Category: National Written by Associated Press
FIGHTING AGAIN--Alvin Turner, the Rev. Leslie Moore, Elmore Nickleberry and Baxter Leach, from left, pose for a photo at the headquarters of Local 1733 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees on March 14, in Memphis, Tenn. The men participated in a sanitation workers strike in 1968 that drew the support of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4 of that year. The poster includes the strike's rallying cry, "I am a man." (AP Photos/Adrian Sainz)
by Adian Sainz
Associated Press Writer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Decades after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot to death here, some of the striking sanitation workers who marched with him are again fighting for their jobs.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 19:03
Category: People Written by CNN
(CNN) -- Magic Johnson loves his kids, no matter whom his kids choose to love.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 18:56
Category: National Written by CNN
NEW YORK STATE SEN. MALCOLM SMITH, D-QUEENS (AP Photo/Tim Roske, File)
by Errol Louis
(CNN) -- This is no way to run a party.
The details of the scandal sweeping the New York Republican Party are tawdry, sad and infuriating -- and a wake-up call to a national party that is urgently seeking to make inroads among black, Latino, and young voters.
Barely two weeks after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and New York state Republican Chairman Ed Cox held a press conference at a Black church in Brooklyn to launch the party's ambitious, $10 million diversity campaign, FBI agents arrested Malcolm Smith, a longtime Black state legislator.
According to federal prosecutors, Smith spent months organizing cash bribes to two top city Republican officials in exchange for a slot on the ballot in this fall's Republican primary for mayor. Unfortunately for Smith, a real estate tycoon he enlisted to make cash payments was, in fact, an undercover FBI agent, according to federal prosecutors.
The criminal complaint against Smith and five others -- including a Republican City Council member and the chairman and vice chairman of two Republican county organizations -- details mind-boggling details of recorded conversations and alleged handovers of envelopes stuffed with money.
All the scheming, say prosecutors, was done in the hope that Smith might secure the Republican nomination and somehow win the race for mayor in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 6-to-1. Smith will get his day in court, along with the five other men and women named -- but the damage to the party is incalculable.
In a 100-page plan of action, Priebus and the RNC laid out a pilot project to build support among Black urban voters, and specifically declared that "big-city mayoral races provide our best 2013 opportunities for these projects." New York can probably be crossed off that list, and the fallout will be felt in other cities as the case unfolds.
And that's a shame. Republican leaders are right to make their case to young, urban, Black and Latino voters, and should be grooming candidates from all communities. America's two-party system can't function properly if the parties are racially divided.
The flirtation with the Republican Party by Smith, a lifelong Democrat -- if done honestly -- might have started a new conversation within Black circles about the cost and wisdom of always supporting Democratic candidates and policies. It has long been noticed that Black communities contain their share of church-going social conservatives; the GOP theory is that intelligent outreach to those voters could tilt close contests to Republicans.
That's not likely to happen now. Smith's troubles -- and the arrest of Republican leaders accused of taking money to advance Smith's cross-party ambitions -- will supply ammunition to conservative party leaders who are skeptical about the new diversity strategy.
The scandal also weakens the argument, popular among national Republicans, that big-city Democratic political machines are corrupt and wasteful. In New York, at least, the shoe is on the other foot, with GOP party leaders in the nation's biggest city hauled from their homes in handcuffs and facing up to 40 years in prison or more.
It now falls to New York's Republican chairman, Ed Cox, to straighten out this mess. Cox knows his way around a scandal: As the son-in-law of the late President Richard Nixon, he had a ringside seat as the Watergate debacle unfolded.
Cox must do whatever it takes to chase any crooked characters out of his party -- and try, against the odds, to continue Priebus' outreach strategy. Doing so will be a challenge, because the next black or Latino Republican candidate will face the question: Are you another Malcolm Smith?
Editor's note: Errol Louis is the host of "Inside City Hall," a nightly political show on NY1, a New York City all-news channel.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 18:48
Category: Entertainment Written by Genea Webb
Buyi Zama can’t believe she is a part of the Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King” and she is excited to be a part of the production that will be making its triumphant return to jumpstart the 2013-2014 theater season.
“I have been with the show for 11 years and I have been everywhere with the show, my first performance was in London and I’ve performed in Australia, Taiwan and South Africa to name a few.” said Zama who hails from South Africa and speaks six languages including Zulu, which is her native tongue. “I feel like I am at home on stage every night and I’m looking forward to coming here. I can’t wait to come back.”
“The Lion King,” which features music by Elton John and Tim Rice, tells the story of young lion cub prince, Simba who struggles to accept the responsibility of becoming an adult and assuming the role as king of the jungle of Pride Rock. He is excited and nervous about becoming king and his father, Mufasa teaches him how nature bonds all animals together. Mufasa’s evil brother, Scar, hopes that Simba will never become King and lures Simba into the path of a stampede of wildebeest where Mufasa is killed trying to save his son. Scar convinces Simba that Mufasa’s death is his fault and drives Simba away, thus becoming ruler of the pride. Simba’s childhood friend, Nala, tells Simba about the decline of the pride lands under Scar’s rule and begs him to return to his rightful position as king. With the help of a Rafiki, a wise Shaman baboon, Simba realizes he is able to accept his role as King of the Jungle.
“The Lion King” debuted in Minneapolis in 1997 and premiered on Broadway in November of that year. In 1998 the musical won numerous Tony Awards including Best Musical, Outstanding Set Design and Best Choreography. As of April 2012, “The Lion King” was the highest grossing musical on Broadway grossing $853.8 million. It will run Sept. 3-29 at the Benedum Center.
The season will continue with “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess from Feb. 25-March 2, 2014 at the Benedum. Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for best revival of a musical, it will feature new staging and legendary songs like “Summertime” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing.” The musical features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony-nominated director Diane Paulus, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and two-time Obie award-winning composer Diedre Murray.
“We Will Rock You” the musical by Queen and Ben Alton will roll onto the Benedum Center stage Oct. 29-Nov. 3. The guitar-thrashing musical that is based on the music of rock group Queen celebrated its 10th anniversary last May.
The hilarious musical “Elf” will get Pittsburgers ready for the holiday season when it stops at the Benedum Center from Nov. 26-Dec. 1. “Elf” tells the story of Buddy, a young orphaned child who crawls into Santa’s giftbag and is taken back to the North Pole. Once he realizes that he is not an elf—due to his enormous size and poor toy making skills—Buddy takes a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity and learn the true meaning of Christmas.
“Ghost The Musical” will retell the iconic love story from the Oscar-winning movie of the same name in a brand new Broadway musical. It features an original pop score from Dave Stewart, one half of the ’80s pop duo the Eurythnics and Glen Ballard, co-writer of Alanis Morrisette’s multi-platinum album, “Jagged Little Pill.” The musical will play at Heinz Hall from Dec. 31- Jan. 5.
“Once,” winner of eight Tony Awards in 2012 including Best Musical takes hold of the Benedum Center stage March 11-16 in 2014. It tells the story of a Dublin street musician who is about to give up his dream of making it into the big time when a young woman takes an interest in one of his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows his music soars to powerful new heights.
Anyone who enjoyed the story of “Peter Pan” will enjoy “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the prequel to “Peter Pan” as it rounds out the 2013-2014 season during a five-night run at Heinz Hall from May 20-25. “Peter and the Starcatcher” takes the audience on a trip through Neverland. Based on the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Peterson, the play won five Tony Awards and the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Play.
“I’m a New York kid but Pittsburgh is a good place for me to be. ‘The Deer Hunter’ was my first experience with Pittsburgh while I was in graduate school at Yale and I remember the affect that the song ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ had and how everyone knew the song and that’s where the idea for ‘Peter and the Star Catcher’ came from,” said Rick Elise, writer of the musical. “It was written for adult sensibility. This is an unmatched production with 12 actors including the actor from ‘Smash” who is from Pittsburgh. He rearranged his schedule to do this.”
Theatergoers will also be able to attend three season special events during the 2013-2014 season.
“Christmas with THE RAT PACK Live at the Sands will run at Heinz Hall from Christmas Eve through Dec. 29. The musical: Wicked” will return to Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center for a limited engagement Jan. 15-Feb. 9. “Mamma Mia!” will take over the Heinz Hall stage Feb. 11-16.
“I’m thrilled to share the 2013-2014 season. There are three critical concepts that guide how shows are chosen: balance, quality and diversity,” said Paul Organsak, vice president of programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We really use those guidance principles. We’re here to compliment not to compete.”
Season tickets range from $113 to $473. Single tickets will go on sale approximately 6-8 weeks in advance of the shows opening.
For more information, call 412-456-1300 or visit www.trustarts.org/Broadway. Group discounts apply to orders of tickets of 10 or more for most events. For more information, call 412-471-6930 or visit www.trustarts.org/groupsales.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:16
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