Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Song for the Soul: 'Peace Train'

This video was published on YouTube on March 20, 2008. 

Yusuf Islam, formerly known by his stage name Cat Stevens (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948 in London, UK), is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam.

As "Cat Stevens," Islam has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. His albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified by the RIAA as having achieved Triple Platinum status in the United States (three million sales each); his album Catch Bull at Four sold half a million copies in the first two weeks of release and was Billboard's number-one LP for three consecutive weeks. 
His songwriting has also earned him two ASCAP songwriting awards (for "The First Cut Is the Deepest," which has been a hit single for four different artists.) 

Source: popthetime

Heather Heyer's Mother Talks About Her 'Passion for Justice'

Source: NBC News

DL Hughley on the Charlottesville Protest and Donald Trump

In Memoriam: U.S. Army Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks

Governor Andrew Cuomo today directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, August 16 in honor of U.S. Army Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks, a resident of Brooklyn, who died on August 13.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to Sgt. Brooks' family, friends and fellow soldiers," Governor Cuomo said. "His tragic loss is one deeply felt by the entire New York family and today we honor his bravery and his service to this nation and this great state." 

Brooks, age 30, died of wounds sustained during combat operations in Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment a component of the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to New York service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

From The G-Man
salutes Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks, his bravery, and his service to the country with the following video. May he forever rest in peace. 

Trailblazers in Black History: Simone Askew

First Black Woman to Lead West Point Cadets

By Associated Press

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Simone Askew marched into history Monday as the first black woman to lead the Long Gray Line at the U.S. Military Academy.

After an early-morning 12-mile march back to the gray stone academic complex with 1,200 new cadets she led through the rigors of basic training at “Beast Barracks,” the 20-year-old international history major from Fairfax, Virginia, assumed duties as first captain of the 4,400-member Corps of Cadets. That’s the highest position in the cadet chain of command at West Point.
“It’s humbling, but also exciting as I step into this new opportunity to lead the corps to greatness with my teammates with me,” a beaming Askew, still in camouflage fatigues from her march, told reporters.

As first captain, Askew is responsible for the overall performance of the Corps of Cadets. Her duties also include implementing a class agenda and acting as a liaison between the cadets and the administration. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

From The G-Man applauds and congratulates First Captain Askew on her phenomenal achievement.

Sierra Leone Mudslide: Interview with IFRC Spokesperson Matthew Cochrane

Sierra Leone is to hold a mass burial for 270 of the victims of a mudslide as rescuers search for any survivors. It's one of Africa's deadliest natural disasters in recent years. At least two thousand others have been displaced by the disaster, which hit an area outside the capital on Monday morning. Matthew Cochrane from the International Red Cross provides an assessment.

Source: TRT World

Alabama GOP Candidates Square Off in Trump-Dominated Primary

In a primary race largely dominated by the popularity of President Donald Trump among Alabama Republicans, three GOP candidates will square off Tuesday in a special election primary to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

After weeks of vowing to remain on the sidelines, Trump inserted himself front-and-center in the race earlier this month when he endorsed Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to fill Sessions' seat temporarily earlier this year. On Monday, news emerged that the president had begun recording robocalls for him, urging Alabama GOP voters to support him.

But the other two candidates have sought to suggest no daylight between them and the president, either.

Twice-elected, twice-deposed Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore, Tea Party favorite Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala, and Strange have duked it out for months, competing for the attention of voters who still hold the president in extremely high regard.

Moore has a steady lead in most polls, but has fallen short of the 50-percent mark, pitting Strange and Brooks in a battle for second place. 

Click here for the full article. 

Protesters Tear Down Confederate Statue in North Carolina

Source: CBS News

How U.S. Forces Are Preparing for Possible War with North Korea

 Source: CBS News

Oval Office Chat: Prime Ministers Modi and Abe

On August 14, President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to congratulate the 1.2 billion citizens of India, who will celebrate 70 years of freedom and independence on August 15. 

The leaders resolved to enhance peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by establishing a new 2-by-2 ministerial dialogue that will elevate their strategic consultations.  As the leaders of two of the world’s largest and fastest-growing major economies, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi looked forward to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this November.  

President Trump has asked Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to lead the United States summit delegation.  President Trump further welcomed the first ever shipment of American crude oil to India, which will occur from Texas this month, pledging that the United States would continue to be a reliable, long-term supplier of energy.  

Prime Minister Modi thanked President Trump for his strong leadership uniting the world against the North Korean menace. 

President Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The two leaders exchanged views on the growing threat from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including the DPRK’s most recent threats to United States and Japanese territory.  

President Trump reaffirmed that the United States stands ready to defend and respond to any threat or actions taken by North Korea against the United States or its allies, South Korea and Japan. 

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe also discussed a range of other regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Paul Manafort Sought $850 Million Deal With Putin Ally and Alleged Gangster

By Lachman Markay and Spencer Ackerman 

Paul Manafort partnered on an $850 million New York real-estate deal with an ally of Vladimir Putin and a Ukrainian moneyman whom the Justice Department recently described as an “organized-crime member.”

That’s according a 2008 memo written by Rick Gates, Manafort’s business partner and fellow alumnus of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. In it, Gates enthused about finalizing with the financing necessary to acquire New York’s louche Drake Hotel.

Two former federal prosecutors told The Daily Beast that the hotel deal was likely to be an item of focus for special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin.

Some White House officials, who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity, are also wary. They feel Manafort may have made President Trump more legally vulnerable through his decades of business deals with foreign governments and shady Eastern European power brokers. Those deals, these White House aides suspect, led federal investigators down a money trail that threatens to plunge the Trump White House further into legal jeopardy.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast 

Cuomo to Advance 'Charlottesville Provisions' to NY Hate Crime Law

In the aftermath of the violent and deadly events in Charlottesville this past weekend, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he will be advancing legislation to add the crimes of inciting to riot and rioting that targets protected classes to the list of specified offenses under the state's hate crimes law. These legislative changes, known as the Charlottesville provisions, will reaffirm that while peaceful demonstrations are allowed, New York will never tolerate advocacy or the incitement of imminent violence against protected classes within our communities.

"The ugly events that took place in Charlottesville must never be repeated, and in New York we're going to stand united against hate in all of its forms," Governor Cuomo said. "Our diversity is our strength and this legislation will help protect New Yorkers and send a clear signal that violence and discrimination have no place in our society. New York is one community and one family, and we will never stop fighting to ensure the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers."

Additionally, the Governor once again called for an expansion of the state's Human Rights Law to protect all students statewide. Under current law, only private school students are protected by the Human Rights law, meaning that if a public school student is discriminated against in school, that student has no claim.

The Charlottesville Provisions

Under state law, a person commits a hate crime when one of a specified set of offenses is committed targeting victims because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. Hate crimes can be perpetrated against an individual, a group of individuals or against public or private property. Under the Governor's proposal, the Hate Crimes Law would be amended to add inciting to riot and rioting, when directed at a protected class, to the list of specified offenses punishable as a hate crime. The penalties for engaging in rioting would be increased from an E felony to a D felony and inciting to riot would be increased from an A misdemeanor to an E felony. 

Expanding the Human Rights Law

In addition to amending the Hate Crimes statute, the Governor is also calling on legislative action to amend the Human Rights Law to protect all public school students and institutions from discrimination. Following a 2012 decision by the New York State Court of Appeals that found public schools did not fit the definition of an "education corporation or association", the State Division of Human Rights lost its ability to investigate reports of bullying, harassment, or other discrimination being made by public school students. This decision was made despite the fact that the Division had asserted jurisdiction over public schools for nearly three decades and was forced to dismiss over 70 open complaints filed against public schools at the time.

Governor Cuomo yesterday also signed legislation giving prosecutors more tools to combat hate by allowing prosecutors to increase penalties against those who make bomb threats against community centers.

In November 2016, Governor Cuomo announced during an address at Abyssinian Baptist Church several actions to protect civil rights and combat hate crimes in New York, including the creation of a State Police unit to investigate reports of hate crimes, an expansion of the state's human rights law to protect all students, and the establishment of a new emergency legal defense fund for immigrants. The State Police have created a new hate crimes unit and Governor Cuomo launched the nation's first public-private immigrant legal defense initiative called the Liberty Defense Project, but the State legislature has not yet passed legislation expanding the Human Rights Law.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Poorest Places in Each of New York's 62 Counties

By Ben Axelson

New York Becomes First State to Cover Co-Pays for Naloxone

by Tanner Jubenville

Rochester, N.Y. - New York is now offering up to $40 in co-pay assistance for prescription Naloxone, or Narcan.

New York the first state in the country to help pay for the prescription drug, which can reverse heroin and opioid overdoses.

It's a program many are relieved to see, but think should have been implemented sooner.

Dean Lucas' son, Lee, fatally overdosed while using heroin last December. Dean says this type of program could have kept his son alive.

"If it was available, he would have been there," Dean said. "He has a daughter who is now 11, who now has no dad. He would have done it." 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: 13WHAM (via Th Empire Report)

Black Democrats Rally Behind New York Senator Amid Racial Politicking

By Shane Goldmacher 

Some of New York’s top black Democrats were among the dozens who rallied on the streets of Harlem on Monday to show their support for Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the state Senate minority leader, and criticize a hedge fund manager who had attacked her using racially inflammatory language.

The hedge fund manager, Daniel S. Loeb, one of the state’s most prolific political donors, said in a Facebook posting last week that Ms. Stewart-Cousins was worse for minorities than “anyone who has ever donned a hood” because of her support for teachers’ unions. Mr. Loeb has since deleted the post and apologized.

But the images from Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend — of white supremacists clashing with protesters in an American city — threw into sharper relief Mr. Loeb’s racially charged analogy.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Times (via The Empire Report) 

Niagara Falls Water Board Hires Firm to Probe Black Water Discharge

An engineering company will investigate why smelly black water was released July 29 into the lower Niagara River.

The smelly discharge near the Maid of the Mist dock was seen and smelled by thousands of tourists that Saturday afternoon, and a video of the spreading black stain went viral.

The Niagara Falls Water Board, whose wastewater treatment plant was the source of the discharge, on Monday announced it has hired AECOM, a Los Angeles-based firm with offices around the world and an extensive background in sewage infrastructure work.

The announcement said AECOM's senior project manager, John Goeddertz, will review "overall wastewater operational readings, equipment readings, summary reports and facility water quality monitoring findings in and around the incident date. The firm is also prepared to propose follow-up testing or evaluation, if necessary." 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Buffalo News (via The Empire Report)

Japan Commemorates WWII Surrender

Source: euronews (in English)

UK Seeks Interim Customs Deal to Avoid Brexit Trade Chaos

Source: euronews (in English)

Iran Says Could Restart Nuclear Programme "In Hours" if US Ups Sanctions

Source: euronews (in English)

North Korea Delays Decision to Launch Guam Attack

Source: euronews (in English)

Maduro Orders Military Exercises in Venezuela in Response to Trump Comments

Source: euronews (in English)

Has the Horror of Partition Overshadowed Independence?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Burkina Faso Attack: How to Restore Security in the Sahel Region?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Business Leaders Quit Trump Panel

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Monday, August 14, 2017

SWC: Charlottesville Killing is Domestic Terrorism, Commends Arnold Schwarzenegger for Standing Up to Hate

The following was submitted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). 

The car-ramming that killed activist Heather Hayer and wounded some 26 others on Saturday night, should be “treated as a deliberate act of domestic terrorism," said SWC officials.

The death, violence and chants of "Blood and Soil" that followed the torchlight march at University of Virginia was reminiscent of Nazi rallies where the same chants were used by marchers at mass rallies in Nuremberg and elsewhere in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Center also called on American leaders, regardless of their political affiliations, and led by President Trump to “specifically condemn the extreme alt-right, white nationalists and neo-Nazis who sow seeds of hate, distrust and violence. They and all other extremists, left or right, have no place in the mainstream of our nation.”

In response to the events in Charlottesville, the Center commended former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for speaking out against the white supremacist violence. The Center also thanked Schwarzenegger for his generous gift to support the Center’s work fighting against hate, bigotry, and anti-Semitism. 

Schwarzenegger announced the gift of $100,000 in a Facebook post yesterday, saying “My message to them [white supremacists] is simple: you will not win. Our voices are louder and stronger.”

“Arnold has been a supporter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for over three decades. We’ve never been prouder of his leadership than when we saw his tweet last night challenging everyone to do more in the fight against hate,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Mumia Abu-Jamal: Trump's America and Ours

Mr. Abu-Jamal weighs in on the events of Charlottesville. 

Click here to listen to the commentary.  

Source: Prison Radio

President Trump Comments on Charlottesville Violence

Source: PBS NewsHour

The Brutality and Horror of Racism: 'The Noose'

Warning: Viewer discretion is advised. 

Let this feature serve as a reminder of what true hate can do and looks like. 

This video was published on YouTube on November 4, 2007. 

Source: CNN

Senator James Sanders Jr Calls for Unity in the Wake of Racial Events

Senator James Sanders, Jr., who represents the 10th Senate District in New York, issued the following statements regarding the rally in Charlottesville and controversial remarks made by hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb.  

"Mr. President, America needs leadership, not a Commander-in-Chief who caters to domestic terrorists. If we do not take a stand now against these Klansman, white supremacists and Nazis who committed murder in Charlottesville, then when will we? President Trump, you need to clearly state that the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazis and other fascists are not upholding American values. What happened today in Charlottesville was the disgusting and vile actions of cowards who do not understand our nation’s history and the progress we have made to repair the past. Yes, we have a long way to go, but these domestic terrorists are taking us back to a tortured part of American history. They would be in good company with their beloved Hitler.

To the Klan and other fascists we say: We have fought back against your madness many times, including WWII. When your Hitler and his "master race" plunged the world into war, our fathers and mothers rallied and stopped you. At the cost of many millions of lives, we learned where the road leads that you want to take us, and, for the sake of your children and mine, we plead with you to re-discover your humanity. If you persist, yes, we, American people sleep soundly, but when we understand your true purpose, we will awaken and crush you.

There is only one race, the human race. We may have all come here on different ships, but we are in the same boat now. Praise to the counter protesters for putting their bodies on the line to stand up for what most of us believe in. They are the ones who ARE making America great."

On Daniel Loeb:

“Cuomo donor Daniel Loeb’s statement about Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins being worse for black people than the Ku Klux Klan shows a complete lack of understanding of our nation’s history, and I strongly condemn its vile and disgusting sentiment. Now, that Loeb has taken back his remark and Governor Cuomo has openly spoken out against what Loeb has said, I would encourage all sides to pull back and focus on the needs of the people of New York State. There is work to be done and our residents deserve better. The state is better served when we are united instead of harping on things that divide us. We should use this time to reflect on a how to create a better future instead of wasting time bashing each other.”

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr.