The Baltimore Police Union is calling on state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby to throw out all charges against the officers involved in the Freddie Gray case. This comes after one of the six officers, Caesar Goodson Jr., was acquitted of all charges placed against him on Thursday. This is the second time that Mosby’s team has failed to prosecute an officer involved in Gray’s death. No one has been convicted yet. “This is their Waterloo. This is their Gettysburg,” said attorney Warren A. Brown. “She [Mosby] is virtually persona non grata in the white community, and her support is waning in the black community and will continue to wane if she continues to lose these cases.” Although Mosby has been popular amongst Baltimore locals, many people believe the losses can damage her reputation. “This is the case that everyone has been watching,” said radio host Charles D. Ellison. “There are going to be some who see Mosby as being ineffective. It’s not just a verdict on Goodson. It’s a verdict on her performance. But that’s something she can pull through. She’s a very talented lawyer and talented politician.” Read more.
FLOTUS and Her Daughters to Travel to Africa for Let Girls Learn Initiative
First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters Sasha and Malia will embark on a journey to Africa in efforts to spread awareness about FLOTUS’ Let Girls Learn initiative. They will visit Liberia, where the First Lady will chat with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and engage in a discussion with young girls that will be moderated by actress Freida Pinto. They will also make a stop in Marrakech, Morocco, where FLOTUS will host another discussion with teenage girls that will be moderated by actress Meryl Streep. Moments from the discussion will be captured for an upcoming CNN documentary that will focus on the girls in Liberia and Morocco who have faced obstacles in regards to education. Due to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, the school dropout rate for girls in that region has risen. Almost two-thirds of young children don’t attend school. In Morocco, only 14 percent of girls are enrolled in high school. On Wednesday, Obama and her daughters will travel to Spain to meet with Queen Letizia and deliver a speech about Let Girls Learn. Read more.
President Obama Declares West Virginia Floods a Major Disaster
After a massive flood destroyed communities and left nearly 24 people dead in West Virginia, President Obama has declared the situation a major disaster. According to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the floods have been “the worst in a century for some parts of the state” and at least 100 homes have been wrecked or damaged. The state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reported that over 30,000 people are without power. Now that President Obama has recognized the flooding as a major disaster, the three counties that were hit the hardest —Kanawha, Nicholas, and Greenbrier — are eligible to receive funds for home repairs, temporary housing, and loans for property losses that were not insured. There are also other programs that will be offered for business owners and individuals to aid them in recovering from the disaster. “This federal support will provide much needed assistance to severely-impacted regions,” said Gov. Tomblin. “As emergency response efforts continue, with members of the National Guard and local emergency responders hard at work helping our neighbors, we will continue pursuing additional assistance for all affected areas.” Read more.
Jack Daniel’s Reveals Ties to Slavery
This year, as Jack Daniel’s celebrates their 150th anniversary, more historic details about one of the most popular whiskeys has been revealed. The original story behind the brand is that a boy named Daniel learned how to oversee a whiskey still from a preacher, distiller, and grocer named Dan Call back in the 1800s. According to a historian, Dan didn’t learn the ropes from Dan Call, he was taught by one of Call’s slaves, Nearis Green. “It’s taken something like the anniversary for us to start to talk about ourselves,” said Jack Daniel’s historian Nelson Eddy. The story opened up a conversation surrounding the history of slaves and whiskey. “They were key to the operation in making whiskey,” said Steve Bashore, who oversees a replica of former President George Washington’s distillery. “In the ledgers, the slaves are actually listed as distillers.” For a long time, the liquor company concealed this story, but wanted to reveal it now to let customers know the truth. Some critics believe it’s a marketing tactic. “When you look at the history of Jack Daniel’s, it’s gotten glossier over the years,” said author Peter Krass. “In the 1980s, they aimed at yuppies. I could see them taking it to the next level, to millennials, who dig social justice issues.” Read more.
Lucas Museum Will No Longer Be Built in Chicago
The plan for Star Wars creator George Lucas’ Chicago museum has come to a halt. Lucas wanted to build a facility on the city’s waterfront that would house his art collection. Now, a group called Friends of the Parks took legal action and filed a lawsuit to stop the construction from happening, forcing Lucas to find a new place to construct the museum. He’s looking to build the facility in California now. “We are deeply appreciative to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gov. Bruce Rauner and countless others for all the time and effort they invested in trying to secure the museum for Chicago,” said Lucas in a statement. “While Chicago will not be home to the museum, my wife and I will continue to enthusiastically support a wide variety of educational and cultural activities throughout the city.” Lucas would have funded the $750 million project. Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed his disappointment about the situation. “Unfortunately, time has run out, and the moment we’ve consistently warned about has arrived,” said Emanuel. “Chicago’s loss will be another city’s gain. … We tried to find common ground to resolve the lawsuit — the sole barrier preventing the start of the museum’s construction. But despite our best efforts to negotiate a common solution that would keep this tremendous cultural and economic asset in Chicago, Friends of the Parks chose to instead negotiate with themselves while Lucas negotiated with cities on the West Coast.” Read more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty
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