October 26, 2023

By Lisa Vives

Global Information Network 


Back in 1963, the founders of the Organization of African Unity pledged to work and speak as one, forge an international consensus in support of the liberation struggle and fight against apartheid.

Their aims were high. The achievements less so.  Last week, a one-day Cairo Summit for Peace, attended  by leaders and top officials from more than a dozen countries, closed without agreement on a joint statement two weeks into a conflict that has killed thousands and visited a humanitarian catastrophe on the blockaded Gaza enclave of 2.3 million people.

Only one Africa leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa, was in attendance.

The speeches reflected growing anger in the region, even among those with close ties to Israel as the war sparked by a massive Hamas attack enters a third week with casualties mounting and no end in sight.

The current Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza strip has left the African continent deeply divided, with some countries choosing to remain silent while others openly showing solidarity with either Israel or Palestine.

Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo all expressed some form of support for Israel since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

“Kenya joins the rest of the world in solidarity with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemns terrorism and attacks on innocent civilians,” said President William Ruto, writing on Twitter, now known as X.

Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs proclaimed Israel’s right to exist and defend itself while cautioning that country to exercise restraint and seek negotiation talks for both parties.

Rwanda called the Hamas attack an ‘act of terror’ while the Democratic Republic of the Congo expressed support for Israel from the presidency’s Twitter account.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in contrast, expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine.

“All of us standing here pledge our solidarity for the people of Palestine,” he said at a recent meeting of the African National Congress in Johannesburg. “We stand here because we are deeply concerned about the atrocities that are unfolding in the Middle East.”

One of Palestine’s strongest African supporters is Algeria which condemned ‘brutal air strikes by the Zionist (Israel) occupation forces in the Gaza Strip’. They stated they were in ‘full solidarity with the Palestinian people’ while calling on the international community to act against ‘repeated criminal attacks.’

Tunisia, a member of the Arab League like Algeria, expressed ‘complete and unconditional support for the Palestinian people “who have been ‘under Zionist occupation for decades.” They called on the world ‘to stand by the Palestinians and remember the massacres carried out by the Zionist enemy.”

Countries that are more neutral include Nigeria which, on the day of the attack, condemned the “cycle of violence and retaliation that the current escalation has assumed.”

While Uganda has not taken an official side, President Yoweri Museveni urged Israel and Palestine to strive for peace and a ‘two-state solution’.

“African countries take different positions based on their political and geopolitical interests,” said Louis Gitinywa, a Rwanda-based political analyst and constitutional lawyer. “This is nothing new. States have interests, they don’t have friends.”

The only African country with a strong historical attachment to Israel is Ethiopia, but it is yet to make clear its stance on the current situation.

Buchanan Ismael, a political scientist at the University of Rwanda, pointed out that some African countries depend on Israel for military technology and weapons.

“I don’t think African states have very strong diplomatic relations with Israel,” he said. “Their ties are based on an “opportunistic way of cooperation and assistance.”

Category: News

October 26, 2023

By Stacy M. Brown

NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center are spearheading a pioneering study to unravel the biological underpinnings of aggressive breast cancers in Black women. Led by Dr. Harikrishna Nakshatri, a breast cancer researcher at the IU School of Medicine and a key researcher at the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, the investigation holds promise for targeted treatments that could significantly reduce disparities in breast cancer outcomes among Black women.

While breast cancer incidence is now considered lower among Black women, they face significantly poorer outcomes, often developing more aggressive triple-negative breast cancers at a younger age. “Even after you correct for socioeconomic and healthcare access factors, African ancestry is still associated with the worst outcomes,” Nakshatri emphasized. Nakshatri’s lab has been dedicated to uncovering the influence of genetic ancestry on the biology of normal breast tissue and its implications for developing aggressive breast cancers.

Women of African descent had more PZP cells in their normal breast tissue than women of Caucasian descent, according to a previous study under Nakshatri’s direction. Notably, PZP cell numbers increase when Caucasian women develop breast cancer, while they are naturally more abundant in Black women.

Adding to this, Nakshatri and his team showed that PZP cells have a significant effect on how cancer cells behave and grow, especially when they interact with epithelial cells, which is where breast cancer usually starts. Researchers have also found that PZP cells are one of the sources of metaplastic breast cancers (MBC), which are rare and aggressive and make up less than 1% of all breast cancers. The team drew upon tissue samples from the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, the world’s sole repository of healthy breast tissue, to conduct this research.

“When these PZP cells interact with epithelial cells, they trigger the production of a crucial protein called interleukin-6. This prompts distinct behavior in the epithelial cells and activates a signaling pathway known as STAT3,” Nakshatri explained. “This is what makes tumors originating from the epithelial cells more aggressive.”

The findings have laid the foundation for an upcoming clinical trial led by Kathy Miller, MD, a prominent figure in oncology at IU School of Medicine. Miller also serves as the Ballvé Lantero professor of oncology and holds the position of associate director of clinical research at the cancer center, in addition to her role as a researcher at the Vera Bradley Foundation Center.

“This study could help us determine if physicians need to consider the genetic ancestry of the person when deciding on possible treatments for breast cancer,” Nakshatri stated. Based on the biology of normal breast tissue, he said the study represents a significant departure from conventional treatment approaches, offering new hope for more effective, targeted treatments in the fight against breast cancer.

Category: News

October 12, 2023

By Lauren Victoria Burke

NNPA Newswire Contributor


One of only three known survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre has died on October 9 at the age of 102 years old.

Hughes Van Ellis, 102, died in Denver, Colorado on the morning of October 9. Van Ellis was born on Jan.11, 1921. The two last known survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre are now Viola Ford Fletcher, 109 and Lessie Benningfield Randle, 108.

The Greenwood District was a prosperous African American community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, often referred to as "Black Wall Street." It was a thriving business district with a vibrant Black cultural and economic life, home to many Black-owned businesses and residences. On May 31, 1921, a young Black man named Dick Rowland was falsely accused of assaulting a young white woman named Sarah Page in an elevator. The allegation led to Rowland's arrest and tensions escalated as rumors spread about the incident.

At the time, Hughes Van Ellis was three months old.


Over the years there have been several attempts to earn damage rewards for the destruction of life and property by the white community in Tulsa. None of the challenges have been successful so far.

A statement released by the family stated, “Mr. Hughes Van Ellis, 102, passed Mon. Oct. 9th at 11:30 am in Denver, Colorado. A loving family man, he was known as “Uncle Redd.” He was among the three last known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the most horrific acts of racist terrorism on American soil. A WWII war veteran, Mr. Ellis, bravely served America, even as he spent a lifetime awaiting atonement related to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Mr. Ellis was aware, that survivors, his sister Mrs. Viola Ford Fletcher, 109, Mrs. Lessie Benningfield Randle, 108, and family descendants were recently at our state capitol as part of an interim study focused on 2001 state-commissioned reparation recommendations.

Two days ago, Mr. Ellis, urged us to keep fighting for justice. In the midst of his death, there remains an undying sense of right and wrong. Mr. Ellis was assured we would remain steadfast and we repeated to him his own words, “We Are One” and we lastly expressed our love. The scripture of Jeremiah 6 reads “This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” We celebrate the rare life of Mr. Hughes Van Ellis who still inspires us!”

Funeral details are not yet known. Van Ellis’ funeral ceremony is likely to be another touchpoint around the issue of reparations for the damage done to members of the Black community as a result of systemic racism. 

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent investigative journalist and the publisher of Black Virginia News. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered. She can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on twitter at @LVBurke.

Category: News

October 12, 2023

LAWT News Service


With October observed as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important for women to have a good understanding of this potentially deadly disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in the United States, about 240,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women. About 42,000 women in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer, and Black women have a higher rate of death from breast cancer than all other women.

Additionally, consider the following alarming statistics, according to BreastCancer.org:

• Approximately 13% of U.S. women (about 1 in 8) are going to develop invasive breast cancer in the course of their lives.

• In 2023, an estimated 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in U.S. women.

• Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. About 30% of all newly diagnosed cancers in women each year are breast cancer.

According to Dr. Karen W. Kwan, Hematology and Oncology, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, most breast cancers are found in women age 50 or older, but younger women are not immune to this disease. The CDC notes about 10% of all new cases of breast cancer in the U.S. are found in women younger than age 45. Men can also get breast cancer, but it’s not as common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men, the CDC reports.

“For women in general, making sure you have a mammogram is so important because early detection leads to early treatment, and that’s key to survival,” Dr. Kwan said. “You don’t want to play Russian roulette with your life by ignoring such a generally routine examination.”

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that is used to screen for breast cancer. Mammograms can find tumors that are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends women start breast cancer screening at age 40 instead of the previously recommended starting age of 50. The USPSTF notes women should get screening mammograms every other year from ages 40 to 74.

Alice Rademacher, a retired psychotherapist from Pasadena, is a breast cancer survivor who attributes early detection of her stage 1 breast cancer to her successful treatment at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, which has now made her cancer-free.

“It definitely made a difference, as I really think having that mammogram saved my life,” noted Rademacher, who says her survival of the aggressive disease was set at 50-50. “If we hadn’t detected it early, with this specific cancer that I had, it would have grown so aggressively that eventually it probably would have killed me. But because it was discovered in its early stages, I was able to make a full recovery.”

What Are the Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

According to the CDC, there are different symptoms of breast cancer, which include:

• Any change in the size or shape of the breast.

• Pain in any area of the breast.

• Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood).

• A new lump in the breast or underarm.

“If you have any of these symptoms, you should have a discussion with your physician,” said Dr. Kwan.

Breast Cancer Risks

The CDC notes many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You may not be able to change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways:

• Keep a healthy weight.

• Exercise regularly.

• If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.

• If you’re taking or have been told to take hormone replacement or birth control pills, ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.

• Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks.

• If possible, breastfeed your children.

“By adopting a healthy lifestyle throughout your life, it will help lower your risk of developing breast cancer and other diseases, including other forms of cancer,” Dr. Kwan said. “It will also improve your chances of surviving cancer if you do get it.”

Kaiser Permanente offers valuable information about breast cancer.

Category: News

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