McDonald's is opening its first Hamburger University in Shanghai today, and the fast-food chain said it plans to double the number of franchises in China to 2,000 over the next three years.
Shares of McDonald's were up 31 cents to $67.38. The stock hit $67.49 earlier in the session, an all-time high, on the news.
China is the fastest-growing global market for McDonald's, and company executives expect sales to grow at a 10% annualized rate this year, much better than the modest 2% to 3% growth in the U.S. and flat sales in Europe.
McDonald's has been in China for 20 years, and it currently has more than 60,000 employees in more than 1,100 restaurants in mainland China.
The Hamburger University will not be a place where people only study burgers and fries, but rather a place where new managers can be trained. McDonald's and dozens of other multinational companies have been working to develop local talent in overseas markets.
A survey of 202 multinational companies said they are changing strategies to adapt to rising costs and high employee turnover, according to The American Chamber of Commerce.
The Shanghai Hamburger University is the seventh such global outpost for McDonald's, and its goal is to have 5,000 graduates over the next five years. "We will do our best to be the Harvard for our industry," the school's dean, Susanna Li, told the U.K.'s Telegraph.
China's informal eating-out market is about $300 billion-a-year, said Tim Fenton, the company's president for Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa, according to The Associated Press.
"It's because of China's strategic importance to McDonald's that we have chosen to have our new Hamburger University in Shanghai," Fenton said. "We have to get ahead of the people curve."
Some movies are anything but child friendly, and Brian De Palma's 1983 violent cult classic "Scarface" is undoubtedly one of them.
So when a video popped up on YouTube with the description, "Jaydon's school put on a kids production of Scarface," it seemed like a joke.
But sure enough the video shows elementary school-aged children re-enacting the violent, drug filled drama.
The violent imagery, while toned down slightly, is no less disturbing in the production. In place of the f-word, the child stars say "fudge." Instead of cocaine mounds on the table as in the film, the young stars sit in front of popcorn.
Still, some of it gets straight to the point as the young girl on stage screams, "You do coke and you kill people!" And that's not even mentioning the children using toy handguns and Uzis as props.
Luckily, however, this "school play" wasn't done in a school at all.
Instead, TMZ reports that the video was a planned production by the folks behind Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face' video.
"It was produced in L.A. within the last few weeks and the audience members were a mix of cast family members, colleagues and friends," TMZ reports. "As for Lil' Tony and his co-stars, they were selected through a casting agent known for finding child actor lookalikes for adult stars."
Does that make it OK?
BEIJING -- The bodies of 21 babies, believed dumped by hospitals, have washed ashore on a riverbank in eastern China, state media reported Tuesday.
Video footage showed that the bodies -- stashed in yellow plastic bags, at least one of which was marked "medical waste" -- included some infants several months old. Some wore identification tags with their mothers' names, birth dates, measurements and weights. The official Xinhua News Agency said there were also fetuses among the bodies.
Residents discovered the remains under a bridge in the city of Jining, Shandong province, over the weekend. Tags on the feet of eight of the babies traced them back to a hospital in Jining, according to the People's Daily Web site. Three of them had been admitted earlier to the hospital in critical condition, the report said. It did not say when.
The other 13 bodies were unidentified. The number of girls or boys was not reported.
More girls than boys are aborted in China because of the traditional preference for male offspring, especially in rural areas. Although gender-selection abortions are illegal in China, the practice remains widespread and has led to a skewed sex ratio at birth in China with 119 males born for every 100 females. In industrialized countries, the ratio is 107 to 100.
An official from the general office from the Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical College confirmed it was involved.
"Several of the bodies of babies with (identification) tags were from our hospital, but not all of them. The officials from the health bureau are still in the hospital doing an investigation," said the official, who like most Chinese officials would not give his name.
Xinhua said medical staff were suspended after the discovery.
"The hospital medical staff involved have been suspended from their work during the investigation," Zhong Haitao, a spokesman at the Jining Health Bureau, was quoted as saying.
Local residents and firefighters recovered the bodies Monday after they were discovered under a bridge spanning the Guangfu River in the outskirts of Jining, Zhong said.
Interviews with residents who discovered the bodies floating near the shore over the weekend were broadcast on the Web site of the Shandong Broadcasting Company, IQILU.com.
The footage shows bodies lying on parts of the bank of the river. Some are uncovered, and others are in bags. They are all small and covered in dirt. A leg sticks out from under one bag. At least one of the bags has "medical waste" written on it.
After numerous delays, it looks like Big Boi's upcoming album, "Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty," will finally see the light of day -- on a new label. The rapper, one half of the collective Outkast with partner Andre 3000, announced via twitter on Friday (March 19) that he has signed a solo deal with Def Jam records. A rep for Def Jam has confirmed the announcement.
"BREAKING NEWS!!!! It's Official Big Boi signs solo album Deal with Def Jam!!!!! More details to come..." The Atlanta MC tweeted at 9:40 PM. "Ink is on paper," he posted just a minute later.
For the past three years, since first announcing work on the solo album, Big Boi has been releasing tracks from "Lucious" including Royal Flush," which features Andre 3000 and Raekwon; "Sumthin's Gotta Give" with Mary J. Blige; "Dubbz"; "Fo Yo Sorrows" with George Clinton and Too $hort; and most recently, "Shine Blockas" with Gucci Mane. Big Boi also told Billboard.com recently that he's worked with T.I., Lil Jon, Jamie Foxx and B.O.B. for the album, which was originally due at the end of 2008 via LaFace/Zomba. Big Boi currently appears on the remix to B.O.B.'s latest single, "Nothing On You."
"There's been a lot of stops and stars with this project," Boi told Billboard.com back in December. "I've just been trying to make sure we've got the right avenues and the right brains and mindsets together to get the marketing and promoting behind it. When you work on something for, like, two years and 11 months, it's like your baby. You want to make sure that everybody has taken the project the way they're supposed to be taking it and the set-up is right."
Erykah Badu shed her clothes as she walked along a Dallas, Texas, sidewalk until she was nude and then fell near where President Kennedy was assassinated.
The result was a controversial video, released Saturday, for her song "Window Seat," which Badu said was "shot guerrilla style" with no crew and in one take March 17.
Children could be seen nearby as Badu stripped in Dealey Plaza, a popular tourist spot since Kennedy's 1963 assassination.
The singer's management did not immediately respond to request for comment, but Badu responded to the controversy via Twitter.
She tweeted that "there were children there. i prayed they wouldnt b traumatized."
Badu will not face indecent exposure charges for shedding her clothes on the Dallas, Texas, sidewalk, a Dallas Police spokeswoman said.
Although children were nearby, no one filed a complaint against Badu after the March 17 incident, Dallas Police Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said.
"But if we had had a call and would have caught Ms. Badu in the act of walking down the street taking her clothes off, she would have been charge with a Class B misdemeanor," she said.
The R&B singer said she was making a statement against "groupthink," which she tweeted was an "unwritten rule" that "i will not express my true opinion if it opposes those i love and fear."
Some fans sent tweets praising Badu's artistic vision.
One fan tweeted to Badu on Sunday: "thank you, because your being brave, i no longer feel afraid to say what i really feel."
The video opens with a November 22, 1963, radio broadcast describing Kennedy's motorcade turning onto Elm Street seconds before fatal shots were fired.
In the video, Badu is behind the wheel of a 1965 Lincoln Continental, parked along Kennedy's route. A single camera focuses on her as she walks toward Elm Street and the book depository where Kennedy's assassin fired his rifle.
Badu tweeted that "i was petrified while shooting this video ... but liberation began to set in. i conquered many fears in that few moments."
She said she was "too busy lookin for cops" to be embarrassed by her nudity. "i been naked all along in my words actions and deeds. thats the real vulnerable place," she tweeted.
The video does not include shouts from people off camera, she said. "they were yelling, 'THIS IS A PUBLIC PLACE : YOU OUGHTA BE ASHAMED : PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON : DAMN GIRL! etc," Badu tweeted.
More than a dozen people stood along the plaza's "grassy knoll" when Badu took off the last piece of clothing.
"the people caught in the shot were trying hard to ignore me," she tweeted.
As she reached the spot where Kennedy was first struck by a bullet, the crackle of a gunshot is heard and Badu's head snaps back and she falls to the ground as if dead.
Badu said when the camera stopped "we ran."
The singer was born in Dallas, where she is raising her three children -- ages 1, 5 and 12
She tweeted to fans about her 5-year-old daughter's response when told of her plans for the video: "she looked at me with a blank face and replied ok mama can i have another pudding?"
The video was released days before the singer's next album, "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh," hits record stores. The single "Window Seat" is at No. 28 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart.
New York state Senator Eric Adams is launching a campaign to discourage kids from wearing saggy pants. If only he could stop the skinny jeans phenomenon, then and only then will everything be right with the world.
If his campaign is successful, young men will be able to run, skip and even walk without looking like a bow-legged toddler.
The Brooklyn lawmaker released a YouTube video over the weekend to encourage young people to demonstrate their confidence by pulling up their pants and ending the sagging pants trend.
For those unfamiliar, the trend involves a young man wearing his pants right above the knee, held there precariously by a belt. This leaves their boxer underwear completely exposed for the potential catastrophe of a strong wind. The trend was started in the '80s, when pants were worn loose right below a guy's hips with a belt.
Adams also unveiled a new billboard campaign throughout the borough with phrases like, "Raise your pants, raise your image!" to encourage young Brooklynites to pull their pants up.
Keyshia Cole got an earful from a New Jersey judge on March 25.
The 'Let It Go' singer, who just gave birth to a baby boy on March 2, was sued by an event promoter who claims she was paid $15,000 up front and blew off an appearance in 2006.
In a written opinion, the judge told the BET reality show star that her testimony was "confused and at times nonsensical."
The judge added that Cole was so reluctant to read certain documents while testifying, "that it appears at times that she was not literate."
The 28 year-old Oakland native lost the case and was ordered to pay $160,000 in damages.
In addition to planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé and the father of her baby, Cleveland Cavaliers player Daniel Gibson, Cole is set to release her fourth studio album later this year.
The rumor mill is buzzing with talk about the first single from Dr. Dre’s long-awaited Detox album dropping soon.
For the last couple of days, I’ve been hearing rumbles about Dre linking up with Jay-Z for the album’s first single.
Hiphopwired.com came through with some more information:
Courtesy of credible source, (TV and radio personality) Michael Yo, there is word that Dr. Dre was able to feature Jay-Z on a track for the “upcoming” project.
On top of that, the actual record should come soon as it is expected to drop within the week and that Interscope records has been heavily excited about the collaboration.
The track is rumored to be an “uptempo” cut and might serve as Dre’s first single. The title, however, has yet to be released.
This rumored song will be the latest in a string of Dre/Jay collabs. The two first linked up when Hov wrote Dre’s 1999 comeback single “Still D.R.E.” The two last worked together on Jay’s Kingdom Come album where Dre produced 4 tracks and mixed the lead single, “Show Me What You Got.”
Stay tuned for updates!
Rapper Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley have unveiled the official tour dates for their “Distant Relatives Tour” in support of their upcoming collaborative album Distant Relatives.
The tour kicks off on May 21st in Arcata, California, just days after the Distant Relatives album lands in stores (May 18th).
Tour dates are listed below:
May 2nd West Palm Beach, Fl Sunfest
May 21st Arcata, CA Arcata Community Center
May 22nd Eugene, OR Cuthbert Amphitheater
May 23rd Seattle, WA Showbox Sodo
May 25th Oakland, CA Fox Theater
May 26th Santa Barbara, CA University of California,
May 28th Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
May 29th Las Vegas, NV The Joint
May 30th Valley Center, CA Harrah’s Rincon – Open Sky Theater
May 31st Los Angeles, CA UCLA Jazz Reggae Festival
June 2nd Santa Fe, NM Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre
June 8th Houston, TX House of Blues
June 9th Austin, TX Stubb’s Waller Creek Outdoor Amphitheater
June 11th Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music Festival
June 12th Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
June 13th Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
June 27th Brussels, BE Couleur Cafe Festival
June 28th Paris, FR Paris Hip Hop Festival
July 1st Arendal, NO Hovefestival
July 3rd Cologne, DE Summerjam
July 4th Gdynia, PL Heineken Opener Festival
July 6th Copenhagen, DK Vega
July 7th Hultsfred, SE Hultsfred Festival
July 9th Frauenfeld, CH Openair Frauenfeld
July 10th Montreux Vaud, CH Montreux Jazz Festival – Miles
July 11th Rotterdam Holland North Sea Jazz
July 13th Hamburg, DE Stadtpark
July 14th Munich, DE Tollwood Festival
July 16th Manchester, UK Manchester Academy
July 17th Dublin, IE Tripod
July 20th Hammersmith, UK Hammersmith Apollo
July 23rd Gräfenhainichen, DE Splash Festival
July 31st Brooklyn, NY Williamsburg Waterfront
August 1st Bridgeport, CT Gathering of The Vibes Festival
Five months before their July wedding, model/actors Eva Marcille, 25, and Lance Gross, 28, have called it QUITS!
ESSENCE.com reached out to the reps of both Marcille and Gross to confirm that the two had called off their summer wedding and they replied with this exclusive statement:
“Lance Gross and Eva Marcille have mutually decided to end their relationship. The split is completely amicable and both parties remain friends.”
The game begins with a teenage girl on a subway platform. She notices you are looking at her and asks, "Can I help you with something?" That is when you, the player, can choose your method of assault.
With the click of your mouse, you can grope her and lift her skirt. Then you can follow her aboard the train, assaulting her sister and her mother.
As you continue to play, "friends" join in and in a series of graphic, interactive scenes, you can corner the women, rape them again and again.
The game allows you to even impregnate a girl and urge her to have an abortion. The reason behind your assault, explains the game, is that the teenage girl has accused you of molesting her on the train. The motive is revenge.
When does a video game go too far?
It is little wonder that the game, titled RapeLay, sparked international outrage from women's groups. Taina Bien-Aime helped yank the game off store shelves worldwide.
"This was a game that had absolutely no place on the market," said Taina Bien-Aime of women's rights organization Equality Now which has campaigned for the game to be taken off the shelves.
But the controversy that led to stopping sales of the game instead took it viral.
That was how Lucy Kibble and Jim Gardner in Britain heard about it.
"I think the idea that you can do it by wholesale banning is just never going to work anyway because we downloaded it for free off the Internet," Gardner said.
In the case of RapeLay, he was right. It is still readily available on dozens of Web sites, sometimes for free.
What happened to RapeLay is an example, said Bien-Aime, of why Japan needs to police game makers.
"It's obviously very difficult to curtail activity on the Internet. But the governments do have a role in trying to regulate this sort of extreme pornography of children, both in their countries, and through the Internet ," she said, adding that they were calling for the Japanese government "to ban all games that promote and simulate sexual violence, sexual torture, stalking and rape against women and girls. And there are plenty of games like that. "
Those games are known as "hentai games." Almost all feature girlish-looking characters. Some of the games are violent -- depicting rape, torture and bondage in detail.
Step into a game shop in Akihabara, Japan's electronics district, and hentai games are readily available. In minutes, we found a game similar to RapeLay. The object here is also revenge: Find and rape the woman who fired the player from his imaginary job. Along the way, the player can rape a number of other girls and women.
Hentai games are not new to Japan. This country has long produced products the rest of the world would call pornographic. But before the arrival of the Internet, such items stayed in Japan. Now, once a game goes on sale in Tokyo, it is digitized and shared everywhere.
Japan does have censorship laws for sexual content. In games and videos, genitalia are obscured, even if it is animated. But Japan's laws do not restrict the themes and ideas of the games.
A national law that would make possession of real and virtual images of child porn illegal is under discussion, but no serious legislation has moved forward in Japan's parliament.
CNN contacted the Gender Equality Promotion Division in the Gender Equality Bureau of Japan's Cabinet Office, which is charged with handling the hentai gaming issue.
Despite repeated calls over a period of weeks, no representative from the government office would comment to CNN on camera. The office refused to make a statement on paper. A spokeswoman would only say over the telephone that the Japanese government was aware that the games were a problem and it was checking to see if self-policing by the gaming industry was enough.
A member of the Institute of Contents Culture, who did not want to give CNN his name, said restricting game themes limits freedom of expression.
"In my opinion, RapeLay's storyline went too far. However, if a game creator wants to express something and create content out of it, a government or public entity shouldn't have the power to restrain it."
Lucy Kibble and Jim Gardner, the gamers in Britain, said trying to control games on the Internet was futile and that content control was up to parents.
"The idea of banning it, or telling people what they can and can't do just because on the off chance some kid might get involved with it is just ridiculous," said Gardner.
Nine Massachusetts teenagers have been charged with involvement in a monthslong campaign of bullying that led to the January suicide of a 15-year-old girl, a prosecutor said.
Phoebe Prince's body was found hanging in the stairway leading to her family's second-floor apartment in South Hadley, Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel told reporters Monday in the western Massachusetts town of Northampton.
"It appears that Phoebe's death on January 14 followed a torturous day for her when she was subjected to verbal harassment and physical abuse," Scheibel said.
Earlier that day, Phoebe had been harassed as she studied in the library at South Hadley High School, apparently in the presence of a faculty member and several students, none of whom reported it until after the girl's death, Scheibel said.
Phoebe, who had recently moved to the area with her family from Ireland, also was harassed as she walked through the halls of the school that day and as she walked on the street toward her home, the prosecutor said.
Video: Making bullies accountable
Video: Bullied to death? The harassment that day, by one male and two females, "appears to have been motivated by the group's displeasure with Phoebe's brief dating relationship with a male student that had ended six weeks earlier," she said.
But that day's events were not isolated; they "were the culmination of a nearly three-month campaign of verbally abusive, assaultive behavior and threats of physical harm toward Phoebe on school grounds by several South Hadley students," Scheibel added.
"Their conduct far exceeded the limits of normal teenage relationship-related quarrels. The investigation revealed relentless activity directed toward Phoebe designed to humiliate her and to make it impossible for her to remain at school."
In the indictments, returned Friday but not made public until Monday, the Hampshire County grand jury charged Sean Mulveyhill, 17, of South Hadley with statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.
The indictments charged Austin Renaud, 18, of Springfield with statutory rape.
Kayla Narey, 17, of South Hadley was charged with violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly.
The investigation revealed relentless activity directed toward Phoebe designed to humiliate her.
Charges against another three girls included violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting; two were also charged with stalking.
Three other girls from South Hadley were named in four delinquency complaints from Hampshire Franklin Juvenile Court. Their charges included violation of civil rights with bodily injury resulting, criminal harassment and disturbance of a school assembly, violation of civil rights, criminal harassment and assault by means of a dangerous weapon. One of the juveniles was charged in a separate complaint involving a second victim, Scheibel said.
Though initial news reports blamed Phoebe's suicide on cyberbullying, Scheibel said the students' actions were "primarily conducted on school grounds during school hours and while school was in session." She said any use of electronic social networks was secondary to "commonly understood bullying methods."
The bullying of Phoebe was common knowledge to most of the student body and to certain faculty, staff and administrators, Scheibel said. At least four students and two faculty members had intervened during the harassment, but the school's code of conduct was inconsistently enforced, she said.
Though the faculty, staff and administrators' behavior was not deemed criminal, "the actions, or inactions, of some adults at the school are troublesome," she said.
Scheibel said the Prince family had asked "that the public refrain from vigilantism in favor of allowing the judicial system an opportunity to provide a measure of justice for Phoebe."
CNN was not able to reach the Prince family.
Scheibel said the investigation was continuing and that a 10th person may be charged.
Arraignments will occur "in the near future," she said.
iReporter sounds off on Phoebe Prince story
Several of the students remain in the school. In a statement, South Hadley Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Christine Sweklo said school officials would meet with the district attorney to review any new evidence.
"Once we are able to obtain this information, we will be able to make a more comprehensive statement and possibly take further action against the students still attending South Hadley High School," Sweklo said.
The statutory rape charges could result in penalties of up to life in prison, said Elizabeth Farris, a lawyer in the prosecutor's office. A conviction on a violation of civil rights charge could result in 10 years in prison; a conviction for criminal harassment up to 2½ years; a conviction for disturbance of school assembly up to one month, she said.
Those 17 and older will be tried as adults in Hampshire County Superior Court. The juveniles will be tried in juvenile court. A juvenile court judge may choose to institute an adult penalty, a combination of adult and juvenile penalties or a juvenile penalty alone, Farris said.
House Democrats are concerned about their security due to increased threats since Sunday's vote to pass the health care bill, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday.
Hoyer told a news conference that "a significant number, meaning over 10," had reported either threats, vandalism or other incidents. Capitol Police officials have briefed House Democrats on reporting suspicious or threatening activity and taking precautions to avoid "subjecting themselves or their families to physical harm," said Hoyer, D-Maryland.
Earlier Wednesday, the Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office in Virginia confirmed the FBI was investigating a suspicious incident at the home of Virginia Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello's brother, days after the brother's home address was posted online by a Tea Party activist.
An aide to Perriello told CNN that a line to the propane tank on his brother's gas grill had been severed.
"While officials are not willing to characterize the exact nature of the incident because of the ongoing investigation, it did not involve an immediate threat to occupants of the residence," said Lee Catlin, Community Relations Director for the Fire Marshal.
"However, officials are taking the incident very seriously and conducting a vigorous investigation."
Catlin said the county joined the investigation late Tuesday after a request from the FBI.
In addition, Democratic offices in at least three states have reported instances of vandalism that party members say possibly were tied to Sunday's historic vote on health care reform.
Democracy "is not about violence," Hoyer said at the news conference joined by House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina. "It is about making sure everybody in America feels free to express their opinion and to take such actions as they deem to be necessary without subjecting themselves, their families or others to behavior, and frankly criminal behavior in some respect, that undermines democracy and undermines the safety of individuals."
Referring to Clyburn, Hoyer said "both us believe that to remain silent in the face of such activity gives the impression of either condoning or sanctioning such action."
The top Republican in the House, Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, said Wednesday that opponents of health care reform should protest legally.
"Violence and threats are unacceptable," Boehner said. "That's not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard, but let's do it the right way."
If we can get across to the other side that they are within inches of provoking a civil war in this country, then that's a good thing.
The Tea Party movement that has protested health care reform held demonstrations outside Congress last weekend as the House debated and voted on the health care measure. Three African-American House Democrats, including civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, reported protesters shouted racial slurs at them and spit at one of them, while Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, an openly gay House member, had anti-gay slurs yelled at him.
During the demonstration, Republican House members encouraged protesters outside and inside the House gallery. On Tuesday, Hoyer said it was not fitting with regular order in the Capitol for members to cheer on protesters inside the House chamber or to hang signs from windows in the Capitol, or for Republican members to stand on the balcony just outside the House floor waving signs to protesters below.
"We ought to all be careful as leaders in this country to conduct ourselves in a way that demonstrates to the public how we ought to act," Hoyer said.
An Alabama-based blog, called "Sipsey Street Irregulars," says it has launched a so-called "window war" against Democrats and has kept a tally of the recent incidents of damage, including ones in New York and Kansas.
Blogger Michael B. Vanderboegh of Pinson, Alabama, said Monday that in a Friday blog, he called for people to break windows at Democratic headquarters at the city and county level. He said he didn't call for the damages to congressional offices because, "I didn't want to be responsible for anybody breaking a federal law."
However, "I can understand how someone can be frustrated enough to throw a brick through a congresswoman's window," Vanderboegh said. He said he feels the health care bill is "unconstitutional and tyrannical."
"My answer is violence, by getting their attention," he said, adding, "If we can get across to the other side that they are within inches of provoking a civil war in this country, then that's a good thing."
Federal prosecutors say Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas who initially refused to cooperate with investigators then repeatedly lied about why he carried four unloaded handguns into the Verizon Center locker room then tried to minimize his dust-up with his teammate, all in an effort to mislead police deserves jail time.
In a scathing sentencing memo, 61 pages in length, prosecutors urged a D.C. Superior Court judge to sentence the disgraced athlete to at least three months in jail. The memo included new details into the December 2009 locker room tussle with teammate Javaris Crittenton.
The lengthy, scathing memo read, "At one point, Arenas denied that Crittenton was even in the locker room. The day after the locker room confrontation, the defendant tried to orchestrate a cover-up to conceal his confrontation with Crittenton, a campaign that would continue . . . for some time. The suspect wrote a text message to Crittenton in which he tried to get Crittenton to deny the confrontation."
Arenas, 28, pleaded guilty on Jan. 15 in Superior Court in Washington, D.C. to a felony count of carrying a pistol without a license. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to ask for more than six months in jail. Prosecutors also agreed to allow Arenas to remain free until his sentencing this Friday.
Arenas's attorney, Kenneth L. Wainstein, sent his own sentencing memo Tuesday, arguing that his client should not be locked up, suggesting six months probation in addition to two years of community service instead. Wainstein, who referred to the incident as a "misguided prank," added that the joking nature Arenas displayed is simply how he deals with pressure.
"It is clear that the incident was not intended to be violent, but was rather a very misguided attempt to play a prank to provoke a reaction from Crittenton," Wainstein's memo read.
In a statement Crittenton gave prosecutors, he alleged that during a flight from Arizona, he and Arenas got into an argument over a card game. Crittenton admitted that he suggested the two fight, but Arenas began threatening to shoot him and Crittenton replied with his own threats.
In taking Arenas's threats seriously, Crittenton placed a gun in his bag and brought it to Verizon Center on Dec. 21. Arenas arrived at Verizon Center for practice with a black backpack that held a silver Smith & Wesson .500 magnum revolver inside as well as three additional weapons.
Arenas then placed four guns on a chair in front of Crittenton's locker and left him a note saying, "Pick 1" and placed the note near the guns.
Crittenton said when he saw the guns, he asked Arenas, "What is this?" and Arenas told him, "You said you were going to shoot me, so pick one." Crittenton said he told Arenas that he didn't need his guns because he had his own and pulled out his weapon, a 9mm Taurus semiautomatic pistol.
Crittenton insisted that he never aimed his unloaded pistol at Arenas.
Arenas is scheduled to appear before Judge Robert E. Morin this Friday for sentencing. Morin, not bound by the plea agreement, could sentence Arenas to probation or five years in jail.
Countless women could only dream of hitting a jackpot that would send their cheating husband's mistresses to the poor house. One lucky woman did strike it rich, because of the "severe emotional distress" she suffered, as the result of her two-timing husband's neglect. Last week, a Greensboro, N.C., court ordered a mistress to fork over a total of $9 million dollars, $5 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages, to her lover's humiliated spouse.
Cynthia Shackelford, 60, sued her husband's mistress Anne Lundquist, 49, back in 2007, because the jilted wife claims the "other woman" destroyed her 33-year marriage to Allan, her husband.
Lundquist was charged with "alienation of affections," or interfering in a marriage. The ruling was made in one of the few U.S. states that allows such a charge to be brought up against a home wrecker.
Since all involved parties live in North Carolina, the state remains as one of 7 (the others are Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah) that allows a person to sue the party that is alleged to have interfered in a marriage, which is the "alienation of affections" law. More than 200 such cases are filed statewide in an average year, according to the legal publication the ABA Journal.
According to court documents, Cynthia said her husband began an affair with Lundquist before she separated from him in April 2005. The spurned wife says that she and her husband were still in love when Lundquist severed their union. "I had not a clue that Allan would wander," Shackelford told a local newspaper. "He kept telling me, 'Oh, she's just a friend. There's no affair. I love you.'"
Cynthia stated that she gave up teaching to support her husband's career and raise the couple's two children. When the couple parted, she says they had to move in with friends in order to keep from being homeless. Allan was mandated by the courts to pay spousal support, but allegedly never did. The roving spouse faces arrest on a contempt-of-court charge for violating that support order.
Although Cynthia might not get the exact amount awarded to her, she is satisfied that the case has received tons of exposure and that it serves as a kind of warning for those folks who prey on married people: "We would like for people to respect the sanctity of marriage," Cynthia said. "We wanted a number high enough that it would keep other people from ... going after other married spouses."
Ladies, we've all been there before. You meet a guy, he's sweating you and pursuing you with a vigorous passion. Whether it's an instant or delayed response, you decide to give him a chance and begin dating. Next thing you know you're being wooed, wined and dined, and in a few weeks you're floating on cloud nine, because there isn't anything more refreshing than the novelty of a potential partner. It doesn't take long before you start tossing around the idea that this could really go from casual dating to a real relationship, and in the blink of an eye you get hit with real-deal feelings for the guy.
We assume that since the guy was initially the one head over heels, all systems are a go , and putting all our cards on the table is wise move. Wrong! It's right at this turning point where many of us ladies falter and forget that men aren't like us. The way they think, rationalize and take action aren't the same. Like in chess, it takes just one wrong move, and you're sitting on your couch surrounded by tissues, in a brainstorm session with your girlfriends trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
In a perfect world, games would never have to be played. But we don't live in a perfect world. However, knowing the rules may keep you from having to play so many games. Here are ten rules every single gal should live by in the first two months of dating. Pump your brakes, and stay sane!
1. Never ask a guy out
Even in our post modern society where men do respect an independent woman who can do for herself, the thrill of the chase still remains. Men will swear up and down they would rather not deal with a difficult woman or one that is to hard to reel in, but they secretly really do love the challenge. Hard to get still works, because men are smart enough to know nothing worth it comes easy.
2. Never advertise
Branding yourself in business is great, but in your love life? Not so much. Guys recognize that a woman who is always advertising to potential suitors what she can do is also a woman covering up a lot that she can't deliver. There's no need to always state how much you can cook or how much you enjoy watching football. If it's true, actions speak louder than words and he will soon see. Instead of putting all your selling points out there, let him discover your added value.
3. Never do house dates
If you start having dates in the house, you will always stay in... the house. Granted we are in a recession, but work it out, because when you're first dating someone it is good to see how they interact with not only you, but the public as well. Blockbuster nights are cool but not exactly appropriate for the first few months of dating. You won't be able to check your guy on romance later on, if you never started expecting it from the jump.
4. Never pressure him into introducing you to friends/family
Why do you want to get to know Tyrone when you're still getting to know your man? Guys will allow you meet his boys, his mama or his daughter when they feel comfortable. Most guys feel that bringing a new woman into their "other world" is a major move, and pressing the issue will only cause them to retreat. Realize you've been around for a few weeks, and these people have been in his life for much longer. Don't force the issue; you risk losing the sincerity of the introduction.
5. Never try to control anything but yourself.
When things don't go the way we want, a few of us go-getters will try to control and manipulate the situation so that it makes more sense to us. When getting to know someone and building a foundation, reach that level of maturity that allows you to know that what will be done will be done, and you can only control how you react. That isn't to say just put up with just anything, but knowing you can't change anyone is important. When it's all said and done, you can only change your own perspective and actions.
6. Never apologize for having standards
Standards are essential; they ward off all the losers. Whether your standards are high or specific make no apologies for them, it is okay to want what you want. What you accept from him in the beginning is what you will have to continually tolerate. Period.
7. Never try to think what he is thinking
Trying to think for him, especially in the beginning, will have us lost and mistaken. A man's mind doesn't work like ours, and with the pressure society puts on them, more than likely their thoughts are not as love focused. Nine times out 10,what you you may think is deep and serious, he hasn't even thought twice about. Instead of assuming and being wrong, it's much easier to ask and discover.
8. Never invade his privacy
No matter how tempting or how angry you may be, don't cross the privacy line. That means no rummaging through his drawers, peeking at his cell phone texts when he's snoring or popping up unannounced to his crib for a "surprise visit." Whether your intentions are good or not, invading his privacy is like putting him in a choke hold -- he'll start to feel he can't breathe.
9. Never tell everything
The idea of leaving something to the imagination doesn't just apply to your attire, it also applies to your personal business. While it's good to tell the truth, it never works in your favor to put every secret, every past relationship, every wild moment that transpired out in a dinner conversation. He may open up to you and share his heart, but please believe he's leaving out a few details. You don't want any big reveals early in the relationship to later be the reason he runs for the hills when something goes wrong. "She did say she slashed her ex's tires..."
10. Never let a guy be your only activity
No matter how fun and amazingly connected you feel in the first few months, stay busy with other things. Outside of your job, there should still be other things going on, so that all your energy and time isn't invested in your suitor to prematurely. Tying it all back to rule No. 1 -- guys love a challenge, and there is nothing challenging about a woman who is up under them and always available. (Jai '10)
A Saginaw, Michigan woman is in custody for allegedly prostituting her 10-year old daughter to a local drug dealer and businessman.
Angela Blackwell, 47, is awaiting her preliminary trial for charges of pandering, also known as pimping, and one count of criminal sexual conduct. Police say Blackwell is accused of selling her granddaughter in exchange for cocaine and other narcotics.
The suspected drug dealer, Johnnie Lee Griffin of Saginaw, is on the Crime Stoppers list of wanted criminals.
"It's alleged that she traded the granddaughter to this gentleman for narcotics and in exchange he was allowed to sexually assault her," said Sargent Joseph Dutoi.
Now police are on the lookout for Griffin, who faces multiple criminal charges.
If Griffin is convicted, he will face a mandatory 25-year jail sentence because the victim is under the age of 13; however, the charges won't end there. Once convicted, Griffin will face two counts of criminal sexual conduct one, one count of criminal sexual conduct two, and additional charges for the narcotics found in his home on Owen Street. Blackwell, on the other hand, could face a 20-year prison sentence for pandering and pimping. She also faces charges of conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct.
Police say they learned of the incident from another minor involved in a second criminal sexual conduct case pending against Griffin.
Police are not releasing information on this case, but say it is being investigated. In the meantime, the Crime Stoppers Unit is asking for help pinning down the suspect.
"We would like to get his picture and his face and his name out to community members in hopes that he will either turn himself in or that someone might see him and call either the Saginaw Police Department or local authorities," said Dutoi.
Two men charged in the 1978 disappearance of five teenagers in Newark, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder Wednesday morning as about 40 family members of the victims looked on.
Lee Anthony Evans, 56, and Philander Hampton, 53, were arrested Monday night. That was about 18 months after the investigation into the disappearance of the five boys was given new life; a witness came to detectives with information that the 1978 arson of an abandoned building in Newark was connected with the case, acting prosecutor Robert Laurino said. Evans and Hampton also pleaded not guilty to arson charges.
Evans' attorney, Michael A. Robbins, maintains his client's innocence, citing Evans' full cooperation with authorities during the 1978 investigation into the disappearance of Randy Johnson, 16, Melvin Pittman,17, Ernest Taylor, 17, Alvin Turner, 16, all of Newark; and Michael McDowell, 16, of East Orange
"In a case such as this, where the evidence has been lost, great care must be taken to prevent outrage, anger and emotion acting as a substitute in court for competent testimony, evidence and proof," Robbins said. "The magnitude of the tragedy in the case should not diminish the very sacredness of Mr. Evans' right to a fair trail."
Hampton is being represented by John McMahon from the Essex County public defender's office.
The family members of the victims sat silently as they watched Evans and Hampton enter their pleas.
Evans had been under suspicion in 1978 but was released after passing a lie detector test. Witnesses said they had seen the boys getting into Evans' van.
Helen Simmons, Michael's aunt, said she had never let go of her suspicion of Evans.
"Five kids did not run away. They were not runaways. They had no reason to run away. Five kids did not run away all at the same time, all having been picked up by Lee Anthony Evans," said Simmons, who was in the courtroom Wednesday.
"Michael's mother, my sister, died just 13 months after this, never knowing what happened to her son," she said.
"We have not forgotten Michael the last 32 years," she added. "Michael is always with us. It's just that now we do feel that we will achieve the most we can get from justice, which is empty, which is to have [Evans and Hampton] to spend the rest of their lives in jail. I would love for [Evans] to live at least another 32 more years. In jail."
Authorities believe that the alleged killings were in retaliation for the victims breaking into one of the defendants' homes to steal marijuana. The remains of the victims have never been found.
A third suspect, Maurice Woody-Olds, died in March 2008.
Officials allege that Evans and Hampton, with the aid of Woody-Olds, lured the five boys at various times into Evans' pickup and took them to the abandoned building on Camden Street, where they held them at gunpoint before setting it ablaze, officials said.
The case will next be presented to a grand jury on a date to be determined.
Evans and Hampton are being held at Essex County Correctional Facility in lieu of $5 million bail.
A teenage boy playing a video game at an Internet café in China was stabbed with a 10-inch knife that went clear through his skull -- and survived with little noticeable damage, according to a report.
Xiao Wei, 16, who was attacked in a dispute over the video game he was playing, was able to walk into the emergency room entrance of Jillin University with the knife still lodged in his head, the Daily Mail reported.
The knife, which had been thrust into his left temple, had three-quarters of an inch sticking out of the right side of his head.
Slideshow: Outrageous Injuries & X-Rays
Wei's friend said he was playing an online video game when another gamer accused him of using a cheat code to help him beat online opponents.
“A group of people from the same cafe came to us, saying we must install some software to win the game. Then we had an argument with them,” said the friend, Huang, 18.
He said the attackers dragged him and Wei outside and beat them to the ground.
“My left arm was stabbed through by them, and when they had gone, I found Xiao Wei was lying on the ground with a knife in his head,” Huang said.
Dr. Yan Shijun, the director of neurosurgery who treated Wei at the hospital, said in his 23 years of practicing medicine, he had never seen a patient remain conscious after a stabbing through the skull.
“His face was covered in blood, but he was still conscious,” Yan said.
The operation to remove the blade took more than two hours. X-rays and CAT scans revealed that no main arteries or nerves were damaged.
Wei is in stable condition following surgery, but doctors say he is still at risk of infections, brain damage, seizures and tetanus.
Police in Connecticut said a pair of would-be bank robbers did them a favor by phoning ahead and announcing their intentions.
Fairfield police said Albert Bailey, 27, and a 16-year-old who was not named due to his age called People's United Bank Tuesday and told employees to be ready with money because they were coming to rob the facility and were prepared to create a "blood bath," the Bridgeport Connecticut Post reported Wednesday.
The pair showed up unarmed at the bank about 10 minutes after placing the call, police said.
"You can't make this stuff up," Fairfield police spokesman Sgt. James Perez said. "They literally called the bank and said to have the bag of money ready on the floor because they're coming to rob the place. And then they actually show up as the police were rolling in. I would classify these individuals as, 'Not-too-bright.' They should have spent time in school instead of trying to rob a bank."
Bailey, who was on probation for robbing a People's Bank branch in Bridgeport in 2003, and the 16-year-old were both charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree threatening.
Lawmakers across Illinois have mixed reviews on a legislative proposal allowing local school districts to move to a four-day school week.
Although the Illinois House on Monday passed the measure 81-21, the initiative still faces hurdles even if the Senate approves it. Local school districts would be required to hold public hearings on the issue, and would still have to teach the same total number of hours per year. That most likely would translate into longer school days or shorter summer vacations.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, has said that 19 states already allow shortened school weeks.
Some lawmakers don't like the idea, saying it would put in peril education standards and leave many students academically behind. Meanwhile, other lawmakers favor the shortened week, saying it would save money in utility and transportation costs.
State Rep. Chuck Jefferson, D- Rockford, said a shortened school week is a poor idea since students will suffer academically with one less day a week to learn.
“Today, we know that grades are terrible in some cases and the attendance is terrible in some cases,” Jefferson said. “At what point are you going to be able to learn everything? You need to learn in order to be able to go out in society and compete for the jobs that are out there.”
If the legislation passes, state Rep. David Reis, R-Olney, said he doubts many school districts will lobby the public to make the change.
“[School districts] have to have lots of meeting and lots of things going on at local school districts,” Reis said. “Even if this bill becomes law, I don’t see school districts rushing to adopt this.”
A key element of the debate boils down to cost and geography. Buses in rural school districts tend to cover more miles than their urban counterparts, ratcheting up diesel fuel costs.
State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Sycamore, said that viewpoint would gain more attention in rural districts than in suburban and urban districts.
“Downstate schools have a significant transportation cost, where some of the suburban schools may not have as much of a transportation cost; so downstate may be more interested in this than the suburbs,” Pritchard said.
State Rep. Mike Smith, D-Canton, agrees, noting an extra day off in an urban district may give some older students more time to get into trouble.
“I think it would perhaps serve smaller, more rural districts than an urban district,” Smith said. “Peoria District 150 might find it harder to go to a four-day week to have all their students out on the street on a Friday or Monday.”
However, state Rep. Jil Tracy, R-Liberty, said the option should lie solely with school districts, parents and local communities. And what to do with the students on the weekday they would get off? That's a question that should be decided at the local level, not the legislative level, she said.
“We’re not childcare givers, we’re educators in the public education sector,” Tracy said. “Certainly, we don’t want to hurt working families, but again, you bring it to local control, get parental input and see what works best for that particular district.”
The legislation now heads to the state Senate, where Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said he'd vote for a four-day school week because it would benefit both the districts and the students.
“I think there are great benefits to kids learning at home,” Jacobs said. “Not everything has to be learned in a formal setting. I think you could probably teach a kid everything you could teach in a four-day week as opposed to a five-day week.”
President Obama signed sweeping health care reform into law Tuesday. The Senate must now pass a package of changes that will reconcile the differences between Senate and House bills. If those changes are worked out, here is how health care reforms will affect you:
Within the first year
• Young adults will be able stay on their parents' insurance until their 27th birthday.
• Seniors will get a $250 rebate to help fill the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage, which falls between the $2,700 initial limit and when catastrophic coverage kicks in at $6,154.
• Insurers will be barred from imposing exclusions on children with pre-existing conditions. Pools will cover those with pre-existing health conditions until health care coverage exchanges are operational.
• Insurers will not be able to rescind policies to avoid paying medical bills when a person becomes ill.
• Lifetime limits on benefits and restrictive annual limits will be prohibited.
• New plans must provide coverage for preventive services without co-pays. All plans must comply by 2018.
• A temporary reinsurance program will help offset costs of coverage for companies that provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55 to 64.
• New plans will be required to implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.
• Adoption tax credit and assistance exclusion will increase by $1,000. The bill makes the credit refundable and extends it through 2011.
• A 10 percent tax will be imposed on amounts paid for indoor tanning services on or after July 1.
• Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering 35 percent of their health care premiums, increasing to 50 percent by 2014.
• Medicare will provide free annual wellness visits and personalized prevention plans. New plans will be required to cover preventive services with no co-pay.
• States can offer home- and community-based services to the disabled through Medicaid rather than institutional care beginning October 1.
• A 50 percent discount will be provided on brand-name drugs for Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage enrollees. Additional discounts on brand-name and generic drugs will be phased in to completely close the "doughnut hole" by 2020.
• Additional tax for health savings account withdrawals before age 65 for nonqualified medical expenses will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent. Additional tax for Archer medical savings account withdrawals not used for qualified medical expenses will increase from 15 percent to 20 percent.
• A plan to provide a vehicle for small businesses to offer tax-free benefits will be created. This would ease the small employer's administrative burden of sponsoring a cafeteria plan.
• The Medicare payroll tax will increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married filing jointly above $250,000.
• Health plans must implement uniform standards for electronic exchange of health information to reduce paperwork and administrative costs.
• Contributions to flexible savings accounts will be limited to $2,500 per year, indexed by the Consumer Price Index in subsequent years.
• The Employer Medicare Part D subsidy deduction will be eliminated. Employers will lose the tax deduction for subsidizing prescription drug plans for Medicare Part D-eligible retirees.
• There will be increases to the income threshold from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of adjusted gross income. Those older than 65 can claim the 7.5 percent deduction through 2016.
• The hospital insurance tax will increase 0.9 percentage points for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married filing jointly), and it includes net investment income.
• A 2.9 percent excise tax on the first sale of medical devices will be established. Excepted are eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids or other items for individual use.
• Citizens will be required to have acceptable coverage or pay a penalty of $95 in 2014, $325 in 2015, $695 (or up to 2.5 percent of income) in 2016. Families will pay half the amount for children, up to a cap of $2,250 per family. After 2016, penalties are indexed to Consumer Price Index.
• Workers who are exempt from individual responsibility for coverage but don't qualify for tax credits can take their employer contribution and join an exchange plan.
• Companies with 50 or more employees must offer coverage to employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per employee after their first 30 if at least one of their employees receives a tax credit. Waiting periods before insurance takes effect is limited to 90 days. Employers who offer coverage but whose employees receive tax credits will pay $3,000 for each worker receiving a tax credit.
• Insurers can no longer refuse to sell or renew policies because of an individual's health status. Health plans can no longer exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Insurers can't charge higher rates because of heath status, gender or other factors.
• Health plans will be prohibited from imposing annual limits on coverage.
• Health insurance exchanges will open in each state to individuals and small employers to comparison shop for standardized health packages.
• Credits will be available through exchanges for those whose income is above Medicaid eligibility and below 400 percent of poverty level who are not eligible for or offered other acceptable coverage.
• Medicaid eligibility will increase to 133 percent of poverty for all nonelderly individuals to ensure that people obtain affordable health care in the most efficient and appropriate manner. States will receive increased federal funding to cover these new populations.
• An annual health insurance provider fee will be Imposed across the health insurance sector according to insurers' market share to companies whose total premiums exceed $25 million.
• 2018 Taxing "Cadillac" plans: An excise tax will be imposed on high-cost, employer-provided health plans beyond $27,500 for family coverage and $10,200 for single coverage; it will increase to $30,950 for families and $11,850 for individuals, retirees and employees in high-risk professions.
ALBANY, New York (AP) -- One of three men convicted of killing civil rights activist Malcolm X 45 years ago was granted release from weekends in prison in his 17th appearance before a state parole board.
Thomas Hagan, 69, appeared before a parole panel March 3 and was granted release effective April 28, state Division of Parole spokeswoman Carole Weaver said Friday.
Until then, he'll remain at the Lincoln Correctional Facility in New York City, where he has been locked up two days a week for 22 years. The other five days, he's been allowed to work and live with his family.
Linda Foglia, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, said the agency doesn't release information on where work-release inmates are employed or where they live. While they're out of the prison, inmates are subject to unannounced workplace and home visits by a parole officer.
Hagan was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in April 1966 on a first-degree murder charge for shooting the civil rights activist with a .45-caliber pistol at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan in 1965.
Hagan, then known as Talmadge X. Hayer, was beaten by the crowd after the shooting. Muhammad Abdul Aziz, then known as Norman 3X Butler, and Kahlil Islam, then Thomas 15X Johnson, were also convicted of murder, but they maintained their innocence. They were paroled about 20 years ago.
Hagan said there were two other gunmen, but they were never identified.
Hagan's court papers say he "confessed to having fired shots into Malcolm's body." Hagan testified at trial that his two co-defendants, convicted with him, were not present at the shooting.
After he was denied parole in 2007, Hagan filed an appeal saying the denial was arbitrary and capricious. His court papers said he had "taken advantage of each and all of the programs and support systems that enable him to lead a law-abiding lifestyle," and that he had repeatedly expressed remorse for the shooting.
The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment on Hagan's parole.
A teacher has been fired from her position at a Texas private school after allegedly encouraging kindergarten students to punch one of their classmates in the face.
The problems started when Devarius Williams, 5, and other children from the Robindell Private School took a field trip to a restaurant in Sugar Land last week.
Devarius' parents said he got into a fight.
Devarius' mother, Barbara Mobley, said the teacher had her own idea of discipline.
"The teacher that was driving his particular van got him and his group together and said, 'When we get on the van, I want everybody to punch Devarius in the face because he punched the little girl in the face,'" Mobley said.
Mobley estimated that at least a dozen children hit her son.
"As each child got on the bus, she said 'go,'" Mobley said. "They punched my son and went and sat down."
"It was a big mistake. She should have never done it," said Robindell's director and part-owner, Chuck Wall. Wall said he quickly investigated and the teacher was fired within 30 minutes of the complaint.
"It was a very, very good teacher that we fired," Wall said. "She had been with me for six or seven years now; was one of my best pre-K teachers who had a moment of weakness, out of frustration, and dealing with a child she's had a problem with over the last several months."
The state said the school is supposed to report incidents within two days.
A Department of Family and Protective Services representative said there were two reports filed.
Robindell's director said he did not file a report because he did not believe the child was hurt. Devarius' mother said the punches could have ended her child's life because of major health problems.
"You're dealing with a child that has a severe medical condition that any blow to his head could cost this baby his life," said community activist Qaunell X. "We're absolutely angry and appalled by the behavior of the director of this school We're calling on the director of the state regulatory agency that regulates this specific school to shut it down."
"We're going to have humans here who make mistakes. If we tried to sweep this under the rug or not do something with this teacher, then I could see his point," Wall countered.
The state is investigating. It has 30 days to complete its report.
Mobley said she has removed Devarius and her other children from the school.
16-year-old boy who police said made an announcement at Walmart ordering all black people in a southern New Jersey store to leave was charged with harassment and bias intimidation, authorities said Saturday.
The boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, grabbed one of the courtesy phones at Walmart's Washington Township store Sunday evening and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now," police said.
The teen was arrested Friday and released to the custody of his parents; police did not know whether he had a lawyer.
"This was an extremely disturbing event on many levels," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said at a news conference. "Any statements like these that can cause harm or grave concern must be addressed as quickly we possibly can."
Dalton said the case would be handled in juvenile court in neighboring Atlantic County, where the boy lives. He would not say whether the boy has a criminal record, citing the teen's age, and would not disclose the teen's race, saying that did not factor into the investigation.
WATCH VIDEO ABOUT THE WAL-MART RACIST INCIDENT HERE:
The 16-year-old has been charged with harassment and bias intimidation.
Authorities would not say whether the announcement was planned or made impulsively. Police said they were also investigating a teenage boy who accompanied the suspect to the store, but the other boy has not been charged.
Officials for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said the announcement was "unacceptable," and Dalton praised the company for its strong cooperation in the investigation.
"We're pleased this matter is resolved," Walmart spokesman David Tovar said in a statement issued after the news conference. "We have updated our intercom system at this store to prevent this from happening again. We again apologize to all of our customers and associates who had to listen to something so offensive."
Although a manager quickly went on the intercom system and apologized for the remark, many customers expressed their anger to store management. Some community members said Saturday that they've heard reports of similar incidents happening at the store in recent months that were not reported to police.
"We are concerned about that, and we're looking into these incidents. We want to work with the community to make sure these types of incidents don't happen," said Loretta Winters, president of the Gloucester County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Winters said she hopes the boy will get counseling and be educated about sensitivity so he can understand the consequences of his actions.
"I'm assuming this person didn't realize how hurtful his comments were," she said.
The incident was the latest in a series of problems the retailer has had in its dealings with minorities and women.
There have been several past instances of black customers claiming they were treated unfairly at Walmart stores, and the company faced lawsuits alleging that women were passed over in favor of men for pay raises and promotions.
In February 2009, the retailer paid $17.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in its hiring of truck drivers.
And the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company in May 2009, claiming some Hispanic employees at a Sam's Club subsidiary in California were subjected to a hostile work environment. That suit alleges managers failed to stop repeated verbal harassment, including the use of derogatory words, against employees of Mexican descent.
However, the NAACP has said the company has worked hard in recent years to show it cares about diversity.
Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis' best-seller The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. Michael Oher was living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a conservative suburban family, but over time he matured into a talented athlete.
As the NFL draft approaches, fans and sports radio personalities alike speculate that Oher will be the hottest pick of the year. Sandra Bullock stars in a film written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Rookie, The Alamo).
And the 3D revolution rolls onwards. First it was movie theaters. Then it was 3D TV sets. Now it's video game systems. On Tuesday, Nintendo announced it would soon begin selling a device called the Nintendo 3DS, which the company is billing as the world's first 3D handheld gaming platform. There are a lot of question marks here: There is no word on price, for instance, and Nintendo has not specified how the 3DS technology actually works.
Nintendo says that the 3DS, which apparently does not require 3D glasses to properly view 3D games, should be available sometime in the next year. In an interview with the New York Times, Ken Toyoda, chief spokesman at Nintendo, said that the 3DS will get its official unveiling at E3, the annual electronics expo. “We’ll invite people to play with the new device then," Mr. Toyoda said.
As the Times points out, there is at least one existing 3D device that works without 3D glasses. The atrociously-titled Hitachi Wooo H001 cellphone, which went on sale in Japan last year, allows owners to switch to 3D parallax view by flipping a switch on the side of the device. A new video circulating the web (see below) suggests that the Nintendo 3DS could use similar parallax mapping technology to simulate depth and distance. Perhaps it will also use an accelerometer, similar to iPhone and iPod Touch, to track tilt and change the on-screen image accordingly.
In recent months, Nintendo has sought to expand the reach of the DS handheld line, which already dominates the portable gaming market. At the end of March, for instance, Nintendo is set to release the DSi XL, a large-screen version of the standard DS. Among the first games available for the DSi XL will be "100 Classic Books" – a title designed to appeal to casual audiences unlikely to be interested in first-person shooters or sports car racing.
An Arizona judge issued a bench warrant Tuesday for Grammy Award-winning rapper Lil Wayne after he failed to appear for a hearing on drug and weapons charges because he is serving jail time in New York.
A Yuma County Superior Court judge issued the warrant after the entertainer, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, failed to appear in court for a final trial management conference.
But Lil Wayne's attorney, James Tilson, said his client couldn't appear because he is already serving a one-year jail sentence for having a loaded gun on his tour bus. The rapper began serving that sentence March 8 at the Rikers Island jail complex.
Lil Wayne was arrested in January 2008 at a border checkpoint 78 miles east of Yuma after authorities say they found cocaine, Ecstasy and a handgun on his tour bus.
The 27-year-old rap star has been charged with one count each of possession of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, misconduct involving weapons and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He has plead not guilty to all the charges.
Tilson said he has filed motions to have Lil Wayne's March 30 trial date vacated, and asked the court that his client be allowed to appear in Yuma when he finishes his New York jail sentence. He also has asked that his bond remain the same.
"It does not appear that a trial will be occurring anytime within the next eight to 12 months," Tilson said.
But Yuma County prosecutor Deann Sandry said it was the state's position that Lil Wayne is now a convicted felon and that a bench warrant should be issued and his bond be increased to $150,000.
Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter III" was the best-selling album of 2008 and won a Grammy for best rap album. His latest album, "Rebirth," was released last month.
Controversy is brewing over reports that Walmart is selling a black Barbie doll for only half of what the white doll is being sold for, ABC News reports.
Photos on Guanabee.com (first shown on a site called Funny Junk) show the Ballerina Theresa Barbie doll, who is black, and the Ballerina Barbie doll, who is white, hanging side by side in a store. Price of the black Barbie: $3.00. Price of the white Barbie: $5.93.
The photo was reportedly taken at a Walmart in Louisiana, according to Guanabee.com.
Walmart told ABC News that the chain needed to clear space for new seasonal products and thus marked down the prices of many items.
"To prepare for (s)pring inventory, a number of items are marked for clearance, " spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien said in an e-mail to ABC News."... Both are great dolls. The red price sticker indicates that this particular doll was on clearance when the photo was taken, and though both dolls were priced the same to start, one was marked down due to its lower sales to hopefully increase purchase from customers."
"Pricing like items differently is a part of inventory management in retailing," O'Brien said.
FALL RIVER, Mass. - A former Massachusetts dentist is accused of putting paper clips in patients’ mouths during root canals, then billing Medicaid for the stainless steel posts he should have used.
The state attorney general announced Tuesday that a grand jury indicted former Fall River dentist Michael Clair last week. The charges include assault and battery, larceny, submitting false claims to Medicaid, and illegally prescribing drugs.
Prosecutors say Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002. He allegedly hired other dentists for his clinic and filed claims under their numbers between August 2003 and June 2005. He’s also accused of illegally prescribing drugs to staffers who returned medications to him.
Clair is to be arraigned April 8. He now lives in Maryland. A telephone listing could not be found for him, and it’s unclear if he has an attorney.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - When a Tennessee jailer ripped the gold grill from a new inmate's teeth two days before Thanksgiving last year, it left the 31-year-old man in excruciating pain and left taxpayers on the hook for nearly $100,000 in damages.
Anthony McCoy spat out blood and teeth in a trash can and was in agony for more than a week after Davidson County Sheriff's Lt. Tanya Mayhew reached into his mouth and yanked out the grill, along with the cement attached to his teeth, said his lawyer, David Raybin.
The forced extraction pulled the enamel off McCoy's front teeth and left him with a damaged mouth that still isn't fixed, Raybin said.
City lawyers were planning Tuesday night to ask the Nashville Metro Council to approve a $95,000 settlement to avoid a lawsuit over the incident.
It happened Nov. 24, a day after McCoy was admitted to the Metro Jail on charges of contempt of court for failure to pay child support, two counts of violation of an order of protection and harassment.
When a guard asked McCoy to remove his grill while he was being processed in the jail, he said it was permanently cemented to his teeth years earlier.
$10,000 damage to teeth
In a legal analysis, the Metro Council's office acknowledges that Mayhew then reached into McCoy's mouth and ripped off the grill, causing an estimated $10,000 worth of damage to McCoy's teeth.
McCoy made repeated but futile requests for medical treatment," Raybin said.
"There was no urgency at all," Raybin said of the Metro Jail officials and Correct Care Solutions, the company that Nashville contracts with to provide inmate medical care. "This guy was in agony for over a week and a half." The inmate's claim is based on pain and suffering, as well as the dental damage.
CCS has agreed to pay $20,000 because of the "unwarranted delay" in receiving treatment, the Metro Council's legal analysis says. It also says Mayhew broke sheriff's office policy by reaching into the inmate's mouth. The paperwork also acknowledges that McCoy waited 10 days before ever receiving medical treatment beyond Tylenol, in spite of repeated pleas for help.
It's not clear why McCoy had to wait so long to get treatment or how many times he asked for help. It's also not clear whether jail officials ever requested that CCS see him sooner.
In an e-mail to The Associated Press, CCS declined to comment.
A Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said that since the incident, a new policy specifically prohibits jailers from removing inmates' grills. The Sheriff's Department referred other questions about the case to the county Health Department, which oversees the contract with CCS.
A Health Department spokesman said that federal privacy laws barred officials from saying whether McCoy sought medical treatment while in the jail.
City officials have previously been happy with the quality of care CCS has provided to the inmates, but are going to closely monitor the agency, said Health Department spokesman Brian Todd. "We don't ever want to see something like this happen again."
"This appears to be an unusual and pretty reprehensible act," Councilman Ronnie Steine, chairman of the budget and finance committee, told The Tennessean newspaper of Nashville. "My hope is that the employee has had the appropriate disciplinary action for something that seems to be an egregious act."
The lieutenant who pulled out the grill was demoted and received five days suspension.
McCoy was later convicted on the harassment charges and released from jail on Feb. 2.