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Georgia woman calls 911 to help fiancé; cops kill him

JackRobersonPoliceShtg-400Another day, another controversial incident between police and a black man shot and killed by them.

This time, in Waycross, Ga., the family of Jack Lamar Roberson say they witnessed cops shoot him while he was unarmed with his hands up, while the police say he was brandishing two weapons.

On Friday, Oct. 4, Alicia Herron, Roberson's fiancée, called 911 out of fear that he was suicidal after taking medication for his diabetes. "I thought he might have taken too much," she told the The Florida Times-Union. She asked for an ambulance, but instead two officers arrived at the residence where Roberson was with Herron, their 8-year-old daughter, Zophia Roberson, and Jack's mother, Diane Roberson.


Frail Muhammad Ali helps honor humanitarian work

ali-screengrab-400LOUISVILLE – Appearing very frail, boxing legend Muhammad Ali recently made a rare public appearance at an event in his hometown to pay homage to others for their humanitarian work.

Former President Jimmy Carter, music artists and young leaders of groups helping the underprivileged were among those honored at the inaugural Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards in Louisville (Oct. 3).

Even though he was barely able to whisper a word, Ali posed for pictures and participated in presenting the awards.


Who will blink first?

obama-boehner-split-400Washington – As the partial shutdown of the federal government enters its seventh day Monday, the countdown to a government debt default drops to ten days.

A default is widely regarded as a much bigger economic disaster than the shutdown of non-essential services. President Barack Obama has demanded that Congress raise the debt ceiling, and avoid default, without conditions.

But House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday there will be no debt limit increase, and no end to the partial shutdown, unless President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats negotiate with House Republicans.


Gun violence’s No. 1 target: African-American children

NOLA violence-400In the weeks since the Washington Navy Yard shooting, the city of New Orleans reached a tragic milestone.

All told, 108 people have been murdered in the Crescent City so far this year. In September, two black girls, one 11 years old and the other age 2, were shot and killed. And earlier this year a national organization advocating for stricter gun control told the story of a black 10-year-old New Orleans boy who has been shot and seriously injured twice in his short life.

Although the national spotlight has remained fixed on mass shootings in Washington, D.C.; Newtown, Conn.; and Aurora, Colo., as well as the gun violence coming out of Chicago, street crime and "ordinary" shootings that take one or two lives at a time are still disfiguring communities and putting black children and teens in particular peril.


AEG not liable in Michael Jackson’s death, jury finds

michaelsmom-600LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles jury decided Wednesday that AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray, but also concluded that the concert promoter was not liable for Michael Jackson's drug overdose death.

The verdict brings the five-month-long trial to a close.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, and the singer's three children sued AEG Live in 2010, contending the company's negligence in hiring, retaining or supervising Murray was a factor in the singer's June 25, 2009, death.


A manager’s guide to losing 158 pounds, one step at a time

S027760223-500Keith Trotter stared at the picture that popped up on his Facebook feed. He felt like the floor was opening up and swallowing him whole.

This photo of himself had been taken a few days earlier at a 2009 New Year's Eve party and posted by his friend Jeremy. Trotter was 386 pounds at the time, wearing size 60 pants, and holding a plate of food.

He had known for a while that he was overweight and out of shape. But this guy? He didn't recognize himself.


‘When Men Murder Women’

1murderingwomen-173WASHINGTON – African-American women are murdered by men, often their present or past husbands or lovers, at a rate that is nearly three times the murder rate of white women killed by men, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center.

The report titled, "When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data," found that, "black females were murdered by males at a rate of 2.61 per 100,000, compared to a rate of 0.99 per 100,000 for white females."

In a statement accompanying the study, Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center, a Washington-based national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury, said: "The sad reality is that women are nearly always murdered by someone they know."


Hollywood couple stopped by police, say they were racially profiled

1hollywood-400tHollywood couple Cherie Johnson and Dennis White say they were improperly stopped by police, put in handcuffs, and harshly questioned during a recent weekend getaway in South Carolina. They claim the incident took place because of their race.

Johnson, best known for her roles in TV shows "Punky Brewster" and "Family Matters," and White, from the movie "Notorious," are speaking out about their treatment by a Marion County sheriff's deputy on Sept. 22.

"I've been stopped by the police before, but I've never been fearful for my life," Johnson told CNN on Sunday. "They need some kind of sensitivity training."


Government shutdown: Get up to speed in 20 questions

1shutdown-600So what happens now that a shutdown is in place?

Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on a spending plan for the fiscal year that started Tuesday as they wrangled over Obamacare, leaving federal coffers short.

Here's a quick Q&A to get you caught up on what happened and what to expect:

1. Why did the government shut down?


Teachers train to face school shooter

teachershooters-600The sound of metal hitting the floor echoed through the hallways of the childless elementary school. It was an empty clip from a gun, fallen to the ground.

"That sound should be imprinted in your brain," Zach Hudson, co-founder of Defensive Tactics Solutions, told the educators in the audience. "That is the sound of survival. That is the sound of opportunity."

That, Hudson said, is the best time to attack a shooter if one enters the school or classroom.

On a recent Saturday in Lake Mary, Florida, Hudson and his partner, Mike Friedman, conducted a free active shooter self-defense workshop for teachers and school staff members.


The death of the home stereo system

HomeStereo-600For many years, it was a rite of fall.

You moved into your dorm room or new apartment. You started unpacking the car. And the first thing you set up in your new place was the stereo system: receiver, turntable or CD player, tape deck and speakers.

The wires could get tangled, and sometimes you had to make shelving out of a stack of milk crates. But only when the music was playing on those handpicked CDs, mix tapes or (geezer alert!) vinyl records did you move in the rest of your stuff.
Daniel Rubio wouldn't know.

To the 23-year-old, new dorm rooms and new apartments have meant computers, iTunes, Pandora and miniature speakers.


Al Sharpton on Tawana Brawley & Trayvon Martin

alsharpton-book-400In Al Sharpton's new biography, "The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership," the reverend gives his life story a much-needed update since his first biography was published in 1996. Sharpton has evolved from a fiery civil rights activist with a flashy perm to a still controversial but arguably more respected public figure, who has been welcomed into the homes of mainstream America through such vehicles as his nightly show, "Politics Nation," on MSNBC.

The New York Daily News has published excerpts from Sharpton's new book, in which he opens up about a wide range of issues and events he's witnessed firsthand, including the lessons he learned from the Tawanna Brawley case and how he applied it to his work with the Travyon Martin case.


NY bakery: ‘I can’t hire you because you’re black’

framboise-bakery-400A bakery in Queens, N.Y., reportedly has been hit with $25,000 in fines and penalties in a discrimination case.

"'I can't hire you because you're black,'" Jamilah DaCosta, 25, said she was told when she applied for a job in October 2011 as a counter clerk at Framboise Patisserie in Middle Village, Queens, according to the Daily News.

The incident reportedly occurred during an interview with bakery co-owner Patty Meimetea, when DaCosta was told she wouldn't be "good fit for the 'counter girl' position because black workers in the front of the store would scare away customers," according to findings by the city Human Rights Commission.