Archive | Nation/World

Tags: , ,

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.

Posted in Business, Featured, Nation/World, PoliticsComments (0)

President Obama Honors CT Students


WASHINGTON, DC. – Two Connecticut teachers are among more than 200 mathematics and science teachers named as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

These awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The educators will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, DC on Sept. 8.

The two awardees are Liesl Fressola, of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Science and Nicole Gilson, Peck Place School, Mathematics in Orange.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country.

The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. Each nomination year of the award alternates between teachers in the kindergarten through 6th grade level, and those teaching 7th through 12th grades.

Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion, and are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony, as well educational and celebratory events, and visits with members of the Administration.

President Obama and his Administration have taken significant steps to strengthen education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields in order to fully harness the promise our Nation’s students. The President’s Educate to Innovate campaign, launched in November 2009, has resulted in more than $1 billion in private investment for improving K-12 STEM education. Additionally, in 2011, the President set an ambitious goal to put 100,000 additional excellent STEM teachers in America’s classrooms by 2021.

For more information visit, whitehouse.gov.

 

Posted in Nation/World, YouthComments (0)

AARP Honors Rep Baram for Legislative Role


Recognition for Power of Attorney Legislation

HARTFORD — Rep. David Baram was proud to receive a Certificate from AARP recognizing his role as a legislator – attorney in providing advice and guidance in drafting new legislation revising Connecticut’s statute on the Power of Attorney.

Featured picture: Joined by Mike Humes (Associate Director), volunteers Marilyn Diaz and Veda White!

 

Posted in Featured, Hartford, Nation/WorldComments (0)

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.”

 

Posted in A & E, Business, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Ilhan Omar Poised to Become Nation’s First Somali American Legislator


Tom Gitaa, Mshale

MINNEAPOLIS – A multiracial coalition of African immigrants, liberals and university students helped make history in Minnesota on Tuesday when they carried Somalia-born Ilhan Omar to victory in the hotly contested Minnesota House District 60B primary and effectively ending the career of the state’s longest serving legislator, Phyliss Kahn, who has been in office uninterrupted since 1972.

The victory positions her to be the first Somali-American legislator in the country.

District 60B which includes a section of downtown Minneapolis starts south of I-94 in Minneapolis and goes north to Hennepin Avenue and terminates east at the border with the city of St. Paul.

The District which is heavily Democratic makes Omar the presumptive Minnesota House representative for 60B come November, barring any major surprises from the Republicans as historically, the Democratic nominee or endorsed candidate is a shoo-in for the seat. In the Republican side, Abdimalik Askar, also a Somali had no opposition as he won 100% of the votes or 56 votes. Ilhan Omar and Abdimalik Askar will face each other in the November general election.

In the Minnesota House, there is only one black representative, Rena Moran of District 65A who was able to stave off a primary challenge from Rashad Anthony Turner who many are familiar with as a key leader of the St. Paul Black Lives Matter. She is likely to prevail in the heavily Democratc stronghold as the DFL nominee. Omar’s victory will bring to two the number of black people in the Minnesota House. It will set up an interesting scenario where two black women are in the Minnesota House and two black men in the Minnesota Senate. The two African Americans in the Minnesota Senate, Jeff Hayden and Bobby Jo Champion handily won their primaries.

Omar was one of two high-profile Somali candidates that were seeking to dislodge Kahn in 60B. Omar has been the Democratic Party favorite, having come close to clinching the nomination at the DFL nominating convention in April (in Minnesota, the Democratic Party in the state is referred to as the DFL – Democratic Farmer Labor). At the convention, Omar fell short by 11 votes to clinch the nomination outright, forcing the party to hold Tuesday’s primary. The nominating convention outcome embittered many in the community with most of the anger directed at fellow Somali Mohamud Noor who many opined should have thrown his support to Omar to enable her to avoid the primary.

Her father two weeks ago at a fundraiser organized by the African business community said the primary could be a blessing “as it will make her tougher and she will appreciate it Omar.”

On Tuesday Omar garnered a convincing 41% of the votes cast while her two challengers received 29% each.

Prefacing her remarks with “Yes we did,” an emotional Omar who wiped away tears said “Tonight we made history.”

She went on “Tonight marks the beginning of the future of our district, a new era of representation. Tonight is about the power of you.”

Ahmed Ismail Yusuf, author of the much acclaimed book “Somalis in Minnesota” was among those at the victory party for Omar. “I don’t even know why we have this primary, it should not have come to this,” he complained loudly as he awaited results. Located later after the results were announced, he smiled broadly, not uttering a word.

Omar and her family fled Somalia when she was 8 and they spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before finally finding their way to Minnesota.

She was policy Aide to Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson, one of her early backers when she announced her candidacy.

“This is history,” Habon Abdulle, executive director of Women Organizing Women (WOW) said during an interview at the Omar victory party after the results were announced. Abdulle decried the misogyny directed at Omar. “They kept diminishing her like she cannot do it, well the people have spoken,” she said.

(Important Disclaimer: Mshale Founder and Publisher and author of this story is one of Ilhan Omar’s campaign fundraisers with the last fundraising event organized by him being hosted at the law offices of Paschal Nwokocha co-hosted in tandem with the latter, former Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and Godson Sowah. The Ilhan Omar campaign Field Director, Stacy Rosana, has a family relation to Tom.)

Posted in Featured, Nation/World, NeighborhoodComments (0)

Trump, Clinton Kick off Battle for Connecticut


Washington – Donald Trump’s plans to hold a rally in Connecticut this weekend will rev up the campaign season in Connecticut, sharpening the state’s focus on the race for the White House.

Connecticut is not a swing state, having last voted for a Republican in 1988 for former state resident George H. W. Bush. But both parties say spending time and resources in Connecticut will help their presidential candidates in what’s become a bruising national fight.

J.R. Romano, the head of the Connecticut Republican Party, said Trump’s visit to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield on Saturday is aimed at linking Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s “failed” economic policies to those of Hillary Clinton.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at rally at Crosby High School in Waterbury on Saturday.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Crosby High School in Waterbury in April.

“The state of Connecticut is the biggest warning of what Hillary Clinton economic policies will look like,” Romano said.

Connecticut Democrats used a midday press conference Friday to challenge Republican candidates in the state to repudiate Trump, and they made clear they would press the issue during the campaign.

Calling it a “crisis for the Republican Party,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said it was time for Republicans to “stand up and let their voices be counted.”

“If they stay silent, they are backing Donald Trump,” said state Rep. Matt Lesser of Middletown, one of several Democratic legislators to speak.

Meanwhile, a Clinton campaign official said Connecticut’s proximity to other battleground states, including New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and the possibility to tap young supporters and union loyalists to help in other places makes the state an asset.

“Volunteers from Connecticut can go to other (swing) states if we need them,” she said.

The Clinton campaign official said the former first lady and secretary of state is committed to a “50 state campaign” with a presence in each one.

She also said there are political synergies in the state, with the Clinton campaign benefiting from the races of popular Democrats running for re-election, like Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who in turn could be helped by Clinton’s name at the top of the ballot.

“We already have our top surrogates on the ground,” said Michael Mandell, executive director of the Connecticut Democratic Party, referring to members of the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation.

Setting up the campaigns

The  Clinton-Trump battle for the White House began in earnest in Connecticut right after the parties held their conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia last month.

The Trump campaign picked Stratford attorney Ben Proto to head its efforts in the state. Proto is no political novice, having worked in Connecticut on Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign and volunteered in New Hampshire on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign.

Heading up the Clinton campaign in Connecticut is Tommy Hyde, who has worked as a Democratic field director in the state and been involved in local campaigns.

Both the Trump and Clinton campaigns said they are scouting for locations to open campaign offices and say those will be up and running soon.

The Trump campaign’s effort to win Connecticut’s 7 electoral votes is part of a plan to expand the electoral map by competing in states like New York, Oregon, Washington and Michigan that Republicans have not carried for decades.

This strategy was fashioned by campaign manager and New Britain native Paul Manafort before Trump began to slip in the polls, even in rock-ribbed GOP states like Georgia and Arizona and in the swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The slide in the polls has been linked to a series of post-convention missteps by Trump, including feuding with top Republicans and with the parents of a slain Muslim-American soldier, and a comment about gun enthusiasts that was widely interpreted as a threat against Clinton or a joke gone bad.

The Trump campaign is pressed to reallocate more resources to right its campaign in those states, even as it spends time and money visiting Connecticut on Saturday.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a rally at the University of Bridgeport on Sunday.

Kyle Constable / CTMirror.org

Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally at the University of Bridgeport in April.

Gary Rose, head of Sacred Heart University’s political science department said he will be among those at the rally.

He said it makes sense for Trump to visit the state because “there’s a very restless electorate here willing to give him a look.”

Rose said Connecticut’s weak economy makes it fertile territory for an outsider candidate like Trump who appeals to disaffected working-class and independent voters.

But, unlike other politicians who have used Connecticut as a campaign cash machine, Trump has raised very little money in the state.

The latest Federal Elections Commission reports show that as of June 30, Clinton had raised more than $4 million in the state while Trump had raised little more than $132,000.

Rose said Trump’s visit to Connecticut, even if it’s not linked to a fundraiser, could provide him an opportunity to meet some new, deep-pocketed donors.

Romano said Trump’s poor fundraising performance in the state means “there’s growth opportunities here.”

Meanwhile, Clinton has scheduled a fundraiser in Fairfield County on Monday, but no public events.

Rose said her campaign should focus on the state’s Democratic base, which includes union members and a Hispanic population that is growing, especially in the state’s larger cities, like Hartford and Bridgeport.

“She needs to have an urban message and show her support for the unions,” Rose said.

Posted in Featured, Nation/World, Neighborhood, PoliticsComments (0)

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

Posted in Business, Featured, Nation/World, PoliticsComments (0)

PGA Tour 2016: Travelers Championship


By Brian Weeks, Contributor

CROMWELL — The Travelers Championship began on Thursday in Cromwell  and here are the tee times.

The Golf Channel will televise live from 3-6 p.m. today and you can also follow along all day on our live leaderboard (below).

Bubba Watson is the defending champion, and he has won this event three times. He is the only player ranked in the top 10 set to play.

The Travelers Championship will also provide an Olympic preview because three-quarters of the U.S. men’s Olympic golf team will play together in this event. Watson, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed are scheduled to go out as a trio today and Friday for the first two rounds. Rickie Fowler, the fourth member of the team, will skip the event because he will be in Rio.

Bubba Watson tees off in Cromwell

Bubba Watson tees off in Cromwell

TODAY’S LIVE LEADERBOARD

Travelers Champ (PGA)
Pos Name Score Thru
1 T. Van Aswegen -7 18
2t R. Garrigus -6 18
2t J. Kelly -6 18
2t R. Knox -6 11
2t D. Berger -6 11
2t M. Leishman -6 7
2t A. Loupe -6 6
8t B. Barber -5 18
8t P. Casey -5 18
8t S. Pinckney -5 18
View Full Leaderboard

PGA TOUR TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Cromwell, Conn.
Course: TPC River Highlands. Yardage: 6,841. Par: 70.
Purse: $6.6 million (First place: $1,188,000).
TV: Golf Channel (Today-Friday, 3-6 p.m.; CBS Sports (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.); Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m.).
Defending champion: Bubba Watson
Last week: Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship for his first major.
Notes: The tournament, typically played the week after the U.S. Open, moved to the first week in August because of the Olympics. … Bubba Watson is turning down opening ceremonies at the Olympics to defend his title. This was his first victory, and the only one his father saw him win on TV before dying. … Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed also are in the field, making three of the four Americans who are in the Olympics. Reed is No. 10 in the Ryder Cup standings, while Kuchar is at No. 11. Watson now is No. 9. … Three other Olympians are in the field — Padraig Harrington, Alex Cejka and Soren Kjeldsen. … Rickie Fowler, at No. 12 in the Ryder Cup standings, has not finished in the top 10 at a major since 2014. … Harrington moved to No. 129 in the FedEx Cup with his tie for 13th in the PGA Championship. This will be his last chance to secure a spot in the top 125 because he will spend two weeks in Rio for the Olympics. … Jimmy Walker now has won in each of the last four years on the PGA Tour. … Jason Day became the first player to post all four rounds in the 60s in consecutive PGA Championships. … The tournament has gone to a playoff six of the last 12 times.
Next week: John Deere Classic.

(The Associated Press and Cleveland Plaindealer contributed to this report)Photo Courtesy of Golf Week.

Posted in Featured, Nation/World, YouthComments (0)

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.

READ MORE

An East

Posted in Business, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

A Blueprint for Muslim-American Activism


In his powerful and propulsive speech at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia last week, former President Bill Clinton made a compelling case for Hillary Clinton’s presidency.

As a Muslim American, however, I was most captivated when he said, “If you are a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.”

I heard in those words a blueprint for action that has been missing in the discourse of Muslim Americans. If we can act on this blueprint in this consequential election year, it can empower us to control our destiny and help shape the destiny of our country.

The first order of business for us is to stop wallowing in self-pity.

We cannot help Democrats win and make a future together – the overwhelming majority of the registered voters among the 3 million Muslim Americans are Democrats – if we waste time collecting grievances. Yes, Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims from coming to America. Yes, Newt Gingrich wants to “test every person here who is of a Muslim background and if they believe in Sharia they should be deported.”

But for every Trump and Gingrich, there are many more politicians and our fellow-Americans who condemn their bigotry and xenophobia and offer their support for us.

Unfortunately, by focusing more on the former and less on the latter, many of us assume the default mode of passivity. For many Muslim Americans, political activism begins and ends with making an occasional subversive post on social media. It is time we realized that keyboard warriors rarely accomplish anything,
while grassroots activists accomplish much, even if at a great cost.

I found it telling that at the DNC, many speakers, including President Obama and Hillary Clinton, quoted and alluded to Theodore Roosevelt: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who does actually strive to do the deeds … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Muslim Americans must refuse to be timid souls (a synonym for grievance collectors) and fence-sitters during this election year and throw themselves whole-heartedly into the arena.

This demands that we engage in the kind of activism that can be cathartic for us and transformational for our country.

This also means that we must do whatever it takes to help Hillary Clinton become the President of the United States even if we have serious disagreements with her on serious issues,
because the alternative is too nightmarish to contemplate.

We cannot just talk the talk. We must also walk the walk. Literally. We have to walk the precincts. We have to knock on doors. We have to work the phones. We have to register unregistered voters and organize rallies. We have to train ourselves to be articulate in making the case for our candidate. There are lots of undecided voters out there who can have a disproportionately large impact on the outcome of this election. If each one of us commit to convincing only one undecided or apathetic voter into voting for Hillary Clinton, we can not only help her win, we can also change our mindset about our ability to make our society more inclusive and just.

In today’s America, it is tough to be a Muslim American. Anti-Muslim sentiments, promoted by Donald Trump and his likes, continue to frustrate and frighten some of us. We are numbed by the terrorism of Muslims who give our religion a black eye. Think of the mass killings by Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas (2009), Tsarnaev Brothers at Boston (2013), Mohammed Abdulazeez at Chattanooga, Tennessee (2015), the Muslim Bonnie-and-Clyde-duo of Rizwan Farook and Tafsheen Mailk at San Bernardino, California (2015), and Omar Mateen at Orlando, Florida (2016).

But we cannot use these horrific events as an excuse to sit on the sidelines and watch a demagogue tear apart the social fabric of our country. For inspiration, we need look no further than Khizr Khan, father of Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in the line of duty, who challenged Donald Trump at the DNC to read the U.S. Constitution and understand the meaning of words like ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ By a singularly symbolic act, he showed how a Muslim American can influence countless hearts and minds across our nation and around the world.

Related story: 
Killed Pakistani-American Soldier’s Dad Scolds Trump for Dissing Muslims

Hasan ZIlur Rahim is a professor of Mathematics at San Jose City College. He emigrated from Bangladesh to the U.S. four decades ago.

Posted in Business, Featured, Hartford, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Advertise Here