Liz Benjamin

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public events announced as of yet.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence lunch with U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions in the White House private dining room today.

Later in the day, Pence will participate in a swearing-in ceremony for Steve King as U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

Sessions is scheduled to me at JFK airport in Queens this morning to discuss what the Trump administration is doing to combat the opioid crisis.

At 7:30 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis is interviewed on “Len Berman in the Morning,” WOR Radio-710 AM.

At 9:15 a.m., U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio hold a joint press conference, Grand Central Terminal, Restaurant Level (Michael Jordan Steakhouse), Vanderbilt Avenue entrance, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., de Blasio delivers remarks at the Know Your Value Conference with Mika Brzezinski, Grand Hyatt New York, 109 East 42nd St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., more than 30 state, county, and local elected officials will unite to call on the state Board of Elections, AG Eric Schneiderman, and Albany County DA David Soares to investigate potential wrongful activity in the absentee ballot process in both the primary and general elections in the City of Albany and Albany County, 40 N. Pearl St., Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina delivers testimony on school climate before the NYC Council Education Committee, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., state Reform Party Chair Curtis Sliwa will join Sen. George Latimer, Democratic nominee for Westchester County executive, to discuss his dealings with GOP Executive Rob Astorino and why he feels Astorino “must resign,” Latimer for Westchester Headquarters, 7 Palisades Ave., Yonkers.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray participates in a press conference hosted by The National Institute for Reproductive Health that will honor city leaders for their work to advance policies that protect women’s reproductive rights, the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will release his annual report on the profitability of New York City’s securities industry during a conference call with members of the media.

At 11 a.m., the Assembly will hold a public hearing to examine the range of healthcare challenges facing the state and local correctional facilities, including the adequacy of care, treatment for communicable diseases, women’s healthcare and long-term care, LOB, Hearing Room C, 198 State St., Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host a media preview to of the 7th Annual “Savor the Bronx” Restaurant Week at Porto Salvo Bronx, a newly-opened Nautical Italian Cookery & Wine Bar in the South Bronx, 424 E. 161st St.

Also at 11 a.m., progressive organizations from across New York will be joining together to voice their opposition to a constitutional convention, outside the state Senate chambers, 3rd Floor, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Council members and environmental justice advocates call on de Blasio to “implement a stronger energy efficiency policy that will require building owners to reduce all types of energy usage, including electricity, not just fossil fuels, while protecting affordable housing and protecting good union jobs,” City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Republican Nassau County executive candidate Jack Martins joins Rep. Peter King and law enforcement association representatives to receive their support and release proposal for wiping out MS-13, 89 E. Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, Long Island.

At 1 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul participates in a ribbon cutting ceremony for Cave of the Winds, Niagara Falls.

At 1 p.m., JCOPE holds a hearing on “comprehensive lobbying and source of funding regulations, LOB, Hearing Room A, 198 State St., Albany.

At 2 p.m., in response to de Blasio’s “quest to tear down statues like Christopher Columbus,” Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich will announce legislation that would require a majority vote of the Council before removing statues on city property, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the South Long Street restoration groundbreaking, 40 S. Long St., Williamsville.

At 4:30 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at a Local 3 IBEW rally for a fair contract, 42nd Street & Broadway, Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., Hochul highlights state investment in the bio/med industry at MedTech’s annual conference, Hyatt Regency, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo.

At 7 p.m., Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders headlines a campaign rally for de Blasio, which McCray will also attend, Terminal 5, 605 W. 55th St., Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., Malliotakis participates in the North Shore Towers candidates forum, North Shore Towers, 27240 Grand Central Pkwy., Queens.

At 8:30 p.m., Malliotakis attends a “Road to Victory” fundraiser, Republic Astoria, 33-29 Astoria Blvd., Queens.

Also at 8:30 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the 50th anniversary of the annual Restore Brooklyn benefit, Cipriani, 110 E. 42nd St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

The CEO of Montana-based Whitefish Energy Holdings, which is saw the cancellation of its controversial $350 million contract for restoration of power on Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, was born and raised in Baldwinsville.

Donald Trump is currently suffering from the lowest approval rating of his presidency, with just 38 percent feeling positive about his job performance, a new poll shows.

A nor’easter slammed New York City on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, bringing heavy rain and some flooding, with winds projected to become stronger last night.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. today across NYC. The five boroughs were soaked with rain that traveled sideways at times, shredding umbrellas and lifting hats to new heights. In some spots, rain fell as much as one inch per hour.

A flash flood watch and high wind warning remain in effect into this morning for most of Central New York, according to the National Weather Service website.

So much rain fell already on Syracuse yesterday that it set a new record for the most rainfall on that date. Some 0.91 inches of rain has fallen, breaking the previous record of 0.62 inches, set in 1972.

As of 11:30 p.m. last night, more than 40,000 customers throughout Long Island had lost electricity as a result of the storm, PSEG Long Island said.

During a joint appearance in Oceanside, L.I. with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, to announce a Nassau County water treatment plant project, Gov. Andrew Cuomo invoked Winston Churchill’s motto of “never given in” to say how New York tackled Sandy.

Schumer added: “We always knew Long Island would come back because of the spirit and toughness and strength and love of this beautiful area, and that’s what happened. It’s amazing how things have turned around.”

To mark Sandy’s anniversary, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to spend $145 million on seven park projects to help protect the Rockaways from future floods.

De Blasio had another memory lapse when grilled yesterday about damning testimony from a big bucks donor, saying he doesn’t remember whether he personally asked the man for a six-figure check.

The NY Post endorsed de Blasio’s Republican opponent, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, saying: “Even if there were any doubt about who New Yorkers should support for mayor, last week’s bombshell testimony by fat-cat donor Jona Rechnitz detailing how he purchased City Hall’s favors makes the choice crystal-clear.”

Although polls indicate that de Blasio, a Democrat, is likely to win re-election easily on Nov. 7, his unpopularity in the 43rd Council District in Brooklyn is such that he has not campaigned for the Democratic candidate, Justin Brannan, who worked on the mayor’s pre-K program as a political liaison at the NYC Education Department.

Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan, the only Republican in the NYC Congressional delegation, slammed Trump’s tax plan, saying the elimination of a key tax deduction would wallop New Yorkers.

Writing in the NY Post, WNY Rep. Chris Collins slams “King Cuomo” for calling the congressman’s vote in favor of tax reform “treasonous,” adding: “While I fight in Washington to lower taxes on working families, (Cuomo) demands more money from the hardworking people of New York to feed his never-ending appetite for wasteful spending.”

More >

The Weekend That Was

Puerto Rico’s governor called for terminating a $300 million contract awarded to a little-known Montana company, Whitefish Energy Holdings, hired to coordinate restoring electricity on the island following Hurricane Maria.

A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, and anyone charged could be taken into custody as soon as tomorrow.

Mueller’s probe is scrutinizing a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013.

This morning, Trump expressed frustration – via four tweets sent over 24 minutes – that his campaign is under investigation over possible ties to Russia’s plot to influence the 2016 election but that his former opponent Hillary Clinton is not facing the same level of scrutiny.

GOP political consultant and longtime Trump associate Roger Stone said he plans to sue Twitter for suspending his account due to a profanity-laced rant at CNN reporters, accusing the social media giant of trying to censor conservative voices.

“I have retained one of the best telecommunications lawyers in the country and will be bringing a legal action against Twitter over the suspension of my account,” Stone said. “The battle for free speech has just begun.”

“Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?), the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more,” Trump tweeted. “Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia ‘collusion,’ which doesn’t exist.”

Trump suggested reports of an impending arrest in the Mueller probe — which he took over in May — are a bid to halt the momentum in the Republican tax reform effort.

Clinton skewered Fox News’ continued focus on her, almost a year after the presidential election, in a speech to the Human Rights Campaign at its national dinner on Saturday.

“The attacks on the LGBT community here at home and around the world are striking and scary,” Clinton said. “I can only imagine what it’s like to be in the position that so many people still find themselves in in our country.”

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said that officials from the DNC and Clinton’s presidential campaign should testify again before the Senate Intelligence Committee about funding for the so-called Trump dossier.

During a monologue on her Fox News program, Judge Jeanine Pirro, who once ran a short-lived challenge against then-U.S. Sen. Clinton, called for the former presidential candidate to be jailed over the Trump/Russia dossier revelations.

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of when, with 11 days until Election Day, former FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to members of Congress informing them that the FBI learned of the “existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into then-Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a private email server.

“Oh is that today?” Clinton tweeted in response to FiveThirtyEight Editor-In-Chief Nate Silver’s tweet that Clinton would have won the 2016 election if not for Comey’s letter.

President Trump’s nominee to be the vice chairman of the NTSB doesn’t think much of a key pilot experience requirement stemming from the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, which tumbled to the ground in Clarence and claimed 50 lives largely because of pilot error.

Trump’s first ex-wife, Ivana Trump, said she raised their three children “on my own.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended Trump’s declaration of an opioid emergency without making any new federal money available — saying it’s up to Congress to come up with the cash.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed in an appearance Friday at Kennedy Airport to wage a law enforcement “war” on opioids, akin to the anti-drug efforts of the 1980s.

Filmmaker Michael Moore and Trump traded barbs on Twitter over Moore’s recently-closed solo Broadway show decrying the president.

Actress-turned-feminist-activist Rose McGowan, a Harvey Weinstein accuser who refused a $1 million hush money offer, was a featured speaker at the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit. “I have been silenced for 20 years,” she said. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.”

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake’s surprise announcement that he won’t run for re-election has thrown open the race to succeed him, igniting divisions in both major parties.

The U.S. Education Department is considering only partially forgiving federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges, according to department officials, abandoning the Obama administration’s policy of erasing that debt.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had a bout of memory loss Saturday during his first public comments about the damaging pay-to-play testimony of one of his biggest donors, Jona Rechnitz, though he did call Rechnitz a “liar” and a “horrible human being.”

Rechnitz lived like he owned New York City — and arguably, he did.

A Staten Island police officer’s role in the pay-to-play allegations plaguing the de Blasio administration was highlighted during at the Seabrook trial.

The Staten Island Advance endorsed its hometown mayoral candidate, Malliotakis, after backing de Blasio four years ago, reasoning that the borough “needs to have a loud voice in city government” to get its needs met.

Malliotakis also landed the backing of The Jewish Voice.

Malliotakis, de Blasio and independent mayoral candidate Bo Dietl will all participate Wednesday a third and final pre-general election debate, sanctioned by the Campaign Finance Board and sponsored by media outlets including CBS2 News and the Daily News.

Malliotakis isn’t letting the heavy boot she’s sporting due to a broken foot – or the long odds she faces at the polls – weigh her down as she competes for control of Gracie Mansion.

It’s the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Read more here, here, here, and here.

An outpouring of activists and environmental advocates marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to mark the fifth anniversary, and call on government to take climate change seriously.

James Pindell, writing in The Boston Globe, ranks Gov. Andrew Cuomo No. 6 in a list of top potential Democratic 2020 White House contenders. (U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand didn’t make the cut at all).

Attorneys for former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and three co-defendants in an upcoming Albany corruption trial in Manhattan federal court say a series of posters in the 40 Foley Square courthouse where their clients will be tried features dozens of famous cases from the court’s history that could prejudice jurors.

More than 5,000 teachers, aides and other NYC Department of Education workers have been busted in the last three years on charges ranging from rape and kidnapping to assault and shoplifting.

Thomas Feeley, the new Buffalo field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, unapologetically says New York is not a safe haven for undocumented immigrations and “everyone is fair game” for potential deportation.

Voters will cast ballots next week on a constitutional amendment that allows judges to cut or do away with corrupt public officials’ pensions. But the measure, if passed, would have no impact on Suffolk County DA Thomas Spota or his deputy Christopher McPartland, if they’re found guilty on federal corruption charges.

Former state AG Dennis Vacco weighs in on the politicizing of energy-related decisions in New York.

The MTA is finally planning a more modern transit fare system that will allow riders to wave smartphones and certain kinds of credit cards and debit cards at the turnstiles. But will commuters have to worry about hackers following them down into the subway?

Labor unions are leading the fight against a New York ballot measure to hold a constitutional convention, arguing that it’s just too risky to tinker with the state’s governing document and threaten existing protections for worker’s compensation, unemployment benefits and collective bargaining.

Former President Bill Clinton and rocker Jon Bon Jovi will appear at a 60th birthday fund-raiser for Cuomo’s re-election campaign at Cipriani Wall Street on Dec. 14th, campaign officials confirmed.

Queens Republican Councilman Eric Ulrich is planning to erect legislation designed to block de Blasio from tearing down statues of Christopher Columbus and other contentious figures.

Dan Halloran, the pagan practitioner and ex-Queens Councilman in prison for his role in a mayoral bribery scheme, is now complaining that he’s an “American political prisoner.”

Ulster County Legislator Jennifer Schwartz Berky took responsibility for her outlandish behavior during a police traffic stop that was captured on video and apologized to the officer who pulled her over.

The Buffalo School District had to pay $7.5 million to the IRS this month for unpaid payroll taxes from the past three years. The settlement was less than the roughly $21 million in employment taxes that the IRS assessed for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

An FBI task force in New York City’s Long Island suburbs, targeting the MS-13 street gang, found a third body Saturday as part of a search for victims of gang-related violence that began two weeks ago.

Federal regulators gave Millennium Pipeline Co. permission Friday to start building the 7.8-mile natural gas line that will supply the Competitive Power Ventures plant, pushing the project forward even as a dispute continues over the state’s denial of permits for that pipeline.

A team of New York state employees and volunteers has returned after spending nearly two weeks battling large wildfires in California.

Catholic Health will pay $6 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit over allegations that its nursing home subsidiary overbilled Medicare and Medicaid for rehabilitation therapy services – including providing unnecessary therapy to some patients.

A private medical company and Albany County have agreed to pay nearly $1.1 million to the estate of a Troy man who died when nurses waited more than 12 hours to call an ambulance after he suffered a stroke while being held at the county jail in August 2014.

A group of residents who allege the Navy and DEC have failed to adequately investigate the presence of radioactive materials in Bethpage has put the agencies on notice they intend to sue and seek the intervention of a federal court.

Reporters and editors at the commonly owned New York news sites DNAinfo and Gothamist are now represented by a union: the Writers Guild of America East.

Capital Region arts and cultural organizations will reap a windfall of more than $9 million from the estate of Heinrich Medicus, the Swiss-born RPI physics professor and philanthropist who died in February. Health care organizations will receive an additional $5.5 million.

The state plans to auction off a Lamborghini Gallardo Nera two-door coupe next month at a surplus vehicle and equipment auction in Albany.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s daughter, Dominique, married Marcus Bright.

The last of more than 1,200 hand-raised pheasants were released into the wild Friday by inmates at the Erie County Correctional Facility.

Extras

The U.S. economy expanded at a 3 percent annualized rate between July and September, advancing President Trump’s goal of faster economic growth and potentially providing a tail wind to Republican efforts to overhaul the tax code.

FEMA said it had no involvement in the decision to award a $300 million contract to help restore Puerto Rico’s power grid to a tiny Montana company in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown. More here.

A day after being criticized for her reaction to political journalist and NBC News contributor Mark Halperin’s alleged sexual harassment of female colleagues, “Morning Joe” cohost Mika Brzezinski issued a lengthy statement about the embattled journalist who was a fixture on her show, saying we are “witnessing a larger movement of women speaking up about sexual harassment because the fear of being dismissed or not believed is melting away.”

Facebook announced the rollout of new ad transparency features amid its push to boost accountability on its platform.

Less than 24 hours after Dylan Byers broke the story of five women accusing political journalist Mark Halperin of sexual harassment, the CNN journalist tweeted: “Today alone, 5 people reached out w/ sexual harassment allegations against 5 different media figures. This isn’t slowing. It’s snowballing.”

Four million New Yorkers will have to re-enroll for their health insurance starting Nov. 1 amid uncertainty over the future of the federally funded program.

EJ McMahon explains why middle-class Californians have less to lose from a SALT repeal than middle-class New Yorkers.

The Weinstein Co. is no longer a producing partner on the BBC’s upcoming six-part adaptation of Les Miserables.

Donald Trump Jr. used Hillary Clinton’s birthday as an opportunity to take a dig at the former Democratic presidential nominee calling her out for her hubris in a tweet in 2016 announcing herself as the future president.

The remaking of former Rep. Michael Grimm, who has launched an improbable political comeback with the help of former White House advisor Steve Bannon, has begun.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted Reps. Chris Collins and Tom Reed as modern-day “Benedict Arnolds” for casting crucial votes needed for a controversial tax overhaul he contends will harm middle-class New Yorkers while enriching the wealthy.

Here are seven new findings from the just-released files about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Suffolk County Democratic Party leader Rich Schaffer is accusing County Executive Steve Bellone of putting on a “sideshow” for holding a news conference to call on indicted District Attorney Thomas Spota to resign — after Spota announced he would step down.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick is pro con-con, and explains why in this video.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency is setting up a new heroin enforcement team on Long Island — an epicenter of fatal opioid overdoses in recent years.

Stewart Haas Racing co-owner and driver Tony Stewart today appeared in federal court in Utica to ask a judge to dismiss claims against him in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. in 2014.

The state is taking the Trump administration to court for not taking steps to reduce air pollution from predominantly coal-burning states upwind that is causing chronic smog in metropolitan New York City.

Come Jan. 1, New York will be implementing what’s being hailed as one of the most progressive paid family leave policies in the nation.

Extras

President Trump said the nation’s opioid epidemic — which is killing more than 100 people each day — is the “worst drug crisis in American history” and declared it a public health emergency, pledging the nation’s full resolve in overcoming it.

The move falls short of Trump’s sweeping promise to declare a national emergency on opioids, which would have prompted the rapid allocation of federal funding to address the issue. The directive does not on its own release any money to deal with the drug crisis.

A budget plan approved by the U.S. House in a 216-212 vote opens the door for a sweeping tax overhaul that could cut a $72 billion tax savings for New Yorkers.

The concerns over the loss of the tax deduction led seven of New York’s nine GOP House members to vote against the budget. Only western New York Rep. Chris Collins and Southern Tier Rep. Tom Reed voted for it.

The Government Accountability Office will investigate the activities of Trump’s voter fraud commission after three Democratic senators asked that the agency look into the matter.

The White House has spent $1.75 million for furniture within executive offices since Trump became president in January.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is warning his GOP colleagues to stop fighting with Trump and focus on passing the party’s agenda. “We’ve got a job to do, damn it, and so all of this nonsense, I got nothing to say on it. Everyone shut up and do your job, is my view,” he said.

Retiring Sen. Bob Corker said it’s “ridiculous” to believe he has become increasingly outspoken against Trump because he was passed over as secretary of state.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, suggested the Senate could hold up Trump administration nominees to the EPA if it doesn’t abandon a potential rollback of Renewable Fuel Standard requirements.

Longtime political journalist Mark Halperin is out at MSBNC following accusations that he sexually harassed five women while head of ABC News.

In a statement, an MSNBC spokesman said, “We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is “100 percent” opposed to the storage of tanker cars on railroad tracks in the Adirondacks.

Red paint was splashed at the statue of Theodore Roosevelt on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History early this morning, according to cops.

Advocates are pushing NYC Councilmen Ritchie Torres and Antonio Reynoso, the chief sponsors of a police reform bill called the Right to Know Act, to use a motion to discharge to force a vote on the legislation by Nov. 16.

Nassau’s lame-duck Board of Ethics has rebuffed District Attorney Madeline Singas’ request for an opinion on the legality of partisan governmental mailings even as the county attorney acknowledged this week that the board’s current membership does not conform with Nassau’s revised ethics code.

The state Association of Supreme Court Justices is out with a statement opposing a constitutional convention, which will be on the November ballot.

The state will not have to decide on a long-delayed plan at the Port of Albany that could have made it easier to ship thick Canadian tar sands oil, a state appeals court has ruled.

Audio recordings from a recent CSEA union meeting appear to contradict Republican Nassau County executive candidate Jack Martins’ official position that an increase in taxes or fees is not necessary to balance the county’s budget.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, who is exploring a run for governor, took to Twitter to criticize Cuomo’s recently announced aid to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

The American Kratom Association has implicated Franklin County Coroner Shawn Stuart in what it refers to as a “shadow campaign” by the DEA to libel the plant’s reputation; Stuart believes the claim is absurd.

A top official in Mayor Miner’s administration lashed out online against a prominent Syracuse community leader last weekend over the lack of progress on fighting poverty here.

Jeffrey Monsour, a longtime employee and critic of the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, has been cleared of allegations that he psychologically abused a disabled person by pointing out that the person’s dog was being inappropriately fondled by another resident of a group home.

Republican Jack Martins and Democrat Laura Curran, the two major party candidates for Nassau County executive, squared off today in a debate hosted by regional business leaders, tangling over red light cameras, ethics reform and fixing the county’s finances.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, who was indicted on charges that he allegedly helped cover up the beating of a handcuffed prisoner by a police chief, says he will retire.

Wayne Harris, 58, an electrical engineer from Homer, won the $105 million Mega Millions jackpot on Sept. 22, and says he’ll use some of his winnings to buy an airplane and take flying lessons.

Happy 70th Birthday, Hillary Clinton!

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will depart for Puerto Rico this morning and return to New York in the evening.

President Donald Trump this morning will receive his daily intelligence briefing.

In the afternoon, the president will deliver remarks on combatting drug demand and the opioid crisis, and then meet with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

At 7 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on FOX 5’s Good Day New York.

At 8 a.m., de Blasio will appear live on NY1’s “Mornings on 1.”

Also at 8 a.m., Catholic Charities of New York co-hosts its first Bronx Legislative Breakfast with Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, 402 E. 152nd St., the Bronx.

At 8:30 a.m., the Long Island Association holds a debate between the two major party candidates for Nassau County executive, Republican nominee Jack Martins and Democratic nominee Laura Curran, Crest Hollow Country Club, 8325 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury.

At 9 a.m., NYC Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Peter Koo and others hold a press conference calling for greater regulations of private bus companies operating in New York City, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 9:15 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement prior to his quick, one-day trip to Puerto Rico, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Building 145, Sheltair Terminal, Jamaica, Queens.

The mayor will then offer opening remarks at a convening of the United States Conference of Mayors and the country’s leading civil rights leaders at Gracie Mansion – an event closed to members of the media.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Campaign Finance Board holds a public meeting, Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J. Board Room, 100 Church St., 12th Floor, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. will announce the expansion of a partnership between Oneida County and Syracuse University’s College of Law to extend the services provided to veterans through the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, Oneida County Office Building, 10th Floor Conference Room, 800 Park Ave., Utica.

At 11 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers opening remarks at the NYS Pay Equity Hearing, William H. Rogers Building #20, 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Smithtown, Long Island.

Also at 11 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis holds a press conference on property taxes with NYC Councilman Joe Borelli, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 11:45 a.m., de Blasio makes an announcement about his expanded plan to build and protect 300,000 affordable homes, 309 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn.

At 12:15 p.m., Assemblyman Michael Cusick hosts Assemblyman Stephen Hawley for a tour of Cusick’s district as well as a short tour of the upcoming Empire Outlets, 145 E. Service Road, Staten Island.

At 12:30 p.m., Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, Joe Crowley, Carolyn Maloney and Tom Suozzi hold a joint press conference call to condemn Republican plans to eliminate the State and Local Tax deduction as part of their tax reform effort.

At 1:30 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at a press conference with USCM members and civil rights leaders, Gracie Mansion, East 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

Also at 1:30 p.m., Hochul makes a jobs-related announcement, Seviroli Foods, 385 Oak St., Garden City, Long Island.

Also at 1:30 p.m., IDC Leader Jeff Klein will announce $995,000 in funding for the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center at the annual Greater Hunts Point Chamber of Commerce Tent Party, Hunts Point Cooperative Market, 355 Food Center Dr., the Bronx.

At 1:45 p.m., Democratic Westchester County executive candidate George Latimer will call on his Republican opponent, incumbent Executive Rob Astorino, “to explain his ties to Trump benefactor Robert Mercer, (Steve) Bannon, and the Alt-Right, as well as publicly denounce the dark money pouring into the race,” Trump Tower at City Center, 10 City Pl., White Plains.

At 2 p.m. Malliotakis attends an editorial board meeting with the New York Times, 242 West 41st St., Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announces significant funding he secured in this years state budget to upgrade and standardize all fire hydrants in the town of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Fire District #2, 1400 Curry Rd., Rotterdam.

At 2:30 p.m., Sen. Rob Ortt will join Assemblyman Angelo Morinello and local business owners to call on the Niagara Falls Water Board to apply for critical infrastructure grants, Rainbow Air Inc., 454 Main St., Niagara Falls.

At 4 p.m., Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman Ron Kim will stand with the Korean Seafood Association to celebrate the signing into law of their important fish labeling legislation, KumGangSan, 138-28 Northern Blvd., Flushing, Queens.

At 4:30 p.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina delivers remarks at the College Board Forum, New York Hilton Midtown – Grand Ballroom, 1335 6th Ave., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Malliotakis attends Citizens Union’s annual awards dinner, honoring “Gotham Greats” Preet Bharara, Tonio Burgos, Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, Judith Livingston, Thomas Moore and Scott Rechler, Pierre Hotel, 2 E. 61st St., Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., NYC mayoral candidate Sal Albanese attends a town hall meeting, M.S. 51, William Alexander Middle School, 350 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., Malliotakis delivers an address at the Operation Equivalency Gala, Taino Towers Crystal Ballroom, 240 E. 123rd St., Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., de Blasio and Councilman Brad Lander will participate in a town hall meeting with residents of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park and Kensigton, William Alexander Middle School, 350 5th Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 7:30 p.m., Malliotakis participates in the Whitestone Candidates Night, Grace Episcopal Church, 14-15 Clintonville St., Queens.

At 8:30 p.m., Malliotakis delivers an address at the Juniper Valley Civic Association Meeting, Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy
61-21 71st St., Queens.

At 9:30 p.m., Malliotakis attends the Kaloidis Name Day Celebration, Terrace On the Park, 52-11 111th St., Flushing, Queens.

Headlines…

Despite the fervor of President Trump’s Republican opponents, the president’s brand of hard-edge nationalism — with its gut-level cultural appeals and hard lines on trade and immigration — is taking root within his adopted party, and those uneasy with grievance politics are either giving in or giving up the fight.

Growing rifts between old-guard conservatives and Trump’s new-wave populists are roiling the Republican Party, with a once-in-a-generation bill to cut taxes emerging as their best hope for unity.

Trump blamed the media and touted his own intellect in response to criticism from a pair of senators from his own party accusing him of having “a flagrant disregard for truth and decency,” adding: “I went to an Ivy League college. I was a nice student. I did very well. I’m a very intelligent person.”

Trump has loosened some rules for commercial drones, including for package deliveries, by allowing broader testing by companies like Amazon and Wing, a part of Alphabet.

The president said he did not “specifically” order the military mission in Niger this month that left four American soldiers dead, but gave his generals that authority.

Trump said that his recollection of his phone conversation with the widow of an Army sergeant killed in Niger was more reliable than hers because he had “one of the great memories of all time.”

The FCC is planning to make sweeping changes to media-ownership rules next month, eliminating or scaling back longstanding limits on local ownership of TV stations and newspapers, its chairman said.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC both broke the law by hiding payments to unearth dirt on Donald Trump, according to a complaint filed with the FEC.

Clinton reportedly was unaware of the now-infamous dossier of allegations about Trump and Russia prior to Buzzfeed’s publishing of the document earlier this year, and was disappointed its contents weren’t made public before the race ended.

Clinton said the Republican party is “imploding” and she is worried the GOP is becoming captive to a far-right “cabal.”

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was evacuated from a U.N. camp for displaced people in South Sudan on Wednesday because of a demonstration against President Salva Kiir, witnesses said.

Three weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, efforts to ban the gadgets known as bump stocks — which the Las Vegas killer might have used to turn rifles into machines guns — have come to a screeching halt.

Deutsche Bank AG will pay $220 million to settle claims brought by 45 U.S. states in connection with the German bank’s artificial manipulation of benchmark interest rates, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

A federal grand jury indicted Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota on obstruction of justice charges connected to a 2012 assault by the county’s former police chief.

Criminal charges against a sitting district attorney are rare, but Spota and his office have been under scrutiny for years, and the indictment was the latest turn in a federal investigation that has transfixed Long Island and led to the downfall of the county police chief, James Burke.

Half the Suffolk Legislature’s Democratic caucus called for Spota to resign, breaking ranks with county Democratic chief Rich Schaffer, who said the DA should serve out his term.

More >

Extras

Former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t decided to run for president in 2020. But he’s decided that he’s “not going to decide not to run” – whatever that means.

A California federal judge refused to make the Trump administration immediately resume reimbursement of Affordable Care Act subsidies for health insurance copays and deductibles.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady suggested a tax bill he is preparing to introduce could force changes to 401(k) plans and other retirement accounts, potentially bucking a promise from Trump that those accounts would be left alone.

Senior North Korean official Ri Yong Pil warned the U.S. to take Pyongyang’s threat of setting off a hydrogen bomb “literally,” telling CNN the country has always “has always brought its words into action.”

Fifty-one percent of Republicans now support marijuana legalization, a nine-point increase from last year, according to a new Gallup poll.

Alexander Nix, who heads a controversial data-analytics firm that worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign, wrote in an email last year that he reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails.

Since 2011, the Weinstein Co. has received at least $5 million in subsidies – far more than originally reported – for two productions: the 2014 film St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray, and an undisclosed production from Weinstein Co. subsidiary Coed Films.

The president weighed in on a news report that revealed Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign paid a company to dig up dirt on Trump that ended up in a controversial dossier, saying it shows he’s the “victim.”

Warren County, which has the highest rate of cancer in the state, will be one of four regions to be studied by the state to establish trends and potential causes contributing to the disease, state officials announced.

Employee dismissals at Tesla are continuing, according to six former and current employees, and have spread from its motor division to SolarCity offices across the U.S. Employees continue to express surprise over being terminated for performance reasons, when no recent reviews have been conducted.

Former President George H.W. Bush has apologized after actress Heather Lind accused him of sexually assaulting her during a screening of her AMC show four years ago.

Longtime Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota and one of his chief aides have been indicted on federal charges in a cover-up of former Suffolk Police Chief James Burke’s assault of a suspect in 2012.

The New York Times’ Chief Financial Officer James Follo will retire early next year, the company said, ending a more than 10-year stint at the newspaper publisher.

NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen mused in a now-deleted tweet featuring a video made by the de Blasio administration that she is the first woman to hold her post, which isn’t even close to accurate.

A resolution to urge the governor’s office to appeal Judge Robert Main Jr.’s decision about the disputed Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor failed to pass the village board this week.

The MTA board officially awarded a $573 million contract to Cubic Transportation Systems to design a new method for riders to pay, replacing MetroCard swipes with tap cards.

The board also voted to ban all alcohol advertisements from its properties starting next year, with supporters of the move saying the ads disproportionately target people of color and affect public health.

The state’s highest court has ruled that it’s not OK for the judge who hears an appeal to be the same one who issued the original conviction.

Pier 55, the elaborate $250-million performing arts center on an undulating pier in the Hudson River, is back from the dead.

A dip in the polar vortex could bring temperatures cold enough for a little bit of wet snow in Western New York next week, the National Weather Service said.

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer is no fan of Trump and the feeling is most definitely mutual. But he is in alignment with the president’s soaring confidence in the market.

The Golisano Children’s Hospital has banned Syracuse University students from visiting its patients until the SU mumps outbreak is over.

Curran Hammers Martins’ Skelos Link in Ad No. 3

From the Morning Memo:

The Nassau County executive race continues to focus largely on ethics reform, with both sides trying desperately to tie the other to a number of scandals that have dogged their respective political parties in recent years.

Exhibit A: The latest TV ad – number three of the race, according to her campaign – released by Democrat Laura Curran, a Nassau County legislator.

The spot hammers Curran’s Republican opponent, ex-Sen. Jack Martins, for initially defending former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos in the wake of the federal corruption charges that eventually forced him from office.

The ad features footage of Martins demanding in the Senate chamber that Democratic colleagues trying to oust Skelos immediately after his arrest “please sit down.”

That was just part of a very heated exchange between Martins and Deputy Senate Minority Leader Mike Gianaris, who shouted at and over one another until the Democrats, after failing to force a vote on Skelos’ leadership, walked out of the chamber, en masse.

Curran also appears on the ad, saying that New Yorkers are “all paying a corruption tax, we are paying for the patronage, we are paying for the nepotism.”

“I love Nassau County,” she concludes. “I know we can do better.”

Curran’s campaign could not or would not reveal any information about the size of the buy for this ad, or how long it will be running.

Martins, as you’ll recall, has been lambasting Curran for hiring a NYC-based consulting firm, BerlinRosen, that has longstanding ties to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, and played a key role in scandals involving his fundraising that were investigated but did not result in any charges.

The ethics issue has been a particular focus in this race due in large part to the fact that a corruption scandal has forced the current county executive, Republican Ed Mangano, not to seek re-election.

Mangano has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of receiving bribes and kickbacks from a local businessman in exchange for favors.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Warren County and New York City.

President Donald Trump travels this afternoon to in Dallas, TX, where he will receive a briefing on hurricane recovery efforts.

Trump will then participate in a roundtable with Republican National Committee supporters, and give remarks at a Dallas Trump victory reception before returning to Washington, D.C. this evening.

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Oakton, Virginia to participate in a Gillespie for Governor event.

In the evening, Pence will deliver keynote remarks at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. where the In Defense of Christians’ annual Solidarity Dinner for Christians in the Middle East is being held.

The funeral for Buffalo police Officer Craig Lehner, a member of the department’s Underwater Rescue Team who died Oct. 13 in a diving training accident in the Niagara River, will be held this morning at the KeyBank Center, 1 Seymour H. Knox III Plaza, Buffalo.

The Sabres and Bills owners, Kim and Terry Pegula, are absorbing the costs for the event.

LG Kathy Hochul will be attending Lehner’s funeral; the governor will not.

Cuomo has directed that flags on all state government buildings be flown at half-staff today in Lehner’s honor, and both the Peace Bridge and Niagara Falls will be lit in blue to commemorate him.

At 8 a.m., Crain’s New York Business hosts its 2017 Family Business Summit, New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett and Schools Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose will visit the Brooklyn College Academy mindfulness center, funded through ThriveNYC’s Mental Health by Design, 350 Coney Island Ave., Fourth Floor, Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Housing Authority holds a public hearing, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the MTA Board of directors meets, MTA Board Room, 2 Broadway, 20th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., state Sen. Brad Hoylman presents American Ballet Theatre dancer Gray Davis with the New York State Liberty Medal in recognition of Davis’ rescue of a man who had been pushed onto the subway tracks in June 2017, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., a diverse group of uniformed officers coalitions will endorsed Westchester County Executive Rob Asstorino’s re-election bid, in front of the police memorial, 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., White Plains.

At 10:30 a.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Glens Falls Hospital, Auditorium A, East Wing, 100 Park St., Glens Falls.

At 11 a.m., BronxWorks celebrates the the 25th anniversary of its Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program, 475 Riverside Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James hosts a press conference to support the Housing Not Warehousing Act, joined by NYC Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams and other advocates, 165 Front St., Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., Syracuse Democratic mayoral candidate Juanita Perez Williams will be joined by local elected officials to talk about moving the city forward and what is at stake in this election, Delaware Elementary School, 900 S. Geddes St., Syracuse.

At 1 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will visit the “City Hall In Your Borough” Resource Fair, 2705 Campus Road (entrance on Amersfort Place), 2nd Floor, Brooklyn.

Also at 1 p.m., state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, Assemblyman Walter Mosley, Public Advocate James and NYC Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo voice their objections to the Department of Education imposed changes planned for Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, Nostrand Avenue and Carroll Street, Brooklyn.

At 3 p.m., de Blasio makes an announcement at a loft in Williamsburg, 475 Kent Ave., 9th Floor, Brooklyn.

At 4 p.m., Cuomo makes an announcement, Staten Island University Hospital, Regina McGinn Center, 475 Seaview Ave., Staten Island.

At 5 p.m., the board of trustees of the NYC Board of Education Retirement System meet, Michael J. Petrides School, 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island.

At 6 p.m., Reps. Eliot Engel and Adriano Espaillat, state Sen. Jeff Klein, Assemblymen Jeffrey Dinowitz and Mark Gjonaj and NYC Councilmen Andy King, Ritchie Torres and Andrew Cohen host a tenant resource fair, Lehman College, Dining Hall, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx.

Also at 6 p.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli hosts an annual Italian Heritage Reception, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, 35-12 35th Ave., Queens.

At 6:30 p.m., McCray will deliver remarks at “Gender Equity Matters,” a public forum hosted by the NYC Commission on Gender Equity, Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

Also at 6:30 p.m., a 50th birthday celebration for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is held at Hill & Dale, 115 Allen St., Manhattan. (De Blasio is scheduled to attend and make remarks).

Headlines…

Senator Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who has tangled with President Trump for months, announced he will not seek re-election in 2018, declaring on the Senate floor that he “will no longer be complicit or silent” in the face of the president’s “reckless, outrageous and undignified” behavior.

Here’s the entire transcript of Flake’s floor speech.

Flake’s unexpected retirement will likely further inflame the Republican Party’s civil war, with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon racking up the fruits of victory in his bid to reshape the party.

In a remarkable Republican war of words, Sen. Bob Corker declared that Trump is “utterly untruthful” and debases the nation, then the president fired back that the two-term lawmaker “couldn’t get elected dog catcher.”

Vice President Mike Pence joined with U.S. Senate Republicans to nix a controversial consumer bureau rule banning companies from using forced settlements to resolve disputes with customers.

House Republican leaders on Capitol Hill said they were launching two new investigations into Hillary Clinton, keeping alive a pair of storylines that have fueled anger with the party base.

Also, the Republican chairmen of two House committees say they’re opening an investigation into actions the Obama administration Justice Department took during last year’s presidential election.

Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that led to the now-infamous “pee tape” dossier of allegations about Trump and Russia, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

Trump allowed the resumption of refugee admissions into the U.S. under new, stricter screening rules but ordered nationals from 11 countries believed to pose higher risk to U.S. national security to face even tougher scrutiny.

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is pursuing an investigation into possible money laundering by Paul Manafort, according to three people familiar with the matter, adding to the federal and state probes concerning the former Trump campaign chairman.

The U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union is the second most “stupidest” decision ever made by a country, only beaten by the U.S. voting for Trump, according to former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

The National Park Service is considering a steep increase in entrance fees at 17 of its most popular parks, mostly in the U.S. West, to address a backlog of maintenance and infrastructure projects.

A plaque proclaiming Jefferson Davis as a hero and a patriot will be removed from Kentucky’s Capitol, the latest effort to alter Confederate monuments across the country following outbreaks of racially motivated violence.

Adam Lanza, who shot and killed 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2011, had an interest in pedophilia and may have believed he was “saving” the children he murdered, according to documents released yesterday.

Leon Wieseltier, the former literary editor of The New Republic, issued an apology to his female colleagues amid allegations of sexual harassment after his latest publication was axed.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki took Kid Rock seriously this summer and became one of the biggest names in the Republican Party to back the rapper-singer’s bid for a U.S. Senate in Michigan. But it turns out Kid Rock was joking all along.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted that he failed to address the escalating street homelessness crisis when he entered office — but not without taking a dig at Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his predecessor at City Hall, Bloomberg.

De Blasio is spending $3.5 million a year to spare thousands of repeat offenders a trip to Rikers Island — instead sending them to group counseling and job-readiness workshops.

More >

Here and Now

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

Vice President Mike Pence this morning delivers remarks to the American Enterprise Institute regarding the need for tax reform to strengthen the middle class, grow the economy and spur America’s economic comeback.

Pence will then join President Donald Trump to participate in a swearing-in ceremony for Callista Gingrich as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

Later in the day, the vice president will participate in a series of meetings with lawmakers.

Opening arguments will be made this morning in the trial of former NYC Corrections union leader Norman Seabrook; Judge Carter, Room 1306, 40 Foley Sq., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers opening remarks on the state’s clean energy plan at the AWEA Offshore Windpower Conference, Roosevelt Hotel, 45 E 45th St., Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission votes on whether to designate the Peter P. and Rosa M. Huberty House as an individual landmark, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Department for the Aging holds a public hearing on its annual plan summary, Sunnyside Community Services Neighborhood Senior Center, 43-31 39th St., Queens.

Also at 10 a.m., residents and leaders of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, call on the mayor and city planning officials to protect endangered manufacturing jobs at Industry City, Spector Hall, 22 Reade St., Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will meet a tenant who recently moved into a newly built affordable apartment and make a major affordable housing announcement, 560 Winthrop St., Community Room 2, Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., Assemblyman David Weprin and state Sen. Tony Avella announce the creation of the Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance, Tony Avella’s office, 38-50 Bell Blvd. Suite C, Queens.

At 11:45 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis calls Bingo with Assemblyman Ron Castorina, Mount Loretto Friendship Club, 6581 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island.

At 2 p.m., Malliotakis holds a news conference to receive endorsements from Italian-American leaders, Villa Erasmo Restaurant
69-61 Juniper Blvd. South, Middle Village, Queens.

At 3:30 p.m., Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, state Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and actress Jane Fonda speak out on the low wages and rampant sexual harassment across America’s restaurant industry, Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, 47-49 E. 65th St., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., Hochul announces the winners of the TopCoder Open Science Competition, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Innovation Center, 589 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

At 5:30 p.m., OGS holds a free community event with African music and storytelling to celebrate the return of the recently reinstalled sculpture “Labyrinth” by Francois Stahly, Empire State Plaza, Plaza-level lobby of the Corning Tower, Albany.

At 6 p.m., Malliotakis attends the Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance Reception, The Russian Tea Room, 150 W 57th St., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m. People of Albany United for Safe Energy sponsors a forum on putting a price on climate change through a carbon tax or fee to make polluters pay for the air pollution they emit, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 405 Washington Ave., Albany.

Also at 7 p.m., 350 Brooklyn hosts a climate solutions town hall meeting in partnership with the Brooklyn College’s Urban Sustainability Program, Brooklyn College Student Center, Gold Room, 2705 Campus Road, Brooklyn.

Also at 7 p.m., the Arab American Association of New York hosts a candidate forum for the 43rd District of NYC Council, featuring candidates Justin Brannan, Bob Capano and John Quaglione, I.S. 30 Mary White Ovington, 7002 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at 7 p.m., New York magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary and the publication of the new book “Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: 50 Years of New York,” Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 E. Houston St., Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., the Manhattan Young Democrats, New York State Young Democrats Caucus of Color, New York State Young Democrats and The City College of New York’s Urban Mentoring and Achievement Network host a panel discussion on race and privilege, The City College of New York, North Academic Center Room 1/201, 160 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 7:30 p.m., Malliotakis participates in a NAACP candidates forum, Central Family Life Center, 59 Wright St., Staten Island.

Also at 7:30 p.m., de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilwoman Darlene Mealy will participate in a town hall meeting with residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, Crown Heights, East Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, P.S. 327, Dr. Rose B. English School, 111 Bristol St., Brooklyn.

Headlines…

President Trump said he would oppose any effort to reduce the amount of pretax income that American workers can save in 401(k) retirement accounts, effectively killing an idea that Republicans were mulling as a way to help pay for a $1.5 trillion tax cut.

The widow of one of four soldiers killed in Niger went on television to criticize Trump for how he spoke to her during a condolence call last week, drawing a swift denial from the president, who breathed new life into a bitter controversy that has transformed a tragedy into a political feud.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back against the concept that the controversy over the Niger ambush that left four Americans dead is a “defining moment” for the Trump presidency.

A Gold Star family in North Carolina received a $25,000 check from Trump dated the same day The Washington Post published a report that they were still waiting for it.

Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said he has gone through a “horrible” experience in the months since sexual harassment allegations levied against him were disclosed.

“You know, am I mad at God? Yeah I’m mad at him,” O’Reilly said on his web series, “No Spin News.” “I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn’t happen.”

In an unusual attack on a former employer, the NBC host Megyn Kelly used her morning show yesterday to denounce her former Fox News colleague, O’Reilly, and the cable network where she used to work.

A secret meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Afghan president was said to take place in Kabul. But discrepancies in their respective photographs told a different story.

A federal judge hammered an attorney for California over the state’s push for a court order immediately reinstating “Obamacare” subsidies cut off by the Trump administration, saying California and other states had protected consumers from the loss of the funding.

Amazon will be sorting through 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico that are hoping to land the company’s second headquarters and the investment it’ll bring.

A Montana energy company that had only two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico has been tasked with restoring the power grid in the cash-strapped territory.

Fox News slammed Hillary Clinton for using a bad word – s@!t – during her interview with BBC’s The Graham Norton Show.

Clinton joined New Jersey Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy at a campaign fundraiser days after former President Barack Obama campaigned for him.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has subpoenaed the Weinstein Company as it probes any potential violations of state civil rights law or New York City human rights law in the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations against former executive Harvey Weinstein.

A former assistant for Weinstein broke her non-disclosure agreement to open up about the producer’s sexual harassment.

ABC News says Ashley Judd will sit down with anchor Diane Sawyer for her first TV interview since the actress-activist went public with allegations against Weinstein.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo lashed out at NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (again) on an array of transit-related matters, and revived an inaccurate claim that the city bears responsibility for the subways.

Cuomo’s hand-picked MTA chair, Joe Lhota, joined the governor in slamming de Blasio after the NY Post published a photo of a homeless man sleeping underneath seats on a subway car.

The governor compared this subway sleeper to Joyce Patricia Brown, known as Billie Boggs, a homeless mentally ill woman who terrorized a stretch of the Upper East Side in the 1980s by defecating on sidewalks and slinging insults at passersby.

More >

Extras

President Donald Trump vowed to protect a popular retirement savings program, pledging to leave it untouched in the forthcoming Republican tax overhaul plan.

State AG Eric Schneiderman has opened an inquiry into the Weinstein Company examining whether allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against its co-founder Harvey Weinstein reflect broad gender discrimination and other civil rights violations.

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, a Democrat from Queens, will introduce an amendment to the state’s current anti-discrimination laws to extend certain protection to models, putting designers, photographers and retailers (among others) on notice that they would be liable for abuses experienced on their watch.

The EPA is beefing up security measures surrounding Administrator Scott Pruitt to an unprecedented level, as members of Congress are asking if the costs are a “potential waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

The president has never feuded with a politician quite like Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Democrat who is known for her bedazzled, sequined-blinged hats, her vibrant matching outfits and her reputation for never backing down from a fight.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray is probably the most influential person in the de Blasio administration.

A spokesman for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said the governor’s congesting pricing panel isn’t “credible,” and the mayor refused to participate in a “charade” that’s heading toward a “pre-cooked conclusion” that the state government, which runs the NYC subway system, shouldn’t be responsible for fixing it.

Four months after Cuomo announced a state of emergency on the New York City subways, transit officials said they have reduced the average 45-minute response time to an emergency by about half, as part of new data to be released this week.

De Blasio, NYS Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced that 15 Brooklyn schools will participate in Meatless Mondays next spring. The mayor and first lady will also eat vegetarian at Gracie Mansion for all Monday meals.

The MTA has taken a major step in retiring the MetroCard, beginning a six-year process to replace it with a tap-based system that will allow commuters to use a variety of payment methods, including smartphones, digital wallets or proprietary cards to pay for their rides.

The photo of a homeless man sleeping under a subway bench prompted Cuomo and MTA boss Joe Lhota to point their fingers squarely at de Blasio and the NYPD’s failings at properly policing the trains.

A Brooklyn federal jury convicted former HSBC foreign currency exchange executive Mark Johnson of leading a scheme to defraud Scottish oil and gas developer Cairn Energy PLC by ramping up the price of British pounds sterling ahead of a $3.5 billion forex deal.

LGBTQ New Yorkers, concerned about the rise of the alt-right, are learning how to shoot with the new Rochester-based Trigger Warning Queer & Trans Gun Club.

Buffalo police expect 5,000 to 10,000 law enforcement officers from across the United States and Canada to attend Officer Craig E. Lehner’s funeral on Wednesday at the KeyBank Center, a Buffalo police official said.

The labyrinth that is the Empire State Plaza finally has its “Labyrinth” sculpture back. OGS will hold a ceremony tomorrow from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the reinstallation of the sculpture next to the Corning Tower, which took place over the summer.

The governor was scheduled to sign a bill banning the use of the vaporizer products in public indoor spaces and workplaces, including restaurants and other areas where people congregate.

Three of the artist Norman Rockwell’s sons are suing the Berkshire Museum over its plans to sell 40 pieces of art – including three by the famed illustrator – to fund its renovation plans.

Hillary Clinton gave Kim Kardashian a signed copy of her new memoir for Kardashian’s 37th birthday.

Clinton has joined the lineup at the upcoming national dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, which will take place Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the organization announced.

Elton John has condemned Reoublican Georgia state Rep. Betty Price, the wife of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, for her suggestion that people with HIV could be quarantined.