Friday, April 20, 2018

Arlington National Cemetery: Major Development in the Wake of 'From The G-Man' Report


By Gary Glennell Toms

On January 29, 2018, From The G-Man published a special report on Joan Flowers and her nearly 25-year effort to have her father's remains transferred from an unmarked grave in Chicago to Arlington National Cemetery. 

On March 8, C-SPAN reported the following: "Arlington National Cemetery Superintendent Katharine Kelley, Army National Military Cemeteries Executive Director Karen Durham-Aguilera, and veterans service organization leaders testified before a House Armed Services subcommittee on the future of Arlington National Cemetery. They assessed the current eligibility criteria for burial and potential expansion at the military cemetery. Superintendent Kelley said if no changes are made at Arlington National Cemetery, it would run out of space by the early 2040s."

SPLC Lawsuit: Private Prison Company Uses Forced Labor to Boost Profits


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed suit this week against a private prison company that's maximizing profits by forcing detained immigrants to work for as little as $1 a day. Immigrants who refuse to clean, cook and maintain the detention center are threatened with solitary confinement and the loss of food, clothing, toilet paper and phone calls to loved ones – items they must purchase with their "earnings."

Click here for the full article. 

Source: SPLC

Libya: Why Haftar’s Absence Could Tip the Country Into Further Chaos


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Merkel and Macron: Can They Compromise to Push EU Reform Forward?


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Cuba: Raul Castro to Lead Communist Party Until 2021


Source: FRANCE 24 English

North Korea Talks: Koreas Install a First Telephone Hotline Between Leaders


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Syria: Anti-Government Forces Give Up the Strategic Town of Dumayr in the Outskirts of Damascus


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: African Members Seek to Grow Trade Value to $2 Trillion


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Governor Cuomo Signs Middle Class Recovery Act


This video was published on YouTube on April 19. 

Source: NYGovCuomo

Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange Says It Will Not Comply with New York Inquiry


By Evelyn Cheng

The head of a major cryptocurrency exchange will not comply with the New York attorney general's request for information.

"The resource diversion for this production is massive. This is going to completely blow up our roadmap!" Kraken co-founder and CEO Jesse Powell said Wednesday on Twitter.

"Then I realized we made the wise decision to get the hell out of New York three years ago and that we can dodge this bullet," Powell said. "Ordinarily, we're happy to help government understand our business, however, this is not the way to go about it." 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: CNBC (via Empire Report New York) 

Upstate NY Farmer Says ICE Officers Stormed His Farm Without a Warrant, Cuffed Him, Threw His Phone


This video was published on YouTube on April 19. 

John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm this morning when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men. Video provided by Lillian Wheeler.

Source: Syracuse.com 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Special Counsel Protection Bill Markup Delayed Until Next Week


The Senate Judiciary Committee’s plan to mark up the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, which is aimed at protecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, is pushed back by a week.

Democrats Won't Back Farm Bill, Leader Pelosi Says


During her weekly briefing at the U.S. Capitol, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats cannot support the Farm Bill reported out of the Agriculture Committee on a 26-20 party-line vote Wednesday, in part because of the SNAP changes.

Saving Our Youth: 'The Big Gang Theory' with Danya Perry


This video was published on YouTube on October 23, 2017. 

Youth gang involvement and anti-social behavior has a devastating impact on our families and communities at-large. However, the enormity of the problem and fear of these "big, bad gangs" should not preclude our efforts to find a solution. The solution - well, it's as simple as looking into the mirror. 

Danya Perry currently serves in the capacity of Vice President of Youth Development for Communities In Schools of NC and has served as a youth / education advocate for the past 20 years. In this capacity, Perry has spearheaded statewide initiatives aimed at school violence prevention, focusing specifically on bullying and gang prevention / intervention.

Source: TEDx Talks

Trailblazers in Black History: William Grant Still


This video was published on YouTube on November 13, 2017. 

