Colors: Blue Color

 

 

 

Pope Francis has said he will appoint 13 new Roman Catholic cardinals, among them the first African-American clergyman.

 

The Pope announced the 13 cardinals from eight nations in a surprise address from his window overlooking St Peter's Square in Rome.

 

Wilton Daniel Gregory, the progressive 72-year-old Archbishop of Washington DC, will be one of them. The cardinals will be installed in a ceremony at the Vatican on 28 November. Cardinals are the most senior clergymen in the Roman Catholic Church below the pontiff.

 

Their role includes electing the pope - the head of the Church - who is chosen from among them at a secret gathering known as a conclave.

 

As four of the new intake are over the age of 80, they are not allowed to vote under Church rules.

 

The nine nominees who will be eligible to vote come from Italy, Malta, Rwanda, the United States, the Philippines, Chile, Brunei and Mexico.

 

Vatican experts say the appointment of new cardinals will cement Pope Francis's influence on the clergymen who will one day elect his successor. Assuming the new cardinals are appointed, Pope Francis will have selected almost 60% of prelates during his tenure, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

 

An ordained priest since the age of 25, he became Washington's archbishop in May 2019. He replaced Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned amid criticism of his handling of abuse cases.

 

In the US, Archbishop Gregory has been a prominent voice in the effort to root out abuse within the Church. As president of the US bishops' conference, he persuaded Church leaders to adopt tougher penalties for abusers in 2002.

 

Archbishop Gregory has been critical of President Donald Trump over his use of rhetoric and visits to religious sites. The archbishop rebuked President Trump's visit to a shrine to St John Paul II in Washington, calling it "baffling and reprehensible".

 

The visit came in June, a day after the president had ordered the dispersal of peaceful protesters near the White House. Archbishop Gregory said St John Paul II "certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace".

 

The 13 include Italian priest Raniero Cantalamessa, 84, who has served as preacher to three papal households. Another Italian nominee, Marcello Semeraro, is a 72-year-old bishop who oversees the canonisation of saints by the Church. A cardinal post will also go to Maltese Mario Grech, the head of the Synod of Bishops, an influential advisory body for the pope.

 

Others include Antoine Kambanda, the Archbishop of Kigali in Rwanda; Jose Fuerte Advincula, the Archbishop of Capiz in the Philippines; and Celestino Aos Braco, the Archbishop of Santiago in Chile.

For many children his age, the only fights that happen are between friends in the playground, but for Treyvan Campbell, it’s top flight football academies that are already fighting over his future.

With offers from both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City Academies for a pre contract, this 6 year old has already shown the natural talent and ability that has the big leagues calling.

The youngest of 3 boys, Treyvan started his football career only 2 years ago, when his father Gavin took him to a local 3G Pitch at St Matthews, but even he couldn’t have foreseen the whirlwind journey that the family have been on since.

“I just wanted him to play grassroots football,” began Gavin, “but then he got recommended by a coach to Coventry City, then Nottingham Forest, Derby, Wolves and Leicester, and he’s been playing with all of these clubs over the last year.”

“I’m shocked that it’s happened so quickly, but very grateful, and amazed that he’s been offered pre-contracts 2 years early from Wolves and Leicester to tie him down 2 years before he can officially sign a full contract.”

“You’d think he was a 17 year old looking at first team football, but he’s only 6!”

Gavin homeschools Treyvan, and started his formal education around the same time as his football education.

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Treyvan is a winger, and in his own words, he “loves to go on the wing because there is less players and more room. I love being able to cut in and shoot, and show my skills.”

“My friends think it’s great that I’m playing with the Academies, and I love Wolves,” continued Treyvan. “They don’t give up, when they practice they do it for hours and they’ve got a great team.”

“I like playing football because it’s fun, I get to show off my skills, and I play to win!”

Treyvan works hard both at his football, and his schoolwork, balancing 2-3 hours of football practice a day with the full curriculum of subjects.

“I feel 1 on 1 teaching will always beat 30 on 1,” Gavin explained, “which is why I work in the evenings and teach and train him during the day. We started him at 4 years old, and now he’s at least a year above, if not two, from where he should be for his age group.”

The sight of black footballers in the game now is a regular one, but it wasn’t that long ago that the likes of Arthur Wharton, widely considered not only England’s, but the world’s first black professional footballer, were making waves by coming into the game.

It is a great time that thanks to their hard work and sacrifice, the path to success is that much easier for children like Treyvan to follow in, but we still have a long way to go. As we celebrate Black History Month, we acknowledge the past, but look to our future, and as teacher for Treyvan, Gavin has his own views on Black History Month.

“I feel there should be more than just a Black History Month, it should just be a base part of the curriculum, having one month to focus on our culture and history isn’t enough.”

“It would reduce the ignorance in children, in terms of prejudice and racist views. It can make them more open minded. I went to a private school in London, and we had a lot of kids from overseas, and learning about their culture was amazing, whereas if I had been brought up in my local school and estate, then I feel I would probably be more prejudiced.”

Treyvan has now signed with Wolverhampton Wanderers on a pre-contract, securing his place for the next 2 years.

It’s true that we are a product of our environment, and we have a long way to go before everyone is on a level playing field and treated equally, but if the environment that Gavin and his wife are creating for Treyvan is anything to go by considering how much he is flourishing already, then the future is in good hands, albeit one child at a time.

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Having made history as the first Black Female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has said that ballet is listening after George Floyd killing.

 

"As the world is changing, as it grows more diverse, if the ballet world doesn't evolve with it, then it's going to die," she said.

 

She says that after George Floyd's death and the focus on Black Lives Matter, for the first time in her 20-year career, people are starting to listen to her about the problem of diversity within the global ballet industry.

 

Misty became the first Black woman to become the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre in its 81-year history.

 

A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer.

 

"There's so many communities that are not going to support an art form that they feel does not want them to be a part of it," she says.

 

Born in Kansas City, Missouri Misty was raised in San Pedro, California, before beginning her ballet studies at the late age of thirteen. At fifteen, she won first place in the Music Centre Spotlight Awards.

 

She studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. Misty joined ABT’s Studio Company in 2000, joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in 2001, and in 2007 became the company’s second Black female Soloist and the first in two decades.

 

In 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first Black woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history.

The frontman of legendary reggae band Toots and the Maytals, has died.

 

One of Jamaica's most influential musicians, Toots Hibbert helped popularise reggae in the 1960s with songs like Pressure Drop, Monkey Man and Funky Kingston. He even claimed to have coined the genre's name, on 1968's Do The Reggay.

 

Born in May Pen, in Clarendon, the charismatic and soulful performer scored 31 number one singles in Jamaica.

 

The youngest of seven children, he grew up singing gospel music in a church choir - but it was school where he formed his ambition to become a performer. And, thanks to his full-throated vocals, he was often referred to as "The Otis Redding of Reggae" - but he was always Toots.

 

His mother, a midwife, died when he was eight, with his father dying three years later. As a teenager, he moved to Kingston, where he lived with his older brother John (who had nicknamed him "Little Toots") and found work in a barbershop.

 

There, he struck a friendship with singers Jerry Matthius and Raleigh Gordon, with whom he formed the Maytals. In 1962, the year Jamaica gained independence from the United Kingdom, they were discovered by Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd, who signed them to his Studio One label.

 

Over the next 10 years, they released a string of hit singles including Fever, Bam Bam, and Sweet and Dandy. But the group hit a roadblock in 1967, when Hibbert was arrested for possession of marijuana. He served nine months in jail and, on his release, recorded 54-46 (That's My Number) - a reference to his prison number.

 

It became one of the first reggae songs to receive widespread popularity outside Jamaica, introducing many Europeans to the sound for the first time.

 

The group scored a UK hit with ‘Monkey Man’ in 1970, and, in 1972, Hibbert appeared in the ground-breaking cult classic film ‘The Harder They Come’ - which starred reggae legend Jimmy Cliff – where he hooked up with The Maytals.

 

Their (The Maytals) song ‘Pressure Drop’ was featured on the film's soundtrack - which introduced many US fans to reggae - and it was later covered by the Clash, cementing the group's reputation in the UK.

 

In 1980, they entered the Guinness Book of World Records after a concert in London's Hammersmith Palais was cut to vinyl and released in just 24 hours, with Island Records boss Chris Blackwell personally delivering copies to record shops in his Mini Cooper.

 

A year later, however, Matthias and Gordon retired from music and Hibbert continued as a solo act.

 

He assembled a new version of the Maytals in the 1990s and toured extensively - but made a more high-profile comeback with the 2004 album True Love.

 

Boasting new recordings of his best-known hits, the record featured a host of guest stars, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, No Doubt, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and the Roots.

 

It went on to win a Grammy award, rejuvenating the musician's career. He released a solo album, Light Your Light, in 2007 and hit the road for the Maytals 50th anniversary in 2012.

 

The following year, however, he was injured during a concert, and was unable to perform again until 2016.

 

Music in Jamaica which was an evolution of ska and rocksteady, had been called blue-beat or boogie-beat until Hibbert intervened.

 

"The music was there and no-one didn't know what to call it," he said in an interview. "And in Jamaica we had a slang - if we're not looking so good, if we're looking raggedy, we'd call it 'streggae'. That's where I took it from.

 

"I recorded this song (Do The Reggay) and people told me that the song let them know that our music is called Reggae. So I'm the one who coined the word!"

 

The Maytals were part of a scene that included soon-to-be legends, such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff; and they recorded with everyone from the Skatalites to Prince Buster.

Hibbert recorded almost every day in his home studio; and recently released what was to be his last album, ‘Got To Be Tough’; co-produced by Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey.

 

"If you sing nursery rhymes, it is nothing” he once said. “You just blow up tomorrow, and the record dies at the same time. But if you give positive words, that song lives for ever."

 

The cause of his was not disclosed, but, according to his family, he had recently been taken to hospital with Covid-like symptoms before later being placed in a medically induced coma.

 

He died age 77.

 

From his early years growing up in the Ashanti region of Ghana, to now inspiring the youth through teaching, leadership and management in the British Army, Emmanuel Asumadu-Aboagye is certainly an interesting man.

