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December , 2017
Tuesday

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Marshall Thompson:The Last Man Standing Mitty Collier: Standing on the Promises of God Thompson, the last surviving ...
Thousands have already applied for the Jay-Z Scholarship via his foundation. The deadline is ...
  Ball is in Cardinal George’s court   By Chinta Strausberg   Echoing what he said during a recent town ...

Archive for October 26th, 2016

Police Data Release Called Into Question

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
By Curtis Black
Hundreds of activists gathered last Thursday to mark the second anniversary of the death of Laquan McDonald.McDonald’s death precipitated the first murder indictment of a Chicago police officer for an on-duty shooting in memory; a probe of the Chicago Police Department by the U.S. Department of Justice; an apology from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and an admission from him of the existence of a code of silence in CPD; the resignation of then-Supt. Garry McCarthy and the defeat of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in the March primary; a scathing report from the mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force emphasizing racial bias in policing here; and passage of an ordinance strengthening the city’s police accountability system.

(YouTube/Sun-Times)How well that new system functions remains to be seen. Other unanswered questions: whether CPD’s policy of firing officers who give false reports is consistently enforced, and how high the investigation into the coverup of McDonald’s shooting is taken. While rank-and-file officers who filed false reports are under investigation by a grand jury, for over a year top officials at CPD and the city maintained a false narrative about the shooting. That narrative was clearly contradicted by the dashcam video that was finally released – following an extended court battle – last November.And while many are asking whether there is any support for reform efforts among police officers, it’s worth recalling that it was an anonymous CPD whistleblower who first alerted the Invisible Institute of the existence of the video. Without that individual, none of the debate, protest, and progress of the last few months would have been possible.

Perjury

Three local police officers, two from Chicago and one from Glenview, pleaded not guilty last week after being re-indicted for perjury, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice. In September prosecutors dropped charges against the officers when defense attorneys showed they were relying on an outdated version of the state’s perjury law.

In a story broken by the Chicago Tribune two years ago, three officers from Chicago and two from Glenview gave accounts of a traffic stop and search that conflicted with dashcam video. One Chicago officer involved in the incident pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor obstruction of justice.

Earlier this year, after a Tribune investigation into other officers whose testimony has been ruled false, the Cook County State’s Attorney began issuing disclosure notices in cases where those officers were witnesses. The Trib had reported that officers are rarely punished for giving false testimony.

Surveillance

The Chicago Police Department used controversial surveillance technology to locate cellphones involved in more than a dozen murder, kidnapping, and drug conspiracy cases – but not to spy on protestors, according to documents released recently.

The privacy activist who went to court to force the release of the records told the Chicago Sun-Times he doesn’t believe the city turned over all its records. “It’s a suspiciously low number for a city the size of Chicago,” said Freddy Martinez of Lucy Parson Labs.


(YouTube/AJ+)

Martinez sued the city in 2014, first forcing an admission that the devices called Stingrays were used for surveillance by CPD. First purchased by CPD in 2008, the devices monitor cellphone data, and do not require judicial oversight.

That will change next year when a new state law goes into effect requiring court approval for use of cellular tracking systems, and requiring police to delete information they obtain from “non-target” phones.

Meanwhile, CPD told the Tribune that it has used a local company called Geofeedia to monitor social media posts at large sporting events and at “First Amendment-protected events.”

The ACLU reported earlier this month that police in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., used Geofeedia to track Black Lives Matter protests, linking it with government’s “long history of spying on activists in an effort to dampen dissent.” Following the report, Facebook and Instagram limited Geofeedia’s access to its user posts.

The Intercept has reported that a venture capital firm controlled by the CIA invested in Geofeedia and other startups offering social media mining and monitoring services.

Tracking CPD’s Use of Force Guidelines

With four weeks remaining in the Chicago Police Department‘s public comment period for its new Use of Force guidelines, City Bureau and the Invisible Institute have teamed up to produce a detailed public tool tracking the draft. The Use of Force Tracker translates the Use of Force document via annotations from City Bureau reporters and Documenters collecting information from media reports, legal documents, national best practices and research studies.

From now until November 19, the two independent journalism groups will collect comments, ideas and experiences from the public using the Tracker, while providing context around the directives contained in the guidelines.

Add your own comments to the Tracker using Genius (no download required).

Innovative Crime Prevention Chess Program Designed Decrease Black on Black Violence & Increase “Black on Black Love”

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The C2B Chess Club & Mentoring Program is a 10-week program for South Florida students between 7-19 years of age. The organization is looking to expand nationally. 

Courage to Believe chess program
Pompano Beach, FL (BlackNews.com) – Under the umbrella of the Annual Black On Black Crime Solutions Panel, the C2B Chess Club & Mentoring Program is looking extremely promising. Courage To Believe International is a 501(c)3 youth mentoring organization, which operates to uplift the youth in Haiti and in Broward County, FL. Theyre going into their 4th session of their free 10-week crime prevention chess mentorship program for South Florida students between 7-19 years of age. On November 4th, the students will be watching a spaceship launch at the Kennedy Space Center!”This isnt your ordinary chess club. The students have to do a book report presentation on ancient African Historical figures such as Imhotep and Queen Nzninga, two important people theyll never learn in the current school system, says the Program Director and chess instructor, King Kevin Dorival. Were also teaching them necessary life skills to show them how valuable they are to the community and society, which is a big part of the identity crisis of Black America.The game of chess improves emotional intelligence, develops mathematical skills, teaches logic, goal setting, and the importance of planning. The benefits can go on and on this is a win-win situation for the Black community, the children, and the future of our society.

Dorival continues, “The truth is, we cant afford NOT to invest in programs that teach our youth how to strategize, and to love their community. The growing School-To-Prison pipeline is evidence that we must make it mandatory to invest in our youths future.” Systematically, the C2B Chess Club truly believes that their hard word will significantly reduce Black On Black Crime, while increasing Black On Black Love. Currently they are having a GoFundMe Spaceship Sponsorship Online Fundraiser (www.gofundme.com/crimesolutionpanel) which covers one students ticket, transportation, t-shirt and lunch.

The program is hosted in different cities in the South Florida area, and C2B is currently seeking a corporate sponsor that will assist them in spreading their wings to different states and different countries, such as Haiti, Jamaica and Ghana. The chess program will also be part of the highly anticipated inspirational documentary, Courage To Believe: Never Give Up, which will be released in March 2017 in several film festivals.

The chess program is being held at the Jim Moran Collier City Learning Library located at 2800 NW 9th Ct, Pompano Beach, FL 33069 on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Come January there will be classes opening up starting in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and several other cities around the country. In order for interested parents and students to find out when and where, they must register online on the websites contact page at www.TheCourageToBelieve.com. Sending your name, grade level, number, and email address to Courage To Believe Internationals Facebook inbox. Follow and interact with them via Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Skype, and Instagram: @Courage2Believe.

For more information, contact Mr. Dorival at 954-372-6336 or thecouragetobelieve@gmail.com. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed and written to Courage To Believe Intl – P.O. Box 667136 Pompano Beach, FL. 33066 or visit: www.thecouragetobelieve.com

Watch the “Courage To Believe” documentary on YouTube:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_Lkj8BHsOo

 

Photo Caption: C2B chess students during a learning session

 

 

“Buy Black” Movement Grabs International Attention

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

France news program covers Buy Black movement

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — The Buy Black movement, a form of economic protest among African-Americans, is gaining steam at home and drawing attention abroad. In a recent news package, major French news outlet France 24 covered the Buy Black movement spreading across the US for an international audience.

In an effort to show the different ways African-Americans are organizing in response to police violence, French reporters interviewed rapper and activist Killer Mike, author Dr. Boyce Watkins, True Laundry Detergent creator Ali Muhammad, and founder of online retail start-up WeBuyBlack.com, Shareef Abdul-Malik.

It just proves that what we are doing has a major impact, Abdul-Malik said about the foreign news coverage.

Other communities have a history of supporting each other and using their own small businesses to stimulate their own economic growth, Abdul-Malik said. In the Black community, a dollar only circulates for 6 hours. Compare that to some Asian communities, where the same dollar can circulate for up to a month. When you look at it that way, it’s no wonder why were not getting ahead like we should.

At just 24, Abdul-Malik has created a comprehensive online platform that sells everything from toilet paper to skin lotion, all produced by Black-owned companies. And while many of his contemporaries are putting energy into the Black Lives Matter Movement, Abdul-Malik says his work will have a similar impact on future generations of African-Americans.

I really think it’s a natural complement to the Black Lives Matter movement. At WeBuyBlack we like to say Black Dollars Matter, because when we can learn to use our resources strategically, we can make a bigger impact at home and out in the world.
View the France 24 package here: www.howwebuyblack.com/buy-black-france24/
Visit WeBuyBlack.com

For more information, please contact Naeesa Aziz at 347-878-9731 or hello@naeesa.com

 

 

“Know Your Worth” Movement to Educate Black Women (And Men) on the Power They Behold in Dating, Overcoming Domestic Violence, and Self-Worth

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Aaron Jordan, founder of the Know Your Worth Movement
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Aaron Jordan Jr. is the brainchild, creator/CEO of the nationally renowned Know Your Worth (KYW) movement. The movement empowers African American women and men, helping them to realize the power that they behold in overcoming life traumatic circumstances in relationships, domestic violence situations, verbal abuse, and tapping into their self-worth.Aaron, also known as “Mr. Know Your Worth”, is an award-winning author of several books including The Power Within and A Womans Worth: From Both Sexes. He is also a speaker, teacher, ministry leader, and successful entrepreneur.Supporting charities is another one of his strong suits. He has supported various organizations including: Mending Hearts, Inc, Goodwill Industries, Beauty Behind Bars, (Once in a Wifetime/Once in a Manhood) and more. Aaron feels that it is important for his audiences, clients and the general public to know this because giving back is a vital part of who he is and its important to the cycle of life.For the last two years, Aaron, his lovely wife (Ashley Jordan) and his progressive team have made a difference with the annual Know Your Worth Womens Conferences. The 2016 theme was Come Walk the Purple Carpet, in harmony with October being the charted month for domestic violence awareness and purple is the chosen color for the awareness and month.

