Admin
October 11, 2012


(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

The news could help President Barack Obama in his tight race for re-election on November 6 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who says Obama has mishandled the economy.

But a second report released on Thursday hinted at weaker U.S. and global demand. The U.S. trade deficit widened in August to $44.2 billion, as U.S. goods exports fell for the fifth consecutive month and imports declined fractionally.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the Labor Department said.

It was the lowest number of new claims since February 2008, about a year before Obama took office in the midst of the global financial crisis.

"This is a positive signal for the economy. The overall trend seems to be that the labor market is improving," said Brian Kim, a currency strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.

A Labor Department analyst noted that seasonal factors had predicted a very large increase in claims last week, which he said would be typical for the first week of the calendar quarter. Unadjusted claims did rise, but far less than expected, resulting in the sharp drop in the seasonally adjusted figure.

The analyst cautioned against reading too much into one week's figure, and noted that one state had reported a decline in claims last week when an increase was expected. He said no states had been estimated for the report.

Still, economists said the labor market was showing signs of getting stronger.

Zach Pandl, strategist at Columbia Management in Minneapolis, said "you do have to be cautious about possible distortions. But with that caveat, the jobless claims numbers have been modestly encouraging over the last few weeks."

The prior week's figure was revised up to show 2,000 more new jobless aid applications than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims edging up to 370,0000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 11,500 to 364,000.

U.S. stocks opened higher, while Treasury debt prices fell after the data and the dollar extended gains against the yen.

Recent data on the U.S. labor market has been encouraging.

Employers added a modest 114,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, but the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 7.8 percent, also the lowest level since Obama took office.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell to 3.27 million in the week ended September 29, the latest data available. It was the lowest since May.

DECLINING TRADE

The monthly trade gap increased to $44.2 billion, from an upwardly revised estimate of $42.5 billion in July, the Commerce Department said. Analysts were expecting an August trade gap of about $44.0 billion.

Overall U.S. exports dropped 1.0 percent as troubles in Europe continue to weigh on global growth, while imports fell 0.1 percent in a sign of faltering U.S. demand for consumer products, autos and capital goods.

"It looks like net exports will contribute negatively to GDP (gross domestic product) growth, subtracting as much as half a percentage point," said Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America in New York.

Exports of oil, chemicals and other industrial supplies fell to the lowest level since February 2011, helping pull down the entire goods category, despite an increase in capital goods exports to the second-highest level on record.

Services exports defied the overall trend and rose to a record $52.8 billion, due mostly to an increase in professional and business services and transportation.

Services imports also set a record, reflecting licensing fees to broadcast the Summer Olympic games in Britain.

The average price for imported oil rose slightly in August to $94.36 per barrel, helping to push the monthly oil import bill higher.

A separate Labor Department report showed that overall U.S. import prices rose 1.1 percent for the second consecutive month in September, while U.S. export prices rose 0.8 percent.

Both increases were above expectations.

Analysts surveyed before the report had expected a 0.7 percent increase in import prices and a 0.4 percent rise in export prices.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfus and Ellen Freilich in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Admin
January 7, 2013

The bank is also the subject of a civil lawsuit brought by federal prosecutors

Bank of America has agreed to pay US government mortgage agency Fannie Mae $3.6bn (£2.2bn) to settle claims relating to residential home loans.

In addition, it has agreed to buy back 30,000 mortgages for $6.75bn, and pay a further $1.3bn in compensation.

Fannie Mae argued the bank sold it toxic debts and should be responsible for the losses it suffered as result.

Separately, ten big mortgage providers agreed to pay $8.5bn in compensation for mistakes in repossessing homes.

The banks include Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. They will pay $3.3bn directly to homeowners, some of whom should not have lost their homes, regulators said.

Individual owners will receive anything from a few hundred dollars to $125,000.

Loan assistance and write-offs will make up the remaining $5.2bn.

Heavy losses

Fannie Mae supports the US mortgage market, which collapsed in 2008 after the housing bubble burst.

In the run-up to the financial crisis of 2007-08, home loans grouped together and sold on as investments became increasingly popular.

When the underlying mortgage holders were unable to repay their debts, the investments plummeted in value, with disastrous consequences for banks all over the world.

Freddie Mac is the other government mortgage agency. The two firms lost more than $30bn, partly because of their investments in the subprime mortgages, and were bailed out by the US government.

Since the rescues, US taxpayers have spent more than $140bn to keep the firms afloat.

Bank of America settled with Freddie Mac in 2011.

Bill Brown from Duke University, law professor and expert in financial services, told the BBC's World Service that this latest settlement with Fannie Mae was drawing a line under the whole subprime mortgage-backed securities saga.

"About a year or two ago there were many people worried that this line would not even start to be drawn. Right now we're 90% of the way to finishing the line."

'Significant step'

The agreement brings to an end a long-running dispute between Fannie Mae and Bank of America.

"A favourable resolution of this long-standing dispute between Fannie Mae and Bank of America is in the best interest of taxpayers," said Bradley Lerman at Fannie Mae.

The company said the loans "did not meet our standards at the time of origination, and we are pleased to have reached an appropriate agreement to collect on these repurchase requests."

The agreement covers loans worth about $1.4tn, with outstanding balances of $300bn.

Bank of America said the settlements were "a significant step in resolving our remaining legacy mortgage issues".

In October, the US government sued the bank for alleged mortgage fraud, accusing subsidiary Countrywide Financial of selling thousands of toxic home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Earlier in the month, it took similar action against the banks Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase.

In October, JP Morgan was sued for allegedly defrauding investors who lost more than $20bn on mortgage-backed securities sold by Bear Stearns.

JP Morgan, which bought the investment bank in March 2008, said the allegations related to actions at Bear Stearns prior to its takeover.

In the same month, Wells Fargo was also sued by federal authorities for alleged mortgage fraud.

Admin
March 4, 2013


Los Angeles (CNN) -- A "smoking gun" e-mail allegedly connecting a concert promoter to Michael Jackson's death was revealed this week as a judge unsealed documents in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother and children.

The trial next month in Los Angeles could shed new light on the pop icon's last days as Dr. Conrad Murray, who did not testify at his own involuntary manslaughter trial, and Jackson's oldest son Prince, 16, are on the witness list.

Jackson died two weeks before his "This Is It" comeback concerts, organized by AEG Live, were to have debuted in London in the summer of 2009. E-mails suggested that the promoter was worried about Jackson's missed rehearsals and they sought Murray's help in getting him ready.

Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson and their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, contend that AEG Live's pressure on Murray to have Michael Jackson ready for daily rehearsals despite his fragile health led to his death from an overdose of surgical anesthetic.

The judge ruled Wednesday that Jackson lawyers have shown enough evidence that AEG Live hired and supervised Murray to warrant a jury trial. She also ruled there was evidence to support the Jacksons' claim that AEG Live executives could have foreseen that Murray would use dangerous drugs in treating the pop icon.

"Now that the court has ruled that there is evidence that it was foreseeable that AEG's actions resulted in Michael Jackson's death, the Jackson family feels vindicated from the public smear campaign that AEG has waged against them," Jackson lawyer Kevin Boyle said Sunday. "The truth about what happened to Michael, which AEG has tried to keep hidden from the public since the day Michael died, is finally emerging. We look forward to the trial where the rest of the story will come to light."

A cornerstone of the Jacksons' case is an e-mail AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware wrote 11 days before Jackson's June 25, 2009, death. The e-mail to show director Kenny Ortega addressed concerns that Murray had kept Jackson from a rehearsal the day before: "We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him."

Jackson lawyers, calling it a "smoking gun," argue the e-mail is evidence that AEG Live used Murray's fear of losing his $150,000-a-month job as Jackson's personal physician to pressure him to have Jackson ready for rehearsals despite his fragile health.

Ortega, who had worked closely with Jackson on previous tours, sounded a loud warning about his health after Jackson showed up for a rehearsal shivering just over a week before his death. He wrote in an e-mail to AEG Live President Randy Phillips: "It is like there are two people there. One (deep inside) trying to hold on to what he was and still can be and not wanting us to quit him, the other in this weakened and troubled state. I believe we need professional guidance in this matter."

Phillips responded with a glowing endorsement of Murray: "This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he is totally unbiased and ethical."

Jackson lawyers point to another e-mail exchange as evidence that Phillips was directly involved with pressuring Murray to have Jackson at rehearsals. The e-mail was sent by AEG Live tour accountant Timm Woolley to an insurance broker two days before Jackson died: "Randy Phillips and Dr. Murray are responsible for MJ rehearsal and attendance schedule."

Murray told investigators two days after Jackson's death that he used the surgical anesthetic propofol every night for two months to help him rest for rehearsals. It was a procedure Jackson demanded, he said. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled that Jackson had died from an overdose of propofol in combination with sedatives. Murray is serving a prison sentence for his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

AEG Live argues it has no liability in Jackson's death because Murray was not its employee. AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam did not respond Sunday to CNN calls for comment, but he did give a short statement last year: "Defendants did not hire Dr. Murray nor were they responsible for the death of Michael Jackson."

The lawsuit seeks a judgment against AEG Live equal to the money Jackson would have earned over the course of his remaining lifetime if he had not died in 2009. If AEG Live is found liable, it could cost the company several billion dollars, according to estimates of Jackson's income potential. AEG Live is a subsidiary of AEG, a global entertainment company that is now for sale with an $8 billion asking price.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos, in her ruling rejecting AEG Live's request to have the case thrown out, said she agreed that the Jackson lawyers provided evidence that AEG Live didn't do "a sufficient background check of Dr. Murray, which would have established that Murray was deeply in debt."

Jackson's previous relationship with Murray, who treated him and his children for minor illnesses in Las Vegas, did not relieve AEG Live of liability, "although the fact may be relevant in determining proportional liability and damages," she said.

While the AEG Live lawyers argued the company could not have foreseen that Murray might use dangerous drugs on Jackson in preparation for the tour, Palazuelos said there was evidence that Gongaware had "previous tour experiences" with Jackson in which "tour doctors" gave "large amounts of drugs/controlled substances to him." Gongaware testified in Murray's trial that he worked as tour manager for Jackson's "Dangerous" and "History" tours before joining AEG Live.

The judge cited "Gongaware's general knowledge of the ethical issues surrounding 'tour doctors' and the practice of administering drugs to performing artists."

"There is a triable issue of fact as to whether it was foreseeable that such a physician under strong financial pressure may compromise his Hippocratic Oath and do what was known by AEG Live's executives to be an unfortunate practice in the entertainment industry for financial gain," the judge wrote.

By Alan Duke, CNN

Admin
September 13, 2014

Source: Coca-Cola.

Warren Buffett is perhaps the greatest investor of all time, and he has a simple solution that could help an individual turn $40 into $10 million.

A few years ago, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett spoke about one of his favorite companies, Coca-Cola, and how after dividends, stock splits, and patient reinvestment, someone who bought just $40 worth of the company's stock when it went public in 1919 would now have more than $5 million.

Yet in April 2012, when the board of directors proposed a stock split of the beloved soft-drink manufacturer, that figure was updated and the company noted that original $40 would now be worth $9.8 million. A little back-of-the-envelope math of the total return of Coke since May 2012 would mean that $9.8 million is now worth about $10.8 million.

The power of patience
I know that $40 in 1919 is very different from $40 today. However, even after factoring for inflation, it turns out to be $540 in today's money. Put differently, would you rather have an Xbox One, or almost $11 million?

But the thing is, it isn't even as though an investment in Coca-Cola was a no-brainer at that point, or in the near century since then. Sugar prices were rising. World War I had just ended a year prior. The Great Depression happened a few years later. World War II resulted in sugar rationing. And there have been countless other things over the past 100 years that would cause someone to question whether their money should be in stocks, much less one of a consumer-goods company like Coca-Cola.

The dangers of timing
Yet as Buffett has noted continually, it's terribly dangerous to attempt to time the market:

"With a wonderful business, you can figure out what will happen; you can't figure out when it will happen. You don't want to focus on when, you want to focus on what. If you're right about what, you don't have to worry about when"
So often investors are told they must attempt to time the market, and begin investing when the market is on the rise, and sell when the market is falling.

This type of technical analysis of watching stock movements and buying based on how the prices fluctuate over 200-day moving averages or other seemingly arbitrary fluctuations often receives a lot of media attention, but it has been proved to simply be no better than random chance.

Investing for the long term
Individuals need to see that investing is not like placing a wager on the 49ers to cover the spread against the Cowboys, but instead it's buying a tangible piece of a business.

It is absolutely important to understand the relative price you are paying for that business, but what isn't important is attempting to understand whether you're buying in at the "right time," as that is so often just an arbitrary imagination.

In Buffett's own words, "if you're right about the business, you'll make a lot of money," so don't bother about attempting to buy stocks based on how their stock charts have looked over the past 200 days. Instead always remember that "it's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price."

Admin
October 4, 2012

Manu Ginobili and James Harden tangle, lose all their money (Tom Pennington/ Getty)

Since reports surfaced last week that the NBA was set to fine players for flopping, many fans and observers, including me, have wondered exactly how the league would set about policing these actions. Those rules and standards would go a long way towards defining exactly what the NBA thinks of flopping and why they're concerned with regulating it.

On Wednesday, the NBA unveiled its definition of flopping and their fine structure in response to them. From the official press release:

"Flopping" will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player. The primary factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force or direction of the contact. Physical acts that constitute legitimate basketball plays (such as moving to a spot in order to draw an offensive foul) and minor physical reactions to contact will not be treated as flops.

Any player who is determined to have committed a flop during the regular season will be subject to the following:
Violation 1: Warning
Violation 2: $5,000 fine
Violation 3: $10,000 fine
Violation 4: $15,000 fine
Violation 5: $30,000 fine

If a player violates the anti-flopping rule six times or more, he will be subject to discipline that is reasonable under the circumstances, including an increased fine and/or suspension.

There is much to analyze here, so let's start with the definition itself. As I noted on Tuesday, a flop can be defined narrowly (pretending contact exists where there was none) 0r quite broadly (any embellishment that emphasizes contact beyond a basic physical reaction). A strict interpretation of this definition suggests the NBA has gone with the latter approach. If the reaction is "inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected" then the play will be a flop. (Never mind that those expectations could differ among reasonable judges.) Based on the amount of times that NBA players embellish contact in a regular game, the NBA would be set to levy many fines over the course of this season.

However, the fine structure itself indicates that they won't be fining with much regularity. Six instances of embellishment is relatively few, especially for defenders like Shane Battier or offensive players like Manu Ginobili who fall to the ground and flail their arms while driving several times per game. So, unless the NBA wants to start handing out suspensions a month or two into the season, they likely won't be policing flops very often. As a point of comparison, the league already suspends players for one game on their 16th technical foul of the regular season (plus another game-long suspension for every two techs after that). Over the course of a season, only a handful of players will see that penalty. If the flopping rules punish a similar number of players, then there's no way that the NBA can crack down on flopping (again, defined broadly) without drastically changing the structure of competition.

The approach, then, is expansive in theory but likely limited in practice. On top of that, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that the NBA is unlikely to announce fines as they are handed out, instead posting a running tally of infractions. Anyone who wants to figure out the specific flops will have to reverse-engineer the totals and guess at which specific plays were deemed fine-worthy. (It's as yet unclear what that means for the players' appeals process.) So not only will fines be irregular — the NBA won't even announce them in an effort to shame floppers in public.

The difficulty here is in figuring what the NBA has to gain from this particular system. Henry Abbott of TrueHoop has smartly pointed out that the existence of these penalties will at least curb the embarrassment that flopping brings to the league, but it also won't embarrass particular floppers. So, in all likelihood, these flopping rules will help show that the NBA cares about the issue without really doing much to curb the practice. It's a public relations move, first and foremost.

The problem with that approach is that, if certain people don't like flopping, they aren't going to stop decrying it simply because the NBA has minor rules in place. (I find flopping to be a minor issue that doesn't majorly affect my enjoyment of the sport, but I certainly understand that others feel differently.) If flopping persists, then people will continue to notice it, no matter how often the NBA points to its rules as an effort to combat the activity.

UPDATE: As tweeted by Yahoo!'s own Marc Spears, the NBPA will file a grievance and unfair labor practice charge against the NBA. From the union's press release:

NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter stated that, "The NBA is not permitted to unilaterally impose new economic discipline against the players without first bargaining with the union. We believe that any monetary penalty for an act of this type is inappropriate and without precedent in our sport or any other sport. We will bring appropriate legal action to challenge what is clearly a vague and arbitrary overreaction and overreach by the Commissioner's office."

The Players Association will file its grievance with the NBA league office and its unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

Postgame flopping penalties were initially brought up by the league's competition committee, which includes players, only for it to decide that those discussions should be tabled for this upcoming season. By instituting these fines as postgame infractions, the NBA might have a technically sound argument for their actions (i.e., they're not exactly affecting the game as it's played on the court), but there is certainly a debate to be had over the issue.

Admin
January 31, 2013

Nigerian oil tycoon takes Oprah's place as richest black woman in the world

Oprah Winfrey has lost her long-held title as the richest black woman in the world to a Nigerian oil tycoon, according to a report by an African business magazine.


Edging out Oprah is Folorunsho Alakija, a 61-year-old woman from Nigeria who is reportedly worth at least $3.2 billion, or roughly $500 million more than Oprah's $2.7 billion net worth, Ventures Africa reported.

Alakija is the founder and owner of Famfa Oil, which owns a 60 per cent interest in OML 127, an offshore oil field that produces roughly 200,000 barrels of oil per day and is worth an estimated $6.44 billion.

Also a fashion designer and philanthropist, Alakija is married and has four grown sons, as well as one grandchild. She owns at least $100 million in real estate and $46 million private jet, Ventures Africa reported.

Born into a wealthy Nigerian family, Alakija started out as a secretary in the mid 1970s at the now defunct International Merchant Bank of Nigeria.

Several years later, she quit her job and moved to London, where she studied fashion design. She later returned to Nigeria and launched her fashion line, Supreme Stitches, which caters to upscale, high-society women.

While she was building her name as a fashion designer, Alakija in 1993 applied for an Oil Prospecting License -- an expensive permit that allows for oil exploration in a specified area.

The Nigerian government granted her request and allocated a 617,000-acre block of land to Alakija for oil exploration -- but she knew nothing about finding and extracting oil.

So in September of 1996, she appointed Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited -- a subsidiary of Texaco -- to act as a technical adviser for her business.

In 2000, Star Deep Petroleum determined that Alakija's land contained an excess of one billion barrels of oil. When this was discovered, the Nigerian government tried to re-acquire half of the oil-rich block it had sold to Alakija.

The Nigerian government was successful and Alakija lost control of all but 10 percent of her oil company until 2012, when Nigeria's highest court reversed the government's actions.

With Alakija now back in control of 60 percent of the oil company, her net worth has shot up to $3.2 billion, an estimate that Ventures Africa calls extremely conservative.

Alakija's sons now run Famfa Oil and her husband, Modupe Alakija, is the chairman of the company.

She recently purchased a $102 million property at One Hyde Park in London, as well as a Bombardier Global Express 6000 jet, which she bought earlier this year for $46 million.

