NYC Mayor raise minimum wage
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order on Tuesday to raise the minimum hourly wage by more than a dollar to $13.13 for potentially thousands of people working in the city. The increase, which expands an existing program to cover more New Yorkers, applies to workers employed by large businesses that are tenants of buildings developed with the help of more than $1 million in city subsidies. The order is expected to apply to an estimated 18,000 employees, including many restaurant and retail workers, over the next five years.
President Obama announces vision at the UN
President Barack Obama has laid out a broad vision of American leadership in a changing world, in a UN speech. He told the UN General Assembly the world needs a new blueprint to deal with the terror, conflict, climate and health challenges it faces. He added the world was at a crossroads between "war and peace", "disorder and integration", and "fear and hope". Mr Obama told representatives of 193 nations, "On issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule-book written for a different century. "If we lift our eyes beyond our borders - if we think globally and act co-operatively - we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War Two age.
Lawsuit Thrown out in Houston
Patti Labelle's entourage wins lawsuit filed by ex-West Point cadet who accused them of beating him up in unprovoked attack. The legendary diva had been dropped from the suit over the 2011 Houston altercation but her son and bodyguard were named in the suit filed by ex-West Point cadet Richard King.
NAACP forms partnership with Dunkin' Brands to increase black-owned franchises
Dunkin' Brands and the NAACP will collaborate to offer people of color in-depth franchising education and training as well as assistance in overcoming the financial challenges related to becoming a franchise owner. The partnership was announced at the NAACP's 105th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.
Health insurers will send out about $330 million in rebates
U.S. health insurers will send out about $330 million in rebates to employers and individuals this summer under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. The law, often called Obamacare, requires insurance companies to refund customers when they spend less than 80 percent or 85 percent of healthcare premiums they collect for medical care. The rebates will go to about 6.8 million people and have a value of about $80 per family. They are to be sent by Aug. 1 either directly to consumers or to the employer providing the health coverage, who is required to pass the savings onto employees.
NCAA agrees to settle head injury lawsuit
The NCAA agreed to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports. College sports' governing body also agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who received head blows.
Benefit Programs recieves good news
Medicare and Social Security still face long-term financial problems as millions of baby boomers reach retirement. The medicare program is getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending thanks to Obamacare (ACA), Medicare's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030, the government said. That's four years later than last year's estimate. Social Security still has several Trillion dollars in surplus.
The Essence Festival celebrated its 20th anniversary
According to Essence, this year’s festival is “set to surpass last year’s record-breaking attendance.” The 4-day event features entertainment, empowerment, and cultural experiences during the day and the world’s best performers each night. The Essence Festival is now the largest live event in the U.S., with attendance 6 times that of Coachella and 7 times that of SXSW.
Legendary singer and songwriter Bobby Womack has passed away
Womack was born in 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio. From 1970-90, Womack charted 36 singles. Some of the biggest names in music have paid tribute to the singer and songwriter Gospel singer Candi Staton, who knew Womack since childhood, said he had "a style that nobody else could ever capture. Cee Lo Green: Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. George Clinton: Fly on Bobby Womack. Ronald Isley: Iam sad to hear of the passing of my long time friend Bobby Womack. He was a special person with a special talent. I will truly miss him.
The BET Awards break Social Media Records
The live premiere of the "BET Awards" 2014, is cable's Number 1 award show this season, drawing 7.9 million viewers and dominating Twitter with 11 million tweets. Up one million tweets from last year, this year's show is the most tweeted about "BET Awards" ever; outperforming the "Billboard Music Awards," "Golden Globes," "People's Choice Awards," "Game 5 of the NBA Finals" and the "World Cup USA vs. Portugal.
Host Chris Rock showed he has lost none of his edge during his BET Awards monologue. The comic and actor said: 'A lot of people think Scandal is a hit because of Kerry (Washington), and she's great in it. But the real reason its a hit is that every Thursday at 10 o'clock there's a white president. 'White people get to tune in and feel good. For just one hour its back to normal. He added: 'Tonight we celebrate black excellence in the world of entertainment. Tonight you'll see something you never see, your gonna see black artists getting credit for something they create.
Pres Obama appoints more diversity to the Courts
A White House aide said President Obama has appointed more female judges than any other president, breaking the record previously set by President Bill Clinton. He has also appointed more Hispanic judges than any other president, breaking the record previously held by President George W. Bush. Obama has also appointed more Asian-American judges than all presidents combined and has nominated 12 openly gay federal judges. Last month, the Senate confirmed the first-ever Native American female federal judge in the nation's history.
OJ Simpson took credit for "If I Did it" for the money
O.J. Simpson's former manager claimed that Simpson did not in fact write the controversial book "If I Did It," which explores how Simpson would have hypothetically carried out the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman if he had actually committed the crime. Simpson's longtime associate Norman Pardo claimed Simpson only agreed to claim authorship of "If I Did It" for a $600,000 payout. Pardo said to huffingtonpost: I remember when that book was coming out. O.J. called me. He said, 'Here's the deal,' because it was in the news that he was going to do an interview. I said, 'O.J., don't do it, it's stupid.' He said, 'Hey, they offered me $600,000 not to dispute that I [wrote] the book.' He said, 'That's cash.' I said, 'They're going to think you wrote it.' He said, 'So? Everybody thinks I'm a murderer anyway. They're not going to change their mind just because of a book.'
Syracuse and Buffalo - Nations Most Affordable City.
Buffalo, New York state's 'Queen City', claims the top spot on a national scale, as the most affordable city in America, according to Forbes, which used data that included income, housing prices and everyday expenses to put together a top 21. New York City and Honolulu were found to be the most overpriced cities in the country. After Buffalo, rounding out the top five were Memphis, Cincinnati, Dayton and Knoxville. The northeast offers a few highly affordable cities — including the number one winner, Buffalo, N.Y. and number 20 Syracuse.
Judge Blasted Student who sued parents for support
A judge blasted an 18-year-old girl suing her parents for support after she ran away claiming they were behind her bulimia and that her father showed her 'inappropriate affection'. When Judge Peter Bogaard read an expletive-laden and vicious answerphone message left by Rachel Canning, from Lincoln Park, New Jersey, to her mother, Elizabeth, in which the girl said: 'I wanna s*** all over your face', he said: 'Have you ever in your experience seen such gross disrespect for a parent? I don’t see it in my house. The judge, added that Rachel had given her mom and dad, Sean: ‘The proverbial f you’.
President Obama puts criminal justice in the Budget
President Barack Obama's newly announced budget includes $173 million to reform the criminal justice system and $745 million investment in federal courthouses and allied buildings. The $3.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2015 will be "split evenly between defense and non-defense priorities," the Department of Justice said in a statement. Attorney General Eric Holder in August introduced a "Smart on Crime" plan that, among other things, encourages diversion programs and other alternatives to prison for nonviolent drug offenders.
A former leader of the Black Panthers has been released from prison
Marshall 'Eddie' Conway, 67, was freed from the prison. The decision came after state prosecutors agreed to change his life sentence to time served and probation. Conway is one of dozens of inmates who have been released after Maryland's Court of Appeals ruled in 2012 that judges had given improper instructions to juries before 1980. Conway received support from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and local officials. While in prison, Conway founded the Friend of a Friend mentoring program put in place in a number of Maryland prisons to help mentor inmates. Morgan State University even opened the Eddie Conway Liberation Institute last year for students to learn about policy debate while he was still incarcerated.
NBA Star LeBron James to star in Space Jam 2
NBA Superstar LeBron James will step into Michael Jordan's shoes, when he makes the leap to the big screen to star in... Space Jam 2. The first movie Grossed over $230 million worldwide. he'll be starring with Kevin Hart in a comedy feature film titled Ballers, Ballers will follow a man (Hart) who really wants to be known as something other than the brother of an NBA superstar (James), and gets his chance to prove himself when he and some friends attend a fantasy basketball camp in Miami. Naturally, hijinx and hilarity ensue.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.