Liz Benjamin

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

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Data from President Donald Trump’s first internal reelection campaign poll conducted in March, which he denied repeatedly even existed, showed him losing a matchup by wide margins to former Vice President Joe Biden in key battleground states.

It’s a big day for Trump – his birthday! And he’s bought nearly $1 million in Facebook ads to make sure it goes off with a bang.

Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s current spokeswoman, is reportedly near the top of the internal list to replace outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump said that his own wife had taken over the mantle of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, declaring that, “We have our own Jackie O, it’s called Melania, Melania T.”

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo is actively working with the FBI as they are trying to determine the cause of death of at least seven American tourists who died in the Dominican Republic, officials said.

One day after Trump said he would entertain the idea of accepting dirt on his political rivals from foreign nations, Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub released a statement making it clear that candidates for public office cannot accept assistance of any such kind.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed legislation that would allocate $7 billion in federal grants to help minority entrepreneurs start businesses.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a verse by what she and her colleagues called the “Congressional Destiny’s Child” in promotion of new legislation they released yesterday that seeks to make birth control more accessible and affordable to patients.

Hillary Clinton has created a new nonprofit to supplement her post-2016 advocacy work, corporate records indicate. The Onward Together Foundation was formed on June 3 by Ezra Reese, an attorney at Perkins Coie, Clinton’s longtime law firm, according to District of Columbia incorporation records.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio says he now believes Congress should start impeachment proceedings on Trump following his comments on accepting information on an opponent from foreign governments. He made the comments during an appearance Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

De Blasio and the NYC Council have agreed on a $92.8 billion city budget for the 2020 fiscal year that will put more social workers in public schools and bolster the city’s reserves.

EJ McMahon: “Many of the faces have changed, and so has the majority party, but the state Senate is more united than ever in its willingness to weaken disciplinary procedures for cops and firefighters accused of wrongdoing.”

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge has denied attorneys for Exxon Mobil Corp. access to former state AG Eric Schneiderman’s personal email account but agreed to consider a request from the company to depose a representative of the state Attorney General’s Office

An Albany bill that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis would allow up to six marijuana plants to be grown in a person’s home or yard. That’s a key difference from the legalization plan Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed earlier this year as part of his budget package.

New York City will spend $250,000 to help poor women who travel from other states to obtain abortions here, inserting itself into the increasingly contentious debate over access to the procedure. While the amount of money is relatively small, the allocation is a symbolic if provocative move as more conservative states take steps to all but ban abortion.

If Tiffany Cabán wins the Queens DA Democratic primary in late June and general election in November — and actually puts her plan in place — it would mark one of the biggest successes for the sex work decriminalization movement that, after years of struggling to gain mainstream traction, has growing popularity and political influence across the country.

Syracuse University announced that it had come to a new multi-year agreement with Nike that will keep the Orange wearing the Swoosh the next few years.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader and New York Senator Chuck Schumer wants to memorialize the first female sailor to die in combat in Syria by naming a U.S. warship after her.

Former state legislator Harvey Weisenberg received a rare honor this week when the Senate, where he never served, lauded him in a proclamation for his “unparalleled devotion” to people with disabilities in his long career representing Long Beach in the Assembly.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no interviews or public appearances yet announced.

The state Legislature is in session. The Senate and Assembly are set to vote today and their two-way deal on the rent laws.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence this afternoon meet with U.S. Education Secretary Besty DeVos in the Oval Office.

LG Kathy Hochul participates in the 2019 Leadership Summit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers at the Discovery World Science & Technology Center, and Pfister Hotel, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A press conference will be held at 2:30 p.m.

At 9:30 a.m., Rep. Nydia Velázquez attends District 15 Community Education Council Legislative Breakfast, Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., Community Room, Brooklyn.

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., NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich will host a street renaming ceremony honoring FDNY Chief Ronald Spadafora – a 9/11 hero who notably led rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero, intersection of 90th Street and Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park, Queens

At 10:15 a.m., Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, along with U.S. Census Bureau representatives, announce the city of Yonkers’ efforts in ensuring city residents participate in next year’s census, Yonkers City Hall, Mayor’s Reception Room, second floor, 40 South Broadway, Yonkers.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., survivors of solitary confinement on hunger strike and other advocates demand the enactment of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, outside Cuomo’s New York City office, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., hundreds of immigrant New Yorkers will demand Cuomo to put all political games aside and prioritize the passage of the legislation to restore access to driver’s licenses for all qualified New York drivers, 633 3rd Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., tenants and advocates will hold a press conference ahead of the vote to approve the rent reform deal put forward by the state Senate and the Assembly, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., along with hip-hop legend and Bronx native Fat Joe, will distribute sneakers as part of their ongoing initiative designed to increase student performance in Bronx public schools, Fox Street Campus, home of Accion Academy and I.S. 217 School of Performing Arts, 977 Fox St., the Bronx.

At noon, state Assemblyman Nick Perry and Sen. Jamaal Bailey will hold a press conference to highlight past and pending criminal justice reforms, including the stalled implementation of the New York State Commission of Prosecutorial Conduct, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announces new legislation to assist Habitat for Humanity and other housing organizations in cleaning up health-threatening environmental hazards during home renovations, 128 William St., Newburgh.

At 3 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams interviews state Sen. Julia Salazar live on Instagram to discuss the status of the rent regulations package.

At 6 p.m., Williams will attend the vigil marking the seven year anniversary of the death of Shantel Davis, who was shot and killed by NYPD officers in East Flatbush, East 38th Street and Church Avenue, Brooklyn.

Headlines…

Explosions crippled two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in what the U.S. called “unprovoked attacks” by Iran, raising alarms about immediate security and potential military conflict in a vital passageway for a third of the world’s petroleum.

President Trump’s defiant declaration that “I’d take it” if Russia again offered campaign help and his assertion that he would not necessarily tell the F.B.I. drew bipartisan condemnation, fueling calls for legislation requiring candidates to report such offers to the authorities and emboldening Democrats seeking his impeachment.

Trump potentially viewing opposition research information from foreign governments is very different than Hillary Clinton utilizing the Christopher Steele dossier, according to New York Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary who fiercely defended Trump through one of the most tumultuous periods in American politics while presiding over the end of the iconic daily news briefing, will step down at the end of the month.

Sanders appeared emotional as she joined Trump unscheduled at an unrelated event in the East Room of the White House, which was officially devoted to criminal justice policy. “I’ve loved every minute, even the hard minutes,” she said. “I love the president. I love the team that I’ve had the opportunity to work for.”

Two additional GOP senators signaled their support for the 9/11 Victims Fund bill following Jon Stewart’s shaming of lawmakers who were not present for testimony from 9/11 first responders at a Judiciary subcommittee hearing earlier this week.

An independent government agency recommended that Trump fire Kellyanne Conway, his White House counselor, for repeated violations of an ethics law barring partisan politics from the federal workplace.

The Democratic National Committee announced the candidates who qualified for the first debates of the 2020 presidential campaign, chopping the historically large field of 23 contenders down to the 20 available slots. Both NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made the cut.

De Blasio secured a debate spot even though he has failed to get at least 65,000 donors.

Four candidates did not make the stage: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-Alaska) and Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne Messam.

Alan Dershowitz, a longtime Harvard law professor and frequent contributor to Fox News, said he could “enthusiastically” support Joe Biden over Trump if the two meet in the 2020 presidential race, but would not support Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Lawmakers in New York, the epicenter of the nation’s measles outbreak, voted to end religious exemptions for immunizations, overcoming opposition by vaccine skeptics and others who said the measure infringed on religious and constitutional rights.

The Assembly narrowly approved the vaccine measure, by a 77-53 vote, one more than required to pass a bill; the state Senate a couple hours later, and with far less drama, OK’d it, by a 36-26 margin.

Calling it a public health emergency, Gov. Andrew Cuomo immediately signed the bill, adding New York to a small handful of states that do not allow exemptions on religious grounds, including California, Arizona, West Virginia, Mississippi and Maine.

“The science is crystal clear: Vaccines are safe, effective and the best way to keep our children safe,” Cuomo said. “While I understand and respect freedom of religion, our first job is to protect the public health and by signing this measure into law, we will help prevent further transmissions and stop this outbreak right in its tracks.”

The vaccine bill only narrowly passed in the Assembly, where anti-vaxxers watched from the balcony and yelled epithets at the measure’s sponsor, Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, a Bronx Democrat.

“We’ll be back for you Jeffrey!” shouted one man in Orthodox religious garb, who was fuming in the gallery with others, many of whom had children with them. “Motherf–ker!” screamed another person. “Shame!”

Jessica Beil’s appearance in Sacramento, CA with anti-vaxxer RFK Jr., lobbying against a bill to tighten immunization requirements, instantly placed the actress in the company of vaccine skeptics, and among the many Hollywood celebrities who have taken a stance on the issue, including Robert De Niro and Jenny McCarthy.

The measles epidemic in the New York region has largely spread among ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Rockland County and in New York City. But health authorities fear it could jump to other unvaccinated groups like the ones linked to the children of families who attend Waldorf schools.

There’s still unfinished business for state lawmakers to address in Albany, and the session clock is ticking down quickly.

A bill to authorize millions of dollars in capital spending is simmering on the back burner as New York state lawmakers talk about legalizing marijuana, giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and other issues in the final week of their annual session.

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President Donald Trump said that Canada and Mexico are completely in line on the new North American trade deal and it is up to the United States to get it passed.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will leave the job at the end of the month, Trump announced via a pair of tweets, revealing that she will return to her home state of Arkansas.

A federal watchdog recommended that White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway be booted from the administration for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act by engaging in partisan political activity on behalf of President Trump.

House Democrats voted to block the Trump administration’s recent ban on using federal funds to conduct medical research that relies on material collected from elective abortions.

In response to Trump’s admission he would accept campaign dirt from foreign countries, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a new legislative push to prevent foreign collusion.

The Trump 2020 campaign funneled money to a shell company tied to ad buyers at the center of an alleged illegal coordination scheme with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as recently as May 2019, according to new government records analyzed by OpenSecrets.

Actress Jessica Biel is facing criticism across social media after she made an appearance at the California state Assembly alongside known anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a vaccination bill.

In an Instagram post, Biel denied that she is anti-vaccination, saying: “I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians.”

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter blamed his wife after he was charged with misusing federal campaign funds for personal use. Today she struck back, pleading guilty to conspiracy and agreeing to “provide substantial assistance” to prosecutors in the investigation of her husband.

Cuba Gooding Jr. met with NYPD sex-crimes detectives today to face an allegation that he drunkenly groped a clubgoer at a rooftop bar in Midtown.

Gooding was arrested and charged with forcible touching after he turned himself in.

“Fake news” is about to get faker than ever thanks to artificial intelligence, which lets people compose entirely made-up videos that show politicians saying things they never said. That’s the stark message that experts – including a former Defense Department official who now teaches at UBuffalo – brought to a House Intelligence Committee hearing.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman sent a profane tweet to a potential Republican challenger as he ripped him for wanting to debate his boss. He admitted to both sending the tweet, and also deleting it the next day because it “didn’t seem helpful.”

Real estate industry leaders are planning to file a lawsuit against the state to challenge the sweeping rent regulation package that is expected to be signed by the governor tomorrow.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, said she was first inspired to run for public office while campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

The bill ending the religious exemption for vaccines only narrowly passed the Assembly health committee – 14 to 12 – after one lawmaker reversed his “no” vote in order to allow the bill to go to the floor for debate.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a summons diversion program aimed at getting homeless subway riders into shelters by allowing them a chance to accept social services rather than receive a summons for violating transit rules.

The maritime company that runs New York City’s ferry service has been in a months-long battle to stop its boat captains from unionizing, saying they are supervisors and should be exempt from organizing.

A former Hempstead Village trustee admitted to corruption charges, pleading guilty after a half-dozen indictments in less than a year that put him at the center of a web of alleged criminal dealings that prosecutors claim reached to the municipal police force’s highest ranks.

State Attorney General Letitia James said 44 New York pharmacies, including on Long Island, failed to post the costs of drugs for consumers.

The MTA has revealed a special set of Pride MetroCards, along with Pride-themed Transit merchandise and a new Pride logo on select subway cars. All of the festive additions mark not only World Pride being hosted in NYC this year but the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

June 24 will be the final print edition of the Monday Watertown Daily Times. After that date the newspaper will be in print Tuesday through Sunday and online always.

The Big Apple’s latest subway saboteur is a litterbug who has scattered random items — including Christmas lights, concrete mix and a fire extinguisher — on Brooklyn subway tracks at least four times over the course of a month, police said.

A leading real estate website has just named Rochester, NY, the hottest real estate market in America.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public appearances or interviews yet announced.

The state Legislature is in session.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today will meet with Asian community leaders in a closed-press gathering.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence are headed today to Montana, where the VP will deliver remarks at Yellowstone National Park before returning home to D.C.

At 8 a.m., NYN Media hosts the 2019 Nonprofit OpCon, bringing together board members, executive directors and chief financial officers from nonprofits across New York to discuss how to streamline processes, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 1 W. Fourth St., Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul keynotes CUNY’s 13th annual NY Solar + Storage Summit and announces state investment in clean energy, John Jay College, Main Theater, 524 W. 59th St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Finance meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Fire and Emergency Management meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. will call for the reform of animal rescues in light of the recent situation at the Road to Home Rescue facility in Utica, Oneida County Office Building, 9th Fl. Conference Room, 800 Park Ave., Utica

At 10:30 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Criminal Justice meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the Public Service Commission announced today that it will hold its next regular session, 4th Fl. Board Room, 90 Church St., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on State and Federal Legislation meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., state Assemblyman David Weprin speaks at the Drug Policy Alliance’s press conference calling for universal access to medication-assisted treatment, outside of the Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and others highlight resources available to senior citizens in the wake of several high-profile violent incidents, Bronx County Building, Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 851 Grand Concourse, the Bronx.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Weprin speaks at the New York State Nurses Association’s Day of Action rally, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11:30 a.m., state Sen. Martinez and Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre hold a joint press conference on Shannon’s Law, expanding access to mammograms, 4th Fl. gallery, state Capitol, Albany.

At noon, NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee, will address de Blasio’s proposed cap on for-hire vehicles announcement, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 12:30 p.m., state Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assemblywomen Stacey Pheffer Amato and Karines Reyes, with 9/11 first responders, hold a press conference calling for action on a package called the 9/11-related bills, fourth floor lobby, near Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 12:30 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will speak about his legislation passing the Council this afternoon, Intro. 799, which would protect employees from facing any employer retaliation after requesting reasonable accommodations under the Human Rights Law, City Hall Red Room, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., Weprin delivers remarks at the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Annual Memorial Service and Medals Ceremony, Albany Training Academy, 1134 New Scotland Ave., Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., Judge Tom Walsh, candidate for Rockland County district attorney, joins Patti Ann McDonald for an announcement regarding protections for people with disabilities, Haverstraw Town Hall, 1 Rosman Rd., Garnerville.

Also at 1 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul and DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci participate in a ceremony honoring 12 DOCCS employees for their outstanding service during 2018 and memorializing 43 employees who have died in the line of duty, DOCCS Training Academy, 1134 New Scotland Rd., Albany.

At 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council meets for a stated meeting, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan. (Williams will preside).

At 3 p.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

At 5 p.m., WBAI 99.5 FM’s “Driving Forces,” hosted by Celeste Katz and Jeff Simmons, features state Sen. John Liu, WBAI, 99.5 FM.

At 5:30 p.m., NYC Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, state Sen. Jose M. Serrano and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner host the 6th Annual Housing Conference, Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, the Bronx. (Williams delivers a keynote address).

At 6 p.m., Diaz Jr. is the featured guest at the Association for a Better New York’s Young Professionals What’s On Tap? conversation series, The Half Pint, 234 Thompson St., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Jewish Heritage Reception, Gracie Mansion, East 88th Street & East End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 8 p.m., a neighborhood justice organization will honor Williams for his work to build socially, racially and economically just neighborhoods, 131 Berry St., Brooklyn.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump said that he would be open to accepting information on political opponents from a foreign government during the 2020 election, and dismissed suggestions about contacting the FBI about possible interference in a US election.

Justice Department officials intend to interview senior C.I.A. officers as they review the Russia investigation, indicating they are focused partly on the intelligence agencies’ most explosive conclusion about the 2016 election: that President Vladimir Putin of Russia intervened to benefit Trump.

A House committee voted to recommend that two cabinet secretaries be held in contempt of Congress, hours after Trump invoked executive privilege to block disclosure of crucial documents on the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee behind closed doors, the committee announced.

Hicks last week agreed to supply documents from Trump’s 2016 campaign to the committee, despite a White House directive advising her not to provide the panel with material from her subsequent time at the White House.

Saying the American dream of upward mobility is in “peril,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders gave a spirited defense of democratic socialism while condemning the power of the wealthy and differentiated himself from Trump’s divisive politics.

Donald Trump is getting a new “friendship tree” after the first one he received as a gift from his French counterpart died in quarantine.

Maine became the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide.

U.S. Catholic bishops voted to create a new national sex-abuse hotline run by an independent entity, a decision that represents one of the church’s most tangible steps yet in confronting its sex-abuse crisis.

Pressed to explain his recent Hyde Amendment flip, former Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 Democratic nomination frontrunner, said in an interview that political expediency had not been the reason behind his change of heart.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz asked New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to team up on legislation that would make birth control available over the counter — less than two weeks after the two polar political opposites joined forces on an anti-lobbying bill.

Facebook Inc. uncovered emails that appear to connect Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to potentially problematic privacy practices at the company, according to people familiar with the matter.

Democrats in the state Assembly approved a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license in New York, pressuring their Senate colleagues to do the same before the legislative session ends next week.

Debate over the so-called Green Light bill lasted hours, with sponsor Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, a Bronx Democrat, facing dozens of questions from lawmakers from Long Island and upstate with concerns.

The Assembly ratified the bill in a 87-61 vote, triggering a roar of applause from supporters in the balcony above the chamber floor. It marked the first time either house of the State Legislature approved the “driver’s licenses for all” bill after more than a decade of debate in Albany.

Nineteen Democrats split from their party conference to vote against the bill, including every Democrat from the Buffalo area except Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, of Buffalo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered support, but little praise, for a tenant-friendly rent reform deal reached this week by legislative leaders. He did say he’ll sign the sweeping omnibus bill that has left landlords livid, calling the set of measures a “step forward.”

New protections for tenants in the Capital Region and across upstate are included in the two-way deal to extend New York City’s rent control laws.

The omnibus bill, the provisions of which mostly affect New York City, also applies new statewide standards for how landlords may treat tenants and provides a series of first-ever safeguards for people who live in manufactured home parks.

Nicole Gelinas: “New York lawmakers and (Cuomo) are enshrining rent regulation into law for another generation — and claim that the move protects tenants. But rent regulation is the most inefficient way to protect affordable housing. It does protect something else important to the pols: a reliable voting bloc.”

The real estate community is making a last-ditch – and likely fruitless – effort to kill the rent control deal, or at least have it tweaked, before Cuomo puts pen to paper.

Both chambers of the Legislature are expected to vote on the new package this week, before the current set of regulations are set to expire on Saturday. Unlike previous regulations, which had to be renewed once they expired, the new rules would be permanent.

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For the first time, federal prosecutors have disclosed they are developing a potential national security case against Yujing Zhang, the 33-year-old Chinese woman charged with unlawfully entering Mar-a-Lago with a stash of electronic equipment.

The bill that permanently authorizes the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund passed out of the House Judiciary Committee unanimously – a day after former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart shamed members of a Judiciary subcommittee for failing to be present for testimony from 9/11 first responders.

A new proposed rule from the U.S. Forest Service designed to make environmental reviews more efficient would shortcut important oversight of industry plans, environmentalists say.

Nearly 70 percent of American voters believe a sitting president should be able to be charged criminally, but 61 percent oppose Congress beginning the process to impeach President Trump, a new Q poll found.

Two weeks after making headlines for a pledge to work together on legislation prohibiting members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, Texas Sen. Cruz and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are on the same side of another issue: making birth control available over the counter.

Hunter Biden, the younger son of Former Vice President-turned-presidential hopeful Joe Biden, recently married South Africa native Melissa Cohen. This comes about a month after a report that he had split from the widow of his late brother, Beau Biden.

With the daily app-based for-hire vehicle trips nearing 800,000 per day, Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to permanently suspend the issuance of new licenses, a limit passed by the City Council in August.

A little more than a month after unveiling plans for a $400 million mixed-use project on Long Island, Macy’s has agreed to sell its store at the Galleria shopping mall in White Plains.

A City Limits investigation indicates enforcement of AC 19-190 in NYC is falling short of its intended goal of creating tougher penalties for drivers who fail to yield the right of way and hurt people as a result, since the majority of actions under the law have been civil summonses, a majority of which end up getting tossed.

Bill Hammond: “Dozens of health-care bills percolating through the Legislature in the closing days of session have one thing in common: They would add to the already high price of health insurance in New York State.”

Leaders of the International Joint Commission will meet soon to discuss Lake Ontario shoreline flooding — but said they cannot unilaterally change the regulations that govern the lake’s water level.

During an interview with The Des Moines Register, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 Democratic hopeful, said opposing abortion rights is akin to being racist.

Democracy for America became the first Democratic group to make an endorsement in the NY-24 2020 race, endorsing Dana Balter over two Democratic rivals for a re-match against Republican Rep. John Katko.

The biggest beneficiaries of rent regulation in New York aren’t low-income tenants across New York City, but more affluent, white residents of Manhattan, challenging the view that the plight of tenants is constantly changing for the worse.

Workers at The Syracuse New Times have been told there will only be two more issues published. This comes just a few months after the New Times became a paid subscription service, in an effort to keep operations afloat.

Residents of Manhattan’s “Billionaires’ Row” plan to appeal a court decision that greenlights a homeless shelter in the ritzy Manhattan neighborhood, they said.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to unveil a package of bills aimed at preventing inaction by the Taxi and Limousine Commission while cab drivers became mired in reckless loans that saddled them with debt they could not afford.

A coalition of good-government groups are asking the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics to structure its search for a new executive director in a way that promotes independence at the watchdog entity.

Sen. Bob Antonacci stood out in the New York Senate yesterday when he was the only member to vote against two bills aimed at preventing suicide by black and LGBT youth.

