May 24, 2012

Egyptians on Wednesday and Thursday vote to elect their first president since the fall of Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, 2011, after 29 years of his authoritarian rule. A second round is likely to be held between the two top vote-getters on June 16-17. Here is a look at what's at stake in the election.

WILL EGYPT GO ISLAMIST?

A victory by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohammed Morsi will likely mean a greater emphasis on religion in government. The group, which already dominates parliament, says it won’t mimic Saudi Arabia and force women to wear veils or implement harsh punishments like amputations. But it says it does want to implement a more moderate version of Islamic law, which liberals fear will mean limitations on many rights. Two secular front-runners in the race say they will prevent Islamization, but that will likely mean frictions with parliament if they win.

WILL EGYPT BECOME A DEMOCRACY?

The two secular front-runners, former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and former foreign minister Amr Moussa, both are veterans of Mubarak’s regime and their opponents fear they will do little to change Mubarak’s autocratic system. The security forces and intelligence agencies that long prevented real change in Egypt remain in place, and there has been little move to end entrenched corruption and the intertwining of business interests and politics. The military, which took power after Mubarak’s fall, is due to hand over authority to the vote’s winner. But it is not clear how much power the generals will yield. Whoever wins, Egypt likely faces struggles between the different power centers.

WILL EGYPT’S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE U.S. AND ISRAEL CHANGE?

Many of the candidates in the race have called for amendments in Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which remains deeply unpopular. None is likely to dump it, but a victory by any of the Islamist or leftist candidates in the race could mean strained ties with Israel and a stronger stance in support of the Palestinians in the peace process. Shafiq and Moussa — and ironically the Brotherhood — are most likely to maintain the alliance with Washington.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

May 24, 2012

By Rev. Eric Lee

LAWT Contributor

Over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2−5 years and adolescents aged 12−19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6−11 years.

At present, approximately nine million children over 6 years of age are considered obese. Between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Statistics show that obese children and especially those in the teenage years have a 70% chance of being obese as adults. What is worse is that percentage increases to 80% if either one or both the parents are obese as well.

In 2009, Dawn Strozier founded The Fight Against Obesity Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization. Known as “the fitness queen,” Ms. Strozier is a celebrity trainer whose expertise as a nutritional consultant attracts a diverse clientele, including professional athletes, Hollywood executives, Fortune 500 corporations and high-profile celebrities. 

Actor/comedian/radio host/author Steve Harvey states, “It’s the best program ever.”

The foundation is committed to fighting the growing epidemic of obesity in our community. Since 2009 the Foundation has been an active participant in our local community promoting obesity awareness through a variety of fitness, health and educational services designed to create long-term health benefits. 

A child is considered obese when exceeding certain average height and weight parameters for their respective age. For example, a 2-year-old boy should have an average height of 31 inches and an average weight of 28.4 pounds; a 2-year-old girl, 30 inches and 28.4 pounds; a 6-year- old boy, 42 inches and 46.2 pounds; a 6-year-old girl, 41 inches and 46.2 pounds; a 12–13-year-old boy, 58–62 inches and 85–100 pounds; a 12–13-year-old girl, 60–63 inches and 95–105 pounds; and a 16–17-year-old boy, 67–70 inches and 130–150 pounds; and a 16–17-year-old girl, 64 inches and 115–120 pounds. 

On May 6, 2012, Dawn Strozier decided to run 26.2 miles in an effort to raise $26,000 on behalf of The Fight Against Obesity Foundation.  Joining her along the way were The Kids of the Foundation, their parents, sponsors and members of The Aerobics Room. Over 70 people ran or walked in support of the event. Of the 70-plus participants, 80% were families who walked and/or ran with Dawn Strozier along portions of the 26.2 mile trek. Families participated in groups of 3 to 10.  Each group/family ran one mile each.

The run mirrored the route of the L.A. Marathon from Dodgers Stadium to Santa Monica. Along the entire route, spectators inquired about the purpose of the run. They applauded the children, asked to take pictures and even donated toward the cause. 

Although it was Dawn’s first attempt to create such an event, the marathon was a huge success. It was well organized and creatively designed to allow people who would otherwise be unable to run 26.2 miles to contribute their own personal one-mile commitment and towards a greater cause. Participants were very excited about their contribution and rallied around Dawn as she pushed through muscle cramps and fatigue to complete her very first marathon. 

The Foundation offers a variety of classes including free kids’ fitness classes, adult zumba, boot camp, cardio step, kick boxing and aerobics groove. Located at 3820 Crenshaw Blvd., in Los Angeles, The Fight Against Obesity Foundation/Aerobics Room is centrally located to bring health and fitness into our community.

Dawn Strozier and The Fight Against Obesity Foundation can be contacted at 310-289-2169 or www.aerobicsroom.com.

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

May 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hamel Hartford Brookins, a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for 30 years and a longtime civil rights activist, has died in Los Angeles. He was 86.

A church statement says Brookins died Tuesday at his home.

The son of Mississippi sharecroppers, Brookins was minister of a country church in Arkansas and became acquainted with future President Bill Clinton. 

Before becoming bishop, he served 13 years as pastor of First AME Church of Los Angeles and led the congregation through the construction of a multimillion-dollar cathedral.

Brookins helped found Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH and was involved in the campaigns of Tom Bradley, the first Black mayor of Los Angeles.

 

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

May 24

Everyone is getting ready to participate in one of the oldest walk-a-thons in the Los Angeles area. The UNCF (United Negro College Fund) will have its 30th annual Walk for Education on Sat., June 2, in Exposition Park at the corner of Menlo Avenue and North Coliseum Drive behind the Natural History Museum.

 

This annual 5K UNCF Los Angeles walk helps raise critical funds to support UNCF’s 38 member historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and 60,000 nationally students — and over 4,000 students from the Southern California area. The walk gets support from area churches, community groups, supporters, donors and corporations, including this year’s presenting sponsor, Southern California Edison (SCE).

UNCF started its walk-a-thon to help keep the Southern California community informed about the tremendous effort of UNCF to support its 38 member institutions while generating resources for the students that attend them. Many participants are proud Southern California alumni of HBCUs; they look forward each year to this measurably tangible activity that supports the institutions that have given many their starts in life.

 “Education is the train that pulls our young people up the hill to a better life” stated UNCF Los Angeles Area Director Curtis R. Silvers, Jr. The funds raised from their walk-a-thon help students get the financial assistance to get them in and through college.

Today’s UNCF students are attending college at a time when higher education is becoming less affordable. More than 90% of UNCF students need some form of financial aid. Most UNCF students come from disadvantaged families; 60% are from family  with incomes of less than $30,000, and 60% are the first in their families to attend college.

“Every step we take in the UNCF Walk for Education brings us that much closer to sending more kids to college and fulfilling Presi­dent Barack Obama’s commitment for America to regain world leadership in the number of college graduates by 2020,” says  presenter/sponsor representative Tarrance Frierson, who is the contract manager, supplier diversity and development for the SCE.

Registration begins from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.; the walk will begin at 8:30 a.m., with post-walk festivities from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

For more information about the 30th Annual UNCF Los Angeles Walk for Education or to register online, go to http://give.uncf.org/LAWalk.

 

Parent Category: ROOT
Category: News

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