Friday, September 8, 2017

President Trump's Weekly Address


Source: The White House

Hurricane Irma Public Advisory

 
Click here for the advisory. 

Click here for the forecast track. 

Source: The National Hurricane Center

FEMA Officials Brief Ahead of Hurricane Irma Arrival


Federal Emergency Management Agency officials hold a briefing on Hurricane Irma, which is expected to reach Florida this weekend.

Source: C-SPAN 

The House Approves Harvey Disaster Relief Package, 316-90 (Video)


The House votes to approve the $15.25 billion Harvey disaster relief package, which also includes a three-month debt ceiling hike and temporary spending. Ninety Republicans voted against the measure.

Source: C-SPAN

'Flashback Friday': Real Footage of the Hindenburg Disaster (1937)


Source: British Pathé

Trailblazers in Black History: Dr. Moses Powell


Before action actor and martial artist Jim Kelly graced movie screens, Dr. Moses Powell was considered one of the top Black martial artists of his era. Also known as Master Musa Muhammad, Grandmaster Powell developed the Sanuces Ryu Jiu-Jitsu system which is still taught today.

Powell was born on January 13, 1941 in Norfolk, Va. While living in Harlem, New York, Powell encountered Filipino martial arts instructor Florendo Visitacion, better known as Professor Vee, Powell became so adept at the fighting system that he was training far more advanced students although he was just a green belt.

Over time, Powell mastered the art and began developing his own system in the early ’60’s. After several name changes, Powell settled on Sanuces Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. The style combined the judo, jiu-jitsu, and real-time combat preparation. In an interview, Powell once referred to his fighting art as “streetology.” 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: https://blackamericaweb.com

D.L. Hughley on Hillary Clinton's Super-Predator Comment: Black Leaders Felt the Same


Warning: This video, which was published on YouTube on September 7, 2017, contains strong language. 

Source: djvlad

11 Things You WILL NOT See at the All Black National Convention


Brace for impact, everyone! 

The Dr. Boyce Watkins Channel is an all-black news and commentary channel that features a number of African American thinkers, commentators and speakers. The views of each video are not necessarily representative of those of Dr. Boyce Watkins himself. 

Source: Boyce Watkins

Venus Williams on Breaking New Ground

Venus Williams is still breaking new ground in tennis two decades after her first U.S. Open appearance.

Her semifinal match Thursday evening against Sloane Stephens (ahead of Madison Keys vs. Coco Vandeweghe) marked the first time since 1981 that American female athletes are dominating the 136-year-old hard court competition.

Williams, who competed in her 19th career U.S. Open, made more milestones last July. At BB&T Atlanta Open, Williams’ exhibition match against Genie Bouchard was the first time in the tournament’s 96-year history that women participated as competitors. 

Click here for the full article. 

Las Vegas Police Union Disputes NFL Player’s Claim of Racial Profiling

The president of a Las Vegas police union is disputing claims by a Seattle Seahawks football player that he was racially profiled when he was handcuffed and detained following an active shooter report last month.

"Our officers did not detain Bennett because he was 'a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time,'" Las Vegas Police Protective Association President Steve Grammas said in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Thursday.

Michael Bennett, a defensive end and a two-time Pro Bowler, said on Twitter Wednesday that an officer "warned me that if I moved he would 'blow my f---ing head off'" and that he was racially profiled when he was handcuffed and detained following a report of an active shooter at the Cromwell Hotel and Casino.

The union called for Goodell to investigate the "obvious false allegations." NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said there is no basis for such a probe. "There is no allegation of a violation of the league's personal conduct policy and therefore there is no basis for an NFL investigation," he said in an email Thursday. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News 

DACA Reversal Could Be ‘Death Sentence’ for LGBTQ Immigrants

When the Trump administration announced its decision to rescind the program known as DACA this week, nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants were left in the dark.

One of them was Catalina Velasquez.

Velasquez's family, from Cali, Colombia, fled the civil war there and sought refuge in the United States, where they were denied asylum. Though her family was deported, Catalina remained, and she has since built a life for herself in Washington.

In 2008, she became the first undocumented transgender person to attend Georgetown, and in 2013, she became the first transgender immigrant Latina appointed as commissioner for the D.C. Office of Latino Affairs. 

Click here for the full article. 

House Passes Disaster Relief, Sending Bill to Trump


WASHINGTON — The House passed a $15 billion disaster relief package Friday morning with a broad bipartisan majority, sending the measure to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it into law later in the day.

