Friday, March 9, 2018

President Trump Signs the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports

Source: The White House

The Power of the Pen: Bills Signed Into Law

On Friday, March 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law:

H.R. 1725, which requires the VA to report on the progress of an initiative to improve processing of certain veterans' claims for disability benefits;

H.R. 3122, the "Veterans Care Financial Protection Act of 2017," which requires the VA to publish on its Internet website a warning about certain financial and legal practices that could alter a veteran's eligibility for benefits; and

H.R. 4533, which designates the health care system of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Lexington, Kentucky, as the Lexington VA Health Care System and makes certain other designations.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

'Flashback Friday': Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black's Radio Address About KKK Membership (1937)

This video was published on YouTube on May 24, 2015. 

Source: Supreme Court Clips

Trailblazers in Black History: Vivien Thomas

This video was published on YouTube on July 17, 2016. 

Additionally, this project placed 1st in the 2016 Washington State National History Day competition in the Senior Individual Documentary category. The theme was Exploration, Encounter, and Exchange in History. 

Source: mcosea

Susan Rice Calls Trade Tariffs 'Impulsive'

Former National Security Adviser and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice spoke with Joshua Johnson, host of National Public Radio’s “1A,” about global security. She also gave career advice to students at American University’s School of International Service.

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Toxic Coal Ash Being Dumped in Puerto Rico

Source: Democracy Now!

White House News Briefing

FBI Opens Criminal Probe Over Police Beating of North Carolina Man for Jaywalking

US Adds 313,000 Jobs in February

Gov. Rick Scott Signs Florida School Safety and Gun Law

Source: CBS News

Eye on Africa: Kenya's President and Opposition Leader Meet in Show of Unity

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Russian TV Anchor Warns 'Traitors' Not to Settle in Britain

Source: euronews.

EU Commission Vice-President: 'In Trade Wars, There Are No Winners'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

‘Act of War’: Britain Fumes Over Russian Spy Poisoning

British politicians publicly point the finger towards Russia as Sergei Skripal and his daughter remain critically ill.

By Jamie Ross

British lawmakers have voiced their anger over the “brazen and reckless” attempted murder of a former spy using a deadly nerve agent, with one accusing Russia of having potentially committed an “act of war.”

Former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, remain in critical condition in the hospital after they were found unconscious on Sunday as a result of being exposed to an as-yet unspecified nerve agent. The police officer who first responded to the scene, who had been in intensive care, is now “stable and conscious” and has been named as Sergeant Nick Bailey.

Local newspaper the Salisbury Journal reported that police had cordoned off the graves of Skripal's wife and son, appearing to confirm previous reports that their deaths are now part of the ongoing investigation by British counter-terrorism police. Liudmila Skirpal died of cancer in 2012, and Alexander Skripal died in St. Petersburg last year.

As speculation mounted that Russia was responsible for the attack, the British government’s Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “The use of nerve agent on UK soil is a brazen and reckless act. This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way.”

But she added: “If we are to be rigorous in this investigation we must avoid speculation and allow the police to carry on their investigation. The investigation now involves hundreds of officers following every possible lead to find those responsible.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray Delivers Remarks at the Women’s History Month Celebration

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

New 'NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding' Initiative Launched

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a new multi-pronged initiative to help Puerto Rico build back stronger and more resilient in the wake of devastating hurricanes that struck the island last fall. In April, New York will deploy a multi-disciplinary Tactical Assessment Team to help develop a near-term rebuilding roadmap to assist Puerto Rican communities in need. In June, once the roadmap is complete, New York will mobilize teams of SUNY and CUNY students, and skilled workers from the construction and building trades, to work side-by-side with non-profit organizations already on the ground. This effort aims to enhance Puerto Rico's rebuilding capacity and to establish a job training program for the local workforce. To lay the groundwork for hundreds of student volunteers, a SUNY Maritime team will deploy in late May to connect with non-profits and transport supplies.

"Since day one, the outpouring of support from New Yorkers for the people of Puerto Rico has been unbelievable," Governor Cuomo said. "New York stood up for the island in a big way, sending personnel, volunteers, and millions of supplies and donations to the island - and with the launch of this latest effort, we will deliver the workforce needed to build back homes and communities across the island stronger than ever before."

"After convening today's roundtable and announcing Governor Cuomo's long-term commitment to the recovery of Puerto Rico, I could not be prouder to live in a State that does not turn its back on our brothers and sisters in their time of need," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our NY Promise to Puerto Rico is this - we will help them rebuild. We will help them recover. We will help them create resiliency. And we will never, ever forget. Unlike the federal government, whose approach is little more than throwing paper towels into a crowd, today we announced a new sustained initiative that will have a lasting impact."

As part of the initial phase of this effort, officials from New York will join with members of the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council and the Building Trades Employers' Association of New York City to comprise a Tactical Assessment Team that will be deployed to the island in mid-April. Once on the ground, the team will work with the Puerto Rican government and non-profit organizations to develop a roadmap for rebuilding a stronger and more resilient island. The team will develop a detailed work plan by: conducting site visits across the island; meeting with smaller, grassroots non-profits already working on the ground; and working with Governor Rossello's team, unions, and members of workforce development initiatives.

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

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo Announces Formal Request for New York Exclusion from Federal Offshore Drilling

Governor Cuomo, joined by Vice President Al Gore, announced that New York has formally requested an exclusion from the new five-year National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. At New York University, the Governor also announced the single largest commitment to renewable energy by a state in U.S. history at $1.4 billion, which will advance 26 large-scale renewable energy projects across New York.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Inaugural Class of Hispanic Leadership Institute Fellows Announced

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the inaugural class of Fellows at SUNY's Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI) which is charged with developing and supporting the next generation of executive-level Hispanic/LatinX leaders across the SUNY system. The group will be recognized in Albany this weekend at The 31st Annual Bienvenida at the SOMOS El Futuro Conference.

"In New York, we know that diversity is our greatest asset and this groundbreaking program will ensure that the leadership at SUNY will reflect the strength of New York's diverse communities," Governor Cuomo said. "This fellowship will give New York's future leaders the tools and training necessary to succeed and lead the SUNY system."

The HLI offers six and 12-month fellowships to SUNY Hispanic/LatinX faculty and staff in leadership positions throughout SUNY, including provosts, chief academic officers, chief business officers, and others. Over the course of the program, fellows will participate in individualized mentoring and assessment and development programs to support their success. 

The SUNY HLI will also work with the SUNY Chief Diversity Officer to help ensure that search committees are trained to successfully recruit top Hispanic candidates to leadership positions within the university system.

Click here to review the list. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Trump Accepts Kim Jong-un’s Invitation to Meet

By Mark Landler

WASHINGTON — North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has invited President Trump to meet for negotiations over its nuclear program, an audacious diplomatic overture that would bring together two strong-willed, idiosyncratic leaders who have traded threats of war.

The White House said Mr. Trump had accepted the invitation, and Chung Eui-yong, a South Korean official who conveyed it, told reporters that Mr. Trump would meet with Mr. Kim within two months.

“He expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Mr. Chung said at the White House on Thursday evening after meeting the president. Mr. Trump, he said, agreed to “meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.”

Mr. Trump expressed his optimism about the meeting in a post on Twitter, saying that Mr. Kim had “talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze.”

“Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time,” the president added. “Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Times 

A Ray of Light on the Korean Peninsula

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un recently met with South Korean National Security Chief Chung Eui-yong. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News) 

By Dr. Charles K. Armstrong

After months of nuclear sabre rattling and threats of “fire and fury” between Pyongyang and Washington, peace seems to be breaking out in Korea. In February, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent his sister and close aid Kim Yo-jong -- along with other officials and a squad of cheerleaders -- to attend Winter Olympics in South Korea. At the beginning of March, South Korea sent a delegation led by the President’s chief of National Security to Pyongyang.  The South Koreans met with Kim Jong at length, and reported Kim’s interest in holding a North-South summit meeting in April -- the first such meeting since 2007. The North Koreans are also willing to discuss denuclearization with the United States, and offered to suspend nuclear and missile tests while such talks take place.

Donald Trump voiced some cautious support for these developments, calling the statements from North and South Korea “very positive” while tweeting that they may just give “false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!” No doubt Trump thinks his dire warnings to “totally destroy” North Korea played a role in getting Pyongyang to offer to talk to the US. But North Korea has been living with the threat of annihilation by American nuclear weapons since the 1950s; what’s new is North Korea’s demonstrated ability to lob an ICBM at the US.  Trump seems to want to take a page of out of the Nixon playbook and apply the “madman theory of politics” to North Korea: don’t mess with me because I’ve got my finger on the nuclear button and I just might be crazy enough to press it! It’s probably not a good idea however to try to out-crazy the North Koreans, who’ve gotten very good at nuclear brinkmanship over the decades. It’s also worth remembering that the “madman theory” didn’t work out so well for Nixon in Vietnam.

The key point that often gets lost in these games of nuclear posturing over Korea is that millions of lives are at risk, and most of them are Korean. No amount of “credibility” or tough-guy reputation is worth turning the Korean peninsula into a radioactive wasteland. With this in mind, Koreans, North and South, are at long last taking matters into their own hands. They are trying to preserve their own country, and it’s in the interest of the United States to work with the Koreans to hammer out a peaceful and lasting solution to the Korean conflict. Too much is at stake to let this opportunity pass.

Dr. Charles K. Armstrong is the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences Department of History at Columbia University. Dr. Armstrong teaches courses on Korean history, U.S./East Asian relations, the Vietnam War and global history. He is a frequent commentator in the U.S. and foreign mass media on contemporary Korean, East Asian, and Asian-American affairs. From The G-Man proudly welcomes Dr. Armstrong to its expanding list of contributing writers and special correspondents.

What We Found in Trump’s Drained Swamp: Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders

A ProPublica Special Report

For the first time, political appointee and federal financial disclosure information is publicly searchable.

When the Trump administration took office early last year, hundreds of staffers from lobbying firms, conservative think tanks and Trump campaign groups began pouring into the very agencies they once lobbied or whose work they once opposed.

Today we’re making available, for the first time, an authoritative searchable database of 2,475 political appointees, including Trump’s Cabinet, staffers in the White House and senior officials within the government, along with their federal lobbying and financial records. Trump Town is the result of a year spent filing hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests; collecting and organizing staffing lists; and compiling, sifting through and publishing thousands of financial disclosure reports.

Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp,” many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest. In addition, at least 254 appointees affiliated with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and at least 125 staffers from prominent conservative think tanks are now working in the federal government, many of whom are on teams to repeal Obama-era regulations.

Click here for the full article.  

Dems Team Up with GOP to Weaken Bank Rules, Which Critics Say May Lead to More Bailouts & Misconduct

This report was published on YouTube on March 7. 

Source: Democracy Now!

The Legacy of Anne Frank

This video was published on YouTube on February 5, 2015. 

A short film about Anne Frank's legacy featuring her cousin Buddy Elias, the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and footage from new play 'Anne'.

Source: Newsweek International 

Saving Our Youth: The Anti-Gang Gang Presents...'Stop The Violence'

This video was published on YouTube on January 26, 2018. 

It was made in conjunction with Bronx Academy of Letter's "Be The Change" week.

Source: Timothy Petropoulos

Trailblazers in Black History: Lorna Simpson

This video was published on YouTube on March 20, 2014. 

Old sports photographs and hair commercials provide inspiration for American artist Lorna Simpson. The artist uses combinations of image and text to examine the processes through which meaning and understanding take place. 

Here Simpson shows TateShots how she arrived at this methodology and why her surroundings are so important to her work.

Source: Tate

U.S. Soldiers Killed in Niger ISIS Ambush Will Now Get Hostile Fire Back Pay

WASHINGTON — The four U.S. soldiers who were killed in Niger in an ISIS ambush are now eligible for back pay for serving under hostile fire, according to a memo sent by a top defense official Monday.

When the soldiers were killed near the village of Tongo Tongo last October, U.S. service members deployed to Niger did not receive the Imminent Danger Pay, an additional $225 a month, that their counterparts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other dangerous environments earn.

But Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Robert Wilkie sent a memo Monday saying troops serving in Niger, Mali and parts of Cameroon will now get Imminent Danger Pay for every month served there, with the change retroactively effective for all those who served in those countries effective June 7, 2017. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Tillerson Says U.S. Getting ‘Potentially Positive Signals’ from North Korea

Gov. Jerry Brown Taunts Trump: Mueller is Closing In

California Gov. Jerry Brown fired back at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump on Wednesday after their lawsuit challenging the state's immigration laws, calling the administration "full of liars" and repeatedly referencing the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. 

The Democratic governor was speaking on the heels of Sessions' visit to Sacramento to announce a lawsuit against California for its so-called sanctuary policies of non-cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Reducing Regional Disparity in the EU: Cohesion Policy Aims

Source: euronews.

Syria: Video of 'Phosphorous' Bomb Attacks in Ghouta

Trump's Tariffs Plan Prompts Global Backlash

Canada Seeks Exemption from Trump's Steel Tariffs

UNHCR Chief of Mission: 'Libya is Not Safe for Refugees'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

US Economy: Why Black Americans Still Find It Harder to Get Jobs

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: Voting Goes Smoothly in Sierra Leone

Source: FRANCE 24 English

International Women's Day: 'Using Government Policy to Push for Gender Equality'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Ending the Gender Pay Gap in Europe

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Slowing Down Your Intake of News

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Winter Storm Update (New York State Region)

Click here for an audio report from Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New SWC Report Warns About the Emergence of 'Alt-Tech'

On March 6, the Simon Wiesenthal Center released its annual Digital Hate and Terrorism Report Card at a press conference at the office of New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, pictured, with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean, and Richard Eaton, SWC Digital Terrorism & Hate Project Co-Director.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s interactive report, Digital Terrorism and Hate 2018, focuses on what has become a critical global frontier in the marketing of hate and terrorism. The troubling increase in sophistication that extremists are demonstrating in spreading their messages online and the need for a coalition of corporations, parents, educators, non-profit organizations, and governments that can empower young people to mobilize in fighting hate was highlighted during the launch of the 2018 report in New York.

The accompanying Digital Terrorism and Hate 'Report Card' evaluates the efforts of powerful online platforms in removing hate and terror-related postings and recognizing the strides that some of the larger platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have made working with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Together, Facebook and Twitter have removed hu hundreds of thousands of posts.

Critical Findings from the Report:

Emergence of Alt-Tech – social media tools of post-millennial/millennial white supremacists and other extremists who are highly skilled content creators and social media marketers

Leveraging of platforms by extremists, including members of Generation Z, such as, that are less aggressive in confronting extreme content

Building new outlets by the Alt-Tech, which include “goyfundme,” and “hatreon”

Mainstreaming of hate targeting younger generations with language that doesn’t sound hateful on the surface, but denigrates groups and often attempts to rewrite history

Mixing and matching public platforms with off-the-shelf encryption by an online terrorists and bigots alike

“We must use every tool in our own powerful arsenal to reach digital-savvy teens and young adults with positive messages that empower them to be our allies. The recent mass murder in South Florida is but one brutal reminder of the price we all pay for lessons unlearned in the social media age,” Rabbi Cooper warned. 
Source: The Simon Wiesenthal Center

Governor Cuomo Issues Open Letter to President Trump

The following letter was issued today. 

 Dear Mr. President,

The old adage is right: "go with your first instinct." Your White House meeting with bipartisan federal legislators right after the Florida massacre appeared and was unscripted and productive. You essentially had one question that summed up what every American was feeling: "why?" Why sell guns to young people who can't yet buy a beer? Why sell assault weapons that are designed to kill so many people so quickly? Why not take guns from the mentally ill before they hurt someone or themselves? Why not make sure every gun purchaser goes through a background check?

There was no answer from the electeds assembled, because there is no answer - except the one you suggested - they are afraid of the NRA.

Major political change comes when a window of opportunity opens and a leader seizes the moment. There are brief moments in history where attention, passion and drive combine to unite the American people and overwhelm the forces preserving the status quo and create change.

The American gun crisis has long been a plague and scourge on our country. You can do something about it and the American people would support it. This is the moment. The Republicans will follow your lead. Yes, they fear the NRA, but they fear the enraged citizen majority more.

In New York, after the Sandy Hook massacre, the nation had a similar moment. It was a moment of grief and pain and anger. Sandy Hook touched the hearts and minds of every day Americans. It was anyone's child - it was everyone's child. In the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook we passed the New York Safe Act - common sense gun safety. It has made a dramatic difference, it didn't negatively affect any legal gun owners, and I believe it has saved lives.

Mentally ill and dangerous people shouldn't have guns so we need universal background checks. When a person shows signs of mental distress or violence, there should be a provision for police to investigate and determine the facts - a "red flag bill." Domestic violence offenders should not have guns. Assault weapons are too dangerous in the wrong hands and not worth the risk. In 1938 we outlawed machine guns in this Country precisely for the same reason: they were too dangerous if obtained by the wrong person. Does anyone miss not owning machine guns?

For those of us who serve in government, if we are lucky, we may have a few moments that present a real opportunity to make a lasting difference. There are brief openings where transformational progress is possible and you have that opportunity now. The moments are rare and fleeting. They are leadership moments: don't squander it.

The political advisors are wrong. NRA members will be nervous about any government change and intervention but they will ultimately realize a functioning system vindicates legitimate gun owners rather than demonizing all. If you lose this moment, I am sad to say there will probably be another shooting and the Country will be in the same place, and it will once again pose the question that you posed - "why?" "Why didn't we do anything about this after Florida?" You have the responsibility to stop that from happening.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Centrality of Carter Page and the Trump/Russia Connection

Introduction: Carter Page's name doesn't come up much in the mainstream media's coverage of Trump/Russia and the Mueller investigation. Yet Sean Hannity and others on the Right go out of their way to try to discredit in advance any findings on him, based on their falsification of the basis of the "FISA warrant." This column is about just why they are doing that.

When mainstream reporting is done on the Mueller investigation of the Trump/Russia connection, a number of names are mentioned. (By the way, just so you know, I don't consider the Fox"News"Channel, also known variously as "Trump TV" [MSNBC's Chris Hayes] or the "Propaganda Channel" [I began using the term in 2015].), to be “mainstream” (except of course for the Radical Right).) Among them are persons who have been investigated who have already plead guilty to some relatively minor charge and have presumably become cooperating witness: Gen. Mike Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Richard Pinedo. Then there is the one who has been indicted and is strongly maintaining his innocence, Paul Manafort. Also indicted are the "13 Russians" and unnamed co-conspirators (who may or may not be indicted at some point). But there is one name that has floated around the whole "Trump/Russia" thing from just about the time it began, that doesn't get much mention in the mainstream media. That is Carter Page.

The first time I heard of Carter Page was when he was on a Chris Hayes MSNBC show in 2016. He had been previously identified by The New York Times as a "person of interest" (for journalists at least) the Trump/Russia probe. Page came across as somewhat dis-connected, claimed that he didn't know much about Russia, and that he certainly played no role in any Trump/Russia connections. He repeated these claims recently in an interview with the radio/TV right-wing talker Sean Hannity. As a matter of fact, while Page doesn't show up in the mainstream media in reTrump/Russia, he sure shows up with regularity on Hannity's version of events.

Click here for the full article. 


Note - 4:14 p.m. (EST) - Corrections were made and submitted by the author to provide clarity. 

Celebrating the Grand Opening of the Madam C.J. Walker Institute

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

President Trump Addresses Latino Coalition

Click here for video. 

Source: C-SPAN

Senate Democrats Announce Infrastructure Investment Proposal

Click here for video.

Trailblazers in Black History: Mary Styles Harris

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Mary Styles Harris turned an early love of science into a prominent career in health research. Since earning her doctorate in molecular biology from Cornell University in 1975, Harris has raised greater awareness for medical issues like sickle-cell anemia and breast cancer. She was a 1980 recipient of Glamour magazine's Outstanding Working Women award.

Click here for additional information.

Source: Biography

The 'I Am Woman' Series: Ertharin Cousin

Ertharin Cousin provides succor to millions as the head of the UN World Food Programme, the world's largest aid agency battling food insecurity and hunger.

By using weather models to identify potential droughts and other climatic disasters before they occur, the agency can then take more proactive measures, such as distributing drought-resistant seeds to farmers.

Click here for summary. 

Source: Forbes 

Ava DuVernay Calls 'A Wrinkle in Time' a 'Love Letter' to Black Girls Everywhere

by Gwendolyn Quinn

Director Ava DuVernay is exploring new territory and making history with a film adaptation of the beloved children’s book, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

She is the first woman of color to direct a $100 million film, which hits theaters Friday, Mar. 9. The blockbuster movie’s multicultural cast includes actresses Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling.

The Walt Disney Pictures project and its trailblazing director has received enormous support and momentum since the announcement DuVernay was on board in February 2016.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Coalition to Address Chronically Low Wages in Predominantly Female Workforce Operating Under State Contracts

ALBANY, N.Y. — On March 13 at 11:00 a.m., Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York—a statewide coalition of more than 350 nonprofit human services providers—will host a press conference at the state capitol's Million Dollar Staircase to call for increased funding for wages in nonprofit contracts. 
More than 80% of human services workers are women, and many are women of color (44 percent of the total), making their chronically low wages a key equity issue. According to the organization, Governor Cuomo and the Legislature have an obligation to address this issue head-on in the current budget. 
Strong Nonprofits is asking the state to fund the minimum wage on direct contracts and to provide salary increases for human services workers who were not covered in last year’s direct care increase.
The coalition will also host a “Women in Human Services Hall of Fame,” in honor of Women’s History Month, where they will highlight notable women in human services from past to present times. Honorees were nominated by legislators and community members.

The following will be in attendance: Assemblymember Inez Dickens (A.D. 70), Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (A.D. 109), Assemblymember Shelley Mayer (A.D. 90), Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz (A.D. 51), Assemblymember Luis R. Sepulveda (A.D. 87), Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (A.D. 52), Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara (A.D. 111), Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages (A.D. 22), Senator Timothy M. Kennedy (S.D. 63), Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director, FPWA, Allison Sesso, Executive Director, Human Services Council, and members of the Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York coalition. 

Source: Mercury

Trump Speaks Out on Possible Negotiation with North Korea

Trump's Top White House Economic Adviser Resigns

Education Secretary DeVos Visits Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

What the Texas Primaries Mean for U.S. Midterms

Source: CBS News

23andMe Offers At-Home Test for Breast Cancer Gene Mutations

Source: CBS News

Haiti Will Officially Become a Full Member of the African Union

Source: SABC Digital News

US' Tillerson to Embark on First African Nations Tour

What's in a Name? France's Far-Right National Front Set for Revamp

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Sierra Leone Picks New Leader with Hopes of Ending Economic Crisis

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Residents of Syria's Eastern Ghouta Share Footage of Daily Bombings

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Brazil: Top Court Denies Former President Lula's Bid to Avoid Jail

Source: FRANCE 24 English

US Diplomat Bill Richardson: 'North Korea Sanctions Have Worked'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Mayor de Blasio Holds Media Availability on Storm and Crime Statistics

The coverage begins at the six-minute and thirty second mark.

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Cuomo Issues Bans and Travel Advisories Ahead of Storm

Governor Andrew Cuomo today issued a Travel Advisory for all areas east of I-81 as well as a travel ban on tractor trailers on certain roads beginning March 7 at 8 a.m. due to the hazardous winter weather conditions being forecasted in many parts of the state. 

Once the advisory and ban go into effect, motorists will be urged to avoid any travel unless absolutely necessary and all tractor trailers, tandem trailers, buses, box trucks, and other high profile vehicles will be restricted from entering the following roadways:
  • New York State Thruway from Exit 36 (Syracuse) to the New York City line, including the Berkshire Spur to the Massachusetts State Line, I-95, Garden State Parkway Connector and I-287
  • I-88 from Binghamton to Albany 
  • I-81 from Pennsylvania line to the New York State Thruway 
  • Route 17 Binghamton to I-84
  • I-84 from the Connecticut State Line to the Pennsylvania State Line
  • I-684 from I-84 to I-287
The New York State Police will strictly enforce the ban, and will stop and ticket anyone who is in violation.

Click here for the full announcement. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

NYPD Veteran: 'Some of These Doctors Are Going to Get People Killed!'

Officer Claims Many Mentally Ill People Are Being Released
from Clinics and Hospitals Without Proper Evaluation

A 'From The G-Man' Exclusive

By Gary Glennell Toms

On February 26, From The G-Man spoke to an officer who has honorably served the New York City Police Department for over 20 years. The officer, who will be referred to as "Officer Goodman" to protect his identity, is deeply concerned about something he considers to be a major threat to New York City residents and fellow police officers. Goodman, who indicated he has gained the respect and support of many within his command because of his approach to policing, decided to come forward because he believes members of the medical and mental health community are not doing enough to address the issue.

The NYPD veteran cited two incidents to bolster his claims.

The first case occurred recently and involved a man who was taken into custody after threatening to attack and kill cashiers, the manager and patrons at a McDonald's. When police officers arrived on the scene, the man was extremely belligerent and repeatedly yelled obscenities. "It was clear this guy was an emotionally disturbed person or what we call an EDP," said Goodman. "He was completely out of control. He just kept cursing and saying he was going to kill anyone that came near him, including police officers."

The officers were able to subdue and handcuff the man without incident. EMS personnel arrived and placed him on a stretcher, but he had to be restrained after a series of violent outbursts. Officer Goodman and his partner followed the ambulance to Kings County Hospital. While wheeling the stretcher into the facility, the man became enraged and attempted to spit on the EMS workers and police officers. The EMS workers attempted to restrain him, and Goodman asked a member of the hospital's medical team for a mask to prevent the man from spitting. What happened several minutes later completely stunned the officers. "She came back and handed masks to the officers! We were stunned. When I asked why she didn't bring a mask for the man in custody, she just looked at me. I was livid, but I didn't say anything," said Goodman.

The officer went on to note that when the doctors removed the man's shoes, he noticed something that he says shook him to his core. "He was wearing socks with the grips on the bottom. They looked brand new, and I realized they were the socks patients receive after being admitted to a hospital or mental health facility," stated Goodman. "I've dealt with EDPs many times during the course of my career, and the fact that he was wearing socks like that is an indication that he may have been hospitalized and released soon after." Officer Goodman shared his assessment with the doctors on scene and claims they did not seem overly concerned. "I was frustrated. I couldn't hold back any longer and told them they needed to investigate the situation," the officer said. "I've seen this too many times, and some of these doctors are going to get people killed! Too many doctors are allowing these people to fall through the cracks. They aren't properly evaluating these cases and simply releasing people with serious mental issues. This is how people end up pushed in front of subway trains."

Officer Goodman presented a second case, which took place in 2017, that was even more disturbing. He responded to a call of a woman who was walking back and forth on the subway tracks. She fearlessly walked between the local and express track. "It was a really, really scary situation. When I confronted her, she was holding a metal spike. She must have taken it from an area where the MTA was doing construction," Goodman stated. "When I said, 'I need you to drop the spike, Miss', she looked at her hand as if she had no idea where the spike came from. Then, she said she was hearing voices, repeatedly, and was trying to walk to 125th Street in Harlem."

Officer Goodman and his partner escorted the ambulance to Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. The officers explained the severity of the situation, but Goodman claims the response was far worse than the one noted in the aforementioned case. "We were standing close enough to hear one doctor say that he would keep the woman for a few hours... and release her! My partner and I immediately looked at each other in disbelief. Neither of us could believe what we just heard," said the NYPD veteran. "At that point, I gave the doctor a look as if to say, 'Are you fuckin' kidding me!? This is bullshit!'" Goodman exited, again, filled with frustration.

The officer concluded by noting something must be done to address the problem, effective immediately. "The more this happens, the more likely it is that members of the general public are going to be harmed or killed. The more this happens, the more likely it is that EDPs will lose their lives during confrontations with police. Families will mourn, and police officers will continue to be vilified for using deadly force. It would really help if some in the medical and mental health community just did their damn job."

Note: On January 11, 2018, the Huffington Post published the following news report: Video Shows Discharged Patient On Street In Only A Hospital Gown

Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, Testifies on World Threats

Director Coats, along with the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on national security threats. Director Coats said cyber threats are one of his greatest concerns and reiterated that the U.S. is under cyberattack. 

Coats told lawmakers that the White House is “actively engaged” on election security but said it is “highly likely” Russia would seek to influence the 2018 midterm elections. 

In addition, both intelligence chiefs expressed skepticism about reports that North Korea is willing to talk to the U.S. about nuclear disarmament. 

Source: C-SPAN 

Secretary Shulkin on Veterans Health Care

Source: C-SPAN

General Waldhauser Testifies on U.S. Military Operations in Africa

Source: C-SPAN

Senate Republican Leaders Brief Reporters

Following their weekly caucus luncheon, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other members of Senate Republican leadership speak to reporters. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN