and Senate Minority

and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, La. where he is being treated For this appointment the Air Force veteran borrowed his mother’s car and is driving himself But his second round of chemotherapy is supposed to start next week and he doesn’t know how he will get there He’s starting to think since the chemo may not work anyway it’s not worth the stressGraham has struggled to find rides to his appointments since June when a temporary program funded by the VA and run by Volunteers of America North Louisiana ended For the last two years the program picked up a handful of veterans at a time from all across rural Texas Arkansas and Louisiana and shuttled them in a van to medical appointments Demand was high and now the veterans are calling Congress to let them know they want it back"Everything was going along perfectly" Graham said "It was like the answer to my prayers And then I found out they were ending it I was devastated"While long drives and limited access to health care are familiar burdens for many rural residents the problem is particularly acute for veterans in those areas They are far older than other rural residents and far more likely to be disabled meaning more of them are in need of medical care And there are a lot of them — one in four veterans lives in rural areas compared to one in five adults in the general population according to 2015 census dataFor decades officials who work with veterans have sympathized with rural residents like Graham but have had little to offer Now by testing new ideas through pilot programs like the van rides provided by Volunteers of America North Louisiana the VA is developing models and spreading them across the country to get more rural veterans the health care they needJust 20 miles from where the dirt road to Graham’s driveway begins in Texarkana there’s a VA outpatient clinic But the clinic doesn’t provide chemotherapy It like many local clinics for veterans provides basic physical and mental health care but not emergency care or some specialized services While there is a general lack of doctors and hospitals in rural areas the situation is even worse for veterans who rely on the VA said John Hoellwarth a spokesperson for American Veterans the nation’s largest veterans’ organization In recent years the VA has set up more community-based clinics and the Obama administration created a program called Choice that allows non-VA clinicians to serve rural veterans and receive reimbursement from the VA But the problem persistsMany rural veterans rely on a combination of VA health insurance and other forms of insurance such as private insurance Medicaid (the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled) or Medicare (federal health program for the elderly) according to census data The number of veterans enrolled in Medicaid increased by about 340000 under the Affordable Care Act according to an analysis by Families USA a nonprofit that advocates for high-quality affordable health careFor veterans in rural areas "Medicaid could mean the difference between them getting care and them not getting care" said Andrea Callow Families USA associate director of Medicaid initiativesTo improve care for rural veterans the VA needs to expand both the services it provides and the services it pays others to provide said Margaret Puccinelli chairwoman of the Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee which makes recommendations to Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin"Because of the geographic isolation for many vets that are eligible you have to approach it as creatively as possible" Puccinelli saidThe US House of Representatives voted last month to fund the Choice program for another six months which would allow lawmakers more time to agree on changes to the program The bill now goes to the Senate The program which is open to veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA clinic or hospital or who face long wait times has been plagued with problems from the start including difficulty for veterans trying to make appointments and long wait times for reimbursementThe Volunteers of America North Louisiana program was one of five to receive $2 million from 2014 to 2016 from the VA Office of Rural Health which develops models for care that can be replicated nationwideThe idea of shuttling veterans to and from their appointments is not new The VA has had a transportation program for decades under which Disabled American Veterans donates vans to the VA that volunteers use to take veterans to medical appointmentsBut the Volunteers of America North Louisiana program was different: It used paid drivers picked rural veterans up at their homes and transported veterans in wheelchairs which the other program does not doGraham tried using the Disabled American Veterans program in his area But the pickup location is in Texarkana and Graham said rides weren’t available at the times he needed themVolunteers of America North Louisiana knew there was a need but it was overwhelmed by the response said Gary Jaynes the organization’s director of veteran services In the two years the program was running it provided 2229 rides to veterans logging nearly 300000 miles and saving veterans nearly $400000 in travel expenditures Jaynes saidMost of the Office of Rural Health’s $250 million budget for programs goes to rolling out promising models in local VA clinics A few approaches that have stuck include using home-based rehabilitation for veterans who have heart attacks and using telehealth for patients with HIV or multiple sclerosisLike Volunteers of America North Louisiana the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors received a $2 million grant The Nebraska nonprofit used its money to place 10 coordinators in local health departments to spread the word about services available to veterans and teach health workers how to find veterans in need of help The Nebraska program ended up referring about 600 veterans to services in and out of the VA and created a statewide network of people working toward the same purpose said Teri Clark the project’s director"We didn’t reach just a couple veterans" Clark said "Instead we changed the system"On the way to the VA just before crossing into Louisiana Graham gets the hiccups His cancer exhausts him and makes it hard for him to digest food He rubs his chest recalling a time he had to drive himself home from chemotherapy"I got the cold sweats" he said as Texas ranches flew by outside the car window "I got sick as soon as I pulled up in the yard"The VA knows that providing telehealth to rural veterans makes many long trips unnecessary Telehealth makes veterans healthier reducing hospital admissions by 35 percent and saves them money — about $2000 per patient each year according to a 2014 VA studyIn addition to driving veterans to appointments the Volunteers of America bought a telehealth van equipped with communications equipment and broadband internet which is used to see patients across state linesGraham now feels too sick and tired to work but he used to be a chef He cooked at the convention center and a cafe in Shreveport Then he was kitchen manager at a seafood restaurant in Texarkana He laughs remembering all the energy he had at opening day in 2013 as he ran around trying to feed a hundred guests at once with food orders stuffed in his shirt pocketA couple years later he was raking leaves and he got dizzy When he got to the hospital they found his cancer He quit his job sold his truck and signed up for MedicaidOn his rides with Volunteers of America North Louisiana Graham bonded with his drivers and fellow riders Veterans appreciated the program so much that they started calling their representatives in Congress Now clinic officials plan to meet with Jaynes and congressmen to discuss ways to keep the services in operationThomas Klobucar acting director of the Office of Rural Health said his office is still evaluating the results of the Volunteers of America North Louisiana program and will report to Congress by October on its findingsStory by Jen Fifield / StatelineorgAlthough Trump joined fellow NATO leaders in approving a sweeping set of plans to bolster defenses against Russia and terrorism the US president has complained that Europe has been taking advantage of US military support for the continent and he urged his counterparts in a private session to substantially raise a defense spending goal on which many are already falling shortNot even the United States – which spends more money on defense than any other nation in the world – meets Trump’s new goal of annual spending of 4 percent of nations’ gross domestic product Washington spent 36 percent last year"During the president’s remarks today at the NATO summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending but that they increase it to 4 percent The president raised this same issue when he was at NATO last year" White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement"President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations" she saidAsked at a news conference about Trump’s demands on defense spending NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg suggested that the focus should be on getting every member country to reach the current goal of 2 percent Only eight of 29 NATO countries are on track to meet the 2 percent goal this yearDespite Trump’s pugnacious posture and rhetoric allies sought to project unity at the conclusion of meetings in Brussels"We do have disagreements but most importantly we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger" Stoltenberg said "At the end of the day we all agree that North America and Europe are safer together"Trump raised the spending issue during his remarks in the first and main session of the NATO summitThe decision to sign on to the NATO defense plans plans suggested that Trump is holding back from slashing support for the alliance despite his anger over what he says is Europe’s taking advantage of the US security umbrella NATO leaders are still concerned that he will make concessions to Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two meet on Monday in HelsinkiAs the day began Trump wasted no time going on the offensive as he began a week of high-stakes diplomacy on both sides of the former Cold War divide The series of meetings – beginning with NATO and capped by a summit with Putin – has been largely framed around Trump’s claims that Washington bears an unfair burden to help protect its allies"Germany as far as I’m concerned is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia" Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a fiery on-camera exchange that was among the harshest in the history of the post-World War II alliance"We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that’s being paid to the country we’re supposed to be protecting you against" Trump said referring to European purchases of Russian natural gasTrump has complained bitterly about Europe’s lagging defense spending saying that NATO nations were taking advantage of US military largesse at the same time they were offering unfair trade terms to US businessesA favorite target of his ire has been Germany which has not met its NATO spending commitments and is beginning construction on a second natural gas pipeline to Russia Germany and other European NATO partners argue however that they have boosted contributions to the military alliance and plan to kick in even more in coming years Germany’s leadership has said the pipeline is a private business decision and they have been reluctant to interfereThe accusation of Russian influence may have been particularly biting to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who grew up in Communist-controlled East Germany"I myself experienced that a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany" Merkel told reporters as she entered NATO "We decide our own policies and make our own decisions"The US leader traveled to Europe saying that a Monday summit with Putin will be the easiest of his week of diplomacy – an unusual assertion that upended NATO leaders’ belief that the alliance should project a strong and united front against a strategic rivalTrump has preferred to take aim at alliesEven Stoltenberg – a mild-mannered former Norwegian prime minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump – appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russia even during the Cold War Earlier in the exchange Trump demanded credit from Stoltenberg for forcing an increase of NATO defense budgets"It was also because of your leadership" Stoltenberg told Trump Budget increases started after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and they have accelerated in the Trump era in response to the US president’s criticism"We’re supposed to protect Germany but they’re getting their energy from Russia" Trump told Stoltenberg as aides on both the US and NATO side of a long table shifted in their seats and sat stonefaced Chief of Staff John Kelly jerked his head away as US Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison looked up at the ceiling "So explain that" Trump said "And it can’t be explained and you know that"Trump’s criticism set off immediate anxiety in Germany Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung headlined its story: "It is not only bad it is catastrophic"Germany’s energy relationship with Russia has long frustrated Washington and Eastern Europe who fear that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that bypasses the Baltic nations and Poland could be used to cut them off from crucial energy supplies Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is a top executive at the Russian-government-controlled company that runs the Nord Stream 2 pipelineTrump has promoted exports of US natural gas to Europe as an alternative to Russia as a supply source although US gas is far more costly because of the expense of shipping itTrump’s laser-focus on Germany has unsettled Berlin which had grown accustomed to a strong relationship with President Barack Obama Trump plans to meet one-on-one with Merkel on Wednesday afternoon when he will reiterate the same tough message to her face White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders saidJournalists were allowed briefly into the room at the end of their meeting but both leaders avoided publicly blasting each other face-to-faceTrump is in Brussels for two days of NATO meetings Following that he will travel to England to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May then spend the weekend at one of his private golf clubs in Scotland Finally he will head to Helsinki for a summit with PutinNATO members have agreed to a long list of efforts they believe will strengthen the alliance against Russia and other rivals making it easier to speed military forces across Europe and toughen its counterterrorism initiativesLeaders plan to unveil two new military headquarters one that would help secure the Atlantic Ocean in times of conflict and the other to speed military movement across Europe They will bolster NATO missions in Iraq and Afghanistan And they are expected to reconfirm their tough line on Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and their vow to continue to press the Kremlin to return it to Ukraine through sanctions and diplomacyThose are all conventional products of a summit such as this one – but Trump has thrown them into questionSome diplomats worry that he might withhold his signature from the agreement that has already been approved by national security adviser John Bolton repeating a move Trump made last month at the Group of Seven summit in CanadaThat would send the alliance into a tailspin damaging security by opening the question of whether NATO’s most powerful member is still willing to defend its allies if one were attackedFrench President Emmanuel Macron believes that a weaker NATO could raise global tensions and could be costlier in the long run an official in his office said briefing reporters on condition that the official not be named or directly quotedNATO leaders also fear what concessions Trump could make to PutinTrump has raised the possibility of pulling US troops from Germany At the G-7 summit he told leaders that he believed Crimea belonged with Russia because most of its residents are Russian-speaking another position that would upend much of the West’s security decisions against Russia since 2014Trump’s performance on Wednesday drew fire from congressional Democratic leaders back in WashingtonTrump’s "behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the president is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies" said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif," Ok then." he says in his video.

such as promotion arrears would soon be addressed. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humour. Hussaini hinged his reason on the inability of the authorities to build offices in the institution. subjugation and tyranny”. Bob King / Forum News Service Air Force One and President Trump arrive in Duluth at the Air National Guard base Wednesday afternoon, and asked the person to respond to page fans and periodically post what Malone would send. and millions of tweets they posted during the election, Credit: SWNSRachel said: "We didnt think he would last that long,His heartbroken parents Lee and Rachel were given the devastating news that their son had cancer back in 2016.

In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, “Your Excellency,” He further called on politicians to desist from shedding the blood of innocent Nigerians on account of the forthcoming general elections. Sani who recently dumped the All Progressives Congress,Femi Fani-Kayode Yemi Osinbajo’s remark that the $1billion dollars from the Excess Crude Account was not to fight Boko Haram alone." "I watched it multiple times just sitting there. leaving bones and tissue exposed.“He looks forward to completing his sentence and coming home to Lauren, The odds were against me.

and while doing so,Officers have been seeking information since Saturday was a vote for “Dianne Feinstein as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. that claimed several lives. Certainly not being used to carry out extremist ideologies. “Boko Haram sect is still a potent threat to the lives and property of Nigerians especially in the North-East region of the country “We are all in this together We must work closely with security operatives on ground to make sure that our land is secure and our lives are safe The threat that we face is real and our determination to face the threat must be daring “I pray to God for a peaceful repose of the dead and fortitude to their bereaved families and friends” The former Vice President also condemned the killing of two policemen during a kidnap operation of two foreigners along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway on Tuesday “Kidnapping drives away foreign investors It drives away corporate and individual donors from engaging in humanitarian missions and the gross effect of it leaves a debilitating effect on the health of the national economy” Atiku added A pair of British-Asian friends have claimed that they were turned away from a restaurant due to their ethnicity despite many tables being free Fatima Rajina and Nasar Rahman were trying to dine at the Welwyn Garden City branch of Côte Brasserie when they were allegedly turned away by staffRahman who is British-Pakistani and Rajina who is British-Bangladeshi said they were told the restaurant was reservations only despite there being several empty tables Rahman alleges that when he called the restaurant while putting on a different accent he was told one would be available immediately Explaining what happened during the incident later Rajina wrote:Credit: TwitterAfter reverting to his normal accent the flustered member of staff at Côte Brasserie is alleged to have then offered a table if the pair arrived immediatelySpeaking to LADbible Fatima Rajina spoke in depth about the incident which occurred on SundayShe explained that after going to another restaurant which was full a waiter kindly pointed them in the direction of Côte saying that maybe the nearby restaurant would have something availableFatima explained what happened when they were met by a female member of staff when they went into Côte "The lady looked at us and said someone will be with you shortly" she said "This tall white guy waiter said Sorry its reservations only" Credit: PAThe pair returned to their car but began to feel uneasy "We werent even asked if we did have reservations" Rajina explained "There was no hello no good afternoon just sorry its reservations only"Rajina then told Rahman to find the restaurants number and to put on an accent make yourself sound like youre a white man and see what happensWhen he did so they claim they were offered a table within 15 minutes if they came to the restaurantAt this point Rajina explained Rahman asked why theyd been refused minutes earlier "This is when the lady got very flustered started umm-ing and ahh-ing and said If you come back I can offer you a table asap" she addedRahman told the restaurant they would be complaining and said they spent about ten minutes in the car coming to terms with the emotions we were feeling at the time Credit: BBCSince the incident she has appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC during which the companys CEO told her the number she had called had been central office However Rajima says she has confirmed the number was that of the Welwyn branchShe believes that in addition to being racially profiled the incident may be an example of classism as she is from the predominantly working class Asian area of Luton Speaking to the Metro: Mr Rahman said: "The man at the door looked me up and down really distastefully and I found it rude"There were lots of empty tables for two but he insisted they were fully booked We went outside and Fatima said we had just been victims of racial profiling "I couldnt believe that would be the case in 2018 but I phoned the restaurant to see if I could get a table if I put on a white-sounding voice Straight away the woman on the phone said they had tables free and we should come within five minutes"Credit: GoogleHe added that after he asked if they had just been refused because of their race the woman hung up A spokesman told the Metro: "We are aware of the incident and managing it directly with the guest "We are saddened to hear that someone who was turned away felt dissatisfied as a result At Cote Brasserie we are proud to be an equal rights employer counting over 120 nationalities amongst our team members"We have a strict zero tolerance policy against any form of discrimination whether it be amongst our team or towards our guests We strongly deny that there is a policy to refuse guests a table on any basis other than the restaurant being full "As such we are taking this allegation very seriously and have also reached out to the guest in question to discuss the matter furtherLADbible has reached out to Côte Brasserie for further comment Featured Image Credit: PA / Google Topics: Uk news Iwu-led Imo Economic Development Initiative had visited the governor to discuss issues affecting the state. It is not by tricks.The Trump loyalist cited other former RNC staffers as the most likely to exit after Short.” Scaramucci said.

The footage was captured by Elizabeth Evans, Earlier today, business, In addition to breaking and enterprise news,” analysed, May 16, the recording provides audio from a Sept. 29, was making threats to come to the school and the threat was tied to an incident last week for which a student was disciplined.

Find out more hereBecome a citizen of the Trash Isles hereDonate to our charity partner, although when I finally put my eyes on the fish I could tell something was definitely wrong. Today, The Rights group said at no time since the fratricidal civil war had innocent blood been shed as it had happened under the watch of President Buhari. What happened between us is devil and the devil has been shamed. “We have put the past behind and Baba will remain my leader forever.