The next new development to ride Manhattan’s senior housing wave could soon be coming to Hudson Yards, compliments of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Related Companies.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign announced an Iowa family would be receiving $1,000 per month for a year as part of his effort to show the benefits of his proposed “Freedom Dividend” universal basic income plan.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is selling a two-bedroom condo in Palm Beach, Florida, which he has owned for almost a decade with his estranged third wife, Judith Nathan, for $3.3 million.

Sasha Obama is officially a high school graduate, and her parents (the former president and first lady) attended her Sunday, June 9, ceremony.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has not yet released his public schedule for the day.

The state Legislature is in session.

At 9 a.m., the de Blasio administration will host its 13th Annual Procurement Fair to help connect NYC minority and women business owners to public and private contracting opportunities and other resources, Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, 2920 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission votes on several buildings as individual landmarks, Landmarks Preservation Commission, 1 Centre St., ninth floor, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the Women’s Justice Agenda at the National Institute for Reproductive Health’s Repro Freedom Day of Action, Empire State Plaza, Meeting Room 6, Albany.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Housing and Buildings meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCrsay will deliver the keynote address at the Kennedy Forum’s 2019 annual meeting, Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 East Washington St., Chicago, Illinois. (She’ll return to NYC tomorrow morning).

Also at 10 a.m., the Collaborative for Inclusive Education, an initiative of the NYC Charter School Center, will bring together hundreds of charter school educators and nationally-renowned experts at its 2019 annual conference today and tomorrow, Brooklyn Law School, Forchelli Center, 205 State St., Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Council members Adrienne Adams and Donovan Richards join advocates for low- and moderate-income homeowners to rally for $10 million in funding in the city budget to help New York families keep their homes, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Rafael Espinal, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and others rally for the development of a comprehensive urban agricultural plan, Jacob Wrey Mould Fountain, City Hall Park, Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the 23rd annual Aging Concerns Unite Us Conference, The Desmond, King Street Ballroom, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Colonie.

Also at 10:30 a.m., state Sen. Jim Tedisco will present the New York State Senate Liberty Medal, the Senate’s highest honor, to three Scotia-Glenville Middle School students, who helped rescue two distraught individuals from drowning in Collins Lake, Million Dollar Staircase, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the NYC Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Land Use meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features state Sens. Monica Martinez and James Gaughran, WCNY.

At 11:30 a.m., state Sens. Robert Jackson, Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar, with 250 activists from across the state, rally in support of the Climate and Community Protection Act, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. visits the Queens Community House, 108-25 62nd Dr., Queens.

Also at 11:30 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Governmental Operations meets, 250 Broadway, 14th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

At noon, parents, students, advocates, elected officials and union members urge the New York City Department of Education and the mayor to allocate specific funding in next year’s budget toward reducing class sizes, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, Hochul discusses the state’s workforce development initiative at the Chamber Alliance of New York State’s Leadership Conference, The Gideon Putnam, 24 Gideon Putnam Rd., Saratoga Springs.

Also at noon, the state Building and Construction Trades Council and its affiliated unions hold a rally as part of a final push to pass legislation that will grant prevailing wages to construction workers on taxpayer-funded projects, West Capitol Park, Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., the state Senate Democratic Majority holds a press conference regarding LGBTQ legislation, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:45 p.m., the Fair Elections for New York and Housing Justice for All campaigns join together for a press conference to push for small-donor public financing in New York, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Health meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Diaz Jr. speaks at the Summit on Latinos in New York City, Lehman College, Music Building, East Dining Hall, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W., the Bronx.

Also at 1 p.m., professional drivers call on Cuomo and the state Legislature to exempt yellow and green taxis from the devastating congestion surcharge, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 2 p.m., hundreds of NYC school bus drivers, matrons, and mechanics travel from to Albany for a day of advocacy as they call for the Assembly to pass A.7749/S.6208, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 3 p.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer holds a public hearing on Manhattan component of borough-based jails plan, Pace University, Student Center, Park Row entrance, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., City & State hosts the 2019 Staten Island Power 100 reception, gathering top brass from government, advocacy, academia, media, business and beyond, Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island, 1100 South Ave., Staten Island.

At 7 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at a reception honoring the Russian-Speaking American Community, Gracie Mansion, E. 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

Headlines…

President Trump has concluded his tariff threat worked and forced Mexico to stop the flow of migrants, and so pivoted back to his trade fight with China, vowing to hit Beijing with more tariffs if it did not accede to America’s trade demands.

Trump also suggested he may take action to address what he deems an unfair tariff imbalance on wine imports and exports with France.

Former Vice President Joe Biden seems to have gotten into the president’s head — at least for now. And today, the president will engage with him, if indirectly, for the first time during the 2020 campaign when they both make appearances in Iowa.

Lawyers for the House said they are asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a judge’s order rejecting their request for a preliminary injunction over Trump’s reprogramming of military funds for a wall at the southern border.

Vice President Pence defended the State Department’s decision to bar U.S. embassies from flying rainbow flags on their flagpoles during LGBT Pride Month, saying that it was the “right” move.

Trump pledged he won’t pull a Richard Nixon and resign in the face of certain impeachment, saying he’s not the type of person who backs down from a fight.

Charred fragments of metal are all that’s left of the helicopter that crashed and burned atop a Midtown Manhattan office, according to a photo released by the FDNY.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who arrived quickly at the crash scene – even before NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, said there was no indication of terrorism.

“If you’re a New Yorker you have a level of PTSD from 9/11…so as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes. But there’s no indication that that is the case,” Cuomo said.

The memories of 9/11 were compounded as the building was evacuated. Employees streamed down staircases as firefighters rushed in, heading to the roof.

Timothy McCormack, 58, the pilot who was killed when his helicopter crashed on the roof of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper, was known as a skilled flier who fought fires in his spare time. He was issued a commercial pilot’s license in June 2004, and had been certified as a flight instructor since 2018.

McCormack was a volunteer firefighter with two Dutchess County departments, according to the East Clinton Fire Department in a statement. He was also a graduate of Arlington High School, according to his Facebook profile.

McCormack was a member of the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department since 1994 and served as chief of the department for 10 years, according to a Facebook post made by the department.

The fatal helicopter crash underscored the hazards of having so many helicopters flying over such a densely populated area, and gave opponents of the frequent flights an opportunity to demand further restrictions on the airspace in and around New York City.

Just six months after Cuomo was re-elected, a majority of New York voters think he should not run for a fourth term, according to a new Siena poll.

The same poll found that found NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Trump outdid all other New York politicians in receiving a negative net favorability rating.

Cuomo blasted Friday’s ruling by a state judge that struck down outside income limits for lawmakers with outside gigs, calling it “confused.”

New York’s largest farm advocacy organization is backing legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana use.

State lawmakers hoping to legalize paid surrogacy have tweaked their proposal in order to build support before the scheduled end of the legislative session next week.

The last major hurdle to legalizing sports wagering in New York was cleared with state regulators signing off on new rules for upstate casinos.

Democratic state lawmakers are having buyers remorse after voting for a law that allows many criminal defendants to be released without bail pending trial, Republicans charge.

More >

Extras

A helicopter crash landed on a building in Midtown Manhattan, NYPD officials confirmed. At least one person was hurt.

Only one person was aboard the aircraft when it crashed on the roof of 787 Seventh Avenue at 51st Street at 1:43 p.m, city officials said. That person was reported to have been killed, according to a senior city official.

“If you’re a New Yorker,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “you have a level of PTSD from 9/11 and I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes…there’s no indication that that’s the case.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler has reached an agreement with the Justice Department “over obtaining key evidence in the Mueller Report related to possible obstruction of justice” by Trump.

The exact scope of the material the Justice Department has agreed to provide was not immediately clear, but the committee signaled that it was a breakthrough after weeks of wrangling over those materials and others that the Judiciary panel demanded under subpoena.

The Mexican foreign minister said that no secret immigration deal existed between his country and the United States, directly contradicting President Trump’s claim on Twitter that a “fully signed and documented” agreement would be revealed soon.

Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus officially joined the U.S. Navy following a commissioning ceremony led by Vice President Mike Pence.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices, in an unsigned order, said they won’t take up the cases of two men who challenged the National Firearms Act of 1934 after they were convicted for failing to register their gun silencers.

New York lawmakers introduced a bill that would decriminalize sex work. The Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act amends statutes so that consenting adults who trade sex, collaborate with or support sex working peers, or patronize adult sex workers will not be charged.

The push to speed up New York City’s buses has kicked into high gear with the formation of an advisory group designed to advocate for changing the design of some streets, even if neighborhoods object, to get buses moving faster.

Firearms distributor United Sporting Cos. loaded up on guns ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, expecting a surge in sales that would likely follow the election of a Democrat. Then Hillary Clinton lost, and now the company has filed for bankruptcy.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer added his voice to the chorus of scorn for the International Joint Commission’s management of Lake Ontario’s record-high water levels. He also promised help to those dealing with flooding.

At the start of a conference in Rochester today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the new Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative would receive up to $300 million in funding for communities along the lake and St. Lawrence River.

When New York’s crucial rent-control laws have been up for renewal, political donations to state lawmakers from the state’s influential real estate industry have dwarfed those made by small individual donors, according to a report set to be released tomorrow.

More than a thousand St. Clare’s Hospital employees had their pensions pulled and are now trying to find a solution, with more than 200 of them signing an open letter to Cuomo, state lawmakers, and the Albany Diocese.

A former member of NXIVM spiritual leader Keith Raniere’s “master/slave” group testified at his criminal trial that actress Allison Mack wanted her to sign a contract acknowledging the possibility of psychological injury, disfigurement, paralysis or death.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential campaign announced she has received donations from 65,000 supporters, practically securing a spot on the first Democratic primary debate stage at the end of June.

A missing piece of the contract between the Fulton City School District and the Golden Sun Bus Service nearly cost the district more than $1 million in state penalties, but district officials have successfully negotiated a forgiveness bill with local state lawmakers.

A coalition has begun calling for a municipal public bank in New York City. While the issue has attracted little attention or support so far locally, it has gained some traction in other U.S. states.

Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz complained about the lack of security in his native Dominican Republic in 2015 — four years before he was badly wounded in a shooting there.

The National Cancer Institute has reaffirmed its support for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center by renewing its status as one of 50 elite cancer centers nationwide and announcing a new $22.5 million grant that will bolster breakthrough treatments, cancer prevention efforts and clinical trials.

Happy Birthday to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who turned 60 today.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany and Monroe County, where he will make an announcement at 10:15 a.m. at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 East Main St., Rochester. (LG Kathy Hochul will also be on hand.

The state Legislature is in session.

Prepare to meet the “big ugly.” Leaders of the Senate and Assembly will begin serious negotiations this week with Cuomo about a host of unresolved issues, from rent control to, potentially, legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use.

Vice President Mike Pence this morning participates in the commissioning ceremony for former Trump administration chief of staff Reince Priebus as ensign in the U.S. Navy, and then has lunch with the president.

In the afternoon, Pence participates in a Smithsonian Board of Regents meeting, and then meets up again with the president to greet the 103rd Indianapolis 500 Champions: Team Penske.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning returns from a 2020 campaign trip to Iowa, and will later meet with Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Mayor David Collado.

At 8:25 a.m., “The Jay Oliver Show” features Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Long Island News Radio, 103.9FM.

At 8:30 a.m., local and state elected officials join workers and their union 32BJ SEIU as they start their strikes and put up picket lines, 90 Williams St. and 40 Broad St., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., the charter schools committee of the SUNY board of trustees meets, SUNY Global Center, 116 E. 55th St., Multipurpose Room, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Decrim NY and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried hold a press conference to introduce a bill to decriminalize and decarcerate the sex trades in New York, 250 Broadway, 19th floor hearing room, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., tenants and members of Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition and the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance deliver petitions demanding passage of all 9 universal rent control bills before rent laws expire, in front of Eastchester Branch Public Library, 1385 E. Gunn Hill Rd., the Bronx.

At 10:15 a.m., NYPD officers who served in the Department’s Cadet Corps join Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and NYC Council members to call on the mayor and Council speaker support a state law correcting a NYC mistake that denied them pension credit for their cadet service, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. speaks at the monthly meeting of the Bronx Board of Business Agents, F&J Pine Restaurant, 1310 Bronxdale Ave., the Bronx.

At 1:45 p.m., Hochul participates in a press conference with state commissioners and local officials, Rochester Convention Center, 123 East Main St., Rochester.

At 4 p.m., the state Immigration Action Fund and its allies rally at the district office of Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris to call on the state Senate to commit to passing the Driver’s Licenses and Privacy Act before the end of the legislative session, 31-19 Newtown Ave., Astoria, Queens.

At 5 p.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli attends the Annual Meeting of the Business Incubator Association of New York State, CNY Biotech Accelerator, 841 East Fayette St., Syracuse.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer hosts an opening reception for her gallery Rags and Riches exhibit and Pride Month, 1 Centre St., 19th floor South, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., a pre-taped interview with de Blasio will air on NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

Headlines…

American Airlines announced that it would extend the grounding of its fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets through Labor Day.

Two senators plan to introduce a bill today designed to force a vote on current and future U.S. arms sales and other military support to Saudi Arabia, saying it was time lawmakers checked President Trump’s attempts to bypass Congress on foreign policy.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for saying she wants to see the president in prison, and likened her to Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare of the 1950s.

Trump ripped Democrats ahead of testimony from John Dean, a former White House counsel for President Nixon who proved pivotal during the Watergate scandal.

Trump last night retweeted a claim from user @TheRightMelissa that Big Tech companies like Twitter are “colluding with Democrats” to censor conservative content, which she alleged amounts to “fascism.”

Several of the most prominent Democratic presidential hopefuls speaking at the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual Hall of Fame celebration yesterday used the opportunity to take veiled shots at the current frontrunner and former vice president, Joe Biden, warning that a cautious platform could gift Trump the 2020 race.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was the only hopeful to bring his ​spouse onstage​ ​at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame forum, ​a speed-dating version of campaigning in which candidates only g​o​t five minutes to ​make their case.

Charter schools have long been a divisive issue within Democratic circles. Now, they’re increasingly falling out of favor with the party’s current crop of 2020 presidential candidates, who are aggressively courting teachers unions in a crowded field.

The political power of generational change, a constant in Democratic politics and in victorious presidential campaigns for much of the last 60 years, is now being hotly debated as the party wrestles with how to defeat Trump.

Liberal activists, hoping for a chance to offset the growing conservative presence in the courts, have identified a pool of potential judicial vacancies that could remain out of Trump’s reach, awaiting the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.

Former President Jimmy Carter, who was sidelined by a broken hip, returned to teach Sunday school yesterday, and revealed that he recently spoke with Trump about China.

The chickenpox vaccine appears to offer benefits beyond keeping the childhood illness at bay: It may also significantly reduce a child’s risk of shingles, a large study released today finds.

United Technologies said it planned to combine its aerospace business with Raytheon, uniting the two into a new manufacturing giant in the worlds of aerospace and military weapons and aircraft.

California is set to become the first U.S. state to pay for some adults living in the country illegally to have full health benefits paid for by taxpayers.

Nuclear issues are shaping up to be among the most contentious issues as Congress debates this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with Republicans already coming out strongly against what’s in the bill.

As the Roman Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal grows ever wider in scope in the U.S., bishops convene for a national meeting in Baltimore tomorrow under heavy pressure to acknowledge their oversight failures and give a larger role to lay Catholics and secular authorities in confronting the crisis.

A man was arrested for allegedly waving a BB gun during the Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C., sparking a stampede that left several people in the hospital, according to cops.

Confronted with a Democratic takeover of the State Legislature and emboldened progressive activists, the city’s landlords and developers — long accustomed to ruling New York through political donations and expensive lobbyists — are adopting the tactics of their activist foes.

Residents of trailer parks are campaigning to be covered for protection under New York’s new rent-control laws when the old ones expire on June 15.

Former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky weighs in on the rent control debate.

The NYT editorial board: “The dismantling of rent protections over the past 25 years has helped create a housing crisis that threatens New York City’s future as a vibrant metropolis. Mr. Cuomo and the State Legislature have a chance to begin making things right.”

The NYC Council has scheduled an oversight hearing into the stiff fees charged by Grubhub and other food-delivery apps — setting the stage for a possible government crackdown on the sites’ operations throughout the city.

NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, 37, who is openly gay, showed off a gravity-defying double toe touch during Saturday’s Twilight Pride Parade in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

More >

The Weekend That Was

President Donald Trump said tariffs on Mexican goods are “indefinitely suspended” after negotiators from the US and Mexico were able to reach a deal on immigration enforcement.

The acting secretary of Homeland Security heralded Mexico’s decision to send thousands of its national guard troops to the Guatemalan border as a new development, disputing a report that said the concession that averted new tariffs had been agreed upon months ago.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed how Trump handled his latest trade and immigration talks with Mexico, repeating her claim that the President throws “temper tantrums.”

