Fact Check- We Still Coming, the Real Story: Amy and Ian Hicks saw their unique wedding photo and the story about it everywhere in recent weeks — in People magazine, the New York Post, the Daily Mail and of course on Reddit, where the tale went viral. But they didn’t recognize what they were reading. The articles all said different things, but the thrust was that the couple in the photo had accidentally sent a text message to a stranger inviting him to their wedding photoshoot. The photo accompanying the story in People showed the dude wasn’t lying. The wedding party in the photo was surrounded by a a group of new friends. It just didn’t happen. “I really wish they knew the real story,” Amy Hicks said in an interview with The Washington Post. “It’s amazing how many legitimate news publications will post anything online.” Here’s what really happened.
Butt Wait: Nicki Minaj fires back at critics with more images. (more…)
The death, destruction and human suffering caused by Israel’s 11-day-old onslaught against the impoverished and densely populated Gaza Strip increased sharply Friday. Israeli troops and armored columns continued pushing into the territory in an invasion launched the night before, even as the bombardment from air, land and sea intensified. The death toll rose rapidly to the 300 mark on Friday, while the number of wounded climbed to well over 2,200. What is unfolding in Gaza is a calculated and savage war crime against a largely defenseless population carried out with the full and open support of Washington and the complicity of the European Union, the Arab regimes and the Palestinian Authority (PA) of President Mahmoud Abbas.
The five men whose convictions in the brutal 1989 beating and rape of a female jogger in Central Park were later overturned have agreed to a settlement of about $40 million from New York City to resolve a bitterly fought civil rights lawsuit over their arrests and imprisonment in the sensational crime.
The agreement, reached between the city’s Law Department and the five plaintiffs, would bring to an end an extraordinary legal battle over a crime that came to symbolize a sense of lawlessness in New York, amid reports of “wilding” youths and a marauding “wolf pack” that set its sights on a 28-year-old investment banker who ran in the park many evenings after work.
The confidential deal, disclosed by a person who is not a party in the lawsuit but was told about the proposed settlement, must still be approved by the city comptroller and then by a federal judge. (more…)
Kobe Bryant Wasn’t Impressed by Miami’s Trayvon Martin Protest
by Jamilah King
In the March 31 edition of the New Yorker there’s a great profile of Kobe Bryant by Ben McGrath. In it, Bryant talks about aging out of his Hall of Fame career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and how he thinks his fame is “pretty fucking cool” for a kid who grew up in Italy and moved to suburban Philly as a teenager.
Throughout his career, Bryant’s been talking about as an outsider, specifically when it comes to being the most famous in the world in a sport that’s overwhelmingly black. It’s given him a politically moderate stance on things, which was on display when McGrath brought up the subject of LeBron James posting a photo online of the Heat players dressed in hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin.
I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m (more…)
The man trying to get into Jason Roberts’ car was clearly a professional. His movements were quick, skilled and evidently practiced. He began to attract the notice of skeptical onlookers. Who was that man breaking into the Mazda? Shouldn’t someone do something?
A “professional” was exactly what he was, and, having called AAA for help getting into his locked car, Roberts expected nothing less. He was, however, unnerved by the stares of the people questioning the motives of a mechanic who was only trying to help. Then it hit him — they were suspicious because, unlike him, the mechanic was black.
Roberts, a host on the YouTube channel Simple Misfits, decided to replicate the situation, this time camera in hand, so that everyone could witness the same unacceptable double standard that he had. He didn’t realize how intense the response would be. Watch the video above to see for yourself (warning: NSFW language). (more…)
JACKSONVILLE — Jurors have ended a second day of deliberations in the first-degree murder trial of Floridian Michael Dunn, charged in the 2012 shooting death of a 17-year-old in a dispute over loud rap music. Dunn, a 47-year-old software engineer, says he feared for his life and was acting in self-defense on Nov. 23, 2012, when he fatally shot Jordan Davis in a gas station parking lot.
Dunn testified that music coming from the Dodge Durango where Davis sat with three friends, all black, was “obnoxious,” and said he fired 10 shots at the SUV. Davis was hit three times and died a short time later. The case has been compared to the racially charged Trayvon Martin case, in which neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman said he killed the Florida teen in self-defense during a February 2012 altercation. Zimmerman was later acquitted of second-degree murder.
Dunn testified in court this week that he felt threatened as Davis hurled insults at him from the SUV. Dunn also testified that Jordan reached down, picked something up and slammed it against a rear passenger door of the Dodge Durango where he sat. Assistant State Attorney General John Guy testified that Davis never was a threat. Prosecutors said no weapon was found in the Durango. Some facts however, are undeniable (more…)
Dominican Republic To End Citizenship Of Those Whose Parents Entered Illegally
By EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ and DANICA COTO
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Experts warned Friday that a Dominican court decision to strip citizenship from children of Haitian migrants could cause a human rights crisis, potentially leaving tens of thousands of people stateless, facing mass deportation and discrimination. Officials promised to create a path to Dominican citizenship, but gave no details about how it would work or who would be covered.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court is final and gives the electoral commission one year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship. The decision applies to those born after 1929 – a category that overwhelmingly includes descendants of Haitians brought in to work on farms. It appears to affect even their grandchildren, said Wade McMullen, a New York-based attorney at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
A U.N.-backed study released this year estimated that there are nearly 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and roughly another 34,000 born to parents of another nationality.
Many of those “are now effectively stateless,” McMullen said. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen to those people … Based on what the Dominican government is saying, these people are not Dominican citizens and will have to leave and effectively go to Haiti, where they are also not citizens. It creates an extremely complicated situation.” The majority of them don’t have Haitian citizenship, have little or no ties to Haiti and likely don’t speak Creole, he said. Getting Haitian citizenship can be complicated too because it is difficult to comply with requirements to prove descent from a Haitian national. (more…)
Zimmerman Verdict Does Not Alter Truth
By Tom Hall
It was the picture that convinced me.
I believe in our legal system and its processes. I understand the concept that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. I understand that what trials do is very different from what public opinion does, and from what reality is. Trials determine legal guilt or innocence. They do not determine reality. When Emmett Till was murdered, in 1955, his killers were identified, tried and acquitted. Then they gave an interview to Look magazine, bragging about the murder, knowing that our system protected them against double jeopardy, so they could not be tried again for a murder they were proud of.
Now that he’s been acquitted, George Zimmerman can also go national, wallowing in the adulation of racists who think that stalking and shooting an unarmed child is good sport, if the child is black. George has a history of sucking up to authority; making 911 calls to report “dangerous black youths;” longing for some role as an important person. Because he is too clearly psychologically unfit, he has been rejected when applying for police jobs. He has been fired from minimum wage, no-training-needed private security jobs, because of his zeal for excessive violence. But since the trial, without even a junior college degree, he put out the word that he wants to go to law school so he can be an important defender of future shooters who heroically cut down potential black criminals. (more …)
The FBI added Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List today. In addition, the state of New Jersey announced it was adding $1 million to the FBI’s $1 million reward for her capture. Shakur becomes the first woman ever to make the list and only the second domestic terrorist to be added to the list.
Assata Shakur, who was born Joanne Chesimard, was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army. She was convicted in the May 2, 1973 killing of a New Jersey police officer during a shoot-out that left one of her fellow activists dead. She was shot twice by police during the incident. In 1979, she managed to escape from jail. Shakur fled to Cuba where she received political asylum. She once wrote, “I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the U.S. government’s policy towards people of color.” PLEASE CONTINUE AND HEAR AUDIO