Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2015 Contents A21
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Obama says the history of slavery
and segregation is "still part of
our DNA" in the United States,
even if racial epithets no longer
show up in polite conversation.
He uttered the N-word in making
In an interview yesterday, Obama
talked about the debates over race
and guns that have erupted after
the arrest of a white man in the
racially motivated shooting deaths
of nine black church members in
Charleston, South Carolina.
"Racism, we are not cured of it,"
"And it's not just a matter of it
not being polite to say nigger in
public. That's not the measure of
whether racism still exists or not.
"It's not just a matter of overt
discrimination. Societies don't,
overnight, completely erase every-
thing that happened 200 to 300
Obama's remarks came during
an interview out yesterday with
comedian Marc Maron for his pop-
ular podcast, where coarse language
is often part of the discussion. The
president uttering a racial slur aloud
stirred controversy, especially on
social media, and White House
spokesman Josh Earnest said later
that wasn't surprising.
Obama didn't plan in advance
to use the word to be provocative,
Earnest said, but was simply mak-
ing a point during a casual, free-
flowing interview. He said he didn't
recall ever hearing the president
say the racial slur aloud before, but
noted that it did appear in his book,
"Dreams from My Father."
The White House yesterday said
Obama would travel to Charleston
on Friday to deliver the eulogy for
the Rev Clementa Pinckney, the
pastor of the Emanuel AME Church
and one of the victims of last week's
shooting. Obama and first lady
Michelle Obama knew the slain
pastor, who also was a state senator
and an early Obama supporter in
the 2008 presidential campaign.
Obama also expressed frustration
that "the grip of the NRA on Con-
gress is extremely strong" and pre-
vented gun control from advancing
in Congress after 20 children and
six educators were massacred in a
Connecticut elementary school in
"I will tell you, right after Sandy
Hook, Newtown, when 20 six-year-
olds are gunned down, and Con-
gress literally does nothing --- yes,
that's the closest I came to feeling
disgusted," he said.
"I was pretty disgusted."
He said it's important to respect
that hunting and sportsmanship
are important to a lot of gun-own-
"The question is just is there a
way of accommodating that legit-
imate set of traditions with some
common-sense stuff that prevents
a 21-year-old who is angry about
something or confused about
something, or is racist, or is
deranged from going into a gun
store and suddenly is packing, and
can do enormous harm," Obama
said in a reference to suspect Dylann
Storm Roof, whose purported
2,500-word hate-filled manifesto
talked about white supremacy.
Obama's speech came eve as
South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley
said yesterday that the Confederate
flag should come down from the
grounds of the state capitol, revers-
ing her position on the divisive
symbol amid growing calls for it to
be removed in the wake of the
killing of the nine black church
after the end of the Civil War, the
time has come," Haley said to rous-
ing applause, surrounded by Dem-
ocratic and Republican lawmakers.
"That flag, while an integral part
of the past, does not represent the
future of our great state"
The flag has flown in front of
the state capitol for 15 years after
being moved from atop the State-
house dome. The flag was carried
by forces supporting the pro-slav-
ery, secessionist Southern states in
the 1861-65 American Civil War.
The announcement came after
state lawmakers met urgently
among themselves and with the
governor. The head of the Repub-
lican National Committee has also
called for its removal.
A growing number of religious
and political leaders said they would
push for the flag's removal today
during a rally in the capitol. The
White House said President Obama
respects the state of South Caroli-
na's authority to decide the issue,
but believes the flag belongs in a
KABUL---A Taliban suicide bomber
struck the entrance to the Afghan par-
liament yesterday and gunmen tried
to storm the heavily guarded com-
pound, setting off a gunbattle with
police that left two people dead as
lawmakers were meeting inside to
vote on the appointment of a new
Afghan security forces managed to
repel the attack, killing all seven gunmen
and ensuring that no members of par-
liament were harmed. But the audacious
assault came as the Taliban captured
two districts in as many days in the
country's north, displaying their ability
to operate on multiple fronts.
Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq
Sediqqi said the attack began with a
car bomb explosion near the entrance
to parliament. Gunmen then attempted
to storm the compound but were
pushed back by security forces and
eventually corralled into a nearby build-
ing that was under construction.
Sediqqi later said all seven attackers
were killed by police and that no mem-
bers of parliament were harmed. He
said a woman and a 10-year-old girl
were killed. Health Ministry spokesman
Mohammad Ismail Kahousi said 31
civilians were wounded.
Lawmaker Sidiqa Mubarez said the
building was rocked by the large explo-
sion and that some people were wound-
ed by flying glass. She said the explosion
happened shortly after Masoom
Stanekzai had arrived to be confirmed
as defense minister, a post that has
been vacant for nine months. The vote
was delayed by the attack.
The Taliban claimed the attack. The
militant group's spokesman, Zabihullah
Mujahid, told the Associated Press by
telephone that it targeted Stanekzai and
the parliament itself. He said the assault
showed the "capability of the muja-
hedeen, who can even attack the par-
liament in the capital."
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
strongly condemned the assault.
"Targeting innocent people in the
holy month of Ramadan is a clear act
of hostility against the religion of Islam,"
his office said in a statement, adding
that the perpetrators "are criminals
who are bound by no creed or religion."
Afghan security forces stand guard near the bodies of Taliban attackers after
clashes in front of the Parliament in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. AP PHOTO
JUBA---Cholera has killed seven people in
the South Sudan capita of Juba, the head of
the isolation ward at the nation's main public
hospital said yesterday.
At least 37 cases of cholera have been con-
firmed but the Health Ministry has not yet
declared an official outbreak, according to Dr
Thomas Wel Maker of Juba Teaching Hos-
Dr John Rumunu, director general of pre-
ventive health at the ministry, told a meeting
of the country's cholera taskforce that "prob-
ably we are dealing with cholera outbreak"
but it wasn't up to him to make the decla-
Cholera is a fast-developing, highly con-
tagious infection that causes diarrhea, leading
to severe dehydration and possible death.
There have been 18 other suspected cholera
cases in a camp for displaced people in Juba,
according to Alejandro Guzman of the Inter-
national Medical Corps, who is leading the
response in the camp.
Guzman said they are still waiting to hear
from the ministry if these cases have been
confirmed as cholera. He said they submitted
their samples over the last two weeks.
According to World Health Organisation
guidelines, a cholera outbreak should be
declared when there are 10-20 cases.
The ministry had been expected to declare
an outbreak yesterday, but the event was can-
celled abruptly and no reason was given.
Last year a cholera outbreak in South Sudan
infected more than 6,000 people and killed
167, according to WHO figures. (AP)
BAUCHI---Two girls blew themselves up
near a crowded mosque in northeast
Nigeria's biggest city yesterday, killing about
30 people, witnesses said.
It is the fourth suicide bombing this
month in Maiduguri, which is the birthplace
of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group.
Fishmonger Idi Idrisa said one teenager
exploded as she approached the mosque
crowded with people from the nearby Baga
Road fish market, performing afternoon
prayers during the holy month of Ramadan.
The second teen appeared to run away
and blew up further away, killing only herself,
Civilian defence fighter, Sama Ila Abu, said
he counted at least 30 corpses as he helped
to collect the dead. Both men said there
were many injured being sent to the
A military bomb disposal expert has told
the AP that most bombs carried by girls and
women have remote detonation devices,
meaning the carrier cannot control the
Female suicide bombers kill 30
Obama uses 'N' word during speech
cured' in US
7 die in Sudan cholera outbreak
Nine killed as Taliban
strikes Afghan parliament
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