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OBAMA URGES REPEAL OF OIL, GAS TAX BREAKS - PG. 3 NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION

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COURT OVERTURNS MUMIA ABU-JAMAL DEATH SENTENCE

The jury that sentenced Mumia Abu-Jamal to death new sentencing hearing within 180 days or to senfor the murder of a Philadelphia police officer was tence Abu-Jamal to life imprisonment. wrongly instructed, a U.S. appeals court said. The court ordered the state of Pennsylvania to hold a SEE PAGE 3.

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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NEWS BRIEFS Three children drowned with GOVERNOR BARS ELECTED OFFICIALS FROM PENSION BUSINESS New York elected officials, lobbyists, and placement agents will be permanently barred from dealing with the state’s pension fund under new rules Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed yesterday. “The pension fund should be kept pure, and money belonging to taxpayers should not be the plaything of elected officials,” said the freshman Democratic governor. As state attorney general, Cuomo investigated how the selection of the $132 billion pension fund’s investment managers was corrupted. New York’s pension funds have one trustee — the state comptroller — and the former comptroller, Alan Hevesi, on April 15 was sentenced to as long as four years in jail for accepting luxury trips from a California venture capitalist seeking to manage some of the state pension fund. BILL WOULD MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO BUY KNOCKOFFS One City Councilwoman wants people who buy fake purses to face real jail time. Under a bill set to be proposed by Chinatown Councilwoman Margaret Chin, buyers of counterfeit bags could face up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. Chin says the stiff penalties are the only way to discourage what she calls a growing problem. The proposed law states that buyers should know their goods are fake because of the low price and where they are buying them. Chin says knock-off purses and other products can help fund terrorism or unsafe child labor. REPORT: AL-QAIDA HAD SIGHTS SET ON BROOKLYN BRIDGE Al-Qaida had the Brooklyn Bridge in its sights after the September 11th attacks, according to classified military files published by several newspapers including the New York Times. The documents show terrorists had plans to cut the cables that support the suspension bridge, as well as hijack cargo planes, hack into bank computers and smuggle explosives in clothing shipments. The files also contain details on more then 100 suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. They reveal that detainees range from close associates of Osama bin Laden to seemingly innocent men that posed little threat.

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mother buried apart from her By BERND DEBUSMANN JR. SPRING VALLEY — Tiny white caskets of three children who drowned with their mother when she intentionally drove into the Hudson River were buried on Monday several miles away from her grave. After a tense funeral marked by shouting between the two sides of the family, a hearse followed the father’s orders and drove to the children’s burial plot at Gethsemane Cemetery in Congers, New York. It was six miles from where their mother, Lashondra Armstrong, 25, was buried in New Hempstead, New York. Armstrong, 25, killed herself along with her sons Landen, 5, and Lance, 2, and daughter Laianna, 11 months, on April 12 after an argu-

ment with their father, Jean Pierre, said police in Newburgh, a city about 25 miles north of New York City. Her eldest son, La’Shaun, 10, who has a different father, was in the minivan but saved himself by climbing through a window as the vehicle disappeared beneath the waters. The Armstrong family had arranged for the mother to be interred with her children, but Pierre intervened and arranged for a separate plot in another town. His lawyer, Stephen Powers, said, “He thought it was inappropriate in light of the fact that the mother murdered the three children.” Tensions mounted on Monday as family members filed past police officers standing guard outside the funeral home where the ceremony took place. An Armstrong family member,

Gwendolen Green, said the mother’s relatives were largely banned from the ceremony and guests were checked against a list before being allowed entry. At one point, yelling could be heard coming from inside the funeral home and soon afterward Green, the mother’s second cousin, was escorted from the building. “You could cut the tension with a knife,” Green said, adding that she had been asked to leave the ceremony after an argument. Green said she had attended the funeral despite not being on the guest list. “You’re not gonna keep me from going in and seeing my family,” she said. “I saw the children, and they were beautiful.” Green said the surviving son had not attended the funeral because it was “too much.” She said the two dead boys were dressed in dark suits and the baby girl was wearing a white dress. Soon after Green was escorted out, three little caskets accompanied by small bouquets of blue and white flowers, were loaded into a white hearse headed for Congers.

Cop pleads guilty to drug robberies A New York policeman has pleaded guilty to helping a gang rob drug dealers of $1 million in cash and more than 500 pounds of cocaine. Prosecutors said Emmanuel Tavarez (left), 31, an eight-year NYPD veteran, used his badge, service weapon and stolen NYPD raid jackets as he and his heavily armed crew targeted at least 100 drug dealers in New York, Philadelphia and Bridgeport, Conn., in a 10-year crime spree. “Tavarez allegedly used his police badge and falsified search warrants to stage searches and seizures of narcotics traffickers during which he and other co-conspirators stole drugs and money

from the traffickers,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. Tavarez’s gang, wearing NYPD jackets and other gear, would locate a drug dealer’s stash, then stage a raid as if they were police officers on official duty, prosecutors said. Tavarez was arrested in May 2010 after a lengthy investigation into the robberies and faces a life sentence after pleading guilty Monday to robbery conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, and the use of a firearm in those crimes. Charges have been brought against more than a dozen members of Tavarez’s gang, which included four of the officer’s in-laws.

Third air traffic controller fired for sleeping WASHINGTON — A third air traffic controller has been fired for sleeping on the job, even as some say naps should be allowed during working hours to enhance controller attentiveness. The termination of the controller followed several highly publicized incidents that have included sleeping controllers, an unresponsive controller watching a movie in Ohio, and an aborted landing of first lady Michelle Obama’s plane at Andrews Air Force Base. The Boeing Field controller in Seattle fired this week fell asleep twice in recent months, once in January and once on April 11, according to a Federal Aviation Administration statement. In the wake of the various revelations there have been several recent regulation changes, including new guidelines for off-hours, limits on shift swapping, and increased staffing of FAA managers during late night and early morning hours. A member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said

An unused air traffic controller’s phone sits on counter in University Park Airport’s empty control tower, unstaffed due to the U.S. Federal budget standoff, in State College, Pennsylvania. on Monday that regulators also should consider allowing controlled napping during working hours to combat fatigue. Mark Rosekind, a fatigue expert, told reporters that scientific studies show short naps can improve performance and alertness. Rosekind noted that controller fatigue has been an issue raised in policy debates since the early 1980s. An air traffic controllers group recommended this year that the FAA permit naps on certain shifts, includ-

ing overnight when more than one controller is on duty. The FAA has considered permitting naps for controllers but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood opposes the idea, saying “we’re not going to pay controllers to nap.” “My scientific side would say that controlled napping, effective use of caffeine and every science-based strategy that works should be included and available,” Rosekind said. “Every one of those, at minimum, should be on the table for consideration.”


DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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Court overturns Mumia Abu-Jamal death sentence PHILADELPHIA — The jury that sentenced Mumia Abu-Jamal to death for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer was wrongly instructed, a U.S. appeals court said yesterday. The court ordered the state of Pennsylvania to hold a new sentencing hearing within 180 days or to sentence Abu-Jamal to life imprisonment. The three-judge panel upheld the findings of a district court judge and an appellate decision in 2008. Abu-Jamal, 57, has been on death

row since 1982 when he was convicted of shooting Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. During his years in prison, he has written several books and become one of the best-known death-sentenced inmates in the world. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams said he is considering whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The high court has already ordered the appeals court to reconsider its earlier finding

that the sentence was invalid, resulting in yesterday’s opinion. The court found the judge gave confusing instructions to the jury. As a result, the panel found, jurors might have believed wrongly that they needed to be unanimous on mitigating factors. Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, worked for several public and commercial radio stations in Philadelphia during the 1970s. At the time of his arrest, he was driving a cab.

Obama urges repeal of oil, gas tax breaks WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, acknowledging high gasoline prices could sap the U.S. economy, urged Congress yesterday to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies and called on Republicans to back his plan. But Republicans said the plan would “raise taxes and increase the price at the pump,” indicating they opposed such action. Obama said the dollars saved by closing the tax breaks could be invested in clean energy that would help to ease U.S. dependence on foreign oil. This highlights an ongoing White House strategy to combat lofty gasoline prices that are worrying Americans and could dent his 2012 presidential re-election hopes. “If sustained, these high prices have the potential to slow down the pace of our economy’s growth at precisely the moment when we need to be accelerating it,” Obama said in

a letter to congressional leaders released by the White House. Obama has repeatedly suggested diverting revenue saved from closing the tax breaks to clean energy investment, and stresses the issue as part of his response to fuel prices

as the cost of gasoline pushed toward $4 a gallon and higher in some cities. Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner said Monday that Congress could look at cutting multi-billion dollar

tax subsidies to oil companies. Obama pounced on this as welcome evidence of bipartisan support. “I was heartened that Speaker Boehner yesterday expressed openness to eliminating these tax subsidies for the oil and gas industry. Our political system has for too long avoided and ignored this important step, and I hope we can come together in a bipartisan manner to get it done,” Obama said. However, a Boehner spokesman said the congressman had simply said he would look at the facts. “The Speaker wants to increase the supply of American energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and he is only interested in reforms that actually lower energy costs and create American jobs,” said Brendan Buck. “Unfortunately, what the president has suggested so far would simply raise taxes and increase the price at the pump.”

MLK Day bomb plot suspect Civil rights figure’s home to be museum pleads innocent to hate crimes By ELAINE PORTERFIELD SEATTLE — A reputed neo-Nazi accused of planting a backpack bomb discovered along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade pleaded not guilty on Monday to newly filed charges of committing hate crimes. During a brief appearance in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Washington, Kevin Harpham, 36, also was ordered to remain in pretrial federal detention without bond, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Rice told Reuters. Harpham was indicted last month on charges of attempting to bomb a downtown Spokane observance of the January 17 national holiday marking the slain civil rights leader’s birthday. He pleaded not guilty to those offenses on March 23. The FBI has said that it is treating the bombing attempt as a case of domestic terrorism. A three-page superseding indictment returned last week added charges that Harpham tried to use the backpack bomb to injure individuals attending the parade because of their “actual or perceived race, color and

national origin.” It also accused him of seeking to use a destructive device in the furtherance of a hate crime. He has now pleaded not guilty to those charges as well. Harpham’s trial is scheduled for May 31, and he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. He was arrested at his home in Colville, Washington, on March 9, about seven weeks after the bomb that he allegedly tried to set off was found stuffed inside an backpack left unattended on a bench along the planned parade route. The march, attended by an estimated 1,500 people, was rerouted and the device safely diffused by bomb technicians. Officials from the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights group, said Harpham was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in 2004. He also served in the U.S. Army during the late 1990s as a “fire support specialist” at what is now Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma. U.S. officials have said little about the findings of the investigation that led to Harpham’s arrest.

GREENWOOD, S.C. — The South Carolina childhood home of Benjamin Mays (right), considered by many as the father of the civil rights movement, is to become a museum, authorities say. Former U.N. Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young was to attend the ceremony yesterday at Greenwood where the rundown home will be dedicated as a museum, The State of Columbia, S.C., reported Monday. “This is an extraordinarily significant event about a great man whom all too few people know about,” said Vernon Burton, a Clemson history professor with expertise on the Civil War and civil rights eras. “When I was coming up, we only had a monument to Preston Brooks, the pro-slavery congressman in the 1850s known for assaulting a U.S. senator on the Senate floor after he made an anti-slavery speech,” Burton said. “So as little boys, in particular, we all knew that the way to be famous and appreciated was to beat people up.” Mays, the son of freed slaves in Greenwood County, left South Carolina, eventually earning a reputation as an educator, minister, counselor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, and an advocate

for peace who inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., The State said. Mays died in 1984 at age 89. Many of King’s words came “right out of Mays’ mouth,” because Mays spoke many times when King was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. “I heard him speak at the Benjamin Mays High School in Pacolet when I was 12. He said something I have never forgot: ‘Anybody can be nobody, but everybody can be somebody,’” said Joseph Patton, chief executive officer of the non-profit agency that directs early childhood education and literacy programs in central and western South Carolina.


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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

JOURNAL OF THE PEOPLE’S PASTOR ‘WRITING THE HISTORY I’VE LIVED, LIVING THE HISTORY I WRITE!’ handed Ro your cane and threw your hands up as you always do to protect your chin and body. That showed me you are still in the fight and ready to go twelve rounds even after the surgery you just had. You are the strongest eighty-year-old man I have met in the twenty-nine years I have been on this earth.” What added to this show of love, and perhaps, what made it different was the place and the audience. This was a penitentiary of steel and stone. The inhabitants were what society called “hardened criminals” — murderers, rapists, cut throats, gangsters, gangbangers, etc. Some of them are doing 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years. Others will never see the light of freedom. Yet, in this moment, we were elevated beyond the prison and past behaviors. We were bound together as brothers by our love for each other. All was forgotten except for this moment. That was not all. It was only the beginning. I was taken from mountaintop to mountaintop. After I embraced all of the brothers, I was led to my seat, which was a special chair made of soft maroon cloth. It was very comfortable. I wondered how the brothers came by this chair. During the proceedings, I sat

A tribute to remember THOMAS H. WATKINS

By REV. DR. HERBERT DAUGHTRY

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Part One It was one of the most memorable days in my 80 years of life on this side of history. The site was Sullivan Correctional Facility in South Fallsburg, New York. Brothers, who were serving time in said facility, were the participants. It was a program which was sponsored by Unity Caribbean-African (C.A.U.). After Black History Month in February, a Committee approaches the Facility’s administration to celebrate Black History Month with a program in April, and outside guests are invited. On this occasion, to my surprise, I was the only outside guest extended the honor to attend. The program took place from 8:45am-2:30pm. I arrived at 11:30am. My driver and assistant was Mr. Kefentse Johnson, a brilliant, dedicated, and versatile young man whose principal responsibilities are recording, editing, and archiving important events. Ordinarily, I would

