POTUS: Stop viewing its growing "opportunity gap" as a problem for minorities
President Barack Obama has called for action to remedy what he described as profound income inequality and a lack of social mobility in the US. He called for a rise in the minimum wage and for stronger collective bargaining laws, among other measures.
Actress Kim Fields has become a mother for the second time.
Former Living Single and Facts of Life star gave birth to a baby boy named Quincy Xavier this week. Fields and husband Christopher L. Morgan welcomed their son in Atlanta at 10:30 a.m and he weighed in at 8 pounds 8 ounces 20 inches at birth. We are so blessed and grateful to God for this newest gift to our family,' Fields and Morgan said in a statement.
Applebee's to install self-service touchscreens on tables.
The Missouri-based chain plans on deploying 100,000 devices at 1,800 locations by the end of next year. In September, Chili’s announced it would be putting tablets on diners’ tables in about 800 locations and Delta air lines has already rolled out restaurant iPads at several of its airport terminals. The tablets will also be considered for introduction at IHOP locations as the chain is owned by the same company as Applebee's.
Essence Festival Announces 2014 Headliner
Essence Festival chooses music royalty. Prince is headlining the 20th annual Essence, a celebration of black music and culture being held July 3-6 in New Orleans. Essence has been held every Independence Day weekend since 1995, when it marked the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine. Organizers say the rest of the lineup will be announced later.
30 Year Anniversary Of Groundbreaking Music Video Thiller
Thirty years ago this month the Worlds Greatest Entertainer Michael Jackson turned the world of pop music and TV on its head with the release of the music video Thriller. Jackson's Thriller pop music video broke records, boundaries and ascended him to title of The King Of Pop selling over 9m copies alone. It also spawned the MTV generation, setting the standard for an industry for decades to come. The video turn a five minute 12 second pop song into a 14-minute short movie.
Holder orders Justice Department to skirt mandatory minimum sentencing rules
Eric Holder is altering Justice Department policy so that low-level, non-violent drug offenders with no ties to gangs or cartels won't be charged with offenses that impose mandatory minimum sentences.
Mobile app lets you open your front door using your PHONE
The app, called Kwikset Kevo, securely stores electronic versions of keys for multiple locks on a smartphone or tablet. When a user approaches a saved location, such as an office or a house, the phone can wirelessly unlock the door using Bluetooth meaning users only have to touch a lock to open a door and don't even need to remove the device from their pocket. Kwikset Kevo works in a similar way to the August lock announced in the U.S earlier this year. Once installed the homeowner activates their device. The August lock can then be managed using a mobile app and online.
Smithsonian wants Trayvon Martin's hoodie for permanent exhibition on race
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History director wants the hoodie Travyon Martin, 17, wore when he was fatally shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman on February 26 last year. 'It became the symbolic way to talk the Trayvon Martin case. It’s rare that you get one artifact that really becomes the symbol,' said director Lonnie Bunch. 'Because it’s such a symbol, it would allow you to talk about race in the age of Obama.
Court ruled Friutvale Station Officer can be Sued
A federal appeals court in California said that the father of Oscar Grant can sue the Bay Area Rapid Transit officer responsible for the 22-year-old’s 2009 shooting death on an Oakland, CA, train platform during a fight. The lawsuit was made possible when the court struck down a claim by former officer Johannes Mehserle that he was acting in his official capacity, granting him police immunity. Mr. Mehserle was convicted in 2010 on involuntary manslaughter and served 11 months.
Two-thirds of employers are now using electronic monitoring on company
Experts have warned that employers could increasingly read text messages and personal correspondence on cell phones. Research has shown that two-third of employers are using some type of electronic monitoring, and as phones are being increasingly used in business, this is expected to increase. As text messages on work phones are being used more frequently to close deals, there is also a rush to create messaging phone apps for business use. And monitoring messages is perfectly legal.
FDA says menthol smokes 'worse' than normal cigarettes
US regulators have said menthol cigarettes are more harmful than other cigarettes, but stopped short of limiting their sale. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it would seek consultation on possible restrictions for the products. The agency said that while mint-flavoured cigarettes may be just as toxic as others, it was easier to start smoking them and harder to quit. Menthol cigarettes are one of the few growing areas of the tobacco industry.
Mandela is 'well enough to watch TV' as he celebrates his 95th birthday
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has made a dramatic improvement, his daughter revealed. Zindzi Mandela said her father, whose 95th birthday is today, has been watching television in his bed in hospital and that he smiles at family members and raises his hand. He has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 and officials say his condition is critical but stable.
African American Buying power expected to be over 1.1 Trillion dollars
The Nielsen Company, a global information and research firm, projects black spending power will reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. Some companies struggle to tap the real power of black consumers. The lack of understanding cultural nuances of African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Latino Americans results in a general market advertising approach Pearson-McNeil explains. “The African-American community isn’t a monolithic group.”
Music Icon's Stevie Wonder and Eddie Levert will not perform in Florida
Music legend Stevie Wonder has announced that he won't perform again in Florida again until the state's notorious 'Stand Your Ground' law is repealed. His decision follows the outrage by other celebrities and performers at the acquittal of neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman. The singing legend made his statement at a show in Quebec City, Canada, over the weekend. He said: 'I decided today that until the 'Stand Your Ground' law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world. 'What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That's what I know we can do.
US Attorney General says he wants an end to Stand Your Ground laws
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder assured hundreds of civil rights activists during the NAACP's annual convention in Orlando, Florida, that his Justice Department still 'has an open investigation' into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the African-American teenager shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February 2012. He also offered a scathing critique of so-called 'stand your ground laws' in effect in Florida and 29 other states.
NYC council passed two bills that will make it easier to sue the NYPD for racial profiling
New York City Police are being warned against proactively policing in response to anti-discrimination legislation passed recently by the city legislature. The city council last month passed two bills that will make it easier to sue the NYPD for racial profiling, and did so with a veto-proof majority. In response, cops are being told to only answer radio calls and respond to crimes they see taking place – a big change from the proactive policing started in the 1990s under then-mayor Rudy Giuliani. The first bill, which creates an inspector general to oversee the department, passed 40-11, according to reports. The second bill, which allows people to sue for racial profiling, passed 34-17. The bills garnered the votes needed to override any mayoral veto.
Cornell University has the largest Hip Hop Collection in the world
One of the most important vinyl record collections in the history of hip-hop will be on display to the public when archivists sort, organize and even play music from the crates of DJ Afrika Bambaataa – the godfather of hip-hop culture and an instrumental figure. the Universal Zulu Nation and Cornell University Library are organizing the records for the Afrika Bambaataa Master of Records vinyl archive, which will permanently live at Cornell University’s Hip Hop Collection in fall 2013.
The Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival marks the 12th year in downtown Syracuse
Jazz and wine are the perfect combination!TheNortheast Jazz & Wine Festival returns to Clinton Square, Syracuse, NY again this July with two days of free jazz, smooth jazz, and RnB programming on three stages on July 26 and 27, 2013. That's two days of diverse, world-class acts; quality wines and wine-tasting events; and mouth-watering food, guaranteed to make downtown Syracuse the cool place to be this summer! The Northeast Jazz & Wine Festival remains the performing arts anchor of Syracuse Artsweek, a visual and performing arts "festival of festivals" that includes the Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival, the Syracuse New Times Street Painting Festival, and the new Haudenosaunee Stage of Nations Blue Rain ECOfest, the country's only urban Native American sustainability festival (www.bluerainecofest.org).
Manufacturing in June Bounce Back
US manufacturing recovered in June from an unexpected dip in May, according to an industry survey, although the level of hiring in the sector was the weakest for nearly four years. The index of national factory activity as recorded by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) rose to 50.9 in June from 49.0 in May. The US Federal Reserve has indicated that it will slow down its $85bn-a-month bond purchases if the economy continues to recover.
Paula Deen Loses More Business
Despite her teary interview on the Today show, Paula Deen has been dropped by yet another two sponsors. Walmart, Home Depot and Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that they were ending affiliations. Deen's $18 million business empire has been unraveling since shebecome embroiled in a racial controversy after a former employee testified that she had heard Deen, 66, repeatedly use the N-word and talk of how she wanted to have a plantation-themed wedding for her brother with an all-black serving staff to emulate slaves.
Five people successfully control a four-blade helicopter, known as a quadcopter with there mind
A remote controlled helicopter has been flown through a series of hoops using the power of the human mind. The feat was achieved by U.S. researchers who are hoping to develop future robots that can help restore the independence of paralysed victims and those suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. According to Professor Bin He, from the University of Minnesota, this it the first time that humans have been able to control the flight of flying robots using just their thoughts.
Wesly Snipes will make his return to the big screen
Actor Wesly Snipes is set to co-star in a high-profile project The Expendables 3 expected to be released on August 15, 2014. The film's cast, joining Snipes, will be Jackie Chan, Nicolas Cage and Milla Jovovich.
Janet Jackson has officially become a billionaire
According to Variety. Janet reportedly made $458million from various concert tours, a further $304million from movie roles - including the Eddie Murphy comedy The Nutty Professor II and Tyler Perry's box office hit, For Colored Girls - as well as $268million in album sales and $81million in endorsement and sponsorship deals. While Janet's late brother, King of Pop Michael Jackson, also amassed a vast fortune over the course of his career - he never achieved billionaire status. Janet now joins an elite club of celebrity billionaires including talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, legendary film director Steven Spielberg and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
A new season of VH1's hit series Single Ladies is set to debut this summer.
