Friday, April 29, 2016

PIX11 was right: National Weather Service now says January blizzard was the biggest on record in NYC

PIX11 was right: National Weather Service now says January blizzard was the biggest on record in NYC

NEW YORK — We told you first! January's blizzard set the record for biggest snowfall on record in New York City, although that milestone was only confirmed now, more than three months after the storm buried the tri-state area.
In the blizzard that lasted from Friday, January 22 to Sunday, January 24, we told viewers right after the storm ended that we suspected that the National Weather Service underestimated the measurement.
We were right.
Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has increased its previous snowfall total of 26.8 inches, which was just shy of the record of 26.9 set in 2006, to a whopping 27.5 inches, making the storm the snowiest since official record keeping began in Central Park in 1869.
“Snowfall isn’t the easiest weather event to measure," said PIX11 meteorologist Chris Knowles, who called it correctly during our special report on the morning of January 24. "The weather service should be applauded for ensuring the totals from our biggest snowstorm ever are now accurate.”
NEW YORK — We told you first! January's blizzard set the record for biggest snowfall on record in New York City, although that milestone was only confirmed now, more than three months after the storm buried the tri-state area.
In the blizzard that lasted from Friday, January 22 to Sunday, January 24, we told viewers right after the storm ended that we suspected that the National Weather Service underestimated the measurement.
We were right.
Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has increased its previous snowfall total of 26.8 inches, which was just shy of the record of 26.9 set in 2006, to a whopping 27.5 inches, making the storm the snowiest since official record keeping began in Central Park in 1869.
“Snowfall isn’t the easiest weather event to measure," said PIX11 meteorologist Chris Knowles, who called it correctly during our special report on the morning of January 24. "The weather service should be applauded for ensuring the totals from our biggest snowstorm ever are now accurate.”

ICE Director Admits ‘Sanctuary’ Policies Put Agents At Risk, But Refuses To Force Cities To Scrap Them The gov't ideological rush to change America's demographics comes before your safety.

ICE Director Admits ‘Sanctuary’ Policies Put Agents At Risk, But Refuses To Force Cities To Scrap Them

Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Sarah Saldana acknowledged on Thursday that “sanctuary city” polices put federal immigration officers at risk, but she declined to support measures that would force local law enforcement agencies to scrap them.
“Does the sanctuary city program put your field personnel at more risk than they would be otherwise?” South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney 

 asked the Obama appointee during a contentious House Oversight Committee hearing.
“Yes, having to go into a jurisdiction, into somebody’s home, when we could have gotten them at a local sheriff’s or police department, yes, it does put them at risk,” Saldana acknowledged.
Hundreds of cities and counties in the U.S. have the controversial laws, which prohibit local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal agencies in immigration cases. That means that the local agencies refuse to give ICE custody of illegal aliens that the federal agency wants to deport.
In some cases, violent criminal illegal aliens have gone free. The policies entered the national spotlight last July after a Mexican national with a lengthy rap sheet killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco. ICE had sought the killer, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, in April after he was released from federal prison. But the San Francisco sheriff’s department refused to honor ICE’s detainer request, citing its sanctuary laws.
Mulvaney asked Saldana on Thursday if she supported withholding federal funds or other strategies to force sanctuary locales to start cooperating with the feds. But she said she opposes the idea because local agencies would not respond kindly if the federal government “browbeat them over the head.”
“State and local governments don’t want the federal government to tell them what to do,” Saldana said.
“So you don’t want us to take steps to lower the risk for your own people?” Mulvaney asked later in the hearing.

“I’m saying give me an opportunity to get this done,” Saldana responded.
“Does the sanctuary city program put the public at risk?” the Republican asked.
“I don’t know what the sanctuary city program is, sir,” Saldana replied, adding “I want every jurisdiction cooperate with ICE.”
“I will work with you to try to come up with a rational system by which we can improve that situation,” she continued, stressing the word “rational.”


New Times liberal hypocrisy exposed: ageism, racism and sexist behavior

New York Times boss sued over alleged ageist, racist and sexist hiring practices


Photos of the violence at the Trump event.

