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U.S. HIGHLIGHTS IMPACT OF BIN LADEN DEATH - PG. 2 NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION

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GIRL’S DEATH ‘A NIGHTMARE’

The parents of 11-year-old Abiah Jones (inset), killed in a fall from a New Jersey ferris wheel, described her death as “a nightmare” and called for

amusement park rides to install restraint systems.

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

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NEWS BRIEFS Bloombergville occupation underway at City Hall Park Gospel fever returns to the New York Tri-State area on Saturday when McDonald’s Gospelfest stages a “Father’s Day Spectacular” at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. “It’s going to let people get some spirit back in their hearts and minds,” declared Brenda Blackmon, My9 TV news anchor and Gospelfest mistress of ceremonies. Sharing the stage will be some of the biggest names in Gospel, including superstar Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, James Fortune and Fiya, Bobby Jones, and back by popular demand Bishop TD Jakes. Blackmon, who has been with the program for five years, said the show will be an inspiration. “People need to smile again and have their spirits lifted up,” she said. For further information, call the McDonald’s Gospelfest Hotline at 877.771.7772. ******************************* New York City no longer ranks as America’s dirtiest, according to an annual survey by Travel and Leisure Magazine. It’s now improved to fifth. New Orleans grabbed the top spot for its slowness to clean up after major events like Mardi Gras. Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Memphis helped round out the top five. The magazine rates cleanliness based on criteria including air pollution, litter, and even the taste of tap water. ******************************* Street sweepers could soon be on the lookout for parking scofflaws. The city is asking the state for permission to install cameras on street sweepers to help catch people breaking alternate side parking rules. A bill before the state Legislature would allow the city to use the cameras to record the license plates of illegally parked cars. The bill calls for permission to put cameras on a limited number of sweepers as a pilot program in 25 of the city’s 59 community districts. The mayor’s office stresses the plan is not aimed at raising more money or getting rid of traffic agents. A spokesman for the mayor says the proposal actually is meant to free up traffic agents so they can focus more on public safety.

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In the face of police harassment, which included threats of arrest, the Bloombergville occupation was successfully established at City Hall Park Tuesday night. Protesters vowed to stay “until the Mayor’s disastrous pro-banker, anti-people budget is defeated.” Brenda Stokely, a protest leader and member of AFSCME District Council 37, Local 371, explained that Bloombergville will serve as an organizing center for the growing opposition movement to the Mayor’s budget proposal. The Bloombergville protest was launched on the heels of a rally by 20,000 union members — including city workers, teachers, transit employees and others —against budget cuts. Inspired by the “Walkerville” protest in Wisconsin, as well as Tahrir Square in Egypt, and Puerta del Sol in Spain, the Bloombergville organizers hope to create a new spirit of resistance to daycare cuts, school closings and massive layoffs. Organizers are reaching out through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. They have also created a blog site: Bloombergvillenow.org. The blog site carries ongoing “tweets” as well as photos, live video footage and ongoing reports from the protest. Larry Hales, a founder of the CUNY Mobilization Network, said, “After years of cuts that have diminished services affecting average New Yorkers across the board from transportation to healthcare to education, the Bloomberg Administration’s new budget proposes further cuts the people of the city can no longer tolerate.” Hales concluded saying “We plan to stay until Bloomberg’s budget is defeated.”

Brenda Stokely, a protest leader and member of AFSCME District Council 37, Local 371.

Photos: Lem Peterkin Arvernetta Henry and Marie Walles representing Picture The Homeless.

U.S. highlights impact of bin Laden death WASHINGTON — The death of Osama bin Laden had a “greater” impact than expected on efforts to dismantle Al-Qaeda’s terror network, a senior U.S. anti-terrorism official said Tuesday. When U.S. Navy Seals raided the Al-Qaeda chief’s secret compound in Pakistan on May 2, officials were surprised to find that bin Laden “was more involved in running that organization than we would have thought,” said State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism Daniel Benjamin. “That magnifies the importance of removing him from the picture because he was not only an iconic figure but... he actually was deeply involved in strategy,” said Benjamin. When bin Laden was killed, AlQaeda not only “lost their primary symbol, a symbol of their endurance over these years, but they also lost one of their chief thinkers, someone who had really profound influence on how the organization operated.” “So we think that the impact is greater than we had expected it to

The tail section of a crashed military helicopter is seen near the hideout of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after a ground operation by U.S. Special Forces in Abbottabad. be,” said Benjamin. The U.S. commandos who raided bin Laden’s compound also gathered a huge cache of documents, mostly stored on computer hard drives, flash drives and disks. Al-Qaeda operatives are now on the move “because of a certain amount of disorientation and uncertainty about their own security, and we know that they are very concerned about security,” said Ben-

jamin. U.S. officials have since received numerous threats from Al-Qaeda, and officials “certainly have seen a desire to retaliate, but we don’t see anything near completion.” However there is a greater chance “that an enraged individual might act on his own. There’s a possibility of a lone wolf attack and those are clearly harder to collect on,” Benjamin said.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

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Parents of girl killed on NJ ride say her death’s ‘a nightmare’ By DAVE WARNER The parents of an 11-year-old girl killed in a fall from a New Jersey ferris wheel on Tuesday described her death as “a nightmare” and called for amusement park rides to install restraint systems. Abiah Jones of Pleasantville, NJ, was on a class trip when she plunged some 150 feet from a gondola ride at Morey’s Piers Amusement Park in Wildwood, NJ, on June 3. “It was supposed to be fun,” her father Byron Jones said at a news conference at their attorney’s office. “But it turned out to be tragic.” The girl was riding alone and the ride had no restraints, authorities said in a preliminary report issued on Monday. The report said such a fall could be caused by a rider kneeling or standing on the seat. “It can be said with some confidence that the victim was not properly seated in the vehicle,” the

Twanda and Byron Jones report said. Riding alone “may have led her to take a risk that she would have been

convinced not to take if there were other riders in the gondola,” it added. It also said the gondola had

New Jersey toughens rules for Ferris wheels By SARAH HOYE and KATIE SILVER The state of New Jersey is imposing harsher restrictions on ferris wheel safety after an 11-year-old rider fell to her death earlier this month. Officials are mandating riders be at least 54 inches to ride without supervision, according to a letter from Michael Triplett of the New Jersey Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Unit.

Triplett also “strongly recommended” that each car have at least two riders, and added that if a manufacturer has a more strict requirement, that requirement should be followed. The changes coincide with the release of a preliminary report into the death of Abiah Jones of Pleasantville, NJ, who fell at Morey’s Piers Mariner’s Landing Pier, in Wildwood, on June 3. Jones, who met a 54-inch height requirement, was on a school trip when she fell from one of the park’s

main attractions, called The Great Wheel. After receiving first aid at the scene, she was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. How the girl fell is still undetermined, and officials have no eyewitnesses, according to a report by the state of New Jersey. Surveillance footage showed her during the fall but did not show her leaving the gondola, the report said. It determined she entered the ride as a single rider and sustained “significant head trauma as well as cuts

Debt talks set July 1 deadline for deal By ANDY SULLIVAN and DEBORAH CHARLES WASHINGTON — A group of top lawmakers yesterday set an ambitious July 1 goal to reach a broad debtreduction deal, even though Republicans and the White House are still far apart on taxes and healthcare. Vice President Joe Biden sat down in the Capitol with six lawmakers trying to agree on how to narrow huge budget deficits and raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit so the United States can avoid defaulting on its financial obligations and keep borrowing money to pay its bills. The group, which is hoping to break through the growing political partisanship in the run-up to November 2012 elections, talked about proposals that would trigger automatic spending cuts and possibly tax hikes if Congress cannot narrow trilliondollar budget deficits in the coming years. “There was broad support for the idea that we put in place a mechanism that ensures deficit reduction,” Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen told reporters after the second straight day of talks. But he said

Republicans and Democrats were still at odds about how to implement the mechanism. Negotiators, who will return today to review their progress to date, are under increased pressure for a deal. President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned this week of the potentially devastating economic consequences if the debt limit was not raised by an August 2 deadline, when the Treasury has warned it will run out of money. Republicans have said any increase in the debt limit must include spending cuts equal in size. That would mean cuts of at least $2 trillion to ensure Congress does not have to revisit the politically toxic issue before 2012 elections. The Biden talks, which began in early May, have been slow-moving as the two sides stand firm on their positions on taxes and healthcare. The White House and Republicans have tentatively agreed to save at least $150 billion over the next 10 years by trimming areas such as farm subsidies. Participants said there were still hurdles but they hoped for a deal by July 1.

“There’s a path forward but there’s still a long way to go. There are a lot of impediments to reaching a final deal but we are making progress there,” Van Hollen said. Assistant Senate Republican leader Jon Kyl said July 1 was the goal for a deal, but he was unsure if it could be met. Obama and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, want the group to complete its work by July 4, well before the Treasury’s August 2 deadline, to avoid scaring financial markets. A majority of 70 economists surveyed in a Reuters poll said it was “highly unlikely” that the United States would go into a technical default, when the government would be unable to meet some financial obligations. The stubborn divide over whether to raise taxes — which Republican oppose and Democrats favor — resurfaced as the lawmakers discussed how to implement caps. The White House and Republicans disagree on the actual mechanisms of the triggers that would go into effect if Congress does not get budget deficits under control.

no mechanical defects. Her mother Twanda Jones called Abiah a loving, “special child. “This is the worst thing I have ever been through in my life,” said Jones, who has three other children. “This is a nightmare.” The girl’s father and family attorney Larry Bendesky called for amusement park rides to install restraint systems such as seat belts or harnesses. “We are committed to investigating this tragic accident to insure that it never happens again,” Bendesky said. “We believe ferris wheels should have restraint systems.” The report on Monday by the state Department of Community Affairs, which inspects amusement rides, recommended amusement parks have a 54-inch height minimum for children to ride ferris wheels if they are not with a parent or guardian. Morey’s has such a policy and Bendesky said he believed Abiah was taller than that. on her arms and shoulders,” hitting several objects on her way to the ground. The findings also concluded operators had no knowledge of any problems, the ride had no mechanical defects, and no other problems had been reported in its 25-year history. “The fact that Abiah Jones was alone in the gondola, without any nearby passengers, may have led her to take a risk that she would have been convinced not to take if there were other riders in the gondola,” the state investigator concluded. At 156 feet, the ride is one of the tallest wheels on the East Coast, Morey Piers spokeswoman Lindsey Young told CNN. Republicans want to lower spending from the current level of 25 percent of gross domestic product to below 20 percent. They say automatic spending cuts should be triggered if this level was breached. Democrats say that would tie the government’s hands and would make it unable to respond to emergencies. They say it is better to set overall deficit or debt targets in coming years, and allow for either tax increases or spending cuts to close the gap if these targets aren’t reached. Van Hollen said Democrats wanted to close special interest tax loopholes, get rid of oil subsidies and special tax breaks for things like corporate jets. Republican leaders have said closing tax loopholes should be done in the context of broad tax reform that would lower rates, a task that is beyond the scope of the Biden group. The White House wants to see a payroll tax cut for businesses and the issue was discussed in Tuesday’s talks. Some leading Republicans have said they would prefer comprehensive tax reform instead of a payroll tax cut now. A payroll tax cut would cost roughly $200 billion over 10 years, according to former White House economic adviser Larry Summers. That would complicate the Biden group’s task of finding more than a trillion dollars in deficit savings.


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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

FORUM

Hip-hop Summit Action Network: Decade of progress By DR. BENJAMIN F. CHAVIS, JR.

THOMAS H. WATKINS

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Hip-hop is a global cultural phenomenon that continues to evolve in many different music and art forms, languages, dialects, and creative formats throughout the world. As we look back over the last 30 years or more, it is important to understand that hip-hop continues to help shape the consciousness and aspirational values of hundreds of millions of young people. In fact, I would strongly posit that hip-hop as a transcendent and transformative cultural force has helped to irreversibly change the world into a better place. Young people today in the

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2008 in North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and in Ohio as well as in the other “swing states” that helped to bring current “political change” to America. Millions of young voters registered and went to the polls for the first or second time in their lives. This week marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN). For three days, June 12-14, 2001, inside the New York City Hilton, hip-hop artists from every region of the nation, managers, promoters, recording industry executives, media publishers, civil rights and community leaders, grassroots Continued on page 5

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Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and yes here in North America are less patient with poverty, injustice and the status quo. They want change not only in their poetry and lyrics, but also young people yearn and cry out for a better quality of life now in their lifetime. They are demanding change, and young people today are making change a socioeconomic and political reality. Just two years ago, it was here in the United States that young voters made the critical difference in the outcome of the election of President Barack H. Obama. No one should ever ignore or forget the fact that it was the unprecedented youth voter turnout in

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5

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

Who is graduating in 2011 and who ain’t? By WILLIAM REED As the 2011 graduation season moves into full swing, Black Americans are reminded that only about two-thirds of students who enter the 9th grade will graduate with a high school diploma four years later. Among minority males the dropout rate is ominous. School drop outs is a national crisis for Americans in general and Blacks in particular. Nationwide, 47 percent of Black males graduate high school compared with 78 percent of White males. During the past four years over six million students between the ages of 16 and 24 dropped out of high school. This problem was a theme at a recent meeting of national civil rights activists in Washington, D.C when Reverend Levy Daugherty of the KingMaker Foundation declared this is as “a problem that the nation needs to address” and said: “A student drops out every 26 seconds and seven thousand drop out every day.” Daugherty pointed out that “the highest number of drop-outs is among Native Americans, next are Hispanics and third are African Americans.”