Her charity, Rose of Sharon Foundation, gives out small grants to widows and orphans.

Mathis Tate
April 4, 2013
Many small businesses make mistakes, and smart entrepreneurs will learn from the mistakes of others. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some common mistakes that small business owners often make....

1. Knowing It All

Business owners who think they have learned it all will very often tend to fail. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs have to be willing to learn continually. There are always new technologies and markets emerging. It is very important to learn these new technologies and adapt to changing markets.

2. Blindly Taking Advice From Others

What works well for one business may or may not work as well for another. It is important that all advice be considered and weighed. When evaluating advice, be sure to consider the source, the similarities, and the dissimilarities to your situation, and then make a determination of whether the advice is applicable or relevant. Avoid the urge to just blindly follow the advice of others, no matter how successful they might be.

3. Not Using Targeted Marketing Efforts

The most effective type of marketing is "targeted" marketing. A locally-based retail store that spends money on a global marketing campaign will likely spend that money reaching customers who will never cross their threshold. Target your audience with a clear message, and focus your advertising in ways that will target legitimate prospective customers.

4. Believing That If A Little Is Good, Then More Must Be Better

This applies to a wide variety of business aspects. Not everything in business will scale equally. For example, if you conduct an email marketing campaign once a week and have great results, that does not necessarily mean that increasing the frequency of the mailings will lead to even more positive results. Such assumptions can often lead to big and costly mistakes.

5. Not Listening To Customers

Your customers are the best source of ideas and inspiration available to you. Welcome both compliments and criticisms from your customers. Small businesses can learn a lot from their customers, so listen carefully to what they are saying, and more importantly, listen to what they are not saying!

6. Lack Of Diversification

Having all your eggs in one basket can be a serious mistake that many small businesses fall into. Small businesses should make an effort to diversify their income streams whenever possible. The key to doing this successfully is to strike a balance between diversifying your business interests to create multiple revenue streams, yet not spreading yourself or your staff too thin to adequately handle everything.

7. Hiring Friends And Family

They are your family. You know them, you love them, but... can you really afford to hire them? Hiring family members, as well as close friends, can often do serious damage to otherwise strong relationships. How someone behaves in a social situation is not always a good indication of how they will perform as an employee. Many small businesses staff their companies with friends and relatives, and at times it works just great; but when it doesn't, it can be really messy, and can often lead to seriously damaged personal and family relationships outside the business. Avoid the urge to hire friends and family members as employees.

8. Failure To Adapt

Businesses may need to make changes due to shifting economic conditions or advances in technology. Small businesses have the advantage of being agile, and most can quickly and easily adapt to changing market conditions and advancing technologies. Yet many still fail to do so, and that can lead to serious problems.

9. Failure To Build Brand

Regardless of a company's size, building a brand is all about establishing a reputation. Do not make the mistake of thinking your company is too small to need a brand. Identify an image or logo with your product or service in order to effectively establish a brand, and then use that image to reinforce your brand on an ongoing basis.

10. Failure To Track

It is critical that business owners track what works in their business, and what does not. Why waste precious and often limited advertising funds on marketing efforts that do not result in sales. Monitor and track all marketing efforts carefully, so you will know the best and most successful options to spend your marketing funds and efforts on.

These are just a few of the more common mistakes that small businesses often make. Watch for and avoid making them yourself!

Admin
December 16, 2015


It was easy to look upon Michael Jordan as a Grinch of sorts in his lawsuit against the Jewel/ Osco and Dominick’s brand of grocery stores. At least one good thing – or 23 good things – has come of the $8.9 million a judge awarded the former Chicago Bulls legend.

The now-defunct chain, which inserted a Jordan-themed tribute ad in Sports Illustarted that featured $2 off Dominick’s steaks in 2009 in response to Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, will pay out the entirety of its settlement cash to 23 different non-profit organizations in the Chicagoland area.

Following what Jordan has to pay off to his legal representatives.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Jordan's spokeswoman Estee Portnoy on Tuesday declined to state the size of the donations to 23 charities including After School Matters, Casa Central and the Greater Chicago Food Depository, citing the confidential terms of the settlement with Dominick's and Jewel-Osco.
[…]
But even after Jordan paid the attorneys who waged a six-year court battle after both supermarkets used Jordan's name without permission in a 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated that commemorated Jordan's elevation to the basketball Hall of Fame, there were still millions of dollars left over to donate on Tuesday, sources said.
"I care deeply about the city of Chicago and have such incredible memories from my years there," Jordan said in a news release. "The 23 charities I've chosen to make donations to all support the health, education and well-being of the kids of Chicago. Chicago has given me so much and I want to give back to its kids — the city's future."
[…]
Portnoy said Tuesday that Jordan's staff had "a fun week" calling the recipients of Jordan's donations, which also included Chicago Scholars, Chicago Youth Programs, Children's Literacy Initiative, Christopher House, Common Threads, Erikson Institute, Gary Comer Youth Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund — Illinois, KEEN Chicago, La Casa Norte, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Make-A-Wish Illinois, New Moms, New Teacher Center, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, Project Exploration, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Sinai Health System, SOS Children's Villages Illinois and Tutoring Chicago.


Jordan first levied the lawsuit in 2009. According to the chain, just two different people actually used the discount in a transaction, hardly a massive advertising coup for Jewel/Osco and Dominick’s and completely understandable given the fact that the ad was carried in a commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated – a collector’s item that fans were loathe to cut up in order to take in some late summer savings.



Even dumber on Dominick’s part? They put the coupon on the inside cover of the magazine, meaning Jordan fans had to cut off the lower part of a one-off publication in order to save those two bucks.

For some that are mindful of the fact that Jordan lords over his Jordan Brand empire and a Charlotte Hornets team that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, his decision to sue the grocery chain came off as callous and needless. Especially for those of us that are Chicago natives, also mindful of another fact – the Dominick’s stores that we grew up walking around are no more, thanks in small (very small) part to this lawsuit.

Once one steps back, though, it’s more than understandable that Jordan would want to set a precedent here.

Dominick’s did not place that ad in Sports Illustrated to draw customers in to buy discounted steaks. They did as much in order to align themselves with Jordan’s lower-case “brand,” and his accomplishments. By putting an approximation of his famous Jumpman logo on an ad, they posited that this was an unofficial endorsement of sorts. That Jordan, who hasn’t played a game for the Bulls since 1998 and has mostly moved away from the city that he called home for a couple of decades, was still associated with your local grocer.

