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N.Y. Gov. Cuomo Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Former Adviser In His Administration

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 2:50pm
A former adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has shared details of alleged sexual harassment by the governor, including an unwanted kiss and touching. A spokeswoman for Cuomo denied the allegations. In a post on Medium published Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan describes troubling behavior from the time she first met the governor in January 2016. Boylan served as an economic advisor in the Cuomo administration from 2015 to 2018. "Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected. His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics," she writes. Boylan said her immediate boss had informed her early in her job that the governor had a "crush" on her, and that aides to the governor would keep tabs on her whereabouts. The governor "would go out of his way to touch me on my

Connections: State leaders on equity in vaccine access

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 2:20pm
A new vaccination site in Rochester has limited openings for residents of underserved zip codes. State leaders join us to discuss the urgency of getting more people vaccinated in Rochester. They also discuss the Daniel Prude case and state issues. Our guests: Jeremy Cooney , New York State Senator Demond Meeks , New York State Assemblyman Yvette Conyers , DNP, family nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing

Manhattan Prosecutor Receives Trump Tax Returns After Lengthy Legal Battle

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 2:17pm
Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET The Manhattan district attorney's office is in possession of Donald Trump's tax returns, following a years-long effort by the former president to shield his finances and business affairs from scrutiny. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. confirmed to NPR over email that his office obtained the records on Monday. That same day, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Trump's request to further delay the enforcement of a subpoena, paving the way for a New York grand jury to obtain and review the sought-after financial documents. "As we have maintained throughout this process, Mazars will comply with all of its legal and professional obligations," Trump's personal accounting firm, Mazars USA, told NPR in a statement. The documents are not expected to be made public because they are protected by grand jury secrecy rules, The Associated Press reported. Besides being highly sought after by prosecutors and lawmakers , Trump's financial records have

Connections: Discussing a single payer health system and the Campaign for New York Health

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 2:16pm
While President Biden continues to tout the Affordable Care Act as a strong foundation for American health care, a growing number of state lawmakers support a single payer system here. What's the latest? How viable is the system? Why do they disagree with national leaders who prefer to strengthen the existing system? Our guests: Michael Marshall, volunteer with Rochester Poor People's Campaign, Rochester Homeless Union, and Metro Justice Mahima Iyengar, medical student and co-chair of the Rochester Campaign for New York Health

Reporter's Video From Inside Senate On Jan. 6 Shows A Crowd Prepared For Violence

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 1:59pm
TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Some of the most viewed, most remarkable and revealing video of the January 6 Capitol riot was shot inside the Senate chamber by my guest, Luke Mogelson. Some of his video was used as evidence by House managers prosecuting Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. Mogelson was reporting for The New Yorker on the Trump rally that preceded the storming of the Capitol, walked with the mob to the Capitol and after rioters breached the building, he entered with them. In the Senate chamber, he recorded video of Trump supporters opening the desks of senators, going through their papers, taking photos of the documents and stealing some of them. He recorded Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon Shaman, saying a prayer at the dais in the chamber, bare-chested, face painted, wearing his signature horned fur headdress. Mogelson's article, "Among The Insurrectionists," was published in the January 25 issue of The New Yorker and is on The New

A Man Called His Ex A 'Moron' By Text While Storming The Capitol. She Turned Him In

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 1:42pm
One of the rioters accused of storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was turned in by his ex-girlfriend after sending her several videos and texts from the scene, including one calling her a "moron," court documents show. Richard Michetti is facing charges of knowingly entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of justice/Congress, according to a Feb. 17 criminal complaint . The Ridley Park, Pa., resident was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia and released on unsecured bail with electronic monitoring, reports The Morning Call . Richard Michetti outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a photo submitted by the FBI to the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. Michetti is facing charges of knowingly entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of justice/Congress. Court document/FBI Michetti is represented by Philadelphia-based federal public defender

Costco To Raise Minimum Wage To $16 An Hour: 'This Isn't Altruism'

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 1:15pm
Costco plans to edge up its starting wage to $16 an hour starting next week, CEO W. Craig Jelinek said on Thursday, revealing plans that would propel his company ahead of most of its retail competitors. Costco raised its starting pay to $15 per hour in 2019. More than half of Costco's hourly workers in the U.S. are paid above $25, Jelinek told the Senate Budget Committee during a hearing on pay at large retail and fast-food employers. Costco employs about 180,000 U.S. workers. "I want to note this isn't altruism," Jelinek said. "At Costco we know that paying employees good wages ... makes sense for our business and constitutes a significant competitive advantage for us. It helps us in the long run by minimizing turnover and maximizing employee productivity." Jelinek's testimony comes as Congress prepares to vote on legislation that aims to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 — a campaign pledge by President Biden. The federal minimum has been stuck at $7

City of Rochester launches COVID-19 online memorial

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 11:50am
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, who lost her mother to COVID-19, is announcing a new online memorial to honor all those who died from the disease. In a statement, Warren said this has been a very trying year and she encourages people to visit the city of Rochester’s website to share a loved one’s name, image and sentiments. “This memorial is dedicated to our citizens whose lives were cut short by the coronavirus,” she said. The online memorial is part of a future project to create a physical memorial in the city. Here's a link to the online memorial.

'No Cheering': Tokyo Olympic Organizers Release Guidelines For Torch Relay

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 11:31am
The traditional prelude to the Olympics, the torch relay, will look – and sound – a bit different this year, as spectators are asked to avoid crowds and dampen their cheers when the torch passes by them. Members of the Tokyo Organizing Committee announced a series of pandemic measures on Thursday, including leaving the option open for suspending portions of the relay should health officials deem it necessary. "No shouting, no cheering. Please cheer by clapping your hands and maintain appropriate distance in case there is crowding," Yukihiko Nunomura, the vice director general of the committee, said at a press conference Thursday, according to The Associated Press. The subdued torch relay is set to begin March 25 in Fukushima and travel through Japan until July 23, the day of the Games' Opening Ceremony. The Olympics were delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Olympic rings displayed outside the National Stadium, a venue for the 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo last year

Armenia's Prime Minister Calls On Supporters To Rally Against A Possible Coup

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 11:10am
Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is warning of a coup after the army issued a scathing statement faulting his leadership and demanding he step down following a conflict last year with Azerbaijan that resulted in a significant loss of territory claimed by ethnic Armenians. "The prime minister and the government are no longer able to make reasonable decisions in this critical and fatal situation for the Armenian people. Due to the current situation, the Armenian armed forces demand the resignation of the prime minister and the government," the army said in a statement Thursday carried by Russia's TASS news agency. It wasn't clear if the military was prepared to use force to topple the prime minister, but in a Facebook livestream on Thursday, Pashinyan called on his followers to rally in the capital Yerevan to support his government. "The most important problem now is to keep the power in the hands of the people, because I consider what is happening to be a military coup," he said

President Biden Revokes Trump's Controversial Classical Architecture Order

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:27am
Arbiters of good taste often disagree. That is certainly true of architecture. Late Wednesday, President Biden revoked a controversial executive order former President Trump signed in December called "Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture." The announcement from The White House was included in an executive order that revoked a number of Trump's actions as president. When Trump first proposed the executive order, it was clearly an out-with-the-new, in-with-the-old approach to architecture. He called modern federal buildings constructed over the last five decades (think boxy, concrete-heavy Brutalism) "undistinguished," "uninspiring" and "just plain ugly." While the specifics are not yet clear, Biden's executive order instructs the director of the Office of Management and Budget and any related departments and agencies to "promptly consider taking steps to rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies, or portions thereof" that would've implemented Trump's

Coming up on Connections: Thursday, February 25

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 10:11am
First hour: Discussing a single payer health system with members of the Rochester Campaign for New York Health Second hour: Senator Jeremy Cooney, Assemblymember Demond Meeks, and Professor Yvette Conyers on equity in vaccine access

Biden Administration Poised To Release Report On Killing Of Jamal Khashoggi

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 9:05am
Updated at 5:41 p.m. ET The Biden administration is expected to release a report soon that addresses the key question in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: What role, if any, did Saudi Arabia's crown prince have in the death? If the report by the U.S. intelligence community implicates Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in any way, it would damage the already complicated relations between the traditional allies. The basic facts are clear. Khashoggi, 59, was a Saudi citizen living in Northern Virginia and writing columns for The Washington Post that were often critical of the Saudi monarchy. He was killed during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. His body was dismembered and his remains have never been found. Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi. But in the face of intense international pressure, the kingdom blamed his death on "rogue" security officials. The Saudis continue to insist the crown prince was not

Local researchers to study Pfizer booster, potential guard against variants

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 7:30am
Rochester researchers will study how a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine could play a role in protecting recipients from COVID-19 and its variants in the long term.

Democrats Say Relief Programs Could Become This Generation's New Deal

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 7:21am
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GOP Rep. Mace Says COVID-19 Relief Plan Is A Spending Spree

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 7:21am
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

'Yeah, We Lied': Messages Show Prosecutors' Panic Over Missteps In Federal Case

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 7:00am
Newly disclosed documents from inside the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan capture a sense of panic and dread among prosecutors and their supervisors as one of their cases collapsed last year amid allegations of government misconduct. The materials include a rare look at sensitive emails and text messages between junior prosecutors and their overseers after a federal judge began to inquire about lapses that ultimately led the Justice Department to abandon a conviction in a case it had already won . Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York wrote each other in March 2020 that "yeah, we lied" in a letter to Judge Alison Nathan about a key document it had failed to share with defense lawyers. The office later retreated from that characterization, arguing instead the trouble resulted from a rush to file papers under a tight deadline. In another newly revealed exchange, one supervisor in the terrorism and international narcotics section emailed his co-chief after the problems

Teaching Students A New Black History

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 6:31am
When you think of the history of Black education in the United States, you might think of Brown vs. Board of Education and the fight to integrate public schools. But there's a parallel history too, of Black people pooling their resources to educate and empower themselves independently. Enslaved people learned to read and write whenever and wherever they could, often in secret and against the law. "In accomplishing
this, I was compelled
 to resort to
 stratagems," like convincing white children to help him, wrote Frederick Douglass. "I had
no regular 
teacher." After the Civil War, says educator Kaya Henderson, Black people started "freedmen's schools" to teach former slaves literacy and the other skills they would need to participate as citizens. "In the 12-year period that is Reconstruction," she adds, "we started 5,000 community schools. We started 37 historically black colleges and universities." A century later, during the civil rights movement, educators founded "freedom

News Brief: CDC Web Tool, Jamal Khashoggi Report, USPS Delays

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 6:31am
CDC launches tool for people to find where to get vaccinated. Biden administration is expected to release a report on the killing of a Saudi journalist. House panel presses postmaster on mail delays.