Tag Archives: across

Families come from across U.S. to grieve relatives slain in Mexico

Families come from across U.S. to grieve relatives slain in MexicoAn American man whose grandchildren were slain in a massacre in Mexico demanded justice on Thursday for other victims of the country’s drug war, as relatives gathered from across the United States for a funeral guarded by heavily armed military. Kenneth Miller lost his daughter-in-law and four grandchildren, all dual citizens, in an ambush on Monday in the northern border state of Sonora that killed three mothers and six children. The attack on members of breakaway Mormon communities who settled in Mexico decades ago prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to urge Mexico and the United States to “wage war” together on drug cartels.



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NYC ships homeless people across the country, new report claims

NYC ships homeless people across the country, new report claimsMore than 12,000 homeless people in New York City were sent to live across the country in 32 states and Puerto Rico as part of a “special one-time assistance program,” according to a new report.



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1 dead as Israel hits Gaza after rockets fired across border

1 dead as Israel hits Gaza after rockets fired across borderIsraeli airstrikes on Gaza killed a Palestinian man Saturday as aircraft pounded militant sites in response to barrages of rockets launched toward Israel from the seaside enclave. Gaza’s Health Ministry said Ahmed al-Shehri, 27, died from shrapnel injuries during the Israeli bombings that continued through the early hours of Saturday. Witnesses at Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis said the three were sitting in an orchard adjacent to one of the militant posts that was hit.



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Photos from space show the Kincade Fire's spread across California wine country

Photos from space show the Kincade Fire's spread across California wine countrySatellites in space observed the Kincade Fire burning through dry vegetation. Infrared images show scorched land.



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Weird, Windy Weather Is Fueling Wildfires Across California

Weird, Windy Weather Is Fueling Wildfires Across CaliforniaPhilip Pacheco/AFP/GettySummer might be over, but California is currently facing a wildfire outbreak so severe that California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, citing “historic” winds and “unprecedented” fire weather conditions. The Kincade fire, which is wreaking havoc north of San Francisco, has burned over 73,000 acres in the state’s iconic wine country. As fires rage 300 miles north, Southern California’s Getty fire has burned over 600 acres in West Los Angeles and is poised for greater destruction. The area is scrambling to grapple with its own potentially catastrophic weather, as a potentially record-setting Santa Ana wind event sweeps in Tuesday night.Cal Fire officials are saying the Kincade fire could burn for “weeks if not months”—unusual considering that the normal summer wildfire season was considered “calm.” The National Weather Service, in an unprecedented move, has issued an “extreme red flag warning” for residents of much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties near the Getty fire due as winds pick up and threaten to spread the fire farther, faster. On top of all of this, nearly one million California residents are without power after the Pacific Gas and Electric Company shut off power in hopes of preventing additional fires from starting. The company has been accused of being responsible for multiple major fires, including two over the weekend in the Bay Area, when compromised power lines and high winds combined to dangerous result in spite of intentional blackouts in nearby areas.If you feel like California’s problem with wildfires keeps getting worse, you’re right. Fifteen of California’s 20 largest fires on record have occurred in the past two decades, and scientists find climate change to be the unambiguous cause fueling these fires to become bigger and more destructive. A study published in July found the amount of land wildfires burn in California annually has increased by 500 percent since 1972. The researchers analyzed nearly 40,000 wildfires over that time period and found an increase in daytime temperatures was a major factor in why more land was burning. The researchers believe that California’s warm season days have seen temperatures increase by nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1970s. While other environmental factors are also at work, at the most basic level the increase in temperature contributes to an arid environment—meaning the plants and soil become dried out—which makes it so fires are more likely to consume larger areas. Alex Hall, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and director of the Center for Climate Science at UCLA, tells The Daily Beast that temperature increases driven by climate change are certainly a major factor. “Especially in the last five years, there’s been a dramatic increase in the intensity of wildfires. That is, in part, driven by an increase in temperature,” Hall said. “The winds tend to be drier, and they are more likely to spread fire. Warmer temperatures also dry out vegetation more quickly.”The state has also experienced longer dry seasons recently. California’s fire season used to start part-way through the summer and end sometime in the early fall when the wet season began. As we’re seeing now, the dry season has at times extended into November or December in recent years, expanding the opportunities for catastrophic fires to engulf large parts of the state.“The moment when the rainy season begins is the moment when the fire season largely comes to an end, so there is definitely a timing factor there,” Hall said, noting that there is some variability in the start of the rainy season from year to year. But more precipitation can complicate things even further. During wetter years, there’s more opportunity for vegetation to grow, creating fuel that could burn during the next dry year. In a study published in Nature Climate Change last year, Hall examined this phenomenon, finding that California experienced “extreme wetness during the 2016–2017 winter” after a number of dry years. The state went on to experience disastrous fires in the years that followed. California saw its costliest and most destructive fire season in the state’s history in 2017, which was followed by another costly and destructive fire season in 2018.“There’s a huge swing between the summer and the winter, in terms of precipitation in California, and then there are huge swings from winter to winter in how much precipitation is received,” Hall said. “That variability is projected to increase in the future due to a changing climate.”Scientists expect that dry years in California will soon be drier and the wet years will soon be more wet. Hall explained that there could be multiple wet winters in a row, allowing growth to lay in wait.While some effects of California’s destructive fire cycle appear now to be inevitable, what we can try to do now is mitigate the severity events like the fires raging in both halves of California.“A certain amount of climate change is inevitable,” Hall said. “But that certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Because if we don’t, the outcomes are just far worse.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Firefighters battle fierce wildfires across California

Firefighters battle fierce wildfires across CaliforniaFirefighters on Friday battled several wildfires raging across California that destroyed homes and forced evacuations, as more than 18 million people were under a red flag warning in the southern part of the state. Tens of thousands of residents near Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, fled their homes as the so-called Tick Fire scorched 4,300 acres (1,740 hectares) and was only five percent contained by Friday afternoon. New evacuations in the area were ordered early Friday as the fire that began the day before continued to spread, driven by so-called Santa Ana winds gusting up to 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour.



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Tropical Storm Priscilla to unleash flooding rainfall across southwest Mexico early this week

Tropical Storm Priscilla to unleash flooding rainfall across southwest Mexico early this weekA newly strengthened tropical storm will bring a heightened risk of flash flooding and mudslides to southwestern Mexico through Monday.The new tropical threat formed about 105 miles (169 km) south of Manzanillo, Mexico, early Sunday morning, and was upgraded to a tropical storm just a few hours later.As of 8 a.m. EDT Sunday, the storm was moving north at 7 mph (11 km/h) with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 km/h). This satellite image shows newly formed Tropical Depression 19 off the southwestern coast of Mexico early Sunday morning. (NOAA/GOES-EAST) The storm is expected to hold its intensity as it moves inland over southwestern Mexico.Wind gusts of 40-60 mph (64-97 km/h) can occur where the system makes landfall."Once inland, the system will quickly weaken and dissipate Sunday night," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.No matter the status of Priscilla, heavy rainfall is expected to be the main impact from the system. AccuWeather meteorologists expect widespread rainfall totals of 3-6 inches (76-152 mm), with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 10 inches (254 mm).Portions of Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima and Michoacan are expected to bear the brunt of this rainfall."This rain will lead to the risk for dangerous flooding and mudslides across the region," Miller said.The area's steep terrain will heighten the risk of fast-moving, potentially life-threatening debris flows.This system is designated a less than 1 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes. The AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes ranges from values of less than 1 to 5.Elsewhere in the East Pacific basin, there are no other immediate tropical threats this week. Download the free AccuWeather app to see the latest forecast and advisories for your region. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.



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‘Everyone is getting a little shaky’: Republicans consider turning on Trump as impeachment support grows across US

‘Everyone is getting a little shaky’: Republicans consider turning on Trump as impeachment support grows across USRepublican senators are becoming increasingly unnerved by Donald Trump’s conduct, as national support for impeachment rises.Democrats have launched a formal impeachment inquiry, over concerns the president pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son.



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A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across China

A Crackdown on Islam Is Spreading Across ChinaYINCHUAN, China — In China's northwest, the government is stripping the most overt expressions of the Islamic faith from a picturesque valley where most residents are devout Muslims. Authorities have destroyed domes and minarets on mosques, including one in a small village near Linxia, a city known as "Little Mecca."Similar demolitions have been carried out in Inner Mongolia, Henan and Ningxia, the homeland of China's largest Muslim ethnic minority, the Hui. In the southern province of Yunnan, three mosques were closed. From Beijing to Ningxia, officials have banned the public use of Arabic script.This campaign represents the newest front in the Chinese Communist Party's sweeping rollback of individual religious freedoms, after decades of relative openness that allowed more moderate forms of Islam to blossom. The harsh crackdown on Muslims that began with the Uighurs in Xinjiang is spreading to more regions and more groups.It is driven by the party's fear that adherence to the Muslim faith could turn into religious extremism and open defiance of its rule. Across China, the party is now imposing new restrictions on Islamic customs and practices, in line with a confidential party directive, parts of which have been seen by The New York Times.The measures reflect the hard-line policies of China's leader, Xi Jinping, who has sought to reassert the primacy of the Communist Party and its ideology in all walks of life.The campaign has prompted concerns that the repression of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang has begun to bleed into other parts of China, targeting Hui and other Muslims who have been better integrated than Uighurs into Chinese society. Last year, a top party official from Ningxia praised Xinjiang's government during a visit there and pledged to increase cooperation between the two regions on security matters.Haiyun Ma, a Hui Muslim professor at Frostburg State University in Maryland, said the crackdown was continuing a long history of animosity toward Islam in China that has alienated believers."The People's Republic of China has become the world's foremost purveyor of anti-Islamic ideology and hate," he wrote in a recent essay for the Hudson Institute. "This, in turn, has translated into broad public support for the Beijing government's intensifying oppression of Muslims in the Xinjiang region and elsewhere in the country."None of the new measures, so far, have approached the brutality of Xinjiang's mass detentions and invasive surveillance of Uighurs. But they have already stirred anxiety among the Hui, who number more than 10 million."We are now backtracking again," Cui Haoxin, a Hui Muslim poet who publishes under the name An Ran, said in an interview in Jinan, south of Beijing, where he lives.To Cui, the methods of repression that are smothering Uighur society in Xinjiang now loom over all of China. "One day, this model will not only target Muslims," he said. "Everyone will be harmed by it."'Sinicization of Islam'Islam has had followers in China for centuries. There are now 22 million to 23 million Muslims, a tiny minority in a country of 1.4 billion. Among them, the Hui and the Uighurs make up the largest ethnic groups. Uighurs primarily live in Xinjiang, but the Hui live in enclaves scattered around the nation.The restrictions they now face can be traced to 2015, when Xi first raised the issue of what he called the "Sinicization of Islam," saying all faiths should be subordinate to Chinese culture and the Communist Party. Last year, Xi's government issued a confidential directive that ordered local officials to prevent Islam from interfering with secular life and the state's functions.Critics of China's policies who are outside the country provided excerpts from the directive to The Times. The directive, titled "Reinforcing and Improving Islam Work in the New Situation," has not been made public. It was issued by the State Council, China's Cabinet, in April of last year and classified as confidential for 20 years.The directive warns against the "Arabization" of Islamic places, fashions and rituals in China, singling out the influence of Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam's holiest sites, as a cause for concern.It prohibits the use of the Islamic financial system. It bars mosques or other private Islamic organizations from organizing kindergartens or after-school programs, and it forbids Arabic-language schools to teach religion or send students abroad to study.The most visible aspect of the crackdown has been the targeting of mosques built with domes, minarets and other architectural details characteristic of Central Asia or the Arabic world.Taken in isolation, some of these measures seem limited. Others seem capricious: some mosques with Arabic features have been left untouched, while others nearby have been altered or shut down.But on a national scale, the trend is clear. Cui, the poet, calls it the harshest campaign against faith since the end of the Cultural Revolution, when so-called Red Guards unleashed by Mao Zedong destroyed mosques across the country.Targeting Domes and Arabic ScriptIn the state's view, the spread of Islamic customs dangerously subverts social and political conformity.In Ningxia, the provincial government banned public displays of Arabic script, even removing the word "halal" from the official seal it distributes to restaurants that follow Islamic customs for preparing food. The seals now use Chinese characters. That prohibition spread this summer to Beijing and elsewhere.The authorities in several provinces have stopped distributing halal certificates for food, dairy and wheat producers and restaurants. Chinese state media have described this as an effort to curb a "pan-halal tendency" in which Islamic standards are being applied, in the government's view, to too many types of foods or restaurants.Ningxia and Gansu have also banned the traditional call to prayer. Around historical mosques there, prayer times are now announced with a grating claxon. One imam in Ningxia's capital, Yinchuan, said authorities had recently visited and warned him to make no public statements on religious matters.Auuthorities have also targeted the mosques themselves. In Gansu, construction workers in Gazhuang, a village near Linxia, descended on a mosque in April, tearing off its golden dome. It has not yet reopened. Plainclothes policemen prevented two Times journalists from entering.In the southern province of Yunnan, where there have long been Hui communities, authorities last December padlocked mosques in three small villages that had been run without official permission. There were protests and brief scuffles with police, to no avail. The county issued a statement accusing the mosques of holding illegal religious activities and classes.In one of the villages, Huihuideng, Ma Jiwu carried his grandson outside the shuttered local mosque, which had operated inside a home.Ma, wearing the distinctive skullcap that many Hui wear, said the imams there had ignored warnings to move their services to the village's main mosque, where a Chinese flag hangs in the central courtyard and a large red banner exhorts worshippers, "Love your country, love your religion.""They did not listen," Ma said.Near the main mosque, a woman said the closing of the smaller one had stirred resentment, but also a feeling of resignation. She used a Chinese idiom for helplessness against a superior force, in this case the government: "The arm cannot twist the thigh."Xiong Kunxin, a professor of ethnic studies at Minzu University in Beijing, defended the government's recent actions. He said that China's far-reaching economic changes over the last 40 years had been accompanied by a loosening of restrictions on religious practice, but that the laxity had gone too far."Now China's economic development has reached a certain height," he said, "and suddenly problems related to religious and other affairs are being discovered."In the case of Islam, he cited the proliferation of mosques and the spread of "halal" practices into public life, saying they conflicted with the cultural values of the majority Han Chinese population.Official statistics indicate that there are now more mosques in China than Buddhist temples: 35,000 compared with 33,500. In the last year, scores of mosques have been altered, closed or destroyed entirely, many of them in Xinjiang, according to officials and news reports.'The Major Enemy the State Faces'The party asserts that it has the right to control all organized religion. Critics ascribe that to its fear that religious organizations could challenge its political power. In the past, the party's repression has triggered violent responses.In 1975, during Mao's Cultural Revolution, the People's Liberation Army surrounded Shadian, a mostly Hui Muslim town in Yunnan province where residents had protested the closure of mosques. Clashes ensued, prompting a massive military intervention that razed the town and left more than 1,600 people dead.The current pressure has also been met with unrest, though not on that scale. In August 2018 in Weizhou, a village in Ningxia, protests erupted when the authorities sent demolition workers to a newly built mosque. After a tense showdown that lasted several days, the local government promised to suspend the destruction and review the plans.Nearly a year later, police officers still block the roads into the village, turning away foreigners, including diplomats and two Times journalists who tried to visit in May.China claims that it allows freedom of religion, but emphasizes that the state must always come first. The Ningxia government, asked about its recent restrictions on Islam, said that China had rules on religious practice just like any other country.Mosques that violate laws such as building codes will be closed, it said, and schools and universities will not permit religious activities."Arabic is a foreign language," the government said about the restrictions on public signage, adding that they had been imposed "to make things convenient for the general public."In an interview, Ma, the Frostburg State scholar, said the current leadership viewed religion as "the major enemy the state faces." He said senior officials had studied the role played by faith — particularly the Catholic Church in Poland — in the collapse of the Soviet Union and its dominion in Eastern Europe.Believers have little recourse against the intensifying crackdown. Ma predicted that it would not relent soon, but that it would ultimately fail, as other campaigns against Muslims have."I really doubt they can eliminate religious faith," he said. "That is impossible."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company



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Mike Pence takes eight-vehicle motorcade across island where cars have been banned for a century

Mike Pence takes eight-vehicle motorcade across island where cars have been banned for a centuryFor more than a century, motorised vehicles have been banned from Mackinac Island in Michigan – giving the former Revolutionary War battle site a unique charm and turning it into a tourist haven.The ban is so strictly enforced that when President Gerald Ford visited in 1975, he and first lady Betty Ford travelled by horse-drawn carriage.



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