Rev. Jackson steps in on behalf of prisoners on death row in Gambia

 

BANJUL, THE GAMBIA – After a face-to-face appeal by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson today, along with the President of Gambia agreed to release two American citizens into Rev. Jackson’s custody. The two were serving long prison sentences in the West Africa nation and allow them to return to the United States with Jackson Tuesday night.

The two men will return to the U.S. by plane with Rev. Jackson from The Gambia tomorrow.

One of the Americans, Amadou Scattred Janneh, a former professor at the University of Tennessee, is serving a life sentence for treason. He was arrested in July 2011 and started serving his sentence in January 2012.

Janneh has dual American and Gambia citizenship as does the other imprisoned American, Tamsir Jasseh, who was serving a 20-year sentence for treason. Tamsir was also a veteran of the U.S. military having served in Desert Storm.

The President, Dr. Alhaji Yahya Jammeh, said, because of his respect for Jackson, “a renowned” civil rights leader, he would allow the men to leave Gambia with Jackson on a flight to Brussels and then on to New York.

The President also agreed to extend indefinitely a moratorium on the death penalty and the execution of the 38 death row prisoners, and re-affirmed his commitment to allow the United Nations to investigate the disappearance of a Gambian newspaper reporter, shortly after being arrested by local authorities six years ago.

Rev. Jackson stated, “As a special joy, being able to take two Americans back home to their families. It was not a legal, but humanitarian plea. Those once scheduled to die are now to set to live. Those serving sentences of twenty years to life, are now scheduled to go home to their families. For that, we that we thank God.”

This is the sixth time Rev. Jackson has traveled abroad to negotiate the release of US citizens and people from other countries held captive – in Syria, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Cuba and Liberia, and now The Gambia.

US Ambassador to Gambia, Edward “Ned” Alford, applauded Rev. Jackson’s successful mission, saying that “Jackson came as a private citizen. We very much welcomed his visit and his effort He (Jackson) has a good track record of doing humanitarian interventions, and this is another one.

Jammeh has been under intense international pressure the last several weeks after announcing he planned to execute all 47 inmates on the country’s death row. In late August, nine inmates, including a woman, were executed by firing squad.

The President vowed to execute the including ministers Dr. S. Todd Yeary of Baltimore and Dr. Sean McMillian of Chicago, and Columbia University religion professor, Obery M. Hendricks, and Rainbow PUSH staff members James Gomez, Butch Wing and Joseph Harris, to travel to Gambia to plead for mercy.

A day before the delegation arrived in Gambia, the President suspended the executions. Today, after meeting with Rev. Jackson for several hours in his wood paneled office in the Gambian State House, Jammeh agreed to extend the moratorium indefinitely.

Rev. Jackson thanked the President for his “gesture of hope,” adding, “these cases should not be allowed to divert” the world’s attention from the many “good stories” of Gambia, including a free health care system, education and economic development.

“The arrow is pointing upward,” he said.

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Mitt Romney: “Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax,”

WASHINGTON – Already scrambling to steady a struggling campaign, Republican Mitt Romney confronted a new headache Monday after a video surfaced showing him telling wealthy donors that almost half of all Americans “believe they are victims” entitled to extensive government support. He added that as a candidate for the White House, “my job is not to worry about those people.”

President Barack Obama’s campaign quickly seized on the video, obtained by the magazine Mother Jones and made public on a day that Romney’s campaign conceded it needed a change in campaign strategy to gain momentum in the presidential race.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney is shown saying in a video posted online by the magazine. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

“Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax,” Romney said.
Romney said his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Romney’s campaign did not dispute the authenticity of the video, instead releasing a statement seeking to clarify his remarks. “Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy,” spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said. “He is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government.”

About 46 percent of Americans owed no federal income tax in 2011, although many of them paid other forms of taxes. More than 16 million elderly Americans avoid federal income taxes solely because of tax breaks that apply only to seniors, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
Obama’s campaign called the video “shocking”

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Detroit teen pleads guilty of murdering his mother

DETROIT – Joshua Smith, a14-year-old defendant from Detroit, today pleaded guilty to Second Degree Murder which carries a sentence of 25 to 50 years in prison and Felony Firearm which carries a mandatory two year consecutive penalty. He will be sentenced before Judge Bruce U. Morrow on Friday, October 26, 2012, at 8:30 a.m.

