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Headlines: Obama Agrees to Late Unity Appearance

Obama Agrees to Late Unity Appearance
Senator Barack Obama plans to address the UNITY convention on Sunday, July 27, after he returns from his trip to Europe and the Middle East, in lieu of the promised "presidential candidates forum" with Senator John McCain. The organization said it still hoped John McCain would change his schedule and appear.

Zimbabwe Rivals Sign Agreement
Zimbabwe's feuding political leaders, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, met for the first time in years today, in a ceremony overseen by South African president Thabo Mbeki. The two signed a preliminary agreement laying out the terms for negotiations to wrest the nation out of political chaos.

Marion Jones Asks Bush to Commute 6-Month Sentence
Disgraced Olympic track star Marion Jones has asked President Bush to commute her prison sentence for lying to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and a check-fraud scam. Jones entered prison March 7, after being sentenced in January to six months in prison.

Obama Meets Iraqi Officials in Baghdad
Senator Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad today, meeting with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and other senior Iraqi politicians, on the latest leg of a weeklong overseas tour. Obama met briefly with General Petraeus and is scheduled to meet again with him later today. The stop in Iraq followed a visit to Afghanistan over the weekend.

Now's the Time to Redeploy Iraq Troops, Obama Says
Despite criticism from top military officials, Obama is standing strong on his plans to remove troops from Iraq and redeploy them in Afghanistan. On Sunday, Obama met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzal, telling him that Afghanistan was the central front in the fight against terrorism.

Too Many Cases, Too Few Judges
The number of cases being handled by the Los Angeles Immigration Court has skyrocketed. The court is starting to give way under the pressure, claiming they have an inefficient amount of judges to handle the growing frequency of cases. Immigration judges presided over 27,200 cases last fiscal year; a steep increase from the 17,800 cases in 2000.

Michelle Obama Credited with Helping Recast Image of Black Women
In Detroit, the Spiral Collective, a group of businesses owned by black women, is celebrating a change in their identity in the U.S., which they attribute to Michelle Obama. Janet Webster Jones, who owns Source Booksellers, says, "People who come in here are absolutely in love with Michelle Obama."

In Thousands of Images, a Photographer Builds a History in Harlem
Alix Dejean has been an unofficial neighborhood photographer in Harlem for nearly three decades, chronicling the famous, the infamous, and the anonymous. Dejean photographs people in parks, on brownstone stoops, hanging out at street corners and philosophizing in barbershops. View the slideshow.

Pulsing With Culture
At the base of the Baldwin Hills is the neighborhood Leimert Park, which is considered by many to be the 'core of black Los Angeles.' "African drums beat, jazz drifts from eateries and Afrocentric boutiques invite passersby." The Los Angeles Times included in this Monday's paper a photo series showing off the neighborhood in all its glory.

Entertainment
Batman Rules the Night, and the Whole Weekend
The sixth Batman film made a record $155.3 million over the weekend, shoring up a wobbly year at the box office. The film narrowly eclipsed opening-weekend ticket sales last year of $151.1 million for Spider-Man 3, the previous record holder.

Princess Tiana: Disney's First African American Princess Stereotyped?
Princess Tiana is slated to become Disney's first African-American princess. The project was originally set in New Orleans in the 1920's starring a black kitchen maid named Maddy who, with the help of her voodoo priestess/godmother, wins the love of a white prince. Due to accusations of racism this project was thrown out to make way for The Princess and The Frog.

Noir Media Group LTD Launches NOIRwoman
This month, Noir Media Group LTD will be premiering NOIRwoman NewsMag, a publication geared towards African American women. Noir Media is collaborating with the Chicago Sun-Times which will be distributing the magazine with their paper monthly. Though a preliminary issue was released last January, the official premier issue was released on July 18th.

Sports
Hiding a Host of Ills Under the Red Carpet
The Chinese government has already spent $43 billion on the rapidly approaching Olympic Games. This money is being put to work not only in remaking the image of the city of Beijing itself, but its people as well. Migrant workers, beggars, and fortune tellers have been purged from the streets while dog meat is removed from the menus of restaurants lest it offend the new western client??le.

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