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Showing posts with label theGrio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theGrio. Show all posts

Friday, November 13, 2020

Ciara, Russell Wilson to release a pair of fragrances

‘It is the first beauty venture for the Seattle Seahawks quarterback and the Grammy award-winning entertainer.’

Ciara and Russell Wilson are both releasing a pair of fragrances just in time for the holiday season. 

The couple have created R&C The Fragrance Duo in partnership with manufacturer Hampton Beauty.

“It is the first beauty venture for the Seattle Seahawks quarterback and the one-name, Grammy award-winning entertainer,” Women’s World Daily wrote in the caption of a photo of the superstar couple on Instagram

“We wanted our scents to be able to be very strong individually but also be stronger together,” Wilson explained to WWD.

Read More: Ciara, Russell Wilson funding new Seattle charter school with $1.75 million donation

“That aspiration is represented in the physical shape of the perfumes, which wrap around each other like puzzle pieces and link via magnet to create a larger, unified structure,” the outlet writes. 

Ciara and her NFL star hubby worked on the project “in the thick of quarantine” amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I like scents to be distinctive,” Ciara explained of her fragrance. “I want it to be memorable. I always think about the feeling that I get when I smell someone that smells so fresh…You remember that scent. It leaves a mark on you.”

Wilson added, “For me, I really wanted to put out something sex. When you walk in the room, I think you want the man to bring a presence without overdoing it. That’s kind of something I’ve always wanted to feel.”

News of the fragrance collection coincides with the announcement that Wilson and Ciara are donating $1.75 million to a charter school in the Seattle area.

Read More: Ciara shows off candelight birthday surprise from Russell Wilson

According to the News Tribune, through their Why Not You Foundation, the couple will be donating money to rebrand an existing charter program known as Cascade Midway Academy, just south of Seattle.

theGRIO previously reported, the Cascade high school program was originally set to debut this year before the pandemic forced founders Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield to delay opening. Ciara and Wilson have stepped in to partner with the Seattle-based charter-school leaders to instead start the Why Not You Academy.

Calling it “a long-time dream,” Wilson said this is just the first of many schools he plans to start. The academy will open in the fall of 2021 to a freshman class of 100 and will operate as a tuition-free public high school.

Wilson and Ciara’s fragrance duo will be available for $90 when it launches November 17 on the new website RandCFragrance.com. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Why Not You Foundation, which promotes education and children’s health.

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Chicago boy, 12, shot while picking up school supplies with father

‘He was just sitting there in the car and someone shot him.’

A 12-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after he was shot multiple times in Chicago while shopping for school supplies with his father. 

Lamar Davis was sitting in a parked car in the city’s Lawndale area on Wednesday, when a maroon SUV pulled up, rolled down a rear window and someone opened fire with a .45-caliber handgun, per the Chicago Tribune. Davis was struck in the back, hip, leg and buttocks. His father was not wounded. At this time, it appears the attack was random. 

The child was treated at a local hospital and released the next day, according to the report. He must undergo follow-up treatment in the weeks ahead.

Davis told his family that he has no idea who shot him or why

Read More: Man arrested in Chicago after killing girlfriend and her family

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“He was just sitting there in the car and someone shot him,” Lamar’s mother, Melissa Robinson, told the Chicago Tribune.

“Kids can’t go outside, they can’t do anything,” she added. 

Davis is the oldest of six and has two sisters and three brothers. Robinson said “He is protective of them.” 

According to the Chicago police, no arrests have been made in the shooting.

“Everybody just needs to think about what’s going on in the world and try not to harm others,” said Robinson. “I am just grateful he is OK.”

Read More: Chicago sisters accused of stabbing employee 27 times after being asked to wear a mask

Davis is the latest shooting victim in the city that continues to be rocked by gun violence. Earlier this month, 40 people were reportedly shot and five fatally in one weekend.

The Chicago Tribune reports that 3,619 people were shot between January 1, 2020, through November 9, 2020. 

“You should see some of these cars. They’re shot up, the windshields are shot out, back windows and side doors. A lot of people are getting injured, including a number of children,” said Chicago freelance video journalist Ken Herzlich, who travels the city to document shootings and other senseless violence.

Anyone with information that could help the Davis investigation should call Chicago detectives at (312) 746-8250 or submit tips anonymously at CPDTIP.com.

