It’s been 91 days since nearly 300 Nigerian girls were forced out of their beds at gunpoint and loaded onto trucks by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram. And, honestly, there hasn’t been much news to report since last month. But that’s the point.
This is going the way of Kony 2012 — a hashtag, flash-in-the-pan international coverage, then radio silence anywhere outside of the country. Boko Haram continues to openly taunt the Nigerian government’s about its inaction. Aside from the U.S. pledge to send advisory troops, the only congressional support it’s gotten is a stray tweet here and there.
However, there has been some good news. Last week, Agence France-Presse reported that 63 of the girls were able to escape their captors and return home. And the girls’ families have found an ally in Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by Taliban terrorists. Malala visited Nigeria over the weekend to draw attention to the kidnappings and ask Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to take action. “They are my sisters, and I’m going to speak up for them until they are released,” she told the girls’ families.
Of course, Jonathan’s government has claimed it’s doing as much as it can to bring back the girls. An anonymous source told CBS that “backdoor channels remain open,” and said rescue efforts were aborted at the last second on three separate occasions. A Boko Haram leader has also offered to negotiate a prisoner swap, but the Nigerian government has been unreceptive to the idea.
All these promises for action have failed to console Nigeria’s citizens. In the three months since the girls’ abduction, Jonathan did not met with their families — though he is expected to do so later on Monday. But, for now, as the days, weeks, and months tick on, the Nigerian government is telling these girls and their families that if they want to regain their freedom from violent extremists, they’ll have to go it alone.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."