Source: TheWascos1

Power in Puerto Rico Largely Restored After Islandwide Blackout



by Daniella Silva

Power was restored to more than a million customers in Puerto Rico on Thursday — a day after an islandwide blackout crippled the U.S. territory seven months after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

More than 1.1 million customers had electricity as of 7 a.m. Thursday morning, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said on Twitter. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

    
Governor Cuomo Announces Deployment
of Resources and Support for Puerto Rico 

Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

No Criminal Charges in Prince's Overdose Death, Prosecutor Announces


by Daniella Silva

No criminal charges were filed in music legend Prince's drug overdose death in 2016, a Minnesota prosecutor announced Thursday, saying the artist died after consuming counterfeit Vicodin pills laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

"Prince had no idea he was taking a counterfeit pill that could kill him," Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said in a news conference in Chaska, Minn., early Thursday afternoon.

Despite an intensive law enforcement investigation, "there is no reliable evidence showing how Prince obtained the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl" or who was involved in him procuring those pills, Metz said.

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Trump Legal Adviser Warns Michael Cohen Could Flip on Him


Source: CBS News

FAA to Order Engine Inspections After Southwest Incident


Source: CBS News

What is GDPR and How Will It Affect Digital Privacy Around the World?


Source: CBS News

Men Arrested at Starbucks Speak Out

Head of UN Entity Probing War Crimes in Syria Speaks to FRANCE 24


'We'd Never Be Able to Smuggle the Migrants Without the Help of the Authorities'


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Great Barrier Reef Irreversibly Damaged By Global Warming, 2016 Heatwave


Source: FRANCE 24 English

North Korea Talks: Donald Trump Setting the Stage and Terms of What Could Be a Historic Summit


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Eye on Africa: Violence in DR Congo's Ituri Province Forces Thousands to Live in Camps


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Macron Faces Spreading Anger of Students, Railworkers as Protests Continue


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Erdogan Announces Snap Parliamentary, Presidential Elections for June 24


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Assemblyman Michael Blake's Statement on Injunction Regarding NYCHA Lead Inspections


The following statement was issued on April 18 by New York State Assembly Member Michael Blake, who represents District 79. 

For the people living in NYCHA apartments, justice was served yesterday.
 
I applaud Manhattan Judge Carol R. Edmead of the State Supreme Court for her decisiveness in issuing a preliminary injunction ordering the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to perform lead inspections in apartments 400,000 New Yorkers call home. This injunction requires NYCHA to inspect thousands of apartments within 90 days. Those apartments were originally supposed to be inspected for lead from 2013-2016. The injunction comes after it was discovered that some NYCHA staff falsified federal government-required lead paint paperwork during the three-year time period and reported that inspections had occurred, when in fact, they had not.  
 
When I think about the tenants in the Melrose Houses who are still waiting on answers for weeks on whether their development is lead-free, it is unconscionable and just disrespectful.  This decision by Judge Edmead will help provide justice.
 
I applaud Danny Barber, my friend, constituent and President of the Citywide Council of Presidents. Mr. Barber’s leadership demonstrates the power of activism and resistance to injustice. 
 
I applaud the tenant leaders and NYCHA residents who have bravely committed to fighting for their rights by filing a lawsuit against NYCHA to ensure safety, health and improvement for families who deserve equal treatment.
 
My commitment to advocating for NYCHA residents is unwavering. My team works daily to advocate for improvement in living conditions for those who dwell in unsafe and often dangerous apartments. An inhumane and unconscionable 80 percent of NYCHA residents were without heat or hot water at some point in 2017.  The continued health, social, mental and emotional challenges resulting from living in conditions with mold, water leaks, rats and insufficient security must come to an end. NYCHA must be held accountable. 
 
This action is a positive step forward, and, we will continue to advocate for each and every woman, man and child who lives in NYCHA. We will not stop until every New Yorker is afforded the rights, protection and housing equality that they deserve. Housing justice should know no zip code or skin color.  Everyone is entitled to a safe place to rest at night and a safe place to raise their families.  #BuildingABetterBronx includes ensuring a safer, cleaner and rehabilitated New York City Housing Authority.

New York Cares: Free Statewide Naloxone Training Sessions



The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) today announced that it will conduct a series of free naloxone training sessions to be held across the state. The trainings are supported by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. During the sessions, participants will learn how to recognize, respond to, and reverse an opioid overdose using naloxone.

“Individuals and families who experience the tragedy of an overdose can save lives by being trained and prepared,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin and Opioid Task Force. “These naloxone training sessions are vital for people to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. As someone who has been trained to administer naloxone, it's a simple process but has the potential to save a life. That's why I encourage people to take advantage of these opportunities to learn the proper protocol. We are ensuring New Yorkers have the resources and education they need to prevent another loss from the opioid epidemic." 

“Naloxone has helped thousands of people across New York State, and these trainings are an important way that we can help more people learn how to use this medication,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “With events like this, we are giving people the tools they need to save lives and make a difference in their communities.”

The dates, times, and locations of each training session are listed below:

Erie County

April 30, 6:00pm
: Amherst Senior Center: 370 JJ Audubon Parkway, Amherst NY 14228 (Contact Cathy Sommer at (716) 636-3055 x3106 to register)

Greene County

May 2, 6:00pm
: Catskill Public Library: 1 Franklin Street, Catskill, NY 12414 (Contact the library at (518) 943-4230 to register)

M
ay 16, 6:00pm
: Catskill Public Library: 1 Franklin Street, Catskill, NY 12414 (Contact the library at (518) 943-4230 to register)


May 16, 8:15pm
: Windham Civic Center: 5379 NY 23, Windham, NY 12496 (Contact Jonathan Gross at (914) 523-3766 to register)
 

May 19, 11:00am: Cornell Hook & Ladder Company: 77 Gill Road, New Baltimore, NY 12124 (Contact the fire company by email at nbcommunityoutreach@gmail.com to register)

Niagara County
 

April 19, 12:45pm: Niagara University: 5795 Lewiston Road, Niagara University NY 14109 (Contact Myrla Gibbons-Doxey at (716) 439-7527 to register) 

April 19, 3:00pm
: Niagara Falls Housing Authority: 3001 9th Street, Niagara Falls NY 14301 (Contact Myrla Gibbons-Doxey at (716) 439-7527 to register)


April 19, 7:00pm
: Wilson Fire Hall: 250 Young Street, Wilson NY 14172 (Contact Myrla Gibbons-Doxey at (716) 439-7527 to register)

Orange County
 

April 24, 3:00pm & 6:00pm: Town of New Windsor Town Hall Complex: 555 Union Avenue, New Windsor, NY 12553 (Contact Colin Schmitt at (845) 563-8800 to register)

April 25, 4:00pm & 6:00pm
: Cornwall Public Library: 395 Hudson Street, Cornwall NY 12518 (Contact Cornwall Library at (845) 534-8282

 

April 30, 7:00pm: Cronomer Valley Fire Department: 296 Plank Road, Newburgh NY 12550 (Contact Juan Moreno at (845) 647-5513 to register)

OASAS is also seeking partners for similar training events in other areas. Communities and organizations looking to arrange additional trainings can email OpioidSTR.General@oasas.ny.govor call (518) 485-0757.

New Yorkers are encouraged to carry naloxone to help when someone is experiencing an overdose. Under the New York State Department of Health’s Naloxone Co-payment Assistance Program (N-CAP), individuals can access low-cost or no-cost naloxone at pharmacies across the state. At participating pharmacies, individuals with prescription coverage as part of their health insurance plan can receive up to $40 in co-payment assistance for the purchase of this lifesaving drug. Most pharmacies have standing orders to distribute naloxone to individuals at risk of an overdose, or their families, without a prescription. Uninsured individuals and individuals without prescription coverage can also receive naloxone at no cost through New York's network of registered opioid overdose prevention programs.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website.

Visit CombatAddiction.ny.gov to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website.


Source:
OASAS

The Arts Contribute More Than $114 Billion to New York State Economy

New York, NY – New York State’s arts and cultural industries generate $114.1 billion to the state economy, employ 462,584, and award $46.7 billion in compensation, according to new data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  

Produced by the NEA and BEA, the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) quantifies New York’s role as a national leader in economic output through the arts. Of the total $760 billion generated by the arts nationwide, New York’s $114.1 billion accounts for 15 percent. At the state level, the cultural sector accounts for 7.8% of the value added to the state’s economy – more than retail, construction or transportation. New York ranks second among all states in arts and cultural value added to the economy and in arts and cultural employment.

With the support of Governor Cuomo, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) cultivates the state’s thriving creative economy through 15 grant programs and the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. In 2018, NYSCA awarded $41M through direct grants and regrants to 2,400 organizations and artists across New York State. This funding included $5M in dedicated REDC support to initiatives that drive economy through the arts.

New York’s top ACPSA industry by value added is motion pictures, which alone contributes $28.15 billion to the state economy. Among top ACPSA core industries – originators of ideas and content associated with the creation of arts and culture – are performing arts companies ($3.8 billion) and independent artists, writers, and performers ($3.2 billion). These figures reflect New York’s value on creativity as a pillar of both identity and economy and the state’s role as home to Academy Award-winning films; world-class theatre, museums, music and dance; and hundreds of thousands of artists.

To support New York State’s top creative industries, in 2018, NYSCA awarded $2M through the agency's Electronic Media & Film Program, $3M through its Theatre Program, and $1.35M through its Individual Artists Program. An additional $750,000 through its State & Local Partnership Program supported the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship.

NYSCA funding has also supported the creation of new works by Pulitzer Prize, Academy Award, Tony Award and MacArthur Award winners whose successes continue to grow New York as a global cultural center.

NYSCA support strengthens New York State’s creative culture and fulfills a critical role in New York communities in all 62 State counties. The agency advances cultural organizations and artists of all disciplines and spurs the creation of workforce investment programs and public arts events that further grow New York’s economy, stimulate tourism and benefit local businesses. 

Source: The New York State Council on the Arts

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Puerto Rico Suffers Island-wide Power Outage


Nigeria Marks Four Years Since Chibok Girls Were Kidnapped


Source: CBS News

Cuomo Executive Order Restores Voting Rights to New Yorkers on Parole



Governor Andrew Cuomo today signed an executive order to restore voting rights to individuals on parole. This reform will restore the right to vote upon release from incarceration and reverse disenfranchisement for thousands of New Yorkers. Parole voting restrictions have a disproportionate impact on New Yorkers of color, with African Americans and Hispanic New Yorkers comprising 71 percent of the population so disenfranchised. Civic engagement is linked to reduced recidivism and this action will promote access to the democratic process and improve public safety for all New Yorkers. The executive order is available here.

"I am issuing an executive order giving parolees the right to vote. It is unconscionable to deny voting rights to New Yorkers who have paid their debt and have re-entered society," Governor Cuomo said. "This reform will reduce disenfranchisement and will help restore justice and fairness to our democratic process. Withholding or delaying voting rights diminishes our democracy."

This executive action will reverse New York's current disenfranchisement of individuals released from prison who are under post-release community supervision. New York joins fourteen other states and the District of Columbia that restore the right to vote upon release from incarceration. There are roughly 35,000 individuals currently on parole in New York who cannot vote. These individuals are participants in society at large, despite the limitations placed on them by parole conditions. They work, pay taxes, and support their families, and they should be permitted to express their opinions about the choices facing their communities through their votes, just as all citizens do.

