Governors of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency over record-breaking freeze
admin • January 4, 2018 • 3832
A rare winter storm hit the U.S. southeast on Wednesday, bringing Florida’s capital its first snow in three decades and snarling travel, while New England braced for a “bombogenesis” blizzard forecast to bring heavy accumulations on Thursday.
The governors of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency, warning residents to expect icy roads and unseasonable freezing temperatures. In the northeast, work crews loaded trucks with road salt in advance of the storm.
Meanwhile, much of the eastern United States is in the grips of a sustained cold spell that has frozen parts of Niagara Falls on the American and Canadian sides.
Videos uploaded to social media show water flowing over the dramatic ice covered falls and snowy landscapes around them.
In New York, freezing weather and ice created a place for wonder and excitement in Bryant Park and the record-shattering freeze did not stop some hearty tourists from enjoying the cold weather.
The ice skating rink and a frozen fountain were the top attractions.
“It’s pretty unbelievable. There’s certainly nothing like this in Australia. The coldest it gets in Sydney is probably about six degrees, coming here and it’s minus 10, minus 12. It’s pretty unbelievable,” said Cam Ellis, a visitor from Australia.
“I was asking myself, ‘is it real?’,” said Conrad Nass, a visitor from the Netherlands.
“Everything is so different, you know. You just got to be happy with the cold weather. Just be who you are, God bless, and be happy,” said Jessica Jorge, a visitor from Miami, Florida.
The U.S. National Weather Service had blizzard warnings in effect from Virginia to Maine, with areas around Boston expected to see about a foot of snow on Thursday. An arctic air mass will remain entrenched over the eastern two-thirds of the united states through the end of the week, forecasters said. — Reuters
Philippine-made ‘Pinyapel’ is among the winners of the D&AD Future Impact Awards for Environment and Sustainability in New York City.
The ‘Pinyapel’, which came from the Filipino words pinya (pineapple) and papel (paper), is made from discarded pineapple leaves from pineapple plantations of Bukidnon.
According to the statement of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the product was coined and developed by the DTI – Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), with the collaborative efforts of the DCP, Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper, Nature’s Fresh and Ideatechs Packaging Corporation.
“Rather than leaving pineapple leaves to rot, the DTI-DCP partnered with Cagayan de Oro Handmade Paper to launch a sustainable innovation to transform waste into new and useful material, a forward-thinking approach to combat the growing problem on non-biodegradable plastic,” according to the DTI.
The award will be given on November 6 in New York City.—AAC
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legislation on Monday (September 9) to ban flavored e-cigarettes statewide in an effort to protect young people from the unknown consequences of vaping.
“Common sense says if you don’t know what you’re smoking, don’t smoke it,” Cuomo told reporters at a news conference. “And right now, we don’t know what you’re smoking in a lot of these vaping substances,” he said.
The governor’s announcement comes after a nationwide surge in mysterious, serious lung illnesses possibly related to vaping, which has also been linked to five deaths in the United States.
The decision is of a piece with how vaping is currently being viewed by many on the street in New York.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re smoking,” Brian, a construction worker, told Reuters. “You don’t know what they’re putting in that oil.”
U.S. public health officials on Friday announced that they are investigating about 450 cases of the illness across 33 states and one U.S. territory, including 41 cases in the state of New York. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said they have not linked the illnesses to any specific e-cigarette product or ingredient.
If the proposed legislation were to become law, New York would become the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, following Michigan, which passed a ban on Wednesday.
While e-cigarettes are promoted as a product to help smokers cut down or quit, health officials have expressed concerns that many e-cigarette flavors are designed to get a new generation hooked on nicotine.
Many of the reported illnesses involved vaping products, including cannabis products, containing vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from vitamin E that is potentially dangerous if inhaled,
Cuomo, sitting beside New York Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, also announced that the state’s Department of Health was issuing subpoenas to three e-cigarette companies, Honey Cut Labs LLC, Floraplex Terpenes and Mass Terpenes LLC. The Department of Health obtained samples from the three companies and found high levels of vitamin E acetate in their products.
Cuomo said stores that sell e-cigarettes will be required to disclose potential health consequences.
“It’s quite simple: Don’t do it,” Cuomo said. “Don’t do it because we don’t know if it’s safe.” (Reuters)
(Production by: Dan Fastenberg and Hussein al Waaile)
A German woman who posed as a wealthy heiress to scam boutique, New York hotels and fashionable friends was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.
Blinded by the glitter and glamour of New York City, Anna Sorokin, 28, was sentenced to prison for defrauding hotels, restaurants, a private jet operator and banks out of more than $200,000.
Sorokin, a would-be art collector, planned to open a members-only arts club but became known as the “soho grifter” after her deception upon New York’s glitzy social scene came to light. She was found guilty last month of grand larceny and theft of services.
She was also fined $24,000 and ordered to pay restitution of about $199,000.
At the hearing, Judge Diane Kiesel rejected the Defence Lawyers’ claim that Sorokin was merely trying to make it in New York, in the words of the Frank Sinatra song about the city.
“Sadly I agree with the people, if Miss Sorokin spent half as much time, half this much time, working legitimately to raise money for a foundation that sounded like a good addition to New York as she spent concocting phony bank statements, fake wire transfers, and non-existent financial advisers, she might have done quite well for herself. She’s clearly smart and very creative,” Judge Kiesel said.
Under her assumed name Anna Delvey, Sorokin falsely claimed she had a multi-million-dollar trust fund at her disposal, as she hired a private jet, attended elite parties, and lived in a luxury New York hotel. She maintained the scam for almost four years.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said, Sorokin had “not a cent to her name”.
Her father is reportedly a former trucker, who runs a heating-and-cooling business.
U.S. immigration and customs enforcement said in a statement that Sorokin was a German citizen who had illegally overstayed in the United States.
The agency said it will seek to send her back to Germany once her criminal proceedings are over.
Meanwhile, during the trial, she was admonished for throwing tantrums when she couldn’t get her stylist-curated outfits and drew unflattering sketches of the lead prosecutor during testimony.
“The defendant repeatedly delayed these court proceedings because she was not happy with the clothing that was offered to her by the department of corrections.
“She seemed to be basking in the press attention and rather than thinking seriously about the crimes she committed and how it affected people,” saidNew York Prosecutor Catherine Mccaw.
But at sentencing she was humbled.
“I apologize for the mistakes I made,” Sorokin said.
Sorokin’s story became a media sensation, and a tv series about her life was also planned.
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