Liz Benjamin

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Negotiations on a massive spending package to fund the government have slowed in recent days as a congressional-imposed deadline of March 23 looms.

Within days of the news that the actress Cynthia Nixon was consulting with seasoned Democratic strategists ahead of a possible primary challenge to two-term incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the governor and his political operation have accelerated into overdrive.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office has threatened to reject future requests for lucrative stipend payments – AKA lulus – worth tens of thousands of dollars from the Republican-led state Senate as a result of its continued use of false committee titles to draw down payments for senators who are part of its ruling coalition.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president John Bailey is the subject of a sexual-harassment probe.

* State prosecutors pursing bribery and corruption charges against G. Steven Pigeon saw their case improve today when a judge reversed an earlier decision to suppress email evidence that they believe incriminates the once-powerful political operative

Lawyers are challenging Uber in court after the San Francisco–based ride-hail company asked a judge to send a class-action sexual assault lawsuit to arbitration.

Hillary Clinton was briefly hospitalized in India after she suffered a minor injury at her hotel, a hospital official said. She reportedly fractured her wrist after slipping in the bathtub.

Clinton was quick to shoot down the prospect of Ivanka Trump becoming the first woman president of the United States when asked about it on Dutch TV last week, saying simply: “That’s not going to happen.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said that drivers shouldn’t be ticketed for briefly parking in bike lanes — outraging cycling advocates and putting the brakes on his vow to create safer city streets.

A fuming de Blasio struggled again to defend his choice of Richard Carranza to lead the nation’s largest school system, insisting his new schools chancellor wasn’t the “subject” of a sexual discrimination case.

Printing operations at the Press & Sun-Bulletin will end and shift to a regional facility in Rochester owned by its parent company, officials announced.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is advancing a statewide expansion of the HIV/AIDS Services Administration rental assistance program for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

Two FDNY members were reportedly among the seven US soldiers killed in a helicopter crash yesterday in Iraq.

Plattsburgh has put an 18-month moratorium on cryptocurrency mining to preserve natural resources, the health of its residents, and the “character and direction” of the city.

Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police and local law enforcement will conduct special enforcement efforts designed to deter drinking and driving during St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

A former Cornell University student was arrested after bomb-making materials and an AR-15 were found inside his Collegetown home, police said.

The likelihood of Queens Rep. Joe Crowley becoming the next House speaker appears to be increasing.

Onondaga Community College’s top brass this week notified a federal court it planned to switch lawyers, from a private firm to its in-house counsel, amid a fight to keep secret its settlement with a former basketball coach.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

The state Legislature is not in session.

President Donald Trump receives his daily intelligence briefing in the morning, and later has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

At 8:30 a.m., The New York Building Congress hosts a panel discussion with New York City Public Advocate Letitia James on workforce diversity in the construction industry, Convene, 117 W. 46th St., Manhattan.

Also at 8:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul hosts a women’s history month breakfast with Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, SUNY Buffalo State, Burchfield Penney Art Center Reception Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.

At 9 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and OATH Commissioner Fidel F. Del Valle host a pop-up court to hold civil hearings directly in the community, Office of Manhattan Borough President, 431 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., state Sen. Jamaal Bailey and other officials break ground on an affordable housing development, 839-843 Tilden St., the Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, and take calls from listeners.

Also at 10 a.m., Hochul highlights the Cuomo administration’s women’s agenda at the Council on Women and Girls Regional Forum, SUNY Buffalo State, Burchfield Penney Art Center Auditorium, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.

At 10:45 a.m., state Sen. Tony Avella calls on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to acquire control over the operation of helicopters that travel through their jurisdiction, 38-50 Bell Blvd., Suite C, Queens.

At 11:45 a.m., Hochul celebrates St. Patrick’s Day at an annual lunch, Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Rd., Buffalo.

At noon, Assemblyman and congressional candidate Anthony Brindisi holds a press conference to unveil his blueprint for helping train workers for high-tech and skilled manufacturing jobs, Plumbers & Pipefitters Hall, 11 Griswold St., Binghamton.

Also at noon, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino will join local Irish-American groups in breaking a record for the world’s largest painted shamrock, Milleridge Inn, 585 N. Broadway, Jericho, Long Island.

At 2:30 p.m., state Sen. Martin Golden joins parents, community leaders, business owners, residents and elected officials to protest the potential construction of a 63-room hotel on a vacant lot, 9116 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 2:30 p.m., state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli attends The Alexandre apartment complex ribbon-cutting, 510 Washington Ave., Buffalo. (Hochul also attends and delivers remarks).

At 3 p.m., state Sen. James Sanders Jr. holds a press conference to celebrate that P.S./M.S. 42 Robert Vernam School will remain open after initially being slated for closure, P.S./M.S. 42, Beach 66th St., Queens.

Also at 3 p.m., Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan will call for a long-term state capital improvement program to provide $100 million in funding over 5 years for urgently needed repairs to the NFTA-Metro Rail system, NFTA Delavan Station, corner of E. Delavan Avenue and Main Street, Buffalo.

At 5 p.m., the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507 holds a candlelight vigil in honor of Yadira Arroyo to commemorate the one-year anniversary of her death on the job, northwest corner of White Plains Road and Watson Avenue, the Bronx.

At 6:30 p.m., Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa hosts her second annual Women’s History Month Celebration, Isabella Geriatric Center, Recreation Hall, 515 Audubon Ave., Manhattan.


President Donald Trump, who is famously fickle, appears to have soured on additional members of his senior leadership team — and his frequent mulling about making changes has some people around him convinced that he could act soon.

Trump is reportedly ready to oust Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and find a new national security adviser before the North Korea meetings in May, but the move may be delayed because there’s no final decision on a replacement.

The Trump administration accused Russia of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.

