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O.J. Simpson May Be Released Sooner Than We Thought

February 21, 2017 bcic_admin 0

Source: Lee Celano / Getty

Football icon O.J. Simpson may be getting out prison earlier than we may have thought. He is up for parole later this year.

Since 2008, Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson, 70, has been in a Nevada prison after he was convicted on several Las Vegas hotel room. As Sports Illustrated pointed out, Simpson could be granted an early release based on a 11-point system Nevada uses to assess risk. Apparently, Simpson scores well because of his age, his violence-free existence in prison and lack of gang affiliation on the inside.

After a few failed appeals attempts, it’s believed that he will face the parole board earlier this summer. Currently, Simpson has served only eight of the 33 years he was sentenced on 12 charges including conspiracy, burglary, robbery, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.

Nicknamed “Juice,” Simpson first fell from public grace in 1995 with the infamous murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, which he was charged and found not guilty of in a Los Angeles court.

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Top Russian Diplomat Dies

February 21, 2017 bcic_admin 0

NEW YORK (AP) — Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, a veteran diplomat known as a potent, savvy yet personable voice for his country’s interests who could both spar and get along with his Western counterparts, died suddenly Monday after falling ill in his office at Russia’s U.N. mission.

Vitaly Churkin was taken to a hospital, where he died a day before his 65th birthday, said Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov. The cause of his death was unknown.

As Russia’s envoy at the United Nations since 2006 and a diplomat for decades, Churkin was considered Moscow’s great champion at the U.N., where he was the longest-serving ambassador on the powerful Security Council.

Russian President Vladimir Putin esteemed Churkin’s “professionalism and diplomatic talents,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the state news agency TASS. Diplomatic colleagues from around the world mourned Churkin as a master in their field: a passionate and effective advocate for his country; an intellectual with a doctorate in history who was also a onetime child actor with an acute wit; a formidable adversary who could remain a friend.

“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

Her predecessor, Samantha Power, described him on Twitter as a “diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man” who had done all he could to bridge differences between the U.S. and Russia.

Those differences were evident when Power and Churkin spoke at the Security Council last month, when she lashed out at Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and for carrying out “a merciless military assault” in Syria. Churkin accused Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration, which Power served, of “desperately” searching for scapegoats for its failures in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Churkin’s death stunned officials at U.N. …read more

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How Often Have Athletes Snubbed The White House?

February 20, 2017 bcic_admin 0

The routine is familiar. The president makes a few bad jokes. The championship-winning team presents the leader of the free world with a personalized jersey. Everyone smiles for the cameras.

Nothing political about that, right?

Not exactly.

In a divided nation, everything is political.

While presidents have been snubbed before, six players from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots took it to another level by preemptively turning down an expected invitation from President Trump.

Rest assured, they won’t be the last to mix sports and politics.

“The balance of power in professional sports now rests more with the performers than the owners,” said Stephen Mosher, a professor of sports management and media at Ithaca College. “Without a labor force, (Patriots owner) Robert Kraft has nothing but an empty stadium. He has to let his employees make these political statements if he wants to win. He has to. There’s too many different political views held by players in the National Football League.

“Actually,” Mosher added, “I think it’s quite refreshing.”

The Patriots were part of the political discourse even before they dramatically rallied from 25 points down to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the first Super Bowl to go to overtime.

Kraft is a friend of the 45th president, and quarterback Tom Brady drew plenty of scrutiny when one of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” caps was spotted in his locker at the start of the contentious presidential campaign.

Then, with the Patriots still in the midst of their Super Bowl celebration, tight end Martellus Bennett made it clear he had no intention of visiting Trump’s White House.

Five teammates — defensive back Devin McCourty, running back LeGarrette Blount, defensive end Chris Long, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive tackle Alan Branch — quickly followed suit. Most pinned their decision on political differences with the Republican administration.

Significant, to be sure.

But nothing new.

SNUBBING …read more

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Black HUD Appointee Fired After Criticizing Trump

February 20, 2017 bcic_admin 0

In an example of what happens if you don’t go along to get along with Donald Trump‘s program, a young black conservative has fired from his job at HUD and was literally shown the door.

Shermichael Singleton, a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development was fired for an op-ed he wrote before the election that criticized then-candidate Donald Trump, according to CNN.

In an October op-ed for The Hill, Singleton, who was at the time a Republican consultant, said Trump was taking the GOP to a “new moral low.”

