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Hopes of quick and easy victory fade for the embattled ANC

As the May 7 election in South Africa nears, former friends and allies of the ruling African National Congress are betting voters will follow them out of the party or at least send a strong message the country’s current direction is not good enough. A number of veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle and former government leaders have even launched a “Vote NO!” campaign that could dash ANC hopes for a quick ...

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Long lines of voters in Guinea-Bissau could favor a newcomer

Thirteen candidates are in the running for the presidency in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, which has yet to have an elected leader serve a full term since independence from Portugal in 1974. Reporters saw long lines at the polls last week with no reported problems or incidents. Politicians with the largest war chests include former finance minister José Mário Vaz of the African Party for the In ...

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West coast ‘Black Commentator’ and social justice activist passes

Longtime editorial writer, poet and political organizer Carl Bloice was remembered by friends and comrades at a gathering in San Francisco last week. The West Coast writer succumbed suddenly to a years-long battle with cancer. Bloice was known for his many widely-published columns on U.S. and international issues. He was on the editorial board of the Black Commentator. ...

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Makes you wanna holla!

The world, or more accurately, events in the world are moving at an ever increasing rate of speed. If I had to describe it in terms consistent with the general hyperbole of the typical television news reports, I’d say today’s world events are cascading in ever increasing and more bizarre terms than anyone would have expected 10 years ago. ...

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Voting in November 2014 midterm elections more important than ever

Last week in Austin, Texas, three former United States Presidents and President Barack Obama came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination and segregation based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Civil Rights Act also offered greater protections for the right to vote, paving the way for the ...

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A disease of denial

“I’m tired,” my sisterfriend says. “I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.” As I hear her, I have a couple of choices. One is to tell her to get with her pastor and pray; the other is to tell her to get real with her illness. Running her to her pastor takes her to a familiar place. Pushing her to help takes her out of her comfort zone. When my beloved brothers and sisters share they are stymied in the ...

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Broke? City increases management costs

As Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr takes the city through bankruptcy, many question the amount of money he spends on consultants and aides in both his office and the mayor's. It is estimated that at the end of the bankruptcy -- in five months, the city will have spent $62 million dollars on consultants. To date that number is at approximately $20 million. Orr's former firm Jones Day is contracted to mak ...

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Two Detroits? Gentrification.

Mostly, gentrification has to do with displacement. Wealthier residents move into a community, changing property values and culture. The changes push out residents who have lived and invested for years and generations. Some believe gentrification is — by definition — violent, and, undoubtedly in some cities, gentrification has been ruthless. San Francisco, Harlem, Brooklyn and Washington, D.C. are gentrifyi ...

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Orr wants Manhattan Institute fellow to evaluate his plan

Of all the people in America who might be considered a candidate to evaluate the effectiveness of Detroit’s so-called “plan of adjustment,” Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and a team of lawyers from his former law firm, Jones Day, suggested Harvard economist Edward L Glaeser. Glaeser’s name popped up after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes announced he is considering calling in an expert, or maybe several of ...

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