Obama nominates Perez as labor secretary
March 18th, 2013
12:23 PM ET

Obama nominates Perez as labor secretary

President Barack Obama on Monday nominated Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general heading the Justice Department's civil rights division, as labor secretary.

A former federal prosecutor and an official in his home state of Maryland, Perez was sworn in to his current post in October 2009.

CNN's Jessica Yellin reported earlier this month that Obama would name Perez to the Cabinet position.

April 6th, 2012
04:09 PM ET

Marion Barry's remarks on Asians' 'dirty shops' ignite criticism after primary win

[Updated Friday at 4:09 p.m. ET] Washington Councilman Marion Barry said Friday he could've rephrased his controversial remark about "dirty" Asian businesses in his district, but he refused to back down.

He said his adrenaline was flowing after Tuesday's primary victory, when he made the comment, and that he merely was trying to convey that the business community in his Ward 8 needs a new attitude. Asians run a large percentage of the ward's stores and small shops, he said.

“I said something that I probably could have phrased differently. What you mean is the same. You’re not going to have people who are exploiting us in this community. They’re going to be part of the community. We welcome all businesspeople here … but give us some jobs.”

Several lawmakers, including the D.C. mayor and some of Barry's fellow council members, condemned his remarks - criticism Barry downplayed earlier this week. CNN's Athena Jones, who interviewed Barry on Friday, also spoke to Korean shop owner Helen Lee, who said she was angered by the councilman's castigation.

"We work really hard to keep our facility clean and to serve, like, this community. We've been here for over 20 years now," said Lee's daughter, Miriam. "So it's really insulting for him to come out of the blue and say that we're dirty and that, you know, we should be replaced, basically because we've been here for so long."

Told of the Lees' sentiments, Barry again disregarded the criticism, saying, "Leadership requires leadership."

"If she’s mad at me, tell her put some money in this community. Hire some people in this community. Give money to various organizations in this community, " he said. "If she’s mad, then do something about it.”

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December 4th, 2011
05:27 PM ET

Police order structure taken down at Occupy DC

U.S. Park Police surrounded a wooden structure erected Sunday by Occupy DC protesters, with a standoff ensuing and several arrests being made, according to witnesses.

The structure was built overnight in McPherson Square as a place where protesters could stay warm in the winter and hold their daily General Assembly meetings, according to Wade Simmons, one of the Occupy demonstrators.

Police ordered the structure taken down around noon Sunday, a post on the Occupy DC website reported, but about a dozen people remained perched on top of or inside the building, which was donated by a father-son architect team. As many as 200 people gathered at the park to watch the standoff.

Police put up barriers around the structure and cordoned off nearby streets with yellow tape as protesters chanted, "This is a nonviolent movement," and, "Put the pepper spray away."

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