Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
HOLLYWOOD (WWJ) – “When seeking out on a path of revenge, dig two graves.”
Those words spoken by the serial killer “Picasso” in the action thriller “Alex Cross,” starring Tyler Perry in the title role. Matthew Fox stars as Picasso, a killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, and who will wipe out anything and anyone who crosses his path in the process.
“Alex Cross” spent two weeks last year filming in Detroit, which is where the story takes place. Cross is a Detroit homicide detective/psychologist, who’s called upon to hunt down Picasso. And Detroit’s stamp on the film is apparent throughout. The truck Cross drives is a Chevy, a fleet of shiny, black Cadillac Escalades is used to chauffeur Detroit-based multi-national industrialist Giles Mercier (Jean Reno), and Picasso gets around town in a silver Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. In addition, the Detroit People Mover gets plenty of screen time; it’s used by Picasso to fire off a rocket launcher, and Detroit hip-hop star Trick Trick has a prominent ring-side role.
So will Perry’s fan base be accepting of him taking on such a serious role – one that is such a dramatic departure from the role his fans have come to know and love – namely, Madea? I’m willing to bet they are. Plus in the process, Perry will probably gain some new fans. And judging by the response the film received at an advance screening, he already has: when the movie ended and the credits started to roll, several people broke out in applause.
While it can be easy to predict what’s coming up in some of the movie’s scenes, “Alex Cross” is still pretty entertaining; not spectacular, but entertaining enough. A lot of the fun for Detroiters will be watching the action unfold on the city’s streets and also hearing the actors make numerous references to Detroit. But it was also good to see one of Hollywood’s most enduring and successful actors (Perry) step away from his most familiar role (Madea) and take on a new challenge. And when it comes to bad guys, they don’t get any badder than Picasso. Fox played that role to the ummph degree (I’m sure you know what I mean).
“Alex Cross” is rated PG-13.
Check out some photos from the flick and I’ll see you at the movies!
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 11:51
Category: Breaking News Written by the CNN Wire Staff
Tigers first team to sweep Yankees in postseason in 32 years
(CNN) -- Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta smashed two-run homers off Yankees star pitcher C.C. Sabathia to propel the Detroit Tigers back into the World Series.
Austin Jackson also homered for the Tigers in Game 4, who handed the Yankees their first postseason wipeout since 1980, with an 8-1 victory at Detroit.
"So hopefully we've quieted some doubters now. The guys just stepped it up when we had to," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I have the utmost respect for the (Yankees). If someone would have told me we would sweep the Yankees in this series, I would have told them they were crazy."
Delmon Young was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after going 6 for 17 with six RBI.
The Yankees, who played Thursday with their captain, Derek Jeter, managed only two hits against Tigers starter Matt Scherzer and three relievers. It was the continuation of the worst postseason by an offense in major league baseball history. The Yankees hit an all-time postseason low of .188, according to ESPN.
"There are a lot of good hitters in that room, and to be able to shut a lot of them down is very surprising to me," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
The Tigers next will play the winner of the National League Championship Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals lead the series three games to one, after beating the Giants 8-3 Thursday night.
The World Series is scheduled to begin Wednesday at the home of the National League representative. The Tigers have made 11 appearances in the World Series, winning four times. They lost to the Cardinals in 2006.
The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473) ™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 11:41
Category: Breaking News Written by Paul Steinhauser, CNN
CNN) -- It seems an energetic debate performance can generate big bucks.
The Obama campaign confirms that they had their single biggest day of fundraising on Wednesday, the day after the town-hall style presidential debate. The record includes not just the current campaign but also the 2008 presidential cycle.
While the campaign Friday morning confirmed the fundraising record, they said they aren't releasing at this time an actual figure for what they raised on Wednesday. After a lackluster performance in the first presidential debate in Denver two weeks ago, Obama spent much of Tuesday's debate in Hempstead, New York attacking Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
The fundraising record was first reported by Politico's Mike Allen.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 11:35
Category: Breaking News Written by Ashley Killough and Rachel Streitfeld. CNN
New York (CNN) -- President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were within arm's length for the second time this week, as they shared the stage at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner Thursday and delivered feisty quips at each other's expense.
