Newswire : Vendors in tears as Zambia’s biggest outdoor market burns

fire-zambia market
Market in Zambia is burning

( – A fire of unknown origins raced through the largest outdoor market in Zambia, destroying the livelihood of its many vendors. Goods worth millions of kwacha – the Zambian currency – have gone up in flames. Images on social media show how the fire which began July 4 and was barely extinguished by July 7 destroyed the Lusaka market.
The market was built a decade ago with a designated police post as well as day and night guards. It is also said to be a facility that prohibits cooking and fire inside the market. Reacting to the catastrophe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu blamed arsonists and economic saboteurs who will be found out, he warned, wherever they are hiding.
But the President’s words were cold comfort for many Zambians who fear the country is sliding into dictatorship. They cite a series of incidents including the jailing of opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, the suspension of 48 members of parliament for boycotting a speech by Mr. Lungu, and the imposition of a state of emergency over the apparent arson attack.
A Zambian professor, writing in the online UKZambian, wondered if 53 years of peace since independence in 1964 could be coming to an end. “Creating a nation of peace and tranquility is not easy,” noted Mwizenge S. Tempo in the news website. “When I saw the images of the massive fire in which 1,901 shops were destroyed, I was alarmed,” he wrote, adding that since August 2016 there have been over 10 such incidents with fires gutting public building and vandalism.
“I am both stunned and fearful about my home and country of Zambia. Could this be the end of peace in Zambia after 53 years?” In BusinessLive of Zambia, writer Greg Mills condemned the arrest and jailing of Mr. Hichilema on treason charges.
Critics of President Lungu are “systematically being silenced”, he charged. This “stop-at-nothing government” has closed the major opposition paper, The Post, shut down opposition rallies and constricted access to the state broadcaster, he declared. Mills heads the Brenthurst Foundation, and is the co-author of ‘Making Africa Work: A Handbook for Economic Success’.

Newswire : In “Chokehold: Policing Black Men” Attorney Paul Butler takes on police brutality

By: Lauren Victoria Burke (NNPA Newswire Contributor)


 Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler writes about police brutality in “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.” (Georgetown University)
Police brutality in the Black community is as old as law enforcement itself.
Former federal prosecutor Paul Butler speaks in depth on the issue in his new book, “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.” “Even as a prosecutor I was a still a Black man,” said Butler during an interview on MSNBC with Rev. Al Sharpton. “I was even arrested for a crime I didn’t commit…I was acquitted in less than five minutes.”
In his book, Butler points out that Black people have never been in a situation of good faith in America with police. “When we say that the system is targeting Black men, that’s true,” Butler told Sharpton. Butler worked as a prosecutor at the Department of Justice and is now a professor at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C. Butler also had a few recommendations for decreasing incidents of police brutality.
“Half of cops should be women,” Butler suggested. “Women cops are much less likely to shoot people.” Butler continued: “Cops should have college degrees. Cops with college degrees are much less likely to shoot unarmed people.”
Butler takes a “no-holds-barred” approach to writing about police brutality. In his book, Butler also points out that White men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States and that a White woman is ten times more likely to be raped by a White male acquaintance than becoming a victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a Black man.
Butler also speaks forcefully on the unwarranted fear Whites have of Blacks, and how that perception ends up impacting American policing.

AT&T Launches Fixed Wireless Internet in Greene and Hale Counties and other Rural and Underserved Areas in Alabama

ribboncutting-gcdemocrat.jpgGreensboro, AL. July 12, 2017 — AT&T* Fixed Wireless Internet1 is now available for rural and underserved locations in parts of Greene and Hale Counties.
Joined by State Senator Bobby Singleton, State Representative Ralph Howard and members of the Hale and Greene County Commissions, AT&T announced that residents in Greensboro, Knoxville, Eutaw and other areas are included in the initial rural and underserved locations in Alabama to which AT&T has extended Fixed Wireless Internet as part of its FCC Connect America Fund commitment. As a part of this commitment, AT&T plans to reach over 400,000 locations in 18 states by the end of 2017, and over 1.1 million locations by 2020.
“In today’s world, high-speed connectivity is important,” said Alabama State Senator Bobby Singleton. “I am excited to see this newly available service bringing enhanced connectivity to Greene and Hale Counties and our rural communities in Alabama.”
“This is a great day for Greensboro, Knoxville and Eutaw,” said Alabama State Representative Ralph Howard. “It is an honor to serve these areas alongside Senator Singleton and Representative AJ McCampbell, and I applaud AT&T for their work to enhance high-speed connectivity for residents and small businesses in rural Alabama.”
AT&T plans to reach nearly 66,000 locations with this technology across Alabama by 2020, and with this initial offering, Fixed Wireless Internet is available today in parts of rural communities throughout Alabama.

