Archives for Press

    Salt-N-Pepa to Perform With En Vogue at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards

    The Billboard Music Awards has yet another major act to add to this year’s all-star performance lineup: Salt-N-Pepa. The legendary rap trio will team up with vocal group En Vogue for a special performance celebrating the 30th anniversary of becoming the first female rap artists to hit the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

    Cheryl James (Salt), Sandra Denton (Pepa) and DJ Spinderella made their chart debut in 1987, and one year later, their iconic track “Push It” became the first rap song by a female act to hit the top 40 of the Hot 100 — eventually making it all the way to No. 19.

    “Thirty years later, we’re still Pushing It all over the world and we’re still loved and celebrated by fans we grew up with as well as new fans,” Salt-N-Pepa said in a statement. “Looking back at all the barriers we’ve broken as women in this very male dominated genre of music, being the first two female rappers to break the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 is right up there as one of the best moments of our amazing career. We are blessed.”

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    Spotify Removes R. Kelly Music From Its Playlists As Part of New Hate Content & Hateful Conduct Policy: Exclusive

    Beginning today (May 10), Spotify users will no longer be able to find R. Kelly‘s music on any of the streaming service’s editorial or algorithmic playlists. Under the terms of a new public hate content and hateful conduct policy Spotify is putting into effect, the company will no longer promote the R&B singer’s music in any way, removing his songs from flagship playlists like RapCaviar, Discover Weekly or New Music Friday, for example, as well as its other genre- or mood-based playlists.

    “We are removing R. Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations such as Discover Weekly,” Spotify told Billboard in a statement. “His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it. We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values. When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”

    Over the past several years, Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual violence, coercion and running a “sex cult,” including two additional women who came forward to Buzzfeed this week. Though he has never been convicted of a crime, he has come under increasing scrutiny over the past several weeks, particularly with the launch of the #MuteRKelly movement at the end of April. Kelly has vociferously defended himself, saying those accusing him are an “attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy.” And while RCA Records has thus far not dropped Kelly from his recording contract, Spotify has distanced itself from promoting his music.

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    Hawaii could face volcanic smog, acid rain — and blast projectiles

    After surviving earthquakes and molten lava, residents of Hawaii’s Big Island now have new threats to worry about: steam-driven explosions, hazardous volcanic smog and acid rain.

    The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Wednesday warned of possible explosive eruptions in the coming weeks. That could happen because as lava continues to sink in a lake inside a Kilauea crater, an influx of groundwater could interact with the lava to create steam explosions.

    Those forces would emit “ballistic projectiles” — as small as pebbles or weighing up to several tons. The agencies also said ash clouds would rise to greater elevations, dispensing ash over wider areas.

    “At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue,” an advisory said.

     Gov. David Ige asked President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration for Hawaii as a result of the ongoing earthquakes and volcano eruption, according to a press release.

    The declaration allows federal funds to begin to flow to state and local efforts in Hawaii. The estimated cost to protect residents over the next 30 days is expected to exceed $2.9 million, according to the governor’s office.

    A brief explosion Wednesday on a Kilauea crater was the result of falling rocks and not the interaction of lava with the water table, the USGS said.

    The Kilauea eruption last week created new volcanic vents on the ground miles east of the summit, releasing slow-moving lava and toxic gas into island communities.

    Officials have warned of dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide gas.

    If winds weaken, that gas and other volcanic pollutants can settle easily with moisture and dust to create a haze called volcanic smog, or “vog,” with tiny sulfuric acid droplets that can pose respiratory problems, according to the US Geological Survey.

    Trade winds could weaken Thursday and Friday, meaning the vog that’s largely been accumulating over the ocean south of the Big Island could pool over a larger portion of it, creating possible health hazards, the National Weather Service says.

    And with high chances of rain on those days, sulfuric acid droplets would fall, creating another menace known as acid rain, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy says.

    Respiratory problems

    At higher concentrations, vog can cause headaches and irritation to the lungs and eyes, the University of Hawaii at Hilo says.

    “Because of their small size, aerosol particles such as those in vog penetrate deep into the human lung and are readily retained,” the USGS says.

    High levels of acidic particles in vog “can induce asthma attacks, especially in adolescents, and can also impede the ability of the upper respiratory tract to remove other potentially harmful particles,” it says.

     Watch as Hawaii lava flow consumes car 01:26

    For people with asthma and other respiratory problems, “the effects are much more serious, causing a tightening of the airways in the lungs and making it very difficult to breathe,” the university says.

    But it adds: “There’s been no clear evidence that vog causes lingering damage to normally healthy individuals.”

    If trade winds become lighter as predicted later this week, vog could pool northward over parts of the island by Friday, the weather service says.

