Saturday, October 29, 2016

Weekly Address: Achieving the Mission of the Cancer Moonshot


In this week's address, Vice President Joe Biden discussed the progress of the White House Cancer Moonshot, an initiative with the goal to make a decade’s worth of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, in five years.

Justice Department Urged FBI Not to Make Clinton Email Development Public

The Justice Department opposed the FBI's plan to notify Congress about the discovery of new emails that could be relevant to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server, according to senior officials familiar with the discussions.

FBI Director James Comey concluded, however, that informing Congress was better than waiting until after the election and hoping in the meantime that the fact of the discovery wouldn't leak.

"In the end, we decided it was better to keep Congress informed," an FBI official involved in the process said Saturday.

The letter, sent to 16 members of the House and Senate and instantly made public by some of their staff members, was a political bombshell. It produced immediate bipartisan calls for more details about what was behind it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Master P to Host Louisiana Flood of 2016 Benefit Concert During NBA All-Star Weekend

 

Master P will be home for the NBA All Star Weekend 2017, and it's not just the promise of a good basketball game to interest him: The New Orleans-born rapper and producer will host a benefit concert for victims of the Louisiana Flood of 2016. 

Promising "the biggest stars all on one stage," Master P will host the show on Saturday, Feb. 18., in conjunction with the NBA and iHeart Media, according to his website and a report on Vibe magazine's website.  

"I want all the athletes to come out, we are going to have all the top celebrities there from Usher to Lil Wayne," he wrote in a statement emailed to Vibe. "When people look at the floods and a lot of victims, they are not back in their homes yet in Baton Rouge, and I feel like for All Star Weekend, even though this will be a fun event, it will be a way for everyone to do their part, so this concert will be great for our people and Baton Rouge."

It was not yet clear where the concert would take place. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NOLA.com (The Times-Picayune)

Trump Applauds FBI for Reconsidering 'Grave Miscarriage of Justice'


FBI Says It Is Reviewing More Emails Related To Hillary Clinton Investigation


Director James Comey Said the Agency Had Discovered Additional Emails
 
By Sam Levine

WASHINGTON ― The FBI announced on Friday that it is reviewing more emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s handling of sensitive government information.


In a letter to members of Congress, FBI Director James Comey said the agency, “in connection to an unrelated case” had learned of email that “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” Comey said the FBI “cannot yet assess” whether the material “may be significant” and that he “cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work.”

Click here for the official letter and full article. 

Note: The original headline read, FBI Says Its Reopening Investigation Into Hillary Clinton's Private Email. The Huffington Post changed it several minutes later to the current one. Sections of the report have also been corrected by the Huffington Post to reflect the headline.

Source: The Huffington Post 

UPDATE  - (4:28 P.M. EST)

Emails Related to Clinton Case Found in Anthony Weiner Investigation

Inclusive STEM Education for Youth of Color


Educators, leaders and stakeholders in STEM gather at the White house to discuss barriers and uncover access for youth of color in STEM.

$45 Million in Emergency Communications Grants Available


Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the availability of $45 million for counties to improve their emergency communications systems and upgrade technology. This state funding will enable local governments to make improvements by expanding the ability for their systems to communicate, exchange valuable data, and streamline information to enhance collaboration and assist first responders.

"In an emergency, every second counts," Governor Cuomo said. "These awards will help counties access next-generation technology and improve their ability to connect, communicate and respond to disasters and other threats to our communities."

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, "Disasters and emergencies often occur over large areas that can encompass many counties and jurisdictions and our first responders need to be able to communicate quickly and effectively to keep our communities safe. This grant funding is vital to improving public safety communications between multiple agencies, disciplines and jurisdictions by continuing to implement a regional approach to communications and ensuring that counties are equipped with the most up to date technology available."

Each county and New York City can submit applications to fund projects involving infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades. The grant is administered by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. 