With the cleanup efforts from Hurricane Harvey running out of money and Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida, Congress acted quickly, taking only three days to move the measure through both legislative bodies. But the bill, which includes a deal struck between the president and Democratic leaders to include short-term extensions of overall government funding and the nation's debt ceiling, saw sizable defections among Republicans in both chambers.

One day after the Senate passed it with 17 GOP defections, 90 Republicans voted against it in the House, including four from storm-ravaged Texas. 

Click here for the full article. 

Homeland Security Cancels Massive Roundups of Undocumented Immigrants

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security had planned nationwide raids to target 8,400 undocumented immigrants later this month, according to three law enforcement officials and an internal document that described the plan as "the largest operation of its kind in the history of ICE," an acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But after NBC News reported the plans late Thursday, the agency issued a statement saying it had cancelled nationwide enforcement actions due to Hurricane Irma and the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

"While we generally do not comment on future potential law enforcement actions, operational plans are subject to change based on a variety of factors," ICE spokesman Sarah Rodriguez said in a statement. "Due to the current weather situation in Florida and other potentially impacted areas, along with the ongoing recovery in Texas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had already reviewed all upcoming operations and has adjusted accordingly. There is currently no coordinated nationwide operation planned at this time. The priority in the affected areas should remain focused on life-saving and life-sustaining activities." 

Click here for the full article.

Equifax Data Breach Could Affect More Than 140 Million Americans


Florida Governor to Residents Ahead of Irma: 'You've Got to Get Out'


Red Cross Helping Victims of Two Hurricanes


Source: CBS News

Monster Hurricane Irma Barrels Toward Climate Change Deniers’ Playground


The most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic is headed straight for the beach houses of deniers Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and the Koch brothers.

By Michael Daly

The playground of big-shot climate-change deniers becomes subject to a hurricane evacuation order as of 5 p.m. Friday.

And were it not for all the innocent souls who have been and likely will be hurt by Hurricane Irma, you might see poetic justice in homes owned by President Trump and billionaire David Koch and commentators Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter being battered by a storm made the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic with a boost from warmer water and moister air.

Just last week, those same climate-change-related factors in the Gulf of Mexico contributed toward Hurricane Harvey flooding Texas with its biggest rainfall ever recorded. Coulter responded to that earlier calamity with her usual discerning insight, giving a whole other meaning to being all wet.

“I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor,” she tweeted. “But that is more credible than ‘climate change.’”

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast 

Mayor de Blasio Hosts Ethnic Media Roundtable


Source: NYC Mayor's Office

Flags Will Be At Half-Staff in New York on 9/11

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that flags on state government buildings will be flown at half-staff on Monday, September 11 in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who lost their lives in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

"Nearly 16 years ago, New York endured one of the deadliest and most devastating terrorist attacks America has ever seen. Today, and every day since September 11, 2001, we remember the lives lost and we honor New York's finest and bravest first responders who served as beacons of light during our darkest day."

As we continue to remember the nearly 3,000 lives taken from us too soon on 9/11, we also honor the dedicated men and women of the United States Armed Forces who fight tirelessly every day for our safety and freedom both at home and abroad." 
 
Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

NYC Comptroller Wields New Clout in Boardroom Diversity Drive


By Ross Kerber 

BOSTON (Reuters) - New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is wielding more clout as he presses more than 150 U.S. companies to detail plans to diversify their boardrooms.

Stringer oversees $181 billion in city pension fund assets. In a statement emailed by his staff to Reuters this week, he said he had gained leverage in the diversity campaign from a three-year-old push for companies to adopt so-called proxy access rules that give outside investors more power to nominate corporate board directors.

At companies now following those rules, or where they have been supported by investors, Stringer is now seeking more disclosures about the race and gender of current directors and their skill mix, the statement said. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Reuters (via The Empire Report) 

Entire School District in Westchester County Closes Amid Unspecified Police Search


An entire school district in Westchester County has been closed for the day because of unspecified "ongoing police activity," officials say. 

A statement on the Irvington Union Free School District reads simply, "Due to the ongoing police activity, and in the interest of the safety of all students and staff, the Irvington Schools will be closed today, Friday, September 8." 

The nature of the investigation wasn't clear. It appears the school district had initially called for a two-hour delayed opening, but later opted to cancel classes for the entire day. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: News 4 NY (via The Empire Report) 

NY Extends Obamacare Enrollment Beyond Trump's New Deadline

  

ALBANY -- New York is extending the state's 2018 Obamacare enrollment period beyond the Trump administration's new deadline.

The state announced today open enrollment will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2018.

The Trump administration recently shortened the amount of time people shopping  on the federal exchange will have to sign up to get coverage for 2018. Open enrollment on the federal exchange will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

Because New York operates its own exchange it has the flexibility to set its own open enrollment dates. New York is sticking with the same three-month open enrollment period consumers had last year.

Other states that run their own exchanges such as Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have also decided not to follow Trump's earlier deadline.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: syracuse.com (via The Empire Report) 

With Potential Supreme Court Ruling Pending, Unions Look to Shore Up Membership



By Rick Karlin

Albany - The 2018 elections are still more than a year away, but some of New York’s major public employee unions are starting to mobilize – not so much for political candidates, but for their own members.

Rather than setting up the familiar get-out-the-vote operations such as phone banks and door-to-door campaigns, leaders of unions like the Civil Service Employees Association and the Public Employees Federation are working to educate their rank-and-file about the benefits of being in a union, even if it means a weekly paycheck deduction.

That’s because labor experts believe the U.S. Supreme Court, after failing to do so in 2016, may render a decision next year that would ban “agency fees” or the practice in which union members are compelled to pay union dues whether they want to or not.

Click here for the full article.

Source: timesunion.com (via The Empire Report) 

Harlem: Black Girl Magic feat. Natasha Diggs and the Film 'The Fits'

 Click on the flier to increase its size. 

Click here to watch the video.

A dreamy exploration of girlhood, The Fits follows an 11-year-old tomboy as she tries to fit in with her peers after joining an all-girl dance team.

Source: ImageNation

In DR Congo, Karate Helps Rape Victims Rebuild Their Lives


Source: FRANCE 24 English

The 51%: How Women Are Reshaping the World


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Not So Green: Why Cannabis Has a Hefty Carbon Footprint


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Mexico: Deadly 8.1-Magnitude Earthquake Causes Authorities to Issue Tsunami Warning


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Macron Calls for More European Investment in Greece


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Rohingya Crisis: Insurgents Stage Deadly Attacks in Burma's Restive Rakhine State


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Europe Migrant Crisis: 'Hungary Was the First Who Responded with Action, Not By Asking for Money'


Source: FRANCE 24 English

Thursday, September 7, 2017

President Trump Receives Briefing on Hurricane Irma


President Trump pictured with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left; Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Thomas Bossert; Vice President Mike Pence and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell. (Click on the photo to increase its size.)

President Trump and Vice President Pence met with senior members of the Administration to discuss initial Federal support for Hurricane Irma preparation, response and recovery, as well as ongoing support for recovery from Hurricane Harvey. President Trump continued to stress his expectation that all departments and agencies stay fully engaged in supporting the Governors of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida, and other States that may be affected, as well as providing assistance to international partners in the path of the historic storm. His number one priority is saving lives. He reminded everyone that search and rescue efforts will transition to mass care, restoring power and other emergency support functions, providing life-sustaining necessities for the population that sheltered in place, and economic recovery. The President closed the discussion by urging those in the path of the storm to continue to heed the instructions of their State and local officials. The President and Vice President continue to extend their thoughts and prayers to those affected and recognize the many volunteer and faith-based organizations dedicating time and efforts to helping fellow Americans.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

'Who Likes a Nigger?': Johnny Rebel, White Nationalism, and the Dark Side of Country Music


In 2009, From The G-Man was contacted by several sources and informed that “race music” was enjoying a major resurgence in America. At the time, it did not comes as a major surprise, especially after prominent members of the Republican Party, as well as Rush Limbaugh, saw fit to disparage President Barack Obama by “lampooning” him in a song entitled “Barack, the Magic Negro.” Race music grew to become enormously popular in the 1930’s and flourished well into the civil rights period. 

During its research, From The G-Man discovered that one of the most famous performers of this controversial genre was “Johnny Rebel”, a pseudonym of Cajun country musician Clifford Joseph Trahan, who was also known as Pee Wee Trahan. Trahan took the Johnny Rebel name to superstar status during the 1960’s while signed with J.D. “Jay” Miller’s “Red Rebel” label, which was based in Crowley, Louisiana. Trahan was allegedly a staunch supporter of both the Ku Klux Klan and segregation, and he constantly used the word nigger in his song titles and lyrics.

From The G-Man located and reviewed a few of the controversial country crooner's tracks on the Internet, including "Nigger Hatin' Me", which is regarded by many KKK members and white supremacists as Rebel’s signature song. With white supremacist groups and white nationalist figures using innovative ways to recruit new members, including the Internet, other songs in the Rebel catalog, such as “Affirmative Action”, could become effective recruitment tools for white nationalists. Rebel's music has received millions of views on YouTube.

It is important to note that representatives for some of country music's biggest stars were contacted in 2009 to obtain comments on Johnny Rebel and "the dark side of country music". No one responded.

The events in Charlottesville, West Virginia, stunned the world. Now that Rebel's music is gaining a whole new generation of fans, and Nazism and white supremacist groups are issues of major concern in America, it will be interesting to see if past or current country music superstars will step forward and finally address an aspect of country music that no one seems to want to talk about.

Malcolm X: The Black Man Has Amnesia


Saving Our Youth: Former Vice Lord Sets Kids Straight



This video was published on YouTube on May 15, 2014. 

In Episode 7 of Vice News' Last Chance High we meet 13-year-old Keontay, who is enamored with gang life, his disabled mother Takita, who has lost all hope of prying him from the streets, and a former gang chief nicknamed Shotgun, who has a plan to help them both.

On Chicago's West Side, there is a school for the city's most at-risk youth — the Moses Montefiore Academy. Most of the students at Montefiore have been kicked out of other schools for aggressive behavior, and many have been diagnosed with emotional disorders.

Last Chance High takes viewers inside Montefiore's classrooms, and into the homes of students who are one mistake away from being locked up or committed to a mental hospital.

Black Immigrant Communities Reeling From DACA Reversal


The clock is ticking.

After eight years of protection under DACA, President Donald Trump decided to rescind the program on Tuesday, putting some 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants in legal jeopardy and at risk of being deported.

One of them is 25-year-old Jonathan Jayes-Green.

An afro-Panamanian immigrant who came under DACA protection at age 13, Jayes-Green said the administration’s announcement has triggered a palpable level of fear and anxiety among those protected by DACA and other undocumented Black immigrants, but it has also stiffened their resolve. 

Click here for the full article. 

Civil Rights Group Wants Kid Rock’s Detroit Concerts Canceled

Trump Makes Budget Deal with Democrats, Confounding GOP


Charlie Rose on Steve Bannon's "60 Minutes" Interview


Source: CBS News

Trump Talks Tax Reform in North Dakota


This report was broadcast on September 6. 

Source: CBS News

Miami-Dade County Official Shares Latest on Irma Evacuations, Preparations


JJ Watt Opens Up About Raising $27M for Harvey Relief Efforts



Source: ABC News

Oval Office Chat: Governors Mapp, Rosselló and Scott


The following conversations took place on September 6. 

President Trump spoke with Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands to express his support for the Governor and the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands as the territory prepares for Hurricane Irma and to acknowledge the territory’s experience in responding to hurricanes. The President confirmed that the Federal Government has been actively readying for the Hurricane Irma response even as the Government continues to support the States of Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey. FEMA will continue to coordinate with the emergency management staff of the U.S. Virgin Islands and will work with other Federal partners to help support the territory’s efforts.

President also spoke with Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico to express his support for the Governor and the people of Puerto Rico as the territory prepares for Hurricane Irma and to acknowledge Puerto Rico’s experience in responding to hurricanes. The President confirmed that the Federal Government has been actively readying for the Hurricane Irma response even as the Government continues to support the States of Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey. FEMA will continue to coordinate with Puerto Rico’s emergency management staff and will work with other Federal partners to help support the territory’s efforts.

Finally, the President spoke with Governor Rick Scott to express his support for the Governor as the State prepares for Hurricane Irma and to thank him for his leadership in preparing the residents of Florida. The President confirmed that the Federal Government has been actively readying for the Hurricane Irma response even as the Government continues to support the States of Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey.  FEMA will continue to coordinate with Florida’s emergency management staff and will work with other Federal partners to help support the State’s efforts.  

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Hurricane Irma Is Stronger Than All of 2017’s Other Eight Atlantic Storms Combined


The Category 5 storm is breaking records and headed straight for Puerto Rico. Florida may be next.

By Justin Miller

Hurricane Irma’s winds are stronger than if you were to add up all of the winds of the prior eight storms Atlantic storms together at maximum intensity.  

That’s just one shattering measure of the storm’s strength from meteorologist Phil Klotzbach, research scientist at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science. Irma’s 185 mph winds make it the strongest storm on record in the Atlantic Ocean outside of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to Klotzbach’s research, which he shared with The Daily Beast.

“Most of the other storms this season were pretty weak and short-lived.  While Harvey was intense, it was intense for a short time period before making landfall,” Klotzbach said. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The Daily Beast

NY Offers Assistance to Communities in the Path of Hurricane Irma


The following statement was issued today by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

"New York is no stranger to the challenges of Mother Nature's fury and we stand ready to help communities grappling with the consequences of extreme weather.

"Just as New York stood shoulder to shoulder with Texas and Louisiana during Hurricane Harvey, we will provide any support and assistance we can for the people of Puerto Rico, Florida, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands in the path of Hurricane Irma. We are in communication with Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico, Governor Rick Scott of Florida and others and we have offered assistance before and following the storm.

"As our neighbors and friends brace for Irma, we have offered personnel, equipment and whatever else is needed. The 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard is on standby and ready to ship out and assist impacted communities.

"We, unfortunately, have much first-hand experience with extreme weather and its aftermath. Just as others have helped New York recover from Sandy, Irene, Lee, and other severe, and increasingly common, '100-year storms,' we will be there for those who need our help." 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Cuomo Announces 'Keep It Clean' Initiative to Stop Subway Littering


Source: NYGovCuomo

Free Lunch Announced for Students at All NYC Public Schools


This report was broadcast on September 6, 2017. 

Source: WABC 7 Eyewitness News (via The Empire Report)

NYC Council Members with Most Absences in FY 2017

 
By Conor Skelding, Brendan Cheney and Gloria Pazmino

Five current or former members of the New York City Council missed more than 25 percent of their required meetings during fiscal year 2017, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request released on Wednesday.

The current Council members are Andy King, Annabel Palma, Darlene Mealy and Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. The list also includes a former member, Ruben Wills, who was ejected from the Council after his criminal conviction earlier this year.

Records show that King, of the Bronx, missed 30 percent of his scheduled meetings, or 22 of 74, plus one medical absence.

King said that a member’s attendance isn’t a measure of whether he or she is doing the job.

“I’m OK with it,” he said in a phone interview. “As Council members, we are at three places at one time, all the time. So, between committee meetings bumping heads and being at meetings in your district and moving all around, it happens ... no one can tell me I’m not working.”

Council members are paid an annual salary of $148,500. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: Politico (via The Empire Report) 

Black Lives Matter Lawsuit Against Buffalo Police Alleges Discrimination



Black Lives Matter-Buffalo and a coalition of Buffalo residents announced Tuesday that they have filed a federal lawsuit against the Buffalo Police Department alleging racial discrimination.

They are also asking the state attorney general to investigate the police department, accusing the agency of engaging in a "repeated, persistent and widespread pattern of unconstitutional policing" that targets people of color, in a letter to that office.

The groups asked the Attorney General's Office to investigate the police department in a separate complaint that accuses Buffalo police of discriminating against people of color through enforcement policies — particularly "zero tolerance" campaigns announced in 2006 and 2012.

Anji Malhotra, co-author of a study released by the University at Buffalo and Cornell law schools based on two years of research into Buffalo Police Department policing practices, joined other activists Tuesday on the steps of City Hall to call for action to be taken against what they called discriminatory policing practices.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Buffalo News (via The Empire Report) 

Court of Appeals Upholds Ban on Physician-Assisted Suicide




The state’s highest court has dismissed a case filed by three terminally ill patients who sought a court order protecting their doctors if they prescribed a lethal dose of medication to help them die. 

The plaintiffs asked the court to declare a constitutional right to “aid in dying,” or as critics call it, assisted suicide. The three patients in the original lawsuit filed in February 2015 — two have since died — were mentally competent and terminally ill, and sought the right to end their lives without undue suffering.

Thursday’s 81-page decision from the Court of Appeals found that the state Legislature “has a rational basis for criminalizing assisted suicide.” The Legislature has been reluctant to pass legislation to legalize aid in dying in recent years.

Click here for the full article.

Source: timesunion.com (via The Empire Report) 

Trump to Discuss Hudson Tunnel Project With New York and New Jersey Leaders


By Shane Goldmacher and Patrick McGeehan 

President Trump has invited top officials from New York and New Jersey to the White House on Thursday, including Senators Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Govs. Andrew M. Cuomo and Chris Christie, to discuss the future of a multibillion-dollar tunnel between the two states, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The so-called Gateway project, to build a train tunnel under the Hudson River, is considered the linchpin of transportation infrastructure in the region and a top priority for many officials from the two states. It would provide a critical additional link between New Jersey and New York’s Pennsylvania Station.

In addition to the statewide officials, members of Congress from both states whose districts or residents would be affected have also been invited. Mr. Schumer, Mr. Booker and Ms. Gillibrand, all Democrats, are expected to attend, people familiar with the meeting said. 

Click here for the full article. 

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