Newswire: LeBron James and Stephen Curry agree on one thing: Neither of them want to visit Trump

By Ed Mazza, Huffington Post
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James and  Curry

Rivals LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors have managed to agree on something: No matter which team wins the NBA championship, neither one of them plans to visit the White House if invited by President Donald Trump.
“I know whoever wins this series, no one wants an invite anyway,” James told reporters on Tuesday.
“I agree with ’Bron,” Curry said at a separate news conference. “Pretty sure the way we handled things last year, kinda staying consistent with that.”
When the Warriors won the NBA championship last year, Curry indicted he would not attend a planned White House ceremony, prompting Trump to disinvite the team via Twitter.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” the president tweeted in September. “Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
At the time, James called out Trump on Twitter, saying he couldn’t disinvite Curry… because Curry wasn’t going to attend anyway:
Curry’s Warriors lead James’ Cavaliers, 2-0, in the finals. Game Three is Wednesday night in Cleveland. It’s the fourth consecutive year that the two teams have met in the finals.
Trump this week cancelled a White House celebration for the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, claiming it was because “they disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem.” However, many of the team’s players were not planning to attend.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Trump’s behavior wasn’t surprising.
“The president has made it pretty clear he’s going to try to divide us, all of us, in this country for political gain,” he said. “We all look forward to the day we can go back to just having a celebration of athletic achievement.”

Eutaw Primary designated as an Alabama Bicentennial School

 

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Shown above L to R: Teacher, Walter Taylor and Prinicipal, Dr. Sharon Jennings

Eutaw Primary was selected from a pool of 400 schools to serve as an Alabama Bicentennial School. The very competitive process included schools throughout Alabama submitting applications and proposed projects. Alabama Bicentennial projects must foster community and civic engagement. Eutaw Primary will receive $2,000 in the fall to assist with implementation of the project. A press conference will be held in early August to recognize the Alabama Bicentennial School designees throughout the state. Congratulations Eutaw Primary School!

James Carter seeks Greene County Probate Judge seat

 

James Carter

When I reflect back over my life, I can see the pivotal roles my father and grandfathers played in my life. I witnessed first hand hard working men that were able to do so much with so little; yet, they weren’t too busy to help and serve others with their gifts and resources to make a better life for those around them.
This spirit of a servant inspired me to pursue a college education to build on the foundation that had already been laid by these strong and determine men. Upon obtaining my education, I worked for several years to gain the experience needed to assist in the family business.
My desire to serve lead me, after much consideration, to run for county commissioner. At the tender age of 26, I was elected county commissioner where I learned leadership through trials and errors, but those growing pains didn’t make me lose sight of my desire to help serve the people of Greene County.
During my tenure, I was able to assist in bringing in 10 million dollars to help expand a water system over most of the county and over 2 million dollars in CDBG funds for housing rehabilitation. Also, another plan that was 15 years in the making, before I became commissioner, was the building of a new courthouse. I was elated that it was erected during my term as commissioner.

Now as I look back on my pastoral experiences, it has taught me how to listen and discern individual and family conflicts. Also, the fruit of patience has helped me through the years not to act hastily but listen to the Holy Spirit before counseling and making decisions that affect other lives.
I’ve been blessed with a loving and supportive wife, Cynthia Winn Carter. For the past 37 years she has been there through it all; to encourage, uplift, listen, love and comfort me through many trials, temptations, joys, and pains of this life, for which I am forever grateful. We have 3 children, Tawanna, Jemali, and Ameil and 4 grandchildren, Malik, Makel, MaKalani, and Jordan Paul.
As a husband, father and grandfather, I understand the real struggles facing families today; both single parents and married families.
I believe that without a strong family, there will not be a strong community.
In closing, I have been a servant in some form or the other all my life and I am asking you for the opportunity to serve as your probate judge. Please vote on June 5th for James Carter, Probate Judge of Greene County.

Newswire : Lawyers building case against Gambian ex-President over mass killing of refugees

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Martin Kyere, sole survivor of massacre of Ghanan refugees

May 28, 2018 (GIN) – Strong evidence has been gathered linking the former president of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, to the murder of 44 West African migrants mostly from Ghana by operatives of the ex-president.

The sole survivor of the mass killing, also from Ghana, promised himself not to rest until Mr Jammeh was brought to justice. ”It is my mission, on behalf of my friends, we want justice,” Martin Kyere, now age 37, told the BBC.

Kyere was selling shoes in Ghana and the Ivory Coast when he decided to use his savings to travel to Senegal and then to Europe. His plan fell apart when the boat used by migrants ran out of fuel and beached in the Gambia. The group was arrested, detained for a week in Banjul and beaten.

“We asked the officers why we were there, they just said the orders came from above. For a long time we thought we would just be deported.”

But the migrants were handed over to paramilitaries whose torture and killings had helped keep Mr Jammeh in power since July 1994. They were driven to a desolate area and killed brutally. Kyere jumped out of the truck and was saved.

Thirteen years later and now living in his native Ghana, Kyere is the key witness in an international effort to bring The Gambia’s former president to trial for what was probably the single largest mass killing during his 22 years in power.

”We are presenting evidence that approximately 44 Ghanaian citizens were killed by a death squad that took its orders from Jammeh,” said Reed Brody, legal counsel for Human Rights Watch, which is supporting Mr Kyere’s campaign along with Trial International.

“We have been able to interview 30 former officials, 11 of whom were directly involved, and it is clear that the migrants were not killed by rogue elements – as claimed by a previous investigation – but by the ‘junglers’ who took their orders directly from Jammeh.”

Mr Jammeh has lived in Equatorial Guinea since January 2017 since losing his re-election bid to Adama Barrow.

The Gambia has returned six bodies to Ghana, and paid $500,000 to cover burial and other costs. Most of the remaining bodies have never been found.

If Mr Kyere’s case is heard in Ghana this would embolden over 1,000 of the Jammeh regime’s victims in to seek justice, Brody said

Newswire: Smokey Robinson testifies before Congress

Legendary singer fighting to increase copyright protection

By Frederick H. Lowe, NorthStarNews
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Smokey Robinson testifies before Congress.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – William “Smokey” Robinson recently testified before Congress about giving musicians greater copyright protection amid a love fest for him.
Women embraced and kissed Robinson, who is now 78. Men stood in line to enthusiastically shake his hand and hug him. Even Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Robinson a “legend.”
Through it all Robinson, leader of the Miracles and writer of many iconic hits, including “I Second That Emotion,” “Tears Of A Clown,” and “My Girl,” which led Nobel Peace Prize winner Bob Dylan to call him America’s greatest poet, captured the room with his bright smile and the joyful memories his songs evoked. C-SPAN broadcast the hearing.
Robinson testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the support of the Music Modernization Act that would reform the way songwriters and musicians are compensated. The Act, which has unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives, would extend copyright protection to songs recorded before 1972.
“My message is simple. Musicians who recorded before February 15, 1972, deserve to be compensated the same way as those who recorded after that date,” Robinson told Judiciary Committee members.
Most of Robinson’s hit records were recorded before 1972, and although the songs are sometimes streamed 50,000 times a day, the Miracles don’t receive any compensation.
Artists now earn more from on-demand services like Spotify and Apple Music than selling CDs. Streaming services have supplanted the way people hear and buy music.
Joining Robinson in speaking before the committee were other R&B headliners, including Dionne Warwick, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Darlene Love, who sang both background and lead.

Newswire : Is the NFL’s new National Anthem policy legal?

Civil Rights Activists, NFL Players react to new policy

By Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

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Civil rights activist Tamika Mallory speaking at demonstration against new NFL national anthem policy
Protesters held a rally in front of the National Football League’s New York City headquarters on May 25 after the league announced new rules that punish players who don’t stand for the national anthem.
Tamika Mallory said that the NFL owners were acting as a “proxy for a fascist president” and that the new policy was an attempt to “resurrect slavery in the 21st century” and punish Black players. The kneeling protests started when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting during the anthem and then kneeling as a protest against police brutality.
“ What is being said is that the n–gas don’t have basic rights,” Mallory said. “And I want to say today that Ida B. Wells, Dr. Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, the four little girls in Birmingham are turning over in their graves right now about the disrespect, the disgrace, that is happening in this country.”
Mallory continued: “If we, as Black people, lay down and allow this system to continue to oppress us, we are the ones to be held responsible.”
Civil rights activist and author of “The Revolt of the Black Athlete” Harry Edwards told USA TODAY that the NFL’s new national anthem policy was “the dumbest move possible.” “They put the protest movement on blast,” Edwards said. “They just created a bigger stage than ever.”
In a recent commentary for Vox.com, Harvard Law School labor professor Benjamin wrote: “This new league policy is meant to enforce a particular vision of patriotism, one that involves compliance rather than freedom of expression.”
Sachs wrote that the new anthem policy was illegal—for a host of reasons.“The clearest illegality derives from the fact that the league adopted its new policy without bargaining with the players union,” Sachs wrote. “When employees, including football players, are represented by a union, the employer—including a football league—can’t change the terms of employment without discussing the change with the union. Doing so is a flagrant violation of the employer’s duty to bargain in good faith.”
ESPN.com reported that President Donald Trump supported the NFL’s policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem or remain in the locker room, during an interview with Fox News. “I think that’s good,” Trump said. “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms, but still I think it’s good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
Many players have already indicated that they are not happy with the new rule.
In a statement released on Twitter, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wrote: “While I disagree with this decision, I will not let it silence me or stop me from fighting. The national conversation around race in America that NFL players forced over the past 2 years will persist as we continue to use our voices, our time and our money to create a more fair and just criminal justice system, end police brutality and foster better educational and economic opportunities for communities of color and those struggling in this country.”
In an interview with ESPN, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin called the president “an idiot…plain and simple.”
“I respect the man because he’s a human being, first and foremost. But he’s just being more divisive, which is not surprising. It is what it is,” Baldwin said. “For him to say that anyone who doesn’t follow his viewpoints or his constituents’ viewpoints should be kicked out of the country, it’s not very empathetic, it’s not very American-like, actually to me. It’s not very patriotic. It’s not what this country was founded upon.”
Baldwin continued: “It’s kind of ironic to me that the president of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.”
In his Vox.com commentary about the NFL’s new national anthem policy, Sachs wrote that now that the owners have made it a workplace rule to stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room, any player who takes the field and takes a knee is protesting an employer rule. That protest, Sachs said, “is unquestionably protected by federal labor law.”
The NFL pre-season begins in August.

Newswire: ABC/Disney cancels Roseanne Barr’s TV show after her racist comments about Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett

from reports in Huffington Post


ABC has canceled “Roseanne” following her racist tweet on Tuesday.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values,” Channing Dungey, president of ABC, said in a statement. “We have decided to cancel her show.” Dungey is a the first Black President for Entertainment at ABC and was instrumental in the revival of Barr’s sitcom.
On Tuesday morning, the actress and creator of “Roseanne” ― the show recently rebooted on ABC and already wading into racist waters ― attacked former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett via Twitter.
“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr tweeted, referring to Jarrett, who is black and was born in Iran to American parents.
Comedian and writer Wanda Sykes, who is African-American quit her job as a consulting producer on the show “Roseanne” after star Roseanne Barr went on a racist Twitter rant on Tuesday morning and then apologized.
Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett called actress Roseanne Barr’s racist comments about her a “teaching moment” during MSNBC’s “Everyday Racism in America” town hall on Tuesday.
At the event, hosted by Joy Reid and Chris Hayes, Jarrett addressed the post. “First of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense,” she said,
Hours after a backlash against Barr’s comment began, ABC President Channing Dungey called Barr’s tweet “repugnant” and announced that the network was canceling the hit revival of her sitcom. Jarrett said that Bob Iger, the CEO of ABC’s parent corporation, the Walt Disney Co., reached out to let her know about the cancellation of “Roseanne.”
“He wanted me to know before he made it public that he was canceling the show,” Jarrett said.
Barr’s co-stars and collaborators publicly denounced her tweet, and talent agency ICM Partners dropped her as a client, a spokesman for the company confirmed for HuffPost on Tuesday.
“We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning,” ICM Partners wrote in a note to employees. “What she wrote is antithetical to our core values, both as individuals and as an agency. Consequently, we have notified her that we will not represent her. Effective immediately, Roseanne Barr is no longer a client.”
Jarrett also referred to President Donald Trump during the town hall, saying, “Tone does start at the top.”
“We like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country, but I also think every individual citizen has a responsibility to,” she said during the MSNBC event. “And it’s up to all of us to push back.”
In another series of tweets that morning, Barr also attacked liberal billionaire George Soros and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. (Soros was 14 years old in 1945 ― younger than Anne Frank ― and was never a Nazi collaborator).

Newswire: Starbucks closes for half-day: 8,000 stores conducted anti-bias training on Tuesday

By; Terry Tang, Associated Press

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Starbucks, trying to put to rest an outcry over the arrest of two black men at one of its stores, is closing more than 8,000 stores for an afternoon of anti-bias training, a strategy some believe can keep racism at bay.
After the arrests in Philadelphia last month, the coffee chain’s leaders apologized and met with the two men, but also reached out to activists and experts in bias training to put together a curriculum for its 175,000 workers.
That has put a spotlight on the little-known world of “unconscious bias training,” which is used by many corporations, police departments and other organizations to help address racism in the workplace. The training is typically designed to get people to open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender or other identities.
The Perception Institute, a consortium of researchers consulting with Starbucks, defines implicit bias as attitudes — positive or negative — or stereotypes someone has toward a person or group without being conscious of it. A common example, according to some of its studies, is a tendency for white people to unknowingly associate black people with criminal behavior.
Many retailers including Walmart and Target said they already offer some racial bias training. Target says it plans to expand that training. Nordstrom has said it plans to enhance its training after issuing an apology to three black teenagers in Missouri who employees falsely accused of shoplifting.
Anti-bias sessions can incorporate personal reflections, explorations of feelings and mental exercises. But one expert says training of this kind can have the opposite effect if people feel judged.
According to a video previewing the Starbucks training, there will be recorded remarks from Starbucks executives and rapper/activist Common. From there, employees will “move into a real and honest exploration of bias” where, in small groups, they can share how the issue comes up in their daily work life.
Starbucks has described it as a “collaborative and engaging experience for store partners to learn together.” ”
Developed with feedback from the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Perception Institute and other social advocacy groups, Tuesday’s four-hour session will give workers a primer on the history of civil rights from the 1960s to present day. Workers will also view a short documentary film.
Alexis McGill Johnson, Perception’s co-founder and executive director, says anti-bias training is about awareness. “The work that we want to do is not say you’re a bad person because you have a stereotype about a group, but say this is why your brain may have these stereotypes,” she said.
Johnson declined to elaborate on the details of the Starbucks training. But she said Perception’s workshops typically include mental exercises to show participants how bias creeps into situations. A session can include personal reflections, she said, such as, “‘I was socialized to think about a group this way.’”
Johnson said the real work is for employees to apply what they learn in their everyday lives. She likened it to exercising a muscle. Some ways to practice counter-stereotyping, she said, are to look for something unique about a person that is beyond their social identity.
“It could be having a question that elicits something more interesting than, say, the weather or the traffic,” Johnson said, stressing the need to “go well beyond the superficial.”
In the Philadelphia incident, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were asked to leave after one was denied access to the bathroom. They were arrested by police minutes after they sat down to await a business meeting. The incident was recorded by cellphones and went viral.
Nelson and Robinson settled with Starbucks this month for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free education. They also reached a deal with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $1 each and a promise from officials to establish a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
Starbucks has since announced anyone can use its restrooms even if they are not buying anything. According to documents Starbucks sent to store workers, employees should also think carefully when dealing with disruptive customers. A guide advises staff to consider whether the actions they take would apply to any customer in the same situation. They should dial 911 only if the situation seems unsafe.
Starbucks said the arrests never should have occurred and announced the mass closures of its stores for the afternoon of training.
Calvin Lai, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, said people should not place high expectations on this one day.
“We find that oftentimes diversity training has mixed effects, and in some cases it can even backfire and lead people who are kind of already reactive to these issues to become even more polarized,” Lai said.
One afternoon wouldn’t really be “moving the needle on the biases,” especially when it’s a company with as many employees as Starbucks, he said. “A lot of those employees won’t be here next year or two years or three years down the line.”
Starbucks has said Tuesday’s sessions serve as “a step in a long-term journey to make Starbucks even more welcoming and safe for all.” It is working with volunteer advisers including Heather McGhee, president of social advocacy organization Demos, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
“One of the things Starbucks has to wrestle with is how to incorporate this kind of training into the on boarding of every employee,” Ifill said.
That takes a sustained effort, McGhee added. “We have really made it clear that one training is not enough, and this needs to be part of an ongoing review of their policies,” McGhee said. “They really need to commit.”
AP Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio contributed to this report.

Eutaw Primary Kindergarten students create canvas art as end of year activity

Ms. Tammy Anderson’s Kindergarten Class at Eutaw Primary was treated to an end of year arts activity which engaged the students in painting canvas art displays. Anderson selected a butterfly theme to demonstrate to the students that the butterfly transforms before it becomes an adult. “The butterfly evolves as does each child,” explained Anderson. She told the class that each one of them is different with his and her own gifts and beauty, just as the butterfly. “No two butterflies are the same as no two children are the same.” She said. Anderson wanted the students to understand that each butterfly painted would also be different.

Ms. Kelly Magadan, an artist with Uptown Art of Tuscaloosa, volunteered as instructor for the special occasion. She explained the painting process to the students, describing how color combinations are formed. Each student was provided a canvas, paint and brushes, and before beginning their masterpieces, each student was adorned with a painting apron and beret. Parents were also invited to the special event. Refreshments were provided.

Newswire: Experimental drug gets green light for new Ebola outbreak

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                                                            Ebola drug vaccination

May 14, 2018 (GIN) – The Ebola virus which took thousands of lives in West Africa has resurfaced in central Africa. This time, health officials are ready to put an experimental drug to the test.

The outbreak, which has caused at least 19 deaths and 39 confirmed and suspected cases, was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province between April 4 and May 13, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The drug, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, was developed over a decade ago by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is now licensed to Merck to help protect people who have not yet been infected with Ebola.

It was proven safe and effective when first used in Guinea in 2015. Some 1,510 individuals were vaccinated between March 17 and April 21. Guinea was declared Ebola virus disease-free on Dec. 29. The trial ended on Jan. 20, 2016.

Others working with WHO are Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Médecins Sans Frontières; and the DRC’s Ministry of Health to introduce the shot, a WHO spokesperson confirmed Monday.

A “ring vaccination” approach around the epicenter of the outbreak in the Congo, will be used. But because Merck’s Ebola shot hasn’t yet won regulatory approval, officials must obtain an importation license, plus establish a “formal agreement on the research protocols,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević told FiercePharma.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the world health body, said the WHO has a stockpile of 4,300 doses of the vaccine in Geneva; the company also has 300,000 doses of the vaccine stockpiled in the U.S.

The “ring vaccination” approach was a strategy used in 1977 to control smallpox. The idea is to vaccinate people who know someone who has been infected and the people who know those people, in an expanding “ring” around the infections.

So far, 393 people have been identified as part of the “ring” around people who are known or suspected to have been infected in the Congo.