August 7, 2014
United States The NAACP announced last week that the civil rights group will partner with Dunkin Brands Group Inc., the parent company of Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, to create an initiative to increase the number of Black-owned franchise businesses in the US. The announcement was made at the NAACP’s 105th Annual Convention in Las Vegas. According to the NAACP, the initiative will focus on in-depth franchising education and training and assistance in overcoming the financial challenges related to becoming a franchise owner.
NEW YORK – a group of young people at a jail complex got some words of encouragement last Thursday from Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons and rapper/actor LL Cool J. The two visited Rikers Island to mark the launch of a national anti-violence program from Simmons’ Rush Card – a prepaid debit card. Rushcard’s Keep the Peace Initiative, is giving grants to neighborhood organizations. One of those is LIFE Camp, a Queens organization that works with young people, including those at Rikers, to reduce violence.
MICHIGAN – There are three bullet holes in the house marking where 8-year-old Jakari Pearson was shot in his sleep. Neighbors looked outside after hearing a quick succession of shots around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday. What they saw was a screaming mother, with her son wrapped in superhero bed sheets. Pearson died before he even made it to the hospital. The bullets hit the home’s brick exterior and an upstairs window into Jakari’s room. One of the bullets hit him in the chest. According to relatives Jakari might have been the victim of his mother’s ex-boyfriend. Detroit police have not released descriptions of a suspect, but they are interviewing a person of interest.
Africa UGANDA – Uganda’s Constitutional Court has annulled tough anti-gay legislation signed into law in February. It ruled that the MPs bill passed in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal. Homosexual acts were already illegal, but the new law allowed for life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality” and banned the promotion of homosexuality. Several donors have cut aid to Uganda since the law was adopted.
SOMALIA – Militant Islamists have shot and killed a Muslim woman for refusing to wear a veil. Ruqiya Farah Yarrow was killed outside her hut near the southern Somali town Hosingow by gunmen belonging to the Al-Shabab group. The militants had ordered her to put on a veil, and then killed her after returning and finding she still was not wearing a veil. An Al-Shabab spokesman denied the group had killed the woman. Al-Shabab does not fully control the area where she was living, he added.
Europe UNITED KINGDOM – For the first time ever, Scotland has marked Emancipation Day and celebrated the date with performing arts throughout the last 2 weeks. Emancipation Day has been celebrated on Aug. 1 across the countries of the Caribbean since the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 ended in the British Empire on Aug. 1, 1834. Emancipation Acts is a series of site specific performances taking place in Glasgows Merchant City, during the Commonwealth Games. The shows explore Glasgows’ role in Caribbean slavery, its abolition and current calls for reparation on the 180th anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies.