Jennifer Hudson finds happiness
In the year since three members of her family were brutally killed in Chicago, Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson has found ways to heal and start a new life. And it appears the 28-year-old is happy again. The actress and singer has gushed over her role as a new mother. And she has poured herself into her work, from a gospel-tinged rendition of the national anthem at the Super Bowl months after the slayings to last month’s “VH1 Divas” concert in New York. Now she is set to return to Chicago in a few weeks to film an ABC prime-time special in which she’ll share memories of her childhood Christmases in her old neighborhood and the church where she started singing. It will be a bittersweet journey as she films “Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” which is scheduled to air in December. (Continue Reading…)

Obama declares H1N1 emergency
President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the “rapid increase in illness” from the H1N1 influenza virus. “The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities,” Obama said in a statement. “Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response.” The president signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday. Calling the emergency declaration “an important tool in our kit going forward,” one administration official called Obama’s action a “proactive measure that’s not in response to any new development.” (Continue Reading…)

Students: Chicago nightclub barred blacks
Students from Washington University say they have complained to state and federal agencies that a Chicago, Illinois, nightclub barred six African-American members from their senior class trip celebration while admitting nearly 200 white classmates. Bar personnel cited dress code violations — specifically baggy jeans — when barring the African-American students, according to Washington University senior class president Fernando Cutz, who was among students admitted to the bar. (Continue Reading…)

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