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Kellyanne Conway trolled for 2016 tweet after Biden’s 306 electoral votes

The former White House adviser previously praised Trump for his ‘historic’ defeat over Hillary Clinton 

Kellyanne Conway is being trolled and called out on Twitter over a 2016 post praising Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election. 

It all started on Friday after CNN announced that the final electoral count for the 2020 election is Joe Biden: 306, Trump, 232. This is the same tally Trump had in 2016 that Conway considered a historic landslide. 

“306. Landslide. Blowout. Historic,” wrote Conway in a tweet that was resurfaced by The Lincoln Project. She was Trump’s campaign adviser when he defeated Hillary Clinton. Conway had quote-tweeted CNN’s projections for Trump at the time. She also noted that he won Michigan’s 16 electoral votes, bringing his total to 306. 

Read More: Trump’s former adviser Kellyanne Conway tests positive for COVID-19

Four years later, Michigan is one of five states that president-elect Biden flipped, along with Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona. Trump won these areas in 2016, and throughout his presidency he often referenced this victory. 

Trump tweeted in 2018, “The Dems have tried every trick in the playbook-call me everything under the sun. But if I’m all of those terrible things, how come I beat them so badly, 306-223? Maybe they’re just not very good! The fact is they are going CRAZY only because they know they can’t beat me in 2020!,” 

Not only did the Dems crush Trump in the election, he’s now suing to have Biden’s win overturned. Trump and several Republicans are pushing the unsubstantiated claim that the election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud. 

Read More: Kellyanne Conway’s daughter vows to seek emancipation amid WH departure

Meanwhile, Conway announced in August that that she was exiting her White House counselor post, while her husband, George Conway, was also stepping back from The Lincoln Project, both said they wanted to focus on their family.

“I will be transitioning from the White House at the end of this month. George is also making changes,” Kellyanne said in a statement.

“We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids. Our four children are teens and ‘tweens starting a new academic year, in middle school and high school, remotely from home for at least a few months. As millions of parents nationwide know, kids ‘doing school from home’ requires a level of attention and vigilance that is as unusual as these times.”

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Jemele Hill not ready to ‘turn the other cheek’ with some Trump supporters

The former ESPN host and journalist blasted the Trump supporters who have harassed her over the years

Journalist Jemele Hill isn’t ready to turn the other cheek when it comes to the more fervent supporters of President Donald Trump.

President-elect Joe Biden has struck a chord of unity since being the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election. There have also been calls for the country to heal the divisions that fall across political, social, and cultural fault lines. But given what she’s experienced as an outspoken Trump critic, Hill isn’t receptive to the idea of letting bygones be bygones.

Read More: ‘Home Alone 2’ director: Trump ‘did bully his way into movie’

Jemele Hill thegrio.com
Journalist Jemele Hill attends the Heavyweight Championship of The World “Wilder vs. Fury” Premiere at Staples Center on December 01, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

On Wednesday’s episode of her VIce TV show, Stick to Sports that she co-hosts with fellow journalist Cari Champion, Hill described the acrimony of the recent years since Trump ascended to the presidency.

“A lot of us have been terrorized. We’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of hatred, a lot of vitriol. I’ve been a professional journalist since 1997. I’ve been getting hate mail since I was in college. Nothing has been like it has been like the past four years, particularly after I called out the president,” Hill said.

Hill left ESPN after 12 years in 2018 when she drew backlash for blasting the Trump as a ”white supremacist” who is “unqualified and unfit” to be president.

Hill moved on as a contributing writer for The Atlantic and has continued her high-profile career with other multimedia ventures but the harassment has not let up. She read a message that was left in her Instagram DMs recently.

“This is what came into my Instagram DMs this morning. Hey you f—– racist n— b—-. You got a problem with white folks then run your f— up bitch-ass mouth to one of us, and I don’t mean a little kid or an old man, and see if they don’t slap the Black off your sorry ass. F— you. Trump will still win. Get the f—- over it or leave,” she recounted.

Hill says she’ doesn’t believe all of Trump’s supporters are racist. But she wanted to make it clear that she has no tolerance for the ones who are.

“Now I realize that does not necessarily mean that all Trump supporters are that hateful or that vitriolic but this idea that we need to turn the other cheek, hell no. So, I say this with all the disrespect. F–k y’all,” she said, raising both middle fingers.

“I’m not turning the other cheek. I’m not forgiving you because you’ve terrorized my life. You’ve threatened it. You’ve come after my friends and my family. So, f– you.”

She flipped both birds one more time.

 “Straight up, no chaser,” Hill declared and sipped a drink.

Read More: Biden to undo Trump orders on civil rights, focus on racial equality

“For the ancestors too y’all,” Champion replied.

“Exactly, Harriet [Tubman] would’ve wanted me to do that. Harriet, Sojourner [Truth], Shirley [Chisholm].  All of them. That’s for all y’all.”

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HBO releases trailer for upcoming ‘Tiger Woods’ documentary

“This is my treasure. Please accept it and use it wisely,” said Woods’ father in reference to his son.

A Tiger Woods documentary is on its way.

The film is based on the New York Times bestselling book “Tiger Woods,” which outlines the tumultuous yet extraordinary life and career of the 44-year-old golf star, per People.

Read More: Biden ad rips Trump for comparing Black shootings to a ‘choke’ in a game of golf

“Few global icons are more visible and less understood than Tiger Woods,” said Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports in a statement at the top of the year, per IndieWire. “His prodigy came with painstaking sacrifice; his perfected athleticism immobilized him in agony before the age of 40; his self-made fame enabled a self-destructive world of secrecy; and his redemptive reemergence posed as many questions as it answered — not only about one of the greatest sportsmen ever to live, but also the greater American society that engulfed him.”

The HBO movie will future appearances from Woods’ late father Earl Woods, his friend and former golf caddie Steve Williams, and his former mistress Rachel Uchitel.

It seems as if the world stopped back in 2009 when news broke that Woods was having an affair with Uchitel. The news ended Woods’ marriage to Elin Nordegren, with whom he has two children. The affair was so publicized that it tainted his career and there was a time when it seemed as if his public image wouldn’t recover.

But despite the personal drama, Woods is still revered as one of the best golfers of all time. He recently tweeted about the emotions he had after a big win in Augusta in 2019.

“It meant a lot to me and still does,” Tiger said reflecting on hugging his kids after last year’s win. “It just reminded me so much of me and my dad, and to come full circle like that—you know, a little teary.”

Read More: Tiger Woods cheers on son, 11, at golf tournament

In the documentary clip Woods’ dad is heard saying, “this is my treasure. Please accept it and use it wisely.”

The film will drop in Jan. 2021. Watch the teaser trailer below.

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Cracker Barrel issues apology for noose-like decorations hanging from ceiling

“We’re sorry this happened,” the eatery said in a statement

Just in time for the holidays…

Cracker Barrel is known for its antique shop and home-style country food. But the company known for celebrating history took its love for the good ol’ days and antiques too far when a customer spotted a noose-like decoration hanging from its ceiling.

Read More: Can Biden fix America’s racism problem?

“We’re sorry this happened,” explained the company in a reply to Alfonso Robinson who spotted the object at a Connecticut location. They described the piece as an “antique electric soldering iron that has an original wrapped cord that should not have been displayed,” per Today.

Robinson initially tweeted, “Someone at Cracker Barrel in East Windsor needs to explain why there are nooses on the ceiling.” 

The company told Today in a statement, “While we have removed the item from this particular store, we are working with our teams to determine whether this item or others like it exist in any of our other stores, and, if so, (that they are) removed, we want to make sure our décor is welcoming and representative of the communities we serve.”

Another customer, Tamra Hawkins, went in search of the noose-like object and posted video of it to Facebook. Her caption read, “Omg!! Cracker Barrel has a noose hanging in its store 😳🥺😒 I will never eat here again!! Smfh
Look at 1:02 into the live!!, Don’t listen to me!! I missed it at first.”

She located it at a location near Hartford, Connecticut. She told NBC News she did not find the restaurant’s apology sincere.

Read More: Missouri Rep-elect Cori Bush wears Breonna Taylor mask to Congress, GOP colleagues think it’s her name

“Honestly, I don’t accept it,” Hawkins said. “I feel like they made an excuse, instead of acknowledging that it was a noose and it was placed in the store with a lapse in judgment.”

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Atlanta couple drown on Puerto Rico vacation, leave behind 2 sons

The couple met when they were both studying at Florida A&M University

Jamar and AnnMari Robinson were on vacation at a beach resort in Puerto Rico when they were both pulled into the ocean by a current and drowned. The incident occurred on Sunday at Condado Beach, according to the Daily Mail.

Read More: Bond denied for father, son charged in Ahmaud Arbery slaying

AnnMari was swimming at the beach behind La Concha hotel when she was dragged out to sea. Her husband went in after her, but was also caught in the current. Bystanders attempted to save them but were unable to do so.

Read More: Lenox Square robbery victim arrested by Atlanta police

The couple left behind two teenage sons, 14 and 15. One of the them has special needs, according to The Daily Mail.

The Robinsons were prominent figures in the Atlanta area. Jamar was the principal of Westlake High School in South Fulton, Georgia and AnnMari was an assistant professor at Georgia State, working towards a Ph.D. In 2014, Jamar was named an Outstanding Georgia Citizen.

via the Daily Mail / GoFundMe

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, an official for the Fulton County school system released a statement about Jamar.

“Robinson was an inspirational leader who brought joy with his passion for education and his students,” the statement said. “We join the community in remembering him and expressing our condolences to his family.”

The dean of George State, Nancy Kropf, said that AnnMari was a “beloved and admired member of the faculty.”

Read More: At least five people on newly relaunched Caribbean cruise test positive for the coronavirus

The couple met when they were both studying at Florida A&M University, before eventually settling in the Atlanta area. 

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At least five people on newly relaunched Caribbean cruise test positive for the coronavirus

The SeaDream 1 ordered passengers and crewmembers to quarantine and altered voyage plans after people aboard tested positive for COVID-19.

Multiple passengers aboard one of the first cruise ships to set sail since the pandemic began have tested positive for coronavirus.

Read More: Over 130 Secret Service officers may be infected with coronavirus

CNN reports that so far, seven people on the SeaDream 1 have confirmed cases of COVID-19. The cruise ship docked in Barbados where all 53 passengers and 66 crew were tested after one guest became sick on Wednesday. Those who receive negative test results will be allowed to return home.

“We are working closely with local health and government authorities to resolve this situation in the best possible way,” said SeaDream’s Andreas Brynestad, according to CNN.

Gene Sloan, a travel and cruise journalist on the trip documented the journey for The Points Guy. He reported on Wednesday after the initial guest became ill, captain Torbjorn Lund made an announcement requesting all passengers to return to their cabins, where they would be isolated. Before coming onto the ship, passengers were required to submit to multiple COVID-19 tests in an attempt to “create a COVID-free bubble.” All attendees were required to test negative days before boarding, the day of, and a third test was planned the day the passenger became sick.

“Please allow a bit of extra time for us to adjust for this new situation,” Lund said, according to Sloan’s report. “We are confident in our routines and medical plans, but they are strict, and we apologize for this inconvenience.”

While he confirmed social distancing and some mask-wearing were standard on the ship, unfortunately, the number of cases still grew beyond the first solo COVID-19 patient. Sloan reported the cruise passengers did not interact with anyone outside of the ship, so despite the precautions, it is likely the passenger boarded already having coronavirus.

A press release from SeaDream said the Caribbean excursion followed a successful summer of cruises in Norway, where according to CNN, no passengers or crew contracted COVID-19.

“Sailing during these times undoubtedly presents some new challenges. But as the first luxury line to begin sailing again, we have learned many lessons and are confident we can provide a safe environment without sacrificing luxury,“ said Brynestad in the statement. “We are thrilled to offer our guests a much-needed escape and the dream vacation they deserve onboard SeaDream.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order on Nov. 3, adding requirements that cruise ship operators must take to expand safety measures for the crew, including laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection and other policies to prevent the risk of COVID-19 onboard cruise ships. An initial no-sail order expired on Oct. 31.

As theGrio reported, members of the Cruise Lines International Association, including Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean plan to spend the remainder of the year preparing for a 2021 comeback. In order to begin sailing, the companies must prove procedures for testing, quarantining, and isolating passengers and crew, build labs on every ship for testing, and complete mock voyages with volunteers.

According to Sloan, the passengers currently quarantined on the SeaDream1 will be allowed to travel home on Saturday if they test negative for COVID-19. Five of the seven passengers who have tested positive are part of one family traveling together who stayed in the same cabins. The other two are a husband-and-wife couple who shared a cabin.

Read More: 80 percent of Texas inmates who died from coronavirus were not convicted of crime

Coronavirus cases continue to spike in the United States and across the globe. As theGrio reported, the U.S. has counted over 240,000 deaths and more than 10.3 million confirmed COVID-19 patients with new cases reaching over 120,000 per day over the past week.

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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Trump campaign quietly laying off staff following election defeat

Trump has yet to concede or begin the transition process

Trump’s re-election campaign is reportedly laying off staff as the president continues to refuse to concede to the 2020 race.

This Sunday (Nov. 15) will be the last working day for aides at the campaign’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Others will remain employed until November 30, according to a report by McClatchy DC News. Aides helping with Trump’s election lawsuits have not been given an end date, according to the report. 

“Unlike most campaigns which close down immediately after Election Day, because of the unprecedented nature of the 2020 race, we have long had a plan to continue on to see President Trump re-elected,” Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for the Trump campaign, told McClatchy DC.

Read More: ‘Election defense’ donations under $8K will go to Trump, RNC instead

“However, staffers related to events, trips, door knocking and grassroots organizing played roles that ended on Election Day and obviously play less of a role after Election Day,” Murtaugh continued. “We are raising significant amounts of money to fuel the president’s challenges and will retain appropriate staff to see the post-election process through to the president’s victory.”

Trump has yet to concede or begin the transition process. Instead, the president has taken aim at major media networks for allegedly conspiring with Democrats to steal the election. 

Despite offering zero substantial evidence to support his claims, Trump has filed lawsuits in several states to overturn the election outcome.

Read More: Few legal wins so far as Trump team hunts for proof of fraud

Election officials in 49 states (excluding Texas) have confirmed to the New York Times that there was zero evidence of widespread voter fraud.

In Texas, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has offered $1 million for any evidence that votes/ballots were compromised. The move comes after he claimed in a radio interview with The Mark Davis Show last month that Democrats were attempting to steal the election. 

“The bottom line is that there is no truth to any of this and, at some point, we all have to collectively accept that yelling ‘voter fraud’ when there is no evidence whatsoever of it, is yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater,” said Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on CNN. “It is harming the democratic franchise of our country and the peaceful transition of power, and we cannot accept that.”

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Homeland Security says 2020 election ‘most secure in American history’

‘There is no evidence that any voting system was in any way compromised.’

Top U.S. government officials declared on Thursday that the 2020 presidential election was “the most secure” in history, saying there was no evidence that votes were compromised. 

The statement from high-ranking experts at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — part of the Department of Homeland Security — strongly rebukes Trump’s  unsubstantiated claims that Biden won the election through widespread voter fraud.

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised,” the statement said.

Read More: FBI says Iran and Russia have interfered in the 2020 election

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should, too,” officials added in their statement.  “When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

An earlier report on theGRIO noted that Trump’s claims of voter fraud have been debunked by election officials in every state in the union.

Both Republicans and Democrats alike have reported no evidence of widespread voter fraud or other irregularities that could change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The New York Times claims the iconic newspaper reached out to officials in every state through interviews and supplied statements that tell the exact opposite story. Election authorities nationwide report “remarkable success despite record turnout and the complications of a dangerous pandemic.”

Read More: Donald Trump could possibly pardon himself, experts say

Trump has launched a series of legal challenges to overturn the election outcome. Many of those challenges have been tossed out by judges.

“It is most unfortunate that the Republicans have decided that they will not respect the will of the people, and let me just say: It’s like the house is burning down and they just refused to throw water on it,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said.

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Remote workers should pay ‘privilege tax’ to support essential workers, Deutsche Bank argues

The bank proposes the tax for workers who make a salary of  $55K

Deutsche Bank says those who work from home should pay a tax for the ‘luxury.’

The bank’s researchers say those that are opting to work from home should pay a 5% tax to support those who cannot work from home through a “privilege tax,” according to USA Today.

