Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ex-Tennis Star Expected To Testify Against Police Officer

By Tom Hays, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — By former pro tennis star James Blake’s account, the man approaching him in 2015 outside his hotel caused no alarm because he looked like an old high school buddy.

Blake found out the hard way that it was instead a plainclothes police officer who mistook him for a suspect in a fraud investigation.

Two years later, the arrest — captured in a security video showing the officer, without identifying himself, throwing Blake down on the sidewalk and handcuffing him — is the subject of a disciplinary trial at which Blake is expected to testify.

Officer James Frascatore this year rejected a deal asking him to forfeit vacation days to resolve New York Police Department internal charges that he used excessive force. An NYPD administrative judge will now hear the case beginning Tuesday and recommend a potentially more severe punishment, including dismissal from the nation’s largest police force, to the police commissioner.

Frascatore, who denies he did anything wrong, also will take the witness stand. He has been assigned to desk duty pending a decision about his future.

The officer “looks forward to correcting the false narrative which has surrounded this case for two years,” said his attorney, Stephen Worth.

The Blake …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Common Core Used Widely, Despite Continuing Debate

By Maria Danilova, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most of the states that first endorsed the Common Core academic standards are still using them in some form, despite continued debate over whether they are improving student performance in reading and math.

Of the states that opted in after the standards were introduced in 2010 — 45 plus the District of Columbia — only eight have moved to repeal the standards, largely due to political pressure from those who saw Common Core as infringing on local control, according to Abt, a research and consulting firm. In Oklahoma, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill to repeal the standards in 2014 less than six months after defending them in a speech. She said Common Core had become too divisive.

Twenty-one other states have made or are making revisions — mostly minor ones — to the guidelines. Illinois kept the wording while changing the name. In April, North Dakota approved new guidelines “written by North Dakotans, for North Dakotans,” but some educators said they were quite similar to Common Core. Earlier this month, New York moved to revise the standards after parents protested new tests aligned to Common Core, but much of the structure has been kept.

“The core of the Common …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Convicted Church Killer Wants To Fire Jewish, Indian Lawyers

By Meg Kinnard, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A white supremacist who was sentenced to death in the 2015 massacre of nine black worshippers has told a federal appeals court he wants to fire his appellate attorneys because one of them is Jewish and the other is Indian-American.

In a handwritten request filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, Dylann Roof wrote that his attorneys’ backgrounds are “a barrier to effective communication.”

Given their ethnicities, Roof wrote, “it is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case.”

“Because of my political views, which are arguably religious, it will be impossible for me to trust two attorneys that are my political and biological enemies,” he added.

Roof, 23, has been on federal death row since earlier this year, after a jury convicted him of dozens of charges including federal hate crimes and obstruction of the practice of religion in the shooting deaths of nine Bible study attendees at Charleston’s Emanuel AME, one of the oldest black churches in the South.

Roof told authorities he wanted to start a race war with the June 2015 massacre, and handwritten journals featuring symbols associated with Nazis and …read more

Source:: Black America Web

More St. Louis Protests Expected Tuesday After Quiet Night

By Jim Salter and Summer Ballentine, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Protesters chanting “free our people” gathered outside the jail in downtown St. Louis for more than two hours to show solidarity with those arrested during demonstrations that turned ugly over the weekend, but there was no new vandalism overnight.

Demonstrators outside the jail late Monday criticized authorities for keeping some of those arrested in jail for nearly 24 hours after they were taken into custody. Police said more than 120 people were arrested during Sunday’s protests over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect.

Some of those jailed were released Monday evening before organizers announced an end to the demonstration and told people to go home. Organizers said protests will resume Tuesday, but they gave no details.

Monday was the fourth day of protests.

Three days of peaceful protests and three nights of vandalism followed Friday’s announcement that a judge found ex-officer Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Smith’s mother, Anne Smith, was among those gathered outside the downtown jail Monday.

Hundreds of riot police mobilized downtown late Sunday, arresting more than 80 people at one intersection who police said didn’t follow orders to disperse. Earlier, …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Trump, the ‘America First’ President Goes To The UN

By Johnathan Lemire, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Elected on the nationalist slogan “America first,” President Donald Trump will use his debut address to the U.N. General Assembly to argue that individual nations should act in their own self-interest, yet rally together when faced with a common threat such as North Korea.

Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea does not back down, was expected to argue Tuesday that the dangers posed by Kim Jung Un’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons program should unite all nations. And he planned to issue not just warnings to North Korea but also rebukes to states that have enabled Pyongyang, though it was unclear if he would criticize China by name.

Addressing the General Assembly is a milestone moment for any president, but one particularly significant for Trump, a relative newcomer to foreign policy who has at times rattled the international community with his unpredictability. He has pulled the United States out of multinational agreements, considered shrinking the U.S. military footprint in the world and deployed bombastic language on North Korea that has been criticized by other world leaders.

Trump frequently belittled the U.N. as a candidate and some within his White House believe the …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Toys ‘R’ Us Files For Bankruptcy, But Keeps Stores Open

By Anne D'Innocenzio & Bill Cormier, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Toys ‘R’ Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

The company said the proceedings are a way for Toys ‘R’ Us to work with its creditors on restructuring the debt beleaguering it. And it emphasized that its stores worldwide will remain open and it will work with suppliers and sell merchandise.

Filing for bankruptcy protection “will provide us with greater financial flexibility to invest in our business … and strengthen our competitive position in an increasingly challenging and rapidly changing retail marketplace worldwide,” Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon said in the announcement.

The move comes at a critical time leading into the holiday season that is crucial to retailers’ bottom lines. The company said it was “well stocked as we prepare for the holiday season and are excited about all of our upcoming in-store events.”

Retailers of all kinds are struggling. The Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy filing joins a list of at least 18 others since the beginning of the year — including shoe chain Payless Shoe …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Hurricane Maria Intensifies, Aims For Puerto Rico

By By DANICA COTO, Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Maria intensified into a dangerous Category 5 storm and pounded the small island of Dominica as it surged into the eastern Caribbean on Monday night, and forecasters warned it might become even stronger.

The storm was following a path that could take it on Tuesday near many of the islands recently devastated by Hurricane Irma and then head toward a possible direct strike on Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Fierce winds and driving rain lashed the mountainous island for hours, causing flooding and tearing roofs from homes.

A series of Facebook posts by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit captured the fury of the storm as it made landfall.

“The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God,” Skerrit wrote at the start of a series of increasingly harrowing posts.

A few minutes later, he messaged he could hear the sound of galvanized steel roofs tearing off houses on the small rugged island.

He then wrote that he thought his home had been damaged. And three words: “Rough! Rough! Rough!”

A half hour later, he said: “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.” Seven minutes later he posted that he …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Robert DeNiro Asks For U.N. Help To Rebuild Barbuda

By By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press

Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor General Sir William Rodney, left, and actor Robert De Niro shake hands after they addressed a high-level meeting on hurricane Irma at the United Nations, Monday Sept. 18, 2017, U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Two-time Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro came to the United Nations on Monday to appeal to all countries and organizations to help rebuild the devastated Caribbean island of Barbuda and ensure that “paradise is not lost.”

De Niro spoke at a hastily called meeting on Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record. The meeting of top U.N. officials and government leaders from several hard-hit Caribbean countries came ahead of the annual global gathering of the world’s leaders at the U.N. General Assembly which opens Tuesday.

Irma wreaked havoc in the Caribbean, including damaging or destroying an estimated 90 percent of the structures on the small island of Barbuda, which is home to about 1,400 people and the site of a resort co-owned by the actor.

De Niro recalled Barbuda as an “unspoiled beauty, a paradise found” on his first visit years ago. Now, he said, “we have a humanitarian crisis, an entire island destroyed.”

“We must act together to …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Protests Resume After 80 Arrests In St. Louis Unrest

By Jim Salter & Summer Ballentine, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A racially mixed crowd of demonstrators locked arms and marched quietly through downtown St. Louis Monday morning to protest the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect, following another night of unrest and more than 80 arrests.

The latest action follows three days of peaceful protests and three nights of vandalism and unrest in the city that has been rocked since Friday, when a judge announced he found Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Hundreds of riot police mobilized downtown late Sunday, arresting more than 80 people and seizing weapons amid reports of property damage and vandalism. The arrests came after demonstrators ignored orders to disperse, police said.

“I’m proud to tell you the city of St. Louis is safe and the police owned tonight,” Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole said at a news conference early Monday.

Earlier Sunday, more than 1,000 people had gathered at police headquarters then marched without trouble through downtown St. Louis, the posh Central West End, and the trendy Delmar Loop area of nearby University City. Protesters also marched through two shopping malls in a wealthy area of St. Louis …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Protests To Continue After 120 Arrested In St. Louis

By Jim Salter & Summer Ballentine, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Protesters chanting “free our people” gathered outside the jail in downtown St. Louis for more than two hours Monday night to show solidarity with those who remain behind bars.

Police said more than 120 people were arrested during Sunday’s protests over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the killing of a black suspect. Demonstrators outside the jail criticized authorities for keeping some of those arrested in jail nearly 24 hours after they were taken into custody.

“That was the main purpose of the night. To be in solidarity,” said Cheyenne Green, 24, of St. Louis, who helped organize Monday evening’s event and others since Friday’s verdict.

Some of those jailed were released Monday evening before organizers announced an end to the demonstration and told people to go home. Organizers said protests will resume Tuesday, but they gave no details.
Monday was the fourth day of protests. In the morning, a racially mixed crowd of demonstrators marched through downtown.

The latest action follows three days of peaceful protests and three nights of vandalism and unrest in the city that’s been rocked since Friday, when a judge announced he found Jason Stockley not guilty in the 2011 death of Anthony …read more

Source:: Black America Web