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Joseph "Joe" Biden, Jr. (born November 20, 1942) 47th and current Vice President of the United States since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was a United States Senator from Delaware from 1973 until 2009.

President Joe Biden Ends Trump's Muslim Travel Ban

President Joe Biden has done away with the 2017 Muslim travel ban enforced by the former Trump administration. The travel ban included several African and Middle Eastern countries.

Just hours after having been sworn in as the 46th President of the US alongside Vice President, Kamala Harris, President Joe Biden reportedly signed 17 executive orders including doing away with the infamous Muslim travel ban. The ban, which was enforced under the former Trump administration in 2017, targeted predominately Muslim countries in the Middle East but also included several African countries such as Nigeria, Chad, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea.

READ: African Union Criticizes Muslim Ban: US Took "Many of Our People As Slaves" But Not As Refugees

Following a star-studded and uplifting inauguration ceremony, the Biden-Harris administration is already getting to work. According to Vox, President Biden has put an end to Trump's anti-Muslim campaign which had declared predominantly Muslim countries as a threat to the national security of the US. As a result, relatives from the banned countries were separated from their loved ones living in the US for at least four years. While the travel ban had initially caused public outrage and several legal challenges, it was ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court.

Speaking during his inaugural address at the Capitol, President Biden said, "We'll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. He went on to add, "Much to repair. Much to restore. Much to heal. Much to build, and much to gain."

Neither the various leaders of the banned African countries nor the African Union (AU) or Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have as yet responded to President Biden's latest efforts.

As his inaugural speech suggested, President Biden is working with a sense of tremendous urgency to effectively undo the legacy of the former Trump administration particularly with regards to immigration. President Biden has labelled Trump's harsh immigration policies as "discriminatory" and halted plans both to exclude non-citizens from the census count and deport the so-called "Dreamers" who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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