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Leid Stories—Nkrumah Envisions A United African World—02.14.18

On June 4, 1962—two years after a plebiscite ratified a new constitution and Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was elected the first prime minister and president of the Republic of Ghana, a Conference of African Freedom Fighters was held in Accra, the nation’s capital. Nkrumah had led Ghana, formerly known as The Gold Coast, to independence from Britain in 1957. He …

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MEREDITH KOLODNER – Eligible but got nothing: Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities blocked from college aid

QUEENS, N.Y. — Wendy Thompson always knew she wanted her son to go to college, but she didn’t realize so many people would disagree. Her son was born with cerebral palsy, a disease that has him using a wheelchair, but has little impact on his academic abilities. He graduated from high school with a Regents diploma in 2013 — a …

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Joanne Barkan – Charitable Plutocracy: Bill Gates, Washington State and the Nuisance of Democracy

Once upon a time, the super-wealthy endowed their tax-exempt charitable foundations and then turned them over to boards of trustees to run. The trustees would spend the earnings of the endowment to pursue a typically grand but wide-open mission written into the foundation’s charter — like The Rockefeller Foundation’s 1913 mission “to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.” …

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Can urban gardeners benefit ecosystems while keeping food traditions alive?

When conjuring up an image of a healthy ecosystem, few of us would think of a modern city. But scientists are increasingly recognizing that the majority of ecosystems are now influenced by humans, and even home gardens in urban landscapes can contribute important ecosystem services. “Ecosystem services are the benefits that ecosystems provide to humans. In a natural ecosystem, these …

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Tom Engelhardt – Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Here’s my twenty-first-century rule of thumb about this country: if you have to say it over and over, it probably ain’t so. Which is why I’d think twice every time we’re told how “exceptional” or “indispensable” the United States is. For someone like me who can still remember a moment when Americans assumed that was so, but no sitting president, …