Friday, February 24, 2017

White House Bars Times and Other News Outlets From Briefing

WASHINGTON — Journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed.

Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended.

Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Times

President Trump Delivers Remarks at CPAC

President Trump Signs an Executive Order Involving Federal Regulations

CPAC LIVE Stream - Day 2

President Trump Leads a Listening Session on Domestic and International Human Trafficking

This video was published on YouTube on February 23.

A Song for the Soul: War (Edwin Starr)

'Flashback Friday': The Killing of Malcolm X

This video was published on YouTube on April 15, 2015.
On February 21, 1965 bullets ripped through the body of human rights leader Malcolm X. This is the most comprehensive film about the events leading up to his assassination, what steps the assassins took to end his life and the aftermath of the murder trial. Was Malcolm's death the result of his internal conflicts with the Nation of Islam or was there a larger force behind those who pulled the trigger? 

Source: Shareef Nasir

Trailblazers in Black History: Charles Mingus

Bill Cosby Sex Assault Case: Judge Will Let One Other Accuser Testify

A judge ruled Friday that only one of 13 women prosecutors hoped to have testify at the Bill Cosby sex-assault trial — to show a pattern of behavior — can take the stand.

The defense had fought hard to keep all the women out of the case, but the judge decided the jury can hear only from the woman referred to as Prior Alleged Victim Six in court papers.

Wes Oliver, the criminal justice program director at Duquesne University and an NBC News analyst, said the ruling is a victory for Cosby, who could have been damaged by a parade of women telling similar stories under oath.

"It's better than nothing for the prosecution. If you're Bill Cosby, you would rather the number be zero. But this is a game-changer," Oliver said.

"If there are 13 women testifying, it looks like it's part of a real profile for him," he added. "But it's much easier to discredit one than 13." 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News  

Policing the Schools: Minority Students More Likely to Be Suspended or Arrested

Araceli Quintero says she was trying to be a peacemaker in her New York high school last year when trouble erupted.

“I was basically trying to help my friend and another girl at school to not fight, because I didn’t want my friend to get suspended,” she told the I-Team.

But when the 18-year-old’s attempts failed, a brawl broke out and she was caught up in the fight. That triggered a 60-day suspension, and a temporary transfer to an alternative school.

Araceli told her story at Make the Road New York, a non-profit group that mentors minority students who have run into trouble at school.

“Predominantly young people of color are the ones who are being suspended,” said Adilka Pimentel, Youth Police Accountability Organizer for Make the Road.

Kesi Foster, a coordinator with another non-profit, the Urban Youth Collaborative, said he sees the same thing with students being arrested.

“There’s still a system that’s very much in place that’s criminalizing their behavior,” he said. “And it has almost intentionally replaced guidance counselors, social workers and supportive help – with prosecutors, police officers and judges.”

The I-Team found minority students are indeed more likely than other students to be suspended or arrested. Along with the NBC News Investigative Unit and the NBC-owned stations, the I-Team analyzed data collected from all public schools in the nation by the U.S. Department of Education.

Click here for the full article.

California Schools Call Police on Black Students with Disabilities Far More Often Than Other Children

A nearly two-year long NBC Bay Area investigation revealed schools call the police on black students and children with disabilities at disproportionately higher rates than their peers. Following the series of Investigative Unit reports, California Assemblywoman Shirley Nash Weber (D-San Diego) is now proposing legislation that would require school districts to define the role and responsibilities of their campus based officers. Bigad Shaban reports on a story that first aired on Feb. 21.

Source: NBC Bay Area

Republicans in Congress Are Still Looking for Direction from Trump

The good news for the Trump White House is that it's experienced its least controversial week over the last few days. Yes, that's a low bar, but there's been no bombshell Russia-related story (though check out the CNN report below), and the president has tweeted less (though there's this one from this morning). But here's the bad news for Team Trump: In this honeymoon phase, the GOP's most significant legislative priorities are, well, in trouble. On Obamacare, former House Speaker John Boehner dropped this truth bomb: "[T]hey'll fix Obamacare. I shouldn't call it repeal and replace because that's not what's going to happen. They're basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it." And on tax reform, President Trump seemed to warm to House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan in a Reuters interview, but those encouraging words from Trump might be a little too late given this solid GOP opposition (see here, here and here). 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News 

Is Trump’s Tax Plan Actually a Windfall for the Richest Americans?

"We don't really know what the Trump team will propose," said Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "It'll be someplace between Trump's campaign statements and the Ryan-Brady plan."

Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC Thursday the administration was working on "very significant" tax plans it hoped to have ready by Congress's August recess.

He said middle-income tax cuts would be a focus, along with lower taxes and fewer regulations on businesses, but provided little in the way of new details or more clarification about what that would look like for the average American taxpayer. 

Click here for the full article. 

Iraqi Forces Push Into Western Mosul in Battle with ISIL

Iraqi security forces have advanced deeper into the western half of Mosul, a day after launching attacks on several fronts against the self-styled Islamic State’s last main stronghold in the city.

Troops captured the airport on Thursday, an important prize in the battle to end ISIL’s control of territory.

A military spokesman said security forces took over an army base as they pushed further into southwestern districts. 

Click here for summary/video.

Source: euronews.

Senior US Officials Get a Frosty Reception in Fiery Mexico

By Catherine Hardy

Two of the US’ most senior officials have been given a frosty reception in Mexico due to a controversy brewing over the deportations of undocumented migrants.

The new US immigration guidelines were likely to top the agenda of meetings in Mexico City attended by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

The visit, which includes meetings with military, financial and interior officials, is focusing on border security, law enforcement and trade, according to the US State Department. 

Click here for summary/video.

Source: euronews.

Topless Femen Activist Heckles French Far-Right's Marine Le Pen

France’s far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been heckled by a topless Femen activist at a news conference intended to outline her views on foreign policy ahead of the presidential election.

The protester managed to chant “Marine, fake feminist” several times before being physically removed from the Paris venue.
It’s not the first time this has happened to Le Pen, a self-styled feminist and the only woman running in the presidential race.

A group of Femen activists also disrupted a speech of hers in May, 2015.

Click here for summary/video.

Source: euronews.