In 2017, Aaron and the KYW Movement will re-visit and explore some new, productive and exciting things ahead. A couple of them will be the new, infused book and speakers circuit tour stops and the KYW Radio Show and television broadcasts. The Know Your Worth Brand is all about educating his audience (no matter what size) about their invaluable, self worth.

He comments, “If one doesnt know their worth, they may have no worth and it shows in their daily walk. So often its the first step in allowing others to decrease another persons value.”

In addition to all of his accomplishments, Aaron is also a proud member of the Phi Beta Sigma. The Fraternity, the Pi Eta Sigma Chapter, and has proudly won the Indie Authors Legacy Award: Author of the Year in Personal Development #IALAWARDS, which stems from Baltimore, MD.

For more information about the tour, the movement or Aaron Jordan Jr. himself, contact KYW Communications at (615) 208-3261 or knowyourworthradioshow@gmail.com or visit www.knowyworth.com or www.aaronjordanjr.com

 

Photo Caption: Aaron Jordan, founder of the “Know Your Worth” Movement

 

 

Consumer Alert – Madigan: Be Informed When Buying Cubs Tickets

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
Attorney General Urges Fans to Purchase World Series Tickets from
Reputable Sellers & Be Wary of Private Sellers

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged fans to take caution and properly investigate a ticket seller before buying tickets to the Chicago Cubs World Series at Wrigley Field.

Madigan encouraged consumers to purchase tickets through reputable sellers, such as a registered ticket broker, and to take extreme caution before buying tickets that are advertised by sellers on websites like Craigslist or other online sellers and could be fraudulent tickets.

“Cubs fans have been waiting a lifetime to see their team play in the World Series, but don’t let the quest to ‘Fly the W’ let you fall victim to an expensive scam,” Madigan said.

Madigan offered consumers the following tips regarding special-event ticket sales:

  • Don’t buy tickets from private parties. The tickets may be counterfeit. This includes avoiding any offers on online message boards (like Craigslist) or social media platforms.

  • Don’t pay cash for tickets. Consumers should only deal with a seller who accepts credit card payments or other secure payment methods. Consumers are urged not to buy tickets from an unsecured website. Consumers should also be wary of online escrow sites, especially those recommended by a seller. If an escrow site is suggested, the consumer should independently investigate whether the site is legitimate.

  • Never wire any payment to a seller for any reason. Buyers may be told that they will receive tickets after wiring money to an unknown seller. In many of these instances, the consumer becomes a victim of fraud. When buying online, consumers are urged to never wire money to anyone and should avoid using prepaid cards, debit cards or any other alternative method to purchase tickets. Purchasing tickets from a seller that accepts credit cards give consumers recourse to request a chargeback from their credit card company if the tickets are not delivered or are counterfeit. 

  • Investigate a ticket broker. If dealing with a ticket broker, determine whether the broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (www.natb.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org). Both organizations have membership standards that promote ethical business conduct.

  • Investigate online sellers. When purchasing a ticket online, consumers should familiarize themselves with the website and seller’s policies. Most legitimate sellers offer a guarantee as to the timely delivery and the authenticity of the ticket purchase.

  • For ticket brokers in Illinois, consumers can contact the Illinois Secretary of State’s Index Department in Springfield to ensure that the broker is properly registered. Illinois law requires ticket brokers to meet certain requirements, including maintaining a toll-free telephone number and a consumer rebate fund.

  • Read the fine print. When buying online, consumers should always note whether they are buying tickets at face value. Consumers also should familiarize themselves with the policies of the venue where the event is being held to determine whether the consumer must have actual ticket in hand, or whether the venue has a mechanism for accepting paperless tickets.

  • For paperless tickets, consumers should examine the document carefully to make sure that there is a legitimate and legible barcode that can be scanned. The consumer should carefully examine the ticket to make sure that the dates and other relevant information are correct.

  • Always keep in mind that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Madigan urged consumers affected by a ticket scam to file a complaint with her office by calling her Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438. Consumers also can file a complaint on Madigan’s website.

 

Senator Kirk Bill Keeps American Collectors from Inadvertently Funding Terrorism

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Bill Prevents ISIS-Stolen Art and Artifacts, Used to Help Fund Terrorism, From Being Trafficked in the U.S.

 

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance, held an ad-hoc hearing to discuss ISIS and the funding of terrorism through the black market antiquities trade.  ISIS makes approximately $100 million annually from the illegal sale of looted cultural artifacts, the Iraqi government reports. To combat this issue, Senator Kirk introduced the Terrorism Art and Antiquity Revenue Prevention Act of 2016 (TAAR Act), which prevents ISIS-stolen antiquities from being trafficked into the U.S., giving ISIS less money to fuel terrorism.

 

“Without reform, Americans could unknowingly fund ISIS through the purchase of cultural artifacts,” said Senator Kirk. “This legislation will create a lasting barrier to ISIS’s antiquity trade in the U.S. and ensure the federal government has the necessary tools to combat ISIS’s vital antiquity revenue stream.”

NBC News reports “[a]ntiquity plundering – particularly from violence-riddled Syria and Iraq – fuels a $7 billion black market, and some of that money lands in the pockets of terrorists, say archaeologists and international watchdogs.” In August, GAO disclosed there have been eighteen FBI cases opened related to ISIS antiquities in seven cities across the country, including Chicago.

 

Panelists at today’s event were Thomas Creal, International Forensic Accountant, Hunter Forensics, and Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, author, and Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

 

“Fighting this type of enemy requires creativity on our side and needs to be a multi-faceted approach,” said Mr. Creal. Everyone must do their part. Mine is to follow the money. TAAR provides the legal foundation that keeps people focused and raises visibility, and it helps flush out black money. I predict the international world will quickly jump onboard TAAR.”

 

“Although publicly denouncing art as blasphemous, behind the cameras, the Islamic State’s large-scale antiquities-trafficking operation reveals that it cares less about idolatry than it does about dollars. All while a cozy cabal of academics, dealers, collectors, and museums turns a blind eye to the illicit side of the trade that is funding the bullets and bombs that are killing so many,”  Colonel Bogdanos said.

 

In 2015, Congress passed the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (Public Law 114-151), which gave the President authority to create an import ban on all Syrian archeological or ethnological material. However, further action is needed to make these bans enforceable and ensure antiquities do not indirectly fund ISIS.

 

Inspired by the successful legislation to combat blood diamonds in 2003, the TAAR Act creates a database and labeling program to provide law enforcement with essential data to identify ISIS-stolen antiquities. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Specifically, the legislation:

  • Amends the National Stolen Property Act to include cultural property valued at $50 or more.
  • Directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a labeling program to identify legal antiquities from Iraq or Syria. DHS will require buyers and sellers of Iraqi or Syrian antiquities to report where and when the items were purchased, in addition to documentation that proves the chain of custody.
  • Directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the Undersecretary of Standards and Technology, to create a scientific database of antiquities coming from Iraq or Syria in order to more easily identify illegal antiquities.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS

 

Thomas Creal

Currently, Tom Creal of Remetrics is serving as a Panel Expert for the United Nations regarding forensic accounting matters involving the Republic of Liberia. Creal served as the Chief of Staff for the Loleta Didrickson Administration at the Office of the Illinois State Comptroller, and as the lead Partner for the accounting firm of Checkers, Simon & Rosner. Creal He has served as the lead forensic accountant on various missions for the country of Liberia regarding the “blood diamond” trade, tax compliance issues, anti-money laundering, the development of evidence for civil recovery legal actions, and war crimes prosecution against the former regime. That engagement resulted in considerable time spent in country, and a very exhaustive education about United Nations protocol relative to international loss recovery. Creal also led the development of the Advanced Investigators Training School for all FDIC & RTC investigators pursuing Bank/S&L fraud and other civil legal actions. From 1991 through 1994, he taught over 1,000 professionals from the FDIC and the RTC.

 

Colonel Matthew Bogdanos

Col. Matthew Bogdanos is an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan (since 1988), author, and a colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.  In 2003, while on active duty in the Marine Corps, he led an investigation into the looting of Iraq’s National Museum, and was subsequently awarded the National Humanities Medal for his efforts. For over five years Bogdanos led a team to recover the artifacts. Up to 2006 approximately 10000 artifacts were recovered through his efforts. Antiquities recovered include the Warka Vase and The Mask of Warka. Bogdanos wrote a memoir, Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion for Ancient Civilizations and the Journey to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures, which he co-wrote with William Patrick.  He had previously gained national attention for the prosecution of Sean Combs, who was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges in a 2001 trial stemming from a 1999 nightclub shootout.

Howard University Honors Radio One, Inc. Founder and Chairperson Cathy Hughes as New Name Sake for its School of Communications With Star-Studded Unveiling Ceremony and Celebration

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Hosted by Anthony Anderson, Celebratory Program Featured Newsmakers and Entertainers Rev. Al Sharpton, Debbie Allen, Joe, Donald Lawrence, Vashawn Mitchell, Richard Smallwood, Russ Parr, Denise Boutte, Chrystee Pharris and More

Cathy Hughes School of Communication at Howard University

Silver Spring, MD (BlackNews.com) — Howard University honored Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest Black-owned multi-media company in the country, with the unveiling of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications Sunday. During an exclusive, star-studded extravaganza, the prestigious university commemorated her lifetime commitment to excellence. University and public officials Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President, Howard University; Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD 7th District); Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D., Dean of Cathy Hughes School of Communications; Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD 8th District); and Civil Rights Leader Rev. Al Sharpton recognized Hughes for blazing the path for African Americans in the media and communications industry.

She took the mute off of Black America, said Rev. Sharpton. We were on mute, we couldnt talk. She made talk radio stations. She preserved our culture; she gave us TV One. We can speak for ourselves, to ourselves, and [that] is an enormous contribution to our people.

Hughes remarked that she was humbled to be honored by the institution that helped her find her voice as an educator and entrepreneur with a passion for her community.

My whole goal in life has been to get pertinent information to my community that they can use to uplift and improve the quality of their lives and their lifestyle, said Hughes. Becoming the namesake for Howard Universitys School of Communications and having my lifes work celebrated its like a dream!

Hosted by Emmy-nominated actor Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), along with narration from radio host and film director Russ Parr, the three-hour celebration featured keynote speeches and performances from a variety of award-winning and notable entertainers, including writer/director/choreographer Debbie Allen representing Howards Board of Trustees; R&B artist Joe; and Gospel artists Donald Lawrence, Richard Smallwood and Vashawn Mitchell who performed a rousing medley of Gospel favorites brought the audience of friends, family and supporters to their feet in praise. YouTube Harpist Tulani and Howard University Gospel Choir also took to the stage, while Hughes son Alfred Liggins III, CEO of Radio One, Inc., offered heart-warming remarks of gratitude and appreciation. Other prominent figures in attendance included Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), television and radio personality Bevy Smith and from Hughes upcoming TV One original movie Media, actresses Chrystee Pharris and Denise Boutte.

Prior to the celebratory program, Howard University held a private, invitation-only unveiling ceremony of the Cathy Hughes School of Communication with a special appearance by Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. The event was also live streamed via Facebook and on all of Radio One, Inc.s local and national digital media platforms. To view the unveiling ceremony in its entirety, visit Radio Ones Facebook. Photos of the unveiling ceremony and celebratory lunch are also available online and clips and footage can be pulled from http://tinyurl.com/CHSOC2016. (Courtesy Credit: Radio One, Inc./TV One).

Hughes, who started her career in radio at Howard University, is a dynamic, media pioneer who demonstrates the power of one one woman, one vision, one company Radio One. As Founder and Chairperson of Radio One, Inc., the largest African-American owned and operated, broadcast company in the nation, Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate that generates original content across the spectrums of radio, television and digital media. Her humble beginnings in Omaha, Nebraska, were not a deterrent to her success but rather part of the catalyst that fueled her ambition to empower African Americans with information and to tell stories from their perspective. Additional biographical and background information is available at www.cathyhughes.com.

 
About Radio One, Inc.
Radio One, Inc. (radio-one.com), together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified media company that primarily targets African-American and urban consumers. It is one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasting companies, currently owning and/or operating 56 stations in 16 urban markets in the United States. Through its controlling interest in Reach Media, Inc. (blackamericaweb.com), the Company also operates syndicated programming including the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Russ Parr Morning Show, the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Get up Morning! with Erica Campbell, the DL Hughley Show, Bishop T.D. Jakes’ Empowering Moments, the Ed Lover Show, the Willie Moore Jr Show, the Nightly Spirit with Darlene McCoy and the Reverend Al Sharpton Show. Beyond its core radio broadcasting franchise, Radio One owns Interactive One (interactiveone.com), the fastest growing and definitive digital resource for Black and Latin Americans, reaching millions each month through social content, news, information, and entertainment. Interactive One operates a number of branded sites including News One (news), The Urban Daily (men), Hello Beautiful (women), Global Grind (Millennials) and social networking websites such as BlackPlanet and MiGente. The Company also owns TV One, LLC (tvone.tv), a cable/satellite network programming serving more than 60 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. Additionally, One Solution combines the dynamics of the Radio Ones holdings to provide brands with an integrated and effectively engaging marketing approach that reaches 82% of Black Americans throughout the country.

 
About Howard University:
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University has produced three Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

 

Photo Caption: Howard University honored Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., with the unveiling of the Cathy Hughes School of Communications Sunday. Pictured L-R: Actor Anthony Anderson, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Hughes, and Activist Rev. Al Sharpton.

 

RLJ Entertainment and AMC Networks Form Strategic Partnership for Streaming Services

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

 Bob Johnson, Founder and Chairman of RLJ Entertainment, and Josh Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks, Strongly Commit to Bringing Consumers More Diverse, High-Quality Content to SVOD Streaming Channels and Independent Film Distribution

Robert L. Johnson

Silver Spring, MD and New York, NY (BlackNews.com) –RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE), the entertainment content distribution company which owns and operates Acorn TV, the premier streaming service for British mystery and drama, and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), the first urban-focused subscription streaming service, has formed a strategic partnership with AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX), the company behind several of the most recognized brands and shows in entertainment, including AMC, BBC AMERICA, WE tv (a leading network for African American audiences), SundanceTV, AMC Networks International, IFC, and IFC Films. The announcement was made by RLJ Entertainment Chairman Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), and AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan.

