dailyphoto080704.jpgThe Fourth of July for Black America
As flags fly in special commemoration and fireworks boom in the streets this week, many people across the nation – including Black newspaper publishers – will not only reflect on the freedoms that have been gained since the July 4, 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence – but also on the promises that are yet unfulfilled. “We’ve always been a day late and a dollar short in terms of how we relate to how this country has treated us,” says Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer, reflecting on a question posed by the NNPA News Service. “It’s a good family time, but we really haven’t – I don’t think necessarily bought into the celebration. Abolitionist newspaper editor Frederick Douglass faced a similar dilemma on July 4, 1852, as a speaker in Rochester, N.Y. (Continue Reading…)

Sean Bell’s Fiancee Wants Suit Delay
The lawyer for Sean Bell’s fiancée said Wednesday he will ask a federal judge to keep her wrongful death lawsuit on hold until the Justice Department completes its investigation into the shooting. U.S. Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann had lifted a stay of the civil suit in April after three NYPD detectives were acquitted by a state judge of criminal charges in the Nov. 25, 2006, fatal shooting of Bell and two companions. A city lawyer suggested in a letter last week skipping the lengthy discovery stage of the litigation which would involve taking sworn depositions and turning over a mountain of documents. (Continue Reading…)

Circumcisions Kill South African Boys
South African officials say 15 boys have died and 90 have been taken to hospital in the Eastern Cape after botched circumcisions. The deaths were reported as authorities announced a campaign to prevent badly-performed initiation rites. Police have arrested six people in connection with the casualties, health official Sizwe Kupelo said. Mr Kupelo said the authorities were not interfering with the custom of circumcision, but wanted to save lives. Circumcision is practiced in rural areas of South Africa during winter. It is a traditional rite of passage for many South African boys. In 2001 the government passed an act requiring a license from a medical officer for each circumcision, but traditional leaders have said the act infringes community rights. Most deaths occur after circumcisions in illegal centres. (Continue Reading…)

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