04 20 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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African-Americans' buying power is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015, according to The State of the African-American Consumer Report, released last week at a Washington, DC press conference. The document was collaboratively developed by Nielsen, a leading global provider of insights and analytics into what consumers watch and buy, and The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S.

This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment. Likewise, when consumers are more aware of their buying power, it can help them make informed decisions about the companies they choose to support.

"Too often, companies don't realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month," said Cloves Campbell, chairman, NNPA. "It is our hope that by collaborating with Nielsen, we'll be able to tell the African-American consumer story in a manner in which businesses will understand," he said, "and, that this understanding will propel those in the C-Suite to develop stronger, more inclusive strategies that optimize their market growth in Black communities, which would be a win-win for all of us."

The report, the first of annual installments in a three year alliance between Nielsen and NNPA, showcases the buying and media habits and consumer trends of African-Americans.

The 41st Annual Legislative Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference week's activities set the backdrop for the announcement. Flanked by civic, business and legislative leaders, Nielsen and NNPA executives spoke about the relevance and importance of the information shared in the report and the fact that it will be distributed in NNPA's 200+ publications, reaching millions of readers and online viewers.

"We see this alliance with NNPA as an opportunity to share valuable insights, unique consumer behavior patterns and purchasing trends with the African-American community," said Susan Whiting, vice chair, Nielsen. "By sharing, for example, that African-Americans over-index in several key areas, including television viewing and mobile phone usage, we've provided a better picture of where the African-American community can leverage that buying power to help their communities," she said. "Likewise, the information points businesses in the right direction for growing market share and developing long range strategies for reaching this important demographic group."

Consumer trends in the report include facts such as:

-- With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they'd be the 16th largest country in the world.

-- The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64 percent, a rate close to 12 percent greater than the change in the overall population's earning between 2000 and 2009. This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community's economic power.

-- African-Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African-Americans in higher income brackets, also spend 300 percent more in higher-end retail grocers more than any other high income household.

- There were 23.9 million active African-American Internet users in July 2011 -- 76 percent of whom visited a social networking/blog site.

-33 percent of all African-Americans own a smart phone.

- African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites -- 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.

- The percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44 percent for men and 53 percent for women.

Read the whole report here

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