Intro Video

Friday, May 31, 2019

Cheap Phones, Folding Bikes, and Everything Else We Loved This Month

Plus: Boosted's new e-scooter, the Beats Powerbeats Pro, and New Balance's redesigned sneakers.

from Wired

Everyone Needs a Good Pillow—Even Astronauts Bound for Mars

Sure, long-haul space travel demands a solid vehicle and ample food. But to stay sane during those lonely days, you might just want a good ol' pillow.

from Wired

'Call of Duty' Is Back—and It's Grim as Heck

Know what else is back? The single-player campaign. 'Modern Warfare' is set to be released in October.

from Wired

5 Mistakes MacKenzie Bezos and Other Mega-Donors Should Avoid

The philanthropic road is littered with the carcasses of those who thought that “disrupting” poverty would be as simple as disrupting the taxi industry.

from Wired

OPINION: Can racism in U.S. ever cease to exist?

Trump’s Latest Attack on Federal Climate Science May Backfire

The Trump administration's bid to weaken federal climate science comes at a time when voters increasingly agree that a climate crisis is imminent.

from Wired

Generative Music Apps: Endel, Mubert, Hear

Who needs Spotify playlists? These apps create truly endless tunes to match whatever mood you desire.

from Wired

Migos’ Offset has charges in phone-slapping case dismissed

Police in suburban Atlanta have dropped a felony charge against the rapper Offset, who was accused of knocking a cellphone out of a fan’s hands.

Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday that “all parties involved were able to come to an agreement.” The property damage charge stemmed from an April incident at a Target, where 18-year-old Junior Gibbons said his $800 iPhone was destroyed after he tried to film the Migos member.
Gibbons said he wanted the rapper born Kiari Cephus to replace the phone. Attorney Drew Fielding said Cephus client was being exploited.

Cephus faces separate charges in a July 2018 traffic stop in Clayton County. Prosecutors there had asked a judge to revoke his bail following the Target incident, but that motion itself was revoked Wednesday.

The post Migos’ Offset has charges in phone-slapping case dismissed appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Drake gets in his feelings and trash talks Draymond Green during Game one of NBA Finals

Superfan Drake was on the sidelines during the NBA Finals as the Toronto Raptors handled the Golden State Warriors and won Game one— and he couldn’t wait to troll a star player.

Drake trades petty jabs with Gucci mane over Raptors Eastern Conference title win

And Drake of course brought his antics with him. He wore a throwback jersey of former Raptors player Dell Curry, who is Steph Curry’s dad. He picked lint from Curry’s hair and he got into a heated exchange with Golden State’s Draymond Green, which was more of a show than a skirmish.

Drake reportedly said something to the effect of “You’re like trash,” to Green.

“You got a question about basketball?” Green said rebuking a reporter’s question about his confrontation with the In My Feelings rapper, The NY Post reports.

“It wasn’t really a scuffle because I didn’t hit him and he didn’t hit me or I didn’t push him or he didn’t push me. We talked. We barked a little bit, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider that a scuffle. Not personally what I would consider a scuffle.”

Drake’s had to have a talking to by the NBA brass for his clowning. During Game 4 of the Eastern conference finals he massaged Raptors coach Nick Nurse’s shoulders.

Apparently he’s doing too much.

“Certainly we don’t want fans, friend or foe contacting an NBA coach during a game,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “I think those can lead to dangerous situations. You’re in the middle of coaching a game and you’re completely focused.”

Family of Black inmate who died after being denied of water for SEVEN days gets $7MIL payout

In the end, thing worked out in the Raptors favor after beating the Warriors 118-109. It was 25 years in the making for the Raptors, who gave their fans a long-awaited Game one celebration in their first NBA finals ever.

Drake’s very public love for the NBA Eastern Conference champions Toronto Raptors is as real as Spike Lee’s is for the New York Knicks but he better pipe down before he gets ousted.

The post Drake gets in his feelings and trash talks Draymond Green during Game one of NBA Finals appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Microsoft's BlueKeep Bug Isn't Getting Patched Fast Enough

At this rate, it will take years to fix a critical vulnerability that remains in over 900,000 Windows machines. A worm will arrive much sooner.

from Wired

Apple WWDC 2019: What to Expect From the Big Developer Show

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off Monday, June 3. Here's what we're expecting the company to show off.

from Wired

New York Transit Edges Into a Future Without MetroCards

Beginning Friday, you can get into select subway stations by waving your phone. By 2023, MetroCards will go the way of the token.

from Wired

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and the Art of Worldbuilding

The new Disney Parks attraction is the ideal marriage of Lucasfilm's cinematic universe and Imagineering.

from Wired

Is Your Wobbly, Illegible Touchscreen Signature Still You?

Touchscreen computers and Square machines have turned signatures into a thing you must jab and press into existence—and it never looks quite right.

from Wired

'I want people to ask me about HIV'

Health activist Dr Sindi van Zyl is fighting to challenge taboos around health and HIV/AIDS.

from BBC News - Africa

Morocco suspect admits killing Scandinavian hiker

An alleged jihadist tells a court he beheaded one of two tourists killed in the High Atlas mountains.

from BBC News - Africa

Zamalek chose not to renew Christian Gross' contract

Zamalek decide not renew coach Christian Gross' contract despite him winning the Confederation Cup for the Egyptian club.

from BBC News - Africa

Ottis Gibson: South Africa coach 'happy to be talked of' as Trevor Bayliss replacement

South Africa coach Ottis Gibson says he is happy to be talked about as a replacement for England's Trevor Bayliss.

from BBC News - Africa

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Africa's week in pictures: 24-30 May 2019

A selection of photos from across Africa this week.

from BBC News - Africa

GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

A fungus has been genetically modified with spider venom to kill the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

from BBC News - Africa

A behavioral economist explores poverty and development

On a sunny May day, Pierre-Luc Vautrey sits in 1369 Coffeehouse in Cambridge, talking enthusiastically about his work — five research projects to be exact. He speaks quickly, and the coffee gives him an extra boost. He has a lot of ground to cover, and at times he has to re-explain certain areas of his research. Luckily, he’s patient and wants to ensure that people understand his work.

Vautrey is a third-year doctoral student in MIT’s Department of Economics. While he spent his undergraduate years studying applied math and physics in his home country of France, he was always drawn to the humanities and social sciences.

“I still had this itch to go back to social science at some point. It just seemed like a really nice way to bridge science and quantitative approach with social science and humans in general. That’s how I got into economics,” he says.

As a behavioral economist, Vautrey aims to extend our understanding of economic decisions using psychology. This approach questions traditional assumptions, ever so slightly, in order to make outcomes more realistic regarding human behavior.

“Traditional economics has been modeling everything as rational. We assume that the agent learns like a statistician and makes rational decisions. And in the last 20 or 30 years, this model has shown its limits. It’s still very popular for many things, but for others we can do a lot better at explaining people’s behavior and why certain social systems work and some systems don’t work, by using psychology [to understand] how people actually think and make decisions,” he says.

The unifying theme throughout his current work is understanding how people form beliefs and expectations.

“You can use psychology to take a small departure, that’s the key, from rational behavior, which is having correct expectations and basing decisions on these expectations,” he says. “You still make decisions based on expectations, but you have incorrect beliefs for various psychological reasons. That’s kind of the key psychological, irrational approach that I’m interested in. What is the role of beliefs, how do we best measure them, and in various contexts can we explain why people have irrational beliefs? Can we predict incorrect beliefs of people based on context? Does it help us explain sometimes puzzling decisions?”

One of the projects Vautrey is working on, along with Professor Frank Schilbach from the Department of Economics, is how mental health affects beliefs and economic decision making. They began conducting research in India among people with depression in low-income communities with no access to mental health services. They want to evaluate whether depression affects a person’s self-confidence and, consequently, their ability to participate in their economy. They are working with Sangath, an NGO providing low-cost psychotherapy to the study’s participants, to measure the effects of psychotherapy on not only mental health, but also economic decisions. Vautrey began working on the project the fall of 2017, during its early brainstorming stages, and has visited India twice since the field work began.

“You have to go there to see how operations are going, see the actual participants, because it's really hard to get everything from calls. You have people implementing the project, but usually the people who have designed the questions or are initiating the idea are not full-time in the field because they are professors so they have to teach,” Vautrey explains.

Field visits are also important in order to see whether the research objective and the information gathered are consistent with each other.

“You have to design questions that are qualitative, that are verbal, but are going to generate numerical outcomes that you can analyze. It’s a back-and-forth between sociological-style research, when you talk to people and try to understand what they think, and how you go from there to build quantitative measures. You have to be on the field; you have to be face-to-face to understand whether your numeric outcome is consistent with what you want it to mean,” he says.

Traveling is important to executing research, and Vautrey enjoys that aspect of the job. He has loved traveling since his youth and has taken as many opportunities as he could to do so.

Beyond the project in India, Vautrey is working on a few other projects, two more in progress and two in their preliminary stages. In the former two, he is studying how people choose biased information sources and how people are influenced by news repetition. In another project with MIT economics doctoral student Charlie Rafkin, Vautrey is investigating unsafe driving patterns in developing countries and how drivers’ motivated reasoning about road safety leads to more risk taking that could be easily avoided by correcting drivers’ beliefs and overconfidence.

Vautrey’s newest endeavor is taking him to Colombia with Pedro Bessone Tepedino, another MIT economics doctoral student, for preliminary research for a new project centered around crime and teenage involvement in gangs.

While he enjoys doing all of his research, Vautrey finds that the work can make life a bit unstructured at times. He grounds himself by staying active with activities such as biking and rock climbing.

In the future, Vautrey hopes to work in academia. As a professor, he isn’t sure what specifically he wants to specialize in quite yet, but he says that it will likely have something to do with using psychology and economics to answer specific questions linked to poverty and development. He found a love for teaching through his work as a teaching assistant at MIT this past semester. It requires patience, but Vautrey finds the work rewarding.

“It’s a really nice feeling when you manage to get someone to understand something you said. When you have a class, it’s almost impossible to get everyone to understand everything you want,” he says, adding, “To me, if I get half of the class to understand something and to learn something they really value, I’m already happy.”

from MIT News

Erosion forcing Nigerian families to abandon their homes and farms

A community in southern Nigeria face losing their homes and food shortages due to erosion.

from BBC News - Africa

Entrepreneurs: There is One Benefit You Must Offer to Attract and Keep Top Employees

In multiple polls and reports, small businesses have cited finding, hiring, and keeping qualified workers among their biggest operating obstacles in recent years. To help divert that challenge, 19% of small businesses now are most likely to grant employees paid time off (PTO).

That perk leads the list of new benefits small businesses plan to offer for the first time in 2019, reveals a new survey from Clutch. Health benefits (15%) and retirement benefits (11%) are among other leading benefits smaller business plan to offer.

Small businesses should plan to expand their benefits offerings in 2019 given the competition from their rivals and the significant return on investment an effective benefits package provides, Clutch maintains. Providing the new benefits can help reduce employee turnover, the Washington, D.C.-based ratings and review firm reported.

All told, 56% of small businesses plan to offer new benefits to their employees in 2019. Clutch surveyed 529 small business owners or managers to learn about employee benefits plans for this year.

Around (11%) of small businesses are considering offering family leave, and 8% plan to introduce student loan repayment.

Benefits that will most effectively attract new job candidates and reduce turnover are perks small business should offer, Clutch says. Bethany Holliday, director of human resources for Cornerstone Insurance Group & Employer Solutions, explained in a news release that paying for benefits that retain employees is often less than the cost of recruiting and training new employees.

“The last thing you want [employees] to do is walk out the door,” she said. “It costs a whole lot less to keep people happy than it does to try and find new people.” Cornerstone Insurance Group & Employer Solutions is an employee benefit and business insurance firm.

Small businesses are more likely to lure and retain talent by designing their PTO policies with employees’ needs in mind. Holliday contends PTO is a perk that employees increasingly expect to earn immediately.

“We still have clients that are making employees wait an entire year before they’re eligible for any sort of PTO,” Holliday said. “I keep trying to transition [clients] out of that because that’s a very antiquated way of thinking.”

Companies with substandard or antiquated PTO policies will struggle to entice and retain top talent, Clutch reports. Some 45% of small businesses already offer employees PTO. However, Clutch claims not enough of small businesses are offering the perk.

So why are new benefits being provided? Thirty percent of small businesses offering new benefits are doing so to fulfill employee requests, while 27% are aiming to improve morale and keep workers. Just 13% of small businesses are issuing new benefits because they are required by law or as a direct result of union negotiations (9%).

“We kind of shifted from paying a lot to now offering a lot of benefits,” said Christopher Willatt, founder and owner of AlpineMaids, a home cleaning service, stated in a news release. “HR is really geared toward convincing our employees that this is a great job and doing everything to retain them.”

Interestingly, Clutch found that 30% of small businesses don’t have formalized HR resources, such as an in-house HR staff, outsourced HR functions, or a contract with an HR consultant.

Of firms without dedicated HR resources, only 10% offer benefits to their employees. In contrast, 64% of companies with HR resources offer benefits to their employees.

The bottom line is it’s critical that small businesses are ready to meet employee benefits requests to attract and retain a talented workforce, Clutch says.

Check out Clutch’s full report. 

from Black Enterprise

Houston activist Quanell X says he’s no longer working with Maleah Davis’s mom

WATCH: Nia Long and Corinne Foxx star in ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ trailer

Entertainment Studios just dropped the trailer for 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. The highly-anticipated sequel to the terrifying 47 Meters Down (2017) stars Nia Long as well as a few familiar faces like John Corbett (Aiden from Sex and the City), among others.

This time around, there will be no Mandy Moore or Nicholas Cage, who starred in the original, but there will certainly be blood and another beautiful Black face– Jamie Foxx’s daughter, Corinne Foxx.

Nia Long says men have gotten rich off of her hard work ‘I was being paid peanuts’

Set in Brazil, the sequel follows the story of four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city, who quickly find themselves in a watery hell as their fun outing turns into heart-stopping fear when they learn they are not alone in the submerged caves. As they swim deeper into the claustrophobic labyrinth of caves they enter the territory of the deadliest shark species in the ocean.