    But winds are forecast to return — and the vog could be pushed off much of the island — by Friday night, it says.

    Similar to battery acid

    If it rains where vog has collected, acid rain would result.

    “Wherever you have a vog plume, you’re going to have acid rain, if it’s raining,” University of Hawaii meteorologist Steven Businger told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now.

    Army National Guard First Lt. Aaron Hew Len measures sulfur dioxide gas Tuesday in Leilani Estates.

    What are the effects of acid rain? The droplets of sulfuric acid in vog have the corrosive properties of diluted battery acid, the USGS says.

    “When atmospheric moisture is abundant, these droplets combine with it and fall as acid rain, damaging plants and accelerating the rusting of metal objects such as cars, industrial and farm equipment, and building components,” it says.

    The amount of acid rain depends on the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the air, CNN’s Guy says.

    Determining how acid rain affects human health is complicated, and Guy says the effects on the skin are unclear.

    Lava spills through Hawaii neighborhood

    One direct, immediate threat is not the rain, but rather breathing in the particles in the vog — the very pollutants that caused the acid rain, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    “Walking in acid rain, or even swimming in a lake affected by acid rain, is no more dangerous to humans than walking in normal rain or swimming in non-acidic lakes,” the EPA says.

    But acid rain can contaminate household water supplies by leaching metals from building and plumbing materials, the USGS says.

    That includes rooftop rainwater-catchment systems that Hawaii residents use for drinking water.

    “In 1988, the drinking water of nearly 40% of homes using such systems in the Kona Districts of the island was found to be contaminated with lead leached by acid rain,” the USGS says. “Tests confirmed that the blood of some residents of these homes had elevated lead levels.”

    Businger told Hawaii News Now that acid rain is not an immediate health hazard, adding that it’s “the least of their (residents) worries.”

    More vents open

    Other dangers persist, not only in the form of lava but also earthquakes and newly formed cracks.

    Two additional volcanic vents — the 13th and 14th — erupted Tuesday in the Leilani Estates area, where roughly 1,700 residents were asked to evacuate last week. At least 36 structures — including at least 26 homes — have been destroyed.

    On Wednesday, a 15th vent formed — this one in the Lanipuna subdivision, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency says.

    Residents were being still allowed to check on their properties from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day but must be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency says.

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    A black Yale graduate student took a nap in her dorm’s common room. So a white student called police

    A white person voices suspicions about an innocuous person of color. Police are summoned. And the encounter is posted on social media, sparking outrage about racial profiling.

     In what is becoming an all-too familiar episode, a black Yale University graduate student was interrogated by campus police officers early Tuesday morning after a white student found her sleeping in a common room of their dorm and called police.

     The black student, Lolade Siyonbola, posted two videos of the encounter to Facebook, where they have been widely viewed and drawn thousands of comments.

     “I deserve to be here. I pay tuition like everybody else,” an annoyed Siyonbola told responding officers in one video after they asked for her ID. “I’m not going to justify my existence here.”

     The incident is one of several in recent weeks in which police have been called on people of color for seemingly harmless acts. In one of the most recent, three black women were detained while leaving their California Airbnb after a neighbor called police, thinking they were burglars. Last month two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia after a manager called 911 on them because they didn’t order anything.

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    Groups Sue Ben Carson Over Delay Of Anti-Segregation Rule

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of advocacy organizations has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Secretary Ben Carson over his decision to delay an Obama-era rule intended to ensure that communities address racial segregation.

    The advocacy groups say Carson unlawfully suspended the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act when he delayed until after 2020 the requirement that cities and counties receiving federal funds analyze housing data and submit plans to address segregation.

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    Download FUBU RADIO App Today

    The summer is almost here and you are getting ready to go on vacation. Take the party with you, by downloading the FUBU RADIO APP for your IOS and Android devices. Let the whole world know about your favorite Old School Hip Hop and R&B Radio.  Download the APP today at www.fuburadio.com

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    NYC Removes Statue Of Doctor Who Experimented On Slaves

    NEW YORK (AP) — A bronze statue of a 19th century doctor who did experimental surgery without anesthesia on enslaved African-American women was removed from Central Park on Tuesday.

    New York City’s Public Design Commission voted Monday to accept a mayoral panel’s recommendation to remove the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims for relocation to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, where Sims is buried, accompanied by signage with historical context.

    Dr. Bernadith Russell, a gynecologist, emotionally embraced a friend as they watched the statue being removed.

    Russell said that when she was in medical school, Sims “was held up as the father of gynecology with no acknowledgement of the enslaved women he experimented on.”

    The commission’s president, Signe Nielsen, wept on Monday when she called for the vote, The New York Times reported.

    The names of many black women on whom Sims operated are unknown. Three of the names
    he recorded were Anarcha, Betsy and Lucy.

    “I’m not a woman of color, but I am deeply moved by what we heard today,” said Nielsen.

    Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a review of “symbols of hate” on city property eight months ago following a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August that left a person dead. The issue of possibly removing Confederate monuments initially prompted the white nationalists to gather.

    Amrit Trewn, an activist who had advocated for demolition, said the decision to relocate the statue means “that this physical representation of anti-black violence will still stand and maintain its presence in the heart of yet another community of color.”

    Michele Bogart, a former member of the design commission and an art history professor, had urged that the statue remain in Central Park, saying: “History matters. … Don’t run from it.”

    Source: Black America Web

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    Man Receives Kidney From Classmate He Barely Knew 50 Years Ago

    Kenneth Walker of Washington D.C. was in dire need of a kidney transplant and wasn’t sure how it was going to happen when a miracle came in the form of a classmate he barely knew years ago according to CNN.

    Walker was working in South Africa at the National Public Radio as a bureau chief when he got sick. Misdiagnosed, he didn’t receive that right treatment and by the time he got back to the United States his condition grew worse and caused him to need a kidney transplant quickly.

    Putting his name on every wait list, a close friend of his from high school made a suggestion of checking with their high school to see if anyone was a match.

    Walker sent obtained a list and sent an email out titled “A request for life” to his former classmates at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.

    “It is nearly impossible for me to come to terms with what I must ask of you, and that is your help in finding a kidney donor so that I can have a chance to improve my quality of life — and perhaps even to extend it beyond the expected span of a dialysis patient,” wrote Walker.

    In his email, he continued to share that getting a healthy kidney for transplant is a difficult process but understands if they weren’t comfortable doing it. No matter what, Walker wanted to raise awareness of kidney disease.

    “Consider being an organ donor after death and also, help me by sharing my story with everyone you know. At the very least, I want to bring awareness to kidney disease and living donation,” he wrote. “I am hopeful my efforts will help me receive a kidney sooner and encourage others to consider helping the many people on the waitlist.”

    Just like that, in less than 15 minutes he received a response from Charlie Ball saying, “I will call the hospital in the a.m.,” he wrote. “I pray that you get what you need.”

    completely caught off guard by the response Walker grew suspicious. He explained that Ball’s decision as a white man helping a Black man is something special to see especially in the nations current state.

    Even as Ball offered his kidney, the possibility of not getting it loomed as doctors don’t typically take kidneys from people over 60. However, Ball was in good health and able to be a viable candidate.

    Before flying to Washington D.C. where Walker was, Ball got tested in California. Nervous at first, Ball realized his zeal for volunteering fit right in with his ability to help Walker.

    After a successful surgery, both men are looking forward to recovery and getting back to life. “There are so many strange coincidences,” Ball said. “Well, I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in miracles.”

    Source Black America Web

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    Fox Anchors Call Black Student Accepted To 20 Colleges ‘Ridiculous’

    Micheal Brown, a brilliant high school senior, is still waiting for a formal apology from Fox News – and he certainly deserves it.

    Brown has been offered a full ride in scholarships to 20 different colleges, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford – but his celebration was somewhat dampened after Fox anchors in Washington, D.C. called Brown “obnoxious” for applying to so many colleges.

    Fox 5 D.C. co-anchor Holly Morris and contributor Sarah Fraser criticized Brown, who is African-American, and accused him of holding potential college slots hostage for other deserving students.

    “It’s a little ridiculous that this kid applied to 20 taking away a spot and basically wait-listing another kid,” Fraser said earlier this month.

    “I think it’s a little obnoxious because you can only go to one,” Morris added. “You can only take one full ride and you are taking a spot from someone else who worked really hard.”

    Brown is simply asking for an apology. Why shouldn’t Brown apply to as many colleges as he chooses? He has worked hard in high school to earn his 4.68 GPA and the bright 17-year-old wants the best college education available to him. Shouldn’t Brown be praised for being accepted into America’s top colleges?

    This is an uplifting story, a tale of inspiration. The video of Brown celebrating with friends went viral and many people, Black and white, enthusiastically supported Brown on Twitter.

    Even former President Bill Clinton reached out to congratulate him.

    “What an incredible accomplishment, Michael,” he wrote on Twitter. “Follow your heart and your head, your future is incredibly bright. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

    “If you want to talk about Georgetown,” Clinton wrote, “give me a call.”

    Fox News commentators on national prime time shows have consistently railed against affirmative action policies for college students and they have criticized poor African-Americans.

    Now, here’s Brown, a young man who has earned the right to apply to the colleges of his choosing and yet he is criticized for being smart, assertive and self-motivated.

    Would Morris and Fraser take Brown to task if Brown was white? Morris said, through Twitter, that she would have scolded Brown even if he was white. We’ll never know. Fraser issued an apology to Brown on Twitter, but Morris has not  and neither has Fox DC 5.

    The issue over the number of colleges that Brown applied to is not the story. The story is how this bright young man will enter one of America’s top colleges in the fall — for free— because of his academic acumen. Brown is a role model for other high schools around Houston and across the country.

    For Fox anchors, criticizing Brown is shameful and undermines his incredible achievement.

    “My disappointment was with the language used to describe me, a minor. To call someone obnoxious and annoying,” Brown told Newsweek. “I cannot change how someone thinks, but how someone presents their opinion is important and they just presented it poorly.”

    Brown’s mother, Berthinia Rutledge-Brown, told Newsweek she would also like to see her son get an apology over the incident.

    “It would just be the right thing to do, period,” Rutledge-Brown said.

    Brown has been accepted to the following universities: Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins University, Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Williams College, University of Texas-Austin, University of California-Berkeley, Amherst, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Tulane University, University of Michigan, UC-Davis and UC-Irvine and Stanford University.

    The brainy teen said Morris and Fraser should “maybe next time think a little bit more before you act or say something and just consider the person on the other side.”

    Brown deserves an apology from Fox – but he doesn’t need it. He’ll do just fine.

    What do you think?

    Source: Black America Web

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    Home prices just took the biggest jump in four years

    Homebuyers, hold onto your wallets. The gains in home prices are getting bigger as the supply of homes for sale gets leaner.

    The median price of a home sold in March surged 8.9 percent compared with March 2017, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. It is the biggest annual increase in four years. Redfin tracks prices in 174 local markets and calculated the median home price at $297,000.

    High prices are the result of very, very low inventory. The supply of homes for sale was down 11.9 percent in March, compared with a year ago. As a result, sales fell 3.7 percent. The number of new listings in March dropped 5.6 percent annually, although part of that may have been due to the Easter holiday falling early this year.

    “Sellers are slow to list this year and we aren’t seeing enough new construction homes to fill the gap,” said Redfin’s chief economist, Nela Richardson. “If we don’t see the new listings number turn around next month or a pickup in new housing starts, inventory will be a persistent drag on sales for the remainder of the year.”

    Homebuilders are not helping much. Housing starts disappointed in March, with single-family construction falling 3.7 percent for the month. Building permits, an indicator of future construction, declined 5.5 percent for the month and are barely 2 percent higher compared with a year ago. In contrast, multifamily construction is increasing considerably. Builders are banking on continued, strong demand for rental apartments, as homebuyers struggle to find affordable homes.

    “The change towards multifamily could be the initial signs that affordability is starting to impact the mix of construction,” noted Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree. “Multifamily units are at lower price points and include significant rental units. Notably, single-family housing starts are particularly weak in the high-cost Northeast — that is also the most exposed region to the negative impacts of the tax plan.”

    Prospective home buyers tour a model home at the PulteGroup Mirehaven housing development in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Sergio Flores | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    Prospective home buyers tour a model home at the PulteGroup Mirehaven housing development in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

    Buyer demand is still strong, despite higher prices. Sellers are pulling back, however, likely worried they won’t be able to find anything else they like or can afford. The average home went under contract in 43 days in March, more than a week faster compared with a year ago and a March record. Nearly a quarter of the homes sold for more than their list prices.

    Large metropolitan markets in California, as well as Seattle and Denver, continue to see big price gains, but some unexpected markets are also seeing inflation, as well. Markets like Allentown, Pennsylvania (21.8 percent), Detroit (20.6 percent) and Las Vegas (16.5 percent) are not far behind.

    The supply situation is acute in Washington, D.C., where inventory fell 22 percent in March annually, according to Long & Foster Real Estate. It would take just 1.8 months at the current sales pace to exhaust the supply. A balanced market supply is considered to be about six months.

    “A ‘perfect storm’ of market conditions is compounding an ongoing inventory crunch,” said Larry Foster, president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “Builders’ margins are squeezed by rising labor and materials prices, so they are not meeting demand for entry-level and move-up homes. Would-be sellers of existing homes — many of whom refinanced at low interest rates — are reluctant to list their homes because they aren’t finding the selection of properties they want to move into.”

    As mortgage rates continue to rise, current homeowners will have even less incentive to sell. Sales have been dropping as a result of the tight supply, and prices usually lag sales by a few months. That does not appear to be the case, however, in this cycle, as demand is outweighing everything else. It may be that young buyers are waiting, and renting longer, in order to save for higher-priced homes.

    Source: CNBC

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