Additionally, the current law keeping people on parole supervision from voting is internally inconsistent with New York's approach to voting for people serving sentences of probation. People on probation never lose the right to vote, but many county election officials are unclear about the distinction between those on parole and those on probation, often resulting in illegal disenfranchisement. A 2006 Brennan Center study reported that one-third of all New York counties incorrectly barred people on probation from registering to vote, while another third of all counties illegally made individuals show proof of their voter eligibility status.


Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

WISDOM to Sen. Nass and Rep. Ballweg: 'Hold a Committee Hearing on DOC Rule 302'

Senator Stephen Nass and Assembly Rep Joan Ballweg

The following statement was submitted on April 16 by David Liners, Executive Director of WISDOM

The Department of Corrections (DOC) is proposing to change its internal rule, DOC Rule 302, that governs classification and movement of people in prisons. By law, they had to take public comment on the rule, and many WISDOM people offered written and verbal comments, calling for some common sense changes that would help parole-eligible people and people eligible for "compassionate release."

The DOC ignored the comments and basically made their new rules harder for those people.

When the Administration tries to change rules, they are overseen by the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules.  It is the only body the DOC is accountable to, other than the Governor. But, if the Co-Chairs, one from the Assembly, and one from the Senate, decline to look at the rule or to hold hearings, the new rules automatically become official policy: they are, essentially, the law.

The Co-Chairs of the Committee have chosen so far to ignore DOC Rule 302, and if they do nothing, it will become law on April 28.

We need to ask Assembly Representative Joan Ballweg and Senator Stephen Nass to hold a Committee hearing on DOC Rule 302.

All you need to do is click here and here
and ask them to hold a hearing on Chapter 302 of the Administrative Code before April 28.
 
Thank you! 

Note: On April 16, From The G-Man invited Senator Stephen Nass and Rep. Joan Ballweg to discuss this issue and respond to the claims made by Mr. Liners. They did not respond

The Company Michael Cohen Kept — 'Trump, Inc.' Podcast


Long before Donald Trump’s attorney paid Stormy Daniels or had his office raided by the FBI, a pattern was established: The associates of Michael Cohen have often been disciplined, disbarred, accused or convicted of crimes.

Sources: ProPublica and WNYC

ACLU Warns Senate Against Giving Trump Blank Check to Declare War


Source: Democracy Now!

Unarmed Black Man Killed In ‘Mind-Boggling,’ Unjustified Barrage Of Police Gunfire: Lawyer



A lawyer representing relatives of an unarmed black man killed in a hail of police bullets in a California Walmart parking lot accuses officers of profiling, stalking and unjustifiably shooting him.

Diante “Butchie” Yarber, 26, who had been driving his cousin and friends to a Walmart in Barstow, died when police fired what witnesses told The Guardian sounded like more than 30 bullets. A passenger was seriously wounded.

“They saw a car full of black people sitting in front of a Walmart, and they decided that was suspicious,” Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Yarber’s family, told the paper. “They just began pouring bullets … It’s irresponsible. It’s dangerous. It’s mind-boggling, the use of force.” He said Yarber was hit “an estimated two dozen times.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said Barstow officers opened fire after the driver of a black Mustang, wanted for questioning in a recent crime involving a stolen vehicle, suddenly reversed in a getaway attempt, crashed into two patrol cars and “accelerated toward the officers.” Police had been sent to the Walmart lot to investigate “a call of a suspicious vehicle,” the sheriff said in a statement.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

'She Has Nerves Of Steel'; Pilot Safely Lands Jet With Blown Out Engine


This video was published on YouTube on April 17. 

Passengers on a Southwest Airlines jet that blew an engine at 32,000 feet are commending one of its pilots, Tammie Jo Shults, for her cool-headed handling of the emergency.

Source: CBSDFW

Rep. Steve Russell Discusses Congress' Role in the Syria Conflict



Representative Russell (R-OK) talked about the need for a congressional vote on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the Syria conflict.