Thursday, August 31, 2017

11 Staggering Numbers That Help To Put The Harvey Catastrophe Into Perspective

I was reading this article on Huffington Post, and I thought you might be interested in reading it, too.

11 Staggering Numbers That Help To Put The Harvey Catastrophe Into Perspective

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/11-numbers-harvey_us_59a84d12e4b07e81d35622aa

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One-In-1,000

Harvey is a one-in-1,000 year flood event ― meaning it's extraordinarily rare. 99.9 percent of the time, such an event will never happen in a given year, Shane Hubbard, a Wisconsin researcher who made the calculation told The Washington Post.

30,000-40,000

The estimated number of homes that have been destroyed due to the impact of Harvey, said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett ― who is also the director of Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management ― to ABC News. The full tally of homes destroyed and damaged is still unknown. During a Thursday press briefing, White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert estimated that 100,000 homes were affected by Harvey and the subsequent flooding. 

This article has been updated to include the estimate from Bossert.

More @ link


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Wild weather sweeps over Southern California, causing lightning and thunderstorms



Thunderstorms, lighting and rain swept over the Inland Empire Thursday as blistering heat blanketed Southern California.


LOS ANGELES - Thunderstorms, lighting, rain and strong winds swept through the Southland Thursday as an intense heat wave and monsoonal moisture created the wild weather.

The moisture first moved into the Inland Empire, bringing sudden and heavy rains, lightning strikes, winds and thunder.

The storms then moved into Los Angeles County, with reports of rain in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Castaic, Santa Clarita and other areas.

An electrical storm reported in the Santa Monica area prompted the closure and evacuation of all ocean and beach areas. It was unclear when they would be reopened.

Flash flood warnings were issued for San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and Riverside County also had a severe thunderstorm warning.

A lightning strike caused a massive power outage in Colton, leaving at least 50,000 people without power in the heat.

In Corona, the area was hit with heavy rains, hail and thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service in San Diego tweeted out a photo of a line of power poles down on Corydon Street in Wildomar.


Monsoonal moisture had moved into the state, triggering the thunderstorms and lightning.

Forecasts showed high pressure causing the heat to be almost stationary, meaning the severe weather conditions will stick around for some time.

The risk of storms could increase if Tropical Storm Lidia, south of Baja California, sends more monsoonal moisture into the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Service providers pipe up over cuts Agencies fear loss of federal funding Julia Brownley meets

Service providers pipe up over cuts

Agencies fear loss of federal funding Julia Brownley meets


FACE TO FACE—U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Thousand Oaks) participates in a special meeting Aug. 24 at City Hall. BECCA WHITNALL/Acorn Newspapers

FACE TO FACE—U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Thousand Oaks) participates in a special meeting Aug. 24 at City Hall. BECCA WHITNALL/Acorn Newspapers

Representatives from several area social service providers gathered at City Hall last week to lobby U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Thousand Oaks) against proposed cuts to the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

Lutheran Social Services, which has an office in T.O., told the congresswoman it relies on CDBG funds to pay for a full-time caseworker assigned to help the city's homeless and nearly homeless.

"Many people don't believe we have kids who come to school from a car after stopping at a gas station to clean up," said Denise Cortes, LSS area director. "We'd lose the ability to help those most in need in our community."

WORRIED—Social service providers attend a forum hosted by the City of Thousand Oaks on Aug. 24 to learn from U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley about the state of the president's budget proposal, which includes deep cuts in domestic spending. Courtesy of City of Thousand Oaks

WORRIED—Social service providers attend a forum hosted by the City of Thousand Oaks on Aug. 24 to learn from U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley about the state of the president's budget proposal, which includes deep cuts in domestic spending. Courtesy of City of Thousand Oaks

The Aug. 24 meeting was arranged by City Councilmember Joel Price, who had the idea after attending a National League of Cities conference in Cleveland in June. Although the league suggested that council members relay concerns from service providers to their federal representatives, Price decided to cut out the middleman and ask Brownley to meet with them in person.

"I thought it would be a good idea . . . if we could all be in the same room and have our congresswoman here," he said.

Other county agencies and nonprofits to attend last Thursday's meeting—like Habitat for Humanity, Many Mansions, Westminster Free Clinic, Conejo Recreation and Park District, and the Ventura County Area Housing Authority and Area Agency on Aging—use federal funds to offer services to the community's low-income and at-risk populations.

Victoria Jump, director of the Area Agency on Aging, told Brownley there already isn't enough funding to feed all of the in-need seniors in the county, a population whose numbers have increased by 5 to 7 percent each year since 2014.

"We continue to see a great increase in our population without the funding to provide services," she said. "For us, it's trying to figure out who is not going to receive the meals."

Calling the meeting enlightening, informative and "very, very helpful," Brownley said she hadn't realized how extensively CDBG funding was used to help local residents.

"I want to assure everyone, without hesitation, I will be fighting for all these necessary funds," she told the Acorn.

The congresswoman reminded attendees that a president's proposal is only a first pass at a budget.

"It is ultimately Congress' responsibility to put a budget together and finalize a budget and put that budget back on the president's desk for a signature," she said. "I think I have heard from both sides of the aisle that this proposal is dead on arrival."

Having worked behind the scenes with members of both major parties, Brownley said, she imagines that, while there will be changes in the budget, she anticipates they won't be huge.

"If I were a betting person, I would say we are probably going to end up with a budget that is similar (to the last one)," she said. "We've all witnessed surprises over the last seven or eight months here, but I think sound heads within Congress will prevail at the end of the day and we should end up with a budget that is a do-noharm budget."

City involvement

In July, the Thousand Oaks council verbally committed to taking an active role in opposing block grant cuts included in President Trump's 2018 budget proposal. At the time, veteran Councilmember Andy Fox said this was a rare instance that begged for the city to get involved in a federal issue.

"Our eye on the ball is serving our constituents here in Thousand Oaks, and these monies go directly to them, and we know they're not wasted," Fox said at the July 11 council meeting.

Councilmember Rob McCoy was less enthused about the city getting involved in the debate, saying that federal spending had increased 90 percent under the Obama administration and that with $19 trillion to $20 trillion in national debt, "we've got to make some cuts."

"I realize that these are in some way draconian, but we're in a state where we have to do something," he said, adding that the burden should fall on the private sector.

"But we're also watching as the ability of the private sector to participate in those nonprofit opportunities is . . . (being limited) because the tax burden is so high. So there's a balance in this somewhere," he said.

AP Mobile: 'Easy money' made selling Army weapons stolen by US soldiers

'Easy money' made selling Army weapons stolen by US soldiers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - More than $1 million in weapons parts and sensitive military equipment was stolen out of Fort Campbel...

Read the full story

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'Easy money' made selling Army weapons stolen by US soldiers 


Update at 12:16 PM

By: KRISTIN M. HALL


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - More than $1 million in weapons parts and sensitive military equipment was stolen out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and sold in a vast black market, some of it to foreign buyers through eBay, according to testimony at a federal trial this week.

The equipment - some of it re-sold to buyers in Russia, China, Mexico, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Ukraine - included machine gun and rifle parts, body armor, helmets, gun sights, generators, medical equipment and more.

John Roberts, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was being tried Wednesday in Nashville on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to steal and sell government property, and violating the Arms Export Control Act. Six soldiers and his civilian business partner made plea deals in exchange for their testimony.

That former business partner, Cory Wilson, testified that they would find soldiers selling military items through classified ads or on Facebook, and then ask them for more expensive and harder-to-find items. It was "fast easy money," Wilson said.

The soldiers they targeted were often young and broke or needed money for drugs, Wilson said, so "there were a lot of items and good money to be made."

Wilson said Roberts set up multiple accounts to sell the equipment on eBay. They removed packaging that identified it as government property and used fake descriptions on shipping labels to avoid suspicion, he said.

Under questioning from Roberts' defense attorney, David Cooper, Wilson acknowledged that he initially lied to investigators about knowing the equipment wasn't allowed to be shipped overseas.

Michael Barlow, a former Fort Campbell platoon sergeant who pleaded guilty to theft of government property and conspiracy, testified that they started small, but eventually escalated to truckloads of military equipment. He said Roberts even gave him a "Christmas list" of items he wanted the soldiers to steal in Afghanistan and bring back to the United States.

"They wanted more and more, mostly weapons parts," Barlow testified.

Barlow said his company came home with five large cargo containers filled with equipment as the U.S. military drew down troops and closed bases in Afghanistan. Barlow said he and other soldiers sometimes got $1,000 to $2,000 per truckload.

One non-commissioned officer was even charging civilian buyers $500 to come onto Fort Campbell to select items for purchase, Barlow said.

The conspiracy allegedly continued from 2013 into 2016. Text messages between the soldiers and the civilians pointed to regular meet-ups to swap cash for ballistic plates, helmets, scopes and gun sights, according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sarah Perry, an agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Command.

One sergeant, identified in court as "E5 Rick," texted Roberts about going on "hunting trips" while on duty, which meant he was breaking into cars to steal equipment, Perry testified on Tuesday.

The Army identified about five surplus stores around Fort Campbell that were selling military equipment through backdoor deals, she said.

Roberts' defense attorney David Cooper asked Perry if she could prove that the equipment offered on eBay, or that Roberts had pictures of on his phone, was stolen from Fort Campbell. Perry said that in many cases she could not, because many of the stolen items did not have serial numbers, but were similar to items reported stolen.

Another former Fort Campbell soldier, Jonathan Wolford, testified on Wednesday that he and another soldier, Dustin Nelson, took about 70 boxes of weapons parts and other gear, some of it labeled with the name of their company, to Wilson and Roberts, who paid them $1,200.

They were both in charge of their company's arms supply room at the time, Wolford said, and started selling equipment that wasn't listed in the company's property books, including machine gun barrels, M4 rifle parts, pistol grips, buttstocks and other items typically used to repair weapons.

Asked in court why he didn't ask for more money, Wolford said, "I was making a little bit of money. I didn't pay anything for it."



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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Here's What You Need To Know About Hurricane Harvey

I was reading this article on Huffington Post, and I thought you might be interested in reading it, too.

Here's What You Need To Know About Hurricane Harvey

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hurricane-harvey_us_59a4a85ee4b0446b3b86056c

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Re: WHY I STOPPED READING THE NEWSPAPER..........

Can't believe  these are all real newspaper headlines / stories 

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On Aug 28, 2017, at 10:45 PM, Siraj Khan <khansaheb2@aol.com> wrote:

There was a time when my day would not even start unless I had read at least the headline news in the morning. But then something happened....and this was way before Al Gore and the internet came along.

Siraj
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education - Mark Twain


  <ATT00503.jpg><ATT00506.jpg><ATT00509.jpg><ATT00512.jpg><ATT00515.jpg><ATT00518.jpg><ATT00521.jpg><ATT00524.jpg><ATT00527.jpg><ATT00530.jpg><ATT00533.jpg><ATT00536.jpg><ATT00539.jpg><ATT00542.jpg><ATT00545.jpg><ATT00548.jpg><ATT00551.jpg><ATT00554.jpg><ATT00557.jpg><ATT00560.jpg><ATT00563.jpg><ATT00566.jpg><ATT00569.jpg><ATT00572.jpg><ATT00575.jpg><ATT00578.jpg><ATT00581.jpg><ATT00584.jpg><ATT00587.jpg><ATT00590.jpg><ATT00593.jpg><ATT00596.jpg><ATT00599.jpg><ATT00602.jpg><ATT00605.jpg><ATT00608.jpg><ATT00611.jpg><ATT00614.jpg><ATT00617.jpg>


MAY NEWSPAPERS (and TRUMP) CONTINUE TO ENTERTAIN US ALWAYS.

__._,_.___
 
 


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Nursing Home Residents Seen Sitting In Waist-High Water Before Rescue

I was reading this article on Huffington Post, and I thought you might be interested in reading it, too.

Nursing Home Residents Seen Sitting In Waist-High Water Before Rescue

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nursing-home-residents-rescued_us_59a30b62e4b05710aa5cf1be

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Many people initially suspected that the dramatic photo was a fake. The residents in the picture appeared unusually calm, despite water that was reaching their chests. One woman even appeared to be knitting.

One Twitter user responded to naysayers by identifying her own aunt in the photo.

"If you think it's fake [because] they appear 'calm' then I suppose you're lucky enough to have never been in severe flooding with someone disabled," she tweeted. "One woman enjoys knitting, so that's what she's doing. What else should she do? Many are in wheelchairs or use walkers for short distances."

An official with the Galveston Office of Emergency Services confirmed that the photo was real, ABC affiliate KTRK reported. First responders performed a helicopter rescue on Sunday afternoon, according to the Galveston Daily News.

"We were air-lifting grandmothers and grandfathers," David Popoff, Dickinson's emergency management coordinator, told the local paper.

As for why the residents weren't evacuated before the storm, Kim McIntosh told the New York Daily News that her mother was advised not to because the facility had never flooded before.

HuffPost was not immediately able to reach the facility for comment.


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Musharraf’s event at London university ‘cancelled’ over protest fears Dawn aug 22 17


Gen Pervez Musharraf&#39;s party says the event has only been postponed.— File
Gen Pervez Musharraf's party says the event has only been postponed.— File

LONDON: The University of London will not host former president Gen Pervez Musharraf who was due to speak at a recording of a Dunya TV programme tomorrow [Thursday] at one of the university's leading institutions, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

The event was billed as a question and answer session on topics such as the 1999 takeover, the war on terror, Nawaz Sharif's disqualification and the army's tough stance on India.

Opponents of the retired general objected to the university providing a platform to the former military ruler. There were fears that there might be not only protests but also an attempt to disrupt the event.

In a statement, SOAS suggested that technically it had not cancelled the event since it had never been booked properly or cleared in the first place. It said SOAS "...had no involvement in either organising or in standing down this event. We are aware that one student made a room booking request for this date and then subsequently withdrew it of their own volition. Any suggestion that we in some way cancelled or withdrew support for the event is incorrect."

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But a Facebook page in the name of the Pakistan Solidarity Campaign UK suggested the university had come under pressure over the event. The Pakistan Solidarity Campaign said that, together with likeminded organisations, it had approached the university administration and submitted a letter demanding that the event be cancelled. When the cancellation was announced, the Pakistan Solidarity Campaign posted a message saying: "It's a victory and special credit goes to those progressives in London who dedicatedly pursued this case."

According to the central information secretary of Gen Musharraf's All Pakistan Muslim League, Sam Ali Dada, this was not true.

"The event scheduled at SOAS has not been cancelled but postponed for a few days as many people wanted to attend and Gen Musharraf will be in London for more than a week," she told Dawn.

"It was supposed to take place this week but due to a large number of responses the university and TV channel host decided it would be better to postpone it," she added.

However, Baloch activists celebrated the cancellation of the event. Abdul Nawaz Bugti who's verified twitter account describes him as the 'Baloch Republican Party's rep at UNHCR' tweeted: "Thanks to @SOAS for not allowing war criminal #Musharraf use their platform. People like @P_Musharraf belong in jail not in Universities".

Others regretted not being able to see the retired general perform. The co-founder of the hardline nationalist group the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, tweeted: "University of London cancels Musharraf's event over protest fears… Gutted I was going to this."

The university's decision followed the disruption of an event in Norway in which Gen Musharraf was speaking on August 17. Having given a speech to around 150 people in Oslo, the retired army chief was engaged in a question and answer session which became too rowdy for the hosts, the Nobel Peace Centre.

Supporters of Gen Musharraf reportedly tried to prevent questions too critical of him being asked.

In a statement delivered the next day, the Nobel Peace Centre explained that: "As the floor was opened for questions, the discussion between Musharraf's followers and opponents escalated. When some participants attempted to silence and remove critical voices, we decided to stop the event."

The Nobel Peace Centre said that even though Gen Musharraf had been invited to Norway by another organisation — the Dialogue for Peace — it was nonetheless responsible for the event because it was happening on its premises.

"We want different, also critical, voices to be heard. We will not accept open debate to be hindered…" the centre said.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2017