Donning tuxes at the elaborate event, a traditional election-year stop for presidential candidates, the two paused at the Waldorf Astoria for a night of comedic relief with less than three weeks to go in the already-bitter race.
Romney followed the event's time-honored tradition of poking a little fun at himself.
Standing before a sea of elegantly dressed guests at the white-tie function, Romney quipped: "A campaign can require a lot of wardrobe changes. Blue jeans in the morning, perhaps. Suit for a lunch fundraiser. Sport coat for dinner. But it's nice to finally relax and to wear what Ann and I wear around the house."
On the heels of a contentious debate Tuesday night, Romney noted he and the president enjoyed "chatting pleasantly" at dinner.
"I credit that of course to the cardinal," he said of American Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who sat with the two men. "It's taken New York's highest spiritual authority to get us back on our best behavior."
Romney went on to deliver a series of zingers, using humor to needle the president and his policies.
The GOP presidential nominee said he wouldn't be surprised to hear Obama mention the better-than-expected September jobs report.
"He knows how to seize a moment, this president, and already has a compelling new campaign slogan: You're better off now than you were four weeks ago," he said.
After several jabs at Obama, Romney took aim at a politician's favorite target: the press.
"I've already seen reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: Obama embraced by Catholics, Romney dines with rich people," he said, to laughter.
Romney closed his remarks on a serious note and offered praise for his opponent.
"Our president has had some very fine and gracious moments. Don't tell him I said so, but our 44th president has many gifts and a beautiful family that would make any man proud," he said. "In our country you can oppose someone in politics and make a confident case against their policies without an ill will. And that's how it is for me."
For his part, Obama also took a self-deprecating approach, though he certainly made a few swipes at his opponent. The president drew most of his laughs when he poked fun at his widely panned debate performance in the first presidential showdown earlier this month.
"As some of you may have noticed, I had a lot more energy in our second debate," he said. "I felt really well rested after the nice long nap I had in the first debate."
The night of the debate, October 3, also marked his 20th wedding anniversary with his wife, Michelle. Obama said he learned that "there are worse things that can happen to you on your anniversary than forgetting to buy a gift."
He also took some swipes at Romney, who was sitting just a few feet away. "Earlier today I went shopping at some stores in Midtown, I understand Gov. Romney went shopping FOR some stores in Midtown."
The president further roasted Romney over the GOP nominee's recent trip to Europe, one that faced negative headlines over comments Romney made during the tour to England, Israel and Poland.
"After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked as a celebrity, because I was so popular with our allies overseas," he said. "I have to say I'm impressed with how well Gov. Romney has avoided that problem."
The president, however, noted that the two candidates shared one thing in common: their "unusual" names.
"Actually Mitt is his middle name. I wish I could use my middle name," he said, referring to his middle name of "Hussein."
But Obama couldn't finish the night without touting the support of a recent endorsement:
"And we're getting to that time when folks are making up their minds. The other day, Honey Boo-Boo endorsed me," he said, referring to the child star of a new TLC reality show.
"So that's a big relief."
"As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he's thinking. So little time. So much to redistribute."
"I never suggest that the press is biased. I recognize they have their job to do, and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it."
"Your kind hospitality here tonight gives me a chance to convey my deep and long-held respect for the Catholic church, and special admiration for the apostle St Peter, to whom it is said, upon this rock I will build this church. the story's all the more inspiring when you consider that he had so many skeptics and scoffers at the time who were heard to say: If you've got a church, you didn't build that."
"It turns out millions of Americans focused in on the second debate who didn't focus in on the first debate--and I happen to be one of them."
"Win or lose, this is my last political campaign, so I'm trying to drink it all in. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg will only let me have 16 ounces of it."
"I have to admit it can be a grind. Sometimes it feels like this race has dragged on forever. But Paul Ryan assured met that we've only been running for 2 hours and 50-something minutes."
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 11:26
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - More taxpayer dollars are needed to defend Wayne County against a lawsuit filed by a former top aid to County Executive Robert Ficano.
Commissioners on Thursday approved spending an additional $100,000 on attorneys who are representing the county against the lawsuit filed by Ficano’s former deputy, Azzam Elder.
Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel Steve Pierson told Commissioners he may need more money in the future. ”I’m reluctant to say this is going to be it because, if I did, probably I would be mistaken,” he said.
Commissioner Laura Cox has been an outspoken critic of Ficano’s dealings. “This is not the end and it would be foolish for anybody to that that it’s the end,” said Cox. “You know, this is, like I said, the gift that keeps on giving — so it’s very frustrating.”
Elder claims he was forced to retire last November amid the severance pay scandal and he is suing to get the $300,000 Ficano promised him.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 09:29
Category: Breaking News Written by Sheryl Huggins Salomon, The Root
The Root) -- Over the years, BET has faced a generous amount of criticism for not having enough uplifting and informative programming. Only recently, network co-founder Sheila Johnson said that it had "squandered" an outlet that "really could have been the voice of black America," and that black people are losing their voice as a result. But how much do black Americans really care about having a voice?
That's a question being posed on more than one level by BET as the network faces disappointing ratings for its late-night vehicle for news veteran T.J. Holmes and it unveils a two-part news documentary about how black people will sound off at the polls in the upcoming presidential election. The latter show, titled Second Coming? Will Black America Decide the 2012 Election, examines the issues that black voters are grappling with as Nov. 6 approaches.
Created in partnership with Brick City producers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin and filmmaker Sam Pollard (Slavery by Another Name, Four Little Girls), the documentary follows a number of Obama surrogates, from celebrities such as Kerry Washington and Usher to grassroots organizers in battleground states, as they go through the 2012 election cycle. Joblessness, the endless cycle of violence in urban communities and gay marriage are among the topics tackled during the program. It is narrated by actress S. Epatha Merkerson.
At a screening in New York City for Part 1 of Second Coming, BET's president, Debra Lee, said that she hoped people would tune in and then turn up at the polls. When an audience member asked if the network would consider airing that kind of programming on a weekly basis, Lee replied, "Over the 28 years I've been at BET, we've tried different shows, series and nightly news, and its always a matter of what are people going to show up to watch. We started a new show last week called Don't Sleep! With T.J. Holmes, which is supposed to address these kinds of issues. It's designed to be a mix of entertainment and news and commentary. We hoped it would have been a Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert-type show."
However, Lee added, "To be honest, the ratings haven't been great in the past two weeks." (Information was not available on the exact metrics to which she was referring, though a network representative later provided this statement via email: "BET's new late-night talk show Don't Sleep is now cable's No. 1 late-night talk show/variety program among black viewers this year.")
Holmes' strong reputation as a journalist at CNN hasn't yet translated into a large viewership. "Our audience always says they want this kind of programming, but they don't show up." Lee said that she hoped they would show up for Second Coming, which airs in two parts on successive Fridays, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.
Will they? At its heart, Second Coming is the type of news documentary that would attract a relatively mature audience, as most news programming tends to, but Pollard hopes that the inclusion of celebrities in the documentary will help draw young viewers. "If young people, who are BET's core audience, see those hip rappers out there saying "Vote, vote" -- people like Ice Cube and RZA -- it can be a big plus in the next two weeks [before the presidential election]," he told The Root.
Pollard made no bones about the fact that his aim was to convince black people to come out and vote for Barack Obama, an assertion that BET's vice president of news, David Scott, later qualified by stressing that the network is "strictly nonpartisan." To achieve a second Obama term, Pollard said, "It's going to take grassroots activists like the people in our show, Tarsha Williams and Charles Perry. It's going to take people like that who are on the ground. We're going to have to motivate and energize people to get out and vote for Obama.
"I also think that if black people will tune in on this next debate and Obama can raise his game even higher than he did [Tuesday night], that will be a big plus to energize black people to get out and vote," Pollard added. "The way he'll get the bump is if black people come out, if they really support him again the way that we did in 2008."
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 09:20
Category: Breaking News Written by Perry Bacon Jr, The Grio
With fewer than three weeks left, election-obsessed Americans in both parties have turned into 24/7 poll-watchers, reading every number for some sign that the election has turned decidedly for Mitt Romney or President Obama.
I urge you to stop reading every poll. Here’s the reality: barring some major incident (a terrorist attack, news one of the candidates has engaged in an extramarital affair), the race will remain close and within the margin of error in most polls. Obama’s big post-DNC convention lead was surprising and probably always going to disappear at some point, as Republican-leaning independents came back home to Romney. Two of the last three American elections (2000 and 2004) were effectively ties, and this election appears headed to a similarly-close result. In 2008, President Obama won in states like Indiana and North Carolina when the Republican Party was at perhaps its lowest moment in the two decades, and he is very unlikely to repeat that kind of electoral wipe-out.
It’s not that the polls are wrong or biased. Gallup, whose surveys have been criticized as too pro-Romney this year, predicted an 11-point point win for Obama in 2008 in its final poll. He actually won by seven. The Pew Research Center, which has had wild swings in its surveys this year, had a six-point margin in its final poll in 2008, as did Rasmussen, almost exactly dead-on.
And pollsters are right to separate “likely voters” from “registered voters,” as the latter includes people who are very unlikely to show up on Election Day. (In Pew’s 2008 survey, Obama led by 11 among registered voters, much bigger than his overall advantage. Younger voters, who lean Democratic, are in particular low-turnout voters.)
Instead, there are two real challenges to polling the race. The first is that knowing who exactly will vote is hard to predict. Most pollsters estimate the electorate will be about evenly divided between men and women and minorities will compromise between 25 and 30 percent of voters.
But a one- percentage point drop or increase in the black vote in Ohio would be a significant shift, and it will be very hard for most national or even state polls to catch that. In an election like 2008, when it was clear Obama would win, those kinds of details don’t matter as much. But they will this time if the race is as close as expected.
Secondly, it’s a bit too early. Polls in the days after big events, like conventions and debates, are catching swings in the electorate because undecided voters are still sorting out how they feel. (Yes, you might not be undecided, but between 5 and 7 percent of likely voters are, a number that means up to 9 million Americans still aren’t sure.) By the Sunday before the election, barring big news, those feelings should be largely settled. Look at the polls again then.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 09:14
Category: Top News Written by Cornelius A. Fortune, MANAGING EDITOR
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 17:26
Category: Breaking News Written by Tyler Kingkade, Huffingtonpost
NEW YORK -- College students who graduated with bachelor's degrees in 2011 left school with the largest average student debt load in history, according to a new report.
The class of 2011 came out with an average of $26,600 in student loan debt, a 5 percent increase from $25,250 in 2010, according to the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success.. The increase, in line with recent years, shows student debt continues to grow faster than inflation.
"As debt levels rise, fear of loans can prevent students from getting the education they need to succeed," said Lauren Asher, president of The Institute for College Access & Success, a nonprofit research and advocacy group. "Students and parents need to know that, even at similar looking schools, debt levels can be wildly different. And, if they do need to borrow to get through school, federal student loans, with options like income-based repayment, are the safest way to go.”
States where student debt is highest were concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, while low-debt states were mainly located in the West and South. Two-thirds of all graduates in 2011 had student loan debt, according to the report, "Student Debt and the Class of 2011." The report focused on four-year public and nonprofit private colleges.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 16:47
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT — (WWJ) General Motors is bringing in three thousand information technology workers from Hewlett-Packard.
Those workers had been assigned to the GM account. They will now become General Motors employees.
It’s part of a deal that will also have General Motors purchasing HP technology and software.
“These agreements with HP will enable us to accelerate the progress of our IT transformation by delivering increased innovation and speed of delivery to our GM business partners, and reduce the cost of ongoing IT operations,” said GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott.
“Transforming our internal IT operations will give us the resources, tools and flexibility we need to provide better services and products to our global GM customers.”
General Motors has been working to bring information technology back in house. They recently announce a new “IT Innovation Center” for the GM Tech Center in Warren. They’ll have other, similar centers in three other places. Austin, Texas is the only one of those three sites to be named.
In addition to the workers coming in from HP, GM is also in the process of doing outside hiring. All totaled the changes in information technology could lead to as many as ten thousand new positions at General Motors.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 October 2012 16:41
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