Michael Gove, a senior official in Britain and one of the top contenders to replace Theresa May as Conservative leader and prime minister, has admitted to taking illegal drugs in his youth, calling it “a mistake.”

Trump went after Comcast and various news networks late Saturday, accusing the media companies of reporting “lies” and claiming Comcast of showing “hatred.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the top choice among Iowa Democrats, but his lead is slipping as two challengers build support in the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state, according to a new poll.

The same poll showed Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg surging, while NYC Mayor Bill de Blasi doesn’t even register among Iowa voters.

Biden wished his former White House boss Barack Obama a happy “National Best Friend Day,” posting an image of two friendship bracelets with the names “Joe” and “Barack.”

Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon said that Biden must release his tax returns to prove that he’s not benefiting economically from China.

Hillary Clinton posted a rare personal message on Twitter, announcing her youngest brother, Tony Rodham, had died at the age of 65.

Clinton described her brother as “kind” and “generous,” adding: “We’ll miss him very much.” The cause of his death was not immediately reveled.

Clinton said that two “inescapable conclusions” came from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and “obstruction of justice occurred.”

Actor Alec Baldwin says he’s “so done” playing Trump on “Saturday Night Live.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed to overhaul the MTA board following revelations that time clocks have been sabotaged amid a crackdown on overtime abuse.

The 62nd annual Puerto Rican Day Parade stepped off today in Manhattan. Singer Ricky Martin served as this year’s grand marshal and was celebrated for his foundation, which fights human trafficking.

Ruben Diaz Sr., a controversial Bronx politician, is under fire yet again — this time amid allegations he skirted a law prohibiting City Council members from earning outside income by accepting up to $30,000 in “birthday gifts” the past two years.

Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor involved in the “Central Park Five” case, was reportedly dropped by her publisher amid the fallout from a Netflix series about the conviction – and eventual exoneration – of five teens for a 1989 rape.

Monroe County Republican Chairman Bill Reilich has announced he is stepping aside from his position to focus on his role as Supervisor of the Town of Greece.

James J. Eagan of Orchard Park, the former secretary of the Democratic State Committee, who is often at odds with the party’s Erie County leaders, is demanding an investigation of headquarters finances and alleging “apparent violations” of campaign finance laws.

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone says he’ll hold a series of listening sessions as the Roman Catholic Diocese continues to respond to criticism of its handling of complaints of sexual abuse by clergy.

The woman who leaked documents on clergy sex abuse in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese attended Malone’s first listening session with the laity Saturday.

Veteran New York City detective-turned-reporter Mike Sheehan, a key investigator in the Central Park Five case and the arrest of “preppie killer” Robert Chambers, has died at the age of 71 after losing a battle with cancer.

More >

Extras

The Trump administration is rejecting requests from U.S. embassies to fly the rainbow pride flag on embassy flagpoles during June, LGBTQ Pride Month, three American diplomats told NBC News.

President Donald Trump lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her “a disgrace” after the California Democrat privately told lawmakers she wants to see him “in prison.”

Trump called on NASA to focus on sending astronauts to Mars instead of the moon with a parenthetical that left Twitter users puzzled. “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”

A majority of voters in a new poll say the U.S. Supreme Court should not revisit the Roe V. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

But more than six in ten Americans – 61 percent – think significant restrictions should be placed on abortion.

FedEx announced it is ditching its contract with Amazon to deliver packages for the company using its FedEx Express service.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called her potential alliance with Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz “super bizarre, really weird” and blasted former Vice President Joe Biden’s progressive cred.

Climate change is emerging as one of the 2020 election cycle’s most pressing issues.

Unemployment for workers without bachelor’s degrees fell to the lowest rate on record in May, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today.

Rising funeral costs and a lagging economy have made it increasingly hard for many low-income Americans to pay the necessary expenses to dispose of a body. When family members can’t afford to claim a body, the burden falls on local governments to handle the remains.

The Trump Organization appears to be breaking a 2017 promise not to mention the president in social media posts as his Ireland golf resort promoted the president’s visit.

The West Point Military Academy cadet killed in a vehicle rollover has been identified as Christopher J. Morgan, a 22-year-old from New Jersey who was a law major and on the Army wrestling team.

Paying for New York’s retired municipal workers could cost taxpayers an additional $1.5 billion dollars this year thanks to a trove of pension-pork bills introduced by Albany lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session.

Legislation to tweak regulations imposed on the title insurance industry in recent years by the state Department of Financial Services is poised to secure final passage by state lawmakers as early as next week, the bill’s sponsors said.

State legislation that would allow school districts to impose mandatory kindergarten attendance is awaiting action by Cuomo.

The Senate and Assembly both passed legislation this week that would allow women to delay jury duty up to two years if they are breastfeeding a baby.

Actress Lori Loughlin wants to take the University of Southern California (USC) to task amid claims that the college might sue her and husband Mossimo Giannulli.

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Director Joe Thompson will face a motor vehicle homicide charge in connection with a crash that killed a motorcyclist last year, according to sources close to the investigation.

A $25 million warehouse and distribution facility for a Fortune 100 company received the go-ahead from Town of Tonawanda officials without public disclosure of the tenant’s true identity. The Buffalo News previously identified the prospective tenant as Amazon.

In a lawsuit filed in Buffalo federal court, a St. Bonaventure professor who still on the faculty there claims her Wiccan religion and gender played a role in her forced resignation as dean and her failure to win a promotion she feels she deserved.

Cuomo today directed iconic buildings and structures across the state to be illuminated orange this evening to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day 2019, as well as Gun Violence Awareness Month and the beginning of Wear Orange Weekend.

The rise in homelessness in NYC is putting a strain on the New York Public Library.

It’s a really bad year for ticks.