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Deficit Food Fights in Congress Dampened Fund Drives for Famine in Somalia

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

Relief organizations often chalk up their biggest fund raising successes during major humanitarian crises.

But the devastating famine in Somalia fell by the wayside as media turned its attention to other news scoops – including the protracted Congressional fight over the debt ceiling, the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal, and the recent massacre in Norway.

“It’s even slower for us than Pakistan was,” grieved a spokesman for Mercy Corps, a U.S. relief and development group.

“I’m asking myself where is everybody and how loud do I have to yell and from what mountaintop?” asked Caryl Stern, chief executive of the United States Fund for Unicef, the group’s fundraising arm. “The overwhelming problem is that the American public is not seeing and feeling the urgency of this crisis.”

Funds to provide care and food for the children affected by the famine have totalled $5.1 million — out of $300 million that Unicef estimates it will need during the next six months to address and prevent starvation in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Another relief group, Oxfam is seeking to raise more than $70 million. It has raised about $36 million so far, mostly in Europe, where donors have been more responsive.

Ugandan Little League Team Denied U.S. Visas, to be Replaced by Saudis

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

With the ouster of the Ugandan Little League from the Little League World Series, World series officials have announced the place will be filled by the team from Saudi Arabia.

The Ugandan children were denied visas to play in the U.S. after the U.S. State Department said there were discrepancies in players’ ages and birth dates, “making some players appear younger than they actually were.”

Only last month, the African team had whipped the Saudis in the Middle East and Africa region championships and was thrilled at the prospect of being the first team from Africa to play in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the site of the series games.

Godfrey Mabirizi, vice chair of Uganda’s National Council of Sports, said that in the future the council would verify players’ ages and documents, and would punish those responsible if they were found to have lied about players’ ages.

Little League baseball was introduced to Uganda eight years ago by Richard Stanley of Staten Island, a part-owner of the Yankees’ Class AA Trenton Thunder and a diamond miner in Uganda. Listed as an officer on a Uganda Little League Baseball directory, Stanley said he has donated about $1.5 million to the organization there.

In an interview earlier this year, Stanley expressed his admiration for the young players: “These kids are great… They play all day and never get tired. They’ve got the talent. All they need is more practice and competition. All they need is a chance.”

New Analysis Shows Ghetto Communities Continue Even for Affluent Blacks

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Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspapers –

A recent analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that Black and Hispanic households that earn more than $75,000 annually live in poorer neighborhoods.

These groups were found to live in poorer communities than the average low-income non-Hispanic White household that makes less than $40,000 per year, USA Today reports. Blacks and Hispanics live in poorer neighborhoods than whites with working class incomes, according to the report: Separate and Unequal: The Neighborhood Gap for Blacks, Hispanics and Asians in Metropolitan America.

“Blacks are segregated and even affluent Blacks are pretty segregated,” said John Logan, director of US2010 Project at Brown University, which conducted the study. "African Americans who really succeeded live in neighborhoods where people around them have not succeeded to the same extent."

The study found that in the Northeast and Midwest, segregation was highest; but there were fewer disparities in parts of the Sun Belt.

“White middle-class families have the option to live in a community that matches their own credentials,” Logan told USA Today. “If you're African American and want to live with people like you in social class, you have to live in a community where you are in the minority.”

According to a 2010 article by Logan called, “Census Analysis: Nation’s diversity grows, but integration slows,” Blacks continue to be the most segregated minority, with Hispanics and Asians trailing behind.

“Segregation peaked around 1960. Between 1980 and 2000 it declined at a very slow pace, but analysts have been hoping for a breakthrough since then. The new data show that there is very little change,” according to the report.

What Blacks Need to Know about Diabetes

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By Lurina Williams, Special to the NNPA from The Dallas Examiner –

Sugar and sweets are always pleasant to eat and taste so good. On the other hand, consumption of too much sugar is deemed unhealthy and can lead to rotten teeth, cavities and even unwanted weight gain.

Many people also tend to believe eating sugar is the result of diabetes, according to Pam Davis, diabetes educator for Novo Nordisk Inc.

“A lot of times people believe that they ate too much sugar and that is what caused their diabetes,” Davis said.

However, many people may not know that sugar plays a vital role in the body and affects its energy levels. After meals, carbohydrates are broken down and turned into sugar, or glucose. During digestion, sugar enters the bloodstream. As a result, sugar from food and carbohydrates causes the body’s blood sugar levels to increase. The insulin in your body is then used to open up some of the cells in your body allowing the sugar to exit the bloodstream and enter into the cells for energy. The insulin is also used to balance the sugars out which in turn lowers blood sugar.

But for some, this may become a problem. In Type 1 diabetes, the body produces too little or no insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body is insulin resistant, sometimes making too much insulin and the body is unable to use it properly. In both cases, Type 1 and Type 2, sugar is not allowed into the cells and stays in the blood stream, causing extremely high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. In Type 1 diabetics, insulin is then injected to regulate blood sugars, and in Type 2 diabetics, exercise and oral medications are taken.

According to http://www.novonordiskcommunitycare.com, one out of 12 Americans has diabetes. Typically doctors test and can tell if you have the disease if you have an A1C of 6.5 percent or higher or your blood sugar levels are higher than 126. The A1C is an average number from your blood glucose levels over the course of two to three months. A healthy A1C should be no higher than seven percent. Symptoms include constant and frequent trips to the restroom, being thirsty and hungry more than often, unusual weight loss, frequent periods of fatigue, irritability, blurry vision, wounds that won’t heal and numbness or tingling hands or feet.

“In reality, there’s a lot of things that contribute to why people have diabetes and so often times it’s multiple factors that kind of gang up on them that cause diabetes to come to be. And certainly what you eat can play a role in those factors presenting themselves. But, for instance, genetics, having a family history of diabetes, age, ethnicity, all of those kinds of things that we cannot change are kind of the underlining things that we always have to look at,” Davis explained. In 2010, out of the 3,284,300 people living in the state of Texas with diabetes, 460,700 were African Americans. By the year 2025, the number of African Americans with diabetes is projected to raise to 814,300, pursuant to the Institute for Alternative Futures.

Risk factors include, but are not limited to: being overweight, not being very active, high blood pressure, being over 45 years of age, having a family history of the disease, belonging to certain ethnic groups and giving birth to large babies. There is no cure for this chronic disease, but if managed and controlled properly people with diabetics can live long healthy lives. Some ways to manage diabetes are: taking medication properly, eating healthy, exercising and staying active, regular doctor’s visits, checking blood sugar levels and avoiding stress.

The key to keeping diabetes in control is first having a good team. A good team usually consists of support from family and friends, a doctor, a nurse, an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, a nutritionist and an endocrinologist. Your team will help with creating meal plans, planning workouts or physical activities, scheduling when to check sugar and take medications, planning blood sugar goals and providing emotional support.

“There’s no reason why someone with diabetes can’t live a long healthy life, but they do have to do something about it to make it stay that way,” Davis stated. “One of the things that we teach people is that diabetes is a progressive disease meaning that it does tend to get worse unless we do things to combat it. So, any complications that can result from diabetes is preventable ... and so we prevent that by keeping our blood sugar in good control and making sure that it’s as close to normal as possible.”

Black Georgia Mom Spared Jail Time After Son Killed By Drunk Driver

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By Cyril Josh Barker, Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News –

A Black Georgia mother is breathing a sigh of relief after hearing the news that she will not face any jail time for the death of her 4-year-old son. Raquel Nelson, of Marietta, Ga., was previously facing three years in prison after a drunk driver killed her son in a hit-and-run while she was jaywalking in 2010.

The case involving the single mother was highly criticized because Nelson was looking at more jail time than the man who killed her son in the hit-and-run. A judge sentenced Nelson to 40 hours of community service and one year of probation. She also has the option of getting a new trial.

In 2010, Nelson tragically lost her son, A.J., at the hands of Jerry Guy, the driver. Nelson had just gotten off a public bus and jaywalked across a four-lane highway with her son and two other children to reach her home.

Reports indicate Guy had two prior hit-and-run convictions, was intoxicated at the time of the incident and is partially blind in one eye. He served six months in jail and is currently serving five years probation after pleading guilty. Nelson was facing 36 months in prison after being convicted in July of second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless conduct and jaywalking.

Speaking on NBC's "Today," Nelson said the reason why she didn't use the crosswalk was because she was in a hurry to get home before it got dark. She said she is still trying to heal following the death of her son.

"I think to come after me so much harder than they did him, I say it's a slap in the face," she said," she said. "This will never end for me."

Heavy criticism was especially large from the Black community in Marietta because of the all-white, middle-class jury that convicted Nelson. Many said that the trial was unfair considering that several jurors said they had never previously even taken public transportation.

"I don't think they could relate to what I was going through. I think that there was a lot of evidence that wasn’t - I can't say allowed to be presented, but it all went very fast, and...all of the jurors, they've all said they've never ridden public transportation and they've never really been in my shoes. So I think it was maybe not a jury of peers, if that's what the statement is," Nelson said.

Support for Nelson was also big on the Internet, where numerous people posted videos on YouTube supporting her. A Facebook page called "Help Raquel Nelson" has also been set up. On the websitechange.org, more than 140,000 signatures were received in 48 hours asking that she get no jail time.

At her hearing, the judge was presented with several emails and letters from local citizens, Nelson's father and boss and fellow students at the community college where she is taking classes.

She now has 30 days to decide if she wants a new trial to clear her name. David Savoy, Nelson's attorney, said that he's never seen anything like this happen before, and that he and his client are taking a look at their options.

"I was very pleased with the decision and I think she [the judge] made the right decision," he said.

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