Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sally Yates Will Testify Before Senate On Russian Election Interference


The former acting Attorney General who was let go after reported clashes with President Donald Trump will testify in the Senate probe on Russian election interference. 

Sally Yates, who was fired in January after she refused to defend the president’s controversial executive order on immigration, will appear before the Senate on May 8.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

Unskilled Home Health Aides: A Growing Threat in the U.S.?

Daughter Alleges Home Health Care Agencies and Aides Have Been
Incompetent and Neglectful in Caring for Her Alzheimer’s-Stricken Mother  


In December of 2015, The G-Man Interviews revealed that home health aides in New York State are not properly trained, vetted and fail to provide quality care for many of their patients, especially those afflicted with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other debilitating diseases. 

The episode also exposed the fact that a good number of home health aides and personal care nurses come from other countries and are not able to effectively communicate with their patients. This was clearly illustrated in the example of a Russian home health aide that was assigned to care for an 80-year-old Black woman with Alzheimer's. The aide did not speak English, and the woman's daughter was forced to call the aide's employer to have them translate how the patient's meals should be prepared.

Prior to and after "I'm Scared These Home Health Aides Will Kill My Mother" was posted online, home health aides were arrested and convicted for theft and owners of home health care agencies were charged with Medicaid fraud.    

In this installment of "The G-Man Interviews", Monica Arroyo-Horne returns to provide an update on what she calls “a blatant and ongoing pattern of incompetence and neglect” by home health aides that have been assigned to care for her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.  

Click here for video. 

Information on criminal cases and convictions involving the home health care industry and aides is available at http://homehealthcarenews.com/categor....

Trump's 100 Days to Be Assessed by African-American Officials and Celebrities at NAN's Annual Convention

New York, NY — National Action Network (NAN), founded by civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, will convene its annual national convention from April 26-29 at the Sheraton Times Square (811 Seventh Avenue and 52nd Street).  The convention is free and open to the public but registration is required and isolated events are ticketed.

NAN’s convention will be held in President Donald Trump’s home town, featuring high profile plenary sessions and panel discussions around crucial issues, such as voting rights, criminal justice reform, immigration, health care, education, corporate responsibility, economic equity and more. Each day of the NAN convention there will be a hackathon and technology competition, and each evening there will be revivals featuring leading national preachers.

On the first day of the convention – Wednesday, April 26 – Rev. Sharpton and NAN leadership will kick-off the events with a ribbon cutting ceremony with elected officials and community activists. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will give the convention’s opening address, focusing on gerrymandering and voting rights.  Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, will follow with a Plenary Address.

Other opening day highlights include panel discussions and remarks from prominent African-American leaders. There will be panel on organizing in the Trump era with pollster Cornell Becher, NOW President Terry O’Neill, Host of MSNBC's AM Joy, Joy-Ann Reid, and others. Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump will moderate a panel discussion about accountability in policing with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin; Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner; Judy Scott, the mother of Walter Scott; Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell; and Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo.

First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks during a panel discussion on mental health in the Black community. Opening day will close out with the annual Keepers of the Dream Awards, which be hosted by Actor Samuel L. Jackson and will honor Harry Belafonte, Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, the pastor who organized Moral Mondays, Terry O’Neill the President of the National Organization of Women (NOW), and other national leaders.

The awards, given each year in April to mark the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, honor those who have continued to advocate the principles for which Dr. King gave his life. Former President Barack Obama delivered the keynote remarks at the Keepers of the Dream Awards in 2011.  

On the second day – Thursday, April 27 – National Action Network will convene high profile civil rights leaders, activists, elected officials, and media for discussions including a panel on the legacy of Barack Obama moderated by CNN contributor Angela Rye followed by a Plenary Address by Newark, NJ, Mayor Ras J. Baraka. There will be a discussion on the future of progressive inter-sectionalism with author and advocate Hil Harper, Shaun King from the New York Daily News and more, followed by a discussion about transparency in the media.

The media panel will include: Suzanna Andrews, contributing editor of Vanity Fair Magazine; Arthur Browne, Editor-in Chief- of The New York Daily News; Roland Martin, Managing Editor at NewsOne Now and other journalists.

Day two highlights also include the women’s empowerment and networking lunch honoring celebrity stylist June Ambrose and recording artist MC Lyte among others, and a discussion about the future of Black Intellectuals with Georgetown University professor and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, William Jelani Cobb from Columbia University, Dr. Mary Frances Berry from University of Pennsylvania, and other scholars.

Day two will also include a discussion about criminal justice in America with Jonathan Lippman, Former Chief Judge and Chair of the Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.

The third day of NAN’s annual national convention, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders will deliver a Plenary Address in the morning followed by a panel on the state of Labor Unions in the era of Trump. This will be followed by a panel discussion on dealing with gun crime in the community, moderated by Minister Kirsten John Foy, Northeast Regional Director of the National Action Network. The panel will feature Darcel Clark, Bronx NY District Attorney, Spike Lee, Film Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor, and Cyrus Vance, District Attorney of New York County, among others.

Day three also includes panels on education, pension diversity funds, corporate diversity and the annual Rev. Dr. William A. Jones Memorial Ministers luncheon which will honor Bishop Marvin Sapp, Recording Artist and member of the NAN Board of Directors, along with other prominent national clergy.

On the closing day of NAN’s annual national convention there will be a special televised forum entitled “Measuring the Movement” hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton, featuring leaders from the legacy civil rights organizations and national elected officials. The day will feature various discussions for young people including activism in a social media era and a closing fashion show.

The current schedule is available here: http://nationalactionnetwork.net/convention-2017/#schedule

Source: Mercury

Malcolm X Speech "Democracy is Hypocrisy"

Source: Educational Video Group

Stokely Carmichael "We Ain't Going" Speech

Source: Educational Video Group

Trailblazers in Black History: Zelda Wynn Valdes

This video was published on YouTube on February 18, 2017. 

Zelda Wynn Valdes was an African-American fashion designer and costumer famous for dressing Black celebrities as well as designing the infamous Playboy Bunny costume. Valdes learned how to sew by watching her grandmother's seamstress and making dresses for her dolls as a child, eventually making clothes for her grandmother and working for her uncle as a tailor. She got a job as a stock girl for a high-end boutique, and made her way up to salesclerk (becoming the first Black salesclerk in the shop) and making alterations (becoming the first Black tailor in the shop).

In 1948 she opened her own shop on Broadway and West 158th St in New York City, making her the first Black woman to open a shop on the major street. Later she moved 'Chez Zelda,' as she called it, to Midtown. The boutique was a runaway success, netting her celebrity clientele such as Josephine Baker, Mae West, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt, Marian Anderson, and Joyce Bryant. Valdes created what later became Bryant's signature sexy look, which earned her the nickname 'The Black Marilyn Monroe.' 

Teen Wears Black Lives Matter Inspired Prom Dress

A prom dress adorned with the faces of 15 Black lives lost has gone viral — taking the concept of a statement piece to another level.

In an effort to make sure that Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and others who lost their lives after officer involved incidents aren't just faded headlines, designer Terrance Torrence created a gown with these faces emblazoned upon the skirt.

"Let's just never forget the stories," insists Torrence. "What's done is done but let's not forget."

Torrence, a young Black designer from the West Palm Beach area grew up a little over an hour north of Trayvon Martin's hometown of Miami Gardens, Florida. "Trayvon was the leader of that movement. I feel that he kinda sparked the Black Lives Matter movement," Torrence told NBCBLK. "It was Trayvon's story that made me want to do this dress." 

Click here for the full article.

Gov’t Shutdown Ahead of Pres. Trump's 100th Day? It's Possible

The government will shut down at midnight Friday, if the president and Congress refuse to budge. Such a move would deliver another setback for the president in his first 100 days in office.

Despite Threats, New Orleans is Removing Confederate Monuments

The city of New Orleans removed the first of four Confederate-era monuments Monday, a move approved by the city council after the Charleston massacre, but delayed by legal battles and threats.

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

Mayor de Blasio Announces 3-K For All

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced 3-K for All, the most ambitious effort in U.S. history to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child regardless of family income. 3-K for All will build on the success of Pre-K for All – through which the City has more than tripled the number of four-year-olds enrolled in free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K – and is part of a broader effort to create a continuum of high-quality early care and education programs for New York City children from birth to five years old. Research has found every dollar invested in high-quality early education saves taxpayers as much as $13 long-term. 

Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Transcript of Associated Press Interview with President Trump

By The Associated Press

A transcript of an Oval Office interview Friday with President Donald Trump by AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace. Where the audio recording of the interview is unclear, ellipses or a notation that the recording was unintelligible are used.

AP: I do want to talk to you about the 100 days.

TRUMP: Good.

AP: I want to ask a few questions on some topics that are happening toward the end of the interview.

TRUMP: Did you see Aya (Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker who had been detained in the country for nearly three years) ...

AP: Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?

TRUMP: No, just — you know, I asked the government to let her out. ...

TRUMP: You know Obama worked on it for three years, got zippo, zero.

AP: How did you hear about this story?

TRUMP: Many people, human rights people, are talking about it. It's an incredible thing, especially when you meet her. You realize — I mean, she was in a rough place.

AP: Did you have to strike a deal with (Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi over this?

TRUMP: No. No deal. He was here. He — I said, "I really would appreciate it if you would look into this and let her out." And as you know, she went through a trial. And anyway, she was let go. And not only she, it was a total of eight people. ...
TRUMP: Yeah, it's funny: One of the best chemistries I had was with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel.
(Crosstalk) AP: Really?

TRUMP: Chancellor Merkel.

TRUMP: And I guess somebody shouted out, "Shake her hand, shake her hand," you know. But I never heard it. But I had already shaken her hand four times. You know, because we were together for a long time.
AP: Did you expect you would have good chemistry with her?

TRUMP: No. Because, um, I'm at odds on, you know, the NATO payments and I'm at odds on immigration. We had unbelievable chemistry. And people have given me credit for having great chemistry with all of the leaders, including el-Sissi. ...

TRUMP: So it was a great thing to see that happen. 

Click here for the full transcript.

Oval Office Chat: Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe

President Trump spoke yesterday with President Xi Jinping of China to address issues regarding North Korea.  President Trump criticized North Korea’s continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang’s actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula.  

The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The President also spoke yesterday with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  The two leaders addressed a range of regional and global issues of mutual concern.  

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary