Archives for News

A connection in history

When 250,000 marchers converged on Washington in August 1963, the issues were jobs and freedom. Now, as the crowds come together to mark the 50th anniversary of that seminal event in the civil rights movement, those issues have been joined by others, including one, immigration reform, that wasn’t nearly on the political radar then like it is today. “They were fighting for equality, and that’s exactly what we’re fighting for,” said Mikhel Crichlow, 28, a native of Trinidad and Tobago now living in Brooklyn. Crichlow said he was going to Washington for the commemoration. The push for comprehensive immigration reform
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For youth, a chance to lead

Mary-Pat Hector of Atlanta was operating much like a 1960s civil rights activist as she laid plans for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. She was constantly on the phone as she confirmed event details, tweaked the draft of the speech she gave at Saturday’s rally at the Lincoln Memorial and prepared for a presentation. Mary-Pat is 15 years old. Just as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott at age 26, and Rep. John Lewis helped to lead freedom rides at 23, young Americans like Mary-Pat are not letting age get in the
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Remembering ‘I have a dream’

Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall on Saturday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of King’s famous speech and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled. The event was an homage to a generation of activists that endured fire hoses, police abuse and indignities to demand equality for African Americans. But there was a strong theme of unfinished business. “This is not the time for nostalgic commemoration,” said Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the slain civil rights leader. “Nor is
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More armed guards at schools

In the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Pembroke Pines, students returning to school this year are being greeted not only by their teachers and principal. They’re also meeting the armed school resource officer who will be stationed permanently on campus. Crime in this middle-class community has been on a steady decline, but city officials decided to place a school police officer at every elementary, middle and high school after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last year. “It is a relief to have them here,” Lakeside Elementary School Principal Linda Pazos said
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Snowden covered his tracks

The U.S. government’s efforts to determine which highly classified materials leaker Edward Snowden took from the National Security Agency have been frustrated by Snowden’s sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail by deleting or bypassing electronic logs, government officials told The Associated Press. Such logs would have showed what information Snowden viewed or downloaded. The government’s forensic investigation is wrestling with Snowden’s apparent ability to defeat safeguards established to monitor and deter people looking at information without proper permission, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the sensitive developments publicly. The disclosure
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Civil rights struggle continues

Alice Long planned months ago to use vacation time to travel from Huntsville, Ala., to the 50th anniversary events for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Long, a NASA administrative assistant, brought along her grandchildren to give them a close-up view of African-American and civil rights history that she said isn’t being taught in schools. “I’m here supporting this march because there are so many injustices in this country,” Long, 59, said on the eve of Saturday’s march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. “I’m very concerned about it because I have a
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Obama: Which Dems to help?

President Barack Obama has no plans to campaign on behalf of the underdog Democrat in an uphill battle against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and is weighing how much help to give his party’s scandal-enmeshed candidate for governor of Virginia, where Democrats are more bullish about winning. It’s the type of delicate, race-by-race calculation the White House repeatedly will have to make in the 2014, when Obama’s own legacy will be on the line. Next fall, voters will decide whether to elect a Congress that will help Obama achieve his goals for his final two years in office, or whether
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Boehner to GOP: Don’t use Obamacare to threaten shutdown

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner warned rank-and-file Republicans in a conference call on Thursday against using the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of Obamacare, according to people on the call. On the call, Boehner reminded Republicans of the political backlash their party suffered when the government shut down in 1995-1996, according to one person on the call. Another participant in the call, Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole, said the speaker’s main message was that he and other leaders were still committed to killing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law but that they did not want
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More airborne terror ahead?

The nature of terrorism has changed in Robert Mueller‘s dozen years as FBI director, but his concerns for the future are much the same as when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001, merely a week after he’d taken over the bureau. As he wraps up his FBI tenure, Mueller worries that terrorists will once again target planes or finally pull off an attack using a weapon of mass destruction. Mueller sees terrorism as a shifting landscape, evolving from Osama bin Laden‘s global brand in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to the splintering threats arising in the fallout from
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Racial equality? Not really

Has the U.S. achieved Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a colorblind society? Fewer than half of all Americans say the country has made substantial progress in the past 50 years toward racial equality, a new poll shows. Despite a heightened sense of racial progress immediately following the 2008 election of the first black president, Americans’ views of black progress have waned. The study, released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, offers a mixed picture of progress five decades after King made his historic “I Have a Dream” speech calling for racial equality. The center is a Washington-based research organization.
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