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Items filtered by date: April 2017

Chevrolet Rolls Out Entire Showroom At LA AutoClub Speedway Event

Chevrolet is on a roll – the automotive company has continued its investment in revamping its entire showroom which has made it the fastest-growing, retail full-line brand in the U.S. for two consecutive years and the industry’s most-awarded brand for three years in a row. Earlier this month at the Los Angeles AutoClub Speedway, Chevrolet invited influential press to get behind the wheel of its newest vehicles, from the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EV, all-new Colorado ZR2 and 2018 Equinox, to two of the brands icons the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Grand Sport.
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First 100 Juror Candidates Interviewed for Cosby Case

PITTSBURGH—Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill spent most of the morning questioning the first 100 juror candidates in the criminal trial of comedian Bill Cosby.

Ten of the prospective jurors were Black; eight women and two men.

In all 53 women and 37 men were among the Allegheny County residents questioned as prospective jurors.

A preliminary witness list the judge read didn’t include the big Hollywood names that many anticipated.

The judge read the name Diahann Carroll, the actress who won a Golden Globe in 1968 for Best Actress in a Television Series and who became the first African-American to earn an Emmy nomination in 1969.

Women’s rights attorney and perpetual Cosby nemesis Gloria Allred also made the witness list, as well as several law enforcement officers, doctors and Andrea Constand, whose 2003 accusations that Cosby drugged her and raped her in his home near Philadelphia led to the star being charged with three counts of sexual assault.

The trial is set to begin on June 5 in Montgomery County, 300 miles away from Pittsburgh where the jury selection is taking place.

When jurors were asked if they or a close relative or close friend have ever been a victim of sexual assault, 35 of the 100 jurors said, “Yes.”

Fourteen of the jurors said the nature or references to sexual assault would prevent them from being fair and impartial; sixty-seven of them said that being sequestered and the expected two to three week duration of the trial would create an undue hardship.

However, O’Neill said that while the jury will be sequestered, they will be allowed to use their cell phones, watch television and use other devices that they normally would.

He also said that they’d still have to abide by their sworn oath not to form any opinions, talk to anyone about the case and reach a decision based on evidence presented in court only.

Thirty-four prospective jurors said Monday that they had already formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of Cosby and 25 said the nature of the charges against him would prevent them from being fair and impartial.

Cosby arrived in the courtroom flanked by his attorneys and being helped to his seat by his assistant and spokesman Andrew Wyatt.

During the morning proceedings, Cosby occasionally brushed his eyebrows with his hands and smiled at times at some of the judge’s quips to jurors.

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How The Mainstream Media Is Helping Russia

Once again, the liberal, mainstream media has lost its collective mind over the mess swirling around President Trump in regard to the firing of former FBI director, Jim Comey.

It’s sad to see the lack of any attempt by the mainstream media to simply do its job, which is to merely report the facts, without any spin or bias.

The only ones, who are winning in this false debate are the Russians. As I wrote in my column two months ago, Russia has released a psychological operations campaign against our country and it is having its desired effect—to destabilize our country. Psy-ops are another form of warfare that causes a nation’s people to doubt the trustworthiness of its various institutions: political, corporate, religious, etc.

Once a nation begins to distrust its leadership, total collapse can’t be far off.

While we are debating Comey’s firing and Russia’s so-called meddling in our elections, does anyone realize that Russian president Vladimir Putin is asserting extraterritorial authority in his attempt to make legal claims of ownership to vast portions of the North Atlantic (off the coast of Alaska) and the Arctic, even though this area has historically been considered international waters.

This part of the North Atlantic has untold oil and gas resources and would be an extremely profitable shipping route for global business. Russia’s Northern Fleet is attempting to secure the northern sea route between the Atlantic and the Pacific.

So, please allow me to deconstruct the phony arguments being promulgated by all the radical liberals from mainstream media, the talking heads and wayward politicians.

