Friday, October 5, 2012

USPS Highlights Black Heritage in New 2012 Stamp Yearbook

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The 2012 Stamp Yearbook
The stamps of 2012 celebrate a rich patchwork of American life - from poets and choreographers to national pastimes and cultural celebrations, including Black history. So, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has release The 2012 Stamp Yearbook - a 76-page hardcover book that includes: 94 stamps from the 2012 collectible program plus mounts, fascinating information about each stamp subject, placeholders to preserve the complete stamp program, including a new section for high value stamps, and access to digital extras showcasing multimedia content. For more details, visit www.usps.com/shop

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

PHOTO: Denzel Washington Covers GQ Magazine

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Denzel Washington on cover of GQ Magazine
Denzel Washington, the Oscar Award-winning actor best known for films such as "John Q" and "Training Day", graces the cover of the October 2012 issue of GQ magazine. Inside, he shares some words of wisdom, and talks about who influences him as an actor. He also tells who he'd like to play him in a biopic.

Take a look at some of his pictures inside the issue:

Denzel Washington in GQ Magazine

Denzel Washington in GQ Magazine

PHOTO: Oprah, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett Cover Special Issue of Forbes Magazine

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Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet Forbes Cover

Oprah Winfrey is on the cover of the Forbes 400 Issue of Forbes Magazine with billionaire investor Warren Buffet, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The special 30th anniversary issue highlights the 12 Titans of Philanthropy for the 30th annual Forbes 400 issue, and ranks the richest people in the world who have given the most money away.

Others on the inside cover include Melinda Gates, Peter Peterson, Leon Black, Jon Bon Jovi, Marc Benioff, David Rubenstein, Steve Case, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, and Marc Andreessen.

Here's the full spread below:
Forbes 400 Issue

PHOTO: Woman Discovers Her Husband Was Her Father, After He Dies

type='html'>Valerie Spruill, 60, of Doylestown, Ohio, was in for the shock of her life when DNA test results confirmed that her late husband, Percy, was also her father. She is now seeing a therapist to deal with the emotional repercussions of finally knowing the truth about biological roots.

Apparently, this was just one of many chaotic discoveries in her life. She was raised by her grandparents, had already lived through the discovery that a "night lady" who had been referred to as a "family friend" was, in fact, her mom. And when she was nine, Spruill was informed that the man she had been calling dad was actually her grandfather.

Read more at www.ohio.com/news/dyer/bob-dyer-one-twisted-family-tree-woman-finds-out-late-husband-was-also-her-father-1.332813

PHOTO: Jada Pinkett-Smith Turns 41

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Jada Pinkett-Smith Turns 41
Actress and human rights activist Jada Pinkett-Smith turned 41 this month. She recently tweeted, "To my Forty and over crew! Don't believe the hype... we DO get better with age!" The devoted wife of superstar Will Smith and mother of Willow and Jaden Smith, lives up to her words, as she has chosen to devote a lot of her time recently towards ending human trafficking.

PHOTO: Wyclef Opens Up About Affair With Lauryn Hill In New Book

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Wyclef Jean Purpose Bookcover
Wyclef Jean, the Grammy-winning rapper, singer and songwriter, has released a new book entitled "Purpose: An Immigrant's Story", where he opens about an affair with fellow Fugees bandmate Lauryn Hill. According to him, back in the 1990's, Hill led him to believe that her firstborn child was his; but, he says when he got to the hospital he saw a "yellow baby." He knew then that he wasn't the father.

Here's the interview below on the Wendy Williams Show:

PHOTO: Pennsylvania Set to Execute Man Who Killed His Molesters

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Terrance Williams, now 46-years old, is set to be executed by the state of Pennsylvania on October 3, 2012 for killing two of his childhood sexual abusers, raising the question of whether his punishment is too severe. Supporters are petitioning Gov. Corbett to grant him clemency.

According to CNN, defense attorneys are arguing that the jurors who convicted Williams more than 25 years ago were told that it was a robbery-homicide case, and never learned of the alleged sexual abuse.

