Newswire : Black jobless rate is back up in January 2018

By Frederick H. Lowe


Graph of unemployment for 2018 (can be reduced to one colum

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from

( – Less than a week after President Donald Trump used his bully pulpit–The State of the Union Address–to tell the nation that black unemployment had dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, the Black jobless rate went back up, although non-farm businesses added 200,000 new jobs in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.
President Trump said Jan. 30 “that unemployment claims hit a 45-year low. It’s something I’m very proud of. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded.”
December’s jobless rate for Blacks was 6.8 percent down from a high of 16.8 percent in March 2010. The jobless rate in December was the lowest since 1972 when BLS began reporting the employment rate for Blacks and Whites at monthly hearings of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.The drop, however, did not last long. It rose to 7.7 percent in January, according to BLS.
The jobless rate for Black men 20 and over was 7.5 percent in January compared with 6.6 percent in December. The unemployment rate for Black women 20 and older was 6.6 percent in January compared with 5.8 percent in December.The overall unemployment rate was 4.1 percent. Non-farm businesses added jobs in construction, food services, drinking places, health care and manufacturing added jobs.

Newswire : Obamacare Sign-ups at High Levels Despite Trump Saying It’s ‘Imploding’

By ROBERT PEAR, New York Times
Obamacare protest

 People protesting for Obamacare

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said Thursday that 8.8 million people had signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federal marketplace, a surprisingly large number only slightly lower than the total in the last open enrollment period, which was twice as long and heavily advertised.
The numbers essentially defied President Trump’s assertion that “Obamacare is imploding.” They suggested that consumers want and need the coverage and subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act, even though political battles over the law, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, are sure to continue in Congress and in next year’s midterm election campaigns.
Seema Verma, the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reported the total in a Twitter post on Thursday. She said her agency had done a great job to “make this the smoothest experience for consumers to date.”
The number of people who signed up this year was 96 percent of the 9.2 million who selected health plans or were automatically re-enrolled through the federal marketplace in the last sign-up season.
“It’s a very, very strong number,” said Joshua Peck, who was the chief marketing officer for in the Obama administration. “It implies that the final week of open enrollment this year was very big.”
Republican efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act this year had an unintended effect: They heightened public awareness of the law and, according to opinion polls, galvanized support for it among consumers who feared that it might be taken away.
“It’s incredible how many people signed up for coverage this year,” said Lori Lodes, an Obama administration official and a founder of Get America Covered, a nonprofit group.
But the strong demand for insurance through the Affordable Care Act could set off new efforts to dismantle the law.
The tax cut that Mr. Trump will soon sign repeals the Affordable Care Act’s tax penalties for most Americans who go without insurance, starting in 2019. The president said Wednesday that with elimination of the individual mandate, the health law is being effectively repealed, a statement that is untrue given the law’s expansion of Medicaid, the continued guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and the subsidies still available to millions of people with low or moderate income.
The sign-up numbers seemed to indicate that despite all the politics, millions need the insurance. Nearly half of all plan selections this year — 4.1 million of the 8.8 million — occurred in the last week of open enrollment. More than one-fourth of the people who signed up this year — 2.4 million — were new customers, and 6.4 million people returned to to select plans or were automatically re-enrolled.
Those large numbers came in the face of big challenges. Before the enrollment period, which ran from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, many insurers announced big rate increases for 2018. The Trump administration cut the budget for advertising to promote enrollment and greatly reduced grants to insurance counselors, known as navigators, who help people sign up for coverage.
In the first nine months of this year, Republicans tried repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act, continually criticized it and asserted that health insurance markets were collapsing. Mr. Trump highlighted huge increases in premiums without noting that many consumers were eligible for federal subsidies that help cover the extra cost.
The report Thursday shows sign-ups by people in 39 states that use It does not include activity in 11 states that operate their own insurance exchanges and are also reporting strong enrollment. In some of those states, consumers have more time to sign up. The deadline is Jan. 14 in Minnesota, Jan. 15 in Washington State and Jan. 31 in California and New York.
In addition, people losing coverage because their insurer withdrew from the marketplace may qualify for a special enrollment period providing 60 additional days to sign up for a health plan.
More than 80 percent of people buying insurance through the marketplace qualify for subsidies to help pay premiums. The Trump administration said in October that the average subsidy in states using the federal marketplace would be $555 a month next year, up 45 percent from this year.
Among states using the federal exchange, the largest numbers of sign-ups this year were in Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.1 million), North Carolina (524,000), Georgia (483,000), Virginia (403,000), Pennsylvania (397,000) and Illinois (340,000).
Federal officials reported a huge surge of activity near the end of open enrollment. In Florida, more than 700,000 people selected plans or were automatically enrolled in the final week, and in Texas, the number was more than 550,000.
Ms. Verma tried over the summer to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but on Thursday, she boasted about how well the law’s insurance marketplace — under new management — was meeting the needs of consumers.
The Trump administration, she said, spent only $10 million on marketing and outreach to consumers, or just over $1 for each person who signed up. By contrast, she said, the Obama administration spent a total of $100 million last year, or nearly $11 for each person who signed up.
Moreover, Ms. Verma said, the Trump administration “took a more cost-effective approach” that emphasized the use of digital advertising and email to reach consumers.
While cutting the budget for navigator groups, the Trump administration encouraged the use of insurance agents and brokers, saying it wanted to “shift away from the government selling a private product.”

Newswire – Report: Trump Administration labels Blacks concerned about police brutality as potential terrorists

By Frederick H. Lowe

Demonstrators display Murdered by Police sign

Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from

( – The Trump administration, FBI and police unions have labeled Black men and Black women who are concerned, angry and distressed about the steady stream of news stories about White cops shooting to death unarmed Black men and not being held accountable for their actions, as possible terrorists who need watching because they may resort to violence in retaliation. The FBI labeled the Black men and Black women who are outraged over the deadly shootings “Black Identity Extremists,” (BIE), reported Foreign Policy magazine, which broke the story titled “The FBI’s New U.S. Terrorist Threat: Black Identity Extremists.
“Law enforcement calls it a violent movement. Critics call it racist.” Jana Winter and Sharon Weinberger wrote the article published in Foreign Policy’s October 6 issue. Foreign Policy reported Black Identity Extremists is a new term first appearing government documents nine days before the White supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11, where a counter demonstrator was murdered by a Alt-right supporter.
The FBI “assesses it is very likely that Black Identity Extremists perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will likely serve as justifications to such violence.”
Except there is no “BIE movement but in the fertile mind of those within the Trump Administration,” reports The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, which covered the Foreign Policy article. The Brennan Center’s article was written by Andrew Cohen. “No journalist or academics have discovered and chronicled such a movement. No such leaders have come forward to say they are part of a movement. No one has killed a cop in the name of such a movement. The only citations to the movement, the Foreign Policy piece tells us, come from internal law enforcement writings made over the past two months,” wrote the Brennan Center. Knowledge about the alleged movement comes after Trump supported white racists who marched in Charlottesville.
Conversely, Trump called Black National Football League players who took a knee during the national anthem “sons of bitches” who should be fired because he claims they are disrespecting the American flag and members of the U.S. military, which was far from the truth. The football players are protesting the murders of unarmed black men by white police officers who claim they feared for their lives. So far this year, police and shot and killed 748 people including 168 African Americans.

Anti-police brutality sign

“In this sense, the report is the FBI’s version of the cynical “war on cops” argument that President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and police union officials have been pitching as a policy to justify ending the modest judicial reforms implemented by the Obama administration,” reported the Brennan Center. Foreign Policy cited the July 2016 shooting of 11 Dallas cops by Micah Johnson, a former U.S. Army reservist who was angry about police violence against blacks. The shootings occurred during a Black Lives Matter movement, but the FBI doesn’t mention the organization by name. “The tactic here is almost diabolical. To deflect legitimate criticism of police tactic to undermine a legitimate police protest movement that has emerged in the past three years to protest police brutality, the FBI has tarred the dissenters as domestic terrorists, an organized group with a criminal ideology that are a threat to police officers,” the Brennan Center said.
Critics argue Trump is shifting attention away from right-wing violence to countering Islamic terrorism. The Brennan Center asks if you become a member of BIE if you believe that police brutality is a significant problem hindering criminal justice? Do you become a member of the BIE if you believe that the police too often escape accountability for the use of excessive force on unarmed black civilians? Does the FBI consider every member of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which actually exists, a member of BIE? The Brennan Center then turns to former FBI Director James Comey who Tump fired. Comey has spoken about the FBI’s racist history. Under former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, special agents ginned up evidence that the civil rights movement was a communist plot. Under Comey, there was a major change.


Newswire: Hundreds of NFL players protest Trump by kneeling and locking arms during National Anthem at football games

By: CNN Sports
NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
 players kneeling

Rather than taking a knee, most NFL players opted for a show of unity Sunday, locking arms ahead of their games amid criticism from President Trump who slammed players opting to protest during the national anthem.
Still, plenty opted to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with the Baltimore Ravens’ Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Evans among the stars following the lead of former pro quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who pioneered the anthem protests last year over what he was said was social and racial injustice.
Kaepernick, who has sat and knelt during the anthem, has said he refused to honor a song or “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He also referenced the shootings of black men by police as one of reasons for his stance. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he told NFL Media. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Ahead of a Sunday morning game in London and afternoon games, players from several teams, including the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins, took knees during the anthem. With the exception of one player, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t even take the field until the anthem was over. The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans also chose not to take the field for the national anthem.
In Sunday morning tweets, Trump renewed his criticism of the protests, slamming the league’s ratings and saying players should be fired or suspended for such protests. On Saturday, he called for NFL owners to fire any “son of a bitch” who “disrespects our flag.”
“What you just saw was a variety of responses with the theme of unity,” an NFL front office source told CNN. “All across the league, owners, coaches and players came together to decide what was best for them.”
The source added, “If Trump thought he could divide the NFL, he was wrong.”
Following Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoffs, Trump tweeted that he approved of players locking arms, saying it represented “great solidarity” for the country.

Newswire : Could U. S. funding cuts reverse African progress on HIV

Swazi woman.jpg
Swazi woman promoting AIDS awareness

July 31, 2017 (GIN) – Swaziland – the country with the world’s largest HIV prevalence – is showing signs of getting the epidemic under control, as more people access treatment and become virally suppressed.
New infections have fallen by nearly one half (44%) since 2011, while 73% of all people living with HIV in Swaziland, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, now have an undetectable viral load – meaning they cannot transmit the virus to others.
Such progress in containing the spread of HIV/AIDS was presented at the International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Science in Paris this past month.
But experts say clouds are on the horizon. The U.S. and other international donors are pulling back critical healthcare funding at the same time as a phenomenon known as antimicrobial drug resistance is on the rise.
HIV drug resistance develops when people do not adhere to a prescribed treatment plan, often because they do not have consistent access to quality HIV treatment and care. Individuals with HIV drug resistance will start to fail therapy and may also transmit drug-resistant viruses to others. The level of HIV in their blood will increase, unless they change to a different treatment regimen, which could be more expensive – and, in many countries, still harder to obtain.
Under the so-called “global gag rule”, renewed by President Trump in his first days in office, funding for overseas organizations that perform work in any way linked to abortion including HIV will be cut.
“Everybody is worried because of the global gag rule,” said Dr. Moses Okilipa in an office in Uganda’s Mbale district.
The Botswana Family Welfare Association (Bofwa), expects to lose about 84% of the funding it currently receives from the US, and will have to close clinics in three of the eight districts it works. More than 30% of the population of Botswana are HIV-positive. Bofwa is the only health NGO working across the country.
Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association expects a third of its services to be hit, and about 10,000 young people in one district left without HIV, family planning and sex education services.
In Mozambique, more than 10% of 15- to 49-year-old Mozambicans are HIV-positive, giving the country the eighth highest infection rate in the world.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, commented: “We need to proactively address the rising levels of resistance to HIV drugs if we are to achieve the global target of ending AIDS by 2030.”

A new five-year Global Action Plan calls on all countries and partners to join efforts to prevent, monitor and respond to HIV drug resistance and to protect the ongoing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. In addition, WHO has developed new tools to help countries monitor HIV drug resistance, improve the quality of treatment programs and transition to new HIV treatments, if needed.

CBC lists 100 Trump actions in 100 Days – to the detriment of Black Progress


By Hazel Trice Edney

( – The Congressional Black Caucus has released a list of 100 actions taken by President Donald Trump during his first 100 days that the CBC says have been detrimental to the country – especially the Black community.
“People of all ages and races, including many young people of color, are standing up and speaking out about this Administration’s actions and how they will hurt our communities and the country,” says CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond in a statement. “President Trump says he wants to make America great again but in our view the programs and policies he’s implementing will do the opposite. We hope this list will help those who are engaged and those who aren’t stay woke because our democracy is at stake.”
“The list, titled ‘What Did Trump Do?: The First-100-Days, #StayWoke List,’ is a special edition of CBC’s ‘What Did Trump Do?’ rapid response documents and includes actions across issues areas such as education, healthcare, and justice,” says a statement. “The list is part of the CBC’s effort to listen, involve, and mobilize young leaders during the 115th Congress, an effort that began a few weeks ago with the launch of CBC’s tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, #CBCOnTheYard.”
The phrase #StayWoke or “stay awake” is often used by African-Americans in the social media arena to “remind themselves and those around them to stay focused on what’s really being said and done to their community. As a result of the election of President Trump, the phrase has taken on new meaning; people of all ages and races are using it to remind themselves and those around them to stay focused on the programs and policies being implemented by this Administration.”
The following are among the items on the list:

“After meeting with 70 HBCU presidents and the White House stating that he wanted to give HBCUs “the proper respect,” President Trump has proposed in his budget to give these institutions the same amount of money they received last year even though their operational costs are increasing. President Trump has also proposed to cut programs that support students served by HBCUs including federal work study, Pell, and campus-based aid.”
“President Trump has said many hurtful things about President Obama, including accusing the first Black president of a felony. On March 4, President Trump tweeted that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. President Trump has provided no evidence that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower even though he could easily provide it. In addition, on March 20, FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee during a public hearing that the agency has ‘no information’ about the alleged wiretaps.”
“After several sexual assault allegations and related legal settlements came to light about former veteran Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, President Trump defended the journalist. “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” said President Trump on April 5 during an interview with the New York Times in the Oval Office. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” Days later Fox News canceled O’Reilly’s show and announced that he would not be returning to the network.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency, “which funds a nationwide network of business centers to help minority-owned business stay competitive and create jobs.”
“During a White House press conference on April 11, Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, is guilty of war crimes that are worse than those committed by Nazi Germany leader Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust. Spicer said that Hitler did not use chemical weapons like al-Assad even though gas chambers were regularly used to kill Jews and others at concentration camps during the Holocaust.”
“President Trump appointed Candice E. Jackson as acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the Department of Education. Ms. Jackson once said affirmative action ‘promotes racial discrimination,’ and claimed she was discriminated against for being white.”
“On February 27, after meeting with more than 70 HBCU presidents, Secretary DeVos called Historically Black Colleges and Universities “pioneers” for school choice even though these institutions were founded because white colleges and university refused to admit Black students.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget for the Department of Education hurts low-income students from pre-k through college by undermining public education through the elimination of after school and teacher support programs and diverting federal funds to private school vouchers, eliminating supports for college students, gutting federal-work study, and slashing critical funding for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and Pell Grants. All of these cuts would have severe consequences for our nation’s African-American students.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget would cut Environmental Protection Agency grant programs that help states monitor public water systems, even though Flint, Michigan. is still dealing with a water crisis.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget would eliminate programs that help limit children’s exposure to lead paint. According to the CDC, African-American children are three times more likely to have elevated blood-lead levels.”
“The FBI is investigating whether President Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.”
“One of President Trump’s first actions was to appoint White House Adviser Steve Bannon to the National Security Council (NSC). Many politicians and pundits, including the CBC, called for Bannon to be removed not only from the NSC but from the White House entirely because of his white nationalist views. Bannon is the former chairman of the white nationalist news organization Breitbart News.”
“President Trump has said little on the threat of domestic terrorism even though religious institutions and people of color have been targeted here at home in the wake of the 2016 election. For example, in Wellsville, N.Y., someone painted “Make America White Again” on a dugout wall, a statement based on President Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”. Source In addition, Jewish community centers and cemeteries have received threats or been vandalized. In short, the threat of domestic terrorism is real but it is not prioritized by this Administration”
“President Trump has proposed to eliminate funding for the African Development Foundation, which funds grassroots development projects in 30 African countries.”
“More than 20 million people are facing famine in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen and President Trump’s budget proposal would make the situation worse by cutting funding for humanitarian food aid and United Nations peacekeeping.”
“On January 25, the White House announced that it would launch a major investigation into voter fraud event though it is essentially a non-issue. The White House decided to launch the investigation in response to President Trump’s false claims that 3 to 5 million illegal voters cost him the popular vote.”
“On February 27, the Department of Justice, under the leadership of Attorney General Sessions, withdrew its longstanding claim that Texas enacted its 2011 voter ID law with the intent to discriminate. A few months later a federal judge ruled that the law was enacted with the intent to discriminate against Black and Latino voters.”

The full list of actions can be found here:
According to a CBC release the following committee and congressional offices led by CBC members contributed to the CBC list: House Committee on the Judiciary (Office of Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr.), House Committee on Financial Services (Office of Ranking Member Maxine Waters), House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (Office of Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson), House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Office of Ranking Member Bobby Scott), House Committee on Homeland Security (Office of Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson), House Committee on Oversight (Ranking Member Elijah Cummings), and Office of Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.).

John Gore, lawyer who defended racial gerrymandering picked to head DOJ Civil Rights Division


By: Lee Fang, The Intercept

John Gore who has worked to defend laws that critics say are designed to weaken the voting rights of African-Americans and other minorities, was selected by President Donald Trump to serve as a senior civil rights official at the Department of Justice.

Gore’s new role as Trump’s choice for deputy assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is notable because he will lead the division that oversees civil rights laws, including voter suppression issues. Trump and his nominee to lead the Justice Department, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, are strong supporters of voting restrictions such as voter identification.

The appointment of Gore represents a dramatic break from the the civil rights legacy of the outgoing Obama Justice Department, which has filed suits against voter restrictions in Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, and other states. Under Obama, the civil rights division was restructured to take on more cases, with former Attorney General Eric Holder describing the team as the agency’s “crown jewel.”

In stark contrast, Gore has worked to defend Republican redistricting laws in Virginia, South Carolina, New York, and Florida — including maps that opponents say were drawn to maximize Republican seats in Congress and frequently employed a strategy of packing African-American voters into a single district to dilute their voting power in neighboring districts.

In Florida and Virginia, Gore also intervened on behalf of Republicans to defend new voter ID laws, rules civil rights group have assailed for reducing participation rates among African-Americans.

In Virginia, for example, Gore was one of the main attorneys working to defend a 2011 Republican map that moved black voters from four different districts into Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District, a majority African-American district held by a Democrat that encompasses the areas around Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Newport News. The strategy appeared designed to weaken Democratic chances in the four neighboring districts, all held by Republicans, by lowering the number of African-Americans, who tend to vote for Democratic candidates.

A brief filed by the local NAACP argued that the map’s “high concentration of African-American voters” represented a “racial gerrymander” that violated voters’ due process rights. The GOP legislature argued that politics, not race, was the motivating factor in drawing the boundaries.

Federal courts overturned the GOP map, creating new borders that added African-American voters to the 4th Congressional district, which was previously represented by a white Republican. In 2016 the district for the first time elected an African-American Democrat.

In 2015, a resident of Virginia challenged the state’s newly passed law requiring a photo identification to vote, arguing that because minority groups were less likely to have a photo ID, the law “disproportionately suppresses the vote of African-Americans and Latinos in Virginia.”

A legal team from the law firm Jones Day, including Gore, filed an amicus brief in support of the voter ID law. The brief claimed that although the voter ID law might lead to a “relative shortfall in minority participation,” the true difference was attributable to “different levels of electoral interest or underlying socio-economic disparities,” and therefore the state’s actions were legal.

In December 2016, a federal appeals court upheld the photo ID law, ruling that “there was no evidence to suggest racially discriminatory intent in the law’s enactment.”

As Buzzfeed reported, just hours after Jones Day announced that Gore would be leaving for the administration position, the Justice Department moved to delay a hearing sought by the Obama administration to challenge the Texas voter ID law, one of the strictest in the country. The Justice Department noted that it sought a delay “because of the federal government’s change in administration, which took place on January 20, 2017.”

On Monday, during his evening meeting with congressional leaders, President Trump reiterated the false claim that millions of undocumented people voted in the last election, costing him the popular vote.