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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Caster Semenya will not race at World Championships if she loses appeal

Caster Semenya says she will not race at the World Championships in Qatar later this year if she loses an appeal against IAAF rules governing testosterone levels in female athletes.

from BBC News - Africa

Did Lil Nas X just come out of the closet?

Lil Nas X has been making headlines ever since he burst onto the music scene with his runaway rap/country hit “Old Town Road.” The 20-year-old born Montero Lamar Hill whose single has spent 12 weeks at the No.1 spot on the Hot 100 chart, has plenty of people believing he is gay after a series of social media posts seemed to suggest the news.

Lil Nas X hits cover of Teen Vogue: 5 Interesting Takeaways

“some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure,” he posted on Sunday along with a rainbow emoji.

Here are a few lines from the song he referred to:

True say
I want and I need
To let go
Use my time to be free
It’s like it’s always what you like
It’s always what you like
Why it’s always what you like?
It’s always what you like, huh
Ain’t no more actin’, man that forecast say I should just let me grow
No more red light for me, baby, only green, I gotta go
Pack my past up in the back, oh, let my future take a hold
This is what I gotta do, can’t be regretting when I’m old

Lil Nas X hitched up his horse for a surprise performance for kids

A couple hours later, he seemed to confirm the news after several followers commented on his initial post.

“deadass thought i made it obvious,” he tweeted along with the cover art for his new EP 7, featuring a rainbow.

Racist country music fans boycott Wrangler’s new Lil Nas X’s collection

Considering Sunday was the last day of PRIDE month, the timing would make sense. So far,  some are still debating whether or not Lil Nas X actually confirmed that he is gay or if he was just showing support for the LGBTQ community in honor of PRIDE month. Plenty of Twitter fans have voiced their support and excitement while others have already started suggesting he should be canceled for coming out.

We’ll have to wait and see if the Wrangler-loving sensation elaborates any further.


The post Did Lil Nas X just come out of the closet? appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Teaching artificial intelligence to create visuals with more common sense

Today’s smartphones often use artificial intelligence (AI) to help make the photos we take crisper and clearer. But what if these AI tools could be used to create entire scenes from scratch?

A team from MIT and IBM has now done exactly that with “GANpaint Studio,” a system that can automatically generate realistic photographic images and edit objects inside them. In addition to helping artists and designers make quick adjustments to visuals, the researchers say the work may help computer scientists identify “fake” images.

David Bau, a PhD student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), describes the project as one of the first times computer scientists have been able to actually “paint with the neurons” of a neural network — specifically, a popular type of network called a generative adversarial network (GAN).

Available online as an interactive demo, GANpaint Studio allows a user to upload an image of their choosing and modify multiple aspects of its appearance, from changing the size of objects to adding completely new items like trees and buildings.

Boon for designers

Spearheaded by MIT professor Antonio Torralba as part of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab he directs, the project has vast potential applications. Designers and artists could use it to make quicker tweaks to their visuals. Adapting the system to video clips would enable computer-graphics editors to quickly compose specific arrangements of objects needed for a particular shot. (Imagine, for example, if a director filmed a full scene with actors but forgot to include an object in the background that’s important to the plot.)

GANpaint Studio could also be used to improve and debug other GANs that are being developed, by analyzing them for “artifact” units that need to be removed. In a world where opaque AI tools have made image manipulation easier than ever, it could help researchers better understand neural networks and their underlying structures.

“Right now, machine learning systems are these black boxes that we don’t always know how to improve, kind of like those old TV sets that you have to fix by hitting them on the side,” says Bau, lead author on a related paper about the system with a team overseen by Torralba. “This research suggests that, while it might be scary to open up the TV and take a look at all the wires, there’s going to be a lot of meaningful information in there.”

One unexpected discovery is that the system actually seems to have learned some simple rules about the relationships between objects. It somehow knows not to put something somewhere it doesn’t belong, like a window in the sky, and it also creates different visuals in different contexts. For example, if there are two different buildings in an image and the system is asked to add doors to both, it doesn’t simply add identical doors — they may ultimately look quite different from each other. 

“All drawing apps will follow user instructions, but ours might decide not to draw anything if the user commands to put an object in an impossible location,” says Torralba. “It’s a drawing tool with a strong personality, and it opens a window that allows us to understand how GANs learn to represent the visual world.”

GANs are sets of neural networks developed to compete against each other. In this case, one network is a generator focused on creating realistic images, and the second is a discriminator whose goal is to not be fooled by the generator. Every time the discriminator ‘catches’ the generator, it has to expose the internal reasoning for the decision, which allows the generator to continuously get better.

“It’s truly mind-blowing to see how this work enables us to directly see that GANs actually learn something that’s beginning to look a bit like common sense,”  says Jaakko Lehtinen, an associate professor at Finland’s Aalto University who was not involved in the project. “I see this ability as a crucial steppingstone to having autonomous systems that can actually function in the human world, which is infinite, complex and ever-changing.”

Stamping out unwanted “fake” images

The team’s goal has been to give people more control over GAN networks.  But they recognize that with increased power comes the potential for abuse, like using such technologies to doctor photos. Co-author Jun-Yan Zhu says that he believes that better understanding GANs — and the kinds of mistakes they make — will help researchers be able to better stamp out fakery.

“You need to know your opponent before you can defend against it,” says Zhu, a postdoc at CSAIL. “This understanding may potentially help us detect fake images more easily.”

To develop the system, the team first identified units inside the GAN that correlate with particular types of objects, like trees. It then tested these units individually to see if getting rid of them would cause certain objects to disappear or appear. Importantly, they also identified the units that cause visual errors (artifacts) and worked to remove them to increase the overall quality of the image.

“Whenever GANs generate terribly unrealistic images, the cause of these mistakes has previously been a mystery,” says co-author Hendrik Strobelt, a research scientist at IBM. “We found that these mistakes are triggered by specific sets of neurons that we can silence to improve the quality of the image.”

Bau, Strobelt, Torralba and Zhu co-wrote the paper with former CSAIL PhD student Bolei Zhou, postdoctoral associate Jonas Wulff, and undergraduate student William Peebles. They will present it next month at the SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles. “This system opens a door into a better understanding of GAN models, and that’s going to help us do whatever kind of research we need to do with GANs,” says Lehtinen.

from MIT News

Tunisia - the birthplace of the Arab Spring which lost its hope

Tunisia is seen as one of the few success stories of the Arab Spring so have so many of its people lost hope?

from BBC News - Africa

Tyrese Garvin: Dad shot after witnessing birth of twin dies at same hospital

Tyrese Garvin, 20, shot on June 23 while walking home from the hospital after witnessing the birth of his twins, has died, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Garvin was treated at University Hospital in Louisville, Ky., where he spent several days in intensive care before he was taken off life support. His newborns, a boy and girl, were taken to see their father before he passed away, the report said.

READ MORE: Father shot a week after his twin babies are born to be taken off life support

The twins were born prematurely and still remain at the hospital.

“He was very excited about becoming a father, and for something like this to happen and his children will never get to know him, that’s sad,” Kathleen Roberts, Garvin’s grandmother told WLKY.