The Queen Latifah-produced series was renewed for a third season, after averaging a healthy 3.2 million total viewers per episode, up 10% from season 1, which means even more of you watched it than during the first season. And for season 3, add new cast members in Letoya Luckett, Damien Wayans and Lesley-Ann Brandt. Luckett will play Felicia Price, described in the press release as the icy and aloof founder and Senior Partner of Price Management, one of the most influential music management companies in the world.
Music Mogul Andre Young aka Dr. Dre has created an institute at USC
Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M have donated a combined $70 million to create a new institute at the University of Southern California. The huge gift from the two who have been music business partners in the past will be used to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. The academy will provide a special four-year program for undergraduates whose interests span several fields from marketing to computer science to visual design and other arts. It will include one-on-one faculty mentoring with professors from programs around the university and interaction with entertainment industry luminaries.
The Education Department has generated nearly $120 billion in profit
The Obama administration is forecast to turn a record $51 billion profit this year from student loan borrowers, a sum greater than the earnings of the nation's most profitable companies and roughly equal to the combined net income of the four largest U.S. banks by assets. Figures made public by the Congressional Budget Office show that the nonpartisan agency increased its 2013 fiscal year profit forecast for the Department of Education by 43 percent to $50.6 billion from its February estimate of $35.5 billion.
Interal Revenue Service Head Resigns
President Barack Obama announces the head of the US tax agency has quit, after it emerged his staff singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to UN
The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution. It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects. However it admits that "consumer disgust" remains a large barrier in many Western countries. The report suggests that the food industry could help in "raising the status of insects" by including them in new recipes and adding them to restaurant menus.
Whoopi Goldberg directs Moms Mabley: I Got Somethin' to Tell You
First-time director Whoopi Goldberg has released a feature-length documentary about the iconic stand-up comedienne Moms Mabley. In the film, Goldberg explores Mabley's legacy through recently unearthed photography, rediscovered performance footage and the words of numerous celebrated comedians, entertainers and historians, including Eddie Murphy, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Mabley tackled topics such as gender, sex and racism, making her one of the first triple X-rated comedians on the comedy circuit. Once billed as "The Funniest Woman in the World,"
New alzheimer's study reveal African American risk
A new study has revealed that a gene that was once thought to be weakly associated with Alzheimer's disease risk in white people may almost double the risk of developing the debilitating neurological disease when it's present in African-Americans. Researchers analyzed data on nearly 6,000 African-Americans for the study, which was published April 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). African-Americans in particular have higher incidence rates of late-onset Alzheimer's compared to white people living in the same community, the researchers added. African-Americans who had the ABCA7 gene were about 1.8 times more likely to develop late-onset Alzheimer's than those who didn't have the gene.
EEOC warns companies not to discriminate after background checks
Employers in the U.S. may soon have to hire more workers with criminal backgrounds under new equality guidelines issued by the federal government.The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines warn companies against rejecting minority applicants who have committed a felony or other offense, recommending that those companies eliminate policies which ‘exclude people from employment based on a criminal record.
Rosa Parks Stamp Now on Sale
Rosa Parks, the late legendary civil rights activist, is receiving a special honor this year to commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday. U.S. postal service will be unveiling a stamp that features her image. The unveiling ceremonies are scheduled for February 4th at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan
Judge rules NYPD must halt stop and frisk
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin said the department’s “Operation Clean Halls” program — aimed at preventing illegal activity at buildings in high-crime areas — had apparently stopped people who were merely entering or exiting buildings and not acting suspicious. While it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops” outside Bronx buildings, she said. It is not enough for a police officer to have a non-specific suspicion or hunch about a person to perform a stop and frisk.
Study: Mobile phone attachment can be addicting
Young people's attachment to their mobile phones is eroding their personal relationships, according to a new study. The claims come after research revealed that young adults - in addition to sending over 100 texts - check their mobile up to 60 times a day. Experts behind a new study have now said compulsively checking a mobile phone is an addiction similar to compulsive spending or credit card misuse. They said their research showed mobile and instant messaging addictions are driven by materialism and impulsiveness.
US illegal immigration lowest in more that 10 years
New census data affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million in 2007, part of an overall waning of Hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, Hispanic immigration last year was topped by immigrants from Asia
President Obama Won 4 More Years with a Mandate
President Obama landslide victory may be all the proof that he need to show the country is on his side when it comes to key issues. In one key state, Ohio the president won the middle american middle class voters to take the so called swing state......
