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Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Kilpatrick, 43, was convicted of 24 counts including racketeering and extortion in March.

At least 18 officials have been convicted during his tenure as mayor.

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Blacks hit hardest by shutdown

All Americans are feeling the affects of the government shutdown, but according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, African Americans are getting hit particularly hard during the hiatus.

Government jobs have been more available to Blacks than private sector employment over the years thanks to de jure segregation.

People of color represent 34 percent of the federal workforce, and make up 37 percent of the U.S. population overall. 

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Jobs report: Unemployment highest in six months amid shutdown

According to The U.S. Labor Department, new weekly claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 66,000 to 374,000 last week, the highest in six months.

One-fourth of the new claims were due to private-sector workers filing for unemployment in result of the government shutdown.

Thursdays claims report did not include any federal workers on furlough. Those are reported with a one week delay, so the numbers may be even higher.

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Man who served 20 years due to wrongful conviction awarded $25 million


Thaddeus Jimenez was just 13-years-old when he was convicted of Eric Morro’s murder in 1993 in Chicago.

He served nearly 20 years in prison for the crime that he says he didn’t commit.

Now a 7th Circuit judge has awarded Jimenez $25 million for the wrongful conviction.

From Courthouse News:

In 2009, the State’s Attorney and his own lawyers filed a motion to vacate the sentence based on what they claimed were the coercive tactics former Chicago police detective Jerome Bogucki employed upon potential witnesses during his investigation. The attorneys prevailed and Jimenez was eventually awarded a certificate of innocence. He then filed a complaint against the city and Bogucki on claims of malicious prosecution, deprivation of due process and conspiracy.

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Bill that will change Stand Your Ground law advances

Florida legislators advanced changes to the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law amid series of protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

The current law allows citizens to use “deadly force” without trying to retreat if they feel their lives are being threatened.

In July, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin. While Zimmerman did not rely on “Stand Your Ground” for his defense, his trial has brought to light the law.

From The Orlando Sentinel:

The bill would require sheriffs and city police departments to set guidelines for “neighborhood watch” programs like Zimmerman’s and to restrict members to observing and reporting suspected crimes.[...] the bill would also prohibit people who are the “aggressors” in confrontations from then claiming “stand your ground” immunity.

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Marissa Alexander supporters demand her release

Marissa Alexander will be granted a new trial and while this is great news for the woman sentenced to 20 years in prison, her supporters are demanding more.

Some in favor of Alexander’s freedom aren’t quite convinced that another trial will yield fair results.

Alexander was denied immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense when she fired a warning shot over her abusive husband’s head in 2010 during an altercation.

From Colorlines:

Alexander’s sentence was overturned because of flawed jury instructions, but she still hasn’t had a bail hearing. Now, a group of supporters are organizing to stop prosecutor Corey from moving forward on the case, and they are asking the state drop the charges against Alexander.

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Latest episode of “South Park” spoofs Trayvon Martin shooting


The cartoon comedy “South Park” has a long-standing reputation for its controversial humor.

The latest episode tackles a still touchy subject: the Trayvon Martin shooting.

In the second episode of the season, character Eric Cartman attempts to blame Token, who portrays an African American role on the show, for black rage over the Zimmerman verdict.

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Kanye West, Jimmy Kimmel settle beef, star appears on show


21 time Grammy Award-winning musician Kanye West appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night to settle a Twitter beef the two had recently.

West took issue with a skit Kimmel ran on his show about the star a few weeks ago where Kimmel was making fun of an interview Kanye had with BBC.

But last night’s interview seemed to put an end to the misunderstanding.

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Tennessee Divinity school appoints openly gay black woman as dean


Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tn., has appointed it’s first openly-gay black female dean.

Described as a “liberal oasis,” the institution appointed Emilie Townes as the 16th dean of the school.

The school’s “Commitments” page states that it recognizes  ”the rights of lesbians and gay men within the religious community and the need for the eradication of civil discrimination based on sexual orientation.” 

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Meet Folorunsho Alakija, the richest black woman in the world


Move over Oprah. While you will forever remain the most popular black woman on daytime television, you can no longer claim the spot of “richest black woman in the world.”

Although being worth $2.3 billion is still pretty damn impressive.

Nigerian oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija is worth a whopping $7.3 billion.

Ventures Africa reports that Alakija is the fourth richest person on the continent.

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