News Sparks: Cuomo Receives Monthly State Pension; Recently Released Jewish American Journalist Lights Public Menorah

News Sparks: Cuomo Receives Monthly State Pension; Recently Released Jewish American Journalist Lights Public Menorah

By Yehudit Garmaise

Cuomo Receives a Monthly Pension from the State

Not only did Andrew Cuomo secure a $5.2 million contract for “writing” a memoir the leadership lessons he learned throughout pandemic, but now the disgraced former governor has begun collecting a pension check in the amount of $4,219.11 every month, confirmed a spokesman for state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“The pension benefit is the kind of thing that infuriates the public,” said Republican state Sen. Dan Stec.  “People have been very upset, and they will be even more furious when they read in the paper he is collecting his pension now."

In 2020, Cuomo’s annual salary was $225,000, but now the former governor’s annual benefits add up to $50,629.32, which, plus the future costs of living adjustments, is the amount he will receive from the state for the rest of his life.

New York elected officials, however, who are convicted of public corruption in connection with their official duties, as Cuomo may be, can have their pensions revoked or reduced.

Beverly Hills Residents Find anti-Semitic Fliers that Claim a “Jewish COVID Agenda” 

Police in Beverly Hills, Calif., have launched an investigation after residents found in their front yards, anti-Semitic fliers that claimed, “Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish, before listing the names of specific Jewish Americans.

Among the names listed were leaders of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in the US government, who were blamed for a “COVID conspiracy,” said the Beverly Hills Police Department, who found the fliers strewn across several blocks. 

The fliers, which were enclosed in plastic bags with rice, so that they would not fly away, contained "propaganda-style hate speech related to the COVID pandemic and the Jewish people," said Beverly Hills Police officers, who said they conducted extra patrols in West Los Angeles yesterday “to ensure a safe holiday season.” 

Pfizer Gets to Work on New Vaccine to Fight the Omicron Variant

While the vaccines have shown to effectively fight the Delta variant, healthcare experts cannot foresee exactly how the highly-mutated Omicron variant of COVID-19 will fare against the current inoculations.

Omicron has not yet entered New York or the US, however, Pfizer has already started working on a version of its COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant: just in case the current inoculation is not effective against the new strain, said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. “On Friday, we made our first DNA template, which is the first possible inflection of the development process of a new vaccine. 

Bourla also said that Pfizer is testing the efficacy of its current vaccine against the Omicron variant, which was first reported in South Africa and reignited fears of a global wave of COVID-19 infections.

“I don’t think the result will be the vaccines don’t protect,” Bourla said, but the testing could show that the existing shots “protect less,” which means that, “we need to create a new vaccine.”

Freed From Myanmar, American Journalist Lights Public Menorah

After Danny Fenster, a Jewish American journalist who was jailed for six months for reporting honestly in Myanmar, a military-run country in southeast Asia, was released on Nov. 15, he returned to his home in Huntington Wood, Mich.

Former US diplomat Bill Richardson helped negotiate the release of Fenster, who is 37. and who was happy to be home in suburban Detroit.

“I can’t imagine a better community to come home to,” Fenster said. “And it’s just made an already great, joyful situation even more joyful. Just had a lot of love and appreciation back home here in Detroit and metro Detroit, in the Jewish community and the wider community. It’s just been incredible.”

Last night, in a public candle lighting to which Fenster was invited to join, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that Fenster’s safe return made this year’s Chanukah events the most special they have ever been.

“This truly is a Happy Chanukah in Detroit,” Mayor Duggan said before the lighting the menorah. “God bless you.” 

“It wasn’t a theme I thought about before the timing of my release and the timing of this event, but I think there’s that obvious connection with bringing light to darkness in journalism,” Fenster told the Detroit Free Press. “The things that I was arrested for, being part of the news organization that’s trying to shed light on a very dark regime, seems obviously resonant to me.

Photo by: Lensky Photo

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