Nielsen, NNPA release second report on the growth of the African-American consumer
A consumer group which continues to experience population growth, has unique generational behavioral trends and characteristics, and a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015, African-Americans are still a viable market segment full of business opportunities, according to the African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report released by Nielsen and the NNPA.
U.S. makes 27 billion dollar a profit from AIG
The U.S. Treasury further reduced its stake in American International Group and said that the United States has a profit of $15.1 billion from bailing out the insurer. Combined, the sales reduce the Treasury's stake in AIG to 15.9 percent from 53.4 percent. The government once held a nearly 80 percent stake in the company.
Most americans want to save Socical Security
Most Americans say go ahead and raise taxes if it will save Social Security benefits for future generations. And raise the retirement age, if you have to. (Currently Socical Security has a 2.7 trillion dollar surplus) Both options are preferable to cutting monthly benefits, even for people who are years away from applying for them. When given a choice on how to fix future problems with Social Security, 53 percent of adults said they would rather raise taxes than cut benefits for future generations, according to the poll. Just 36 percent said they would cut benefits instead. The results were similar when people were asked whether they would rather raise the retirement age or cut monthly payments for future generations - 53 percent said they would raise the retirement age, while 35 percent said they would cut monthly payments.
Whitney Houston exhibit opens in Los Angeles
A new exhibit 'Whitney! Celebrating The Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is now open. The exhibition display artifacts, photographs, and footage from the Houston family’s private collection. Amongst items on display there are album and career scrapbooks, the singer’s personal Bible, rare photographs, and stage costumes. The exhibit will run until February 2013 at L.A. Live’s Grammy Museum
Award Winning Columnist Saundra Smokes passed away in 2012
National and Local Columnist/Writer/Radio Host Saundra Smokes passed away. She recently hosted her radio show on Power 62 in Syracuse. Champion, fearless fighter, journalist, friend. said the host of the GK show. "She was unequivocal in her quest for truth and justice. She spoke her mind, especially around issues of race. She took considerable flack for that in her home town, but as a courageous woman she never stopped writing and telling the truth as she saw it."
Gabby Douglas immortalized on cereal box
The marketing of America's newest gymnastics sweetheart has begun. Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas, who won the Olympic women's all-around, is already on a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. USA Gymnastics sent a tweet with a photo of Douglas holding the box. Kellogg's is a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
US Supreme Court rules Afordable Health Care Law Constitutional
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 the federal healthcare law's individual mandate survives as a tax, handing a huge victory to President Obama. Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the prevailing 59-page opinion, abandoned his fellow conservatives and said the mandate can't be upheld under Congress' broad power to regulate interstate commerce but can be upheld under its power to tax in the Constitution's spending clause. The ruling by any standard is an enormous legal and political victory for Obama, who hailed the decision as "good for the country ... good for the American people.
Some soft drinks contain alcohol
Coca-Cola and Pepsi contain minute traces of alcohol, scientific research published in France has revealed. According to tests carried out by the Paris-based National Institute of Consumption (INC) more than half of leading colas contain the traces of alcohol. Ten of the nineteen tested which had traces of alcohol in them included Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola Classic Light and Coke Zero. Pepsi and Coke suggested that natural fruit can ferment and produce minute traces of alcohol.
US Supreme Court has ordered the government to repay Native American tribes
Under federal laws which allow the tribes to manage their own affairs, the government must reimburse them for the costs of these facilities. But between 1994-2001 the Congress failed to allocate enough money. The tribes will now be paid in the same way as any private contractor. The court said that it was not the fault of the tribes that Congress had imposed a ceiling on such payments because of the lack of funds.
Vermont first State to ban Hydrofracking
The governor of Vermont has signed a bill that bans hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract gas from underground deposits. Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the fracking ban into law, making Vermont the first state to ban the practice. Hydraulic fracturing is the practice of injecting water and chemicals under high pressure into underground shale to release natural gas.
Tennis Star Serena Williams moves to sixth in rankings
Serena Williams collected her 41st career WTA title in Madrid and moved to No. 6 in the updated women's world tennis rankings. Serena Williams has 13 wins over No. 1-ranked players, which is the most among active players.
U.S. oil inventories are now at historic high
U.S. crude oil inventories are now at historic highs and rose by 9 million barrels according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gasoline inventories dropped 1.5 million barrels to 221.9 million barrels and are in the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Inventories of finished gasoline and blending components both fell, the agency said.
One in five teens sends 200 texts a day.. with the average sending 60
Teens send an average of 60 texts per day, up from 50 daily texts in 2009, while only 35 percent of the 799 U.S. teens surveyed said they communicate face-to-face every day.
