Black preacher sues Klan store on his church’s property. A Black South Carolina church has sued a Ku Klux Klan store, which is selling robes and pointy hoods, racist T-shirts and other anti-African American paraphernalia from the space it rents from the house of worship. The Rev. David Kennedy, pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church in Laurens County, S.C., acknowledges that a clause in the deed entitles John Howard to run the store from the building until he dies. But Kennedy says that a Klansman, who was clashing with fellow members of the hate group, transferred property rights back to the church more than a decade ago. Kennedy is seeking to shut the store down. As it stands now, he says he can’t even inspect the store, even though it’s on his property. “We’ve been outright denied,” he told The Associated Press. “Right now what we’re focusing on is removing this cloud of doubt and this whole lie that we are not the real owners of the Redneck Shop building.” If Kennedy is successful, his church will be deemed the owner of the property. It would also preclude Howard and his cohorts from continually trying to transfer the property to various members of the Klan. “We think the actions they did were willful,” Kennedy’s attorney, Rauch Wise, told AP. Howard says he’s a former Ku Klux Klan grand dragon for South Carolina and North Carolina. In addition to the Klan garb, his shop features pictures of burning crosses and of men, women and children in Klan clothing. “Martin Luther King said this: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,”‘ Kennedy said. “It’s going to be a good day to see them in court.”
It marks the first time in 50 years a U.S. leader goes to the North African nation.
Secretary Rice will visit ex-enemy Libya. When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads to Libya this, it will mark the first time a U.S. secretary of state has visited the former enemy in more than a half-century. It’s a historic stop,” spokesman Sean McCormack said, noting that Rice will be the first secretary of state to visit Libya since John Foster Dulles in 1953 and the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since then-Vice President Richard Nixon in 1957. “In that period of time, we’ve had a man land on the moon, the Internet, the Berlin Wall fall, and we’ve had 10 U.S. presidents.” The trip to the oil-rich North African nation is designed to open a new era of U.S.-Libyan relations at a time when the United States is desperate for new sources of petroleum. The State Department removed Libya, once dubbed by President Ronald Reagan the “Mad Dog of the Middle East,” from the international terrorist list after Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi began renouncing terrorism and owning up to the infamous bombings, such as that of Pan Am Flight 103, for which he compensated the families of victims $3 billion. While in Tripoli, Rice is expected to raise the case of Fathi al-Jahmi, 67, a seriously ill political prisoner, who has been jailed or held in a hospital for the past six years. His brother, Mohammed, lives in Boston and has been prodding Bush administration to get involved in securing his release. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Physicians for Human Rights have sent Rice a deluge of recent letters urging her to raise Jahmi’s case and other human rights issues when she meets with Gadhafi, The Washington Post reports. “We have followed this case,” said Assistant Secretary of State C. David Welch. “We have been discussing it for some time with the Libyan government. We expect it to be discussed [by Rice] in forthcoming meetings in Tripoli.”