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Archive for April 23rd, 2014

U.S. Support for Ukraine an Urgent Priority

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on U.S. Support for Ukraine an Urgent Priority

Fact Sheet: U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine

President Obama and Vice President Biden have made U.S. support for Ukraine an urgent priority as the Ukrainian government works to establish security and stability, pursue democratic elections and constitutional reform, revive its economy, and ensure government institutions are transparent and accountable to the Ukrainian people.  Ukraine embarks on this reform path in the face of severe challenges to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, which we are working to address together with Ukraine and our partners in the international community.  The United States is committed to ensuring that Ukrainians alone are able to determine their country’s future without intimidation or coercion from outside forces.  To support Ukraine, we are today announcing a new package of assistance totaling $50 million to help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ukraine.

Elections and Constitutional Reform: Constitutional reform and free and fair elections are keys to Ukraine’s democratic development.  Assistance in this area is a down payment on the country’s democratic development.  We stand ready to provide further assistance to the new government after elections.

  • The United States is contributing an $11.4 million package to support the integrity of the May 25 elections.   These funds are being used to advance democratic processes – not to support a particular candidate or electoral outcome.  These efforts include voter education programs, transparent election administration, effective oversight of the election process, election security and a redress of infractions, and a diverse, balanced and policy-focused media environment.
  • The United States is contributing support and monitors to the OSCE’s election observation mission and other monitoring groups.  U.S. funded programs will provide at least 250 long-term observers and over 1,700 short-term observers.
  • We are also sending additional experts to provide advice on issues such as constitutional checks and balances, local governance, public participation, and the establishment of an independent, transparent judicial system.

Economic Assistance: The United States has already signed a $1 billion loan guarantee to help Ukraine meet its financial obligations and protect vulnerable citizens from the impact of economic adjustments.  We have also supported Ukraine’s work with the IMF to secure a loan program worth $14-$18 billion.   As these U.S., IMF, and European funds begin to flow, we will have technical experts from the U.S. Treasury Department on the ground to help the Ukrainian government allocate them effectively to stabilize the economy and ensure all the regions benefit.  Currently, there are three banking advisors in Kyiv and we will be deploying public debt management and macroeconomic advisors in the coming week.  We are also committed to providing additional technical assistance in the areas of budget and tax administration.

Energy Security: Over the coming weeks, expert teams from several U.S. government agencies will travel to the region to help Ukraine meet immediate and longer term energy needs.

  • Today, a U.S. interagency expert team arrived in Kyiv to help Ukraine secure reverse flows of natural gas from its European neighbors.  The team will continue on to Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia in the coming days to work on the details of these arrangements.  Reverse flows of natural gas will provide Ukraine with additional immediate sources of energy.
  • U.S. technical experts will join with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and others in May to help Ukraine develop a public-private investment initiative to increase conventional gas production from existing fields to boost domestic energy supply.  A technical team will also engage the government on measures that will help the Ukrainian government ensure swift and environmentally sustainable implementation of contracts signed in 2013 for shale gas development.
  • Department of Energy and USAID specialists will travel to Ukraine next month to provide advice on how to maximize energy efficiency, which could deliver potentially huge cost savings to Ukraine and rationalize energy consumption.

Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption: The United States is committed to helping Ukraine break the cycle of corruption that acts as a tax on business, an impediment to economic growth, and a drain on public trust in government.  Technical advisors from the Departments of State and Justice have already been advising the government on anti-corruption measures.  Today we are expanding this assistance program with additional commitments.

  • Attorney General Holder will co-host an international conference in London April 29-30 to help identify, trace, and recover proceeds of corruption stolen by the former regime.  This is part of an ongoing effort, including work by an FBI investigative team on the ground in Kyiv to help the government of Ukraine recover assets stolen from the Ukrainian people.
  • The United States will provide advice and assistance to help modernize Ukraine’s government procurement in accordance with international standards, including the creation of a vetted anti-corruption unit.   We will offer technical assistance to that vetted unit to help build a sustainable anti-corruption regime within Ukraine, as we have done with substantial results in other parts of the world.
  • Specialized teams of prosecutors and investigators will help the Ukrainian government with other forms of technical assistance to put in place the proper legal and regulatory framework to fight corruption.  The teams will also serve as a resource to ensure follow-through and effective implementation.

People-to-People Ties: To further strengthen ties between the people of Ukraine and the United States, we are announcing our intent to establish a new bilateral visa regime that will extend the standard validity of visas for businesspeople and tourists from 5 years to 10 years on a negotiated reciprocal basis.

Security Assistance: In addition to the $50 million package, today we are announcing the provision of $8 million of non-lethal military assistance to allow the Ukrainian armed forces and State Border Guard Service to fulfill their core security missions.  The additional supplies include:

  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal equipment and handheld radios for Ukraine’s Armed Forces.
  • Engineering equipment, communications equipment, vehicles, and non-lethal individual tactical gear for Ukraine’s Border Guard Service.

This is in addition to the $3 million of Meals Ready to Eat and nearly $7 million of health and welfare assistance the United States is already providing to Ukraine.  The United States will continue to actively review requests for additional support as Ukraine’s government further modernizes its armed forces and deals with evolving threats.

Source: Whitehouse.gov

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge Responds to Supreme Court Decision in the Michigan Affirmative Action Case

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge Responds to Supreme Court Decision in the Michigan Affirmative Action Case

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement on the United States Supreme Court decision on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action that upheld Michigan Proposal 2, prohibiting the state’s public colleges and universities from granting preferential treatment on the basis of race in their admissions policies. Michigan Proposal 2 was approved by the state’s voters in 2006 by a margin of fifty-eight to forty-two percent:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision reinforces that preferential treatment based on privilege in our society can continue, while affirming that public policies that level the playing field for the disadvantaged are not a priority. While legacy status and geography can continue to be factors in granting college admissions in Michigan, race cannot.

“Since Proposal 2 took effect, African-American enrollment at the University of Michigan’s undergraduate and law schools has declined by 30 percent, and students of color have decried the tense racial climate on campus. Today’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent and will unlikely help either of these issues move in a more positive direction.

“Research has continually shown that structural and institutional racism are significant factors in educational achievement and economic attainment, but today’s decision overturns public policies that protect minorities against discriminatory practices. Removing these policies often result in allowing practices that benefit individuals in an unequal and unjust society to continue, at the consequence of others being shut out.

“This is another disappointing decision by the Supreme Court that removes federal protection against racial discrimination in our communities, and allows discrimination to occur more frequently on campuses across the country and in other sectors of our society.”

Renowned Bay Area Afrialist Produces/Performs Breathtaking Benefit Show in Honor of “Prince”

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Renowned Bay Area Afrialist Produces/Performs Breathtaking Benefit Show in Honor of “Prince”

“Purple: A Circus Tribute to Prince” benefits the Uncle Junior Project – Saturday, May 3, 2014

Inspired by the life of now deceased African American animal trainer, known professionally as “Uncle Junior,” young San Francisco Bay Area circus artist Veronica Blair is on a journey across America to produce a feature-length documentary film to record and archive relatively unknown African American circus performers. She calls her mission “The Uncle Junior Project,” named for legendary and largely un-credited circus pioneer Emanuel “Uncle Junior” Ruffin.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA San Francisco Bay Area resident, Veronica Blair is one of only a hand-full of black aerialists in the nation. An artist of elegance and true excellence, she has studied with some of the most celebrated and prominent artists in her field. In an unwavering effort to document the contributions of the largely unrecognized African American circus performing professionals who preceded her generation, Blair produces and performs benefit circus shows to subsidize the planned feature-length documentary film “The Uncle Junior Project.”

She has invited several of her professional circus performing friends to join her to perform gripping circus acts for the exciting Bay Area production, titled “PURPLE: A Circus Tribute to Prince

Aerialist extraordinaire Veronica Blair

.” Enthralling demonstrations of aerial and acrobatic wonder will take place Saturday, May 3, 2014 (7:30-10:00 p.m.) at Circus Center San Francisco, located at 755 Frederick Street. Tickets to experience the exhilarating performances are reasonably priced from $15 to $40. PURPLESHOW.eventbrite.com

This Prince tribute is a much anticipated follow-up to last year’s circus tribute to the legendary rap group OutKast. Artists will perform to familiar and popular musical background produced and performed by multi-award winning entertainer and recording artist, Prince.

At the age of 17, Blair became one of the youngest professional African American trapeze artists in the U.S. Since then, her name has become internationally synonymous with the artistry of premier professional trapeze acts and aerial dance.

“I’ve been performing and teaching circus arts for 16 years. During the last few years I’ve been moving in the direction of producing and directing,” Blair commented. “I’m always borrowing styles from different eras in entertainment. I absolutely adore the pageantry of traditional circus, but I’m also moved by the movements of more modern and contemporary style circus acts. I would describe myself as a very open performer.”

Blair’s aerial dance is an exquisite and original technique, with a combination of sheer strength and pure style. Her combining of aerial tissu with traditional elements from aerial straps create a visually stunning and technically versatile act. She is a consummate entertainer as she performs breathtakingly beautiful high-in-the-sky aerial stunts.


An aerialist of elegance and true excellence, Veronica Blair has studied with some of the most celebrated and prominent artists in her field. From greats LaNorma Fox and Pamela Hernandez, who bears the distinction of being the very first African American aerialist to perform with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus to the renowned “God Father of the Tissu” Gerard Fasoli of Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque, Belgium.

Shortly after the start of Blair’s professional career, Universoul Circus founder Cedric Walker, personally selected her to perform in his show as a single trapeze artist. Under Walker’s supervision, Blair rapidly developed as a skilled aerialist, and was the circus’ resident aerialist for over five years.

After her residency with Universoul Circus, Blair performed with world renowned groups in various productions around the world including AntiGravity, Universal Studios Japan, and AFRIKA! AFRIKA!, the most successful circus show in Germany, along with several hundred other notable circus productions worldwide. VeronicaBlair.com Performance videos


“The Uncle Junior Project,” named for legendary and largely un-credited circus animal trainer Emanuel “Uncle Junior” Ruffin, is a historical documentation of the amazing African American circus performers who paved the way for Blair and so many others to wow audiences under the Big Top.

Through a series of interviews, performance art pieces, moments of introspection, and stories well told, the project explores and debunks many of the misconceptions about circus life and the long history of this storied form of entertainment. Woven throughout, and tying the project together is the story of “Uncle Junior” and several other notable performers, who each participated—in their own special way—in Blair’s coming of age as a woman and performer.

The Uncle Junior Project is part of Fractured Atlas’s fiscal sponsorship program! Fractured Atlas assists artists and arts organizations raise money from charitable sources, and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. TheUncleJuniorProject.com

Microsoft & HBCU Connect Looking for Black Tech Professionals in D.C. Area for VIP Event on May 29th, 2014

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Microsoft & HBCU Connect Looking for Black Tech Professionals in D.C. Area for VIP Event on May 29th, 2014

Microsoft HBCU Connect Networking Reception

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – In partnership with Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Business, Microsoft IT, and Global Foundations Services, HBCU Connect is offering black technical professionals the opportunity to meet with representatives from Microsoft to learn more about career opportunities, network with their peers, as well as open up one on one discussions with Microsoft team members that could lead to future employment.

HBCU Connect has executed on events for Microsoft’s recruitment efforts at the National Society of Engineers conference in 2013, and recently at a private VIP event for Black HR professionals in the D.C, Maryland, and Virginia region. The proposed event for technical professionals will target software engineers, network engineers, Program Managers and experienced IT professionals in the DMV region. The decision to host the event in the D.C. area was based largely on the success of HBCU Connect’s most recent event with Microsoft in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as a large population of black technical professionals in HBCU Connect’s own member database.

“We expect to see 50 to 65 professionals in attendance that will be looking to land interviews with Microsoft leadership, as well as learn more about what life at Microsoft is like as an African American” said Will Moss, CEO of HBCUConnect.com. “In each of our events we set up time for Microsoft employees to give a brief presentation about interesting work they are involved in, as well as “a day in the life” from an African American perspective, working for Microsoft, such that attendees can relate.”

This will be a GREAT opportunity for African Americans working in software, networking, or IT to make new connections, expand their network, and explore new career opportunities.

The event will be held on May 29th from 5pm to 8pm and will be RSVP only. Once attendance is confirmed, exact location will be shared as well as details on parking and an agenda for the evening.

For more details and/or to register, please visit:

About HBCU Connect
Founded in 1999, HBCUConnect.com is the first and largest media outlet targeted towards the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) community. Boasting over 1.5 million registered members and encompassing a complete web portal, magazine, recruiting engine, social networking site, forums, blogs, news feeds and shopping, HBCUConnect.com serves the needs of HBCU aspirants, students, alumni, faculty and staff by providing a single destination and launching point for the entire diaspora.

Illinois School Named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois School Named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School

Federal award program recognizes 48 schools throughout the country for strong environmental practices

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The U.S. Department of Education has named Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake a Green Ribbon Schools award winner for its strong environmental practices and curriculum. Woodland is one of 48 schools across the country being recognized this year under the three-year-old federal program. The early childhood and kindergarten school in Lake County is one of five schools in Woodland School District 50.

“Congratulations to the students and staff of Woodland Primary School for their exemplary efforts to promote environmental consciousness,” Gov. Pat Quinn said. “It’s important for all students to learn the values of going green and conserving our natural resources so we have a healthy environment for years to come.”

The 48 awarded schools were selected from submissions made by 30 state education agencies. The Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors schools that work to reduce their environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.

“On behalf of the State Board of Education, I commend the staff of Woodland Primary School for their commitment to grooming a greener generation,” said State Board Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Their effort to conserve and reduce water usage is an excellent example of teaching students lifelong lessons that will have a continuous impact on their community and countless others as these students go out into the world.”

In September 2013, Woodland Primary School received the LEED Silver certification for Existing Buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. The school has purchased more efficient water heaters and refrigerators, installed lights that turn on only when rooms are in use and reduced water consumption.

Woodland’s facilities also adopted green and sustainable policies, involving waste management, procurement and cleaning. “Reduce, reuse and recycle” are three words that are incorporated into the school’s everyday life. Electricity and natural gas usage at the school have decreased, saving energy and money.

The staff has implemented changes in the curriculum, including a unit on environment and resource preservation. In addition, the school’s physical education team implemented several wellness strategies for students and staff. The school introduced yoga and belly breathing techniques to help students recognize their feelings, calm themselves and become more focused. Staff volleyball games, walking challenges and step aerobics have also become part of the school culture and meet the federal award program’s goal to help improve health. The school’s wellness efforts aim to develop healthier individuals who are focused during both work and play.

“Today we celebrate this award as a school,” said Woodland Primary School Principal Stacey Anderson. “We are committed to our students and the community, to give them a sustainable future with better air quality, school pride, and a learning environment that symbolizes dedication to our environmental goals. From the first time Woodland District 50’s youngest students begin their school experience, they will be growing up green.”

Woodland Primary School, Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School in Oak Lawn, and Evanston Skokie School District 65 in Evanston were named Illinois Green School award winners in March and were submitted for the nationwide award program.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Mike Boots, Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, announced the winners Tuesday at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Award recipients will be honored at a recognition ceremony in July at the U.S. Department of Commerce, also in our nation’s capital.

This is the third year for the Green Ribbon Schools award addressing the environmental impact, health and education of our nation’s schools. Next year’s program will include a post-secondary category. For additional information please visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.

Thomas J. Waters Elementary School, the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago and Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake were named Green Ribbon Schools in 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education.

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.

Sec’y of State Jesse White Reports on Earth Day More Illinois Motorists Going Green with Online Vehicle Renewals

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Sec’y of State Jesse White Reports on Earth Day More Illinois Motorists Going Green with Online Vehicle Renewals

More than 1 million renewals processed via the Internet, conserving paper and saving $400,000 in postage

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reporting that more motorists are going green by conducting their vehicle renewals online this Earth Day, resulting in the conservation of paper and tax dollars.

Over the last year — from April 2013 to March 2014 — the office reported that there were 1.1 million Internet vehicle renewals. In addition, more Illinoisans have signed up to receive their renewals via email. For the month of March 2014, there were 10,500 new email signups per week.

“I’m pleased to use technology and conserve paper as well as taxpayer dollars in order to create a more efficient and earth-friendly process for our customers,” White said.

The project will result in a $400,000 estimated savings per year, according to White.

In honor of Earth Day, vehicle owners are encouraged to go green by registering for email renewal at www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

To register, drivers will need their vehicle registration card or renewal notice containing their Registration ID” and PIN numbers. If vehicle owners do not have a renewal notice or a current registration card, they should call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980. Once they have those, they can visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com and go to the “Email My Renewal Notice” tab on the right side of the webpage.

Vehicle owners began receiving paperless renewals in September 2013, White said. Since the program’s inception, 820,000 plate records have been signed up to receive renewal notices via email.

Some renewals, such as those for commercial vehicles, cannot be processed via the Internet. However, those owners can still receive email notices containing all the same information of as a regular renewal.

In addition, for those who have not signed up for the email service, renewal notice postcards are now being mailed to vehicle owners instead of paper renewals. About 9 million postcards, which are smaller and require less postage, have saved taxpayers about $1 million to date, White said.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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