Officer shoots at van filled with five kids

MotherDriverShooting 600On Oct. 28, a family of six from Tennessee was traveling near Taos, N.M. when the driver was pulled over by a state trooper for speeding. There was an argument. The driver – the mother of the five children inside, ages 6-18 – attempted to leave and was pulled over again. Her 14-year-old son left the minivan and confronted one of the officers but was backed down with what appeared to be a Taser.

More yelling from police. Children screaming, confusion building.

A window is broken with a baton, more screams from the children. The mother pulls off again, and three shots are fired toward the minivan. The whole scene was caught on tape.


Alarming ‘knockout’ game sweeping the nation?

19knockout 600An alarming new "game" that has reportedly caused deaths in Syracuse, N.Y., St. Louis and New Jersey is sweeping the nation, according to CBSDC, as roving bands of youths prey on unsuspecting people walking the streets.

The so-called "knockout" game involves groups or individuals who randomly target strangers, with the ultimate goal of knocking them out with a single punch as they walk by, according to CBSDC, which cites a report from New York-based CBS 2. The report highlights troubling footage of teens participating in the attacks.


JFK’s civil rights legacy

jfk 600There's been as much myth as fact regarding John F. Kennedy's civil rights legacy in the more than fifty years before, during and especially after his assassination on November 22, 1963.

In the days before he delivered his now famed presidential inaugural address on Friday, Jan. 20, 1961, two of his principal advisors, Louis Martin and Harris Wofford, battled hard to get Kennedy to add two words – "at home" – to a pivotal sentence in his speech that addressed human rights. Kennedy meant the human rights fight that the U.S. waged internationally against Communism. The "at home" referred to the battle for civil rights in America.

Kennedy reluctantly added the words. That reluctance typified the wariness that Kennedy had in making civil rights a centerpiece of his presidency.


University of Alabama sorority elects 1st black president

19alabamaPatterson 600One of the University of Alabama's majority white sororities elected an African-American president for the first time in history.

Sigma Delta Tau elected Hannah Patterson, 22, as their newest president. The engineering student joined the sorority last year through informal recruitment, according to university's newspaper, The Crimson White.

The historically Jewish organization inducted its first black member in 2011, and has had a total of three black sisters.


George Zimmerman arrested in Florida

S023221288 600disturbance call," the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Further details about Zimmerman's arrest in Apopka, Florida, were not immediately released. He will be booked at the county's correctional facility, the sheriff's office said.

This is one of several brushes that Zimmerman has had with law enforcement since he was acquitted this year of murder and manslaughter in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.


HPV vaccines less effective for black women

Needle 600WASHINGTON – Although black women are twice as likely as white women to die from cervical cancer, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination may not prevent cervical cancer in African American women, according to a new study.

The available vaccines only protect against four strains of HPV, which, according to this study from the Duke University School of Medicine, African-American women are half as likely as white women to carry.

The American Cancer Society expects more than 12,000 women to be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year alone. Incidence rates have been falling for all women as screenings have become more routine, but the rate of infection for black women is the second highest (after Latinas) – and it's still 39 percent higher than their white counterparts.


Having access to excellent teachers is civil right

teacher 600WASHINGTON – A new study suggests that access to "excellent teachers" should be a civil right and that students should be able to "take legal action" to get better results.

The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, partnered with Public Impact on the report that recommends a number of federal policy reforms designed to increase the influence of excellent teachers in American classrooms. Public Impact is a research and advocacy group focused on the educational needs of underserved students.

"Excellent teachers – those in the top 20 percent to 25 percent of the profession in terms of student progress – produce well more than a year of student-learning growth for each year they spend instructing a cohort of students," stated CAP/PI joint study.


Renisha McBridge and other black women need to be defended

malveauxfrontdoor2 600All Renisha McBride wanted to do was to go home. She had been in a car accident, her cell phone was dead, and she needed help. She knocked on a couple of doors in the suburban Detroit neighborhood where she was stranded, but it was well after midnight and people weren't opening their doors. Finally, she found a homeowner in Dearborn Heights who opened his door, but instead of offering the help she so desperately needed, he shot her, saying he thought she was going to break into his home.

He didn't shoot her at close range; he shot her from a distance. He might have simply shut the door, or he might have shut the door and called 911. Instead he shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face.

On Friday, Theodore P. Wafer, 54, was charged with second-degree murder. He also faces a manslaughter charge.


Tornadoes rip through Midwest

KillerstormS 600WASHINGTON, Ill. – Hundreds of thousands of people were without power and hundreds were without homes across the Midwest on Monday after powerful storms wreaked havoc in three states.

The worst damage appeared to be in Illinois, where six people died.

Gov. Pat Quinn declared seven counties a state disaster area, including Tazewell County, where a tornado left parts of Washington, Illinois, in ruins.


Battling cancer by learning to love your ‘who’

Chef Timothy_Moore-160While working with cancer clients from all over the United States, I continually hear women ask why this dreaded disease happens to them. One such person is 26-year-old Joan, who is originally from Nairobi and now lives in Texas.

Joan has brain cancer that is spreading throughout her body. Especially prevalent in young African-American women, the disease has derailed Joan's once-promising career in engineering.

Over and over again, Joan has questioned God about why the frightening cancer has entered her body and boxed up her dreams and goals.



Obamacare promises: Where things stand

14ObamacareS 600

UPDATE: President Barack Obama on Thursday morning was moving to lay out an administrative solution to address the problem of people getting cancellation notices from their health insurance providers due to the Affordable Care Act, a senior Democratic source familiar with the plan tells CNN’s Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

It has been a rough month or so for the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration, which has been struggling to get its signature health insurance program off the ground.

Obamacare, the effort to extend health coverage to every American, has already achieved some of its biggest goals: no more denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions, allowing parents to keep children on their policies up to age 26, the eventual phase-out of the "doughnut hole" for Medicare's prescription drug coverage.

But the big enchilada was the rollout of the online federal and state exchanges for Americans to shop for insurance coverage, and that has been plagued by delays since the October 1 launch. Obama also was forced to admit that his longstanding reassurance that people could keep their insurance plans if they liked them wasn't holding up, as insurers began sending cancellation notices to an estimated several million people whose individual policies don't meet Obamacare requirements for comprehensive coverage.



Florida woman in warning-shot case, may be freed

M.Alexander 600She's won a new trial. And now, Marissa Alexander may learn Wednesday (Nov. 13) whether she can get out of prison while she waits for that trial.

In a Jacksonville, Fla., court, a judge is expected to decide if Alexander will be released on bond in a case that has drawn national attention.

Last month, an appellate court ordered a new trial for Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a gun to scare off her allegedly abusive husband. The case will be retried because the jury had incorrect directions, the court ruled.


Clinton: Obama must keep health care promise

Clinton 600President Barack Obama made a promise to the American people and former President Bill Clinton believes he should keep his word.

When President Obama proposed his plan for universal healthcare, he assured those who were happy with their insurance that they would not be forced to change their policy. The president has since had to backtrack that commitment as individual health policies have changed and some 3.5 million people have had their health plans canceled.

Former President Bill Clinton believes that the president must honor that pledge even if that means changing the bill.