HOMELESSNESS HAUNTS U.S. TORNADO VICTIMS - PG. 2 NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION
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The killing of Osama bin Laden sharply boosted fight terrorism, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesPresident Barack Obama’s image, improving Amer- terday found. icans’ views of his leadership and his efforts to SEE PAGE 3.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Homelessness haunts U.S. tornado victims By JUAN CASTRO OLIVERA TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — James Robinson lost his house in the tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama six days ago and yesterday he left hospital with his legs and face in bandages, not knowing where he’s going to live. Like thousands of others injured last week in the deadliest tornado outbreak in the United States since 1925, which claimed the lives of 350 people across the U.S. south, this 60year-old man is slowly recovering but now faces the harsh reality of homelessness. “I’m leaving the hospital and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have anywhere to go,” he said. His wife, who suffered more serious injuries, was moved to a medical center in Birmingham, an hour away. Robinson wants her with him and hopes she’ll return soon. “I need to think what to do. It’s a very tough time and I want my wife to be here. We’ve made decisions for 42 years together,” he said. More than 800 people were admitted to the emergency room at Tuscaloosa’s DCH Regional Medical Center in the hours after a massive, two-kilometer-wide (1.2-mile-wide) tornado roared through the city April 27. Entire neighborhoods were wiped off the map. Modest houses were blown away. And with hundreds of people still unaccounted for, search and rescue teams continued to scour
mountains of rubble for victims. The storms and tornadoes — the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — have come during a wet spring that has also caused floods in the central United States. Further north, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers late Monday detonated explosives to blow breaches into levees below the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to relieve pressure from historically high waters. In Alabama, the state most severely punished by last week’s storms, the human toll is more than 250 dead and 2,200 injured, most of them in Tuscaloosa, where 5,000 homes have been destroyed and some 13,000 people affected. Other states had their share of victims. In Mississippi, 35 people were killed, in Tennessee 34, in Georgia 15, in Arkansas eight, in Virginia five. In her room at the Tuscaloosa regional hospital, April Watson is recovering from a blow to the head by an air conditioner that fell on top of her and knocked her out. Her husband, Robert Reed, is by her side with a bag of ice on his head. He was hit in back of the head by an airborne automobile tire. His wife has a long, deep cut in her foot that has become infected, and will require surgery. “When my husband found me unresponsive with the air condition unit on top of my head, he thought I was down. My daughter came calling me, ‘Mom, Mom.’ I didn’t hear her...
U.S. eyes price gouging, manipulation in energy market WASHINGTON — A new taskforce focused on fraud in energy markets will look into whether consumers are being gouged at the gas pump or traders are manipulating the markets, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday. “To the extent that there are inappropriate attempts to manipulate the markets, that there is price gouging, other things of that nature that have had a devastating impact on average Americans .... that will be the focus of this taskforce,” he told the House Judiciary Committee. “To the extent that they are, we will hold them accountable,” he said. Holder cautioned that there were “market forces that are at work and I don’t want to oversell what it is we are doing”. Previous administrations have created taskforces to investigate possible manipulation and fraud in the energy markets, but none has resulted in any significant cases or charges. That said, Holder told the committee that it was a “serious effort” by prosecutors who will look for possible violations of criminal or civil laws. The taskforce held its inaugural meeting on Monday behind closed doors. The group, announced last
month, includes representatives from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Justice and Treasury.
April Watson, 35, with a nurse, is pictured at DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. but then my eyes came up.” “I’m just blessed to be here. God saved my life, he saved my family’s life,” she said. She said they had thought of leaving the house before the tornado hit, but then the power went out, plunging them in darkness and then the giant twister struck and blew it all away. Besides the injured, hundreds of
people who didn’t know where else to go took refuge in the hospital that night, which with its own generators was the only place in town with lights. “People came (as if) from a jungle, walking in the darkness over the ruins,” said Brad Fischer, a spokesman for the DCH Regional Medical Center. “There were people everywhere, in the conference rooms, corridors, cafeteria.” In the hours and days that followed school buses and public transport were used to ferry the homeless to shelters and homes of relatives, said Fischer, adding that 100 people remain hospitalized and six have died, including three children. Religious and humanitarian aid organizations are sheltering thousands who lost their homes. The American Red Cross has opened 16 shelters in Alabama, which have taken in 900 people, the organization said. “This operation will take time. The devastation is immense,” Daphne Hart, a Red Cross spokeswoman said.
Nissan wins bid for New York’s iconic yellow cabs By NICK CAREY Japan’s Nissan Motor Co. Ltd won a 10-year contract to build the next generation of New York’s iconic yellow taxis, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday. Nissan beat Turkish manufacturer Karsan Otomotiv and U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co for a deal city officials estimated at around $1 billion. Nissan’s design will be based on its NV200 minivan model. “It’s going to be the safest, most comfortable, and most convenient cab the City has ever had,” Bloomberg said. “We started this process to leverage our taxi industry’s purchasing power to get the highest quality taxi,” he noted. “The new taxis will be custom-designed to meet the specific demands of carrying 600,000 passengers a day.” On a conference call, Nissan officials said they expected to provide up to 26,000 taxi cabs over the lifetime of the contract starting in 2013, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of about $29,000. “It’s very important for Nissan,” said Carlos Tavares, Nissan’s chairman in the Americas. “We deserve a better presence (in the United States) than we have today despite progress in recent years.” Officials at Nissan, which also provides taxis for Tokyo and Mexico City, said they also expected a marketing boost for the brand from television and film exposure. The city’s world famous yellow cabs feature in just about every feature film or television series based in
New York. They were even the basis for the award-winning series “Taxi” that ran from 1978 to 1983, whose cast included Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd. Nissan will be able to convert the NV200, which will get 25 miles per gallon, to run on electric-only engines beginning in 2017. The city will test the use of electric-engines in taxis using six electric Nissan Leafs, provided free to the city as part of the deal. The NV200 is the first cab to pass federal crash testing with the taxi partition and taxi equipment installed. The “Taxi of Tomorrow” will replace the 16 models now on New York’s streets. The 10-year contract is expected to begin in 2013, when older models will begin to be phased out over the next three to five years. Karsan’s van had gained notice because of its transparent roof for better sight-seeing and a ramp for wheelchairs. The NV200 taxi model will also include a transparent, panoramic roof panel. The Turkish manufacturer had hoped to gain favor with city officials by promising to assemble the cars in Brooklyn, vowing to use union labor. The plant would have marked a return of auto-making to the city for first time in about a century. Bloomberg said that Karsan was not selected largely because the company has little experience providing cars to the American market. The Nissan NV200 taxis will be built at its plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. New York City has 13,237 licensed taxicabs with 16 different models from nine manufacturers.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
U.S. views of Obama improve with Bin Laden death By JOHN WHITESIDES WASHINGTON — The killing of Osama bin Laden sharply boosted President Barack Obama’s image, improving Americans’ views of his leadership and his efforts to fight terrorism, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesterday found. About four in 10 Americans say their views of Obama improved after he ordered Sunday’s successful military operation in Pakistan to kill bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington. The boost to Obama’s popularity from bin Laden’s death could be short-lived as voters focus again on the economy and lingering unemployment — top concerns heading into 2012 election campaign. “There is no evidence the boost in his approval rating will last until the election, but an event like this could position Obama as more of a military leader and give him more authority,” Ipsos pollster Julia
Clark said. That could help put a long-term dent in Republican efforts to paint Obama as weak on national security and indecisive in reaction to the “Arab Spring” protests in the Middle East and North Africa. Obama’s approval rating has
slumped into the mid-40s in recent weeks as voters have grown increasingly pessimistic about the future and upset at rising gasoline prices. Obama’s task during the campaign will be to convince Americans he is turning the corner on leading
U.S. believes it can now destroy al Qaeda WASHINGTON — The United States will aim to destroy al Qaeda’s central organization now that its leader Osama bin Laden has been killed and its capabilities degraded by U.S. operations, a top White House adviser said yesterday. Since the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, al Qaeda has spawned affiliated groups in the Middle East and North Africa and
inspired attacks by so-called homegrown militants in Europe and the United States. But White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said bin Laden’s death was the latest in a series of U.S. operations that have delivered “severe body blows” to al Qaeda’s central network in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past year. “We’re going to try to take advan-
Michael Jackson doctor trial delayed to September LOS ANGELES — The high-profile manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor was delayed until September at the request of defense attorneys. With just a week before the scheduled start of opening statements, the judge in the case agreed to give defense attorneys more time to seek and prepare expert medical witnesses. Opening arguments in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray had been scheduled for May 9, and jury selection was already under way. Murray has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of the “Thriller” singer, who died in June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. Prosecutors said last week they would be calling an additional medical expert to counter what are expected to be arguments by Murray’s defense team that the pop star swallowed propofol by himself. Murray’s lawyers said they needed more time to prepare to cross examine the new witness. Murray has admitted giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid as he rehearsed for a comeback tour, but
tage of this opportunity we have now with the death of al Qaeda’s leader, bin Laden, to ensure that we’re able to destroy that organization,” Brennan told NBC’s Today show. “We’re determined to do so and we believe we can.” “We believe that we have damaged the organization, degraded its capability and made it much more difficult for it to operate inside of Pakistan as well as beyond.” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said in an MSNBC interview on Monday that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas had killed as many as 17 senior al Qaeda leaders before bin Laden’s
an economic recovery, and to reengage the young and first-time voters who helped propel him to victory in 2008. In the poll, 39 percent of Americans said their image of Obama’s leadership had improved, while 52 percent said it had not changed and 10 percent said it had worsened. Forty-two percent said they had a higher opinion of Obama’s handling of anti-terrorism efforts, with 50 percent saying it was unchanged and 7 percent that it had worsened. Thirty-two percent of Americans think Obama deserves the most credit for the U.S. special forces’ assault on Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, while 13 percent gave credit to former President George W. Bush A third of Americans say they are more in favor of holding suspected terrorists without trial at Guantanamo military prison in Cuba since the Bin Laden killing. The poll was conducted Monday with a 1,010 adults in the United States interviewed online. death. Brennan spoke a day after world leaders and security experts urged increased vigilance against possible retaliatory strikes by al Qaeda. CIA director Leon Panetta warned on Monday that bin Laden’s death would “almost certainly” prompt his Islamist supporters to attempt some sort of retaliation. But Brennan said U.S. officials were aware of no specific threat, nearly 48 hours after bin Laden’s death. “But what we’re doing is, we’re taking all those prudent measures that we need to whenever there’s an incident of significance like this,” Brennan said in a separate interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Right now, I think we feel pretty confident that we are at the right posture.”
Oklahoma rebukes lawmaker who suggested Blacks, women lazy By STEVE OLAFSON
denies it was a fatal dose. Murray was with Jackson when the 50 year-old singer died at his rented Los Angeles home on June 25, 2009. The physician’s defense team had asked for just a two week delay. But Los Angeles Superior Court judge Michael Pastor opted for a longer postponement to ensure that all pending issues were resolved. He set the new trial date as September 8. “The court is very mindful of judicial efficiency and the expense that has occurred. But first and foremost is justice,” Pastor said.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma state House on Monday voted overwhelmingly to reprimand one of its own members for suggesting that African Americans and women are lazy during a debate on the House floor last Wednesday. Sally Kern, a Republican lawmaker from Oklahoma City who sparked a firestorm three years ago with comments about gay people, gave a tearful, 10-minute apology on Monday. Then, her colleagues approved the reprimand by a 76-16 vote. During a debate last week about affirmative action, Kern, who is white, talked about why there are a disproportionate number of Black people in prison. “Is this just because they’re Black that they’re in prison or could it be because they didn’t want to work hard in school?” Kern asked, accord-
ing to an official transcript. “I taught school for 20 years and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t want to work as hard — they wanted it given to them,” she added. Kern also said that “women usually don’t want to work as hard as a man” because “women tend to think a little more about their family.” Kern, first elected in 2004, told her colleagues on Monday she was sorry. “My words do not represent my heart and my actions of the last 60 years,” she said. “I’ve asked the Lord to forgive me for my careless words,” she added. “I hope you will find it in your heart to accept it.” In 2008, Kern made headlines for saying that “the homosexual agenda is destroying this nation.” She said of homosexuality: “I honestly think it’s the biggest threat that our nation has, even more than terrorism or Islam.”
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
JOURNAL OF THE PEOPLE’S PASTOR ‘WRITING THE HISTORY I’VE LIVED, LIVING THE HISTORY I WRITE!’
Fifty-two nights and half-a-day in the hospital: My experience
THOMAS H. WATKINS
Donald gets trumped
By REV. DR. HERBERT DAUGHTRY
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Part Nine It is not unusual for complications to occur during operations, particularly spinal operations. In a book entitled, “The Better Way Back From Chronic Back and Leg Pain,” Dr. Luiz Pimenta discussed potential complications. “Spine surgeries carry inherent risks and potential complications, which should be discussed between the patient and the surgeon… Complications vary in severity, including the possibility of death, and can result from surgery in general (e.g., infection or bleeding requiring transfusion), from the approach to the pathology (e.g., re-operation required for malpositioned hardware or inadequate decompression) and medical related issues (e.g., due to other co-morbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, use of steroids, and/or smoking). “Complications can also manifest later in the postoperative period, which may require additional procedures (e.g., delayed wound healing, infection, migration or failure of the implants, fracture or settling of the bone, failed fusion.)” Dr. Pimenta went on to discuss the point I have been making. He stated, “It is important to reiterate that planning for spine surgery should include detailed discussions between the patient and the surgeon concerning potential complications associated with current spine surgery treatment options.” After reading the above possibilities of complications during and after the surgery, it is no wonder that fear prevents many from the operation table, or from even seeing a doctor. LESSON #4: Let me take the liberty to urge, with all of the emphases
who do not have the touch repeatedly jab the needle in the arm or hand in the search for the right vein. Each jab of the needle creates a sharp pain that seems to go through the entire body. To contract an infection makes the pain almost unbearable. The IV sites are usually changed every 2-3 days to guard against infection. When I started getting the Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), another pathway other than the mouth, stomach, and Gastrointestinal System of which nutrition is provided, the IV site was enlarged and needed maintenance more frequently. Since I was not able to swallow, the nutrition had to go through the stomach feeding tube. … to be continued. ** Join Reverend Daughtry in Jersey City for the weekly Thursday Evening Educational, Cultural, and Empowerment Forum from 6pm-8pm for an evening of information, inspiration, and challenge at 315 Forrest Street (Ground Floor), corner of MLK, Jr. Drive. For more info, contact The National Community Action Alliance at (201) 716-1585. ** Listen to Reverend Daughtry on the weekly radio program which airs Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on New York City’s WWRL-AM, dial 1600. ** NEED QUALITY CHILD CARE? Call the Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial Daycare Center located at: 460 Atlantic Avenue (corner of Atlantic and Nevins) 718-5961993 333 Second Street (between 4th & 5th Avenues) in Park Slope 718-499-2066 Immediate openings are available in a state-of-the-art center.
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that I can command, search all healing alternative methods. If they do not succeed, see a medical doctor. If there must be an operation, proceed with a serious conversation with your supporters and the doctor, and with deep prayers. I do not hesitate to encourage medical help coupled with divine help. The hands of the doctors should be moved by the hand of God. I believe what the Bible says. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person availeth much. (James 5:16)” In addition, it certainly gives a peace of mind and a belief that “… we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).” When Dr. McIntosh and I finished our conversation, my mind raced back to my stay in the hospital. My situation was far more serious than I had realized. My esophagus was paralyzed which meant that if I tried to swallow food, there was the possibility it may go down the trachea and into my lungs. There was also the possibility of foodstuffs seeping to other parts of my body via the fistula. In addition, I contracted an infection in the esophagus. I remember how I used to constantly expectorate (spitting up mucus). It was very embarrassing. I didn’t know which was worst: the annoying inconvenience of keeping a cup near, or the embarrassment of having to keep saying, “Pardon me,” as I turned my head downward to spit. In addition to the operation, I had to be concerned about my lungs, esophagus, and two infections (in my esophagus and the IV). (The intravenous fluid included glucose (sugar), vitamins, sodium and potassium, and other nutrients.) The insertion of the needle for the IV is a painful experience. The right kind of vein needs to be found. Not everyone has the touch to insert the needle. Those
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Deadly tornado rips my Alabama hometown By GEORGE E. CURRY I was leaving a members-only meeting at From the Heart Church Ministries in Suitland, Maryland, last Wednesday night when I noticed that my mother, Mrs. Martha Brownlee, had called me from Augusta, Georgia while my cell phone was turned off. When I returned her call en route home, she asked had I heard from Mary Linebarger, my first-cousin who lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I casually replied that I had spoken to Mary and her husband, Ronnie, a few weeks ago and Mama interrupted, “You haven’t heard, have you?” I replied, “Heard what, Mama?” She hastily said, “A tornado has hit Tuscaloosa and a lot of people are dead. George, our city is gone.” I quickly promised to place a call to Mary on her cell phone and get back to Mama. When I dialed Mary, a shaken voice came on the phone. My cousin lives less than a half-mile from MacFarland Mall, which was leveled by the tornado. A nearby CVS store was destroyed. Krispy Kreme? Gone. So were Steak-out, Big Lots, and Full Moon Barbecue. “I’ve never been so scared in my life,” she told me. “It sounded like a train was coming through. It knocked out our windows, put holes in the roof and broke the glass out of my car and Ronnie’s new truck in the yard. But we are safe.” She assured me that other cousins on my father’s side were also accounted for. Most of the relatives on my mother’s side had long ago migrated to Johnson City, Tennessee. But, some children of
three of my deceased uncles –Frank, Albert, and Percy Harris – still live in Tuscaloosa. Initially, I was under the impression that all of my relatives were safe. That only lasted until the next day, when Mama called to tell me that two distant cousins had been killed by the tornado. I called my cousin, Dosha, in Johnson City, and she and her sister, Alberta, placed me on speaker phone to let me know that two greatgrandchildren of their sister, Carolyn, had died. When I slowly and reluctantly read the list of 39 victims on The Tuscaloosa News Website on Sunday, I had read 28 names before coming to the name of Cedria Harris, 8 years old. Her body was found behind Fire Station #4. Next on the list and also recovered from behind the fire station was her brother, Michael Bowers, age 3. I knew that as the counting continued that there would be someone that I knew on that list of victims. But, I had no idea it would be two of my relatives who lived in Rosedale Court on the city’s East Side. Growing up under segregation, Greensboro Avenue, near downtown, was the residential marker that separated most Blacks from whites. There were pockets of African-Americans east of Greensboro Avenue, mostly in the South Side area or Alberta City. But, for the most part, Blacks lived on the West Side. To prevent whites and Blacks from living together, there were two housing projects – McKenzie Court, for Blacks, on the west side of town and Rosedale Court, for whites, on the east end of town, not far from the
University of Alabama. Each was constructed from identical building plans. Similarly, Druid High School, my alma mater, enjoyed the same layout as the all-white Tuscaloosa High School, on the other side of town. Once the “white” and “Colored” signs came down in Tuscaloosa, Blacks began moving to any section of town they wanted to live, including formerly all-white Rosedale Court, where my two young cousins met their tragic death. The erosion of racial barriers is evidenced by the known deaths, most of which took place on the east side of town. Of the 39 identified as dead – the number will certainly grow over the next few weeks – 19 of the victims were African Americans. The tornado was an equal opportunity killer. Another cousin lost a home and yet another one, who worked at KFC, was walking to her car when coworkers called her back into the store because of the tornado warning. The employees huddled in a cooler as most of the store and my cousin’s car were swept away. Unlike the case with Hurricane Katrina, the federal government has moved quickly to assist those who escaped with only the clothing on their backs. A list of agencies, such as the United Way of West Alabama and the American Red Cross, have established special accounts to accept donations from the public. A guestbook has been created to leave words of comfort for the survivors. After seeing the footage of the tornado damage, I called former Southern Christian Leadership Conference
President Charles Steele, Jr., a childhood friend from Tuscaloosa, who now lives in Atlanta, to brainstorm about what we could do to help our hometown. When I suggested raising money, Charles quickly reminded me of the pitfalls associated with raising and distributing money, even for a good cause. Especially for a good cause. Charles recounted the controversy we witnessed up close after money had been collected for the Jena 6 defendants in Louisiana. The last thing we want is to become involved in a controversy over money that should being going to the victims’ families. Instead of appealing for money, we are in the process of requesting donations of food and clothes from individuals and major corporations. We are also placing calls to radio personalities we know to enlist their support. Once we work out the details, I will place updates on my Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as in my weekly newsletter, The Curry Report. It was difficult to watch from a distance the natural disasters in Haiti and Japan. It is even tougher to watch familiar buildings and homes in my hometown reduced to rubble. Add two young cousins to the mix and this becomes really personal.
— George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him atwww.twitter.com/currygeorge.
New CRL consumer survey: High pressure tactics, confusion lead to customers choosing overdraft By CHARLENE CROWELL In August 2010, the Federal Reserve Board directed banks to seek customer approval before enrolling them in high-cost overdraft coverage. Now nearly a year later, a new survey by the Center for Responsible Lending finds there are still lingering consumer misperceptions as to what consumers believe they were actually signing up for. Among consumers who opted in to overdraft, 64 percent thought they were getting coverage to avoid bounced checks even though overdraft only affects debit card and ATM transactions. For other survey respondents, overdraft enrollment was chosen as a means to stop a barrage of solicitations in varying forms. Comparing the difference between the numbers of bank customers
choosing overdraft (33 percent) with those who declined it (67 percent), strongly suggests there is little customer interest in the product itself. Rather it is the marketing manipulations and aggressive sales tactics that together that are pressuring bank customers to accept overdraft. CRL’s new survey findings may suggest that given the banks’ ability to manipulate current disclosure requirements, perhaps disclosure alone is not enough. A new or enhanced role for regulators might be the appropriate remedy. Unfair overdraft fees, at an average of $34 per usage, are a boon for the banks totaling $24 billion each year. Debit card transactions are the most common trigger for overdrafts. By contrast, paper checks account each year for approximately one quarter of overdrafts. And, some banks pump up the number of fees they can charge by manipulating the
order in which they subtract charges during the daily balance. While banks push a questionable product on their customers, they fail to clearly convey the free and lowcost options to overdraft such as linking checking and savings accounts or low-cost lines of credit. Neither do banks consistently make clear to customers that overdraft fees are assessed for each transaction under these programs. Sadly for many customers, it is only when they review a bank statement that they realize how many overdraft fees have been charged within a billing cycle. Multiple fees totaling several hundred dollars in a given month particularly affect consumers with low bank balances and those who live paycheck-to-paycheck. Two major banks, Bank of America and Citibank do not approve overdrawn debit card transactions for a fee. These two lenders “at no cost to
the consumer - decline transactions if funds are not available.” If public monies could be used to rescue banks in financial crisis, it seems reasonable for banks to change their own operations in ways that won’t cause consumers unnecessary financial crises.
— Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications manager for state policy and outreach. She can be reached at: Charlene.email@example.com
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Most agree Medical marijuana faces tough curbs in Montana with U.S. killing of bin Laden By EMILIE RITTER
WASHINGTON — The United States made the right decision to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to an online poll on www.reuters.com on Monday that also gives President Barack Obama a boost. U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday, bringing a dramatic end to the long manhunt for the man who was the most powerful symbol of Islamist militancy. Seventy-nine percent who participated in the poll said Washington made the right decision to kill bin Laden, compared with 14 percent who said no and 7 percent who were not sure. But only 25 percent said they felt safer after the death of the al Qaeda leader, compared with 59 percent who said they did not. Obama got a fair amount of credit for killing bin Laden, with 37 percent saying he deserved the most credit, while 13 percent said his Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush, should get the credit. Some 50 percent said neither should get credit for the raid. A slim majority of respondents, or 51 percent, said bin Laden’s killing had not changed their perception of Obama’s leadership. But 29 percent said it made them feel more favorable to him and 13 percent said they now feel much more favorable. Seven percent said the killing made them feel less so. Forty-three percent voted that Obama is handling the war on terrorism effectively, compared with 26 percent who said he was handling it ineffectively. Thirty-one percent said they were not sure. The poll questions were each answered by some 1,200 to 1,300 U.S. and foreign readers of Reuters.com.
HELENA, Montana – Many if not most of Montana’s 4,800 medical marijuana suppliers will be forced out of business within two months under a newly passed overhaul of the state’s 7-year-old law legalizing pot for medicinal purposes. The state legislature approved the bill last week in answer to critics who said loopholes in the original 2004 medical marijuana law enacted by ballot measure were being exploited by some as a pretext for recreational pot smoking and largescale drug trafficking. But medical marijuana advocates say the regulatory reform bill was deliberately crafted to make it unworkable. Tom Daubert, head of the group Patients and Families United, called it “repeal in disguise.” Last month Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed an outright repeal sent him by the Republicancontrolled legislature. Schweitzer, a Democrat in his second term, said he was unhappy with the new legislation but would allow it to become law without his signature — it takes effect on July 1 — because he feels the status quo is worse.
The number of Montana residents carrying cards allowing them to lawfully possess and use pot for treatment of one ailment or another has jumped from 4,000 in 2009 to nearly 30,000 this year. Meanwhile, medical pot-growing facilities and dispensaries, many of them operating under one roof, have swelled to 4,848 statewide, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Over half the growers supply just one or two patients, the agency said. But all operate with little state control other than a quota that limits them to six plants per patient. Last month, federal agents raided marijuana growers and distributors in 13 cities across Montana in a crackdown prosecutors said was aimed at supply operations that were using the medical marijuana law to conceal narcotics trafficking. Some lawmakers have said it was their goal to sharply curtail the number of legal medical cannabis users. “The bigger the thing gets, the more likely we are to have seizures and arrests,” said state Representative Cary Smith, a Republican from Billings. “The smaller we keep it — where you have a person growing for their
self, the less likely we are to run into a problem.” The new law tightens limits on cultivation to no more than three patients per grower and four plants per patient. It also bans all advertising and promotion of medicinal pot and abolishes storefront dispensaries altogether. It further outlaws any profits in the supply of medical marijuana, barring growers from even charging to recoup the cost of cultivating the drug. Supporters say this was aimed at ensuring that those who cultivate a substance still listed under federal law as an illegal narcotic do so strictly on the basis of compassion. But critics says such restrictions make it difficult for some legitimate patients to obtain their medicinal pot. “If I was a man in my 70s living in eastern Montana, first of all I don’t know who I would ask to grow my medical marijuana for free, or that I would know how to do it myself,” said Democratic Representative Ellie Hill of Missoula. Schweitzer and some lawmakers faulted the bill for failing to establish a registry of growers so elderly patients living in a rural part of the state could find legitimate suppliers.
Some cities question census counts WASHINGTON — Atlanta is among a number of U.S. cities questioning the results of the 2010 census over counts that will affect their federal aid, officials said. The U.S. Census Bureau told Atlanta and some other U.S. cities that they either lost population or failed to grow during the last decade, Stateline.org reported. Atlanta’s 2010 census population of 420,000 represented little growth from the 416,000 recorded in 2000.
Adding to the confusion, the Census Bureau had estimated Atlanta’s population at 540,000 a year earlier in July 2009. Officials said Atlanta provides the most dramatic example of discrepancies between the 2010 census versus the estimates from the Census Bureau in July 2009. Detroit’s population was off more than 20 percent from its 2009 estimate. None of the 50 largest cities had
discrepancies as large as Atlanta and Detroit but Omaha, Phoenix, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, Houston, Mesa, Ariz. and Chicago all had counts that were at least 5 percent below their most recent estimates. The Census Bureau said that its figures are correct. “Obviously, we’re doing the best we can with the estimates,” said demographer Greg Harper of the Census Bureau, “but they are just estimates.”
U.S. TV ownership falls for the first time in 20 years The number of households in the United States that own television sets is estimated to have declined for the first time in 20 years, according to forecast figures from the Nielsen Co that were released yesterday. The switch from analog to digital broadcast in 2009, the economic downturn and the trend among consumers to watch TV programs across other platforms, including computers and tablet devices, were given as reasons for the shift. Still, it was estimated that in 2012, some 96.7 percent of U.S. households will own televisions, down from 98.9 percent in 2011. Nielsen, a division of Nielsen Holdings, based their preliminary estimates on the 2010 U.S. census data, which showed an increase in the number of households and trends of TV ownership of the past several years. Adjusted estimates
will be provided in August 2011. Nielsen, which keeps tabs on TV ratings and often determines the fate of programing, also said that a number of younger urban con-
sumers are going without paid TV subscriptions, often referred to as “cord cutting.” The long-term effects of cord cutting were still unclear, Nielsen said.
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Sudan troops enter Abyei, 14 dead By SIMON MARTELLI K A D U G L I , Sudan - A heavily armed Sudanese military convoy entered the flashpoint border district of Abyei, sparking clashes that left up to 14 people dead, its chief administrator and a UN spokesman said yesterday. The fighting broke out on Sunday when a Sudanese army major insisted on entering the disputed territory after the police tried to stop his convoy of six landcruisers mounted with machine guns and more than 200 troops, administrator Deng Arop Kuol told AFP. “They killed a local police sergeant from the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army — the southern armed forces). I think the UN recovered another 11 bodies. It was a violent clash,” said the southern-nomi-
A United Nations position is seen on April 17, close to the restive town of Abyei, close to the Sudanese north-south border. A heavily armed Sudanese military convoy has entered the flashpoint border district of Abyei, sparking clashes that left up to 14 people dead, its chief administrator and a UN spokesman said. Photo/Ashraf Shazly nated official. fighting on Monday, Abyei. A UN spokesman where they found 14 The district’s chief confirmed the deadly dead bodies, 11 of them administrator said the clashes on Sunday, say- in JIU uniform and army had been trying ing a peacekeeping three in civilian to supply northern elepatrol had found 14 clothes,” said Kouider ments of the joint units bodies, after initially Zerrouk, referring to with extra weapons, being denied access to the special Joint which he said were not the area by an angry Integrated Units of needed, and described crowd. northern and southern their presence in Abyei “One of our patrols personnel deployed in as “illegal.” went to the scene of the
“They were not supposed to enter our territory according to the Abyei protocol. So there was a plan of invading,” Kuol said, referring to an annexe of the 2005 peace deal that ended a devastating 22-year civil war between north and south. Kuol said that northern elements of the joint units set up under the protocol had joined the fighting, which took place around 17 kilometres (10 miles) north of Abyei town. He said the northern troops were now in Goli — further north but still within the district’s boundaries. The Sudanese army spokesman was not immediately available to comment on the allegations. North and south have repeatedly accused each other of sending large numbers of “irregular” soldiers into Abyei, in breach of a January truce which called for the withdrawal of all forces except the JIUs and UN peacekeepers. Deadly fighting and recriminations have
flared in Abyei since January, when the district had been due to vote on its future, alongside a referendum in the south that delivered a landslide for secession. The plebiscite was postponed indefinitely amid deadlock between north and south over who should be eligible to vote. The United Nations and Western observers have reported that the armies on both sides have been reinforcing their positions in recent months, raising fears of the violence escalating. Abyei’s future is the most sensitive of a raft of issues which the two sides are struggling to reach agreement on ahead of the south’s full independence in July. President Omar alBashir warned last Thursday that if the south claims Abyei, his government may not recognise the new state. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson said afterwards that his comments “only serve to inflame and heighten tensions.”
Libya rebel city tense as Kenya: Elephants killed near Prince William cabin Kadhafi ultimatum expires By JASON STRAZIUSO
By MARC BASTIAN MISRATA, Libya - The besieged Libyan rebel city of Misrata braced for a new bombardment by Moamer Kadhafi’s forces yesterday as an ultimatum for its surrender expired a day after shelling killed 14 people. In their eastern stronghold of Benghazi, the rebels warned that their provisional government would soon run out of funds unless Western governments extended a three-billion-dollar secured on frozen assets of the Kadhafi regime. NATO said that aircraft under its command carried out 158 sorties on Monday, 56 of them strikes against ground targets which had included 12 ammunition caches and three self-propelled artillery pieces around Misrata. Loyalist tanks had thrust into the western suburbs of the oil-rich North African nation’s third city from their airport base, triggering clashes that wounded more than 30 people. Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim announced the ultimatum for rebel fighters in Misrata to cease fire late on Friday, offering amnesty if they laid down their weapons. The rebels, who have been under siege by loyalists for some two months, promptly rejected it. “We will not surrender. We win or we die,” said the rebels’ top commander, Ibrahim Bet-Almal, whose son was killed in fighting on April 9.
NAIROBI, Kenya - Four of seven elephants outfitted with GPS tracking collars have been killed on the forested slopes of Mount Kenya in recent months only a short hike from the rustic cabin where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton, conservation officials said yesterday. Save The Elephants fitted seven animals near Mount Kenya with collars over the last year to track their movements. More than half have been killed, and the group’s founder, Iain DouglasHamilton, said he’s worried about what may be happening to
the elephants who aren’t collared. “We’ve uncovered a poaching crisis near Mount Kenya that we didn’t know about before,” he said. Douglas-Hamilton said the mountain’s dense forest makes it difficult for rangers to patrol and protect elephants who have not been collared. Save The Elephants official Lucy King said the group suspects the rise in poaching in northern Kenya is linked to a high demand for ivory in Asia. “We’re seeing a lot of Chinese nationals caught in the airport in Kenya with ivory in their luggage,” she said. “We have to assume the Chinese are involved at some level.” Kenya has more than 30,000 elephants, so the deaths of four do not threaten its population.
The first killing came in October, the same month the royal couple traveled to a rustic log cabin where the two fished in a nearby pond and bundled up for chilly nights at high altitude. It’s not known publicly if the two saw any elephants on their trip, but one of the four poached beasts died only 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the cabin, King said. An elephant named Marani was shot to death in October. A second shooting death came in February. Two others were killed last month, including one suspected shooting death and one death caused by a snare. Douglas-Hamilton described the agony of the last death, after a team member hiked through thick mountain terrain and through two gorges to find the starved corpse.
“She had been snared with a big rope round her leg and was tied to a tree,” he said. “In her last days she had thrashed around and flattened the vegetation, but he found her emaciated. She must have died of lack of food and water.” Susie Weeks, who lives near the 17,057foot (5,199-meter) mountain for her work with The Mount Kenya Trust, said the region is “rife” with snares and traps. She said ivory poaching began on the mountain in 2009 and has steadily increased. “Although the snares seem to be laid for smaller game, like buffalo, we find dead elephant calves in these brutal and indiscriminate traps, and amputated or snared calves wondering around with serious infections they cannot possibly survive,” she said.
D CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011 DAILY
Brooklyn Jazz Consortium annual Award ceremony
Proclamation presentation from Office of New York State Senator Kevin Parker , L-R CBJC Chairman Clarence Mosley, Jr., Senator's representative Mynah Gooden, CBJC member Harold Valle, former Executive Director of The New Muse Mr. Andrew Gill.
Clarence Mosley, Jr. presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to bassist Alex Blake with Joan Chitman.
L-R Back Row - Harold Valle, Mynah Gooden, Garland Core, Jr., Alex Blake, Tommy Abney, Bob Myers 2nd Row - Edwin "Tut" Burks, Jo Ann Cheatham, Juanita Brown, Mahasin Mais, Mari Toussaint, Elise E. Watson, Clarence Mosley, Jr., Cristina Garza Front Row - Beareather Reddy, Louis Reyes Rivera, Andrew Gill, Felix Palacios, Charley Williams
Jazz Shrine Award presentation, Andrew Gill, Marie Toussaint. Young Lion(ess) Award presentation, Edwin "Tut" Burk, Tommy Abney
Jazz Impact Award presentation, Clarence Mosely, Jr., Louis Reyes Rivera, Beareather Reddy The Central Brooklyn crowded into the standJazz Consortium (CBJC) ing room only Shellens presented awards and Gallery to witness the inducted two more event. members into the Receiving the Deacon Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Leroy Applin Young Fame in ceremonies Lion Award was Edwin recently at the Brooklyn “Tut” Burks; the Jazz Historical Society. Shrine Award went to In the downtown The New Muse, repreBrooklyn neighborhood sented by former known as Brooklyn Executive Director Heights. Over two hun- Andrew Gill; the Jazz dred residents, support- Impact Award to Louis ers and CBJC members Reyes, and a Lifetime
Hall of Fame Induction presentation, of Montego Joe Repsented by his Daughter MJuanita Brown, Mahasin Mais, Presentation by Michael Howard Achievement Award went to bassist Alex Blake. CBJC members and other jazz aficionados made the presentations. The Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame inductees were the late drummer Wally “Gator” Watson, and the late percussionist Montego Joe. Each were represented by family members, Watson by his wife,
Elise E. Watson, and Joe by his daughters Juanita Brown and Mahasin Mais. More than 200 people packed the society’s Shellens Gallery to witness the inductions and presentations. Later, CBJC’s new chairman, Clarence Mosley, Jr., gave a brief speech about the organization’s future and CBJC treasurer and educator
Hall of Fame Induction presentation, Clarence Mosley, Jr., Elise E. Watson, Michael Howard Garland Core called for by Mynah Gooden a repthe collection of funds in resentative of New York support of CBJC activi- State Senator Kevin ties. Parker. Everyone Bedford Stuyvesant enjoyed the Eric Frazier Councilman Albert Trio jazz jam and Vann gave a brief refreshments as the acknowledgement, as Brooklyn Historical did Felix Palacios repre- Society turned into a senting City Council entertainment venue. Speaker Christine - Photos by Lem Quinn’s Office. A proclaPeterkin mation was presented
CARIBBEAN NEWS DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
CARIBBEAN BRIEFS ONE FAMILY.
Whether West Indian, African or African American. One God, One Aim, One Destiny.
Civil service cuts to go forward in Turks and Caicos PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — In an unusually worded press release dated April 28 the interim government in the Turks and Caicos Islands has highlighted a significant number of what it calls “public service” employees who were added by the previous internal government without going through the normal procedures. Normally, when a need arises to replace a employee who has left the civil service, the job must be advertised and a normal recruitment process is carried out. If an increase in staff size is found to be needed this must also be accommodated through the budget process before hiring can go forward. There are, however, provisions for P e r m a n e n t Secretaries to add temporary or emergency employees and then later go through the formalisation of their employment. It appears that this process was abused by the previous Progressive National Party (PNP) government, which added hundreds of residents to the public service payroll for reasons yet to be explained. The government’s press release refers to this situation, saying: “A thorough review of the public service payroll has revealed that there are a number of waged positions in which persons are
currently employed and for which there are no budgeted allocations. The justification for the creation of these positions was not always clear and some cases in appointments appear to have been made arbitrarily, without following due process.” The statement also addresses the temporary positions, saying further: “In other instances, posts initially created on a short term basis have been extended without good reason, often by years.” Now, almost two years since direct rule was imposed by Britain, the Interim Government is planning action: “After careful consideration it was decided that positions falling outside the budget allocation should be removed and the services of persons holding such positions ended with effect from 31 May 2011.” The press statement indicates that employees being laid off will receive six weeks’ notice. However, it is not clear if this six-week period begins after each employee receives his notice or collectively after 31 May 2011. Governor Gordon Wetherell had previously announced that the public service payroll was running at $78 million per year, which is about 65 percent of the government’s revenue. While the maladministration of the last elected government is cited in the press statement as the reason for this condition, this is the first serious move to correct the condition since a Commission of Inquiry pointed out this systemic problem over two years ago.
‘Watershed moment’ in fight against terrorism welcomed
NEW YORK— The death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind some of the world’s most notorious terrorist attacks, represents a “watershed moment” in the fight against the scourge of terrorism, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Kimoon said on Monday. United States President Barack Obama announced on Sunday night that bin Laden the founder and head of Al-Qaida - was killed by U.S. forces at a compound in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, which is located close to the capital, Islamabad. Speaking to reporters at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Ban said it was “a day to remember the victims and families of victims, here in the United States and everywhere in the world.” Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. He is also believed to be responsible for organizing or funding many other attacks, including the 1998 bombing of two US embassies in East Africa, the 1995 bombing of a Saudi security training centre in Riyadh and numerous attacks inside Afghanistan. Ban described bin Laden’s death as “a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism. The crimes of AlQaida touched most continents, bringing tragedy and loss of life to thousands of men, women and
children.” In a statement he voiced relief at the news and commended “the work and the determined and principled commitment of many people in the world who have been struggling to eradicate international terrorism.” The secretary-general stressed that the UN would continue to lead the global campaign against terrorism, drawing from the counter-terrorism strategy adopted by the General Assembly. His remarks were echoed by General Assembly President Joseph Deiss, who said that the UN’s fight against terrorism is “undertaken in the name of all victims. Terrorists must know that there will be no impunity for their barbaric and cowardly deeds.” Deiss stressed that terrorism remains unacceptable, regardless of what form or purpose it takes. Ambassador Gérard Araud of France, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency this month, read out a presidential statement in which the 15-member panel welcomed the news that bin Laden “will never again be able to perpetrate such acts of terrorism.” The statement urged all countries to remain vigilant and intensify their efforts to defeat terrorism, including by working together to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of terrorist attacks. “The Security Council stresses... that terrorism will not be defeated by military force, law
enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone, and can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States, and relevant international and regional organizations and civil society to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat.” Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), noted that the huge number of lives lost around the world as a result of the activities of AlQaida. Welcoming Sunday night’s news, he stressed that nevertheless “there remains significant work in addressing terrorism, including tackling conditions that lead to or facilitate terrorism and building the legal basis needed to work against this threat to human security in a humane and effective manner.” Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, congratulated the US president, and the government and people of his country, for the important blow dealt to the criminal organization behind the worst terrorist attack in the history of the Americas. The successful operation of May 1, which culminated with the death of the head of Al Qaeda, constitutes a fundamental step in the global fight against international terrorism, he said.
UN official underlines need for disaster preparedness to enhance resilience U N I T E D NATIONS — The head of the United Nations office tasked with assisting countries with disaster risk reduction has stressed that governments and communities must urgently build disaster preparedness to avoid paying higher human and economic costs when such events occur. “We are in a fastmoving car and ahead
is a crash waiting to happen. We need to act,” said Margareta Wahlström, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction and head of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). In a statement ahead of the third session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be held in Geneva on 10-13 May, Wahlström pointed out that cities and communities from Japan, Australia, New
Zealand, Brazil, Pakistan and other countries which have been recently affected by earthquakes, floods and mudslides continue to pay a high price today in terms of economic losses. Leaders from across the world will gather to discuss and decide on the needed commitments and immediate actions on disaster risk reduction. The platform is the world’s foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations.
The theme of this year’s forum is “Invest today for a safer tomorrow: Increase investment in local action.” It will be attended by more than 2,000 representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society and the private sector. An added dimension of the conference will be the World Reconstruction Conference, organized by the World Bank and the UN, at the same venue, and constitutes one of the main pillars of the Global Platform.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Pakistan denies sheltering bin Laden amid U.S. skepticism By MARK HOSENBALL & KAMRAN HAIDER WA S H I N G TON/ABBOTTABA D, Pakistan Pakistan’s president yesterday denied suggestions that his government may have sheltered Osama bin Laden but admitted that his security forces were left out of a U.S. operation to kill the al Qaeda chief. The revelation that bin Laden had holed up in a luxury compound in the military garrison town of Abbottabad, possibly for five to six years, prompted many U.S. lawmakers to demand a review of the billions of dollars in aid Washington gives to nuclear-armed Pakistan. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari President, issuing his first formal response to questions about how the world’s most-wanted militant was able to live for so long in comfort near Islamabad, did lit-
tle to dispel suspicions. “Some in the U.S. press have suggested that Pakistan lacked vitality in its pursuit of terrorism, or worse yet that we were disingenuous and actually protected the terrorists we claimed to be pursuing,” Zardari wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. “Such baseless speculation may make exciting cable news, but it doesn’t reflect fact.” It was the first substantive public comment by any Pakistani leader on the airborne raid by U.S. special forces on bin Laden’s compound on Monday that brought to an end a long manhunt for the al Qaeda chief who had become the face of Islamic militancy. Pakistan has faced enormous international scrutiny since bin Laden was killed, with questions over whether its military and intelligence agencies were too incompetent to catch him, or knew all along where he was hiding and even whether they had been complicit. Reflecting U.S.Pakistani relations strained by years of mistrust, Islamabad was
kept in the dark about the raid until after all U.S. aircraft were out of Pakistani airspace. “He was not anywhere we had anticipated he would be, but now he is gone,” Zardari wrote, without offering further defense against accusations his security services should have known where bin Laden was hiding. “Although the events of Sunday were not a joint operation, a decade of cooperation and partnership between the United States and Pakistan led up to the elimination of Osama bin Laden as a continuing threat to the civilized world.” RELEASE OF PHOTOS CONSIDERED Facing pressure to produce absolute proof of bin Laden’s demise, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said the United States was considering whether to release photographs and video taken during the raid as proof that bin Laden had died in the raid. “We want to make sure that we’re able to do it in a thoughtful manner. We also want to anticipate what the reaction might be on the
part of al Qaeda or others to the release of certain information so that we can take the appropriate steps beforehand,” Brennan told CNN. The Afghan Taliban yesterday challenged the truth of bin Laden’s death, saying Washington had not provided “acceptable evidence to back up their claim” that he had been killed. In a statement from Kabul they also said aides bin Laden had not confirmed or denied his death. Another U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said photographs of bin Laden’s burial at sea may be released later yesterday but no decision has been made. Washington was also weighing whether to release a photo of his body. Taking out bin Laden, who became the epitome of evil for many Americans for masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, is likely to give U.S. President Barack Obama at least a short-term boost in approval ratings that have slid amid U.S. economic woes. But he may also face
more pressure to speed the planned withdrawal this July of some U.S. forces from the unpopular war in Afghanistan. RE-COMMITMENT TO FIGHTING MILITANTS U.S., Pakistani and Afghan officials held a previously scheduled meeting in Islamabad yesterday and re-committed to the fight against militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan but deflected questions about the bin Laden operation. “Who did what is beside the point ... This issue of Osama bin Laden is history,” Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told a joint news conference. But irate U.S. lawmakers earlier asked how it was possible for bin Laden to live in a populated area near a military training academy without anyone in authority knowing about it. They said it was time to review aid to Pakistan. The U.S. Congress has approved $20 billion for Pakistan in direct aid and military reimbursements partly to help Islamabad
fight militancy since bin Laden masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks. “Our government is in fiscal distress. To make contributions to a country that isn’t going to be fully supportive is a problem for many,” said Senate Intelligence Chair Committee Dianne Feinstein. The White House acknowledged there was good reason for U.S. lawmakers, already doubtful of Pakistan’s cooperation against al Qaeda, to demand to know whether bin Laden had been “hiding in plain sight” and to raise questions about U.S. aid. Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that Britain would continue working with Pakistan to combat militancy, but insisted “we need those questions answered” about whatever support bin Laden received there. “The right choice is to engage with Pakistan and to deal with the extremists rather than just throw up our hands in despair and walk away, which would be a disastrous choice,” he told BBC radio.
Mexico coal mine Hamas unity bid on Netanyahu’s Europe agenda accident traps 14 miners By JEFFREY HELLER
JERUSALEM Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to use a visit to Britain and France to portray Palestinian P r e s i d e n t Mahmoud Abbas’s unity deal with Hamas Islamists as a blow to already dim prospects for peace. Netanyahu is due to hold talks in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron today and see French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris tomorrow. It will be the Israeli leader’s first trip abroad since the surprise announcement last
week that Abbas and his long-time rival Hamas had agreed to a unity pact that envisages formation of an interim government and Palestinian elections this year. “This is a major problem and raises all sorts of questions, and that issue will be very much on the table,” an Israeli government official said yesterday. “If the (Palestinians) are going for a unity government with Hamas, there’s no doubt that’s a step in the wrong direction — a very negative step.” Hamas, which seized the Gaza Strip from Abbas’s Fatah movement in 2007, calls for Israel’s destruction in its founding charter although it has offered a long-term truce in return for Palestinian
statehood. Israel refuses to negotiate with Hamas, and the United States and the European Union also shun the group over its refusal to renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept existing interim IsraeliPalestinian peace accords. “Obviously, we want the process with the Palestinians to move forward, but up until now their refusal to engage was a problem and now their decision to bring in Hamas, the antithesis of peace, has further aggravated a negative situation,” the Israeli official said, giving an overview of Netanyahu’s stance. In Paris, Sarkozy told L’Express weekly that he will push for the launch of a new IsraeliPalestinian peace
process before Palestinian leaders ask the U.N. General Assembly in September to recognize statehood on all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “We are going to take an initiative before the summer, with the Europeans, to restart, along with the Americans, the peace process,” Sarkozy said. “France wants the peace process to be restarted before the difficult U.N. meeting in September.” Sarkozy said he hoped he would hear Netanyahu back the Palestinians’ right to statehood. “All my life I’ve been a friend of Israel, but there will be no security for Israel without a viable, democratic and modern Palestinian state.”
MEXICO CITY Fourteen workers were trapped after an accident yesterday at a coal mine in northern Mexico, a source with the local emergencies authority said. “There was an accumulation of gas and 14 people were trapped there, 14 miners. We don’t know if there were any fatalities,” said the official, who asked not to be named. The official was not immediately able to say which company owns the mine, which is located in Sabinas municipality in Coahuila state. El Universal newspaper said the mine belonged to Asociacion de Carboneros BINSA. Representatives from BINSA could not be
immediately reached for comment. Mexican coal mines generally supply the domestic steel and electricity sectors. Although some mines are operated by large companies there are also a number of sites that are mined by cooperatives and informal associations. Grupo Mexico’s Pasta de Conchos coal mine was the site of the worst mining accident in Mexico in recent years in 2006. Sixtyfive miners were killed after an explosion at the mine. The bodies of most of the victims were never recovered and the accident fueled a bitter dispute between the company and organized labor in Mexico.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
One Thought - One Humanity
For the conclusions of these stories check out the April 28th - May 4th, 2011 issue of The New American, which hits newsstands every Thursday Jennifer Hudson is losing convinced weight has improved her singing ability as her vocal range is now nearly as extensive as it was during her teenage years. The singer/actress embarked on a strict diet after giving birth to her son David in 2009, dropping 80 pounds within months and becoming a spokesperson for healthy eating plan WeightWatchers. She has now revealed shedding the weight has not only given her more confidence; it is also helping her voice. Hudson tells British TV show Daybreak, “When I was in high school, I could do (sing) the whole piano. Now I’ve lost weight my voice is getting back to that same state.” Warren G is seriously rising to the occasion -- because the guy’s peddling PENIS pills on brand new infomercials ... and even claims to use the sexual enhancement products to regulate himself. Mariah Carey will not be adding to her family once her twins are born in the coming weeks. In an interview with Life & Style magazine, the pop superstar admits she’s “ready to be done” as a mom. She admits her pregnancy has been difficult at times and it would take “a much stronger person” than her to go through it all again. But Carey admits she has cherished the experience of pregnancy after miscarrying a child in 2009. She tells the publication, “It’s all worth it.” The Hero singer is due to give birth next month but a series of recent scares suggest the babies could be born any day. Stic Man from Dead Prez is gearing up for another solo album
release. Toni Braxton has no plans to legally end her marriage to estranged husband Keri Lewis because she can’t bear to break the news to the couple’s two young sons. The star split from Lewis, a former member of R&B band Mint Condition, in late 2009 but the pair has remained close for the sake of their boys Denim, nine, and Diezel, eight. And Braxton admits she can’t see herself filing for divorce to finalize their split for fear of upsetting her children. She says “We co-parent together. Sometimes he stays over with the kids; he’s very involved with his kids...April would have been 10 years (since we wed). We’re, like, the best of friends. “We told the kids, ‘Sometimes mommy and daddy need a little break.’ That’s probably why I haven’t done a straight divorce yet.” Jadakiss is prepping his new solo album but he may have abandoned his latest title. Rihanna is being accused of causing costly re-editing delays on a commercial that she thought she looked fat in. After seeing the final cut of her charity public service announcement for UNICEF, she complained she looked heavier than usual. According to Page Six, Rihanna’s “selfinvolved demands caused ‘extensive delays’” and held up the “the project’s launch for more than a week at a cost of more than $15,000.” However, a UNICEF rep is refuting the rumors, saying, “We’re surprised to hear that. She was not unhappy. We were very thankful. Rihanna was very collaborative and very participatory. What
was shot was what exists now. No reshoots were done.” This year at ASCAP’s 5th Annual “I Create Music” Expo, producer Pharrell Williams will host and may lend a few pearls of wisdom to attendees. The event, to take place in Los Angeles April 28-30, will feature performances, celebrity panels, and technology demonstrations, will educate artists and rising stars about the music industry and the latest hot issues. Last year’s event featured panels and performances by singer Bill Withers, Quincy Jones, Justin Timberlake and producer Dr. Luke. Farrah Franklin a former member of Destiny’s Child was arrested for disorderly conduct over the weekend. According to TMZ, Farrah was taken into custody in the Culver City area of Los Angeles, and alcohol may have played a part in the incident. The singer was released hours later on $100 bail. Farrah was fired from Destiny’s Child by fellow members Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland in 2000, after being with the group for just five months. On May 18, at Atlanta, Georgia’s Buckhead Theatre, the 14th annual BMI Unsigned Urban Showcase will take place. Hosted by Grand Hustle Records’ DJ Drama and Lil Duval, the event is designed to provide information and entertainment to BMI members, looking to break further into the urban music industry. Performers for the event were announced this morning, and will include Def Jam Records star Rick Ross, as well as DJ Khaled protege Ace Hood.
Jennifer Lopez addresses past and present loves on upcoming album For many fans of Jennifer Lopez, Love? has been a long time coming. After almost four years since her last effort, JLo’s seventh studio album, and first with new label Island Def Jam is easily her finest. Full of fantastic production, great hooks, killer melodies and a constant narrative through the tracks, Love?, due May 3rd, sees Jennifer Lopez back with a confidence and focused direction that we have not seen from her work in years. The tone of the that she brought ghetto fabulousalbum is set perfectly from the out- ness to pop before Beyoncé started set with the number one hit On The killing off the other members of DesFloor. If you told us a few months tiny’s Child and plagiarising songs. ago that Jennifer Lopez would be the Second single I’m Into You evokes singer to release the most engaging the same reggaeton flavour of pop release of the year so far, we’d Rihanna’s What’s My Name? but have laughed in your face, but the adds so much sexiness to the track single when held alongside Brit- you can’t help but grind your hips. ney’s Hold It Against Me, Lady The album’s title track, freshly GaGa’s Born This Way and even rebranded with newly placed parenBeyoncé’s most recent effort Run thesis, (What Is) Love?, originally The World (Girls), is still the most appeared on the soundtrack for instant pop track of them all. Where Lopez’s most recent film The Back the others feel contrived and trite, Up Plan. Co-written by Wynter GorOn The Floor with its fantastic Lam- don, the song’s narrative seems eeribada sample, is a club record ly self-reflective for a track not writthrough and through. Still sitting in ten by Jennifer herself, as she questhe top 10 on iTunes in most mar- tions if she will ever find true love. kets, the song doesn’t look like it’s The song is obscenely addictive with going away anywhere soon, and this a fantastic vocal and great hook. It’s is a testament to just how addictive great to see that the track has stuck the song is. around from the older writing sesFrom there, Good Hit sees JLo in sions from the album as it very full fierce diva mode with the help much deserves it place on the with some mild auto-tune and a lot record. of swagger, further reminding us - Full Story In This Week’s New American Newspaper -
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Mammograms can save lives of women in their 40s By KATHLEEN DOHENY A pair of studies released Friday could shake up the debate on whether or not American women should begin regular mammography screening in their 40s. One study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Washington, D.C., found that screening women aged 40 to 49 with mammograms detected smaller breast cancers, with less chance of spread to the lymph nodes, than relying on clinical breast exams alone. That finding runs counter to controversial recommendations issued late in 2009 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which advised that women at average risk for breast cancer do not have to begin regular mammography screening until age 50. Instead, the federal panel of experts advised that the decision for or against mammography for women in their 40s be individualized after a patient-doctor discussion. A second study presented at the same meeting on Friday suggests that the USPSTF guidelines would unfavorably impact minority women in their 40s. Dr. Paul Dale, chief of surgical oncology at the University of Missouri-Columbia and lead author of the study looking at early detection, said his view on the issue is clear: “I think women in their 40s should get mammography.” In their study, Dale and his colleagues looked at the medical records of almost 1,600 women treated at the university medical center for breast
cancer over a 10-year time period. The researchers focused on 311 women aged 40 to 49. Of these, 47 percent were diagnosed via mammography, while 53 percent were diagnosed without mammography (for example, by symptoms of breast cancer). Those diagnosed by mammogram had smaller tumors — an average of 2 centimeters in diameter versus 3 centimeters, the team found. They also had less chance of the tumor having already moved into the lymph nodes, where it becomes more difficult to treat. While about 25 percent of those who had mammograms had lymph node involvement, almost 56 percent of those who did not have mammography showed this type of cancer spread. When the researchers focused on the five-year disease-free survival of women in their 40s, Dale found 94 percent of the mammogram-detected group had disease-free survival compared to 71 percent in the non-mammogram group. The rate of overall survival (disease-free or not) at five years was 97 percent for those in the mammogram group versus 78 percent for women in the other group. According to Dale, the findings suggest that women in their 40s who develop breast cancer “are going to do better if they have a mammogram.” In the second study, researchers analyzed a large database of nearly 47,000 American women with breast cancer. Of that, 22.6 percent were aged 40 to 49, while 77.4 percent were 50 to 74. About 66 percent of the patients were white, about 15 percent were Hispanic, about 13 percent were Asian
or Pacific Islanders and about 6 percent were Black. “We looked at a population of women who only had early breast cancer, and compared the younger, 40 to 49 — not recommended [routinely] to have screening — with an older population,” explained Dr. Sharon Lum, associate professor of surgery at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif. “What we found was in the younger, 40 to 49, group there was a greater proportion of minority women [with early cancers] than in the older group [of the same ethnicities],” she said. Therefore, according to Lum, “if you exclude younger women from screening mammography, it could disproportionately affect minority women.” Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, reviewed both studies but was not involved in either. “I do believe we should start [screening mammograms] at 40,” said Brawley, who is also professor of oncology and epidemiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. The American Cancer Society continues to recommend that all women begin screening mammograms at age 40, he said. Even so, Brawley said he has some issues with the new mammography research. For instance, the five-year survival time studied in the Dale study is just not long enough, he suggested. A better approach is to study what experts call a “mortality endpoint,” to find the number of people per every 1,000 who died in the screening group versus the non-screened group.
“That typically takes more than five years,” he explained. Furthermore, all research presented at medical meetings should be viewed with a grain of salt, Brawley said. It’s in the first stages of research, and has not yet been subjected to rigorous debate and review by other medical experts. In that respect, these should be considered tentative findings, he said. For her part, Dr. Virginia Moyer, current chair of the USPSTF, said the public often misreads the panel’s controversial 2009 guidelines, thinking no one 40 to 49 should have a mammogram. “This is not what the recommendation says,” she stated. “It says that the decision should be individualized, taking patient context into account, including the patient’s values regarding benefits and harms.” As to the new studies, “the first study confirms what we already know, and the second study points out that our knowledge in specific groups of women remains incomplete,” said Moyer, professor of pediatrics and head of academic general pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital, in Houston. Moyer said it is known that, on average, mammogram screening results in some benefit. But, “for women in the 40- to 49-year-old age group, this benefit appears to be quite small, and has to be balanced against the known risks, which are greater in younger than in older women,” she said. Among those potential risks are false-positive results, and the undue anxiety and unnecessary biopsies that can result, Moyer noted.
Young kids’ prescriptions Extra sleep in infants seems not always on the mark to signal growth spurts After reviewing more than 50,000 prescriptions for narcotic-containing drugs given to kids up to age 3, researchers found that about 4 percent were given an overdose. The rate was much higher among the youngest babies, the study found. “Almost one in 10 of the youngest infants, ages 0 to 2 months, received more than twice the dose that they should have received based on their age, gender and a conservative estimate of their weight,” the study’s lead researcher, Dr. William T. Basco Jr., director of the division of general pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina, said in a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Since we know that parents have difficulty measuring doses of liquid medication accurately,” Basco said, “it is critical to strive for accurate narcotic prescribing by providers and dispensing by pharmacies.”
The researchers analyzed the prescriptions of 19 drugs given to children enrolled in Medicaid from 2000 to 2006. They calculated the proper daily dose of each drug — based on a child’s weight, age and sex — and examined whether they got the correct dose. The youngest kids were most likely to get an overdose of a drug, Basco said. Among children who were younger than 2 months, about four in 10 received an overdose. The percentage of overdoses was 3 percent in kids older than a year, the study found. The overdoses were significantly higher than the proper doses — for an average child, for instance, about 42 percent larger than they should have been, the study reported. Narcotic drugs such as codeine and hydrocodone can be dangerous for infants and children because of their sedative effects, the researchers noted.
Increased bursts of sleep in infants are linked with growth spurts, new research indicates. The new study included 23 parents who kept daily sleep records for their infants (14 girls, nine boys), who were 12 days old at the start of the study. The researchers analyzed the total of 5,798 daily sleep records and also tracked the infants’ growth. The infants had uneven bursts of sleep, with the amount of sleep over a 24-hour period increasing at irregular intervals by an average of 4.5 hours per day for two days, the study found. In addition, the infants’ number of sleep episodes per day also increased in intermittent surges of an average of three extra naps per day for two days. There was a significant association between these increases in sleep and growth spurts in body length, which tended to occur within 48 hours of the sleep bursts. The researchers determined that the likelihood of a growth spurt increased
by about 43 percent for each additional sleep episode and by 20 percent for each extra hour of sleep. The study is published in the May 1 issue of the journal Sleep. “The results demonstrate empirically that growth spurts not only occur during sleep but are significantly influenced by sleep,” lead investigator Dr. Michelle Lampl, a professor in the department of anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Longer sleep corresponds with greater growth in body length.” The nature of the link between increased sleep and growth in infants isn’t clear, but it is known that the secretion of growth hormone increases during sleep, Lampl said. The findings may be helpful for parents, who can become frustrated by the variability and unpredictability of an infant’s sleep patterns, she added.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Fans, artists bond as Bamboozle weekend attracts nearly 100k to Meadowlands By TRIS MCCALL EAST RUTHERFORD - Just before the thunderous conclusion of “Great Expectations,” Brian Fallon raised a tattooed arm to the East Rutherford sky and pumped the night air twice. In the midst of a song of despair, it was a gesture of victory, made in a parking lot in front of thousands of enthusiastic supporters. Behind him, New Meadowlands Stadium was bathed in white light. For a moment, it was possible to imagine that the stadium had been built just for him - that the organizers of the Bamboozle festival had placed it there to provide a suitably monumental backdrop for his stories of lost love, reluctant adulthood and growing up on the hard tarmac of the Jersey streets. If any band ought to be playing in this setting, Fallon’s group, the Gaslight Anthem, is that band. His writing is illuminated by headlights. He sings about the backseats of burned-out cars, diners on the highway, and waiting on traffic signals. Bamboozle founder John D’Esposito took an educated gamble on the New Brunswick-based band, which has never had a platinum album or a hit single, giving it a co-headlining slot on Saturday. He was rewarded with a per-
Fans get dancing at the Temple of Boozle area at day 3 of Bamboozle at the New Meadowlands Stadium parking lots in East Rutherford. formance that was too: something unpre- inhabit this perspective something like the fes- tentious, gritty and with conviction. His kinetic performance, tival itself: alternately grand. Taking Back which included a trip overawed and celebratory; a homecoming; a Sunday, who co-head- up the stage riggings love letter to New lined with the Gaslight while singing, kept the Anthem on Saturday massive crowd in conJersey. BACKWARD GLANCE night, offered attendees stant motion. Yards behind the An annual event of this forward-looking well since 2003 (and pre- festival a backward soundboard, sented outdoors at the glance. The ferocious beyond any hope of Meadowlands since band, which has han- glimpsing the stage, of young 2006), the Bamboozle dled a starring role at groups before, ‘Boozlers sat on the conhas become the biggest Bamboozle destination rock festi- played “Tell All Your crete, smiling blissfulits 2002 ly, holding hands and val on the East Coast. Friends,” Last weekend, some- debut, from beginning singing along. GROWING UP where around 100,000 to end. Like many bands Much of “Friends,” visitors passed through the gates (estimated which was written closely associated with attendance figures, at when the band mem- the Bamboozle (though, not the press time, were 28,525 bers were barely out of notably, Anthem), for Friday, 33,282 for their teens, captures Gaslight Saturday and 37,500 the fear of rejection and Taking Back Sunday for Sunday) to hear high-stakes rush of has been hung with the lust. dreaded “emo” tag. music by about 200 young Microphone-swinging What emo means is a acts. Adam matter of debate. But But as Fallon noted, frontman there’s something inti- Lazzara is still suffi- what everybody agrees juvenile to on is that to be emo is to mate about Bamboozle, ciently
preclude any hope of critical respect. Emopop albums may go gold - and three of Taking Back Sunday’s have - but they will not be aired on NPR or written up in the online that publications increasingly dictate middlebrow musical tastes. This is music built around teenage concerns and complaints and is therefore of no interest to grownups who have set aside romantic desperation in favor of buttoned-down sophistication. Yet the listeners who made “Tell All Your Friends” a chart success in 2002 are no longer teens: They’ve reached adulthood, and they’re still singing along. Lazzara’s urgency continues to resonate, and his listeners have lost none of their ardor for him or for his message. Taking Back Sunday’s ecstatically received return to the Meadowlands underscored one of the major motifs of Bamboozle 2011: emo-pop, grownup. Almost all of the guitar bands on the main stages had played Bamboozle before; most knew each other, and they certainly knew the audience. To a cynic, this might suggest that the style is exhausted. Regardless, these sets were all aesthetically successful. Years of touring the pop-punk circuit have honed these veteran bands’ communicative skills. Many longtime Bamboozle favorites
demonstrated how much creativity and variation there is under the emo-pop umbrella. Dustin Kensrue piloted Thrice through complex song structures and a squall of overdriven guitar. Catchy, insistent New Found Glory plugged in with Marky Ramone of the Ramones and paid tribute to the punk-rock progenitors with a version of “Blitzkrieg Bop.” The Movielife reunited, emotionally, after seven years apart. D a s h b o a r d Confessional sent twinkly hymns to the heavens. And Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy emo’s most commercially successful band - premiered an intriguing new dance-pop project called the Black Cards yesterday. If all of this sounds relentlessly male, well, it sure was. Unlike Bamboozle 2010, which found room on its mainstages for distinct female voices, this year’s ‘Boozle was dominated by the boys, and capped, last night, by three high-testosterone main attractions: rowdy rapper Lil Wayne, archetypical hedonists Motley Crue and the comically aggressive Insane Clown Posse. Also performing yesterday, Eisley - a group led by a talented trio of sisters - was an exception; the three singing DuPrees have long served as the muses of this scene.
