Friday, October 13, 2017

President Trump's Weekly Address


Source: The White House

Vice President Pence Remarks in New York City


Vice President Mike Pence delivers keynote remarks at the Seminar Network Policy and Political Strategy Planning Retreat in New York. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

The North Korea Threat


A House Homeland Security subcommittee hears from experts and former Bush administration officials on the threat North Korea poses to the U.S. homeland.

Source: C-SPAN 

Congressional Delegation Speaks to Reporters in Puerto Rico


Speaker Paul Ryan and members of Congress and the governor of Puerto Rico briefs reporters on the recovery and relief effort still underway since the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria two weeks ago.

Source: C-SPAN

Why (Almost) No One is Charged with Gun Trafficking in Illinois


It's how the laws are written, and trafficking is hard to prove. 

by Mick Dumke

To understand why it’s so hard to stop the flow of guns across state lines and into cities like Chicago, you have to start with a simple, well-established fact: Firearms are legal products.

Guns aren’t like cocaine. As the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled, most American adults are allowed to have them. That means there are millions of people who can acquire guns legally — and millions of potential sources of guns that may later be illegally sold, traded, loaned or stolen.

Regulations and restrictions vary by city and state, and most are loose. As we reported in a story Tuesday, the majority of the guns seized by Chicago police were originally bought out of state.

But even when authorities know a gun has changed hands unlawfully, they often can’t determine its ownership history.

"What comes between that first sale and the recovery is the question,” said Philip Cook, a researcher with the University of Chicago Crime Lab and a professor at Duke University.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

'Flashback Friday': Donald Trump Interview with Tom Brokaw (1980)


Source: NBC News

Trailblazers in Black History: Langston Hughes


Langston Hughes was the leading voice of the Harlem Renaissance, whose poetry showcased the dignity and beauty in ordinary black life. The hours he spent in Harlem clubs affected his work, making him one of the innovators of Jazz Poetry.

Source: Biography

DL Hughley Reads Mike Ditka's Apology After Backlash


Source: MoorInfo

Civil Rights Activist’s Legacy Raises Breast Cancer Awareness Among Black Women

When civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer spoke these historic words at the Williams Institutional C.M.E. Church in Harlem in 1964, she was talking about racial inequality among people of color.

Today, the quote is shared frequently online, and for women with breast cancer, it is not only a call to action, but a cry for help. Hamer, who would have turned 100 on Oct. 6, 2017, died from breast cancer at age 59 — a tragedy thousands of women of color face today.

A new report by the American Cancer Society shows the number of breast cancer deaths dropped 39 percent between 1989 and 2015, saving 322,600 lives in 26 years. While it's a positive sign attributed to advanced treatment and early detection, the report also shows a racial health disparity between black and white women. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Trump's Policies Are Violent to America and the World



By Nancy Pelosi

As told to THINK editor Megan Carpentier; edited for clarity.

What the president is doing, it's violent. His actions are violent. He does violence to what we want to do in health care. He does violence to the national debt by what he is adding to it. He does violence to the world, in terms of nuclear proliferation and the environment and our standing in the world, with his frivolity. What we want him to do is to calm down, get used to the job he has, know that his words weigh a ton, and that he really should know what he's talking about when he says something.

For instance, I don't think that the president or the people around him know that much about health insurance, so he went down the wrong path. The bigger the pool of people buying insurance, the cheaper the premiums are, and the healthier the pool is economically. What he's doing is dividing the pool so that some people will end up paying much more. He's going to make it very hard for people to be able to afford insurance if they have a pre-existing medical condition. The American Cancer Society put out a statement after his executive order; he's really dangerous to people with cancer.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Police Release New Details on Las Vegas Shooting Investigation


Source: CBS News 

President Trump Pushes to Unravel Obamacare


Source: CBS News

President Trump Delivers Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal



Source: ABC News

President Trump's Speech at Value Voters Summit


Source: The White House

Woman Jailed for Refusing to Vaccinate Son Would 'Do It All Over Again'


SPLC: Trump Joins Hate Groups in DC This Weekend


 The following statement was submitted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Some of the most prominent leaders of anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim hate groups are gathering in Washington tomorrow for the annual "Values Voter Summit."

