OBAMA SAYS HE INHERITED ECONOMIC PROBLEMS - PG. 2 NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION
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CIVIL LAWSUIT FILED Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assault- charges against the Frenchman, repeats the version of ed housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo (above) in a “violent and events that Diallo has told since she revealed her identity in sadistic attack” in his hotel suite in Manhattan in May, a media interviews last month. Photo: Lem Peterkin civil lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit, which follows criminal SEE PAGE 3.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
N EW S BR IE F S SANITATION DEPARTMENT SEEKS CONTRACTORS FOR HELP DURING SNOWSTORMS The Sanitation Department is now accepting bids from contractors to help the city during snowstorms. It’s part of City Hall’s action plan following the botched response to last December’s blizzard. The two-year private contracts will be designated for side streets in The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. They’ll be used on an “as needed” basis during storms where more than half-an-inch of snow is forecast. Officials are also seeking bids from tow truck companies to remove abandoned cars from city streets during snowstorms. Anyone interested in information on the bidding process should visit NYC.gov/sanitation under the “Doing Business with DSNY” banner. WOMAN CHARGED WITH 2010 HIT-AND-RUN RECEIVES MAXIMUM SENTENCE The woman charged in the hit and run of a City Hall staffer last year received the maximum sentence Monday. Frances Jasmin was sentenced to one-and-a-third to four years behind bars after being found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident. She will also have to pay a $1,000 fine. Police say Jasmin hit two women as they crossed Flatbush Avenue in February 2010 and then fled the scene. She later turned herself in to police. One of the victims, Alma Guerrero, suffered a broken collar bone. The other victim, Erinn Phelan, was declared brain dead. She was a member of the New York City Civics Corps, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s volunteer agency. NEW MUNI-METER RATES TAKE EFFECT IN BROOKLYN Drivers in Brooklyn will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets. The city is raising muni-meter parking rates around the borough. Short-term parking will now cost drivers 25 cents for every 15 minutes. Long-term parking spaces will cost $8 a day. Brooklyn is the last borough to see the Muni-Meter price hikes. The increases will be gradually phased in through the end of the year. The city Department of Transportation reminds drivers to double check the rate on meters while it updates them with the new price.
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Obama says he inherited economic problems By JEFF MASON WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said on Monday he inherited many of the country’s problems with high debt and deficits when he entered the White House, sounding a theme likely to dominate his 2012 re-election campaign. Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser, where families paid $15,000 to get a picture with him, Obama defended his economic record and noted that problems in Europe were affecting the United States. “We do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited,” Obama said. The financial crisis, he said, made the problem worse. and Republicans Democrats agreed to a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut government spending last week, but credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States, contributing to a steep fall in stock markets on Monday. Obama noted that the United States had seen 17 months of consecutive private-sector job growth, ris-
ing corporate profits and stabilized credit markets under his watch. “What’s absolutely true, even before these last couple days in the stock market, is that recovery wasn’t happening fast enough,” he said. “When you have problems in Europe and in Spain and in Italy and in Greece, those problems wash over into our shores,” he said. Some 140 people attended the fundraiser, which was held at a private home. Obama, who is ramping up his fundraising after taking a hiatus while the debt-ceiling debate raged in Washington, said the deficit issue would provide a clear contrast for voters in the 2012 race for the White House. “What we’re going to have is 16 months in which we debate this vision for America, and it’s going to be as fundamental a debate as 2008,” he said. “In some ways it may be even a more profound debate because the contrast is going to be clear and it’s going to be sharp.” Obama is pressing for Congress to extend a payroll tax cut and unem-
ployment insurance to help boost the economy, but he expressed skepticism that lawmakers would get a lot done. “As president of the United States my job is to work with Congress to try to get as much done as possible,” he said. “Whether we’re going to see any progress out of this Congress right now — because so far we haven’t seen much when it comes to innovative ideas that actually put people to work and grow the economy — remains to be seen.” Under the debt-ceiling agreement, a “super committee” in Congress will find further ways to tackle the deficit in the coming months. Obama said on Friday he would outline his own recommendations for that committee. At a separate event for potential campaign donors on Monday, Obama previewed what could make up those recommendations, saying revenues needed to be raised, the tax code would have to be reformed, and modest adjustments to the Medicare healthcare program would have to be enacted.
Serial killer Sowell apologizes to victims’ families By KIM PALMER CLEVELAND — Ohio serial killer Anthony Sowell, convicted of killing 11 women, apologized on Monday for his crimes before a courtroom packed with family members of his victims, saying his actions were “not typical of me”. “I’m sorry. It might not sound like much, but it is all I can give,” Sowell said during the penalty phase of his capital murder trial. “I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. This is not typical of me. I can’t explain it.” Sowell, 51, was convicted last month of the murder of 11 women whose decomposing bodies were found in and around his Cleveland home in 2009. The jury that convicted him must now decide whether to impose the death penalty. Sowell was on the stand for the first and only time on Monday for unsworn, question-and-answer testimony with his attorney, John Parker. Such testimony is sometimes given by a defendant deemed not able to give a sworn statement due to possible mental deficiencies. Parker asked Sowell about his reported sexual and physical abuse. “I was whipped and beaten,” he told Parker. But when asked about the
specifics of his sexual abuse by a distant relative, Sowell said: “I don’t want to talk about that.” Sowell began to cry as Parker asked him if he had ever hugged or shown any affection toward his sister, Tressa Garrison, who he professed to love. “That didn’t go down,” he said. Sowell regained composure as he told Parker that he began to hear voices after a heart attack that left him with a pacemaker and unable to work or play chess. “And what name did you give the
voice your head?” Parker asked. “I didn’t give it a name. It had a name Arnie.” Earlier in the day a social worker and mitigation expert, Lori JamesTownes, testified to reports of multiple incidents of sexual and physical abuse and neglect throughout the lives of practically every member of Sowell’s family. James-Townes said that child abuse is the biggest factor for adult violence in men. The defense rested their case on Monday. The jury was expected to begin deliberations this week.
Police question man regarding groping attacks By JONATHAN ALLEN New York police had a man in custody whom they were questioning in connection with a string of groping attacks on women, mostly on Manhattan’s well-to-do Upper East Side, authorities said yesterday. At least a dozen women have been attacked since May, often after midnight, by a man who would typically
sneak up on them from behind as they walked into their apartment buildings, police said. In several cases he grabbed their breasts or reached under their skirts to grope their crotch or buttocks, police said. Some of the women fought back, and the suspect would flee. Police circulated a sketch of the suspect and released a surveillance camera image showing a short,
slightly built young man with boyish features and dark hair. Police would not release any details about the man being questioned because he has not been charged with any crime. Most of the attacks occurred on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, although one on Friday took place on the West Side near Central Park and the former Tavern on the Green restaurant.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
New York maid hits Strauss-Kahn with civil lawsuit By NOELEEN WALDER and JOSEPH AX Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a housekeeper in a “violent and sadistic attack” in his hotel suite in Manhattan in May, a civil lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit, which follows criminal charges against the Frenchman, repeats the version of events that Nafissatou Diallo, the woman who accused him, has told since she revealed her identity in media interviews last month. She said a naked Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom in his $3,000-a-night suite at the Sofitel Hotel on May 14 and forced her to perform oral sex. “Believing he was immune from the laws of this country, defendant Strauss-Kahn intentionally, brutally and violently sexually assaulted Ms. Diallo and in the process humiliated, degraded, violated and robbed Ms. Diallo of her dignity as a woman,” according to the complaint. Strauss-Kahn, 62, has denied the allegations and his lawyers said in a statement that the civil case showed Diallo was motivated by money. Strauss-Kahn resigned as chief of the International Monetary Fund a few days after his arrest in May. The civil lawsuit, which does not seek specific damages, says Diallo will give evidence that the man once considered a leading contender for the French presidency harassed and assaulted other women in the past. It
was filed in the Bronx where Diallo, an illiterate 32-year-old mother, lives. The lawsuit, brought by Diallo’s attorney, Kenneth Thompson, says the assault “left Ms. Diallo’s life and her young daughter’s life in shambles.” It alleges physical, emotional and psychological injuries and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorneys’ fees. “We have maintained from the beginning that the motivation of Mr. Thompson and his client was to make money,” Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, said in their state-
ment. “The filing of this lawsuit ends any doubt on that question. The civil suit has no merit and Mr. StraussKahn will defend it vigorously.” The criminal case against StraussKahn has wavered for weeks, since prosecutors revealed Diallo lied about her past and her actions immediately after the incident. With Diallo’s credibility in doubt, prosecutors are still investigating the criminal case against StraussKahn as they decide whether to press ahead with charges or drop the case. Prosecutors declined to comment on the civil case. Strauss-Kahn’s next criminal court date is August 23. Diallo’s lawyers have said for weeks that she would bring a civil case against Strauss-Kahn. Accusers in such cases often hide from the media glare until the criminal case is over. Many media outlets, including Reuters, protect their identities by not revealing their names. But Diallo, the daughter of an imam from Guinea, broke her silence in July, revealing her identity in interviews to Newsweek and ABC News. With the criminal case at risk, Diallo, known as “Nafi” to friends, took the unusual step of holding a press conference. Her lawyer said she come forward to defend her reputation, particularly after the New York Post reported she had worked as a prostitute. She has filed a lawsuit against the newspaper for libel.
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers have called on Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to dismiss the case, while women’s and immigrant advocates have urged him to press forward. Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest after the revelations about Diallo’s credibility but is barred from leaving the United States. A criminal conviction would essentially guarantee victory in the civil case, legal experts say. But her lawsuit may still be viable even if the criminal charges are dismissed. In a criminal trial, prosecutors must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. But in a civil suit Diallo only has to show her version of events is more likely than StraussKahn’s. Unlike in a criminal case, where a jury may not draw any conclusions from a defendant’s decision not to testify, civil defendants typically must tell their story at trial. Diallo’s decision to file a civil action in the Bronx, where plaintiffs traditionally fare better than other boroughs in New York City, also could work in her favor. “The reputation of the Bronx is that it’s a notoriously plaintiff-favorable jurisdiction,” said David Ratner, a civil litigator at the law firm Morelli Ratner. Even if Diallo wins her civil case she may find it hard to extract any money from Strauss-Kahn if he returns to France. Photo: Lem Peterkin
Obama honors return of fallen Father sues city, county after troops from Afghanistan mom drives kids to death in river By RAY SANCHEZ
President Barack Obama salutes as he is greeted by Col. Mark Camerer, the 436th Airlift Wing Commander, left, as he steps off of Marine One, at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
By JEFF MASON DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Delaware — President Barack Obama flew to a Delaware air force base yesterday to honor the return of the remains of 30 U.S. troops killed when Taliban insurgents shot down their helicopter in Afghanistan. Obama, after vowing he would be undeterred in his war strategy, led a delegation of U.S. officials paying tribute to those who lost their lives in the single deadliest incident for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The visit appeared intended to show war-weary Americans that the president recognizes the human cost in Afghanistan. He unveiled a troop
drawdown plan in June to start winding down U.S. involvement in the unpopular, nearly decade-old conflict. Obama’s last visit to Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies of U.S. service members killed overseas come home, was in 2009 when he witnessed the poignant return of 15 soldiers and three federal agents killed in Afghanistan. But this time, the Pentagon said the news media would not be allowed to cover the arrival ceremony. The troops’ remains have yet to be identified — due to the catastrophic nature of the weekend helicopter crash — and therefore families would be unable to give their consent, officials said.
The father of three children who drowned with their mother when she intentionally drove her minivan into the Hudson River is suing the city and county where the deaths occurred for $40 million each. Jean Pierre has filed a notice of claim against the city of Newburgh, which is located about 25 miles north of New York, as well as Orange County, his lawyer Stephen Powers said yesterday. The suit claims the city and county failed to create proper barriers that would have prevented LaShanda Armstrong (right) from driving her van into the river on April 12. With no barriers, the city and county allowed a dangerous waterfront condition to exist, the lawsuit said. Armstrong, 25, drowned along with three of her four children, Landen, 5, Lance, 2, and Laianna, 11 months. Her 10-year-old son LaShaun survived by escaping through the van’s window and swimming to safety. An official in the Newburgh city manager’s office said the city would have no comment on the lawsuit, while county officials did not immediately respond to requests for com-
ments. Pierre, 26, Armstrong’s estranged boyfriend, claims the county Department of Child Protective Services failed to properly monitor her. Powers did not immediately comment on the family’s history with the child welfare agency. Police said Armstrong drove into the river after a heated argument with Pierre. Peace seemed to elude the children even in death. Their funeral devolved into a shouting match between relatives. And, despite arrangements made by maternal relatives to inter mother and children together, their small caskets were buried in another city miles away from their mother’s grave at the request of their father.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
JOURNAL OF THE PEOPLE’S PASTOR ‘WRITING THE HISTORY I’VE LIVED, LIVING THE HISTORY I WRITE!’
Harry Potter: The return of Tarzan THOMAS H. WATKINS
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By REV. DR. HERBERT DAUGHTRY Part Three Marcus Mosiah Garvey, one of the greatest organizers the world had ever seen, asked a question, “Where is the Black man’s government? Where is his king and kingdom? Where is his President, his country and ambassador, his army, his navy, and his men of big affairs?” There were none, and he declared, “I will help to make them.” Today, I ask, “Where are the Black heroes?” Given the almost insurmountable obstacles placed in their way, there were few in my youth. I define heroes by what people say and do to uplift or advance their people’s morals, hope, aspiration, pride, respect, education,
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Black race. One of the most instructive, white superheroes of Hollywood’s fantasy was Tarzan. There were two aspects to the stories of Tarzan which are worth studying. The first is: Tarzan could put to flight thousands of Africans. The message was clear. One lone white man could conquer thousands of Black men, or Africans. Thus, fear and inferiority were instilled in the minds of people of African ancestry. I’ve seen this fear in the eyes of our people, particularly when we were confronting Euro-American movers and shakers, or white power structures. During my youth in the South, Black men were afraid to look white people in the eye. Sadly, this fear, to some extent, was justified for Black people lived at the mercy of whites. Any white person — man, woman, boy, or girl — could accuse a Black person of a crime or an insult, and it could result in death for the accused. Do you remember Emmett Louis Till? In 1955, he was alleged to have winked or whistled at a white woman. It resulted in his being brutally beaten, and then put to death. Always, we should be profoundly grateful to those Black persons who, in spite of the constant threats of death, and/or other kinds of retaliation, acted bravely, asserted their dignity, and fought for justice and Continued on page 5
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compassion, and commitment to their people; and, by their substantial contributions of resources (time, talent, and treasure), especially to the least of their people. When we consider the aforementioned qualities as our criteria, who among the Black high-profile and (supposed) super-achievers do we feel meet the standards? I am comfortable with the conviction that if we research the time and resources Black superstars, especially rappers, spend to help their people, it would be miniscule. Conversely, if we honestly calculate the impact of their negative influence, it would be enormous. In this connection, I can’t overemphasize the importance of President Obama. The image of this man of African ancestry sends a message across the world that substantially helps destroy the derogatory, grotesque images that are disseminated by Euro-Americans and even by some people of African ancestry. At the least, it shows another image of people of African ancestry. Even so, there are diehards who will not let go of the old image. Their response is: “Obama is part white. It is the white part that propelled him to the presidency.” It goes without saying, if he were a failure or a criminal, he would be all Black. There was a time, and it still exists in some quarters, that one drop of Black blood consigned the possessor to the
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Civil rights lite: Or how fiction and fact become one By LINDA TARRANT-REID I know, I know, everyone loved the novel The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s been on the NYT’s Best Seller’s List for combined print and e-book fiction for 24 weeks, and is #1. Now the book is a movie. Robin Roberts of Good Morning America recently interviewed the four lead characters in the film – Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard – about their roles in this crazy, funny, dramatic movie about maids in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. Really? The movie by Dreamworks Pictures has received massive amounts of publicity. With the prerelease hoopla including the trailer, interviews and the strategically placed articles stoking the flames of a box office blockbuster in the making, folks are going to love the movie as well. They don’t have any choice because that’s how the marketing machine works, priming the film for the Academy Awards and for the across platform tie-ins, like The Help Event featuring a product line inspired by the film and sold on the Home Shopping Network, HSN. For the record, I’m delighted that African American actors – Davis, Spencer, Cicely Tyson and the other 11 or so Black folks in the film got some work in Hollyweird, and got paid. That’s a beautiful thing. My concern is the trivialization of a period of painful transition in African American history. The Civil Rights Movement was no joke; folks died, bled, and were maimed and jailed in pursuit of equality. A fictional
account about African American domestics set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s written by a white author who uses dialect and vernacular for the Black maids, while creating inauthentic dialogue devoid of southern ticks for her white characters, does not capture the essence of the struggle. The Help is not the first novel about African Americans by a white author adapted to film that has stirred controversy. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin although written to promote an antislavery message ended up solidifying Black stereotypes. Stowe, a white abolitionist, populated her bestselling 1852 novel with pickaninnies (the ragamuffin, uneducated, ill-kempt children of slaves), mammies (oversized, dark skinned females, desexualized caretakers of white children) and Uncle Toms (obedient, docile and malleable man servants who put the slave master and mistress first) whose negative impact reverberates today in popular culture. As a historian, I am very disturbed by authors playing fast and loose with the serious business of history. Libraries and archives are filled with erroneous, lopsided, fictionalized accounts of the African American narrative. Some of these accounts are written by self-serving authors who are more interested in preserving their legacy and perspective than researching and verifying facts to produce a complete and accurate history. The Help, albeit fiction, is an illustrative example of one aspect of the race problem in America. Blacks get it, but whites don’t. Because we have
Potter: The return of Tarzan Continued from page 4 human rights for all. The second aspect of Tarzan: Whenever there was a dispute among Africans, they would send for Tarzan. When he arrived, all of the Africans would obey whatever he said. The attempt here was to inculcate in the minds of people of African ancestry to always look to whites to settle their differences. I think all of us, who have been around for any length of time, have witnessed this phenomenon. One of the most tragic and painful exercise of Tarzinism is in the United States of America’s court rooms. When Black families can no longer settle their disputes, they go to “Tarzans” wearing Black robes today. They, especially Black men who try to evade their responsibilities, have to be taken to judges who are mostly white. In the book entitled, “The African,” (the author’s name escapes me), there is an incident of two Africans who left their village in Africa and registered for school in London, England. One day, as they
walked the streets, they saw a sight that “blew their minds.” They saw a white man picking up garbage. They couldn’t believe their eyes. They had to get closer to believe that what they saw was what they saw. Back home in their village, they had never seen a white man in that role, in fact, in any menial role. All they had ever seen was a white man in charge as a boss, ruler, master, owner, etc. That was the way whites wanted to appear. Across the world, and yes, right here in the U.S.A., people of African ancestry and others are inundated with a flood of images of white dominance and Black subservience, and experience the same in their lives. They have come to believe that white men are supposed to be rulers, masters, superior, etc. …to be continued. ** Join Reverend Daughtry in Jersey City for the weekly Thursday Evening Educational, Cultural, and Empowerment Forum from 6pm8pm for an evening of information,
cleaned their houses, raised their kids and prepared their meals, we have been privy to their private conversations and know exactly what they think about Black people. They, on the other hand, are largely ignorant of African Americans – who we are, what we are capable of and how we live our lives. Beecher Stowe’s stereotypes gain a new 21st century life in Stockett’s The Help. Aibileen is the large, loving caregiver to the white Leefolt children, while Minny is the defiant, rebellious non-conforming troublemaker who works for the social outcast Celia Foote and her husband. Skeeter, the white woman who gets a book contract based on the maids’ stories, is portrayed as the savior of sorts of the abused Black maids. She is introduced as someone interested in changing the segregationist practices of her community, but Skeeter’s real ambition is to go to New York and get a job in publishing. The other side of the story of the powerful and the powerless is the abuse. Fast forward to New York City, 2011, where the media has dubbed a recent news story, the DSK Affair, in which a West African maid who worked at a midtown Manhattan hotel accused a European banker of rape. The maid, Nafissatou Diallo, and the former head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, are at the center of a battle being waged by their lawyers of “he said, she said.” DSK was arrested on his way out of the country on an international flight after Diallo reported that she was accosted as she went about her maid’s duties. The coverage has gone viral. Charges against
the powerful French economist and lawyer were on the brink of dismissal after a smear campaign was waged in the press against the maid and her credibility. But the tide seems to be turning since Nafissatou Diallo shed the cloak of anonymity and has decided, with her lawyers and supporters, to go public and tell her side of the story. In an ironic twist, the other story making the media rounds involves a six-page essay found among the personal items of Rosa Parks being auctioned off by Guernsey’s, a New York-based company that handles the archives of celebrities and historical figures. The essay, which some friends and associates of Parks are calling a fictional account written by her but meant to remain private, details an encounter that Rosa had with her white, male employer. Working as a housekeeper for a neighbor in 1931, Parks describes a near-rape experience. Again, this account exemplifies the caste and class struggle of a young Black woman who bravely rejects the advances of her white employer. The alleged abuse at the center of the DSK Affair and the discovery of Rosa Parks’ essay are certainly at the far end of the power spectrum, but are part of the same continuum experienced by domestic workers like the maids in The Help. Encounters between domestic workers and their employers or guests in a hotel can be a dicey proposition. What Diallo and Parks experienced is an important counterpoint to the fictional storyline of The Help and those experiences are a reminder that real life, not reel life, inspires movements.
inspiration, and challenge at 315 Forrest Street (Ground Floor), corner of MLK, Jr. Drive. For more info, contact The National Community Action Alliance at (201) 716-1585.
Call the Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial Daycare Center located at: 460 Atlantic Avenue (corner of Atlantic and Nevins) 718 596 1993 333 Second Street (between 4th & 5th Avenues) in Park Slope (718) 499-2066 Immediate openings are available in a state-of-the-art center.
** Listen to Reverend Daughtry on the weekly radio program which airs Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on New York City’s WWRL-AM, dial 1600. ** NEED QUALITY CHILD CARE?
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Americans wonder where the misery will end By MARK EGAN From Times Square to St. Petersburg, Florida, and Portland, Oregon, people are trying to understand how the downgrading of America’s AAA credit rating by Standard and Poor’s agency caused a stock market crash and torpedoed their economic prospects so badly again. Out of work, unable to sell their homes and with bills piling up, many wonder how they will make ends meet. “My fridge is on the fritz, my washing machine is on the fritz, my oven is on the fritz, my roof is on the fritz,” said Maria Thuy of Jenkintown a suburb of Philadelphia, who lost her job as a director of a non-profit a few weeks ago and wonders how she will stop her house from falling down around her. Like many, Thuy looked on in horror as the stock market crashed on Monday and she fears for her retirement savings. Barbara Barak, 32, has a job selling cosmetics in an Orlando, Florida mall. But working largely on commission and with business “nonexistent,” she may resign. “People are afraid to spend money,” she said. Since her husband lost his steel industry job at the start of the 2008 recession and took a job with an ice cream maker, their annual income
has fallen by $50,000. She could care less about the stock market because she has no savings. Her financial plan? “Just survive.” On Monday, panicked selling resulted in the S&P 500’s worst day since December 2008, down more than 6 percent with every stock in the benchmark index ending in negative territory. Concern that Washington can’t control rising debts or create enough jobs to spur growth contributed to the crash as did the loss of America’s pristine AAA credit rating. Rising fears about Europe’s debt woes made matters worse. The S&P 500 is down 17.9 percent from its late April peak. Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the U.S. economy and economists fear steep stock declines will have a psychological impact on households, causing them to cut spending, and force businesses to defer hiring and spending. Miami store clerk Antonio del Valle said he blamed former President George W. Bush for the current woes. “If he hadn’t wasted all that money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we wouldn’t be discussing the debt ceiling,” he said. A decade of war in Afghanistan and eight years in Iraq have hurt the nation-
Feds, Ala. school district hit desegregation deal WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department reached a settlement with the Pickens County, Ala., school board to eliminate racial disparities in its system, the department said. Under terms of the agreement, the board, working with state officials, will develop policies and programs to eliminate racial disparities in student discipline, grade retention, graduation rates and post-graduate scholarships, the Justice Department said Monday in a release. The settlement also obligates the board to step up its efforts to recruit minority applicants for faculty and administrative jobs, and to ensure staff assignments don’t perpetuate racially identifiable schools. The agreement also said
the state will establish and operate an early-learning center to provide free educational services to 4-year-old children in Pickens County, the Justice Department said. The state also agreed to provide training and educational expertise to help the board carry out its requirements under the agreement as well as its overall desegregation obligations. “Equal access to educational opportunities is a fundamental civil right,” Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the department’s Civil Rights Division, said. “This creative and comprehensive remedial plan will enhance educational opportunities for all students and puts the Pickens County School District on a path to unitary status.”
al budget and the 2008 financial crisis, with its resulting bailouts to stop a global financial collapse, led to less aid flowing from Washington to U.S. states. As a result, working Americans were squeezed as U.S. states and municipalities hiked charges on everything from water to property taxes. Meanwhile, with inflation low and unemployment high, employers cut jobs, kept pay raises to a minimum and passed on soaring health insurance costs to employees. Sammy Rubin, a 64-yearold electrical contractor in Alabama, Birmingham, blames politicians. A selfdescribed conservative, he said he was angry at recent political fighting over the debt ceiling. “If I had the power, I would freeze every congressman’s bank account ... and make them go get a job, to see what it’s like out here. And I wouldn’t care if the whole government shut down, except for the military,” he said. The debt debate in Congress has strengthened the case of those who think the two-party system is failing. According to a CNN poll last week, 77 percent of Americans say that elected officials
in Washington have behaved “like spoiled children” in the tug-of-war over raising the debt ceiling. Josh Greenwood, a 24year-old, who moved from California to New York and is working as a bartender, urged President Barack Obama to end partisan fighting in Washington. “Obama needs to use his power and influence to get everyone on the same page,” he said. Susan Knight-Allen, a 55 year-old medical social worker, was getting her hair cut at a salon in the Hollywood neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. “Maybe this time it is not going to correct,” she said of the stock market. She and her partner put their money into cash two years ago and now she wonders if she can help, perhaps by getting some backyard work done. “We have the money and somebody could probably really use that job,” she said. Rachelle Markley, 48, worked at her nearby store Second Glance Books. The second-hand book store is cozy but, she says, “I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth.” As well as a weak economy, her business is suffering as sales shift to e-books.
After an employee left in January, she left the job unfilled, leaving her overworked and alone. Antoine Sykes, a 37-yearold security officer and doorman on Chicago’s west side said he fears for his financial security and plans to save what he can, but doesn’t trust the banks. “I’m leaving it under my bed or in my grandmother’s closet.” Matthew Tavares, 43, and his wife Julia, 31, want to sell their home in the beach community of Marshfield, south of Boston. On the market for a year already, they worry they will have to drop the price more to sell it and will have to use their savings to cover their eventual losses. The country’s latest financial woes have also compounded the concerns of 51year-old Harry Crown, a commercial painter in St. Petersburg, Florida. He says he lives paycheck to paycheck and expects to get laid off soon due to lack of work. “It’s scary,” said Crown, nursing a pitcher of Miller beer at a bar. “You can’t get ahead. You live to survive.” Another customer, 65year-old Roger Dyke agreed. “The country’s in a mess,” he said. “I don’t know any way of fixing it.”
Philadelphia mayor cracks down on flash mobs By DAVE WARNER PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Michael Nutter (right) announced a youth curfew in Philadelphia on Monday in response to flash mobs that rioted and beat store owners, saying parents would be held as responsible as their out-ofcontrol children. The crackdown on teens who swarm in response to messages posted on Twitter and MySpace includes a 9 p.m. curfew for anyone under age 18 on Friday and Saturday nights, Nutter told a news conference with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Parents called to pick up a child who breaks curfew get a warning on the first violation and fines of up to $500 for subsequent violations. Failing to pick up a child could result in a charge of child neglect, authorities said. “When we get involved, it’s too late for the tears. It’s too late for ‘Oh my baby, Oh my baby’,” Ramsey said. “If you
love your baby, take care of him now.” Gangs of youths as young as 11 converged on business owners and their patrons in Center City on Saturday night, the most recent in a series of flash mobs in the downtown district. Among those arrested for beating a man and breaking his teeth was an 11-year-old boy who was “stomping on random people,” District Attorney Seth Williams said. “There are a relatively small number of complete
knuckleheads in this city who are causing this kind of disruption, and we will not tolerate it,” Nutter said. In addition to demanding greater parental involvement, the crackdown includes beefed up police patrols and the formation of citizen patrols that can reach police by portable radio in case of emergency. Nutter said many city recreation centers would also expand their evening hours so youth will have a place to gather for leisure activities.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
which of these will not reduce your electricity use? a. replacing light switches with dimmers or motion sensors b. focusing light where it’s needed instead of lighting a whole room c. removing lamp shades d. keeping bulbs and fixtures clean
ceiling fans can improve energy efficiency… a. in the summer b. in the winter c. in both summer and winter
an efficient way to keep your home cool in the summer is to... a. close shades or drapes to keep out the sun’s heat b. leave your a/c on all the time so it doesn’t have to cool a warm house c. leave windows open for a breeze, even when it’s hot out
what is the recommended setting for your a/c thermostat? a. 80° b. 78°
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c. 72° d. 60°
for 100+ energy saving tips visit conEd.com or find us on Facebook at Power of Green
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Trial of Nigeria dictator assistant haunts nation
By JON GAMBRELL Judge clears Zambia president’s re-election bid LUSAKA, Zambia - A Zambian judge has dismissed a petition from the main opposition party trying to block President Rupiah Banda from running for re-election next month. The Patriotic Front had argued Banda is ineligible for re-election because both his parents were allegedly born outside the country. Judge Jane Kabuka dismissed the petition on technical grounds yesterday. Banda, the former vice president, narrowly won a 2008 presidential poll forced by the death of president Levy Mwanawasa. Banda, who is in his 70s, was born before Zambia gained independence in 1964. Presidential, parliamentary and local elections will be held Sept. 28.
Egyptians torch police station Dozens of Egyptians angered by the absence of police protection in their town set fire to a police station yesterday after looting its armoury and freeing jailed inmates, security officials said. The officials said that the crowd stormed the police station in the southern town of Garga in protest at what they said was the police’s failure to protect them from attacks from a neighbouring village. They seized the weapons to defend themselves, the official said. The trouble between Garga and the neighbouring village of Nagaa Uweis began on Sunday after a fight between two drivers, one from Garga and the other from Nagaa Uweis, escalated into a gunfight. The military, in charge since a revolt ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February, has sent soldiers into the town to reinforce police there, the officials said. Police, who were widely attacked during the January and February revolt, have gradually begun returning to the streets as the military tries to hand over policing duties.
Somalia famine: WFP begins 800-ton airlift of food NAIROBI, Kenya - The World Food Program is sending 800 metric tons of high energy biscuits to East Africa to help fight the famine in Somalia. The U.N. food agency said yesterday that the series of nine airlifts will be enough to feed 1.6 million people for a day. The biscuits are being delivered to Kenya for onward delivery throughout the Horn of Africa. More than 12 million people are suffering from the effects of drought in East Africa. The U.S. on Monday announced an additional $105 million in aid for famine relief efforts. The top U.S. aid official said during a trip to a refugee camp in Kenya that models show that hundreds of thousands of Somali children could die in the famine if there is not a strong aid response.
LAGOS, Nigeria - Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha served as the right-hand man of Nigeria’s feared and final military dictator, suppressing dissent through fear and once boasting of even having a “license to kill.” Now, after nearly 14 years in prison, he’s finally facing trial on charges of orchestrating the murder of a political rival’s wife, reopening old wounds from an era of terror in Nigeria. The man once accused of plotting a coup from inside a maximum-security prison is back to haunt a nation wracked by sectarian violence that is still taking stumbling steps on the road to democracy. He’s even drawing scores of supporters to the courthouse despite his affiliation with the oppressive regime. As part of his re-emergence, Al-Mustapha also is bringing forth videos and memos that he claims indict various ethnic leaders. Those accusations could fuel further unrest in Nigeria, where rioting across the north earlier this year already has left hundreds dead. Nigerian authorities still view Al-Mustapha as a security threat, holding him in Lagos’ maximum-security Kirikiri prison. In 2004, officials claimed he planned to have someone shoot down a helicopter carrying then-President Olusegun Obasanjo with a Stinger missile. Some, though, say it’s time that the former intelligence officer is finally getting his day in court. “I believe the case has been too long standing,” said Solomon Akinboye, chairman of the political science department at the University of Lagos. “There’s need to get it over. If the man is believed to committed an offense, it should be known.” Al-Mustapha is accused of ordering a security agent to kill the wife of Moshood Abiola, a flamboyant businessman widely believed to be the winner of the 1993 presidential poll. AlMustapha has denied taking part in her 1996 machine-gun killing, saying he was tortured into a false confession. “It was intense torture, physical and psychological. I will never forget,” he said, later pulling up his traditional robes to show a scar he claimed came
Nigeria's former Chief security officer, Maj. Hamza AlMustapha, center, waves after his trial at the federal high court in Lagos. from a gunshot wound. “Every ernment memorandum that day was too long a day to go says hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on visitors to through.” Yet security agents under Al- Abacha’s palace. Al-Mustapha also provided a Mustapha’s control routinely used torture on political prison- videotape that shows leaders of ers and journalists, according to Nigeria’s southwestern Yoruba multiple accounts in the years tribe arriving and leaving the after dictator Sani Abacha’s villa. He says the visit included Yoruba elders taking massive death. Al-Mustapha worked for bribes in exchange for dropping Abacha, who seized power in their demands for democracy 1993 after the vote was and support for Moshood Abiola, annulled. Abacha went on to set who belonged to the Yoruba up a kleptocratic and brutal tribe. The claims, denied by the surregime that imprisoned critics, ran intellectuals out of the coun- viving Yoruba elders, comes as try, stole hundreds of millions of Al-Mustapha and his family dollars in government funds claim the government and powand benefited from the unsolved erful politicians want him dead. But they also highlight the long killings of political opponents. Now a slender man in his 50s, unease between Nigeria’s north he speaks in a soft, yet insistent and south, where divisions voice, acting almost as a histori- largely fall along religious lines. cal revisionist of Nigeria’s Tens of thousands have died in bloody past. The way Al- religious and ethnic rioting Mustapha now tells it, Abacha’s since the nation embraced power grab wasn’t a coup but democracy in 1999. After Monday’s testimony, merely a “change of course of history of Nigeria’s political Muslim supporters of AlMustapha milled outside the life.” Prosecutors also have sought courtroom, wearing postageto link him to the crime by show- stamp-sized photographs of the ing his control of the Abacha’s soldier safety-pinned to their security forces, including body- clothes. As a convoy of security trucks guards and a paramilitary “strike force” that traveled to roared away, the crowd rushed Libya and North Korea for train- forward, pressing their hands ing and routinely used violence. and faces against the barred But Al-Mustapha, a Hausa windows of the van holding Alfrom the country’s north, still Mustapha, crying “God is Great” receives support from the in Arabic. The chanting crowd gathered Muslim populace there, highlighting Nigeria’s religious divi- around a local imam, shouting sions. His recent claims in court prayers for his release, their also have been driving a further hands raised to the sky. wedge, as he has offered a gov-
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Construction of new airport terminal to begin in St Vincent By KENTON X. CHANCE KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — Actual construction of the new Argyle International Airport terminal building in St. Vincent will begin within one week, Dr Rudy Matthias, chairman and CEO of the Argyle International Airport Development Company announced on Sunday. Matthias, speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the terminal building, said he expects Taiwanese firm Overseas Engineering and Construction Company Ltd will complete the facilities within 28 months, as contracted. He said that, while preparing for the design of the terminal building, IADC officials visited airports in Cuba, The Bahamas, Trinidad, Mexico, Portugal, and Atlanta. Taiwanese firm, CECI Engineering Consultants Inc. was awarded the US$3.9 million contract for the design and supervision of landside facilities. Matthias outlined the facilities to be constructed over the next two years. The contract for the terminal building, which is being financed by Taiwan, is worth US$26.5 million. The 100,071 squarefoot terminal building compares to the 30,000 square feet at the E.T. Joshua Airport and is
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves (R) and Taiwan Ambassador to SVG, Weber Shih. designed to comfortably accommodate 800 passengers at any one time, Matthias said. Matthias said all earthworks at the airport would be completed by early 2013. The airstrip will be 9,000 feet long and would accommodate any aircraft, except the Airbus A380 — the largest passenger airliner in the world. The 22-acre apron at Argyle will be 11 times larger than at the E.T. Joshua Airport. Matthias said 8.8 acres would be for commercial planes while 11.5 acres will be for general aviation. General aviation includes aircraft flying to the Grenadines and private aircraft, which Matthias said the IADC expects would increase significantly when the airport is completed. The apron will also have space to accommodate two 727 aircrafts, the type Amerijet land-
ed at the E.T. Joshua Airport. The Argyle International Airport, the largest capital project in the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was conceptualised in 2005 and construction commenced in 2008. It was initially estimated to cost EC$480 million. The cost has since been revised to EC$652 million. Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves’ “coalition of the willing” has joined in financing the airport. The coalition includes Cuba, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Iran, Libya, Mexico, Austria, and the Caribbean C o m m u n i t y Development Fund. Gonsalves said on Sunday that it is high time that “oppositionists” support the Argyle International Airport project. In his first public address since going on
Saint Lucia in talks with REDjet CASTRIES, Saint Lucia — Saint Lucia may soon benefit from a new air service link with South and Central America on low cost intraregional carrier REDjet. Back home from a fact-finding mission to Panama City, Senator Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, reported on productive discussions between REDjet’s senior leadership, Copa Airlines, and the governments of Panama, Saint Lucia and Barbados. “We are exploring the options of a new service between Panama City, Barbados and Saint Lucia,” disclosed Chastanet, who said the new flight will further open up the Latin
American market to the Eastern Caribbean. Talks with Copa Airlines, the tourism minister added, included consideration of interline and code share agreements, allowing South American travelers to seamlessly connect at Panama City and visit the Caribbean. In addition to bringing travelers from the continent, Chastanet spoke of other direct benefit for islanders: “Conversely, Saint Lucians who are interested in shopping in Panama would be able hop aboard REDjet and within a few short hours sample Latin American culture and its bargain shopping as an alternative to traveling to the United States.”
vacation four weeks ago, Gonsalves cited the biblical account of Solomon’s construction of the temple, noting that David had left detailed plans and immense resources for its construction. He said that, unlike Solomon, his administration, which came to office in 2001, was not left any plan or monies for building the airport. Gonsalves, speaking on the eve of his 65th birthday, noted opposition to the project, which was being constructed in the face of the limited resources of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the global economic situation. He said that 154 Vincentians and 47 Cubans are currently employed at the project. About 80 more Vincentians will be employed when actual construction of the terminal building begins next week, with 800
persons expected to be employed when construction peaks. Gonsalves said studies indicate that a crosswind runway would be necessary only to accommodate aircraft flying to and from the Grenadines. He said a crosswind runway would cost less than 1 percent of the cost of the airport. Gonsalves said the value of the works completed is EC$180 million but noted that the IADC has spent only EC$28 million. Vincentians can expect the new airport to be complete by the end of 2013 Gonsalves said on Sunday. Current chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr Denzil Douglas, and Taiwan ambassador to Kingstown, Weber Shih, congratulated the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) for undertaking the construction of the Argyle International Airport. Douglas — who is also prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis — and Weber spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony on Sunday. Douglas noted that the terminal building was being commenced during a week when the global economic crisis especially impacted the United States, which saw its credit ratings downgraded from a perfect AAA to AA+ for the first time. Douglas added that
the effects would be felt within CARICOM, including its subregional grouping, the of Organisation Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), where St. Kitts and Nevis and SVG are part of an economic and political union. In the meantime, the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) on Monday said that there continues to be “no clarity” on how the EC$652 million international airport being constructed at Argyle is to be financed. “Gonsalves, continues to ignore economic reality,” the NDP said in a press statement Monday morning. The NDP said the prime minister’s speech on Sunday was “an empty address to a few party supporters in Argyle”. The NDP said Gonsalves “has resorted to cheap political rhetoric in an effort to secure his political support base which has been wavering under the pressure of the ULP’s [Unity Labour Party’s] poor economic management of our country”. It said the “confusion within the ULP” can be seen in the different dates Gonsalves gave on Sunday and CEO of the Tourism Authority Glen Beache gave international tourism stakeholders last year. “2013 now joins 2012 and 2014 as possible dates for completion of the project,” the NDP said in its statement.
Chavez returns to Cuba for second chemo session HAVANA, Cuba - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived at Havana’s international airport shortly before midnight on Saturday, where he was welcomed by President Raul Castro and Foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez. Chavez stepped down from the plane smiling and very talkative, accompanied by foreign minister Nicolas Maduro. The Venezuelan head of state returned to Cuba to resume chemotherapy treatment, which began last month with the initial session. The stay by Chavez in Cuba was previously and unanimously approved by the Venezuelan parliament. Chavez said he will be undergoing check-ups by the same medical
team and then he will resume chemo treatment on Monday. He said this second chemotherapy could take more than five days. Although the time of the treatment has not been defined, the legal term approved by the parliament is 90 days, according to Venezuelan law. On Friday, the Venezuelan president made it clear that his trip to Cuba does not have to do with any health complication at all, since “we have to do what must be done,” first “due to my love for my people and second for a medical-scientific reason that is directly linked to the fact that I am forced to win the 2012 presidential elections, since it will give continuity to the Bolivarian process.”
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
One Thought - One Humanity
Tia and Tamera get real with new TV series
For the conclusions of these stories check out the August 4th - August 10th, 2011 issue of The New American, which hits newsstands every Thursday Congratulations may be in order for Janet Jackson who reportedly has let billionaire boyfriend Wissam Al-Mana put a 15carat ring on it!!! According to reports: The singer’s boyfriend, bil lionaire Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana, recently popped the question, and now the happy couple is planning an end-of-theyear marriage ceremony. “Janet is head over heels in love with Wissam,” said a close source. “He’s showered her with love, expensive presents and boosted her self-esteem by helping her lose weight and shape up.” Wissam, 36, first brought up a walk down the aisle last fall, when he reportedly presented the Jackson clan beauty with a magnificent 15-carat diamond ring. But Janet, 45, wasn’t ready because she wanted to focus on preparations for her current concert tour, which runs into September. “Now Janet’s telling friends that an official engage ment announcement will come by summer’s end, and that she and Wissam will marry in late 2011 – and they’re shopping for an even bigger diamond ring to celebrate their official engagement.” The two are anxious to start a family as soon as possible. Janet would love to have a baby the natural way, but at 45, she’s also looking into adoption possibilities, according to the source. The-Dream will make his dedicated fans very happy this month. The producersinger-songwriter will release a free 10-track LP, entitled ‘Terius Nash Est. 1977,’ prior to dropping his fourth studio album ‘The Love, IV: Diary of a Madman’ later this year. According to The-Dream, ‘Terius Nash Est. 1977’
will be released to the public free on August 31. “LP4 is Underway I THE-DREAM have decided to go forward with Diary Of A Madman LP it almost didn’t happen. So ill be in my Def Jam uniform for at least one More Season!” he tweeted. “Also a free 10 song Internet album will be released by Aug 31st. LP 4 because of the Contract negotiations does not have a date but it will be released 4th quarter but I will give a 10 song Internet LP while you guys wait!!!! LOVE YOU.” Chante Moore made an announcement that she and her hubby of nine years Kenny Lattimore are officially a wrap. The singer posted the following “private announcement” on her Facebook page. In the meantime Chante’ has her hands full as the host of an upcoming Sporty Girl Fitness 90 Day Transformation reality show. Michael Jai White, Vivica Fox and Tamyra Gray are also involved with the project. “Can’t Be Friends” producer Mario Winans is finalizing his new album with plans to release the project by the end of the year. Winans’ third album, entitled ‘My Purpose,’ is a follow-up to his 2004 platinum effort ‘Hurt No More.’ During his hiatus from releasing solo material, Winans told YKIGS “I produced some stuff for the Diddy and Dirty Money [album] and with different artists like Rick Ross and all the Bad Boy artists.” With urge to continue his solo career, he was inspired to record new material: “I had been living a little differently than what my purpose is, and that is really just to humbly serve others to pray for others and to really be a good person and live
the way I believe. From that, I was inspired to title my album that because those changes were going on in my life while I was working on the album.” In addition to his forthcoming album, Winans is grooming Hip Hop artist Superstar Piper, who is credited for producing Carl Thomas’ new single “It Ain’t Fair.” Beyonce’s publicist told Today.com that Beyonce has no plans for a cookbook. “This is untrue,” she said. Rumors started that Beyonce Knowles planned to publish a soul food cookbook, a “source” told the Daily Mirror. The singer was allegedly inspired by her mother, who prepares a spread of collard greens, cornbread, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken no matter where in the world they were. The only problem is that Beyonce has previously admitted that she isn’t such a great cook, and that she doesn’t really enjoy it. In fact, Beyonce says she’s a disaster in the kitchen. Will.i.am has signed up to perform a special concert in China to encourage American students to study abroad and expand their cultural boundaries. The Black Eyed Peas star met with officials at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. and agreed to headline a gig for the 100,000 Strong Initiative, a motion made by President Barack Obama to match the rising number of Chinese students who travel to America to learn. The singer’s show will benefit Americans Promoting Study Abroad, a non-profit organization which provides financial support to low-income students partaking in exchange programs in the Asian country.
with the pressures of their personal relationships and responsibilities. During the series, viewers get to see The twin sisters best known for Tia preparing for the birth of her their hit ‘90s sitcom Sister, Sister first child and Tamera planning the are back again. Tia Mowry Hardrict wedding of her dreams. and Tamera Mowry-Housley have In an interview, Tia and Tamera teamed up with the Style Network opened up about their new show, for a behind the scenes look into obstacles of parenting, balancing their major life transformations. their relationships and careers, and Their new docu-series Tia & Tamera, how they were able to break the teen premieres Monday, August 8 at star curse. 9:00pm ET/PT. What made you want to do this Last summer Tia and Tamera show? aired a successful preview to their Tia: This is the time... the timing series on The Style Network, and is right. Tamera and I have such this summer they are giving a more loyal fans that have stuck with us in-depth look into their lives as sis- throughout the years and we ters and friends. Throughout the thought it would be nice to open series they learn how to balance them to our world and let them their successful acting careers along know who we really are. - Full Story In This Week’s New American Newspaper -
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Heart test standards all over the map By FREDERIK JOELVING U.S. hospitals vary widely in how they decide who’s eligible for an invasive type of heart scan, according to a new study. The findings fuel recent concerns about overuse of the procedure, called coronary angiography, which carries a price tag of several thousand dollars and a risk of side effects. Researchers found that at some U.S. hospitals, fewer than a quarter of the scanned patients turned out to have heart disease. At others, all of them did. That suggests some hospitals use the procedure liberally, while others reserve it for high-risk patients, said Dr. Pamela S. Douglas of Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, who led the study. “Clearly we have no standards,” she told Reuters Health. “There is differential use, which tells you there may be a quality issue.” During coronary angiography, doctors guide a thin
tube, called a catheter, through a blood vessel into the heart, where a special dye is injected. Using high-dose x-rays, they then look for cholesterol blockages that restrict blood flow to the heart and in some cases might eventually lead to a heart attack. If there is a big blockage, doctors may choose to open up the artery and put in a stent — a fine metal tube that props the artery open. While the procedure is the gold standard for diagnosing coronary artery disease, there is no agreement on who will benefit from it outside of patients with ongoing heart attacks or previous heart disease. Using a large national registry, Douglas’ team found more than 565,000 patients who’d undergone non-emergency coronary angiography and had never had heart disease before. Most, but not all, had first completed a non-invasive stress test to give the doctor a preview of their heart health. The hospitals — 691 in total - had very different overall test results, ranging
from 23 percent of patients with confirmed heart disease to 100 percent. Hospitals with a lower rate of positive tests tended to perform angiography on younger patients at a lower risk of heart disease and often without symptoms. That suggests hospitals would make different decisions about heart scans faced with the same patients, said Douglas, although she added that the ones that found heart disease in all patients may not have reported their results correctly. Some patients can get kidney damage from the dyes used in coronary angiography, and the high-dose xrays may lead to a small increase in cancer risk. There is also a small risk of bleeding and blood clots due to the procedure, although less than one in 10,000 healthy patients experiences serious complications, according to Douglas. She pointed out that not all negative tests are wasted efforts, because they could provide reassurance to patients, families and doc-
High-fiber diet might lower risk for colon polyps People who regularly eat legumes, brown rice, cooked green vegetables and dried fruit have a reduced risk of colon polyps, a precursor to colon cancer. That’s the finding of California researchers who analyzed data from 2,818 people who were followed for 26 years. During that time, 441 cases of rectal/colon polyps were detected among the participants. The risk of polyps was 40 percent lower among those who ate brown rice at least once a week and 33 percent lower among those who eat legumes (a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils) at least three times a week, the Loma Linda University team found. Eating dried fruit three times or more a week, compared to less than once a week, was associated with a 26 percent reduced risk. Eating cooked green vegetables once a day or more, vs. less than five times a week, was associated with a 24 percent reduced risk, according to the report published online in the journal Nutrition and Cancer. “Eating these foods is like-
ly to decrease your risk for colon polyps, which would in turn decrease your risk for colorectal cancer,” study author Dr. Yessenia Tantamango, a postdoctoral research fellow, said in a university news release. “While a majority of past research has focused on broad food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, in relation to colon cancer, our study focused on specific foods, as well as more narrowed food groups, in relation to colon polyps, a pre-
cursor to colon cancer. Our study confirms the results of past studies that have been done in different populations analyzing risks for colon cancer,” Tantamango said. “Legumes, dried fruits and brown rice all have a high content of fiber, known to dilute potential carcinogens,” Tantamango noted. “Additionally, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain detoxifying compounds, which would improve their protective function.”
tors. “Negative doesn’t mean unnecessary,” said Douglas, whose findings appear in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. She added that there was also no way of knowing which approach would lead to better outcomes for patients. Dr. William Boden, a cardiologist at the State University of New York at Buffalo who wasn’t involved in the study, said the results suggested that some doctors and hospitals may use the procedure too liberally. Coronary angiography makes sense if stress tests
indicate a serious problem, he told Reuters Health. But for people at lower risk, Boden has found that lifestyle changes and medications are as good as stents at staving off heart attacks. “Performing angiography in that setting is likely not to lead to much benefit. You will basically confirm the obvious,” he said. “We need to do a better job in terms of getting all physicians to adhere to a more evidencebased approach.” So far, there aren’t any clear criteria for when to use diagnostic coronary angiography. But Douglas said the American College of Cardiology expects to publish such criteria this winter. “Based on these results we need some standards,” she said.
Bullying takes toll on high school test scores Students attending high schools dominated by bullies are more likely to have lower standardized test scores, a new study shows. In fact, researchers in Virginia found that schoolwide passing rates on three different standardized exams (Algebra I, Earth Science and World History) were 3 percent to 6 percent lower in schools where students reported a more severe bullying climate. The findings, they added, highlight the fact that bullying is a pervasive problem in schools. “Our study suggests that a bullying climate may play an important role in student test performance,” Dewey Cornell, a clinical psychologist and a professor of education at the University of Virginia, said in a news release. “This research underscores the importance of treating bullying as a schoolwide problem rather than just an individual problem.” In conducting the study, researchers compiled surveys about bullying from more than 7,300 ninth graders and about 3,000 teachers at 284 Virginia high schools. The researchers pointed out that even a 3 percent to 6 percent drop in test scores associated with bullying is significant. Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, students must receive a passing grade on these standardized tests to graduate. Moreover, in the state of Virginia at
least 70 percent of a school’s students must pass the tests for the school to keep its state accreditation. “This difference is substantial because it affects the school’s ability to meet federal requirements and the educational success of many students who don’t pass the exams,” said Cornell. “This study supports the case for school-wide bullying prevention programs as a step to improve school climate and facilitate academic achievement.” The researchers argued the poor academic performance was due to the fact that students are less engaged in learning when they are afraid about bullying. They also suggested bullying leads to a greater level of school disorder, which may have negatively affected test scores. The study authors noted bullying programs should not only provide help for victims, but also counseling and discipline for bullies. Bystanders, they added, should also be discouraged from supporting bullying. “We have always had bullying in our schools. What has changed is we have become more aware of bullying due to a series of highprofile tragic cases involving school shootings and suicides,” concluded Cornell. “Our society does not permit harassment and abuse of adults in the workplace, and the same protections should be afforded to children in school.”
DAILY D CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Stranded in ‘food deserts,’ hundreds of thousands of N.J. residents lack access to healthy, fresh food HAMILTON - One of Heather Cooke’s favorite meals is a fresh garden salad. But finding the ingredients for the dish in her Hamilton neighborhood isn’t easy. The nearest ShopRite is a 15-minute drive. When Cooke’s aging Ford is in the shop, as it was in June, she can take two NJ Transit buses to the supermarket and haul her bags home. There are plenty of fast food joints and a small grocery store within walking distance. But the produce prices are “outrageously expensive,” said Cooke, 44. Welcome to the desert. Cooke’s neighborhood on the HamiltonTrenton border is one of 134 “food deserts” in New Jersey, according to the federal government. They are mostly low-income pockets of big cities, sprawling suburbs and small towns that lack easy access to a supermarket but are usually brimming with expensive convenience stores and fast food restaurants. Experts say food deserts are the equivalent of nutritional wastelands, where families who can’t afford to hunt down fresh food are often left to subside on Slurpees, Big Macs and calorie-laden packaged foods. Studies show food desert residents are more likely to
be obese and spend a greater percentage of their time and income shopping for meals. “There’s food in these communities,” said Alan Berube, a senior fellow and research director of the Brookings Policy Metropolitan Program. “It’s just expensive food, or not particularly healthy food.” More than 340,000 New Jerseyans - or about 4 percent of the state’s population - live in food deserts and have limited access to supermarkets, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The areas, which dot the map from Sussex County to Cape May, include some obvious food wastelands, including an industrial section of Newark near the New Jersey Turnpike and a sparsely populated stretch near the Bayonne port that is far from any shopping centers. But other Garden State food deserts are more surprising: Nearly a third of Carteret in Middlesex County. A large portion of Manville in Somerset County. A swath of Piscataway near Rutgers University. Relatively upscale sections of Parsippany in Morris County and Margate on the Jersey Shore. South Jersey fared the worst in the federal
study released this spring. Researchers found 83 food deserts in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties, accounting for more than 60 percent of the state’s total. Experts say less populated areas, like portions of South Jersey, are difficult for shoppers because they lack both large supermarkets and the mass transportation needed to get to far-away stores. Another report issued last year by a nonprofit group says New Jersey’s food desert problem is even worse that the federal government estimates. The Reinvestment Fund, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit group that researches urban issues, concluded more than 924,000 Garden State residents - or more than 10 percent of the population - lack adequate access to supermarkets offering fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Though they may have never heard of the term food desert, many residents in affected areas know their access to food is limited. With no car and no affordable grocery store within walking distance of his Hamilton apartment, John Korrow relies on his two sisters to give him a ride to a supermarket in a neighboring town every few weeks. “I get the odds and
ends then - milk and sugar,” said Korrow, 48. “I’d get a taxi if I had to.” Shanique Coleman, 21, lives in a food desert in Somerville. She has to rely on a social worker to shuttle her twice a month to neighboring Raritan to get groceries at a Stop & Shop for her two young children. Without the ride, she would have to rely on her grandmother in New Brunswick, nearly a half-hour away, to give her a lift. Although Coleman has been unemployed for two years, she says she spends extra at the supermarket to buy fresh meat and vegetables in an effort to eat healthy. “I like to eat good food,” Coleman said. “I don’t like to spend my money on just anything.” Urban lawmakers and anti-obesity groups say the solution to food deserts is simple: Build more high-quality supermarkets in lowincome areas. But that is easier said than done. Large supermarket chains have low profit margins and are often reluctant to build in sparsely-populated rural areas or densely populated urban neighborhoods with expensive building costs and high crime. First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted the plight of families in food deserts as part of her
Shanique Coleman, 21, of Somerville, is a single mom who relies on help to drive her to a grocery store. A recent U.S. department of agriculture study found more than 340,000 New Jerseyans live in “food deserts,” areas that lack access to large grocery stores and healthy, fresh food. Somerville contains one of these deserts, and a young family must rely on a social worker to transport them to a supermarket twice a month. “Let’s Move” campaign to lower childhood obesity rates. Last year, President Obama proposed $400 million in federal money to encourage supermarket construction in cities and to convince existing retailers to offer healthier food to eradicate food deserts by 2017. But the proposed funding has not been approved by Congress. Some have criticized Obama and the federal Department of Agriculture for exaggerating the food desert problem and encouraging the construction of suburban-style grocery stores in urban neighborhoods that do not
want or need chain superstores. No one who studies the problem says people in food deserts are starving. Critics say the federal food desert study which concluded 10 percent of U.S. Census tracts lack adequate grocery store access failed to give enough credit to the small momand-pop stores that feed many cities. Others say the federal government is unfairly labeling some areas as food deserts even though they have large supermarkets in a neighboring town or slightly outside the one-mile radius dictated in the federal study.
Woman who inadvertently left 4-year-old child home alone should not be on child-abuse registry, court rules she dined with a By MARYANN SPOTO
AT L A N T I C HIGHLANDS - The state Supreme Court yesterday said an Atlantic Highlands woman should not have been placed on a state registry for child abuse for inadvertently leaving her 4-year-old son home alone while
friend. The ruling is at least the second time this year the court has overruled the state’s child protection agency. In January, it said slapping a teenager or taking money from her paycheck to pay family bills does not constitute child abuse or neglect. Yesterday’s decision was lauded by a representative for parents who said this isn’t the
same as when kids are chronically abused or neglected. Child advocates worried it may send the wrong signal to parents. In this case, the mother, who lived with her mother and stepfather, had spent the March 2007 day with her son, who had fallen asleep in the car. She put the child in his bed, and, assuming her mother was upstairs, went out to dinner, according to
the decision. Her parents, however, had left on an impromtu trip to New York and were not in the house. The boy woke up, and, failing to find anyone home, walked across a busy road to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor alerted police, who later interviewed the mother, referred to in the decision as “T.B.” and “Susan.” The woman told authorities she assumed her moth-
er, who was ill all week with the flu, was asleep in her bed when she left the boy. She said she did not know her mother and stepfather had left for New York. Police did not file criminal charges but reported the incident to DYFS, which found the woman, a teacher, neglected her son. The court, in a 6-0 decision, notes the varying degrees of child neglect and says a finding
of abuse or neglect depends, in part, on whether the child suffered actual harm. “To be sure, Susan’s failure to perform the cautionary acting of calling upstairs to assure her mother’s presence was clearly negligent,” Justice Virginia Long wrote. “Under all of the circumstances known to her however, it did not rise to the level of gross negligence or recklessness.”
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Jay-Z, Kanye West earn high praise for ‘Throne’ By SABRINA FORD No need for Kanye West and Jay-Z to simply watch a throne. Judging by Monday’s reviews and Web response to their new album, “Watch the Throne,” they should just sit atop it to reign over the realm of hip hop. The highly anticipated album from the pair of music masters was met with high praise across the Web only hours after being released exclusively on iTunes at midnight, Monday. The album received glowing early reviews. Allhiphop.com gave it 9 out of 10 stars, calling it “a creative victory at worse and at its very best, a paradigm shift for Hip-Hop.” Musician and producer Questlove of Grammy-winning band The Roots took to Twitter in the wee hours of the morning, enthralled by Jay-Z’s performances on an emerging fan favorite. He tweeted: “Hov’s verse on ‘Who Gone Stop Me’ is gettin a 4th listen at 2am.” Hip-hop historian and deejay Davey D was so impressed he tweeted that “Watch the Throne” “is better than “illmatic”, “36 chambers”, “Aquemini”, “Sgt Pepper” and “Joshua Tree” com-
bined,” referring to albums from Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Outkast, the Beatles, and U2. Davey D was accused of getting carried away by journalist and author Toure, who tweeted, “friends don’t let friends overhype.” But even Toure was impressed, calling the album “great,” and lauding the “substantive” lyrics on tracks like “New Day” on which Kanye and Jay-Z address their future sons. Only a few comments steered toward negative. The Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot gave the album two out of
four stars and called Kanye “desperate, transparent, awkward, vulnerable.” He also said Jay-Z lost his steam, “He no longer needs to surprise us, he simply needs to file annual updates reminding us that, after all, he’s Jay-Z and you’re not,” Kot said. Hip-hop fans have been waiting impatiently for “Watch the Throne” since Kanye West first mentioned it on Twitter almost a year ago. The two have a storied history, dating back to more than a decade ago when
Kanye West got his big break producing for artists signed to Roc-a-Fella records, the label co-founded by Jay-Z. But a lot of the buzz surrounding the album has nothing to Jay-Z or West, Singer-songwriter Frank Ocean’s two guest appearances on the tracks “No Church” and “New America,” made him a popular topic online Monday. The album also features guest appearances by Beyonce and Mr. Hudson, as well as vocal work from late soul singers Otis Redding and Curtis
Mayfield. Mixtape DJ Mick Boogie tweeted, “I feel like Frank Ocean is channeling his inner Mos Def on “no church” - not a bad thing.” West might want to take note of all the positive buzz. Over the weekend, he went on a rant during a show in England in which he said people look at him like he’s Adolf Hitler. The 34-year-old who has earned a reputation for outlandish behavior, broke into the middle of his set during the Big Chill music festival on Saturday night to talk about how much he was misunderstood and underappreciated. “I walk through the hotel and I walk down the street, and people look at me like I’m...insane, like I’m Hitler,” he said to boos from the crowd. “One day the light will shine through and one day people will understand everything I ever did.” West is known for public outbursts. He grabbed the microphone away from Taylor Swift while she was being honored for best female video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and said Beyonce should have won the award. In 2005, West said “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people” during a Hurricane Katrina telethon.
‘Hunger Games’ CBS takes ‘Interest’ in Taraji P. Henson sequel film already has release date By JOSHUA L. WEINSTEIN LOS ANGELES — Lionsgate is still shooting “The Hunger Games,” but already has set a date for the second film in the series. “Catching Fire” has been set for a November 22, 2013 release, the studio announced Monday. Lionsgate is releasing no other details about “Catching Fire,” so it’s unclear who will direct and whether stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will return.
“The Hunger Games” will be released on March 23, 2012. The movies are based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling trio of young adult novels. Lionsgate has rights to turn the three books into four movies. The books are giant sellers — “Hunger Games” has sold more than 3 million copies in the United States alone — and the movies have generated enormous enthusiasm. Clearly, Lionsgate sees in the “Hunger Games” movies what Summit saw in “The Twilight Saga.”
Producers of CBS’ new fall drama “Person of Interest” can’t say enough about their Academy Award-nominated cast member Taraji P. Henson. Based on a screenplay by J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Alias”) and show creator Jonathan Nolan, the series follows mysterious billionaire Mr. Finch (“Lost’s” Michael Emerson) who develops a computer program that can predict future crime victims. Finch hires Reese (Jim Caviezel), a former CIA agent presumed to be dead, to help stop those crimes, using Finch’s agency resources and tech savvy. Henson, who plays a police officer, says of her character: “She served two tours in Iraq. She is the heart. There are police officers that can be quite cynical because you see enough dead bodies in a day, you gotta
laugh to keep from crying. She’s more of a caring police officer. Not that all police officers don’t care. But she won’t crack the joke, or, you know, she gets a little more emotionally involved with some of the people that she’s
she interacts with. And she’s chasing this guy in a suit, which she’s already identified him as an ex-army person of some sort. So she identifies with that, and that’s what drives her to find out who this guy is.”
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Damon Dash talks $3 million tax debt By ROB MARKMAN The once-flamboyant RocA-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash is now in debt. In July, The Detroit News reported that the music mogul and Jay-Z’s former business partner owes almost $3 million in back taxes, according to a tax lien filed June 30. On Friday, Dash visited the “Sway in the Morning” radio show on Shade 45 and spoke to host and MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway about his recent troubles with the IRS. After being asked about owing “$2 million,” Dash quickly set the record straight: “I owe way more than $2 million in
taxes. That must’ve just been the IRS,” Dash said, laughing, before admitting that he was in a bad space financially. “Nah, nah, I’m f—-ed up.” Dame made his mark alongside Jay-Z and Kareem “Biggs” Burke in the mid1990s. After the trio founded Roc-A-Fella Records and released a few street singles, they dropped Jay-Z’s debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996 and embarked on a storied run. In the following years, Roc-A-Fella would continue to put out records from Hov and also introduce new artists such as Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel and, of course, Kanye West. By 2005, however, it all came crashing down, and Jay-Z parted ways with Dash and Burke, leaving them on the
outside looking in. Dash has since started new business ventures, and on Friday, the DD172 CEO told Sway that when it comes to his tax troubles, he just doesn’t have the money. It isn’t because he is broke, Dame insisted, but rather because he redistributes his money back into his many companies, choosing to reinvest instead of making a profit off the top. “It’s the price of business; it is what it is,” he explained. “I owe taxes: I got to pay. “They’re auditing me. When you’re a business man, you have a lot of businesses, a lot of times they think you’re laundering money or you’re pretending you’re writing things off that you don’t,” he continued. “I’m a
true businessman. As you know, I believe in my independence, I have no partners, so every dollar I make goes right back into every business I have.” Dash charges that the audit is a result of his accountant’s failure to itemize his expenses. “If I have an accountant that just reports I just invested $10 million in my business and he doesn’t exactly itemize where every cost goes, it gives a flag to the government,” he said. “They want to make sure that the reason I’m not paying taxes is because I’m reinvesting in these businesses and not trying to hide stuff.” Now, DD has to wait until the government goes through his books. H said he thinks it might take a while
before things are sorted out. “They gotta look at every single transaction, and the government is slow,” he said. “They really don’t believe that I’m so real about putting all of my money into my business, but that’s what I do.”
Kelly Price’s fight Shaunie O’Neal’s burning against breast cancer desire to change reality TV
Grammy nominated singer Kelly Price has become an official advocate for breast cancer through the Susan G. Komen foundation. The issue touches home for Price because her mother and mother-in-law were diagnosed with the disease. “My husband and I have known each other and been friends since we were 13 years old, so when both my mom and mother in law were diagnosed with breast cancer, it felt like an all-out attack on my family,” states Price. “The news came at the beginning of my career when I was about to launch my very first album. At a time when my family and I would have otherwise been celebrating, we were gripped with fear and uncertainty. After a
long hard fight, my mom survived breast cancer and my beloved mother in law succumbed to the disease. This was a turning point in my life. For eight years now, I have been an advocate for breast cancer awareness and early detection and now I am proud to join forces with the LA County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in its mission to pursue a world without breast cancer.” The “Not My Daddy” singer will support Komen as the official ambassador for the Circle of Promise initiative which focuses on ending breast cancer within the African American community. As a spokesperson, Price will appear in public service announcements and grassroots awareness campaigns.
Shaunie O’Neal is not ashamed to share her opinions about reality television. Time and time again, she’s expressed her disapproval of the negative portrayal of Black women on “Basketball Wives.” Most recently she shared with Fox 411 about her burning desire to change reality TV: “When I started the show I really just wanted to follow this group of ladies around. We all have a common bond; we understand each others lives. It started as that. Since then, it’s taken on a life of its own. I never imagined it would be a group of ladies fighting and arguing that way that they do. That was never part of the plan.”
“I hate that it has to be a fight or an argument that gives us 4.2 million viewers. I hate that, but it’s something where I’m working as hard as I can to show some type of balance, because it is there. We do know how to act, we do charity work. I would love a little more balance and we’re going to try to do more of that in season 4,” she said. “I know that people love the fighting and the arguing, but I do want to have some positive in there somewhere.” Although very adamant about the content and quality of the show, she has very little control of the creative elements, even as a producer. The new show “Basketball Wives: LA” is one of those
things she isn’t quite happy with. “I feel like that show, from what I hear in certain production calls and stuff like that, is turning into ‘I have slept with a basketball player at some point of time in my life, so now I’m on ‘Basketball Wives.’ That’s definitely not what I brought to the table and not what I would be proud of having my name on. I think that’s a whole different show that I wouldn’t produce.”
Beyonce announces string of ‘4’ concerts Pop star Beyonce is to perform four shows featuring songs from her new album “4” at New York’s Roseland Ballroom this month, Columbia Records said. The standing-room-only concerts are to take place Aug. 14, 16, 18 and 19. “The set on each night will be the entire collection of her critically acclaimed album, ‘4,’” her record label said in a news release Monday. General ticket sales are to begin today at Ticketmaster.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
Senate panel reviewing S&P downgrade By RACHELLE YOUNGLAI and RICHARD COWAN WASHINGTON — The Senate Banking committee has begun looking into last week’s decision by Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the U.S. credit rating, a committee aide told Reuters on Monday. The aide said the panel was gathering information about the S&P move but no decision had been made on whether it will hold hearings into the downgrade. While an official investigation has not been launched, the aide said that all options were being weighed. Late on Friday, S&P
said the world’s largest economy no longer deserved the top AAA credit rating, cutting it one notch to AA-plus. The move was driven by concerns over Washington’s inability to achieve at least $4 trillion in long-term savings amid a national debt that has climbed above $14.3 trillion. Instead, after a rancorous fight between Democrats and Republicans, Congress and President Barack Obama recently negotiated a 10-year deficitreduction plan that could end up saving a little over $2 trillion. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, in a statement, called S&P’s downgrade an “irresponsible move” that could have a far-reaching impact.
The Democrat said the downgrade may “have spillover effects that tax the American people by increasing interest rates on home loans, credit cards, and car loans, and by increasing the cost of finance for some state and local governments.” S&P also came under attack from House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a conservative Republican who has been outspoken in his opposition to tax increases. In a memo to his fellow Republicans that was made public by his office, Cantor noted that S&P’s analysis of the U.S. fiscal situation “is overly focused on resolving the debt crisis in a manner that would greatly worsen the jobs crisis.”
He was referring to S&P’s contention that “the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues” to help ease the country’s fiscal problems. During the debt limit negotiations, Cantor and fellow Republicans successfully opposed raising taxes on Americans despite Democrats’ insistence for more revenue. Meanwhile, White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that he was not aware of any administration conversations about clamping down on S&P and other ratings agencies through tougher regulations. Since S&P’s announcement last week, Republicans and Democrats in Congress mostly have been engaged in blaming each other for the government rating downgrade. And with Congress having just started a month-long recess, legislative activity has
mostly ground to a halt as senators and House members are scattered across the country. One senior House Republican aide told Reuters that he had not heard of any new legislative efforts brewing on rating agency reform. The House Financial Services oversight subcommittee, which held a hearing on the credit agencies last month, has no plans for another hearing, a congressional aide said late on Monday. Columbia University law professor John Coffee said the fate of future reform efforts for the ratings agencies was uncertain. Credit rating agencies were widely criticized for fueling the 2007-2009 financial crisis by assigning top
ratings to securities that were backed by subprime mortgages, which then plummeted in value as the housing market collapsed. The new Dodd-Frank regulatory reform law does not include a tough reform amendment offered by Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, but it did require a twoyear study of the credit ratings industry, perceptions that it suffers from an inherent conflict of interest, and what to do about it. Of particular concern is the fact that companies issuing financial instruments pay the ratings agencies to do the analysis that results in their ratings, Coffee said. Governments do not solicit or pay credit agencies for ratings.
Gold hits $1,778 in biggest 3-day rally since 2008 By AMANDA COOPER LONDON — Gold hit a record high yesterday in its biggest three-day rally since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, as investor fears over the threat to the global economy from the European and U.S. debt crises hit assets seen as higher risk. “The short run uptrend is intact,” said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov. “Panic dominates for now and even though we have rebounded a bit on the broader market, people will still fear liquidating substantial gold longs.” Gold has risen by about 7 percent this month, driven by flows of cash out of equities, bonds and currencies, after the United States lost its top-notch credit rating. Investors have lost confidence in the ability of European leaders to stem the spread of the debt crisis that has now engulfed the euro zone’s
third- and fourth-largest economies, Italy and Spain. European stocks lost over 5 percent in early trade, higher-yielding currencies slid, German government bonds and the Swiss franc rallied as investors ditched anything perceived to be risky. “The market could come off from here, but it’s headed in a northerly direction,” said ANZ head of metal sales Peter Hillyard earlier. “From where we are now, you might think we could see some sort of pullback. But I’m talking about a momentary thing, a pull-back like the loading of a gun, which then fires away.” Reflecting the rush into gold, holdings of metal in exchange-traded funds rose for a twelfth day to an alltime high near 70 million ounces, equivalent about half of total supply in 2010, based on World Gold Council data. The European Central Bank bought Italian and Spanish bonds on Mon-
day to try to stem the spread of the region’s debt crisis, but in doing so found itself locked in full-blown conflict with the German central bank. The euro took heart from the ECB’s efforts, rallying 0.6 percent against the dollar, but held near record lows against the safe-haven Swiss franc. Gold priced in euros hit an all-time peak above 1,250 euros an ounce and was set for its biggest two-day rally since May 2010, when the euro zone debt crisis first flared. Gold in sterling and yen also hit records. Global equities recovered early losses to trade up 0.5 percent in midafternoon trade, as U.S. equity markets opened higher. However, they have still fallen by 13.3 percent so far in August and are set for their worst monthly performance since late 2008. Gold’s upward progress has attracted some profit-taking from investors who have
One kilogram gold bars are seen at the Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul. scrambled to plug holes in their portfolio from the rout across the stock markets. Top asset manager BlackRock will use profits it is making in gold and bond markets to seek out bargains in falling global equity markets, James Holt, investment strategist at the world’s largest money manager, said yesterday. However, analysts said that the current push into gold appeared to be fairly solid. “The ingredients are all in place for a
stronger gold price, as the metal is not subject to the risk of intervention or quantitative easing,” said UBS in a note. “This doesn’t mean that pullbacks won’t occur, and though some of these may be severe, we believe dips will be bought. Comex net longs may be at record levels, but current gold buying is very broadbased, with a strong physical bias which provides much support,” it added. Elsewhere silver fell 2.8 percent on the day to $37.87 an ounce, push-
ing the gold/silver ratio to 46.0, a six-month high in the outperformance of gold versus silver. Platinum rose 1.5 percent to $1,738 an ounce, while palladium rose 2.3 percent to $731.47. Of vital importance to markets later in the day will be the outcome of the meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policysetting committee, which many hope will signal its intention to support the economy and restore some stability to markets.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011 ! !
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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
SPORTS BRIEFS Panthers WR Steve Smith injures finger
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith has injured his finger during practice. Smith’s finger was cut, but x-rays revealed no broken bones. Smith, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and the team’s No. 1 receiver, left yesterday’s practice early on a golf cart to have his finger checked out by the medical staff. After practice, coach Ron Rivera feared Smith might have dislocated the finger. Smith is the team’s all-time leader in touchdowns and figures to play a pivotal role in Carolina’s offense this season. In other injury news, starting right guard Geoff Schwartz is having his hip examined by doctors after sustaining an injury during Saturday’s Fan Fest practice at Bank of America Stadium.
Charges dropped in alleged kidnapping over Shaq LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County prosecutors have dropped the case against seven gang members accused of kidnapping a music producer who claimed to have a sex tape of Shaquille O’Neal. At the prosecution’s request, a judge yesterday dismissed kidnapping, assault and robbery charges. District attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison says prosecutors believed Robert Ross was attacked but his credibility as a witness was undermined by some of his own testimony and behavior outside court. No details were provided. Mark Overland, Ross’s attorney in a lawsuit against O’Neal, says he has confidence in Ross’s credibility. Ross testified that in 2008, following a business dispute, he falsely told O’Neal he had a sex tape. Ross claims that two weeks later he was attacked by gang members who mentioned O’Neal. O’Neal denied involvement and wasn’t charged.
Travis Lewis breaks bone in left foot NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma defensive captain and leading tackler Travis Lewis will miss up to eight weeks with a broken bone in his left foot, leaving the Sooners without one of their best defensive players for a few crucial early season games. Athletic trainer Scott Anderson said yesterday that Lewis’ injury will not require surgery, and will be treated with rest and immobilization. Lewis, chosen as the Big 12’s preseason defensive player of the year by the media, was injured Monday during Oklahoma’s first practice in pads of training camp. “We’re disappointed for Travis,” coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “He has worked very hard and I know he’ll want to get back as quickly as possible. “We’ll adapt in the meantime. We’ve recruited very well and have some excellent athletes in those positions. I’m confident that those players will perform well.”
Chris Johnson continues holdout Yesterday was the deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs in order to earn an accrued season toward free agency. That apparently isn’t enough to motivate Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson to end his holdout. Johnson did not report yesterday, continuing his training camp absence, which has reached 12 days. Johnson, who has two years left on his contract, appears determined to secure a lucrative long-term deal, rather than an accrued season toward free agency. By contrast, Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, who has one year left on his con-
tract, reported to training camp Monday and is eligible to become a free agent after this season. Johnson said in 2010
Ex-Illini Jer eme Richmond char ged By SCOTT POWERS Former Illinois basketball player Jereme Richmond has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm, battery, assault and disorderly conduct, according to Waukegan police commander Gabe Guzman. According to Guzman, Richmond, 19, was involved in a confrontation with a resident on the 3000 block of Golfmoor in Waukegan on Monday. When a Waukegan police car arrived on the scene, Richmond was in the resident’s yard. According to the police report, Richmond made a statement to the resident, “You looking for me? I’m here now. I’ll shoot your [expletive].” Three of Richmond’s friends were found in a car outside the resident’s home. A loaded .40 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun was discovered in the car, and all three passengers were taken into custody. Two of the men were arrested for disorderly conduct, and a third was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm. Richmond and the 17-year-old woman had a dating relationship, the Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) reported citing Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller. Richmond’s bond was set at $100,000. Speaking for the family, William Richmond, Jereme’s older brother, declined comment.
he wanted a new deal with $30 million guaranteed. The Titans revised his contract by boosting his 2010 salary by $1.5 million to $2.05 million to convince the running back to report. Johnson is heading into his fourth season and due to make just $800,000 in base salary. The final two years of his deal can max out at roughly $2.7 million. The Titans have said they are willing to talk with Johnson about his contract, but want him to report before those discussions can take place.
Johnson can be fined $30,000 for each day of camp missed, but he wants to be rewarded for his production from his first three seasons. He became only the sixth man in NFL history to run for at least 2,000 yards, when he ran for 2,006 yards in 2009, and the first to rack up 2,500 yards with 500 yards receiving. He followed that by running for 1,364 yards in 2010, despite finishing the season with a bruised thigh. He has started 46 of the 47 games he has played since being drafted 24th overall in 2008 out
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
James opens clubhouse for kids in Ohio hometown By TOM WITHERS AKRON, Ohio LeBron James sat in a gym inside a community center he and his friends were afraid to visit as kids, reflecting on his past and looking to the future. With his hands folded tightly, James listened as a boy sang “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” the child’s beautiful voice filling a place James has transformed with a generous gift. “I remember coming through the front doors here,” James said afterward In a sit-down interview. “It was an intimidating place, real dark.” James has brought it new light. Yesterday, the NBA superstar cut the ribbon to officially open The LeBron James Clubhouse at an Akron Boys & Girls Club, a safe haven for area children that he paid to renovate with $240,000 donated through his family foundation. Back home in Ohio and surrounded by family and friends, the Miami Heat forward felt humbled while giving back to his community. “It’s unbelievable,” he
said. “As a kid, this is one of the places we didn’t want to go. But to see the transformation from what this place used to be to what it is now is amazing, and the only reason we’re doing it is for these kids. They are our future.” James pointed toward several rows of youngsters, who hung on his every word. One of them, 11-yearold Jaire Bell, opened
the ceremony with his gospel song, a touching performance that moved James, who later promised to keep helping Akron’s youth. “There should never be a door closed to their dreams,” said James, who on Monday launched a program to provide hundreds of third graders academic tools they need. The program will follow those kids through
their high school graduations. “We have presidents in here, doctors, lawyers, possibly professional athletes,” he said. “All the dreams they have, there should be a way for them to accomplish it. I dreamed a lot as a kid and the reason I could is that I had people around me who never shut the door. I had coaches, mentors, my mother
and friends. We all believed in the same thing and I was able to accomplish it - with a lot of help. “I never did it on my own, and to this day, I’m not doing it on my own.” The clubhouse dedication was the first part of what promised to be an emotional day for James, who was to be inducted into the athletic Hall of Fame of his
alma mater, St. VincentSt. Mary High School. James is being honored along with teammates Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee and Romeo Travis. That group won three state titles and a mythical national championship as seniors. “I wear our school on my sleeve all the time, man,” James said. “I never forget what that school did for us. It’s going to mean a lot.” Following a tumultuous first season in Miami that began with his infamous announcement last summer to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, James has relished his summer back in Akron. This is where he can find peace, block out all the criticism and mostly, just be himself. In concluding his remarks to an audience comprised of school kids, parents and civic leaders, James reminded everyone he’ll never stray too far. “I will always be here,” he said. “I grew up in this city. I love this city, and I’m instilled in this city. No matter where my life may take me, I will always be in Akron, Ohio. I will always give back to Akron, Ohio. Because these kids deserve it.”
Defensive back Brown likes Cleveland’s new defense BEREA, Ohio Sheldon Brown made defensive plays at Cleveland Browns camp yesterday like he knew what was coming. The veteran cornerback stepped in front of receivers to knock away passes - when he wasn’t making interceptions. “Sheldon is doing a nice job,” new coach Pat Shurmur said. “His preparation is very, very good. He’s getting a lot out of camp, play-
ing very well.” Brown looked completely comfortable in new coordinator Dick Jauron’s defense. He should. Having four down linemen and three linebackers in front of him is the same basic concept he learned in eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before being traded to Cleveland a year ago. Brown is eager to play in it again. “This is my system,” Brown said. “I love the quicker tempo.
Everything is sharper, faster.” Brown said that’s one big difference from the old regime that included a 3-4 defense under Eric Mangini, fired after last year’s 511 finish. “Both ways can be successful,” Brown said. “I’m just more comfortable in this one, not to say that I didn’t like the other way. This is a little crisper, from my standpoint. Every day, we finish on time or ahead of schedule. We’re fresh. We’re
organized. We’re getting ready.” Brown came to camp ready after having offseason shoulder surgery, and the 32-yearold believes he hasn’t lost a step. Two years ago, he returned five interceptions and one fumble recovery for a careerhigh 212 yards. He had zero return yards on two picks in 2010 when he was hampered. He tweaked his shoulder in midNovember, but two weeks later had a sea-
son-high 10 tackles in a win over Carolina. He tore the rotator cuff in the shoulder in midDecember against Buffalo, but didn’t miss a start, extending his consecutive-game string to 144, second among active defensive backs to Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber (208). “I made adjustments to compensate and got by,” Brown said. “Everything is fine now. It’s not an issue at all.” That’s good news for the Browns. They are
relying on Brown to play and help defensive backs such as young Joe Haden and newcomer Usama Young, brought in from New Orleans, adjust to the new defense. “He leads leadership to that group,” Shumur said. Brown says the unit will get chances to react quicker and make plays, though it may not necessarily result in more interceptions. That’s fine with him, as long as Cleveland gives up fewer points overall.
DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
O BAMASAYSHEINHERITEDECONOMICPROBLEMS - P G . 2 35 Cents Final WWW.DAILYCHALLENGENEWS.COM THE NATION’S ONLY BLACK DAILY charges against the...