Friday, December 22, 2017

PERB Mourns the Death of Jerome Lefkowitz

 
The following statement was submitted by the New York State Public Employment Relations Board

The New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) is saddened to announce that on December 21, 2017, Jerome (“Jerry”) Lefkowitz, a central figure in the history of the Taylor Law and of PERB, passed away. Jerry’s involvement with the Taylor Law dates back to 1966, when he was tasked by then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller with drafting legislation that would secure for public sector employees the right to union representation, while protecting the public from interruption of public services.  Jerry’s draft legislation was, effectively, the template for New York’s Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, better known as the Taylor Law.

PERB’s first Chair, Robert Helsby, appointed Jerry as the agency’s first Deputy Chair, making him PERB’s first employee. Jerry served as Deputy Chair for the next 19 years.  He worked closely with PERB Chairpersons Robert Helsby and Harold Newman, and he drafted the great majority of the decisions rendered by the Helsby and Newman Boards.  Jerry also prepared PERB’s original Rules of Procedure, and he assisted in drafting statutory amendments to and legislative reports concerning the Taylor Law. Jerry’s counsel was critical in establishing PERB’s independence as a labor relations agency.

Jerry became a PERB Board Member in 1986, before accepting a position as Deputy Counsel for the Civil Service Employees’ Association in 1987.

In 2007, Jerry returned to PERB as Chairperson. He fostered esprit de corps among agency staff, met with public employers and unions, advocated for an increase in the agency’s budget, and began the process of organizing a conference celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Taylor Law.  Jerry served as Chairperson until his retirement in 2015.  

Jerry thrived on robust and creative legal arguments presented by parties in PERB’s proceedings and he loved to debate the issues with members of the Board and his Deputy Chairs.  For all his love of the law’s subtleties, Jerry never lost sight of the effect PERB’s decisions had, and continue to have, on the lives of working people and the public.  PERB’s decisions during his tenure as Deputy Chair and Chairperson reflect his commitment to fairness, scholarship, and the neutral application of the Taylor Law.

Jerry is survived by his wife Myrna, four children, and 10 grandchildren.  PERB sends its sincere condolences to Jerry’s family, friends, and all those whose lives have been touched by his kind and gentle nature. 

PERB mourns Jerry’s passing, and celebrates his legacy.

A detailed profile of Jerry is available on PERB’s website.

Emergency Executive Action Taken to Deliver Property Tax Deductibility for New Yorkers


Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an emergency Executive Order to help protect property owners in New York from the devastating impact of the GOP tax bill. This order authorizes local governments to immediately issue tax warrants for the collection of 2018 property tax payments and allows property owners to pay at least a portion of their bill before the end of the year and under the current tax construct. The Governor directed the Department of Taxation and Finance to work with local governments to facilitate early tax collection.

The federal tax plan, signed into law today, caps the deductibility of state and local taxes at $10,000, effectively raising property taxes and reducing home values in New York and in states across the country.

Audio of Governor Cuomo's remarks is available here.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Beyond Extreme Energy Responds to FERC's Plan to Review Its Approval Process

We Don’t Trust Them.

The following was submitted in response to the announcement by the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that the agency will review its approval process for interstate gas pipelines:

If FERC were an agency which truly put the public interest first, the announced plan to review their process for approving pipelines would be a welcome development. But facts don’t lie: over the past 30 years FERC has granted permits for all but two proposed interstate gas pipelines. It is a rubber stamp agency, and it has been this through both Democratic and Republican administrations.

This announced plan comes on the heels of FERC’s efforts in New York to override the rights of states to make decisions on air and water permits for proposed pipelines. It comes as FERC considers Rick Perry’s order that they change regulatory rules and increase costs to consumers so that coal and nuclear power are given special privileges in the supposedly fuel source neutral, FERC-regulated market.

The “need” as far as new gas pipelines is to stop building them and get serious about the urgently-needed shift to renewables. But all signs indicate FERC is going from bad to worse. Instead of moving forward into the 21st century world of wind, solar and other renewables, the Trump-appointed FERC leaders want things to go backwards to the fossil fuel-dominated 20th century. We don’t trust them.

A Christmas Present and Message for the Puerto Rican Community



Puerto Rico Se Levanta "Que Viva La Navidad" 

From The G-Man hopes those in your homeland receive the much-needed care and support they rightfully deserve.

This video was published on YouTube on November 7, 2017. 

Source: Orgullo Boricua

Stoked! Journalist Alexei Wood & First J20 Defendants Found 'Not Guilty' as 188 Still Face Trial


Source: Democracy Now!

'Flashback Friday': Trump Says 'I Would Love to Be a Well-Educated Black' (1989)


Director Spike Lee Responds

 Donald Trump discusses his views on the advantage of being born Black in the United States.

Source: Mother Jones

Trailblazers in Black History: Joseph Hayes


This video was published on YouTube on  June 30, 2017. 

Joseph Hayes was one of the greatest Taekwondo players that ever lived. Admired by the legendary Bruce Lee, he was known to dominate Taekwondo tournaments throughout North America. In 1972, he was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.


Israel-Palestine: Trumped, Part 1: Why the Israeli Right Will Never Negotiate

 
By Steven Jonas   

As is widely known, President Trump recently declared that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capitol of the State of Israel and that he intends to move the U.S. Embassy there as soon as it is feasible to do so. He also announced that architects and engineers will be getting to work on the design. Since he does try to make personal income out of his Presidency (see for example his golf courses, his Mar-a-Lago Club, and his Washington hotel), one wonders if he will be directing that the work be done a) by Trump-connected firms, b) how tall the building will be, and c) if it will be named something like "The Trump Embassy," or "The U.S. Embassy/Trump Tower." (For a fuller discussion of what Trump has done and what it means see "Trump's Lethal Decision on Jerusalem ," retailing a conversation between Prof. Francis Boyle, a long-time legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Dennis Bernstein, the host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica Radio Network.)

At any rate, the move is weighed down in symbolism. Among other things, it indicates that the U.S. has in reality given up trying to be an "honest broker" in the never-ending, on-again/off-again talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinians. Of course, it has always been known that the U.S. has never been a diplomatically fully neutral party. But the appearances of that status that successive U.S. governments have tried to maintain, even while providing much maintenance for the Israeli Defense Force, will now largely be a thing of the past. Which is just fine with Trump's soul-mate, Bibi Netanyahu, his party Likud, and the small ultra-"religious" right-wing parties on which Likud is dependent for staying in power. Why? 

Click here for the full article.


Source: OpEdNews

No Michigan Police Officers Disciplined for Pulling Gun on 11-Year-Old Girl

The Michigan police officers who handcuffed and frightened an 11-year-old girl won't face any disciplinary action, but they're getting a new set a rules for dealing with kids that's been dubbed the "Honestie policy."

Named after the girl, Honestie Hodges, the policy requires Grand Rapids Police Department officers to get to know the kids on their beats.

“Starting right away, all patrol officers will have more interaction with community children on a rotating schedule, working with several outreach programs,” the police said in a statement.

Click here for the full article.

Houston Mayor Makes Desperate Plea for Hurricane Harvey Recovery Aid

In a moving plea for help from the state and federal government, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was joined at a Thursday press conference by three of his constituents who remain displaced by Hurricane Harvey nearly four months after the storm made landfall.

“Literally, there are thousands of people living in homes that need to be remediated,” said Turner. “And there are thousands of people who are still living in hotels. And the question is, where do they go when FEMA says, ‘No more’?” 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News  

President Trump Signs Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in Oval Office



Source: ABC News

Congress Funds Government Through Middle of January


Source: CBS News

UCCA Welcomes US and Canadian Export Licenses for Ukraine

New York, NY – Beginning on December 13, Ukraine has been cleared to buy certain light weapons and small arms from US manufacturers according to a statement made by US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. This news follows on Ukraine being added by the Canadian government to that country’s Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL), a special register of countries to which Canada can export weapons.

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest representative body of Americans of Ukrainian descent, has issued a statement welcoming the decisions by the United States and Canadian governments on December 13, to allow exporters to apply for permits for the commercial export of certain firearms, weapons, and devices from U.S. and Canadian manufacturers. In the statement, the UCCA also renewed its call for the United States to provide lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine, citing U.S. special envoy, Ambassador Kurt Volker, who recently remarked that 2017 was the deadliest year in Ukraine since Russia invaded three years ago. According to UCCA, the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, signed into law in 2014, specifically states the United States would “assist the government of Ukraine in restoring its sovereignty and territorial integrity in order to deter the government of the Russian Federation from further destabilizing and invading Ukraine and other independent countries.”

Also commenting on the development was Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who reiterated that “this decision was supported by Congress in legislation that became law three years ago and reflects our country’s longstanding commitment to Ukraine in the face of ongoing Russian aggression.” 

Co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that “this decision--while long overdue--will reverse the Obama administration's de facto arms embargo against Ukraine and will finally allow Ukraine to access the tools it needs to defend itself.”

U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) also referred to this decision this decision as “long overdue.” "With news reports of increased aggression by Russian backed forces in Ukraine, I know our ally in Ukraine will see this as a welcomed first step. However, I hope it is not the last.”

More than 10,300 people have been killed, and more than 1 million displaced, since Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2014. Since the beginning of 2017, there have been over 2,000 recorded attacks by Russian forces across the 'ceasefire' line in Ukraine, with dozens of civilians killed this year alone. Since January 2017, Russian forces have also resumed firing heavy artillery onto Ukrainian positions and deployed portable rocket launchers among its invading forces.

The full statement is available here

Established in 1940, UCCA unites and advocates in the name of over 20 fraternal, educational, religious, cultural, veterans and humanitarian organizations in the Ukrainian American community. UCCA maintains local all-volunteer chapters across the United States, with a national office in New York City, as well as a Washington, D.C. bureau, the Ukrainian National Information Service. UCCA is also a founding member of the Ukrainian World Congress (ukrainianworldcongress.org), the international assembly of Ukrainian public organizations representing over 20 million people, as well as a founding member of the Central and East European Coalition (ceecoalition.us), which coordinates the efforts of national ethnic organizations representing 20 million Americans.

Source: The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America

Libya: Election of New Central Bank Chief Challenged


Canada: Are Refugees Welcome?


Source: Al Jazeera English

South Sudan Leaders Sign Ceasefire Agreement


UN Defies Threats to Reject Trump's Jerusalem Move


Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa Calls on People to Help Rebuild the Nation


Disgraced Archbishop Bernard Law Dies at 86


1,000 Days of War: Will the Conflict in Yemen Ever End?



Source: Al Jazeera English

The History Behind Disputes Over Jerusalem


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jaihouse Interview: Denied Asylum, Mexican Reporter Emilio Gutiérrez Faces Death If ICE Deports Him


A Democracy Now! Exclusive

SPLC Victory: Over 100,000 Driver’s Licenses to Be Reinstated in Mississippi

 
Mississippi will reinstate more than 100,000 driver’s licenses that were suspended for non-payment of traffic tickets and will no longer suspend licenses for failure to pay fines, under an agreement that was announced today between the SPLC, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) and another organization.

Under the new procedures, DPS will also waive its $100 reinstatement fee, will notify these drivers that their licenses are no longer suspended and – if their licenses have expired since they were suspended – will instruct motorists how to reinstate them.

The new policies could have far-reaching effects in Mississippi, where nearly 95 percent of residents travel to work by car. Low-income people with suspended licenses were often forced to choose between paying fines or using money for food, housing and health care – or to choose between driving with a suspended license and losing a job.

In a state where 22 percent of the population lives in poverty – the highest percentage in the nation – the new procedures could spare many people from further impoverishment.

Previously, DPS would automatically suspend a license, without asking people why they could not pay and without giving them extra time to pay or an alternative punishment like community service.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

The Most Dangerous Countries in the World to Be a Journalist

 

Gumaro Perez, a Mexican journalist in his mid-30s, arrived at an elementary school in the eastern state of Veracruz on Tuesday morning to enjoy a Christmas celebration with his 6-year-old son.

He was dead before noon. Two gunmen burst into the building and opened fire, according to local media reports, shooting Perez four times in a classroom filled with dozens of children.

Perez had covered criminal issues, including drug trafficking, for a variety of Mexican news outlets. His death brings to 12 the number of journalists slain in retaliation for their work over the past year in Mexico ― the world’s most dangerous country to be a reporter outside of active war zones. Mexico’s 2017 death toll for professional media workers is now on par with that of Syria, which has been mired in brutal civil war for nearly seven years. 

Reports released this week from Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), reveal an overall decline in the killings of journalists worldwide in 2017 compared with previous years. But both organizations warn that some of the reasons for this downward trend are not cause for celebration.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post 

Bonus Report: 

U.S. Commerce Official Still Holds Stake in Company Linked to Putin Associates


Wendy Teramoto, the agency’s chief of staff, has maintained the investment in the wake of calls for an investigation.! 

by Dan Alexander, Forbes, and Derek Kravitz, ProPublica

This story was co-published with Forbes.

The chief of staff for Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Wendy Teramoto, still owns a stake in a shipping company tied to associates of Vladimir Putin, despite the fact that her former role as a board member for the same company prompted six Senate Democrats to request an investigation into her apparent conflicts of interest last month.

“We have not been notified, nor are we aware, of a formal investigation by the inspector general,” Commerce Department spokesperson James Rockas said in a statement. “But we continue to answer any questions that are raised by department ethics officials or the inspector general.” The statement said that Teramoto has recused herself from any matters relating to her investments. (The same senators also requested an investigation of Ross, who initially retained an estimated $3.4 million stake in the company, Navigator Holdings, but has since sold it.)

As long as Teramoto hangs onto her own investments, she will likely remain under scrutiny, especially since there is evidence that her official actions are affecting the shipping industry, in which she is heavily invested.

Teramoto previously worked for Ross at his private equity firm WL Ross & Co. She invested in funds that held Navigator stock, as well as owning shares directly, and also served on the board of the shipping company from 2014 to July 2017. From 2014 to 2016, Navigator did $68 million worth of business with a Russian petrochemicals company named Sibur. That company is partially owned by two billionaires in Putin’s inner circle, Kirill Shamalov and Gennady Timchenko. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

ACLU Investigation Reveals Texas Troopers Are Turning Traffic Stops of Immigrants Into Deportations


Source: Democracy Now!

Governor Cuomo Proposes New Strategies and Investments to Target Harmful Algal Blooms


Source: NYGovCuomo

Saving Our Youth: Preventing Students from Joining Gangs


This video was published on YouTube on May 17, 2017. 

Jose Segura discusses why students gravitate towards gangs, and the importance of us realizing what it is that gangs provide students. He provides his vision on the work that can be done in the realm of gang intervention and youth violence prevention, and the steps that we can all take to ensure that children need not turn towards gangs in lieu of friends and family. 

Segura is the team leader for the Street Outreach Network, a Montgomery County gang intervention program. Raised in Washington, D.C., he moved to Wheaton, MD with his family at the age of 12 to avoid the pervasive influence of drugs and crime in the city. After serving for 8 years in the United States Marine Corps, Segura has dedicated himself towards establishing programs to help underserved youths live safer and more meaningful lives.

Source: TEDxTalks

Trailblazers in Black History: Jimmie Walker


This video was published on YouTube on April 30, 2014. 

