Saturday, July 9, 2016

President Obama: 'America Is Not As Divided' As Some Suggest


Weekly Address: Standing Together to Stop the Violence



WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, Vice President Joe Biden commemorated the lives of the five police officers who were killed and the seven people who were wounded in Dallas. The police officers were providing safety to those who were peacefully marching against racial injustices in the criminal justice system – and the shocking images of the lives lost in St. Paul and Baton Rouge. Echoing the remarks of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Police Chief David Brown, the Vice President called on the American people to act with unity and to stop the violence. He emphasized that it is the responsibility of everyone to speak out against disparities within the criminal justice system, just as much as it is the responsibility of everyone to stand up for the police who protect us every day. Because together, we as a nation will persevere and overcome.

West Wing Week: 'This is an American Issue'


The Hate Group Calling for Cop Killing

 
By Kate Zavadski and Ben Collins

Micah Xavier Johnson, the now-notorious Dallas cop-killer, was one of a handful of online fans of a group which proclaimed, “we must kill white police officers across the country!”

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday night, when Micah Xavier Johnson shot and killed five Dallas police officers and wounded nine others, Mauricelm-Lei Millere, founder of the African American Defense League hate group, posted a picture on his Instagram account.

The caption led with this: “We have no alternative! We must kill white police officers across the country!”

The picture was of a meeting with former President Bill Clinton, which Millere alleged occurred in May.

At 10:52 a.m. the morning after the shooting, Millere posted the following message to the African American Defense League’s Facebook page:

“WE ARE CALLING ON THE GANGS ACROSS THE NATION! ATTACK EVERYTHING IN BLUE EXCEPT THE MAIL MAN, UNLESS HE IS CARRYING MORE THAN MAIL!”

Micah Johnson was one of just 170 members who follow that Facebook page.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Dallas Shooter Micah Xavier Johnson Was Army Veteran

President Obama Reacts to Dallas Police Shootings

 
During a news conference with European leaders in Warsaw, Poland, President Obama reacts to the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas at a rally to protest recent police-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Attorney General Lynch on Dallas Police Killings


Attorney General Loretta Lynch condemned the fatal shootings of five Dallas police officers and called on Americans to not let the violence “become the new normal.” She said that the Justice Department, FBI, and ATF were working with state and local authorities to help with the investigation. She ended her remarks acknowledging people were feeling a sense of helplessness but that the “answer is never violence.” 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

House Leaders on Dallas Shooting

 
Speaker Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) reacted to the killing of five police officers in Dallas and the police shooting of two African American men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Representative John Lewis Says Nation Must Deal with Racism

 
Speaking at a news conference in the wake of the killing of five police officers in Dallas and two African Americans in separate incidents in St. Paul and Baton Rouge, the Georgia congressman says the nation must confront racism. "Sometimes I want to believe we have made much more progress...then I think sometimes we're sliding back...We cannot sweep it under the rug in some dark corner. We have to deal with it." 

User-Created Clip
by etouhey
July 8, 2016 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Governor Cuomo's Remarks on Recent Acts of Violence


NYPD Tells Officers to Partner Up for All Patrols After Dallas Sniper Attack Kills 5 Cops: Source



The NYPD has directed its officers to partner up for all patrols Friday out of an abundance of caution following the coordinated sniper attack on 12 officers in Dallas, Texas, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the order.  

Snipers opened fire on law enforcement following a demonstration there late Thursday, killing five officers. During a stand-off with police, a suspect said he was angry about fatal police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota and that he wanted to kill white law enforcement officers.
  
Click here for the full article.  

Source: NBC News and the Empire Report (New York)

'From The G-Man' to the New York Post: Cut the Bullshit!!

 
The following is directed at the publisher and managing editor of the New York Post.

A number of acclaimed news outlets and publications, including the New York Times, have indicated the rally was an ANTI-VIOLENCE rally and was led by a MINISTER!! Moreover, it was noted that the rally was PEACEFUL and that police and protesters were actually speaking to each other in a respectful manner! 

If this was not the case it would've been on every news outlet in the country, you fools! 

If this is your idea of journalism, you need to resign, effective immediately! You're a true example "jackass journalism" at its finest. If you have a problem with this public declaration, I'm not hard to find. Come get some!!

"G-Man"

Death of Black Man Found Hanged from a Tree in Atlanta Park Referred to FBI

 
By Tobias Salinger

The death of a man found hanged from a tree in an Atlanta park early Thursday has been referred to the FBI, Atlanta’s mayor said.

Security officers discovered the as-yet-unidentified black man thought to be between 25 and 35 years old around 5 a.m. near Piedmont Park’s Charles Allen Dr. entrance, according to the Atlanta Police Department. An emergency crew pronounced the man dead at the scene.

Police said the man was hanging by a rope from the tree, and investigators called the scene "consistent with a suicide." Coroners plan to rule the death a suicide, representatives for Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday night. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Daily News

11 Dallas Officers Shot, 4 Dead in Shooting as Protest Ended


Eleven Dallas law enforcement officers were shot, four fatally, by what is believed to be two snipers who opened fire during a demonstration downtown over recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, the Dallas police chief said.

The snipers fired from an elevated positions on police officers minutes before 9 p.m., Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters.

"We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different perches in garages in the downtown area, and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could," he said. Some were shot in the back.

Police have cornered one of the suspected shooters in a parking garage, Brown said, and were negotiating with him.

Brown said police believe the suspects may have threatened to have plant a bomb in the downtown area, and were in contact with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Thursday, July 7, 2016

President Obama on the Fatal Shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile


President Obama delivers a statement on the reported police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Warsaw, Poland.

Congressional Black Caucus News Conference on Police-Involved Shootings

 

Representatives Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Andre Carson (D-IN), and others spoke to reporters about the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

'PBS NewsHour' Report on Russia/Ukraine Conflict Denounced by UCCA

 
The following was submitted by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, which is based in New York.

Dear friends and allies of Ukraine,

Another report full of misleading statements and factual errors aired on PBS NewsHour last night. We urge Ukrainians and supporters of Ukraine to contact PBS Newshour and demand an explanation as to why neither the report of July 5 nor July 6 did not make clear that ‪#‎RussiaInvadedUkraine‬. Furthermore, the editorial staff needs to explain how a series purporting to document the "tensions between NATO and Russia," fails to present the clear documentary evidence proving the existence of the Russian military on Ukrainian, Georgian and Moldovan territories.


UCCA response to Part 1 can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/UCCA.org/posts/10153589611302595

 

Contact PBS NewsHour:


To Whom It May Concern:

On July 5, the PBS NewsHour, the nation's longest running nightly news broadcast, aired a report prepared by Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grantees Nick Schifrin and Zach Fannin, both well-traveled journalists, as part of a series highlighting the "tensions between NATO and Russia". Both PBS NewsHour and the journalists themselves refer to this series as "Fault Lines," a geological term perhaps suggesting a natural order, although there is nothing natural at all about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

After viewing the first segment of the Fault Lines series, our office received numerous alerts as to the biased nature of the presentation. Indeed, after viewing the segment ourselves, we responded on behalf of the Ukrainian American community with a letter summarizing the following inaccuracies and omissions:

No mention of the nearly 2 million displaced persons who have fled the areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia for their own safety, some having been specifically targeted;
 
No mention that those unfortunate to have remained under occupation are under a constant barrage of Russian disinformation and propaganda;
 
No mention of the clear documentary evidence proving the existence of the Russian military operating in the occupied areas of Eastern Ukraine, even though the report airs that there are "claims" made about "thousands of Russian soldiers";
Mistranslating at least one interview subject, who specifically voiced regrets when asked,"Has it been worth it?"

Furthermore, this entire segment was produced and edited to omit one crucial word - INVASION. 

Nowhere in the 11 minute report focusing on the areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia was the word "invasion" used. For this omission, we are demanding an explanation from PBS NewsHour producers as to exclusion of the only possible description for the Russian Federation not only blatantly violating the UN Charter with its military actions in Ukraine, but also the Helsinki Final Act, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, and at least 2 bilateral agreements between Russia and Ukraine, not least of which was the so-called “Friendship Treaty.”

The reason we are addressing PBS NewsHour specifically, is that a companion piece to the Newshour's report, misleadingly titled "Desire to break free from Ukraine keeps devastated Donetsk fighting," was published by USA Today after being produced for Public Radio International. Although focusing on the same subject matter, USA Today decided to focus on the horror of Russians enlisting child soldiers in Ukraine which was documented in the PBS report, and entitled their version of the report "Soviet-style youth squads are making a comeback in eastern Ukraine".

Both reports by Nick Schifrin contain misleading and factually incorrect statements, not least of which the repeated description of Ukrainian territory militarily occupied by Russia as not of Ukraine, even though the world has recognized this border territory as Ukrainian such since at least 1945 when Ukraine signed the UN Charter as one of the original member states.

In addition to the crime of enlisting child soldiers not being called out, nor not addressing the illegal status of a Russian soldier interviewed on camera, the report airing on July 5 finished with Judy Woodruff claiming that on July 6, "Nick Schifrin continues his reporting from the other side."

The report which aired on July 6 did not, in fact, report on the "other side" of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Beginning with Judy Woodruff's introduction, we were told that the July 6 report would move us "inside Ukraine". Again, this in contrast to the fact that NO INTERNATIONAL BODY HAS RECOGNIZED RUSSIA'S MILITARY OCCUPATION OF UKRAINE AS A CHANGE OF INTERNATIONAL BORDERS.

After focusing most of the report on political and governmental reforms in Odesa, a city 350 miles away from Donets'k, Nick Schifrin returns to the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory along the eastern border, where, yet again, the conflict is portrayed as simply Ukrainians fighting amongst each other. Were this actually a conflict between several thousand radicalized secessionists and what now stands as one of the largest militaries in Europe, there would be no prolonged hostilities. Instead, as nation after nation has attested to, Russia crossed its border with Ukraine, bombing areas of Ukraine from the Russian side of the border, and then deployed significant numbers of military personnel and equipment inside Ukraine to maintain control over a small sliver of land.

Unfortunately for our fellow Americans, this misleading series continues tonight with a segment filmed in Estonia. If the summary listed on the website of the Pulitzer Center is to be believed, the people of Estonia may end up being characterized as irrationally provoking "tensions" with Russia.

Therefore, we call upon our members and fellow supporters of Ukraine to contact PBS NewsHour and express directly their opinion of this reporting.

Again, while I appreciate PBS Newshour airing a segment on Russia's war on Ukraine, which is regularly ignored by US news outlets, it is important to add relevant context the reporting and ensure that the translating is done accurately. As a representative of Ukrainians in America, I would welcome the opportunity to offer that context in person, as I have many times over the past 2 years: http://bit.ly/1TeKDkO

With regards,

Andrij V. Dobriansky
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America
203 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Exclusive: 'Ukrainian Weekly' Editor Responds to Report on Soviet-Style Youth Squads in Eastern Ukraine

 
The following op-ed was submitted by Matthew Dubas of "The Ukrainian Weekly", which is distributed throughout the United States and Canada. It is in response to the Global Post article entitled Soviet-Styled Youth Squads Making a Comeback in Eastern Ukraine. The views expressed by Mr. Dubas, who is part of the publication's editorial staff, are solely his own. 

This is part of the occupying power's (Russia) plan to indoctrinate a new generation of zombies, to "correct" certain ways of thinking, and to erase historical memory. In time, Putin hopes that these people will forget that they ever identified themselves as Ukrainians, just as he continues to do in the breakaway regions of Georgia (South Osettia and Abkhazia).

In just two years of occupation (but centuries of subjugation under the Russian empire and the Soviet Union, and local oligarchic clans/organized crime groups), we can see how slavery is maintained.

Russians are tired of dying in Ukraine (and in Syria), and even the locals don't want to serve, so children are used as propaganda tools.

This is a consequence of war - a war no one wants to admit is ongoing - a distraction point for Putin. But where is the glory in being buried in secret, without honor, on a mission of invasion of a peaceful neighbor?

How much longer is this going to be allowed to continue? The parallels between terrorist warlords and using youths in similar fashion should be beyond disturbing, but motivate an adequate response.
 
That response should include cutting Russia's resupply routes to its proxies on the Ukrainian side of the border because without resupply of arms, munitions and personnel, Russia's popularity with the so-called "separatists" would turn against Moscow and it would be unsustainable to continue to fight.  

Economic sanctions, that have recently been extended by the U.S., Canada and the EU, have worked to a point (as has the drop in the price of oil), and it will be telling how Russia copes with the lack of revenue. One such response from Russia as this article shows, is that Russia has upped its propaganda campaign in the occupied territories of Ukraine - with military recruitment efforts increased in Crimea (where the local population is being force to accept Russian citizenship, and Crimean Tatars are being forcibly pushed out of their indigenous homeland) as well. Social payments, on the other hand, are on the back burner and people are being asked to live with less resources, including food, gas and other basic essentials. Yet, the oligarchs and Kremlin elite live in abundance.

Russia also sees the opportunity to increase its propaganda on a European audience that has, through funding by Russia, seen an increase in the popularity of  Euro-skeptic parties and the Brexit vote has motivated Russia to continue on this course to divide Europe and its resolve against Russian aggression. We have even seen an increase in Soviet-style espionage tactics with regard to U.S. diplomatic residences being ransacked or furniture rearranged or faucets left running, etc, which are more signs of Russia's increasing frustrations.

The NATO summit in Warsaw this weekend (July 8-9), and a subsequent meeting between Russia and NATO following the summit should give us more clues as to how well the tensions are being managed and to what degree NATO members stand united against Russia.

The Libertarian Party Presidential Campaign

 
Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and running mate William Weld spoke at the National Press Club about the prospects for a successful third party bid in 2016. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

NY Awarded $24 Million to Combat Terrorism

 
More than $24 million in federal funding has been awarded to New York State in support of its counterterrorism efforts across the state. The funding, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, strengthens critical efforts already underway between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to protect transportation infrastructure and our borders from terrorism. The federal grants announced today complement a total $54 million included in the FY 2017 State Budget to protect New Yorkers and combat terrorism, as proposed by Governor Cuomo this spring.

“The safety and security of all New Yorkers is priority number one,” said Governor Cuomo. “This funding will ensure that those on the front lines have access to the equipment, resources and training they need to protect our communities from those who wish us harm. It is essential that we continue to remain vigilant and invest and support these counterterrorism efforts.”

$22.7 Million to Protect Transportation Systems

To directly support transportation infrastructure security activities, specifically against terrorist attacks, an additional $22.7 million has been awarded to three transportation authorities in New York State. The grants are part of the federal Transit Security Grant Program, and will be used to harden infrastructure, and planning, training and exercise activities.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is awarded $22,498,175, which is a more than $3 million increase over last year's award. The MTA funding includes $7,076,949 for the New York Police Department’s patrol and protection of the subway system. A total of $153,300 has also been awarded to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and $25,000 to the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.

$1.6 Million to Secure International Borders

To enhance cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that secure U.S. borders, an additional $1.6 million has been awarded. The grant is part of Operation Stonegarden. Grant awardees are below.

 Customs/Border Patrol Sector: Buffalo
    · Cayuga County: $96,180
    · Chautauqua County: $137,778
    · Erie County: $185,855
    · Jefferson County: $121,779
    · Monroe County: $144,178
    · Niagara County: $172,976
    · Orleans County: $112,179
    · Oswego County: $105,780
    · Wayne County: $105,780
Customs/Border Patrol Sector: Swanton
    · Clinton County: $122,030
    · Franklin County: $65,264
    · St. Lawrence County: $167,228
    · St. Regis Mohawk County: $127,679
Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said: “These federal funds are important for the safety of our border communities and the entire state. Our state has some of the biggest terror targets in the nation, and we need to make sure our local law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to continue protecting us. I will continue to fight for funding for these programs so we can keep our communities safe.”
 
Congressman Charles B. Rangel said: “With increased threats of terrorism around the world, these federal investments will make it possible for our transit system to upgrade its infrastructure and training to protect New Yorkers and people across our nation. I commend Governor Cuomo for working diligently to ensure that these crucial funds are available to our State so that we meet national security demands of the 21st century.” 
 
