Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Malaria Vaccine Pilots in Africa

Source: euronews (in English)

Venezuela: At lLast Three Dead as Anti-Government Protests Continue

Source: euronews (in English)

Musician Elton John Recovers from Potentially Deadly Infection

Source: euronews (in English)

Powerful Quake Hits Chile, No Deaths Reported

Source: euronews (in English)

Freed Journalist Returns to Italy

Source: euronews (in English)

Hollande Calls on Voters to Back Macron in Run-Off Ballot

Source: euronews (in English)

Widow of Fallen FDNY Firefighter Gets Help to Pay Off Mortgage

The family of the FDNY firefighter who was killed battling a house fire last week in Queens has the support of the city and a charity in helping to pay the family's debts.

The Stephen Siller Tunnels to Tower Foundation announced on Monday that they intend to pay off the mortgage of the late William Tolley's family home on Long Island.

"It alleviates something. Lifts a burden from them," Siller said. "It's a small gesture and just brings them peace of mind."

Speaking publicly for the first time, Marie Tolley says that she is grateful for the foundation's support and for the support of the FDNY.

Click here for the full article.

Source: News 4 NY

Constitutional Right to Clean Air, Water Passed by Assembly

Albany – On the first day back after April recess, the New York State Assembly passed its package of Earth Day legislation which includes a groundbreaking bill to establish a Constitutional right to clean air, clean water, and a healthful environment – a particularly important move after many communities have been grappling with toxic pollution undermining their health. The package includes several common-sense bills which buttress New York’s safeguards in the wake of dangerous and unprecedented rollbacks and cuts to federal protections.

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York, stated the following:

“This is the kind of environmental leadership New Yorkers want to see more of!

The Assembly continues to pass some of the most visionary pieces of legislation in the country – crafting, and passing legislation that prioritizes our health, our water, our communities, and our lungs above polluter profit.

President Trump is assaulting decades of progress. The nation needs New York to lead, and there is a great deal we can get accomplished before session ends in June with everyone working together. We applaud the Assembly, in particular Speaker Heastie and Chairman Englebright, for doing the heavy lifting and placing these issues on the negotiating table. They recognize the status quo won’t cut it in the Trump era. There are eight weeks left in this year’s session which is ample time for Governor Cuomo and the Senate leaders to join the Assembly and set these protections into law.”

Assembly Earth Day Package:

A6279/S5287 (Englebright/Carlucci): Establishes a right to clean water, clean air, and a healthful environment in the New York Constitution.

A1862/S3199 (Peoples-Stokes/Serrano): Ensures public health reviews for communities (Environmental Justice Zones) hosting polluting facilities in order to guide future development, facility siting, etc.

A1773/S1515 (Fahy/Avella): Requires crude oil storage facilities to demonstrate financial security to meet responsibilities associated with a possible spill or disaster.

A2875 (Kavanagh): Enhances the phase-out of toxic mercury in lightbulbs, which compromises public health and local waters when disposed of.

Source: Environmental Advocates of New York

OMH: $75,000 in Funding Available for Stigma Reduction Projects

ALBANY, NY – The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) today announced the availability of up to $75,000 in grant funding for projects that help reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. 

This funding represents the revenues received through a voluntary tax check-off program launched in 2016. This program allows taxpayers to contribute easily to the ‘Mental Illness Anti-Stigma Fund’ when filing their NYS taxes.

“Mental illness affects one in four people during their lifetime, and too often, individuals don’t seek the help they need because of the stigma that surrounds it,” said Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan “The tax check-off program is a wonderfully easy way for every New Yorker to give what they can to fight against that stigma. We can all make an effort to reduce the negativity surrounding mental illness in order to create hope for individuals who are working towards recovery. That starts in the community and we are excited to put these taxpayer contributions to work.”

The Office of Mental Health will provide 15 grants of up to $5,000 each to support year-long stigma-reduction projects. Agencies must have at least one year of experience serving individuals with mental illness in order to qualify.

Projects must address one or more of the focus areas below:

Housing – Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in housing which prevent people with mental illness from obtaining safe affordable housing.

Employment - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in the workplace that make it difficult for persons with mental illness to find and keep meaningful jobs.

Education - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in schools that interfere with the ability of students with mental illness to fully participate in the educational environment.

Parenting - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals with mental illness who are also parents.

Media - Activities intended to combat the stigma, discrimination, and negative stereotypes in the media.  This could also include social media.

Health Care - Activities intended to combat the stigma and discrimination in the health care system that lead to people with mental illness not receiving certain types of health care that they need.

Project proposals must include the agency’s focus area, project timeline, target audience, staffing plan, budget, and specific deliverables. Activities can include, but are not limited to: advertising, flyers, speakers, training, and multimedia productions.

The Office of Mental Health will collect proposals until May 10, 2017, with grant distribution expected in July. There will be a minimum of two grants awarded in every region of the state. Completed project proposals should be submitted to:

Community Budget and Financial Management
Office of Mental Health
44 Holland Ave, 7th Floor
Albany, NY 12229
Attn: Carol Swiderski 

Any questions can be directed to Joseph Swinford by email joseph.swinford@omh.ny.gov or phone (518) 473-6579

Source: The New York State Office of Mental Health

Monday, April 24, 2017

President Trump's Remarks to the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly

White House Press Briefing

Oval Office Chat: Angela Merkel

President Trump spoke today with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to address a wide range of issues of mutual concern.  The leaders discussed the conflicts in Syria and Yemen and the urgent security challenge posed by North Korea.  The President also reaffirmed our support for German- and French-led efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Ukraine on the basis of the Minsk agreements. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Defense Secretary News Conference in Afghanistan

Source: C-SPAN

President Trump Meets with UN Security Council Ambassadors

President Trump meets with ambassadors from U.N. Security Council member countries. He calls North Korea a “threat to the world,” discusses Syria, and says if the U.N. does a “good job” he will be less concerned about the cost of funding it.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

President Trump Has a Video Conference with NASA Astronauts Aboard the International Space Station

Former President Obama: "So, Uh, What's Been Going on While I've Been Gone?" (Full Video)

Former President Barack Obama takes part in a panel discussion at The University of Chicago.  

Source: TIME