Thursday, September 2, 2021

Wake-Up Call: N-E Battered By Ida

Daily Maill Screenshot 9/2/21

➤NORTHEAST PUMMELED BY HURRICANE IDA REMNANTS: Mid-Altantic and Northeastern states were pummeled by the remains of Hurricane Ida yesterday, with at least two tornadoes touching down, in Maryland and New Jersey, extended, drenching rain and strong winds.

The downpours caused severe flooding, with New York City's subways suspended and some streets looking like rivers, Newark Liberty International Airport flooded, and a roof collapsing at a post office in Kearny, New Jersey. One person was killed and another missing at a Rockville, Maryland, apartment complex, with some 200 people displaced.

Louisiana Recovery: Meanwhile, there were some signs of recovery from Ida in Louisiana. Power had returned to some customers, including in New Orleans, all interstate systems had reopened after being cleared of debris, and AT&T's cellphone service was back to 90 percent of normal capacity. However, about a million homes and businesses still had no electricity and more than 600,000 didn't have running water. Additionally, some low-lying communities were still underwater, where search and rescue missions continued. The White House announced President Biden will visit Louisiana on Friday to survey the damage.

➤SUPREME COURT LETS TEXAS ABORTION BAN TO REMAIN IN EFFECT: A divided Supreme Court decided 5-4 yesterday to allow a new Texas law that ban abortions at six weeks, before most women know they're pregnant, remain in force, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the high court's liberals in the losing position of opposing letting the law stand. The late-night decision to deny an emergency appeal was released nearly 24 hours after the law, the strictest against abortion rights since Roe v. Wade, went into effect at midnight Wednesday. The majority said those asking for the appeal hadn't met the high burden required for a stay, but said the order didn't block other challenges to the law or rule on its constitutionality. In addition to banning abortion at six weeks, the Texas law is enforced by allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions, such as someone who drives a woman to a clinic to get an abortion, for at least $10,000.

➤COLORADO OFFICERS, EMTS INDICTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER IN 2019 DEATH OF ELIJAH MCCLAIN: Three Aurora, Colorado, police officers and two paramedics were indicted yesterday for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was stopped by police while walking after a caller reported a man who seemed "sketchy," and then put in a chokehold and injected with the poweful sedative ketamine. McClain was later declared brain dead at the hospital. Two of the officers were also charged with second-degree assault with intent to cause bodily injury and one count of a crime of violence related to the assault charge. The paramedics also face second-degree assault charges. Two of the officers were indefinitely suspended, while the other had previously been fired. A city review found no evidence to justify officers stopping McClain.

➤REPORT...EXTREMISTS PLAN TO ATTEND SEPTEMBER 18TH WASHINGTON RALLY: Members of far right extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are planning to attend a September 18th rally in Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reported yesterday. The rally at the U.S. Capitol is intended to demand what they say is justice for the hundreds of people who've been charged in connection with the January 6th attack on the Capitol. AP cited officials as saying that because of that information, Capitol Police have been discussing whether the large perimeter fence that was put up outside the Capitol attack should be returned. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told AP they are, quote, "closely monitoring September 18 and we are planning accordingly." Officials also said the Metropolitan Police Department will activate its entire force and has put specialized riot officers on standby.

🚘CDC..IF YOU’RE UNVACCINATED YOU SHOULD DELAY TRAVEL THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND: If you’re thinking about traveling this upcoming Labor Day weekend you should really be vaccinated. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said during a White House briefing on Tuesday, that Americans should delay travel until becoming fully vaccinated. She also added “...People who are fully vaccinated and who are wearing masks can travel although given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling.”

➤CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD REQUIRE GENDER-NEUTRAL SECTIONS IN DEPARTMENT STORES: A bill passed by the state Senate in California yesterday would require large department stores to display some products for children in a gender-neutral way. The measure, which would only apply to department stores with 500 or more employees, would apply to toys and childcare items including hygiene and teething products, but not to clothes. It also wouldn't ban having traditional boys and girls sections in the department stores, only require a gender-neutral section for a, quote, "reasonable selection" of products. The bill now goes back to the state Assembly for a procedural vote, before then being sent to Governor Gavin Newsom. Democratic state Senator Scott Wiener said of the law, "This is about making safe spaces for all children in today’s society and not pushing, sometimes forcing children to conform." But Republican state Senator Melissa Melendez is opposed to the measure, saying, "I don’t think parents need the government to step in and tell them how they should shop for their children."

➤JUDGE GIVES CONDITIONAL APPROVAL TO PURDUE PHARMA OPIOID SETTLEMENT: A federal bankruptcy judge yesterday gave conditional approval to a $4.5 billion settlement for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma over its role in the opioid crisis. It will remove the Sackler family from ownership of Purdue, and give potentially $10 billion to the opioid crisis fight. The settlement will resolve 3,000 lawsuits from state and local governments, Native American tribes, unions and others that accuse Purdue of helping create the opioid overdose epidemic by aggressively marketing OxyContin. As part of it, the Sacklers will be protected from any future opioid lawsuits.

➤TWITCH STREAMERS BOYCOTT FOR DAY IN PROTEST OF 'HATE RAIDS': Many Twitch streamers boycotted the platform for the day yesterday to protest what they charge is not enough being done by Twitch to stop "hate raids" of hate speech and attacks. Among what the boycotters want from Twitch are a roundtable discussion with impacted creators and immediate protection for streamers that includes age selection of incoming accounts and the ability to accept or reject incoming raids. A Twitch spokesperson told Axios, "[W]e are working hard on improved channel-level ban evasion detection and additional account improvements to help make Twitch a safer place for creators."

🗫STUDY LINKS ARTICULATION, GENDER TO VOCAL ATTRACTIVENESS:  What makes a voice sound attractive? That depends on a few things, including the listener. University of California researchers found that “vowel space area,” or articulation was correlated highly with vocal attractiveness, particularly when female voices were being rated. Listeners showed no preference for clarity when rating the attractiveness of male voices. Study co-author Daniel Stehr explains, “From a sexual attraction standpoint, males with traits that are slightly more masculine than average are typically preferred, which in this context would make males with less clear speech more attractive. At the same time, constricted vowel space area and lower perceived clarity is associated with a range of speech motor disorders, suggesting a lack of clarity may also have indicated the presence of disease to our ancestors.”

🎾OSAKA, MEDVEDEV, HALEP, STEPHENS, ADVANCE ON DAY THREE AT U.S. OPEN: U.S. Open defending champion Naomi Osaka advanced on Day Three of the tournament Wednesday without even hitting the court, as her second-round opponent, Olga Danilovic, pulled out because a non-Covid viral illness. Other winners yesterday included the second-ranked man, Daniil Medvedev, as well as Simona Halep and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Sloane Stephens defeated fellow American and friend Coco Gauff in their first-ever official match with a 6-4, 6-2 win. The match between Kevin Anderson and Diego Schwartzman was delayed for nearly 30 minutes and then had to move to Arthur Ashe Stadium after the only other stadium at New York's Flushing Meadows with a retractable roof, Louis Armstrong Stadium, had rain from the torrential downpours brought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida still able to get in to the stadium. Schwartzman finally got the win.

⚾YANKEES' COLE STRIKES OUT 15 IN 4-1 WIN: New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole struck about 15 batters over seven innings in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels last night. Cole's 15 strikeouts was one short of his career high, and tied him with the New York Mets' Jacob deGrom for the most through seven innings by a pitcher this season. Cole also set a Yankees franchise record for most strikeouts through his first 25 starts with 215, topping David Cone's 207 in 1997.

🏈SAINTS OPENER MOVED TO JACKSONVILLE DUE TO HURRICANE IDA: The New Orleans Saints will be playing their September 12th season opener against the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville, Florida, instead of at home at the Superdome as scheduled because the city is still recovering from Hurricane Ida. The Saints have been practicing at the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Sradium because of Ida as well. After their opener, the Saints have road games at Carolina and New England before their next scheduled home game on October 3rd.

⚾METS ACTING GM SCOTT ARRESTED FOR DUI: New York Mets acting general manager Zack Scott was arrested for driving under the influence early Tuesday morning in White Plains, New York, north of New York City. Police found the 44-year-old asleep at the wheel of his SUV at a traffic light around 4:15 a.m. and determined he was intoxicated, even though he refused a breathalyzer. Scott was booked and released, and is due in court this morning. The Mets said in a statement that they were "surprised and deeply disappointed" at the news, stating, "Zack will not be traveling with the team for our upcoming road trip while we learn more and determine next steps."

🏀KNICKS, NETS, WARRIORS PLAYERS CAN'T PLAY AT HOME IF NOT VACCINATED: The NBA recently told teams that players on the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors won't be able to play in home games if they're not vaccinated, due to laws recently passed by New York and San Francisco about indoor vaccine requirements, ESPN reported yesterday (September 1st). There will be an exception if players have a medical or religious exemption. However, unvaccinated visiting players will still be able to play, since the laws don't cover out-of-town teams.

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