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Making East African Pop Feel at Home in Brooklyn

Alsarah and the Nubatones take Nubian “Songs of Return” in new directions influenced by the singer’s many moves

Don’t call Alsarah the princess of Nubian pop. That’s what The Guardian did in 2013, when it interviewed the Sudan-born, Yemen-raised, and Brooklyn-based East African retro pop singer. The publication lauded her “powerful voice and eclectic mix of north and east African tunes, as well as Arabic sounds and traditions.” Alsarah laughs when I mention the article.

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Guor Marial’s dream was to run in the Olympics. Fourteen years ago he left Sudan after being kidnapped twice and forced to do manual labor as an eight year old. During the civil war in Sudan, he even experienced the deaths of his eight siblings.

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Meet the World's First Solar Powered Study Lantern

Thanks to this solar lantern, for less than $10, students living without electricity could have light to study by when the sun goes down.

When I was in high school, I accidentally set my bed on fire. I needed to finish reading a chapter for English class, but my parents had a pretty strict “lights out” time. So I took a light bulb, screwed it into a socket, plugged it into an extension cord, and dragged it under the covers. Predictably, I fell asleep without shutting this contraption off, and the hot bulb ended up burning my sheets and starting a small, smoky fire. Although my lack of reading light was due to my parent's rules, when the sun goes down around the globe, millions of children that need to study don't even have electricity. The d-light S1, above, is the world's first solar powered lantern made specifically for students trying to hit the books when there's no easily available light source.

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Video: The Daily Show Takes on George Clooney and Southern Sudan

All eyes are on South Sudan. Is it just because celebrities are there?

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Daily Show Full Episodes\n Political Humor & Satire Blog</a>\n The Daily Show on Facebook\n
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Tonight's Daily Show reported about bad news here and abroad but for once not in the Sudan. Jon Stewart talks about flooding in Australia and Lebanon and flooding in Brazil but pointed out that the happest country out there now is Sudan.

Many are surprised that the voting for independence in Southern Sudan is going so well. the United Nations World Food Program reports that the number of people in need of food assistance in southern Sudan has decreased markedly—though prospects for food security largely depend on the post-referendum period and the number of people returning to the South George Clooney is in Sudan this week with the Enough Project's John Prendergast and their website Satellite Sentinel is monitoring the border and blogging the latest news on the situation.

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Could an Independent Southern Sudan Be a Haven for Wildlife?

Few outsiders realize what a truly amazing wildlife habitat the Southern Sudan region was before the war broke out in the early 1980s.

The people of the semi-autonomous region of Southern Sudan (or South Sudan) are now voting on a referendum for independence. We've already looked at how post-vote violence can hopefully be quelled by satellites and the "soaring" national anthem that the new nation would have queued up to play upon successful secession. Believe it or not, there's an environmental story to be told here too.

If Southern Sudan does succeed in creating a new nation, it could be a landmark opportunity for wildlife conservation and natural resource management in Eastern Africa. What few outsiders realize is what a truly amazing wildlife habitat the Southern Sudan region was before the war broke out in the early 1980s. The area "boasted some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa," including the migration of 1.3 million antelope, the second largest wildlife migration in the world.

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