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A Brand New Day™: The Dynamic Duo Head To Pennsylvania, Announce $600 Million In Job Grants.


 

By Jueseppi B.

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

 

From The Associated Press:

 

Striving to show action on jobs, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hitting the road to trumpet $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs.

They were making the announcement Wednesday at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in the western Pennsylvania borough of Oakdale.

Administration officials say they hear from too many businesses that they cannot find skilled workers for jobs they need to fill. On top of that, officials say many people who are looking for work may be open to learning new skills but need assurance that a job will be waiting for them at the end of a training program.

Obama and others in the administration often say community colleges are among the best sources for job training and say learn-on-the-job apprenticeship programs provide some of the most direct paths to well-paying jobs.

Although the economy is improving, unemployment remains stubbornly high at 6.7 percent and Obama says more must be done to create jobs.

 

 

The programs that Obama and his Pennsylvania-born vice president are announcing do not need approval from Congress because they will be paid for with money that lawmakers have already authorized for spending. In response to stiff resistance to his agenda from Republican lawmakers, Obama has made it a goal this year to take smaller steps on his own, without support from Congress, to benefit the economy, workers and others, and Wednesday’s program fits that script.

The larger of the two grant programs will put nearly $500 million toward a job training competition run by the Labor Department that is designed to encourage community colleges, employers and industry to work together to create training programs that are geared toward the jobs employers need to fill. Applications will be available starting Wednesday.

The training is part of an existing competitive grant program for community colleges that prepare dislocated workers and others for jobs.

A priority will be placed on partnerships that include national entities, such as industry associations, that pledge to help design and institute programs that give job seekers a credential that will be recognized and accepted across a particular industry, signaling to an employer what kind of work the holder can do.

The Labor Department is also making an additional $100 million available for grants to reward partnerships that expand apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships are used less widely in the U.S. than in some other countries, said administration officials, who also noted that nearly 9 out of 10 apprentices end up in jobs that pay average starting salaries of above $50,000 a year.

The apprenticeship grant program will begin in the fall and focus, in part, on broad partnerships that create programs in high-growth fields, such as information technology, health care and advanced manufacturing, as well as programs that provide college credit or industry-wide skills certification.

Obama earlier this year put Biden, who is a native of Scranton, Pa., in charge of a “soup-to-nuts” review of federal job-training programs, and set a July 30 deadline for his report.

House Republicans have complained that Biden’s effort is a waste of time because the Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, has identified redundancies in a comprehensive review it completed in 2011. They have urged Obama to press his allies in the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote on a House-passed measure that proposes to streamline dozens of duplicative job training programs.

Thank you Associated Press.

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White House Schedule – April 16th, 2014

 

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16th, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
WEDNESDAY, April 16th, 2014

 

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

In the afternoon, the President will travel to Oakdale, Pennsylvania. There will be in-town travel pool coverage of the President’s departure from White House, and the arrival at Pittsburgh International Airport is open press.

 

While in Oakdale, the President will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center to tour a classroom and deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st Century economy. The Vice President will also deliver remarks and join the tour. There will be out-of-town travel pool coverage of the tour, and the remarks are open to pre-credentialed media.

 

In the evening, the President will depart Oakdale, Pennsylvania en route Washington, DC.  The departure from Pittsburgh International Airport is open press, and there will be in-town travel pool coverage of the return to the White House.

 

 

Wednesday, April 16th 2014 All Times ET

 

10:00 AM: The President and Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

1:00 PM: The President departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews, South Lawn.

 

 

1:35 PM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews en route Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

 

2:30 PM: The President arrives Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh International Airport.

 

 

3:10 PM: The President and Vice President tour a classroom, Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center – Oakdale – Pennsylanvia.

 

 

3:45 PM: The President and Vice President deliver remarks, Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center – Oakdale – Pennsylanvia.

 

 

5:45 PM: The President departs Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania en route Joint Base Andrews, Pittsburgh International Airport.

 

 

6:45 PM: The President arrives Joint Base Andrews.

 

 

7:20 PM: The President arrives the White House, South Lawn.