Protesters clash with cops at California Trump rally: Hundreds of Mexican flag-waving demonstrators smash up a squad car, punch a Donald supporter and scuffle with riot police amid angry scenes

Anti Semitism in the British Labour Party

Corbyn: We will not tolerate anti-semitismPlay!00:36

Ken Livingstone: How can the truth be an offence?
Ken Livingstone has said he believes the Labour should reinstate him because he first made comments about Hitler 30 years ago.
The Labour leader suspended Mr Livingstone yesterday after he invoked Hitler to defend a colleague over anti-Semitic remarks and claimed that there was a “well-orchestrated campaign” against the party by the “Israel lobby”.
He said: "How can the truth be an offence - if I had lied that would be offensive."
“Everything I said yesterday was true and I will be presenting the academic book about that to the Labour Party inquiry,” he said.
The former London Mayor was referring to a book written by the American Marxist historian Lenni Brenner, who has said he believes there was collusion between campaigners for a Jewish homeland and the Nazis.
He said the 'history' he referenced was unknown to MPs because "they don't teach it in Israeli schools".
Ken Livingstone in Westminster
Ken Livingstone in Westminster CREDIT: PAUL GROVER
Tom Watson says Labour will ‘get a grip’ on anti-Semitism
The deputy leader of the Labour party has said Labour will "get a grip" on the aniti-Semitisim rocking the Party. 
The deputy leader also suggests the party's inquiry into anti-Semitism at universities could be widened. 
"We are going to get a grip of this, and we are going to deal with it," he said.
The Labour Party launched a fresh investigation following allegations of anti-Semitism at Oxford's student Labour Club earlier this year.
The probe, headed by Labour’s former leader of the House of Lords Baroness Jan Royall, comes after the Party was handed a report by Labour Students detailing the harassment and intimidation of Jewish students.
The report is expected to be handed over in a few months. 
Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson and others on the platform listen to speakers on the first day of the Labour Party Conference
Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson and others on the platform listen to speakers on the first day of the Labour Party Conference CREDIT:  HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY
Labour party leadership 'needs to get a grip'
Sadiq Khan has called for Ken Livingstone to be kicked out of Labour the Labour party annd urged Jeremy Corbyn to “get a grip” on anti-Semitism.
Speaking to The Times, he called for “zero tolerance of antisemitism”.
“My own view is that anybody with these sorts of appalling and disgusting views shouldn’t be in the Labour party,” he said.
“It’s not for me to explain what Ken Livingstone did and why he did it.
Mr Khan sought to distance himself from Mr Corbyn, adding: “It’s not for me to answer for Jeremy Corbyn, that’s for Jeremy Corbyn to answer. But we aren’t talking about one isolated incident. I think the Labour party leadership needs to get a grip.”
Sadiq Khan, the Labour Party candidate for London mayor
Sadiq Khan, the Labour Party candidate for London mayor CREDIT: CHRIS RATCLIFFE
Welsh Labour tells Jeremy Corbyn to stay away
The Labour leader has reportedly cancelled a campaign visit planned for today in Wales today, after aides to First Minister Carwyn Jones warned that his failure to tackle anti-Semitism in the party made him a liability. 
According to the Western Mail, it was agreed he would stay out of Wales ahead of next weeks local elections, after discussions between his team officials. 
A source close to the Welsh Labour election campaign said: "We've made the campaign about strong leadership and Carwyn's unique position as the only credible First Minister. 
"That's a difficult sell with Jeremy particularly after the last 24 hours."
However, the First Minister Carwyn Jones has denied he was told to stay away from Wales ahead of next week's Assembly election.
In a letter to members and supporters, Welsh Labour leader Mr Jones said: "You may have seen some reports today about Jeremy Corbyn's planned visit to Wales being cancelled. Whilst that is the case, it is not right to say there is a 'bar' on Jeremy coming to Wales."
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones CREDIT:  STEFAN WERMUTH
Labour 'must act quicker' to deal with anti-Semitism 
The Labour leadership has been too slow to react to anti- Semitism allegations, a shadow cabinet member said  last night after Ken Livingstone was suspended from the party and accused of being a “disgusting Nazi apologist” by a Labour MP.
Appearing on last night's BBC Question Time, Andy Burham, Labour's shadow Home Secretary, said: "If I thought for one second that I was a member of an anti Semitic party I would cut up my membership card right here right now. 
"I don't believe that is the case but these allegations when they surface, are not being dealt with properly and quickly enough. They need to be dealt with much more speedily."
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaving his home in North London today
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaving his home in North London today CREDIT:NICK EDWARDS
The Labour MP Rachel Reeves, told BBC Newsnight: "We know we've got a growing problem of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. But also part of the problem is the slow response from the leadership of the party. We do need to see much swifter and more decisive action.
Look at the house in the photo above. A perfect example of socialism: piled up trash bags, wood scraps, dead plants

Behaving like a terrorist to prove you are not one works only in the fevered brains of the left. The growth of mob intimidation is not going to end well. What's wrong with identifying Hamas supporters?

Anti-Israel Students Trap California University President to Prove They Aren’t ‘Terrorists’

Following the posting of a controversial flier at San Diego State University that listed names of anti-Israel students, alleging they had connections to terrorist groups, dozens of protesters trapped the college president in a car for about two hours.
Image source: CBS 8 screen grab
Image source: CBS 8 screen grab
The ordeal began on the third floor of the Student Union, where students knew president Elliott Hirshman would be, according to CBS 8. From there, the protesters followed him down the stairs and out the door, when he ended up huddled inside a police car for more than one hour.

Another case of self defense and why a to ten round magazine limit may not be a good idea.

11-Year-Old Shoots Home Intruder: ‘He Started Crying Like a Little Baby’

A would-be burglar is in the hospital after an 11-year-old boy shot the alleged crook in the leg, preventing his family’s home from being robbed.
Chris Gaither was all alone when a man broke into the Talladega, Alabama, home. The young man, who told WVTM-TV that his stepfather taught him how to use a firearm, grabbed a 9mm handgun and reportedly warned the criminal of his intent to use the weapon. “I told him I was going to kill him if he didn’t get out of my house,” Gaither said.
“When he was coming down the stairs, that’s when he told me he was going to kill me, f-you and all that,” Gaither added.
The intruder got past the boy and attempted to leave the property as the young man started shooting. Gaither’s first 11 shots missed the fleeing robber. However, his 12th and final shot hit the mark.
“It was a full metal jacket bullet. It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby,” said the smiling youngster.
Police have not released the identity of the alleged intruder.
Watch the young man tell his story:

Fracking: a farmer's revenge

When Oscar-Winning Actress Breaks Court Injunction to Protest Fracking on His Land, Farmer Decides to Get Major Revenge

When Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson joined a group of protesters near a proposed fracking site earlier this week, the farmer who leases the English land apparently didn’t take kindly to their presence.
Emma Thompson at the protest (Image source: YouTube)
Emma Thompson at the protest (Image source: YouTube)
As Thompson and her sister Sophie took part in a satirical “bake-off” under a tent to highlight cuisine created with renewable energy for a Greenpeace video, the farmer added his own flavor to the ingredients.
Manure.
Image source: YouTube
Image source: YouTube
Several videos caught the farmer driving a truck in circles around the small encampment Wednesday, spraying liquid manure toward the protesters.
Image source: YouTube
Image source: YouTube
Thompson was under the tent the entire time and wasn’t hit, but the BBC said others with her indeed were in the line of fire.
“Well, it’s a very powerful message, isn’t it? Whoof!” Thompson told the BBC later, waving her hands toward her nose. “And I was doing me frosting at the time, and I just said, ‘Keep calm and carry on frosting. That’s what I did.’”
Image source: YouTube
Image source: YouTube
Protesters have been banned from the area since a 2014 court injunction, the Guardian reported. And others besides the farmer weren’t happy that Thompson and company violated it.
“There are a lot of jobs at stake potentially,” Lee Petts of the North West Energy Taskforce told the BBC. “And that may not mean much to Emma Thompson, as one of the world’s most highly paid actors, or to Greenpeace, but it means a lot to local people that want jobs in place.”
Here’s the Greenpeace video showing Thompson and her sister’s reactions to the farmer spraying the manure:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bangladesh

Opinion: A culture of impunity behind bloggers' killings in Bangladesh

A spate of recent killings of secular bloggers and activists has spotlighted the growing sense of insecurity in Bangladesh. Professor Ali Riaz explains the reasons behind the attacks and the government's inaction.
Dhaka Protest gegen Blogger
A sense of insecurity is palpable in Bangladesh. According to press reports, at least 34 attacks have been perpetrated by militant groups in Bangladesh costing 35 lives and injuring 129 people in the past 14 months. Victims include members of religious and sectarian minorities, two foreign nationals, a Christian convert, a number of online social activists, bloggers, self-proclaimed atheists, publishers, an LGBT activist and a university professor. 
Many of these incidents have taken place in public. In some instances, victims have been hacked to death. Of these attacks, the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) has claimed responsibility for 15, while the self-proclaimed Bangladeshi affiliate of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) has claimed responsibility for eight.
Before this series of incidents, a self-proclaimed atheist blogger was hacked to death in February 2013 and a secularist professor was killed in November 2014. Despite repeated incidents, claims of responsibilities by transnational terrorist groups and a clear pattern of attacking advocates of unorthodox views, the government continues to deny the existence of AQIS and IS in Bangladesh.
The official explanations for these incidents have been quite confusing and somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, the government has insisted that these are unrelated incidents and that they do not pose any challenge to the security of the country; on the other hand, it has claimed that these are "homegrown" militants who are engaged in these heinous acts.
Ali Riaz
Riaz: 'Restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by the state have become the hallmark of the country in recent years'
While the country's home minister does not see any cause for concern for the safety of citizens, the chief of police has asked the citizens to create their own "security circle."
The 'blame game'
While these incidents created a fearful environment within Bangladeshi society, the ruling party leaders - including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - have engaged in "blame game," pointing fingers at the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its ally, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
The self-proclaimed atheist bloggers were the first victims in 2013, but since then the circle of victims has widened. Many Bangladeshi bloggers have now fled the country, and those remaining have decided to become silent. While the security situation has worsened, the government's position with regard to the bloggers and freethinkers has shifted.
The comments made by the ruling party members and law enforcement officials in the past year have practically put the blame squarely on the bloggers. For instance, after the brutal killing of online social activist Nazimuddin Samad early this month, the home minister stressed the government would scrutinize the writings of Samad to see whether he had written against Islam.
The minister said: "Why are they [bloggers] using this kind of language against the religious establishment? In our country, we do not allow this kind of language. It is restricted by our law."
Gone are the days when the prime minister would have rushed to the home of a slain blogger and declare him a martyr, as PM Hasina did when Rajib Haider was killed in February 2013. Two years later, when Avijit Roy was murdered, her phone call to Avijit's father was kept secret from the press. After the murder of Niladry Niloy in August 2015, the Inspector General of Police advised the bloggers not to write blogs that may hurt religious sentiments.
Subsequently, the prime minister and the home minister essentially echoed the position, particularly when the PM said the government "won't allow anybody to hurt religious sentiments." And the PM's latest comment that the government would not take responsibility for "untoward incidents" resulting from "objectionable" comments of bloggers sends a very chilling message.
 