Emmanuel is a Ghanaian born Sergeant Major Instructor in Gunnery in the British Army, and has been a part of the Armed Forces for 13 years.

He grew up in Manpong, part of the Ashanti region of Ghana, before moving to Kumasi at a very young age. Educated at Minnesota International School in Kumasi, before attending Junior High Secondary in Manpong, and then Konongo Odumase Senior High School before the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, teaching, learning and education are at the core of Emmanuel’s life.

Emmanuel completed his BSc in Mathematics, majoring in Mathematical Economics in 2006, and during his course, he used to holiday in the UK with family and friends from December 2004 onwards.

While at University, he met his now-wife, Patricia, who was studying Sociology and Social Science. They married in December 2007, and she is now a teacher, holding her Masters degree in teaching.

It was after finishing his degree that Emmanuel decided to join the British Army, and on the 3rd September 2007, he started his basic training at Pirbright.

“I loved the Army, and even if I hadn’t moved to the UK I still would’ve joined, because I loved the discipline and the way that the army transforms people,” explained Emmanuel.

“It gives you that extra confidence that gets you through things. A lot of things enticed me, but mainly the discipline and confidence from being a part of the military.”

After his basic training, he completed his Trade Training at Larkhill, before being posted to Germany as part of the 3rd Royal Horse Artillery based in Hohne on the 6th June 2008.

Patricia joined him in Germany until 2015, when following rebasing, the German Barracks disbanded and they moved back to Newcastle.

“While I was there I was selected to attend the Royal Artillery Premier Course, which was the Gunnery Career Course in 2018. I had to move back down to Larkhill with my family to attend the 1 year long course.

“I passed with flying colours and got the privilege to be employed within the Artillery Commands Systems branch as a SMIG – Sergeant Major Instructor in Gunnery.”

Emmanuel has 3 daughters, Ines (10), Solace (6) and Lois (3) and now teaches how to use the radios in the Army, communications, and how to become detachment commanders.

“This is not like basic training, it’s more the educative side of teaching.”

He currently works under a Master Gunner, which he hopes to become in the future.

“Being part of the army has changed me a lot. It has given me that moral compass to be able to carry out my duties at work and at home, and even the extracurricular activities I do outside of work to help the country,” Emmanuel stated, smiling.

“It has transformed me completely and made me a better person, and I am enjoying it. That is as a result of the core values and standards that we uphold in the Army.”

The old African adage, ‘Education Is The Key To Success’ is key in everything that Emmanuel believes in. “My parents used to tell me this, no matter what you do, educate yourself.”

“I always want to develop myself, make myself better to compete with the best, and in order to do that I sacrificed my free time to go away and do courses.

“All of the awards I have are result of me going away to do things in my own time to upgrade myself, because the army is very, very competitive.”

He also takes part in a lot of charity work, volunteering with Trinity YMCA and Arms around the Child, while being an ambassador for Violent Crime Prevention Board UK.

“All of these charities are about championing the youth,” continued Emmanuel. “My best friend Christian Atsu who plays for Newcastle, is an Ambassador for Arms Around The Child, and we are trying to change the narratives of what is there and what we can do to redefine these kids.

“We go around speak to them, act as role models, doing Skype calls, educating and mentoring. We work closely with the Metropolitan police as well, and especially the Cadets that are going through police training.”

Emmanuel is proud to be an inspiration to his Commonwealth brothers and sisters, as achieving what he has in such a short time within the Army is nothing short of incredible.

At a recent outreach programme in Ipswich, Emmanuel was taking questions from the children, many of whom were saying that they thought the army was racist.

“I told them that there is racism everywhere as we have seen, but it's all about how you compose yourself and conduct yourself and how you do things. If I've been able to do it then you can do it too.”

Emmanuel says that he feels he has brought a lot of diversity to the Army, and is proud to have brought his knowledge to support his subordinates and colleagues.

“I have taught mathematics to soldiers in Afghanistan when I was deployed out there. When it wasn't busy I volunteered to go to the education centre to teach mathematics and English.”

Emmanuel is himself just finishing another degree, this time in Education and Professional Development at Huddersfield University, paid for by the Army.

“The army is the best place to be, as it gives young people the opportunity to find their talents, and to educate themselves, as there are people that join with no qualifications but by the time they leave they have a load.”

His journey to SMIG has been a speedy and impressive one, and for the dedicated family man and proud Ghanaian, the only way is up from here.

 

The former British world champion, who won a bronze medal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich and claimed the undisputed world middleweight title against Italian Vito Antuofermo in Las Vegas in 1980 died after suffering from cancer.

 

He seemed to attract blood. After seeing a doctor about the ongoing issue he arrived at a conclusion - "don't get hit in the first place".

 

A dogged fighter in a hard era, at the start of 1970, not one British boxer held a world title. They were tough to come by and even the British and European belts often only came along after one had paid their dues.

 

However, he twice won the European title on the road and would find himself coming to terms with the tragic death of one of his opponents.

 

That he overcame cuts, a ruthless era, tragedy, and still won a world title is testament to the character he was.

 

Having his last fight in 1981, he died age 69.