Exciting reggae band Third World releases new music with Damian Marley

 

Third World

Jamaica’s beloved reggae band Third World releases new music, produced by Damian Marley.

By Tiffany Mea

As Black Music Month is celebrated across the globe, Jamaica’s iconic reggae band Third World is celebrating a very significant milestone–more than 40 years in music. Long admired as one of the most pivotal reggae bands of all time, Third World will release its first major song of the year “YimMasGan” on June 16, 2015 on Ghetto Youths International.

The song is produced by Damian Marley and will also be accompanied with a new music video directed by Jamaica’s own Ras Kassa, is a fresh take on the 1974 original track by The Abyssinians. Yim mas gan means let him be praised in the ancient Ethiopian Amharic language. This is the second song written by The Abyssinians that Third World recorded. The first was “Satta Massagana,” released in 1975 on Chris Blackwell’s Island Records.

Reggae band Third World bas been providing musical excellence for more than 40 years.

Reggae band Third World bas been providing musical excellence for more than 40 years.

“This song is almost as if we have come full circle. When we recorded ‘Satta Massagana,’ it was one of our very first recordings. In fact, it was the lead song on our first self-titled album,” said Founding member Cat Coore. “This song is giving praise and thanks to the most high, Jah Rastafari, for his presence, ever-guiding hand and inspirational vibration that we all feel within the Rasta community. Recording this song with Jr. Gong makes it even more special to us. With Damian’s production skills mixed with his musicians that helped create the song, we feel it is one of the best covers not just done by Third World, but ever done by anyone.”

“The record has a lot of meaning to Third World because it’s giving praises to Ethiopia and the King. The writing of the Abyssinians music was so spiritually high, that is like a prayer. It is like a chant and we just connect with it. Also, Damian Marley adding his touch to the whole thing brings a new light to the music and its meaning,” said group member Richard Daley.

“I’m honored to be working with some of my musical heroes. Third World has played a great role in my development as an artist and I’m proud to be a part of their latest project,” expresses Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley.

Vintage Third World image.

Vintage Third World image.

With 10 Grammy nominations, sold-out tours worldwide, a loyal fan base and a catalog of Top 40 Billboard charted smash hits including “Now That We Found Love,” which was remade with much success by the late Jamaica-born rapper Heavy D and the fan favorites “Try Jah Love,” and “96 Degrees in the Shade,” Third World has been one of the most consistently successful reggae bands. Third World’s reggae fusion style mixes R&B, funk, pop, rock, dance hall and hip-hop into the genre, making the group one of Jamaica’s most popular crossover acts among international audiences.

The band has toured and worked with the late great Bob Marley, including opening for Marley’s first world tour in 1978, Stevie Wonder, who produced two of the groups’ albums in the 80’s which were released with CBS, Carlos Santana and the Jackson Five, opening for their first concert in Jamaica. Third World has also shared the stage with the likes of Bono of U2, Sting, The Police, Whitney Houston, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton and Marc Anthony and landed national TV performances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, Arsenio Hall Show and many more. Third World lost its distinctive lead singer William “Bunny Rugs’ Clarke to cancer February 2014, during Reggae Month.

Connect with the group on social media @FB | www.Facebook.com/ThirdWorldBand,
Twitter | www.twitter.com/ThirdWorldBand and IG | www.instagram.com/ThirdWorldBand–OnPointPress.net.

 

Atlanta honors legendary singer Gladys Knight with street-naming event

Gladys Knight has received numerous honors throughout her career, having a street named after her is a first though.

Gladys Knight has received numerous honors throughout her career, having a street named after her is a first.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Gladys Knight has won multiple awards during her illustrious singing career and has been recognized for her humanitarian efforts and entrepreneurial success, but Tuesday June 9, was a first for Knight as the city of Atlanta named a street in her honor.

“Gladys Knight Highway” will not only stand as a testament to the success of the Georgia native, but also serve as a reminder of Knight’s presence in the first place she called home and immortalized in her hit song “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Knight (c) is surrounded by the numerous city officials that supported the bill that allowed for the street to be named in honor of Knight.

Entertainer Gladys Knight (c) is surrounded by the numerous city officials who supported the bill that allowed for the street to be named in her honor.

“I am most happy for all of us, all of you. When you ride down the street and see my name, have some pride in it to know that you have a piece of it, ” Knight said in accepting the award.

A number of invited guests and media gathered at the Georgia State Capitol building to witness the unveiling of the street named in Knight’s honor. Among those gathered were members of the state Senate, which unanimously passed the bill that would name State Route 9 from Peachtree Street to 14th Street Gladys Knight Highway.

Knight poses with state Senator Donzella James.

Singer Gladys Knight poses with state Senator Donzella James.

Senator Donzella James, describing the inspiration for the event, said that her late husband Elmo was a huge fan of Gladys Knight and the Pips and would surely “be smiling down from heaven right now.” Senator James said that it was important for Knight to be able to enjoy her honor rather than have the dedication posthumously, as is often the case.

Other public officials, including Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, offered warm memories on the impact Knight’s music and other ventures have had on the state of Georgia and Atlanta specifically.

Knight poses with some of her family that joined in her celebration, her cousin James (c) and her brother Bubba (r).

Gladys Knight poses with some of her family members who joined in the celebration, her cousin James (c) and her brother Bubba (r).

Knight was joined by many family members as she received the rare honor. Among the many who were able to attend were her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight, and cousin whose nickname will forever be associated with Gladys Knight, James “Pip” Woods.

Bubba and Knight’s son Shanga Hankerson spoke at the welcoming ceremony. Hankerson is the manager of Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles restaurants.

Knight displays the street sign bearing her name while standing with her husband William McDowell.

Gladys Knight displays the street sign bearing her name while standing with her husband William McDowell.

While Knight was surrounded by siblings, children, and extended family, she was supported during the entire ceremony by her proud husband, William McDowell.

“I might be biased, but I do believe my wife deserves this honor,” a beaming McDowell stated.

The street-naming recognizes Knight as a celebrated and accomplished daughter of Atlanta, Georgia.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a Licensed Insurance Agent at HealthMarkets. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com.

Caribbean organization, CSF, appeals for sponsorship of STEM students

 

Caribbean students participating in SPISE program.

Caribbean students participating in SPISE program.

Carmen Glover

The ability for some students to participate in an annual immersion program, scheduled for July 18 to August 15 at the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies, is in jeopardy, according to a letter from Cardinal Warde, MIT professor and interim executive director of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF). The immersion program is geared towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers  In an effort to generate support for the students who cannot afford to participate in the program, Warde made an email appeal for sponsorship. The edited email appears below:

“Each summer the Caribbean Science Foundation CSF) offers the Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) to the most gifted 16 and 17- year- old Caribbean students who are interested in pursuing careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines. The goal of SPISE is to groom these youngsters to become the next generation of high-tech science and engineering leaders and entrepreneurs in the region.

Caribbean Science Foundation's logo.

Caribbean Science Foundation’s logo.

“The long-term overall goal of the CSF is to help diversify the economies of the region by stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship, creating more high paying jobs, and thereby raising the standard of living of the people. SPISE uses the facilities of the campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill, Barbados. Key important partners for SPISE are the UWI – Cave Hill Campus, and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

The purpose of this e-mail is to solicit a contribution in support of the five remaining students who are currently wait-listed for admission into the 2015 SPISE. This year we have capacity to serve 20 students. Fifteen students have already been fully sponsored into the 2015 SPISE, thanks to generous contributions so far from this year’s sponsors. The  five unfunded students are from Jamaica, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis and Grenada.

Participants in the SPISE immersion workshop.

Participants in the SPISE immersion workshop.

 

“The full cost of sponsorship for one student is US$ 6,000 plus round trip air travel to Barbados. With full sponsorship, we brand the student as the SPISE 2015 scholar of his/her sponsor.”

Online contributions can be made by credit card at the CSF Website (via CADSTI) at http://caribbeanscience.org/donation/. Checks made payable in US dollars or Barbados dollars to the Caribbean Science Foundation may be mailed to Caribbean Science Foundation, CARICOM Research Building, UWI Cave Hill Campus, St. Michael, Barbados, West indies By wire to: Bank Name: BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA
SWIFT Code: NOSCBBBB, Bank Key (bank + branch code): BANK OF NOVA SCOTIA (40055), Bank Address: Broad Street, Bridgetown, Barbados, Account Name: Caribbean Science Foundation, Account Number: 9013083.

SPISE participants.

SPISE participants.