“He did not deserve to be shot like he did. He’s going to never be able to see his children, and they’re never going to know their father,” Roberts continued.

The shooting was completely random, police said. The incident was part of a spike in shootings in Louisville that left 12 dead this month and others injured, the Daily Mail notes.

Three juveniles between the ages on 14 and 17 were arrested in connection with the shooting death.

At a press conference on Thursday, Homicide Lt. Emily McKinley explained that over the past few weeks, the city has experienced an increase in drive-by shootings and related car thefts allegedly carried out by teenagers.

But the statement was no salve for Garvin’s grandmother, who continues to struggle with the loss of her loved one.

READ MORE: ‘It won’t work’: Kamala Harris’ campaign claps back at racist birther claims

“It’s just a hard impact for me because I know I’ll never see him walk through that door and act silly with me anymore, but this is just so senseless,” Roberts said.

Garvin’s family has now created a GoFundMe page to help pay for his medical and funeral costs. Their goal is 50,000 dollars, they’ve currently raised almost 20,000 dollars.

The post Tyrese Garvin: Dad shot after witnessing birth of twin dies at same hospital appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

‘It won’t work’: Kamala Harris’ campaign claps back at racist birther claims

Sen. Kamala Harris‘ campaign is clapping back to trolls that say she isn’t Black enough, garnering support even from competitors in the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates. Critics compared the “birtherism” claims to President Barack Obama‘s experience.

During Thursday’s Democratic Presidential debate, Donald Trump Jr. replied to a tweet questioning Harris’ identity, sparking a social media firestorm, CNN reported.

READ MORE: Kamala Harris hit in new birther movement

The tweet, written by a critic who identifies as African American, wrote: “Kamala Harris is *not* an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican,” . “I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history. It’s disgusting. Now using it for debate time at #DemDebate2? These are my people not her people. Freaking disgusting.”

Trump Jr.’s response to the tweet: “Is this true? Wow,” has since been deleted, and Donald Trump’s spokesman Andy Surabian told The New York Times it was a misunderstanding.

“Don’s tweet was simply him asking if it was true that Kamala Harris was half-Indian because it’s not something he had ever heard before,” Surabian said.”And once he saw that folks were misconstruing the intent of his tweet, he quickly deleted it.”

But Harris’ aide, Lily Adams, quickly bounced back with a response. “This is the same type of racist attack his father used to attack Barack Obama,” she said, according to CNN. “It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”

Joe Biden, whom Harris trounced at Thursday’s debate, tweeted:

Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Jay Inslee, Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke agreed:

However, the best clapback of them all came form U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

READ MORE: Top 5 winning moments from Sen. Kamala Harris during her first 2020 Democratic Debate

Kamala’s “Blackness” is in question because although she was born in the U.S., she was born to an Indian mother and Jamaican father, both immigrants; her marriage to a white man; and her record of incarcerating minorities as a prosecutor.

But Harris told the Breakfast Club in March, she’s unbothered by false claims about her blackness.

“So I was born in Oakland, and raised in the United States, except for the years that I was in high school in Montreal, Canada,” Harris responded with a laugh. “And look, this is the same thing they did to Barack (Obama). This is not new to us and so I think that we know what they are trying to do.
“They are trying to do what has been happening over the last two years, which is powerful voices trying to sow hate and division, and so we need to recognize when we’re being played,” Harris said.

The post ‘It won’t work’: Kamala Harris’ campaign claps back at racist birther claims appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

#Whentheyseeus: Chicago review board reopens case five years after cops killed Black teen

Nearly five years after a Black Chicago teenager was shot and killed by police, new evidence may help his mother get a better insight on what exactly happened to him.

Roshad McIntosh, 19, was shot and killed in August 2014. U.S. District Court Judge Jorge L. Alonso of Chicago this week ruled to reopen discovery in the teen’s wrongful death federal lawsuit, CNN reports.

READ MORE: Kamala Harris hit in new birther movement

The original investigation was conducted by Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority(IPRA), which is now called COPA, failed to find wrongdoing by officers in the shooting. The officer involved claimed Roshad pointed a gun at him, the officer fired three shots, which resulted in the teen’s death. The IPRA found the shooting to be “within policy,” and the agency closed the case by October 2015, according to CNN.

But the Roshad’s mother, Cynthia Lane, was not convinced. She filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against the city of Chicago after the IPRA failed to take disciplinary action against officers involved in the shooting, and the Cook County Attorney failed to file any charges.

“We’ve never believed the narrative given by the police in this case,” Andrew Stroth, Lane’s attorney, said.

This is when Lane decided to take matters into her own hands and began to request her son’s hospital and paramedic records from the day of the shooting.

COPA reopened the case in August 2017, and it remains open.

The reopening of discovery gives Stroth and his team access to all the documents, data, transcripts and exhibits generated by COPA’s re-investigation. It will also allow him to to interview witnesses who were questioned previously by the agency.

READ MORE: Carmelo Anthony: Mystery woman on yacht identified

“It makes me more confident in getting justice and that’s what I’ve wanted from the beginning,” Lane said.

The discovery deadline of September 30, 2019 was set by Judge Alonso, CNN notes, citing court documents. The documents also note that the deadline could be extended.

Ava DuVernay’s compelling Netflix dramatization When They See Us has been viewed by more than 23 million accounts on the streaming platform. The film tells the story of five Black and Latino boys, who were coerced into confessing to a brutal rape inside New York’s Central Park has been a hard-hitting reality check on the injustices handed down by the American court system after they were wrongly convicted in 1989. Since the series’ release, the title has come to represent how the justice treats men and women of color.

The post #Whentheyseeus: Chicago review board reopens case five years after cops killed Black teen appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Africa Cup of Nations: DR Congo thrash Zimbabwe 4-0 to stay in contention

DR Congo give themselves a chance of qualifying for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations with a comfortable win over Zimbabwe.

from BBC News - Africa

Africa Cup of Nations: Mohamed Salah scores as Egypt beat Uganda to win group

Egypt maintain their perfect start to their Africa Cup of Nations campaign by beating Uganda in Cairo to win Group A.

from BBC News - Africa

Laverne Cox speaks out against deaths of Black trans women amid pride celebrations

Laverne Cox explained during an interview with BuzzFeed’s AM2DM how Black transgender women are being killed at a disturbingly high rate in the U.S.

Cox on Friday shed light on the issue ahead of this year’s World Pride celebration, which kicked off Sunday. New York City’s pride celebration was even more moving this year, coming after the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, ABC News noted.

READ MORE: Money moves: Tyra Banks to trademark ‘Smize’ Ice Cream

The Stonewall riots began in 1969 when police repeatedly raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, which is now a known safe haven for the LGBTQ community.

But some in the community are not safe no matter where they are. An estimated 11 transgender women have been killed so far this year in the U.S., according to BuzzFeed News. The list includes Brooklyn Lindsey, 32, who was found dead on June 25.

