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Archive for August 1st, 2012

Kirk responds to new Iran Sanctions Bill and Designations

Posted by Admin On August - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) yesterday released the following statement regarding the final compromise text of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and today’s designations of Bank of Kunlun and Elaf Bank:
 
“I applaud Under Secretary Cohen and Assistant Secretary Glaser for their efforts to designate Bank of Kunlun and Elaf Bank, and to crack down on alternate payment mechanisms used by Iran to evade financial sanctions.  The European Union should immediately follow suit and order SWIFT to disconnect Kunlun and Elaf from its network.
 
“I also want to commend Chairwoman Ros-Lehtinen for helping us negotiate a tough sanctions bill.   A broad bipartisan coalition overcame objections from some in the Administration to ratchet up energy and shipping sanctions to unprecedented levels, expand the Menendez-Kirk sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran, and increase penalties facing those who violate our sanctions. In the coming weeks, should the Iranian regime continue to defy the U.N. Security Council and refuse to halt its uranium enrichment activities, we will build a new bipartisan coalition to impose farther-reaching sanctions.
 
“The final legislation also incorporates key elements of the Kirk-Gillibrand-Cornyn Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act by imposing sanctions on companies that provide Iran with the ‘tools of oppression,’ establishing expedited OFAC licensing procedures for democracy activities inside Iran and requiring a comprehensive strategy to promote access to information and Internet freedom inside Iran.  The bill will deny U.S. visas for any family member of the Iranian President, Supreme Leader, Cabinet, Assembly of Experts, and senior members of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, and it calls on the President to officially designate Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as human rights abusers.  Most importantly, this legislation makes it the policy of the United States to publicly call for the release of Iranian dissidents by name and offer them political asylum in the United States.
 
“The people of Iran deserve better than an oppressive dictatorship that brutalizes its citizens and denies them basic freedoms.  It is time for the United States to make clear we stand squarely with the Iranian people against their oppressors.”

National Urban League’s 2012 Conference Message of “Occupy the Vote” reaches millions of Americans

Posted by Admin On August - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The National Urban League’s 2012 Conference began with an announcement from President Barack Obama and concluded with words of inspiration from Stevie Wonder.

“This year’s Conference, in my hometown of New Orleans, may be our most successful ever,” said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial, who served two terms as mayor of the Crescent City. “We were honored to have President Obama deliver the opening address, in which he announced an important education initiative and addressed the growing problem of firearms violence.”

On Wednesday night, President Obama announced an executive order establishing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.|

“A higher education in a 21st century cannot be a luxury. It is a vital necessity that every American should be able to afford,” he said.

Obama also made reference to the mass shooting earlier this month, saying, “a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not on the streets of our cities.”

The President’s remarks kicked off three days of workshops, seminars and panel discussions focused on the theme “Occupy the Vote: Employment and Education Empower the Nation.”

“I am astonished by the efforts that are underway in this nation to roll back the progress that we’ve made on voting rights.” Morial said in his “State of the Urban League” address on Thursday morning. ” The rise of the modern-day poll tax and literacy tests, disguised as sane and sensible voter identification laws, restrictions on important innovations like early voting , and handcuffs on community-based organizations that want to register people to vote are nothing other than modern-day Jim Crow methods in the clothing of James and Mary Crow, Esquire.”

Morial said attendance at the conference – both registered attendees and community members attending free events – approached record numbers, with nearly 5,000 registered attendees, more than 9,000 passing through the NUL Experience Expo, and 2,00 participating in the Career and Networking Fair.

Nearly 600 youth are participated in the Project Ready College Fair on Saturday, where they met with representatives from at least 60 colleges, universities and college access organizations, and scholarship organizations, who assisted in the college application process.

Morial thanked New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Urban League of Greater New Orleans President and CEO Nolan Rollins for welcoming the Conference and for their leadership in making it a success.

No other city in the nation represents so well the strength and vitality of the multiculturalism we advocate and support, and no two civic leaders are more devoted,” Morial said. On Saturday, Morial joined Rollins in dedicating the local affiliate’s new Clarence L. Barney Head Start Center, named for the affiliate’s longtime President and CEO.    The Conference also was the setting for a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the National Urban League Guild, an auxiliary to the League focused on fundraising and volunteerism. During his address on Thursday, Morial congratulated Guild President Frankie M. Brown.    “I cannot imagine where we would be without the Guilds as a force,” he said.

The Conference concluded Saturday with the Whitney M. Young Awards Gala, where recording artist and activist Stevie Wonder and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder received the League’s “Living Legend” Award.

 

“Prejudice, hatred, starvation…I’m tired of praying for things we don’t want to change,” Wonder cautioned.

Unhappy customers vote with their feet by not returning: Better Business Bureau Poll

Posted by Admin On August - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

CHICAGO, IL – Customers who are displeased with a product or service are not giving businesses a second chance, according to a recent poll by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB). The poll also shows that few consumers complain to the business about their dissatisfaction.

 

The largest single response (30%) of unhappy customers in the poll was to simply not return to the business. Others would go to an online complaint/review website to voice their dissatisfaction (22%), or verbally warn others not to patronize the business (20%).

