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Indicted Senate Candidate Greene to Stay in Race

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Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspapers –

(NNPA) - South Carolina Democratic Senate hopeful Alvin Greene plans to continue his run for office despite being indicted on obscenity charges related to an alleged incident that took place on the University of South Carolina’s campus last November.

According to court records, a Richland County, S.C. grand jury on Aug. 13 indicted Greene on a felony charge of promoting obscenity and a misdemeanor charge of communicating obscene messages to another person after authorities said he showed a female University of South Carolina student pornographic images on a computer in one of the school’s computer labs, and then attempted to go to her room.

Greene confirmed that he was staying in the race when reporters from WCNC, a North Carolina NBC affiliate, made an unannounced trip to his home to ask him about his plans. Pressured into answering further questions, Greene asked the reporters to “leave the property” and “go away.”

The South Carolina Democratic party has sought Greene’s removal from the race since his upset win over former state Rep. Vic Rawl in the primary, despite running as a complete unknown with no apparent funds. Calls for an investigation into the primary election results were dismissed, but Greene’s recent indictment was the final straw for the party’s local chair, Carol Fowler.

“In June, I asked Mr. Greene to withdraw his candidacy because of the charges against him. Following today's indictments, I repeat that request,” Fowler said in a statement released to the media when Greene was indicted. “It will be impossible for Mr. Greene to address his legal issues and run a statewide campaign. The indictment renews concerns that Mr. Greene cannot represent the values of the Democratic Party or South Carolina voters.”

Greene will face incumbent Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican, in the general election in November.

Nielson: African-Americans Talk, Text More on Cellphones Than Any Other Ethnic Group

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Special to the NNPA from Target Market News –

(NNPA) - According to a new analysis of cellphone usage by The Nielsen Company, African-Americans spend more time on average talking and texting than any other ethnic group. The voice and text results are compiled from one year (April 2009-March 2010) of mobile usage data gathered by Nielsen, which analyzes the cellphone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers each month in the United States.

Nielsen found that African-Americans use on average more than 1,300 voice minutes a month, compared to the next most talkative segment, Hispanics, which talk on average 826 minutes a month. Asian/Pacific Islanders logged on average 692 talk minutes a month, followed by Whites, who use approximately 647 voice minutes a month.

Black consumers sent and received on average 780 SMS text messages per month, more than any other group. Hispanics averaged 767 text messages. Whites were third with a monthly average of 566 messages, followed by Asian/Pacific islanders with 384 texts.

The Nielsen analysis also found that women outranked men (856 vs. 666) for minutes spent talking on cellphones. Likewise women led in text messages over men, with 601 vs. 447.

While teens 18-24 text more that adults 25-34, cellphone voice usage is quite close (981 voice minutes for 18-24 and 952 minutes a month for those 25-34 years old.)

South Africa's Media Fears Censorship Under New Gov't Bill

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Special to the NNPA from GIN –

(GIN) – South Africa’s investigative reporters say they fear a proposed “media tribunal” could end their exposes of public corruption and maladministration by government officials.

In the name of allowing average citizens to hold the media accountable, President Jacob Zuma's ANC has proposed a tribunal, accountable to an ANC-led parliament to monitor and sanction the press.

A Protection of Information Bill is also under consideration to curb the reporting of so-called “state secrets.” Journalists reporting official information the state deems classified could face as many as 25 years in prison.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, speaking to the South African National Editors Forum, defended the tribunal concept but stressed that media would not be treated as the apartheid regime treated black journalists. He invited the media to participate in drafting legislation.

In an opposition piece, Thulani Ndlovu, former Zimbabwe reporter and now law student, wrote: “The imperfections and limitations of the press are hardly the most pressing problems facing South Africa... Instead of attacking the press for 'blowing the whistle' on maladministration and corruption, the government should tackle those problems head on.”

U.N. Peacekeepers Silent as 200 Women are Gang-raped

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Special to the NNPA from GIN –

(GIN) – An American aid worker and Congolese doctor reported this week that nearly 200 women and some young boys were gang-raped by Congolese and Rwandan rebels over four days within miles of a UN peacekeepers' base in an eastern Democratic Republic of Congo mining district.

More than three weeks later, the UN mission has issued no statement about the atrocities and said Monday it still is investigating.

A public-service billboard in Kalenger, Eastern Congo, discourages men from raping women.

"Ubakaji" is the Congolese word for rape. It is borrowed from the language of neighboring Tanzania; Congolese culture itself did not openly speak of rape until very recently.

An estimated 500,000 women and girls have been victims of sexual violence since the Second Congo War began in 1996.

Less than a year ago, Hillary Clinton became the first U.S. secretary of state to visit war-torn regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo—and pledged $17 million to fight the rape epidemic.

"Working together, we will banish sexual violence into the dark past, where it belongs, and help the Congolese people seize the opportunities of a new day," she wrote later in an op-ed.

Ten months later, Africa experts are questioning how the $17 million has been spent.

Mass Marches Across the Nation to Expose Vast Racial Inequities

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By Hazel Trice Edney, NNPA Editor-in-Chief –

WASHINGTON (NNPA) - According to civil rights veteran the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., an estimated 23,000 people were arrested in civil rights protests across America between Feb. 1, 1960 and Aug. 28, 1963. On that day, 47 years ago, people not only marched on Washington, but in cities and towns around the nation.

“That day a thousand marches took place around the country at the same time, marches for justice and jobs,” Jackson recalled in an interview with the NNPA News Service this week.

As a result of those marches and the publicity they got, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were passed by a U. S. Congress that was hard-pressed to say no to hundreds of thousands of voters chanting in the streets. This appears to be the strategy being employed once again as at least four major marches and rallies, starting this Saturday, will hit sidewalks and parks across the nation for the purposes of calling attention to social ills and prevailing inequities mainly in America’s Black and Latino communities.

“We’ve never lost a battle we’ve had mass marches for,” says Jackson. “Mass marches laid the ground work for mass registration. And forces immediately respond to the cry of the masses.”

Details for the four marches are as follows:

• Saturday, Aug. 28, Detroit, Mich.: “Rebuild America: Jobs, Justice, Peace” march, led by Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Meet at 10:30 a.m. 151 Jefferson Avenue at the UAW-Ford National Programs Center Next to Hart Plaza. Rally will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Grand Circus Park.

According to Rev. Jackson, the march aims to focus on the void in urban policy. “Dry roots do not produce fruit. People are disengaging in politics because their needs are not being addressed. In Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, vacant lots boarded houses rising unemployment, rising violence and closing schools are leading to low [voter] turnout. We want a focus on the need for a renewed commitment to an urban policy. It’s a key to November and beyond.”

• Saturday, Aug. 28, Washington, D.C. “Reclaim the Dream” March, sponsored by the National Action Network. Protestors will meet at 11 a.m. at Dunbar High School, 1301 New Jersey Ave. NW. Sharpton told the NNPA News Service that the march is intended to expose the issues still disparately plaguing Black communities and then “lay out legislative actions we want to see enacted.”

“Marching is not designed to solve the problems. Marching is designed to expose the problem. But, if you don’t expose the problems, no one is going to solve it because no one’s going to be forced to,” Sharpton says. “We want to expose that there is double unemployment, Black to White in this country. We want to expose the education gap that is clearly in this country…Also, we want to expose the criminal justice system from police brutality to the question of high incarceration and fourthly we want to say that we want to expose the health disparities. We want to say that we’ve made a lot of progress in 47 years but we’re still not equal and that life for Blacks in this country is still qualitatively different that life for Whites.”

• Sunday, Aug. 29, New Orleans, La.: Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, sponsored by the Black Leadership Forum and the Hip Hop Caucus. The event will start at 10 a.m. with a healing ceremony at Jourdan Road and North Galvez at the location where the levee’s breached in the lower 9th Ward.

Protestors will reveal obvious racial bias in the lack of reconstruction in the predominately Black Ninth Ward; a 75 percent reduction in public housing apartments which were 98 percent African-American; and a 50 percent dropped in the 90 percent Black public schools population. For more information visit www.HipHopCaucus.org or email Darryl Perkins at Darry@HipHopCaucus.org.

• Saturday, Oct. 2, Washington, D.C. Mall: “One Nation, Working Together for Jobs, Justice and Education for All”, sponsored by the NAACP and more than 200 social and civil rights organizations around the nation of multiple races and socio-economic statuses.

NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous said the march is aimed to push for progress in the U.S. Senate by encouraging people to vote on Nov. 2.

“We have made tremendous progress in this country over the last two years. We have seen this progress destroyed by obstructionists in the Senate, including on job creation, justice for Black farmers, and urgently needed funding for schools,” Jealous said.

“Where we’ve made progress, we’ve made progress because Blacks, Latinos, organized labor, students and small business people found a way to work together and put our shoulders to the wheel together. We saw that with health care for instance which was pronounced DOA and then revived by us coming back together and working hard together.”

The march will have a three step goal, Jealous said. “Step one will get people to Washington on Oct. 2 so we are reenergized and refocused. Step two is to return to our communities to re-energize, refocus and reconnect our neighbors, get them committed to vote and turnout. Step Three is to return to Washington next spring with the agenda of the march and work with Congress to get bills passed and assure that progress is made.”

The fact that America has its first Black president has not slowed the need to press for change in racial inequities.

Anyone who thought marching and rallies would be over due to the Obama presidency had a “foolish thought,” says Jackson. “There’s always been a competition for the attention of the president. Whoever has the most activity and strength gets on the priority list. … Marching empowers the president.”

President Obama himself, during his historic campaign, repeatedly quoted Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.”

Says Jackson, In 2010, nobody has to get arrested in order to make an impact, but “People who feel they can’t do it alone feel courage when they do it together. Marches involve action.

Moses marched when Egypt crossed the Red Sea to Cannon. Jesus marched on Palm Sunday. Ghandi marched. Dr. King Marched…We’re encouraging people to march wherever you are.”

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