Friday, October 12, 2018

Michelle Obama on Current Political Climate: ‘Fear Is Not A Proper Motivator’

This report was published on YouTube on October 11.

'They’ve Got to Execute You': St. Luke’s Doctor Faces Discipline After Raising Patient Care Concerns

A Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center physician alleges in a lawsuit that hospital officials retaliated against him for expressing concerns about ICU care. The Houston hospital has denied the allegation in court filings.

by Mike Hixenbaugh, Houston Chronicle, and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica

This article was produced in collaboration with the Houston Chronicle.

Dr. Tomas Rios was upset. He believed that some of his patients at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center had received unnecessary medical treatments in intensive care units at the Houston hospital, and one day in September 2015, he fired off three emails to colleagues expressing his frustration.

A month later, Rios was summoned to a meeting with his boss, but the purpose was not to discuss his concerns about patient care. Instead, he got a warning.

Dr. Victor Narcisse, a private-practice physician and member of the hospital’s medical executive committee, said that senior hospital officials had been in touch with him about Rios’ conduct, and they had made clear that they intended to “develop the evidence” to take punitive action against him. Narcisse compared the hospital’s plans for him to “an assassination,” according to a recording of the conversation. A transcript of the discussion was filed with Harris County District Court this week as part of a lawsuit by Rios against St. Luke’s.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: ProPublica

Colin Kaepernick Calls for More Protests Against Racial Injustice

Colin Kaepernick called for continued protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the US after being awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal by Harvard University yesterday.

The former NFL quarterback has been unsigned to any team since March 2017 after instigating the kneeling protest during the pre-match renditions of the national anthem and is currently engaged in a battle with team owners who he alleges have collaborated to keep him out of the sport.

"I feel it's not only my responsibility but all of our responsibilities that as people who are in positions of privilege, in positions of power, we continue to fight for them, uplift them, empower them,” the 30-year-old told the audience at the renowned university. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Independent

FEMA Officials Provide Update on Hurricane Michael Response

Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long and officials from other agencies provided reporters with an update on the federal response to Hurricane Michael.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Celebrity Activism in 2018

Variety’s Ted Johnson discussed celebrity activism ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. 

Click here for video.

DHS Official Warns of Ongoing Election Interference from Russia, China

This report was published on YouTube on October 11.

Death Toll Rises as Devastation from Hurricane Michael Mounts

Turkish Court Frees American Pastor Andrew Brunson

Source: CBS News

Jamal Khashoggi: The World Demands Answers

Source: Al Jazeera English

Trump Reluctant to Impose US Sanctions on Saudi Arabia

US, Russian Astronauts Survive Soyuz Emergency Landing

Nigeria Floods Ruin Crops for 100,000 Farmers

Will New York Really Kick Out Spectrum? Settlement Talks Extended Again

Syracuse, N.Y. -- New York regulators are giving settlement talks with Spectrum a little more time, postponing the deadline for the cable company to file a plan to exit the state.

Public Service Commission Chairman John Rhodes signed an order Wednesday giving Spectrum 45 additional days to submit its exit plan and to petition for  reconsideration of the commission's July 27 order requiring the company to leave the state within six months. It is the third time the commission has extended the deadlines.

Spectrum, by far the largest cable company in New York, now has until Nov. 26 to file for a rehearing and until Dec. 24 to file an exit plan.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: (via Empire Report New York) 

Feds Charge 5 New York Doctors with Prescribing 8.5 Million Opioid Pills

by Tom Winter, Adiel Kaplan and Rich Schapiro

Five New York doctors were charged Thursday with running illegal prescription drug mills that flooded the state with more than 8.5 million oxycodone pills.

The opioid pills resulted in the deaths of several people and multiple overdoses, according to Manhattan federal prosecutors.

"We are in the middle of an opioid epidemic of epic proportions," Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference. "These doctors were drug dealers in white coats...They did it for a very specific reason: greed."

One of them, Dr. Dante Cubangbang, dished out 4.6 million oxycodone pills in the past six years, making him the most prolific prescriber of oxycodone in New York state, authorities said.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News  (via Empire Report New York)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Georgia Grime: Black Voters Locked Out

An analysis found that 70 percent of people whose voter registration is in jeopardy are black residents.

A Georgia process for verifying voters’ information has left the applications of over 53,000 people in jeopardy, and 70 percent of those applications are from black people, an Associated Press analysis published Tuesday found.

The stark disparity drew scrutiny because Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R), the state’s top elections official, is running for governor. He is locked in a tight race with Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic leader in the Georgia statehouse who, if elected, would be the first black woman to serve as a governor in the United States.

The reason so many voters’ registration status is considered incomplete is because the state requires the information in a new application to exactly match the way the potential voter’s name appears in a state driver’s license database or a federal Social Security database. Any small discrepancy, like a hyphen or varied spelling, puts someone’s registration in jeopardy.

Danielle Lang, senior counsel at Campaign Legal Center, which sued Georgia over the practice in 2016, said it’s easy to get a mismatch under the process. She pointed to a 2009 audit from the Social Security Administration’s inspector general that said matching voter records with a Social Security database produced inaccurate matching. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Washington State’s Supreme Court Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional

Washington state’s Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional and converted to life in prison all pending death sentences in the state.

The court’s decision on Thursday was unanimous, with the justices determining that capital punishment is applied “in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.”

“The use of the death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence... or the race of the defendant,” the court said in its opinion. “The death penalty, as administered in our state, fails to serve any legitimate penological goal; thus, it violates article I, section 14 of our state constitution.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

National Law Enforcement Museum Opening (Full Ceremony)

The National Law Enforcement Museum held its official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony in Washington, DC. Actor and director Clint Eastwood, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser, and former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey were among those delivering remarks at the ceremony. Former President George W. Bush also addressed the audience in a pre-recorded video message. 

Click here for video.

The State of Conservatism in the U.S.

Max Boot talked about his most recent book, The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Hurricane Michael: Heavy Rain and Winds Devastate Florida

Eye on Africa: Fake 'Transparency International Observers' Reported During Cameroon Election

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Global Markets Continue to Tumble as Fears Spread

This report was published on YouTube at 3:12 p.m. (EST).  

Source: FRANCE 24 English

French Club: The Growing Allure of the Francophonie

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Missing Saudi Journalist: Turkey 'Want to Make Sure Saudi Arabia Pay for This'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

China Uighur Policy: 'This Campaign is Causing a Lot of Trauma Among the Muslim Minority Population'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Brazil Elections: Bolsonaro's Economic Adviser Faces Fraud Investigation

Source: FRANCE 24 English

US Student Detained in Israel: Lara Alqasem Appeals Israeli Entry Ban Over Boycott

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Mayor de Blasio Makes Significant Labor-Related Announcement

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation Creating a Third Gender Category in NYC Issued Birth Certificates

This video was published on YouTube on October 9. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

NY Board of Election Warns of Scam Alerts Ahead of Voter Registration Deadline

ALBANY, N.Y. - The deadline to register to vote in the 2018 general election is Friday, October 12.

With the deadline in mind, the New York State Board of Elections is warning the public to be aware of scam calls and text messages being sent out to try to obtain personal information.

The phone calls and texts have originated from the 607 area code and have been reported in Chemung and Steuben Counties so far.

Click here for summary. 

Source WHAM (via Empire Report New York) 

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo 

Governor Andrew Cuomo today cautioned New Yorkers of a voter registration scam reported in Chemung and Steuben Counties. Residents have reported receiving calls and text messages from a 607 area code offering to register the person to vote and requesting personal information over the phone. 

Voter registration is not conducted over the phone in New York and those contacted should not engage in phone calls or text messages offering these services. It is especially important not to provide personal information over the phone when you are solicited in this manner. 

"Elections are the foundation of our democracy, and scams like this not only compromise their security, but threaten the integrity of our elections altogether," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge New Yorkers to remain vigilant and to report suspicious election activity immediately so action may be taken to hold those involved accountable." 

Individuals interested in registering to vote may do so here. If you are unsure of your registration status, click here. The last day to register to vote in the New York general election on November 6, 2018 is October 12. 

