This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Saturday, January 21, 2017.
1. According to BBC, Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has left the country in the wake of elections that ousted him after 22 years in power. He boarded a plane to Guinea and from there will travel on to exile in Equatorial Guinea, regional group Ecowas says. Mr. Jammeh was defeated in December’s election by Adama Barrow but went on to challenge the results. Mr. Barrow has been in Senegal but says he will return to The Gambia soon.
2. According to the Associated Press, entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte, who’s been advising organizers of Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, says peaceful protest is the best way to show political leaders that the electorate is paying attention. Belafonte told The Associated Press in an interview Friday, “Let us get off to an early start demonstrating that the country is alert, that it is aware of the manipulations that are taking place by the new administration. Mr. Trump will have to understand that there are people who are prepared to make the environment aware of the fact that people will not be governed with tyranny.” Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday. Belafonte and fellow activist Gloria Steinem are serving as honorary co-chairs of Saturday’s march.
3. According to the Hill, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said Saturday he doesn’t “care about 2020,” brushing off questions about running for president. Booker told CNN during an interview at the Women’s March in Washington, “Too many things can happen that can hurt people in our nation and around the globe if this President isn’t checked. Right now, I don’t care about 2020. I don’t care about 2018. I am not open to being president. I don’t even want to have the discussion right now.” Booker has been one of the many names tossed out as a potential candidate for a Democratic presidential run in 2020. Instead, he said the focus needs to be on fighting President Trump and his administration’s policies.
4. According to Business Insider, Tidal, the music streaming service owned by rapper Jay Z and a collection of well-known musicians, has been accused of inflating its user numbers to appear more successful than it actually is. A report published in Norwegian by the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv says that Tidal has over-reported its subscriber numbers on at least two occasions. The report alleges that while Jay Z tweeted in September 2015 that Tidal had “1,000,000 people and counting,” his streaming service actually had 830,000 subscribers, according to internal reports. Dagens Næringsliv says Tidal’s internal report may have even overstated the subscriber number. It says that payments made to record labels at that time indicated that the service had around 350,000 subscribers.
5. According to Entertainment Weekly, ABC can’t get enough of Shonda Rhimes. The network has ordered a pilot for a legal drama series from the “Grey’s Anatomy” creator. The project doesn’t have an official title yet, but it does have a compelling premise. The story will follow newbie lawyers as they face off against each other on high-profile cases in the Southern District of New York Federal Court. Rhimes is executive producing with her frequent collaborator Betsy Beers. The two have worked together on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” among other ShondaLand hits. They’re joined by “Scandal” writer Paul William Davies, who is set to serve as showrunner.
6. According to Broadway World, Tituss Burgess, in an interview with Kelly Ripa and Jerry O’Connell, said he is bringing the film ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ to Broadway. He is currently working on the score and lyrics to the musical. He also revealed that he has acquired the rights to the film starring the late Whitney Houston. Burgess is a two-time Emmy nominee for his role as Titus Andromedon on Netflix’s Kimmy Schmidt.
7. According to PEOPLE, Oprah Winfrey has joined Tyler Perry in the cast of the upcoming animated holiday film The Star. The film, from Oscar-nominated writer-director Timothy Reckart, tells the story of a brave little donkey named Bo and his animal friends who follow the Star and become the accidental heroes of the greatest story every told — the first Christmas. Winfrey, Perry and 30 Rock vet Tracy Morgan will voice Deborah, Cyrus and Flexis, respectively — three wisecracking camels who happen to be traveling with the Three Wise Men.