Friday, December 2, 2016

President Obama and UN Secretary General Guterres

First Family Attends The Christmas Tree Lighting

Veep Meet & Greet: President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia

The Vice President met last night with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia in Cartagena, Colombia to discuss bilateral cooperation between the United States and Colombia and the next steps in the Colombian peace process. 

The Vice President congratulated President Santos on yesterday's vote in the Colombian congress to approve the peace accord negotiated between the Colombian government and the FARC. The Vice President also praised the Colombian people who have worked with courage and unflagging determination to reclaim their country, and whose representatives have now voted to ratify the Colombian peace accord and officially end the longest-running armed conflict in the Americas.  

The Vice President reiterated the commitment of the United States to support implementation of the peace accords, including demobilization and disarmament of FARC combatants, protection of victims' rights, and application of the transitional justice framework in a transparent manner with the full engagement of civil society.  

The Vice President emphasized that continuing to engage critics of the peace accord, as well as a renewed focus on counternarcotics, will be essential to maintaining and broadening support for the peace agreement in Colombia and the United States.  

The Vice President underscored the administration's continuing commitment to its Fiscal Year 2017 budget request of $450 million, which includes $391 million in foreign assistance to implement President Obama's "Peace Colombia" strategy.  Both leaders hailed the fact that, after 52 years of violence, it is now possible to envision a hemisphere fully at peace. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Vice President

Statement on the Employment Situation in November

WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the employment situation in November. 

Summary: The economy added 178,000 jobs in November, extending the longest streak of total job growth on record, as the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent.

The economy added a solid 178,000 jobs in November as the longest streak of total job growth on record continued. U.S. businesses have now added 15.6 million jobs since early 2010. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November, its lowest level since August 2007, and the broadest measure of underemployment fell for the second month in a row. Average hourly earnings for private employees have increased at an annual rate of 2.7 percent so far in 2016, faster than the pace of inflation. Nevertheless, more work remains to ensure that the benefits of the recovery are broadly shared, including opening new markets to U.S. exports; taking steps to spur competition to benefit consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs; and raising the minimum wage.


1. U.S. businesses have now added 15.6 million jobs since private-sector job growth turned positive in early 2010. Today, we learned that private employment rose by 156,000 jobs in November. Total nonfarm employment rose by 178,000 jobs, in line with the monthly average for 2016 so far and substantially higher than the pace of about 80,000 jobs per month that CEA estimates is necessary to maintain a low and stable unemployment rate given the impact of demographic trends on labor force participation.

In November, the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, its lowest level since August 2007. The labor force participation rate ticked down, though it is largely unchanged over the last three years (see point 3 below). The U-6 rate, the broadest official measure of labor underutilization fell 0.2 percentage point for the second month in a row in part due to a reduction in the number of employees working part-time for economic reasons. (The U-6 rate is the only official measure of underutilization that has not already fallen below its pre-recession average.) So far in 2016, nominal hourly earnings for private-sector workers have increased at an annual rate of 2.7 percent, faster than the pace of inflation (1.6 percent as of October, the most recent data available). 

Click here to review the complete statement. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

'Flashback Friday': Thousands Protest Bush's 1st Inauguration (2001)

Trailblazers in Black History: Jane Matilda Bolin

Jane Matilda Bolin LL.B. was the first African-American woman to graduate from Yale Law School, the first to join the New York City Bar Association, and the first to join the New York City Law Department

She became the first Black woman to serve as a judge in the United States when she was sworn into the bench of the New York City Domestic Relations Court in 1939. 

Additional information is available here

Source: Wikipedia

Veterans to Stand with North Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors

Donald Trump Reveals Pick of James 'Mad Dog' Mattis for Secretary of Defense

Serial Sex Offender Arrested, Charged After Rubbing Against Woman in Harlem Subway Station: NYPD

A Queens man has been arrested and charged following an assault in a Harlem subway station on Thursday. 

Rodney Pierre, of Jamaica, was arrested by officers Thursday evening. The 50-year-old was charged with persistent sex abuse, forcible touching and sex abuse, police said. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: NBC News

Why Did a Cop Follow a Man Home Before Killing Him With an AR-15?

Video shows why Lt. Daniel Stephenson was justified in shooting Todd Browning, but no one has explained why he was there in the first place. 

By Justin Glawe

Authorities in Tennessee won’t explain why a police officer followed a man to his home before he shot him at close range with an assault rifle.

Todd Browning died as a result of the Aug. 19, 2015, shooting, carried out by East Ridge police lieutenant Daniel Stephenson. While dashcam video released this week shows Browning approaching Stephenson with a metal rod before being shot, the district attorney who found the shooting justified hasn’t explained why Stephenson was there in the first place.

Capt. Tim Mullinax of the East Ridge Police Department told The Daily Beast that Stephenson was called to an AutoZone near Browning’s home just before 6 p.m. that day, where Browning was allegedly acting erratic and threatening employees with a knife. After 30 seconds inside the store, Stephenson emerges and appears to be talking to Browning.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Senator James Sanders Jr. Concludes Successful Haiti Hurricane Relief Drive

Garry Dorlean, press attaché to the Haitian Consulate, and Ronald J. Etienne, Vice-Consul Logistics Coordinator with the Hatian Consulate picked up the donations today to ship to Haiti.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village, Far Rockaway) hosted a successful Haiti Hurricane Relief Drive over the last few weeks, collecting items for the victims of Hurricane Matthew. It culminated today with the donations being picked up  by representatives of the Consulate General of Haiti in New York, who will ship it to the storm ravaged country.

“We have all seen the terrible images of the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew, and we could not stand idly by knowing that there were people in need,” Sanders said. “The success of this relief drive is a testament to the generosity and good will of the people in this community.  Whether they were compelled to donate because they are of Haitian descent, or because they themselves received help after Hurricane Sandy, or if it was just a simple act of kindness – the point is, they gave, and now many will benefit.”

Donated items including many dozens of boxes and bags of non-perishable food, clothing, and toiletries. There were so many goods that the consulate representatives were able to fill an entire U-Haul Truck. It will be taken to their warehouse in Deer Park Long Island, after which they will work with Governor Cuomo’s office to ship it to Florida, where it will be packed and stacked in containers and then loaded onto a boat headed to Haiti.

“I would like to thank you for being so generous to our country,” Garry Dorlean, press attaché to the Haitian Consulate said. “We would like God to bless all the people who made donations. The people in Haiti need food, clothes and shelter after Hurricane Matthew left a sour taste in their mouth. We know Mother Nature sometimes hits places on earth. One day Haiti will stand up and do her part to help other people the way they have helped her.” 

Source: The Office of State Senator James Sanders, Jr.

ISIS' Aftermath Leaves Iraqi Town Ablaze

CNN's Phil Black visits an Iraqi town left to suffer months after ISIS set several oil wells on fire.
Source: CNN

Plane Crash Victims to Be Returned to Brazil

Most of the bodies from the plane crash in Colombia are set to be returned to Brazil. 

Click here for video.

Source: CNN

France's Hollande Will Not Seek Re-election

France's President Francois Hollande announced Thursday he will not seek a second term in office.

Source: CNN

Italy FM: Vote About More Than Just Referendum

Ahead of a referendum on constitutional reforms proposed by the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni says it is about being "stronger in Europe."
Source: CNN

North Korea Shows Defiance After New Sanctions

North Korean state media has released images of leader Kim Jong Un commanding military drills after the UN imposed new embargoes. 

Source: CNN