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Connecticut Woman Accuses White House of Abuse of Power and Unfair Labor Practices


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gov. Dannel Malloy reportedly asked two White House staffers to resign after learning about their alleged abuse of power, including an illegal entry into an Avon resident’s home last week.

 

According to sources close to the White House, Malloy asked the two unidentified staffers to resign after they interrupted an ongoing and unusual recruitment process to hire a Connecticut resident, who was approached  by White House staffers and political operatives in January 2014.

 

Washington and local Democrats and Republicans were also involved in the so-called recruitment process  and were doing deep background checks, which they said would last for one year. The woman, who wants to remain unidentified,  was told she would start at the White House on April 16, 2015. When she arrived at the White House, she was introduced to the woman who was presumably hired while the recruiters were “still doing background checks” and at the same time planted stories to discredit her.

 

During the supposed 18-month investigative process for a senior position in the Obama administration, the woman’s ideas, life lessons and blue print for her career were used by White House staffers and friends of the Obama administration, she said. The woman has been in communication, research and political strategy for more than 15 years.

 

After being informed by the background investigators of this unprecedented breach of White House protocol, the woman filed a complaint for unfair labor practices, which include work without pay and forced labor.

 

In addition to the investigation with the Department of Justice, the woman was forced into controlled experimental conditions and hospitals to create medical records for information to inform policy. She has never been in a hospital until 2014, sources said.

 

The unidentified woman, who has ties to political elites in Washington and Connecticut, also complained about theft of services and attempts to discredit her story. She said she has been subjected to economic sanctions and other layers of oppression by White House staffers, who are still trying to cover up the incident for several months.

 

The Hartford Guardian reached out to the Justice Department, the White House  Communications Office, and the Secret Service press officers for comment. They were unavailable at press time.

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Job Corps Offers Career Opportunities


WETHERSFIELD — The federally-funded Job Corps program is now offering in-demand skills programs for 16 and 24 year olds.

Job Corps provides students with opportunities to receive a variety of technical training that can lead to jobs in healthcare, business services, construction and advanced manufacturing. In addition to on-the-job training and academics, the program helps students earn a high school diploma, provides job placement and retention help, and continuing support services following graduation. Students also receive life skills training, career counseling, social skills and healthcare assistance, residential housing, a bi-weekly living allowance, driver’s education and an annual clothing allowance.

Connecticut offers two Job Corps locations, each offering a variety of educational opportunities. Programs at the Hartford Job Corps Academy include business technology, insurance and  financial services, advanced manufacturing, and health occupations for certified nursing assistant and clinical medical assistant.

Programs at the New Haven Job Corps Center include culinary arts, facilities maintenance, carpentry, and health occupations for certified nursing assistant, clinical medical assistant, and emergency medical technician.

Students qualifying for Job Corps Advanced Career Training program are eligible to continue their education at local colleges and universities or may transfer to another Job Corps campus that offers advanced training in their field of choice.

Those interested in learning more about the Job Corps program are welcome to attend a weekly tour offered at either campus. Tours of the Hartford Job Corps Academy, held 9 a.m. every Monday, can be scheduled by calling (860) 952-1744 or (860) 952-1704.

Tours of the New Haven Job Corps Center, offered 9:45 a.m. on Tuesdays, can be arranged by calling (203) 907-4303.

 

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Federal Government Recognizes CT WIC Programs


HARTFORD — The Department of Public Health recently announced that four of Connecticut’s local Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children programs are being recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for exemplary efforts in supporting breastfeeding WIC mothers.

The four agencies are receiving the Loving Support Award of Excellence as part of the USDA’s National WIC Breastfeeding Week, celebrated Aug. 1-7, to highlight their ongoing efforts to encourage breastfeeding among WIC participants.

The WIC program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support and referrals to health and other social services to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five.

Connecticut currently has 12 WIC agencies and 24 clinic sites.

This is the second year that USDA has awarded the Loving Support Awards of Excellence. WIC agencies across the country that utilize the USDA Loving Support Model for successful peer counseling programs are eligible to apply.

Awardees must demonstrate strong achievement of breastfeeding performance measures, effective peer counseling programs and community partnerships.

Five local WIC agencies offer peer counseling programs in Connecticut. Four of those five applied for and received the award:

 

  • Santa Marquez Center and Hispanic Health Council (Hartford)
  • Community Health Center WIC Peer Counseling Program (Fair Haven)
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. WIC Peer Counseling Program (Norwich)
  • Optimus Health Care Women Infants and Children Program (Bridgeport)

To learn about WIC visit www.ct.gov/dph/wic.

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Ellen DeGeneres Racist Mishap with Usain Bolt Tweet


Some say Gay American Ellen DeGeneres should have thought twice before posting a photo trivializing Usain Bolt.

The insensitive remark went viral following Bolt’s gold medal win in the 100-meter dash  at #Rio2016.

Ellen DeGeneres And DeGeneres found herself embroiled in controversy with what some say is a racist tweet.

In the photo, DeGeneres is shown riding Usain Bolt’s back via photo editing. Bolt had just won his third consecutive gold medal in the 100-meter race at the Rio Olympics.

“This how I’m running my errands from now on. #Rio2016,” read the tweet from DeGeneres’ account.

The talk show host said Tuesday on Twitter that she’s “highly aware of the racism that exists in our country” but that’s “the furthest thing from who I am.”

 

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Police Seek Help with Missing West Hartford Woman


WEST HARTFORD —  West Hartford Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a woman who went missing on Aug. 8.

The woman, Mame Alemu Zegeye.  Zegeye, 38, was born in Ethiopia and has lived in the country of Qatar.

Zegeye, a home owner, has been mission since Monday at 2 p.m.

Zegeye was described as being 5’5” in height and weighing approximately 170 pounds.

Police said Zegeye was last seen wearing a brown blouse, black leggings, and brown house shoes.

Please call the West Hartford Police Department at (860) 523-5203, if you have contact with Zegeye or have any information regarding her current whereabouts.

 

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Connecticut Tax Office Moves to New Location Downtown


HARTFORD — Connecticut’s local walk-in tax center has a new location.

The Department of Revenue Services main office taxpayer walk-in center at 25 Sigourney St. will be moving to 450 Columbus Boulevard in downtown Hartford.

 

However, the Hartford walk-in center will remain open on Sigourney Street through Thursday Aug. 18 until 4:30 p.m. and reopen on Tuesday Aug. 23 at 8:30 a.m. at 450 Columbus Boulevard.

 

Public parking will be available for a fee at the Morgan Street Garage (get directions).

 

Taxpayers seeking assistance during the Hartford office move can visit the walk-in centers at the DRS regional offices in Bridgeport, Norwich and Waterbury. Walk-in centers provide assistance to taxpayers with filing their Connecticut tax return and accept non-cash payments as well as register new businesses. In addition, licensed Connecticut cigarette distributors can purchase tax stamps at those locations.

 

State officials said the this will be a more central and accessible location between I-84 and I-91 and to public transportation into downtown Hartford.

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Senators Fire Back at Trump’s Proposed Ban On Immigrants From ‘Terrorist Nations’


Klarize MedenillaAsian Journal 

Two senators on Friday, August 5 have responded to Donald Trump’s call to ban immigration from countries with high rates of terrorism, including the Philippines.

Denouncing the Republican nominee’s comments, the senators asserted that the Philippines is a key ally helping the United States fight terrorism and that Filipino immigrants have contributed largely to the United States.

“Donald Trump’s latest rant suggesting we ban immigration from countries like the Philippines that are helping us fight terrorism is another example of his reckless rhetoric that’s based on fear and division and further proves he is unfit to lead our country,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said in a statement.

“For generations, Filipinos have made the United States their home.  It is their vibrant culture, hard work, and strong values that have enriched our communities and made this country great, not the ignorant, racist bigotry of Donald Trump.”

Senator Nerissa Bretania Underwood of Guam, a Filipina, also condemned the Republican presidential nominee’s proposals, describing his rhetoric as divisive and “reckless.”

She called on the Republican delegates from Guam and Governor Eddie Calvo to renounce Trump and “unendorse his candidacy.”

In a statement, Underwood said, “Filipinos on our island and across the country serve in uniform, in our hospitals, in our schools and across every private and public sector — –Filipinos are also beloved members of our families and communities.”

“As a proud daughter from Iloilo in the Philippines…I am a grateful adopted daughter of Guam and horrified by Mr. Trump’s statement and the leaders who have chosen to support him. I have worked my entire life to give back to our island that we all call home. Hate, fear and division are not qualities we need in the U.S. President and should give Americans across the country concern on whether a Trump administration is fit to lead our country,” Underwood added.

The day before, Trump had once again voiced his controversial proposals to ban immigration from several parts of the world, listing countries by name, including the Philippines, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Somalia and Morocco.

The Republican nominee called immigration from the so-called “terrorist nations” problematic because the immigrants wouldn’t be vetted by the government beforehand.

“You have no idea who they are. This could be the great Trojan horse of all time,” he said.

Following the San Bernardino attacks last December, he came under fire for proposing to temporarily prohibit all Muslims from entering the country.

“Hillary Clinton wants to have them come in by the hundreds of thousands — just remember,” Trump said in a press conference in Portland, Maine on Thursday, August 4. “This has nothing to do with politics, folks. This is a whole different level. This has to do with pure, raw stupidity. Okay?”

The string of violence from jihadist groups like Abu Sayyaf this year have underpinned speculation that the Philippines is next on the Islamic State’s (ISIS) radar.

Related story: A Trump Presidency and the Consequences for Filipinos

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Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony Highlights Brazil


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – There’s nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe – and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.

The event won’t focus on issues that are gripping Brazil – a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats. But organizers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.

“The world is very tense and so is Brazil. We are also willing to tell the world to stop attacking our home. The world is threatened because of global warming. We are calling for action,” said Fernando Meirelles, one of the directors of the show.

Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.

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An East

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CT Tax Free Week Begins August 21


HARTFORD  Connecticut residents can once again take advantage of tax free week.

During the third week of August, parents can use this tax break for  back-to-school shopping, and other items of clothing and footwear. The “Tax-Free Week” event, now in its 16th year, will begin Aug. 21 through Aug.  27.

During the Sales Tax Holiday Week, most individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $100 are exempt from Connecticut Sales and Use Tax. For items costing $100 or more, sales tax is calculated on the full purchase price.

“The ‘tax holiday’ has become a staple of Connecticut’s back-to-school shopping season. Many retailers schedule sales to coincide with sales tax-free week, which helps shoppers save even more money because sales tax is applied after the use of any coupons or discounts. So while the price of an item may start above the $100 taxable threshold, after discounts are applied, it becomes less than $100 and is not subject to sales tax that week, ” said Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan,

State officials said this special tax break helps to residents’ shopping dollars go farther and give a boost to our state’s economy.

This year, the state expects about $4.5 million in Sales and Use Tax exemptions during the August “tax holiday” week.

For more information, visit DRS website at www.ct.gov/drs.

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CT Receives More Grant Money to Study Mosquito Virus


EAST HARTFORD — More grant money is coming to Connecticut to fight the onslaught of the Zika virus.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said more grant money will be available “virtually immediately.” That’s because there’s a need for a national research effort to create a Zika vaccine and for public education.

The Centers for Disease Control will give Connecticut $120,000 in federal funding from the Centers for Disease Control to track Zika virus cases in the state and monitor the mosquitoes known to transmit the disease, state health officials said Monday.

So far the state has received $579,055 in grant money, including $479,000 that was awarded.

“What we have here is a potential epidemic,” Blumenthal said. Blumenthal called on GOP leaders to call the Republican-controlled U.S. House and Senate back into session to take action.

He also said that congressional  approval of $1.1 billion is needed to combat the mosquito-transmitted disease.

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