“To spot a future high school dropout, look no further than the third grade” say educators. Education experts say: “Children who struggle academically at young ages are far more likely to drop out, though they typically wait until ninth grade to do so”. To combat the lethal problem, local communities need to start establishing mentoring and reading programs, devise programs that involve youth mentoring each other, creating college scholarship funds, encouraging students to take challenging courses and the teaching of “character traits.” Over the past 4 years, 11 percent of young Black males 16 – 24, dropped out, compared to 8 percent of Black females. It is a crisis situation because young people who drop out of high school are unlikely to have minimum skills and credentials necessary to effectively function in today’s complex society and technological workplace. Young adults with low education are more likely to be unemployed, likely to stay in poverty, receive government assistance and to become involved in criminal behaviors. Rev. Daugherty says his nonprofit group’s efforts are “to make

Decade of progess Continued from page 4 activists, academic and spiritual leaders, and members of the U.S. Congress all gathered together to participate in the pivotal and historic summit meeting under the theme of “Taking back responsibility.” As a result of the success of the summit, Russell Simmons and I cofounded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network to harness the cultural relevance of hip-hop music to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other socioeconomic and political concerns fundamental to the empowerment of youth. In other words, HSAN was founded to carry out and to fulfill the commitments made at the 2001 summit and to organize and mobilize the growing hip-hop constituency to be agents and leaders for fundamental change in our communities across America. It has been a decade of unstoppable struggle and progress. From 2001 to 2010, HSAN has sponsored more than 75 Hip-Hop Summits in cities in the states of New York, California, Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Mississippi. We also convened Hip-Hop Summits in Toronto, Canada; Kinston, Jamaica; and in Johannesburg, South Africa. HSAN continues to be a non-profit, non-

partisan international coalition of hip-hop artists, entertainment industry leaders, education advocates, civil and human rights proponents, and youth leaders united in the belief that hip-hop is an enormously influential agent for social change which must be responsibly and proactively utilized to fight the war on poverty and injustice. From Jay Z to Eminem, from Naz to Erykah-Badu, from Beyonce to Master P, from Snoop Dog to Busta Rhymes, from Will Smith to Kanye West, from Dougie Fresh to Foxy Brown, from Jim Jones to Julez Santana, from Chris Brown to Fat Joe, from Tego Calderon to Don Omar, and from Missy Elliot to TI along with more than 300 other artists all of whom gave of their time, energy, money and support to help HSAN make a positive difference. Whether it was “Get Your Vote Right” to “Get Your Money Right” to “Get Your House Right,” or successfully challenging the repressive Rockefeller Drug Laws or rallying to restore $300 million to the NYC public school budget, the hip-hop community always rose to the agenda with direct action and support. But the best way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Hip-Hop Summit Network is to continue to raise more awareness and involvement of young people in every state in the U.S. and in every nation in the global community to demand more “progressive” change. There are strong winds of repression now

sure that all children achieve academic proficiency and gain the educational skills necessary to success later in life”. Social activist Dick Gregory and Rev. C.T. Vivian joined Daugherty’s efforts to focus attention on the “drop out problem” and pass a bill to have a High School Dropout Prevention Month. The campaign seeks to prevent drop outs and promote exploration of the causes behind this alarming statistic and look at the many angles of the issue, including poor parental involvement, low expectations from teachers, boredom, negative peer pressure, and lack of positive role models. In the session at the Capital City Public Charter School, participants presented solutions such as: smaller classes, single gender classrooms, relevant Afro-centric curriculums, cooperative learning, motivational speakers, and higher expectations from teachers, and designed prevention strategies for administrators and teachers. A high school graduate can expect to make $1.2 million during their lifetimes. People with a college degree earn nearly $1 million more than a high school graduate. A college graduate can expect to earn $2.1 million working full-time blowing from those who want to deny the future advancement of humanity. 2012 is fast approaching in the United States and the Tea Party is gearing up to take America backward. HSAN along with the Hip-Hop Caucus and other organizations will have to mobilize once again. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee should both be challenged to ensure a large

between ages 25 and 64 - a typical work-life period. A master’s degreeholder earns $2.5 million, while someone with a professional degree, such as a doctor or lawyer, makes even more - $4.4 million. “Dr. Vivian a 86-year-old theologian, met then comic Dick Gregory during the civil rights movement. He says “it’s time to draw up an agenda” and “the greatest issue is education. ... It’s a problem we can’t run from.” One solution, Vivian advocates would be to focus our collective attention on getting Congress to designate a high-schooldropout prevention month. The KingMaker Foundation works to bridge the gap between civil rights leaders and young students involved in civil duties. KingMaker programs are designed to: 1) decrease school dropout statistics, 2) lobby Congress to pass High School Dropout Prevention Month legislation and 3) circulate program strategies to keep young adults in school. It is headquartered at 1611 Upshur Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011 – (202) 315-0723.

— William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org. youth voter turnout in 2012. If we have learned anything during the past 10 years, it is that all of us should be willing to give more and do more to insure freedom, justice, equality, and empowerment for all.

— Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is Senior Advisor for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and President of Education Online Services Corporation.

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6

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

Drop in violent crime reveals complex role of poverty By JOSEPH KRAUSS WASHINGTON — A plunge in violent crime over the last two years despite the economic downturn appears to confirm what experts have long known — that poverty alone does not drive delinquency. The latest figures released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) show the lowest level of violent crime since the 1960s and a 5.5 percent decline in 2010 alone, following a 5.3 percent drop the previous year. Robbery is also down nationwide — by 9.5 percent in 2010 and 8.0 percent in

2009 — despite soaring unemployment and a grim economic outlook. Experts differ on what could explain the decline and insist more research is necessary, but say they have long viewed poverty as a poor indicator for violent crime and a weak one at best for property crime. “There is no single satisfying answer to what causes changes in our crime rate, just like there is no single cause of weather,” said Catherine Gallagher, a criminologist at Virginia’s George Mason University. “This is terribly unfulfilling for academic and armchair criminologists, and makes for a terrible sound-

Report: Working dads’ top priority is giving family love BOSTON — Many fathers these days want it all — time with kids, promotions at work and a spouse who shares the parenting duties. But some say they would trade in their commute and office gig for a stay-at-home role. With Father’s Day just around the corner, a new study surveying nearly 1,000 fathers working at Fortune 500 firms takes a look at just how hard it is for dads to balance their work and life goals. The study titled “The New Dad: Caring, Committed and Conflicted” was unveiled on Wednesday by the Boston College Center for Work & Family. Dads have long been celebrated for their role as breadwinner in the family. Now the top priority of men with children under the age of 18 still living at home is the softer side of being a father — providing love and support. More than half of all fathers surveyed said they would consider not working outside the home if the family was able to live comfortably on one salary, a surprising change in perception, said Brad Harrington, executive director of the center. “There’s a lot of new thinking,” said Harrington. “But there is also an inability to let go of some of the more traditional roles that

fathers have played and pick up some of the responsibilities that mothers have traditionally taken greater ownership for,” he said. For example, the study showed dads did not view day-to-day childcare tasks as a top priority, leaving a spouse to do the car pooling, diaper changes and laundry. And, despite a desire to spend more quality time with the kids, after the birth of their children dads did not cut their work hours and said they were expected to do the same or more at the office, Harrington said. Most dads took off one week or less after the birth of a child, meaning they missed out on an important “immersion experience” and bonding time, he said. “Women are making major adaptations with working arrangements to be able to take care of their children,” he said, while fathers just cannot seem to strike the same balance. Most dads acknowledged the parenting duties should be split equally, but it rarely happens that way, the study revealed. That does not mean dads are not putting family first. Job security was overwhelmingly important to fathers, the study showed, with high earnings and advancement taking a back seat.

bite.” Losing a job can lead to anger and desperation, but it can also mean spending more time with family and being at home during the day, cutting down on burglaries, she said. And for law enforcement agencies, shrinking budgets can translate to less police, but can also motivate chiefs to deploy limited resources more effectively. Experts point to myriad factors that have steadily reduced crime since the 1980s and early 1990s, when the crack cocaine epidemic devastated US cities. Better policing, record incarcerations and the proliferation of cell phones have all likely contributed to the general decline over the last two decades, including a 40 percent drop in crime from 1993 to 2000. But Alfred Blumstein, a criminology professor at Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University, said none would explain the dramatic shift in 2009 alone. “There were two things that happened in 2009. One was a recession, and that should have made things worse, and the other was the election of an African-American president,” Blumstein said. He pointed to an “Obama effect” that may have mitigat-

ed feelings of social inequality and discrimination, seen as factors in previous crime waves. Blumstein acknowledged the theory remains “speculation” for now, but said it was consistent with statistics that show a decline in the arrest of African-Americans and a rise in arrests of Caucasians in 2009. Such findings have added significance because the arrest rate of blacks versus whites is 8-1 for robbery and 6-1 for murder, according to Blumstein. Gary LaFree, a criminologist at the University of Maryland, takes a similar approach, insisting that crime is motivated less by poverty than by history, and the perceived “legitimacy” of social and political institutions. “In the 1960s (when crime rates steadily rose), we were questioning every single institution in American society, huge questioning of the political system, the economic system, the family system,” he said. The spike in crime during the 1980s, on the other hand, was the “bad accidental luck” of the discovery of crack cocaine, which created “an incredibly addictive and lucrative market that was totally unregulated.”

The more recent decline might therefore be related to the increased respect for institutions in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the natural decline after the explosive introduction of crack, according to LaFree. William Bratton, who served as police chief in both New York and Los Angeles, agreed that poverty in and of itself does not cause crime, but noted that prolonged and severe economic downturns can be dangerous. In addition to foreclosing opportunities, economic “they perpetuate an underclass culture that fails to educate and socialize young men,” he wrote last week in a guest posting on the Freakonomics blog. “As these young men grow, they become the foot soldiers for crime.” Bratton also warned that long-term cuts in police budgets could leave departments ill-prepared for future crime waves, as when a fiscal crisis in New York City weakened the police ahead of the emergence of crack in the 1980s. “With these dual factors — poorly socialized youth and weakened police departments... the long-term outlook for crime could worsen significantly, and the positive crime trends of the past 20 years could be reversed.”

Poor public transit called threat to older Americans By ROS KRASNY BOSTON — Communities that now rely almost solely on automobiles will face problems as today’s baby boomers turn into tomorrow’s seniors and have limited public transit options. A new study says more than 15.5 million seniors, aged 65 to 79, will have poor or nonexistent access to public transportation by 2015. Many outlying suburbs and “exurbs” simply have few options for getting around for those who do not drive. “The baby boom generation grew up and reared their own children in communities that for the first time in human history, were built on the assumption that everyone would be able to drive,” said John Robert Smith, co-chair of Transportation for America, a coalition pushing for better public transportation. Access to public transit can be an issue for quality of life, or even a matter of life and death. Without affordable travel options, seniors 65 and older who no longer drive make 15 percent fewer trips to the doctor and 65 percent fewer trips to see family and friends. Among large metropolitan areas, 90 percent of seniors in metro Atlanta will live in neighborhoods with poor access to options other than driving, said the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

Riverside-San Bernardino, Houston, Detroit and Dallas also rank high as locations with poor public transport. Among smaller metro areas, public transit will be scarce for seniors in Kansas city, Oklahoma City and Nashville, among others. The New York metropolitan area has the best access to public transit for seniors, the group said. Many seniors keep driving until well up in years. But for those on a fixed income, the cost of owing and fueling a car could be prohibitive.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

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AFRICAN SCENE

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

AFRICAN SCENE

Experts warn S.African corruption helps terrorists

By DONNA BRYSON f Troops from Sudan’s north, south clash in Abyei NAIROBI, Kenya - A spokesman for Southern Sudan’s military says troops from northern Sudan tried to cross a symbolic river between north and south Sudan in the disputed Abyei region and the two forces clashed. Col. Philip Aguer says the northern troops tried to cross what southerners refer to as the Kiir River yesterday, and a clash broke out. Aguer says the northern forces returned to Abyei town. Aguer says there were casualties but he didn’t immediately know how many. The fighting in the border region of Abyei comes as air bombardments have taken place in the northsouth border region of South Kordofan. Southern Sudan secedes from the north on July 9. Violence has flared in the run-up to the independence declaration.

AIDS-hit Swaziland sees reason for hope MBABANE, Swaziland - A Swaziland AIDS activist says slight improvements in life expectancy and infant survival are reason for hope in the country with the world’s highest percentage of people living with HIV. Sipho Dlamini, programs director for the Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS, spoke yesterday about the release earlier this month of the government’s latest population projections. Dlamini says Swaziland is making progress. Government statisticians say life expectancy by 2030 will be 47, from 45 years in 2007. Infant mortality is expected to decline from about 100 for every 1,000 live births in 2007 to about 92 in 2030. More than a quarter of Swazis between the ages of 15 and 49 are believe to carry the virus that causes AIDS.

Bomb scare in north Nigeria, no casualties: police KANO, Nigeria - Police say a special squad has detonated a bomb near a compound housing local oil workers in Nigeria’s restive north. Kaduna State police spokesman Aminu Lawal said the squad secured the area and safely detonated the bomb yesterday in the north-central city of Kaduna. Witness Ishaya Haruna says a watchman guarding the staff quarters of Nigeria’s state-run oil company spotted the bomb just before dawn. Haruna says people avoided the area until the bomb was detonated at about 8 a.m. Police on Tuesday safely detonated another bomb found nearby. On Monday, a Kaduna court accused a wellknown Islamic scholar of conspiring to commit an act of terrorism after a foiled April bomb attack in a Kaduna suburb. Sheikh Muhammad Awwal Albani pleaded not guilty.

