Saturday, June 30, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir Dead at 96

Shamir served as Israel's 7th Prime Minister

Statement from Press Secretary Jay Carney

“Yitzhak Shamir dedicated his life to the State of Israel. From his days working for Israel's independence to his service as Prime Minister, he strengthened Israel's security and advanced the partnership between the United States and Israel.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of Israel.”

FTG – Information on the legacy and life of Yitzhak Shamir is provided in the following Jerusalem Post article: Former PM Yitzhak Shamir Passes Away at Age 96 in Tel Aviv

Oval Office Chat Session: Obama, Fugate and Governors of Storm-Ravaged States

President Receives Update on Casualties and Damage Caused by Severe Weather

Today President Obama spoke with Ohio Governor John Kasich, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to receive an update on the severe storms that impacted a series of Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states overnight, and to express his condolences for the loss of life and his concern for individuals and first responders still confronting the destruction and loss of power that is impacting communities as a result.  

The President told the governors that he has directed FEMA to ensure they continue to provide necessary support to state and local officials in impacted areas as they respond to these events, especially considering the power outages and the high temperatures many of the impacted areas are currently experiencing.

The President also asked the governors to make sure they continue to identify additional needs as state and local teams respond to the storms.

President Obama also received an update from FEMA Administrator Fugate on impacts and response activities in states, including parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, as well as the District of Columbia. 

President Obama asked Administrator Fugate to stay in close contact with our partners on the ground to make sure FEMA and federal partners are providing all available support, and to keep him updated as the response and recovery continues.

Earlier today, the President declared an emergency exists in the State of West Virginia and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts as the state continues to respond to the storm.

FEMA has also deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to West Virginia to work side by side with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as it continues to respond and identify potential needs from the storm outbreak, and at the request of the State of Ohio, a FEMA liaison officer has been deployed to the Ohio state emergency operations center to support state response efforts as needed.

FEMA has activated its National Response and Coordination Center (NRCC) at FEMA Headquarters in Washington DC, and Regional Response Coordination Centers have been activated in its Region III headquarters in Philadelphia, PA and Region V headquarters in Chicago, Il to support local response efforts. 

Additional support is being coordinated through FEMA with other states as well.

Violent Storms Leave at Least Four Dead


By Newsy Staff

Anchor: Anthony Martinez
Video courtesy of

Assange Defies British Police Orders


By Harumendhah Helmy

Anchor: Nathan Byrne
Video courtesy of

Egypt's President-Elect Takes 'Symbolic Oath'

Egypt is preparing to swear in its new president. Before his official inauguration, however, Mohamed Morsi took matters into his own hands, taking a symbolic oath in front of the people. The president-elect read the symbolic oath in front of tens of thousands of supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The move is seen as a direct challenge to the country's military rulers. Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports from Cairo.

Looming Famine in North Korea Amid Drought Crisis

North Korea has had some much-needed rain, but it may be too late. The country's suffering from its worst drought on record and there are concerns over what could become a major humanitarian crisis. Gerald Tan reports.

South Africa's Ruling Party Debates Policies

The ruling party of South Africa, the African National Congress, has said that it will transform the economy and introduce new jobs. Speaking at a policy conference in Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma promised new ways to encourage growth. But as Al Jazeera's Tania Page reports, there are few details on his big plans.

UNESCO Places Malian Timbuktu on the List of Endangered Sites

UNESCO places Malian ancient city of Timbuktu and the tomb of Askia in Gao on an endangered list. The African Union and the international community have been called on to help protect the sites. Al Jazeera's Barbara Angopa has more.

Friday, June 29, 2012

China Blocks Bloomberg Websites Amid Corruption Allegations


By John O'Connor

Anchor: Neville Miller
Video courtesy of

World Powers Seek Accord on Syrian Crisis

Russia's foreign minister says there is a "very good chance" that world powers will find common ground on a resolution regarding ending the crisis in Syria. Sergei Lavrov's optimism comes ahead of a UN-hosted meeting in Geneva on Saturday to discuss joint UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's proposal for the formation of a transitional Syrian government. Lavrov met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday. Al Jazeera's Cal Perry reports.

The Power of the Pen: New Bills Signed Into Law

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 6064

On Friday, June 29, 2012, the President signed into law:

H.R. 6064, the Temporary Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, which provides funding for programs funded from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for the period June 30, 2012, through July 6, 2012; extends the authority to make expenditures from the HTF for HTF-financed programs through July 6, 2012; authorizes the Secretary of Education to delay the origination and disbursement of Federal Direct Stafford loans until the date of enactment of MAP-21 but only until July 6, 2012.

President Obama Tours Colorado Fire Devastation

Peter Madoff Pleads Guilty in Ponzi Scheme


By Hannah Schmidt

Anchor: Candice Aviles
Video courtesy of

Ft. Bragg Soldier Shoots Superior Officer, Then Himself


By Sini Stephan

Anchor: Megan Murphy
Video courtesy of

EU Leaders Devise Debt Crisis Solution


By Nichole Cartmell

Anchor: Megan Murphy
Video courtesy of

UN Says Syrian Opposition Capturing More Soldiers

The United Nations says the Free Syrian Army have stepped up their offensives against government troops, capturing an increasing number of high ranking officers. Will Jordan reports.

Thousands Flee India Floods

Monsoon rains in north eastern India have killed at least 27 people and left thousands more homeless. The military's been called in to deliver food and rescue stranded people. Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman reports from New Delhi.

Mexicans Blame State Neglect for Drug Violence

More than 50,000 people have been killed after years of drug-related violence in Mexico, causing much despair to communities across the country. As the government continues its six-year long war on drug cartels, many blame officials for failing to address the root causes of the unrest. They say the state has neglected generations affected by widespread poverty that helped fuel the violence. Lucia Newman reports from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez , one of the most violent places in the world.

Congress Passes Surface Transportation Authorization Bill

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"I applaud Congress for producing a bi-partisan surface transportation bill that keeps tens of thousands of New York construction workers employed and supports over 19 million New Yorkers who use our roads, bridges, and trains daily. Passage of the bill also means a huge boost for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project. New York is in a group of projects that received strong ratings on their applications for TIFIA funding, which was dramatically increased in this legislation. Businesses and communities around the state need long-term stable infrastructure investment to sustain jobs and support economic recovery. Working with our Congressional Delegation and many of our industry and labor partners, New York has demonstrated to the rest of Congress that infrastructure investment leads to economic development, growth, and jobs."

FTG - Click on the following link to learn more about the bill: Progressive Railroading

Air Conditioners Available for Ailing, Low-Income New Yorkers

Senator Schumer: "Summer Heat Can be Dangerous for Many New Yorkers"

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced assistance for low-income New Yorkers whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the extended period of hot weather forecasted for the state in the coming days. 

"The late spring and early summer have already brought several heat waves, which can be life-and-death matters for New Yorkers with serious medical conditions," Governor Cuomo said.

"Senior citizens and children are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, and this initiative will provide low-income homes with much-needed air conditioners so that New Yorkers have the assistance they need to stay cool and healthy."

In order to protect vulnerable New Yorkers, New York State has set aside $3 million in funding through the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

"Summer heat can be dangerous for many New Yorkers," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

"I strongly urge eligible families and seniors to take advantage of this program to help keep their homes safe and comfortable. As this heat wave moves across New York, it’s absolutely essential that seniors aren’t put at risk because they can't afford to keep their homes cool."

"Working with our non-profit partners across the state, we are happy to provide some relief to those needy New Yorkers with medical conditions," stated Darryl C. Towns, Commissioner/CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), which administers LIHEAP.

"But if you find yourself without air conditioning and in a true heat emergency this summer, please do not wait: head to your nearest local cooling center."

Eligibility for the program is determined by:

LIHEAP low-income guidelines. (For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income to qualify is approximately $49,500.)

Having at least one household member who has been diagnosed with a chronic or acute medical condition which is aggravated by exposure to extreme heat situations.

A doctor providing written documentation (dated within the last six months) that air-conditioning assistance is critical to prevent a heat emergency.

Households that have a working air conditioner or have received one from the State in the last 10 years are not eligible.

The cooling program is administered by HCR with funding provided from the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funds, through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

HCR's network of 63 local Weatherization agencies will provide delivery and installation of cooling program services, and funds have been allocated to ensure coverage in each of the state’s 62 counties. 

These agencies will accept applications, determine eligibility, and oversee the installation of the air-conditioning units.

Under the terms of the grant, one air conditioner will be awarded to an eligible household or dwelling unit, with installation and labor included. Grants do not include an additional HEAP cash benefit to cover the cost of operating the air conditioning unit.

The full list of local cooling program administrators is below:

NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Emergency Cooling Program County Coverage
Counties Served
Phone Number
Albany Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Albany County Cooperative Extension
Cattaraugus Community Action, Inc.
Association for Energy Affordability, Inc.
Bronx Shepherds Restoration Corporation
Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, Inc.
Tioga Opportunities Program Inc.
Cattaraugus Community Action, Inc.
Cayuga-Seneca Community Action Inc.
Chautauqua Opportunities Inc.
Economic Opportunity Program of Chemung and Schuyler Counties, Inc.
Opportunities for Chenango, Inc.
Joint Cncl. for Econ. Oppor. of Clinton & Franklin Co.
Columbia Opportunities Inc.
Cortland County Community Action Program
Delaware Opportunities Inc.
Dutchess County Community Action Agency, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services of South Buffalo, Inc.
Erie, City of Buffalo
Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Svces. Ctr. of Western NY
Erie, City/Outside of City
Supportive Services Corporation
Erie, Outside of City
Adirondack Community Action Programs,Inc.
Comlinks, Inc.
Fulmont Community Action Program
Orleans Community Action Committee, Inc.
Community Action of Greene County Inc.
Warren/Hamilton Counties ACEO Inc.
Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc.
Community Action Planning Cncl. of Jefferson Co., Inc.
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Inc.
Crown Heights Jewish Community Council
Opportunity Development Associaton
Sunset Park Redevelopment Committee, Inc.
Community Environmental Center, Inc.
Lewis County Opportunities, Inc.
Livingston County Planning Department
Stoneleigh Housing Inc.
Action for a Better Community, Inc.
Monroe, City of Rochester
Pathstone Corporation
Fulmont Community Action Program
Community Development Corp. of Long Island, Inc.
Harlem Community Development Corporation
New York
Housing Conservation Coordinators
New York
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
New York
Niagara Community Action Program, Inc.
Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc.
People's Equal Action and Community Effort, Inc.
Wayne County Action Program Inc.
Regional Economic Community Action Program, Inc.
Orleans Community Action Committee, Inc.
People's Equal Action and Community Effort, Inc.
Opportunities for Otsego Inc.
Westchester Community Opportunity Program Inc.
Community Environmental Center, Inc.
Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Council, Inc. (HANAC)
Margert Community Corporation
CEO for the Greater Capital Region, Inc.
Northfield Community LDC of Staten Island
Rockland Community Development Council
St. Lawrence County Community Development Program, Inc.
St. Lawrence
Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc.
Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc.
Schoharie County Community Action Program
Economic Opportunity Program of Chemung and Schuyler Counties, Inc.
Seneca County Office for the Aging
Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Inc.
Community Development Corp. of Long Island, Inc.
Tioga Opportunities Program, Inc.
Tompkins Community Action
Ulster Community Action Committee Inc.
Warren/Hamilton Counties ACEO Inc.
Washington County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc.
Wayne County Action Program Inc.
Westchester Community Opportunity Program Inc.
Wyoming County Community Action Inc.
Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Inc.

Questions regarding the HEAP program should be directed to local providers listed above or the NYS HEAP Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.

Those who want to see if they qualify under HEAP’s income guidelines should visit

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