“We allowed that hostile takeover to happen on our watch,” he wrote. “This individual recognized a moment of great disparity in the Republican base and, like cancer, attacked and spread, consuming everything in his path.”

Singleton’s piece criticized Trump’s rhetoric about African-Americans during the campaign. After the election, the 26-year-old worked with Ben Carson during his confirmation process to become HUD secretary. Singleton then joined the department as a senior adviser.

But reality struck on Wednesday when he was brought into the chief of staff’s office and fired, a source familiar with the situation told CNN. Singleton was informed that he was being dismissed because of the op-ed and was escorted from the building, according to the source, who also said Carson was surprised by the move and only learned of it after the fact.

A HUD spokesperson confirmed Singleton no longer works at the department.

Singleton declined to comment. The White House and the HUD chief of staff didn’t respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Singleton expressed concerns about Trump in his pre-election op-ed regarding Trump’s approach to addressing issues of high concern to many Black voters.

“Hearing the nominee of my party ignore these harsh truths and opt for words like ‘law and order’ sounds like a …read more

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Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death For Killing 9 Church Members

January 10, 2017 bcic_admin 0

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Dylann Roof was sentenced to death Tuesday for killing nine black church members during Bible study in a racially motivated attack, the first person to face execution for federal hate crime convictions.

A jury deliberated his sentence for about three hours, capping a trial in which Roof did not fight for his life or show any remorse. At the beginning of the trial, he addressed jurors directly, insisting that he wasn’t mentally ill, but he never asked them for forgiveness or mercy, or explained the crime.

He threw away one last chance to plead for his life on Tuesday, telling jurors: “I still feel like I had to do it.”

Every juror looked directly at Roof as he spoke for about five minutes. A few nodded as he reminded them that they said during jury selection they could fairly weigh the factors of his case. Only one of them, he noted, had to disagree to spare his life.

“I have the right to ask you to give me a life sentence, but I’m not sure what good it would do anyway,” he said.

When the verdict was read, he stood stoic and showed no emotion. He will be formally sentenced Wednesday.

Roof told FBI agents when they arrested him a day after the June 17, 2015, slayings that he wanted the shootings to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war. Instead, the slayings had a unifying effect, as South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its Statehouse for the first time in more than 50 years and other states followed suit, taking down Confederate banners and monuments. Roof had posed with the flag in photos.

The attacker specifically picked out Emanuel AME Church, the South’s oldest black church, to carry out the cold, calculated slaughter, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said.

The …read more

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Francesco Tena

January 6, 2017 bcic_admin 0

The City of Boston was awarded the top prize at The Guangzhou Institute for Urban Innovation’s international convening held in Guangzhou, China. Boston’s youth participatory budgeting process, “Youth Lead the Change,” was selected from 301 innovation projects submitted by 171 cities to receive the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. Boston is the first city in the United States to receive this award. Francesco Tena, Manager of the Mayor’s Youth Council, accepted the award on behalf of the city. …read more

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North Carolina Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White Passes Away

December 14, 2016 bcic_admin 0

The HBCU community is mourning the loss of North Carolina Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White. NCCU announced that Saunders-White succumbed to cancer on Nov. 26. She was 59 years old.

Margaret Spellings, University of North Carolina system’s president, described Saunders-White as “a great leader, valued colleague and friend.”

Thank You! Dr. Debra Saunders-White #saundersstrong #NCCUhttps://t.co/lGdQTe8M32 pic.twitter.com/c5csPvpkbU

— NCProjectLeaders (@NCPLToastmaster) December 2, 2016

She added, via ABC 11:

“Deb loved NCCU with all her being and treated each of its students as her very own. She called them her light and her inspiration, as she waged her battle with cancer.”

George R. Hamilton, chairman of the NCCU Board of Trustees, said Saunders-White was a “transformational” leader. Under her tenure, the university increased its retention and graduation rates.

NCCU noted that the university was recognized as the 2016 HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest, and U.S. News named NCCU as one of the top three HBCUs. NCCU, founded in 1909, is the nation’s first public liberal arts institution for African-Americans.

Saunders-White, a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs, began her tenure at NCCU in 2013. Spellings noted that she was a first generation college graduate in her family and understood the challenges her students face.

She revealed her battle with kidney cancer last year, and the school announced in August that she was taking a medical leave of absence.

The beloved chancellor is survived by two children, Cecil and Elizabeth Paige, as well as her mother, Irene Saunders.

SOURCE: North Carolina Central University, ABC 11

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