Monday, August 30, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Hurricane Ida Leaves NOLA Without Power

COASTAL COMMUNITIES INUNDATED: Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, just before noon local time Sunday afternoon as a powerful Category 4 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. As it moved through southeastern Louisiana before heading into Mississippi, Ida inundated coastal communities in Louisiana, with some residents of Jean Lafitte on their roofs waiting for rescue boats, and people from other flooded communities also calling for help. At least one death in the town of Prairieville was blamed on the hurricane. 

Ida left all of the city of New Orleans and more than one million people in Louisiana overall without power as of early this morning. Power supplier Entergy said that the only power in New Orleans was coming from generators. Barges broke free due to Ida, with one that got loose hitting a bridge in the town of Lafitte, and the Mississippi River was experiencing the rare phenomenon of a reverse flow. Ida was so powerful that more than 12 hours after it made landfall, it was still a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 miles per hour early this morning in southwestern Mississippi.

➤U-S DRONE STRIKE BLOWS UP VEHICLE WITH ISIS SUICIDE BOMBERS TARGETING KABUL AIRPORT: A U.S. drone strike blew up a vehicle Sunday that Americans officials said was carrying, quote, "multiple suicide bombers" from ISIS-K, Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate, before they could attack Kabul's airport, where the ongoing evacuation of Americans and at-risk Afghans continues. An Afghan official said three children were killed by the drone strike, and the U.S. said it's aware of reports that there were civilian causalities and is assessing the results. The targeted strikes comes after 13 U.S. servicemembers and dozens of Afghans were killed in a terrorist attack last week outside the Kabul airport by ISIS-K, and two days before the U.S. is set to end its two-week-long airlift. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department released a statement signed by some 100 countries, as well as NATO and the European Union, saying they'd received assurances from the Taliban that people with travel documents would still be able to leave the country after the U.S. completes its withdrawal.

L-A Daily News 8/29/21
➤BIDEN AT DOVER AS BODIES OF 13 TROOPS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN RETURNED: President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were at Dover Air Force Base yesterday for the return of the bodies of the 13 U.S. troops killed in the suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan last week. Before the "dignified transfer" ritual, the Bidens met privately with family members of those killed. Joining them at the solemn ceremony were Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

➤GOTTLIEB SAYS COVID VACCINE FOR KIDS UNDER 12 COULD BE APPROVED BY EARLY WINTER: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former head of the Food and Drug Administration and a member of Pfizer's board of directors, said Sunday that Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine could be available to children younger than 12 by early winter. Gottlieb said on CBS' Face the Nation, "The agency will be in a position to make an authorization, I believe, at some point, late fall, probably early winter. And probably they're going to base their decision on what the circumstances around the country, what the urgency is to get to a vaccine for kids." He said there are some 300 children being hospitalized each day with Covid, and infection rates among children have increased with schools reopening.

➤WILDFIRE CONTINUES TO MOVE TOWARD LAKE TAHOE, MORE RESIDENTS ORDERED EVACUATED: A two-week-old wildfire continued to move closer to picturesque Lake Tahoe on Sunday, with all residents on the California side of the Tahoe Basin ordered to evacuate. Jeff Marsoleis, forest supervisor for El Dorado National Forest, said yesterday evening of the Caldor Fire, "today it let loose." The wildfire was just 19 percent contained after burning nearly 245 square miles, and fire managers have pushed back the projected date for full containment from early this week to September 8th. Meanwhile, California’s Dixie Fire, the second-largest in state history, was 48 percent contained, about 65 miles north of the Caldor Fire.

➤STUDY..CHILD OBESITY INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY DURING PANDEMIC: Child obesity increased significantly during the pandemic, according to a new study published on the Journal of the America Medical Association (JAMA) Network based on health record data from southern California. The greatest increase was seen in children ages five through 11, who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) increase of 1.57 and prevalence of obesity increase from 36.2 percent to 45.7 percent. Some experts had raised concern about pandemic-induced remote learning and obesity, due to children getting less daily physical activity. Pediatrician Dr. Brian Jessen, the lead author of a May study that found similar results, told the Times, "This isn’t just baby fat that’s going to go away. That’s why I think this is so alarming."

➤THANOS' HOLMES TO APPARENLTY CLAIM ABUSE BY EX-BOYFRIEND: Elizabeth Holmes, whose trial on fraud charges over Theranos, the blood-testing device company she founded, is set to begin this week, will apparently claim as part of her defense that she was abused by her then-boyfriend Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, who was the president and chief operating officer of the company. Theranos was at one point valued at $10 billion, but the miracle device never worked. The 37-year-old Holmes' attorneys reportedly plan to argue that while Holmes was CEO of Theranos, Balwani, who is 19 years older then her, was emotionally and sexually abusing her. A court filing claims the abuse gave her PTSD and other mental health issues.

💲ENDING PRICES WITH ‘.99’ CAN BACKFIRE ON SELLERS:  Giving an item a price ending with 0.99 might make consumers think the product is less expensive than it really is, but a new study finds it can sometimes backfire on the seller. The Ohio State University researchers found that this “just-below” pricing makes consumers less likely to upgrade to a more expensive version of the product or service, such as a bigger size or higher-end trim on a car. Lead study author Junha Kim says this is because the just-below price makes a product seem like a good bargain, and also makes the leap to the premium product seem too expensive. He adds, “Research has shown that going across a state boundary makes a destination seem farther away. It is crossing that threshold that makes a difference. In our studies, the round number is like the state boundary, magnifying the perception of a difference in price.”

➤STUDY..THOUSANDS OF KIDS HURT EACH YEAR IN ACCIDENTS WITH FURNITURE, TVS: You likely don’t think of your TV as dangerous, but it can be a hazard to children. Researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital found nearly 20,000 children in the United States are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for injuries caused by furniture or a television falling or tipping over, and about 70 percent of these injuries occur in children age 6 or younger. In 2019 alone, nearly 12,000 children were injured in these incidents. Researchers add that current voluntary safety standards to prevent tip-overs of these types of furniture are inadequate because they use a weight that is less than that of many six-year-old children and do not take many household conditions into account. A new bill is making its way through Congress, and if approved, it would require development of mandatory safety standards to protect children age 6 and younger from clothing storage unit tip-over injuries and death.

➤JUDGE REVOKES MOM'S CHILD VISITATION B/C SHE'S NOT VAXXED: A Cook County, Illinois, judge has revoked a divorced woman's visitation with her child because the mother hasn't been vaccinated against Covid-19. The August 10th ruling, which may the first of its kind, is keeping Rebecca Firlit from seeing her 11-year-old son, who she shares custody of with her ex-husband of seven years. Firlit's attorney said the issue hadn't been raised by her ex-husband, but instead it was brought up by Judge James Shapiro during a child support hearing. When he heard Firlit wasn't vaccinated, he stripped her visitation until she gets a Covid vaccine. She told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I’ve had adverse reactions to vaccines in the past and was advised not to get vaccinated by my doctor." She said she was surprised by the judge's vaccine question, saying, "I was confused because it was just supposed to be about expenses and child support. I asked him what it had to do with the hearing, and he said, 'I am the judge, and I make the decisions for your case.'" Firlit's attorney is hoping an appeals court reverses the ruling, saying of what the judge did, "It’s very much exceeding his judicial authority." The attorney for Firlit's ex-husband, who is vaccinated, said they'll fight the appeal, saying, "We support the judge’s decision."

⚾METS' BAEZ SAYS PLAYERS GIVING THUMBS DOWN TO FANS, TEAM PREZ BLASTS: New York Mets second baseman Javier Baez said Sunday that he and other Mets players have been making a thumbs-down gesture to fans after big hits at their home stadium of Citi Field in response to fans booing them during what was a tough August for the team. Baez did it after hitting a 444-foot home run yesterday in the Mets 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals, and said later of the gesture, "When we don’t get success, we’re going to get booed. So they’re going to get booed when we have success." Baez, Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar were all seen giving the thumbs-down during Sunday's game. 

Mets President Sandy Alderson quickly blasted what Baez said, saying in a statement, "These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. . . . The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans."

⚾MICHIGAN BEATS OHIO TO WIN LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES: Michigan won the Little League World Series yesterday in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, defeating Ohio 5-2 in the title game. Jackson Surma drove in four runs for the Michigan team from Taylor North Little League and pitcher Ethan Van Belle struck out eight on the Ohio team from West Side Little League in Hamlilton. It's the first Little League championship for the state of Michigan since 1959.

🥊PAUL BEATS EX-UFC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMP WOODLEY IN BOXING MATCH: YouTube star-turned-boxer Jake Paul defeated former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in a split decision last night (August 29th) at Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse to up his record to 4-0. It was MMA fighter Woodley's first boxing match. This was the toughest bout so far for Paul in what ESPN called a new "novelty genre" of boxing, after he beat fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib, former NBA player and Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson, and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren.

🏈RAVENS' RB DOBBINS HAS TORN ACL, EXPECTED TO MISS SEASON: Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins has a torn ACL and is expected to miss the upcoming NFL season it was revealed Sunday. Dobbins left the Ravens’ preseason finale against the Washington Football Team Saturday night midway through the first quarter after getting injured when he was tackled. Dobbins ran for 805 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie last season.

🏈SAINTS TO PRACTICE AT COWBOYS' STADIUM BECAUSE OF HURRICANE IDA: The New Orleans Saints are planning to practice at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium today, tomorrow and Wednesday after evacuating from New Orleans because of Hurricane Ida. After Wednesday, the Saints will take a break before the regular season, the Associated Press cited a source as saying. The Saints are supposed to open at home on September 12th against the Green Bay Packers. The impending arrival of Ida led the Saints to first move up kickoff time for their preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m., before the game was ultimately canceled.

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