While You Were Out: Oct. 16, 2019

I hope you have all made it home safely and are warm and dry as Wednesday draws to a close, CivMixers.

The weather is making all kinds of news, and there’s a flood watch in effect for Eastern New York and Western New England starting at 8 p.m. and continuing on through tomorrow.

In the headlines…

President Trump distanced the US from the conflict between Turkey and America’s Kurdish allies in Syria, saying that the battle “has nothing to do with us” as he defended his decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria.

David Correia, who was charged last week in a campaign finance scheme along with two longtime associates of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was arrested at JFK, officials said.

Former Republican Rep. John Faso will return a political donation that passed through the hands of Igor Fruman, one of two Ukrainians charged last week in a plot to funnel illegal overseas cash to U.S. campaigns.

A former top White House foreign policy adviser told House impeachment investigators this week that she viewed Gordon D. Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, as a potential national security risk because he was so unprepared for his job.

Chelsea Clinton will not run for the Hudson Valley congressional district being vacated by retiring Rep. Nita Lowey, she told “The View” today. (She did not, however, rule out an eventual run for office).

For days, representatives for Clinton did not answer questions about the former first daughter’s plans, further fueling speculation. Her remarks today were her first comments on the topic.

Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract deal today that could end a monthlong strike that brought the company’s U.S. factories to a standstill.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed off on legislation designed to weaken presidential pardon powers.

…The new law narrows the state’s double jeopardy provisions to increase the ability of state and local prosecutors to take up cases that have already been resolved at the federal level.

With U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in the DACA immigration case less than a month away, a top Trump administration official held out the possibility that a negotiated solution could be reached to keep so-called “dreamers” in the U.S. — even if the high court rules against them.

Twelve women who attended a celebrated school for the deaf in the 1960s and 70s claim that a housemaster abused them for years, and the school did nothing to prevent it. They filed a suit against the New York School for the Deaf in state Supreme Court in Westchester County.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network cancelled a planned “vaccine forum” next Saturday in Harlem featuring prominent anti-vaccination activists, which sparked concern among scientists and pediatricians just a month after NYC declared an end to the largest measles outbreak in nearly 30 years.

The State Democratic Committee approved a measure amending party rules to be more inclusive of people who don’t identify as male or female.

A package of limousine safety legislation was formally introduced with the measures earning the support of Republicans and Democrats alike.

House lawmakers took several steps to compel more federal regulation and research to fight a national epidemic of vaping-related illnesses that has caused 26 deaths, including one in New York.

New York AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento today at a Senate hearing on the gig economy urged lawmakers to consider protections and benefits for those workers in what has amounted to a near-permanent freelance field.

Challengers to several members of New York City’s congressional delegation have brought in substantial fundraising hauls, according to records filed this week with the FEC.

A bill that would largely ban the sale and distribution of single-use plastics by New York state was introduced by Brooklyn Sen. Kevin Parker.

Anthony DePaula, who built the DePaula Auto Group on Central Avenue into one of the largest car dealerships in the Capital Region over the past four decades, died from a heart attack today while in New York City.

The City of Poughkeepsie Police Department will be a using a federal grant to hire new officers, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announced.

A deputy investigating a new rash of home burglaries in town took a man into custody this morning who was already on parole from a prior burglary conviction, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office.

Albany’s Ida Yarbrough development has been getting a make-over and today marked the official grand opening of Phase 2. Now called 280 North the seven story mid-rise building will be a mixed income property.

The Troy City School District is moving Friday night’s varsity football game against Albany High to Saturday afternoon – a decision that comes in the wake of a melee last month that followed a night home game between the Trojans and an Albany football team.

The NYC Council Land Use Committee approved Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to close the Rikers Island jail complex, ahead of what is expected to be a close vote of the full City Council tomorrow.

Former disgraced Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse’s former campaign treasurer will have to pony up $3,500 in restitution.

Town of Colonie officials have cited the Sycamore Motel and its owner, saying several occupants have stayed beyond the 28-day limit — some for more than a year.

“Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez has issued a second apology after saying the n-word in an Instagram video.

NASA is moving forward with its ambitious goal of moving up the next lunar landing by four years. The plan would put astronauts on the moon by 2024.

Photo credit: Silvia Lilly.



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