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CDC: More Teen Males are Using Condoms

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Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspapers –

The number of teenage males who said they used a condom during the first time they had sex increased by nine percent since 2002, according to the latest report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the report entitled “Teenagers in the United States: Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use, and Childbearing, 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth,” researchers disclosed that eight in 10 males said they used a condom during sex. The study also showed that 16 percent of teen males claim they used a condom as their female partner used a hormonal method, a six percent increase since 2002.

Although there have been improvements in pregnancy risk behaviors in teens, a disparity among races still exists. Non-Hispanic Black males are the most sexually experienced while there is a higher percentage of Hispanic males who use no contraceptive method.

Overall, 43 percent of never-married female teens and 42 percent of never-married teens had sexual intercourse at least once. This figure has not changed significantly since 2002. In fact, for the past 20 years, the CDC states that there has been a decline in the percentage of those who were sexually experienced.

Condoms remained the most commonly used method, according to the report.

Another CDC study revealed that most teenagers abstain from sex because the behavior does not align with their morals and religion.

Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), said that teenagers still bear the brunt of high STD rates.

“While teens comprise only 25 percent of the population, they bear the burden of 50 percent of all new cases of STDs. Notably, girls ages 15-19 have the highest rates of Chlamydia,” the group said. “This troubling statistic overlaps the timeframe when most teens receive sex education instruction.”

Hundreds Participate in D.C. Statehood Rally, Jobs March

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By James Wright, Special to the NNPA from The Washington Informer –

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) led the Full Democracy for D.C. Freedom Rally early Saturday and that march’s participants eventually joined the Jobs and Justice march led by the Rev. Al Sharpton on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of the rally and march as well as the King Memorial dedication in August.

"In 1965, in a speech in Lafayette Park across from the White House, Dr. King said Congress had been 'derelict in their duties and sacred responsibility to make justice and freedom a reality for all citizens in the District of Columbia," Gray, 68, said in a speech before a throng of rally participants at Freedom Plaza in Northwest. "In the spirit of Dr. King's words, it is time for us to stand up and tell the nation, we have paid our dues and ask the question, 'when will we finally get a membership card in the United States of America."

The rally, which was emceed by Radio One talk show host LaToya Foster, received remarks from speakers that included D.C. City Council Chairman Kwame Brown (D) and members of the Council; former presidential candidate Ralph Nader; noted Washington, D.C. activist Phil Pannell; D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), former D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy; Dr. E. Faye Williams, chair of the National Congress of Black Women; and D.C. Youth Co-Mayor Ryan Washington.

Loren Brown, Kwame Brown's daughter, delighted the crowd with her short speech.

"D.C. residents seek statehood," Loren, 10, said. "We do not have voting rights."

Using a quote King made famous, she said "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"We have to keep up the fight no matter what."

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D) said that "we need statehood now, we are still not free." He suggested a march on the U.S. Capitol.

"We need to march on the Congress," Barry said. "We need to sit-in on all 535 offices."

After the rally, hundreds marched southward to the grounds of the Washington Monument for the Sharpton march. The D.C. statehood marchers who joined in from across the country, came to argue for fair and full employment for Americans, by marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial before arriving at their destination, the King Memorial.

Andrew Jackson of Detroit said that he planned to come to the King Memorial events in August but was deterred by the weather.

"I am here now and I am glad that I made the trip," Jackson, 40, said. "I think we have realized Dr. King's dream but we have work to do."

Sharpton said that jobless Americans have been disrespected by their government.

"We come here today because this country has ignored the plight of the unemployed and the chronically unemployed," Sharpton, leader of the National Action Network, said. "It is not right that you have 14 million people unemployed and one percent of the population owns 30-40 percent of all of the country's wealth."

Sharpton, who noted that conservative Republicans want to change, in a negative way, Social Security said "when you mess with Social Security, it's not about Obama, it's about my mama."

Martin Luther King III, King's oldest living child, said that redistribution of wealth was his father's priority in his last days. In speculating "that was why he was killed," King said that despite the memorial that honors his father, "we got work to do."

MLK Dedication Sets Tone for Fight for Justice

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By George Barnette, Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspaper –

People of all hues came from all over to pay tribute to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the only one on the mall for someone other than an American president. Charles Arterson and Baron Lewis who say they marched with Dr. King, had no intention of missing this grand reunion. It was truly a long time coming.

The crowd, decked out in commemorative Tommy Hilfiger white hats, was mostly positive, cheering the speakers and singing along with the musicians.

However, there were moments in the ceremony that seemed more like a rally against today’s ills than a celebration of the work of Dr. King. Several speakers used the podium as an opportunity to take on today’s injustices.

“This is a marker of the fight for justice today and a projection of the fight for justice in the future because we will not stop until we get the equal justice Dr. King fought for,” said Rev. Al Sharpton.

“Just like Dr. King talked about occupying Washington, just like there are those occupying Wall Street; we’re going to occupy the voting booth and we’re going to take those in that stand for justice and retire those that stand in the way,” he continued.

Other speakers talked about the man, Dr. King, with sometimes little known facts. Ambassador Andrew Young, former Atlanta mayor, spoke of Dr. King’s only complex – his height.

“He was really just 5’7” and he was always getting upset with tall people who looked down on him,” Young said. “Now he’s thirty feet tall looking down on everybody.”

There were also several musical selections. Stevie Wonder, Sheryl Crow, Sweet Honey and the Rock and Aretha Franklin were some of the highlighted performers.

However, the highlight of the ceremony was the speech given by President Barack Obama, who took the stage amid chants of “four more years.” He spoke of Dr. King’s will and how despite the decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education, Dr. King still had to fight to get the Civil Rights Act passed 10 years later in 1964. The President said gumption and determination are what Americans need today to move forward.

“We can’t get hung up on what is,” Obama said. “We’ve got to keep pushing towards what ought to be.”

France Endorses Elections Deemed 'A Complete Mess' in Cameroon

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

Cameroon’s 78 year old president, Paul Biya, is claiming victory in a hotly disputed election that pitted the septuagenarian against 22 candidates. Long-time opposition contender John Fru Ndi called the exercise on Oct. 9 “a complete mess” and said they should be declared null and void.

"This election cannot give the winner any legitimacy," said Joshua Osih, vice chairman of Fru Ndi's Social Democratic Front. His view was echoed by Anicet Ekane, of the Manidem party, who predicted a court challenge on the results.

Nicknamed "the Sphinx", President Biya has managed to keep a tight grip on power for almost three decades despite spending much of his time abroad.

Sunday's election was marred by widespread delays, irregularities and the deaths of one opposition party worker and two policemen, although violent incidents were rare.

But France, Cameroon’s former colonial power, which helped orchestrate Biya's rise in 1982, reported seeing no serious violations in the poll.

"According to the International Organization of the Francophonie and the Commonwealth, we can consider that they took place in acceptable conditions," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said.

Biya is a faithful Paris ally in this West African country widely considered a victim of gross misrule. According to a recent IMF review, "the Cameroonian economy has much higher growth potential that is not being translated into concrete business and employment opportunities." The IMF warned of "unsettled payment obligations carried since 2009, the recapitalization of a major bank and unrealistic revenue estimates." While 40 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, Biya, dubbed the "idle king" is frequently out of country in a posh hotel in Geneva or in his native village in southern Cameroon.

The country's latest anti-poverty plans include heavy logging and deforestation in rural areas, dam building and mining which has put them on a collision course with environmentalists.

Tiniest African Nation Wins Major Leadership Prize

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

Judges for the $5 million Ibrahim prize for African leadership have found a winner ending a two year freeze on the coveted award.

Pedro Verona Pires, ex-president of the small island state of Cape Verde, off the coast of West Africa, was selected for stepping down promptly at the end of this term limit without re-writing the rules to hold onto power. Pires was praised for creating in Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony of approximately 500,000 people of mixed Portuguese and African heritage, “a model democracy, stability and increased prosperity.”

The Ibrahim Foundation headed by a Sudanese-born telecommunications magnate, Mo Ibrahim, rewards governance and human rights in Africa. In a congratulatory message, Mr. Ibrahim wrote “It is wonderful to see an African leader who has served his country from the time of colonial rule through to multiparty democracy… The fact that Cape Verde with few natural resources can become a middle-income country is an example not just to the continent but to the world.”

But the awarding of the prize was accompanied by strong warnings about stagnation and backsliding by dozens of countries across Africa, including Western-backed nations such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Senegal, Zambia, Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania.

“If economic progress is not translated into better quality of life and respect for citizens’ rights, we will witness more Tahrir Squares in Africa,” Ibrahim said, referring to the Egypt’s street protests that toppled President Hosni Mubarak this year.

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BVN National News Wire