An elementary school principal in Michigan is under investigation for authorizing a field trip last week for 30 black students to meet with an African-American rocket scientist. Students who are not black were excluded from the outing -- a possible violation of a state law that bans racial favoritism in public schools.
"The district is investigating the allegations of violation of the State of Michigan Proposal 2," a spokeswoman for the Ann Arbor, Mich., school district told FoxNews.com. "There was no ill-intent or malice in the principal and teachers planning this field trip," she added.
The principal, Mike Madison, who is black, said the trip was part of an effort to close the achievement gap between black and white students. But some parents whose children were not included say it clearly was illegal.
The controversy began last week when the 30 students, members of an African-American academic support group, were taken to hear the rocket scientist, Alec Gallimore, speak at the University of Michigan, where he is an aerospace engineering professor and propulsion lab director.
The goal of the trip, Madison said, was to close test score gaps and inspire the students to consider careers in the sciences.
But parents of students who were excluded protested, and the children who went on the trip were booed by their classmates when they returned to school.
Earlier this week, Madison tried to quash the controversy by sending a letter home to parents, in which he wrote:
“In hindsight, this field trip could have been approached and arranged in a better way.
"But as I reflect upon the look of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that I saw in these children’s eyes as they stood in the presence of a renowned African American rocket scientist in a very successful position, it gave the kids an opportunity to see this type of achievement is possible for even them.
“It was not a wasted venture," he continued, "for I know one day they might want to aspire to be the first astronaut or scientist standing on the Planet Mars....
“The intent of our field trip was not to segregate or exclude students, as has been reported, but rather to address the societal issues, roadblocks and challenges that our African-American children will face as they pursue a successful academic education here in our community.”
But Madison's explanation only fueled the controversy, and parental complaints turned into allegations that the school had violated Proposal 2, a newly enacted Michigan law that bans racial preference in public schools.
"If it was directed, guided, organized by the school district, they cannot say they are doing a field trip today for blacks only, or for whites only, or for Hispanics only or for Asians only," Leon Drolet, the former chairman of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, told the Detroit Free Press.
But district spokeswoman Liz Margolis said that bridging the gap in test scores between white and black students was a serious issue that legitimized the trip. Plus, she said, the field trip was paid for by a private donation.
"We don't feel that it at all violates (Proposal 2), but frankly, as with any group of students, if we identify a group of students that need support, we would be addressing that," Margolis told the Free Press.
"But we also have to have better education for our parents so they know why it's being done," she said.
A parent-teacher meeting to discuss the issue is scheduled for Thursday night.
Tell us what you think Edgers!!!!
Bun B feat. Gucci Mane Yo Gotti Countin Money
This track is off of Jadakiss latest mixtape "The Champ Is Here 3". What do ya think Edgers?!?!
01 I Think She Likes Me feat. Nicki Minaj
Raw materials that were to be used to make several lots of the Tylenol products for children and infants that were recalled over the weekend were contaminated, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.
Johnson & Johnson recalled about 1,500 lots of bottled products, including pediatric versions of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. The company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit said it was withdrawing the over-the-counter products, starting late Friday, because of manufacturing problems at its Fort Washington, Pa., plant.
What parents should do as Tylenol announces the recall of 1,500 batches of children's and infant's products. Video courtesy of Fox News.
The FDA inspected the manufacturing plant during a routine visit between April 19 and April 30.
Agency inspectors found that raw materials set aside for use to make several lots were contaminated with gram-negative bacteria, according to the inspection report. Such organisms are so named because they don't pick up the purplish dye used in the test to distinguish them from gram-positive bacteria. Both kinds of bacteria can cause infections.
FDA officials said the company may have used the contaminated inactive ingredients in manufacturing, but the company's testing of finished products didn't turn up contamination.
"The findings are serious, but we cannot say yet whether further action by the FDA is warranted," Deborah Autor, the FDA's director of compliance, said in a conference call with reporters.
Some of the liquid products may contain a higher concentration of their active ingredient than they should, while others may contain inappropriate levels of inactive ingredients or tiny metallic particles left as a residue from the manufacturing process, according to the company. The FDA report cited 46 consumer complaints regarding "foreign materials, black or dark specks" that were reported to the company between June 2009 and April 2010.
A spokeswoman for J&J's McNeil unit said the company has halted production at one plant. Other plants also make the medicines, and there are lots from those plants that weren't recalled and remain on store shelves. The spokeswoman declined to comment on the cost of the recall to the company or the source of the raw materials.
In a separate statement, she said that the J&J unit's own reviews had turned up some of the quality issues that the FDA observed and that McNeil won't restart operations at the Fort Washington plant until it fixes the problems and can be assured of product quality.
"We have no higher concern than providing parents with the highest quality products for their children," the company's statement said.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the potential for harm is remote. Still, she urged parents to avoid giving the medicines for precautionary reasons. "There are many alternative versions of these medicines available in generic form," she said.
To assist parents, the company has set up a hot line at 888-222-6036 and a website at www.mcneilproductrecall.com.
In this teaser to The UrbanDaily’s exclusive interview with video directors Coodie & Chike, the lucky cameramen behind Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat,” answered the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: Who the hell has the unedited version of that video??
They also share who helped them link with Erkyah to get the video done in the first place…
There’s a piece in today’s Times examining the relationship between Magnum condoms and hip-hop. Like Cristal before it, an “unsolicited lift by hip-hop artists” (i.e., rappers name-checking Magnums in their lyrics) has boosted sales of the brand by 14 percent.
Trojan, which owns Magnum, has decided to capitalize on all this free advertising by turning it into not-free advertising. The company has hired Ludacris as a spokesman for Magnum’s first ever ad campaign, which will include print, online, and radio ads, as well as a contest soliciting the best Magnum-themed lyrics. But what are the best Magnum-themed lyrics that already exist?
They are also hosting a $5000 contest to see who can come up with the best Magnum jingle. Go to www.magnumlivelarge.com for details. I'm sure there are alot of ladies who are with me on this visual DAMN!.......Ms. Jai '10
Police have found a condom in the Holiday Inn hotel room where former New York Giants star Lawrence Taylor allegedly committed third-degree rape of a 16-year-old Bronx girl early this morning.
TMZ reports that Ramapo supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, investigators found LT asleep inside the room when they first arrived to the hotel.
TMZ also says that cops retrieved a condom from the room as well as other evidence when Taylor was taken into custody.
Cops have confirmed that the 16-year-old victim at the center of this case is a runaway who was reported missing in March and had been taken in by a pimp, who along with another person, was arrested upon their return to New York City this morning.
According to CBS 2, former New York Giants star Lawrence Taylor was arrested for rape in New York. The 51-year-old Taylor was taken into custody by Ramapo police after being accused of rape by someone at the Holiday Inn Holidome Hotel in Suffern.
Charges have yet to be filed against the Hall of Fame linebacker and recent contestant on “Dancing With The Stars.” A press conference is expected later this afternoon.
A Facebook group accused of "praying" for the death of President Barack Obama has raised controversy online, with many calling for Facebook to remove the group as "offensive speech."
The group, which lists its location as "Marysville, OH, 43040," currently has over 1 million members--Facebook users who say they "like" the group. It includes an album of anti-Obama imagery uploaded by the group's members--what Facebook labels "fan photos--that show the president against a communist flag, juxtaposed with insulting and derisive captions, or even a cartoon "associating Obama to Hitler."
The group is called, "DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZIE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN."
Geekosystem notes that the title is "likely a riff on a letter circulating New Jersey teachers' unions earlier this month that employed similar language with respect to (Republican) governor Chris Christie. The president of the New Jersey Education Association went on to issue a formal apology for the email."