Read More: Wesley Snipes reflects on serving prison sentence for taxes

“Our calculations suggest the amounts raised could fund material income subsidies for low-income earners who are unable to work remotely and thus assume more ‘old economy’ and health risks,” added in the report by the global head of fundamental credit strategy and thematic research at Deutsche Bank, Jim Reid.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in the spring, many employers instructed their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of the infection.

The report titled, What We Must Do to Rebuild, says those that work from home are saving money because they are able to reduce the cost of transportation, food, and clothing. 

remote work Deutsche Bank tax thgrio.com
Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images

But the tax will only impact those who choose to work from home when the government says it is OK for employees to go back to work once the pandemic is over. According to Stanford News 42% of the current workforce in the United States is working from home.

“The sudden shift to WFH means that, for the first time in history, a big chunk of people have disconnected themselves from the face-to-face world yet are still leading a full economic life,” said Luke Templeman a researcher, in the report. “That means remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.”

The bank proposes that for a person who makes a salary of $55K, they should pay about 5% which will equal out to about $10 a day, but would generate a whopping $48 billion a year for low-income people.

Read More: Trump administration attempted to direct $250 million in taxpayer funds for re-election campaign, Krishnamoorthi says

Deutsche Bank is an investment bank based in Frankfurt, Germany.

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‘Election defense’ donations under $8K will go to Trump, RNC instead

But the fine print does alert donors where the funds will funnel to.

President Donald Trump solicited his supporters to help pay for the legal fight against alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election. But some are questioning why the funds are being allocated to other causes.

Read More: Few legal wins so far as Trump team hunts for proof of fraud

His team requested the funds from supporters with text messages like, “The Left will try to STEAL this election!” per Reuters. The outlet reviewed the fine print and small donations made by his supporters will be paid to Save America, a new Trump political action committee or to the Republican National Committee, not the “Official Election Defense Fund,” as advertised.

“It’s important to be upfront with people – especially those who are digging deep into their pockets to come up with $25,” said Michael DuHaime, former political director at the RNC, “If you tell them it’s going for legal fees, well then, it should go for legal fees.”

General Election Ballots Still Being Counted in Pennsylvania
Carri Dusza, a supporter of President Donald Trump, holds a sign that reads “Legal Votes Only” while demonstrating outside of where votes were still being counted in Pennsylvania, seven days after the general election on November 10, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

A donor would have to contribute $8K or more for it to actually make it to the Official Election Defense Fund. The website urges supporters to donate and encourages them to make the payment reoccurring. It adds, “We need your help to ensure we have the resources to protect the results.”

But the fine print does alert donors where the funds will funnel to.

It says Save America will receive 60% of funds, and the RNC will receive 40%. Funds won’t be allocated to the recount fund until Save America reaches a legal contribution limit of $5K.

Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and is spewing baseless claims of fraud in the election. Many Trump supporters believe this narrative. But a North Carolina Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters said Trump should state in a clearer way where the money will end up.

Read More: Trump officials called Democrats ‘sore losers’ in 2016 for questioning election results

“They should be more transparent,” he said. “If they are soliciting money to help with a legal challenge, and instead the money is going to pay the salary of the political director, that doesn’t seem right.”

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Prosecutor reads racist messages by Ahmaud Arbery’s killer

A text message Travis McMichael sent last year used a slur for Black people when referring to a ‘crackhead … with gold teeth.’

The man who fatally shot Ahmaud Arbery had previously used racial slurs in a text message and on social media, a prosecutor said Thursday as a judge weighed whether to grant bond for the defendant and his father.

Travis McMichael and his father, Gregory McMichael, have been jailed since their arrests in May, more than two months after Arbery was slain. The McMichaels, who are white, chased and fatally shot the 25-year-old Black man after they spotted him running in their neighborhood just outside the port city of Brunswick.

Read More: Judge to weigh bond for father, son in Ahmaud Arbery slaying

Questions about whether racism played a role in the killing sharpened during a previous hearing when an investigator testified that a third defendant, who took cellphone video of the shooting, told authorities he heard Travis McMichael, 34, utter a racial slur after he blasted Arbery three times with a shotgun.

Left, father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, accused in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. (AP Photo/Lewis Levine)

In the courtroom Thursday, Zachary Langford — a friend of Travis McMichael’s since boyhood — testified his friend was a jokester who got along with everyone and had at least one Black friend.

Then prosecutor Jesse Evans asked Langford about a text message Travis McMichael had sent him last year that used a slur for Black people when referring to a “crackhead … with gold teeth.”

Langford at first said he didn’t recall receiving the message. Then after reviewing a transcript of the exchange, he answered: “He was referring to a raccoon, I believe.”

Evans also cited a photo Langford posted to Facebook last year to which Travis McMichael replied: “Sayonara,” along with an offensive term for Asians followed by an expletive. Langford said he didn’t recall that, either.

Read More: Ahmaud Arbery’s life and death profiled in ’48 Hours’ documentary: ‘Modern-day lynching’

Defense attorneys for both McMichaels have denied any racist motives in the shooting. Right after the Feb. 23 shooting, Gregory McMichael told police that he and his son armed themselves and got in a pickup truck to pursue Arbery because they suspected he was a burglar.

This photo combo of images taken Thursday, May 7, 2020, and provided by the Glynn County Detention Center, in Georgia, show Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)

Prosecutors say Arbery was merely jogging when the McMichaels pursued him. Their defense attorneys insisted in court Thursday that’s not true.

“We have substantial evidence that, on the day in question, Mr. Arbery was not a jogger,” said Robert Rubin, one of Travis McMichael’s attorneys. “He was there for nefarious purposes.”

Rubin gave no evidence in court that Arbery was doing anything wrong the day he was shot.

Langford’s wife, Ashley Langford, testified that Travis McMichael expressed remorse about shooting Arbery.

“He told me he wished it never happened like that,” she said. “He prayed for Ahmaud’s mother and his family daily.”

Superior Court Judge Timothy Walmsley made no decision on bond for either of the McMichaels. He was still hearing testimony Thursday afternoon.

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, said outside the Glynn County courthouse that the McMichaels should remain jailed pending trial because “those guys are dangerous.” She also said she doubted they had regrets.

Wanda Jones-Cooper, Ahmaud Arbery theGrio.com
Wanda Jones-Cooper with her son, Ahmaud Arbery (Personal Family Picture)

“I live right there in the community,” Cooper-Jones said. “Nobody reached out to say, `I’m sorry for your loss.’ I don’t think they are remorseful at all.”

The McMichaels weren’t arrested until the cellphone video of the shooting leaked online and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case. In June, a grand jury indicted both McMichaels and a neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, on charges.

Each is charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Travis McMichael’s mother, Lee McMichael, testified that he lived with her and his father, has a 4-year-old son and doesn’t have a passport. His attorneys cited his past service as a U.S. Coast Guard mechanic as proof of his character.

“In no way, shape or form is Travis hateful towards any group of people, nor does he look down on anyone based on race, religion or beliefs,” Curt Hall, a former Coast Guard roommate of Travis McMichael who described himself as “multiracial,” wrote in a letter supporting bond for his friend.

Gregory McMichael, 64, is a retired investigator for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit district attorney’s office and a former Glynn County police officer.

The McMichaels’ attorneys are also asking the judge to reject the indictment’s malice murder charge, saying it was written in a way that improperly “charges two crimes in one count.” They made a similar argument for tossing out a charge of criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Bryan was previously denied bond. His attorney has argued in court motions that the entire indictment should be dismissed.

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Hillary Clinton shares photos of FLOTUS transition as Melania has yet to reach out to Jill Biden

Melania Trump has thus far ignored protocol by not contacting Biden who will assume her role in January

Hillary Clinton posted two throwback pictures on Instagram of herself and two other first ladies on Thursday.

The first photo shows Clinton with Barbara Bush, who was the first lady from 1989 to 1993, about to embrace during Bill Clinton’s transition to the White House. Clinton won the election against incumbent President George H. W. Bush. 

The second photo shows Clinton holding hands with incoming first lady Laura Bush after Bill Clinton served his two terms. Clinton captioned the post, “Barbara welcoming me, November 1992; me welcoming Laura, December 2000.⁣”

Read More: Melania Trump refuses to meet with Dr. Jill Biden: report

According to CNN, Melania Trump has not yet reached out to Jill Biden, which is customary. Though presidential elections can often be contentious, relationships between first ladies are said to usually be gracious.

Forner first lady Michelle Obama, former first lady Laura Bush, former first lady Hillary Clinton, former first lady Barbara Bush and former first lady Rosalynn Carter attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

When Trump won the election in 2016, Melania and Michelle Obama met and walked through the White House together. According to an insider, Melania Trump’s plans do not include meeting with the first lady-elect any time soon.

“I’m not sure it’s fair for anyone to expect them to start transitioning when the president has not yet conceded,” a confidential source said to CNN.

“If the president concedes, I’m sure the East Wing will be gracious and professional to the incoming administration, that’s just how they work,” the source continued.

It seems as though many people are nostalgic for a time when a peaceful transition of power was an inevitable reality.

Read More: Obama and the Clintons congratulate Biden, Harris

As theGrio previously reported, former President George W. Bush’s daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, shared pictures of her showing Malia and Sasha Obama around the White House during the 2008 transition of her father’s administration to Barack Obama’s.

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Detroit social justice organization suing police for excessive force asks why election protesters were treated differently

Local activist group Detroit Will Breathe calls for police chief James Craig to resign citing disparities in protest response.

A social justice organization in Detroit that is suing the police department questioned why demonstrators protesting the results of the 2020 presidential election weren’t met with the same force as ones over the summer advocating for racial equality.

Read More: Armed Trump supporters are protesting across the country

A lawsuit was filed in August by Detroit Will Breathe accusing the police of using excessive force during a protest on Aug. 22. The Detroit police department filed a countersuit against the organization. According to Fox 2 Detroit, police claim the initial lawsuit resulted in a conspiracy against the department.

Detroit Will Breathe called out the police department for the difference in their response to election-related events as citizens took to the streets to protest against President Donald Trump losing the state’s electoral votes.

Detroit police chief James Craig countered by claiming the recent protests were peaceful.

“What they conveniently left out, they were peaceful. They were chanting and we gave them – just like we gave Detroit Will Breathe – an opportunity to exercise their right to free speech,” Craig said, according to the report. “But not one time did they attack this police department and the one instance when we made an arrest, it was made without incident and it had nothing to do with the protest. And so, factually wrong once again.”

Supporters Of Joe Biden Celebrate Across The Country, After Major Networks Project Him Winning The Presidency
Demonstrators march calling for President Donald Trump to concede the presidency on November 07, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protesters marched through Detroit, celebrating the election of Joe Biden and denouncing police violence. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Detroit Will Breathe is a movement committed to local, national, and global change. According to its website, the group practices “militant resistance and mass collective actions, our collective achieves meaningful local change and joins our brothers and sisters and siblings across the country and globe to oppose any and all forms of police brutality, systemic racism, and exploitation.”

On Sept. 4, a judge sided with the organization. Judge Laurie J. Michelson prohibited police from using certain tactics for 14 days unless directly approached with violence.

This list included chokeholds, which were already banned from use by Detroit police, striking weapons including batons and shields, chemical agents including pepper spray, rubber bullets, and arresting any demonstrators in large numbers. Tristan Taylor, an organizer with Detroit Will Breathe told Fox 2 Detroit the group was happy with the decision and is committed to their cause.

“We are feeling good, I feel in a lot of ways vindicated,” Taylor said. “We certainly are non-violent tactically, but we don’t back down to bullies and shields.”

According to Taylor, the American Civil Liberties Union is supporting Detroit WIll Breathe in their effort to have the lawsuit dismissed. The organization has also called for Craig’s resignation.

Craig told Fox 2 Detroit that he believes a majority of the protestors with the social justice group are not even from Detroit. Taylor said his group was unfairly attacked by Detroit police during an Aug. 22 demonstration, and told the news outlet Detroit Will Breathe is not a membership group and they do not collect information on where protesters are from.

After eight years in Detroit, Craig says things have improved between the community and police and told Fox that recent uprisings across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd have diminished police staff across the country due to politics.

Read More: Protesters gather near White House, no wide unrest seen

“You’ve lost confidence in your police department, morale is at the very bottom and police officers are saying we don’t want to work here. And it’s not just happening in Minneapolis. There’s no surprise that in New York police officers are leaving at alarming rates. Even in my old city of LA, I hear from so many Los Angeles police officers that are sick and tired of the politics and the fact that they are not being treated fairly,” Craig said. 

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