Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Forty-three percent of blacks owned homes in 2017, according to an annual report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

In contrast, 72% of whites did, a gap that has mostly widened during the past three decades. The housing market is recovering nearly a decade after the financial crisis. But a recent increase in the national homeownership rate — the first in more than a decade — has done little to close the stark gap between black and white households. Blacks have also had smaller gains in homeownership since the recession compared with whites, Hispanics and Asians. The gap persists even as African-Americans have experienced other major financial gains since the downturn. The unemployment rate for black workers dropped to 5.9% in May 2018, hitting a record low. African-Americans' wages have risen as much as the average since 2008. But when it comes to homeownership, one of the pillars of building wealth, black households are worse off than they were 30 years ago. After finding steady jobs and rebuilding their credit after the recession, some African-Americans are having a hard time saving for a down payment. Black workers are more likely than other racial groups to see their paychecks, which are already smaller than those of the average white worker, eaten up by student loan payments and growing rental bills, housing experts say. And when they do feel ready to buy a home, people of color often face higher fees that make the loans unaffordable. Black and Latino borrowers were disproportionately hit by foreclosures in the financial crisis, studies show. About 8% of African-American and Latino homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure from 2007 to 2009, almost twice the rate of white homeowners, according to estimates from the Center for Responsible Lending. After the downturn, banks and other lenders clamped down on credit, added more consumer protections and raised the qualifications for mortgages. Some consumer groups say the higher lending standards resulted in an overcorrection that made it especially difficult for people of color, who may have lower credit scores and modest down payments, to break into the market.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A Nigerian healer has been shot dead after encouraging one of his customers to test the efficacy of his bullet-proof charms

Chinaka Adoezuwe, 26, was killed wearing the pendants around his neck after he instructed the man to fire his weapon. The incident happened in the country's south-eastern Imo state and police say that the shooter has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Some Nigerian doctors claim that the charms harness various powers and can cure illnesses. Recently there have been several reports of people being shot dead trying to prove the efficacy of bullet-proof charms.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Germany's Angela Merkel has struck a deal to remain in power, at least for now

Merkel, long seen as a champion of the rights of immigrants to move freely within the European Union, agreed to toughen border policies to end a revolt from within her own governing coalition. The big concession is that Merkel agreed to set up "transit centers" on the German-Austria border and make it easier to turn some immigrants away. The "transit centers" are essentially migrant camps. Many see the Merkel deal as a spectacular turnabout on her part. Merkel's own conservative interior minister, Horst Seehofer, forced Merkel into the move by threatening to resign and bring down her government. The two emerged with the deal after about five hours of talks. Seehofer leads the Christian Social Union, the sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez introduced former President Barack Obama as America’s “real president” at a recent DNC fundraiser

“Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States,” Perez said. Obama then told the crowd of Democratic donors that they are “right to be concerned” about Trump’s presidency. Perez’s false descriptor for Obama is just the latest instance of prominent Democrats abandoning political norms in order to undermine President Trump. Obama has sharply broken with precedent by repeatedly attacking Trump. When Obama left office, the existing standard was for presidents to refrain from publicly criticizing their successor. Obama and his wife have slammed Trump more than a dozen times since leaving the White House.