Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAs our children bleed out, bones shattered on classroom floors, as families live with jagged holes left by lives cut short or barely lived, I refuse to be the shoulders onto which you pass the buck.I will do my job and more. I will knit mittens for tiny fingers that have none. I will buy snacks for bellies that would otherwise go without. I will wipe tears, bandage knees, discipline, encourage and cheer. I will teach. I will lie awake in the small hours of the morning, running through nightmare scenarios. And heaven forbid, should the unthinkable happen, I will stand in front of and protect those tiny bodies with my last breath. What I won’t do is absolve you of your responsibility. I voluntarily served in a job, a lifetime ago, that required I be ready and willing to pick up a weapon in defense of you and others. This isn’t that job. I will not pick up a weapon to do this job while you stuff blood-stained dollar bills in your back pockets.Thank you, but my co-workers and I have more than enough to do. This is the job you volunteered for, and you have a constitutional and moral obligation to do it. You will not lay the burden of this responsibility at my classroom door. Tracy CiminoSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, music
Lebanese rescue teams pulled out bodies and hunted for missing people on Wednesday from the wreckage caused by a massive warehouse explosion that sent a devastating blast wave across Beirut, killing at least 135.Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared three days of mourning from Thursday as early investigations blamed negligence for the explosion at Beirut port, which has left tens of people missing and injured more than 5,000 others.Up to a quarter of a million people were left without homes fit to live in, officials said, after shockwaves smashed building facades, sucked furniture out into streets and shattered windows miles inland. The death toll was expected to rise from the blast, which officials blamed on a huge stockpile of highly explosive material stored for years in unsafe conditions at the port.The explosion was the most powerful ever in Beirut, a city still scarred by civil war that ended three decades ago and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections. The blast rattled buildings on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, about 100 miles (160 km) away.”No words can describe the horror that has hit Beirut last night, turning it into a disaster-stricken city,” President Michel Aoun said in an address to the nation during an emergency cabinet session.Aoun said 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, was stored for six years at the port after it was seized. Topics : The government was “determined to investigate and expose what happened as soon as possible, to hold the responsible and the negligent accountable,” he said.An official source familiar with preliminary investigations blamed the incident on “inaction and negligence”, saying “nothing was done” by committees and judges involved in the matter to order the removal of hazardous material.The cabinet ordered port officials involved in storing or guarding the material to be put under house arrest, ministerial sources told Reuters.Officials have not confirmed the origin of an initial blaze that sparked the explosion, although a security source and local media said it was started by welding work.’Collapse of Lebanon’For many, the blast was a dreadful reminder of the 1975-1990 civil war that tore the nation apart and destroyed swathes of Beirut, much of which had since been rebuilt.Ordinary Lebanese, who have lost jobs and watched savings evaporate in the country’s financial crisis, blamed politicians who have overseen decades of state corruption and bad governance.”This explosion seals the collapse of Lebanon. I really blame the ruling class,” said Hassan Zaiter, 32, a manager at the heavily damaged Le Gray Hotel in downtown Beirut.Relatives gathered at a cordon to Beirut port seeking information on those still missing as the search continued. Many of those killed were port and custom employees, people working in the area or those driving nearby during the Tuesday evening rush hour. Some victims were hurled out to sea by the powerful blast.The Red Cross was coordinating with the Health Ministry to set up morgues as hospitals were overwhelmed. Health officials reported that hospitals were running out of beds and equipment to attend to the injured.Beirut’s Clemenceau Medical Center was “like a slaughterhouse, blood covering the corridors and the lifts,” said Sara, one of its nurses.Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud told Al Hadath TV that collective losses from the blast might reach as high as $15 billion, including indirect losses related to business. “This is the killer blow for Beirut, we are a disaster zone,” said Bilal, a man in his 60s, in the downtown area.The World Bank Group said on Wednesday it would work with Lebanon’s partners to mobilize public and private financing for reconstruction and recovery. It was unclear what effect the disaster would have on the country’s difficult negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, however.Offers of international support poured in.Gulf Arab states, who in the past were major financial supporters of Lebanon but recently stepped back because of what they say is Iranian meddling, sent planes with medical equipment and other supplies.Turkey said it would send 20 doctors to help treat the injured, as well as medical and relief assistance. Iraq pledged fuel aid, while Iran offered food and a field hospital.Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted: “We sympathize with the dear Lebanese citizens and stand by them in the painful tragedy of the Beirut port explosion … Patience in the face of this incident will be a golden leaf of honor for Lebanon.”The United States, Britain and other Western nations, which have been demanding political and economic change in Lebanon, also offered aid. Germany, the Netherlands and Cyprus offered specialized search and rescue teams.Two French planes were expected to arrive on Thursday with specialist rescue personnel and equipment, and President Emmanuel Macron was due to visit on Thursday.Food security”This is a catastrophe for Beirut and Lebanon,” Mayor Jamal Itani told Reuters while inspecting damage.The port district was left a tangled wreck, disabling the nation’s main route for imports needed to feed a nation of more than 6 million people.The country’s main grain silo at the port was destroyed in the blast and Beirut Governor Abboud said a crisis might develop without international intervention.Lebanon was already struggling to house and feed refugees fleeing conflict in neighboring Syria and has no trade or other ties with its only other neighbor Israel.”On a scale, this explosion is scaled down from a nuclear bomb rather than up from a conventional bomb,” said Roland Alford, managing director of British explosive ordnance disposal firm Alford Technologies. “This is huge.”The blast also prompted the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Wednesday to postpone its verdict in the trial over the 2005 bombing that killed ex-Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri to Aug. 18. The tribunal’s decision had been expected this Friday.The U.N.-backed court put on trial four suspects from the Iranian-backed Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah. Hariri and 21 others were killed by a big truck bomb in another area of the Beirut waterfront, about 2 km (about one mile) from the port.White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the US government had not totally ruled out the possibility that Tuesday’s explosion was an attack, and said it is still gathering intelligence on the blast.
Governor Wolf Urges Pennsylvanians to Take Precautions During Extreme Cold Weather Press Release, Public Safety, Transportation, Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and state officials today warned residents to stay safe while outdoors this week as temperatures are forecast to be below zero with wind chills making it feel like it is minus 35 degrees in many locations throughout Pennsylvania beginning overnight tonight through Thursday.“As always, safety for Pennsylvanians and travelers to our state is my priority,” Gov. Wolf said. “And dangerously cold weather means staying inside as much as possible, paying attention to weather forecasts, and checking on friends and neighbors, especially the elderly.”The current forecast predicts the winter storm to spread several inches of snow across the commonwealth starting today and lasting through Tuesday afternoon. After the storm, from Wednesday into Thursday, gusty winds and extremely cold temperatures will make for conditions that can cause hypothermia and frostbite in just a few minutes of being outdoors.Hypothermia and frostbite are two dangerous, potentially fatal, conditions that can occur during extreme cold weather. Signs of hypothermia, an unusual drop in body temperature, include shivering, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color, most often in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes, and can permanently damage your body or lead to amputation.“It is going to be dangerously cold this week, and you can get frostbite or hypothermia from being outside for just 10 minutes,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said. “Put staying safe and warm at the very top of your to-do list for the next couple of days. If you must be outdoors, know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and cover all exposed skin.”The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says wet clothing can accelerate a hazardous drop in body temperature. To protect against this and the extreme cold, know how to layer clothing properly.The CDC says effective layering involves:Inner Layer: This layer goes against your skin and should hold body heat and not absorb moisture. Choose materials made of wool, silk or polypropylene instead of cotton.Insulation Layer: This layer retains your body heat to keep you warm. Fabrics which work best include natural fibers like wool or goose down. Synthetic fleece can also be effective. This is often known as a “soft shell.”Outer Layer: Think of this as your “hard shell.” It protects you from wind, rain, and snow. It should preferably be water and wind resistant to reduce the loss of body heat.The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is maintaining contact with county emergency management personnel to ensure that they have the resources needed to keep citizens safe. PEMA staff, along with personnel from other state agencies, are ready to provide any necessary state agency assistance when needed.In anticipation of forecasted snow and extreme cold, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued road restrictions to increase safety, reduce accidents and allow PennDOT crews to maintain roads uninhibited. A map of current road restrictions can be found here.To help make decisions regarding winter travel, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 860 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.A vehicle emergency kit should be prepared or restocked containing items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger, and a small snow shovel. Motorists should tailor their kits to any specific needs that they or their families have such as baby supplies, extra medication, and pet supplies.Motorists should be aware that all vehicles should be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.When winter weather occurs, PennDOT urges drivers to be extra cautious around operating snow-removal equipment. When encountering a plow truck, drivers should:Stay at least six car lengths behind an operating plow truck and remember that the main plow is wider than the truck.Be alert since plow trucks generally travel much more slowly than other traffic.When a plow truck is traveling toward you, move as far away from the center of the road as is safely possible, and remember that snow can obscure the actual snow plow width.Never try to pass or get between several trucks plowing side by side in a “plow train.” The weight of the snow thrown from the plow can quickly cause smaller vehicles to lose control, creating a hazard for nearby vehicles.Never travel next to a plow truck since there are blind spots where the operator can’t see, and they can occasionally be moved sideways when hitting drifts or heavy snowpack.Keep your lights on to help the operator better see your vehicle. Also remember that under Pennsylvania state law, vehicle lights must be on every time a vehicle’s wipers are on due to inclement weather.In addition to driving safely around plows, motorists are urged to drive according to conditions. If motorists encounter snow or ice-covered roads, they should slow down, increase their following distance and avoid distractions. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows that there were 440 crashes resulting in 221 injuries on snowy, slushy or ice-covered roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.PennDOT has created a Winter Safety media center, including social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter driving preparations and operations at www.penndot.gov in the “Media Center” under the “About Us” footer.For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT’s winter operations including a video, visit PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at PennDOT.gov/safety.To report an accident or other emergencies on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone. If there is an accident, move the car out of travel lane and onto shoulder, if possible, and stay in the vehicle. For more information about PA Turnpike conditions follow the conversation by using www.paturnpike.com/travel/twitter. You may also see advisories by clicking on the travel ticker on www.PATurnpike.com.Residents with low incomes are encouraged to see if they qualify for participation in the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program, overseen by the Department of Human Services, helps some families pay their heating bills. For more information and to apply visit the Department of Human Services at www.dhs.pa.gov.Information about hypothermia and frostbite, as well as additional information on how to stay safe during and after a snowstorm, can be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.health.pa.gov or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. January 29, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
Related Mali rebel groups to sign peace deals France wants Mali armed groups sanctioned for peace deal delays Its been almost two months since a peace deal was signed to stop violence in the country. The deal signed in Algeria was to see the disarmament of government allied armed groups. But that is proving an uphill task for the joint forces. CCTV’s Leslie Mirungu reports. South Sudan forces and armed militia clash
Press Association Trusts from Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Charlton, Fulham and QPR – as well as two clubs who failed in bids to take over the stadium in Leyton Orient and Tottenham – all called on the Government to open a case but their request was thrown out on Thursday. “West Ham United has a concession at the stadium and their contributions reflect that status. The contract, awarded after an open public competition, has been widely scrutinised and tested in court,” a statement released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport read. “The stadium remains in public ownership (E20 Stadium LLP – a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council) and the profits from its multiple uses will flow to the taxpayer. “The agreement with West Ham United, including their contribution to transformation costs and rent, followed an open competitive process, which was delivered under EU rules, conducted visibly and exposed to significant scrutiny. “The outcome has been tested in the courts and upheld. As the winning bid this constituted the best available return for the taxpayer and secures the commercial viability of a national asset for the next 100 years.” While West Ham will host all of their home matches at the stadium, which will sport West Ham livery and colours, British Athletics also have a deal to take control of the arena for one month every summer – with the likes of the Anniversary Games and the 2017 World Athletics Championships set to be hosted there. The Hammers will take on a 99-year deal as anchor tenants starting from next season but the decision to hand West Ham the keys to the stadium has been questioned ever since it was first announced two and a half years ago. A BBC documentary aired last month pointed out how much West Ham would be saving due to their agreement with the London Legacy Development Corporation and, since then, eight supporters’ groups started a petition for an inquiry into the details of the decision. The Government has rejected a request from a host of supporters’ clubs for an inquiry into West Ham’s move to the Olympic Stadium.
“What happens in two weeks, and what happens next month, I try to avoid that because I don’t want to go crazy,” said Flores, whose Watford side are an impressive 11th in the Premier League table. “I don’t have an idea about Liverpool, I don’t want to know about Manchester City. I don’t want to know about Chelsea and I don’t want to know about Tottenham. “My main focus for the staff and players is to try to translate what kind of match we want to play at the weekend. “We have to play against all teams in the league, so three points against Norwich is the same value as three points against Liverpool. The most important thing is to be ready and to be competitive again against Norwich.” After back-to-back defeats against Leicester and Manchester United, Watford – in their first season back in the Premier League since 2007 – returned to winning ways with a 3-2 victory at Aston Villa last weekend. Norwich, who are 16th heading into Saturday’s match, stand in Watford’s way of winning two games on the bounce for the first time in the league this season. But Flores is braced for a stern test against the Canaries, who thumped Watford 3-0 in their home and away fixtures in the Championship last term. “We respect Norwich,” Flores added. “We analyse their team and it is very similar to our team. It is compact, they fight a lot and they are very physical. The Hornets entertain Norwich in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday before travelling to Sunderland for their next match. But after their visit to the Stadium of Light, Watford face Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and then Manchester City in successive matches over the Christmas period. Press Association “Norwich is a very good opponent so our target is just to focus on this match. We can underestimate this kind of teams. This is a very tough team and we have to fight a lot. “The big teams are ready to win every weekend – for other teams it is more difficult – but we have the possibility for the fourth time to win this season in two consecutive matches and this is very important for us.” Flores is hopeful goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes will be fit to face Norwich on Saturday. Gomes was taken off on a stretcher and a neck brace in his side’s win at Villa before being given the all-clear following a hospital scan. Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores fears he will go “crazy” if he starts to look at his side’s challenging festive fixture list.
GW looks for home win vs La Salle Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditWhatsappLa Salle (12-13, 3-10) vs. George Washington (12-14, 6-7)Charles E. Smith Center, Washington; Saturday, 4 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: George Washington looks for its fourth straight win over La Salle at Charles E. Smith Center. The last victory for the Explorers at George Washington was an 80-71 win on Feb. 2, 2013. Associated Press February 20, 2020 SAVVY SENIORS: La Salle’s Isiah Deas, Scott Spencer and Saul Phiri have combined to score 38 percent of the team’s points this season, including 40 percent of all Explorers scoring over the last five games.EXCELLENT ED: Across 25 appearances this season, La Salle’s Ed Croswell has shot 59.5 percent.WINLESS WHEN: George Washington is 0-8 this year when it scores 61 points or fewer and 12-6 when it scores at least 62.COLD SPELL: La Salle has lost its last five road games, scoring 65.4 points, while allowing 74.6 per game.LOOSENING UP: George Washington’s offense has turned the ball over 12.8 times per game this year, but is averaging 16.8 turnovers over its last five games.___ For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com
POUDEROYEN FC and Fruta Conquerors U-20 teams are the first through to the semi-final stage of the Turbo Knockout Football tournament.The first match of the two days of quarter-final action was played at the Ministry of Education ground on Friday evening.The first game was a tense affair between Pouderoyen and Buxton U-20.Both sides tried furiously to open the scoring and there were several close encounters, but the first half ended scoreless.The second half ended the same way, resulting in extra time which saw the West Demerara-based side score first through a Darrell Abrams intervention.Troni Semple brought things level in the 106th minute with his strike sending the game into penalties.In the end, it was Pouderoyen who advanced 6-5, ending the Buxton U-20s’ run in the tournament.In the second game Fruta Conquerors U-20 edged out Buxton 3-2 at the final whistle.The ever-present Nicholas McArthur opened the scoring for the U-20 side in the 21st minute with Ryan Hackett doubling it up in the 46th minute.An own-goal by Joel Yhap gifted Buxton their first goal and Shemar Scott in the 71st brought the game level again as the fightback continued.However, the game that looked likely to follow the extra-time trend was changed by Osafo Simpson in the 88th minute.The second set of quarter-final matches will pit Riddim Squad vs Northern Rangers from 19:00hrs tonight while Santos U-20 and GFC will clash at 21:00hrs.
The following incidents were reported in the Department of Public Safety incident report summary between Thursday, Oct. 22, and Friday, Oct. 23. Crimes against a personAt 4:26 p.m. on Oct. 22, it was reported that a patient at the Keck Hospital of USC reported that an employee slapped his hand. The patient will not be pressing criminal charges against the employee.Crimes against propertyAt 9:03 a.m. on Oct. 22, a vehicle was reported as vandalized at 36th Street and Catalina Street. The student’s car was scratched with a hard object.At 10:40 a.m. on Oct. 22, a student reported that an unknown suspect had made unauthorized purchases with the student’s personal credit card.At 10:50 a.m. on Oct. 22, a student’s bicycle was reported as stolen off campus at 1211 37th Dr.At 4:55 p.m. on Oct. 22, a student’s laptop was stolen from the University Gateway Apartments.At 8:23 p.m. on Oct. 22, a student at the New/North Residence Hall reported that a suspect had entered his room and vandalized his TV and laptop. No property was stolen.Miscellaneous incidentsAt 3:15 p.m. on Oct. 22, a student near the Health Sciences Campus reported that she believed her boyfriend had installed spyware on her computer.At 12:09 a.m. on Oct. 23, it was reported that a student was taken to a local hospital to be treated for intoxication. The student, who was picked up at the Row, was underage.At 3:17 p.m. on Oct. 23, it was reported that a staff member who sustained injuries during a fall was transported to a local clinic for treatment.
Source: ESPN The Philadelphia 76ers fired coach Brett Brown on Monday, sources tell ESPN.Brown’s dismissal is expected to be a precursor for more upheaval for the 76ers, whose senior leadership — including general manager Elton Brand — will begin exploring changes in the front office structure, sources said.The franchise’s plan is that Brand will continue to oversee basketball operations, sources tell ESPN.Among the Sixers senior leadership, there’s still a strong desire to keep the franchise’s two young All-Stars — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — together, sources said. The Sixers are determined to let a new coaching staff search for ways to maximize Embiid and Simmons together before even entering into a discussion on trade scenarios.Brand met with Brown on Sunday night in Orlando and conducted exit interviews with players before traveling back to Philadelphia on Monday morning after the Boston Celticscompleted a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference first-round series. This was the 76ers’ third straight playoff appearance under Brown, but the loss of Simmons in the seeding games to a knee injury and surgery was a significant blow to their playoff chances.Brown is still owed several million dollars on the remainder of his contract.The Sixers plan for a head coach will focus on LA Clippers assistant Ty Lue, sources said. Lue won a championship in 2016 as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ head coach, and his ability to challenge and command the respect of high-level players makes him attractive to the Sixers — and others — in this job market.Another possible candidate the Sixers are expected to gauge interest in, sources said: Villanova’s two-time national championship coach, Jay Wright.The search is expected to expand beyond those two candidates, but Lue fits the profile of an extremely limited pool of candidates with championship, playoff and high-profile star coaching experience.Brown is well-respected figure inside and outside the organization and credited with shepherding the franchise through the darkness of The Process and eventually into Eastern Conference playoff contention. After seven seasons on the job, there was a sense that the organization had gone as far as it could with Brown — a decision that he privately expected his superiors to reach short of a deep playoff run, sources said.The Sixers reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2019, losing on a Game 7 buzzer-beater in overtime to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors.The 76ers made dramatic roster moves in the past two years — including acquiring and then moving All-Star Jimmy Butler to Miami — and have a payroll and luxury tax bill projected to be among the highest in league history for 2020-2021.