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Thursday, July. 31 2014 | Last Update 10:35 PM MST

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Jay Z PHYSICALLY ATTACKED by Beyonce's Sister Solange
Today in History for August 1st
Camping & Severe Weather Survival with Creek Stewart
Express yourself: The new msnbc.com
Syrian refugee longs to 'kiss the dirt I used to walk in'
Joy Reid ACA Chat
#Tamchat
CDC Warns Travelers Amid Ebola Outbreak
UK has done 'great job' wooing China, Shenyin Wanguo Chair
Investment education starts early at some Asian schools
Teen Inventor: Hot Seat
Take action: The new msnbc.com
Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian
In the Boardroom: How JPMorgan can weather Dimon's illness
Stop Allergies Tonight!
One Mother's Crusade After Facing the Unimaginable
Alex Loses her Voice
Joy Reid answers your questions
Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H.
World Cup: Photographers' favorite images from Brazil
msnbc originals
Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene
A long search for refuge
Joy Reid Answers Your Questions!
Asia Day Ahead: Central banks write policy prescriptions
The most beautiful stargazing location on Earth
WUWA: Could Sharknado Really Happen?
Get your #MorningJolt
WeatherScan. Local. Always.
In the Boardroom: Can robots really replace directors?
US Warns Against Traveling to Ebola-hit Areas
Weight Loss Secret: How To Lose Weight While You Sleep
You Won't Believe What Happens Next
Russell Simmons, LL Cool J Visit Youth at Jail
'Tell the Kids I Tried As Hard As I Could'
Despite Moratorium, Detroit Water Worries Remain
Faith Leaders Arrested at DC Deportation Protest
Light a candle: The new msnbc.com
Live Chat with Tamron Hall!
Chris Hayes
US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire
Reuters goes sailing with Ben Ainslie
World Cup: passion on the pitch
A refugee in America gives back
Family Dispute Cripples Northeast Grocery Chain

ANNOUNCEMENTS - Press Releases

Tea Party out-muscles Boehner on border-security funding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bill to fund border security blew up in House Speaker John Boehner's face on Thursday, leaving Republicans in disarray and struggling to reconcile Tea Party demands with the need to deal with a humanitarian crisis on the southwestern border with Mexico.

Israel, Palestinian militant groups agree to three-day Gaza truce

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip have agreed to a three-day humanitarian truce to begin Friday morning, and negotiators from both sides will travel to Cairo to discuss a longer-term.






Taxis, planes and viruses: How deadly Ebola can spread

LONDON, (Reuters) - For scientists tracking the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, it is not about complex virology and genotyping, but about how contagious microbes - like humans - use planes, bikes and taxis to spread.

Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729

FREETOWN (Reuters) - Sierra Leone has declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims, joining neighbouring Liberia in imposing controls as the death toll from the outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa.






Argentine markets fall post-default, NY hearing on Friday

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's bond and stock markets and peso currency dropped on Thursday after Latin America's No. 3 economy defaulted for the second time in 12 years after the failure of last-ditch talks with holdout creditors.






S&P500 index posts worst fall since April; indexes down for July

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. S&P500 stock index posted its worst daily fall since April and its first monthly drop since January on Thursday, as economic data sparked concern the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than some have expected.

Disgruntled executive shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago building

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A senior executive upset about a job demotion gravely wounded the chief executive officer of his company in a downtown Chicago office building and then fatally shot himself, police said on Thursday.

Ukraine says suspends attacks to let experts reach crash site, rebels deny

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Thursday it had suspended offensive operations in its military campaign in east Ukraine to help international experts reach the downed Malaysian airliner's crash site but separatists were continuing to attack its positions.






Shares slide as Wall St tumbles; U.S. Treasuries yields rise

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Doubts on whether stock markets can ride out a tightening of U.S. monetary policy dominated trade on Thursday, sending major U.S. stock indexes down more than 1 percent, while the dollar edged higher against a basket of major currencies.

Under fire and out of cash, U.N. overwhelmed by Gaza crisis

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United Nations in Gaza is struggling to withstand a flood of almost a quarter of a million refugees into shelters that have repeatedly come under Israeli fire.

Moscow fights back after sanctions; battle rages near Ukraine crash site

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) - Russia fought back on Wednesday over new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Ukraine even as G7 leaders warned of further steps, while Ukraine's government accused pro-Russian rebels of placing land mines near the site of a crashed Malaysian airliner to prevent a proper investigation.


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#NC: Butterfield Joins GOP Mayor at End of Medicaid Expansion Walk

North Carolina Congressman G. K. Butterfield joined Republican Mayor Adam O’Neal during the final leg of O’Neal’s 300-mile walk from Belhaven, North Carolina to Washington, DC. The Republican Mayor walked for two weeks in protest of fellow Republican’s failure to expand Medicaid.  ...

7PM House Floor: @OfficialCBC to Speak Against GOP #Obama Impeachment Moves

#CBCTALKS. Tonight members of the Congressional Black Caucus will take to the House floor in opposition to legislation offered by House Republicans to sue President Obama. Many view the effort as the first steps toward impeachment. “Tonight, during the first hour of Special Order time, members...

#Audio: #NewsOneNow w @RolandSMartin on Justice Policy, @SenRandPaul vs @TheDemocrats

Monday July 28, 2014 #NewsOneNow w Roland Martin on Justice Policy, Sen. Rand Paul vs Democrats with Lauren Victoria Burke, Hogan Gidley and Ray Baker....

Rand Paul Talks to Blacks and Democrats Flip Out

Blacks Shouldn’t Be Fooled by Rand Paul, an editorial from Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the day Republican Sen. Rand Paul spoke to the National Urban League in Cincinnati.  And the room wasn’t even full. On July 8, the Democratic National Committee’s chief fla...

@SenRandPaul Drops Bill to Make Crack and Powder Penalties the Same

Bill Would Make Crack and Powder Penalties Even. In 2010, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) pushed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 through the Senate and House and onto President Obama’s desk shortly before Republicans took control of the House. The legislation was signed int...

Two Scott Justice Reform Bills Included in Paul Ryan Poverty Plan

Finally, thirty years since the war on drugs was made worse during the 1990s, more Republicans are coming around on criminal justice reform.  Yesterday, Rep. Paul Ryan included two criminal justice reform bills by Democrat Bobby Scott in his long-awaited and much discussed poverty plan.  Both pieces...

MI-14: With Vote Split, Former Rep. Hansen Clarke Has Big Polling Lead

The results of a Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV/EPIC-MRA poll of 800 people shows that former Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke has a sizeable lead in the race for MI-14 — the House seat being vacated by Rep. Gary Peters who is running for U.S. Senate. The poll shows that Clarke is leading in a four per...

Rev. Jackson’s Pressure on Big Tech Gets Results, Twitter Reveals Stats

“Rev. Jesse Jackson’s campaign on silicon valley is just as important as a march on police brutality in New York,” said Roland Martin this morning on his radio show News One Now. Rev. Jesse Jackson has been pressuring big tech firms in silicon valley for months to release diversity...

Clyburn: ,463,938: Black Caucus Top 5 in Fundraising for 2ndQ

Below are the “cash on hand” numbers for the Black Caucus as of June 30, 2014. 01. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) — ,463,938 02. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) — ,360,539 03. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) — 4,268 04. Andre Carson (D-IN) — 2,587 05. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) — 5,382  ...

Pigs Fly During Do-Nothing Congress: Chaka Fattah, Gillibrand + GOP Pass Urban Jobs Bill

Last week as everyone was paying attention to the crisis at the Mexican border, violence in Israel, and shootings in Chicago, Congress actually got something relevant done.  Although the 113th Congress is set to be the least productive Congress since 1965, a jobs bill passed last week and is on the ...

PR Newswire Celebrates Black History Month

NEW YORK, Feb.14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Over its 60 year history, PR Newswire has been proud to distribute notable news over its network—and has helped communicate the rich history of African-American news and events during this time. Today, we remain dedicated to...

Cheap Lionel Richie Tickets: BuyCheapTicketsToEvents.com Cuts Prices on 2014 Lionel Richie Tickets During Today's Presale Offering

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnc/20140214/MN65426GERMANTOWN, Wis., Feb. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Cheap Lionel Richie tickets can be obtained quickly at BuyCheapTicketsToEvents.com. As the star tours across North America, his shows will feature many successful hits that he has made popular. (Photo:...


Nueva investigación sobre estadounidenses hispanos, negros, asiáticos y mileniales se dará a conocer en el Multicultural Media Forum en la Ciudad de Nueva York el 20 de marzo

NUEVA YORK, 13 de febrero de 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ejecutivos de las principales compaas mediticas se reunirn el 20 de marzo en la Ciudad de Nueva York para el Multicultural Media Forum (Foro de Medios Multiculturales), un evento orientada por la investigacin...

Education Management and National Baptist Convention Initiate Significant New Scholarship Program

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Education Management Corporation (NASDAQ: EDMC), a leading provider of post-secondary education, announced a commitment of 0,000 in scholarships for at-need students in a partnership with the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., Int'l,...

La National Pork Board escoge a República como Agencia Nacional de Mercadeo Multicultural

MIAMI, 13 de febrero de 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- La National Pork Board ha seleccionado a Repblica, agencia de publicidad multicultural, digital, y de comunicaciones, como su agencia nacional de mercadeo multicultural. La organizacin financiada por porcicultores,...

National Pork Board Selects Republica as National Multicultural Marketing Agency of Record

MIAMI, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Pork Board has selected Republica, the cross-cultural advertising, digital, and communications agency, as its national multicultural marketing agency of record. The farmer-funded non-profit commodity organization based in Des Moines,...

New Research on Hispanic, Black, Asian, and Millennial Americans to Be Unveiled at March 20 NYC Multicultural Media Forum

NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Executives from top media companies will gather on March 20 in New York City at the Multicultural Media Forum, a research and strategy-driven event attended by roughly 400 decision-makers from the TV, advertising, technology, and financial...

Cox Communications Celebrates Black History Month throughout Virginia

CHESAPEAKE, Va., Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cox Communications will celebrate African-American culture and contributions throughout February in recognition of Black History Month. Cox will be highlighting culturally relevant programming available...

Racial Discrimination: How Far Have We Come?

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnc/20100517/NY06256LOGONEW YORK, Feb.13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --In the midst of Black History Month, it is perhaps an appropriate time to examinesome of our nation's historical racial divides and reflect on changes that we as a country have seen over time. As far back as 1969 and 1972, The Harris...


Public Health in Jamaica Webinar Tomorrow: Register & Bring Skis

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnc/20140128/DC53800LOGOSALISBURY, N.C., Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The North Carolina Study Abroad/Global Engagement Partnership, a collaborative among that state's 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and IES Abroad, leader in international customized programs on February 13 at...


New Study Shines Light On Illinois Infants And Toddlers

CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson's declaration of the "War on Poverty," a new report released by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, in partnership with Child Trends, looks at the challenged state of Illinois' youngest...

MoveOn Members Mobilize to Stop the #GOPlawsuit

Photos of MoveOn members dropping our #GOPlawsuit petition off at congressional Republicans' offices.

Netroots to Obama: Don't Kill the Internet

When President Obama visited Silicon Valley and Los Angeles for fundraisers on July 23, our protests filled the news coverage from California to Washington—on ABC, NBC, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, and more. It was awesome. Hundreds of activists with MoveOn.org, Free Press, CREDO, Color of Change, Demand Progress, and other grassroots, Internet-based groups […]

Activists greet President Obama in Silicon Valley urging action to save the Internet

“Barack Obama, yes you can, Stop Tom Wheeler’s stupid plan!” More than 100 activists with netroots groups MoveOn.org, Free Press, CREDO, Color of Change, Demand Progress, and others gathered Wednesday morning outside President Obama’s visit to a wealthy neighborhood of Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the tech industry, with that chant—catching the attention of the […]

ADVISORY: Activists to Hold ‘Don’t Kill the Internet!’ Net Neutrality Rally Outside Obama Fundraiser in Silicon Valley

LOS ALTOS, CALIFORNIA — On Wednesday, July 23, progressive activists from more than a dozen grassroots organizations will gather outside a high-profile fundraiser with President Obama and tech industry leaders to call on President Obama to protect Net Neutrality. The rally, organized by MoveOn.org Political Action and Free Press, will pressure President Obama to live up to […]

Chicago MoveOn members want to see a progressive challenger to Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Here’s what a few MoveOn members shared: “[Emanuel] has been too soft on corporate interests, closed schools, [put] our children in danger, and passed too much legislation that punishes only the working class,” wrote Matthew M., a MoveOn member in Chicago as he responded to the survey. “We need progressive leadership in our city and a […]

Join Our Campaign to Fight Back Against the Kochs

Here’s what a few MoveOn members shared: “[Emanuel] has been too soft on corporate interests, closed schools, [put] our children in danger, and passed too much legislation that punishes only the working class,” wrote Matthew M., a MoveOn member in Chicago as he responded to the survey. “We need progressive leadership in our city and a […]

The Rush To War In Iraq...Again

What do Iraq war veteran Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a retired U.S. Army general, and scores of MoveOn members have in common? Watch: Join the movement to stop Iraq War III, starting by clicking here.

MoveOn Members Endorse 9 Senate Candidates

MoveOn members are fired up to save the Senate from a right wing Republican takeover this fall. They have overwhelmingly voted to endorse nine candidates who will fight for the middle class against the influence of the Koch brothers and other right wing billionaires. This fall MoveOn’s 8 million members will mobilize to turn out […]

MoveOn Members Endorse Al Franken for Senate

MoveOn members in Minnesota have voted decisively to endorse Al Franken for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Here’s what a few members across the state had to share about Sen. Franken: “Al Franken has been more than I could have wished. Maybe the best vote I ever cast. From day one he has fought diligently for the […]

MoveOn Members Endorse Gary Peters for Senate

MoveOn members in Minnesota have voted decisively to endorse Al Franken for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Here’s what a few members across the state had to share about Sen. Franken: “Al Franken has been more than I could have wished. Maybe the best vote I ever cast. From day one he has fought diligently for the […]

MoveOn Members Endorse Rick Weiland for Senate

MoveOn members in Minnesota have voted decisively to endorse Al Franken for re-election to the U.S. Senate. Here’s what a few members across the state had to share about Sen. Franken: “Al Franken has been more than I could have wished. Maybe the best vote I ever cast. From day one he has fought diligently for the […]

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President Obama: "Russia Is Once Again Isolating Itself from the International Community"

Watch on YouTube

This afternoon, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn about the situation in Ukraine, in the wake of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly two weeks ago.

"In the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, and countries around the world," he said, "families are still in shock over the sudden and tragic loss of nearly 300 loved ones senselessly killed when their civilian airliner was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine."

Noting that those families and their nations are America's friends and allies, the President made clear that the U.S. "continues to do everything in our power to help bring home their loved ones, support the international investigation, and make sure justice is done."

President Obama then explained that Russia, along with its proxies in Ukraine, are neither cooperating with the investigation, nor pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine.

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Bob McDonald Confirmed as the Next Secretary of Veterans Affairs

This afternoon, in a 97-0 vote, the Senate confirmed Robert "Bob" McDonald to serve as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

In a statement, President Obama applauded the Senate for the confirmation, noting that McDonald is "uniquely equipped" to lead the Department:

I applaud the overwhelming, bipartisan confirmation of Bob McDonald as our next Secretary of Veterans Affairs. As a veteran himself and a proud member of a military family, Bob is deeply committed to serving our veterans and their families. And as an executive with decades of private-sector experience, he is uniquely equipped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to help change the way the VA does business. As a country, we have a solemn duty to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. I know Bob will help us honor that commitment and make sure every veteran gets the care they deserve, the benefits they’ve earned, and the chance to pursue the American Dream they’ve risked so much to protect.