Source: PBS

Future Hope Column: Something New This Christmas

 
By Ted Glick 

In a few days, on Christmas Eve day, I’ll be experiencing something I haven’t for a long time: the Christmas season at a local church that I consider to be my own.
I was raised in a Christian church, the Church of the Brethren, in Lancaster, Pa. in the 50’s and 60’s. Every Sunday morning until the age of 16, my parents took me to it. Then, after a family move to the Finger Lakes region, and then my going off to college, that Sunday morning ritual ended. Indeed, after leaving college, I didn’t go to church on Sunday morning until the early 80’s, when my son was born and a community-oriented, progressive minister took over at a Lutheran church down the block from where I was living in Brooklyn, NY. I started going to church partly because of the miracle of our newborn baby and partly to support him in his struggles to make the church, not just him, more community oriented. I ended up going regularly for 16 years.
That ended about 1999 because of a family move to New Jersey. For the next 16 years, I only went to church when visiting my retired and aging parents in Lancaster. I had no interest in trying to find a church to go to in my home town area.
Then, a little less than two years ago, a local Reformed Church about a mile away put solar panels on its roof and held a public event to celebrate them being turned on. I went to it, was impressed by the spirit and smarts of the woman pastor, and several months later, I checked out a Sunday morning service.
I discovered, not surprisingly, that I really didn’t agree with much of the theology that was preached, but, surprisingly, I started to look forward to attending on Sunday mornings when I was in town. Part of the reason was the hymn-singing. Part of the reason was the pastor’s focus in her sermons on explaining the social context of Jesus’ ministry 2000 years ago in Palestine and the wisdom of his teachings. Part of it was the multi-racial and generally working-class nature of the congregation. And part of it was the sense of community, love even, that I found myself developing with the others in church with me.
There is something special about being with people almost every week who are making genuine efforts, each in their own way, to live up to the very high, challenging standards of Jesus of Nazareth, to live a life of love.
Now, a year and a half later, I go for all of these reasons but also because I have found my hour in church on Sunday to be a special personal time. It’s a time for personal meditation on how well I’ve lived my life in the week before, living up to, or not, what is my favorite verse in the Bible, Micah 6:8:  “And what does the Lord ask of you but to do justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”
I got into the progressive movement for transformative change almost 50 years ago because of my religious upbringing. I was given values and a perspective on the world, and a “hero” to try to follow, that led me naturally to a life of activism against war and injustice and in defense of Mother Earth. When I’ve been part of organizations I have done my best to have them be about a way of working and interacting that is qualitatively superior to the individualistic, power-seeking, greedy mis-values of the capitalist system which dominates the earth. I’ve come to believe with every part of my being that unless our movement culture is that way, we have no chance, none, of ever being successful. The greedy bastards will maintain their power.
So this holiday season, whether religious or not, why don’t we use it to reflect on how in 2018 we can live each day the kind of life we know, deep inside us, we are capable of living, full of higher love in action but also love for those around us expressed in tangible ways.

Ted Glick has been a progressive activist and organizer since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at http://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jtglick.

Mumia Abu-Jamal Case Going Back to Court


The following statement was submitted by Noelle Hanrahan, a private investigator and the director of Prison Radio

Pack the Court for Mumia on January 17!

8-11am, Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center- 1301 Filbert St.

On January 17, Mumia Abu-Jamal's criminal case goes back to court!

In a court case that could eventually lead to Mumia Abu-Jamal's freedom, Judge Leon Tucker has ordered the District Attorney's office to present new testimony in reference to Ronald Castille, the former Philadelphia DA and Supreme Court Judge's role in Mumia's criminal conviction.

I'm publicly requesting that people fill the court room and increase pressure on the DA's office, the court, the DOC and the Governor to release the files in addition to diagnosing and treating Mumia's skin problems.

Thank you! 

Click here to listen to the latest commentaries by Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Wisconsin Priest Comes Out as Gay to Congregation


Source: ABC 7 Chicago

Sessions Looks Into FBI's Uranium One Investigation


Public Split on Extent of the Russia Probe, NBC/WSJ Poll Finds


First Read is your briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.

WASHINGTON — After the tax legislation finally cleared Congress Wednesday, and with the races of 2017 fully behind us, the biggest political story in America turns back to the Russia probe.

And according to the new NBC/WSJ poll released this week, Americans are split on its severity, with 38 percent saying the 2016 Trump campaign DID collude or work secretly with Russia, and with 35 percent saying it didn’t. Another 26 percent say they don’t know enough to say.

Not surprisingly, there’s a significant partisan divide to these numbers. Sixty-five percent of Democrats in poll say the Trump campaign colluded, versus just 6 percent of Republicans who agree. Independents are pretty much split down the middle, with 38 percent saying the Trump campaign DID NOT collude, compared with 35 percent who say it did. 

Click here for the full article.

UN General Assembly Meeting on US Embassy Move in Israel


For the Kids: How to Track Santa Claus on Christmas Eve


Source: CBS News

Roland Martin: I Will Not Allow Anybody To Silence My Voice


Source: Roland S. Martin

Thank you for your extraordinary contribution to Black America, your former network, and the field of journalism, Mr. Martin. From The G-Man wishes you continued success in 2018 and beyond.  

                                                                                                                "G-Man"

Rep. Maxine Waters Talks Trump, GOP Tax Bill, 2018 Midterm Elections & How Blacks Can Move Forward


Source: Roland S. Martin

Ex-Journalist Sentenced to Five Years in Jail for Threats to US Jewish Groups, Stalking


by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff


A former journalist who admitted to calling in bomb threats to US Jewish centers as part of an extensive campaign of cyber stalking his ex-girlfriend was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday.

US District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan sentenced Juan Thompson after hearing a statement from Francesca Rossi, which the judge called “perhaps one of the most eloquent presentations I’ve heard in this courtroom.”

He noted that he was exceeding federal sentencing guidelines, something he rarely did, but said “the level of intensity, the maliciousness” of Thompson’s conduct warranted it.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Empire Report

New York is No. 1 in Losing Residents Who Move to Other States, Study Shows

 
By Kenneth Lovett

ALBANY — New York over the past year continued to lose more residents to other states than it gained — even as the overall population grew slightly thanks to a continued influx of immigrants, Census data shows.

During the 12-month period ending July 1, the state lost a net 190,508 residents to other states, according to the data. That pushed the net outmigration to over 1 million people since 2010 — the largest of any state, according to a review by the Empire Center, a fiscal watchdog group.

Click here for the full article.

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

Johnson Pulls Ahead in Speaker's Race


 
By Gloria Pazmino and Laura Nahmias

As the race for City Council Speaker enters its final stages, Council Member Corey Johnson seems to have gathered enough support to become the body’s next leader.

“It’s looking inevitable,” one member, who would only speak on background, told POLITICO.

Several sources said Johnson is close to finalizing a deal to secure the speakership with negotiations with the county organizations ratcheting up talks in the last two days. One source said county leaders had begun calling members to inform them Wednesday.

Neither Johnson nor his spokespeople returned a request for comment. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Politico (via The Empire Report) 

Once US Murder Capital, NYC Close to Record Low in Homicides

 
By Colleen Long, Associate Press

Even after two terror attacks and a driver's deadly rampage through Times Square, New York City is on track to smash its modern-era low for homicides in a year.

Through Dec. 17, the city of 8.5 million people, once America's murder capital, had recorded 278 killings. That puts it on pace to end this year with killings down 14 percent from last year, and well below the 333 in 2014, which was the year with the fewest homicides since the city began keeping accurate crime statistics in 1963.

Those numbers mean a person's odds of getting killed by homicide in tightly packed, diverse New York City this year were about the same as they were last year in Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: FOX NEWS (via The Empire Report)

New York on Pace to Lose 1 Congressional Seat in 2022

 
ALBANY — It's likely that New York will lose one of its 27 congressional seats in the 2022 reapportionment because its small growth in population hasn't kept pace with the nation as a whole.

According to Census Bureau estimates released Wednesday, New York’s population was 19.85 million as of July 1. That’s up by 471,297 from the last decennial census conducted in 2010.

