Bottoms Wins Runoff, Recount Looms

Atlanta's Mayor-Elect, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Atlanta’s Mayor-Elect, Keisha Lance Bottoms.

By Free Radical

Early Wednesday morning, Keisha Lance Bottoms claimed victory in Atlanta’s mayoral race. Her defeat of independent Mary Norwood continues a string of Black Atlanta mayors since 1973.

Bottoms and Norwood emerged from a group of 13 candidates in the general election to make it to Tuesday’s runoff, which Bottoms won by less than 1%.

The slim margin of victory, which was only 759 votes, allowed Norwood’s campaign to promptly call for a recount. Yet, such procedures are usually unsuccessful.

In her victory speech, Bottoms proclaimed, “And so for all the little girls out there who need somebody to believe that you’re better than your circumstances. I need you all to remember that black girl magic is real.”

Bottoms, who formerly served on Atlanta’s City Council is a graduate of Florida A&M University and received a law degree from Georgia State University. She went on to be an attorney, judge, and executive director of Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority.

Atlanta’s mayoral race caught national attention, drawing the likes of Black US Senators Kamala Harris and Corey Booker as well as Congresswoman Maxine Waters in support of Bottoms. The city, which has become an internationally recognized metropolis under the leadership of Black mayors, came very close to being headed by a White leader again. The fact that it was so close, alerted people to decades of gentrification in which the city has attracted larger numbers of White residents, who in some cases, have displaced Blacks.

Bottoms’s victory caps off a momentous year when Black women have captured the mayoral seats of major southern cities. Earlier this year, Vi Lyles and Latoya Cantrell won mayoral races in Charlotte and New Orleans respectively.

LaVar Ball Pulls Son LiAngelo Out of UCLA

By MCNS Staff

LiAngelo Ball

LiAngelo Ball

LaVar Ball told espn.com that he has pulled his son, LiAngelo, from UCLA and its basketball program before he played even one game.

“We are exploring other options with Gelo,” LaVar Ball said. “He’s out of there.”

The news was first reported by TMZ.com.

A freshman and the middle son of LaVar, LiAngelo Ball was one of three student athletes who were arrested and detained in China for a shoplifting incident that sparked international attention. They were suspended indefinitely by the school following the incident.

“I’m not sitting back and waiting,” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “He wasn’t punished this bad in China.”

The elder Ball had previously stated that LiAngelo would only stay at UCLA for one season, even if he wasn’t a projected draft pick. His older brother Lonzo played one season there before being drafted No. 2 by the LA Lakers.

“He’s not transferring to another school,” he told ESPN. “The plan is now to get Gelo ready for the NBA draft.”

“I’m going to make him way better for the draft than UCLA ever could have,” LaVar Ball said.

According to national reports, the three players are subject to review for violating the university’s Student Conduct Code, which includes a section on theft.

The players’ indefinite suspensions include not being allowed to suit up, practice or take team trips with the Bruins.

“We get back over here and the consequences were even stiffer than China. So basically they’re in jail here,” LaVar Ball has said of the suspension.

Tanzania Restores Power

Compiled By Chuma KisuTanzania

According to international reports Tanzania’s power utility said on Friday, December 1, 2017 that it had started to restore electricity to parts of the country after the East African nation was hit by a country-wide blackout on Thursday morning.

“Efforts are ongoing to make sure that power supply is restored to all parts of the country,” the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) said in a statement.

TANESCO apologized for the power outage, but did not explain what caused a “technical glitch” in the national power grid. The glitch left the region’s No. 3 economy in a blackout that lasted more than 12 hours on Thursday.

Power was restored in many parts of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam late on Thursday.

TANESCO said it had also restored electricity in the administrative capital Dodoma, as well as the Iringa region in the center and Tanga in the northeast.

Partial blackouts occur regularly in Tanzania, which relies on hydro, natural gas, and heavy fuel oil to generate electricity. Many businesses use power generators as backups, pushing up their operating costs.

Tanzania’s energy infrastructure has suffered from decades of underinvestment, neglect and corruption allegations, and investors have long complained that the lack of reliable power hurts businesses there.

President John Magufuli is pushing a major hydropower project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the UNESCO-designated Selous Game Reserve to help tackle chronic electricity shortages.

The project would more than double the country’s current power generation capacity of around 1,500 megawatts (MW). The government has not said how much the project would cost or how it would raise financing, but wants it completed within three years.

Tanzania aims to boost power generation capacity to 10,000 MW over the next decade by also using some of its vast natural gas and coal reserves.

STL Community College to Cut Faculty

indexBy Free Radical

In an acrimonious decision, the St. Louis Community College’s board of trustees voted to eliminate up to 70 instructor and 25 staff positions.

The agreement was made amid a public outcry by professors and students who chanted “Justice for Our Faculty!” Tensions rose to the point that board members left the meeting room for nearly an hour before returning to vote in a closed huddle. Only the college’s spokeswoman, Nez Savala would confirm that the budget cut was approved.

The St. Louis Community College has struggled over the past years amid the dual forces of reduced state expenditures and declining enrollment. According to stlpublicradio.org, the system has received $5 million less in state revenue this year and saw its enrollment decline by a third since 2011.

The College had already offered an early retirement option for its employees in April which 117 individuals took advantage of. Yet it’s budget is still in the red. The college has claimed that it would have operated $13 million over budget by 2020 if not for the current cuts.

Yet opponents do not see the administration’s concern with penny pinching as new buildings are erected and high level staff persons are paid unnecessarily high salaries in their estimation.

Protestors also fear that fewer faculty will affect students by increasing class sizes. There is also a fear that the changes will impact Black students in particular  who make up a third of all students in the system.