Category: Top News Written by Bankole Thompson, CHRONICLE SENIOR EDITOR
Last week, a national conference titled “Public Education and the future of Affirmative Action,” was organized by Wayne County Community College District Chancellor Dr. Curtis Ivery the future of affirmative action policies in education in the context of pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
As the only non-academic on the panel of researchers and academicians from leading universities across the country, it was interesting to hear speaker after speaker discuss studies and research that have shown that diversity is not only a compelling interest, but necessary for the well-being of the nation.
The WCCCD program is the first response in the region to bring attention to the affirmative action case currently before the United States Supreme Court, emanating from the University of Texas, highlighted the significance of access to higher education for minorities.
Why? Because access to higher learning for minorities creates a more robust and diverse workforce, especially in the era of a growing multicultural America.
If the high court strikes down affirmative action it will be more difficult for African Americans and other people of color seeking admission to some of the nation’s top universities.
It would send a wrong message at a time when diversity is on the lips of every business and government leader. That is because the global economy cannot survive without a diverse workforce.
One person who has made diversity a mission at one of the state’s educational institutions is Ron Snead, chair of the Board of Trustees at Ferris State University (FSU). Snead is the first African American to graduate from Ferris and the second to chair its board.
“Diversity is beneficial to both people of color and the workforce because we live in a global marketplace,” Snead said in an interview. “We have to understand that the demographics have changed so dramatically in this country where minorities will be the majority.”
Snead, who is completing his first eight-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees and looking to serving another term, said diversity is increasingly becoming a top priority for Ferris State University.
Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to make announcements on reappointments and replacements of university boards such as that of Ferris.
At Ferris, Snead said prioritizing a diverse faculty and staff, improving student retention and graduation rates and maintaining financial discipline are among his goals of seeing the institution continue to do better.
Snead, who has had long history of addressing issues around access in education, equity and justice that includes serving as president of the Ferris State College NAACP chapter during his early years, told the Ferris State Torch that he got involved to make the school a better place.
Through Snead’s work, the university today has what is perhaps the only Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in the country, a powerful exhibit that uses objects of intolerance to teach tolerance, social justice and respect for all. The exhibit, which has attracted visitors from across the world is led by Dr. David Pilgrim, founder and curator of the museum who serves as vice president of diversity and inclusion at the university.
Aletha Muhammad, a former student, praised Snead for his role in creating a diverse campus at FSU, recalling that as a student in 2000 she realized that there were not more than six African American professors at the university.
“I am thankful that you had the courage and dignity to open doors for generations of all students from all backgrounds to attend FSU. Just know that your purpose still lives on,” Muhammad said of Snead.
As the U.S. Supreme Court deals with affirmative action, what would a negative ruling mean for educational institutions like Ferris State?
“It would have a negative effect not only on educational institutions like Ferris State but also on corporations,” Snead said. “This would be a detriment to the country. How can you ask for more diverse applicants if they don’t have an opportunity to graduate? So at the end of the day, what you are creating is second class citizens where only those who can afford a four-year college can make it.”
Snead said the nation will be heavily impacted economically if affirmative action is banned by the court.
“Who is the workforce going to be? The days of manual labor are over. You have to have some kind of skill either vocational or an educational degree to make it,” Snead said.
Women will be affected by a negative ruling on affirmative action, Snead noted.
“This goes back to the glass ceiling,” he said.
Diversity, he stressed, helps everyone succeed.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:24
Category: Breaking News Written by Tami Luhby, moneycnn
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- They aren't in poverty, but they are just a step away from falling into its clutches.
More than 30 million Americans are living just above the poverty line. These near poor, often defined as having incomes of up to 1.5 times the poverty threshold, were supporting a family of four on no more than $34,500 last year.
They are more likely to be white than those in poverty, according to a CNNMoney analysis of Census Bureau data. They are more likely to be elderly. They are more than three times as likely to work full-time, year-round. And they are more likely not to receive help from the government.
"People just above the poverty line are just one paycheck or health disaster away from poverty," said Katherine Newman, a dean at Johns Hopkins University. "They are still quite fragile."
The near poor have grown by about 10% in number over the past five years, as the Great Recession sent many people falling down the income ladder. The ranks of those in poverty, on the other hand, swelled 24% in the same period.
Half of the near poor are white, compared to just over two in five of those in poverty, according to Census figures. And only 16.7% are black, compared to 23.6% of those in poverty. The share of Latinos who are near poor is 27.8%, only slightly smaller than the share in poverty.
The fact that there are more blacks in poverty than among the near poor likely stems from the fact that the unemployment rate among blacks is nearly double that of whites, said Robert Moffitt, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins. And they have much higher rates of single motherhood, he said. Whites, on the other hand, likely have enough earnings to put them just above the poverty line.
Another large group among the ranks of the near-poor are senior citizens. Nearly 17% of the near poor are elderly, while only 7.8% of those in poverty are.
Social Security keeps many of the elderly, particularly white seniors, above the poverty line ... but barely, said Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
"Social Security is not an exorbitant program," he said. "People end up above the poverty line, but not necessarily far above it."
So it's not surprising that nearly 40% of the near poor who didn't work are retired, but only 6% say they couldn't find a job. On the flip side, 46% are employed and nearly half are working full-time.
Some of the near poor are eligible for income-based government assistance since certain programs allow those just above the poverty line to enroll. The food stamps program, for instance, is open to those who earn 130% of the poverty line, while Medicaid and child care subsidies let some of the near poor enroll, depending on the state.
But many are left on their own. Only 57% of the near poor receive public aid, excluding school lunches, compared with 70.3% of those in poverty. They are more likely to rely on churches or social service agencies for help.
"There are still a very large number of working families who are struggling and all but poor," Sherman said.
Newman calls this group "the missing class" because they can be overlooked by policymakers and advocates. They include home health aids, child care workers, teachers assistants and hospital orderlies, to name a few. They work full time, but often don't have employer benefits, which adds to their vulnerability, said Newman, whose research looks at those up to two times the poverty level.
"They are still low-income, but we tend to ignore them," Moffitt said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:07
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit police are looking for a group of people behind nearly a dozen gas station robberies in the city over the past two weeks.
Investigators say the group is wanted for ten armed robberies and one attempted robbery of local gas stations. Between three and five young men were involved in each case.
Police say during the robberies, the suspects will cover their faces, walk into a gas station armed with assault weapons and announce a hold-up.
According to police, three suspects attempted to rob a gas station in the 6500 block of VanDyke on Oct. 10 at 4:55 a.m. by crashing a vehicle into the front of the building. Failing to gain entry, the suspects fled from the location. Police say the three armed suspects continued their crime spree by robbing a station in the 800 block of W. McNichols at 6:45 a.m.
Investigators believe the three suspects are also responsible for several robberies that happened the very next day. Those incidents happened on Oct. 11 at gas stations in the 10000 block of Gratiot at 12:45 a.m.; in the 9700 block of Van Dyke at 12:57 a.m.; and in the 1900 block of E. McNichols at 1:05 a.m.
The suspects took a break for a few days before allegedly robbing a gas station in the 1600 block of E. McNichols on Oct. 17 at 6:30 a.m. The next three robberies happened two days later, on Oct. 19, at gas stations in the 9300 block of VanDyke at 5:10 a.m.; in the 1100 block of Clay at 5:30 a.m.; and in the 3700 block of Joy at 6:00 a.m.
Police say the last two incidents occurred on Oct.23, when four or five armed male suspects robebd a gas station in the 800 block of W. McNichols at 5:15 a.m., and in the 12800 block of W. McNichols at 5:40 a.m.
No one was hurt in any of the robberies. It wasn’t immediately clear how much money the suspects were able to get away with.
The suspects are described as a black males in their 20’s, wearing dark clothing and black masks that cover the lower half of their faces. Police say they hope to issue still photographs of the suspects sometime Wednesday.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents, is asked to contact the DPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau at 313-596-1340 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. You can also submit a tip online at www.1800speakup.org, or text “CSM” and your tip to CRIMES (274637).
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:44
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
MIDLAND — The Dow Chemical Co. will eliminate about 2,400 jobs and close roughly 20 manufacturing plants as part of a restructuring aimed at coping with slowing economic growth in Europe and elsewhere.
