Daily Archive: October 18, 2012

National

WHY IT MATTERS: CIVIL RIGHTS

by Jesse Washington The issue: What, exactly, is discrimination, and what should be done to fight it? This election offers choices on the answers. In areas such as mortgages, voter identification and immigration enforcement, the presidential candidates differ over how to use laws that guarantee equality and how far the Justice Department’s civil rights division, which exerts strong influence on issues of race and ethnicity, should go to ensure all Americans are treated fairly. FIGHTING DISCRIMNATION–Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the League of Women Voters National Convention in Washington June 11. What, exactly, is discrimination, and what should be done to fight it? This election offers choices on the answer. In areas such as mortgages, voter identification and immigration enforcement, the presidential candidates differ over how to use laws that guarantee equality and how far the Justice Department’s civil rights division, which exerts strong influence on issues of race and ethnicity, should go to ensure all Americans are treated fairly. The election also will shape the Justice Department’s actions in continuing court cases that challenge voter ID laws passed in some Republican-led states. Opponents contend such laws unfairly discourage minority voting. Under Holder, the Justice Department has used lawsuits based on statistics to hold banks’ feet to the fire on how they lend money to Hispanics and Black people. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) The election also will shape the Justice Department’s actions in continuing court cases that challenge voter ID laws in some Republican-led states. Opponents contend such laws unfairly discourage minority voting.

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Metro

Attorney: Pittsburgh hostage-taker was off meds

PITTSBURGH (AP)—A mentally ill man held a businessman hostage in his downtown office last month because the suspect hadn’t taken his medication and heard a crow and other voices directing his actions, a defense attorney said. The attorney, Blaine Jones, made the comments after a district judge in Pittsburgh Municipal Court ordered Klein Michael Thaxton, 22, of McKeesport, to stand trial on charges of kidnapping, terroristic threats and aggravated assault. BATTLING VOICES–Klein Michael Thaxton is led from Pittsburgh Police headquarters by police on Sept. 21 after a hostage incident at Three Gateway Center in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) Jones said his client is back on his medication and is relieved nobody was hurt. Thaxton was battling bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression on Sept. 21, the day he took financier Charles Breitsman hostage for more than five hours.

National

NY school’s blackface assault skit criticized

by Carolyn Thompson BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)—A pep rally skit by three white high school students who wore blackface and parodied Chris Brown’s arrest for assaulting Rihanna has officials in a largely white New York district vowing to set clearer expectations for school events. CHRIS BROWN and RHIANNA The skit was one of several pop culture parodies performed Friday at Waverly High School as part of an annual “Mr. Waverly” competition, Superintendent Joseph Yelich said. The one in question had a male student portraying Brown standing over another cowering actor playing Rihanna; a third male student played an arresting officer.

National

ACLU sues Morgan Stanley over subprime loans

by Matthew CraftAP Business Writer NEW YORK (AP)—The American Civil Liberties Union accused Morgan Stanley of violating civil rights laws by encouraging a lender to push more expensive and risky mortgages on Black neighborhoods in Detroit. PLAINTIFF—Rubbie McCoy, a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Morgan Stanley, reacts while describing her housing situation during a news conference, Oct. 15, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

National

La. high court rules Johnson will be state’s first Black chief justice

by Michael KunzelmanAssociated Press Writer NEW ORLEANS (AP)—The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Bernette Johnson will be the court’s next chief justice, resolving a racially tinged power struggle that wound up in federal court. NEW CHIEF JUSTICE—This undated photo provided by the Louisiana Supreme Court shows Justice Bernette Johnson of New Orleans. (AP Photo/Louisiana Supreme Court)

Entertainment

Review: Jay-Z scores as ‘NBA 2K13′ delivers again

by Jonathan Landrum Jr. It’s tough to improve a video game that has been so excellent for the past several years, but 2K Sports has found ways to make “NBA 2K13″ (for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, $59.99) even better—with some help from the league’s most famous owner. NBA 2K13–This video game image released by 2K Sports shows an animated image portraying Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin in a scene from “NBA 2K13.” (AP Photo/2K Sports) Along with fluid gameplay, enhanced graphics and a smoother control scheme, this year’s edition of the best-selling basketball franchise welcomes rapper—and minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets—Jay-Z as executive producer.

National

Debate body language: A testy and tense exchange

by Jocelyn Novek NEW YORK (AP)—Maybe it’s a cliché to say the gloves came off in Tuesday’s presidential debate. But then again, maybe not, since the candidates sometimes looked like they were actually about to start boxing. INTO FINAL STRETCH–Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama speak during their first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Colo. In a September Pew Research Center poll 48 percent of registered voters said Obama was more “honest and truthful,” to 34 percent who felt Romney was. (AP Photo/David Goldman/Eric Gay) It was a tense and testy exchange at New York’s Hofstra University, featuring a newly energized and forceful President Barack Obama squaring off against a vigorous, stand-your-ground Mitt Romney. But the evening will also be remembered for giving the distinct impression that these candidates were liking each other less and less.