Saturday, December 9, 2017

President Trump Gives Remarks at the Opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Source: The White House

Trump’s Visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Underscores National Tension

The opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum promised to be a celebratory event long in the making. Civil rights icon John Lewis, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, Rep. Bennie Thompson and Myrlie Evers-Williams — widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers — were slated to attend and commemorate a milestone for a state that has long been haunted by its difficult racial history.

Then this week, just days before Saturday’s opening, President Donald Trump accepted an invitation from the state’s governor to attend.

By Friday, Lewis, Thompson, Lumumba and many other noteworthy Mississippians and civil rights heroes all said they would boycott the event.

They claimed the president did not support the spirit of the new institution and would only distract from the ceremony. Instead, some said they would visit the museum another time, rather than share the moment with a man they consider to be a divisive figure. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News  

For Alabama, Tight Senate Election is About State’s Identity and Future

This report was broadcast on December 8. 

6 California Wildfires Burn Out of Control

Obama Invokes Nazi Germany in Warning to US

This report was broadcast on December 8. 

Trump's Controversial Remarks on Race

Trump Holds "Make America Great Again" Rally

This report was broadcast on December 8. 

Source: CBS News

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Latest Jobs Report

Source: CBS News

What to Expect in 2018, According to The Economist

Source: CBS News

Sanders Statement in Response to Roy Moore Slavery Comment

In response to a comment by Republican Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore who recently said that the last time America was great was during slavery," Senator James Sanders Jr. stated:

"Has this man lost grasp of his senses. I take personal offense, on behalf of my great, great grandparents who were branded, raped, cut to pieces, burned alive - and those were the kindest things done to them. The only greatness about that time were those individuals, black and white, who gave their lives fighting the American Civil War to put an end to the madness of slavery. Their bodies littered the south in the name of stopping this terrible crime. If this is your idea of how to make America great again, Mr. Moore, I want no part of it. On behalf of my children and their children, and their children's children, we will not go back to slavery, nor do we want to see any other race enslaved."

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr.

Israel's 54 Year Old Nuclear Reactor a Safety Risk

Mikheil Saakashvili Re-Arrested in Ukraine

Myanmar Amy Accused of Targeting Rohingya Children

South Africa’s 'State Capture' Scandal Widens

Argentine Submarine: Families Push for Search to Continue

PM Netanyahu's Remarks on US President Trump's Statement

This address was broadcast on December 6. 

Source: IsraeliPM

Trump's Jerusalem Move Roundly Condemned at UN

France Pays Homage to Late Rock Icon Johnny Hallyday

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Tahrir Square, a Melting Pot for Egyptian Revolutions

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Migrants: Caught in the Fire Between Libya and Italy

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Friday, December 8, 2017

FBI Probing Cuomo Office's Hiring Practices

Click here for summary.


Governors and Federal Agencies Are Blocking Nearly 1,300 Accounts on Facebook and Twitter

ProPublica filed public-records requests with all 50 governors and 22 federal agencies. Here’s what it found.

by Leora Smith and Derek Kravitz

Amanda Farber still doesn’t know why Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan blocked her from his Facebook group. A resident of Bethesda and full-time parent and volunteer, Farber identifies as a Democrat but voted for the Republican Hogan in 2014. Farber says she doesn’t post on her representatives’ pages often. But earlier this year, she said she wrote on the governor’s Facebook page, asking him to oppose the Trump administration’s travel ban and health care proposal.

She never received a response. When she later returned to the page, she noticed her comment had been deleted. She also noticed she had been blocked from commenting. (She is still allowed to share the governor’s posts and messages.)

