Florida: Arms Control at a Very Slow Pace

The Florida board of lawyers can barely hide its little interest in braking the massacres that took place there.

On this academic year alone, reported the Associated Press (AP), there have been 21 killings by gunfire only in Texas and Ohio.

This news agency characterized Florida as a state "with a painful history" of armed violence.

Although last Tuesday the board of lawyers showing great parsimonia resumed its debate on weapons control.

But it was clear, highlights AP, that Republican legislators were not in favor of setting obstacles for this kind of "merchandise".

They were guarding especially assault rifles, which were originally designed for war, but that now are available at any store.

The repubican Bill Galvano, leader of the Florida Senate said that they wished to get to the bottom of the problem.

Imposible, one of the main beneficiaries of this business is the National Rifle Assossiation.

In order to draft new measures aimed at preventing further massacres, a commission was designated.

A year earlier 17 people were killed, and before that 49 at a gay club in Orlando.

Here, surfaced a drama with no solution, the slow and steady cracks of their still shinning society.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / Cubasi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Hurricane Dorian Inches Closer To Florida After Pounding Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian is beginning a much-advertised turn to the north-northwest, away from the Bahamas but toward the U.S. mainland, where it is expected to bring significant impacts.

As of Tuesday morning, the storm was moving northwest at 1 mph just to the north of Grand Bahama Island and was continuing its historic onslaught in the northwestern Bahamas.

Dorian, which has weakened some to a still-formidable Category 3 storm, slammed into the northwestern Bahamas over the weekend with the historic full fury of its 185-mile-per-hour winds and 23-foot storm surge. Video and images emerging from the Bahamas show a toll of absolute devastation on Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands, two locations where the eye of the storm made landfall.

Grand Bahama Island has suffered an onslaught from this storm that few places on Earth have experienced, remaining in the eyewall of a major Category 4 or 5 storm for 24 hours or more. The eyewall is the region of the storm surrounding its center that contains its strongest winds and generates the most destructive storm-surge flooding.

This is a storm that may have reshaped the northwestern Bahamas, particularly Abaco and Grand Bahama Island, for decades.

On Tuesday, attention turns to U.S. mainland impacts, with hurricane warnings and watches hoisted from the Florida coastline northward to South Carolina. Hurricane conditions, with sustained winds of greater than 74 mph, are forecast to move into the warning area of Florida on Tuesday evening and affect areas farther north beginning Wednesday.

v1t2b45gA man driving a stalled car is pushed by a truck through a flooded street after the effects of Hurricane Dorian arrived in Nassau, Bahamas

In the Southeast, the impacts from Hurricane Dorian do not look nearly as dire as what the Bahamas experienced, with computer models in agreement on keeping the most destructive core of the storm offshore, parallel to the coastline. However, it would not take much of a deviation to bring the highest winds and flooding ashore, and the storm will be capable of inflicting significant damage, depending on its exact track.

"Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast, users are reminded not to [focus] on the exact forecast track," the Hurricane Center stated on Tuesday morning. "A relatively small deviation to the left of this track could bring the core of the hurricane near or over the coastline."

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the storm was 40 miles northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and moving northwest at 1 mph. The storm's peak sustained winds were 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. Dorian is expected to maintain its current intensity through much of the day on Tuesday.

Radar from South Florida showed Dorian's outermost rain bands pivoting inland producing gusty showers. Around 5 a.m., Juno Beach pier, just north of West Palm Beach, recorded a wind gust to 61 mph as tropical storm conditions continue to spread into Florida.

The storm has grown larger over time, and hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. The latest forecast from the Hurricane Center calls for Dorian to remain a Category 3 storm until Tuesday night before slowly weakening, but remaining a formidable hurricane, as it makes its closest pass to Florida (around a Category 3) and northward to the Carolinas (around a Category 1 or 2).

The forecast track keeps the storm's most dangerous winds and highest levels of storm-surge flooding from coming ashore in the Sunshine State, but brings the storm close enough to bring heavy rains, damaging winds and storm surge flooding to the east coast of Florida.

However, hurricanes do not always behave as forecast. Despite being Earth's most massive and powerful storms, they're remarkably sensitive to internal and external hiccups. These storms can wobble east or west as they move generally north, for example, like a spinning top on a table.

It wouldn't take much of a wobble to bring the core of the storm ashore over Florida, especially along the Space Coast, where land featuring expensive infrastructure juts out a few more miles to the east of the rest of the Peninsula.

Hurricane warnings are in effect from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida, while hurricane watches extent northward to South Santee River, South Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center." In addition, water levels along the coast are forecast to rise "well in advance of the arrival of strong winds."

Areas that are especially vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, such as Jacksonville, Florida, could once again see significant flooding depending on the exact track and timing of the storm.

According to the Weather Service office in Jacksonville, if the storm tracks close enough to northeastern Florida, the result could be particularly severe. Among the possible effects, it listed: "Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period."

The latest storm-surge forecast shows that if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the area from Lantana (just south of West Palm Beach) to the Charleston area of South Carolina could see four to seven feet of water above ground, while the region from Deerfield Beach to Lantana could experience two to four feet.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday night in coastal Georgia, and by Wednesday in South Carolina and by Thursday in North Carolina. Where and whether Dorian makes landfall will depend on the exact trajectory of its turn relative to the coast as it turns north and then starts to bend northeastward.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center." In addition, water levels along the coast are forecast to rise "well in advance of the arrival of strong winds."

Areas that are especially vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, such as Jacksonville, Florida, could once again see significant flooding depending on the exact track and timing of the storm.

According to the Weather Service office in Jacksonville, if the storm tracks close enough to northeastern Florida, the result could be particularly severe. Among the possible effects, it listed: "Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period."

The latest storm-surge forecast shows that if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the area from Lantana (just south of West Palm Beach) to the Charleston area of South Carolina could see four to seven feet of water above ground, while the region from Deerfield Beach to Lantana could experience two to four feet.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday night in coastal Georgia, and by Wednesday in South Carolina and by Thursday in North Carolina. Where and whether Dorian makes landfall will depend on the exact trajectory of its turn relative to the coast as it turns north and then starts to bend northeastward.

https://c.ndtvimg.com/2019-09/gavo9648_hurricane-dorian-florida-reuters-650_625x300_03_September_19.jpg
Residents watch as watch the heavy surf during a mandatory evacuation as Hurricane Dorian inches closer to Florida

The Weather Service is urging residents to prepare for "life-threatening surge having possible extensive impacts across across the coastal counties of Southeast South Carolina and Southeast Georgia."

Scenarios involving a direct hit, a scrape and a graze are possible in Georgia and the Carolinas based on available forecasts. A direct hit is most likely in North Carolina because its coast sticks out into the ocean farthest east.

"There is an increasing likelihood of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week," the Hurricane Center wrote. "Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian and listen to advice given by local emergency officials."

The Georgia and South Carolina coastlines are particularly vulnerable to storm surge flooding, even from a storm that does not make landfall, due to the shape of the land on and just offshore, as well as the effects of sea level rise and land subsidence over time.

Locations even farther north from Virginia Beach to the Delmarva and even up to Cape Cod could get brushed by the storm Friday and Saturday, with heavy rains and gusty, tropical storm force winds.

While computer model projections all show that Hurricane Dorian will remain just off the East Coast of the U.S., there is still uncertainty involved in that forecast, especially since the storm has yet to begin its northward trek.

The track is especially dependent on the intensity and orientation of a trough of low pressure, or dip in the jet stream that is helping to draw the storm northward and eventually shunt it northeast out into the North Atlantic. If that weather feature or any others currently on the map, such as a weakening high to the storm's east, do not evolve as anticipated, the storm could pull a wild card turn toward or further away from land.

In particular, the timing of its next two turns over the coming days becomes crucial. In order to avoid making landfall along the East Coast, the storm will need to turn to the north, and eventually northeast, at just the right moments.

Computer models are in agreement that the timing will work out, and there will be no landfall, but there is very little room for error, given that the track forecast is so close to the coast.

This is a formidable storm that coastal residents are eyeing especially warily, hoping that the forecasts are right. It's also a turning point in meteorology, in which the science has advanced to the point where local officials in southern Florida, who saw a buzzsaw of a hurricane moving west, directly at them, made the decision not to evacuate the coastline due to the forecast guidance that the storm would turn away.

As Dorian approached over the weekend, the Hurricane Center used dire language to describe the threat, including the word "catastrophic." Unfortunately, it appears that was the result, particularly in the Abaco Islands and on Grand Bahama Island.

On Grand Bahama, parts of the island were exposed to the full fury of the storm's eyewall for an unimaginable 20-plus hours. Typically such storms move fast enough to expose one spot to their full fury for a few hours or less. But in this case, the storm reached Grand Bahama and stopped moving, with Hurricane Hunter aircraft finding essentially no movement each time they got to the storm's center.

While grim news is emerging from Abaco, it may take longer to get a detailed picture of how Grand Bahama Island, where Freeport, a city of about 27,000, is located, fared in the storm. On Monday evening, the Hurricane Center released a statement saying it expected additional "extreme destruction" on the island overnight due to a combination of extreme winds and storm surge flooding.

The overwhelming majority of computer model forecasts keep the center of Dorian just to the east of the Florida coast, as well as Georgia and South Carolina, rather than bringing the eye of the storm ashore. However, it appears it will be a close call as to whether the storm makes landfall in eastern North Carolina on Friday.

The NWS is forecasting heavy rains to overspread areas from coastal Florida toward the Mid-Atlantic this week, with the potential for 15-inch amounts to occur in far eastern North Carolina in particular.

Dorian is tied for the second-strongest storm (as judged by its maximum sustained winds) ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, behind Hurricane Allen of 1980, and, after striking the northern Bahamas, tied with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the title of the strongest Atlantic hurricane at landfall.

It is only the second Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas since 1983, according to Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University. The only other is Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The international hurricane database goes back continuously only to 1983.

[Hurricane Dorian has smashed all sorts of intensity records in the Atlantic Ocean]

The storm's peak sustained winds rank as the strongest so far north in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida on record. Its pressure, which bottomed out at 910 millibars, is significantly lower than Hurricane Andrew's when it made landfall in South Florida in 1992 (the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm).

With Dorian attaining Category 5 strength, this is the first time since the start of the satellite era (in the 1960s) that Category 5 storms have developed in the tropical Atlantic for four straight years, according to Capital Weather Gang tropical weather expert Brian McNoldy.

The unusual strength of Dorian and the rate at which it developed is consistent with the expectation of more intense hurricanes in a warming world. Some studies have shown increases in hurricane rapid intensification, and modeling studies project an uptick in the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms.

Dorian may have also set a record for the longest period of Category 4 and 5 conditions to strike one location in the North Atlantic Basin since the dawn of the satellite era, but historical data is relatively sparse.

 
 
 
  • Published in World

Hurricane Dorian gains strength as Florida braces for potential ‘monster’ storm

Residents of Florida braced for what could be a historically damaging storm on Friday as Hurricane Dorian lingered in the western Atlantic, building strength in advance of its anticipated landfall early on Tuesday on the state’s east coast.

“It could be an absolute monster,” Donald Trump said in a video address, pledging federal support for local disaster relief efforts.

Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, declared a state of emergency for every county in the state and warned of a potential “multi-day” event, but stopped short of declaring any emergency evacuations.

Emergency preparations were under way up and down the Atlantic coast, from Jacksonville in the north to Miami and the Florida Keys, as well as in Orlando and inland areas.

On Friday morning, Dorian was a category 2 hurricane located north-east of the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 110mph. Ominously, the storm had developed a distinct eye and slowed its westward progress, meaning it could spend more time over land – and do more damage.

Meteorologists said Dorian could make landfall in Florida on Tuesday as a category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 140mph.

“If it makes landfall as a category 3 or 4 hurricane, that’s a big deal,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy told the Associated Press. “A lot of people are going to be affected. A lot of insurance claims.”

DeSantis acknowledged fuel shortages across the state as residents formed long lines at petrol stations, supermarkets and hardware stores. Officials advised residents to stockpile canned food, water and other supplies and to refill essential prescriptions.

Coastal residents were amassing sandbags against potential flooding and tacking plywood over windows and doors. Officials directed residents in the hurricane’s path to check their preparedness plan against advice on the state’s storm emergency web site and to be on guard against price gouging and fraud.

DeSantis announced that highway patrol cars would ride escort for fuel trucks to expedite distribution.

“We’re doing all we can on the fuel,” he said.

Earlier predictions of an arrival of the storm early on the Labor Day holiday, Monday, were revised in anticipation of an early Tuesday arrival. Storm surge could be made worse by extreme tides associated with the new moon, which fell on Friday.

A hurricane watch was in effect for the north-western Bahamas, with a risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding were anticipated in all affected areas.

While it was unclear where on the Florida coastline Dorian would make landfall, Trump compared the storm to the 1992 Hurricane Andrew, which likewise tore into Florida along the Atlantic coast, killing 65 and tallying $27bn in damage.

“It does seem almost certain that it’s hitting dead center, and that’s not good,” Trump said. “Somebody said bigger, or at least as big as Andrew.”

The major models of the storm showed it most likely deflecting up the Atlantic coast after making landfall but the risk remained, DeSantis said, that the storm could cross Florida and move into the Gulf of Mexico, to potentially grow in strength once again over relatively warm and shallow waters.

“Obviously a storm that cuts across the state, crosses the Gulf and then slams the Panhandle is a bad, bad thing for us,” DeSantis said.

“Not every path of the storm has the same probability but you’ve got to be prepared for that. It’s too soon to tell.”

  • Published in World

Who are the rulers of the United States?

A perfect example —among many— is Florida Senator Rick Scott (former governor of the state).

According to some official sources, he has a net worth of $166 million and declared $133 million for investments covering all sectors of the economy.

He is being regarded as one of the wealthiest lawmakers in the Senate.

His wealth was somehow affected after he spent $65 million to beat Democrat candidate Bill Nelson.

It is believed the actual wealth of Senator Scott is hardly difficult to determine as the informational standards only need certain revenue categories.

Ann Scott, his wife, bought some assets valued at $1 million or more. Hence, her estate cannot be calculated either.

Suffice to say that this multimillionaire Senator served as governor of Florida, and he took charge thanks to his billions.

Few have forgotten that when Scott aimed to work as governor, he was supported by neo-Nazi political party Tea Party.

Miami —known to be headquarter of several terrorist groups of Cuban origin since 1959— belongs to that state.

Not always clandestine, some of those who carried out terrorist attacks against Cuba went as far as to say publicly what they had done.

Moreover, resounding tributes were made to celebrate terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch Avila.

Observers believe Rick Scott had some sort of involvement behind the scenes as he facilitated every plot of the darkest sector of the American society, particularly in Florida.

Thus, it is not surprising Florida is a very valuable state when it comes to U.S. elections.

This Senator strengthens the idea of who the rulers of the U.S. are.

Today’s President Donald Trump took office with the least amount of popular votes. But he was backed by an important sector of Wall Street.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/ CubaSi Translation Staff

Florida: "For the Nibbling Critic of Rodents"

Terrible news travels his territory, he has to return millions of dollars to his tax-payers.

Two journalists of the New Herald, Daniel Chang and Elizabeth Koh revealed this Monday that the Jackson Health from Miami-Dade county received and spent those funds illegally.

It was discovered by an audit carried out by the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States.

Thus was reported by a media, "Political", and several other publications repeated.

The aforementioned audit found that since 2010 up to 2014, Medicaid of Florida supposedly paid Jackson Health those unauthorized millions to people of low incomes and without health insurance.

Authorities discovered that in that territory those funds were not controlled, opening the gates to all sort of corrupt tricks.

It was in fact in this scenario that the Florida Health System claimed the costs of the care to undocumented migrants and prisoners who received ambulatory care.

To make matters worse, they also discovered the concealment in Florida of 64 million dollars in terms of over payments.

Mary Mayhew, Secretary for the Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida, as well as of the funds distribution, refuted the discoveries of the audit.

"The result is mistaken and deceiving", she expressed in a written declaration.

The Florida President of the House of Representatives, José Oliva, republican of Miami Lakes, underestimated the already mentioned report describing it like this:

“These are disagreements among suppliers and bureaucrats from Washington that happen almost every day, especially in the field of medical care."

He added that the audit demonstrates that "the health care in this country are too bureaucratic, too complicated and too expensive."

Many there endorse it, even when their points of view only receive as an echo the nibbling critic of rodents.

Tropical depression may attempt to brew offshore of Florida early this week

AccuWeather meteorologists are monitoring the southwestern Atlantic Ocean for potential tropical development early this week.

The Atlantic basin has been quiet since Barry slammed onto the Louisiana coast as a hurricane on Saturday, July 13.

A concentrated batch of downpours and thunderstorms churning near the central Bahamas may attempt to brew into a more organized tropical system offshore of the southeastern United States in the coming days.

This feature will continue to track northwestward through the Bahamas before turning to the north and then northeast near Florida's southeastern coast through Tuesday.

"There is just a chance that this develops into a tropical depression before turning to the northeast and becoming incorporated with a stalling cold front along the southeastern coast of the U.S. during the middle of the week," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.

Regardless, residents and visitors across the central and northwestern Bahamas will notice an increase in showers and thunderstorms on Monday.

Early week July 22

The downpours can graze Miami and West Palm Beach on Monday night into early Tuesday, but more of the Southeast will turn stormy on Tuesday as the cold front sinks southward.

The front will make significant southward progress for July, sweeping cooler and less humid air across the Interstate-85 corridor and down to around I-10 in the lower Mississippi Valley.

However, some of the thunderstorms may turn severe across the Carolinas on Tuesday.

  • Published in World

Florida: Rebellion of black women?

As the Ku Klux-Klan shows its head again in U.S., those women rise up against measures that have humiliated them for years.

They bring to light the racism imposed on them whenever they need medical assistance, generally very insufficient.

MiamiDiario website said Wednesday that members of that South Floridian community would hold a so-called invisible Round Table.

In them they plan to denounce the racism prevailing in their health system.

The aforementioned activity will take place in a neighborhood in Miami, a week before the state Legislature begins its debates on health expenditures.

Regarding this last issue, experts have noticed that black women would remain “invisible” in the debates.

That’s why, Miami Diario reports, its activists will promote in September a chain of events to say “No more”.

Those events will seek to highlight the racial effects of certain policies and the need for South Florida lawmakers to defend the black community.

Right now, the lawmakers will go on vacation until September 5.

“We hope they will return to Washington knowing that they make health plans unconnected with the needs of our community.”

Thus claimed Janet Barrett, who works for both Medicare and Medicaid, allegedly destined to millions of poor and disabled people.

It is in such a scenario that Florida’s black women decided to urge lawmakers to stop the deep and systematic contempt that has overwhelmed them.

Titanic mission in a country devoured by selfishness, frivolity and its ardent worship for money.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff


Miami: Oasis for corrupters in Latin America?

This city shows the odd modality of sheltering and serving as a springboard to fugitive politicians and entrepreneurs, who seek to evade sanctions.

Last Sunday, Miami Herald’s section “Undertone” published an article on the issue signed by Kyra Gurney.

She begins her article writing that Miami “is still a magnet for those charged with corruption in Latin America”.

Then, she endorses her opinion detailing a large number of specific examples. One approaches the case of Alejandro Lyons Muskus, former Colombian governor who is facing 20 charges linked to this kind of dirty businesses.

He committed those offenses while he led the department of Cordoba between 2012 and 2015.

Prosecutors say it was a misappropriation scheme linked to payments made for the right to extract natural resources.

According to Gurney, since former governor Lyons Muskus left office, he has been trailed by allegations of corruption in Colombia.

“Now, the specialist writes, he could be the latest example of a long tradition in Florida:

What? Officials who chose to flee after plundering their homelands and settle down in this place “beyond the reach of their authorities”.

Later, to the surprise of many, she writes with great naturalness:

The climate of South Florida and its waterfront condos make it a prime spot for those who are under an investigative microscope.

An investigative report published by the Miami Herald in December outlined some examples. Last week, the most strident turn around Ricardo Martineli, former President of Panama, by the way, a bitter enemy of Cuba.

He was arrested in Miami near his $8.2 million home in Coral Gables.

“This practice is extremely common”, said José Miguel Cruz, research director of Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center.

What was Cruz referring to? Firstly, to very influential politicians from elsewhere fleeing to Miami and added:

“Florida has a long history with regard to cases of corrupt officials who came to U.S. not only to evade charges in their own countries, but basically to retire with the dirty money they made during their tenure”. But without embarrassment they have slammed in diverse scenarios

the lack of human rights in Cuba.

And right now, they organize and wage a low-intensity war against Venezuela, because it does not do what they do.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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