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Jay-Z pushes back against criticism of Cuba trip

Hip hop mogul Jay-Z has released a scathing response to politicians who criticized the rapper and his superstar wife Beyoncé for spending their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba. Scandal erupted in the past few days after the pair were photographed dining at local Cuban restaurants and touring historic sites in the country, which has been under U.S. sanctions for more than a half-century. On April 11, Jay-Z ...

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Income inequality wide in Michigan

Income inequality—long a social reality in America—may be permanent, a new study by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., suggests. The study reveals continuing opulence for a few top-earners and an ever-slimmer slice of the economic pie for the rest. And the inequality gap in Michigan is wider than in many other states. ...

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Flower Power: Don’t kill the Dandelion, eat it and let it grow

I was watching TV the other day. Commercial break. Cut to a lush green lawn. A single yellow dandelion springs up through the emerald expanse. The heroic protagonist appears left. He spies the flower, runs, dives, somersaults onto the lawn and pops up sturdily on one knee. Brandishing a bottle of weed killer, he fires. The patented nozzle rains hell on the defenseless sunbather. The flower withers. And dies ...

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Detroit School of Arts Achievers Ladies Ensemble headed to Carnegie Hall April 28

The Detroit School of Arts Wind Symphony won overall “Best Group” for its performance at Carnegie Hall the weekend of March 29 - 30. The DSA Wind Symphony, under the direction of Ronald Malabed and Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Sean Smith, participated in the National Band and Orchestra Festival held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Detroit School of Arts Achievers Ladies Ensemble, under ...

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Few tears in South Africa for Britain’s ‘Iron Lady’

While the public service record of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is praised in most western news accounts, the former U.K. Prime Minister was recalled critically among some South Africans. For starters, the British Prime Minister, known as the Iron Lady, was a warm friend of South African dictator P.W. Botha who was welcomed at No. 10 Downing Street in 1984. With this, Botha became the first leader of the Apar ...

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Novel wins high praise for young Nigerian writer

Mentored by Toni Morrison and endorsed by Salman Rushdie, young writer Taiye Selasi has produced a new book which is exciting literary circles worldwide. “Ghana Must Go”, her first novel, moves between West Africa and the east coast of the United States. Selasi examines both the fragility and durability of family life. In one scene in the book, a young woman who has developed an eating disorder in the press ...

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Own the land: Hip hop, EMs, land and love

It appears that spring has at last arrived in southeast Michigan. Gardeners around the city are eying their backyards, the empty lots and thinking about seeds, greens and growing. The overhanging cloud is the emergency manager (EM); what will happen to the city’s vacant lots, empty blocks and existing community gardens. This past year, residents unsuccessfully protested the Hantz land deal, a gift to corpor ...

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Time to embrace Blackopoliticonomics

As George Benson sang in Moody’s Mood, “There I go, there I go, there I go…” making up words again. I couldn’t resist this one in light of our penchant to choose sides when it comes to economics versus politics. It seems we cannot understand, nor act upon, the fact that by combining the two disciplines and leveraging the resulting power from such a sensible strategy we could build a stronger base and finall ...

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Conflicting interests?

The recent actions taken by the State of Michigan are troubling — their very nature goes against the will of the people. If the people do not like the actions of their elected officials, such officials should be removed from office and by force, if necessary. When the citizens of Michigan repealed Public Act 4 in Nov. 2012, on Dec. 13, 2012 the Michigan Legislature, in a lame-duck session approved Public Ac ...

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