02-29-2020  5:13 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
Reparations Gaining Support The Skanner Reports
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Confirms First Case of Coronavirus

Elementary school worker had no history of travel or contact with person known to be infected

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

NEWS BRIEFS

Civil Rights Organization Condemns Trump’s Dangerous Call For Supreme Court Recusals

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called the president's recent request for Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor to...

Voting Rights Advocates File Emergency Lawsuit After Georgia Officials Strike Early Voting Sites

In a similar situation in 2016, hundreds of voters were forced to wait up to four to five hours to cast their ballot ...

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

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Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

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New coronavirus cases of unknown origin found on West Coast

Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington state worried about the novel coronavirus spreading through West Coast communities after confirming three patients were infected by unknown means.The patients — an older Northern California woman with chronic health conditions, a high...

Mormon crickets reported early this year in northern Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Mormon crickets, the grasshopper-like insects that pose threats to crops and drivers. are hatching early this year in northern Nevada.KRVN-TV reports that the Nevada Department of Agriculture has confirmed some of the earliest hatchings of Mormon crickets in years, with the...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Key questions heading into South Carolina Democratic primary

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina primary is certain to be a fork in the road for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominating contest. But there’s no reliable map showing where voters’ choices might lead once the state's voters — the first 2020 contest where...

Restaurants in LA's Koreatown reel amid coronavirus rumor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a Koreatown restaurant known for its beef bone broth soup, the lunchtime crowd Friday was half its normal size. The reason was a virulent rumor about a customer with coronavirus.Han Bat Shul Lung Tang was one of five restaurants that lost business after being named in...

Biden looks for first 2020 victory in South Carolina primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Democrats' 2020 nominating fight turned to South Carolina on Saturday for the first-in-the-South primary, with Joe Biden confident that his popularity with black voters will seal him a victory and help blunt some of front-runner Bernie Sanders' momentum.The primary...

ENTERTAINMENT

Ben Affleck on the pain and catharsis of 'The Way Back'

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the many stories that have stuck with Ben Affleck from his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, one has especially resonated for the actor. Recovery is often described as a process of removing a damaging habit from your life. One man articulated it in a more positive way. He...

Lady Gaga's father cites homelessness for his bar's woes

NEW YORK (AP) — Lady Gaga's father is refusing to pay 0,000 in rent and fees for his restaurant at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, saying the homeless population is hurting his business.Joe Germanotta, owner of Art Bird & Whiskey Bar, said he wants the Metropolitan Transit...

'Amazing Race' suspends filming as virus precaution

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The globe-trotting reality series “The Amazing Race” is taking a breather as a precaution due to the virus outbreak affecting several countries.CBS said in a statement Friday that it had temporarily suspended production and was sending contestants and crew...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Romo remains with CBS after agreeing to long-term contract

Tony Romo will remain with CBS as its top NFL analyst after agreeing to a record extension.CBS Sports spokeswoman...

Many Venezuelans struggle to put food on the table in crisis

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States to get test kits as White House amps up virus effort

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health officials scrambled Friday to get coronavirus testing up and running in...

Prayers at fire-bombed mosques as India's riot toll grows

NEW DELHI (AP) — Muslims in a northeastern neighborhood of India's capital returned for weekly prayers at...

Malaysia's Mahathir loses bid to return as prime minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's king on Saturday appointed seasoned politician Muhyiddin Yassin as...

Turkey, Russia talk tensions in Syria as migrants push west

REYHANLI, Turkey (AP) — The presidents of Turkey and Russia spoke by phone Friday to try to defuse tensions...

McMenamins
Teo Kermeliotis CNN

(CNN) -- She grew up in grinding poverty, losing both her parents at a tender age but 14-year-old whizz-kid Maud Chifamba has defied adversity and hardship to break academic records.

Against all odds, the extremely bright teenager has written history as last week she became the youngest ever university student in Zimbabwe -- as well as the whole of southern Africa, according to education officials.

Maud, who was born on November 19, 1997, has just started her studies toward a Bachelor of Accountancy Honors Degree at the University of Zimbabwe, the country's oldest and most esteemed educational institution. Her intellectual prowess and hard work have earned her a four-year scholarship of nearly $10,000 after she excelled at last year's Advanced Level exams.

Now, one week into her new life at the university, softly-spoken Maud already feels settled.

"I'm really enjoying it," she says with striking modesty. "It's better than what I expected. I'm just enjoying all the lectures."

Read related: 'The future of Zimbabwe is bright'

But before deservedly claiming a spot inside the university's vast lecture halls, finding herself amongst much older students, Zimbabwe's wunderkind had to overcome tremendous financial and social challenges.

Born to a poor family in the Hunters resettlement community in Chegutu, central Zimbabwe, Maud lost her father when she was just five years old. Her mother also passed away last year. Her two brothers, who are general workers at a farm, were unable to pay the fees required to keep her at formal school so Maud started studying vigorously at home all by herself.

Armed with determination, Maud put all her efforts into studying, embarking on a disciplined reading routine that lasted for several hours each day. "I studied very hard," she remembers. "For the biggest part of the day and even into the night," adds Maud.

Maud says the death of her parents made her realize that she would have to take her destiny into her own hands.

"It really motivated me to work harder because there was no one to take care of me except myself in the future," says Maud. "That was ... a motivator for me to have something to do with my life."

Gifted with natural intelligence, Maud's promising future was apparent from an early age. Her remarkable aptitude impressed her primary school teachers who decided to move her up from Grade 3 to Grade 6.

Aged nine, she took her final primary school examinations, where she obtained top marks for all of her subjects. Lacking financial support to undertake her high school education, Maud studied on her own and completed her Ordinary Level in just two years after skipping two forms.

Read: How 'Afropreneurs' will shape Africa's future

Her hard work paid off last December when she scored 12 points at her A-Level exams, an astonishing feat that earned the 14-year-old girl a place at the Harare-based University of Zimbabwe.

"It's phenomenal, especially if you consider that for her A-Levels she was not in formal school," says Gershem Pasi, the commissioner general of the Zimbabwean Revenue Authority, the body that's now sponsoring Maud's university education. "She was just reading by herself at home and her brothers only managed to pay the examination fee."

Munyaradzi Madambi, dean of students at the University of Zimbabwe, describes Maud as a "very warm and polite young woman," whose intelligence and maturity shines through.

"(She is) confident, efficacious and unique in the sense that you don't normally expect this position among kids from underprivileged backgrounds," he says.

Madambi says the university is committed to helping its wonder student develop into a balanced individual while fulfilling her dreams.

"We are making sure that she grows up to be a well-moulded, mature adult but of course without really suffocating her or putting her under any pressure," he says.

Zimbabwe has an adult literacy rate of 92%, which is one of the highest in Africa, according to UNICEF. Madambi says people in the country have an "incredible and insatiable appetite for education."

"Normally those that come from underprivileged backgrounds, their desire is really to work hard and excel and of course Maud is an exceptional case in terms of intellectual prowess," he says.

Maud is now on course to conquer even greater heights, becoming Zimbabwe's youngest ever accountant when she graduates in four years time.

"My dream job is to become an accountant," she says.

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