National News Content

New Videos Underscore The Violence Against Police At The Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 7:13pm
The Justice Department has released a trove of videos, including police body-worn camera footage, allegedly showing assaults against police officers defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The videos, made available after NPR and other media organizations filed a legal motion for their release, are further evidence of the violent nature of the Capitol riot and are cited as evidence in the assault cases against Thomas Webster and Scott Fairlamb. Though the storming of the Capitol was widely covered across virtually all news media and live-streamed by many of the people there, several Republican lawmakers have sought to play down the violence that happened in an attack that left five people dead. But despite the GOP rhetoric, the charges against defendants like Webster and Fairlamb are not an anomaly. Rather, they are part of a larger pattern of violence wrought that day, particularly against the largely outnumbered police officers who were there. Of the more than 500 people now charged in

Juneteenth Is A Federal Holiday Now, But What That Means For Workers Varies Widely

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 6:11pm
Stock markets: Open. Post office? Open. Federal courts? Schools? Banks? Businesses? It depends. Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery by marking the day enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, is now a federal holiday. The move comes after growing support nationwide for observing the day of celebration and reflection. But actual practices for marking the holiday still vary widely. Some government agencies remain open, citing short notice Establishing a new federal holiday — effective immediately — caused some scrambling at courts and government agencies. They typically observe federal holidays, but this time, there have been a variety of outcomes. Many "non-essential" government offices did shut down. The U.S. Postal Service remained opened, expressing support for the holiday but saying that it is "not possible to cease the operations of the Postal Service" with just 24-48 hours to plan for it. Some federal courts shut down, but not all . Similarly, school

A U.S. Citizen Has Gone Missing In Russia, Sparking A Criminal Investigation

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 6:10pm
MOSCOW — Catherine Serou, a U.S. citizen studying in Russia, has been missing since she got into a car with a stranger on Tuesday. The authorities in Nizhny Novgorod, 250 miles east of Moscow, have started a criminal investigation and are searching a forested area outside the city where Serou's cell phone was last picked up. On the day of her disappearance Serou managed to send a text message to her mother in Vicksburg, Miss. — the last sign of life from the 34-year-old graduate student and former Marine. "It says: 'In a car with a stranger. I hope I'm not being abducted.' And that's the last thing she wrote," Beccy Serou said in an interview with NPR. "She's out there in this forest, I think, relying on her wits — if she hasn't been killed — to stay alive." Serou enrolled in a master's program in law at Lobachevsky University in Nizhny Novgorod in fall 2019, according to her mother. Serou wanted to study Russian before applying for law school in the United States and pursuing a career

Perspectives on Rochester’s homicide spike

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 5:59pm
As of Friday, there are thirty homicides in the city of Rochester. That’s well ahead of last year’s pace and nearly as many as in 2019. Go back a little further and Rochester police data says the city has already surpassed the totals in 2017 and 2018 with half a year to go. The most recent homicide was in broad daylight in the Corn Hill Neighborhood. A mother was shot in front of her children, both under 8. "You should be worried about where your Teddy Bear is,” said Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott speaking to the media about the incident. “Not dodging bullets and watching your mom die right in front of you." “This is nothing I’ve seen,” she continued. “I’m not just talking about Rochester, I mean the whole country.” Irshad Altheimer is Director of the Center for Public Safety Initiatives (CPSI) at Rochester Institute of Technology. He researches violence in urban environments. Altiheimer said it's too soon to tie the sharp rise to any one cause. But he said the stress caused

'Team LaKaya' adds to calls for Flagler-Mitchell to resign

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 5:44pm
Several prominent women of color have thrown their support behind LaKaya Sinclair, the now-20-year-old woman who received unsolicited sexually explicit messages from County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell late last year. At a news conference Friday afternoon, some two dozen women pledged to stand with Sinclair and called on Flagler-Mitchell to resign. Among them were the Rev. Myra Brown of Spiritus Christi Church, former city school board president Shirley Thompson, and former director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association Melanie Funchess, who is now president of Ubuntu Village Works. “LaKaya, the women here standing behind me want you to know that we’re tremendously sorry for what Ernest Flagler-Mitchell put you through,” Thompson said. “We’re sorry, but more than that, we’re shocked, we’re disgusted, and we are angry.” Coming together under the banner of “Team LaKaya,” the group’s members said they want to provide support for women who have claimed to have

Billy Fuccillo, who always talked about his 'HUGE' car deals, has died

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 5:10pm
An auto dealer known for his over-the-top advertising campaign for years has died. According to Syracuse.com , Billy Fuccillo died Thursday at his home in Florida at the age of 65 after having been ill recently. If you heard that over-emphasized “huge!" that Fuccillo said on his TV and radio spots, you knew immediately who it was, and maybe not everybody was thrilled with hearing those commercials. Reportedly Fuccillo once said even his mother muted the commercials when they came on the air. But he was successful through that old-style, in your face marketing. Brad McAreavy, president of the Rochester Auto Dealers Association, knew Fuccillo. He said that while Fuccillo’s bombastic marketing style may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, what a lot of people may not be aware of is Fuccillo’s philanthropic efforts. “Billy was a huge contributor to many charitable organizations. And I think a lot of that probably got lost, you know, in his marketing, because he was such a big personality,

EU Opens The Door To American Travelers. But Be Sure To Read The Fine Print

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 5:07pm
Americans are now able to visit the European Union again, vaccinated or not. The European Council has updated its list of countries whose citizens and residents should be allowed to travel freely to the bloc's 27 member nations, and the United States is finally on it. But before you get on a plane, be aware there may be catches. In fact, there could be 27 different combinations of them. While the updated list published Friday is a recommendation on who may be granted entry based on their home country's health situation, each EU government makes its own border decisions. This includes what nationalities to admit, whether to require PCR or rapid antigen coronavirus tests upon arrival, and whether quarantine is mandatory. And while the European Commission, the EU executive branch, emphatically urges countries to coordinate such rules with their neighbors to ensure mobility, that plea has often fallen on deaf administrative ears. And there's yet another factor EU governments may take into

Presidential Race Looming, France's Regional Elections Will Show Status Of Parties

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 4:35pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: French voters head to the polls this weekend for the first round of elections in the country's 13 regions. Like U.S. midterms, it's seen as a bellwether ahead of next year's presidential race. And for the first time, the far right is poised to win control of one of the country's regions. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports. (SOUNDBITE OF BELLS RINGING) ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: On this warm spring evening, a crowd gathers near a church on a palm tree-lined plaza facing the Mediterranean Sea. People in the working-class town of Bandol are here for a rally in support of a far-right candidate who's running for president of their region on the French Riviera. In the crowd is 70-year-old Damienne Lequien, who says President Emmanuel Macron has brought France low. DAMIENNE LEQUIEN: (Speaking French). BEARDSLEY: Imagine what Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks when he sees the French president get slapped in the face, says Lequien.

Summer Book Week 2021

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 4:26pm
What's on your summer reading list? Are you looking for suggestions? Summer Book Week is back on Connections June 21 through June 25!

Bishops Debate Whether Politicians Who Support Abortion Rights Can Receive Communion

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 4:17pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: One of the most intimate moments of Catholic worship is communion. The election of Joe Biden, only the second practicing Catholic president in U.S. history, has revived the controversy over whether politicians who support abortion rights should be permitted to take part in that sacred right. Today, after much debate at their annual gathering, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops moved one step closer to saying no, and they've pledged to draft a statement to that effect. Joining us to walk through the background of this controversial vote, Reverend James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large of America magazine. Welcome back to the program. JAMES MARTIN: Thank you. CORNISH: Give us a sense of the arguments that led to this vote. MARTIN: Well, the arguments are pretty straightforward, which is if you don't adhere to Catholic teaching, you are not in communion with the church, and so therefore, since President Biden, you

Thousands of Nebraskans Will Lose Extra $300 Unemployment Benefits This Weekend

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 4:17pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Tomorrow, 440,000 unemployed workers in the U.S. will lose some or all of their federal pandemic benefits. Those benefits include the extra $300 a week on top of regular unemployment money, along with benefits that covered freelancers and part-time and gig workers. Twenty-six states - all but one Republican-led - are cutting short federal pandemic aid this summer. Nebraska is one of the eight states where those changes take effect tomorrow. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is here now to talk more about that. Welcome to the program. PETE RICKETTS: Thank you very much, Audie. I appreciate you having me on. CORNISH: Just so people have some context here, the unemployment rate in your state has been dropping for more than a year. It's tied for lowest in the nation at 2.8%. So what's the rush to end these benefits now? Why not just let them expire? RICKETTS: Well, we are essentially letting them expire by ending our emergency here

Putin And Biden Agreed To Return Ambassadors To Washington And Moscow Posts

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 4:17pm
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: The United States is importing historic amounts of stuff from overseas, causing the U.S. trade deficit to hit record highs. Greg Rosalsky from our Planet Money podcast reports the shipping industry is having trouble handling all of it. GREG ROSALSKY, BYLINE: Humongous ships filled with cargo are creating a massive traffic jam on the water. In the San Francisco Bay, it's gotten so bad that the U.S. Coast Guard has basically been telling ships, guys, don't go past the Golden Gate Bridge and enter the bay. I mean, please. We don't have room for you. Robert Blomerth oversees vessel traffic for the Coast Guard in San Francisco. He says the ships have been waiting for days, sometimes over a week, just to come in and drop off their cargo. Last week there were 16 massive ships waiting offshore. ROBERT BLOMERTH: It's completely abnormal. We've never had a situation since I've been here where ships have had to wait offshore. We've never

Cuomo's woes give GOP new hope

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 3:50pm
The next New York gubernatorial election is still nearly a year and a half away, but state Republicans are already trying to get behind a single candidate who they hope has a chance of winning in an increasingly blue state. Republicans, who have not won a statewide election in nearly 20 years, are energized by the multiple scandals that are weakening current Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo is facing allegations of sexual harassment and an investigation by the state’s attorney general, as well as a federal probe into how he and his top aides handled nursing home policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s also accused of improperly using staff to help him write a memoir that earned him $5.1 million. Cuomo, who denies that he did anything wrong, has made it clear that he does not intend to resign and has not changed his plans to seek a fourth term. But state Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy sees an opportunity. Langworthy on Thursday stood outside the State Capitol, where earlier an HBO

A Man Was Executed For An Alleged Crime When He Was A Teen. More Saudis Could Follow

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 3:11pm
Six years ago, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested Mustafa Hashem al-Darwish and charged him with attending anti-government protests years earlier, when he was 17. According to Reprieve, a U.K. nonprofit that investigates human rights abuses, a court found al-Darwish guilty and sentenced him to death, despite the fact that he was a minor at the time he allegedly attended the protests. On Tuesday, without warning, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of the Interior announced al-Darwish, then 26, had been executed. The announcement, released in Arabic , accused al-Darwish of "using arms to revolt against the ruler, destabilizing security and forming an armed terrorist cell." Human rights advocates say al-Darwish's trial was unjust. They have been calling on Saudi Arabia to halt the executions of at least nine other people sentenced to death for crimes allegedly committed as minors, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits executions for crimes

Connections: Juneteenth 2021

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 3:09pm
Friday marks the first federal Juneteenth holiday in American history. President Joe Biden signed the legislation into law on Thursday. Despite it being originally celebrated in Texas in 1866, Juneteenth is still misunderstood. This hour, we discuss what Juneteenth is, how it is -- or should be -- taught, and we preview a local Juneteenth event. Our guests: Reverend Myra Brown , lead pastor at Spiritus Christi Church Mary Heveron-Smith, member of the Spiritus Christi Anti-Racism Coalition, communications coordinator for the Roc Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk , and retired Webster English teacher Gloria Johnson-Hovey, founder and director of the Roc Juneteenth 5K Run/Walk , and retired RCSD school social worker Simeon Banister , vice president of community programs at Rochester Area Community Foundation

Connections: Discussing U.S.-Russia relations

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 3:08pm
President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Biden described the talks as “good, positive,” and while they discussed their disagreements, Biden says the conversation “was not done in a hyperbolic atmosphere.” Critics say Biden was too accommodating of Putin and shouldn’t have taken the meeting at all. We hear from University of Rochester professor Randy Stone, who weighs in on U.S.-Russia relations. Our guest: Randy Stone , director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester

How The Pentagon Papers Changed Public Perception Of The War In Vietnam

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 1:51pm
DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, sitting in for Terry Gross. Fifty years ago this week, The New York Times published the first in a series of articles based on a classified Defense Department study that was leaked to the paper by Daniel Ellsberg. The study came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. It chronicled decades of failed U.S. policy in Vietnam and ways the American public was misled about how the war was conducted. The first article by Times journalist Neil Sheehan was published on June 13, 1971, when President Nixon was in office. He learned about it in a phone call with Al Haig, who was then an assistant to national security adviser Henry Kissinger. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: OK. Nothing else of interest in the world? AL HAIG: Very significant, this goddamn New York Times expose of the most highly classified documents of the war. NIXON: Oh, that. I see. I didn't read the story, but do you mean that was leaked out of the

After Debate On Biden's Abortion Views, Bishops Vote to Rethink Communion Rules

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 1:38pm
After a contentious debate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voted to move forward with a process that could call into question the eligibility of politicians like President Joe Biden to receive Communion. The bishops voted 168-55 in favor of drafting "a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church," officials announced on Friday afternoon, the final day of their three-day virtual meeting. Six bishops abstained. Biden's election as only the nation's second Roman Catholic president has prompted renewed debate over denying communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights , a position at odds with church teachings. During their online meeting, bishops held a spirited discussion Thursday before voting on the proposal to direct the bishops' Committee on Doctrine to draft the statement. Such a document, once completed, could include guidelines for denying communion to public officials. A Catholic president has become a lightning rod for

