Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
President, Republican Nominee Get In Each Other's Face Over Everything
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney engaged in a feisty debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday evening, with the candidates repeatedly interrupting each other and at certain points, attacking each other personally.
CBS News’ Scott Pelley called it “the most rancorous presidential debate ever,” with the candidates turning each question from the audience into an attack on the other.
“We were worried that Candy Crowley was going to have to get between the two men,” said CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell.
In a CBS News Instant Poll of uncommitted voters, 37 percent said President Obama won the second presidential debate, 30 percent said Romney won, while 33 percent called it a tie.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:21
Category: Breaking News Written by Perry Bacon Jr, The Grio
President Obama followed the model of his vice-president in his second debate with Mitt Romney, repeatedly accusing his opponent of giving misleading answers and forcefully rebutting Romney’s claims rather than explain his own policies.
Largely ignoring the crowd of 80 people at the town hall at Hofstra University in New York, Obama redirected nearly every question the audience asked at the town hall to a pointed attack on his opponent, much like Joe Biden did in his debate against Paul Ryan.
The most memorable moment came near the debate’s end, when Romney and Obama were asked about the killing of four Americans including the ambassador, in Libya last month.
“The suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the Secretary of State, our U.N. Ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as Commander in Chief,” Obama declared.
And when Romney suggested that Obama had not described the embassy killings as an act of terror initially, the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, softly interjected that the president had in fact used the phrase “acts of terror.” And Obama didn’t miss that moment.
“Can you say that a little louder, Candy?” Obama declared, elevating the mistake by Romney.
The town hall format, with questions asked largely by the audience, was expected to reduce the amount of sniping between the candidates. It did not. The 90-minute debate included a number of tense moments when the candidates directly confronted one another. At one point Romney pointed told Obama, “You’ll get your chance in a moment. I’m still speaking,” almost ordering the sitting president to remain in his chair.
The two bickered over nearly every issue, from energy to jobs, often ending up in the same kind of confusing malaise with statistics being debated inconclusively as in their first debate.
But if the debate was largely a draw, Obama won on two exchanges. After Crowley corrected Romney on Libya, the ex-governor seemed flustered and unsettled.
And when Romney was asked how his policies would differ from George W. Bush, Obama used his chance to respond to cast his opponent as to the political right of the last Republican president, who left office with extremely low approval ratings.
“You know, there are some things where Governor Romney is different from George Bush. George Bush didn’t propose turning Medicare into a voucher. George Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He didn’t call for self-deportation,” Obama said. “George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, so there are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they’re not on economic policy. In some ways, he’s gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:13
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
General Motors will invest $35 million at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to build the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe featuring extended-range electric technology.
The car is the production version of Cadillac’s Converj which was first shown as a concept vehicle in 2009.
“The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology,” General Motors North America President Mark Reuss said in a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Conference in Detroit. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.”
GM says the ELR “will advance the design theme of the Converj while featuring an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It will use electricity as its primary power source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the battery’s energy is low, the ELR seamlessly switches to a gasoline-powered electric generator to allow hundreds of additional driving miles.”
The lithium-ion battery will be built at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly plant in Brownstown Township.
Production is scheduled to begin in late 2013.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 16:17
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
(Photo Credit: Getty)
The parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin have launched a new website and political committee to take aim at the state’s controversial "Stand Your Ground" law and similar laws across the country.
The website, Change For Trayvon, and committee of the same name, are intended “to give his family a voice in the political process,” according to the group's mission statement.
“Your support will help engage the discussion across the country regarding stand-your-ground laws and the need to revise them so that there is required judicial or prosecutorial review before decisions are made,” the statement continues. “30,000 mothers and fathers lost their children to gun violence. The Change for Trayvon movement will shine the light on stand-your-ground laws across the nation. These laws allow individuals to shoot first and ask questions later.”
The site provides PayPal links for those wishing to make contributions, which "will be used to educate voters, candidates, and elected officials on the impact these laws have on victims and families," according to the site.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin’s family, said the committee was formed in response to a growing number of states that have placed Stand Your Ground laws -- which they believe prevented their son’s killer, George Zimmerman, from being immediately arrested -- on ballots for the upcoming November election.
“The family is saying straightforward that it is not just about Trayvon; all of our children have the possibility of being a Trayvon and having to face this battle against the Stand Your Ground law and the way it’s written,” Crump told The Huffington Post. “They’re saying its too late for them, we can’t do anything about Trayvon. But it’s not too late for others.”
In the wake of Martin’s Feb. 26 killing by Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member in Sanford, Fla., who claims he shot the teen in self-defense, so-called Stand Your Ground laws were scrutinized not only by supporters of Martin’s family, but also by legal experts and advocacy groups who say the laws are written in a way that allows broad interpretation and application and give people wide discretion in the use of deadly force.
Sanford police initially said that it would have been against the law and possibley a violation of Zimmerman’s rights to arrest him. But police arrested Zimmerman more than 40 days after the killing, not long after Florida Gov. Rick Scott assigned a special prosecutor to the case.
Scott also formed the Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection to hold town hall meetings, consult with legal experts, and make recommendations for possible changes to the law.
The task force has itself been controversial, with critics assailing it and Gov. Scott for appointing supporters of the law to the board, including two of the law's authors.
The family’s announcement today comes on the eve of a meeting of the 19-member task force on Tuesday in Jacksonville.
“These laws allow people to shoot first and ask questions later,” Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, said in a video featured on the Change For Trayvon website.
“Worse, under existing Stand Your Ground laws, decisions on shootings are made even before a judge or prosecutor can review the case,” added Sybina Fulton, Martin’s mother. “Stand Your Ground is a solution in search of a problem, and it’s a terrible solution with tragic result, like the death of our son.”
The Change For Trayvon website also ups the ante in a media battle between the Martin and Zimmerman camps, as both sides work to drum up moral and financial support.
Zimmerman has given exclusive interviews to sympathetic cable news pundits. And his parents, friends and brother have defended him on various television news programs.
Meanwhile, Martin's family has made the rounds on the major morning shows and have done countless primetime interviews.
The fight for support has also been waged on the Internet.
Zimmerman, who remains free on bail pending trial, set up a website early on, which he used to thank supporters and raise funds. That site was later taken down, at which time his defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, launched a new website, gzlegalcase.com, which has been used to publish evidence, court filings and various statements.
Zimmerman’s parents also launched a website in support of their son.
According to the Change For Trayvon website, laws similar to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law exist in 32 states “and have allowed people to escape responsibility.”
In Florida, the bill sailed through the state legislature in 2005 with bipartisan majorities. It was intended to strengthen existing self-defense laws after a series of major hurricanes raised fears of looting. But critics say the law is ambiguously written, which consequently has allowed some misapplication. Recent investigative reports suggest a troubling pattern in the application of the law, which seems to skew along racial lines.
Among the more controversial aspects of the debate are the law's possibly biased application, its widespread support among gun rights advocates like the NRA and conservative groups like ALEC, and a number of recent high-profile shootings, including the Trayvon Martin case, in which people have attempted to invoke the law as a legal defense.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:47
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Some Detroit public school parents are speaking out over what they say is a problem of overcrowded classrooms at their school.
The school is Bates Academy which is a longstanding magnate school for gifted and talented students.
Myowa Reynolds, a parent, says Bates has at least one class with more than 50 students.
Reynolds who has a sixth grade daughter at the school says, “we saw it on the first day and several parents brought it up to leadership that day. And they said they would handle it, but we don’t feel six weeks later is handling it.”
District spokesperson, Jennifer Mrozowski, denies the school has any overcrowding in the classrooms.
Angelique Peterson said her son’s eighth grade English class has over 55 students. She said, we were told teachers would be hired to reduce class sizes and that just has not happened.
Reynolds, Peterson and other parents say they plan to take their concerns to the school board and Emergency Manager, Roy Roberts.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:38
Category: Breaking News Written by News One
The Million Man March (pictured), one of the most moving and emotional moments ever in African-American history, took place on the grounds of the National Mall on this day in 1995. The symbolic importance and cultural impact of the huge gathering signified a shift in the attention on issues that plagued urban environs and minorities. The National African American Leadership Summit and the Nation of Islam worked in tandem alongside local chapters of the NAACP to make the March a reality.
At the time, African-American leaders were moved to act, when in 1994, the Republican Party gained control of Congress during President Bill Clinton’s first term in office. Feeling in some way that policy matters focused on the concerns of Blacks, the leaders of the time sought to be heard and become part of the national agenda. Much like today, unemployment and poverty disproportionately affected Blacks in comparison to poor Whites, sparking Rev. Jesse Jackson to address several concerns in front of the House of Representatives.
The rate of arrests of Black men, drug use among African Americans, environmental hazards, and other societal ills were all on the table and the organizers of the March boldly declared war against the negative downturn. In addition, racial tensions in the country were high, with the highly publicized O.J. Simpson not-guilty verdict coming just two weeks before.
Consequently, Dr. Benjamin Chavis Muhammad, the national director of the March, used his background as champion for African-American rights to connect groups with one another for the March. The Million Man March was a call for men of their respective communities to gather together and shift the tide for African Americans of either gender.
Men and leaders of all faiths and political ideologies saw the importance of banding together for the March. Further, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called October 16 “a day of atonement.”
The March began at 6 a.m., with busloads of attendees (pictured above) coming from all over the country and even around the world. Community leaders, pastors, elected officials, and other public figures made up a long list of speakers who spoke powerful words to the reported 1.5-million persons who were there.
Watch footage of the Million Man March here starting at 4:29:
Maya Angelou, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King III were among the more notable speakers of the day. Min. Farrakhan delivered the blistering closing speech, challenging the men in the crowd to embrace and honor one another. In one particularly moving moment, men from all walks of life who didn’t know one another were tearfully hugging, vowing to support the other.
Seventeen years later, the aims of the March are still relevant, especially since the jobless rate and health disparities for Black people are still hot issues. No matter which side of the aisle a person stood on, and regardless of one’s spiritual calling, the Million Man March left a necessary mark in the minds of many, and hopefully, another showing of solidarity of that sort will occur in the near future.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:25
Category: Breaking News Written by Kunbi Tinuoye,thegrio
In an unexpected revelation, actress Halle Berry has revealed that she is a related to former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Speaking in an interview with Extra‘s Jerry Penacoli, Berry, who is of mixed-race heritage, said, “You wanna know who I’m related to? Sarah Palin! That’s what I said, ‘Nooo!’”
“In some twisted way — somebody sent me this information that she was my distant [relative],” she added
The Oscar-winning actress was promoting her forthcoming movie Cloud Atlas alongside her co-star, Tom Hanks. The film focuses on the theme that we are all interconnected irregardless of background or era.
In response to Berry’s comment, Hanks joked, “This is the Cloud Atlas continuum without a doubt I’m telling you the connections that go through! It doesn’t matter who, what race, where, what time.”
Hanks is also said to be related to one of America’s most revered presidents, Abraham Lincoln.
Berry’s disclosure comes amid growing popularity for public figures to explore their family history on TV shows like NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? or the PBS series Finding Your Roots.
This is just the latest example of research revealing an unexpected connection between famous figures. For instance, back in 2007 it was discovered that President Barack Obama and former vice president Dick Cheney are eighth cousins. Obama is also a distant relative of ex-president George W. Bush, Warren Buffett, and Sarah Palin too.
And it’s not just celebrities that are interested in tracing their roots. The popular genealogy website Ancestry.com has around two million users.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 15:21
Category: Breaking News Written by Perry Bacon Jr, The Grio
A strong performance by Mitt Romney in a debate almost two weeks ago helped shift the polls toward him, showing the importance of these sessions in a close campaign like this one. Here’s what to watch for when the candidates meet at Hofstra University on Long Island in New York on Tuesday night.
1. Can they handle questions from voters?
It’s not politically damaging for Romney or President Obama to dismiss or ignore a question from a journalist or their opponent, as that’s a routine part of politics. But most of the questions at Tuesday’s town hall will be asked by 80 undecided voters from the area around the university.
That means the questions may lack the specificity of a journalist. President Obama, for example, may not be asked a three-part question about why his administration did not have more security at the Libyan embassy in Benghazi, where an American ambassador and three others were killed last month.
On the other hand, an undecided voter who doesn’t make enough money to pay income taxes could press Romney on his controversial comment that the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay such taxes see themselves as “victims.” Similarly, an unemployed person who comes to the debate would have unique credibility to question President Obama on the sluggish growth and high jobless rate under his leadership.
And the candidates can’t cast those questions as too political or somehow out of bounds, as they often do in interviews with journalists. It’s also hard to imagine Romney or Obama talking over voters, as the candidates have done with debate moderators.
This format also challenges two candidates who are not for showing their feelings to project empathy and warmth.
2. Is Obama ready to talk about Libya?
In last week’s debate, Vice President Biden said “we” didn’t know which embassy officials in Libya requested more security. Administration officials were forced to clarify that the White House had not been informed of these concerns, but that the State Department had.
Even in a town hall format, the president could face tough questions on this issue. And he will want to give an answer that does not led to even more questions, as Biden’s response did.
3. How does Obama balance between comforting voters and confronting Romney?
Democrats blasted Obama as being too passive in his first debate, while praising the ultra-combative tact Biden took against Paul Ryan. The president now needs to balance criticizing Romney’s policy ideas, interacting with an in-person audience of undecided voters not likely to want to watch sharp attacks, and maintaining the sizable advantage he has in terms of which candidate is seen as more likable.
This is not easy; Biden’s laughs and smirks when Ryan spoke fitted the traditional role of a vice-presidential candidate as the lead attacker of the opposition. But the person at the top of the ticket usually tries to project optimism. And such a negative approach would be an ever odder fit for Obama, known for cloaking his rather liberal policies and views in a bi-partisan approach.
Obama will want to point out holes in Romney’s logic and arguments without the more controversial elements of Biden’s approach.
4. Will Romney be pinned down on his tax plan?
Less than a month from potentially being elected president, Romney still has not explained in detail his campaign promise to cut income tax rates by 20 percent while not increasing the budget deficit or hiking taxes on middle-class Americans. He has given vague descriptions of certain tax loopholes he would eliminate to raise tax revenue, but not laid out a specific plan.
Can they voters in Hofstra do what the Obama campaign and journalists have not and force Romney to give more details?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 13:48
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Testimony in the federal corruption trial of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and three others is again focusing on the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Tuesday morning federal prosecutors called witnesses from financial firms in Chicago and Seattle that managed parts of the city’s pension funds. Those companies donated thousands of dollars to the civic fund, but one witness said she thought the fund was a charity.
Prosecutors have been trying to point out that Kilpatrick and his relatives and friends used money from the Civic Fund for personal and political gain.
Defense attorneys have been saying the money was used to educate voters.
WWJ’s City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas is in the courtroom following the trial. Thomas’ notes from this morning’s proceedings:
9:00 a.m. The day starts out with all the attorneys gathered near the judge’s bench; this lasted for about 6 minutes.
Spotted in the hallway by the coffee shop before proceedings start: ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s former crisis manager Judy Smith. She will be testifying.
On the witness stand: Mary Pugh, Pugh Capital Management, located in Seattle, Washington. Her company did work with the Detroit fire and police pension funds.
Pugh testifies she donated to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund in 2007 and 2008. A letter faxed to her office asks for a donation. The letter states the purposes of the fund and states “no funds from the civic fund will be used for political campaigns.”
Pugh testified that she donated $500 first and then in 2008 she donated $1,500. She says she would not have donated had she known it would have been used for the mayor’s personal expenses.
Under further cross examination by Kilpatrick’s attorney, Jim Thomas:
Pugh testifies she was contacted by Adrian Anderson, a consultant with the civic fund, before the solicitation of the money.
Thomas asks: “Did you know what 501 c 4 organizations can use their funds for?”
Pugh’s response: “Not all.”
She says she doesn’t know how her donation was spent.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBS Detroit.com for continuing coverage.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 12:15
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
(Image from wantbutton.com)
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WWJ) – A Metro Detroit company is suing Facebook over its new “want” button.
Camelot Venture Group in Farmington Hills claims the feature poaches on its own service through its web site wantbutton-dot.com and is confusing to consumers.
Users who click Facebook’s want button are taken to non-Facebook sites where they can buy merchandise. Camelot wants Facebook to stop using the button and wants any money Facebook has made from it. Camelot first started using its want button in September 2010.
Camelot lists numerous companies on its web site as clients of its want button, including Burlington Coat Factory, Sharper Image, Edible Arrangements and Frederick’s of Hollywood.
Facebook hasn’t commented on the suit.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 12:11
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