 

 

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On Wednesday, President Obama and Vice President Biden will travel to Leetsdale, Pennsylvania for an event on the economy. Further details on the President and Vice President’s travel to Pennsylvania will be made available in the coming days.

On Thursday, the President will welcome the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the eighth annual Soldier Ride.  A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

On Friday, the President will meet with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion.  Later, he will welcome the United States Naval Academy Football Team to the White House to present them with the 2013 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.

 

 

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White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

April 16, 2014 3:45 PM EDT

 

President Obama and Vice President Biden Speak on the Importance of Jobs-Driven Skill Training in the 21st Century Economy

Oakdale, Pennsylvania

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April 2014: Photo of the Day

 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, April 15, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, April 15, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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4/15/14: White House Press Briefing

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Boston Marathon Tribute: Joe Biden

 

Boston, Masschutes, USA, A week before the 118th Boston Marathon, the city of Boston came together to remember the tragic terrorist attack last year. And giving tribute to the heroes and the survivors of that day, Vice-President Joe Biden had these words.

 

 

 

 

President Obama and Vice President Biden Deliver Remarks

 

Scheduled for Apr 16, 2014

The President and Vice President will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center to tour a classroom and deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st Century economy.

 

 

 

Obama, Biden coming to CCAC

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center Wednesday to spotlight what they call “jobs-driven skills training.”

 

 

 

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The White House Blog

 

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Vice President Biden Joins Instagram

 

Today, we’re excited to announce the Office of the Vice President is joining Instagram to give followers a unique look inside the Vice Presidency. This new social media presence continues efforts by the Vice President’s Office to connect with citizens online, adding to his official Twitter handle and the Being Biden audio series.

 

The VP’s Instagram followers will have access to behind-the-scenes photos from the road and around the White House. And today, as the Vice President joins President Obama in Pennsylvania to announce grants that will spur job training and apprenticeship programs, you’re invited to follow along on Instagram.

 

VPOTUSA, Joseph Robinette "Joey B" Biden, Jr., joins instagram

VPOTUSA, Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr., joins instagram.

 

Stay tuned for photos and videos from the Vice President – and don’t forget to check out our other official Instagram accounts, including: The White HouseFirst Lady Michelle ObamaandChief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza.

 

 

A Moment of Silence to Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing

 

Get Your 2013 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

 

President Obama Hosts Annual Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House

 

Connecting Young African Leaders with the U.S. and One Another

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the President

One year ago, the Senate introduced comprehensive bipartisan legislation to fix our broken immigration system. Both sides worked together to pass that bill with a strong bipartisan vote. The Senate’s commonsense agreement would grow the economy by $1.4 trillion and shrink the deficit by nearly $850 billion over the next two decades, while providing a tough but fair pathway to earned citizenship to bring 11 million undocumented individuals out of the shadows, modernizing our legal immigration system, continuing to strengthen border security, and holding employers accountable.  Simply put, it would boost our economy, strengthen our security, and live up to our most closely-held values as a society.

 

Unfortunately, Republicans in the House of Representatives have repeatedly failed to take action, seemingly preferring the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform. Instead of advancing commonsense reform and working to fix our immigration system, House Republicans have voted in favor of extreme measures like a punitive amendment to strip protections from “Dreamers”. The majority of Americans are ahead of House Republicans on this crucial issue and there is broad support for reform, including among Democrats and Republicans, labor and business, and faith and law enforcement leaders. We have a chance to strengthen our country while upholding our traditions as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, and I urge House Republicans to listen to the will of the American people and bring immigration reform to the House floor for a vote.

 

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FACT SHEET – American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class

 

Readout of the President’s Calls with University of Connecticut Basketball Coaches Kevin Ollie and Geno Auriemma

 

President Obama to Award Medal of Honor

 

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Speeches and Remarks

 

Remarks by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa O. Monaco

 

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Pharrell’s New Song is ‘Here’ From the ‘Spider-Man 2′ Soundtrack

 

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In keeping with the emotional tenor of Pharrell lately, here is his new song “Here” from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack. It’s a sweeping ballad full of all the right things that will make the moment when Peter Parker kisses that lucky so-and-so extra emotional. The difference between a delusion and a dream? Explained. Where is Pharrell? Here. Why? He got “new GPS’s.” Is he happy? He’s trying.