Another group, "Petition to remove Facebook group praying for President Obama's death," has been created to denounce the anti-Obama group and advocate for its removal. The group, which has just over 650,000 members, is asking users to "Please act to encourage facebook to remove the page praying for the death of President Obama," and lists three steps Facebook users can take.
Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for hosting Facebook pages many find inappropriate and offensive.
Geekosystem observes, Facebook's procedure for dealing with potentially offensive groups is pretty murky. Facebook has stated in the past that it takes seriously the free speech of its groups, even potentially offensive ones: A number of Facebook groups praising Joe Stack, the man who crashed a small plane into a government building in February, are still alive and well.
Controversy erupted in September 2009 after users discovered a Facebook poll that asked whether President Obama should be killed.
The death toll in three states has risen to 31 from a massive weekend storm system that devastated parts of the Southeast, authorities said Thursday.
Twenty-one people have been confirmed dead in hard-hit Tennessee.
One of those deaths was from a tornado in Hardeman County in the western part of the state that was spawned by the heavy storms, according to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.
The same storm system killed six people in Mississippi and four in Kentucky, emergency management officials said.
The death toll could rise as rescue crews continue to search for several people who have been reported missing, including two kayakers in Kentucky and several people in Tennessee, officials said.
The waters had receded in much of the city of Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, six days after the record-setting rains swelled rivers to historic levels and flooded several neighborhoods.
Nashville's major business and government district, Metro Center, partially reopened at noon Thursday. Business owners and workers were allowed access to their properties at Metro Center, though the area was still closed to the public.
Other parts of downtown were also reopened Thursday to residents and shop owners, the Nashville mayor's office said.
As of 9 a.m. Thursday, the Cumberland River, which cuts through Nashville, stood about 2 feet above flood stage, and the water continued to recede.
"Nashville has obviously been hard-hit, and it's a well-known city, but there are so many other counties in the state and areas ... that have been hit very hard as well," Gov. Phil Bredesen told CNN from Nashville on Thursday morning.
"A lot of people who didn't have flood insurance, because they never thought floodwaters would ever come anywhere near their home, are really looking at a total loss of their home," he said. "It's very tough on a lot of people right now."
President Obama has declared 10 Tennessee counties disaster areas, he said.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said that his agency was looking to add more counties to the federal disaster declaration.
The flooding was one of the biggest responses FEMA has made under his leadership, Fugate said at a news conference Thursday.
He asked those affected by the flooding to contact FEMA to verify the damage and apply for federal aid, if possible, he said.
As the floods recede, Bredesen said, people are facing the damage the waters have caused.
"We're going to get through this," the governor told CNN. "This is a very resilient state."
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was also optimistic Wednesday night.
"We are coming out of this thing," Dean said. "This has been devastating, but right now we're going to be focused on getting our city back up and working. "
The iconic Country Music Hall of Fame is also expected to reopen before week's end.
Nashville "will remain Music City and we will go forward doing what we've been doing," Dean said.
The mayor estimated the flood damage to his city to easily top $1 billion.
One of the city's main water treatment plants remained closed because of the flooding Thursday, prompting the city to tell residents to put off washing dishes and limit toilet flushing.
"Citizens are using water at a greater rate than we can treat it and pump it out to the community," said Sonia Harvat of Nashville's water department.
See photos as the cleanup begins
Harvat said "assessment and repairs are proceeding well at the K.R. Harrington Water Treatment Plant."
"There is still a significant amount of inspection, repair and testing to accomplish before the plant can be placed back in service and operations evaluated," she said in an e-mail to CNN.
The city would be forced to rely on bottled water unless more people started conserving, officials said.
Bredesen warned residents to be wary of con artists looking to capitalize on the flood response.
"There are always people who come in and do these scams of charging people -- and they seem to prey on elderly people an awful lot -- just charging people an awful lot to do something," Bredesen said. "(They say) 'I'm going to fix your house, you have to do it or the state's going to tear it down, and it's like $20,000. Write me a check or give me cash.' "
"People have lost everything," said singer and Nashville resident Kenny Chesney, who flew home to check on his house.
The damage Chesney saw from the air while flying in was nothing compared with what he's seen on the ground, he said.
"I didn't know what to think. I was numb to it all," he said.
The road leading to Chesney's 40-acre, waterfront property was under five feet of water, accessible only by a motor boat.
"I lost a lot but not near as much as a lot of people," he said.
The Gulf Coast braced for a greasy and unwelcome tide Thursday as the region's largest oil spill in decades threatened the marshlands and beaches at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
"This Saturday is the first date we can go catch live bait," said Glenn Sanchez, who runs a marina in Hopedale, Louisiana. "If this was to happen, this could just devastate the whole of Louisiana."
Hopedale is in what Sanchez calls the "big toe" of Louisiana, about 35 miles southeast of New Orleans.
It's where dry land gives way to a patchwork of marshes, lagoons and canals that drain into Chandeleur Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. The estuaries are rich in crab, oysters and shrimp, and Breton Sound Marina is home to a variety of commercial and sport-fishing vessels that buy bait from Sanchez. But the spill that began last week when the Deepwater Horizon drill rig blew up and sank has cast a new shadow on a region already under heavy environmental pressure.
The rig sat atop an oil well that is now spewing up to 210,000 gallons of light sweet crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico. BP, the well's owner, has been trying to shut off the flow using eight remote-controlled submarines. It's had no success up to this point.
George Crozier, administrator of Alabama's Dauphin Island Sea Lab, said the worst of the spill appeared most likely to hit Chandeleur Sound and western Mississippi Sound, to the north. The barrier islands that shielded those waters were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and have yet to bounce back, he said.
But weather patterns and the amount of oil released make it difficult to predict where the slick will wash ashore.
"It's just too early to have much sense of what's going to happen," Crozier said.
The Coast Guard has begun attempting to burn the oil off in sections, but the rainbow sheen on the surface now stretches for about 100 miles and was less than 20 miles off the mouth of the Mississippi River late Wednesday.
"This is very frightening to us, because we don't know what the impact is," said Frankie Duggan, port director for Biloxi, Mississippi.
Louisiana is the No. 1 producer of shrimp and oysters in the United States, while fishing remains a major industry on the Mississippi coast even after casino gambling has come to dominate the local economy. The smell of heavy oil already was wafting ashore Tuesday, said Barry Deshamp, a charter boat skipper in Long Beach, Mississippi.
Deshamp's business is ramping up ahead of the summer, and while no one has canceled trips yet, "Nobody wants to fish in an oil slick," he said.
The eastern edge of the spill was more than 90 miles off the Mississippi coast on Wednesday afternoon -- well beyond the 10- to 20-mile range Deshamp usually fishes. The bigger commercial boats "can pretty much go around it," but the slick is drifting over prime fishing grounds for popular catches, such as red snapper.
"It's unreal they haven't even stopped it yet," Deshamp said. "At first they were telling us it's not even leaking."
Worse yet, the spill is happening at a time when Gulf shrimp are in their spawning season. That puts more pressure on fishermen already feeling the pinch from high fuel prices, increased imports and a late spring, said Scott St. Pierre, captain of the shrimp boat "Mom and Dad" out of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
"This is our critical time. We want our babies to grow. We need south wind and warm weather," St. Pierre said. "If the south wind brings them oil, we thought we had problems before? This has the potential to be a disaster."
The first of the oil slick could hit southeastern Louisiana's shores late Friday, Gov. Bobby Jindal said. The area is home to several wildlife reserves, and the state might even put prison inmates into the effort by using them to clean oil from birds, Jindal said.
The Gulf Coast hasn't seen a major oil spill in about 40 years, Crozier said. Most of the toxic components in the crude spill are likely to evaporate in the sun, but a "physical mess" is likely to remain in the marshes.
"The occasional drum has fallen overboard, but we've never had anything of this magnitude," he said.
Wilma Subra, a chemist who advises the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, said hundreds of spotters are watching for signs of the slick along the shoreline. But until the damaged well is capped, the coast could be hit over and over again when weather patterns shift.
Subra expressed hope the planned burning would limit the slick's advance, "but it all depends on how the weather moves."
"This is just going to be unbelievable," Subra said. "It's not going to be just a one-time event."
Plies is building anticipation for his new album, Goon Affiliated, with a rather interesting giveaway promotion.
Hip-hop’s favorite alleged high school valedictorian is giving away shopping sprees and iPads to those who enter his 25-day “Goon Affiliated Giveaway” contest.
The prizes don’t stop there though…
The rapper is also giving away mortgage payments and healthcare assistance as well.
“My music is very much reflective of the ills of our community and real talk.” Plies said, “There are people out there struggling to make ends meet in this economy. This giveaway to me is more than just a countdown to my album release, it’s about giving back to my community and anybody who knows me knows that’s what it’s all about. So for me it’s about being able to help out where help is needed.”
“There are so many giveaways these days. People give away things that are not a necessity. The ‘Goon Affiliated 25 Day Giveaway’ gives people a chance to win something that they really need, that could save a family’s home, grant a college education, or allow someone to see a medical professional for treatment and I feel blessed to be able to contribute, it’s so much more than a giveaway to me.”
The contest, which runs from May 1st through the 25th, will dole out one prize a day.
For more information on the contest, visit PliesWorld.com
The season three opener of The Boondocks takes it back to the election of 2008, with various cast members being asked why they do (or don’t in the case of Uncle Ruckus) support Obama.
New season starts this Sunday May 2nd on the Cartoon Network Adult Swim 10:30 p.m. Central Time
Named after the closing track of her latest "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh," Erykah Badu has announced the dates for her 2010 North American tour, "Out My Mind, Just In Time." The trek will make stops at amphitheaters and concert halls beginning May 22 at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, MD, and wrapping up on June 24 at The Pearl Concert Theater in Las Vegas, NV.
Badu will be joined by N.E.R.D., Bilal, Janelle Monae and The Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.
In addition to "Out My Mind, Just In Time," Badu will also perform during this summer's Lollapalooza festival, Lilith Fair as well as be featured as a special guest at Maxwell's upcoming concerts at Phillips Arena in Atlanta on June 11 and Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 26.
Here are the dates for "Out My Mind, Just In Time":
May 22: Baltimore, MD (Pier Six Pavilion)
May 23: Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
May 22:Baltimore, MD (Pier Six Pavilion feat. Bilal)
May 23: Boston, MA (Orpheum Theatre feat. Janelle Monae)
May 25: New York, NY (Roseland Ballroom feat. ?uestlove)
May 26: Philadelphia, PA (Tower Theater feat. Bilal)
May 28: Washington, D.C. (Constitution Hall feat. N.E.R.D. and Janelle Monae)
May 30: Detroit, MI (Chene Park feat. N.E.R.D. and Janelle Monae)
June 2: Chicago, IL Chicago (Chicago Theater feat. N.E.R.D. and Janelle Monae)
June 3: Chicago, IL Chicago (Chicago Theater feat. Janelle Monae)
June 5: Memphis, TN (Orpheum Theatre feat. Janelle Monae)
June 6: Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium feat. Janelle Monae)
June 8: Kansas City, KS (Midland Theatre feat. Janelle Monae)
June 9: St. Louis, MO (Fox Theatre feat. Janelle Monae)
June 13: Houston, TX (Verizon Wireless Theater feat. Janelle Monae)
June 14: Dallas, TX (Nokia Theatre)
June 16: Denver, CO (The Fillmore Auditorium feat. Janelle Monae)
June 18: Oakland, CA (Paramount Theatre feat. Janelle Monae)
June 19: Saratoga, CA (The Mountain Winery)
June 20: Los Angeles, CA (Greek Theater feat. Janelle Monae)
June 22: San Diego, CA (TBA)
June 23: Phoenix, AZ (TBA)
June 24: Las Vegas, NV (The Pearl Concert Theater)
With time and patience a couple will learn the best way to navigate through each other’s communicative styles and learn the best time and approach to squash the beef … or better, avoid it all together! Too often we prematurely throw in the towel and abandon all attempts to talk, but that’s all reactionary and an unhealthy habit to start – doing this, growing apart is inevitable. At some point, we have to learn how to not take all spats personally and chalk it up to learning yourself and your partner better. Take a look at these tips to break the ice when your lover turns cold.
Keep positive vibes - please remember that attitude is everything and it’s best to focus on the positive. Project your energies and focus on the loving vibration you wish to accomplish. When you’re soured or negative because your partner is, it only brews more of the same. Set the tone of positivity and say, “hey, I don’t like this tension between us, when you’re ready to talk you know where I am and please make it soon.” Positive, genuine and irresistible.
Think then speak - before you open up dialogue, clear any and all fog in your head and be clear on your points. “This is why I’m mad. I was hurt when you said this. I wish you would’ve or would not have handled it like that.” And allow your partner the time to respond WITHOUT interruption. Remember that these conversations often expose vulnerabilities and insecurities, so be aware that you’re venturing into unchartered territory. It’s imperative that you remain sensitive and don’t bash his/ her thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Admission - if you know how and what you did to contribute to the mess you have on your hands, admit it. Take responsibility for your contribution to the madness and explain your motives at that time. Be it good, bad or just plain foul, be honest and tell the truth. When you don’t explain your position honestly, your partner will find it hard to trust what you say. No bueno … ever. Honesty is the best policy when building communication and is, more often than not, respected.
Check your body language - when you engage in deep communication, your body language speaks louder than words! If your hands are on your hips or your arms are folded or your eyes are rolling and you’re sucking your teeth, this further shuts the window of communication.
Think – open. Your chest (heart) should remain exposed. When you do the opposite it reads you’re guarding your true feelings. Same with your mind, if you’ve got your face buried in your hands or constantly avoiding eye contact, it reads you’re closed off. When you’re open, it’s more inviting and helps the conversation flow with ease. Take a few deep breaths, relax and try your best to eliminate all combative gestures.
Exercise patience - everybody communicates differently. Some are longwinded while others have troubles articulating their true emotions and thoughts. Then there are those that ramble about without making a solid point. Key phrases like, “help me understand,” “what do you want me to take away from what you’re saying” and take your time, I’m listening,” always helps the other person express. Be patient because while you’re getting to know your partner, they’re also getting to know you. It’s a process … lots of trial and error.
Listen Carefully - listening is the lost art. How many times have you been guilty of cutting your partner off mid-sentence so they can “hear you out?” A lot of times we’re so wrapped up in the moment and wanting to express our own side of the story that we miss the purpose of the conversation, which is to share. Listen, take it all in and then respond. The conversation time can be cut in half without all the back and fourth – which normally goes nowhere.
Acceptance - accept the fact you can’t change how your partner thinks or feels. It is what it is, and it’s best to accept that rather than try to change it. There’s no use in those “you shouldn’t feel that way!” or “why are you hurt?” plights. You can’t undo hurt or pain. But you can do is do what you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again and let it be known!
Communication is vital in all relationships! But why is it so easy to talk to your doctor, co-workers, clients, friends – while communication on the home front is all but non-existent! If you can tell everybody in your circle but the person you’re fussing about what’s wrong in your personal life, something’s not right! Put the same effort into talking to your partner and nothing but good can come from it! Communication is key … always!
I have seen a lot of ignorant things in my life, but this one may have found itself at the top! Rappers Jon Geezy & Parlae decided to show everyone in the world that they had money to blow by not only burning $100,000, but also putting it on youtube for the whole world to see.
Not only is this HIGHLY ILLEGAL, but it might also be the dumbest thing anyone has ever done with $100-thousand dollars. Don't you have kids you can send to college, or maybe buy your mom a new car or a house for that matter?
Parlae, who is a rapper from the 2 hit wonder group "Dem Franchize Boyz," should definitely have something better to do with that money, I didn't even know "Lean Wit it Rock It" sold like that! And didn't those checks have to be split 4 ways. SMH.
In my best Chappelle voice, "They should of never gave y'all n*ggas money!"
PHOENIX (AP) -- A referendum drive and a lawsuit have emerged as potential road blocks to Arizona's tough new law on illegal immigration that has thrust the southwestern border state into the spotlight.
The legal action set to be filed Thursday in federal court is aimed a preventing enforcement of the controversial measure, while the ballot question could put it on hold until 2012.
Signed last week by Republican Governor Jan Brewer, the law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.
A draft of the proposed lawsuit obtained by The Associated Press shows the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders will seek an injunction preventing authorities from enforcing the law. The group argues federal law pre-empts state regulation of national borders, and that Arizona's law violates due-process rights by allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be detained before they're convicted.
Other Hispanic and civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, are also planning lawsuits. And U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government may challenge the law.
On Wednesday, a group filed papers to launch a referendum drive that could put the law on hold until 2012 if organizers wait until the last minute to turn in petition signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot.
Opponents of the law have until late July or early August to file the more than 76,000 signatures -- the same time the law is set to go into effect. If they get enough signatures, the law would be delayed until a vote.
But the deadline to put a question on the November ballot is July 1, and a referendum filing later than that could delay a vote on the law until 2012, officials with the Secretary of State's Office said.
"That would be a pretty big advantage" to the law's opponents, said Andrew Chavez, head of a Phoenix-based petition-circulating firm and chairman of the One Arizona referendum campaign.
The legislation's chief sponsor, Republican state Rep. Russell Pearce, said he has no doubt voters will support the new law at the ballot box, which would then protect it from repeal by the Legislature. In Arizona, measures approved by voters can only be repealed at the ballot box.
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The clergy group's lawsuit targets a provision allowing police to arrest illegal-immigrant day laborers seeking work on the street or anyone trying to hire them, according to the draft. It says the solicitation of work is protected by the U.S. Constitution.
State Rep. Ben Miranda, a Democrat who will serve as the local attorney on the case, said it was important to file the suit quickly to show local Latinos and the rest of the country that there's still a chance the law won't be enacted.
"I think there's real damage being caused right now," Miranda said. "How do you measure the kind of fear ... going on in many parts of this community?"
At least three Arizona cities -- Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson -- also are considering lawsuits to block the law.
The effect of the law continued to ripple beyond Arizona. A Republican Texas lawmaker said she'll introduce a similar measure similar next year, and Republicans running for governor in Colorado and Minnesota expressed support for the crackdown.
Civil rights leaders and others have called for a boycott of Arizona, and the Mexican government is warning its citizens about an "adverse political atmosphere" in Arizona. At least three Arizona cities are considering lawsuits to block the law, and there are two efforts to put a referendum on Arizona's November ballot to repeal it.
Retired South African archbishop Desmond Tutu said he supports the idea of a boycott of Arizona businesses, according to a letter he wrote that was posted Wednesday on TheCommunity.com, a website for Nobel peace laureates that promotes peace and human rights.
"I recognize that Arizona has become a widening entry point for illegal immigration from the South... but a solution that degrades innocent people, or that makes anyone with broken English a suspect, is not a solution," Tutu said.
Colombian singer Shakira planned to visit Phoenix on Thursday to meet with the city's police chief and mayor over her concerns that the law would lead to racial profiling.
Ice Cube is teaming up with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster in the new film Rampart.
The film, which is centered around the scandals that took place in the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1990s, showcases police misconducts in the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) anti-gang program including unprovoked shootings, beatings, planting of evidence, framing of suspects, stealing and dealing narcotics, bank robbery, perjury and covering up evidence.
Ice Cube is set to play a LAPD officer alongside Foster, who are colleagues with Harrelson's character, an LAPD officer on a redemptive journey who finds himself embroiled in scandal.
The LAPD, which has widely been criticized for the mishandling of the murder cases of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, have denied allegations that they have ever hired criminals to work as officers in the division.
But according to retired robbery-homicide detective Russell Poole in the critically acclaimed book “Labyrinth”, the police knowingly hired gang members David Mack and Rafael Pérez who were well known throughout the Blood community.
According to the book "Labyrinth", Mack and Pérez were also employed by former Death Row CEO Suge Knight, along with other police officers from the Rampart division, to serve as security at various Death Row events. Poole also states that the officers witnessed and participated in illegal activities while working events.
Mack, who was suspected to have played a role in the murder of Notorious B.I.G., was later arrested for bank robbery, while still employed as an LAPD officer.
Adding to the scandal was the shooting death of corrupt LAPD officer Kevin Gaines by fellow officer and undercover detective Frank Lyga in 1997. The shooting, which was ruled self-defense, uncovered evidence of Officer Gaines's corrupt behavior.
According to reports, Gaines filed a bogus claim against the city of Los Angeles for “mistreatment” against him during an arrest while he was off duty. After the ruling in Gaines favor, it was later discovered that the suit was filed to secure his officer pension. Police also state adding to growing suspicion was the fact that Gaines was dating and living with Suge Knights ex-wife and the then manager of Snoop Dogg, Sharitha Knight.
According to published police files, Poole, who was assigned to investigate the Lyga-Gaines shooting, recovered evidence that Gaines's lifestyle did not match the $55,000 a year salary he was paid as an LAPD officer.
The published reports show that at the time, Gaines drove a Mercedes and wore designer suits. Detectives also found nine credit cards as well as a receipt for a $952 restaurant tab at Monty's Steakhouse, a Westwood hangout for members of Death Row Records.
At the time, Death Row Records was under investigation by the FBI since 1993 for its strong ties to Compton's Mob Piru Bloods gang.
Rampart, a film based on James Ellroy's screenplay, has been developed at Light stream Pictures is slated to be released sometime in 2011.
About 217,000 Graco cribs have been recalled, due to a malfunction that can entrap, suffocate or strangle infants and toddlers, federal safety officials announced Thursday.
The recall includes so-called "drop side" wood cribs made by manufacturer LaJobi and branded with the Graco logo.
217,000 drop side cribs that could suffocate or strangle infants are being recalled.
Faulty hardware can cause the drop side to detach from the crib, creating a gap "in which infants and toddlers can become wedged or entrapped, posing a risk of suffocation and strangulation," the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a press release.
Consumers should immediately stop using the cribs and contact LaJobi's recall hotline at (888) 842-2215 to receive a free hardware retrofit kit, the company said.
"We have moved swiftly and decisively, in full cooperation with the CPSC, to take this precautionary action and recall these cribs and deliver to owners a workable, easy and permanent solution," LaJobi said in a statement.
The CPSC and LaJobi received 99 complaints about the faulty drop side. Children were trapped in two cases and later freed by their caregivers. There were six reports of children falling out of the crib due to the malfunction.
While LaJobi, as the manufacturer, is primarily handling the recall, it marks the third major recall tied to the Graco name this year. Atlanta-based Graco Children's Products, a unit of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NWL, Fortune 500), recalled 1.5 million strollers in January and 1.2 million highchairs in March.
The cribs were sold, starting in February 2007 at retailers throughout the country for $140 to $200.