Saturday, July 13, 2019

National Hurricane Center: Tracking Barry

Click here for the latest information on the strength and path of the storm.

Barry Gains Strength as It Approaches Landfall

FEMA Acting Administrator Gives Update on Storm Precautions

Jay Bonafede from the American Red Cross Speaks Out About Barry

2 Americans Killed During Attack at a Somalia Hotel

Local Leaders Push Back Against Trump's Expected ICE Raids

ICE Raids in New York: Tips on What to Do During an Encounter

Governor Cuomo’s Office for New Americans has issued the following tips and guidelines so that residents know their rights if they are confronted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and/or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The tips, available below and in a printable flyer in English and Spanish, ensure immigrants fully understand their legal rights if they are confronted and/or intimidated by ICE/CBP agents. Reports indicate that the Trump Administration is planning raids across the country to arrest undocumented families on Sunday, July 14.

“Immigrants across New York have clearly defined rights – despite what the Trump Administration and other anti-immigrant forces may want them to believe,” said Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Office for New Americans and the Liberty Defense Project. “We urge all New Yorkers to know their rights so if they are targeted or intimidated by law enforcement, they know the legal system is there to provide necessary protections.”

The Office for New Americans and the Liberty Defense Project advise individuals if they are confronted by federal immigration enforcement officers from ICE/CBP:
Stay calm. Do not run, argue, resist or obstruct the police.
Ask if you are free to leave. If ICE/CBP answers yes, tell ICE/CBP that you do not want to answer their questions and calmly and silently walk away. If you are under arrest, ask why. You have the right to know the reason for your arrest.
If ICE/CBP tells you that you are not free to leave, you have the right to remain silent and not answer questions from ICE/CBP. Tell ICE/CBP, “I am using my right to remain silent and I want to speak to a lawyer.” Your right to remain silent starts from the moment ICE/CBP confronts you.

Do NOT consent to a search of your belongings or your pockets. ICE/CBP may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon. Do NOT physically resist. If ICE/CBP agents begin to search your person, say out loud, “I do not consent to a search.”

Do NOT give false information if you choose to answer questions. Do NOT show any expired or false immigration documents to ICE/CBP.

You do NOT have to share any information about where you were born, where you live, where you work, where you go to school, any information about your family, what your immigration status is, or your criminal record.

You have the right to seek legal assistance and may ask to speak to a lawyer instead of answering questions. If you do not have an attorney, call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.

You have the right to contact your consulate, or to have ICE/CBP inform the consulate if you are being detained.

You do NOT have to sign anything.

Make sure that someone you trust knows where you are at all times and that you know how to reach them in case of an emergency (if you have been detained).

In general, it is a good idea to keep a copy of your important papers (birth certificate, any immigration papers, etc.) at the home of a friend or relative whom you trust and can call in case you are detained.

If ICE/CBP comes to an individual’s home:

If an officer knocks on your door, do NOT open it. Ask the officer through the closed door to show their identification and if they have a warrant.

If the officer says “yes,” to the warrant, still do not open the door but ask the officer to show you the warrant by slipping it under the door.

A warrant issued by ICE is NOT a valid warrant. Only a warrant signed by a court or judge is valid. When examining the warrant, look for your name, your address, and a signature. A valid warrant will have the name of a court at the top of the page, and a section on the top left-hand corner that says, “United States of America v. (name of person to be arrested).”

If ICE presents a valid warrant, you should let them into the house. Do NOT provide any false information to ICE. See above.

If the warrant looks like it was issued by ICE but not a court or judge, you have the right to NOT to let the ICE enter your house. Immediately call your attorney or the New Americans Hotline (1-800-566-7636) to report that ICE is at your door.

If ICE/CBP comes to an individual’s place of work:

Immigration officers are NOT allowed to enter your workplace without the approval of the owner or manager.

If the owner or manager grants ICE/CBP permission to enter, the officer is free to ask you questions about your immigration status. See above.

Any immigrant that needs free legal assistance is urged to call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636. All call information is confidential. Assistance is available in over 200 languages. 

Source: The New York State Office for New Americans

NYPD Cops Ordered Not to Help ICE Agents During Sunday Raids, Union Officials Say Opposite

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

House Approves 9/11 Victims Bill, Sends It to Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has overwhelmingly approved a bill ensuring that a victims compensation fund for the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money. The 402-12 vote Friday sends the bill to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to call it up before the August recess.

Click here for the full report. 

Source: KFDX 3

Friday, July 12, 2019

Hector Figueroa: A Special Tribute

 Beloved Union Boss Dies at 57

Click here for the report. 

Source: The New York Daily News

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo 

"I am beyond heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of Héctor Figueroa - a towering figure in politics and a hero of the labor community who did untold good for the working people of this state and this nation.

"Héctor was a champion for working people, minorities, the poor, the voiceless.

"Together with Héctor, we enacted New York's nation-leading $15 minimum wage - first for fast food workers and then for all workers - and the historic $19 minimum wage for airport workers just last year. Héctor fought for and won fairer contracts for his 163,000 members, ensuring working women and men have the protections they need at a time when hard-earned labor rights are under attack on the national level. Héctor was an indefatigable force in our fight against Trump's un-American assault on immigrant communities and a fierce defender of Puerto Rico.

"On behalf of the entire New York family, I extend my deepest sympathies to Héctor's wife Deirdre and his two children Eric and Elena, and his extended family at 32BJ.

"Sí, se puede my friend."

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Hector Figueroa Accepts 2018 North Star Award

Statement from New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado 

“I am devastated that my longtime friend and colleague Hector Figueroa has passed away. His presence in New York – and his sudden loss – cannot be understated.

“Labor rights were certainly in Hector’s blood, as his parents were active in workers’ rights in the 1970s in Puerto Rico. In 1982, Hector brought his talents to the U.S. and fought tirelessly to protect and expand organized labor. His service at 32BJ SEIU established the union as a powerhouse for workers of all stripes. Over the decades and for millions of New Yorkers, Hector became THE face and voice of the labor movement. He was intrinsic to the state’s fight for fair pay for workers, including the fight for $15. To say he was a giant in the labor movement would be an understatement.

“Beyond labor, Hector was also a passionate and fierce advocate for our immigrant brothers and sisters, and a valiant fighter for equal rights for all. He served on countless boards and task forces on both the City and State level – all with common goals that Hector espoused: improving our communities, expanding and providing greater opportunities for all, and making the world a better place in which to live, work, grow and love.

“Most recently, Hector and I partnered on the New York State Complete Count Commission, working to ensure that every New Yorker – regardless of their status – is counted in the upcoming Census. This service is yet another testament to Hector’s selfless dedication to his fellow man. He understood that we ALL count.

“Hector embodied everything that was great about New York. His embracing of diversity and his passion, his spirit and his willingness to help his neighbors captured the best of who we are.

“This is a sad day for New York, and I grieve with our entire state with Hector’s loss. I offer my sincerest condolences to Hector’s wife Deidre, his children Eric and Elena, and all our friends at 32BJ SEIU.”

Source: The Department of State 

The following song, "Un Verano en Nueva York", has been posted in celebration of the legacy and life of Hector Figueroa. May he forever rest in peace.

What the Dept. of Veterans Affairs is Doing to Expand Care and Reduce Veteran Suicides

This report was published on YouTube on July 11.

How Grammy-Nominated Singer Falu Found Her Identity Through Music

This report was published on YouTube on July 11.

How the Writer Behind the Comic Strip 'Baldo' Blends Humor with Humanity

This report was published on YouTube on July 11.

Football Coach Wins Jimmy V Award at ESPYs in Inspiring Moment

Royal Baby Archie Christened in Private Ceremony

This report was published on YouTube on July 10.

China Wrestling: Shaolin Monks Turn Entertainers

Well Rehab Programme Brings New Life to Rural Ethiopia

This report was published on YouTube on July 11.

Evangelical Churches Gaining Ground in France

Opera Among the Stars: Chorégies d'Orange Celebrates 150th Anniversary

This report was published on YouTube on July 11.

David Saint-Jacques on Space Exploration, Family and Readjusting to Life on Earth

This report was published on YouTube on July 11. 

Global News: Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques says that space exploration has been one of the things humanity has put a “little extra” into in order for it to progress.

U.K. Parliament's 'Big Ben' Bell Marks 160 Years with Silence Amid Restoration Work

This report was published on YouTube on July 10.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

New York Braces for ICE Raids

The following statement was issued today by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

"There are multiple reports that the Trump Administration will launch its previously announced blitz of ICE raids across the country this Sunday, including here in New York. This shameful assault on families across the country will no doubt lead to further separations of children from their parents and 'collateral arrests' by ICE, where individuals with no orders of deportation will be detained.

"This politically motivated directive is despicable and inhumane, and New York will fight it.

"I have asked the state's Liberty Defense Project to be on high alert to assist families in need of legal services. I encourage all New Yorkers to be familiar with their rights - especially when confronted by ICE or CBP - and anyone in need of assistance may contact the Liberty Defense Project via the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 or

"As I said when the Trump raids were first announced: America's only threat is from within, and while this federal administration governs by fear and division, in New York we know that diversity is our greatest strength and we will do everything in our power to protect our immigrant communities."

Governor Cuomo's Office for New Americans has issued tips and guidelines so that residents know their rights if they are confronted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and/or Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The tips, available in English and Spanish, ensure immigrants fully understand their legal rights if they are confronted and/or intimidated by ICE/CBP agents.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Colin Kaepernick’s Skin Appears Darkened in a Republican Fundraising Ad

“House Republicans are running on racism, plain and simple." 

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Amal Clooney Issues Stark Warning About Trump’s Attacks on the Press

The human rights lawyer called out world leaders for a "collective shrug" to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. 

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Trump to Announce Executive Action on Census Citizenship Question

Click here for the report.

Source: Reuters

Wall Street Banks Bailing on Troubled U.S. Farm Sector

The retreat from agricultural lending by the nation's biggest banks comes as shrinking cash flow is pushing some farmers to retire early and others to declare bankruptcy.

Click here for the report.

Source: Reuters 

Doctor Says Airline Targeted Her Due to Race, Curvy Figure

Nancy Pelosi Declines to Address Party Tensions

Former Puerto Rican Officials Arrested for Fraud

For His 21st Birthday, Jaden Smith Launches Company That Gives Away Free, Healthy Food

Report: A$AP Rocky Being Held in Inhumane Conditions in Swedish Jail

This report was published on YouTube on July 9.

Statement from Rev. Al Sharpton

New York — Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton today reacted to reports about the treatment of rapper ASAP Rocky, who is currently being held in a Swedish jail pending a decision from Swedish prosecutors to press charges over the physical altercation that led to his arrest. 

Rev. Sharpton met with ASAP’s mother, Renee Black, and the families of the two other men being held in Sweden, who appealed for Sharpton’s help. After watching the video, Sharpton is calling for ASAP’s release pending hearings. Sharpton and ASAP’s mother also called members of Congress to ask them to join him in appealing to the State Department to intervene, and to seek permission to visit ASAP as a minister.

“Reports of the conditions in ASAP’s jail cell and violation of his consular visitation rights are concerning,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of National Action Network (NAN). “We at NAN are appealing directly to the Swedish authorities for complete transparency and ASAP’s swift return home.”

Video footage of the incident indicates ASAP Rocky acted in self-defense after being provoked. Reports from the jail have indicated his cell conditions are inhumane and that he has been denied a consular visit from U.S. officials.

Source: Mercury

Brazil Pension Reform Bill Wins by Big Margin in Lower House

Israel's Right-Wing Nationalists Target Left-Wing Academics

Gulf Tensions: Britain Says Iranian Boats Attempted to Block Its Oil Tanker

The Ordeal Faced by Political Prisoners in Venezuela

Banking on Brexit? Fewer Jobs Have Moved Elsewhere in EU Than First Expected

USA-China: A Global Trade War

A Bill Could Decide the Queens D.A. Race. Why Hasn’t Cuomo Signed It?

A bill passed earlier this year would give elections officials more leeway to count affidavit ballots that were previously disqualified.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Times 

NYCHA Won’t Meet Pest Reduction Targets Imposed by Deal with Feds, Experts Say

The city has less than three years to drastically slash the number of rats, mice, cockroaches and bedbugs in public housing developments — but pest control experts think the target is impossible.

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News 

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Renewal Bill Finally Has a Price Tag: $10.2 Billion

Click here for the report.

Source: The New York Daily News

Report: ICE Raids Set To Start This Weekend

The New York Times reports U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will start nationwide raids targeting undocumented families this Sunday.

NAN, Mothers of the Movement to Commemorate 5th Anniversary of Eric Garner's Death

New York — In their continued efforts to shed light on police misconduct, Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network (NAN), and the Mothers of the Movement will convene services on July 14 to celebrate the life of Eric Garner, who was choked to death five years ago by New York City police officers in Staten Island.

More than 20 mothers who have lost their children to police brutality will take part in the services. Advocates, clergy and community leaders will join the mothers to mobilize and continue standing strong against the unnecessary and unacceptable losses of innocent Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement.

Church services will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a sermon from Rev. Al Sharpton at the New Hope Baptist Church in Elizabeth, NJ. Immediately following the service, Sharpton and the mothers will hold a vigil at at Rosedale Cemetery, where both Eric and Erica Garner are buried.

The Mothers of the Movement include: Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, Wanda Johnson, Oscar Grant’s mother, Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown Jr.’s mother, Felicia Thomas, Nicholas Thomas’s mother, Marion Gray-Hopkins, Gary Hopkins Jr.’s mother, Queen Brown, Evititon Brown’s mother, Montye Benjamin, Jayvis Benjamin’s mother, Sequita Thompson, Stephen Clark’s mother, Hawa Bah, Mohamad Bah’s mother, Gwen Wesley, Clifford Westly’s mother, Valerie Bell, Sean Bell’s mother, Rhanda Dormeus, Korryn Gaines’s mother, Pamela Brooks, Amir Brooks’ mother, Greta Willis, Kevin Cooper’s mother, Darlene Caine, Dale Graham’s mother, Beverly Smith, Alonzo Smith’s mother, Sherrill Stone, Shaheed James’s mother, Dorithy Elliott, Archie Elliott’s mother, Kenithia Alston, Marqueese Alston’s mother, Cathy Young, Jquan Young’s mother and Jacqueline Minifield-Brown, D’Londre Minifield’s mother.

Source: Mercury

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

'Leaders of Tomorrow' Series: Clark University Students Providing Assistance to Asylum Seekers at US-Mexico Border

  Katie Larrivee is pictured with another volunteer.

The following report was provided by Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden

WORCESTER, MA — On June 26, seven students from Clark University in Worcester traveled to McAllen, Texas, where they will spend the next several weeks providing assistance to asylum seekers entering the United States at its border with Mexico.

The students are participating in an internship program at the university, offered through the college’s department of International Development, Community & Environment (IDCE) — an interdisciplinary program that integrates social science, natural science and humanities. The department regularly partners with groups in the community as a way for students to learn more about, and address, complex socio economic and political issues.

The brand-new program was coordinated by Timothy Downs, Associate Professor of Environmental Science & Policy at Clark, and Sarah Mitchell, who was a Visiting Assistant Professor last year in International Development.

The internship was created in conjunction with Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit, grassroots organization, based in Beacon, New York. The group, run completely by volunteers, organizes efforts across the country that assist immigrants, especially those affected by the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy for those attempting to cross into the U.S. at the country’s southern borders.

Elena Novak, a former journalist, serves as a volunteer.

Grannies Respond routinely sends people from the community to the border to assist permanent volunteers there, says Catherine Cole, Co-Executive Director Grannies Respond/Abuelas Responden Inc., and the national organizer of the Grannies Respond Overground Railroad Project.

“The collaboration with the Clark students is a welcome opportunity for Grannies Respond to connect with university students and to reaffirm that young and old alike can have a voice and be proactive in addressing humanitarian issues,” Cole said. “We hope these students will speak to other organizations when they return and that we will expand our internship program to other universities.”

While in Texas, the Clark students are working with Catholic Charities and Angry Tías y Abuelas to meet the direct needs of immigrants at respite centers after they have been processed by authorities, including helping them get to the bus station on their way to travel to places where their sponsors await.

“They will also help other volunteers who cross the bridges to check on the needs of those waiting for very long periods on the Mexico side, huddled under tarps for shade and shelter, simply making a human connection with those whose future is uncertain,” Downs said. “It is hard to imagine a more vulnerable situation: fleeing one’s home from threat of violence with just the clothes on your back and often with young children; facing a very uncertain future in terms of U.S. entry, and facing deportation back to the place you fled from.”

A Good Fit

Downs created the internship at Clark after joining members of Grannies Respond when they traveled last summer to McAllen, where participants volunteered at the border and raised awareness of issues related to separation of immigrant families.

Folks he met at the border last summer told him they needed more volunteers, so, upon his return to Worcester, he and some of his students created the internship, in coordination with Grannies Respond.

Downs says he and his colleagues at Clark are dedicated to finding powerful ways for the university to show up and have an impact, and that this program fits well with Clark’s organizational and educational goals, which include meeting the professional and academic needs of our graduate students who are training to be practitioners, and to use the power of the university to provide support to immigrants and the organizations that support them –-- developing a long-term partnership in this pressing area of work.

“We feel that the university, as an institution, needs to step up and reimagine its role in the face of complex social and environmental challenges of the 21st century,” Downs said. “I wanted to find a way for students at Clark to help us continue this important humanitarian work.”

The Fab 4 Volunteers: Stephanie Rowlett, Tempe Staples, Halley Glier and Emma Gregory

The participants are mainly master’s degree students in either Global & Community Health, Community Development & Planning, or International Development, although some are recent graduates seeking work in this arena. The main requirement for participation, Downs says, is that they have an academic and professional interest in the focal area of refugees and forced migration, and have demonstrated a commitment since last fall to co-creating this project.

“The internship offers an opportunity for students to gain valuable professional experience on the frontline of immigration issues, and to undertake observational research that helps them (and us) better understand what is happening at the U.S./Mexico Border and what the needs are of immigrants and the volunteer groups who help them. For the students I know it will be a powerful experience that will help shape their own contributions,” Downs said. “Lastly – and perhaps most of all, we wanted to do this as an expression of our own humanity – to help our fellow human beings who are oppressed, in dire straits and who need us.”

Why They Are Involved

The group of seven students left Worcester early in the morning, Wednesday, June 26, by car, and arrived Sunday, June 30, in McAllen, where they are volunteering for the month of July. The group is staying at a local motel.

The internship, including housing, has been funded largely by a $5,000 grant from the Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Luxembourg Program at Clark University, as part of the foundation’s support of the college’s Master of Health Science in Global & Community Health.

Elena Novak, who graduated in May from Clark, where she studied international development and social change, is a former journalist from Cape Coral, Florida. She said she decided to volunteer for the program because she was frustrated by what she saw as conflicting information being reported by the media.

“I felt it was important, if not necessary, to see for myself what was going on in order to bring that information back to my community,” Novak said. “We need to convey the fact that it is our responsibility, not just as a nation but as human beings, to intervene in humanitarian crises because the promotion and protection of human rights is an end in itself.”

This is not the first trip to the border for Aran Valente, a master’s degree student from North Kingston, Rhode Island, who is studying Health Science in Community and Global Health. In 2007, he interned as a union organizer for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO) in Arizona.

“Having had that experience made me particularly interested in learning about other forms of activism at the U.S.-Mexico border in another state, and how politics have and haven't changed for migrants,” he said.

Halley Glier, of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, a master’s degree student studying community development and planning, says friends and family members asked her if she’s excited about the trip.

“Excited is definitely not the word I would use,” Glier wrote in a blog she is writing about the experience. “Although I’m curious, this trip scares me in a healthy way — a way that will challenge me and teach me more than any classroom could. I expect to be completely drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I also expect that our team (a group that mostly just met around the formation of this trip) will become a major emotional support network, as we challenge each other and ourselves.”

Temperance Staples of Littleton, Massachusetts, is also a master’s degree student in Health Science in Global & Community Health. She says she views the trip as a chance to personally bear witness to what’s happening at the border.

“I hope to make a human connection that goes beyond the 24-hour news cycle,” Staples said. “And I want to be part of reporting the truth.”

The other participating students are Emma Gregory, Katie Larrivee and Stephanie Rowlett.

New York Opposes Fed-Proposed Rule Change on Mixed Immigration Status Households

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a robust multi-agency opposition to the federal government's proposed rule change that would ban mixed immigration status households from receiving federal housing assistance. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's proposed rule would have devastating consequences for mixed-status families, the majority of which include children who are U.S. citizens and otherwise eligible for support. Eight state agencies have submitted public comment in opposition to the proposed rule change, reaffirming New York's commitment to fair housing and protecting all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status. 

"The federal government's proposed policy change is needlessly cruel and will cause undue harm to our most vulnerable residents including seniors, veterans, children, people with disabilities and survivors of domestic violence," Governor Cuomo said. "In New York, we know that our diversity is our greatest asset, and we will not stand idly by as Washington continues its all-out assault on our immigrant communities." 

Click here for the full announcement. If not posted, check the site a little later.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta Holds Press Conference Amid Calls to Resign

Global News: U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta holds a press conference as calls grow for his resignation.

In 2008, Acosta was an attorney in Miami who signed off on a plea agreement with billionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein.

A growing number of politicians have called for his resignation after Epstein was arrested again, this time in New York for alleged sex crimes against underage girls.

UN Chief Says African Counter-Terror Strategy Needs More Support

Queen Elizabeth Opens New Royal Papworth Hospital During Cambridge Visit

This report was published on YouTube on July 9.

David Attenborough: Ignoring Climate Change Will Lead to Massive Unrest

This report was published on YouTube on July 9.

Global News: Naturalist David Attenborough told British lawmakers on Tuesday it would be essential to stick to a new target to decarbonise the economy, warning that failure to tackle climate change could lead to massive social unrest.

Cori 'Coco' Gauff Shares Her Wimbledon Experience as Youngest Player to Have Qualified

Global News: Professional tennis player Cori "Coco" Gauff, who is the youngest player to have qualified for Wimbledon, talked about her experience competing in Wimbledon, facing Venus Williams, training, and more, in an interview on CBS July 9.

Coverage of the U.S. Women's Soccer World Cup Victory Parade

Bonus Report: Governor Cuomo Signs Pay Equity Legislation to Close the Gender Wage Gap at USWNT Ticker-Tape Parade

Governor Cuomo signs into law legislation that expands equal pay laws to prohibit unequal pay on the basis of a protected class for all substantially similar work, and forbids employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history.

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Mayor de Blasio Makes Labor Announcement

This video was published on YouTube on July 9.

'Staying Healthy' Youth Clubhouse Opens on Staten Island

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the opening of the new "Staying Healthy" youth clubhouse on Staten Island to help young people who have been affected by addiction. The Clubhouse will provide a place for young people in recovery or at risk of addiction to develop social skills that promote long-term health, wellness and a drug-free lifestyle. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services is contributing more than $240,000 to support the operation of this facility. 

"As communities across New York State struggle with addiction, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding and enhancing services so that all New Yorkers impacted by this disease have the resources they need to live healthy, drug-free lives," Governor Cuomo said. "With the opening of this new youth clubhouse, we are providing the Staten Island community another critical tool to help combat this crisis and pave the way forward for New Yorkers on the road to recovery." 

Click here for the full announcement. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Bronx Showcase: $2 Million Revitalization of 'Camp Junior' Completed

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the opening of Camp Junior, a summer camp for youth from targeted neighborhoods in the Bronx. The revitalized camp is named for 15-year-old Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz, who was killed by Bronx gang members in 2018 in a case of mistaken identity. New York State Parks established the camp in partnership with The Fresh Air Fund and Bronx leaders, investing $2 million over two years in Camp Junior to rehabilitate a deteriorated youth camp in Harriman State Park, a 47,500-acre wilderness park in Rockland and Orange Counties that is only 30 minutes from the Bronx. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have helped to secure operating funds. 

"The grisly murder of 'Junior' Guzman-Feliz was a senseless tragedy that shook the New York family to its core, and a reminder that we need to do more to address the causes and conditions that produce violence," Governor Cuomo said. "Camp Junior is providing Bronx kids with a home away from home and teaching them skills to resist the temptation to join a gang in the first place." 

Click here for the full announcement. 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Testifying While Black Can Have Dire Consequences in the Courtroom

This report was published on the NBC News website on July 1. 

A new study suggests some court transcribers struggle to understand African American English, raising doubts about the accuracy of transcriptions and testimony.

FBI’s Leniency Toward Border Vigilante Contrasts with Harsh Treatment of 'Black Identity Extremist'

While militia leader Larry Hopkins remained free to terrorize immigrants, Christopher Daniels was jailed for months, losing his home and his job.

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Intercept_

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Move to Strip Reformist Prosecutor Larry Krasner of Authority

Click here for the report. 

Source: The Intercept_

How Investigative Reporting and Survivor Testimony Toppled Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Senate Hears Testimony on Threats to Kids' Safety Online

Nancy Pelosi Calls for Secretary of Labor to 'Step Down'

Amy McGrath to Run for Mitch McConnell's Senate Seat

Feds Using DMV Databases for Surveillance Purposes

This report was published on YouTube on July 8.

Ross Perot, Former Presidential Candidate, Dies at Age 89

UAE to Reduce Troop Presence in Yemen: Reports

Mexico's New Police: Armed National Guard Raises Concerns

Afghan Talks: Rival Sides Agree on 'Road Map for Peace'

Iran: World Powers Won't Get a Better Nuclear Deal

Trump Attacks PM May and 'Won't Deal with' UK Envoy After Damning Cable Leak

'The Bill is Dead,' Says Hong Kong's Carrie Lam

Vatican Lifts French Archbishop's Immunity in Groping Inquiry

NYPD Update: The Latest Crime Stats and Other Information

This video was published on YouTube on July 8.

Happening in Harlem: A Discussion on 'Women, Race & Class'

On July 13, Dr. Brian Jones, Associate Director of Education at the Schomburg Center, will host a discussion on Women, Race & Class—Author and activist Angela Davis' powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the United States.

Click here for additional information. 

Source: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

OMH Expands Telepsychiatry Regulations to Increase Access to Mental Health Services

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) today announced the adoption of new, expanded telepsychiatry regulations to give New Yorkers greater access to a range of mental health services using electronic communication.

The new regulations allow more mental health practitioners to utilize virtual technology to provide or support clinical psychiatric care at a distance. Previous regulations only permitted psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners to utilize the technology.

“Telemedicine is an exciting avenue for the Office of Mental Health to explore, as we work diligently to expand access to mental health services and psychiatric consultations,” said OMH Commissioner, Dr. Ann Sullivan. “But as we adopt and use telepsychiatry and telemental health, it’s important to remember that this technology is to be used in combination with, but not as a replacement for a broader treatment plan and support services. With that in mind, the possibilities these expanded regulations provide are very promising.“ 

In 2014, 65 percent of New York counties were designated as “mental health professional shortage areas” under either State or federal designations. Over the last five years, the Office of Mental Health has been working to combat the state’s psychiatric and mental health professional shortage by exploring avenues in telehealth to best serve individuals who are unable to access care.

Utilizing telehealth technology can provide access to services when on-site treatment options are unavailable-- due to distance, location, time of day, or availability of resources. Participating providers are required to give prospective clients information about the use of telemental health to ensure they can make an informed decision about the treatment delivery method.

The updated regulations build upon the 2016 regulations to now allow psychologists, licensed social workers, and mental health counselors, marriage & family therapists, creative arts therapists, and psychoanalysts (licensed under Article 163 of the State Education Law) to utilize virtual therapy appointments. Because of this expansion, the New York State service has changed names from “telepsychiatry” to “telemental health.”

Telemental health will now be permitted at more hub locations, including a practitioner’s home office and private practice settings. Prescribers may be located anywhere within the US, while other practitioner types may be located anywhere within NYS.

The regulations also expand the originating site to be anywhere the client is located within the state. Temporary locations are also permitted within and outside of the state. Additionally, the regulations add Assertive Community Treatment and Personalized Recovery-Oriented Service sites as eligible treatment settings.

Source: NYSOMH

Monday, July 8, 2019

Elizabeth Warren Outraises Bernie Sanders in Second Quarter of 2020 Campaign

Warren’s impressive haul is the third largest for the quarter, behind only Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden.

Click here for the report.

Source: The Huffington Post