Trump repeated his false assertion that the United States runs a trade deficit with Canada, the morning after privately telling Republican donors that he had deliberately insisted on that claim in a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada without knowing whether it was true.

The special counsel, Robert Mueller, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization in recent weeks to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, bringing the investigation closer to the president.

As Republicans face a potential Democratic wave in this year’s midterm elections, outgoing Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake argued that his party “might not deserve to lead” given its support for Trump.

The man who spearheaded US diplomatic efforts on North Korea until his unexpected retirement earlier this month said the North Koreans were “surprised” that Trump agreed to meet with leader Kim Jong Un so quickly.

Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was fired because he’s a high-rolling gambler who bets tens of thousands of dollars at a time, opening himself to potential outside influence.

Vanessa Haydon Trump, the wife of Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., filed for divorce in a Manhattan court.

As Florida authorities work to identify the people who died in a catastrophic bridge collapse, state and federal investigators will begin the task of figuring out how and why the five-day-old span failed.

The pedestrian walkway was a first-of-its-kind “instant bridge,” which was built in just a few hours using a radical new approach known as “accelerated construction.”

There are two months to go until the state Republican convention, but Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro already has enough support to secure the GOP gubernatorial nomination, thanks to the Manhattan Republican Party’s endorsement which gave him 50.3 percent of the weighted vote at the convention.

Molinaro, who party leaders have encouraged to run after he initially decided not to do so in January, cited the case against longtime Cuomo confidant Joseph Percoco when he officially declared himself a candidate this week.

Even as actress Cynthia Nixon weighs a run for governor, a leading women’s organization – the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women – backed Cuomo for reelection, calling the move “an easy decision.”

Surveillance video released yesterday showed that the only armed sheriff’s deputy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., remained outside during the Feb. 14 massacre at the school, taking cover behind a wall.

Cuomo asked state education officials to investigate reports that some New York schools prevented students from taking part in Wednesday’s nationwide student walkout to protest gun violence.

Fed-up New Yorkers who can’t join the March For Our Lives rally against gun violence in Washington, D.C., next week can head to the Upper West Side on March 24, where anti-gun violence groups are inviting anyone who wants to support the Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivors to gather.

New York’s Democratic lawmakers and gun-control advocates have won an important new ally in their effort to push a legislative ban of bump stocks, which turn semi-automatic rifles into virtual machine guns: Acting ATF Director Thomas Brandon.

Trump’s threat to veto funding for a new rail tunnel into New York City is showing – as it did in last year’s tax debate – that Republicans from the region don’t necessarily have the ear of a president whom they consider a local.

Long Island Republican Rep. Pete King hopes his gift of gab convinced Trump to support funding a stalled rail tunnel linking New York and New Jersey, saying the two conferred about the $30 billion Gateway Project the president has vowed to block during the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Capitol Hill.

The conviction of Cuomo’s former top aide, Percoco, on corruption charges this past Tuesday is leading to renewed calls for greater oversight of the state’s economic development programs.

More >


The special counsel, Robert Mueller, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents, including some related to Russia – the first known time he has demanded documents directly related to the president’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.

The Trump administration announced a raft of long-anticipated sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and other cyberattacks the country has launched against the United States.

A newly installed bridge touted as a feat of engineering collapsed on Florida International University’s campus, killing several people.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco says his 40-year political career will likely come to an end if he doesn’t win the Republican nomination for governor in May.

After two children were killed in a crosswalk in Brooklyn by a Staten Island woman who reportedly suffers from multiple sclerosis, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Albany to pass legislation to go after reckless drivers.

Donna Frescatore, who has led NY State of Health — the state’s online insurance exchange — for the last five years, will become the next state Medicaid director, replacing Jason Helgerson when he leaves next month.

New York City has a new lobbying queen – de Blasio friend and bundler Suri Kasirer – but the rest of the influence-peddling industry is hardly suffering in a City Hall where the well-connected hold sway.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent nearly $1 million on seven military aircraft trips between the spring and fall of 2017, according to documents gathered by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Vanessa Trump has filed for divorce from Donald Trump Jr. after 12 years of marriage.

Democrats are trying to turn the special election for a state Senate seat in Westchester County into a referendum on Trump by criticizing Republican Julie Killian for accepting money from Dick DeVos Jr., husband of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

House Speaker Paul Ryan warned New York and New Jersey Republicans that he won’t allow funds for the Gateway project to be included in a massive spending package if it will cause Trump to veto the bill, according to GOP lawmakers.

IHeartMedia Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the largest U.S. radio station owner reached an in-principle agreement with creditors to restructure its overwhelming debt load.

NYC workers assigned to help homeless students are desperately overwhelmed, leaving many of those children, among the most vulnerable in the public school system, to miss enormous amounts of school and fall far behind their classmates, two reports say.

A Syracuse electrician has landed temporary jobs for the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County while facing murder charges, public records show.

Two high-profile political leaders — female friends despite party differences — are at odds over Nassau’s plan to charge more than $1 million in fees to Little Leagues and other sports and nonprofit organizations that have used county parks for free for years.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman served subpoenas on two opioid distributors as part of a multistate investigation into their marketing and sales practices, seeking company records and communications relating to suspicious drug orders.

Actor Matt Damon is moving his family to Australia — in part because the liberal star’s fed up with Trump.

For the third consecutive week since being categorized as geographically widespread, the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases has decreased across New York State.

A Cheektowaga police officer who months ago helped chase down a shooter at a Dollar General store has been fired after an internal investigation that focused on the officer’s conduct with a registered sex offender in the town.

De Blasio bristled at the prospect of being called to the stand during the Mangano corruption trial, where he would grilled about his relationship with Harendra Singh, an ex-restaurant owner who has said in court that he bribed de Blasio with campaign contributions.

Sen. John Bonacic has mascot madness.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

President Donald Trump this morning greets Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Ireland and then holds a bilateral meeting with him.

In the afternoon, Trump travels to the U.S. Capitol to attend the Friends of Ireland luncheon, and then returns to the White House to meet separately with meets with members of the American Petroleum Institute and Bill Gates.

In the evening, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcome Prime Minister Varadkar back to the White House, and then the president delivers remarks and participates in the Shamrock Bowl presentation by Varadkar.

At 8 a.m., New York Nonprofit Media holds its third annual Nonprofit FundCon, with a day of discussions about strategizing, developing, marketing and raising money for nonprofits, Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo will announce details on Monroe County’s significant investment in local infrastructure, Monroe County Fleet Center – Building 11, 145 Paul Rd. Rochester.

At 10:15 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul accepts an award at the National Lieutenant Governors Association Meeting for her work as co-chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force, Kimpton Hotel Palomar, 2121 P St NW, Washington, DC.

At 10:30 a.m., Assemblywoman Nily Rozic hosts a briefing with the Anti-Defamation League on hate crimes recognition and response, state Capitol, Room 347M, Albany.

Also at 10:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will host a press conference to call for new laws to take dangerous drivers off the road, 78th Precinct, 65 6th Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the Public Service Commission will hold its next regular session, 19th Floor Board Room, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany.

At noon, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Breast Cancer Research Foundation President Myra Biblowit, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint David Croft, and Breast Cancer Survivor Melissa Miller will celebrate the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin program at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Washington, D.C.

At 1 p.m., Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 338 union members and elected officials hold a rally in support of union workers at CVS who are fighting for their first union contract, CVS, 1070 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 1 p.m., state AG Eric Schneiderman will announce a civil lawsuit and criminal charges against an Erie County scam artist, True Bethel Baptist Church
907 E Ferry St., Buffalo.

Also at 1 p.m., activists who have been opposing the CPV power plant react to the verdict in the Joe Percoco federal corruption trial, 1 Railroad Ave., Goshen.

At 2:30 p.m., Health Commissioner Mary Bassett and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announce the reopening of the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic, 303 Ninth Ave., Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., the board of trustees of The State University of New York meets, The SUNY Global Center, Boardroom, 116 E. 55th St., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., in observance of the Hindu Spring Festival of Phagwah, Queens Councilmen Eric Ulrich and Peter Koo, and NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson will host Chowtaal at City Hall, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon and state Sens. Velmanette Montgomery and Brian Kavanagh hold a town hall meeting on the closing of Rikers Island, Belarusian Church, 401 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn.

At 7:30 p.m., the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association meets, with New York City Public Advocate Letitia James in attendance, Carmine Carro Community Center, Fillmore Avenue at Madison Place, Brooklyn.


The first major coordinated action of the student-led movement for gun control, in which kids walked out of classes all across the country in protest, marshaled the same elements that had defined it ever since the Parkland shooting: eloquent young voices, equipped with symbolism and social media savvy, riding a resolve as yet untouched by cynicism.

Students at a Brooklyn rally organized by Borough President Eric Adams, declared war on lawmakers who have resisted meaningful gun control, and registered for their own weapons — the right to vote.

Some students at New York schools (and elsewhere) were disciplined for participating in the walkouts.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo participated in a “die-in” student protest and march at Zuccotti Park with AFT President Randi Weingarten, while NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stood outside the gates of Edward Murrow High School in Brooklyn as hundreds of students streamed out of the school.

Democrat Conor Lamb clung to a thin lead in his closely watched race against Republican Rick Saccone in a Pennsylvania congres­sional district that Trump easily carried in 2016, and the New York Times declared him the winner, though some ballots remain to be counted and the GOP is considering legal action.

Lamb’s slim margin of apparent victory upended the political landscape ahead of November’s midterm elections, and emboldened Democrats to run maverick campaigns even in deep-red areas where Republicans remain bedeviled by Trump’s unpopularity.

New documents reveal someone at the Trump Organization other than Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is involved in the ongoing legal battle between the porn star Stormy Daniels and the president, with whom she claims she had an extramarital affair.

The lawyer representing Daniels says that, on the heels of her lawsuit against Trump, several other women are now exploring the possibility of legal action against him, too.

Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him on the grounds that special counsel Robert Mueller overstepped his jurisdiction.

Defense Department employees spent more than $138,000 at Trump’s branded properties during the first six months he was in office, a nonprofit group that advocates for government transparency says.

The U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation designed to ease bank rules that were enacted to prevent a relapse of the 2008 financial crisis that caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and homes.

Donald Trump Jr. and his wife, Vanessa Trump, are reportedly struggling through marital problems and friends say they are heading for divorce.

In his first public appearance after the corruption conviction of a former top aide, Joe Percoco, Cuomo acknowledged he had known that Percoco was using government offices while working for the governor’s 2014 campaign team, but said he believed the work was not political and related to the transition.

Using a handwritten note to remind him of his thoughts on the matter, Cuomo also dismissed critics and called his former top aide’s crimes “a total aberration,” adding: “We strive for total integrity and this is a total aberration from the people who work in the administration.”

Deputy Senate Majority Leasder John DeFrancisco, a Republican who is seeking his party’s nomination to run against Cuomo this fall, called the governor’s explanation of Percoco’s presence in the office “preposterous” and “an insult to the intelligence of New Yorkers.”

The governor said his name was “never mentioned” during the nearly eight-week trial, which isn’t true, and he dismissed attempts to tie him personally to the case, calling that “political garbage.”

Cuomo said he would push for ethics reform, including a ban or limits on outside income for public officials, including legislators. But critics said that wasn’t the real issue.

A spokesman for Cuomo was asked numerous questions by The Buffalo News’ Tom Precious about what the governor knew, related to certain revelations at the trial, and when he knew it. Basically, the response: He knew nothing.

A day after the conviction of Percoco, federal prosecutors opened another major corruption trial on Long Island, targeting former Nassau County politicians in a case that also could ensnare the reputation of the New York City mayor, de Blasio.

As he continues to rack up endorsements, Republican Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said he will make his bid for governor official on April 2.

Herman Bell, who, along with two other members of the Black Liberation Army, shot and killed two NYPD officers outside a housing project in Harlem in 1971, has been granted parole.

More >


White House officials reportedly have told key GOP leaders on Capitol Hill that President Donald Trump is open to striking a deal that would protect young immigrants from deportation in exchange for border wall funding as part of an upcoming spending bill.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing a recommendation to fire the former F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, a frequent target of attacks by Trump both in public and private, just days before he is scheduled to retire on Sunday.

Thousands of students, emboldened by a growing protest movement over gun violence, stood up in their classrooms and walked out of their schools in a nationwide demonstration, one month after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida.

A threat posted on Facebook last night prompted a number of Scotia-Glenville parents to pull their children out of school today – the day of a planned walkout to protest gun violence, district officials said.

CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow will be Trump’s new National Economic Council director, replacing Gary Cohn, which is good news for Wall Street.

Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich said that Trump wants unofficial “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth as his next Veterans Affairs secretary if and when he fires the current secretary, David Shulkin.

The U.S. government has filed criminal and civil charges against a former Equifax Inc. executive over alleged insider trading linked to last year’s massive data breach at the credit reporting company, officials said.

In his first public appearance since a jury convicted Percoco of accepting more than $300,000 in cash bribes, Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a hand-written note with his talking points as he discussed fallout of the trial with reporters.

Cuomo participated in an anti-gun violence “die in” demonstration with students from Leadership and Public Service High School in Lower Manhattan by laying on the ground in Zuccotti Park among the protestors.

The Republican-affiliated America Rising PAC’s request for the governor’s helicopter flight records was denied on the grounds that revealing them could endanger the “life or safety” of the governor or others.

Chris Cuomo, the outspoken co-host of “New Day” who has gained prominence — and received some right-wing blowback — for his coverage of the Trump administration, is set to take over the network’s 9 p.m. slot on weeknights starting in the spring, CNN said.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers holding Toys R Us gift cards that could become worthless if the toy retailer moves forward with a liquidation plan.

As NYC’s public housing stock crumbles around them, unionized workers are fighting to hold onto perks that cost the city money and manpower, while delaying changes housing authority officials say would improve the quality of life for the 400,000 residents living in their deteriorating buildings.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sprained her hand Tuesday during her visit to Jodhpur, India, and was forced to cancel a trip to the historic Mehrangarh fort after doctors advised her to rest.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said she was bewildered by the felony conviction of Syracuse-area business executive Steven Aiello, who she said has shown integrity as a local developer.

A state Senate GOP budget resolution leaves the door open for a deal on legislation that would make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice as adults, but unlike Cuomo and the Assembly Democrats, state Senate Republicans have offered no specific plan.

Edward Mangano “sold himself” to restaurateur Harendra Singh in order to maintain his lavish lifestyle after becoming Nassau County executive and taking a $114,000 pay cut from his private-sector job, a federal prosecutor said today at Mangano’s influence-peddling trial.

Herman Bell, a 70-year-old Black Liberation Army member who’s been behind bars nearly 50 years for killing two cops in the 1970s, has been granted parole, authorities said.

Cuomo today announced cashless tolling will go live at the Grand Island Toll Barriers on March 29, weather dependent. As of the morning commute on Friday, March 30, the Grand Island toll plazas will no longer accept cash payment.

Antonio Delgado, one of the Democrats seeking to oust Republican Rep. John Faso in NY-19, released a new TV ad with a five-figure buy that’s airing on cable and broadcast stations around the district.

Major upgrades on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and improvements overall in regional medical care have yet to translate into improved health outcomes in Western New York, according to two major national reports released this week.

Two Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center employees left their jobs after they were implicated in the botched decision not to try to revive a patient suffering cardiac arrest, a spokeswoman for the facility said.

Next week could bring a fourth coastal storm this month to the Northeast, and several more could be on the way during the rest of March.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City.

Students around the state – and the nation – will be walking out of classes to protest gun violence exactly one month after the Parkland, FL massacre.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

This afternoon, Vice President Mike Pence participates in a swearing-in ceremony for Russ Vought as the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Palacio will be in Puerto Rico, where, among other things, they will tour a community health facility in Barrio Obrero, with the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz.

At 10 a.m., Cuomo, AFT President Randi Weingarten and UFT President Michael Mulgrew Join Students at Leadership and Public Service High School for the National School Walk-Out, Leadership and Public Service High School, 90 Trinity Pl., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joins the student-organized walkout at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in solidarity with the national school walkout, 5700 223rd St., Queens.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul participates in WE RISE: A Right to Safety as part of the national school walkout, Columbia High School, 962 Luther Rd., East Greenbushde Blasio will join students from Edward R. Murrow High School at the National School Walkout, where he will deliver remarks

Also at 10 a,m., NYC Mayor Bill will join students from Edward R. Murrow High School at the National School Walkout, where he will deliver remarks, 1600 Avenue L, Brooklyn.

At 10:30 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer greets students at her northern Manhattan office, 431 W. 125th St., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., actor Corey Feldman and USA volleyball player Sarah Powers-Barnhard attend a press conference calling on state Senate Republicans to stop blocking the passage of the Child Victims Act, state Capitol, Million Dollar Staircase, third floor, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., 1199SEIU and the Greater New York Hospital Association hold a rally to urge the state Legislature to pass a budget that includes adequate funding for New York’s hospitals, nursing homes and home care workers, Times Union Center, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany. (Hochul is scheduled to attend and speak).

At noon, Assemblyman David Weprin and the Rikers Debate Project hold a public debate on whether people in prison should be given the right to vote, Legislative Office Building, LCA Press Room 130, Albany.

Also at noon, Assemblyman David Weprin, Correction Committee chair, will join the Rikers Debate Project to host a public debate on whether people in prison should be given the right to vote, LCA Press Room, 130, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 12:15 p.m., a group of House Democrats – including Rep. Adriano Espaillat – will release a letter to House and Senate leadership and appropriators, signed by a substantial number of members, requesting that the Dream Act be attached to the Omnibus spending bill slated for passage in the next week or so, House Triangle, Washington, D.C.

At 1 p.m., the Joel Giambra campaign for governor will hold “a major news conference” to discuss the candidate’s “marijiuana agenda” for the coming campaign, the Hotel Henry, 444 Forest Ave., second floor boardroom, Buffalo.

At 2:30 p.m., the state Child Welfare Coalition and the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York urge state lawmakers to reject state budget cuts targeted at vulnerable children, youth and families, third floor, outside state Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

At 6 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host his annual Irish Heritage and Culture celebration, at Rambling House in the Woodlawn section of The Bronx, 4292 Katonah Ave.

Also at 6 p.m., Citizen Action of New York, JustLeadershipUSA and other advocates discuss the devastating impacts of mass criminalization in Albany County and across the state, Greater St. John’s COGIC, 74 Fourth Ave., Albany.

At 6:30 p.m., the Manhattan GOP will hold a gubernatorial candidates screening in conjunction with the Metropolitan Republican Club, 122 E. 83rd St., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano delivers his State of the City address, Yonkers Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Center, Yonkers.


The federal corruption conviction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former fixer and longtime top aide, Joe Percoco, further yoked the two-term governor to a broken culture in Albany that he has long tried to campaign against, marking a nadir in Cuomo’s governorship and only the start of a political headache that is likely to intensify.

Ken Lovett: “Percoco’s conviction is more like icing on the cake for the governor’s critics and political foes. Even before the three guilty verdicts on Tuesday, the eight-week trial shined a bright light on how the Cuomo administration operates — and it wasn’t pretty.”

In a split verdict, Percoco was convicted of soliciting and accepting more than $300,000 in bribes from executives working for two companies with state business, but not guilty of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion.

In a statement issued several hours after the verdict, the governor said that while he was saddened for Percoco’s young daughters, he believed there should be “no tolerance: for lapses of integrity in public service.

Percoco’s lawyer Barry Bohrer says there will be an appeal.

The jury also convicted one of the businessmen charged with paying the bribes, Steven Aiello, an executive at a Syracuse area development company, Cor Development. A second executive with the company, Joseph Gerardi, was acquitted on all counts.

A lawyer for Aiello is planning to appeal what he called a “confusing” and “coerced” verdict that determined his client was guilty on one charge.

The jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared in the case of a fourth defendant, energy company executive Peter Galbraith Kelly. The U.S. Attorney’s office didn’t immediately announce whether it would seek a retrial.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, a GOP gubernatorial candidate, says Cuomo must explain to the public how Percoco was able to run a bribery and extortion scheme for years before he was convicted.

The Journal News: “It would be nice if Cuomo addressed the question on everyone’s mind: How one of his closest aides, perhaps his closest, could use his relationship with the governor to try to enrich himself by illegal means, without Cuomo knowing or suspecting.”

It’s not over yet. Another corruption trial – involving six defendants, including three developers involved in the Buffalo Billion program at the solar manufacturing plant at RiverBend – is due to start in June before U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni, who presided over the Percoco trial.

Following the abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, President Donald Trump signaled he’s prepared to dismiss aides with whom he’s clashed – including national security adviser H.R. McMaster – as he works to surround himself with advisers more aligned with his populist agenda and freewheeling style.

Trump’s ouster of Tillerson is the most dramatic in a cascade of personnel moves that suggest the president is determined to surround himself with loyalists more willing to reflect his “America First” views.

Just over a year after the Sept. 11 attacks, the CIA dispatched the veteran clandestine officer Gina Haspel – Trump’s latest choice to run the agency – to oversee a secret prison in Thailand. Shortly after, agency contractors in the frantic hunt for the conspirators waterboarded a Qaeda suspect three times and subjected him to brutal interrogation techniques.

Trump wants the US to have its own “Space Force,” which would be like the Army and the Navy, “but for space,” he says.

The Democrat and Republican in a special House election in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Trump country were divided by a few hundred votes in a race that was too close to call early this morning — an ominous sign for Republicans in a district that the president won by nearly 20 percentage points.

The family of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich filed a lawsuit against Fox News, one of the network’s reporters, and a wealthy Texas businessman over their roles in the publication of a baseless conspiracy theory about Rich’s 2016 death.

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President Trump ousted his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, extending a shake-up of his administration, 14 months into his tumultuous presidency, and potentially transforming the nation’s economic and foreign policy.

Tillerson announced that his last day in the role will be March 31, but that he will transfer most of his duties to his deputy, John Sullivan, today.

Who will be the next member of the administration to go?

Trump’s longtime personal aide John McEntee was fired because he is under investigation by the Homeland Security Department for serious financial crimes unrelated to the president, and his security clearance was revoked.

Minutes after news of his departure broke, the Trump campaign announced McEntee would be joining the reelection effort as a senior adviser for campaign operations.

Two associates of Roger Stone, a longtime Republican strategist and informal adviser to Trump, said he was aware that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was in possession of a trove of hacked Democratic emails months before they became public.

The latest clue that actress and advocate Cynthia Nixon is indeed planning to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a primary: Her wife resigned from her job with the de Blasio administration.

The attorney for Cor executive Joseph Gerardi said he is unable to reconcile the mixed verdict rendered in the New York corruption case against a top Cuomo aide and two Syracuse businessmen.

The MTA is breaking the law by refusing to make its stations accessible to the disabled, the United States Attorney in Manhattan charges in a new lawsuit filed today.

A Florida prosecutor said that he would seek the death penalty against Nicholas Cruz, the man accused of killing 17 people last month at a high school in Parkland, moving the state closer to a rare trial for someone charged in a mass shooting.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray is considering a run for office after her husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is term limited out of office in 2021, she said — but she doesn’t agree with him that she ought to get paid at her current gig.

McCray also announced she’s heading to Puerto Rico as the city dispatches a team of 12 mental health professionals to assist people suffering after Hurricane Maria.

As students across the country prepare to walk out of school to protest the lack of gun control in the wake of the Parkland shooting, parents, teachers and administrators are trying to determine how young is too young to participate in events like these.

Rolling Stone magazine covered a new report from Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York on the health risks of fracking.

With the yellow cab industry teetering on the brink of insolvency, New York City is poised to roll out what its top taxi regulator called a “tremendous opportunity”: surge pricing.

Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa was elected to another five-year term on the board this week, with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie applauding the move to “ensure the board has the strong leadership necessary to continue the legacy of our state’s education system.”

Partnership for NYC President and CEO Kathryn Wylde penned a pro-congestion pricing OpEd for The Empire Page.

Hillary Clinton last weekend took broad swipes at Trump’s 2016 election victory, seemingly putting blame for her loss on poorer areas of the United States.

Former Alaska Governor and onetime GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin will keynote the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day fundraising dinner on Friday at Mar-a-Lago, the party announced. (No word yet whether Trump will attend).

A U.S. citizen who joined al-Qaida and participated in a failed 2009 suicide bombing at an American military base in Afghanistan will spend 45 years in prison.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is returning to the city from Washington, D.C.this morning, but has no public events scheduled.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

The jury enters its eighth day of deliberations in the Joe Percoco federal corruption trial, after announcing yesterday it was deadlocked for the second time.

President Donald Trump is traveling to San Diego, California today, where he will review border wall prototypes, after which he will deliver remarks to members of the military at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

This evening, Trump will participate in a roundtable with Republican National Committee supporters at a private residence in Santa Monica, CA.

At 9 a.m., the state Board of Regents and its committees hold a daylong series of meetings, state Department of Education, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., the NYC Board of Corrections meets, 125 Worth St., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., nembers of the state Legislature, including state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, meet with lobbyists and activists, The Egg, 1 Empire State Plaza, Albany.

Also at 9:30 a.m., Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, and 16 other people who were arrested protesting the deportation of immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir will appear before a judge, 100 Centre St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Board of Health holds a meeting, Health Department’s Long Island City headquarters, 42-09 28th St., third floor, Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., New York State Planned Parenthood advocates rally and lobby New York legislators to support the inclusion in the governor’s women’s agenda in the state budget, Convention Center, Concourse, Albany.

At 11 a.m., Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York hosts a press conference with members of the state Legislature calling on the state to increase funding for wages in nonprofit contracts, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Palacio will make an announcement about New York City’s assistance to Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery efforts, Hispanic Federation, 55 Exchange Pl., Suite 501, Manhattan.

Also ar 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul addresses the NYS Planned Parenthood day of action with outgoing national organization President Cecile Richards, Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., state Sens. George Amedore and Robert Ortt join Assemblywomen Linda Rosenthal and Aileen Gunther to urge state leaders to fund substance use disorder treatment and transition services in county jails, Legislative Office Building, LCA Press Room 130, Albany.

Also at 11:30 a.m., the New York State Building & Construction Trades Council, the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations hold a press conference to close the prevailing wage loophole in state budget, outside state Senate lobby, third floor, state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., state Sen. James Sanders Jr. and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte hold a press conference for MWBE Coalition Lobby Day, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 12:30 p.m., the New York Immigration Coalition urges Haitian and Salvadoran Temporary Protected Status recipients to renew their status before the March 19 deadline, 131 W. 33rd St., Suite 610, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., Queens Rep. Joe Crowley hosts a press conference with students and activists to demand congressional action on gun safety, Renaissance Charter School, 35-59 81st St., Queens.

At 4:15 p.m., Hochul speaks at the at the Orthodox Union student rally, Hart Theater, the Egg, Albany.

At 7 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle attend a fundraising event for Assemblyman David Weprin, Dawn’s Victory Sports Café, 10 Sheridan Ave., Albany.

Also at 7 p.m., Queens Community Board 4 holds its monthly meeting, Elmhurst Hospital, Room A-22, 79-01 Broadway, Queens.


The third major nor’easter in two weeks started to slam the storm-battered Northeast this morning with blizzard conditions expected in some areas.

President Trump visits California today where he will appear at the U.S-Mexico border to promote the prototypes of the border wall he has promised to build in his fight against illegal immigration.

Trump celebrated a GOP intelligence report that showed “no collusion” with Russia by issuing a rare all-caps tweet.

Trump blocked microchip maker Broadcom Ltd.’s proposed takeover of Qualcomm Inc. on national security grounds, ending what would have been the technology industry’s biggest deal ever amid concerns that it would give China the upper hand in mobile communications.

The president abandoned his promise to work for gun control measures opposed by the NRA, bowing to the gun group and embracing its agenda of armed teachers and incremental improvements to the background check system.

White House officials were reportedly alarmed by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ struggle to answer basic questions about the nation’s schools and failure to defend the administration’s newly proposed school safety measures during a tour of television interviews Sunday and yesterday.

A judge ordered the release of video footage expected to shine another spotlight on the Broward Sheriff’s Office response in the initial minutes of the Parkland, FL school shooting that killed 17 people.

First daughter Ivanka Trump will pocket more than $1 million a year from her family’s business while also serving as a senior adviser to her father, the president.

Donald Trump has long claimed that residential towers and condominium hotels bearing his name were more valuable than those of his competitors. But new analyses of Trump-branded buildings in Manhattan by two separate real estate companies show that far from leading the market, the president’s aging buildings are lagging behind.

The pilot of the helicopter that plunged into the East River told cops he believes that a loose tether on one of his passengers’ harnesses cut off the fuel switch, law-enforcement sources said, but one expert questioned that scenario, calling it “highly implausible.”

Liberty Helicopters has a spotty safety record that includes four earlier accidents — including a deadly midair collision with a private plane over the Hudson River.

The crash — the deadliest involving a helicopter in New York City since 2009 — exposed what aviation experts called startling safety gaps in the fast-growing industry of doors-off photo flights, once reserved for professional photographers but increasingly marketed to tourists.

Passengers’ best hope for survival in this sort of crash is to free a small blade from a shoulder strap and slash their way out of a complicated harness system designed to keep them safe in an airborne flying machine with no doors.

The five victims who died in this chartered helicopter crash included a Dallas firefighter, a video journalist and an Argentine tourist.

Kids and adults marched in Park Slope, Brooklyn last night to urge the city to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians, after a horror car crash killed two toddlers there.

Jurors at the bribery trial of a former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco finished another day of deliberations after a second deadlock, writing in a note to the judge that they’d struck out after considering “the facts and the evidence with open minds.”

After discussing the note with prosecutors and defense lawyers, Judge Valerie Caproni ordered the jurors to keep trying. But If the jury reports a deadlock once more, Caproni said she will not consider instructing the panel to keep deliberating.

New York state lost a jurisdiction dispute with the FERC, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit declined to review whether the federal energy regulator had big-footed the state when it gave the green light to a controversial natural gas pipeline project in Orange County.

Six men and six women were selected to serve on the jury in the corruption case involving former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto.

Voting 56-2, the state Senate passed a new sex harassment measure that makes it easier for victims to file complaints and harder for employers to silence accusers. Democratic Manhattan senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman were the only “no” voters.

Assembly Democrats unveiled a one-house budget plan that pushes a modified congestion pricing plan to send needed funds to the MTA. It would not charge regular vehicles to enter into the central business zone in Manhattan or impose bridge tolls, but add a $2.75-per-trip charge on for-hire vehicles like Uber, Lyft, black cars and limousines for any trips that originate or terminate below 96th St. in Manhattan.

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The Metropolitan Opera fired James Levine this evening, ending its association with a conductor who defined the company for more than four decades after an investigation found what the Met called credible evidence that Mr. Levine had engaged in “sexually abusive and harassing conduct.”

Under pressure from gun rights groups, President Donald Trump backed away from raising the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, one of several measures he had supported after the latest U.S. school shooting.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said that Russia was “highly likely” behind last week’s poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, with a military-grade nerve agent.

Porn star Stormy Daniels is offering to return the $130,000 she received in hush money so she can detail her alleged affair with Trump.

The jury in the corruption trial of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo top aide Joseph Percoco announced for the second time that it was deadlocked, dimming the prospects once again for a verdict in the trial.

Mayor Richard Thomas, a 35-year-old Democrat, was arraigned on criminal charges this morning as part of a corruption probe by the state attorney general’s office into campaign finance irregularities.

During a brief press conference outside Mount Vernon City Hall, Thomas denied any allegations after being accused of misappropriating thousands of dollars in funds from his campaign committee.

After touring a NYCHA complex in the Bronx, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called what he saw shameful and “disgusting,” and insisted the situation isn’t his fault.

A poll paid for by former Rep. Michael Grimm’s campaign shows he’s ahead in his primary challenge to the man who replaced him, Staten Island Republican Rep. Dan Donovan.

The helicopter that plunged into the East River, killing all five passengers aboard, may have gone down because of an errant strap on a bag, a high-ranking police source told The NY Post.

The crash revived calls for helicopter tours to be restricted over Manhattan and raised questions about the safety of amateurs being allowed on so-called photo flights, in which people are strapped in to helicopters with their doors off and given only knives to escape in an emergency.

The state Senate is opening an investigation into the de Blasio administration’s exporting of New York City homeless families to other parts of the state.

The federal corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, his wife Linda and former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto kicked off today with jury selection and Mangano voicing confidence that he would be exonerated.

Erin Collier, a fifth-generation farmer and nationally ranked triathlete from NY-19 who worked for the Obama administration as an agricultural economist, is running against six men for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Rep. John Faso this fall.

“The balancing act plays out every day in restaurants across America: Servers who rely on tips decide where to draw the line when a customer goes too far.”

The New York Times editorial board supports doing away with the tipped worker sub-minimum wage.

Change is coming to embattled Vice Media, where cable giant Nancy Dubuc is expected to assume the CEO role from co-founder Shane Smith.

Over the weekend in Mumbai at India Today’s Conclave, 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said America “did not deserve” Trump as president.

Snow. Snow.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and Albany.

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

The jury resumes deliberating in the Joe Percoco federal corruption trial, which enters its eighth week today.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in Texas at the South by Southwest Conference and the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, as part of a five-day, taxpayer-funded swing through Baltimore, Austin, Tex., and Washington, D.C.

De Blasio today will attend a U.S. Conference of Mayors’ strategy session on the 2020 census and immigration, and then travel from Austin, Texas to Washington, D.C., where he will deliver remarks at the National League of Cities spring meeting.

President Donald Trump this morning receives his daily intelligence briefing, and then hosts the 2017 World Series Champion Houston Astros at the White House.

In the afternoon, Trump is scheduled to have lunch with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Vice President Mike Pence will be in New York City today to participate in a Great America Committee, Protect the House roundtable and lunch at the Pierre Hotel, and then a dinner at an undisclosed location before retuning to D.C.

At 9 a.m., the Board of Regents meets, state Education Building, 89 Washington Ave., Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul addresses the largest worldwide gathering of treatment providers and policy experts regarding the state’s opioid and heroin task force, Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., Queens Rep. Joe Crowley hosts the 15th Annual Women’s History Month event, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the keynote speaker, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

At 10:15 a.m., Cuomo holds a press briefing at at NYCHA’s Jackson Houses, before which he will tour residences there, 765 Courtlandt Ave., the Bronx.

At 1 p.m., Hochul highlights the Cuomo administration’s Women’s Agenda at a Networking Event with women leaders hosted by the Business Council of Westchester, 800 Westchester Avenue, Suite S-310, Rye Brook.

At 1:15 p.m., Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Assemblyman Andrew Raia and members of the GOP conference will call for legislation to reduce Medicaid costs in New York, back of the Assembly chamber, 3rd floor, state Capitol, Albany.

At 5:30 p.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz discusses the state of homelessness in the borough, Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 6 p.m., Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velázquez, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson join in the NYC Kids March for Safe Streets rally, Ninth Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn.

Also at 6 p.m., NYC Councilman Andy King honors 12 exemplary women from the Bronx during his State of Our District address, Academy for Scholarship and Entrepreneurship, 921 E. 228th St., the Bronx.

At 6:15 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks at “Breaking the Silence – a New Way Forward on Mental Health,” a discussion at the New York City Bar Association about ThriveNYC, 42 West 44th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Manhattan Rep. Adriano Espaillat holds a community forum on the Inwood rezoning, Washington Heights Academy, 202 Sherman Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 6:30 p.m., former NYC Mayor David Dinkins is honored at the New Jewish Home’s Eight Over 80 gala, Ziegfeld Ballroom, 141 W. 54th St., Manhattan.

At 8 p.m., Hochul accepts an award at the American Irish Legislators Society Annual Dinner, Ancient Order of Hibernians, 375 Ontario St., Albany.


The Trump administration last night proposed providing some school personnel with “rigorous” firearms training and backed a bill to improve criminal background checks on gun buyers, but backpedaled on the idea of increasing the minimum age to buy certain firearms – a policy President Donald Trump had said he would support.

The proposals, which come more than three weeks after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, also include a plan to establish a commission chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that will recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention, including possible age restrictions on some firearms purchases.

DeVos says there is a “sense of urgency” in solving gun violence after the Parkland massacre.

David Hogg, a student survivor of the Parkland shooting, criticized Trump after the White House unveiled the new gun proposals, saying the president walking back his calls for certain gun measures shows that “he’s owned” by the NRA, just like other politicians.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to kick off a six-figure gun-control campaign – including a mix of digital and TV ads – touting his work on the issue and targeting seven New York congressional Republicans.

Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels said she’s waiting to “see what happens” as Trump’s lawyers reportedly try to block an interview she did with CBS’s “60 Minutes” from airing.

The pilot of a helicopter, a private charter hired for a photo shoot, that went down in New York City’s East River is the sole survivor of the crash, after all five passengers died, authorities say.

Emergency responders, battling currents of five miles per hour, dived into the below 40-degree water to rescue the passengers, who were tightly harnessed in and had to be cut out.

Three people transported to area hospitals after the crash later died, FDNY spokesman Jim Long said. Two others were pronounced dead at the scene of the incident.

The cause of the crash, which occurred at about 7 p.m. north of Roosevelt Island between Queens and Manhattan, near Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence, remained unclear.

The helicopter pilot, Richard Vance, 33, is a former flight instructor from Connecticut who’s been flying “for years,” according to his father.

The Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs, drastically different but often spoken of in the same breath, are now being thrust together, as Trump’s determination to kill the landmark 2015 accord limiting Tehran’s capabilities is colliding with his scramble to reach a far more complex deal with Pyongyang.

A spokesman for Trump said “nothing is being ruled out” for the preisdent’s upcoming meeting with North Korea’s leader, including a possible sitdown in the White House.

The Trump administration is putting the finishing touches on its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, and Trump is likely to present it soon, despite risking swift rejection by the Palestinians and having already taken on another of the world’s thorniest disputes, with North Korea.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended Trump’s new comments about Rep. Maxine Waters, saying he “likes making funny names.” During Saturday night’s campaign rally in Pennsylvania, Trump dismissed the California Democrat as a “very low-IQ individual.”

The national Democratic Party’s hierarchy acknowledged the “perceived influence” of insiders over voters in picking a presidential nominee, but don’t know yet how to settle an issue that bedeviled the bitter nomination fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016.

A one-page letter detailing “bipartisan bad behavior” in Albany is being circulated by two Assembly Democratic women, and professes solidarity with those who have come forward with their stories. More than 100 signatures – from men and women – have been collective thus far.

While NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was at a Texas music festival peddling his national agenda, Cuomo was quick to jump in on some Big Apple issues that critics say the mayor has sorely neglected — agreeing to meet with public-housing tenants over their heat, mold and lead-paint woes.

Cuomo is set to meet today with residents of the Jackson Houses in the South Bronx, where tenants have been complaining about multiple repair issues for years.

While in Texas, de Blasio insisted that he is not pushing his actress-pal Cynthia Nixon to run against his rival, Cuomo, saying: “I’m not involved, I don’t know what she is going to do.”

While Nixon continues to mull a Democratic primary challenge against Cuomo, her team believes the possibility has already put fear into the two-term governor. “They’re very encouraged by the way Cuomo reacted this past week,” a source within Nixon’s orbit said. “They called it a meltdown. A freakout.”

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