The manufacturing giant said Tuesday that the job cuts amount to 5 percent of the company’s workforce worldwide.
Dow expects the strategy will result in roughly $500 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2014.
The company also plans to slash capital spending and investments. It expects that will save an additional $500 million.
All told, Dow anticipates it will save $2.5 billion, including other cost-cutting measures.
Dow produces materials used in nearly every business sector and region of the world, leaving it exposed to shifts in global economic growth.
The company’s business has been hurt by Europe’s debt crisis and slower growth in China. Manufacturers, construction businesses and some transportation customers have reduced demand for Dow products. The company’s coatings and materials for electronic devices also have been weak.
“The reality is we are operating in a slow-growth environment in the near-term and, while these actions are difficult, they demonstrate our resolve to tightly manage operations particularly in Europe and mitigate the impact of current market dynamics,” Andrew Liveris, Dow’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Over the next two years, Dow plans to close certain manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
The company projects it will book between 50 and 60 cents per share in charges related to the restructuring in the fourth quarter of this year. That includes a write-down of assets related to its Dow Kokam LLC joint venture — a move the company is making due to weak global demand for lithium-ion batteries.
Despite the sweeping cost reductions, Dow plans to continue to invest in areas where it believes that it can clearly expand its profit margins. Those include Dow AgroSciences, Dow Electronic Materials and its Sadara and U.S. Gulf Coast investments.
“Taken on the whole, Dow’s strategy remains intact, and our long-term growth fundamentals are strong,” Liveris said.
Later Tuesday night, Dow reported net income of $497 million or 42 cents a share in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, down from $815 million or 69 cents a share a year earlier. Revenue was $13.64 billion, down from $15.11 billion a year earlier.
Electronic and Functional Materials
Sales in Electronic and Functional Materials were $1.1 billion, down 8 percent from the same quarter last year as price declined 5 percent and volume declined 3 percent. The electronics sector continued to grow at a lower-than-forecasted rate, driving sales declines within Dow Electronic Materials. Semiconductor Technologies recorded flat sales, as a modest volume increase was offset by price declines. Interconnect Technologies sales decreased as a result of weak demand and pricing for metallization in all regions.
Functional Materials revenue declined overall as global uncertainty dampened sales. Dow Home and Personal Care reported sales decreases due to continued weakness with global brand owners. Strength in the energy sector drove volume gains in nearly all regions for Dow Microbial Control. However, these gains were offset by volume declines in North America due to lower rig counts, combined with overall price decline, which resulted in flat sales for the business.
Equity earnings for the segment were $27 million, up from $23 million versus the year-ago period. EBITDA was $273 million, compared with $306 million in the same period last year.
Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions
Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions sales were $1.7 billion, down 9 percent compared with the same period last year. Volume was up 1 percent versus the prior year, while price declined 10 percent.
Dow Coating Materials reported decreased sales as a result of declining prices. These declines were partially offset by volume gains in nearly all regions, boosted by demand growth in Industrial Coatings, with strength in traffic paint and paper coating applications. Weak pricing in epoxy-based products continued to hamper sales and profitability. Dow Building and Construction experienced volume declines as a result of actions taken within the quarter to improve profitability, particularly in Europe. The business commercialized an award-winning Polymeric Flame Retardant, an innovative response to local regulations. Dow Water and Process Solutions sales declined primarily due to weakening sales in Asia Pacific, particularly in China. In addition, the business posted a profitability decline due in part to higher comparables in the year-ago period associated with the realization of insurance claims for its operations in Soma, Japan.
Equity earnings were $29 million, down from $72 million in the same period last year. The decline was driven by Dow Corning as a result of ongoing weakness in the polysilicon value chain. EBITDA for the segment was $246 million. This compares with EBITDA of $372 million in the year-ago period.
Agricultural Sciences reported record third quarter sales of $1.3 billion, up 8 percent versus the same period last year. Volume increased 7 percent and price rose 1 percent. Double-digit sales and volume gains were reported in both North America and Latin America. The segment continues to benefit from solid industry fundamentals, with elevated farm income levels providing strong incentive for farmers to maximize yields.
Crop Protection reported sales growth of 6 percent, driven by significant volume and sales gains in Latin America, as well as continued adoption of new products. Seeds, Traits and Oils reported a 21 percent sales increase as a result of the introduction and ramp-up of new technologies.
Year to date, new Crop Protection molecules are up 21 percent, led by spinetoram insecticide, aminopyralid herbicide and pyroxsulam herbicide. Seeds, Traits and Oils has achieved strong growth through the third quarter in key crops, including corn, soybeans, healthy oils, and cotton. Strong customer and channel support fueled gains for SmartStax®corn hybrids.
EBITDA for the segment was $63 million, compared with $75 million in the year-ago period, due to continued investments in growth.
Sales in Performance Materials were $3.4 billion, down 8 percent versus the year-ago period, or 7 percent on an adjusted basis. Volume increased 4 percent and price declined 11 percent on an adjusted basis compared to the same period last year. The segment reported volume growth in nearly all geographic areas, excluding Latin America, where declines were driven primarily by the shutdown of toluene diisocyanate capacity in Brazil.
Polyurethanes reported demand growth in Asia Pacific driven by new propylene oxide capacity in Thailand. These volume gains more than offset the price declines in Asia Pacific. Dow Oil and Gas reported double-digit sales gains fueled by strong sector fundamentals in both exploration and production, and refining and processing. Dow Formulated Systems experienced volume growth in nearly all geographic areas. However, this was offset by price declines primarily in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Polyglycols, Surfactants and Fluids reported both price and volume declines, as sales growth in Asia Pacific and Latin America was more than offset by declines in North America and EMEA.
Equity losses were $30 million, versus a loss of $11 million in the same period last year. EBITDA for the segment was $491 million, compared with EBITDA of $478 million in the year-ago period. The increase was driven by volume growth and margin expansion.
Sales in Performance Plastics were $3.5 billion. Sales declined 15 percent, or 5 percent on an adjusted basis. The segment posted a 5 percent increase in volume on the same basis, with gains in all geographic areas. However, these gains were offset by a 10 percent decline in price.
Dow Elastomers reported sales gains driven by double-digit volume growth. NORDELTM achieved record volume in the quarter due to strong customer demand. Dow Performance Packaging recorded volume gains in all geographic areas led by Asia Pacific and North America. Despite achieving price increases throughout the quarter, the business reported overall price declines compared with the year-ago period.
Dow Electrical and Telecommunications sales were up versus the year-ago period, with large volume gains recorded in Asia-Pacific. Dow Hygiene and Medical sales rose, fueled by volume gains in EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, supported by strong customer demand for ASPUN Fiber Grade Resins.
Equity earnings were $28 million, compared with $150 million, or $64 million excluding certain items in the year-ago period. EBITDA for the segment was $737 million, compared with $834 million, or $748 million excluding certain items in the year-ago period. Lower-cost feedstocks continued to drive higher margins in North America and Latin America. This positive impact was partially offset by naphtha-based margin pressure in Europe and Asia Pacific.
Feedstocks and Energy
Sales in Feedstocks and Energy were $2.5 billion, down 13 percent versus the same period last year. Volume decreased 1 percent and price declined 12 percent. Lower sales in the Chlor-Alkali/Chlor-Vinyl business were driven by price declines resulting from weak polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market fundamentals. The year-ago shutdown of the Company’s vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) asset in Louisiana drove volume declines in the business. Caustic soda reported strong year-over-year demand growth for the fourth consecutive quarter. However, this was more than offset by price declines in all geographic areas. Ethylene Oxide/ Ethylene Glycol maximized asset utilization, resulting in volume growth, while weakening global ethylene glycol dynamics drove sales and price declines.
Equity Earnings were $123 million, down from $153 million from the same period last year. Equity earnings were unfavorably impacted by a production outage at EQUATE during the quarter. EBITDA for the segment was $200 million, compared with $263 million in the same period last year.
“Dow’s results this quarter demonstrate the acceleration and delivery of our cost reduction actions,” Liveris said. “We focused on execution and intervened to protect our prioritized growth path. Our low-cost feedstock advantage enabled us to deliver volume growth – despite weakening demand. And we have delivered improvements in operating cash flow through our disciplined approach. The purposeful actions we announced earlier this year are gaining momentum, and will be bolstered by our new, streamlined operating model. Further, with today’s restructuring announcement, we now have a full array of aggressive cash generation measures in place, with tight controls on working capital, and reductions in costs and capital expenditures — particularly in Europe — and by strict and firm prioritization of our growth projects. Moving forward, Dow is squarely focused on driving cost efficiencies, generating cash and earnings growth.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:38
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – A huge boost for the arts in Detroit as the Knight Foundation has announced $19.25 million investment in the arts here.
More than ten million is going to seven arts institutions, including: the DIA, the DSO, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, and the Michigan Opera Theatre.
Reception for the announcement of the $19.25 Knight Foundation investment in Detroit arts.
“I have been very impressed with the resilience of these significant art institutions in Detroit, despite the financial times that everybody has struggled with over the last four or five years,” said Dennis School vice-president of the arts of the Knight Foundation.
“The Detroit institutions have been strong and they have spent a lot of time with audience engagement.”
Scholl, who says the foundation is also committing another nine million dollars over the next three years for a contest to find and fund the best arts ideas.
The grantees are:
Arab American National Museum
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit School of Arts
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Michigan Opera Theatre
Find more information, here.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:30
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DEARBORN — (WWJ) Ford, which expects to lose a billion dollars in Europe this year, says it’s shutting its assembly plant in Genk, Belgium. The plant employs 4300 people directly, and has as many as 5000 subcontractors.
“The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford’s business in Europe and to return to profitable growth,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.
The closing is expected to be finalized by 2014. Exact details have to be negotiated with Ford’s unions in Europe.
“We understand the impact this potential action would have on our work force in Genk, their families, our suppliers and the local communities,” said Odell. “We fully recognize and accept our social responsibilities in this difficult situation and, if the restructuring plan is confirmed, we will ensure that we put in place measures and support to lessen the impact for all employees affected.”
The Genk plant builds the Mondeo mid size car, which is similar to the Fusion in the U.S., as well as several SUV’s; The S-MAX, C-MAX and Galaxy. Production will be shifted to Ford plants in Valencia Spain and Saarlouis, Germany.
The closing of the Genk plant is part of an overall turnaround plan that Ford executives will outline on Thursday morning.
Ford and other carmakers say they have to deal with serious overcapacity issues in Europe, where sales are at 20 year lows. Economic problems in Europe have caused vehicle demand to drop 20 percent since 2007.
Ford is scheduled to reveal its third quarter financial report next Tuesday. While it’s expected to make money, it’s European operations are expected to post more big losses.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:30
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - One of Detroit’s biggest fans, figuratively speaking, is now sporting the Old English D.
The Spirit of Detroit statue was fitted with one of the largest Detroit Tigers jerseys known to man Wednesday morning ahead of Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco.
Theodore Jackson was among several fans snapping pictures of the 26-foot-tall bronze statue who tried to guess the size of the giant jersey.
“I’m guessing it’s probably a 16-X or something like that,” Jackson said laughing. “You know, something you couldn’t get at the normal big and tall.”
Nicholas Grunas was happy to see the jersey on the statue, but wondered why it didn’t go up earlier, say, at the start of the postseason.
“The earlier the better I think. It just gives something for Detroiters to come and take a picture of. With all the bad stuff going on in this city, it’s just something nice for us, you know, we deserve it,” said Grunas.
The team is footing the $8,000 bill for the jersey, which includes insurance, security and other related costs.
The Tigers play the first two games on the road against the San Francisco Giants before returning home for Saturday’s Game 3 at Comerica Park.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:24
Category: News Briefs Written by mlive.com
DETROIT — If U.S. Federal District Judge Nancy Edmunds' courtroom were a boxing ring, former Detroit water boss Victor Mercado won Tuesday's round it seems.
Mercado is a defendant in a public corruption case alongside ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor's father Bernard Kilpatrick and city contractor Bobby Ferguson, despite his efforts to separate himself from the trio.
Mercado is accused by federal prosecutors of being complicit in a scheme to steer city contracts and taxpayer dollars to co-defendant Bobby Ferguson.
Detroit Water and Sewerage contracts supervisor Daniel Edwards, who testified on behalf of prosecutors, gave Mercado high marks and called him a positive addition to the city's water management team.
"Mercado was a very good director," said Edwards on cross-examiniation. "And a very good boss to work with."
Mercado, selected by a third-party hiring firm after a nationwide search, came to Detroit in 2002 to operate the city's largest department. During his time in Detroit, Mercado earned between $200,000 and $250,000 per year.
Mercado took charge of an antiquated, vast, inefficient and outdated underground network of water and sewer pipes made, in many cases, of brick, stone and wood from as early as the 1800s.
Some of those same adjectives may also describe the department culture at the time of Mercado's arrival, based on Edward's testimony.
The Water and Sewerage Department, with a $1,2 billion budget, employed between 2,000 and 3,000 employees during the time Mercado worked in Detroit.
Mercado, in a position that in Detroit has often been bestowed upon attorneys and career politicians, is a water engineer.
He received approval to hire a third-party auditor to review the department.
Mercado made changes to cut excesses in the bloated department that had become lax with professionalism, Edwards testified. The number of employees has now dropped slightly below 2,000.
Mercado fired employees found to be drunk or high on the job, cut the number of jobs through attrition and began enforcing policies that had been ignored for years, according to Edwards.
Edwards said there were often personal relationships and friendships that were "too close" between engineering department employees — the front line for contract acquisitions — and contractors earning their livings from the city.
This is one of the prosecutions contentions that attorneys say led to Ferguson receiving $120 million in contracts during Kilpatricks' reign as mayor between 2002 and 2008.
In one example, Ferguson bid the second highest price for a contract among 10 bidders and won the contract.
Evidence presented Monday revealed Ferguson on at least two occasions petitioned the city for a "change-order" to adjust the price of his contracts, in some cases doubling and tripling the eventual price tag to the tune of millions of dollars.
Edwards said change orders are common due to the uncertainty of Detroit's unpredictable subterranean network of water mains and sewer pipe.
The bid granting process was refined, removed from the engineering department and a former method of selection by "jury" was revised so that decision makers each independently reviewed bidders without consulting one
Mercado, in a position that in Detroit has often been bestowed upon attorneys and career politicians, is a water engineer.
He received approval to hire a third-party auditor to review the department.
Detroit, after violating the Clean Water Act by dumping sewage into nearby rivers, signed a consent agreement in 1977 that turned oversight of the Water Department over to now-deceased federal Judge Feikens.
The agreement gave ultimate operational control over contracts to the "special administrator," who had traditionally been the mayor, as was the case during Kilaptrick's reign.
A 2006 ruling by Feikens stated that Mercado "promptly alerted" the court of problems as they arose and had set Detroit on a path to cleaning up Detroit's waterways.
Mercado accepted other municipal water management jobs since leaving Detroit but settled on something a little less bureaucratic.
Mercado now works at a hardware store in Florida.
Along with father Bernard Kilpatrick, friend and city contractor Bobby Ferguson and former Detroit water and sewer manager Victor Mercado, Kwame Kilpatrick faces 30 years in prison on charges of operating an illegal criminal enterprise involving extortion, accepting bribes and kickbacks, mail and wire fraud, contract rigging, obstructing justice and making malicious threats to extort money, the federal U.S. Attorney's complaint says.
Kilpatrick faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:21
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffingtonpost
In what's being touted as the largest analysis of breast cancer screening methods for women under the age of 40, researchers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCAA) and University of Washington put mammography and ultrasounds to the test.
What they found: Among women ages 30 to 39 with symptoms of possible breast cancer (including palpable lumps, localized pain and tissue thickening) ultrasound is a superior diagnostic tool with a "far higher" sensitivity for cancer detection than mammography. And while the risk for malignancy among women in this age group is what the study's lead author, Constance Lehman, M.D., Ph.D., calls “small but real,” at about 1.9 percent, her findings hope to prompt health officials to revise the current U.S. clinical practice guidelines, which recommend mammography as the first evaluation for women with symptoms of the disease.
Last month, doctors pointed to regular mammography screening as a critical practice in narrowing the breast cancer gap between black and white women, and, last year, championed mammography's ability to cut breast cancer mortality rates in half.
But for those under age 40, particularly black women, who have a greater incidence of breast cancer than white women of the same age, the latest findings prove that ultrasounds may be best.
"Mammography is still our best tool for screening women 40 and older, but targeted ultrasound is our tool of choice in evaluating symptomatic women under 40," the study authors wrote in their report, published in the Oct. 22 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. But "in women under 40, ultrasound is better at evaluating breast lumps compared to mammography," the authors went on to say, citing the 1,208 cases they examined in which sensitivity for ultrasound was 95.7 percent compared to 60.9 percent for mammography.
According to the study, ultrasound exams found 22 cancers versus 14 by mammography.
Revised guidelines -- which would mirror those in Europe, where ultrasound is often recommended as a first course of screening for women under age 40 -- could prove doubly effective in combination with a new ultrasound device that the FDA approved last month, the somo-V Automated Breast Ultrasound System (ABUS), designed to help detect cancer in women with dense breasts, who often aren’t diagnosed until they are experiencing more advanced stages of the disease.
Approximately 40 percent of women who undergo screening, a disproportionate number of which are black, have dense breasts, experts say. In contrast with less-dense breasts, which have a high amount of fatty tissue, dense breasts have a high amount of connective and glandular, or fibroglandular, tissue that appears as solid white areas on a mammogram, just as tumors do.
Unlike the patients in Lehman's study, however, ABUS was approved for use in women with no symptoms of the disease.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:20
Category: Breaking News Written by Michael McAuliff, huffingtonpost
WASHINGTON -- Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock declared Tuesday night he opposes aborting pregnancies conceived in rape because "it is something that God intended to happen."
Debating Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) in their final Senate race showdown, a questioner asked them and Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning to explain their views on abortion.
All three said they were anti-abortion. But Mourdock went the further, putting himself in territory near Missouri GOP Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, the anti-abortion congressman who infamously asserted that women don't get pregnant from "legitimate rape."
"The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother," said Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed state treasurer. "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Mourdock unseated veteran Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in the May primary, and has battled Donnelly for the longtime senator's supporters since. Abortion has been a touchy issue for the candidates, with Mourdock accusing Donnelly of lacking strength on the issue because Donnelly backed the health care reform law. Donnelly has criticized a requirement that ensures women can get birth control, even when their employer objects to contraception.
"I believe in pro-life," Donnelly said, carving out somewhat more moderate anti-abortion stance. "I believe that life begins at conception. The only exceptions I believe in are for rape, incest and the life a mother."
Horning argued that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision was unconstitutional, and that abortion issues should be state matters.
UPDATE: 10:20 p.m. -- GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has endorsed Mourdock and supports him in a campaign ad that began running in Indiana on Tuesday, took issue with Mourdock's abortion comments, a spokeswoman said.
"Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views," Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.
UPDATE: 9:55 p.m. --
Mourdock tried to clarify his comments soon after the debate, saying God does not intend sexual assaults.
"God creates life, and that was my point," Mourdock said in a statement. "God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick."
Nevertheless, Democrats jumped on the comments as further proof that Murdock is an extremist.
"I think rape is a heinous and violent crime in every instance," said Donnelly in his own statement. "The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen -- ever. What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking, and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful to survivors of rape."
"Richard Mourdock's disturbing comment about rape is a window into Mourdock's extreme view of the world, " said Shripal Shah, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Indiana can't afford to send a self-proclaimed 'zealot' and Tea Partier like Richard Mourdock to the Senate."
Mourdock has been trying to soften some of his postions for the general election after running on a platform that described compromise as when Democrats came to agree with him.
Horning had argued earlier in the debate that Mourdock should stick with the harder line.
"As I was reading about the extreme stands of Richard Mourdock I was thinking, 'Hey, there's hope for this guy.' A lot of the stuff that he said was correct," Horning said, referring to Mourdock's suggestions that entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security may not be constitutional.
"He has repudiated a lot of those statements. Some of it was about the unconstitutionality ... right on," Horning said. "We need somebody who is going to stick with principles."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 09:12
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