Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

The Weekend That Was

Rep. Justin Amash, an iconoclastic Republican of Michigan who has considered a run against President Trump in 2020, became the first member of his party serving in Congress to publicly suggest that the president’s conduct had reached the “threshold of impeachment.”

Trump responded by calling Amash a “total lightweight” who is causing controversy solely for “the sake of getting his name out there.”

The Trump administration has warned Congress that the flow of unaccompanied migrant children at the southern border has increased even further than it anticipated just a few weeks ago and may require an additional $1.4 billion to provide housing and care.

Well-wired Democrats say the massive 2020 primary field means that the nominee may still be unclear when Democrats head to Milwaukee for their mid-July convention.

Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger was attacked on Saturday by a man who kicked him in the back at a sports event in South Africa that the action hero was hosting.

Responding to a series of highly restrictive abortion laws aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade, several Democratic presidential candidates have called on Congress to codify abortion rights, signaling a newly aggressive approach in a debate whose terms have long been set by conservatives.

The series of abortion restrictions recently passed by states may appear to present a united front and a coordinated political campaign. Instead they reflect a sustained effort by a network of disparate activists, each with their own strategy honed over decades of work.

Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal told reporters “you can’t say you’re a Democrat…if you’re against abortion.” Jayapal, who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, reportedly called for “strong primary challenges” against candidates who weren’t as bold on that issue.

Boeing has reportedly admitted for the first time that there was a flaw in its 737 MAX flight simulators.

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the president “is doing the right thing” by ignoring congressional subpoenas.

Commencement speaker and billionaire Robert F. Smith announced he will donate an estimated $40 million to pay off the student debt for the 400 students graduating at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College.

Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic 2020 contender, said that she would end the detention of immigrants if elected to the White House.

Steve Wynn, the billionaire former casino mogul who resigned as chairman of Wynn Resorts and as finance chairman of the RNC last year after The Wall Street Journal revealed allegations of sexual assault and harassment spanning decades, has recently donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the committee.

Porn actress Stormy Daniels has agreed to dismiss a lawsuit that accused her former lawyer of colluding with Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to have her deny having an affair with Trump.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani says “no one really respects” ex-FBI director James Comey “or wants to hear from him.”

Crooked college consultant William “Rick” Singer reportedly advised some of his rich white clients to pretend their kids were “minorities” in order to gain entry to elite universities.

Former Vice President Joe Biden returned to Pennsylvania, the state of his birth, on Saturday to deliver a forceful call for national unity, looking past the Democratic presidential primary to directly appeal to the voters who helped power Trump’s victory in this state and across the country in 2016.

Trump has requested the immediate preparation of paperwork needed to pardon several American military members accused or convicted of war crimes — including high-profile cases of murder, attempted murder and desecration of a corpse — indicating that he is considering pardons for the men on or around Memorial Day.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio once said Democrats would have the best shot at taking back the White House if they ignored Trump. Now that he’s officially running himself, he seems to have had a change of heart.

De Blasio acknowledged that he may not qualify for the first presidential debate next month – by raising contributions from 65,000 individual donors – but argued it isn’t a sign about his overall chances of winning the Democratic nomination.

Last month, de Blasio gave the city’s Board of Elections the opportunity to open 100 poll sites for early voting and get $75 million, but the board has not jumped at the offer, so far selecting only 38 early poll sites across the city.

The mayor’s presidential dreams had better not make him too neglectful of his day job — or he could lose it, under a never-used clause in the NYC charter.

De Blasio got thrown his first curveball in the early days of his quixotic presidential campaign Saturday as a prominent South Carolina Democratic activist urged him not to battle Trump in the gutter.

The mayor attacked Trump for allegedly violating a federal law banning the use of government resources in politics — even though de Blasio filmed his own campaign announcement inside Gracie Mansion.

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Extras

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal had warned that if the Treasury Department did not comply with a 5 p.m. deadline today to hand over President Trump’s tax returns, he’d likely to sue the department “as quickly as next week.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded this afternoon that the department would not be turning over the returns to the committee.

The Missouri House passed restrictive abortion bill prohibiting abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, though many women often don’t know they’re pregnant in that time. The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies but not for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said in an OpEd that he’s unimpressed with Joe Biden’s chances of capturing the Democratic presidential nomination, let alone of winning in a matchup against President Trump.

Trump renewed his attacks on House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler in a tweet that suggested that Hillary Clinton’s missing emails were still getting under his skin.

Amid a new round of tariff battles between the U.S. and China on each other’s exports, China has recalled two cute giant pandas from the San Diego Zoo in California.

Mnuchin won more than $200,000 in a lawsuit against a private-jet company after he claimed the company broke an agreement to reimburse him after he terminated his membership.

In a major education policy speech set to be delivered tomorrow, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will call for a ban on all for-profit charter schools, a position that puts him directly at odds with the Trump administration and becoming the first of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to insist on such a move.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose 2020 campaign is lagging, is now reorganizing her online operations and trying to turn around her political and financial fortunes with her high-profile criticism of the new laws in Georgia, Alabama and other states that drastically restrict abortions.

Ulysees Wingo, a Buffalo Common Council member, has been barred from stepping foot on Buffalo Public School property after bringing a gun inside a high school earlier this week, district officials said.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped away from the criticism in his hometown to engage curiosity in Iowa, making his first stop as a presidential candidate in the middle of farm country to demonstrate his interest in agricultural issues and take shots at Trump.

De Blasio’s first stop was an ethanol plant in Gowrie, a town of about 1,000.

De Blasio said he’s not ready to release policy proposals for his 2020 presidential bid, even though he’s been toying with the idea of a White House run for five months.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Franke, a law firm to which de Blasio owes more than $300,000 in unpaid legal bills, has targeted the mayor’s office – and even the mayor himself – to lobby for clients that include Disney.

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed pay records for a retired Long Island Rail Road worker who earned more money than anyone else at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority last year, as well as the records of more than a dozen other MTA employees.

State Sen. Tim Kennedy, chair of the Transportation Committee, said he’s blocking legislation aimed at outlawing pedestrians who text while walking across the street.

The northeastern U.S.’s largest supplier of natural gas stopped processing new customer applications in New York City and Long Island after the Cuomo administration blocked a major pipeline project.

The MTA would be forced to install elevators at any subway station undergoing a closure or renovation of at least six months under a new state bill.

The meetings of the secret master-slave society started by NXIVM leader Keith Raniere occurred three times a week. They began with all the women stripping naked. Then they posed for a picture to be sent to him.

The Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing will end its coal operations and reopen as a data storage center if all goes according to company plans.

The time off for voting law approved by the Legislature earlier this year is a problem for schools.

RIP, Grumpy Cat.

Here and Now

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

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by his wife, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray, spends his first full day on the 2020 campaign trail with events in Iowa, starting with the touring of an ethanol plant with former U.S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and moving on to a roundtable with local farmers.

De Blasio will still appear live, as he does almost every Friday, on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” taking calls from listeners, which should be interesting, at about 10:25 a.m.

This evening, de Blasio will depart Iowa and travel to Nebraska. This weekend, he’ll be campaigning in North and South Carolina. He’s scheduled to return to NYC Sunday, and then it’s off to Connecticut.

At 7:15 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams appears on the PIX11 Morning News.

At 9:30 a.m., a bipartisan group of Nassau County elected officials is coming together to announce the creation of the new Nassau County Aviation Committee, Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building (front steps), 1500 Franklin Ave., Mineola.

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

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul opens the 2018 canals season, announces the next phase of “Reimagine the Canals,” and dedicates a tugboat in honor of of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Corn Hill Landing, 288 Exchange Blvd., Rochester.

Also at 10 a.m., state Division of Human Rights acting Commissioner Angela Fernandez and General Counsel Caroline Downey speak at a conference on age discrimination in the workplace, Silberman Building, Hunter College, 2180 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., state Sen. James Sanders Jr. hosts a job fair and career expo, Rockaway YMCA, 207 Beach 73rd St., Queens.

Also at 10 a.m., state Assemblyman Steve Englebright, state Sen. Julia Salazar and others rally in support of the Climate and Community Protection Act before the final hearing on the bill for the 2019 state legislative session, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation holds a public hearing on climate change, Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., state Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and state Sen. David Carlucci announce legislation to designate a section of Route 17 in Hillburn as Justice Thurgood Marshall Memorial Highway and to commemorate Thurgood Marshall Day in New York state, A&J’s Lunch Wagon, Route 17 S., Sloatsburg.

At 3 p.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer rolls out legislation to better monitor precious metals and gems sold at pawn shops to help law enforcement fight crime, Michaelian Office Building, 148 Martine Ave., ninth floor, White Plains.

At 6 p.m., state Sens. John Liu and Jamaal Bailey host a forum on diversity and specialized high school admissions, Lehman College, Lovinger Theatre, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. W., Bronx.

At 7 p.m., Public Advocate Williams will recognize Rev. Corwin S. Mason of the Community Church of Astoria on his pastoral anniversary, 34-38 38th St. Queens.

At 8 p.m., Hochul attends and watches “What the Constitution Means to Me,” The Hayes Theater, 240 W. 44th St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump unveiled a sweeping immigration reform plan that would favor people with top educations and skills and sharply limit those admitted at random or solely because they have family in the US.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the new immigration plan is “dead on arrival” and “not a remotely serious proposal.”

Trump’s family business saw its overall revenues decline modestly in 2018, according to his annual financial report released yesterday, suggesting a disconnect between the Trump brand and the still-growing national economy.

Trump had some good-natured fun trying to pronounce democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s name — but proclaimed that he thought it was great that a gay married man was running for office.

House Democrats, frustrated by Trump’s efforts to stonewall their investigations and eager to stoke public anger about the president’s behavior, are pinning their diminishing hopes on Robert Mueller yet again.

Former Vice President Joe Biden will base his presidential campaign in Philadelphia — a move that highlights his personal ties to Pennsylvania and showcases the state’s importance in the 2020 race.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor said he hasn’t seen any evidence of wrongdoing by Biden nor his son Hunter Biden in dealings with the country.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez implied in a tweet that if male politicians could become pregnant, there would be more support for abortion rights.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, meanwhile, is hoping to harness the Alabama’s anti-abortion overkill to revive her sputtering White House bid.

The Trump administration defended its $62 million bailout to a Brazilian meatpacking company controlled by a pair of corrupt brothers, arguing the private pork payout will eventually trickle down to struggling U.S. farmers.

Trump courted deep-pocketed donors in his native New York City for the first time in months last night at a campaign fundraiser at Wall Street bigwig Howard Lutnick’s upscale Manhattan home.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the 23rd candidate to enter the Democratic presidential field, found a slice of the limelight by botching his carefully planned announcement rollout.

Gabe Fleisher, 17, a St. Louis high school junior, was the first to publish details of de Blasio’s announcement of his 2020 presidential campaign on his Politics blog.

Republicans depicted de Blasio as an out-of-touch closet Communist whose “extremist liberal” policies will boomerang on him in the heartland.

NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams ripped de Blasio’s job performance during an appearance on “Good Day New York” and declared that he was “ready, willing and able” to take over should the mayor skip town for his presidential run.

The mayor pulled off an impossible feat by uniting Americans of all persuasions — against his quixotic presidential bid.

Members of the NYPD Police Benevolent Association and the anti-cop activist group Black Lives Matter stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Times Square yesterday morning to protest de Blasio’s White House campaign-kickoff interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

De Blasio’s 2020 presidential-bid YouTube page had just 61 subscribers nearly 10 hours after he posted his big campaign announcement there — and his flat-footed social media effort has drawn fire from Donald Trump Jr.

NYC politicians and local residents openly questioned whether de Blasio’s White House ambitions would cause problems across the city that twice elected him to City Hall before his attention shifted to bigger things.

“While there are plenty of ties between Florida and the Big Apple, de Blasio would be well advised not to put too much hope for the Sunshine State.”

During last night’s broadcast of Hannity, Fox News host Sean Hannity tried to persuade short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to run for New York City mayor in the next election.

As de Blasio headed out of town to embark on a pipe-dream presidential bid, NYCCouncil Speaker Corey Johnson – who is eying a 2021 mayoral run — wasted no time trying to grab the local spotlight by unveiling a plan aimed at making the criminal justice system “fairer” for all New Yorkers.

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President Trump wasted no time in attacking Bill de Blasio, slamming him as a “JOKE” after the NYC mayor announced his run for the White House.

Here’s de Blasio’s campaign announcement video.

The NYT’s Jennifer Senior: “Might I suggest that perhaps, at this particular moment, the party deserves someone a little more … industrious to beat Donald Trump? Does it really need another guy from New York who requires his ‘executive time’?”

An email blast from the RNC included a “Bill de Blasio cheat sheet” with six zingers labeling the termed-out Democrat as a groundhog killer who honeymooned in Communist Cuba.

De Blasio’s first interview as a presidential candidate, during which he referred to Trump as “Con Don,” was marred by protesters chanting “Liar!” and “Can’t run the city! Can’t run the country!” throughout the live segment.

“Bill de Blasio’s run for president couldn’t have happened without Anthony Weiner’s implosion.”

“It was crowded when I got in, so I think the more the merrier,” Pete Buttigieg said of de Blasio’s entry into the race. “I think this is a good moment for mayors to be stepping up.”

In the video announcing his presidential run, de Blasiodescribed his hometown as “legendarily tough and big and complicated.” Soon after, New Yorkers proved just how apt that was, wit htheir decidedly mixed response to his new endeavor.

Meet Dean Fuleihan, a former top aide to ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. He’s now de Blasio’s second-in-command, his former budget guru, and, when the mayor is out of town campaigning for the White House, he’ll run New York City.

Ukraine’s prosecutor general said in an interview that he had no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son, despite a swirl of allegations by Trump’s lawyer, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giulaini.

Trump has told his acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran, in a message to his hawkish aides that an intensifying American pressure campaign against the clerical-led government in Tehran must not escalate into open conflict.

Trump’s annual financial disclosure report has been released through the Office of Government Ethics, revealing his assets and liabilities.

A woman who graduated with honors from SUNY Polytechnic Institute alleges her degree was rescinded by college officials last year after she declined to file a sexual harassment complaint against the school’s fallen founder, Alain Kaloyeros.

An NYPD supervisor alerted to the death of Eric Garner shrugged off the Staten Island father of six’s passing with a text message reading, “Not a big deal, we were effecting a lawful arrest.”

Mark Vincente, the whistleblower testifying about a “sex cult” posing as a self-help organization, was a member of another controversial sect before signing on with the NXIVM group.

After two decades of widely expanded state-sanctioned gambling opportunities in New York, officials with the Cuomo administration now want to find out what kind of societal problems have been created by the gambling explosion.

The state comptroller says the New York State Common Retirement Fund has topped $210 billion after an estimated 5.2 percent return on investments.

Former Gov. David Paterson, who is completely blind in one eye and legally blind in the other, is now consulting for AudioEye, a company that offers tools to make websites more accessible to people with disabilities, including vision impairment, epilepsy and autism.

A policy asking attendees of a state commission meeting to pre-register for the public event may violate New York’s Open Meetings Law, according to government experts.

While the new dynamic in Albany has manifested itself as a more ambitious and progressive Senate butting heads with an Assembly that is dominated by older, more moderate members, the push to pass the Green Light bill has played out in reverse.

EJ McMahon breaks down the latest New York employment numbers.

First attempts last year to record and identify faces of drivers as they zip along the highway at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge have failed, according to an internal Metropolitan Transportation Authority email.

The state Health Department is investigating what prompted the daughter of a Buffalo nursing home resident to attack the administrator of the facility earlier this week, according to an agency spokesman.

Extras

The White House is preparing to release a broad outline of proposed immigration reforms aimed at unifying congressional Republicans on the issue, following months of discussions between senior adviser Jared Kushner and dozens of conservative groups.

Democratic presidential candidates rushed to condemn Alabama’s approval of a ban on nearly all abortions, warning that it portends a larger offensive by conservatives around the country to undermine the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is set to meet with abortion providers and women’s rights activists in Georgia tomorrow following the passage of the new “heartbeat” abortion legislation in the state.

Gillibrand introduced legislation to force the Environmental Protection Agency to set maximum levels for the class of chemicals involved in drinking-water contamination in Hoosick Falls and other sites in New York.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani leapt to the defense of Eric Trump in a spat between New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and The Trump Organization over emissions fines for its buildings.

Mark Vicente feared for his life and the lives of family members after he left NXIVM in 2017, the filmmaker testified at the federal trial of Keith Raniere.

Not all vehicles are equal under a proposed seat belt restriction approved today in the state Senate. It expands seat belt requirements for adults in the rear of personal-use automobiles, but limousines, taxis and buses are exempt.

House Republicans began collecting signatures to force a vote on Senate-passed legislation intended to protect Israel from financial boycotts, pressing forward with an effort to paint Democrats as anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.

A commuter helicopter made an emergency landing in the Hudson River this afternoon, according to authorities. There was only one occupant of the copter, the pilot, and he escaped unscathed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art said that it would stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family linked to OxyContin, severing ties between one of the world’s most prestigious museums and one of its most prolific philanthropic dynasties.

Illinois’ capital-city newspaper, a 188-year-old institution tied intimately to Abraham Lincoln, is without a news chief after its editor resigned in hopes of sparing more layoffs, according to a staff writer.

As its solar energy business slumps, Tesla is broadening the products it makes at its Buffalo factory beyond solar panels to include electrical components for its batteries and its electric vehicle charging stations.

A GoFundMe campaign is under way to raise $10 to replace two flowers stolen from the mansion of Saratoga Springs socialite Michele Riggi.

A passed by the state Senate last week requires each package of tampons sold in New York to display the materials used and their quantity. It began moving through the Assembly committee process yesterday.

Cuomo administration officials say they support efforts by AARP to stem the rising cost of prescription drugs for New Yorkers.

In a bid to ward off statewide rent-law reforms being floated in Albany, landlords have sided with tenant advocate groups on one thing: They are supporting a bill that would introduce a rent supplement for eligible residents seeking public assistance, or facing eviction.

Public school students in Buffalo would not start classes until Sept. 11 – more than a full week after Labor Day – and would lose their traditional February break under a district calendar being considered for the 2019-20 school year.

In New York City, a group of climate activists are on the second day of a three-day hunger strike in front of Cuomo’s office ahead of tomorrow’s permitting deadline for the proposed Williams pipeline project, which would carry fracked gas from Pennsylvania’s shale fields under New York Harbor.

This is just, strange.

Here and Now

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

The state Legislature is in session.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will be in New York City with no public events scheduled.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence travel to Indianapolis, IN, where the VP is scheduled to deliver a eulogy at the memorial service for U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar. The couple will then return to Washington, D.C.

At 8:30 a.m., the Board of NYC Schools holds a public meeting, 321 W. 44th St., Suite 601, Manhattan.

Also at 8:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Daneek Miller announces the results of the Participatory Budgeting vote for winning Council District 27 projects, Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Blvd., Queens.

At 9:30 a.m. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, state Sen. Brian Benjamin and Assemblyman Al Taylor join young adults and children who suffer with food allergies, along with their parents, advocates from Food Allergy Research & Education and the Allergy Advocacy Association to call for legislation to make it easier for allergic people to navigate the world without risking anaphylaxis, LCA Pressroom, Albany.

At 10 a.m., “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Juana Summers, national politics reporter for The Associated Press and others, WNYC.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul unveils a large-scale solar project, Anheuser-Busch, 1299 Kingdom Rd., Baldwinsville.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez will be joined by the family and friends of Jean Paul Guerro, “DJ Jinx Paul,” as they return to court in support of justice for DJ Jinx Paulm, King County Supreme Court, Criminal Term, 320 Jay St., Brooklyn.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Finance meets jointly with the Committee on Public Safety, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:10 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will appear live on SiriusXM’s The Laura Coates Show with Laura Coates.

At 10:30 a.m., Councilman Miller and community members gather to announce results of Participatory Budgeting vote for winning Council District 27 projects, Queens Central Library, 89-11 Merrick Boulevard, Queens.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the state Senate Majority will be holding a press conference on legislation to help prevent tragedies by making New York roads and waterways safer, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

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

At noon, state Assemblyman Tom Abinanti and Jon Terry, executive director of the Allergy Advocacy Association, highlight the need for education with respect to epinephrine auto-injectors and to announce the “Epi Near You Emergency Training Program,” LCA Press Room, LOB, Room 130, Albany.

Also at noon, fashion icon Tim Gunn, several New York City Council members, and Fur Free NYC – a coalition of over 50 nonprofit groups – rally in support of Intro 1476, a bill to ban the sale of fur in New York City, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., Hochul celebrates American Craft Beer Week with local elected officials, Flagship Brewing Company, 40 Minthorne St., Staten Island.

At 5:30 p.m., in advance of Bronx Community Board 1’s vote on NYC’s controversial plan to build a jail in Mott Haven, Land Use Committee members will question city representatives at a public hearing, Lincoln Hospital Auditorium, 234 E. 149th St., the Bronx.

At 6 p.m., Hochul announces the opening of Empire Outlets, 55 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC Councilman Andy King attends the 10th year anniversary gala of Equality Charter School, 1 Marina Del Rey, 1 Marina Dr., the Bronx.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis holds a fundraiser for her NY-11 congressional run, Dorrian’s Red Hand, 1616 2nd Ave., Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks and accepts an award at the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association’s 101st annual dinner, The Liberty Warehouse, 260 Conover St., Brooklyn.

Headlines…

After more than a decade of living at a picturesque manse in the Northern Westchester enclave of New Castle, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his longtime girlfriend, Sandra Lee, are planning to sell the house, which Lee owns, with an asking price of $2.3 million.

Lee insisted that she spends a lot of time in Albany at the executive mansion with the governor, and the decision to sell “Lily Pond,” as she has dubbed her Westchester mansion, has nothing to do with a change in the status of their relationship, but more due to the fact that his three daughters are now grown.

In a Facebook post, Lee told the NY Post’s Page Six, which cited anonymous sources and said she and Cuomo are splitting to “knock it off,” adding: “Both Andrew and I confirmed before the breakup story ran but the story was not true…Andrew and I are still very much together after 14 years.”

“She is selling the house and that’s what started the rumor mill,” an anonymous friend of the couple told PEOPLE magazine. “At the moment they both reside at Lily Pond and will continue to so until the home sells.”

The Alabama Senate approved a measure that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state, setting up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the case that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to end a pregnancy.

A federal judge rejected attorney Michael Avenatti’s request for a public defender to represent him in a case alleging he stole millions of dollars from clients, cheated on his taxes and committed bank fraud.

President Donald Trump touted “beautiful natural gas” and mocked windmill power that “kills all the birds” during a trip to a Louisiana liquefied natural gas facility.

Donald Trump, Jr. and the Senate Intelligence Committee reportedly have reached a deal for the President’s eldest son to appear before the committee behind closed doors in mid-June.

Four police officers traveling in Trump’s motorcade were involved in a crash in Louisiana. No one was seriously injured.

Mad Magazine is hitting back at Pete Buttigieg after the 2020 Democratic hopeful inadvertently insulted the publication while responding to a diss from Trump.

Lawmakers – including Central NY Rep. John Katko – are seeking to revive efforts to put Harriet Tubman, the African American abolitionist who led hundreds of people out of slavery, on the $20 bill.

A board member of the National Rifle Association called for the organization to clean “its own house” and part ways with CEO Wayne LaPierre in a statement.

The number of babies born in the U.S. in 2018 fell to the lowest level in 32 years, according to a government report released today.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that, unlike her fellow 2020 Democratic contenders Bernie Sanders, who held a town hall on Fox News last month, and Pete Buttigieg, who will do the same this Sunday, she turned down the network’s invitation because it’s a “hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”

Billionaire entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban left open the possibility of running for president, telling CNBC: “We’ll see.”

Trump has repeatedly asserted his administration has granted the island $91 billion in Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria aid, but according to a new report only $12.6 billion in funds have been released — less than 14 percent of that total.

A “vaccine symposium” in Rockland County drew hundreds of Orthodox Jewish attendees, though it was denounced by health authorities and some ultra-Orthodox rabbis, who said the speakers were spreading dangerous propaganda.

Despite the rain, an energetic crowd of vaccine skeptics and their children gathered in West Capitol Park in Albany to rally against government mandates and hear from prominent figures in the anti-vaccination movement, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“They’re telling us now that they’re gonna censor Facebook because they want to get rid of misinformation about vaccines,” Kennedy said. “But we’re just talking about science. We’re giving them peer review. You’ll never hear peer review from a vaccine proponent.”

New York City can continue to enforce its measles vaccination mandate, a court has ruled.

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Extras

President Donald Trump is dismissing a report that the U.S. is planning for a military conflict with Iran.

Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former New York congressman, is officially a free man. The 54-year-old was seen leaving a Bronx halfway house early this morning, which marked the final day of his 21-month sentence for having illicit contact with a 15-year-old girl.

“It’s good to be out, hope to get back to my family, and make up for some lost time,” Weiner told reporters. “…I hope to be able to live a life of integrity and service, and I’m glad this chapter of my life is behind me.”

As Weiner is a Level 1 offender, his address will not be made available to the public, though the ZIP code of his residence will be. His information will not appear in the state’s online sex offender database but will be available by phone.

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state can maintain its sovereign immunity from lawsuits in other states, reversing a prior decision from the high court.

House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, of Massachusetts, has indicated he won’t ask New York for Trump’s state returns – even if a new law enables him to – because it could derail his attempts to get Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to hand over six years of Trump’s personal and business federal returns.

New Jersey Rep. Rep. Bill Pascrell argued that if Trump’s tax returns are not turned over to Congress following a subpoena, Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig should face fines or jail time.

Former Vice President Joe Biden fired back at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she took a jab at his “middle-of-the-road” stance on climate change.

Biden smacked Rudy Giuliani for his recent threat to travel to Ukraine in order to convince the government to launch an investigation on his family, calling it “inappropriate” and “unrelated to me.”

Trump Tower, once the crown jewel in Trump’s property empire, now ranks as one of the least desirable luxury properties in Manhattan.

Citi Bike’s fleet of pedal-assist e-bikes – which are legal in New York City – won’t return to the streets until the fall.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, the 22nd Democratic candidate for president, threw his hat into the ring today, and quickly faced criticism for his ties to a former Mayor Bill de Blasio aide accused of sexual harassment.

Long Island Republican ​Rep. Lee Zeldin blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for inviting a “radical imam” to speak before Congress.

Comedic actor Tim Conway – Carol Burnett’s costar on her long-running variety show – died today in Los Angeles at the age of 85.

Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi is facing a primary challenge from the left.

Voters across New York will head to the polls next week to decide whether to approve school budgets that on average would increase how much is collected by property taxes by 2.5 percent.

Both Sandra Lee and a spokesperson for the governor insisted that the rumors the former Food Network star and Cuomo are living apart and have broken up after 14 years of dating are not true.

High overtime costs have caused a standoff between the governor and the TWU, which is negotiating a new labor contract with the MTA, with its current contract expiring tomorrow with talk of a possible transit strike – something NYC has not seen since 2005.

Regarding his criticism of the IJC, the commission spokesman said Cuomo is behaving like a belligerent driver with road rage, adding: “It feels like when you’re stopped at a red light, and the driver behind you thinks that if he honks the horn enough that you’re going to pull out into oncoming traffic.”

The head of training at the NYPD Police Academy testified that Officer Daniel Pantaleo was never trained to use a seatbelt hold, contradicting claims by the cop’s lawyer during his departmental trial for the death of Eric Garner.

Happy 25th wedding anniversary to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray.

For the second straight year, a Syracuse pub is home to the best burger in New York. Ale ‘n’ Angus Pub won the New York Beef Council’s burger competition with its Beef on Weck burger.

Here and Now

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

The state Legislature is in session. It’s lobby day at the state Capitol, and there will be – among other things – a big rally in favor or renewing and reforming the rent laws.

Voters in Central Brooklyn will head to the polls today for a special election to pick NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams’ replacement on the City Council.

Nine candidates are running to replace the former lawmaker in the city’s 45th Council District after he left the post when he won his own special election to replace now-state Attorney General Leticia James as public advocate.

At 7:30 a.m., Williams will join his endorsed candidate, Monique Chandler-Waterman, as she casts her vote for the 45th Council seat, then will hold a media availability. After, Jumaane will campaign with Monique at various stops throughout the day.

The two will also be together at an election night watch party this evening, Tropical Paradise, 1367 Utica Ave., Brooklyn.

At 1 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will visit Rockaway Beach and announce that it will reopen in time for the summer, Rockaway Boardwalk, Beach 94th St., Queens.

At 2 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the memorial for Larry Hanley, the former International President of Amalgamated Transit Union, 3948 Amboy Rd., Staten Island.

The rest of today’s (very lengthy) calendar appears at the end of this post.

Headlines…

The United States and China intensified their trade dispute yesterday, as Beijing said it would increase tariffs on nearly $60 billion worth of American goods and the Trump administration detailed plans to tax nearly every sneaker, computer, dress and handbag that China exports to the United States.

…the market plunged as a result of the escalating trade war.

Trump said he would meet with presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China at the G20 summit in Japan this June.

Attorney General William Barr has appointed a top Connecticut prosecutor, US Attorney John Durham, to look into the origins of the Russia probe.

Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the FBI’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of CIA abuses of detainees.

Two of Trump’s personal attorneys welcomed the report that Barr had asked Durham to open a counterintelligence investigation into alleged ties between Trump associates and Russia’s campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Rod Rosenstein criticized James Comey, claiming the former FBI director became a “partisan pundit” after leaving the government.

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed an enormous antitrust class action against Apple to move forward, saying consumers should be allowed to try to prove that the technology giant had used monopoly power to raise the prices of iPhone apps.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the liberal wing of the court in the ruling that found iPhone users can sue Apple over App Store prices – a significant and surprising decision that shows the Trump nominee isn’t afraid to buck the court’s conservative majority.

Allies of Donald Trump Jr. may have stirred up a firestorm among Republicans over a subpoena to recall the president’s eldest son to the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the panel’s Republican chairman has suggested to colleagues that the standoff is of the younger Trump’s making.

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman asked to add her name to a lawsuit accusing Trump’s 2016 campaign of violating labor laws by paying female staffers nearly 20 percent less than their male colleagues.

The number of confirmed measles cases across the U.S. has reached 839, and the country is experiencing its worst outbreak of the disease since 1994.

Health officials ordered a Queens yeshiva closed as New York City struggles to contain the nation’s worst measles outbreak in a generation.

Rep. Eliot Engel said the left-leaning freshman members of his caucus, who include fellow New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are not his “cup of tea.”

Ocasio-Cortez told a packed room of climate change activists at an event that also featured Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that voting Democrat isn’t enough if they want to pass a Green New Deal.

Speaking at Howard University, a historic African American college just a mile from the U.S. Capitol Building, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez praised the tenets of the climate action plan that in part aims to transition the U.S. economy to a 100 percent renewable energy grid by 2030 and create green jobs in the process.

The Cuomo administration is not officially declaring dead – not yet anyway – a new legislative effort at the Capitol to legalize mobile sports betting in New York.

Legislators are proposing a law to close a loophole that prevented New York’s disgraced ex-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from being prosecuted for allegedly harassing and physically abusing four women.

A push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York and New Jersey this year appears all but dead in both states, a dramatic fall for an effort that just over a month ago seemed inevitable.

Women’s rights groups launched a campaign to stop New York from decriminalizing prostitution – an idea that is being seriously discussed for the first time in the state Capitol.

A retired detective and the son of an armored truck guard killed in the infamous 1981 Nyack Brink’s heist want the state parole board’s decision to release convicted murderer Judith Clark tossed since one board member failed to disclose her marriage to a murderer that she helped free.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who says he’ll make a decision about whether to run in 2020 sometime this week, grew hoarse shouting over the cranked-up crooning of Frank Sinatra tunes playing in the Trump Tower lobby as he tried to promote his “Green New Deal.” (The weather forced the event inside).

The mayor’s speech was all-but drowned out by a throng of Trump supporters who demonstrated behind him on the building’s escalators, booing, whistling, chanting and holding up signs with messages including “Failed mayor” and “Worst mayor ever.”

Eric Trump blasted de Blasio’s actions as “simply childish” just hours after the mayor stormed the Trump Tower lobby to hold a press conference.

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Extras

The United States and China escalated their trade fight as Beijing moved to raise tariffs on nearly $60 billion worth of American goods in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to punish China with higher tariffs on a slew of imports.

Nearly every country in the world has agreed upon a legally binding framework to reduce the pollution from plastic waste except for the United States, U.N. environmental officials say.

“Donald Trump, hands down, whenever you put him on the air, now, this is before he was running for president, he was an open book,” Howard Stern said. “He would say anything. And you know, oddly enough – during the campaign and even now, people quote these interviews that I did with him.”

Actress Felicity Huffman will be sentenced to at least four months in prison after entering a guilty plea to a single charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in connection with the college admissions scandal.

Uber Technologies Inc’s shares fell as much as 10 percent today, more than doubling their losses since the ride-hailing giant’s poorly received Wall Street debut on Friday and raising more questions about investors’ faith in its ability to make profits.

Trump next week will stage a rally in Pennsylvania, a state crucial to his reelection chances in 2020, his campaign announced.

Eight Trump properties in New York City do not comply with new regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions. This means the Trump Organization is on track to be hit with fines of $2.1m every year from 2030, unless its buildings are made more environmentally friendly.

Former President Jimmy Carter, 94, broke his hip en route to a turkey hunt and had to undergo surgery.

A top House Democrat issued subpoenas for six years of Trump’s tax returns, giving Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig a deadline of next Friday to deliver them.

RIP Doris Day, the versatile singer, actress, TV star, animal activist and radiant icon of sunny, funny femininity, who died early today at age 97 at her home in Carmel Valley, California.

Jeremy Reichberg, a businessman who bribed high-level police officials and tried to win favor with donations to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

After the L train’s meltdown on Friday morning, the line went into its regularly scheduled weekend of reduced service for tunnel work, only to return with another round of delays this morning.

Judith Clark’s release from prison in the 1981 Brinks robbery-murders is being challenged by a retired Nyack police officer wounded in the shootings and the son of the armored car driver killed by the self-proclaimed revolutionaries.

The push to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana seems to have gone up in smoke. But what about the state’s existing medical marijuana program? It may get bigger and more flexible.

Nine women were labeled “socialists, “suppressives” and “enemies of the company” when they left NXIVM over concerns that included their belief that leader Keith Raniere was sleeping with top executives in the organization, a former top NXIVM member testified.

Seagram’s heiress and accused NXIVM benefactor Clare Bronfman tried to buy influence for the alleged sex cult by illegally raising money for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, a former group member testified.

“For the first time in many years, there appears to be sufficient political will to make New York a leader on election reform. Yet, further efforts seem to be stalled.”

Law enforcement agencies might be prevented in the future from automatically using an ongoing criminal or judicial proceeding as an excuse to reject freedom of information requests.

The de Blasio administration is looking for a new parks commissioner, despite the current one having no plans to leave.

Issue No. 1 of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force arrives in stores Wednesday.

Saratoga Springs socialite Michele Riggi, on the hunt for two young women who ripped tulips from around the lamppost flower bed, might have found the driver of the getaway car thanks to the help of a former star of the “Dog the Bounty Hunter” reality show.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet released a public schedule for the day.

The state Legislature is in session, with just five weeks remaining on the 2019 session calendar and three working days scheduled for this week. The Assembly is expected to conference bills passed last week by the state Senate that take aim at the president.

A long-delayed internal disciplinary trial that could lead to NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo’s firing in connection with the July 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner is slated to begin today.

Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, will hold a media availability every day during the trial of Pantaleo, which is set to start at 10 a.m. in the fourth floor trial room of 1 Police Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have lunch at the White House, after which they will participate in a bilateral meeting with the prime minister of Hungary.

In the evening, Trump and Pence participate in a White House Iftar.

At 8:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez will be joined by community leaders and District 10 residents as he announces the winning Participatory Budgeting Projects for Northern Manhattan, M.S. 528, 180 Wadsworth Ave., Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Carranza will deliver keynote remarks at NYU Langone Health’s Health And Childhood and Opportunity Conference, Manhattan.

Also at 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the Buffalo Airport Terminal expansion groundbreaking ceremony, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, 4200 Genesee St., Buffalo.

At 9:30 a.m., House Our Future NY campaign members and homeless and formerly homeless New Yorkers march to urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to build 24,000 units of affordable housing for homeless New Yorkers, 100 Gold St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host two events as part of Bronx Week 2019, the borough’s annual celebration of everything that makes The Bronx a great place to live, work and raise a family, Maestro’s, 1703 Bronxdale Ave., the Bronx.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Finance meets jointly with the Committee on Housing and Buildings and the Committee on Immigration, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 816, Albany.

At 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics meets, 250 Broadway, 15th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 810, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., state Sen. Pete Harckham kicks off National Prevention Week to increase public awareness of, and action around, substance use disorders, and announces that Stephen’s Law, named in memory of Stephen Canastraro Jr., will be voted on in the Senate, 4th Floor gallery, Senate, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., New Yorkers from across the state will rally outside of National Grid’s “80×50 Pathway Forum” to call on Cuomo to hold the utilities accountable and halt gas expansion projects, Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany.

At noon, the state Senate Committee on Codes meets, state Capitol, Room 124, Albany.

Also at noon, the state Senate Committee on Transportation meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 708, Albany.

Also at noon, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will hold a rally on NYC’s Green New Deal at Trump Tower, 725 5th Ave., Manhattan.

Later, de Blasio will meet with members of the Student Diversity Advisory Group, which will be closed to members of the media.

At 12:30 p.m., the state Senate Committee on Insurance meets, state Capitol, Room 124, Albany.

At 1 p.m., the state Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 807, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., sate Sens. Luis Sepulveda and Rachel May, with New York Civil Liberties Union members, urge lawmakers to support the legalization of marijuana, expanding access to drivers’ licenses, and labor rights f

Also at 1 p.m., State Sen. David Carlucci will join AAA Northeast and Medical Society of the State of New York for a press conference calling for the passage of legislation that would require all people where their seat belt in the backseat, 4th Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

At 2 p.m., leaders in New York’s women’s rights, anti-trafficking, immigrant, gender and racial justice movements will hold a press conference to voice opposition to proposals and legislation that would “legalize the commodification of women’s bodies,” outside state Senate lobby, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

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

At 6 p.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz attends the third annual pride celebration, hosted by New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, Queens Center Mall, second floor, 90-15 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio will appear live on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” with Errol Louis.

Headlines…

President Trump believes China is desperate for a Joe Biden presidency.

The White House’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has acknowledged that U.S. consumers and businesses pay the tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on billions of dollars of Chinese goods, even as the president himself insisted in a tweet, incorrectly, that China pays.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said special counsel Robert Mueller will be compelled to testify on Capitol Hill, and it’s more a matter of when than if.

Three years after taking the helm of the US diplomatic mission in Ukraine, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has been abruptly recalled to Washington two months ahead of schedule.

Pete Buttigieg directly confronted one of his biggest vulnerabilities as a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination: running as a white man who has led a life of relative privilege at a time when many in his party are eager for a woman or a minority candidate to become their next leader.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has chosen a site in the Golan Heights to be named after Trump.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the GOP is “basically Dwight from The Office” because Republicans take humor and sarcasm literally.

The Trump administration has cut the small but steady influx of refugees into the United States, leading some cities – including here in New York – to woo the ones who are already here.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that extended and expanded NYC’s school safety camera program from 140 locations to 750.

Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship is increasing credit accumulation and college retention rates, but the program still needs to meet more students where they are at.

Former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky: “The Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez phenomenon is the real deal. She has transformed the political landscape, and raised the discomfort level for politicians of all stripes. Agree or disagree with her agenda, she’s shaken up national politics, which is a good thing.”

NYC’s former jails chief, who resigned under fire in 2017 after he was caught using a government vehicle for personal jaunts, may have broken the law again over related tax filings.

Trump may get the chance to turn the federal courts in Manhattan to the right. Last week, he added two more judges to the 13-judge US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit — making the balance seven liberals to six conservatives. Soon, he will get to add two more.

A pair of NYC Council members are looking to tighten the rules for sexual harassment reporting by city politicians after a Bronx councilman, Ruben Diaz Sr., promised not to “rat” out those suspected of sexual misconduct.

Steep cuts in the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund are turning out to be much worse than the 50% forecast earlier this year — in real life, some people are getting nothing.

A series of limited-edition NYC MetroCards will feature photographs from ground zero in the weeks after the World Trade Center towers collapsed, showing firefighters, police officers and aid workers from around the country who trudged through rubble and ash to search for victims.

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