Friday, February 23, 2018

Trump, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Joint News Conference

Source: PBS NewsHour

Vice President Pence Addresses Nation's Governors

Vice President Pence speaks at a luncheon for the nation’s governors at his residence in Washington, D.C.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Governors Unveil Blueprint for U.S. Healthcare

Governors John Hickenlooper (D-CO), John Kasich (R-OH) and Governor Bill Walker (I-AK) unveil a blueprint for the nation’s health care system. They also call for Congress to take up legislation to stabilize the marketplace and premiums.

Source: C-SPAN

'Flashback Friday': Frank Sinatra Speaks Out Against Bigotry

This video was published on YouTube on April 10, 2015. 

Source: Politesseo

Trailblazers in Black History: Augusta Savage

This video was published on YouTube on January 14, 2009. 

Augusta Savage, born Augusta Christine Fells (February 29, 1892 March 26, 1962) was an African-American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. 

She was also a teacher and her studio was important to the careers of a rising generation of artists who would become nationally known. She worked for equal rights for African Americans in the arts.

Source: AfricanAmericanArt

Hundreds of Black Women Gather at Power Rising Summit for Activism and Engagement

Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York, Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House minority leader, and others slated to attend.
by Donna Owens

Power Rising, a national summit that’s been planned by, and for black women, has kicked off in Atlanta with a roster of celebs, elected officials and influencers slated to attend.

The four-day event, scheduled to run until the 25th, is sold out, organizers said. It is expected to draw upwards of 1,000 attendees from all 50 states and beyond representing various ages, faiths, sexual orientations, educational and professional backgrounds.

The goal of the event, organizers said, is helping African-American women leverage their political, economic and social power in order to move themselves, their communities and the nation forward.

"Black women own more than 1.5 million businesses. We are the largest users of social media and we know that we are cultural influencers,” said co-convener the Rev. Leah Daughtry. “The summit will bring together black women from across the country and all different walks of life. It will focus on our political prowess, our economic power and our cultural influence.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Despair Deaths: Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide Killing More Americans Than Ever

Blacks, Latinos, Asians Being Increasingly Hit

by Maggie Fox 

“Despair deaths” from drugs, alcohol and suicide have reached new peaks in the U.S. and are not just killing whites, but spiking in communities of color, as well, according to a new report released Thursday.

More than 142,000 Americans died from drug or alcohol overdoses and from suicide in 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2015, the report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust finds.

“These 142,000 ‘despair deaths’ in 2016 add to the more than one million Americans who died from drugs, alcohol or suicide in the previous decade,” the report reads.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on North Korea Sanctions (Full Video)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced new sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear program. The sanctions target the North Korean shipping and trading industry. Secretary Mnuchin said this is the largest sanctions package to date to be imposed.

Source: C-SPAN

Source: Former Trump Campaign Aide Rick Gates to Plead Guilty

President Donald Trump Delivers Remarks at CPAC Conference

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Announces Plans on Student Safety

Inside Labs Working on a Universal Flu Vaccine

Russia and the US: Who is Undermining Democracy?

Source: Al Jazeera English

Journalism is Not a Crime: The Story of Mahmoud Hussein

Source: Al Jazeera English

Lebanon-Israel: Tensions Over Disputed Water

Central African Republic: Half the Population Needs Aid

Syria: 'Assad's Forces Are Going to Clear Out Eastern Ghouta'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Poland: Women Fighting Back Against Controversial Abortion Law

Source: FRANCE 24 English

How French Cyber Police Are Patrolling the 'Dark Web'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

EU Doubles Sahel Force Funding, but African Leaders Issue Warning

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Governor Cuomo on Sensible Gun Safety

Source: NYGovCuomo

City Scoop: Rikers Island , $40 Million to Help Minority & Women-Owned Businesses

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray Host Black History Month Celebration

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Complaints About Nursing Home Evictions Rise, and Regulators Take Note

Six weeks after Deborah Zwaschka-Blansfield had the lower half of her left leg amputated, she received some news from the nursing home where she was recovering: Her insurance would no longer pay, and it was time to move on.

The home wanted to release her to a homeless shelter or pay for a week in a motel.

“That is not safe for me,” said Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield, 59, who cannot walk and had hoped to stay in the home, north of Sacramento, until she could do more things for herself — like getting up if she fell.

Her experience is becoming increasingly common among the 1.4 million nursing home residents across the country. Discharges and evictions have been the top-ranking category of grievances brought to state long-term care ombudsman programs, the ombudsman agencies say.

While nursing homes can discharge residents for a limited set of reasons, legal advocates say that home operators sometimes interpret those reasons in unjustified ways. Often, it’s because the residents’ more lucrative Medicare coverage is ending, which is what Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield said happened in her case.

Click here for the full article.

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

Longtime WABC-TV New York Chief Dave Davis to Retire

Dave Davis, the longtime head of ABC’s flagship O&O in New York, is retiring after more than 40 years in the broadcast TV biz.

Davis has spent most of the past 15 years as president and general manager of WABC-TV New York. He joined the station in 2003. He served as exec VP of ABC News from 2007 until he rejoined WABC-TV in 2010.

Wendy McMahon, president of ABC Owned Station Group, credited Davis for keeping WABC-TV as one of the nation’s highest-rated TV stations. There’s no word yet on a successor. McMahon will play a larger role in the management of WABC in the interim period.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Variety (via Empire Report New York) 

More Marijuana is Consumed in NYC Than in Any Other City in the World

Legal weed might be on its way to New York, but the city is already chock-full of bomb-ass kush. 

A recent study from Seedo, which manufactures a plant cultivation device, found that more devil’s lettuce is consumed in New York than in any other city on earth. It estimates that a grand total of 77.44 metric tons of the stuff is consumed within the five boroughs every year (which is about the same weight as the Endeavor space shuttle, another conduit that's taken humans to space, man). According to the study, the world’s next biggest consumer of that loud is Karachi, Pakistan, at 41.95 metric tons per year, followed by New Delhi at 38.26. Los Angeles ranked fourth on the list, with an annual consumption of 36.06 metric tons.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Time Out (via Empire Report New York) 

NY Renews to Hand Cuomo Check for $7 Billion in Potential Polluter Fee Revenue

ALBANY, NY – On February 27, impacted New Yorkers will pack the Environmental Conservation Committee budget hearing, then deliver a $7 billion check to Governor Cuomo’s office as part of a call for Governor Cuomo and legislators to include a commitment to transition New York to 100% renewable energy and fund investments in communities hit the hardest by climate change. The $7 billion check represents the amount New York State would generate to invest in clean energy and climate change-impacted communities by charging corporate polluters a fee for their emissions, according to a recent University of Massachusetts study.
Dozens of residents of New York and members of NY Renews—a statewide coalition of 139 labor unions, community groups, and environmental organizations—will tell legislators and the Governor that we need more ambitious climate policy--and we need it now. In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced some positive climate-related initiatives but fell short of supporting a comprehensive and equitable plan to hold polluters accountable and move New York State to 100% renewable energy. 

With newly-elected Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey announcing he supports 100% renewable energy by the year 2050, Governor Cuomo’s failure to publicly support the same goal--which he could have done by backing last year’s Climate and Community Protection Act—is drawing increased scrutiny.
After the hearing, the group will reconvene at 1 pm to march to the Governor’s office to demand action and deliver an oversized $7 billion check for the Governor to sign. The amount represents what the state would receive in revenue if a corporate polluter fee were passed.
Immediately following the check delivery, the demonstrators--many of whom have been impacted directly by worsening hurricanes and heat waves--will also be making stops at the offices of Independent Democratic Conference leader Sen. Jeff Klein and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to demand that they do everything in their power to ensure serious legislative action is taken to combat one of the widest-reaching threats facing New York State.
Source: Environmental Advocates of New York

David Holzman Concert and Address in Kew Gardens

On March 3, Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery will present Grammy-nominated master pianist and modern music specialist, David Holzman. After the performance, Holzman will discuss his career as a hearing-impaired musician and answer questions.
The event will be held at The Center at Maple Grove Cemetery, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., which is  located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road in Queens, New York. A wine and cheese reception will follow. 
Click here for additional information.
Source: Friends of Maple Grove

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Happening in Harlem - Reparations: A Musical Reading!

Reparations: The Musical! explores the reparations debate with style, humor and a spirit of transformation. In this unique foray into Black history and future, a successful African American lawyer takes a case defending an insurance provider whose wealth was derived from the exploitation of enslaved Africans. When he encounters an ancient ancestor spirit with a mission to awaken him to his true identity, he is set on a journey toward love and liberation. 

Click here for additional information. 
Joseph Edwards is an artist and educator whose work as an actor and playwright has been showcased on film, television, and stage. His stage adaptation of the classic autobiography of Claude Brown's Manchild In The Promised Land, originally produced at the American Place Theatre, was nominated for an AUDELCO Award for excellence in Black theater and was performed for more than fifty thousand students in New York City. 

Edwards won three AUDELCO awards for his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of FLY, also presented at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina and at the HBO Performance Space in Los Angeles. 

He appeared in Bad Company, starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins, and has had guest appearances on Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, and Rescue Me. Edwards has also appeared on Broadway in Regina Taylor's Drowning Crow, starring Alfre Woodard and Anthony Mackey. Off-Broadway he played "Officer Burt" in Urban Transitions with Chadwick Bozeman, and as "Boy Willie" in the Baltimore Center Stage production of August Wilson's Fences. He was a stand-out performer in Waiting to End Hell at the National Black Theater Festival. 

Edwards portrayed the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater production of The Meeting at the Kennedy Center, directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson. In the Williamstown Theater Festival production of A Raisin In The Sun starring Viola Davis and Rubin Santiago Hudson, he portrayed "Bobo". 

Most recently Joseph performed in Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography at the Castillo Theater. 

Source: ImageNation

Mayor Bill de Blasio Makes an Announcement Regarding the Administration’s Senior Personnel

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre Addresses CPAC Conference

The head of the NRA addresses to the Conservative Political Action Conference just over a week after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Statements from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wayne LaPierre's Comments

As a father and a gun owner, I think it would be nice if the NRA listened to the millions of children across this country who are asking the President and the GOP Congress to stop this senseless gun violence. Too many lives have already been lost because the NRA and people like Wayne LaPierre want to sell more guns.

"While the NRA is busy peddling lies to the American people, New York and a coalition of states are saying enough is enough. The American people won't be played for fools. There is a way to pass common sense gun safety legislation—we know because we did it in New York. It isn't either/or—it can and must be both.

"If Wayne LaPierre is attacking you, you know you're doing something right. I am proud of my F rating from the NRA, and I will continue to do everything I can to keep New Yorkers and our children safe."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Inside the U.S. Military Recruitment Program That Trained Nikolas Cruz to Be 'A Very Good Shot'

A Democracy Now!Exclusive

Sessions Announces 'Significant Law Enforcement Action' to Combat Elder Fraud

Source: PBS NewsHour

Governors Cuomo, Malloy, Murphy and Raimondo Announce 'States for Gun Safety' Coalition

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo today announced the formation of the new "States for Gun Safety" coalition to combat gun violence. In the face of repeated federal inaction, the coalition will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to better share information and tackle this devastating epidemic through a comprehensive, regional approach. 

The coalition will advance a multi-pronged effort that will create a multi-state database to supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, trace and intercept guns that are used in crimes as well as guns transported across state borders and launch the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium that will study the issue across multiple disciplines to better inform policy makers nationwide.

"Here in New York, we're proud to be home to the nation's strongest gun safety law. However, the federal government's continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread, but it has actually prevented the laws like the SAFE Act from being fully effective," Governor Cuomo said. "Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, New York is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands. Not only will this groundbreaking partnership take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines, but by forming the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, we will be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe."

"We refuse to allow federal inaction to enact commonsense, gun safety laws endanger the lives of our residents," Governor Malloy said.  "Despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from special interest groups, we will work together as a coalition of states to keep our communities safe.  We cannot sit back and let guns get into the hands of those who shouldn't have them, and we cannot simply watch almost daily tragedy occur.  One thing remains clear: we would be better off if every state and the federal government enacted sensible gun safety rules.  We will not wait for Washington to act - the time for action is now."

"Gun violence is not a New Jersey problem, or a New York problem, or a problem for any particular state or region - it is a national problem," Governor Murphy said. "However, we cannot wait for Congress to act. As states, we must work together to take the steps and enact the measures to protect our residents and our communities. But, even more importantly, a collective of states can take these steps together broaden the reach and impact of commonsense gun safety laws."

"Rhode Island has some of the nation's strongest gun laws, but our nation has some of the world's weakest. Kids in Florida and across the nation are taking action, and it's not a surprise: We've forced them to lead because for years elected officials in Washington have refused to," Governor Raimondo said. "We will stand up with our students and with parents to strengthen our gun laws and combat gun violence." 

Click here for the full announcement. If not posted, check later. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Trailblazers in Black History: Sammy Davis, Jr.

This video was published on YouTube on December 17, 2013. 

Born on December 8, 1925, in New York City, Sammy Davis Jr. overcame prevailing racism to become an entertaining legend. He was a successful comedian, actor, dancer and singer. As part of the Rat Pack, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Davis was known for his films and his partying ways. As his fame grew, his refusal to appear in any clubs that practiced racial segregation led to the integration of several venues in Miami Beach and Las Vegas.

Film Festival Workshop to Examine Diversity, Inclusion in Entertainment Industry

Does the US Green Party Have a Future?

'Future Hope' Column

By Ted Glick 

I have been an active member of the Green Party for 18 years, mainly on a local level for the last dozen years. Before that I had been working with it for about a decade. I remember the beginnings of Green Party organizing efforts in the early 80’s, about the same time as the historic first Jesse Jackson for President/Rainbow Coalition campaign in 1984.

Some Greens look upon me as a kind-of traitor because, in 2016, I was very critical of the kind of campaign Jill Stein was running. I was particularly critical of her repeated refrain that Trump and Clinton were “equally terrible,” and her bewildering statements to the effect that she had a chance of winning the Presidency. By the end of October, between my problems with her campaign and the closeness of the race between Trump and Clinton, I ending up writing a column, “Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton,” and then did so on election day.

Unfortunately, I was right and Stein was wrong. Trump is off-the-charts terrible. Clinton would have been OK-to-problematic-to-bad, but nothing like the lying, pathological, narcissistic, sexist, racist poor-excuse-for-a-human-being currently in the White House.

However, I have continued to stay active with my local GP group in Essex County, NJ. For a long time our main focus was education and activism to combat the climate crisis. Some of us are still doing that, but for a number of the newer and younger members who joined in 2016 or 2017, running in elections is what they want to do.

The position I’ve taken within this group, one shared by a number of others, is that our focus should be on running people for school boards or city councils, local races where there is a real chance of winning or doing well through hard work and smart organizing. We should not be running candidates for Congress who have zero chance of winning and little chance of getting more than a few percentage point share of the vote. Campaigns like that show weakness, not growing strength.

Click here for the full article. 


Conservative Clash Over Trump Sets Stage for CPAC Gathering

WASHINGTON — It didn't take long for the first ideological fight to break out over this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, an eclectic annual gathering of activists, officials and luminaries on the political right.

In fact, it happened Monday night — three days before Thursday's opening gavel.

Jonah Goldberg, a National Review senior editor and leading light of the conservative intelligentsia, took issue with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the CPAC-hosting American Conservative Union, over a lineup of speakers — including Marion Le Pen, the niece of French National Front Party chief Marine Le Pen — who figure to lavish adoring praise and little criticism on President Donald Trump. 

Schlapp fired back on Twitter in personal terms: "Hey Jonah our biggest coup was getting your wife to join mine on the trump train. Choo choo."

In theory, the two should be on the same side: A pair of telegenic, thoughtful, successful-in-Washington conservatives whose wives, Deputy White House Communications Director Mercedes Schlapp, and Jessica Gavora, a speechwriter for U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, work for the same president. 

But not in the Trump era — and especially not when CPAC comes to town. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Florida School Shooting Survivors Demand Change During Visit to State Capital

Source: ABC News

African Refugees on Hunger Strike in Israel

Cyprus Accuses Turkey of Obstructing Gas Exploration

Venezuelan Opposition Calls for Boycott of Election

Bangladesh to Send Off 100,000 Refugees to 'Floating Island'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Opposition Activist Evan Mawarire: Zimbabweans Hope They Can Reset Our Future'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Tightening Grip: French Government Unveils Controversial Migrant Law

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: More Than 100 Nigerian Schoolgirls Still Missing After Boko Haram Attack

Source: FRANCE 24 English

'Powerless in Syria' or 'Complicit to the Bombings'?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

8-Year-Old Girl Is Latest NJ Kid to Die From Flu: Officials

A lab test confirms that an 8-year-old girl is the latest child to die from the flu in New Jersey, the state’s Department of Public Health said Wednesday.

Officials didn't name Daniela Genaro as the girl, but her family told NBC 4 earlier this week that she was the young Elizabeth resident whose death was being investigated.

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Simplify Tax Season Using an Array of New York State Services

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded taxpayers to take advantage of the full suite of services it offers to ease their filing tasks, from online resources to in-person guidance.

“These resources—designed to accommodate a range of taxpayer needs—drive efficiency, saving the public time and money,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “Our aim is to ease the filing process and ensure error-free returns, allowing us to quickly issue any refunds due.”

An overview of some of online services and other resources follow, but visit the NYS Tax Department’s website at for more information.

Refund updates: Access the Check your refund status! page or sign up for email alerts. You’ll receive the same information available from our call center—without the wait.

Free e-filing. We provide access to free tax preparation and e-filing software at our website: (search: freefile2017) for those with adjusted gross household income of $66,000 or less in 2017.

In-person assistance
. We offer Free tax assistance sites for those with adjusted gross household income of $66,000 or less in 2017. The sites provide free resources so those eligible can electronically prepare and file both their state and federal tax returns. Tax employees are on hand to guide taxpayers through the tax software.

Tax preparer guidance
. We provide ways to verify your tax preparer and review the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers.

View last year’s refund amount
. If you received a NYS income tax refund last year, you may want to view your 1099-G information. You can view and print your Form 1099-G using our 1099-G web application. For more, visit our Form 1099-G webpage.

Online payment service
. If you don’t pay by making an electronic funds withdrawal when e-filing, you can use our Online Services (OLS) to make a payment directly from your bank account (free) or by credit card (2.25% convenience fee). This will save you the trouble of printing a voucher and mailing a check or money order. For more information, visit our Make a personal income tax return payment online page.

Quick Pay
. If you receive a bill after you file your return, you can pay directly from a bank account using our Quick Pay tool without having an Online Services account. For more information, visit our Pay a bill or notice page.

Power of Attorney web application
. Those who wish to appoint an individual or individuals to represent them before the Tax Department should file Form POA-1, Power of Attorney, by using our web application accessible from an Online Services account. For more information, visit our Form POA-1, Power of Attorney page.

When we need more information to process a return, the easiest and fastest way for a taxpayer to provide it is by using the “Respond to Department Notice” online service. You can provide explanations, attach documentation, and receive instant confirmation that your response was received.

If you receive a bill or a notice after you file your return, you can also use this service to disagree and submit additional information or documentation.

For more information, visit our Respond to your notice or bill online and I recieved a letter pages.

If you do decide to put pen to paper, despite the many benefits of e-filing, the Tax Department’s enhanced fill-in forms will help reduce filing errors and speed processing with automatic calculations and labor-saving barcodes. Enhanced Resident and Nonresident and part-year resident income tax return and popular credit forms are available on The Tax Department website.

If you can’t file by April 17, apply for an extension of time to file. An extension doesn’t provide more time to pay taxes owed. You must still pay the properly estimated tax you owe by the original due date of the return. 

Source: The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Number of Hate Groups Rise for Third Year in a Row

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

Our yearly report on the state of extremism in America has found that the number of hate groups grew for a third straight year in 2017 — a year that saw white supremacists energized by the Trump presidency and black nationalist groups rising in response.

We've identified 954 hate groups — a 4 percent increase.

The radical right started 2017 on a roll, with allies in the White House. But then came Charlottesville, and white supremacists faced a backlash. Still, Trump's rhetoric and the country's changing demographics continue to energize them.

Here are the highlights:

For the first time since 2009, hate groups were found in all 50 states.

Neo-Nazi groups were up 22 percent, from 99 to 121.

Anti-Muslim groups rose for a third straight year. After tripling in 2016, they added 13 more chapters last year and now have 114.

Black nationalist groups expanded from 193 to 233 chapters in reaction to Trump and the rising white supremacist movement.

