ROBIN ROBERTS GOING COUNTRY

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Solid Gold Soul

September 30, 2009

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ROBERTS HEADING TO THE GRAND OL’ OPRY!

robin_roberts

Good Morning America” co-host and breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts will be the guest announcer this Friday during a special Grand Ole Opry show promoting research about the disease.
Roberts, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, will introduce acts during the long-running live country music show, according to a press release from the Opry.

“American Idol” champ Carrie Underwood will also be on hand to flip a switch turning the Opry’s signature red barn backdrop pink in support of breast cancer research.

Roberts has written a book, “From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By,” which chronicles her experiences since being diagnosed.


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JACKSON BOOTS MADE FOR MONEY

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Solid Gold Soul

September 30, 2009

Welcome to Solid Gold Soul

JACKSON BOOT FETCH HEFTY PRICE

Michael

Michael

A pair of bedazzled boots that Michael Jackson planned to wear during his scheduled concerts in London were auctioned off for $14,650 at a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS research chaired by his sister, Janet Jackson.

Organizers say the event late Monday as part of Milan Fashion Week raked in $1.1 million for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and drew such star power as Donatella Versace, model Linda Evangelista and rapper Kanye West.

According to the Associated Press, the event included a charity dinner in a central Milan palace and continued into the early hours of Tuesday with DJ Bob Sinclar serving his famous mixes on an upstairs dance floor.

“I’d just like to thank everyone here in the global fashion community who’ve done so much to help amfAR and to support HIV/AIDS research,” Janet Jackson told celebrity diners, who paid anywhere from $2,200 to $11,500 each for dinner tickets. “When this terrible pandemic began everyone … who was infected died of AIDS. Today with your help millions of people are living with HIV.”


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SHARPTON NOT BEING A PLAYER

Solid Gold Soul

September 30, 2009

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IT’S ALL BUSINESS

Sharpton and Raye

Sharpton and Raye

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LisaRaye’s publicist has denied rampant reports across the black blogosphere that the actress is dating Rev. Al Sharpton. The rumors started flying after the two were photographed holding hands at various events over the past several days.
Gossip site Media Take Out on Tuesday said they were spotted looking “cozy” at Roland Martin’s Congressional Black Caucus party in Washington D.C. They were also photographed walking through an airport and at Sharpton’s Monday appearance on “WWE Raw.”

But the outings were strictly business, according to Jeter. The two are involved in the Obama administration’s vision of educational innovation and are promoting a tour that will take them through various cites that serve as solid examples of school reform.


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BLAIR UNDERWOOD OPENS DC CLINICS

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Solid Gold Soul

September 29, 2009

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UNDERWOOD HELPING TO FIGHT DISEASE

Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood

Actor and AIDS activist Blair Underwood was in Washington DC on Thursday to help the AIDS Healthcare Foundation open a new health clinic in his name.

The city’s 3 percent infection rate is the nation’s worst, according to a study this year by its HIV/AIDS Administration. And the foundation, which calls itself the country’s largest nonprofit HIV/AIDS health-care provider, came to the District because of its status as the “epicenter” of the disease, according to its director, Michael Weinstein.

Underwood said he lent star power to the clinic to draw clients. “I need to talk to those men who are out there dating women who think this doesn’t concern them,” the actor told the Washington Post. “It does.”

The AHF Blair Underwood Healthcare Center is a 15-room clinic in Suite 606 at 2141 K St. with four examination beds and a single doctor, Roxanne Cox-Iyamu.

“We’re hoping to get a maximum of 300 to 500 people,” said Cox-Iyamu, the clinic’s medical director. “We have the ability to bring more people onboard.”

In addition, five Magic Johnson exam vans will roam the city to test 40 to 50 people a day.

Weinstein said Underwood’s participation is a key to the clinic’s success: “There are not that many people of his stature who are willing to put their face out there and their name out there for this issue.”


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PRESIDENT PUSHES OLYMPIC BID

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Solid Gold Soul

September 29, 2009

Welcome to Solid Gold Soul

CAN PRESIDENT BRING OLYMPICS TO CHICAGO?

The President and Mrs. Obama

The President and Mrs. Obama

President Barack Obama has decided to join his wife in Copenhagen later this week to try and persuade the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2016 Summer Games to his hometown of Chicago.

First lady Michelle Obama was originally supposed to make the marquee U.S. pitch and still will make the trip, as will Chicago-based Oprah Winfrey, and 14 Olympic and two Paralympic gold medalists, including Michael Johnson, Nadia Comaneci, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Nastia Liukin. Ten other Olympians and Paralympians also are going.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett tells Politico.com: “The president decided over the weekend that he wanted to be a part of the final push as we enter the home stretch. He did not want to leave any stone unturned. He is very excited about joining the first lady for both the final presentation and the question and answer session.”

“The Olympic spirit is about giving it your very best down to the finish line and not taking anything for granted. That’s what his presence in Copenhagen will demonstrate,” Jarrett said.

The announcement is due Friday. The four finalist cities are Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid and Tokyo. With Rio seen as the favorite, White House officials didn’t want Obama to be rebuffed and initially hinted the president himself wouldn’t make the trip. Now top aides say they want to pull out all the stops, and they hope a personal pitch by Obama, who is highly popular around the world, will give Chicago’s bid a major boost.


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BIDEN CONTINUES DEMOCRAT DOMINATION?

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Solid Gold Soul

September 29, 2009

Welcome to Solid Gold Soul

BIDEN IN 2016?

Biden and Obama

Biden and Obama

ABC News’ David Chalian Reports: Vice President Biden has been playing coy about his future political intentions. And today’s announcement from the Iowa Democratic Party will do nothing to tamp down speculation that Biden has yet to fully rule out a third presidential run in 2016.

Vice President Biden has agreed to serve as keynote speaker at the 2009 Jefferson Jackson Day fundraising dinner in the Hawkeye State. The largest annual Democratic fundraising dinner in Iowa is a highly coveted slot for politicians with their eyes on the Oval Office.

Mr. Biden’s will be 74 years old on inauguration day in 2017 which is the reason most observers do not believe he’ll take a third plunge into the presidential waters. But in a clear attempt to avoid lame duck status too early in his current tenure, the vice president made clear in June that he would not rule out thinking about being president.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have the Vice President back in Iowa,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Michael Kiernan said Thursday. “There is a great deal of admiration for Joe Biden among Iowa Democrats.”

Then-Senator Hillary Clinton made quite a splash as the Master of Ceremonies of the Iowa J-J Dinner in 2003 when her party’s presidential hopefuls were making their closing arguments to Iowa caucus-goers.

In 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama delivered a rousing night-stealing speech at the fundraising dinner, a performance credited with kicking off his successful final stretch of the Iowa caucus campaign.

Vice President Biden is a familiar presence in Iowa after his 1988 and 2008 unsuccessful attempts at wooing Iowa Democrats to help propel him to his party’s presidential nomination.

The dinner will take place on November 21 in Des Moines


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ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER: WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM

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Solid Gold Soul

September 28, 2009

Welcome to Solid Gold Soul

PRIME MINISTER STEPS OVER THE LINE AGAIN

Italian Prime Minister and Obamas

Italian Prime Minister and Obamas

Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, a man well known for his gaffes, has done it again, and this time he has turned his sights on Michelle Obama.

His most recent blunder comes after the controversy he caused when he attempted to complement Barack Obama on his election victory and described him as “young, handsome, and even has a good tan.”

At a rally in Milan yesterday he also “complimented” Michelle Obama’s tan.

Berlusconi has caused a stir with inappropriate remarks frequently in the past.

Among his greatest hits: In 2002, he raised eyebrows after saying, “Rasmussen [then Danish Prime Minister] is the most handsome prime minister in Europe. I’m thinking of introducing him to my wife,” and in 2003, he sparked uproar in the European Parliament when he compared the German socialist, Martin Schulz, to a Nazi.

Then, throughout the summer of 2009, he was entangled in a series of public sex scandals.

These and other high-profile foibles have given Berlusconi a controversial reputation.

This may have led First Lady Michelle Obama to exercise a degree of caution at the recent G-20 summit in Pittsburgh last Thursday. Though she greeted many other world leaders with a kiss, including P.M. Gordon Brown, when she reached Berlusconi she held out a stiff arm for a hand shake.

The First Lady’s reluctance may have struck a nerve with the Italian P.M.

Upon returning home from the summit on Sunday, Berlusconi told a group of his conservative supporters that he brought greetings from “What’s his name? Some tanned guy. Ah, Barack Obama!”

He went on to include Mrs. Obama in his remarks. “You wouldn’t believe it, but they go sunbathing on the beach together — his wife is also sun-tanned.”
According to the Telegraph, Berlusconi did not mean to offend the Obamas and said, “His rapport with America’s first black president was ‘easy-going’ and described Mr. Obama as a ‘fine man’ with a good sense of irony.”

Despite his supposedly innocent intentions, Berlusconi’s latest gaffe has generated mixed reviews from Italian residents.

One Roman told the Associated Press that he believes Berlusconi “is deeply racist but he doesn’t want to say it.”

In contrast, a Congolese man in Rome commented that, “We need to joke, laugh together about who we are without looking for tensions. So I believe Berlusconi is fine.”

Regardless of the Italian people’s divergent reactions, Berlusconi has blundered yet again on the world stage.


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