Saturday, June 16, 2018

New York: The Death of a Once Great City



New York has been my home for more than forty years, from the year after the city’s supposed nadir in 1975, when it nearly went bankrupt. I have seen all the periods of boom and bust since, almost all of them related to the “paper economy” of finance and real estate speculation that took over the city long before it did the rest of the nation. But I have never seen what is going on now: the systematic, wholesale transformation of New York into a reserve of the obscenely wealthy and the barely here—a place increasingly devoid of the idiosyncrasy, the complexity, the opportunity, and the roiling excitement that make a city great.

As New York enters the third decade of the twenty-first century, it is in imminent danger of becoming something it has never been before: unremarkable. It is approaching a state where it is no longer a significant cultural entity but the world’s largest gated community, with a few cupcake shops here and there. For the first time in its history, New York is, well, boring.

This is not some new phenomenon but a cancer that’s been metastasizing on the city for decades now. And what’s happening to New York now—what’s already happened to most of Manhattan, its core—is happening in every affluent American city. San Francisco is overrun by tech conjurers who are rapidly annihilating its remarkable diversity; they swarm in and out of the metropolis in specially chartered buses to work in Silicon Valley, using the city itself as a gigantic bed-and-breakfast. Boston, which used to be a city of a thousand nooks and crannies, back-alley restaurants and shops, dive bars and ice cream parlors hidden under its elevated, is now one long, monotonous wall of modern skyscraper. In Washington, an army of cranes has transformed the city in recent years, smoothing out all that was real and organic into a town of mausoleums for the Trump crowd to revel in.

By trying to improve our cities, we have only succeeded in making them empty simulacra of what was. To bring this about we have signed on to political scams and mindless development schemes that are so exclusive they are more destructive than all they were supposed to improve. The urban crisis of affluence exemplifies our wider crisis: we now live in an America where we believe that we no longer have any ability to control the systems we live under.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Harper's Magazine

The Misogynistic Logic of Jeff Sessions’s Horrifying New Asylum Policy for Domestic Violence Victims



When the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 1993, it gave long overdue recognition to the fact that gendered domestic violence is not a private issue, but a public health and human rights concern for the international community. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision this week to stop giving asylum protections for domestic violence victims stands in grim conflict with this principle.

On Monday, Sessions reversed an immigration court’s ruling that granted asylum to a woman from El Salvador whose husband had repeatedly abused her physically, sexually, and emotionally. The court ruled in 2014 that domestic violence victims constitute a social group when it comes to asylum considerations. But in a 31-page ruling with profound implications for immigration policy, Sessions wrote that “generally” claims on domestic and gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum and will not even reach the initial “credible fear” standard to allow an immigrant to have her asylum claim heard by a judge. Victims of domestic and gang violence, in other words, won’t even be able to have their claims for asylum heard.

The effect of Sessions’s ruling could be sweeping and immediate. Immigration attorneys have said this decision could invalidate tens of thousands of pending asylum claims from women fleeing domestic and gang violence, which often intersect, in Central America and Mexico.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

Trump Administration Will Withdraw US from UN Human Rights Council, Report Says

 
The US Ambassador Nikki Haley said last year that the group has a 'chronic anti-Israel bias'.


President Donald Trump's administration is said to be set on withdrawing the US from the United Nations Human Rights Council. which meets for a new session next week

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has accused the 47-member organisation based in Geneva of “chronic anti-Israel bias” since she came into office last year and according to a number of reports, the withdrawal is “imminent,” particularly after UN's recent condemnation of Israel's violence against Palestinians in Gaza

Diplomats believe it is a case of when, not if, the US withdraws according to Reuters, although the State Department did not say in a statement that a decision had been made. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Independent

Is There Already Evidence of Collusion Between Paul Manafort, the Trump Campaign and Russia?


This report was published on YouTube on June 15. 

Source: CBS News

Woman Seeking Asylum Separated from Disabled Grandson


This report was published on YouTube on June 15. 

Source: CBS News

Drone Warfare Takes Traumatic Toll on U.S. Military Personnel


This report was published on YouTube on June 15. 

Source: CBS News

South Africa: Fears for Muslims Following Mosque Attack


Israel Court Decision: Palestinians in Silwan Await Ruling


Australia's Lost Generation: Battling Aboriginal Suicide


US-China Trade War


Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at 1199 Organizing Meeting


This video was published on YouTube on June 15. 

Source: NYGovCuomo

Street Naming Ceremony Honoring FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo


This video was published on YouTube on June 15. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

City Scoop: Half-Priced Metrocard, Budget Agreement, HOME-STAT Program


This video was published on YouTube on June 14. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Raid of N.Y. Public Housing Office Points to Separate Inquiry

 

Two days after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a sweeping civil settlement with the federal government over New York City’s public housing system, federal and local investigators seized documents and other items Wednesday from a Queens office of the city’s housing authority.

The investigators questioned housing officials, cloned computer hard drives and took the city-issued cellphone of a senior manager overseeing lead abatement, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Then they returned on Thursday.

The surprise visit rattled officials and pierced the veneer of common purpose presented by Mayor de Blasio on Monday when he announced that the city would commit at least $1.2 billion in extra funding for needed repairs in New York City Housing Authority buildings.

Click here for the full article. 

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

New Yorkers Are Ditching the Subway for Uber, Study Shows



NEW YORK, NY — Some straphangers have ditched the subway for Uber as for-hire vehicles have flooded the New York City's streets, a new Department of Transportation report shows. Half of the people who use ride-hailing services say they replace public transit trips with rides ordered from an app, according to the city's annual "Mobility Report" published Friday.

"New York City is now moving more people than ever, but several new trends — including declines in mass transit ridership and slower travel times, combined with more car ownership and for-hire vehicle trips — are together causes for concern," city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement.

Click here for the full article.

Source: New York City Patch (via Empire Report New York) 

Sixth Cab Driver Commits Suicide Amid Financial Struggles

 
By Dan Rivoli

A city cab driver was found dead in his Brooklyn home Friday — the sixth cabbie to commit suicide this year, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

Abdul Saleh, 59, a Yemeni immigrant who regularly put in 12 hours a day behind the wheel — was found hanged in his Flatlands apartment on King’s Highway at 9 a.m., said Bhairavi Desai, director of the NYTWA.

Click here for the full article. 

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

Facebook’s Screening for Political Ads Nabs News Sites Instead of Politicians


The social network is letting some political ads slip through without the required verification, while blocking promotional posts by news organizations, which are pushing back. 

by Jeremy B. Merrill and Ariana Tobin

One ad couldn’t have been more obviously political. Targeted to people aged 18 and older, it urged them to “vote YES” on June 5 on a ballot proposition to issue bonds for schools in a district near San Francisco. Yet it showed up in users’ news feeds without the “paid for by” disclaimer required for political ads under Facebook’s new policy designed to prevent a repeat of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Nor does it appear, as it should, in Facebook’s new archive of political ads.

The other ad was from The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news outlet, promoting one of its articles about financial aid for college students. Yet Facebook’s screening system flagged it as political. For the ad to run, The Hechinger Report would have to undergo the multi-step authorization and authentication process of submitting Social Security numbers and identification that Facebook now requires for anyone running “electoral ads” or “issue ads.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

House Committee Holds Hearing on Pandemic Preparedness


A House oversight subcommittee held a hearing on U.S. preparedness for potential biological attacks, pandemics and infectious disease outbreaks. Among the witnesses was Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. They discussed some of the potential health security threats, along with vaccine development and the management of the Strategic National Stockpile of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies that could be used during a public health emergency. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Click here for video.

Blistering U.N. Report: Trump Administration’s Policies Designed to Worsen Poverty & Inequality


Source: Democracy Now!

Paul Manafort Headed to Jail After Witness Tampering Allegation

 
by Charlie Gile and Tracy Connor

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort is going to jail.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office convinced a federal judge on Friday to revoke the bail of President Donald Trump's former campaign chief after he was accused of witness tampering.

"I cannot turn a blind eye to this," Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a Washington courtroom, explaining that she could not just release Manafort with more restrictions.

"This isn’t middle school, I can’t take your phone," Jackson said.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Trump Says He Won't Sign GOP Immigration Bill That Would Stop Separating Families at Border


The remarks could threaten a compromise in the House to end a policy that has been criticized by members of both parties and Christian conservatives.

By  Adam Edelman

President Donald Trump said Friday he would refuse to sign a new compromise Republican immigration bill that would bar his administration from implementing its policy of separating children from their parents or legal guardian at the border.

In an interview Friday morning with "Fox and Friends," Trump said he was "looking at both" immigration proposals put forth by GOP members of the House — the compromise bill, as well as a more conservative measure.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Capitol Hill Reaction to Immigration Policies That Separate Children and Parents


This report was published on YouTube on June 14. 

Source: CBS News

Russian Prisons: Human Rights in the Spotlight


NIcaragua Protests: Thousands Call for Ortega to Resign as Violence Continues


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Macron, Conte Say Dublin Regulations Need Overhaul


Source: FRANCE 24 English

US is Keeping Nearly 1,500 Children at Casa Padre Migrant Shelter


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Iran Facing Water Crisis


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Turning Pain Into Hope: Rwanda's Children of Rape


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eid Celebrations Mark End of Muslim Holy Month


Source: FRANCE 24 English

US Set to Announce Tariffs on $50 Billion in Chinese Goods


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Thursday, June 14, 2018

SPLC Update: Mother of Five Faces Deportation After Driving Without a License

Teresa, second from the left, poses with family at a graduation ceremony.

Teresa Olea Agaton, a mother of five with no criminal history, has been detained for 10 months in a Louisiana facility after being ticketed for driving without a license. She came to the United States from Mexico and has been a devoted member of the Newnan, Georgia, community for almost two decades. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has applied for a stay of removal that will temporarily postpone her deportation.

Click here for the full report. 

Source: SPLC

SUNY Board of Trustees to Extend in-State Tuition for Students Displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma

 
Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that the State University of New York Board of Trustees has extended the authorization for its state-operated colleges and universities to offer in-state tuition for the 2018-19 academic year to students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have been displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. SUNY's Board of Trustees also encouraged the boards of trustees of its 30 community colleges and the boards of trustees of the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred Ceramics to take similar action.

"The promise of quality, affordable higher education can lay the foundation for a lasting difference in the many lives upended during last year's catastrophic hurricane season," Governor Cuomo said.

"With this extension, New York continues to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters whose suffering is being neglected and ignored by Washington to this day."

Approximately 35 students applied to SUNY under the in-state tuition policy in the fall 2017 academic term and fifty students did so in spring 2018. A copy of the resolution adopted by the SUNY Board is available online

SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said, "Governor Cuomo's focus on the people of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands is significant on many levels, and at SUNY we are proud to continue his directive to provide in-state tuition rates as a way to help so many students still displaced by the devastation left by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. It is important that these students know they can continue their education and we will help support them to that end." 

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "The outpouring of support within SUNY for our fellow American citizens is heartfelt and unwavering. Today, our board of trustees honors our commitment to educate students displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma. In just a few days, 100 of our students and faculty will join the people of Puerto Rico in their rebuilding efforts at home. It is truly our pleasure to provide this necessary public service and remind our students of the value of supporting each other in times of need." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Manhattan Chamber of Commerce President: 'Sarah Jessica Parker Could Not Be More Wrong'


NAN, Community Leaders Say Actress's Support for Ending
Tipped Wage Credit Threatens Employees, Restaurant Owners


New York, NY – Minister Kirsten John Foy, the Northeast Regional Director for the National Action Network (NAN), today joined with Manhattan Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jessica Walker, and local restaurant owners to urge Sarah Jessica Parker to abandon her campaign to end New York State’s tipped-wage credit.

The State Department of Labor is currently holding a series of hearings on eliminating the tip credit, which a majority of industry-experts agree would close restaurants and put servers out of work.

New York State allows tipped workers to be paid a lower minimum wage, but they must earn at least the full minimum wage when you include tips. (The difference between the tipped wage and the full minimum wage is called the tip credit.) The tip credit allows restaurant owners to keep labor costs down, while keeping it affordable for people to dine out.

Eliminating the tip credit will force employers to pay the full minimum wage, significantly increasing business costs, while actually reducing the pay that workers receive. Experts believe the elimination of the credit will result in restaurant closures, job losses, lower wages, and higher prices for customers.          

“Sarah Jessica Parker could not be more wrong. She may have eaten at some of New York’s best restaurants, but that doesn’t make her an expert in this industry,” Chamber President Walker said. “Eliminating the tipped-wage credit will cost jobs, restaurants will close, and unemployment will rise. We’re here today to stop ‘SJP’ from making a terrible error in the name of working men and women who don’t need it, don’t want it, and never asked for it!”

Late last month, Parker chose to relocate an exclusive $50,000 per table fundraiser to end the credit when the location was publicly revealed. Rather than meet with restaurant employees and take input from the people who work in the field every day, Parker chose to hide her event and only listen to the most radical voices on the subject. Ending the tipped-wage credit failed miserably in other states (Maine), and the legislature quickly had to pass a new law to stop the bleeding. 

