Saturday, November 14, 2015

Governor Cuomo Announces Enhanced Security Measures Following Paris Attacks


Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that he has directed state agencies, including the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the New York State Police, National Guard, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to be on a heightened state of alert. Additional personnel are being deployed to high-density areas and large public gatherings. It is important to note that these are precautionary measures, not based on any specific intelligence linking the U.S. and the attacks in Paris.

Last night Governor Cuomo directed One World Trade Center to be lit in blue, white and red, and that display will continue this evening (Saturday, Nov. 14) and tomorrow evening (Sunday, Nov. 15) in continued solidarity with the people of Paris. Additionally, the top of the Alfred E. Smith Building and the SUNY System Administration Building in Albany will also be lit in the French colors this weekend.

​Governor Cuomo said, “In times of darkness, we confront the hatred that drives terrorism and the tremendous pain and loss it can cause. Yet we also know that terrorism will never prevail – it never has. We grieve deeply for the people of Paris, as New Yorkers who have experienced the same pain and loss firsthand in an attempted assault on our values of liberty and equality. Yet we are stronger now in our commitment to those values than we have ever been before. Today, we are one – we stand shoulder to shoulder in rejecting extremism, condemning violence, and working to achieve a better and brighter future for all.”

“In light of yesterday’s horrific attacks, we are stepping up precautionary security measures at key points around the state. The safety of New Yorkers and our state’s visitors is our number one priority, and we are remaining vigilant and in close contact with local and federal officials and our partner law enforcement agencies.”​

Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services - DHSES has been in contact with key local public safety officials following the attacks in Paris. The DHSES Watch Center, as a precaution, has increased monitoring of various large public gatherings, including various sporting venues throughout the State. DHSES remains in a state of readiness and prepared to disseminate information to our public safety partners statewide as necessary.
 
State Police & National Guard - The New York State Police and the National Guard have also been in contact with federal officials as well as local law enforcement partners, including the New York City Police Department, following the attacks in Paris. At the Governor's direction, as a precaution, the State Police and National Guard have increased surveillance of critical infrastructure including transportation hubs and will be deploying additional resources to large public gatherings.
 
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey - Port Authority Police are on heightened alert at all of the agency's bridge, tunnel, rail, World Trade Center and other facilities, following yesterday's tragic attacks in Paris. Actions include increased patrols and checks of bags, buses, trucks and trains at agency locations. Travelers are reminded to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to police or other authorities.
 
Metropolitan Transportation Authority - The MTA has increased its patrols and surveillance in order to provide heightened protection across all its agencies. The MTA Police Department has stepped up its uniformed and plainclothes presence in Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal as well as other major stations throughout the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road network. Police canine teams and units with heavy weapons will provide extra protection as well as a noticeable sign of increased security. Railroad customers will also see surge patrols, increased step-on/step-off patrols of trains, and random bag checks at various locations.

Behind the sýcenes, the MTA Police Department, MTA New York City Transit security and MTA Bridges and Tunnels Officers share intelligence information and coordinate their threat response with other police and security agencies to ensure a seamless web of protection throughout the region.

New York State Police and the New York National Guard members have been assigned to high-profile MTA locations for more than a year, and they are helping secure these locations as well as reassuring the public that the authorities are dedicated to ensuring their safety. The MTA closely monitors large public events that occur in or near its facilities and will provide heightened awareness of activities there.

The MTA works closely with the NYPD to secure New York's subways and buses, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels Officers are using a mix of visual and technological surveillance to ensure safety at its seven bridges and two tunnels in New York City.

"If You See Something, Say Something"New Yorkers are reminded to stay alert to their surroundings, and to report any suspicious activity. Reports can be made to the Counter Terrorism Center at the New York State Intelligence Center via its terrorism tip line: 1-866-SAFENYS (1-866-723-3697); or by email: ctcenter@nysic.ny.gov.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

France 24 Coverage of Paris Terrorist Attacks


French television, France 24, covered the ongoing terrorist attacks in Paris, in which dozens have been killed and scores more injured and killed after being held hostage in a theater.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Major U.S. Cities Step Up Security, in Light of Paris Attacks


#StrandedInUS: Americans Open Homes to Strangers Stuck After Paris Attacks

Paris Attacks: ISIS Claims Responsibility, France Vows 'Merciless' Response

PARIS — French President Francois Hollande vowed a "merciless" response to the deadliest attacks on the country's soil since World War II as ISIS claimed responsibility Saturday for a coordinated assault on Paris.

A state of emergency was declared and France deployed 1,500 troops after a near-simultaneous series of explosions and shootings brought the city to a horrified standstill overnight. The death toll rose to 127 and 200 other people were wounded, officials said. 

Note: This a breaking news story, so refer to the NBC News website for updates. 

Click here for the full article and related videos. 

U2 'Devastated' Over Paris Attacks, Cancels Show

The rock band U2 postponed its Saturday concert in Paris, saying they are "devastated" by the attacks that killed at least 127 people Friday.

"We watched in disbelief and shock at the unfolding events in Paris and our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight," U2 said in a statement. The show was to be broadcast live by HBO.

French President Francois Hollande called the violence "terrorist attacks of an unprecedented magnitude."

Friday, November 13, 2015

NYPD Deploys Officers to Sensitive Areas in Wake of Paris Violence

After wave of violence left at least 120 people dead in at least four attacks in Paris, the NYPD has deployed additional units to sensitive locations around the city. 

Heavily armed officers, including the NYPD Operation Hercules teams, were dispatched to the French Embassy, other diplomatic post and sensitive New York landmarks. 

The NYPD Counterterrorism Response Command and Critical Response Group have been dispatched to crowded areas of the city.

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

President Obama Speaks with President Francois Hollande of France

 
President Obama spoke by phone this evening with President Hollande of France to offer the condolences of the American people for the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this evening. The President reiterated the United States' steadfast, unwavering support for the people of France, our oldest ally and friend, and reaffirmed the offer of any necessary support to the French investigation. The two leaders pledged to work together, and with nations around the world, to defeat the scourge of terrorism.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Ex-CIA Insider Weighs in on Paris Terrorist Attacks


Scott Pelley discusses the Paris terrorist attacks with Michael Morrell, a former CIA deputy director and our CBS News senior security contributor.

'They Shot Right into the Crowd, Shouting Allah Akbar'

 
“They shot right into the crowd, shouting Allah Akbar “ (“God is greatest”), a witness reported following the attack on the show Le Bataclan concert hall.

“Some guys arrived, they started shooting near the entrance,” he said. “They shot right into the crowd, shouting Allah Akbar, with shotguns I think (…) I could hear them reloading. The concert stopped, everyone was lying on the ground, they continued to shoot at people, it’s hell,” he was shackled, his voice broken by sobs.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Euronews

The President Delivers a Statement on the Attacks in Paris


Vice President Biden on France Attacks: 'It’s Heartbreaking'


Statement from the Vice President on the Attacks in France

I join President Obama in offering my deepest condolences to all those wounded and to the families who lost loved ones in today’s terrorist attacks in Paris.  It’s heartbreaking. Outrageous. The American people understand and share the pain the people of Paris are going through. As these tragic events unfold, the investigation continues, and we learn all of the details of what’s happened, the United States stands ready to support the French government and the people of Paris.  And, as we’ve done before, in the face of dangers and threats, we will look out for one another.  We will stand together.  We will never bow.  We will never break.  That’s the character of our two nations.  We are bound by timeless democratic values that the cowardice and perverse ideologues of extremist networks can never match, wherever they are. Such savagery can  never threaten who we are. We will respond. We will overcome. We will endure. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Vice President

Solidarity with France: New York's One World Trade Center to Be Lit in Blue, White & Red

 
“Today’s horrific attacks in Paris have moved us all, and the more we learn, the more our hearts ache,” said Governor Cuomo. “These were cowardly acts of evil by people who have inexplicably chosen to believe in radical hatred above all else. We reject that kind of extremism – choosing instead the bonds of liberty, equality and fraternity that bring us together. Today, and in the days ahead, New York will light One World Trade Center in blue, white and red as we stand in solemn solidarity with the people of France, just as they have done for us in our own times of tragedy. We join them in mourning those who were killed, and in praying for those who were injured or lost loved ones. And we continue to stand side by side with them in our commitment to a free and peaceful world.”

