July 25, 2014
United States Big Tobacco has turned to racial targeting to survive the downturn in sales. Reynolds American, the number 2 U.S. tobacco producer announced a deal to buy Number 3 cigarette maker Lorillard for $25 billion. This is important because Lorillards menthol cigarette brand, Newport, is marketed towards Blacks smokers. According to Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Newport was the leading brand of cigarettes among almost 74 percent of Black youths aged 12 to 17 and almost 79 percent of Black young adults aged 18 to 25. Newport sales have shown steady growth from 10.6 percent to 13.2 percent between 2009 and 2012.
Marvel already shook up the comics world by announcing that the popular Avengers character and Norse thunder god Thor would become a woman. The next day, the company revealed that superhero Captain America will hand over the shield to Sam Wilson, a Black man who is well known as The Falcon. The news was released last week on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” with Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada explaining the changes.
CALIFORNIA – San Francisco police are searching for a woman who robbed an 8-year-old outside a convenience store. The young girl was reportedly selling candy inside the store. She and two of her friends were standing behind the woman who was walking away from the counter because she didn’t have enough money to purchase beer. According to the store owner, the woman kept looking at the girl’s candy and money. When the girl went outside, the woman reportedly approached her and asked for some change. As the girl reached in her bag to help, the woman ended up grabbing the girls arm, twisting it until she let go of her bag of money. The woman escaped with the money and is described as a 40 to 50 year old Black woman.
Africa UGANDA – Street children face constant abuse from police and other government officials, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Police beat children with whips and wires, throw them in jail, and extort bribes from them a report by HRW said. Street boys and girls were also raped by men and older boys. A Ugandan official, Mondo Kyateka said some children were hard core criminals but police used minimum force against them. The government should focus on improving the lives of street children, and prosecute those responding for abusing them, HRW said. More than half of all Ugandans are under 15, and children are the single largest group living in poverty, HRW said.
SOUTH AFRICA – A television and YouTube advertisement that shows a wealthy White South African woman feeding a Black child like a dog has sparked outrage and accusations of racism. The advertisement, produced by global agency Ogilvy and Mather for the South African Charity Feed a Child, shows a White woman eating breakfast in bed, baking a cake, eating it in the lounge, sitting at the dining table and watching a film with popcorn, all the time popping tidbits into a waiting child’s mouth. The tag line at the end reads: “The average domestic dog eats better than millions of children.”
Middle East SUADI ARABIA – Police in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have said that more than 300 illegal migrants, mostly Africans have been arrested in various locations in the capital Riyadh last week. The operation was said to be the Saudi government’s policy of enforcing its migration laws and clearing the country from illegal migrants. Last year, more than 100,000 Africans, mostly Ethiopians protested at the Saudi Arabian embassy in London in what they described as cruel treatment of African migrant workers by Saudi authorities. The protesters asked the UK government to intervene to save the situation. Saudi officials then issued a statement after the protest, advising all illegal migrants in the country to correct their work and residency status before the end of the year or face being deported.