Their keynote speaker will be none other than President Trump.

This isn't the first time we've written about the Summit, hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC) and its president, Tony Perkins.

But it's the first time that far-right extremists like Perkins – a man who relentlessly demonizes LGBT people – have been so fully embraced by a U.S. president. Perkins, in fact, says he's never enjoyed so much access to the White House.

It's not surprising that Trump is attending. His xenophobic rhetoric has emboldened a wide swath of extremists – including the white supremacists we saw marching in Charlottesville – and brought them closer into the mainstream.

In fact, some of Trump's policies – like the Muslim ban and the ban on transgender people in the military – represent the fondest dreams of groups like the FRC.

Trump's former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, is also a major headliner. He's the head of Breitbart News who has boasted of using the website as "the platform for the alt-right" – which, as we know, is simply a rebranded white supremacist movement.

The Muslim-bashing conspiracy theorists Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel will also be speaking.
Help us fight this hate and bigotry by spreading information about the true "values" represented at the Summit.

Visit our webpage about the event and use the social share buttons to help educate your friends and families.

Bigotry is not an American value.

McMaster Wants to Save the Iran Deal by Hiding It From Trump



The president can’t kill what he can’t see. At least, that’s the logic being floated by his national security adviser.

By Asawin Suebsaeng, Spencer Ackerman and Sam Stein

In a meeting with Senate Democrats last week, President Donald Trump’s top national security aide had a message for those worried that the administration may scuttle the Iran nuclear deal: If Trump doesn’t have to see it, he won’t be able to kill it.

The point National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster conveyed, according to a congressional Democratic aide, was that “[Trump] wants this out of sight and out of mind.”

McMaster was more subtle and careful in his words when he hosted a group of roughly 12 lawmakers at the White House, conspicuously timed with the president out of town. But that was the impression he left, three sources familiar with the briefing tell The Daily Beast.

Under the terms of legislation passed around the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal, the president is required every 90 days to determine whether Tehran is in compliance. The measure was designed to put President Barack Obama (and anticipated successor Hillary Clinton) in a bind—forcing politically-uncomfortable declarations in support of an unpopular nuclear accord on the regular. But in the age of Trump, the 90-day-deadline has presented an unanticipated problem. 

“Trump doesn’t want to have to be embarrassed every 90 days,” a Senate aide told The Daily Beast.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at Battery Park Police Memorial Wall Ceremony


Source: NYC Mayor's Office

New Help Desk at JFK Airport to Welcome People from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands



New help desks have been set up at John F. Kennedy International Airport to provide information about state resource and welcome passengers arriving from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The help desks are located in the baggage claim areas of the Delta and JetBlue terminals -- the two airlines serving Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands at JFK. Bilingual New York State employees are staffing the desks to alert arriving passengers of their rights in New York State, as well as supportive services and resources that may be available to them. 
 
"These new help desks will provide essential information to Puerto Ricans and U.S. Virgin Islanders arriving in the Empire State after the devastation of recent hurricanes," Governor Cuomo said. "With this on-the-ground resource hub, we make it clear to these individuals and their families that in New York, we embrace our fellow Americans with open arms and we will do all we can to ensure that they are aware of the full extent of their rights and resources available to them in our state."
 
The help desk will be staffed from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m., coinciding with the arrival of the first and last flight from the islands. The resources that may be available to these individuals, subject to eligibility requirements, include: access to health insurance; affordable housing; commodity supplemental food program; immunizations; New York State career centers; NYS-TEACHS for McKinney-Vento Act Assistance; nutrition services for women, infants and children; State University of New York and City University of New York; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; and Temporary Assistance.
 
Those coming from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who are looking for assistance with education, employment, healthcare, and housing and financial assistance are encouraged to call the New York State Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Helpline at 1-888-364-4901. The hotline is currently staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with bilingual operators ready to assist.
 