$54 Million Included in the FY 2017 State Budget
 
Modern developments in terror attacks require an expanded approach to the State’s counter terrorism efforts. Recent terror attacks have revealed a trend towards coordinated strikes using military-style assault weapons, as well as home-grown extremists committing lone-wolf attacks. These attacks are easier to carry out on American soil and can occur anywhere within New York State. 
 
To combat this new normal of terrorism, the budget includes a $40 million investment, first proposed in the Governor’s state of the state, to expand the presence of law enforcement agencies statewide, $10 million for safety equipment for local law enforcement agencies, and $4 million investment to provide members of the New York State Police with high-powered rifles, body armor and ballistic helmets to all on-duty uniformed troopers, along with the necessary training to prepare them to respond to this evolving threat of terrorism. 
 
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Representative Hank Johnson on Police Shootings

 
Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) spoke during Morning Hour about police shootings in both Louisiana and Minnesota.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

House Speaker Weekly Briefing

 
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) briefed reporters and responded to questions on his party’s legislative agenda. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

House Minority Leader Weekly Briefing

 
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says “how long can this go on?” when asked about the House Oversight Committtee’s hearing with FBI Director James Comey. Director Comey testifies before the committee on why he did not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of private email server. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Federal Officials Tesitify on TSA Employee Misconduct

 
Transportation Security Administration Deputy Administrator Huban Gowadia and Homeland Security Assistant Inspector General Andrew Oosterbaan testified before a House Homeland Security subcommittee on allegations of TSA employee misconduct. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

The Power of the Pen: New Bills Signed into Law

 
On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, the President signed into law:
 
H.R. 3114, which requires the Army Corps of Engineers, using available funds, to develop a program to hire veterans and members of the Armed Forces to assist in carrying out curation and historic preservation activities.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Dr. Jill Biden to Travel to Africa

 
Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger from July 15 – July 23, 2016 where she, along with Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, will engage government and civil society partners on issues related to economic empowerment and educational opportunity for women and girls. During their travel, Dr. Biden and Ambassador Russell will also highlight partnerships on global health and food security to reduce hunger and lift people out of poverty. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Vice President

High Levels of PFOA Found in Dumps in Hoosick Falls



PETERSBURGH — The former town dumps in both Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh are leaking dangerously high levels of a toxic chemical directly into local waterways, and have likely been doing so for years, according to test results obtained by POLITICO New York.

The town dump in Hoosick Falls tested positive for PFOA levels of 21,000 parts per trillion, a state Department of Environmental Conservation official confirmed to POLITICO New York. That’s the highest PFOA level ever disclosed in the upstate village, including at the factory that has been deemed responsible for the pollution. There, the groundwater tested at 18,000 parts per trillion.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Politico and the Empire Report 

Congress to Probe Hoosick Falls Water Crisis

By Brendan J. Lyons
The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday demanding documents for a pending congressional probe into the handling of the Hoosick Falls' water crisis.

The House committee's investigation cites Times Union articles and other reports that officials at all levels of government, including the state and Rensselaer County health departments, as well as the EPA, were aware for at least a year that a dangerous chemical had polluted the village's water system but did not warn residents to stop drinking the water.
The EPA was notified of the water pollution in December 2014. In December 2015, EPA regional administrator Judith Enck sent a letter to Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge demanding that he stop telling residents the water was safe to drink. But Borge said he was relying on advice from the state health department, which issued "fact sheets" to residents that month stating no adverse health effects were expected from normal use of the village's water.
Click here for the full article. 
Source: Times Union and the Empire Report

Sanders to Host Anti-Terror Attack Training with Top Defense Experts


State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village) will host a free Anti-Terror Attack & Mass Shooting Defense Training session  where top defense experts will teach the public how to protect themselves.

The training will take place on July 14 at the Holy Unity Baptist Church, which is located at 167-10 137th Avenue in Jamaica, New York. 

"Although we would like to believe that we will never be the victim of a terrorist attack or mass shooting, we live in dangerous times and it is best to be prepared for the unthinkable," said Senator Sanders. 

For more information call (718) 523-3069.

UPDATE: At 3:45 (EST), From The G-Man was notified that the following guests for the session have been confirmed: the NYPD Counterterrorism Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the New York Self-Defense Academy and International Security Associates, Inc. 

Source: The Office of Senator James Sanders, Jr.