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Sudanese-Australian PEN World Voices Participant, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Denied Entry Into the US

The author and activist says that US immigration sent her back within just a few minutes of looking at her case despite traveling on an Australian passport.

Sudanese-Australian mechanical engineer, broadcaster, author and Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied, was turned down by US immigration in Minneapolis on Wednesday after arriving in the country to attend the PEN World Voices Festival.

Abdel-Magied was due to speak at the festival in New York next week for an event called "No Country For Young Muslim Women," but was denied entry upon her arrival in the States, The Guardian reports. Authorities claimed that Abdel-Magied lacked the correct visa for entry, though the author noted in a statement released on Tuesday, that she had travelled to the US using the same visa before.

"I have previously travelled to the United States on the visa that I sought entry with on this occasion," read Abdel-Magied's statement. "I am not seeking advice and working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. I appreciate the interest and concern and look forward to future travels in the United States."


As she was being sent back, Abdel-Magied live tweeted what was happening. "Within a few min of looking at my case the border security person - Officer Herberg looking at my case she announces: 'we're sending you back!" she wrote in one tweet. Also sharing that her phone and passport had been taken away during the ordeal. "Oh, and they still have my passport. Apparently I can't be trusted with it until I'm in a foreign country because, as Officer Blees said, 'planes get turned away back way too often and then..."

PEN America's CEO Suzanne Nossel released a statement yesterday in response to the incident, describing PEN's mission and pointing out the very purpose of Abdel-Magied's appearance was to advocate for Muslim women and girls. She called on Customs and Border Patrol to allow her entry into the country in order to attend the event.

We are dismayed that an invited guest to our annual PEN World Voices Festival in New York, which starts on Monday, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, herself the founder of an organization called Youth Without Borders, was turned away by US Immigration officials in Minneapolis, reportedly had her phone and passport seized, and was put back on a plane to Amsterdam. Abdel-Magied is an advocate of the rights of Muslim women and refugees and is a citizen of Australia, travelling on that country's passport. The very purpose of the PEN World Voices Festival, founded after 9/11 to sustain the connectedness between the U.S. and the wider world, is in jeopardy at a time when efforts at visa bans and tightened immigration restrictions threaten to choke off vital channels of dialogue that are protected under the First Amendment right to receive and impart information through in-person cultural exchange. We understand that Yassmin was traveling on a type of visa that she had used in the past for similar trips without issue. We call on Customs and Border Patrol to admit her to the U.S. so that she can take her rightful place in the urgent international conversation to take place at the Festival next week.

Burna Boy Features On Sia's New 'Hey Boy' Remix

Watch a new colourful and detailed animated music video for "Hey Boy."

Nigerian singer and songwriter Burna Boy has hopped on the remix of Sia's "Hey Boy." Sia first took to her social media platforms on Tuesday to break the news.

The original version of "Hey Boy" was released in November of last year. Both the new remix and the original song are a part of the soundtrack to the Australian pop stars' forthcoming feature film, Music, which she wrote and directed. Music-Songs For and Inspired by the Motion Picture is expected to drop February 12, via Monkey Puzzle/Atlantic.

This new "Hey Boy" remix comes with a very colourful and detailed animated video directed by Rafatoon. The clip sees an animated Sia character performing to an outrageously exciting wolf audience and an animated Burna Boy alongside zebra-striped backup dancers.

Music, the singer's debut film,will star Kate Hudson, Maddie Zieglar, and Leslie Odom.

Sia's last album This Is Acting was released in 2016, while Burna Boy's fifth studio album Twice as Tall was released last year.

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Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

Kuti Family, Wole Soyinka, Chris Martin, Bono & More Sign Petition For Fair Elections In Uganda

The petition calls for "the African Union, US, UK, EU and all people of conscience to condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing assault on Uganda's opposition and commit to support a safe free and fair election for all Ugandan citizens."

Uganda is holding elections today January 14, 2021. Ahead of them, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly banned all social media and messaging applications in the country and opposition politician Bobi Wine has had his home reportedly raided by the military. The petition below, signed by the likes of Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Wole Soyinka, Keith Richards, Roger Waters, and Chris Martin, calls for free and fair elections in Uganda. Read it in full:

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Uganda is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on January 14, 2021, but no one expects them to be free or fair. President Museveni, who has enjoyed strong Western backing for 35 years-and tens of billions of dollars in military and financial assistance will contest his 6th term in office.

His main presidential challenger, musician/legislator, Hon Robert Kyagulanyi MP, better known to us as Bobi Wine, as well as another opposition candidate Patrick Amuriat, have both been repeatedly arrested by security forces, and scores, perhaps hundreds of their supporters have been tortured and killed.

Thousands of other opposition supporters are detained, many without access to lawyers, doctors or their families. On December 30, Wine's entire entourage-security detail, media team and medical team was arrested. Some of them, all previously in good health, appeared in court on Monday, limping from injuries sustained while in police custody. They were given bail but have not been released. Since then, with a fresh team, Bobi continued his campaign. That team, as well, have all been arrested.

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Listen to TonicMotion's 'Drums of War' EP

The 18-year-old amapiano producer's EP has been tapped by the likes of Soulection and more.

Muzi Tembe aka TonicMotion from Empangeni, South Africa, might still be a senior in high school, but is not here to play. The 18-year-old producer's new EP, Drums of WAR', showcases a new wave of amapiano we can all tap into.

In Drums of War, TonicMotion flawlessly blends deep house and amapiano together to make his own distinct sound. His signature intro—he starts off each track with the sound of kids chattering from a distance—is also distinctly recognizable and nostalgic. The 5-track EP will take you through a trance-like state and will make you want to sway your body and move your feet.

"I designed the concept of the cover art. The skeleton represents the government and the soldiers represent us, the youths fighting against the system in South Africa," TonicMotion explains. "The inspiration comes from a song I was listening to, a deep house track called 'Deeper; by Dj Mreja. The lyrics said, 'we have all heard the drums of war let us dance to the beat of love.'"

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'Judas and the Black Messiah' Added to 2021 Sundance Film Festival

The historical drama, starring Daniel Kaluuya, Lakeith Stanfield and several others, has released an exhilarating new trailer ahead of its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival.