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Nigeria’s President Bans Same-Sex Marriage

Jan. 13, 2014 - Nigeria’s president (pictured) has signed a law that bans same-sex marriage and criminalizes homosexual associations, societies, and meetings, with penalties of up to 14 years in jail.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act on Monday that was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan and dated Jan. 7.

It was unclear why the law’s passage has been shrouded in secrecy. The copy obtained from the House of Representatives in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, showed it was signed by those lawmakers and senators on Dec. 17th, though no announcement was made. Read more at

Category: General


Search For Aniston Walker, Missing Baby, Halted

Jan. 13, 2014 - Police have suspended the search for a missing 7-week-old girl who disappeared under suspicious circumstances in northeast Memphis.

Over the weekend, the Memphis Police Department said the search for Aniston Walker was suspended. It lasted three days. Officers used cadaver dogs near the home where the baby lived with her mother and two siblings, but they had no results. Read more at

Category: General


Apollo Theater is no longer the venue where African-American culture launches its new artists

Jan. 13, 2014 - You needn’t set one foot inside today’s Apollo Theater to see how radically the world has changed since its heyday.

Surrounding the venue’s storied walls stand outlets for Rite Aid, Duane Reade and, as of two months ago, Red Lobster, right next door. Across the street sits Foot Locker, Old Navy, Modell’s, The Gap and Capital One Bank. That longstanding collection of local street merchants — dubbed Mart 125 — lost their space in 2003. Gone also are most of the brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop stores of old. Read more at

Category: General

Parent Academy workshops begin next week

Pinellas County Schools recognizes that family engagement has a positive and longstanding impact on student achievement and future success. In that spirit, the district has launched P2ACC (Preparing Parents to Advocate for their Children and Community) Parent Academy workshops, a series of classes for parents and caregivers focused on promoting academic success, parenting and advocacy and, personal and individual growth. Parent Academy workshops will kick off this month. Here are the first two workshops:

  • Building Literacy for Students, 7-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at the Citizen Alliance of Progress Center, 401 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Tarpon Springs — This course provides effective reading strategies, home application of these strategies and a shared-reading approach to improve literacy skills. 
  • Math at Home for grades 6-12, 5:30-630 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center, 2335 22nd Ave S, St. Petersburg — This course includes resources for parents to assist with middle and high school math courses.

Parent Academy Workshops are part of a district-wide initiative aimed at providing families with the tools they need to support students. To register or learn more, contact the Office of Strategic Partnerships at (727) 588-6405 or email

Category: General

CNN analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders

January 8, 2014 - Early in her career as a learning specialist, Mary Willingham was in her office when a basketball player at the University of North Carolina walked in looking for help with his classwork.

He couldn't read or write.

"And I kind of panicked. What do you do with that?" she said, recalling the meeting.  Read more at

Category: General


US economy adds 74,000 jobs, rate falls to 6.7 percent

Jan. 10, 2014 - U.S. employers added a scant 74,000 jobs in December, the fewest in three years. The disappointing gain ends 2013 on a weak note and could raise questions about the economy’s recent strength.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent, the lowest level since October 2008. But the drop occurred mostly because more Americans stopped looking for jobs. The government counts people as unemployed only if they are actively searching for work. Read more at

Category: General


Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland crash karaoke party

Jan. 10, 2014 - What’s better than singing along to your favorite artists’ tunes with a good pal? When the superstars crash your karaoke party and sing along with you!

This really happened to two young ladies late Tuesday into early Wednesday at the Sing Sing karaoke bar in Miami. According to a post that was originally shared on the bar’s Facebook page, while the women were doing their best version of Beyonce‘s “Party,” the singer herself and fellow Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland walked in and started singing and dancing along with them. Read more at

Category: General


Trenton Mayor Tony Mack set to begin corruption trial

Jan. 10, 2014 - Opening arguments were set to begin Thursday in the corruption trial of the mayor of New Jersey’s capital city and his brother, both of whom were accused of bribery and extortion after a sting operation involving a parking garage development.

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack and his brother, Ralphiel Mack, have pleaded not guilty to federal charges that were involved in a 2010 plot to secure the mayor’s help in developing a garage on city-owned land. Prosecutors say an informant offered a $119,000 bribe. Read more at

Category: General


Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees revealed

Jan. 10, 2014 - First-year nominees Derrick Brooks, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison and Walter Jones were among the 15 modern-era Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists in voting announced Thursday night.

Brooks was a linebacker with Tampa Bay; Dungy coached Tampa Bay and Indianapolis, leading the Colts to a Super Bowl title in 2007; Harrison was a receiver for Indianapolis; and Jones was an offensive tackle with Seattle. Read more at

Category: General


President Obama makes pitch for ‘Promise Zones’ to boost depressed areas

Jan. 10, 2014 - President Barack Obama announced at the White House Thursday the first five of 20 “Promise Zones,” distressed areas located in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, that will get tax breaks and federal aid.

He said there are communities across America “where for too many young people, it feels like their future only extends to the next street corner or the outskirts of town; too many communities where no matter how hard you work, your destiny feels like it has already been determined  before you took that first step.” Read more  at

Category: General


2014’s Golden Globes Spotlight the Spectrum of Black Films

Jan. 10, 2014 - The critically lauded 12 Years a Slave has been nominated in several prestigious categories in this Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards—and the conspicuous presence of black directors, actors and films this awards season offers a chance to reflect on Hollywood’s tortured racial past and hopeful future.

The Golden Globes, which are dominated by the more liberal foreign press, unofficially begin an awards season that will formally conclude at the Academy Awards ceremony on March 2. Read more at

Category: General


29-Year-Old Mother of 3 Dies From the Flu

Jan. 10, 2014 - Alice and Darrell Jones, both young, in college and in love, were raising three children together. Earlier last week, they both got sick with the flu. On Monday, Alice, an aspiring Dallas nurse, was dead. She was 29.

"I made it through Afghanistan and thought we would move on with our lives," Darrell Jones, who turned 27 the day his wife died and served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan for nearly a year, told ABC News. "I was thinking that was the most dangerous part of our marriage." Read more at


Category: General


Cory Booker and Rand Paul: Why Are These 2 New BFFs?

Jan. 10, 2014 - In the current political environment, it appears as strange a mismatch of bedfellows as any in recent memory. But something in the water on Capitol Hill is connecting freshman senator and social media maven Cory Booker (D-N.J.) with ranting Tea Party and libertarian idol Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

At first glance, it’s the Odd Couple on anabolic steroids. While both are known to actively harness the gab-gifting power of their unstoppable mouths, each also hails from the outer edge of his respective party’s wing, at least on the surface. Booker is typically seen as a neoliberal urbanist, and Paul as a country-punk rock conservative. Read more at

Category: General


Doctors: Food Stamp Cuts Could Backfire

Jan. 10, 2014 - Doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills. Maybe not immediately, they say, but over time if the poor wind up in doctors’ offices or hospitals as a result.

Among the health risks of hunger are spiked rates of diabetes and developmental problems for young children down the road. Read more at

Category: General


Man Arrested In Abduction Of Alexis Murphy Now Charged With Her Murder

Jan. 10, 2014 - Alexis was last seen at a gas station in Lovingston. Her family said she was traveling to Lynchburg to go shopping and was driving a white 2003 Nissan Maxima with license plate WYN3706.

The car was discovered in the parking lot of a movie theater in Charlottesville. According to police, Alexis was last seen at the gas station on surveillance video with Randy Taylor, 48, who has since been arrested for abduction. Taylor’s attorney, Michael Hallahan, admits that he spent time with the young girl as part of a possible drug transaction but denies being the last person to see her alive, saying she drove off with a third man. Read more at

Category: General


Amiri Baraka & His Impact On Black America

Jan. 10, 2014 - The first thing that strikes many about Amiri Baraka‘s poetry, most especially his later works, is that it carried the sharp tone of an oppressed, angry people. It wasn’t flowery prose full of lofty life affirmations. It was the product of the frustration typically used when writing from a critical stance of a society that seemingly crushed the hopes of Blacks in America. Along with Baraka’s written works were his speaking engagements and lectures, always peppered with the spirited speech of, as he liked to say, “Afro-American” revolution. Read more at

Category: General


Houston Hospital Mixes Up Newborns

Jan. 10, 2014 - Houston couple Jessica Escobedo and Aaron Powell just had their third child and were over the moon about her birth on Dec. 10. However, when a nurse reportedly brought Escobedo the wrong child to feed, the mom went into panic mode over fears that her infant was in grave danger, MyFoxHouston reports. 

Escobedo, who gave birth to daughter, Melanie (pictured), at Oak Ben Medical Center just outside of Houston, said that the latest edition to their family was the last one, so the little girl is extra special. Read more at

Category: General


How The Common Core Became Education's Biggest Bogeyman

Jan. 10, 2014 - Shortly before Thanksgiving, Arne Duncan made a glib remark about the Common Core that quickly blew up.

Speaking before a gathering of state schools chiefs, the secretary of education dismissed growing opposition to the new national set of learning standards, saying "white suburban moms" were rising up against the Core simply because its more rigorous tests meant they were being told "their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were." Read more at

Category: General


4 Ways To Reduce Waste When Shopping

Jan. 10, 2014 - Did you know that you are actually spending a lot of money on things that will eventually become trash?

By purchasing items that are disposable, over-packaged, or made of poor quality, you are actually turning your cash to trash! Think about it, if you shop smarter and incorporate better shopping techniques, you can avoid throwing your money away with the rest of your garbage. Yes, all packaging, including those disposable bottles and cans are included in the selling price. Read more at

Category: General


Michelle Obama's Birthday Invitation Really Got Everyone Bent Out Of Shape

Jan. 10, 2014 - The proper protocol for an invitation involves letting your guest know what to expect-- especially when it comes to food. (We've all been to that party where you think you'll be getting a meal, but instead subsist off of cocktail olives.) So it's only natural that Michelle Obama wanted guests to know that dinner would not be served at her 50th birthday party. But instead of adding "light refreshments" or "cocktails and hors d'oeurves" to the invitation, she went with a very straight forward note to "eat before you come" -- EBYC, for short. Read more at

Category: General