“Rather than hold secret fundraisers, Ms. Parker should take some time to listen to these restaurant workers and owners,” Minister Foy said. “I have been a champion for the ‘Fight for 15,’ but I took the time to listen to the owners and workers in this industry. They don’t want their pay capped by the minimum wage and they certainly don’t want to lose their jobs because restaurants will close. They opened my eyes and that’s why I am here today, standing for and with them.”

Alfredo Angueria owner of Bronx Drafthouse and Beatstro said, “Running a restaurant is tough enough, and eliminating the tip credit will push a lot of small business owners to either cut jobs or close all together. The only restaurants left standing will be those few that survive will make enormous.”

Ruben Rodriguez President of GRC Restaurant Partners, parent company of Havana CafĂ©, said, “This isn’t about denying employees who ward hard every day access to a fair, living wage. We have men and women who have worked for us for years. We know them and their families.  We’re here fighting to save jobs and businesses that help make up the character of your neighborhood.”

“This is about fighting to save business we’ve worked tirelessly to build in New York City. Slowly developing concepts, hiring the right people, finding the right space, and at the end of the day bringing it all together and hoping we got it right,” said Petrushka Bazin Larsen co-owner of Sugar Hill Creamery. “This is about stopping policy-makers from making a terrible error in the name of working men and women who don’t want it. It’s a misguided effort that will only result in unbearable costs, empty commercial real estate, and longer unemployment lines.”

The Department of Labor has previously held five hearings across New York (Long Island, Watertown, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Albany). The response has been overwhelming. Thousands of servers have attended the hearings, submitted testimony, and called their legislators to tell them to keep the credit. 

There are two more scheduled hearings regarding the tipped wage credit: June 19 at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, and June 27 at Hunter College in Manhattan.

Source: Mercury

The Rising Suicide Rate in America: A Closer Look


John Madigan of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention talked about the rise in suicides in the U.S.

Click here for video.

Pennsylvania State Police Adding Oversight to Troopers’ Interactions With ICE


Officers must now file a report when they call federal agencies. Meanwhile, Trooper Luke C. Macke continues to detain immigrants for ICE. 

by Kavitha Surana

This story was co-published with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

By the end of this month, Pennsylvania State Police officers will be required to file a report any time they call immigration authorities to the scene of a traffic stop, detailing the circumstances behind the call, the agency said Wednesday.

This change comes two months after ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer published an investigation about state and local police officers in Pennsylvania helping ICE round up immigrants for deportation, using tactics that raise questions about racial profiling and unlawful arrest.

The story focused on Pennsylvania state Trooper Luke C. Macke as an extreme example. In 2017, Macke turned over at least 19 undocumented immigrants to ICE after interrogating them about their legal status and detaining them for up to four hours without a warrant.

In response to the April investigation, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf released a statement calling for “a need for stronger uniform procedures addressing state police requests for assistance from outside agencies, including ICE, especially given the new pressure on state and local agencies from the federal government.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica 

Fact Check: Corey Stewart, Republicans and the Fringe Right



Corey Stewart, the provocative conservative who won Tuesday’s Republican primary to challenge Democratic Senator Tim Kaine in Virginia in November, has spent years courting voters on the rightward fringes of his party, often by playing to anti-immigration sentiment.

He has also been accused of supporting white nationalists, an allegation that he has denied yet may cost him support this fall even among other Republicans. One of his primary opponents, Nick Freitas, urged voters in an email last week to “reject Corey Stewart’s dog-whistling of white supremacists, anti-Semites and racists.” This argument is likely to play a major role in the general election, as signaled by the first statement from Mr. Kaine’s campaign after Mr. Stewart secured the nomination on Tuesday night.

“A cruder imitation of Donald Trump who stokes white supremacy and brags about being ‘ruthless and vicious,’ Corey Stewart would be an embarrassment for Virginia in the U.S. Senate,” the statement said.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Times 

New York's Crime Analysis Center Network Expanded to Hudson County Region


Governor Cuomo announced the expansion of the state's Crime Analysis Center network to Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties. 

Click here for details. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Saving Our Youth: Inside a Gang Initiation with the Silent Murder Crips


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

For JT, a young prospect making his way into a local branch of the Crips in Brooklyn, joining the gang is about family: Getting close to a group of men that care about him, and are willing to back him up if he ever finds himself in trouble. 

But getting initiated isn't easy. VICE followed JT through the process of getting made to see what drew him to the gang, and to hear why he's willing to be "squared in"—suffering a brutal beating at the hands of his best friends.

Warning: The report contains strong language and footage of a physical assault. From The G-Man has opted to post this video in effort to "keep it real" and show kids and teens that choices have consequences. 

Source: VICE

Trailblazers in Black History: London Breed

 
Elected as San Francisco's First Black Woman Mayor

by Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Supervisor London Breed emerged victorious Wednesday to become the city’s first black woman mayor after narrowly defeating a rival who was seeking to become the first openly gay man in the position.

It took eight days of counting after Election Day for Breed to build a large enough lead to claim the city’s top job. With about 250,000 ballots tallied, she led former state Sen. Mark Leno by 2,177 votes with only about 6,700 left to count.

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Kim Kardashian West Pushes White House for More Drug Sentence Commutations


"OK, we did this," Kardashian West tells "Today" after Alice Johnson was freed. "Let's open up this conversation."

By Alex Johnson

Kim Kardashian West has given the White House reports on several other nonviolent criminal offenders for possible commutation after she persuaded President Donald Trump to commute the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson, she told "Today" in an exclusive joint interview with Johnson.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News  

Top Democrats Rally at 'We the People' Summit


This report was published on YouTube on June 13. 

Source: CBS News

Measure to Split California Into 3 States Heads to November Ballot


This report was published on YouTube on June 13. 

Source: CBS News

Apple to Close iPhone Security Hole Used by Police, Criminals


This report was published on YouTube on June 13. 

Apple will make a method -- often used by police -- for getting data off iPhones much less powerful with a software update announced Wednesday. 

Source: CBS News

The Impact of Sanctions on Ordinary Iranians


ICC Orders Release of DR Congo 'Warlord' Bemba


World Cup 2018: Can Russia Prevent Hooliganism, Racism & Clashes as It Happened During the Euro2016?


Source: FRANCE 24 English

United Nations Condemns Excessive Israeli Force Against Palestinians


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Chile Authorities Raid Sites Linked to Church Sex Abuse


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Gov. Cuomo Has Never Visited a Mosque in His 7 Years in Office, Muslim New Yorkers Complain


By Melissa Russo

A day after his challenger, Cynthia Nixon, visited a mosque, Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to answer a question from News 4's Melissa Russo about whether he'd ever visited a mosque.

This report was published on June 13. 

Click here for video. 

Source: News 4 New York 

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gets Hero’s Embrace at Magen David Yeshivah


By Michael Eric Rosenthal 

It’s not often that kids find politics interesting, but the students at Magen David Yeshivah elementary school in Brooklyn gave Gov. Andrew Cuomo the rock-star treatment from the time he walked onto the stage to when he left.

New York State awarded $5.8 million in grants for Brooklyn nonprofit schools, day care centers and cultural museums that will be used to enhance security measures, the governor announced on Wednesday. The governor’s vision of an equal and just society includes the need for making sure non-public childcare and education entities have the funding to meet the security standards he wants for public institutions. The grant money is part of the statewide $25 million Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Jewish Voice

Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks to Celebrate Fair Fares Funding


Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Johnson, other elected officials and subway riders will attend a rally to celebrate Fair Fares funding in the Budget.

This video was published on YouTube on June 12. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson Reach Early Handshake Agreement for FY 2019 Budget


This video was published on YouTube on June 11. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Happening in Harlem: Street Corner Resources to Host 2nd Annual Health and Wellness Fair

 Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Click here for additional information. 

Source: Street Corner Resources

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Remembering the Life and Legacy of Tim Russert


The Morning Joe panel pays tribute to the longtime 'Meet the Press' moderator, Tim Russert, who died on June 13, 2008. 

You are sorely missed, Mr. Russert. You really are. NBC News just hasn't been the same since you passed away. I should know. I've followed the organization for over 30 years. Rest in paradise, sir. 

"G-Man"

Religious Leaders Shackled, Held in Jail Overnight, After Praying in Protest Outside Supreme Court


Source: Democracy Now!

'Relic of Jim Crow Era': Ari Berman on Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold Ohio’s Voter Purge


Source: Democracy Now!

'Red Flag' Gun Protection Bill Passes in the Assembly


Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo 

"I applaud Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and their Assembly colleagues for standing with students, parents and teachers in this state and taking action to keep our schools safe. The red flag gun protection bill, also commonly referred to as the extreme risk protection order bill, is a common-sense but urgent measure to protect our communities from the threat of senseless gun violence.

"The scourge of gun violence has shaken this nation to its core, and yet the federal government in Washington, beholden to its NRA masters, has failed to take action. If the federal government won't act, then New York will lead. We passed the nation's strongest gun safety laws in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, and today we are taking another step forward to keep New Yorkers safe.

"I call on the State Senate to pass this bill without delay. Republican members of the Assembly put children above the NRA—all we need is one to show that kind of backbone in the Senate. It's time for the Republicans in Albany to put politics aside and listen to their constituents who are saying 'enough is enough.' The cost of inaction is simply too high."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

NRA Pushes Back Against Andrew Cuomo's 'Red Flag' Gun Bill, Governor Responds


ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push to pass a "red flag" gun bill has picked up a powerful opponent: The National Rifle Association.

The NRA came out this week against Cuomo's bill, urging members to contact lawmakers in the closely divided Senate and push for its defeat.

Cuomo's legislation would allow school officials and family members to seek a court order blocking someone from purchasing or possessing firearms in New York if they pose an "extreme risk" to themselves or others.

The Democrat-led state Assembly passed the bill Wednesday in an 87-29 vote.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Democrat & Chronicle 

UPDATE: 3:28 PM (EST)

Governor Cuomo issued the following statement regarding the NRA's effort to defeat the bill. 

"The NRA is once again showing its true colors by coming out against a common-sense measure to prevent school shootings and save lives. The NRA has opposed every single gun safety measure we have put forward in New York because the only thing they care about is selling more guns. 

"When the NRA is coming after you, you know you're doing something right. I have never backed down to the NRA at any point in my life, and I don't plan to start now. 

"Now it's time that the Republican legislators in Albany put the lives of their constituents before the NRA and take real action against the scourge of deadly gun violence." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

The Power of the Vote: Federal Primary Election in New York City


The Federal Primary Election will take place on June 26, 2018.
 
An absentee ballot may be delivered to the county board -- for a voter whom because of illness, travel, etc. is unable to vote at the polls -- no later than 9 p.m. on June 26, 2018.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: http://www1.nyc.gov

The Intra-Democratic War Over Personnel Zeroes In on Chuck Schumer



Liberal groups have grown concerned that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will squander his power to recommend Democratic nominees for financial regulatory commissions by sending up milquetoast, industry-friendly functionaries, instead of stalwarts opposed to loosening rules on big banks.

At issue are two Democratic seats open on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and one on the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last month, over 30 labor, progressive, and consumer groups urged Schumer to select nominees with a “demonstrated willingness to stand up to Wall Street.”

But Schumer, D-N.Y., has been slow to act on the SEC vacancy. For the FDIC, he’s close to re-appointing former Chair Martin Gruenberg, fresh off his role in shepherding through a major weakening of the so-called Volcker rule, a Dodd-Frank provision barring deposit-taking institutions from risky trading with customer funds. Gruenberg was the only Democratic bank regulator to vote for the deregulation proposal, and Schumer subsequently rewarding him with a re-appointment would be taken as disappointing signal.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said that Schumer is taking the pressure from progressive groups seriously when it comes to naming commissioners. “They make critical decisions that affect communities like the one I live in, in the central ward in Newark, and it’s something that I’m really concerned with on a whole raft of issues, from access to capital to fair-lending practices,” he said. “You’re seeing a whole bunch of things really affecting the average working American, and I think Schumer’s conscious of those things, and that’s why he’s spent so much time talking to progressive groups.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

House Democratic Leaders Hold News Conference on Pre-existing Conditions


Click here for video.

Trump's Personal Attorney Splits with His Own Legal Team


President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has split with the legal team that has shepherded him through a criminal investigation that included a high-profile FBI raid, a source familiar with the change said.

Trailblazers in Black History: Yvonne Thornton


Dr. Thornton is a double-Board Certified specialist in obstetrics, gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine. She has risen to the academic rank of Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the Association of Women Surgeons, a life member of The New York Academy of Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Surgeons.

Her biography is presently in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World. She has been listed in The Best Doctors -- New York Metro Area. She was also listed in New York Magazine as one of the Top Ten Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists in New York City.

Dr. Thornton was the first Black woman in the United States to be Board-certified in High-Risk obstetrics and to be accepted into The New York Obstetrical Society.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: www.doctorthornton.com and WNYC Radio

Black Harvard University Graduates Targeted in Bomb Threat, Man Charged

 
By Tom Barnes

A man who allegedly threatened to bomb a Harvard University event honouring the achievements of black students has been arrested. 

Nicholas Zuckerman is accused of publishing a string of sinister posts on the prestigious institution’s official Instagram account in May 2017.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Independent