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.


Judge In Hawaii Blocks Latest Version Of Trump Travel Ban

HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge in Hawaii blocked the Trump administration Tuesday from enforcing its latest travel ban, just hours before it was set to take effect.
U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson granted Hawaii’s request to temporarily block the policy that was to be implemented starting early Wednesday. He found Trump’s executive order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.”
The judge, appointed by former President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling that found President Donald Trump’s previous ban exceeds the scope of his authority. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to ... the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote.
The Trump administration in September announced the restrictions affecting citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.
The government has said the new policy was based on an objective assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S.

Hawaii argued in court documents that the updated ban is a continuation of Trump’s “promise to exclude Muslims from the United States” despite the addition of two non-majority Muslim countries.
Other courts are weighing challenges to the latest travel restrictions.
In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions in the president’s latest proclamation.
Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland have challenged the policy before U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle, who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January.
That policy led to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide and triggered several lawsuits, including one from Hawaii.
When Trump revised the ban, state Attorney General Doug Chin changed the lawsuit to challenge that version. In March, Watson agreed with Hawaii that it amounted to discrimination based on nationality and religion.
A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate that 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees.
But it said the policy didn’t apply to refugees and travelers with a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the U.S.
Hawaii then successfully challenged the federal government’s definition of which family members would be allowed into the country. Watson ordered the government not to enforce the ban on close relatives such as grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts.
The judge’s order Tuesday prevents acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from implementing the latest travel ban.
Watson said he would set an expedited hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be extended.

Source WBAL

3 Killed, 2 Critically Wounded In Shooting At Business Park In Edgewood - Three people were killed and two were seriously hurt in a mass shooting in Edgewood on Wednesday morning, as a manhunt is on for a man who allegedly carried out what Harford County's top law enforcement official described as "one of the most heinous acts that we've ever seen in our county."

Radee Labeeb Prince, 37, is the suspect in the case. Harford County authorities say he may be behind the wheel of a black 2008 GMC Acadia with Delaware plate PC064273. A red Dodge Charger authorities were earlier said to be looking for was found in Elkton, at a residence tied to Prince.

He's considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees him is urged to call 911.

All five victims were employees of Advanced Granite Solutions in the 2100 block of Emmorton Park Road. Three were pronounced dead at the scene. The other two victims were taken to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, where they remain in critical condition.
"This does appear to be a targeted attack limited to that business," Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler said, adding that while it's believed Prince is associated with the business, the precise nature of that association is unknown.

Gahler said the attack was carried out with a single handgun. He said Prince had a criminal history, but didn't elaborate. He is listed as the defendant in a restraining order case from February. It's unknown who the plaintiff in that case was. However, the order was denied in district court in Bel Air, according to online court records.
He is the only suspect at this time. State troopers and officers from surrounding jurisdictions are assisting. In addition, agents from the ATF, DEA and FBI are involved, Gahler said. An FBI spokesman declined to say what assistance they were providing.
Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement that he has spoken by phone with Gahler and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and offered the state's "complete and full support." He said Maryland State Police helicopters are above the scene, and state troopers from multiple barracks are in the area.
"The First Lady and I ask that all Marylanders join with us in praying for the victims, their loved ones, and those still fighting to live," he said.
A modified lockdown is in effect at Edgewood High, Edgewood Middle, Deerfield Elementary, Edgewood Elementary and William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary schools.
This is an important message regarding an incident in the community that has affected the school day at Edgewood High School, Edgewood Middle School, Deerfield Elementary School, Edgewood Elementary School and William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School.
On the advice of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, these schools are currently on modified lockdown due to an incident in the surrounding community. The modified lockdowns are being conducted in an abundance of caution. The modified lockdown requires students to remain in the building, with no outside activities. In addition, no visitors are permitted to enter our building at this time. When we are given the all clear by the Sheriff’s Office and the modified lockdown is lifted, we will update the affected school communities.
Our schools are secure at this time and we ask for your patience and understanding that we are receiving an influx of calls and you may not be able to get through right away- we will do our best to answer any questions you may have if it is necessary to contact the affected schools at this time. Thank you for your continued support of Edgewood High, Edgewood Middle, Deerfield Elementary, Edgewood Elementary and William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary Schools
Source WBAL

Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka'oir Tie the Knot in Lavish Atlanta Wedding - Congratulations are in order. Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka'oir have finally tied the knot. The longtime couple turned the lead-up to their lavish wedding a reality series but on October 17, the day was here to make it official. This is just the culmination of Gucci Mane's complete 180-degree transformation since being released from prison. Gucci has given the fans music, released his first memoir, and now stands before everyone a married man.

In a photo posted to his Instagram account, Gucci Mane captioned the picture "Mr and Mrs Davis 10/17/17 we married"

How do you think Gucci and his bride looked on their special day?


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trump Says Hillary Defending NFL Players Is Reason She Lost Election - In addition to bashing Barack Obama and other past U.S. Presidents, with claims that they at times failed to connect with the families of fallen U.S. soldiers during their time in office, President Trump took aim at NFL protesters once again, on Monday, October 16, and this time, he used the opportunity to launch a couple more shots at Hillary Clinton.

Trump had apparently been informed that Clinton expressed support for the league-wide demonstrations that have gone on in the NFL over the last several weeks. When her name was raised as he addressed a crowd of reporters in the White House Rose Garden, he began to chide the former Secretary of State, saying, "Oh, I hope Hillary runs. Is she going to run? I hope. Hillary, please run again! Go ahead." He'd soon follow up the sarcasm by returning to the topic of her favor for the National Anthem protests, responding, "I think she's wrong."

"Look. When they're taking knees - there's plenty of time to do knees and there's plenty of time to do lots of other things. But when you take a knee - Well, that's why she lost the election," said Trump. "I mean, honestly, it's that thinking. That is the reason she lost the election. You're sitting, essentially, for our great national anthem, you're disrespecting our flag and you're disrespecting our country."

DL Hughley: Kaepernick Is More Hated Than O.J. - The way D.L. Hughley sees it, the NFL wouldn't be tangled in the web its woven had the league not organized itself to keep Colin Kaepernick out. And it's going to take him being given an opportunity for Roger Goodell and the owners to now have a chance at freeing themselves from what has become a social, fiscal, and legal quagmire. But Hughley doubts that'll happen because it has become apparent to him, he says, that they hate the man.

"The three most hated Black men in America are Barack Obama, Colin Kaepernick, and O.J. And two of them never were accused of murder," Hughley told a TMZ reporter at LAX airport on Monday morning, October 16. "They hate Colin Kaepernick right now more than they hate O.J."

As many have, Hughley pointed out how such accused purveyors of domestic abuse as Ezekiel Elliot and Greg Hardy have gotten second chances in the league, yet Kaepernick remains on the outs for speaking his mind. Both men's cases are particularly telling, Hughley, infers, seeing how they've played for, and received the protection of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. While Jones did kneel along with his team in what many thought was a gesture to instill some damage control following the President's inciteful remarks, he has since been the catalyst for owners now imposing rules that will require players to stand for the National Anthem.

Bow Wow Catches Heat for Adding Himself in Throwback Death Row Picture

Bow Wow, or Shad Moss, whichever he prefers to go by nowadays has been catching heat from the social media realm for quite some time. However, it seems like the former child/teen hip-hop sensation became a complete caricature of himself after he posted a photo of a private jet and luxury vehicle parked outside to find out he was on a commercial flight instead spawned the #bowwowchallenge where everyone seemed to join in. Well, Bow Wow is back to getting roasted on social media after he posted the infamous Death Row Records spread with his picture photoshopped into the original spread. Now it is important to note that Bow Wow was down with Snoop and Death Row around this time but he wasn't in the original photo.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Birdman Removing Tattoos from His Face After Taking Out Grills - Birdman is slowly changing his appearance after taking out his grills earlier this week. Now, he's taking things a step further by removing his many face tattoos.

The Cash Money CEO took to Instagram to reveal his new plan, telling fans, "Takin tattoos off my face #livinlegend #lifestyle #RICHLIFE #Bryanwilliams #kali."

Check out his message above.

Slavery Video Game Causes Uproar Among Parents in Phoenix - The parents of students in a Phoenix grade school recently found themselves up in arms after learning that their kids were playing a game that simulates slavery, as part of their classroom instruction.

The National Endowment for the Humanities and Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded 'Mission US' project received rave reviews upon its 2010 release. It has been heralded for bringing fun to the subject of history with informative interactive learning being driven by gaming. The Mission US website touts the online game as one that "immerses players in rich, historical settings" and "empowers them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past."

In 2012 Mission US released it's Flight to Freedom edition, which was created for 6-8 graders, and comes with a guide and instructional materials that allow the teacher to use the game as a comprehensive teaching tool. The game allows players to control characters who at various points of conflict, are given the scenario at hand, and presented with a list of actions they could take, that will either help them attain success or result in a failure to advance to other levels. In the Flight to Freedom game, the setting on one level puts the player in the time of slavery, and the character given to them, for example, puts them in a predicament where they may choose to either oblige, resist or try to sabotage their so-called master. The wrong move may result in the screen being pretty graphic about the character having been beaten or sold.

A number of parents have criticized the game for not being age appropriate. Others have expressed feeling like the game just goes too far. Arizona State University professor of African American literature, Neal Lester, agrees that regardless of the intentions of the educator, some subjects just don't need to be toyed with. "I just think it's a horrible idea to move slavery into the realm of gaming," he says. "Why does it have to be fun? Slavery wasn't fun."

A spokeswoman for the Phoenix Elementary Schools has insisted that the game was blocked and that the district is unaware of how teachers or students gained access to it.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

NeNe Fired from Hosting Xscape Tour after Rape Comment - NeNe Leakes has been dropped from the Xscape tour after she lashed out angrily at a heckler at her stand-up show at the Paramount in Oakland, California.

A video posted on Facebook shows Leakes telling the woman in the audience that she hoped she’d get raped by her Uber driver on her ride home.

The “Real Housewives” star later apologized, but the damage had been done. Xscape announced in a statement Thursday that they were “dismayed” by her comments and she was dropped from the tour.

Read the statement from Xscape below:

“Like many, we were dismayed by the recent remarks made by our talented colleague and friend Nene Leakes. As a result, we have decided to no longer proceed with her participation on our tour. It was an unfortunate incident for which Nene has since apologized and we wish her the best as she navigates this very difficult period. As strong supporters of all women, we know this decision is what is best. Our hearts go out to all female victims and we stand with you! This tour is for and about our fans and we want to provide an entertaining and enjoyable experience for every single person who attends. As always, we are grateful for the love and support and we look forward to seeing all of you at ‘The Great Xscape” tour.'”

Cummings Wife Announces Run For Governor - Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a policy consultant and wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings, says she'll seek the Democratic nomination for governor in Maryland.

She becomes the ninth Democrat to announce a run for governor.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is seeking a second term in next year's election. 

Rockeymoore Cummings tells The Washington Post she's concerned about economic inequality in the state. 

Rockeymoore Cummings is 46. She earned a doctorate in political science from Purdue University. She has more than two decades of experience working in the public and private sectors, including as chief of staff to New York congressman Charles B. Rangel, at the National Urban League and at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She started Global Policy Solutions, a social change strategy firm, in 2005. 

Her campaign, announced Thursday, is her first run for public office.
Cummings is the second woman and third African American in the Democratic gubernatorial race.  
In a Goucher  College Poll last month Cummings  received 8 percent of the support but that poll found 44 percent were undecided on a candidate.

Other Democrats who have either announced their candidacy or have filed to get on the ballot are Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker; Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; former NAACP President Ben Jealous; Montgomery County State Senator Rich Madaleno; former Michelle Obama aide Krish Vignarajah; attorney Jim Shea; former Hillary Clinton aide Alec Ross; and edcuator and activist Ralph Jaffe.
The filing deadline is February 27.  The primary is June 26.

Source: WBAL

Update: Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta Star Bambi Confirms Marriage to Lil Scrappy

Update: - Bambi recently appeared on Sister Circle TV and confirmed that her and Lil Scrappy have been officially married for a month, saying "Listen, I can't even hide it anymore. I'm married. I'm happy."
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta stars Lil Scrappy and Bambi secretly tied the knot a few weeks ago. The only ones who knew about the marriage was Scrappy's outspoken mother and fellow reality star Momma Dee and other close relatives in Atlanta.
"They wanted to get married quietly, away from the cameras and the public. They’re so in love. It’s really just about them and nobody else." - The Jasmine Brand

There's a strong possibility that the newlyweds will have a bigger celebration on the upcoming season of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Earlier this year the couple broke up and canceled their engagement, it's great to see them work things out. Scrappy has a daughter from his previous relationship with Erica Dixon who is also castmate of the show.
Scrappy has a daughter from his previous relationship with Erica Dixon who is also castmate of the show. It'll be interesting to see how the castmates interact with each other in the season to come. Until then, congrats to Scrappy and Bambi.

How do you think the marriage of the couple will affect the show?

JAY-Z Reportedly Interested in Buying Harvey Weinstein's Company Shares - It has been reported that JAY-Z is interested in purchasing Harvey Weinstein’s interest in The Weinstein Company.

TMZ has reported that they learned from sources close to Jay, that he — along with a movie producer and a billionaire— are interested in purchasing Weinstein's 23% interest in the company.

If you guys remember, Jay teamed up with Weinstein and TWC to produce ‘The Kalief Browder Story,’ a six-part series that premiered in March. Jay is also working with TWC to produce a Trayvon Martin miniseries, a Richard Pryor biopic, a program exploring race in America and an adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In The Heights.’ The legendary rapper currently has a first-look film deal with TWC, and according to TMZ, "multiple sources connected" to JAY-Z, claim the rapper "wants his relationship with the company to continue and grow.” Buying Weinstein’s interest will definitely help to build that relationship.

As most know by now, Weinstein was fired on October 8th from The Weinstein Company after claims that he sexually assaulted multiple women, went public. So far 13 women came forward via The New Yorker and actresses, Heather Graham, Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie & Gwyneth Paltrow have spoken out.

We’ll keep you all posted as this story develops.

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...