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Teen jailed for life after killing sex abuser to go free after celebrity campaign

A teenage sex trafficking victim jailed for life after shooting dead a man who tried to rape her is to be freed following a celebrity-backed publicity campaign.

Cyntoia Brown was just 16 when in 2004 she killed Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen after he had taken her to his home for sex.

Brown, who was a runaway and under the influence of a violent pimp, said she shot Allen with one of his own guns after he attacked her.

But she was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after serving at least 51 years in prison.

Now Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has said Brown, who is now 30, had been given “too harsh” a sentence for the murder. She will be released on 7 August under the condition of a 10-year parole.

“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16,” Mr Haslam said in a statement.

“Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms Brown has taken to rebuild her life.”

Ms Judd has been vocal in the Time's Up movement

Ashley Judd said Ms Brown deserved ‘our empathy’

Cyntoia Brown’s case came to the attention of the public in a 2011 documentary about her case.

Since then multiple celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Ashley Judd have pleaded for her release, arguing that she she should have been treated as a traumatised child victim of sex trafficking.

In a statement released by her attorneys, Brown thanked her supporters and the governor and promised to “do everything I can to justify your faith in me”.

“My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been,” she added.

Kim Kardashian West doesn't like shopping as much as she used to

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Kim Kardashian West campaigned for Cyntoia Brown’s release

Since being jailed Brown has earned a high school diploma and is on track to complete her college education this year.

In a joint statement her lawyers Charles Bone and J Houston Gordon said her “transformation, when given the opportunity, is nothing short of miraculous”.

“She is truly a remarkable young woman with so much to offer this world and will now have that chance.”

Reacting to the granting of clemency, Kim Kardashian, who has previously described Brown as a victim with “the courage to fight back,” tweeted simply: “Thank you Governor Haslam.”

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World News

Nigeria postpones presidential election at last minute | World News

Nigeria’s presidential election has been postponed just hours before polls were due to open.

The country’s election commission said it was delaying the vote to 23 February due to unspecified “challenges”, amid reports that voting materials had not been delivered to some areas.

The delay is expected to spark anger in Africa’s most populous nation and largest democracy after many people had relocated for the chance to vote.

A police officer oversees the distribution of election materials in Yola

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The presidential election is now due to take place on 23 February

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said: “This was a difficult decision to take but necessary for successful delivery of the elections and the consolidation of our democracy.”

A review of logistics led the commission to conclude that going ahead with the election as planned was “no longer feasible,” he said.

A group of women sit at the entrance of a polling station in Gombi

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Nigerians sit at the entrance of a polling station in the town of Gombi

Nigeria also postponed its presidential election in 2015 because of deadly insecurity in the northeast of the country, which remains under threat from Islamic extremists.

More than 84 million voters had been expected to head to the polls on Saturday, in what is seen as a close and heated race between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, a billionaire former vice president.

:: ‘Four’ killed in stampede at election rally for Nigeria president

igeria's main opposition party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar

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Atiku Abubakar has campaigned on the theme of ‘Let’s Make Nigeria Work Again’

Both men have pledged to work for a peaceful election even as their supporters, including high-level officials, have caused alarm with warnings against foreign interference and allegations of rigging.

Mr Buhari made history when he came to power in 2015 with the first defeat of an incumbent Nigerian president.

That election was hailed as one of the most transparent and untroubled ever in Nigeria, which has seen deadly post-vote violence in the past.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is bidding for a second term

Mr Buhari’s term has been marked by a crash in global oil prices that spun Nigeria’s economy into a rare recession, from which it only emerged in 2017.

Unemployment shot up and the country passed India as the nation with the most people living in extreme poverty. More than 13 million children are said to be out of school.

Many Nigerians also worry about Mr Buhari himself after he spent more than 150 days outside the country for an unspecified medical treatment.

In December, he bizarrely denied rumours he had died following a period of ill health and had been replaced by a Sudanese clone.



Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian leader: ‘I am not a clone!’

Meanwhile, Mr Abubakar has followed in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump by campaigning on the theme of “Let’s Make Nigeria Work Again”.

He has vowed to apply his business acumen to privatise Nigeria’s state oil company and lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2025, but has faced years of corruption allegations.

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Entertainment

Vogue Brazil executive Donata Meirelles quits over ‘slavery’ party picture | World News

The style director of the Brazilian edition of Vogue has quit after an image taken at her 50th birthday party was condemned for depicting scenes of slavery from colonial times.

A guest at the lavish party, held in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, posted a picture showing Donata Meirelles sat on an elaborate, throne-like chair, flanked by black women in traditional white dress.

Critics likened the women’s clothes to the uniforms worn by house slaves, and pointed out the chair’s similarity to one commonly used by slave masters.

Marie Claire columnist Stephanie Ribeiro said on Twitter: “The black women were used as objects to create an exotic scene.

“It’s reminiscent of colonialism and romanticises those times. She was recreating the image where whites are superior and blacks are dehumanised.”

Ms Meirelles insisted in an Instagram post that the chair was an artefact from the Afro-Brazilian folk religion candomblé, and the clothes were traditional Bahian party attire.

“Even so, if I caused any different impressions, I am sorry,” she added.

In a statement on Instagram, the magazine said: “Vogue Brasil profoundly regrets what happened and hopes that the debate that has been generated serves as a learning experience.

“We believe in affirmative and purposeful actions and also that empathy is the best alternative for the construction of a more just society, in which the historical inequalities of the country are debated and faced.

Vogue has said it will also create a panel of activists and academics to help produce content to combat inequalities.

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Hausa

‘Yaki na sanadin mutuwar Jarirai 500 kullum’

Yemen
Image caption

Jarirai da yara na mutuwa saboda tsananin yunwa, da rashin abinci mai gina jiki

Wani sabon rahoto da aka fitar dauke da cewa Jarirai 5 ne ke mutuwa sanadiyyar yaki, kafin soja guda ya mutu.

Rahoton da kungiyar Save the Children ta fitar, ta ce shekaru biyar da suka gabata, jarirai dubu dari biyar ne ke mutuwa a kowacce rana, sanadiyyar yaki.

Wasu lokutan kuma 300 ko dai sanadiyyar yunwa da rashin abinci mai gina jiki, ko cututtuka kamar amai da gudawa da rashin kulawar likita da magani.

Kasashen da lamarin ya fi munana sun hada da Yemen da Syria da Afghanistan, da Jamhuriyyar Dimukradiyyar Congo.

Save the Children ta ce idan za a hada da yara ‘yan shekara biyar da ke mutuwa, adadin ka ya kai waDubu dari tara.

Haka kuma ba a sanya yaran da suka mutu a lokacin da ake gwabza yakin ba, ko dai ta harbin bindiga, ko tashin bam ko rikitowar gine-gine.

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