Top 5 Live-WURD Wednesday June 3
1. FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces resignation amid scandal
Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA and the most powerful man in world soccer, abruptly announced his resignation on Tuesday, less than a week after the sport’s governing body was engulfed by a corruption scandal.
“FIFA needs a profound restructuring,” he said at a quickly assembled news conference in Zurich.
He had sailed to re-election only last Friday. Blatter, 79, said that he would stay on until a new election could be scheduled, probably between December and March.
He said that he made the decision after considering his presidency and “the last 40 years in my life.”
2. Why does Philly have so few black police recruits?
In April, Commissioner Charles Ramsey told City Council that finding African-American officers had become more difficult.
“Not a day goes by that you don’t see something negative about what’s occurring in policing somewhere in the country,” Ramsey testified. The number of new black hires has decreased as a result, he added.
Requiring recruits to pass a polygraph test and have 60 college credits – both Ramsey’s policies – could be contributing to the falling number of blacks making it to the Police Academy, said David Fisher, president of the National Black Police Association of Greater Philadelphia.
The 6300-member Police Department is 57 percent white, 33 percent black, 8 percent Hispanic and 1 percent Asian, according to Ramsey. As of 2013, the city’s population was 36.3 percent white, 44.2 percent black, 13.3 percent Latino and 6.9 percent Asian.
Malik Aziz, high-ranking chief executive of a top 10 law-enforcement agency, attributed the lack of black officers to Philadelphia’s recruiting methods.
3. NSA surveillance bill passes after weeks-long showdown
The National Security Agency will soon lose its authority to collect the phone records of millions of Americans, thanks to a new reform measure Congress passed on Tuesday. President Barack Obama, who supports the measure, said he will sign it into law as soon as possible.
It is the first piece of legislation to reform post 9/11 surveillance measures.
“It’s historical,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, one of the leading architects of the reform efforts. “It’s the first major overhaul of government surveillance in decades.”
The weeks-long buildup to the final vote was full of drama.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul assailed the NSA in a 10-hour speech that roused civil libertarians around the country. He opposed both renewing the post 9/11-Patriot Act and the compromise measure — that eventually passed — known as the USA Freedom Act.
4. Righting a wrong: World War I heroes awarded Medal of Honor
President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, to two World War I veterans: Henry Johnson and William Shemin, nearly 100 years after the men served.
Private Henry Johnson, fought off German soldiers armed only with a knife in hand-to-hand combat, and received France’s highest honor, but the American Army didn’t even award Johnson the Purple Heart for his wounds. Without it, the man Teddy Roosevelt called one of the five bravest soldiers to fight in World War I received no assistance in dealing with his wounds.
“I guess for some reason they didn’t want blacks to get any kind of recognition,” said retired Major General Nathanial James. “As far as I know he died as an alcoholic and penniless.”
Johnson was buried in Arlington and decades later was awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross. Now the Medal of Honor will be added to that tombstone.
5. Source: Man fatally shot by Boston police part of terror network
A man who was fatally shot by police in Boston on Tuesday was part of a terror investigation involving suspected Islamist extremists and belonged to an ad hoc network, law enforcement sources said.
Police and federal agents shot and killed the man after he waved a large military-style knife at officers, authorities said. He had been under surveillance by the U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The suspect was identified as Usaama Rahim, according to his brother,
Ibrahim Rahim, who posted about the death on social media.
The FBI-led task force had been watching Rahim and two associates believed to be radicalized by ISIS and other extremist influences, according to a law enforcement official. Rahim had been monitored for at least a couple years.
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon