Monthly Archives: October 2019

Incumbent Mayor Wilfred Rosas, the latest proposed budget has topped $24 million. In spite, of the loss of NRG revenue, Mayor Rosas has been able to balance the city Budget by bringing new companies and expanding existing jobs to the city of Dunkirk. Prior to Mayor Rosas, the city experienced job loss and was marred by public corruption.

This year Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas was named Chautauqua Leadership Network’s 2019 LEADER OF THE YEAR.

During his current term, Rosas has been successful to turning the city around by not being just a local voice but a State Political leader. Since his election has made connections from Buffalo to Albany and Washington, DC, which has helped bring in many projects, while at the same times increasing funding from the State and Federal Federal governments. Rosas also has spearheaded many initiatives that have brought prosperity to Dunkirk and the surrounding areas.

When Democrats in Albany were not ready to sign off on $200 million for the Athenex project in 2016, Rosas took a ride and met personally with The Governor and key players to get the deal done. He also took the lead with Fieldbrook Foods and Wells Enterprises, which resulted in an $87 million dollars investment and jobs expansions for Dunkirk.

Dunkirk’s venture into the North County Water District also happened because of Mayor Rosas efforts, saving taxpayers monies. Heenan, while serving on the County Legislature, was too silent on this important project.

Mayor Rosa has succeeded in improving the services of our Police and Fire Departments, while and the same time working to improve our roads, bridges, Water, Parks and waterfront. With the goal of make Dunkirk a safer and better place for its resident and at the same time making Dunkirk a destination for tourist. He has also partnered with the Public schools system to make it the best in the area.

Rosas has developed a wonderful team around him who has served the citizens of Dunkirk well.

Mayor Rosas has worked hard to have open government, where the citizens and the council have a voice in the decisions of the city. Transparency has been one of his many strong points.

The city of Dunkirk has made great strides in the last four years despite losing NRG. That is no small accomplishment.

 

By: Edwin  Martin

FILE - This file image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. The Islamic State group released on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 a purported audio recording from top leader al-Baghdadi. (Militant video via AP, File)

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – In their long hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Iraqi intelligence teams secured a break in February 2018 after one of the Islamic State leader’s top aides gave them information on how he escaped capture for so many years, said two Iraqi security officials

Baghdadi would sometimes hold strategy talks with his commanders in moving minibuses packed with vegetables in order to avoid detection, Ismael al-Ethawi told officials after he was arrested by Turkish authorities and handed to the Iraqis.

“Ethawi gave valuable information which helped the Iraqi multi-security agencies team complete the missing pieces of the puzzle of Baghdadi’s movements and places he used to hide,” one of the Iraqi security officials said.

“Ethawi gave us details on five men, including him, whom were meeting Baghdadi inside Syria and the different locations they used,” he told Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that Baghdadi died “whimpering and crying” in a raid by U.S. special forces in the Idlib region of northwest Syria.

In a televised address from the White House, Trump said the Islamic State leader died alongside three of his children when he detonated an explosives-laden vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel during the attack.

The path to Baghdadi’s demise was full of frustrations for Western and Arab intelligence agencies, who have pored over clues to the whereabouts of a man who imposed a reign of terror across a large swathe of Syria and Iraq, ordering his men to carry out mass executions and beheadings.

He is also responsible for gruesome attacks across five continents in the name of his ultra-fanatic version of Islam.

TURNING POINT

Turning militants such as Ethawi was critical to the agents trying to track Baghdadi.

Ethawi, who holds a PHD in Islamic Sciences, was considered by Iraqi intelligence officials to be one of the leader’s top five aides. He joined al Qaeda in 2006 and was arrested by U.S. forces in 2008 and jailed for four years, according to the Iraqi security officials.

Baghdadi later tasked Ethawi with key roles such as delivering religious instructions and the selection of Islamic State commanders. After the group largely collapsed in 2017, Ethawi fled to Syria with his Syrian wife.

Another turning point came earlier this year during a joint operation in which U.S., Turkish and Iraqi intelligence agents captured senior Islamic State leaders, including four Iraqis and one Syrian, the Iraqi security officials said.

“They gave us all the locations where they were meeting with Baghdadi inside Syria and we decided to coordinate with the CIA to deploy more sources inside these areas,” said one of the Iraqi officials, who has close ties to multiple security agencies.

“In mid-2019 we managed to locate Idlib as the place where Baghdadi was moving from village to village with his family and three close aides,” the official said.

Informants in Syria then spotted an Iraqi man wearing a checkered headdress in an Idlib marketplace and recognized him from a photograph, the official said. It was Ethawi, and they followed him to the home where Baghdadi was staying.

“We passed the details to the CIA and they used a satellite and drones to watch the location for the past five months,” the official said.

Two days ago, Baghdadi left the location with his family for the first time, traveling by minibus to a nearby village.

“There it was his last moment to live,” the official said.

LOCAL ENEMIES

Baghdadi was also on the run from local enemies in Syria.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the group formerly known as the Nusra Front and which dominates Idlib, had been mounting its own search for Baghdadi after receiving information he was in the area, according to a commander in an Idlib jihadist group.

The Nusra Front and Islamic State were rivals who fought bloody battles against each other in the Syrian war.

The Nusra Front, founded by Abu Mohamad al-Golani, was al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria until it broke away from the global jihadist network in 2016.

According to the Idlib commander, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham recently captured another aide to Baghdadi known as Abu Suleiman al-Khalidi, one of three men seen sitting alongside Baghdadi in his last video message.

The capture of Khalidi was “the key” in the search for Baghdadi, the commander said.

His comments raised the possibility that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which locals say is believed to have contacts with Turkish forces in northwest Syria, may have passed on what it learned to other intelligence agencies.

Baghdadi may have concluded that hiding in Idlib was his best hope after Islamic State was all but wiped out in Iraq and Syria. He could have blended in, while lax security and checkpoints operated by armed groups that rarely search vehicles increased his chances of survival, the commander said.

He said Baghdadi was believed to have been in Idlib for about six months, and that his main reason for being there was to try to hide. But he said Baghdadi was still seen as a major threat because his presence would have attracted supporters in an area where Islamic State has sleeper cells.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham fighters raided the town of Sarmin about two months ago after receiving information about Baghdadi being there, but he was not found, according to the commander.

Additional reporting by Khalil Ashawi, Writing by Mike Georgy; Editing by Samia Nakhoul and Daniel Wallis

 

BUFFALO EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING CENTER

77 Goodell Street ¨ Buffalo, New York 14203

Phone: (716) 856-JOBS (5627) ¨ Fax: (716) 856-5670 ¨ www. workforcebuffalo.org

 

WHATS GOING on in OCTOBER

                                        PLACE: BETC – 77 Goodell Street, Buffalo, New York 14203

Meet the Employer Sessions

Monday, October 7th – US CENSUS – (10:00-2:00)

Customer Service / Field Positions

Tuesday, October 8th – Roswell for Resumes – (1:30-3:30)

If you are applying for a job at Roswell, you can have your resume critiqued

Thursday, October 10th – NAL Group (Installs Inc.) – (10:00-noon)

Customer Service / Call Center

Tuesday, October 22nd – US CENSUS – (2:00-7:00)

Customer Service / Field Positions

(Excellent Pay)

Wednesday, October 23rd – HR Partners Staffing – (9:00-noon)

Talk with Recruiter regarding available positions

Wednesday, October 23rd – National Fuel – (10:00-6:00)

• Open interviews for Meter Readers • (You can Pre-Register at jobs@natfuel.com)

Come and Meet with the Employers regarding Job Opportunities!

Remember To:

Dress for Success

Bring an Updated Resume

Be on Time

Be Ready for On-Site Interview

You must be enrolled in the BETC program or call 856-JOBS for more info. on how to enroll)

Byron W. Brown, Mayor ¨ Mark Poloncarz, County Executive ¨ Demone Smith, Executive Director

    For most people in the U.S., it’s easy to forget Puerto Rico outside of the occasional still-in-trouble-after-hurricanes story you’ll see. But the picture is much worse than even that. The economy is broken and in freefall.

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis—the government organization that generates important statistics—has begun the basic work to create a GDP analysis of the island. A place, although a territory of the U.S., outside of the zone of constitutional rights, so any guarantee of protections depends on laws passed in Congress that can be undone. A place where a complicated financial history led to systemic fiscal instability and weakness that combined with banks pushing toxic and dangerous borrowing deals for a government desperate to get out of a financial jam. The buyers of the bonds that came from the borrowing? Citizens of Puerto Rico.

    The U.S. has done much to undo the economy of Puerto Rico, as the BEA figures show. Looking at the period from 2012 to 2017, the picture is grim. Think of the pain of a recession. Now project that to continue for at least half a decade. Below is a BEA graph showing years of loss, of both personal consumption expenditures (PCE)—consumer spending, which for the U.S. as a whole is roughly 68% of GDP—and population. From 2012 through 2017, the average annual PCE change was -1.8%To put this into perspective, here is a graph from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, using BEA data, that shows the year-over-year change in U.S. GDP. Notice the broad gray band in the graph’s center, which covers the Great Recession. At its lowest point in 2009, the annual GDP drop was just under 1.8% and that was with massive injections of government spending included.

    Puerto Rico’s consumer spending saw nearly that much drop on averageduring the 2012-2017 period. It seems unlikely that there was a sudden and massive reversal in 2018 or this year.

    A good part of the drop is the loss of population. From 2012 to 2013, 1.1% of the population left. The year-over-year drop in 2014 was 1.6%. Then 1.7% in 2015, 1.9% in 2016, and 2.5% in 2017. PCE dropped by 0.7% between 2012 and 2013, and then, year over year, by 2.9% in 2014, 1.7% in 2015, 1.3% in 2016, and 2.4% in 2017.

    Private fixed investment, another GDP component, fluctuated. Between 2012 and 2013 it was down by 1.7%, roughly flat in 2014 and 2015, down another 1.8% in 2016, and up by 0.4% in 2017.

    A third component of GDP is net exports. Puerto Rico does have a net surplus in exports over imports, but about 43% of exported goods were pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals. Those are products of companies from the U.S. that obtain favorable tax status for having facilities there while maintaining access to a U.S. transportation advantage. Puerto Rico is a point of convenience and the bulk of the money goes elsewhere.

    GDP in Puerto Rico is down because of a vicious circle further spurred on by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. When economies fail, people leave for jobs and to make money they can send home to their families. That causes more collapse of the economy, driving additional people away. The dual hurricanes exacerbated the situation, but the problems already existed. Talk of emergency aid and how much Puerto Rico should be given only touches on the additional physical collapse. None of that would address the ongoing need for an economic jumpstart of the area.

    If we really want to address the problems in Puerto Rico, first we must see them. The economic picture has been terrible for a long time. Fixing it does require a lot of rebuilding, but also an acknowledgement of what this country has done, from policies to turn the island into a tax haven to the restriction of movement of goods by the Jones Act, driving up the cost of imported products. We have through an organized series of steps devastated the land for our convenience. It’s time we recognize our collective culpability and set the situation right.

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    Josh Allen would be the first to tell you it’s a part of his game that is far from a finished product. As he begins what amounts to his second season of NFL experience now with 17 starts under his belt, Buffalo’s quarterback is trying to raise his level of play each week in several areas. One in particular that appears to have taken a noticeable step forward is his pre-snap diagnosis of defenses.

    “He’s definitely progressed in that phase of his game,” said guard Jon Feliciano. “That’s the hardest thing a quarterback has to do is understand protection and what the defenses are trying to throw at them.

    “In the first six games we’ve had, the defenses we’ve gone against have thrown a lot at us because Josh is a mobile guy. When you have a guy like Josh you try to make him get in his own head and make him make wrong reads and hurry up his process. He’s done a great job of just staying calm back there. Last game he was making a lot of checks out there and you love to see that.

    Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll pointed to a specific play where Allen got everything right pre-snap. It was a 1st-and-10 play at their own 35 after the Tre’Davious White interception against the Dolphins last week.

    Allen read blitz from Miami’s alignment expecting the slot corner to come as well as the ‘mike’ linebacker on an overload to the left of Buffalo’s offensive formation.

    He changed the protection to slide to the left, which left Dion Dawkins in position to pick up the blitzing linebacker and kept Devin Singletary in off play action to pick up the corner. The result of the play was a 23-yard completion to Duke Williams on a crossing pattern.

    “On that pass to Duke Williams, he did a good job,” said Daboll. “We were going up tempo, and he saw a pressure look coming from the weak side, made a read, identification of a backer, put us into a good protection, had some pressure in his face, did a good job with his feet, stood in the pocket, had some good arc and pace on his throw over the top to Duke. It was a good example of what he needs to do and what helps our offense.”

    “I feel like I’ve seen a good amount of football in my first year and I think being in the same system and the same protections, understanding where my answers are and where I may not be protected. That’s where I’ve really improved,” Allen said. “I’m not going to say I’m there yet. There is still a lot to learn and a lot to see. I haven’t seen everything in the game of football.

    “Each week is going to present a different opportunity to learn and a different challenge for me to go up there and make the right protections and get ourselves in a suitable position where we can make a good play.”

    By: Chris Brown

     

      (Reuters) – Several U.S. states that have been ravaged by the opioid epidemic are pushing back on a proposed $48 billion settlement framework that would resolve thousands of lawsuits against five drug companies accused of fueling the addiction crisis

      The proposal would bring an end to all opioid litigation against AmerisourceBergen Corp(ABC.N), Cardinal Health Inc(CAH.N) and McKesson Corp(MCK.N), drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc(TEVA.TA)(TEVA.N), and Johnson & JohnsonJNJ.J.

      The companies have proposed paying $22.25 billion cash mostly over 18 years, while services and drugs to treat addiction valued at $26 billion by the companies would be provided over the coming decade, mostly by Teva.

      Officials in states such as Ohio, New Hampshire and West Virginia — all hard hit by the deadly drug addition crisis — voiced concerns about the proposal.

      James Boffetti, the associate attorney general for New Hampshire, said in an interview he was troubled that payments were stretched over many years.

      “The concern is, I think, the states need money now to create the infrastructure for treatment,” he said.

      Small states fear the money will be divvied up by population rather than need.

      “Any global opioid settlement that doesn’t reflect the unique and unprecedented damage imposed on West Virginia through the opioid epidemic should be DOA,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said on Twitter on Tuesday.

      Some 400,000 U.S. overdose deaths between 1997 and 2017 were linked to opioids, according to government data. Roughly 2,600 lawsuits have been brought nationwide by states, local and tribal governments.

      The three distributors in a joint statement said they were committed to finalizing a global settlement and would continue working with the other parties on the details of the framework. Teva declined to comment.

      J&J said in a securities filing on Wednesday the deal would lower third quarter profit by $3 billion.

      The proposal, announced on Monday, was hammered out by the companies and attorneys general in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.

      It will need broad support among state attorneys general and will have to overcome opposition from the lawyers representing local governments that sued. Those lawyers declined to sign on when presented the proposal last week.

      Under the settlement framework, money for each state would be divvied up, with 15% going to the state treasury, 15% for local governments that filed lawsuits and 70% going to a proposed state fund aimed at addressing the crisis.

      Boffetti predicted it would takes weeks for states to determine whether they back the settlement framework.

      North Carolina’s attorney general, Josh Stein, acknowledged that a detailed term sheet needs to be developed.

      “There are a lot of details and mechanics that need to be added to it,” Stein told Reuters in an interview. “That will happen in the coming weeks.”

      The proposal did win a major supporter on Tuesday. Tom Miller of Iowa, the longest-serving attorney general, publicly backed the proposal, calling the framework “an important step in addressing the crisis.”

      Colorado’s attorney general, Phil Weiser, called it a “very promising development.”

      The lawsuits accuse distributors of failing to flag and halt a rising tide of suspicious orders and drugmakers of overstating the benefits of opioids while downplaying the risks.

      The companies have denied any wrongdoing. Drugmakers say their products carried government-approved labels that warned of the addictive risks of opioids, while distributors argue their role was to make sure medicines prescribed by licensed doctors were available for patients.

      The proposed deal has widened a fault line between attorneys general and local governments.

      Cities and counties generally hired private attorneys to bring their cases, and attorneys general want to limit the amount of the settlement that goes to pay private lawyers. The attorneys for local governments also generally opposed Teva contributing opioid treatment drugs to the settlement, instead of cash, in part because of concerns that the framework placed an inflated value on those drugs.

      Last week’s talks failed to reach a global deal, and on Monday, the three wholesale distributors and Teva struck a last-minute $260 million settlement with two Ohio counties, averting the first federal trial over opioids.

      North Carolina’s Stein said he looked forward to resolving concerns about the proposal and warned that settling lawsuits individually was unsustainable.

      “If we proceed on the current path and each county and city brings their case and extracts whatever amount they may be able to get from these companies, the companies will end up bankrupt,” he said. “The opioid crisis is a national problem that demands a national solution.”

      Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Nate Raymond in Boston, Massachusetts; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Sandra Maler

       

       

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A year after the U.S. Vice President’s hawkish speech on China caused an uproar in Beijing, Mike Pence is expected to strike a gentler tone in a second policy address on the country Thursday, as hopes blossom for a partial trade deal with Beijing.

        Pence, who frequently takes a tough line on China, could easily use the speech to harp on growing American frustration over Chinese treatment of democracy protesters in Hong Kong and Muslim minority Uighurs held in Chinese detention camps.

        But with the speech coming just weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump attends a summit in Chile where he hopes to close a “phase one” trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pence may be forced to stick to more dovish language.

        Fears of antagonizing Beijing prompted the White House in June to postpone the speech ahead of a meeting between the leaders aimed at getting trade talks back on track.

        The administration “bragged about how important the speech was going to be, then abandoned it in June, the last time President Trump thought he had a China trade deal,” said Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

        The probable goal of the speech, Scissors said, is to preempt Congress from approving a raft of tough-on-China bills “by using strong language, but offering only watered-down versions of actions Congress is already considering,” he added.

        Such a speech would contrast sharply with Pence’s track record on China. Aides had cast his postponed June speech as a sequel to a blistering broadside he delivered in October 2018.

        At that time, Pence shocked China watchers by laying out a litany of complaints, chastising China for building “an unparalleled surveillance state” and for government-run camps in the Xinjiang region where Muslim Uighurs “endure around-the-clock brainwashing” just ahead of a major Asia-Pacific conference that he attended on behalf of Trump.

        His comments laid the groundwork for U.S. authorities this month to include Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision on a trade blacklist, punishing Beijing for its treatment of Muslim minorities and ratcheting up tensions ahead of trade talks.

        Pence has also taken China to task over Hong Kong, urging authorities in August to respect the special administrative region’s laws and repeating Trump’s warning that it would be harder for Washington to make a trade deal with Beijing if there were violence in the former British colony.

        Since then, lawmakers like Senate Republican Marco Rubio have slammed Chinese companies for boycotting the NBA after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey expressed solidarity with Hong Kong protesters.

        That spat played out amid unexpected progress in U.S.-China trade talks to end a 15-month trade war that has roiled markets and damaged global growth. The United States launched the trade war over allegations of unfair trading practices such as theft of U.S. intellectual property and generous industrial subsidies at the expense of foreign competitors.

        During a visit by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He this month, Trump outlined the first phase of a trade deal covering agriculture, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections. U.S. officials said later agreements could address other issues.

        The White House has been nearly silent about the tenor of Pence’s remarks, which he will deliver at a Wilson Center event, saying only that they will “reflect on the U.S.-China relationship over the past year and look at the future of our relationship.”

        But many U.S.-China experts see a softer tone as probable.

        “This may end up being one of the most anticlimactic firebrand speeches of all time,” said Scott Kennedy, a China trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

        Reporting by Alexandra Alper. Editing by Chris Sanders and Gerry Doyle

          Sens. Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham both indicated that voting to remove President Trump from the Oval Office is on the table for them should the House pass articles of impeachment

          In a Sunday interview with Axios HBO, Romney “made it clear that he’s open to voting to remove Trump.” The Utah Republican outlined the answers he’ll be looking for if the impeachment process reaches the Senate, including who was involved in Trump’s communications with Ukraine, the intentions behind the conversations, and if efforts were made to conceal the transcript of his July 25 phone call with the country.

          Romney did say, however, that he’d have a high bar for voting to remove Trump from office, pointing to wrong or possibly illegal activities of other presidents that didn’t amount to being removed.

          Graham, who has proven to be one of the president’s strongest allies in Congress, indicated on Axios HBO that he’s open to changing his mind on impeachment if a quid pro quo with Ukraine is confirmed.

          “Sure. I mean … show me something that … is a crime,” he said. “If you could show me that, you know, Trump actually was engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that

          would be very disturbing.”

          He added, “I’ve read the transcript of the Ukrainian phone call. That’s not a quid pro quo to me.”

          While Graham’s interview aired Sunday, it took place on Tuesday — before acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted that a quid pro quo was involved in Trump’s communications with Ukraine, which he later walked back. However, the South Carolina Republican’s spokesperson told the outlet that “Graham still has not heard or seen anything that he deems impeachable.”

          House Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry into the president after a whistleblower complaint about his call with the Ukrainian leader, which alleged that he withheld military aid to the country in exchange for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

           

           

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