This funding will be provided through the State Interoperable Communications Grant. Eligible municipalities can use this funding for a variety of functions, including expanding radio coverage by installing new equipment at towers and antenna sites, implementing Next Generation 911 technologies and standards, setting up communication channels among public safety radio systems, consolidating emergency services dispatch centers, supporting the operations of public safety dispatch centers, and deploying new technology that help counties link their systems together. Additionally, this funding will support training and exercises to promote efficient inter-regional communications, cooperation, and overall first responder readiness.

Over the past five rounds of this grant, more than $275 million has been awarded to 57 counties and New York City, while ten regional partnerships or consortiums have been formed. This represents an increase in participation by over 50 percent since the grant program was launched in 2010.

Applications must be received via email by December 8, 2016 by 5:00 P.M. Applications can be submitted electronically at Grant.Info@dhses.ny.gov. Updates and frequently asked questions will be posted online at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/oiec/grants/. Please check the website frequently for updates. 

About DHSES

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit their Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Statement on the Advance Estimate of GDP for the Third Quarter of 2016


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

Summary: Real GDP grew 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter, with strong export growth and continued strength in consumer spending.

The economy grew 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2016, a noticeably faster pace than in the first half of the year. Exports, which have faced significant headwinds in recent years from slow growth abroad, grew at an annual rate of 10.0 percent in the third quarter, their fastest quarterly pace since 2013. Consumer spending continued to grow at a solid pace in the third quarter, while inventory investment (one of the most volatile components of GDP) boosted GDP growth after subtracting from it in the prior five quarters. In contrast to the pattern of recent quarters, business fixed investment also contributed positively to GDP growth, though it continues to be restrained by slower global growth. But more work remains to strengthen economic growth and ensure that it is broadly shared, and the President will continue to take steps to promote greater competition across the economy, including in the labor market; support innovation; and call on Congress to increase investments in infrastructure and to pass the high-standards Trans-Pacific Partnership.

FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY'S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS (BEA)
 
1. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 2.9 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2016, according to BEA’s advance estimate. Consumer spending grew 2.1 percent in the third quarter following its strong second-quarter growth of 4.3 percent, with continued solid growth in durable goods spending and a contraction in nondurable goods spending. Inventory investment—one of the most volatile components of GDP—added 0.6 percentage point to GDP growth in the third quarter after subtracting 1.2 percentage point in the second quarter. Nonresidential fixed investment contributed positively to GDP growth for the second quarter in a row, due in large part to a pickup in structures investment growth (see point 4 below). Residential investment declined for the second quarter in a row, albeit at a slower pace in the third quarter than in the second quarter. Notably, exports grew 10.0 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter, its fastest quarterly growth since late 2013, despite continued headwinds from slow growth abroad (see point 3 below). 
 
Click on the graph to increase its size.

The complete statement is available here.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary 

The 'I Am Woman' Series: Angela Mao, 'Lady Kung Fu'



Angela Mao, is a Taiwanese actress and martial artist best known for appearing in many martial arts films in the 1970s. She is sometimes credited as Mao Ying or Angela Mao Ying. She is nicknamed "Lady Whirlwind" and "Lady Kung Fu" by her fans.

Mao trained in Hapkido, Wushu, Taekwondo, and other forms of martial arts during her film career to prepare for her roles. She was paid $100 in U.S. currency for her short role as the sister of Bruce Lee's character in the film Enter the Dragon.

Mao married Kelly Lui in 1974 and gave birth to a baby in 1976. She retired from films in 1992 to devote herself to her family.
 
Additional information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

Hollywood & Race: The Negro Soldier

 
This 1944 documentary was intended to encourage African Americans to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War II. The film traces the history of African American contributions to society during war and peace, beginning with the Revolutionary War, then shows their work as teachers, judges, scientists, artists, musicians, athletes, and soldiers. The film was produced by Frank Capra. In 2011, this forty-minute film was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress and was recently restored by the National Archives. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Trailblazers in Black History: The Temptations


By


Thanks to their fine-tuned choreography -- and even finer harmonies -- the Temptations became the definitive male vocal group of the 1960s; one of Motown's most elastic acts, they tackled both lush pop and politically charged funk with equal flair, and weathered a steady stream of changes in personnel and consumer tastes with rare dignity and grace.

