In a retrial, Bill Cosby has been convicted of drugging and molesting a
woman. The panel of seven men and five women deliberated for about 14
hours at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. The
80-year-old comedian was accused of drugging and violating Canadian
Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He was
charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
New York – Thirty-two years ago, the worst nuclear disaster in history resulted from the ruthless exploitation of Ukraine and its people by an imperialistic Russian regime that continuously manifests a callous disregard for human life. Releasing 400 times more radioactive material than the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, the explosion in the early morning hours of April 26, 1986, caused irreparable harm to Ukraine and its people.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest representation of Ukrainians in America, commemorates this tragedy annually, offering our prayers for all the victims killed by this tragedy and all those who continue to suffer from its effects. This year, we once again call upon the international community to join UCCA in ensuring that the ongoing needs of the victims are never forgotten. In light of Russia’s continued and blatant disregard for humanity, as evidenced by the consequences of their illegal occupation of Crimea and their ongoing aggression in Eastern Ukraine, we will continue our call for justice in the name of the Kremlin’s victims.
The explosion that occurred in the fourth reactor of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant took place just 64 miles north of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. It was only after radiation levels set off alarms at a nuclear power plant in Sweden two days later, that the Soviet authorities issued any acknowledgement of the disaster. The totalitarian communist regime, however, refused to provide any concrete details in an attempt to conceal the explosion’s magnitude. In its blatant disregard for human life, Moscow allowed thousands of innocent Ukrainians, including schoolchildren, oblivious to the dangers emanating from Chornobyl, to participate in the planned May Day parade five days following the explosion. The terrible impact of the Chornobyl disaster is still felt to this day, with adverse effects on the health of many people, not to mention the ecological and economic strains on the Ukrainian nation.
On this 32nd commemoration of that terrible tragedy at Chornobyl, let us never forget this crime against humanity that forever changed Ukraine and the world.
— The Senate on Thursday easily confirmed Mike Pompeo as the nation’s
70th secretary of state, elevating the current C.I.A. director and an
outspoken foreign policy hawk to be the nation’s top diplomat.
the end, the 57-to-42 tally lacked the drama of other nail-biting
confirmation votes in the Trump era. Earlier this week, Senator Rand
Paul of Kentucky, the nominee’s main Republican antagonist, bowed to
pressure from President Trump to drop his objections. Ultimately, seven
members of the Senate Democratic caucus — five of whom face re-election
this year in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016 — joined a united
Republican conference to support Mr. Pompeo’s confirmation.
I am pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo to serve as our country’s top diplomat. Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy, and intellect leading the Department of State will be an incredible asset for our country at this critical time in history. He will always put the interests of America first. He has my trust. He has my support. Today, he has my congratulations on becoming America’s 70th Secretary of State.
Sources: The New York Times and The White House Press Office
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) fields questions on a range of issues,
including allegations against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and White
House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, who has withdrawn from consideration
as secretary of Veterans Affairs.
WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance
legislation designed to make it more difficult for any president to
dismiss a special counsel, a signal to President Donald Trump amid
Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia probe.
Republicans, including committee chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, voted
with all 10 of the panel's Democrats to send the bill to the Senate
floor. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he
won't allow the full chamber to vote on it, saying in an interview last week, "We’ll not be having this on the floor of the Senate."
He’s reportedly ‘closer to the president than perhaps any other lobbyist in town.’ So why is Brian Ballard taking cash from a member of Assad’s inner circle?
By Betsy Woodruff and Adam Rawnsley
Brian Ballard, viewed by some as the lobbyist closest to President
Donald Trump, is working for an ally of Syria’s brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad.
Ballard’s firm, Ballard Partners, disclosed on March 15
that it has taken on a Dubai-based trading company called ASM
International General Trading LLC as a client. A Daily Beast analysis of
open source materials—including website registration information,
leaked offshore investment documents, and résumé sites—indicates that
ASM International General Trading is affiliated with a member of Syria’s
wealthy Foz family of international businessmen, which reportedly has
close links to the Assad regime.
Reached for comment, Ballard told The Daily Beast his firm will cut ties with the company if it has links to Assad.
going to do more due diligence,” Ballard said. “We’re not the CIA, but
if it were to turn out that there was any connection at all, we would
withdraw from our representation of the Dubai trading company.”
Ballard’s firm also represents an anti-Assad group, according to disclosure filings.
also represent a group of Syrian-American doctors and others who want a
Syria free of Assad, which we fully support,” Ballard added. “We’ve
lobbied for that and we’ve never lobbied anything but that, and never
been asked to, out of fairness to the trading company.”
Representatives for the Foz family did not respond to requests for comment.
Introduction: This is the first in an occasional series
that I will be running of columns that I published both on OpEdNews and other
sites, that bear relevance to current events. There will be very slight, if any, editing,
and contemporaneous notes in [ ]. I
wrote this one, in 2007, on the commutation by Pres. George W. Bush of the sentence
that Scooter Libby received for lying and obstruction of Justice in the Valerie
Plame case. The whole episode is, of
course, now receiving wide publicity because President
Trump has chosen to issue a full pardon to Libby. One still wonders if Libby was taking the
fall for a higher-up (guess who?) just as any of the Trump lower-downs might,
or might not, take the fall for him. This
column was originally published on the old BuzzFlash, on July 10, 2007
the famous Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman movie Casablanca, the character Captain Renault of
the French police is famously played by Claude Rains. Upon walking into Rick's
(the Humphrey Bogart character) bar near the beginning of the movie, he
famously says: "I'm shocked, shocked
to find that gambling is going on here!" And so, the reaction among many
on all sides of the political spectrum to the Libby commutation has been:
"shocked, shocked" to find
that it has happened.
How could Bush do this? After all, he has always been so strict on the question
of commutations, and pardons too. It is so obviously political, or a payback,
or a payoff, or a cover-up, or a bone for his "conservative" base, or
he is reaching out at least halfway to Sean Hannity (who is saying that well,
it's OK, but now Bush should really go and do the right [in both senses, I
guess] thing and pardon the guy." [Oh my!
Hannity was involved in that one, too!]) Yes, it is obviously most of
those things and probably all of them.
example, on July 3, the well-known journalist and author Robert Parry said: "President
Bush's decision to spare Scooter Libby from jail time represents the final step
in a cover-up that began four years ago when Bush, Vice President Cheney and
other top officials launched a campaign to discredit an American citizen for
daring to question Bush's case for war in Iraq. . . . That criminal act was
followed by lies to the public and an organized cover-up. By commuting Libby's sentence,
Bush now has made sure that Libby will keep his mouth shut and that the full
story will never be told."
Congresswoman and key Watergate impeachment protagonist Elizabeth Holtzman said: "The
commutation undoes the simple application of justice. It's just one more
example of how this administration believes that the president and his team can
violate the law with impunity."
revolutionary movement is complete without its poetical expression. If
such a movement has caught hold of the imagination of the masses they
will seek a vent in song for the aspirations, the fears and the hopes,
the loves and the hatreds engendered by the struggle. Until the movement
is marked by the joyous, defiant, singing of revolutionary songs, it
lacks one of the most distinctive marks of a popular revolutionary
movement, it is the dogma of a few, and not the faith of the
- James Connolly, Irish Republican and socialist, leader of the 1916 Easter uprising in Dublin
Yes, it was great that the upwards-of-2000 people who marched and rallied on a Monday in Albany, NY two days ago were a multi-cultural mix, one of the stronger mixes of cultures that I’ve seen at climate actions.
Yes, it was very good that the coalition which organized the action, cuomowalkthetalk.org,
found a way to organize both a permitted march and rally and a
significant nonviolent civil disobedience action. The cd action
disrupted business-as-usual in the Governor’s office building, the
Statehouse, for several hours and led to 56 arrests.
it was positive that Cuomo-challenger Cynthia Nixon was there with the
rest of us, lending her fast-growing, Bernie-like campaign energy to the
cuomowalkthetalk demands: stop all fracking infrastructure, move to
100% renewable energy and make corporate polluters pay.
yes, it was encouraging to see the intergenerational mix, from very
young kids up to grey-haired grandmothers and grandfathers.
what I really liked the most, and which is very important going
forward, was the joyous, loud, beautiful-sounding singing during the
civil disobedience action, as we gathered in a big circle in a room,
“The War Room,” on the same floor as the Governor’s office, and then as
we sat in a nearby hallway in a very big oval-like circle, lifting our
voices as if the future depended upon it.
of the singing was spontaneous, but a lot of it was led by Luke Nephew
of the Peace Poets, throwing his body and soul into his song-leading as
he moved rhythmically up and down within our oval.
were new songs created specifically for this event, short on words and
relatively simple in melody to make it easier for everyone to join in.
Join ImageNation and its partners for a limited theatrical release of ARRAY Films latest release, "Jewel's Catch One" a documentary film from Director C. Fitz.
Narrated by CCH Pounder, "Jewel's Catch One", is a lush visual and musical journey highlighted by exclusive interviews with Sharon Stone, Thelma Houston, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Madonna, Sandra Bernhard, Thea Austin, Jenifer Lewis, Representative Maxine Waters and Bonnie Pointer.
ARRAY, Ava DuVernay's distribution company, narrates this historically important film rich with music from the last forty years.
Click on the flier to increase its size.
One of the original safe spaces for disenfranchised communities, The Catch also served as a refuge for many during the AIDS crisis. As her club grew to become known as the unofficial "Studio 54 of the West Coast," Jewel became a national model for how to fight discrimination and serve the less fortunate as she fought tirelessly against racism, homophobia and hate for over four decades.
Jewel built organizations such as The Minority AIDS Project nd Rue's House, the first shelter for women with AIDS and their children, and later in life started her own non-profit health clinic next door to the club called, The Village Health Foundation, wher she still works today. #legacy
The event will be hosted by Bonnie Harrison, Founder and CEO of SITIS Inc.
Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) today announced a two-day
conference to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Taylor Law, the law
that grants public employees in
New York State the right to collectively bargain with their employers
while prohibiting strikes.
Held in partnership with the School of
Industrial Relations at Cornell University and the New York State Bar
Association, the conference will showcase the Taylor Law’s substantial
influence on public sector labor relations over the past half century.
The conference will be held from May 10 to 11, 2018, at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany, New York.
The 50th anniversary
conference will feature presentations by practitioners and scholars to
illustrate the Taylor Law’s significant contributions to New York State
public sector labor-management relations, examine and assess areas where
the Law’s effectiveness has evolved, and document and analyze emerging
and alternative legal and public policy models and frameworks. To
register for the conference, visit www.ilr.cornell.edu/professional-programs/dr800/taylor-law.
“The conference could not be more
timely in view of the recent amendments to the Taylor Law, which seek to
stabilize collective bargaining in the wake of an anticipated ruling by
the Supreme Court in Janus v. AFSCME,” PERB Chair John Wirenius said.“We
are excited about the wide range of panelists and speakers who will
participate in this conference and exchange views on how to meet the
challenges confronting both management and labor, as the Taylor Law and
PERB enter their second half-century.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed landmark legislation
to strengthen the rights of working men and women in New York State,
increasing access to and protecting union membership in New York’s
public-sector workplaces in anticipation of the pending Janus v. AFSCME
Supreme Court case.
The conference will include a plenary session discussing the potential legal and legislative ramifications of Janus v. AFSCME,
along with keynote addresses from Professor Harry Katz of Cornell
University and Professor Cynthia Estlund of the New York University
School of Law.
Other plenary sessions will include: the Taylor Law in Context: National and International Comparisons; a discussion with Former PERB Chairs reflecting on their time at PERB and the meaning of the Taylor Law; and the Taylor Law and Impasse Procedure: Creative Resolution Despite Protraction
To view the full conference agenda, including information on presenters, click here.
Passed by the New York State
Legislature and signed into law by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, the
Taylor Law became effective September 1, 1967, and served as one of the
first comprehensive labor relations laws for public employees in the
nation, guaranteeing the right of public employees to union
representation and collective bargaining - whether employed by the
State, or by counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, public
authorities or certain special service districts.
information on the Taylor Law, the Public Employment Relations Board,
and the 50th anniversary of the Taylor Law can be found on the PERB
website at www.perb.ny.gov.
The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Kyle Duncan to serve on the 5th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which covers Louisiana,
Mississippi and Texas. While several Republicans and conservatives
applauded Duncan, a lawyer nominated by Presidential Donald Trump, a
number of Democrats and liberal advocacy groups slammed him as “unfit”
Democrats questioned whether Duncan could be an impartial arbitrator
given the cases he had worked on, which include defending a North
Carolina voter ID law, fighting a contraceptive mandate in the
Affordable Care Act and defending Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Judging by tabloid headlines appearing on New York City
newsstands, it might appear as though hundreds of thousands of people
object to the release of former Black Panther Herman Bell from prison.
That’s how many letters, the tabloids proclaim, were written in protest
of the New York State Parole Board’s decision last month to release the
70-year-old prisoner, after 45 years behind bars.
“367,000 reasons not to parole cop-killer Herman Bell,” pronounced
a New York Post editorial, noting that “more than 367,000 online
letters were sent to the state Board of Parole following its recent
decision to release cop killer Herman Bell.” The city’s other big
tabloid, the New York Daily News, cited the same figure, attributing it to the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
That sounds like an awful lot of people, but it’s not. Neither tabloid
bothers to clarify that this figure in no way represents 367,000
individual people writing in protest of Bell’s release. In fact, the
huge number of letters was automatically generated by fewer that 6,000
individual complaints made via the NYC PBA website.
As more and more shootings of unarmed black men and women are brought to the public’s attention, I understand the distrust that many ― especially people of color ― have against police. As a black man, I’ve been on the receiving end of profiling and discrimination. As a father to black children, I’ve had to have “the talk” with them about how to conduct themselves in encounters with law enforcement to make sure they leave with their lives. But I’m also a cop, and I know this job is dangerous and difficult and it comes with its share of fair and unfair scrutiny.
I’ve spent the last 30 years reconciling these unique and conflicting identities. This effort was not without its struggle. I’ve tried to change the perspectives of people and officers around me, I’ve denied that I had differing perspectives of my own, I’ve tried to balance each identity and fit them into a safe — often false — narrative. All of these efforts failed.
Through these experiences, and those of so many officers and people of color, I’ve come to realize that the only way to reconcile these perspectives is to accept each experience and the truth they represent, and to allow them to co-exist. So, here are my truths.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued the following letter to Senator Simcha Felder.
Dear Senator Felder,
Shelley Mayer's victory in yesterday's Senate special election, your
decision on Senate leadership is now pivotal. There are now 32
registered Democratic Senators forming a majority Democratic Conference.
The IDC has unified, and while I understand that you conference as a
Republican and run on multiple lines, you are registered as a Democrat. I
strongly urge you to join the 31 other registered Democrats so we can
enact meaningful legislation that will continue our state's progress at
this most critical political time.
There is a new
Democratic movement in this state and a new Democratic Senate
Conference. We have come a long way. The New York Democratic Party is a
new model of Democratic leadership. In this state, Democrats are no
longer about just offering dreams but a party of dreamers and doers - a
powerful combination. We have articulated a different vision for our
state and we have delivered on it. We have credibility with the public
because we didn't offer only words, but matched our words with actions.
We have made this state the most progressive state in the nation as a
matter of aspiration and reality. No state rivals our record on social
progress or government accomplishment.
much to be proud of, but with a Democratic Senate, we could do even
more. There are issues we need to address that the Republicans in the
Senate refused to act upon or even bring to the floor for a vote. Not
only is it a wasted opportunity to move the state forward, but by
refusing to bring issues up for a vote New Yorkers don't even know where
the legislators stand.
On April 24, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez released the following statement:
“Congratulations to New York state Senators-Elect Shelley Mayer and Luis Sepulveda, and to all the newly elected Democratic New York state Assembly members. The voters of New York have spoken. Not only did Democrats flip one state Assembly seat, we also won two state Senate races that we need to give us the majority in the New York state Senate and put us one step closer to shifting the balance of power in a legislative chamber that has been controlled by Republicans for the better part of 80 years. Working families in New York want leaders who will fight for the issues that matter to them. They know Democrats have their back, and tonight is further proof that when we organize and lead with our values, we’re unstoppable.
“The DNC was proud to invest $100,000 in the New York Democratic Party (NYDP) through the State Party Innovation Fund (SPIF) to help expand the party’s efforts to engage and organize voters around the state. The state party has already leveraged this increased organizing capacity to lift up Shelley Mayer and start building the support we need to keep winning up and down the ballot in 2018. We look forward to working with the NYDP to keep organizing and electing Democrats across the state.”
Source: The Office of Assemblyman Michael Blake (District 79)
A Florida judge will not return to the bench after a video captured her
angry exchange with a frail inmate in a wheelchair. Earlier this month,
Circuit Court Judge Merrilee Ehrlich snapped at 59-year-old Sandra
Twiggs as she explained her ailments and breathing treatments.Twiggs
died a few days later.