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Media retracts info about outrage over killing. What was first publicized as damage to 300 businesses in Oakland, Calif. last week is now reported as no more than about 40 broken windows and a few garbage cans thrown into the street. Bay-area media outlets including KTVU Channel 2 have given what they say is more accurate information about the demonstrations that followed the killing of Oscar Grant by a transit authority cop. One police car was burned, but there were no gunshots, no robberies and no looters on the Wednesday night when 100 people were arrested hours after a peaceful demonstration shut down the rail stop where Grant was shot to death. Video shows that Grant, 22, was handcuffed and on the ground at a train station when officer Johannes Mehserle fired a bullet into his back. Grant had appeared to pose no threat to Mehserle or any other officer at the scene. Critics of the media who were so quick to paint a picture of savagery by Blacks after the seemingly racist murder include well-known hip hop journalist Davey D. The blogger writes: “…we had to endure endless news reports and commentary most likely fed from police accounts and echoed by newspaper reporters who were not even on the scene…” Grant, a grocery store butcher, was killed New Year’s Day. Mehserle quit the police force and has pleaded not guilty in Grant’s murder.
Annual event showcases 2009 vehicles. In spite of an ongoing money crisis that has left American auto-makers with an uncertain future, a leading car event has raised $2.6 million. The North American International Auto Show’s Charity Preview drew 7,000 people to the annual Michigan event on Friday. The proceeds will go to a host of community organizations and causes, including March of Dimes and the Boys and Girls Clubs. “In light of such tough economic times, it’s great to see so many kind hearts step up and answer the needs of the children…” spokesman Joe Serra says. Past celebrities who’ve attended the annual North American International Auto Show include Jay Z, 50 Cent, boxer Evander Holyfield and actress Rosie Perez. The Auto Show runs through Jan. 25.
World: U.N. Official Says Both Sides To Blame for Congo Crisis; Jamaica ‘Not in Crisis,’ Says OfficialNovember 25th, 2008
U.N. official says both sides are to blame for Congo crisis. Both rebels and government forces are to blame for violence in Congo that has forced 250,000 people from their homes, according to a United Nations official. In his report for the U.N. Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wrote that the country’s army and police “were responsible for a large number of serious human rights violations during the reporting period [from July to November], namely arbitrary executions, rape torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.” The Tutsi rebel forces, led by Gen Laurent Nkunda, also took part in atrocities including “mass killings, torture abductions, forced recruitment of children, forced displacement and destruction of camps, forced labor and sexual violence,” said the report. It also says that the government arrested human rights activists and journalists. Last week, an additional 3,000 U.N. peacekeeping troops were approved to be deployed into the nation to help stop the fighting.
Jamaica is “not in crisis,” says official. The current economic crisis is hitting the world hard, but Jamaica’s finance minister insists the problems are not so bad in his country, reports the BBC. Unlike other countries like the United States, Audley Shaw doesn’t believe Jamaica needs a national rescue plan. While he expects tourism to be down, Shaw says Jamaica’s economy is “not in crisis.” The nation’s economy will be soothed by an expected decrease in its energy bill along with reasonably priced loans from financial agencies. Shaw did announce some budget and debt reforms.
Ex-NFL star helped kill canines, report says. Imprisoned former Atlanta Falcons star Michael Vick helped drown dogs by forcing their heads into a five-gallon water bucket, a new report says. Though Vick first claimed that he never participated in the actual killing of animals connected with his illegal Bad Newz Kennels fighting ring, a U.S. Department of Agriculture statement says the ex-quarterback admitted hanging dogs that didn’t fight well and using family pets as bait for aggressive dogs. Vick is due in a Virginia court tomorrow where he’s expected to plead guilty to state charges of torturing animals and promoting dog-fighting. The former star is already serving federal time until summer of next year. Formerly the NFL’s highest-paid player, Vick reportedly washes pots and pans for 12 cents an hour.
More children are going to bed hungry. Close to 700,000 U.S. children lived in households that had a hard time putting food on the table at some point in 2007, says a new federal report. The number of children who went to bed hungry is the highest since 1998, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual report on food security. The report also showed that those 691,000 children lived in homes where families had to eat non-balanced meals and low-cost food, or even skip meals because of a lack of money. The number of families struggling to feed children adequately rose 50 percent from 430,000 children in 2006. Nearly 36.2 million children and adults struggled to get food in 2007, according to the report, up slightly from 35.5 million in 2006. Two thirds of them – 11.9 million people – changed their eating habits by eating low-cost foods, participated in federal food and nutrition assistance programs, ate less varied diets or obtained emergency food from pantries or emergency kitchens, according to the report. That number is up more than 40 percent since 2000. See more of the report at U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site.