This week, Nigeria's government announced that it had found the whereabouts of more than 270 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from a school in April, but officials are adamant about keeping their location a secret for security reasons. The world also lost a revered literary figure in Maya Angelou, who passed away Wednesday. Finally, White House press secretary Jay Carney is stepping down, ending his years of serving as a White House spokesperson.
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Nigeria Announces That Missing Girls Found
A Nigerian military official declared Monday that the government had found the more than 270 girls who were kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram in April.
However, given the circumstances, Nigerian officials refuse to disclose the girls’ location. The military also stated that it cannot use force to free the schoolgirls, fearing that such a decision could result in a high number of casualties.
The girls were kidnapped April 14 from their school in a rural village. News of the girls’ disappearance did not garner international attention until May, when governmant officials and others across the world urged action.
The Nigerian government reportedly almost secured the girls’ release through a deal with Boko Haram, but it ultimately fell through. Since then, President Goodluck Johnathan has pledged to wage a “total war” against the militants.
Maya Angelou Passes Away in Winston-Salem Home
World-renowned poet Maya Angelou died at the age of 86 Wednesday morning in her Winston-Salem home.
Angelou was one of her generation’s key literary figures, authoring poem after poem and the widely acclaimed autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The book gives a personal account of Angelou’s troubled times growing up in a racially segregated Arkansas and other incidents, such as the sexual assault she suffered at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend.
The writer’s work earned her enormous respect and countless followers, who admired Angelou not only for her pieces, but her integrity as well. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.
Aside from her writing, Angelou was a professional dancer, singer, actor, newspaper editor, professor and civil rights activist. Her death was mourned internationally by fans and admirers.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Steps Down
After more than three years of working for the Obama administration, White House press secretary Jay Carney will step down from the position.
Carney's deputy Josh Earnest, who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign and is highly regarded among White House correspondents, will take over the role. He was long suspected as a possible replacement for Carney.
The current press secretary's decision to leave sprang from a desire to spend more time with his family.
Carney, a former Time Magazine White House correspondent, spent years addressing controversial crises and situations faced by the Obama administration, serving as a spokesperson for the president even in the toughest of times.
"More often than not people say to me, 'You have the hardest job or you have one of the hardest jobs,'" Carney says. "And I'm not saying it's easy every day, but I love it. It's an important interaction that takes place here. It's not always pretty. It could certainly be better. But to be a part of it is an honor and a joy for me. So no matter how tough the briefing is, I walk out of here having been glad to stand here."
President Obama announced Carney’s decision during a press conference, taking reporters by surprise. Carney will officially vacate the position in mid-June.