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|Mon, September 16, 2019 at 4:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LeBron James spent the summer celebrating his love for eating Tacos on Tuesday, and he was even hoping to turn his family tradition into a business.
The NBA star applied to trademark "Taco Tuesday" but his application was rejected, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said "Taco Tuesday" was a "commonplace message," which means James can not capitalize off the phrase.
No doubt the news is music to the ears of the owners of one Mexican restaurant who feared LeBron's trademark filing would hurt their business.
According to documents obtained by The Blast, a company named Taco Tuesday, Inc. filed a letter of protest against James after he tried to trademark "Taco Tuesday."
Taco Tuesday Mexican Grill is located in Wood Dale, Illinois and has been in business since April 2016. In a letter filed with the trademark office, the company claims the restaurant "specializes in taco sales," and noted that the "Protestor's company would be crippled if precluded from using its own business name in Internet marketing channels."
James applied for the "Taco Tuesday" trademark after he began sharing posts on his social media channels, showing his family enjoying tacos on Tuesday.
A spokesman for James said his lawyers were still looking over the patent office's findings, but noted that in refusing to trademark the phrase, "the office had essentially offered what Mr. James wanted all along: protection from liability if he used "Taco Tuesday" in certain projects, like podcasts and other media," writes The New York Times.
|Thurs, September 12, 2019 at 4:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Fifty years after 14 black football players were kicked off the University of Wyoming football team for seeking to wear armbands to protest racism, eight of them returned to the Laramie campus to commemorate the anniversary as the school takes another step toward reconciliation.
University officials planned to unveil a plaque at War Memorial Stadium commemorating the so-called Black 14 on Friday. The marker will join an alleyway mural in downtown Laramie that was dedicated last year and cap five days of ceremonies and discussions about the infamous dismissal of all the university's black players in 1969.
They are now being recognized as leaders in the tradition of protest in sport. It's a pantheon that includes U.S. track and field athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised their fists on a 1968 Olympics medal podium to protest racism and injustice.
More recently, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick accused the NFL of blackballing him for kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest police violence against African Americans.
Protest is appropriate for athletes who want use their fame and visibility to be heard, Black 14 member Tony Gibson said.
"You can judge them any way you want. But when they're saying things that matter, or are trying to draw your attention to things that might need addressing, I think it's very important," Gibson said.
On October 17, 1969, Wyoming head coach Lloyd Eaton summarily dismissed the black football players and revoked their scholarships after they met with him to propose wearing black armbands during an upcoming game against Brigham Young University.
The football players wanted to protest racism some of them experienced in previous games against BYU and how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then barred African Americans from the priesthood. Eaton would have none of the idea - and was backed up by the university's board of trustees and Gov. Stan Hathaway.
They never got a chance to mention the armbands before Eaton lit into them about coming from fatherless families and saying they would only be accepted by traditionally black colleges if they weren't at the University of Wyoming, they said.
"Our side is coming out. All these years everybody thought we protested and stuff, and we never did," Black 14 member Ted Williams said.
The healing and reconciliation isn't complete for some of the men who came back to campus this week. Some struggled for years after they were labeled as members of the Black 14.
Lionel Grimes said the episode repeatedly came up during job interviews, and he wondered how many job opportunities he missed because of it. The anger has taken years to overcome, he said.
"I was angry about the fact that I had to pay to go to school. I was angry at how the coach had insulted not only me, my fellow teammates, my ancestry," Grimes said.
Most of all, not being able to learn why Eaton acted as harshly as he did bothers Black 14 members. Eaton could have defused the situation simply by telling the players they couldn't wear the armbands, Grimes said.
"We would've just played football. He never gave us the opportunity to sit down and talk to him," Grimes said. "We were very respectful then."
Wyoming had won the Sugar Bowl the year before and was off to a 4-0 start before that day. The now all-white Cowboys went on to beat BYU and San Jose State but lost their last four games.
After Wyoming finished 1-9 in 1970, Eaton was demoted to assistant athletic director. He died in 2007, leaving the Black 14 without an apology or explanation.
"To me, the disappointment, my greatest disappointment, is I never had a clear understanding of his mindset. I never had a clear understanding of what compelled him to act against, as I understood years later, some of the wishes of his coaches," Black 14 member Guillermo Hysaw said.
Eight of the 14 were starters. Eaton's legacy isn't confined to the Black 14 episode but ruination of the program, Black 14 member John Griffin said.
"He destroyed the Cowboys football team for a decade or so. He is the one who prevented blue-chip players from coming here," Griffin said. "That was on him, not us."
Griffin and some of the others have been back to campus over the decades, including for a 1993 event honoring the best players from each previous decade, but until the past several years reception for the Black 14 was lukewarm, Griffin said.
"Now it's very sincere welcome back: 'We're glad to have you back and we're sorry,' " Griffin said.
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|Wed, September 11, 2019 at 4:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump marked his third 9/11 anniversary as president on Wednesday amid his growing frustration about what he calls the "endless war" in Afghanistan, where al-Qaida conceived the deadly 2001 attacks.
It has been 18 years since al-Qaida hijackers commandeered four U.S. commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Like Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, Trump marked the day with the war still raging.
In a proclamation marking the anniversary as "Patriot Day," Trump reflected on how many Americans recall the moment when the terror group conducted the largest attack on American soil, killing nearly 3,000 people.
"A beautiful September morning was marred by stark disbelief, agonizing sorrow, and profound suffering," Trump said in a statement on Tuesday. "America's strength, courage, and compassion, however, never wavered."
With the American flag flying atop the White House at half-staff, Trump participated in a moment of silence on the South Lawn with first lady Melania Trump and dozens of members of the executive branch. He then was heading to a commemoration at the Pentagon. Members of Congress held their own moment of silence on Capitol Hill. Vice President Mike Pence was to deliver remarks at a commemorative service in Shanksville.
Less than a month after the terror attacks, Bush announced on Oct. 7, 2001, that U.S. and British troops had begun striking Afghanistan for harboring the al-Qaida terrorists blamed for 9/11. The massive air campaign initially targeted troops, training camps and air defenses of the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan under a harsh version of Islamic law from 1996 and hosted Osama bin Laden as he masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks.
For nearly a year, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been negotiating with the Taliban on issues including a U.S. troop withdrawal and Taliban guarantees to keep Afghanistan from again becoming a launch pad for global terror attacks. Those talks came to an abrupt halt last weekend when Trump tweeted that he had canceled a proposed meeting to host the Taliban and members of the Afghan government at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.
It's unclear if the U.S.-Taliban talks will resume, but Trump has said he wants to withdraw about 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. service members still in Afghanistan. More than 2,400 American service members have been killed in the conflict.
The U.S.-led NATO combat mission ended in 2014, but the allied forces continue to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism attacks against al-Qaida and Islamic State militants.
Majorities of Americans, including veterans, think the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, according to a May poll from Pew Research Center. Fifty-nine percent of all adults said the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, given the costs to the United States versus the benefits, while 36% said it was.
Opinion was similar among veterans specifically, with 58% saying the war was not worth fighting and 38% saying it was. Republican veterans were more likely than Democratic veterans to say the war in Afghanistan was worth fighting, 46% versus 26%, though even Republican veterans were divided in their assessment.
Trump campaigned for president on a pledge to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
The top Democrats vying for the nod to challenge Trump in 2020 also have called for the removal of U.S. troops, though they have offered different timetables and parameters for any such withdrawal.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have said they would ensure American combat forces return from Afghanistan during their first term, while California Sen. Kamala Harris and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have lauded that timeframe but stopped short of full commitment to it.
|Tue, September 10, 2019 at 4:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
WASHINGTON (AP) - Members of Congress observed the 400th anniversary Tuesday of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in America at a time of renewed interest over the history of slavery and its continued impact on contemporary society
"We must tell the unvarnished truth," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during the ceremony at the Capitol.
The commemoration was held in Emancipation Hall, which is named for the contributions of enslaved laborers who helped build the Capitol and, as Pelosi said, "gave the world this beacon of hope."
The observance was organized by the Congressional Black Caucus as part of events this year marking the 400 years since the enslaved people were brought to America in August 1619.
Questions about income inequality, reparations for slavery and other issues from the nation's history of enslaving people are spilling into politics and culture with a reckoning not seen since the Civil Rights era.
The Republican leader of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, said slavery in America led to "many shameful moments" in the country, including in Congress.
"Our nation isn't perfect and there's more progress to make," McCarthy said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not attend the ceremony but said as he opened the Senate that slavery was in many ways the country's "original sin."
McConnell's own family history came under question earlier this year after it was revealed his ancestors reportedly owned slaves generations ago. On Tuesday, he said, while progress has been made, "change has come too slow."
Pelosi called for passage of the Voting Rights Act, legislation that is part of a package of House Democratic priorities for Congress, ahead of the 2020 election.
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Ca., the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called on colleagues to examine and embrace all parts of the nation's history.
"We are so fortunate to live in this amazing country with our incredible history," Bass said. "All of our history is what makes this country a great country," she said, and encourages all Americans to contribute to the "fight to build a more perfect union."
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|Mon, September 9, 2019 at 4:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
Syracuse University is honoring a member of the Central Park Five, a group of African American and Hispanic men who in 1989 were wrongfully convicted of a rape and later exonerated in 2002.
In an interview earlier this year about the Netflix series "When They See Us", which tells the story of the Central Park Five, Kevin Richardson revealed that he had dreamed of attending Syracuse University as a child. He was a fan of the school's basketball team and wanted to play the trumpet at the university. Now, Richardson is being recognized by Syracuse for his endurance with a scholarship in his name. It's part of the Our Time Has Come Scholarship program at SU, which provides financial support to black and latino students.
Richardson, who was brought to tears during the scholarship dinner, says it means the world to be a part of this opportunity for others.
"Just for people who look like me - people of color - to be helped and have a scholarship connected to my name, to help out individuals to move on further, which I didn't get a chance to, to actually pay it forward to others - that is the best thing that can happen," Richardson said. "If I'm not around tomorrow, at least my legacy will continue on."
Richardson, who now works as a motivational speaker and an advocate for criminal justice reform, will speak at Syracuse University tonight. The on-stage conversation "Justice In America: A Discussion on the Exoneration of the Central Park Five" starts at 7:30 in the Schine Student Center's Goldstein Auditorium.
Kevin Richardson, one of five men who were wrongfully convicted of rape in 1989 and later exonerated, was honored at Syracuse University with a basketball jersey given to those who have overcome adversity. Richardson was a fan of the university's basketball team as a child and had dreamed of attending SU.
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|Sun, September 8, 2019 at 4:01 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - An American woman who attempted to carry a 6-day-old baby out of the Philippines hidden inside a sling bag has been arrested at Manila's airport and charged with human trafficking, officials said Thursday.
They said Jennifer Talbot was able to pass through the airport immigration counter on Wednesday without declaring the baby boy but was intercepted at the boarding gate by airline personnel.
Talbot, from Ohio, was unable to produce any passport, boarding pass or government permits for the baby, airport officials said.
Clad in an orange detainee shirt and in handcuffs, Talbot, 43, was presented to reporters in Manila on Thursday. She kept her head low and appeared at times to be on the verge of tears. She did not issue any statement.
Talbot had planned to board a Delta Air Lines flight to the Unites States with the baby, airport officials said.
"There was really an intention to hide the baby," immigration official Grifton Medina said by telephone.
After discovering the baby, airline staff called immigration personnel, who arrested Talbot at the airport. She was later turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation and the baby was given to government welfare personnel.
The investigation bureau said Talbot presented an affidavit at the airport, allegedly from the baby's mother, giving consent for the baby to travel to the U.S., but it had not been signed by the mother.
Officials said no government travel approval had been issued for the baby, prompting them to file human trafficking charges against her. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
U.S. Embassy officials have been notified of her arrest.
Officials are searching for the baby's parents, who have been charged under a child protection law.
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|Sat, September 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - It started as a light-hearted challenge between a Florida couple, can a Smart car fit into their kitchen? The answer: Yes it can.
Patrick Eldridge parked his smart car in his kitchen to protect it from Hurricane Dorian because he didn't want it to "blow away" and to prove that he can park his car there.
Jessica Eldridge said her car was already parked in the garage. To avoid cleaning their garage out, her husband proposed to park it in the house.
"I said there was no way he could. He said he could," Jessica said. "So he opened the double doors and had it in. I was amazed that it could fit. He had it in with no problems."
Dorian was skirting Florida's coast Wednesday, narrowly missing Jacksonville as it heads northward along the Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina coastlines.
The Category 2 storm has devastated the Bahamas, where rescue crews have only begun taking the full measure of the damage.
With the car in the middle of the kitchen, Jessica Eldridge had to move around it to cook and serve dinner.
"I'm hoping he will pull it out pretty soon once the wind dies down," she said. "There is room and it's not in the way but my dogs are confused by it."
|Thurs, September 5, 2019 at 4:00 AM|Send Blog · Share on Facebook · Bookmark on Delicious
CHICAGO (AP) - A judge Wednesday set an April 27 trial date in R. Kelly's federal case in Chicago that accuses the R&B star of child pornography and obstruction of justice.
But Judge Harry Leinenweber left open the possibility of changing the date later after Kelly attorney Steve Greenberg said having to prepare for trials in three other districts meant the defense may not be ready by April.
In all, Kelly faces 40 counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York, from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at finding girls for Kelly.
Greenberg told the judge Kelly's legal team had "limited resources" and "voluminous" potential evidence from four cases to wade through, saying a single disc turned over in the New York case contained 9,000 subfolders.
Kelly, 52, stood in court during a Wednesday status hearing in orange jail clothes and slippers, his hands behind his back. Several supporters waved as marshals led him back to jail and he nodded in their direction.
The hearing came a day after Kelly was transferred from a restrictive unit at a Chicago federal jail into the general inmate population despite earlier concerns inmates might target him because he is a celebrity.
Another defense attorney, Michael Leonard, told reporters after Wednesday's hearing that Kelly was in his best emotional state since his detention in July because he was no longer isolated in jail.
"You can see a kind of unburdening of his spirit now that he is in general population," Leonard said.
Leinenweber didn't address a defense motion to reconsider Kelly's detention and to release him pending trial, saying he'd rule at a Sept. 18 hearing.
Leonard said Kelly, if released, wanted to reside with two women who lived with him before his arrest, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary. Savage's parents have alleged she was held against her will by Kelly. She has denied that.
The 13 federal counts in Chicago accuse Kelly of filming himself having sex with underage girls and of paying off potential witnesses in his 2008 trial - at which he was acquitted - to get them to change their stories. Kelly has pleaded not guilty in all the cases but the one in Minnesota, where he will be arraigned later.