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Black mayors rally to reclaim their organization

Black mayors rally to reclaim their organization

WASHINGTON– With some embarrassing internal issues addressed and its sights set firmly on expanding its global impact, the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM) kicks off its 39th annual convention in Atlanta this Thursday.

The theme of this year's conference is "Restore, Rebuild, Renew." And perhaps no one can appreciate the need for those three Rs more than Vanessa R. Williams, the association's executive director and CEO.

Williams, who supervises NCBM's day-to-day operations, received a telephone call three years ago that caught her by surprise. On the other end of the telephone was an FBI agent. And more surprising than his call was what he was calling about.

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  • Written by George Curry
  • Category: News

Elvis’ connection to Michael Jackson’s death enters trial

Elvis’ connection to Michael Jackson’s death enters trial

LOS ANGELES – AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware, whose career as a concert promoter started with Elvis Presley's last tours, testifies Tuesday about Michael Jackson's final days.

Gongaware, who was one of the top producers of Jackson's comeback concerts, takes the stand as the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial enters its fifth week in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Jackson's mother and children are suing AEG Live for liability in the pop icon's death, accusing the concert promoter of negligently hiring, retaining or supervising Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

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  • Written by Alan Duke/CNN
  • Category: News

Gun, drug texts feature in new Trayvon Martin shooting evidence

Gun, drug texts feature in new Trayvon Martin shooting evidence

Items taken from Trayvon Martin's cell phone – including text-message discussion of drug use and pictures of a gun and marijuana plants – are among new details released Thursday by attorneys for the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing him without provocation 14 months ago.

The evidence, George Zimmerman's attorneys say, paints a different picture of the 17-year-old than the one portrayed by his family and supporters. Lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara says he will try to use the evidence if prosecutors attempt to attack Zimmerman's character during his trial on second-degree murder charges, set to begin next month.

Much of the evidence disclosed Thursday in filings by Zimmerman's attorneys comes from Trayvon's cell phone, including photos showing a semiautomatic pistol and ammunition and small marijuana plants growing in pots.

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  • Written by Michael Pearson and David Mattingly/CNN
  • Category: News

Temporary tattoos could put you at risk

Temporary tattoos could put you at risk

Spring break and summer vacation are around the corner ... time to pack your swimsuit, hit the beach, and perhaps indulge in a little harmless fun.

What about getting a temporary tattoo to mark the occasion? Who could it hurt? It could hurt you.

Temporary tattoos typically last from three days to several weeks depending on the product used for coloring and the condition of the skin. Unlike permanent tattoos, which are injected into the skin, temporary tattoos marketed as "henna" are applied to the skin's surface. Henna is a reddish-brown coloring made from a flowering plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia.

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The courage of teachers

The courage of teachers

Each day more than 55 million students attend the country's 130,000 schools.

Each day, parents and guardians entrust some 7 million teachers with the education of our children.

And on a normal day, that is all we expect teachers to do – teach.

But on those not-so normal days we are reminded that for six hours a day and more, five days a week, teaching is not the only thing teachers are charged with doing. On those not-so-normal days, we are reminded that teachers are also asked to be surrogate parents, protectors, heroes.

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  • Written by LZ Granderson/CNN
  • Category: News

Did Michelle Obama send Jay-Z a message?

Did Michelle Obama send Jay-Z a message?

Celebrity commencement addresses usually follow a pretty predictable formula: a few jokes and a few words of wisdom, delivered by someone successful, rich or famous (often all of the above) in hopes of inspiring a new class of graduates to become equally successful (or rich, or famous) someday. Rarely do such speeches make news. But first lady Michelle Obama's recent commencement address did.

Speaking to the graduating class of historically black Bowie State University on Friday, she lamented the educational gap that is plaguing the black community, saying: "Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they're sitting on couches for hours, playing video games, watching TV. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper."

Mrs. Obama continued. "Right now, one in three African-American students are dropping out of high school; only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree."

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