Farber has repeatedly emailed and called Hogan’s office, asking them to remove her from their blacklist. She remains blocked. According to documents ProPublica obtained through an open-records request this summer, hers is one of 494 accounts that Hogan blocks. Blocked accounts include a schoolteacher who criticized the governor’s education policies and a pastor who opposed the governor’s stance against accepting Syrian refugees. They even have their own Facebook group: Marylanders Blocked by Larry Hogan on Facebook.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

From the WH Press Secretary: The Violence and Humanitarian Conditions in Yemen

The United States is gravely concerned by the recent escalation in violence and continued dire humanitarian conditions in Yemen. We urge all parties to immediately cease hostilities, reenergize political talks, and end the suffering of the Yemeni people. We condemn the Houthis’ brutal repression of political opponents in Sana’a, including the killing of their former ally Ali Abdullah Salih and his family members, as well as their reckless missile attacks against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its partners are arming, advising, and enabling the Houthis’ violent actions, which accelerate the cycle of violence and human suffering, obstruct the flow of humanitarian aid, and disrupt efforts toward a political resolution.

We call on the Saudi-led coalition to facilitate the free flow of humanitarian aid and critical commercial goods, including fuel, through all Yemeni ports and to restore commercial flights through Sana’a Airport.  The Iranian-backed Houthi militias must allow food, medicine, and fuel to be distributed throughout the areas they control, rather than diverted to sustain their military campaign against the Yemeni people. This humanitarian aid must be allowed to immediately reach all points of need. 

The United States continues to believe that the devastating conflict in Yemen, and the suffering it causes, must be brought to an end through political negotiations in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Successful political negotiations are necessary to ensure that Yemen can flourish, free of the malign influence of Iranian-backed militias operating outside the structures of the state.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

On January 20th, Let's Demand Trump's Impeachment!

Future Hope Column

By Ted Glick 

Since Trump’s firing of James Comey in mid-May, the case for, the need for and the support for impeachment has become much stronger. Tom Steyer’s impeachment initiative has garnered over 2 million sign-ups so far, with a goal of 4 million. Journalist Ezra Klein recently published a thoughtful article putting forward “the case for normalizing impeachment” on Vox. A Public Policy Polling survey released in late October showed 49% of Americans support impeachment. And as early as today, a vote in the House on impeachment may be taken because of the leadership given by Texas Democrat Al Green.

The reason for all of these developments is, of course, the continuing series of duplicitous, lying, dangerous and deranged actions and tweets by the current occupant of the White House.

With Robert Mueller’s investigation of what happened in the 2016 elections yielding significant results, the metaphorical noose is, if not tightening around his neck, certainly coming into clear view for Trump, thank God. Without question, that investigation is an essential reason why support for impeachment is growing and why there is a realistic possibility, imho, that Trump could be gone from the White House before the November, 2018 elections.

But for this to happen, and for the odds to be reduced of a cornered Trump lashing out in even more destructive ways, like by trying to start a war with North Korea or Iran, for example, more is needed. There is something missing right now that was an important part of the reason why Richard Nixon was forced to resign in August of 1974.

Nixon’s resignation from office took place under different circumstances than our circumstances at present.

One difference is that Nixon was much more popular than Trump, winning his reelection campaign in 1972 by a landslide. Trump lost the popular vote.

There was one specific development that was the reason for Nixon’s demise: the Watergate burglary and all that was revealed after it about Nixon’s multi-faceted, organized, illegal campaign against the Democratic Party. For Trump, it’s a veritable multitude of one despicable thing after the other, far too many to count.

Another big difference, though, is the control of Congress in 2017 by Republicans. In 1974 it was controlled by Democrats, which meant that investigative committees set up by Congress back then were led by people serious about getting at the truth of what happened.

The apparent skill and tenacity of the Mueller investigation may mitigate that problem somewhat.

But there was something else back then that doesn’t yet exist today: a nationally-connected, grassroots impeachment movement.

Click here for the full article.

Civil Rights Leaders Decline Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Invite Over Trump's Attendance

Source: Roland S. Martin

'The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump': Psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee on Growing Mental Health Concerns

Source: Democracy Now!

Harold Ford Jr. Blasts Misconduct Claim That Led to Firing by Morgan Stanley

The investment bank Morgan Stanley said Thursday that it had severed its ties with former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a managing director at the bank, citing an accusation of misconduct.

Ford, who is also a political commentator on MSNBC, forcefully denied the accusation and threatened to sue both the bank and the woman who accused him, identified in his statement as a journalist. 

