Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who's to Blame for Famine in South Sudan? – Inside Story

This video was published on YouTube on February 21, 2017. 

Source: Al Jazeera English

Utah Man Kurt Cochran Among the Dead in London Attack

A Utah man celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary in London was among those killed in Wednesday's attack outside the U.K. Parliament, his family and church said.

Kurt Cochran and his wife, Melissa, had stopped in London during a tour of Europe and were planning to return home Thursday, a family spokesman said.

Melissa was seriously injured, the spokesman, Clint Payne, said in a statement distributed by the Church of Latter Day Saints. 

Click here for the full article. 

Cuomo: 'We Will Not Allow the Forces of Racism and Hate to Intimidate or Divide Us'

Statement by the Governor on the Murder of Timothy Caughman

“Like all New Yorkers, I am appalled by the senseless murder of Timothy Caughman. In New York, no one should feel unsafe for who they are, and this despicable attack on one New Yorker is an attack on all New Yorkers.

“We will not allow the forces of racism and hate to intimidate or divide us. Let me be very clear: This disturbing act of violence goes against everything New York stands for. Not only must we repudiate this attack, but we must continue to deny that the ideas behind this cowardly crime have any place in democratic society.​

“My deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Caughman's loved ones. As New Yorkers, our diversity is our greatest strength, and we must continuously stand up for each other and celebrate our differences. My administration has shown zero tolerance for hate crimes of any kind, and we will continue to fight intolerance and protect all New Yorkers.” 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The 'I Am Woman' Series: Chancellor Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel has a Ph.D. in quantum chemistry. She is also the Chancellor of Germany. Watch how this child of a communist country grew up to become the leader of Europe's largest economy. 

(Video by David Yim and Amy Marino)

Source: Bloomberg

Saving Our Youth: Violence in Chicago

Source: Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago

Trailblazers in Black History: Gloria Hendry

Gloria Hendry, also known inaccurately as Gloria Henry, is an American actress and former Playboy model. She is best known for her roles in films from the 1970s, most notably: portraying Rosie Carver in 1973's James Bond film Live and Let Die, which was Roger Moore's first Bond film. In that film, she became the first African-American woman to become romantically involved with 007.

Additional information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

Gorsuch Day 3: Highs and Lows at Confirmation Hearing

Day three of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch saw humor mixed with sobering moments.

Trump Pushes Health Care Bill, But Does He Have the Votes?

Israeli Police Arrest Suspect for Bomb Threats Made Against American Jewish Centers

Israeli police arrested a 19-year-old man Thursday in connection with the wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in America, authorities in Israel said.

The unidentified man is believed to be a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, the FBI confirmed. U.S. officials told NBC News that a motive remains unclear and the suspect is himself Jewish.

He was arrested for suspicion of making security-related threats and publishing false reports causing panic in Jewish communities in countries around the world, said Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. 

Click here for the full article.

London Terror Attacker Was British-Born, Known to Police: Prime Minister

Cuomo: $48.1 Million in Cuts to Nursing Homes in 19th Congressional District if Ryan/Collins/Faso Health Care Repeal is Passed

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that an analysis by the New York State Department of Health shows that 31 nursing homes in the 19th Congressional District would lose $48.1 million in funding if the Ryan/Collins/Faso healthcare repeal is passed, crippling their ability to provide critical services for seniors, hurting New York’s most vulnerable citizens and jeopardizing hundreds of jobs across the district.

The massive cuts in funding to nursing homes in Congressman Faso’s District underscore the devastating impact the combination of the Collins/Faso Amendment and Paul Ryan health care replacement plan will have on New Yorkers across the state. The following nursing homes in the 19th District would be severely impacted with enormous cuts in their funding:

Northeast Center for Rehabilitation and Brain Injury – $5,698,203 in cuts

Van Rensselaer Manor - $4,127,536 in cuts

Ferncliff Nursing Home Co Inc. - $3,353,533 in cuts

Ten Broeck Commons - $2,979,484 in cuts

Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - $2,248,396 in cuts

Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - $2,224,752 in cuts

Sullivan County Adult Care Center - $1,850,986 in cuts

Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at Otsego - $1,811,851 in cuts

Achieve Rehab and Nursing Facility - $1,695,578 in cuts

The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing at Pawling - $1,638,722 in cuts

Hudson Valley Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center - $1,494,061 in cuts

Livingston Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - $1,437,994 in cuts

Wingate of Ulster - $1,355,461 in cuts

The Pines at Catskill Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation - $1,275,702 in cuts

Diamond Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - $1,253,398 in cuts

Putnam Nursing & Rehabilitation Center - $1,229,731 in cuts

Renaissance Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center - $1,136,725 in cuts

The Baptist Home at Brookmeade - $1,113,539 in cuts

Quaker Hill Manor - $1,103,089 in cuts

Whittier Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center - $1,095,497 in cuts

Robinson Terrace - $986,812 in cuts

Pine Haven Home - $979,487 in cuts

Roscoe Regional Rehabilitation & Residential Health Care - $801,497

Northern Dutchess Residential Health Care Facility Inc. - $777,068 in cuts

The Springs Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre - $699,693 in cuts

Eddy Heritage House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - $659,376 in cuts

James A Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center - $650,539 in cuts

The Mountain View Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre - $639,826 in cuts

The Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation at Hoosick Falls - $627,020 in cuts

Palatine Nursing Home - $562,940 in cuts

Chestnut Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center - $560,555 in cuts

District Total-- $48,069,051 in cuts
"This reckless legislation slashes funding from nursing homes and facilities that provide care to seniors, jeopardizing the lives of our most vulnerable New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "These devastating cuts will cripple health care services in communities across New York, with $48.1 million in cuts to nursing homes in the 19th District alone. I urge New Yorkers to call their member of Congress and demand that they vote 'no' on this unconscionable legislation."

Congressmen Chris Collins and John Faso have introduced an amendment to the American Health Care Act that would ban federal reimbursement for state Medicaid funds for local governments outside of New York City, cutting Medicaid for these local governments by $2.3 billion. When added to the $4.6 billion cost of the ACHA over the next four years, the total cost to the State would rise to $6.9 billion. Across New York, 2.7 million New Yorkers would face substantial loss in their current health care coverage, while enormous cuts in funding will threaten the quality and availability of care that New Yorkers need and deserve. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Millions of Dollars Available to NYS Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded all volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to check their eligibility for the volunteer firefighters' and ambulance workers' credit.

In 2014, the last year for which data is available, more than 79,600 volunteers received a total of $15.9 million.

“Volunteers across the state, which dedicate their time and put themselves in harm’s way for their communities, have more than earned this tax benefit,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “I encourage every eligible volunteer firefighter and volunteer ambulance worker to claim this tax credit.”

“I urge all of New York’s highly-valued volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance personnel to take advantage of this personal income tax credit,” said John P. Melville, Commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. “The volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers’ tax credit helps assist those members of our communities who give of themselves to serve others. This program recognizes the hours dedicated by these volunteers in service to public safety.”

“We strongly urge all volunteer firefighters and EMS workers to make use of the various tax credits available to them,” said Firemen's Association of the State of New York President Ken Pienkowski. “New York’s volunteer first responders spend countless hours away from their families training, responding to emergencies, and otherwise serving the community. While this service is its own reward, this credit will no doubt help many of the 110,000 volunteers across the State.”

Check your eligibility

You are entitled to claim this credit if you were: an active volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker for all of the tax year; and a New York State resident for the entire tax year.

You can’t claim this credit if you receive a real property tax exemption for your volunteer service. However, if the property has multiple owners, the owner whose volunteer service was not the basis of the exemption may be eligible to claim the credit.

How much is the credit?

The credit amount is $200 for individuals and $400 for married filing joint taxpayers if both spouses qualify for the credit. If the credit exceeds the tax owed for the year, any excess will be refunded.

For more information about this credit, please see Form IT-245, Claim for Volunteer Firefighters' and Ambulance Workers' Credit.

Related information
Property tax exemption available to volunteer firefighters

Source: New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

Key 2017 New York City Council Primaries By District

By Sarina Trangle

New York City’s primaries won’t be held until September, but a number of candidates are already gearing up for Election Day. Here’s a rundown of the most notable New York City Council districts that could be competitive this fall, including seats that will be vacated due to term limits, others where the incumbent is already facing a challenge, and still others where big-name challengers could jump in.

District 2
New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez’s former legislative director, Carlina Rivera, has stormed into this race with endorsements from her old boss, Make the Road Action and the Progressive Caucus Alliance, the campaign arm of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus. She is competing with several other Democrats, including Ronnie Cho, former associate director of the office of public engagement at the White House under former President Barack Obama; Mary Silver, an attorney focused on local schools issues; Jasmin Sanchez, who was a community liaison for state Sen. Daniel Squadron; and Erin Hussein, whose website describes her as a lawyer and co-op president. Tyler Kline, a registered Democrat, has also created a campaign committee.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: City and State (via The Empire Report) 

Diddy Beckons You to Apply to His Harlem Charter School

Sean "Diddy" Combs is ready for more people to apply to his charter school.

The entertainment mogul tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that he was now accepting applications to the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School for the 2017-18 school year, which must be turned in by April 1. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: (via The Empire Report)

Suspect in Manhattan Killing Hated Black Men, Police Say

An Army veteran with a long-simmering hatred of black men claimed responsibility on Wednesday for using a sword to fatally stab a homeless man in Manhattan this week, the police said, calling the attack random and racially motivated.

The suspect, James Harris Jackson, 28, of Baltimore, surrendered to the police shortly after midnight on Wednesday, a day after the victim, Timothy Caughman, 66, stumbled into a police station bleeding from stab wounds to his chest and back, Assistant Chief William Aubry, the commander of Manhattan South detectives, told reporters at Police Headquarters. The police arrested him on a charge of second-degree murder, but the chief said they wanted to upgrade the charge by classifying it a hate crime.

“I’m the person you’re looking for,” Chief Aubry said Mr. Jackson told police officers when he walked into the police substation in Times Square. He had recognized himself in an image from a security camera broadcast on the news Tuesday evening, the chief said.

Click here for the full article. 

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

Key Mayor de Blasio Donor Secretly Pleads Guilty to Giving Campaign Cash for ‘Official Action’


By Victoria Bekiempis and Greg B. Smith 

A major donor to Mayor de Blasio has secretly pleaded guilty to making campaign donations to public officials in exchange for official action, the Daily News has learned.

This stunning admission was made by Jona Rechnitz, a Brooklyn real estate investor who months ago began cooperating with prosecutors in former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's pay-to-pay probe of de Blasio.

The assertion surfaced in court papers detailing for the first time Rechnitz's admissions of criminal activity.   

Rechnitz's criminal "information" was quietly unsealed by the courts March 15, the same day the U.S. 

Attorney's office announced it had decided not to bring criminal charges against de Blasio or his top aides. Prosecutors requested the unsealing order two days before.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The New York Daily News (via The Empire Report)