December 21st, 2011
(Photo: AP Photo/Longmont Times-Call, Richard M. Hackett)
In today’s top news, chilly weather kills several out west; in New York, investigators are puzzled by a hanging Black baby doll and Washington state’s MLK day bomber finally gets sentenced.
Deadly western blizzards claim the life of at least seven. [Reuters]
Black doll hung by a noose is found at a New York parks department office. [NBC]
ATF agents used fake rap label to make a massive weapons and drug bust. [BET]
Study: Blacks less likely to be diagnosed with depression than whites. [Rutgers]
U.S. to reduce troops on border. [CNN]
White supremacist bomber who planned an MLK day attack gets 32 years in prison. [BET]
Dutch magazine editor resigns following Rihanna n-word controversy. [BBC]
Eight soldiers charged in the death of a fellow Asian G.I. who faced daily racist taunts. [MSNBC]
Egyptian women protest military attacks on female demonstrators. [CNN]
Underwear bomber asks for a new lawyer ahead of sentencing next month. [Reuters]
October 21st, 2009
Three New York Corrections Officers resigned after for among other things, showing preferential treatment to rapper Foxy Brown.
According to the New York Daily News, Brown was allowed to conduct an interview with a magazine and take a photo shoot for her album.
She served nine months in Rikers Island for an assault conviction in 2006.
February 3rd, 2009
Detroit’s Ex-mayor is Freed
Detroit’s disgraced ex-mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, will leave jail today after 99 days behind bars for lying to a jury about his relationship with former chief of staff Christine Beatty. The Motor City’s 38-year-old Hip-Hop Mayor left Detroit’s downtown jail just after midnight en route home. He must meet with probation officers tomorrow before heading off to a job interview, reportedly a high-paying gig in Texas. According to The Dallas Morning News, Kilpatrick met with Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert before he went to jail.
Media Want Jena-Six Youth Hearing Records
Media groups want access to the sealed records of Mychal Bell, the Black youth who was convicted for his role in beating a White classmate in the tiny Louisiana town of Jena. He and five other young Black males were charged with attempted murder in the incident, but the charges were reduced amid an outcry from Black leaders, civil rights advocates, students and others, who in 2007 marched 20,000 strong on the community of a couple thousand residents. Bell later pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery. Read the rest here.
January 16th, 2009
T.I.’s Journey to Jail is Documented
Rapper T.I. will be going to jail in a couple months, and MTV is documenting his voyage. The series, “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: 45 Days to Go” – the title will count down each day as he nears his incarceration date – provides a close-up look at T.I.’s lifestyle and family. “No amount of jail time is gonna teach me the lesson I learned at that moment,” T.I. says of the November night he got arrested in 2007. He said that as police raided his home, he thought to himself, “Oh sh**, you done f***ed up.” He was looking at a possible 30 years in prison for purchasing illegal weapons, but he’s likely to get a seriously reduced sentence because of a plea deal. In “Road to Redemption,” T.I. also offers positive advice for seven at-risk teens across the country, urging them to change their lives. “We’re gonna shake his world up, and then we’re gonna help him whether he wants our help or not,” T.I. says of one of the troubled teens.
Naomi Campbell’s agreement was not made public.
Supermodel Settles with Maid Naomi Campbell has settled out of court with her ex-maid, who said the 38-year-old, hot-tempered supermodel hit her and called her names. The terms of the settlement were not released. Gaby Wilson, who worked for Campbell in 2005 and 2006, said in her lawsuit that Campbell also threatened to charge her with theft after she couldn’t find a pair of designer jeans.
January 10th, 2009
Grenada cracks down on saggin’ pants.
Officials in Grenada are cracking down on people who wear sagging pants that show their underwear. The move by the Caribbean island nation follows similar bans in a few U.S. cities. The country’s police Commissioner James Clarkson believes the crack-down will bring “back morality into20the country,” reports Caribbean Net News. Some young men have forgotten where their waist is, he added. As another result, women in the nation are doing the same thing; wearing their clothes very low. “Any time you allow lawlessness to start taking effect on your country, you have a problem,” he said. Clarkson, who was appointed in August, said he is looking to form a closer relationship with the press. He also announced that he wants to improve the working conditions for female officers.
Nine in Senegal convicted of homosexuality.
An HIV-prevention activist and eight others in Senegal have been sentenced to prison for allegedly engaging in homosexual acts. The group was arrested in a raid at the apartment of the activist Diadji Diouf, weeks after Senegal hosted an international AIDS conference. Senegal, which is mainly a Muslim country, is among 38 nations that have outlawed acts of homosexuality.
January 8th, 2009
Christine Beatty, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s former top aide who was busted exchanging steamy text-messages with him, got a dose of the same medicine he got in late October. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny slapped the 38-year-old ex-chief of staff with a 120-day jail stint for obstruction of justice. She was convicted of lying under oath about the extent of her relationship with the Motor City’s so-called “Hip-hop Mayor.” Read more here.
January 8th, 2009
Senegal throws nine gays in jail.A Senegal court has sent nine gay men to jail for “indecent conduct and unnatural acts,” reports the BBC. The judge also ruled the men were a part of a criminal organization and tacked on three more years to the maximum five-year sentence he already handed down. Many of the men were members of a group formed to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. While homosexual acts are illegal in the west African nation, lawyers for the men argued that the sentence was extreme. “This is the first time that the Senegalese legal system has handed down such a harsh sentence against gays,” said one of the men’s lawyers. He also said he would appeal. A gay rights group was shocked at the outcome. “We’re actually shocked by the ruing of the court. There have been pretty consistent human rights violations in Senegal,” said Cary Alan Johnson of the International and Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. “Many gays are already fleeing to neighboring countries because of our living conditions,” said the leader of a Senegalese gay rights organization anonymously.
Will Smith is in Germany promoting, South Africans ring in the New Year, Sudanese protest against Israelis. See pics.
January 2nd, 2009
Somali Ship Hijackings Drop
The number of ships hijacked by pirates off Somalia’s coast has plunged during the month of December, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The drop comes after an active year that saw more than 100 ships being attacked by Somali pirates, with 42 of them being successfully hijacked. “There have been many attempted attacks but there were only two vessels which were hijacked in December,” IMB’s director, Capt. Pottengal Mukundan, told the BBC. The drop could be attributed to the fact that several countries sent ships to the waters to help patrol the area. There were two recent attacks, though. On Thursday a pirate attack on an Indian oil tanker was thwarted by the Malaysian navy, who, after seeing the tanker’s SOS signal sent in a helicopter. But on the same day an Egyptian vessel with 28 crew members was hijacked by about 15 pirates and steered towards Somalia’s coast. “The crew are hostages. …There are efforts underway to conduct the necessary talks to free the ship,” said the Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmed Rizq.
Activists to remain jailed in Zimbabw
Fourteen Zimbabwe activists, who stand accused of planning to bring down the government and President Robert Mugabe, were ordered by a court to remain jailed pending a Supreme Court hearing, reports CNN. “It is clear that the attorney general has appealed against the high court judgment. For that reason, the accused cannot be released at this stage,” said Judge Mishrod Guvamombe. Nine activists, including the head of the rights group Zimbabwe Peace Project, were recently charged with recruiting citizens to participate in military training to overthrow the government. Seven others were charged with banditry, which, in Zimbabwe, carries the death penalty. Two activists were released. The majority of those arrested are members of the opposition party Movement of Democratic Change. The party’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, had said he’d pull out of the power-sharing deal he signed in September with Mugabe if the accused were not released by the end of the year.
December 2nd, 2008
Akon may not be as tough as he wants you to think. While he might have been a petty thief as a youth, he was no hardened criminal, Akon told an Atlanta newspaper. Aliaune Thiam has been playing up his criminal past since he officially arrived on the music scene in 2004 as Akon. The Atlanta rapper-songwriter-singer’s first single was titled “Locked Up.” And the Atlanta-based labels he shares with hip-hop/R&B artist T-Pain, reggae star Kardinal Offishal and pop newcomer Colby O’Donis are named Konvict Entertainment and Kon Live. And the title of his sophomore CD, which sold 3 million copies, was “Konvicted.” All of that was on purpose, to give him street cred, Akon told The Atlanta Constitution-Journal. It was, he says, “to remind myself of where I’d come from, what I’ve been through, and what I don’t want to go back to.” While the Smoking Gun Web site’s report that the Atlanta singer fabricated much of his claims about being a convicted felon and one-time leader of a car theft ring, he says his story is one of a troubled past. Akon told the Atlanta paper that he served about three years in and out of jail on car theft and weapons charges, but it’s true that he never served time in prison. He said he’d wanted to go to Clark-Atlanta University and play basketball when he first came to Atlanta, but hurt his knee and then” the hustler came out in me.” ‘You know what? College was never for me. I want to be in the music industry.’ “OK, I played around until about ‘98 before I realized, ‘OK I’ve got to get some money. I’m broke.’”
November 17th, 2008
“Soul Train” legend could serve five years. The host and creator of TV’s most popular Black music and dance show could go to prison for five years after a dispute with his wife last month. “Soul Train” legend Don Cornelius is charged with spousal abuse, dissuading a witness from filing a police report and assault with a deadly weapon after cops were called to his Hollywood Hills home. Cornelius, 72, faces three counts of abusing his wife Victoria, following the L.A. City Attorney’s filing last week. In the 1970s and 1980s, “Soul Train helped launch the careers of dozens of Black recording artists.