Showing posts from May, 2007

Prosecutor says, Witness lacking in Vick probe

SURRY -- The prosecutor handling the investigation into alleged dogfighting at the Surry County home of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick says he has not heard from anyone who witnessed such activity there.

"Nobody's come forward yet to say, 'Oh yeah, I was there,'" Surry Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald Poindexter told The Times-Dispatch yesterday in an interview at his office.

Over the weekend, an unidentified informant interviewed on ESPN mentioned being with Vick when the former Virginia Tech standout entered a dog in a fight in 2000, before Vick is known to have owned property in Surry. The man, who was disguised on television, said he has not attended a dogfight at Vick's residence but that Vick has fought dogs, funded dogfighting and gambled on the illegal activity as recently as last year.


Dutch in shock over gay AIDS rape gang

A gay gang that allegedly raped victims lured on the Internet, drugged them and infected them with the AIDS virus has shocked the Netherlands and raised questions over its liberal sex culture.

Health Minister Ab Klink on Thursday called the case "horrible", as the press splashed the news across its front pages.

The matter came to light Wednesday, when police said they had arrested three seropositive homosexual men two weeks ago after four victims, men aged 25 to 50, accused them of rape and premeditated bodily harm.

Ronald Zwarter, the police chief in the northern town of Groningen, where the alleged crimes took place, said two of those arrested, a couple aged 48 and 33, had confessed.

"Their stated motive was that it excited them -- and also that, the more HIV-infected people there were, the better their chances of unprotected sex," he said.


Academics say, Whites benefit by facing role in Racism

SASKATOON -- Racism is alive and well and living in Canada, and it's time white people started talking about it, say academics who are aiming to get that discussion going among the country's educators.

"There is this idea that racism is a U.S. problem. That it doesn't happen here. It does. We are just more polite about it," explains Darren Lund, an education professor at the University of Calgary.

Prof. Lund says his classes of would-be teachers generally start to squirm when he raises the issue of race with them. Most are middle-class, white women who loved school, he says, and they do not want to entertain the notion that the system is not as fair to everyone as it was to them or that they play a role in the problem.

"There is lots of discomfort and shame and people get angry," he said.


Paul Mooney on Race

Racism rears its ugly head in South African school rugby

May 30, 2007, 17:45

White River Primary School in Mpumalanga says school rugby is being disrupted in the Lowveld over the inclusion of five black players in its first rugby team.

Apparently other schools refuse to play against the White River team because the five players are physically too strong and look older than their age. The other schools deny the allegations.

All five black players in the first rugby team have earned provincial colours. Their headmaster says two primary schools have already indicated that they are pulling out their rugby teams. He says the reason for withdrawing is to avoid injuries.


La.: Pay back Katrina unemployment aid

BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana wants thousands of state and local government workers to send back $10 million in unemployment pay they received while still collecting regular pay after Hurricane Katrina.

A state audit found lax control by the state
Department of Labor was the main reason the 5,439 ineligible workers were able to collect up to $258 a week, Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot said.

Administrative workers with the City of New Orleans received the most money with 2,233 wrongfully collecting $4.3 million. There were 1,638 state workers, many with the state Department of Health and Hospitals, who got $2.7 million.

The money was a small portion of the overall $560 million the department pay out in unemployment benefits to public and private workers in the four months after Katrina.


Scientists Find A DNA Change That Accounts For White Skin

Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology's most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity's greatest sources of strife.

The work suggests that the skin-whitening mutation occurred by chance in a single individual after the first human exodus from Africa, when all people were brown-skinned. That person's offspring apparently thrived as humans moved northward into what is now Europe, helping to give rise to the lightest of the world's races.

Leaders of the study, at Penn State University, warned against interpreting the finding as a discovery of "the race gene." Race is a vaguely defined biological, social and political concept, they noted, and skin color is only part of what race is -- and is not.



NPR: Researchers Discover Skin Color Gene(audio)

Unidentified informant to ESPN: Vick bet on dog fights

A man whom law enforcement agencies have used as an informant in prosecuting dog-fighting cases in Virginia tells ESPN that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is "one of the heavyweights" in the sport.

"He's a pit bull fighter," the source says of Vick. "He's one of the ones that they call 'the big boys:' that's who bets a large dollar. And they have the money to bet large money. As I'm talking about large money -- $30,000 to $40,000 -- even higher. He's one of the heavyweights."


Gay Comedian Spoofs Non-white Women in Blackface

Backstage at a gay bar in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, on the same block as the fountain square where slaves were sold, sits America's most appalling comedian. He's a fat, gay forty-five-year-old white man, a part-time nurse, who lives alone with two cats and who believes he's on a mission from God.

Once a month, Chuck Knipp (pronounced with a hard K, like "Knievel") transforms himself into a living taboo. First, he puts on a giant housedress and a pink, curly wig. Then he smears his doughy face and neck with chocolate-brown foundation, rainbow-hued eye shadow and garish red lipstick. When he's finished, staring back at Knipp from the mirror is the blackface mask of a modern-day minstrel, and the character known to Knipp's legions of cult followers as Shirley Q. Liquor, a welfare mother with nineteen kids who guzzles malt liquor, drives a Caddy and says in an "ignunt" Gulf Coast black dialect, "I'm gonna burn me up some chitlins and put…

Study: Superbugs emerge among urban poor

CHICAGO - Drug-resistant staph infections have spread to the urban poor, rising almost seven-fold in recent years in some Chicago neighborhoods, a new study finds.

Researchers said the crowded living conditions of public housing and jails may speed up the person-to-person spread of infection.

The superbugs, first seen mainly in hospitals and nursing homes, have turned up recently among athletes, prisoners and people who get illegal tattoos.

Called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, these staph germs can cause skin infections that in rare cases have led to pneumonia, bloodstream infections and a painful, flesh-destroying condition. MRSA is hard to treat because the bacteria have developed resistance to the penicillin drug family.

'Jena Six' trial continues next month

JENA -- Tears streamed down Melissa Bell's face Monday as the judge ruled in favor of LaSalle Parish District Attorney J. Reed Walters' motion to continue her son's trial more than a month.

Across the courtroom, wearing a black-and-white striped jumpsuit and handcuffed, Mychal Bell's head fell backward in frustration when he heard the ruling.

Bell is one of the six Jena High School students who have become known as the "Jena Six." He and Theodore Shaw were scheduled for jury trial Monday on charges of attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in connection with a Dec. 4 fight at the school that sent fellow student Justin Barker to LaSalle General Hospital.

Bell and Shaw are the only two students charged in the fight who remain in jail, each in lieu of $90,000 bond.

"(Walters) said they needed more time to get the witnesses together," Melissa Bell said outside the LaSalle Parish courtroom. "If you ain't found t…

Racists resurface with nooses on Louisiana tree

JENA, United States (AFP) - The racial demons of the Old South have resurfaced in a rural Louisiana town where black students who tried to sit on the white side of the school yard were met by three hangmen's nooses dangling from a tree.

The students and their parents were outraged by the stark reminder of the mob lynchings which had terrorized Southern US blacks until just a few decades ago.

Months of inter-racial violence followed the decision by a white school superintendent to over-rule the principal's recommendation to expel three white students found to have hung the nooses.

The community became even more divided after a white prosecutor imposed significantly harsher charges on the black youths caught up in the violence.


Racism on trial again in America's Deep South
Racial demons rear heads
Looking for Justice in Jena, Louisiana
Stealth Racism stalks America
The Jena Times: Jena Six trial re-scheduled

Florida tries to wipe out cat-sized African rats

GRASSY KEY, Florida (Reuters) - Deep in the heart of the Florida Keys, wildlife officials are laying bait laced with poison to try to wipe out a colony of enormous African rats that could threaten crops and other animals.

U.S. federal and state officials are beginning the final phase of a two-year project to eradicate the Gambian pouched rats, which can grow to the size of a cat and began reproducing in the remote area about eight years ago.

"This is the only place in the United States where this is occurring," said Gary Witmer, a biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

"They don't belong here and they need to be controlled."

