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  1. #16741

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    People have been sounding the alarm about home DNA kits for a long time now and I agree with them except that a family reunion just took place in my family as a result of a home DNA test.

    For various reasons my oldest nephew had lost touch with his birth father and was anxious to find him. We did a test (Ancestry) and didn't expect much. Instead a woman was said to be a possible second or third cousin and I put him in touch with her. Not only was she his second cousin they've become friends and her uncle is my nephew's father. The reunion took place this past summer.

    Many AfricanAmerican families can only go back so far and as I've said here before the more African American and Caribbean people participate the better the data is. I'm on my third revision at Ancestry. There are risks but there are reasons people participate.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #16742

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Ambushed: 15ft tumbleweeds trap drivers and force road closure
    Mobile plants forced authorities to close a highway in both directions for hours in Washington state on New Year’s Eve

    Associated Press in West Richland, Washington state
    Wed 1 Jan 2020 18.39 GMT

    Unlucky drivers in Washington state saw in the new year trapped under a glut of 15ft tumbleweeds, after the desiccated but mobile plants forced authorities to close a highway in both directions.

    The Washington state patrol announced via Twitter at around 6.30pm local time on New Year’s Eve that drivers on State Route 240 near West Richland should use alternative routes.

    Trooper Sarah Clasen told KAPP-KVEW vehicles were trapped in a pile of tumbleweeds that were up to 15ft (4.57m) tall.

    The state department of transportation used snow plows to clear the scene, a process trooper Chris Thorson said took about 10 hours. The road opened again at around 4.30am, well into 2020.

    Thorson said five cars and one 18-wheel semi truck were trapped. No injuries were reported.

    “People were still stuck at midnight and rung in the new year trapped under the weeds,” Thorson said, adding that troopers found one abandoned car trapped in the tumbleweeds at daylight. No one was inside.

    Trooper C. Thorson
    #tumblegeddon After 10 hours of SR 240 being closed last night on New Year’s Eve, it was opened around 0430 thanks to @WSDOT_East We still have one abandon car trapped in the tumbleweeds that was found at daylight, luckily no one was in it.

    January 1, 2020

    The incident was not without precedent. In California in 2018, for example, tumbleweeds shut down a whole town.

    Heavy winds sent thousands of tumbleweeds into Victorville in what some residents called an invasion, the prickly intruders blanketing yards and piling up outside homes.

    “It was just too much,” one resident said. “They were just coming and coming.”

    “It’s an invasion, definitely,” said another. “Normally you get a few flying down the street or whatnot but never this many. It’s never been this bad.”

    The phenomenon is not confined to America. In Victoria, Australia in 2016, “hairy panic” tumbleweeds blanketed the town of Wangaratta.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  3. #16743

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Power Outage Affects Two-Thirds of Puerto Rico After Earthquake
    Thousands of Puerto Ricans slept outside, fearing new tremors, after the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the island Tuesday.

    By Edmy Ayala and Frances Robles
    Jan. 8, 2020
    Updated 5:53 p.m. ET

    PONCE, P.R. — More than two-thirds of Puerto Rico had no electricity on Wednesday in the wake of a powerful earthquake that damaged buildings across the southern part of the island and prompted thousands of people to sleep outside in yards and parking lots.

    The magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck before dawn on Tuesday caused serious damage to one of Puerto Rico’s major power plants, Costa Sur, which generates about 40 percent of the island’s electricity.

    Gov. Wanda Vázquez gave government workers the day off on Wednesday and urged everyone to stay home, to “avoid chaos.” Most traffic lights were not working.

    “This is an event we have never lived through before,” the governor said. “We were not prepared for this. There is no way to prepare for this. It hit us hard, hard, hard.”

    The governor said she and other senior officials traveled to the Costa Sur plant to check conditions after a series of earthquakes that have shaken the island since late December. “We were able to verify that it suffered severe damage to the infrastructure, to the point that employees were injured,” she said at a news conference Tuesday night.

    A wall fell on an employee, who was hospitalized in stable condition, she said. Officials said that the damage to the plant was so bad that it may be beyond repair. Engineers may instead decide to focus on another power plant, which has received federal funding for improvements.

    On Tuesday night, 97 percent of the island was in the dark. But nearly a half-million of the island’s 1.5 million customers had their power restored by Wednesday morning, the power authority said.

    On Twitter, the agency said it was generating 542 megawatts of power by Wednesday morning. That is less than one-quarter of the amount normally needed at this time of year. Authorities worked through the night to fire up power plants around the island, but it was unclear whether they could generate enough electricity to make up for the loss of the Costa Sur plant.

    José Ortiz, the chief executive of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, said he hoped to get everyone’s power back on in the next day or so. He stressed that service would be restored gradually, in order to avoid overloading an unstable system.

    “We learned from the mistakes of the past,” he said. “We want to do it little by little so that those who get their service back, keep their service.”

    Because of the power disruptions, about 250,000 customers were without running water on Wednesday, according to the island’s aqueduct and water authority.

    Elí Díaz, the president of the agency, told WKAQ radio that the authorities were scrambling to find generators to power the water plants, but were finding that some of the equipment that had been tested before the earthquakes did not work when needed.

    “This is a question of hygiene and health,” Mr. Díaz said. “People can go without water for one day, maybe two. Now is when things start getting a little harder.”

    The Trump administration approved Puerto Rico’s request for a federal disaster declaration for the earthquake, which will release some funding for things like debris removal and financial assistance for people who lost their houses.

    Many people fled their homes, even those that did not sustain damage, because they were afraid the earthquake would trigger a tsunami. No tsunami warnings were in effect.

    Lines were forming outside grocery stories in some parts of the island that were hardest hit by the quakes.

    “We are always the forgotten ones — no help gets here,” said Jessica Ramos Sotero as she stood in line under a blazing sun at one of the only three bakeries in the town of Guayanilla that were open. “Please, let people know what is happening here.”

    Customers were being allowed into the bakery five at a time, and were limited to buying no more than two pounds of bread and a small bag of ice. A nearby supermarket, where there also was a line, was limiting customers to purchases of five items each.

    In some parts of the southwestern coastal city of Ponce, the lights were back on.

    Xiomara Cedeño, 34, said her house has been shaking since the first temblor on Dec. 28. A number of lesser aftershocks followed, with the strongest ones coming on Monday and Tuesday.

    Monday’s quake, which registered 5.8 magnitude, destroyed a beloved rock formation known as the Punta Ventana in Guayanilla. One death was attributed to Tuesday’s quake.

    The ground continued to shake on Wednesday, with at least 10 recorded tremors of 2.5 magnitude or greater, according to the United States Geological Survey.

    Ms. Cedeño, 34, spent the night Tuesday in an S.U.V. with her two children and mother-in-law, but was pleased to return to her in-laws’ house Wednesday morning and find the power back on.

    “When María happened, we were without electricity for three months,” Ms. Cedeño said, referring to Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017. “This time it went out after the second shake, during the night, and we were only without electricity for about a day and a
    half. It feels great. This time it came really, really fast.”

    Angel Figueroa Jaramillo, president of the electrical workers’ union, warned that the service restoration was not going to be quick for everyone.

    “The recovery process is going to be slow, but we have to go slow because we have to do this safely,” he told WAPA TV. “Anything that makes us hurry, causes a mistake, could collapse the system.”

    Those who have their electricity back need to conserve energy to help the restoration process, he said.

    “If you have several air conditioning units, turn on one, turn on two, don’t turn them all on,” he said. “Put them on a pleasant temperature, not so we freeze.”

    Edmy Ayala reported from Ponce and Guayanilla and Frances Robles from Miami. Patricia Mazzei contributed reporting from Ponce.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  4. #16744

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    MAGA Socialite Sentenced to 1 Month in Prison for Fraud

    Tracy Connor
    Executive Editor
    Published Jan. 11, 2020 1:09AM ET

    A Trump-loving socialite was sentenced to one month in prison this week for stealing her elderly mother’s Social Security benefits. Karyn Turk, a former Ms. Florida and self-styled conservative pundit, pleaded guilty but is appealing, according to the Sun Sentinel. Prosecutors said the 47-year-old pocketed $43,000 worth of checks that should have gone to the nursing home caring for her dementia-stricken mother, who has since died. The day she was sentenced to federal prison and five months of house arrest, Turk posted a photo on Instagram of herself posing in front of Mar-a-Lago.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  5. #16745

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Dave Stroup @DaveStroup

    Civil Air Patrol up over DC again tonight.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  6. #16746

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    FBI Busts Members of Neo-Nazi Group ‘The Base’ Days Before Richmond Gun Rally
    Two of the suspects allegedly built an assault rifle, amassed a pile of ammunition, and harbored an international fugitive.

    Will Sommer
    Updated Jan. 16, 2020 2:49PM ET / Published Jan. 16, 2020 1:02PM ET

    Police Handout

    The FBI arrested three members of a neo-Nazi group called “The Base” on Thursday morning, days ahead of a pro-gun rally in Richmond that is attracting fringe figures and has already prompted a state of emergency declaration.

    The three suspects—Brian Mark Lemley, William Garfield Bilbrough, and Canadian fugitive Patrik Mathews—face a variety of gun charges. Lemley and Bilbrough are also accused of illegally harboring Mathews, a former Canadian military reservist who fled his home country after being accused of being a recruiter for The Base. The trio is expected to face a federal judge in Maryland on Thursday afternoon.

    The suspects had discussed traveling to Richmond, Virginia, for a Jan. 20 rally in front of the state Capitol to protest new gun control legislation, The New York Times reported. The rally has become a flashpoint for the fringe right, prompting Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a four-day state of emergency and ban guns from the Capitol complex.

    Lemley and Mathews had allegedly built an assault rifle and amassed hundreds of rounds of ammunition before their arrest, according to the FBI. On a recording, Lemley said he had made the gun into an illegal machine gun and made plans to hide it from federal agents, according to the FBI

    “Oh oops, it looks like I accidentally made a machine gun,” Lemley, a former cavalry scout in the U.S. Army, said, according to the affidavit.

    “I’m going to stow it here until next week, just in case the ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] shows up tomorrow,” he told Mathews.

    “Um, if they show up here, we got other problems,” Mathews replied.

    The Base, which is derived from the English translation of the name of radical Islamic terrorist group al Qaeda, is a white supremacist paramilitary group committed to race war. In an affidavit filed with an application for the arrest warrants, an FBI described how Base members discuss their racial terrorism plans online.

    “Within The Base’s encrypted chat rooms, members have discussed, among other things, recruitment, creating a white ethno-state, committing acts of violence against minority communities (including African-Americans and Jewish-Americans), the organization’s military-style training camps, and ways to make improvised explosive devices,” the affidavit reads.

    Mathews allegedly crossed into Minnesota from Canada around Aug. 19, according to the FBI. After learning that Mathews was hiding in Michigan, Lemley and Bilbrough allegedly drove from Maryland to pick him up, then allegedly drove him back to the mid-Atlantic area on Aug. 30.

    On Nov. 4, according to the FBI, Mathews and Lemley rented an apartment in Delaware, according to the FBI. They ordered a part for the gun and ammunition, according to the affidavit, and made regular trips to a Maryland gun range with the functional assault rifle they had assembled. At one point, Bilbrough visited the pair, and the three allegedly discussed the Base’s membership and tried to make the hallucinogen DMT.

    On Jan. 11, Lemley picked up hundreds of rounds of additional ammunition and components for body armor, according to the FBI.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

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