Governor Cuomo has directed that the lights of One World Trade Center’s 408-foot spire will light up blue, white and red this evening, November 13, and in the days ahead in solidarity with the people of Paris.

Governor Cuomo has also directed New York State law enforcement to remain vigilant in the wake of these senseless attacks. The New York State Police, the New York State Intelligence Center and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services are actively monitoring the situation for any implications in New York State and remain in constant communication with their local and federal partners.

New Yorkers are reminded to stay alert to their surroundings, and to report any suspicious activity. Reports can be made to:

Counter Terrorism Center at the New York State Intelligence Center
Terrorism Tip Line: 1-866-SAFENYS (1-866-723-3697)
ctcenter@nysic.ny.gov
 
"If You See Something, Say Something"

Multiple Paris Terror Attacks Leave as Many as 120 Dead

The death toll in attacks across six sites in Paris could exceed 120, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said on French television early Saturday. He said at least five assailants have been neutralized.

At least 100 people were killed at the Bataclan theater in Paris' 11th arrondissement, where scores of hostages had been held. Police in Paris told NBC News that several people had also been shot at a restaurant in the nearby 10th arrondissement in Paris.

Death toll reports varied in the confusion of the immediate aftermath of attacks.

Earlier, Paris police officials said that security forces killed at least two attackers in the theater, ending the siege. 

Click here for the full article and video. 

The President Meets with National Security Leaders


President Obama meets with national security leaders on the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the President's trade agreement, to America's national security.

White House Press Briefing


State Department Daily Briefing


Spokesman Mark Toner briefs reporters and responds to their questions on a variety of military-related topics.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Climate Change

 

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz speaks with The Atlantic Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons about the upcoming COP20 Climate Conference and the state of clean energy technologies on the U.S.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush Town Hall in Atlantic, Iowa

 
Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) speaks to supporters at a town hall meeting at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Atlantic, Iowa. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Washington Journal: Lawrence Lessig on Campaign Finance


Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig discusses lessons learned during his brief bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. He also talks about campaign finance reform, which was a central issue in his campaign.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Roundtable on Guest Worker Programs

 
Authors Michelle Malkin and John Miano discuss their book, Sold Out, in which they argue some U.S. companies are abusing the current guest worker program at the expense of high-skilled workers.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Discussion on Political Engagement and Millennials

 
Political outreach professionals discuss youth political engagement, as well as the reasons young people around the globe are skeptical of established institutions.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

U.S. ‘Pretty Damn Sure’ It Killed Jihadi John, ISIS Beheader of Americans


By Kate Brannen

Mohammed Emwazi, the English-speaking executioner from the gruesome videos showing the murders of U.S. hostages, may have been killed by an American drone in Syria early Friday.

ISIS’s most famous executioner, Mohammed Emwazi—best known as “Jihadi John”—was targeted in a U.S. airstrike in Syria early Friday morning, according to a senior U.S. administration official.

Emwazi was part of "The Beatles," three British ISIS members that held, taunted, and tortured Western prisoners. Emwazi is suspected of carrying out dozens of executions for the so-called Islamic State, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley and other American hostages.

A U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast that the U.S. military followed Emwazi for the better part of a day leading up to the strike, which happened as he left a building. While officials cannot officially say he is dead—and won’t be able to for some time—they are all but certain. 

"We are pretty damn sure he is dead," the defense official said. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

'Flashback Friday': Ross Perot vs. Al Gore NAFTA Debate (1993)

 
Published on YouTube on Dec 20, 2012
 
For the first time ever on YouTube, Al Gore debates Ross Perot on a special edition of Larry King Live on CNN back in November 1993 - in full.

Trailblazers in Black History: Marvin Gaye


Today in History: November 13th


Howard University Continues Stepped-Up Security After Online Threat


FBI is leading investigation into threat.

Howard University is continuing increased security on campus and at nearby Metro stations on Friday, after officials learned of an online threat to harm people on campus.

The threat was made against the university and its students, Howard officials said Thursday. 

The threat was posted on the website 4Chan, which allows users to post anonymously. The post spewed racial slurs and threatened to harm anyone still on campus after 10 on Thursday. Users of the site have a history of posting incendiary comments or threats, many of which turn out to be bogus.

Click here for the full article and related videos.

Source: NBC News

U.S. and U.K. Test Response to Major Financial Cyberattack


Britain and the United States carried out a planned drill with leading global firms on Thursday to see how they would respond to a cyber incident in the financial sector.

The test focused on how the world's two biggest financial centers, New York and London, would cope with a cyberattack in terms of sharing information, communicating with the public and handling an incident. 

Click here for the full article and video.

Source: NBC News

Clinton Immigration Memo: 'Expand And Enhance Protections'


With the immigration issue dominating headlines on the Republican side of the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton's campaign is touting its "strong support" from the Latino community in a memo obtained exclusively by NBC News.

The Democratic front-runner's campaign condemns what it calls Donald Trump's "hateful rhetoric" aimed at undocumented immigrants and points to poll numbers indicating Clinton would "trounce" Trump in a general election contest among Latino voters (69 percent to 22 percent, according to an MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll).

The memo, titled "Winning the Latino Vote," does not mention any other Republican by name, but does draw stark comparisons between Trump and Clinton's commitment to comprehensive immigration reform.

"In the face of a Republican party that threatens to tear apart immigrant families who live in fear of deportation due to Congress' inaction, Clinton has promised that she will do everything possible under the law to expand and enhance protections for families and communities hurt by our broken immigration system," the letter states. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Carson Sought Leniency For Dentist Friend Convicted of Fraud Charges


First Read: Donald Trump Goes Off the Rails

First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.

Trump Goes Off the Rails

It's easy to have become a little numb to Donald Trump's theatrics on the trail over the last five months, but his performance last night in Iowa shook them right back into perspective. NBC's Katy Tur reports that, during a 96-minute speech, Trump compared Ben Carson's self-described "pathological temper" to a "disease" like child molestation ("If you're a child molester, a sick puppy, a child molester, there's no cure for that - there's only one cure and we don't want to talk about that cure, that's the ultimate cure, no there's two, there's death and the other thing.") Personal attacks are one thing; baselessly comparing an opponent (who is almost universally popular with your own base!) to a child molester is jaw-dropping. Whether Trump was tired, frustrated, cranky, whatever - this off-the-rails attack may have been the best illustration yet of why so many folks believe Trump can't make it over the nomination finish line. While most of his other attacks on rivals -- "low energy," "puppets," etc. -- have played into narratives with some grain of truth to them, this one is just mean-spirited word association accusing a well-liked political figure of literally *the worst possible thing* a person can do. And this comes after plenty of reports that Trump was toning down his rhetoric, acting like a more mature candidate and thinking more strategically about his path. The question is: How and where could Trump's attacks on the field's most popular candidate hurt him? And is "child molester" finally the threshold for his bombastic language to start wearing on voters? 

Click here for the full article and video.

Lasers Pointed at Six Aircraft Across Three States: FAA

Laser beams targeted six aircraft flying in Arizona, California and Texas on Thursday night, officials said, just one day after more than 20 planes were similarly struck across the country.

A Southwest Airlines flight and a corporate jet belonging to a private business both reported laser strikes about four miles from Dallas Love Field Airport around 7 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET), according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford.

Another plane, a Cessna C-172, was illuminated by a green laser on its left side about two hours later, Lunsford added.

Hundreds of Mormons Leaving Church Over Same-Sex Marriage Stance


Hundreds of people are formally renouncing their membership in the Mormon church in protest over a new policy that punishes same-sex couples and their children, an attorney assisting them said.

Utah lawyer Mark Naugle, 30, whose family split with the church 15 years ago, is offering his services pro bono to those who want help with the paperwork involved in getting off the rolls — which have 15 million members.

In the week since the policy was announced, 1,700 people have contacted him, he said.

"People are fed up and just don't want their name associated with the church any more," Naugle said. 

Click here for the full article and related videos.

Source: NBC News

Kurdish Forces Seize Iraq’s Sinjar Town from Islamic State

 
Reuters, 13/11 14:52 CET

By Isabel Coles

NEAR SINJAR TOWN (Reuters) – Kurdish peshmerga forces backed by U.S. air strikes seized the Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State on Friday, a Reuters witness said, in one of the most significant counter-attacks since the militants swept through the north last year.

ISIL defeated and on the run,” the Kurdistan regional security council said in a tweet, using an acronym for Islamic State. It said the peshmerga had secured Sinjar’s wheat silo, cement factory, hospital and several other public buildings.

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani also declared victory in an offensive that could provide critical momentum in efforts to capture the western provincial capital Ramadi, and Mosul in the north, an Islamic State bastion.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Euronews

Internal Refugee Crisis in Syria


Source: Euronews

Afghan Education Campaigner Sakena Yacoobi: “Companies and Universities Need to Work Together”



Source: Euronews

Surge in Violence in Burundi Raises Concerns at UN Security Council and the European Union

 
Concern over spiralling violence in Burundi has led the European Union to announce it is temporarily making a small reduction in staff and pulling out foreign family members.

The move comes in the wake of the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopting a resolution strongly condemning increasing killings, torture and human rights violations in the country. There is the threat of possible action.

Click here for summary and video.

Source: Euronews

Beirut: Is Syria’s War Spreading?


Source: Euronews

US Airstrike Targets Mohamed ‘Jihadi John’ Emwazi


Source: Euronews

Malta Migrant Summit: EU Leaders Unveil Africa Fund and Debate Turkey Deal


Desperately seeking solutions to Europe’s migrant crisis, EU leaders have unveiled an emergency trust fund for Africa.

It is part of a bid to combat poverty and conflict fueling the fleeing of people.

The European Commission will inject 1.8 billion euros into the fund, unveiled at a summit with African leaders in Valletta, Malta.

EU officials later held an informal meeting on the island and criticism of refugee relocations in Europe followed. 

Click here for summary and video.

Source: Euronews

Journalists Investigated in Vatican Leaks Scandal


Source: Euronews

Thursday, November 12, 2015

White House Briefing


National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes brief reporters on the president’s upcoming visit to Turkey, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Spokesman Josh Earnest then takes questions from reporters.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Secretary of State John Kerry on U.S. Strategy in Syria

 
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the U.S. Institute of Peace about U.S. policy in Syria and the ongoing campaign against ISIS.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

President Obama Announces a Presidential Emergency Board, Names Members

 
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a second Presidential Emergency Board to help resolve an ongoing dispute between the New Jersey Transit Rail and some of its employees.

The Presidential Emergency Board will provide a structure that allows the two sides to attempt to resolve their disagreements.  In the 60 days following its establishment, the Presidential Emergency Board will obtain final offers for settlement of the dispute from each side, and then produce a report to the President that selects the offer that the Board finds to be the most reasonable.  The Board’s report is not binding, but the party whose offer is not selected would be prohibited by law from receiving certain benefits if a work stoppage subsequently occurs.

President Obama also announced that he intends to appoint the following members to Presidential Emergency Board No. 249:

·         Joshua Javitz – Chair, Presidential Emergency Board No. 249
·         Elizabeth Neumeier – Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 249
·         Nancy E. Peace – Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 249

President Obama said, “I appreciate that these dedicated individuals have agreed to devote their talent and years of experience working on labor-management disputes to help reach a swift and smooth resolution of this issue.”

Joshua Javits, Appointee for Chair, Presidential Emergency Board No. 249

Joshua Javits is the founder of Dispute Resolution Services and has been a mediator and arbitrator since 1985.  Mr. Javits served on Presidential Emergency Boards in 2007,  2011, and 2014.  From 2007 to 2011, he served as Grievance Committee Chairman of the International Monetary Fund, and Partner at Ford & Harrison LLP from 1993 to 2001.  In 1988, Mr. Javits was appointed to be a member and Chairman of the National Mediation Board, where he served until 1993.  He also worked as a labor-management arbitrator from 1985 to 1988, an associate attorney at Mulholland & Hickey from 1983 to 1985, and a trial attorney for the National Labor Relations Board from 1978 to 1983.  Mr. Javits served as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center from 1990 to 2002.  He is on the rosters of the American Arbitration Association, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the National Mediation Board.  He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. Mr. Javits received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Elizabeth Neumeier, Appointee for Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 249

Elizabeth Neumeier has been a self-employed arbitrator since 1983.  In 1994, Ms. Neumeier served as a member on Presidential Emergency Board No. 225 and currently serves as a member of the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board.  From 1980 to 1982, she was Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Chief Counsel at the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Ms. Neumeier served as Counsel for the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO from 1975 to 1979.  She is on the rosters of the National Mediation Board and the American Arbitration Association and is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. Ms. Neumeier received a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Nancy E. Peace, Appointee for Member, Presidential Emergency Board No. 249
Nancy E. Peace has been an arbitrator, mediator, and consultant since 1993.  From 2012 to 2014, Ms. Peace served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Education Partnership.  From 1999 to 2010, she was a part-time instructor at various colleges, first at Emerson College from 1993 to 1996 and then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1999 to 2010.  From 1983 to 1993, she served as a mediator and arbitrator for the Massachusetts Board of Conciliation and Arbitration.  Prior to this role, she was an associate professor at Simmons College from 1977 to 1983. She received a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University, an M.A. from University of Michigan, and a D.L.S. from Columbia University. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary 

Councilmember Richards Named ‘Local Leader Creating Sustainable Communities'


The following was submitted to From The G-Man on November 11, 2015.

Albany – Last night, Environmental Advocates of New York honored seven local officials from across the state who are leading the fight for environmental and public health protections, including Queens Councilmember Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton).

Councilmember Richards was named a “Local Leader Creating Sustainable Communities” in part for his landmark work passing legislation to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050, which was signed into law this year and puts New York City on the path to a fossil fuel-free future. His work to ensure New York City becomes energy efficient through renewable energy like solar, and that all sectors of the economy from buildings to transportation are greener and cleaner, is key to protecting the city and its people from the harshest effects of climate change.

Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “What Councilmember Richards helped make happen in New York City is exactly the type of planning and blueprint for action that we need state and nationwide. Because of his work, every sector of the economy will move forward and grow in a way that is healthy, safe, and makes fewer kids and seniors sick. We need New York State to put its clean energy and carbon pollution goals into law – and thanks to the leadership of people like Councilmember Richards, we are a significant step closer to making that happen.” 
 
Other local leaders honored:

·         George Borrello, R-Chautauqua County Legislator
·         Patrick Burke, D-Erie County Legislator
·         Bryan Clenahan, D-Albany County Legislator
·         Stephanie Miner, D-Mayor of Syracuse
·         Dan McCoy, D-Albany County Executive
·         Marcus Molinaro, R-Dutchess County Executive

The watchdog organization also honored two Advocate Awards to medical professionals who conduct groundbreaking work – Doctors Frederica P. Perera and Diane Lewis. 
 
Dr. Perera has conducted research that revealed that children with high prenatal exposure to pollutants — common in vehicle exhaust and power plant emissions — exhibited increased signs of asthma, developmental delays, anxiety, depression and attention problems. Dr. Lewis is the founder of The Great Healthy Yard Project, an organization that focuses on reducing the use of synthetic chemicals commonly found in households, which harm people and local waterways.
 
Source: Environmental Advocates of New York  

EANY & National Wildlife Federation Respond to Cuomo's Veto of LNG Facility


Today, New York Governor Cuomo has vetoed a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) transfer station off Jones Beach. The proposed Port Ambrose LNG facility was inside the same area as New York Power Authority’s proposed offshore wind project. 

“The National Wildlife Federation commends New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to reject a fossil fuel facility off of Long Island, which raised a whole set of important concerns by citizens across New York,” stated Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation. “Having grown up on Long Island, I am proud that the rallying cry across the state is to build on New York’s innovation economy and clean energy future. The largest untapped renewable resource is offshore wind, and today’s decision opens the door for the Governor to lead New York into the future with offshore wind that will create jobs, protect our communities, and clean our air. The sun is rising for offshore wind and setting on fossil fuels.”

“Governor Cuomo’s rejection of yet another dangerous proposal based on the dirty fuels of the past is another great step forward towards a healthier cleaner New York,” stated Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), NWF’s state affiliate. “Earlier this year, he rejected a proposal for dirty Canadian tar sands oil to flow through the Port of Albany and last month committed to achieve an 80-percent cut in climate pollution in just 35 years. Taken together, New York is moving to be a national climate leader where clean energy like offshore wind is built instead of natural gas infrastructure.”
 
As the federal agency in charge of offshore wind lease areas stated in its comments: “the proposal to construct a LNG Port in the same area proposed for a large wind facility could result in serious conflicts – or at the minimum, complicating factors – that may impact the overall viability of one or both projects.” In September 2011, NYPA submitted an unsolicited request for a commercial wind lease offshore of New York to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). NYPA submitted the request on behalf of itself, LIPA, and Con Edison, which together form a public-private entity known as the Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Collaborative.

The proposed Long Island-New York City Offshore Wind Project (NYPA Offshore Wind Project) would be located in the Atlantic Ocean in a long wedge-shaped area, with its westerly most point approximately 14 nautical miles due south of Nassau County, though its exact proposed location will not be known until the completion of feasibility, environmental and wind-strength studies. As proposed, the project is designed to generate 350 megawatts of clean electricity for the Long Island and New York City region, with the ability to expand generation capacity to as much as 700 megawatts, sufficient to power almost 250,000 homes. Our organizations strongly support the NYPA lease application, with appropriate mitigation measures to protect the marine environment and wildlife. 
 
Source: Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY)  

National Security Council Notes: Progress in Liberia and the Lifting of Sanctions


The following statement was issued by Ned Price, National Security Council spokesperson. 

Today, the President signed an Executive Order which takes note of Liberia's tremendous progress since emerging from civil war in 2003, in particular its commitment to democracy and the development of its political, administrative, and economic institutions.  The United States congratulates the people of Liberia for their determination, ingenuity, and commitment to peace and democracy that has made this possible.  Accordingly, the President has terminated the national emergency declared with respect to Liberia pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in Executive Order 13348 of July 22, 2004 and lifted the economic sanctions imposed pursuant to that Order.

Liberia has worked to overcome not only the scars of war but also the challenge of responding to an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola at a time when Liberians were in the middle of the vital work of consolidating democracy, building their economy, investing in infrastructure, and strengthening their security services.  Much remains to be done, especially as Liberia looks ahead to other major milestones including the transfer of security responsibility from the U.N. Mission in Liberia in July 2016 and presidential elections in 2017.  Liberia and its people are up to these challenges, and the United States and our international partners will remain steadfast in our commitment to Liberia.  Today's announcement is one of what will surely be many more steps as Liberia continues to take charge of its future and live up to its full potential.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Port Ambrose Liquefied Gas Project



Governor Andrew Cuomo today vetoed the Port Ambrose Liquefied Natural Gas Deepwater Port, citing security and economic concerns along with the potential to negatively impact off-shore wind development. The project, which had been proposed by Liberty Natural Gas, LLC, required approval from both Governor Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Christie under the federal Deepwater Port Act. Governor Cuomo detailed his full position in a letter sent today to the U.S. Maritime Administration. A copy of that letter is available here.

“My administration carefully reviewed this project from all angles, and we have determined that the security and economic risks far outweigh any potential benefits,” said Governor Cuomo. “Superstorm Sandy taught us how quickly things can go from bad to worse when major infrastructure fails – and the potential for disaster with this project during extreme weather or amid other security risks is simply unacceptable. Port Ambrose would also hinder the local maritime economy in a way that negatively impacts businesses throughout Long Island, and that is simply unacceptable. This is a common-sense decision, because vetoing this project is in the best interests of New Yorkers.”

The Deepwater Port Act requires approval from the governor of each adjacent coastal state before a deepwater port license is issued. For the Port Ambrose project, both New York and New Jersey are adjacent coastal states.

The Governor’s review found that the project posed inherent and unanswered security risks to the region. The potential for catastrophic impacts during extreme weather events was also found to be unacceptable. Additionally, the project posed significant disruptions to commercial and recreational maritime activities, and would also have interfered with a critical off-shore wind power project proposed by the New York Power Authority. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo