Archive for December, 2011
The wife of Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders said Tuesday she learned about his decision to end their marriage when she read it online. Pilar Biggers-Sanders’ lawyer Larry Friedman told TMZ she was “heartbroken and surprised when [she] read . . . that Deion announced his decision, on his own.”
“Pilar’s sole focus and top priority for the last twelve and a half years has been her marriage and children,” he added. “Based on recent discoveries, [Pilar] now realizes that Deion did not view their family the same way.”
Friedman would not elaborate on what the “discoveries” were.
The lawyer said Biggers-Sanders had not negotiated a divorce settlement with the 44-year-old, and that she fully intended to protect herself and their three children. Biggers-Sanders, however, was still not convinced the marriage was over and said she was “confident that he will come to his senses and return to his family as he has in the past.” Sanders made the announcement Dec. 17 in a statement to the entertainment website, saying, “Pilar and I have decided to end our marriage and move on to the next phase of our individual lives with mutual respect. (more…)
Bank of America will pay $335 million to settle allegations of discrimination at Countrywide Financial Corp., the troubled lender it bought in 2008. Countrywide was the nation’s largest subprime lender and came to symbolize the real estate collapse that led to the nation’s economic meltdown. The Justice Department said Wednesday that the agreement is the largest fair lending settlement in the department’s history.
“If you were African-American or Hispanic and you went to Countrywide for a loan, and you were qualified, you likely paid more simply because of the color of your skin,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez. People of color also were “far more likely to be steered into an expensive and risky subprime loan than a similarly-qualified white borrower.” Perez said more than 200,000 African-American and Hispanic victims are identified in the complaint and will receive compensation.
The abuses occurred between 2004 and 2007, the peak of the subprime borrowing craze.
Kid Cudi’s touching response to fan’s deathRapper Kid Cudi added a touching post to his blog on Monday after learning about a young fan’s death from a health condition. “I am so sad about Ben Breedlove. I watched the video he left for the world to see, and him seeing me in detail, in his vision really warmed my heart. I broke down, Iam to tears because I hate how life is so unfair,” Cudi wrote.
Last week, Ben Breedlove of Austin, Texas, posted two YouTube videos revealing his brushes with death because of a lifelong heart condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In the clips, the 18-year-old holds up notes detailing his fear, happiness and courage about dealing with his health issues. In the second video, Breedlove talks about his Dec. 6 brush with death and reveals that this time, he saw a vision of his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi, and that it made him happy.
“I was looking at myself in this mirror … I couldn’t stop smiling … I was proud of MYSELF, of my entire life, everything I have done. It was the BEST feeling,” Breedlove’s written messages said.
Breedlove died on Christmas Day. (more…)
1968 Olympian Lee Evans Has a Brain Tumor and No Health Insurance by Dave Zirin
Lee Evans needs our help. The Olympic Gold Medalist and political activist, who exploded all records in the 400 meters at the 1968 Olympics, has been hospitalized with an aggressive brain tumor. The prognosis for the 63-year-old Evans is not good. As his fellow 1968 Olympic activist John Carlos said in an e-mail, “All of our teammates want to go out and say some prayers. All there is left to do is pray.”
But the situation is made far worse by the fact that Lee Evans, after four decades teaching and coaching at schools ranging from the University of South Alabama to Nigeria, doesn’t have health insurance. This has meant, according to Lee’s sister, Rosemary, that he has been terribly mistreated during his hospitalization. Rosemary said to me, “I heard his doctor in the hall and I heard him say he wished [Lee] had been transferred somewhere else because he didn’t have insurance…. Lee is in intense pain. Not even morphine is helping. He hasn’t eaten in several days, yet there was no IV in his arm when I first went into his room. He’s lying in his filth and nothing is happening. If family members aren’t vigilant… If we aren’t vigilant, I don’t know what would happen.” (more…)
You know you’re a good person when a robber gives you a break. Normally we think of thieves as people who have no sympathy. If someone is going to physically assault you and take your belongings, they probably don’t have much to lose. If a person is going to rob someone in the street you would expect they’re looking to just get it done quickly before anyone sees them. Apparently the man who approached Sixers forward Lou Williams on Saturday took the time to give his victim a once over.
Common has admitted that his track ‘Sweet’ is, in fact, directed at Drake, after originally denying that he had any specific musician in mind in an interview with 107.5 WGCI’s Tony Sco. The rapper, who was interviewed by Sway on Shade 45, now acknowledges that Drake was the target of the song because he fits into the category of rappers that Common’s lyrics refer to.
Common compared his lyrics to Jay-Z’s ‘D.O.A.’ which targeted artists who used auto-tune and came across as an attack on T-Pain and explained that while he had other artists in mind, Drake fits within the category of musicians that ‘Sweet’ refers to. “He’s a very successful artist, obviously. Like I said, I think he’s a talented artist. I give credit where it’s due and I try to speak the truth where I see it. In Hip Hop, there was a lot of that going on. Beyond Drake, it’s still some artists I was hearing, some artists I didn’t even know I was hearing. But Drake fits in that category. Any artist could be a target, once you get in and start saying you this and that. When you think about it, KRS-One if you take it there, or when Nas and Jay had a battle, it was about being a doper emcee,” explained Common. (more…)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government paid scientists to figure out how the deadly bird flu virus might mutate to become a bigger threat to people — and two labs succeeded in creating new strains that are easier to spread. On Tuesday, federal officials took the unprecedented step of asking those scientists not to publicize all the details of how they did it. The worry: That this research with lots of potential to help the public might also be hijacked by would-be bioterrorists. The labs found that it appears easier than scientists had thought for the so-called H5N1 bird flu to evolve in a way that lets it spread easily between at least some mammals.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious diseases chief at the National Institutes of Health, which funded the original research. The scary-sounding viruses are locked in high-security labs as researchers at the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands and the University of Wisconsin-Madison prepare to publish their findings in leading scientific journals. That’s the way scientists share their work so that their colleagues can build on it, perhaps creating better ways to monitor bird flu in the wild, for example.
But biosecurity advisers to the government recommended that the journals Science and Nature publish only the general discoveries, not the full blueprint for these man-made strains. Tuesday, the government announced that it agreed and made the request. (more…)
Braylon Edwards gave 79 students $10,000 for college
By Chris Chase
By age 23, almost a third of Americans have been arrested for a crime, according to a new study that researchers say is a measure of growing exposure to the criminal justice system in everyday life.
The study, the first since the 1960s to look at the arrest histories of a national sample of adolescents and young adults over time, found that 30.2 percent of the 23-year-olds who participated reported having been arrested for an offense other than a minor traffic violation.
That figure is significantly higher than the 22 percent found in a 1965 study that examined the same issue using different methods. The increase may be a reflection of the justice system becoming more punitive and more aggressive in its reach during the last half-century, the researchers said. Arrests for drug-related offenses, for example, have become far more common, as have zero-tolerance policies in schools. (more…)
Book on Black Marriage Spurs Strong Reaction
Rick Banks’s recent book, “Is Marriage for White People” and an excerpt in the WSJ drew strong reactions for its look at marriage among black women. WSJ’s Lee Hawkins recently hosted a discussion with Mr. Banks, Essence Magazine’s Vanessa Bush and Tulane University’s Melissa Harris-Perry addressing reader comments and the issues raised by the book.