 

This is the second Pharrell Williams contribution we’ve heard from the soundtrack, following the release of his song with Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar,“It’s On Again.”

 

Williams also co-wrote the score to the film with Hans Zimmer and ex-Smiths guitarists Johnny Marr. The soundtrack will be available April 22, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon

 

Read more and hear the song on Radio.com.

 

 

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Young Men Debunk Negative Racial Stereotypes In “Suit and Tie” Video

 

Suit and Tie in the 217

 

Published on Feb 27, 2014

A Counter-Narrative on Black Male Students: At Central High School’s Black History Month Celebration, the Central and Centennial High School African-American Clubs released a joint video countering the negative images of young African-American males in the media. The students affirmed the following in a video highlighting the successes of young black males within the District:
• We are not gangsters and thugs.
• We are employees and volunteers.
• We are scholars.
• We are athletes.
“The negative stories told daily in the media and in our culture about our young African-American men tend to ignore their successes and don’t tell the full story about how young Black men are becoming leaders within our community schools,” said Central School Social Worker and African-American Club Sponsors Tiffany Gholson and Barbara Cook, who worked with the students on this effort. “In this video, our students reclaim the narrative of who they are and inspire other students to follow in their footsteps.” In our assembly, we addressed the State of the Youth and highlighted what Black students have overcome from a historical perspective. The assembly also highlighted how overcoming those obstacles has helped make America stronger and urged students of all backgrounds to carry the torch for future generations.

 

 

 

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@VP “We will never yield. We will never cower America will never never stand down. We are Boston.” – VP #BostonStrong

@VP “We will never yield. We will never cower America will never never stand down. We are Boston.” – VP #BostonStrong

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3 Dead After Suburban Kansas City Shooting.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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From Associated Press:

 

 

“Today is a sad and very tragic day,” Douglass said. “As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation. There’s a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information.”

Shots were fired behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in a parking lot about 1 p.m., Douglass said. One male died at the scene, another male died at a hospital. The gunman then fled and opened fire at nearby Village Shalom, killing a female, before later being arrested near an elementary school. Two other people were shot at, but the gunfire missed them, Douglass said.

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Douglass said it was too early in the investigation to determine if the shootings were hate crimes. The Jewish festival of Passover begins Monday.

“We know it was a vicious act of violence, and we know obviously it was at two Jewish facilities. One might make that assumption,” Douglass said.

He described the suspect as a white man in his 70s who is not from Kansas. He said the suspect is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center, but did not provide further information.

“We have no indication he knew the victims,” Douglass said, adding that the suspect was not known to Kansas City-area authorities before the shootings. Douglass said a shotgun was used, and investigators were trying to determine whether a handgun and assault-style rifle also were involved.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park posted on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon that a “shooting incident” happened near its White Theater entrance.

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“Everyone participating in JCC programming has been released to their homes,” the center posted later Sunday.

There was a heavy police presence at the campus, which spans several acres in an affluent area of Johnson County, Kan. Police had also taped off the entrance to Village Shalom on Sunday afternoon, and several patrol cars and a crime scene unit van were parked in front.

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St. Louis resident Kristy Straeb, 47, said her sister-in-law Stacie Ventimiglia was at the center’s pool with a friend and four little girls under the age of 7 for a swimming lesson, which ended about 12:45 p.m. Straeb said they decided at the last minute to get the girls showered.

“They had just gotten the four babies naked, and somebody yelled into the family locker room, ‘We have an active shooter situation. You need to get safe,’” Straeb said.

The women got into a cubby area and were “ready to push the little girls into 4 empty lockers,” Straeb said. She noted that the women and their children were not harmed and left the center about 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

Auditions for the KC SuperStar competition were scheduled to be held Sunday at the Jewish Community Center. On Sunday afternoon, the website for KC SuperStar, which is a singing competition for high school students, said the auditions were cancelled.

