Friday, September 30, 2016

'Flashback Friday': War or Peace? 1950, Fateful Year

This video was uploaded to YouTube on May 13, 2010. 

Source: Nuclear Vault

CDC Sounds Alarm on Travel to Asia as Zika Spreads There

"Pregnant women should not travel to any area with a Zika travel notice and should consider postponing non-essential travel to the 11 countries in Southeast Asia listed in the newly issued considerations," the CDC advised on Thursday.

"The countries included in these considerations are Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), and Vietnam." 

Click here for the full article.

Shimon Peres' Funeral Brings Leaders from 70 Countries Together in Israel

The Political Elite Fights Trump -- And They're Still Not Winning

Elites vs. Trump -- and the elites haven't won yet
In a general election unlike any we've covered before, this fact stands out: Almost every elite institution in America is united (or mostly united) against Donald Trump. Consider:
  • Current or ex-presidents: Zero current or living ex-presidents are supporting Trump, versus four who are backing Hillary Clinton (Obama, Clinton, Bush 41, Carter), with the other (Bush 43) on the sidelines.
  • Big business: Not a single Fortune 100 CEO has endorsed Trump, while 11 are supporting Clinton, per the Wall Street Journal. (The other 89 haven't picked a side.)
  • Cabinet members: By our count, only 9 of George W. Bush's 34 cabinet secretaries are backing Trump.
  • Silicon Valley: Just 1% of the political donations from the internet industry in this presidential election ($28,272 out of nearly $4 million total) has gone to Trump, while 60% has gone to Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
  • Newspaper endorsements: By our count, 15 newspapers have endorsed Hillary Clinton in the general election, versus just one for Trump (The National Enquirer); in fact, Gary Johnson has more newspaper endorsements (four) than Trump does (one). And most recently, USA Today calls Trump "unfit for the presidency."

Tim Kaine Talks Race and Politics in Essay: 'It's a Civil Rights Election'

With 39 days left to election day, the effort to focus on the priorities of base voters is becoming clearer in the race for the White House.

"Over many years of Sundays, I've learned how being white in America means you can go your entire life without ever understanding the challenges African-Americans face every day. It's on all of us to come to grips with these issues," the Democratic nominee for Vice President wrote. 

"In many ways, that's the deeper question we're facing in this election: who we are, how we treat each other and what kind of nation we want to leave our children. It's a civil rights election," the junior Senator from Virginia, which is 20 percent African American, states bluntly. 

Click here for the full article. 

IU Kelley School of Business Welcomes Dr. Mae Jemison as Poling Chair of Business and Government

To some it may appear as though Dr. Mae C. Jemison has done it all. She is physician, engineer, entrepreneur, and an astronaut. But she hasn’t stopped there. She is now a leader-in-residence at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, where she will serve as the Poling Chair of Business and Government for the 2016-2017 academic year.

She is the first African-American to be appointed to the Poling Chair. According to the Indiana University news release, Dr. Jemison will work to “stimulate discussion in the areas of leadership, and the critical interactions between the private and public sectors in matters of economic growth, technology research and development, and sustainability.”

The Poling Chair was established in 1933 and named after Kelley School alumnus and Ford Motor Co. chairman, Harold “Red” Poling. Last year, the position was held by Deepender Hooda, a Kelley School alumnus and member of India’s parliament.

Dr. Jemison will visit both the Bloomington and Indianapolis Kelley School campuses. She will visit the week of October 3 and is scheduled to speak at 4:30 PM on October 6 at the Hutton Honors College in Bloomington. 

Source: Your Black World News

GOP Blocks Probes Into Trump-Russia Ties

By Shane Harris

Russian hackers are apparently trying to mess with our elections. But congressional Republicans are crippling any investigations—while their probes of Hillary Clinton continue.

Suspicion is mounting about Donald Trump’s ties to Russian officials and business interests, as well as possible links between his campaign and the Russian hacking of U.S. political organizations. But GOP leaders have refused to support efforts by Democrats to investigate any possible Trump-Russia connections, which have been raised in news reports and closed-door intelligence briefings. And without their support, Democrats, as the minority in both chambers of Congress, cannot issue subpoenas to potential witnesses and have less leverage to probe Trump.

Privately, Republican congressional staff told The Daily Beast that Trump and his aides’ connections to Russian officials and businesses interests haven’t gone unnoticed and are concerning. And GOP lawmakers have reviewed Democrats’ written requests to the FBI that it investigate Trump before they were made public. 

But the lawmakers in both chambers have declined to sign on to them. Republicans have no appetite to launch inquiries into their party’s presidential nominee, and they continue to believe the FBI flubbed its investigation into Clinton and her aides, who should have been charged with mishandling government secrets, the staffers said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast

Jefferson, Lewis Counties Declared Natural Disaster Areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared Jefferson and Lewis counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the ongoing drought.

The USDA determined there were sufficient production losses in four New York counties to warrant the designation.

The four are Jefferson, Lewis, Broome and Oswego counties.

The designation means farmers are eligible to receive certain assistance including emergency loans.

However, it wasn't immediately clear how much the declaration would help farmers. Jefferson County agriculture coordinator Jay Matteson was trying Thursday to find out whether the disaster declaration moves Jefferson County from a "D2" or "severe drought" zone to a "D3" or "drought disaster" zone. 

Click here for the full article.


How a Reclusive Hedge-Fund Boss and His Daughter Are Reshaping the Republican Party


When Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination in Cleveland, some of the most powerful people in the party had a ticket to watch from Suite 245 in Quicken Loans Arena. Invited to the cushy skybox were financiers, real estate developers, a supermarket magnate and an ambassador. Hardly anyone knew it at the time, but the list also included a pair of political insiders who would soon take control of the Trump campaign: Kellyanne Conway, a consultant who had spent the GOP primary toiling for his top rival, and Steve Bannon, the boss of Breitbart News. Both were guests of a woman named Rebekah Mercer.

Bannon and Conway are hardly the only Republicans who rely on Mercer as a benefactor. To help pay for the convention, the family foundation Mercer runs wrote a $500,000 check–pocket change compared with the tens of millions of dollars it has showered on a sprawling web of conservative foundations, political networks and research institutions. That’s not counting the family’s reputed eight-figure investment in Breitbart, the house organ of the right-wing populist movement that fueled Trump’s ascent, and in Cambridge Analytica, a controversial data firm hired by a growing number of GOP candidates. Rebekah’s father Robert Mercer, a New York hedge-fund executive, has forked over more than $20 million in the 2016 election, which makes him the single largest Republican donor this cycle. Before the Mercers backed Trump, they bankrolled Texas Senator Ted Cruz through a family super PAC that employed Conway. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Time Magazine

Republican George Amedore Wins Green Party Line, is Blasted By Green Party Co-Chair


Incumbent Republican state Sen. George Amedore has beat out his Democratic opponent, Palatine Supervisor Sara Niccoli, in a write-in campaign for the left-leaning Green Party line.

Amedore, R-Rotterdam, secured the Green Party ballot line as a write-in candidate in the primary, according to state Board of Elections spokesman John Conklin.

According to Conklin, Amedore won 63 write-in votes and Niccoli won 48. The endorsed Green Party candidate, Marina Karuma-Seales of Saugerties, received 12 votes. A single vote went to former Congressman Maurice Hinchey.

Amedore will carry the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines in the November elections. Niccoli will carry the Democratic, Working Families Party and Women’s Equality Party lines. 

Click here for the full article.


New York City’s Homeless Population Is About to Hit 60,000

The number of New Yorkers sleeping in homeless shelters is at a record high, and will likely surpass 60,000 in the coming days: a grim commentary on the failure of the city’s efforts to combat homelessness.

According to the Daily News, the city officially counted 59,948 individuals in its more than 600 homeless shelters Wednesday night. Of these, 23,600 are children, The Wall Street Journal adds, noting that the total has risen steeply from 50,689 when Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014, and from about 57,600 just a few months ago.

City officials insist the total would be even higher — around 67,000, they estimate — without the new anti-homelessness programs the de Blasio administration has put in place like rental assistance and legal aid.

Click here for the full article.

Source: New York Magazine (via The Empire Report) 

Firefighter Killed in NYC Explosion to Be Honored With Promotion to Deputy Chief

An FDNY battalion chief who was killed in a house explosion will be posthumously promoted to deputy chief, Mayor de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro announced Thursday.

Michael J. Fahy was struck with debris Tuesday when a suspected drug den exploded. Nine other firefighters and six police officers were injured. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hackers Target Election Systems in 20 States

Oval Office Chat: Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany

President Obama spoke today by phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on the situations in Ukraine and Syria.  Regarding Ukraine, President Obama expressed strong support for the ongoing efforts of the Normandy Group, led by Germany and France, to determine a way forward that leads to rapid and full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.  Both leaders urged the parties to continue respecting the cease-fire, begin the disengagement of forces along the line of contact as quickly as possible, and provide international monitors unfettered access to the entire conflict zone.  The President and Chancellor strongly condemned the barbarous Russian and Syrian regime airstrikes against eastern Aleppo, an area populated with hundreds of thousands of civilians, half of whom are children.  They agreed Russia and the Syrian regime bear special responsibility for ending the fighting in Syria and granting the UN humanitarian access to besieged and hard to reach areas in Syria. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

White House Briefing

Education Secretary John King speaks about the president’s education agenda ahead of Spokesman Josh Earnest’s daily briefing with reporters at the White House. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Veep Talk: The Amirs of Kuwait and Qatar

The Vice President spoke today with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, to review recent events in the region and related security cooperation.  The Vice President commended the Amir’s humanitarian leadership and expressed appreciation for the additional support for refugees that Kuwait generously announced at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees in New York on September 20.  Both leaders stressed the enduring strength of the bilateral relationship, and reaffirmed their commitment to build on the historic ties between the United States and Kuwait, including through the inaugural U.S.-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue planned for October 21 in Washington, D.C.

The Vice President also spoke by phone today with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Amir of Qatar, to review events in the region and related defense cooperation. The Vice President and the Amir discussed important regional developments, including the dire situation in Syria and the importance of close cooperation to counter violent extremists. Both leaders also underscored the importance of continued dialogue and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen joint cooperation between the United States and Qatar.  

Source: The White House, Office of the Vice President