Posts Tagged ‘U.s.’
Eastern U.S. battles heat wave amid power outages
Last Updated on Sunday, 1 July 2012 12:08 Written by admin Sunday, 1 July 2012 12:08
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Blistering heat blanketed much of the eastern United States for the third straight day on Sunday, after violent storms that took at least a dozen lives and knocked out power to more than 3 million customers.
Emergencies were declared in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., on Saturday because of damage from storms that unleashed hurricane-force winds across and a 500-mile (800-km) stretch of the mid-Atlantic region.
The storms’ rampage came as sweltering temperatures topped 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in several southern cities, including Atlanta, where the mercury hit an all-time record of 106 degrees (41 Celsius), according to Accuweather.com.
Over two dozen cities across 10 states set or tied all-time record high temperatures on Friday and Saturday, including Columbia, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
The heat wave continued Sunday for millions of people from the Plains to the mid-Atlantic.
One of the hardest hit cities was Charlotte, North Carolina, where the mercury hovered at about 101 degrees (38.3 C) Sunday afternoon and was expected to at least tie its all-time record of 104 (40 C) later in the day.
From St. Louis, Missouri, to Washington, D.C., the forecasts were for temperatures that could climb to more all-time records.
“It is very unsafe outdoors for those susceptible to these extreme conditions,” the National Weather Service said in a statement.
‘CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE” TO POWER GRIDS
Power crews worked to restore service to homes and businesses, and officials in some areas said the job could take up to a week. Utilities in Ohio, Virginia and Maryland described damage to their power grids as catastrophic.
Six people were killed in Virginia in storm-related incidents, and more than 1 million customers were left without power in the worst outage not linked to a hurricane in the state’s history, said Bob Spieldenner, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
Two Maryland residents died in the storm – one struck by a falling tree in Anne Arundel County, the other electrocuted after a tree crashed into a house in Montgomery County – said state emergency management agency spokesman Edward Hopkins.
In a late Sunday morning update, Maryland Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ed McDonough said a Chesapeake Bay boater was still missing after the storm and 639,000 customers remained without power. That was down from more than 1 million Maryland customers without lights and crucial air conditioning earlier on Sunday morning.
In New Jersey, two cousins aged 2 and 7 were killed by a falling tree in a state park. And in eastern Tennessee, heat was blamed for the deaths of two brothers, ages 3 and 5, in Bradley County. They had been playing outside in 105-degree (41-degree C) heat.
HEATED LABOR DISPUTE
Ohio, where one storm-related death was reported, faced similar difficulties. Outages hit two-thirds of the state with about 1 million homes and businesses left without electricity. Governor John Kasich said it could take a week to fully restore power.
President Barack Obama authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts in the storm-ravaged state.
West Virginia was also hard-hit by storm-related outages, with about 614,000 customers without power, said Terrance Lively, spokesman for the state emergency management agency.
Further north, the storm caused outages from Indiana, where 135,000 customers lost power, to New Jersey, where Atlantic County declared a state of emergency and at least 206,000 customers were without power.
In New York, a heated labor dispute threatened to compound problems posed by the summer heat wave, which has already put an added strain on the electrical grid for New York City and suburban Westchester county.
Power utility Consolidated Edison Inc locked out its unionized workers early on Sunday after contract talks broke down, both sides said, raising the possibility of power cuts.
The company said it had asked to extend negotiations for two more weeks but the union, which had threatened a strike by its 8,500 workers over a new contract, refused. In response, the firm told union members not to report for work on Sunday.
That left managers and any crews the company can hire to fix whatever problems arise as 8.2 million New Yorkers crank up their air conditioners to beat the heat.
Records for June were broken on Friday in Nashville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. The temperature hit at least 104 F (40 C) in all four cities, according to the National Weather Service.
(Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Paul Thomasch in New York, Susan Guyett in Indianapolis, Tim Ghianni in Nashville and Alistair Bull in Washington; Editing by Tom Brown, Sandra Maler and Vicki Allen)
Iran says happy to examine U.S. plot allegations (Reuters)
Last Updated on Monday, 17 October 2011 05:52 Written by admin Monday, 17 October 2011 05:52
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said on Monday it would take a look at “seriously and patiently” U.S. allegations it prepared to assassinate a Saudi ambassador and called on Washington to deliver evidence of the plot it has dismissed as baseless propaganda.
“We are well prepared to look at any matter, even if fabricated, significantly and patiently, and we have known as on The usa to submit to us any information in regard to this scenario,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA information company.
U.S. authorities explained very last week they had foiled a plot to destroy Saudi’s ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, and had arrested an Iranian-U.S. joint nationwide — information that raised tensions in between Tehran, its Arab neighbors and the West.
President Barack Obama said the foiled plot must lead to tighter sanctions against Iran — previously beneath numerous rounds of U.N. sanctions above its nuclear program — and repeated that all options are on the table to deal with the Islamic republic, a tacit threat of potential army action.
