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  1. Today
  2. Khamisi

    Lutan Fyah

    Anthony Martin (born 4 December 1975), better known as Lutan Fyah, is a Jamaican musician, singer, and member of the Rastafari movement Bobo Shanti. Born in Spanish Town, Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica, Martin studied Architecture at the University of Technology and played professional football for Constant Spring F.C. before focusing on music. Using the stage name Lutan Fyah, sometimes credited as Lute and Fyah, he started his musical career in 1999. He recorded his first songs for Buju Banton's Gargamel Records. His first two albums were released by Lustre Kings and Minor 7 Flat 5, the latter of which included Lutan Fyah as guest artist on albums by Turbulence and Luciano. Lutan Fyah also released several singles on various label from Jamaica, United States and the UK, and has also covered Dr. Dre songs and The Fugees. He has appeared on many compilation albums and featured in many other artists song releases. In 2009 Dubstep artist Rusko released Babylon Volume 2 including the track "Sound Guy Is My Target" featuring Fyah. Lutan Fyah has voiced a number of singles for Jah Warrior including Never Surrender My Faith, Let Righteousness Be Your Guide, Jah is living featuring Khalilah Rose and Crab Inna Barrel. Lutan Fyah has performed several times at the Uppsala Reggae Festival.

    • Genres: Dancehall, French Reggae, Lovers Rock, Modern Reggae and Roots Reggae

    • Popularity: 48/100
    • Montly Listeners: 0
    • Followers: 121,974

    Popularity: 48/100

    Montly Listeners: 0

    Followers: 121,974

  3. Khamisi

    The Roots

    The Roots are an American hip hop band formed in 1987 by Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The Roots serve as the house band on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, having served in the same role on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014. The Roots are known for a jazzy and eclectic approach to hip hop featuring live musical instruments and the group's work has consistently been met with critical acclaim. ThoughtCo ranked the band #7 on its list of the 25 Best Hip-Hop Groups of All-Time, calling them "Hip-hop's first legitimate band."

    • Genres: Alternative Hip Hop, Conscious Hip Hop, East Coast Hip Hop, Hardcore Hip Hop, Hip Hop, Philly Rap, Political Hip Hop and Southern Hip Hop

    • Popularity: 60/100
    • Montly Listeners: 0
    • Followers: 1,179,592

    Popularity: 60/100

    Montly Listeners: 0

    Followers: 1,179,592

  4. Khamisi

    Gang Starr

    Gang Starr was an American hip hop duo, consisting of Texas record producer DJ Premier and Massachusetts rapper Guru. Gang Starr was at its height from 1989 to 2003 and are considered one of the best MC-and-producer duos in hip hop history. They are recognized for being one of the pioneers of jazz rap. Some of their top hits include "Mass Appeal", "Take It Personal", "Moment of Truth" and "Above The Clouds".

    • Genres: Alternative Hip Hop, Conscious Hip Hop, East Coast Hip Hop, Gangster Rap, Hardcore Hip Hop, Hip Hop and Rap

    • Popularity: 60/100
    • Montly Listeners: 0
    • Followers: 769,688

    Popularity: 60/100

    Montly Listeners: 0

    Followers: 769,688

  5. Last week
  6. Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, told a House subcommittee chaired by Rep. André Carson that the Pentagon is encouraging pilots and other military personnel to report anything unusual they see. WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress held its first hearing in half a century Tuesday on unidentified flying objects. And no, there is still no government confirmation of extraterrestrial life. Testifying before a House Intelligence subcommittee, Pentagon officials did not disclose additional information from their ongoing investigation of hundreds of unexplained sightings in the sky. But they said they had picked a director for a new task force to coordinate data collection efforts on what the government has officially labeled “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, said the Pentagon was also trying to destigmatize the issue and encourage pilots and other military personnel to report anything unusual they see. Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie speaks during a hearing of the House Intelligence, Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation Subcommittee hearing on “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,” on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) “We want to know what’s out there as much as you want to know what’s out there,” Moultrie told lawmakers, adding that he was a fan of science fiction himself. “We get the questions not just from you. We get it from family and we get them night and day.” Lawmakers from both parties say UFOs are a national security concern. Sightings of what appear to be aircraft flying without discernible means of propulsion have been reported near military bases and coastlines, raising the prospect that witnesses have spotted undiscovered or secret Chinese or Russian technology. But the sightings are usually fleeting. Some appear for no more than an instant on camera — and then sometimes end up distorted by the camera lens. The U.S. government is believed to hold additional technical information on the sightings that it has not disclosed publicly. An interim report released by intelligence officials last year counted 144 sightings of aircraft or other devices apparently flying at mysterious speeds or trajectories. In all but one of the sightings investigated, there was too little information for investigators to even broadly characterize the nature of the incident. A top Pentagon official on Tuesday briefly demonstrated the challenge. Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, stood next to a television to show a short video taken from an F-18 military plane. The video shows a blue sky with passing clouds. In a single frame — which it took several minutes for staff in the room to queue up — there is an image of one balloon-like shape. “As you can see, finding UAP is harder than you may think,” Bray said, using the acronym for “unidentified aerial phenomena.” Rep. André Carson, an Indiana Democrat who chaired the hearing, called on investigators to show they “are willing to follow the facts where they lead.” Rep. Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, noted that the investigations were not “about finding alien spacecraft but about delivering dominant intelligence.” “The inability to understand objects in our sensitive operating areas is tantamount to intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid,” he said. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Pentagon official tells House subcommittee that agency is investigating UFO sightings appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  7. Local elected officials must redo thousands, a laborious process that may delay results in some closely contested races. Printing mistakes will force local election officials in Pennsylvania and Oregon to redo thousands of mailed ballots, a laborious process that could delay results for some closely contested races in Tuesday’s primaries. In Pennsylvania, where GOP primaries for governor and U.S. Senate are drawing national attention, officials in Republican-leaning Lancaster County said the company that printed its mailed ballots included the wrong ID code, preventing scanning machines from being able to read them. The problem involved at least 21,000 mailed ballots, only a third of which were scanning properly. The glitch will force election workers to hand-mark fresh ballots, a process expected to take several days. Officials in the county, the state’s sixth-most populous, pledged that all the ballots will be counted eventually. Polling judge Frank Kosek, right, Elaine Rhone, left, guide her ballot into a voting machine during the Pennsylvania primary election, at Mont Alto United Methodist Church in Alto, Pa., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/ Carolyn Kaster) “Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” Josh Parsons, a Republican and vice chair of the county board of commissioners, said at a news conference. “But because of this, we’re not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days, so that is very, very frustrating to us.” In Oregon, where all registered voters receive a mailed ballot, officials in one politically pivotal county are dealing with a similar problem. More than half the ballots sent to voters in Clackamas County, the state’s third-most populous, included a blurry bar code that cannot be read by ballot-scanning machines. Teams that include both Democrats and Republicans are duplicating every ballot so they can be scanned and extra workers were brought in to help. In a statement, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan called the issues in Clackamas County “unacceptable,” but said she was confident the final results would be accurate. Clackamas County includes part of Oregon’s new 6th Congressional District, formed after the state gained a U.S. House seat following the 2020 census. It also includes the newly redrawn 5th Congressional District, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader was in early returns trailing progressive Jamie McLeod-Skinner, an attorney and former city planner who is aligned with the party’s progressives. In a statement released by the campaign, McLeod-Skinner said of the vote-counting problems: “Now more than ever, it’s important that we respect the integrity of our elections. We know the ballots may take additional time to be counted and we respect the state’s process. What matters most is that every Oregonian’s vote is counted.” Pennsylvania and Oregon were among five states holding primaries Tuesday, along with Idaho, Kentucky and North Carolina, where slight morning delays had been reported at polling places in three counties. The mailed ballot misprint was just one of several voting problems to flare up on Election Day across Pennsylvania, a state where former President Donald Trump disputed his loss to Joe Biden in 2020 and where many Republican lawmakers have repeated his false claims of a stolen election. In Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County, higher-than-expected turnout led some polling places to run low on ballots. County spokeswoman Amie Downs said she could not confirm reports that some voters had been turned away, but said all polling locations that needed extra ballots had received them. Allegheny County Councilman Sam DeMarco, who also serves as an election commissioner and county GOP chair, said the situation added to concerns some Republicans have about the voting process. “It’s just giving them more reason to doubt the integrity of the election, and they can feel that things are against them,” he said. County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam, a Democrat who also serves as an election commissioner, said the ballot shortages were affecting both Republican and Democratic primary voters. “Elections Division does its best to predict turnout at each of the 1,323 precincts in Allegheny County, but it’s not an exact science,” Hallam said. “We’ll use the reported shortages from this election to better predict how many to provide for the next election and work hard to prevent it from happening in the future.” In Berks County, Pennsylvania, a judge ruled Tuesday that all polling places would remain open an hour later, until 9 p.m. Eastern, after several locations experienced technical issues with electronic pollbooks that are used to check in voters. Voters who arrive at polling places after 8 p.m. will have to cast provisional ballots rather than using voting machines. Workers check ballots at elections offices in Clackamas County, Oregon, the state’s third most populous county south of Portland, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus) The wrongly coded mail ballots in Lancaster County drew renewed attention to a 2019 state voting law — passed with bipartisan support — that greatly expanded voting by mail, a frequent Trump target. Local election officials throughout the state have criticized several of the law’s restrictions, especially one that prevents them from processing mailed ballots before Election Day. That would allow counties to get a head-start on validating those ballots and start identifying any errors. The Lancaster County board chairman, Ray D’Agostino, called the law “untenable” for counties trying to run elections. County officials said the contractor, Claysburg, Pennsylvania-based NPC, sent the county test ballots with the correct ID code, but used the wrong code on the ones sent to voters. NPC did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment, but D’Agostino said the company had taken “full responsibility.” Pennsylvania Department of State spokesperson Ellen Lyon said no other counties had reported similar issues. County election workers now must recreate voters’ choices on blank ballots. Lancaster County, which went for Trump by about 16 percentage points over Biden in the 2020 presidential contest, had to use a similar process during primaries last year because of a printing error by a different vendor that was later fired. Christa Miller, chief clerk of voter registration, said an elections worker will read out each voter’s choices, a second worker will record them on a blank ballot, and an observer will make sure the choices are marked correctly. “Our main priority is accuracy and not how fast we can do something,” she said. Associated Press writers Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon, and Chris Grygiel in Seattle contributed to this report. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Printing errors mar mailed ballots in Oregon, Pennsylvania appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  8. As a Black progressive, Lee has been a standout candidate who could fit well with left-wing Democrats on Capitol Hill. Tuesday night, Pennsylvania State Rep. Summer Lee narrowly led in her primary race to fill an open seat in her state’s 12th Congressional District. The seat is one that was safe for Democrats, but as a progressive woman of color, Lee has been a standout candidate who voters seem to agree will fit in well on Capitol Hill as part of The Squad. While supporters of Lee have already declared victory, votes yet to be tallied won’t be released until Friday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. As reported by Vox, Lee’s nearly guaranteed election to the U.S. House of Representatives is another win for progressive Dems like those of Missouri Rep. Cori Bush and New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman in 2020 — and, before them, congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley of New York, Michigan, Minnesota and Massachusetts, respectively. Pennsylvania Democratic congressional candidate state Rep. Summer Lee talks to the press outside her polling station Tuesday after voting with Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey (left). (Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) Lee’s likely win — along with that of Austin City Council member Greg Casar in Texas’ 35th Congressional District — would add two new progressives to the House. And, as Vox notes, with increased numbers comes increased sway over policy. Lee represents north-central and northeastern parts of Pennsylvania, a district that includes part of Pittsburgh. A tried-and-true progressive, Lee supports Medicare-for-all, a Green New Deal, and expanding and packing the Supreme Court, per Vox. She’s also a vocal proponent of environmental justice. “I think about all the communities in Pennsylvania that have not seen the type of representation that I’m looking to bring and to offer — folks who will value and really lift up poor working folks, and Black and brown folks, and I recognize there’s a cohort of people who’ve already been fighting for that,” Lee said in an MSNBC interview. “And it would be an honor to join that.” Having won the primary, Lee is almost guaranteed to win the general election this fall, making her the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress. “There is a movement there in Allegheny County to move on from the old guard of leadership that’s been there for decades,” said Justice Democrats’ spokesperson Usamah Andrabi. Justice Democrats is a progressive political action committee founded in 2017 by former leaders from Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign. Another race where progressives stood out and forced a runoff is for the 28th Congressional District in Texas, where immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros held her own against Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar. Progressive candidates seeking office in other states — including Kina Collins for Illinois’ Seventh District, Rana Abdelhamid for New York’s 12th District and Odessa Kelly for Tennessee’s Seventh District — have the support of Justice Democrats in those pending elections. Congress’ most left-wing clique has been able to use their popularity with the public and media to be vocal about everything from additional stimulus checks and legislation on prescription drugs to —most recently — canceling student loan debt. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Future member of ‘The Squad’? Progressive Summer Lee likely winner in Pa. House primary appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  9. OPINION: The popular TV franchise provides a model for the committee investigating the insurrection to cut through the noise and apply pressure to the Department of Justice to act. Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio. A word of advice to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection as it gears up for public hearings set to begin on June 9: bring the drama with a side of screenshots and secret recordings, a la some of the all-stars of The Real Housewives franchises. If the committee can channel the likes of Kenya Moore, Garcelle Beauvais, Monique Samuels and Shereé Whitfield as the committee members lay out their case against those who organized and incited the violent insurrection, they may be able to make some headway with the public—a public that is apparently paying less and less attention to the investigation. Why is that, you ask? Well, if nothing else, these housewives know how to deliver a good read with receipts, and let’s not forget that some of the biggest cultural moments in recent memory are thanks to The Real Housewives franchises. That said, this could be a viable model for the Jan. 6 select committee to replicate as it does its best to cut through the noise and apply pressure to the Department of Justice to act. The House select committee has already promised that more bombshells will be coming during the next few weeks, and if the previously leaked text messages and recordings signal anything at all, it’s that these leaks will be significant. At this point, it’s simply a question of how to make the leaks and the details in the hearings stick in the minds of the public and voters. Cue the “Housewives Handbook.” Kenya, Garcelle, Monique and Shereé each know how to make a mark, for better or for worse, that penetrates our collective psyche. I mean, who can forget the Kenya Moore Haircare two-piece drumline, Garcelle working overtime asking Erika Jayne uncomfortable questions we all want the answers to, Monique’s color-coded binder full of screenshots or Shereé asking her party planner, “Who gon’ check me, boo?” These iconic moments can serve as a road map for the select committee’s hearings and ensure that they provide powerful public messaging, strategically present witness testimony, and never back down in the face of Republicans’ obstruction. Garcelle Beauvais attends the UNICEF At 75 Celebration at NeueHouse Los Angeles on November 30, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) Thinking back to Kenya Moore’s drumline, remember that she was able to upend Marlo’s entire event with a simple beat, a clear slogan and a few treats for guests. This is exactly how the select committee should treat the upcoming drip of new details. This is their opportunity to frame the hearings with a simple message. Whether that frame is Trump and Republicans in Congress attempted a coup or Trump and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were the masterminds, the message must be strong enough to preempt any counter-messaging from Republicans and easy enough for voters to repeat to themselves and others after the hearings. The select committee has to sell all of the facts and evidence of this investigation with a steady drumbeat of information, and the message framing is critical. It is also essential that the select committee wastes no time in getting to the heart of the matter, just like Garcelle did in her relentless questioning of Erika Jayne’s legal issues in Season 11 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and in last week’s Season 12 premiere. Garcelle has consistently delivered for viewers by getting answers to the questions we all have, and we need that same energy from the select committee. They must grab our attention immediately by leading with answers to the questions that we all want to know. For example, how does everything tie back to Trump? Who knew what, and did what, when? Don’t make people wait for these juicy details. Lay it all out upfront and be as relentless as Garcelle about repeating those answers for everyone to hear. And the select committee must stay organized about all of the details, just like Monique Samuels with her color-coded binder of receipts, screenshots, and piping hot tea. When it came to making her case on-air, Monique’s strategically placed binder of evidence set a new standard, and it put a nice bow on each read she delivered. It would be similarly beneficial for the select committee to leverage all of the evidence collected from nearly 1,000 interviews to explicitly expose Trump, his actions in planning and executing this attempted coup, and his intentions to overturn an election. If the committee does this as effectively as Monique did, they can hand off their binder to the Department of Justice alongside their criminal referrals, and there’s no way that Attorney General Merrick Garland would be able to ignore their findings. Last but not least, the select committee cannot back down, especially when it comes to the five subpoenas they issued to sitting members of Congress who were in direct contact with Trump and the White House before, during, and after the January 6 insurrection. This is where Shereé comes in. When pushed by a disgruntled party planner, Shereé made it clear that she was ready to escalate matters if she needed to, exclaiming in the heat of an argument, “Who gonna check me, boo?” The select committee must channel her tone and approach, especially since the investigation will be ongoing throughout the hearings. Backing down on enforcing these subpoenas would only signal to Republicans that their refusal to comply is acceptable when in reality, their compliance is integral to getting the accountability we all deserve to witness. Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson has made it clear that the committee will use all tools and resources available to them, so maybe, just maybe the select committee might be able to pull this off. Juanita Tolliver is a veteran political strategist and MSNBC Political Analyst who previously served as National Political Director at Supermajority and Director of Campaigns at the Center for American Progress. Follow her on Twitter: @juanitatolliver. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post What ‘The Real Housewives’ can teach the Jan. 6 committee ahead of its June hearings appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  10. The 222-203, nearly party-line vote was an answer to the growing pressure Congress faces to address gun violence and white supremacist attacks. The House passed legislation late Wednesday night that would bolster federal resources to prevent domestic terrorism in response to the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York. Cariol Horne, and Drea DNur attend a vigil across the street from Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. (Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) The 222-203, nearly party-line vote was an answer to the growing pressure Congress faces to address gun violence and white supremacist attacks — a crisis that escalated following two mass shootings over the weekend. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the congressional committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol, was the lone Republican to vote in favor of the measure. But the legislative effort by Democrats is not new. The House passed a similar measure in 2020 only to have it languish in the Senate. And since lawmakers lack the support in the Senate to move forward with any sort of gun-control legislation they see as necessary to stop mass shootings, Democrats are instead putting their efforts into a broader federal focus on domestic terrorism. “We in Congress can’t stop the likes of (Fox News host) Tucker Carlson from spewing hateful, dangerous replacement theory ideology across the airwaves. Congress hasn’t been able to ban the sale of assault weapons. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act is what Congress can do this week to try to prevent future Buffalo shootings,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., who first introduced the measure in 2017, said on the House floor. Replacement theory is a racist ideology that alleges white people and their influence are being intentionally “replaced” by people of color through immigration and higher birth rates. It’s being investigated as a motivating factor in Saturday’s supermarket shooting that killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York, all of them Black. Police say an 18-year-old white man drove three hours to carry out a racist, livestreamed shooting rampage in a crowded supermarket. Supporters of the House bill say it will fill the gaps in intelligence-sharing among the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI so that officials can better track and respond to the growing threat of white extremist terrorism. Under current law, the three federal agencies already work to investigate, prevent and prosecute acts of domestic terrorism. But the bill would require each agency to open offices specifically dedicated to those tasks and create an interagency task force to combat the infiltration of white supremacy in the military. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would cost about $105 million over five years, with most of the money going toward hiring staff. The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) “As we took 9/11 seriously, we need to take this seriously. This is a domestic form of the same terrorism that killed the innocent people of New York City and now this assault in Buffalo and many other places,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is sponsoring an identical bill in the Senate. Senate Democrats are pledging to bring up the bill for a vote next week. But its prospects are uncertain, with Republicans opposed to bolstering the power of the Justice Department in domestic surveillance. Republican lawmakers assert that the Justice Department abused its power to conduct more domestic surveillance when Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo in October aimed at combating threats against school officials nationwide. They labeled the memo as targeting concerned parents. GOP lawmakers also say the bill doesn’t place enough emphasis on combatting domestic terrorism committed by groups on the far left. Under the bill, agencies would be required to produce a joint report every six months that assesses and quantifies domestic terrorism threats nationally, including threats posed by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups. Police and FBI agents continue their investigation of the shooting at Tops market on May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) “This bill glaringly ignores the persistent domestic terrorism threat from the radical left in this country and instead makes the assumption that it is all on the white and the right,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. The divergence highlights the stubborn gap between Democrats and Republicans over domestic terrorism in the U.S. and how it should be defined and prosecuted. For decades, terrorism has been consistently tied with attacks from foreign actors, but as homegrown terrorism, often perpetrated by white men, has flourished over the past two decades, Democratic lawmakers have sought to clarify it in federal statute. “We’ve seen it before in American history. The only thing missing between these organizations and the past are the white robes,” Durbin said. “But the message is still the same hateful, divisive message, that sets off people to do outrageously extreme things, and violent things, to innocent people across America. It’s time for us to take a stand.” TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post House passes domestic terrorism bill after Buffalo shooting appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  11. Republicans on Wednesday improved their chances of flipping the only Kansas congressional seat held by a Democrat. TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans on Wednesday improved their chances of flipping the only Kansas congressional seat held by a Democrat, when the state’s highest court upheld the new congressional map they drew. The map slices territory out of the Kansas City-area district Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids has carried by a 2-to-1 margin and replaces it with three counties that former President Donald Trump carried by more than 40 percentage points in 2020. Republicans argued that Davids still would have carried the new district two years ago and that the map was a fair way to rebalance the number of residents in each of the state’s four districts after 10 years of population shifts. Kansas Supreme Court Justice Dan Biles gestures Monday during arguments over whether a new congressional redistricting law enacted by Republican lawmakers violates the state constitution. (Photo: Thad Allton/Kansas Reflector via AP, Pool) Attorneys for the Kansas voters and voting rights group that challenged the map urged the state Supreme Court to declare that broad language about “inalienable natural rights” and “equal protection and benefits” in the state’s bill of rights bars overly partisan and racial gerrymandering. But the justices apparently didn’t see it that way. Their decision bucks what has been a trend in a small but growing number of states since the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in 2019 that complaints about partisan gerrymandering are political issues and not for the federal courts to resolve. “The only remedy for people wanting to challenge maps is in state courts,” said Michael Li, an attorney and redistricting expert for the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice. “Kansas is potentially the only one that may say it isn’t covered by the state constitution.” However, the Kansas court’s reasoning is not yet clear. Its opinion was two paragraphs long, saying only that the voters and voting rights group challenging the map “have not prevailed on their claims” that the map violated the state constitution and that a full opinion would come later. This image shows the January “Ad Astra 2” congressional redistricting plan for Kansas drafted by the Kansas Legislative Research Department for Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled legislature, a congressional map that would likely make it harder for the only Democrat in the state’s delegation to win reelection this year. (AP via Kansas Legislative Research Department) The brief decision was written by Justice Caleb Stegall, who is seen as the most conservative of the court’s seven justices, five of whom were appointed by Democratic governors. During arguments from attorneys on Monday, he questioned whether anyone could clearly define improper partisan gerrymandering. Lawsuits over new congressional district lines have proliferated across the U.S., with Republicans looking to recapture a U.S. House majority in this year’s midterm elections. Congressional maps in at least 17 states have inspired lawsuits, according to the Brennan Center. State courts have issued decisions favoring Democrats in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. New York’s highest court recently declared that that state’s new districts were gerrymandered to favor Democrats. In Kansas, the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted the map over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto, and Davids said Wednesday that new district lines resulted from “rushed hearings” and “back-room deals.” Her likely GOP opponent, Amanda Adkins, said in a statement that the new map “is evidence that our democratic process works.” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican running for governor, hailed the ruling as a victory for “the public’s right to establish new districts through their elected representatives.” U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids talks to the media during a news conference in Stilwell, Kansas last year. Kansas’ highest court on Wednesday upheld a Republican redistricting law that makes it harder for Davids, the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation, to win reelection in a big victory for the GOP. (Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP, File) In the past, Kansas congressional district lines have been reviewed by federal judges and not the state Supreme Court. The state’s solicitor general, appointed by Schmidt, argued that because the state constitution doesn’t specifically mention gerrymandering or congressional redistricting, the Kansas Supreme Court should reject the legal challenges. Democrats worried that the decision gives unfettered power to the Legislature, which almost always has had GOP majorities. They argued that not only was the map drawn to help Republicans unseat Davids in the 3rd District, but that it also diluted the political clout of Black and Latino voters. Twenty voters and voting-rights group Loud Light filed three lawsuits that were consolidated into one, and a lower court sided with them. Davis Hammet, Loud Light’s president, called Wednesday’s ruling “a devastating blow to our democracy.” “It appears that the Kansas Supreme Court just declared all political power is inherent in the Republican Party, not the people,” he said. The map moved the northern part of Kansas City, Kansas, out of the 3rd District represented by Davids and into the larger 2nd District of eastern Kansas represented by Republican Rep. Jake LaTurner. Kansas City, Kansas, is among the few Democratic strongholds in the GOP-leaning state. The map also moved the liberal northeastern Kansas city of Lawrence — a Democratic stronghold that is home to the main University of Kansas campus and is only about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Kansas City — out of the 2nd District. Instead, the city of 95,000 has been added to the already sprawling 1st District, which is dominated by small conservative communities in central and western Kansas. In a separate ruling, the state Supreme Court also upheld maps drawn by Republicans for legislative districts that are expected to preserve the GOP’s supermajorities in both chambers. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Kansas Supreme Court upholds Republican congressional map appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  12. The Roeper School released a statement to Fox 2 on Tuesday saying it was reviewing the circumstances of the incident. A school for gifted students in Birmingham, Michigan, has come under fire after a teacher handed out an assignment that featured pictures of primates alongside a photo of former President Barack Obama. The educator at the Roeper School — which describes itself on its website as “the oldest preschool through grade 12 school for the gifted in the nation” — handed out the assignment earlier this month in a high school biology class, according to Fox 2 in Detroit. A teacher at a school in Birmingham, Michigan, handed out an assignment that featured pictures of primates alongside a photo of former President Barack Obama. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) The worksheet asked students to look through the images of various animals and select the ones that were primates. One of those options was Obama, according to images circulating on social media. The Roeper School released a statement to Fox 2 on Tuesday saying it was aware of the assignment and was currently reviewing its circumstances. The station said it had obtained a letter that was sent to parents in which the school claimed the worksheet was taken from a university website and acknowledged that it was racially offensive and harmful. Some social media users have called out officials at the Roeper School, saying the teacher must have known what was going on. “There’s not noticing a typo, and then there’s not noticing Barack Obama’s face next to a bunch of monkeys,” said one user. “The teacher knew.” The school reportedly declined to provide further information to protect the privacy of its community members, per Fox 2. It is offering counseling services to students and said it will continue to provide staff training aimed at combating racial biases on campus, according to the outlet. The Roeper School, with tuition costs of around $30,000 a year, says on its website that 31% of faculty and students are people of color. A diversity statement on the school’s online homepage reads: “Justice requires that we respect the dignity and worth of every individual by providing equality of opportunity for those to whom opportunities have been historically denied. At Roeper, we believe that our cooperative community respects and embraces diversity thereby emphasizing the relationship between the individual and the community.” TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Michigan school assignment compares President Obama to monkeys appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  13. Though many applaud the May 23 lifting of Title 42, there is concern that the U.S. immigration system will continue to prioritize asylum seekers from European nations. Barring a Louisiana court decision, Title 42, the controversial health law used to enforce immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, will be lifted on May 23. Since being enforced by the Trump administration at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the law has been used to bar migrants seeking asylum from entering the United States. Haitian migrants outside the Central de Autobuses del Norte in Mexico City, who plan to go to various refugee support offices in the capital to try to carry out a procedure that will allow them to stay longer in Mexico in view of the difficulties their compatriots are having to enter the United States. (Photo by Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Last month, the Biden administration announced that it will terminate its enforcement of Title 42, which goes into effect in just days. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) deemed it was “no longer necessary” to suspend migrants from the border due to multiple tools to fight the virus, including vaccines and therapeutics. As the May 23 date approaches, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security advisor for President Joe Biden, acknowledged that the administration is working on the next steps for when Title 42 ultimately ends. When asked by theGrio during Wednesday’s White House press briefing how the lifting of Title 42 will impact the immigration process for Haitian migrants, who have faced a large number of deportations, Sullivan said “we will have to see.” “There are a number of issues bound up in the courts right now,” said Sullivan, who assured that the U.S. has established a process to ensure fairness for Haitian migrants. The national security advisor also claimed that even when Title 42 was in effect, “large numbers of individuals [were] not subject to” the law’s enforcement. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (R) answers questions during the daily briefing with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre (L) at the White House on May 18, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) A White House official close to this issue told theGrio that the new immigration process post-Title 42 will allow asylum seekers to stay in the United States a bit longer than the law currently allows. However, if attempts for asylum are not successful the migrants will be deported. In April, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released a six-part strategy in preparation for an anticipated spike in migrants at the border when Title 42 is lifted, which includes “expanding migrant processing capacity.” But immigration advocates aren’t so confident in the government’s present or future handling of immigration, particularly for those migrating from Haiti and Africa. Nana Gyamfi, executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, told theGrio that she doesn’t have faith in the Biden administration’s border strategy. The immigration expert said that deportations will “happen on an expedited basis, without real due process or effective representation.” Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Greg Meeks told theGrio that he believes the Biden administration will give migrants a fair chance in their pursuit of asylum. The president, he said, wants to ensure there’s an “opportunity for everyone.” US Chairman, Gregory Meeks speaks to media after a trip to Ukraine at the Bristol Hotel on May 01, 2022 in Rzeszow, Poland. (Photo by Omar Marques/Getty Images) “Those that apply for asylum will get a hearing…as opposed to the backlog that has been taking place in that regard,” said Congressman Meeks. The Democratic leader also acknowledged that despite his confidence in the Biden administration’s handling of Haitian and other Black migrants, there is no tolerance for the type of mistreatment exposed by the U.S. Border Patrol last year after photos and videos showed officers angrily shouting at Haitian migrants and apparently using horse reigns as whips against them. “That can’t happen,” said Meeks, who said the images of the mistreatment were “still in [his] mind.” He added, “We’ve got to make sure that…people are treated in a humane way.” Sullivan acknowledged that the Biden administration is cognizant of the optics in the U.S. welcoming asylum migrants coming from war-torn Afghanistan and Ukraine, compared to the high volume of Black and Brown asylum seekers who have faced deportation. Critics of the United States’ immigration policy enforcement have pointed out that Haiti is also a nation rife with violence and instability. The Caribbean nation is considered the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and continues to experience crises following the assassination of its former president and deadly earthquakes. Gang violence has also crippled democratic rule and has prevented Haiti from holding its elections. A woman holds a Haitian flag and roses as people pray together during a church service that is set up outdoors near an encampment after numerous churches were destroyed during the massive earthquake on January 24, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Congressman Meeks said like Ukrainians, Haitians must be “treated with the same dignity and respect,” and that there is still work to be done to ensure that. U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York, who represents one of the largest Haitian populations in the country, told theGrio that Title 42 had “no recognizable public health purpose” and “no public health expert has been supportive” of the law. However, Congressman Jones said he sees some hope for U.S. immigration policy with the upcoming end of Title 42. “It’s a good thing that the Biden administration is now pivoting to other avenues for dealing with the migrant crisis,” he said. “It’s important that we do comprehensive immigration reform moving forward.” Gyamfi of Black Alliance for Just Immigration said that despite the lifting of Title 42, the administration’s policy is still rooted in racism dating back decades. She is concerned that the administration will continue to prioritize migrants from European nations. “Haitian and other Black asylum seekers were not permitted to come in and basically had to watch people go through the white only line,” said Gyamfi, referring to the number of Ukrainians allowed into the United States in recent months. Ukrainian Sasha, who is seeking asylum in the U.S., displays her passport as she waits to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine on April 5, 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico.(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) She criticized Homeland Security’s humanitarian assistance program “Uniting for Ukraine” which streamlines the asylum process for “Ukrainian citizens who have fled Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression opportunities to come to the United States.” Through this program, Gyamfi argued, Ukraine migrants will be able to “seek refuge in ways that we know Haitians and other Black asylum seekers are absolutely not being allowed to come into this country.” “We are looking at this anti-Blackness and this obvious racism in the asylum policy when it comes to the border and comparing Black asylum seekers with others,” she added. While she applauds the ending of Title 42, Gyamfi said she and other advocates are “not naive” in thinking that the racial inequality in the government’s immigration system will suddenly dissipate. “[It’s] rife with anti-Blackness that’s going to impact Black migrants in negative ways,” she said. “And it’s something that we’re still going to have to push back against.” TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Advocates worry Haitian and Black migrants could still face discrimination after Title 42 ends appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  14. The bill aimed at easing the baby formula shortage now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The Senate approved a bill Thursday aimed at easing the baby formula shortage for families participating in a government assistance program that accounts for about half of all formula purchased in the United States. Katherine Gibson-Haynes helps distribute infant formula during a baby formula drive Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Houston. Parents seeking baby formula are running into bare supermarket and pharmacy shelves in part because of ongoing supply disruptions and a recent safety recall. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) The House passed the bill the day before, so it now goes to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. Participants in a program known as WIC get vouchers that are redeemed for specific foods to supplement their diets. The vouchers usually can only be used to purchase one brand of infant formula, which encourages the manufacturer to offer big discounts to secure a state’s business. The bill makes it possible in extenuating circumstances for the Department of Agriculture to waive certain requirements so that WIC participants can purchase whatever brand is available. “Now, millions of parents will have an easier time finding the baby formula that they need,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said after the bill was passed. Also Thursday, the Biden administration said the Defense Department is working to book commercial aircraft to fly about 246 pallets of Nestlé formula from Zurich, Switzerland, to Plainfield, Indiana. Rose Turner through a store with her son Robert Chase while looking for baby formula and money to buy it as the US struggles with a shortage of baby formula May 19, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) The shipments will include the equivalent of up to 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of three formulas — Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junio, and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA, all hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow’s milk protein allergy. The White House said these are a priority because they serve a critical medical purpose and are in short supply. Lawmakers are also considering boosting staffing at the Food and Drug Administration with a $28 million emergency spending bill. That legislation also passed the House this week, but faces uncertain prospects in the Senate. The baby formula shortage was caused by the safety-related closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant. The head of the FDA told lawmakers Thursday that the factory could be up and running as soon as next week. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Senate OKs overhaul of baby formula rules in aid program appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  15. The bill is the latest example of the GOP’s national push to restrict access to what has been a constitutional right for nearly a half-century. Oklahoma lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill prohibiting all abortions with few exceptions, and providers said they would stop performing the procedure as soon as the governor signs it in the latest example of the GOP’s national push to restrict access to what has been a constitutional right for nearly a half century. In this April 12, 2022, file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after signing into law a bill making it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, file) Oklahoma lawmakers this year already passed a half-dozen anti-abortion measures, and while abortion providers across the country have been bracing for the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative majority might further restrict the practice, that has especially been the case in Oklahoma and Texas. Two of Oklahoma’s four abortion clinics already stopped providing abortions after the governor signed a six-week ban earlier this month, and an attorney for the two other independent clinics said Thursday they will no longer offer services once the bill is signed. The bill is likely to reach Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk early next week, and the first-term Republican running for reelection has already said he would sign any anti-abortion bill the Legislature sends to him. It would take effect immediately after he signs it. “This bill could go into effect at any time, and once it does, any person can sue the clinic, the doctors, anyone else who is involved in providing an abortion in Oklahoma,” said Rabia Muqaddam, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing Oklahoma clinics in legal challenges against several proposed new anti-abortion laws. The bills are part of an aggressive push in Republican-led states across the country to scale back abortion rights. It comes on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the nation’s high court that suggests justices are considering weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nearly 50 years ago. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) speaks during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) The bill by Collinsville Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman would prohibit all abortions, except to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement. “Is our goal to defend the right to life or isn’t it?” Stearman asked her colleagues before the bill passed on a 73-16 vote, mostly along party lines. The bill specifically authorizes doctors to remove a “dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion,” or miscarriage, or to remove an ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life-threatening emergency that occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, often in a fallopian tube and early in pregnancy. With all of the state’s abortion clinics expected to stop offering services, it’s not clear where a woman who qualified under one of these exemptions would go to get an abortion because providers say many doctors would be afraid of running afoul of the law. The bill also does not apply to the use of Plan B, other morning-after pills or any type of contraception. Because the bill defines an “unborn child” as a human fetus or embryo in any stage of gestation from fertilization until birth, it is not expected to apply to in vitro fertilization, which is when eggs are fertilized in a lab before being transferred into a woman’s uterus, said Dr. Eli Reshef, an Oklahoma City fertility specialist. “(The bill) does not criminalize what we do,” Reshef said. “No matter one’s position on abortion, we are not concerned about the bill harming our particular profession.” The bill is one of at least three anti-abortion bills sent this year to Stitt. Another abortion bill similar to a Texas bill passed last year that prohibits the procedure after cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo, which experts say is about six weeks, already has taken effect and has already dramatically curtailed the practice in Oklahoma. Another bill set to take effect this summer would make it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. That bill contains no exceptions for rape or incest. A pro-choice demonstrator holds up a sign as they attend an abortion rights rally at the U.S. Supreme Court Building in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade May 3, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) “At this point, we are preparing for the most restrictive environment politicians can create: a complete ban on abortion with likely no exceptions,” said Emily Wales, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which stopped providing abortions at two of its Oklahoma clinics after the six-week ban took effect earlier this month. “It’s the worst-case scenario for abortion care in the state of Oklahoma.” Like the Texas law, the Oklahoma bill would allow private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion. After the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that mechanism to remain in place, other Republican-led states sought to copy Texas’ ban. Idaho’s governor signed the first copycat measure in March, although it has been temporarily blocked by the state’s Supreme Court. After Texas passed its bill last year, there was a dramatic reduction in the number of abortions performed in that state, with many women going to Oklahoma and other surrounding states for the procedure. There are legal challenges pending in Oklahoma to both the bill to criminalize abortion and the six-week Texas ban, both of which could still be halted, but the courts have so far failed to do so. The number of abortions performed each year in Oklahoma has declined steadily over the last two decades, from more than 6,200 in 2002 to 3,737 in 2020, the fewest in more than 20 years, according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. In 2020, before the Texas law was passed, about 9% of the abortions performed in Oklahoma were women from Texas. In the first four months after Texas’ law took effect last September, abortions at clinics in the state dropped an average of 46% compared to the same span the year prior. But studies also found a sharp increase in the number of Texas women who were ordering abortion pills by mail and traveling out of state for abortions. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Oklahoma passes strictest abortion ban; services to stop appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  16. The sexual abuse began after Brown was placed in temporary custody by social services following the arrest of his mother. Bobby Brown is opening up about being molested by a priest in Boston when he was a child and how it affected his journey into adulthood. Speaking to People about his new A&E documentary Biography: Bobby Brown, the 53-year-old R&B superstar explained that the sexual abuse began after he was placed in temporary custody by social services following the arrest of his mother. Bobby Brown attends the 2021 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images) In the series, Brown reveals, “I was sent to a temporary custody by social services which was supposed to be a religious place but it wasn’t a very nice place to be for a child. One of the priests tried to molest me. He tried to touch my private parts … At that time, I was a young boy. I didn’t know what sexual boundaries were. I just knew I didn’t like being touched. Some things are hard to forget.” Brown told the magazine that the encounter — before he fought back and fled the building — “really, really bothered me as a child, and as a grown adult.” He noted, “I think it was part of the reason I did things, other things, drugs, alcohol, why I abused myself.” Brown admits that he spent years burying painful memories of his rough life growing up in Boston, and he coped by taking drugs, consuming alcohol and immersing himself in his music. “I had tucked it down so deep into my soul,” he said, “that I didn’t think that I would talk about it again.” The music icon, who has been free of narcotics for 20 years, is now in a place where he can talk about some of the painful memories from his childhood. He maintains that doing so has helped him “get through a lot of other things that had been bothering me, especially that.” A&E will premiere two separate docuseries on the multiplatinum-selling Grammy Award winner. As reported previously by theGrio, Biography: Bobby Brown will cover Brown’s humble upbringing in the projects of Roxbury, Massachusetts, his first taste of fame with the legendary group New Edition, and his stratospheric solo success. It will also explore his tumultuous downfall, addiction struggles, the deaths of his first wife, Whitney Houston, and children Bobbi Kristina and Bobby Jr., as well as his redemptive rebirth and family life. The first episode of Biography: Bobby Brown will premiere on A&E Monday, May 30, and the second episode on Tuesday, May 31, both at 8 p.m. EST. Directly following Episode Two, Bobby Brown: Every Little Step will premiere at 10 p.m. and continue with new episodes on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. EST, starting June 7. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Bobby Brown opens up about being molested by a priest as a child appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  17. Aaron Salter Jr.’s family also launched a GoFundMe page to help “with this unforeseen tragedy.” It has raised over three times its goal. Shark Tank star Daymond John has offered to pay for the funeral costs of Aaron Salter Jr., the security guard who was shot and killed during the weekend massacre at Tops Friendly Market, according to TMZ. Salter Jr. — who was called a “true hero” by Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia after he unsuccessfully tried to stop the gunman — is one of 10 people slain in the Buffalo, New York, rampage meant to terrorize its Black community. Daymond John (left) has offered to pay for the funeral costs of Aaron Salter Jr. (right), the security guard who was shot and killed during the race massacre at Tops Friendly Market. (Photos: Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images and Twitter.com) Last Saturday, 18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly took an AR-15-style rifle with phrases like “Here’s your reparations!” written on it and opened fire at the supermarket, which is located in a predominantly Black area of Buffalo. As theGrio previously reported, Salter Jr. fired multiple times at the attacker, striking his armor-plated vest at least once, but the bullet didn’t pierce it. The retired Buffalo police officer was then shot and killed. John, who reportedly saw photos of Salter Jr. posted with a cardboard cutout of him, then contacted the slain 55-year-old man’s family to let them know he wanted to pay his funeral expenses, per TMZ. Salter Jr.’s son, Aaron Salter III, told the outlet that the whole family watched Shark Tank, and that his father was an inventor like the FUBU founder. John sounded emotional when he was speaking, telling the family not to hesitate to reach out in the future for further assistance, Salter III shared. The Salters also launched a GoFundMe effort to “help the family with this unforeseen tragedy.” As of early Thursday, it had raised over $36,000 — its goal was $10,000. “Thanks everyone for this amazing show of support at this time. My dad was such a kind hearted overall good guy and I know he’s looking down smiling right now,” Salter III wrote on the GoFundMe page Monday. “He loved Buffalo and he loved being a police officer but now he can see how many people had love for him.” Salter Jr. “cared about the community, theGrio previously reported. “He looked after the store,” local resident Yvette Mack told Associated Press. She said he was someone who “let us know if we was right or wrong.” Before the shooting, Mack spoke to Salter Jr. about her lottery game, per AP. “I was playing my numbers. He said ‘I see you’re playing your numbers!’ I laughed. And he was playing his numbers too,” she said. “Can you imagine seeing someone and you don’t know he’s not going to go home?” As reported by USA Today, President Joe Biden also honored Salter Jr. during an event in Buffalo this week honoring its law enforcement officers and firefighters. The Associated Press contributed to this report. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Daymond John offers to pay funeral costs for security guard killed in Buffalo massacre appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  18. Brown’s tenth album, ‘Breezy’ will debut on June 24. Chris Brown has revealed new details about his forthcoming album, Breezy. The Grammy-winning singer dropped the release date and cover of the album, while also teasing potential guest artists. Brown posted the cover to his Instagram account on Wednesday. It’s a photograph of the back of his head with the album title cut into his hair. In the post’s caption, Brown says the album would be released on June 24. Last week, Brown posted that Breezy was “coming soon.” This will be his solo follow-up to his 2019 double album, Indigo. That album included his smash collaboration with Drake, “No Guidance.” The song reached the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 while being certified platinum eight times over. Chris Brown attends the 62nd Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles in Jan. 2020. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) Indigo, a 30-track project, also bolstered a star-studded list of guest features. This included Justin Bieber, Juvenile, Tank, G-Eazy, Tyga, Trey Songz, Nicki Minaj, and Joyner Lucas. Also, artists slated to appear on Breezy, H.E.R., Lil Wayne, and Tory Lanez, were also on Indigo. Breezy will also be Brown’s first project since his 2020 Slime & B collaborative mixtape with rapper Young Thug. The project contained the single “Go Crazy,” a triple-platinum hit that peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. As fans await the arrival of Breezy, Brown will embark on a new Las Vegas Residency at Drai’s Nightclub on June 11. He’ll perform selections from Breezy and from his extensive catalog on a self-designed, transparent two-tier stage. In addition to the residency, Brown will begin a co-headlining tour with Lil Baby, entitled Rolling Loud Presents: One Of Them Ones. Starting on July 15, the 27-date tour will reach cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Detroit, Dallas, and Los Angeles. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Chris Brown reveals cover, release date of new album; teases guest features appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  19. This is the first baby for both the superstar singer/entrepreneur and the hit-making Harlem rapper. Rihanna and A$AP Rocky are now parents! The billionaire superstar singer/entrepreneur reportedly gave birth to a baby boy. This is the first child for the couple. The birth took place in Los Angeles on May 13, according to TMZ. The name of the baby has yet to be disclosed. The reports of the boy’s birth come after the couple hosted a rave-themed baby shower in Hollywood. The private event featured commemorative t-shirts that said “Rih and Rocky Rave Shower” on the front. Rihanna and ASAP Rocky attend the Off-White Womenswear Fall/Winter 2022/2023 show on February 28, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) News of the birth also comes after Rocky’s latest music video, “D.M.B.” featuring Rihanna. Rocky, born Rakim Mayers, and Rihanna celebrate their relationship throughout the video, with the Harlem rapper wearing a grill in his teeth saying “Marry Me,” and Rihanna sporting a grill saying, “I Do.” Rihanna and Rocky started dating in 2020 after nearly 10 years of friendship. They announced the pregnancy on Instagram in January, with a collection of photos of the couple together in New York as the “Work” singer exposed her baby bump. Days before the couple’s baby shower, Rocky was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), after the couple returned on a private plane from a vacation in Barbados. Rocky is a suspect in an alleged shooting that took place on Nov. 6. The victim says Rocky shot at him four times on a California street, with one bullet grazing his hand. After the arrest, Rihanna was seen attending one of his sets at the Smokers Club Festival in San Bernardino, cheering him on backstage. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, welcome baby boy: report appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  20. The iconic Manhattan skyscraper hosts a pop-up shop and will light up red and white this weekend, celebrating what would have been the late Brooklyn rapper’s 50th birthday. May 21 marks what would have been the 50th birthday of The Notorious B.I.G. In recognition of the late Brooklyn rap superstar, New York’s Empire State Building will host a tribute this weekend with a lighting ceremony and a weekend pop-up shop. In partnership with the Christopher Wallace Estate, Bad Boy Records, Atlantic Records, and Rhino Records, the iconic Manhattan skyscraper will host The Empire State Building Observatory Experience starting Friday. It features a feature a life-size photorealistic avatar of the rapper, also known as Biggie so that fans can view and take photos with it. Provided by UEG Worldwide. The Observatory Experience will open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Biggie’s birthday. In addition to the avatar, exclusive Biggie x ESB hats, T-shirts, and sweatshirts will be available for purchase, as well as a cassette version of his sophomore album, 1997’s Life After Death. After sunset on Saturday, the mast of the Empire State Building will light up red and white, with a “50” and rotating crown to commemorate Biggie’s 50th birthday. The rapper often referred to himself as the King of New York in his rhymes. Members of Biggie’s family and friends, including his mother, Voletta Wallace, daughter T’yanna Wallace, son Christopher “CJ” Wallace Jr., his widow, singer Faith Evans and friends and collaborators, Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease, and Jadakiss will attend a lighting ceremony on Friday at 4 p.m. One of the first tributes announced this year was plans for a deluxe vinyl edition of Life After Death to release on June 10. The box set includes the original 11-times platinum album, as well as single edits and remixes of the singles. This is all part of the ongoing celebrations of what would have been the rapper’s 50th birthday, orchestrated by his estate, Bad Boy, Atlantic, and Rhino. The hitmaking MC was fatally shot in 1997 at the age of 24. The murder remains unsolved. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Notorious B.I.G. to receive 50th birthday tribute at Empire State Building appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  21. ‘The Book of Clarence’ take place in the biblical era, making space for Black characters in an often-white film genre LaKeith Stanfield and director Jeymes Samuel are reuniting for a brand new film. The Book of Clarence is Samuel’s follow-up to the hit Netflix film The Harder They Fall. As theGrio previously reported, The Harder They Fall was one of the biggest films of 2021, giving audiences a refreshing and gripping Western with an all-Black cast. Regina King, Idris Elba, Jonathan Majors, Stanfield, and more starred in the film, which also marked Samuel’s feature directorial debut. In a recent interview with Deadline, Samuel opened up about his next project set in the biblical era. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 06: The Bullitts attends the 4th Annual Celebration of Black Cinema and Television presented by The Critics Choice Association at Fairmont Century Plaza on December 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images,) “So, my next movie is The Book of Clarence,” Samuel told the outlet. “And LaKeith Stanfield will play Clarence. And I’m taking it all the way back to the Bible era. You remember those biblical epics, whether they were about the Bible or just taking place around it, from The Ten Commandments to The Greatest Story Ever Told, Samson and Delilah and Ben-Hur, which runs alongside all that stuff in the Bible? As will be The Book of Clarence, a full fun-filled extravaganza.” Samuel said the project, set in 29 AD., is already written and “ready to go.” Like his work in The Harder They Fall, Samuel will focus on Black characters in these spaces often occupied by whiteness. “Where did Mary Magdalene get her hair done,” he shared when discussing questions he’s always had about the era. “They didn’t have any hair salons since the Cleopatra days. What currency did they spend? All that stuff the Bible doesn’t speak of fascinates me about the era. The Bible just gives you bricks. But the mortar you’re meant to fill in yourself.” LaKeith Stanfield attends the premiere of the 3rd season of FX’s “Atlanta” at Hollywood Forever on March 24, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images) “I want to tell the tales that we’ve never had before,” he added. “We’ve never had Black people in the Bible days of cinema. There’s not even a template for us to go, ‘Well, like that movie?’ We’d seen a Black cowboy before. We’ve never seen… Even when Andrew Lloyd Webber made something as nuanced as Jesus Christ Superstar, there’s no Black people in it, except Judas. Judas was the Black guy.” While the project is written, there is still a question mark over where it will be produced, despite Samuel’s relationship with Netflix. He told the outlet, “We’re deciding now where it will be made, talking to studios. I have a relationship with Netflix. That’s a big thing, but I do need this film to have a viable theatrical component as well.” Check out the full interview on Deadline. TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Director Jeymes Samuel talks upcoming film ‘The Book of Clarence,’ reuniting with LaKeith Stanfield appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  22. The Oscar, Tony, and Emmy-winning actress sat down with Variety for a conversation at the Cannes Film Festival In a powerful and illuminating recent interview with Variety, Viola Davis opened up about her journey throughout Hollywood as a dark-skinned Black actress, revealing stories about her career, including one when a director called her by his maid’s name. As theGrio previously reported, Davis has had quite the year with the accomplished actress recently releasing her memoir, Finding Me. The book details her journey from a difficult childhood to her drama school days and on to award-winning roles and performances. It was announced earlier this year that Davis would receive the Cannes Women in Motion Award at this year’s festival, for being one of, “the most influential American actresses and producers of her time.” At the festival, the actress sat down with Variety and told the story about the director who misnamed her. : Viola Davis attends Kering “Women In Motion” Talk during 75th Cannes Film Festival 2022 at Majestic Barrière on May 19, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering) “He said, ‘Louise!’ I knew him for 10 years and he called me Louise and I find out that it’s because his maid’s name is Louise. I was maybe around 30 at the time, so it was a while ago. But what you have to realize is that those micro-aggressions happen all the time.” This is not the first time Davis has opened up about her experience with racism and microaggressions in Hollywood, something she has been even more candid about with the rollout of her memoir. She shared the lasting impact (or lack thereof) of her history-making role on Shonda Rhimes’ hit series, How To Get Away With Murder. “I know that when I left How to Get Away With Murder that I don’t see a lot of dark skin women in lead roles on TV and not even in streaming services,” she said. “And that ties into ideology and ethos and mentality, and that’s speaking in the abstract. Why aren’t you hiring a dark skin woman when she walks in the room and you say she blows you away? Create space and storytelling for her so when she thrives she’s not thriving despite of her circumstance but thriving because of her circumstance.” Julius Tennon and Viola Davis attend the screening of “Top Gun: Maverick” on May 18, 2022 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images) Davis also sat down with Oprah Winfrey for Netflix, as theGrio previously reported. Opening up about the self-love she has found in the writing process, she shared in the interview, “it’s my way of owning my story. It’s my way of not sort of sweeping it under the rug.” You can watch the entire conversation with Viola Davis and Variety at Kering’s Women In Motion talk here. TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Viola Davis says a director called her by his maid’s name, talks colorism in Hollywood appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  23. The two music documentaries will air back-to-back on Memorial Day. Two A&E docuseries about Bobby Brown and hip hop are set to have back-to-back airings on Memorial Day. The network revealed first look clips of Bobby Brown: Biography, and Origins of Hip-Hop at a New York screening and panel discussion on Tuesday at The New York Times building. The Grammy-winning Brown gets extensive treatment in his segments of the long-running Biography; the two parts are both two hours. The clip opens with Brown’s exit in late 1985 from New Edition, the R&B group with which he had his first brush with fame. “I was hurt, and I wanted revenge,” Brown says. New Edition members Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe, Michael Bivins, and Johnny Gill are also featured in the docuseries. Both Bell and Gill said Brown’s leaving was a blessing in disguise because it allowed him to reach his full potential as an entertainer without New Edition holding him back. The clip touches on the making of Brown’s debut solo album, 1986’s King of Stage and his next album, 1988’s Don’t Be Cruel. DeVoe says he and New Edition members heard the latter record before its release, disclosing that the quality intimidated them. When Brown opened for New Edition during the Heartbreak Tour, Bivins recalls, his exciting stage show forced the group to step up its game. It was to no avail. The clip ends with Brown replacing his former group as the headliner on the tour. During a panel discussion following the screening, Brown told host Angie Martinez that his personality was too big to be contained within New Edition. He admitted to being difficult to work with back then. “I had the legs of Michael Jackson, the spirit of Rick James, and the hips of Elvis.” The series premiere of Origins of Hip-Hop will follow Brown’s Biography segment. Each 60-minute episode will focus on one hip-hop star. Among those featured in the inaugural season are Ice-T, Eve, Grandmaster Flash, Luther Campbell, Lil Jon, Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, and Fat Joe. Sneak peeks of the Ja Rule and Fat Joe episodes were screened. Ja’s childhood upbringing figures prominently. He remembers making the difficult decision to live in poverty with his mother rather than in middle-class comfort with his grandparents. His mother was banished from the Jehovah’s Witness faith for not adhering to certain restrictions like music preferences. With few choices, Ja sold drugs to help her pay the bills. His appetite for rap, however, was greater than that for criminal activity. It was also rap and an encounter with the police that soured Fat Joe on the criminal life. In the clip, the platinum-selling rapper shares an anecdote about how fate intervened to save him. A drug dealer at the time, he’d planned to kill someone who’d shot him while he was selling product. After vainly waiting for his target outside his residence, he returned to his parents’ house. Police tailed him, broke into his parents’ house, then handcuffed him. But inexplicably said they had the wrong person. From then on, Joe fully immersed himself in hip-hop. Following the success of his first album, Represent, he met Big Pun. The two formed a close personal and professional relationship that flourished until Pun’s death of a heart attack at 28. During the panel discussion, Grandmaster Caz – a hip-hop pioneer who will host Origins of Hip-Hop’s companion podcast – stressed the importance of the musicians and the MCs telling their own stories. “If we don’t write and document our own history, then someone else will.” Bobby Brown: Biography and Origins of Hip-Hop will air at 8 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET, respectively on May 30. Part 2 of Bobby Brown: Biography airs on May 31. TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post A&E previews forthcoming docuseries’, ‘Bobby Brown: Biography,’ ‘Origins of Hip Hop’ appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  24. The series features a more diverse cast than the original series, and is described as a “reimagining” like Peacock’s other hit show, ‘Bel-Air’ Queer as Folk is back. The landmark LGBTQ+ series is officially returning with a reboot, featuring a more diverse cast of characters and a major twist that grounds the show in an entirely new way. Like Peacock’s other hit series Bel-Air, the new version of Queer as Folk is described as a “reimagining” of the series of the same name that will, “explore the lives of a diverse group of friends in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy.” Armand Fields as Bussey — (Photo by: Alyssa Moran/Peacock) Peacock has been slowly rolling out information regarding the series, including casting announcements and release dates and on Wednesday, the streamer finally gave fans a look at the series with an official teaser. The trailer immediately introduces audiences to this new diverse group of LGBTQ+ friends, including Devin Way as Brodie, “a charming and sometimes chaotic commitment-phobe who finds a reason to stay in New Orleans  after tragedy rocks his community,” and Jesse  James Keitel as Ruthie, “a trans, semi-reformed party girl who is struggling to grow up.” It also introduces a shooting, not unlike the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting from 2016, that makes the group closer than ever as they attempt to heal and move forward. “We gotta take control of our lives again,” Johnny Sibilly, who plays Noah, a successful lawyer, states in the clip. The series also features Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City fame. She joins as Brenda, “a martini-soaked, high society southern debutante with trailer park roots,” per the press release. Devin Way as Brodie — (Photo by: Alyssa Moran/Peacock) Russell T. Davies, the creator of the original British series, shared in a statement, “I’m very proud of what we achieved in 1999, but in queer years, that was a millennium ago! As a community, we’ve radicalized, explored, opened up, and found new worlds – with new enemies and new allies – and there was so much to be said. Stephen pitched a brand new version of Queer as Folk with so much imagination, insight, and crucially, joy, that I simply couldn’t resist. I thought it was about time the title belonged to a whole new generation.” Davies added, “The 2022 show is more diverse, more wild, more free, more angry – everything a queer show should be.” Queer as Folk premieres June 9 on Peacock. Check out the trailer for the series below: TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Peacock drops ‘Queer as Folk’ reboot trailer highlighting more diverse cast appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  25. OPINION: In season 3’s final episode, we find Van taking an absurdist journey through Paris. Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio. Finally, the episode about Van. This season has focused on the guys in the crew, with Van always off in the corner of the plot, never central, so I knew eventually there would be an episode about Van. And you can’t have a show travel all through Europe and not go to Paris, so here we are, the final episode, titled “Tarrare,” a name that’s a reference to one of the strangest Parisians in history—a man who lived in the 18th century and was known for eating gigantic amounts of food every single day without gaining weight. Scientists never figured out what allowed him to eat so much. The episode named for France’s most famous eater features a bizarre scene of cannibalism as a delicacy as well as other strange things that some would find gross and some would find tantalizing. The episode builds toward an epic feast where diners are fed “les mains”—fried human hands. The guests eat with their heads covered by a napkin, which makes all of this seem like Succession’s fetish of eating Ortolans, tiny songbirds that are illegal to eat in France, which people eat whole while a napkin covers their heads. But that’s just one of the strange things happening in this wild circus—we also have women peeing on men. and a game of ritual humiliation played by Van and Alexander Skarsgård, who’s playing a strange version of Alexander Skarsgård. Van spits in his face after nearly ruining his career, and all he can do is run off and masturbate. Damn, this episode is bizarre. It’s another journey episode—like the “Barbershop” or “New Jazz”—where the characters flow through a city on a quixotic quest. But more than that, it’s Van—but is it? Who is she? She’s acting like she’s French, even pretending to forget English words. She looks totally different, and she’s all mixed up in this strange semi-underworld market for severed hands. This episode is like a parody of a gangster film the way “Cancer Attack” was a parody of a detective buddy flight. The highlight of the gangster parody is when Van confronts Emilio in the museum. As in any classic gangster flick, as soon as she walks in, he starts apologizing and backtracking while she’s frighteningly calm. She unsheathes her weapon and then tells him about it—a stale baguette is the most French and most hilarious weapon ever. She bludgeons him with it, beating him half to death in what may be Van’s best scene in the history of the show. Adriyan Rae as Candice, Zazie Beetz as Van in “Atlanta.” (Roger Do Minh/FX) But who is this new Van with this little haircut, this accent, this chef boyfriend and a gangsterish mien? She sure doesn’t know. When Candice (Adriyan Rae, who was with Van in the Drake episode in season 2) finally confronts Van about who she is and what she’s doing, Van can answer every question but one—what about Lottie? How does she fit into this world you’ve built here? Van doesn’t know, and the dissonance of her two worlds colliding sends her into an angry vertigo. She loses it because her daughter doesn’t fit into her Parisian world, and yet she needs her. A moment later, real Van returns to talk it out with Candice and explain how she got there, like, these are the steps she took, but she can’t really explain it. “I don’t even know who I am,” she says. It sounds like a classic mother’s struggle to find her identity. Or a classic existential crisis in the middle of Paris, the city of philosophers. And thus, the trip through Europe concludes with no real conclusion. Nothing is learned. Nothing is decided. At the end of season 2, we saw Earn graduate to the serious, seasoned manager as Al boarded a plane, representing his ascending career. But this time, as the curtain falls—as a woman pees and pees and pees on a man—they’re all just being. The last time we see Van, she’s saying, who am I? The last time we see Al, he’s in bed recovering. They’re all the same people they were at the beginning of the season, but I’m exhausted from watching their journey. This season was a rollercoaster with so many episodes that kept us in a state of uncertainty for so long that it was mentally challenging to keep up. But it’s nice to see Black people in an absurdist space onstage. This was one of the greatest seasons of TV in history. I’ll watch the “Big Payback,” “White Fashion” and “Rich Wigga, Poor Wigga” again and again. The show gave us white people saying things we’d love to hear them say and Black people searching for themselves and statements on racism and epic moments. I want to hear “One Shining Moment” under a montage of moments from this amazing season—the boy in episode one waving as he leaps out from the back of the car…Van pushing people into the rich man’s pool…Al trying to make it happen in the boardroom of the fashion house…Princess taking over the Trini funeral…Kevin Samuels presiding over the trial of Aaron…a Black woman peeing on a man…and on and on. I’m sad that there’s only one more season of Atlanta, but I’m thrilled that there’s one more season. Touré hosts the podcast “Touré Show” and the podcast docuseries “Who Was Prince?” He is also the author of seven books. TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post ‘Atlanta’: A French exit appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  26. A facial recognition startup with billions of images in its database was accused of obtaining them without consent Facial recognition startup Clearview AI has agreed to restrict the use of its massive collection of face images to settle allegations that it collected people’s photos without their consent. The company in a legal filing Monday agreed to permanently stop selling access to its face database to private businesses or individuals around the U.S., putting a limit on what it can do with its ever-growing trove of billions of images pulled from social media and elsewhere on the internet. The settlement — which must be approved by a county judge in Chicago — will end a 2-year-old lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups over alleged violations of an Illinois digital privacy law. The company still faces a separate privacy case before a federal judge in Illinois. Hoan Ton-That, CEO of Clearview AI, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition software using a photo of himself in New York on Tuesday, Feb. 22, (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) Clearview is also agreeing to stop making its database available to Illinois state government and local police departments for five years. The New York-based company will continue offering its services to federal agencies, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and to other law enforcement agencies and government contractors outside of Illinois. “This is a huge win,” said Linda Xóchitl Tortolero, president of Chicago-based Mujeres Latinas en Acción, which works with survivors of gender-based violence and was a plaintiff in the case along with the ACLU and other groups. Among the concerns raised by Tortolero’s group was that photos posted on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram — and turned into a “faceprint” by Clearview — could end up being used by stalkers, ex-partners or predatory companies to track a person’s whereabouts and social activity. A prominent attorney who was defending Clearview against the lawsuit said the company is “pleased to put this litigation behind it.” “The settlement does not require any material change in the company’s business model or bar it from any conduct in which it engages at the present time,” said a statement from Floyd Abrams, a lawyer known for taking on high-profile free speech cases. Abrams noted that the company was already not providing its services to police agencies in Illinois and agreed to the 5-year moratorium to “avoid a protracted, costly and distracting legal dispute with the ACLU and others.” Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act allows consumers to sue companies that don’t get permission before harvesting data such as faces and fingerprints. Another privacy lawsuit over the same Illinois law led Facebook last year to agree to pay $650 million to settle allegations it used photo face-tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users. “It shows we can fight these companies when they’re taking these kinds of actions,” Tortolero said of the Clearview settlement. “It also highlights the fact that there are many ways that social media — and the technology companies that collect this kind of information — can be harmful to Americans.” The settlement document says Clearview continues to deny and dispute the claims brought by the ACLU and other plaintiffs. But even before Monday’s settlement, the case has been curtailing some of the company’s controversial business practices. Clearview AI co-founder and CEO Hoan Ton-That told The Associated Press in April that the company was preparing to launch a new “consent-based” business product to compete with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft in verifying people’s identity using facial recognition. The new venture would use Clearview’s algorithms to verify a person’s face, but would not involve its trove of some 20 billion images, which Ton-That said is now reserved for law enforcement use. That’s a shift from earlier in Clearview’s business history when it had pitched the technology for a variety of commercial uses. Regulators from Australia to Canada, France and Italy have taken measures to try to stop Clearview from pulling people’s faces into its facial recognition engine without their consent. So have tech giants such as Google and Facebook. A group of U.S. lawmakers earlier this year warned that “Clearview AI’s technology could eliminate public anonymity in the United States.” While Monday’s settlement “reins in Clearview’s practices significantly,” it should not end scrutiny of the company by Congress, state legislatures and regulators, said Nathan Freed Wessler, deputy director of ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project. Much of the strength of Clearview’s artificial intelligence technology – now a selling point for police and other uses – is that it was able to “learn” from all of the faces it scanned across the publicly accessible internet. “This company’s approach was effectively a Silicon Valley mentality of let’s break things first and then figure out how to clean up the mess later in order to try to make a profit,” Wessler said. “They broke through a very strong taboo that had kept big tech companies like Google and others from building the same product that they had the technological capability to do.” TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Settlement bars company from selling images of people’s faces it gleans from social media acocunts appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
  27. Previously the longtime face of CoverGirl’s Queen Collection, Latifah returns to the cosmetics brand with an even greater push for inclusion. Once a queen, always a queen. Queen Latifah has already proven that to be true with her decades-long career in entertainment, but lest we forget, the multihyphenate star has also been an icon in the beauty industry. In 2006, CoverGirl enlisted Latifah to collaborate and be the face of its Queen collection, the brand’s first attempt at diversifying its shade range to better accommodate women of color. “I thought it would be so amazing for everyone to see me as a Covergirl because I didn’t get to see that CoverGirl growing up,” she told Essence magazine in 2017, sharing that the idea for the Queen collection was initially inspired by a comment from a fan. “The woman came up to me and was like, ‘I’m so happy for you and CoverGirl. I love that, but I wish ya’ll made a shade in my complexion,’” she recalled. “I [thought], ‘okay, let’s go make a shade in your complexion’. I thought why am I CoverGirl if we can’t get our different shades?” Queen Latifah attends Variety’s 2022 Power Of Women at The Glasshouse on May 05, 2022, in New York City. Photo: John Lamparski/WireImage Latifah worked with CoverGirl for over a decade before the Queen collection was discontinued. But now, the Equalizer star is back on board with the brand—and once again, she’ll also be influencing greater inclusity behind the scenes, reports BusinessWire. “It feels like a full-circle moment to be back with my CoverGirl family,” said Latifah via a statement. “I’m excited to reconnect and collaborate with them once again to bring inclusivity to the forefront every step of the way, from product creation to ad development to product dissemination. I’m excited to be back and look forward to what we can create together!” As noted by WWD’s Beauty, Inc, Latifah’s reunion with the brand comes as parent company Coty Inc. takes the legacy brand “into growth mode.” “Bringing back Queen Latifah to the CoverGirl family was a no-brainer for us. Latifah is one of the most powerful voices of our generation and we are thrilled to join her in her endeavors to inspire and evoke change,” said Stefano Curti, Chief Brands Officer of Consumer Beauty at Coty (h/t BusinessWire). “The future is big for CoverGirl and Queen Latifah,” “The emotional side and connection with American consumers is super, super strong. And therefore reactivating memories, reactivating this love factor, is one of the key elements of success,” adds Chief Executive Officer Sue Nabi in conversation with WWD, teasing what the new phase of Latifah’s partnership will look like. “[Queen Latifah is] going to represent products such as TruBlend [foundation], our line that’s going to demonstrate our ability to be one of the most inclusive brands in the U.S. in terms of shades.” WWD further notes the line currently boasts over 50 shades—and that the 52-year-old Latifah’s return to CoverGirl is also a statement on ageless beauty. As Nabi put it: “You do exist after 40 years old.” “She’s been an icon,” Nabi continued, later adding: “Queen Latifah is going to bring to the brand all these generations of consumers who have been in love with the brand in the past.” Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series). TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Please download theGrio mobile apps today! The post Queen Latifah reclaims her crown at CoverGirl appeared first on TheGrio. View the full article
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