North Carolina Newspapers

U.S. syphilis
rate increases
for second
year in a row
By Daniel Yee
ATLANTA — The nation’s
syphilis rate has climbed for
the second year in a row,
mostly because of an increase
in cases among gay and
bisexual men, the govern
ment said Thursday.
Between 2001 and 2002,
the syphilis rate rose 9.1 per
cent from 2.2 cases per
100,000 people to 2.4 cases,
the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention said.
The rate had dropped every
year between 1990 and 2000
before reversing course.
The actual increase in cases
was small — 759 more people,
for a total of 6,862 new cases
— but the rise among gay and
bisexual men has caused con
cern that the public health
safeguards and safe-sex prac
tices adopted over the last
two decades during the AIDS
epidemic continue to crum
“The vast majority of the
United States is not seeing
any syphilis at all,” said Dr.
John Douglas, director of the
CDC’s division of sexually
transmitted diseases. "We’re
seeing syphilis rise primarily
in groups of gay and bisexual
Syphilis cases in the West
soared 64.3 percent (1.4 cases
per 100,000 to 2.3) between
2001 and 2002 and climbed
54.5 percent in the Northeast
(1.1 cases per 100,000 to 1.7
per 100,000), a rise caused in
part by outbreaks in these
regions’ major cities — San
Francisco, Los Angeles, New
York and Miami.
But the CDC also reported
that prevention efforts
appeared to be working in
the South, which for the first
time since 1984, no longer
accoimts for half of the coun-
trjfs syphilis cases. Also,
women and non-Hispanic
blacks saw a decline for the
12th consecutive year.
In the past two years, the
government has repeatedly
warned that gays and bisexu
als may be letting down their
guard against sexually trans
mitted diseases. About 40
percent of the new cases are
fix)m these groups, the CDC
On the Net:
Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention
not so Secret
Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell modeled Victoria’s Secret’s latest lingerie fashions.
Nothing sexy about TV lingerie festival
By Robin Givhan
NEW YORK—About two-thirds
of the way through the Victoria’s
Secret fashion show — and here
one uses the term “fashion” in the
broadest sense to mean any scrap
of fabric that might hang from the
body — a model struts onto the sd-
ver-dusted catwalk wearing a
pale ivory embroidered lace slip
that could well be described as
pretty. Although this annual run
way ritual, known for its lavish
serving of cleavage and bared but
tocks, has never catered to fash
ion’s most discerning patrons, it
nonetheless is startling to realize
that only one of 61 ensembles is
in any way attractive. Much of it
is utterly ghastly.
The Victoria’s Secret show was
taped in two parts on Thursday
at the New York State Armory
and was broadcast on CBS last
week. The show, which was inter
spersed with performances by
Sting, Mary tl. Blige and Eve,
attracted more than 10 million
viewers. Probably as many of
them recoiled as cheered at the
opening sight of a winged model
dive-bombing the stage in a pair
of pale pink thigh-high boots.
The flying Pepto-Bismol domi-
natrix was followed by a perfor
mance fi'om Sting, who did not
catapult in from the rafters but
simply strolled in from back-
stage. He appeared to be wear
ing long black ecclesiastical vest
ments accented by a white coUar
and matching cuffs. The singer’s
clerical-looking clothes suggest-
settle on
bias suit
By Leslie Miller
ernment announced
Wednesday it reached a set
tlement with United Airlines
over' complaints the airline
discriminated against pas
sengers who were perceived
to be of Arab, Middle Eastern
or Southeast Asian descent
after the Sept. 11, 2001 ter
rorist attacks.
The airline, which is under
bankruptcy protection,
agreed to spend about $1.5
million over three years for
civil rights training to
employees who have contact
with the public.
United spokesman Jason
Schechter said the Elk Grove
Village, Ill.-based airline did
n’t break any anti-discrimi
nation laws.
‘We affirmatively deny that
any passenger was ever
removed from a flight or
denied boarding because of
ethnic background or nation
al origin after Sept. 11,”
Schechter said.
The government said in a
statement its investigations
revealed United had unlaw
fully removed passengers or
denied boarding because of
their race, color, national ori
gin, religion, or ancestry.
Kareem Shora, legal advis
er to the American-Arab
Committee, applauded the
He said the anti-discrimi-
natipn committee compiled at
least 82 cases in which air
lines removed passengers
because of their ethnic origin
in the nine months after the
terrorist attacks. The com
plaints declined substantially
after the committee brought
lawsuits against three air
lines, including one against
United, he said. A hearing
has yet to be scheduled.
Shora said the committee
anticipated problems after the
attacks and asked the airlines
to teach their employees
about its passengers’ cultures.
For example, he said, airline
employees need to know that
it’s considered normal for a
Muslim to say a few lines of
the Quran before takeoff, and
not an indication that he’s a
The government also
brought charges against
American Airlines in April for
discriminating against
Southeast Asian, Muslim or
Middle Eastern passengers
in the aftermath of the ter
rorist attacks. A hearing on
the complaint is pending.
Abercrombie & Fitch hit with second
federal race discrimination lawsuit
By Samantha Critchell
CAMDEN, N.J. — A second law
suit has been filed against
Abercrombie & Fitch, claiming the
mall clothes-seUer discriminates
against minorities who wayt jobs
in its stores.
The latest suit, filed last week in
U.S. District Court in Camden,
claims the company recruits and
hires white college students for its
sales positions but tends to hire
minorities only for jobs behind the
scenes, such as overnight shifts
and stockroom work.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday is
similar to one filed in June in a fed
eral court in San Francisco and
seeks class-action status.
According to the claim filed
Wednesday, lead plaintiff Brandy
Hawk applied for a job at the
Abercrombie & Fitch store in the
Cherry Hill Mall in May. She is a
college student and a varsity ath
lete _ some of the characteristics
the New Albany, Ohio, retailer
says it’s looking for in a recruiting
Hawk was initially told by an
assistant manager that she would
be recommended for the job but
was later rejected. In the com
plaint, Hawk said she was told she
did not fit the image the retailer
wanted to project.
The company describes itself as
providing the clothes for a "casual
classic American lifestyle” and its
ads often feature scantily clad ath
letic young people.
The lawsuit is backed by Jesse
Jackson’s Chicago-based
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
A spokeswoman for
Abercrombie, which has about 600
stores and 22,000 employees
nationwide, said the company had
not been served with the lawsuit
and would not make any addition
al comment.
In the California case, the com
pany has denied the claims and
said it wants a diverse work force.
On the Net:
Abercrombie & Fitch:
Plaintiffs’ Web site: http.VAvwwaber-
StudentFirst Academy, located at 5600 Executive Center Drive
Suite 304 held its ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate its first
year of educating youth in the Charlotte community.

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