Lonnie Bunch Becomes First Black Smithsonian Secretary

Lonnie Bunch become the first ever Black secretary of the Smithsonian.

Lonnie Bunch is first ever Black to head the Smithsonian. He formerly headed the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

By Free Radical

Historian and museum executive, Lonnie Bunch, has been named the first ever secretary of the Smithsonian. Bunch is most known for being the founding director of the massively successful National Museum of African American History and Culture. Based on his success in that role, Bunch will now head all of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums as its 14th Secretary.

“The Smithsonian is the most amazing place, and sometimes it forgets to act like it. I want it to act like the best institution in the world,” Bunch said upon his appointment.

Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who is the chancellor of the Smithsonian, also speaks very highly of Bunch. “I look forward to working with him as we approach the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary, to increase its relevance and role as a beloved American institution and public trust, ” Roberts said.

Since opening in 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has been one of the most popular museums of the Smithsonian. It still has long lines for entry and has had more than 3.5 million visitors. As the museum’s director, Bunch helped in generating $315 million in private donations prior to its opening.

Though Bunch will leave his former post, he does not intend to shy away from the experiences of people of color. “My whole career has been about expanding the canon, making sure that African American issues, that Latino issues, that issues of gender are at the forefront,” Bunch said. “And what I’m proudest of is that the Smithsonian will take the lead in grappling with these issues. … No matter what happens, the Smithsonian will always be that place to help us understand a diverse America.”

Bunch replaces David Skorton who will head the Association of American Medical Colleges.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Bunch has worked in a variety of roles at the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, the California African American Museum, and the Chicago Historical Society.

Are 10,000 Steps Needed for Longevity?

A new study shows that 10,000 steps may not be necessary for good health.

According to a new study, fewer than 10,000 steps are necessary for seniors to have optimal health.

By Free Radical

The prescribed goal of walking at 10,000 steps or more each day for the purpose of improved health started in large part with a marketing campaign that was launched in Japan decades ago in order to promote a pedometer. A pedometer is a device that counts how many steps someone takes. Since that time, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health.

However, according to recent research, a study of older women showed significant improvement by participants who logged just over 4,000 steps per day. Though greater health rewards were enjoyed by individuals who did more, the benefits maxed out at 7,500. For more on this study, click here.

AU Signs Memorandum with Huawei

By Chuma Kisu

Amb. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chair Person of the African Union Commission and Philippe Wang, Huawei's Vice-President for the Northern African sign memorandum"

Amb. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chair Person of the African Union Commission and Philippe Wang, Huawei’s Vice-President for the Northern African sign memorandum.

According to international reports the African Union (AU) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Huawei Technologies to strengthen their cooperation in information and communication technologies.

The announcement was made Friday, May 31, 2019 by Huawei officials.

“The main objective of the MOU is to strengthen their partnership in the following 5 areas: broadband, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, 5G and artificial intelligence,” Huawei said in a statement.

The development comes at a time when Huawei is at the heart of the trade war between the United States and China.

The company was placed in May by Washington on a list of suspicious companies to which American entities cannot sell technological equipment.

The Trump administration suspects the Shenzhen group of spying for Beijing. China responded on Friday by announcing the creation of its own blacklist of “unreliable” foreign companies.

The agreement between Huawei and the AU follows a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed in February 2015.

“This collaboration demonstrates the African Union’s continued confidence in Huawei,” said Philippe Wang, Vice President of the Chinese Group for North Africa.

“Through this approach, we also want to put an end to rumors of data leaks from Huawei equipment, as the AU has carried out a full audit of its IT system throughout the organization, and the findings contradict the statements made in the media last year,” he added.

In 2018, the French newspaper Le Monde reported that China had spied on the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, citing sources within the African institution.

According to the daily, the information theft had been taking place since 2012, when the construction of the brand new AU building, donated by China, was completed.

The President of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, had denounced what he deemed “totally false allegations”.

According to Le Monde, the AU’s servers had been changed in 2017, when the system flaw was discovered, and a new IT architecture was deployed.

As Africa’s largest trading partner, China invests several billions of dollars annually on the continent in infrastructure (roads, railways, ports) and industrial parks.

Ethiopian Prime Minister and Somali President Meet

Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo (left) meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmedin Addis Ababa.

Somali president Mohamed Farmaajo (center-left) met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa.

By Chuma Kisu

According to international reports Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met on Sunday, June 2, 2019  for talks with Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo in Addis Ababa.

After years of conflict, tensions between the two nations have eased over the past year. Both leaders have met together several times over the past months.

Ahmed’s office said the two “held discussions on bilateral issues, including further strengthening cooperation in regional peace & security.

Relations between the two countries have received a greater boost in recent times with visits by both leaders to the respective capitals. Farmaajo last visited Addis Ababa months back following a trip in which he flew with Abiy to Nairobi to mediate on a diplomatic spat between Kenya and Somalia.

He has also been to Ethiopia for a tripartite meeting between the two countries and neighboring Eritrea. At the heart of that summit has been respect for sovereignty and better economic and social cooperation between them.

“The two leaders, including the First Lady of Somalia, planted seedlings within the compound,” a post on social media added. The tree planting has become a regular feature of the PM’s activities within and outside the presidential palace.

Ahmed last week launched what his office said was a campaign to plant four billion trees across Ethiopia. He kicked of the initiative in Adama, Oromia region and has since joined visitors to his office to plant one seedling.