Jewish centers get added protection


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not wasted any time in the aftermath of the domestic terrorism and protest violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Cuomo signed legislation Monday that would allow prosecutors to increase penalties against those who make bomb threats against community centers. Although Cuomo mentioned Charlottesville, the bill itself actually is in direct response to a number of bomb threats that had been called into Jewish community centers not only in New York, but across the country.

“These despicable acts spread fear and terror across entire communities, and by signing this measure, we will give law enforcement more tools to prosecute hatemongers and treat these crimes with the seriousness they deserve,” Cuomo said in a release. 


Engel wants Trump to apologize

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel doesn’t seem to share President Donald Trump’s beliefs that Russia expelling American diplomats is good for taxpayers.

Engel blasted recent statements by Trump where he “thanked” Russian president Vladimir Putin for kicking out more than 750 diplomats after Congress — and Trump — increased sanctions against Russia over accusations the country meddled in last year’s presidential election. 

Trump said the United States would save money by no longer having to employ those 750 people, although it was not clear if those workers would lose their jobs, or simply be reassigned.

“The president clearly has no understanding of the vital and often dangerous jobs our diplomats do, shown through his budget, which slashes embassy security, among other important investments in diplomacy,” Engel said, in a release.

Trump also has failed to nominate senior State Department officials, and now derides those diplomats with “snide and dismissive comments,” Engel said.

“In a week of embarrassments on the global stage for President Trump, this comment plumbs new depths of disrespect toward the men and women who sacrifice and serve out country,” he said. “The president owes our diplomats an apology.”


AG supports trans service members

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has joined forces with 18 other attorneys general across the country protesting President Trump’s proposed ban on transgender service members in the military.

Last month, Trump announced through a series of tweets that he would ban transgender members in the military, citing primarily troop morale and medical costs. 

However, several news outlets reported that such medical costs were a small fraction of the military’s overall medical budget.

The attorneys general — from states like California, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts — said as many as 150,000 transgender service members have served in the armed forces, filling a number of critical military roles.


Cabrera challenger gets Stonewall nod

Randy Abreu has picked up yet another endorsement in his primary battle to unseat City Councilman Fernando Cabrera in the District 14 race.

The Stonewall Democrats, one of the largest LGBT political organizations in the city, have thrown their support behind Abreu as both candidates start to enter the final stretch.

Cabrera has not won much support in the LGBT community over statements in the past where he appears to praise the Ugandan government’s efforts to imprison people accused of being homosexual. He claimed the laws help reduce the country’s AIDS rate, thanks to Christians who have “assumed the place of decision-making for the country.”

The councilman has said those comments were taken out of context.