Monday, February 8, 2016

White House Daily Briefing (Update on Efforts to Address Zika Virus)

Josh Earnest responded to questions from reporters on a variety of topics. Drs, Anthony Fauci and Anne Schuchat opened the briefing, explaining federal efforts to reduce the spread of the Zika virus. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span 

The Power of the Pen: New Bills Signed into Law

On Monday, February 08, 2016, the President signed into law:

H.R. 515, the “International Megan's Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders,” which (1) authorizes the Department of Homeland Security's Angel Watch Center and the Department of Justice's National Sex Offender Targeting Center to send and receive notifications to or from foreign countries regarding international travel by registered sex offenders; and (2) requires the Department of State to include unique identifiers on passports issued to registered sex offenders;

H.R. 4188, the “Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015,” which (1) authorizes FYs 2016 and 2017 appropriations and amends laws related to the Coast Guard; (2) authorizes FYs 2016 and 2017 appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission; and (3) amends various other maritime-related provisions of law; and

S. 2152, the “Electrify Africa Act of 2015,” which encourages the efforts of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to improve access to affordable and reliable electricity. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

New Hampshire: Candidate Rallies & Town Halls

Click on the candidate to view their event. 

Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton 

Ted Cruz

John Kasich 

Chris Christie 

Jeb Bush 

Carly Fiorina

Note: Some candidates weren't listed because their events won't be held until later this evening. 

Source: C-Span 

Defense Department Briefing

Peter Cook briefed reporters and responded to their questions on a variety of military-related topics. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

State Department Daily Briefing

John Kirby briefed reporters at the State Department and responded to questions on a variety of international topics. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

Oval Office Chat: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada

The President spoke by phone today with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to discuss Canadian contributions to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.  The leaders noted recent gains on the ground against ISIL in Iraq and Syria and agreed that recent ISIL attacks outside of the Middle East have only heightened the need to keep pressure on ISIL in order to degrade and ultimately destroy it.  The President welcomed Canada’s current and new contributions to Coalition efforts and highlighted Canada’s leadership in the Coalition.  President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau both reaffirmed the importance of all aspects of the bilateral relationship. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

New York State Launches Streamlined, Interactive Media Arts Map

New York, NY— Cultural organizations, artists and the public now have a streamlined, interactive tool to engage with New York State’s extensive media arts activities and organizations. The New York Media Arts Map features organizations with a deep commitment to media art and technology as an art form. It serves as a vital tool for identifying art and technology networks, services, and opportunities statewide.

The New York Media Arts Map v3, launched earlier this year, is a project of the New York State Council on the Arts
’ Electronic Media & Film Program, and is managed by Wave Farm, a leading media arts organization located in Greene County, New York.

Now in its third iteration, the Map v3 features a database and calendar of funding opportunities, consultant directory and convening archive, along with a variety of new resources. Users can search for public media art organizations, activities, events and initiatives across the state. The information featured represents the broad spectrum of independent media practice including film festivals, exhibitions, and workshops.

“The New York Media Arts Map aligns with NYSCA’s commitment to serve New York State’s citizens and visitors and provide long term, reliable support to broad initiatives that strengthen the arts, culture and heritage sector,” said Mr. Aby Rosen, Chair, New York State Council on the Arts. “Aside from providing essential information on the state’s vast and varied media arts activities and opportunities, the Map promotes connections and collaborations among these organizations to strengthen their programming and impact.”

NYSCA Electronic Media, Film & Visual Arts Program Director, Karen Helmerson, said “The Map is a powerful tool, elegant in its simplicity and user-friendly interface.  The Map quickly identifies and locates the remarkable talent within, and the great value of, this dynamic new art form.”

Wave Farm Executive Director Galen Joseph-Hunter said, “Wave Farm is delighted to play a part in this project, and we look forward to the Map’s continued growth and expansion. It’s a privilege to work with NYSCA to serve and support media arts across New York State.”

About the New York State Council on the Arts
The New York State Council on the Arts is dedicated to preserving and expanding the rich and diverse cultural resources that are and will become the heritage of New York's citizens. The Council believes in artistic excellence, the creative freedom of artists without censure, and public access to the arts and culture.  NYSCA strives to achieve its mission through its core grant-making activity and by convening field leaders, providing information and advisory support, and working with partners on special initiatives. In FY2016, the Council issued approximately 1900 grants to more than 1,200 non-profits who deliver arts, culture and heritage activities and services to the public.
Testimonials from the New York State Media Arts community:

Just discovered your New York Media Arts Map. What a great resource. You have saved me hours of research time!  —Eileen McAdam, Director, Sound & Story, Stone Ridge, (Hudson Valley) NY

As an entirely artist-run organization Allied Productions, Inc. is honored to be a part of the media community to which the NY Media Arts Map serves as an invaluable resource. Among these are the funding resources and consultant directory. These are greatly needed tools that we are able to refer to our members and the projects within our networks of service and production. —Jack Waters, Executive Director, Allied Media Project, New York, (Manhattan) NY

A great resource for everyone interested in media arts to explore the rich and varied media arts community beyond the horizon of NYC.  —Johannes Goebel, Director, Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, NY

The new New York Media Arts Map provides a comprehensive tool for both artists and arts organizations. This one shot overview makes it easier for arts groups all over the state to partner with each other and create a stronger climate for media arts. —Catherine Martinez, Managing Director, DCTV, New York, (Manhattan) NY

The historic Little Theatre, premiere venue for independent and foreign films, live music, local art and community discussion in Rochester, NY, is proud to be featured on the NY Media Arts Map.  This map serves not only as a great resource for those seeking cultural enrichment in New York State, it also is an invaluable resource to cultural institutions like The Little Theatre. It has helped our organization identify viable arts funding sources and has served as a bridge to partnerships with other NYS arts and cultural organizations. —Brianne Merkel, Events and Special Programming Coordinator, The Little Theatre, Rochester, NY

The New York Media Arts website has done a great job in gathering essential information about the field - not only do we find like-minded organizations with whom we can partner but also field-friendly funding agencies. Very valuable research for us!  —Carol Parkinson, Executive Director, Harvestworks, (Manhattan) New York, NY
Source: New York State Council on the Arts

Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at Chief Judge DiFiore's Swearing-In Ceremony

The President Holds a Bilateral Meeting with the President of Italy

President Obama speaks before meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy.

Polling in New Hampshire

David Paleologos talked about the latest polling in New Hampshire ahead of the February 9, 2016 primary, as well as the role played by independent voters in the state.

At the conclusion of the program a recorded interview with Kaitlin Clark on the C-SPAN Bus in Manchester, New Hampshire was shown. She talked about her job as a “kid” reporter for the Scholastic News

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

100th Anniversary of the New Hampshire Primary Special

The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primary. A documentary by WMUR-TV in Manchester looked back at the primary’s history and influence in presidential politics. Voters talked about their role in the election process, reporters shared their experiences covering the primary, and candidates described some of the defining moments of their presidential campaigns that occurred in the state. Other topics included the threat from other states and party officials to New Hampshire’s first-in-the nation primary status. The program was hosted by WMUR-TV anchor and reporter Josh McElveen.

“First in the Nation: 100 Years of Tradition” was a six-part series.

Click here for video.

Source: C-Span

America’s ISIS War Is Helping Al Qaeda

 Photo illustration by the Daily Beast

By Nancy A. Youssef

U.S. intelligence and defense officials are increasingly worried their fight against the self-declared Islamic State is benefitting al Qaeda, ISIS’s jihadi rival.

U.S. strikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State have had an unintended beneficiary: al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda has exploited the strikes and gained strength, and that has created a growing rift within U.S. national security circles about where the coalition should aim its strikes. Some American intelligence and defense officials and counterterrorism experts are worried that the intense focus on defeating ISIS has blinded the U.S. to the resurgence of al Qaeda, whose growing potency has become more apparent as ISIS becomes weaker.

The American air campaign has notably not targeted al Qaeda in Syria, known as Jabhat al Nusra. With its foe, ISIS, under daily coalition bombardment, al Qaeda has been thriving, continuing to re-align itself with local forces, and re-emerging as the world’s enduring terror group. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast

Sepúlveda and Diaz to Hold Rally with Parkchester Condo Owners

Assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda and State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. have scheduled a rally of Parkchester owner-residents for the afternoon of Feb. 10, at 4:00 p.m., in front of the management office to continue their protest against management and the board’s plan to impose a 15+ percent monthly increase in common charges assessed to Parkchester South condo owners. They will also announce plans to file for an injunction to block imposition of the common charges hike, with individual owners to be asked to contribute $15 for legal costs.

“The fact that repairs may be necessary throughout Parkchester South,” said Sepúlveda, “does not give management or the board carte blanche to do as they please and without any discussion impose draconian increases that will be devastating to the elderly, single families, the disabled, and others who are already struggling to keep up.”

Sepúlveda added that Parkchester South management and board “needs to be more accountable and to participate in meetings with the community and its elected officials.”

State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. joined in support. “While Parkchester Management insists that they are operating with full transparency, it’s more than two months that I have been waiting for them to send me a copy of the projected budget for 2016,” said Diaz. “This sudden boost of more than 15 percent in the monthly maintenance burden is unaffordable and unacceptable for the families, seniors, and residents who never saw it coming.

“I also need to be very clear,” continued Diaz, “especially as a government official, that I refuse to partake in any closed-door meetings with Parkchester management. If management has something to say or to share, we all need to be able to hear what it is."

For further information please contact Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda at 718-931-2620

Source: The Office of State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr.

Cuomo's Message on Lunar New Year

“Today we are proud to celebrate Lunar New Year, a time when families and friends across the State gather to ring in the Year of the Monkey, exemplifying the ideals of intellect, creativity and cleverness. During Lunar New Year, members of the Empire State’s thriving Asian and Pacific Islander communities share feasts and good wishes with their families, pay respect to elders and ancestors, and revel in festivals, parades, and joyful gatherings that preserve and enrich this important tradition. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my warmest wishes for a peaceful, prosperous and happy Lunar New Year.” 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Trailblazers in Black History: Carl Scott, Kung Fu Film Star

Master Carl Scott had a memorable career in Hong Kong films and has studied various forms of the martial arts for more than 20 years. Practicing martial arts since he was a young child, Master Scott was an extra in the 1976 See-Yuen Ng movie Bruce Lee: The Man, the Myth, which was partially shot in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. The film also starred Bruce Li as the legendary martial arts icon Bruce Lee. Scott’s skills impressed producer Pao Ming, who brought him to Hong Kong to train for their next Bruce Li picture, 1977’s The Last Strike, renamed in America as Soul Brothers of Kung Fu. 

Click here for more information on the legacy and life of Master Carl Scott. 


Today in History: February 8th