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Radio host and businessman formally announced his presidenHerman Cain emerged to throngs tial bid. of supporters on Saturday and SEE PAGE 3.



President Barack Obama forcefully defended his call for an Israeli-Palestinian peace based on pre-1967 frontiers, suggesting critics had misrepresented him. SEE PAGE 2.




N E W S B RI E F S PATERSON AVOIDS PERJURY CHARGES IN TICKETS SCANDAL Former Governor David Paterson will not face criminal charges for accepting free World Series tickets from the New York Yankees while he was in office. Albany District Attorney David Soares says he will not pursue perjury charges, even though an investigation found there was reason to believe Paterson lied under oath about the tickets. Soares said the finding was based on a lesser standard and that it was “reasonably likely” Paterson lied under oath. Paterson paid a $62,000 fine after the Public Integrity Commission ruled he broke state ethics laws by accepting the tickets in 2009. WTC MEMORIAL TO NOT FEATURE BATHROOMS THIS FALL Visitors to the National September 11th Memorial later this year may want to hit the restroom before making their trip. There will be no bathrooms at the site when it opens on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks. The mayor’s office says visitors will be advised about the lack of toilets when they are given information on the site. Officials also say the memorial will run on a timed reservation system aimed at minimizing wait times to enter the site. The National September 11th Museum will have bathrooms, but it is not set to open at the site until 2012. SMOKERS BUTT OUT OF CITY PARKS The city’s new ban on smoking at parks, beaches, and pedestrian plazas takes effect today, and violators will face a $50 fine. Some smokers on Saturday enjoyed free cigars that were handed out in Central Park ahead of the ban. The new law is expected to be enforced mostly by New Yorkers themselves, who are urged to ask people they see smoking to stop. NEWBORN FOUND IN TRASH COMPACTOR AT BROOKLYN HOUSING PROJECT Police found a newborn baby in a trash compactor in a Brooklyn housing project yesterday, and investigators are looking for his mother. The infant, who was found in 102 North Portland Avenue, is still alive and healthy, according to police. Fire officials say the baby boy was brought to Brooklyn Hospital. So far, no arrests have been made. Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit

Obama defends his Mideast peace call WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama forcefully defended Sunday his call for an Israeli-Palestinian peace based on pre-1967 frontiers, suggesting critics had misrepresented him. In a speech in Washington that was generally well received by Israel’s hardline supporters, Obama said delays in moving toward a twostate solution would undermine Israel’s security. “There was nothing particularly original in my proposal,” Obama told an estimated 10,000 delegates of the powerful pro-Israel lobby, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. “This basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous administrations,” he said. In a speech Thursday, Obama called on Israel to accept a return to territorial lines in place before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, with mutual land swaps with Palestinians to frame a secure peace. In a dramatic Oval Office appearance on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphatically rejected the call, saying it would make Israel militarily indefensible and uproot hundreds of thousands of settlers from the West Bank. But, in an apparent reference to Netanyahu and other critics, Obama said his position has “been misrepre-

sented several times,” adding that mutually agreed swaps means that the parties would be negotiating “different” lines than those that preceded the 1967 war. “It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides,” he said. Brookings Institution analyst Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, told AIPAC that Obama’s remarks echoed the language of president George W. Bush’s letter of 2004 allowing for Israel to absorb major settlement blocs. “If there’s a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance,” Obama said. “What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately,” he continued, adding there was no time to lose in achieving peace. “The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel would only grow. Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve.” His remarks on the controversy — coming on the eve of Netanyahu’s own speech to AIPAC — received loud applause from the thousands of delegates who drowned out a few boos. Analysts said Obama became the first president to specifically state that the 1967 borders should be the

basis for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, shut down over a settlements row last year. Officials had, however, privately been pushing the position for a while and the principle was close to the shape of a failed deal advanced by former president Bill Clinton at Camp David in 2000. Obama also drew loud applause when he called on the Islamist movement Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist, reject violence and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements. Also well received was his promise to fight any efforts to isolate Israel at the United Nations, repeating that Palestinian efforts to win recognition as an independent state at the world body will fail. He also sought to reassure Israel’s supporter of general U.S. support for Israel’s security, a traditional line from U.S. presidents. “Even while we may at times disagree, as friends sometimes will, the bonds between the United States and Israel are unbreakable, and the commitment of the United States to the security of Israel is ironclad,” Obama said to loud applause. He also said Washington was going “beyond” regular military assistance to the Jewish state in order to help “maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge.”

States seek to escape rising prison costs By LISA LAMBERT WASHINGTON — States have been shackled for years by the rising cost of keeping inmates in prison. Now they are planning a getaway. In the final stretch of approving budgets for the next fiscal year, many statehouses want to save money by changing incarceration policies and closing prisons. Florida is set to bring in more private contractors to run its prisons while Ohio and Louisiana consider selling theirs. More than 2 million people are in state and federal prisons and local jails, many in facilities funded by states. For almost all states, corrections is a rapidly growing expense. State spending on prisons shot up to $74 billion in 2007 from $63 billion in 1997, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Local government spending on jails rose to $116 billion from $99 billion during that same time. One of the main reasons for the high cost is that the United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world, according to the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London. The American rate stood at 743 people incarcerated per 100,000 of the population, ahead of both Russia’s rate of 585 and China’s rate of 120. In contrast, the rate in England and Wales was 150, 117 in Canada, 96 in France, and 88 in Germany. “Before the Great Recession hit, that was the standard policy: let’s

lock them up,” said John Thomasian, who has analyzed U.S. corrections spending for the National Governors Association. With the average prisoner now costing $24,000 a year, most states now want to cut prison populations to the point they can close the facilities. Savings from a closed prison are so significant that states may lay off corrections officers and just let the buildings stand vacant. “Even if it lies fallow, it’s cheaper,” Thomasian said. Rising costs could even force states into a politically unpopular position — having to hike taxes to house criminals. “Two of our three largest obligations for general revenue tax dollars are facing unsustainable growth in the next few years,” Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said in his annual address in January. “Both our Medicaid costs and our prison population are increasing, propelling us toward the unpalatable choice of raising taxes or cutting services.” As the recession took hold, battles erupted in legislative chambers across the country over slashing services and using other onceunthinkable measures to save money. While state revenue is improving, it hasn’t reached prerecession levels. That means states must still close budget gaps totaling more than $100 billion for the next fiscal year, which for most starts on July 1. States are shrinking populations by offering inmates ways to reduce sentences or by keeping people from

going to prison in the first place, said David Fathi, director of the National Prison Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. “These ideas have been around for a long time, but they are getting a lot more traction now that states are having to look at cutting essential services,” he said. Fathi’s group is seeing states change regulations so a person on parole will not go back to prison for a “technical” violation, such as missing a meeting with a parole officer. An informal analysis of a National Conference of State Legislatures database shows that at the start of the fiscal crisis, states cut prison operating costs, then released or moved inmates and finally closed facilities. This saved more than $4 billion. During 2009, when the budget crisis was heating up, states’ prison populations declined 0.2 percent, the first drop since 1972, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. In Ohio, the House recently passed a bill to offer “earned compliance credits” that would move some prisoners to less-intensive supervision and speed up probation and parole processes, in the hope of emptying several thousand inmate beds and saving $77.9 million per year. Oklahoma, meanwhile, expanded a community sentencing program for nonviolent offenders and increased the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring. It also cut the number of paroles the governor must approve.



Herman Cain officially announces presidential bid By SHANNON TRAVIS ATLANTA — Using an urban phrase used to convey a sense of excitement, radio host and businessman Herman Cain emerged to throngs of supporters on Saturday and formally announced his presidential bid. “Awww shucky ducky,” the conservative Republican joked with the crowd in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park as he stepped out to applause and adoring chants. Moments later, he turned to the more serious announcement. “Right here, this day, this hour and this moment, I have looked inside of me. I came here to declare my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States of America,” Cain said. “And just to be clear, in case you accidentally listen to a skeptic, let me say it again, I’m running for president of the United States. And I’m not running for second,” he added. He went on to blast President Barack Obama over the unemployment rate, decry the nation’s $14 trillion-plus debt and decry rising energy prices. Cain is now the fourth Republican - and the first African American - to officially enter the GOP race for pres-

ident. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson have also officially declared candidacies. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is expected to do the same on Monday. Others - including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum - are either expected to offi-

cially enter the race or are seriously mulling it over. In a crowded field of contenders, Cain hopes his solid business credentials and Tea Party ties will help him stand out. He’s the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, and has previously been an executive with various companies including Coca-Cola, Pillsbury and Burger King. And his plainspoken defense of less spending and lower taxes has helped him become a favorite of Tea Party activists.

And yet, many political observers routinely dismiss Cain’s candidacy. Some cite his scant political experience - he’s never won elective office and his low name recognition against the better-known contenders. Additionally, Cain has acknowledged some holes in his foreign policy knowledge, though he’s said he’d employ and listen to the best experts to make decisions if he were president. Meanwhile, Cain hews to a position on entitlement spending that’s popular with conservatives but could be problematic with others who frown on major changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Saying that the United States has become an “entitlement society,” Cain said: “Not only do I believe it is possible, but I also know that it’s time - with restructuring programs instead of reshuffling programs - we can take this entitlement society to an empowerment society.” That said, Cain surely hopes his candidacy will get a boost both by his official entrance and by serving up red meat to hungry, anti-Obama supporters. “Hope and change ain’t working,” he told the crowd, apparently tweaking the president’s last campaign message. “Hope and change is not a solution.”

Republicans suggest deal possible on taxes, health By ANDY SULLIVAN WASHINGTON — Top congressional Republicans on Sunday suggested they could compromise on the two biggest issues — healthcare and taxes — that stand in the way of a deal to get the United States’ debt under control. Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, said he would “absolutely” be willing to negotiate with Democrats on his plan to control healthcare costs. Separately, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell did not rule out a tax increase — a contrast to other Republican leaders who have insisted that any deal to increase the country’s borrowing authority must consist of spending cuts alone. “We’re not going to do the deal here this morning,” McConnell said on Fox News, when asked if a deal could include revenue increases. The United States reached its $14.3 trillion debt limit last week, and the Treasury Department will

juggle accounts, including federal retirement funds, to pay the country’s bills until early August, when it must borrow again. But without legislative authority to raise the debt ceiling, the Treasury cannot issue more debt and would default on its obligations, which experts say would push the country back into recession and roil markets across the globe. Republicans and some Democrats say they won’t back a ceiling increase that does not include steps to slow the growth of the debt load, which has more than doubled over the past decade. In talks led by Vice President Joe Biden, top lawmakers have agreed to at least $150 billion in spending cuts, but that’s far short of the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that outside experts say is needed to stabilize the debt over a 10-year span. On healthcare, the two sides are separated by a gulf of trillions of dollars. The Republican-controlled House has passed a budget, authored by Ryan, that would save $2.2 trillion by scaling back Medic-

aid and Medicare, the governmentrun health plans for the poor and elderly, and repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health reform program, the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Obama, in turn, has proposed saving $480 billion by accelerating reforms in the program — a nonstarter for Republicans who insist it must be repealed. On taxes, the two sides differ by $1.8 trillion as Obama would raise taxes on the wealthy, while Ryan would lower them. Polls show that Ryan’s budget is unpopular with voters because of its dramatic healthcare changes and it is expected to fail in the Democraticcontrolled Senate this week. McConnell said he is not urging his fellow Republicans to support it. “We have other budgets that Republicans are pushing,” McConnell said. “We’re not going to be able to coalesce behind just one.” With the 2012 election season underway, Ryan’s plan has already imperiled the presidential hopes of one Republican, Newt Gingrich,

End of the world passes without incident LOS ANGELES — The world did not come to an apocalyptic end Saturday as predicted by an 89-year-old California man who spent a lot of money to say so. For weeks, Harold Camping of Oakland spread his doomsday warning throughout North America, saying “super terrible” earthquakes would consume the planet beginning at 6

p.m. Nothing happened. The U.S. Geological Survey reported there had been no significant earthquake activity anywhere in the world, The Los Angeles Times reported. Camping, who describes himself as a scriptural scholar, used his “Open Forum” TV and radio show to spread a warning of humanity’s demise. The

Times said the campaign cost at least $100 million that was paid for by the “sale and swap of TV and radio stations.” “This earthquake will be so powerful it will throw open all graves,” the evangelist said. Camping previously predicted the world as humans know it would end in 1994.

who faced a fierce conservative backlash last week after he described it as “right-wing social engineering.” Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ryan said that any candidate who shies away from reforming healthcare and other benefits is not entitled to be president and criticized Democrats for attacking his plan rather than putting forward solutions of their own. He said compromise was possible — reversing an earlier stance that a deal on healthcare would not be reachable until after the election. “Of course, absolutely,” Ryan said, when asked if he would be open to negotiation. “Of course we would, this is the legislative process. But let me be clear: We are the only ones who have put out a plan.” Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen, a participant in the Biden talks who is also the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said the Democrats had proposed savings in the Obama’s healthcare program and could find more by lowering the price the government pays for prescription drugs, rather than scaling back benefits for patients. Van Hollen repeated Democrats’ contention that any debt-reduction plan requires higher taxes, saying Republicans’ reluctance to them forced Ryan to push his unpopular cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. “You can’t do it with a one sided, lopsided approach,” he said on “Meet the Press.” “The reason why it’s such bad politics is because it’s terrible policy.”




Authentic art and beauty By LAMARR RENEE THOMAS H. WATKINS

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Bette Davis, the diminutive 5’3 blue eyed actress whose film work became box office magic from 1938-1951 is ranked as one of Hollywood’s most talented stars by Oscar nominations during this period and the incredible portfolio of Warner Brother films that document her exceptional talent. Such titles as “Dangerous,” “Now Voyager,” “Little Foxes,” “All About Eve,” “Old Maid,” “Old Acquaintance,” “Deception,” “In This Our Life,” “The Letter,” “All This And Heaven Too,” and heroic “Jezebel” seal this unmatched legacy. In each of these films her interpretation is of a modern woman usually caught in the throes of twisted fate whether in a current or previous century. She never fails to capture the essence of the script with profound believability. Such acting is hard work. The director’s vision produces the film but it is always her camera work that effectively connects his ideas. Every one of her characters stands out. Her presence in a scene is unmistakable. Her elo-

cution and enunciation is like no other. Because of this skill she becomes a standard whose work defines modern acting and what it means to be a great actress. When starting out, she purposely thwarted the popular raw beauty and glamour trend of her time with flawless craftsmanship. “I want to be a great actress,” she said. And she later fought to get the scripts that would enable this dream. She understood her physical limitations and used them to enhance her strengths. Her dancing experience taught her how to use her body in a graceful, elegant manner even when the role didn’t require it. She knew how to make you squirm and sit up keeping your eyes just on her. Studio boss Jack Warner soon realized he had a budding star in his stable and after some rough segments in their business relationship provided her with the vehicles that would not only entertain audiences but keep them returning to see her. Bette understood this formula and fought to make it happen for herself. She gave her first great performance in

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“Dangerous” and “In Human the Somerset Bondage,’ Maugham novel that became cinema history. The poorly received play “Jezebel” was soon bought by Warner after its Broadway failure as a counter move to “Gone With The Wind” and it became a blockbuster hit. Not only does “Jezebel” have an excellent cast but the script captures the subtext layers of Antebellum southern mores. The political undertones of an industrialized changing America, the tribal split within the ruling class, the conventional morays that define southern women, the men who protected them, the health challenge of New Orleans and the slaves that serve them all. When Bette says, “This is 1852 dumpling. A woman doesn’t have to wear white just because she’s not married,” we know fireworks are about to explode. In “Old Acquaintance” Bette reinforces a moral message. “There are things you just don’t do. There are things a woman can’t do and this is one of them. There are things that you just don’t do if you want to live decently with yourself

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Supreme Court now favoring might over right By DEBORAH MATHIS Case by case, the conservativedominated court is knocking down individual rights in favor of corporate privilege. Something bad is going on within the U.S. government, and most people don’t seem to be paying any attention. It’s not all their fault, given that news agencies tend to focus on the executive and legislative branches. That’s where all of the hot rhetoric is, after all. It’s where pop politics occur, with all of the talking points, posing and prosletyzing, chest thumping and dares. Plus, we get to weigh in on these folks every two, four or six years, so we feel more vested. All the talk is about the shenanigans that go on at Capitol Hill and the White House and the folks who want to get there. According to the chatter, the

future of the country is at stake. But, it is in that unelected branch – the judiciary and particularly the U.S. Supreme Court – that America is facing its real undoing. Case by case, the conservative-dominated court is knocking down individual rights in favor of corporate privilege. You may have heard of the infamous Citizens United ruling that, essentially, endowed private businesses and organizations with free speech rights that will allow them to control election and issues messages, thereby stacking the deck. But, there have been other recent decisions that will deny average people a fundamental constitutional right – the right to a day in court. By permitting big business to ban class actions or skip state courts by claiming they are only governed by federal law or force customers into company-controlled arbitration instead of court, the Supreme Court has

Authentic art and beauty Continued from page 4 afterwards.” Codes of conduct, inviolate rules reappear in all of her films but they don’t chain her interpretive acting. They merely enhance the story even if there are severe consequences when they are broken. Elizabeth Taylor is the last great MGM beauty that grew up in the studio system and defined herself by its fairytale ambiance. She was the violet-eyed gorgeous child that matured into an exceptionally striking woman that no one else could match. Hollywood in its hey day was defined by numerous pretty actresses. Vivienne Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Ginger Rogers, Loretta Young, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Dorothy Dandrige, Joanne Woodward, Sohia Loren, Ursula Andress, Mary Pickford, Lillian Gish, Garbo, Rita Hayworth, Eva Garner, Lena Horne along with numerous chorus line beauties but Elizabeth Taylor had more beauty than any of them. Her physical attributes were rare, exotic, price less and she learned to use them to her advantage on and off screen. She was the darling of “Lassie” and the champion of “National Velvet.” She was the distracting femme fatale in “Giant” opposite Rock Hudson and an alluring call girl In “Butterfield 8” for which she won an Oscar. Next came “The Night of the Iguana” directed John Huston. Then a second Oscar for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf” in which she transformed herself into a middle aged heavy set frustrated women who verbally rankled Richard Burton on screen. Yet in spite of these film success-

es she was the first to say, “having a comfortable family life” is what’s most important. She appeared with Richard Burton in the television adaptation of “The Taming of the Shrew.” Then without her husband in “Raintree Country, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” written by Tennessee Williams which became one of MGM’s most profitable films followed by “The Apartment.” When 20th Century Fox suggested she tackle Cleopatra, the opulent production which nearly bankrupted the studio and forced director Joseph Mankiewicz to unofficially retire she said “yes.” Elizabeth never took shortcuts. She was a star, a celebrity whose private world was her own creation. The studio system was dying and did not demand that she develop the technical skills of her predecessors. Her beauty was enough to cover such imperfections. When script offers slowed, she became an entrepreneurial perfume giant, launching Passion and White Diamonds fragrances. Then to top this accomplishment worked tirelessly as an AIDS/HIV spokeswoman and fundraiser. Lena Calhoun Horne grew up in a Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York in complete anonymity until she became one of Ethel Waters—-another great vocalist—- chorus girls at Harlem’s Cotton Club where White audiences admired pretty, talented, fair skinned Black American entertainers. Lena learned show business working clubs, singing with popular orchestras and taking bit parts in Broadway musicals throughout the 1930’s. In December of 1940, she broke through the color line of segrega-

fixed it so that only the wealthy or the reckless can get any relief in court when a company cheats them or tricks them or otherwise mistreats them. The average person can’t afford to take on a major credit card company that charged him or her illegal fees or interest rates; that person needs to be part of a group – a class – in order to make the remedy justify the cost of a lawsuit. A class action ban - which is probably somewhere in the fine print of most, if not every, service and product agreement you’ve signed in the last several years means you have to go it alone. Two weeks ago, the Supremes ruled in favor of the company in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, endangering federal class actions. As usual, this is the worst news for the “least of these.” If the Supreme Court keeps this up, people without resources, political power

and a voice will find themselves out of luck when it comes to getting justice. This is a shame, given that the Supreme Court has often been the place that forced the country to do the right thing when the political machinery failed. No more. For the last several years, conservative appointees, who dominate the court, have run roughshod over fair play and human decency, offering a helping hand to the instatiably powerful and the back of the hand to people who just want their constitutional entitlements. While most of us are going on about who is bluffing and who is stalling at the U.S. Capitol and whether President Obama is tough enough, the black robes in that great hallowed chamber are quietly, but methodically, deepening the gulf between the haves and have-nots. The revolution is on the down low. And it is not being televised.

tion by singing with the Charlie Barnett band and appearing at Carnegie Hall the following year. Due to this exposure, hit recordings were made, the general public recognized her name and “Lena Horne” became a welcomed presence in New York City’s Café Society. She was so beautiful that White patrons did not object to her presence even though American society was strictly segregated. Within two years, she moved to Los Angeles, signed a seven year MGM contract which stated that she would not play stereotyped roles. It was this decision that created opportunities for other Black entertainers that had not previously existed. Her appearance in “Cabin In The Sky” and signature film “Stormy Weather” assured Lena’s place in film history. Throughout the 1940’s she appeared in Hollywood’s version of race and general public films. By World War 2, she became one of the most favored pinups. Even though she achieved personal success, she was always aware of the inequities facing other Black performers in Hollywood. Humphrey Bogart told her “If anyone gives you trouble, you come to me.” She stood up for Black soldiers when they were ostracized and treated less fairly than German prisoners of war at American military bases. She pushed to appear on television specials with then personality giants Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen.

It was not until 1956 that she was offered speaking parts opposite White actors and was often dropped from roles to assuage southern audiences. The best known incident was when Ava Gardner played Julie in “Show Boat” wearing tinted make up when Lena was to get the part. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s Lena worked in the Civil Rights movement, raising money for organizations around the country. She returned to Broadway, made records, appeared in plush cafes and played the good witch in “The Wiz” on Broadway with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. When repeat deaths struck her family she withdrew from the public. In 1981, she returned to Broadway in “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.” This tremendous solo performance became a career triumph. Lena later said, “I’ve finally found my voice.” It won a Tony Award, a citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle, two Grammy awards and toured successfully worldwide for two years. The films of these classic female legends are available on TCM and Warner Bros. Home Video DVD Collections along with Marlon Brando, Johnny Weissmuller, Errol Flynn and Charleston Heston.

— LaMarr Renee is president of LaMarr Renee Enterprises, Ltd. A financial advisory and media relations firm based in New York City.



U.S. lawsuit alleges Iran helped plan September 11 attacks By AMAN ALI Families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks filed documents in federal court this week suggesting Iran played a role in the attacks, even though a U.S. government inquiry concluded otherwise in 2004. New papers filed in an existing lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan accuse Iran and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group with Iranian ties, of helping al Qaeda plot the terror

attacks. “Iran and Hizballah did have prior knowledge of planning for the 9/11 attacks,” said the documents, which accuse Iran of “direct support for, and sponsorship of, the most deadly act of terrorism in American history.” An attorney for the families, Thomas Mellon Jr., told Reuters on Friday that the new filing is based on information his firm gathered from former U.S. and Iranian intelligence officials. The issue of Iran’s involvement was previously exam-

ined by the 9/11 Commission, a formal inquiry launched by the U.S. government after the attacks. Its report, released in 2004 found “there is strong evidence” Iran helped some of the 9/11 hijackers travel in and out of Afghanistan prior to the attacks. It found “no evidence that Iran or Hezbollah was aware of the planning for what later became the 9/11 attacks.” Mellon said the latest legal move is meant to connect the dots to show that Iran helped the hijackers move around because it was well aware of

and supported their mission. Mellon said some of the testimony his firm gathered revealed that Imad Mughniyah, a senior Hezbollah officer, met al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden as early as 1993, served as a liaison between Iran and al Qaeda in plotting the attacks, and traveled to Saudi Arabia to help al Qaeda coordinate the attacks. Mughniyah, who was killed in 2008, had long been on the U.S. terror watch list for attacks including a 1983 bombing that killed more than 200 U.S. Marines sta-

tioned in Lebanon. Ellen Saracini, whose United Airlines pilot husband was flying the plane that was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center, said the allegations about Iran’s involvement in the attacks were not new. They were filed in court this week because it did not appear the U.S. government had fully investigated them. “It’s a little disturbing that our government hasn’t taken more responsibility in finding who was involved with the attacks,” she said.

Majority of Americans support gay marriage in poll By ALEX DOBUZINSKIS LOS ANGELES — Fiftythree percent of Americans support making gay marriage legal, a Gallup poll showed on Friday, a marked reversal from just a year ago when an equal majority opposed same-sex matrimony. The latest Gallup findings are in line with two earlier national polls this spring that show support for legally recognized gay marriage has, in recent months, gained a newfound majority among Americans. Gallup said Democrats and political independents accounted for the entire shift in its survey compared to last year, when only 44 percent of all respondents favored gay marriage, while 53 percent were opposed. The percentage of Republicans favoring same-sex matrimony held steady at 28 percent. Same-sex marriage remains a highly contested

issue in U.S. politics, but homosexual couples have won the right to legally wed in five states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa — and the District of Columbia. Gay couples have faced setbacks elsewhere, and no statewide initiative to legalize gay marriage has ever won a majority vote. The growing support for gay marriage comes after President Barack Obama signed into law legislation in December to repeal the ban on

openly gay men and women serving in the military under a 17-year-old law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Gallup noted the policy change, but said it was unclear if that influenced Americans’ attitudes about same-sex unions. “The trend toward marriage equality is undeniable — and irreversible,” Joe Solmonese, president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. Maggie Gallagher, chair-

man of the National Organization for Marriage, said the poll shows her fellow opponents of gay matrimony have been “shamed” into silence. “Polls are becoming very sensitive to wording, and the wording being used in the media are not predicting accurately what happens at the actual polls when people vote,” she said. In a sign of a generation gap, Gallup found 70 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 support gay marriage, compared to only 39 percent among those 55 and older. A Washington Post/ABC News poll in March showed 53 percent of Americans said same-sex marriage should be legal, and 51 percent said the same thing in a CNN Poll released in April. By comparison, a 1996 Gallup found that 68 percent of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage, a figure that has trended downward ever since. Twenty-nine states have adopted constitutional

amendments restricting marriage as between a man and a woman, and 12 other states have passed laws to that effect, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In Minnesota, a proposal to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage before voters in 2012 gained momentum this month when it passed the state Senate. In a setback for gays and lesbians seeking marriage rights, 52 percent of California voters approved a constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in 2008, months after the state’s Supreme Court had legalized it. Passage of the ban, known as Proposition 8, was seen as particularly significant because of Californians’ history of supporting liberal causes. In 2010, a federal judge found Prop 8 unconstitutional, but his decision was blocked by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals while the case remains under judicial review.

NRC: U.S. needs more training for nuclear inspectors By TOM DOGGETT WASHINGTON — U.S. citizens may be at risk from radioactive waste stored near nuclear plants as better training for federal safety inspectors and more on-site checks are needed, an internal government report showed. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspector general said in an audit that the NRC needs a formal, agencywide training program to ensure its inspectors can do the best job when checking spent fuel storage sites.

Such sites are expected to be at all commercial U.S. nuclear power plants by 2025. “When training requirements vary among staff, compromised oversight of (spent fuel storage) safety inspections can occur,” said the report, released by the NRC. “Specifically, there is an increased potential that inspections will overlook discrepancies, resulting in an increased risk to public health and safety.” Dry cask storage sites will play a growing role in holding the spent fuel at the country’s 104 reactors now that

the Obama administration has abandoned a permanent nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain, near Las Vegas. The inspector general looked at the NRC’s oversight of spent fuel storage installations, which generally consist of a concrete pad that holds used fuel inside steel cylinders surrounded by additional steel or concrete. These dry casks can be stored vertically or horizontally in concrete bunkers. There are 47 such storage sites located at operating reactors and 10 located far from

reactors. The inspector general said the NRC does not require classroom training in concrete technology, the use of cranes for heavy loads and welding inspection techniques. “However, specialized knowledge in these areas may be required when conducting critical inspection activities,” the audit said. The report said some NRC inspectors believe it is acceptable to walk around the perimeter of a dry cask storage pad. Other inspectors insist on

walking onto the pad to assess the condition of the casks and make sure the cooling vents on the containers are not blocked, it said. “Birds or squirrels sometimes block these vents with nests,” the report said. The inspector general also said the NRC needed to define how far apart inspections should be. Inspections varied from one to almost six years, with many occurring every two years. The NRC said it generally agreed with the inspector general’s findings and recommendations.





Anthony Wonseg

Tia Fuller is being congratulated by Jeff KIng

By JITU K. WEUSI The weather on Monday Night, May 16th, was cool and rainy but inside “Jazzy Monday” at For My Sweet (1103 Fulton Street in Brooklyn), the music was red hot. The girl wonder of the saxophone – Ms. Tia Fuller was proving she is no flash in the pan. Her riffs were long and loud. She had great feeling in her horn and her playing was full of ideas. She is an alto player (i.e. C a n n o n b a l l Adderly) and she rears back pushes those shoulders forward and blows. Alongside her exciting playing, she also gave us a small sample of her singing. What a talent. The group she appeared with was headed by

Tia Fuller

Bernard White and Host Juti Wesui

Brandon Sanders, an exciting and explosive drummer and composed of Anthony Wonsey, the journeyman of the piano in New York City and Corcoran Holt, an exciting bassist who reminded me great-

ly of a younger Alex Blake. The group’s performance of Little Sunflower (a Freddie Hubbard favorite) and St. Thomas (a Carnival favorite earlier explored by Sonny Rollins) brought the house down in a cav-

alcade of applause. We will again present this group – the Brandon Sanders Quartet featuring Ms. Tia Fuller and we urge you to be at “For My Sweet” for this unique performance. “Jazzy Monday” continues next Monday, May 23rd, with South

Brandon Samders African musician Duke vocalist Steve Cromity. Mseleku and his Afro Jazz Project and finish - Photos By Lem up the month of May Peterkin with the fast rising

R oyal Blu e St udio s: Bed-Stuy’s Hidde n T r easu r e By JUNICO SIMINO Who would have known? Right off of Fulton Street in

Bedford-Stuyvesant, nestled in the basement of Restoration Plaza is a state-of-the-art recording studio. But the non-assum-

ing recording powerhouse is no newbie to the industry nor the area: Royal Blue Studio is filled with a history that dates back more

than 40 years. Upon entering the studio, at first glance, the entrance leaves a lot to be desired. What you expect is a small,

underfunded, community recording studio with modest and maybe out-of-date equipment. But walk completely inside, and you see plat-

inum records lining the walls, leading down to an orchestra-sized recording room with all the bells and whistles anyone could ask for.





f Africa commuter train South crash injures more than 700 JOHANNESBURG - More than 700 people were injured, 70 of them seriously, when two South African commuter trains collided in the Soweto township outside Johannesburg, officials said Friday. Almost all of the injured have been treated and released from hospital, the Railway Safety Regulator said in a statement. No fatalities were reported. The accident took place during the Thursday evening commute when a packed train collided with another that was stopped at a station, it said. The cause of the crash was not immediately know, the agency said adding that “investigations of this nature can take anything from three weeks up to a few months.”

Darfur kidnapping victim sues aid group that sent her NEW YORK - An American aid worker who was kidnapped last year in Sudan’s ravaged Darfur region has sued the charity that sent her there. Flavia Wagner, who spent more than three months in captivity before being freed, accused Samaritan’s Purse of failing to train its security personnel adequately and of willfully ignoring warning signs that abductions were a threat to foreigners. The suit also names a crisis-management consulting firm that was retained by Samaritan’s Purse — a North Carolina-based group run by Franklin Graham, the son of famed Christian evangelist Billy Graham — to handle negotiations with the kidnappers. Abductions of foreign aid workers and international peacekeepers have been a growing problem in Darfur, ever since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in 2009 for crimes against humanity. Bashir, who denies the charges, subsequently expelled most large aid organizations from Darfur, where 4 million people live in the midst of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The lawsuit, filed this week in Manhattan federal court, alleges Samaritan’s Purse sent Wagner to the Abu Ajura area in May 2010 despite the fact other non-government organizations “had prohibited their employees from traveling in that area” because of the threat of kidnapping. Wagner, a resident of Bronxville, New York, had been briefly abducted once before in the fall of 2009, which should have served as a clear signal to Samaritan’s Purse of the danger, the suit asserts. The court papers also accuse Samaritan’s Purse of following “a plan designed to protect its own financial and political interests by minimizing the amount of money that it would pay” for a ransom.

African Union to hold special summit on Libya ADDIS ABABA - African Union leaders will gather for an extraordinary summit meeting next week to discuss the Libyan the organisation conflict, announced on Friday. The meeting meeting will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the bloc’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, it said in a statement. “The session will be devoted to the consideration of peace and security in Africa in light of the challenges and crises facing the continent,” it said. “The summit will provide an opportunity to review the situation in Libya on the basis of the work being carried out by the AU High-Level ad hoc committee on Libya.” Libya’s Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi had called for a

summit in April to find ways for the continent to fight “external forces”. The pan-African body last month proposed a truce but this was rejected by rebels, insisting on Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi’s departure.

The north African country has been mired in a bloody conflict pitting Kadhafi’s forces against opposition rebels since the eruption of massive antigovernment protests in midFebruary. An international coalition

South African photographer missing in Libya believed dead By TIM CASTLE & MARIUS BOSCH L O N DON/JOHANNESBURG A South African freelance photographer missing in Libya since April is believed dead after being shot in the stomach and abandoned in the desert by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, his family said Friday. Anton Hammerl, 41, who also had Austrian nationality and lived in London, was hit in the stomach after coming under fire on April 5, family friend Bronwyn Friedlander said in London. South Africa and Austria criticized Gaddafi’s government on Friday with Pretoria saying Libya had misled it about Hammerl and the ruling ANC also accused Tripoli of dishonesty. Two American journalists and a Spanish photographer who were with Hammerl were taken captive by forces loyal to the Libyan leader. They could not report what had happened until their release in Tripoli Wednesday. According to the released journalists, Hammerl was left behind bleeding while they were taken away by Gaddafi forces, Friedlander said. “His injuries were such that

he could not have survived without medical attention,” she said. “Anton was shot by Gaddafi’s forces in an extremely remote location in the Libyan desert,” the Hammerl family said in a statement on Facebook. The American reporters, James Foley and Clare Gillis, spoke by telephone with Hammerl’s wife Penny Sukhraj in London late on Thursday. The attack took place on the outskirts of the eastern oil town of Brega when the journalists were fired on by pro-Gaddafi troops in two Libyan military trucks, Foley and Gillis said in an interview published on the GlobalPost website. BRUTAL ACTION Austria’s Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in a statement Libya failed to provide any helpful information despite repeated requests. “This brutal action by Gaddafi’s soldiers is a shocking example of the dangers that journalists in particular face in conflict situations. Freedom of the press is especially important in just these situations,” Spindelegger said. South African President Jacob Zuma has been criticized for not bringing up the issue of Hammerl with Gaddafi on a visit to Tripoli last month. South Africa’s foreign ministry, which said this month it had proof Hammerl was still alive, said Friday the Libyan government had misled it about

the photographer. “We kept getting reassured at the highest level that he was alive until his colleagues were released and shared the information...,” International Relations Minister Maite NkoanaMashabane told reporters Friday. A senior ministry official who asked not to be named said: “She accused them of lying.” South Africa’s ANC said it was incensed at the use of deadly force against civilians and the media. “We are gravely incensed by the senseless and indiscriminate use of deadly force against innocent civilians and members of the media by the Libyan government ... We are particularly disappointed by the dishonesty of the Libyan government, which assured our government that our citizen was alive and in custody,” the ANC said in a statement. Hammerl, who had three young children, had lived in Britain for five years. His family had hoped he was still alive in captivity after he went missing in April, and had run a campaign for his release. “From the moment Anton disappeared in Libya we have lived in hope as the Libyan officials assured us that they had Anton,” his family said in a statement. “It is intolerably cruel that Gaddafi loyalists have known Anton’s fate all along and chose to cover it up.”



ANC wins South Africa local polls By PEROSHNI GOVENDER JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s ANC was poised to sweep to victory in local elections but gains by the main opposition DA indicate growing anger at the ruling party, which has been in power since apartheid ended 17 years ago. The African National Congress had secured 63.6 percent of the vote, as of Friday when almost all of the ballots had been counted, but its final result will likely be less than the 67 percent it gained in the 2006 elections. The Democratic Alliance, once associated with white privilege and now trying to recreate itself as the party of good governance for all, has seen its support jump to 22.1 percent from 14 percent in 2006. A drop in support for the ANC is unlikely to bring major policy changes but it could jeopardize President Jacob Zuma’s chances

A man waits to cast his vote during the South African municipal elections in Soweto. Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko of re-election when his party chooses a leader next year. The ANC may also seek to win back disenchanted voters by increasing spending. Final audited results for the election, held Wednesday for 278 municipalities, including major metropolitan areas, could be released by the weekend. The DA cut into ANC margins in major cities already controlled by the ruling party and received a growing show of support in Cape Town, the only major DA-controlled

metro. ANC support rates look poised to drop in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, indicating increasing strength for the DA outside of its Cape Town base. Despite the DA gains, analysts said it may take decades before an opposition party has a chance of taking over from the ANC, which still commands enormous respect and wins votes for its role in ending apartheid. “Only 8 percent of registered voters are white. Do the simple

maths, white people are not the only ones who voted for the DA,” DA leader Helen Zille said in an interview on Talk Radio 702. Despite investing billions of dollars in infrastructure, the ANC-led government has struggled to address apartheid-era problems, with nearly half the population living in poverty. Reports of senior officials using political positions and connections in the ruling party to amass personal wealth could have contributed to the drop in support. “The ruling party has lost ground. They are acknowledging delivery failures, internal conflicts and corruption,” said independent political analyst Nic Borain. “Implicitly, the ANC knows this election will have an effect, the ruling party must clean up its act.” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Radio 702: “There is no party that won’t be concerned if it drops even one point. Wait until the final result is out.”

North Sudan accuses south of convoy ambush in Abyei By ULF LAESSING KHARTOUM Sudan’s northern army accused the South’s forces on Friday of attacking a convoy in the contested Abyei region, and threatened to retaliate, escalating a dispute that looms over plans for the South’s independence. The South’s SPLA army denied responsibility for the attack, which the United Nations said had taken place on a convoy of northern troops escorted by U.N. peacekeepers under a deal for both sides to withdraw forces from the disputed territory. The overnight attack and the North’s threat to retaliate raises the

prospect of more violence in Abyei, an oilproducing border region claimed by both sides, which has emerged as the main source of dispute before the South’s independence. South Sudan is due to become independent on July 9 after a vote in January but tensions have risen in Abyei where both sides have built up forces, according to the United Nations. “Abyei is now a war zone,” said Sadiq Amer, deputy head of northern intelligence and security forces, adding that at least 22 soldiers had been killed in what he called an “aggression” of southern forces against a convoy of around ten vehicles. “The troops were ambushed without any warning,” he told reporters in the capital

Northern military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khaled (L) speaks during a joint news conference with Deputy of Sudanese Army Intelligence Sideque Amer Hassan in Khartoum. Photo/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah Khartoum, adding the army was ready to retaliate if ordered to do so. The United Nations did not identify the attackers but said the ambush took place in Dokura, an area it said was controlled by southern police forces. A spokeswoman for the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) did not confirm the northern death toll, saying only

two Sudanese soldiers and one peacekeeper had been injured. “We are still investigating,” she said. Under a deal to ease tension, the North and South agreed to withdraw all of their forces from Abyei except for a special joint force made up of units from both sides. The pullout was supposed to be completed this week.


K ep t in c hai ns: M ent al illness rampant in S oma lia By ABDI GULED MOGADISHU, Somalia - Hassan Qasim lies shackled to a wall in a hallway with 25 other patients at a clinic for the mentally ill. He whispers under his breath and spits at his neighbors. Torn and dirty clothes hang off his skinny frame. Doctors say the 25-year-old’s brother and sister were killed in front of him, and that he was abducted and tortured by gunmen. Soon after, Qasim began wandering the streets naked, lashing out at passers-by. In this Horn of Africa nation that has been mired in anarchy and war for two decades, nearly all families have been touched by tragedy. The World Health Organization estimates that one in three Somalis have suffered from some kind of mental illness, a rate that is among the highest in the world. Gunfire crackles every few seconds in Mogadishu at night, and mortars scream out of the sky. “We believe every bullet or mortar will cause more people to become mentally ill,” said Dr. Abdirahman Ali Awale, a Somali psychiatrist. Somalia’s civil war also has simultaneously destroyed health care infrastructure to treat the traumatized. A World Health Organization report found that the country has only three psychiatrists and no psychologists working at its five main mental health facilities. As a result, some Somalis have been chained up in mental wards for as long as eight years, according to the WHO. At one mental health facility, almost 50 percent of patients were chained. At other clinics, doctors recite the Quran to patients, hoping it will improve their condition. This year, WHO began giving medicine and other supplies to the Habeb mental hospital, the only facility that treats patients without detaining them. “Our treatment is chain-free. We never restrain them,” said Dr. Abdirahman Habeb. He says the facility has treated more than 9,000 psychiatric patients using a combination of medicine and counseling. Still, the majority of mentally ill people in Somalia face much grimmer prospects. The Somali government, which is consumed by political infighting and battling an al-Qaida-linked insurgency, is unable to even assert control over all of Mogadishu much less help its traumatized population. It relies on 9,000 African Union peacekeepers to retain control of half the country’s capital. Dr. Rizwan Hamayun, who helped write a WHO study earlier this year examining mental health in Somalia, said the chaos has resulted in a loss of jobs, family, homes and property which in turns can contribute to mental illness. His latest new patient was a shepherd who attempted suicide after losing all his animals not to war but to a natural calamity - an ongoing drought. While poverty and fear are the main triggers for mental illness, some also have been intimidated by continuous threats made by insurgents over mobile phones. Insurgents call and threaten people they suspect of collaborating with the government. As punishment for alleged crimes, insurgents saw off captives’ hands and feet in public squares and stone people to death. The insurgents accused Ibrahim Nuraddin of selling phone credit, bread, and other small items to Somali soldiers. The elderly former shopkeeper had a mental breakdown after receiving frequent death threats, relative Ibrahim Farabadn said.

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Grenada joins International Criminal Court NEW YORK — Grenada has acceded to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) — the founding treaty of the first permanent international court capable of trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Ambassador Dessima Williams, Permanent Representative to the United Nations on Thursday deposited Grenada’s Instrument of Accession to the Rome Statute of the ICC at a ceremony at the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York. Grenada’s accession brings to 26, the number of States Parties of the ICC in Latin America and the Caribbean and the last among the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Only The Bahamas, Haiti and Jamaica in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have not joined the ICC. Williams said, “The government of Grenada is very pleased to join with many other CARICOM countries as well as 114 other members of the United Nations in acceding to this statute.” “We look forward to being a very vigorous participant in the implementation of the Court to the extent that we could therefore bring about greater interna-

(L-R) Grenada's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Dessima Williams, and Gabrielle Goettsche-Wanli of the Office of Legal Affairs of the UN. tional law and order in as the 115th member to pendent ICC and the service of humanity this assembly and that’s improved access to jusfor justice, for rights a very important further tice for victims of genoand for the efficient and step on our part towards cide, war crimes and legal administration of a universalisation of this crimes against humaniinternational affairs,” Court,” he said. “We are ty — commended said Williams. looking forward toward Grenada for its decision A m b a s s a d o r welcoming the three to join 114 other nations Christian Wenaweser, remaining states of around the world and P e r m a n e n t CARICOM also as part of spread support for the Representative of the the ICC family.” ICC in the Caribbean Principality of The Parliamentarians Community (CARILiechtenstein and for Global Action (PGA) COM). President of the Bureau said that Grenada’s “Grenada’s accession of the Assembly of accession confirms and affirms its commitment States Parties to the ICC reinforces the to preventing and putwelcomed Grenada’s Caribbean’s important ting an end to impunity accession to the Court role in making the ICC a for serious crimes,” said and appealed to the lasting and effective Coalition Convenor remaining CARICOM reality. William Pace. “This decistates to join the ICC The Coalition for the sion is an important step family. International Criminal toward universality of “On behalf of 114 Court — a civil society the Rome Statute in the states that have so far network of 2,500 organ- Caribbean Community, made up this assembly izations in over 150 and we hope this will it’s a great honour to countries advocating for inspire other states in welcome you (Grenada) a fair, effective and inde- the region to join this

extraordinary justice system promptly.” In 1989, during the United Nations’ 44th Assembly, General Trinidad and Tobago submitted an agenda item on the establishment of an international criminal court for the Assembly’s consideration. This motion which gained the support of a number of states, including all member CARICOM states ultimately resulted in a consensus resolution that called for the creation of an international criminal court. “The acceptance by Grenada of the Rome Statute restates in the most eloquent terms possible the continued commitment of the Caribbean Community to the ICC,” noted Justice Winston Anderson, Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice, former General Counsel of the Caribbean Community, and Professor of International Law at the University of West Indies. “The Grenadian acceptance also symbolizes the region’s commitment to the maintenance of international criminal justice and the rule of law rather than the rule of the jungle. This is a proud moment in Caribbean jurisprudence,” Anderson added. Earlier this week, government representatives from Antigua and

Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti, Jamaica and Grenada, notable jurists and personalities from the region such as A.N.R. Robinson, former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as ICC president Judge SangHyun Song, the president of the Assembly of States Parties (ASP) Christian Wenaweser, and the Coalition’s Americas coordinator Francesca Varda, gathered in Port of Spain for a CARICOM seminar on the ICC organized by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. “In addition to welcoming this important accession to the Rome Statute by Grenada, discussions during the conference centered on the need for all states parties to fully support the ICC and to adopt legislation on Rome Statute crimes at the national level and allow effective cooperation with the Court,” said the Coalition’s Americas Coordinator Francesca Varda. By joining the ICC treaty, Grenada will be able to nominate and elect highly qualified candidates for crucial ICC elections scheduled for December 2011, during which state parties will elect six new judges and a new prosecutor, among other key officials.

sex on television, says Barbados minister Jamaica set to benefit from wellness tourism TooBymuch SHARON By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS

KINGSTON, Jamaica — President of J a m a i c a Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Sancia Templer, says that Jamaica is in an excellent position to take advantage of the global trend in wellness tourism, because of its natural resources and first-rate health care professionals.

Speaking at a health and wellness tourism stakeholder workshop on Wednesday, Templer noted that there were many opportunities for Jamaica in this growing sector. She noted that research shows the sector earns over US$40 billion, annually. “It’s a significant industry, and Jamaica only wants a small piece of that, and I am sure we can achieve that,” she stated. “Our nurses are recruited to countries in North America every year, and that is because of the recognised excellence of our

nursing professionals. We know that our medical practitioners are some of the best in the world, and so it’s a natural marriage between tourism and health,” she added. She noted, however, that for this to become a reality, there was an important task ahead for local professionals, in the tourism and health fields, to work together with the ministries of health, tourism and industry, investment and commerce to forge a serious plan to develop a strategy for investments in this area.

AUSTIN-GILLMOORE BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — A Barbados government minister has claimed that “there is too much sexuality and promotion of homosexuality” on some television channels. While addressing the Child Care Board’s Youth Forum on Wednesday, Minister of Family, Stephen Lashley, expressed the view that more must be done to prevent negative images from reaching families in their

homes. Lashley told the gathering, which included close to 100 secondary school children, their guidance counsellors and staff of the Board: “If we are serious about combating teenage pregnancy we have to initiate a national debate about what we are showing our teens on television and the movies we are taking home from the video shops for them to watch. More parental guidance and control are needed.” He told the young people that “there is absolutely nothing

wrong in saying ‘no’ to homosexuality and promiscuity” and urged them not to be afraid to take a firm stand when such issues confronted them. Acknowledging that the decision to engage in early sexual activity could be difficult, especially when one heard so many differing opinions on the matter, he suggested that young people should be aware of the facts, reasons and consequences of their actions. He reminded them that children under the age of 16 could not consent to sexual intercourse.




Disputes ‘between friends’: Obama, Netanyahu at WH By ERICA WERNER WASHINGTON Indicating no progress toward peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat alongside President Barack Obama on Friday and declared that Israel would not withdraw to 1967 borders to help make way for an adjacent Palestinian state. Obama had called on Israel to be willing to do just that a day earlier. The Israeli leader said he would make some concessions but Israel would not go back to the lines from decades earlier because they would be “indefensible.” For his part, Obama said that there were differences of formulations and language but that such disputes are going to happen “between friends.” The president never mentioned the 1967 borders as the two men talked with reporters. The leaders spoke after a lengthy meeting in the Oval Office, amid tense times.

Obama said in his speech on Thursday that the United States supports creation of a Palestinian state based on the border lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel forces occupied east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza along with mutually agreed-to land swaps that could accommodate existing Israeli settlements. The comment on 1967 borders drew angry criticism in Israel, and Netanyahu made clear after meeting with Obama that the idea was unacceptable. “We cannot go back to those indefensible lines,” said Netanyahu. The prime minister made no mention of Obama’s stipulation that there would be land swaps - an omission that seemed to present Obama’s proposal as more onerous. Both Obama and Netanyahu said they shared a desire to get to peace and downplayed disagreements. “We may have differences here and there,” Netanyahu said.

But there was no sign of resolution of the many barriers that stand between Israel and the Palestinians, more now than last September when Obama brought the two parties together to call for a peace deal within a year - a deadline that now looks unattainable. Netanyahu said his nation could not negotiate with a newly constituted Palestinian unity that government includes the radical Hamas movement, which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. He said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had to choose between continuing the deal with Hamas and making peace with Israel. Obama agreed that Hamas “is not a partner for a significant realistic peace process” and said Palestinians would have to resolve that issue among themselves. Yet both Obama and Netanyahu emphasized a need to make some kind of progress, against all obstacles, as changes sweep the Arab

world. “History will not give the Jewish people another chance,” Netanyahu said. Another major stumbling block is how to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees. Palestinians demands a “right of return” of numbers of large refugees and descendants to Israel, but Israeli leaders say this would dilute the Jewish presence in Israel so that it would no longer be the Jewish state that Netanyahu demands and Obama supports. “That’s not going to happen,” Netanyahu said. He said Palestinians need to recognize that, and also said that Israel would not budge on its need for troops on the border with Jordan. Palestinians reacted angrily. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu’s comments were tantamount to a “total rejection of the Obama vision and speech.” “Without Mr. Netanyahu committing to two states on the

Al-Qaida eyed oil tankers as bombing targets By EILEEN SULLIVAN & KIMBERLY DOZIER WASHINGTON - Osama bin Laden’s personal files revealed a brazen idea to hijack oil tankers and blow them up at sea last summer, creating explosions he hoped would rattle the world’s economy and send oil prices skyrocketing, the U.S. said Friday. The newly disclosed plot showed that while bin Laden was always scheming for the next big strike that would kill thousands of Americans, he also believed a relatively simpler attack on the oil industry could create a worldwide panic that would hurt Westerners every time they gassed up their cars. U.S. officials said the tanker idea, included in documents found in the compound where bin Laden was killed nearly three weeks ago, was little more than an al-Qaida fantasy. But the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a confidential

warning to police and the energy industry Friday. The alert, obtained by The Associated Press, said that al-Qaida had sought information on the size and construction of oil tankers, had decided that spring and summer provided the best weather to approach the ships, had determined that blowing them up would be easiest from the inside and believed an explosion would create an “extreme economic crisis.” “We are not aware of indications of any specific or imminent terrorist attack plotting against the oil and natural gas sector overseas or in the United States,” Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler said in a statement Friday. “However, in 2010 there was continuing interest by members of al-Qaida in targeting oil tankers and commercial oil infrastructure at sea.” With about half the world’s oil supply moving on the water, industry and security experts have warned for years that such an attack would be a jolt to global markets. That’s particularly true if terrorists carried it out in one of the narrow waterways

that serve as shipping chokepoints. “You start blowing up oil tankers at sea and you’re going to start closing down shipping lanes,” said Don Borelli, senior vice president of the Sufan Group security firm and a former FBI counterterrorism agent in New York. “It’s going to cause this huge ripple through the economy.” Still, even if al-Qaida were able to blow up one of the supertankers that move oil around the globe, it would barely dent the world’s oil supply, said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, who has been trading oil contracts since the futures market opened on the Nymex in 1983. A tanker holds about 2 million barrels, or enough to supply world demand for about a half hour. The terrorist threat to oil infrastructure is nothing new. Members of a British terror cell that hoped to hijack transAtlantic airplanes in 2006 had also made plans to attack oil and gas targets in Britain. And alQaida’s franchise in Yemen has attacked pipelines.

1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, he is not a partner to the peace process, and, I think, when President Obama gave him a choice between dictation and negotiations, he chose dictation, and when he gave him a choice between settlements and peace, he chose settlements.” “I don’t think we can talk about a peace process with a man who says the 1967 lines are an illusion,” Erekat said. Indeed, the comments from Netanyahu and Obama, after a longer-than-scheduled meeting that lasted over an hour-and-ahalf, sounded more like a recitation of the many barriers to peace than an explanation of why

there should be any reason for optimism. The two leaders did not take questions from the press, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was unable in a subsequent briefing to point to any concrete signs of progress. That left the way forward as cloudy as ever. Netanyahu is to address the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to press Israel’s position. International pressure is growing on both Netanyahu and Obama to answer the demands of the Palestinian people as revolts sweeping the Arab world crest against Israel itself. Palestinian protesters marched on the Jewish state’s borders this week, and at least 15 people were killed.

27 die in Syria as conflict moves toward stalemate By BASSEM MROUE & ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY BEIRUT - Thousands of Syrians flooded the streets across the country Friday, defying an unrelenting government crackdown that has failed to crush a twomonth uprising against the country’s authoritarian regime. Human rights activists said security forces opened fire, killing at least 27 people, including a 10year-old boy. Friday’s turnout - and the now-familiar, deadly response by the regime - was the latest sign the conflict could be moving toward a dangerous stalemate with neither side able to tip the scales. President Bashar Assad’s forces have unleashed tanks and snipers and made thousands of arrests to break the revolt, but protesters continue to face down security forces. Protesters insisted their movement was growing and they would not be bowed. “We, as young activists, are very optimistic,” said a protest organizer in the capital, which saw at least four separate demonstrations Friday - a significant increase from recent rallies in Damascus, at the heart of the Assad regime’s power. Like most protesters contacted by The Associated Press he asked that his name not be used for fear of government reprisals. Assad has shrugged off U.S. calls to step aside as well as a new round of sanctions targeting him and top aides, suggesting mounting international pressure will not force an end to a crackdown that human rights groups say has killed at least 900 people since mid-March. Friday’s crushing security response came despite calls a day earlier from U.S. President Barack Obama that Assad should lead his country to democracy or “get out of the way.” Syria’s official news agency said Obama’s admonition amounted to “incitement.”

New American




One Thought - One Humanity

For the conclusions of these stories check out the May 19th - May 25th, 2011 issue of The New American, which hits newsstands every Thursday Brandy, Tatyana Ali, Bledsoe, Tempestt Danielle Fishel and more are going naked for the Style network’s Skin Cancer PSA titled “Naked.” In the 30-second spot, each woman poses nude on a rooftop proclaiming that they participated in everyday activities such as driving, shopping and walking the dog... naked. Though each girl appears in her birthday suit, they are actually likening nudity to a lack of sunscreen, not clothes. “Don’t be one of 20 people who will die today from skin cancer,” the ad proclaims. “If you leave the house without sunscreen, you might as well be naked.” M-Bone -- one the of the members of the rap group Cali Swag District -- died last night ... TMZ has confirmed. Earlier this morning, the group’s leader, Smoove -- posted a Tweet saying, “Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye rip mbone.” So far, it’s unclear how M-Bone died. Cali Swag District shot to stardom with their hit, “Teach Me How to Dougie.” Da Brat and Jermaine Dupri ready a mixtape to release later this month, after Brat’s tumultuous few years in prison. After a few years in lockdown, Da Brat is back in the studio working with her mentor and longtime partner in music, Jermaine Dupri. The So So Def camp released a video blog this week, one that features the two working together. In it, there is an announcement of a Brat mixtape that will be released later this month. The vlog features Dupri working on a beat for a few minutes, a silent, blackand-white look at the beatsmith in the studio. There is also footage of Da Brat writing on a

notepad, scribbling her thoughts down. The video captures a brief conversation between the two where Dupri asks Brat to announce her mixtape’s release date. “Memorial Day weekend,” she says, before repping for the label. “So So Def in the building.” Dupri also let fans know of his work with Brat by sending a message out to the world via Twitter. Is Laila Ali going to be a singer? We don’t know where this came from, but we’re hearing that Muhammad Ali’s daughter and super boxer is about to embark on a career as a singer. We wonder what sort of singer she will be should this be true? We think she should try for the soul market or something. Kanye West debuted his new girlfriend at the Cannes Film Festival in France by publicly kissing the teenager on a hotel balcony. The Stronger hitmaker last year ended his high-profile relationship with model Amber Rose, who has since moved on with rising hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa. West was rumoured to be dating 18-year-old underwear model Kate Upton after they were spotted leaving a party together in Los Angeles last month. Now the rapper, 33, has seemingly made his new relationship public after pulling Upton in close for a passionate kiss on his hotel balcony in full view of passers-by and photographers. Jennifer Lopez was heartbroken when her beloved fashion line failed, insisting it remains one of her biggest career disappointments. The pop star-turned “American Idol” judge was forced to retire her Sweetface brand in 2009 after

neglecting to connect with bargain hunting shoppers, and she now admits the failed business venture was devastating. She tells the New York Times, “That was sad for me. I just felt like I never got a fair chance to do it right. And on top of it, I felt like I was trapped in a situation I couldn’t get out of, and my name was stamped on things that I didn’t believe in... (I) didn’t understand the business well enough.” But the hitmaker is giving it another chance she’s teaming up with husband Marc Anthony to launch a lifestyle brand with Kohl’s department stores - and she’s determined to get it right this time. Tommy Hilfiger, who worked with Lopez on the new partnership, says, “The difference this time around is Jennifer is fully engaged with a company that is professionally staffed to really develop anything she wants from towels to knee-high suede boots.” Love is in the air and we have the “Jumping The Broom” film to credit. T.D. Jakes has tapped several R&B stars for the forthcoming second installment of his Sacred Love Songs series compilation album. Inspired by his newly produced film “Jumping The Broom,” Sacred Love Songs 2 will be instores May 31 and features romantic love songs that pair the best talent in gospel and R&B/Pop music-performing classic hits as well as new recordings. ‘Sacred Love Songs 2’ is lead by the Joe featured track “Closer.” The set also features songs from T.D. Jakes, Ledisi, Karen Clark Sheard and Kirk Whalum; El DeBarge, Bishop Paul Morton, Fred Hammond, Micah Stampley, Crystal Aikin and more.

Heather Victoria representing new Hip Hop Soul Many artists are lost before they start because they do not know what direction to take but Heather Victoria does not have that problem. She plans on merging on the grit of Hip Hop production and the soul of R&B that was reminiscent in the early 90’s. Heather Victoria signed with music producer 9th Wonder’s IWW Music Group; now they are working on capturing her Hip Hop Soul vision. Working With Professor and Label Boss... “It is really helpful working with somebody who is not just a beat maker. With 9th [Wonder] being the boss man and with him being somebody who is really educated, who will pop in, he is not just someone who thinks he knows what he is talking about all the like storytelling is definitely a part time. It is really helpful. He is of Hip Hop and when you tell stories always good with guidance. If there in your music you tend to grab the is anything I don’t understand he is listener a little bit more and get a litthere to lay it out and help me out a tle bit more personal with it. That is little bit.” where I am going for with my A Different Path... “Particularly, I music; to really reach out to the lisfeel that though people aren’t quite tener. I want people to really be able understanding the sound I am pro- to relate to what I am saying, I don’t ducing, it is capturing people want them to scan through the song because it is something that they are and say “she has a nice little voice.” not use to hearing. I am trying to I want them to say “Wow, she is realcreate my own lane. I am trying to ly talking about something.” set myself apart from what is Rapping Was Secondary... “I tried already out there.” to rap and it didn’t work out. I can Mary J. Blige A Role Model... “The write but I don’t think I have the whole album ‘What’s The 411?’ and voice for it. It’s just not me. I don’t “You Remind Me” all those songs want to be that. I’m scared I’ll do it that is what made me become a die and people like it and there going to hard Mary J. fan. Even when I was want more.” young, ever since then I kind of Top 5 Hip Hop MCs Right Now... latched to her and her sound.” “Jay-Z, Nas, J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Grabbing A Persons Ear... “I feel Talib Kweli” - Full Story In This Week’s New American Newspaper -

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Cee Lo Green: ‘Voice’ judges back for season two By JASON LIPSHUTZ Before NBC’s hit singing competition “The Voice” kicks off its finals phase and transitions to live broadcasts beginning June 7, Cee Lo Green tells that he and the other judges — Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine — are all likely returning for the show’s second season later this year. “We’ve already been secured for a second season, so prepare to see a lot more of myself, Christina, Blake and Adam, and a host of great artists doing their thing,” said Green. When asked whether or not all four judges will definitely be back, the R&B singer said, “That would be the safe

assumption. I haven’t heard anything other than that. I’ll be there, that’s for sure.” In the meantime, fans of both Green and Aguilera can check out “Nasty,” a new duet that leaked online

this month. Green said that he kicked the song around for years before recording a version with Aguilera for the soundtrack of her 2010 movie, “Burlesque.” Although the song wasn’t

finished in time to make the album, Green said that he’s happy it has seen the light of day. “Christina’s one of my favorite voices to listen to They never gave up on that record, and it’s a great song,” he noted. While he’s not sure if “Nasty” will ever be officially released, he said that he and Aguilera could very well perform the track on an upcoming episode of “The Voice.” “Most likely, once the incomparable Mark Burnett hears this song, I wouldn’t doubt for a second that he strongly suggests that we would do it,” he said. While Green said that his commitment to “The Voice” — as well as an arena tour supporting Rihanna that kicks off June 4 — has made it “increasingly difficult to

focus” on new music, but noted that his experience on the reality show has thus far been “very gratifying.” He also said that he respectfully disagreed with “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, who described the concept of “The Voice” as “spinning around with gimmicky chairs” in an interview earlier this month. “Randy is a personal friend of mine, and he is well within his rights to voice his opinion,” said Green. “I believe that’s a little harsh to say that that’s ‘gimmicky.’ I don’t believe that to be true I believe that it was very savvy of the creators of ‘The Voice’ to give it a different spin. And that spin gives us an opportunity to co-exist. I don’t believe we’re competing; I believe there is a co-existence.”

Kevin Hart to Drake leaks first song from ‘Take Care’ host BET Awards By ALVIN BLANCO

Actor and comedian Kevin Hart has signed on as host of next month’s BET Awards show in Los Angeles, the cable network said. Chris Brown leads the field with six nominations, while Lil Wayne earned five, and Kanye West, Rihanna and Drake each garnered four nods. The prize presentation is to be broadcast live on BET from the Shrine Auditorium June 26. “When we asked folks who should host this year’s BET Awards online, in the

streets, among other celebs and throughout social media, one name came back to us loud and clear: Kevin Hart,” Stephen Hill, BET’s president of music programming and specials, said in a statement. “He is blue-flame right now and we are looking forward to working with him on the show. His energy, wit and the always fantastic performances will make for yet another mustsee event — and [Hart’s rapper character] ‘Chocolate Droppa’ might even get a verse in the show.”

Young Money’s Drake set the hip-hop world afire Friday (May 20) morning when he officially leaked “Dreams Money Can Buy” from his forthcoming sophomore album, Take Care. The song was made available via a post on Drizzy’s October’s Very Own blog and quickly began making the file-sharing rounds. Besides an MP3 download link, the post contained this message: “A song that I felt the need to share. Not my single. Just a piece of my story. Hear me out though...” Reportedly, “Dreams Money Can Buy” is Take Care’s intro track. Drake’s blog post was accompanied by an image with text that reads, “This is a story of dreams mixed with reality.” True to its title, the song is filled with quotables clearly taken from the pages of Drake’s charmed rap life. In the first verse he muses on juggling different women and on how his success (Thank Me Later has been certified platinum) hasn’t necessarily made his life any less stressful. “And comfortable I sit, in manual Ferrari Italian, some fly sh—/ But it’s sitting at the house like I bought it in ‘96, ‘cause honestly I’m too busy to drive stick,” he raps. In the second verse Drake addresses rival MCs and past rumors that he was on the

outs with Lil Wayne and the YMCMB crew. “Can’t tell ya how much I love when n—-as think they got it/ And I love the fact that line made them think about it,” Drake slickly spits at the beginning of the verse, followed by, “I am CMB, these n—-as make it so hard to be friendly when I know part of it’s envy.” Rap conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day speculating on whom Drake is possibly referring to with a “top five” line in the same verse. “I feel like lately it went from top five to remaining five, my favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive/ And they trying to bring us down, me Weezy and Stunna, we stayed up, Christmas lights in the middle of summer.” One rapper Drake himself claims he is not referring to is Jay-Z. “Hov diss? Hov of

all people has not lost it ... that’s god body flow,” Drake tweeted. Drake’s longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib produced the song’s hauntingly ambient track, which features a prominent sample of British singer/songwriter Jai Paul’s “BTSTU.” A vocal swipe of “Don’t f—- with me, don’t f—with me” from Paul’s song is used as the hook for Drake’s record. The “Best I Ever Had” rapper had fallen back on recording after dropping his debut, Thank Me Later. But with talk of collaborating with the Weeknd, guesting on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One” with Lil Wayne and Rick Ross — essentially a Drake record — and now “Dreams Money Can Buy,” the Toronto rapper’s brief sabbatical is officially over.




Two longtime rival Plainfield street gangs call a truce, meet with mayor By RYAN HUTCHINS PLAINFIELD - Two gangs have been caught in a vicious, decadeslong rivalry - one police blame for many of the shootings and murders that have paralyzed Plainfield in recent months. But today, representatives from both sides met with the mayor to tell her the last thing she expected to hear: They have decided to end their dispute, lay down their arms and join together as friends. “We’re doing this for peace, community and the kids,” Tayir Pugh, 28, said as he and other members of the two groups sat at a conference table with Mayor Sharon RobinsonBriggs. Authorities say the truce - reached without intervention from police or city officials and sealed with a meeting at an IHOP in North Plainfield on Monday is unprecedented in its public nature. Reporters met with the two sides at the same restaurant today, just before the unannounced meeting with the mayor. Members agreed to photos and videos and most of the half-dozen young men who attended gave their real names. Two rival Plainfield street gangs call a truce, meet with mayor Two rival Plainfield street

Hasson Strond, left, listens to Sedean McCoy who is from a rival gang. gangs call a truce, meet met with reporters and with mayor the mayor, said all the Representatives from “key players” were both sides met with involved. Plainfield Mayor Sharon “I would say that the Robinson-Briggs and police department gave the news that they would have to be caudecided to lay down tiously optimistic. We’ve their arms and join got to hope that it’s together in peace. The going to last,” he said. truce was reached with- “One thing could spark out intervention from this whole thing back the police or city offi- up again if they don’t cials. It was sealed with have control. This is a a meeting at an IHOP in big undertaking for North Plainfield on them.” Monday. Police identiThose at today’s fied the organizations as meeting said they didn’t the G-Shine and Sex, want their groups to be Money, Murder sets of called gangs, though the Bloods. The groups police identified the said they are known as organizations as the GThird Street and Liberty Shine and Sex, Money, Street, but did not want Murder sets of the to be called gangs. Bloods. They said their “It’s been done before groups are known as (but) never publicly like Third Street and Liberty this,” said police Sgt. Street, but asked that Larry Brown, the city’s they not be individually gang intelligence spe- identified as members of cialist. “The gangs in either crew. the past, in my 25 of The men live just years experience, at blocks away from each least twice had negotiat- other and some said ed truces that lasted for they were friends as six to eight months.” kids. Despite that, their Brown, who viewed a dispute was fought hard photo of the group that - with members of both

Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, left, talks to Sedean McCoy, right, as Karen Hall, the Director of the Plainfield Youth Council Teen Center, listens with other gang members Tayir Pugh, Hasson Strond and Rashawn Council. sides dying in the vio- taken a toll on gang lence. They said they members, just as it has were conditioned as on their community - a teenagers to view each few neighborhoods in other as rivals, adapting the West End of to their environment. Plainfield, a city of Why do this now? about 50,000. The fun They all said it felt like activities neighborhoods the right time. shared in the past - like “Enough is enough,” carnivals and block parthree of the men blurted ties - have vanished out at the same time amid the violence. during the meeting “Finally, we can go to with reporters. the Elks and have a “Now our job is to party,” Pugh said. talk to the kids and say During their meetthis is not what to do,” ings with reporters and said Sedean McCoy, 25. the mayor, both sides Their fighting has seemed like old friends played a big role in a reunited. They arrived recent spike in violence in the same car at IHOP in Plainfield that started and rode together again late last spring, police for the short trip to City said. There were eight Hall for the surprise homicides last year, up visit with Robinsonfrom two in 2009. There Briggs. have already been seven Minutes before the homicides this year - a entourage arrived at pace that would push City Hall, the mayor had the city past its all-time heard a truce may have high of 15. been reached. She The battling has appeared relieved when

the men said they are done fighting. “Thank God,” she repeated softly as they spoke. By the time everyone filed out of the small room conference attached to her office, Robinson-Briggs seemed overjoyed. “This is beautiful. This is definitely beautiful right here,” the mayor said. “This is the start of something new.” Andre Kelly, who knows members on both sides of the dispute, and Karen Hall, a community activist and director of the Youth Council Teen Center, said they encouraged the two sides to make peace. “We want a beautiful summer. We want Plainfield to shine,” said Kelly, 44, who now lives in Edison but spent years in Plainfield. Both sides told the mayor they plan to join her and other community members at a march Friday night organized by the People’s Organization for Progress. Steve Hatcher, the group’s Plainfield chairman, said it would be the first time since his group started marching for peace six years ago that rival gangs would join them. “That’s some great news. That’s the best news we’ve heard in a couple years in Plainfield,” he said of the truce, calling it “better than Christmas.”

Blaze expected to cost Bordentown Regional hundreds of thousands By JOSHUA ROSENAU BORDENTOWN TWP — A suspicious early morning blaze ripped through a fleet of school buses here yesterday, destroying three large 53-seat passenger buses and eight vans, forcing the Bordentown Regional School District to temporarily close all schools but the high school, police said.

Police estimated damage “in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.” They said the cause of the blaze at the school bus yard on Duns Mill Road, where 33 buses were parked, remains under investigation. All schools were expected to be open again this morning for a full day, with bus transportation running on normal schedules and routes, officials said.

Police said they were first alerted to the fire after an anonymous driver passed by the blaze around 3:30 a.m. Thursday. “Fire crews had it under control in about an hour,” police Lt. Brian Pesce said. “They did a great job of preventing the fire from spreading.” Detective Salvatore Guido is leading the investigation with assistance from state and

county fire marshals. All activities scheduled for May 20th will remain unchanged, including field trips and after-school activities, according to a district statement. Superintendent Constance Bauer thanked her staff and local police and firefighters for their handling of the emergency. “I am grateful that no damage was sustained to the

school district buildings, and most importantly, that no one was injured,” she said in the statement. Yesterday morning Bordentown High opened after a two-hour delay. The district closed Clara Barton Elementary School, MacFarland Intermediate School, Peter Muschal Elementary School, and Bordentown Regional Middle School.



Study: Gluten not linked to babies’ risk of diabetes By ADAM MARCUS For babies at higher risk of childhood diabetes because of family history or genes, a gluten-free diet in the first year of life does not lower the chances of developing the disease, German researchers report. The findings undercut previous studies, including work from the same scientists, suggesting that babies exposed to gluten as part of their early diet might be more likely to develop type 1 diabetes later in childhood. Although the new study included only 150 children, Dorothy Becker, director of the diabetes program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, told Reuters Health the results are reasonably clear. “It doesn’t mean that it if you did a huge study there wouldn’t be an effect (of gluten),” said Becker, who

was not involved in the study. “But it makes it unlikely.” Gluten is the protein in wheat and other grains that makes dough elastic and gives bread its chewiness. Roughly 1 percent of people in the United States have a condition called celiac disease, in which immune reactions to gluten damage the intestines. Each year about 20 kids per 100,000 under the age of 10 in the U.S. are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. In contrast with type 2 diabetes, which is usually a disease of adults and associated with old age or obesity, type 1 diabetes typically strikes children. Many of them likely inherited a genetic predisposition to the disease from their parents. Yet genes alone don’t fully explain why people develop the condition. Other factors, such as environmen-

tal exposures, are thought to be necessary to trigger it. In the latest study, the researchers followed 150 babies with at least one parent or sibling who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes — marked by the death of islet cells in the pancreas that secrete the hormone insulin. The body requires insulin to convert dietary sugars into energy. Half of the children were exposed to gluten in their diet for the first time at the age of six months. For the rest, exposure to the protein was delayed until after their first birthday. The different diets appeared to have no impact on the babies’ ability to grow or gain weight. By age 3, three children exposed to gluten early had developed type 1 diabetes, compared to four in the lateexposure group. Signs that the children had developed immune reactions to their

own islet cells - a possible precursor to diabetes, especially in those with a genetic predisposition for the disorder - appeared in 11 children given gluten at six months of age, compared to 13 who first ate gluten when they were 12 months old. Some research has suggested that delaying exposure to gluten can increase the risk of developing celiac disease. However, the German scientists said they found no evidence for such a link. Roughly 30 percent of parents said they did not strictly follow the diet plan. Still, the researchers said, the results of the study show that although delaying the introduction of gluten into a baby’s diet causes no harm, it doesn’t appear to reduce the risk of diabetes or immunerelated early-indicators of insulin problems. The researchers did not respond to requests for com-

Psoriasis, high blood pressure may be linked People who have psoriasis and hypertension are more likely to have more severe high blood pressure, requiring more medications to control it, a new study suggests. About 4 percent of the U.S. population has psoriasis, which causes itchy, thickened, dry, red patches on the skin. Researchers from the University of California, Davis Health System examined 835 patients who had psoriasis and hypertension. Their cases were compared with more than 2,400 people who had hypertension but not psoriasis. The patients with psoriasis were more likely to need the highest level of blood pressure treatment, which relies on a central-acting agent (also known as adrenergic inhibitors) that’s used in people whose high blood pressure can’t be controlled with conventional medications. Hypertensive patients with psoriasis were also nearly 20 times more likely to be on four drugs or on a central-acting agent than hypertensive patients without psoriasis. The study is published online in PLoS One. The study’s authors noted the findings were significant even after other risk factors associated with hypertension, including dia-

betes, smoking and high cholesterol, were taken into account. The researchers also pointed out it is unlikely that drugs used to treat psoriasis are responsible for the increased severity of hypertension. “Our study makes a strong case that psoriasis is not just a skin-deep disease,” said lead study author Dr. April W. Armstrong, UC Davis assistant clinical professor of dermatology, in a university news release. “We

are beginning to find that psoriasis may represent a window into detecting cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension.” Armstrong added that the findings may alert physicians who treat hypertension, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. “Hypertensive patients who also have psoriasis are likely to need closer monitoring and a more aggressive drug regimen to achieve adequate blood-pressure control,” she

said. Over the past four decades, researchers have developed several theories to explain the link between psoriasis and hypertension, including: People with psoriasis may be more likely to develop constricted blood vessels, which increases blood pressure. Patients with psoriasis have elevated levels of a protein produced by skin cells (endothelin I), which con-

ment on their study, which appeared online last month in the journal Diabetes Care. Research into other potential food triggers for type 1 diabetes is ongoing. Last November, researchers in Finland reported that babies with a genetic predisposition for type 1 diabetes who were fed an infant formula called Nutramigen were about half as likely as those given conventional cows’ milk formulas to show signs of islet cell autoimmunity later in childhood. The milk proteins in Nutramigen (sold as Enfamil by Mead Johnson & Co.) are altered in a way that makes them more tolerable to the immune system. Becker is helping to lead a large international trial funded by the National Institutes of Health to further explore the Finish findings. The results of that study, which includes nearly 2,200 babies, are expected in 2017, she said. stricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure. As an inflammatory disease, psoriasis can result in damage to blood vessels and the heart. “Our understanding of psoriasis as a systemic disease is rapidly evolving,” concluded Armstrong. “A better appreciation of the other conditions that tend to accompany psoriasis could potentially drive our therapy of the disease in the future.” While the new study found an association between psoriasis and high blood pressure, it did not demonstrate a cause-andeffect.

In pain? Crossing your arms may help LONDON — Crossing your arms across the middle of your body confuses the brain and helps reduce the intensity of pain, according to research. Scientists from University College London (UCL) who reported the finding in the journal Pain said they think the reason for the phenomenon is conflicting information between two of the brain’s maps — one for the body and one for external space. “In everyday life you mostly use your left hand to touch things on the left side of the world, and your right hand for the right side of the world,” Giandomenico Iannetti of UCL’s department of

physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience, said in a statement about the research. He said this means the brain areas that hold the map of the right body and the map of right external space are usually activated together, leading to very effective pain processing. “When you cross your arms these maps are not activated together anymore,” he said, leading to less effective processing meaning that stimuli such as pain can perceived as weaker. In the study, scientists used a laser to generate a four millisecond pin prick of “pure pain” — in other

words, pain without touch — on the hands of a group of eight participants. This was then repeated with arms crossed. Participants rated their perception of the pain intensity, and their electrical brain responses were also measured using electroen-

cephalography (EEG). Results from both participants’ reports and the EEG showed that the perception of pain was weaker when the arms were crossed. “Perhaps when we get hurt, we should not only ‘rub it better’ but also cross our arms,” Iannetti said.



How many teens have ‘Internet addiction?’ One in every 25 teens reported an “irresistible urge” to be on the Internet, tension when they weren’t online, or said they had tried to quit or cut down on Internet time, according to a U.S. study. In addition, the study of more than 3,500 high school students in the state of Connecticut found that those students with “problematic Internet use” were more likely than their peers to be depressed and aggressive, and to use drugs. But study leader Timothy Liu, at Yale University, and his colleagues said they couldn’t prove a “cause and effect” link between the Internet habits, depression and drug use. “Problematic Internet use may be present in about 4 percent of high school students in the United States,” they wrote in The Journal of Clinical Psychology. “It may be associated with depression, substance use,

and aggressive behaviors. High school boys, though, may have heavier Internet use and may be less selfaware of the related problems.” The study surveyed students at ten different high schools in Connecticut, asking more than 150 questions about health, risky behaviors, and impulsiveness — including seven questions on Internet use. Teens were asked to say if they had ever missed school or important social activities because they were surfing the Web, or if their family had expressed concern about their time online. Specifically, three questions were used to determine if a student had “problematic Internet use.” They asked students if they ever had an “irresistible urge” to be online, if they had experienced “a growing tension or anxiety that can be relieved only by using the Internet,” or if they had tried to quit or

cut down. Out of 3,560 students, 4 percent met the criteria for problematic Internet use. Asian and Hispanic students were more likely to qualify, although the majority of students in the study were white. Girls were more likely to answer yes to one of the questions, but more boys said they spent in excess of 20 hours a week online — about 17 percent of boys, compared to 13 percent of girls. Students who were problematic Internet users were according to the survey also tended to be more depressed and would get into serious fights more often. And boys in that category had higher rates of smoking and drug use. However, they didn’t do any worse in school based on their grades, and experts said it was hard to explain the link. “It often becomes a chick-

More hospital deaths on weekends By ALISON MCCOOK People admitted to the hospital on the weekend are 10 percent more likely to die than those who checked in during the week, according to a new analysis of nearly 30 million people. Even if 10 percent doesn’t sound like much of a difference, when applied to the entire U.S. population it equals an additional tens of thousands of people each year, study author Dr. Rocco Ricciardi of Tufts University Medical School told Reuters Health. “In other words, an extra 20 to 25 thousand people die each year in the United States because of admission on a weekend,” he said. This is not the first study to uncover a “weekend effect,” in which patients are likely to fare worse during the weekends. Previous research has shown a “weekend effect” for patients admitted to the hospital for heart attack, a blood clot in a lung, a ruptured abdominal artery and strokes of all kinds. Still, the data are not always consistent: earlier this year, a survey of Pennsylvania hospitals found that people with injuries fare slightly better on weekends. The current study is

based on an analysis of a national sample of close to 30 million people who were admitted to hospitals in 35 states over a 5-year period. All were admitted for “nonelective” reasons, which represents most admissions, Ricciardi noted. Reporting in the Archives of Surgery, he and his colleagues found that 2.7 percent of the people admitted during the weekend died while in the hospital, which happened to only 2.3 percent of those admitted on a weekday. It’s not entirely clear why people might fare worse when they come in during the weekend, Ricciardi said in an email. Looking specifically at traumas, he and his colleagues found no differences in death rates between weekend and weekday arrivals, which helps eliminate the possibility that people experience more lifethreatening accidents on weekends. But it’s possible that care is different on weekends, he said - perhaps there is less nursing, fewer well-trained doctors, or less access to imaging and other necessary tools. “Either (1) the patients coming to the hospital on weekends are sicker or else (2) the hospital is doing a worse job of treating them,” said Dr. Raman Khanna at

the University of California at San Francisco, who was not involved in the study. Since the researchers found no differences in trauma rates, and also took into account whether weekend arrivers had other illnesses that could make them sicker, “the authors can make the case that number 2 is more likely,” he told Reuters Health in an email. Ricciardi and his team also looked at death rates by admission day for different diagnoses, and saw that not all fared worse on the weekends. This is likely because some categories - such as trauma - have specific steps that are followed each time, said Ricciardi. “Thus services are the same whether it is nighttime, daytime, or weekend or weekday.” The categories that did fare worst on weekends included problems with pregnancy and the female reproductive system, blood cell and bone marrow disorders, and circulatory and nervous system problems. The findings suggest that hospitals should focus their efforts on those specific conditions, Khanna said, “rather than a blanket increase in nursing ratios for everyone at every hospital over the weekend, since a more tailored solution may be just as effective while far less expensive.”

en and egg issue: are they online because they’re depressed, or are they depressed because they’re spending inordinate amounts of time online?” said Elias Aboujaoude, a Stanford University researcher who was not involved in the study, told Reuters. He added that preliminary evidence suggests that problematic Internet use shares common features of drug and alcohol abuse disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and impulse-control disorders. Others said that the evidence points toward an addiction. “There seem to be common pathways within the brain for addictive behaviors, of which pathological gambling is one example,” said Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University. “I would say there’s sufficient data to show that pathological computer use is another example of an addictive behavior.”

He also said that because the rates of computer use were based on the students’ own responses, the study might actually underestimate the extent of the problem. “When you start using (the computer) 30 hours a week, it becomes a container for emotion,” he said, adding that he believes problematic Internet use will in time be recognized as its own disorder. “It occupies time. The computer itself becomes a significant other, becomes a relationship.”

Experts say cholesterol screenings should start in childhood All children should be screened for high cholesterol when they’re 9 to 11 years old, according to new guidelines from the National Lipid Association. The group also urges that children with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease or elevated cholesterol be screened for cholesterol with a simple blood test as early as age 2. “It’s important that people know if a history of high cholesterol runs in their family,” Dr. Patrick M. Moriarty, professor of medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and an author of the guidelines, said in a news release from the association. “Family discussions can lead to early diagnosis, which is critical because changes in diet and eating habits at a young age can help reduce the impact . . . later in life. Plus, treatment is more effective when started early, before cholesterol deposits in blood vessels become too advanced.” The recommendations are

part of new guidelines for the screening, diagnosis and treatment of inherited high cholesterol, or familial hypercholesterolemia, a condition marked by high LDL cholesterol, the “bad” type of cholesterol that blocks arteries. The hereditary condition affects more than 600,000 Americans, according to the association. “Some estimates suggest that only about 20 percent of patients with [familial hypercholesterolemia] are properly diagnosed, and, of those, less than half receive appropriate treatment,” Moriarty said. Published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, the guidelines are part of a consumer education program the association hopes will improve early diagnosis of the disease by prompting family dialogue about cholesterol. “If we can get families talking, we hope to make a real difference in helping patients get the care they need,” Moriarty said.



Carriers to revamp tablet service pricing By SINEAD CAREW Mobile service providers are reworking charges for wireless connections on tablet computers to lure in customers put off by costly fees. Carriers see tablets like Apple Inc’s iPad as key to revenue growth. But high prices for the devices and more fees on top of phone plans are seen pushing consumers to bypass the cellular network and rely on free WiFi services. This is expected to result in a drop in the percentage of tablets supporting cellular, potentially making operators less relevant as tablet distributors than electronics stores. “The tablet’s more natural point of sale is retail,” Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang told the Reuters Global Technology Summit this week. “The question is whether carriers will find a reason to bundle tablets with other services and create a subsidy model that is really appealing.” Today, carriers limit cellular Web use on tablets by charging for each gigabyte (GB) of data downloaded. For example, Verizon Wireless

charges $20 per gigabyte and AT&T Inc charges $25 for two. Sprint Nextel subsidizes tablets but charges more per gigabyte and requires long-term contracts. Such arrangements will gradually result in more consumers opting for Wi-Fionly tablets, according to iSuppli, which sees sales of tablets with cellular connections falling as low as 30 percent of the total in 2015 from about 60 percent in 2010. To avoid being sidelined, some operators are planning changes. France Telecom says it will be ready to change pricing “soon.” Verizon Wireless said it would make changes eventually but was careful

not to provide a timeline. Orange, France Telecom’s mobile service, is looking at offering a data plan shared between smartphones and tablets. “Shared bundles may be an answer for these customers who don’t know how much they will use on the go,” Anne Bouverot, head of mobile services for Orange, told the summit in Paris. Verizon Communications sees its mobile venture Verizon Wireless taking the concept a step further by letting families share data service plans across different devices in the same way that today’s voice service plans allow family members to share a bucket of phone call minutes.

“I think it’s safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that megaplan based on the number of devices within their family,” Fran Shammo, Verizon’s chief financial officer, said at the summit in New York. “That’s just a logical progression. When we get there, I have no idea.” Other pricing options will involve the sale of tablet connectivity for limited time periods, an executive for Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider, said. “What you’ll see is the ability to buy sessions — a day, a month or a week pass,” David Owens, vice president for product development at Sprint told Reuters ahead of the summit. The industry could move this way in the coming months, he said. Because consumers use tablets more sporadically than smartphones, the plans need to reflect this. “This is not a product like a handset where you have to always be tied to a network connection,” Owens said. Other operators like AT&T Inc, which will become the biggest U.S. mobile provider if its plan to buy TMobile USA succeeds, were less vocal about the need for

change. John Stankey, AT&T’s head of business solutions said AT&T’s tablet plans are already “very consumer friendly” because while the operator does not pay a subsidy to reduce the price of the device, neither does it require a long-term contract. But he said AT&T could possibly provide subsidized tablets in future to consumers who subscribe to a long-term contract. Analysts say operators need to make changes, either by making the device or the service cheaper. “In the absence of higher subsidies or lower connection fees, the logical channel is not the carrier,” CCS Insight analyst John Jackson said, ahead of the summit. Tablet makers, trying to challenge the dominance of Apple’s iPad, could also be hindered if the carriers charge too much. Rival tablet makers include Samsung Electronics Co and Motorola Mobility and computer makers like Huawei Technologies and Dell Inc. Even if carriers subsidize iPad rivals, “consumers might not want to lock themselves into an iPad competitor” that could end up being upstaged by the next iPad, Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said. “The carriers have a long way to go to figure out the right business model.”

Mobile wallet roll out starts with small change By ROBERTA B. COWAN PARIS — Virtual wallet technology that lets people pay for a coffee, newspaper or sandwich by swiping a cell phone at a checkout is finally set to start rolling out, executives told the Reuters Technology Summit this week in Paris. Retailers, fast-food chains, advertisers and banks are preparing for a sea change in electronic commerce as more smartphones capable of making financial transactions are released. Many say it will change the way they do business. Near-field-communication (NFC), the technology most likely to be used in the West, is a wireless way to swap data at short range, which means NFC-enabled smartphones can pay for goods, store electronic tickets, collect coupons or swap photos. “2011 is likely the year when NFC could be on its way to become a mainstream tech-

nology in U.S. and Western Europe,” said Andrew Gardiner, an analyst at Barclays Capital. Richard Clemmer, chief executive of top NFC chipmaker NXP, said Google has given a great boost to adoption by including NFC capability in its Android software, which is used by smartphone makers the world over. “We co-invented the NFC technology eight or nine years ago with Sony. We tried to push it but frankly we just didn’t have the influence,” he told the summit. “What we did by aligning with Google allowed us really to have a much larger impact. We’d been working with credit card companies, and it kept being on the roadmap four quarters out.” On Friday, Orange and Barclaycard launched Britain’s first mobile payments service, allowing certain customers to make small payments in branches of fastfood chains including McDonald’s and Subway. In other countries, notably

Japan and South Korea, NFC technology is already well established. “I was blown away in Japan by NFC payments in action and with the ease and convenience of payments,” Timo Soininen, chief executive of Finnish Web games company Sulake, said when asked what was the coolest thing he had seen in technology this year. “It will change everything.” Clemmer said every smartphone manufacturer was looking at putting NFC in its phones. He reckons up to three-quarters of all smartphones will be NFC phones in five years and that some traditional phones will also start adding the technology, particularly for use in developing markets in Africa and Asia. Barclays Capital’s Gardiner said: “NFC has the potential to evolve into a billion-dollarplus semiconductor market over the next four to five years.” Low risk data transfers like using NFC to read tags on movie posters, connect to wifi at cafes and swap busi-

ness cards will help boost acceptance and drive the first big wave of NFC rollout to the consumers. The interaction of smart posters and coupons is projected to help drive the adoption of NFC with consumers, according to Don Tait from IMS Research in the UK. IMS estimates that by 2015 there will be more than 900 million devices with NFC technology including cellphones but also in terminals, laptops, tablets, tags, tokens, posters, watches, headsets and ATMs. The “physicalisation of social media” or swapping LinkedIn Profiles or Facebook pages, Foursquare checkins and sharing games on line, is expected to be one of the most popular uses, according to David Birch from Consult Hyperion. Electronic payments will still be the key driving force in the widespread acceptance of NFC, but initially the financial amounts in question will remain limited. The Barclays-Orange

mobile service launched on Friday only allows transactions up to 15 pounds, ($24) at a time, since the initial scheme wants to try to replace the cash people fumble for when looking to pay for that first coffee or morning paper. “Right now we are looking at areas around low value transactions, as we’re trying to see what consumers want and how much they feel comfortable with, said James Rees from Orange, adding that eventually that sum would be raised. Opera Software co-founder Jon von Tetzchner told the summit NFC in its current form was “cute” but that he’s still waiting to be able to do “real commerce” from the mobile phone, at least as much as is now currently possible from a personal computer. From initial NFC trials, consumers have found NFCenabled phones intuitive and easy to use and finding it easy will help the technology to be adopted by wide sectors of the population.



Hackers hit Sony sites raising more security issues By LIANA B. BAKER and JIM FINKLE Sony Corp. has been hacked again, exposing more security issues for the company less than a month after intruders stole personal information from more than 100 million online user accounts. A hacked page on a Sony website in Thailand directed users to a fake site posing as an Italian credit card company. The site was designed to steal information from customers, Internet security firm F-Secure disclosed on Friday. It is the latest in a series of security headaches for Sony, which discovered in

April hackers had broken into its PlayStation Network and stole data from more than 77 million accounts. On May 2, Sony disclosed hackers had also stolen data from about 25 million user accounts of the Sony Online Entertainment website, a PC-based games service. The PlayStation attack, considered the biggest in Internet history, prompted the Japanese electronics giant to shut down its PlayStation Network and other services for close to a month. “It’s a Sony security issue,” said Jennifer Kutz, a representative for F-Secure, referring to the fraudulent website. The latest hacking, which the security company said occurred separately from

the April attack, was reported just hours after Sony told customers of another breach on one of its units. So-Net, the Internet service provider unit of Sony, alerted customers on Thursday that an intruder had broken into its system and stolen virtual points worth $1,225 from account holders. Critics have slammed the company for not protecting its networks securely and then waiting up to a week before telling its customers of the attack and the possible theft of credit card information, prompting lawmakers and state attorneys general to launch investigations. Security experts said they were not surprised that the electronics company has not

yet fixed weaknesses in its massive global network. Earlier this week, Sony shut down one of its websites set up to help millions of users change their passwords after finding a security flaw. “Sony is going through a pretty rigorous process and finding the holes to fill,” said Josh Shaul, chief technology officer for computer security firm Application Security Inc. “The hackers are going through the same process and they’re putting their fingers in the holes faster than Sony can fill them.” “What we’ve done is stopped the So-Net points exchanges and told customers to change their passwords,” So-Net said in a statement in Japanese to consumers.

About 100,000 yen ($1,225) was stolen from accounts that were attacked. The company said there was no evidence other accounts in the online system had been compromised. “At this point in our investigations, we have not confirmed any data leakage. We have not found any sign of a possibility that a third party has obtained members’ names, address, birth dates and phone numbers.” Security experts have told Reuters Sony’s networks around the world remain vulnerable to attack. Sony’s string of security problems could be attracting more hackers to attack its networks. “I think it’s now ‘I’m a hacker and I’m bored, let’s go after Sony,’” Shaul said.

FCC report: U.S. lagging in broadband adoption, speed By JASMIN MELVIN WASHINGTON — The United States continues to lag behind other countries in broadband adoption and download speeds, according to a report released by the Federal Communications Commission on Friday. Based on broadband data from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries, the United States ranked ninth out of 29 countries for mobile broadband adoption on a per capita basis, and 12th out of 33 countries for percentage of households with fixed broadband, the FCC said. The United Kingdom, South Korea and Iceland

were among countries to top the United States’ 63 percent broadband adoption rate. Extending affordable Internet access to all Americans is a priority of the FCC. The agency released its National Broadband Plan last year, a blueprint for expanding coverage, making more airwaves available for mobile services and upgrading Internet speeds up to 25 times the current average. Consumers in some large European and Asian cities reported faster download speeds than consumers in comparable U.S. cities, the report released Friday said. For instance, average download speed was found to be 11.7 Mbps in New York with a population of nearly 8.4 million people compared with 35.8 Mbps for the 10

million residents of Seoul, South Korea, the report said. But the agency acknowledged that gaps and variations in data collection methodologies across countries prevent any definitive conclusions from being made. Therefore, the report also detailed efforts by the FCC, along with the State Department and Commerce Department, to work with OECD to make more reliable, standardized data available and less expensive to collect. A separate FCC report released on Friday found that about 26 million Americans, most of whom live in rural areas, do not have access to broadband. A third of Americans with access do not subscribe to broadband, likely due to high costs, low

digital literacy and concerns about privacy, the FCC said. The report will be delivered to Congress. The agency said it relied on data from actual broadband deployment for the first time this year. In past years, the report was based on estimates derived from broadband adoption. The head of the lobbying arm of the cable industry called the FCC’s conclusions in this report regrettable and wrong. “While the Commission’s headline proclaims that 20 million Americans are denied access to broadband, by that measure private investment has fueled the build-out of broadband networks to nearly 300 million consumers and is responsible for the jobs that flow from that

investment,” said Michael Powell, president and chief executive of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. USTelecom, the broadband trade association, also questioned the FCC’s findings. Walter McCormick Jr, the group’s chief executive, pointed to FCC data showing that 95 percent of Americans have access to fixed broadband, and 93 percent are happy with their service. He also said private sector investment in broadband grew by $3 billion from 2009 to 2010 to $66 billion. “Clearly the private sector is doing its part — broadband has been deployed to virtually every corner of America where a business case can be made for investment,” McCormick said.

U.S. closes banks in Georgia and Washington state WASHINGTON — U.S. authorities closed two small banks in west-central Georgia and one in Washington state on Friday, bringing the number of foreclosures in 2011 to 43. CertusBank, a subsidiary of Blue Ridge Holdings Inc, bought the Georgia banks. Blue Ridge is led by former Bank of America Corp and Wachovia Corp executives who want to build a regional bank in the U.S. Southeast. The new acquisitions were Atlantic Southern Bank of Macon, and First Georgia Banking Company

of Franklin. Atlantic Southern Bank had assets of $741.9 million and First Georgia Banking had assets of $731 million as of March 31. Blue Ridge was formed last year with $500 million from investors. In January, it bought a South Carolina bank that regulators closed. Together, Atlantic Southern and First Georgia Banking had 26 branches, which will reopen on Saturday as branches of CertusBank. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, the receiver of closed banks, said it entered

into loss-share transactions with CertusBank totaling $1 billion. Regulators also closed Summit Bank, of Burlington, Washington, about 50 miles north of Seattle. Columbia State Bank, of Tacoma, Washington, purchased the bank, which has three branches and had $142.7 million in assets. In 2010, 157 banks failed following 140 failures in 2009. The bulk of the failures have increasingly been smaller institutions, those with less than $1 billion in assets, as large banks have

recovered more quickly from the 2007-2009 financial crisis. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has said the agency expects the number of failures to fall in 2011. Community banks are struggling with the weak economy and many are facing problems related to their exposure to the commercial real estate market. Next week the FDIC will give an update on the health of the banking industry when it releases its quarterly report on May 24. The agency announced

last month it expects that future bank failures will cost the government less than previously estimated. The agency said on April 12 it is now estimating bank failures will cost the industry-funded insurance fund about $45 billion from 2010 through 2014, compared with a prior estimate of $52 billion.




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Darrelle Revis: Lockout not ‘scary’ By RICH CIMINI Jets’ Darrelle Revis is accustomed to being a lockdown cornerback, not a locked-out corner, but he’s not sweating the 67-day work stoppage — not even with $25 million in salary and bonus money due in 2011. “I don’t think that’s scary,” Revis told Saturday at a promotional appearance in Lower Manhattan. “I’m financially stable. I’m good. When the lockout is over, it’s over.” Revis said he’s not frustrated by the labor mess, expressing optimism

because “guys feel this lockout is going to be done soon.” On the surface, it doesn’t appear that way, as the owners claimed a victory this week with the decision by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to grant a permanent stay to the lockout — with strong indications it will again side with the owners on the June 3 appeal. With no end in sight, the season could be comprised. Revis said he’s concerned if the dispute continues, the two sides will alienate the fans. “I believe so,” he said. “I think this thing is going to be more chaos. I was watching [Saints quarterback] Drew Brees’ interview [Fri-

day] night on SportsCenter, and he was basically saying, ‘Football moves people, it makes people happy, it puts joy in people.’ This is America’s sport. People love to see American football.” Explaining why he believes a deal will get done soon, Revis said he doesn’t have any inside knowledge, but he does know something about intense negotiations. A year ago, he missed the preseason because of a holdout that made national headlines. He wound up receiving a contract from the Jets — four years, $46 million — a week before the season opener. “I think it’s going to get done — all deals get done,”

he said, smiling — an obvious reference to his own situation. “Both sides have to find out what’s best for each other. It’ll get done.” Revis has spent the last two weeks working out at a training center in the Phoenix area, where he usually trains every July in a normal offseason. He invited several teammates to join him, but only one — secondyear cornerback Kyle Wilson — took him up on the offer. “I tried to get some of the other guys, but other guys are working out or have their own agenda, which is cool,” said Revis, who was planning to fly back to Phoenix after spending only one day in New York.

If Revis is annoyed by the lockout, he did a good job of masking it. “There’s no frustration with me,” he said. “It’s out of my hands. The only thing I can be is a voice for the players and voice my opinion.”

Roy Jones Jr. KO’ed Cam Newton: Jersey number irrelevant MOSCOW — Denis Lebedev knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in the final round of their non-title cruiserweight fight in Moscow on Saturday, handing the American his third consecutive defeat. With seconds remaining in the 10th round, Lebedev landed four fierce lefts with Jones on the ropes, where he had been for much of the bout. Jones, once the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter, bowed and shook his head before taking one last right hook from the Russian and falling deadweight to the canvas. Many had predicted a much quicker demise, but Jones managed to stave off the Russian, ranked the world’s top cruiserweight, with a combination of swagger and counterattack that has become the hallmark of this late stage of the 42-yearold’s career. “I’m so happy with this win, we put so much into this fight,” Lebedev said. “Jones was everything we expected: quick, strong, cheeky. ... But I pulled through.” Jones is 54-8, while Lebedev improved to 22-1. “It was a great shot, I can’t take nothing away from him,” Jones said about the final punch that knocked him out. “He was a tough competitor.” Jones, the biggest name to have fought in Russia, said the crowd’s reception at the Dynamo Arena made it “one

of the most exciting bouts of my career.” There was no title at stake, but the win may give Lebedev a second title shot. His only career defeat was a controversial points loss against Marco Huck in Germany last year. The fight was Jones’ attempt to salvage some glory in the twilight of his career. He had lost his last two fights, against Danny Green and Bernard Hopkins last year. Observers have speculated his retirement is imminent. “I really don’t know what I’m going to do now,” Jones said. “I’m going to think about it.” In Saturday’s fight, he showed flashes of his former power and showboated in the early rounds to an appreciative crowd, shaking his head theatrically and dancing back into his corner at the bell. But he was ultimately outmaneuvered and outpunched by his more youthful opponent. The 31-year-old Lebedev used almost all of the 10 rounds to soften up Jones for the knockout, chasing the American around the ring and forcing him into a defensive stance against the ropes to ride out flurries from Lebedev in every round. Jones seriously rocked Lebedev just once, in the ninth round, when he broke away from the ropes and connected with a big right jableft hook combination.

Cam Newton said he doesn’t care which jersey number he wears for the Carolina Panthers. Newton wore No. 2 in college, the same number second-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen sports for Carolina. “I really don’t care. It’s just a number to me,” Newton told, according to a report on “Gossip sells,

and I understand that with people hearing I wore No. 2 in college, and Jimmy [Clausen] has it right now, [but] it’s not a big deal to me. I just want to get that out of the way and throw it out there. It’s not the number. It’s the person wearing it.” Clausen has previously said he doesn’t plan to give up No. 2.

Oscar De La Hoya enters rehab Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya has checked into a rehabilitation clinic in California. De La Hoya went into rehab within the last few weeks, TMZ first reported Saturday. The nature of his problem is not known. “He is my friend and I wish him well,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, De La Hoya’s close friend, told at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday night, where he was promoting the Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins light heavyweight championship rematch. “I’m sure that all the fans are joining me in wishing him the best.” Schaefer said De La Hoya was still in rehab, which is why he is not at one of his company’s biggest fights of the year. “After doing an honest evaluation of myself, I recog-

nize that there are certain issues that I need to work on,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “Like everyone, I have my flaws, and I do not want to be one of those people that is afraid to admit and address those flaws. “Throughout my career and my life, I have always met all challenges head-on, and this is no different. I am confident that with the sup-

port of my family and friends, I will become a stronger, healthier person.” De La Hoya asked for privacy as he goes through the process. De La Hoya, a former sixdivision titleholder, had a career record of 39-6. He retired shortly after losing by technical knockout to Manny Pacquiao in December 2008.



Hopkins, 46, beats Pascal to become oldest world title winner By KIERAN MULVANEY MONTREAL — Bernard Hopkins, 46, became the oldest man to win a boxing world title on Saturday when he defeated Canadian Jean Pascal by unanimous decision to claim the WBC and IBO light-heavyweight belts. “It feels great,” Hopkins told reporters after eclipsing the achievement of George Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to win the heavyweight title in 1994. “I knew it was going to be a tough fight, but I wasn’t going to be denied. You’re supposed to win titles in your twenties, not when you’re 46.” The bout was a rematch of the duo’s controversial majority decision draw in Quebec City last December which Hopkins thought he had done enough to win but only one of the three judges awarded him a win.

On Saturday in Montreal, however, all three judges awarded the canny, former undisputed world middleweight champion the fight with Hopkins claiming 116-112, 115-114 and 115113 majorities. That result seemed unlikely when, after a quiet opening round, Pascal came to life in the second round and landed several hard punches, including a combination against the ropes that had the crowd of 17,560 roaring its approval. In the third, Hopkins, 525-2 (32 KOs), turned the tables, feinting with a left and then landing a booming overhand right hand that buckled Pascal’s legs, forcing the younger man to hold on. Pascal, 26-2-1 (16 KOs), returned the favor in the fourth, landing a big right and then following up with a right-left combination that had his opponent looking hurt at the end of the round. Although Pascal was the

younger man by 18 years, he appeared to tire surprisingly early in the fight and took advantage of every second of the one-minute rest between rounds to catch his breath on his stool. When he appeared to take especially long to stand up at the beginning of round seven, Hopkins mocked him by doing push-ups in his corner while he waited. By that stage, Hopkins had seized control of the contest, with Pascal beginning to look confused. An overhand right in the eighth round nailed Pascal, as did another right in the ninth. In the tenth a short right hand spun Pascal around and he staggered forward, touching the canvas with his gloves, but British referee Ian-John Lewis did not call a knockdown, instead ruling the Canadian had slipped. As the fighters emerged for the twelfth and final round, Pascal in particular appeared exhausted, but he summoned the last of his

energy to attack Hopkins with everything he had left, landing two hard rights as the two exchanged furiously at the final bell. But it was not enough and Pascal, who claimed the belts by beating Chad Dawson in August, was left to praise the new champion. “Bernard fought great tonight,” he said. “He is a great champion. he has really good defense and a lot of tricks. I am a young fighter and I am green. These two fights will make me better in the future.” Hopkins, who made his professional debut in 1988,

Chad Dawson outshines Adrian Diaconu By DAN RAFAEL MONTREAL — The last time Chad Dawson fought at the Bell Centre, he suffered his first career loss. He returned to the ring for the first time since that defeat to easily outbox fellow former light heavyweight titlist Adrian Diaconu on Saturday night. The victory, in his first fight with Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, was a pivotal one for Dawson. In addition to bouncing back from an 11th-round technical decision loss to champion Jean Pascal last August, he earned a mandatory shot at the winner of Saturday night’s main event rematch between Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, who battled to a draw in a December light heavyweight championship fight. That draw paved the way for Saturday’s main fight and ultimately forced Dawson to step aside from the rematch clause he had with

Pascal in the contract for their fight because HBO preferred to buy Pascal-Hopkins II before Pascal-Dawson II. Part of the deal to allow Pascal-Hopkins II to take place was the contractual guarantee that Dawson would get the winner next. Now Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) has that fight, after winning 118-110, 117-111 and 116112. also had it for Dawson, 117-111.

“The next fight is an exciting fight. I will be ready for either one,” Dawson said before Pascal-Hopkins began. “I obviously want revenge on Jean, but I want Bernard, too. It was a catch22. I am happy to be back in the ring and get the ring rust off. Next time I will be 100 percent better.” After Dawson’s loss to Pascal, who mostly dominated until the fight went to a

technical decision after an accidental head-butt opened a bad cut over Dawson’s right eye, he cut ties with trainer Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and went to work with Steward. Steward is the latest in a long line of trainers for Dawson, who had also run through Floyd Mayweather Sr., Dan Birmingham and John Scully. “I felt good, but I made it hard on myself,” said Dawson, of New Haven, Conn. “I’ve been with Emanuel for the past 7-8 weeks, and it takes time to get used to a new trainer. I knew I won the fight. I outthrew him and outlanded him. I wasn’t nervous at all about coming to his hometown.” Diaconu (27-3, 15 KOs), a native of Romania now living in Montreal who lost two title bouts to Pascal, was once supposed to face Dawson in a mandatory 2007 title fight. But Dawson vacated an alphabet belt rather than face him after Dia-

was delighted with his achievement. “It was exciting,” the American said. “I’ve been accused of being boring but I’ve saved the best for last. I’m going to fight like this until I retire. But I want to fight for as long as I can.” Hopkins also received tribute from Foreman, whose record he broke. “What great conditioning,” he marveled. “And he did it in Pascal’s home town. Isn’t that something? He was just so much better. I’m happy for Hopkins and I’m happy for mature athletes.” conu’s handlers won a purse bid and planned to bring the fight to Romania. Dawson was in control for most of Saturday’s fight. He is taller, longer and quicker than Diaconu and he used all of those attributes to his advantage. Dawson hurt Diaconu with a left hand near the end of the second round and with a right hook near the end of the fifth round. By the sixth, Dawson was opening up with combinations against the shorter Diaconu. But Diaconu is a bull and continued to come forward despite his face showing lumps and redness from eating so many shots. In the ninth, Diaconu had his best round, hurting Dawson with a combination and wobbling him. But Dawson quickly got himself together. Diaconu made a hard charge in the 12th round, hurting Dawson again with a right hand, but it was not enough. “Dawson was really well prepared. It was a strategic fight,” Diaconu said. “It was hard to touch Dawson. I tried hard, but he was just too hard to hit. I hit him sometimes, but not enough.”



Thunder’s Durant leads generational shift in talent By FRANK PINGUE TORONTO — Kevin Durant has managed to dodge the growing pains often required for success in the NBA and now the Oklahoma City Thunder forward is among a handful of players headlining a generational shift in talent in the game. There was plenty of talk about a changing of the guard when the playoffs started in April, and with four teams left it appears 22-yearold Durant has a legitimate shot to fast-track his way to a title in only his fourth season. “Durant is a special player, one of the best players in the NBA,” Memphis forward Zach Randolph said after Durant scored 39 points in a win over the Grizzlies that advanced the Thunder to the Western Conference finals. “The kid is a gym rat, he works hard. He’s one of my favorite players. You’ve got to

give him kudos and give him respect.” The Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs have combined to win the last four NBA championships, but each suffered unceremonious exits from the playoffs, opening the door for a new face of the NBA to grab the spotlight. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, Kevin Garnett of the Celtics and Tim Duncan of the Spurs all looked old and overmatched in their respective

playoff series losses, prompting questions about where the franchises are headed from here. Durant, widely considered the least pretentious bigname player in the game today, has won two scoring championships in his four seasons in the league and has shown an ability to step up his game at just the right time. He will have to do just that in the Western Conference finals where his Thunder are tied 1-1 in their best-of-seven series against the Dallas Mavericks and head home for the next two games where Oklahoma City has gone 6-1 in the playoffs. A series victory over the Mavericks would set up a showdown against either the Chicago Bulls, who boast 22year-old league most valuable player Derrick Rose, or the Miami Heat, who have enjoyed a boost this year from 26-year-old LeBron James,

the MVP of the prior two seasons. Regardless of this year’s NBA champion, the trio of Durant, Rose and James have already sent a message to the league that they possess the tools needed to challenge for NBA titles just as frequently as the Lakers and Celtics have in recent years. Durant left the University of Texas after his freshman year for the NBA and was taken with the second overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, where he played for one season before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City. He averaged 20.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in a rookie season where he had to endure a 20-62 record with a Seattle team that finished with the second worst record in the NBA. Durant has led his team in scoring in each season, was

named MVP in leading Team USA to the FIBA World Championship last year and now is credited with taking the NBA’s youngest playoff team to the conference semi-finals. He is an emerging league MVP with a work effort that rivals any of the other top players in the league. After being held to just 11 points in Game Six versus Memphis, he returned with the best performance of his career. “That wasn’t me at all in Game Six. I was so upset with myself that I kind of let my guys down by not playing my game,” Durant said after clinching the West semi-final series. “No matter what, if I was shooting bad in Game Six, as long as I was aggressive. I wasn’t aggressive at all. This game, that’s what I told myself: ‘Come in aggressive, start the game off aggressive.’”

School hires former NBA player Lakers eye Mike Brown, sources say to coach basketball team By MARC STEIN The Los Angeles Lakers are taking a deliberate approach to their search for a successor to Phil Jackson, but NBA coaching sources told the team has added Mike Brown to its list of candidates. The former Cleveland Cavaliers coach, now working as an analyst for ESPN, is expected to interview “soon” with the Lakers, sources say. Brown would become the fourth known candidate for the job, along with former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman, ex-Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy and Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who is regarded as the only serious in-house contender to replace Jackson. Brown is widely regarded in coaching circles as the leading candidate in Golden State to replace Keith Smart. Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird also said this week that he intends to contact Brown — as well as Adelman — to gauge his interest in returning to Indiana, where Brown worked as an assistant before joining the Cavs. In Cleveland, Brown made

one trip to the NBA Finals in 2007 and won NBA Coach of the Year honors in 2009 before his dismissal following Cleveland’s secondround exit to Boston in 2010 and LeBron James’ subsequent departure to Miami via free agency. reported last week that the Lakers are “very interested” in Adelman. Sources say that Dunleavy, who began his head coaching career with the Lakers in 1990-91 and went to the NBA Finals in his first of two seasons as Pat Riley’s successor, has maintained a close relationship with Lakers owner Jerry Buss and executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss and has also made it onto L.A.’s short list. also reported in March that the Lakers have maintained a level of interest in former Rockets and New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy dating to last season, when Jackson also strongly considered retirement before deciding to come back for one more season. Brown is one of a handful of candidates already interviewed by Golden State, along with Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Dwane


Casey, Boston Celtics assistant coach Lawrence Frank, TNT’s Kevin McHale and Shaw and fellow Lakers assistant Chuck Person. Casey, McHale and Frank are the three finalists for the Rockets’ job vacated by Adelman at season’s end. In Indiana, Bird has publicly acknowledged that interim coach Frank Vogel is the favorite to land the job as Jim O’Brien’s full-time successor after Vogel posted a 20-18 record and helped the Pacers secure a playoff berth. But Bird also made it clear that the Pacers intend to interview other candidates as well.

When Chistian Life Center (Texas) Academy players show up for basketball practice next season, they’ll most likely do a double-take when they get a glimpse of their new coach. Unlike most teams in the Houston area, Christian Life Center — the same school that produced Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan — will have former NBA player, and streetball legend, Rafer Alston prowling the sidelines and giving advice. Alston, who played 11 years in the NBA, including four with the Houston Rockets, will be the school’s head basketball coach. But he’ll be doing more than just coaching next season. “We’ve hired Rafer to be our head basketball coach and athletics director,” Pastor Richard Rodriguez, top administrator at Christian Life Center Academy said. “We are going to present him to our students at our graduation ceremony on the 27th.” It’s a huge jump for Alston, who will go from

playing in front of crowds on the And1 Mixtape Tour, to playing professionally in the NBA, to now being in charge of not only a basketball team, but the rest of Christian Life Center Academy’s other sports. Hiring Alston for his basketball experience makes sense, but bringing him in to take on the role of athletics director seems a little puzzling. With zero experience as a high school administrator, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of role he plays in the day-today duties for the rest of the school’s sports teams. “I’m excited and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Alston said in Houston. “It’s a chance to work with a lot of kids who have seen me play and they can benefit from my experience at many different levels of basketball. “This school is one of the best in the nation and it’s going to be a challenge and I’m looking forward to it.” With the potential of an NBA lockout next year, don’t be surprised if you see a couple current professional players try their hand at coaching in the near future.

MONDAY, MAY 23, 2011


Bernard Hopkins, 46, became the oldest man to win a boxing world title when he defeated Canadian Jean Pascal by unanimous decision to claim the WBC and IBO light-heavyweight belts.

Vol 40 No 60 Monday May 23rd, 2011