Lindsey’s body was discovered on the porch of a vacant home in Kansas City, Mo. She suffered one or more gunshot wounds to her body and unspecified trauma to her face. The 10 other murdered women were between the ages of 20 to 40.

The Human Rights Campaign has identified the Black transgender women as: Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle “Tamika” Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, and Zoe Spears.

The average life expectancy of Black trans women in the U.S. is 35, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

The deaths underscore why Cox discussed the issue.

“Your attraction to me as a trans woman is not a reason to kill me,” she told AM2DM. “There’s this whole sort of myth that trans women are out there tricking people, that they deserve to be murdered, and that’s not the case.”

Cox has been a long time advocate for trans women’s rights and sees the ugly in advocacy, but also does her best to focus on the good.

READ MORE: Kamala Harris hit in new birther movement

“For a long time I was talking about this all the time and just felt I was existing in this space of death, constantly, and it was insanely depressing,” she said. “And so I try to be in a ‘both and’ place, given the place of celebrating Indya Moore being on the cover of Elle magazine and Janet Mock having this landmark deal at Netflix.”

Cox joins three million others and a sea of color on the streets of Manhattan on Sunday for the World Pride parade. Transgender actors and Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore and MJ Rodriguez, who are also the stars of FX’s Pose served as Grand Marshalls of the World Pride parade on Sunday.

The post Laverne Cox speaks out against deaths of Black trans women amid pride celebrations appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Money moves: Tyra Banks to trademark ‘Smize’ Ice Cream

50 Years After Fair Housing Act, Buying a Home Remains Out of Reach for Many African Americans

The Fair Housing Act of 1968—legislation designed to prevent discrimination and provide access to housing for all—was enacted over 50 years ago. Yet, buying a home continues to be out of reach for African Americans, according to a new survey.

NeighborWorks America, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., is on a mission to help more people live in affordable homes by working with affiliate nonprofits to provide housing education. Their recent survey reveals that 70% of U.S. adults say the homebuying process is complicated and out of reach.

“It’s a lot to understand the responsibilities of homeownership,” says Karen Hoskins, acting vice president of National Homeownership Programs and Lending at NeighborWorks America. “For example, what’s the best mortgage product to buy the home that you are interested in? There’s a lot of information.“

The Barriers to Entry for African American Homeownership

But other financial experts believe the difficulty of homeownership is largely exaggerated and creates a barrier to entry for many African Americans. “The how-to steps and myths of how hard homeownership is to obtain have scared many homeowners away,” says Jeff Wilson II, author of The Lies our Parents Were Sold and Told Us and principal at The W2 Group accounting firm.

“The 20% down payment myth lives on and discourages African Americans from following through on the homebuyers’ process,” he says.

The NeighborhoodWorks America national survey gathered responses from 1,000 adults 18 and over. The survey results confirmed the need for more education about the housing process and financial management.

“I believe the addition of community programs that educate possible homeowners about the process is mandatory to provide access for all,” says Wilson. “It’s also important for prospective homeowners to seek the assistance and insights of a financial coach to ensure they have a plan in place to pay for housing expenses beyond the down payment. New homeowners without the proper knowledge or coach may find themselves struggling to stay financially afloat.”

One out of 5 black people said their most important financial goal for 2019 is to pay bills and everyday expenses, according to the survey. The idea of financial planning classes to help improve a person’s financial situation appealed to 46% of survey participants.

Hoskins notes that part of the conversation needs to focus on a person’s ability to purchase a home right now. “You have to look at the individuals’ life circumstances and what their needs are when it relates to housing. Having sufficient savings and funds in reserve is important.”

The Consequences of Debt

Unfortunately, debt continues to decrease the savings rate and create barriers for many African Americans who seek to participate in the homeownership process. “Student loan debt and credit card debt are the front-runners that present a challenge for some consumers to be able to qualify for a mortgage,” says Hoskins. “In some cases, the credit card debt is part of the student loan debt because credit cards may have been used to purchase books or other supplies needed for education.”

What’s the solution to overcoming barriers to homeownership? Having access to education and the right information are key. Working with a housing counselor or financial coach can help you navigate one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime.

“There is a myth that you need a 20% down payment to purchase a home. There are mortgage programs where the down payment requirements are much less. Consumers may not be aware of this. That’s a benefit of connecting with a housing counselor,” says Hoskins.

Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

from Black Enterprise

Burundi 0-2 Guinea: Result means Guinea can still make Africa Cup of Nations last 16

Mohamed Yattara scores twice as Guinea beat 10-man Burundi 2-0 to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

from BBC News - Africa

5 Skills Successful Entrepreneurs Possess

Do you envy other entrepreneurs who attract media attention for their companies? Do you see other business successes and silently wonder why they’re doing so well when your product is even better? It could be that it’s not a matter of product/market fit, but more a matter of founder/market fit. Entrepreneurs who succeed tend to possess specific skills others fail to hone.

5 Skills Successful Entrepreneurs Possess

They are socially savvy

Failing to be socially savvy can have a direct impact on the success of your company. Knowing how to schmooze at a conference or how to interact with well-known members of the tech Twitterati can significantly improve your business’s exposure. Many startup companies have enjoyed increased success simply because their founders were wise in the ways of social connections. It’s not necessarily the business with the better product that wins; it’s the company with the socially-savvy founder that is more likely to earn attention.

They are good listeners

Entrepreneurs who are good listeners not only become better leaders, they also tend to outshine competitors. The more you develop your listening skills, the better prepared you are to notice tidbits others miss. Stop yourself from trying to think of your response while others are speaking and instead focus on listening intently to what others are saying.

They are good communicators

Just as good listening skills are essential, so too are excellent communication skills. From the way you speak to team members to how you explain your company in front of a crowd, each aspect of your communication efforts needs to be finely tuned. Customers (and angel investors) respond better to entrepreneurs with excellent verbal skills. Making an effort to improve your communication skills continually is an endeavor you will never regret.

They are self-confident

An entrepreneur without confidence is destined for mediocre success at best. It would be best if you believe in yourself as a business builder and as a leader. If you can’t confidently explain your business vision to others around you, don’t expect customers to come beating down your door.

They are risk-takers

Entrepreneurs who are risk-takers tend to achieve greater success than those who are timid and meek. Even if you tend to be more of an introvert, you can still improve your risk-taking skills. Try different marketing techniques, approach high-profile venture capitalists, or speak to journalists at tech conferences; anything you can do to get out of your usual comfort zone is fair game when becoming more of a risk taker.

Working on these skills can increase your odds of long-term success as an entrepreneur. Not only will you build a better business, but you will also create a better you in the process.

from Black Enterprise

Africa Cup of Nations: Madagascar v Nigeria

Madagascar produce the biggest shock so far at the Africa Cup of Nations as they beat three-time winners Nigeria to go into the last 16 as group winners.

from BBC News - Africa

How to Fund the Franchise Business You’ve Always Wanted

As a franchise adviser, the most-asked question I receive after “what’s the best franchise to buy?” is “where can I get the money” to purchase a franchise. Understanding how to fund a franchise business is critical because it could ultimately determine what business you end up purchasing.

In addition, potential franchisees often find out that there are more options than they thought, and they may be able to purchase a larger territory, multiple territories, or a resale business.

Understanding your funding options isn’t just for the purpose of starting up your franchise. It’s also about cash infusion opportunities down the line when you want to grow the business or have an unplanned event occur that requires emergency funds.

Most African Americans Bootstrap Franchises

The SBA reports that 70% of African Americans who start businesses turn to family or use their own personal funds. And while nearly 19% of white business owners started their business with a business loan from a bank or other financial institution, only 15.2% of black business owners did so. Black and Hispanic business owners are more likely to rely on personal credit cards carrying balances, which is a much more expensive financing option than a traditional bank loan.

There are new programs coming out all the time that investors can take advantage of, and it’s important to learn about those, as well as the changes that occur to existing programs. I sat down with Rodney H. Brown, executive director of Unlimited Financial Funding L.L.C. as he shared some valuable information.

How to Fund a Franchise

What are the most common loans you broker for your clients?

Rodney H. Brown: SBA 7A, SBA 504, CRE conventional loans and Non-SBA working capital loans, equipment loans, and development funding to name a few.

What does a client seeking funding need to qualify?

If purchasing a franchise, they need to be working with an SBA franchise, have a 660 credit score (may accept 620 with explanation), no bankruptcies, and 10%-15% cash down payment of the total loan amount.

Industry experience is not required, however, with hotels most lenders prefer two or more years’ experience or have a management team in place with the experience.

What are some of the franchise brands you have funded for clients?

Marcos Pizza, Five Guys, Subway, and Tropical Smoothie Café.

What advice do you give clients on how much they should borrow?

I advise my clients to take what is needed but at the same time, have access to 20%-25% liquidity because with an SBA loan you will need 10%-15% down but underwriters love to see additional liquidity available in the form of home equity, IRA/401(K), stocks, etc. If you only have 10% to inject into a business and it takes longer than 6-9 months to turn a profit, the business is headed for disaster.

Other than SBA, what funding options are there?

We can provide additional working capital and term loans—conventional loans for those clients that prefer not to take an SBA loan, and we also can assist our clients with programs to calculate any new or existing federal tax benefits and incentives they may not be taking advantage of. We are always trying to add more value for clients to stay ahead and with limited business debt as possible.

When should a candidate start the funding process and how long does it take?

Once a person has identified a franchise or business they feel confident will be a good fit for them, they should begin the funding process ASAP. At Unlimited Financial Funding, once we receive all the personal/business financials from the borrower, we underwrite the file to see how strong it is and if it is strong enough, we submit it to our top 2-3 lenders that we know will give the best terms or provide the most flexibility if needed. Such as lower credit scores, lack of collateral, limited locations for the franchise, etc. Once the file is submitted to the lender, we typically can close within 45-60 days. However, we can usually have an LOI (Letter of Intent) after 72 hours of loan submission.

Are there limits to what the funds can be used for?

They can be used for business acquisitions, partner buyouts, buying commercial real estate for owner-occupied properties (the borrower must occupy 51% of total space), working capital, commercial build-out as well as buying equipment & FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment).

What other key information do potential candidates need to know?

My advice would be to steer clear of the big banks. They have less flexibility and are more focused on bank deposits, savings accounts, CDs, etc. SBA lending has come a long way in the past 5-10 years. It no longer takes 3-6 months to close an SBA, which it still can if you’re working with the Big Banks. In addition, if they are willing to fund the loan, they will require the borrower to move their banking portfolio to that branch and may only fund the loan if you have collateral. The SBA DOES NOT require that you have collateral!

So, if you’re denied a loan for no collateral, that shouldn’t mark the end of your journey. Unlimited Financial Funding works with several non-bank lenders that do not require collateral. However, if you do have a home or other investment properties the lender may have to use that as collateral.

The best funding partners focus on SBA loans ONLY, no bank deposits or bank accounts, simply financing and closing viable loans for the small business community.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

from Black Enterprise

From Cameras to Kayaks, All the Stuff We Loved This Month

Plus: The all-new Mac Pro, Instant Pot's ace blender, and even a bidet.

from Wired

Turkey vows 'heavy' retaliation to Libya attacks, defence minister says

Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar ordered his troops to target Turkish ships and businesses in Tripoli.

from BBC News - Africa

The Democratic Debates Top This Week's Internet News Roundup

A friendly reminder: The 2020 election is still 17 months away.

from Wired

Bike-Friendly Cities, a New Urbanism, and More Car News This Week

Copenhagenize Design published its list of the world's top 20 cities for cyclists, and Sidewalk Labs unveiled a plan to remake part of Toronto.

from Wired

A ‘Sonic Black Hole' Could Help Solve a Cosmic Paradox

If a sound-trapping fluid on Earth really does behave like a black hole, its behavior could offer insight into the famous information paradox.

from Wired

Greed Is to Blame for the Radicalization of YouTube and Facebook

Opinion: Social media has become the modern-day version of conspiracy-theorizing supermarket tabloids. When will these platforms be held accountable?

from Wired

What Boeing’s 737 MAX Has to Do With Cars: Software

Investigators believe faulty software contributed to two fatal crashes. A newly discovered fault will likely will keep the 737 MAX grounded until the fall.

from Wired

Microsoft's Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM

Microsoft has closed its ebook store—and will soon make their customers' libraries disappear along with it.

from Wired

Africa Cup of Nations: What to look out for on day 10 in Egypt

After three 0-0 draws on Saturday, there is plenty at stake on day 10 of the Africa Cup of Nations, but why will Mohamed Salah be in the spotlight?

from BBC News - Africa

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sudan: Dying for the revolution

Meet the young protesters in Sudan prepared to die to keep the country's revolution alive.

from BBC News - Africa

Lagos 'snake man' on his conservation battle

Nigerian veterinarian Mark Ofua is on a mission to rescue snakes and other wild animals.

from BBC News - Africa

5 Winning Ways Entrepreneurs Can Build a Great Customer Service Team

Growing a company from a concept to a revenue-generating business is not for the meek and mild. It takes more than a winning product and a masterful marketing plan to ensure long-term success. Building a great team around your product is an entrepreneurial skill you’ll rely upon throughout your career. One team essential to the success of your business is your customer service team. Here are five crucial components to building a great customer service team.

5 Ways to Build a Great Customer Service Team

1. Develop a multi-pronged approach to improving the return-on-investment of your customer support department. Not every customer is on social media regularly. From in-person to email to telephone support, understand which communication platforms are best for your customers.

2. Understand the need not just to solve problems and answer questions, but to exceed customer expectations. A trained robot can do the basics; you want your customer service team to leave a lasting positive impression in the minds of your customers. Think of your customer support team as a sales driver. What tools and resources can you offer your support team that will allow them to go above and beyond what a customer expects? Enable your support team members to turn one-time customers into loyal brand advocates.

3. Timing is essential if you want to build a well-honed customer support team. You might think a next business day response is satisfactory, but every moment counts to consumers. What can you do to ensure customers receive a timely response to their queries? From a 24/7 social media support team to an on-demand mobile application for customer support, design your team for success to ensure customer loyalty.

