Friday, October 20, 2017

Michigan Politicians Kneel During City Council Meeting
- A group of city officials made headlines in Ann Arbor Michigan this week when they observed the National Anthem by taking a knee. The politicians kneeled before a City Council meeting, and believe that they made the right choice.

"We haven't lived up to those words of the pledge. We haven't lived up to the ideals that our flag is calling us to, and so let's take a moment to reflect on that," Councilman Chuck Warpehoski says of his decision to kneel. In a message posted to Warpehoski's blog he characterized his actions as "an act of attention, of concern, and out of respect."

Of the eleven member council, Warpehoski was one of four who demonstrated. They were mobilized by third-term member Sumi Kailasapathy, who migrated to the U.S. as a refugee of the Sri Lankan war. Kailasapathy has worked as a professor and public accountant, but despite the success that her opportunities in the U.S. have afforded her, she says she recognizes the inequality people face in the nation every day. To her determination, using the anthem to raise concerns over the current state of affairs doesn't translate into disrespect.

"My patriotism will continue by challenging the status quo," she told a local Ann Arbor news outlet.


Magician David Blaine Accused of Rape - In the midst of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, another name is making headlines. Magician David Blaine is being investigated by Scotland Yard after Model Natasha Prince claims he raped her.

It allegedly happened at Blaine's London home in 2004, not long after Prince's 21st birthday. According to The Daily Beast, the two met at a nightclub in Kingsbridge that summer. Blaine texted her the next day to invite her out for drinks. Prince says she hesitated but eventually accepted the invitation.

Once she got to the mansion, she did note other couples were present, but they did not acknowledge her. Blaine left to fix her a drink, which she says wasn't strong. After talking for a few minutes, Prince claims Blaine said he wanted to show her something in a bedroom. It was at that point during the conversation she started crying.

The two stepped outside to get some air, then went into the dark bedroom. Prince says Blaine asked her for a kiss, and she gave him one. She recalled the rest of the interaction. "And then he said, 'Finish your drink' and took the glass from me and put it on the table, and that's really the last thing I remember. At some point, I was on the bed, face-forward, and he was behind me. I think it woke me up a bit because I'd never had that done to me before. I remember moving around a lot. I was limp, and I was very floaty; I was in and out of a deep sleep."

Blaine's attorney Michael Singer says otherwise. "My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004. If in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide."

It is important to note that Britain does not have a statute of limitations on sex crimes. Prince reported the incident to police on November 17, 2016. In a statement to The Daily Beast, Scotland Yard told the publication they are investigating. At this time there have been no arrests. However, authorities have asked Blaine to return to Britain to be interviewed.

Playboy Reveals First Transgender Playmate - Playboy is set to make history as the magazine's first transgender playmate, 26-year-old French model Ines Rau will appear in its November/December 2017 issue. Rau appeared in the magazine back in 2014, but this time she'll be the center of attention. The issue will also feature a special tribute to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who died a few weeks ago.

“Being a woman is just being a woman,” Rau told Playboy in an interview accompanying her photoshoot. She also admitted that she did not identify as transgender for quite some time, but now that she does, she feels at peace. “It’s a salvation to speak the truth about yourself, whether it’s your gender, sexuality, whatever,” Rau continued. “The people who reject you aren’t worth it. It’s not about being loved by others; it’s about loving yourself.”

While it took some time for her to come to terms with her true identity, Rau said she always knew that fame and success were in her future. “I always knew from within, when I was a little kid in my room in the ghetto, that a beautiful destiny was waiting for me,” Rau added. “I don’t know how to explain it. A little voice was telling me, ‘You’ll see. Patience.’”

“When I was doing this shoot, I was thinking of all those hard days in my childhood,” Rau continued. “And now everything happening gives me so much joy and happiness. I thought, ‘Am I really going to be a Playmate—me?’ It’s the most beautiful compliment I’ve ever received. It’s like getting a giant bouquet of roses.”

In addition to the Playboy spread, Rau also signed a book deal and is set to appear in a movie soon. She has even walked in many designer fashion shows, including Balmain. She has also appeared in Vogue Italia.

Though Rau is the first transgender Playboy playmate, she is not the first transgender model to appear in the magazine. In 1981, Caroline "Tula" Cossey posed for Playboy. She also had a role in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only that same year. Both of those appearances, however, occurred before Cossey came out publicly as transgender. She was outed without her consent in 1982. Conversely, she still appeared in Playboyagain nearly a decade later in 1991.