The President of the United States has the absolute power and authority to hire and fire the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to an amendment to the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Title VI, Section 1101. Prior to this amendment, the director was nominated by the U.S. Attorney General.

I find it quite ironic that even Comey acknowledged that the president had the authority to fire him. In a letter sent to FBI employees the day after his firing, Comey said, “…I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all…”

The first director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, served from the founding of the agency in 1924 to 1972 with unchallenged power.

Former President Barack Obama appointed Comey to head the bureau in 2013 for a statutory term of ten years, so Comey had six years left on his term. The ten-year term was established in the aftermath of Watergate as a part of the Crime Control Act of 1976.

Does anyone really believe that if Trump had fired Comey immediately after he was sworn in, the mainstream media and their liberal sycophants would not have tied it to Russia? So, I have absolutely no issue with Trump’s actions; but I do have a major problem with his lack of a communications strategy. The public fallout over the Comey issue should have been easily anticipated and an appropriate communications plan should have already been in place.

Another argument being pushed by Democrats is that we are now facing a “constitutional crisis” along the lines of Watergate. Are you kidding me?

Can somebody please tell me how in the hell can we have a constitutional crisis when the president used the very power conferred to him by the very U.S. Congress that is making the bogus charge?

There is a big difference between Trump’s actions, the firing of Comey, and his verbiage regarding the firing.

The president was well within his rights to fire Comey with or without cause as established above. The communications strategy behind his act has been horrendous, but the mainstream media is trying to conflate the two.

The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) has stated emphatically that there has been no evidence of Trump or his campaign colluding with the Russians about anything. There may be investigations going on that we are not aware of and if there is, we shouldn’t know.

The mainstream media knows full well that the controversy surrounding the Comey firing is ALL political, not legal. Optically and politically, there was never going to be a good time to fire Comey.

There is absolutely no question that there is no legal issue with Trump’s actions and everyone knows it, but for the mainstream media to create this mass hysteria with the constant invoking of “Watergate” is simply another example of how the mainstream media has proven, once, again that it is totally incapable of being an objective reporter of the facts.

And to my weak-kneed, spineless Republicans: When you caved to the silly demands of the Democrats to appoint a special prosecutor, you basically handed them the House and Senate in 2018, and quite possibly the White House in 2020.

Is that really what your constituents sent you to Washington to do? I don’t think so.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org. You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

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Witness For Justice #842

A couple of months ago, African students living in Delhi, India had to bear the brunt of angry mobs. The provocation was the result of a rumour that some African students living in Noida, a suburb, had sold drugs to a young Indian student who later died of overdose. The fact that an outsider, a black African at that, was the source of death seemed a good enough reason for a violent response. Similar incidents of attacks on African students are reported from time to time from other Indian cities.

We know that throughout the world, here in the U.S. as well as India, most perpetrators of violence and crime in any country are homegrown. Statistics reveal that most crimes are committed by people who are known to their victims. And yet we continue to treat racial and religious minorities, immigrants and refugees, and the poor as scapegoats for these crimes. The "other" - the outsider – is easily cast as a vile predator capable of harming us or draining our wealth.

The fear of the unknown might make some feel vulnerable. Fair enough, but beyond this fear of harm there seems a greater fear, the fear of humiliation that stems from being violated by an outsider, someone seen mostly as inferior or pitiable. It seems too hurtful to the fragile collective ego of the majority. The fact that a small percentage of people own over 90% of wealth on an average in almost every country in the world doesn't seem to bother many as much as the imagined depletion that some people in need could cause to national reserves. Over and over we see that isolated expressions of assertion or emancipation by the marginalized evoke more resentment than the obscene display of power and wealth by some, right in the face of misery and deprivation. Ironically, the powerful, privileged majority imagine themselves as victims by exaggerating the capacities of people in need and thus ascribe to them a non-existent power.

It is not greed alone that compels one to be unjust, but also certain notions of power that overwhelm one's sense of self to feel superior by dominating and disempowering the less-powerful other. Many cultures and nations have these ideologies of power at their foundations. Most religions, through their institutional expressions, have been their nurturing grounds for this dynamic. The person who does not belong to the fold is the "other" - incomplete, ignorant and doomed. The current fundamentalist religious resurgence is once again baring this demonic potential of religion. An imagined enemy, even if weak and vulnerable, is crucial for right-wing politics. These values overwhelm our common sense today.

Justice, as a value guiding all human interaction, is also a state of consciousness shaped by one's sense of being in relation with the other – people and all of God's creation. These values provoke our conscience and evoke conscious efforts to safeguard the interconnectivity of life. Justice, therefore, is not only sought in political and economic spheres but is required if we are to transform belief systems, worldviews and cultures. These are challenges that the progressive forces in all religions can alone address. We must nurture a morally and emotionally healthy human community and we cannot allow God's vast and diverse creation to be distorted and destroyed by the pathological obsessions of those who want to feel superior by denigrating and decimating others.

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“Preach Preacher Preach!”

I want you to know that change is in the atmosphere. We are in a season of change. God said this is a season of change, major change. He said prophesy and tell my people change is coming. Prophesy and tell my people major shifts are about to take place. Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; He said, “You’ve compassed the mountain long enough; it’s time to come out.” Am I talking to anybody today? Is there anybody ready for change? Is there anybody sick and tired of being sick and tired? Is there anybody ready to break the cycle of lack? Is there anybody ready to break the cycle of sickness? If there anybody ready to break the cycle of debt? If so, then tell yourself, “Enough is enough!” Now tell the Devil I’ve had enough! I’ve had enough hell in my life! I’ve had enough fear and confusion in my life! I’ve had enough disappointment in my life! I’ve had enough lack in my life! I’ve had enough rejection and betrayal in my life! I’ve had enough discouragement in my life! I’ve had enough misery in my life! Today is a new day! No More! I’m ready for change. I’m ready for a turnaround.

Now I don’t know who this is for, but somebody’s facing a situation that seems impossible ... it appears that there is no way out. Somebody else is in a legal situation and you need God to move and turn that thing around. Somebody needs a miracle in their finances. Somebody’s standing in the gap for their children and you know that if God don’t move they’re in trouble. Well, I want you to know that the Bible is a book of turnarounds; from Genesis to Revelations we see God turning things around. One of the worst-case scenarios in the Bible is in the book of [Ezekiel chapter 37] the Valley of the Dry Bones. Yes, it looked hopeless; yes, it looked impossible; yes, it looked beyond the point of no return, but when the man of God started prophesying to those bones something started happening; things started changing; the situation started turning around; bones started coming together, and they didn’t just come together, but every bone found its matching bone. Tell yourself it’s time for change. Oh, I feel a turnaround in the atmosphere. I feel a turnaround anointing rising up in my spirit, right now. Somebody’s getting their breakthrough, right now. Somebody else is getting free right now; free in their mind, free in their emotions. Somebody’s financial situation is turning around. Somebody’s marriage is turning around. Somebody’s getting a healing in their body. Pain is leaving your body right now. By His stripes you were healed! Glory Hallelujah!

I want you to know that no matter where you are in your situation know that God loves you too much to leave you there. You see, the Essence of God not only understands where we are, it challenges us to be where we need to be. Love affirms us, shifts us, and reminds us that God has more for our life. Know that God is sending this word as confirmation to tell you that you are about to walk in the greatest season of your life. This will be a season where God will silence your enemies. This will be a season that God will blow your mind. “Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of men the things God has in store for your life.” Yes, you planted in the winter and you stayed faithful and kept serving him and now God says he is about to bring about a harvest that is about to blow your mind. Your OVERFLOW will be SO BIG it will cancel out all the losses of the past! So in the midst of what looks like a catastrophe, keep speaking the blessing. Line up your mouth-the rudder of your life-with the Word of God- decree and declare where you are going. Old things have passed away, behold God will do a new thing. The favor of God has been poured out over you because you belong to Him. Therefore, whatever you declare trust that it is established. I tell you, you are about to walk into the greatest manifestation you have ever gone through before. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Get up on your feet right now wherever you are and start moving, take a prophetic step, and activate your faith. If you can’t walk, stomp your feet. If you can’t stomp your feet, wave your arms. Do something to signify to God that, “Whatever, He’s doing in this Season, Don’t do it Without You!”

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Slot machines that dispense automobiles

Some car dealers will go to great lengths to put prospective customers in the driver's seat including the creation of giant vending machines, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens. The Web site, futurism.com, recently reported that Singapore's Autobahn Motors built one that dispenses luxury pre-owned vehicles.

Autobahn's 15-story skyscraper has see-through slots for displaying up to 60 automobiles and "instantly" delivers cars to buyers, just like a coin-op dispenser delivers candy. It is not a new idea. Car dealer, Carvana, says it opened its five-story auto vending machine in Nashville in 2014.

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Universal Sets a 2019 Release Date for Jordan Peele’s Next Social Thriller

*Under its fresh first-look deal with “Get Out” filmmaker Jordan Peele, Universal has set the release date of his next film for March 15, 2019, reports Variety.

The as-yet-untitled project will be a social thriller written, directed and produced by Peele based on his original idea. The movie’s plot details are being kept under wraps.

The release date places it in direct competition against Brie Larson’s “Captain Marvel,” which opens the week before, and Millie Bobby Brown’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” which launches the following week.

“Get Out” opened at the top of the domestic box office in February, and the thriller has since become both a commercial and critical success, grossing almost $230 million worldwide. Under his new deal, Peele will also produce a wide range of movies for the studio through his Monkeypaw Productions, including several micro-budget projects with Jason Blum, as he did with “Get Out.”

Peele also recently announced plans to develop “Lovecraft Country,” a new HBO event series with Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson, and “Underground” co-creator and showrunner Misha Green.

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Summer Kick-Off Concert Presented By 99.1 KGGI Featuring DJ Quik And A Star-Studded Line-Up Coming To Citizens Business Bank Arena Saturday, June 3, 2017

Thursday, May, 18, 2017 (Ontario, CA) – The concert event of the summer just got hotter as DJ Quik and a star-studded line-up comes to Citizens Business Bank Arena on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 3:00pm presented by 99.1 KGGI and hosted by ODM from a Lighter Shade of Brown. Old – School Hip-Hop artists scheduled to appear include Kid Frost, Mellow Man Ace, JJ Fad, Suga Free, Paperboy and just recently added the Ying Yang Twins and many more!

Tickets to this much-anticipated concert are on – sale now starting at $35 at the Arena Box Office or by visiting ticketmaster.com.

What: Summer Kick-Off Concert* featuring DJ Quik, Ying Yang Twins, Kid Frost, Dru Down, Suga Free, Money B and Young Hump of Digital Underground, Mellow Man Ace, Candyman, J.J. Fad, Luniz, Mr. Capone – E, Tha Alkahokiks, Slim 400, Paperboy, Domino, Playa Hamm, Sad Boy Loko, Troublesome, Suga T, Rappin’ 4 Tay, DJ Battlecat, DJ Pinky and Brownboy!

*Artists line-up subject to change

When: Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 3p.m. Doors open at 2p.m.

Where: Citizens Business Bank Arena, 4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764

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Janet Jackson’s ‘Juicing’ Diet Revealed As Singer Prepares for Upcoming Tour

*Janet Jackson is ready to get her post-baby body back in FIERCE mode and get back to work following her split from Wissam Al Mana.

“Janet is the most independent out of all of the Jacksons,” a family friend told PEOPLE. “She wants to get back on stage.”

Jackson’s upcoming “State of the World” Tour kicks off this September, and sources say Janet, 51, is working overtime to make sure her body will make you gag.

via ET:

“Janet is juicing right now and doing the super cleanse next. She is eating a little bit, but just lean proteins and vegetables,” the source explained. “This regime will put her back in fighting shape for her tour. She is also going to be working with a trainer to get back in tip-top form.”

An additional source previously told ET earlier this month that Jackson is preparing for this to be “her greatest tour ever.”

“She’ll be coming out full force and unrestricted,” the source added. “Janet will begin rigorously dieting. She wants to look her best for herself and her fans.”

Last spring, the singer postponed her “Unbreakable” world tour to focus on starting a family with Al Mana. She had previously postponed 75 North American and European dates due to her pregnancy. The pair split shortly after welcoming their son, Eissa (born Jan. 3). Jackson and the Qatari businessman are amicably co-parenting after ending their marriage.

In a video posted on her website earlier this month , Janet revealed that she’ll pick up her postponed “Unbreakable” tour on Sept. 7 in Lafayette, Louisiana. The four-month, 56-city “State of the World” tour was named after a track on her album “Rhythm Nation 1814.”

“It’s not about politics,” Jackson explained in the video. “It’s about people, the world, relationships, and just love… I cannot wait to see you on stage.”

She also gave an update on her baby in the video, calling him “so healthy, so beautiful,” and she briefly addressed her split from Al Mana.

“This message was supposed to be about something else, but I’ll get to that in a minute,” Jackson told fans. “I just want to keep it real with you guys for a second. Yes, I separated from my husband. We are in court and the rest is in God’s hands.”

Live Nation, which is producing the tour, has the full list of new tour dates.

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May 2017 Scam Alerts

1. SCAM ALERT

Starting next April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin issuing Medicare cards that do not display Social Security numbers. New beneficiaries will get the modernized cards first, and then new cards will be issued to existing beneficiaries. This change presents an opening to scammers. If you get a call claiming to be from Medicare asking you to confirm your Social Security number for the new card, this is a scam! It is also a scam if you get a call claiming you have to pay for your new card. Hang up immediately.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

2. SCAM ALERT

Fake checks are featured in many types of scams, from phony prize winnings to fake jobs. And scammers are good at making phony checks look legitimate. The scams typically involve sending victims a check, asking them to deposit it, and then when cleared, asking them to immediately wire the money to a third party. Remember, a check can take weeks to clear. Wait until you are certain, and the bank can confirm, that your check has cleared before taking further action. If you wire money and later discover that the check was fake, you’ll have to repay the bank.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

3. SCAM ALERT

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network Help Line has been fielding lots of calls about the “Say yes” scam. News reports have warned that a fraudster will call and ask a question to get the victim to say yes. The scammer records that affirmation to use it to authorize unwanted charges to a phone bill, utility bill, or even a stolen credit card. While many people report that they are getting calls like these followed by a hang up, we have yet to encounter any victims. If you got a call like this and answered yes, don’t panic. Be sure to always carefully review your bills and credit card statements, and immediately dispute any unauthorized charges. This is another good reason not to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

4. SCAM ALERT

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now working with private debt collectors to recover unpaid tax debts. Scammers could attempt to capitalize on potential confusion created by this new development. If you have a long overdue tax account, the IRS will first send you a letter to inform you that it is turning your account over to a debt collector. Then you will receive a letter from the debt collector before they contact you by phone. The only way to pay your debt is electronically or by check, payable to the US Treasury. If you don’t owe overdue taxes, a tax debt collector will not contact you. If you get a call from someone claiming to be collecting overdue taxes, hang up.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

5. SCAM ALERT

If you were tricked into wiring money to scammers using Western Union, you may be eligible to get at least some of your money back. The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice (DOJ) came to a $586 million settlement with Western Union earlier this year. If you sent money through Western Union between January 1, 2004 and January 19, 2017, and lost it to a scammer, you may be eligible for a refund. Once DOJ collects the money from Western Union, it will open a process later this year called “Petition for Remission” for people to make claims. Visit www.westernunionremission.com to learn more and sign up to receive updates.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

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