Slew of State and Local Bills Are Targeting LGBTQ People

From a trans "bathroom bill" in Anchorage to "parody marriage" legislation in South Carolina, a number of new bills are causing LGBTQ advocates concern.

by Julie Moreau

Alaska’s most populous city, Anchorage, will vote on a ballot measure in April that seeks to mandate “intimate facilities” in municipal buildings, like restrooms and locker rooms, only be used by persons of the same “sex.” The measure, Proposition 1, defines sex as an individual's “immutable biological condition of being male or female, as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at the time of birth.”

If passed, Proposition 1 would roll back aspects of Anchorage’s 2015 nondiscrimination ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, regardless of one’s sex assigned at birth.

While proponents of the ballot measure say it was designed with public safety in mind, Lillian Lennon, a field organizer for Fair Anchorage, a bipartisan coalition aimed at defeating Proposition 1, said it would “effectively legalize discrimination against transgender citizens” and endanger trans Alaskans like herself.

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Turkey Warns of 'Grave Consequences' in Afrin

Source: euronews.

North Korea Crisis: UN Official Says is Hopeful of Seoul-Pyongyang Rapprochement

Source: FRANCE 24 English

President Trump: 'Billy Graham Was Truly One of a Kind'

Statement by the President on the Passing of Reverend  Graham

Melania and I join millions of people around the world in mourning the passing of Billy Graham. Our prayers are with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who worked closely with Reverend Graham in his lifelong ministry.

Billy’s acceptance of Jesus Christ around his seventeenth birthday not only changed his life—it changed our country and the world.  He was one of the towering figures of the last 100 years—an American hero whose life and leadership truly earned him the title “God’s Ambassador.”

Billy’s unshakeable belief in the power of God’s word to transform hearts gave hope to all who listened to his simple message: “God loves you.”  He carried this message around the world through his crusades, bringing entire generations to faith in Jesus Christ.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks in 2001, America turned to Billy Graham at the National Cathedral, who told us, “God can be trusted, even when life seems at its darkest.”

Reverend Graham would be the first to say that he did not do it alone. Before her passing, his wife Ruth was by his side through it all—a true partner, a wonderful mother, and a fellow missionary soul.  He also built an international team and institution that will continue to carry on Christ’s message.

Melania and I were privileged to get to know Reverend Graham and his extraordinary family over the last several years, and we are deeply grateful for their love and support.

Billy Graham was truly one of a kind.  Christians and people of all faiths and backgrounds will miss him dearly. We are thinking of him today, finally at home in Heaven.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

U.S. Foreign Relations and the Trump Administration

Former Obama Administration State Department Policy Planning Director Jake Sullivan discussed his story in Foreign Affairs on international relations during, and after, the Trump Administration.

Source: C-SPAN 

The Press and the Presidency

Sarah Sanders and Mike McCurry talked about the relationship between the press and the presidency. Ms. Sanders is the Trump administration press secretary and Mr. McCurry was a press secretary in the Clinton administration.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Trailblazers in Black History: The 761st Tank Battalion of World War II

This video was published on YouTube on December 12, 2014. 


The 'I Am Woman' Series: Pink

This video was published on YouTube on September 16, 2012. 


Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia Probe

Pence Meeting with North Koreans Scrapped: Official

Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin Are the Latest Rage, but Skeptics Warn About Bubble

The Media Exaggerates Negative News. This Distortion Has Consequences

By Steven Pinker 

Every day the news is filled with stories about war, terrorism, crime, pollution, inequality, drug abuse and oppression. And it’s not just the headlines we’re talking about; it’s the op-eds and long-form stories as well. Magazine covers warn us of coming anarchies, plagues, epidemics, collapses, and so many “crises” (farm, health, retirement, welfare, energy, deficit) that copywriters have had to escalate to the redundant “serious crisis.”

Whether or not the world really is getting worse, the nature of news will interact with the nature of cognition to make us think that it is.

News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a journalist saying to the camera, “I’m reporting live from a country where a war has not broken out”— or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as bad things have not vanished from the face of the earth, there will always be enough incidents to fill the news, especially when billions of smartphones turn most of the world’s population into crime reporters and war correspondents. 

And among the things that do happen, the positive and negative ones unfold on different timelines. The news, far from being a “first draft of history,” is closer to play-by-play sports commentary. It focuses on discrete events, generally those that took place since the last edition (in earlier times, the day before; now, seconds before).  

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Guardian