The Temptations' initial five-man lineup formed in Detroit in 1961 as a merger of two local vocal groups, the Primes and the Distants. Baritone Otis Williams, Elbridge (aka El, or Al) Bryant, and bass vocalist Melvin Franklin were longtime veterans of the Detroit music scene when they joined together in the Distants, who in 1959 recorded the single "Come On" for the local Northern label. Around the same time, the Primes, a trio comprised of tenor Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams (no relation to Otis), and Kell Osborne, relocated to the Motor City from their native Alabama; they quickly found success locally, and their manager even put together a girl group counterpart dubbed the Primettes. (Later, three of the Primettes -- Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard -- formed the Supremes).

Additional information is available here.

Source: AllMusic.com

'Flashback Friday': Racism in America: 1950s Case Study Documentary


A Tale of Two Very Different Early-Vote Efforts

 

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.  

According to our latest figures, 13.7 million Americans have already voted in the 2016 general election (by absentee ballot or by in-person voting), including 7.5 million in 12 battleground states. But there is no comparison when it comes to which campaign and party is truly emphasizing early voting. As NBC's Alex Jaffe observed while covering Trump's event in Springfield, OH yesterday, "I didn't see a single RNC or OHGOP volunteer signing folks up to volunteer or offering early vote info on my way in or out of Trump's … rally." Contrast that with the observations from NBC's reporters covering the Clinton campaign and its surrogates. 

NBC's Monica Alba: "Dozens of volunteers at HRC events. And this week, most of her events were strategically positioned within walking distance of early voting sites. [On Thursday], Michelle Obama urged everyone to go vote the moment they left the NC rally." 

NBC's Danny Freeman: "It's almost unimaginable having a Bill [Clinton] event, especially on these bus tours, without early voting efforts. [Wednesday night] in Fayetteville the biggest signage was a huge 'Vote early' sign behind Clinton with student volunteers pestering crowd watchers… Now that doesn't mean they're always successful, but the efforts are 100% there." 

Now NBC's Ali Vitali, who has been covering the Trump campaign from the beginning, has noticed people in neon shirts registering attendees at Trump's North Carolina and Florida rallies. She adds, "But most states are lacking/not visible." Given that kind of disparity, if the race is close on Nov. 8, one side will have an advantage over the other. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

North Dakota Pipeline Standoff: Police Clash with Native American Protesters


NAACP Wants Federal Probe After Noose Put Around Black Mississippi Student's Neck


Mississippi high school students are accused of forcibly placing noose around a black classmate's neck. WXXV's Hank Davis reports. 

Mississippi Mom Speaks Out About Son Being Threatened With Noose

No Criminal Investigation To Follow Racist Threat Left In Florida Classroom

 
By Ryan Velez

Following a racially-motivated threat being scrawled on a whiteboard in a classroom at Florida Gulf Coast University, The Grio reports that campus police have said that there will be no criminal investigation. The drawing, which depicted a man hanging from a tree with the words, “Kill N******” was clearly disturbing,” but police chief Steven Moore explains that despite this, technically no crime was committed, so there is little they are able to do legally.

“This was on a white board with the proper type of pens so easily erased, therefore, no vandalism,” he explained. “As there is no crime, there is no hate crime.” At the moment, there are no clear suspects for who left the drawing.

Seidler Hall, which houses the College of Arts and Sciences, is open to the public. Its doors are unlocked, so anyone can come and go as they please during day or night. At the moment, it is believed that someone entered the classroom on the night of October 12th to leave the message. Despite the fact that there is no investigation, many students at the university have shared their outrage and concern.

“They’re talking about killing a certain race, so it’s not something that should be taken lightly in my opinion,” said Brielle Conner. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Your Black World News

Eric Garner's Daughter Blasts Clinton Campaign After WikiLeaks Emails

Washington (CNN) - The daughter of a New York City man who died after he was put in a police chokehold blasted Hillary Clinton's campaign Thursday when WikiLeaks revealed email conversations about using her father's death to protest gun violence.
 
"I'm troubled by the revelation that you and this campaign actually discussed 'using' Eric Garner ... Why would you want to 'use' my dad," tweeted Erica Garner, who endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. 
 
Click here for the full article.
 
Source: CNN

At Least 7 Million Gallons of Sewage Spewed Into Onondaga Lake After Pipe Break

 


Syracuse, N.Y. -- The surge of record-breaking rain last week broke a sewer pipe near Onondaga Lake, spilling at least 7 million gallons of raw sewage into the lake.

The 42-inch diameter pipe near the Inner Harbor broke Friday, in the midst of 21 straight hours of rain in Syracuse. The leak lasted more than 24 hours, with "diluted raw sewage" spilling at a rate of 5,000 gallons per minute, according to a report the county filed with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The 50-year-old pipe has not yet been repaired, but the sewage is no longer leaking into the lake because sewage water flows are much lower than during last week's rain, said Tom Rhoads, Onondaga County's Water Environment Protection commissioner.

More sewage will be discharged into the lake while the pipe is repaired this weekend, the county said in a news release. The county must first install a bypass system before work begins. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: Syracuse.com (via The Empire Report)

ISIS Executes 232 Near Mosul

ISIS has executed 232 people near the Iraqi city of Mosul and taken tens of thousands of people to use as human shields against advancing Iraqi forces, the United Nations says.

Source: CNN

Venezuelan Protesters and Police Clash for Second Day


As CNN's Shasta Darlington reports, people in Venezuela are struggling to find food or simply can't afford it because of extremely high inflation. 

Source: CNN

Slab Thought to Be Part of Jesus' Tomb is Uncovered


Researchers in Jerusalem uncover a slab to reveal a sacred shrine that many believe to be Jesus' resting place. 

Source: CNN

Lithuania: What To Do If Russia Invades


CNN goes to the isolated enclave of Kaliningrad, where Russia has been stacking nuclear capable missiles and sophisticated air sea and land defense systems. 

Source: CNN

Russia, Syria and Iran Discuss Aleppo Crisis

 
Foreign Ministers from Russia, Syria and Iran meet in Moscow to discuss fighting ISIS and providing humanitarian aid to Aleppo. CNN's Ivan Watson reports. 

Source: CNN

Millions At Risk of Starvation in Yemen


Almost half of the country's population doesn't have enough to eat, and many children are suffering from malnutrition. 

Source: CNN

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Oath Keepers Promise to Patrol the Polls on Election Day

 
By Hatewatch Staff 

With Donald Trump doubling down on claims of a “rigged” election, the Oath Keepers is calling all members to rush to the polls and monitor for voter fraud. 

Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keeper founder and president, announced “Operation Sabot 2016” yesterday on the group’s website. Rhodes, whose organization recruits from the military, law enforcement and emergency first responders, boasts “significant capabilities” to conduct covert intelligence operations to ensure the election is not “stolen” from the American people.

“[W]e call on you to form up incognito intelligence gathering and crime spotting teams,” Rhodes instructed. “And go out into public on election day, dressed to blend in with the public … with video, still camera, and notepad in hand, to look for and document suspected criminal vote fraud or intimidation activities.”

Rhodes did not specify where the Oath Keepers has enough members to monitor polls, but for nearly three years, he has actively mobilized extremists nationwide to respond in a moment’s notice. His call to action, at the end of a campaign season that has seen violence (here, here and here) is a cause for concern.

While the Oath Keepers claims to be non-partisan, Rhodes admits his fears that election tampering – if it comes at all – will come from the Left.

 “[W]e are, indeed, most concerned about expected attempts at voter fraud by leftists,” Rhodes says before widening his scope to include all voters. “But we will spot, document, and report any apparent attempt at vote fraud or voter intimidation … as is our duty.”

The Oath Keepers are well known for showing up heavily armed in instances of social crisis. Staking out polling stations to thwart voter intimidation is likely to cause more problems than it solves, especially given the group’s own history of frightening locals. Coming at a time of increasing racial tensions, likely armed, mostly white men secretly patrolling voting stations looking for “suspicious” activity is incredibly worrisome. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

Profits vs. Prisoners: How The Largest U.S. Prison Health Care Provider Puts Lives in Danger

  Kelly Green

By Will Tucker 

Kelly Green was off the medication he needed for his schizophrenia and was talking about killing himself. Alarmed by the homeless man’s erratic behavior on a cold Oregon night in February 2013, a convenience store clerk called the police.

When the Eugene police arrived, they arrested Green, 28, on an outstanding warrant related to a misdemeanor incident two months earlier.

At the Lane County Jail, Green cursed and talked to inanimate objects. A booking deputy wrote in her notes: “May be bipolar/schizophrenic. No meds … talks to himself … not making sense.” Although the prison health care giant Corizon Health Inc. had a contract to provide health screening and medical care at the jail, no one from the on-site Corizon staff made any effort to see Green or talk to him.

Green was placed in a cell by himself. He wasn’t provided with any psychiatric treatment.

The next morning, he snapped. During his arraignment inside a courtroom at the jail, a judge told him he would be detained for a couple of days. Green suddenly sprinted 10 feet toward a partition of concrete blocks, his head lowered. As skull met concrete, it sounded like “throwing a watermelon at the wall,” one observer later remarked. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

PEF Executive Committee Approves Three-Year Labor Agreement

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo today issued the following statement after the Public Employees Federation Executive Committee approved the administration’s three-year labor agreement. PEF is one of the largest unions in the United States and is New York's second-largest state-employee union, representing 54,000 workers.

"The approval of this agreement by the Public Employees Federation Executive Committee marks a major step forward in our efforts to secure a fair contract for our state’s workforce and all New Yorkers. We are pleased that this balanced agreement benefits all parties while also protecting taxpayers’ bottom line. New York’s public servants represent the backbone of our government, effectively delivering results for the people of this state. I commend PEF’s Executive Committee for their leadership, and look forward to seeing this contract ratified by its membership in the near future."

The three-year contract agreement includes a 2 percent increase in 2016-17, 2 percent increase in 2017-18 and a 2 percent increase in 2018-19. Both the state and PEF agree to work together on a plan to reduce out-of-control healthcare costs. 

The contract must now be ratified by its membership. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

White House National Disability Employment Awareness Month Event: Opening Session


This event will be commemorating Federal accomplishments in disability hiring and keep the momentum strong for continued hiring, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities within the Federal government. This conversation will include Federal leaders in disability employment, Federal employees with disabilities, and other key partners who have helped the federal government reach this goal.

The 'Medicine Responds to Addiction II' Symposium


The “Medicine Responds to Addiction II” Symposium will bring together federal partners and national leaders from medical schools, residency, and fellowship programs to advance addiction medicine education and training and to explore Centers of Excellence in Addiction Medicine models.

Oval Office Chat: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey


On October 26, The President spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss the next steps in the campaign against ISIL. The President recognized the contributions of Turkey, our NATO Ally, to the campaign, especially in supporting local Syrian forces who have cleared ISIL from Turkey's border in northwest Syria. President Obama noted the need for close coordination between the United States and Turkey to build on these successes and to apply sustained pressure on ISIL in Syria to reduce threats to the United States, Turkey, and elsewhere. The President welcomed continued dialogue between Turkey and Iraq to determine the appropriate level and form of Turkey's participation in the Counter-ISIL Coalition's efforts in Iraq, and both leaders affirmed their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of denying the PKK a safe haven in northern Iraq. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Federal Officials Discuss Election Day Preparations


West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Robert Bauer and Benjamin Ginsberg, co-chairs of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, discuss preparations for Election Day. 

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN