Saturday, May 28, 2016

Weekly Address: Remembering Our Fallen Heroes


In this week’s address, President Obama solemnly reflected on the meaning of Memorial Day and recognized the sacrifices made by the American warriors who never made it back home. 

President Obama Delivers Remarks to Service Members


White House Foster Care & Technology Hackathon


The first ever White House event bringing together the technology and child welfare sectors. This convening highlights ways to improve our foster care system through the use of technology and lifts up best practices.

U.S. Involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan

 
Daniel Serwer, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Professor, discussed the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Topics included the replacement for a recently killed Taliban leader in Afghanistan, the Iraqi military’s efforts to retake Fallujah from the ISIL*, and the future of U.S. involvement in the region. He responded to telephone calls and electronic communications, including a telephone line reserved for active and retired military.

The program concluded with a video clip of Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson being interviewed May 26, 2016, for “Newsmakers.”

*The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or DAISH/DAESH in Arabic), is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Donald Trump's Rhetoric on Muslims

 
As the only two Muslim members of Congress, Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Andre Carson (D-IN) spoke about anti-Muslim rhetoric around the world. They also talked about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric on Muslims and immigration. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Chemical Safety Legislation


The Hill's Timothy Cama discusses House passage of a bill to overhaul the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time since 1976. He also reviews the environmental, health, safety, and business implications of the legislation. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Statement from the President and First Lady on the Passing of Cassandra Quin Butts


The following statement was issued on May 27. 

To know Cassandra Butts was to know someone who made you want to be better.  And Michelle and I were fortunate enough to count her as a friend for most of our adult lives. 

Cassandra and I met as law students, and we quickly discovered a shared passion for jazz – and for public service.  It was a passion she’d chase for the rest of her life – on Capitol Hill, at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and as an advisor of mine – but above all, as a citizen, always pushing, always doing her part to advance the causes of opportunity, civil rights, development, and democracy.  Cassandra was someone who put her hands squarely on that arc of the moral universe, and never stopped doing whatever she could to bend it towards justice.

We lost her this week, at far too young an age.  But along with all her friends and family, we find comfort in the knowledge that all the good she did for so many lives on.  She made America better.  She made so many lives better, including ours.  We admired her so much.  And we will miss her deeply. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary 

Note: Information on the legacy and life of Cassandra Quin Butts is available here 

Friday, May 27, 2016

President Obama Remarks at Hiroshima Peace Memorial

 
President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deliver remarks following a wreath-laying ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

2016 Hurricane Season Outlook


NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, FEMA Deputy Administrator Joe Nimmich, Laura Furgione, with the National Weather Service, and Satellite and Information Service Director Steven Volz brief reporters on the 2016 hurricane season outlook. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Senator Chuck Grassley to Pursue Inquiry in Wake of Hillary Clinton Email Audit

 
Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks about the State Department's IG audit that said former Secretary Hillary Clinton broke department rules when she elected to use a personal email account to conduct all official business while in office. He says he plans to pursue what he calls "discrepancies" in the wake of the audit, saying, "Secretary Clinton and some State Department officials have not been truthful." 

User-Created Clip
by etouhey
May 26, 2016 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Segregation in U.S. Schools

Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) talked about a Government Accountability Office report, released on the anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, that shows U.S. schools are segregated by race and socioeconomic status. 

User-Created Clip
by CSPANCLASSROOM
May 26, 2016 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Who Bombed Judi Bari?


A Commentary by Noelle Hanrahan of "Prison Radio"

This week marked the anniversary (May 24th 1990) of the assassination attempt against Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney of Earth First! 

I met Judi Bari in 1990.  I interviewed her for KPFA at her rehab hospital, shortly after the car bombing that almost took her life.  She courageously continued her work.  In the early 90's she was one of the few broadcasters to air Mumia's commentaries, she featured him on her radio show on KMUD in Garberville CA.  

Judi Bari and Tanya Brannan founded the Redwood Justice Fund after the car bombing so that folks like us could fight for justice and expose political repression.  I worked closely with Judi on her case "Bari vs. USA", and planned her Bay Area memorial when she passed away from breast cancer.  We continued her lawsuit on the behalf of her estate. Prison Radio is part of the Redwood Justice Fund because of Judi's amazing organizing, her work with across race, class, and cultural divides, and her willingess to expose the FBI's CointelPro in the 90's.  Viva Judi Bari!


Judi was nearly killed in a still-unsolved assassination attempt on May 24, 1990, when a motion-triggered pipe bomb wrapped with nails exploded directly under her driver's seat. She and Darryl Cherney were driving through Oakland, California when the bomb exploded. They were on a speaking tour to recruit college students for Redwood Summer, a campaign of nonviolent mass protests against corporate liquidation logging.

 
Judi was seriously injured and disabled by the bombing, while Darryl eardrum burst and he was injured as well.  

But instead of investigating the bombing as attempted murder, as the evidence clearly showed, the FBI, with the willing collaboration of the Oakland Police, tried to frame Judi and Darryl for the bombing, further victimizing them by false arrest and accusing them of knowingly transporting the bomb that nearly killed them.

It was a deliberate, politically motivated effort to target and "neutralize" Judi, Darryl and Earth First!, and to discourage people from joining Redwood Summer.

When it was finally time for the District Attorney to present evidence in court, the FBI and Oakland Police didn't actually have any, and no charges were filed. The Oakland Police closed their "investigation," but the FBI continued theirs, telling the media that Judi and Darryl were their only suspects. 
 

 The FBI then used the pretext of investigating the bombing as cover for a nationwide investigation of Earth First!, creating dossiers on over 500 people.
A year after the bombing, when it was clear that the FBI and OPD were making no genuine effort to solve the bombing, Judi and Darryl filed a federal civil rights suit against the FBI and OPD. The suit claimed false arrest and unlawful search in violation of the Fourth Amendment. It also claimed a politically-motivated conspiracy in violation of the First Amendment which attempted to suppress their free speech by discrediting them in public perception as violent extremists.

The evidence was presented in a jury trial that began on April 8, 2002, and ended June 11 with a stunning vindication of Judi and Darryl, and a $4.4 million award of damages.

“This case is not just about me or Darryl or Earth First!,” Judi said. “This case is about the rights of all political activists to engage in dissent without having to fear the government's secret police.”

Prison Radio works today to honor Judi's legacy.  

Attorney General Conducts Raid at SUNY Polytechnic


By Tom Precious, News Albany Bureau

ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has increased his investigation of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, conducting a raid Thursday afternoon at an office once used by a veteran lobbyist who has ties to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, his family and his inner circle, a source close to the investigation said.

Schneiderman last fall issued subpoenas in a bid-rigging investigation of a contract awarded, though never signed, between the SUNY college headed by Alain E. Kaloyeros and a politically connected developer to build a dormitory near the campus.

However, a source earlier this month said Schneiderman’s interest in SUNY Polytechnic has not been limited just to the scuttled dormitory deal.

The raid, executed with a search warrant, included an office formerly used by Todd Howe, a Washington-based lobbyist who worked for Whiteman, Osterman & Hannah, whose clients included Fort Schuyler Management Corp. and Fuller Road Management Corp., two SUNY Polytechnic entities that were created to do high-tech projects across the state, including the Buffalo Billion program. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Buffalo News and The Empire Report

Reminder: Patriotic Items are Always Sales-Tax Free

 
The New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs joins with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to remind all New Yorkers that flags of the United States, New York State, military service and prisoners of war are exempt from sales tax. 

United States flags are fully exempt from NYS and local sales tax year-round no matter who buys them or where they are purchased. The same is true for Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Prisoner of War (POW)/Missing in Action (MIA) flags.

"I encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of this tax exemption and proudly display our nation's flag as we remember and honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country," said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone.

“The NYS Division of Veterans’ Affairs joins with the Tax Department in encouraging citizens to pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans and their families,” said Division Director Eric Hesse. “We also encourage veterans and their loved ones to visit our website at www.veterans.ny.gov for information about veterans’ benefits and support services.”

Military service flags are those that have been approved by the United States Secretary of Defense. These flags include the Blue Star and Gold Star banners put on display by family members of service members. A gold star represents a family member who died while serving in the Armed Forces; a blue star represents a family member who is serving now.

In addition to the flags, certain military decorations, including ribbons, medals, and lapel pins are exempt from sales tax when sold to an active military member or veteran. Accessories sold together with the flag to put it on display are free from sales tax as well.

The exemption for POW/MIA and military flags was authorized by legislation in 2012. The United States flag and New York State flag have been exempt since the sales tax was first enacted in 1965.

Veterans and those serving in the military should also visit the Tax Department’s Veterans’ property tax exemption webpage and Information for military personnel & veterans webpage. 

Source: New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Statement on the Second Estimate of GDP for the First Quarter of 2016


 
WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the second estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2016. 

Summary: Real GDP growth was revised up to 0.8 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter. 

First-quarter economic growth was revised up 0.3 percentage point to 0.8 percent at an annual rate. Strong growth in residential investment boosted real GDP growth, but weakness in business investment and exports—exacerbated by weak foreign demand and low oil prices—weighed on growth. Consumer spending grew at a moderate pace in the first quarter. Nevertheless, labor market data remain robust, with continuing private-sector job creation and wage growth picking up noticeably so far in 2016. But there is more work to do, and the President will continue to call on Congress to support policies that will boost our long-run growth and living standards, including policies to support innovation and investments in infrastructure and job training and to promote greater competition across the economy, as well as high-standards free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The complete statement is available here.  

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Trailblazers in Black History: Paul Mooney


Paul Gladney, better known by the stage name Paul Mooney, is an American comedian, writer, social critic, television and film actor. He is best known for his appearances on Chappelle's Show and as a writer for the comedian Richard Pryor. 

Additional information is available here

Sources: CleanMicFilm and Wikipedia

Christians, Muslims, Jews Compete at Israel's 1st Transgender Pageant


A Possible Cellphone Link to Cancer? A Rat Study Launches New Debate



A giant U.S. study meant to help decide whether cellphones cause cancer is coming back with confusing results.

A report on the study, conducted in rats and mice, is not finished yet. But advocates pushing for more research got wind of the partial findings and the U.S. National Toxicology Program has released them early. 

The findings are giving new life to the longstanding debate over whether cellphone use might cause cancer.

They suggest that male rats exposed to constant, heavy doses of certain types of cellphone radiation develop brain and heart tumors.

But female rats didn't, and even the rats that developed tumors lived longer than rats not exposed to the radiation. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

After Ebola Fail, WHO Launches New Approach to Emergencies


Stung by failures in its response to Ebola, the World Health Organization is revamping how it responds to emergencies to become nimbler, more reactive and more operational in "one of the most profound transformations" ever at the U.N. health agency.

Member states agreed to the changes Wednesday at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, aiming to streamline decision-making and put logistical and medical teams on the ground faster amid wars, natural disasters and outbreaks of viruses like Ebola, Zika or yellow fever, officials said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Jury Sides With Google in Closely Watched Copyright Case



A federal jury has sided with Google in a $9 billion legal battle with tech industry rival Oracle, a complex copyright case that was closely watched in Silicon Valley.

Oracle had said Google stole some of its Java software to create Android, the world's most popular smartphone operating system.

Some tech industry groups said Oracle's claim would undercut practices that are widely used to create all kinds of software. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Long TSA Lines are Already Delaying Memorial Day Travel


 
There is one good thing to report for the 2.6 million people flying this Memorial Day weekend: cheaper tickets! The average price of an airline ticket was down about 26 percent this year – but TSA lines look longer than ever. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports for TODAY. 

Click here for video.

Source: NBC News

Madoff Victims May Soon Recoup Another $247 Million



Nearly 7-1/2 years after Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme was unmasked, the court-appointed trustee recouping money for the swindler's victims on Thursday sought court approval to free up another $247 million to help cover their losses.

The proposed payout would be the seventh by the trustee Irving Picard, and follows several recent settlements to recoup sums from other firms that once did business with Madoff. 

Once the distribution is made, eligible recipients will have recouped about $9.45 billion, Picard said.  

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

North Korea Threatens Retaliation After South Korean Warning Shots

 
Reuters, 27/05 15:54 CET

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea threatened retaliation on Friday after South Korea fired what it said were warning shots when a patrol boat and fishing boat from the North crossed the disputed sea border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula.

The two vessels from the North retreated about eight minutes after the South Korean navy fired five 40 mm artillery shots at around 7:30 a.m. local time, South Korean officials told Reuters.

The North Korean boats had crossed the Northern Limit Line, a border that the North disputes, near the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong, according to the South Korean military.

North Korea accused the South Korean navy of intruding into its waters and said the South fired at its ships in a “grave provocative act,” the Supreme Command of the North’s Korean People’s Army was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency late on Friday. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: euronews.

Russia Says U.S. ‘Delays’ with Joint Syria Action May Hit Peace Process

 

Reuters, 27/05 16:24 CET

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Friday it had intensified air strikes against oil sites controlled by an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, but criticized the United States for refusing to join in.

Last Friday Russia proposed to the United States and its allies that they stage joint air strikes on Syrian rebels, including the militant Islamist Nusra Front, who are not observing a ceasefire, but Washington made clear it had little interest in the idea.

“The response received from the United States … does not envisage joint actions against terrorist organizations, which leads to further escalation of the conflict,” Sergei Rudskoy, head of the General Staff’s main operations command, told a news briefing.

Meanwhile, the Nusra Front has partially restored its fighting efficiency, replenished stocks of weapons and ammunition and begun active military actions, Rudskoy said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source; euronews.

Top Author Russell Banks Blasts Trump: ‘I Think He is a Deluded Maniac’


Source: euronews.

Brexit Blog: What You Need to Know as the UK-EU Referendum Looms


The people of the United Kingdom will vote on June 23 on whether they want the country to leave or remain in the European Union.

For months already the rival ‘Stay’ and ‘Go’ camps have been inundating voters with information to support their respective cases, creating something of a patchwork of facts, opinion and fear-mongering.

Our intention on this page is to gather some of the best reporting, analysis and comment from around UK and beyond. We don’t agree with everything we will post but we will give a balanced perspective of the issues that will decide the immediate and longer-term future of the United Kingdom.

Click here for the full article.

Source: euronews.

Refugees: What is Your Nationality When You are Born at Sea?


On May 25, the Aquarius, a boat belonging to the association "SOS Méditerranée", returned from its tenth rescue operation: the lives of 388 migrants were saved.

But in the late afternoon, there was some surprising news aboard the old German coast-guard vessel: the stork had visited the ship – a little boy had just been born. His name: Alex Destiné, given in honor of the captain of the Aquarius, Alex Moroz.

The birth of little Alex Destiné raises a question under international law. While his mother was giving birth, the boat was heading towards the Italian coast, en route to Cagliari, Sardinia. On land, the people rescued by the crew of the Aquarius will be helped by the Italian Red Cross. But at the time of his birth, it is not clear if the ship was sailing in international waters or had already entered Italian territorial waters.

Two international treaties relate to the case of Alex Destiné: the Convention on the reduction of statelessness and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Click here for the full article.

Source: euronews.

G7 Says ‘Global Growth is Our Urgent Priority’


Source: euronews.

French Labor Reform Action Threatens to Disrupt Euro 2016 Fans


Source: euronews.

Maduro: More Fighting Talk for Spain


By Catherine Hardy | With APTN

Source: euronews.

Search Teams Detect Signal from Crashed EgyptAir Flight 804


Source: euronews.

Iraq: Progress in Fight to Oust ISIL from Falluja, But ‘Civilians Face Starvation’


Source: euronews.

Leaders ‘Influenced Putin’ Over Savchenko Release, Say Ukraine Pilot’s Lawyers


Source: euronews.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

'Nightmare Bacteria' Superbug Found for First Time in U.S



A drug-resistant "superbug" that doctors have been dreading has shown up in the U.S. for the first time, researchers reported Thursday.

The bacteria has genetic changes that make it resistant to a last-ditch antibiotic called colistin and while it had been seen in Europe and China, no one in the U.S. had been seen with it before. 

It doesn't spell doom just yet. The mutant E. coli germ was found in a Pennsylvania woman with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, but it does not appear to be spreading at epidemic proportions. And it was susceptible to other antibiotics, so the patient was not left without any hope.

What's worrying is the gene that made the E. coli drug-resistant. It's called mcr-1, and it is passed from one bacteria to another. It sits on a piece of material called a plasmid, which makes it easy for one species of bacteria to pass it along to another species of bacteria. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Donald Trump Hits 'Magic Number' of Delegates Required for Nomination


Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has officially secured a majority of GOP delegates, giving him the "magic number" required to clinch the GOP nomination.

Trump passed the 1,237 mark after unbound delegates from North Dakota, Colorado and Pennsylvania pledged their support for him. 

Click here for summary.

Source: NBC News

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

‘The Right to Live’: An Honest and Raw Look at Domestic Violence


THE G-MAN INTERVIEWS: MICHELE FRANTZESKOS

Director, Producer and Writer of Award-Winning Film Discusses
the Project and Her Ongoing Effort to Empower and Help Women

Michele Frantzeskos and her business partner Nancy Vazquez are the founders of Raystar Film and Production, Inc. While they describe themselves as two women directors who come from two very different backgrounds, they candidly admit that they share a vision: to make a difference through film, music and television.

They served as the principle writers, directors, editors, producers and songwriters for their film “The Right to Live”. The film presents an honest and raw look at the dangers of various types of abuse and the consequences faced by those who not only engage in abusive behavior, but those who allow themselves to be abused on a continuous basis.

The film also shows how prolonged drug and alcohol use, postpartum depression and bullying play significant roles in many abuse cases. Ms. Frantzeskos’ husband, Nick Frantzeskos, served as executive producer for the film.

“The Right to Live” has a cast of over 120 actors with speaking roles, and more than 40 locations were used during filming. Michele Frantzeskos joins me to provide more information on the film, the award it received, the upcoming film festival in which it will premiere, and how Bellevue Hospital will play a major role in the film’s promotion and screening going forward.

The interview was conducted on May 23, 2016.  


Click here to watch the episode.

2 More Journalists Go Missing in Colombia



While security forces searched for a missing Spanish journalist in Colombia, two more journalists were reported missing Tuesday in the same region.

The two journalists from the right-leaning TV network RCN had traveled to the Catatumbo region to cover the hunt for Salud Hernandez-Mora, a longtime correspondent for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo whose weekly column in the Bogota daily El Tiempo is one of the most read in Colombia. 

Authorities declined to call Hernandez-Mora's disappearance a kidnapping, and no one had claimed responsibility for her disappearance, but speculation heightened that she could have been taken hostage by the rebel National Liberation Army, the ELN. It is one of several armed groups and drug trafficking gangs dominant in the mountainous area bordering Venezuela. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

The Cost of the War on Terror


In this “Spotlight on Magazines” series, Reason contributor James Bovard discusses his piece on the war on terror, which he says has cost the U.S. $4 trillion since it began in 2001. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

TSA Administrator Testifies on Airport Security Wait Times

Peter Neffenger testified at a hearing on long wait times and delays at airport security checkpoints, as well as staffing challenges faced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

House Minority Leader Weekly Briefing

 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefs reporters and responds to their questions on a variety of topics, including legislation to deal with opioid abuse and the Zika virus, as well as the leadership of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

NY Board Poised to OK $485M for Solar Plant Amid Questions







ALBANY, N.Y. - A state oversight board controlled by the New York Legislature and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to authorize spending another $485 million to complete a solar panel production plant, the centerpiece of Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" economic development program.

The Public Authority Control Board vote scheduled for Wednesday comes amid questions about the future of solar business after a major player last month filed for bankruptcy court protection and a lack of details about how the money will be spent.

The $750 million SolarCity plant being built with public funds is nearing completion and the money being considered by the board is believed to be the balance of the state's commitment to not only build the million-square-foot factory, but fit it out with manufacturing and other equipment.

But Fort Schuyler Management Corp., a not-for-profit arm of the State University of New York, has not responded to inquiries from The Associated Press about specifics of how money is being budgeted, what equipment is being purchased and who the vendors are. Asia and Europe, where most of the world's solar modules are produced, are also primary sources of manufacturing equipment. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Ledger-Enquirer

New Campaign Aims to Educate New Yorkers About the Dangers of the Zika Virus


Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the launch of an aggressive public awareness campaign to educate New Yorkers on the dangers of the Zika Virus. The campaign’s launch marks the latest step forward in implementing the Governor’s comprehensive six-step action plan to combat Zika. Already, more than 7,000 larvicide tablets have been distributed to eliminate Aedes mosquitoes potentially carrying the virus. Additionally, New York City and the 57 other counties in New York have all received approval from the state Department of Health on local Zika action plans.

"New York State has put forward the nation's most robust action plan to combat Zika and eliminate this deadly disease at its source," Governor Cuomo said. "This public awareness campaign will ensure New Yorkers understand the threat Zika poses and how we can stop its transmission. By providing New Yorkers with the information they need, we can protect the public health and put an end to Zika once and for all."

As part of the campaign, a public service announcement has begun running in English and Spanish on more than 40 television stations statewide and will continue for the duration of the mosquito season, which ends in September. Radio announcements, also in English and Spanish, were sent to more than 100 radio stations across the state and will run during the same timeframe.

Additionally, billboards and informational posters in subways and on buses will be utilized, digital advertisements will be displayed on travel-related websites and New York State has established a Zika Information Helpline (1-888-364-4723), as well as a dedicated website to provide information directly to residents.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "The Department of Health is focused on reducing the risk of Zika virus transmission in New York State. Governor Cuomo's six-point action plan provides local governments with the support and guidance necessary to address Zika and minimize its impact; and the public awareness campaign provides the information residents need to avoid the risk of Zika transmission."

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito in South and Central America. The virus can also be sexually transmitted. Although Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are not present in New York, a related species named Aedes albopictus is active in the downstate region. Scientists have not yet determined if Aedes albopictus – the type in New York – transmits Zika. There are 70 different species of mosquito in New York State and Aedes albopictus make up just three to five percent of the total population. Mosquito season in New York runs from April through September.

The greatest danger facing those who contract Zika is a birth defect known as microcephaly. This disease occurs in babies of mothers who are infected with the Zika Virus while pregnant. Zika may also cause a rare disorder called Guillain Barré Syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis. The World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency of international concern in February.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo