Friday, September 1, 2017

Statements from President Trump on Cancer Awareness

On National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

During National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Melania and I join all Americans in honoring the friends, family members, and loved ones we have lost to ovarian cancer. This month, we recommit ourselves to supporting every woman who bravely wages a battle of hope against this terrible disease.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 22,000 Americans will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017. Unfortunately, about 14,000 women in the United States will lose their battle with ovarian cancer this year alone. If diagnosed and treated early, however, the five-year survival rate for women fighting this disease is more than 90 percent. Regular medical checkups and learning about the early warning signs of ovarian cancer can save lives.

In addition to raising awareness, we reaffirm our pledge to prevent, treat, and defeat ovarian and other forms of cancer.  Innovative and cutting-edge research in women’s health can transform cancer detection and lead to new treatments that are less debilitating and even more effective. This is why my Administration will continue to clear the way for incredible breakthroughs in medical science, including by working with Congress to implement the 21st Century Cures Act. So far this year, the Food and Drug Administration has approved two maintenance therapies for ovarian cancer, to help women who are battling this disease lead longer, happier lives.
Melania joins me in sending our prayers to those affected by ovarian cancer, and we encourage every American to learn more about this important health issue. With the support of families and friends, healthcare providers, researchers, and advocates, we can create a healthier future for all Americans.

On National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, I join my fellow Americans in supporting those who battle prostate cancer and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to making this a world free from cancer.  

We have good reason to be hopeful about overcoming prostate cancer. The rate of new prostate cancer cases in the United States has fallen nearly 6 percent on average each year over the past decade.  During this same time, the rate of deaths due to prostate cancer has also fallen by more than 3 percent on average each year. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer are living longer lives than ever thanks to innovative research and improvements in cancer treatment. Our Nation applauds these ongoing efforts to enhance the lives of Americans and provide comfort and support in the fight against cancer. 
Nonetheless, in fighting prostate cancer, we are still mindful that it remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men.  My Administration remains dedicated to finding better diagnostic and treatment options through the 21st Century Cures Act, as well as research collaborations between the Department of Health and Human Services, private industry, and the academic community. In addition, the National Institutes of Health is investing in research that will improve upon current approaches to combating prostate cancer.  Through these efforts and others, American men can experience a healthier future.
This month, I encourage men to talk with their healthcare providers about their risk for prostate cancer.  I also call upon all Americans to do their part in raising awareness of this disease. We pray for Americans currently fighting prostate cancer and recognize the progress yet to be made in finding its cure.
Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Fox News Poll: Americans Think Donald Trump Is An Unstable, Dishonest, Immoral Bully

By Ed Mazza

Americans aren’t holding back when it comes to President Donald Trump.

A new poll from Fox News found that many Americans think the 45th president of the United States is an unstable bully

Respondents were asked how well certain words described the president. For “bully,” 39 percent chose “extremely,” 14 percent chose “very” and 20 percent went with “somewhat.”

For the word “unstable,” 33 percent selected “extremely,” 11 percent chose “very” and 16 percent agreed with “somewhat.”

Just 27 percent said he was “not at all” a bully while 38 percent said he was “not at all” unstable.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Huffington Post

Paul Ryan Says Trump Should Not End Protections For Dreamers

By Elise Foley

WASHINGTON ― House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Friday that President Donald Trump should not terminate a program protecting young undocumented immigrants who come to the U.S. as children, even though he and other Republicans have repeatedly tried to end it in Congress.

“I actually don’t think he should do that,” Ryan said concerning reports that Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which the could be killed as soon as Friday. “I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”

Trump is expected to soon announce a decision on DACA, which has allowed nearly 800,000 so-called “dreamers” to receive two-year work permits and deportation reprieve. Attorneys general from 10 states threatened the president with legal action if he doesn’t terminate the program by Sept. 5, and there were reports on Thursday that he plans to do so, although the White House has said it is still under review. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at Brooklyn Islamic Center’s Eid Ul Adha Prayer Service

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation

A Daily Beast Exclusive

Will the accountants take down key members of Team Trump? Or force the president's tax returns into the open? 