Following reports of election fraud in the 2016 presidential election, Governor Cuomo has prioritized election security in New York to ensure that the state's elections are not compromised. The Governor has taken several actions, including an initiative to strengthen statewide cybersecurity infrastructure and a series of exercises to improve the state's electoral system. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Reel Sisters Awards to Honor JT Takagi and Terence Nance

On October 12, at 6:30 p.m., Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series will honor award-winning filmmakers JT Takagi, the Executive Director of Third World Newsreel, and Terence Nance, creator of HBO's Random Acts of Flyness, with the Reel Sisters Trailblazer award for their outstanding contributions to the film industry.

Jules and The Jinks, a winner of AfroPunk's 2018 battle of the bands competition, and highly acclaimed Broadway actress Shahadi Wright Joseph (Disney's The Lion King and Hairspray Live) will pay tribute to our honorees.

Jericka Duncan, a correspondent for CBS News, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. The ceremony will be held at SVA Theater, 333 West 23 St., Chelsea.

Click here for additional information.

Source: ImageNation 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Lady Gaga: 800,000 People Kill Themselves Every Year. What Can We Do?

In too many places mental health support services are non-existent and those with treatable conditions are criminalized. Bold action is long overdue. 

By Lady Gaga and

By the time you finish reading this, at least six people will have killed themselves around the world.

Those six are a tiny fraction of the 800,000 people who will kill themselves this year – more than the population of Washington DC, Oslo or Cape Town. Sometimes they are famous names such as Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade that make headlines, but they are all sons or daughters, friends or colleagues, valued members of families and communities.

Suicide is the most extreme and visible symptom of the larger mental health emergency we are so far failing to adequately address. Stigma, fear and lack of understanding compound the suffering of those affected and prevent the bold action that is so desperately needed and so long overdue.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Guardian 

New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial 2018 (Full Ceremony)

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 28 names will be added to the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the Empire State Plaza to honor the memory and heroism of the brave men and women who have lost their lives battling fires in the past year.

Source: NYGovCuomo 

Nationwide Class Action Lawsuit Targets DuPont, Chemours, 3M, and Other Makers of PFAS Chemicals

A class action lawsuit against 3M, DuPont, and Chemours was filed this week on behalf of everyone in the United States who has been exposed to PFAS chemicals. The suit was brought by Kevin Hardwick, an Ohio firefighter, but “seeks relief on behalf of a nationwide class of everyone in the United States who has a detectable level of PFAS chemicals in their blood.” Hardwick is represented by attorney Robert Bilott, who successfully sued DuPont on behalf of people in West Virginia and Ohio who had been exposed to PFOA from a plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

In addition to 3M, DuPont, and its spinoff, Chemours, the suit names eight other companies that produce the toxic chemicals, which are used to make firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and many other products. While much of the litigation around PFAS has focused on PFOA and PFOS, this suit targets the entire class of PFAS chemicals, including “the newer ‘replacement’ chemicals, such as GenX.”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Intercept_ 

Climate Scientist: As U.N. Warns of Global Catastrophe, We Need a 'Marshall Plan' for Climate Change

Source: Democracy Now!

FEMA Holds News Conference Ahead of Hurricane Michael

Flags to Be Directed to Half-Staff in Honor of Schoharie Crash Victims

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"In the wake of the Schoharie crash, it is hard to fathom the extent of this tragedy. We lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, sisters, brothers and friends, and the community will never be the same.

"The entire family of New York mourns for the lives cut short in this crash. In memory of those who were taken from us, I am directing that flags be lowered to half-staff.

"Some of those who tragically died were among our family of State employees, including Justice Center employee Amy King Steenburg, SUNY Oswego professor Brian Hough, and Patrick Cushing, a New York State Senate employee. On behalf of the State of New York, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of all of those lost, their loved ones and coworkers in this incredibly difficult time." 

The tribute will begin on October 11 and last until interment.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Researchers: No Evidence That Russia Is Messing With Campaign 2018—Yet

By the first week of October 2016, Russia’s pawprints were all over the presidential race. Not this year, researchers say.

By Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman

All eyes are peeled for foreign interference in November’s elections. But amid the Senate hearings on election security and indictments, the warning sirens and reports, experts in computer security and influence operations are quietly acknowledging an elephant in the room, or, more accurately, a bear that isn’t. With just 28 days to go before the midterm elections, they haven’t found any evidence yet of direct Russian interference in 2018’s races.

By the first week of October 2016, Russia’s paw-prints were all over the presidential race. Wikileaks had already dumped thousands of DNC emails stolen by Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU, and was on the verge of doing the same to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. A persona created by Russian intelligence was giving press interviews and chatting with a member of Donald Trump’s inner circle. Provocateurs at Russia’s infamous troll factory in St. Petersburg had already organized pro-Trump and anti-Clinton rallies around the country,  drawing hundreds of Americans into the streets to wave MAGA signs and dangle from Vladimir Putin’s invisible strings.

This year, crickets.

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast 

Are US Millennials the New Superpower Voting Bloc?

UN Calls for Probe Into Death of Venezuelan Opposition Politician

Source: FRANCE 24 English

French President Macron Looks to Reboot Image with Government Reshuffle

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Nikki Haley Resigns: Why is the US Ambassador to the UN Stepping Down?

Source: FRANCE 24 English

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecast Amid US, China Trade War

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Scandal in Japan: Tokyo Medical University Restricted Number of Female Doctors

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Turkey's Erdogan Demands Proof Missing Journalist Left Saudi Consulate

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Google+ Shutting Down After Private Data Leak

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Cameroon Election: Ruling Party Dismisses Maurice Kamto's Victory Claim

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Monday, October 8, 2018

From The G-Man to '45': Don't Claim to Speak For Us on Kavanaugh

Hey, "45"! 

The Huffington Post and other news outlets have reported that you apologized to Brett Kavanaugh "on behalf of nation" during his swearing-in ceremony. You know what? You do not speak for this news and information site's creator/managing editor, its contributing writers or any of the people that have offered encouragement and support since its inception. Several of those supporters happen to be women who were abused, so "From The G-Man" is taking a few minutes to tell you, directly and without reservation, that you certainly did not speak for us when you issued the "apology".

Team Trump Preps an Uppercut to the Chinese Economy

The trade war could be just the beginning.

By Erin Banco

As the Trump administration continues to ramp up tariffs as part of its effort to inflict economic levies on China, behind the scenes it is quietly taking steps to deal another blow to the country.

The Department of Treasury and Commerce are knee-deep in crafting new regulations that will implement restrictions against China meant to limit its ability to access U.S. technology, data, and infrastructure, current and former officials told The Daily Beast. The regulations will also propel a plan that gives the government the jurisdiction to review Chinese investment into American companies that deal with or manufacture that technology.

The restrictions were included in two pieces of legislation under the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, a series of laws that outlines the budget and expenditures for the Department of Defense, which President Trump signed in August. The government has 18 months to fully implement the new legislation and the new regulations will move that process forward.

“This is going to be very contentious and no one really knows how it is all going to shake out,” said one senior official in the department of Commerce. “We will have to wait and see what these regulations say. The new legislation will mostly likely impact many more countries but it was really crafted in order to target China.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Governor Cuomo Gives Update on Ongoing Investigation Into Schoharie Limousine Crash

Source: NYGovCuomo

ACLU Prepares to Sue Pennsylvania Prisons Over New Mail Policy

by Samantha Melamed

Ever since the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced a new, unprecedented policy for handling legal mail — part of a wide-ranging crackdown meant to stanch the flow of drugs into state prisons — criminal and civil lawyers who represent inmates have been in panic mode.

Many, including staff lawyers with the Pennsylvania ACLU, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, and private firms, said they can no longer ethically send confidential documents to clients, given the potential for exposure in the DOC's new protocol. Before, staff opened legal mail in the presence of inmates, searched it for contraband and handed it over; now they photocopy it, still in the inmate's presence, pass on the copy, and preserve the original for 45 days.

"The practices they've implemented are tremendously disruptive, and in fact are prohibiting a lot of lawyers from being able to use the mail to communicate with their clients," said Pennsylvania ACLU legal director Vic Walczak.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Inquirer (Daily News)

'The Time Machine': Justice Antonin Scalia Talks About Roe v. Wade

This report was published on YouTube on July 18, 2012.

Malcolm X: 'The Problem Is Still Here'

This video was published on YouTube on December 4, 2012.

Source: Donnie Mossberg

Carol Anderson: 'One Person, No Vote' (How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy)

Carol Anderson is an American academic. She is the Charles Howard Candler professor of African American Studies at Emory University. Her research focuses on public policy with regards to race, justice, and equality.  

Click here for video. 

Sources: Vimeo and Wikipedia

Trailblazers in Black History: Jesmyn Ward

This report was published on YouTube on October 27, 2017.

Hollywood & Race: 'The Believer' (2001)

The Believer is a 2001 American drama film directed by Henry Bean and written by Bean and Mark Jacobson. It stars Ryan Gosling as Daniel Balint, a Jew who becomes a neo-Nazi. 

The film is loosely based on the true story of Dan Burros, a member of the American Nazi Party and the New York branch of the United Klans of America. He committed suicide after being revealed as Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and the Golden St. George at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: Wikipedia

Washington Journal: Josh Kraushaar on Campaign 2018

Kraushaar, Political Editor for the National Journal, previewed the top 2018 midterm races and the issues affecting the election in the final weeks.

Click here for the full article.

Source: C-SPAN 

Taylor Swift Breaks Political Silence

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Warns Residents About Tropical Storm Michael

This report was published on YouTube on October 7. 

Source: CBS News

Landmark UN Climate Report Warns Time Quickly Running Out

In Memoriam: Viktoria Marinova, the Latest Victim of Journalist Killings

China Accuses Ex-Interpol Chief Meng of Bribery and Corruption

Afghanistan Water Shortage Displaces Thousands in Badghis

Serb Nationalist Wins Seat in Bosnia's Presidency, Says Party

Immigration 'Not a Human Right': Hungary FM on EU Criticism

Source: Al Jazeera English

Street Renaming, Plaque Honor FDNY Dep. Chief Michael Fahy

This video was published on YouTube on September 27. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro were among officials who honored fallen FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Fahy with a plaque and a street renaming. 

Source: CBS New York 

Rapper Hollywood Play Remembered as 'A Loving Father Devoted to Giving Back to His Community'

Source: Eyewitness News ABC7NY

NYU Professor Who Founded Urbanization Project Awarded Nobel Prize

Paul Romer

Click here for details. 

Source: Empire Report New York

Wall Street Is Booming Under Trump. But Many of Its Donors Are Embracing Democrats.


When Charles Myers, the chairman of a financial advisory firm, hosted four relatively unknown Democratic congressional candidates at his Midtown Manhattan home last month, he netted more money than he can remember collecting from an event that wasn’t headlined by a presidential candidate.

“More than ever in my 26-year career on Wall Street, donors are willing to look way beyond concerns of overregulation from Democrats,” said Mr. Myers, a longtime Democratic fund-raiser. They just want to elect “Democrats to serve as a check” on President Trump.

The stock market may be booming. Unemployment is hitting record lows. Republicans pushed through $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.

But despite all that, for the first time in a decade, the broader financial community is on pace to give more money to Democratic congressional candidates and incumbents than their Republican counterparts, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign donations.

Click here for the full article. 

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

Sorrow in Schoharie: Prestige Limousine Had Four Vehicles Taken Out of Service Following Inspections

Questions are mounting over the cause of the accident, which happened in the town of Schoharie around 2pm on Saturday, and whether the condition of the limo was to blame. 

The vehicle had been brought in as a replacement after a bus meant to transport the party broke down.  

It belonged to Prestige Limousines and Scott Lisinicchia was one of two drivers employed by the company. 

In the last two years, it has had four vehicles taken out of service upon inspection, documents from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that were obtained by on Monday reveal.

Twenty minutes before the crash, passenger Erin McGowan – who died alongside new husband Shane – texted aunt Valerie Abeling to say the limo was 'in terrible condition', the Washington Post reports.

Click here for the full article.

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