News briefs: What to know locally, nationally and globally



Gov. Cuomo delivers speech at UB

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed expanding UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences during his regional State of the State Address on Jan. 9 at UB.

Cuomo spoke to roughly 1,800 invited guests in the Center for the Arts. He proposed allocating $20 million to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to support the university’s plans to expand the medical school’s class size by its 25 percent goal, according to a UB news release.

He also discussed his initiative to expand the Metro Rail from the UB South Campus station to Amherst. Cuomo also looks to set aside $40 million to develop an Innovation Hub on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Cuomo received a standing ovation when he discussed his proposal to make college tuition free for New York State middle-class families at all SUNY and CUNY colleges and universities.

UB’s online programs climb in ranking

UB’s online programs in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) and School of Nursing continue to improve in U.S. World News and Report rankings.

The GSE was ranked No. 10, an increase of 33 spots from last year’s ranking. This ranking places the GSE among the highest rated online graduate programs in the country.

The School of Nursing’s online Bachelor’s degree program also climbed the ranks at No. 21. This is the third year in a row that the School of Nursing’s online program has significantly improved in ranking.


Buffalo Bills hires new head coach

Sean McDermott was introduced as the official head coach of the Buffalo Bills on Friday afternoon after former head coach Rex Ryan was fired in December, according to The Buffalo News. McDermott was previously the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator and has 16 years of coaching experience.

The Bills are “in the process” of hiring former NFL coach Leslie Frazier as their defensive coordinator.

Buffalo teachers call for removal of Carl Paladino from Board of Education

A statement calling for the removal of Carl Paladino from the Buffalo Board of Education was released on Friday by the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF), according to WIVB.

The federation and Council of Delegates unanimously passed the resolution on Thursday.

They said they will legal assistance from New York State if necessary.

Buffalo celebrates 120 years of Tesla hydroelectric power

Nikola Tesla discovered 120 years ago how to transmit hydroelectric energy from Niagara Falls to the city of Buffalo, according to The Buffalo News. Some researchers define this as a turning point for Buffalo and groundbreaking.


President Obama delivers farewell address

President Barack Obama delivered a farewell speech on Jan. 12 in which he expressed his hope for the future of the U.S. Obama spoke to a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters in Chicago, often encouraging unity and solidarity during his speech.

Obama also discussed race relations in the U.S., stating that although the country is still largely affected by racial issues, it has also improved. He said blacks and other minorities groups must understand "the middle-aged white man, who from the outside may seem like he's got all the advantages, but who's seen his world upended by economic, cultural and technological change."

The president grew emotional and wiped tears from his eyes as he thanked First Lady Michelle Obama for being his “best friend” throughout the last eight years. He also thanked Vice President Joe Biden for being his “brother” throughout his presidential journey.

Vice President Biden confirms briefing on claims against Trump with Obama

Vice President Joe Biden confirmed on Jan. 12 that he and President Obama received a briefing by intelligence officials regarding the “unsubstantiated claims,” that Russia has made against president-elect Donald Trump, according to CNN. Russia has claimed to have compromising information the the president elect.

Top intelligence chiefs gave both Obama and Trump a two-page synopsis of all the the claims made against the president elect, CNN reported. The briefings were derived from a 35-page report made by a former British intelligence operative, Russian sources claimed. Although Biden’s office confirmed that the briefing occurred, they said neither the vice-president or Obama requested further information regarding the unverified claims.

Dylann Roof sentenced to death

White supremacist Dylann S. Roof was sentenced to the death penalty on Jan. 10 by a federal jury.

Roof killed nine black churchgoers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church located in South Carolina, in a racially-motivated rampage roughly 19 months ago, according to The New York Times. The federal jury consisted of nine white people and three black people. The same federal jury found Roof guilty of 33 separate counts for the attack last month.


President Obama ends exemptions for Cubans who arrive without visas

President Obama announced on Thursday that he is ending a 22-year-old policy that allowed Cubans who arrive in the U.S. without visas to remain in the country and gain legal residency, according to The New York Times.

The policy known as the “wet foot, dry foot" policy forced Cubans caught migrating by sea to return home, but allowed those who reach U.S. soil to apply for legal residency.

Cubans who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally and do not qualify for humanitarian relief will be subject to removal, effective immediately. 

“By taking this step, we are treating Cuban migrants the same way we treat migrants from other countries,” Obama said in a statement.

Thousands protest power cuts in Gaza

Roughly 10,000 people took to the streets on Thursday to protest chronic power cuts in the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip, according to ABC news. In recent months, Gaza’s residents have only received about three or four hours of power per day.

The demonstration, which began in the Jebaliya refugee camp, ended at the offices of an electricity company, where demonstrators chanted “raise your voice, electricity cuts mean death.”

Thursday’s protest was the largest unauthorized protest to take place in the area since the Hamas took power a decade ago. The demonstration was quickly contained.

News desk can be reached at