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Benghazi Panel, ‘Experts’ Go to Nigeria and Apple to Acquire Dr. Dre’s Beats

Benghazi Panel, 'Experts' Go to Nigeria and Apple to Acquire Dr. Dre's Beats

Here’s some news I’m reading up on this morning:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Thinking of Formally Complaining to U.S. Border Patrol?

Thinking of Formally Complaining to U.S. Border Patrol?

Of more than 800 complaints filed in a three-year period against U.S. Border Patrol, the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country, 97 percent resulted in no disciplinary action. “Physical abuse” followed by “excessive force,” according to the American Immigration Council report, were the most prevalent reasons for complaints, which mainly registered in Arizona’s Tucson sector and Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Abuse complaints appear to have grown as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Border Patrol have more than doubled in size in the last seven years.

There were seven sexual abuse complaints, McClatchy reports, including forced sexual intercourse and forcing females to bare their breasts. But 11 other cases not classified as sexual abuse involve descriptions of inappropriate touching and strip searches.

Federal officials say they take complaints seriously and point out they are small in number considering they apprehended more than 1 million persons during the three-year period, January 2009-January 2012.

The AIC obtained the data through a Freedom of Information request.

(h/t McClatchy and The New York Times)

Video: Portland Committee Reviews Arrest of Nine-Year-Old Girl

Video: Portland Committee Reviews Arrest of Nine-Year-Old Girl

Portland’s Citizen Review Committee heard testimony Wednesday from Latoya Harris, the mother of a nine-year-old who was arrested by two officers in Oregon a year ago. 

According to KOIN 6 News, the child was wearing a wet swimsuit when she was handcuffed, placed into the back of a cop car and taken into custody at an adult jail, where she was held in isolation. Police arrived to Harris’s home and arrested the child on suspicion of a fight with another child at a community center a few days previously.

Harris is also taking legal action against the Portland Police Bureau. 

Boko Haram Massacre, FCC Net Neutrality Letter and Simulated Universe

Boko Haram Massacre, FCC Net Neutrality Letter and Simulated Universe

Here’s what I’m catching up on this morning (especially the simulated universe video!):

  • This computer model of the universe is pretty amazing:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Fast Food Worker Protests Going Global?

Fast Food Worker Protests Going Global?

Coordinated protests by fast food workers are expected to occur in 150 U.S. cities and more than 30 countries on Thursday, May 15, according to early news reports. Small scale demonstrations by employees of McDonald’s—reported by Salon to be a target abroad—and other fast food chains have gained national attention since 2012. The planned global action would mark a significant escalation in U.S. fast food workers’ efforts to secure a $15-an-hour wage and other reforms. 

A major financial supporter of the global effort, reports the AP, is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the fastest growing labor unions in the country. With more than 2 million members, SEIU is also the union to which Constance Malcolm belongs. She is the mother of unarmed teen Ramarley Graham, shot and killed in February 2012 by the NYPD in their Bronx home. Malcolm’s local, 1199SEIU, was a key organizer of the city’s 2012 Father’s Day march against stop-and-frisk, which Malcolm believes led to her son’s shooting. 

Later this afternoon at a New York McDonald’s, the AP reports, is when labor organizers will officially announce the May 15 global protests.

Obama on Nigeria, Rich Homie Quan Collapses and Kevin Durant’s Speech

Obama on Nigeria, Rich Homie Quan Collapses and Kevin Durant's Speech

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • The NBA’s Kevin Durant says his mother is the real MVP: 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Devastating Climate Report, Nigerian Schoolgirls Update and Spotting Saturn

Devastating Climate Report, Nigerian Schoolgirls Update and Spotting Saturn

Here’s some of the news I’m reading about this morning: 

  • The FAA acknowledges that the 50 cancelled flights and 455 delays at LAX last week were caused by a Cold War-era spy plane. 
  • The health of the Indiana man who contracted the potentially deadly MERS virus is improving
TAGS: Morning Rush

Kansas City Bans Smoking Inside Public Housing Apartments

Kansas City Bans Smoking Inside Public Housing Apartments

In Kansas City, Missouri residents can no longer smoke indoors or in their own yards if they live in public housing. The smoking ban in all 1,700 units begins July 1 but smokers can seek a six-month extension to January 1, 2015. The Kansas City ban, which affects 5,000 families, 80 percent of whom are African-American, is part of a trend. Since 2009 and at HUD’s urging, according to The Kansas City Star, nearly one-third of public housing authorities around the country have implemented property-wide smoking bans.

Needless to say many KC public housing residents who smoke are, eh hem, unhappy. Besides the public health benefits, the ban raises privacy concerns and carries the potential for eviction if residents can’t control their addiction. Talk about new incentive to quit.

Former Abercrombie Manager Explains Systemic Discrimination

Former Abercrombie Manager Explains Systemic Discrimination

In an essay published on Salon, Oliver Lee Bateman, a former manager for Abercrombie & Fitch describes how he got recruited without so much as an interview—and perpetuated crass discrimination against people of color and people of size. Bateman, who’s now a history professor, explains how the company not only discriminates in the employee hiring process, but also how it encourages those employees to do its bidding on the sales floor: 

Allow me to recap:  there’s this awful, terrible, gross, maleficent company that I and thousands of other foolish young people have worked for. It’s run by some of the nastiest pieces of work in retail. Its reluctant employees, hired because they have college degrees and prepossessing, phenotypically Caucasian/Aryan bodies, are encouraged to join in the fun:  ridicule the brand representatives, laugh at fat people, and hate on everybody who isn’t “collegiate” and “quality.”

You can read the essay, titled “I sold my body (and nearly my soul) to Abercrombie,” in its entirety on Salon. 

Circus Accident, Target CEO Resigns and Astroid Bolts by Earth

Circus Accident, Target CEO Resigns and Astroid Bolts by Earth
Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:
 
  • Target’s CEO finally resigns after December’s massive data breach. 
  • You know when you don’t want to unfollow, but you don’t want to see that person’s tweets? You can mute them now
TAGS: Morning Rush

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos’ Healthcare Enrollment

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos' Healthcare Enrollment

Latinos posted lower than projected signup rates in President Obama’s healthcare enrollment, according to new numbers released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services. Part of that may have been due to families’ fears about how handing over information to the government.

Advocates in California and other states warned that among other rollout snags was hesitation in the community that signing up would also alert other sectors of government about family members who are undocumented, the Washington Post reported.

From the Washington Post

Sign-ups among Hispanics lagged initially, notably in California, which has been viewed as a bellwether for the nation because the state embraced the ACA and because it historically has had a very large and diverse uninsured population. The state spent millions targeting Latinos for sign-up, but participation was dismal late last year. Advocates complained that there were not enough Spanish-speaking counselors and that legal U.S. residents feared alerting the government to their unlawfully present relatives.

Advocates outside of California noticed a similar trend, attributing the lagging Hispanic enrollment to a delay in the Spanish-language version of the federal enrollment Web site, HealthCare.gov, as well as technical difficulties experienced by people in families with mixed immigration status who were trying to enroll on the federal marketplace.

 

 


Hispanics historically have had the nation’s highest rate of uninsured, with 
29 percentwithout coverage in 2012, according to Census Bureau figures. About 17 percent of African Americans15 percent of Asian Americans and 10 percent of whites did not have health insurance that year.

Over the past seven months of enrollment, attention has focused on Hispanics because they represent a huge proportion of the nation’s uninsured. Moreover, the population skews younger than the American public at large, making them key to the White House’s goal of ensuring robust enrollment by healthy young people.

According to the report, people who identified themselves as Latino accounted for 7.4 percent of total sign-ups in the 36 states with federal-run exchanges. The administration cautioned, however, that it did not have ethnicity data for about 31 percent of people selecting coverage on the federal marketplaces. The report also didn’t include data from the 15 state-run exchanges, and it doesn’t account for people who may have obtained coverage through Medicaid.