SPISE is modeled after the well-known and highly successful MITES program at MIT (http://web.mit.edu/mites/) for which Professor Cardinal Warde also serves as the Faculty Director.  Please view the video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75UUowD7-oM, from SPISE 2012 to capture the real spirit of SPISE. More specifics about SPISE can be found at http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/spise.php. The CSF Website is http://caribbeanscience.org.

For more information about sponsorship, opportunities please contact Professor Cardinal Warde, Interim Executive Director of CSF at warde.csf@gmail.com, Tel. 617-699-1281–OnPointPress.net.

 

 

Transcript of Sepp Blatter’s resignation gives important clues about future

Sepp Blatter announced that he will resign after arranging special committee of potential individuals who will run to lead the organization. His resignation is expected to take effect by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

Sepp Blatter announced that he will resign after arranging special committee of potential individuals who will run to lead the organization. His resignation is expected to take effect by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

By Carmen Glover

Although FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced on Tuesday, June 2 that he plans to resign, amid reports by the New York Times that he is the focus of a joint investigation by the FBI and Swedish officials for corruption, his resignation statement offers important clues about his view point of his legacy. The full transcript appears below:

“I  have been reflecting deeply about my presidency and about the forty years in which my life has been inextricably bound to Fifa and the great sport of football.
I cherish Fifa more than anything and I want to do only what is best for Fifa and for football. I felt compelled to stand for re-election, as I believed that this was the best thing for the organization. That election is over but Fifa’s challenges are not. Fifa needs a profound overhaul.

US informant Charles Blazer in happier times with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

US informant Charles Blazer in happier times with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

“While I have a mandate from the membership of Fifa, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football – the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at Fifa. Therefore, I have decided to lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective Congress. I will continue to exercise my functions as Fifa President until that election.

Football (soccer to some), used to play the beautiful game.

Football (soccer to some), used to play the beautiful game.

“The next ordinary Fifa Congress will take place on 13 May 2016 in Mexico City.
This would create unnecessary delay and I will urge the Executive Committee to organize an Extraordinary Congress for the election of my successor at the earliest opportunity. This will need to be done in line with Fifa’s statutes and we must allow enough time for the best candidates to present themselves and to campaign.
“Since I shall not be a candidate, and am therefore now free from the constraints that elections inevitably impose, I shall be able to focus on driving far-reaching, fundamental reforms that transcend our previous efforts. For years, we have worked hard to put in place administrative reforms, but it is plain to me that while these must continue, they are not enough.

In Qatar, migrant workers have died at a rate of more than one per day, according to reports, as they prepare for the World Cup.

In Qatar, migrant workers have died at a rate of more than one per day, according to reports, as they prepare for the World Cup.

“The Executive Committee includes representatives of confederations over whom we have no control, but for whose actions Fifa is held responsible. We need deep-rooted structural change. The size of the Executive Committee must be reduced and its members should be elected through the Fifa Congress. The integrity checks for all Executive Committee members must be organized centrally through Fifa and not through the confederations. We need term limits not only for the president but for all members of the Executive Committee.

“I have fought for these changes before and, as everyone knows, my efforts have been blocked. This time, I will succeed. I cannot do this alone. I have asked Domenico Scala to oversee the introduction and implementation of these and other measures. Mr. Scala is the Independent Chairman of our Audit and Compliance Committee elected by the Fifa Congress. He is also the Chairman of the ad hoc Electoral Committee and, as such, he will oversee the election of my successor. Mr. Scala enjoys the confidence of a wide range of constituents within and outside of Fifa and has all the knowledge and experience necessary to help tackle these major reforms.

fifa world cup trophy

FIFA World Cup trophy

“It is my deep care for Fifa and its interests, which I hold very dear, that has led me to take this decision. I would like to thank those who have always supported me in a constructive and loyal manner as President of Fifa and who have done so much for the game that we all love. What matters to me more than anything is that when all of this is over, football is the winner.”–OnPointPress.net

Is the US going after FIFA for corruption or for losing 2022 hosting rights?

 

Sepp Blatter, FIFA President

Sepp Blatter, FIFA President was elected to a fifth term on Friday, May 29, despite multiple arrests of FIFA officials on Wednesday, May 27.

By Carmen Glover

It would be an understatement to say that genuine football (soccer to some) purists are extremely unhappy with the recent developments that have tarnished the beautiful game which is beloved by millions across the globe. Yet, the extreme views and reactions that have peppered social media will do nothing to address the deep-seated issues that have bubbled to the top this past week and those that have yet to be tackled.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is flanked by officials in a theatrical announcement of action taken to rid FIFA of corruption.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is flanked by officials in a theatrical announcement of action taken to rid FIFA of corruption.

On Wednesday, May 27, the US Justice Department arrested several FIFA officials on charges of corruption, racketeering and accepting more than $150 in bribes to vote for World Cup hosting rights and special access. The FIFA officials did not include FFIA President Sepp Blatter, who has worked with FIFA for more than 40 years and served as president for 17, during a period of increasing corruption. However, the US Justice Department indicated that its investigation has been underway for 20 years. What took the crusading US Justice Department so long, especially since corruption has been synonymous with FIFA since before Blatter’s reign at the organization’s helm?

Announcing the arrests, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the actions were taken because the FIFA officials “were entrusted with keeping soccer open and accessible to all, to protect the integrity of the game. Instead, they corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to protect their interests and enrich themselves.” Citing the scope of the investigation she said: “This Department of Justice is determined to end these practices, root out corruption and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”

Fifa Arrests

L-R FIFA officials who were arrested include: Jose Maria Marin, 83 (Brazil); Rafael Esquivel, 68 (Venezuela); Eduardo Li, 56 (Costa Rica); Nicolas Leoz, 86 (Paraguay); Julio Rocha, 64, Nicaragua; Eugenio Figueredo, 83, (Uruguay); Jack Warner, 72, Trinidad and Tobago and Jeffrey Webb, 50 Cayman Islands.

Among those arrested or indicted are: Jack Warner, former FIFA vice president, 72, of Trinidad and Tobago and CONCACAF executive and Jeffrey Webb, 50, a FIFA vice president from the Cayman Islands. US football official Charles Blazer, who formerly served CONCACAF, was profiled in the New York Daily News in November 2014 in an article indicating that he was cooperating with the FBI in hopes of minimizing his sentence as the investigation progressed. Blazer, in conjunction with Warner, was  charged with accepting $10 million in bribes to secure World Cup hosting rights for South Africa in 2010.

In response to the US action, Swiss officials have followed suit, initiating its own investigation into FIFA’s practices by raiding FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich. But, despite the dramatic optics, it appears as if very little will change. The 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting sites will not be moved and, on Friday, May 29, Blatter was re-elected to his fifth term as president of FIFA, with FIFA executives roundly rejecting US interference.

US informant Charles Blazer in happier times with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

US informant Charles Blazer in happier times with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

“I am the president, the president of everybody,” a gleeful Blatter crowed after he was re-elected by a margin of 133 to 73, failing to garner the two third majority of the votes required. His challenger, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who was supported by the USA and European bloc, withdrew his candidacy at the beginning of the second round of voting, when it became apparent that the solid bloc of voters from Africa and Asia would remain staunchly in Blatter’s corner, much to the chagrin of the USA and the European contingent who were supporting Ali’s presidential bid.

Not one to hold his tongue, Blatter has accused the England and the USA of having a vendetta against FIFA because they lost hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, respectively. Many football lovers who understand the impact of the sport share his view, while at the same time, recognize that FIFA is, in fact, quite corrupt. The issue for many football lovers is that FIFA has become more corrupt during the 17 years that Blatter has been its president, yet Blatter was untouched by the US justice team.

fifaworldcupsouthafrica

Also, FIFA has invested very heavily in Africa and Asia, even hosting the 2010 World Cup tournament in South Africa, alleged bribery aside, when for years only select, primarily European countries have had that honor. So while on the surface there is recognition that corruption exists within FIFA, the often ignored nations, many of which are in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, will cautiously support any leader who is perceived to be more inclined to give them a bigger slice of the football pie. And, despite his many flaws, it is not a coincidence that under Blatter’s leadership, FIFA has spotlighted  football in developing countries and promoted their expertise in the sport.

The football product in England has been declining in quality for years, and England’s abysmal performance in the 2014 World Cup tournament did nothing to help that country’s reputation, when taken in context with the awful conduct of British fans at football games. The USA, for its part, has been aching for football relevance ever since it began to compete in the beautiful game and with each staging of the World Cup, the USA women continue to outperform the men’s squad.

In Qatar, migrant workers have died at a rate of more than one per day, according to reports, as they prepare for the World Cup.

In Qatar, migrant workers have died at a rate of more than one per day, according to reports, as they prepare for the World Cup.

And it is undoubtedly a bitter pill for such a powerful nation to swallow but football (which the US has re-named soccer to the anger of football purists), is a sport that comes naturally to residents of countries such as Caribbean and African nations, Brazil, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands and countless others. It is the premier sport in those countries, not an extra sport with minimal cultural relevance as it is in the US. For that basic reason, the USA football team is generally viewed internationally with skepticism, despite its wise decision to hire a fine German coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, a distinguished former World Cup football star and World Cup winner.

So when US Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced with much fanfare, the arrests of numerous FIFA executives in Zurich on May 27, as they were convening for FIFA Congress, as well as officials of CONCACAF (of which the US is a member), the actions were viewed with a mixture of joy (US soccer fans), anger and disappointment (traditional football fans).

Members of the Swiss UNIA workers union display red cards and shout slogans during a protest in front of the headquarters of soccer's international governing body FIFA in Zurich . FIFA's executive committee  met in Zurich on Thursday and Friday, re-electing Sepp Blatter to his fifth term. The world cup will not be moved from Qatar despite the heat. Qatar has also been hit by criticism of its treatment of migrant workers after reports that Nepalese workers have died in recent weeks. The red cards read 'Red card for FIFA - No World Cup without human rights.'  REUTERS

Members of the Swiss UNIA workers union display red cards and shout slogans during a protest in front of the headquarters of soccer’s international governing body FIFA in Zurich . FIFA’s executive committee met in Zurich on Thursday and Friday, re-electing Sepp Blatter to his fifth term. The world cup will not be moved from Qatar despite the heat. Qatar has also been hit by criticism of its treatment of migrant workers after reports that Nepalese workers have died in recent weeks. The red cards read ‘Red card for FIFA – No World Cup without human rights.’ REUTERS

The reason is simple: Genuine football fans want the game to thrive and continue to be exciting. They also want to root out corruption where it occurs. But, because the US lost the bid to host the 2022 World Cup tournament, the motives of the US Justice Department seem suspect, as if the US is determined to destroy FIFA and the game of football because they did not get what they wanted and what they felt they deserved: the right to host the World Cup.

Do England and the USA have the facilities to host successful World Cup tournaments? Unquestionably they do. Is World Cup Football as popular in the USA as it is in say, a tiny island like Jamaica? Absolutely not! And therein lies the USA dilemma–a country with the money to buy whatever it wants, cannot buy the love for a sport that is second nature to smaller countries.

Football (soccer to some), used to play the beautiful game.

Football (soccer to some), used to play the beautiful game.

England, with its inferior football product, boorish and racist fans, has lost the luster that it once had as a soccer powerhouse. But while Brazil had an inferior team in the 2014 World Cup, it will always be viewed as a more deserving host site, Brazil is also more representative for the tournament than the US or England because of its dominance in the sport and its rich tradition of wining the most World Cup tournaments while making the game exciting and fun to watch.

The actions taken by the US Justice Department seem high-handed at best, and vindictive at worst. There is no merit to the argument that FIFA is corrupt if the president who has led the organization during its most corrupt years is still in charge, still has the support of a large bloc of his member nations, and, by all appearances, seems to be defiant and untouchable. What has the US Justice Department achieved with the recent arrests except to insert itself into the realm of a sporting hierarchy but leaving the head untouched? For his part, Blatter has pledged pending reforms, but does anyone really believe him?

Migrant workers have died at a rate of at least one per day in Qatar, under horrific condtions.

Migrant workers have died at a rate of at least one per day in Qatar, under horrific conditions.

 

fifa world cup trophy

FIFA World Cup Trophy

As social media exploded with Blatter’s re-election by demanding a boycott of the sport, one thing remained painfully clear: Far too many so-called sports fans lack a basic understanding of World Cup football and all the nuances and machinations involved. Most significantly, there is skepticism that the alleged monetary misconduct perpetuated by FIFA officials ensnared by Lynch and her team trump the hundreds of death by migrant workers who are working in Qatar in preparation for its hosting duties.

The question should be asked: Is the US really comfortable sending the message that arresting FIFA officials takes precedence over taking a leadership role in advocating for the rights of the migrant workers in Qatar who have unwittingly sacrificed their lives to enrich wealthy men? Or is the US blinded by rage that they lost hosting rights and so embarrassing FIFA through arrests and ridicule is all that matters? Only the US knows for sure.–OnPointPress.net.