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Visit One News Page for Veterans news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Veterans news headlines.

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    Families of Vietnam veterans have been leaving their loved ones ashes by the Vietnam Wall in Washington since the monument was erected, but now park officials say, no more. (Jan. 29)

      Reported by 7 hours ago.

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    Grimsby Poachers launch tenth annual reunion at Beachcomber The war veterans will meet in Cleethorpes on March 24 this year Reported by Grimsby Telegraph 7 hours ago.

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    Vantage Homes CEO and Board Member for Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs Elected to HBI Position for 2018; Will Help Turn Local Vocational Program Into National Model.

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    The Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs (CSHBA) today announced that George Hess — CEO and founder of Vantage Homes and current CSHBA board member — has been elected Chairman of the Board for the Home Builders Institute (HBI). HBI is the educational affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a leader in construction training and education. Hess was elected at an annual Board of Trustees meeting in early January.

    Hess also serves on the CSHBA Board of Directors and chairs the HBA Workforce Development Committee. He and other industry leaders were instrumental in spearheading the effort that evolved into Careers in Construction (CIC), the CSHBA's nonprofit workforce development initiative that is successfully bringing trade education back into local high school classrooms.

    Launched in 2015 in response to a local skilled labor shortage and high school dropout rates, the program introduces students to the basics of construction and is designed to lead them directly to a job after high school, to a trade school or to a traditional college. Today more than 300 students from four school districts across the Pikes Peak region participate in the program.

    “I am honored by the opportunity to serve in this capacity and excited to share what we’ve learned on the ground in developing CIC in Colorado Springs,” said Hess. “One of our chief goals will be to further develop and refine vocational classroom curriculum into a ‘plug and play’ model for administrators and teachers everywhere — and evangelize the CIC model at a national level. There are approximately 24,000 high schools across the US and we have a lot of work to do!”

    Hess will serve as HBI chairman until January 2019. He joins Vice Chairman Robert Couch (Bradley, Arant, Boult, Cummings) and four new trustees – David Jeffers (Council of Federal Home Loan Banks), Tony Mancini (SGC Horizon Building Group), Robert Loffredo (Snap-on Inc.) and Michael Strech (North State Building Industry Association) – with Angelo Marasco (ODL, Inc.) being reappointed to a second three-year term.

    About the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs
    Homes are a cornerstone of the American dream and a major driver of our economy. The Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs (CSHBA) was founded in 1950 as the voice of the homebuilding community and associated trades. We advance best practices, advocate for affordable housing, contribute expertise to regional development issues and serve our community through our workforce initiatives and HBA Cares programs. Find out how we’re helping to build a better Colorado Springs at and

    About the Home Builders Institute
    NAHB's educational arm, HBI, is a national leader for career training in the building industry. It provides students the skills and experience they need for successful careers through pre-apprenticeship training, job placement services, mentoring, certification programs, textbooks and curricula.

    With an 80 percent job placement rate for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to youth, veterans, displaced workers and other underserved populations.

    HBI training programs do more than just provide job skills; they also build character and self-esteem, helping to provide students with the skills they need to succeed on the job and in life. Reported by PRWeb 7 hours ago.

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    Led by iNovia and former Luxury Retreats investors, investment seizes opportunity in underdeveloped travel tech vertical; New investors include industry veterans Erik Blachford (former Expedia CEO) and Philippe Vimard (previous eDreams CTO/COO) who join Busbud’s board along with Magaly Charbonneau of iNovia

    NEW YORK and MONTREAL (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    Busbud, the online marketplace that enables global travelers to shop for and book intercity bus tickets on over 1.4 million bus routes worldwide, today announced the close of US$11 million in series B funding (approximately CAD$14 million). The round is led by iNovia Capital and includes new investors Teralys, Claridge and Plaza Ventures, as well as Real Ventures. The capital will be used to fuel technology development, further grow the team and accelerate geographic expansion.

    The trio of iNovia, Claridge and Teralys, who had previously teamed up to back Luxury Retreats, a high-end vacation rental marketplace that was acquired by Airbnb in February 2017, are reuniting for Busbud’s B-Round. Joe Poulin, founder and CEO of Luxury Retreats, and Peter Kern, director of Expedia and Managing Partner of InterMedia Partners, were also angel investors in Busbud.

    “Buses and luxury vacation rentals may seem worlds apart, but from an investment perspective, Busbud has a lot in common with Luxury Retreats,” stated Chris Arsenault, Co-founder & Managing Partner at iNovia.“Passionate founders, a unique solution to a real-life travel problem, international scale, an enviable market position and fast growth - this is exactly what every VC and PE firm is looking for, and we’re elated to support Busbud as they scale.”

    The round also includes funds from new investors Erik Blachford, former CEO of Expedia, and Philippe Vimard, former CTO/COO of publicly-listed eDreams/ODIGEO Travel Group and current CTO of Doctolib, the No. 1 booking platform for doctors in Europe. Both are joining Busbud’s board of directors, bringing their vast experience in travel and technology to the company. Magaly Charbonneau, Principal at iNovia, will also be joining the board. Magaly is a seasoned tech entrepreneur with several successful exits including PasswordBox, acquired by Intel Corporation in 2014.

    “The global market for intercity bus travel is huge, with more passengers than air travel, yet it’s a market that has been widely overlooked by the travel industry. That’s what makes Busbud such an exciting investment opportunity,” said Blachford. “With over 1300 partner operators, Busbud is already essentially the biggest bus marketplace in the world, and with this critical mass and new capital, they’re poised to be the leading ticketing partner for bus operators and favorite booking experience for smart travelers.”

    “Busbud is simplifying the travel process and making it easier for the modern-day bus traveler to book bus tickets in the same way they do flights, hotels and tours,” added Matthew Leibowitz of Plaza Ventures. “Digital transformation is sweeping through the bus industry, driven by increased mobile adoption by travelers. Busbud is at the center of it, bringing more customers to local bus operators and making riding the bus more convenient than ever.”

    “The support from a group of investors with such a phenomenal track record of success is fantastic validation for Busbud and a true testament to the innovation we’re bringing to an oft-overlooked mode of transportation as well as to bus travelers worldwide,” said Busbud Co-founder and CEO LP Maurice. “With their commitment to our growth, we’re confident the next leg of our journey will be a successful one.”

    Busbud’s COO Sean Shannon, previously Managing Director at Expedia for Canada, Latin America and Australia for 14 years, added, “Since I joined Busbud in 2016, we’ve been fortunate to expand rapidly, and to build a network enabling safe, fast, easy and convenient bus bookings in over 75 countries worldwide. From my past experience in online travel marketplaces, I know the road ahead for Busbud will be exciting, and with this stellar team and influx of resources, we’re well positioned to keep our feet on the gas.”

    About Busbud
    Busbud is an online marketplace that enables global travelers to shop for and book intercity bus tickets on over 1.4 million bus routes worldwide. Available in 11 languages, the company’s convenient and secure booking website and app offer the ability to search, compare and buy tickets from over 1,300 bus companies in 16,000 cities across 75+ countries, supporting transactions in 30 currencies. Co-founded in 2011 by longtime friends LP Maurice (CEO), Michael Gradek (CTO) and Frédéric Thouin (Chief Product Officer). The company currently has 35 employees and is based in Montreal, Quebec. Experience travel with Busbud at and share your adventure! Reported by PRWeb 6 hours ago.

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    12th NASA Administrator joins Microsoft and WeWork executives as the newest members of the Intrepid Museum’s Board of Trustees

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum announced today the newest members of its board of trustees: Major General Charles F. Bolden, Jr., USMC (Ret), 12th NASA Administrator; Laura Clayton McDonnell, Vice President, New York Region at Microsoft; and Mark Lapidus, Head of Real Estate at WeWork.

    “Co-chairman Bruce Mosler and I are delighted to welcome the newest members of the board of trustees,” stated Ken Fisher, co-chairman of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. “The support of the board is essential to expanding the Museum’s impact in the community and around the world, and we look forward to adding this diverse breadth of experience to the team.”

    Susan Marenoff-Zausner, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, continued: “These three outstanding leaders bring a wide range of talent and expertise to the Museum and show a demonstrated commitment to furthering the Museum’s mission, building its collections and fostering wide-reaching engagement with history, science, service and innovation. I look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”

    A premier cultural and educational institution located in the heart of New York City, the Intrepid Museum welcomes over one million visitors per year. The Museum provides STEAM-based education to more than 30,000 New York City students annually, as well as professional development for teachers, online distance learning, and accessible and inclusive programs and resources for veterans and visitors of all ages and abilities. Through exhibitions, events and programs offered year-round, visitors are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery.

    “The Intrepid Museum is a bridge between the heroes of the past and the young minds that will build the future,” stated Maj. Gen. Bolden. “As a former astronaut, Marine and NASA Administrator, I am very pleased to bring my experience to the board of trustees and get to work inspiring new generations of leaders, explorers and innovators.”

    “As a young girl, I wanted to be an astronaut. Seeing those men and women reach for the stars inspired me to pursue a career in technology,” said Laura Clayton McDonnell. “I’m tremendously excited to be a part of an institution that engages visitors in humankind’s greatest technological achievements and inspires them to imagine what might be possible in the future.”

    “The Intrepid Museum is one of the most unique educational institutions in this city,” said Mark Lapidus. “Its efforts to provide engaging experiences for groups that might not otherwise have access to them—including veterans, children in Title I schools and individuals with disabilities—make our community stronger. I’m honored to support this work, and I look forward to contributing to the Museum’s mission.”

    Major General Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
    Maj. Gen. Bolden was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 12th NASA Administrator in 2009, where he led a nationwide NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the United States space program. At NASA, Bolden oversaw the safe transition from 30 years of space shuttle missions to a new era of exploration focused on full utilization of the International Space Station and space and aeronautics technology development. The agency's dynamic science activities under Bolden include an unprecedented landing on Mars with the Curiosity rover, launch of a spacecraft to Jupiter, enhancing the nation's fleet of Earth-observing satellites, and continued progress toward the 2019 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Bolden’s 34-year career with the Marine Corps included 14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office, where he traveled to orbit four times, commanding two missions and piloting two others and logging more than 680 hours in space.

    As a Naval aviator, Bolden flew more than 100 combat missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, while stationed in Namphong, Thailand between 1972-1973. Bolden was promoted to his final rank of major general in July 1998 and named Deputy Commander of U.S. forces in Japan. He retired from the Marine Corps in 2003. Bolden's many military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006 and the U.S. Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2017.

    Laura Clayton McDonnell
    Laura Clayton McDonnell is the Vice President, New York Region at Microsoft. In this capacity, she is responsible for supporting the digital transformation of key customers in the largest district in Microsoft’s US subsidiary.

    An executive with extensive sales management and legal experience in the information technology industry, McDonnell previously served as Senior Vice President, North America Sales at Aspect Software and Vice President of Strategic Services at IBM, as well as senior executive positions at West IMT and Rational Software.

    Ms. McDonnell received her B.S. “with distinction” in International Business Administration at San Jose State University, her M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley in Finance and International Business Administration, and her Juris Doctorate from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.

    She is a recipient of the 2008 YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award (TWIN), a member of the Women’s Forum of New York, an Advisory Committee Member of the 92Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Metro NY Chapter of the USNC for United Nations Women.