The youth was charged with First Degree Murder and Felony Firearm in connection with the February 27, 2012 fatal shooting death of his 36 year-old mother, Tamika Andrea Robinson.

The boy’s uncle and victim’s brother, Leshaun Roberts, told Tell Us Detroit that he forgave his nephew despite what he’s accused of doing and “only God can judge him.”

Smith allegedly found a gun in the home and shot his mother multiple times after a verbal argument that occurred in the family home located in the 5700 block of Burns in Detroit. He left the home after the shooting, but was later apprehended by the police on the same day.

Smith will also be tried as an adult on charges of First Degree Murder and Felony Firearm. He also was ordered to pay a $1 million dollar bond or sit in jail until a March 8th preliminary hearing.

Let’s start calling these Detroit Lions the “Cardiac Cats”

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By Sam Ali/Tell Us Detroit Sports

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – After Matthew Stafford’s three first half interceptions and a late touchdown throw by Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, the first game of the season for Detroit looked like a nightmare. But just as they did in several games last year, the Lions stormed back and Stafford tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Kevin Smith with 10 seconds left to give the Lions the 27-23 win at Ford Field.

The first touchdown of the Lions’ season came on a one-yard touchdown by Wayne State alum running back Joique Bell. Then as the Lions were trying to mount some kind of offensive attack, Stafford threw an interception to Cortland Finnegan who took it back for a touchdown.

Then in the fourth quarter, the scoreboard was lighting up. With a little less than 10 minutes to go, Bradford found wide receiver Brandon Gibson for the score to give the Rams the lead. Detroit stormed back and tied it on a 5 yard run by Kevin Smith. St. Louis managed a field goal right after the two minute warning. Then Stafford led the Lions on a 9-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in the game-winning pass from Stafford to Smith with ten seconds left.

The Lions travel next week to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

Let’s start calling these Detroit Lions the “Cardiac Cats”

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Referee Donovan Briggans (12) seperates Detroit Lions defensive tackle Corey Williams, left, from St. Louis Rams fullback Brit Miller as Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) tries to get up from the field after the final play of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. Detroit won 27-23. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

By Sam Ali/Tell Us Detroit Sports

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – After Matthew Stafford’s three first half interceptions and a late touchdown throw by Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, the first game of the season for Detroit looked like a nightmare. But just as they did in several games last year, the Lions stormed back and Stafford tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Kevin Smith with 10 seconds left to give the Lions the 27-23 win at Ford Field.

The first touchdown of the Lions’ season came on a one-yard touchdown by Wayne State alum running back Joique Bell. Then as the Lions were trying to mount some kind of offensive attack, Stafford threw an interception to Cortland Finnegan who took it back for a touchdown.

Then in the fourth quarter, the scoreboard was lighting up. With a little less than 10 minutes to go, Bradford found wide receiver Brandon Gibson for the score to give the Rams the lead. Detroit stormed back and tied it on a 5 yard run by Kevin Smith. St. Louis managed a field goal right after the two minute warning. Then Stafford led the Lions on a 9-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in the game-winning pass from Stafford to Smith with ten seconds left.

The Lions travel next week to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

60-day election sprint opens with weak jobs report

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – President Barack Obama charges onto the campaign trail Friday pleading for patience from hard-pressed Americans but confronted with the harsh reality of a bleak new report on the nation’s unemployment outlook. Republican rival Mitt Romney, ready for the two-month sprint to Election Day, blasted out blasted out 15 new TV ads in eight states.

Obama and Romney shadow each other Friday: Both of them are campaigning in New Hampshire and Iowa, improbable battleground states in the too-close-to-call race. The campaigning was sure to be dominated by a new report from the Labor Department showing that U.S. employers added just 96,000 jobs last month, failing to meet expectations.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work.

On the morning after Obama’s closing speech at the Democratic National Convention, top campaign adviser Robert Gibbs was up early to pronounce the gathering had achieved its goals.

“The entire convention showed you where Barack Obama wants to take this country,” he said. But Gibbs acknowledged there’s a far different dynamic to this race than the excitement and novelty that were associated with Obama’s historic first race for the White House.

“This isn’t 2008, we understand that,” Gibbs said on “CBS This Morning.” He added that Obama knows his mission of strengthening the economy is “incomplete.”

Romney and the Republicans argue that three years of unemployment above 8 percent and minimal economic growth are valid reasons to fire Obama after one term. The incumbent contends that, having inherited one of the worst economic crises in history, he needs more time to turn the nation around.

“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have,” Obama told Democrats at their convention Thursday night. “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.”

Obama’s concession that his work is incomplete runs smack into a harsh reality: No president since the Great Depression has been re-elected with such grim economic numbers.

For the candidates, the two months to Nov. 6 promise a high-stakes mix of debates, multiple appearances in a dozen battleground states and hours of campaign speeches. Both will be scrapping for the precious commodity of electoral votes to reach the winning number of 270, leaving no competitive state quiet this fall. The airwaves will be inundated with ads from the campaigns and outside groups, with Romney likely to have more money to spend.

The GOP nominee has new ads running in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia – mapping out many of the key battleground states where the race will play out. His campaign has purchased about $4.5 million in television advertising for the next several days, according to officials who track such spending.

The themes of those ads – deficit, home values, defense, over-regulation, manufacturing, energy, families – offer a preview of some of the issues sure to dominate the conversation in coming weeks.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with their wives, campaign Friday in New Hampshire – it offers four electoral votes – and Iowa – six votes – before ending the day in Florida, the highest-count swing state with 29.

While Romney hits Iowa and New Hampshire, too, his wife, Ann, presses for votes in Virginia – 13 electoral votes – and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, focuses on Nevada – six votes. The battleground list includes Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In his prime-time speech Thursday night, Obama cast the election as a stark choice of competing visions about the country and the role of government. He described a nation where the government bailed out desperate automakers, a move Romney opposed, and saved thousands of jobs. Obama contrasted that with a Republican approach that he argued sees tax cuts as a solution to all problems and focuses on the individual.

“Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning,” Obama said in a mocking tone.

Patience was the watchword at the three-day Democratic convention in Charlotte as delegates roared through Obama’s speech and frequently chanted “Four more years.” Romney also talked about patience at the Republican gathering in Florida last week, but he said America had run out of it.

“Americans have supported this president in good faith. … The time has come to turn the page,” the GOP nominee said in his convention speech.

As the Democrats wrapped up their three-day gathering, the Romney campaign made clear the election would be a referendum on the president’s tenure.

“Americans will hold President Obama accountable for his record – they know they’re not better off and that it’s time to change direction,” Matt Rhoades, the challenger’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

Obama mentioned his rival by name just once, but his target was clear. The president highlighted the national security successes – the death of Osama bin Laden, the fight against al-Qaida – that have earned him high marks in opinion polls, a contrast to the low grades he receives on the economy. Romney, he pointed out, stumbled during his overseas trip, angering Britain when he suggested its Olympics preparation had fallen short.

“My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly,” Obama said. “After all, you don’t call Russia our No. 1 enemy – and not al-Qaida – unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.”

In opinion polls, Americans insist that the economy will be the overriding issue this election.

Romney wants to extend all tax cuts that are due to expire on Dec. 31 with an additional 20 percent reduction in rates across the board, arguing that it will spur job growth. He has embraced the main tenets of running mate Ryan’s far-reaching budget – deep cuts in domestic programs such as education, repeal of Obama’s health care law and a remaking of the Medicare program for seniors into a voucher-system for those now under 55.

Obama wants to renew the tax cuts except on incomes higher than $250,000, saying that millionaires should contribute to an overall effort to cut federal deficits. He also criticizes the spending cuts Romney advocates, saying they would fall unfairly on the poor, lower-income college students and others. He argues that Republicans would “end Medicare as we know it” and saddle seniors with ever-rising

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