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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Prayer Request: Donnie McClurkin seeks prayer for father through social media

buzzz worthy. . .

Concerned for his father's health, gospel singer and pastor of New York based Perfecting Church, Donnie McClurkin posted a prayer request via Socialcam on Wednesday, Nov. 6. McClurkin was in South Carolina where his father underwent an emergency operation, in which 6 inches of his intestines were surgically removed and doctors performed pathology tests to see "if it's good or bad"  Donnie shared.

The sudden procedure left McClurkin understandably frazzled. "This kinda messed me up.  Mom passed away in January and this came out of the blue," explained McClurkin.  He also said his family needs strength, "You all please pray for us.  Pray for my family, pray for my son.  Pray for all of us. Pray for the entire McClurkin family."

In the first of the two videos posted, McClurkin vented about a member of the hospital staff violating his  family's privacy.  He said an orderly who was taking care of his father called a "High priestess" to pray for him.  He showed the woman's business card on screen while explaining her agenda was to promote a relative's CD. The 3-time Grammy winner was livid that someone would interrupt an urgent family matter in this manner and vowed to see to it that someone would be fired. He conveyed what so many celebs try to get their fans to understand --famous people need their space too.

In the second video, the conversation may have started out referring to his father, which was obviously a major concern, but there were other burdens on the singer's heart.  After addressing his father's condition, he then changed the subject and began to talk about the need for families to be close.  "Some things only family can bear," he said. Lastly he  veered into talking about getting rid of "so called" friends. Apparently the the Grammy winning artist recently severed ties with friends who were being overly critical of him.  He likened friends who keep account of ones wrongdoings to carrying around extra weight.  "Some weight you don't need," he said concluding the post.

McClurkin celebrated his 54th birthday on Nov. 9.  Take a listen at the stellar vocalist in collaboration with Erica Campbell and Preshia Hilliard on "I Am Amazed."
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Obama defends Affordable Care in Dallas

buzzz worthy. . .

One month after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (AFA), President Obama is facing opposition to Obamacare following its botched online rollout heads on.  On Wednesday, he went to the state of Texas where opposition to his signature health care legislation is strongest.  Speaking from Dallas, while the president expressed regrets about the technical problems that prevented millions of Americans for enrolling online, he defended the merits of AFA.  He said people are working tirelessly to the kinks out of the system by the end of November.

Below is an excerpt from the speech:

"Now, I’m the first to say that the first month I’ve not been happy with.  (Laughter.)  You’ve all heard about the website woes.  Nothing drives me more crazy than the fact that right now, there’s great insurance to be had out there, choice and competition, where people can save money for a better product -- except too many folks haven’t been able to get through the website. 

Now, this is like having a really good product in a store, and the cash registers don’t work and there aren’t enough parking spots and nobody can get through the door.  And so we are working overtime to get this fixed.  And the website is already better than it was at the beginning of October, and by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to, all right?  And folks are working 24/7 to make sure that happens.

But remember, the insurance is already there.  And if people can't get through the website, they can get on the phone to the call center and people can take their application and walk them through this process, and people can apply in person if they've got committed folks who are out there helping people to sign up. And that’s what all of you have been committed to doing. 

And it is so important, because the truth of the matter is, even if the website were working 100 percent, a lot of people would still need help to navigate through this stuff.  A high percentage of people who don’t have health care also might not have ready access to a computer right away, or it might be confusing for them and they would need people to help guide them through this process.  And that’s true, by the way, if they were buying any kind of insurance.  Sometimes it's a complicated process.

So the commitment that all of you -- that congregations, that faith-based groups -- are engaged in is critically important.  And it's not going to stop; even after the website is running perfectly, we're still going to need all of you to be making these efforts.  And I want to make special mention of the Mayor's and Clay's work, and Eddie Bernice's work to get people signed up, because that’s the kind of commitment that we're going to need on the ground on a day-to-day basis. " 
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

History plans a Roots remake

buzzz worthy. . .The History Channel has acquired the rights to re-make the slavery miniseries "Roots."   The network plans to turn the original 12 hour movie into 8 hours by 2015.  Based on the family histroy of Alex Haley and the book he penned by the dame name, "Roots" was a major television success having won several Emmys.  History wants to create a more contemporary version of the story.
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Sting and Paul Simon Announce Joint North American Tour

buzzz worthy. . .

By Mona Austin

Two of the world's finest European artists will embark on a national American tour in February. Sting and Paul Simon will unite on stage  in the "Together Tour"  beginning in Houston, TX on February 8. The tour will end in Orlando, FL on March 16.  Currently there are 18 dates over a five-week period with the possibility of more dates being added.  The iconic gents will cover some of their top songs as a duo and as soloists.

Simon and Sting were once neighbors in Manhattan, but hadn't worked together until May of 2013. They performed two acoustic selections together at a benefit event for the Robinhood Foundation.  That encounter led to the co-tour, which is formally called "Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together."

Of  that engagement Simon told the New York Times that afterwards, "we both looked at each other and said : 'Wow.  That's pretty interesting.'"

This collaboration is indeed interesting as in so-much-musical-awesomeness-they- are-going-to-make-kazillions! Tickets go on sale today on their respective Web sites and will be available to the public next Tuesday.

“Paul and I both share this abiding curiosity about music and where it’s going,” Sting told The Times. “We don’t really know where this is going. We don’t really have a clue how this is going to pan out.”
C'est la vi and jam on! 

Paul Simon & Sting: Together Tour Dates 
2/8—Toyota Center—Houston, Texas
2/9—American Airlines Center—Dallas, Texas
2/11—Pepsi Center—Denver, Colo.
2/15—Forum—Los Angeles, Calif.
2/17—SAP Center At San Jose—San Jose, Calif.
2/19—Key Arena—Seattle, Wash.
2/20—Rogers Arena—Vancouver, British Columbia
2/23—Xcel Energy Center—St. Paul, Minn.
2/25—United Center—Chicago, Ill.
2/26—The Palace Of Auburn Hills—Detroit, Mich.
2/28—Bell Centre—Montreal, Quebec
3/1—Air Canada Centre—Toronto, Ontario
3/4—Madison Square Garden—New York, N.Y.
3/7—Wells Fargo Center—Philadelphia, Pa.
3/9—Giant Center—Hershey, Pa.
3/13—Verizon Center—Washington, D.C.
3/15—BB&T Center—Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
3/16—Amway Center—Orlando, Fla.
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

DeBlasio Breaks Republican mayor streak in NYC

buzzz worthy. . .

 For the first time since 1989, Bill De Blasio, a Democrat has won the New York City mayoral race. (The De Blasio family pictured above.)
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Legendary R&B/Disco Queen GLORIA GAYNOR Prepares For First Gospel CD and Companion Book WE WILL SURVIVE

buzzz worthy. . .

GLORIA GAYNOR Releases Gospel Radio Single "YOU'RE RIGHT ON TIME"

Grammy Award-winning singer GLORIA GAYNOR took the music world by storm in the 1970s, striking platinum with her disco hit "I Will Survive".   "I Will Survive" was the only song to earn a Grammy for Best Disco Recording and was one of only twenty-five songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012.

On September 19, 2005 Gaynor, along with her hit song "I Will Survive" were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame during a ceremony that took place in New York City. "I Will Survive", has been featured on the soundtrack of more than a half dozen major motion picture releases, and VH-1 honored Ms. Gaynor with the number one spot during their countdown of the Top 100 Dance Records of All Time.

Over the years, the disco legend has received thousands of personal messages from adoring fans whose lives have been transformed by this timeless song.  Their remarkable stories reveal that "I Will Survive" has reached people from all walks of life who have faced life altering moments.  From individuals triumphing over illness, to those suffering from the painful loss of a loved one, or those piecing their lives together after bearing witness to a national tragedy,  "I Will Survive" has become an emotional anthem of hope and resilience. 
"I Will Survive - a timeless anthem empowering those reaching for positive change in their lives, a sing-along sound track supporting those in a period of change, often from a dark place to somewhere brighter" - Tina Turner
The legendary singer has added another milestone to her career.  Gloria Gaynor will release her first Gospel album exclusively on AMAZON.COM on November 26 appropriately titled WE WILL SURVIVE.   "Recording a Gospel album was something I've wanted to do for years, but my manager and husband kept putting me off," Gaynor shares.  "Now that I'm in control of my own career, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and combine the four things I believe I was created to do - sing, write, teach, and share my faith."   

In 2011, Gaynor traveled to Nashville to begin recording her Gospel CD.   "You're Right On Time" is her first radio single, which is a beautifully fashioned ballad with a sincere and powerful message of reassurance.  "While in Nashville, I wrote the single with Chris Tompkins who already had the first line of the song  - ‘I’ve been down without a prayer’, then we prayed before we began working together," she continues.   "He started with the melody and music, and the rest of the lyrics just flowed out of me." 

This collection of inspiring songs is special to Gaynor in many ways. "This is the first project I've ever done with a dual purpose in mind - to create a CD that is inspirational and that would complement my new book, WE WILL SURVIVE," Gaynor explains.   She penned most of the album and invited American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle to make a special appearance on the project. 

With "If I Loved You", a funky contemporary track, Gaynor challenges listeners to demonstrate their true dedication to serve God.  "Please Let Me Show You" is a passionate melody and account of how victorious life can be if one would just answer the call to righteousness. 

WE WILL SURVIVE is a musical encounter of personal testimonies and stories from Gaynor and her fans.  "The past few years have been a big change for me," Gaynor exposes.  "I went through a divorce and became in charge of my own career," she continues. "I have a new found freedom to do things in my own way and to express myself more abundantly."  Her own conquests and triumphs are revealed through this project in which she hopes will give her fans a heightened strength in their faith and receive the love from which it was created.

With the addition of WE WILL SURVIVE to her musical repertoire, the upcoming year continues to be promising with many exciting opportunities ahead as Gaynor moves forward in her incredible life journey.  Gaynor continues to unfold as she proves to the world how she not only is continuing to survive, but living that life in abundance!
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Statement by the Vice President on Iraq’s Progress Toward 2014 Elections

buzzz worthy. . .

The United States welcomes the passage of legislation today by the Council of Representatives (COR) to govern Iraq’s parliamentary elections.  These elections have now been set for April 30, 2014, and the law that passed today was the result of many weeks of negotiation and compromise by all of Iraq’s major political blocs.  I applaud the leadership of Prime Minister Maliki, Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Barzani, and COR Speaker Nujaifi in achieving this result.

Upcoming elections give the Iraqi people an opportunity to choose the direction of their country, and the compromises reached today demonstrate the strength of Iraq’s democratic institutions, even in the face of terrorism that seeks to heighten sectarian tension and provoke broader conflict.

As noted in the Joint Statement concluded last week following the visit of Prime Minister Maliki to Washington, the United States is prepared to work as appropriate with the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to help ensure that the elections are well prepared and produce a result that reflects the will of the Iraqi people.

The United States remains committed to enhancing bilateral relations across all areas covered by the Strategic Framework Agreement, including efforts to “support and strengthen Iraq’s democracy and its democratic institutions as defined and established in the Iraqi Constitution.”  It was in this spirit that we welcomed Prime Minister Maliki’s commitment last week to holding these important elections on time.

Iraq today reminded the world that its leaders are determined to find areas of compromise and move their country forward.  We congratulate them on this important step, and look forward to further cooperation in the months ahead. 
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Hezekiah Walker continues to top charts in week 14

buzzz worthy. . .

New York, NY - Every week for more than three months Hezekiah Walker and his smash hit single "Every Praise" (RCA Inspiration) has topped Billboards' Gospel Songs Charts and this week, Walker's 14th consecutive at #1, sets a new personal best for the artist.

"Every Praise/Hezekiah Walker will go down in the archives of great inspirational songs as one of the best. This song makes you feel joyful. It brings a smile to your face. It exudes happiness," says Elroy R. C. Smith, Inspiration Format Director at Radio One, Inc.  "Furthermore, I love this song so much that I purchased it recently on ITUNES.  Congratulations to RCA INSPIRATION and Hezekiah Walker for one of the greatest songs to date. "

Featured on Walker's "Azusa The Next Generation" album, the hit single "Every Praise" was originally released by RCA Inspiration in June.  Walker, whose previous #1 single "Souled Out" spent 13 consecutive weeks atop the Gospel Songs Chart, recently released a new Flash Mob video for "Every Praise" that is now viewable on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuuZMg6NVeA).  

"Every Praise" is more of what we have come to expect from an artist of Hezekiah's caliber," says Geo Bivins, General Manager of RCA Inspiration.  "Spending two or three consecutive weeks at #1 is noteworthy, 14 is quite the accomplishment and speaks to his connection with the fans and music consumers."

Walkers additional top-5 singles include "Lift Him Up," which peaked at #3 in 2006; and "Faithful Is Our God," which held the # 2 position in 2007.
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