Sixth graders recreate iconic book covers for Black History Month

A sixth grade class in Milwaukee is bringing Black History month to life by recreating iconic book and album covers of the black authors and artist they’re learning about.

Terrance Sims’ students have taken the internet by storm with their creative cover homages to prominent black figures such as Michelle Obama, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, and more.

The students picked their own costumes, did the styling, and posing all on their own. Sims snapped most of the photos (except for a few which he let a student interested in photography take) and then photoshopped them to look like the book covers. He said each image took around an hour to produce.

Student Brooklyn Jones who posed as Michelle Obama said, ” It was inspiring to me and made me feel like I was stepping in her shoes. It made me want to learn more about her and inspired me to help out with [my] community.”

For this year’s project Sims told “Good Morning America” that the now-viral book cover recreations were the students’ idea.

“I think it’s really important that we know who we are so that way we know how we’re supposed to exist in the community today. I think it’s very important that my kids are getting access to that at a young age,” Sims told GMA.

One of Sims’ main goals throughout his viral projects is to figure out how to get the students to “love themselves and fall in love with the process of learning at the same time.” A theme that is woven into many of his projects and helps to bring up conversations of culture and identity in the classroom.

Sims is able to create deep connections with his students through his creative teaching styles and role as a mentor in their lives.

Sims and his students never expected to go viral with this project, and are know using this as an opportunity to get more students to join the book club. As for the staff of Milwaukee College Prep and the parents of the students, Sims says they willing rally around him for these projects because they trust his direction,“They see that I really put the focus on relationship building with the students and it’s not just for show. They like the fact that it’ll push their students further.” The kids are inspired by how far their story has reached and Sims says they’re bringing fresh eyes and more creative ideas to the table.

As for Sims, he just wants to “inspire his students to be great,” while continuing to find creative ways to make learning fun and impactful for his students. He is already noticing an uptick in his student’s energy and eagerness to learn about these essential topics. “Everything that makes me happy now came from education, so if I can just be in the classroom and get people to love themselves and to love education – I really think the possibilities are limitless.”

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U.S.-China trade talks to resume next week, Trump hints at extension

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and China will resume trade talks next week in Washington with time running short to ease their bruising trade war, but U.S. President Donald Trump repeated on Friday that he may extend a March 1 deadline for a deal and keep tariffs on Chinese goods from rising.

Both the United States and China reported progress in five days of negotiations in Beijing this week.

Trump, speaking at a White House news conference, said the United States was closer than ever before to “having a real trade deal” with China and said he would be “honored” to remove tariffs if an agreement can be reached.

But he added that the talks were “very complicated.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Friday the two economic superpowers “will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the March 1, 2019, deadline.

“These detailed and intensive discussions led to progress between the two parties. Much work remains, however,” Sanders said about the Beijing talks.

She added that the two countries agreed to state any commitments they make in a memorandum of understanding.

U.S. duties on $200 billion in imports from China are set to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if no deal is reached by March 1 to address U.S. demands that China curb forced technology transfers and better enforce intellectual property rights.

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  • Trump says may extend March 1 deadline for China trade dealTrump says may extend March 1 deadline for China trade deal


Trump, asked whether he would grant Beijing a 60-day extension to the deadline, said: “There is a possibility that I will extend the date. “But if I do that – if I see that we’re close to a deal or the deal is going in the right direction – I would do that at the same tariffs that we’re charging now, I would not increase the tariffs.”

Trump also said he would consider bringing top U.S. Democrats – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer – into the final stages of the talks to minimize their dissent with the deal. Spokespersons for the two lawmakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The conclusion of the Beijing talks prompted optimism on Wall Street, where major stock indexes were broadly higher, led by financial services shares.

The U.S. China Business Council, which represents American companies doing business in China, applauded the announcement that the two sides would put specific language in a memorandum of understanding.

“Any agreement must be detailed, enforceable, time-bound, and result in market-access improvements that have a meaningful impact for American companies, workers, and farmers,” the group’s president, Craig Allen, said in a statement.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Friday that China and the United States had reached a “consensus in principle” on some key issues, adding they had a detailed discussion on a memorandum of understanding on trade and economic issues. It gave no details.

The countries focused this week on technology, intellectual property rights, agriculture, services, non-tariff barriers and currency, and discussed potential Chinese purchases of U.S. goods and services to reduce a “large and persistent bilateral trade deficit,” Sanders said.


Chinese President Xi Jinping met U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday after a week of talks at senior and deputy levels, and called for a deal both sides could accept, Chinese state media said.

After talks on Thursday, Mnuchin said on Twitter that he and Lighthizer had held “productive meetings” with Xi’s top economic adviser, Vice Premier Liu He.

“The consultations between the two sides’ teams achieved important step-by-step progress,” Xi said, according to state television.

“I hope you will continue efforts to advance reaching a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement,” Xi said at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

He added that China was willing to take a “cooperative approach” to settling bilateral trade frictions.

Lighthizer told Xi the senior officials had “two very good days” of talks.

“We feel that we have made headway on very, very important, and very difficult issues. We have additional work to do but we are hopeful,” Lighthizer told Xi in a pool video shown to foreign media.


Neither country has offered new details on how they might de-escalate the tariff war that has roiled financial markets and disrupted manufacturing supply chains.

Although Trump said this week that an extension of the tariff deadline was possible if a “real deal” was close, Larry Kudlow, director of the U.S. National Economic Council, has said the White House had made no such decision.

But several sources informed about the meetings told Reuters there was little indication negotiators had made major progress on sticking points to pave the way for a potential meeting between Xi and Trump in coming weeks to hammer out a deal.

“Stalemate on the important stuff,” said one source. All of the sources requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.

“There’s still a lot of distance between parties on structural and enforcement issues,” said a second source. “I wouldn’t quite call it hitting a wall, but it’s not a field of dreams either.”

A third source told Reuters the White House was “irate” over earlier reports that the Trump administration was considering a 60-day extension of the tariff deadline.

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US: Nunes' memo could be published on Friday

A controversial memo about the way the FBI and Justice Department investigated alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is expected to be released on Friday.

    The White House is expected to release a controversial memo on Friday about the way the FBI and Justice Department investigated alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    The document was put together by Republicans and claims abuse of power by the FBI and Justice Department.

    The FBI expressed serious concerns about the memo going public. But after a national security review, the White House has given the go-ahead with some parts redacted.


    Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher reports from Washington DC, US.

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    21 Savage gives 1st interview since being detained by U.S. immigration

    Rapper 21 Savage was granted release on bond Wednesday after being arrested on Feb. 3 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and now he is speaking out in his first interview since his detainment.

    The A lot rapper appeared on Good Morning America on Feb. 15 and told ABC News’ Linsey Davis he was “definitely targeted.”

    When she asked 21 Savage what happened the day of the arrest, he said: “I don’t even know, I was just driving and I just seen guns and blue lights. And then I was in the back of a car and I was gone.”

    She also asked if authorities told him he was under arrest.

    Global News

    21 Savage replied, “Nah, they didn’t say nothing. They just said, ‘We got Savage.’”

    Davis brought up the 26-year-old rapper’s performance of a lot on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon prior to his arrest. In the song, 21 Savage rapped about immigration (“Been through some things so I can’t imagine my kids stuck at the border”).

    “Do you feel like you were targeted as a result of that, basically being critical of the immigration system here?” Davis asked.

    “My lawyers think that,” 21 Savage replied. “I don’t really know. I can’t really say. I would see why people would think that, but I really can’t say.”

    The rapper also spoke about his life in Atlanta. He entered the United States when he was seven and started the first grade.

    He briefly visited the U.K. again for his uncle’s funeral and given his age at the time, 21 Savage explained, he doesn’t remember much.

    “I didn’t even know what a visa was,” 21 Savage said when asked if he was aware of his immigration status. “I was seven when I came here. I knew I wasn’t born here but I didn’t know what that meant as far as transitioning into an adult.”

    “I’ve been in Atlanta probably 20 years, 19 years,” he said. “I’m from Atlanta, in my eyes.”

    21 Savage shared a message of support for those currently detained.

    “I don’t feel like you should be arrested and put in a place where a murderer would be for just being in the country for too long,” he said.

    “I feel your pain, and I’m gonna do everything in my power to try and bring awareness to your pain,” 21 Savage said, vowing to use his platform to bring attention to the issue.

    Asked if he was concerned being deported, he said, “Yeah, but I feel like I done been through so much in my life, like, I learned to embrace the times when I’m down ’cause they always build me up and take me to a new level in life.”

    21 Savage’s lawyer Dina LaPolt appeared on Good Morning America, explaining, “We are in the middle of securing his immigration status, so where he’s a citizen, but it’s very, very complicated, and there’s a lot of steps that we have to go through.”

    Alex Spiro, the lawyer that Jay-Z hired for the rapper, added, “We believe, honestly, that he was targeted — of course, like they said — and part of the reason, we think, is both because he’s a celebrity, and they can use this as a way to send a message, and also, perhaps, because of his music.”

    The Bank Account rapper’s legal team released a statement on his behalf earlier this week. “He will not forget this ordeal or any of the other fathers, sons, family members, and faceless people, he was locked up with or that remain unjustly incarcerated across the country,” the statement read. “And he asks for your hearts and minds to be with them.”

    21 Savage was taken into immigration custody early on Feb. 3.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the British citizen had overstayed his visa and has a felony conviction.

    21 Savage was born in the London borough of Newham to British parents, according to CNN, who obtained a copy of the rapper’s birth certificate. The document lists his parents’ home as East Ham.

    21 Savage’s lawyers previously said they were speaking with ICE since his arrest to “clarify his actual legal standing, his eligibility for bond, and provide evidence of his extraordinary contributions to his community and society.”

    They have also previously said the 26-year-old rapper was brought to the U.S. when he was seven years old and his legal status expired in 2006 through no fault of his own.

    The rapper has several relatives in the United States, including his three children who are all U.S. citizens, and his mother and four siblings, who are either lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens, his lawyer previously said.

    Watch part of the interview in the video above.

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    White House aide Rob Porter resigns over abuse claims

    White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned on Wednesday, a day after a British newspaper reported allegations from two ex-wives of physical and verbal abuse.

      Rob Porter, a White House staff secretary, has resigned after his two ex-wives accused him of physical and verbal abuse.

      The White House refuses to say if it knew about the allegations against Porter before he was appointed and whether it affected his security clearance.

      Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher reports from Washington, DC.

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      Colin Kaepernick and the N.F.L. Settle Collusion Case

      The N.F.L. and Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who ignited a protest movement against racism and police brutality by kneeling on the sideline during the playing of the national anthem at games, have settled a case that accused the league of colluding to keep him off a team.

      The league also settled a similar claim lodged by another player, Eric Reid, who knelt alongside Kaepernick and went unsigned for a period before playing last season for the Carolina Panthers. The statement by the N.F.L. said that “the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances” and that “there will be no further comment” because the players and the league reached a confidentiality agreement.

      The terms of the settlements were not disclosed. Kaepernick’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, issued a similar statement.

      Kaepernick has not played in the N.F.L. since the 2016 season. He filed his grievance under the league’s collective bargaining agreement in October 2017, and his lawyers have been busy gathering evidence and testimony from N.F.L. owners.

      Kaepernick began his protests in August 2016 after several African-American men were shot by police officers.

      A number of players across the N.F.L. joined him in kneeling during the anthem, generating a debate over race and player activism, drawing angry tweets from President Trump and flummoxing the league over how to respond.

      This movement, however, seemed to lose momentum, and few players knelt during this past season. Kaepernick has said little, reserving most of his comments to his social media accounts. During the Super Bowl, he posted on his Instagram account pictures of athletes and celebrities wearing jerseys supporting his cause.

      Legal experts said that Kaepernick could have faced an uphill battle to prove collusion. According to the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the union, the N.F.L. Players Association, the burden is on the player to prove that owners actively conspired against him.

      “That is often difficult to do because parties typically don’t leave a written record of their illegal maneuvering,” said William Gould, who was chairman of the National Labor Relations Board and oversaw the Major League Baseball strike in 1994.

      But Kaepernick received a favorable ruling in August when the arbitrator overseeing the case, Stephen B. Burbank, said that the case could proceed.

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      Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in ‘The Brink’

      Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for the same reason he drinks Red Bull. At one point in the movie, he jokes that now that his Kombucha habit is going to be outed, the stock will probably drop by 50 percent. He means the stock for Kombucha, but for a moment you think he’s talking about the stock of Steve Bannon. How will it influence his image when the world learns that he craves the pause that refreshes the palettes of lefty progressives?

      Bannon, as always, thinks he’s two steps ahead of us. (It’s part of his ’50s-salt-of-the-earth-meets-Goldman-Sachs-meets-The-Art-of-War élan.) “The Brink” is an impeccably crafted verité ramble — an engaging and enraging, disturbing and highly revealing movie that follows the 64-year-old former chief strategist for Donald Trump over the last year and a half, starting the moment he was cut loose from the White House (he got fired on Aug. 18, 2017).

      Bannon likes to come on as someone who doesn’t waste time worrying about his image (he’s got bigger fish to fry, like remaking the world). But his “anti-image” politics is, in fact, pure image. It’s there in his softball persona: the way he calls people “dude,” or wears two shirts at once, like flannel armor, or chuckles good-naturedly over the fact that during the 2016 presidential campaign people said he looked like a blotchy disheveled drunk. It’s there in the way he adopts an easygoing regular-guy folksiness that belies his self-styled reputation as a “firebreather,” or in the way he takes pictures with fans, posing a woman in between himself and another man so that he can grin and say, “A rose between two thorns.”

      Steve Bannon, in a word, is courtly. He’s all warm smiles and friendly handshakes when he’s saying goodbye to the producer of a London TV news show on which an interviewer just tried to rip him a new one (“God, she’s tough,” he says with a twinkle, sucking down a Red Bull and sounding almost impressed). And when he pitches the leaders of far-right European political parties on the idea that “we help knit together this populist-national movement throughout the world,” he explains that he’s doing the same thing he did at Goldman Sachs, assembling deals that create possibilities, acting like that hip and viral thing, a connector, as he talks about organizing “conferences and stuff.”

      Bannon has a way of revealing himself when he thinks he’s not, and “The Brink” opens with a startling scene in which he recalls touring the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau and realizing, to his surprise, that Birkenau was the haunting one; he learns that’s because Auschwitz used the already standing buildings of an old college, whereas Birkenau was constructed from scratch. He goes on, with perhaps a little too much admiration, about the wonders of German industrial design that went into the camp, but then he arrives at what’s supposed to be his PR money shot: the idea that the workers at prominent German companies — Mercedes Benz, etc. — who designed the nuts and bolts of the camps had no knowledge of the forces they were serving. He says, in essence, isn’t that amazing?

      The intended subtext of his words is that we shouldn’t think of Bannon as an anti-Semite. He’s in full awe of the Holocaust, cognizant of that horrifying chapter of history. But Bannon, instead, winds up making an unconscious point about how darkness can wind up hiding from itself. And you can’t help but hear that point and think of Steve Bannon.

      In “The Brink,” Bannon, after getting booted from the White House, still goes to bat for Donald Trump, capitalizing on his newly minted celebrity as the power behind Trump’s rise. But fate knocks him off his pedestal when he becomes the public face of the Roy Moore campaign in Alabama — and Moore, dogged by charged of pursuing underage girls, loses the election. It’s a bitter defeat for Bannon. And then, just a few weeks later, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” comes out, quoting Bannon as characterizing a Trump Tower meeting between Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian agent as “treasonous.” Suddenly, he’s persona non grata in far-right circles; he gets fired from Breitbart News and loses the financial backing of his benefactors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer. And it’s this chain of humiliations that leads him to go to a place that can still look up to him as a savior: Europe. For Bannon, it’s like a homecoming. He’s going back to the land of his white-supremacist roots.

      Touring the power centers of Europe, Bannon is like a venture capitalist out to fund some new tech start-up, but what he’s funding, in a word, is hate. And he’s doing it by utilizing a time-honored advertising technique: He’s calling it something else. He’s taking racism and rebranding it. He meets with the former leaders of the French National Front party (now called National Rally), like Jérome Rivière, and Filip Dewinter, head of the Vlaams Belang Party of Belgium, and Kent Ekeroth, of the Swedish Democrats. They have a polite dinner party for cultivated Continental anti-immigrant populist nativists, and the fact that Bannon allowed this to be filmed at all speaks to his delusions of grandeur. A self-styled conquering hero, he’s focused on the European parliamentary elections of 2019, about which he says, “We’re gonna run the f—in’ tables on these guys.”

      He’s trying to knit together a dozen separate national surges, trying to unify the “populist” strains of Europe into a right-wing supergroup that he calls…the Movement. He offers them things like polling data and “war-room analytics,” but what he’s really providing is the sense that, in his words, “It’s a global revolt. It’s a zeitgeist. We’re on the right side of history.” Talking to Paul Lewis, a journalist from London’s liberal-left newspaper The Guardian, he says, “I’m going to convert 20 percent of your guys.” So cocky is Bannon that when he gets out in front of an audience in Hungary, after all his disavowals of racism and anti-Semitism and his thin pretense that what he calls nationalism is merely an “economic” movement, he lets his freak flag fly. “We are working on building an old-school Christian democracy,” he says. Not much room for Muslims there (and maybe not much for Jews, either). This is no dog whistle — it’s Bannon putting out a clarion call.

      “The Brink” is a far better and more penetrating film than Errol Morris’s Bannon portrait, “American Dharma,” which let Bannon bathe in his own aura. Klayman, the up-and-coming documentarian who has made superb films about Ai Weiwei (“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”) and psychopharmacological drugs (“Take Your Pills”), doesn’t get sucked in by the Bannon “charm.” She captures what a devious actor he is, and hangs around long enough to catch him in those rare moments when the mask comes off (like when the Republicans lose the House in the midterm elections, causing him to fly into a rage at some clueless pollster). The truth about Steve Bannon that “The Brink” nails is that he always sees “the future,” and it’s always about the revolutionary destiny of his cause , his people. Until he loses, at which point he reverts to looking like what he is: an armchair warrior who thinks any political movement built on something other than rage is for wimps.

      Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

      Reviewed a Sundance Film Festival (Documentary Premieres), Jan. 30, 2019. Running time: 91 MIN.

      Production:A Magnolia Pictures release of an AliKlay Productions, RYOT Films production. Producers: Marie Therese Guigis, Alison Klayman. Executive producers: Adam Bardach, Halay Pappas, Bryn Mooser, Matt Ippolito.

      Crew:Director: Alison Klayman. Camera (color, widescreen): Alison Klayman. Editors: Brian Goetz, Marina Katz. Music: Ilan Isakov, Dan Teicher.

      With:Stephen K. Bannon.

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      Melania Trump Wears $2300 Cape & Holds Hands With Donald As They Head To Mar-a-Lago — Pics

      Melania Trump dressed in festive pink for the last two days to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But she went dark and dramatic in a black cape while heading to Mar-a-Lago, even holding husband Donald’s hand.

      This has to be one of Melania Trump’s fiercest looks yet. The fashion-forward first lady really upped the style stakes by donning a $2300 Ferragamo black cape as she and husband Donald left the White House to jet down to their Mar-a-Lago estate in south Florida on Feb. 15. For the chilly Washington D.C. day, the garment kept the 48-year-old nice and toasty as it featured a high turtleneck and went practically down to her ankles. Yet the cape had elbow length sleeves for Melania’s ease of movement.

      As if the exquisite cape wasn’t enough, Melania added on some pricey accessories. She carried a dark Hermes Birkin bag, wore black suede boots with a 5 inch heel and donned dark sunglasses even though it was cloudy outside. The look was put together just for the walk across the South Lawn of the White House to Marine One, which ferried the first couple to Andrews Air Force Base. From there they boarded Air Force One to head to West Palm Beach. While onboard she changed into a black dress and heels to greet fans when the first couple landed in Florida.

      In addition to her fetching outfit, Melania did something even more eye-catching — she put on a PDA show with her husband! Melania has been caught on numerous occasions swatting away President Trump’s hand when he tries to hold hers. But this time she had her perfectly manicured right hand firmly entwined with her husband’s while he gave a wave to photographers with his other hand.

      This outfit is a far cry from what Melania has donned over the past several days. On Feb. 13, she wore a pink patterned $3,000 Fendi coat with neon pink mink fur cuffs on it and a tied off belt around her waist while greeting the president of Colombia and his wife at the White House. While it was definitely high-end fashion, she got trolled by fans for appearing to wear an “expensive bathrobe.” Melania stayed with pink on Valentine’s Day when she visited a Washignton D.C. area children’s hospital. Her $1,800 blush coat by Cedric Charlier was classic and refined, as first lady brightened the day for sick kids by making Valentine’s Day arts and crafts with them. Now it’s off to Florida for some rest and relaxation over the long Presidents Day Weekend.

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      Man charged after more than $3K in crystal meth seized in Owen Sound: police

      Police say a man has been charged after officers seized drugs and cash in Owen Sound.

      According to Owen Sound police, on Thursday at around 8 p.m., following an investigation, officers arrested a 48-year-old man as he was walking on the sidewalk of the 10th Street East hill.

      Police say a search was conducted and, as a result, police seized a lock box containing 33 grams of crystal methamphetamine, drug packaging and a small quantity of cash.

      Officers say the street value of the narcotics seized is approximately $3,300.

      According to police, the accused was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.

      Police say he was held in custody pending a bail hearing on Friday.

      Global News

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      ST Podcast: Time's up for Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri; impact of young football coaches in Singapore

      A Game Of Two Halves (Season 2): Chelsea’s boss Maurizio Sarri under fire and the impact of young football coaches in Singapore

      Time: 15:16

      Synopsis: A Game of Two Halves is The Straits Times’ weekly sports podcast.

      In this episode, David Lee and Sazali Abdul Aziz discuss if Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is on his way out of Stamford Bridge after that 6-0 hammering by Manchester City last weekend.

      Is City’s Sergio Aguero the best English Premier League striker ever after chalking up his 11th English Premier League hat-trick in that same game to tie Alan Shearer’s all-time record?

      In local football, what impact will Balestier Khalsa’s appointment of the youngest-ever Singapore Premier League head coach in Khidhir Khamis have on the local football ecosytem? Starting their own sports academies: Is this a viable career path for local sportsmen after their days as athletes are over?

      Produced by: David Lee and Ernest Luis

      Subscribe, like and rate A Game of Two Halves:

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      Feedback to: [email protected]  

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