 

Only 28 percent of unhappy customers indicated they would complain directly to the business. This total included those that would verbally complain (15%) and people who would email the business with a complaint (13%).

 

“These poll results show that consumers often do not to give businesses a second chance,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Customers are not going out of their way to complain or comment to businesses about their experiences. If a service or product is bad, they simply don’t return.”

 

Bernas stated that while this might be an understandable reaction for consumers who don’t wish to waste their money, it is very bad news for business owners.

 

“Obtaining customers is expensive for a business, and they need to be treated as valuable resources,” the BBB president explained. “When a business loses a customer, it loses money. Not only because a business has squandered an opportunity to gain a repeat customer, but also the business must now spend additional money to obtain a new or replacement customer.”

 

Polling data emphasizes the need for businesses to make customer interaction a positive experience. It also shows that consumers would help businesses by giving honest feedback about products and services.

 

For more consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org

Teatro Luna’s Midnight Sun Summer Festival Continues With SEXomedy

Posted by Admin On August - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
 

A Night of NAughtiness by Artistic Associate Melissa Duprey at Luna Central, 3914 N. Clark St 60613

CHICAGO, IL – Cover your virgin ears or get prepared for some serious blushing as Teatro Luna sizzles with the gut-busting, raunchy solo SEXomedy by Artistic Associate Melissa DuPrey. From the perils of intimate depilating to the truth about how much size matters, Melissa DuPrey bares all in this bawdy rollercoaster of lascivious laughter. Originally presented in three installments through Teatro Luna’s One Night Stand series Noche Bohemia and Marimachas, Chicago’s all-Latina theater company is proud to debut this hilarious, empowering performance in its entirety on Friday August 3rd at 7:30pm at the company’s artistic home, Luna Central.“I want people to have a good time and scream, and cry, and blush, and shake their heads,” says SEXomedy creator Melissa DuPrey. “At first, I was nervous about pushing the envelope, and that some of the things would just be viewed as crass and distasteful. But when I realized that I DIDN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP, I let that hesitation go, and decided to commit to the reality of my experiences.” And Teatro Luna is so glad that she did. SEXomedy continues the company’s tradition of bringing autobiographical narratives to life with a flirty, comical twist.In addition to the SEXomedy series, the Midnight Sun Summer Festival will also include: ¡ay Mami!, an interactive night of performances dedicated to the stories of Chicago’s hottest Latina artists who are working moms; Noche Bohemias, an interdisciplinary performance salon showcasing artists of color from musicians to burlesque dancers to poets and everything in between; Marimachas, a coquettish comedy cabaret featuring Chicago’s Latina comedians, improv artists, and other hot performers to tickle your funny bone; Fools Back in Session, a back-to-school hip-hop concert hosted by April Fools, a brother/sister rap duo featuring Ensemble Member Kristiana Rae Colón; and Luna Tropical, Teatro Luna’s farewell to summer fiesta.WHAT: SEXomedy, a raunchy rollercoaster of lust and laughterWHO: SEXomedy is written and performed by Artistic Associate Melissa DuPreyWHERE: Luna Central at 3914 N Clark

WHEN: Friday August 3rd at 7:30pm

HOW MUCH: $10 includes a complimentary cocktail

WHAT ELSE: Other Midnight Sun Summer Festival highlights include:

—> Friday July 27th – ¡ay Mami! featuring Karla Estela Rivera and Coya Paz

—> Friday August 10th – Marimachas: a coquettish comedy cabaret

—> Friday August 17th – Fools Back in Session: a hip-hop concert hosted by April Fools, a brother/sister rap duo featuring Ensemble Member Kristiana Rae Colón

—> Saturday September 1st – Luna Tropical, a farewell to summer fiesta

ND Publishing launches an innovative financial literacy tool – “Why We Go Broke?”

Posted by Admin On August - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — ND Publishing releases Why We Go Broke?, a financial lecture that mixes music, humor and financial literacy. The audio CD looks at the financial decisions of a fictional basketball player. The lecture takes the listener through his journey from financial ignorance to knowledge.

According to FINRA’s Financial Capability Study, it was found that the average American needed to improve their financial knowledge. The study yielded the following:

* Making Ends Meet. 20% of individuals reported that over the past year, their household spent more than their income.

* Planning Ahead. 60% of individuals lack a “rainy day” fund to cover expenses for three months, in case of emergencies such as sickness, job loss or economic downturn.

* Managing Financial Products. 24% of individuals reported using one or more non-bank borrowing methods in the past five years.

* Financial Knowledge and Decision-Making. On average, individuals answered three out of five financial literacy questions correctly. In addition, 62% of individuals said that, when obtaining their most recent credit card, they did not collect and compare information about cards from more than one company.

Why We Go Broke? provides listeners with practical information concerning personal finance, investing, and retirement planning. People who lack financial literacy pay more for financial services, have higher debt and have less money for retirement. The lecture chooses a basketball player to illustrate what can happen without proper financial management. According to Sports Illustrated, it was estimated in 2009 that 60 percent of NBA players are broke within five years of retiring from the game. The NBA recently announced that players will be forced for the first time to save money for retirement.

Investing, retirement planning and estate planning are all topics that are covered in Why We Go Broke? The lecture is presented by Narcisse Dargenson. Narcisse Dargenson holds a B.A. from Johnson C. Smith University and a MBA from Georgia Southern University. Why We Go Broke? is available at Amazon.com and iTunes.com. The lecture brings humor and creativity to a serious subject.

About N.D. Publishing

N.D. Publishing is a creative publishing company that is dedicated to publishing creative, innovative and thought provoking expressions to the world.

Photo Caption: Audio CD cover

National Pro Fast Pitch brings 2012 Championship Series to the ballpark at Rosemont, IL August 23-26

Posted by Admin On August - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

“World Series of Women’s Softball” to Feature the Nation’s
Professional Women’s Softball Semi- Final & Championship Series

 

 

Rosemont, IL – In August, Rosemont will be bustling with the nation’s top professional women’s softball teams for the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series to be held August 23-26 at the Ballpark at Rosemont. Located at 27 Jennie Finch Way, The Ballpark at Rosemont is home to the NPF’s defending Cowles Cup Champion, Chicago Bandits. The series will be hosted by the Village of Rosemont with the support of the Rosemont Convention & Visitors Bureau.

 

“The Village of Rosemont is honored to host this showcase of world-class women’s athletics in our brand new stadium, which was specifically designed for women’s fastpitch softball,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “There has been a tremendous groundswell of support for and excitement about women’s fastpitch softball in our community, and the NPF Championship Series will only build upon this strong foundation, while also attracting fans from throughout the nation. We are also excited about the opportunity to attract even more new fans of all ages to this great sport.”

The NPF Championship Series is the League’s hallmark event and will feature the nation’s four teams and most talented players, including nine Olympic medalists from Team USA and three former Olympians from Team Canada, in a series of games in a playoff/tournament format.

The format is a best-of-three series in which the #1- and #4-seed first compete alongside a series between the #2- and #3-seeds. The winners of those two series face off in a best-of-three final series for the championship. A minimum of six games and a maximum of nine games will be played during the series, determined by the number of wins and losses by each team.

 

Among those expected to be in attendance at the Series will be Fastpitch legend and former Chicago Bandit Jennie Finch-Daigle, who also helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and a silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Other notable guests include NPF Advisory Board Members and NFCA Hall of Famers Sue Enquist and Cindy Bristow.

 

The full 2012 National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series schedule is below.

 

National Pro Fastpitch Championship Schedule:

 

Thursday, August 23
Game 1 (#2 vs. #3) 6 p.m.
Game 2 (#1 vs. #4) 8:30 p.m.

Friday, August 24
Game 3 (#1 vs. #4) 6 p.m.
Game 4 (#2 vs. #3) 8:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, August 25**
Game 5 (#1 vs. #4) 11 a.m.
Game 6 (#2 vs. #3) 1:30 p.m.
**Please note: these games may not be necessary depending on the outcome of games on the first two days. If there will only be one game, it will be at 11 a.m.
Game 7                  7 p.m.

 

Sunday, August 26
Game 8                  2:30 p.m.
Game 9                  6 p.m.

 

ESPN will carry the Final Series of the 2012 NPF Championship Series on Sunday, August 26. Game 2 of the Final Series will be shown live on ESPN3 beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST with Game 3 airing on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. EST. In the event that Game 2 is the final game in the best of three format that begins Saturday night, Game 2 can be seen at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN2.

 

“The NPF is so proud to have the opportunity to share our Championship Series Final through national television on ESPN2 for the second year in a row,” commented NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf. “We know that the television audience for women’s fastpitch softball continues to grow and it’s only fitting to deliver that audience the highest level of competition this sport has to offer.”

 

Fans can expect additional special features, insightful interviews, and behind the scenes coverage to also be available throughout the Series on the NPF website.

 

The Championship Series will be complemented by several other exciting affiliated events including a welcome reception at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center at 6 p.m. and awards dinner at 7 p.m. All NPF players, staff and owners will join Mayor Brad Stephens and the invited VIPs in attendance. The event is open to the public; tickets may be purchased by calling the NPF office at 615-232-2900.

There also will be a Champions Festival, held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on Sunday, August 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The Champions Festival is a leadership event for players, parents and youth coaches. The Festival made its debut at the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series under the direction of NPF’s Board of Advisors members Sue Enquist and Cindy Bristow. Enrollment for the Champions Festival can be accessed through their website at www.championsfestival.com

 

Tickets for the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series can be purchased in advance through the NPF and team websites, or via phone. Tickets also can be purchased on the day of the game at the stadium box office, pending availability. Prices range from $5 – $15. The phone number for tickets is 615-232-2900 and the website is www.profastpitch.com

 

About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The League, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).

 

About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois

Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and 20 minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont, MB Financial Park at Rosemont and a host of other entertainment and retail venues. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the vision and legacy of founding Mayor Donald E. Stephens.

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