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The ACA Lives

Latest Updates From Kaiser Health News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 1:31pm

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

For the third time in nine years, the Affordable Care Act has survived a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled that the states and individuals who filed the latest challenge lacked standing to sue.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are looking for ways to expand health benefits as they pull together spending plans on Capitol Hill. And criticism is growing of the Food and Drug Administration, which approved a controversial drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease over the recommendation of its own expert outside advisers.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call and Rachel Cohrs of Stat.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

  • The ACA decision Thursday was a signal that the Supreme Court is moving beyond Republican arguments that the landmark health law is unconstitutional or should be overturned. At least one other challenge is still working its way through the court system, and the Supreme Court may still be called on to settle questions about specific provisions or aspects of implementation. But it appears that legal challenges are no longer an existential threat to the overall law.
  • The first major ACA case that made its way to the Supreme Court was one brought by business groups. But over time, industry has come to accept the ACA and most businesses do not want to see more challenges that threaten the entire law.
  • The court’s decision leaves Republicans in a tough position. Their opposition to the law has become a standard part of the party’s identity, yet Republican lawmakers never put forward a strong vision for a replacement or a path to meeting the country’s health care needs if the ACA were overturned. Because health care policy issues are not front and center on Capitol Hill at the moment, Republicans have time to formulate a new strategy. But they may need a message when Democrats move soon to make permanent the enhanced insurance subsidies for plans on the ACA marketplace.
  • The congressional clock is ticking as Democrats strategize on a variety of policies, including infrastructure and those health premium subsidies. If bipartisan deals are not made soon, Democratic leaders will likely push to use a complicated process called budget reconciliation that allows some types of bills to be passed by a simple majority in the Senate and not be subjected to a filibuster. Health provisions could be part of such a bill, such as lowering the eligibility age for Medicare, establishing higher insurance subsidies and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
  • One of the most popular options Democrats would like to add to a reconciliation bill would be expanding Medicare benefits to cover dental, vision and hearing care.
  • As the country continues to transition to a new normal as the covid pandemic eases, some employers are mandating that workers be vaccinated — but, in some instances, workers are refusing. The issue has already led to a legal fight over a Houston hospital’s mandate and is likely to spread. Workers argue that the vaccine has not yet been formally approved by federal regulators, having received only emergency authorization. That could change soon, though, because at least two vaccine makers are asking for a former approval from the FDA.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama administration and most recently helped head up the covid response effort for President Joe Biden.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read, too:

Julie Rovner: Politico Magazine’s “How the Anti-Abortion Movement Used the Progressive Playbook to Chip Away at Roe v. Wade,” by Mary Ziegler and Robert L. Tsai

Joanne Kenen: The Atlantic’s “The Texans Challenging Obamacare Have No Standing,” by Nicholas Bagley

Rachel Cohrs: KHN’s “In Alleged Health Care ‘Money Grab,’ Nation’s Largest Hospital Chain Cashes In on Trauma Centers,” by Jay Hancock

Mary Ellen McIntire: The New York Times’ “Many Post-Covid Patients Are Experiencing New Medical Problems, Study Finds,” by Pam Belluck

Also: Roll Call’s “CDC Issues Guidance for Treating ‘Long COVID’ Patients,” by Mary Ellen McIntire

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to KHN’s “What the Health?” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

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Categories: National News Content

Seeley to head up RochesterWorks after leaving Irondequoit supervisor post

WXXI US News - Fri, 06/18/2021 - 1:11pm
Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley will be the next executive director for local employment and training organization RochesterWorks. Seeley announced in January he would be running for another term this fall, and then, this past week, he said he would have to leave the supervisor’s post on July 31 because of a new job he was taking. RochesterWorks announced on Friday that Seeley will succeed the late Peter Pecor as executive director. Pecor died earlier this year after leading the organization for more than 10 years. After reviewing 50 candidate applications, a selection committee screened and interviewed a cohort of applicants with varied backgrounds. Workforce Development Board Chair Sergio Esteban said of the committee’s selection: “Dave has the skills and experience to carry RochesterWorks into the future.” When Seeley assumes the role this summer, officials with the organization say that he will work closely with staff and the Monroe County/Rochester Workforce Development Board
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