Monday, April 24, 2017

President Trump's Remarks to the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly

White House Press Briefing

Oval Office Chat: Angela Merkel

President Trump spoke today with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to address a wide range of issues of mutual concern.  The leaders discussed the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and the urgent security challenge posed by North Korea.  The President also reaffirmed our support for German- and French-led efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Defense Secretary News Conference in Afghanistan

Source: C-SPAN

President Trump Meets with UN Security Council Ambassadors

President Trump meets with ambassadors from U.N. Security Council member countries. He calls North Korea a “threat to the world,” discusses Syria, and says if the U.N. does a “good job” he will be less concerned about the cost of funding it.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

President Trump Has a Video Conference with NASA Astronauts Aboard the International Space Station

Former President Obama: "So, Uh, What's Been Going on While I've Been Gone?" (Full Video)

Former President Barack Obama takes part in a panel discussion at The University of Chicago.  

Source: TIME

Mayor de Blasio Announces 3-K For All

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced 3-K for All, the most ambitious effort in U.S. history to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child regardless of family income. 3-K for All will build on the success of Pre-K for All – through which the City has more than tripled the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K – and is part of a broader effort to create a continuum of high-quality early care and education programs for New York City children from birth to five years old. Research has found every dollar invested in high-quality early education saves taxpayers as much as $13 long-term. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Transcript of Associated Press Interview with President Trump

By The Associated Press

A transcript of an Oval Office interview Friday with President Donald Trump by AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace. Where the audio recording of the interview is unclear, ellipses or a notation that the recording was unintelligible are used.

AP: I do want to talk to you about the 100 days.

TRUMP: Good.

AP: I want to ask a few questions on some topics that are happening toward the end of the interview.

TRUMP: Did you see Aya (Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been detained in the country for nearly three years) ...

AP: Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?

TRUMP: No, just — you know, I asked the government to let her out. ...

TRUMP: You know Obama worked on it for three years, got zippo, zero.

AP: How did you hear about this story?

TRUMP: Many people, human rights people, are talking about it. It's an incredible thing, especially when you meet her. You realize — I mean, she was in a rough place.

AP: Did you have to strike a deal with (Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi over this?

TRUMP: No. No deal. He was here. He — I said, "I really would appreciate it if you would look into this and let her out." And as you know, she went through a trial. And anyway, she was let go. And not only she, it was a total of eight people. ...
TRUMP: Yeah, it's funny: One of the best chemistries I had was with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel.
(Crosstalk) AP: Really?

TRUMP: Chancellor Merkel.

TRUMP: And I guess somebody shouted out, "Shake her hand, shake her hand," you know. But I never heard it. But I had already shaken her hand four times. You know, because we were together for a long time.
AP: Did you expect you would have good chemistry with her?

TRUMP: No. Because, um, I'm at odds on, you know, the NATO payments and I'm at odds on immigration. We had unbelievable chemistry. And people have given me credit for having great chemistry with all of the leaders, including el-Sissi. ...

TRUMP: So it was a great thing to see that happen. 

Click here for the full transcript.

Oval Office Chat: Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe

President Trump spoke yesterday with President Xi Jinping of China to address issues regarding North Korea.  President Trump criticized North Korea’s continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang’s actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula.  

The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The President also spoke yesterday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The two leaders addressed a range of regional and global issues of mutual concern.  

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary 

The Week Ahead in Congress

Politico Assistant Editor Seung Min Kim and Associated Press Correspondent Catherine Lucey talked about the week ahead in Congress.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Taking Stock Of Trump's First 100 Days As President Of The United States

This video was published on YouTube on April 23, 2017. 

Roland Martin appeared on This week ABC with host George Stephanopoulos, Matthew Dowd, Stephanie Cutter and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to discuss and assess Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.

Source: Roland Martin

Min. Louis Farrakhan: The Black Woman Must Be Respected

Source: FarrakhanInvitesYouToListen

Hollywood & Race: The Great White Hope (1970)

Source: Department of Afro-American Research and Culture

Trailblazers in Black History: Sly Stone

This video was uploaded to YouTube on April 11, 2010. The two-part documentary was produced in the 1980s. The second installment is also available on YouTube.

Obama Returning to Public Stage for First Time in University of Chicago Forum

Barack Obama will return to the public stage on Monday for the first time since leaving office, advisers told NBC News Sunday.

