DMX, American rapper and actor, dies aged 50



US rapper and actor DMX has died at the age of 50, five days after suffering a heart attack.

The performer, whose real name was Earl Simmons, had been placed on life support and died with his family by his side.

In a statement, his family said he had been “a warrior who fought till the very end”.

“Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”

DMX, aka Dark Man X, was a leading hip-hop performer who collaborated with such artists as JAY-Z, Ja Rule and LL Cool J.

He took his moniker from the name of a drum machine used in rap tracks.

The chart-topping artist’s songs included Party Up (Up in Here) and X Gon’ Give It To Ya.

He also acted on screen, appearing in such films as Cradle 2 the Grave, Romeo Must Die and Exit Wounds.

Born in Mount Vernon, New York in 1970, DMX publicly battled substance abuse for years and spent several periods in rehab.

A father of 15, he served jail sentences on charges including animal cruelty, reckless driving, drug possession and weapons possession.

According to his family, DMX died on Friday at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.

“He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him,” their statement continued.

“We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.

“Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX.”

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NYPD: Elderly Asian American woman assaulted, suspect sought


The New York City Police Department says an elderly Asian American woman was attacked by a man Monday afternoon who repeatedly kicked her in front of witnesses who seemingly stood by

NEW YORK — An elderly Asian American woman was attacked by a man Monday afternoon who repeatedly kicked her in front of witnesses who seemingly stood by, according to surveillance footage released by the New York City Police Department.

The 65-year-old woman was walking along 43rd street when a man came up to her and kicked her in the stomach, knocking her to the ground, the NYPD said.

The man then stomps on the woman’s face several times while hurling anti-Asian statements at her, police said. He later casually walks away, the footage shows.

The woman was hospitalized with serious injuries.

According to video footage, a man inside a building lobby seemingly stopped what he’s doing to watch the assault and later two more men wearing blazers walked into the frame and one of them closed the door as the woman was on the ground.

According to real estate website Street Easy, Brodsky Organization is the property developer and manager of the building where the incident took place.

On Brodsky’s Instagram account, the group said they were aware of the incident and the staff who witnessed the account were suspended pending an investigation. The organization also said they were working to identify a third-party delivery vendor who was also present during the assault.

The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident and has asked anyone with information to contact the department.

NYPD says there have been 33 hate crimes with an Asian victim so far this year, news outlets reported.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea previously said the agency would increase their outreach and patrols in predominantly Asian communities amid the spike of anti-Asian hate crimes.

In a warning to would-be attackers, Shea said: “The next person you target, whether it’s through speech, menacing activity or anything else, walking along a sidewalk or on a train platform, may be a plainclothes New York City police officer. So think twice.”

According to a report from Stop AAPI Hate over 3,795 incidents were reported to the organization from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. The organization said that number is “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.”

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Umamicart: The new online grocer championing Asian American cuisines and cultures






Umamicart: The new online grocer championing Asian American cuisines and cultures | Fortune

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Lessons for American Foreign Policy From the Capitol Riot


Hezbollah is part of Lebanese society, and some of the group’s members are elected to Parliament, but easing polarization does not mean unity at all costs, ignoring injustices and crimes. This is why, amid talk of unity and coexistence with Trump voters, those who rioted on January 6 are facing charges and will stand trial, and Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, an ardent Trump supporter who has voiced backing for violence against Democrats, was stripped of her committee assignments and may even face expulsion from Congress.

In dealing with heads of states or regimes in the anti-American camp, the Democrats’ approach can also be concerning. In 2007, Pelosi traveled to Damascus to meet with Assad, who had been subjected to sanctions and ostracized by the Bush administration for his regime’s alleged role in Hariri’s assassination. Syrian troops still occupied Lebanon at the time of the killing and were guilty of egregious abuses. Syria itself remained a dictatorship. But Pelosi dismissed George W. Bush’s criticism of her trip and, alongside her Democratic colleagues, insisted that increasing dialogue with Syria on issues such as Hezbollah, the insurgency in Iraq, and peace with Israel was a way to improve stability in the region.

Engagement is necessary in diplomacy, but engagement without pressure or concessions undermines the foundation of stability. Pursuing stability without justice achieves neither—the 10-year civil war in Syria is a devastating testament to that.

Conversely, in the aftermath of the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, Pelosi was adamant that accountability must be sought. “If we decide commercial interests override the statements we make and the actions we take,” she said, “then we must admit we have lost all moral authority.” Both Republicans and Democrats pushed the Trump administration to hold Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable, standards that Pelosi did not apply to Assad.

Washington’s allies and partners should be held to higher standards than autocrats the U.S. doesn’t support, but accountability must apply to both. The Biden administration has now released a declassified report on the Khashoggi murder and imposed sanctions and a travel ban on Saudi officials. Although the report named the crown prince, no sanctions were imposed on him—the need for stability prevailed. Riyadh remains an important partner in the Middle East and the Biden administration needs to keep the Saudis close as it engages Iran. But if full accountability is not attainable, can injustices ever be redeemed?

American values and American interests will never fully align, and the U.S. will always be accused of hypocrisy as it upholds human rights. But after the events of January 6, Americans must, more than ever, understand that unearned forgiveness and a lack of accountability can perpetuate the rot in the system, erode norms, and undermine long-term stability and governance, at home and abroad.

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Vision Problems Are On the Decline for American Seniors


Latest Senior Health News

WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Serious vision problems among older Americans have declined sharply, and the improvement has been greatest among women, folks over 85 and seniors who are Black or Hispanic, a nationwide study shows.

“The implications of a reduction in vision impairment are significant,” said study first author ZhiDi Deng, a pharmacy student at the University of Toronto in Canada. “Vision problems are a major cause of age-related disability, and serious vision impairment can increase the risk of falls and fractures and undermine quality of life.”

The rate of adults 65 and older who reported serious vision impairment fell from 8.3% in 2008 to 6.6% in 2017.

If the rate had stayed at 2008 levels, 848,000 more seniors would have experienced serious vision impairment in 2017, according to findings published March 17 in the journal Ophthalmic Epidemiology.

Deng noted that the cost of vision impairment to the U.S. economy is in the tens of billions of dollars.

Driving the overall 21% decline was a 26% drop in vision problems among those 85 and older, and a 16% decrease among 75- to 84-year-olds. Younger seniors had a smaller, 2.6% decline.

Women had a much higher rate of decline than men (21% vs. 9%), but the reasons are unclear. Previous research suggests that women are more likely than men to see eye care professionals.

Meanwhile, Black seniors and Hispanic seniors had greater reductions in vision problems than their white counterparts with declines of 27%, 24% and 13%, respectively.

Deng said some of the narrowing of racial/ethnic disparities in vision problems may be due to the Affordable Care Act, which led to large increases in insured Hispanic and Black Americans.

“While it is heartening to see the racial disparities improving over the decade, targeted outreach and improved access to affordable vision care for racialized groups is still urgently needed to effectively eliminate the gap,” Deng said.

Senior author Esme Fuller Thomson said that while a 21% decline in the odds of vision impairment over a decade is “truly phenomenal, we cannot assume this trend will continue at the same pace.”

Thomson is director of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Life Course and Aging.

“The very small gains made by those currently aged 65 to 74 over the past decade suggest that as the Baby Boom cohort ages into their late 70s and 80s, the downward trend in the future may be much less steep than that seen from 2008 to 2017,” she added.

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on eye health.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, March 17, 2021

Robert Preidt

MedicalNews

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.





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Tom Cotton’s Big Idea: Raise the minimum wage while keeping American jobs


ORLANDO, Fla. — Sen. Tom Cotton introduced a bill last month that would do something Republicans have been resisting for years — raise the minimum wage. 

Cotton, R-Ark., was joined by Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, and Rob Portman of Ohio in introducing the bill. It would eventually raise the federal minimum wage to $10 per hour, while requiring all businesses to check the immigration status of their employees. 

The minimum wage would increase to $8 per hour immediately upon the enactment of the bill and slowly increase to $10 per hour three years after the bill is signed. The minimum wage would be indexed to inflation every other year after that. 

Increases would also be delayed until after the pandemic is over, and the wage increase would be slower for small businesses. 

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is seen in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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Meanwhile, all employers would be required to use the federal E-verify system, which allows them to check whether a person they are planning to hire is in the United States legally. The fines for employers who hire illegal immigrants would be increased significantly. 

Cotton discussed his Big Idea during an interview with Fox News at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Why do you think it makes sense to pair a minimum wage increase with mandating E-verify? 

Well, minimum wage laws and E-Verify are not just a horse trade between Republican and Democratic priorities. They’re tightly connected.

So the minimum wage will give workers a raise — that the minimum wage hasn’t changed for 12 years now — a little bit more than what it would have if it had been adjusted for inflation each of those years. 

DONALD TRUMP JR. SLAMS ‘BLINDLY’ SUPPORTING GOP INCUMBENTS, SAYS ‘THERE’S PLENTY’ OF GOP SENATORS TO PRIMARY

But obviously, when you raise the minimum wage, that gives unscrupulous employers more incentive to hire illegal aliens. And we want to make sure that those wage gains are going to American workers. And the effect of it will be to create rising wages through tight labor markets because American employers will have to hire American workers first. 

Striking McDonalds workers demanding a $15 minimum wage demonstrate in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S., June 14, 2019.A bill from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would increase the minimum wage to $10 and strengthen federal E-verify. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RC1753F868A0

Striking McDonalds workers demanding a $15 minimum wage demonstrate in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S., June 14, 2019.A bill from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., would increase the minimum wage to $10 and strengthen federal E-verify. REUTERS/Mike Segar – RC1753F868A0

Aren’t you concerned that this would hurt small businesses that Republicans have said would be harmed by a minimum wage increase? 

Well, we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that challenge.

So first, our minimum wage bill would not increase wages until the pandemic ends — until President Biden rescinds the public health declaration that President Trump issued last year.

Second, we would have a longer phase-in time for small businesses. So for big businesses, it would phase in over four years. For small businesses that would phase in over six years.

A few other wrinkles — a lot of small businesses or restaurants or bars. We retain the tipped wage, which is lower the minimum, so waiters and waitresses and bartenders can make more than the minimum wage.

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And we double the length of the summer teenage exception. So currently, you can employ teenagers at a wage below the federal minimum wage for 90 days. We would extend that to 180 days to help teenagers who are often working at small businesses get their foot on the economic ladder and be able to work their way up in the workplace. 

This seems like it’s part of the GOP’s move to be a more populist party. Why do you think the GOP needs to move in that direction? 

Well, one thing that President Trump has done over the last five years is kind of reset the view of a lot of Republican politicians and help them understand the views of Republican voters.

You know, when he first said that we should put America first, it gave a lot of Republican politicians in Washington the vapors.

But for most Americans, certainly most Republicans, it’s just common sense that America should come first and that American workers should come first. That’s been my view on immigration since I got the Congress — really before I was ever in the Congress — is that our immigration policy should put the interest of America’s workers and America’s communities first. 

Fox Nation was a sponsor of CPAC. 

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The red and the black – Black American radicals once forged links with Chinese communists | United States


ON FEBRUARY 23RD, from a basement in Queens, New York, a little-known organisation announced that China would be receiving a special honour. “We present [the] People’s Republic of China with the H.R. 1242 Resilience Project W.E.B. Du Bois Award,” wrote the group’s president, Victor Mooney, in a letter to the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations. The award celebrates China’s donation of the Sinopharm covid-19 vaccine to African countries. “W.E.B. Du Bois is a vivid reminder that China is a brother to Africa and African-Americans,” Mr Mooney added.

