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BROOKLYN JAZZ MUSICIAN FOUND DEAD INSIDE A TRUNK - PG. 2 NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION

THE NATION’S ONLY BLACK DAILY 35 Cents

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OBAMA WAY AHEAD OF R E P U B LI C AN S F OR 2 0 1 2 E L E C TI O N

President Barack Obama has a wide lead over poten- in 2012, but faces serious doubts about his handling tial Republican rivals for the presidential election of the U.S. economy. SEE PAGE 3.

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

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NE W S B R I E F S MTA HOLDS INDUSTRIES MEETING OVER NEW FARE CARD The Metropolitan Transportation Authority met Tuesday with members of the technology and finance industries to help come up with a new system to replace the MetroCard. The agency wants a contactless pay system similar to E-ZPass, instead of the familiar turnstile swipe. Based on a pilot program along the 6 subway line, riders would be able to use a credit or debit card over a scanner in order to board a bus or get to a subway. Plans are also in the works to develop an MTA fare card that would act the same way. Though any change to the fare system is years away, it is hoped the plan would save the MTA millions of dollars in maintenance and operating costs. PUBLIC ADVOCATE LAUNCHES “SAVE OUR TEACHERS” SITE There’s a new weapon in the battle to save thousands of city teachers who could be laid off due to budget cuts. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has launched a “Save Our Teachers” website. It allows you to send messages directly to the Department of Education. Parents can record video testimonials about their child’s teacher, sign up for Twitter updates, and create Facebook groups. The site can be found at advocate.nyc.gov/saveourteachers. NEW BRONX HOMELESS SHELTER PUTS FOCUS ON FAMILIES On the heels of a new report slamming the Department of Homeless Services, a new state-ofthe-art shelter has opened its doors in the Bronx. The new facility opened last week in Mott Haven, but officials cut the ceremonial ribbon yesterday. It will be open around the clock and is designed to help pregnant women and families with children. A report from the Coalition for the Homeless says the city turned away a record two-thirds of families seeking shelter in 2010. The new $65 million space is three times larger than its predecessor. Officials say they plan to process 120 families a day. “It’s going to be a night and day contrast to what the EAU was,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “No one is turned away. Part of what we do here is a very thorough review of everyone’s situation, we do a detailed interview, we try to find alternatives,” said DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond. City officials came under heavy criticism for a previous shelter at the location that closed in 2007. Advocates said the facility was dangerous and dirty.

Brooklyn jazz musician found dead inside a trunk New York City jazz musician Stanley Wright, the father of actress N’Bushe Wright, was found dead inside a steamer trunk at his home after he had been missing since May 5. He was 62. Wright was reported missing by his son Khalil early Tuesday. Police checked his home at 456 Chancey Street in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and found his body stuffed into a black trunk once used to store his mother’s clothes. Police said a back window in the house was broken out. Relatives said Wright’s car, a grey Jeep, is miss-

ing, but that several valuable instruments were left in the home. “This is crazy,” said his greatniece, Minnie Wright. “Who would do something like that to him? He was a musician. He was a great man.” Relatives say Wright was a widower and lived alone with two cats. He was the father of three, including actress N’Bushe Wright, best known for her roles in “Dead Presidents” and the 1998 Wesley Snipes action movie “Blade.” N’Bushe, was flying to NY from the West Coast on Tuesday, her family said.

Wright once taught music at a Brooklyn middle school and played at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, according to relatives. Wright played the bass, piano and drums and gave lessons.

Governor drives same-sex marriage debate By DAN WIESSNER ALBANY — In a push to legalize same-sex marriage, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has emerged as a closed-door strategist, allowing gay rights groups to own the public campaign and also the loss that could result if legislation fails this year. Cuomo, a Democrat in his first year in office, has vowed to make same-sex marriage a priority in the coming final weeks of the legislative session. The state-by-state battle over gay marriage has become one of the most contentious U.S. social issues ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Colombia allow same-sex marriage, and 10 states allow civil unions. Needing support from Republican senators on the gay marriage issue, Cuomo has political capital to spend with them after closing a $10 billion budget gap without raising taxes. The issue may also help Cuomo solidify his liberal base after he alienated many with an austere budget

that cut spending on education, healthcare and social programs. He also angered progressives by opposing the extension of an income tax surcharge on the state’s wealthiest residents. Cuomo has stopped short of making himself the public face of the campaign, instead leaving on-the-ground organizing to groups that have lobbied for marriage equality for years. He pulled those disparate groups together in closed-door sessions at the Capitol, and they came out forming an umbrella group called New Yorkers United for Marriage. In an example of Cuomo’s caution, he did not appear at a major rally at the Capitol on Monday, instead sending his lieutenant governor to speak. “Sending in his top lieutenant is an indication that he has all the interest in the world, but without over-committing,” said Bill O’Reilly, a Republican strategist. “He’s letting the groups go out front and run the campaign, but the governor has not invested too much capital in it in case it doesn’t pass.” A recent Siena poll found 58 percent of New Yorkers support samesex marriage. Siena pollster Steve

Greenberg credited Cuomo with creating a triad of legislative priorities that includes ethics reform and a cap on property tax increases. “The governor is pursuing an agenda that is popular with the public and individually appeals to virtually every constituency of New York voters,” Greenberg said. “He’s getting behind marriage equality in a way that does not hurt him politically.” One gay-rights supporter argued that Cuomo deserved more credit as a champion of same-same marriage, saying no other state governor could match his activism. “The problem we’ve had in other states is that the best we’ve gotten from political leaders is lukewarm support. If same-sex marriage happens in New York, it will be because of Governor Cuomo’s leadership,” said Richard Socarides, president of national gay-rights group Equality Matters. Same-sex marriage enjoys wide support in the Democrat-dominated Assembly, where it has passed easily in recent years. In the Republican-led Senate, however, only 26 of 62 members have publicly indicated their support.

Conservatives rap WH choice of rapper WASHINGTON — Conservatives rapped the White House and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama for inviting rapper-actor Common to a celebration of poetry and prose yesterday. Objections arise from a 2007 YouTube video of Common in which he says, among other things, “tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton,” CBS News reported. The Common story was flagged Daily Caller story and featured on conservative news aggregator Drudge Report with the headline “First Lady to host rapper who talks of killing cops, burning Bush,” and television’s “Fox Nation” asked, “Michelle Obama Hosting Vile Rapper at White House?” Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a Fox commentator and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, linked to the article on her Twitter page, adding “Oh lovely, White House.”

However, liberal media monitor Media Matters reported a FoxNews.com reporter told the rapper in October that “your music is very positive.” Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., was a supporter of Obama in 2008. And the controversy generated by his invitation to the White House hasn’t fazed him. “So apparently Sarah Palin and Fox News doesn’t like me,” he tweeted

Tuesday. Other participants at the celebration of American poetry and prose, which will be hosted by the Obamas, include Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott. ABC News said despite his controversial video, Common is mainstream in many ways, noting his two Grammy wins, acting turns in “American Gangster,” “Terminator Salvation” and “Date Night,” his belief in prayer, his music featured in ad campaigns for major products — including the Lincoln Navigator and BlackBerry — and his avoiding the violence he witnessed growing up in Chicago. “I’ve never killed anybody physically,” Common said in a 2007 interview with Esquire magazine, “maybe on the mic I have.”


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

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Obama way ahead of Republicans for 2012 election By STEVE HOLLAND WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has a wide lead over potential Republican rivals for the presidential election in 2012, but faces serious doubts about his handling of the U.S. economy, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found yesterday. The survey offered a boost for the president after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Now, 45 percent of Americans believe he will win re-election, a 10-point rise from a poll taken before November’s congressional elections. The survey is an indication of how difficult it will be for Republicans to dislodge an incumbent president in the November 2012 election. Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said the Republican results are likely to improve as the field takes shape and Americans begin hearing more about Obama’s challengers. “Most people don’t know much about any of these people, and plus there is always an advantage for the incumbent,” she said. The field of possible Republicans challengers to Obama has not generated much enthusiasm so far, with several waiting to announce their candidacy. Obama, who made history in 2008 by becoming the first African American to be elected president, leads possible Republican candidates by double digits. He polls above 50 percent when compared to his closest rivals, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Governor

Mitt Romney, according to the poll. Obama leads Huckabee by 51 percent to 39 percent, and Romney by 51 percent to 38 percent. The president’s approval rating is at 49 percent, a 3-point increase over last month, amounting to only a modest bounce after the May 2 bin Laden operation. Other surveys have given him a slightly larger post-bin Laden boost. Obama got no lift on the economic front, the issue that is most likely to determine whether he wins again in 2012. Only 34 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy, a finding linked directly to a surge in gasoline prices to around $4 a gallon. It was the lowest approval for Obama on the economy in the Ipsos poll since he took office in January 2009. Although employers have been hiring at a faster rate in recent months, Americans are still grappling with 9 percent unemployment. “The economy and jobs are definitely the No. 1 issues,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark. While the successful bin Laden mission pushed Obama’s approval rating on handling terrorism to 59 percent, “that is probably not enough to swing an election because we know the economy is the most important issue,” Clark said. American attitudes about whether the country is on the right or wrong track have improved. Now, 56 percent think the country is on the wrong track, a marked improvement from the 69 percent who thought so

At his rape trial, New York City officer says he’s a gentleman By BERND DEBUSMANN JR. A New York City police officer accused of raping a woman testified yesterday that he did not tell his partner about her accusations because he’s a discrete gentleman. “I don’t kiss and tell. I have a reputation of not saying (anything),” Kenneth Moreno said when asked by prosecutors why he did not immediately tell his partner, Franklin Mata, about a conversation with the victim that he later found was secretly taped. In that conversation, played repeatedly in the trial at state Supreme Court in Manhattan, Moreno acknowledges having worn a condom but insists several times that nothing occurred between the 29-year-old woman and him. Moreno, 43, and Mata, 29, were arrested in April 2009 after the woman, a fashion executive, covertly taped the conversation using a watch equipped with a microphone. Both officers face charges of rape, burglary and misconduct stemming from the December 2008 incident. Moreno told the jury he thought the victim was confused about the

night’s events. “I actually thought maybe something happened to her when I was not with her,” he said. “She was confused.” Last week, Mata testified that he fell asleep on the woman’s living room sofa while she and Moreno were in her bedroom. Prosecutors say Moreno and Mata responded to a 911 call from a cab driver who said his fare was too drunk to get out of his taxi, and the pair escorted the woman to her apartment. The two officers left but returned a few hours later in response to another 911 call, which Moreno has admitted he faked, and then returned twice after that. On Monday, Moreno testified he made the bogus 911 call so he and his fellow officer could return to the victim’s apartment. He said he was trying to help the victim with her drinking problem because he previously abused alcohol himself after being upset over the September 11, 2001 attacks and a custody battle over his daughter. He admitted getting into bed with the victim but denied raping her. The officers face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

last month. The public also weighed in on the budget battle in Washington, and they showed a centrist attitude. A majority of those surveyed, 52 percent, said they believe a combination of tax increases and spending cuts are best to bring down the $1.4 trillion deficit. Republican lawmakers in Washington prefer budget cuts to rein in the budget, while Democrats would also like to raise taxes on the wealthy. Obama has called for a fair, balanced plan of budget cuts and tax increases on wealthier Americans. “I think what this poll is telling is that there is a sensible middle when it comes to deficit reduction,” Clark said. The survey was conducted May 59. A randomly selected sample of 1,029 adults was interviewed by telephone, both landlines and cell phones. The results are considered accurate to within 3 percentage points.

Source: Republicans plan sharp cuts to education WASHINGTON — Education, health and labor programs would face deep cuts under a budget outline for the coming fiscal year to be unveiled shortly by Republicans in the House of Representatives, a congressional source said yesterday. Those programs would face an average cut of 12 percent during the fiscal year which starts October 1, enabling Republicans to shield spending for the military and other areas of the budget from reductions, the source said. The cuts are sure to draw sharp objections from Democrats, who have championed programs like college-tuition assistance that are likely to fall under the knife.

With the government due to run up against its $14.3 trillion debt limit early next week, the two parties are sharply divided over what steps Washington should take to get its rapidly rising debt load under control. Republicans have championed deep spending cuts, while Democrats say that tax increases should be part of the solution as well. The budget outline, due to be unveiled by the House Appropriations Committee, sets broad spending levels for defense, national parks and other discretionary programs that have their funding set annually by Congress.

Postal Service reports billions in losses WASHINGTON — The Postal Service is continuing to hemorrhage money, reporting a loss Tuesday of more than $2 billion over the first three months of the year and warning it could be forced to default on federal payments. Such a default would not interrupt mail service to millions of Americans, but it could further hobble an agency struggling with a sharp decline in mail because of the Internet and a tough economy. The agency says the $2.2 billion loss covers Jan. 1 to March 31 — sharply higher than the net loss of $1.6 billion for the same period last year. The post office also said it will have reached its borrowing limit, set by Congress, of $15 billion by the end of the budget year on Sept. 30. Unless Congress intervenes, the Postal Service said, the agency won’t have the cash for certain payment to the government, such as billions for a trust fund to provide health care benefits for future

retirees. “The Postal Service continues to seek changes in the law to enable a more flexible and sustainable business model,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe. “The Postal Service may return to financial stability only through significant changes to the laws that limit flexibility and impose undue financial burdens.” Total mail volume, about 41 billion pieces, was down 3.1 percent for the January to March period, compared with the same time a year earlier, the Postal Service said. A modest increase in revenue from standard mail wasn’t enough to offset the revenue loss from less firstclass mail. In the last three years, the agency has cut over 130,000 jobs. And it’s making more cuts, with the elimination of about 7,500 administrative jobs in regional offices. The Postal Service does not receive tax money for its operations.


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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

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Tax, tax, tax - Now they want your grocery bags

THOMAS H. WATKINS

By HARRY C. ALFORD

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Local and state governments are just like the federal They want to government. keep their largesse ways and not face the demand for austerity and good fiscal management. When times get tight they seek to get into your pockets via obscene taxation on any and everything they can find. There is no regard for the underserved or populations that can least afford damaging taxation for the sake of keeping massive governmental infrastructures. Many cities and counties are slipping taxes on cell phones like they are luxury items. The truth is cell phones are

security items, family management tools and access to the Internet. Black citizens use cell phones as their number one vehicle to the Internet. So, when they start slapping taxes on your child’s phone and you are on a limited fixed income or assistance it becomes terribly damaging. They are doing this with reckless abandon and that is why we are pushing for a federal bill that will declare cell phones interstate commerce and prohibit any further local taxes for at least 10 years. Let’s say you purchase a download through the Internet. You live in Philadelphia and you buy it from a firm in Seattle, Washington. The server used in this transaction is located in St. Louis. What

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may happen is a triple tax on this transaction. You may pay Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sales tax, Seattle,Washington sales tax, and a St. Louis, Missouri sales tax all on one transaction. It is becoming crazy and somehow we must bring good management and governance in this new age of doing business. Now comes taxing grocery bags. Washington, D.C. started this under the last mayor. My wife and I no longer shop in D.C. We shop in Montgomery County, Maryland. However, the Montgomery County Council has just decided to implement their own five-cent grocery bag tax. Shall we now cross the Potomac River into Virginia?

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

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Federal regulatory actions focus on foreclosure faults By CHARLENE CROWELL In recent days, courts have issued encouraging rulings on cases involving discriminatory lending. In lawsuits filed by the cities of Baltimore and Memphis against Wells Fargo Bank, two federal judges declined Wells’ bid to get those cases dismissed. As a result, each city will have its day in court to argue that Wells violated fair lending laws, resulting in a high number of unnecessary foreclosures in their respective locales. Both cities allege that disproportionate foreclosures and resulting economic losses were caused by steering Black consumers into high-cost, unsustainable mortgage loans. In a third action, two Michigan lenders, Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. and Citizens Bank of Flint, Michigan accepted a $3.6 million settlement to end a lawsuit that alleged the banks engaged in discriminatory mortgage lending practices on the basis of race and color. As part of the settlement, the banks will now open a loan office in a Detroit African American neighborhood and invest approximately $3.6

million in Wayne County. In separate developments, federal banking regulators have issued consent orders to 14 of the nation’s largest lenders, including Ally Bank, Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust and Wells Fargo. These orders are the result of a rapid review of foreclosure practices that the agencies began in late 2010. The investigating regulators included the Office of Thrift Supervision, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The regulators’ review determined that many institutions failed to commit resources sufficient to manage responsibly the rapidly growing volume of mortgage loans in default or at risk of default. Weak governance and controls increased legal, reputational, operational, and financial risk created unnecessary confusion for borrowers. Among the list of specific examples of lender failings were missing documents, execution of documents by unauthorized persons, failure to notarize documents in accordance with local law, inaccurate affidavits, and affidavits signed by persons lacking sufficient knowledge of the

underlying mortgage loan transaction. The consent orders also require best practices that in part call for: Avoidance of unnecessary foreclosures and consider workout strategies that are affordable and sustainable; Early and frequent customer contact to increase successful foreclosure mitigation; A single point of contact to manage the bank’s relationship and communications with the borrower; and Discontinuation of paying law firms, servicers, and employee bonus incentives to process high volumes of foreclosures. For many consumer advocates, however, these federal actions are simply not enough to fully or fairly address the hurt borne by consumers from ill-advised lending practices. More than 50 organizations jointly issued a letter that advised these regulators to withdraw the consent orders and instead work with state Attorneys General and the U.S. Department of Justice. The Center for Responsible Lending joined with the NAACP, National Urban League, National Consumer Law Center, National Council

Now they want your grocery bags Continued from page 4 Better yet, let’s start getting a handle on this one. The stated goals of the tax are to raise revenue and curb the use of grocery bags. The bags, the county says, are an environmental hazard. Instead, county officials say they want to encourage Montgomery County shoppers to use reusable bags. Unfortunately, the measure misses the mark. What bag taxes like these result in isn’t very “green” at all. And, what might be affordable for one of America’s most affluent counties certainly wouldn’t be affordable for working class communities, let alone the entire state. Eliminating free grocery bags at the checkout means consumers must search for alternatives – presumably reusable plastic or cloth bags. Both options weigh more and take more energy to produce, contributing to greater emissions, not less. As alternatives, plastic reusables and cloth bags must be used repeatedly over time before their environmental impacts are less than that of plastic. If they aren’t reused to that extent, we only succeed in introducing more waste into our landfills. To illustrate, it would take 7.5 years of using the same cloth bag (393 uses, assuming one grocery trip per week) before it’s a better option than a plastic bag reused three times, like to carry lunch and

then line a garbage can. And since so many people (nine out of 10 according to market surveys) reuse plastic grocery bags, without them, consumers would naturally replace plastic grocery bags with other, heavier gauge plastics, for household uses. After Ireland implemented its bag tax, consumption of purchased plastic trash bags increased by 400 percent. So, if the goal is to promote less waste in our landfills and use fewer plastics, bans and taxes don’t achieve those outcomes. Bag taxes also skirt the real issue of litter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says plastic grocery bags make up less than 0.5 percent of the litter stream. Junk food wrappers, cigarette butts and paper, all make up bigger portions of litter, but plastic bags make for an easy target because they are visible, white, and often can get blown around. In effect, getting rid of plastic bags is negligible in cleaning up litter. Addressing litter requires more than just banning a product, it requires a change in habits, more recycling, and greater education. A tax on grocery bags is regressive. A growing number of Americans rely on government assistance for food, and taxes like this hurt these groups the most. In a time of rising gas prices, and with the rising cost of commodities driving up our grocery bills, the added financial burden at the check-out for a

cause that has an arguable impact on improving the environment just doesn’t make sense. Though well-intended, a bag tax does more harm than help. Nonrecyclable reusables are no better

of LaRaza, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National People’s Action and others in a call for a joint settlement that addresses illegal servicing practices in a meaningful way. The letter advised in part, “The proposed consent orders do not provide the accountability and rigor required to right this foreclosure crisis. They are clearly not intended to do so.” The full text of the letter is available on the CRL web’s mortgage section at: www.responsiblelending.org/mortgage-lending. It is time for the banks that were rescued from financial ruin by the nation’s taxpayers, to return in full measure the goodwill that has now led to the industry’s returned prosperity. American families should have a fair chance to recover from the harmful lending practices that led us to today’s recession.

— Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s communications manager for state policy and outreach. She can be reached at: Charlene.crowell@responsiblending.org. for the environment. The worst part is that the tax ends up hurting those that can least afford it. Fight this increased taxation effort whenever and wherever it comes up.

— Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

Battle lines harden in budget talks By ANDY SULLIVAN and RICHARD COWAN WASHINGTON — Battle lines hardened in the debate over the budget on Tuesday as Republicans lined up behind a demand for deep spending cuts and Democrats floated a new plan that would raise taxes by trillions of dollars. The two sides appeared further apart than ever as President Barack Obama’s administration launched an intensive round of talks with lawmakers to avoid an unprecedented debt default. Vice President Joe Biden met with top lawmakers from both parties to try to find common ground on a budget deal that would give the legislators the political cover they need to sign off on an increase in the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, which will be reached on Monday. “We are making real progress,” Biden told reporters after the meeting.

“Whether we get to the finish line with this group is another question.” With the 2012 election campaign already under way, politicians are eager to win over voters who say they are concerned by the mounting U.S. debt but put off by the tough choices needed to close stubborn budget deficits that have averaged 10 percent of gross domestic product in recent years. The Biden-led talks kicked off on a relatively amicable note last week after Republicans said controversial elements like healthcare and taxes would be off the table. But House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, dispelled any notion that reaching an agreement would be easy when he unveiled a tough new yardstick, in a speech to Wall Street on Monday, that would require spending cuts to exceed any debt-limit increase. With the United States borrowing roughly $125 billion

each month, Boehner’s approach calls for cuts that would dwarf the $38 billion saved in a separate budget deal last month. The Treasury Department has said a hike of $2 trillion is needed to last through the November 2012 elections. A majority of Wall Street bond dealers and money managers say spending cuts alone cannot solve the U.S. budget problem and tax increases must be part of the solution. In a Reuters survey conducted on Tuesday, 17 out of 29 of fund managers and economists representing major Wall Street bond dealing firms said the Republicans’ favored option of spending cuts alone would not a work. Boehner has said tax increases are off the table, while Obama wants to raise taxes on wealthier Americans. Boehner must shore up his right flank to prevent further defections from lawmakers aligned with the fiscally conservative Tea Party who rejected that deal last month.

Top Republicans quickly lined up behind his new plan. “We are going to be talking about trillions, not about billions,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Democrats say any deal to get the long-term debt under control must boost tax revenue by raising taxes on the rich or reducing tax breaks and loopholes that add up to $1 trillion each year. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad floated a plan on Tuesday that would rely equally on tax increases and spending cuts to save $4 trillion over 10 years, according to lawmakers and aides. Conrad has yet to publicly release his proposal, but it would represent a dramatic shift from the previous threeto-one ratio of spending cuts backed by the White House. Senate Democrats also said they would bring up a bill that would repeal tax breaks enjoyed by the five biggest oil companies, seeking to harness public anger at high gas prices. Republicans said that would send gasoline prices higher. In a highly polarized political environment, consensus

that would lead to substantial savings may be hard to achieve. Though both sides could agree to cuts in some areas, their areas of disagreement carry a much higher dollar figure. Aside from the Biden-led group, which includes six lawmakers from the House and the Senate, Obama is scheduled to meet with senators on Wednesday and Thursday, and could meet with House lawmakers next week. The U.S. Treasury says it can draw on other pots of money until August 2 to avoid a default, which would cause turmoil in markets and economies worldwide. Congressional aides say they don’t expect a deal until at least July. So far, markets have shown no signs of concern. Benchmark 10-year Treasury bonds are yielding 3.21 percent — well below their 30year average of 6.75 percent. China, which holds more than $1 trillion in U.S. debt, did not raise concerns about the U.S. budget in a meeting of high-level Chinese and U.S. officials on Tuesday, a senior Treasury official said.

‘Jetman’ says he made Grand Canyon flight after all By DAVID SCHWARTZ PHOENIX — Few people say they witnessed it for themselves, but a Swiss daredevil dubbed “Jetman” said on Tuesday he made a successful weekend flight over the Grand Canyon in a custom-made, winged jet pack. Pilot Yves Rossy rocketed across a portion of the western end of the canyon owned by the Hualapai Indian Reservation on Saturday morning, according a statement released three days later by sponsors from the Swiss watch manufacturer Breitling. “My first flight in the U.S. is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life, not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon, but the honor to fly in sacred Native American lands,” Rossy said in the statement. “Thank you Mother Nature and the Hualapai Tribe for making my lifelong dreams come true,” he said. The statement said Rossy was “launched” from a helicopter at 8,000 feet, then streaked over the rim of the canyon at speeds of up to 190 miles per hour before deploying a parachute to land safely on the canyon floor eight

minutes later. At Breitling’s invitation, a large group of reporters, photographers and television camera crews had flocked to the remote site in northeastern Arizona on Friday for what the company said would be a public exhibition of Rossy’s attempt to fly over the canyon. But by day’s end, the media were told that Rossy had canceled his flight due to last-minute delays in obtaining approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, leaving him too little time for a practice run. The flight he made the next day, with few observers present but his own support team, ended up being his only attempt due to changing wind conditions, said Rachel Jones-Pittier, a spokeswoman for the public relations firm Breitling hired. “There was no secrecy or anything like that intended,” she said. “It just happened that we were unable to invite any media back out there for a replacement event.” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency only became aware of Rossy’s plans days earlier through the media and worked hard to get the necessary clearance for his jet-powered wing, which “doesn’t fit neat-

ly into any aircraft category.” “Mr. Rossy was authorized to fly on Friday and Saturday,” Gregor said. “We do not know if he actually flew on Saturday.” Jones-Pittier acknowledged that no one from independent media organizations — let alone her P.R. firm — was on hand to witness the flight, one reason, she said, for the three-day delay in telling the world about it. She said it took that long to put together the package of photographs and video footage released with the announcement. “We waited until we had photos and video to announce it so people would

believe it,” Jones-Pittier said. The footage shows a man with a winged jet pack and helmet dropping out of a helicopter at high altitude, then cuts to shots of a winged figure streaking over rugged landscape at some distance. But the authenticity of the still photos and video could not be independently verified. One self-described eyewitness was Robert Bravo, 47, chief executive of the Hualapai tribe-owned Grand Canyon Resort Corp, who told Reuters he watched the stunt from a vista point with his son and daughter, aged 14 and 20. “You could see him come out of the helicopter ... he

was so small compared to the grandeur of the canyon,” Bravo recalled. “I was in awe the whole time I was watching him.” Bravo said the tribe, which oversees the canyon’s Skywalk tourist attraction, granted Rossy a permit for the flight, but he declined to say how much was charged for it. Rossy, a licensed pilot who has flown airliners, made headlines in 2008 when he flew his jet suit across the English Channel from France to England. The following year, he crashed into the sea off Morocco while trying to become the first person to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain.

Psychiatrist: Kilpatrick has PTSD DETROIT — A psychiatrist’s report filed with a court as part of a lawsuit says former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Kilpatrick sued SkyTel in U.S. District Court in Mississippi, saying the company released his text messages illegally, The Detroit News reported. He wants $100 million in damages. Text messages between

Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff and mistress became public after they were subpoenaed in a lawsuit. The release led to a charge that Kilpatrick committed perjury in a deposition. SkyTel said the psychiatrist made the diagnosis based on telephone interviews with Kilpatrick’s wife, mother and sister and only talked to the former mayor after the fact.

Carlita Kilpatrick, his wife, said the scandal ruined her husband’s life and career and made repairing their marriage much harder, the Detroit Free Press said. “I am very angry and resentful at the entire process because it has not allowed me as a wife to even deal with my husband as a husband,” she said to psychiatrist Norman Miller in December.