By Betsy Woodruff

Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit.

This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney.

And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.

Potential financial crimes are a central part of Mueller’s probe. One of his top deputies, Andy Weissmann, formerly helmed the Justice Department’s Enron probe and has extensive experience working with investigative agents from the IRS. 

Click here for the full article.

President Trump's Weekly Address

Hurricane Irma Strengthens to Category 3 Storm

Could Impact the East Coast

Source: Fox News

Leadership Lessons from Gen. James Mattis (Ret.)

This video was published on YouTube on October 13, 2016. 

General James Mattis (Ret.) served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 2013. During this time he was the 11th Commander of United States Central Command.

Source: Marines

U.S. Military Leaders Condemn Racism

This video was published on YouTube on August 16, 2017. 

America's top-ranking military officers spoke out forcefully against racial bigotry and extremism, a rare public foray into domestic politics that revealed growing unease at the Pentagon with some of President Trump's policies and views.

PERB Commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act

The New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) today announced the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, commonly known as the Taylor Law, with the issuance of a citation by Governor Andrew Cuomo. To view the citation, click here.

Additionally, PERB today announced a new two-day conference in May 2018, in partnership with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, to recognize New York’s Taylor Law and its substantial influence on public sector labor relations over the past half century.

“We at PERB thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing the importance of the rights conferred by the Taylor Law, and the work PERB has accomplished,” PERB Chair John Wirenius said. “We are excited about the wide range of panelists and speakers who will participate in this conference and exchange views on how to meet the challenges confronting both management and labor, as the Taylor Law and PERB enter their second half-century.”

The 50th Anniversary Conference will take place May 10-11, 2018 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, New York. The call for papers can be viewed here. Those interested in attending the conference can email for more information.

Passed by the New York State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the Taylor Law became effective September 1, 1967, and was one of the first comprehensive labor relations laws for public employees in the United States.

The Taylor Law is a labor relations statute that guarantees the right of most public employees to union representation and collective bargaining - whether employed by the State, or by counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, public authorities or certain special service districts.

The Taylor Law:
Grants public employees the right to organize and to be represented by employee organizations of their own choice 
Requires public employers to negotiate and enter into agreements with public employee organizations regarding employees' terms and conditions of employment 
Establishes impasse procedures for the resolution of collective bargaining disputes 
Defines and prohibits improper practices by public employers and public employee organizations 
Prohibits strikes by public employees 
Establishes a state agency to administer the Law — The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)

Additional information on the Taylor Law, the Public Employment Relations Board, and the 50th anniversary of the Taylor Law can be found on the PERB website at

Source: Public Employee Relations Board

'Flashback Friday': The Death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown


Trailblazers in Black History: Senator Tim Scott

United States Senator Tim Scott is working daily to ensure that every American has the opportunity to succeed.
Growing up poor in a single parent household in North Charleston, South Carolina, the senator learned the importance of faith, hard work, and living within your means. By understanding the basic economic principles Washington so often forgets, and with the same determination he brings to advancing conservative principles in the Senate, Scott grew from his humble beginnings to build one of the most successful Allstate agencies in South Carolina.
An unbridled optimist, Senator Scott believes that despite our current challenges, our nation’s brightest days are ahead of us. As a teenager, Tim had the fortune of meeting a strong, conservative mentor, John Moniz. Moniz helped instill in Tim the notion that you can think your way out of poverty, and that the golden opportunity is always right around the corner. The American Dream is alive and well, and Tim’s story is a concrete example of that.
Click here for the full article. 

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

Source: California Newsreel

Reconstruction and the 'Black Codes'

This Black Billionaire Has Some Advice For Young Black Men

This video was published on YouTube on June 29, 2017. 

'Crown Heights': The Story of Colin Warner

This video was published on YouTube on August 24, 2017. 

Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, and Matt Ruskin talk about the making of 'Crown Heights' and the characters they portray.

Source: IMDb

Mueller, NY AG Work Together on Manafort Probe: Report

Potential Bombshell in Manafort Notes on Trump Jr. Meeting

Trump Halted Obama’s Equal Pay Rule. What it Means for Working Women

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has stopped an Obama-era rule requiring large companies to report how much they pay workers by race and gender.

The rule was intended to help close the persistent wage gap between men and women, as well as between racial groups, through greater pay transparency.

In halting the rule, which was supposed to take effect in March, the Trump administration said it simply wouldn’t have worked. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Trump Chafes at Kelly's Attempts at Order: Report

DACA Recipients Ponder Their Future as Trump Continues to Review the Program

Vice President Mike Pence Meets with Harvey Survivors

This report was originally broadcast on August 31. 

Related story: Why 85 Percent of Harvey Insurance Claims Will Likely Be Denied

Houston is Slowly Fighting to Recover from Hurricane Harvey

Village Voice Lays Off 13 After Shuttering Print Operation

By Ginger Adams Otis

The Village Voice laid off 13 of its 17 unionized workers on Wednesday — a week after it announced the end of its print edition.

Management let staffers know on Wednesday afternoon, according to The New York Times, which was first to report the layoffs on Thursday.

Click here for summary. 

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

The Militarization of the Hamptons

Why is a heavily armed counterterrorism force patrolling the parties of the rich and famous? 

By Joe Nocera

A few weeks ago, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival held one of its occasional outdoor concerts at a nearby Long Island winery. It was well attended -- 400 concertgoers came to sip wine and listen to the music of Bach and Django Reinhardt -- but that wasn’t a surprise: Now in its 34th year, the music festival is one of the mainstays of the Hamptons summer season.

Here’s what was surprising, according to my friend and former New York Times colleague Susan Lehman, who was there: “Driving in,” she emailed me the other day, “it was impossible not to notice two figures with the word POLICE emblazoned in white on their spruce black costumes, and very noticeable automatic weapons in their hands.” She added that while the musicians were on stage, “two armed guards milled around in the open space in the front of the tent where the concert was being held.” Afterward, when someone inquired about the presence of these heavily armed police, he was told that the Southampton 1  police department required the extra protection.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Bloomberg View (via The Empire Report) 

Sexually Transmitted Infections on Rise in NYC: Health Department

The New York City Health Department is expanding its public education campaign to raise awareness of increasing syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia rates across the city.

Some of the sexually transmitted infections grew at double-digit percentage rates over just a year in New York City, the health department says. Generally, similar cases of STIs have been on the rise nationwide in the last three years.

From 2015 to 2016, rates of syphilis have increased by 27 percent in New York City to nearly 2,000 cases, and rates of gonorrhea have risen by 13 percent to around 19,000 cases, according to the health department. 

Chlamydia remains the most commonly reported STI in New York City, with nearly 67,000 cases reported in 2016 -- an increase of 6 percent since 2015.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: News 4 NY (via The Empire Report) 

NY Jets Pledge $1 Million to Harvey Relief Efforts

By Daniel Popper

The Jets on Tuesday followed the example of several other NFL teams and pledged $1 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

The team announced the donation in a tweet. Christopher Johnson, who is serving as acting owner while Woody Johnson fulfills his duties as the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdon, is providing the money “on behalf of the Johnson family and the Jets" to the American Red Cross.

Click here for the full article.

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

Viet Thanh Nguyen: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist and Vietnam War Refugee on US Identity

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Mixed Reactions to French Government's Planned Labour Reforms

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: Anglophone Protest Leaders to be Released

Source: FRANCE 24 English

FARC Rebels Reinvent Themselves as Political Party, but Keep Acronym

Source: FRANCE 24 English

'A Defining Moment': RAF Opens Up Close-Combat Unit to Women

Source: euronews (in English)

Kenya Supreme Court Orders New Presidential Election

Source: euronews (in English)

Thousands Die in Floods in Africa and Asia as Climate Change Worsens

Source: euronews (in English)

'Room for Diplomacy' with North Korea - Japan

Source: euronews (in English)

Twenty-Six Ethnic Rohingyas Drown Fleeing Myanmar Violence

Source: euronews (in English)

Amnesty Warns Against 'Outsourcing' Migrant Crisis to Libya

Source: euronews (in English)

United States Orders Closure of Russian Embassy

Source: euronews (in English)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

U.S. Warplanes Simulate Strikes Against North Korea’s ‘Core Facilities’

SEOUL, South Korea — The United States flew some of its most advanced warplanes — including two nuclear-capable bombers — to South Korea on Thursday for bombing drills intended as a show of force against North Korea.

A South Korean military official confirmed the joint operation to NBC News, adding that the aircraft later returned safely to their home bases. 

The live-fire exercises came two days after Kim Jong Un's regime in Pyongyang fired a midrange ballistic missile over Japan, sharply raising tension in the region.

Two U.S. B-1B bombers and four F-35 fighters participated in training with South Korean F-15 fighter jets, the official added. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

ICE Stands Down in Houston Area

WASHINGTON — Immigration agents have not arrested any non-criminal immigrants in the Houston area in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, an agency spokesman told NBC News.

The suspension of arrests is a step beyond the promise made by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ahead of the storm. On Friday, the agency said "routine non-criminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks."

Asked if there had been any arrests of non-criminal migrants recovering from the storm anywhere in the Houston area, spokesman Gregory Palmore said: "None by ICE."

"Our priority in the hurricane-stricken areas is saving lives," ICE said in a statement. "While we’re not conducting immigration enforcement in affected areas, we will not allow criminal enterprises to take advantage of the situation, and ICE personnel will remain vigilant toward such activities." 

Click here for the full article.

Poll: Most Oppose Trump’s Pardon for Ex-Sheriff Arpaio, Booting ‘Dreamers’

More than half of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, while nearly two-thirds said they support a program allowing "Dreamers" to stay in the U.S., which Trump is expected to end, according to a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.

Six in 10 said they felt it was "wrong" for Trump to pardon Arpaio, who was convicted last month of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order not to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.

Thirty-four percent of respondents said they felt Trump’s pardon was "the right thing" to do.
Trump granted the former Maricopa County sheriff a pardon on Friday night, prompting fierce criticism from civil rights groups and lawmakers, including the ACLU and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who charged the action essentially represented an endorsement of racism against Latinos and undermined the president's stated belief in the rule of law. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News  

Harvey Death Toll Rises to At Least 28; Explosions Rock Chemical Plant

Harrowing Stories of Survival, Recovery After Hurricane Harvey

Mayor de Blasio Participates in Town Hall Meeting at Williamsburg Community Center

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Ordering Review of Statues Puts de Blasio in Tricky Spot

By William Neuman

Elected to lead the biggest city in the nation, Mayor Bill de Blasio often seems to hunger for a brighter spotlight. He tried to shape the debate in the last presidential election, only to be spurned by candidates in his own party. He flew to Germany in July to speak at a rally during a meeting of world leaders, only to be criticized for leaving New York hours after a police officer was murdered.

Now he has seized hold of the national debate over the removal of confederate monuments by ordering a review of all possible “symbols of hate” in the city — once again grabbing national attention while simultaneously putting himself in a tricky situation.

He has been peppered with questions about how far the review will go to cleanse New York of potentially offensive figures and whether this or that sculpture should stand or fall. Some see him as playing into the hands of President Donald J. Trump, who warned that the push to remove Confederate monuments could go to far.

“He’s going to create some kind of star chamber to see who’s politically correct and who’s not,” said Kenneth T. Jackson, a historian who edited The Encyclopedia of New York City, echoing other historians who have cautioned against the rush to remove statues and monuments.

Click here for the full article.

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

New York Reps Voice Support for Harvey Aid Package

New York Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Tom Reed (R-Corning) expect that Congress will support a financial aid package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey when they return to Washington, D.C. next month. 

Reed says it's too early to determine how much money will be needed to assist the nation's fourth-largest city, where the storm has devastated the area. But he says it could be a significant amount since Congress appropriated tens of billions of dollars after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the northeast.

"As we stood with the Sandy aid victims, we are going to stand with the families and individuals of Texas and make sure we come up with a package of what is clearly a need that our fellow American citizens need in this time of devastation," Reed said.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: WRVO (via The Empire Report)

New York Assemblyman: We Must #DefendDACA

Assemblyman Michael Blake at the N.Y.C. #DefendDACA
rally on 
August 30th at Columbus Circle near Trump Tower.

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

As a State Assemblyman representing the most diverse county in the United States, I take it personally when someone implies that new people coming to the United States to realize their dreams threatens our communities and detract from our American identity. The reality is quite the opposite as The Bronx welcomed my Jamaican parents in the 1970s and does the same for new families every day, especially because of DACA. There is no Bronx without diversity. The same goes for America.
President Trump could undermine that notion any day now by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, sending the lives of the nearly 1 million friends, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, and veterans we call DREAMers into wild uncertainty. Our fellow brothers and sisters on this journey of justice, whether Latino, African, West Indian or elsewhere contribute to our society in every imaginable way, embodying what it means to work towards the American dream.
When President Obama first announced DACA five years ago, he proclaimed that “we have always drawn strength from being a nation of immigrants.” Ending DACA would not only be bad policy and callous leadership, but, it would also break the bond that generation after generation of Americans has made to each other, a bond that says this land is made for you and me.
We reject President Trump’s prejudices and remind his administration that our unified voices are stronger than the artificial divisions he seeks to impose could ever be, which is why we emphatically say that we must #DefendDACA.

Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake

'Why More Coverage of Floods in Texas Than in South Asia?'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

French Government to Unveil Ambitious Labour Reform Plans

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Cameroon's President Orders End to Prosecution of Anglophone Leaders

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Princess Diana Anniversary

Source: euronews (in English)

Rescuers Search for More Than 30 Trapped in Mumbai Building Collapse

Source: euronews (in English)

Iraqi Forces Face Tough Battle to Clear Out ISIL from Tal Afar

Source: euronews (in English)

US Air Strikes Block Convoy Transferring ISIL Fighters

Source: euronews (in English)

Full Horror of Rohingya Flight Revealed

Source: euronews (in English)

German Election 360°: Enough is Enough After 12 Years of Merkel

Source: euronews (in English)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lauren Morelle, Daughter of Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, Succumbs to Cancer

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"As a father and a New Yorker, I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Lauren Morelle, the daughter of Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. Lauren bravely and openly discussed her battle with cancer, and her death is a loss for the entire New York family. As the father of three young women, I cannot imagine the pain and the anguish of such a tragedy. Joe is an exemplary public servant who rightly has always put his family first, and I am proud to call him a friend and a partner in government. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to him, his wife Mary Beth, and all of Lauren's siblings, loved ones and friends during this trying time."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

106th Rescue Wing Hurricane Harvey Rescues

On August 29, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the deployment of additional resources from the New York National Guard to assist with rescue efforts in Texas as Hurricane Harvey continues to sweep the region.

In total, Governor Cuomo has deployed a total of 119 Airmen, three HH-60 Pavehawk rescue helicopters, two HC-130 search and rescue aircraft and several boats and watercraft.

Additionally, a Regional Medical Plans Officer will depart for Texas on Thursday to assist with the evacuation and transportation of patients from area hospitals.
Since arriving in Texas, the members of the 106th Rescue Wing have rescued 345 individuals. 

Sources: New York National Guard and the Press Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

President Trump Delivers Remarks on Tax Reform

Source: ABC News

Mayor de Blasio Holds Bill Signing Cracking Down on Tenant Harassment

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Theo E.J. Wilson: A Black Man Undercover in the Alt-Right

This video was published on YouTube on August 14, 2017. 

Scroll down below any viral video and you will find users waging war in the comments section, dropping racial slurs and epithets from another time. Curious about his haters, Theo E.J. Wilson did the only reasonable thing – he went undercover and joined their ranks. In this insightful and downright hilarious talk, Theo shares some surprising discoveries about both sides of the aisle.

Slam poet Theo E.J. Wilson, a.k.a Lucifury, is a founding member of Denver’s SlamNUBA team, which won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. He began his speaking career with the NAACP at the age of 15 and has always been passionate about social justice. Theo is currently the Executive Director of Shop Talk Live, an organization that uses the barbershop as a staging ground for community dialogue and healing.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. 

Source: TEDx Talks