Watch video02:14

Dhaka: Militants kill gay-rights activists

These developments have raised two related questions - why are these killings taking place? Why is the government hesitant, unwilling or unable to do anything?
Why these Killings?
The primary reason for this spate of killings is the extant culture of impunity. Despite so many incidents, public outcry and serious criticism at home and abroad, there has been little progress in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Only one case involving the murder of a blogger has so far seen a verdict.
But importantly, the activists of the ruling party have been enjoying a free ride in recent years. It has contributed to the serious deterioration of law and order in the country. As confidence in law enforcement agencies among common citizens has eroded, and these agencies have been used for political gain by the ruling party, militant groups have found space to proliferate.
It is no surprise that international terrorist organizations are trying, and perhaps succeeding in drawing people into their folds. It is not only the intellectuals, atheists and freethinkers who have become the targets of attacks and killings, but also incidents of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and custodial deaths have increased dramatically.
Political violence, especially infighting among various factions of the ruling party, has become routine. All of these developments have contributed to an environment of fear and impunity. Restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by the state have become the hallmark of the country in recent years, particularly since the controversial election in 2014.
Legitimate criticisms of the government are portrayed as a threat to the regime. And section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act has been used to silence the critics of the government. It is also used almost as an anti-blasphemy law.
Although militant groups are not new to Bangladeshi political landscape, the recent resurgence of the violent extremist groups can be traced to deep schisms within society. There is no denying the fact that for decades, there have been deep differences of opinion among various sections of society on the role of religion in politics and the public sphere.
But it also needs to be acknowledged that the schism has been increasing in the past years through intolerant rhetoric.
The resuscitation of the Hefazat-e-Islam in 2013, the efforts to use this obscurantist group for immediate political gains by the ruling party and the opposition, encouragement of various Islamist groups as an antidote to one another have deepened the schism at a time when the space for open discussion on religion and secularism has been severely curtailed.
The ongoing war crimes trials, particularly the violence perpetrated by the JI to oppose these trials and save its leaders, is a contributory factor as well. The BNP bears some responsibility as it has not strongly condemned these actions until recently and did not offer a counter narrative in this regard.
In some measures, all these have created an enabling environment. As such, the proliferation of militant groups is tied to the overall political environment.
Why the government is not doing anything?
Many individuals have expressed surprise at the role of the government; they are asking why the supposedly secular Awami League government is apparently unable or unwilling to do anything about it? As the situation, at least in part, is tied to the overall political environment, the answer to the question rests there. It must be explored within the broader context of Bangladeshi politics.
 
Watch video04:27

Slain blogger Roy's widow speaks with DW

The controversial election of 2014 has produced a government that seems to lack moral legitimacy. For the past several years, it has increasingly become reliant on force, a growing number of extrajudicial killings and heavy handed measures against legitimate opposition parties.
The democratic space has shrunk significantly. The ruling party has made compromises with interest groups. The ruling party has also felt the necessity to appease groups of Islamists.
The prominence of the Awami Ulema League, a wing of the ruling party is a case in point. The Awami Ulema League has demanded the introduction of anti-blasphemy laws and harsher punishments for "atheist bloggers" and those who demean Islam and the Prophet.
In some measures it is a continuation of the ruling party's policy to use religious sentiments for political expediency. As the ruling party does not want to be seen as "anti-Islamic" or supporters of "atheists," it has adopted language to prove its Islamic credentials. These have eroded both political will and the capacity of the ruling party.
A note of caution
The recent spate of killings, especially the widening of targets, is a very troublesome development. Continuation of this situation will only embolden those who are perpetrating these heinous crimes.
 
Watch video01:17

Dhaka blogger killings threaten free speech

It is not too difficult to understand that the government's recent statements show that the radical Islamists are winning the "war of rhetoric." The government's words and actions indicate that it is in "denial mode." This situation does not help to confront the growing radicalism.
There is an urgent need to strengthen counterterrorism measures, but counterterrorism efforts without a political program that addresses the enabling environment can only achieve limited success. The solution needs to keep the larger political context in mind.
Heavy handed measures, often directed against political opponents, will only exacerbate the situation and may play into the hands of the militants. The government should not view the call for action against these groups as a license to impose further restrictions on freedoms of expression and assembly.
Instead, reducing schisms in society, encouraging tolerance, ensuring rule of law and building national consensus are the courses of action reqired to move forward and defeat this radicalism.
Ali Riaz is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University, USA. His forthcoming book is entitled, 'Bangladesh: A Political History since Independence' (2016).