Thursday, July 28, 2016

City Investigating 2 Legionnaires' Cases in Harlem: Health Officials

City health officials are investigating two cases of Legionnaires' disease that emerged late last year and earlier this year at an apartment complex in Harlem.

The two cases appeared 10 months apart at Savoy Park Apartments, health officials said.

Both individuals have recovered, they said.

Investigators haven't determined the source of the bacteria that caused their illness.

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

President Obama Meets with Security Teams to Get Latest Threat Assessment

The President today met with his counterterrorism and homeland security teams as part of the Administration's regular review of threats posed by ISIL, al-Qa’ida, and other terrorist groups to the United States, U.S. persons overseas, and to our allies and partners. Noting the recent spate of heinous attacks in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, the President directed his team to ensure we remain vigilant and best postured to defend against such attacks in the Homeland. He stressed the imperative of continuing to increase battlefield pressure on ISIL and other terrorist groups as well as making further progress against terrorist efforts to recruit, radicalize and mobilize individuals to violence. Additionally, the President’s team updated him on security preparations and U.S. support to the Government of Brazil as athletes and spectators from around the world travel to Rio de Janeiro for the upcoming Olympic Games. In this context, the President also was briefed on our efforts to protect against the spread of Zika. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Donald Trump’s Restrictions On The Press Reach Chilling New Low


A Washington Post reporter was detained and patted down while trying to cover a public event. 

By Michael Calderone

Even as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has denied press credentials to news organizations throughout the 2016 election season, journalists generally have had another option: Get a ticket, like anyone else, and walk in.

But in a disturbing interaction Wednesday night, private security, in tandem with local Milwaukee law enforcement, detained and patted down Washington Post reporter Jose DelReal while searching for his cellphone at a public event featuring GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. DelReal, who had already been denied entry with the press, was then also prohibited from attending as a member of the public. 

Trump placed the Post on his campaign’s media blacklist last month in response to the paper running a headline he considered unfair. The refusal to grant press credentials to nearly a dozen news outlets, including Politico, BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, Univision and The Huffington Post, is unprecedented in American presidential politics. The Trump campaign has also placed harsh restrictions on journalists’ movements at events, which have at times been enforced by the Secret Service.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post 

Zika Probe in Florida Prompts FDA to Shut Down Blood Collection in 2 Counties

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered all blood collection centers in Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties to stop taking in blood as state health department officials continue to investigate four possible cases of local transmission of the Zika virus.

In a statement posted on its website on Wednesday, the FDA said blood centers should stop collecting blood in the two counties until they can implement testing for the Zika virus in each unit of blood collected, or until they can put in place technology that can kill pathogens in collected blood. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Officers in Freddie Gray Case Suing Marilyn Mosby

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby may have dropped criminal charges against the remaining officers in the Freddie Gray trial, but she remains entrenched in a legal battle in civil court.

Five of the six officers charged for the death of Gray are suing Mosby, as well as Maj. Samuel Cogen of the Baltimore Sheriff's Office, in civil court for a gamut of causes.

In several lawsuits filed earlier this year, Officers William Porter, Edward Nero, Garrett Miller, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia White alleged defamation, false arrest, false imprisonment, and violation of constitutional rights, among others. 

Click here for the full article.

Hillary Clinton’s Big, Completely Underappreciated Moment Is Here

by Eleanor Clift

PHILADELPHIA — All the pieces are in place for Hillary Clinton to capture the magic of her historic nomination, or at least that’s the script being written here in Philadelphia. The Democrats have staged a masterful convention as a preamble for when Clinton steps to the podium to deliver her acceptance speech Thursday night.

Yet even those who have long anticipated this moment wonder whether the true weight of its significance will be felt, or whether Clinton is a bit late to the party. Those who benefit the most from the battles she waged don’t credit her, or care for her. They won’t be cheering; they’ll be sulking.

The truly transformative nature of the change that’s occurring may not be fully apparent until Inauguration Day. At that point, it will have sunk in. There will be no Bernie, no Donald Trump. Bill Clinton will be in a supporting role, and Barack and Michelle Obama will be headed into the sunset, writing their memoirs.

She will stand alone, her hand on the Bible, taking the oath of office as the first woman after a long line of men to be entrusted with the job of president, leader of the Western world. This is how we transfer power in a democracy, in a peaceful way, when differences are bridged and history has the last word. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast

30 Smart Schools Investment Plans Totaling $39 Million Approved


30 Smart Schools Investment Plans totaling $39 million have been approved as part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act – a sweeping initiative aimed at reimagining teaching and learning for the 21st century. The Act, first proposed by the Governor and overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014, supports investments in education technology that will equip students with the skills they need to thrive and succeed in the global economy. Together, these investments will help close the "digital divide" and increase access to technology and high-speed broadband in hundreds of schools across New York.

"Through the Smart Schools Bond Act, we are ensuring that all New York students have access to high-speed internet and new technology, regardless of their zip code," Governor Cuomo said. "The tools and resources schools will be able to attain with this funding will help equip the next generation of New Yorkers to lead this state into the future."

The Smart Schools Review Board met today for the third time and approved investment plans submitted by school districts. The Board is comprised of the Director of the Budget, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, and the Commissioner of the State Education Department.

The 30 plans approved today total $39 million and will fund several new projects, including $9.3 million for classroom technology purchases, $21.4 million for school connectivity projects and $7.9 million for high-tech security projects. This includes the approval of the first Special Education Smart Schools Investment plan, supporting $32,000 in classroom technology. 

A summary of these 30 plans is available here

In 2014, Governor Cuomo called for New York State to invest $2 billion in its schools through a Smart Schools Bond Act – an initiative that would finance educational technology and infrastructure, providing students access to the latest technology and connectivity needed to succeed and compete in the 21st century economy. New Yorker’s agreed and voted in the Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) that November.

Following the proposal of the Bond Act, Governor Cuomo established the Smart Schools Commission to gather information on strategies for how schools can most effectively invest the bond funds. This advisory commission produced a final report recommending a focus on expanding robust broadband and wireless connectivity and utilizing transformative technologies. The plans approved today by the Smart Schools Review Board reflect many of the best practices identified by the Commission. 

State Budget Director Robert F. Mujica said, "Technology offers schools the ability to break down barriers – between classrooms and homes, teachers and parents, and between school districts across the State. The plans approved today will help prepare students to participate in tomorrow’s economy."

State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, "Today’s announcement of the next round of Smart Schools funding is another important step toward making sure schools across New York state have the technology tools and strong infrastructure they need to educate our 21st century learners. These funds are being used in districts right now to make sure that our students have what they need to prepare for their futures."

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "Our ongoing investment in Smart Schools equips our schools with the resources and tools needed to educate our students. The financial support provided today will boost our students’ abilities to succeed in the classroom, in their future careers, and in life. Congratulations to all of the schools and programs that will benefit from these awards."

With the Smart Schools Act, school districts are investing in technology such as computer servers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, and high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity. This technology helps students to learn at their own pace, expands access to advanced courses and interactive curriculum, and enhances communication between parents and teachers. Smart schools funds will also facilitate necessary investments in pre-kindergarten classrooms, removal of classroom trailers and high-tech school security.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Day Four of the Democratic National Convention

Julia Terruso previewed the final day of the Democratic National Convention, when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will formally accept the party’s presidential nomination. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Politico Hosts Discussion on Foreign Policy in 2016

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Hillary for America Senior Policy Adviser Jake Sullivan discuss foreign policy challenges facing the next president. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Josh Earnest: FBI Has Not Determined if Russia Hacked DNC

Spokesman Josh Earnests responds to media questions on a variety of issue, including the hacking of the DNC email system, what role Russia may have played, and Donald Trump’s call on the Russians to find Secretary Clinton’s missing email. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Saving Our Youth: Teen Violence Documentary

This video was uploaded to YouTube on Jun 10, 2009. 

The documentary you are about to view was written, directed, produced, filmed, and edited by underserved teens from Palm Beach County, Florida with guidance from Youth Speak Out International. The Language in the film is the language of the participants.

Source: YouthSpeakOut

Trailblazers in Black History: Joseph Douglass, Concert Violinist

Joseph Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass, was the first nationally-known black concert violinist. His interest in music stemmed from his father and grandfather, both of which played the violin.

Douglass was also the first black violinist to tour the world as a performer. When he was 22 years old, Joseph Douglass performed at the Chicago World’s Fair, which was a day to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World. He shared the lineup that day with poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar. It was the beginning of his career that spanned over three decades.

Additional information is available here


6 Takeaways From Democrats' Marquee Night

The Democratic National Convention Wednesday featured what had to be among the densest concentrations of marquee names on a single night of a party confab, including the sitting president, his No. 2, and the debut of the party's new vice presidential nominee.

But the night, like the entire convention thus far, could not be condensed into a single coherent theme beyond, "Let's elect a sane, competent person," as unlikely surrogate Michael Bloomberg ad-libbed. Here are six big takeaways from the night: 

Hillary has a team, Donald doesn't 

There were so many big name speakers in Wednesday night's lineup that Democrats had to cut Sen. Sherrod Brown, for time (he'll speak Thursday).  

There has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States," President Obama said of his former rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump is essentially a party of one, who has no one with the gravitas or with the willingness to make a similar claim on his behalf.  

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

WikiLeaks Posts Alleged Democratic Voicemails on Day Three of DNC

WikiLeaks posted 14 minutes of audio of what it claimed were hacked voicemail messages from top Democratic officials Wednesday, just before Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama were to address the Democratic National Convention.

NBC News hasn't authenticated the 29 files and isn't quoting from them. In general, they appear to mirror some of the more than 19,000 hacked Democratic National Committee email messages that have been published in the last week. Information in some of those messages led to the ouster of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The alleged voicemails add little new of particular note. But their publication appeared to have been timed to cause maximum embarrassment for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Merkel: Germany Will Still Welcome Refugees Despite Attacks

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged Thursday to do "everything humanly possible" to ensure security in Germany following a string of attacks — including two carried out by asylum-seekers and claimed by ISIS.

Merkel promised to do everything to find out who was behind the "barbaric acts" and bring them to justice. Germany owes that not just to victims and relatives and other Germans, but also to other refugees, she said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Turkey Shuts 131 Media Outlets as Post-Coup Crackdown Deepens

NATO member Turkey on Wednesday deepened a crackdown on suspected followers of a U.S.-based cleric it blames for a failed coup, dismissing nearly 1,700 military personnel and shutting 131 media outlets.

So far, tens of thousands of people — including police, judges and teachers — have been suspended or placed under investigation since the failed putsch. Turkey alleges it was staged by a faction within the military loyal to the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. 

Gulen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania but whose movement has a wide following in Turkey where it runs a large network of schools, has denied any involvement in the coup. 

Click here for the full article.