 

TAGS:

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos’ Healthcare Enrollment

Fears About Immigration Consequences Affected Latinos' Healthcare Enrollment

Latinos posted lower than projected signup rates in President Obama’s healthcare enrollment, according to new numbers released Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services. Part of that may have been due to families’ fears about how handing over information to the government.

Advocates in California and other states warned that among other rollout snags was hesitation in the community that signing up would also alert other sectors of government about family members who are undocumented, the Washington Post reported.

From the Washington Post

Sign-ups among Hispanics lagged initially, notably in California, which has been viewed as a bellwether for the nation because the state embraced the ACA and because it historically has had a very large and diverse uninsured population. The state spent millions targeting Latinos for sign-up, but participation was dismal late last year. Advocates complained that there were not enough Spanish-speaking counselors and that legal U.S. residents feared alerting the government to their unlawfully present relatives.

Advocates outside of California noticed a similar trend, attributing the lagging Hispanic enrollment to a delay in the Spanish-language version of the federal enrollment Web site, HealthCare.gov, as well as technical difficulties experienced by people in families with mixed immigration status who were trying to enroll on the federal marketplace.

 

Florida Passes In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Florida Passes In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Florida governor Rick Scott is expected to sign #HB851 today. The legislation, now passed by both state houses, will allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition there. The bill cleared its biggest hurdle Thursday, when the Republican-controlled Senate voted to approve it—senators had killed previous efforts to do so.

Once the bill is signed, Florida will become the 21st state to create tuition equity for undocumented students. The effort was led was students themselves, who’ve been fighting to pay in-state tuition for years. It represents a massive victory, where Republicans control the governorship, the Senate and the House. 

(h/t Palm Beach Post)

L.A. N.A.A.C.P. Chief Resigns Over Sterling Flap

L.A. N.A.A.C.P. Chief Resigns Over Sterling Flap

The Los Angeles branch of the N.A.A.C.P. faced intense scrutiny for its plans to award disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling a second lifetime achievement award. Yesterday, the president of the branch, Leon Jenkins, resigned amid an investigation by the organization’s California state conference, the New York Times reports.  

Under Jenkins’ leadership the branch gave Sterling, who has donated $45,000 to the branch since 2007, a similar award in 2009. 

From the Times:

In announcing Mr. Jenkins’s resignation, the national N.A.A.C.P. said it was “developing guidelines for its branches to help them in their award selection process.”

Mr. Jenkins could not be reached for comment after his resignation was made public. When questioned by a reporter outside his office in a Culver City shopping mall on Wednesday, he said only, “I’d talk to you if I could, but I’ve been told not to.”

Sterling’s racist words weren’t the only indication of his views. In 2009 he agreed to pay $2.725 million to settle a housing discrimination suit connected to apartment buildings that he owned. 

‘Documented’ Opens in Theaters

'Documented' Opens in Theaters

Jose Antonio Vargas’s “Documented” opens in theaters today. Vargas, a Pulitzer-winning journalist, published a story in the New York Times Magazine in 2011 that revealed his undocumented status—and was then featured in Time Magazine. His documentary is about immigration, but it’s also a deeply personal film that illustrates how bad policy creates borders between family members.

Vargas tells Colorlines that it was important for him to make an honest film. But as difficult as “Documented” is to watch at times, the viewer is rewarded with an intimate look at a complex life. We’ll be sharing a Q+A with Vargas here next week.

The film opens in New York today, and will air on CNN this summer. 

Jobs Surge, New Michael Jackson Song from 1983 and Mars Rover Selfies

Jobs Surge, New Michael Jackson Song from 1983 and Mars Rover Selfies

Here’s what I’m reading up on today: 

  • There’s a new Michael Jackson song—from 1983: 

  • NASA’s Curiosity rover takes selfies before test drilling on Mars. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Live Chat: Scholars Discuss Beauty, Black Women, Bodies—and Beyoncé

Live Chat: Scholars Discuss Beauty, Black Women, Bodies--and Beyoncé

Yet another must-see live chat is set for this evening. And this one’s titled: “Beyoncé: Beauty. Body. Blackness.”

Tonight, leading black female scholars and public intellectuals will gather at Drexel University from 6-8:30pm ET to discuss black women, beauty, bodies and blackness all through the lens of Queen Bey herself. The event will include a viewing of Beyoncé’s visual album, and promises to be a rich conversation. 

The lineup of speakers includes:

  • Joan Morgan, cultural critic; author of “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roots”
  • Yaba Blay, PhD, co-director of Africana studies at Drexel University; author of “(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race”
  • Brittney Cooper, PhD, assistant professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University; co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective
  • Esther Armah, journalist, playwright and MSNBC political commentator
  • Dr. Kaila Story, associate professor, women’s and gender studies / Pan-African studies; Audre Lorde Chair in race, class, gender, and sexuality studies at University of Louisville
  • Treva Lindsey, PhD, assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at the Ohio State University.

Tonight’s event is hosted by Africana Studies at Drexel University and co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Women’s Studies program and the Drexel University Media Studies Group.

The conversation is set to be live-streamed here, starting at 6pm ET.

Warpaint Guitarist Says Beyoncé Looks ‘Like a Slut’

Warpaint Guitarist Says Beyoncé Looks 'Like a Slut'

For starters, there’s a band called Warpaint. No comment. 

But anyway, during a recent interview with Q Magazine, the band’s guitarist, Theresa Wayman, had some choice words about Rihanna and Beyoncé:

“She [Rihanna] has an insane voice, she could’ve done something so much more subtle and artful,” suggests the Warpaint’s Theresa Wayman, who also was dismayed by Beyonce’s recent adoption of twerking.

“It just gets worse,” she adds. “Every song on Beyonce’s last album has her basically looking like a slut and she does not need to do that. She’s gorgeous and so fucking talented. And they all take it as women’s liberation!”

The post doesn’t make clear who the “they” are that are taking anything “as women’s liberation.” Is it Riri and Bey? Their fans? Black women? It’s unclear. 

Wayman responded to pushback about her statements with a quasi apology on the band’s Facebook page. It reads, in part:

What I was referring to, specifically, was my take on the video clip for “Superpower” where I felt her role in that clip undermined the song - which is one of my favorites. That’s pretty much it. As a fan I was confused with her choice to sexualize herself in that particular moment. On the other hand “Drunk in Love”, in my humble opinion, is so powerful in it’s sexuality. I could watch that on a loop forever. Ultimately she can do whatever the fuck she wants.

Pretty sure Beyoncé already knows she can do whatever she wants, though.

(h/t Consequence of Sound)

Florida Jail Blast Kills 2, New Rob Ford Video and ‘MFA vs. POC’

Florida Jail Blast Kills 2, New Rob Ford Video and 'MFA vs. POC'

Here’s what I’m reading this morning: 

  • May Day protestors in Istanbul defy a rally ban and clash with riot police. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

In Sterling’s Wake, is Snyder Next?

In Sterling's Wake, is Snyder Next?

It seemed like everyone applauded the National Basketball Association’s decision yesterday to bar Clippers owner Don Sterling for life. But some also noted that while racism is being seriously challenged in the NBA, the same isn’t true for the National Football League:

Senator Harry Reid, (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor today to call on the NFL’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, to take action to get the Washington D.C. football team to change its name. Reid cited precedent:

It’s been done before, right here in Washington, D.C. 17 years ago [the owner of the] Washington Bullets, and the late Abe Pollin, a wonderful man, Madam President, saw all of the gun violence and murders taking place in the DC area. And what did he do? He voluntarily decided that name, Washington Bullets, wasn’t any good and changed [the] name. He didn’t his team to be associated with bullets. So he changed the name of this organization: the Washington Bullets to the Washington Wizards. The Wizards is a good name. Don’t you think Daniel Snyder can come up with a name? It should be easy. 

Do you think the Washington team will change its name any time soon?

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