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In a time of strained relations between America and China, Mr Mooney’s olive branch is unusual. But then so is Mr Mooney. He claims to be the first African-American to have rowed across the Atlantic, braving boat-slapping sharks and boat-pinching pirates (the international arbiter of such challenges, the Ocean Rowing Society, does not recognise his efforts). He is an ally of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, Africa’s longest-serving despot. Perhaps it then says something that it is Mr Mooney alone who is trying to resurrect a long-forgotten friendship between black activists and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). His award harks back to a time when figures such as Du Bois, to some the godfather of the civil-rights movement, looked to China to lead a Third World liberation struggle, which included black Americans. Today, however, only the faintest echoes remain.

For black radicals looking to smash racism and capitalism at home, “Red” China was once a “vision of Utopia”, says Keisha Brown of Tennessee State University. In contrast to the Soviet Union, it was an example of an independent, non-white nation, and its revolutionary leader, Chairman Mao Zedong, was an icon. Radicals rushed to go there. Langston Hughes, a poet, wrote his anti-colonial poem “Roar China!” after visiting Shanghai in 1933. Du Bois, a brilliant sociologist who became a staunch defender of Chinese communism, spent his 91st birthday lecturing at Peking University. His wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, an activist in her own right, died in China in 1977.

A Chinese connection was also crucial to the Black Panther Party’s early successes. With a capitalist streak which might have got them purged in China during the Cultural Revolution, they bought battered copies of Mao’s “Little Red Book” in Chinatown for 20 cents each. Then, beneath the arches of Sather Gate, they sold them to Berkeley students for a dollar. “We made a killing,” recalled one of the group’s co-founders, Bobby Seale.

Today it is black radicals in the Bay Area who are most nostalgic for what China once represented. Tyson Amir grew up in East Oakland, the son of Black Panther affiliates. He travelled to China in 2018 to follow in the footsteps of his “elders”, who raced to “beat Nixon” to China in 1971. Sanyika Bryant, another Oakland-based activist, used to keep a photo of Mao and Robert Williams, a black-defence leader, as his screensaver. (The picture also holds a darker meaning. At the start of the Cultural Revolution, Williams, dependent on the CCP for his upkeep, watched helplessly from his Beijing apartment as his sons’ teachers were marched down the street by Red Guards.) But “there’s a lot of people, especially younger organisers, who have no clue about this history,” he sighs.

Candace McKinley, an organiser in Philadelphia, is one such example. She read about Du Bois in middle school, but his Chinese connections have not influenced her activism. She cares about the “global struggle of anti-capitalism”, but scarcely thinks about China. “I don’t see it as a model, or a place I want to go,” she shrugs.

This is partly because China has changed. As authoritarian as it was under Mao, it is now capitalist (albeit with Chinese characteristics), and no longer a wellspring for revolutionary ideas. Outwardly, however, it still aspires to a revolutionary foreign policy. It continues to make overtures to Africa, such as its latest attempts at vaccine diplomacy. After the death of George Floyd in 2020, its diplomats attacked American racial discrimination and police brutality at the UN, echoing Mao’s statements in support of black Americans in 1963 and 1968. But in America such gestures have largely fallen on deaf ears. For the few who know about China, racist attacks on Africans in China and a whiff of political opportunism have undermined the solidarity message.

Zifeng Liu of Cornell University sees some evidence that, in the minds of radicals, old cold-war attachments still remain. Many are reluctant to criticise China’s treatment of the Uyghurs, for example, because, by cold-war logic, that makes you pro-American, he explains. Even Ms McKinley, although “not a supporter of the CCP”, is “sceptical” of the Hong Kong protests. She equates that movement for democracy with a movement for capitalism.

Back in New York, Mr Mooney remains confident that he is the man to revive Sino-Black relations. He hopes to travel to China once the pandemic lifts, to present his award in person. “My mother used to say, ‘Victor, you don’t need a football team to score a touchdown’,” he says. It is just as well. He will not find too many clamouring to be on his team.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Red and black”

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Impeachment: American Crime Story Finds Its Hillary Clinton – E! Online


Edie Falco has played a mobster’s wife, a drug-addled nurse and Lyle and Erik Menendez‘s defense attorney. Now, she’s stepping into the shoes of a former first lady.

A source confirms to E! News the Nurse Jackie actress has been cast in the role of politician Hillary Clinton for Ryan Murphy’s third season of American Crime Story.

The upcoming season of the FX anthology series is centered around the impeachment of President Bill Clinton following his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

 

In 2019, FX CEO John Landgraf told The Hollywood Reporter that the former first couple will not play a major role in Impeachment: American Crime Story. He explained at the time, “Hillary is actually not a significant character in Impeachment because it’s really told from the point of view of these women who were really far from the center of power.”

Those women he’s referring to are Linda TrippPaula Jones and Lewinksy, who have already been cast.



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The Atlantic Daily: The Future of American Voting Rights Is on the Line


After being boxed out from the best-picture competitions, the critically acclaimed Minari won for best foreign-language film, but its performances went overlooked.

“As more creators of color break through and tell different kinds of stories, Hollywood’s snubbing of Asian actors is becoming especially obvious and newly urgent,” Shirley Li writes.

One question, answered: A reader named Nancy writes in from Ohio:

My son, whom I’ll refer to as “Sean,” is heading off to college next fall (if, God willing, colleges are open), and I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t think he knows how to organize his work or complete assignments on his own.

Abby Freireich and Brian Platzer respond in our latest “Homeroom” column:

In this moment of transition, we agree that now is the time for Sean to gain academic independence. The key is to replace your pushing and prodding with a system of routines and checklists that Sean can use to stay on top of his work.

Keep reading. Every week, Abby and Brian take questions from readers about their kids’ education. Have one? Email them at homeroom@theatlantic.com.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

In his eighth and latest novel, Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro “drapes realism like a thin cloth over a primordial cosmos.”

Today’s break from the news:

What happened to Jordan Peterson?

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Macquarie profit outlook soars 10% on American storm woes


The winter storms that swept across the U.S., particularly Texas, upending the energy market and knocking out power for millions of people, have delivered a windfall for Macquarie Group, with the Australian bank lifting its profit outlook for 2021 by as much as 10 percent, just two weeks after warning that earnings would be “slightly down”.

“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s capabilities in maintaining critical physical supply across the commodity complex,” according to the company, which is the second-largest supplier of gas in North America after oil major BP, as quoted by Reuters.

Macquarie’s energy business unit typically trades large quantities of natural gas to meet last-minute consumer demand, moving gas from areas of low usage to areas where the demand is high.

According to analysts, the gains made by the energy business unit over nearly a week of frigid temperatures, which sent demand for gas and power soaring in the U.S., could single-handedly boost Macquarie’s overall profit by about $317 million.

The deadly winter storm sent power prices surging to $8,800 per megawatt-hour in some parts of Texas, from an average of $26 per MWh. Meanwhile, real-time natural gas prices shot up by more than 300 times in Texas’s deregulated market, as electricity generators competed for natural gas supplies.

Customers are now staring at massive electricity bills. This has led to US politicians promising to investigate how some companies have profited heavily from the winter storm.

“This week is like hitting the jackpot, with some of these incredible prices,” said Roland Burns, president at Comstock.

Following the revised profit outlook, Macquarie’s shares rose 3.5 percent to A$147.15 on Monday, the highest level in a year, outperforming the broader market.

“Macquarie appears to be capitalizing well on volatility and financial market dislocation,” Bank of America Securities analysts said in a note, as they revised their earnings forecast for the Sydney-headquartered company.

Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets division contributes close to 40 percent of its group earnings. Analysts had earlier expressed concerns that the pandemic could chip away at profits from the division if high energy-use industries closed down.

The company’s performance suffered last year as the pandemic subdued deal-making and compounded economic woes, leading to a rise in impairment charges.

But, a strong initial public offering of Nuix last year, its majority-owned data analytics software business, and the boom in the energy business, have helped raise the company’s share price to pre-pandemic levels.

The company, which also operates Australia’s largest asset manager and investment banking business, is also hoping for another boost from a recovery in local M&A activity this year.

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