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have arrived earlier. I believe in being on time. I thought relatives and friends were also invited. I wanted to give them time to be together before I made my appearance. As I entered the doors leading into the gym, the brothers spontaneously sprang to their feet with thunderous applause, verbal expressions, and fists thrust into the air. I paused. I was breathless. I was trying to absorb all of it and bask in this stupendous manifestation of admiration and appreciation. I looked across the room quickly, surveying the faces. Every countenance was broadly smiling. Many times, I have entered rooms to standing ovations, but nothing compared to this. In a deeply moving letter, Vincent (Boobie) Moreno, a Latino brother, captured my entrance into the gym. He wrote, “It was good seeing you this past weekend. I was saddened when I saw you in the physical shape that you were in when you walked into the gym. But, at the same time you brought a smile to my face because when someone said ‘the champ is in the building’, you

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

FORUM

Refighting America’s Civil War By GEORGE E. CURRY A recent cover of Time magazine featured an illustration of a crying Abraham Lincoln with the inscription, “Why We’re Still Fighting the Civil War: The endless battle over the war’s true cause would make Lincoln weep.” While I question whether today’s effort to recast the Civil War would make avowed white supremacist Abraham Lincoln cry, there is no denial that much of America continues to shy away from acknowledging that slavery was the primary cause of what revisionists prefer to call the War Between the States or the War of Northern Aggression. A Harris poll conducted in January showed that while 69 percent of respondents concluded that the North was fighting to preserve the Union, more than half – 54 percent – believed the South was fighting for states’ rights; 46 percent thought the South was fighting to preserve slavery. In the 11 states that formed the Old Confederacy, two-thirds of whites claimed states’ rights was the real issue. In his 1861 Inaugural Address, Lincoln was clear: “One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.” That was quite a statement from a man who believed Blacks were inferior to whites. In the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, Lincoln stated: “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and polit-

ical equality of the white and Black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people ... I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” Lincoln’s goal was to preserve the union, not eliminate slavery. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that,” Lincoln said in an Aug. 22, 1862 letter to the New York Tribune. “What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help save the Union.” For the most part, Americans are not as clear as Lincoln was about the Civil War. Time observed, “Americans have lost that clarity about the cause of the Civil War, the most traumatic and transformational event in U.S. history, which left more than 625,000 dead – more Americans killed than in both world wars combined.” Yale University historian David Blight told the magazine, “No matter what we do or the overwhelming consensus among historians, out in the public mind, there is still this need to deny that slavery was the cause of the war.” As part of the denial, myths were created to obscure the facts. The Washington Post, in a Feb. 26 article headlined, “Five myths about

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Final

REOPENING OF HISTORIC EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH

The voice of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. again filled the halls of Ebenezer Baptist Church and a pipe organ triumphantly announced the reopening of the sacred sanctuary regarded as the birthplace of the civil rights icon’s vision of

justice, equality and a nonviolent society. Photo: Martin Luther King III speaks during a ceremony to mark the restoration of the sanctuary of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where his father preached Atlanta. SEE PAGE 3.

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why the South seceded,” pointed out that Confederate states opposed states’ rights. Written by James W. Loewen, author of The Confederate and NeoConfederate Reader, the story observes: “On Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina’s secession convention adopted a ‘Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.’ It noted ‘an increasing hostility on the part of non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery’ and protested that Northern states had failed to ‘fulfill their constitutional obligations’ by interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War.” The article debunked the myth that most white Southerners didn’t own slaves and therefore did not support slavery. “Indeed, most white Southern families had no slaves,” Loewen wrote. “Less than half of white Mississippi households owned one or more slaves, for example, and that proportion was smaller still in whiter states such as Virginia and Tennessee. It is also true that, in areas with few slaves, most white Southerners did not support secession. West Virginia

seceded from Virginia to stay with the Union, and Confederate troops had to occupy parts of eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama to hold them in line. “However, two ideological factors caused most Southern whites, including those who were not slave-owners to defend slavery. First, Americans are wondrous optimists, looking to the upper class and expecting to join it someday. In 1860, many subsistence farmers aspired to become large slave-owners. So poor white Southerners supported slavery then, just as many low-income people support the extension of George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy now.” While many Americans remain in denial about the cause of the Civil War, there is no denying that more than 180,000 African Americans – both free and runaway slaves – served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Even a handful, enticed by the promise of freedom, fought on the Confederate side. Even Blacks in the Union Army were paid less than white soldiers. Some refused any pay, realizing that no price could be placed on their freedom.

— George E. Curry, former editorin-chief of Emerge magazine and the NNPA News Service, is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. He can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.

A tribute to remember Continued from page 4 next to Halbert (Star) Turner, a prolific writer, a repository of information, and a highly respected individual by inmates. Dental work kept him quiet for the most part of the day, but not completely. Nothing could do that. J He shared with me a new program he had developed. Sitting at the same table were Soul-B, one of our newest members, and Ro. Soul-B affirmed his commitment and agreed to step up his study. In the front of the gym on the walls were pictures of Black leaders, such as Louis Farrakhan, Malcolm X, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer, Marcus Gravey, and Marian Anderson. Directly behind the rostrum were newspaper articles about me or articles I had written. On the podium were two articles I had penned. Then lunch was served. I had to pass on the lunch. I was tempted to give it a try — the food was well-prepared, and I knew it was delicious. However, due to the condition of my throat, which was still suffering from the operation, I could not join them in the delicious lunch with desert. (I can only consume liquids, some soups, and soft foods.) When the program commenced, I was totally unprepared for what followed. Brother Lee, a tall, dark, serious brother, of Jersey City, New Jersey was the Master of Ceremonies. He struck a proper balance. He did not talk too much and overshadow

the speakers. He began by observing the unity that was present in the audience. There were Christians, The Nation of Islam, Five Percenters, Gangs, Rastafarians, Revolutionaries, Homies, and OG’s (old gangsters). … 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, inspiration, and challenge at 315 Forrest Street (Ground Floor), corner of MLK, Jr. Drive. For more info, contact The National Community Action Alliance at (201) 716-1585. ** Listen to Reverend Daughtry on the weekly radio program which airs Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on New York City’s WWRL-AM, dial 1600. ** NEED QUALITY CHILD CARE? Call the Alonzo A. Daughtry Memorial Daycare Center located at: 460 Atlantic Avenue (corner of Atlantic and Nevins) 718 596 1993 333 Second Street (between 4th & 5th Avenues) in Park Slope (718) 499-2066 1005/07 Bedford Avenue (corner of Lafayette) 718 638 7979 Immediate openings are available in a state-of-the-art center.

The views expressed on the Forum page are the opinions of its authors and may not reflect the views of the Daily Challenge.


6

DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

New finds raise questions in Southwest jet probe By JOHN CRAWLEY WASHINGTON — Detailed inspections of a Southwest Airlines Co. jet that experienced a midflight fuselage rupture revealed possible manufacturing flaws and further evidence of fatigue cracks. A National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report Monday on the April 1 incident raised new questions about the process for bonding aluminum fuselage skin and how wear and tear may affect certain older model Boeing Co. 737-300 series aircraft. Those planes have been a workhorse for decades in the global commercial fleet. Fatigue wear and cracks have long been a concern with older aircraft, including the so-called “classic” 737s made before the late 1990s. Southwest Flight 812 made an emergency landing in Yuma, Arizona, with a five-foot roof tear over the left wing. The damaged area peeled back like the lid of a

Officials at the National Transportation Safety Board display the damaged piece of the Boeing 737-300 fuselage from the April 1 Southwest Airlines flight number 812, where the hole tore open 20 minutes after taking off from Phoenix, at NTSB headquarters in Washington. can. No one was hurt. An examination by safety board investigators of the plane and a cutaway of the damaged skin showed microscopic cracks extending from at least 42 of 58 rivet holes connected to the rupture. Cracks also extended in an area forward of the hole. A separate inspection of

intact rivets showed imperfections in the location and size of several rivet holes, but the NTSB does not know if the problem is related to wear, manufacturing, or another cause. Additionally, evidence of Southwest’s blue livery paint was found inside a joint where the upper and lower fuselage skin meet and

where microscopic cracks had been painted over. Boeing said in a statement that it could not speculate on what the NTSB’s preliminary findings might suggest about the root cause of the incident involving the 15-year-old jetliner. Southwest said in a statement that the initial findings “were another step in this ongoing investigation” and pledged cooperation with investigators and regulators “in an effort to determine the cause of events.” There were nearly six hundred 737-300, 400, 500 series planes made between 1993-2000 with fuselage assembly at the company’s Wichita, Kansas, facility. Boeing changed its 737 skin bonding techniques early on based on analysis and other factors including a similar incident in 1988 involving an Aloha Airlines 737-200. Boeing said it is unclear whether the change contributed to the Southwest incident. Boeing said it was working closely with the NTSB and any attempt to draw conclusions about the

Southwest incident “would be premature and speculative.” The Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with Boeing after the Southwest rupture, ordered airlines to inspect 190 of those 737-300,400, 500s worldwide. Those planes, like the damaged Southwest jet, had a high number of takeoffs and landings. Expansion and contraction of the fuselage during flight can cause cracks. Southwest grounded 79 of its jets before the FAA order that included its jets. Boeing said inspections were completed worldwide on nearly 80 percent of the planes affected with cracks showing up on four — all from Southwest. Southwest, which has an all-737 fleet, said it has since repaired those planes and put them back in service. The jet with the ruptured skin remains sidelined, the company said. FAA records show a series of directives over the years aimed at preventing and detecting cracks in the 737-300 family.

Chicago man pleads U.S. extends Mexico travel warning guilty to college bomb threats PEORIA, Illinois — An 18-year-old Chicago man faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty on Monday to making bomb threats to dormitories at Western Illinois University last fall. Cameron McKoy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of making a false bomb threat under a plea agreement with prosecutors. McKoy, who was originally charged with nine counts, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on August and could be ordered to pay costs associated with the investigation. McKoy was arrested October 25 for telephoning a bomb threat into the Macomb, Illinois, campus, authorities said. After he posted $500 bond and was released by Illinois

authorities, he used a family member’s email address to make additional bomb threats to the school, and with leaving voice and written messages seeking to throw off investigators, prosecutors say. The next eight calls used an automated calling system in which users can log onto a Web site and record or type a message to be delivered to a telephone number. School officials ordered repeated evacuations in response to the threats. A police bomb squad and bomb-sniffing dogs were called out to search for explosives. The threatening messages were traced to an email address belonging to McKoy’s family member. Prosecutors said the family member was not involved and was unaware of the calls.

PHOENIX — Spreading drug cartel violence in northern and central Mexico has led U.S. authorities to increase the number of states Americans should avoid for safety reasons. A U.S. State Department travel advisory issued over the Easter weekend warned Americans to avoid all but essential travel to 10 states in northern and central Mexico due to “ongoing violence and persistent security concerns,” up from six states named in a caution issued last September. The latest advisory added warnings against nonessential travel to parts of Sonora, south of Arizona, and to parts of Mexico’s central Jalisco, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas states, where cartel violence has spiked in recent months. It also kept in place warnings issued last September advising against nonessential travel to northern Tamaulipas and central Michoacan states, as well as parts of northwestern Durango and Sinaloa states and the border states of Coahuila and Chihuahua, south of Texas. “Bystanders, including U.S. citizens, have been injured or killed in violent

A U.S. Border Patrol agent (upper right) waits in his jeep at his post near the wall that separates Nogales, Sonora, Mexico (left of wall) from Nogales, Arizona on the U.S. and Mexican border. incidents in various parts of the country, especially, but not exclusively in the northern border region, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence throughout Mexico,” the warning said. More than 37,000 people have been killed in Mexico since late 2006 when President Felipe Calderon took office and sent the armed forces to crush powerful cartels battling for lucrative smuggling routes to the United States. The State Department advisory noted that 111 Ameri-

cans were reported murdered in Mexico last year, up from 35 in 2007. In one gruesome sign of escalating violence, authorities earlier this month retrieved 177 corpses from a mass grave in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. Mexico’s Attorney General blamed the Zetas drug cartel for the killings. In another high profile crime, a U.S. federal agent was shot dead and a second wounded while driving on a highway in San Luis Potosi in February, in an attack also blamed on the Zetas.


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AFRICAN SCENE

88

DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

AFRICAN SCENE

New bomb blasts as Nigeria votes again after riots By AMINU ABUBAKAR KANO, Nigeria - Fresh bomb blasts jolted Nigeria on Tuesday as the country voted for state governors, the last of three landmark elections that have triggered deadly unrest.

f Mauritanians stage sit-in for release of arrested NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania - Dozens of young Mauritanians are holding a sitin outside the police directorate’s office to demand the release of 20 protesters arrested the previous day. Youth on Tuesday chanted “freedom for our friends” before dispersing peacefully. Mauritanian police arrested 20 people on Monday after hundreds demonstrated in the capital against the regime of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Police said the demonstrations were unauthorized and used tear gas and batons to disperse people. Demonstrations have been ongoing since Feb. 25, when dozens of students used Facebook to organize another sit-in demanding political reforms and the president’s departure. In January, a businessman died after setting himself ablaze in a protest against the government.

Around 30,000 Libyans have fled to south Tunisia: UNHCR GENEVA - The number of Libyans who have fled the country’s Western Mountain region into southern Tunisia over the past three weeks has risen to an estimated 30,000, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. Most of them are ethnic Berbers who told UNHCR staff they had fled fighting and indiscriminate shelling, said Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), updating the agency’s weekold estimate. “We now estimate that some 30,000 Libyan civilians have fled their homes in Libya’s Western Mountain region and crossed to southern Tunisia over the past three weeks,” Mahecic told journalists. “According to the latest arrivals, the towns of Nalut and Wasin (Wezen) in the Western Mountains region are now virtually deserted. Only a few men could be seen there, no women and children,” he said. Less than 10 percent of the refugees are staying in camps. “The vast majority are hosted by the local Tunisian community, demonstrating once again their great generosity,” Mahecic added. The UNHCR said it was working with local agencies to try to provide assistance for host communities in southern Tunisia to ease the pressure on their resources. Last week, the UNHCR announced that 15,000 refugees had passed through the Tunisian border post of Dehiba. Wezen, a town with about 5,000 inhabitants close to the border, fell to Libyan rebels last week.

Three bomb blasts hit the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, an area long plagued by violence blamed on an Islamist sect, but no casualties were reported, police said. No one was allowed on the streets there except to vote. The governorship vote comes after April 16 presidential elections led to widespread rioting across the mainly Muslim north of Africa’s most populous nation, leaving more than 500 dead, according to a local rights group. Unrest broke out despite what some observers said appeared to be Nigeria’s cleanest vote for head of state since a return to civilian rule in 1999, with the country seeking to break from a history of deeply flawed polls. The election won by President Goodluck Jonathan exposed deep divisions in Nigeria, particularly between the country’s economically marginalised north and predominately Christian south, home to its key oil industry. There were reports of election workers — recent university graduates who are members of the national youth service corps — refusing to turn up for duty on Tuesday out of fear of more attacks, with some having been previously targeted. Some of the estimated 74,000 people displaced by the riots, many of whom are living at increasingly squalid military

and police barracks, expressed fears of voting. “I can’t risk my life to go and vote,” said Emmanuel Idahosa, a 42-year-old mechanic who has been living at a barracks in the main northern city of Kano. “We’ve lost our homes, our businesses, our loved ones to post-election violence, and you expect me to stick my neck out for a second time to go and vote?” Turnout so far appeared far below that of the presidential election in various polling stations in Kano and other cities, but strong in some areas, such as the tense central city of Jos. Most of Nigeria’s 36 states were holding governorship and state assembly polls. Security was tight, with curfews and military patrols having largely brought calm to the continent’s largest oil producer. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party was projected to lose a number of states and many races were expected to be closely fought, raising concerns that desperate politicians may seek to rig votes. Some analysts believe that could set off another round of violence, with much of the initial rioting following the presidential election believed to have started over allegations of rigging. One potential hotspot was the state of Akwa Ibom on the edge of the oil-producing Niger Delta region, where opposition members were arrested in the run-up to the vote. Polling stations opened some two hours late in certain areas there. Nigeria’s state governors wield significant power and preside over large budgets thanks to revenue generated by the oil industry. The ruling party currently controls some 27 state

US Air Force general: Expand ties with Africa ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - The U.S. Air Force chief of staff says that U.S. security interests in Africa are best served by building long-term partnerships with African nations and regional security organizations. Gen. Norton Schwartz said at a conference in Ethiopia on Tuesday that an airpower strategy focused on Africa would enable the U.S. and African allies to address root causes of security problems before they manifest themselves. U.S. Air Forces Africa commander Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward addressed concerns that the U.S. is trying to militarize Africa, considering the role the U.S. and NATO are playing against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Woodward said partnering with African nations is still the U.S. philosophy.

governorships, but it faces tough challenges. In the southwest, the Action Congress of Nigeria opposition, in power in the economic capital Lagos, will be looking to gain more ground. The Congress for Progressive Change, the party of ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, Jonathan’s main challenger in the presidential vote, appears set to make gains in the north. Jonathan, a southern Christian, defeated Buhari, a Muslim from the north, by a score of 57 percent to 31 percent in the presidential election. There were allegations of rigging in the north, including from Buhari himself, though observers hailed the election as a major step forward. A new voter list was compiled with the use of electronic fingerprinting and various safeguards were put in place in an effort to prevent rigging and ballot-box snatching. Observers note that serious problems remain, but say the parliamentary elections on April 9 — which had to be postponed from April 2 — and the presidential vote constituted significant improvements. Not all states were voting Tuesday. Kaduna and Bauchi states will hold their state elections on Thursday due to deadly unrest there. A total of 26 states, including Kaduna and Bauchi, will hold governorship ballots this week, while all 36 will hold state assembly polls. The other 10 states will not hold governorship ballots at this time because of court cases over previous election results that delayed the start of the governors’ terms of office.

Archaeologists find statue of Tut’s grandfather CAIRO - Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed the biggest statue of Tutankhamun’s grandfather Amenhotep III and another of the goddess Sekhmet, the country’s antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said on Tuesday. Both statues were discovered at the pharaoh’s temple on the western bank of the Nile at Luxor in southern Egypt. The statue of Amenhotep III, who reigned around 3,350 years ago, is 13.65 meters (yards) high and carved out of quartzite. The statue, found in seven chunks and missing a head, is one of twin statues erected in front of the temple’s northern entrance, said to have been destroyed in an earthquake in 27 B.C. Some of ancient Egypt’s biggest monuments were constructed during Amenhotep III’s reign in the 18th Dynasty. The expedition headed by Hawass also found a 185 cm granite statue of the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet. Amenhotep built large effigies of the healing deity after he contracted a disease in his final years.


D CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011 DAILY

AFRICAN SCENE

9

No death penalty provision in Uganda anti-gay bill By JASON STRAZIUSO KAMPALA, The Uganda parliaUgandan mentarian behind an anti-gay bill that attracted worldwide condemnation said the most controversial part of the legislation - the death penalty provision is likely to be dropped from the bill. David Bahati said if the parliament committee the bill currently sits before recommends that the death penalty provision be removed, “I would concede.” “The death penalty is something we have moved away from,” Bahati told The Associated Press in an interview. After Bahati’s antigay bill was proposed some 18 months ago, it attracted international condemnation, including from President Barack Obama. Since the initial uproar, the bill has languished in committee. But Stephen Tashobya, the chairman of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, said the legislation may come up for a vote before parliament’s session ends

David Bahati, Ugandan Member of Parliament and the proposer of the Controversial anti gay bill in an interview. May 12. law if voted on by legis- sions. The original bill “We shall try and see lators. would mandate a death how far we can go with “I can guarantee you sentence for active the bill. It may be possi- I have not seen any homosexuals living ble. We are doing all we member of parliament with HIV or in cases of can. We have limited who is opposed to it,” he same-sex rape. “Serial time,” he said Tuesday, said. offenders” also could before adding: “Many Frank Mugisha, the face capital punishpeople have expressed director of Sexual ment, but the legislaconcern about that pro- Minorities Uganda, a tion did not define the vision providing for the gay rights group, said term. Anyone convicted death sentence and I’m anti-gay sentiment in of a homosexual act sure when we start Uganda has increased would face life imprishearings on that bill we since the bill’s introduc- onment. will hear many more tion. More gays are Anyone who “aids, concerns.” being harassed, he said, abets, counsels or proHomosexuality is because of media atten- cures another to highly unpopular in tion and because engage of acts of homoUganda, and pastors in church leaders have sexuality” would face this Christian country been preaching for the seven years in prison. speak out loudly bill’s passage to congre- Landlords who rent against the practice. gations. rooms or homes to Bahati said he thinks Bahati’s original bill homosexuals also could the bill would become carried harsh provi- get seven years.

“If the bill passes we cannot even be allowed to do our work,” Mugisha said. Last year a tabloid newspaper in Uganda published the names and photos of men it alleged were gay. One cover included the words “Hang Them.” Shortly afterward, in January, a prominent gay rights activist whose picture was published was bludgeoned to death, though authorities contend David Kato’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with the killing. Mugisha said the murder was not thoroughly investigated. “I think it had to do with all the hate that has been spread. All avenues lead to a homophobia-based crime,” he said. Bahati called Kato’s death regrettable. “My reaction is that I extend condolences to the family, parents of Kato. It’s regrettable that they could find themselves in this situation, and also regrettable that he could be allowed to be used to recruit our children. But the death of Kato had nothing to do with the bill in parliament,” he said. Bahati, 36, is serving his first term. He said that the bill has helped raise public awareness

about what he calls “the dangers to our children.” Many Ugandan leaders who support the bill say that gay Ugandans recruit school children to become homosexual. Mugisha says no one has ever been arrested for doing such a thing despite Uganda being what he called a highly homophobic country. Bahati submitted his bill in late 2009, several months after American evangelicals attended a conference in Kampala. Those U.S. religious leaders consider samegender relationships sinful and believe gays and lesbians can become heterosexual through prayer and counseling, fueling speculation that the Americans helped craft the bill. Bahati said that was false and he labeled it a communication strategy and “conspiracy” by pro-gay groups in the U.S. to make his bill easier to attack. “I didn’t meet any American evangelicals. I’ve said before we have friends in America but they have nothing to do with the bill. This actually has been an insult to suggest that Ugandans cannot think for themselves, that we have to wait for America to think for us,” he said.

Morocco lobby group urges financial transparency Egypt adjourns trial of former interior minister

RABAT - The TransparencyMaroc (Morocco) Association on Tuesday called on all public institutions in the north African country to account for their spending and to accept inspections. “We need to generalise the drawing up of accounts for all ... beneficiaries of public funds, particularly businesses and state bodies, as well as the Royal Armed Forces,” the non-governmental organisation said in a memorandum. The document, of which AFP obtained a copy, was sent by Transparency-Maroc to the commission for constitutional reform, set up by King Mohammed VI shortly after he gave a landmark speech on March 9, pledging major political reforms and a broadening of civil liberties. In 2010, Morocco spent 138

CAIRO - A court adjourned Tuesday the trial of Egypt’s former interior minister on charges of killing anti-government protesters, delaying the verdict in a case seen as a test for the country’s ruling generals.

Moroccans demonstrate in Casablanca on Sunday for a more open democratic political system. million dollars (94 million debate. euros) on weapons, according to “Change will come by breakthe Stockholm International ing with the era of impunity as Peace Research Institute much in the matter of upholding (SIPRI). The overall annual fundamental rights as in enrichbudget for weaponry is about ment by the abuse of authority,” 1.3 billion dollars and this sum TM said in its memo to the comis not subject to parliamentary mission.

Many Egyptians are closely watching the fate of Habib el-Adli, one of the most hated members of the administration of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, because of the brutality of his police force. Adli and six other senior officers are charged with killing pro-democracy protesters during the uprising. He is one of the most senior Mubarak-era ministers to be put on trial, as the generals who now rule Egypt seek to show their commitment to cracking down on abuse of power and corruption. The Cairo court said it had postponed Adli’s trial until May 21 for several reasons, including allowing his defense lawyers more time to prepare.


1 10

CARIBBEAN NEWS DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

Jamaica threatens to take Barbados immigration abuse issue to the CCJ KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Trinidad based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) may be called upon to adjudicate in the case where a Jamaican woman claimed she had been sexually abused by immigration officials when she landed in Barbados last month. The Gleaner quoted Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kenneth Baugh, as saying that the matter involving 20-year-old Shanique Myrie could be headed to the CCJ if Bridgetown and Kingston cannot work out their differences. Responding to questions from opposition spokesman Anthony Hylton during last week’s meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament, Baugh declared that Jamaica is not backing down on the Myrie case. “It is my own discussion with you concerning the problem in Barbados; it’s going through a process. But eventually, it may well end up at the Caribbean Court of Justice and we both

By KENTON X. CHANCE

Foreign Minister Kenneth Baugh accept that we will take it to the degree if it becomes necessary,” Baugh said. This would be the first time that the Jamaican government would be taking a case to the CCJ since it was established in 2001. Myrie said she was subjected to two demeaning cavity searches by a female immigration officer when she arrived in Barbados on March 14. She has since retained the services of Hylton, who is the former minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.

Constitutional challenge in Belize attracts high profile international lawyers BELMOPAN, Belize — A constitutional motion in which a sex-related law is being challenged in Belize has attracted several high profile international attorneys. Caleb Oronzco, a health educator and advocate for gay rights, and the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) have filed a motion against the attorney general challenging the constitutionality of section 53 of the Belize Criminal Code, which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” Section 53 of the Criminal Code provides: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Oronzco and UNIBAM are seeking a declaration that such section contravenes his constitutional rights to privacy and equal protection of the law as enshrined in sections 3, 6, and 14 and affirmed in the preamble of the Belize

Very challenging situation in St Vincent, says PM

Constitution. They also seek an order striking out the words “with any person or” from section 53. The claimants contend that the accepted statutory interpretation of “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” is that it criminalises anal sex between two consenting male adults in private and as such it violates their constitutional right to the recognition of human dignity (section 3(c) of the Constitution); the right to the protection of personal privacy (section 3(c) of the Constitution); the right to the protection of the privacy of the home (section 3(c) of Constitution); the right not to be subject to arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy (section 14(1) of the Constitution); the right to respect for private life (section 14(1) of Constitution); and the right to equal protection of the law without discrimination (section 6(1) of Constitution).

TAIPEI, Taiwan — St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is now in a “very difficult” and “very challenging situation” after two natural disasters over a six-month period that devastated parts of the country, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves told Vincentians in Taiwan on Friday. Hurricane Tomas damaged 1,200 houses, sending hundred into emergency shelters, destroyed the nation’s banana trees and left an estimated EC$65 million (US$24 million) in damage to the agricultural sector last October. Torrential rains in midApril caused flash flooding in north central St Vincent that resulted in landslides and several rivers overflowing their banks, washing away vehicles, damaging houses and flooding others. “The back-to-back disasters have really stretched us. We are still in the process of reconstructing after Tomas and this rainstorm, landslide, thunderstorm, everything came in the height of the dry season and caused more damage to the public infrastructure, road, bridges, rivers, than did Tomas,” Gonsalves said. “Tomas caused the problems to agriculture and Tomas caused the problems

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves meeting with students in Taiwan. Photo: Kenton Chance. to houses, many hundreds of houses and we are still dealing with the problem,” he added. Gonsalves said that some 50 persons were still being housed at Langley Park Government School in Georgetown but that his government would have to make alternative arrangements for them so that Grade 6 student can prepare for the Common Entrance Exam at the end of May. “We required over EC$100 million for Tomas. We require about EC$100 million for this disaster. The Taiwanese are being helpful to us with some additional monies. Plus, we are unlocking some loans with them,” Gonsalves told the gathering of mostly students at a dinner in Taipei. He said his government was working along with the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Union,

World Bank, the the International Monetary Fund, Venezuela, and ALBA to rebuild the country. “We have life, we have friends, and we have Almighty God. And we will get there, but it will be painful. It is not going to be easy,” Gonsalves said. He said that his administration would shift resources to deal with “these immediate matters”. He noted, however, that the price of oil and food was on the increase internationally, adding that his administration has had to increase the price of sugar and flour in SVG because of increases in the market. Gonsalves further said that SVG was still battling with the continuation of the fallout of the economic crisis and the problems of the failed British American Insurance Company and CLICO. He told the students that his government hoped to begin the process of “rolling out” the one laptop per child policy soon. However, with only 15,000 of the 30,000 units required in hand, Gonsalves said that he hoped that the Socrates government in Portugal, one of the countries financing the initiative, will be returned to office in Portugal in June, having this month lost a vote of confidence on the budget.

Labour Week in Guyana New rules for opens with call for unity Caribbean deportees GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Labour Week has opened in Guyana with a call from leaders of several trade unions to unite and work in the interest of the workers. General secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), Lincoln Lewis, said, “In this environment, silence and inaction are not options, but are acts of aiding and abetting a process to destroy the foundations for the creation of a just society.” The GTUC is the umbrella trade union body in Guyana, which includes powerful unions like the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU); the Guyana Labour Union (GLU), the oldest trade union in Guyana and the Caribbean; the National Association of Agricultural Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE), and others.

MIAMI — United States Immigration officials say they have changed the way thousands of Cubans facing deportation comply with immigration rules. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency now requires Miami residents to travel across county lines to a Miramar office for check in. ICE said that Caribbean and other foreign nationals with deportation orders but not in detention must now report to Miramar. Before they had to report their whereabouts at an immigration building in downtown Miami. ICE officials said that the Krome Detention Centre serves detainees, while Miramar serves non-detained deportees.


INTERNATIONAL

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

More gunfire, arrests reported in Syrian crackdown By BASSEM MROUE & DIAA HADID BEIRUT Residents of the southern Syrian city of Daraa braved sniper fire Tuesday to pull the bulletriddled bodies of the dead from the streets and hide them from security forces, a day after a brutal government crackdown on the popular revolt against President Bashar Assad, witnesses said. As heavy gunfire reverberated through Daraa, a Syrian human rights group said

authorities detained dozens of people across the country, mainly in several Damascus suburbs, including the town of Douma and in the northern coastal city of Jableh. A relentless crackdown since mid-March has killed more than 400 people across Syria, with 120 dead over the weekend, rights groups said. That has only emboldened protesters who started their revolt with calls for modest reforms but are now increasingly demanding Assad’s downfall. The Syrian army, backed by tanks and snipers, killed at least 22 people in a raid launched before dawn Monday on Daraa, where the uprising

Yemen deal may be done within week: officials By MOHAMED SUDAM & MOHAMMED GHOBARI SANAA - An agreement brokered by Gulf Arab states for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to give up power could be finalized within a week, officials said on Tuesday, as Yemen struggles to avoid plunging deeper into chaos. An opposition official said the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif alZayani, was expected to visit the capital Sanaa on Wednesday with an invitation to a signing ceremony on Monday in Riyadh. “We expect an arrangement and signing of a deal to be completed — the sooner the better,” said another opposition leader, Mohammed Basindwa, who is seen as a top candidate to lead a transitional government. Yemen’s Western and Gulf Arab allies have tried for weeks to mediate a solution to a three-month crisis in which protesters, inspired by the top-

pling of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, have taken to the street demanding an end to Saleh’s 32-year rule. On Tuesday snipers firing from rooftops killed an anti-government protester in Taiz, south of Sanaa. Washington and neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia fear that a descent into further bloodshed in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, long on the brink of collapse, would offer more room for a Yemenbased al Qaeda regional wing to operate. In a sign of lingering uncertainty over the plan, which requires Saleh to resign 30 days after signing it, a Gulf official said there may still be direct talks between the Yemeni sides held in Riyadh to thrash out final terms before a pact is signed. Whoever leads Yemen’s transitional government will not only struggle to quash an aggressive al Qaeda branch, which has tried to hit U.S. and Saudi targets, but also inherit simmering rebellions in the north and south of the country.

began more than a month ago. Security forces also conducted raids in the towns of Douma and Jableh. World leaders expressed concern at the mounting bloodshed, with the United States starting to draw up sanctions against Assad, diplomats hoping to send a strong signal to Damascus from the United Nations, and the prime minister of neighboring Turkey telephoning the Syrian

leader to urge restraint. The assault on Daraa appeared to be part of new strategy of crippre-emptive pling, action against any opposition to Assad, rather than reacting to demonstrations. It took more than a day for residents of Daraa to start pulling many of the bodies off the streets of Daraa, with rooftop snipers and army forces firing on people who dared to leave their homes. One

Kremlin head wants new nuclear rules post-Chernobyl CHERNOBYL, Ukraine - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, called Tuesday for new world rules to be drawn up on safety at nuclear plants. Medvedev, standing alongside Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident, said the disaster had taught states that they must tell the whole truth to their people. The Soviet Union, of which Ukraine was then a part, held back news of the full scale of the Chernobyl accident for several days. “The duty of a state is to tell the truth to its people. It must be acknowledged that the (Soviet) state did not always behave correctly,” Medvedev said. His words took on added poignancy amid Japan’s efforts to control the crisis at its Fukushima nuclear plant, which was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami last month. Medvedev, echoing words by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, said events in Japan and Chernobyl made it vital to draw up new standards for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. “Today, I sent proposals to (world) lead-

ers ... aimed at guaranteeing the necessary development of nuclear energy in the world while at the same time preventing catastrophic global consequences,” he said. On April 26, 1986, the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl plant exploded and caught fire after a safety test experiment went badly wrong. The blast sent radiation billowing across Europe. Tens of thousands of inhabitants were evacuated from Prypyat, the town closest to the site, never to return. A 30 km (19 mile) exclusion zone is still in place around the town. A total of 31 people died immediately and many more died later of radiation-related sicknesses such as cancer, many of them in what is today Belarus. Studies of the effects on health have been “numerous but uncoordinated and not comprehensive,” the International Agency for Research on Cancer said in a statement in Lyon, France, calling for a long-term international research plan. Apart from 28 deaths due to bone marrow failure within the first two months among workers dealing with the blast, studies have concentrated on the several thousand cases of thyroid cancer developed in children due to radiation exposure. - Denis Dyomkin & Pavel Polityuk

man, Zaher Ahmad Ayyash, was killed as he tried to retrieve the bodies of two brothers, Taysir and Yaser alAkrad, said a resident, who asked to be identified only as Abdullah for fear of reprisal. The corpses were hidden away after they were retrieved from the streets, Abdullah said, suggesting that resimight face dents reprisal if troops discovered they had taken the bodies. As he spoke on the phone, gunfire popped in the background. “We can’t bury the dead in the cemetery because it’s occupied by Syrian soldiers,” said Abdullah. “We are waiting to find another place to bury them.” Snipers also targeted water tanks on rooftops in Daraa - the last source of clean water for many desperate residents of the parched region of 300,000 peo-

ple, Abdullah said. Even as the military crackdown intensified, Abdullah said there was quiet, defiant resistance. He said some soldiers were disobeying orders and allowing residents to pass through military checkpoints. Palestinian refugees generally the most hardscrabble of all Syrian residents smuggled flour, water, bread and canned food into town. “We are so grateful to them,” the resident said. Earlier in the day, another resident said Syrian special forces were in the streets of the impoverished city, and tanks had opened fire in the city. “We are being subjected to a massacre,” another resident screamed over the telephone above the sound of gunfire. “We have been without electricity for three days. We have no water.”

Iran wants Shourd to return from U.S. for trial TEHRAN - Iran wants Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans arrested in 2009 on spying charges, to return from the United States to stand trial in May, her lawyer was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Sarah Shourd was released on $500,000 bail last September while her two male companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, remain in jail in Tehran. They appeared in court for the first time in February and pleaded not guilty but Shourd did not appear. The next hearing is set for May 11. Lawyer Masoud Shafiee told official news agency IRNA a subpoena had been sent to Shourd through Iran’s Foreign Ministry but he did not expect her to appear. “In the court notice which I received as their lawyer, the pres-

ence of Sarah Shourd has been considered mandatory,” he said. “In the phone conversation that I had with Ms Shourd, she told me she had gathered more evidence and proof for being innocent and will present it as defense to the court.” “The possibility of her attending the second court session which is due on May 11 at 10 a.m. local time (0530 GMT)... is not much,” he added. The trio, in their late 20s and early 30s, say they were hiking in the mountains of northern Iraq and, if they crossed the unmarked border into Iran, it was by mistake. Under Iranian law, espionage can carry the death penalty. The case has further complicated relations between Tehran and Washington, which have had no diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the occupation of the U.S. embassy by revolutionary students.


New American

The

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

One Thought - One Humanity

Can MJ’s ‘Human Nature’ bring a SWV & Chris Brown collaboration?

For the conclusions of these stories check out the April 21st - April 27th, 2011 issue of The New American, which hits newsstands every Thursday Carol’s Daughter tapped Cassie, Solange Knowles and Selita Ebanks for a new multicultural ad campaign aimed at redefining what it means to be beautiful. The 3 ladies represent multiple ethnicities—Cassie as African-American and Filipina, Selita as Jamaican, Irish, Indian and African and Solange as AfricanAmerican and French Creole. Also, their hair textures range from sleek tresses to waves to natural curls; their skin tones from olive to brown. The company’s goal is to appeal to a “millennial generation, which is basically a colorless society,” said Steve Stoute. “They don’t see color anymore. They’ll say, ‘my father’s black, my mother’s white’…What we’re doing now is moving into a polyethnic space – women who are made up of several ethnicities. If you ask them what they are, they’re going to use a lot of different words to describe themselves. That’s in line with the Census data coming out — people are checking much more than two boxes.” Bobby Brown and his fiancee/manager Alicia Etheridge are expecting another baby. This will be child number 6 for Brown. DAMN!!.Bobby and Alicia’s first child is named Cassius and Bobby is happy to be a dad again. “I try to keep my kids close,” Bobby said. The new baby will join siblings Landon (b.1986) with Melika Williams; LaPrincia (b.1990) and Bobby Brown Jr. (b.1991) with Kim Ward; Bobbi Kristina (b.1993) with his exwife Whitney Houston; and Cassius Brown (b.2009) with Alicia. Word on the street is that Paula Patton & Robin Thicke’s mar-

riage may be in trouble. Apparently the couple have been growing apart due to their busy work schedules which means that they hardly see each other, and, Paula is worried about Robin’s wandering eye and jumpoffs! The couple welcomed their first child, Julian Fuego a year ago. We hope this is just a bad rumor, they are one of my favorite couples! Eric Benet’s camp is denying a New York Post Page Six item that claims the self-professed former sex addict was at Cheetah’s Gentleman’s Club in Times Square last week and gave lots of attention to a stripper who looked exactly like his ex-wife Halle Berry. The dancer, “Jordan,” said that Benet initially said his name was “Edgar,” but soon after revealed his true identity: “I said, ‘You’re Halle Berry’s ex-husband,’ and he said, ‘Once upon a time,’ and smiled.” A rep for the R&B singer dismissed the story, shouting, “This is cheap gossip! We’re not going to answer these questions.” As previously reported, Benet announced his engagement to Prince’s exwife, Manuela Testolini, earlier this year. Keke Wyatt plans on increasing her musical catalog by releasing a new album this summer. The set will be her third release since her debut album ‘Soul Sista’ in 2001. Wyatt, known for her duet with Avant on “My First Love” and “Nothing In This World,” has hopes of continuing her duet success formula by working with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. She and Studdard have completed a rendition of Alexander O’Neal & Cherelle’s classic hit song “Saturday Love” as the first single for the album. The untitled

album will be Wyatt’s second release in the past year after her sophomore album was delayed for almost ten years due to record label conflicts. In related news, Wyatt tells UrbanBridgez.com that she and Avant are in works for their longawaited duets album. Lil Wayne’s name became linked to a rape allegation last month after a woman accused producer Noel “Detail” Fisher of sexually assaulting her during a studio session where Weezy was present. But a month after the unnamed woman claimed that she was held against her will and sexually abused, the beatsmith is speaking out against her allegations. According to TMZ, Detail, who resides in Canyon Country, Calif., is shooting down her claims, labeling her lawsuit “baseless” and deeming her actions as acts of extortion. The producer’s lawyer, Josh Glotzer, says the woman is “unfortunately abusing the legal process to extort money from Mr. Fisher,” and that he plans to file a malicious prosecution claim after the civil suit is dismissed. Mya says goodbye to the problems of yesterday on “Rear View Mirror” featuring Sean Paul, one of the tracks included on her new album K.I.S.S. (Keeping It Sexy & Simple), released in Japan on April 20. On the empowering record, the “Dancing With the Stars” alum looks toward the future by hopping in her whip and driving away from her past life. “In my rear view mirror I don’t see nothing but smoke/ Everything’s much clearer when I push that metal into the floor/ I’ve got to go,” she sings on the chorus.

What does the feel good vibe that “King of Pop” automatically Michael Jackson, makes you think of the “New Jack the best of Michael Swing Queens of Jackson. There is the 90’s” SWV and something in this the reigning beat that is thera“King of R&B” peutic and R&B Chris Brown have lovers seem to in common? The never get enough infectious song of it. “Human Nature” 3. Party Starter: is the link between So far, every these great entertainers. remake of Michael Jackson’s Human This track has been twisted and Nature has had the potential to turned to create musical master- pump stereos from the BBQs to the pieces in multiple decades and we clubs. think a collaboration with Chris 4. Star Connection: The “Human Brown and SWV would definitely Nature” track has connected the foladd a unique flavor while bridging lowing artists: Michael Jackson, musical eras. Here is why… SWV and Chris Brown. By connect1. Lyrics: The complexity of love ing these artists, this track has indiis expressed in both SWV’s “Right rectly connected three R&B/Pop eras Here” and Chris Brown’s “She Ain’t which are Michael Jackson’s 80’s, You.” SWV’s “Right Here” focuses SWV 90’s and Chris Brown’s new on reassuring their man that they millennium. Three decades of fans will have rough times but there is no are able to enjoy the magic of one where they would rather be. Chris track with a twist by their favorite Brown’s “She Ain’t You” focuses on artists. It doesn’t get better than having a love that could not be that. replaced despite moving on. Both 5. Michael’s Magic: Michael JackSWV and Chris Brown highlight the son was a genius and his music is strength and endurance of love in proof that his gift, which is conthe lyrics laid over the Michael Jack- stantly sampled, still has a power we son’s smooth “Human Nature” beat. cannot explain. Maybe one day they 2. Rhythmic Beat: You can’t help will discover that his sound has the but groove to the beat that has been healing power to help those with pimped by SWV and Chris Brown. cancer and other terminal diseases. The beat gives off an unexplainable (Yes, his music is that serious) - Full Story In This Week’s New American Newspaper -

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

14

Broadway expands its stage with movie theater shows By FRANK SCHECK If you can’t come to Broadway, Broadway is going to come to you. That’s the philosophy behind the upcoming nationwide movie theater showings of two current Broadway shows — Tony Award-winning musical “Memphis,” and “The Importance of Being Earnest,” the Roundabout Theater Company’s acclaimed revival of the Oscar Wilde classic play starring British actor Brian Bedford. Although the concept has been around for a while, it has taken off in recent years thanks to the number of movie theaters equipped to show high-definition video and keen for alternative content. Following the success of broadcasts of the London National Theatre’s “NT Live” and the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD,” the new offerings mark the first time that Broadway shows will be

Cast members of the play “Memphis” perform after they won Best Musical at the American Theatre Wing’s 64th annual Tony Awards ceremony. made available in movie theaters while still enjoying successful theatrical runs. “Memphis” producers Sue Frost and Randy Adams are unconcerned about the possibility of the broadcasts cannibalizing ticket sales for either the Broadway production or the upcoming national tour. “We thought it would be a great marketing tool, partic-

ularly for the road, and we were enamored of the idea of capturing the original company,” Frost told Reuters. Adams pointed to the success of Hollywood versions of stage shows like “Chicago” and “Phantom of the Opera.” “It didn’t hurt those (theater) sales at all. If anything, it revitalized them. These days, people tend to go to what’s familiar. So I think the more familiar people are with ‘Memphis’ and its brand, they more likely they

are to actually attend the show,” he said. “Memphis” is due to land on 600 screens around the United States for four showings between April 28 and May 3 at a recommended ticket price of $20 — a bargain compared to about $130 for a top seat on Broadway. Filmed with multiple cameras placed in strategic locations so as not to interfere with the enjoyment of live audiences, the broadcasts approximate the experience of seeing the shows in the theater, with the added benefit of close-ups that essentially give viewers the best seats in the house. Bruce Brandwen, the founder and CEO of Broadway Worldwide, which is producing “Memphis,” for movie theaters, pioneered the concept in the 1990s with such shows as “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and “Jekyll & Hyde.” Brandwen declined to detail the cost of recording and capturing “Memphis” for broadcast. But he said the process can range from $2$4 million, depending on the number of stagehands, musicians and performers involved.

Several public performances of “Memphis” were shot in high definition, with the results edited for the upcoming broadcast. The Roundabout took a different tack with “Earnest,” which will be screened not only nationwide but also internationally beginning on June 2 and continuing on various dates through June 28. Three performances were filmed before live audiences, with one unedited version eventually chosen for the broadcast. Roundabout’s managing director Harold Wolpert said the goal of the project was to “make our work as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.” He said “Earnest” was chosen as the company’s inaugural effort largely because of a grant from a well-heeled funder— a huge fan of stage veteran Bedford, and the production — who paid all of the out-of-pocket expenses. “We do feel that when people see it that it will translate well,” Wolpert said of “Earnest.” “That’s very, very important to us. Our bottom line is not just financial, but aesthetic as well.”

pana, co-president of North America concerts for Live Nation. And, as Prince is prone to making quick decisions, the remainder of the tour after L.A., or even when the L.A. run will wrap, is still in the air. “He has not discussed anything beyond L.A., and L.A. was decided literally as the trucks were leaving the Carolinas (at the end of March),” Campana says. “The drivers needed to know what direction to go and

Prince said, ‘head west.’ By the time they were halfway across the country, they were told to go to Los Angeles and we were announcing the shows and putting them on sale for the Forum. So spontaneity is in play on all levels. We’re all waiting with bated breath as to where’s he going after Los Angeles.” Campana expected the rest of the L.A. shows to be played at the Forum, but then again ... “We are taking direction, not giving direction,” he said.

Ex-Destiny’s Child member Farrah Franklin plans to Prince’s 17 remaining L.A. shows cloaked in mystery sue police after arrest By RAY WADDELL

Farrah Franklin is pulling the race card for her recent arrest. The former Destiny’s Child singer, who was arrested and booked last Saturday for disorderly conduct, tells website TMZ that she was a victim of racial profiling. “Unfortunately, I am the latest victim on what seems to be a growing list of those who are racially profiled and mistreated by Culver City Police,” the 29-year-old tells the website. “I was manhandled by the arresting officers. I am really upset about all that has taken place. I have never had a run in with the law before Saturday. On Saturday I was not arrested, I was detained.” Franklin was also upset because she had to remove garments in front of male officers. “There were no female officers on duty and I was required to take off my top and treated unfairly,” she adds. She also took to Twitter to

NASHVILLE — Even though Prince is in the early stages of a 21-show stand in Los Angeles — four down, 17 to go — it’s not at all clear where future shows will be held or where his tour will wrap up. Prince’s current leg began on April 14 at the Forum; his most recent show was at the storied arena on Saturday. “Everything comes from Prince,” says Mark Cam-

voice her frustrations, writing: “YES, I’m okay & YES there WILL be a lawsuit ! F**K da Culver City Police !!!! You cant keep a good girl down.” Contrary to Franklin’s claims, Culver City Police tells TMZ that they responded to a 911 call with inside sources insisting one of the arresting officers was female. Farrah Franklin is known for her five months stint with Destiny’s Child before being let go.

Toni Braxton completes court-ordered debt management course Toni Braxton has taken another step in getting her financial house in order by completing a court-ordered course on money management. The singer, currently appearing with her sisters and mom in the We TV series “Braxton Family Values,” filed for bankruptcy for a second time last year

amid allegations her debts ballooned to between $10 million and $50 million. She was ordered to take a course about money matters as part of her case — and she passed the class on April 15th, according to TMZ. Braxton’s certificate, obtained by TMZ.com, reveals she completed an

“internet instruction course concerning personal financial management.” The singer-turned-reality star, who previously filed for bankruptcy in 1998, has blamed her cash flow issues on the cancellation of a series of Las Vegas shows, which were scrapped due to her heart problems.


NEW JERSEY

DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

15

In wake of police layoffs, Newark murder rate soars as violent crime increases By JAMES QUEALLY NEWARK - Three fatal shootings in the last two days pushed Newark’s homicide total to 29 this year, a 71 percent jump in killings compared with the same period in 2010, as violent crime surges following police layoffs. Between Jan. 1 and April 17, Newark has seen marked increases in homicides, shootings and thefts, while overall crime rose by 21 percent compared with the same time last year, according to Newark’s quarterly crime statistics obtained by The StarLedger. Several of the most recent slayings claimed the lives of innocent bystanders, including a 49-year-old man who was shot several times outside of a chicken restaurant in the South Ward late on Easter Sunday, authorities said. The report shows Newark has suffered steady increases in vio-

Newark police investigate the scene where one person was killed and four others were injured during an explosion of gunfire in the city’s West Ward in this 2010 file photo. lent crime and property to allow levels of vio- the street. The bad crime since the city laid lence to increase to guys know we’re not off 167 police officers where they were in out there, and it has an in November. Between 2006 and before. ... We effect on how they Jan. 1 and April 17, will continue to employ operate,” said James shootings increased innovative policing Stewart Jr., vice presifrom 56 to 72 and rob- measures to ensure dent of Newark’s beries jumped from 418 that Newark will not Fraternal Order of to 462. Auto thefts saw accept anything less Police. “That’s why the the sharpest rise, leap- than strength, peace shootings have ing by 39 percent, from and security.” increased dramatically, 743 in 2010 to 1,035 Police union leaders, that’s why the homiduring the same time who have frequently cides are up.” this year, according to criticized the Booker Stewart said the laythe report. administration since offs had made crimiA spokeswoman for the layoffs, were quick nals more brazen, saythe city administration, to blame the crime ing the lack of police Esmeralda Diaz spike on a lack of man- manpower makes gang Cameron, said, “Our power. members and drug city has grown too “I think it just comes dealers more likely to strong in recent years down to the people on carry weapons and to

use them in the open. While crime has increased, police productivity has also continued to slide. The total number of arrests made by city police officers between Jan. 1 and April 17 dipped by 22 percent compared with 2010, according to statistics, while the number of parking summonses and moving violations issued also dipped. City police recorded 7,163 arrests between Jan. 1 and April 17 of this year, compared with 9,161 in 2010. The trend continued a decline that started last year. Arrests and summons totals dropped in the second half of 2010, with some of the largest decreases coinciding with bitter and hostile negotiations between the unions and Booker’s administration. Stewart said the lack of manpower leaves patrol officers on the defensive, responding to calls for help rather than actively trying to make arrests or issue summonses. “Not that we had free time, but now you’re just going job, to job, to job,” he said.

The latest killing came about 7 p.m. yesterday in the South Ward, police said. In a double shooting at Thorne Street and Evergreen Avenue, an unidentified man was shot in the face and soon died at the scene, while the second victim was expected to survive, police said. In the same ward on Easter Sunday, two men were killed in a four-hour span. Shortly before 7 p.m., 24-year-old James Conn was shot several times in the 400 block of Clinton Avenue, less than a block from the Police Department’s newest precinct, said Thomas Fennelly, Essex County chief assistant prosecutor. A half-mile away, Jamal Hedamy was shot outside of Crown Fried Chicken on Avon Avenue at 10:25 p.m., he said. While a motive remains unclear in Conn’s death, Hedamy “did not appear” to be the target, said Fennelly, who said bystanders have fallen victim to violence several times in recent weeks.

Cops: N.J. drug suspect with 5-year-old son in tow used toy bag to hide heroin stash By JOE MOSZCZYNSKI SPARTA Christopher Ennis thought he had concocted a sure-fire way to transport 500 bags of heroin to the Sussex County area, where like many drug dealers, he would use some, sell the rest and make a hefty profit, according to police. By using his 5-yearold son and a gym bag filled with the boy’s toys as decoys, police would never find his illegal cache - with a street value of $10,000 hidden in the bottom of

the black bag. Or so he thought. During a traffic stop, police said, they searched the gym bag and found the drugs. “He (Ennis) brought the 5-year-old along so he would appear less suspicious to law enforcement and, if he was stopped, he did not believe police would search a child’s toy bag,” according to a statement by Sparta police, based on a videotaped interview Ennis gave authorities following his arrest. The incident was described by police as follows: Shortly after 10:30

p.m. Saturday on Route 15 north, another man, Alexander Dewer, 43, of Milford, Pa., was stopped for displaying fictitious license plates on a 1998 GMC Jimmy. Following closely behind him was Ennis, 31, of Branchville, whose vehicle was stopped by a second Sparta patrol car for displaying an inspection sticker three years overdue. When the two men gave conflicting stories - and a glassine wrapper commonly used to package heroin was found in plain view on the driver’s side floor of Dewer’s vehicle - police

said they grew suspicious. Dewer said he didn’t know Ennis; Ennis said they were traveling together. One said he was coming from Hoboken and the other said he was coming from Morris County. Ennis, a single father, then consented to a search of his 2000 Ford Explorer. “He must have felt good about giving consent, never thinking we’d find anything,” said police Sgt. JohnPaul Beebe, adding the suspect has a long history of drug offenses. Heroin is typically purchased in urban

areas for $7 a bag, and resold in the suburbs for $15 to $20 a bag, he said. “Heroin is on the upswing in this county and the upswing has been pretty consistent,” he said. “The cost is low and the demand is very, very high.” Beebe said the child, strapped in his car seat in the back,was taken into custody by the state Division of Youth and Family Services following his father’s arrest. The gym bag containing heroin, hypodermic needles, some children’s clothes and toys, including an elec-

tronic toy, was found on the floor in the back seat, he said. Ennis was charged with using a juvenile in a drug distribution scheme, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, child abuse, possession of hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia. He was being held in Sussex County jail in lieu of $70,000 bail. Dewer was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and multiple motor vehicle violations. He was released on his own recognizance. Beebe said additional charges are expected.


DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

16

Study: Early anti-smoking drug start seems better Getting a head start on Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug Chantix may help smokers kick the habit, according to a preliminary study funded by the company. More than a third of smokers who started on the drug a month before quitting were still completely smoke-free 3 months later. That compared to about one in seven of those who only started Chantix the recommended one week before they quit. Although researchers warn the study was short and needs to be confirmed, they say it hints that decreasing smoking pleasure — one

of Chantix’s effects — early on might help smokers stay off cigarettes over the long haul. Writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Peter Hajek of the UK Center for Tobacco Control Studies and colleagues compare the effect to making food look unappealing. “The level of hunger pangs may be the same, but it is easier to resist a food that has become less tempting,” they note. Chantix has been approved in the U.S. since 2006, but reports of suicidal thoughts and other mental health

problems in users led health officials to order a “black box” warning on the drug in 2009. Medical alternatives to Chantix - which costs a few hundred dollars per month — include nicotine patches and GlaxoSmithKline’s Zyban, which also carries a black box warning. The researchers tested 101 middle-aged smokers from a stop-smoking clinic in London. They randomly assigned half of them to start Chantix 4 weeks before quitting, while the rest got a sugar pill for the first 3 weeks and then switched to

Chantix as well. After the first 3 weeks, the participants on Chantix smoked less and said they didn’t enjoy it as much as before. More than one in three of them had cut the number of cigarettes they smoked by half, compared to only one in ten of the people who started out on sugar pills. Both groups had a lot of nausea, with nearly six in 10 of the early-starters reporting at least one episode over the study. In an editorial in the journal, Dr. Joel A. Simon of the San Francisco VA Medical

Center calls the new findings “exciting,” but says longer studies are needed. One in five Americans smokes, he notes, and only between 4 and 7 percent of those who try to stop succeed. Researchers estimate that half of all smokers die prematurely of a smokingrelated illness. “There already exists a sufficient evidence base for counseling and drug interventions that if broadly, wholeheartedly, and effectively implemented would likely result in decreased tobacco-related misery,” he added.

Tai chi may help heart failure patients By STEVEN REINBERG The ancient Chinese exercise of Tai chi may improve quality of life for people suffering from heart failure, Harvard researchers report. Tai chi combines flowing circular movements, balance and weight-shifting, breathing techniques and focused internal awareness. It has already been shown to be helpful with a number of medical conditions, including hypertension (high blood pressure), balance and musculoskeletal diseases, and fibromyalgia, the researchers noted. “Tai chi training improved important parameters of quality of life, mood and confidence to perform exercise in patients with heart failure,” said lead researcher Dr. Gloria Yeh, from the division of general medicine and primary care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Maintaining an exercise regimen is important in heart failure, and Tai chi may be a suitable alternative or adjunct exercise for these patients,” she said. Tai chi incorporates low/moderate intensity aerobics with strength training, breathing techniques, relaxation and stress management, Yeh explained. For the study, Yeh’s team randomly assigned 100 heart failure patients to a 12week Tai chi program or to educational sessions about heart failure. The researchers found that although both groups

had similar oxygen use during six-minute walks, those who practiced Tai chi showed greater improvements in quality of life, which was measured using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire. In addition, those taking part in Tai chi also showed improvement in mood and improvement in the number of calories burned each week, compared with those in the education program, the researchers added. People with chronic heart failure suffer from the inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently to meet the body’s needs. The condition causes shortness of breath, coughing, chronic venous congestion, ankle swelling and difficulty exercising. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, associate chief of cardiology at David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles, noted that “heart failure results in substantial impairment in func-

tional capacity, quality of life and mood.” “While traditional aerobic exercise may provide some benefits to patients with heart failure, many heart failure patients have difficulty in engaging and sustaining regular aerobic exercise,” he added. There has been increasing interest in using mind-body exercises such as Tai chi for patients with heart failure, Fonarow said. “It may be more easily implemented, pleasant and have the additional benefit of meditation,” he added. “As a complement to standard medical care, this study has demonstrated that Tai chi enhanced quality of life, mood and exercise self-efficacy,” Fonarow said. “Tai chi appears to be a safe alternative to low- to moderateintensity conventional exercise training in patients with heart failure. Further studies are needed to compare Tai chi to aerobic exercise train-

ing, and to determine if participation in Tai chi will have a favorable impact on risk of hospitalization or survival in patients with heart failure.” Another study in the same journal found that HIV patients may be at greater risk of developing heart failure. In the study, Dr. Adeel A. Butt, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues collected data on 8,486 veterans, 2,391 of whom were HIVpositive. Over 7.3 years of follow-up, the researchers found those who were HIVpositive had an 81 percent greater risk of developing heart failure than those who were not HIV-positive. There could be several reasons for the connection between HIV and heart failure, including the infection itself, heavy alcohol use, side effects of antiretroviral therapy, nutritional deficiencies and damage to the heart muscle, Butt’s group specu-

lated. “HIV infection is associated with an increased risk of heart failure after adjusting for traditional risk factors for heart failure,” the researchers wrote. “This association persisted even after exclusion of patients with a baseline history of coronary heart disease, heart failure and angina, as well as a coronary heart disease event in the follow-up period prior to the diagnosis of heart failure and a history of alcohol abuse or dependence diagnosis. Ongoing viral replication is associated with a higher risk of heart failure.”

Government to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco CHICAGO — The government said it plans to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision that electronic cigarettes are not drugs or devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes. In 2009, the FDA was given the authority to regulate tobacco products that are not drugs or devices. Electronic cigarettes, marketed under names such

as NJOY, mimic the act of smoking and include nicotine, but do not emit the same type of odor or ash. In December, three judges from the appellate court ruled that the FDA could regulate the products as tobacco products and not as drugs. They also said that the FDA could not block the import of such products, giving Sottera Inc the ability to start importing its NJOY goods. The FDA said in a notice posted on its website that it is working on a strategy to regulate products such as

electronic cigarettes, which are not subject to pre-market review requirements, as tobacco products. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said that it was disappointed the U.S. government would not appeal the federal appeals court ruling. The group said the ruling opened a loophole that lets manufacturers add nicotine to products, bypassing the regulations that traditionally apply to smoking cessation medications and other non-tobacco products that include nicotine.

The Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, a group that represents companies that make such products, said in an email that it always wanted the electronic cigarettes to be regulated as tobacco products. The electronic cigarette is 14,000 times less harmful than a regular cigarette and does not alter mind or body functions, said Ray Story, chief executive of TVECA. “This product delivers five ingredients. All five are approved by the FDA,” said Story.


DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

17

Many Americans ill-informed about red wine, sea salt Most Americans have heard that red wine has health benefits, but many don’t understand the need to limit consumption, finds an American Heart Association survey. The majority of respondents also mistakenly believe that sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to table salt, the survey found. The poll was conducted to assess awareness about how wine and sodium affect heart health. Of the 1,000 adults polled, 76 percent agreed with the statement that wine can be good for your heart, but only 30 percent knew the AHA’s recommended limits for daily wine consumption. Consumption of any type of alcohol should be limited to no more than two drinks per day for men and one

drink per day for women. In general, that’s about eight ounces of wine for men and four ounces of wine for women.

Drinking too much of any type of alcohol can increase blood pressure and lead to heart failure, stroke, irregular heartbeat, cancer and

obesity. “This survey shows that we need to do a better job of educating people about the heart-health risks of overconsumption of wine, especially its possible role in increasing blood pressure,” AHA spokesman Dr. Gerald Fletcher, professor of medicine - cardiovascular diseases at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Fla., said in an AHA news release. The survey results, released Monday, also indicate that most respondents don’t know the primary source of sodium in their diets and are confused about low-sodium food choices. Consuming too much sodium can increase blood pressure and boost the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Forty-six percent of respondents incorrectly said table salt is the primary source of sodium in American diets. In fact, processed foods such as soups, canned foods, prepared mixes, condiments and tomato sauce account for up to 75 percent of sodium consumption in the United States. Sixty-one percent of respondents believe that sea salt is a low-sodium alternative to table salt. But sea salt and Kosher salt are chemically the same as table salt (40 percent sodium). People should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day, the AHA says. In order to limit sodium intake, read nutrition and ingredient labels on prepared and packaged foods, experts advise.

Pushing healthy lifestyle cuts risk of chronic disease for Blacks A program promoting exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits that can help prevent chronic disease proved effective for black American couples in which one partner has HIV and the other does not, a new study finds. Researchers divided 535 such couples — known in medical language as HIVserodiscordant couples — into two groups. Two hundred and sixty couples participated in an intervention to reduce the risk of transmitting and getting HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, and 275 couples took part in a program to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, diabetes

and certain cancers through healthy behaviors. These healthy steps included physical activity, increased fruit and vegetable consumption and screenings for breast and prostate cancer. Both programs involved eight weekly two-hour sessions. The couples reported their healthy behaviors at the start of the study, immediately after they completed the program, and six to 12 months after the program. The average age of the participants was 43, and the female was the HIV-positive partner in 60.4 percent of the couples. The study appears in the April 25 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Health promotion intervention participants were more likely to report consuming five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily and adhering to physical activity guidelines compared with HIV/STD intervention participants,” wrote Nabila El-Bassel and colleagues from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health Multisite HIV/STD Prevention Trial for African-American Couples Group. “In the health promotion intervention compared with the HIV/STD intervention, participants consumed fatty foods less frequently, more men received prostate cancer screening, and more women received a mammogram.

Alcohol use did not differ between the intervention groups,” the researchers said in a journal news release. In 2007, blacks accounted for 48 percent of people in the United States with HIV. Because medicines, particularly highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), are so effective, many people with HIV are living longer and are therefore at risk for other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. “In conclusion, African Americans are at high risk for morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and are less likely to report engaging in behaviors associated with reduced risk of such diseases

Do IQ tests measure more than intelligence? By RANDY DOTINGA A new study suggests that the ability of IQ tests to predict your future — in areas such as job success, education and any brushes with the law — has a lot to do with how motivated you are when you take the test. In other words, an IQ test may provide good insight into a test-taker’s life, “but it might not predict it for the reason you think,” explained study author Angela Lee Duckworth, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Intelligence quotient (IQ)

tests are valued in part because researchers have linked scores to success or failure later in life. “It predicts how long you’ll live, whether you’ll stay married, your grade point average,” Duckworth noted. On top of that, IQ tests seem to measure not only intelligence but the ability to become smarter. “Social scientists think they’re accurate measures of how well people can learn: this kid’s got a 120, so they can learn really well,” Duckworth said. “This kid’s got an IQ of 95, so they can’t learn that well.” But not everyone who takes an IQ test gives it their

full attention. “I do a lot of work in urban classrooms, and it was salient to me that some of these kids did not care,” Duckworth explained. “They put their pencils and heads down after one or two questions. It was obvious that they were not trying to do it. They hadn’t even started trying.” Duckworth said that she and her colleagues “wanted to know how much of the test’s predictive power is measuring what it should be measuring, and how it much of it is from your actual motivation.” They first reviewed previous studies, and found that giving incentives to test-tak-

ers to do a good job boosted scores. In addition, the authors analyzed data from a longterm study that followed 250 teenage boys from Pittsburgh into adulthood. They were videotaped while taking an IQ test, and researchers gauged how motivated they appeared. When they adjusted their statistics to take away the influence of motivation upon the results, the researchers found that the IQ tests did a poorer job of predicting what would happen to the boys later in life. It’s possible that some of the things that make someone motivated — compliance,

and to detect them at an early stage,” the authors wrote. “Moreover, the risk of chronic disease is of particular concern for African Americans living with HIV because HIV and its treatment with HAART are associated with increased risk,” they added. The study revealed low rates of fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and cancer screening among the participants. “Accordingly, this study is important, demonstrating that [intervention] that teaches skills caused positive changes on multiple behaviors linked to chronic diseases in African American members” of this group, the researchers wrote. a natural interest in solving problems, competitiveness — are high in those who do well on the tests and may help them do better in life, Duckworth said. However, the findings “don’t say these IQ scores are all about motivation,” Duckworth said. “It’s not saying anyone can get 140 if they try hard enough.” Robert Sternberg, a psychology professor and provost at Oklahoma State University, praised the study but added that the findings aren’t exactly shocking. “To almost anyone except some subset of those psychologists who study IQ testing, it will come as little surprise that motivation is an extremely powerful determinant of performance in school and in life,” he said.


DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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Gold, silver retreat from records, eyes on Fed By PRATIMA DESAI LONDON — Silver and gold tumbled yesterday as investors sold on uncertainty about the direction of monetary policy in the United States, but a softer dollar helped support prices and sentiment. Spot silver ceded nearly 5 percent to $44.61 an ounce after touching $49.31 an ounce on Monday, within reach of $49.48 hit in January 1980 It was bid at $45.77 an ounce at 1143 GMT from $46.90 late in New York on Monday and is heading for its biggest daily loss since March 15. Gold hit a record high of $1,518.10 a troy ounce on Monday. It was last bid at $1,504.36 from $1,508.45 on Monday. “The rally has been strong, it’s not surprising to see profit-taking ahead of the FOMC meeting,” said Peter Fertig, a consultant at Quantitative Commodi-

A worker stores ingots of 99.99 percent pure silver, which weigh 30 kilos (66 lbs), to pack them at the Krastsvetmet nonferrous metals plant in Russia’s Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. ty Research. “Markets expect it will be a dovish statement from the U.S. Fed, but there are worries about them ending (Quantitative Easing) ahead of time.” Tighter U.S. policy would mean less cash floating around the financial system looking for a home and fewer worries about inflation, which investors protect

against by buying gold. The Federal Open Market Committee meeting starts later on Tuesday and concludes on Wednesday. The U.S. central bank is expected to confirm it will stick to plans to complete a $600 billion bond-buying program. The post-meeting news conference by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke today will be the first regularly

scheduled briefing by a Fed chief in the bank’s 97-year history. “The ... meeting is a possible event risk but we believe post-meeting comments will confirm that U.S. short-term rates will remain low for the time being which would be positive for precious metals,” Credit Suisse Private Banking said in a note. The dollar fell to a 16month low against the

States face growing pension gaps By LISA LAMBERT WASHINGTON — States are short $1.26 trillion in paying for public employee pensions and other retirement benefits, a gap that grew 26 percent in one year and will take many more years to wipe out, according to a report. A total of 31 states had pensions that

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were underfunded in fiscal 2009, the latest year for which data is available, up from 22 states a year earlier, the Pew Center on the States reported. The financial crisis in 2008 crushed many pension funds’ investments, just as historic budget woes forced governments to cut contributions to those funds. The combination “made a serious problem even worse,” said Susan Urahn, the Pew Center’s managing director. In fiscal 2009, which for most states began in July 2008, states were short $660 billion for future pension payments and $604 billion for other retiree benefits, namely healthcare. Growing unfunded pension liabilities on top of still daunting state budget gaps are a top concern of Wall Street rating agencies

and investors in the $2.9 trillion municipal bond market. Most states are legally bound to pay retirees benefits, and they must make up for any investment loss from their already depleted treasuries or by borrowing. Pensions are deemed “underfunded” when they are unable to pay at least 80 percent of liabilities. Preliminary data for fiscal 2010 shows that pension funding levels of 10 states deteriorated further, while just three registered increases, Pew found. “Overall, these results suggest that while states benefited from better returns in fiscal year 2010, the legacy of the financial crisis ... will remain an issue for years to come,” Pew said in the report. Last year, Pew found states were short $1 trillion in fis-

cal 2008 on promises to retirees, using data that came from before the financial crisis. States typically assume an 8 percent annual return and their pension plans suffered a median 19.1 percent drop in their assets’ market value in fiscal 2009, Pew said. One critic said the lagging data does not reflect the improvement in current conditions. “Given where we are in time now, talking about 2009 numbers just isn’t useful. The world has changed in the last 18 months,” said Hank Kim, executive director of the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems. “The market has come roaring back.” On Monday, Kim’s group released a survey of 216 public pension funds showing the average return over the last year was

euro on expectations that U.S. monetary policy will remain accommodative compared to the European Central Bank, which has already begun to raise rates. A lower U.S. currency makes metals priced in dollars cheaper for holders of other currencies, while gold often used by investors as a hedge against inflation is often triggered by high oil prices. “Oil is down, that’s a negative factor,” Fertig said. Traders say part of the reason for the volatility in gold and silver prices is activity related to options — contracts which give holders the right to buy or sell the underlying security at a fixed price in the futures. “There’s been a rush to cover exposure to these contracts ahead of expiry (maturity),” a trader said. “It’s been more pronounced in silver futures.” U.S. silver futures slid more than 5 percent to $44.61 an ounce. The

contract rallied to $49.82 in the previous session, a hair off their record high of $50.35. Silver prices are up about 50 percent so far this year after gains of more than 80 percent last year. Some analysts say silver this year has rallied on expectations of rising demand from industrial consumers, particularly those in the solar panel industry as governments search for alternatives to nuclear energy after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. “Although demand for silver is certainly increasing from this quarter we do not believe it explains the entire rally in silver prices,” HSBC said in a note. “Nonetheless the political climate may favor solar power and announcements regarding government support or increased research for solar panels may support silver. Much of the buying in silver has been retail and momentum driven.”

13.5 percent. Illinois consistently has had the lowest pension funding level among states, one that worsened to 51 percent in fiscal 2009 from 54 percent in fiscal 2008, according to the Pew report. In fiscal 2010 and 2011, the state sold $7.16 billion of taxable bonds to raise money for its annual pension payments. A year ago, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a pension reform measure reducing benefits for new state workers, which he said would save more than $200 billion over nearly 35 years. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into “communications” by the state regarding potential savings or reduced contributions to pensions resulting from the law. Five other states, including cashstrapped Rhode Island, have funding levels of less than 60 percent, according to

Pew. Conversely, New York’s pension is 101 percent funded, followed by Wisconsin at 100 percent and Washington at 99 percent. States must increase their contributions when returns are low. From 2000, when the systems were well funded, to 2009 these payment requirements grew 152 percent, putting pressure on states to take dollars away from other spending areas. Of late, Republicans in the U.S. Congress have pressed states to assume investment return rates closer to 4 percent, which they consider “riskless.” Using assumptions that private pension plans rely on, which are linked to returns on corporate bonds of about 5.22 percent, Pew found the pension shortfall for states could be as much as $1.8 trillion. By relying on a rate based on a 30-year Treasury bond, Pew found the states’ shortfall could be $2.4 trillion.


DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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Commodities crunch worsens for consumers and companies By BRAD DORFMAN CHICAGO — Food, beverage and household products companies have been pressured for months by rising commodity costs and their stocks have paid the price, but KimberlyClark Corp. showed on Monday things could be even worse. “I think it is going to be really tough for a lot of these companies to post great quarters,” said James Tierney, chief investment officer at investment adviser W.P. Stewart. Kimberly-Clark kicked off a flurry of earnings for consumer packaged goods compa-

nies by saying costs for oil-related materials and other items were rising more than twice as fast as the company had expected and also said it would raise prices on a swatch of products. Crude oil is currently trading near 3-1/2 year highs, while companies are also coping with soaring costs for grains, cocoa and other ingredients and materials. Investors have known this for a while and many of the biggest consumer products makers have underperformed the 6.2 percent increase of the Standard & Poor’s 500 this year. PepsiCo Inc. shares are up 2.8 percent this

year, Procter & Gamble Co. is down 1.8 percent and Kraft Foods Inc. is up 5.3 percent. The companies that will likely survive the commodity headwinds are the ones that can pass on prices without U.S. consumers balking, or those that have strong sales in emerging markets, where incomes are growing and consumers are looking to buy more branded products. Those companies include Coca-Cola Co., P&G and PepsiCo, said Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager with Dallas-based Hodges Capital Management. “If earnings continue to come in like they have the last few quar-

ters, and I expect that they will, I still think you’re going to see some multiple expansion,” he said of those companies. Tierney agrees that P&G and PepsiCo, which his firm owns, are “cheap.” PepsiCo trades at about 15 times expected 2011 earnings per share, while P&G trades at 16 times. Both are scheduled to report earnings on Thursday. But he also said he is not expecting immediate multiple improvement, and instead thinks investors will want to see commodity inflation abate or unemployment fall before they pour more money into the sector. “You need a much

healthier consumer and you can get there one of two ways, one being wage inflation and the second being the lessening of the commodity headwinds,” Tierney said. Most consumer products companies have announced price increases to help cope with rising costs. “The most important thing is pricing power,” said Luke Rahbari, a partner with options trading firm Stutland Volatility Group. “Can they raise prices and still have the same number of sales, and if they raise prices, will they lose market share?” But with consumers also feeling the pres-

GM minivan gone in U.S., but still thrives in China By BEN KLAYMAN SHANGHAI — General Motors Co. killed its minivan in the U.S. market thanks to its soccer-mom stigma, but the automaker has carved out a highpriced niche for the vehicle as a chauffeurdriven executive ride in China. While many American families have shifted to crossover vehicles that offer space similar

to minivans without the perceived dowdiness, China’s business elite like the Buick GL8’s roominess and features for getting around in the world’s largest auto market. “The market for this really only exists in China and it’s a niche that we pretty much dominate here,” Lowell Paddock, vice president of planning for GM’s international operations, told Reuters last week at the Shanghai auto show.

Sales last year for the GL8 were 52,127, what Joseph Phillippi of AutoTrends Consulting called a “rounding error” in China’s 17.2 million light-vehicle market. Sales have hovered in that area the last several years for the Shanghai-built minivan. While a far cry from the 336,000 minivans GM sold in the United States in 1999, the Buick minivan is proving quite popular with its Chinese customer

base since its launch there in late 1999. GM stopped making minivans for the U.S. market in the fall of 2008. “The demand for the GL8 is just huge. It’s unbelievable,” GM’s China chief Kevin Wale told reporters in Shanghai. “So many people ringing me up, saying, ‘I’ve ordered one. Can you get it to me quicker?’” GM has looked at bringing the minivan back to the U.S. and Canadian markets

Boeing says mid-year decision on 737 line possible MEXICO CITY — Boeing Co. said it could make a long-awaited decision on the future of its popular 737 aircraft line by the middle of this year. “We are doing a flight-test program to test improvements to the airframe and the engine to improve the efficiency of the airplane another 2 percent,” Randy Tinseth, the marketing vice president for Boeing’s commercial aircraft division, said of the 737 line. “This, coupled with improvement over the last 10 years or more, means that the 737 we deliver in 2012 will be about 7 percent more

fuel efficient,” he told Reuters in Mexico City. Boeing was still evaluating whether to build an all-new 737 line or add a fuel-efficient engine to the existing line. “We are leaving our options open,” Tinseth

said. The company expects to maintain its third-quarter delivery target for the longdelayed 787 Dreamliner, Tinseth said. In a presentation to reporters in Mexico, Tinseth said the world’s

second-largest commercial plane maker expects Latin American airlines will need 2,180 new planes — worth around $210 billion — to expand over the next 20 years. Separately, Tinseth said the company was working with the National Transportation Safety Board after a preliminary report on Monday revealed possible manufacturing flaws and more evidence of fatigue cracks in a Southwest Airlines Co. jet that experienced a mid-flight fuselage rupture on April 1. “We continue to work with them and support them as needed.”

using the GL8, but officials acknowledge for now the plan is for it to remain on sale only in China. “They’ve looked at it on and off as long as I’ve been out here,” Wale said of U.S. officials. “They’ve made a fundamental decision that says demand for that type of product’s not strong enough. We say that’s fine. We’ll just keep selling out here.” The vehicle, built at a plant GM operates under a joint venture with China’s SAIC Motor Corp., generates a “boatload of money” because it is based on an old U.S. minivan platform that does not require a lot of investment, Phillippi said. However, it would likely be costly to upgrade the GL8 to match current U.S. safety and feature requirements. “I doubt whether the electrical or electronic architecture could handle the kind of hardware and technology you’d want to put into it to make it for the U.S.,” he said. “I love the car, but it may be impossible without massive investment.” For instance, Susan Docherty, head of sales and marketing for GM’s international operations acknowledged the vehicle lacks

sure of gasoline near $4 a gallon, investors will be watching earnings reports to see if those price increases are driving away customers. One company that could be vulnerable to rising gasoline prices in coming months is chocolate maker Hershey Co (HSY.N), said Erin Lash, who follows food and household products at Morningstar. Hershey, which reports earnings on Tuesday, is trading at about 20.4 times estimated 2011 earnings, meaning the advantages of having pricing power and little privatelabel competition are already priced in, she said. the third-row, fold-flat seats U.S. car buyers prefer. However, the newly redesigned GL8 and its still-available predecessor, the GL8 First Land, can boost sales in China as it lures some luxury-seeking customers, she added. The minivans sell for the equivalent of $35,000 to $58,000 in U.S. dollars. Any additional demand in China could be met by boosting output as much as 30 percent at the Shanghai plant by adding another crew of workers, GM executives said. Paddock emphasized no changes would be made that would disappoint the GL8’s core Chinese executive customers. GM even markets the GL8 in China as “business class on wheels.” “We wouldn’t tamper with that to meet another market’s requirements,” he said. “It’s important that that be spot on in the China market.” At a time when GM is focused on building cars it can sell globally, China executives at the U.S. automakers are perfectly happy to keep the GL8 a China-only story. “There is still space for local programs and because of the size of the (Chinese) market they can be very successful,” Wale told Reuters.


20

DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

Report: NBA players could decertify The NBA players’ union already has enough votes from its members to decertify, should it decide to follow the strategy used by the NFL players’ union, CBSSports.com reported, citing unnamed sources. The NBA is facing the possibility of a lockout when the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the owners expires on June 30. But a U.S. District Court judge’s decision to grant an injunction ending the NFL lockout — casting aside the league’s argument that the NFL union’s decision to decertify was a sham — may have given the NBA players’ union an important precedent — should the ruling stand. “This is a victory for all professional sports’ unions,” Gabe

Feldman, head of the Sports Law Center at Tulane University, told CBSSports.com. “If the case stands up on appeal, it gives player unions a significant, though costly, weapon to use as leverage in labor negotiations.” In the event of an NBA lockout, the union could do what the NFL union did — decertify, then file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA anywhere the league does business. That would include Minnesota, where U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson heard arguments from the NFL and its union, then issued an opinion Monday ordering an end to the lockout. The NFL has filed a notice of appeal of Nelson’s decision with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Billy Hunter, the NBA union’s executive director, told Sports

Illustrated that the decision was “a great ruling for the players,” but only the first step in a lengthy battle. “What it does is put pressure on us to sit down and settle this,” Hunter told SI. “We just want a fair deal.” Last week, NBA commissioner David Stern said he is eager to intensify talks with the union to avoid a lockout and court fight. At the league’s recent owners’ meetings, Stern said the NBA was planning to present a revised proposal to the union soon. The NBA and its union remain divided on key issues; the league’s owners want to replace the current soft salary cap and luxury tax system with a hard salary cap, as well as reduce the length of guaranteed contracts.

Report: Schools distort numbers to meet Title IX Many Division I schools are distorting the number of students participating in sports so they can comply with Title IX, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Among the tactics is to pad rosters of women’s teams with unqualified players or even men. The newspaper found schools counted athletes who no longer wanted to compete or never played for that team, listing male practice players as women and trimming the rosters of men’s teams. The Times analyzed public

records from more than 20 colleges and universities and federal participation statistics from all 345 institutions at the NCAA’s highest level. “Those of us in the business know that universities have been end-running Title IX for a long time, and they do it until they get caught,” University of Miami President Donna Shalala told the paper. National champion Texas A&M and Duke are among the elite women’s basketball teams that take advantage of a federal loophole that allows them to report male practice players as female participants, the report said. Passed in 1972, Title IX is a

the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools and opened academic and sports opportunities for women. Women have grown to 57 percent of enrollment at U.S. colleges. Instead of putting money into new women’s teams or trimming the rosters of football, which can have 111 players, some schools are engaging in “roster management,” the Times said. Shrinking budgets can prompt such an approach. “It’s easier to add more people on a roster than it is to start a new sport,” said Jake Crouthamel, a former Syracuse athletic director.

Repor t: Stev e Smith wa nts out By PAT YASINSKAS Sometime before the NFL lockout started in March, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith cleaned out his locker at Bank of America Stadium, according to a report by Pro Football Weekly. The report also says Smith, on the same day, took down all of the decorations in the luxury suite his family used on game days. There has been speculation for months that the veteran wide receiver might want out as the Panthers continue with a youth movement and coach Ron Rivera takes over a team that was 2-14 last season.

Smith has been mum on the topic, but this could be a sign that he wants to be traded as soon as the league’s labor situation is resolved enough to allow transactions. The report also said Smith asked to be traded before the lockout began. Smith’s Charlotte home has been on the market for more than a year, but he said last season that was because he was considering moving to another home in the area that would better accommodate his family. The team has been deliberate when discussing Smith’s future publicly. At the NFL owners meeting, Rivera said he had talked to Smith before the lockout

and that the team would wait to see how things sorted out. Privately, a team official said Smith was told in January that he should sit down and think about his future. The team official said Smith was told, if he wanted out, that the team would work with him. But the official also said it was made clear to Smith that the Panthers will not simply release him or “give him away.” Smith joined the Panthers in 2001 and has spent his entire career in Carolina. The team official said if Smith wanted out, the team would seek draft picks or players as compensation in trade scenarios.

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SPORTS BRIEFS Woods has minor knee injury, will miss a few weeks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tiger Woods has what he calls a minor knee injury and will miss the Wells Fargo Championship next week at Quail Hollow. He hopes to return in a few weeks. Woods says on his website that he has mild sprains of a ligament in his left knee and left Achilles’ tendon. He hurt himself while hitting from an awkward lie on the 17th hole during the third round of the Masters. He continued to play and wound up tied for fourth. Woods says doctors advise rest and therapy using cold water. Woods had planned to play the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players Championship the following week. - DOUG FERGUSON

Haslem continuing to improve for Heat MIAMI - Heat forward Udonis Haslem says he’s hopeful of returning to the Miami lineup sometime this postseason. Continuing his comeback following a ruptured foot ligament in November, Haslem went through another full practice with Miami on Tuesday. Haslem says there was less pain and soreness in his foot after the workout than he expected. Haslem says he feels like his time is coming. He says he doesn’t know when, “but I definitely feel like it’s coming.” There is still no firm timetable for Haslem’s potential return. He is not in Miami’s plans for Game 5 of an Eastern Conference first-round series against Philadelphia on Wednesday. If Miami advances, it could open the East semifinals against Boston this weekend.

Ex-MLB outfielder Carl Everett arrested in Fla. LUTZ, Fla. - Former Major League outfielder Carl Everett was in a Tampa jail Tuesday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after putting a handgun to his wife’s head, according to police records. Everett, 39, was arrested Monday night at his home in the Tampa suburb of Lutz. He was also charged with tampering with a witness and was being held in the Hillsborough County Jail. Everett’s attorney, Clinton Paris, did not immediately return a phone call. There were no phone numbers listed for Everett or his wife, Linda. According to the arrest affidavit, Everett and his wife of 18 years got into an argument and Everett pressed a silver handgun against the side of his wife’s head. The report said the wife attempted to call 911 twice, using two different phones, but Everett managed to grab the phones and broke them both. Authorities have not released further details of the argument. The arrest report says the couple has three children, but it wasn’t immediately known if the children were present during the fight or arrest. Everett played Major League Baseball for 14 seasons. He began with the Florida Marlins and was traded to the New York Mets. He also played with the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners.


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DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

DAILY CHALLENGE

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Trickle of NFL players head back to work - sort of By DAVE CAMPBELL MINNEAPOLIS The NFL and the players’ union were in a holding pattern Tuesday, the day after a federal judge ended a 45-day lockout. Small groups of players showed up at team facilities and were allowed inside, but couldn’t work out. Most left in a matter of minutes. League operations were left in limbo when U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said she wouldn’t rule on the NFL’s request for a stay of her order until at least Wednesday. She said she wanted to hear from players - even as attorneys for players asked her to clarify the order. The league said players should be “treated with courtesy and respect” if they showed up; it also said it needed a few days “to sort this out” before “football activities” can begin. “It’s very chaotic for the teams right now,” agent Drew Rosenhaus said. “It’s not chaotic for the players. Our position is the lockout is over, free agency should begin, signings should

begin, offseason workouts should begin, everything should be going on. The longer the NFL doesn’t do that and drags this out, the more there are concerns of collusion and violations of antitrust laws.” Browns players Josh Cribbs, Ben Watson and Reggie Hodges arrived at the team’s training facility and were greeted by Lew Merletti, senior vice president and director of security. Merletti handed them an official letter. “It basically told us to be patient,” Cribbs said. “It let us know we can’t go upstairs and can’t have any personal contact with coaches or staff. It was kind of awkward because we don’t talk to our security staff unless there is a security issue, so the security issue was us.” Buffalo cornerback Leodis McKelvin was turned away at the security gate, told to expect a call from his coach for clarity on when he could return. “If I said I wasn’t expecting it, I’d be lying to you,” said Bills teammate George Wilson. “There’s all kind of ways around and loopholes.” W a s h i n g t o n Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander were met by

Cleveland Browns tight end Benjamin Watson talks to reporters as he and punter Reggie Hodges arrive at the NFL team's headquarters in Berea, Ohio. general manager Bruce ‘You didn’t show up. Allen and told they You didn’t come.’ And could come in but not then I’m out of my work out. Both left after workout bonus.” Tennessee right a few minutes. “It was a little weird,” guard Jake Scott, his Armstrong said. “It felt team’s player represenlike you were sneaking tative for the now-disinto the club or some- solved union, spoke to thing like that, and they senior executive vice Steve knew you weren’t sup- president posed to be in there but Underwood and left his they hadn’t done any- team’s headquarters 10 thing about it yet. Just a minutes later. Scott said he was told little awkward.” Alexander said he no staff was available to would call other team- meet with players. This mates to let them know for a team with a new there wasn’t much point head coach, too, in Mike Munchak. in showing up. Nelson lifted the lock“I do have a workout bonus, and since the out Monday, writing in lockout is lifted out,” he an 89-page order that said. “I wanted to make she believed it is causing sure I took full advan- “irreparable harm” to tage to come up here the players. The NFL and work out because I questioned whether she don’t want some techni- had exceeded her juriscality to happen later: diction, and said it

Hofstra’s Jenkins joins elite group By JIM O’CONNELL

Charles Jenkins

NEW YORK - Hofstra senior guard Charles Jenkins has won the Haggerty Award, given to the outstanding college basketball player in the New York metropolitan area, for the third straight year. Jenkins winning the 78th annual Haggerty Award was announced Tuesday. It makes him the third player to win the award three times. The others to do it are Jim McMillian of Columbia from 1968-70 and Chris Mullin of St. John’s from 1983-85. He was the Colonial Athletic Association’s player of the year the last two seasons.

would seek an immediate stay of her ruling as well as relief from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Nelson gave the players until 9 a.m. Central time Wednesday to reply to the league’s expedited motion for a stay. But if her injunction is upheld - by the judge herself or the appellate court - the NFL must resume business in some fashion. It could invoke the 2010 rules for free agency, meaning players would need six seasons of service before becoming unrestricted free agents when their contracts expire; previously, it was four years. The requirement for restricted free agents would be four years rather than the three years before 2010. There also was no salary cap in 2010, meaning teams could spend as much or as little - as they wanted. All of this was in the background for this week’s draft - starting Thursday night - which has a decidedly weird feel as teams prep for picks without free agency or the ability to swap personnel. Jim Quinn, an attorney for the players, said the pressure is on the league. “They better act

quickly, because as of right now there’s no stay and, presumably, players could sign with teams,” Quinn said. “There are no guidelines as of right now, so they have to put something in place quickly.” Nelson’s ruling was another rebuke of the NFL in the federal courts in Minnesota, which was established years ago as the venue for the league’s collective bargaining system. Three weeks ago, NFL attorney David Boies suggested to Nelson that she shouldn’t have jurisdiction over a dispute with an unfair bargaining complaint against the players pending with the National Labor Relations Board. In her ruling, Nelson rejected that contention and recognized the NFL Players Association’s decision to “de-unionize” as legitimate. She even referenced her colleague, U.S. District Judge David Doty, who has frequently ruled for the players against the NFL. Not only did she declare that players are likely to suffer harm by the lockout, a legal requirement for granting the injunction, Nelson wrote they’re already feeling the hurt now and cited their short careers.

Florida kicks Jenkins off team after 3rd arrest GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida has dismissed star cornerback Janoris Jenkins after his third arrest in the last two years. Coach Will Muschamp announced Jenkins’ dismissal Tuesday, three days after his latest arrest. He was charged with marijuana possession Saturday after a Gainesville Police officer spotted the 22-year-old sitting in a parked car, smoking what the officer later found to be a marijuana cigar. Jenkins was arrested on the same charge in January and later accepted a plea deal. He also was arrested in May 2009 during a downtown fight. He signed a deferred prosecution agreement, agreeing to probation and community service.


DAILY CHALLENGE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

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Spurs’ fall arriving sooner than expected By ADRIAN WOJNAROWSKI Everyone’s eyes can see the truth unfolding on the floor, and yes, the crumbling of the San Antonio Spurs’ dynasty is a jarring spectacle. Fading fast now, a proud, old champion has struggled to stay with the talented bodies, young legs and hungry hearts out of Memphis. The Grizzlies tanked the final games of the season for a chance to obliterate the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and Tim Duncan sounded so offended. There would be a price for Memphis to pay for such blatant disregard. Only Duncan’s no longer able to exact revenge on the Spurs’ honor. San Antonio is down 3-1 to the eighthseeded Memphis Grizzlies, and this feels far less like an upset and far more like an inevitability. The Spurs reconstructed themselves to play faster, freer and far less dependent on Duncan. They had no choice, but San Antonio suddenly seems far more constructed for the long run of the regular season than the grind of the playoffs.

Spurs owner Peter Holt always insisted: He was going down with Duncan. It was admirable, fitting and just. Only now, the time has come. The Spurs are going down with Tim Duncan. One year ago this week, Holt watched the Spurs sputter through most of the regular season, cling to the seventh seed and still beat an old rival, the Dallas Mavericks, in the first round of the playoffs. It was a magnificent vic-

tory, validating for the Gregg Popovich and RC Buford regime because it convinced them they were justified in staying with the program. “We looked at the history of all this, and asked, ‘Should we try this or not?’ “ Holt told me. “And we realized it’s worth it. Let’s keep doing it - transitioning without crashing. That’s what we’re trying to do, but also our goal is to win a championship this year so we said, ‘Let’s go after it again.’ “ The thirtysomething Spurs had won again. Only, they would get swept in the conference semifinals by the Phoenix Suns. Almost a year later, the Spurs have won 61 regularseason games, and it feels so much like a mirage. This isn’t to say this series is over, because the Spurs have too much pride, too much invested. It isn’t your eyes that don’t want to count out the Spurs, but a sense. It isn’t logi-

cal, but much, much more based upon emotion. The Grizzlies were the anti-Spurs for so long: a small market with a bad GM and bad owner that squandered resources and lost games at an alarming rate. No more. Popovich is out of wisecracks about the NBA needing to convene a committee to stop such trades as the Pau Gasol deal. Now, it makes sense: Marc Gasol, Pau’s brother, was a keeper. The prospects kept coming to the Grizzlies, melded together, and now San Antonio gets trampled with something that feels like a perfect storm. The Spurs haven’t been the team that David Stern wants to promote because they never drew national television ratings. They don’t do drama and soap operas. Popovich never kissed the commissioner’s ass and it cost him the Olympic coaching job. The Spurs have been the team that

the high school coaches watch with notebooks and pens, and tell their kids to watch over Blake Griffin. They’re the champions of the purists. They stand for something - substance over style, subtlety over gaudiness. It isn’t over. The Spurs are down 3-1, and yet the Grizzlies will still need some kind of final punch to lay them out. The Spurs still have a resolve about themselves, a deeper, more determined place that they can dig up for a Game 5 in San Antonio. Nevertheless, the Grizzlies have gone to great lengths to embarrass the Spurs, and still resistance seems futile. The Grizzlies deliberately tanked the regular season’s final weeks to make sure they would get San Antonio in the opening round and Tony Allen called out Manu Gionbili for faking an elbow injury. The Spurs tried to turn those slights into fuel, but it hasn’t mattered.

Whatever the Grizzlies want to do, they do. There’s dignity to a dynasty dying in basketball, no ceremony. Holt always said he would go down with Duncan, and just maybe that’s the case now for the Spurs. Through it all, your heart still tells you there’s a final stand in the Alamo City on Wednesday night, a celebration of the black and silver that won’t allow them to go down so easily to an eighth seed. These playoffs have been different, and the Spurs know it. The Grizzlies are exploiting matchups everywhere on the floor. No one should declare the Spurs dead and gone because that franchise operates with too much pride, too much belief. Only, everyone’s eyes are telling them the story of this openinground series. Yes, it’s jarring to watch a dynasty go down so suddenly, so hard.

M i c h a e l V i c k r i p s a p p For mer Missouri RB on for dogfighting trial looks for fr esh sta r t SAN FRANCISCO — Michael Vick and the Humane Society said on Monday that an application built to run on Google Inc.’s Android software glorifies dogfighting. The cellphone app is called “Dog Wars” and lets players feed, water, train and fight their virtual dogs against others. “I’ve come to learn the hard way that dogfighting is a dead-end street,” Vick said in a statement posted on the Humane Society’s website. “Now, I am on the right side of this issue, and I think it’s important to send the smart message to kids, and not glorify this form of

animal cruelty, even in an Android app.” The app is by Kage Games, whose website features an illustration of a pit bull with a bloody muzzle next to the ‘Dog Wars’ logo. A website where the app can be downloaded stresses that it is only a video game. “Perhaps one day we will make gerbil wars or beta fish wars for people who can’t understand fantasy role play games,” it says. Human Society President Wayne Pacelle said, however, the game could be used as virtual training ground for would-be dogfighters. “Android should

drop ‘Dog Wars’ from its online market and join the national movement to save dogs from this violent practice,” Pacelle said in a statement. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other groups also called for the app to be pulled. Vick was once the NFL’s highest-paid player but was arrested in 2007 and convicted on dogfighting charges, for which he served 18 months in federal prison. He returned to the league in 2009 and is now a star quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER COLUMBIA, Mo. - Former Missouri running back and co-captain Derrick Washington, who was kicked off the team after being charged with sexual assault and domestic violence, says he hopes to again play football this fall. Whether he gets that opportunity remains uncertain. Washington, 22, still faces two criminal tri-

als in the coming weeks. He is set to appear in court on May 11 on two misdemeanor domestic violence charges and again on June 28 on a charge of felony sex assault. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases. Missouri’s leading rusher in 2008 and 2009 was initially suspended by coach Gary Pinkel but dismissed from the team two days later as the Tigers prepared for the start of the 2010 season. He’s charged with assaulting a former Missouri tutor in her off-campus apartment while she slept. Two weeks later,

Washington was charged with beating an ex-girlfriend who said he hit her in the face five to 10 times and choked her during a late-night argument. Washington was allowed to remain in school and keep his scholarship, but he quickly dropped out. He said on Twitter last week that “the plan right now is to get back in school.” He would have to sit out one year if he transferred to another major-college program but could play immediately for a Div. II school or in the Football Championship Subdivision.


DAILY CHALLENGE

S SP PO OR RT TS S SPURS’ FALL NFL PLAYERS A D B K T H E A C O ARRIVING WORK - SOR T OF SOONER THAN WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011

EXPECTED SEE PAGE 23

Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback and member of the NFL Players Association executive committee, Charlie Batch (L), shares a laugh with an unidentified person outside the Pittsburgh Steelers training facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

H O F S T R A’ S J E N K I N S JOINS ELITE GROUP S EE PA GE 22

S EE PA GE 22

Vol 18, No 42. Wed April 27, 2011  

COURT OVERTURNS MUMIA ABU-JAMAL DEATH SENTENCE

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