Newswire: ‘Rustin’ movie shines a long overdue spotlight on the architect of the March on Washington

Actor Colman Domingo who plays Bayard Rustin in movie

By Max Gao, NBC News

Six decades after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of an estimated 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a new Netflix film is shining a spotlight on one of the architects of the March on Washington who has largely been left out of the history books.
Directed by George C. Wolfe (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and written by Julian Breece and Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”), “Rustin” revisits a crucial chapter in the life of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (played by Colman Domingo), who is best known for being a key adviser to King and organizing the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Executive produced by Michelle and Barack Obama, who posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, the buzzy biopic dramatizes the weeks leading up to the historic march and explores Rustin’s identity as an openly gay Black man torn between love and duty in the 1960s.
“I love the fact that, even the way the script is written, we don’t leave his sexuality out of it at all. It’s infused with every part of who he is,” Domingo told NBC News in a recent video interview. “He’s messy in many ways, even with his relationship dealings. He’s a real, flawed human being who’s trying to do something extraordinary, but he’s just an ordinary man. He’s trying to figure out the systems in which he lives and trying to move the needle a little bit on our humanity.”
Wolfe, an acclaimed theater director and playwright who won multiple Tony Awards for directing Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” and his own “Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk” in the 1990s, has long been interested in telling stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Wolfe was asked to curate an exhibit more than a decade ago at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, where he had an opportunity to delve into the life and accomplishments of Rustin, who died in 1987.
That treasure trove of research has proven invaluable in the five years that it has taken for “Rustin” to reach the big screen. In 2018, Black, the screenwriter, and film producer Bruce Cohen approached Tonia Davis at the Obamas’ newly launched production company, Higher Ground, about making a feature film centered around Rustin’s role in the March on Washington. Wolfe was attached early on as the director and worked closely with the writers to refine the screenplay and before long, he said, they could not imagine anyone other than Domingo, with whom he had just worked on “Ma Rainey,” to play the titular character in “Rustin.”
Domingo said he likely encountered Rustin’s story for the first time as a footnote in a college textbook but it wasn’t until years later, in the ’90s, that the actor learned about the extent of Rustin’s impact on the civil rights movement. For the better part of the last two decades, Domingo recalled, people would regularly tell him, “Oh, that’s a role that you should definitely play when they do the movie of his life,” perhaps because they shared so much in common. (Like Rustin, Domingo is Black, gay, tall, left-handed and born in Pennsylvania.)
So, when the time came to step into his shoes, Domingo voraciously consumed every piece of media he could find about Rustin — reading biographies, watching documentaries, visiting museums, listening to interviews — but he admitted that he was able to glean the most insight from his personal conversations with those who knew the man behind the movement.
“I think one of the most beautiful things that I love to do, especially with playing a real-life character, is to find out from people who knew and loved him all these personal ticks or things about them that you cannot find in Wikipedia,” Domingo said. For example, the actor — who grew up in Philadelphia, about an hour away from Rustin’s hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania — could not understand the origin of Rustin’s idiosyncratic, mid-Atlantic accent until Rachelle Horowitz, one of the activist’s comrades, revealed that Rustin simply made it up and used it as a kind of “flourish” in group meetings.
Rustin was always looking for new ways to reinvent himself and challenge the limits that others attempted to place on him, Domingo said. “He created himself in a very joyfully defiant way: being an athlete, playing the lute, singing Elizabethan love songs, actually cutting an album of Elizabethan love songs and hymns, being a conscientious objector, being part of the young communist groups. He was just doing what made sense to him in every single moment. That’s what I thought was fascinating.”
While some filmmakers have chosen to depict civil rights icons with almost the quality of a saint in the past, Wolfe felt strongly about depicting Rustin in all his complexity — a decision that he hopes will make this story as accessible to the masses as possible.
Part of Rustin’s struggle, both in real life and in the film, stemmed from the issue of whether his sexuality could hinder other people’s beliefs in his ability to lead the March on Washington and beyond. The activist, after all, faced resistance not only from the white populace but also from members of the Black community, including NAACP executive Roy Wilkins (Chris Rock) and Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (Jeffrey Wright).
That dilemma “was always his internal crisis,” Domingo said. “How can you be exactly who you are and do what you know you are gifted to do, but then there’s parts of yourself that are not wanted in rooms? How can you do it? That’s a dance that I think many of us can understand, whether we’re people of color, whether you’re LGBTQIA. But he was extraordinary, saying, ‘I want to bring all of me into this.’”
Wolfe noted that, given the time period, Rustin was a remarkably “out homosexual” who “claimed and owned all of who he was” in 1963. For this retelling of the leader’s life story, Wolfe and his creative team decided to create the character of Elias Taylor (Johnny Ramey), a fictionalized pastor on the NAACP board, who acts as a kind of foil and closeted love interest to the more free-spirited Rustin.
“Elias becomes a really interesting person in contrast” to Rustin, who was raised by Quaker grandparents in the North, because Elias “is Southern, he’s Baptist, he’s married. He has done all the things that are expected for him to do,” Wolfe explained. “There’s a line in the film which Bayard uses called ‘the suffocating chains of Negro respectability,’ and Bayard has liberated himself largely from those suffocating chains, and Elias is very much so imprisoned by those chains.”
That liberation, however, doesn’t mean Rustin is not haunted by his own past. As the march draws closer, Strom Thurmond, a segregationist senator from South Carolina, exposes Rustin’s arrest in 1953 when he was found having sex with two men in a parked car in Pasadena — a real-life charge that was pardoned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020.
In that pivotal scene, where Rustin and his team of fellow march organizers are listening to Thurmond speak about Rustin’s arrest record on the radio, Rustin is “trying to hold onto the only thing he knows how to do while they’re trying to destroy him,” Domingo explained. “For me, that’s what I wanted to play — that complexity where he’s completely disintegrating in front of our eyes while he’s trying to stay on task.” 
The film carries a special professional significance for Domingo, one of the most versatile actors of his generation. After more than 30 years of working as a self-described “journeyman” actor and receiving acclaim for playing supporting roles in “Fear the Walking Dead,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Euphoria” (for which he won a guest actor Emmy), “Rustin” is Domingo’s first major leading role.
“I think the chickens have come home to roost in a way where people can see the scope of what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been creating for years, and it’s being met with such loving, celebratory arms that if I sat in or really thought about it, I would never stop crying, because I think it’s really beautiful,” Domingo said, with a glint in his eye. “It feels like people are giving me my flowers — not that I’ve asked for them, but because I’ve always, I guess, like Bayard Rustin, always kept my head down and just went to work.”

Newswire : Former GOP rep, Liz Cheney, calls Trump ‘the most dangerous’ President ever

Cover of Liz Cheney’s book

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Donald Trump is “the most dangerous man ever to inhabit the Oval Office,” and a large swath of Republicans have proven that they’re nothing more than enablers and collaborators willing to “violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty” to the twice-impeached former president.
That scathing assessment, first reported by CNN, came from former GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who has penned “Oath and Honor,” a detailed exposé about Trump’s four years in the White House and how many of her colleagues cowered to the whims of an out-of-control wannabe dictator.
Cheney appeared to have left no stone unturned in the memoir that hits shelves on Dec. 5, including her takedown of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his successor, Mike Johnson. Of McCarthy, Cheney said he knew Trump lost the 2020 election to President Biden but went along with Trump’s lies. She referred to Johnson as a fanboy who “appeared especially susceptible to flattery from Trump and aspired to being anywhere in Trump’s orbit.”
Trump currently faces 91 felony counts in four jurisdictions; much of the charges stem from his alleged attempt to steal the 2020 election. Earlier this year, a civil jury found him responsible for sexually assaulting the writer, E. Jean Carroll. Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages.
Despite four indictments, his loss in the sexual assault civil trial, and his promise of retribution against his political enemies, Trump is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Several polls also show him leading Biden in the general election.
“As a nation, we can endure damaging policies for a four-year term,” Cheney declared. “But we cannot survive a president willing to terminate our Constitution.”
Cheney’s 384-page “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning” is already the top-selling book on In one passage, Trump is referred to as “Orange Jesus,” a term regularly used by Black Press journalist Barrington Salmon to deride the former president. Using text messages, emails, calls, and meetings, as well as personal conversations, Cheney rails against her GOP colleagues and reams them for being complicit in threats against democracy.
“So strong is the lure of power that men and women who had once seemed reasonable and responsible were suddenly willing to violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty to Donald Trump,” Cheney writes in the book, which hits shelves on Dec. 5.
Cheney unveils a hitherto undisclosed conversation with McCarthy, happening a mere 48 hours after the ballots were cast, where McCarthy spilled the beans that he had a tête-à-tête with Trump. According to the book, McCarthy spilled, “He knows it’s over… He needs to go through all the stages of grief.” Cheney dryly muses that, in Trump’s world, those stages appear to involve “tweeting in all caps.”
When McCarthy declared on Fox News that “President Trump won this election,” Cheney notes, “McCarthy knew that what he was saying was not true.” The book further uncovers how other Republicans, like House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, brushed aside legal processes in a GOP conference call, with Jordan underscoring, “The only thing that matters is winning.”
Cheney also took shots at Johnson, narrating how he pressed Republicans to back an amicus brief challenging the election result. Despite highlighting flaws in the legal arguments, Johnson reportedly insisted, “We just need to do this one last thing for Trump.”
Before Trump’s followers stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Cheney described a scene in the GOP cloakroom where members signed electoral vote objection sheets, acknowledging that most were aware it was a “farce” and merely a symbolic gesture of allegiance to Trump. Republican Congressman Mark Green reportedly quipped, “The things we do for the Orange Jesus.”
Cheney accuses McCarthy of repeated falsehoods and a “craven” embrace of Trump, detailing his post-Jan. 6 visit to Mar-a-Lago. McCarthy claimed Trump’s staff summoned him, citing concerns about Trump’s well-being. Cheney incredulously responded, “You went to Mar-a-Lago because Trump’s not eating?”
Cheney revealed her unintentional inclusion in a White House surrogate call on Jan. 4, where Trump allies mapped out plans to overturn the election through Pence. She left with a “terrible feeling,” unsure if Pence would withstand the pressure, disclosing that Paul Ryan also harbored doubts.

Despite warnings from her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, about her safety on Jan. 6, Cheney remained unwavering. She voted for impeachment on Jan. 13, receiving private support from former President George W. Bush, who hailed her courage.

Newswire : Nearly 5.5 million borrowers lower student loan payments with SAVE Plan – 2.9 million borrowers reduce monthly payments to $0 

By Charlene Crowell

( – Nearly 5.5 million borrowers have applied for the newest federal program for student loan debt relief since it was announced about three months ago. Nearly 3 million borrowers who enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan completely eliminated their monthly loan payments.
“Under President Biden, the Department created the SAVE Plan so that young people and working families can climb the economic ladder without unaffordable student loan debt weighing them down,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’m thrilled to see that in less than three months, nearly 5.5 million Americans in every community across the country are taking advantage of the SAVE Plan’s many benefits, from lower monthly payments to protection from runaway student loan interest.”
The bulk of these loan savings benefit students with the greatest financial need – those eligible for federal Pell grants – including Black, Latino, Native American and Alaskan Native borrowers.  Most SAVE borrowers will see their lifetime loan repayments cut in half.
As long as SAVE participants maintain their regular payments, their loan balances will go down due to the Education Department no longer charging interest.
Further, the SAVE program creates lower payment rates for both undergraduate and graduate loans. Required payments for undergraduate loans will be cut in half to five percent from the previous 10 percent. Borrowers who incurred both undergraduate and graduate loans, under SAFE, will now pay a weighted average of the original principal balances on their loans. The payment range for the combination borrowers is from 5-10 percent of income.
The $0 payment remains available for borrowers who earn less than $32,800 per year or those in a family of four making less than $67,000. Borrowers earning more than these annual amounts also benefit with an estimated savings of $102 a month ($1,224 a year), compared to earlier income-driven repayment programs.
Geographically, every state and congressional district has SAVE participants. California and Texas each have more than 450,000 borrowers enrolled in SAVE, while congressional districts in Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan have the highest identified enrollment.
Consumer advocates are emphasizing the program’s targeted reach.
For example, this October, the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization noted, “Payment reductions and larger loan forgiveness benefits under the SAVE plan will occur broadly across racial and ethnic groups but are skewed toward programs enrolling more Black and Hispanic students.”
Even earlier this year, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) stressed to the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development how the escalating costs of higher education surpassed the financial capabilities of many Americans.
“Education was sold to working-class families as the great equalizer, giving unlimited opportunity to those who would seize it” wrote CRL.  “Yet, according to the Federal Reserve, every $1,000 increase in student loan debt lowers the national homeownership rate by about 1.8 percentage points for public 4-year college students.”
“Between 2009 and 2022, median household income grew from $63,011 to $70,784, or about 12 percent,” CRL continued. “Comparatively, the average student loan debt grew nearly 32 percent, from $27,874 to $36,096, during that period.”
Student loan borrowers who have financially struggled to keep up with monthly payments may still enroll online at:
“The SAVE Plan will significantly cut monthly bills for most borrowers, reduce loan default, and ensure that students loans don’t need to come before life necessities,” said Under Secretary James Kvaal. “With nearly 5.5 million people enrolled after only two months, it’s clear how much borrowers need a plan like SAVE. President Biden and our Administration remain committed to giving borrowers breathing room on their monthly payments and ensuring student loans aren’t a barrier to opportunity.”
Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at   

Newswire : Reactions pour in following the passing of Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady and Global Humanitarian

Rosalynn Carter with Jimmy Carter

By Stacy M. Brown, For The Washington Informer
In a wave of condolences, political leaders and public figures expressed their grief and admiration for the late Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and tireless advocate for various social issues. President Joe Biden, visibly moved, shared his sentiments with reporters as he boarded Air Force One in Norfolk, Virginia, on Sunday night.
Habitat For Humanity, the Georgia-based charity closely associated with the Carters, expressed sadness at the news. The organization described Carter as a “compassionate and committed champion” who worked tirelessly to help families worldwide.
The late First Lady and her husband co-founded the Carter Center, which expressed its sorrow in a statement by highlighting their global initiatives to strengthen democracy, settle disputes, advance human rights, and eradicate crippling diseases. The center announced that, instead of flowers, contributions in Carter’s memory could be made to the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program or the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.
“He had this great integrity and still does. And she did too,” Biden remarked. “God bless them.” After speaking with the family, Biden learned that Jimmy Carter’s children and grandchildren were by his side during his final moments. The White House later issued an official joint statement from President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, lauding Rosalynn Carter’s inspirational impact on the nation.
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also paid their respects, praising Carter’s dignity and strength. “There was no greater advocate of President Carter, and their partnership set a wonderful example of loyalty and fidelity,” Bush stated.
U.S. Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff of Georgia emphasized Carter’s compassionate nature and commitment to various causes. “The State of Georgia and the United States are better places because of Rosalynn Carter,” Ossoff stated. “May Rosalynn Carter’s memory be a blessing.”
Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged Carter’s redefinition of the First Lady’s role and her life of service, faith, compassion, and moral leadership. “Her legacy will be a beacon for generations to come,” Harris asserted.
Former first lady Melania Trump expressed her condolences, noting Carter’s meaningful legacy and servant’s heart. “May she rest in peace,” Melania Trump conveyed on X, formerly Twitter.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Carter as a “saintly and revered public servant,” highlighting her historic diplomatic missions and advocacy for mental health. Pelosi offered condolences to the Carter family.
Bill and Hillary Clinton, in a joint statement, referred to Carter as a champion of human dignity. They praised her advocacy for mental health and childhood immunization and her work with the Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity.
Former first lady Michelle Obama shared a personal connection, revealing that Carter offered advice during their periodic lunches at the White House. “Today, Barack and I join the world in celebrating the remarkable legacy of a First Lady, philanthropist, and advocate who dedicated her life to lifting up others,” Obama stated.

Newswire: Education Department unveils disturbing disparities in pandemic-era schooling

A teacher instructs students at Superior Vocational High School in Loíza, Puerto Rico. (Tatyana Hopkins/NNPA)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education has released a wealth of data from the 2020–21 school year in a revealing exposé that reveals significant disparities in education access that the coronavirus pandemic challenges have exacerbated. The findings paint a stark picture of inequality in the nation’s educational landscape, prompting urgent calls for comprehensive reform.
“In America, talent and creativity can come from anywhere, but only if we provide equitable educational opportunities to students everywhere,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasized in a release.

The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), a mandatory survey of public schools serving preschool to grade 12 students, counts as a critical instrument in assessing equal educational opportunities mandated by federal civil rights laws.
The 2020–21 CRDC, the first since the 2017–18 collection was delayed due to the pandemic, draws from over 17,000 school districts and 97,000 schools, unveiling concerning disparities in education access nationwide.

“These new CRDC data reflect troubling differences in students’ experiences in our nation’s schools,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon remarked. “We remain committed to working with school communities to ensure the full civil rights protections that federal law demands.”

Key Data Points from the 2020–21 CRDC:

Harassment or Bullying:
• K–12 students reported over 42,500 allegations of harassment or bullying based on sex, sexual orientation, race, disability, or religion.
• Racial and gender disparities were evident, with Black students reporting 37% of race-based harassment, while white students reported 68% of sex-based and 70% of disability-based incidents.

School Offenses:
• Districts reported approximately 274,700 incidents, with 78% being threats of physical attack without a weapon.
• Public schools reported over 3,000 incidents of rape or attempted rape and sexual assault.

Student Discipline:
• About 786,600 K–12 students received in-school suspensions, with Black boys nearly two times more likely than white boys to receive out-of-school suspension or expulsion.
• Students with disabilities, representing 17% of K-12 enrollment, accounted for 29% of students with one or more out-of-school suspensions.
Restraint and Seclusion:
• Approximately 52,800 K–12 students were subjected to physical or mechanical restraint and seclusion, with boys, Black students, and students with disabilities overrepresented.

Access to Advanced Courses:
• More than half of high schools nationwide do not offer calculus or computer science, disproportionately affecting Black and Latino students.
• Black students, representing 15% of high school enrollment, accounted for only 10% in AP computer science and 6% in AP mathematics.

Access to Teachers and Other School Staff:
• Approximately 522,400 students attended schools where fewer than half of the teachers met state certification requirements, with 66% being Black and Latino students.
• Four percent of high school students attended schools with no school counselors.

Access to the Internet and Devices:
• Students’ Internet access varied by state, with Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia reporting 99% or more of their schools connected to the Internet.
• Florida (66%) and Alaska (52%), respectively, reported the lowest percentage of schools connected to the Internet.

Sheriff Benison closes Palace Bingo because they violated rules in Constitutional Amendment 743

The Greene County Democrat received a press release from Sheriff Jonathan “Joe” Benison, that early Wednesday morning, November 15, the Sheriff served an Order of Immediate Closure on the Palace Bingo facility in Knoxville, Alabama.

The sheriff says the closure was necessitated by Palace Bingo’s flagrant and ongoing violations of Amendment 743 following multiple warnings. Amendment 743 explicitly states that “Prizes given by any non-profit organization for the playing of Bingo games shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) in cash or gifts of equivalent value during any Bingo session.”

This enforcement action is consistent with the Sheriff’s historic insistence that bingo operators operate within the law. The order directs that Palace Bingo remain closed until further notice and invites TS Police Support League to arrange a meeting to discuss the terms under which Palace Bingo may reopen.

Section 6 of Constitutional Amendment No. 743, states, “(6) Prizes given by any nonprofit organization for the playing of bingo games shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cash or gifts of equivalent value during any bingo session.” A bingo session is not defined in the Amendment.

In an earlier section of the amendment, it states: “The sheriff shall promulgate rules and regulations for the licensing, permitting, and operation of bingo games within the county. The sheriff shall insure compliance with such rules or regulations.”

The Sheriff says his enforcement actions against the Palace Bingo follows a flurry of legal moves by the Sheriff to ensure the continued lawful operation of bingo in Greene County. The Sheriff dismissed his own lawsuit seeking an injunction to implement new rules for bingo, that involve “Bookend Bingo” and a definition of electronic marking machines. The new rules, which were adopted by the Sheriff without consultation with the bingo operators and charities, would require players to play a standard bingo game before and after an entertainment phase, where they would play bingo on machines similar to the current machines.

The Sheriff argued that his new rules would require a change in software but would likely run on the current bingo machines. The State of Alabama, in a long running lawsuit claims the bingo machines are ‘illegal slot machines’ doing gambling and not the skill game of bingo, where you must keep up with your numbers and letters, on a paper card.

The Sheriff says in his press release, that changes in the legal landscape required an adjustment of the Sheriff’s legal strategy. Sheriff Benison remarked upon these recent actions by saying, “Litigation is always fluid. Every decision I make is designed to ensure the continued play of bingo in Greene County.

“Critics have done what critics do. They criticize. While I am aggressively working to preserve the future of bingo in Greene County, they are throwing stones. Somebody once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result,” said Benison.

The Democrat reached out to the TS Police Support League and their representatives. who said they had “no comment at this time on the Sheriff’s actions.” They did say that they planned to continue the scheduled the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at the Palace Parking Lot.

The Sheriff insisted that his plans and rules for bingo were the surest way to protect and continue bingo and its benefits to people, agencies, and organizations in Greene County.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell secures $521,000 grant for Greene County Health System

Congresswoman Terri Sewell visited Eutaw on Friday, November 10, 2023, to announce a grant of $521,000 from HHS for two new generators to the Greene County Health System.

Sewell said the grant to the hospital and nursing home is part of $42.8 million in earmarked funds for her Congressional District. “When Democrats took over the House of Representatives, we decided to restore ‘earmarked funds’ for needed projects in our districts. This is a helpful way to make sure that beneficial projects in the district get priority funding, under existing programs,” said Sewell.

“All hospitals, especially rural hospitals are under financial pressure.
“In my position on the House Ways and Means Committee, I am working to ensure equitable Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to rural hospitals,” said Sewell.

She also observed that, “The Governor and Alabama Legislature have not agreed to expand Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act, which would provide basic health insurance to 300,000 Alabamians, who are too rich to qualify for Medicaid and too poor to purchase insurance on the ACA exchanges. This means many residents come to our hospitals and health care facilities without the ability to pay for needed services and pushes our hospitals, like Greene County Hospital, further into operating deficits.”

Dr. Marcia Pugh, GCHS CEO and Administrator, thanked Congresswoman Sewell for the grant to purchase two new generators to provide electricity for the hospital and nursing home in case of an emergency loss of power.” We have been working on this project for two years, including a complete mapping of the electrical circuits in our buildings, before we could install the new generators,” said Pugh.

Congresswoman Sewell left the hospital and attended the Greene County Fall Festival on the old Courthouse Square grounds. She made some remarks and took questions from the participants.


Newswire: Crowded race for new 2nd. Congressional District settles at 21

 Alabama Congressional Districts


By: Jacob Holmes, Alabama Political Reporter


The field of candidates is set for what will be a hotly contested race for Alabama’s newly drawn Second Congressional District. By the end of the day Friday, 21 candidates had qualified in the district that is expected to lean Democratic.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, the 13 Democratic candidates were:
James Averhart, a retired U.S. Marine and former 2020 congressional candidate;
Rep. Napoleon Bracy, Jr., D-Prichard;
Sen. Merika Coleman, D- Pleasant Grove;
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville;
Shomari Figures, a former deputy chief of staff to the U.S. attorney general and the son of Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile;
Brian Gary;
Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham;
Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika;
Phyllis Harvey-Hall, an education consultant and 2020 and 2022 congressional candidate;
Willie J. Lenard;
Vimal Patel;
Larry Darnell Simpson;
Darryl Sinkfield.
Eight (8) Republicans qualified for the seat: 
Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore;
former Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road;
Caroleene Dobson;
Karla M. DuPriest;
Wallace Gilberry, former University of Alabama and NFL player;
Hampton Harris;
Stacey T. Shepperson;
Belinda Thomas, Newton City Council member.
The end of qualifying was closely watched Friday as major candidates such as Coleman finally formally announced her campaign, while Democrat State Sen. Kirk Hatcher, one of the few candidates to actually reside in the district, announced he had decided to pull out of the race.
The new 2nd Alabama Congressional District runs across the sate from east to west, including: Russell, Bullock, Barbour, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Butler, Conecha, Monroe, Washington and parts of Clarke and Mobile counties.

Newswire: Racial disparities highlighted as October breaks global temperature record

Polar bear surrounded by melting ice flows

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Weather officials and experts have confirmed that last month was the hottest October ever globally, surpassing pre-industrial averages by a staggering 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.1 degrees Fahrenheit), weather officials confirmed. This milestone marks the fifth consecutive month of record-breaking temperatures, setting the stage for the hottest year ever recorded.
The extent of the temperature surge, which exceeded the previous record set in 2019 by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.7 degrees Fahrenheit), has astonished experts.
And as extreme weather patterns increasingly become the new normal, it is not surprising to find that African Americans are disproportionately affected. Research from the Gallup Center on Black Voices underscored the disparities in confidence, preparedness, and resource accessibility between racial and ethnic groups. Black and Hispanic Americans report lower levels of confidence in their preparedness and less access to vital resources compared to their white counterparts.
While most respondents across all racial and ethnic groups agree that they have access to reliable weather warnings and someone to call for help during extreme weather events, the margin is narrower for Black and Hispanic Americans. White Americans outpace both groups by approximately ten percentage points on each measure, indicating a higher level of preparedness and ability to recover.
According to Gallup, the most significant divide emerges in the perception of community support during natural disasters or extreme weather events. Compared to white Americans, Hispanic adults lag by 13 percentage points, while Black adults fall behind by 18 points. Relocation statistics, which show that 14% of Black Americans and 11% of Hispanic Americans have relocated, either temporarily or permanently, due to extreme weather events, are further evidence of this disparity.
The climate crisis is exacerbating these disparities, with the Copernicus Climate Change Service noting that a contributing factor is the reduced capacity of oceans to mitigate global warming, which is historically responsible for absorbing up to 90% of excess heat from climate change. This drop in oceanic regulation and El Niño’s effect (a natural climate cycle that raises ocean temperatures temporarily and changes global weather patterns) make it look like more warming is coming in the coming months.
According to Gallup researchers, 2023 has seen a notable increase in unusual weather events like floods, hurricanes, heatwaves, tornadoes, and wildfires. This trend is expected to continue, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicating a high likelihood of an increased frequency and severity of such events in the coming decades.
“2023 has been a notable year for abnormal weather events, which have caused considerable impact to life and property,” Gallup researchers concluded. “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it is very likely that these types of events – floods, hurricanes, heatwaves, tornadoes, wildfires and more – will increase in frequency and/or severity in the coming decades.”

Newsire : Africa’s ‘youth boom’ – could it change the World

crowded African street

Oct. 30, 2023 (GIN) – “By 2050, one in four people on the planet will be African… Early tremors of this seismic change are already registering around the world…. The world is becoming more African.”
So opens an in-depth look at our changing world by Irish author and journalist Declan Walsh. His research fills a special section of 40 pages that appeared in a recent edition of the New York Times.
The text is framed by the stunning work of Hannah Reyes Morales, a freelance photographer who spent five weeks this year traveling in Africa for the project.
From its opening double-page shot of the Center for Girls Education in Zaria, Nigeria, a program for married adolescents and mothers to the closing shot of fishers in Praia Nova, Mozambique, showing the impacts of climate change battering African countries, the pictures tell a thousand words.
Africa the Cultural Powerhouse
Here, the author profiles Nigerian star Burna Boy, who became the first African artist to sell out an American stadium after filling an 80,000 capacity venue in London where he sang his new single, “Sittin’ on Top of the World.”
“It’s a great time to be alive,” Laolu Senbanjo, a Nigerian artist living in Brooklyn was quoted to say. “Whether I’m in Target or an Uber, I hear the Afrobeats. It’s like a bridge. The world has come together.”
This year Gamma, a music company owned in part by Apple, set up an office in Lagos. “We’re going straight to the source,” Sipho Dlamini, a Gamma executive was heard to say.
Once the target of bullies, “African” today  is a badge of pride, Sebanjo says. Images of kids starving and swollen bellies are giving way to new images driving tourists who are dying to come to Cape Town, to Mombasa, to Zanzibar, he notes, adding “It’s cool to be African!”
Foreign companies are mentioned here as “eager allies, including Russia, China, the United States, Turkey and Gulf petrostates” as African leaders spurn the image of victim and demand a bigger say.
Once the big idea for enabling Africa to leapfrog its way out of poverty, technology is now sharing the stage with start-ups sprouting in Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco. Akinwumi Adesina, head of the African Development Bank, observes: “On top of the $96 billion in remittances from African migrants, three times more than the sum of all foreign aid, the African diaspora has become the largest financer of Africa!”
“It feels like the opportunities are unlimited for us right now,” says Jean-Patrick Niambe, a 24 year old hip-hop artist from Ivory Coast.
The author does not overlook Africa’s weaknesses. “It’s a young continent run by old men,” he says. “Under their grip, democracy has fallen to its lowest point in decades. Half of all Africans live in countries considered ‘not free’ by Freedom House.”
While polls say young Africans admire and desire democracy, disillusionment with rubber stamp elections that camouflage authoritarianism is turning many toward more radical options.
“Old World, Young Africa” is balanced, insightful reporting,” writes Unicef Africa, “that presents huge choices for African decision makers in coming years… But will this ‘youthquake be a blessing or a burden?”