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Country music reckons with racial stereotypes and its future
7/1/2020 1:06:52 PM

By Kristin M. Hall   NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—When country singer Rissi Palmer was working on her debut album, she wanted a song like Gretchen Wilson's “Redneck Woman,” a song that would introduce her and tell her story to fans. On her 2007 debut single, “Country Girl,” she celebrated her country roots while explaining that she didn't have to look or talk a certain way to call herself a country girl. “I said that I am not white in the first verse, and the label was like, ‘No, no, no,”' said Palmer, who then rewrote the...

CeeLo Green discusses the authenticity of his new album
7/1/2020 1:04:06 PM

By Melissa Ruggieri   ATLANTA (AP)—There are many shades to CeeLo Green. The flashy hip-hop root of Goodie Mob. The quirky soul-funk maestro in Gnarls Barkley. The pop culture-loving music fan who steeped his Las Vegas residencies in classics from Culture Club and INXS. But for his fifth non-holiday studio album, “CeeLo Green Is Thomas Callaway,” the Atlanta native isn't only spotlighting his birth name, but revealing the authentic R&B musician behind what sometimes comes across as a caricature. Recorded last fall in Nashville, the album,...

New Executive Director of Western Center On Law & Poverty named
7/1/2020 1:02:45 PM

LOS ANGELES–After a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of Western Center on Law & Poverty has chosen Crystal D. Crawford to be its next Executive Director. Crawford is currently a program director at The California Wellness Foundation, a position she has held since 2012. Crawford will be the first Black woman or woman of color to serve as the organization’s Executive Director. A seasoned leader with more than 20 years of senior management experience in the legal, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, Crawford has played a pivotal role in advancing the health and...

Gilead’s $2,340 price for coronavirus drug draws criticism
7/1/2020 1:01:47 PM

By Marilynn Marchione   The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries. Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors. “We’re in uncharted territory with pricing a new medicine, a novel medicine, in...

Images of brutality against Black people spur racial trauma
7/1/2020 1:00:44 PM

By Noreen Nasir   Since Wanda Johnson’s son was shot and killed by a police officer in Oakland, California, 11 years ago, she has watched video after video of similar encounters between Black people and police. Each time, she finds herself reliving the trauma of losing her son, Oscar Grant, who was shot to death by a transit police officer. Most recently, Johnson couldn’t escape the video of George Floyd, pinned to the ground under a Minneapolis officer’s knee as he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. “I began to shake. I was up for two days, just...

Tracking coronavirus cases proves difficult amid new surge
7/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

By Tammy Webber, Brady McCombs and John Mone   HOUSTON (AP)—Health departments around the U.S. that are using contact tracers to contain coronavirus outbreaks are scrambling to bolster their ranks amid a surge of cases and resistance to cooperation from those infected or exposed. With too few trained contact tracers to handle soaring caseloads, one hard-hit Arizona county is relying on National Guard members to pitch in. In Louisiana, people who have tested positive typically wait more than two days to respond to health officials—giving the disease crucial time to...

Low-income California zip codes see spike in virus cases
7/1/2020 12:59:13 PM

ANAHEIM (AP)—Beachgoers packed Orange County's shoreline on Saturday and not everybody wore masks, worrying public health and elected officials who say people were letting their guard down even as the coronavirus surges across California. Data collected by health officials show hundreds of people have been infected in densely populated neighborhoods in Anaheim and Santa Ana that are more likely home to low-income residents, the Orange County Register reported Saturday. The residents living in the identified hot spots are more likely to live in multi-generational or...

Former California governors urge use of face coverings
6/24/2020 6:29:34 PM

SACRAMENTO (AP)—Arnold Schwarzenegger and three other former California governors joined Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday in a video campaign promoting the use of face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. “This is not about being weak,” Schwarzenegger says as he holds up a mask in a public service announcement also featuring Jerry Brown, Gray Davis and Pete Wilson. The PSA follows Newsom's order last week requiring Californians to wear face coverings in most indoor settings and outdoors when physical distancing isn't possible. Newsom issued the order as...

Lakers' director of racial equity will help educate staff
6/24/2020 6:25:51 PM

By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Los Angeles Lakers are looking for new ways to understand racism as an organization, and Karida Brown has joined them to help. The 16-time NBA champions hired Brown this week as the Lakers' first director of racial equity and action. Brown, an assistant professor of sociology and African American studies at UCLA, will work with the franchise in identifying ways to create change while educating staff on urgent social issues. The Lakers joined most sports organizations last month in issuing strong statements condemning...

Black Lives Matter wants to oust first Black Los Angeles DA
6/24/2020 6:20:28 PM

By Brian Melley   LOS ANGELES (AP)—For nearly three years, Melina Abdullah has led dozens of demonstrators once a week outside the Hall of Justice to call for the ouster of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey for failing to prosecute killings by police officers. Thousands more joined Abdullah after George Floyd's death. Chants of “Jackie Lacey must go!” echoed between the courthouses downtown several days this month. Demonstrators hoisted signs saying, “Prosecute Killer Cops” and “Bye Jackie!” and read the names of...