Winter storm pummels eastern United States, grounds flights

admin   •   March 6, 2015   •   2476

A man shovels snow off of the sidewalk during a snow storm in New York March 3, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/LUCAS JACKSON

(Reuters) – A late winter storm pummeled the eastern United States on Thursday ahead of a cold front, canceling almost 5,000 flights as Kentucky dug out from up to 23 inches (58 cm) of snow that had stranded hundreds of drivers.

Winter storm warnings and advisories were in place from the Middle Atlantic states into southern New England, as well as from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Appalachians, the National Weather Service said.

Up to 4 more inches (10 more cm) of snow are possible across the northern Middle Atlantic area late on Thursday before the storm tapers off, the weather service said.

A Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) plane arriving in heavy snow at New York’s LaGuardia Airport from Atlanta slid off the runway into a fence. No serious injuries were reported.

In Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency as traffic halted on interstate highways, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded overnight.

About 30 miles (37 km) of Interstate 65 near Elizabethtown had been shut down, but he told CNN that some traffic was beginning to move.

“It is moving again, thank goodness,” Beshear said.

Traffic on Interstate 24 near Paducah was also starting to move slowly, but as temperatures fell after nightfall icing was again a problem, transportation officials said.

Cancellations were announced for hundreds of school districts, government offices and legislatures in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, South Carolina and Tennessee.

In Washington, federal offices and Congress shut down, and sledders ignored a police ban to stage a “sled-in” on Capitol Hill. “We’re out here sledding for America,” sledder Mai Fernandez told Reuters Television,

Slick travel conditions were reported throughout the Ohio River Valley and surrounding states, and one person was killed in a vehicle crash in Dickson County, Tennessee.

In Dallas, a man who was outdoors photographing the snowfall was shot to death, but there were no arrests and no known motive, police said.

A total of 4,858 U.S. flights were canceled, according to FlightAware.com. Airports in Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia and the New York metropolitan area were hardest hit.

Parts of Massachusetts got up to 12 inches (19 cm) of snow, but there was no official word on whether Boston had broken its annual snowfall record. Two inches (5 cm) would break the city’s record annual total of nearly 108 inches (274 cm) set in 1995-96.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner and Barbara Goldberg; Additional reporting by Tim Ryan and Ian Simpson in Washington, Tim; Steve Barnes in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Kentucky; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Lisa Von Ahn and Ken Wills)

I have papel, I have pineapple! ‘Pinyapel’ wins int’l award in New York

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 31, 2019

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

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

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US Military: No footage on Baghdadi’s death will be released

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump answers a reporter’s question as he participates in a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 07 October 2019. At right is United States Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. EPA-EFE/Ron Sachs

Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s remains had been disposed of and there were no plans to share footage on his death, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley announced on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria.

Trump said earlier that part of the footage on the operation would be released, but military sources said that the footage might expose some confidential information about the U.S. military, adding that the footage should go through strict checks before it is published.

The Associated Press on Monday released footage taken by a witness when the U.S. military launched a raid in northwestern Syria — but the authenticity of the footage has not been verified.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday expressed “prudent welcome” to Baghdadi’s death, saying the U.S. has made a big contribution to fighting terrorism “if confirmed”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it does not have reliable information about the U.S. operation in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria that allegedly killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday stressed that the extremist ideology and the support for it still exist in the Middle East, and the death of Baghdadi was a “creature” killed by the U.S.

On the same day, Iranian government Spokesman Ali Rabiee said al-Baghdadi’s death is the end of a symbol of “destructive terrorism,” and the U.S. should end its interventions in the Middle East. (Reuters)

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