The partnership builds on each companys long track-record of successfully developing high-quality content for targeted audiences and capitalizing on new technology and changing viewing habits to make that content available to consumers.

As part of the agreement, AMC Networks has invested $65 million in the form of loans to RLJ Entertainment to refinance the companys existing senior credit facility, add working capital, reduce the cost of capital through lower interest rates, and provide revised covenants that will allow for increased operational flexibility. In addition, AMC Networks has received warrants which, if exercised, would provide AMC Networks with at least 50.1% of the outstanding RLJ Entertainment common stock on a fully diluted basis.

AMC Networks support and investment will accelerate the distribution and development of diverse content and independent films from RLJ Entertainment across multiple platforms, including its direct-to-consumer streaming video-on-demand channels: Acorn TV is the premier SVOD destination for world-class British television, with more than 370,000 paying monthly subscribers (which has grown by 92 percent since December 31, 2015) and a deep library that includes thousands of hours of programming, including exclusive, award-winning content.

UMC is quickly becoming a leading destination for African American and urban viewers, with a rapidly growing fan base seeking diversity of creative voices.

By aligning Acorn TV and UMC with AMC Networks and its channels and film business most notably BBC AMERICA, WE tv and IFC Films, which serve similar audiences — Acorn TV and UMC will have the potential to cross-promote, develop and distribute content ultimately reaching even more viewers of high-quality British television dramas, urban content, and independent film.

Commenting on the new partnership and investment by AMC Networks, Mr. Johnson stated, I am both delighted and excited that RLJ Entertainment is joining with the AMC Networks family to help capitalize on the opportunities that exist to provide consumers with more diverse content across multiple platforms. RLJ Entertainment has a leading position, through Acorn TV with British television programming, and through UMC with quality urban-focused content, and independent films that we will be able to further develop and grow with the capital and support of AMC Networks.

Johnson continued: Josh Sapan, who I am proud to call a friend and whom Ive known for more than 20 years, is a visionary CEO and an absolute advocate for producing and delivering to audiences of all interests the best in quality and award-winning entertainment. As founder of RLJ Entertainment, I look forward to the future of this new chapter in our business and entering into a relationship with one of the most dynamic and creative content companies in the entertainment industry.

We have deep respect for Bob Johnson and the many businesses hes built, from BET to Acorn TV and UMC, said Josh Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks. Bob is a talented entrepreneur with a real understanding of the power of strong brands and a proven ability to identify and provide premium content to a wide range of audiences by tapping into the demand for content that uniquely fits their specific consumer interests. Much like the early days of cable, and AMC Networks own history of providing quality programming to targeted audiences, RLJ Entertainments Acorn TV and UMC appeal to consumers with quality programming that represents diverse voices. Our investment is a strategic opportunity to provide capital and additional resources to RLJ Entertainment as they continue to explore their many opportunities for growth, and while we consider the many potentially powerful synergies with our innovative partners at the BBC, and our own WE tv network.

The RLJ Entertainment board of directors unanimously approved the transaction and the transaction was closed after receiving the approval of RLJ Entertainment stockholders on October 14, 2016.
About AMC Networks Inc.
Dedicated to producing quality programming and content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The Company also operates BBC America through a joint venture with BBC Worldwide. In addition, the Company operates AMC Networks International, its global division. For more information, please visit www.amcnetworks.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This release may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on AMC Networks management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community and rating agency perceptions of AMC Networks and its business, operations, financial condition and the industries in which it operates and the factors described in AMC Networks filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” contained therein. AMC Networks disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.
About RLJ Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is an entertainment content distribution company in primarily North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. RLJ Entertainments titles are distributed in multiple formats including broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, and digital streaming.

With its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), RLJ Entertainment targets distinct, premium audiences and Urban niche audiences. The company grows its proprietary digital channels through development, acquisition, and distribution of exclusive rights of program franchises and feature film content.

Through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE owns all rights to the hit UK mystery series Foyles War and is developing new programs. RLJE owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited, which manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot.

For more information, please visit RLJEntertainment.com, Acorn.TV, and UrbanMovieChannel.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release may include “forward looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Other than statements of historical fact, all statements made by RLJE in this press release are forward-looking, including, but not limited to, statements regarding industry prospects, future results of operations or financial position, and statements of RLJEs intent, belief and current expectations about its strategic direction, prospective and future results and condition. In some cases, forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “will,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “expect,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “continue,” “future,” “intend,” “project” or similar words.

Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that are inherently difficult to predict, which could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from RLJEs expectations, forecasts and assumptions. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to:

* RLJEs financial performance, including its ability to achieve improved results from operations, and Adjusted EBITDA;
* The effects of limited cash liquidity on operational performance;
* RLJEs obligations under the credit agreement, including its principal repayment obligations;
* RLJEs ability to generate sufficient cash flows from operating activities;
* RLJEs ability to raise additional capital to reduce debt, improve liquidity and fund capital requirements;
* RLJEs ability to fund planned capital expenditures and development efforts;
* RLJEs inability to gauge and predict the commercial success of its programming;
* RLJEs ability to maintain relationships with customers, employees and suppliers, including its ability to enter into revised payment plans, when necessary, with its vendors that are acceptable to all parties;
* Delays in the release of new titles or other content;
* The effects of disruptions in RLJEs supply chain;
* The loss of key personnel;
* RLJEs public securities’ limited liquidity and trading; or
* RLJEs ability to meet the NASDAQ Capital Market continuing listing standards and maintain our listing.

You should carefully consider and evaluate all of the information about RLJE in this press release, including the risk factors listed above and in RLJEs Form 10-K previously filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (or SEC), including “Item 1A. Risk Factors.” If any of these risks occur, RLJEs business, results of operations, and financial condition could be harmed, the price of RLJEs common stock could decline and you may lose all or part of your investment, and future events and circumstances could differ significantly from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Unless otherwise required by law, RLJE undertakes no obligation to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this press release.

Readers are referred to the most recent reports filed with the SEC by RLJE. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made, and RLJE undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

Bob Johnson, Chairman, RLJ Entertainment & UMC

 

Former Chief Operating Officer at MetroHealth Hospitals Indicted for Taking Bribes

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The former Chief Operating Officer of MetroHealth Hospital System is one of four men indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud the hospital and others through a series of bribes and kickbacks totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars related to the hospital’s dental program, law enforcement officials said.

Named in the indictment are: Edward R. Hills, 56, of Aurora; Sari Alqsous, 32, of Cleveland; Yazan B. Al-Madani, 32, of Westlake; and Tariq Sayegh, 38, of Cleveland.

Hills worked in various capacities at MetroHealth, including as Chief Operating Officer and Director of MetroHealth Dental. He also served as interim President and Chief Executive Officer from December 2012 through July 2013. Alqsous, Al-Madani and Sayegh are dentists who worked for MetroHealth.

“I hoped we had reached a point in Cuyahoga County where public employees taking cash bribes and using downtown apartments to entertain friends was a thing of the past,” U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said. “We will remain vigilant in stamping out public corruption and these defendants will be held accountable for their crimes.”

“Being extorted is not what a dental resident is expecting when applying to a dental program but that is exactly what happened, and that is not the only illegal scheme these four devised,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office. “MetroHealth officials discovered possible wrongdoing, contacted the FBI, and partnered with the FBI to ensure that these individuals would be held accountable for their criminal actions.”

“These government-funded programs were designed to help the men, women, and children of Cuyahoga County, but these individuals defrauded them for their own personal gain and used their companies as personal piggy banks.” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.  “Therefore, in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division gives priority to investigations involving the alleged breach of the public trust by public officials at any level.”

“This investigation found that these defendants were motivated by greed to manipulate the health care system and extort dental residents in order to line their own pockets,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

 

According to the 33-count indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court:

Hills, Alqsous and Al-Madani engaged in a RICO conspiracy from 2008 through this year involving a series of elaborate bribery conspiracies, witness tampering and other crimes. These bribes include Hills soliciting cash, checks, a $3,879 Louis Vuitton briefcase, a 55-inch television, airline flights and use of a downtown apartment from Alqsous, Al-Madani and others. In return, Hills took official actions on their behalf, including allowing them to work at their private dental businesses during regular business hours while receiving a full-time salary from MetroHealth.

Alqsous, Al-Madani and others gave cash, checks and other things of value to Hills beginning in 2009. The indictment details text messages and meetings, often at expensive restaurants, which resulted in cash being deposited into Hills’ bank accounts.

Alqsous sent a text message to Al-Madani and another person in 2013 that stated: “With 22nd of October approaching we ll be celebrating Dr hills bday earlier this year…1000 dollars each is the gift from the 3 sons their father.” Later that day, $3,000 was deposited into Hills’ bank account.

In 2012, Alqsous rented and lived in an apartment at the Perry Payne apartment building in downtown Cleveland. When he bought a residence, Hills instructed Alqsous to continue paying rent and other bills at the Perry Payne building, even though Alqsous would no longer be living there. Hills used the Perry Payne apartment to house an associate and for his own personal use in 2013 and 2014 while Alqsous, acting on Hills’ orders, continued to pay rent and other bills.

Hills instructed Alqsous to purchase furniture for the apartment for Hills’ personal use. Alqsous sent Hills a text in 2013 stating: “I bought your bedroom yesterday…there is mirrors everywhere…You will like it.”

Hills became interim President and CEO of the MetroHealth Hospital System in December 2012. Around that time, he told Alqsous, Al-Madani and others that he wanted a specific Louis Vuitton briefcase because his predecessor had a similar briefcase.

Alqsous texted a photo of the briefcase to Hills and wrote: “The guys are also very excited about their raise haha.” Hills responded with: “Thanks I’m so excited to have my bag to start my new job as #1.” Later that day, Alqsous, Al-Madani and others purchased the briefcase for $3,879 from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beachwood and later presented it to Hills.

As director of MetroHealth Dental, Hills was responsible for determining monthly bonuses for dentists who produced receipts in excess of their monthly salary and benefits. Dentists typically received a monthly bonus totaling 25 percent of the monies they generated for excess receipts.

Between 2010 and 2014, Hills regularly upwardly adjusted the bonuses of Alqsous, Al-Madani and others, by a total of approximately $92,829.

Hills also allowed Alqsous, Al-Madani and others to retain full-time salaries and benefits at MetroHealth without requiring them to work full-time hours, thus allowing them to operate private dental clinics. Hills, acting at the request of Alqsous and Al-Madani, provided MetroHealth dental residents to practice at those private clinics during regular business hours. Neither Alqsous nor Al-Madani paid wages or salaries to the resident dentists.

Additionally, Alqsous, Al-Madani and Sayegh solicited and accepted bribes totaling tens of thousands of dollars from prospective candidates to the MetroHealth Dental residency program.

In a typical year, the MetroHealth Dental residency accepted four to six candidates for the residency program from a pool of 40 to 60 applicants. Alqsous, Sayegh and Al-Madani each had the authority to influence the selection of dental residents, and Hills had final decisional authority over who was selected for the residency program.

Alqsous and Sayegh often identified and selected candidates who were from Jordan or trained at a Jordanian dental school, telling them they would have to pay a “donation” to MetroHealth to be considered. Alqsous and Sayegh directed the candidates to pay the “donation” directly to them, and in some cases, told the candidates a portion of the money would go to Hills.

Alqsous, Sayegh and Al-Madani solicited at least $75,000 in bribes from resident dentist candidate between 2008 and 2014.

In another conspiracy, Al-Madani and Alqsous paid bribes to Hills in exchange for him taking actions to refer Medicaid recipients to private dental clinics owned by Al-Madani and Alqsous instead of MetroHealth. All three took steps to conceal this activity by claiming kickback checks totaling $17,600 written to Hills were for “consultation fees” or “professional fees”.

Hills, Alqsous and Al-Madani also conspired to obstruct justice, instructing people not to cooperate with law enforcement after becoming aware of the federal investigation in 2014.

Hills also made false statements on tax returns, failing to claim approximately $165,751 in unreported income stemming from bribes, kickbacks and other things of value between 2011 and 2013.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Om Kakani and Michael L. Collyer following an investigation by the FBI, IRS-CI, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio Office of the Inspector General.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation is ongoing.

Source: FBI

 

Historic Lawsuit Challenges Practice of Jailing People Too Poor to Pay Bond

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Community Groups Demand Alternatives to Monetary Bond

CHICAGO, IL.In the first class-action lawsuit of its kind filed in Cook County, individuals unlawfully detained in Cook County Jail are suing to end the unconstitutional practice of setting monetary bonds that defendants cannot pay.

On Tuesday Oct. 25 at 9 a.m., local community organizations and attorneys held a press conference to announce the filing of the lawsuit and share their reasons for seeking alternatives to the money bond system.

According to the lawsuit, the current application of Illinois’s bail law routinely results in bail decisions that do not include a meaningful inquiry into the defendant’s ability to pay. This practice results in bond amounts that many defendants cannot pay and their subsequent incarceration in Cook County Jail.

As a result, defendants who cannot afford to pay their bonds are robbed of their liberty before they are convicted; see their ability to defend themselves against their criminal charges weakened; and suffer devastating impacts in their personal lives such as the loss of jobs and housing.

The lawsuit alleges the bail law’s application is unconstitutional and has a disparate impact on African Americans. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are represented by the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Civil Rights Corps, and Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.

Chicago Community Bond Fund member Lavette Mayes says that her experience of being detained for 14 months because she could not pay her $9,500 bond illustrates the need for the lawsuit. “I had never been arrested before but was given a $95,000 bond. While locked up, I lost my job and missed my daughter’s eighth grade graduation. I didn’t see either of my children for over a year. Being in Cook County Jail because I couldn’t pay my bond was devastating not just for me, but also for my family.”

Community groups gathered at the press conference to demand an end to these unconstitutional practices, and seek alternatives to money bond that would allow release-eligible individuals to return to their communities regardless of their ability to pay.

Grassroots leaders in impacted communities argue that the use money to determine who is released and who is incarcerated is fundamentally unfair, and disproportionately hurts Cook County’s communities of color.

Participating Organizations: Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Chicago Community Bond Fund, The People’s Lobby, A Just Harvest, United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations (UCCRO).

Lawsuit filings: http://www.law. northwestern.edu/legalclinic/ macarthur/projects/treatment/ other.html

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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