But the gain — 2.4 percent — is less than the nation's growth of 5.5 percent.

POLITICO looked at the shifts of population in each state from 2010 through 2017, then assumed that they will continue unchanged for another three years. New York is on pace to top 20 million residents by the next reapportionment, but if trends continue as they have so far this decade, its share of the country’s population will dip from 6.29 percent to 6.03 percent. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Politico (via The Empire Report) 

Christmas Eve, Day Winter Storm to Snarl Traffic in Midwestern and Northeastern US

 

As millions take to the roads or prepare to fly to their destinations, winter storms will be on the prowl in the central and eastern United States through Christmas morning.

A record 107.3 million people will take to planes, trains, aircraft and buses during the period from Saturday, Dec. 23, through Monday, Jan 1, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

While no intense storms are forecast, there will be areas of rain, ice and snow affecting heavily populated areas and popular travel routes.

Click here for video.

Source: AccuWeather (via The Empire Report) 

Cameroon Steps Up Deadly Crackdown on Anglophone Regions' Protests


Emmerson Mnangagwa to Open Zimbabwe to Investors

Poland's President Accuses EU of 'Lying' About Judicial Reforms


Trump Threatens to Cut Aid Over UN Jerusalem Vote

Catalans Return to Polls in Decisive Legislative Election: 'A Very High Turn-Out Expected'


Source: FRANCE 24 English

The Brexit Effect: UK's French Entrepreneurs Brace for Brexit


Source: FRANCE 24 English

South Africa's Ramaphosa Vows 'Radical' Economic Overhaul


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Philippine Ferry Carrying 250 Passengers Capsizes, Many Feared Dead


Source: euronews.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads

 
Among the companies we found doing it: Amazon, Verizon, UPS and Facebook itself. “It’s blatantly unlawful,” said one employment law expert.

by Julia Angwin, ProPublica, Noam Scheiber, The New York Times, and Ariana Tobin, ProPublica'

This story was co-published with The New York Times.

A few weeks ago, Verizon placed an ad on Facebook to recruit applicants for a unit focused on financial planning and analysis. The ad showed a smiling, millennial-aged woman seated at a computer and promised that new hires could look forward to a rewarding career in which they would be “more than just a number.”

Some relevant numbers were not immediately evident. The promotion was set to run on the Facebook feeds of users 25 to 36 years old who lived in the nation’s capital, or had recently visited there, and had demonstrated an interest in finance. For a vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people who check Facebook every day, the ad did not exist.

Verizon is among dozens of the nation's leading employers — including Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Target and Facebook itself — that placed recruitment ads limited to particular age groups, an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times has found.

The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers.

Several experts questioned whether the practice is in keeping with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits bias against people 40 or older in hiring or employment. Many jurisdictions make it a crime to “aid” or “abet” age discrimination, a provision that could apply to companies like Facebook that distribute job ads.

“It’s blatantly unlawful,” said Debra Katz, a Washington employment lawyer who represents victims of discrimination.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

Trump Wins Tax Cuts, Kids Lose Health Insurance


The president and Republicans finally passed major legislation, but they can’t even reauthorize a program to take care of 9 million children.
 
By Sam Stein, Lachlan Markay, and Asawin Suebsaeng

Over the summer, President Donald Trump invited House Republicans to the White House Rose Garden to tout the passage of an Obamacare repeal bill through their chamber. It was a premature celebration, one that looked particularly silly when the Senate failed repeatedly to follow suit months later.

On Wednesday afternoon, the president brought GOP lawmakers over to the White House again—this time to celebrate the real thing.

For roughly half an hour, the president and Republican allies from Capitol Hill boasted of passing a major tax package that will, largely, benefit the wealthy and corporations. And, in true Trumpian fashion, he cast it as a prolonged fight between the winners and the losers.

"It's always a lot of fun when you win," Trump made sure to note, shortly after giving kudos to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the latter of whom he has repeatedly feuded with privately, as well as publicly.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast