Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Backtalk With Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker

Audiences fell in love with Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker when the actors first appeared on Showtime’s hit television series Soul Food, which aired from 2000 to 2004. Kodjoe, the Austrian-born model turned actor, and Parker, also a former model, were nominated for NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding actor and actress categories between 2001 and 2005. In 2004, Parker and Kodjoe starred together as a newly remarried couple in UPN’s sitcom Second Time Around. The next year life imitated art when they exchanged vows in Germany two months after the birth of their first child, Sophie. About a year and a half later their son, Nicolas, joined them.

Sadly, the joy of starting a family was eclipsed early when the couple learned that Sophie was born with spina bifida, a serious birth defect that can cause mild to severe nerve damage, paralysis, and incontinence. After the diagnosis, the couple put their careers on hold as they struggled to learn about the condition. This process led them to launch Sophie’s Voice Foundation in 2008. The foundation’s first goal is to raise $1.8 million so that 20 children chosen by a random drawing can participate in a surgical clinical trial, which they hope will correct incontinence for children with the condition.

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Mark McEwen loses medical negligence lawsuit

BALTIMORE — Former CBS "Early Show" personality Mark McEwen is moving on with his life after a massive stroke nearly four years ago that abruptly ended his TV career. He's written a book about his experiences and is trying to raise awareness about stroke warning signs and recovery.

But McEwen, 54, is now dealing with a fresh setback — the abrupt end to a court battle against the doctor who told him he had the stomach flu when he showed up at a Maryland hospital emergency room with stroke-like symptoms.

Two days after that hospital visit, McEwen boarded a flight home to Orlando, Fla., and suffered a massive stroke. His attorneys claim the stroke could have been prevented if McEwen had been given drugs including aspirin and anti-coagulates.

But U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz disagreed, ruling last week that those drugs were not effective enough in the short term to have made a difference in McEwen's case.

"I was very disappointed," McEwen told The Associated Press on Monday. "When you're up against something that's kind of murky, it tends to throw a person who's used to knowing the difference between right and wrong."

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Black Couple Have Five Kids, Three With White Skin

A black couple from Brazil have a pretty typical family with five growing children — but there's one thing that sets them apart: Three of their kids have white skin.

Rosemere Fernandes de Andrade, 27, and her partner Joao have two children who are black and three children who suffer from albinism, the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported.

Genetics professor Valdir Balbino, of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, said the condition was especially rare considering both parents and two other children are black. He also said both parents must carry the albinism gene.

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Father wants son's beating treated as a hate crime

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Brian Milligan Sr. believes his son's race triggered a brutal attack on the streets of Buffalo, New York.

Brian Milligan Jr. poses with his girlfriend, Nicola Fletcher, before he was attacked last month.

1 of 2 Armed with a chunk of concrete, several assailants beat Brian Milligan Jr. on the back of the head on August 18, leaving a 3-inch gash. They kicked him in the face, breaking his jaw.

Bloodied and bruised, the 18-year-old managed to walk five blocks to his grandmother's house before being rushed to the hospital.

Milligan's father believes several African-Americans beat his son, who is white, because he is dating an African-American woman. He wants police to treat the beating as a hate crime. He also has criticized what he calls a deafening silence from the community, police and the national media.

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Howard University Students Get Support for their Protests

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University
Howard University has a problem. Apparently, the school's students have taken lessons on freedom of speech to heart and actually believe they have a voice in running the campus. That problem is magnified by the fact that they are finally speaking up on issues of mismanagement and incompetence that plague many universities around the nation, particularly Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

We all know that HBCUs can be amazing places to get an education. But we also know that many HBCUs are as slow as molasses when it comes to adopting the necessary administrative adjustments to keep up with the demands of college students. We also know that many HBCUs are not even hiring very many black professors, particularly in business and the sciences (Howard University is one of them). Not having the funds to engage in sound administrative policy is almost understandable. But ignoring calls for appropriate change because it undermines your quest to maintain power....well, that just makes you a black version of the Bush Administration.

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Fed Prosecutors: Blackwater Guards “Harbored Deep Hostility Toward Iraqi Civilians”

With troop reductions in Iraq, the U.S. will be hiring more and more private security guards. The Blackwater story should give pause to the indiscriminate use of private guards in war-torn areas.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON – Several Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqis in a busy Baghdad square in 2007 “harbored a deep hostility toward Iraqi civilians” and “engaged in unprovoked and aggressive behavior toward” them in the months before the shooting, U.S. prosecutors said Monday.

Five Blackwater security guards were indicted in December on federal charges of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and using a firearm in a crime of violence in the shooting in Nisoor Square. The government says the guards unleashed an unprovoked attack on Iraqi civilians that day, killing 14 and wounding 20. The guards have pleaded not guilty.

Their lawyers have said the men acted in self-defense and did not intend to kill innocent civilians. On Monday, federal prosecutors filed court papers asking a judge to allow them to introduce evidence that shows the men “intended to kill or seriously injure” Iraqis during the shooting on Sept. 16, 2007.

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A Preview of the HBO Documentary on D.C.’s Marion Barry; the FBI Sting, His Ups and Downs

Cadbury Rejects $16.7 Billion Takeover Offer from Kraft (KFT)

September 8th, 2009

Packaged foods giant Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) made a $16.7 billion bid to acquire confection maker Cadbury plc (CBY) on Monday, but the offer was quickly rejected as “undervaluing” the British chocolate producer.
However, Kraft said that it remains committed to buying Cadbury. “Kraft Foods is committed to working toward a recommended transaction and to maintaining a constructive dialogue, and is announcing this proposal as a means to encourage and further that process,” said the company in a statement.

Cadbury said that “The Board is confident in Cadbury’s standalone strategy and growth prospects as a result of its strong brands, unique category and geographic scope.” It also said that Kraft’s offer “fundamentally undervalues the group and its prospects.”

Kraft shares fell $1.61, or -5.7%, while Cadbury shares rose $14.86, or +40%, in morning trading Tuesday.

The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of KFT since May 5, when the stock was trading at $24.26. The company has a dividend yield of 4.13%, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $28.10. We continue to like the shares despite this morning’s price dip.

Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) is a “recommended”, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

President Obama Speech To Kids VIDEO (FULL Transcript)

In case you are curious as to what the children of America will be hearing this morning as President Obama addresses classrooms across the country, I have the president’s prepared speech here. Read it (after the jump) and then drop a comment to let me know what you think.

Do think it was necessary? Are you for or against these speeches in the classroom? Did you keep your kids home today to avoid the speech altogether? I will add the video as soon as it airs….

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2010 Volvo C30 facelift

Volvo has unveiled today the 2010 Volvo C30 facelift releasing the complete information, image gallery and video of the new version. The 2010 Volvo C30 facelift will have its premiere at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show showing a re-designed front end. The 2010 Volvo C30 facelift features re-styled nose, front fenders, grille, headlights and a lower front spoiler. The interior updates of the 2010 Volvo C30 facelift are mostly chromatic, with the new version offering new color combinations.

The 2010 Volvo C30 facelift is now offering the option of a sport chassis which is sharper and 30% stiffer. The steering ratio of the 2010 Volvo C30 facelift has also been lowered for a better response.

The 2010 Volvo C30 facelift will be available with only the T5 2.5 liter turbocharged engine that offers 227 hp and 236 lb.ft of torque at 2300 rpm. The gearbox options offered by the 2010 Volvo C30 facelift include a six speed manual and a five speed Geartronic automatic.

The 2010 Volvo C30 facelift price will be announced at a later date.
Volvo Press Release:

The new 2010 Volvo C30 facelift steps out and shows the model's full potential and personality. This can be seen in the fresh, self-assured design of the front end. And it is emphasized by a wide range of options, including an urbane, bold accessory styling kit.

The C30 is Volvo's most playful and spontaneous car model. It appeals to customers who spend most
of their time in the city environment and who impose considerable demands on the car's design, driving properties and personality. The 2010 Volvo C30 facelift can be configured in an almost unlimited range of variants thanks to a wide selection of drivelines, design details and equipment levels. And the new C30, which makes its debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, offers even more choice than before.

"Since its introduction in 2006, the Volvo C30 has become highly appreciated for its unique appearance. This applies in particular to the rear. With the new front, it feels as though

Gallery: 2010 Volvo C30 facelift
everything has fallen neatly into place and that the car's entire personality has been boosted to an entirely new level," says Daniel Backman, Product Manager for the new 2010 Volvo C30 facelift.

"The new exterior is also a better match for the way the C30 drives - challenging, direct and with a whole lot of attitude." continues Daniel Backman.

Major exterior changes
The restyled 2010 Volvo C30 facelift is more comprehensive than is usually the case with Volvo's models. The entire front clip has been redesigned, including the soft nose, front fenders, grille, headlights and lower front spoiler. This gives the car a radical new appearance from the front, carving out a distinctive personality which clearly separates the new C30 from the Volvo S40 and V50.

"By integrating greater depth into the design language, the front end has become more dramatic and expressive. Along with the angled lines of the front bumper, the new headlamps, drawn offset and up, reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness," says Fedde Talsma, Exterior Chief Designer at Volvo Cars.

Unemployed in Newark?

Cloak & Dagger With Skins-Giants

The Redskins’ signing of former Giants quarterback Andre’ Woodson to their practice squad on Sunday has New York coach Tom Coughlin and players thinking the move is as sinister as a twist in a Tom Clancy novel. Or some plot hatched by the Skins’ northern Virginia neighbor, the CIA.

Woodson spent all of last season on the Giants’ practice squad and was among New York’s final cuts this weekend. He knows all the plays and, even worse, all the audible calls.
NFL RedZone

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Coughlin was blunt in saying it was obvious why Woodson was signed.

‘I have been a part of it,’ Coughlin said Monday when asked whether he has ever signed a player released by a team he was about to play. ‘I have seen it done. A guy doesn’t get in the door two seconds, and he is in a classroom being grilled.’

Alex And Derek King Speaks Out About Killing Their Father

By Gina Gomez
On September 7, the Dateline NBC aired an episode featuring the controversial King brothers, Alex and Derek. Many are aware of the sensational media reports regarding the two that had made the headlines long years ago, in 2001.

It was proved in the courts, that on the night of November 2001, the brothers, who were 12 (Alex) and 13 (Derek), had bludgeoned their father, Terry King to death. Afterward, to cover up the crime, they had set the house on fire and escaped.

Their disappearance had given rise to the suspicion that the two had been kidnapped, however, when the next day, a family friend of the Kings turned up in front of the authorities, with the two, the world was shocked to find out the heinous crime that the two innocent looking boys had committed.

They had later spoken out saying that it was the family friend, Ravi Chavis, who had brainwashed them in to believing that their father put them through mental abuse. Which had irked them to go ahead with the crime.

Now, eight years later, after serving time in the prison, Alex for 6 years and Derek for 7 years, the boys have finally got back their freedom and are taking a second chance at life. The Dateline program, which is aptly titled “Second Chance” showcases the life after the prison for the boys and how they are settling in to society.

Ever since the crime first surfaced, the brothers had never appeared for any interview, so this was the first time that people will get a chance to hear what they have to say regarding the incident.

Corzine Down in Final Stretch as Economy, Corruption Take Toll

By By Terrence Dopp
Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine finds himself in the most precarious situation of his political career: trailing his challenger by as many as 10 percentage points just two months before Election Day as residents vent frustration for the state’s financial and corruption problems.

Corzine, a Democrat and former chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Co., seeks to make voters look beyond their economic woes and recognize his efforts to create jobs, expand health care and improve public education. Republican Chris Christie, a former U.S. attorney riding a reputation as a corruption fighter, will continue blaming Corzine for the state’s 9.3 percent unemployment and the highest property taxes in the nation.

“The only way Corzine can win this is to make Christie the greater of two evils,” said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington. “And what Christie needs to do is to deflect that as much as possible and keep the spotlight on Jon Corzine and his record.”

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Blood in the Water: Glenn Beck Hits Van Jones

The Saturday night resignation of White House green jobs advisor Van Jones is as much a story of politics as it is about cable television, as well as the drive and magnetism of Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck. Beck's show on Fox News draws around 3 million viewers a night, and it was his targeting of Van Jones that lead to Jones’ resignation.

While President Obama seems to be struggling to get his message across, Glenn Beck has no problem being heard loud and clear. To understand Glenn Beck's popularity, we speak to Michael Harrison, the publisher of Talkers Magazine, the leading trade publication for the talking-head set, along with Robert Thompson, professor of Television, Radio and Film at Syracuse University.

Milwaukee police: DNA links man to 9 slain women

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man authorities say is linked by DNA to the slayings of nine women since 1986 was captured by police after an alert officer spotted his car at a motel, authorities said.

Walter E. Ellis, 49, has been charged in the deaths of two of the nine victims, and more charges are expected this week, prosecutors said Monday.

Ellis had been in trouble with the law before. He pleaded no contest in 1998 to a reduced charge of second-degree reckless injury and served three years of a five-year sentence, police Chief Edward Flynn said. That wasn't enough to raise red flags, Flynn added, and it was only in recent years that DNA technology evolved enough to connect the cases to the suspect, the chief said.

"Yes, he does have a criminal history," Flynn said. "His criminal history, however, does not lend one to immediately say, you know, 'prime suspect.'"

Police began to focus on Ellis after his name surfaced in connection with a number of unsolved homicides, Flynn said. The chief would not be more specific.

Ellis was arrested days after police matched a DNA sample from his toothbrush to samples from the victims.

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Arkham Asylum Pirates Get a Gimpy Batman

Did you illegally download a cracked version of Arkham Asylum for the PC? Hope you enjoy playing with a Batman who has conveniently forgotten some of his moveset, rendering the game unbeatable.

Do you know what I love? Creative DRM. Any developer can throw in a mandated online check, or give you a limited number of installs, or something boring like that, but then you have developers with a cruel sense of humor who make it so that pirates have their genitals attacked by ill-tempered ferrets, and the ferrets are on fire. That's going above the call of duty right there.

Apparently, one of said developers is Rocksteady Studios, creators of critical darling Batman: Arkham Asylum. Pirates who have illegally acquired the PC version of the game will find themselves playing the game with a Batman who has apparently forgotten how to use his moves, notably the glide-jump. In an amusing little thread on the Eidos forums, one pirate came to innocently report a bug, claiming that instead of gliding when the appropriate input was given, the Dark Knight would instead just spread his wings and fall to his death in poison gas.

Quoth an Eidos admin in response:

The problem you have encountered is a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free.

It's not a bug in the game's code, it's a bug in your moral code.

Rashid Rauf: missing 'mastermind' of the airline bomb plot

Pakistani officials say Rauf escaped and was later killed, but reports of appalling torture leave relatives sceptical about his fate

The conviction of three men who attempted to destroy at least seven transatlantic airliners, murdering more than 1,500 people, throws up new questions about the fate of the man said to have been one of the masterminds behind the plot — Rashid Rauf.

Despite Rauf's being a key figure in al-Qaida's most ambitious conspiracy against the west since 9/11, Pakistani officials maintain that he escaped in December 2007 after police took him from court to a mosque in Rawalpindi, where they say he was allowed to pray alone before escaping from a back door.

British diplomats in the country say they accept the official account of his escape, but Rauf's relatives in the Ward End area of Birmingham, and his lawyer in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, dismiss it as utterly implausible. Why, they ask, would a man who was of such great interest to the United States and the UK be guarded in a manner that was certain to end in his escape? Was he abducted and taken back into the custody of one of Pakistan's notorious agencies? And what role, they ask, did the British and Americans play in whatever happened to him?

Shortly after the "escape", Rauf's lawyer predicted that his death would be announced in due course. Eleven months later, Islamabad announced that Rauf and two other militants had been killed in a missile strike from an unmanned US drone flying over north Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

The mountainous region is so remote and lawless that it was impossible for independent observers to verify the claim. In Birmingham, however, his family are known to be deeply sceptical, and some of Rauf's associates believe he may already have been dead for some time.

Rauf had fled to Pakistan in 2002, one step ahead of West Midlands police, who want him in connection with the murder of an uncle. He was detained in August 2006, shortly before the airline plotters were rounded up at addresses across the south-east of England.

Before his "escape" the following year, Rauf told his lawyer he had suffered appalling torture, being beaten and subjected to electric shocks, and that he had been held for months in a cell that was so small that when he lay on his back his knees could touch the ceiling. He has also said British officials questioned him after Pakistani agents tortured him.