Future and Young Thug Set to Release 'Super Slimey' Project at Midnight - Rumors were confirmed that Young Thug and Future are releasing a collaborative project after both rappers posted a photo of the same album cover. It has been revealed that the project is titled Super Slimey and it will be released at midnight, October 19.

While possible features haven't been released, according to XXL, C4, Wheezy, Southside and Richie Souf have been named as producers. Future and Young Thug have collaborated in the past, most recently for Thugger's "Relationship" off of his Beautiful Thugger Girls album.

Source: XXL

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Toni Braxton Did Not Marry Birdman, According to Rep - Toni Braxton and Birdman are not married, according to a rep for the singer. The unnamed rep spoke with US Weekly earlier this week and squashed the marriage rumors. “Toni is dating,” the rep said. “[She] has a new single called ‘Deadwood’ from her forthcoming album ‘Sex & Cigarettes.’

A separate source told TheJasmineBrand earlier this week that the two had secretly married and were desperately trying to keep it under wraps. “They don’t want anyone to know yet. They’re trying to keep it secret, just like their relationship. They tried for as long as they could to deny that they were actually together,” the source said. They also told the publication that Toni and Birdman had actually been married for months when the report surfaced. Toni’s sister Tamar said that she thought the two were married for quite some time.

Birdman and the Grammy-award winning singer began dating sometime last year. Their relationship was initially hidden from the public but was eventually outed by media outlets such as TMZ and US Weekly. Rumors started circulating about the two being an item when they attended the 2016 BET Awards together. Birdman laughed off the question about the two dating during an appearance on Real 92.3 around that time, saying "Toni cool as f**k man," he said. "We went to the BET Awards? What's the big deal?"


Update: Jeremy Lin Suffers Knee Injury in Season Opener, Out for Rest of Season

Update: ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Lin will be out for the rest of the season as a result of patellar tendon rupture (an injury to the tissue connecting the kneecap to the shin bone.)

Seems like the NBA season is really starting off on a bad note! Jeremy Lin-- the point guard for the Brooklyn Nets-- was taken out of the game versus the Indiana Pacers today with what might be a really bad knee injury. Yikes.
During the season-opening game, on a drive to the basket, Lin landed awkwardly and immediately people could tell that he was hurt. Lin was in shock when he crumpled to the floor and was heard saying, “I’m done. I’m done." Lin was taken off the court and was seen in tears when he left.
Though Lin walked off the court, there is still a big concern. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Lin will have his knee evaluated tomorrow once he arrives in New York:
"Brooklyn's Jeremy Lin will undergo evaluation of right knee in New York Thursday, league source tells ESPN. Tremendous concern on injury."

Lin scored 18 points during the game. Unfortunately, the Nets lost, 140-131 to the Pacers. D'Angelo Russell scored 30 points during the game and will take Lin's place as starting point guard if he has to take a significant amount of time off to heal. Allen Crabbe will become the starting shooting guard.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tesla Slammed With New Round of Racial Discrimination Allegations - Three former black Tesla employees claim they experienced racial discrimination by company supervisors and fellow employees.

According to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, October 17, Owen Diaz and his son, Demetric (pictured above), along with Lamar Patterson, claim they faced racial remarks and racist graffiti drawings throughout their tenures in Tesla's Fremont factory. According to NBC Bay Area, the former workers claim they were called the n-word multiple times, by both coworkers and their superiors. Owen Diaz claimed he found a “pickaninny” cartoon with the caption “Boo!” drawn on a piece of cardboard.

The suit claims that the Demetric Diaz was let go by the company after he complained about the treatment to a supervisor, who allegedly told the 19-year-old he was a replaceable temp worker. The suit states Owen Diaz continued working after his son's dismissal but resigned after the harassment became worse.

While the trio maintains they filed multiple complaints with their staffing agency and supervisors of the company, in a statement by Tesla, the company claims the only complaint presented by any of the workers was one issue of a “belligerent coworker.” However, this is not the first time Tesla has dealt with racial discrimination claims. Back in September, video released to the public showed former Tesla employee DeWitt Lambert being blasted with offensive remarks by a co-worker.


Michigan Politicians Kneel During City Council Meeting - A group of city officials made headlines in Ann Arbor Michigan this week when they observed the National Anthem by taki...