Friday, March 31, 2006

Model Naomi Campbell charged with assault

Now this was STUPID!

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Naomi Campbell attends the fall 2006 show of Marc Jacobs during Fashion Week, Feb. 6, 2006, in New York.The volatile supermodel was taken to a Manhattan police precinct for questioning Thursday, March 30, 2006, after an altercation left her housekeeper hospitalized with a laceration to the head, police said.

Date: Friday, March 31, 2006
By: DESMOND BUTLER, Associated Press Writer, APonline

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was charged with assault for throwing her cell phone at a housekeeper after accusing her of stealing clothes when she couldn’t find a pair of jeans she wanted to wear on “Oprah,” prosecutors said.
She was released on her own recognizance and allowed to keep her passport after her lawyer argued that her famous face would prevent her from fleeing.
“She is probably the most recognized and prominent model in the world,” defense attorney David Breitbart told a judge Thursday in Manhattan Criminal Court. “There is no place she could go and not be recognized.”

Campbell, wearing a white fur poncho, was arraigned on a charge of second-degree assault before Judge Richard Weinberg, who allowed Breitbart to enter a plea of not guilty on her behalf.

In a statement issued late Thursday, Campbell called the allegation that she hit or injured her housekeeper “completely untrue.” She said she had questioned the housekeeper, Ana Scolavino, about missing items since she started working for the model more than two months ago.

“She is sadly mistaken if she thinks she can extract money from me by concocting lies by recycling old stories,” the supermodel said. “I have asked my lawyer to look into filing both theft and extortion charges against her.”

The housekeeper was treated at a hospital for a cut that required four staples, said Assistant District Attorney Elina Kreditor, who asked the judge to set bail at $3,500 and to order Campbell, who is British, to surrender her passport.

Breitbart called the request for $3,500 bail “an insult,” saying his client’s Park Avenue apartment is worth more than $3 million and she earns “more than six figures on a regular basis.”

He said Campbell needed her passport for a trip to South Africa next week to visit Nelson Mandela. He asked the judge for orders to keep the housekeeper away from Campbell’s apartment.

The judge said Scolavino, would have to give up her key to the apartment and issued an order of protection against Campbell, telling her she could have no contact with the employee. He scheduled her next court appearance for June 27.

The assault took place at about 8:30 a.m. inside Campbell’s apartment, according to a criminal complaint. The housekeeper was hit in the back of the head and was treated at Lenox Hill Hospital, it said.

A woman who answered the after-hours media relations number at the hospital said no one was available to comment and that she could not provide any information on Scolavino.

Campbell was taken into custody shortly after police responded to the hospital to investigate the reported attack.

Facing a familiar sea of cameras, Campbell exited a Manhattan police station shortly after 4 p.m. in a scene that was part runway, part perp walk. Scores of photographers, reporters and film crews had gathered to record her departure; she responded by flashing a quick smile.

In a statement, a Campbell spokesman said the supermodel was not responsible for any assault.

“We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning,” said the statement from J.R. Johnson. “We are confident the courts will see it the same way.”

This was not the first time the volatile Campbell, 35, was accused of reaching out and touching someone with a phone. In 2003, the supermodel was sued by a former administrative assistant who said Campbell had thrown a phone at her during a tantrum two years earlier.

In August 2004, in the same apartment, Campbell and her maid battled it out, with the worker claiming the supermodel slapped her across the face. Campbell accused maid Millicent Burton of instigating the fight.

Campbell was discovered at age 15 and launched a career that landed her in magazines worldwide - including the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Campbell’s high-profile lifestyle has included appearances in music videos by George Michael and Jay-Z and a close friendship with Mandela.

The international modeling sensation has appeared in several films and dabbled in a musical career.

The mercurial Campbell has a reputation for angry outbursts and abusive behavior. She pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating another assistant while making a film in Canada in 1998.

She also battled a cocaine addiction before reportedly getting straight several years ago.

Posted by loni on 03/31 at 03:25 PM
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Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee break up

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I hope for the kids sake they stick to their word.

NEW YORK (AP) - The marriage of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and his model-turned-entrepreneur wife, Kimora Lee, has come to an end.

Russell Simmons speaks at a press conference Thursday, March 30, 2006, at City Hall in New York. Simmons was joined by hip hop Artist Ice-T and Mayor Bloomberg to announce the 3rd Annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors awards show will take place Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006 at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
In a statement provided to The Associated Press on Friday, Simmons announced the pair had decided to break up after seven years of marriage. Rumors had swirled for the past week that a split was imminent. The couple have two young daughters.

“Kimora and I will remain committed parents and caring friends with great love and admiration for each other,” Simmons said. “We will also continue to work side by side on a daily basis as partners in all of our businesses.”

Simmons is head of Rush Communications, but is perhaps better known as the co-founder of Def Jam Records and for his Phat Farm clothing line. In recent years, he has become more involved in politics, and helped to create the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.

Over the years, Kimora Lee Simmons has become almost as famous as her husband, thanks to her successful Baby Phat clothing line and her glamorous diva persona, which has been documented in numerous magazine spreads.

Although the pair have appeared at public events together in recent weeks, the statement said they had been separated for “some time,” even though they were still living together.

Posted by loni on 03/31 at 03:21 PM
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House arrest for attack cat: Fairfield neighbors terrorized by Lewis

This is too funny.  The cat refused to take the Prozac. What did he say “no I won’t take it” A cat with a restraining order against him. What will people think of next? Unfortunately there wasn’t a picture of the cat!  I wish I could see how “ferocious” he is.  Come on how can you let a “cat” scare you!

DANIEL TEPFER

A ferocious feline terrorized a quiet Fairfield neighborhood, to the point that residents are seeking help from the law to stop the so-called “Terrorist of Sunset Circle.”
Lewis, a 5-year-old, black-and-white longhaired cat, attacked at least a half-dozen people on the cul-de-sac and even took on the local Avon lady, neighbors say.

“He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot each with a long claw,” Sunset Circle resident Janet Kettman said. “They are formidable weapons.”

Kettman said Lewis attacked her twice.

“I was walking along the sidewalk when he sprang at me. I never saw it coming, but that’s how it often is. He comes at you from behind, springs and wraps himself around your legs, biting and scratching,” she said. “The last time I had three bites and eight scratches and I ended up at the walk-in clinic.

“The Avon lady was getting out of her car when Lewis attacked her from behind,” Kettman said. “She ended up going to the hospital.”

Kettman called the Fairfield Police Department’s animal control officer.

“I don’t feel the cat could kill anybody, but it could latch onto people’s legs and arms and bite and scratch to the point where they could be hospitalized,” said Animal Control Officer Rachel Solveira.

Solveira was so concerned about Lewis’ attacks in the neighborhood of neatly kept homes off High Street that she placed a restraining order on him. It was the first time such an action was taken against a cat in Fairfield and possibly in the state. In effect, Lewis is under house arrest, forbidden to leave his home.

Solveira also arrested the cat’s owner, Ruth Cisero, of High Street, first for failing to comply with the restraining order and then for reckless endangerment.

At first, the restraining order allowed the cat limited freedom if Cisero gave him Prozac. But the cat refused to take the drug, Cisero said. And it got out of the house and attacked another neighbor, Maureen Bachtig, according to police.

“I felt Lewis’ claw on my left leg and I shook him loose, he then lunged and clung to my right leg, leaving one very deep puncture wound, one long deep gash across the top of my knee,” Bachtig told police. She refused to discuss the incident with a reporter. Meanwhile, the Avon lady, Donna Greenstein, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Cisero. She refused to comment on the case.

A tearful Cisero said the neighbors have spun the situation out of control.

“I’ve tried to tell them to just stay away from Lewis and he will stay away from you; this has caused complete havoc for me,” said Cisero, who has applied to the court for accelerated rehabilitation — for the cat.

Cisero said she adopted Lewis three years ago and he never attacked her or any members of her family. “He’s a cat’s cat, he climbs trees and sits on people’s roofs but now he’s forced to be in the house all the time.”

She theorized that Lewis may be acting in self-defense. “One day he came home covered in eggs because someone had egged him and another time a woman sprayed him with a hose. They have been tormenting this poor animal.”

But Bachtig sees a more sinister side to the feline.

“The neighborhood is afraid of this cat,” Bachtig said. “Lewis will stare you down, and you never know how he will react.”

Posted by loni on 03/31 at 01:00 PM
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Two teens exploit themselves and face jail time.

How can these girls be charged with child prnography?  They certainly chould be charged with bad taste and whupped to within an inch of their last breath, but to charge them with exploiting themselves?!  I just don’t get it.

If I may expand this somewhat logically, if I kill myself can I be charged with murder? 
Or, if I look at a reflection of myself after bathing, can I be charged with lewd behaviour?
Will bathing now cause me to be accused of molestation?
How about if I go to the mall (I hate the mall and don’t like going there), can I then be charged with kidnapping?

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Two teenage girls face child pornography charges after posting sexually explicit photographs of themselves on the Internet.
Article Tools

The pornographic pictures of Elizabeth Muller, 19, of North Smithfield, and an unidentified 16-year-old Lincoln girl were discovered on MySpace.com, a social networking Web site, said a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

The photos of the two teenagers together were posted on each of their respective Web site accounts, spokesman Michael Healey said.

The 16-year-old was arraigned before a Family Court judge Monday on a charge of child pornography and violating a court-ordered curfew, Healey said. The girl is being held at the Rhode Island Training School pending a probable cause hearing Friday, he said.

Muller was also charged with child pornography and was arraigned in District Court in Providence.

A police officer assigned to Lincoln High School, where the girl was a student, discovered the photographs while monitoring the Web site
http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2006/03/29/two_teens_face_child_pornography_charges/

Posted by SPN on 03/31 at 10:54 AM
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

My Black Skin Makes My White Coat Vanish

Even in one of the world’s most diverse cities, I have to convince my patients that I am the doctor. This is too sad by far.

By Mana Lumumba-Kasongo
Special to Newsweek

April 3, 2006 issue - The first time it happened I was a brand-spanking-new M.D., filled with an intern’s enthusiasm. Proudly wearing my pristine white coat and feeling sure that I was going to save the world, I walked into my patient’s room.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Kasongo. How can I help you?” I asked cheerfully. The patient was a pleasant African-American woman whose chief complaint was abdominal pain. I spent the next 10 minutes taking her history, examining her thoroughly and doing a rectal exam to spot signs of internal bleeding. I explained that I’d treat her pain, check her blood work and urine samples, and go from there. “That’s great,” she said with a smile. “When is the doctor going to see me?”

I frowned. Hadn’t she heard me? Hadn’t I just administered an invasive exam on her posterior? “I am the doctor,” I told her, making myself smile again. Did she sense my newness? Was it my lack of confidence that made it hard for her to believe I had a medical degree? I decided that even though I was a 30-year-old intern, it must be the youthful appearance I inherited from my ageless mother that was confusing her.

That was four years ago. There have been many such incidents since then, ranging from the irritating to the comical, and I no longer have much doubt that what baffled my patient was the color of my skin. Several months later, I was having dinner at an upscale hotel in Las Vegas with a friend, when she started choking on a piece of food. As she flailed her arms in obvious distress, frantic cries of “Is there a doctor in the room?” rang out from nearby tables. I assured everyone that I was a doctor and administered the Heimlich maneuver successfully. Even as my friend regained her bearings, people at the surrounding tables kept screaming for a physician. Once the “real doctors"—two white males—came to the table and saw that her airway was clear, they told the staff that it appeared that I was in fact a doctor and that my friend was going to be fine. Yet, far from comforting them, this information produced only quizzical looks.

Over the years, the inability of patients and others to believe that I am a doctor has left me utterly demoralized. Their incredulity persists even now that I am a senior resident, working in one of the world’s busiest hospital emergency rooms. How can it be that with all the years of experience I have, all the procedures I’ve performed and all the people I’ve interacted with in emergency situations, I still get what I call “the look”? It’s too predictable. I walk in the room and introduce myself, then wait for the patient—whether he or she is black, white or Asian—to steal glances at the ID card that is attached to my scrubs or white coat. (I’ve thought of having it changed to read something like: It’s true. I’m a real doctor. Perhaps you’ve seen a black one on TV?)

I remember talking to one of the white, male attending physicians in my training program after he witnessed one such encounter. “Listen,” he said, trying to comfort me, “I can walk in wearing a T shirt and jeans and I’ll always be seen as the doctor, even without an introduction. You will not.” My heart sank as I thought of Malcolm X’s words, “Do you know what white racists call black Ph.D.’s? N----r!”

Only a small portion of the growing number of female doctors—not quite 4 percent—look like me. Perhaps that’s why, for most people, “doctor” still doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of a black woman in this country. Unfortunately, black children may be even more adversely affected by this than white ones. That point was driven home to me months ago, when a 6-year-old black girl refused to let me treat her when her mother brought her to the emergency room and left us alone. She insisted on being seen by a white doctor, leaving me feeling both embarrassed and humiliated.

Throughout the years, I’ve spoken to other female doctors about their experiences. While my white, female colleagues sometimes get “the look,” it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it does for black, female doctors. My African-American peers have their own ways of dealing with it; some even pre-empt suspicious patients by saying, “Yes, I am a doctor, and you can check online when you get home.”

I’ve decided to try not to be bothered by my patients’ attitudes. Like all doctors, I’ve worked hard to get to where I am. And occasionally I see that there is hope for humanity. A few months ago I treated a white, eightysomething man who had pneumonia. As I set up his IV line, I noticed that he was staring at me. Finally he said, “It must have been very hard for you to make it.” After a pause, he added, “A woman—and black.” We both laughed. Someone understood.

Kasongo lives in New York City.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

© 2006 MSNBC.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12011019/site/newsweek/

Posted by Nuttshell on 03/30 at 02:10 PM
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BUSTA RHYMES GOES BUCK WILD ON A GAY FAN:

Now Buster knows he can’t go around causing scenes he’s got enough trouble!

Rapper reportedly loses control after brokeback tap.

*Busta Rhymes caused a scene in Miami Beach early Sunday when he went off on a gay man who tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.

According to the New York Post, Rhymes and his bodyguards were at the 11th Street Diner in Miami Beach early Sunday morning when the incident occurred. Located next door to popular gay club Twist, the restaurant was “packed with transvestites, gay men and drag queens, which obviously made Busta a little edgy,” eyewitness Thomas Barker wrote in an e-mail to the paper.

“This became evident when a young gay guy came up behind Busta and tapped him on the shoulder to congratulate the rapper on his recent comeback,” Barker wrote. “Before the guy could even mutter a word, Busta turned around and repeatedly screamed, ‘Why the f*** you touchin’ me, man? Get the f*** away from me.’”

Barker says the rapper’s two bodyguards jumped into the situation by shoving the man away. Afterwards, Busta reportedly whispered to his bodyguards, ‘I hate f***ing faggots, man.’”

Posted by loni on 03/30 at 10:18 AM
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BIGGIE’S FAM WINS 1.1 MILLION JUDGEMENT:

Well they finally got it. 

L.A. City Council approves payment following errors in civil trial.

*The family of slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. was given a $1.1 million payment from the Los Angeles City Council yesterday following errors that caused a mistrial in their wrongful death lawsuit brought against the city last year.

The penalty was levied by a U.S. district judge who declared the mistrial after accusing police of concealing evidence. 

Biggie, born Christopher Wallace,” was 24 when he was shot to death in 1997 after leaving a Los Angeles party.  His family, led by mother Voletta Wallace and widow Faith Evans, sued the city of Los Angeles claiming the rapper was murdered by rogue police officers. 

The $1.1 million dollar penalty will go to pay legal costs incurred by the Wallace family before the mistrial was declared in July. The family has said it will move forward with its wrongful death lawsuit and hopes to set a new trial date next month.

Posted by loni on 03/30 at 10:17 AM
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Whitney’s Crack-filled Lifestyle Detailed by Sister-in-Law

Lawd Jesus look at Whitney!  This can’t be right.  Lawd Have Mercy!  Now I got this off Black America Web. I’m not saying its true or not.  Oh I hope its not.  If it is she needs prayer.

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Date: Thursday, March 30, 2006
By: EURweb.com

Whitney Houston’s crack use has hit a new low, according to her sister-in-law Tina Brown. She says the singer hits the pipe every day, uses sex toys to satisfy herself and has all but forgotten about personal hygiene.

The former songbird with the angelic voice now spends most of her days disheveled and locked in her bathroom where she can smoke her crack in peace.

Tina Brown, sister of Whitney’s husband Bobby Brown, is herself a former addict who admits to getting high with Whitney in the past. But she says she is now clean, and is worried sick about her sister-in-law, who refuses to leave the pipe alone.

“The truth needs to come out. Whitney won’t stay off the drugs,” she tells The National Enquirer. “It’s every single day. It’s so ugly. Everyone is so scared she is going to overdose.”

Brown, 42, offered proof of Whitney’s catastrophic state by snapping a photo of the bathroom immediately following one of the Grammy-winner’s crack binges. The picture, which accompanied Brown’s interview in “The Enquirer,” shows a mess of drug paraphernalia scattered around the surface tops, including a crack pipe, rolling papers, cocaine-caked spoons and cigarette ends. 

In the interview, Tina described how Whitney spends days locked in her bedroom surrounded by piles of trash. When high on drugs, the singer imagines that demons are beating her, but Tina says the “beating” is really Whitney biting and punching her own body without realizing it.

Tina said: “She’ll point to the floor and say, ‘See that demon. I’m telling you somebody’s messing with Bobby.’ She always thinks it’s something to do with Bobby. But it’s her, hitting herself.”

Tina also said that Whitney made a hole in the bathroom wall so she could keep tabs on who was in the house. 

“She breaks everything — mirrors, phones, cabinets, appliances,” explained Tina, adding that Whitney’s 13-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina is often frightened by her mother’s erratic behavior.

Tina also claims that Whitney was so drugged out one time that she urinated on herself — then put on a baby’s diaper. Also, Tina says her sister-in-law once smoked crack on her way to a rehab facility, and said during the ride, “I’m just gonna act crazy.”

Tina also gave up details on Whitney’s preferred way to smoke crack, stating that she calls dealers over to the five-bedroom mansion in Atlanta she shares with Bobby to buy “eight balls” (eighth of an ounce rocks). Eight balls are usually broken into smaller pieces, but according to Tina, Whitney mixes the entire eight ball with marijuana, puts it inside of a cut-open cigar and smokes it like a blunt.  .

Whitney has turned down all offers of help to get clean and has failed various stints in rehab.

“I understand what she’s going through,” said Tina. “Addiction is a disease. Maybe this interview will save her life.”

Meanwhile, Nancy Seltzer, a Houston spokesperson, told the NY Daily News that she had not seen the the story and could not comment on it.

Posted by loni on 03/30 at 10:03 AM
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Cutest Little Shrew in Congress, Slaps Cop

I just love the elitist attitude of someone claiming to be representing the regular man.

I knew it wouldn’t be long before we heard from Cynthia [I think I’m untouchable] McKinney again. Not for any political accomplishment nor anything debated in congress. Instead, we gotta hear about her not wanting to stop to be recognised by people entrusted to guard the capitol bldg.
As I understand it, congresspersons don’t have to walk through metal detectors and they wear some kinda, oh I don’t know, I.D. [yeah that’s it]. Ms. McKinney regularly DOESN’T wear her’s and most guards recognise her and let her through. [I guess it’s tough being the new guy]. This particular incident, she walks around the detectors [sill wearing no pin] and isn’t recognised, is repeatedly asked to stop, and when failed to do so, the officer tries to stop her and is then slapped.

Man! I wish she’d have tried that at a Marine Corps installation. The video of them taking her down would be priceless.

The Dems will probably spin it as police brutality. The Black Power elite will probably spin it as another racial profiling incident on a poor defenseless black woman. I want her taken to jail! Preferably Abu Ghraib!

Posted by cricket on 03/30 at 08:37 AM
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Those crazy fat guys, what will they think of next?

I read that some of the major copier companies are increasing the glass thickness because of fat idiots like this.

Posted by SPN on 03/29 at 07:19 PM
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

As seen in Sojourners Magazine sourced from Washington Post.

“We either die by the Americans, the insurgents in the name of jihad, the security companies, which kill you and leave you laying in the street, the Iraqi police or...the death squads. Three years after the American invasion of Iraq, I have only one wish. I do not want democracy, food, electricity and water. I just do not want to die.”

- Laith Muhammad, an Iraqi student. 

Posted by Nuttshell on 03/29 at 05:50 PM
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King Floyd has died.

I didn’t know the name, but I do know the lyrics.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5308022

Soul singer King Floyd died on March 6 at the age of 61, but his passing barely merited mention in the media—an oversight that seems at odds with his brash style. Born in New Orleans and intimately connected to the Southern soul scene throughout his life, Floyd was widely heard but little known.

What most know about Floyd begins and ends with his massive and enduring 1971 R&B hit “Groove Me.” Recorded for the then-fledging Malaco Studios in Jackson, Miss., the song opens with a loud grunt—and then, just as the rhythm kicks in, Floyd hollers, “Aw, sookie sookie now,” a naked nod to his Southern roots.

For all his full-throated adlibs, Floyd actually sounds relatively subdued on “Groove Me.” As a vocalist, he lacked the rich undertones of Otis Redding and the powerful presence of Wilson Pickett, but Floyd made do with what he had, wielding his voice as a rhythm-maker with well-timed screams and shouts. Lyrically, “Groove Me” is unremarkable, but it remains among the great soul groovers of its era.

Floyd would never duplicate the success of “Groove Me,” though he recorded four albums for the Malaco spin-off label Chimneyville; his catalog remains largely unsung in spite of its many excellent songs. With “Groove Me” continuing to reach audiences through TV commercials, Floyd deserves to find some of the recognition in death that eluded him in life.

Posted by SPN on 03/29 at 02:23 PM
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Further Constitutional and Legislative Change

The Free Muslim Coalition (FMC) applauds the decision of the Afghan Supreme Court to withdraw charges against Abdul Rahman who was charged with “attacking Islam” for converting to Christianity.

The Afghan government must however ensure Mr. Rahman
and his
family’s safety or provide him with safe passage to a country which can.
Furthermore,
the release of Mr. Rahman must be complemented by constitutional and legislative
change
to ensure that the freedom of religion and conscience are preserved, and that no
further
prosecutions for apostasy can occur again.

According to Sami El-Behiri, co-founder and Vice President of FMC, the freedom
to choose
ones own religion is sacrosanct and must be respected: “When it comes to
faith only God
can judge people. Religion is a direct relationship between the person and God
and at
the end God will evaluate this relationship”.

“Any decision to prosecute violates the freedoms of religion and
consciousness
guaranteed by the Quran, Islamic jurisprudence, and international human rights
law,”
says Thomas Haidon, chief legal advisor to FMC.

“Article 7 of the Afghan Constitution proclaims that Afghanistan will honor
the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and treaties it accedes to. As a signatory
to the
International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, Afghanistan is legally
obliged to
uphold the right of the individual to choose—and change—their own religion
as set
forth in article 18. Prosecution, as well as any subsequent punishment, places
Afghanistan in violation of international law.”

Confirming the Quran’s religious freedom guarantees, Islamic scholar, Professor
Khaleel
Mohammed, cites several verses, including “There shall be no compulsion in
religion: the
right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil
and
believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is
Hearer,
Omniscient. [2:256]”

Read our full article on our website at http://www.freemuslims.org

Discuss the issue in our blog at http://www.freemuslims.org/blog/?id=912

Posted by cricket on 03/28 at 08:40 AM
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Monday, March 27, 2006

BELAFONTE EXPLAINS ABSENCE AT KING FUNERAL:

He was missed at the funeral.  But I guess they were afraid of what he would say.

Activist says his invitation was snatched at the last minute.

Looks like there was just as much politics going on outside of Coretta Scott King’s February funeral as there was inside.

As four U.S. presidents sat behind the podium at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, GA, and criticism of the current Bush Administration mixed freely with words celebrating Coretta’s legacy from the likes of Maya Angelou and Reverend Joseph Lowery, Harry Belafonte was at home, wondering why his invitation to deliver one of the eulogies for his dear friend was rescinded at the last minute.
“I saw who sat there, and as the camera moved about, I saw who was sitting in the audience, and I saw all of the power of the oppressor represented on the stage, and all those who fought for the victories that this nation was experiencing and enjoying sat in the outhouse, sat out in the field, sat removed, and if it not been for Lowery, for President Carter and for Maya Angelou, we would have had no voice and no representation at all” Belafonte stated on NPR’s “Democracy Now.”

The singer, who marched with King’s husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., tells NPR’s Amy Goodman that he knew of Coretta’s poor health just before her death, but had no idea she was in Mexico.

When news broke that she had died, Belafonte said: “I left a message on the phones of [her] children, saying, ‘Please give me a call. I know this is a difficult moment, but there are things that must be done, and I would like to help if I can.’”

He received a call the next day, Friday, stating the funeral would be held the following Tuesday at noon, and he was to be one of the people delivering the eulogy at around 12:30 or 1 p.m. 

“That Saturday, Bush declared he was coming,” Belafonte said. “That Sunday, I began to change my speech, not to be rude or to be attacking, but to integrate this moment into what needed to be said. And then, that Monday morning, I got a call, and I was told that the invitation that had been extended to me had been pulled. I was uninvited.”

Belafonte says “a woman by the name of Skinner and a Reverend by the name of Lawrence was the one who called me to tell me that I was uninvited, and when that call came, I called and spoke to one of the children. They said, these are the events, and I need to be counseled as to how this has come about, and I was told that I would get a call shortly, and it would all be clarified. And then, when the final call came, it was—they were sorry, but the withdrawing of the invitation would stand and that if I came down, they would find a place for me in the church, but I would not speak. And I did not go at all. I did not know how to deal with that.”

According to Belafonte, some ministers were upset over Belafonte’s snub, and told him, ‘Come on down here. We have to talk to the press, and I said, ‘Talk to the press about what?’ ‘About this. We cannot let it stand.’ I said, ‘I don’t think that’s appropriate. These are the children of my friend. These are the children of the movement.

“Where did we let them get caught? Why was Bernice giving this kind of sermon? How did you let Reverend Long become the minister of choice? Why wasn’t it at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King preached? And before we go public and begin to vent our anger, let us understand what role we played in this capitulation that has led to this moment, and let us try first to repair it rather than to go into public discourse.”

Posted by loni on 03/27 at 02:55 PM
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Mary J. Blige Offers Recovery Advice to Whitney

I commend Mary J. Drugs start a downward spiral but you have to seek help but first you have to want help.

Mary J. Blige draws upon her own experience in advising Whitney Houston to admit to her alleged drug problems, stating the admission of an addiction is the “first step on the road to recovery.”

Blige, who still battles with the effects of her past drug use, tells Britain’s “Attitude” magazine, “You have got to want to admit that you have got a problem, first of all. Then start to deal with why that is.”

The “Be Without You” singer also says that Houston’s issues may be rooted in her own unhappiness. 

“It’s probably more than just drugs,” she says. “You get addicted to drugs and alcohol because you want to drown out all the problems in your life.”

Describing herself as “a work in progress,” Blige says her current insight is the result of a long, hard journey that began when she looked in the mirror and began holding that person responsible for her problems, not others. Many of her lessons were handed down by a good friend and confidant, Chaka Khan. 

“Chaka Khan gave me a good few lessons about giving it all away,” she says. “She told me to forgive myself, to let whatever will be just be. …You deal with the stuff you can change and leave the other s**t to other people.”

Posted by loni on 03/27 at 02:51 PM
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