DMX Assaults Guard, Could Face 8 yrs. in Prison

via FoxPhoenix

Rapper DMX is serving time in the valley and we’re now learning that he may spend a lot more time behind bars!dmx

DMX, also known as Earl Simmons, may be charged with felony aggravated assault.

He’s serving a 90 day sentence for several charges and was placed in lock down earlier this month.

FOX 10 has learned that while in lock down, Simmons apparently assaulted a Sheriff’s detention officer.

If convicted of these new charges, his probation could be revoked and he could be sentenced to 8 years in prison.

More Friendly Racism? Mayor is criticized for White House watermelon patch e-mail sent to Black business woman

The trend of this type of overt racist humor from our so-called political leaders, lead me to believe that those who were up in arms when the Attorney General Eric Holder said when it came to race we were a “nation of cowards” run and hide when stuff like this comes out.

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via ocregister

picture-121LOS ALAMITOS – The mayor has sent an apology for an e-mail sent to a local businesswoman and community volunteer that she says is racist and offensive.

Keyanus Price, an African American, said she was appalled when she received an e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose’s personal account that showed a picture of the White House with a watermelon patch imposed as the White House garden.

“I was horrified when I read that e-mail,” Price said. “What I’m concerned about is how can this person send an e-mail out like this and think it is OK?”

Being a public official, Price said, made the matter worse.

“He’s putting the city into a bad place, and he is a liability,” Price wrote in an e-mail.

Grose sent an e-mail apology to Price, her boss and the City Council saying he did not intend to be offensive. He also called and left Price a message, he said.

Continue reading

Legislators Move Quick to BAN Animals from Private Residence

via Politico

Forget the stimulus — this one moved really fast.

travis

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Captive Primate Safety Act

WASHINGTON (Feb. 24, 2009) — Eight days after a chimpanzee kept as a pet attacked and critically injured a Connecticut woman, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Captive Primate Safety Act, H.R. 80, introduced by U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., to stop interstate commerce in primates as pets. The bill passed by a vote of 323 to 95. The bill now moves for consideration to the U.S. Senate, where the effort to pass the legislation is being led by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La.

The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Legislative Fund expressed thanks and appreciation to Reps. Blumenauer and Kirk for introducing the bill, and to Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.V., for their leadership in bringing the measure to the House floor so expeditiously.

“There is no reason for any private citizen to keep a primate as a pet, and this trade is driven by unscrupulous dealers who sell primates across state lines for thousands of dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “Congressional action on this animal welfare and public safety issue will complement our efforts at the state level to dry up the trade and the practice of private ownership of chimps and other primates.” Continue reading

Eminem Producers Suit Against Aftermath Goes To Trial

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via HipHopDX

The 2007 lawsuit initiated by former Eminem producers FBT Productions LLC against Aftermath/Interscope is going to trial today. Marky and Jeff Bass of FBT Productions are credited with production on the first three Eminem albums. The suit was spawned from a longstanding industry practice of record labels licensing content to third party distributors, such as Apple’s iTunes. In the original suit, FBT claims Aftermath did not have the right to license songs to Apple or other third party content providers. Record labels have the right to distribute physical CDs, but this lawsuit implies that they don’t have the right to distribute music digitally.

The Honorable Ronald M. Whyte will preside over the case of F.B.T. Productions LLC et al v. Aftermath Records et al. A source close to the situation spoke with HipHopDX to clear up false reports that Eminem initiated this lawsuit against Universal, which is the distributor of both Aftermath and Eminem’s Shady Records imprint.

“It’s these two guys that had Em way before he signed to Aftermath,” the source explains. “Neither Eminem nor anyone in his camp is associated with them in any way. The suit includes Universal because they distribute Aftermath, but Em wants to make sure everyone knows he’s not involved in this.”

A similar suit was filed in 2004 by the Eight Mile Style publishing company, after the song “Lose Yourself” was licensed to Apple for an iTunes ad which also promoted his album. As it currently stands, when Apple sells songs for $0.99 on iTunes, approximately $0.70 go to the label, which then in turn gives $0.091 cents to the publisher.

MTV2 Pays Homage Hip Hop’s Five Elements

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via HipHopDX

MTV2 is paying tribute to the five elements of Hip Hop this week with a documentary entitled “The Elements.” Consisting of five episodes, each episode of “The Elements” will focus on one of the elements of Hip Hop which include emceeing, breakdancing, deejaying, beat boxing, and the art of graffiti.

The five-part series aired yesterday, February 23 and will continue until Friday, February 27. And for those who have missed any episode a compilation including all five episodes will air on March 1 at 6:30 p.m.

“The Elements'” first episode, ‘The MC,’ which aired yesterday, featured local emcees from the New York area including Jesse James, Webbafied, and Fight Klub veteran Iron Solomon.

“Everyone who steps on our stage cosigns the fact that it’s the most authentic Hip Hop feeling they’ve had,” Big Zoo, co-founder of End of The Weak open mic contest explained. “Ultimately it’s the spirit of Hip Hop that keeps us all moving forward.”

The episode also gave viewers an exclusive look at a night of performances at End of the Weak, which holds the distinction of being New York City’s longest running Hip Hop open mic.

Each episode will air at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on MTV2 and will air as part of MTV2‘s Sucker Free Week.

Obama vows to lead US from dire ‘day of reckoning’

obama-state-of-union-2009

via My Way

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama promised a nation shuddering in economic crisis Tuesday night that he would lead it from a dire “day of reckoning” to a brighter future, summoning politicians and public alike to shoulder responsibility for hard choices and shared sacrifice. “The time to take charge of our future is here,” Obama declared, delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Offering words of reassurance to an anxious nation, he declared, “Tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

“We are a nation that has seen promise and peril,” he said. “Now we must be that nation again.”

Cheered robustly as he entered the House chamber, Obama grinned, shook hands and kissed lawmakers and stopped for a lengthy embrace with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, back on the bench only this week after surgery for pancreatic cancer.

To deal with the current crisis, deepening each day, the president said more money will be needed to rescue troubled banks beyond the $700 billion already committed last year. He said he knows that bailout billions for banks are unpopular – “I promise you, I get it,” he said – but he also insisted that was the only way to get credit moving again to households and businesses, the lifeblood of the American economy.

Along with aid for banks, he also called on Congress to move quickly on legislation to overhaul outdated regulations on the nation’s financial markets.

“I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves necessary,” Obama said. “Because we cannot consign our nation to an open-ended recession.”

Thinking longer-term, Obama said in a speech lacking many specifics and devoid of initiatives that both political parties must give up favored programs while uniting behind his campaign promises to build better schools, expand health care coverage and move the nation to “greener” fuel use.

Just five weeks after his inauguration, Obama addressed an ebullient Democratic congressional majority and an embattled but reinvigorated GOP minority as well as millions of anxious viewers. Despite the nation’s economic worries and the lack of support for his plans from all but a few Republican lawmakers, Obama enjoys strong approval ratings across the nation.

Louisiana’s young, charismatic governor, Bobby Jindal, delivering the televised GOP response, exhorted fellow Republicans to be Obama’s “strongest partners” when they agree with him. But he signaled that won’t happen much, calling Democrats in Congress “irresponsible” for passing the $787 billion stimulus package that Republicans have criticized as excessive and wasteful. Continue reading

Google apologizes for Gmail outage

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Um, they haven’t fixed this sh*t yet, still suffering an outage

via CNet

Business and personal users of Gmail suffered an outage starting about 1:30 a.m. PST Tuesday, but Google said it’s fixed the problem.

“If you’ve tried to access your Gmail account today, you are probably aware by now that we’re having some problems. Shortly after 10 9:30am GMT our monitoring systems alerted us that Gmail consumer and businesses accounts worldwide could not get access to their email,” said Acacio Cruz, Google’s Gmail site reliability manager, in a blog posting Tuesday. “We’re working very hard to solve the problem and we’re really sorry for the inconvenience.”

“The problem is now resolved and users have had access restored,” Google said on its Gmail status page. “Many” users were affected, Google said.

Google promises that customers paying for the Google Apps service will have access to Gmail at least 99.9 percent of the time each month or Google has to pay a penalty. So far Google hasn’t dipped below that, the company said last year. Continue reading

Several Shot Along Parade Route in New Orleans

mardi-gras

via NY Times

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An infant and at least five other people were shot Tuesday along a parade route packed with Mardi Gras revelers, police said. Two suspects were in custody and the victims were recovering.

The shootings happened near the Garden District about 1:40 p.m. after the last major parade of the celebration, Rex, had ended. Hundreds of truck floats that follow the parade were passing when gunfire broke out.

”It sounded like a string of fireworks, so I knew it was more than one shooter,” said Toni Labat, 29, a window company manager. She was with her two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.

”Everybody was petrified. They hit the ground, the floats stopped, everybody on the floats ducked,” Labat said.

Labat said one man dragged himself on the ground screaming for help after being wounded and another man was gasping for air and bleeding from his mouth.

Police spokesman Bob Young said the victims were taken to local hospitals. The infant was grazed by a bullet and not seriously hurt, Young said.

Dr. Jim Parry, 41, a surgeon who was with a gathering of doctors near the shooting site, ran over to tend to one man who he said had been shot in the abdomen. ”He kept asking me, ‘Was I shot? Was I shot?”’

Paramedics arrived and took over for the Air Force reservist. Continue reading

Lil’ Wayne’s New York Gun Case Scheduled, Weapon May Be Key Evidence

via SOHH

Lil’ Wayne will be headed to court this spring as a judge has scheduled a trial date for the rapper’s felony gun possession case and admitted a weapon as evidence.lilwayneammusic

The long-awaited decision was made on Tuesday (February 24).

A New York City judge says a handgun found on rapper Lil Wayne’s tour bus can be used as evidence at his trial. Justice Charles Solomon set April 20 as the hip-hopper’s trial date. (The Associated Press)

One of Weezy’s assistants testified in a New York court last fall saying he “occasionally” saw guns and drugs on the rapper’s tour bus.

Wayne’s assistant Terry Bourgeois took the stand yesterday (October 19) in regards to the case, to address whether or not he believed there was a gun on the vehicle. Despite saying he had no knowledge of any weapons in the vehicle at the time, Bourgeois did confess to “occasionally” seeing a handgun and people smoking marijuana while on the same tour bus on separate occasions. Although he also said he never saw Wayne in possession of a firearm. (Newsday) Continue reading

Geronimo’s Kin Sue Skull and Bones Over Remains

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It’s amazing what they’re willing to discuss in public these days. Can you remember when people would call you crazy for suggesting such a thing?  I told my people that conspiracy will go mainstream in the New Age.  And it comes as no surprise that stealing National Treasures has been in the Bush family for generations.

via ABC News

Geronimo’s descendants have sued Skull and Bones — the secret society at Yale University linked to presidents and other powerful figures — claiming that its members stole the remains of the legendary Apache leader decades ago and have kept them ever since.

The federal lawsuit filed in Washington on Tuesday — the 100th anniversary of Geronimo’s death — also names the university and the federal government.

Geronimo’s great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo said his family believes Skull and Bones members took some of the remains in 1918 from a burial plot in Fort Sill, Okla., to keep in its New Haven clubhouse, a crypt. The alleged graverobbing is a longstanding legend that gained some validity in recent years with the discovery of a letter from a club member that described the theft.skulls

“I believe strongly from my heart that his spirit was never released,” Harlyn Geronimo said.

Both Presidents Bush, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and many others in powerful government and industry positions are members of the society, which is not affiliated with the university.

After years of famously fighting the U.S. and Mexican armies, Geronimo and 35 warriors surrendered to Gen. Nelson A. Miles near the Arizona-New Mexico border in 1886. Geronimo was eventually sent to Fort Sill and died at the Army outpost of pneumonia in 1909.

According to lore, members of Skull and Bones — including former President George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush — dug up his grave when a group of Army volunteers from Yale were stationed at the fort during World War I, taking his skull and some of his bones. Continue reading

UPDATE: Rupert Murdoch apologizes for chimp cartoon

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via CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) — The chairman of the New York Post, Rupert Murdoch, personally apologized Tuesday for an editorial cartoon published by the newspaper that drew charges of racism

“Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted,” said the statement from Murdoch, who is also chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, which owns the paper.

“I can assure you — without a doubt — that the only intent of that cartoon was to mock a badly written piece of legislation.

“It was not meant to be racist, but unfortunately, it was interpreted by many as such. We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard, and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community.”

The cartoon by Sean Delonas referenced the mauling of a Connecticut woman by a chimpanzee who was later shot and killed by police. In the caption, one of the officers says, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

The cartoon was published on Wednesday, a day after President Obama signed the stimulus bill.

The Post issued a statement the following day, apologizing but noting that the cartoon was meant to mock what it called an “ineptly written” stimulus bill. Continue reading

Jazz man is first African-American to solo on U.S. circulating coin

via CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The United States Mint launched a new coin Tuesday featuring jazz legend Duke Ellington, making him the first African-American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin.

Ellington, the composer of classics including “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” appears on the “tails” side of the new D.C. quarter. George Washington is on the “heads” side, as is usual with U.S. quarters.

The coin was issued to celebrate Ellington’s birthplace, the District of Columbia.dukecoin

U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy introduced the new coin at a news conference Tuesday at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

Members of Ellington’s family were present at the ceremony, and the jazz band of Duke Ellington High School performed.

Ellington won the honor by a vote of D.C. residents, beating out abolitionist Frederick Douglass and astronomer Benjamin Banneker.

Also on the coin is the phrase “Justice for all.” The Mint rejected the first inscription choice of D.C. voters, which was “taxation without representation,” in protest of the district’s lack of voting representation in Congress.

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington received 13 Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, among numerous other honors. His orchestra’s theme song, “Take the A Train,” is one of the best-known compositions in jazz. Continue reading

What a Surprise: Rove Blows Off Congress Yet Again

karlrove

via AlterNet

Pursuant to a subpoena issued earlier this month, Karl Rove was due to appear for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee today. But as CongressMatters reports, despite being “expected” to appear this time, Rove was a no show. Contacted by ThinkProgress, the House Judiciary Committee confirmed the report of Rove’s absence. Days before leaving office, “Bush’s White House counsel, Fred Fielding, sent letters to Rove, Miers, and Bolten, instructing them to continue to ignore congressional demands for information about anything they did while at the White House.”

Incredible New Poll: 90% Want Bush Crimes Investigation

via AlterNet

Air America conducted a poll that asked a question raised by Time Magazine’s Joe Klein: “Should Obama pardon George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney?” The idea: a pardon would brand them for crimes without the agony of a trial. bush_wanted

Air American’s aren’t buying the Klein solution. They want the whole lot thrown in jail. No trial necessary! A whopping 90% of our 9000 respondents want to see Bush and Company pay for their crimes with either hard time in the pokey or hard time in the pokey after enhanced interrogation techniques. (Shocking!)

In an interview last year with Philadelphia Daily News reporter Will Bunch, Barack Obama said something that seemed to signal the presidential hopeful might prosecute George W. Bush and his staff for crimes committed during the eight-year death march also known as the 43rd presidency of the United States of America.
It was one of the many moments that whipped up my own private Obama fervor. But did he say what I thought he said? Not really.

“I would want to find out directly from my attorney general–having pursued, having looked at what’s out there right now–are there possibilities of genuine crimes as opposed to really bad policies.”

That’s as strong as it got. There was never any statement of positive intent regarding the prosecution of George W. Bush. Obama never ventured beyond the milquetoast, “We’ll look into it.” This is the equivalent of a disappointed soon-to-be ex-lover eliciting a “maybe” from a wholly disinterested wished for-former one. It’s meaningless.

Last go around we had Bushisms, those zany journeys into the what-the-f-isms of linguistic barbarism. This time around we learn another language lesson among many to come in what seems to be an emerging mode of communication in the Obama camp. Call it Obama-speak. The defining characteristic is an NPR-like far-sightedness, and long form intelligence. Our president has the uncanny ability to perform advanced political calculus on the fly and express the results of those many wondrous equations in simple, if somewhat involved, communications. Continue reading

BREAKING: NJ Votes to Approve Medical Marijuana

medipot-states

via NJ.com

The state Senate voted today to legalize marijuana for medical use, despite warnings the drug would fall into the hands of recreational users instead of the chronically ill patients who suffer from debilitating symptoms.

The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act targets patients suffering from a debilitating disease defined as cancer, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, and other chronic illnesses that cause “wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, seizures and severe and persistent muscle spasms,” according to the bill.

“We are not talking about drug addicts and thrill-seekers — we are talking about desperately sick people in need of relief,” Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), one of the bill’s sponsors, said before the vote.

In order to participate, patients would need a written recommendation from their doctor and approval from the state Department of Health and Senior Services, which would issue identification cards. Enrolled patients would be protected from criminal prosecution to possess up to six plants or one ounce of marijuana.

The state would also license “compassion centers” that would grow and distribute the plants, according to the bill.

“This is a vote of conscience,” Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) said. “My conscience tells me we should ease people’s pain and suffering, and give them hope. . .God knows they have suffered enough.” Continue reading

Caribbean roots of Hip Hop to be explored

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via Daily News

The history of hip hop music and its Caribbean connections will be examined in a free program entitled “Bring Out the Sound System: The West Indian Roots of Hip Hop,” on Saturday at The Point CDC, 940 Garrison Ave., the Bronx, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hip hop music pioneer Kool DJ Herc, Kool DJ and Red Alert, groundbreaking MC Just-Ice and veteran TV host Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Box are among the participants in the program, sponsored by The Point CDC and City Lore organization.

The featured performers will discuss the contributions of DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and other influential hip hop artists of Caribbean heritage. Patricia Chin of VP Records and Natasha Lightfoot of the Bronx African-American Oral History Project will also be on hand.

A discussion will be followed by a presentation on hip hop and Jamaican sound systems, plus a reception. There will also be Caribbean food on sale provided by Bascom Catering.

For information, call Elena Martínez of City Lore at (212) 529-1955, ext. 306, or contact Kellie Terry-Sepulveda of The Point at (718) 542-4139, ext. 27. On the Web, see http://www.citylore.org or http://www.thepoint.org.

California Seriously Considering Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana

via LA Times

Reporting from Sacramento — Could Cannabis sativa be a salvation for California’s fiscal misfortunes? Can the state get a better budget grip by taxing what some folks toke?medical_marijuana

An assemblyman from San Francisco announced legislation Monday to do just that: make California the first state in the nation to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

Buoyed by the widely held belief that cannabis is California’s biggest cash crop, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends it is time to reap some state revenue from that harvest while putting a damper on drug use by teens, cutting police costs and even helping Mother Nature.

“I know the jokes are going to be coming, but this is not a frivolous issue,” said Ammiano, a Democrat elected in November after more than a dozen years as a San Francisco supervisor. “California always takes the lead — on gay marriage, the sanctuary movement, medical marijuana.”

Anti-drug groups are anything but amused by the idea of California collecting a windfall from the leafy herb that remains illegal under federal law. Continue reading

Does Obama Have an “Ethnic” Preference when it comes to Media?

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via LA Times

While the New York Times awaits a postelection sit-down with President Obama, Ebony magazine already nabbed its interview, the first given when Obama was still the president-elect.

Once Obama was sworn in, he granted one of his first Q&A’s to the editor of Black Enterprise magazine. His first known radio interview went to host El Pistolero, followed last week by a friendly phone-in to another giant of Spanish-language radio, Los Angeles-based Piolin.

It may not qualify as a pattern, much less a new world order, but the nation’s first African American president has signaled that he may shake up the traditional protocols of Washington journalism.

But Obama’s forays into sometimes marginalized ethnic media outlets also renew a strategy dating to the Reagan administration and earlier — finding alternatives to reach around the mainstream media and speak to loyal constituents.

I suspect these niche operators will also be used by the Obama administration — maybe something like President George W. Bush used evangelical Christian radio — because the White House believes they are more likely to funnel the chief executive’s message with little scrutiny or criticism. Continue reading

Condoleezza Rice Inks Three-Book Deal, Readies Memoir About White House Stint

via Baller Status

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has reportedly inked a three-book deal with Crown Publishers, where she will begin with a memoir about her time spent working under the Bush administration.condi

According to the Associated Press, Rice’s book deal is worth a reported $2.5 million, said two publishing officials who wished to remain anonymous.

In a statement released by Crown, her book “will combine candid narrative and acute analysis to tell the story of her time in the White House and as America’s top diplomat, and her role in protecting American security and shaping foreign policy during the extraordinary period from 2001-2009.”

Rice’s book is expected to hit shelves in 2011.

In addition to her time at the White House, Rice will also pen books about her family, which is scheduled for 2012, and a young-adult edition of her family book that will come out at the same time.

At press time, there were no titles for the planned books.

Condoleezza Rice has a long history with the Bush family. Under the first President Bush, she served as a foreign policy adviser, and then as national security adviser and secretary of state under President George W. Bush. Continue reading

Xzibit Clarifies Comments Made About Diddy, Says There Is No Beef

via Baller Status

Following comments made during an interview on satellite radio where he detailed a night out with Diddy that ended at a possibly gay club, rapper Xzibit has released a statement to clarify reports.xzibit

Despite how the interview sounded, X states “I have no beef with Diddy,” according to the title of his most recent MySpace blog. The rapper claims that his comments in a recent interview was not intended to be malicious in anyway.

“I wake up this morning and my phone is going nuts. I turn on the computer and find all this sh** about me “throwing puffy under the gay bus” … whatever that means,” X writes. “All this SPIN that you journalist[s] are putting on the statements I made on a radio show — to DIRECTLY effect a guy in a manor not intended — is wrong.

“I got a call yesterday (which caught me off guard) from Diddy himself, stating the club was an after hours spot called ‘Space’ I believe. The rumor mill that has ground this bullsh** out to be the sh** storm that it is, is doing so on its own accord. Like I said at the top, I have no beef with Diddy.”

As previously reported, the West Coast rapper gave FoxxHole Radio on Sirius an exclusive interview a year ago, where he detailed a New Years Eve party spent with Diddy, where things that followed seemed a little weird.

In the interview, X said that Diddy took he and Superhead to a club in Miami, and when they got there, what they saw shocked them. Continue reading

N.O.R.E. Arrested For Assaulting Man At Fatburger

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via Thisis50

N.O.R.E. was arrested at a Fatburger restaurant in Miami yesterday (February 23) following a fight with another customer at the eatery.

According to The Associated Press, N.O.R.E. got into a dispute with another man at the resturant early Sunday and then ripped up a bouquet of flowers and threw a cup filled with yellow liquid at the man.

The rapper would then punch the man in the face yelling “Do you know who I am?”

N.O.R.E. was taken into custody and charged with misdemeanour battery and disorderly conduct before he was released.

UPDATE: Tupac’s Mum & Amaru Entertainment Respond To Lawsuit

via Thisis50
Afeni Shakur, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur, released a statement today (February 23) responding to a lawsuit filed against her and Amaru Entertainment by film production company Morgan Creek.

As reported earlier, Morgan Creek claimed that Afeni and Amaru Entertainment backed out of an agreement to sell Tupac’s life rights to them for a film adaptation.

Afeni and Amaru Entertainment denied Morgan Creek’s accusations in the following statement:

We at Amaru Entertainment would like to clarify some of the recent media reports concerning a lawsuit filed by Morgan Creek Productions. This lawsuit has no merit. We felt it was important to bring the story of Tupac Shakur, one of music’s most remarkable icons, to life onscreen and, in realizing this vision; we sought to find the best partner who would be true to Tupac’s vision and bring his unique story to life on the big screen.

In doing so, we have taken every step to ensure that our partner in this process is committed to the integrity of Tupac Shakur’s legacy and, more importantly, that they are the right people. To that end, we have been in discussions and negotiations with several major studios and production companies, including Morgan Creek Productions. However, at no time did we have an agreement with Morgan Creek. Continue reading

AmEx paying card holders to close their accounts

via Yahoo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – American Express Co (NYSE:AXP – News), battered by mounting credit card losses, is offering $300 to a limited number of U.S. card holders who pay off their balances and close their accounts, the company said on Monday.amex_blue

“We sent the offer out to a select number of card members,” said Molly Faust, a company spokeswoman. “We are looking at different ways that we can manage credit risk based on the costumers overall credit profile.”

The company did not say how many card holders would receive the offer and did not disclose the total of their card balances.

Card holders have until the end of February to accept the offer and must close their accounts in March or April. Each card holder will receive a $300 pre-paid American Express card.

American Express, often seen as catering to relatively wealthy customers and companies, has been expanding its credit card business in recent years by reaching out to a wider range of clients.

But that strategy has backfired. The company’s earnings tumbled in the fourth quarter as credit losses jumped and debt-burdened consumers slashed spending.

In addition, American Express reported last week that credit card delinquencies rose in January more than analysts expected, as U.S. unemployment increased and the global economy deteriorated. Continue reading

Brown: World needs ‘Global New Deal’

via CNN

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) — The world needs a “global New Deal” to haul it out of the economic crisis it faces, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom said Sunday.gordonbrown

“We need a global New Deal — a grand bargain between the countries and continents of this world — so that the world economy can not only recover but… so the banking system can be based on… best principles,” he said, referring to the 1930s American plan to fight the Great Depression.

Brown was speaking as the leaders of Europe’s biggest economies met to try to forge a common position on the global financial crisis ahead of a major summit in London in April.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the world’s response to the global financial meltdown had to be profound and long-lasting, not just tinkering around the edges.

“Europe wants to see an overhaul of the system. We all agree on that. We’re not talking about superficial measures now or transitional measures — we’re talking about structural measure, which need to be taken,” he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the host of the meeting, urged nations of the world to work together to fight the problem.

“Confidence can only be restored if people in our countries feel that we are pulling in the same direction and have understood that we really must learn lessons from this crisis,” she said. Continue reading

Social websites harm children’s brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist

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via Daily Mail

Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.

The claims from neuroscientist Susan Greenfield will make disturbing reading for the millions whose social lives depend on logging on to their favourite websites each day.

But they will strike a chord with parents and teachers who complain that many youngsters lack the ability to communicate or concentrate away from their screens.

More than 150million use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, share photographs and videos and post regular updates of their movements and thoughts. Continue reading

Breaking News : TMZ reports Charles Barkley is going to slammer for DUI wrap

I guess TMZ are the only guys breaking news these days?

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Hope they’ve got XXXXL jumpsuits in AZ, ’cause Charles Barkley is officially going to jail.

Barkley just pleaded guilty to 2 counts of driving under the influence and pleaded “responsible” to running a stop sign for the December 31st incident in Scottsdale.

Barkley was sentenced to 10 days in jail — but will only do five if he completes an alcohol education program. Barkley was also fined $2,000.

Barkley will begin his sentence on March 21 — but it’s unclear if he will serve time in Arizona’s famed Tent City Jail, where they make the inmates wear pink.

As for the gun cops say they found in Barkley’s car on the night of the arrest — no charges were ever filed.

Sharpton Calls On FCC To Investigate News Corp

The NY Post has gotten themselves into a widening quagmire. This consistent money loser has probably provided the final nail in its own coffin. Firing the cartoonist should have happened Day One and they could have road the rest of it out. But their weak apology will just cause more pressure for them to do something drastic. *Circulation drops dramatically*

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via WPIX 11

NEW YORK (WPIX) — Outrage and protests continue to mount over The NY Post’s controversial cartoon interpreted by many as comparing President Obama to a chimpanzee that was shot and killed by police in Stamford, Connecticut last week.

Reverend Al Sharpton on Sunday called for a special City Council hearing, urging the city to refrain from advertising in The Post.

The civil rights leader, along with other local lawmakers, is also asking for the FCC to review the waiver extended to News Corp and Rupert Murdoch, which allows them to own more than one television station and newspaper in the same city.

“I think that they have sadly tried to reduce this to some personal fight than to really understand the level of offense,” Sharpton said at a press conference on Sunday. “It seems that we cannot have a true level of democracy in terms of how the newspapers and airwaves are used in this city.”

The New York Post issued an editorial on its website last Thursday saying the cartoon was meant to mock the federal economic stimulus bill, and apologized to those who were offended by it.

Continue reading

Hollis Famous Burgers & Hip Hop Museum Opens

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via NY Times

On a nondescript street corner in Hollis, Queens, a small — and quite affordable — burger joint opened recently.

The place, Hollis Famous Burgers, offers mini-burgers for $1; for that price diners get a complimentary viewing of the Hollis Hip Hop Museum. The word “museum” might be a bit of an overstatement, given the space, but the collection and what it celebrates are not, at least not to the people behind it.

There are more than 100 items on the walls testifying to the neighborhood as a fertile ground for hip-hop artists. Along with a helping of chicken wings, washed down with a cup of “Hollis Famous” lemonade, customers can examine the hit CDs of local rap legends, like Ja Rule, LL Cool J, and Irv Gotti, the founder of Murder Inc., the hip-hop record company that launched several careers.

“Hollis is our Motown, our Nashville, our Beale Street,” said Orville Hall, 42, the owner of the restaurant, and a childhood friend of the members of Run-DMC, which happens to be the best-represented rap group in the burger joint — rather, museum. famous_burgers

At the grand opening on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Hall explained that there was something about Hollis “back in the day” that seemed to nurture hip-hop artists. There was a keen desire for live D.J.’s and M.C.’s at local parties.

It was a working-class black neighborhood that was tough but not bleak. The rap lyrics from neighborhood artists had swagger but were clean enough to be offered to the mainstream.

Mr. Hall decided that Hollis, and perhaps his own business interests, would be best served by pairing a burger restaurant with the museum. On Thursday his venture got the blessing of DMC, whose real name is Darryl McDaniels and who recited a few of his famous lyrics.

Standing near his gold and platinum records, Mr. McDaniels said he wanted people in the neighborhood to use them as proof of the power of persistence to succeed, whatever the odds.

“Because we did something good, people in hoods all over the world were able to look at us and say, ‘Yo, I know what I can do, and I know what I can be.’ If you don’t believe it, then history is on the wall, homie.”

Mr. McDaniels donated one of his gold records (“Run-DMC”) and a platinum one (“Raising Hell”). Continue reading

Jamaica Eliminates Sex and Violence From Airwaves

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via Allhiphop

The nation of Jamaica has instituted an island-wide ban of all music which glorifies violence or sexual activity.

The ban, which became official earlier this week, is targeted at quelling the growing dancehall trend called “daggering,” where participants stimulate sexual intercourse on the dance floor.

The style was popularized by dancehall star Mr. Vegas, who released a song and video of the same name last June.

Under the new regulation, all music with lyrics detailing murder, arson, rape, and gun violence cannot be heard over Jamaica’s TV and radio broadcast systems.

Furthermore, DJ’s are not even allowed to be play censored versions of songs, as the intent and suggestive nature of the tracks would still be discernible.

As the country’s most popular music genre, dancehall stands to be the most affected by the new ruling.

In recent years, the genre has endured heavy international criticism for the vehement anti-gay stance many of its artists advocate.

However, the decree will also limit the accessibility of Soca and Hip-Hop on the island.

Soca music is rarely explicit, but sometimes utilizes sexual innuendo in its lyrics and is a staple sound of Jamaican street carnivals.

Hip-Hop has strong roots with the Caribbean island due to Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc, who helped launch the genre of Hip-Hop in the 70s, after migrating to New York City in the late 1960s.

At press time, there has been no organized movement to challenge the government’s ruling on free speech grounds.

[Update] Lil Kim’s official “Dancing With the Stars” photos

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via Woooha

Lil Kim x Dancing With the Stars. Updated: Here is a new close up photo of Lil Kim….photo with Derek Hough now after the jump. Since it was announced that Lil Kim will be joining this season’s “Dancing With the Stars” there have been a couple photos surfacing of Lil Kim in dance rehearsals with her partner. But ABC has just sent us over the first “official” photo of her and dancing partner Derek Hough shown after the jump. Enjoy. The new season kicks off on March 9th.

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Chris Brown film career in jeopardy; “erased” from new movie

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via Woooha

All the blogs and news sources have been covering the fact that Chris is losing endorsement deals left and right, but now his check book is about to hurt even more as his once rising film career is now in serious trouble as well. Rumor has it that Sony Screen Gems, the studio that is releasing Chris’ next movie Bone Deep, is going to basically “erase” Chris from their marketing campaign.

The crime/action thriller which comes out Jan 8, 2010 was originally going to heavily market stars T.I. and Chris Brown to the urban demo but now T.I. will ironically be the main attraction (even though he’s going to jail) along with broader reaching actors Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen. Unofficial word has it that Chris will be “erased” from marketing material such as the movie poster, trailer and TV ads to avoid any controversy. The movie has already finished filming in Los Angeles so Chris will still be in the movie but just don’t expect to see much of him in the advertising.

Yeti says: This is bad news for Chris’ acting career. Being shunned from the music industry is one thing but Chris had a rising film career with his “boy next door” persona going on for him. He will lose millions in movie contracts from this fallout. The fact that he will be “erased” from this movie is just the first sign that Hollywood studios will be avoiding him like the plague as well. Chris’ agents and managers are hoping big time (and expensive) Hollywood PR man Alex Nierob can help save his career though…or what’s left of it.