Cops were justified in Holland Tunnel shooting, authorities say down of the Holland Tunnel Friday night, JERSEY CITY - investigators said Rush-hour traffic today. Hudson County and a crime scene Prosecutor Edward J. that stretched for De Fazio, whose office half a mile led to will now take over the the six-hour shut- investigation of a
By DAVID GIAMBUSSO
shooting and police chase that snarled traffic for motorists throughout the metropolitan region, said today that the initial investigation indicated the Port Authority police were justified in firing on two suspects
who fled from a traffic stop. “He was being crushed up against the car,” De Fazio said of the officer. Police fired on Jahaad Sanders, 19, and, Lorenzo Dease, 24, striking Sanders in the forearm. “Numerous
civilian witnesses have been interviewed and indicated it was a lifethreatening situation.” De Fazio said the shooting took place at the entrance of the tunnel but the sound reverberated for hundreds of feet inside creating the
impression that shots were fired inside the underwater causeway. Despite heavy traffic, De Fazio said Port Authority Police routinely pull people over as they enter the tunnel for traffic violations.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
New Orleans’ Jazz Fest thrives, despite competition By KATHY FINN NEW ORLEANS — A sea of flowered shirts, colorful tank tops and straw hats sways to an infectious beat under a searing blue sky. Artists ranging from Bon Jovi to New Orleans jazz singer John Boutte pump tunes on multiple stages as an exuberant crowd delights in the experience of one of the world’s largest music festivals. Robbie Alves, an audio engineer from Los Angeles, is nearly as comfortable in this setting as he is in his West Coast home. “It’s maybe a little bit of escapism, but what’s wrong with that?” asked Alves, who has attended the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival almost every spring for the past 20 years. This year’s festival began last weekend and continues tomorrow through Sunday. Forty-two years after it began, the event known as Jazz Fest has become a 12-stage, seven-day blockbuster that features not only jazz but also blues,
gospel, Cajun, zydeco, rock, funk, Latin and other styles. It continues to draw music fans — 375,000 people paid an average of $40-$60 to spend a day at the fest last year — even as competition from other festivals has dramatically increased. “A rock festival has a narrow group of kids that go to it. This festival, from the beginning, went out of its way not to do that,” said Quint Davis, producer and director of the event and CEO of Festival Productions Inc. “This is a festival that’s for everybody. When Bon Jovi is on that stage, Pete Fountain is over on that one, Jason Mraz is over there and Fantasia is in the middle.” Since the 1950s, when the Newport Jazz Festival popularized the concept of live music performed in an outdoor setting, music festivals have become a fixture of America’s cultural landscape. New events sprout yearly as producers seek to match the success of such stalwarts as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in California, Chicago’s Lollapalooza, Austin City
Jamawn Woods wins NBC’s ‘America’s Next Great Restaurant’ Soul food lovers in New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles – get ready for a new restaurant from the winner of NBC’s premiere season of “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” The reality show – described as a cross between “The Apprentice” and “Top Chef” – gave its crown to Jamawn Woods for his restaurant Soul Daddy during Sunday’s season finale. Soul Daddy beat The Brooklyn Meatball Company and Spice Coast in the final challenge which had the finalists test their food with actual diners giving reviews on their meals. The judges, including Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone, Steve Ells, and Lorena Garcia, agreed that Soul Daddy’s concept of healthy soul food was a success. They thought the concept of fellow finalist Spice Coast (modern Indian food) was too similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Brooklyn Meatball Company made them wait too long for their food, causing a backup. “This is definitely the biggest moment of my life. I can’t wait to see the opening of my new restaurant,” Woods said upon winning. The 34-year-old — whose fulltime job is driving a forklift at Chrysler’s Sterling Heights assembly plant — had been running a part-time catering business from his home, making chicken wings and waffles for friends, and became a contestant almost by accident after a network
Limits Music Festival in Texas, Sasquatch! Music Festival in Washington, and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. But the laid-back vibe that characterizes these events belies their underlying challenge. Achieving just the right mix of music, location and amenities — such as food, parking and overnight accommodations — is a balancing act with a high risk of failure. During a music industry conference held in New Orleans over the weekend, Larry Vallon, an executive vice president with AEG Live, the largest producer of music festivals in North America, ticked off names of festivals around the country that launched and were shut down within just the last few years: Rothbury Festival in Michigan, All Points West Music & Arts Festival in New Jersey, Mile High Festival in Denver. Despite headliners like Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and the Dave Mathews Band, the events “just did not resonate,” Vallon said. “The competition is really, really
intense,” said Danny Melnick, artistic director of the 34-year-old Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival in upstate New York. Speaking during the conference, he said the trick is to build audience loyalty. “And it’s not necessarily just about the music,” Melnick said. “It’s really about the experience of being at the festival.” Davis said the Jazz Fest’s emphasis on cultural heritage, including Louisiana arts and crafts and Native American traditions, distinguishes it from many other festivals. Plus, the lineup of Louisiana delicacies - like fried shrimp po-boys and Cajun jambalaya - is a big draw. Allen Jamieson, his wife Ann Jamieson and their three kids — ages 3, 6 and 15 — came from Tulsa, Okla., this year to attend the fest for the second time. He said they love to see Louisiana blues-rocker Tab Benoit, and they like the idea of going to a festival that’s fun for the adults and the kids. “You couldn’t get this anywhere else,” he said.
Flavor Flav arrested and released in Las Vegas By ALVIN BLANCO
scout saw his food photos on Facebook. “He’s come a long way,” said Flay in the final episode, who, as one of the judges, is also an investor in the restaurants. In an earlier interview he said, “Jamawn is doing it for all the right reasons: for a better life for his family.” The finale was held several weeks ago and Woods’ restaurant opened its doors Monday at the Hollywood and Highland complex in Los Angeles, the Mall of America in Minneapolis and in New York’s South Street Seaport. The show, which competed against “The Amazing Race” for many of its episodes, was watched by an average of 4.1 million viewers weekly.
If the hypeman of a seminal hiphop group offers you a ride — pass. Flavor Flav (born William Jonathan Drayton Jr.) was arrested over the weekend in Las Vegas and released after being stopped in his car for a traffic violation. According to TMZ, Las Vegas police pulled over the rapper/ reality star at 10:57 p.m. on Friday night. After the Sin City cops ran Flav’s name through their system, they discovered he had four outstanding warrants. MTV News confirmed that all of Flav’s warrants originated in the Las Vegas area. The outstanding warrants were for parking violations, driving without a license and driving without insurance. Flav isn’t the only rapper to get in trouble with authorities over unpaid parking tickets in recent weeks. Dipset capo Jim Jones was in New York Criminal County Court last week because of his previous arrest for driving with a suspended license. As for Flav, besides trouble with authorities, one of his business ventures has also hit a snag. Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, closed its doors after being open for only four months. Nick Cimino, Flav’s partner in the restaurant, has called the rapper a fraud, saying the “Flavor of Love”
reality star didn’t contribute much to the business. On the other side, Flav cited shoddy business practices and workers not getting paid as some of the reasons why he chose to withdraw support from the Iowa chicken joint. “I had a licensing agreement with Nick Cimino, and that’s all we had,” Flav told TMZ. “It was his business to run from there and the business was not run right.” Flav is set to open a new restaurant called Flavor Flav’s House of Flavor this month, ironically, at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in ... Las Vegas.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Why ‘Fast Five’ dominates box office Sanaa Lathan tells of her a decade after franchise debut younger days as a maid
By ERIC DITZIAN As observers of both Hollywood and United States national security have noted, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been enjoying a pretty incredible last few days. He apparently learned about Osama bin Laden’s death hours before the rest of us and hinted about the news on Twitter (“Just got word that will shock the world,” he wrote). Monday was his 39th birthday. Oh, and his new action flick, “Fast Five,” opened to $83.6 million in ticket sales — not the biggest debut of the year but Universal’s largest opening since “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” in 1997. As remarkable as Johnson’s national security sources are, perhaps even more impressive is how well “Fast Five” performed at the box office a decade after “The Fast and the Furious” first hit the multiplex. Franchises tend to max out their public good will after two or three installments, but with this new picture, there can be little doubt that the “Fast and Furious” series has joined the likes of “Die Hard” in the pop-culture establishment. Much of the credit goes to Vin Diesel, industry insiders point out. “Like Sly Stallone as Rambo, Bruce Willis as John McClane and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, Diesel embodies the role of Dom Toretto, fusing his public persona with his fictional character, and in doing so making him an action icon,” said Jeff Bock, box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations. “Simply put, in the pantheon of action studs, Diesel is now immortalized as Dom.” But even one iconic character can’t fully explain such a mega-debut. After all, the latest “Rambo” opened to just $18.2 million in 2008, while “Live Free or Die Hard” grossed $33.4 mil-
Tyrese Gibson (L) and Vin Diesel in “Fast Five.” lion in 2007. Universal reinvigorated the “Fast and Furious” franchise in 2009 by bringing back not only Diesel but Paul Walker, leading to a $71 million opening (then an April record). “Fast Five,” in turn, became something of a franchise all-star flick, not only with those two guys but with faces from previous installments, like Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, plus the introduction of an action stalwart like the Rock. What’s more, box-office experts also noted a wide-open market place for a high-energy blockbuster in a year thus far largely devoid of them. “2011 got off to a very slow start, and that caused a lot of ‘people aren’t going to the movies anymore’ talk,” said Phil Contrino, editor of BoxOffice.com. “That’s nonsense. Moviegoers were just hungry for reliable entertainment, and that’s exactly what they got with ‘Fast Five.’ A movie like this needs to be seen in the-
aters. It doesn’t deliver the same rush in your living room.” The result, Gitesh Pandya of Box Office Guru pointed out, was a PG-13 film that averaged $22,950 in 3,644 theaters, “including a record 243 IMAX sites where tickets cost as much as $19 each.” That translated to an impressive 54 percent market share over the weekend. This weekend, the summer movie season officially kicks off with the debut of “Thor.” The question for that superhero flick is how its debut will be affected by “Fast Five.” Contrino notes that even though “Fast Five” will inevitably see a steep drop-off in ticket sales, “it’ll still eat into a portion of ‘Thor’ ‘s business.” Or, as Bock put it, “ ‘Fast Five’ already stole ‘Thor’ ‘s thunder.” He added, “It’s going to have a very difficult time matching the debut of ‘Fast Five.’ Dom has already dropped the hammer on the summer box office.”
Black Eyed Peas to give free N.Y. concert The Black Eyed Peas are to perform a free ticketed concert in New York’s Central Park to benefit the Robin Hood and Peapod foundations, organizers said. The announcement regarding the June 9 show was made Monday on Z100’s syndicated radio program “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show.” This will be the first time the Grammy-Award winning group performs live in Central Park. All concertgoers must have a ticket to enter the event. Fifty-fourthousand free tickets will be available only through random giveaway by registering at blackeyedpeas.robinhood.org beginning May 11. A small number of VIP tickets will be available for sale
through the same Web site. Tickets are limited to ensure the safety of all fans attending the event. Chase is the presenting sponsor and Clear Channel is the event’s exclusive radio partner. Throughout the concert, fans will be encouraged to donate to Robin Hood via text message. “We are thrilled to follow in the footsteps of icons such as Simon & Garfunkel and Diana Ross by performing a free concert for our fans in Central Park,” said Peas singer Fergie. “But more importantly, we are performing to benefit Robin Hood’s efforts to help those living in poverty in New York City and to help disadvantaged youth in New York with the launch of our Peapod Academy.”
“Robin Hood is humbled by the commitment of The Black Eyed Peas and Chase to help the 1.8 million people in New York City that fall below the poverty line,” David Saltzman, executive director of Robin Hood, said in statement. “As sixtime Grammy Award-winners and 30-plus million album-sellers, the Peas are superstars in the global music industry and Central Park provides the perfect stage for them to help us raise awareness and funds for our neighbors in need.” The Peas’ Peapod Foundation said in a news release it supports programs for young people, particularly orphaned, foster and impoverished children, and focuses on their universal needs including music/artistic education.
Who would have thunk the beautiful Sanaa Lathan was a day laborer before she made it big time. She told Black Enterprise that she did house cleaning before she became an actress. She said she had no shame in her game. “I was a maid,” she proudly admitted. “My grandmother had an older man friend that lived in the building with us, and I would go over and clean his apartment when I was 13-years-old. He would give me like $30.” “I was trying to make that cash,” she continued. “I didn’t have a problem with it. I think that there’s no shame in making a living, and getting money by honest means. So I would just say, do what you have to do, but do it honestly. Go after your dream, but there’s nothing wrong with making money with a regular job.” Now she’s sort of returning to her roots and will be playing the role of a maid in the Broadway play, “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.”
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Demand from consumers for credit was flat except for a slight rise in requests for auto loans, although the willingness of banks to extend loans to consumers hit the highest level since 1994. The report showed a slide in requests for home loans, as analysts had expected, given the depressed state of the U.S. housing market. Not only were standards tight, but 34 percent of banks observed weaker demand. “It shows some signs of healing, but it’s disproportionate across sectors,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Michelle Meyer said. “The corpo-
rate sector has been the bright spot ... and the consumer has been sluggish.” In the previous quarter small business loan demand had increased 6 percent. It was the first two consecutive months of gains since the first half of 2006. Analysts said weak loan demand was the result of the ongoing process of shedding debt among households and small business after the disruptions of the financial crisis and the recession. In addition, high gasoline prices and continued high unemployment rates are forcing wary consumers to keep their wallets in their pockets. “That’s indicative of the headwinds that the consumers are facing,” Meyer said.
said. Leap Wireless is scheduled to report today. MetroPCS has been investing in LTE, a high-speed data technology. The company expects to finish the majority of its planned 4G LTE build out by the end of 2011. One market concern has been whether MetroPCS has enough wireless airwaves, known as spectrum, to support this service going forward. A recent amendment to MetroPCS credit terms puts it in a better position to pay for any spectrum that comes on the market, executives said on the conference call. But Chief Executive Roger Linquist told analysts the company would not need to add new spectrum for another two to three years time. If regulators
approve AT&T Inc’.s plan to buy Deutsche Telekom unit T-Mobile USA for $39 billion with conditions that it sell assets, Linquist said his company would consider buying any spectrum it has to sell. “We would hope very much that this concentration of spectrum and market power would lead us to divestitures of spectrum,” Linquist said. M e a n w h i l e MetroPCS said its first quarter average revenue per user (ARPU) crossed the $40 mark for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, rising by 59 cents to $40.42, the company said. The quarterly earnings, however, missed analysts’ expectations, mainly due to higher operating expenses as it spent money to add new customers.
Fed survey says credit gains uneven By MARK FELSENTHAL WASHINGTON — Banks made credit easier to get in the first quarter but small companies and consumers were less enthusiastic about borrowing than big firms, showing credit markets thawing unevenly. The Federal Reserve’s quarterly survey of senior bank loan officers released on Monday showed the financial system continued to heal from the credit crisis that punished the economy with
a deep recession. While the report showed lingering damage in residential housing markets where demand for mortgages declined, a surprise bright spot came in an increased demand for commercial real estate loans. “Despite the consistent easing of standards and terms over the past year, loan demand remains relatively tepid, particularly at the household level,” said Barclays Capital economist Michael Gapen. The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates to
near zero and will soon complete the buying of more than $2 trillion in assets in hopes of stimulating lending activity to accelerate economic growth. But banks have been cautious about lending and consumers wary of piling on debt, and the data showed there was still some ways to go before credit conditions return to normal. “It will still be some time before the credit floodgate bursts, but the cracks are slowly developing at the dam,” said Millan Mulraine, an economist for TD Securities.
The loan officers survey showed some gains in the need to borrow, a sign that businesses may be picking up investment and that consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of U.S. output, may also accelerate. Around 27 percent of respondents reported increased loan demand by large companies, while the appetite for loans from smaller firms rose 10 percent, the Fed said. A robust pickup in appetite for loans from small firms — who create a substantial share of new jobs — is seen as a key part of lowering a lofty unemployment rate.
U.S. sues Deutsche Bank MetroPCS boosts customer growth over mortgage fraud By JONATHAN STEMPEL The United States sued Deutsche Bank AG for more than $1 billion, accusing the German bank of defrauding the government by repeatedly lying to obtain federal insurance guarantees on mortgage debt. The lawsuit filed yesterday against Deutsche Bank and its MortgageIT Inc unit is believed to be among the first targeting mortgage lenders under the federal False Claims Act. It also marks the newest push by the government to hold the mortgage industry responsible for perceived excesses that contributed to a fouryear-old U.S. housing slump and hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. It is unclear whether the government will target other banks in lawsuits. Deutsche Bank shares fell 3.1 percent in late afternoon trading in Frankfurt. “We just received the complaint and are reviewing it,” a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman said. “We believe the claims against MortgageIT
and Deutsche Bank are unreasonable and unfair, and we intend to defend against the action vigorously.” The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The government says MortgageIT from 1999 to 2009 endorsed more than 39,000 mortgages with principal totaling more than $5 billion for Federal Housing Administration insurance, meaning they were backed by the federal government. Knowing they would profit from the eventual resale of the loans, the defendants were accused of recklessly choosing mortgages that violated program rules “in blatant disregard” of whether borrowers actually had the ability to make payments. The government said it has paid out more than $386 million of FHA insurance claims and related costs, and expects to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars more. “Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT had powerful financial incentives to invest resources into generating as many FHA-insured mortgages as quickly as possible for resale to investors,” the com-
plaint said. “By contrast, Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT had few financial incentives to invest resources into ensuring the quality of its FHA-insured mortgages.” The complaint seeks triple damages on the $386 million of claims, as well as punitive damages, fines and other remedies. Deutsche Bank bought MortgageIT for $430 million in 2007. The office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, which brought the case, had no immediate comment. The bank was also a target of last month’s report by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations criticizing lenders for contributing to the financial crisis. That report detailed how investigators believed Deutsche Bank deceived clients into buying securities it believed were likely to implode. Deutsche Bank lost an estimated $4.5 billion tied to the mortgage market collapse, but could have lost more had it not sold such securities, the report said.
By BIJOY ANANDOTH KOYITTY BANGALORE — MetroPCS Communications posted a higher quarterly profit on stronger-than-expected customer growth, sending its shares up as much as 9 percent. The provider of mobile services for costconscious customers said that a handset promotion helped it add 725,945 net customers in the quarter, well ahead of analyst expectations for about 422,500, according to five analysts contacted by Reuters. The boost in pre-paid customers, who pay for calls in advance, comes nearly a week after Sprint Nextel posted better-than-expected growth in this segment at bigger rival the week before. “Today, MetroPCS made it clear that Sprint’s gain was not a matter of stealing market share, but rather a reflection of a pre-paid segment that has gotten its mojo back,” Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett said in a note. “The results bode well for growth for prepaid peer Leap Wireless, as well,” Moffett
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Factories hold up despite slower growth By STEVEN C. JOHNSON and GLENN SOMERVILLE Business at U.S. manufacturers grew a bit more slowly for a second straight month in April but their costs rose to the highest level in nearly three years, an industry report showed on Monday. The economy showed other signs of crawling back to health, including a pickup in spending on construction, albeit too slowly to generate brisk employment gains. “The economy is not falling apart despite the spike in oil prices,” said Joel Naroff, of Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pa. “Firms are
hiring, adding to inventories, seeing demand rise and exporting. Those are not signs of malaise.” U.S. factory activity eased to 60.4 in April from 61.2 the previous month, the Institute for Supply Management said, a touch higher than economists’ forecasts. The index for prices paid rose to 85.5 from 85, the highest since July 2008. Growth in new orders, output and hiring all eased from March but suggested the economy could withstand costlier energy. A sharp decline in the value of the U.S. dollar helped the exportheavy sector. Analysts cautioned that progress toward healthier economic con-
ditions is likely to remain painfully slow. Ian Shepherdson, of High Frequency Economics, said an increase in factory inventory in April was likely an unwanted development that could lead to a cooling in production. “We are quite pleased by the headline index, but it is likely not sustainable,” Shepherdson said. “We expect the headline to dip to 57 or so over the next couple of months.” The Federal Reserve last week said the economy was clawing back from its deep recession at a “moderate pace” and showed it was in no rush to remove its support, despite some signs of inflation pressures building.
The U.S. central bank said on Monday its latest survey of senior loan officers showed that banks had made it easier to get loans in the first three months of 2011 — a positive for the economy after a lengthy period of caution about lending. “Some banks that had eased standards and terms ... pointed to a more favorable or less uncertain economic outlook,” the Fed said. A separate report on borrowing by small businesses — which account for most U.S. hiring — showed loan demand rose again in March, albeit a bit more slowly than in recent months. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business lending Index
increased 12 percent from March 2010. It tracks loans that are taken out for equipment purchases or to update factories. Other purchasing manager surveys from around the globe showed that while activity softened in the United States and China — the two largest economies — it firmed in Europe and India. The euro hit a 17month high against the dollar on Monday as investors bet that interest rates in the euro zone would continue to rise while the Fed would keep them on hold. Another report showed the battered U.S. construction industry managed a 1.4 percent rise in invest-
Twitter seeks to buy TweetDeck for up to $50M By ALEXEI ORESKOVIC SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter has made an offer to acquire TweetDeck, a popular thirdparty software application for using Internet social networking services, for up to $50 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The cash and stock deal could close in less than ten days, the source said, and would represent one of fiveyear-old Twitter’s largest acquisitions to
date. The deal would give Twitter an application that has won praise among sophisticated users for its slick interface and enhanced capabilities, while closing out a potential threat to Twitter’s fast-growing service. TweetDeck had been in acquisition discussions with UberMedia, a Pasadena Web company founded by entrepreneur Bill Gross, in a deal that was valued at less than what Twitter offered. UberMedia has been amassing a collection of Twitter applica-
tions which some commentators have speculated could ultimately be used to create a rival social network to Twitter. The exclusivity terms of UberMedia’s offer for TweetDeck expired in mid-April, allowing TweetDeck to respond to the Twitter offer, according to the source. A Twitter spokesman said the company does not comment on rumors. TweetDeck and UberMedia did not immediately reply to requests for comment. The deal comes a little over a month after Twit-
ter co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company as executive chairman to oversee product development. Twitter, which allows people to send 140-character text messages, or Tweets, to groups of socalled followers, is one of the Web’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and Zynga. The service has become a popular communications tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, and has played a role in several geopolitical events, such as recent uprisings in
MasterCard profit jumps as consumers spend more By MARIA ASPAN MasterCard Inc.’s first-quarter profit rose 24 percent, beating expectations, as consumers spent more money on their credit and debit cards. The company’s shares rose 2.8 percent in premarket trading yesterday after the world’s second-largest card processing network said revenues increased more than expected. People with Master-
Cards are swiping them more often than they did last year, said Jim Tierney, chief investment officer of money management firm W.P. Stewart, which owns MasterCard shares. “To a large degree, that’s a sign of the global economic recovery,” said Tierney, adding that the company’s pickup in revenue was also helped by new processing contracts that MasterCard won from its rivals. MasterCard Chief Executive Ajay Banga,
in a statement, cited “solid volume and processed transaction growth” and said the company continues “to launch new products, enter new geographies and open new acceptance channels.” Banga, who took the company’s helm last year, is increasingly turning MasterCard abroad for growth, in the face of U.S. regulation and rival Visa’s dominance of the U.S. debit card processing market. The payments industry hopes to find new sources of revenue
through processing mobile or e-commerce payments in developing countries, where most consumers do not yet use credit or debit cards. MasterCard’s quarterly revenue rose 14.8 percent to $1.5 billion, and worldwide purchase volume increased 12.9 percent on a local currency basis. The company reported a profit of $562 million, or $4.29 per share. That compares with $455 million, or $3.46 per share, in the year-ago period.
the Middle East. In December Twitter was valued at $3.7 billion in a $200 million funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Subsequent auctions of Twitter shares on the secondary markets have suggested investors were valuing the shares at more than $7 billion. Twitter’s offer for TweetDeck is between $40 million and $50 million, according to the source, depending on how Twitter’s shares are valued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
spending in ment March. But February’s spending was revised down to a 2.4 percent drop, tempering the report’s impact. The softer tone to U.S. economic data is expected to show up in Friday’s closely monthly watched report on employment. Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast that 186,000 jobs were created in April, less than March’s 216,000 and not enough to bring the unemployment rate below a lofty 8.8 percent. Data last week showed overall U.S. growth slowed to a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, off its 3.1 percent pace over the final three months of 2010. Economists said consumers were spending less as higher food and gasoline prices dented their incomes. Last week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the economy faces new headwinds from soaring oil prices, but said a forecast of 3 percent to 4 percent growth for the year as a whole was reasonable.
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011 #
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
RB Mendenhall causes stir with bin Laden tweets PITTSBURGH - Rashard Mendenhall has created a stir with comments made on his official Twitter page regarding Osama bin Laden’s death. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back on Monday tweeted: “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side...” Mendenhall didn’t hold back, even making a reference to the Sept. 11 attacks. “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.” The Steelers felt compelled to act. Yesterday, team president Art Rooney II released a statement. “I have not spoken with Rashard, so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments. The entire Steelers organization is very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.” Mendenhall, who profiles himself as a “conversationalist and professional athlete” on his Twitter page, turned some heads in March, as well, when he sup-
Rashard Mendenhall ported a comment by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to “modern-day slavery.” “Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel eachother,” Mendenhall posted at the time. Mendenhall is coming off a tremendous season, as he led the AFC champions in carries (324), rushing yards (1,273) and rushing touchdowns (13). He has 2,439 yards in three seasons
since being drafted in the 2008 first round out of Illinois. In the 2010 postseason, Mendenhall ran for 230 yards on 61 carries in three games with four touchdowns, as Pittsburgh defeated the Baltimore Ravens (31-24) and New York Jets (24-19), before falling to the Green Bay Packers 31-25 in the Super Bowl. Among his other bin Laden tweets: “I believe in God. I believe we’re ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge.” “Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves.” “For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn ... I ask how would God feel about your heart?” “There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to think.” Mendenhall’s string of tweets ended around 6 p.m. Monday. He has not tweeted since. Sports radio talk shows in Pittsburgh - and around the nation - were fielding calls yesterday about his comments. Mendenhall has 13,631 followers on Twitter, and he personally follows 66. Included in the group he’s following is the Dalai Lama, comedian Sarah Silverman and the Park Community Church in Chicago.
Notre Dame WR Floyd pleads innocent to DUI charge By TOM COYNE SOUTH BEND, Ind. Suspended Notre Dame star wide receiver Michael Floyd hopes to have a plea deal in place on his misdemeanor drunken driving charge before his next court appearance in June, his attorney said Monday. Magistrate Brian Steinke entered a not guilty plea on Floyd’s behalf early Monday. Floyd was not present and a status hearing was scheduled for June 7.
“I suspect we’ll come up with a resolution. At the present time I don’t anticipate this is going to be set for trial,” attorney William Stanley said. Authorities say Floyd was arrested at 3:18 a.m. March 20 after running a stop sign a block from the school’s main entrance. Prosecutors say a breathalyzer test showed Floyd had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent, more than double Indiana’s legal limit for driving. If found guilty of the Class A misdemeanor, Floyd faces a maximum
sentence of a year in jail. Coach Brian Kelly suspended Floyd after his arrest and said it would not be lifted until Floyd changes his behavior and both the legal and university discipline procedures ran their course. Kelly had no comment on Monday’s hearing other than to say he remains a suspended member of the football team, said Brian Hardin, Notre Dame’s director of football media relations. Stanley said he doesn’t know what it will take for Floyd to be
reinstated on the football team, but said it was good that the school’s disciplinary panel allowed him to stay in school. “He’s doing very well. He’s addressing all those issues. It was good getting the administrative matter done. We just want to proceed accordingly and dispose of this as quickly as possible,” Stanley said. The 21-year-old Floyd was twice cited in his home state of Minnesota for underage consumption of alcohol, in 2009 and 2010.
SPORTS BRIEFS Missouri’s Haith recruits fans, students
MENDON, Mo. - New Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith has spent most of the past month on the road. He hopes to fill three roster spots for next season and six more in 2012. Haith is also meeting with far-flung fans and alumni still getting to know the new coach. He recently traveled to Chicago and even the tiny farming town of Mendon, Mo., population 208. Haith spent seven years at Miami before he was hired to replace Mike Anderson, who left for Arkansas after taking the Tigers to three straight NCAA tournament appearances. Haith is a former assistant at Texas and Texas A&M. He went 129-101 in seven seasons with the Hurricanes. - ALAN SCHER ZAGIER
Wade, James stay side by side in 1st Heat season MIAMI - They dine together. They do interviews together. They text each other late at night while watching other games. And, yes, at times they get angry with one another. It’s not a news flash that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been extremely good friends for years. But it seems the rigors of their first season as teammates with the Miami Heat has even brought them closer. James and Wade discussed their relationship yesterday, hours before the Heat hosted the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Wade says it’s natural that they would be the Heat players dealing with most of the attention. Adds James: “It’s not just me and D-Wade, it’s all the guys in the locker room, all 15.” - TIM REYNOLDS
Shaq doubtful for Boston, Haslem out for Miami MIAMI - Boston center Shaquille O’Neal was listed as doubtful for yesterday’s Game 2 of the Celtics’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat. O’Neal scrimmaged with the Celtics on Monday. Celtics coach Doc Rivers says O’Neal looked good at times, then had trouble getting around by the end of the session. Rivers says O’Neal may be “likely” to play in Game 3 at Boston on Saturday. Meanwhile, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says forward Udonis Haslem will remain out for Game 2. Haslem has not played since Nov. 20 with a ruptured ligament in his left foot.
Former ISU walk-on Lamb booked on drug charges AMES, Iowa - Former Iowa State walk-on basketball player John Lamb has been arrested on drug charges. Sgt. Scott Kickbush of the Central Iowa Drug Task Force says Lamb is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and violation of the Drug Tax Stamp Act. Lamb was taken the Story County Jail Monday night and released after posting a $10,000 bond.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Why Mosley is a good match for Pacman By KEVIN IOLE LAS VEGAS - On a bright and sunny February day in the nation’s capital, the best fighter in the world met in the morning with the majority leader of the Senate and then in mid-afternoon found himself alone with his wife in the Oval Office, being greeted by the President of the United States. To say that boxing promoter Bob Arum was effusive after pulling off that daily double would be an understatement of epic proportions. Having photographs of Manny Pacquiao on the floor of the Senate being honored by Sen. Harry Reid and then stories of his trip to the White House to meet with President Obama were more valuable than gold to Arum, who was on a media tour to promote Pacquiao’s payper-view bout with Shane Mosley on Saturday in the headliner of a card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Arum wasn’t talking about Pacquiao, the Filipino congressman and pound-for-pound champion who puts his WBO welterweight belt on the line. Rather, he is speaking of Mosley, who is 0-1-1 in his last two fights and who has taken a beating in the media for being chosen
as Pacquiao’s opponent. Too old, they said. Past his prime. No longer competitive. If Arum had any doubts about the success of his pay-per-view, however, they were alleviated on this crisp and clear winter’s day. Mosley may yet prove to be over the hill, or too old, or simply not good enough for Pacquiao. But Arum can smell a pay-per-view success from miles away and he’s like a shark zeroing in on blood when he does. While Pacquiao was cavorting with the nation’s power brokers, Mosley was dispatched to the New York Knicks’ practice and later to the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., to help drum up a little extra interest in the bout. He turned out to be as big a hit in those places as Pacquiao was in Washington, D.C. And while Mosley isn’t nearly the fighter he was a decade ago, Arum is more convinced than ever that he is the right man at the right time for Pacquiao. Mosley, who was briefly considered the world’s best pound-forpound boxer in the early days of this century, is convinced he wouldn’t have gotten the match against Pacquiao had he been more impressive against either, or both of, his last two opponents, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Mora. He was blown out by Mayweather on May 1,
2010, losing 11 of 12 rounds and losing them badly. He then was very mediocre in settling for a split draw with Mora in September. Mosley is constantly reminded of those performances, as if they’ll determine how he’ll fare against Pacquiao on Saturday. But he said they served a greater purpose nonetheless. “I don’t think they will have anything to do with what I do against Pacquiao because styles make fights,” Mosley said. “But if it wasn’t for those two fights, I probably wouldn’t be here today. So those fights were needed.” Pacquiao has averaged over one million buys per fight in his last five outings and has gotten so popular that he could sell that many against just about anyone. But Arum picked Mosley in December over other alternatives like Juan Manuel Marquez or Andre Berto because he felt that the public was more aware of Mosley than they were of any other potential opponent. The more the public is aware of the opponent, the better the odds are for the success of a pay-per-view. And given his pair of wins over Oscar De La Hoya and notable fights against the likes of the late Vernon Forrest, Winky Wright, Fernando Vargas, Antonio Margarito and Mayweather, Mosley fit that bill.
Now, there are many who believe with every fiber of their being that Arum chose Mosley precisely because he has a big name and is so past his prime that he has little chance to win. Using that theory, Mosley gives the promotion the highest name recognition it could get for an opponent while presenting as little risk as possible to Pacquiao. Mosley and his trainer, Naazim Richardson, aren’t sugarcoating the challenge they face. While it would help the promotion if Mosley was full of bravado and repeatedly bragged that he’d get a knockout, that’s simply not his style. Richardson himself couldn’t help but heap praise upon Pacquiao. He said he had trouble finding suitable sparring partners for Mosley because there is no one out there who can adequately emulate Pacquiao. “The last fighter I saw who fought like Pacquiao was (Hall of Famer) Aaron Pryor,” Richardson said. “If anyone was fighting like Pacquiao, they’d be off somewhere defending their own title and they wouldn’t have time to come to our camp. So all you can do is pick athletes and ask them to bring in attributes that are most common to Pacquiao.” Pryor ended his career with a 39-1 record and 35 knockouts and a reputation as
Shane Mosley strikes a pose during a media workout at his highaltitude training facility in Big Bear Lake, California. one of the toughest men of his era. The great Sugar Ray Leonard never fought Pryor and there are knowledgeable boxing people who say it’s because Leonard knew he couldn’t handle Pryor. Whatever the truth is, Richardson knows that Mosley will be facing a modern-day Pryor when they get into the ring on Saturday at the MGM. “The reason I compare the two is that Aaron Pryor was an allaction fighter,” he said. “He had a decent punch, but he was all-action. You could just see his energy level was just extraordinary. And Pacquiao brings the same level of energy into the ring. And it’s difficult to answer because he’s so consistent. After he’s fought
bigger guys, his fights have gotten easier because the high-energy guys are at the lower weight classes. So when he’s fought bigger guys, he’s actually had an easier time.” Mosley won’t even come close to being critical of Pacquiao, but it doesn’t lessen his belief in himself. He believes he was chosen because the Pacquiao side essentially viewed him as an easy mark with a big name, but he feels he still has enough left to shock the oddsmakers. Pacquiao is an offensive fighter whom Mosley won’t have to find. When he fought Mayweather last year, he badly hurt Mayweather in the second round, but was unable to catch up to the defensive master the remainder of the fight. This time, though, it’s a different scenario. Pacquiao will be in front of him, available to be hit. He won’t have to look for Pacquiao, because Pacquiao will bring the fight to him. That’s made Mosley highly confident of victory. “Well, I look at different fights and I see in the (Pacquiao)Margarito fight that Margarito landed the most punches ever on Manny Pacquiao,” Mosley said. “So if Margarito is fast enough to land punches on Manny Pacquiao, then I know I am fast enough to land punches on him.”
Geor ge M ason intr oduces Hewi tt as basketball coach FAIRFAX, Va. George Mason has introduced Paul Hewitt as its new men’s basketball coach. The former Georgia Tech coach was announced on Saturday to become the ninth coach in the Patriots 44-year histo-
ry, replacing Jim Larranaga who left last month for Miami after 14 seasons with the Colonial Athletic Association program. Hewitt, who turns 48 today, was fired by Georgia Tech in midMarch after completing a 13-18 regular season and compiling a 190-162 record during
his 11 seasons. Hewitt was introduced Monday at George Mason and said “this was too good a situation to turn down.” The Patriots return four starters from a 27win team that reached the NCAA tournament last season.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
Rose wins MVP By ANDREW SELIGMAN LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – Right from the start, Derrick Rose wondered why he couldn't be the MVP. It turns out, nothing was stopping him. Rose officially became the NBA's youngest MVP yesterday and joined Michael Jordan as the only Bulls players to win the award. The news was hardly a surprise after Rose had a spectacular season in leading Chicago to the league's best record Rose has a ways to go before he catches Jordan, who won five MVPs and led the way to two title three-peats, but he sure is off to a good start. In his third year, the dynamic point guard led the Bulls to their best season since the championship era. The 22-year-old Rose got 113 first-place votes from a panel of media voters. Orlando's Dwight Howard finished second, Miami's LeBron James was third, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant was fourth and Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant finished fifth. A product of Chicago's South Side, Rose established himself as one of the top players in the league after going from Rookie of the Year to an All-Star in his first two seasons. He took another step this year with one of the best allaround performances by a point guard. He averaged 25 points and 7.7 assists while leading Chicago into contention for its first championship since the Jordan-Scottie Pippen era. For all the groaning
over the Bulls missing out on James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in free agency, they did quite well for themselves anyway. Looking for more after back-toback 41-win seasons and firstround playoff exits, they fired coach Vinny Del Negro and replaced him with Tom Thibodeau. Then, they landed Carlos Boozer and supporting players like Kyle Korver, giving the Bulls the inside scoring presence they were lacking and one of the deepest rotations. It all added up to this — a 6220 record and homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. They advanced past the first round for just the second time since the championship era, and the biggest reason for all that, of course, was Rose. He showed up to training camp openly wondering why he couldn't be MVP. Then, he backed it up. He ranked seventh in scoring and 10th in assists, making him the only player this season in the top 10 in both categories. The only other Bull to do so was Jordan in 1988-89, when he led the league in scoring (32.5 points) and finished 10th in assists, according to information provided to the team by the Elias Sports Bureau. Throw in a 4.1 rebounding average, and Rose joins another elite group. He's the seventh player in league history to average at least 25 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds, along with Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Larry Bird, Wade and James, according to Elias. In the postseason, he's been just as impressive.
Pac-10 has new TV deal with Fox, ESPN By JOSH DUBOW
Derrick Rose He scored 39 and 36 points in the first two playoff games against Indiana. Then he shook off two subpar performances and a sprained left ankle to score 25 points in Game 5 as the top-seeded Bulls closed out what had been a tight first-round series with a 116-89 victory. They stumbled in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Atlanta, losing 10395. Rose scored 24 points, but he hit just 11 of 27 shots and did not attempt a free throw. He also limped off the court after twisting his left ankle, but expects to be ready for Game 2 tonight. It's been a rapid, steady climb for a player who came into the league with soaring expectations. He helped Simeon Career Academy become the first Chicago Public League team to win back-to-back state championships, then led Memphis to the NCAA championship game before the Bulls drafted him with the No. 1 pick in 2008.
Heat’s Bosh sues ex-girlfriend over reality show LOS ANGELES Miami Heat star Chris Bosh is suing the mother of his child for appearing on a reality TV show called “Basketball Wives,” which he said intrudes on his private life. Bosh claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court that Allison Mathis and Shed Media are trying to unjustly enrich themselves by using Bosh’s name and intruding into his private affairs. He acknowledges he and Mathis have a child together.
The suit says Mathis was hired to appear in the third season of the VH1 reality show and wants to use it to become a TV star. Bosh seeks damages and an injunction to block her and the media company from trademark infringement by using his name and disclosing private facts about his life. “Though the reality television show is titled, ‘Basketball Wives,’ the featured women in the show are not the current wives of NBA players,” the lawsuit says. “Instead, the show fol-
lows the lives of women who are dating or who dated NBA basketball players or who were formerly married to NBA players. “ It says the show, “provides these women with a vehicle and worldwide platform” to use the names of players without permission for commercial gain. “Defendant Mathis is attempting to promote her own commercial brand and become a television personality and/or celebrity by exploiting her former relationship with plaintiff,” says the lawsuit.
Shed Media did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment yesterday. Bosh’s attorneys said they had not been notified who will be representing Mathis. Bosh’s attorneys said use of Bosh’s name and “life rights” does not fall in the category of protected expression under the First Amendment. “Defendants are not ‘expressing’ anything other than their attempt to profit from plaintiff’s fame,” the lawsuit says.
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-10 agreed to a 12year television contract with Fox and ESPN yesterday worth about $3 billion, allowing the conference to quadruple its media rights fees and start its own network. The contract, which will begin with the 2012-13 season, will be worth about $250 million per year, guaranteeing each of the 12 schools in the conference about $21 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract has not been announced. The contract is expected to be formally announced at a news conference in Phoenix today. The Pac-10 made less than $60 million in media rights this past season but became the latest conference to take advantage of the escalating market for college sports on television. The ACC recently signed a deal for $155 million a year and the Big 12 reached a deal with Fox that made its total annual package worth about $130 million. The Pac-10, which will be renamed the Pac12 in July with the additions of Utah and Colorado, topped those deals, as well as the $205 million the SEC gets and the $220 million paid to the Big Ten. Rights to some football and men’s basketball games were not sold to Fox and ESPN, preserving some premium property the conference can use for a Pac-12 network to go along with Olympic and other non-revenue sports, a person close to the deal said. Unlike the Big Ten Network, which Fox has a 49 percent ownership share in, the Pac-12 will own its entire network. That could add difficulties in terms of getting wide distributions on cable and satellite systems but allows the conference to have complete control of its content and keep all the profits if the network is as successful as the Big Ten. The conference will also launch a digital network to show games online that aren’t on ESPN or Fox. The deal with Fox and ESPN was first reported by Sports Business Daily, while The New York Times first reported details about the network. This deal accomplishes all three goals Commissioner Larry Scott set out heading into negotiations: increasing revenue, getting more exposure and starting a Pac-12 network to provide an outlet to broadcast non-revenue sports and to help brand the conference. Under this deal, Fox and ESPN will split the rights to college football games. ESPN will air its games on cable as well as ABC and Fox will show its games on its broadcast network, basic cable network FX and on the Fox Sports Net regional networks. Men’s basketball games will be split mostly between ESPN and Fox Sports Net, with ESPN also getting rights to some Olympic sports that will likely be aired on ESPNU. The two entities will alternate showing the Pac12 football championship game and the men’s basketball tournament. Fox, which will air the inaugural football title game this season, will have the first football championship under this contract in 2012, with ESPN getting the men’s basketball tournament later that season, a person familiar with the deal said.
S SP PO OR RT TS S WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2011
ROSE WINS MVP SE E PAG E 23
IS MOSLEY A G O O D M AT C H F O R PA C M A N ? S EE PA GE 22