Here’s a look at individuals and issues making headlines throughout the country.
The California “Keeping Families Together” bus tour, which is part of a nationwide campaign urging lawmakers to enact a new immigration process that includes a road map to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants, made its final stop Wednesday in Bakersfield. Two concurrent bus tours will be traveling across the Golden State covering hundreds of miles and stopping to meet with local residents, elected officials, and special guests, such as Dolores Huerta and NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez. The Northern California delegation of the tour, which started in San Jose, and the Southern California group, which departed Monday from Los Angeles, culminated the tour when they met in Bakersfield. After the rally, a coalition of local labor leaders, immigration advocates, families of undocumented immigrants, farm workers and other community members visited U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House majority whip, at his Bakersfield office to ask for his support.
A judge has dismissed all but one count in a civil lawsuit by Michael Jackson’s mother against concert giant AEG Live, which hired the doctor, Conrad Murray, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s death. Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos’ ruling dismisses claims that AEG could be held liable for Murray’s conduct and breached its duty to properly care for the pop superstar. But it also means that Katherine Jackson will have a trial on her claim that AEG negligently hired and supervised the former cardiologist.
First Lady Michelle Obama has launched Let’s Move! Active Schools—an unprecedented collaboration to bring physical activity back to America’s schools. The program provides simple steps and tools to help schools create active environments where students get 60 minutes of physical activity before, during and after the school day. Mrs. Obama called on school staff, families and communities to work together to reach an ambitious goal of engaging 50,000 schools in this program over the next five years. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation are the managing organizations guiding the development and implementation of the program.
Chicago-based nonprofit, Common Threads, will come together with more than 60 celebrity chefs, local celebrities and a family of supporters to celebrate its 10-year anniversary of providing nutrition and well-being classes for underserved children and families in Chicago and to announce its most ambitious goal yet—to get 1 million American kids moving away from frequent fast food and toward cooking healthy meals with their families by 2017. Common Threads is embracing the 10-year milestone as a turning point for the organization to engage current and new partners nationwide in a collective effort to address childhood obesity through this five-year commitment. To kick-start the campaign and anniversary year, Common Threads has been gathering diverse groups of supporters through a series of mini-summits in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and Washington, D.C., to focus on tangible ways to work together to address nutritional issues affecting America’s children.
A baby born with the virus that causes AIDS appears to have been cured, scientists announced Sunday, describing the case of a child from Mississippi who’s now 2 1/2 years old and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. There’s no guarantee the child will remain healthy, although sophisticated testing uncovered just traces of the virus’ genetic material still lingering. If so, it would mark only the world’s second reported cure. Specialists say Sunday’s announcement, at a major AIDS meeting in Atlanta, offers promising clues for efforts to eliminate HIV infection in children, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus.
The Dow Jones Industrial average rallied to a new record high Tuesday. The Dow was more than 150 points higher at one point, to 14,286.37. That tops both the Dow’s intraday and closing records that were set in October 2007. The S&P 500 added 16 points, and is trading at its highest level since October 2007. It is now only about 2 percent away from its record closing high—also set in October 2007. “We’re back to the highest levels in history, but we’ve got more things going for the economy and the market than we did last time,” said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital.
Actress Valerie Harper has revealed that she has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis and doctors say she may have as little as three months to live. “I don’t think of dying,” the 73-year-old told People magazine about her cancer diagnosis. “I think of being here now.” Harper penned the memoir “I, Rhoda,” and had been promoting the book until she fell ill in January. Harper has been committed to staying optimistic, Yahoo! Health reported last month. “I’m of the thinking that we’re all terminal; no one is getting out of this alive,” she said. “So you shouldn’t start sitting Shiva before it’s time. Live the best life you can. Be as healthy as possible.”
According to reports, Harrison Ford has joined the cast of “Anchorman: The Legend Continues.” This would be the first comedy for Ford since 1979’s Western comedy “The Frisco Kid.” The “Anchorman” sequel is already bigger than its predecessor, with Ford, Kristen Wiig and James Marsden joining original stars Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner. In addition to “Anchorman: The Legend Continues,” Ford is rumored to reprise the role of Han Solo for “Star Wars: Episode VII.” That film is scheduled for release in 2015; “Anchorman” release is scheduled for Dec. 20 of this year.
Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen and the band, Train, have dropped out of this year’s Boy Scouts National Jamboree, in protest of the organization’s ban on gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders and in response to an online petition started by gay Eagle Scout Derek Nance. The petition called on both Train and Jepsen to denounce the organization’s policies and not perform at the event. “As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer,” Jepsen posted to Twitter. She added, “I always have and will continue to support the LGBT community on a global level … and stay informed on the ever-changing landscape in the ongoing battle for gay rights in this country and across the globe.” More than 62,000 people had signed the petition as of this week.
Justin Bieber’s neighbor accused the singer of spitting on him and making threats during a heated confrontation outside his California home Tuesday, a sheriff’s spokesman said. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the neighbor’s battery complaint against Bieber, spokesman Steve Whitmore said. Bieber’s representative denied that the singer spat on or threatened the neighbor, Whitmore said. A member of the singer’s security personnel told CNN there was no physical contact.