Evidence does not connect Vick to Dogfighting

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- The prosecutor investigating whether property owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was part of a dog fighting operation said Wednesday he still doesn't have solid evidence linking Vick to dog fighting.

Poindexter said there are no eyewitnesses who say they saw dog fighting at the home where 66 dogs were seized along with equipment that could be associated with dog fighting. The discoveries were made during a drug raid at the home on April 25.

Ban kept for gay men donating blood

WASHINGTON - Gay men remain banned for life from donating blood, the government said Wednesday, leaving in place — for now — a 1983 prohibition meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.

The Food and Drug Administration reiterated its long-standing policy on its Web site Wednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groups criticized the policy as "medically and scientifically unwarranted."

"I am disappointed, I must confess," said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vice president of America's Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half the nation's blood supply.

Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.

LA judge gives O.J. funds to Goldmans

LOS ANGELES - O.J. Simpson must give any money a Florida lawyer is holding for him to the family of slaying victim Ronald Goldman to satisfy a multimillion-dollar wrongful death judgment, a judge has ruled.

Attorney Leonardo D. Starke is believed to be holding about $3,500 for Simpson in a client trust account in Florida, where the former football star now lives, Goldman attorney David Cook said Wednesday.

The amount is small but the court ruling could have broader implications for the Goldman family, which has tried for a decade to collect on a $33.5-million judgment against Simpson. Virtually none of the money has been collected, and the family has accused Simpson of trying to conceal his income.

"It is a shot over the bow," Cooke said. "It's significant that we're reaching money over state lines, and it's a significant message to Mr. Simpson that we will find every asset there is."

Gamblers speak: "It's Jordin Sparks by a landslide!"

Almost every online bookmaker has Jordan as a prohibitive favorite tonight against Blake to win American Idol. Anyone who disagrees or bets on Blake should have their head examined.

It's also no secret that the show would prefer a younger idol, as that was hinted to EOG earlier on in the season. Obviously, Jordan Sparks fits that profile as she is only seventeen years young.


Handicapping the American Idol finals: Edge goes to Jordin
It's unanimous: Jordin is the 'Idol'
American Idol: Jordin or Blake? All bets are on

Cartoon of the Day


Killing rate surges since Katrina

The latest crime statistics released by the New Orleans Police Department show an increase in homicides and violent crime over the same period last year that, according to one criminologist, clearly outpaces the city's population growth.

The statistics, released late Friday by e-mail, also show a slight shift downward in murders, rapes and robberies compared with the last three months of 2006. The numbers detail the first three months of 2007, when 48 people were killed in New Orleans, according to the NOPD, a rate of one victim every 1.8 days.

The department also reported 14 rapes, 190 armed robberies, 54 simple robberies and 447 assaults in the first quarter of this year. Violent crime was up a total of 107 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the department.

New Birth-Control Pill Ends Women's Periods

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The first birth-control pill meant to put a stop to women's monthly periods indefinitely has won federal approval, the manufacturer Wyeth said Tuesday.

Called Lybrel, it's the first such pill to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for continuous use. When taken daily, the pill can halt women's menstrual periods indefinitely and prevent pregnancies.

It's the latest approved oral contraceptive to depart from the 21-days-on, seven-days-off regimen that had been standard since birth-control pill sales began in the 1960s. The Wyeth pill is the first designed to put off periods altogether when taken without break.

Sans Melinda Doolittle, American idol loses its luster!

Jordin Sparks, a 17-year-old whose voice and poise belie her youth, and Blake Lewis, 25, who did it his way with risky song arrangements, will compete tonight (Fox, 8 ET/PT) to be the next Idol.

The Arizona teen enters as the favorite over the Washington beat-boxer, in the opinion of music critics and online betting sites, in the first finale without a Southerner. The matchup is a surprise to many after Melinda Doolittle, considered the season's finest singer, was eliminated last week.

Judge Simon Cowell, for one, agrees that Melinda was this year's best of show and that America got this final pairing wrong. But executive producer Nigel Lythgoe disagrees.

"I'm delighted. I think it's the uniqueness of Blake and the actual growth of Jordin. Melinda and LaKisha (Jones) started off as front-runners, and I think Jordin overtook them," he says. "From the show's point of view, having two girls in the final wouldn't have been as strong as a boy and a girl.…

Gay bishop snubbed by Anglican conference

LONDON (Reuters) - The Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual head of 77 million Anglicans worldwide, has not invited two wayward bishops to a major conference next year, a move likely to stir controversy in the deeply divided communion.

Archbishop Rowan Williams has sent invitations to more than 800 Anglican bishops asking them to attend the Lambeth Conference in July and August 2008, but has not invited two American bishops -- Gene Robinson and Martyn Minns.

Robinson has caused division since he was consecrated as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, becoming the Anglican Church's first openly gay bishop.

The End of Public Schools in GA?

Up to five school systems can convert to charter status under legislation signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue Tuesday. Perdue called Senate Bill 39, the Charter Systems Act, "a better way to make sure our children are ready to compete in a worldwide economy in the 21st Century."

The bill was signed at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. Thirty-nine children from four charter schools were among those in attendance. The new law provides $5 million in seed money for the applicants. A charter advisory committee will make recommendations to the state Board of Education on what applications to fund.

The charter systems will operate under a contract with the state. In exchange for meeting performance goals, the school systems can ignore many state and federal rules. With that freedom, they're expected to take innovative approaches that improve education.

Chinese villagers riot over stricter population-control

BEIJING: An intensive campaign to enforce strict population-control measures prompted violent clashes between the police and local residents in southwestern China in recent days, witnesses said, describing the latest incident of rural unrest that has alarmed senior officials in Beijing.

Villagers and visitors to several counties of the Guangxi autonomous region in southwestern China said rioters smashed and burned government offices, overturned official vehicles and clashed with the riot police in a series of confrontations over the past four days.

The violence appeared to stem from a two-month-long crackdown in Guangxi to punish people who violated the country's birth control policy. The policy limits the number of children families can have legally.

Coach suggests Media out to get Vick

"They want the worst for the young man and I'm so saddened for him," Reamon said. "But he is working to improve his life and get through this adversity. He is doing everything that he can do with the support of the Atlanta Falcons administration. They have given him support.

No Charges for Vick

SURRY COUNTY –- No charges were filed today following a meeting of investigators looking into an alleged dogfighting operation at the home of NFL quarterback Michael Vick.

Related Reports...

Portis defends Vick
Michael Vick And Media's Rush To Judgment
Vick's name on evidence collected in Va. probe

New Exhibition Documents Forced Prostitution in Concentration Camps

A new exhibition in Germany opens up a subject that has long been taboo -- the use of female concentration camp inmates to provide sexual services to male slave laborers as production incentives during World War II.

A visitor to the exhibition looks at a map showing the location of the Nazi brothels which were created in ten concentration camps.
"Hardly any other topic from the history of the concentration camps has, on the one hand, been kept so quiet and repressed and is, on the other hand, so tainted with prejudice and distortion, as the forced prostitution of female camp inmates for male camp inmates by the SS," commented Insa Eschebach, the director of the Ravensbrück Memorial Museum, at the opening of the exhibition.

Egyptians, not Greeks were true fathers of medicine

Scientists examining documents dating back 3,500 years say they have found proof that the origins of modern medicine lie in ancient Egypt and not with Hippocrates and the Greeks.

The research team from the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology at The University of Manchester discovered the evidence in medical papyri written in 1,500BC – 1,000 years before Hippocrates was born.

"Classical scholars have always considered the ancient Greeks, particularly Hippocrates, as being the fathers of medicine but our findings suggest that the ancient Egyptians were practising a credible form of pharmacy and medicine much earlier," said Dr Jackie Campbell.

Unborn babies targeted in crackdown on criminality

Unborn babies judged to be at most risk of social exclusion and turning to criminality are to be targeted in a controversial new scheme to be promoted by Downing Street today. In an effort to intervene as early as possible in troubled families, first-time mothers identified just 16 weeks after conception will be given intensive weekly support from midwives and health visitors until the unborn child reaches two years old.

Unveiling the findings of a Downing Street review, Tony Blair will make clear the government is prepared to single out babies still in the womb to break cycles of deprivation and behaviour.

Scientists create 'plastic' blood

The researchers said the artificial blood was easier to store Scientists have developed an artificial plastic blood which could act as a substitute in emergencies. Researchers at Sheffield University said their creation could be a huge advantage in war zones.

They say that the artificial blood is light to carry, does not need to be kept cool and can be kept for longer.The new blood is made up of plastic molecules that have an iron atom at their core, like haemoglobin, that can carry oxygen through the body.

The scientists said the artificial blood could be cheap to produce and they were looking for extra funding to develop a final prototype that would be suitable for biological testing.

Blackstone boosts IPO after Beijing takes $3bn stake

The Chinese government is to use $3bn of its vast foreign exchange reserves to buy a 9.9 per cent stake in Blackstone, the US buy-out fund, in an unprecedented move that underlines Beijing’s desire to tap into the private equity boom.

The investment will coincide with Blackstone’s landmark $40bn-plus stock market listing, expected in the next few months, and will allow the private equity group to nearly double its original target of raising $4bn.


China's Blackstone deal just hint of things to come

MLB Players support Bonds

Major League Baseball players and fans strongly disagree on whether San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds should be recognized as baseball's home run king if he breaks Hank Aaron's career record. However, they agree that steroid allegations should not keep Bonds out of baseball's Hall of Fame.

La. slow to provide Katrina funding

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana may have to draw from other hurricane aid programs to cover a projected $3 billion shortfall in the program that provides rebuilding grants to homeowners, the head of the Louisiana Recovery Authority said Friday.

Isaiah Washington's not leaving 'Grey's'

LOS ANGELES - Isaiah Washington's Dr. Preston Burke packed his bags on the season finale of "Grey's Anatomy" but that doesn't mean the actor is being dumped by the show, his publicist said Friday.

New law say dads not needed to make babies

A major relaxation of IVF rules was announced by ministers today. The changes will make it easier for single people and lesbians to receive fertility treatment on the NHS. The move, which is part of a shake-up of laws on the use of human tissues, will also allow the creation of " Frankenstein" embryos - human and animal cells mixed together - for medical research.

Hilton's Jail Term Cut to About 23 Days

LOS ANGELES — Paris Hilton will serve about half of her 45-day jail sentence and will be separated from the general inmate population, authorities said Wednesday. The hotel heiress will spend about 23 days in a "special needs housing unit" at the Century Regional Detention Center in suburban Lynwood, Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

New Demographic Racial Gap Emerges

With the number of nonwhite Americans above 100 million for the first time, demographers are identifying an emerging racial generation gap. That development may portend a nation split between an older, whiter electorate and a younger overall population that is more Hispanic, black and Asian and that presses sometimes competing agendas and priorities.

Listeners shocked by XM hosts' suspension

WASHINGTON — Satellite radio bills itself as the Wild West of the airwaves, an uncensored outpost beyond the reach of federal regulators where expletives fly with impunity and the banter can get as raunchy as at a strip club.

In South Africa, the Cup is no game

JOHANNESBURG, south Africa - A word to the wise: Any public statement about South Africa will be seen through the lens of race, even if it is about something as harmless as sports.

Affirmative action is failing in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - After years of affirmative action to correct racial inequalities left by decades of apartheid, management of the South African economy remains largely in white hands, a report said Tuesday.

NASA says it has found proof of existence of dark matter

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US astronomers on Tuesday presented the most solid proof yet of the existence of dark matter, a mysterious substance believed to make up more than a quarter of the universe.

Opie & Anthony Suspended for Condi Rice Sex Comments

WASHINGTON and NEW YORK, May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- XM Radio announced today that the company has suspended Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, hosts of "The Opie & Anthony Show" and ceased broadcast of the show for 30 days, effective immediately.

Ancestor of humans not so brainy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A monkey-like animal seen as an ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans was not as brainy as expected, according to scientists who analyzed its nicely preserved 29-million-year-old skull.

Africa ill-prepared for climate change consequences

SHANGHAI, May 14 (Reuters) - Africa is likely to suffer some of the worst effects of climate change and is ill-prepared to cope, officials said on Monday, advocating better access for the continent to world carbon markets.

Mosquito bacteria identified in malaria battle

ROME, May 14 (Reuters) - Scientists in Italy say they have identified a potential weapon against malaria living inside the blood-sucking mosquitoes that spread the disease -- their internal bacteria.

Brazil's Indians offended by Pope comments

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step.

Shoe on the other foot as Africa chides Wolfowitz

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The scandal hanging over World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has damaged his ability to preach against corruption in Africa, but Africans say the bank's anti-graft message must remain whether he stays or goes.

Racist Slurs End Shock Jocks' Show on CBS

NEW YORK (AP) - One month after CBS Radio fired radio host Don Imus, it has permanently pulled the plug on a pair of suspended New York shock jocks for a prank phone call rife with offensive Asian stereotypes.

Attorney: O.J. Won't Sue Kentucky Eatery

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — O.J. Simpson won't take legal action against a Louisville restaurateur who booted from a steakhouse on the eve of the Kentucky Derby after all, Simpson's attorney said Saturday.

Why are Haitian immigrants angry with boat sinking?

SOUTH DOCK, Turks and Caicos Islands - Haitian immigrants were simmering with anger Friday over allegations that a Turks and Caicos patrol boat may have caused a packed vessel to capsize last week, killing at least 61 of their countrymen.

Ex-trooper surrenders in 1965 Ala. death

MARION, Ala. - A former state trooper surrendered Thursday on a murder charge in the 1965 shooting death of a black man during a civil rights protest, a killing that led to the "Bloody Sunday" march and the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

O.J. Tossed From Steakhouse on Derby Eve

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The owner of an upscale steakhouse in Louisville said he asked O.J. Simpson to leave his restaurant the night before the Kentucky Derby because he is sickened by the attention Simpson still attracts.

Euthanasia group importing illegal drug, members say

An investigation by ABC TV's Four Corners program suggests a growing number of elderly Australians are prepared to flout the law to commit suicide.

The euthanasia group Exit Australia has told the program more than 100 people have imported the prohibited sedative Nembutal to Australia from Mexico, while 100 more are preparing to do the same.

Wife Touts Obama's 'Moral Compass'

WINDHAM, N.H., May 7 Michelle Obama, making an early campaign foray for her husband in the state with the nation's first presidential primary, praised her husband Monday for having a "moral compass" and contended that quality counts more than the "experience" on which many of his Democratic rivals are basing their campaigns.

Cases showing court's ideological divide on free speech

Some Supreme Court cases, since Samuel Alito joined the court last year, showing a clear division between conservative and liberal justices.

_Free speech: Scales back protections for government workers who blow the whistle on official misconduct, Garcetti v. Ceballos.

Majority: Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Samuel Alito,
Anthony Kennedy,
Antonin Scalia,
Clarence Thomas.

Dissent: Justices
Stephen Breyer,
Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
David Souter,
John Paul Stevens.

I don't believe the dissenters voted against our right to free speech.

Death toll in Haitian boat capsize rises to 54

MIAMI (Reuters) - The bodies of 54 people have been recovered following Friday's capsize of a Haitian sailboat that was being towed by police in the Turks and Caicos islands, the British territory's government said on Monday.

1965 civil rights death gets new look

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A fatal shooting by a state trooper that helped inspire the march from Selma in 1965 and the "Bloody Sunday" protest that preceded it will get a fresh look next week by a special grand jury.

Would anyone criticize Jews for hunting Nazis in 2007?

Reputed Klansman granted immunity

JACKSON, Miss. - A reputed Ku Klux Klansman was granted immunity to testify in the upcoming trial of his cousin, James Ford Seale, who is charged with kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 murders of two black teenagers.

Nigerian Anglican installs U.S. bishop

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - A powerful Anglican leader from Nigeria installed a bishop Saturday to lead the conservative U.S. parish network he created, despite a last-minute plea from the head of the Anglican Communion that he cancel his visit.

States compete for homeland security lab

WASHINGTON - A dozen states are competing for a government research lab full of killer germs like anthrax, avian flu and foot-and-mouth disease — a prospect some of their residents want to avoid like the plague.

Pope to face shaky Church future in Latin America

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Wednesday starts his first trip to Latin America, where a Church that is home to nearly half of the world's Catholics faces an uncertain future and falling numbers.

Study: Blacks defrauded by higher auto loan rates

WASHINGTON - Blacks have been charged higher auto loan rates than other auto buyers, federal research says. But the gap in loan rates could narrow, and possibly disappear, as the result of recently concluded lawsuits.

SAfrica Opposition Head Seeks Black Vote

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -

Cape Town's respected mayor won the leadership of the white-dominated main opposition party Sunday, vowing to attract more black voters and break the divided African National Congress' hold on power.

U.S. House passes bill to add attacks on gays to hate crime law

Just hours after the White House issued a veto threat Thursday, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted to add gender and sexual orientation to the categories covered by federal hate crimes law.

Pres. Bush will veto bill...

Boat Packed with Haitians Capsizes

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A boat loaded with Haitian migrants capsized early Friday while being towed by a police boat from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and some 20 corpses have been spotted, the
U.S. Coast Guard said.

Imus Lawyer: Bosses Could've Cut Racist Remarks

NEW YORK (AP) - A lawyer for Don Imus said Friday that the former radio host's bosses could have edited the on-air comments that got him fired—and the fact that they didn't meant they saw his remarks as routine for his often provocative show.

Obama Gets Secret Service Detail

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Secret Service said Thursday that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama was being placed under its protection, the earliest ever for a presidential candidate.

Vicar jailed Five years for 30-year abuse spree

ITN - A parish priest has been jailed for sexually abusing boys over a 30-year period after The Church of England ignored warnings about his behaviour.

Washington to do ad in support of gay rights

NEW YORK - Isaiah Washington, who came under fire after using an anti-gay slur, will appear in a public service announcement on behalf of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

'Scary Spice' takes aim at Eddie Murphy over paternity

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Former "Spice Girl" Melanie Brown has lashed out at film star and former boyfriend Eddie Murphy, insisting the veteran funnyman is the father of her one-month-old daughter.

In an interview to be broadcast by the syndicated entertainment news show "Extra," Brown said she was baffled by her split with Murphy last year and his subsequent refusal to acknowledge paternity of the child, Angel Iris.

The Korean angle on the Virginia massacre

Americans have surprised Korea with their compassion and understanding, said Seoul’s Dong-A Ilbo in an editorial. When news broke last week that the Virginia Tech killer was the South Korean­born Seung-Hui Cho, many of us braced for a backlash against Korean-Americans. We feared for the safety of the 2 million Koreans living in the U.S. and of the 100,000 studying there. We even thought that Korea and America’s “bilateral relations could be strained.”

The Korean ambassador to the U.S. offered to go on a 32-day fast for Cho’s 32 victims, and the government suggested sending an official delegation to take part in the mourning. But the U.S. government insisted that the crime was a purely domestic matter, not an international incident.

Rasmussen Poll: Obama ahead of Clinton in US presidential race

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's popularity has grown among likely voters, according to a poll released Monday which suggested he was gaining on rival frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

The poll by the Rasmussen Institute predicted Obama would get 32 percent of the vote in February's primary, compared to 30 percent for Clinton, who until now has been the consistent favorite for the Democratic party.

McCain Jokes About Bombing Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential contender John McCain, known for having a quirky sense of humor, joked about bombing Iran at a campaign appearance this week.

In response to an audience question about military action against Iran, the Arizona senator briefly sang the chorus of the surf-rocker classic "Barbara Ann."

"That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran," he said in jest Wednesday, chuckling with the crowd. Then, he softly sang to the melody: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, anyway, ah ..." The audience responded with more laughter.