Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Trump Signs Executive Order to Keep Families Together at Border

Gov. Cuomo, NY AG Underwood Announce Lawsuit Against Manufacturers of Hazardous Firefighting Foam

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood today announced that the state has filed a lawsuit against six companies that manufactured aqueous film-forming foam containing the chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonic acid/perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid/perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA contamination resulting from these firefighting foams has been found at locations across New York, including Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh and Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Southampton. The lawsuit seeks to hold the companies accountable and recover state costs and natural resource damages associated with PFOS/PFOA contamination at several sites and is the latest step in New York's ongoing efforts to tackle emerging contaminants.

"As state experts continue to investigate contamination caused by firefighting foams, New York is working to end the dangerous practices that threaten our natural resources," Governor Cuomo said. 

"By taking necessary legal action against these companies, we are sending a clear message that we will do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers."

"The conduct of these manufacturers caused widespread contamination of our drinking water and our environment - and jeopardized the health of tens of thousands of New Yorkers," Attorney General Underwood said. "My office will hold these companies accountable for endangering the health of New Yorkers, including forcing them to fully repay the state for cleaning up the toxic mess they created." 

Defendants in the suit include 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, National Foam, Inc., and Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Behind the Criminal Immigration Law: Eugenics and White Supremacy

The history of the statute that can make it a felony to illegally enter the country involves some dark corners of U.S. history. 

Amid a bipartisan backlash, President Trump has tried repeatedly to shift blame to Democrats for his own administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in more than 2,300 migrant children being taken from their families along the U.S.–Mexico border. “The Democrats have to change their law — that’s their law,” Trump told reporters on Friday.

The president didn’t specify which law he was talking about. But the statute at the center of his administration’s policy is the work of Republicans — with origins dating back all the way to World War I — albeit with substantial Democratic support along the way. Known originally as the “Undesirable Aliens Act,” the statute would not exist without support from, respectively, a eugenicist and a white supremacist.

The law in question was the foundation of a memo Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued in early April that laid out the administration’s new, zero-tolerance policy. In the memo, Sessions instructed federal prosecutors in the southwestern United States to file criminal charges against any adults caught entering the country illegally. His order stripped officials of discretion over whether to place migrant families seeking asylum into civil proceedings, which allow families to stay together. (Court rulings limit how long the government can detain migrants in civil proceedings. There’s also no guarantee they’ll return for future hearing dates once they’re let out, a phenomenon that has prompted the president’s complaints about “catch and release.”)

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

School Honouring Confederate General Renamed Barack Obama Elementary

Move part of trend to rename public buildings and remove statues which honour those who fought to keep slavery. 

An elementary school in Richmond, Virginia has changed its name from that of a Confederate-era general to the nations first black president, Barack Obama.

The Richmond Public School Board voted six to one to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School, named after a Civil War general who fought to keep slavery in the American South, to Barack Obama Elementary School.

Approximately 95 per cent of the school's students identify as African-American and the name was chosen from seven finalists, which included options to honour civil rights activists Barbara Jones, Henry Marsh, and Oliver Hill. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Independent 

Video Shows Unaccompanied Kids Brought To NYC Foster Center In Dead Of Night

Unaccompanied children who may have been separated from their families crossing the U.S. border were brought to a New York City foster care organization in the dead of night, according to new video taken by the cable news channel Spectrum News NY1.

“It was jarring to see in the middle of the night,” reporter Josh Robin said during a report Wednesday morning that aired video of young girls who were speaking Spanish being led into a facility in East Harlem run by Cayuga Centers around 12:45 a.m. The children, their faces covered with coats, were led out of the building and into cars about an hour later.

“There was basically no one else on the street and the woman that they were with emphatically denied that they had been separated from their parents,” Robin reported.  

In addition to the girls shown in the video, at least 74 children have been sent to nine shelters in New York, according to the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D). The immigrant kids are being separated from their families under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy so the parents can be prosecuted for entering the U.S. illegally. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Special Report: Trump Expected to Sign Executive Order That Could End Family Separations

President Trump meets with Congressional leadership at the White House and comments on upcoming border legislation.

Bonus Reports

70 Kids Separated From Migrant Families Now in NY Facilities

Gov. Cuomo says more than five dozen children separated from their parents at the border under the Trump administration's hard-line immigration policy are being housed in New York facilities that have federal contracts -- and the Democrat vows to sue the government over what he calls an "inhumane" tactic.

Most of the facilities where the 70 kids are being held are in the New York City area, Cuomo said Tuesday. He also said that he expects the lawsuit to be filed within two weeks, and that it will claim the children were taken from their parents without due process under federal and state laws.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 4 New York 

Trump's Advisors 'Hate What Canada Represents': Former Ambassador

This report was published on YouTube on June 19. 

Bruce Heyman, former U.S. ambassador to Canada, joins BNN Bloomberg's Catherine Murray for his take on the trade tug-of-war between the North American neighbours.

Source: BNN Bloomberg

Hungary: MPs Back Controversial 'Stop Soros' Laws Criminalising Help to Illegal Migrants

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Should Canada End the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S.?

This report was published on YouTube on June 19. 

Donald Trump's 'zero-tolerance' migrant policy, which has led to the forcible detention of thousands of children and separation from their parents, has led many critics to question whether the U.S. remains a safe country for asylum seekers. Former Canadian immigration minister Chris Alexander explains why he believes Canada should suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S.

Source: CBC News

Japan Rejects 99% of Asylum Applications

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Canada: Senate Gives Final Greenlight for Cannabis Legalisation

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Turkey Elections: Who Are President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Rivals?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

World Refugee Day: The Story of a French Mother Who Took in an Afghan Refugee

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Middle East Matters: Debunking Myths About Islam

Source: FRANCE 24 English

US Leaves UN Human Rights Council

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Brexit: MPs Fight Over 'Meaningful Vote'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

NATO Chief Hails Strength of Transatlantic Bond on Defence, Security

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Trump Facing Republicans Upset Over Border Policy

Trump's family separation policy has turned Hill Republicans into administration critics.

 by Jonathan Allen, Rebecca Shabad and Alex Moe

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday to talk immigration with congressional Republicans, he faced an unusually stiff headwind from his typically loyal allies: They're pushing back on him because they're worried about the effect of his policies on their electoral prospects in November.

"I support, and all of the Republican conference support, a plan that keeps families together while their immigration status is determined," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Cuomo to File Multi-Agency Lawsuit Against the Trump Administration

Suit Claims the Constitutional Rights of
Children and Families Are Being Violated  

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced New York State intends to file a multi-agency lawsuit against the Trump Administration on the grounds that the federal government is violating the Constitutional rights of thousands of immigrant children and their parents who have been separated at the border. We now know of more than 70 children who are staying in federal shelters in New York State and that number is expected to increase as other facilities are contacted. The Governor is directing the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services to commence legal action against the federal government's "Separation of Families" policy. Following the callous and inhumane treatment of immigrant families at the border, New York is suing to protect the health and well-being of children being held at least 10 different facilities across the state and at others throughout the nation.

"The Trump Administration's policy to tear apart families is a moral failing and a human tragedy," Governor Cuomo said. "We will not tolerate the Constitutional rights of children and their parents being violated by our federal government.  New York will act and file suit to end this callous and deliberate attack on immigrant communities, and end this heartless policy once and for all." 

The Governor announced that New York plans to sue the federal government for:

Violating the Constitutional Rights of Children and Families


Parents are being separated from their children at the border as a result of the Trump Administration's new "zero tolerance" prosecution of the minor federal offense of improper entry into the country. In prior administrations, families who appeared with children at the border would be processed together and released with a date to appear in court. Now, parents, many of whom are seeking to protect their children and families from gang violence, are being systematically detained, separated from their children, and, in some cases, deported with no meaningful opportunity to participate in making decisions concerning the care and custody of their children. Yet these parents are still afforded rights under the United States Constitution to familial integrity and to decide to exercise their parental rights in New York State.

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo   

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Brackett, Award-Winning Journalist

This report was published on YouTube on June 18. 

Elizabeth Brackett, an award-winning special correspondent for the NewsHour for more than 25 years, has died at the age of 76. Across her 40 years in journalism, her reports stood out in the way she captured the voices of those affected and for her drive to always push for more. Judy Woodruff looks back at her life and career.

Evangelicals Turn on Trump Over Immigration

This report was published on YouTube on June 17. 

Source: CBC News

Senator Graham to Trump: Listen to Melania

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the White House can change the immigration policy despite what Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said, adding that he thinks President Trump "should listen to Melania" after she said she hates to see children separated from their families.

Border Patrol Official on 'Zero Tolerance': 'We Created This Situation by Not Doing Anything'

This report was published on YouTube on June 18. 

Manny Padilla, chief of the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Customs and Border Protection, joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss the controversy surrounding the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on immigration. Padilla is responsible for the busiest area of illegal crossings in the country and for implementing the policy. Padilla tells Gayle King that parents separated from their children who were confused is due to "misinformation."

Source: CBS News 

Einstein's Egalitarian Political Vision Wasn't Welcome in the USA

Albert Einstein is often portrayed as a fuzzy-minded genius. In fact, he was a committed peace activist and champion of racial equality. 

Einstein befriended Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson and W.E.B. DuBois. He also opposed the House Un-American Activities Committee. As a result, he was stalked by the FBI.

In this edition of the Taylor Report, Fred Jerome explains how the Democrats and Republicans went to great lengths while attempting to control Einstein. 

Click here for audio. 

Source: Fred Jerome

Meek Mill's Supporters Rally at Philadelphia Court Ahead of Hearing in Case

by Erik Ortiz

Rapper Meek Mill spent Father's Day this year out of prison and with his young son — something that seemed impossible before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unexpectedly ordered him free on bail almost two months ago.

"I got to go to court and finish fighting for my freedom," Mill, 31, told supporters Monday afternoon at a Stand With Meek Mill rally outside Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center.

He added that he will stand up for others unjustly incarcerated, people "caught up in darkness, who don't have the support."

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Veterans More Likely Than Civilians to Die by Suicide, VA Study Finds

While the trend hasn’t changed since 2014, deaths by suicide are increasing among veterans just as they are in the general population. 

by Maggie Fox

Veterans are twice as likely as civilians to die by suicide, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Monday in its latest report on suicide.

Veterans make up more than 14 percent of all suicides, although they account for only 8 percent of the total population, the VA report said.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Note: If you're a veteran struggling with depression, PTSD or other issues, or know a veteran in distress, call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.  You may also send a text to 838255.

Former ICE Director: Some Migrant Family Separations Are Permanent

An NBC News Exclusive

by Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — The former head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told NBC News that migrant parents separated from their children at the border are sometimes unable to relocate their child and remain permanently separated.

"Permanent separation. It happens," said John Sandweg, who served as acting director of ICE under the Obama administration from 2013-2014.

Sandweg's warning contradicts White House messaging that the separation of women and children migrants under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy is only temporary.

Click here for the full article.

CBS News Poll: Majority of Americans Find Family Separation 'Unacceptable'

Source: CBS News

Caged Children & Terrified Infants: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Describes 'Acts of Indecency' at Border

Source: Democracy Now!

Audio Captures Cries of Children Taken from Parents at US Border

World Health Organization: Gaming Addiction 'a Mental Health Disorder'

UN Relief Chief: 'Rampant' Sexual Abuse, Violence in South Sudan

According to UNICEF, more than a thousand children in South Sudan were sexually assaulted in the first three years of the conflict there.

UNHCR: More People Displaced in 2017 Than Ever Before

Ahead of World Refugee Day, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) unveils its annual report on refugee trends. They say that 68.5 million people were displaced in 2017.

Source: euronews.

Italian Rescue Boat with Over 900 Migrants Arrives in Sicily

Source: euronews.

Bill Seeks to Ban Filming of Israeli Soldiers in Action

Source: euronews.

Macron to Push Eurozone Reform

Source: euronews.

Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner O'Neill Discuss Marijuana Enforcement

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

New York Today: Primary Races to Watch

We are a week away from the primaries.

Democrats and Republicans in New York are holding nominating contests next Tuesday for federal seats, including the House and the Senate. (State primaries, which include the governor’s race, will take place in September.)

To get us up to speed on the most important and interesting races in the state, we spoke to Shane Goldmacher, the chief political correspondent on The Times’s Metro desk.
Here’s what he’s watching:

A heated race in New York City’s Trump Country. “The most interesting Republican primary, certainly in New York, possibly in the country, is in Staten Island,” Mr. Goldmacher said. Michael Grimm once represented the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn, but resigned the seat in 2014 after pleading guilty to tax fraud. (He served seven months in prison.) Now, he’d like his old job back. He’s challenging Representative Dan Donovan, and the two are competing to see who’s more aligned with President Trump — the president endorsed Mr. Donovan, but the swaggering Mr. Grimm is the more Trump-like figure.

Democratic upstarts in the city. A group of incumbent Democrats in New York are facing primary challengers, many of whom are first-time candidates under the age of 35. Representative Joseph Crowley, who some see as possibly replacing Nancy Pelosi as the head of the House Democrats, is being challenged for the first time since 2004, by the progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Representatives Carolyn Maloney (Manhattan’s East Side and parts of Queens), Eliot Engel (the Bronx), Yvette Clarke (central Brooklyn) and Gregory W. Meeks (southern Queens) are also facing insurgents within their party.

Click here for the full article. 

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

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cuomo: New York Will Not Deploy National Guard to the Border

The following statement was issued today by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 "The administration's unconscionable treatment of families at our border is a moral outrage and an affront to the values that built this state and this nation.

"In the face of this ongoing human tragedy, let me be very clear: New York will not be party to this inhumane treatment of immigrant families. We will not deploy National Guard to the border, and we will not be complicit in a political agenda that governs by fear and division.

"Day after day, I am increasingly disturbed by the reports of disgraceful tactics used by ICE both in our own state and along our nation's border. I have called on the Acting Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to investigate illegal and discriminatory ICE tactics in New York and to tell us what his office is doing about the assault on immigrant families along our border.

"In New York, we stand for the values embodied by the Lady in our Harbor. We know that our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will never stop fighting to protect and strengthen the rights of immigrants." 

Cuomo Statement on Representative Katko's
Support for Extreme Anti-Immigration Legislation 

"While Katko pays lip service against the moral atrocity on our border, he is leading the charge to pass an extreme immigration bill that does nothing to stop it. His anti-immigrant immigration bill is an attack on our communities and our American values, and it doesn't touch the policy this administration is using to force parents and children apart. If Katko really cared for the children being separated from their parents by this administration, then he would show some backbone and stop his overlords in the White House from tearing families apart." 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo