Colors: Blue Color




The anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria created a powerful movement that appeared to shake those in power. A potent mix of street protests and social media has given young Nigerians a voice that has shattered the country's culture of deference. As the #EndSARS hashtag went viral, so did a defiance of the elite in Nigeria.


The trashing of the palace of the highly respected oba, or traditional ruler, of Lagos was symbolic of this mood. The youths dragged his throne around, looted his possessions and swam in his pool.


What began as a protest against the hated police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) has become a conduit for the youth to vent their anger with the people who have been in charge of Nigeria for decades, and demand change. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo warned in 2017 that "we are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder" when it comes to the young.


His comments were about the continent in general but they apply to Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with 200 million people, more than 60% of whom are under the age of 24.


The majority of those of working age do not have formal employment and there are few opportunities to get a good education. Earlier this year, government statistics showed that 40% of Nigerians lived in poverty. But those currently in power at first misunderstood what was going on this time, activist and writer Gimba Kakanda said.


"The #EndSARS protests were initially perceived as another of the youths' episodic mischief-making that would fizzle out if left unaddressed," he said. "This mind-set of the political class, almost overly condescending, was the reason for its slow response to this unprecedented movement and left them all on the edge."


The question is where does that movement go now?

The success of the protest in forcing concessions from the government - such as a promise to disband Sars, and wider police reform - has given Nigerian youths confidence and they believe that they can make a difference.


A few days into the protests, activists were able to establish a helpline that could respond to emergencies. They also provided legal services to those in need and even set up a radio station. These were financed through crowdfunding and were cited as examples of how Nigeria could be better if it were not for the politicians who often seem more interested in what they can personally gain, rather than how they can improve the country. But there has also been an ugly side.


While those who backed and came out in support of the #EndSARS movement were peaceful, another segment of the youth saw the protests as an opportunity. They vandalised shops, raided warehouses and targeted the businesses of prominent politicians. Although the approach of these two groups is different, they do share one thing in common: a disdain for those in charge.


It is unlikely though that they can find common cause. Any move in that direction may affect the spread of the movement across the country because some will find it hard to sit at the same table as people with "questionable character".


There is, nevertheless, an awareness on the part of the authorities that poverty and hardship are national security threats, activist Mr Kakanda said.


"The government has realised that it can no longer take such outrage for granted as it has done before," he added. But it continued to make missteps in trying to quell the mood.

President Muhammadu Buhari's address to the nation "missed the point by a wide margin", according to blogger and columnist Japheth Omojuwa.


Buhari called for an end to the protests and the beginning of a dialogue, but "he will be remembered for threatening Nigerians just because they asked their government to commit to justice". Nevertheless, Mr Omojuwa believes that the #EndSARS movement can achieve something. It should not focus on long-term ambitions of gaining political power, he argues, but rather should make sure that the authorities stick to their promise of reform and bringing errant policemen to justice.


It is these small steps that may eventually bring wider change.


Efforts are continuing to extinguish a fire that has broken out on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa as members of the Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) and local people have been struggling to put out the blaze. Their efforts, though, have been hampered by the altitude as well as strong winds and dry weather which have caused the fire to spread fast.


The cause of the fire is not clear, but according to a Pascal Shelutete, an official from Tanapa, the blaze started at the Whona area, a rest centre for climbers using two of the several routes up the mountain.


He (Mr Shelutete) said "The fire is still going on and firefighters from Tanapa, other government institutions and locals are continuing with the efforts to contain it."


"The fire is big and they are continuing to fight it," Alex Kisingo, deputy head at the College of African Wildlife Management, located near the mountain.


The college sent its 264 students to help fight the fire and distribute supplies to firefighters.

The parks authority said in a statement that it had taken "every step to make sure that, the fire will not affect the lives of tourists, their equipment, porters and tour guides".


Mount Kilimanjaro, which is 5,895m (19,341 feet) high is a popular tourist destination and tens of thousands of people climb it every year.


The spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Jamaica prompted the government to adopt new restrictive measures that went into force recently. 


Prime Minister Andrew Holness had announced changes to the containment measures as the country deals with community spread of COVID-19, the Jamaica Observer newspaper reports.


These measures include:


  • There will be an 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew starting tomorrow, until September 23.
  • Public gatherings have been reduced from 20 people to 15.
  • People 70 years and older are required to stay home, but will be allowed to leave once each day for the necessities of life.
  • There will be one person less than the maximum allowed in the license for taxis, while passengers are required to wear masks while in the vehicles.
  • The prohibition on funerals and parties continues. Burials are allowed with 15 people, including no more than 10 mourners.
  • Normal church services are allowed for institutions which follow the protocols. There should be no more than 15 people gathered in the church yard.
  • All businesses should facilitate workers to work from home if they are able to.


When you first meet HRH Marara Joshua Maponga III, you realise that he is an unassuming individual, who is concerned about the state of his nation.

A social entrepreneur from South Africa who has worked with organizations such as Entrepreneurial Development Southern Africa, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and Global Management Centre (UK).

Joshua was a Pastor for 33 years, and was conferred the title of Bishop from the Pentecostal and Evangelical community, but more recently you may have heard of him as the inspirational public speaker, through both his personal YouTube videos, as well as his many interviews and speeches, and his numerous books.

The Phoenix caught up with Joshua to find out a bit more about the man behind the name and burning passion.

“My target is the rural African children like myself, who grew up barefooted, driving a herd of 120 cattle, finally seeing the lights of the city in the distance,” explained Joshua, in his naturally calm and collected voice.

The firstborn of his family, and the oldest of 5 siblings, he spoke emotionally of his childhood. “My first time getting into town at about 10 years old, I couldn’t close my eyes as the excitement was too great.

“I grew up, went to school and completed the European education, as we were still under the British Empire. We learned the ‘civil etiquette’ and our imagery was changed greatly from the old stories that my grandmother used to tell me around the fireplace.”

Joshua studied Dickens, Shakespeare and more, which “created this alternative world out there for me that was doing well in terms of progress compared to here.”

By middle high school he was introduced to Miss Becky Huckinson, who taught him English. “She was a beautiful American woman,” Joshua remembered fondly, “and although I could read and write English, speaking it was another matter entirely, she took me through the diction of English.”

“This lead to me developing a keen interest in the arts, languages, craft and music.”

Joshua received another world view and way of life after enrolling as a theologian in an American college in Zimbabwe Andrews University, “I had wanted to do engineering or medicine, but my father steered me down a different path.”

Joshua’s father was a pastor and minister who had been released from prison and death row in the 1979 Amnesty and until that point, he didn’t know if he would ever see his father again.

His father moved to a religious environment following his release, staying away from politics, and warning his son that he needed to as well. This lead Joshua to continue his studies in theology and philosophy, and went on to work in the church for the last 33 years.

Joshua’s ideas and ideals prompted his move to South Africa and Swaziland, and then flew into London at the end of 1998.

Maponga lived in Birmingham, Norfolk and then South Essex with his ex wife, until one morning he woke up and realised he was a mobile wardrobe, living with so many layers on to stay warm, he couldn’t do it anymore.

“My ex wife loved living in London, but I was unable to take it any longer, so moved back to South Africa and started a new job in Marketing, Consulting and Construction. Unfortunately my mind was no longer together, my marriage broke down, and my wife wasn’t prepared to come back to South Africa with me.”

Joshua remained in South Africa with his 2 daughters, then aged 6 and 4, and raised them alone.

“From about 2008 onwards, I noticed that maybe we are missing something very important in terms of our social justice system, and how we can ensure our communities become sustainable and viable.”

With his views of the world enriched by his experiences, Joshua’s thoughts and beliefs had changed so significantly from those of the mainstream Church, that the council of churches warned against his teachings.

“I’ve started writing my own Bible book, entitled ‘The Gospel According to Maponga J’ and to date I have written over 50 chapters. The day I die, consolidate those writings and leave them for the next generation.”

Alongside this, over the years he has become the renowned best selling author with his books, including “Going Places In The Spirit”, “So You Want To Be The Master” and “Shopping Skills”, as well as being a multi-instrumentalist.

Close to Joshua’s heart is the organisation “ZIM” or Zimbabwe Indigenous Movement, starkly in contrast to his fathers warnings of yesteryear, with the aim of taking the political power and converting it to an Indigenous Government System, where Royalty will be the highest in the land.

“If I was to become president I wouldn’t even be inaugurated, as I don’t believe in those systems, such as state house mentality. I want a body above the Parliament so that we can have a system that we can hold accountable.”

But Maponga’s plans are more widespread than you might think, “If we can start a movement for all European countries to return the money of these African people who have stored their money in European governments and banks back to the mainland, that would be enough money to develop Africa to the state in which we want it to be,” explains Maponga.

Over ZIM is the body “AIM” – Africa Indigenous Movement, which looks to house all of the intellectual property of how to transform Africa, a template for every other nation.

And finally above AIM is Joshua’s brainchild, Farmers of Thoughts – Agriculture in 3 stages.

• The Agriculture of the Mind - the quality of crop that goes into your brain, and harvesting from it, including all the mental manipulation that happens.

• The Agriculture between your legs – reproduction, creating an inheritance for the next generation, who ploughs between your legs and what kind of fruits are being harvested?

• The Agriculture beneath your feet - speaks of the project of the land. But you are unable to give people land beneath their feet if they don’t have land between their legs or between their ears.

Joshua hopes to make a difference to the people of South Africa, and improve the quality of human life through encouraging conscious experiences, and has come to realise that not all problems can be solved by simply praying for them.

Some economic issues require an education, and to empower people to find solutions to the economic and political issues of the day.

If you want to learn more about ZIM, please visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Five women in Colorado, in the USA are currently serving as judges, making it a record-breaking number in the state. They were appointed by Gov. Jared Polis during a period of less than two years.


Twelve months ago, Frances Johnson was appointed for the 4th Judicial District Court in Colorado Springs, making her the first Black woman to hold the position in general jurisdiction.


A month later, Nikea Bland became the first Black woman appointed to a Denver district court of general jurisdiction.


“It’s 2020, and there shouldn’t be any Black firsts left, but here we are,” Bland said.


“I’m just glad to see we are finally moving forward. It’s progress.”


This year, Pax Moultrie was selected to the Denver Juvenile Court in February, Samorreyan


“Sam” Burney was assigned in the 4th Judicial District County Court in Colorado Springs in April, and Jill Dorancy was appointed a district court judge in July.


Polis, who took office in January 2019, appointed more Black women to the statewide bench than all the 42 previous governors combined. The efforts were done in accordance with his commitment to have representation for everyone.


“I am honoured to appoint several highly qualified and dedicated Black women to serve in Colorado’s judicial branch — it’s about time! I am committed to building a Colorado for all, which is why we need more people of colour in positions of leadership and represented in our government, in order to truly reflect our community,” Polis said.


Moreover, the appointments are somehow surprising to many, especially that the state consists of 84% white and 4% Black population.


“It’s not the first place that people from outside the state would think of as diverse,” Moultrie said. “This is an example of what happens when people in leadership positions embrace and value diverse talent. If it can happen here in Colorado, it can happen anywhere!”


Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced 19 members of his new cabinet after he was re-elected recently.


Edmund Bartlett, who has served successful tenures as Tourism Minister, was reconfirmed for the post. 


Tourism is one of the main income earners for this Caribbean island nation and Edmund Bartlett has been widely positioned as a minister with a global vision and a focus on safety and security. 


Mr. Bartlett started the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center and is also involved in rebuilding travel.


The British-American former Sunday Times editor was famed for leading an investigation into the drug Thalidomide - which first appeared in the UK in 1958, and was prescribed to expectant mothers to control the symptoms of morning sickness - and fighting the Distillers Company for greater compensation for the victims.


During a 70-year career Sir Harold also worked as a magazine founder, book publisher, author and editor-at-large at Reuters. He was editor of the Sunday Times for 14 years and oversaw many other campaigns in that time. He later edited the Times but left in 1981 following a public falling-out with the paper's owner, Rupert Murdoch, over editorial independence and his refusal to turn the paper into an organ of Thatcherism - before it eventually did.


Hundreds of mothers in Britain, and many thousands across the world, gave birth to children with missing limbs, deformed hearts, blindness and other problems.


As editor of the Northern Echo in the 1960s, his campaigns resulted in a national screening programme for cervical cancer – amongst other well-covered campaigns.


One of Britain and America's best-known journalists, he then went on to become the founding editor of Conde Nast Traveller magazine and later president of the publishing giant, Random House before writing several books about the press.


A poll, in 2002, by the Press Gazette and the British Journalism Review named him the greatest newspaper editor of all time and in 2003 he was given a knighthood for his services to journalism.


He died of heart failure in New York, his wife Tina Brown said, aged 92.

Costa Rica has recently welcomed its 30th national park: San Lucas Island, located off the Pacific coast of the Gulf of Nicoya. The purpose of the new park is to develop sustainable tourism as well as contributing to the socio-economic development of the area. Costa Rica’s protected areas now encompass more than 28% of its land mass.

Previously a Wildlife Refuge, San Lucas Island National Park is made up of both land and coastal areas and covers 1.8 square miles. Howler monkeys, spiders, snakes, deer and pheasants are some of the wildlife that can be found on the island.

With an investment of over £224,000, the new national park now features new trails, toilets, water and electricity systems and 24-hour surveillance. Over 50 tourist guides have been trained to show the historical island, which served as a prison until 1991.

San Lucas Island is easily accessible by a 40-minute boat ride from the city of Puntarenas, located 60 miles away from San José, Costa Rica’s capital city.

A joint effort between the public and private sectors, San Lucas Island National Park is part of the objectives of the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) of developing new tourism products to encourage visitors to discover the country’s hidden gems.

Gustavo Segura Sancho, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, said: “San Lucas Island is part of Costa Rica’s history and heritage, so we are very pleased to re-open it as the country’s 30th national park. It will greatly surprise visitors looking for quieter spots when on holiday”.

San Lucas Island is the second national park in the region of Puntarenas - the first being Coco Island National Park. The last protected area that was declared a national park was in July 2019, when Miravalles Volcano National Park-Jorge Manuel Dengo became Costa Rica’s 29th national park.


The one-time home of US civil rights legend Rosa Parks has gone on display inside the Royal Palace of Naples in Italy.


Ms Parks came to world prominence when, in 1955, she refused to give up her seat on a racially segregated bus.


On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger and was arrested for civil disobedience.


It became a leading moment in the US civil rights moment. For her, though, she received death threats and moved north to Detroit, where she briefly lived in the white clapboard house with relatives.


The incident led to a year-long bus boycott in the city and in November 1956, a federal court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional, and Parks was immortalised as a key figure in the fight against institutionalised racism.


Detroit city authorities planned to demolish the two-storey building after the financial crisis in 2008. But Parks' niece Rhea McCauley bought it from Detroit officials for $500 and sold it to US artist Ryan Mendoza.


In 2016, after trying to have the city save the building, he took it apart and moved it to Berlin for display at his studio.


Two years later, in 2018, Brown University in Rhode Island said it would display the house as part of a civil rights exhibition, but then dropped out because of a legal dispute with her family. Mr Mendoza later contacted the Morra Greco Foundation where he previously worked who agreed to show the house at the Royal Palace in Naples, with the backing of the regional government in Campania.


The display is part of an exhibition called Almost Home - The Rosa Parks House Project.


A repeating soundtrack titled ‘8:46’ plays alongside the displayed house, in reference to the length of time police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd in May.


His killing sparked international protests and condemnation of police brutality and racism in the US.


As she lies in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC the US Congress referred to Rosa Parks as "The First Lady of Civil Rights."


After a legal dispute, the house is now on display in Italy.


Barbados has announced that it intends to remove Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth as its head of state and will become a republic.


Following a statement by the Caribbean island nation's government which said: "The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind," it said that it aims to complete the process in time for the 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, in November 2021.


Prime Minister Mia Mottley further followed that by writing a speech saying that Barbadians wanted a Barbadian head of state.


The speech read: "This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving."


Buckingham Palace said that it was a matter for the government and people of Barbados.


A source at Buckingham Palace said that the idea "was not out of the blue" and "has been publicly talked about by many."


The statement was part of the Throne Speech, which outlines the government's policies and programmes ahead of the new session of parliament. While it is read out by the governor-general, it is written by the country's prime minister.


The speech also quoted a warning from Errol Barrow, Barbados's first prime minister after it gained independence, who said that the country should not "loiter on colonial premises".


His is not the only voice in Barbados that has been suggesting a move away from the monarchy. A constitutional review commission recommended republican status for Barbados in 1998.


Ms Mottley's predecessor in Freundel Stuart also argued for a "move from a monarchical system to a republican form of government in the very near future".


Barbados would not be the first former British colony in the Caribbean to become a republic after Guyana took that step in 1970, less than four years after gaining independence from Britain.


Trinidad and Tobago followed suit in 1976 and Dominica in 1978.


All three stayed within the Commonwealth, a loose association of former British colonies and current dependencies, along with some countries that have no historical ties to Britain.



The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) and Dominica’s award-winning Secret Bay boutique resort are joining forces to support the professional development of the region’s hospitality workers.All proceeds from the raffle of a five-night stay for two at the exclusive property will go toward providing Caribbean hospitality industry workers with opportunities such as scholarships, continuing education programs and on-the-job training. 

“Advancing the education and training of Caribbean hospitality students and professionals has never been more important as we maneuver our lives, livelihoods and careers through these choppy waters,” said CHTAEF chairman Karolin Troubetzkoy. 

Situated on a spectacular clifftop in Dominica, known as the Caribbean’s “Nature Island”, Secret Bay is among the leading boutique resorts in the world. An acclaimed Relais & Châteaux property, the secluded six-star resort comprises elegant villas, each featuring a private plunge pool and dedicated villa host. Guests have access to a secret beach as well as an on-call concierge, chefs and guides. 

Conceptualized by architect Fruto Vivas, Secret Bay’s award-winning, open-air villas are known worldwide for an artistic fusion of high-level design and local craftsmanship. As a Green Globe-certified resort made entirely of sustainably sourced materials, Secret Bay takes environmental responsibility to the highest level while maintaining its commitment to guest comfort. 

“The Education Foundation has a stellar history of supporting hospitality professionals, and it is our honor to play our part, particularly during tough times,” said Gregor Nassief, Proprietor of Secret Bay, which was recently ranked the number one resort in the Caribbean in Travel + Leisure’s 2020 World’s Best Awards.

CHTAEF was established in 1986 as an independent nonprofit offering tax-exempt status for donations. As part of its mission, CHTAEF provides people throughout the Caribbean region with an awareness of the varied career opportunities in the industry, as well as technical and professional development through scholarships, special assistance initiatives and other training programs.

Today, CHTAEF volunteer trustees administer one of the largest scholarship programs available in the Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry. Funds for these scholarships and grants are generated from corporate sponsorships, benefit auctions and special events, such as the Secret Bay raffle. The foundation also encourages the co-sponsorship of scholarships through companies that do business with the Caribbean, national hotel associations and individual resorts.

“The Education Foundation is committed to playing our part to ensure that our Caribbean hospitality professionals will have access and opportunity to complete their training and expand their skills,” said Troubetzkoy, who is also executive director of the world-renowned Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts in nearby St. Lucia.

Each US$50 purchase secures one entry for the five-night stay prize, which is valued at more than US$6,500. Entries will be accepted until 12 p.m. ET on September 30, 2020.

Jamaica's ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) was re-elected with a landslide victory after Prime Minister Andrew Holness called for an early vote in what was seen as a bid to capitalise on people's satisfaction with his economic agenda and early response to the coronavirus pandemic. His centre-right party won 49 of 63 seats - one of the largest margins of victory in decades, but also one of the lowest voter turnouts at 37% - in the parliamentary election.

With face masks and temperature checks made compulsory in polling stations the campaign was dominated by discussions over the economy, how to fight crime and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the victory, he continues to face criticism amid an increase in coronavirus cases as restrictions in the country were lifted.

After seeing his JLP gain 16 seats he said: "There is cause for celebration, but there is also significant cause for consideration.

"There are many Jamaicans who did not participate, there are many Jamaicans, who for fear of the virus, did not come to the polls, but for other reasons, apathy, frustrations, decided not to participate."

Also, despite facing criticism over high rates of crime and violence, and alleged corruption among public officials, Holmes, who has been Prime Minister since 2016, did highlight that up to 100,000 jobs had been created during his time in office while 22,000 Jamaicans had had the chance to buy their own homes. He also highlighted tax cuts, and that poverty was at its lowest level in 10 years.

He defended his decision to call the election six months ahead of schedule despite the pandemic, and rejected claims by opponent and leader of the People's National Party (PNP), Peter Phillips, that he had ignored expert advice.

PM Holness became Jamaica's youngest prime minister, at the age of 39, in 2011, but lost an election to the country's first female leader Portia Simpson Miller.


Khadjou Sambe, Senegal's first female professional surfer, trains near her home in the district of Ngor - the westernmost point of the African continent.

"I would always see people surfing and I'd say to myself: 'But where are the girls who surf?'" says the 25-year-old. I thought: 'Why don't I go surfing, represent my country, represent Africa, represent Senegal, as a Black woman?'"

"I always think to myself, when I wake up in the morning: 'Khadjou, you've got something to do, you represent something everywhere in the world, you must go straight to the point, don't give up.'"

"Whatever people say, don't listen, go forward - so that everybody can get up and believe they can surf."

The surfer is now inspiring the next generation to defy cultural norms and take to the waves.

Sambe trains beginners at Black Girls Surf (BGS), a training school for girls and women who want to compete in professional surfing. She encourages her students to develop the physical and mental strength to ride waves and break the mould in a society which generally expects them to stay at home, cook, clean, and marry young.

"I always advise them not to listen to other people, to block their ears," Sambe says.

She is a proud Lebou - an ethnic group that traditionally lives by the sea.

Growing up in the coastal capital of Dakar, Sambe never saw a Black woman surfing the Atlantic swells. As a teenager, her parents refused to allow her to surf for two-and-a-half years, saying it brought shame on the family.

"My determination was strong enough to make them change their minds," she says.
Sambe started surfing when she was 14 years old.

She said: "The first time I tried surfing I wasn't scared at all, I was just so excited to get into the water.

"When you catch that first wave, you are so happy that you scream so that everyone can hear you - because you are content to have stood up and stayed standing. It was a bit tough at the beginning because I was the only girl surfing here, and people were a bit like: 'What is a girl doing here? This is a sport for boys.'

"Obviously that's not true, and other people really encouraged me and told me not to listen."

Residents of Ngor have become accustomed to seeing Sambe carrying her board through the narrow alleyways leading to the shore.

Sambe trains with her coach Rhonda Harper (below left), the founder of BGS.
Harper explains that Sambe arrived without a cent in her pocket, speaking no English and with a wild, free surf style that needed taming to conform to the structure of surf competitions.

"It's like trying to take a tornado and put a rope around it, wrangle that thing down, because she is such a dynamic surfer - it's hard," says Harper.

In recent months, she has used a house overlooking the ocean as a base whilst she trains.

"When I am in the water, I feel something extraordinary, something special in my heart," says Sambe.

India's former president Pranab Mukherjee has died 21 days after it was confirmed that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The 84-year-old was in hospital to remove a clot in his brain when it was discovered he also had Covid-19.

Before serving as president between 2012 and 2017, Mr Mukherjee held several important portfolios during his 51-year political career. These included the finance, foreign and defence ministries.

His son, Abhijit, confirmed the news in a tweet.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Mr Mukherjee's contribution to the country, saying the former president had "left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation".

Mr Modi wrote on Twitter: "A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society".

The current president, Ram Nath Kovind, called Mukherjee "a colossus in public life" who served India "with the spirit of a sage".

The job of president is largely ceremonial but becomes crucial when elections throw up fragmented mandates. The president decides which party or coalition can be invited to form a government.

Mr Mukherjee didn't have to take such a decision because the mandate was clear during his presidency. But he showed his assertiveness in other decisions, such as rejecting the mercy petitions of several people who had been sentenced to death. He also served on the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Most of his career was with the Congress party which dominated Indian politics for decades before suffering two consecutive losses in 2014 and 2019 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Mr Mukherjee joined the party in the 1960s during the tenure of then prime minister Indira Gandhi whom he had described as his mentor.
In 1986 he fell out with the Congress leadership and started his own political party, but returned two years later.

A parliamentarian for 37 years, Mr Mukherjee was widely known as a consensus-builder. Given that consecutive governments before 2014 were built on coalitions, this was an important and valued attribute. However, Mr Mukherjee's larger ambition - of becoming India's prime minister - was never realised. He was overlooked for the post twice - after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and after his party's unexpected election win in 2004.

Manmohan Singh, a trained economist who was chosen as the prime minister, later said that Mr Mukherjee had every reason to feel aggrieved.

Dr Singh said: "He was better qualified than I was to become the prime minister, but he also knew that I have no choice in the matter".


Zodiac signs and the Royal family are two of the most popular topics amongst the press/news. More recently the debate of a new star signs being introduced and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex settling into their new life after giving up Royal duties.