Education
 
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, children and youth have the right to immediately enroll in school without records, including school records, medical records, vaccination records, or proof of residency. Children who have a current Individualized Education Plan also have the right to receive special education services, and children and youth have the right to receive free school meals without filling out an application.
 
State University of New York and City University of New York have made efforts to ensure that displaced students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have access to housing and are eligible to pay the in-state tuition rate.
 
Employment
 
New York State's Career Centers offer a variety of classes, workshops and job fairs for individuals seeking employment. Career counselors are available to offer advice and referrals to candidates from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist them in their job search.

Healthcare
 
Individuals and their families planning to move to New York have access to health insurance through the NY State of Health, New York's Health Insurance Marketplace. Application assistance is available in various languages, including Spanish. Additionally, children under 19 years of age are eligible to receive any routinely-recommended vaccines through the New York State Vaccines for Children Program if they do not have health insurance, if their health insurance does not cover vaccines, or if they are enrolled in Medicaid or the New York State Child Health Plus Insurance Program.
 
Income-eligible mothers have access to Nutrition Services for Women, Infants and Children, which offers nutritious foods, breastfeeding support and referrals to pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum women, infants and children up to the age of five. Additionally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, like Puerto Rico's Nutrition Assistance Program, is available to help low-income households to purchase food. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program offers free and nutritious foods to seniors of 60 years and older in New York City and on Long Island.
  
Housing & Financial Assistance
 
Those entering New York State from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands may be eligible for Temporary Assistance, which provides income support for needy individuals and their families. For more information on affordable housing options in New York State, please click here.

"We are pleased to support Governor Cuomo's help desk program to assist hurricane victims as they arrive in JFK," said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. "We commend the Governor's efforts to take action after these devastating hurricanes. As New York's Hometown Airline and the largest airline in Puerto Rico, we continue with our 100x35JetBlue program to make a meaningful difference in Puerto Rico's recovery."

Henry Kuykendall, Senior Vice President, Airport Operations-Northeast, Delta Air Lines, "From transporting supplies and relief personnel to Puerto Rico on our aircraft to enabling assistance and services for residents of the island who are arriving in our terminals in New York, Delta is committed to serving alongside Governor Cuomo in delivering the help needed for relief and recovery."

SEIU Local 32BJ President Hector Figueroa said, "I am proud to partner with Governor Cuomo and New York State to provide real-time assistance to incoming Puerto Ricans and U.S. Virgin Islanders. This help desk at JFK will offer a one-stop shop for these passengers entering the country, giving them the information they need to know their rights and the resources available to them in New York."
 
Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Rick Cotton said, "Port Authority stands ready to assist our fellow Americans as they come to New York through JFK as they seek refuge from the devastation Hurricane Maria left behind in the Caribbean. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and I look forward to seeing New Yorkers do what they do best - help those in need. This help desk serves as a vital information source for Puerto Ricans and U.S. Virgin Islanders as they come to New York."
 
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is committed to doing everything we can to help families arriving from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands access the resources they need to start rebuilding their lives.  We will provide the tools and support families need to find accessible, affordable homes and apartments in communities across the state." 
 
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo, MLB and the Carlos Beltran Foundation Announce Supplies Delivered to Puerto Rico



Another major shipments of supplies, including more than 160,000 pounds of water, diapers, baby food and wipes has been delivered to Puerto Rico. The supplies -- donated by New Yorkers at collection sites across the state -- are being distributed to targeted communities across the island over the coming days in partnership with the Carlos Beltran Foundation. The supplies were delivered on a flight chartered by Major League Baseball that departed John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday. State Homeland Security Commissioner Roger Parrino remains on the ground overseeing operations and is ensuring all supplies reach communities in need.

Additionally, two flights donated by Delta will transport 50 State Troopers to the island to support ongoing recovery operations. Mission priorities include protecting commodities and fuel and securing the supply chains to ensure that the resources are distributed to people who need them most. These new Troopers will replace the existing team of 53 Troopers who have been on the ground for the past two weeks assisting with security operations.

"It is in times of tragedy the you find out what people are made of and the level generosity that New Yorkers have shown in support of Puerto Rico is nothing short of inspiring," Governor Cuomo said. "I want our brothers and sisters still recovering from Hurricane Maria to know that under no circumstances will New York abandon them. We are in this for the long haul and will continue to not only send supplies, but do whatever else we can to support them as they embark on this long and difficult recovery process."

As part of the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, Major League Baseball chartered a MD-11 cargo plane which carried more than 160,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico on Thursday. The shipment included: 113,000 half-liter bottles of water; 121,000 diapers;    25,600 baby wipes; and 1,200 containers of baby food.

Once on Puerto Rico, items are being distributed to those in need through a distribution network organized and supported by the Carlos Beltran Foundation and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. The distribution network established by the Beltran Foundation and DHSES ensures that the generous donations of supplies from New Yorkers make it to communities in need quickly, safely and efficiently.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said, "Major League Baseball was pleased to coordinate the delivery of these necessary supplies to the people of Puerto Rico.  This complements the significant efforts by our Clubs and players towards short-term relief and long-term recovery on the island.  We thank Governor Cuomo, the New York Yankees, Bernie Williams, the Hispanic Federation and the Carlos Beltran Foundation for their collaboration in getting supplies to people in need."

Carlos Beltran, founder of the Carlos Beltran Foundation said, "Puerto Rico needs our help now more than ever and we are proud to partner with Governor Cuomo and the State of New York to provide critical supplies and assistance the island as they recover from Hurricane Maria. With this latest shipment, we give these individuals and their families hope and assurance that they are not alone as they embark on this journey to recovery."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New York Assemblyman Responds to Trump's Threats to Remove Aid from Puerto Rico


Team Blake, Casa Boricua Senior Center and Forest House residents gathered items to send to Puerto Rico through the New York State coordinated response. 

 The following statement was submitted by New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake. 

When crisis strikes, we see our leader’s true colors. The colors we see today, amidst one of the largest natural disasters in our history, are simply revolting. President Trump’s remarks today that aid and first responders will not last “forever” are just a continuation of inaction and divisive rhetoric that may in fact have a serious impact on American lives. Puerto Rico and its people need healing, food, water, hygiene products, power and the aid of their fellow Americans. They do not need to be dragged into divisive and destructive tweets. America needs its national government more than ever. It is time for Congress to send funding and aid where it’s needed most - helping our American brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico

Over the past few weeks our office has worked tirelessly to send over 2,000 pounds of necessities to Puerto Rico. Items like feminine products, batteries, toothbrushes, toothpaste and the daily necessities that make quality of life possible.

Furthermore, my office and I continue to support our constituents and Puerto Rican's by continuing to send more resources and goods in the coming weeks.

Statement from Assembly Member Michael Blake: Trump's Executive Order on Health Care


Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The unconscionable executive order announced by President Trump to rescind protections on people with pre-existing conditions while also raising premiums for those who depend entirely on affordable healthcare, is yet another reminder that the Republican Party cares more about politics than helping people. Americans continue to lose hope and unfortunately lives because of inhumane decisions such as this one.

Despite repeated desperate calls from the American people that want affordable healthcare upheld, the Trump-Pence administration has shown absolutely no desire to truly provide help, care and leadership for all of us. This administration's agenda is clearly designed to help those in the top one percent. It is yet another reminder to Bronxites and all Americans that elections matter. Our lives literately depend on them.

En Espanol


El acceso a la salud y el bienestar humano es un derecho, no un privilegio. La desmesurada orden ejecutiva anunciada por el presidente Trump para rescindir las protecciones a las personas con condiciones preexistentes y al mismo tiempo elevando las primas para quienes dependen por completo de la asistencia asequible, es otro recordatorio de que el Partido Republicano se preocupa más por la política que por ayudar a las personas. Los estadounidenses continúan perdiendo la esperanza y algunos desgraciadamente la vida, debido a decisiones inhumanas como esta.

A pesar de las repetidas llamadas desesperadas de los estadounidenses que quieren mantener el acceso a la salud, la administración de Trump-Pence no ha mostrado absolutamente ningún deseo de proporcionar ninguna ayuda, cuidado y liderazgo para todos nosotros. La agenda de esta administración está claramente diseñada para ayudar a aquellos que se encuentran el uno por ciento. Es otro recordatorio para Bronxites y para todos los estadounidenses de que las elecciones importan. Nuestras vidas literalmente dependen de ello. 

Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake

Free Screening in Harlem: 'The Kalief Browder Story (Part 1)'

 
A free screening of The Kalief Browder Story (Part 1) will be held on October 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,  at Harlem Hospital’s Herbert Cave Auditorium, located at 506 Malcolm X Blvd.

The screening is being presented by New York City Councilman Bill Perkins in association with ImageNation, Bullpen Therapy, Harlem Arts Alliance and Harlem Hospital.

Councilman Perkins will moderate a panel discussion following the film. Panelists will include: Akeem Browder (Kalief’s brother); James Gray (National Action Network land Community Activist); Dr. Joe Brewster, Psychiatrist/filmmaker - American Promise, the Keeper; and Mawuli K. Hormeku, Executive Director of Nehemiah Economic Development, Inc  and candidate for New York City's 42nd Council District.

Source: ImageNation

EU's Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini Reacts to Trump's Speech on the Iran Nuclear Deal


Source: euronews.

Clock Ticking for Puigdemont Over Catalan Independence


Source: euronews.

Is Austria Heading Towards an Ultra-Conservative Coalition?


Source: euronews.

EU 'to Plan' for Brexit Trade Talks with UK Despite Deadlock


Source: euronews.

Shifting Alliances in the Syrian Crisis: Turkey Cozies Up to Russia


Source: euronews.

Europes Launches Air Pollution Satellite


Source: euronews.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

NY Health Care Personnel Deployed to Aid in Puerto Rico Relief Effort




Medical personnel from across New York's health care community, 78 in total, have been deployed to provide Puerto Rico with critically-needed health care assistance across the island. As part of Governor Cuomo's Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the volunteer initiative was made possible by the generous efforts of Greater New York Hospital Association, the Healthcare Association of New York State, Community Health Care Association of New York State, New York State Nurses Association and 1199SEIU. Transportation to Puerto Rico was donated by JetBlue Airlines and all 78 volunteers departed John F. Kennedy International Airport this afternoon en route to San Juan.

"New York continues to provide critical relief to our brothers and sisters on Puerto Rico," Governor Cuomo said. "Many still do not have access to essential medical care and by deploying medical professionals and supplies, we are ensuring that our fellow Americans have access to health care as they continue down the long road to recovery."

At the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló, Governor Cuomo worked closely with GNYHA, HANYS, CHCANYS, NYSNA and 1199SEIU to identify volunteers to deploy to Puerto Rico. The first round of 78 volunteers will act as health response teams, coming from: Albany Medical Center; Montefiore Medical Center; Mt. Sinai Hospital; Northwell Health; New York Presbyterian; and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.

Health response teams will include physicians, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners and will provide general medical assistance at medical shelters and hospitals. All volunteers have been processed through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a mutual aid agreement between states and territories to share resources during natural and man-made disasters, and New York State will extend workers compensation benefits for those who volunteer.

The team of volunteers will be deployed for 14 days and will serve at either the Federal Medical Center in Manati or will provide support on the critical relief missions that are being carried out by Disaster Medical Assistance Teams across Puerto Rico. At the conclusion of their mission, a similarly sized medical team will deploy on October 26th to serve in similar roles.

In addition to the team of personnel, emergency medical supplies continue to be delivered to Puerto Rico via a partnership with GNYHA, the Afya Foundation, and UJA-Federation of New York. Working together to coordinate all aspects of the missions, including securing private jets and purchasing more than $1 million in supplies, the partnership has delivered more than 30,000 lbs. of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to 16 hospitals and health care organizations and 12 community organizations to help ensure that Puerto Rican residents have access to critical medical care. Shipments have included vital medical supplies including 3,000 vials of insulin, transplant surgery drugs, pediatric oncology drugs, antibiotics and vaccines.

The partnership has also completed the first of several shipments of non-medical supplies such as water, bags, and satellite phones for the 26,000 SEIU members who live and work in Puerto Rico. These shipments will be used to establish six SEIU "help centers" across the island.

"The heartbreaking and devastating situation in Puerto Rico compels us to take action," said Robin Hayes, president and chief executive officer, JetBlue. "Using our strengths as an airline, our partnerships, and our mission of inspiring humanity, we aim to make a positive impact on this island we call home."

Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said "When Governor Cuomo put out the call for volunteers to assist in the relief efforts in Puerto Rico, I knew that the selfless and dedicated health care professionals from across the state would respond in droves, without hesitation. I am truly touched by the outpouring of support that has come from the health care community and look forward to working with them as we continue to aid in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico."

Ken Raske, President of Greater New York Hospital Association, said, "Being at JFK today to personally thank each and every health care worker as they boarded their flight to Puerto Rico was one of the most rewarding moments of my entire career. These extraordinary individuals, and the world-class institutions they represent, are the true spirit of New York's health care community and a reminder of the nobility of the health care profession. They answered the Governor's call to serve without hesitation, and we thank them."

Bea Grause, President of the Healthcare Association of New York, said, "We are so proud of the physicians, nurses and other health care professionals who are selflessly traveling today to Puerto Rico to help those in need.  Through their service, they demonstrate the values the entire New York healthcare community shares of compassionate care to all who need it." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo Comments on the Relief and Recovery Effort in Puerto Rico


Source: NYGovCuomo

House Democrats Push for Tougher Oversight of Regulators’ Conflicts of Interest

 
A bill was introduced following reports by ProPublica and The New York Times that disclosed the industry ties of Trump officials tasked with loosening rules covering the workplace, consumer protection and the environment.


A group of House Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require federal officials to disclose any potential conflicts of interest before they implement significant changes in U.S. regulations.

The lawmakers said the legislation is intended to alert the public if those involved in the decisions, including the president and his top advisers, would personally profit from revising or replacing the rules.

“President Trump ran and campaigned on this idea of draining the swamp,” said the bill’s author, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. “We see, in fact, he has filled the swamp with people who have deep business interests and may be using their positions in the government to advance their financial interests.”

Among those who would have to project how much they would personally benefit from any particular regulatory changes are members of the new deregulation teams Trump has installed at federal agencies. The groups are tasked with weakening or eliminating government rules found to be overly burdensome for businesses.

Click here for the full article.

Source: ProPublica

How Chicago Gets Its Guns

 

This story was co-published with WBEZ Chicago’s “Every Other Hour” series and the Chicago Sun-Times.

John Thomas set up the deal the way he had arranged nearly two dozen others. A friend said he wanted to buy as many guns as he could, so Thomas got in touch with someone he knew who had guns to sell.

The three of them met in the parking lot of an LA Fitness in south suburban Lansing at noon on Aug. 6, 2014. Larry McIntosh, whom Thomas had met in his South Shore neighborhood, took two semi-automatic rifles and a shotgun from his car and put them in the buyer’s car. He handed over a plastic shopping bag with four handguns.

None of the weapons had been acquired legally — two, in fact, had been reported stolen — and none of the men was a licensed firearms dealer.

Thomas’ friend, Yousef, paid McIntosh $7,200 for the seven guns. He always paid well.

Thomas did little but watch the exchange, but he got his usual broker’s fee of $100 per gun, $700 total. It was “the most money I’ve seen or made,” he recalled — his biggest deal yet.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

Trailblazers in Black History: Gloria Gaynor


This video was published on YouTube on December 6, 2013. 

Gloria Gaynor, disco legend and author, visits Audible headquarters and talks about her career and audiobook, "We Will Survive," which is narrated by Gloria herself. 

Source: Audible

Saving Our Youth: The Hard Truth About Greaser Gangs!


This video was published on YouTube on March 11, 2017. 

Warning: Kryptic Art uses strong language during his address to kids and teens.

Source: Kryptic Art

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 'Rise Up and Say, I am Somebody!'


Source: Matthew Siegfried

Another Wicked Act Hidden In American History: The Groveland Four


This video was published on YouTube on August 3, 2017.

Malcolm X: 'We Didn't Land on Plymouth Rock'


Source: Donnie Mossberg

Dr. Cornel West on the Unpopular James Baldwin


Source: Radio Open Source

Black Women's Groups Call For ESPN To Reinstate Jemele Hill


Source: Roland Martin

Trump’s Gay Backers No Longer See Him as the Great Straight Hope

The president pledged to be a champion of the gay community. Few believed him. Now, even those who did express disappointment.

By Sam Stein and Asawin Suebsaeng

During his run for office, Donald Trump positioned himself as a champion of gay rights, someone who would bring the Republican Party into modernity on an increasingly settled civil rights cause. But well into his first year in the White House, those who hoped for the best have been disappointed and those who assumed the worst say their fears are realized.

The Trump administration’s record on LGBT issues has been defined by retrenchment, both sides concede. Many of the advances made under the Obama administration have disappeared, replaced by policies and directives that could have been written by an anachronistic social conservative instead of the cosmopolitan New York businessman occupying the Oval Office.

“I think, personally, the president has met my expectations,” said Chris Barron, a longtime conservative gay-rights activist. “My concern has always been what happens at the department and agency levels. And I definitely have concerns with what is going on at Department of Justice. The attorney general [Jeff Sessions] has a very different position on LGBT issues than the president does. But his job is to carry forward the president’s agenda and not push his own… I’m certainly concerned he is [pushing his own].” 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Trump Signs Health Care Executive Order (Full Video)


Trump Pushes 'Middle Class Miracle' Tax Plan

Governor Cuomo Details State Actions to Combat Fentanyl Crisis in Staten Island


Source: NYGovCuomo

Governor Cuomo Breaks Ground on $75 Million Cold Spring Harbor Labs Center for Therapeutic Research


Source: NYGovCuomo

Mayor de Blasio Makes Announcement About 3-K for All


Source: NYC Mayor's Office

NYC Workforce Development Board Discusses Summer Youth Internship Campaign


Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Gov. Cuomo Could Oust DA Vance But They Share A Party — And Donors

Cyrus Vance Jr.


Embattled Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. may be running for reelection unopposed, but that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook for declining to prosecute cases against Harvey Weinstein and President Donald Trump’s eldest children and accepting campaign cash from lawyers linked to those would-be defendants in the process. Under New York law, Vance could be immediately removed from office by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a fellow Democrat.

The major obstacle to such a move, however, might not be a shared party, but shared donors: Cuomo himself has received $127,000 from some of the same Vance contributors at the heart of the recent controversies — and he has also received more than $72,000 directly from Weinstein himself.

The New York Constitution gives the governor power to remove a district attorney at any time, so long as the governor gives the DA a “copy of the charges against him or her” and “an opportunity of being heard in his or her defense.” It also explicitly declares that “any district attorney who shall fail faithfully to prosecute a person charged with the violation in his or her county of any provision of this article which may come to his or her knowledge, shall be removed from office by the governor.”

Cuomo is a potential 2020 presidential candidate who has cast himself as a bold opponent of Trump and defender of women’s rights.

His office did not respond to repeated International Business Times requests for comment about Vance’s decisions not to persue indictments of the Trumps or Weinstein.

Click here for the full article.

Source: International Business Times (via The Empire Report)