Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gov. Patrick Signs Bill Creating Volunteer Corp

Maryland Governor, Deval Patrick signed a bill today establishing the Commonwealth Corp. The Commonwealth Corp is a volunteer service corp whose goal is to enables citizens to improve their communities. Members will dedicate at least a year of service to the program, providing services including teaching in an afterschool program, mentoring underprivileged children, assisting the elderly, and cleaning parks and beaches. Volunteers will also have additional groups specifically for urgent community needs. Not only will this volunteer program improve civic service, but it will also save the state of Maryland hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Naomi Campbell on Vogue's List of Most Glamorous Women

Queen of the Catwalk, Naomi Campbell made it on the Vogue UK's list of the 21st Century's Most Glamorous Women in the world. Their full list will be available in their December issue. What's Vogue's idea of glamorous... "easy to to recognise, harder to define, impossible to emulate" That's Naomi!

Beautiful in Black @ the 7th on Sale Gala

Supermodel Naomi Campbell

Supermodel Iman

Gorgeous supermodels Iman and Naomi Campbell attended the Council of Fashion Designers of America fundraiser at the 69th Regiment Armory, New York. This year's 7th On Sale gala, a glamorous sample sale in association with eBay, raised money for HIV/Aids, while the winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund were announced.

Commonwealth and the Drama in Uganda

President Yoweri Musevini (right), First Lady Janet Museveni (center), and Queen Elizabeth (left)

Drama ensued during the Commonwealth Summit on Friday as police used batons to beat protestors trying to demonstrate against human rights abuses in Uganda. Protestors complained that police using excessive force against citizens was commonplace. Police said they were acting within the law and the protesters were aware they were not allowed to march out of a suburb where the demonstration was authorized.
Commonwealth’s participants ( Presidents and Prime Ministers of Britain and its former colonies) planned to discuss human rights, democracy, rule of law, climate change, education and trade.
The protesters said the Commonwealth, which began a three-day summit on Friday, had ignored human rights abuses by the government of President Yoweri Museveni. Demonstrators also protested against Queen Elizabeth’s presence at the summit, one waved a banner that said “Queen, you are the head of our problems.”

President Yoweri Museveni has been President of Uganda since 1986 after leading a successful 5 year liberation struggle. He and 26 other young men organized the National Resistance Movement and National Resistance Army (NRM/NRA) to oppose the tyranny of previous regimes. Museveni was one of the leaders involved in the fall of Idi Amin’s regime.

His presidency has been marred, however, by involvement in civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other Great Lakes region conflicts. Rebellion in the north of Uganda continues to be one of the world's worst humanitarian emergencies. Recent developments, including unlimited Presidential terms before the 2006 elections and the harassment of democratic opposition, have attracted concern from the domestic and international community.

France's Rama Yade Stands up for Burmese People @ EU-ASEAN Summit

Mrs. Rama Yade
(Photo : F. de la Mure /MAEE)

Rama Yade visiting monks at the Burmese Buddhist Temple of Singapore.

French Foreign Minister Rama Yade shares responsibility in Foreign Affairs and Human Rights. On November, 22, Mrs. Yade represented France at the EU-ASEAN summit in Singapore, commemorating the 30th anniversary of relations between the two organizations.
Mrs. Yade made it very clear what France's position was at the EU-ASEAN summit during her speech. She pointed out that ASEAN has achieved many successes, such as adopting the Charter, which reflects many principles of human rights. Yade continues "But we are now at a moment of ASEAN's history, where we have to look towards the future, to the challenges presented to ASEAN towards Myanmar,in particular. Because in the midst of this fruitful process of regional construction, it is regrettable to see that some countries are lagging behind. It is high time that a real process of national and reform takes place in Burma, through dialogue between the Burmese leaders and an opposition enjoying the freedom of speech and movement...
France rallied in favour of the reinforcement of European sanctions. The Union saw to it that these measures send a firm message to the Burmese leaders without affecting the Burmese people. It has moreover indicated its readiness towards reviewing or even lifting sanctions if real progress is made. Other paths could be considered, for example, the creation of a fiduciary fund to help development projects."
After her speech, Mrs. Yade spoke with Mr Ibrahim Gambari, UN Special Envoy for Burma. Yade also visited the the Burmese Buddhist Temple of Singapore, where she and other foriegn ministers met and spoke with temple monks.

To read Yade's complete speech on Burma
click here

Flashes: Victoria's Secret Show

Happily married singer Seal and wife/model Heidi Klum

The lovely actress Gabrielle Union

Melanie B and her husband,Stephen Belafonte

Diana Ross' son/actor Evan Ross and actress Hayden Panettierre

Celebrities were in full effect and looked fabulous at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Seal perfomed as his wife Heidi worked the catwalk. Mel B and the Spice Girls also performed a couple of sets. Everyone was all smiles.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Africa Channel Wants to Dispel Stereotypes

Unfortunately, when the average American thinks of Africa, visions of poverty, famished children, AIDS and violence pops into their minds. Well, The Africa Channel aspires to dispel all of these negative African stereotypes. A native from Zimbabwe, James Makawa is the CEO and co-founder of the African Channel. "The whole idea is that it comes to you from an African perspective, which has been missing from so much news coverage and, yes, entertainment related to Africa," Makawa told Reuters.

The Africa Channel's target audience are those unfamiliar with African culture, but getting support from American cable providers has become a serious challenge for The Africa Channel. Located in North Hollywood California, they made it on air in Atlanta, New Orleans, Ireland and the UK but currently only reach an estimated 2 million homes in the USA through Comcast and Cox cable providers. Nearly 80% of the channel is entertainment dedicated with an African viewpoint( soap operas, reality shows, music, events, travel/lifestyle series etc). All of it family-friendly and in English.

Please contact your local cable provider and request The Africa Channel. It's about time the world sees Africa in a different light.
Visit www.theafricachannel.com

Black CEO Emerges for Nestle Waters

All hail John J. Harris!! He currently is the CEO of Nestlé Purina Europe and has been recenty promoted to the position of CEO of Nestlé Waters (brands such as Perrrier and Poland Springs) and executive vice president of Nestlé S.A. Mr. Harris will assume responsibility in the Paris location and will be operating with $8.9 billion in sales when CEO Carlo Donati retires, which is planned for December 1, 2008.

Nestlé stock is at an all-time high at $455, based on the success of the Nestlé Waters division. In North America, the Pure Life water brand saw sales jump more than 10% to reach $4.8 billion.

Harris says "I am very excited about the opportunity to work in a dynamic growth category. Water will become more important in the future as we look at ways to combat the growing obesity problem, especially among young people."
He plans to expand products in Africa, China and the Middle East.

Continue Reading
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Ireland Elects 1st Black Mayor

Image: Niall Carson/AP

Congratulations Rotimi Adebari!!
Nigerian born Rotimi Adebari became the first black mayor of Ireland this summer. He will serve his year long term as mayor of Portlaoise, Ireland. Mr Adebari told the Irish Times he wanted to use his year as mayor to say to immigrants that Ireland is a "land of opportunities, and it is a country that is described as a place of a thousand welcomes".

Mr. Adebari, his wife and children fled to Ireland seven years ago to escape religious persecution in Nigeria. He has set up Optimum Point, a consultancy that trains companies and educational institutions in cross-cultural awareness and he has a Masters in Intercultural Studies from Dublin City University.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Organs for Sale?

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article this week about the recurring debate of selling organs, in particular, kidneys. They highlight two physicians who are embroiled in this debate. Dr. Arthur Matas is campaigning for support to pass a bill legalizing kidney sales. His friend, Dr. Francis Delmonico who's opposed to it, is campaigning to make sure the bill that then- Rep. Al Gore introduced into legislation banning the sale of organs in 1983, stays in effect.

There are many pros and cons to selling kidneys. There are currently 75,000 patients on the waiting list, only 10,500 deceased-donor kidneys were received last year. Unfortunately, about 4,400 people died before they received one. So, I can understand how there are people who would support this, but there are some ethical questions that come into play here. Would the low-income or poor citizens be the donor target market? What about the black market? I'm just not confident that the government can regulate this successfully.

To continue reading
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