Friday, February 23, 2018

Trump, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Joint News Conference

Source: PBS NewsHour

Vice President Pence Addresses Nation's Governors

Vice President Pence speaks at a luncheon for the nation’s governors at his residence in Washington, D.C.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN 

Governors Unveil Blueprint for U.S. Healthcare

Governors John Hickenlooper (D-CO), John Kasich (R-OH) and Governor Bill Walker (I-AK) unveil a blueprint for the nation’s health care system. They also call for Congress to take up legislation to stabilize the marketplace and premiums.

Source: C-SPAN

'Flashback Friday': Frank Sinatra Speaks Out Against Bigotry

This video was published on YouTube on April 10, 2015. 

Source: Politesseo

Trailblazers in Black History: Augusta Savage

This video was published on YouTube on January 14, 2009. 

Augusta Savage, born Augusta Christine Fells (February 29, 1892 March 26, 1962) was an African-American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. 

She was also a teacher and her studio was important to the careers of a rising generation of artists who would become nationally known. She worked for equal rights for African Americans in the arts.

Source: AfricanAmericanArt

Hundreds of Black Women Gather at Power Rising Summit for Activism and Engagement

Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York, Stacey Abrams, former Georgia House minority leader, and others slated to attend.
by Donna Owens

Power Rising, a national summit that’s been planned by, and for black women, has kicked off in Atlanta with a roster of celebs, elected officials and influencers slated to attend.

The four-day event, scheduled to run until the 25th, is sold out, organizers said. It is expected to draw upwards of 1,000 attendees from all 50 states and beyond representing various ages, faiths, sexual orientations, educational and professional backgrounds.

The goal of the event, organizers said, is helping African-American women leverage their political, economic and social power in order to move themselves, their communities and the nation forward.

"Black women own more than 1.5 million businesses. We are the largest users of social media and we know that we are cultural influencers,” said co-convener the Rev. Leah Daughtry. “The summit will bring together black women from across the country and all different walks of life. It will focus on our political prowess, our economic power and our cultural influence.”

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Despair Deaths: Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide Killing More Americans Than Ever

Blacks, Latinos, Asians Being Increasingly Hit

by Maggie Fox 

“Despair deaths” from drugs, alcohol and suicide have reached new peaks in the U.S. and are not just killing whites, but spiking in communities of color, as well, according to a new report released Thursday.

More than 142,000 Americans died from drug or alcohol overdoses and from suicide in 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2015, the report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust finds.

“These 142,000 ‘despair deaths’ in 2016 add to the more than one million Americans who died from drugs, alcohol or suicide in the previous decade,” the report reads.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on North Korea Sanctions (Full Video)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced new sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear program. The sanctions target the North Korean shipping and trading industry. Secretary Mnuchin said this is the largest sanctions package to date to be imposed.

Source: C-SPAN

Source: Former Trump Campaign Aide Rick Gates to Plead Guilty

President Donald Trump Delivers Remarks at CPAC Conference

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Announces Plans on Student Safety

Inside Labs Working on a Universal Flu Vaccine

Russia and the US: Who is Undermining Democracy?

Source: Al Jazeera English

Journalism is Not a Crime: The Story of Mahmoud Hussein

Source: Al Jazeera English

Lebanon-Israel: Tensions Over Disputed Water

Central African Republic: Half the Population Needs Aid

Syria: 'Assad's Forces Are Going to Clear Out Eastern Ghouta'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Poland: Women Fighting Back Against Controversial Abortion Law

Source: FRANCE 24 English

How French Cyber Police Are Patrolling the 'Dark Web'

Source: FRANCE 24 English

EU Doubles Sahel Force Funding, but African Leaders Issue Warning

Source: FRANCE 24 English

Governor Cuomo on Sensible Gun Safety

Source: NYGovCuomo

City Scoop: Rikers Island , $40 Million to Help Minority & Women-Owned Businesses

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray Host Black History Month Celebration

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Complaints About Nursing Home Evictions Rise, and Regulators Take Note

Six weeks after Deborah Zwaschka-Blansfield had the lower half of her left leg amputated, she received some news from the nursing home where she was recovering: Her insurance would no longer pay, and it was time to move on.

The home wanted to release her to a homeless shelter or pay for a week in a motel.

“That is not safe for me,” said Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield, 59, who cannot walk and had hoped to stay in the home, north of Sacramento, until she could do more things for herself — like getting up if she fell.

Her experience is becoming increasingly common among the 1.4 million nursing home residents across the country. Discharges and evictions have been the top-ranking category of grievances brought to state long-term care ombudsman programs, the ombudsman agencies say.

While nursing homes can discharge residents for a limited set of reasons, legal advocates say that home operators sometimes interpret those reasons in unjustified ways. Often, it’s because the residents’ more lucrative Medicare coverage is ending, which is what Ms. Zwaschka-Blansfield said happened in her case.

Click here for the full article.

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

Longtime WABC-TV New York Chief Dave Davis to Retire

Dave Davis, the longtime head of ABC’s flagship O&O in New York, is retiring after more than 40 years in the broadcast TV biz.

Davis has spent most of the past 15 years as president and general manager of WABC-TV New York. He joined the station in 2003. He served as exec VP of ABC News from 2007 until he rejoined WABC-TV in 2010.

Wendy McMahon, president of ABC Owned Station Group, credited Davis for keeping WABC-TV as one of the nation’s highest-rated TV stations. There’s no word yet on a successor. McMahon will play a larger role in the management of WABC in the interim period.

Click here for the full article.

Source: Variety (via Empire Report New York) 

More Marijuana is Consumed in NYC Than in Any Other City in the World

Legal weed might be on its way to New York, but the city is already chock-full of bomb-ass kush. 

A recent study from Seedo, which manufactures a plant cultivation device, found that more devil’s lettuce is consumed in New York than in any other city on earth. It estimates that a grand total of 77.44 metric tons of the stuff is consumed within the five boroughs every year (which is about the same weight as the Endeavor space shuttle, another conduit that's taken humans to space, man). According to the study, the world’s next biggest consumer of that loud is Karachi, Pakistan, at 41.95 metric tons per year, followed by New Delhi at 38.26. Los Angeles ranked fourth on the list, with an annual consumption of 36.06 metric tons.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Time Out (via Empire Report New York) 

NY Renews to Hand Cuomo Check for $7 Billion in Potential Polluter Fee Revenue

ALBANY, NY – On February 27, impacted New Yorkers will pack the Environmental Conservation Committee budget hearing, then deliver a $7 billion check to Governor Cuomo’s office as part of a call for Governor Cuomo and legislators to include a commitment to transition New York to 100% renewable energy and fund investments in communities hit the hardest by climate change. The $7 billion check represents the amount New York State would generate to invest in clean energy and climate change-impacted communities by charging corporate polluters a fee for their emissions, according to a recent University of Massachusetts study.
Dozens of residents of New York and members of NY Renews—a statewide coalition of 139 labor unions, community groups, and environmental organizations—will tell legislators and the Governor that we need more ambitious climate policy--and we need it now. In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced some positive climate-related initiatives but fell short of supporting a comprehensive and equitable plan to hold polluters accountable and move New York State to 100% renewable energy. 

With newly-elected Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey announcing he supports 100% renewable energy by the year 2050, Governor Cuomo’s failure to publicly support the same goal--which he could have done by backing last year’s Climate and Community Protection Act—is drawing increased scrutiny.
After the hearing, the group will reconvene at 1 pm to march to the Governor’s office to demand action and deliver an oversized $7 billion check for the Governor to sign. The amount represents what the state would receive in revenue if a corporate polluter fee were passed.
Immediately following the check delivery, the demonstrators--many of whom have been impacted directly by worsening hurricanes and heat waves--will also be making stops at the offices of Independent Democratic Conference leader Sen. Jeff Klein and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to demand that they do everything in their power to ensure serious legislative action is taken to combat one of the widest-reaching threats facing New York State.
Source: Environmental Advocates of New York

David Holzman Concert and Address in Kew Gardens

On March 3, Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery will present Grammy-nominated master pianist and modern music specialist, David Holzman. After the performance, Holzman will discuss his career as a hearing-impaired musician and answer questions.
The event will be held at The Center at Maple Grove Cemetery, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., which is  located at 127-15 Kew Gardens Road in Queens, New York. A wine and cheese reception will follow. 
Click here for additional information.
Source: Friends of Maple Grove

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Happening in Harlem - Reparations: A Musical Reading!

Reparations: The Musical! explores the reparations debate with style, humor and a spirit of transformation. In this unique foray into Black history and future, a successful African American lawyer takes a case defending an insurance provider whose wealth was derived from the exploitation of enslaved Africans. When he encounters an ancient ancestor spirit with a mission to awaken him to his true identity, he is set on a journey toward love and liberation. 

Click here for additional information. 
Joseph Edwards is an artist and educator whose work as an actor and playwright has been showcased on film, television, and stage. His stage adaptation of the classic autobiography of Claude Brown's Manchild In The Promised Land, originally produced at the American Place Theatre, was nominated for an AUDELCO Award for excellence in Black theater and was performed for more than fifty thousand students in New York City. 

Edwards won three AUDELCO awards for his critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of FLY, also presented at the National Black Theater Festival in North Carolina and at the HBO Performance Space in Los Angeles. 

He appeared in Bad Company, starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins, and has had guest appearances on Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, and Rescue Me. Edwards has also appeared on Broadway in Regina Taylor's Drowning Crow, starring Alfre Woodard and Anthony Mackey. Off-Broadway he played "Officer Burt" in Urban Transitions with Chadwick Bozeman, and as "Boy Willie" in the Baltimore Center Stage production of August Wilson's Fences. He was a stand-out performer in Waiting to End Hell at the National Black Theater Festival. 

Edwards portrayed the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater production of The Meeting at the Kennedy Center, directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson. In the Williamstown Theater Festival production of A Raisin In The Sun starring Viola Davis and Rubin Santiago Hudson, he portrayed "Bobo". 

Most recently Joseph performed in Zora Neale Hurston: A Theatrical Biography at the Castillo Theater. 

Source: ImageNation

Mayor Bill de Blasio Makes an Announcement Regarding the Administration’s Senior Personnel

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre Addresses CPAC Conference

The head of the NRA addresses to the Conservative Political Action Conference just over a week after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Statements from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wayne LaPierre's Comments

As a father and a gun owner, I think it would be nice if the NRA listened to the millions of children across this country who are asking the President and the GOP Congress to stop this senseless gun violence. Too many lives have already been lost because the NRA and people like Wayne LaPierre want to sell more guns.

"While the NRA is busy peddling lies to the American people, New York and a coalition of states are saying enough is enough. The American people won't be played for fools. There is a way to pass common sense gun safety legislation—we know because we did it in New York. It isn't either/or—it can and must be both.

"If Wayne LaPierre is attacking you, you know you're doing something right. I am proud of my F rating from the NRA, and I will continue to do everything I can to keep New Yorkers and our children safe."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Inside the U.S. Military Recruitment Program That Trained Nikolas Cruz to Be 'A Very Good Shot'

A Democracy Now!Exclusive

Sessions Announces 'Significant Law Enforcement Action' to Combat Elder Fraud

Source: PBS NewsHour

Governors Cuomo, Malloy, Murphy and Raimondo Announce 'States for Gun Safety' Coalition

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo today announced the formation of the new "States for Gun Safety" coalition to combat gun violence. In the face of repeated federal inaction, the coalition will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to better share information and tackle this devastating epidemic through a comprehensive, regional approach. 

The coalition will advance a multi-pronged effort that will create a multi-state database to supplement the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System, trace and intercept guns that are used in crimes as well as guns transported across state borders and launch the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium that will study the issue across multiple disciplines to better inform policy makers nationwide.

"Here in New York, we're proud to be home to the nation's strongest gun safety law. However, the federal government's continued inaction on this issue has not only allowed the epidemic of gun violence to spread, but it has actually prevented the laws like the SAFE Act from being fully effective," Governor Cuomo said. "Rather than wait for the federal government to come to its senses and pass responsible gun safety legislation, New York is joining with New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to take matters into our own hands. Not only will this groundbreaking partnership take new steps to prevent illegal guns from crossing state lines, but by forming the nation's first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium, we will be able to better inform policymakers nationwide on how to keep their communities safe."

"We refuse to allow federal inaction to enact commonsense, gun safety laws endanger the lives of our residents," Governor Malloy said.  "Despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from special interest groups, we will work together as a coalition of states to keep our communities safe.  We cannot sit back and let guns get into the hands of those who shouldn't have them, and we cannot simply watch almost daily tragedy occur.  One thing remains clear: we would be better off if every state and the federal government enacted sensible gun safety rules.  We will not wait for Washington to act - the time for action is now."

"Gun violence is not a New Jersey problem, or a New York problem, or a problem for any particular state or region - it is a national problem," Governor Murphy said. "However, we cannot wait for Congress to act. As states, we must work together to take the steps and enact the measures to protect our residents and our communities. But, even more importantly, a collective of states can take these steps together broaden the reach and impact of commonsense gun safety laws."

"Rhode Island has some of the nation's strongest gun laws, but our nation has some of the world's weakest. Kids in Florida and across the nation are taking action, and it's not a surprise: We've forced them to lead because for years elected officials in Washington have refused to," Governor Raimondo said. "We will stand up with our students and with parents to strengthen our gun laws and combat gun violence." 

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

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Trailblazers in Black History: Sammy Davis, Jr.

This video was published on YouTube on December 17, 2013. 

Born on December 8, 1925, in New York City, Sammy Davis Jr. overcame prevailing racism to become an entertaining legend. He was a successful comedian, actor, dancer and singer. As part of the Rat Pack, with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Davis was known for his films and his partying ways. As his fame grew, his refusal to appear in any clubs that practiced racial segregation led to the integration of several venues in Miami Beach and Las Vegas.

Film Festival Workshop to Examine Diversity, Inclusion in Entertainment Industry

Does the US Green Party Have a Future?

'Future Hope' Column

By Ted Glick 

I have been an active member of the Green Party for 18 years, mainly on a local level for the last dozen years. Before that I had been working with it for about a decade. I remember the beginnings of Green Party organizing efforts in the early 80’s, about the same time as the historic first Jesse Jackson for President/Rainbow Coalition campaign in 1984.

Some Greens look upon me as a kind-of traitor because, in 2016, I was very critical of the kind of campaign Jill Stein was running. I was particularly critical of her repeated refrain that Trump and Clinton were “equally terrible,” and her bewildering statements to the effect that she had a chance of winning the Presidency. By the end of October, between my problems with her campaign and the closeness of the race between Trump and Clinton, I ending up writing a column, “Why I’m Voting for Hillary Clinton,” and then did so on election day.

Unfortunately, I was right and Stein was wrong. Trump is off-the-charts terrible. Clinton would have been OK-to-problematic-to-bad, but nothing like the lying, pathological, narcissistic, sexist, racist poor-excuse-for-a-human-being currently in the White House.

However, I have continued to stay active with my local GP group in Essex County, NJ. For a long time our main focus was education and activism to combat the climate crisis. Some of us are still doing that, but for a number of the newer and younger members who joined in 2016 or 2017, running in elections is what they want to do.

The position I’ve taken within this group, one shared by a number of others, is that our focus should be on running people for school boards or city councils, local races where there is a real chance of winning or doing well through hard work and smart organizing. We should not be running candidates for Congress who have zero chance of winning and little chance of getting more than a few percentage point share of the vote. Campaigns like that show weakness, not growing strength.

Click here for the full article. 


Conservative Clash Over Trump Sets Stage for CPAC Gathering

WASHINGTON — It didn't take long for the first ideological fight to break out over this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, an eclectic annual gathering of activists, officials and luminaries on the political right.

In fact, it happened Monday night — three days before Thursday's opening gavel.

Jonah Goldberg, a National Review senior editor and leading light of the conservative intelligentsia, took issue with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the CPAC-hosting American Conservative Union, over a lineup of speakers — including Marion Le Pen, the niece of French National Front Party chief Marine Le Pen — who figure to lavish adoring praise and little criticism on President Donald Trump. 

Schlapp fired back on Twitter in personal terms: "Hey Jonah our biggest coup was getting your wife to join mine on the trump train. Choo choo."

In theory, the two should be on the same side: A pair of telegenic, thoughtful, successful-in-Washington conservatives whose wives, Deputy White House Communications Director Mercedes Schlapp, and Jessica Gavora, a speechwriter for U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, work for the same president. 

But not in the Trump era — and especially not when CPAC comes to town. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Florida School Shooting Survivors Demand Change During Visit to State Capital

Source: ABC News

African Refugees on Hunger Strike in Israel