 

Three Killed As Gunman Attacks Jewish Centers In Kansas

 

 

‘I know they’re in heaven together’: Kansas City mourns shooting victim.

 

By Diana Reese, a journalist in Overland Park, Kan.

 

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — “I knew immediately they were in heaven,” Mindy Corporon told the crowd of hundreds who had gathered at an interfaith service after the shooting earlier Sunday at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.

She was talking about her father, Dr. William Corporon, and her 14-year-old son, Reat Underwood, who were killed while sitting in their car next to the White Theater at the center here in this suburb of Kansas City.

“And I know they’re in heaven together.”

The crowd cried. You could hear the gasps and the sobs as her words sunk in.

No one had expected her to even attend the service. Many weren’t sure who this woman in the red Oklahoma hoodie was, as she walked to the pulpit with a friend helping to support her.

Corporon went on to describe how much Reat enjoyed acting and singing, explaining that he was at the JCC to audition for KC SuperStar competition. She had attended another son’s lacrosse game, so asked her dad to take over chauffeuring duties for Reat. Then she showed up on the scene — before the police and the ambulance.

 

“I’m in shock,” she said, “but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all of you being here.” She also asked that people remember the third victim, killed in her car at Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement home a few blocks from the community center. Her name had not yet been released Sunday night.

A suspect, described as a white man in his 70s who is not from Kansas, was arrested shortly after the shootings, the AP reported. Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said the suspect is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center, but did not provide further information.

This happened less than three miles from my house. It had been a rainy Sunday afternoon, filled with running errands and meeting friends for lunch. When watching the 5 p.m. service online for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, I heard the Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor, say two members of the congregation had been gunned down in a possible hate crime near the Jewish Community Center.

“We all grieve in different ways,” Corporon said.

We are all grieving here. And we came to the service to seek answers for questions that most likely have no answers, and for the sense of community that being together brings.

The service was organized by the Rev. Gar Demo of St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, just a couple of miles from the Jewish Community Center, and Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn of Temple Israel, which met at the church when it first began.

There were Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Adirah Liebschutz, the cantor for Temple Israel, shared music that expressed a mourning no words could say.

“There are no words but words are all we have,” Bishop Dean Wolfe told those gathered. So with prayers and songs, we all tried to find some sort of comfort.

Among nearly a dozen speakers were two 16-year-old girls, part of a youth group meeting at the JCC, who described their two hours in lock-down. Rachel Trout told me after the service that it was “instinct” that led her, aided by Bailey Wainstock, to shove desks and chairs against the door of the windowless room. The two of them stayed calm while they waited — not knowing what exactly was happening and whether a gunman would try to break into their hiding place.

Their phones kept them connected to the rest of the world, as friends from Israel to Texas texted asking them for information.

I applaud their courage and quick thinking — while at the same time I feel sad that two teenagers must know what to do in a situation like this. That we have situations like this.

But it’s our reality, isn’t it.

One of the speakers, Bill Tammeus, former Faith columnist for the Kansas City Star, admitted there were most likely no answers for our questions. But there were things we could do. “All major religions call on us” to do certain things at times like this, he said: “To be agents of comfort for the afflicted…to be present for those who mourn.” He asked that the audience “educate our children and grandchildren” to take a stand against this kind of hatred. Tammeus also asked that we each commit an act in the next 48 hours to help rebuild a community “of compassion, justice, mercy, understanding and even…love.”

 

 

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The Pacman Returns To Vegas, This Time Victorious.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Manny Pacquiao in the ring after his WBO World Welterweight Championship fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports)

Manny Pacquiao in the ring after his WBO World Welterweight Championship fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
(Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports)

 

Manny Pacquiao beats Timonthy Bradley by decision in boxing rematch

 

 

Manny Pacquiáo vs Timothy Bradley 2 WEIGH-IN Full HD Part 1/2

 

Published on Apr 11, 2014

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley hit the scales today in Las Vegas for tomorrow night’s HBO pay-per-view rematch.

 

 

 

Manny Pacquiáo vs Timothy Bradley 2 WEIGH-IN Full HD Part 2/2

 

 

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From The Associated Press:

 

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao won a unanimous decision in his rematch with Timothy Bradley on Saturday, avenging his 2012 loss and claiming the WBO welterweight title.

Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive performance recalling the Pacman in his prime. Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled in the closing rounds.

Pacquiao left little doubt about the result of the rematch in the same arena where they met nearly two years ago. Bradley’s split-decision victory astonished most ringside observers, who felt Pacquiao had earned a clear decision.

“I knew I had to do more in this fight than I did in the last fight,” Pacquiao said.

Judges Craig Metcalfe and Michael Pernick scored the rematch 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Trowbridge favored the Filipino congressman 118-110. The Associated Press scored it 116-112 for Pacquiao.

After the fight, Bradley said he injured his right calf early on. But he also applauded the decision when it was announced, and he congratulated Pacquiao in the ring.

“I tried, I really tried,” Bradley said. “I wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world. I lost to one of the greatest fighters in boxing. I kept trying to throw something over the top. That’s what we worked on in camp. That was the plan, but Pacquiao has great footwork.”

Pacquiao landed 35 percent of his 563 punches, while Bradley connected with just 22 percent of his 627 blows. Pacquiao’s jab was much more effective, landing 23 percent to Bradley’s measly 11 percent, and the Pacman had a slight edge in landing 148 power punches to Bradley’s 109.

Pacquiao’s performance righted one of the biggest perceived wrongs in recent boxing history. Pacquiao was an eight-division world champion on 15-fight winning streak when Bradley was awarded a split decision in their last bout.

Pacquiao was more aggressive and accurate from the opening minutes of the rematch, sticking to trainer Freddie Roach’s pleas to take the action to Bradley. They exchanged big shots in the opening rounds, butPacquiao appeared to wear out Bradley with the heavy early pace — and the Pacman never slowed down.

“I didn’t want to get careless,” Pacquiao said. “I picked up more steam in the second half when I made adjustments that Freddie gave me in the corner. Bradley was much better than in the first fight we had. He hurt me on the chin.”

Pacquiao landed a series of big left hands in the early rounds, knocking back Bradley with gusto. Bradley responded impressively in the fourth round, wobbling Pacquiao twice with a right hand.

The pace slowed in the fifth, with Bradley showing off his defense and movement while Pacquiao attempted to trap him against the ropes.

Pacquiao appeared to wobble Bradley late in the seventh round with a vicious combination, but Bradley stood with his back against the ropes and defiantly encouraged it, blocking most of the shots. Bradley appeared to pretend to have wobbly legs at one point after a Pacquiao miss, but his open mouth betrayed his weariness while Pacquiao steadily racked up rounds midway through the fight.

Bradley came on strong in the 12th, and the fighters’ heads collided late in the round. Pacquiao avoided any trouble until the final bell, when he did a short dance step to his corner.

While Bradley remains publicly confident he beat Pacquiao in their first bout despite fighting on two injured feet, that much-derided decision sent both fighters’ careers on wild spirals.

The two judges who scored the bout 115-113 for Bradley are no longer in the boxing business, but their decision ended Pacquiao’s 15-fight win streak and forced Bradley to defend himself against widespread criticism of the result.

Bradley endured death threats and depression before returning to the ring in unusually reckless style. He brawled with Ruslan Provodnikov in March 2013 in a sensational unanimous-decision victory that silenced critics of his style and heart. Bradley then outpointed veteran Mexican champion Juan Manuel Marquez last fall, polishing his skills and making himself attractive to Pacquiao for a rematch.

Pacquiao was knocked unconscious by Marquez in the sixth round of their fourth fight in late 2012, and he took nearly a year off before returning for an unspectacular victory over Brandon Rios last fall. Pacquiao’s last two performances prompted Bradley to declare Pacquiao had lost his killer instinct, noting he was unable or unwilling to stop any of his opponents since late 2009.

Manny Pacquiao Vs Timothy Bradley Jr 2 Unanimous Decision

 

Published on Apr 12, 2014

Manny Pacquiao Vs Timothy Bradley Jr 2

 

April 12, 2014
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Pacquiao Vs. Bradley 2

 

Scorecard 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 10 9 10 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Pacquiao – 118
9 9 10 9 10 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 Bradley Jr – 110

 

All three judges scored Manny Pacquiao the winner over Timothy Bradley Jr. Pacquiao wins the rematch by Unanimous decision after a controversial decision in the first fight.

 

Pacquiao was very aggressive all fight and Bradley was on the defense for the majority of the night. The closest card had Pacquiao a winner 116 – 112.

 

 

Thank you 2014 The Associated Press.

 

 

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OBAMACARE SIGNUPS HITS 7 MILLION DESPITE GLITCHES ON FINAL ENROLLMENT DAY.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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From Associated Press:

 

Obamacare On Track To Hit 7 Million Sign-Ups On Deadline Day.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, government officials told The Associated Press.

 

The 7 million target, thought to be out of reach by most experts, was in sight on a day that saw surging consumer interest as well as vexing computer glitches that slowed sign-ups on the HealthCare.gov website.

 

Two government officials confirmed the milestone, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of an official announcement.

 

Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under Obama’s signature legislation.

 

That was scaled back to 6 million after the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov last fall. Several state-run websites also had crippling problems.

 

Americans who rushed to apply for health insurance Monday faced long, frustrating waits and a new spate of website ills on deadline day.

 

“This is like trying to find a parking spot at Wal-Mart on Dec. 23,” said Jason Stevenson, working with a Utah nonprofit group helping people enroll.

 

At times, more than 125,000 people were simultaneously using HealthCare.gov, straining it beyond its capacity. For long stretches Monday, applicants were shuttled to a virtual waiting room where they could leave an email address and be contacted later.

 

Officials said the site had not crashed but was experiencing very heavy volume. The website, which was receiving 1.5 million visitors a day last week, had recorded about 2 million through 3 p.m. EDT. Call centers have more than 840,000 calls.

 

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Supporters of the health care law fanned out across the country in a final dash to sign up uninsured Americans. People not signed up for health insurance by the deadline, either through their jobs or on their own, were subject to being fined by the IRS, and that threat was helping drive the final dash.

 

The administration announced last week that people still in line by midnight would get extra time to enroll.

 

The website stumbled early in the day — out of service for nearly four hours as technicians patched a software bug. Another hiccup in early afternoon temporarily kept new applicants from signing up, and then things slowed further. Overwhelmed by computer problems when launched last fall, the system has been working much better in recent months, but independent testers say it still runs slowly.

 

At Chicago’s Norwegian American Hospital, people began lining up shortly after 7 a.m. to get help signing up for subsidized private health insurance.

 

Lucy Martinez, an unemployed single mother of two boys, said she’d previously tried to enroll at a clinic in another part of the city but there was always a problem. She’d wait and wait and they wouldn’t call her name, or they would ask her for paperwork that she was told earlier she didn’t need, she said. Her diabetic mother would start sweating so they’d have to leave.

 

She’s heard “that this would be better here,” said Martinez, adding that her mother successfully signed up Sunday at a different location.

 

At St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, Del., enrollment counselor Hubert Worthen plunged into a long day. “I got my energy drink,” he said. “This is epic, man.”

 

At a Houston community center, there were immigrants from Ethiopia, Nepal, Eritrea, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and other conflict-torn areas, many of them trying anew after failing to complete applications previously. In addition to needing help with the actual enrollment, they needed to wait for interpreters. Many had taken a day off from work, hoping to meet the deadline.

 

The White House and other supporters of the law were hoping for an enrollment surge that would confound skeptics.

 

The insurance markets — or exchanges — offer subsidized private health insurance to people who don’t have access to coverage through their jobs. The federal government is taking the lead in 36 states, while 14 other states plus Washington, D.C., are running their own enrollment websites.

 

New York, running its own site, reported more than 812,000 had signed up by Sunday morning, nearly 100,000 of them last week.

 

However, it’s unclear what those numbers may mean.

 

The administration hasn’t said how many of the 6 million people nationally who had signed up before the weekend ultimately closed the deal by paying their first month’s premiums. Also unknown is how many were previously uninsured — the real test of Obama’s health care overhaul. In addition, the law expands coverage for low-income people through Medicaid, but only about half the states have agreed to implement that option.

 

Cheering on the deadline-day sign-up effort, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius planned to spend much of the day Monday working out of the department’s TV studio, conducting interviews by satellite with stations around the country.

 

Though March 31 was the last day officially to sign up, millions of people are potentially eligible for extensions granted by the administration.

 

Those include people who had begun enrolling by the deadline but didn’t finish, perhaps because of errors, missing information or website glitches. The government says it will accept paper applications until April 7 and take as much time as necessary to handle unfinished cases on HealthCare.gov. Rules may vary in states running their own insurance marketplaces.

 

The administration is also offering special extensions to make up for all sorts of problems that might have kept people from getting enrolled on time: Natural disasters. Domestic abuse. Website malfunctions. Errors by insurance companies. Mistakes by application counselors.

 

To seek a special enrollment period, contact the federal call center, at 1-855-889-4325, or the state marketplace and explain what happened. It’s on the honor system. If the extension is approved, that brings another 60 days to enroll.

 

Those who still don’t get health insurance run the risk that the Internal Revenue Service will fine them next year for remaining uninsured. It remains to be seen how aggressively the penalties called for in the law are enforced.

 

Also, the new markets don’t have a monopoly on health insurance. People not already covered by an employer or a government program can comply with the insurance mandate by buying a policy directly from an insurer. They’ll just have to pay the full premium themselves, although in a few states there may be an exception to that rule as well.

 

Supporters of the law held their breath early Monday when the website was taken down.

 

In Oakton, Va., enrollment counselor Rachel Klein said she noticed the website was running slowly.

 

“We all came into it understanding that today was going to be challenging,” said Klein. “We’re all relieved that there’s going to be a little extra time for people.”

 

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said Monday that Republicans remain committed to repealing Obama’s law.

 

John Boehner :: Jameson

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Relisha Rudd Case: Body Of Kahlil Tatum, Murder Suspect Found Dead Of Apparent Suicide.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

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8-year-old Relisha Rudd (L) has gone missing. Kahlil Tatum has been identified as her suspected abductor.

 

 

From The Associated Press:

 

Relisha Rudd case: Body of murder suspect found dead of apparent suicide

 

by Associated Press April 1, 2014

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The body of a man found dead in a park of an apparent suicide has been positively identified as that of a murder suspect who was the last person seen with a missing 8-year-old girl, police said Tuesday.

 

The man found dead Monday with an apparent gunshot wound was identified as Kahlil Tatum, 51, of Washington, police said. Tatum was a janitor at the city homeless shelter where Relisha Rudd had been living with her family. The search for Relisha was continuing.

 

Tatum’s death appears to be a suicide and the discovery of his body was a shock for police because they were focused on finding Relisha, Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday.

 

Police began searching for Relisha in the 700-acre Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens last week in an operation aimed at recovering a body, although Lanier said she had not given up hope that Relisha was alive. Hundreds of people, including divers, have participated in the search.

 

Relisha was last seen March 1 in the company of Tatum, a janitor at the homeless shelter where she lived with her mother and brothers. Relisha’s mother had allowed her to spend time with Tatum, and her family did not report her missing. Repeated absences from school led authorities to start looking for her March 19.

 

The following day, the body of Tatum’s wife was found in a motel in nearby Oxon Hill, Md., dead of a gunshot wound to the head. Kahlil Tatum has been charged in a warrant with murder.

 

On March 2, police said, Tatum purchased 42-gallon trash bags, and he was seen that day in the area of the park, in the northeastern sector of the capital.

 

1395764937000-RELISHA-RUDD-COMMUNITY-ALERT

Relisha Rudd

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