Insight News

May 27th


The legendary Lena Horne dead at 92

The legendary Lena Horne dead at 92Statement by the President on the passing of Lena Horne

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Lena Horne – one of our nation’s most cherished entertainers. Over the years, she warmed the hearts of countless Americans with her beautiful voice and dramatic performances on screen. From the time her grandmother signed her up for an NAACP membership as a child, she worked tirelessly to further the cause of justice and equality. In 1940, she became the first African American performer to tour with an all white band. And while entertaining soldiers during World War II, she refused to perform for segregated audiences – a principled struggle she continued well after the troops returned home. Michelle and I offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved Lena, and we join all Americans in appreciating the joy she brought to our lives and the progress she forged for our country.

(NNPA) - Legendary singer, actress and dancer Lena Horne died on Sunday night at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center at the age of 92. The Brooklyn-born entertainer was the first Black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer. The cause of her death has not been reported.

Rwandan President in U.S. escapes lawsuit in Oklahoma

Rwandan President in U.S. escapes lawsuit in Oklahoma(GIN) – Lawyers for the widows of two African presidents whose deaths set off a genocidal war, failed in their attempt to serve Rwandan President Paul Kagame with legal papers during his recent U.S. visit.

The Rwandan leader was in Edmond, Oklahoma, attending the graduation last week of 10 Rwandese students at Oklahoma Christian University. He slipped away before legal papers could be served.

A leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Kagame’s group had been in a power struggle with the Hutu-led government of Pres. Juvenal Habyarimana. The shoot-down of a plane carrying Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira in April 1994 by unknown assailants set off a horrific killing spree. Ironically, both were returning from a regional peace meeting in Tanzania.

The $350 million wrongful death lawsuit accuses Kagame of ordering the plane to be shot down. Peter Erlinder of the International Humanitarian Law Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota, is handling the widows’ claims. Kagame's government has denied the accusations.

Grandmothers to hold Pan-African Summit on AIDS

Grandmothers to hold Pan-African Summit on AIDS(GIN) – Hundreds of African grandmothers from 12 African countries are meeting this week in Swaziland to discuss the impact of losing adult children to AIDS.

The inaugural African Grandmothers’ Gathering aims to build a “solidarity movement” across the continent, while seeking support from international donors and aid agencies.

"Grandmothers are at the frontline of the HIV/Aids impact. They have to pick up the pieces and move on,”. said Philile Mlotshwa of Swapol (Swaziland Positive Living), which is organizing the event in partnership with the Canadian-based Stephen Lewis Foundation.

"They are the heroes yet no one has gone to them to say we recognize your efforts." They don't have time to grieve because the children need to be looked after. They are doing this without any income.”

A delegation of 42 Canadian grandmothers from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation will also attend the summit. The Queen Mother and prime minister of Swaziland will also attend the conference in Manzini, on from May 6 to 8.

Reckless law makes Arizona unfit host for state leaders according to NBCSL and NHCS

Reckless law makes Arizona unfit host for state leaders according to NBCSL and NHCS(BLACK PR WIRE) WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) join in opposition to Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070), “a law that is ill conceived and sets a dangerous precedent for basic civil liberties,” according to NBCSL President, Rep. Calvin Smyre (GA). “This misguided legislation will likely subject countless people to unwarranted harassment. In a demonstration of our disapproval, we have decided to hold our annual Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Conference, which was to be held in Scottsdale, AZ, elsewhere,”  said Smyre.

Be counted

If you are part of the 20% of people in Minnesota who did not mail back a census form, you will soon receive a call or a knock on your door. Here is the information you need to be aware of as this next phase in the 2010 census effort kicks off.

- The U.S. Census will try to contact your household either in person or by phone up to six times or until counted.

- If no one is home:
1) Census takers will leave Notice of Visit hanging on the door, with phone number to call;
2) Residents may give their answers to census taker by telephone or call to schedule return visit;
3) Census takers will visit at different times of day;
4) As a last resort, census takers may ask landlords or neighbors for basic information about a home that does not respond after six tries.

DFL delegates endorse Anderson-Keliher

DFL delegates endorse Anderson-KeliherMargaret Anderson-Keliher thanked DFL supporters Monday for selecting her to become the party’s standard bearer in this fall’s Minnesota Governor race. She won the party’s endorsement Saturday in the party’s state endorsing convention in Duluth.

Anderson-Keliher still faces opposition from at least two strong DFL candidates who say they will seek nomination by DFL voters in the August Primary Election.

Former Senator Mark Dayton had previously announced he would take his case directly to DFL voters by placing his name on the ballot in the Primary Election. Former DFL House Leader Matt Entenza used the convention to announce he would not seek endorsement by the convention, but, like Dayton, would seek to become the party nominee for governor by competing against other DFLers in the August Primary.

Green leader challenges Senate inaction on climate crisis

Green leader challenges Senate inaction on climate crisis

The Senate has delayed passing solutions to the climate crisis for months, always offering a political reason why the timing won't work, says Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Chief Executive Officer, Green For All.

“This Monday was the last straw,” Ellis-Lamkins said in a letter rallying the faithful to express discontent to Senate leaders. “Partisan politicking derailed the promised release of climate and energy legislation from Sens. John Kerry (MA), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Joe Lieberman (CT). And we were told to sit tight longer. This time, we won't.”

Times are too tough to let insider Washington politics stand in the way of millions of new jobs in the clean energy economy, she said. “The climate crisis is too big to ignore any longer.”

“A strong and comprehensive climate and energy bill can address both of these challenges. But not if elected officials in Washington continue to play political games and stick their heads in the sand,” she said.

Clay receives Spirit of Democracy award

Clay receives Spirit of Democracy awardWashington, DC -Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, US Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), is among the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's 2010 Spirit of Democracy Award recipients, Melanie L. Campbell, executive director and CEO of The National Coalition, announced recently. The awards will be presented during The National Coalition's 13th Annual Spirit of Democracy Awards Gala on Wednesday, May 19.

Other 2010 Spirit Honorees include: Ralph Everett, president and CEO, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Tony Gladney, vice president, National Diversity Relations, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.; Marc Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League; and Makani Themba-Nixon, executive director, The Praxis Project.

Fredrick Blocton for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year 2010

Fredrick Blocton for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year 2010Fredrick Blocton, has been nominated for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year. He has 10 weeks (until June 4th) to raise as much money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  His goal is to raise $200,000, which exceeds the national amount raised in last year’s campaign. Read about his campaign and initiatives for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

What is man of the year?
As a candidate for Man of the Year, I am on a quest to raise as much money as I can for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in just 10 weeks (March 25-June 4). I will be competing against a select group of philanthropic-minded business and community leaders to become the top fundraiser, and therefore be named LLS’s Man of the Year. But more important than any title is the knowledge that I, along with my support team, will be playing an important role in the fight against blood cancers.


Mexico criticizes Arizona immigrant legislation

In reference to Arizona state legislature's “Immigration; Law Enforcement; Safe Neighborhoods” (SB1070) bill, which was signed into law this week by the Governor of Arizona, Janice K. Brewer, the Government of México said it tried to communicate its concerns about the impact of such legislation, but did not receive favorable responses from Arizona.

“The Government of Mexico regrets that, despite the efforts made by Mexican federal and state authorities, the legislators that approved this bill and the Governor of Arizona did not take into account the valuable contributions of immigrants to the economy, society and culture of Arizona and the United States. The Mexican Government carried out several actions to communicate to the Government of Arizona its concerns about the possible adoption of the Law, but did not receive a favorable response.

Career fair focuses on jobs for veterans

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is sponsoring the Veterans Career Fair on May 5 to help connect military veterans looking for work and employers who are hiring.

The event celebrates Hire a Veteran Month, held each May as part of an ongoing effort to make Minnesota the most veteran-friendly state in the nation.

The Minnesota Veterans Career Fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5. It will be held at the Earle Brown Heritage Center, 6155 Earle Brown Drive, Brooklyn Center. The event will help veterans and their spouses find jobs, explore career options or attend workshops by career experts. At the same time, employers and service providers will have the opportunity to connect with job-ready veterans. In 2009, more than 80 exhibitors and 1,000 veterans attended.
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