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Notes on News: Obama Muslim Outreach Director Out

Obama's Muslim Outreach Director Resigns
Mazen Asbahi, an attorney who volunteered to help the Obama campaign reach out to Muslim and Arab-Americans, resigned from the campaign Monday. Asbahi briefly served on the Dow Jones Islamic Index Fund, resigning his position on the board when he "became aware of public allegations against another member of the board." He said he was resigning from the presidential campaign "to avoid distracting from Barack Obama's message of change."

Mauritanian Military Overthrows President
The elected president of Mauritania in northern Africa was overthrown in a relatively quick and painless military coup on Wednesday. President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, along with many government officials were placed under house arrest, ending the nation's brief experiment with democracy.

Human Rights Take Field in China
With the Beijing Olympics only a day away, human rights takes center stage as critics attack China for banning Darfur activists from the country. In response, and in criticism of China's support of the Sudanese government, the U.S. has selected former Sudanese refugee Lopez Lomong to carry the flag in the opening ceremonies. Lomong: "It's more than a dream... There are no words to describe it."

Maryland Infant Deaths High, Black Babies 3 Times as Likely to Die
State health figures in Maryland show a high infant mortality rate, especially for African-American infants, who are three times as likely to die as white infants. Health officer Dr. Peter Beilenson says the state's largely uninsured population, with many residents in lower socioeconomic ranks, may explain the phenomenon. The state is working this summer to expand its public funding for health insurance.

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Nairobi Blast Survivors Say They've Been Abandoned
This Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of one of Al Qaeda's deadliest attacks in history: against the U.S. embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998 where 218 people were killed and over 5,000 injured. Ten years later, anger mixes with sorrow as most of the families of the victims feel abandoned by the Kenyan and US governments. While 9/11 victims families received from $1 million to $2 million, these families compensations ranged from $400 to $9,000. "We are struggling to cope with life, but nobody wants to be bothered with us anymore."

Beaten, But Not Into Submission
The Campbells, a white family of farmers were badly beaten by members of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party when they refused to turn over the farm they have owned for 35 years to government officials. Mike Campbell, age 74, suffered many broken bones, including four ribs, a collar bone, and foot. His wife and son-in-law were similarly beaten. However, they plan to hold on to the farm no matter what it takes.

Obama Ready to Unwind in Hawaii
The Democratic presidential nominee says he needs a break. He will be flying out to Hawaii on Friday for some much deserved rest. A poll finds that half of voters feel he deserves it. "I've been going pretty much straight for 18 moths now ... So we're going to take the time."

Sports
Boxing's Black Eye
Black athletes have dominated in the world of boxing for almost 100 years, but the champs of the sport today seem to have radically changed. Only four black boxers found their way into ESPN's top 20 of the world's best boxers this year.

Entertainment
Laurence Fishburne: Up For Musical Chairs With Potential TV Gig
Gary Dourdan, who played crime scene investigator Warrick Brown on CBS's C.S.I., was let go from the show at the end of last season. He was the only black lead character on the popular series. While nothing has yet been confirmed, it seems Laurence Fishburne has been slated to join the C.S.I cast as its new lead.

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