“We are so pleased by the huge success of 47 Meters Down; it totally exceeded all expectations,” said James Harris of The Fyzz Facility. “[The film] will take the claustrophobia of cave diving and the thrill of shark encounters and move everything to the next level.”

Added Altitude’s Mike Runagall: “47 Meters Down has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and we’re thrilled to be reteaming with the filmmakers and our friends at The Fyzz for the sequel, which will ratchet up the thrills and spills to a whole new level.”

We can’t wait to see Corinne Foxx take on a shark in this thriller, and the all-grown-up beauty continues to make her famous father proud.

Jamie Foxx’s daughter gushes over his relationship with Katie Holmes

The 25-year-old recently dished to PEOPLE Magazine about Jamie’s relationship with Katie Holmes which has been under wraps for years.

“They are so great and Katie is always so chic. They were wonderful,” Corinne told the magazine when she was asked about the couples’ Met Gala attire. “[It was] my dad’s first Met Gala,” she explained, adding that she felt “cool” because she got to experience the Gala even before her famous dad.

The original 47 Meters Down was a bona fide blockbuster and grossed over $58 million worldwide.

“The sequel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is well positioned to be a big summer event movie,” said Byron Allen, founder and chairman/CEO of Entertainment Studios, in a statement.


Check out the official trailer:

The post WATCH: Nia Long and Corinne Foxx star in ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ trailer appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

See how Titan Generator is making the future bigger, brighter for Black entrepreneurs

AUSTIN, TX- When Jennifer Drew tells people she is an owns her own business, the response isn’t always as supportive as you might think.

It’s not typical that I’m taken seriously at first,” says Drew, whose startup company Tiny Heights, helps people become homeowners by selling them affordable homes that are under 1,000 square feet.

“I think being surrounded by other people who do look like me is an opportunity to kind of have some weight, and see how other people are dealing with that in their own community as well.”

READ MORE: Octavia Spencer takes the lead in horror film in ‘Ma’

Drew’s experience of having more up-hill battles as a Black entrepreneur isn’t just in her head. Research shows that Black business owners face unique challenges in everything from getting bank loans to having less access to venture capital and angel investing.

That’s why Drew’s search for the support led her this spring to a group of  entrepreneurs of color who can all understand what she’s gone through. = Titan Generator in Austin, TX is an accelerator (or micro-accelerator) program that is bringing start-up companies together for a short period of time to focus on rapidly improving their business models and planning for their long-term success.

READ MORE: WATCH: HBCU grad wants to reopen healthy food store in Nipsey Hussle’s neighborhood

Titan Generator, is the brainchild of Raymar Hampshire, Jessica Lynch and Max Skolnik, all former colleagues at the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Hampshire, a former wealth advisor, saw a number of examples of Black talent in the business world who needed help in the early stages while they faced a good number of unfair economic hardships.

“We look at historical moments like Black Wall Street in Tulsa, the Tulsa Race massacre and the riots and see that’s how it was snuffed out,” Hampshire tells theGrio. “There’s always been talent. It’s just been access to opportunities.

READ MORE: Meet The Black Woman Cannabis Owner Building A ‘High’ End Weed Lounge

What makes Titan Generator different from most accelerators is that it purposefully pairs entrepreneurs of color (the program isn’t exclusive to Black entrepreneurs, but includes Native American and LatinX startup founders too) with social movement activists, such as March for Our Lives and Austin Justice Coalition.

Rather than just getting rich, these entrepreneurs want to address social issues like gun violence and immigration, while they cultivate their businesses.

The inaugural Titan Generator program took place during the same weekend as South By Southwest at the Google Austin headquarters, incorporating hackathon sessions (intense problem-solving), “fist-bump” networking, and discussion.

While Silicon Valley may be known for having “tech-bro” social networks that are hard to break into, at Titan Generator Black entrepreneurs are told to come as they are.

“Entrepreneurs of color… have to navigate this labyrinth, this maze to get to the table right to get to resources,” says Hampshire.

READ MORE: What Hip-Hop can teach you about business

At the end of this year’s inaugural Titan Generator program, 20 entrepreneurs in attendance received special financial awards to further their businesses dreams.

“It’s not enough to just pay the lip service and say ‘we support diverse entrepreneurs’,” says Hampshire.  “But how are you creating the space?”

Watch theGrio’s full video going behind the scenes of the inaugural Titan Generator above.

The post See how Titan Generator is making the future bigger, brighter for Black entrepreneurs appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

PHOTOS: 10 Black Brits who have made it big in Hollywood

Empowering African farmers with data

With a couple billion more people estimated to join the global population in the next few decades, world food production could use an upgrade. Africa has a key role to play: Agriculture is Africa’s biggest industry, but much of Africa’s agricultural land is currently underutilized. Crop yields could be increased with more efficient farming techniques and new equipment  but that would require investment capital, which is often an obstacle for farmers.

A new research collaboration at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) aims to address this challenge with data. The group plans to use data from technologically advanced farms to better predict the value of intervention in underperforming farms. Ultimately, the goal is to create a platform for sharing data and risk among invested parties, from farmers and lenders to insurers and equipment manufacturers.

Sharing data, sharing risk

Many African farmers lack the capital to invest in yield-increasing upgrades like new irrigation systems, new machinery, new fertilizers, and technology for sensing and tracking crop growth. The most common path to capital is bank loans, with land as collateral. This is an unattractive proposition for farmers, who already bear the many risks of production, including bad weather, changing market prices, or even the shocks of geopolitical events.

Lenders, on the other hand, have an incomplete assessment of their risk, especially with potential borrowers who have no credit history. Lenders also lack data and tools to predict their return on investment.

“Building a platform for risk-sharing is key to upgrading farming practices,” says Munther Dahleh, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and director of IDSS. In order to create such a platform, Dahleh and the IDSS team aim to better predict the value of employing advanced farming practices on the production of individual farms. This prediction needs to be accurate enough to incentivize investment from economic stakeholders and the farmers themselves, who are in competition with each other and may be reluctant to share information.

The IDSS approach proposes a data-sharing platform that incentivizes all parties to participate: Technologically advanced farms are rewarded for their valuable data, bankers benefit from data that support their credit risk models, farmers get better loan terms and recommendations that increase their profits and production, and technology companies get recommendations on how to best support the needs of their farmer customers. “Such a platform has to have the correct incentives to engage everyone to participate, have sufficient protection from players with market power, and ultimately provide valuable data for farmers and creditors alike,” says Dahleh.

The absence of data from underperforming farms presents a challenge to extrapolating the value of intervention and assessing the uncertainty in such predictions. With sparse available data, researchers are looking to conduct experiments in strategically selected farms to provide valuable new data for the rest. Researchers will use advanced machine learning, including active learning methodology, to try to achieve both a quantification of the predicted value of intervention and a quantification of the uncertainty of that prediction to a degree of confidence. Once more data is available, IDSS researchers intend to refine their calculations and develop new techniques for extrapolating the value of intervention in less-advanced farms.

Engaging stakeholders

One likely intervention for many African farmers involves using different fertilizers. Many farmers aren’t currently using fertilizers targeted to specific soil or various stages of farming  so fertilizer producers are another vested interest in this agriculture economy.

To help these farmers get access to better loan terms, Moroccan phosphate company OCP is funding a collaboration between IDSS researchers and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco. This research collaboration with OCP, a leading global company in the phosphate fertilizer industry, includes building the data- and risk-sharing platform as well as other foundational research in agriculture. The collaboration has the potential to engage other stakeholders working or investing in African agriculture.

“This collaboration will help accelerate our efforts to develop pertinent solutions for African agriculture using high-level agri-tech tools,” says Fassil Kebede, professor of soil science and head of the Center for Soil and Fertilizer Research in Africa. “This will offer farmers possibilities for better production and growth, which is part of our mission to contribute to Africa’s food-security objectives.”

“African farmers are at the heart of the OCP Group’s mission and strategy, while data analytics and predictive tools are today essential for agriculture development in Africa,” adds Mostafa Terrab, OCP Group chair and CEO. “This collaboration with IDSS will help us bring together new technology and analytical methods from one side, and our expertise with African farmers and their challenges from the other side. It will reinforce our capabilities to offer adapted solutions to African farmers, especially small holders, to enable them to make more precise and timely decisions.”

Ultimately, IDSS aims to bring wins across an entire economic ecosystem, from insurers to lenders to equipment and fertilizer companies. But most importantly, boosting this ecosystem could help lift many farmers out of poverty  and bring about a much-needed increase in the world’s aggregate food production.

Says Dahleh: “To accomplish this mission, this project will demonstrate the power of data coupled with advanced tools from predictive analytics, machine learning, reinforcement learning, and data sharing markets.”

from MIT News

BREAKING: R. Kelly now charged with 11 brand NEW counts of sexual abuse

If his mind was telling him no, he probably should have listened. R&B superstar, R. Kelly is now facing a slew of new charges. According to  CBS Chicago, the singer has been charged with 11 new counts of sexual abuse on Thursday and will now have to appear in court in Chicago on June 6.

According to court records, these additional charges include aggravated criminal sex assault, criminal sex assault and aggravated criminal sex abuse of a victim between the ages of 13 and 16.

For those who don’t recall, Kelly has already been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse earlier this year after four women came forward to accuse Kelly of these charges. Three of the four women say these alleged crimes occurred when they were still underage.

The story is still developing. Please check back for further details.

The post BREAKING: R. Kelly now charged with 11 brand NEW counts of sexual abuse appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

‘God gave me a layup and I blew it’: Lamar Odom reveals ruining romance with Taraji P. Henson

This week former NBA star Lamar Odom revealed that his cheating ways are what ruined a secret relationship he had with actress Taraji P. Henson more than 10 years ago.

According to The Daily Mail, in his new memoir, Darkness to Light, Odom tells fans about the beautiful relationship he had with the 48-year-old Empire star prior to his ill fated marriage to Khloe Kardashian.

Odom, 39 says his chemistry with Henson was strong and immediate, and so they “ended up exchanging numbers” on their first meeting.

READ MORE: Lamar Odom confesses he slept with over 2,000 women ‘I am a sex addict’

“She was just such a wise woman that she could see through whatever smooth act I was trying to put on. She refused to be just another conquest, and truthfully, I didn’t want her to be,” he writes.

The New York native, who spent 15 years in the NBA, mostly playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, winning two championships with them, has a long history of interracial relationships, and admits, “I don’t think I ever connected with another Black woman as deeply as I did Taraji.”

Once they started dated he claims they, “quickly fell in love,” and even got serious to the point of meeting each other’s friends and family.

READ MORE: Lamar Odom hates that Khloé Kardashian is going through pain and wants to reach out to her

“She introduced me to her fourteen-year-old son, Marcel, and was at my house nearly every day,” he continues. “Sometimes she’d bring some of her Hollywood friends, like actress Sanaa Lathan who starred in Love And Basketball.”

But even then Odom was exhibiting the self sabotaging behaviors that would continue to plague him for another decade, and he ended up ruining the connection with infidelity, noting, “I felt guilty, but I was craving immediate sex.”

The bittersweet anecdote ends on a remorseful note with him reflecting in hindsight, “Things were amazing, but of course, God gave me a layup and I blew it.”

Following that relationship Odom married reality star Khloe Kardashian in 2009. Kardashian filed for separation in December of 2013 and by December of 2016 their divorce was finalized.

READ MORE: Walking Miracle: Lamar Odom had 12 strokes and 6 heart attacks during his 2015 coma

The post ‘God gave me a layup and I blew it’: Lamar Odom reveals ruining romance with Taraji P. Henson appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Etienne Tshisekedi's body returned to DR Congo from Belgium

Etienne Tshisekedi's body was stuck in Belgium amid a row involving ex-DR Congo president Joseph Kabila.

from BBC News - Africa

Q&A: Phillip Isola on the art and science of generative models

If you’ve ever wondered what a loaf of bread would look like as a cat, edges2cats is for you. The program that turns sketches into pictures of cats is one of many whimsical creations inspired by Phillip Isola’s image-to-image translation software released in the early days of generative adversarial networks, or GANs. In a 2016 paper, Isola and his colleagues showed how a new type of GAN could transform a hand-drawn shoe into its fashion-photo equivalent, or turn an aerial photo into a grayscale map. Later, the researchers showed how landscape photos could be reimagined in the impressionist brushstrokes of Monet or Van Gogh. Now an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Isola continues to explore what GANs can do. 

GANs work by pairing two neural networks, trained on a large set of images. One network, the generator, outputs an image patterned after the training examples. The other network, the discriminator, rates how well the generator’s output image resembles the training data. If the discriminator can tell it’s a fake, the generator tries again and again until its output images are indistinguishable from the examples. When Isola first heard of GANs, he was experimenting with nearest-neighbor algorithms to try to infer the underlying structure of objects and scenes.

GANs have an uncanny ability to get at the essential structure of a place, face, or object, making structured prediction easier. Introduced five years ago, GANs have been used to visualize the ravages of climate change, produce more realistic computer simulations, and protect sensitive data, among other applications.

To connect the growing number of GAN enthusiasts at MIT and beyond, Isola has recently helped to organize GANocracy, a day of talks, tutorials, and posters being held at MIT on May 31 that is co-sponsored by the MIT Quest for Intelligence and MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. Isola recently spoke about the future of GANs.

Q: Your image-to-image translation paper has more than 2,000 citations. What made it so popular?

A: It was one of the earliest papers to show that GANs are useful for predicting visual data. We showed that this setting is very general, and can be thought of as translating between different visualizations of the world, which we called image-to-image translation. GANs were originally proposed as a model for producing realistic images from scratch. But the most useful application may be structured prediction, which is what GANs are mostly being used for these days.

Q: GANs are easily customized and shared on social media. Any favorites among these projects?

A: #Edges2cats is probably my favorite, and it helped to popularize the framework early on. Architect Nono Martínez Alonso has used pix2pix for exploring interesting tools for sketch-based design. I like everything by Mario Klingemann; Alternative Face is especially thought-provoking. It puts one person’s words into someone else’s mouth, hinting at a potential future of “alternative facts.” Scott Eaton is pushing the limits of GANs by translating sketches into 3-D sculptures. 

Q: What other GAN art grabs you?

A: I really like all of it. One remarkable example is GANbreeder. It’s a human-curated evolution of GAN-generated images. The crowd chooses which images to breed or kill off. Over many generations, we end up with beautiful and unexpected images.

Q: How are GANs being used beyond art? 

A: In medical imaging, they’re being used to generate CT scans from MRIs. There’s potential there, but it can be easy to misinterpret the results: GANs are making predictions, not revealing the truth. We don't yet have good ways to measure the uncertainty of their predictions. I'm also excited about the use of GANs for simulations. Robots are often trained in simulators to reduce costs, creating complications when we deploy them in the real world. GANs can help bridge the gap between simulation and reality.

Q: Will GANs redefine what it means to be an artist?

A: I don't know, but it's a super-interesting question. Several of our GANocracy speakers are artists, and I hope will touch on this. GANs and other generative models are different than other kinds of algorithmic art. They are trained to imitate, so the people being imitated probably deserve some credit. The art collective, Obvious, recently sold a GAN image at Christie's for $432,500. Obvious selected the image, signed and framed it, but the code was derived by then-17-year-old Robbie Barrat. Ian Goodfellow helped develop the underlying algorithm. 

Q: Where is the field heading?

A: As amazing as GANs are, they are just one type of generative model. GANs might eventually fade in popularity, but generative models are here to stay. As models of high-dimensional structured data, generative models get close to what we mean when we say “create,” “visualize,” and “imagine.” I think they will be used more and more to approximate capabilities that still seem uniquely human. But GANs do have some unique properties. For one, they solve the generative modeling problem via a two-player competition, creating a generator-discriminator arms race that leads to emergent complexity. Arms races show up across machine learning, including in the AI that achieved superhuman abilities in the game Go.

Q: Are you worried about the potential abuse of GANs?

A: I’m definitely concerned about the use of GANs to generate and spread misleading content, or so-called fake news. GANs make it a lot easier to create doctored photos and videos, where you no longer have to be a video editing expert to make it look like a politician is saying something they never actually said.

Q: You and the other GANocracy organizers are advocating for so-called GANtidotes. Why?

A: We would like to inoculate society against the misuse of GANs. Everyone could just stop trusting what we see online, but then we’d risk losing touch with reality. I’d like to preserve a future in which “seeing is believing.” Luckily, many people are working on technical antidotes that range from detectors that seek out the telltale artifacts in a GAN-manipulated image to cryptographic signatures that verify that a photo has not been edited since it was taken. There are a lot of ideas out there, so I’m optimistic it can be solved.

from MIT News

‘She’s Gotta Have It’ episode sparks debate over Black Brits in Hollywood; John Boyega lashes out

Thanks to an increase in representation, there are more Black faces in film and on television that ever before, but some folks aren’t happy about how many Black, British actors are blowing up in Hollywood. The latest season of Spike Lee‘s Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It explored that topic in detail in an episode, with one character suggesting Black Brits are a “cheaper” version of American actors of color. The episode sparked criticism from fans and stars including John Boyega (Star Wars), who called the episode “trash” on social media.

EXCLUSIVE: John Boyega on Black Brits taking over and how faith fuels his success

Samuel L. Jackson has gone on record about how he feels about British actors getting roles over their African American counterparts. In 2017, his comments about Daniel Kaluuya starring in Get Out sparked similar conversations.

Samuel L. Jackson says he’s ‘not going to lose any money’ over his anti-Trump rants

“I know the young brother who’s in the movie, and he’s British…There are a lot of black British actors that work in this country. All the time. I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way. Because Daniel grew up in a country where they’ve been interracial dating for a hundred years. Britain, there’s only about eight real white people left in Britain … what would a brother from America have made of that role? I’m sure the director helped. Some things are universal, but everything ain’t,” he told Hot97.

“They don’t cost as much. Unless you’re an unknown brother that they’re finding somewhere. They think they’re better-trained, for some reason, than we are because they’re classically trained. I don’t know what the love affair is with all that. It’s all good.”

While it’s true that there are tons of Black Brits who dominate television and films in the U.S., that’s not necessarily a bad thing in our book. Why can’t we root for all Black folks to win everywhere?



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from theGrio

After recent election, women now make up half of South Africa’s incoming cabinet

As South Africa emerges from its election in which the ruling African National Congress retained power, one of the results was also the political emergence of women in its government.

“For the first time in the history of our country, half of all the ministers are women,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised press conference. He has also downsized the number of cabinet ministers from 36 to 28 as a measure to “downscale” what he believes is a “bloated government.”

According to CNN, Wednesday, Ramaphosa announced the decision was made to cultivate a new wave of leaders that would advance the country’s future. His ANC party, which was once led by Nelson Mandela was voted back into power earlier in May.

READ MORE: In South Africa, ruling African National Congress poised for election win but with decreased support

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former chairperson of the African Union Commission, will retain her current role as the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs. She has held various governmental positions for the last 25 years. Thoko Didiza returns as minister of agriculture and has had that job for the last eight years. But among new appointments is Patricia de Lille, former Mayor of Cape Town, who has been appointed minister of public works.

While these appointments of the 14 female members to the new cabinet may have had noble intentions, Xolani Dube, a political analyst from the Xubera Institute of Research and Development based in Durban believes political appointments should based on merit and performance and not solely on gender.

“Many of the women the president announced have been there for many decades. We need to ask ourselves what kind of paradigm shift are we looking for in this country,” Dube told CNN.

Adding, “We need to introduce young women who have a different outlook on how South Africa is supposed to be governed in this particular age.”

READ MORE: South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa promises “new dawn”

Opposition party leader, Mmusi Maimane, is also skeptical of Ramaphosa’s plans and speculates the appointments were made more as a political publicity stunt, than a bid for gender equality.

“South Africa at this point deserves a diverse, competent cabinet that is not a negotiated settlement between factions, but instead a team of committed individuals who are ready to take South Africa forward,” Maimane said in a statement.

Maimane also said he plans to appoint a “shadow Cabinet” that would hold the government accountable.

South Africa’s new cabinet was sworn in on Thursday.

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from theGrio

Lonnie Bunch to Become the First African American to Lead the Smithsonian Institution

Lonnie G. Bunch, III, has been named the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, making him both the first African American and historian to lead the world’s largest museum. The Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents announced on May 21 that Bunch will serve as the institution’s new leader, where he will oversee the organization’s 19 museums and complexes, along with the National Zoo. His appointment is effective June 16.

“I am humbled and honored to become the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution,” Bunch said in a press release. “I am excited to work with the Board of Regents and my colleagues throughout the Institution to build upon its legacy and to ensure that the Smithsonian will be even more relevant and more meaningful and reach more people in the future.”

Bunch is the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NAAMHC), which opened in September 2016 with a grand three-day ceremony that was attended by Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, the Obamas, and BLACK ENTERPRISE SVP/Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle. The NAAMHC will begin a search for a successor.

“Lonnie Bunch guided, from concept to completion, the complex effort to build the premier museum celebrating African American achievements,” said U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a Smithsonian Chancellor, in a statement. “I look forward to working with him as we approach the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary to increase its relevance and role as a beloved American institution and public trust.”

In an interview with SiriusXM Host Joe Madison, Bunch stated that the Smithsonian needs to focus on incorporating more diversity. “I hope just my presence signals it, but the Smithsonian needs to do a better job of diversity and inclusion. It’s got to make sure that all of the staff represents America; all the exhibitions represent the diversity of America; so I want to make sure that in essence, the Smithsonian becomes the model of what museums should be.”

Over the course of his three-decade career in the museum field, Bunch has become recognized as one of the nation’s leading figures in the historical and museum community. In addition to establishing the NAAMHC, he held director-level positions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Air and Space and the National Museum of American History. The scholar is also the author of more than a dozen books on history, race, and museum scholarship.

Back in 2017, Bunch was honored at BE’s inaugural Black Men Xcel summit. During his acceptance speech, he paid homage to his ancestors and referenced “[black] men who were called boys, but they were called boys so that we could be called congressmen, CEO, president.”

from Black Enterprise

If China Really Wants to Retaliate, It Will Target Apple

As the trade war heats up, Apple is an enticing target for Chinese reprisals. It derives a nearly 20% of its revenue from the country, and its supply chain is based there.

from Wired

Google Is Finally Making Chrome Extensions More Secure

Third-party developers don't always build extensions with security best practices in mind. Now Google is taking steps to better protect user data.

from Wired

Nicole Byer slams Netflix after being left out of ‘Nailed It!’ promo: ‘Black women are a lot of times erased’

Nailed It! host, Nicole Byer spoke out against Netflix after the streaming service caught flack on social media for a promo pic that left out.

“I remember reading somewhere that Netflix puts men on the thumbnails of shows and movies a lot, but yo — this is NUTS,” pointed out @dylsauce. “Nicole Byer IS ‘Nailed It!.'”

In a series of now-deleted tweets, Nicole Byer weighed in on the controversy.

“If Netflix didn’t sign my checks and give me a huge platform and opportunity to showcase my comedy, I would talk about how f–ked up and disrespectful this is to me a black woman,” she wrote. “Also how black women are a lot of times erased from many different conversations…I would talk about how it makes me know my true value as the host of the show where I work incredibly hard to elevate the material given to me. Lot of moments people love are improvised.”

‘Nailed It!’ host Nicole Byer opens up about racism she experienced on her own set

The comedian didn’t stope there.

“I would talk about how this essentially white washing for more views. But they sign my checks and I’m honestly so happy and grateful to and for the show and no sarcasm I love my job and wish to keep it so I’ll be quiet,” she added.

“To be clear. I know there are thumbnails with and without my face… This one just seems for lack of a better word deliberate. Again I love my job.”

It wasn’t long before Netflix replaced the image and Byers deleted the tweets and explained her reasons for doing so.

“I deleted my last set of tweets bc I talked to one the execs on my show about it and the thrilling conclusion is the removal of the image and a conversation about how the thumbnails are made and selected that I’m happy with.”

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from theGrio

Justin Key: A Limitless Mindset of Servant Leadership

BE Modern Man: Justin Key

Actor, author of Mind Control, entrepreneur and speaker, 34, Founder of Mindset Mgmt Group

Twitter: @JustinKey101; Instagram: @JustinKey101

As a child growing up, my imagination was limitless. Some people told me I needed to scale down on what I wanted to do and become. I thought to myself, if I’m created in the image of God, then why limit myself? That seemed disrespectful to the potential given to me. So I decided to adopt a limitless mindset to become everything I’ve always wanted. Currently, I’m cast in a new digital series produced by Google called God ComplX where I play a techie, and I use my degree in mathematics (and personality) to travel, educate, and encourage minority students on the benefits of STEM careers. I launched my consulting firm, Mindset Mgmt Group, to help other creatives and entrepreneurs excel in their careers, and instead of thinking outside of the box to get rid of the box altogether. Lastly, I published my first book, called Mind Control: Change The Way You Think So You Can Have A Limitless Life, to help inform others about how to have a limitless mindset as well.


I was raised on my grandparents’ farm in Tennessee, and lived in a two-bedroom trailer with my eight siblings. My mom worked tirelessly to provide for us and many times we went without because we did not have it and could not afford it. Instead of becoming bitter about the situation, I became the first in my family to graduate from college and then go on to get my masters. I now use my education, resources, and connections in Hollywood and business to provide resources to those in my hometown of Rossville, Tennessee, and Memphis as well as Los Angeles to create opportunities that I see are needed.


My greatest male role model was my granddad Simmie Rosser. He had to drop out of elementary school to work in the fields, and then later was drafted into the army. Granddad’s spirit never wavered. He would go on to start a family, buy property (that we still own to this day) and raise his children and grandchildren to be the best they could be despite economic and systematic circumstances. His relationship with God inspired mine; his love for education motivated me to go to college; and his gifted sense of numbers instilled in me a passion for mathematics — the subject in which I received my first degree.


It’s the foundation of my limitless mindset: Never put limits on the grace that God has on your life.


I’m an avid reader and now a published author after being inspired by three books in particular. The three books that changed my life and altered the course of my success were: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann, and The Entrepreneur Mind by Kevin D. Johnson. Two of the mental practices of a limitless mindset I consider law are: There is enough success for everyone and the Golden Rule, treat people the way you want to be treated.


I define manhood as the pursuit of knowledge, character development and elevation of self to be the most effective servant-leader of family and the local and global community.


Is this a trick question? I love everything about being a Black man. Every day is like watching Marvel’s Black Panther in theaters for the very first time.

from Black Enterprise

Lena Waithe breaks silence on Jason Mitchell scandal: ‘I don’t have the power to fire anybody’

Lena Waithe is finally speaking out about the controversy surrounding Jason Mitchell, the star of her hit SHOWTIME series, The Chi. 

After news broke that Mitchell’s inappropriate behavior got him axed from the successful series as well as a Netflix film, Desperados and fired by his agent and management team, all eyes turned to Waithe, who has been a huge supporter of the #MeToo movement.

Lena Waithe has been relatively quiet on the scandal until she opened up during an interview with Charlamagne on The Breakfast Club Thursday morning.

According to reports, Mitchell’s on-screen girlfriend, Tiffany Boone is one of several actresses who made complaints about the actor. Some sources say Waithe didn’t do enough to protect her cast, but she insists she yielded all the power she could to rectify the situation.

REPORTS: Jason Mitchell dropped from ‘The Chi’ and Netflix film amid multiple misconduct allegations

“I knew what I was dealing with on the show, but I wasn’t made aware of anything going on with Tiffany until after the season had wrapped and when Tiffany and I had a conversation – and out of respect for her privacy, ’cause the conversation we had was private – we did discuss stuff that was just inappropriate. And I remember looking at her – ’cause we were facetiming – and I was like, ‘Yo! This is not cool! I feel awful that you had this experience on my set that’s not pleasant…By the time the season had wrapped, I had a little bit more power. I had a little bit more clout, and I was like, ‘Here’s what I’m going to do to change that. I’mma hire a woman of color as the showrunner….’ – so I can already say that the idea of me hearing something and not doing anything just isn’t true,” she said.

“There were conversations that were had, HR was made aware, and all the parties involved were like, ‘This thing has been resolved enough that all artists are willing to return to the show.’ So I was like, ‘Ok, if you wanna come back, I wanna make sure that the environment was equipped. When she came back to set, I made sure that there was damn near a whole different crew. And also, there were whole precautions that we took. The writers had extensive sexual harassment training. There was extensive sexual harassment training on set, and I do recall Tiffany – when we were texting – saying, ‘Let’s get some sexual harassment training.’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely.’”

Waithe also explained her decision to release Boone from the series, at the actress’ request.

“I was told she wanted to go. One, because I think she was just at a place of there’s no repairing it. And I think she wanted to explore other opportunities, and I didn’t wanna hold her back from that. I’m never gonna say, ‘Hey! You stay here. I don’t care what you want.’ I really want to respect her wishes. Another thing, again, I’m not really in control over who stays or goes on the show. I can make a pitch! I can say, ‘Yo, let’s get rid of this person.’ But, ultimately it’s not my decision. As a matter of fact, I can be on some, ‘Oh, it’s me or Jason’ – and they could pick Jason,” she explained.

“What I wanna do is make things right with Tiffany on a personal level, ’cause she don’t deserve to be dragged. She’s the one who we need to actually be protecting. She’s someone I stand next to. And I think, to me, she’s representative of a lot of women of color who are ignored, and are silenced, and are pushed away…I think her and him [Tiffany’s fiance, Marque Richardson] should be left alone to live their lives. I think they’re both extremely talented actors with bright futures.”

‘The Chi’ actor Jason Mitchell loses MTV awards bid amid misconduct claims

While plenty of people assume that Lena Waithe made the decision to keep Jason Mitchell on the series after she learned of the allegations against him, she begs to differ and insists she doesn’t have as much power over the show as people think.

“I don’t have the power to fire anybody. I don’t! I wish I did! I don’t own ‘The Chi.’ I created it, I sold it – so it’s like, I could be fired off “The Chi.” Season one of ‘The Chi’ was just, like, a couple- maybe three years ago. And that was before people really knew who I was. So I was one of those powerless women of color in this industry. Even though they say, ‘Oh you wrote a pilot! You created a show and sold it’ – that’s true, but I didn’t have a whole ton of power on that show, or a lot of say. You’re almost an employee on your own set.”

Lena Waithe also revealed that she has no intentions of working with Jason Mitchell ever again, and was clearly regretful about the position Tiffany Boone is in.

“What I believe is he has to do is really go work on himself, and really look internally because this is a bigger issue. This is bigger than just my show. This is some other things going on- which I know nothing about. I don’t know nothin’ about this Netflix thing. I don’t know nothin’ about why his agency dropped him. That stuff is very very much outside of me, but all I know is that he – just on a human level – has to get right…that’s on him. That’s his responsibility. I can’t fix Jason Mitchell. All I can fix is my behavior and how I move forward,” she said.

“There’s only so much I can do with a person. If other people wanna work with him, that’s their prerogative. For me, I just don’t think it’s right ’cause I can’t stand by these women and continue to work with him and put money in his pocket.”

Check out the interview:

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from theGrio

Black man says not complying with officer’s demands saved him

An Arkansas man who was arrested after refusing to comply with a local police officer, says his insubordination may have saved him from a fate far worse than jail.

According to Memphis station WREQ, over the weekend, Ed Truitt was parked outside of a closed Double Quick convenience store in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas when the incident took place. He had met his family there so they could all head back home to Jonesboro, Ark., together, when police arrived on the scene.

READ MORE: Dashcam video shows Black man was shot by cop who claims she meant to grab taser

“As we were leaving out, a car jumped in front of me, so I hit my brakes to let them go by,” Truitt explains. But when he attempted to leave the parking lot police cars began showing up. Officers then demanded everyone clear the lot and blocked him in.

“I started rolling because he jumped out with his gun,” Truitt says as to why he immediately began recording his Facebook Live stream of the encounter.

“Shut the car off!” an unidentified officer can be heard shouting repeatedly in the video.

“No, my hand’s in the air. My hand’s in the air.” Truitt responds, with his hand outside the open window of the car. “Shoot me. … My hand’s in the air. … I ain’t moving my hands. He trying to shoot me.”

“You failed to comply with the lawful order,” the officer explains. He also claimed he wouldn’t shoot Truitt, but was still pointing his gun into the car when he did so.

READ MORE: Black 14-year-old boy shot by police devastated to learn cop was cleared of wrongdoing ‘I feel like I’m not even protected by the cops’

Later, he tells the the man he has his body camera on as well, noting, “You were told to leave the parking lot.”

“I was leaving the parking lot…How did I come back?” Truitt asked in response. He still refused to exit the vehicle and instead asks a person who is off-camera to put the car in park. This was apparently done out of fear of what would happen if he took his hands down.

“He was like, ‘That’s a failure to comply,’ but if I woulda complied, I woulda got killed,” Truitt explained to WREQ, alluding to all the incidents in the past where unarmed Black men have been shot under the premise that they were reaching for a weapon.

A firearm was found in the trunk of Truitt’s car, which he never denied having, but says was not within his reach and was no threat to the officer. He was arrested for loitering but says he would not have done anything differently.

“What I did saved my life,” he believes. “That’s why I’m here talking to y’all. If not, y’all would be covering a story about how I got shot.”

READ MORE: Violent video shows police wrestle with woman as her baby falls to the ground

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from theGrio

Flying Car Startup Alaka'i Bets Hydrogen Outdoes Batteries

The new aviation player is showing off an electric, boxy, six-rotor air taxi powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

from Wired

Rah Ali from ‘Love & Hip Hop loses baby in premature delivery

Love & Hip Hop: New York alum Rah Ali gave birth to a baby girl prematurely on Sunday, and the baby died almost immediately after, TMZ and other news organizations are reporting.

Ali, 35, was not due to give birth until the middle of October and had planned to announce her baby girl’s impending arrival with a series of photos next month, according to People.

READ MORE: Serena Williams’ health scare should inspire Black women to demand better healthcare

Ali, who was five months pregnant, was at home on Sunday when her water broke and contractions began, according to TMZ. Ali was rushed to the hospital, but doctors were not able to save the premature infant.

All of the reality star’s doctors said there was no sign of trouble during her pregnancy, according to the news organization.

Various news organizations are reporting that rapper Nicki Minaj has been trying to comfort Ali, her friend, during the crisis.

Ali made headlines last year when Minaj explained it was actually Ali who interjected when rapper Cardi B tossed a shoe at Minaj in the now-famous altercation during New York Fashion Week.

READ MORE: Nicki Minaj addresses Cardi B fight on her podcast

Minaj referred to the dust up during an episode of her show, Queens Radio, on Beats 1.

“Rah really beat Cardi’s ass bad,” Minaj said. “I was mad at Rah. You went home and told people security hit you and we let that ride for legal reasons.”

Minaj has been doing all she can to comfort her friend in the wake of her loss, TMZ reported. She’s been telephoning and checking on her and doing what she can to lift her mood, according to the news organization.

Ali had kept her pregnancy a secret.

Last year, Ali took to Instagram to celebrate a wedding anniversary with a husband whose name she has kept private. In the photo posted, both share a kiss beside an unidentified body of water.

“You are an honorable man — one of principle and character that can never be questioned,” Ali posted last July. “Words can’t begin to express my gratitude and appreciation for you being an amazing man and provider each and every day.”

READ MORE: Too many pregnancy books don’t keep it real- author Nancy Redd is changing all that with “Pregnancy, OMG!”

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from theGrio

South Africa beaten in World Cup opener

Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer light up The Oval as England beat South Africa to get their World Cup campaign off to a winning start.

from BBC News - Africa

#WalkingDogWhileBlack: Angry white man pulls gun and hurls racist slurs at Black people in dog park and sherriff says he was justified

A Black man and a woman who had a gun pulled on them at a dog park in Douglas County, Georgia are upset that the white perpetrator wasn’t charged with more than just a misdemeanor.

50 Cent calls out ‘Power’ co-star Rotimi for owing him $300k

Chris Mungin told reporters that he was at Deer Lick dog park on Memorial Day when he saw a confrontation erupt between a 62-year-old woman and a man after his dog allegedly bit hers, WSBTV reports.

The dog owner, Albert Partin, and the woman got into an argument after she told him her dog had been bit.

Mungin said when he saw Partin, a white man, starting to get aggressive with the woman and hurling racial slurs at her, he decided to step in.

“He started getting really vulgar. The racial slurs and the derogatory statements came out and … he called her a b***h,” Mungin said.

Witnesses saw Partin pull a gun on Mungin and the woman and called the police.

Partin was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors for pointing the gun. Mungin thinks authorities should upgrade the charges to more serious aggravated assault felonies.

#PicnicWhileBlack: Angry white woman points gun at Black couple enjoying Mississippi lake

“The fact that he has a license to carry, drew in an aggravated manner with aggression and they still feel that he felt threatened when I’m unarmed, everybody was unarmed, and he only got two misdemeanors — it’s just irate,” Mungin told WSB.

Sheriff Tim Pounds defended the man who pulled the gun saying he had a right to do so because he feared Mungin as he approached him. And he said the man had a license to carry.

“You have a right to protect yourself and property at any given moment. Now, he feared this guy. This guy is approaching him. He just wanted him to get off of him and that’s why they’re misdemeanors and not felonies. He had a right to protect himself,” Pounds said.

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from theGrio

‘Star Trek’ icon Nichelle Nichols recorded screaming for her life in audiotaped fight with son

Star Trek star Nichelle Nichols has been captured in audio obtained by Atlanta’s WGCL, screaming for her life in a battle with her son.

Nichols, now 86 and suffering from dementia, has generated an army of fans for her portrayal of U.S.S. Enterprise communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura over the course of the last 50 years. But now she is in a battle with her son over guardianship and her friends and associates tell the station that her son has evil intentions.

“I’m the boss of me, Gil, he’s not the boss of me,” Nichols is heard saying on the tape, turned over to the station by Gilbert Bell, who identifies himself as Nichols’ friend and manager.

READ MORE: Twitpic of President Obama with ‘Star Trek’ actress Nichelle Nichols goes viral

Bell told the station that the recording took place as he and Nichols were reviewing court documents filed by the actress’ son in an attempt to take control of her estate, according to WGCL.

As they are going over the papers, Nichols is heard saying, “I didn’t give permission to have conservatorship over me. I didn’t know what he was doing.”

At that point, Nichols’ son allegedly enters the room and Nichols is heard screaming.

“You get your hands off me,” she is heard shouting. “You’re trying to get rid of me.”

At another point, the son is heard saying, “Mother, we are going home,” which prompts Nichols to respond, “Help! No! No! No!”

READ MORE: ‘Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols detained at LAX in meth scandal

The WGCL story does not identify Nichols’ son, but other news outlets confirm that her son is Kyle Johnson, the actor.

The station reported that it reached out to Nichols’ son and he said that his mother does not have a management team. He declined to respond to the allegations or to the existence of the tape.

Nichols has continued acting despite suffering a stroke in 2015.

She most famously played Uhura during the three year run of Star Trek from 1966-69, and continued the role in an animated version of the series from 1973-74 and in six feature films. She notably spoke of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who convinced her to remain on the show after its first season when she had decided to leave for Broadway.

“He asked what I was talking about, and told me that I can’t leave the show,” she told the Wall Street Journal in 2011. “We talked a long time about what it all meant and what images on television tell us about ourselves.”

She later shared the first interracial on-screen kiss with co-star William Shatner, who played Capt. James T. Kirk in the 1968 episode “Plato’s Stepchildren.”

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from theGrio

Black family files civil rights lawsuit after Chicago police handcuffed 8-year-old and force him to stand in the rain

TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.

The family of an 8-year-old Chicago boy filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday claiming he was unlawfully handcuffed by police and made to stand in the rain during a botched raid in March.

Chicago police kill brother of murder suspect as they execute arrest warrant

Dominique Wilson, the mother of Royal said her son and other children were terrorized during the ordeal after he was forced to stand in frigid rain as cops pulled guns on her and family members and ordered them out of their home located on the South Side, The Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“I felt very afraid, terrified,” Wilson said during a news conference with her attorney.

Wilson was present with her children, ages 6, 8 and 9, who were all ordered out of the home with guns pointed at them.

According to the lawsuit, “Once the family reached the street, police handcuffed them.”

“Officers handcuffed 8-year-old Royal for no reason for approximately 35 to 40 minutes while he stood in the street shaking from fear and cold and drenched in the freezing rain. The handcuffs were too tight, and his wrist bruised.”

“They made me stand up straight and my hands behind my back, and they had them tight,” Royal told CBS. “My legs were shaking.”

Wilson said she assured her son that he would be safe as police handcuffed him.

“I had to reassure him, nothing is going to happen to us,” she said. “Hold on, stay strong and keep watching mommy.”

“It took the breath out of me, the life out of me,” she said. “I had to be strong in front of my children. You have to be the leader to be strong to tell your children to just stand and be still while I’m being embarrassed, humiliated,” she said.

Police were searching for guns for at least two hours, the family’s attorney Al Hofeld Jr. said.

Wilson said all her children now suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome, Hofeld said.

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Chicago police claim while it is not protocol to handcuff children, they removed the handcuffs once they learned of Royals age, CBS reports.

They reportedly executed the warrant after being told the adult son of the homeowner was harboring illegal guns in the home.

“Due to the risk involved with a weapon that could penetrate body armor, the occupants of the residence followed verbal direction given over a public address system and exited the residence without needing to breach the door,” Chicago police said in a statement to CBS Chicago.

Hofeld believes the Chicago PD needs to implement stricter guidelines for how the force handles children.

“They are afraid to go to the washroom, they are afraid to sleep by themselves, they are very nervous and jump,” Wilson told ABC7.

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