NFL Picks Week 8: Bears vs. Panthers, Falcons vs. Eagles, Giants vs. Cowboys

Can you believe after this week the NFL will be at its halfway point? It seems like the Cowboys were upsetting the Giants in the season opener just yesterday. A lot has changed for both teams since then. Find out who VIBE thinks will win the rematch in this week’s NFL Week 8 picks.

Bears vs. Panthers

This is the battle of the bad body language quarterbacks. For years, we’ve been in awe of Jay Cutler’s arm talent and disgusted by his body language on the sidelines. We’ve wondered if Cutler really cared about the game of football or was he just highly talented without a care in the world as long as he got his check after the game. This year, we haven’t been asking those questions—winning always cures everything. The question now: is Cam Newton the new Jay Cutler? Did you see his press conference last week after their loss to Dallas?

After all of the negative attention Cam’s press conference has earned this week, expect him to act like a grown man this week in front of the media. The result of being on the wrong side of the win column will be the same. The Bears have an advantage in every facet of the game: their offense, defense and special teams are all better than the Panthers. The only thing they have to worry about is that they are on the road coming off a short week because they played this past Monday night. Nevertheless, it will be an easy win for the Bears. They will cover the spread of -7.5 and win 31–20.

Falcons vs. Eagles

The Falcons are 6-0, but all good things must come to an end. I don’t listen to sportswriters when it comes to power rankings on who the best team in the league is, I listen to Vegas. They, unlike beat writers, have no emotion involved. Vegas has the Falcons ranked as the #6 best team in the league. There’s a reason the Falcons are an underdog in this game. The Falcons could easily be 3-3 had it not been for a few 4th quarter get out of jail free cards. The Falcons have also given up more yards than they’ve actually gained this season.

Eagles head coach, Andy Reid, is always a dope coach after a bye week. Reid is 13-0 after bye weeks and 10-3 against the spread after bye weeks. Michael Vick is a turnover waiting to happen, so expect to see a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy running the ball. Eagles hand the Falcons their first defeat, 24-17.

Giants vs. Cowboys

The theme for this game is revenge. The Giants aren’t losing two games in a row to the Cowboys. America’s so called team came into New York for the season opener and shocked the Big Apple by beating the Giants on their home field. Since then, the Giants have been playing well and the Cowboys have been inconsistent.

The loss of Cowboys linebacker, Sean Lee, will definitely hurt the Boys and prove to be the difference in the game. The Cowboys' secondary is one of the best and they will neutralize the Giants' air attack but with Lee out for the Cowboys, Ahamad Bradshaw is going to make sure that the Cowboys get this work.

Giants win, 31 – 27.

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Trailblazing Hip-Hop Journalist Dee Barnes Reveals That She’s Homeless

Pioneering hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes is "officially homeless." Barnes recently launched a GoFundMe account and the public has already exceeded her $5,000 goal by donating more than $9,000 and counting.

“Standing in our own truth not the definitions or the expectations is powerful, and this is my TRUTH,” Barnes wrote on her GoFundMe page. “This page was created as an emergency fund to stop the process and the subsequent legal fees. Even though I am facing extreme financial hardship, I keep my head up.

“I know who I am, I know my worth and I know I'm not alone,” she added. “Everyone is dealing with their own different struggles. Some of us less fortunate than others. It may sound cliche but things will turn around in your favor, this is the balance of life ups and downs, so stay strong, and count your blessings, not your problems.” The former Pump It Up! host ended the post with a show of gratitude for everyone’s “love and support.”

Barnes, who became the first female hip-hop journalist with her own television show, also opened up about her predicament in an interview with Hip-Hop DX. “What made me finally say enough I’m going to ask for help is that quote, ‘You can overcome anything in life, but you must first be willing to live in your truth,’” she said before recounting how being assaulted by Dr. Dre in 1990 led to a strong show of public support that inspired her current crowdfunding effort.

“I had never asked for public help before, but I then remembered a long time ago while I was going through the assault trial in 1991 people were sending me checks for my legal fees. I never cashed any of them — not one — but knowing I had that support kept me strong enough to continue to face each court date, she revealed. “Right now, I am officially homeless. My goal with the campaign is to regain stability, which is imperative for survivors of any trauma.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing, more than half a million people in the U.S. are battling homelessness. As of 2018, California has the nation's highest homeless population with more than 129,000 people in need of permanent shelter. New York is in second place with a homeless population of more than 90,000 people, followed by Florida, Texas, and Washington.


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Richard Levine

Report: Jehovah's Witness Community Kept Secret List Of Child Molesters

The Jehovah's Witness community is reportedly being investigated for allegedly keeping a secret database that listed thousands of "undocumented" child molesters within the community, The Atlantic reports.

According to the latest report, the information was obtained after the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which serves as the head of the Jehovah's Witness organization, sent a survey to its 10,883 U.S. Kingdom Halls seeking information about members of the community accused of sexual abuse in 1997. The survey was reportedly comprised of 12 questions, including how the community viewed the alleged abusers, whether the abuse was a one-time occurrence, and more.

The responses were then mailed back to the Watchtower in a blue envelope and scanned into a Microsoft SharePoint. It was never shared with the police, however.

In 2014, a man filed a lawsuit against the Watchtower, claiming he was molested by a Jehovah's Witness leader in 1986. During that case, the Watchtower disclosed that its U.S. headquarters had received 775 blue envelopes from 1997 to 2001.

In 2012, Candace Conti, a former member of the community, was awarded $28 million by a jury after claiming a man she worked with for a community service project sexually abused her when she was nine and group leaders ignored her because of the  "two-witness rule."

According to The Atlantic, the organization's "two-witness rule" requests that two people bare witness to the crime being alleged. "Barring a confession, no member of the organization can be officially accused of committing a sin without two credible eyewitnesses who are willing to corroborate the accusation," the rule states. Critics have said that the rule makes it easier for child molesters to abuse kids.  

According to estimates, the number of accused Jehovah's Witness child molesters listed in the secret database could range from 18,000 to 23,000. It's unclear how police are proceeding in light of the new report.

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Ethan Miller

Report: Streaming Services Account For 93 Percent Of Latin Music's Revenue

A new report by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) found that streaming is now making up 93 percent of Latin music’s total revenue in the U.S., Billboard reports. This amount is in comparison to the 75 percent made of all other genres in total in the U.S. by the various streaming platforms available. It’s estimated that now Latin music currently accounts for 4.2 percent of the total $9.8 billion dollars of the music business in the U.S. The figure has increased since last year, which stood at 4 percent.

"Latin music’s transformation from a physical-based business to a streaming driven one is even faster than the overall U.S. music market’s turnaround," reads the 2018 Latin music revenue report. Most of the revenue comes from paid subscriptions, which make up a total of 58 percent of the genre’s revenue.

These paid subscriptions all come from music/content streaming services like Amazon Unlimited, Spotify Premium, Apple Music, which all grew 48 percent year by year. Ultimately, the growth generated a cool $239 million. Revenue from other ad-driven platforms like YouTube and Vevo garnered a total of 34 percent, which made $93 million. The sub-category made Latin music 24 percent in revenue, which is three times larger than the average eight percent made off the U.S. general market.

The artists whom helped push forward the genre digitally within the last year have been: Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, J.Balvin and Karol G, among others. "Overall, the Latin music market is showing signs of strength again," the report stated. "We are excited for the next chapter of this comeback story."

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