PRETORIA, South Africa - When an alleged mastermind of al-Qaida attacks on U.S. embassies was killed in East Africa, officials said he was carrying a fake South African passport - refocusing attention on warnings that corruption in South Africa is being exploited by terrorists. Security experts have been warning for years that corruption in South Africa is allowing terrorists to get documents to hide their identities and make it easier to travel. The top civil servant responsible for issuing South African passports told reporters yesterday there have been improvements, but said more needs to be done. The official, Mkuseli Apleni, said the passport found with terror suspect Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is a copy of the easily forged passport South Africa no longer produces, but which many South Africans still carry. Apleni and a security aide who appeared with him at a news conference yesterday said it was unclear where the fake passport was produced, or whether Mohammed had ever been in South Africa. Mohammed, a native of the

Comoros islands, was killed last week in Somalia. U.S. officials had offered a $5 million reward for his capture, accusing him of planning the Aug. 7, 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. Scott Stewart, a former intelligence agent with the U.S. State Department, said South Africa is a place where “you could show up, give the right guy several hundred dollars, and walk away with ... a passport. “Terrorists will take advantage of the corruption,” Stewart said in a telephone interview. Stewart, now with the U.S.based global intelligence company STRATFOR, said terrorists who plotted in 2006 to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners leaving London’s Heathrow airport used fake South African passports to enter Britain from Pakistan, even though they were British. The fake passports allowed them to hide visits to Pakistan that could have raised suspicions, Stewart said. In 2009, three Britons were sentenced to at least 30 years in prison in the Heathrow plot. Also in 2009, Britain started requiring visas from South Africans, saying terrorists and criminals were exploiting the easy availability of stolen or forged South African passports. Apleni said Britain’s visa decision led to changes in South Africa, including a switch to

passports implanted with electronic chips and other hard-tofake features. “Our new passport has never been faked,” Apleni said. He said as a barrier against corruption, officials who issue passports have not been told all of its new features. He said officials have not seen “our people selling our new passports.” But Apleni said it will be two to three years before all South Africans are issued with new passports. He also said steps to ensure the authenticity of birth certificates and other documents used to apply for the new passport are still in their early stages. Anneli Botha, a counterterrorism researcher with South Africa’s independent Institute for Security Studies, said corruption, not sympathy for terrorists, was behind the problem in South Africa. “You can have the most sophisticated measures in place, but you’re only as strong as your weakest link,” she said in an interview. “And corruption is our weakest link.” Botha commended the home affairs minister appointed in early 2009 for making clear corruption would not be tolerated. The minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has suspended dozens of officials accused of issuing fake documents and staged surprise raids on passport offices.

Mandela charity ex-chief innocent in diamond case By ED BROWN JOHANNESBURG - A prominent South African businessman to whom supermodel Naomi Campbell testified she gave gems was found not guilty yesterday in a “blood diamonds” case. Jeremy Ractliffe, former chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, had been charged with violating laws against possessing uncut diamonds. It is illegal in South Africa to possess a rough diamond because of its possible links to funding fighters in

African civil wars, money laundering and other crimes. “Mr. Ractliffe, you are not guilty and discharged,” Magistrate Renier Boshoff said after hearing just a half day of testimony. Ractliffe had been accompanied to court yesterday by his wife and five daughters, who embraced after hearing the verdict. Ractliffe has said he kept the stones and did not report them to authorities in a bid to protect the reputations of Mandela, Campbell and the charity, of which he was a founder. “I did what I did for what I felt were totally valid reasons,” Ractliffe told reporters outside

the courtroom after the verdict was read. “I have always thought I was innocent and it was very nice to have this proven.” Ractliffe was chief executive in 1997 of the Mandela charity when Campbell said she received uncut diamonds after a fundraiser also attended by Liberia’s then President Charles Taylor. Taylor was believed to be the source of the diamonds. He is being tried in The Hague for trading in illegal diamonds. Campbell testified during Taylor’s war crimes trial at the Hague she received the diamonds from three men who came to her hotel room after the fundrais-

ing dinner. Campbell said that she did not know the source of the diamonds, but other witnesses said she bragged about getting them from Taylor. Campbell said she gave Ractliffe the diamonds the morning after she received them, as a donation to Mandela’s charity. Ractliffe said he didn’t tell the foundation about the diamonds, and kept the stones in a safe for 13 years until he handed them over to police after Campbell’s August 2010 testimony. Ractliffe had already stepped down as chief executive by last August. He resigned as a trustee after the diamond scandal broke.


D CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011 DAILY

AFRICAN SCENE

9

Rights groups challenge Rwandan’s S.African asylum By DONNA BRYSON PRETORIA, South Africa Refugee rights groups want a court to strip a Rwandan general of asylum status in South Africa, saying he has been linked to mass human rights abuses in East Africa. In a statement issued this week after filing the suit against the South African government earlier this month, Nicole Fritz of the Southern African Litigation Center said the case of Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa could “send a signal to war criminals the world over that they will find a safe haven here. Indeed, a haven where they might be actively

protected as refugees.” Southern The African Litigation Center and the Consortium of Refugees and Migrant Rights South Africa filed the suit. A spokesman for Nyamwasa said yesterday the general denies involvement in human rights violations, and fears the refugee group’s suit will distract attention from an upcoming trial that Rwandan dissidents hope will focus on their president’s activities. Since coming to South Africa in early 2010, Nyamwasa has been a sharp critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Nyamwasa was shot and wounded in Johannesburg last year, and dissidents accuse Kagame of involvement in what they call an assassina-

tion attempt. Kagame’s government has denied involvement in the shooting, and accuses Nyamwasa of trying to destabilize Rwanda. The trial over Nyamwasa’s shooting is scheduled to start later this month in Johannesburg. Frank Ntwali, who is Nyamwasa’s brother-inlaw and spokesman, said the refugee group’s case, for which no date for hearings has been set, could be a distraction, but that the general would cooperate. “This is South Africa, you are allowed to go to court with your evidence and present your case,” said Ntwali, a lawyer in South Africa. “He will be ready to defend himself. He’s ready whenever he’s called upon to come and answer any allegations.”

Ronnie Mamoepa of the South African government’s immigration department said the government would not comment on a case before the courts. In the lawsuit, the refugee and rights groups acknowledge it might not be safe for Nyamwasa to return to Rwanda. The groups suggest instead he be tried in South Africa. “Any country can prosecute serious international crimes,” Alan Wallis of the Southern African Litigation Center said in an interview. “The first step is just to have his refugee status revoked,” A Spanish judge in 2008 charged Nyamwasa and 39 other members of the Rwandan military with the mass killings of civilians after they seized power in Rwanda.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame Rwandan Hutus in rights crimes even if 1994 killed more than they are alleged to have 500,000 Tutsis and occurred in other counmoderate Hutus in a tries so long as there is genocide. Nyamwasa a clear link to Spain. and other senior Tutsis Three Spanish aid are accused of waging a workers were killed subsequent extermina- East Africa in 1997 tion campaign against homicides for which Hutus. Nyamwasa has also Spanish courts can been charged in Spain. prosecute human A U.N. report last

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CARIBBEAN NEWS DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

Turks and Caicos Consultative Forum chair slams UK minister, local leaders L O N D O N , England — In what has been described as a provocative statement, Lillian Misick, chair of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Consultative Forum, yesterday took a turn on Britain’s Overseas Territories minister, Henry Bellingham, as well as the leaders of both local political parties. Misick is part of the TCI delegation that travelled to London this week to meet with British government officials to pursue negotiations for constitutional reform in the TCI that has thus far generated much controversy locally.

She began her statement by thanking the UK government “for all that is being done to restore good governance and economic sustainability to the Turks and Caicos Islands” and acknowledged that the purpose of the talks yesterday and today of this week is “to discuss the constitutional and electoral reforms that are necessary to ensure good governance, as opposed to the fiscal and management controls that are necessary to ensure economic sustainability.” However, Misick called on the UK advisers to do more to help TCIslanders understand the symbiotic relationship between these reforms and controls. “Indeed I lament, Minister Bellingham,

Jamaican PM calls for special regime for indebted middle income countries By DERRICK SCOTT WASHINGTON - Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding has emphasised the need for multilateral financial institutions to create a special regime for indebted middle income countries. Addressing a high powered team of United States senators at a special meeting called in his honour on Capitol Hill, on June 9, the prime minister said it is a long-standing concern of the government that Jamaica be accorded more “space” by the multilateral institutions, given its inherent vulnerabilities as a small, heavily indebted country. “Although being one of the most highly indebted countries in the world, Jamaica is classified as a middle income country, which meant that it is not eligible to receive many of the concessions or considerations available to countries which are classified as poor, even though the combined effect of the high indebtedness and the vulnerabilities, create many of the same effects as those experienced by ‘poor’ countries,” Golding told the senators. He said that Jamaica is not asking to be included in the Least Developed Country (LDC) category; rather, “We have been making the case at the international level, for middle-income countries like Jamaica not to be penalised for their successes.” The prime minister also raised with members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the Vice Chair of Homeland Security, Senator Frank Lautenberg, a proposal he made to both President Barack Obama during the G8 Summit last year and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, which urged the US to come up with creative ways to effectively stem the flow of weapons into Jamaica. Golding told the meeting that the illegal gun trade has contributed to the major challenges of security in Jamaica and the region.

that you and your team have done so little thus far to win the hearts and minds of our people. I believe we are here today - in these forced and adversarial circumstances - in large measure because of your failure in this respect,” she said. Misick referred to the ongoing constitutional reform process necessitated by the partial suspension of the 2006 constitution by Britain some two years ago following the report and recommenof a dations Commission of Inquiry into alleged local government corruption and acknowledged that “this process was far from perfect.” Nonetheless, Misick accused the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of failing to heed advice to appoint a local expert to work alongside constitutional reform consultant Kate Sullivan. If the FCO had done so, she said, “this process would have gone a lot smoother and, more importantly, the resulting draft constitution at issue would have been far better received.” “Nevertheless, nobody can deny that all Turks and Caicos Islanders have had ample opportunity to participate,” Misick said in her statement.

In fact, she commended the extent to which Sullivan went to hear directly from ordinary TCI citizens multiple through rounds of Town Hall meetings as well as her open invitation for email submissions. Not to mention the All-Party commission that our two party leaders established to ensure that their submissions were given special consideration. However, Misick said she was “hard-pressed to understand” how a visit to the TCI a few weeks ago by Ian Hendry, overseas territories constitutional advisor to the FCO, was meant to contribute to this process. “I thought he and his team were coming to present a draft constitution that had duly reconciled our submissions with the structural reforms FCO experts thought were necessary to ensure good governance,” she said. As things turned out, Misick claimed, Hendry’s visit amounted to little more than having the same TCIslanders vent the same concerns to him that they had already vented to Sullivan. “Even worse, many people back home, perhaps even some in this delegation, are convinced that we’ve been invited here merely to

vent the same concerns that TCIslanders vented to Mr Hendry,” she added. Misick said she believes that most provisions in the proposed new TCI constitution “are fine as drafted, but that some should be modified, while others should be added.” In particular, she said that, “despite the protestations of a very vocal minority,” the sections on entitlement to vote and Belonger Status are fine as drafted, except that the word “citizen” should be substituted wherever the word “Belonger” appears in the proposed constitution. Misick described the section in the draft constitution dealing with the office of deputy governor as “insulting”, and contains “superfluous language that only fosters suspicion and distrust.” “It’s upsetting enough that anyone in the UK government even thinks that we don’t have anyone in TCI ‘who is suitably qualified and able and willing to be so appointed.’ That this thought is actually codified in our draft constitution is just too insulting for words,” she said. In asserting that the section on the exercise of the governor’s functions should also be modified so that it does not read as if it confers

Consultative Forum chairperson Lillian Misick upon the Governor the powers of a royal regent, Misick took a swipe at local political leaders who, she said, should know better but behave in a way that shows little regard for the fact that the UK, through the office of the Governor, retains sovereign authority over the TCI. “I am also mindful that some of the provisions in this section are quite properly intended to foil the spectacle of local leaders attempting to absolve themselves of any blame for their corrupt practices by claiming that the Governor failed to exercise his oversight authority to veto those practices,” she added. Claiming that private funding is clearly the root cause of the corruption that has brought the TCI to this point, Misick suggested that a section on public funding of elections should be added to the new constitution.

Haiti’s new president commended for education initiative Montserrat to benefit from new PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has welcomed the $360 million fund launched by Haiti’s new president to ensure the most disadvantaged children in the country can go to school. The National Fund for Education (FNE), announced two weeks ago by President Michel Martelly is the biggest fund of its kind ever envisaged for out-of-school children in the impoverished Caribbean nation. Haiti’s education system was devastated by the earthquake in January 2010, according to UNESCO, which adds that even before the disaster only one in five children had access to a public school. A large segment of the population was deprived of education because parents lacked the financial resources to pay the registration fee. “Haiti needs sustainable investments in education to give Haitians the means to rebuild their country,” UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said, commending Martelly on his initiative.

Caribbean ferry service BRADES, Montserrat - The Montserrat Tourist Board (MTB) says it welcomes the announcement of a year-round ferry service for the Caribbean, which will be a boost to the marketing drive to attract new visitors. L’Express Des Iles this week announced that the Jeans Ferry Service will begin on October 20, offering travel to Dominica, St Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique. There will also be weekend charters to Montserrat, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, St Martin and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Currently, L’Express Des Iles operates a less frequent service but Managing Director Roland Bellemare says there’s been increased travel over the years. MTB director Ernestine Cassell and marketing manager Ishwar Persad met with Valerie Arunel from Kiosque des Iles in Martinique, which is the tour company for ferry operator Les Express Des Iles in March during the ITB Berlin as a result of contacts made via the MTB’s office in Guadeloupe. - Nerissa Golden


D CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011 DAILY

INTERNATIONAL

11

Greek PM says any unity government must agree reform plan By RENEE MALTEZOU & INGRID MELANDER ATHENS - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou offered yesterday to step down and make way for a national unity government if the opposition agreed on a clear plan on how to proceed with reforms, government sources said. Papandreou must push through a new five-year campaign of tax rises, spending cuts and sell-offs of state property to continue receiving aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund and avoid default. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Papandreou told (opposition leader Antonis) Samaras that if there is agreement on specific targets, reforms and commitments for the big changes that must take place, then he could agree on a government in which he would not be prime minister,â&#x20AC;? a government source said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If there is no agreement he intends to stay on as the elected prime minister of the country to continue the efforts to bring Greece to a new age so that Greeks will never have to live again what they are going through now,â&#x20AC;? the source said. But a source in Samarasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; New Democracy party said the conservatives would only take part in such a government if it renegotiated the

EU/IMF bailout and Papandreou resigned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We told the prime minister... that we would accept a government of wider cooperation on two conditions: That Papandreou is not the prime minister, and that its target will be the renegotiation of the terms of the (EU/IMF) memorandum and the midterm fiscal plan,â&#x20AC;? the New Democracy source said. Earlier in the day, angry youths hurled petrol bombs at the Finance Ministry and tens of thousands of protesters marched on parliament to oppose government efforts to pass new austerity laws for the debt-choked euro zone state. Unions representing half the 5-million-strong workforce also launched a nationwide strike, shutting government offices, ports, schools and reducing hospitals to skeleton staff. Papandreou not only faces public protests and resistance from a conservative opposition that has surpassed his Socialist party in opinion polls, but a few backbenchers in his own parliamentary grouping are also threatening to reject the plan. One PASOK deputy defected Tuesday, reducing the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strength in parliament to 155 seats out of 300. Another said he would oppose the bill, making an apparently guaranteed result less certain. Most analysts still expect the bill to pass. Thousands of activists and

Tokyo launches large-scale radiation monitoring after Fukushima TOKYO - Tokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s local government launched a large-scale radiation survey yesterday, sending officials out to parks, school playgrounds and other locations to reassure parents over the aftermath of leaks at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The survey will be conducted at 100 locations. Previous readings had been restricted to a single site in the city of more than 13 million. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were asked by mothers who are worried about the safety of their children. Also, people want to know what radiation levels are like in their own neighborhood,â&#x20AC;? a Tokyo government official said. Concerns in Tokyo, 240 km (150 miles) southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, spiked after residents were warned after the March 11 quake and tsunami not to give babies tap water because of radiation leaks. The warning was later lifted, but readings exceeding the government-set limit were recorded in farm products such as tea leaves grown in areas far more distant from Fukushima. Yesterdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s survey found 0.06 microsieverts per hour of radiation at one meter above the ground in a Tokyo park, and 0.07 microsieverts per hour at 5 cm above the ground, in line with normal radiation levels in the city, the official said.

unionists converged on the central Syntagma square on the parliamentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front steps to try to stop lawmakers from entering to debate the bill in committee that they hope to pass by the end of the month. Stun grenades boomed around the square and

plumes of smoke rose from burning garbage bins as police fired tear gas and fought running skirmishes with scores of youths who fought back with rocks and long clubs, Reuters witnesses reported. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want them out. Obviously these measures are

not going to get us out of the crisis,â&#x20AC;? Antony Vatselas, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer, crying from tear gas. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They want only us to pay for it. And they are doing nothing. I want the debt to be erased. If this doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen, there is no exit for Greece.â&#x20AC;?

Legal Notice

If You are African American and Suffered Farm Loan Discrimination by the USDA between 1981 and 1996, You may be eligible for money from a $1.25 billion class action Settlement Fund (Heirs/Kin may be included) There is a proposed class action Settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) involving racial discrimination against African American farmers between 1981 and 1996. This Settlement is only for certain people who tried to file a late claim in the original Pigford case, or their heirs (kin) and legal representatives. The current Settlement (sometimes called Pigford II) provides benefits to some of those late filers. Am I included? You may be included if you: s "ETWEEN  AND  WERE DISCOURAGED or prevented from applying for or were DENIED A 53$! FARM LOAN OR OTHER BENElT

or you were given a loan with unfair terms BECAUSE OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

s 7ERE ELIGIBLE FOR A PAYMENT IN THE ORIGINAL Pigford CASE and s 3UBMITTED A LATE lLING REQUEST THAT WAS denied or never considered because it was late. If you are the heir or kin of someone who DIED WHO lTS THIS DESCRIPTION YOU MAY lLE A claim for a payment that would become part of the deceased personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s estate. If you are not sure if you (or someone for whom you ARE THE LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE ARE INCLUDED

PLEASE CALL     You are not

included if you received a payment in the original Pigford case. What does the Settlement provide? You may be eligible for a substantial cash payment and USDA loan forgiveness from the Settlement. You will need to file a claim to be eligible for these benefits. The claims deadline may be as early as February 28, 2012. The Court has appointed lawyers to help you file a claim under the Settlement. You do not have to pay them or anyone else to help you with the claims process. These attorneys will ask the Court for fees and EXPENSES OF BETWEEN  AND  OF THE 3ETTLEMENT &UND AND THE #OURT WILL DECIDE how much they are paid. You may hire YOUR OWN LAWYER IF YOU WISH AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE )F YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR NEED MORE INFORMATION CALL     What else should I know? The Court will hold a hearing on September 1, 2011 to consider whether to approve the 3ETTLEMENT AND A REQUEST FOR ATTORNEYS FEES and expenses. If you want to object to or comment on the Settlement or appear at THE HEARING YOU NEED TO lLE A LETTER WITH the Court by August 12, 2011. If the Court APPROVES THE 3ETTLEMENT YOU WILL NOT BE able to sue the USDA about your farm loan discrimination claims in the future.

For more information or to begin the claims filing process:

Call: 1-877-810-8110 Visit: www.BlackFarmerCase.com


New American

The

12

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

One Thought - One Humanity

Can Beyonce still please all of her fans with new album?

For the conclusions of these stories check out the June 2nd - June 8th, 2011 issue of The New American, which hits newsstands every Thursday British singer Leona Lewis has taken aim at critics of her personality, insisting she “couldn’t care less” if they think she’s dull. The star shot to fame as a and retiring shy wannabe on Simon Cowell’s British show The X Factor in 2006, and went on to superstardom in the U.K. and the U.S. after winning the competition. However, Lewis is angry music fans presume she’s boring just because she’s not as outlandish as the likes of Lady Gaga, and she’s adamant her strengths lie in good quality songs. She says, “I don’t care what anyone says. I’m not boring. Unless you know me, I don’t really care about your opinions. I couldn’t care less. Lady Gaga does her crazy thing and she is great. I definitely have something different to offer. I’m all about the music and songs.”

passed we lost so much. It was just like, ‘Who else...?’ ‘How can I show him that all of his work was not in vain? The song hurts me (because) there’s so much genuine pain.”

Cee Lo Green has confirmed speculation Gnarls Barkley’s fan favorite tune Who’s Gonna Save My Soul is all about the passing of James Brown. The Crazy singer made the big reveal during a recent taping of VH1 show Storytellers, explaining the song is supposed to empower anyone grieving the loss of a loved one - and he wrote it as he was dealing with the 2006 death of the Godfather of Soul. He says, “The song is actually about the passing of James Brown... It has to do with everyone; heartbreak, loss, regret, helplessness, hopelessness, and I felt all of the above when we lost James Brown - because he embodied everything. “James Brown is my father... I got what I needed from him - I got guidance, I got style... integrity, I got consistency... He taught me how to dance too. When he

New dad Nick Cannon struggles to fit all his projects in to his busy schedule, surviving on just four hours of broken sleep every day. The star and his wife Mariah Carey welcomed twins last month, but Cannon has refused to cut back his working commitments, still broadcasting his New York radio show and hosting reality series America’s Got Talent, which premiered its sixth season in the U.S. on Tuesday night. But Cannon pays a hefty price for his busy schedule as he can only fit in just a few hours of sleep around work and his duties as a dad.

In a recent interview, Lauren London revealed that Lil Wayne almost wifed her. She also explained that she and Wayne were not some one-night stand. Lauren London: “I met Dwayne when I was 15 years old. I’ve known him a very long time, and we were in a relationship that didn’t make it. We tried more than once to revive it, and we were engaged briefly years ago, but we eventually parted ways. People see the “Lil’ Wayne” persona and think they know who he really is. My son’s father is an intelligent, loving and lovable person who will always be a dear friend. That is all.”

Rihanna stopped by The Today Show to talk about her hair, pre-performance rituals, and what she would’ve become if she wasn’t an entertainer. Not sure of the exact name of the color of her hair, she said it’s a mixture of

different reds. She said, “ It’s like copper-ish, red-ish.” If she wasn’t an entertainer, Rihanna said she would’ve studied psychology. “Something I was also interested in. I really enjoy observing, reading, and analyzing situations for what they really are,” she said. Before hitting up the stage, Rihanna warms up, drinks tea, prays and then gets dressed as a ritual. Lastly, she would love to collaborate with Depeche Mode because she really likes them. Queensbridge, New York rap star Nas has announced the title of his new upcoming solo album. The rapper took to Twitter early this morning (May 28th), to reveal the name of the album, which is titled Life is Good. In published reports, the 37year-old rapper said Life is Good will feature production from a variety of new producers, as well as veteran Salaam Remi and other notable producers. Nas’ last official studio album was 2008’s Untitled release. Cadbury recently released advertisements for their Bliss chocolate bars, a “dreamy chocolate truffle.” On one of the ads, the British confectionary company included the tagline ‘Move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town.” Upon seeing this, Naomi Campbell, 41 year old supermodel, was not pleased. The way Campbell sees it, Cadbury is placing her in the same league as chocolate. In a statement sent to CNN, Campbell complains that the ad is “insulting and hurtful.” This kind of reaction isn’t surprising, as Campbell is known for her, well, diva-like antics. She’s been accused several times for violence and abuse against

By LJ Knight

ly falling in love with the single, there are others who are less inclined to simply accept anything that the queen gives us. Myself included. I have to be honest, the song sucks. Big time. I am a Beyonce fan. Not her biggest fan. But I dig much of her music. I also am a part of the generation that grew up with Beyonce. I remember the first time I saw the video for Destiny’s Child’s single “No No No”. I remember when they blew up into super stardom. I was there to see the ugly break up of the group and all of the nasty rumors about Beyonce. I was also there when “Crazy In Love” blew and made her an official super star; out shining her time in Destiny’s Child. I was also there to see her grow and mature with the content of her music. Sure she has her make your booty roll ladies singles but she also has singles that touch women on a deeper level. Deep as one can get from a Beyonce single. For instance touching on women giving too much in love and never being reciprocated from the man that they love.

The Queen is back. Well, the queen to some. I am referring to Beyonce Knowles. While it can be argued that she is a queen to some and a toad to others, there is no doubt that the chick is bad. Bad meaning good. So bad that every time she drops an album or a single, we expect for it to be hotter than chicken grease on a June morning. For her not to deliver said hotness would be an atrocity to some. So after months of blogs hyping us up with news of her being in the studio working with hot producers, and finally a release date for a single, we expect that s**t to be hot. Some expect it to be life changing. Yes, there are some people who really feel this strongly towards Beyonce. Unfortunately for her, the first single to be released from Beyonce titled “Girls Who Run The World” has been receiving mixed reviews. Some of them luke warm. While many of her devoted drones, who would cherish a Beyonce turd straight from her rectum, are quick- Full Story In This Week’s New American Newspaper -

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

13

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

14

Malpractice claims common outside of the hospital By FREDERIK JOELVING Medical errors don’t just happen at the hospital, according to a new study that highlights safety problems in the doctor’s office as well. Researchers found that about half of U.S. malpractice payments — a proxy for medical errors — from 2009 involved patients seen outside of the hospital. Previous studies have focused mostly on the situation inside hospitals, some of which now have checklists and other systems in place to help prevent devastating mistakes. But “invasive and hightechnology diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are increasingly being performed in the outpatient set-

ting,” the researchers note, so they decided to compare the number and seriousness of adverse events in inpatient and outpatient settings, as reflected by malpractice claims. A 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine suggested as many as 98,000 Americans die from preventable medical errors every year, costing society billions of dollars, and consumer advocates say little has changed since then. That the number of malpractice claims would be virtually the same for hospitals and doctors’ offices was unexpected, Dr. Tara Bishop, who worked on the study, told Reuters Health. “We were actually very surprised by that finding,” Bishop, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, said. “I hope it’s a wake-up

call for the medical community and for patients, so we can start working on ways to solve these problems.” The researchers analyzed malpractice claim payments from the National Practitioner Data Bank from 2005 to 2009. Overall, the number of payments dropped slightly for patients treated both inside and outside of the hospital. In 2009, the last year of the study, there were 4,910 payments due to inpatient errors, 4,448 due to outpatient errors, and 966 involving both settings. Together, these payments were worth more than $3.3 billion. “These weren’t trivial errors — death and major injuries were the most common reason for malpractice claims,” said Bishop. “It’s nice to see this trend coming down, but we still don’t know

TV time tied to diabetes, death By ALISON MCCOOK People who log more hours in front of the television are at greater risk of dying, or developing diabetes and heart disease, a new study suggests. “The message is simple,” study author Dr. Frank Hu at the Harvard School of Public Health told Reuters Health. “Cutting back on TV watching is an important way to reduce sedentary behaviors and decrease risk of diabetes and heart disease.” Every day, Americans spend an average of 5 hours watching television while Australians and some Europeans log 3.5 to 4 hours a day, the researchers note. People who sit in front of the TV are not only not exercising, they are likely eating unhealthy foods, Hu explained. “The combination of a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and obesity creates a ‘perfect breeding ground’ for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.” This is not the first study to associate TV time with ill effects — many studies have found a strong link to obesity, and one 2007 report found that more TV time was associated with higher blood pressure in obese children. Another study that same year found that overweight kids who watch food advertisements tend to double

their food intake. For the new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hu and his team reviewed previous research that had examined the link between TV time and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, the form of the disease closely associated with obesity. In the end, their analysis included 8 studies that followed more than 200,000 people for an average of 7 to 10 years. Hu and his team found that for every 2 hours of daily television people watched, their risk of diabetes increased by 20 percent, while their risk of heart disease rose by 15 percent. Each 2 hours of television per day increased the risk of

dying by 13 percent. Based on those results, the researchers estimated that, among a group of 100,000 people, reducing daily TV time by 2 hours could prevent 176 new cases of diabetes, 38 cases of fatal cardiovascular disease, and 104 premature deaths — every year. All of the included studies ensured that participants did not have a chronic disease — because people who were generally sicker might be more likely both to watch many hours of TV and to experience diabetes, heart disease, or premature death. But, Hu and his colleagues caution, it remains possible that some people had undetected forms of disease at the outset of the stud-

if it’s due to better patient safety.” According to the new report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there are 30 times as many outpatient visits as hospital discharges every year. Bishop said the most common errors were different across the two settings, with surgical mistakes dominating the claims for hospitalized patients and misdiagnosis being the biggest problem at the doctor’s office. That means fixing the problems outside hospitals will take separate efforts, such as training doctors to communicate better with patients. In a related editorial, Dr. Gianna Zuccotti and Dr. Luke Sato of the Harvard Medical Institutions in Boston say malpractice

claims represent only the tip of the iceberg for medical errors. They note that the decrease in claim payments over the study period — by more than 2,500 — is good news. The bad news, they add, is that rigorous, effective programs for controlling the risk of errors outside the hospital don’t exist right now. According to Bishop, patients can also help lower the chance that their doctor will make a mistake by learning about the tests and medications they get, and keeping their doctor up to speed about what’s happened between visits. “I do hope that patients will realize that it’s important to take control of what happens in their healthcare,” Bishop said.

ies, which could influence the findings. The study cannot prove that TV watching, per se, causes the increased risk for disease. Nor can it identify what, exactly, about TV watching might influence disease risk. “It’s true that people who watch a lot of TV differ from those who watch less, especially in terms of diet and physical activity levels,” Hu noted. People who watch a lot of TV are more likely to eat junk foods, he explained, but unhealthy diet and inactivity are also consequences of prolonged TV watching, so they explain some of the adverse effects of the sedentary behavior. “‘Couch potatoes’ are more likely to get type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and more likely to die of chronic diseases,” said Hu. “I’m sure we’ve all unin-

tentionally lost evenings slumped on the sofa in front of the TV snacking on crisps and biscuits and drinking sugary drinks or alcohol,” said Maureen Talbot, a senior cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation who was not involved in the study. “But it’s important that this doesn’t become a regular activity.” “We should try to be selective in how much time we spend watching the TV, and try to be more physically active instead,” said Talbot in a statement responding to the new findings. “We need 30 minutes of physical activity at least five days a week to keep our hearts healthy, so why not take a walk after work, join a sports team or even just get out for a bit of gardening in the evenings. It’s bound to be a lot more rewarding than staring at the box.”

Study: Life often shorter for the homeless Homeless people have higher death rates and a much lower life expectancy than other people, a new Danish study finds. The analysis of data from 32,711 homeless people (23,040 men, 9,671 women), aged 16 and older, in a nationwide homeless register in Denmark found that the death rate for homeless women was 6.7 times higher than for the general population and the death rate for homeless men was 5.6 times higher. Compared to the general

population, the life expectancy for homeless people aged 15 to 24 was 22 years less for men and 17 years less for women, according to the study published in the June 14 online edition of The Lancet. The researchers also found that 62 percent of homeless men and 58 percent of homeless women had psychiatric disorders, and 49 percent of the men and about 37 percent of the women had a substance abuse diagnosis. Substance abuse was the diagnosis associated with the

highest risk of death — a 70 percent increased risk of death for homeless women and a 40 percent increased risk of death for homeless men, the investigators found. External factors such as violence and suicide accounted for 28 percent of deaths among those who were homeless. “There was a larger disparity in life expectancy between the homeless shelter population and the general population than previous studies have found. Causespecific standardized mortali-

ty ratios for both sexes showed high excess mortality by suicide and unintentional injuries,” wrote Sandra Feodor Nielson, of the Mental Health Centre in Copenhagen, and colleagues in a journal news release. “This study suggests that homeless people living in shelters constitute a highrisk population in a public health perspective. This study underlines that this marginalized population needs more attention on the health agenda,” the study authors concluded.


NEW JERSEY

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

15

Trenton law director resigns after dispute with Mayor Tony Mack’s administration over public records requests By MEIR RINDE TRENTON - Trenton Law Director Marc McKithen has decided to quit after clashing with members of Mayor Tony Mack’s administration over the city’s responses to information requests from the public, council president George Muschal said. McKithen, who was confirmed as the city’s chief attorney in January, denied reports last week that he was planning to resign, but the city put out a statement yesterday saying his last day will be June 30. “The city of Trenton is grateful for his dedicated and continued commitment to service while with the city of Trenton and wish him all the best in his future opportunities,” the release said. Assistant city attorney Kimberly Wilson will serve as the acting law director, the statement said. McKithen did not return messages left at his home and on his cell phone. Muschal said Mack or

members of his administration had pressured McKithen to delay or deny requests made under the state Open Public Records Act. The OPRA law requires government bodies to make a wide range of their records available to the public in a timely fashion. “They didn’t want him to do the OPRAs like he was supposed to do, and he didn’t want to break the law,” Muschal said. Muschal said he spoke with McKithen last week and the attorney said he was being pressured to resign. “He was very upset,” Muschal said. “He said he’s not doing anything wrong, and he wants to abide by the rules and regulations, and apparently the administration wanted him to do things that were illegal.” Mack’s spokeswoman, Lauren Ira, did not return a call seeking comment. Since Mack took office July 1, activists and local media, including The Times, have made frequent use of OPRA requests to uncover state and city records that led to critical reporting about the administration.

Most recently, records obtained from the state have shown that at least 17 employees of the city parks department wrote some of their time card hours by hand or otherwise altered the cards over the last seven months, making it difficult to verify whether they had actually worked the indicated hours. They include Robert Mendez, a Mack campaign worker who was made head park ranger by the new administration without going through the normal civil service hiring process. When McKithen was confirmed, some council members expressed concern that he would not be able to represent their interests in disputes with the administration. But he clashed with Mack and won praise for his independence in February, when he decided to void a city contract given to a politically connected law firm, Cooper Levenson, saying the firm had violated the city’s strict pay-to-play law. Mack contended there was no violation, but the firm later withdrew from the con-

Law Director Marc McKithen in a March photo. tract after the dispute became widely publicized. Mack, who has had trouble keeping key positions in his administration filled

throughout his first year in office, is currently the subject of a recall effort by several residents in the city.

N.J. education chief rules against renewal for Trenton Community Charter School By ERIN DUFFY TRENTON - A West State Street charter school plagued by low test scores is not expected to reopen in September, the second city charter school to face closure in the past month. The state Department of Education (DOE) confirmed yesterday that acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf decided not to renew the charter for Trenton Community Charter School (TCCS), citing the school’s failure to boost student achievement levels. “This decision demonstrates the Christie administration’s continuing commitment to support charter schools that are getting positive results for children, while providing rigorous oversight and accountability for those

that are not,” a statement from the DOE read. The school can appeal the DOE’s decision. School officials said last night they would consider every option. In May, another Trenton charter, Capital Preparatory Charter High School on Grand Street, surrendered its charter amid an investigation into financial mismanagement. Gov. Christie’s administration has advocated opening more charter schools throughout the state to provide another option to students in failing school districts. The DOE’s decision surprised Trenton Community Charter officials, who claimed they had no knowledge of the school’s imminent closure. “At this time I have received no communication in the form of a letter or any writing with the commissioner’s deci-

sion,” said Christi Pemberton, the school’s principal. “That’s news to me,” said Edwin Lloyd, chairman of TCCS’s board of trustees, when told of the DOE’s decision yesterday. At a board meeting last night, Lloyd admitted hearing rumors that the school’s charter would be revoked, but he reiterated that the board had “not received any official communication from the DOE as to the

status of the school.” Alan Guenther, a spokesman for the DOE, said Pemberton was told over the phone Friday. One parent appealed to the board to shed more light on the possible closure of the school. “As parents, where do we go from here? What do we do?” asked a woman who identified herself as Ms. Gordon. Founded in 1997, the school currently enrolls 540 students. The DOE said it is working with

the Trenton public school system and TCCS on placing students for next year. In March, the DOE placed the charter on 90day probation, pointing out the school had failed, year after year, to meet federal testing standards. According to data from the state, only 38 percent of elementary students at TCCS passed the state language test in 2008. The following year, that number

dropped to 15 percent. Nearly 50 percent passed the state’s math exam in 2008, but that figure fell in 2009 too, to 35 percent. Other issues recorded by the DOE included inadequate buildings and facilities and subpar lesson plans. Under the probation imposed by the state, the charter was required to compile and implement a plan to turn around failing scores and other problems.

Union City police arrest dad, 3 others in kidnapping of son By JEAN-PIERRE MESTANZA After a standoff with police, the father of a 4year-old boy was charged with the Union City kidnapping of his son with the help of his two sisters and mother. The boy’s father, 21-year-old Rolando Ferrer, and his sisters

Estrella Ferrer, 22, and Irene Maldonado, 19, were arrested along with the boy’s grandmother, Nancy Maldonado, 45, at about 7:30 Saturday morning, reports said. According to Lt. Nichelle Luster, the four family members went Friday evening to the Central Avenue home of the boy’s aunt, who was baby-sitting for the mother, who lives in Pennsylvania.

The three women restrained the aunt while Rolando Ferrer took the child and fled the scene, Luster said. “(Rolando Ferrer’s) rationale was that it was his son and he was free to take him,” Luster said. The aunt called police and a standoff began at about 11:32 p.m. at an apartment on 23rd Street near Palisade Avenue where three of the family members live, Luster said.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

16

Kid Cudi ‘stepped up’ his acting on ‘How To Make It In America’ By ROB MARKMAN Scott Kid Cudi Mescudi made his acting debut last year as party animal Domingo Brown on HBO’s “How to Make It In America.” While he was satisfied with his performance, this year, he aims to make strides. “This season, my character has a lot more depth than the first season, and one of the things that I really took seriously was preparing. I got an acting coach; I wanted to step it up,” Cudi told MTV News after filming a scene for season two. “With anything that I’m doing, I

always want to take it to the next level — whether it’s music or acting.” The first step toward the G.O.O.D. Music rapper/singer’s acting growth was to review tape, similar to how professional athletes analyze game film. “One thing that I did, I studied the first season, I studied my performance. I knew that I was gonna get a lot more this season,” he said. “I wanted to deliver. I wanted to make the people at HBO happy. I wanted to make my management happy.” Cudi also kept his series co-stars in mind using Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk as motivation to get

better. “I wanted to be able to step on the camera with cats like Victor and Bryan Greenberg, who are pros at this sh—, guys who have been doing it for years, and to be able to do a scene with those guys and maintain and really deliver with the focus. I really feel like I stepped it up a whole lot, and I’m excited to see it.” The budding thespian may have to wait a few more weeks to watch: As of now, the series is rumored to begin airing during the summer with no specific date announced yet. When season two does eventually air, fans can expect to see Cudi’s Domingo with an expanded

role and a little more depth. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned, I guess, is just the focus part of it, transforming into this character,” he said. “First season, my character was in six out of eight

episodes, and I kinda popped up and I was here and there, and my character was more perceived as the party guy. But I really did what I could with the first [season] without having many skills.”

Ne-Yo wants Chris Brown for album, plans all-star line-up Since his last album ‘Libra Scale,” didn’t measure up to his standards in sales, Ne-Yo has been in the label trying to create a masterpiece. Now that the wheels are fully turning on the new project, the “One in a Million” hitmaker reveals that he is planning a starstudded collaborative effort. “I’ve reached out to new friends, from Busta

Rhymes to Drake, to Lil Wayne, to Chris [Brown],” Ne-Yo tells OK! Magazine. “Don’t know exactly what will be on the album yet because we’re still in the process of putting it together.” A Chris Brown duet will probably be groundbreaking for Ne-Yo, being that the two went through momentary differences in

the past. Ne-Yo also plans to work with Trey Songz, which was evident since the two toured the UK together, as well as T-Pain and “some cool people.” Speaking about what the new album will sound like, Ne-Yo said: “This album is all about listening to the music and vibing out. Its music that you clean your

Jennifer Lopez ‘on the fence’ about ‘Idol’ return By SOFIA M. FERNANDEZ LOS ANGELES — Firstyear “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez says she’s “on the fence” about returning to Fox’s competition series for a second season. The singer said in an interview on BBC Radio 1, “I don’t know. I haven’t been forced to make a decision, and I’m glad about that because honestly I’m very on the fence about it.” Lopez signed a one-year deal with the show in October for a reported $12 million. She offered mostly positive critiques of the contestants and got emotional when some were eliminated. “I had an amazing time doing it and I loved it, but I have a lot of other things happening, and it’s going to come down to making a choice of really what I want

to do for the next year,” she said. “We’re not really at the breaking point of ‘You have to make a decision right now!’ So I’m not. I’m really enjoying the time of just waiting — and seeing.” Lopez and husband Marc Anthony are currently working on the Latin competition show “Q’Viva! The Chosen.”

The project features the duo traveling around the world with director-choreographer Jamie King in search of undiscovered Latino talent, starting in July. It will be filmed in English, Spanish and Portuguese and broadcast simultaneously on TV networks across the Americas.

house to, ride to, that you do your homework to, whatever the case may be. There is a song for the occasion.” We hope Ne-Yo will be satisfied with the outcome of the new project, since he down played his latest release ‘Libra Scale.’ “It’s just there was so much going on in regards to this album,” says Ne-Yo. “Writing the script, making

sure it was good, shooting videos and being too hands on with the director, the artwork and everything.” Released in November 2010, Ne-Yo admitted the album is his “poorest selling album to date.” “I just wasn’t paying attention to certain elements in making an album that I normally would. My fans deserve my best.”

Samuel L. Jackson to narrate audio book for ‘Go the (Bleep) to Sleep’ Samuel L. Jackson will narrate the audio book for the profanity-laced hit nursery rhyme, “Go the (Bleep) to Sleep.” The actor is already famous for the special manner in which he utters curse words – particularly “mother f*****” – in such film as “Pulp Fiction” and “Snakes on a Plane.” “Go the (Bleep) to Sleep” is this summer’s surprise hit by tired dad Adam Mansbach. The hardcover book and audio version went on sale Tuesday, and preorders have kept the book high on the Amazon.com best-seller list for weeks. Film rights have already

been sold. The 62-year-old Jackson was a presenter at Sunday’s Tony Awards. He’s set to make his Broadway debut this fall as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in “The Mountaintop.”


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

17

Ashanti says changing industry reason for absence Since her contractual release from The Inc. Records in 2009, Ashanti has been absent from the music scene. Her last album, ‘The Declaration,’ was released in summer 2008, which the former Murder Inc princess says represented the freedom she felt she had at that time in her career. Fast-forward 3 years later, Ashanti is still jumping through hoops to revive her once successful career. Speaking with Larry Flick of Sirius XM Radio recently, the R&B songstress opens up about why she has been visibly absent and projects in the works. “Well, I think it’s a combination of the industry changing as a whole. I think it’s about being happy, knowing what you want and how to accomplish it,” Ashanti tells Flick. “Dealing with execs and the way things change in the labels is really something you have to adapt to because it’s a lot of things that are beyond your

control. So in order to get that control back you have to kind of sit for a minute, sort it out and know what you’re doing and have an amazing team.” Ashanti has been surveying the changes in the industry, looking for the right timing to return. Along with a planned new album, the “Rock With You” hitmaker is also prepping Film and TV spots as well as a book deal. “The first thing I plan is being focused, clearing my head, understanding and adapting. Like I said, the industry, the economy is completely different than 2002, when I first came out,” says Ashanti. “We’re surrounded by different people, radio has changed, labels have changed, strategic formulas have changed, so it’s about adapting to what that is. I think the first step is definitely staying true to yourself. My passion is music, I love writing music but music is dying so you have to have other outlets to continue to build that brand

because that’s the focus. So you line up film, you line up television, you line up books and it’s all about timing and aligning the stars and having the right people behind you and knowing what you want. I think it’s really important to own. I’m on that path [right now]. If I’m doing something, I need to own half of that; I need the executive produce that, I need to collect that check and have my creative input. She adds: “Everything that I just mentioned, film, television, music, books, is all in the works. We’ve been lining things up for the past almost 2 1⁄2-3 years. It gets a little frustrating because I’m the type of person I want to see results right now. I want to do it now, I want it to happen right now. But in order for it to be as big as it possibly can, you have to build that platform and that was one of the hardest things to wait. Everything that I’ve spoken about we’ve been in development with [for awhile].”

R&B singer Brandy heads Keke Wyatt free from heartache back to TV for diva spot and ready for new album

Brandy has been tapped for a recurring role on the TV drama ‘Drop Dead Diva’, kicking off later this summer. Brandy, who’s last major TV role was ‘Moesha’ back in the 90’s, is expected to play a nurse called Elisa who has a romantic history with J. Parker (Josh Stamberg). She comes to Parker for help when her late father’s life insurance provider refuses to give her any money. “‘Drop Dead Diva’ is on my favorites list,” Brandy said. “And I am so thrilled that I get to be on it for at least

three episodes. And such a juicy role!” According to the show’s producer Josh Berman, Brandy’s character Elisa has “a big secret that no-one will see coming.” Brandy added: “I’m excited to play a woman with a secret that could have such a huge impact on other characters.” Personalities who have already agreed to appear in the new season include Quinton Aaron, Patti Stanger, Kathy Griffin, Clay Aiken, Lance Bass, Wanda Sykes, Tony Goldwyn and LeAnn Rimes.

Keke Wyatt whose album “Unbelievable” dropped Tuesday, says this third project is a happy, yet sad occasion. “I’m happy and sad because the music was leaded a couple of days ago. They think we suppose to sing for free, but ain’t nobody out there flipping burgers for free.” Perhaps an underrated artist, Wyatt made her debut back in 2001 with her goldselling album, “Soul Sista,” winning the hearts and ears of some loyal fans. She soon began to rise to stardom and began to make her mark in the industry. But behind closed doors, all the glitter wasn’t gold. She was actually a part of a extreme domestic abuse situation at the hands of her exhusband and manager. Things got so out of hand it ended up in a stabbing incident where she faced 10 to 20 years in prison. But all of that is behind her. She divorced the man and moved her four kids to Atlanta. She is now remarried, in love, and is still feel-

ing the glow from her recently birthed son. “Going from a miserable and abusive relationship for 10 years from the age of 18 to 28 is kind of a drag,” Keke told Sister to Sister. “I really didn’t have things to sing about that was happy. Then I was just singing songs that were available.” Things have changed for her, though. “Now I’m writing. And sometimes I’m not necessarily going back to where I was,

but I’m able to get it out now. It’s like a release for me. So, I’m able to release some of that horrible mess that I went through, and now I’m happy.” Her new album is sure to capture the true Keke Wyatt, with collaborations with Ruben Studdard and beautiful covers of old classics. The new project is definitely a transformation with a spiritual yet sexual touch, but she says that’s the way God made it.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

18

Consumers spend less, recovery seen on horizon By LUCIA MUTIKANI WASHINGTON — Consumers have not pulled back aggressively despite the recent slowdown in the economy, retail sales data showed on Tuesday, and falling gasoline prices should support growth in the months ahead. Retail sales fell in May for the first time in 11 months as auto sales took a hit from the damage wrought by Japan’s earthquake, while other spending also softened. Sales slipped 0.2 percent, the Commerce Department said, after a 0.3 percent rise in April. However, the decline was less than economists’ expectations for a 0.4 percent fall and sales excluding motor vehicles rose 0.3 percent. The data helped U.S. stocks to book their biggest gains in nearly two months. U.S. government debt prices tumbled, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rising back above 3 percent. Sentiment over the economy, which has been shattered by a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

recent string of surprisingly weak data, was also lifted by a separate report showing a moderation in wholesale inflation last month. “Consumers are not panicking. We should begin to emerge from the soft patch in the second half of the year; a lot of the drags on the recovery are fading,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester Pennsylvania. Economists are looking for second-quarter growth between 2 percent and 2.5 percent, supported by a narrower trade deficit in April, after a 1.8 percent pace in the first quarter. The economy started the year on a soft note beset by bad weather and rising oil prices and limped into the second quarter as supply chain disruptions after Japan’s earthquake in March took hold. Disruptions to motor vehicle production, which left dealers with lean inventories and unable to offer customers incentives, pushed auto sales down 2.9 percent — the largest decline since February 2010 — and depressed overall retail sales. Economists view the NOTICE OF SALE SUPREME COURT - COUNTY OF QUEENS U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE, ON BEHALF OF THE HOLDERS OF THE HOME EQUITY ASSET TRUST 2005-7 HOME EQUITY PASSTHROUGH CERTIFICATES, SERIES 2005-7 Plaintiff, AGAINST LORNA WILLIAMS, et al. Defendant(s) Pursuant to a judgment of foreclosure and sale duly dated 5/27/2010 I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the Queens County Courthouse in Courtroom # 25 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, New York on 7/1/2011 at 11:00 AM premises known as 138-38 233RD STREET, ROSEDALE, New York 11422 All that certain plot piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the New York City Borough of QUEENS, County of Queens and State of New York Section, Block and Lot: Block 13181- Lot 55 Approximate amount of judgment $358,461.79 plus interest and costs Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index #16343/09 Dena Orenstein, Esq., Referee Steven J. Baum PC , Attorney for Plaintiff, P.O. Box 1291, Buffalo, NY 14240-1291 Dated: 6/6/2011

fall in vehicle production, which also slowed inventory accumulation by businesses in April, and weak sales as temporary. Prices received by U.S. producers rose just 0.2 percent last month after rising 0.8 percent in April as gasoline prices fell. The drop in gasoline costs should come as welcome relief for consumers. “We are still looking at a month when gas was expensive. Now that gas has come down, people will have more money in their pockets,” said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston. Receipts at gasoline stations rose 0.3 per-

cent in May, the weakest rise since June. Gasoline prices have dropped to about $3.78 a gallon from just over $4 a gallon in early May. High gasoline prices curbed discretionary spending in May, with electronics and appliance sales posting their largest decline in over a year. Best Buy Co Inc, the largest U.S. electronics chain, on Tuesday reported its fourth straight quarter of same-store sales declines on weak demand for televisions. At the same time, however, Best Buy kept its profit outlook for the year, citing strong demand for mobile

phones and tablet computers. A survey showed chief executive officers of large U.S. companies were less confident about the economy in the second quarter. The slowdown in economic activity comes at a time when there are few options for further monetary or fiscal stimulus. The Federal Reserve is due to conclude its $600 billion government bond-buying program at the end of the month and policymakers, who have faced intense criticism for risking inflation, have set the bar very high for a new program. At the same time, the government is looking

at ways to slash a huge budget deficit. Talks between the Obama administration and lawmakers aimed at finding common ground to cut the red ink while agreeing to increase the $14.3 trillion limit on the nation’s debt, resumed on Tuesday. The retail sales report painted a generally weak picture of consumer spending, though sales at building materials and garden equipment suppliers rose 1.2 percent. Core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline and building materials, rose 0.2 percent in May after advancing 0.3 percent in April.

Ford sees profit fading from record 1st-quarter level DETROIT — No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. expects its profit for the rest of the year to ease off from the 13-year high it reported for the first quarter, pinched by higher commodity costs, an executive said. The company expects second-quarter earnings to come in at or slightly below reported first-

quarter levels, with earnings for the second half of the year to be slightly weaker than the first half, Bob Shanks, vice president and controller, said at an investors’ conference yesterday. “We continue to expect our structural costs this year to increase,” Shanks said. “We also continue to expect that commodity costs will increase by about $2 billion.” This view is in line

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By SCOTT MALONE

with the company’s fullyear guidance, Shanks said. The company in April reported firstquarter profit of $2.55 billion, or 61 cents per share, coming in well ahead of analysts’ forecasts. Shanks acknowledged the growing concerns that the global economy may be losing momentum — reflected in the 6.7 percent pullback of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index from its highs of early May. “Clearly there is a lot of nervousness out there,” Shanks said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

“We’re prepared for what’s coming at us one way or the other. I think we’re in a relatively good place from what could happen to us from an economic standpoint.” Analysts, on average, look for Ford profit excluding one-time items to hold roughly steady this year at $1.92 per share, as sales rise 13.7 percent to $126.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Shanks noted that Ford has now paid its revolving credit line, which had stood at $800 million at the end of 2010. The company sees that as an important step toward its goal of regaining an investment-grade credit rating. The company last week said it would cut its debt to about $10 billion by the middle of the decade, bringing it to well under one-third the $33.6 billion it was carrying in 2009. The debt burden is the legacy of Chief Executive Alan Mulally’s move to borrow aggressively in late 2006 to fund a turnaround plan — a move that also allowed Ford to avoid the bankruptcies that snagged rivals General Motors Co. and Chrysler, now controlled by Italy’s Fiat SpA.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

19

Google hones search for mobile and speed By ALEXEI ORESKOVIC SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. unveiled new features and technology to speed up Web searches and to make it easier for people to use its flagship search engine as they increasingly access the Internet from handheld mobile devices. At a briefing in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google demonstrated a new feature called Instant Pages which allows certain Web pages to pop-up in a user’s Web browser nearly instantaneously, as well as a revamped version of its website for mobile devices. Google, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine, said that traffic coming from mobile devices such as smart-

phones has increased by a factor of five during the past two years. “We see all this mobile traffic growing on top of our desktop (PC) traffic,” Google Fellow Amit Singhal said. Singhal said that consumers’ increased use of mobile devices benefits Google by allowing people to continue searching the Internet during times when searches on desktop PCs typically wane, such as after 9 p.m., during the weekends and during the summer months. “There is no summer slump” with Internet searches on mobile devices, he said. But Google’s search event - which the company billed as a chance to see new technology and learn about Google’s “vision” for

search - was light on new features that weave social networking elements into its search results. “It’s their huge, gaping Achilles heel,” BGC Partner Colin Gillis said of Google’s social networking capabilities. Maintaining its role as the main gateway to information on the Internet is key for Google, which generated roughly $29 billion in revenue last year — primarily from search ads. Some believe Google’s position at the center of the Internet universe is not as secure as it once was, as a new generation of mobile computing gadgets changes consumers’ Web-browsing habits and as fast-growing Internet social networks like Facebook and Twitter emerge as

popular online hangouts. Shares of Google, which closed Tuesday’s regular session at $508.37, are down roughly 15 percent since the start of the year. Microsoft Corp has sought to distinguish its Bing search engine by incorporating data from Facebook’s more than 500 million users, promoting its so-called social search capabilities in television commercials. Asked about the lack of new social search features at the event, Google executives cited announcements earlier this year such as the special “+1” buttons which allow users to endorse Web pages and to view recommendations from friends within their search results. So far Google’s mar-

ket share has not shown any decline with 65.5 percent of the U.S. search market in May, up slightly from 65.4 percent in April, according to Web analytics firm comScore. Yahoo Inc had 15.9 percent of the market in May and Microsoft had 14.1 percent. With traffic to its site increasingly coming from people on the go, Google introduced a new version of its mobile website that features large buttons that deliver information about nearby restaurants, gas stations and bank machines, among other things. Google also showcased a new search feature for desktop PCs that analyzes an image and retrieves relevant information about it, such as which country appears to be depicted

in the background of a family snapshot. The company said its new Instant Pages feature could eliminate 2 seconds to 5 seconds from the time it takes for a user to conduct a Web search and arrive at the desired page. The technology works by predicting the search result a user is most likely to click and automatically downloading that page in the background. “Every time we shave even 50 milliseconds from the search process, users search more and more,” said Google’s Singhal. Google said the Instant Pages feature will initially be available as an add-on to Google’s Chrome Web browser and that it planned to make it available for mobile devices in the coming weeks.

Data shows troubling mix of weakness, inflation By LUCIA MUTIKANI WASHINGTON — A closely watched measure of consumer prices logged its biggest rise in nearly three years in May and a regional factory gauge contracted this month, showing the economy facing a troubling mix of weakness and inflation. The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.3 percent, the largest gain since July 2008, after rising 0.2 percent in April. Core inflation was lifted by steep rises in motor vehicle and apparel prices. Analysts pointed to supply chain disruptions from Japan’s earthquake as a factor behind the auto price rise. Economists had expected the core CPI, which is closely watched by the Federal Reserve, to rise 0.2 percent. Overall inflation eased, rising 0.2 percent after a 0.4 percent gain in April, as energy prices finally fell.

Separately, the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s “Empire State” index — a measure of factory activity in New York state — contracted for the first time since November, surprising economists who had expected a rise. “I assume people will look at this as another reason the recovery is stalling, giving more fodder to the double dip (recession) theory,” said Paul Radeke, vice president at KDV Wealth Management in Minneapolis. “Other data has shown that the consumer remains on track, suggesting that eventually manufacturing will catch up. However, this data suggests that process will take longer.” In a third report, the Fed said production at the nation’s mines, utilities and factories edged up 0.1 percent in May, restrained by a second consecutive drop in auto output, also pinned to trouble getting needed supplies. Still, manufacturing output rose 0.4 percent, bouncing back

from an April slide as factories made up for production lost due to tornadoes in the South. U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on worries over the debt crisis in Greece and the weak reading on New York manufacturing, while bond prices climbed. Concerns over Greece and the stiff reading on core inflation helped lift the dollar against the euro. The mixed data puts the Fed in a difficult position. Rising core inflation could pressure officials to begin unwinding some of their stimulus even as the recovery remains subdued. The central bank concludes a $600 billion government bondbuying plan at the end of the month. Policymakers, who have faced intense criticism for risking inflation, have set the bar very high for any new program to aid the fragile economy. The year-over-year core inflation index rose 1.5 percent in May, up from 1.3 percent in April and the largest increase since January 2010.

At the same time, overall prices increased 3.6 percent, reflecting a steep run-up in energy prices. It was the biggest 12-month gain since October 2008. A Reuters poll published yesterday found economists expect consumer prices to rise 3.1 percent for the year as a whole. They see that easing to a 2.2 percent gain in 2012. The core CPI is expected to rise 1.5 percent in 2011, and 1.9 percent next year, in line with the Fed’s implicit inflation target. Gasoline prices fell 0.2 percent last month after increasing 3.3 percent in April, but food prices rose 0.4 percent after increasing by the same margin in April. Prices for new vehicles rose 1.1 percent last month — the largest increase since October 2009, while apparel prices rose 1.2 percent, the biggest advance since February 2009. Shelter costs, which account for about 40 percent of core CPI, rose 0.2 percent.

Contractors will be required to comply with EEO, D/M/WBE and other federal and state procurement laws, regulations and Executive Orders.

MTA NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT (NYCT)

RFI#: 9003, Due Date: 7/15/11 Title: Integrated Communication System on NYCT R62/R62A and R68/R68A Class Rail Cars BIDS: Opening Date: 7/6/11, #8279,Gauge, rod; #8292, Plate, wear; #8331, Valve repair kit; valve assy; 3-way; #8405, Valve, leveling; #8406, Arm assy; #8478, Wiper arm assy; #8481, Arm, wiper. Opening Date: 7/7/11, #8402, Rail connector; clamps; #8452, Cover, rail; #8464, Brush; #8506, Paper; #8018, Seat; #8230, Didde web press; #8725, Tie, cable. Opening Date: 7/8/11, #8489, Gear set; #8492, Filter, element; #8691, Tools; #8755, Joint bar; offset bar; #8761, Elevator parts; #8790, Lubricant; #8802, Cleaner. Opening Date: 7/12/11, #8265, Terminal lug; #8268, Cable assy; #8280, Waughmat; cushion; #8309, Fulcrum pin; bolt; #8448, Bearing assy; #8484, Sealant; #8809, Graffiti remover. Opening Date: 7/13/11, #8276, Link assy; #8774, Compound, polish; #8782, Cleaner; #8834, Frog, track. More detailed info & the MTA-NYCT contact for the above solicitations can be found on our website at www.mta.info/nyct/procure/nyctproc.htm

MTA- NYCT SOLE SOURCE PROCUREMENT (S)

NYCT intends to purchase the following item(s) without competitive bidding from the only known source(s). Any other firm may assert its potential to supply the item(s) by notifying the designated NYCT Contact in writing within 5 business days of this notice. Contract #: 4414, Desc: Purchase DPS Telecom T/MON LNX alarm sys & upgrade of existing DPS T/MON sys Mfg/Supplier Part #: DPS # D-PK-TMLNX-12005.001 NYCT Contact: T. Steier, MTA –NYCT, 2 Broadway, 19th Flr, New York, NY 10004, Ph: (646) 252-6285 Earliest Award Date: 7/6/11

MTA BUS COMPANY (MTABC)

The MTA Bus Company (MTABC) and New York City Transit (NYCT) are seeking a vendor(s) to furnish and deliver the bus part(s) listed below. The contract duration is twenty-seven (27) months and is an estimated quantity contract. Terms and conditions are contained in bid documents. All prices quoted must be FOB delivered. Payment NET 30 unless otherwise indicated. For delivery to any/all MTA Bus locations as listed in Schedule “O”. Bid No.: PRB110843, MTABC Stock No.: 97-87-5605 Qty: 10 Description: Turbocharger GP, Low Pressure Manufr’s Part #: Caterpillar–Part #239-5582. Bid Opening: July 7, 2011 at 11:00am. Bid No.: PRB110849, MTABC Stock No.: 96-87-5505 Qty: 10 Description: Turbocharger GP Manufr’s Part #: Caterpillar-Part #10R-8733. Bid Opening: July 12, 2011 at 11:00am. Bids received after 11:00am will not be considered. For more info or to request a solicitation package, please contact: Marsha Korotyk, Manger, Procurement c/o MTA Bus Company, 128-15 28th Ave, 11354, Tel: 718-888-6278 or email Maintenance Bldg 2nd Flr, Flushing, NY marsha.korotyk@nyct.com. All inquiries must include company name, contact name & title, address, phone no. & email address.

MTA BRIDGES AND TUNNELS (B&T)

Sealed Bids for the below solicitation must be received by B & T at the Bid Suite, 3 Stone Street, NY, NY 10004. Sealed Bids will be publicly opened at the above address on the dates/times indicated. Bid #: 11-MNT-2884 – Preventive Maintenance and Repair of Gerber Scientific and Allen Datagraph Equipment. Bid Due Date: 7/6/11 at 3:00 PM. The project description can be found at www.mta.info/bandt/procure/rfppage.html

MTA METRO-NORTH RAILROAD (MNR)

MNR will receive sealed bids for the following. Bids must be submitted on inquiry forms provided by MNR by the specified date and time. Bid documents are available at the Procurement & Material Management Department, 347 Madison Ave, NY, NY 10017, 212-340-3223. INQUIRY #, DESCRIPTION, (DUE DATE, TIME, CONTACT): INQ#: 1000003777, National Electric Code Training 2011, (6/27/11, 3:00 PM, Nina Laney Boyd); INQ#: 1-4901, Light Duty Leather Gloves, (6/24/11, 2:00 PM, Karen Crawford); INQ#: 8689-A, Wheel 42 In. per MNR Drawing #21M0330001, (7/11/11, 2:30 PM, Robert DeLaurentis); INQ#: 1000004738, Purchase of Junior Tamper, (6/24/11, 3:00 PM, Irene Gallante, 212340-2616); INQ#: 1000005019, Purchase of a 10 Ton Rated Swing Cab Swingloader, (6/28/11, 3:00 PM, Irene Gallante, 212-340-2616); INQ#: 1-5328, Purchase of Rectifiers (50KW and 150KW), (7/1/11, 3:00 PM, Chris Sefcik, 212-340-3903).

MNR SINGLE SOURCE PROCUREMENT

MTA Metro-North Railroad is purchasing the items from the suppliers noted below which are the only known responsible source. The purpose of this notice is to invite any firm that believes it can also provide these items to submit a quotation. Bids must be submitted on the inquiry forms provided by MNR no later than the specified date(s) and time(s). Vendors wishing to obtain bid documents should call (212) 340-3223. Item: OEM Parts for MNR's R&R and Replacement Supplier: Axion Technologies, Inc. Bid #: 8690-A Date/Time: 7/14/11 at 2:30 PM Contact: P.E. Herrera Item: Mitsui (Tokyo Car/Tohshiba Japan) Commuter Rail Car Parts Supplier: Mitsui and Co., New York, NY Bid #: 8691-A Date/Time: 7/14/11 at 2:30 PM Contact: P.E. Herrera Item: Software Support for Metro-North's Centralized Traffic Control Systems Supplier: Railware, Inc. Ronkonkoma, NY Bid #: 5180 Date/Time: 6/29/11 at 12:00 PM Contact: R. Matela


20

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011 !

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

DAILY CHALLENGE

21

SPORTS

Serena exits, Venus advances at Eastbourne By CAROLINE CHEESE EASTBOURNE, England - Serena Williams’ comeback tournament at Eastbourne ended in the second round yesterday with a 36, 7-6 (5), 7-5 loss to top-seeded Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva came through a tense match in 3 hours, 12 minutes for only her second win in eight matches against the 13-time Grand Slam champion. “I know I can do better,” Williams said. “I can improve and I’m so close to being there, it’s good.” The No. 3-ranked Russian avenged her 63, 6-2 loss in the 2010 Wimbledon final, which turned out to be Williams’ last match for almost a year. Williams won her fourth title at the All England Club, but stepped on broken glass at a restaurant in July and needed two foot surgeries. She later developed blood clots on her lungs. Williams showed her trademark tenacity in the third set, coming back from 5-2 down to make it 5-5, saving three match points at 54. But Zvonareva immediately broke again and a tiring Williams couldn’t muster another

rally. Williams lost on grass for the first time since she dropping the 2008 Wimbledon final to her sister Venus. Yesterday, Serena was awarded a Wimbledon seeding of No. 7, which is 19 places above her ranking. Despite the loss, Williams is pleased with her preparations for the defense of her title - and even happier that the foot injury is no longer troubling her. “It was a good two matches for me,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier with the amount of tennis I played so it’s good, just keep going. “I haven’t played in almost a year, so I’m a little sore. But it’s good that I’m sore now because hopefully next week I won’t be as sore. (The foot) is holding up really well, and I’m just really excited about that.” Venus Williams is returning from a fivemonth layoff because of a hip injury, and she reached the quarterfinals with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win yesterday over Ana Ivanovic. Serena looked set to join her in the last eight when she served for the match at 5-4 in the second set against Zvonareva. But when facing a break point, Williams had a doublefault and Zvonareva rediscovered her confi-

dence. Leading 6-5 in the tiebreaker, the Russian drove a winning forehand into the corner, with Williams on her backside after slipping on the baseline. Williams appeared tired in the third set. She came to the net behind her serve to finish the points quickly, and was often out of position. Facing an opponent with a reputation for throwing away a lead, she kept fighting. Trailing 5-4, Williams hopped on one foot and looked surprised and relieved as a bold backhand winner looped onto the line to save a second match point. Zvonareva then overhit a backhand to make it deuce, before she thought she caught the line with a half-volley. The ball was called out, though, and despite her complaints, Williams had a break point, which she took with a backhand winner. But Williams was broken at 15 in the next game. Zvonareva moved into a 40-0 lead and then powered a forehand winner onto the baseline to claim victory on her fourth match point. “It’s never easy against Serena,” Zvonareva said. “She’s a great fighter and she came up with some

great shots at the very important moments. I kept fighting and I’m really happy I won it.” Venus, a five-time Wimbledon champion, didn’t face a single break point in the first set while breaking Ivanovic twice. “Obviously it’s great, no breaks of serve,” Williams said. “To be honest, I thought she played really well and when she had the chance to strike the ball she was hitting the corners, so I felt good to be able to get on top of her today.” Ivanovic had her only break point at 1-0 in the second set, but Williams sent down a 122-mph first serve to save it before breaking twice more. Williams had little expectation of what she might achieve at her first tournament since January, and her goal is to play as many matches as possible leading into Wimbledon. “I was hoping not to be injured this week. The first smash was definitely nerve wracking,” she said. “Just hoping to come off the court on two legs - that was the first goal. Then to win a match is the ultimate goal. To have the opportunity to play another match is a great start. ... I just need matches.” Venus will face

Ricky Rubio’s comments raise questions BILBAO, Spain — Recent comments made by Minnesota Timberwolves draft pick Ricky Rubio have raised questions about his future, despite reports earlier this month that his NBA arrival was imminent. “We are talking with Barcelona and we will soon see,” Rubio said after Barcelona beat Bilbao for the Spanish league title Tuesday night. Earlier this month,

The Associated Press and The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported that Rubio, the No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA draft, finally had reached an agreement to join the Timberwolves after two seasons with Barcelona. The Timberwolves did not confirm those reports, which followed years of speculation that Rubio, 20, did not want to leave Europe or pay a multimillion-dollar buyout of his

Barcelona contract out of his own pocket Rubio said he was “very happy” after Barcelona won the Spanish league title, according to the Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo. “This title is the most widely appreciated. At last I have it and we must all be proud of it.” Yesterday, a source close to Rubio told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher that he is unaware of any change

to Rubio’s plans to play in the NBA next season. Timberwolves president David Kahn called Rubio “a virtuoso and somebody special” after drafting him in 2009. Kahn and agent Dan Fegan had an agreement to bring Rubio to the NBA that summer, but Rubio withdrew from that deal at the last minute after deciding he did not want to pay a $6 million-plus buyout.

Daniela Hantuchova, who stopped French Open winner Li Na 7-6 (7), 6-3. Li held five set points in the tiebreaker and led 3-1 in the second set before losing the last five games. “I’m still happy I play two matches in here,” Li said. “Still have three days until Wimbledon, so of course now hard working and prepare.” Defending champion Ekaterina Makarova of Russia lost 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4) to Czech Petra Kvitova after holding three set points in the first-set tiebreaker and a set point at 6-5 in the

second set. Francesca Schiavone lost 6-3, 6-2 to Agnieszka Radwanska, while Marion Bartoli defeated Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-3, 6-3. Sam Stosur eased past Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski 6-3, 6-2. Top-seeded JoWilfried Tsonga lost to Radek Stepanek 6-2, 63. Tsonga played the final at Queen’s Club on Monday and singles and doubles on Tuesday. The Frenchman admitted his busy schedule had taken its toll.

DeShawn Stevenson arrested By TIM MACMAHON Dallas Mavericks shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson was arrested for public intoxication in Irving, Texas, on Tuesday night, two days after the franchise won its first NBA championship. Irving police were called to the Grand Venetian apartment complex at about 10:30 p.m. CT after receiving a call to report an intoxicated person walking in the area. Officers reported that Stevenson, who does not live at the complex, appeared intoxicated and did not know where he was. He was arrested without incident on a Class C misdemeanor charge, based on the results of a sobriety test, an officer’s observations and his statements. “They felt he was a danger to himself and others,” Irving public information officer John Argumaniz said. “Basically, he was intoxicated to a point where [police] didn’t

feel comfortable letting him walk away or leave. They didn’t have any other options at that point.” Stevenson was released on $475 bond at 5:30 a.m. local time yesterday. The Mavericks said they were not aware of the incident and declined comment. The arrest was first reported by NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Stevenson, who will be a free agent July 1, is a rugged role player praised by teammates and coaches for his professionalism after bouncing in and out of the starting lineup all season. Stevenson started throughout the playoffs until coach Rick Carlisle opted to replace him with J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Stevenson still played a key role in the series, averaging 7.0 points in 17.2 minutes while making 13-of-23 attempts from 3-point range and playing excellent defense on Miami superstars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.


22

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

DAILY CHALLENGE

SPORTS

Ohio State: Scandal could make recruiting tougher By TOM WITHERS CLEVELAND Sharks, including a big blue one up north, are circling the troubled waters around Ohio State’s maimed and maligned football program. As the school anxiously awaits potential NCAA sanctions and further public shame from the tattoo-formemorabilia scandal that has already claimed coach Jim Tressel and quarterback Terrelle Pryor, schools like rival Michigan, Big Ten newcomer Nebraska, and reawakened Notre Dame could be poised to tear a few chunks off the battered Buckeyes. Recruiting, you see, is a bloodsport all its own. Though it’s too early to fully assess what impact Ohio State’s present problems - and any future troubles it may face once the NCAA has its say - will have on recruiting, it’s clear the Buckeyes could take some major hits. They may have already. On Friday, Tom Strobel, a 6-foot-6, 245pound junior defensive end from Mentor, Ohio, committed to the Wolverines, who under new coach Brady Hoke figure to benefit from Ohio State’s mess more

than any other school. Although Strobel said Michigan’s academics ultimately swayed him to choose the Big Blue over the Buckeyes, the team he’s cheered for since his childhood, threatening storm clouds enshrouding Columbus certainly didn’t help Ohio State’s cause. “When I filled out Strobel’s evaluation card after talking to him, I wrote down, ‘95 percent going to Ohio State,’” CBS College Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said. “I thought he was a lock and I thought the Top 10 recruits in Ohio would all end up going to Ohio State. “But now, with Tressel gone and so much uncertainty hanging over the program, I’m not so sure.” What’s clear at this point is that Ohio State has an image problem, one that could potentially turn off prospective players - mainly ones from outside Ohio - who, like everyone else, have spent the past several weeks watching a college football giant dropped to its kneepads. Tressel’s resignation, followed just one week later by Pryor’s decision to bolt before his senior season, have tarnished the program. And things could get much worse for Ohio State after a meeting in August, when the school is scheduled to appear before the

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 14, 2011, Ejuan Price, a linebacker from Woodland Hills (Pa.) High School, takes a break during the Pennsylvania team practice at Lower Dauphin Middle School in Hummelstown, Pa., for Saturday's Big 33 Football Classic high school all-star game versus Ohio. Price is committed to attend Ohio State this fall. Photo/Genaro Armas NCAA’s committee on infractions. There could be longterm consequences. It’s possible the Buckeyes will be banned for several years from postseason play, suffer a substantial reduction in scholarships, and perhaps even be stripped of conference titles. Whatever the outcome, Ohio State may not seem as inviting to blue-chippers, who could be turned off by what has transpired or what lies ahead. “Kids go to Ohio State because of its tradition, the chance to play for and win a national championship and maybe to someday go to the NFL,” said Lemming, who has charted recruiting’s growth from underground curiosity to bigtime business over the past 32 years. “What has happened there could turn away kids if

they want to play in a bowl game or if the scholarships are taken away and they are no longer among the elite. “There’s a lot at stake.” Well, one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity, as the saying goes, and other schools could benefit from Ohio State’s dramatic fall. “Michigan, man,” said Doug Plank, a former Ohio State and NFL defensive back now working for NCSA, a recruiting firm that connects athletes and their families with schools. “They are back in the recruiting business in Ohio.” For 10 years, Tressel owned the state. He made it a priority to keep Ohio’s best playing in their backyard. However, his departure has created a huge opening for Hoke, the Wolverines’ first-year

coach who laid the foundation for recruiting in his home state when he was a Michigan assistant and obviously sees it as a priority. Hoke has already landed several Ohio stars, and is making a hard push for Cincinnati Taft’s Adolphus Washington, a defensive end considered by many to be the biggest prize in the Buckeye state. “There’s no doubt he’s going after Ohio kids,” Strobel said, “and I think he’s going to be able to get a few.” Not long after Tressel stepped down, Kyle Kalis, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound junior offensive lineman from St. Edward High outside Cleveland decided he was moving on, too. He called interim Ohio State coach Luke Fickell intent on telling him he was de-committing from the Buckeyes. Kalis, though, was persuaded to stay following a 45-minute conversation by Fickell, who may find himself having future talks with waffling recruits. Fickell’s not concerned about the torrents of negativity directed at the Buckeyes. He’s going to continue promoting his alma mater’s finest qualities. “It’s about something so much greater than just one situation, one player or one coach,” Fickell said during his introductory news con-

ference this week. “We’ve recruited that for the last 10 years and we truly believe that Ohio State will continue to attract the best student-athletes around the country. We’re looking for a few good men and ones that can stand up and understand what Ohio State is all about.” During recent oncampus visits with recruits and their families, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald has noticed an increase in questions about the school’s values, discipline, accountability and internal expectations - all queries he believes are a direct result of Ohio State’s situation. The Buckeyes’ issues may allow the Wildcats to recruit players they otherwise would have passed up or had no chance of signing. “As a staff, we talked about kids that are interested in Ohio State that are high-academic kids (who) may now open up the recruiting a little bit more in the state of Ohio,” Fitzgerald said. “Maybe, (Ohio State) might lose a few battles with a school and a school fills up, then we might win a few battles because of just the numbers game. I think it’s way too early to tell, but I think you can at least hypothesize on what might happen.” Wanting kids is one thing, getting them is another.

Staf fer r ented car Clif f Har ris dr ove The car being driven by Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris when he was caught driving 118 mph on a suspended license early Sunday morning was rented and paid for by a university employee, a school

spokesman confirmed to ESPN’s Joe Schad on Monday. Spokesman Dave Williford said the person is not part of the athletics department, but is an employee of the school. Oregon State police say Harris, 20, was pulled over after an off-

duty trooper spotted him about 4:35 a.m. PT Sunday on Interstate 5 south of Albany, Ore. An on-duty officer clocked Harris and pulled him over. Harris was cited for driving with a suspended license and exceeding the speed limit in excess of 100 mph. Police had said Sunday

he was driving a rental car. The employee told KEZI-TV 9 in Eugene on Monday that she had given a licensed friend of Harris permission to drive the car after Harris’ friend paid for the price of the rental in full. “So, I rented the car for my own purposes

on Friday. Cliff Harris and his licensed friend, who showed me his license, asked to borrow it and paid me the full amount in cash that I paid for the rental,” the woman told KEZI-TV 9, adding that she has documented proof that the friend’s payment matches her payment to the rental company.

“I do have a copy of my bank statement, showing two deposits Friday of $180 and $120,” the woman told the station. The woman told KEZI-TV 9 that she had become a friend of Harris over the past few months, but says she is not related to Harris in any form.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

DAILY CHALLENGE

23

SPORTS

Source: CBA framework may be ready by weekend By DAN WETZEL NFL “secret” labor negotiations this week are expected to continue to make such progress that at least one source familiar with the situation says the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement could be in place by the weekend. If so, the two negotiating groups representing the owners and the NFL trade association, meeting in the Baltimore area, Yahoo! Sports has learned, would return to their full parties to present what could be the deal that would end the threemonth lockout before nearly anything football related is even lost. “A June 30 or July 4

announcement is a reasonable expectation,” the source said. “My sense is that by week’s end they are likely to have some substantial framework if not a complete plan to go back and present to the owners and the players.” NFL owners are already set to meet next Tuesday in Chicago. The league sent a memo to owners Monday suggesting they pack for an overnight stay, according to ESPN and the NFL Network. That led to speculation that the league believes it will have something formative to discuss. The two sides could then return to the bargaining table to hash out any final differences by month’s end. Or at least that’s the hope. The source said that negotiations this month have been marked by both comity and urgency. This came after

both sides heeded the advice of Kermit Bye, the presiding judge of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals who strongly encouraged the two sides on June 3 to reach an agreement outside of the court system, where the battle had mostly been waged since the lockout began March 12. “That’s when the sides got real with each other,” the source said. “When the deadline loomed large they started to work on the real issues.” There are numerous issues that remain, including a final division of the money, agreements on future television contracts (considering the rapid rise in live sports programming fees, the 2014 deals should produce unprecedented sums) and issues with benefits for retired players, who in the legal circuit are a third, independent party.

Work stoppage helping some players doing rehab By BARRY WILNER M A RT I N S V I L L E , N.J. - Offensive lineman Damien Woody is no Nastia Liukin. So when the 320-pound Woody tries to balance on a metal strip laying on the artificial turf at the TEST Sports Club workout center, part of his rehab from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, it is, well, a bit awkward. It’s also productive, as are his, uh, leaps on a mini-trampoline, and his squats while holding weights in each hand, his back pushing against a huge, round ball. And when Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery imitates the crane pose from “The Karate Kid” to enhance his balance and rotational skills? Simply part of his regimen as he heals from back surgery. Woody, a free-agent tackle who was hurt in the Jets’ playoff victory at Indianapolis last January, and Cotchery are among dozens of NFL players fighting back from major injuries on their own because of the league’s labor lockout. Some, such at Colts safety Chip Vaughn, can have contact with the team’s doctor because that’s who per-

formed his left ankle operation. Others, including New Orleans’ Jon Stinchcomb, went back to his college roots for his rehab. They all would be recovering and working at their team’s facilities had there been no lockout, which is in its fourth month. And each of them normally would be fighting the itch to rush back and join their teammates for minicamps and the like. This year, as the labor impasse continues, these players might be benefiting from the work stoppage. “This has given a lot of guys time to heal and to get rid of those nagging little injuries, too,” Cotchery says following more than an hour’s worth of exercises, during which he displays the intense concentration any NFL wideout must have. “You can go at your own pace, get your rest, and that has benefited a lot of guys.” Adds Woody, with a tired smile, his T-shirt soaked with sweat: “Even if there were an offseason program now, I’d be doing rehab. I don’t have to worry about the football side at all, just focus on getting 100 percent, and I’m getting closer. It’s an opportunity to freshen up all the other aches and pains

you get from playing 12 seasons in the NFL. So, yeah, in a way it’s perfect timing to have the lockout.” Woody was released by the Jets on March 1, but he hopes to be back with them once he is fully recovered from what he calls “the most major injury of my career.” He intends on playing somewhere in 2011, if there’s a season. So he spends his mornings at TEST, along with Cotchery; Jets star linebacker Bart Scott; defensive tackle Barry Cofield, a former Giant who is a free agent; and several other NFL players. Brian Martin, CEO of the facility and another in Florida, has several former players on his staff, plus a rehabilitating player in Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington. “We’re very careful to make sure we are in no way competing with what the teams do or want their players doing,” Martin says. “But they know the players are getting intensive personal care and rehab work here from a highly trained group of professionals. Our only purpose is to help the players who are recovering from injuries to get well, or to keep the other players who come here, like Bart, in the best of shape.”

This is by no means done. However, a CBSSports.com report Tuesday that the deal was “80-85 percent done” was met with agreement by our source. “I think that’s accurate,” he said. The positivity is as welcome as it is unexpected. The two sides seemed hopelessly dug in for the long haul as recently as the start of this month, waiting for legal maneuvering to dictate negotiating strength. Now if you’re a football fan who cares little about who “wins” this labor battle, there is significant hope that you won’t miss a single significant part of the season. NFL teams generally start training camp in late July (with the two teams participating in the Hall of Fame Game beginning a week earlier). General managers have

said they need free agency to begin no later than July 15, allowing at least 10 days for a flurry of signings. Anything before would be welcome, allowing two or three weeks of free agency. The preseason schedule, which is set to kick off Aug. 7 with the Hall of Fame Game, would be unaffected. So too, obviously, would be the start of the regular season on Sept. 8, when the New Orleans Saints are scheduled to visit the Green Bay Packers. If a deal is done over the next couple weeks, essentially, the lockout could be one forgotten blip to history, no casualties except for meaningless minicamps and organized team activities. If nothing else, after months of bad news, here’s at least some positive talk.

Pe oria Chie fs lampo on LeBr on James For one night, fans of the Peoria Chiefs can have their own replica of LeBron James’ first championship ring. Call it the cheapest promotion in sports history because, like James’ ring, the handout doesn’t exist. The Chiefs, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in the Midwest League, will hold a “LeBron James NBA Championship Replica Giveaway night” Thursday, poking fun at the Miami Heat star’s loss in the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. “Replica rings” — also known as air — will be handed out by stadium workers as fans enter the park, according to Chiefs spokesman Nathan Baliva. Throughout the game, Peoria will honor “a true champion” — the Chicago Bulls’ six NBA titles — with video clips and audio highlights, and the Chiefs will take the field to “Sirius,” the Alan Parsons Project song used by the Bulls during their player introductions. The Chiefs said they are “looking into” whether they can skip the fourth inning — another poke at James, who scored just 18 points during the fourth quarter in six NBA Finals games. “We aren’t sure if the league will allow it,” Peoria president Rocky Vonachen said in a statement. “But if LeBron doesn’t need to show up for the fourth, maybe we won’t, either.” Among the other James promotional digs planned: A fan will win a “replica” of James’ Finals MVP award (which actually went to the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki), and Heimlich maneuver classes will be offered to help prevent people from “choking in a big situation.” “Really, this is just us getting back to the real world and waking up today and trying to solve our own personal problems,” vice president of ticket sales Eric Obalil said. Baliva said a Bulls tribute for Thursday had been in the works since November, in hopes that Chicago would be coming off another NBA championship. The James addition to the promotion was announced midday Tuesday, and Baliva said there was an immediate reaction.


DAILY CHALLENGE

S SP PO OR RT TS S THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2011

SERENA EXITS, VENUS ADVANCES AT EASTBOURNE

S er e n a W i l l i a m s

SE E PAG E 21

OHIO STATE: SCANDAL COULD MAKE RECRUITING TOUGHER S EE PA GE 22

Daily Challenge 6-16-11  

U.S. HIGHLIGHTSIMPACTOFBIN L ADENDEATH - P G . 2 35 Cents Final WWW.DAILYCHALLENGENEWS.COM...