“I am thankful for the leadership of our elected officials who work to ensure a pro-consumer business environment and am delighted the rural residents of Greene and Hale Counties are among the first in the nation to access this innovative technology,” said Philliis Belcher, Executive Director of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority.
“The more than 5,300 men and women who work for AT&T and call Alabama home, are proud to work with our local, state and federal leadership to provide the connectivity Alabama’s residents and businesses demand,” said Ty Fondren, Regional Director of External Affairs for AT&T Alabama. “Through this innovative service, we are helping close the remaining connectivity gap in Alabama.”
Fixed Wireless Internet service delivers a home internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps. The connection comes from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on customers’ homes or businesses. This is an efficient way to deliver high-quality internet to customers in rural and underserved areas.
After a controlled launch in Georgia in April, AT&T has is also launching service in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana. Additional states where the company plans to launch this year are Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.
AT&T will provide updates about additional availability in parts of Alabama, and other states, as it expands Fixed Wireless Internet to more locations.
For more information on Fixed Wireless Internet from AT&T, visit
Includes 160GB monthly data allowance. Req’s installation of AT&T outdoor antenna & indoor Residential Gateway. $10/50GB of additional data up to a max of $200/mo.
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward Looking Statements:  Information set forth in this news release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T Inc.’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update or revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.
*About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We offer the nation’s best data network** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions.
AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and on YouTube at

© 2017 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


Newswire : Congressional Black Caucus declines follow-up meeting with Trump

By: Jacqueline Alemany, CBS News

Black Cong. Caucus.jpgMeeting of President Donald Trump with members of the Black Congressional Caucus
WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has rejected the invitation to meet with President Trump for a follow up meeting at the White House, according to a letter released by the chair of the committee, Cedric Richmond, on Wednesday.
Citing actions by the Trump administration “that will affirmatively hurt black communities,” Richmond wrote that concerns discussed during a preliminary meeting with Mr. Trump on March 22 “fell on deaf ears.”
· Trump asks black reporter to “set up the meeting” with Congressional Black Caucus
“Given the lack of response to any of the many concerns we have raised with you and your administration, we decline your invitation for all 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus to meet with you,” Richmond said.
“I fail to see how a social gathering would benefit the policies we advocate for,” Richmond added.
Mr. Trump’s extended an invitation to the 49 members of the CBC to return to the White House for a follow up meeting on June 9th, first reported by CBS News last week.
Manigault, whose official title is Assistant to the President and Director of Communications of the Office of Public Liaison, was ridiculed on Twitter for signing the letter as “The Honorable Omarosa Manigault.”
In response to one Twitter user who asked if she had received a promotion, Manigault tweeted out a screenshot of a guide for “departmental correspondence” that recommends addressing an assistant to the president as “Honorable” in a letter.
However, an article by The Washington Post points to the Emily Post Institute of Etiquette which states that “the honorific is reserved for “the President, the Vice President, United States senators and congressmen, Cabinet members, all federal judges, ministers plenipotentiary, ambassadors, and governors,” who get to use the title for life.”
The CBC has been skeptical of Manigault’s role as an advocate for the black community in the Trump White House and her self-publicized degree of influence. A CBC source told CBS News that the group was not interested in what they predicted would be another “photo-op.”
Richmond specifically lists several efforts by the administration that would “devastate” the African American community, including
Mr. Trump’s 2018 fiscal budget, Attorney General Jeff Sessions plan to “accelerate the failed war on drugs,” cuts to funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the “effort to dismantle our nation’s health care system.”
Sources say that the CBC is not completely united in the decision to reject Mr. Trump’s invitation for a meeting.
In March, the Vice Chair of the CBC Gwen Moore told CBS News that refusing to engage with the President was a “luxury” that she did not have.
“We don’t have the luxury of saying we won’t meet with the president of the U.S.,” she said at the time. “We have 1,399 more days left in his presidency and I don’t think that our communities would be served well by our not engaging.”

House passes Rep. Sewell’s bipartisan foster care legislation


Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Bill introduced by Reps. Sewell and Smucker keeps foster youths with relatives

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, bipartisan foster care legislation introduced by Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) passed the full House of Representatives by a vote of 382 to 19. The Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act makes it easier for foster children to be placed in the home of a family member by encouraging states to update their foster care systems to promote such placements. Children raised by relatives experience increased stability, greater safety and permanency, and better behavioral and mental health outcomes.
In an op-ed jointly released today, Reps. Sewell and Smucker made the following statement:
“For the children in our foster care system, these changes could mean the difference between finding a permanent loving home with their family or continued instability. Updating foster care standards will also provide foster parents and human resource caseworkers with consistent and coherent licensing standards that put the well-being of our children first. The Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act is an opportunity for both parties to work together to address these challenges with a commonsense solution that helps keep families together.”
“When it comes to finding loving homes for children, there are no Republicans or Democrats — just mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, and sons and daughters who believe each child should have a bed to be tucked into at night in a loving home.”

As a Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, Rep. Sewell regularly addresses issues relating to child welfare and the foster care system. This May, Rep. Sewell hosted a foster youth from Birmingham in Congress as part of Foster Youth Shadow Day, a program which gives young people who have interacted with the foster care system the chance to follow a Member of Congress for the day, learning about representative government while sharing their understanding and experiences about foster care with Members.

2017 Alabama Legislature enacts laws relative to education

The 2017 Alabama Legislature passed several bills that are relevant to public education. The Alabama Association of School Boards has provided a synopsis of some of these general bills.  

* ACT 2017-173 Requires K-12 students to pass a civics test (U.S. naturalization test) as a component of the government course in the high school course of study beginning in the 2018-19 school year; authorizes local boards to determine implementation of the test; provides a special education exemption and allows the chief school administrator to grant a waiver for good cause. S.32 (Orr) Effective July 1, 2017.
* ACT 2017-259 Grants military recruiters of the United States Armed Forces and Department of Homeland Security the same information and access to students as granted to prospective employers or postsecondary institutions. S.203 (Holtzclaw) Effective August 1, 2017.
* ACT 2017-278 Allows students in public and non-public schools to possess and use FDA-regulated, over-the-counter sunscreen without a physician’s order. S.63 (McClendon) Effective May 16, 2017.
* ACT 2017-337 Requires health benefit plans to cover Applied Behavior Analysis treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder; benefits are subject to an age-based sliding scale and capped at the age of 18. H.284 (Patterson) Effective October 1, 2017.
* ACT 2017-368 Requires a local board of education to provide information about the influenza disease and vaccine whenever other health information is provided to parents and guardians. H.381 (Daniels) Effective August 1, 2017.
* ACT 2017-354 Creates the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 and establishes a Committee on Alabama Monument Protection; prohibits the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming or other disturbance of architecturally significant or memorial buildings in place for more than 40 years; provides a waiver process for those buildings in place 20 to 40 years; exempts K-12 and post-secondary from the structural prohibitions; requires a waiver to rename K-12 or post-secondary memorial schools in place for more than 20 years. S.60 (Allen) Effective May 24, 2017.

* ACT 2017-120 Changes the dates of the annual back-to-school sales tax holiday from the week beginning the first Friday in August to the third Friday in July each year. S.136 (Melson) Effective April 29,2017.
* ACT 2017-421 Creates the Farm-to-School Procurement Act; allows federal school nutrition funds to be used to purchase unprocessed agricultural products pursuant to the federal simplified acquisition threshold as an exception to the competitive bid process for local boards of education. H.53 (Beech) Effective May 26, 2017.
* Act 2017-401 Requires the state Department of Education to implement an electronic notification system to allow local school systems to enter information regarding school delays, early releases, shelter-in-place and other emergency information in a central repository accessible by the department and governor. H.89 (Baker) Effective August 1, 2017.
* ACT 2017-335 Appropriates $6.42 billion from the Education Trust Fund for the support, maintenance and development of public education in Alabama, for debt service and for the capital outlay for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018. S.129 (Orr) Effective October 1, 2017.
* ACT 2017-374 Creates the Alabama Youth Residential Facility Abuse Prevention Act; establishes state registration, regulation and accountability measures for faith-based, church nonprofit or for-profit alternative facilities and programs that require a minimum 24-hour on-site residency for children; requires criminal background checks for employees and volunteers. H.440 (McMillan) Effective May 24, 2017.
* ACT 2017-171 Amends the Alabama Community College System designation to a corporate body; authorizes its employees to participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama and State Employees’ Health Insurance Plan; specifies that employees of community and technical colleges participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System of Alabama and Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Plan; provides for the acquisition, conveyance and disposal of property. H.163 (McMillan) Effective April 20, 2017.

Newswire : Africa among the top ten fastest-growing markets for air travel

African airline

South African Airline

June 19, 2017 (GIN) – Airline industry and ministry officials attending Aviation Festival Africa and Airports Show Africa heard some good news and some not so good news.

First, according to the International Air Traffic Transport Association (IATA), the top 10 fastest growing world markets for air travel over the next 20 years will be in Africa. The top 10 fastest growing markets are: Benin, Central African Republic, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.

Feeding this growth is the rise in Africa’s middle class and rapid urbanization.

The bad news, IATA warned, is that the Africa airline industry continues to be burdened by high taxes, having to pay fuel prices higher than the global average, competition from the Gulf, resulting in continued financial losses.

The big three Gulf carriers – – Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad, as well as Turkish airlines have all grown their presence in the African market with a large number of aircraft on order and with plans to further develop African routes. There is also a potential threat to African carriers from Chinese carriers.

Without large and successful hubs, African carriers will be unable to compete with the big foreign carriers, IATA warned. Currently there are three African hubs – Addis Ababa, Johannesburg and Nairobi, all of which could face the problem of being bypassed by foreign competitors operating on the continent.

Another constraint on airline carrier growth particularly low cost carriers, is a high proportion of ticket sales made in cash. With the absence of alternate payment mechanisms, airlines must rely on agents that cut into their margins.

According to IATA’s 2017 outlook for the global industry, African airlines are expected to lose $100 million, about the same as last year. North American airlines, by contrast, as a group generated half of worldwide profits, while carriers in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East were also profitable.

Currently, only, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Egypt Air, Moroccan Royal Air Maroc and Cape Verde’s TACV airline have the right to fly passengers in and out of the United States.