While it’s difficult to estimate how many of us believe in astrology, research suggests that 90% of adults know what their zodiac sign is. However, it isn’t just our own zodiac signs that interest us — have you ever wondered the secret to Queen Elizabeth’s and Prince Philip's enduring love story? Or was there celestial influence over Princess Diana becoming the ‘People’s Princess’?

With this in mind, Fulton Umbrellas have analysed the gender and star signs of current monarchs across the globe, to find out if there is a dominant “ruling” zodiac. They have also analysed 'next-in-lines’ to discover which star sign is most popular and least popular when destined to don the crown. 

Some of the key stats are as followed: 

70% of current rulers are Aries, Taurus, Leo, Pisces, and Aquarius - Queen Elizabeth II is a Taurus, who tend to escape from reality when they're emotional, which is something that the Queen doesn’t display in public.
Scorpio and Cancer are the next zodiac signs to rule the world, with 34% of heirs having these zodiac signs. - Cancers are said to be sensitive to their environments and extremely protective — will this reflect in the way monarchies will be protective of their people in a mothering sense? Whilst a Scorpio is driven by a relentless need for control — if they’re controlled by their egos, they risk self-destruction. 
The number of kings and queens currently stands at 91% men and 9% female, which will increase to 17% women when heirs come into their throne — will more female monarchs be a goal these progressive characters will strive to achieve for in the future, signalling transformation and a step forward for monarchies?

The data might help support any upcoming Royal Family/Zodiac pieces you may have or could be used in a stand-alone piece as there is global data too. If you would like to use the data could you please credit ( as a source. I have attached the raw global data for your review.

The sister of George Floyd, whose death in police custody sparked months of racial turmoil across the US, has urged civil rights protesters to "be his legacy" as thousands gathered for a rally in Washington DC.

"My brother cannot be a voice today," said Bridgett Floyd. "We have to be that voice, we have to be the change".

Ms Floyd was one of several relatives of Black Americans harmed or killed by police to address the event commemorating a historic 1963 civil rights march.

Speakers demanded racial justice and urged people to vote. Jacob Blake Sr, whose son was shot in Wisconsin, told the rally they were holding court on racism in America - and the verdict was "guilty, guilty, guilty!"

Thousands of people gathered in Washington DC for the event that commemorated the 1963 civil rights March on Washington and in protest at police violence.

Called the ‘Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ - a reference to the murder of George Floyd, who died in May after a policeman knelt on his neck for several minutes - it follows renewed protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The event brought together generations of activists to call for police reform and to urge Americans to vote in November's general election. It was organised by civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III - the eldest son of Mr King Jr.

The families of Black Americans shot or killed by police spoke at the same site where Martin Luther King Jr delivered his I Have a Dream speech. The 1963 March on Washington was a seismic event in US history, credited with spurring the passage of the Civil Rights Act outlawing segregation the following year.

Some 250,000 supporters packed the 1.9 miles (3 km) strip from Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, making it one of the largest political gatherings the country had ever seen.

Rev Sharpton announced the 2020 march - which falls on the 57th anniversary of the 1963 event - at Mr Floyd's memorial service in June. His organisation, the National Action Network, worked with Mr King III to convene the rally.

"The nation has never seen such a mighty movement, a modern day incarnation of what my father called the coalition of conscience," said Mr King III.

"And if we move forward with purpose and passion, we will complete the work so boldly began in the 1960s."

The event comes in the wake of at times violent protests over Mr Blake's shooting that have left two dead in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Mr Blake was shot and injured by police.
Since Mr Floyd's death in May, marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and against racism and police brutality have swept the US and the globe.

Speakers during the morning's programming included congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who paid tribute to the activism of Black Americans of the past whose "sacrifice and self-determination shaped history and brought us to this moment".

"We are Black with a capital B," she said. "We are the manifestation of the movement. We are a symbol of social, political and cultural progress."

Other presenters included a young activist who called for an end to the gun violence that plagues Black communities, and representatives from unions, gay rights groups and Hispanic activism groups, who expressed solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Democratic vice-presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris addressed the rally virtually.
Harris, who grew up in an activist household, paid tribute to civil rights leaders of the past.

"Let's march on for our ancestors and let's march on for our children and grandchildren," she said.

Among the initiatives on the agenda were slavery reparations, defunding police departments and investment in healthcare, housing and social services in Black communities, organisers said. It was drafted by hundreds of delegates from across the country.