Saturday, May 25, 2019

Hate Makes a Comeback in the Pacific Northwest

Click here for the report.

Source: Associated Press

World Faces 'Clear and Present Danger' from Trade War Escalation

Click here for the report. 

Source: Reuters

TurboTax Uses A “Military Discount” to Trick Troops Into Paying to File Their Taxes

Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, created and promoted a “military discount” that charges service members who are eligible to file for free.

Click here for the report.

Source: ProPublica

Assange Is Indicted for Exposing War Crimes While Trump Considers Pardons for War Criminals

Daniel Ellsberg: Espionage Charges Against Assange Are Most Significant Attack on Press in Decades

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

To Respond to Iran, U.S. Will Deploy More Troops and Sell More Weapons to Middle East

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

Why Violence Against Transgender Americans is a Crisis That’s Under Reported

This report was published on YouTube May 24.

Federal Judge Blocks Law Making Most Mississippi Abortions Illegal

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

1989 Central Park Jogger Rape Case Causes Frenzy in Media

This report was published on YouTube on May 24. 

Harriet Tubman's Appearance on $20 Bill to Be Delayed

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

Donald Trump: We Will Not Allow Iran to Obtain Nuclear Weapons

Global News: Speaking to reporters outside the White House Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump flatly declared that it is the intention of U.S. foreign policy never to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. 

Trump also confirmed that 1500 U.S. Forces personnel would be deployed to the Middle East as tensions mount with Iran. 

Earlier this week, officials said Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners hadn’t settled on a figure.

Ex-U.S. Marine Detained in Russia Says His Case is Politically Motivated

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

Cyril Ramaphosa Sworn in as President of South Africa

Why the West Has Been Paying Attention to Venezuela

Kenya's High Court Unanimously Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Relations

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

Key Moments Leading Up to Theresa May's Resignation as U.K. Prime Minister

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

Jeremy Corbyn: The Next Prime Minister of England Must Call an Election

This report was published on YouTube on May 24.

Global News: Britain's opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Friday that Theresa May was right to resign as prime minister and whoever replaced her as leader of the Conservative Party must call an election. 

"She clearly cannot command a majority in parliament. She clearly has lost the confidence of her own MPs," Corbyn said, adding that the first thing the next prime minister should do is to call a general election. 

May announced on Friday morning that she would resign on June 7, saying it was a matter of "deep regret" that she had not delivered Brexit. 

Her departure will trigger a contest that will bring a new leader to power who is likely to push for a more decisive Brexit divorce deal.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Indicted on 18 U.S. Charges

A federal grand jury has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 18 felony charges for his alleged involvement in the 2010 leak of classified documents by Chelsea Manning. CBSN's Tanya Rivero has the breaking news.

Exclusion of Farmworkers from the State Employment Relations Act Declared Unconstitutional

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia A. James today applauded a decision by the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department in the case of Crispin Hernandez v. the State of New York and the New York Farm Bureau, declaring that farmworkers across the state have the right to organize and bargain collectively. The courts ruled the exclusion of farmworkers from the State Employment Relations Act to be unconstitutional.

"This is a victory for some of the most vulnerable members of New York's workforce. From the beginning, we chose not to defend against this lawsuit because farmworkers never should have been denied the same basic rights as other workers and we believed this to not only be morally wrong, but also unconstitutional," Governor Cuomo said. "My administration has proudly fought for working men and women across the board, from raising the minimum wage to strengthening worker protections in nail salons and the home health care industry - and we will never tolerate the abuse or exploitation of workers anywhere, period. I commend the court's decision to correct this undeniable injustice and reaffirm New York's principles of fairness and equality for all."

"I applaud the court's decision to affirm the right for farmworkers to organize in the state of New York," said Attorney General Letitia James. This ruling asserts that farmworkers are no longer considered second-class workers in the eyes of the law. My office will always fight for the hardworking people in this state, and their fundamental rights to organize, access workplace protections, and get paid fair pay for a fair day's work."

Article 1, Section 17 of the New York Constitution guarantees to all "employees" in the State the fundamental right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. The State Employment Relations Act (SERA) establishes a comprehensive administrative framework to protect employees in their efforts to organize, regulate the collective bargaining process and provide a forum in which employees and employers can amicably and promptly resolve labor disputes. However, the SERA specifically excludes farmworkers from its coverage, leaving them with no viable means to vindicate their constitutional right.

Represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), plaintiffs—a farmworker named Crispin Hernandez and two organizations devoted to protecting farmworkers' rights, Workers' Center of Central New York (WCCNY) and Worker Justice Center of New York (WJCNY)—brought this lawsuit in Albany County Supreme Court in May 2016, challenging the constitutionality of the SERA's exclusion of farmworkers. The complaint alleged that Mr. Hernandez's employer, Marks Farm LLC, terminated his employment in retaliation for exercising his constitutional right to organize by meeting with coworkers and advocates from WCCNY and WJCNY to discuss dangerous working conditions on the farm. But because the SERA excludes farmworkers, Mr. Hernandez was left with no protection under the law. 

Although the State and the Governor were the named defendants in the action, they announced their intention to argue that the SERA's exclusion of farmworkers violated farmworkers' right to equal protection under the New York Constitution. An advocacy group representing agricultural employers, the Farm Bureau, then intervened to defend the constitutionality of the statute. The Farm Bureau filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, and Supreme Court Justice Richard J. McNally, Jr., granted the motion, rejecting plaintiffs' constitutional claims. Plaintiffs and the State defendants then appealed to the Appellate Division, Third Department, and filed separate appeals briefs arguing that the SERA's exclusion of farmworkers violated the New York Constitution. 

In an opinion drafted by Justice Christine M. Clerk, the Third Department, by a 4 to 1 majority, reversed Supreme Court's decision and held that the exclusion of farmworkers from the SERA was unconstitutional. The Court reasoned that farmworkers are "employees" within the plain meaning of the term and that nothing in the constitutional provision's language or history suggests an intent to give that term a narrower meaning. Additionally, the Court held that the right to organize and collectively bargain "is enshrined in the New York Bill of Rights" and has "fundamental status" under New York's "longstanding tradition of protecting the rights of workers." Based on this fundamental status, the Court held that "any statute impairing this right must withstand strict scrutiny," meaning that it must be narrowly tailored to meet a compelling government interest. The Court then concluded that "the farm laborer exclusion cannot conceivably withstand strict scrutiny" and thus "violates the NY Constitution." Accordingly, the Court declared that the SERA's exclusion of farmworkers "is unconstitutional as a matter of law."

Judge Clark's opinion was joined by Presiding Justice Elizabeth A. Garry, as well as Justices Michael C. Lynch and Eugene P. Devine. Justice Stan L. Pritzker filed a dissent. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Police Raid on Reporter Erupts into 1st Amendment Debate

Click here for the report.

Source: Associated Press

Pentagon Confirms Weighing More Troops for Middle East

Click here
for the report.

Source: Reuters

Amnesty Urges U.S. to Pay Reparations to Syrians After Killing 1,600 Civilians in Assault on Raqqa

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Holds Weekly Briefing on Capitol Hill

Trump is Lying About Immigrant Crime – and the Research Proves It

Click here for the report.

Source: The Southern Poverty Law Center

Outrage Grows Over Deaths of Six Migrant Children in U.S.

'American Taliban' John Walker Lindh Released from Prison 3 Years Early

Pelosi: Trump's Family and Staff Should Stage 'an Intervention'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that President Trump's behavior was below the office of the president after Trump left a meeting, saying he would not work with Democrats until they end investigations into his presidency.

Syria War: Rebels Make Gains Against Syrian Army

Illegal Cannabis Production in West Bank Rises as Economy Tanks

Zimbabwe: Activists Charged with Plotting to Subvert Government

Indonesia's Joko Widodo Says He Will Not Tolerate Threats to Unity

Britain Loses UN Vote Over Chagos Islands

EU Elections: How Did Avaaz Go About Uncovering Fake News Accounts?

Indian PM Modi Wins Landslide Victory in World's Largest Election

Ex-Detective Admits Running Brothels in the Worst N.Y.P.D. Scandal in Years

The mastermind of the crime ring, Ludwig Paz, has pleaded guilty to corruption and promoting prostitution. The scandal involved brothels in Brooklyn and beauty parlors in Queens.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times

NYPD Moves 300 Cops from Desk Duty to Streets to Battle Summer Crime

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News 

Coverage of the U.S. Navy Reception in Honor of Fleet Week New York 2019

This video was published on YouTube on May 22.

New York State Will Host In-Person Events to Discuss Changes to the Children’s Medicaid System

New York State will hold five informational sessions this summer to help eligible families learn about changes to the Medicaid system and new services being offered.

The educational sessions are for children and families who are participating in the new Medicaid Children’s Waiver* and/or who are receiving newly available mental health or substance use State Plan Services. The forums provide an opportunity to share input, ask questions and gather more information about the transition of services to Medicaid Managed Care.

 “New York State has been working to ensure that Medicaid services are delivered in a way that works best for children and families. This includes ensuring children have access to all of the services they need and that their health care is approached holistically,” said Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan. “It also means children and families have a say in what services they want, where services are delivered, and how services are provided.”

The five scheduled in-person information sessions this summer follow two virtual meetings held in early spring. These discussions are formatted to help families learn about new services being offered, understand the transition of services to Medicaid Managed Care coverage and discuss concerns about changes in services.

“OCFS is pleased to partner with our sister state agencies to help families understand recent updates in the Medicaid system,” said acting OCFS Commissioner Sheila J. Poole. “These informational sessions will provide an opportunity for families to learn about behavioral health services that are newly available to them and will empower them in determining how those services will be delivered to best meet their individual needs.”

“We look forward to working with our state partners in this initiative to ensure that children, youth and families have equal access to mental health and substance use services,” said Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez. “These sessions will provide valuable information and resources to help families make informed decisions and live healthier lives.”

“This collaborative approach to delivering children’s services through one comprehensive Medicaid Children’s Waiver will help young people with both developmental disabilities and complex medical needs access appropriate services,” said Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Acting Commissioner Theodore A. Kastner. “By making it easier for children and their families to get the community-based services they need, we can better help support young people with complex needs to remain in their family home, and to be participating members of their communities.”

“This new Medicaid benefit is now available for families addressing mental health needs and treatment for substance use and is an important addition to the continuum of care," said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Eligible families should take advantage of these informational sessions to ensure their child is receiving the appropriate services they may qualify for.”

The NYS Children’s Medicaid System Transformation: A Discussion with Children and Families – In-Person events will be held at the following dates, times and locations:

Tarrytown                     June 3, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

New York City              June 4, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

Albany                         June 11, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

Buffalo                         June 12, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

Syracuse                     June 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

All events will have drinks and refreshments starting at 4:30 p.m. To register and learn more about a specific location, click the links above.

*The former waivers that are now part of the new Children’s Waiver include: the Department of Health Care at Home waivers I and II (CAH I/II); the Office of Children and Family Services Bridges to Health (B2H) Waiver; the Office of Mental Health Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) waiver; and the OPWDD Care at Home (CAH) waiver. Other OPWDD waivers are not affected by this transition. 

 Transforming Medicaid in New York State

In collaboration with the Medicaid Redesign Children’s Subcommittee, the Office of Mental Health (OMH), the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the Department of Health (DOH) worked to identify new health and behavioral health services to benefit New York State’s children from birth to 21 years of age. Three services launched in January 2019 and additional services are being developed for roll out as part the new Children’s Medicaid System.

The goal of the Children’s Medicaid Redesign initiative is to ensure children/youth and their families/caregivers receive the right services at the right time, in the right amount, and in the right place.

Source: The New York State Office of Mental Health

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The House Has Found Bipartisan Agreement on Reform to Retirement Accounts. Be Afraid.

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Intercept_

'We Don’t Want a Monarchy': Rep. Al Green Says Democrats Have No Choice But to Impeach Trump

New York City’s Early Voting Plan Will Favor White, Affluent Voters, Advocacy Groups Say

In a letter, the New York Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause New York and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said the plan “will impose a severe burden on many of the City’s low-income voters.” 

Click here for the report.

Source: ProPublica

What's at Stake in Hearing for NYPD Officer Who Caused Eric Garner's Death

This report was published on YouTube on May 21.

McDonald's Hit with Complaints and Lawsuits for Gender-Based Discrimination

This report was published on YouTube on May 21.

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer Speak on Capitol Hill After Trump's Announcement

Knight Ridder Journalists Weigh in on U.S.-Iran Tensions

Former Afghan Journalist's Murder Sparks Outrage from Women's Rights Activists

British Steel Collapse: 25,000 Jobs at Risk as Assets Liquidated

Philippines: President Duterte's Allies Dominate Senate Race

Jakarta on Alert as Protests After Election Loss Turn Violent

DR Congo's President Faces Challenges with Appointment of New PM

This report was published on YouTube on May 21.

Global Sea Levels Could Rise Far More Than Predicted

This report was published on YouTube on May 21.

European Elections 2019: Italy's Right-Wing Lega Party Woos Voters

This report was published on YouTube on May 21.

New York Senate Session - 05/21/19

Mayor de Blasio Hosts Ethnic and Community Roundtable

Coverage of the Planned Parenthood NYC Rally to Stop The Bans

This video was published on YouTube on May 21.

NY Times Editor Predicts Most Local US Papers Will Fold ‘in the Next 5 Years’

“The greatest crisis in American journalism is the death of local news … I don’t know what the answer is,” Dean Baquet says. 

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Wrap

Ocasio-Cortez Backs Insurgent Tiffany Cabán in Queens D.A. Race, Testing Her Influence in N.Y.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement was perhaps the most sought after in the race, but it is also something of a risk for the first-term congresswoman.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Endorses Climate and Community Protection Act

The following announcement was submitted by Environmental Advocates of New York

Today, Senator Chuck Schumer sent a letter to the State Legislature in support of the Climate and Community Protection Act. (A.3876/S.2992).

“Senator Schumer adding his voice to the thousands of New Yorkers who are demanding climate action and calling for the passage of the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) demonstrates the tremendous momentum behind this legislation. His statement rightly highlights that the CCPA is nation-leading in its approach to confronting climate change by transitioning to a 100% clean, renewable energy future in a way that builds a just and equitable economy," said Peter M. Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York.

"With New York so close to making history with the CCPA, now is the time leaders step up. I hope the Governor and every member of the Senate and Assembly listen to their constituents, take Senator Schumer’s words to heart, and work to make the CCPA the law in our state.”

Black Theatre Spotlight: 'The Unforgettable Mothers of the Movement'

 Click on the flier to increase its size. 
Twelve iconic and unforgettable Black women have been summoned from the land of ancestors to reflect on their legacies and to remind us that... it ain't over! One by one, the women reveal secrets and their unspoken respect and affinity that they had for one another.

Call (646) 488-9576 or (914) 297-8286 for additional information. 

Source: Michael Green

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Why Do the Repubs. Stick with Trump?


In the great musical "My Fair Lady," based on George Bernard Shaw's great adaption of a great Greek myth, "Pygmalion," the male lead, Prof. Henry Higgins (known in the East End of London --- where my paternal grandfather, Jacob Kyzor happens to have come from originally --- as 'Enry 'Iggins) has the first song. The lyrics include the following:

"Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique.
[Addressing his friend, Pickering] If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too! . . .

"An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him.
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get,
Oh, why can't the English learn to set a good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears? The Scots and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely disappears.
In America, they haven't used it for years! . . .


"Why can't the English, Why can't the English,
Learn to Speak?" 

And so, in our time, the question is being increasingly asked, by Democrats, by Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats (and there is a distinction there), by Greens, by ex-Republicans, and even by some who are still Republicans, "Why can't the Republicans, why can't the Republicans --- leave Trump behind?"

Indeed, there is in the White House the man who can rightfully claim the title of Greatest Con Man in history. For example, evidence has just been revealed that back in the 1980s, while being constantly bailed out by his father, he lost around $1 billion over a period of about ten years. Of course, during that period of monstrous losses, he had the gall to write a book about what a great businessman he was. But because he was successful in keeping his massive business failures secret, he was able to pass himself off as just the opposite. And then, years later, riding in part on the "great businessman" image he managed to build for himself, whether or not it was true, further becoming the best mobilizer of electoral racism in modern U.S. history, he manages to squeak into the Presidency. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: OpEdNews

Female Soccer Star Says 'F*** YOU' To Trump

This commentary was published on YouTube on May 17.

Tougher Abortion Laws Spark Protests in U.S.

CBC News: The National - Renewed efforts to make abortions harder to obtain in several U.S. states have sparked protests. In the last year, several states including Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio and Kentucky have passed so-called heartbeat bills. The bills ban abortion as soon as a heartbeat can be detected — which could be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. This week, Alabama made it illegal for doctors to perform abortions even in cases of rape and incest.

New Catholic Archbishop Gregory Installed in Washington, D.C.

Former White House Counsel Don McGahn a No-Show at House Judiciary Committee Hearing

ABC News: President Donald Trump has directed former White House counsel Donald McGahn to not testify on Tuesday before Congress about events relating to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, the White House said on Monday.

U.S. Struggles to Defend Against 2020 Election Cyber Threats

Trump Considers Pardons for Accused and Convicted War Criminals for Memorial Day

This report was published on YouTube on May 20. 

CBS News: The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is expediting the pardon process so that the president could announce pardons for several men accused or convicted of war crimes Memorial Day weekend. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin speaks to CBSN's "Red & Blue" with the details.

Bonus Report: Retired Lt. General Slams Idea
of Pardoning Soldiers Accused of War Crimes

The Europe Report: Theresa May’s 2nd Brexit Referendum Offer

Thousands of Smuggled Documents Expose Syria's Shady Security Agencies

France Right-to-Die Debate: Decade-Long Family Feud Sparks National Debate

Venezuela: Maduro Proposes Early Vote for Opposition-Led Congress

Jailed Catalan Separatists Sworn in to Spanish Parliament

Huawei Ban in US Delayed for Three Months

All Austrian Far-Right Ministers Resign

David Dinkins Chairs 'Champions of Change Awards', Rep. Nadler and ACLU Attorney Gelernt to Be Honored

Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Click here for details. 

Source: Lynda Hamilton

Seven Fallen EMS Providers Who Served in the Aftermath of 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Honored

Governor Andrew Cuomo today recognized seven emergency medical service providers who died as a result of injuries or illnesses sustained while performing their duties after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The honorees - William Ryan, Joeddy Friszell, Felipe Torre, Joseph Rodriguez, Walter Nelson, Martha Stewart and Dr. Michael Guttenberg — were added to the Tree of Life EMS Memorial today, at the annual ceremony on the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

"New Yorkers are fortunate to be served by the brave men and women who provide emergency medical services and who respond to situations day and night, often placing their own safety at risk to serve their communities," Governor Cuomo said. "We stand together to honor these selfless emergency service providers who ultimately gave their lives by running towards danger on September 11, 2001."

Governor Cuomo recently called on the federal government for increased funding for victims still grappling with health effects from 9/11. 

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

In Trump’s New York, Republican Leader Is Ousted by Party Rebellion

Democrats have won every statewide election since 2002, and have seized control of the State Senate; now the Republican state party chairman, Ed Cox, is leaving.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times

Inquiries Into Reckless Loans to Taxi Drivers Ordered by State Attorney General and Mayor

The investigations come after The New York Times found that thousands of drivers were crushed under debt they could not repay. 

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Times 

Supreme Court Won’t Hear NYPD’s Appeal in Sound Cannon Case, Letting Lawsuit Proceed

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Daily News

N.Y. Assembly Passes Bill Banning Untraceable DIY Firearms Known as ‘Ghost Guns’

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

Mayor de Blasio Speaks at the Global Climate Action Summit

This report was published on YouTube on May 20. 

NYC Mayor's Office: While in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit, the Mayor gave a rousing talk about climate change and the impacts it has had on NYC and the residents who call the Big Apple home. It’s no wonder NYC is leading the charge in climate action.

Monday, May 20, 2019

New Shirley Chisholm Exhibit Opens at Brooklyn State Office Building

A new exhibit that pays tribute to Shirley A. Chisholm is now open in the foyer of the Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building at 55 Hanson Place in Brooklyn. Titled "UNBOUGHT & UNBOSSED: A Tribute to Shirley Chisholm," the exhibit features historical images and works of art that tell the story of the civil rights and gender equality leader.

"Shirley Chisholm's signature campaign slogan 'unbought and unbossed' reminds us of her dedication to fight to defend the rights of women and black Americans, reform the country's education system and improve the lives of working people and those living in poverty," Governor Cuomo said. "This exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of Shirley Chisholm's inaugural year representing her Brooklyn district as the first black woman elected to serve in Congress and honors her deep impact on politics that we still feel to this day."

"Throughout my career in public service, I've looked to Shirley Chisholm as an inspiration, a role model, and a strong woman who fought to improve our nation," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This exhibit honors her 50th anniversary representing Brooklyn in Congress, and showcases her efforts fighting for civil rights and gender equality. We continue our efforts to achieve equal rights and protections for all New Yorkers in the name of pioneers like Shirley Chisholm who led the way before us."

In three sections, the exhibition highlights Chisholm's "Politics & Policy," "Presidential Candidate," and "Legacy."

Click here for the full announcement.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Transgender Woman Muhlaysia Booker Found Dead In East Dallas

This report was published on YouTube on May 19. 

CBSDFW: Transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker, who was at the center of a viral video where she was beaten near an apartment complex, was found fatally shot in east Dallas early Saturday morning, police confirmed.

From The G-Man: Anyone with information on the killing is urged to contact Dallas Police Department Homicide Detective David Grubbs at 214-671-3675 or via email at Refer to Case Number 098748-2019.

Reports: Iran Quadruples Production of Enriched Uranium

Click here for the report. 

Source: Associated Press

Trump vs. House Democrats: 10 Upcoming Showdowns

Click here for the report. 

Source: Reuters

This Week in Washington

Roll Call's Katherine Tully-McManus and The Hill's Jordan Fabian preview the week ahead in Washington.

Ellen Tauscher Memorial Service (Full Coverage)

A memorial service was held at the Washington National Cathedral for Ellen Tauscher, the former Democratic California lawmaker and Obama State Department official. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) were among those who paid tribute to the late congresswoman and diplomat.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

'This is Not What is Best for Women: Alabama Doctor Reacts to State's New Anti-Choice Policy

Democracy Now!: Under Alabama's new law that effectively bans all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, doctors found guilty of providing abortions could face life in prison. Dr. Yashica Robinson, one of the only remaining abortion providers in the state, calls the possibility that physicians could be incarcerated, in some cases for longer periods than perpetrators of sexual assault, "simply appalling." She says, "There is no physician that would want to have to choose between their own freedom and doing what is best for the patient."

Rocket Explodes Near US Embassy in Iraq

Severe Weather Threatens Millions in Central U.S.

Billionaire Robert F. Smith Pledges to Pay Morehouse College Grads' Student Loans

Trayvon Martin's Mother to Run for Office in Florida

This report was published on YouTube on May 19.

The Europe Report: Election Countdown Roundup (Part 1)

Click here to view Part 2.

'Politicians for Sale': Far-Right Leaders Face Funding Scandals Ahead of EU Vote

Social Media and Online Extremism: 'People Are Dying Because of Inaction of These Companies'

Ukraine’s President Zelensky Calls Early Elections in Inaugural Speech

Sudanese Army and Protesters Resume Negotiations

Huawei Cut Off from Android and US Chips Amid US Ban

India National Elections: Final Round of Voting Wraps Up

Swiss Voters Approve Tighter Gun Controls in Referendum

State of Emergency Declared for Eight Counties Impacted by Lake Ontario Flooding

Newfane, NY - Governor Andrew Cuomo declares a State of Emergency for the eight counties impacted by potential Lake Ontario flooding: Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne.

Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond to Lead New York Theological Seminary Into a New Era

New York Theological Seminary’s (NYTS) Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond as its new President. Dr. Walrond brings more than two decades of leadership in academia and ministry that will help shape new and distinctive programming to enhance the Seminary's reputation in the nation and around the world. Dr. Walrond will begin her new role as the Seminary's 12th president — and as its first African American female president —on June 3rd marking a historic milestone for the 119-year-old institution.

Established in 1900, NYTS has prepared women and men for faith-based ministries in New York and throughout the world for over a century. Among the distinctive attributes that distinguish the Seminary are its emphasis on ministry and mission, its openness to both women and men and its diversity of denominational and cultural traditions represented in its student body and alumni. Walrond's appointment marks a new era for the Seminary's increasingly diverse and multi-faith community. Walrond is mindful of the institution's tradition and is looking forward to leading it into a new era.

As president of NYTS, Dr. Walrond said she was proud "to have the opportunity to show all women that there are still many opportunities to be ‘the first’,” and she hopes that her Presidency can serve “as an example of what intelligence, discipline and determination can bring."

“As I assume the Presidency, I think about becoming the first female and the first African American female, and the great responsibility that accompanies this historic moment. My hope is to work collaboratively with the faculty, staff, students and board members to make NYTS a world renowned theological institution for preparing students for urban ministry. The more I learn about the history of New York Theological Seminary, the more I appreciate its vision — not just for the future of theological education, but for societal matters including education for incarcerated people," she said. "The former administrations set a bar that I will strive each day to surpass, as I challenge myself and the NYTS community to make this historic and revered Seminary greater and grander."

“NYTS is truly blessed to have found such a dynamic and well-prepared leader. Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond combines extraordinary vision and understanding of the importance of seminary education to ministry with solid, successful administrative experience directing major organizations. I have no doubt that she will lead the school to new heights and great success,” said Jeffrey C. Slade, M. Div., J.D., Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of NYTS.

Rev. Dr. Lawrence Hammond, Chair of the Board of Trustees at NYTS added “Dr. Walrond is truly the one that God has sent in this ‘Kairos Moment’ to lead our institution to its next level of academic excellence based on a solid foundation of vision and faith.  We are extremely excited to have her join us in our ongoing pursuit of making NYTS a leader in theological education within the urban context.”

Dr. Tamara R. Henry, Assistant Professor of Religious Education and a faculty representative on the Presidential Search Committee stated, “We are delighted to welcome Rev. Dr. LaKeesha Walrond as New York Theological Seminary’s new president and thrilled about the possibilities that await us together as we write this new chapter of our institutional story. As a search committee, we were not only impressed with the breadth and depth of Dr. Walrond’s experience, but also her exceptional capacity as a visionary leader, which will bring a fresh, bold and energizing approach to engaging theological education in the twenty-first century.”

“I have watched Dr. Walrond evolve in her ministry for decades and she is a tireless faith leader with a devotion to uplifting communities through theology and education, said Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, Senior Pastor of the historic Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon and Chairman of CNBC (Conference of National Black Churches). She was the first female to preach at her hometown church in Texas and now she’s the first female to lead the New York Theological Seminary. We in the faith community are inspired by her unparalleled devotion to ministry and advocacy!”

For over a decade, Dr. Walrond served as the Executive Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York where she focused on administration, ministry development and staff supervision. In that capacity she used educational and organizational strategies to maximize FCBC’s capacity and influence in the church, community and abroad. Her reach extends from several Christian denominations, colleges and universities to ministry work in South African, Canada, India and the Caribbean. She has served as a visiting speaker at the Heyman Center for Humanities at Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and Spelman College. Dr. Walrond held senior leadership roles at Zion Temple Church in North Carolina and Lakewood Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina.

In 2005, Dr. Walrond earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and Literacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of School Administration with a focus in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus in Learning Disabilities from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her commitment to ministry and education led her back to school post-doctorate to earn a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary here in New York City. She received her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Walrond has been recognized by many organizations for her dedication to empowering the community. She was awarded the NAACP Leadership Award for her work in the African-American Community, was honored by the New York Liberty Women’s National Basketball Association, National Council of Negro Women and National Action Network and received “A Woman Who Worships Award” at McDonald’s GospelFest. Dr. Walrond is also the Author of two books; My Body Is Special (2017), a book that empowers children to take ownership of their bodies and provides them with problem solving tools to help them prevent unhealthy touching, and e-book Stronger Than Your Worst Pain: A Guide to Activating Your Inner Power, a book that empowers women to recognize their passion, power and potential to overcome life’s most difficult challenges. 

New York Theological Seminary is a diverse and inclusive community of learning grounded in biblical witness and Christian tradition, with a historic urban focus. The Seminary prepares women and men for faith-based ministries in the city and throughout the world.

Source: Mercury

Sarah Jessica Parker: 'Stick Up for New York's Public Libraries'

The following statement was issued by Sarah Jessica Parker through the New York Public Library. 

Libraries mean a great deal to me and my family. I have been visiting my local library and borrowing books for as far back as I can recall. For the past couple of decades, Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village has been my local branch, and for my family and our community it is not only a regular neighborhood stop for books, programs, and more, it is a cornerstone, a beacon, and one of the most beloved buildings in our community. I don't know what we'd do without it. I recently learned that the City is proposing budget cuts that would significantly impact services—fewer hours, fewer librarians, fewer collections, fewer programs, fewer classes.

As Carrie Bradshaw might, I couldn’t help but wonder: Can New York City survive without strong public libraries? Can we as a community, as a city, accept cuts to one of the most important institutions or organizations that exists in our city? A building, shelter, and space that offers to all the opportunity to access knowledge, information, and fact. Today, more necessary than ever.

So. I couldn't help but wonder, could I as a New Yorker accept cuts to our wonderful, important, necessary, and beloved libraries? I'm sorry. I can't.

These cuts would be a big mistake that would leave countless New Yorkers without access to key services. But let's not get carried away. There's still time to help.

One thing you can do is join me in posting a sticky note about why you need and love your public library. Your note will let the Mayor and City Council know what makes your local branch essential. 

Click here to post your note. 

We can't let the City neglect one of our most important and first loves.


Sarah Jessica Parker
Patron, Jefferson Market Library
Ambassador, American Library Association