much older phenomenon that looks just like the virus spreading, except that the older spreading happened in the opposite direction,” the paper said. “The older phenomenon is the spreading of humans.”

Or, as Mr. Bejan put it in a recent conversation, “We’re mutts; not all dogs belong to the same breed.”

Mr. Bejan’s personal history also traces from east to west.

He was born under the communist heel in Romania, which he described as a horrible experience during which Moscow tried to crush all native language, history and culture.

“I am very much an enemy of communism,” he said. “It’s a tragedy when someone comes with a big ax, trying to make a new design from scratch after they’ve plowed the old one over. It is the most terrible crime, but one bound to be repeated, unfortunately.”

Mr. Bejan escaped during the Prague Spring of 1968 and came to America. He earned three degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and helped with submarine warfare during his doctoral studies.

“The Hunt for Red October — you know that plot?” he asked of the bestselling book and hit movie in which a Russian captain maneuvers his submarine into defection. “Well, that is exactly the sort of thing we were working on, and I was the guy translating all the Soviet articles into English.”

While corresponding with friends still behind the Iron Curtain, Mr. Bejan said, he answered their questions about the West with something he still believes. “Here, a policeman is your best friend; there, he is your worst enemy,” he said.

While at Duke, he outlined the constructal law in books with modest titles such as “Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology and Social Organizations.”

The law also works, often unconsciously, in what humans have put on Earth, including highway systems that try to maximize traffic flow and the cooling system Mr. Bejan designed for laptop computers.

That design, along with his constructal theory, earned him the Benjamin Franklin Medal in 2018 from the Franklin Institute, which rewards breakthrough thinking in science and technology and has been bestowed more than 120 times on future Nobel laureates. Mr. Bejan earned his medal “for his pioneering interdisciplinary contributions in thermodynamics and convection heat transfer that have improved the performance of engineering systems.”

Despite such intimidating language, Mr. Bejan said, his thinking is designed to simplify natural phenomena.

“I realized I was not mimicking nature; I was predicting it,” he said.

Like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) before it, COVID-19 originated in China, the landmass in which the last of three major interbreeding events occurred in human evolution. As the final such event, it was the one that transmitted the most Neanderthal DNA.

Because it would be foolish to think COVID-19 will be the last virus to strike the human race, he said, it is important to know how it follows an ancient map and acknowledge the patterns the good and bad, often unknowingly, have always traveled.

“This will make it easier to track disease, and we’ll be better able to deliver help to the people who need it the most,” Mr. Bejan said.

With that knowledge, some humility is in order.

“The voice of authority here on campus now says homo sapiens are all-powerful, nothing could compete with him,” Mr. Bejan said. “Well, the Neanderthals were powerful, too. They’d been around a long time.”

Diplomats: Rockets fired at Eritrea amid Ethiopian conflict

Diplomats: Rockets fired at Eritrea amid Ethiopian conflict

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Map locates the Tigray area more >

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By CARA ANNA

Associated Press

Saturday, November 14, 2020

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Rockets were fired at Eritrea’s capital on Saturday, diplomats said, as the deadly fighting in Ethiopia‘s northern Tigray region appeared to spill across an international border and bring some of observers’ worst fears to life.

At least three rockets appeared to be aimed at the airport in Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, hours after the Tigray regional government warned it might attack. It has accused Eritrea of attacking it at the invitation of Ethiopia‘s federal government since the conflict in northern Ethiopia erupted on Nov. 4.

Eritrea is one of the world’s most reclusive countries, and no one on the ground, including the information ministry, could immediately be reached. Details on any deaths or damage were not known. Tigray regional officials did not respond to requests for comment.

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Experts have warned that Eritrea, long at bitter odds with the Tigray regional government, or Tigray People’s Liberation Front, could be pulled into Ethiopia‘s growing conflict that has killed untold hundreds of people on each side and sent some 25,000 refugees fleeing into Sudan.

Earlier Saturday, the TPLF said it fired rockets at two airports in the neighboring Amhara region of Ethiopia, as the conflict spreads into other parts of Africa’s second-most populous country and threatens civil war at the heart of the Horn of Africa.

The TPLF said in a statement on Tigray TV that such strikes would continue “unless the attacks against us stop.”

Ethiopia‘s federal government said the airports in Gondar and Bahir Dar were damaged in the strikes late Friday, asserting that Tigray regional forces were “repairing and utilizing the last of the weaponry within its arsenals.”

Each side in the fighting regards the other as illegal, the result of a monthslong falling out amid dramatic shifts in power after Nobel Peace Prize-winning Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office two years ago.

The Tigray regional government, which once dominated the country’s ruling coalition, broke away last year, and the federal government says members of the region’s ruling “clique” now must be arrested and their well-stocked arsenal destroyed.

Fears of ethnic targeting are rising. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which governs the region, in a statement denied allegations that scores or even hundreds of civilians were “hacked to death” Monday in the town of Mai-Kadra. The massacre was confirmed by Amnesty International, which cited a man helping to clear away bodies as saying many of the dead were ethnic Amharas.

The statement by Tigray regional president Debretsion Gebremichael asserted that the allegations against the TPLF forces, repeated by Abiy, are “being proliferated with the intent to incite hatred toward (ethnic) Tigrayans in Ethiopia.”

“A justified risk/threat of fear of ethnic profiling and discrimination has arisen,” the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said in a statement Saturday. It has visited 43 people in police custody in the capital, Addis Ababa, and said “some of the detained have reported that they have been arrested only because of their ethnicity.”

The international community is warning against deadly ethnic tensions. The U.N. office on genocide prevention has said the rhetoric sets a “dangerous trajectory that heightens the risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”

Communications and transport links with the Tigray region remain severed, making it difficult to verify claims on both sides. Desperate families cannot reach relatives, and the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations warn of disaster as food, fuel and other supplies run short for millions of people.

“The military escalation in Ethiopia is risking the stability of the whole country and wider region,” the European Union’s commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic, tweeted. “Should this endure, a full-blown humanitarian crisis is imminent. I am calling for unimpeded humanitarian access to Tigray.”

Meanwhile, a top TPLF official appeared to confirm the federal government’s claim that TPLF forces sparked the conflict by attacking a military base. Sekoutoure Getachew in a video discussion said pre-emptive strikes were carried out in self-defense against the Ethiopian army’s Northern Command, calling it an “internationally known practice.”

There is no sign of any easing in the fighting. Abiy has rejected growing calls by the United States and others for an immediate de-escalation.

AP Explains: Why Ethiopia is suddenly on brink of civil war

AP Explains: Why Ethiopia is suddenly on brink of civil war

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Ethiopian Orthodox Christians light candles and pray for peace during a church service at the Medhane Alem Cathedral in the Bole Medhanealem area of the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Ethiopia’s powerful Tigray region asserts that fighter … more >

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By CARA ANNA

Associated Press

Friday, November 6, 2020

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Suddenly Ethiopia appears on the brink of civil war, threatening the stability of one of the world’s most strategic regions, the Horn of Africa, and the fracturing of one of Africa’s most powerful and populous countries.

But the crisis in Ethiopia, a key U.S. security ally, has been building for months. According to the deputy director of the International Crisis Group’s Africa program, Dino Mahtani, “it has been like watching a train crash in slow motion.” Now Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for sweeping political reforms, faces the sharpest consequences yet of the country’s recent shifts in power.

Here are key reasons for the international alarm:

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WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Two things occurred early Wednesday morning: Communications were cut in Ethiopia’s heavily armed northern Tigray region, and Abiy announced he had ordered troops to respond to an alleged deadly attack by Tigray’s forces on a military base there. Both sides have accused each other of initiating the fighting.

Both stepped up pressure Thursday. Ethiopia’s army said it was deploying troops from around the country to Tigray, and the Tigray leader announced that “we are ready to be martyrs.” Casualties were reported on both sides. And on Friday, the prime minister announced his government had carried out airstrikes in the “first round of operation” against the TPLF, while the Tigray region is increasingly cut off.

Some experts have compared the confrontation to an inter-state war, with two large and well-trained forces and little sign of backing down. Ethiopia is one of Africa’s most well-armed nations, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front dominated Ethiopia’s military and government before Abiy took office in 2018. It has plenty of conflict experience from Ethiopia’s years-long border war with Eritrea, next door to the Tigray region, and the International Crisis Group estimates that the TPLF’s paramilitary force and local militia have some 250,000 troops.

With communications still out, it’s difficult to verify either side’s account of events on the ground.

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Ethiopia’s ruling coalition appointed Abiy as prime minister in 2018 to help calm months of anti-government protests, and he quickly won praise – and the Nobel – for opening political space and curbing repressive measures in the country of some 110 million people and scores of ethnic groups. But the TPLF felt increasingly marginalized, and last year it withdrew from the ruling coalition.

The TPLF objects to Ethiopia’s delayed election, blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic, and Abiy’s extended time in office. In September, the Tigray region voted in a local election that Ethiopia’s federal government called illegal. The federal government later moved to divert funding from the TPLF executive to local governments, angering the regional leadership.

On Monday, Tigray leader Debretsion Gebremichael warned a bloody conflict could erupt.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN NOW?

The conflict could spread to other parts of Ethiopia, where some regions have been calling for more autonomy, and deadly ethnic violence has led the federal government to restore measures including arresting critics.

Addressing those fears, Ethiopia’s deputy army chief Birhanu Jula late Thursday said of Tigray, “The war will end there.”

Some governments and experts are urgently calling for dialogue over Tigray, but a Western diplomat in the capital, Addis Ababa, says “the message from the Ethiopians is, if you talk about a dialogue you equate the two parties, but ’This is a legitimate government, that’s a renegade group.’” The objective as put forward by Ethiopia is to crush the TPLF, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity, and “if I say I’m going to crush you, then is there really scope for any negotiation?”

The TPLF before the fighting said it’s not interested in negotiating with the federal government, and it has sought the release of detained leaders as a precondition to talks. An inclusive dialogue must occur, observers say, but a statement Thursday by a panel of former U.S. diplomats and military experts for the United States Institute of Peace warned it won’t go far “while many of the country’s most prominent political leaders remain in prison.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN BEYOND ETHIOPIA?

Few regions are more vulnerable than the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia’s neighbors include Somalia – Ethiopian forces have reportedly begun withdrawing from that country to return home – and Sudan, facing its own huge political transition. Neighboring Eritrea has shown little sign of opening up after making peace with Ethiopia in 2018, and its government and the Tigray one don’t get along.

A region in which Abiy has played high-profile peacemaker is now at risk.

Observers warn that a conflict could suck in these countries and others not far from the most strategic military outpost in Africa, tiny Djibouti, where several global powers including the U.S. and China have their only military bases on the continent. The Horn of Africa is also a short water crossing away from Yemen and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

Ethiopia already was drawing concern over a dispute with Egypt over a huge dam Ethiopia is completing on the Blue Nile. While there have been worries about military action, “I would like to think Egypt is a responsible enough actor to realize that fragmentation of Ethiopia is fundamentally so damaging to regional security,” former U.S. diplomat Payton Knopf, a senior advisor with the United States Institute of Peace, said this week.

Nigeria protesters break curfew amid gunfire, chaos in Lagos

Nigeria protesters break curfew amid gunfire, chaos in Lagos

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Protesters run away as police officers use teargas to disperse people demonstrating against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. After 13 days of protests against alleged police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria’s … more >

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By Sam Olukoya and Lekan Oyekanmi

Associated Press

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s anti-police protesters stayed on the streets in Lagos on Wednesday, breaking the government curfew following a night of chaotic violence in which demonstrators were fired upon, sparking global outrage.

Shots were fired Wednesday as young demonstrators set up barricades by the Lekki toll plaza in Lagos, where protesters were fired upon Tuesday night, causing injuries and an unknown number of deaths.

There were reports of gunfire across Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city of 14 million, including on the highway to the airport, at a major bus station, outside the offices of a television station. Demonstrations and gunfire were also reported in several other Nigerian cities, including the capital city, Abuja.

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The nationwide #EndSARS protests against police brutality have rocked Nigeria for more than two weeks and the demonstrators’ demands have widened to include calls for an end to corruption, accountable government and respect for human rights in Africa’s most populous nation of 196 million. Despite massive oil wealth and one of Africa’s largest economies, Nigeria’s people suffer widespread poverty and lack of basic services, as a result of widespread corruption, charge rights groups.

Nigerians are reeling from the video from Tuesday night at the Lekki toll plaza in which protesters could be heard singing the national anthem in the darkness. Shots can be heard followed by sounds of people running away.

It’s not clear who was firing the shots heard in the video, but Nigeria’s security forces have been blamed for at least 10 deaths during the protests by Amnesty International, which has accused the police and military of using excessive force against the demonstrators. There have also been widespread reports of the youthful protesters being attacked by armed gangs, who the demonstrators say sent by the police to break up the protests.

The Lagos governor early Wednesday confirmed numerous injuries for the Lekki shooting, but didn’t say who was responsible.

“This is the toughest night of our lives as forces beyond our direct control have moved to make dark notes in our history, but we will face it and come out stronger. I’ve just concluded visits to hospitals with victims of this unfortunate shooting incident at Lekki, ” tweeted Obajide Sanwo-Olu.

He had earlier warned on Twitter that the protests against police brutality had “degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has remained silent on the protests and violence sweeping across the country.

Nigeria’s spiraling crisis has drawn international attention, including from U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden who on denounced the shootings.

“I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths,” wrote Biden. “My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence. The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy. I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.”

Before the shootings at Lekki, Nigeria’s police statement warned that security forces would now “exercise the full powers of the law to prevent any further attempt on lives and property of citizens.”

The reports of fatal shootings in Lekki come after two chaotic weeks of mounting protests leading to more widespread social unrest. On Tuesday, authorities said nearly 2,000 inmates had broken out of jail after crowds attacked two correctional facilities a day earlier.

The Inspector-General of Police said it was deploying anti-riot police across Nigeria and ordered forces to strengthen security around correctional facilities.

The curfew in Lagos began Tuesday afternoon and most businesses and shops are closed across the city but the demonstrators are erecting barricades in the streets. The curfew was announced after a police station was burned down in the city and two people were shot dead by police.

Lagos has been the center of the protests, with demonstrators at times blocking access to the airport and barricading roads leading to the country’s main ports.

A curfew also went into effect in Benin City after a pair of attacks on correctional facilities that left 1,993 inmates missing. Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Manga said large, armed crowds had attacked the two prisons, subduing the guards on duty. It was unclear what the prisons’ exact populations had been before the attack.

“Most of the inmates held at the centers are convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offenses, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes,” he said in a statement.

The protests began two weeks ago after a video circulated showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.

Young protesters marched in cities across Nigeria, under the banner #EndSARS. In response, the government announced it would ban the anti-robbery squad, which for several years human rights groups have blamed for widespread abuses, including torture and killings.

The demonstrators have not been satisfied with the disbandment of the SARS unit and are demanding an end to abuses and respect for human rights in all parts of the police force. The protests have stopped traffic in Lagos, the capital Abuja and many other large cities in Nigeria, a country of 196 million people.

COVID-19 confirmed in crowded UN-run camp in South Sudan

COVID-19 confirmed in crowded UN-run camp in South Sudan

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FILE – In this Monday, April 6, 2020 file photo, a man washes his hands to curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Juba, South Sudan. For the first time, COVID-19 has been confirmed in a crowded civilian protection … more >

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By MAURA AJAK

Associated Press

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) – For the first time, COVID-19 has been confirmed in a crowded civilian protection camp in South Sudan’s capital, the United Nations said Tuesday, a worrying development in a country that’s one of the world’s least prepared for the virus’ spread.

The U.N. is aware that the health ministry and World Health Organization have confirmed the two cases in the camp in Juba, said Francesca Mold, a spokeswoman with the U.N. mission in South Sudan.

The health ministry’s emergency preparedness manager, Dr. Mathew Tut, said the two infected people were South Sudanese and in their 20s. South Sudan was one of the last countries in Africa to confirm a case of the disease and now has 174.

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As of mid-April more than 190,000 people were still sheltering in several U.N.-run civilian protection camps across South Sudan, more than a year after a peace deal ended a five-year civil war. Nearly 30,000 are sheltering in Juba.

The prospect of the coronavirus’ spread to refugee and displaced persons’ camps in Africa, the Middle East and Asia has alarmed health and other aid officials as often remote locations, travel restrictions and shortages of medical supplies make any containment and treatment extremely challenging.

As of late April, almost none of the 10 million people packed into such camps around the world had been tested for the virus, The Associated Press found.

Aid workers in South Sudan have warned there is little more than isolation centers in place to treat people if the virus begins to spread in the crowded camps. The country’s health system relies on NGOs for almost all health services.

Most of the infected people so far have been treated at home instead of being isolated at the Dr. John Garang Infectious Diseases Unit, which the WHO has said is being expanded from 24 beds to 80.

Last week the South Sudan Doctors’ Union expressed concern over the government’s decision to partly relax virus lockdown measures, saying it “does not see urgency” in doing so as the number of cases are rising. Most cases in the past month were from local transmission, the union said.

Bars, restaurants and markets have resumed business.

___

Cara Anna in Johannesburg contributed.

China’s diplomats show teeth in defending virus response

China’s diplomats show teeth in defending virus response

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In this file photo taken Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, Chinese Foreign Ministry new spokesman Zhao Lijian gestures as he speaks during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing. From Asia to Africa, London to Berlin, … more >

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By Dake Kang

Associated Press

Friday, April 24, 2020

BEIJING (AP) — From Asia to Africa, London to Berlin, Chinese envoys have set off diplomatic firestorms with a combative defense whenever their country is accused of not acting quickly enough to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

They belong to a new generation of “Wolf Warrior” diplomats, named after patriotic blockbuster films starring a muscle-bound Chinese commando killing American bad guys in Africa and Southeast Asia with his bare hands.

The tougher approach has been building for several years under President Xi Jinping, who has effectively jettisoned former leader Deng Xiaoping’s approach of hiding China’s ambitions and biding its time. His government has urged its diplomats to pursue “major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” – a call for China to reassert its historic status as a global power.

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“The days when China can be put in a submissive position are long gone,” said an editorial in the Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its outspoken views. The Chinese people, it said, “are no longer satisfied with a flaccid diplomatic tone.”

Ambassador Gui Congyou has belittled journalists in Sweden, comparing them to a lightweight boxer seeking to go toe-to-toe with a heavyweight China. A commentary on the embassy website last month assailed a Swedish reporter for an article on the impact of China’s one-party political system on its virus response.

“Using this epidemic for political purposes, waging ideological attacks and spreading lies in the name of ‘freedom of speech’ will only lead to self-sabotage. It’s like lifting a rock and dropping it on your own toes,” it said.

Experts say Beijing sees critics as assailing not just its actions, but also its leadership and right to rule.

“If anyone tries to attack China on this issue, China will resolutely fight back,” said Shi Yinhong, professor of International Studies at Renmin University. “Chinese leaders may think if China doesn’t fight back, it will hurt China even more.”

Chinese diplomats are increasingly taking to Twitter and Facebook – platforms that are blocked in their own country. They’re following in the footsteps of Zhao Lijian, a pioneering firebrand whose tweets while stationed in Pakistan attracted a huge following and also led America’s former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to call him a “racist disgrace” who should be dismissed.

Instead, China promoted him — to foreign ministry spokesman.

Xi has clearly indicated a preference for ‘wolf-warrior’ diplomats, said Carl Minzner, an expert on Chinese politics at Fordham Law School in New York City.

These new-style diplomats are “reading the tea leaves, and are using bombastic language overseas as a tool to garner attention from nationalistic audiences at home – both among the party elite and among society at large – regardless of the impact on China’s image abroad,” Minzner said.

Overseas, the newly strident tone has been less appreciated. The French foreign minister summoned the Chinese ambassador after an embassy statement, in apparent response to Western criticism, accused French nursing home workers of deserting and “letting their residents die from starvation and disease.”

The U.S. protested after Zhao tweeted unsubstantiated speculation that the American military may have brought the virus to China.

China’s envoys in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda have been berated over reports of virus-related harassment of Africans in the city of Guangzhou, a rare public rebuke of Beijing by African nations. The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe waved away the anger, tweeting dismissively about “so-called racial discrimination.”

Chinese officials fume at what they see as Western hypocrisy. They say President Donald Trump and other leaders ignored the brewing pandemic, then began scapegoating China once the virus arrived on their shores.

French President Emmanuel Macron has questioned China’s virus response, telling the Financial Times that “there are clearly things that have happened that we don’t know about.” Britain’s top diplomat said it couldn’t go back to “business as usual” with China.

China’s Embassy in Berlin posted an open letter to Bild that accused the mass-circulation tabloid of “bad taste” for blaming the pandemic on China and calculating how much it owes Germany in damages for failing to contain it. The embassy in Spain tweeted “Freedom of expression has limits,” in response to a far-right politician who posted a video about “Spanish antibodies fighting the damned Chinese viruses.”

Under Xi, Beijing has launched coordinated efforts to shape China’s image abroad. Lifting a page from Russia’s playbook, it has mobilized thousands of bots to tweet the Communist Party line, according to Twitter. China has pumped funds into state media outlets broadcasting in Swahili, Arabic, Spanish, and dozens of other languages.

“In the past, China’s diplomacy was far away from the people,” said Chu Yin, a professor at China’s University of International Relations. Now, Chinese diplomats feel “it’s safe for them to show they are tough. Being tough won’t be wrong, at least.”

In Thailand, the embassy on Facebook called critics “disrespectful” and accused them of “betraying history” in a social media battle over the origin of the virus and the status of Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Sri Lanka, the mission erupted in fury this month after Twitter suspended its account, demanding “free speech” and accusing the tech giant of “double standards.” Twitter reversed the suspension the next day.

Beijing’s diplomats see the virus as a chance to assert leadership among countries critical of the West. Many leaders have praised China for sending medical equipment and teams, with one flight greeted by the president of Serbia kissing the Chinese flag.

In the 1990s, some in China dismissed their diplomats as the “Ministry of Traitors,” annoyed at perceived deference to Western powers. No more.

“We’ve approached the center of the world stage like never before, but we still don’t have full grasp of the microphone in our hands,” said Hua Chunying, the foreign ministry’s chief spokeswoman. “We must assert our right to speak.”

___

Associated Press writers David Keyton in Stockholm, Sweden, Frank Jordans in Berlin, Angela Charlton in Paris and Aritz Parra in Madrid contributed to this report.

Red Cafe – God Wanted Us To Be Lit (feat. Wiz Khalifa & French Montana)

[Hook: Red Cafe + (French Montana)]
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
All the hate can’t stop this
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
(Do your dance girl you know you bad
It’s your birthday girl you know you bad)
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit

[Verse 1: Red Café]
DopeGod back off in the city
Still keep a stick in case it get sticky
Ahhhh
Girl you gone make me blow a bag
When I kill that thing I ain’t gone wear a mask
A boss need a boss lady
If her pussy good you know that girl crazy
Keep the fame I just want the change
You see they call me Balmain Jermaine
My hustle nonstop I got a super bag
You mad get a cape now be super mad
They hating but we lit
We still lit
Young rich nigga keep a rich bitch

[Hook]
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
All the hate can’t stop this
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
(Do your dance girl you know you bad
It’s your birthday girl you know you bad)
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit

[Verse 2: Wiz Khalifa]
Skinny nigga but my dick good
I look professional but think hood
She only love me cause my bank full
Team full of sharks, try me boy the tank full
I got a bitch that come from Africa
Another bitch to hit up after her
Put them both together now they both looking so spectacular
Look at my homeboy say what you mean
I’m a bachelor I ain’t attached to her
My Taylor Gang campaign got them looking strange but I ain’t never goin’ change
I give a fuck about the fame
Just cause I’m getting paid
Got two shows to do the same night
You know my name right

[Hook]
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
All the hate can’t stop this
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
(Do your dance girl you know you bad
It’s your birthday girl you know you bad)
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit

[Verse 3: French Montana]
Shawty I heard you a badass
Come and hit this dope and the gas mask
My loud pack with the neighbors
Dope team I been with the Taylor’s
Shawty God wanted you to be thick
Ask how she get the ass she goin’ plead the fifth
I know a freak when I see a freak
I beat the thing twice finna three-peat
I be trappin’ in designer
Nothing but dimes in my lineup
Nothing but stuff in my [?]
And we goin’ launch a missile if they act up

[Hook]
All the hate can’t stop this
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit
Do your dance girl you know you bad
It’s your birthday girl you know you bad
God wanted us to be lit
God wanted us to be lit

Toto – Africa

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She’s coming in 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way,
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, Hurry boy, It’s waiting there for you

[CHORUS]
It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become

[CHORUS]
It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

(Instrumental break)

Hurry boy, she’s waiting there for you

It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa, I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa, I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

Thundercat – Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar) (Drunk Album)

[Chorus: Thundercat]
At the end of it all
No one wants to drink alone
Baby that’s how it goes
Don’t walk away from me

[Verse 1: Thundercat]
Fragmented memories
Sentences incomplete
That’s when she said
"Don’t wanna put up a fight anymore
I’m down to the end of my rope
And I’m freefalling
I’ll search inside myself
I need to know why I act this way"
I whispered tunes to her scream
I can’t ignore it no more

[Chorus: Thundercat]
At the end of it all
No one wants to drink alone
Baby that’s how it goes

[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]
From my eyewitness binoculars
To Argentina and Africa
We mastered the pressure
Hazardous, harassing us
You laugh at us
More accurate at bagging dimes, now we bagging rhymes
Bodybags, price tags on your fo’head
Nine times out of ten, young niggas are nine or ten
When the line becomes thin: be a killer or fireman
Fill up the lavish pen if I needed to right my wrongs
I can’t deny sin, condolences through these palms
I remember when your cousin was coming home
My bitch, why we plotted to kill him ’cause we ain’t know him
Unfamiliar faces make niggas nervous
Convicted court cases might hit the surface
Restricted territories might come through lurkin’
We ain’t want none of that urgent call
Well, I’ma act Turk and fall on my identity, Percocets
For all the headaches, I’m ’bout to bring confetti
Tumble out this barrel soon as it ring, you ready?
That was the word ‘for we moved on ’em
Treat him like Joe the Plumber
I wonder if someone come and can see this tool on him
Immature and retarded is what you call me
Yo’ cousin wa’n’t comin’ home from the pen but from the army
If I can right my wrongs and pen this verse I read
Even though a bullet hit him in the leg, still walk on by

[Chorus: Thundercat]
At the end of it all
No one wants to drink alone
Baby that’s how it goes
Don’t walk away from me

Big Sean – Inspire Me Lyrics

[Hook]
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me
Can’t go wrong (this one’s for you, you, you)
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me (you, you, you)

[Verse 1]
You tried to keep me away from temptation
Introduced me to The Temptations
Marvin Gaye and Isley Brothers
Dancing so hard the living room shaking
Yeah we dance in the house
My mama’s the man of the house
Mama you too good for them men
Even dad, you too good for him
Mama you know you inspire me
You deserve early retirement
You text me, tell me to take my vitamins
When I got a new love you invite ’em in
When we break up, you don’t like ’em then (no)
Loyal, loyal, swear you super loyal
Worth more to me than striking oil
You deserve the life I’m tryna show ya
I remember all of the sacrifices
Growing up in debt, but never hungry
Rich in everything except money
That’s that faith that you can’t buy
But I buy that new crib, you look right in it
I buy that new car in the color that you like it in
And play my song every single time you drive in it
That’s ’cause you inspired it (yeah)

[Hook]
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me
Can’t go wrong, wrong, wrong
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me

[Verse 2]
I know it’s hard to get me on the line
I’m busy like every other time
Since I got a house in that other town
You wonder when I’ma come around
I know you worry about me
I give you attitude like, “Don’t worry ’bout it”
Don’t hit ya up like I don’t care about you
But I hold you down, I swear I got you
I know I got problems communicating
I probably should’ve went to school
And got that degree in communications
I should be with you on vacation
I should take you where you should be taken
Asia, Africa, Dubai, anything you want, I do buy
Just want you to know I do try
To take care of ya, mama you the one, you the one
You the moon, you the stars, you the sun
I’m so happy I’m your son
I’m so happy I’m your son
You love me since day one
Since before day one
So before the day’s done
I gotta, gotta let you know

[Hook]
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me
Can’t go wrong, wrong, wrong
You do the right thing, you know you inspire me

[Outro]
Look, mama, you know you inspire me
If I ever made you not feel like it, then this is my apology
So sorry, look, dear mama you know your son shine for ya
I’m Sean for ya, my lady
Don’t you ever let ’em talk to you crazy
Anything for the fam, how you raise me
I’m yo baby but you still my baby
Ayy

Major Lazer & Showtek – Believer

When the valley couldn’t hold me, they throw me in the river
Thinking I would drown, but man, ah, good swimmer, whoa
When the river didn’t drown me, they throw me in the fire
But the fire just cool, I could never burn, oh
‘Cause I’m a believer, I’m a believer
I’m a believer, I’m a believer
Hold up, pull up
‘Cause I’m a
Freetown is my family (my family)
Whole Caribbean follow we (follow we)
Evergreen like the forest be
Terrible, they can’t manage me
Africa, no apology
‘Cause I’m a
When the valley couldn’t hold me, they throw me in the river
Thinking I would drown, but man, ah, good swimmer, whoa
They say hotter the battle, yeah, we dance when we conquer
It’s been forever, it won’t be much longer
Stand firm, you will be much stronger, oh
I’m a believer, I’m a believer
I’m a believer, I’m a believer
Freetown is my family
Rough sea never bother me
Whole Caribbean follow we
Root deeper than a forestry
Evergreen like the forest be
Terrible, they can’t manage me
Africa, no apology
Hold up, pull up
Never fall down yet, don’t digress
Put us against any test
Yeah, no stress, aright

Davido – Coolest Kid In Africa (feat. Nasty C)

[Hook: Davido]
Mi o fe mo n’pa any daddy
I pray to God say I go make am, eehh
She dey feel the bass wey dey make the girls shake am, ehh-eh
If you fuck around, you go make my guys ginger ooh

[Chorus: Davido]
I be making and spending the owo
Mehn, I be balling the owo, balling the owo
Never be saving the owo, I be uploading the owo
Getting the owo, and I go take your Iyawo
Mehn, I go take your Iyawo, take her to Guamo
Mehn, I go changey her life, put some owo in her life, ehh

"Ehh!"

[Verse 1: Davido]
Omo mi o fee mo o, I just want your lovin’
Modupe, Olo’un, I just want your touchin’
I just want your love, I just want your trust
Body hot like a kettle, come and get this heavy medal
Straight to it, no fore-play
Body looking like Beyoncé
Yeezy’s on me like a Kanye
Adding on me ‘coz I’m being paid
I gat get realest in Africa
Bitch I’m the biggest in Africa
I gat my riches from Africa
Gat lots of bitches in Africa

[Hook: Davido]
Mi o fe mo n’pa any daddy
I pray to God say I go make am, eehh
She dey feel the bass wey dey make the girls shake am, ehh-eh
If you fuck around, you go make my guys ginger ooh

[Chorus: Davido]
I be making and spending the owo
Mehn, I be balling the owo, balling the owo
Never be saving the owo, I be uploading the owo
Getting the owo, and I go take your Iyawo
Mehn, I go take your Iyawo, take her to Guamo
Mehn, I go changey her life, put some owo in her life, ehh

I be making and spending the owo
Mehn, I be balling the owo, balling the owo
Never be saving the owo, I be uploading the owo
Getting the owo, and I go take your Iyawo
Mehn, I go take your Iyawo, take her to Guamo
Mehn, I go changey her life, put some owo in her life, ehh

"Uh-yea!"

[Verse 2: Nasty C]
Goddamn, body smokey
Pass her to me ..
Feel the pest high-top
That’s a fake sassy to me
This’ a different typa party
Book a table for three and buy a mattress for three (book it, Nigga)
You and your girl just came outta the closet
I’m happy for me ..
It’s seven digits on receipts now
The money coming like a breeze now
The money calls me on repeat now
I let the Uber man eavesdrop
I got my riches from Africa
I’m the Coolest Kid in Africa, boy
I’m as humble as an amateur
Get up and pray and get the money afterwards (church)
Pockets never been deeper
Bitches never been shallower
If I throw a couple Geez up
And she’ll prolly let my shadow fuck
And, she’ll do it for a half a nut
She ain’t take it to the reap
I EFT my plug a tip
And he delivers to the crib, yea

[Hook: Davido]
Mi o fe mo n’pa any daddy
I pray to God say I go make am, eehh
She dey feel the bass wey dey make the girls shake am, ehh-eh
If you fuck around, you go make my guys ginger ooh

[Chorus: Davido]
I be making and spending the owo
Mehn, I be balling the owo, balling the owo
Never be saving the owo, I be uploading the owo
Getting the owo, and I go take your Iyawo
Mehn, I go take your Iyawo, take her to Guamo
Mehn, I go changey her life, put some owo in her life, ehh

I be making and spending the owo
Mehn, I be balling the owo, balling the owo
Never be saving the owo, I be uploading the owo
Getting the owo, and I go take your Iyawo
Mehn, I go take your Iyawo, take her to Guamo
Mehn, I go changey her life, put some owo in her life, ehh

[Outro: Davido]
Mi o fe mo n’pa any ..
I pray to God say I go make am
She dey feel the bass wey dey make the girls shake am
If you fuck around, you go make my guys ginger ooh

Leon Russell – Dixie Lullaby

Gather round me people, got a song to sing
About that sweet magnolia thyme
The black eyed Susan made some catfish stew
And papa brought some homemade wine

Now, all the southern children like to rock ‘n’ roll
The TV mamas tell you why
They got it on the boat from Africa
It’s that Dixie lullaby

And blind Willie Time, he had a dime shoe shine
Stand down on Beale Street
And Willie would stop and say "Hello"
To all the shoes he’d meet

"Why are you so happy?" said the clean white buck
"You got no reason to be happy Mr. Time"
But Willie just smiled and he dropped his rag
And sang a Dixie lullaby

Now you heard the story of my southern home
With a honeysuckle wine
Anytime you think that you might come yourself
You ought to keep this thought in mind

All you easy riders better watch your step
If you’re walkin’ down below the line
That Louisiana man is gonna get you, yet
With his Dixie lullaby

He’s got a Dixie lullaby
Ohh, it’s a Dixie lullaby, bye

Horrible Histories – British Things lyrics

[Intro]
I love to be a British queen
I am Victoria, you see
Now where’s my British butler
With my British cup of tea?
Tea is not from Britain, ma’am
From India it was brought
Yes, for your cuppa, thousands died
And many wars were fought

[Chorus]
British things, my British things
It seems that tea is not
British things, my British things
Can I sweeten it a jot?

[Verse 1]
Do tell me sugar’s British though
No, it’s Caribbean imported
For sugar in your cup of tea
Slavery’s been supported
I know it’s wrong, your majesty
But slaves in Africa
Worked hard in fields of sugar cane
To sweeten up your char

[Chorus]
British things, ah British things
I thought that there were many
British things, ah British things

Afraid there’s hardly any

[Verse 2]
You know your British cotton vest
What’s wrong with it?
Explain!
The cotton’s from America
And picked by… slaves again!

[Verse 3]
Your empire’s built on fighting wars
That’s how your income’s swollen
Your British things are from abroad
And most are frankly stolen

[Hook]
Whatever next? Go on! Pray tell!
Our British queen is foreign as well?

[Verse 4]
It’s true, I am of foreign descent
And your husband, Albert? A German gent!
At least I’ve got a British name
Victoria’s Latin… that’s a shame!

[Chorus]
British things, ah British things
There are no, we declare
All our favourite British things
Seem to come from elsewhere!

Z-Ro – New Shit letras

[Hook]
If you don’t like my new shit you can go back to my old shit
Matter fact y’all haters ain’t gotta jam none of my shit
Y’all haters can eat my whole dick
I don’t do this for y’all
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne

[Verse 1]
Listen, if you were struggling, back in ’97 when I started this
And your ass still struggling in 2016, you hustle is garbage bitch
I can’t stay in the same old place, I gotta keep on movin’
And since the music keep on playing I gotta keep on groovin’
That’s why I keep on winning and these bitch niggas keep on losing
And FYI I’ve been single since 97, that’s why I keep on doin’
They keep on killin’ me but I keep on livin’, that’s what I keep on doing
It’s me against the world like 2Pac Shakur
So anybody can get it, give them 2 shots or more
[?] if you ever wonder why I didn’t ever come around
Cause your moma be like fuck you, nigga we don’t ever want you to come around
And Paris I found out ’bout you when you were damn near grown
I promise these baby momas these days ain’t worth the flesh that they are printed on

[Hook]
If you don’t like my new shit you can go back to my old shit
Matter fact y’all haters ain’t gotta jam none of my shit
Y’all haters can eat my whole dick
I don’t do this for y’all
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne

[Verse 2]
You can say what you want about me, I don’t mind
Cause I’m a diamond homie, I’ll be damned if I don’t shine
40000 people holdin’ my legs, I’m still gon’ climb
And even though they got their own homie, they still want mine
I heard Z-Ro ain’t this and Z-Ro ain’t that
Z-Ro ain’t havin’ no money and Z-Ro can’t rap
Z-Ro don’t give a damn ‘long as he roll make stacks
His credit card ain’t got a color, how the fuck you love that?
Foreign cars that’s all I’m ridin’
I hear you haters talkin’ funny, that’s why I be smiling, cheese
If money come in two’s then haters come in three’s
But without them there’s no me
I love my haters

[Hook]
If you don’t like my new shit you can go back to my old shit
Matter fact y’all haters ain’t gotta jam none of my shit
Y’all haters can eat my whole dick
I don’t do this for y’all
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne

[Verse 3]
Grown men gossiping ’bout other grown men
Ain’t that what bitches do? Then y’all niggas ain’t grown men
I hate to say it but I got niggas on my team that be watching my pocket
They don’t put in the work like I put in the work
But they want what I got in my pocket
Y’all can keep on talkin’ cause y’all just talkin’ and that’s a damn shame
Nobody know y’all in home
But I’ll do Africa, they know my damn name
Takin’ over this world with real nigga music, that’s my plan mane
Players do what we wanna do and y’all haters do what y’all can mane

[Hook]
If you don’t like my new shit you can go back to my old shit
Matter fact y’all haters ain’t gotta jam none of my shit
Y’all haters can eat my whole dick
I don’t do this for y’all
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne
Gotta get this money, gotta get this money mayne

Lecrae & Leon Bridges – On My Own (The Birth Of A Nation The Inspired By Album) letras

[Hook: Leon Bridges]
I’ve come a long way
From a very hard place
It’s been a hard race
But somehow I found my way home
I’ve walked a long road
To where only God knows
But when the trumpet blows you know
I did it all on my own

[Post-Hook]
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Ohhhhhh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Ohhhhhh
[Verse 1: Lecrae]
I’ve been pushing hard
I’ve been praying harder
Only Heaven can help me
They took my earthly father
Martyred and promised me death then walked me into my grave
I’d rather die a free man then live on Earth a slave
I’m fighting for people they put in chains
They stripped our heritage, they took our names
Put our women to shame
Whipped us and beat us, mislead us but they can’t take our passion
Take my body but my soul won’t fit inside your casket

[Bridge: Leon Bridges]
Forget what I said, forget what I did
I did what I had to do and I’d do it all again
And if you’re going through hell
Keep it going, my baby promise that Heaven is near

[Hook: Leon Bridges]
I’ve come a long way
From a very hard place
It’s been a hard race
But somehow I found my way home
I’ve walked a long road
To where only God knows
But when the trumpet blows you know
I did it all on my own

[Post-Hook]
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Ohhhhhh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Ohhhhhh

[Verse 2: Lecrae]
Taken from Africa
Treated like animals
Culturally denigrated
Broke up our families
Prison of false religion, the same God you lied on
The same God I rely on, I’ma strive on
Alone just a small tribe
Fought for truth for y’all, died
Martyrs live forever so
Out the depths we all rise
Die for a freedom that I’ll never see
I pray y’all live it to the fullest for my legacy
Let’s go

[Bridge: Leon Bridges]
Forget what I said, forget what I did
I did what I had to do and I’d do it all again
And if you’re going through hell
Keep it going, my baby promise that Heaven is near

[Hook: Leon Bridges]
I’ve come a long way
From a very hard place
It’s been a hard race
But somehow I found my way home
I’ve walked a long road
To where only God knows
But when the trumpet blows you know
I did it all on my own

[Outro]
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Ohhhhhh
I did it all on my own
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Ohhhhhh
I did it all on my own

Jain – Come lyrics

[Jain]
(Black burn, I feel so alone)
Without you boy
Now I’m here
Hanging out in the street
Thinking about reactions over actions
Walking on the sky of my dreams

Come, come, my baby come
I will show you the world
Come, come, my baby come
I will cover your nightmares
Come, come, my baby come
I will love you forever
Come, come, my baby come
I will not let you go

My love, I just feel so lost
Without you boy
I am yours even if time has passed
Take me away
From this impetuous world
Leaving this jail of my mind

Come, come, my baby come
I will show you the world
Come, come, my baby come
I will cover your nightmares
Come, come, my baby come
I will love you forever
Come, come, my baby come
I will not let you go

My soul, my soul is in Africa, with you boy

Come, come, my baby come
I will show you the world
Come, come, my baby come
I will cover your nightmares
Come, come, my baby come
I will love you forever
Come, come, my baby come
I will not let you go

My soul, is in Africa with you boy
Looking at the stars
On this diamond sky
Giving you my heart
So you can keep it on your mind
Floating on your blazing eyes

Come, come, my baby come
I will show you the world
Come, come, my baby come
I will cover your nightmares
Come, come, my baby come
I will love you forever
Come, come, my baby come
I will not let you go