The 44th president will appear in a forum at the University of Chicago with a group of politically diverse students from high school age to graduate school level.

Obama, who will lead the forum, is not expected to criticize President Donald Trump, advisers said, but will advocate for his own administration's policies, like the Affordable Care Act.

Advisers added that the six students, which include one self-identified Republican and others who called themselves Democrats or progressives, will not be censored if they discuss Trump. 

Click here for the full article. 

New Orleans Starts Tearing Down Confederate Monuments, Sparking Protest

by Associated Press

New Orleans officials removed the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and white supremacy.

The first memorial to come down was the Liberty Monument, an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League.

Workers arrived to begin removing the statue, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, around 1:25 a.m. in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials said have made death threats.

The workers inspecting the statue ahead of its removal could be seen wearing flak jackets and helmets. Police officers watched the area from atop the parking garage of a nearby hotel. Meanwhile, a handful of people opposed to the move held a vigil at the statue of Jefferson Davis, who was the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBCBLK

Congress Faces Friday Deadline to Avoid Government Shutdown

Sanders: I Don't Consider Myself a Democrat

A Look at the Anti-Gay Purge in Chechnya

A report earlier this month by the independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta — and corroborated by human rights groups —alleged an anti-gay purge in the conservative Muslim republic where dozens of suspected gay men have been tortured, beaten and imprisoned in concentration camps.

North Korea Detains Third American Citizen, Officials Say

The Associated Press reported that Tony Kim, who also goes by his Korean name Kim Sang-duk, was detained on Saturday as he was trying to leave the country from Pyongyang's international airport.

Nikki Haley to North Korea: 'Don't Give Us a Reason' to Fight with You

Le Pen vs Macron: French Election 2017

Source: American Enterprise Institute

Disappointment at Mélenchon's Headquarters

Source: euronews (in English)

Rally Against 'Nationalists' - Macron's Call After French Election Success

Source: euronews (in English)

Israeli Attack Kills Pro-Government Militia

Source: euronews (in English)

International Observer in Ukraine Killed in Land Mine

Source: euronews (in English)

NY Health Care Providers to Push for Supervised Drug Sites

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A group of health care providers, drug reform advocates and former users is launching a new effort to bring supervised drug consumption centers to New York state.

The facilities allow drug addicts to shoot up or consume their drugs in a safe, secure location under the supervision of medical personnel who can intervene in the event of an overdose.

Similar facilities are in use in other countries around the world but have faced political opposition in the U.S.

Supporters in the state of New York include a handful of Democratic lawmakers and Ithaca Mayor Svante 
Myrick, who has said it's time the nation considers new ways to address the drug problem.

Click here for the full article.

Source: News10 WHEC (via The Empire Report)

State Lawmakers Return to Face Budget Hangover

ALBANY — Proposals to end child marriage, address government corruption and revise the state's antiquated voting laws await New York state lawmakers returning to Albany to finish up their annual legislative session.

The Senate and Assembly are scheduled to reconvene Monday to begin their final seven weeks of work.

A look at the big issues:


Lawmakers have been on a two-week break following the late passage of the state's new $153 million state budget.

Negotiations over the spending plan exposed cracks in the relationship between Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature and its possible those complications could prevent much from getting done for the rest of the year.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Lockport Union-Sun & Journal (via The Empire Report) 

NYPD Cops Spout Off Against De Blasio And O’Neill Over Remarks Made By AG Sessions

By Kerry Picket

New York City cops took umbrage with comments made by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill that were critical of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for demanding the city comply with federal immigration law.

NYPD active and retired law enforcement officers reacted to the statement sent out by the Justice Department as well as the reaction to it from the mayor and police commissioner.

Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner O’Neill both lashed out at Sessions when the Justice Department sent out letters to nine cites warning officials their defiance to federal immigration law will cost the city federal grants.

The Justice Department said in the statement, “The letters remind the recipient jurisdictions that, as a condition for receiving certain financial year 2016 funding from the Department of Justice, each of these jurisdictions agreed to provide documentation and an opinion from legal counsel validating that they are in compliance with Section 1373.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Caller (via The Empire Report)

National Democrats Aiming to Help Turn New York State Senate to the Left

By Kenneth Lovett

ALBANY — National progressives are jumping into the battle to help claim the state Senate for the Democrats in 2018.

New York is considered one of several statehouses nationally that the left believes can be turned completely Democratic in advance of the next round of congressional redistricting.

Toward that end, state Senate Deputy Democratic Minority Leader Michael Gianaris, who heads his conference’s campaign operation, recently met with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to talk about the need to flip New York to total Democratic control, sources say.

Holder is heading up the National Democratic Redistricting Committee that will focus on trying to help the party win statehouses before the new congressional lines are drawn in 2021. Democrats in the New York Assembly easily control the chamber while Republicans in the Senate maintain a slim majority.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Daily News (via The Empire Report) 

Upstate GOP Congressman Considering Run for NYS AG: Sources

By Kenneth Lovett

Here is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column in Monday's print editions:
Central New York Rep. John Katko, a former longtime federal prosecutor, is considering a 2018 run for state Attorney General, GOP sources say.

Now in his second term, Katko is a Republican who refused to endorse President Trump’s candidacy and also was set to vote against the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that ultimately was pulled due to a lack of support.

Katko spokeswoman Erin O’Connor did not rule out a potential run by her boss against incumbent Democrat Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“Because of his record both in Congress and as a federal prosecutor, he has been approached,” O’Connor said. “He appreciates that. But right now he’s focused on representing his constituents in Congress.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Daily News (via The Empire Report) 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof Moved to Death Row in Terre Haute Federal Prison

Convicted church shooter Dylann Roof has been transferred to death row at Terre Haute Federal Prison in Indiana — the facility that houses male inmates awaiting execution under the federal government.

Roof, the first person to be convicted of a federal hate crime and sentenced to the death penalty, was removed from custody in Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday and transferred to Terre Haute, prison records show.

Terre Haute, a medium-security prison where inmates are put to death by lethal injection, currently houses 1,338 inmates

Click here for the full article.

President Trump's Weekly Address

President Trump Signs Financial Services Executive Orders

This video was published on YouTube on April 21, 2017. 

FDNY LODD William Tolley Ladder 135 Bunting Ceremony

Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner O'Neill Respond to AG Sessions

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Thousands Protest Outside Far-Right Party Conference in Germany

Source: euronews (in English)

Funeral Held for Russian Marine Major Killed in Syria

Source: euronews (in English)

UN - Sarin Was Used in Syria Attack

Source: euronews (in English)

Mexico Probe Into Suspected Student Massacre 'Has Stalled'

Source: euronews (in English)

Qatari Hostages in Iraq Freed After 16 Months

Source: euronews (in English)

Italy Donates Boats to Libya in Effort to Fight Human Trafficking

Source: euronews (in English)

Taliban Kill Dozens at Afghan Army HQ

Source: euronews (in English)

Friday, April 21, 2017

More Than 1.5 Million Children Are At Risk Of ‘Horrific Abuse’ In Central Congo

Scientists Plan to Shake D.C. on Earth Day: 'We Want to Be Counted'

They study the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above.

They love bugs and frogs.

They know that vaccines have saved tens of millions of lives and that climate change is not only real and worsened by people, but that it threatens our homes and livelihoods.

And now scientists and their supporters are getting their day in the limelight, with a global March for Science that grew out of the unexpectedly successful Women's March at the end of January.

Click here for the full article.

Former Acting AG Sally Yates to Testify Publicly in House Russia Probe

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, who is said to have told the White House that then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail, has been invited to testify publicly before Congress.

The Republican and Democrat leading the House Intelligence Committee probe of Russian election interference announced Friday they are seeking to schedule public testimony sometime after May 2 by Yates, as well as former CIA Director John Brennan and James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence.

Click here for summary.

Source: NBC News 

Jay Z Is Working On A New Docuseries On Race In Trump’s America

Florida State Senator Frank Artiles Resigns After Calling Colleagues The N-Word


Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R), who referred to his colleagues using the n-word earlier this week, resigned Friday.

Artiles was at a members-only club in Tallahassee on Monday when he went on a profanity-laden tirade. Speaking with fellow state Sens. Audrey Gibson (D) and Perry Thurston (D), who are both black, Artiles reportedly said that “six n****rs” had helped get Senate President Joe Negron (R) elected. Negron is white.

The senators present for Artiles’ tirade said he also referred to Gibson as “this bitch” and called Negron a “pussy.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post