    Mark Lapidus
    Mark Lapidus currently serves as a Real Estate Executive for WeWork. He started his tenure with the company over 6 years ago as the Head of Global Real Estate. Most recently he was WeWork’s Head of International Real Estate focused on its growth in Europe and Asia. Today, WeWork provides more than 175,000 members around the world with space, community, and services through both physical and virtual offerings. WeWork's mission is to help create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living. Founded in New York City in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, WeWork currently has more than 200 physical locations on 5 continents, in over 65 cities and 20 countries around the world.

    Mr. Lapidus has two decades of experience in Real Estate. Prior to joining WeWork, he worked for two real estate investment trusts before starting his own private firm. Mr. Lapidus possesses a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Real Estate from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and a Juris Doctorate cum laude from New York Law School.


    About the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
    The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a non-profit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. Through exhibitions, educational programming and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages and abilities are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery.

    The Intrepid Museum fulfills its mission to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth by connecting them to history through hands-on exploration while bridging the future by inspiring innovation.

    Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and tour the Museum virtually on Google Arts & Culture. Reported by PRWeb 6 hours ago.

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    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Drive Innovation

    ATLANTA (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    Morley Device Innovations, (MDI), an affiliate of Morley Research Consortium, an Atlanta-based Contract Research Organization and Life2, Inc., an innovator in artificial intelligence, machine learning and clinical data services announced a partnership to bring artificial intelligence-based medical devices to market. The partnership’s initial effort focuses on early detection of infectious diseases and other clinical conditions that affect patients in acute care hospitals.

    Donald A. Johnson, Managing Director of MDI stated: “Life2’s artificial intelligence technology opens the door for exciting new software medical devices. MDI has deep experience in clinical trials, medical device technologies, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare in international markets. Our team looks forward to working with Life2 to bring new device innovation to the healthcare markets. We are actively conducting clinical trials for several new product ideas and hope to receive our first of many FDA 510k medical devices later this year.”

    Life2’s Artificial Intelligence Engine provides hospitals empirical evidence of which clinical and procedural actions are most effective. It utilizes artificial intelligence, deep machine learning, cognitive augmentation and expert guidance to deliver real time patient based risk stratification, causality analysis and empirical intervention selection. An Evidence Engine powers an automated Machine Learning Feedback Loop that compiles the outcomes and measures the effectiveness of each action. This results in real time “course correction”, helping hospitals and clinicians optimize patient outcomes as well as quality and financial performance while reducing risk.

    Sam Wilkes, Founder and Chairman of Life2 stated: “Our technology has been effectively used to mitigate operational risks at acute care hospitals. These include reducing length of stay and readmissions while optimizing reimbursements and post acute venue selection. We are rapidly adding a broad base of clinical capabilities to our platform. These insights will help hospital Care Teams predict and mitigate clinical risks of their patients on a real time basis. The end result is higher quality of care and improved hospital financial performance. Our technology fits perfectly into the world of medical devices and we are very excited to partner with MDI on new device innovations.”

    About Morley Device Innovations: Morley Device Innovations (MDI) is a team of seasoned investors, clinical and regulatory affairs specialists, scientists, researchers and industry veterans. MDI is an affiliate of Morley Research Consortium, an Atlanta, GA-based Contract Research Organization, with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Redwood City, California (Silicon Valley), Boston, MA, Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai, China. MDI invests in early to mid-stage healthcare companies globally to leverage its vast experience of getting products through worldwide regulatory entities. MDI uses the skill sets, experience, and health care industry connectivity of a team uniquely capable of acquiring, refining, and validating medical devices, thereby significantly enhancing the commercial value of its assets. MDI's business model mitigates the variables and risk of traditional venture investing. MDI’s global ecosystem of contacts and affiliates allows us to source, analyze, invest and exit in shorter time frames with our own internal team from beginning to end of a product life cycle.

    About Life2: Life2 is an innovator in artificial intelligence, machine learning and clinical data services. The company’s Artificial Intelligence Cycle focuses on the financial and operational risks facing acute care hospitals and their care continuum partners. The platform analyzes and calculates – via empirical evidence – “which actions work and which do not”. It provides real time “course correction”, helping hospitals optimize patient outcomes, quality and financial performance. The platform complements all of the hospital’s existing management systems by feeding valuable proactive insights via normal hospital workflow. Please visit to learn more. Reported by PRWeb 6 hours ago.

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    SAN MATEO, Calif., Jan. 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exabeam, the leader in security intelligence solutions, concluded a record year in 2017, in both revenue and active enterprise customers. This growth far exceeded the annual growth rate of the SIEM market, which is projected to reach $3.4B by 2021.Billings for the year grew 250 percent compared to 2016. The number of enterprise customers using Exabeam’s technology to power their security programs also increased to over 200. Additional highlights include:

    · Closed more business in the fourth quarter of 2017 than in all of 2016
    · A fivefold increase in transactions over $1 million
    · Seven channel partners sold over $1 million in Exabeam products, and one partner topped $10 million in sales

    Powering this growth was Exabeam’s transition from providing a UEBA solution to a full SIEM platform, and high marks from industry analysts. The company debuted in the 2017 Gartner SIEM Magic Quadrant as a Visionary. Exabeam also received accolades from a number of publications, including the Computing Security Excellence Award for Security Event Management, SC Media 2017 Excellence Award Winner for Best Emerging Technology, CRN 2017 Emerging Vendor, Cyber Defence Magazine 2017 Cyber Security Leader, among others.

    “In 2017, Exabeam announced our entry into the SIEM market, with the goal of doing to SIEM what Palo Alto Networks did to firewalls -- launching an initial tool to grow and learn in the market,” said Nir Polak, CEO of Exabeam, “That strategy led to an amazing year, and I fully expect 2018 to be even better.”

    “Exabeam’s growth rate is at the very high-end for enterprise companies that we work with at Lightspeed.   We’ve also tracked Exabeam’s growth against a number of public security companies and the top-line acceleration is well ahead of most other companies when they were at this stage” said Lightspeed Partner Ravi Mhatre, “Exabeam has moved extremely quickly to establish its leadership position in the market and holds all of the promise of becoming a standalone public company.”

    In 2018, Exabeam’s crosshairs will remain pointed at legacy vendors in the SIEM space. The company plans to focus on tightening integrations within its platform, enhancing user experience, and an increasing emphasis on the cloud. Exabeam will also host its first user conference, Spotlight, in September at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

    *About Exabeam*

    Exabeam provides security intelligence and management solutions to help organizations of any size protect their most valuable information. The Exabeam Security Intelligence Platform uniquely combines a data lake for unlimited data collection at a predictable price, machine learning for advanced analytics, and automated incident response into an integrated set of products. The result is the first modern security intelligence solution that delivers where legacy SIEM vendors have failed. Built by seasoned security and enterprise IT veterans from Imperva, ArcSight, and Sumo Logic, Exabeam is headquartered in San Mateo, California. Exabeam is privately funded by Norwest Venture Partners, Aspect Ventures, Icon Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and investor Shlomo Kramer. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

    *Media Contact:*
    Brittany Hendrickson, InkHouse for Exabeam
    415-299-6370 Reported by GlobeNewswire 6 hours ago.

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    The Association For Creative Industries awards the BowVy Cutter, a handheld, cordless, hot filament cutting tool with interchangeable tips, $10,000 as the Top Creative Innovation of 2018 at Creativation for the new opportunities the product creates in the creative products industry.

    ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) is pleased to announce the BowVy Cutter is the winner of The Ultimate Pitch, a competition sponsored by The Michaels Companies that awards $10,000 to an innovation that creates new opportunities in the creative products industry. Karyn Ranzau, owner of Little Pink Ladybug, invented the BowVy Cutter, which is a handheld, cordless, hot filament cutting tool with interchangeable tips that makes a decorative V-cut and seals the ends of most ribbon and polyester fabric in one step. The Ultimate Pitch was held on January 22 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona during Creativation, the largest creative industries trade event in North America.

    “We want to showcase innovation and provide entrepreneurs a platform to launch their ideas and products in our industry,” says Mark Hill, President & Chief Executive Officer, AFCI. “The Ultimate Pitch and Innovations Center are life changing opportunities for creative entrepreneurs as they gain significant exposure to the thousands of retailers, distributors, manufacturers, marketing companies and influencers who attend Creativation each year.”

    The Ultimate Pitch was judged by executives from major retail and manufacturing brands. The judges were Brigid English from The Michaels Companies; Christopher DiTullio from JOANN; Danica Lichtenwalner from the Home Shopping Network (HSN); Christine Stoelting from Crayola, LLC; and Victoria Katsarou from

    Four finalists were chosen for The Ultimate Pitch from a pool of 12 entrepreneurs who were showcasing a unique product or idea in the Innovations Center at Creativation. The other three finalists are:· Yee Wong, inventor of DIY Frame Art Drawing Pad: a patent-pending drawing pad that upgrades the sketchbook by turning the flat paper into a 3D frame art ready for display.

    · Marlene Tabibian, inventor of Flex Knit: a patented, flexible and ergonomic straight knitting needle designed to improve comfort during knitting by enabling bending with resiliency at the wrist level.

    · Sofia Magnusson and Marielle Jensen, inventors of The Folklore Company: a website where customers can design a personal cross-stitch pattern in an easy, unique, and modern way.

    Actress Kerry Cahill, who can be seen on The Walking Dead as Dianne, hosted the competition. Cahill is an advocate for Help Heal Veterans, an organization that provides free therapeutic craft kits to US veterans, and was recently named the national spokesperson for AmVets.

    For more information about The Ultimate Pitch, visit

    The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) is the premier trade association for the global creative arts products industries. AFCI strives to deliver innovative high value services as we support our Members who provide products and services to educate, entertain, and inspire creative consumers. Our Members include the manufacturers, retailers, distributors, designers, educators, digital content providers, professional makers and DIYers, and other creative professionals that comprise the $36 billion+ creative arts industries in the United States alone. For more information about AFCI, membership, or its annual Creativation trade event, visit Reported by PRWeb 6 hours ago.

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    A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer, shows that opioid prescribing has dropped after a peak in 2012. Lead author Katherine Hadlandsmyth of the Iowa City VA Healthcare System and the University of Iowa in the US further noted that the decline was mostly due to decreases in long-term opioid prescribing, which carries much greater risk for harmful side effects, addiction and overdose, relative to short-term prescribing. Reported by Science Daily 25 minutes ago.

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    Today, American University President Sylvia M. Burwell launched AU’s Plan for Inclusive Excellence, a far-reaching effort to build a truly inclusive community at the University. AU is investing $121 million over two years to support its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives outlined in this plan.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    American University President Sylvia M. Burwell today launched AU’s Plan for Inclusive Excellence, a far-reaching effort to build a truly inclusive community at the University.

    The plan is based on a comprehensive model, known as Inclusive Excellence, that instills diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts across the university’s structure, systems, and practices as a catalyst for achieving educational and institutional excellence.

    “American University can thrive only when we affirm the dignity of everyone, when we demonstrate cultural competence, and when all members of our community – especially students, faculty, and staff of color— feel included,” President Burwell said. “To help us get there, we’ve launched a new Plan for Inclusive Excellence, grounded in the extensive input we received from across AU.”

    With the release of the plan, AU is making a strong commitment to accountability and transparency. It has developed metrics to assess progress on the plan’s goals and committed to releasing an annual, public report tracking its progress. And, President Burwell has called upon each member of the AU community to review the plan and identify the ways they can individually and collectively advance the plan’s goals.

    “Change takes time, and change takes many hands. For this plan to be successful, every single member of the AU community needs to read the plan and determine how they can personally contribute to its success,” Burwell said.

    AU’s Plan Covers All Aspects of the University Experience

    The AU Plan for Inclusive Excellence touches all parts of, and all people at, the University. It will address the student experience inside and outside the classroom; faculty and staff recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention; how incidents of bias and discrimination claims are handled; how AU communicates about diversity, equity, and inclusion issues; and much more. The plan is centered around five goals:· Training, learning, and development to equip members of our community to lead change in a complex world. As part of this goal, AU will implement institution-wide training for all community members, tailored to the needs of AU constituencies, designed to focus on cultural competence as a critical aspect of orientation, learning, onboarding, and professional development.
    · A focus on campus climate, culture, and community, so that all community members feel that they belong here. As part of this goal, AU will provide grant incentives to encourage collaboration across departments and student organizations to develop innovative diversity and inclusion programs, build a sense of community, and positively impact climate for faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
    · Changes to our systems, policies, and procedures to promote diversity, inclusion, transparency, and accountability. As part of this goal, AU will adopt consistent hiring committee policies and practices across the university to further equitable outcomes.
    · Access and equity in the way we recruit, hire, train, develop, evaluate, and recognize faculty, staff, and administrators. As part of this goal, AU will pilot a training program for faculty hiring, reappointment and promotion review committees focused on recognizing and eliminating bias in recruitment and promotion processes.
    · A focus on curriculum and instruction to ensure that our core curriculum demonstrates critical inquiry, intellectual engagement, and respectful discourse. As part of this goal, AU will require each school to participate in professional development and learning programs to enhance classroom climate.

    AU is investing $121 million over two years to support its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives over two years. In 2018, AU has committed $60 million, including $53 million to support access through scholarships for underrepresented students and veterans, and $7 million in academic initiatives such as the American Experience (AUx) courses, academic centers, faculty development, curricular enhancement, and support services and programs specifically designed to advance access, equity, and inclusion. The University expects to invest $61 million in 2019.

    Plan Sets Forth Clear Metrics for Measuring Success

    Accountability and transparency are at the heart of AU’s Plan for Inclusive Excellence. University leadership has worked with AU’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment to develop a set of metrics to both drive and assess the progress on the Plan’s goals. The University will release an annual report on progress made on the plan so that the community can hold itself accountable.

    There are metrics associated with each of the plan’s five goals. The key measures that will be used to measure progress include, but are not limited to:

    · Improved campus climate that provides a sense of belonging and community for all its members as evidenced in surveys/focus groups;
    · An increase in the compositional diversity (based on benchmarks) found among faculty, students, staff, and administrators;
    · Student success as measured by indicators such as retention and graduation rates of underrepresented populations at AU;
    · Evidence of successful completion of training or coursework by members of the AU community.

    The Plan Builds on Important Work Done at AU Over the Last Year

    AU has not waited for the plan’s release to take steps to address diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, and the plan builds on this important work. Over the last year, AU launched the new Antiracist Research and Policy Center and a new major in African American and African Diaspora Studies. It also significantly enhanced faculty diversity among its news hires—44 percent of the new faculty hired in fall 2017 self-identify as people of color. And the University has improved bias incident reporting and changed its approach to communication around diversity, equity, and inclusion issues to make it clearer and quicker.

    Crucial Conversations About Inclusive Excellence

    As part of AU’s efforts to engage all parts of the campus community in implementing the plan, the University will host former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and Dr. Alma Clayton-Pedersen, who established Association of American Colleges & Universities’ national initiative on inclusive excellence, in conversation with President Burwell about the AU Plan for Inclusive Excellence. The event, part of AU’s Crucial Conversation series, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 2:30-4:00 p.m. in the School of International Service, Founders Room.

    American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 130 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world. Reported by PRWeb 5 hours ago.

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    Reported by RIA Nov. 3 hours ago.

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    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Plans are moving forward on a $49 million state home for veterans in western Michigan. The Grand Rapids Press reports the Grand Rapids Planning Commission recently approved the new Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, which will have room for 128 residents. Buildings will be connected and plans include neighborhood centers […] Reported by Seattle Times 3 hours ago.

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    MyWay Mobile Storage of Pittsburgh was pleased to join with Cintas First Aid and Safety and Fire Divisions to host the 4th Annual Cornhole Classic to benefit Veterans Place of Washington Blvd.

    Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    MyWay Mobile Storage of Pittsburgh was pleased to join with Cintas First Aid and Safety and Fire Divisions to host the 4th Annual Cornhole Classic to benefit Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard. Jeff Hancher, Sales Director East Region at Cintas Fire Division, created the event four years ago to support veterans. Ed Sickmund, MyWay Mobile Storage of Pittsburgh Market Owner and former Cintas General Manager, loved the idea and immediately joined on as co-host. The event, held at the dome at the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center, brought together 62 two-person cornhole teams competing, having fun, and supporting veterans.

    "We have a tentative date of September 15, 2018 and look forward to holding the 5th Annual Cornhole Classic at the RMU Island Sports Center" said Hancher.

    Hancher commented, "The event has really grown. The number of teams has more than tripled. More importantly, the money we raise has more than tripled. That first year, I think it was about $6,000 or $7,000. Our most recent tournament raised more than $24,000. All together we've raised more than $60,000 to support our veterans who sacrifice so much for our country." Hancher continued, "I can't say enough about our beneficiary, Veterans Place. They are terrific to work with and bring so much energy to the event."

    "We were thrilled to be a part of this terrific event," said Rob Hamilton, Veterans Place Director of Operations. He continued, "People don't realize that veterans are more than twice as likely as civilians to become homeless during their lifetimes. We estimate that about 20% of homeless adults are veterans. This event gives us a chance to raise awareness of the issue and the money raised helps us help veterans transition from Homeless to Home."

    Dave Hanson, Executive director of the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center said, "I'm so amazed that what started as a small event four years ago has grown into such a huge impactful event. It shows the power of combining the business community, Robert Morris University facilities, and dedicated volunteers to produce results like these for our homeless veterans. The Robert Morris University family is happy to support Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard and all their efforts to get our Veterans back on their feet again."

    "I'm so glad we can do something to support veterans. This year's event was even better than last year's," said Ed Sickmund, "and last year was terrific." He continued, "These brave individuals and their families sacrifice so much; it's on us to give back. Veterans Place has a vision to end homelessness among Pittsburgh's veterans. We applaud that vision and know that the money raised by Pittsburghers at this event is put to good use providing critical services."

    Rochelle Burgunder, General Manager Fire Division for Cintas has been involved from the beginning and loves the comradery this event brings to Cintas from each division and department. "It's truly the best time of the year for me because it generates so much excitement from our Cintas partners who jump at the opportunity to be involved in helping our veterans," she said. "And we continue to have terrific support from area businesses."

    About Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard:
    Veterans Place is dedicated to ending homelessness among veterans here in the Pittsburgh region. Founded in 1996 and located in Pittsburgh's East End, Veterans Place works to help vets become engaged, valuable citizens who contribute to their communities. Since its inception, Veterans Place has provided more than 18,000 client days of service to veterans living in Pittsburgh's emergency shelters and on the streets. The average monthly census is 44. Veterans Place's 75% success rate of achieving permanent housing and employment for vets is the highest among similar programs across the nation. To learn more or make a donation, visit or call 412-363-0500.

    About MyWay Mobile Storage:
    MyWay Mobile Storage is the leading provider of moving and storage solutions and is located in a spacious 27,500 square foot facility in West Mifflin, PA to better service their customers in the metropolitan Pittsburgh area. They provide quick and easy do it yourself moving containers that can be delivered right to your door and stored in their climate controlled, secure storage facilities. To learn more, visit or call 888-336-9929 to speak with a Moving & Storage Consultant. Reported by PRWeb 3 hours ago.

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    'This initiative seems to have little market clout': Wall Street's confused by the Buffett-Dimon-Bezos healthcare push · *Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan are teaming up to form an independent, nonprofit venture that'll be focused on healthcare for their US employees. *
    · *Exactly what this new company looks like remains to be seen. *
    · *This isn't the first time large employers have banded together to form healthcare companies that take on the rising cost of healthcare. *

    --------------------Three massive employers are forming a new company to take on the "hungry tapeworm" that is healthcare costs in the US. 

    On Tuesday, Amazon, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan said they plan to form the new venture, which will be focused on building technology solutions that will provide "simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost" to US-based employees and their families. 

    Based on how few details were in the release about what this company looks like, the stock market's reaction looks quite dramatic. The news sent healthcare stocks plummeting on Tuesday morning, especially health insurers and members of the pharmaceutical supply chain. 

    Piper Jaffray health services analyst Sarah James wrote that she didn’t expect this new company to have a big impact on healthcare, especially given how past efforts haven’t made many waves. “Many have tried, but few have succeeded," she said. "We do not expect this JV to be a meaningful disruptor to the industry, despite the stock reaction indicating that it is.”

    Barclays analysts said they didn't view "the consortium approach as the right one when we look at technology disrupting an incumbent sector," but added that "we are never dismissive of anything disruptive that Amazon is involved in."

    And RBC Capital Markets analyst George Hill said in a note: "At first glance this initiative seems to have little market clout with respect to impacting healthcare costs and would not seem to have the capability to displace established players."

    For one, this isn't the first time employers have banded together in the name of lowering healthcare costs.

    For example, 20 companies that cover about 4 million people formed the Health Transformation Alliance in 2016. The group has since swelled to more than 40 companies, covering 6 million lives, including Coca-Cola, American Express, and Macy's. 

    The intent behind forming the alliance was similar to Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JPMorgan's: "To improve the way corporations provide health care benefits in an effort to create better health care outcomes for their employees."

    So far, that's meant a few key projects for the alliance. In March 2017, HTA announced that it was setting up a new partnership around prescription drug benefits, working with pharmacy benefit managers (companies that help negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs) to help come up with a plan that suited the alliance members. The HTA also said it'd be working to build new medical networks and using data — in partnership with IBM Watson Health — that would ideally help lower costs and improve outcomes. 

    *Redrawing the lines of healthcare*

    The boundaries of the healthcare business have been changing. Instead of growing by acquiring other companies in the same business, companies have started to move into new lines of business, with no two combinations looking exactly the same. 

    CVS's acquisition of Aetna, for example, sent a big shockwave through the healthcare industry. The move combined the largest pharmacy in the US with the third-largest insurer in what was the biggest deal of 2017. 

    Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini took the new venture created by JPMorgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway as a step in a similar direction. 

    “There is an unmet consumer need in health care. Individuals and families want a simple, affordable and high-quality experience that helps them stay well," Bertolini said in a statement on Tuesday. "Our combination with CVS Health will help address those needs at the local level, and I am encouraged to see other companies working toward the same goal.” 

    And in January, a group of hospitals, including Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, Ascension, SSM Health, and Trinity Health, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs health administration (a group that in total represents 450 hospitals) announced their plans to create a nonprofit generic drug company. 

    Their rationale? For years, health systems have been on the hook for skyrocketing drug prices for injections or drugs delivered through IV solutions, medications that have also been at the heart of drug shortages. The two challenges have made it harder to treat patients the way doctors want. 

    It's possible that the new company created by JPMorgan, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway will similarly redefine the way we think about healthcare, though it'll likely take a few more details to entirely figure it out. Analysts on Tuesday met the news with skepticism. 

    "While we find the combination of these companies as intriguing, we do not see how the companies disrupt the healthcare status quo immediately," RBC's Hill said.  "We believe that the power to drive change at a rapid pace resides only in Washington, where we see little chance of regulatory directed change emerging in the near term."

    *SEE ALSO: Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan are creating a new healthcare company to tackle the 'hungry tapeworm' of rising costs*

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Netflix is headed for a huge profit milestone in 2018 Reported by Business Insider 2 hours ago.

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    Five-day event allows local entrepreneurs to network and hear from experts in their field; celebrity entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk to headline event at Tampa Theatre

    TAMPA, Fla. (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    Techstars will hold its fourth annual Startup Week Tampa Bay from Feb. 12 to 16 at various locations throughout the Tampa Bay area. This five-day event is open to all local entrepreneurs who want to network with their peers and hear from experts on how to start and grow their business.

    This year’s event features 14 custom industry tracks ranging from cyber security to food and beverage. Attendees will experience networking socials, panel discussions, and expert speakers who specialize in various industries.

    Celebrity entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, Gary Vaynerchuk, will headline a marquee event on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Tampa Theatre where he will offer lessons and inspiration on how entrepreneurs can build thriving businesses and extraordinary personal brands.

    Other top sessions for the week include:· Florida Startup Pitch Competition to National Investors featuring Chuck Papageorgiou, angel investor in the Tampa Bay community; Stewart Berton, partner, Murray-Bertron LLC; Marc Blumenthal, partner, Florida Funders; Tom Cardy, managing partner, Aixos Tech LLC; Kathy Chiu, managing director, FAN Fund; Gary Langton, managing partner, QS Investment Fund and CEO/co-founder, IntelliChief; Kailah Matyas, managing partner, Redwood Partners; Lance Raab, founder/CEO, Tampa Bay WaVE; and Michael Reene, board member/senior corporate strategist and innovation development consultant, Self (Chase Basecamp)
    · Angel Investing: How to Become a Business Investor featuring Tonya Elmore, president and chief executive officer, Tampa Bay Innovation Center and TEC Garage; David Chitester, founder, Florida Funders; and Victor Liu, angel investor (Funding & Growth)
    · Effectively Transitioning to Entrepreneurship with Rosie Lee, director of Operation Startup (Veterans)
    · Why Creating Compelling & Targeted Content is Key with Liz Newman, content and digital branding strategist (Food & Beverage)
    · Stylish Transitions with Roberto Torres, founder of Black & Denim and Blind Tiger Café (Fashion & Style)…

    ...and many more in tracks for: cyber security, entrepreneurial foundations, health and wellness, PR/marketing, social enterprise, talent acquisition, and web development. Plus, activities at Chase Basecamp and marquee events. Primary location venues for this year’s events are: Rialto Theatre in downtown Tampa and Station House in St. Petersburg.

    “Every year we try to bring interesting and creative content where people can learn something new, be inspired by one another, and get motivated to launch or continue an entrepreneurial pursuit, current project or goal,” says Gracie Stemmer, marketing director for Truhair and co-lead of Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay. “There’s something for everyone at this year’s event. The tracks are going to be awesome and we look forward to hearing from Gary V. and all of the participants this year!”

    All Startup Week Tampa Bay events are free to attend, however, spots are limited and interested attendees may register at:

    “We can’t wait for this year's event,” says JR Griggs, president of Red Wall Marketing and co-lead of Techstars Startup Week Tampa Bay. “I've had the honor of being involved for three years now and it just keeps getting better. We have a ton of amazing content and we are all excited about the impact it has on the community."

    Chase is the founding partner for Techstars Startup Week in cities across the country and this is the fourth year the bank is sponsoring the event in Tampa Bay.

    “Tampa Bay is continuing to emerge as a major hub for startup companies with so many entrepreneurs choosing to grow their business here,” says Michele Grace, head of Chase Business Banking in the South. “As a member of the local community, we are proud to sponsor Techstars Startup Week for the fourth consecutive year and participate in sessions that will help our local entrepreneurs succeed.”

    In addition to hosting the event with Gary Vaynerchuk, Chase will hold a panel on how to access flexible capital and also host daily mentor hours with local bankers and legal experts.

    To learn more about the featured tracks, dates, and times, please visit: For interview requests, images, or additional information, please contact: Nancy Vaughn or Kyia Evans at press(at)whitebookagency(dot)com or via phone at: 813.252.0295.

    About Startup Week Tampa Bay
    Techstars Startup Week™ Tampa Bay is a free five-day celebration with over 100 events led by entrepreneurs and hosted in Tampa Bay’s hottest entrepreneurial spaces. The purpose of this event is to celebrate our community’s dedication to building momentum and opportunity around entrepreneurship. This action-packed week brings thousands of entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together to grow our community’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Techstars Startup Week™ Tampa Bay is where Tampa Bay comes to build skills, meet incredible people, and launch successful startups. Learn more at

    Media Contacts:
    Nancy Vaughn or Kyia Evans, White Book Agency
    E-mail: press(at)whitebookagency(dot)com
    Phone: 813.252.0295

    -END- Reported by PRWeb 2 hours ago.

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    ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The chief of surgery for the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center has stepped down following allegations of retaliation and bullying last year. The News-Review reports that an email sent to VA employees Monday announced Chris Curry as the acting chief after Dinesh Ranjan voluntarily left the position. Ranjan referred questions to […] Reported by Seattle Times 16 minutes ago.

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    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Army veteran who was shot during a confrontation inside a Veterans Affairs clinic in Oregon where he went to seek help for mental problems was in jail Tuesday, charged with attempted assault, unlawful use of... Reported by New Zealand Herald 23 hours ago.

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    A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer, shows that opioid prescribing has dropped after a peak in 2012. Lead author Katherine Hadlandsmyth of the Iowa City VA Healthcare System and the University of Iowa in the US further noted that the decline was mostly due to decreases in long-term opioid prescribing, which carries much greater risk for harmful side effects, addiction and overdose, relative to short-term prescribing.

    In contrast, studies of general US health care outside the VHA have shown decreases in short-term opioid use, but potential increases in long-term use.

    Hadlandsmyth and her team analyzed VHA prescription data from 2010 to 2016, which included more than four million veterans per year. In 2010, opioids were prescribed at least once to 20.8 percent (962,193 out of around 4.63 million) of them. By 2016, this figure dropped to 16.1 percent (803,888 of 4.99 million) of veterans who received outpatient prescriptions for opioid products such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and fentanyl.

    After describing overall opioid prescribing, more detailed examination of the data focused on long-term opioid use, which accounted for about 90 percent of VHA opioid prescriptions during the study period.

    This analysis revealed a decrease in the percentage of veterans who received long-term opioid treatment in the VHA system from 9.5 percent in 2012, to 6.2 percent in 2016.

    According to Hadlandsmyth, this was not because many existing long-term users stopped taking opioids, but principally because fewer veterans receiving new opioid prescriptions went on to become long-term opioid users. The likelihood of a veteran becoming a new long-term opioid user decreased overall from 2.8 percent in 2011 to 1.1 percent in 2016.

    Hadlandsmyth argues that the improved prescribing patterns might be the result of recent initiatives by the VHA emphasizing opioid safety and non-opioid alternatives for chronic pain treatment. Since 2010, VHA has provided clinical practice guidelines to medical practitioners about how best to use opioids to manage chronic pain, and how to select and monitor patients. These guidelines include suggestions on how to wean patients off opioid medications if treatment goals are not reached.

    The VHA now also considers complementary treatments and multimodal therapy options for pain management, including behavioral, chiropractic and stepped care. In addition, the VA Opioid Safety Initiative implemented in 2013 sets out specific clinical safety targets aimed at reducing high-dose opioid use and concurrent benzodiazepine prescription, as well as the monitoring of patients via urine drug screens and inspection of state prescription drug monitoring databases.

    “Future work to understand precisely which initiatives have most positively impacted opioid prescribing would be necessary to maintain effective approaches within VHA,” added Hadlandsmyth, who further believes that other healthcare systems might learn from the VHA example. Reported by Eurasia Review 18 hours ago.

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    Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

    Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams. That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action. A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

    Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.

    Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success. We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined. We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship. We endured floods and fires and storms. But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

    Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

    We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

    We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

    We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania. Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives. Thank you, Ashlee.

    We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg. He is here with us too. David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

    To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

    Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally. With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later: the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

    We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

    In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people. But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

    Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a frontier, we cross it. If there is a challenge, we tame it. If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

    So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

    And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

    Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

    Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

    Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

    And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

    Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

    To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit.

    A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

    This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

    We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans. We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

    We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

    Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

    Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

    One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder. Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in congratulating Corey.

    Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

    This is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

    So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

    Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

    We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

    Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

    In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is “in God we trust.”

    And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.

    Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day. He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes. Preston: a job well done.

    Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans. Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.

    Americans love their country. And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.

    For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

    Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

    We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

    And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

    I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

    All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

    In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

    We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world.

    In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

    Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.

    Exciting progress is happening every day.

    To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.

    We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

    People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

    One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.

    America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.

    The era of economic surrender is over.

    From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.

    We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

    And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.

    As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

    America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

    I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

    Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

    Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

    Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

    Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

    We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.

    We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

    As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

    As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.

    Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

    For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

    Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

    Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

    Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

    The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

    So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.

    Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country: Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets. At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder. But he did not cave to threats or fear. Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island. His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.

    CJ: Great work. Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.

    Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

    In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

    Here are the four pillars of our plan:

    The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

    The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

    The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

    The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

    In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

    It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

    These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

    For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

    Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

    These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

    In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

    My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

    As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

    We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

    In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: “You will do it — because you can.” He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

    Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.

    As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.

    Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

    For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

    As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

    Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.

    Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight. Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.

    Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion. Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape. He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway. He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.

    Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior. Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas. Raqqa is liberated. And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.” Staff Sergeant Peck: All of America salutes you.

    Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. When possible, we annihilate them. When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

    In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.

    So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

    I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.

    Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.

    Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

    Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition. American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

    That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

    As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.

    When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent. America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.

    I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

    My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.

    But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.

    North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.

    We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

    Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.

    We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

    Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.

    Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.

    Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime. His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

    In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians. He had — and he resolved to be free.

    Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

    Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

    Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.

    Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

    It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves. That they could chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the world.

    That is what our country has always been about. That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.

    Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom. She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.

    Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.

    Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond. And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.

    And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.

    A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

    They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

    But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

    Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

    Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.

    As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

    As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

    Our families will thrive.

    Our people will prosper.

    And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

    Thank you, and God bless America.

    THE WHITE HOUSE, Reported by Eurasia Review 16 hours ago.

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    A look at President Donald Trump's statement Tuesday night on Department of Veterans Affairs firings and how it compares with the facts: TRUMP: "Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Reported by 15 hours ago.

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