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Press Secretary Josh Earnest: "The President Wants to Meet You"

This summer, President Obama is traveling across the country to meet with everyday Americans who have written him about what's going on in their lives.

Ahead of the President's trip to Kansas City this evening, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest called a few people in the area and invited them out to dinner with the President.

Watch the Press Secretary give them a call, and hear their reactions -- we're sure you'll enjoy it:

Watch on YouTube

(And of course, if you want to write the President a note, you can do that right here.)

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On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved .5 billion since 2010 – over ,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.

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A Day in Ohio: Secretaries Perez and Duncan Go to Toledo

Labor Secretary Tom Perez is traveling with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Toledo, Ohio, today to see first-hand model programs and partnerships that are equipping Americans with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education they need to get on the pathway to a successful career.

We want to make sure you see what they see, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from their day.

First stop: The Toledo Technology Academy.

The path to good jobs begins in grade school. Students in grades 7 – 12 receive an intense integrated academic and technical education that prepares them for a rewarding, life-long career in engineering or manufacturing technologies. Along with more “typical” high school classes, they receive hands-on training in plastics technologies, automated systems, manufacturing operations, computer-automated design, electronics and other manufacturing technologies. The academy works closely with employers – including the local GM plant – to provide students with industry recognized credentials and certification. Students also can earn advanced credit at local 2- and 4-year colleges. In April, the Toledo Public School System was awarded a .8 million Youth CareerConnect grant that will expand the Toledo Technology Academy’s model to serve more students.

...Where students on the robotics team earn a varsity letter.

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New Report: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change

The signs of climate change are all around us. The average temperature in the United States during the past decade was 0.8 Celsius (1.5 Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and the last decade was the warmest on record both in the United States and globally. Global sea levels are currently rising at approximately 1.25 inches per decade, and the rate of increase appears to be accelerating.

The scientific consensus is that these changes, and many others, are largely consequences of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to a warming of the atmosphere and oceans.

The Council of Economic Advisers released a report today that examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing policies to reduce the pace and ultimate magnitude of these changes; the findings emphasize the need for policy action today. The report was written under the leadership of Jim Stock, who recently resigned as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers to return to his teaching position at Harvard University.

KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS

1. Immediate action substantially reduces the cost of achieving climate targets. Taking meaningful steps now sends a signal to the market that reduces long-run costs of meeting the target. Such action will reduce investments in high-carbon infrastructure that is expensive to replace and will spur development of new low- and zero-emissions technologies. For both reasons, the least-cost mitigation path to achieve a given climate target typically starts with a relatively low price of carbon to send these signals to the market, and subsequently increases as new low-carbon technologies are developed and deployed. An analysis of research on the cost of delay for hitting a specified climate target suggests that net mitigation costs increase, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay.

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Join a Twitter Q&A on Climate Change and the Cost of Inaction

Climate change is not a distant threat – we're already experiencing its harmful impacts. That's why President Obama has taken action to cut carbon pollution by moving to cleaner sources of energy and improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks, and buildings. But further steps are urgently needed to ensure that we leave our kids a planet that’s not polluted or damaged.

Today, the White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that breaks down the economic consequences of delaying action to combat climate change. The report finds that delaying policy actions by a decade increases total climate change mitigation costs by about 40%, and failing to take any action would risk substantial economic damage.

So how will this affect you and your community? Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is taking to Twitter to answer your questions. Today, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET, join him for a Twitter Q&A on the economic impacts of climate change on his Twitter handle, @CEAChair.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHClimateChat
  • Follow the Q&A live through the @CEAChair Twitter handle
  • If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/whitehouse

Learn more about President Obama's plan to combat climate change at WhiteHouse.gov/climate-change, and then join Jason Furman, @CEAChair, for a Twitter chat today, July 29, at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Unleashing Climate Data to Empower America’s Agricultural Sector

Today, in a major step to advance the President’s Climate Data Initiative, the Obama administration is inviting leaders of the technology and agricultural sectors to the White House to discuss new collaborative steps to unleash data that will help ensure our food system is resilient to the effects of climate change.

More intense heat waves, heavier downpours, and severe droughts and wildfires out west are already affecting the nation’s ability to produce and transport safe food. The recently released National Climate Assessment makes clear that these kinds of impacts are projected to become more severe over this century.

Food distributors, agricultural businesses, farmers, and retailers need accessible, useable data, tools, and information to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of their operations – from water availability, to timing of planting and harvest, to storage practices, and more.

Today’s convening at the White House will include formal commitments by a host of private-sector companies and nongovernmental organizations to support the President’s Climate Data Initiative by harnessing climate data in ways that will increase the resilience of America’s food system and help reduce the contribution of the nation’s agricultural sector to climate change.

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President Obama Awards the 2013 National Medals of Arts and Humanities

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This afternoon, the President and the First Lady honored the 2013 National Medals of the Arts and Humanities recipients at the White House. The President told the recipients that their "accomplishments enrich our lives and reveal something about ourselves and our country."

This year's recipients consisted of a diverse array of indidivuals and groups who have done groundbreaking work in the arts and humanities, including architecture, choreography, East Asian Studies, and documentary filmmaking – all of whom have made significant contributions to the human experience.

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Delivering the Goods: A Labor of Love for UPS Driver Jay Valentin

Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Transportation's blog. See the original post here.

Like many Americans, when Jesus "Jay" Valentin – a UPS driver – goes to sleep at night in his New Jersey home, he's got a lot on his mind.

He thinks about tomorrow's deliveries and worries about what the traffic will be like and what the weather will mean for road conditions. He calculates how much next month's mortgage payment will leave his family – his wife Jenny and four kids – for savings. He wonders how he will pay for his daughter Tiffany’s college education – she’s 16 now and thinking toward the future.

Last Friday, I had the chance to meet Jay and some of his coworkers at the UPS hub in Secaucus, New Jersey. It was an eye-opener in many ways.

Secretary Anthony Foxx meets with UPS staff (1)

(Photo via the U.S. Department of Transportation)

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Empowering Africa's Next Generation of Leaders

President Barack Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Young African Leaders Initiative town hall

President Barack Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Young African Leaders Initiative town hall in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama’s town hall today with 500 of Africa’s most promising young leaders provided an inspiring window into what the future holds for Africa, and the world.

The 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship program were selected from nearly 50,000 applicants from across Africa, as part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched by President Obama in 2010, as part of a long-term investment in the next generation of African leaders. It aims to sharpen their skills, to improve their networks, and to strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa for years to come.

The President announced during the town hall that the Washington Fellowship was being renamed as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, in honor of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Mandela Washington Fellows represent the best and brightest from communities across Africa, and fields ranging from education, medicine, law, business, and beyond. These are the young leaders whose skills, passion, and visions for the future, will help shape the fate of their countries and the world. It is in everyone’s best interest to help them prepare with the tools they need to build a healthier, more secure, more prosperous, and more peaceful Africa, which is why President Obama launched YALI in the first place.

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NAACP calls for resignation after racist Facebook comments

The Rowan County Housing Authority chairman is under fire after allegedly making racist comments on Facebook.   The local NAACP is now demanding his immediate termination.   “When you insult people, you don't deserve the right to decide policy that would benefit him," said Scott Teemer, the president of Rowan County NAACP Chapter.   The NAACP of Rowan County and other local organizations held a ...

NAACP, others file lawsuit to restore voting 'golden week' in Ohio

The Ohio Conference of the NAACP is asking a federal judge to expand early voting by restoring “ golden week” and allowing in-person ballots to be cast on more Sundays and during evening hours. Meanwhile, a coalition led by the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus said yesterday that it will continue its signature-gathering efforts to get an Ohio Voter Bill of Rights before voters, but it will not make ...

Salisbury NAACP Calls for Official's Resignation Following Offensive Comments

The Salisbury-Rowan Chapter of the NAACP is calling for an appointed official to step down, following a series of posts he made on his Facebook page.

NAACP seeks to extend deadline for eugenics claims

North Carolina's NAACP is sending an open letter to the governor, speaker of the House and state Senate leaders seeking a yearlong deadline extension for victims of the state's eugenics program.

NAACP seeks reform, following acquittal of murder suspect

DECATUR – The Decatur branch of the NAACP is seeking reform of jury selection procedures after a jury with no racial diversity acquitted Bryson Harden last month in the shooting death of 21-year-old Jarvas Thomas in 2012.

NAACP calls for reward in capture of man who murdered pregnant wife

While the manhunt continues for a man accused of murdering his pregnant wife this weekend, the victim's family is reaching out for help in finding him.

Local NAACP marks 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

WATERLOO | Cedar Valley civil rights activists marked the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with a call for action.

NAACP holds second candidate forum

JACKSON, Tenn. -- The Madison County Chapter of the NAACP holds a second of three Madison County candidate forums. Monday's forum focused on the races for sheriff, four county commissioner positions, one school board post and the county clerk election.

NAACP Challenges Tea Party to Staring Contest Over Mississippi Poll Watching

There are three odd additions to today's Republican primary in Mississippi: black Democrats, Tea Party poll watchers and NAACP monitors to watch the poll watchers. After incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran reached out to black voters ahead of his run off primary against Chris McDaniel, a coalition of conservative groups launched a "voter integrity project" to monitor the polls. For some this inspires ...

NAACP demands Butner apologize and step down as chairman of local housing authority board

Local NAACP officials are demanding Malcolm "Mac" Butner publicly apologize and step down as chairman of the county's housing authority board due to what they say are racist Facebook comments.

By the Numbers: Congress and civil rights

Congressional leaders on Tuesday will mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or national origin.

Blacks to Thad Cochran: You owe us

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are already talking about what they want Cochran to do.

Love plans to join Congressional Black Caucus; Owens first to buy TV time

GOP candidate Mia Love said Tuesday she'd join the Congressional Black Caucus if elected in Utah's 4th District even though...

Mia Love Eyes Congressional Black Caucus (Video Interview)

Former Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, a safe bet to win her House race this fall, expressed interest in joining the Congressional Black Caucus in a recent CQ Roll Call interview.

CBCF Statement on 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (PRWeb July 02, 2014) Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/07/prweb11993959.htm

Opinion: What GOP can learn from Cochran's strategy

Crystal Wright looks at how black voters in Mississippi were used to win the Senate primary.

Twenty-Two-Term Rep. Rangel Faces Primary Day of Reckoning

If Rep. Charlie Rangel loses to state Sen. Adriano Espaillat in today's primary election, people will blame three things: his waning influence in Washington after the House censured him in 2010, the changing demographics of his district, and the fact his 44 years in office was a good — and long — run.  Rangel, a Korean War veteran and founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has served ...

Republican congressional candidate John Katko: 'There's a very good vibe in the Auburn area'

Whether it's one of the major economic development projects or the city's tourism industry, Republican congressional candidate John Katko sees a lot of good things happening in Auburn. 

Black Caucus targets Goodlatte in push for voting rights fix

Dems want Judiciary Chairman to take up legislation to restore voting protections.

Obama and race: life on a high wire

President Obama, guarded on racial issues in his first term, is now speaking out more forcefully. But for the first black president – and the nation – there’s still no more difficult subject.

COMMENTARY CHARACTERS

YOU ARE NOT AT RISK - Excerpt from the book "Its Mom' Sharon Carson - Amazon.com

By examining a patient’s family medical history, physicians try to determine if there is an increased risk of the patient developing a particular disease or inherited condition. From a spiritual perspective, however, Christians are part of the family of God, their father God, his Son Jesus, and The Holy Spirit; and there is neither sickness nor disease in the history of this family, and there never will be. When Jesus died on the cross, He took upon Himself as a vaccination, all sickness and disease known and unknown to man and provided us with immunity from them. We as Christians are not, therefore, at risk for any sickness or disease.