4. Build consumer feedback into your customer support team’s design. Offer anonymous surveys and feedback polls after every customer interaction to ensure your team is on the right track. Dig into feedback results hunting for opportunities your company can capitalize on. Are there recurring requests and responses? Can you develop upon those responses to build added features into your business’ offerings? The ability to discover growth opportunities from consumer feedback is one of the savviest moves you can make as a business owner.

5. Incorporate customer service into the core culture of your business. From your developers to your administration department, hire, and train, based upon an understanding that customer excellence is a top priority. Businesses built upon the customer “WOW” factor will outlast and outperform others within their sector. The ability to turn a customer into a brand ambassador is a highly underrated sales tool.

Developing superior customer service as a core competency in your company’s culture is a brand strategy sure to deliver long-lasting results. From decreased customer acquisition costs to employee turnover and increased sales, brand builders who focus on excelling at customer support are increasing the longevity of their businesses.

from Black Enterprise

Benin v Guinea-Bissau

Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations game between Benin and Guinea-Bissau.

from BBC News - Africa

Africa Cup of Nations: Cameroon stay top of group after Ghana draw

Defending champions Cameroon remain top of Group F after a goalless draw with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations.

from BBC News - Africa

Black-Owned Event Planning Business on Succeeding In the Space

According to IBIS, a global business intelligence provider, the party and event planning industry has grown by 2.9% over the past five years, reaching revenues of $5 billion in 2019. Lily Ehumadu is the owner of Lily V Events, a Philadelphia-based events planning company. In this interview, Ehumadu provides her insights into the events industry for those interested in opportunities in this unique business space.

Black Enterprise: What led to your career in event planning?

Lily Ehumadu: Once I graduated from law school, I handed my parents my degree and set out to pursue my dreams of interior decorating. I absolutely loved doing that and became somewhat good at it. So good, in fact, that a room I designed got featured on the-then HGTV web show, Rate My Space.” Soon after that, all my friends were getting married and asked me to decorate their reception halls similar to how I did their houses and that is how I really started in event planning.

How does one go about gaining planning experience?

I think the first thing to have is passion. The passion to create, passion to serve, and passion to deliver. Once you have this mix, you are well on your way. In addition, you have to be a very organized person to plan any event to precision. The details matter and close attention to those details go a long way. The experience comes with time; we learn every day from our experiences and apply them to become better at what we do.

Event planning is a business. What are the key elements of a successful business?

  • Adequate planning – just the way we plan our clients’ events, we also have to plan for our business and a lot of folks don’t do that. Itemizing your goals and setting margins of reach was key for me when starting out.
  • Market strategy – completely understand how you stay on message and maximize your outreach to maintain sustainable growth.
  • A customer service approach. We, as planners, are here to serve, serve, and serve. A client is all nerves on their big day regardless of what type of event it is, and it is our job to ensure the best service is delivered.
  • Team building. I always say if you want to expand, you have to grow within. Seeking new talent is key for us and this is the way we have been able to expand to other major cities like New York and Atlanta.

Should an event planner focus on one event type or broaden their range of events to accept?

I get this question a lot, and I always say if you are an event planner—your job is to plan events. It’s that simple. This is where passion comes in. For me, I love to plan all things events, so I plan all events from weddings to corporate functions, to album release parties.

Now, if you have a passion for a particular niche area, for example, weddings, and this is your forte, I say go for it and stay in your focal area. It all comes down to the individual and what they have a passion for.

What fabulous weddings/events are you working on this summer?

We have a couple of NBA and NFL athlete weddings and they are going to be epic, stay tuned.

Where do you see Lily V events five years from now and how can interested readers contact you?

I see us expanding nationwide. We already have three offices in Philadelphia, New York, and Atlanta and looking to move into Miami and LA in the next five years.

What are three key pieces of advice you have for event planners?

  • Build a relationship with your client. It is the only way to get to know them and tap into those specials moments you can highlight at their event.
  • Always remember the reason why you started especially in those moments when self-doubt comes in. The reason you started will always pull you out of the shadows.
  • Self-care is also very key. Take out time for yourself so you don’t get drowned with work, no one wants a tired event planner.

Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

from Black Enterprise

Flint prosecutors discuss fresh probe after charges dropped against officials

Two weeks ago prosecutors in Flint, Mich. dropped charges against the eight people involved in the Flint water scandal.

After the shocking decision prosecutors sat down with residents of Flint on Friday to explain their decision in a public forum.

READ MORE: Prosecutors drop Flint water charges, promise fresh probe

According to The Associated Press, Flint residents were frustrated, shocked, and saddened to learn that prosecutors must now look at hundreds of mobile devices and millions of documents that the previous investigative team never touched.

About 100 residents showed up to Union City Hall on Friday night to hear from Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy about dismissing the charges against former state health director and other government officials.

“We have received information that is absolutely relevant to our investigation that we have never had before,” said Hammoud, who took over the investigation of Flint’s lead-contaminated water in January following the election of Dana Nessel, a Democrat who succeeded Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, AP reported.

Although charges have been dropped in the three year long investigation, they still have the opportunity to refile criminal charges against water scandal-linked officials, writes The Detroit News.

Hammound claims her team has to review over 200 million documents that her team has uncovered in a month, these include search warrants that the previous team never retrieved in three years.

But many residents had mixed emotions about the investigation basically starting over. Some were thankful, agreeing that the last investigation was going nowhere, while some worried the statute of limitations for felony crime, misconduct in office, could expire in nine months.

Whistleblower Arthur Woodson said the defendants who pleaded no contest, “got less time for poisoning over 98,000 people than somebody stealing a slice of pizza. People have died. … I have PTSD. It’s hard to trust. But what I heard here today: Y’all have been totally honest.”

Another resident, Marijoyce Campbell, was tearful when explaining herself, AP said. “I cannot believe something like this can happen,” she said. “Please, please tell me some heads are going to roll, that somebody is going to pay for all this murder, all this criminal activity.”

READ MORE: Judge allows Flint residents to sue federal government for water crisis

The water crisis came about when lead from old pipes leaked into drinking water in 2014 and 2015 due to a lack of corrosion-control treatment.

Four of the eight defendants in the case were facing involuntary manslaughter charges, including, former state Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon.

The post Flint prosecutors discuss fresh probe after charges dropped against officials appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

4-year-old Maleah Davis’ death ruled a homicide

Four-year-old Maleah Davis of Houston died due to homicidal violence, medical examiners determined, according to Houston’s ABC 13.

Maleah’s body was found in a bag hundred’s of miles away from her Houston home in Arkansas.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Science released Maleah’s cause and death manner as a homicide on Friday, according to the television news outlet.

READ MORE: Local Texas baseball team honors Maleah Davis with financial donation instead of symbolic gesture

Although Maleah’s death has been ruled a homicide the exact cause of her death has not been disclosed.

Even though developments in this case have seemed slow, Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said the investigation has a lot of factors and wants the public to patient with police while they solve Maleah’s murder.

“Do not confuse not having an update with the case not proceeding,” Acevedo said during a news conference Friday, the news station writes.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, also joined Acevedo Friday at the press conference and said he expects new developments to happen in the coming weeks.

“Maleah died a violent, brutal death,” Turner said. “Somebody or bodies are responsible for it. You want to make sure that the people are properly charged. And I think that’s going to be the next step.”

The accused killer is Derion Vence, the ex-fiance of the Maleah’s mother. When he spoke to ABC 13 in May, he assured them “Nothing bad happened to Maleah,” Vence said.

READ MORE: Grieving father displays photo of Maleah Davis’ ‘My Little Pony’ casket after brutal murder by stepfather

However, thats not what local activist Quanell X said Vence told him while visiting him in jail. X told police Vence said, he’d accidentally killed the child and dumped her body in southwest Arkansas. A roadside crew there accidentally hit the bag containing Maleah’s body with a mower, scattering her remains, according to Chron

Maleah went missing on May 4 and was found on May 31.

Maleah’s mother has also suffered much backlash over whether she knowingly knew Vence would harm her daughter, which she denied.

Her body has since been flown back to Houston and was buried in a private service last weekend.

The post 4-year-old Maleah Davis’ death ruled a homicide appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

5 Bad Habits to Avoid to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

A know-it-all attitude. Giving up at the first sign of trouble and criticizing the ideas of others. These are some ways entrepreneurs sabotage their success with bad habits. A successful entrepreneur achieves by avoiding a few bad habits. If you’re an entrepreneur with a lust for life and the heart of a business-building hustler, consider breaking the following five practices and watch your career flourish.

5 Bad Practices a Successful Entrepreneur Avoids


Not Taking Responsibility

One of the first bad habits you need to break is not taking responsibility. Whether it is a lousy decision influencing your company’s performance or a choice you have made personally, failing to take responsibility is a sign of weakness. If you want to earn the respect of your peers (and potentially angel investors), stop shucking responsibility, and be strong enough to own up to imperfections and bad choices.

Failing to Learn

It can be a giddy experience to be an entrepreneur. You are building a company out of nothing and enjoying the freedom of being your own boss. However, being the boss doesn’t mean you already know everything. Leaders who continue to learn throughout their career are destined for much greater success than those who make no effort to continue to learn.

Agreeing to Unnecessary Meetings

Entrepreneurs who agree to too many meetings are far less productive than those who also use email or text messaging. Face-to-face meetings aren’t necessary most of the time; questions and answers can just as easily be handled via instant messaging or email. The next time someone asks to meet to pick your brain or get your input, ask yourself whether a meeting truly is necessary. If successful tech moguls like Mark Cuban can use email instead of meetings, don’t you think the same could be right for you?


You would think multitasking is suitable for your productivity as an entrepreneur, but the opposite is true. Attempting to do too many things at once means you’re not giving your full attention to any specific task. You are much better off concentrating on one task at a time and giving it your all before moving on to other duties demanding your attention.


Procrastinating is another evil sin if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Putting off tasks you dread can have a significant impact on your daily work output. When you have a dreaded task hanging over your head, you are less likely to dive into other duties with full force. Get your least favorite tasks over with at the beginning of your day and the remainder of your business day will be much more productive and positive.

Breaking bad habits isn’t easy. It takes time and discipline and a willingness to be tough on yourself when necessary. The rewards are definitely worth the effort, though, both personally and professionally.

from Black Enterprise

Kamala Harris hit in new birther movement

A new birther movement erupted Thursday and Friday on Twitter after a Trump enthusiast claimed that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) isn’t Black enough to be elected president.

Ali Alexander tweeted that Harris doesn’t represent U.S. Blacks because her father was born in Jamaica. Although Harris was born in Oakland, Calif., she is an American of both Jamaican and Indian decent.

READ MORE: Top 5 winning moments from Sen. Kamala Harris during her first 2020 Democratic Debate

According to Huffington Post, the “birtherism” attack began after Donald Trump Jr. retweeted and later deleted Alexander’s tweet, saying, “Kamala Harris is *not*an American Black. She is half Indian and half Jamaican. I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history…”

The jab at Harris appeared soon after Thursday night’s Democratic Presidential debate where Harris slammed former Vice President Joe Biden, saying he had a hand in not integrating schools in California, causing her to be bused far away for school, The Grio reported.

Alexander, a “black activist,” claims Harris is not being Black enough because she has no ancestors who suffered through slavery or during the civil rights movement.

Alexander is known to be a far-right political operative and conspiracy theorist, according to Huffington Post. Alexander has also gone by the name Ali Akbar and Abdul Razaq Akbar.

Almost immediately after posting, Akbar, using the alias Ali Alexander said his tweets “went viral.” This was due to the same tweets word for word being posted on several twitter accounts that BuzzFeed reported as “bots”.

But the damage was already done, Social media researcher Caroline Orr took screenshots of what twitter was saying about Harris’ lack of Blackness.

The claims of Harris not being Black enough run parallel with the racist “birtherism” claims Donald Trump made against President Barack Obama. Both Harris and Obama have Black fathers who weren’t born in the U.S.

READ MORE: Kamala Harris pressed to get more personal about why she’s running for president

The Huffington Post reported, in an interview earlier this year Harris said, “This is the same thing they did to Barack, this is not new to us.” She added that “powerful voices” are “trying to sow hate and division among us. We need to recognize when we’re being played.”

Harris aide Lily Adams chimed in on Donald Trump Jr.’s retweet to The New York Times on Friday saying, “This is the same type of racist attack his father used to attack Barack Obama,” she said. “It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”

And of course, supporters had a lot to say about the trumped up birther claim.


The post Kamala Harris hit in new birther movement appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Carmelo Anthony: Mystery woman on yacht identified

Mauritania v Angola

Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations game between Mauritania and Angola.

from BBC News - Africa

Black rhino dies on way to release in Tanzania

Zambezi, a 17-year-old male, was being flown to the Serengeti from a nature reserve in Kent.

from BBC News - Africa

‘Go back to Africa’: Racists in Arizona community target Black foster children

A white doctor is working to combat racism in her Scottsdale, Ariz., neighborhood after she, her husband, and African-American foster sons were targeted by racists.

Lisa Sproat, an oncologist, told several media outlets that the family found a note and photo taped to the door about 12:15 p.m. Thursday. The black-and-white photo shows a crowd of people protesting, she said. One of the people in the photo is seen holding a sign that says, “Go Back to Africa, Negroes,” according to AZ Central.

READ MORE: Kanye West associate sued for allegedly scamming eyewear brand

Sproat believes the attack was sparked by the family’s decision to foster two young African-American children. Her husband is also Black, according to AZ Family.

“I suspect that this is spurred by having more African American people in our community,” Sproat told AZ Central.

“The community we live in talks about how tolerant we are … but in this gated community, we have hate crimes,” she told the news outlets.

Sproat is not letting this issue just go, Scottsdale police have confirmed that she filed a police report about the incident. She also attended a community meeting on Thursday and is making plans to turn the spotlight on the community.

These plans include proposing community education and even possibly sponsoring a community run designed to take a stand against racism.

On Friday Sproat held a rally with about 50 others outside of a McDowell Mountain Ranch community center, in Scottsdale. This was another effort to shine light on how to combat racism in the community.

READ MORE: Drugs were a factor in the death of Toni and Tamar Braxton’s niece, autopsy reveals

“Racism isn’t gone, and it is active and it is not latent, and we need to talk about it,” she said.

Sproat plans to adopt the young Black children, but also has two older white children who were shocked by the incident.

“This was the first time that they had ever seen something like that,” she said.

The post ‘Go back to Africa’: Racists in Arizona community target Black foster children appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Myspace Employees Used to Spy on Users

Robert Mueller will testify, malware wrecks IoT, and more of the week's top security news.

from Wired

There's a Petition to Cancel *Good Omens*, But Who Cares?

The show doesn't take itself too seriously—and neither should viewers.

from Wired

Africa Cup of Nations: Nigeria players' strike averted after payment

The threat of another pay row by Nigeria players at the Nations Cup is averted after the country's football federation pays outstanding bonuses and allowances.

from BBC News - Africa

Space Photos of the Week: Here Comes the Sun

Plus, photobombing asteroids, rainbow galaxies, and more.

from Wired

All ThinkGeek Items Are 75% Off, Google Speakers on Sale Now

From a wood burning stove to the Bob Ross blanket, we scoured the web for the best deals this weekend.

from Wired

Transit Agencies Turn to Uber for the Last Mile

Transit systems worry about losing passengers to ride-hail services. But some agencies are also testing using Uber in place of low-ridership lines.

from Wired

How the iPhone Helped Save the Planet

Over the last 12 years, smartphones have helped dematerialize our consumption of countless other products.

from Wired

Friday, June 28, 2019

Ebola: The impact of militant attacks in DR Congo

The deadly Ebola virus has spread, but are attacks and insecurity affecting the response?

from BBC News - Africa

Abiy Ahmed's reforms in Ethiopia lift the lid on ethnic tensions

Just a few weeks ago, Abiy Ahmed was feted across Africa but deadly attacks threatens his reforms.

from BBC News - Africa

‘On My Block’ cast want MAJOR raises from Netflix ahead of third season

The stars of the hit Netflix series On My Block are currently looking for a major pay increase as they negotiate their contracts for season 3.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, four of the show’s lead actors; Sierra Capri, Jason Genao, Brett Gray and Diego Tinoco are asking for compensation that matches what the cast of 13 Reasons Why earns. The actors reportedly earned $20,000 per episode for the first two seasons of On My Block, the show Netflix deemed  “most-binged show” of 2018.

‘Pose’ director Janet Mock signs historic overall deal with Netflix for several new projects

Sources told the outlet that the actors are asking for $218,000 per episode–or $1.75 million for the eight-episode season.


Netflix has countered with a boost from $20,000 per episode to $30,000, and, in its latest offer, $40,000 per installment. That is still far short of what the supporting cast of 13 Reasons Why are earning for season three and beyond.

It is standard practice for casts of successful series to renegotiate their contracts after the second season. As a policy, the streamer does not disclose viewership information publicly.

Why ‘When They See Us’ brought me to tears and made me call my mother to thank her

Let’s hope these talented teens get the compensation they deserve from the streaming service that proudly pushes its inspiring #StrongBlackLead campaign.

The post ‘On My Block’ cast want MAJOR raises from Netflix ahead of third season appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Blue for Sudan: Instagram 'sympathy scammers' exploit support for protesters

Fake accounts trying to capitalise on social media campaigns are rife on the photo-sharing platform.

from BBC News - Africa

How to Stream the 2019 Women's World Cup for Free

The US Women's National Team is defending their World Cup title, and you're going to want to watch.

from Wired

Tunisia v Mali

Preview followed by live coverage of Friday's Africa Cup of Nations game between Tunisia and Mali.

from BBC News - Africa

Family of Indiana Black man killed by officer files lawsuit as Buttigieg acknowledges mistakes

A civil rights lawsuit has been filed by the family of a Black man who was fatally shot by a South Bend, Ind., police officer.

The family filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, ABC News reports.

Eric Logan, 54, was killed June 16 when, the police officer Ryan O’Neill fired his weapon during an incident that took place as  the officer followed up on a report of car break-ins in the downtown area.

The officer defended shooting Logan saying he confronted him in a parking lot and only shot him after he threatened him with a knife. But this remains unconfirmed because O’Neill did not have his body camera on at the time of the incident.

READ MORE: Police shooting of Black man poses Pete Buttigieg’s biggest 2020 challenge yet

The family of the victim strongly opposes O’Neill’s narrative of events.

“The misconduct was objectively unreasonable and undertaken with willfulness and reckless indifference to the rights of others,” the lawsuit stated. “Defendant O’Neill violated Plaintiff’s constitutional rights intentionally subjecting him to unlawful, unequal treatment on the basis of his race.”

The case has drawn national attention not only because its racial implications, but the city in which it occurred is where Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg serves as mayor.

Buttigieg has been hammered by residents and outraged community members over the handling of the shooting. At a town hall he attended on Sunday while skipping scheduled campaign stops, he acknowledged his mistakes in dealing with tension between the Black community and the South Bend Police Department.

“The effort to recruit more minority officers to the police department and the effort to introduce body cameras have not succeeded and I accept responsibility for that,” Buttigieg said.

OPINION:  It’s time for Mayor Pete Buttigieg to resign and shut down his 2020 presidential campaign

Logan’s family also blames Buttigieg for failing to properly train officers or hand down a punishment for misconduct.

“You running for president and you want Black people to support you, and vote for you…that’s not going to happen,” one upset resident told Buttigieg at a town hall meeting held last Sunday.

In response, the mayor sent an email to supporters.

“It was a painful but needed conversation. And I feel overwhelmed and heartened by the number of people — supporters and critics — who have reached out and made it clear over the past week that they want to join hands and face these problems together,” the mayor wrote. “Our American values are at stake in the need for us to address the deep mistrust of police and governments among communities of color, which flows directly from the consequences of systemic racism.”

At a news conference late Sunday, he said the circumstance of the shooting would be thoroughly investigated and he called on anyone who may have witnessed the shooting to come forward and to speak to investigators.

“We will be striving to reach out to community members,” said Buttigieg, whose campaign said he canceled plans to speak at a Democratic National Committee LGBTQ Gala in New York on Monday evening.

Logan’s family is seeking undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages. O’Neill has since been placed on administrative leave.

During the second round of Democratic debates Thursday night, he was asked why his police force had not increased from 6 percent Black officers in a city that has a 26 percent African American population.

“Because I couldn’t get it done,” Buttigieg said. “My community is in anguish right now because of an officer-involved shooting — a Black man, Eric Logan, killed by a white officer. I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back. The officer says he was attacked with a knife, but he didn’t have his body camera on.

“It’s a mess and we’re hurting,” he continued. “And I could walk you through all of the things we have done as a community, all of the steps we’ve taken, from bias training to de-escalation. But it didn’t save the life of Eric Logan.”

The post Family of Indiana Black man killed by officer files lawsuit as Buttigieg acknowledges mistakes appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

How JPMorgan Chase is Using $50 Million to Assist Black Detroit Residents

JPMorgan Chase is making a new $50 million commitment to help black Detroit residents buy homes, get job training, as well as start or expand small businesses in the next three years. The fresh investment will boost the nation’s largest bank’s total commitment in the Motor City to $200 million by late 2022.

The additional commitment comes as JPMorgan Chase exceeded its initial five-year, $150 million commitment to help with Detroit’s economic recovery, which included helping women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs.

The new data-driven investment builds on the initial progress that helped boost the city’s recovery through the creation of sustainable loan programs for small businesses like the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, the bank said in a news release. It also increased access to affordable housing and job training and targets the gaps in the city’s economic recovery.

Despite the city’s continued economic progress, a city made up of almost 80% African Americans, only 25% of Detroit households are considered middle class, according to Detroit Future City. The bank’s $50 million in philanthropic and business investments will help further break down barriers to opportunity so that more long-term residents of Detroit, especially black Detroiters, can access job training, become homeowners, and grow small businesses.

The announcement was made Wednesday in Detroit. Attendees included JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Sonya Mays, CEO, Develop Detroit.

“Too many people are being left behind, and we need to build an economy that works for everyone,” Dimon stated. “Our new investment in Detroit will help the system work for more people—giving more Detroiters access to the tools they need to succeed, stay and benefit from Detroit’s continued recovery. A good education, the skills to secure a good job, a home, and the capital and assistance to start and grow a small business are some of the tools to creating opportunity and a society where everyone benefits. I continue to believe Detroit is an example to our country and the world of what can be achieved through cooperation to solve today’s biggest challenges. And that is why we continue to invest here and apply what we’ve learned here in other cities.”

The Motor City is where the banking and financial services powerhouse tested, developed, and refined its proven model for driving inclusive growth in cities. JPMorgan Chase said its investment in Detroit yielded valuable insights that turned into new investments in other cities, including Chicago, Greater Washington. and Greater Paris through an initiative called AdvancingCities. The program is a $500 million, five-year initiative focused on investing business and philanthropic capital in solutions that bolster the long-term vitality of the world’s cities–and the communities within them.


from Black Enterprise

NFL’s Josh Norman donates thousands to aid immigrants as border crisis continues

The horrifying photos of children looking dirty and unkempt, sleeping on a concrete floor at the U.S.-Mexican border has captivated the world and compelled NFL star Josh Norman to donate $18,000 to the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Tex.

On Thursday, the Washington Redskins cornerback gave the generous donation to the organization which is run by the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley as a proactive measure to take action amid a harrowing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, ABC News reports.

READ MORE: Trump’s new move to limit asylum challenged in court

Norman has been the highest paid cornerback in the NFL for several years now.

“Kudos to Josh Norman with the Washington Redskins for visiting the humanitarian respite center/McAllen today & contributing to our response to restore human dignity,” wrote Norma Seni Pimentel, the charity’s executive director thanked Norman and posted a picture of Norman with an oversized check along with kids at the facility on Twitter.

This week, the House passed a $4.5 Billion emergency Border Aid Bill to address the humanitarian collapse in which migrants are discovered to be living in squalid conditions.

Some $3 billion has been earmarked to take care of the unaccompanied migrant children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who have been living in deplorable conditions, The Texas Tribune reports.

Norman has been a low-key supporter for immigrant children and last June he gifted children at a local detention center with hundreds of toys, treats, books and school supplies after hearing about Trump’s restrictive “zero tolerance” policy.

READ MORE: 81 migrant children separated from families since June

“We all see it, but nobody’s moving to action,” told The Washington Post last year. “And to be honest with you, I would actually like to have done more. … Because it was needed.”

He slammed anyone who dared to criticize him for his charitable work: “You want to say that I can’t speak on any other issues but watching football games, then you should turn your effin’ channel,” Norman said. “’Cause ain’t no way in heck you’re going to tell me, as a person, as a tax-paying citizen, any differently. I have more than enough rights to say whatever the heck I feel like saying. As long as I pay taxes, you can’t tell me anything.”

The post NFL’s Josh Norman donates thousands to aid immigrants as border crisis continues appeared first on theGrio.

from theGrio

Africa Cup of Nations: Amr Warda returns to Egypt squad two days after being suspended

Hosts Egypt recall Amr Warda to their Africa Cup of Nations squad two days after they sent the midfielder home for disciplinary reasons.

from BBC News - Africa

A New Approach to Treat Mental Illness: Electrical Engineering

Opinion: An electrical device has the potential to treat Alzheimer’s, PTSD, and other brain disorders. But do the risks outweigh the potential?

from Wired

Welp, We Might Be Getting a 'Final Fantasy XIV' TV Show

Hopefully it'll turn out better than the game itself.

from Wired

Nipsey Hussle reportedly called his killer a ‘snitch’ before he was shot dead

According to recently released grand jury transcripts rapper Nipsey Hussle confronted his killer about being a “snitch” before he was gunned down outside his Marathon Clothing Store in March.

On Thursday, the transcripts were unsealed by Los Angeles Judge Robert Perry and the recent revelation aligned with rumors that have swirled saying Hussle, 33, had a heated exchange of words with Eric Ronald Holder Jr. before he was killed in cold blood, NBC News reports.

A witness testified that he heard the rapper, born Ermias Asghedom, chastise Holder about past transgressions.

“Nipsey was like, ‘Man, you know, they got some paperwork on you, you know. I haven’t read it, you know. Like you my bro, you know. Like maybe you need to take care of that, you know,’ ” the witness said before a grand jury in early May.

The witness reportedly said Hussle’s words served as a warning to Holder but didn’t know why. Another unidentified witness testified that as Holder shot down Hussle, the rapper uttered “you’re through” to his alleged killer. He also reportedly tried to say a name before he died.

The two men had once been close friends, according to NBC Los Angeles.

The transcripts were released despite efforts by Holder’s defense team and prosecutors to keep them sealed for fear he couldn’t get a fair trial. Those arguments were rejected by Perry.

“Everything in the transcript is of an incriminating nature,” L.A. County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney said Thursday outside court.

Authorities say the 29-year-old fatally shot Hussle on March 31 and wounded two other people at the rapper’s South Los Angeles clothing store. Back in March, LAPD Chief Michel Moore told press they believed Holder got into a verbal altercation with Hussle prior to the shooting, stating, “Mr. Holder walked up on multiple occasions and engaged in conversations,” which were about a “personal matter between the two of them.”

Holder, whose mental state had long been a matter of concern, also allegedly pistol-whipped a neighbor just one hour before Nipsey’s murder.

Holder was characterized during the grand jury hearing as being a gang member and was reportedly carrying a silver revolver and a black semi-automatic the day Hussle was killed. Hussle was shot at least 10 times and eight casings from a .40-caliber pistol were recovered at the crime scene.

In April, Holder pleaded not guilty to murder and two counts of attempted murder along with felony firearm possession.

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