Party Balloons are using up the worlds supply of helium.
Helium serves a vital purpose for research scientists - but some are now warning that their experiments are at risk from a shortage of the gas, because stocks are being wasted on party balloons. Last week a researcher in the UK had to postpone an experiment when helium stocks ran out. Although helium is the second-most abundant element in the universe, Earth only has a limited supply - and the U.S National Research Council believes that we will run out of the gas in less than 30 years.
African Americans are more charitable
Black people are far more inclined to give back to the community compared with their white counterparts, according to new research by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF). The report, "Cultures of Giving: Energizing and Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Colors," shows a growing trend for communities of color to give at increasing rates and levels. African-Americans, for instance, give away 25 percent more of their income per year than whites and 63 percent of Latino households now make charitable donations. People of color are also growing in size and their assets are increasing as well.
The US Supreme Court rules in favor a Mumia Abu Jamal
Philadelphia prosecutors will have to pursue a second death-penalty sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal or accept a life sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, has spent nearly 30 years on death row after his 1982 conviction. A federal appeals court this year upheld his conviction, but agreed the death-penalty instructions were potentially misleading and ordered a new sentencing hearing.
Chrysler is getting rid of the soccer mom minivan
2013 will be the last year the Caravan is sold, despite the fact it is currently the best selling Dodge vehicle on the market. The more upscale Chrysler Town and Country minivan will continue on as the only van the company offers. Chrysler will replace the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan and the Dodge Avenger mid-sized sedan with a single crossover in 2013.
All Incomming and Outgoing Yahoo email is read by Yahoo
The world's biggest email provider says that by signing up to its service, users are giving their consent for both their outgoing and incoming mail to be analysed for information to sell targeted advertising. The responsibility for telling non-Yahoo! customers that their emails and messaging content are being read is placed on the user.
Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium to Work With Syracuse City School District
A consortium sponsored by legendary musician Quincy Jones has agreed to work with Say Yes to Education program in the development of a new “American music curriculum” for the Syracuse school district that could become a national model.
Canada rejecting proposal that would bring Fox-Style News to Canada
Canada regulators announced they would reject efforts by Canada's right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news. Canada's Radio Act requires that "a licenser may not broadcast....any false or misleading news." The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom.
More than half age 25-29 only have cell phones
In a first for any age group, more than half of Americans age 25-29 live in households with cell phones but no traditional landline telephones. A report on phone use by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that the younger children are, the likelier they are to live in homes that only have wireless phones. That suggests that younger parents are showing increasing comfort relying only on cell phones even as they adjust from being single to a more settled family lifestyle, according to one of the report's authors.
Black segregation in US drops to lowest in century
Segregation among blacks and whites fell in roughly three-quarters of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas as the two racial groups spread more evenly between inner cities and suburbs, according to recent census data.The findings are expected to be reinforced with fresh census data being released Tuesday on race, migration and economics. The new information is among the Census Bureau's most detailed releases yet for neighborhoods.
Obama signs bill to close gap in disparity in sentencing
President Barack Obama signed a bill reducing the disparity between federal mandatory sentences for convictions for crack cocaine and the powder form of the drug. Obama's signing of the bill in the Oval Office was open to news photographers but not the rest of the media. He made no remarks. But as a longtime thorn for the black community, the matter is important to a key Obama constituency. the new law is not retroactive, and it applies only to federal defendants,
FBI access to e-mail and Web records raises fears
Invasion of privacy in the Internet age. Expanding the reach of law enforcement to snoop on e-mail traffic or on Web surfing. Those are among the criticisms being aimed at the FBI as it tries to update a key surveillance law.
New York City Settles Sean Bell Case for $7.15M
Four years after Sean Bell was killed in hail of 50 bullets on the eve of his wedding, the City of New York has agreed to pay $7.15 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family, reports the New York Times. Bell's two daughters Jada, 7, and Jordyn, 4, will receive $3.25 million. His friend Joseph Guzman will receive $3 million, and Trent Benefield will get $900,000. His fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, who has worked tirelessly on the case, will not receive a share of the money because they were not married.
China surpasses US as world's top energy consumer
China has overtaken the United States as the world's largest energy consumer, the International Energy Agency said. China immediately questioned the calculation. The Paris-based agency said China's 2009 consumption of energy sources ranging from oil and coal wind and solar power was equal to 2.265 billion tons of oil, compared to 2.169 billion tons for the U.S.
Stimulus saved 3 million jobs
President Barack Obama's economic policies have significantly boosted U.S. growth and hiring this year. A quarterly White House report estimated Obama's $862 billion economic stimulus package, which he signed last year, has so far lifted employment by between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs, while giving growth a big boost.
US Supreme Court extends gun rights
The US's highest court ruled by 5-4 that a ban on handgun ownership in Chicago was unconstitutional. Justices said the US Constitution protected the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defence. The ruling could potentially change laws on gun ownership in many of the US states. The justices said the Second Amendment right "applies equally to the federal government and the states".
Tupac's Music Chosen For Libray of Congress
Rapper Tupac Shakur's song Dear Mama, Bill Cosby's second comedy album and (Soul Folk in Action) The Staple Singers (1968) are among 25 recordings the U.S. Library of Congress is preserving for their cultural significance. Tupac's Dear Mama was a heartfelt homage to mothers struggling with addiction and poverty. It's also a "relatively tame" recording, and the cultural impact of hip-hop is undeniable, program co-ordinator Steve Leggett said. Tupac is the third rapper inducted, following Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy.
WGE: Jackson's estate reportedly earns $1 billion in past year
In the year since Michael Jackson died, his estate has pulled in more than $1 billion, mainly on the strength of a new record deal with Sony and a hugely successful concert film. $429 million has flowed into his estate in the of music sales. About 9 million albums were bought in the U.S., while the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons have sold about 800,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Census: Multiracial U.S. becoming even more diverse
The minority population in the United States is steadily rising and makes up 35% of the total, advancing an unmistakable trend that could render them the new American majority by midcentury. U.S. minorities make up 49% of the children born in the U.S., up one percentage point from 2008. Based on current rates, data from the 2010 census could show a new “tipping point” in which babies born to minorities outnumber those of babies born to whites.
Don Cheadle named goodwill ambassador for UN
Actor Don Cheadle has become a spokesman for the United Nations environment program. He was appointed Saturday in Rwanda's capital as a U.N. Environment Program Goodwill Ambassador and vowed to fight climate change and promote environment conservation. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner announced the appointment, saying that Cheadle would help raise green awareness among millions of people around the globe.
WGE Micheal Jackson's hometown donates land for museum
In 2003, the Worlds Greatest Entertainer Micheal Jackson visited his hometown Gary, Indiana to discuss building a museum and cultural centre, but no progress was made before his passing. Gary's Mayor Rudy Clay officially announced plans for a $300 million US museum and arts centre in his honour. "This project will be the magnet that will draw people from all over the world," said Mayor Clay.
FBI reports finds US crime down despite recession
FBI statistics show that US crime rates have fallen for the third consecutive year. The data upends historical trends which suggests that crime rates increase during economic downturns. Car thefts have fallen the most this year - 17.2% - while murders are down 7.2%. Reported rapes also fell 3.1% and robberies are down 8.1%. Arson, assault and property crime have also declined. All numbers are preliminary, and will be supplemented by local agency reports in the coming months.
Supreme Court backs black applicants in firefighter discrimination suit
Chicago could be liable for as much as $100 million in damages in the case in which minority candidates passed a fire department exam but were not hired. The Supreme Court reinstated a discrimination ruling in favor of 6,000 black applicants for Chicago firefighting jobs in the 1990s, saying they had properly sued after it was clear that an entry-level test had a "disparate impact" based on race. Monday's ruling is the latest twist in a long-running set of lawsuits over the use of civil-service exams for hiring police and firefighters, both in Chicago and elsewhere.
Court rules out some life sentences for juveniles
The Supreme Court has ruled that teenagers may not be locked up for life without chance of parole if they haven't killed anyone. By a 5-4 vote, the court says the Constitution requires that young people serving life sentences must at least be considered for release.
Philly Police sergeant lied about being shot by black man
A white city police sergeant made up a story about being shot by a black man while on patrol last month and actually intentionally shot himself. Sgt. Robert Ralston, 46, confessed to making up the story and will have to pay the costs of the massive manhunt that followed. Ralston, who had been on the force more 21 years, will not face criminal charges because granting immunity was the only way to obtain his confession.
Brookings Study: Black population shifts to suburbs, pct of minorities increase in the South
As the first decade of this century comes to a close, more black, Asian, Hispanic, foreign-born and poor people live in the suburbs of the nation's largest metropolitan areas than in their primary cities. States of the "Old South" accounted for 57 percent of the nation's black population in 2008, compared with 54 percent in 1990. Fully one-fifth of the metropolitan gains in black population since 2000 occurred in Atlanta, pushing it past Chicago for the second-largest black population, behind New York. Racial and ethnic minorities now account for a majority of the population in 17 metropolitan areas, most of them in California and Texas, although New York, at 50.7 percent in 2008, is poised to pass that threshold in the 2010 census.
Title IX Strengthened: Bush Policy Reversed By Department Of Education
The U.S. Department of Education is repealing a Bush-era policy that some critics argue was a way to avoid complying with federal law in providing equal opportunities for female athletes. Under the move, schools and colleges must now provide stronger evidence that they offer equal opportunities for athletic participation under the federal Title IX gender equity law. It reverses a 2005 policy under former President George W. Bush that allowed schools to use just a survey to prove a lack of interest in starting a new women's sport and encouraged schools to consider a non-response to the questionnaire as disinterest.
Obama Signs Student Loan Overhaul Legislation
President Obama signed into law the final piece of the health care puzzle, which mandates sweeping changes in the way the nation provides health care and makes the federal government the primary distributor of student loans. "That's two major victories in one week that will improve the lives of our people for generations to come," Obama said. To highlight the education reforms in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Obama signed it at the Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., and focused on the largely overshadowed student loan reforms.
U.S. health-care bill Signed by President
The U.S. House of Representatives passes an historic health-care reform bill that will make coverage possible for more than 30 million uninsured Americans and end discrimination by insurance companies of people with existing medical conditions. Legislators voted 219 to 212 in favour of the landmark health-care legislation that has been debated on Capitol Hill for a year. The bill, previously passed by the Senate, didn't receive a single vote from Republicans. It was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Court Upholds Mention of God on Money, in Pledge
References to God on U.S. money and in the Pledge of Allegiance do not violate the Constitution's separation of church and state, the 9th Circuit ruled Thursday. In separate rulings, the court weighed in on the phrase "In God We Trust" inscribed on U.S. currency and the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance recited at public schools, ruling that neither is a government endorsement of religion and both represent patriotism. "The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded and for which we continue to strive: one Nation under God - the Founding Fathers' belief that the people of this nation are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," Judge Carlos Bea wrote.
Alcohol use lower among blacks
African Americans have lower drinking rates than other racial groups, according to a new survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It found that blacks ages 18 and older use alcohol at a rate of 44.3% compared with the national average of 55.2% Moreover, blacks ages 18 to 25 are much less likely than other young adults to engage in binge drinking -- 25.3% compared with 41.6% in the general population.
School Used Laptop Webcams To SPY On Students
The suit says Lower Merion School District officials (Philadelphia) can activate the webcams remotely without students' knowledge. The lawsuit alleges the cameras captured images of Harriton High School students and their families as they undressed and in other compromising situations. Families learned of the alleged webcam images when an assistant principal spoke to a student about inappropriate behavior at home.
Number of Cell Phones Worldwide Hits 4.6B
The number of mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to increase to five billion this year, the U.N. telecommunications agency said Monday. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide is expected to exceed one billion this year, the agency said. There were around 600 million such subscriptions at the end of 2009, it added.
NYC Fire Dept. Purposely Discriminated Against Blacks
A federal judge ruled that New York City intentionally discriminated against black applicants to the Fire Department by continuing to use an exam that it had been told put them at a disadvantage. In his decision, the judge highlighted how “black and other minority firefighters have been severely underrepresented,” characterizing that as a “persistent stain on the Fire Department’s record.” In July, Judge Garaufis — acting on a claim being pushed by the United States Justice Department — ruled that the Fire Department used a test in 1999 and 2002 that had a discriminatory effect on black applicants.
POTUS personalizes Oval Office
The decorative china plates are long gone. Historic metal gadgets and Native American pottery now stand in their stead. Resting on a bookshelf is a framed program from the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech. President Barack Obama gradually has made the Oval Office his own. The table behind Obama's desk is full of family photos - a wedding picture, shots of his girls as toddlers, a picture from the day he announced for president and more - photos that he says remind him "why I'm doing what I'm doing."
ACORN Didn't Commit Voter Fraud or Misuse Federal Funding
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) did not commit voter fraud, and it didn't misuse federal funding in the last five years, according to a recently released report prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a nonpartisan investigational arm of Congress. Among its findings, CRS also reported that recently enacted federal legislation to prohibit funding to ACORN raises significant constitutional concerns. This report came on the heels of another report that also cleared ACORN of wrongdoing. That outside report indicated ACORN doesn't show a pattern of intentional and illegal behavior in undercover videos that conservatives shot of ACORN staffers.
Court sets limits on police use of Tasers
A federal appeals court issued one of the most comprehensive rulings yet limiting police use of Tasers against low-level offenders who seem to pose little threat and may be mentally ill. Some lawyers called it a landmark decision.
22 Million Bush White House E-Mail's found
Computer technicians have found 22 million missing White House e-mails from the administration of President George W. Bush and the Obama administration is searching for dozens more days' worth of potentially lost e-mail from the Bush years, according to two groups that filed suit over the failure by the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system. The two private organizations say there is not yet a final count on the extent of missing White House e-mail and there may never be a complete tally.
Pew study: African-Americans more likely to use Twitter than any other segment
According to a just released study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, African-Americans are more likely than any racial or gender group to use Twitter or another status update service. Pew found that 26% of African Americans online use Twitter or other service.
FBI delves into DMV photos in search for fugitives
In its search for fugitives, the FBI has begun using facial-recognition technology on millions of motorists, comparing driver's license photos with pictures of convicts. "Everybody's participating, essentially, in a virtual lineup by getting a driver's license," said Christopher Calabrese, an attorney who focuses on privacy issues at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Fidel Castro praises Obama on climate change
The former Cuban leader on called the American president's speech at the United Nations "brave" and said no other American head of state would have had the courage to make similar remarks. In a speech at the United Nations on Tuesday, Obama acknowledged that the United States had been slow to act on climate change, but said Washington was now prepared to be a full partner as the world confronts the threat.
Disney to buy comic book powerhouse Marvel for $4B
The Walt Disney Co. said it is buying Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion in cash and stock, bringing such characters as Iron Man and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and WALL-E. Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of 5,000 Marvel characters. Many of them, including the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, were co-created by the comic book legend Stan Lee.
Air travelers now must provide birthdates
Travelers will now be asked to give their birthdate and gender when booking flights, along with a full name matching their ID, as part of a federal security initiative. The new requirements are part of a Transportation Security Administration program aimed at improving security and reducing misidentification of people on terrorist watch lists.
US wins trade case against China
The US has won a ruling at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against China's restrictions on the import of American DVDs and other media products. The WTO ruled that China's current policy of only allowing the goods to be imported by state-run organisations broke global trade agreements. However, the WTO upheld China's limits on the distribution of US films, and made no ruling on Chinese censorship.
GM says new Volt to get 230 mpg in city driving
General Motors Corp. said its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the mileage of the current champion, the Toyota Prius. The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles.
WGE Michael J Jackson 1958-2008
Born Michael Joseph Jackson in Gary, Ind., in 1958, "The King of Pop" was the fifth of nine children of Joe and Katherine Jackson. Both parents instilled a love of music early in their children's lives: Katherine taught them folk music while Joe, a budding guitarist, managed them and molded their musical work ethic. Michael was only 4-years-old when he started singing with his older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon and formed the original Jackson 5. Jackson is survived by his three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II
Prince George's Co. board votes to name school after President Obama
The Prince George's County school board has voted to name an Upper Marlboro elementary school after President Barack Obama.The board voted unanimously on the name for the school just miles from the White House. Barack Obama Elementary School, which is expected to be completed later this year, would be the first school in the Washington region to be named after the president, but not the first in the nation. A Long Island, N.Y., school was renamed shortly after Obama was elected in November.
Obama picks former astronaut to lead NASA
Charles F. Bolden Jr. has been nominated by President Obama to serve as NASA's next administrator. Bolden, a former combat pilot and Marine Corps major general, is also a veteran space shuttle commander. Bolden, 62, the third African-American to fly in space, had met with Obama at the White House, the day the Hubble Space Telescope was relaunched from the shuttle Atlantis. The five-spacewalk overhaul marked NASA's fifth and final visit to the storied telescope since Bolden helped launch it in 1990.
Obama Popular Vote Margin in 2008 Largest Ever for Non-Incumbent: site 538
President-Elect Obama has received at least 68,724,397 popular votes for the Presidency. It's "at least" because they're still counting in California and several other states, and so Obama's total should wind up comfortably over 69 million. This total represents 22.62 percent of the population. The victory margin from November 4th now stands at 9,124,522 votes.
Obama's Rise Forces Brazil to Look At Racial Divide
Barack Obama's rise to power in the United States has exposed cracks in Brazil's self-image as a racially integrated society. With almost half the population considered black, Brazilians often boast that their country is a more harmonious melting pot than the United States. But analysts say that is only because blacks in Brazil have never posed a threat to the dominance of the white elite in politics and business. Brazil was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery in 1888 and is home to the largest black population outside of Africa.
Secret Service Code Names for the first family of the US
The new First Family has been issued code names by the Secret Service. Barack Obama's is "Renegade," Michelle Obama's is "Renaissance," Malia Obama's is "Radiance," and Sasha Obama's is "Rosebud." Joe and Jill Biden also received code names, though it's tough to top "Renegade" and "Renaissance." Joe Biden's is "Celtic," and Jill Biden's is "Capri."
Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan
Almost three years after stepping down as chairman of the Federal Reserve, a humbled, 82 yr old, Alan Greenspan admitted that he had put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton mortgage lending. “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.