The Huffington Post, which first reported the allegations, said the journalist accused Ford of forcibly grabbing her one evening after a business meeting, and then continuing to email her after the incident, leading her to ask that the contacts stop. NBC News has not confirmed the details of the accusation nor spoken to the accuser, who was not identified in the Huffington Post.  

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Government Shutdown Narrowly Averted (For Now)

Mystery Money Floods Alabama in Senate Race’s Final Days

By Ashley Balcerzak

This story was originally published by The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — A last-minute infusion of cash is deluging the already unpredictable special Senate election in Alabama, and outside political groups backing both candidates — Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones — are exploiting legal loopholes to hide their donors until after the Dec. 12 vote.

Some super PACs — groups that may accept and spend unlimited amounts of cash in elections — haven't publicly disclosed anything at all. Others have found creative ways around unveiling the backers fueling final pushes in the waning days of the race, when voters are bombarded with the most ads, mailers and phone calls.

"It's a failure of federal election law, and donors have reasons for wanting to stay hidden," said Brett Kappel, an election law specialist and partner at Akerman LLP. "We have an extremely controversial candidate that a lot of donors don't want to be associated with, and on the other side, people and companies may be worried about retribution if they publicly oppose Moore and he wins."

Source: NBC News

Senators Propose 'Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act'

Sen. Dick Durbin and 12 cosponsors this week introduced new legislation to counter the threat of terrorism posed by white supremacists and other homegrown extremists. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would institutionalize the fight against domestic terror within federal law enforcement agencies, a goal long sought by the SPLC. It comes a week after SPLC President Richard Cohen testified on the subject before the House Homeland Security Committee.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center 

High-Profile Alt-Righters Form New Umbrella Group with Identitarian Focus

By Brett Barrouquere

A group of racist “alt-right” activists have pulled together a new organization called Operation Homeland, with the stated goal of being professional organizers and activists for the white nationalist and neo-Nazi movement.

High-profile white supremacist Richard Spencer announced the group — part rebranding, part organizing effort — on Twitter over the weekend. On, Spencer described the group as an umbrella to “take activism to the next level.”

“Our purpose is to plan and carry out bold demonstrations, train and mentor young activists, and foster collaboration among Identitarians in America and around the world,” Spencer wrote on

Spencer is joined by his event booker Cameron Padgett, Eli Mosley, who recently stepped down as head of Identity Evropa, Evan McLaren and other white nationalists in running the group.

“It's time to take what this movement has learned over the past year to the next level of professionalism and collaboration. Together to Victory!” Mosley, whose real name is Elliot Kline, tweeted on Saturday.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

WTH?! Roy Moore Believes The Last Time America Was Great Was During Slavery?

Source: Roland S. Martin

What Franken's Resignation Means for the Democratic Party

Source: CBS News

Wildfires Continues to Ravage Through Southern California as Conditions Worsen

City Scoop: Small Business Rent Tax Relief, Historic Low Crime, GOP Tax Rally

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

$26 Million Available for Affordable Homeownership Throughout NY State

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the availability of $26 million of for the Affordable Home Ownership Development Program. Grants can be used to make improvements to existing owner-occupied single or multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; acquire and rehabilitate owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; and construct new owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives including dilapidated and manufactured homes.

"This administration is committed to helping more New Yorkers realize the American Dream of homeownership," Governor Cuomo said. "With this program, we are investing in the future of New York's communities, helping to secure a safer, fairer Empire State for all."

The Affordable Home Ownership Development Program provides up to $40,000 per home to eligible municipalities, municipal housing authorities, and other not-for-profit and charitable organizations that develop affordable housing or assist income-eligible homeowners in funding necessary repairs. Funds are administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal's Affordable Housing Corporation, which since 2011 has awarded nearly $198 million to create or improve more than 10,400 homes.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Governor Cuomo understands that affordable homeownership lays a foundation for stronger, more viable communities. These funds will make the dream of homeownership a reality for hardworking New Yorkers. We encourage organizations and municipalities throughout New York State to apply for these funds."

Senator Betty Little, Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development, said, "Homeownership is key to economically empowering New Yorkers, while also stimulating the development, preservation and stabilization of our communities. I was pleased to work with my colleagues in the Senate to appropriate these important resources to help promote homeownership for low- and moderate-income individuals and families."

Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing, said, "At a time when looming federal tax changes threaten to cripple the creation and preservation of affordable housing, it is especially important that New York State Homes and Community Renewal is making these grants available so that hardworking families can continue to fulfill the American dream of homeownership."

Applications are due February 16, 2018. More information and the Notice of Funding Availability can be found here.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Cuomo Discusses Impact of the GOP Tax Plan

On December 7, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a conference call to discuss the impact of the GOP tax plan.

Click here for audio.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

NAN Responds to the Sentencing of Michael Slager

Today, National Action Network (NAN) leadership responded to the historic 20-year prison sentence handed down for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager in the shooting death of Walter Scott.

NAN leaders Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, Vice President of Religious Affairs and External Relations, Elder James Johnson, South Carolina State President of NAN, and Trudy Grant, Manager of Religious Affairs and External Relations, have worked closely with the family of Mr. Scott and their attorneys since April 2014 to ensure justice was brought in this case.

​Slager was sentenced today by US District Judge David Norton in a federal court in Charleston, SC, after four days of testimony, oral arguments and impact statements during the sentencing hearing. Leaders of NAN were at the hearing each day.

​“Today’s sentencing is the longest federal jail sentence ever given for an officer involved shooting in South Carolina, and may well be the longest in the history of the United States of America,” said Rev. Rivers, a native of South Carolina who has worked in civil rights for more than 40 years.  “Today’s sentence finally sends a strong message to law enforcement officers in this state and across the nation that you will be held accountable for the killing of innocent people, particularly Black people in South Carolina.  South Carolina made history today!”

Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and President of NAN, said, “I am glad to see a measure of justice for the Scott family in this case, and although it doesn’t equal the life that was taken, it is a step in the right direction to how the federal government deals more fairly with police cases. NAN hopes that this case sends a strong signal to law enforcement that they are not above the law. Criminals must be punished when they engage in unlawful acts, whether the criminals are in blue jeans or in blue uniforms.”

​“The Scott family has been fearless and faithful throughout this difficult ordeal,” said Elder Johnson of NAN. “Our local and state NAN chapters have been on the frontlines of this struggle since the day that Michael Slager killed the unarmed Mr. Scott.”

​Trudy Grant, Manager of Religious Affairs and External Relations for NAN and a high school classmate and personal friend of Mr. Scott said, “Walter was such a nice guy, who was funny and quiet, so we were devastated by his killing and outraged by the way the police falsely portrayed our friend after the shooting. But today Walter’s classmates and friends can say, ‘We finally got justice for Walter!’” 

​Mrs. Judy Scott, Mr. Scott’s mother, publicly thanked Elder Johnson, Rev. Rivers and NAN for being with the family “since the beginning” of this ordeal.

Source: Mercury

12 Tanzanian Peacekeepers Killed, at Least 40 Injured in North Kivu

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Global Protests Mark US Jerusalem Move

China: Thousands of Migrant Workers Evicted Without Notice

Argentina: Judge Orders Arrest of Ex-President Kirchner Over 1994 Bombing

Source: euronews.

At Least Two Palestinians Die in Day of Rage Clashes - Health Ministry

Source: euronews.

Rohingya Crisis: UN Warns Against Immediate Refugee Returns

Source: euronews.

Poland Gets Surprise New PM

Source: euronews.

Sadiq Khan on Historic Trip to Pakistan

Source: euronews.

Pound Jumps on Brexit Breakthrough

Source: euronews.

Irish Government Reacts to Brexit Agreement

Press conference of Ireland's Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney and Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee.

Source: euronews. 

EU Council President Donald Tusk Comments on Brexit Deal

Source: euronews.

EU Commission President Juncker and British PM May Press Conference on Brexit Deal

Source: euronews.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mumia Abu-Jamal on the Trump Administration: Capitalism and Chaos

Click here to listen to the commentary.  

Click here for information on Mumia Abu-Jamal and his case.

Source: Prison Radio

Happening in Harlem: Town Hall on Police Raids and Closing Rikers

Source: Street Corner Resources

Saving Our Youth: Beyond Scared Straight

This video was published on November 29, 2015. 

Source: Scared Straight

Roland Martin Show ‘NewsOne Now’ Canceled

Source: Roland S. Martin

Trailblazers in Black History: Ted Lange

This video was published on YouTube on May 3, 2016.

Theodore William "Ted" Lange is an American actor, director, and screenwriter best known for his role as the bartender, Isaac Washington, in the TV series The Love Boat.

Source: TorranceCitiCABLE

Reports of Crimes Against Asians Are Rising in Some Cities

Police are working to figure out why.

by Chris Fuchs

Something curious was happening with crime in California’s state capital of Sacramento, police have noticed.

In the last several months, one district in the city of 495,000 recorded a drop in strong-arm robberies with Asian victims, while another saw an increase, Detective Eddie Macaulay, a Sacramento Police Department spokesman, said in a Nov. 13 phone interview.

For the spike in robberies, one thing was clear — people of Asian descent were the target, according to Macaulay.

“We’ve seen this happening and we’ve done quite a bit to combat it,” he said.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Walter Scott Shooting: Michael Slager, Ex-Officer, Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

CHARLESTON, S.C. — More than two years ago, the fatal shooting of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott by a white South Carolina police officer set off a wave of national protests over racially biased policing and the use of lethal force.

On Thursday, Michael Slager, the ex-North Charleston patrolman, learned his fate after pleading guilty in Scott's death: He was sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

His two-decade prison sentence and two years of supervised release is within the sentencing guidelines for second-degree murder and obstruction of justice that U.S. District Judge David Norton said were committed. Slager shot Scott with "malice and recklessness," Norton said, and then gave false testimony to investigators. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Full Breakdown of the Four Major Fires in Southern California

This report was broadcast on December 6. 

Source: 23 ABC News (KERO)

CBS News Poll: Most Americans Don't Think GOP Tax Bill Helps Middle Class

Sen. Al Franken Announces Resignation Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Source: CBS News

Pearl Harbor Anniversary: A Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"Today, we observe the attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago and we honor the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The date that lives in infamy changed the course of our nation's history, and following the attack, Americans came together as one to fight for our freedom, our democracy and the values this nation was founded upon.

"Nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers went on to serve in World War II, more than from any other state in the nation. These courageous service members put their lives on the line for our country, and their service continues to deliver freedom that we are grateful for each and every day. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank the service members who answered the call that day and those who continue to fight for our freedom today."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

$2 Million Available to Reduce Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture

A grant of $2 million is available through round three of the Climate Resilient Farming grant program to help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for, and recover even stronger after, severe weather events. Since the launch of the program in 2015, a total of $2.9 million has been provided to 37 farms across the State to implement critical projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy savings, mitigate water and soil quality concerns, and increase on-farm resiliency to climate change.

"Extreme storms and severe weather are new normal in New York and across the nation, and this funding will continue to protect our farms from some of the unpredictable ramifications of climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing efficiency to promote energy savings, and protecting the health of our natural resources, these projects are valuable additions to New York's efforts to become cleaner, greener and more sustainable for the next generation."

Through the Climate Resilient Farming grant program, County Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. The funding will support agricultural projects which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as help agricultural producers prepare for and better manage impacts of climate change: increased heavy storm events and periods of drought. Applications must be for one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and methane capture systems, water management systems, and soil health systems.

Funding will be directed through the 2017-18 Environmental Protection Fund, which thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, is once again funded at a historic $300 million.

The Request for Proposals for the Climate Resilient Farming grant program is located on the Department of Agriculture and Markets website under Funding Opportunities, which can be found here. Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m., February 26, 2018.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York State's farmers have faced two challenging years—a record drought in 2016 and this past year, an extraordinary amount of rainfall in the early summer.  The Climate Resilient Farming grant program is helping farmers better manage what mother nature sends our way, while also increasing their ability to be even stronger stewards of the environment."

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie said, "From drought to flooding, one of the biggest challenges our state's hardworking farmers face is the uncertainty of weather. Through this funding, farmers can receive the vital support they need to not only help them more easily adapt to weather, but also to continue to be good stewards of the land that they work. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ball for recognizing how important it is to support our farmers and in turn, continue to grow New York's leading industry."

The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Climate Resilient Farming grant program through its Land and Water Division, which works to protect New York's land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation, and proactive environmental stewardship.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

$6.5 Million in Grants Awarded to Support Services for Sexual Assault Victims

Nearly $6.5 million in grants have been provided to 55 state-approved anti-sexual assault crisis and prevention programs operated by hospitals, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies statewide. The grants will help fund local crisis hotlines and direct services for sexual assault victims, such as crisis counseling, advocacy and trauma therapy, and support prevention and education in schools, on college campuses and in communities.

"Sexual assault is a scourge on our communities and college campuses and with this funding, we offer vital resources to victims of this heinous crime," Governor Cuomo said. "With this aid, these critically important organizations will be able to improve existing services, establish new programs, and better reach New Yorkers in need of help."

The grants will fund a variety of existing programs, including 24-hour crisis hotlines, crisis counseling, trauma therapy, referrals to support services for both victims and their families, training for advocates, court accompaniment for victims and criminal justice advocacy. In addition, the funding will support community education, training for advocates and sexual assault forensic examiners, and prevention efforts in both community and educational settings, including schools, hospitals and on college campuses. Click here to see a complete list of the funded programs.

"Two years ago, Governor Cuomo enacted the toughest policy in the nation to fight sexual assault on college campuses. Today, we are focusing on prevention and advocacy, providing funding for programs at hospitals, non-profit organizations and government agencies, and getting victims the help they need to recover from this unconscionable crime," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "New York has resoundingly said enough is enough and we are putting our foot down when it comes to sexual assault."

The $6.5 million awarded this week represents funding from three state agencies: a total of $2.8 million from the Office of Victim Services; $2.7 million from the Division of Criminal Justice Services; and $1 million from the state Department of Health. The Division of Criminal Justice Services will administer the one-year grants. To be eligible for funding, programs were required to be approved by the state Department of Health.

Office of Victim Services Director Elizabeth Cronin said, "Sexual assault is a crime that leaves its victims both physically and psychologically wounded. These programs serve as pillars of support for rape and sexual assault victims as they embark on their road to recovery. By providing additional resources to these state-approved programs, our hope is that they will be able to help even more victims as they recover from their ordeal."

The grants continue Governor Cuomo's commitment to combating sexual violence. In 2015, he signed into law the "Enough Is Enough" legislation, which aims to put an end to sexual assault and domestic violence on college and university campuses. Among other provisions, the law provided another $4.5 million in funding for rape crisis programs across the state.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services has a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the state's DNA databank in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state's Sex Offender Registry.

The Office of Victim Services helps individuals and/or their family members who have been victimized through no fault of their own and have no other means of assistance. It is a payer of last resort: all other sources of assistance, such as medical insurance and workers' compensation, must be exhausted before the agency can pay a victim or their family members for any out-of-pocket losses related to the crime. The cost of forensic rape exams, however, is the exception to that payer of last resort requirement. For more information, click here or call 1-800-247-8035.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Oscar Rivera Lopez & Mark Gjonaj’s Assembly District

What You Should Know
By State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District

You should know that since Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, has been elected to the seat previously occupied by Council Member Jimmy Vacca, has created a vacancy and there is already a brawl brewing about who will occupy his vacant seat in the New York State Assembly.

It is important for you to know that Mr. Mark Gjonaj has been representing the 80th Assembly District, which encompasses Allerton, Bedford Park, Morris Park, Mosholu Parkway, Norwood, Pelham Gardens and Van Nest areas in the Bronx.

These are multi-cultural neighborhoods. Its residents are honest, responsible and hard working African Americans, Hispanics, Whites, Albanians, Bangladeshi, as well as others who love this country.  I know this because I formerly represented them as their New York State Senator.  I’m very familiar with these neighborhoods and its residents. 

You should know that when Mark Gjonaj leaves for the City Council, a special election will be held to fill the vacancy. Rumor has it that there are two women interested in filling the position in the Assembly.   

One of them is Nathalia Fernandez. Ms. Fernandez is well known in the district and in the Assembly because she has worked as Mark Gjonaj’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Fernandez is well qualified educated, experienced, and well versed in the needs, problems, and the expectations of the residents of the district. As a result some say that Ms. Fernandez is the right person to replace Mark Gjonaj in the Assembly due to her vast knowledge and experience within the district. 

But surprise, surprise, the other woman who is interested in the position is none other than Lorraine Cortez Vazquez, presently the President of the National Puerto Rican Parade, who just this year she brought shame and disgrace to the parade when she made the controversial decision to honor Mr. Oscar Lopez Rivera, as a “Hero of Liberty”, “Heroe De La Libertad” which resulted in disunity within the Puerto Rican Community.  

You should know that Oscar Lopez Rivera, according to Wikipedia is known to many as a “terrorist”. He is one of the leaders of the clandestine paramilitary organization “The Fuerzas Armadas De Liberacion Nacional Puertorriquena” known as the terrorist group the “F.A.L.N.”.  This organization is devoted to the independence of Puerto Rico and they carried out more than 120 bomb attacks on the United States between 1974 and 1983 which resulted in the killing of six (6) people.  

On August 11, 1981 Mr. Lopez was found guilty of  “Seditious Conspiracy”, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and ammunitions to aid in the commission of a felony. He was released from prison and Ms. Lorraine Cortez Vazquez  hails him as a Hero of Liberty.

Her association and close friendship with Oscar Lopez Rivera will not sit well with the district she hopes to represent.  Already many are commenting on their apprehension of having Lorraine Cortez-Vazquez as the person to fill Mark Gjonaj’s vacant seat.  Others are saying that the honest, hardworking residents of the 80th Assembly district will not cast a vote for Ms. Vazquez.  

As you can see my dear readers, two well prepared, well educated women will be competing to fill the vacancy for the 80th Assembly district.  This will be a very interesting and very divided contest, as was this years the National Puerto Rican Day Parade….. thanks to Oscar Lopez Rivera, and the actions taken by Ms. Lorraine Cortez Vazquez.  
This is Senator Ruben Diaz and this what you should know.

Council Member Jumaane Williams Honors Colin Kaepernick


Council Member Jumaane D. Williams presented former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick with a New York City Council proclamation honoring him for his “commitment to protesting the systemic oppression of and police brutality toward people of color.”

Williams presented Kaepernick with the proclamation Tuesday at a gala hosted by The Nation Institute where he was awarded the 2017/Puffin Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. 

Click here for summary.

Source: The Amsterdam News 

NAACP: Make History in Selection of Council Speaker

AmNews Staff Reports
The NAACP New York State Conference Wednesday announced it will launch a social media campaign to promote the election of the first African American Speaker of the New York City Council in history.

“We have a chance to make history in New York City and we should not pass it up,” Hazel Dukes, President of the NAACP NY Conference said. “The city's top leadership inside City Hall must reflect the diversity of New York. There are highly qualified African American candidates, so our message is clear: New York must not pass over an African American. Not Again. Not this time.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Amsterdam News

Save Local Journalism. Save BKLYNER

Over the years, you’ve come to rely on the reporting of BKLYNER, and so many of the neighborhood news sites we published before it – Ditmas Park Corner, Sheepshead Bites, Bensonhurst Bean, Park Slope Stoop, South Slope News, KensingtonBK, Sunset Park Voice, Fort Greene Focus.

No one covers Brooklyn with the same tenacity and integrity as our small but devoted staff. We’ve won awards, and more important — we’ve gotten results, from new laws to new crosswalks. We’ve exposed a secret oil spill, cast light on a police commander’s brutal record, and advocated every day for Brooklyn’s communities.

But in 2017, local independent media sources like ours are in real trouble. Revenue from advertising and classifieds that once fueled local news is now being lost to Facebook, Google, and other global internet giants. We cut our costs deeply last year, but it wasn’t enough.

Local newspapers are dying, and local news sites are shuttering every week. Just last month, Gothamist and DNAinfo called it quits. I must be frank in telling you that BKLYNER may not be far behind. We cannot make ends meet under our current advertising-based business model. Like hundreds of other news outlets around the country, we’ve found it impossible to sustain a robust news organization on local ad sales alone.

Click here for the full article.

Mickey Carroll, Journalist Who Witnessed Oswald Shooting, Dies of Cancer at 86

By Kenneth Lovett

Maurice (Mickey) Carroll, a longtime journalist who was at the scene in Dallas when assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was killed, died Wednesday after a battle with colon cancer. He was 86.

The jovial Carroll spent the past two decades as the spokesman for the Quinnipiac University poll, often providing insights into the results to mainly New York and New Jersey reporters.

He is also the father of New Jersey Assemblyman Michael Carroll.

“Saddened by the passing of Mickey Carroll,” Gov. Cuomo said in a tweet. “He was a gentleman who cared deeply about the truth and about New York. He will be missed.”

Click here for the full article. 

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

Top Dem Told Trump To Declare Jerusalem Israel’s Capital

By Jack Crowe

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer broke with two of his Democratic colleagues by advising President Donald Trump to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, a declaration that is likely to accompany the relocation of the U.S. embassy.

Schumer told The Weekly Standard Tuesday that he recommended Trump declare Jerusalem the “undivided” capital of Israel. Trump is expected to recognize Jerusalem as the capital Wednesday, and will likely announce that he’s directed the State Department to begin the years-long process of relocating the embassy to the city.

The recommendation is in keeping with Schumer’s October statement on the issue.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Caller (via The Empire Report) 

3.8 Billion+ Gallons of Sewage Discharges Reported in NY Waterways Since 2013

Albany, NY — Environmental Advocates of New York has released an update to its 2016 report Tapped Out: New York’s Clean Water in Peril. The new analysis of data published by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) per the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act of 2012 (the Act) shows that from May 2013 to July 2017, a total of 10,687 overflows were reported, translating into over 3.8 billion gallons of sewage being discharged into waterways.

While the increase in reporting of overflows is evidence that the Act is working, significant underreporting of overflow events continues to exist. The data indicates more work is needed to help municipalities fully comply with the Act and more funding is needed for municipalities to address aging infrastructure. For example: 32 percent of all reported overflows did not include the spill volume; since 2013, Chemung County has reported only 1 sewage overflow; and western New York continues to have the highest rate of reported overflows (besides NYC), which highlights their success at reporting.

Liz Moran, water and natural resources director at Environmental Advocates of New York said, “Every time there are heavy rains, New York’s most precious resource, its waterways, get hit with sewage overflows. Our new analysis shows that New Yorker’s are starting to get a clearer picture of the state of their water thanks to much improved sewage overflow reporting. Unfortunately, that picture shows billions of gallons of raw sewage plague our waterways. Until we see a sustained, annual investment of at least $800 million to fix our pipes, rampant sewage overflows that threaten public health and quality of life will only continue.”

Elizabeth Bourguet, coauthor and clean water fellow at Environmental Advocates of New York said, “The intent of the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Law is to ensure the public knows what is going into their water – the cost of not knowing could greatly impact their health. More than one-third of the reports listed a discharged volume of zero gallons, which means the state and members of the public are in the dark about the extent of the pollution in their water during overflow events. The DEC must ensure that these communities submit reports that contain the actual volume of the discharge, as not doing so might constitute a violation of law.”

The Sewage Action Plan for 2018

Provide additional staff funding for DEC. Municipalities and wastewater operators need a properly funded DEC so they have the support necessary to comply with sewage reporting and can address the root of the problem.

Increase funding for water infrastructure grants. The SFY2018-19 Budget should include at least $800 million annually for the WIIA program. Additional funding will enable greater reach to communities with high water infrastructure needs.

Provide financial support for communities to monitor sewage discharges. In addition to the funding needed to repair old infrastructure, DEC must ensure communities have the resources they need to accurately monitor, and report the volume, of sewage discharges. 
Source: Environmental Advocates of New York