The Smithsonian Institution is searching for an architect for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in 2015 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., according to the AP.

“It tells the quintessential American story,” museum director Lonnie Bunch said of the project which will be the Smithsonian’s first new museum to be certified as green. “After all, when one speaks of the core values like resiliency, hope and spirituality, where better to look than the African American experience?”

Officials hope to name an architectural team by next spring.

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The American Medical Association apologized to black doctors, admitting to a history of racial discrimination in its policies and practices.

Dr. Ronald Davis, the AMA’s previous president, says the group has “a feeling of profound regret and embarrassment for what has been uncovered.”

Dr. Nelson Adams, who was most recently the president of the National Medical Association, which was founded in 1895 to represent black doctors, says, “[The] AMA looked the other way when local medical associations worked to exclude most black physicians from becoming members.”

The AMA apology is prompted by a study commissioned in 2005 titled, “The Racial Divide in Organized Medicine,” which will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It was only on Saturday that a state study showed that in New York City, black nurses were being paid less than their white counterparts.

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The Senate voted 69 to 28 to pass a bill granting liability protection to telecommunication companies that participated in secret domestic spying for the government after September 11th.

Amending the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the bill allows for the practice of a “no-warrant necessary” surveillance by the government.

Bush, who is expected to sign the bill in a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday afternoon, claims, “This bill will help our intelligence professionals learn who the terrorists are talking to, what they’re saying, and what they’re planning.”

Many see the bill as an infringement on civil liberties, and Bush’s detractors (practically the whole country–or at least those who don’t watch Fox News) see this as another overstep and abuse of power by Bush as he nears the end of his term.

More shockingly, though, is Barack Obama’s vote in favor of the bill (John McCain didn’t vote). “Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, Senator Obama chose to support” the legislation, his office told the AP.

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Michael Jackson was photographed in Las Vegas on Monday being carted around Barnes and Noble in a wheelchair.

Clad in pajama bottoms, slippers, a surgical face mask and a baseball cap, the King of Pop was accompanied by his three children, Prince Michael Jackson I, Prince Michael Jackson II (aka Blanket), and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.

Besides the fact that we’re slightly worried about the narcisstic and egomaniacal nature of his children’s names, we’re also worried that MJ’s moonwalking days might be over.

PHOTO: National Photo Group

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Lisa Ling (no, not Lucy Liu!), who showed the world that a 20-something could be intelligent and beautiful with her stint on The View, is taking her reporting to ABC’s Nightline.

The 34-year-old TV personality, who left her cushy job at The View in 2002 to host the gritty, gravitas-building National Geographic Ultimate Explorer (and eventually becoming a special correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show), will appear in her first segment for the late-night hard news program on Thursday, according to the New York Times.

“I have wanted to work with Lisa for a long time,” James Goldston, executive producer of Nightline, said in a statement. “She is a terrific journalist with a very distinctive style that fits really well with the Nightline sensibility.”

PHOTO: The Oprah Winfrey Show

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When she turned toward the camera and delivered the line, “They f–king forgot my birthday,” in 1984’s Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald had our heart. Yes, we obsessed over Lisa Bonet’s style and sass on The Cosby Show, but it was Ringwald who was the every-girl you cheered for.

Now 40, the freckled face of ’80s teen angst is starring as a mom in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Yes, it’s a far cry from her days as the It Girl of eclectic, vintage fashion.

“I never thought of myself as a style icon,” Ringwald told the Los Angeles Times. “I wore all that vintage because my parents kept me on an allowance, and so I shopped on Melrose. My style was based on necessity.”

As for Sixteen Candles? “I think that Sixteen Candles lends itself to [another film],” she says of a possible sequel. “It was such a Cinderella story. And I was interested to see what happened to this girl.”

We’re crossing our fingers!!!

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To paraphrase Rodney King: Can’t we all just get along?

After Rev. Jesse Jackson claimed that Barack Obama seems to be “talking down to black people” when addressing black churches and pledging to cut Obama’s “nuts off,” the civil rights leader apologized for his comments, according to CNN.

Calling the remarks he made on Fox News “crude and hurtful,” Jackson explains, “I was in a conversation with a fellow guest at Fox on Sunday. He asked about Barack’s speeches lately at the black churches. I said it can come off as speaking down to black people.”

Is Jackson specifically referencing Obama’s Father’s Day speech at the Apostolic Church of God on Chicago’s South Side, where the presidential hopeful urged black fathers to be more engaged in their children’s lives?

Clarifying his comments in a written statement, Jackson, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, said:

“My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility.”

PHOTO: AP

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