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Scenes From an Inauguration

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The big story, the reason the throngs descended on Washington, was Barack Obama’s inauguration as president. But there were many more American stories to be told, in the crowds that gathered in the nation’s capitol, and in the groups that came together to celebrate the historic day in New York.

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New School Confronts Dual Tragedy

Monday, January 12th, 2009

The school stands out as a bright symbol of hope in a struggling Bronx neighborhood.

But that hope, as the brand-new Validus Preparatory Academy in Bathgate prepares for its first graduation, has been badly wounded by the murders of two of its students by stray gunfire in just half a year.

Martin Jackson, 18, was killed by stray gunfire in May in Crotona Park. Then on Nov. 15, Nadairee Walters, 17, of the same class, was shot outside a party after another teen opened fire.

Ironically, students and faculty said the two victims were very close friends.

“It goes beyond the loss of a student,” said Principal Brady Smith. “The two were members of the founding class and there was really a sense of family here. They were our pioneers.”

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Microlender Makes Macro Impact

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Jackson Heights, long a magnet for immigrants starting businesses, has attracted an innovative bank dedicated to helping new ventures with small loans.

The neighborhood, filled with shops and cafes run by immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Colombia and Mexico, was chosen last year as the first location of the U.S. office of Grameen Bank.

Grameen is a microfinance organization that began in Bangladesh in 1983. Since then, Grameen has lent money to millions of poor people around the world, helping them build businesses that improve their standard of living. Grameen’s founder, Muhammad Yunus, won the Nobel Prize for his work in 2006.

[Audio: http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/9/files/2009/01/grameen_1709.mp3]

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