DAILY D CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

INTERNATIONAL

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Two months after Japan quake, neediest victims still await aid By YOKO KUBOTA TOKYO - The neediest victims of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami have yet to receive much of the record $2.2 billion aid two months later, mainly because the authorities have yet to identify them, the country’s Red Cross said Wednesday. The March 11 quake and tsunami and nuclear crisis that followed at the Fukushima Daiichi plant left nearly

25,000 dead or missing, sent more than 117,000 people away from their homes and destroyed infrastructure in the north of Japan. The Japanese Red Cross Society has so far collected 174 billion yen ($2.2 billion) in relief money, the most it has ever been given for any relief campaign. The charity distributed about 65 billion yen in April to regional governments in the disaster-hit area, but says that this fund has yet to reach those most in need. “The biggest problem is that those who should be receiving the money cannot be identified, as

more than 10,000 people are still missing, resident registrations are gone and the administrative functions at the periphery are not working,” said Tadateru Konoe, president of the Japanese Red Cross. “The money has reached the prefectural level, but I recently saw a report that much of the actual distribution (to quake victims) has yet to take place,” he told a news conference. All of the organization’s relief money is meant to be handed to victims, in cash, and the group has been criticized for the delay in distribution. In 1995,

when a huge quake struck Kobe in western Japan, the initial round of cash handouts was made within about two weeks of the disaster. A panel of officials and experts decided last month on the parameters of the initial round of aid distribution, such as giving 350,000 yen to families who lost a member and the same amount to families whose homes were destroyed. The Japanese Red Cross still has more than 100 billion yen in money, and relief Konoe, also president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent

Societies, said there was no clear plan yet on how to distribute this. He said the money could also be given to businesses as well as individuals. Japan has started to clean up and rebuild the damaged region but the job is daunting and the area is still a ruin. A no-entry zone is still in place 20 km (12 mile) around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, though residents of one town were allowed to return Tuesday for two hours for the first time since the disaster. In a poll by Yomiuri newspaper that surveyed mayors and lead-

ers of 41 towns and cities in the disasterstruck areas, most said they felt there was no clear vision for rebuilding their lives. Seventeen mayors said they did not have a clear idea of when the clearing of rubble would finish in their areas, while nine said they did not know when the electricity and water systems would function properly again. Konoe said that many medical services in disaster-struck areas remained shut and that stress-related illnesses were among the biggest health risks to the displaced.

U.N. expects fresh Haiti cholera outbreaks with rains By JOSEPH GUYLER DELVA PORT-AU-PRINCE Humanitarian workers in Haiti are preparing for fresh cholera outbreaks as the rainy season threatens to revive an epidemic that has killed nearly 5,000 people since October, U.N. officials said Wednesday. The warning from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO) reflects big challenges that will confront Haitian President-elect Michel Martelly. Martelly, a former

carnival singer with no previous government experience, takes the reins of his impoverished, earthquake-battered Caribbean nation Saturday. Martelly has said that fighting the sevenmonth-old cholera epidemic and helping destitute survivors of the 2010 earthquake will be immediate priorities of his presidency. A huge U.N.-led humanitarian operation has helped to reduce the fatality rate from the cholera epidemic from peaks last year when dozens of sick patients were dying every day. But downpours heralding this year’s rainy season appear to have led to increased

cholera cases again in some areas, prompting fears of fresh outbreaks of the deadly diarrheal disease that is spread by contaminated water and food. “More water means more cholera and the sanitation in the country is still very weak,” OCHA spokesperson Emmanuelle Schneider told Reuters. “We are calling for heightened vigilance ... we are expecting (fresh) outbreaks of cholera in the West, including Port-au-Prince, South and Southeast Departments,” she added. The epidemic is not expected to regain the deadly force seen in previous months. But aid

workers said the fresh outbreaks underline the vulnerability of much of the population in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. Haiti’s health ministry says the epidemic killed 4,938 people from mid-October up to April 29. ‘QUITE PROBLEMATIC’ “We are afraid that with the rainy season and the cyclones it’s going to be quite problematic again,” said Esther van der Woerdt, a coordinator with the PAHO/World Health Organization. The United Nations has been embarrassed by investigations into the epidemic that indicate that cholera may

have been introduced to Haiti by U.N. peacekeepers, although the world body says there is no conclusive evidence. Schneider said the United Nations and its humanitarian partners need more funding to cover a U.N. appeal for around $175 million to cover the cholera response, and $950 million requested last year by the world body for earthquake aid. The U.N. cholera response appeal has been only 48 percent covered by donors, while the response to the U.N. earthquake appeal lags even further, with only 20 percent covered. “We need more

money than this ... we predict that there’s still going to be 500,000 people in camps at the end of the year,” Schneider said, referring to homeless earthquake victims who are still sheltering in tent and tarpaulin camps. The 2010 quake killed more than 300,000 people and initially left more than 1.5 million homeless. Foreign donors, who have pledged billions of dollars of reconstruction funds, are hoping that Martelly can form a stable government in one of the world’s most volatile states to channel aid and investment into the wrecked economy.

Earthquake rocks Spanish Yemeni forces fire on protesters in three cities town killing six people By Mohammed Ghobari & Mohamed Sudam

SANAA - Yemeni forces opened fire on demonstrators in three cities on Wednesday, killing at least four and wounding scores in escalating bloodshed that could ramp up public fury at the president’s refusal to step down. In the capital Sanaa, forces fired on a crowd of tens of thousands

marching to the cabinet building. At least one demonstrator died, according to a doctor at the scene, and dozens were wounded. In the industrial center Taiz, snipers killed two protesters and dozens were injured by gunfire, tear gas and bat-wielding plainclothes security men. Protesters retaliated by torching a police building and sealing off government buildings. In the Red Sea port city of Hudaida, one protester was killed when

security forces opened fire after marchers tried to force their way into a government building, witnesses said. The bloodshed is likely to fuel public rage ahead of Friday, traditionally the main day of unrest during a threemonth-old revolt against President Ali Abdullah Saleh inspired by uprisings across the Arab world. Crowds have lost patience with stalled negotiations to end Saleh’s 33-year rule, and violence is surging

in a country where half the population owns a gun. “This is a massacre, they are opening fire randomly,” Mohammed al-Qibly, a leader of a youth protest movement in Sanaa, told Al Jazeera television. “The scene is terrifying in every sense of the word.” Witnesses in the capital said some 40 people were shot and protesters stopped to help treat the wounded, who were rushed away in private vehicles as the gunfire crackled.

MADRID - An earthquake hit a town in southeast Spain on Wednesday causing houses to collapse, damaging historic churches and public buildings and killing at least six people. Some reports said that the rare earthquake, which was 5.3 magnitude, sent tremors through the region of Murcia and had affected a nursing home and the tower of an important church in the town which is dependent on farming. “Unfortunately, we can confirm ... deaths due to cave-ins and falling debris,” the mayor of Lorca, Francisco Jodar, told radio station Ser. “We’re trying to find out if there are people inside the collapsed houses.” A Murcia government spokesman said on the radio that six people had been killed in the earthquake.


AFRICAN SCENE

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

AFRICAN SCENE

48 womenf raped every hour in Congo, study D A K A R , Senegal The American Journal of Public Health has found in a new study a staggering increase in the rate of rape in the central African nation of Congo. The study says 1,152 women are raped every day in Congo, a rate equal to 48 per hour. That’s 26 times more than the figure reported by the United Nations, which said around 16,000 women were raped in one calendar year. Congo is a nation of 70 million people equal in size to the United States east of the Mississippi. It’s been plagued by decades of war. The new numbers were found by scouring nationwide health surveys. Previous figures were derived from rapes reported to police or at health clinics in only a small section of the country.

Nigeria launches probe into election violence ABUJA, Nigeria Nigeria is launching a probe into the electionrelated violence that left more than 500 dead last month. President Goodluck Jonathan told journalists Wednesday that an investigation panel will submit a report in six weeks. He said one of the panel’s tasks is to determine how many people were killed.

Authorities have said that at least 500 people died after riots broke out in northern Nigeria after an April 16 presidential poll, but no official death has been toll announced. Many in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north were angered that Jonathan - a Christian from the south - had won the vote. The last elected president was a Muslim northerner but he died before his term ended.

Kenya deports British human rights defender N A I R O B I , Kenya - A Kenyan official says a British human rights investigator looking into the illegal deportations and detentions of terror suspects from Kenya to Uganda has herself been deported. Hassan Omar Hassan of the government-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights says lawyer Clara Gutteridge was deported Wednesday on government orders. Gutteridge was investigating alleged abuses by Kenyan authorities who arrested and held eight suspects longer than allowed by law, then deported them to Uganda without court orders. Kenyan courts have said the deportations were illegal. Authorities accused the eight of involvement in a July bomb attack in Uganda that killed 76 people. The attack was claimed by the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

Uganda’s anti-gay bill not on agenda after outcry

By GODFREY OLUKYA & JASON STRAZIUSO KAMPALA, Uganda Uganda’s parliament appeared Wednesday to have dropped plans to debate a controversial bill that once proposed the death penalty for some gays and lesbians following an outcry from U.S. leaders and rights groups. The bill was first proposed in 2009 but wasn’t debated until last Friday. It had been scheduled to be debated before the full parliament on Wednesday but was dropped from the schedule. The future of the bill remained murky as Wednesday was parliament’s last scheduled day of session. It wasn’t clear if the proposed legislation could be carried forward to the next session or if the author would have to offer a new bill, which he has said he will do if needed. The original bill would mandate a death sentence in some cases, part of the reason it attracted global attention. The bill’s author, David Bahati, has said a new version would not contain the death penalty, but no amended version has been released publicly. One member of parliament, John Arumadri, said Wednesday that the bill may have been dropped from the agenda because of the worldwide outcry

against it. Online petitions from the groups Avaaz and Allout said they had gathered more than 1.4 million signatures. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called the bill’s progress deeply alarming. A U.S. congressman said if the bill passes he would urge huge cuts in international aid, and the U.S. State Department again voiced its opposition. “If adopted, a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda,” said Hilary Fuller Renner, a spokeswoman for the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. “Respect for human rights is key to Uganda’s long-term political stability and democratic development, as well as its public health and economic prosperity.” Gay rights groups say that the harassment of gays has increased in Uganda since the introduction of the bill in October 2009. 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, 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. Bahati’s original bill would

mandate a death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. “Serial offenders” also would face capital punishment. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act would face life imprisonment. Anyone who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage of acts of homosexuality” would face seven years in prison. Landlords who rent rooms or homes to homosexuals also could get seven years. If the bill is picked up by the next session, some, all or none of those provision could change during parliament negotiations. Homosexuality is highly unpopular in Uganda, and pastors in this Christian country speak out loudly against it. Bahati has said he thinks the bill would become law if voted on. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said in a statement Tuesday he was disturbed that parliamentarians were again discussing the bill. He said if it becomes law that he would urge the U.S. government to oppose any aid to Uganda from international institutions that the U.S. belongs to, such as the World Bank and African Development Bank. Avaaz, an Internet group that champions action on issues such as poverty and climate change, said it had collected more than 1 million Internet signatures from people opposed to the bill. The group wants parliament to reject the bill or Uganda’s president to veto it if it passes.

Suspect booed at Morocco blast reconstruction MARRAKESH, Morocco - The chief suspect in the Marrakesh cafe bombing that killed 17 people, mostly foreign tourists, reconstructed the attack for authorities on Wednesday as crowds of onlookers hurled insults. A large deployment of hooded special forces was on guard as the 25year-old Moroccan showed police how he arrived in the central city on April 28, detonated the bombs and then returned to his hometown. Dressed as he was on the day of the blast in a blue-and-white sweat-

shirt and with a wig, hat, sunglasses and guitar, Adil El-Atmani was first taken to the city’s railway station where he described arriving on a 6:00 am train. He was then taken to the Djemaa El-Fna Square, a tourist magnet in the city’s old quarter where the bombs ripped through the Argana cafe, killing 17 people. He said he had triggered the explosions with a mobile phone about 300 metres (330 yards) from the cafe, according to a police official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Atmani appeared to cooperate with authorities during the reconstruction and even smiled at one point, according to an AFP photographer. Large crowds kept back by barricades at the square shouted insults at Atmani as he passed. According to police, the suspect said he committed the attack with “conviction”. The reconstruction ended at the Bab Doukkala bus station in the city centre where the suspect told how he got rid of his wig in a nearby garden and then returned by bus to his home in Safi, 350 kilo-

metres (220 miles) south of Casablanca. Atmani was arrested last week with two other Moroccan suspects, also from Safi. They were described by police as “admirers of Al-Qaeda”. Moroccan authorities had initially blamed AlQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) for the bombing but the group denied responsibility. Three other suspects were arrested this week but a security official said they only knew about the plan to carry out the attack and did not take part in its execution.


D CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 DAILY

AFRICAN SCENE

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Unfulfilled dreams litter South Africa election By JON HERSKOVITZ WATERWORKS SETTLEMENT, South Africa - It took 12 years after the end of apartheid for the Waterworks shantytown to get running water, and 17 years for the ruling ANC to face a voter backlash from its disenchanted residents. In Waterworks and many similar settlements across South Africa, the biggest issue for municipal elections on May 18 is the unfulfilled dream of African National Congress rule. “Our lives are stuck. We are using the same things that were here under the apartheid government,” said Sipho Kadi, who lives in the Waterworks settlement west of Johannesburg. Many voters believe the liberation party has failed to make good on its promise to help the black poor who suffered racial oppression throughout much of the 20th century. Some speak of a new “class apartheid” every bit as harsh as the old system.

In Waterworks and a myriad of such places, residents walk welltrodden dirt paths among aging corrugated tin shacks, still waiting for electricity, sanitation and the most basic services to help lift them out of abject poverty. Kadi is doing what was unthinkable a few years ago, openly supporting the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) which was once perceived as the party of white privilege. “We have been here since before the end of apartheid. There is still no electricity and no jobs. There is no development,” Kadi said. The ANC is expected to take an easy victory next week due to its stranglehold on politics coming from its role in bringing down whiteminority rule. But this poll may show that its grip on power is weakening. Voters are expected to show they are fed up by either not casting ballots or switching to the likes of the DA. It has campaigned as the party of good governance for all and won 15 percent of the vote in the last municipal race in 2006, when the ANC took 66.3 percent. Since then, the ANC has faced violent “ser-

A young boy looks on during the Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria April 27, 2011. South Africa celebrates 17 years since the first democratic elections on April 27 1994, which voted the African National Congress and its thenleader, Nelson Mandela, into power. Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko vice delivery protests” by tens of thousands of the poor who feel they have become the underclass of Africa’s biggest economy. The protests which numbered just two in 2006, hit a record 111 in 2010, according to research group Municipal IQ. BUDGET BUSTERS ANC governments have spent tens of billions of dollars to improve the lives of the poor. “Our message is simple and factual. We have made substantial progress in improving access to basic services to our people,” President Jacob Zuma said this month. But results have been mixed, with large portions of funding lost to

corruption and incompetence, further angering the poor. If the DA or other opposition groups gain ground, the ANC may try to win support through further massive spending, making it more difficult for the Treasury to rein in a budget deficit, undermining bonds and raising the costs of overseas borrowing. The biggest expenditure has been on education but the results have been poor. South Africa ranked 130th out of 139 countries in a recent World Economic Forum survey on quality of education, while Zuma has had to implore teachers to show up for work and stay until the final

school bell. The economy has mostly posted steady gains since the ANC took over, helping to enrich the upper and middle classes, further distancing them from the poor. “We have not been able to overcome this class apartheid that we are living with, which is just as harsh as the apartheid we used to live under,” said Orlean Naidoo, community scholar at the University of KwaZuluNatal’s Center for Civil Society. “More of these protests need to happen in order for the government to realize what they are doing it not right. They are physically showing that the people have been forgotten.” WATER, ELECTRICITY AND PROMISES According to a development report by the South African presidency, the percentage of the population living in poverty dropped from 53 percent in 1995, a year after the ANC took over, to 49 percent in 2008. The percentage of households with access to minimum sanitation — which the government defines as a “ventilated improved pit

latrine” — increased from just over half in 1994/5 to almost three quarters in 2008/9. Access to electricity has also increased by the about same rate over the period. “There are these huge backlogs, and in a context of high inequality, people notice when others move forward and they are left behind,” said Miriam Altman of the Human Sciences Research Council and commissioner of the Presidency’s National Planning Commission. “When people are complaining, it is not that delivery might be slow, or what they expect, but because of this experience, they are frustrated. You will never be delivering enough to satisfy that feeling,” she said. Back in Waterworks, the ANC has plastered posters on shacks and made sure the four outside taps allotted to several hundred families have running water. “People are confused about who to vote for. So many parties have been here,” said resident Thomas Motloi. “One thing that is for sure is that after the election, they will all be gone.”

Kadhafi regime complicit in exodus: social worker, migrants By W.G. DUNLOP TRIPOLI - Libyan security forces are stoking a mounting exodus of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa on oftendeadly sea journeys to Italian islands, a social worker and African migrants said on Wednesday. A boat carrying up to 800 people from Libya to Italy capsized and sank on Friday off the coast of Tripoli, two Somali survivors said, in the latest in a string of accidents involving overloaded boats carrying migrants hungry

for a brighter future in Europe. A Tripoli-based social worker who works with African migrants and requested anonymity for fear of retribution said that authorities had generally prevented migrants from sailing for Europe, until war between rebels and veteran strongman Moamer Kadhafi’s forces broke out in February. “Before the conflict, you have no access; you can’t do that, because there was a high patrol around the shores,” she said. Now, members of Libya’s security forces “are the ones arranging all this,” she said of the

dangerous sea passage, that can cost passengers from hundreds to thousands of dollars. And “naval officers who have boats ... even accompany them to international waters and teach the captain how to take the boat” in exchange for money. The boats can depart from Libya “because of the crisis,” said Mary Anne, a 35-year-old Nigerian who has lived and worked in Libya for 10 years and knows several people who have departed for Italy by boat. Libyan authorities generally blocked the boats before, but police will now help arrange passage in exchange for

money, she said. Mohammed Abdel Samed Ahmed, a 34year-old Somali who survived the sinking of the boat on Friday along with his 28-year-old, nine-months-pregnant wife Farah Mohammed, said that Libyan security forces were not directly involved in their trip, but were present at the Tripoli port and knew what was happening. There was also another much larger ship carrying African migrants at the port at the same time as the ship they took, he said. Mohammed and Farah said the roughly 21-metre (69-foot) boat they were on capsized

and sank about 5:30 am (0330 GMT) on Friday, with people shouting “oh God, oh God!” as the ship sank several hundred metres off the coast of Tripoli. Farah said “it was the first time” that she had ever been under water. “I think that I finish my life,” she said. She cannot swim, but survived because of a life jacket that she had brought herself. About a hundred others had done the same, but no life vests were handed out on board the boat. Mohammed also said he was afraid he would die. Five or six Libyan patrol boats arrived about 15 minutes after

the boat sank and took survivors to shore, Mohammed said, adding that he personally saw between 160 and 200 on the beach. About 250 people on the boat that sunk were below deck, which was only accessible by two “very small” doors, said Mohammed, adding that he thinks that “these people all died.” “Yes, it’s increasing. I was here in 2010, and there was not any chance of this type of illegal immigrants,” Somali embassy charge d’affairs Abdulghani Waeis said when asked if attempts by migrants to take boats to Europe from Libya are on the rise.


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CARIBBEAN NEWS DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

No discussions on a successor, says St Kitts-Nevis PM

BASSETERRE, St Kitts successors, that Nigel Carty — St Kitts and Nevis Prime is a fit and proper person to Minister Denzil Douglas succeed me in my said on Tuesday he has Constituency, St never discussed with anyone Christopher 6, which I repthat Minister of Education resent in Parliament,” and Information, Sen. Nigel responded Douglas. Carty will succeed him as “At the end of the day, prime minister. although Nigel “Succession Carty, is one of in the St. Kittssuch persons, Nevis Labour there are severParty is deteral others of mined by the course, but membership of Nigel Carty the party,” said is definitely Douglas, who one who can dismissed the succeed me as question from the Labour a female caller P a r t y on his weekly Representative St Kitts and radio proi n Nevis Prime gramme “Ask Constituency Minister, Denzil the Prime #6 (Newton Douglas Minister”. The question Ground/Harris) from the caller was appar- and in the final analysis of ently prompted by written course, it will be determined and verbal statements made by the members of the by former Cabinet minister Labour Party, who in that Dwyer Astaphan. Constituency, when the time “There is no truth whatso- comes will make that deciever that I ever sat in any sion,” said Douglas. privacy with any former “I have never discussed minister or present minister with anybody, Nigel Carty to discuss my succession succeeding me as the prime with regard to Nigel Carty,” minister or even as the politsaid Douglas. ical leader of the Labour “I have consistently said Party. That is false. It is a lie within the workings of the and a deliberate lie, fabricatLabour Party, a party in ed and perpetuated by those terms of what we call con- to achieve their own personstituency caretakers and al agenda,” said Douglas.

Jamaica officially out of recession, says PM By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Bruce Golding says Jamaica is now officially out of the recession, with the country registering modest but positive growth in the January to March quarter of this year. Golding made the announcement during his presentation in the 2011/2012 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. He said a detailed analysis of the out-turn and the projections for the future will be presented by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) at a press briefing scheduled for Wednesday, May 18. Prime Minister Bruce Golding makes a point during his contribution to the 2011/12 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives Additionally, the prime minister said that the government is well on its way to

Prime Minister Bruce Golding reducing the country’s Debt/Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 100 percent or below by 2016. He pointed out that the Debt/GDP ratio of 128 percent, which was recorded at the end of March, was well within the ceiling of 139 percent as set out in the Standby Agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The programme calls for it to be reduced to 100 percent by 2016 and we are already clearly on the right trajectory to achieve that. If we focus our efforts seriously on investment and

growth, we will reach that target even sooner,” he stated. In the meantime, the prime minister said the government is significantly concerned about the number of people falling below the poverty line. He said the increase in the poverty level is directly attributed to the decline in the economy, loss of jobs and the significant drop in remittances in 2009. Golding said the impact of these factors has been mitigated by the provision of increased benefits through the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), the allocation for which has been increased from $1.7 billion in 2007 to over $4.0 billion this year. “Even after allowing for inflation, this represents a real increase of more than 60 percent,” he stated. “Increased welfare provisions can do only so much to ease poverty. Getting the economy back on a path of growth, doing everything possible to facilitate and accelerate that growth is

Trinidad minister Greening Barbados a Bermuda mulls sending acted improperly, priority for government gangsters to overseas jails says attorney general PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - Trindiad and Tobago Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has found that Minister Mary King had “acted improperly in failing to disclose her interest and disqualify herself from the entire process” regarding the award of a $100,000 contract. He also concluded that a prima facie case was made out and the matter be referred to the Integrity Commission for further investigation. The attorney general’s findings led to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar advising President George Maxwell Richards to revoke the appointments of King as Minister of Planning, Economic and Social Restructuring and Gender Affairs, as well as a Government Senator with immediate effect. A release from the Office of the President confirmed the disclosure made by Persad-Bissessar to reporters just after 12 noon on Tuesday following a meeting she held with the president.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Reducing waste and creating a greener environment and economy continue to be major areas of focus for the Barbados government. This was the sentiment shared by Minister of the Environment, Denis Kellman, last Sunday, as he delivered the feature address at the closing ceremony of Project: Clean Give, a recycling venture that was formulated by Cherice Gibson of the Barbados Youth Development Council (BYDC). Kellman observed that the project, and others like it, served to highlight the need for everyone to become actively involved in waste reduction efforts. “Our primary objective is to reduce the toxicity of our waste stream while increasing our diversion rate to over 80 percent and the overall conservation and preservation of our limited natural resources. I, therefore, strongly urge those of you not involved in recycling and waste reduction to get involved. To those of you now starting out, I urge you to strive to reach your full potential in this area. There is a new horizon of industries in the delivery of the low carbon economy, accelerated by concerns relating to waste reduction, energy generation, natural resource use and environmental management,” he said. - Nekaelia Hutchinson

HAMILTON, Bermuda - National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief says the country is looking into shipping out convicted gangsters to serve their time in jails overseas in an attempt to break up Bermuda’s gangs and ease friction between gang members in the local prison system. He told the Royal Gazette newspaper that preliminary investigations are underway to make this a reality, using prisons in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. “When people are in prison in Bermuda there are lots of visits from family and friends and lots of opportunities for them to continue their communication with gang members on the outside,” Perinchief, a former assistant commissioner of police, told the newspaper. Suggesting that isolating criminals is the only way to stop them staying in touch with fellow gang members he added: “It’s very difficult to insulate people when they are incarcerated in Bermuda; they want to continue with that antisocial behaviour. This is the isolation that is needed. They won’t be able to get information from or have contact with their contemporaries.”


D CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 DAILY

CARIBBEAN SCENE

11

House seeks accounting USVI Lt Governor conducts indepth tour of St Kitts tourism of aid money to Haiti By JIM ABRAMS WASHINGTON The House on Tuesday asked the Obama administration to come up with an accounting of how humanitarian and reconstruction aid is being spent in Haiti, which has been slow to recover from the devastating earthquake of more than a year ago despite an outpouring of U.S. and international assistance. “The unprecedented relief effort has given way to a sluggish, at best, reconstruction effort,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., sponsor of the legislation calling on President Barack Obama to prepare a report within six months of the bill’s enactment on the status of the aid campaign in Haiti, including the fight to combat an out-

break of cholera. Some of the blame for the slow progress in Haiti has been put on the lack of coordination among foreign and Haiti relief groups, a destroyed infrastructure, absence of a viable Haitian government and corruption. But another factor, Lee said, is “the lack of urgency on the international community’s part.” She said that at an international donors’ conference in March 2010, 58 donors pledged $5.5 billion to support Haiti’s recovery efforts but as of March this year, only 37% of these funds have been disbursed. “This is unacceptable.” The Haitian government says 316,000 people were killed magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck on Jan. 12, 2010. More than 1 million in a population of less than 10 million were displaced from their homes in the hemisphere’s poorest nation. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said 680,000

remain in refugee camps. “We owe it to the Haitian people to find out how much of this money has been delivered to Haiti and where that money went,” she said. “We have not always had our act together in Haiti.” Rep. Ileana RosLehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said much progress has been achieved in the past year, such as increased access to clean water. She said the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission has approved 86 reconstruction projects accounting for about one-third of the total pledges made by international donors last year. But she also stressed the need to determine that the aid effort “is not being derailed by waste, duplication or corruption.” The bill, passed by voice, now goes to the Senate.

Drug problem in Americas part of broader phenomenon, says OAS secretary general PARIS, France — The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, on Tuesday participated in the G-8 Summit in Paris, where he was invited to speak on the security situation and the impact of organized crime on the region. In his remarks, Insulza asserted that the problem of drugs in the Americas is part of “a broader phenomenon of crime and violence in which it is no

longer possible to distinguish specific agents,” and stressed the need for coordinated action and the exchange of experiences to face the phenomenon through common criteria. At the same time, he identified the achievements of the OAS in this field that make the Organization a “strategic partner” in the fight against these threats. During his speech at the Interministerial Conference on Transatlantic Cocaine Trafficking, held May 9 and 10, 2011, in Paris, with the participation of the ministers of the interior, the sec-

retary general declared that “in our region, the same criminal gangs that are the protagonists in the trafficking of drugs are also responsible for weapons trafficking and human trafficking, as well as money laundering, kidnapping and homicides.” He said that in addressing this situation, it is essential to follow up on the commitments adopted by the States in the interAmerican system, promote cooperation among governments in the region, and push for collaboration with other international agencies and organizations.

(L-R) St Kitts an Nevis Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. Richard "Ricky" Skerritt; USVI Commissioner of Tourism, Beverly Nicholson-Doty; US Virgin Islands, Lt Governor, Gregory Francis; Director of Budget and Financial Affairs, Ira Mills and President of St Croix Farmers in Action, Percival Edwards. Photo by Erasmus Williams

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — US Virgin Islands L i e u t e n a n t Governor, Gregory Francis, recently conducted an indepth tour of St Kitts’ historical and eco-sensitive attractions to gather insights in anticipation of developing the Bethlehem project and other lowimpact, soft attractions on St Croix. With Francis were Director of Budget and Financial Affairs, Sandy Point-born Ira Mills (Office of the Lieutenant Governor), Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty and President of St Croix Farmers in Action - the organization spearheading the Bethlehem project Percival Edwards. Meetings were organized by the Ministry of Tourism of

St Kitts & Nevis. The USVI team met with the general manager of the Urban Development Corporation (the organization responsible for the development of Port Zante), Keith Phillip; St Kitts and Nevis Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. Richard Skerritt, and general manager of the Scenic Railway, Thomas Williams, to discuss key tourism learnings that could be applied to plans to expand St Croix’s excursion offerings for residents, cruise passengers and overnight visitors. The team of visiting USVI officials also had the opportunity to meet St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas and the Premier of Nevis Joseph Parry. Meetings with key management officials from St Kitts’ Scenic Railway - an informative, 3-hour railroad tour that loops around the island - served as a

primary opportunity to discuss the potential development of a historical site in Estate Bethlehem, St.Croix, that would highlight the history of sugarcane on the island. The attraction would seek to underscore the interconnected past of key Caribbean islands including St Croix, St Kitts, the Dominican Republic and Vieques, Puerto Rico. “St Croix’s role in the sugar industry intertwines with the history of several islands in the region and contributed to the migration of people from St Kitts, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other nearby islands to St Croix,” said Francis. “We have an opportunity to develop a site on St Croix that brings this shared history to life, honoring the influence these immigrants had on our culture, while fostering enlightenment and education for our residents and visitors alike.”

Trinidad minister acted improperly, says attorney general PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad - Trindiad and Tobago Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has found that Minister Mary King had “acted improperly in failing to disclose her interest and disqualify herself from the entire process” regarding the award of a $100,000 contract. He also concluded that a prima facie case

was made out and the matter be referred to the Integrity Commission for further investigation. The attorney general’s findings led to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar advising President George Maxwell Richards to revoke the appointments of King as Minister of Planning, Economic and Social

Restructuring and Gender Affairs, as well as a Government Senator with immediate effect. A release from the Office of the President confirmed the disclosure made by PersadBissessar to reporters just after 12 noon on Tuesday following a meeting she held with the president.


New American

The

12

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

One Thought - One Humanity

Idris Elba happy that Thor casting was ‘color blind’

For the conclusions of these stories check out the May 5th - May 11th, 2011 issue of The New American, which hits newsstands every Thursday Toni Braxton’s life may be in danger. Toni was scheduled to perform a Mother’s Day concert in Trinidad but was asked to pull out by one of the concert promoters who had threats made against his life. According to freddyo.com, who is close with Toni’s sister Tamar, Toni not only fears for her life, but she doesn’t want to be mixed up in the cross fire between the promoters. Toni is so worried that she has pulled out of the show and forfeited her check. Chris Brown’s single “Look At Me Now” has logged its sixth week atop the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. Featuring veteran rapper Busta Rhymes, “Look At Me Now” is lifted from Brown’s latest offering, F.A.M.E., currently in stores. “Look At Me Now” is looking to follow in the footsteps of Brown’s 2010 hit “Deuces,” which spent over thirteen weeks at No. 1. In New York City, Keyshia Cole attended the 14th Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women. We guess Keyshia didn’t participate in the actual run” becasue she had stilletto heels on...but the fans were happy to see her. Frank Ocean is not happy with the LAPD. The hot newcomer recently tweeted is dislike for the boys in blue after he was arrested and detained for an unknown incident. “Just got out of jail,” Ocean tweets to his Twitter followers. “Would like to go on record saying..f**k the police. F**k LAPD to be specific. F**k a cop, non-stop. frank will never speak to a cop again in his natural life. i have no respect for police.” Frank continues, “I swear if i

weren’t sane in mind I’d throw a f**kin Molotov in a cop car right now,” adding “Cuh had napoleon complex. and seemed really sad that he was on that lame a** bike patrol.” No word from authorities regarding the incident. Monica has officially been announced as an advisor on NBC’s new talent hit show “The Voice.” Monica will pair up with the show’s coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton to help contestants hit the high notes. The coaches will eventually put two of the artists on each teams against each other in a series of dueling duets. Enrique Iglesias and Shakira were the toast of the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards as they each landed a haul of trophies. Iglesias scooped nine honors, including Latin Artist of the Year, while his Euphoria disc was named Latin Album of the Year and Latin Pop Album of the Year. Colombian superstar Shakira picked up six prizes included Latin Pop Airplay Solo Artist of the Year and Hot Latin Songs Female Artist. Her track Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) was voted the Latin Digital Download of the Year. Other big winners were newcomer Prince Royce, who took home four awards, Aventura, Daddy Yankee and Juan Luis Guerra, who all received three honors apiece. It was ladies’ night at FFAWN’s 2nd Annual Mary J. Blige Honors Concert in New York City. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul presided over the evening’s festivities at Hammerstein Ballroom. Her fellow divas including Jennifer Hudson, Christina

Aguilera, LeToya Luckett, and Jill Scott were on hand to perform and help award scholarships to tomorrow’s young female leaders. MJB started the organization to ensure that educational opportunities are made available to women so that they can get the training needed to be successful. Waka Flocka Flame can rest a little easier today -- because a grand jury just CLEARED the rapper of all drug related charges stemming from a police raid on his Georgia home last year. A grand jury in Henry County, GA ruled ... there was not enough evidence against Waka to warrant a trial for the drug charges filed against him -- possession of a controlled substance and possession of weed measuring less than an ounce. Three other charges stemming from the raid were dropped before the case went in front of the grand jury. In the spirit of First Lady Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, music maven, Beyonce crashed PS/MS 161 in Harlem to surprise students. The middle schoolers were shocked beyond words as the superstar led a workout routine with them. Beyonce has been doing her part to help Michelle Obama's fight against childhood obesity by remixing her hit 'Get Me Bodied' to be a workout song now titled 'Move Your Body' for the keep-fit initiative. While there, Beyonce was spotted working out and dancing with the students - all in stilettos by the way. Afterwards, the fans were allowed to take pictures with Bey. It is amazing to see so many celebrities have taken an interest in what the First Lady is doing.

Idris Elba, the BBC “Luther” star or Luther – that seems to be a comexplains how his role in the Marvel mon denominator in the characters I comic movie sparked anger from a play.” white supremacist groups. We’re glad Idris is playing the Idris recently spoke about how role of the Norse god Heimdall, it much he respected director Kenneth gives diversity and another perspecBranagh for being “color blind” in tive to the film. his approach to the blockbuster. So far, the signs are looking pretElba explains: ty good for Thor, Marvel’s trickiest “When Kenneth asked me to be Avenger to slot into our universe. So part of it, I did find myself question- as you’d expect, director Kenneth ing race. Branagh was in a good mood when “But Kenneth hadn’t even given we spoke to him. He did address the that a thought. He just needed an biggest controversy that has actor who has presence and com- attached itself to his film so far: the mand, and felt that I fit the bill. casting of Idris Elba as Norse god “It was so refreshing – and a tes- Heimdall. tament to him as an actor and direc“Idris Elba is a fantastic actor - we tor that his casting was genuinely were lucky to get him. He provides color blind. I feel very proud of being all the characteristics we need from part of that movie.” Asgard’s gatekeeper, the man who Elba also added how Thor fits into says, “Thou shalt not pass”. When his catalog of work: Idris says that, you know you’re “It’s different from anything else gonna have a problem. He’s smart, I’ve done; but at the same time, it’s intelligent, handsome and an been pointed out to me that here I absolute joy to work with. If you am playing a central, solid figure have a chance to have a great actor again – the one that people should in the part, everything else is irreletrust. vant. “Take [The Wire’s Stringer Bell] “If you’re going to say the color of - Full Story In This Week’s New American Newspaper -

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13

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DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

14

Are coffee drinkers less prone to aggressive breast cancer? By ALAN MOZES Women who drink a substantial amount of coffee each day may lower their risk for developing a particular type of breast cancer, Swedish researchers say. Their study linked consumption of five or more cups of coffee a day to a relatively marked reduction in the non-hormone-responsive disease known as ER-negative breast cancer. However, coffee consumption did not appear to lower the risk for developing ER-positive breast cancer, a hormoneresponsive estrogen receptor form of the disease. Daily consumption of coffee may protect against the most aggressive type of breast cancer, ER-negative, said study co-author Dr. Per Hal, a professor in the medical epidemiology and biostatistics department at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

“Now, we don’t have all the details,” he cautioned. “We don’t know, for example, what specific type of coffee we’re talking about here. But what we do know is that the protective effect is quite striking and remains even after adjusting for a lot of other factors that have the potential to play a protective role. And we know that we’re talking about what we could call a relatively normal amount of coffee drinking. Certainly we’re not talking about consuming gigantic amounts of coffee. So, this is a very intriguing finding.” The study, reported online May 11 in Breast Cancer Research, involved 5,929 Swedish women, aged 50 to 74. About half of the women had breast cancer. Questionnaires were used to assess behavioral and health characteristics, including smoking and drinking patterns, physical activity routines, family history of breast cancer, hor-

mone therapy protocols, nutritional intake, body mass index, education level and coffee consumption habits. Both tumor status and breast cancer type were also noted. The principle finding: Drinking coffee appeared to spur a “strong reduction” in risk for ER-negative breast cancer, the researchers wrote. Women who drank

five cups of coffee a day had a 33 percent to 57 percent lower risk for ER-negative cancer than did those who drank less than one cup a day. The study revealed an apparent association between coffee consumption and a reduction in breast cancer risk, but not a causeand-effect relationship. And Hal was not eager for consumers to jump to conclusions. “There are one or two other studies that have pointed in the same direction as ours — but not many, just a few,” he cautioned. “So before I would go to tell my neighbors to start drinking more coffee than they already do, I would like to know what is the biological mechanism at work here. And that’s not yet clear.” Hal noted that he and his colleagues are now working on a new study to tease out that information. Dr. Stephanie Bernik,

chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, described the findings as both “interesting” and “provocative,” given that the kind of cancer coffee appears to protect against is one for which there are relatively few effective treatments. “It is this kind of study that opens the door to improving treatment, as scientists try to uncover what biologic factors in a substance are beneficial, and then attempt to extract these factors and use them to defend against cancers,” Bernik noted. “The goal would be to try and discover what it is in coffee that may be beneficial.” “The next step is to find out what chemical factors in coffee cause the decreased rate of cancer and then attempt to see if these same chemicals can be used to treat a patient once they are already diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

Experimental AIDS vaccine shows promise in monkeys By JULIE STEENHUYSEN and KATE KELLAND CHICAGO/LONDON — An experimental vaccine helped monkeys with a form of the AIDS virus control the infection for more than a year, suggesting it may lead to a vaccine for people, U.S. researchers said. They said the vaccine works by priming the immune system to quickly attack the HIV virus when it first enters the body, a point at which the virus is most vulnerable. Dr. Louis Picker of the Oregon National Primate Research Center, whose study appear in the journal Nature, said he thinks it will be possible to have a vaccine ready to test in people within three years. Tests of the vaccine with a primate version of the virus called simian immunodeficiency virus showed more than half were able to keep the virus from replicating so that even the most sensitive tests could not detect any traces of the virus. So far, the vast majority of the vaccinated monkeys have maintained control over the virus for more than a year, gradually losing any signs that they had ever been infect-

ed. Macaques in the unvaccinated group have since developed the monkey form of AIDS. “We feel it has a possibility of keeping the virus under complete control or clearing the virus,” Picker said. Picker and colleagues use a relatively harmless virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) as a transport system to take the experimental vaccine into the body. They chose it because scientists think most people are already infected with CMV — a virus that remains in the body for life but causes little or no symptoms for most people. Picker said because the virus is persistently present, it keeps the immune system on alert, ready to attack the virus as it first enters the body, when the virus is thought to be less impervious to the immune system. “The virus comes in and can be basically stopped in its tracks,” Picker said in a telephone interview. “What’s exciting about these findings is that for the first time a vaccine candidate has been able to fully control the virus in some animals,” said Dr Wayne Koff, chief scientific officer at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), which helped fund the research. Koff said the findings also

suggested the possibility that the immune system may eventually eliminate the virus altogether. “This research gives us potential clues as to how we might design an HIV vaccine for humans that would provide the same type of control,” he said. There is no cure for AIDS, but cocktails of drugs can keep the disease at bay for many years. The human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS infects 33.3 million people globally, according to the United Nations agency

UNAIDS. It has killed more than 25 million people. Because it is spread in so many ways — during sex, on needles shared by drug users, in breast milk and in blood — there is no single easy way to prevent infection. A vaccine is the best hope, and many drug companies and scientific research groups are working on various ways to try to develop one. “The breakthrough here is in using a viral-delivered vaccine that persists — essentially using an engineered virus to thwart a pathogenic virus,”

said Robin Shattock, a professor of mucosal infection and immunity at Britain’s Imperial College, who was not involved in the research. “Before this ... scientists had pretty much given up on the idea of a vaccine that could control HIV replication (but) this puts it firmly back on the agenda.” Efforts so far to make an AIDS vaccine have not been successful, but a 2009 study in Thailand involving 16,000 people showed for the first time that a vaccine could safely prevent HIV infection in a small number of volunteers.

Parents’ fighting can even affect infants Infants’ sleep patterns can be disrupted if their parents have severe relationship problems and are constantly arguing, a new study finds. In addition, infants who heard regular blow-ups between parents when they were 9 months old continued to have troubled sleep patterns — marked by problems getting to sleep and staying asleep — even when they were 18-monthold toddlers. The researchers found, however, that infants’ sleep patterns had no effect on parents’ relationships. The findings were from a study by an international

team of researchers, who analyzed data from more than 300 U.S. children and parents. All of the children were adopted at birth, which let researchers focus on how family relationships — without the influence of genetics — might affect the infants’ sleep patterns. “Regulated sleep is essential during infancy for healthy brain and physical development. Disrupted sleep patterns early in life have serious implications for children’s long-term development,” study coauthor Gordon Harold, chair in behavioral genetics and developmental psy-

chopathology at the University of Leicester, U.K., said in a university news release. “How couples/parents relate to each other — specifically, how they manage conflicts in their everyday lives — is also recognized as having significant implications for children’s long term emotional, behavioral and academic development,” he added. “Understanding which comes first, children’s sleep problems affecting parent relationship quality or parent relationship quality affecting children’s sleep problems, has significant clinical implications.”


NEW JERSEY

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

15

ACLU Welcomes Decision to Investigate Newark Police Department NEWARK - The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLUNJ) welcomed the announcement today that the U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the Newark Police Department’s reported patterns of abuse and misconduct. The Department of Justice’s decision to intervene was done so at the request of the ACLU-NJ, which documented the incidents of abuse in a petition filed in September 2010. “We hope this investigation marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Newark Police Department,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Deborah Jacobs. “The recurrent problems in the Newark Police did not arise from one individual, or even a

group of individuals, but from an inherited institutional culture of misconduct. We hope the Justice Department’s intervention promises a fresh start, with individual officers getting the training they need to renew the faith in police that Newark’s citizens need.” The ACLU-NJ’s petition cited 418 serious, routine civil rights violations reported by citizens in a two-and-a-half year period, including false arrests, inconsistent discipline of officers, discrimination and, most egregiously, acts of violence against citizens, some of which resulted in injury and death. In the face of these civil rights violations, the department’s deficient Internal Affairs Unit provided citizens with little recourse. Out of the 261 internal affairs complaints filed reporting serious police misconduct between 2008 and 2009, only one - alleging an improper

search - was sustained. The ACLU-NJ documented police officer’s retaliation and threats to citizens making an internal affairs complaint, as well as discouragement from making complaints altogether. After looking into the petition’s claims, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division determined the situation in the Newark Police Department called for its involvement, based on a 1994 law allowing the Justice Department to intervene if a police department demonstrates a “pattern or practice” of violating the law or citizens’ constitutional rights. The ACLU-NJ hopes the federal government will provide the initial oversight and guidance for the Newark Police Department to establish real reform, including an overhaul of internal affairs, more training for police officers, and new systems to identify and discipline problem-

atic officers. “The federal government has brought progress before to police departments struggling to break free of ingrained institutional acceptance of civil rights abuses,” said ACLU-NJ Policy Counsel

Alexander Shalom. “We hope the Newark Police Department becomes another success story, built on a foundation of its renewed commitment to justice and equality.” The ACLU-NJ has offered itself as a resource to the

Department of Justice in the next stages of the investigative process, redoubling its own commitment to increasing accountability for the Newark Police and rebuilding the public’s trust in law enforcement.

Trenton charter high school is under State Police investigation over financial problems TRENTON - Capital Preparatory Charter High School has surrendered its charter and is under investigation for financial mismanagement and a range of violations by the New Jersey State Police, a state Department of Education spokesman said yesterday. The Grand Street school had been placed on two consecutive 90day probationary periods before it gave up its charter May 2. It will close at the end of the school year. Because Capital Prep chose to surrender its charter rather than have it revoked, it cannot appeal, DOE spokesman Alan Guenther said. In addition to the financial problems, visits to the 329-student

school by DOE staff “revealed a weak educational program, lacking in rigor and not meeting the goals set forth in the school’s charter,” Guenther said. The school is separate from Trenton Community Charter School, which was placed on probation in March and ordered to submit a plan for corrective action. The school repeatedly failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress, a measurement of academic performance under federal testing standards. The decision to push for Capital Prep’s closure demonstrates the state’s commitment to high quality in charter schools, Guenther said. “While the Christie administration strongly supports charter

schools, we will continue to demand that every charter both provide a rigorous educational program to its students and faithfully adhere to state laws and regulations on finance, management, and governance,” he said. “We will close charter schools that fail to live up to our highest expectations.” Interim chief school administrator David Bilenker declined on the comment on the events that led to the finding of financial mismanagement. E-MAIL CIRCULATED An e-mail circulated by a group of Capital Prep teachers claimed the school has repaid some of its debt and achieved academic successes, and said the staff was “extremely disappointed” by the

closing. “Unfortunately, the DOE has disregarded the improvements made and stands firm in its decision,” the e-mail said. The DOE’s Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance (OFAC) had found problems including a $300,000 deficit, improper expenditure of funds, severe cash-flow problems, and violation of state travel policies, Guenther said. The agency also found Capital Prep lacked a certified school business administrator and committed “gross mismanagement of public funds,” including bid violations, payments without adequate documentation, overpayment to consultants and employees being paid as vendors,

Guenther said. The investigation was spurred by an audit revealing the deficit, said Carly Bolger, director of the DOE’s Office of Charter Schools. Charter schools must have a balanced budget. TRAVEL POLICY VIOLATIONS Bolger said the school violated travel policies last year and this year by spending $46,000 to stay at The Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City for several meetings and retreats without obtaining a waiver from the DOE. Additionally, some employees who were given $1,500 annual travel stipends to attend conferences spent more than they were allotted, she said. Capital Prep’s former chief administrator,

Shenette Gray, said yesterday that she became aware of financial management issues last August and notified the board of trustees. She said the school business administrator at the time, who was not certified, was removed and a month later the school was put under probation. Gray said she left the school in January, not because of the financial or other problems but because she and the board “just didn’t see eye to eye” on how to move forward. “When I left, it was looking good. I’m not really sure what’s happened since then,” said Gray, calling it a shame that the school is closing. “The kids are wonderful, the staff is great. It’s an unfortunate circumstance.”


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

16

Soul man Booker T. Jones Memphis-bound with album By MIKE AYERS The keyboardist who lent his name to the ‘60s soul combo Booker T. & the MGs is on a creative roll, fresh from winning a Grammy for his first solo album in almost three decades. Booker T. Jones pays homage to his hometown with the release on Tuesday of “The Road From Memphis,” an album on which hip-hop act the Roots backs his trademark organ grooves. Among the guest vocalists is Lou Reed. Jones, 66, has collaborated with the likes of Otis Redding, Willie Nelson and Neil Young during a career spanning 50 years. But “The Road From Memphis” is just his fourth solo album. It marks the follow-up to 2009’s “Potato Hole,” which he recorded with southernrock band the Drive By

Truckers. It won a Grammy last year for pop instrumental album. He is best known for his work with Booker T. & the MG’s, the Stax Records house band that backed soul icons such as Redding and Sam and Dave. The group enjoyed success in its own right with a string of instru-

mentals including “Green Onions” and “Soul Limbo.” In a recent interview with Reuters, Jones credited his recent revival to higher education. He enrolled at San Francisco State University in 2006 and learned to use popular software programs for mixing. “About six or seven years

ago, I realized I’d fallen behind the times in terms of who I was as a producer,” said Jones, who produced hit albums in the 1970s for Nelson and Bill Withers. “I needed to know what was going on when I walked in a studio; I had to start over.” In doing so, Jones combined the old and the new: “Memphis” was recorded using analog gear, but mixed using Pro Tools. On “Memphis,” Jones’ originals such as “The Vamp” and “Rent Party” fondly recall the jazzy organ arrangements that put him on the map in the first place. But he also takes on Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and makes a rare turn behind the microphone for the autobiographical song “Down in Memphis.” While Jones has achieved status as a legend of the genre, it’s his willingness to work with today’s popular musicians that has broad-

ened his appeal to younger audiences. Besides the Roots, who are also the house band on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” he recruited soul revivalist Sharon Jones and rock singers Matt Berninger and Jim James, of The National and My Morning Jacket, respectively. “I come from another era, and they seem to enjoy that and hanging around me,” Jones said. “Sometimes (they are) learning from me and I learn from them.” Reed agreed to appear on the album closer, “The Bronx,” after Jones coldcalled him. But for all the handful of guest spots, it’s Jones’ organ playing that is the constant throughout. “He stays true to his voice, but his voice literally isn’t a human voice — it’s another voice that you recognize is his,” James told Reuters.

Brandy & Ray J’s mother, Sonja Fox cancels Jennifer Norwood launches talent agency Beals/Delroy Lindo

drama ‘Chicago Code’

Brandy & Ray J’s mother, Sonja Norwood, has launched the Norwood Talent Agency Corporation (NTAC) in partnership with her husband Willie Norwood. The company will focus it efforts on family talent similar to the Norwoods. “We have selected clients to work with at NTAC that

stir the same passions and level of excitement I have enjoyed managing members of my family,” said Sonja Norwood in a statement. The company opened it’s doors two months ago and has already signed 65 clients. The company has set-up opportunities for new talent to have successful careers in

entertainment. “Our doors are open to fresh new faces hoping to get their shot in Hollywood,” says Norwood. With a proven track record of developing careers for Brandy and Ray J, the agency has a knowledge in managing a client from childhood to adulthood in the entertainment business.

The crime drama, “The Chicago Code,” starring Jennifer Beals (above) as the first female head of the Chicago Police Dept. and Delroy Lindo as a corruptyet-popular alderman, has been cancelled by Fox and will not be on the schedule when the network unveils its fall lineup on Monday, news outlets reported this morning. “Fox suits loved the show, but have a business to run,” tweeted the program’s creator Shawn Ryan. It wasn’t clear whether the two remaining episodes

will air in the show’s usual Monday time slot. “More than most series made on Chicago’s streets, ‘The Chicago Code’ attempted to capture the culture of the city, dropping references to local history and filming in areas both prominent and obscure,” notes the Chicago Sun-Times. “Its main characters — a roguish cop (Jason Clarke), his book-smart partner (Matt Lauria), a powerful alderman (Lindo) and a reform-minded police chief (Beals) — were ever aware of Chicago’s climate of corruption.”


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

17

R&B crooner Bilal talks being hands on with autism stricken son What does R&B singers Bilal and Toni Braxton have in common? They’re both caring for children with Autism, a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of a child’s life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. Bilal, who is still on the road promoting his latest album “Airtight’s Revenge,” recently opened up about his oldest son Bashir’s battle with the illness. In addition, he created a music video for his song “Little One,” which is a recorded tribute to his

son. “I just wanted to do a song for the fathers,” Bilal told TheUrbandaily.com on why he wanted to do the record for his son, who was diagnosed around four years old. “People always write songs from a mom’s perspective or to their moms. This is something I did for my children.” Currently, doctors don’t have a wealth of treatment options available for Autism but Bilal is very hands on with his son’s development and he shares how he fronts the diseases. “My son is high function-

ing so he deals with a lot of sensory overload and high energy,” says Bilal. “I do a lot of things to calm him down. I changed his diet. He’s on an all-gluten free diet. I’ve also introduced different exercises and music to help him. I have him playing the drums so it allows him to get out a lot of his energy. It also teaches him focus and rhythm.” In 2010 Bilal participated in a walk on the National Mall in D.C. for Autism awareness and performed the song “Little Ones” for the event-goers. In addition he

spent a lot of the time with other parents of autistic children. “I really put myself out there on this because [I am a] young parent] and I know there are a lot of young parents who don’t know what is going on with their child,” he says. “Younger parents like myself chalk it up to just being a bad kid maybe. [But] a lot of the things you can help with depend on how soon you detect it.” His son is now nine years old and has made a lot of progress. We commend Bilal for his dedication!

‘Braxton Family Values’ renews for second season There was enough drama to keep audiences glued to the TV with “Braxton Family Values.” WE tv renewed the show for a second season only after four episodes. The series follows sisters Toni, Tamar, Trina, Towanda, Traci and their Mom, Evelyn as they go through the drama of life, love, and relationships. “My Family and I are so

F. Gary Gray to direct ‘Last Days of American Crime’ F. Gary Gray is now attached to direct “The Last Days of American Crime,” a heist movie for IM Global and Radical Pictures in which Sam Worthington is set to star, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The project, based on the

Radical graphic novel written by Rick Remender, is set in a near-future where the government plans to implement a form of legal mind control, making it impossible for its citizens to commit unlawful acts. Worthington, the star of “Avatar” and

“Terminator 3: Salvation,” will play a career criminal, who must put together the last heist in American history on the last night that crime is possible. The project was announced by IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford and Radical founders Barry Levine and Jesse Berger. IM Global will be offering the work at the Cannes Film Market. Gray most recently directed “Law Abiding Citizen.”

Kanye inspired by Paris, art and album to create own line of scarves After taking in some of the most raved about fashion shows in Paris during Fashion Week, Kanye West found a bit of inspiration and has commissioned the design of a limited-edition line of silk scarves. Derived from artist

George Condo’s paintings for the cover of “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” the scarves will be created by French design collective M/M (Paris). The pieces affectionately named by Kanye, “Power,” “Phoenix,” “Face,” “Priest,”

and “Ballerina,” each is set in a frame of gold lettering created by the design team. But only exclusives will be able to get a hand on of the few. Only 100 of each scarf will be made and can be bout at the French boutique Colette for $364.

grateful for the love and support the fans have for the show.” Said Toni Braxton “We all hoped people could relate to our family dynamic and are thrilled with the positive response we have received. We are all very much looking forward to bringing you another eventful season of Braxton Family Values.” Catch the series every Tuesday at 9 p.m. on WE tv.

Oprah mulling Broadway roles

CHICAGO — Oprah Winfrey says she is considering starring in a Broadway play once her Chicago talk show wraps its 25th and final season this month. “I have a stack of plays in my bag right now that I am reading,” Winfrey told the Chicago Tribune. “And just this past weekend, I was in New York meeting with producers. We were just talking about what

would be the best route to take. But yes, this is really going to happen. ... Life is too short. I think that an ensemble production is the way I should go.” Winfrey told the newspaper she is in talks with several Broadway producers and directors, but she declined to say more about the potential projects for fear of jeopardizing negotiations.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

18

Visa to launch digital wallet for U.S. banks By MARIA ASPAN Visa Inc., the world’s largest credit and debit card processing network, is building a digital wallet that people can use to pay for things online or with their phones instead of with traditional cards. The network said yesterday it is working with several large U.S. and international banks to develop the wallet. Its partners

include US Bancorp, PNC Financial Services, Regions Financial, BB&T Corp, Toronto Dominion’s TD Bank and the U.S. arm of Barclays PLC. The “digital wallet” will store the banks’ customers’ credit and debit card account information, both for Visa cards and other cards. People can use the wallet to pay for things online or in stores, Visa said. The network will also have to convince

merchants to put a new “one-click” button on their websites, so that potential customers can use their Visa digital wallets to buy things by clicking the button instead of by manually entering all of their account information every time they want to make an online purchase. Banks, mobile phone operators and networks like Visa are all trying to gain a foothold in the small but high-potential market for U.S.

mobile payments. Last week Isis, a separate mobile payments venture run by three of the top four U.S. carriers, said it had modified its initial goals and was now open to working with Visa and MasterCard as it introduces its own mobile wallet. Jim McCarthy, Visa’s head of global products, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that mobile payments in the United States “will more easily take off” from people using

their smartphones’ browsers to buy things online. But Visa and its rivals, including MasterCard Inc, American Express Co and Discover Financial Services, are also trying to figure out ways for people to buy things with their phones in physical stores. McCarthy said that a previous, separate Visa pilot to test smartphone payments with Bank of America Corp and other large U.S. banks will be com-

mercially available this summer. Visa will roll out the digital wallet in the United States and Canada in fall of 2011. McCarthy would not discuss revenue projections. The San Franciscobased company is increasingly looking to new technology for growth, in the face of an increasing saturated U.S. credit and debit card market and tightening regulations of that market.

Google sets aside $500 million for advertising probe Google Inc. said it has set aside $500 million to potentially settle U.S. Justice department’s probe into the company’s online advertising practices, signaling yet another row with the regulators. The charge reduced the net income to $1.8 billion, or $5.51 per share for the first quarter, Google said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) late on Tuesday. The company reported net income of $2.3 billion, or $7.04 a share for the first quarter. “In May 2011, in !"' " & &(#% "(%' $( !& "(!'+ &(''"! (! ! #5,37;300 : =: '' * & & "'' /; ,5 /0/7.,7; : ;;897/@ : 089 #5,37;300 : %"& %"& &&" ' & # &<6 63; 8<9; &<3;/ 3:24355 !/> +894 %C@AC/<B B= 8C25 ;3<B =4 4=@31:=AC@3 /<2 A/:3 5@/<B32 63@37< =< =@ /0=CB (3> B3;03@ E7:: A3:: /B %C0 :71 C1B7=< B= B63 67563AB 07223@ /B &C33<A =C<BG (C>@3;3 =C@B :=1/B32 /B (CB>67< =C:3 D/@2 /;/71/ #3E .=@9 7< =C@B@==; /;/71/ #. $< "/G /B " %@3;7A3A 9<=E< /A ' ) (% '"! !+ 58-4 8; !! ) ) ') # %!$) % $' % ' ! $ ! # ( )* ) !. # # # # ) $'$* # $*#). $ &* #( ). # () ) $ # , .$' A ;=@3 >/@B71C:/@:G 23A1@7032 7< B63 8C25;3<B =4 4=@3 1:=AC@3 /<2 A/:3 (=:2 AC0831B B= /:: =4 B63 B3@;A /<2 1=<27B7=<A 1=<B/7<32 7< A/72 8C25;3<B /<2 B3@;A =4 A/:3 >>@=F7;/B3 /;=C<B =4 8C25;3<B >:CA 7<B3@3AB /<2 1=ABA # - #$ + (' ! ! + # A? ' '

connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers, we accrued $500 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2011,” Google said in the fil-

ing. However, Google said the charge will not have a material adverse effect on the company’s business, even as it warned that it cannot predict the ultimate outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation. Google did not pro-

vide any further details about the investigation in the filing. The company declined to comment on the investigation when contacted by Reuters. The Internet search giant has had antitrust setbacks. It walked away from a search deal with Yahoo in

2008 when the Justice Department signaled it was prepared to challenge it. There have also been a series of complaints made to regulators, many from Google rivals which specialize in vertical searches like price comparison websites, which are widely

seen as a threat to Google’s position as a key gateway to online information. Several of these have complained to U.S. and European antitrust authorities that Google is seeking to hurt their business by making them hard to find in Google searches.

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and chat, and could have had the ability to post messages, the security software maker said. “We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage,” the blog post said. “ ... Over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties,” posing a security threat, the blog post said. The third-parties may not have realized their ability to access the information, it said. Facebook, the world’s largest social networking website, was notified of this issue and confirmed the leakage, the blog post said. It said Facebook has

A D V E RT I S E IN T HE (7 1 8 ) 6 3 6 - 9 50 0

taken steps to resolve the issue. “Unfortunately, their (Symantec’s) resulting report has a few inaccuracies. Specifically, we have conducted a thorough investigation which revealed no evidence of this issue resulting in a user’s private information being shared with unauthorized third parties,” Facebook spokeswoman Malorie Lucich said in a statement. Lucich said the report also ignores the contractual obligations of advertisers and developers which prohibit them from obtaining or sharing user information in a way that “violates our policies.” She also confirmed that the company removed the outdated API (Application Programing Interface) referred to in Symantec’s report. Facebook has more than 500 million users and is challenging Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. for users’ time online and for advertising dollars.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

19

Macy’s outlook rosy as middle-class returns By PHIL WAHBA Macy’s Inc. reported a higher quarterly profit and said it expects a continued upswing in sales and profits for the rest of 2011, reflecting the improving fortunes of middle-class shoppers, its core customers. Macy’s shares jumped more than 6 percent on the news to their highest level in more than three years. Macy’s is benefiting from a years-long effort to offer more exclusive and regionally focused products, which command a higher profit per item and gives the chain more pricing power. The strong firstquarter sales and forecast for the rest of the year signal what analysts said is a more forceful comeback for shoppers after the economic crisis as U.S. consumer confidence and employment have

risen. “There is a bit of middle-class tailwind,” said Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand. “This bodes well, but less so, for the Sears shopper or the J.C. Penney shopper.” Macy’s, which Swinand said is less exposed to the price sensitivity of shoppers than rivals Penney and Kohl’s Corp., said sales at its stores open at

least a year, or samestore sales, rose 5.4 percent during the quarter and they would rise 4 percent for the rest of the year. Unlike Penney and Kohl’s, Macy’s also got help from luxury spending’s comeback due to the Bloomingdale’s chain, which contributes about 10 percent of sales. Kohl’s reported a 1.3 percent same-store

sales gain for the first quarter, while Penney’s rose 6.4 percent. At Nordstrom Inc., which caters to higherend shoppers, samestore sales rose 6.5 percent. Kohl’s and Nordstrom report results today, while Penney will report on Monday. Looking ahead, Macy’s raised its sales and profit forecast, saying it expects same-

Exports set record as trade gap widens By DOUG PALMER WASHINGTON — U.S. exports set a record in March, buoyed by the weak U.S. dollar and strengthening global demand as U.S. trade flows returned to levels last seen before the global financial crisis. U.S. exports grew 4.6 percent in March to $172.7 billion, surpassing the record set in July 2008 before world trade took a sharp downturn. The March export rise was the biggest month-to-month gain in 17 years, the Commerce Department said in a report. “It’s taken two-and-ahalf years, but the level of exports has finally returned to pre-recession levels,” said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist with Capital Economics in Toronto. Despite the big gain, the U.S. trade deficit grew to $48.2 billion in March, the widest since June 2010, as rising oil

prices helped push imports nearly 5 percent higher. Dales said he doubted the wider-than-expected trade gap in March would meaningfully worsen estimates of already weak first-quarter U.S. economic growth. “More generally, the latest surveys suggest that export growth will continue to accelerate, with the lower dollar providing further support. But the surveys suggest that imports will continue to grow at a faster rate,” Dales said. Both U.S. goods and U.S. services exports set records in March, as did two sub-categories foods, feeds and beverages and industrial supplies. U.S. exports to Canada and South and Central America also set records and exports to the European Union were the highest since July 2008. A weaker dollar helps U.S. exports by making them cheaper in world

markets. The dollar has fallen 5.2 percent against a basket of currencies since the beginning of the year. Against the euro, the dollar has been down nearly 7 percent so far this year. Imports grew 4.9 percent to $220.8 billion as the average price for imported oil hit $93.76 per barrel, the highest since September 2008. Oil prices continued to rise in April, but have receded in recent weeks back to early March levels. Pierre Ellis, senior global economist at Decision Economics in New York, said the trade data could provide ammunition for members of the Federal Reserve board that want to tighten monetary policy to curb the threat of inflation. “This is a reassurance on growth, which is what the hawkish members of the Fed are looking for. This is a piece of evidence for them to consider removing

accommodation before things start overheating a couple of years down the road,” he said. U.S. imports were the highest since August 2008, just as the global financial crisis was beginning to bite into trade. Imports hit a record $232.1 billion in July 2008, before tumbling sharply over the next six months. The closely watched U.S. trade deficit with China narrowed slightly in March to $18.1 billion, as U.S. exports to that country grew faster than imports from the Asian giant. However, the trade shortfall with China for the first quarter of 2011 totaled $60.2 billion, putting it on a pace to exceed last year’s record of around $273 billion. China’s own data this week showed it posted its biggest surplus in four months in April, as exports hit a record on stronger global demand. U.S. and Chinese offi-

store sales to gain 4 percent for the rest of the year, which would come to 4.3 percent for the whole year, including the first quarter. Macy’s had forecast 3 percent at the start of 2011. As a result, the retailer also raised its fiscal 2011 profit forecast 15 cents per share on both ends of the range and now expects to earn between $2.40 and $2.45, above Wall Street expectations of $2.35, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Its shares rose $1.93, or 7.3 percent, to $28.26. Penney and Kohl’s shares rose more modestly, less than 1 percent, while Nordstrom was up 2.2 percent. Macy’s reported net income of $131 million, or 30 cents a share, for the quarter that ended on April 30, nearly six times higher than the $23 million, or 5 cents, it reported a year earlier.

That easily topped the 18 cents Wall Street analysts on average were forecasting Overall sales in the quarter rose 5.7 percent to $5.9 billion. Gross margin, which reflects the profitability of the items Macy’s sells, slid 0.3 percentage points to 39.1 percent as Macy’s dealt with rising cotton costs. But the company has repeatedly said its clout with vendors was mitigating some of that risk. Inventory levels rose 4.8 percent compared with a year earlier, in line with the sales gains. Swinand said that showed Macy’s was still cautious about overstocking, which can force retailers to slash prices if items do not sell. Macy’s, which operates about 850 department stores under its own and the Bloomingdale’s names, also doubled its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share.

cials sparred over China’s exchange rate policies during high-level talks this week in Washington. The United States pressed for a faster rise in the yuan’s value to help bring trade into balance, while China said it would continue exchange rate reform at its own pace. Meanwhile, a Labor Department report showed U.S. job openings in March were the most in 2-1/2 years, pointing to a firmer tone in the labor market. Job openings rose 99,000 to 3.12 million,

the highest since September 2008. A separate industry group report showed applications for U.S. home mortgages surged last week at the fastest pace in two months as interest rates dropped for a fourth week in a row. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its mortgage application index, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, jumped 8.2 percent last week. The index of loan requests for home purchases climbed 6.7 percent.

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

MTA NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT (NYCT)

RFQ#: 6861, Due Date: 6/1/11 Title: C-31675/C-31676, System-Wide Indefinite Quantity Asbestos Abatement in Manholes Type: RFP RFQ#: 6741, Due Date: 6/15/11 Title: R-50554, Painting of Seven Stations in the Boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn and The Bronx. RFQ #: 6994, Due Date: 7/7/11 Title: Operation of Paratransit Call Center BIDS: Opening Date: 6/1/11, #4462, SSDL screen; #6254, Credit info svcs; #6551, Kit, Oil separator; #6753, Valve assy; #6082, Air compressor repair. Opening Date: 6/2/11, #6287, Cover, relay; #6414, UHP lamp; #6547, Transducer; #6829, Threshold plate; #6931, Grease. Opening Date: 6/3/11, 3300, Respirator; #6847, Rail; #7006, Separator; #6978, Spring assy. For more detailed info & the MTANYCT contact for the above solicitations, visit website: www.mta.info/nyct/procure/nyctproc.htm

MTA BRIDGES AND TUNNELS (B&T)

Sealed Bids for the below solicitations must be received by B & T at the Bid Suite, 3 Stone Street, NY, NY 10004. Sealed Bids will be publicly opened at the above address on the dates/times indicated. Bid #: MT 1375 – Snow Pants Bid Opening Date: 5/26/11 at 3:00 PM . See project description at www.mta.info/bandt/procure/purchpage.htm Bid #: 11-MNT-2881 – Tire Repair, Mounting, Balancing and Emergency Road Service for Authority Vehicles Bid Due Date: 6/7/11 at 3:00 PM. The project description can be found at www.mta.info/bandt/procure/rfppage.html


20

DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 #

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DAILYDAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY MAY 12, 2011 CHALLENGE THURSDAY, 12, 2011

Ex-NBA, Michigan player Robert Traylor dies at 34 By DANICA COTO SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Former NBA and University of Michigan player Robert “Tractor” Traylor has died. He was 34. Police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in a statement he was found dead Wednesday on the bedroom floor of his oceanfront apartment. Police and Traylor’s team, the Bayamon Cowboys, said he had been missing for a few days and apparently died from a heart attack. The Cowboys said Traylor was injured and had not been playing. They suspended their game Wednesday night because of his death. The 6-foot-8, 300pound Traylor was

Robert “Tractor” Traylor drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the sixth pick in 1998, but played for the Milwaukee Bucks his first two seasons. He spent seven years in the NBA, also playing for Cleveland, Charlotte and New Orleans.

Traylor, who got his nickname because of his size, had surgery on his aorta in 2005, the Bayamon Cowboys said. Team manager Jose Carlos Perez told The Associated Press that Traylor had been talking by phone to his wife in Chicago on Wednesday when the connection was suddenly cut off. She called team officials and they checked on him, Perez said. “He was a leader of the team,” he said. “He was very, very friendly. He got along very well with everyone. The fans loved him, idolized him.” Traylor had been playing with a team in Veracruz, Mexico, before he moved to Puerto Rico in midMarch, Perez said. “His game was one of a lot of strength, a lot of defense,” he said. Tom Crean, a former

assistant at Michigan, echoed those sentiments in post on Twitter. “At Michigan State we battled against him and he might have been the most time-consuming and mind-challenging matchup we ever faced and we as coaches weren’t even playing. He had great feet and hands and a very soft touch...You really had to have a plan to stop him.” In 2009, Traylor was sentenced to jail after violating conditions of supervised release related to an income tax case in which he acknowledged preparing a false tax return that hid assets of a convicted drug dealer. A judge had delayed the sentence so Traylor could play for an Italian team. Perez said Traylor’s survivors include his wife and two sons.

RB Ealey transferring after problems at Georgia ATHENS, Ga. Georgia running back Washaun Ealey is leaving the Bulldogs, the school said Monday, a move that wasn’t surprising after he was suspended twice for disciplinary reasons. Coach Mark Richt said Ealey had been granted his conditional release to transfer to another school for next season. He has two years of eligibility remaining. “Washaun and I have had several conversations in recent weeks,” Richt said in a statement. “We both have come to the conclusion that a transfer to another institution would be

Washaun Ealey in his best interest.” change in direction Ealey led Georgia in with their signing of rushing as a sophomore highly touted running with 811 yards and 11 back Isaiah Crowell. touchdowns, setting a Under fire after three school record when he straight disappointing ran for five TDs in a win seasons, Richt did nothover Kentucky. But the ing to downplay expecBulldogs had their first tations for the freshlosing season since man. 1996 and signaled a “I wouldn’t be

shocked to see him run that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play if he does what he’s supposed to do,” the coach said on signing day. Ealey was suspended for the 2010 season opener after his arrest for driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident. Then, in February, he was barred from offseason activities after reportedly failing to show up for disciplinary running. Richt lifted the suspension less than three weeks later, but Ealey surely knew he was facing a cut in playing time after sharing carries with Caleb King, who had disciplinary issues of his own last season.

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SPORTS BRIEFS Auburn AD OK with Cam Newton statue

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs says he has no reservations about erecting a statue for Cam Newton while an NCAA investigation continues. Jacobs said “technically it’s still an open issue,” but he also said that nothing has changed since NCAA president Mark Emmert’s comments in February that “there was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with” Newton’s father soliciting money during recruiting. Auburn is putting up statues of its Heisman winners. Jacobs also says Birmingham attorney William King is still investigating a report where four former Auburn football players said they were paid. Jacobs says negotiations for a new contract for football coach Gene Chizik following the national championship season are “pretty close” to completion.

Arkansas WR Ray released FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas receiver Lance Ray has been granted a release from his scholarship. Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino confirmed the release through a spokesman who declined to say whether Ray asked for his release or was kicked off the team. Ray was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance after being arrested in his dorm room on Jan. 31. A preliminary police report says Ray had a brown rolled cigarette containing a substance that tested positive for marijuana. He was not allowed to go through spring practice with the Razorbacks after playing in nine games last season as a redshirt freshman. Ray caught one pass and returned 23 kicks for an average of 22.5 yards per return.

Alford disappointed by former player’s DWI arrest ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico head coach Steve Alford says he was disappointed to learn that former star guard Dairese Gary was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of driving drunk. The 22-year-old senior was arrested early Saturday by Albuquerque police after they received a call about a car smashing into mailboxes at an apartment complex. Police say Gary did poorly on a field sobriety test and his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit. Gary was the team’s most valuable player last season. Gary’s arrest comes a week after player Chad Adams was arrested for DWI. Alford suspended Adams for the first four games of next season. Alford says the team will use the arrests as an opportunity to educate players and the community about the dangers of drinking and driving.


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12,12, 2011 CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 2011 DAILY

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A rusty Woods is feeling better as Players awaits By DOUG FERGUSON PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Tiger Woods heard a series of shutters from a spectator’s camera and stopped his swing at the last minute, knees flexed, club shaft parallel to the ground, holding his pose until he could regain his balance. “Oh, no,” said the caddie for Mark O’Meara. “You’re starting to swing like Charles Barkley.” Woods doubled over in laughter Tuesday on the eighth tee on the TPC Sawgrass, a light moment during his first time playing golf since disclosing minor knee and Achilles’ injuries from the Masters. Woods said the left knee - which has gone through four surgeries - and his left Achilles’ are better. “Good enough to play,” he said. How much better remains to be seen, and

Woods still has to make it to the first tee Thursday morning for the start of The Players Championship, where he hasn’t finished better than eighth since winning 10 years ago. Woods said he tweaked his left knee from an awkward swing in the pine straw on the 17th hole of the Masters in the third round, and he played through the discomfort in the final round when he closed with a 67 after making a brief charge. “It didn’t feel good on Sunday. That was tough,” Woods said. “I played through it, but ... I was in the midst of playing and competing and had to power through it, so I did it. I was able to shut it down for a little bit and was able to care of it.” Woods said he practiced Monday for the first time since the Masters. He played golf Tuesday - the front nine at Sawgrass - for the first time since that last day at Augusta. He is

treating the injuries with anti-inflammatories, ice, elevating his legs and some soft tissue work. Still to be determined, since he hasn’t spent any time playing, is whether it swells. “We’ll see how this week progresses,” he said. “If it flares up like it did at Augusta, then it flares ups. But hopefully, it won’t.” Woods’ swing coach, Sean Foley, said he had been walking in a protective boot as a precaution. Woods chose not to play the Wells Fargo Championship last week, giving himself a week to see if the knee and Achilles’ improved. He said he would have played last week had it been a major, smiling as if to remind that he won a U.S. Open on a shattered left leg three years ago. That was his 14th major, and the last time he won the tournaments that mean the most. And he made it clear, even at a tourna-

Lakers C Bynum suspended 5 games for Barea foul EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended for five games next season for his flagrant foul on Dallas guard J.J. Barea in Los Angeles’ final playoff game. The NBA announced the suspension Tuesday, two days after Bynum was ejected for the foul late in the two-time defending champions’ 36-point loss to the Mavericks in Game 4. The league also fined Bynum $25,000 for ripping off his jersey while heading to the locker room, which means the suspension will cost Bynum more than $700,000. Bynum expressed contrition for the episode after his exit interview at the Lakers’

training complex earlier Tuesday, saying the foul was “terrible” and “unacceptable.” Bynum said his actions “don’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise or any of the Laker fans out there that want to watch us and want us to succeed,” Bynum said. “I want to actually apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad that he wasn’t seriously injured in the event. All I can say is, I’ve looked at (a replay), it’s terrible, and it definitely won’t be happening again.” Bynum hit Barea with a flying elbow in the ribs while the Dallas guard drove to the basket for a layup in the fourth quarter. Barea wasn’t seriously hurt, but he stayed down for an extended time while Bynum left the court.

Bynum was suspended for two games in March for a hard foul on Minnesota’s Michael Beasley under the basket, although that foul didn’t have the same element of pure malice that even Bynum acknowledged in his foul on Barea. Bynum said he was frustrated by the Lakers’ awful performance in an elimination game, falling far behind in the first half and never contending. He was less apologetic about the foul immediately after it happened, saying he was frustrated by the Mavericks guards repeatedly driving the lane for baskets. Bynum said he has tried to get in contact with Barea to apologize personally, but hasn’t been able to reach him yet.

ment debated as the “fifth major,” that it remains his priority. “The whole idea is that I peak four times a year, and I’m trying to get ready for Congressional, and I need some playing time,” Woods said. “I missed playing last week at a golf course I truly love playing, but I really want to get out there and compete. This is a big event, and I want to be here and play.” The TPC Sawgrass is not among his favorites, and the record reflects that. He was runner-up to Hal Sutton in 2000, then won The Players Championship the following year, when he went on to win the Masters to hold all four major titles. Since then, he has only one top 10 eighth place, after starting the last round in the final group, five shots out of the lead. Beyond not winning majors, Woods hasn’t won anything in 18

months, dating to the Australian Masters in November 2009. He is rebuilding his swing, and taking his share of criticism along the way, similar to previous swing changes. Now, even the players are piling on. Bubba Watson, who used to show up early at majors with hopes of playing practice rounds with Woods, said last week that Woods was “going the wrong way.” “He’s so mental right now with his swing,” Watson said, a two-time winner this year. Watson said he hasn’t spoken to Woods, only his agent and another person in Woods’ camp to explain that he “didn’t say anything wrong” and that the media blew it out of proportion. “I just told him, ‘Look, you know me. I’m friends with you. I’ve been a supporter of you the whole time I’ve been a pro and have known you. So I’m here for you, but I didn’t do anything

wrong,’” Watson said. “The camp says I’m OK, but I haven’t talked to the boss yet.” Woods said he found the comments to be “interesting.” Asked if he had an issue, Woods smiled and said, “We’ll talk.” U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell rallied from four shots behind to beat Woods in a playoff at the Chevron World Challenge, and was paired with him in early rounds twice this year, at Doral and the Masters. “I see determination,” McDowell said. “I see a hunger, which are two key components to any player. ... He’s displaying a lot of patience, as well. We all have our frustrating outbursts from time to time, but I think he’s been very patient considering what I’m sure he expects of himself. I think he’s a very determined man right now, though.” As for that tee shot on the eighth?

Ta l k s o n g o i n g f o r n e w NBA union deal: r epor t NEW YORK - NBA commissioner David Stern and players union executive director Billy Hunter met last week to negotiate a new contract and will meet again this week in New York, ESPN reported on its website. Citing unnamed sources close to the talks, the US-based sports television network said Stern and Hunter met last week in Chicago regarding a new deal to replace the one that is set to expire on June 30, shortly after the NBA Finals. NBA team owners have said they plan to lock players out without a new deal in a

move similar to that done by club owners in the National Football League last March in what has become a court fight with players on anti-trust issues. While the parties who kept labor peace in American football since 1987 have moved out of the picture in the NFL’s case, Stern and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) boss Hunter worked out deals in 1999 and 2005. Stern and Hunter have backed off extreme positions in the wake of the NFL’s struggle between bil-

lionaire owners and millionaire athletes to divide $9.1 billion in revenues. NBPA officials have called the dissolving of the union and court fight plan adopted by the NFL as a last resort and Stern has indicated he wants input from the union, although a league proposal submitted last week was rejected. “Unfortunately, the proposal is very similar to the proposal the league submitted over a year ago,” union president Derek Fisher told ESPN. “This last proposal doesn’t look close to what we were expecting.”


DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011 DAILY CHALLENGE THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

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Bernard Hopkins rips Donovan McNabb Boxer Bernard Hopkins, a Philadelphia Eagles fan, has ripped Donovan McNabb before. On Tuesday, he took his apparent disdain for the quarterback to another level. Hopkins, in Philadelphia for his May 21 fight against Jean Pascal, invited reporters to watch him train Tuesday and decided to take additional verbal jabs at McNabb and even implied that the Washington Redskins quarterback wasn’t black enough. “Forget this,” Hopkins said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, and pointed to his own skin. “He’s got a suntan. That’s all.” According to Hopkins, McNabb had a privileged upbringing

in Chicago and isn’t as tough as himself, current Eagles quarterback Michael Vick or Cincinnati Bengals receiver Terrell Owens, who famously had a falling out with McNabb before being released by Philadelphia in 2006. Hopkins said Tuesday that McNabb and Owens essentially didn’t speak the same language. “T.O. got [into] the boardroom and saw the way they talked to McNabb. Coming from where he [came from] — that’s strange to some white people, when a black man speaks,” Hopkins said, according to the Daily News. He said Owens “[wasn’t] used to this language. [He’s] used to speaking up.’ “ Hopkins said that is why McNabb felt a sense of betrayal when he was traded by the

Bernard Eagles to the Redskins before last season. “Why do you think McNabb felt he was betrayed? Because McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field. He’s the one who got

Hopkins the extra coat. The extra servings. ‘You’re our boy,’ “ Hopkins said, according to the Daily News, and patted a member of the media on the back to illustrate his point. “He thought he was one of them.”

Griffin, Wall lead NBA All-Rookie squad NEW YORK - NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and top overall 2010 NBA Draft pick John Wall of Washington were among those named Wednesday to the NBA All-Rookie Team. Griffin was the only unanimous selection to the squad in votes from NBA coaches with 58 points, followed by Wall on 57, New York’s Landry Fields with 56,

S a c r a m e n t o ’ s DeMarcus Cousins with 54 and San Antonio’s Gary Neal with 44. Griffin was the top choice in the 2009 NBA Draft but missed the following season because of a stress fracture in his left knee. This season, Griffin led the Clippers and all rookies with 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds a game. He ranked 12th overall among NBA scorers

and fourth in the league in rebounds. He became the first rookie in the NBA AllStar Game since China’s Yao Ming in 2003. Wall ranked seventh overall in assists with 8.3 assists a game and steals with 1.75 a game and was second among rookie scorers with 16.4 points a game. The NBA All-Rookie second team included Detroit?s Greg Monroe,

Blake Griffin Minnesota’s Wesley Johnson, Eric Bledsoe of the Clippers, Utah’s Derrick Favors and Indiana’s Paul George.

Shaquille O’Neal doubtful for Game 5 MIAMI — Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said center Shaquille O’Neal is doubtful for Wednesday’s Game 5 due to lingering soreness in his right Achilles and calf and sounded pessimistic for his

chances to get back Wednesday morning at impact moving forward. Airlines “There’s nothing he on the court moving American Arena. “I don’t know yet can do,” said Rivers. forward. O’Neal played only 31/2 minutes in the first half of Monday’s Game 4 loss and did not return to the court. “It was physical [in Game 4],” Rivers said before the team’s s h o o t a r o u n d

[about Wednesday’s Game 5]. I would say I doubt it. But we’ll see. [O’Neal played] a little stretch [in Game 4], then it got worse.” Rivers sounded glum about O’Neal’s potential to have an on-court

“It’s not like he’s not trying. I told our team that [Tuesday], he’s done everything possibly he can do to get healthy. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t been able to do it. - CHRIS FORSBERG

Donovan When contacted by the Daily News, McNabb’s publicist said the quarterback would not have a comment. While he questioned McNabb’s mettle,

McNabb Hopkins didn’t take a shot at McNabb’s integrity. “Nice guy. I’d trust him around my kids,” Hopkins said, according to the Daily News.

Coach turnover, draft declarations change Big 12 The Big 12 will have a new look in men’s basketball next season and not just because Nebraska and Colorado are leaving. Four of the remaining 10 teams will have new head coaches and underclassman declarations for the NBA draft will leave Texas with no returning starters and take three players out of seven-time defending champion Kansas’ lineup. The coaching shake-up is the most significant in the conference since 2006, when six schools had first-year coaches. Only the Atlantic Coast Conference has had as many coaching changes this year. Billy Gillispie takes over at Texas Tech, Lon Kruger at Oklahoma and Frank Haith at Missouri. Texas A&M’s job is open for the third time in seven years after Maryland hired Mark Turgeon. “That’s a lot of turnover for 10 teams,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “The old-timers are Barnes and Drew and Self. It’s an unbelievable coaches’ league when you really look at it.” Rick Barnes will be going into his 14th season at Texas and Baylor’s Scott Drew and Self are entering the ninth years at their schools. No one else has been in his job more than four years. Barnes and Self are taking the biggest hits with underclassmen declaring for the NBA draft. The league had seven players leave early, including Colorado’s Alec Burks. It would have been 10 had Missouri’s Laurence Bowers and Kim English and Texas A&M’s David Loubeau not decided to come back. - ERIC OLSON


DAILY CHALLENGE

S SP PO OR RT TS S THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

BERNARD HOPKINS RIPS DONOVAN MCNABB SEE PAGE 23

EX-NBA, MICHIGAN PL AYE R R O BE R T T R AY L OR D IE S AT 34 S EE PA GE 21

Vol 18 No 53 Thursday May 12th, 2011  

OBAMA WAY AHEAD OF REPUBLICANS FOR 2012 ELECTION

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