Greedy, on Jordan’s part, even with the nod toward charity? Perhaps. He’s still well within his right to have the final say on whatever companies (which include two other steak-related endorsement brands) his image is aligned with. Companies for decades have been placing “hey, congrats on your career, slugger!” ads in all manner of programs, billboards, magazines and newspapers; but when a company also uses the ad to offer an incentive to buy their product, things tend to change a bit. Legally, if not morally.

Jordan at least helped assuage those concerns by giving that settlement money away to associations that need it far more than a former grocery conglomerate.

By: Kelly Dwyer
Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports.

Admin
June 4, 2016
[img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/4ab8f68000065a5a6cd616e257a9754b_view.jpg[/img] Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday. Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74. Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's. [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/852ef98063e71b9d074edd9bcf52e760_view.jpg[/img] Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old. When young Clay vowed to "whoop the behind" of the thief, a local police officer encouraged him to learn to box to channel his energy. He would go on to become known as "The Greatest," and at his peak in the 1970s was among the most recognizable faces on Earth. He was known for his tendency to recite poems while making predictions about his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." – as well as for giving opponents often unflattering nicknames. He referred to Sonny Liston as "the big ugly bear," George Chuvalo as "The Washerwoman," Floyd Patterson as "The Rabbit" and Earnie Shavers as "The Acorn." But his most controversial, and some would say cruel, nicknames were reserved for his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier. He first dubbed Frazier "Uncle Tom" and then later called him "The Gorilla." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/c63233b38213f7b69a69892fd8de4b12_view.jpg[/img] When Ali prepared to meet Frazier for a third time in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 1, 1975, he frequently carried a toy rubber gorilla with him. At one news conference, he pulled the gorilla out of his pocket and began punching it as he said, "It's going to be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila." Frazier, though, took it personally and harbored a decades-long grudge. "It sure did bother him," Gene Kilroy, Ali's friend for more than 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. Kilroy said Ali was simply promoting the fights and meant no harm, and said Ali regretted the impact his words had upon Frazier. "I used to tell Ali, 'Someday, me, you and Joe are going to be three old men sitting in the park laughing about all that [expletive],' " Kilroy recalled. "And Ali said, 'That would be great!' I talked to Joe and Joe said, 'No, [expletive] him. I don't want to be with him.' But he loosened up later and they mended fences." Not long before Frazier's death in 2011, he attended an autograph signing and memorabilia show in Las Vegas. Frazier grabbed a copy of an old Sports Illustrated magazine that had a photo of the two fighters and promoter Don King on the cover. "Man," he said, sounding wistful, "we gave the people some memories, me and Ali." Ali was at the peak of his professional powers after knocking out Zora Folley in New York on March 22, 1967. He battered Folley throughout and stopped him in the seventh. After the bout, Folley shared his thoughts with Sports Illustrated. "The right hands Ali hit me with just had no business landing – but they did. They came from nowhere," Folley said. "… He's smart. The trickiest fighter I've seen. He's had 29 fights and acts like he's had a hundred. He could write the book on boxing, and anyone that fights him should be made to read it first." Ali's boxing career came to a screeching halt after that fight. He'd refused induction into the U.S. Army because he stated he was a conscientious objector. Ali had converted to Islam in 1964 after the first of his two wins over Liston, and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He said Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm. This all went down at the height of the civil rights movement. "Shoot them for what?" Ali asked in an interview after he refused induction. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They never put dogs on me. They didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. What do I want to shoot them for, for what? Why do I want to go shoot them, poor little people and babies and children and women? How can I shoot them? Just take me to jail." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/0976b33d9f47045f14c523768a53cfc9_view.jpg[/img] He went on trial in Houston on June 20, 1967. The jury deliberated for only 21 minutes before finding him guilty. He was fined $10,000, faced five years in jail and had his passport taken. He was stripped of the crown and deprived from making a living, but he wasn't silenced. Ali would go on a lecture circuit, speaking at colleges for as little as $1,500 and as much as $10,000. He desperately needed the money because he wasn't making a lot after being stripped and he was paying an expensive team of attorneys. Always conscious of his image, Ali joked in one interview that he couldn't allow people to see his car. "I didn't want people to see the world heavyweight champion driving a Volkswagen, while all them guys were driving their Cadillacs," he said. At first, there was a lot of tension in the crowds, as opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started. Gradually, though, Ali swung the crowds to his point of view as the country's opinion of the situation in Southeast Asia turned dramatically. Ali said that on one series of lectures he was set to make $1,500 a speech for talking to students at Canisius, Farleigh Dickinson and C.W. Post. He opened his wife's piggy bank and found, he said, $135, which he needed to buy gas and food for his trip. Kilroy said that whenever Ali was paid, the first thing he did was find a Western Union. "Whenever he'd get paid, he'd go send some money to his mother and father so they were OK and then he sent what was left to his wife and kids," Kilroy said. Despite his financial difficulties, Ali never lost the courage of his convictions. At one of his speeches, he insisted he had no regrets. While many tried to convince him of the errors of his ways, he remained steadfast and resolute. He told the crowd that sticking for his beliefs led him to come out on top. "There have been many questions put to me about why I refused to be inducted into the United States Army," Ali said in the speech to students. "Especially, as some have pointed out, as many have pointed out, when not taking the step I will lose so much. I would like to say to the press and those people who think I lost so much by not taking the step, I would like to say I didn't lose a thing up until this very moment. One thing, I have gained a lot. Number one, I have gained a peace of mind. I have gained a peace of heart. I now know I am content with almighty God himself, whose name is Allah. I have also gained the respect of everyone who is here today. "I have not only gained the respect of everyone who is here today, but worldwide. I have gained respect [from] people all over the world. By taking the step, I would have satisfied a few people who are pushing the war. Even if the wealth of America was given to me for taking the step, the friendship of all of the people who support the war, this would still be nothing [that would] content [me] internally." The Supreme Court would reverse Ali's conviction in 1971 by an 8-0 vote. But by then, Ali was already back in the ring. He actually returned from exile in 1970. Georgia didn't have an athletic commission and so he wasn't banned there. He faced Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 in Atlanta, a fight Ali won via a third-round stoppage. After one more fight, a knockout of Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round, Ali was ready to face the undefeated Frazier. According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, the fight nearly took place in Las Vegas, with then-Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt endorsing the fight. "The bad luck was [when arranging the fight] we stayed at the Desert Inn," Arum told Yahoo Sports. The Desert Inn was owned by Moe Dalitz, a one-time bootlegger and racketeer who was the most powerful figure in Las Vegas. He was also a reputed mobster. Dalitz didn't care for Ali because he didn't serve in the war. He saw Arum and Conrad eating breakfast and asked Conrad why they were there. Dalitz went crazy, Arum said. "He said, 'I don't want that [expletive] draft dodger in this town,' " Arum said. " 'It's not good for the town.' " And so the biggest fight in history went not to Las Vegas but to New York a few months later. [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/be9a2e532ed1aebd00399124b8fcb022_view.jpg[/img] It was an epic night that featured scores of celebrities in the crowd. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer. Burt Lancaster did color commentary. It was an outstanding fight, but Frazier's pressure carried the day. He floored Ali in the 15th round with one of the most famous and perfectly executed left hooks in boxing history, sealing the fight. But Ali would have his days against Frazier, defeating him twice, in a non-title bout on Jan. 28, 1974, in New York, and for the heavyweight title in Manila on Oct. 1, 1975. That was a fight for the ages, remembered as one of a handful of the best in boxing history. Ali won by 14th-round stoppage when Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, asked referee Carlos Padilla to stop the fight. There has long been question about whether Angelo Dundee, then Ali's trainer, would have allowed Ali to go out for the 15th had Futch not stopped it. In his brilliant 2001 book, "Ghosts of Manila," Mark Kram wrote, "After the press conference, Joe retired to a private villa for rest. He had been sleeping for a couple of hours when George Benton entered with a visitor. The room was dark. 'Who is it?' Joe asked, lifting his head. 'I can't see. Can't see. Turn the lights on.' A light was turned on and he still could not see. Like Ali, he lay there with his veins empty, crushed by a will that had carried him so far and now surely too far. His eyes were iron gates torn up by an explosive. 'Man, I hit him with punches that bring down the walls of a city. What held him up?' He lowered his head for some abstract forgiveness. 'Goddamn it, when somebody going to understand? It wasn't justa fight. It was me and him. Not a fight.' " Ali wasn't nearly the same fighter after that. He'd taken a fearsome pounding in his second career, after his return from exile. His three fights with Frazier, his 1974 fight with George Foreman in Africa and his 1980 bout with Larry Holmes were particularly brutal. Ali's win over Foreman became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," fought in then what was called Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He employed his famous "Rope-A-Dope" strategy in that fight. Foreman was a fearsome opponent at the time, the hardest hitter in boxing with a 40-0 record and 39 knockouts. There were many sportswriters and boxing experts of the day who feared for Ali, such was Foreman's reputation at the time. "I thought I was going to go in there and just go out and go, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and hit him and get him out of there and then go home," Foreman told Yahoo Sports in 2014. "That was my mistake. This was Muhammad Ali. He was 'The Greatest,' and they called him that because he was, but he was also the smartest. He knew what to do. And he did a great job of it." Ali no longer had the foot speed or the elusiveness to dance away from Foreman as he'd done with Liston a decade earlier. Instead, he figured out the best strategy was to lay back against the ropes, lean back as far as he could, cover his face with his gloves and as much of his body as he could with his arms and let Foreman pound at him. Foreman obliged and threw crunching, punishing shots. Ali took them and waited until Foreman became so tired he could no longer raise his arms. When he couldn't, Ali struck back and knocked out Foreman in the eighth round in the most remarkable upset of his career. "It was my honor to get beaten up by that man," Foreman said, chuckling, in 2014. "I hated him at the time, because I didn't understand. But we grew to love each other. I love him like a brother." Ali slowed down even more after the win over Frazier and never again looked like the electric, blazing-fast athlete he'd been years earlier. "Nobody would have beaten Ali prior to the three-and-a-half years he lost [objecting to the Vietnam War]," Arum, who has promoted boxing for 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have come close to him. He was as fast and as elusive as Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and he was a heavyweight. His punching power was way better than people gave him credit for, but you never saw it a lot in those days because he was up on his toes moving." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/c7ee2d47378ae059d60306133496d999_view.jpg[/img] Muhammad Ali, simply 'The Greatest,' dead at 74 Kevin Iole,Yahoo Sports 13 hours ago Comments Sign in to like Reblog on Tumblr Share Tweet Email What is the greatest Game 7 in history? Yahoo Sports Videos Scroll back up to restore default view. Muhammad Ali, the eloquent, colorful, controversial and brilliant three-time heavyweight boxing champion who was known as much for his social conscience and staunch opposition to the Vietnam War as for his dazzling boxing skills, died Friday. Ali, who had a long battle with Parkinson's disease, was taken to a Phoenix area hospital earlier this week where he was being treated for a respiratory issue. He was 74. Once the most outrageous trash talker in sports, he was largely muted for the last quarter century of his life, quieted by a battle with Parkinson's. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old. When young Clay vowed to "whoop the behind" of the thief, a local police officer encouraged him to learn to box to channel his energy. He would go on to become known as "The Greatest," and at his peak in the 1970s was among the most recognizable faces on Earth. He was known for his tendency to recite poems while making predictions about his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can't hit what the eyes can't see." – as well as for giving opponents often unflattering nicknames. He referred to Sonny Liston as "the big ugly bear," George Chuvalo as "The Washerwoman," Floyd Patterson as "The Rabbit" and Earnie Shavers as "The Acorn." But his most controversial, and some would say cruel, nicknames were reserved for his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier. He first dubbed Frazier "Uncle Tom" and then later called him "The Gorilla." [Slideshow: Muhammad Ali's life in photos] When Ali prepared to meet Frazier for a third time in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 1, 1975, he frequently carried a toy rubber gorilla with him. At one news conference, he pulled the gorilla out of his pocket and began punching it as he said, "It's going to be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila." Frazier, though, took it personally and harbored a decades-long grudge. "It sure did bother him," Gene Kilroy, Ali's friend for more than 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. Kilroy said Ali was simply promoting the fights and meant no harm, and said Ali regretted the impact his words had upon Frazier. "I used to tell Ali, 'Someday, me, you and Joe are going to be three old men sitting in the park laughing about all that [expletive],' " Kilroy recalled. "And Ali said, 'That would be great!' I talked to Joe and Joe said, 'No, [expletive] him. I don't want to be with him.' But he loosened up later and they mended fences." Not long before Frazier's death in 2011, he attended an autograph signing and memorabilia show in Las Vegas. Frazier grabbed a copy of an old Sports Illustrated magazine that had a photo of the two fighters and promoter Don King on the cover. "Man," he said, sounding wistful, "we gave the people some memories, me and Ali." Ali was at the peak of his professional powers after knocking out Zora Folley in New York on March 22, 1967. He battered Folley throughout and stopped him in the seventh. After the bout, Folley shared his thoughts with Sports Illustrated. "The right hands Ali hit me with just had no business landing – but they did. They came from nowhere," Folley said. "… He's smart. The trickiest fighter I've seen. He's had 29 fights and acts like he's had a hundred. He could write the book on boxing, and anyone that fights him should be made to read it first." Ali's boxing career came to a screeching halt after that fight. He'd refused induction into the U.S. Army because he stated he was a conscientious objector. Ali had converted to Islam in 1964 after the first of his two wins over Liston, and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He said Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm. This all went down at the height of the civil rights movement. "Shoot them for what?" Ali asked in an interview after he refused induction. "They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They never put dogs on me. They didn't rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. What do I want to shoot them for, for what? Why do I want to go shoot them, poor little people and babies and children and women? How can I shoot them? Just take me to jail." Muhammad Ali arrives at the Veterans building to appeal his 1A draft classification. (AP) He went on trial in Houston on June 20, 1967. The jury deliberated for only 21 minutes before finding him guilty. He was fined $10,000, faced five years in jail and had his passport taken. He was stripped of the crown and deprived from making a living, but he wasn't silenced. Ali would go on a lecture circuit, speaking at colleges for as little as $1,500 and as much as $10,000. He desperately needed the money because he wasn't making a lot after being stripped and he was paying an expensive team of attorneys. Always conscious of his image, Ali joked in one interview that he couldn't allow people to see his car. "I didn't want people to see the world heavyweight champion driving a Volkswagen, while all them guys were driving their Cadillacs," he said. At first, there was a lot of tension in the crowds, as opposition to the Vietnam War had only just started. Gradually, though, Ali swung the crowds to his point of view as the country's opinion of the situation in Southeast Asia turned dramatically. Ali said that on one series of lectures he was set to make $1,500 a speech for talking to students at Canisius, Farleigh Dickinson and C.W. Post. He opened his wife's piggy bank and found, he said, $135, which he needed to buy gas and food for his trip. Kilroy said that whenever Ali was paid, the first thing he did was find a Western Union. "Whenever he'd get paid, he'd go send some money to his mother and father so they were OK and then he sent what was left to his wife and kids," Kilroy said. Despite his financial difficulties, Ali never lost the courage of his convictions. At one of his speeches, he insisted he had no regrets. While many tried to convince him of the errors of his ways, he remained steadfast and resolute. He told the crowd that sticking for his beliefs led him to come out on top. "There have been many questions put to me about why I refused to be inducted into the United States Army," Ali said in the speech to students. "Especially, as some have pointed out, as many have pointed out, when not taking the step I will lose so much. I would like to say to the press and those people who think I lost so much by not taking the step, I would like to say I didn't lose a thing up until this very moment. One thing, I have gained a lot. Number one, I have gained a peace of mind. I have gained a peace of heart. I now know I am content with almighty God himself, whose name is Allah. I have also gained the respect of everyone who is here today. "I have not only gained the respect of everyone who is here today, but worldwide. I have gained respect [from] people all over the world. By taking the step, I would have satisfied a few people who are pushing the war. Even if the wealth of America was given to me for taking the step, the friendship of all of the people who support the war, this would still be nothing [that would] content [me] internally." The Supreme Court would reverse Ali's conviction in 1971 by an 8-0 vote. But by then, Ali was already back in the ring. He actually returned from exile in 1970. Georgia didn't have an athletic commission and so he wasn't banned there. He faced Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26 in Atlanta, a fight Ali won via a third-round stoppage. After one more fight, a knockout of Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round, Ali was ready to face the undefeated Frazier. According to boxing promoter Bob Arum, the fight nearly took place in Las Vegas, with then-Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt endorsing the fight. "The bad luck was [when arranging the fight] we stayed at the Desert Inn," Arum told Yahoo Sports. The Desert Inn was owned by Moe Dalitz, a one-time bootlegger and racketeer who was the most powerful figure in Las Vegas. He was also a reputed mobster. Dalitz didn't care for Ali because he didn't serve in the war. He saw Arum and Conrad eating breakfast and asked Conrad why they were there. Dalitz went crazy, Arum said. "He said, 'I don't want that [expletive] draft dodger in this town,' " Arum said. " 'It's not good for the town.' " And so the biggest fight in history went not to Las Vegas but to New York a few months later. Joe Frazier, left, hits Muhammad Ali during the 15th round of their 1971 title fight. (AP) It was an epic night that featured scores of celebrities in the crowd. Frank Sinatra was a ringside photographer. Burt Lancaster did color commentary. It was an outstanding fight, but Frazier's pressure carried the day. He floored Ali in the 15th round with one of the most famous and perfectly executed left hooks in boxing history, sealing the fight. But Ali would have his days against Frazier, defeating him twice, in a non-title bout on Jan. 28, 1974, in New York, and for the heavyweight title in Manila on Oct. 1, 1975. That was a fight for the ages, remembered as one of a handful of the best in boxing history. Ali won by 14th-round stoppage when Frazier's trainer, Eddie Futch, asked referee Carlos Padilla to stop the fight. There has long been question about whether Angelo Dundee, then Ali's trainer, would have allowed Ali to go out for the 15th had Futch not stopped it. In his brilliant 2001 book, "Ghosts of Manila," Mark Kram wrote, "After the press conference, Joe retired to a private villa for rest. He had been sleeping for a couple of hours when George Benton entered with a visitor. The room was dark. 'Who is it?' Joe asked, lifting his head. 'I can't see. Can't see. Turn the lights on.' A light was turned on and he still could not see. Like Ali, he lay there with his veins empty, crushed by a will that had carried him so far and now surely too far. His eyes were iron gates torn up by an explosive. 'Man, I hit him with punches that bring down the walls of a city. What held him up?' He lowered his head for some abstract forgiveness. 'Goddamn it, when somebody going to understand? It wasn't justa fight. It was me and him. Not a fight.' " Ali wasn't nearly the same fighter after that. He'd taken a fearsome pounding in his second career, after his return from exile. His three fights with Frazier, his 1974 fight with George Foreman in Africa and his 1980 bout with Larry Holmes were particularly brutal. Ali's win over Foreman became known as "The Rumble in the Jungle," fought in then what was called Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He employed his famous "Rope-A-Dope" strategy in that fight. Foreman was a fearsome opponent at the time, the hardest hitter in boxing with a 40-0 record and 39 knockouts. There were many sportswriters and boxing experts of the day who feared for Ali, such was Foreman's reputation at the time. "I thought I was going to go in there and just go out and go, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and hit him and get him out of there and then go home," Foreman told Yahoo Sports in 2014. "That was my mistake. This was Muhammad Ali. He was 'The Greatest,' and they called him that because he was, but he was also the smartest. He knew what to do. And he did a great job of it." Ali no longer had the foot speed or the elusiveness to dance away from Foreman as he'd done with Liston a decade earlier. Instead, he figured out the best strategy was to lay back against the ropes, lean back as far as he could, cover his face with his gloves and as much of his body as he could with his arms and let Foreman pound at him. Foreman obliged and threw crunching, punishing shots. Ali took them and waited until Foreman became so tired he could no longer raise his arms. When he couldn't, Ali struck back and knocked out Foreman in the eighth round in the most remarkable upset of his career. "It was my honor to get beaten up by that man," Foreman said, chuckling, in 2014. "I hated him at the time, because I didn't understand. But we grew to love each other. I love him like a brother." Ali slowed down even more after the win over Frazier and never again looked like the electric, blazing-fast athlete he'd been years earlier. "Nobody would have beaten Ali prior to the three-and-a-half years he lost [objecting to the Vietnam War]," Arum, who has promoted boxing for 50 years, told Yahoo Sports. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, could have come close to him. He was as fast and as elusive as Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard, and he was a heavyweight. His punching power was way better than people gave him credit for, but you never saw it a lot in those days because he was up on his toes moving." After the Frazier fight, Ali became a personality as much as an athlete. He appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation" in 1976 during the Ford-Carter presidential race. He was asked whom he favored, and he declined to answer, saying he didn't know enough and didn't want to influence people who followed him and would vote for whomever he would say. He officially retired from boxing in 1981 after a unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick, ending his career with a 55-5 record. He remains the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, having won titles in 1964, '74 and '78. As he aged, Ali began to think of his role in the world and what he could do to improve it. And he talked on "Face the Nation" about his desire to do charitable acts. "We only have so many hours a day to do what we have to do, so many years to live, and in those years, we sleep about eight hours a day," Ali sad. "We travel. We watch television. If a man is 50 years old, he's lucky if he's actually had 20 years to actually live. So I would like to do the best I can for humanity. "I'm blessed by God to be recognized as the most famous face on the Earth today. And I cannot think of nothing better than helping God's creatures or helping poverty or good causes where I can use my name to do so." In a 1975 interview with Playboy that was released around the time of his third fight with Frazier, he spoke of how his view of the world had changed. He said it was his responsibility to take advantage of his notoriety by helping his fellow man. "You listen up and maybe I'll make you as famous as I made Howard Cosell," he said in the Playboy interview. "Wars on nations are fought to change maps, but wars on poverty are fought to map change. The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. "These are words of wisdom, so pay attention, Mr. Playboy. The man who has no imagination stands on the Earth. He has no wings, he cannot fly. When we are right, no one remembers, but when we are wrong, no one forgets." Kilroy, King and Arum said they knew of many charitable acts Ali had done. Kilroy said Ali, who was the most popular athlete in the world for years and commanded attention everywhere he went, would always be willing to do charitable acts, but said he didn't want cameras or reporters around because he didn't want anyone to think he was doing it for the publicity. In 1973, for example, Ali learned that a home for elderly Jewish people was going to close because it was out of money. "I'll never forget that night," Kilroy said. "It was a cold January night and we saw it on the news. Ali really paid attention to it and you could tell it bothered him, that all these people were going to be put out. They had nowhere to go. He told me to find out where it was, so I called the TV station and got the address. "We drove over there and walked in and some guy comes up to me. I said, 'We're looking for the man in charge. Where is he?' And the guy says, 'I am. What do you want?' And Ali tells him he wants to help. He wrote him a check for $200,000 and tells him to put it in the bank that night. And then he writes another check for $200,000 and tells him to wait four days, because he has to get home and put some more money in the bank to cover the check." [img]https://blacksnetwork.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/06/26dfdfc856229a7c4062e1c75cbcadc9_view.jpg[/img] In 1990, shortly before the first Gulf War between the U.S. and Iraq, he flew to Baghdad to speak with Saddam Hussein to secure the release of 15 U.S. hostages. Hussein agreed to release the hostages. For the rest of his life Ali worked to promote the cause of peace and charity. In December 2015, he condemned ISIS and took a shot at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (without mentioning Trump's name) when Trump suggested temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the U.S. After the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino, Ali released a statement through his publicist. The headline said, "Statement From Muhammad Ali Regarding Presidential Candidates Proposing to Ban Muslim Immigration to the United States." "I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino or anywhere else in the world," Ali said in the statement. "True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion. "We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda. They have alienated many from learning about Islam. True Muslims know or should know that it goes against our religion to try and force Islam on anybody. "Speaking as someone who has never been accused of political correctness, I believe that our political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people's views on what Islam really is." It's the last major public statement Muhammad Ali ever made.

Admin
May 31, 2012
Black mayors come to Atlanta for 38th annual convention

By Jeremiah McWilliams
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

More than 250 mayors and state and federal officials are scheduled to be in Atlanta through Sunday for the National Conference of Black Mayors' 38th annual national convention.

The gathering is billed as a forum in which rural and urban mayors can exchange ideas. The Atlanta convention is expected to deal with job creation, housing, health, sustainability, green technology, international trade, good governance and ethics and broadband.

"As leaders of large urban cities and rural areas, mayors play a vital role in ensuring the future economic growth and safety of our nation as we address challenges at home and increasing global competition from emerging economies," Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement. “Crumbling transportation infrastructure, joblessness and failing public schools are issues that mayors tackle on a daily basis."

Reed will serve as official host of the meeting. He plans to welcome the officials on Thursday night with a reception at City Hall.

It's a high-profile event for the 42-year old mayor, who has received doses of national exposure on CNN and Meet the Press and in forums organized by the Aspen Institute and other groups.

Atlanta’s history as the cradle of civil rights and its evolution into an "economic and political powerhouse" led the group to select the city as its meeting place, said Robert L. Bowser, president of the NCBM and mayor of East Orange, New Jersey. The conference will be held at the Marriott hotel in Buckhead.

Founded in 1974, the National Conference of Black Mayors represents more than 650 African-American mayors across the United States.

Valerie B. Jarrett, senior advisor to President Barack Obama, is scheduled to be there. So are Rep. John Conyers and Ambassador Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta. Representatives from Senegal, Colombia, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are also expected to attend.