To sign the online petition to stop his execution, visit:
www.change.org/petitions/governor-tom-corbett-pa-board-of-pardons-district-attorney-seth-williams-grant-clemency-to-terrance-williams-survivor-of-child-sexual-abuse

PHOTO: Robin Roberts’ Bone Marrow Transplant Successful

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Robin Roberts - Bone Marrow Transplant
Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC's "Good Morning America", has had a successful bone marrow transplant and is already anxious to leave the hospital. ABC recently aired a short video clip of Roberts in her hospital bed being treated at New York Presbyterian Hospital for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) - a potentially fatal blood and bone marrow disease.

PHOTO: High School Teacher Slaps Black Student; School District Sued

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Dionne Evans Slapped By Teacher in Malibu
Last year, an English teacher at Malibu High School in Malibu, California was accused of slapping an African American female student four times because she apparently forgot her notebook binder at home. Now the student, Dionne Evans, has filed a lawsuit against the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The teacher claims that when she slapped Evans, she was acting out a scene from the movie "Bridemaids" where a character slaps another to smack some sense into her.

PHOTO: Police Officer Issues Woman a Ticket For Having HIV

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Officer David Lacey Issues Ticket to Woman With HIV
David Lacey, a police officer in the Detroit area, is being accused of violating a woman’s privacy rights after he apparently wrote her a ticket for not informing him that she has HIV. The woman, Shalandra Jones, has been living with HIV for 11 years, and was pulled over for a traffic violation.

The officer, for some reason, wanted to inspect her purse, and that's when he found prescription pills for HIV treatment. He then made some insensitive remarks about the pills, and then says he wonders what would’ve happened had he been punctured by any sharp objects in her purse. Afterwards, he issues her a ticket.

Just one problem with all of this: No state law requires individuals to disclose their HIV-positive status during a routine traffic stop.

PHOTO: Kwame Kilpatrick’s Corruption Case Begins

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Kwame Kilpatrick Case Begins
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is finally facing accusations in court that while mayor, he participated in illegal activities including racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery, fraud, false tax returns and tax evasion. He allegedly deposited more than $200,000 in cash in his bank account and paid his credit card bills with another $280,000 in cash. Jurors have already heard the opening statements of the trial, and the trial has officially begun. Kilpatrick faces more than 10 years in prison, if convicted.

PHOTO: Rep. Maxine Waters Cleared By House Ethics Committee

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Maxine Waters Cleared By Ethics Committee
California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, 74, will not be charged with ethics violations. She had been previously accused of steering a $12 million federal bailout to a bank that her husband owns stock in. However, House Ethics Committee members say they have found no violations committed by Waters, who had been under investigation since 2009.

Waters is the U.S. Representative for California's 35th congressional district, and previously the 29th district, serving since 1991. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

NYC Public Schools Now Giving Away Morning-After Pills To 14-Year Old Girls, Without Parental Consent

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New York City Schools Giving Morning After Pills To Girls

In addition to distributing free condoms to students, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is now making the morning-after-pill available to girls at more than 10 different public high schools in the city. The pills are available to girls as young as 14, and they do not need parental consent.

A city council representative says she supports the program because high school students are sexually active and getting pregnant. According to city statistics, about 7,000 girls are pregnant by the time they reach the age of 17, and more than half end up getting abortions.

VIDEO: Tameka Raymond Tells Her Side of the Story to ET

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Tameka Raymond Interview on ET
Tameka Raymond, the ex-wife of pop superstar Usher, recently did an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight. During the interview, she talks openly about the couple's custody battle that she lost, accusations that she's a money-hungry gold digger, and the recent death of one of her sons in a jetski accident. She also responds to Usher's recent interview with Oprah on the OWN Network, where he alludes to the idea that he may have cheated.

Here's a video clip of the interview:

PHOTOS: Chris Brown Back In Court, Fails Drug Test; Rihanna Tweets She's Praying For Him

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Chris Brown in Court, Failed Drug Test

Chris Brown in Court, Failed Drug Test

Controversial singer Chris Brown appeared in court yesterday with his attorney for a probation progress report in Los Angeles, after he reportedly failed a drug test, testing positive for marijuana. But according to USA Today, Brown has a legal medicinal marijuana prescription. The judge, however, did warn Brown that while his marijuana use may be legal, he needed to be mindful of his public image as a role model to young fans. Meanwhile, Rihanna tweeted: "@chrisbrown I'm praying for you and wishing u the best today!"

INTERVIEW: Viola Davis Talks About Her New Film, "Won’t Back Down"

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Viola Davis in Won't Back Down Movie

Viola Davis was born on August 11, 1965 on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina, but raised by her parents in Central Falls, Rhode Island. After earning a degree in theater from Rhode Island College in 1988, she went on to do post-graduate work at the prestigious Juilliard School prior to embarking on a critically-acclaimed professional career.

Ms. Davis made a memorable mark on Broadway, winning Tonys for stellar performances as Tonya in King Hedley II and as Rose in the revival of Fences. She’s also been nominated twice for an Academy Award, for her powerful portrayal of stoic Aibileen in The Help and for her equally-sterling interpretation of Mrs. Miller in Doubt.

Viola’s other noteworthy screen credits include impressive outings in Traffic, Nights in Rodanthe, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Eat Pray Love, Madea Goes to Jail, Antwone Fisher, World Trade Center, Trust, Knight & Day, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and State of Play. And her upcoming films include Enders Game with Harrison Ford, Beautiful Creatures with Emma Thompson and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby with Jessica Chastain.

Here, she talks about her new film, Won’t Back Down, a female empowerment saga, where she plays Nona Alberts, a jaded teacher who joins forces with a frustrated single-mom (Maggie Gyllenhaal) to turn around an underperforming public school.

Kam Williams: Hi Viola, thanks for the interview.

Viola Davis: Thank you, Kam.

KW: Music teacher Steve Kramer asks: What interested you in Won’t Back Down?

VD: My interests in the film were two-fold: the backdrop of education and also the human story within it about a woman who, when she was in her twenties, had all these high ideals and hopes of taking the world by storm as a great teacher and also as a great mother. But all of that was just blown to bits, and we find her at a low point where she’s totally disillusioned. For me, the movie is about her story of coming back to life again. And that journey is a very human one. It intrigued me, and I saw it as a very interesting challenge as an actor.

KW: What was it like working with such a top-flight cast: You had an Academy-Award-winner Holly Hunter, as well fellow Oscar-nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rosie Perez?

VD: You forgot another Oscar-nominee, Marianne Jean-Baptiste. It was fabulous! To me, it’s always a luxury to be able to work with the best of the best because they make it easier for you to do what you do. It’s harder to work with people who are not as dedicated to their craft. It also leaves you a better actor when you finish the project, since you always feel like you’ve learned something. And it’s refreshing to spend time with actors who are so vocal, so articulate. “You get more material to steal from.” That’s what I always say. [LOL]

KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier would like to know whether you had any problems with any of your lines in the script, and how you handle such a controversy.

VD: Yes, I did have a problem with a few things, which is good for an actor. The average person might not see it that way. The sentiment that I had a little trouble with was the idea that, “You change the school, you change the community.” I couldn’t wrap my mind around that. I just feel that those two trains need to be leaving the station at the same time. I think that that’s a heck of a responsibility to expect schools and teachers to change these challenged communities. Many of them are experiencing growth deficits or are going bankrupt, and are infected with gang violence with as many as 85% of the people living below the poverty line. I knew this was going to be a hotbed issue, but I didn’t realize how volatile it was going to become once the movie was released. Nevertheless, I welcome this spirited discourse. That’s always been a spearhead to change.

KW: Is the big brouhaha due to allegations that the picture is anti-union?

VD: Yes, that is what the controversy’s about. I don’t think the film’s anti-union. I feel it’s pro-education. The teacher, in the end, becomes the hero. The teacher! Oscar Isaac’s character [Michael Perry] says in the film that the one of the things he remembers about the high school teacher who inspired him to become a teacher was how the union had stepped in and saved the man’s job when the system was failing him. So, I don’t feel it’s anti-union. I consider it pro-activist.

KW: Larry Greenberg was wondering what would you say is the movie’s message?

VD: The movie really emphasizes that we’re all in the position to be the change that we want to see in this country. And I think there’s no better time to bring that message home. What’s interesting is that that theme is a common thread in the film, even in terms of the two main characters’ taking control of their own personal lives. At the end of the day, nobody can tell you how to tackle failure or how to handle change. The world is very good at encouraging you to go along with the status quo and at basking in your successes. But when you hit a wall in your personal life, and you screw up, people don’t give you a chance to navigate your way through it and tap into what’s extraordinary about you. I think this movie tackles that subject in a beautiful way, and I think it’s the best message you could give to a child. And, hey, you can even bring your kids to the film because it’s rated PG. [Laughs]

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles says: Won't Back Down is not only the title of your new film, but that same sort of spirit was also part of your character’s persona in The Help. How much of that strength we see up on the screen is you and how much of it is great acting?

VD: [Chuckles] Well, I’d like to say that it’s all great acting. That’s what I’d prefer to say, but I suppose I do have that same quality in real life. I guess they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention” because you have two stark choices when you find yourself in a really desperate situation. You can either fold and cave-in to it or you can become really passionate about getting out of it. When you’re really passionate, you’re going to grab hold of every rope you see, and wrap them around your arms and legs to claw your way out. And that’s the way I’ve felt in my life.

KW: Harriet has another question: Is there a classic film you'd like to star in the remake of?

VD: You know what? Playing Norma Rae would be great, too, although I don’t whether that would work. I’d also like to play Harriet Tubman.

KW: Patricia is also wondering whether there’s any truth to the rumor that you’ll be playing Barbara Jordan in an upcoming biopic about the late congresswoman.

VD: Yes, my husband [Julius Tennon] and I started a production company out of necessity, the need for great narratives for actors of color, and we are currently developing that script with some great producers.

KW: Kate Newell says: I loved your performance. Did you have a teacher who especially inspired you?

VD: I had several teachers who inspired me, in both the public school system and the Upward Bound program. I needed several, because I lived in such abject poverty and dysfunction. And they’re still in my life today, because I consider them to be friends, actually.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Viola, and best of luck with Won’t Back Down.

VD: Thank you, Kam.

To see a trailer for Won’t Back Down, visit:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a7SLGSmAsw

New Michigan Law: No Welfare Benefits If Kids Skip School

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Michigan New Welfare Benefits Law
The Michigan Department of Human Services has a new law that says that families can lose their welfare benefits, if the children are not regularly attending school. According to Fox Channel 2 News Detroit, starting October 1st, the state will monitor the school attendance of children 6-15 years old, and if they are skipping school, the state will take away aid being provided to the family. The move is expected to make parents more responsible, but welfare advocates and recipients say its too harsh. What do you think?

PHOTOS: Obamas Make First-Ever Joint Appearance on "The View"

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President Barack and Michelle Obama on the View

Obamas with The View co-hosts

Obamas with The View co-hosts

President Barack Obama and wife First Lady Michelle Obama recently made their first joint appearance on ABC's "The View" while in Manhattan. The interview was actually very intriguing as all of the co-hosts (Barbara, Joy, Sheree, Whoopi & Elizabeth), all had good questions for the couple.

When Barbara Walters asked the President if it would be disastrous if Romney won the upcoming election, he replied that Americans can survive anything. "But," he said, "we don't want to just survive, we want to thrive." Good answer!!

VIDEO: Samuel L. Jackson Says "Wake The F... Up" In New Obama Ad

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Samuel L Jackson in his Wake The F Up Video Campaign
Actor Samuel L. Jackson has just released a new video on YouTube, where he is campaigning for President Obama in a very unique and explicit way. The ad tells voters to "Wake the F... Up", and is designed to inspire younger voters to go out and vote come November 2012. The comical and virally-growing video is an attempt to remind young voters what's at stake if Mitt Romney is President of the United States.

Watch the entire ad below:

Man Rapes Teen Girl, and Now Wants Child Vistation Rights Three Years Later

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Rapist Visitation Rights to Child
A man in Massachusetts that has admitted to raping a 14-year old girl three years ago, is now seeking visitation rights to the child. The mother, who is now 17, still suffers from severe anxiety and depression, and says she is terrified at the thought of having to face the man who raped her.

When the rape happened, the girl and her mother reported it to the police and pressed charges, but she decided to keep the baby because of her religious views. The man was charged with four counts of statutory rape, but was only sentenced to 16 years of probation even he agreed to pay child support.

According to Fox 25 News in Boston, the girl's lawyer has filed a motion with the court, asking the judge to amend the conditions and order the man to pay restitution instead of child support, forcing him to support the child he fathered but not give him visitation and other parental rights.

Watch The Video Below:

New Study Says When Women Are More "Traditional" and Do ALL The Housework, The Marriage Will Last Longer

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Norway Study, Traditional Marriages Last Longer
A recent study done in Norway found that when couples allow their marriage to be more "traditional" with the wife doing all the housework, the marriages last longer. The NOVA research institute found that divorce rates were actually higher for couples who split the housework equally. The findings seem to indicate that women who share chores with their husbands, do so because they have jobs, and thus are more financially independent to leave if the marriage turns sour.


For the full study, visit www.nova.no/asset/5912/1/5912_1.pdf
(Skip to page 224 for the English summary)

PHOTO: Singer Keyshia Cole, Husband Daniel Gibson, and Son Cover Jet Magazine

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Keyshia Cole and Daniel Gibson on Jet Magazine cover
Multi-platinum singer Keyshia Cole and her beautiful family (husband NBA star Daniel "Booby" Gibson and their son Daniel Jr.) grace the cover of the October 8, 2012 issue JET magazine. Inside, the couple talk about their relationship, parenthood, and their upcoming reality show "Family First" to premiere soon on BET.

PHOTO: Tyler Perry To Produce Two New TV Shows on Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network in 2013

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Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey Partnership
The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has announced that they now have an exclusive partnership with filmmaker Tyler Perry, who will launch two new television series for the network that will premiere in the year 2013. The deal makes OWN the exclusive destination for any new television series that Tyler Perry produces, ending his partnership with TBS where his other shows ("Tyler Perry’s House of Payne," "Meet the Browns" and "For Better or Worse") are aired.

PHOTO: Teen Runs Into Burning Building And Saves 2-Year-Old Boy

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Nelson Fonangwan With Baby He Saved From Burning House

Nelson Fonangwan Saves Baby From Burning House

Nelson Fonangwan, a 16-year-old boy from Southampton, England is a local hero after he saved the life of a toddler trapped inside a burning home. Here's what happened: Fonangwan was awaken by the screams of his neighbor whose child was locked inside of her burning house. She had accidentally locked herself outside while cooking, and her 2-year old was still inside. Fonangwan came to the rescue by smashing his way into the house, and running through thick black smoke to rescue the child. Soon after, firefighters arrived and put out the fire. Had he not rescued the child when he did, the child could have easily died quickly from smoke inhalation or burns.

PHOTO: Obamas Celebrate 20th Wedding Anniversary

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President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama Wedding Anniversary

Obamas Wedding Photo

President Barack Obama and wife First Lady Michelle Obama celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary today, but the two won't be having a moonlight dinner at a romantic restaurant tonight. Instead, President Obama will be participating in his first presidential debate with Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. Because of schedule conflict, they are planning to officially celebrate their anniversary this coming weekend.