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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.


Outgunned: No more body bags

NAACPNo181176747.jpg.CROP.rtstory-large 600Oct. 24, 2013: A 33-year-old man is shot in the back of the head while playing basketball in Gresham, Ore.

Oct. 27, 2013: A 17-year-old boy and 39-year old man are shot and killed in gang-related violence in Chicago.

Nov. 5, 2013: Two men are shot to death in Baltimore. A witness told reporters there was nothing he could do: "They'd both been shot in the head. Those were kill shots."

Day after day, the killings keep coming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven people are shot in America every hour, and 30 people are killed by gunfire each day. In poor communities of color, gun violence has become an epidemic: young black men between the ages of 15 and 19 are nearly five times more likely to die from gunfire than their white peers.


Where was God in the Philippines?

wheresgod 600The disasters are always different and often devastating. But the questions they raise are hauntingly familiar.

In the days since Super Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines on Thursday, survivors are frantically searching for lost family members and international aid groups are springing into action.

Officials say the death toll may rise to 10,000 in the heavily Catholic country.


Florida School Board Votes to Begin Removal of KKK Leader's Name From High School


Nathan B_Forrest_High_SchoolOn Friday evening, Jacksonville's Duval County School Board unanimously voted to start the process of changing Nathan Bedford



Thanks for your service, vets! Now try finding a job

VetS 600Suddenly, Patrick Caruso's days as a Marine were done.

Like many young men and women who've served their country, Caruso's first weeks back in the civilian world felt "kind of like a shell shock."

The familiar structure of military life was gone, and it was time to adapt to a very different mission: finding a job.

Caruso, now 29, recalled what it felt like when his Marine Corps enlistment ran out in 2007: "I remember having this feeling of, 'I have no idea what I need to do next.'"


New book claims Obama disses Congressional black leaders

11doubledown 600Thanks to the book "Game Change," which captured the behind-the-scenes drama of the 2008 presidential campaign, authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are now as feared among those keeping political secrets as Karinne "Superhead" Steffans is feared among the rappers and athletes worried about being name-checked in her next tell-all.

The most recent revelation to leak from their latest book, "Double Down," is a good reminder of why Halperin and Heilemann cause such nervousness among the political elite. According to the Daily Beast's overview, the book claims President Obama and his advisors were irritated by what his aides dubbed the "professional left" and "professional blacks." Not black professionals, but those who professionally highlight or exploit racial politics.

The book goes on to say that the president considers New York Rep. Charles Rangel "a hack" and that the Rev. Jesse Jackson essentially had been banned from the White House. The Washington Times also reported that according to the book, Rep. John Lewis and Jim Clyburn were the only two members of the CBC whom President Obama respects, writing, "Apart from Georgia congressman John Lewis and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Obama had nearly as much contempt for the CBC as he did for the Tea Party Caucus."


Sarah Palin: Federal debt like slavery

Palin 600Sarah Palin continues to link the Obama administration to slavery, comparing the administration to slave masters. During a conservative fundraiser in Iowa, the former governor of Alaska told some 750 attendees that the federal debt will keep the younger generation shackled because of the country's spending, the Des Moines Register reports.

Palin told the crowd to beware of "free stuff" because nothing is free, and that "When that note comes due – and this isn't racist, but it's going to be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to be beholden to a foreign master. Because there is no plan coming out of Washington, D.C., to stop the incurrence of debt."

This isn't the first times that the former Republican vice-presidential nominee alluded to slavery when speaking about the presidency.


Shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline

prisonpipeline 600Who could forget the alarming image of St. Petersburg, Fla., police officers clasping handcuffs around the wrists of Ja'eisha Scott, a 5-year-old African-American girl, as they placed her under arrest for throwing a tantrum at school?

A video camera captured the incident on March 14, 2005, which took place at Fairmount Park Elementary School during a teacher's self-improvement exercise, CBS News reports. Before police were called, the child could be seen ripping papers from a bulletin board, climbing on a table and hitting an assistant principal.

"Then it shows the child appearing to calm down before three officers approach," CBS reports, "pin her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs as she screamed, 'No!' "


‘Man up’ – the fear that keeps men from acting human

LZ granderson 600You know those electronic collars that zap dogs that stray outside their electronic fences?

That seems to be the purpose of everyone's favorite and seemingly innocuous phrase, "man up."

Just mumbling those two words in a typical guy's direction delivers a psychological shock that discourages him from venturing outside the restrictions of our traditional view of what it means to be a man.