U.N. Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon stated on Monday he had passed correspondence about the U.S. suspicions of Iran’s involvement in the alleged plot to the U.N. Security Council.
Tehran says Washington fabricated the plot to divert attention from its own economic difficulties and boost pressure on Iran, which it has lengthy regarded as a supporter of “terrorist” groups with nuclear weapons ambitions.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the West Iran will counter any “inappropriate measure” taken in opposition to it and stated he had no concern of military or sanctions threats.
“Despite the high army, protection, propaganda and sanctions strain, the Islamic Republic is very pleased not to again down even an iota for the duration of the past 32 many years,” he stated in a televised speech during a tour of Kermanshah province.
“The Iranian nation and its officials will not yield to the enemies’ blackmailing and pressure.”
The plot furor appears to have killed any possibility of a rapid return to talks among Tehran and world powers worried about its nuclear course, but Salehi stated Iran continued to make strides in the technologies it states is for purely peaceful ends.
Salehi conceded Iran had at first feared the assassination of a nuclear scientist in Tehran final November — which it blamed on Israel — had dealt a significant blow to a important portion of its atomic work.
“When (Majid) Shahriyari was martyred we have been anxious due to the fact he was the only man or woman who understood about this expert area (enriching uranium to 20 percent purity),” he mentioned.
“But soon after our trip to (the nuclear plant in the town of) Isfahan, I recognized that the graceful martyr had skilled about twenty folks in his workshops. Appropriate now we have several thousand nuclear engineers and there is virtually nothing in the nuclear concern that we want to obtain but can’t.”
Iran’s announcement final year that it had escalated uranium enrichment from the lower level essential for electrical power creation to twenty %, alarmed many international locations that feared it was a crucial phase towards making materials potent enough for a nuclear bomb.
Tehran states the fuel is essential to make isotopes for cancer treatment and preceding nuclear talks targeted on a deal to provide ready-built fuel for its healthcare reactor in trade for some of Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium.
Salehi mentioned in January — forward of the previous spherical of nuclear talks that then stalled — that these kinds of a fuel swap deal was turning out to be much less relevant as Iran would be able to generate its personal fuel plates for the reactor in the very first half of the Iranian yr, which began in March.
With that deadline currently passed, Salehi said on Monday Iran would be creating the medical reactor fuel within the subsequent four to five months. He explained Iran had created nearly 70 kg (a hundred and fifty lb) of twenty % enriched uranium, up from an approximated 40 kg in January.
(Producing by Robin Pomeroy modifying by Philippa Fletcher)
Many U.S. veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth it (Reuters)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 5 October 2011 04:43 Written by admin Wednesday, 5 October 2011 04:43
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 3rd of U.S. military veterans who have served in the armed forces given that the September eleven, 2001, attacks believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been not well worth combating, a poll produced on Wednesday showed.
The poll by the nonpartisan Pew Analysis Center discovered that these veterans held relatively more optimistic views of these two wars that the basic manifeste in the United States but even now harbored deep misgivings about the conflicts.
Thirty-a few % of the publish-nine/eleven veterans who took portion in the poll mentioned neither of these two wars was worthwhile considering the costs vs the benefits to the United States. That in comparison to forty five % of nonmilitary poll respondents who explained neither war was beneficial.
U.S. forces had been sent into Afghanistan in the weeks right after the 2001 attacks on the United States to topple that country’s Taliban leaders who had harbored the al Qaeda leaders liable for nine/11.
The United States led an invasion of Iraq in 2003, toppled Saddam Hussein’s federal government, but then confronted a protracted insurgency. The primary justification for the war provided by the United States just before the invasion was the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. No this sort of weapons had been located.
A lot more than 4,400 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq and nearly one,700 killed in Afghanistan, Pentagon figures present.
Looking at each war individually, 50 percent of the post-9/11 veterans explained the war in Afghanistan has been worth battling and 44 percent explained the exact same factor about the Iraq war, in accordance to the Pew Investigation Center.
In comparison, 41 % of the U.S. public discovered the Afghanistan war really worth the costs and 36 % thought the Iraq war was beneficial.
Amid the post-nine/11 veterans, 34 percent held the watch that each of the wars ended up worthwhile, compared to 28 % of the standard public, in accordance to the Pew Research Middle.
The poll discovered that 96 percent of these veterans expressed satisfaction in their military support. But 44 % documented troubles in readjusting to civilian lifestyle and 37 percent documented struggling from post-traumatic pressure connected to their provider.
The findings were based mostly on two nationwide surveys carried out in between July 28 and September 15, one involving military veterans and the other involving the general manifeste, Pew Investigation Middle mentioned. It stated one,853 veterans were surveyed, like 712 who served in the army soon after the 2001 attacks. The general manifeste survey concerned two,003 U.S. adults.
(Reporting by Will Dunham)
China assails U.S. over Dalai Lama, fallout seen limited (Reuters)
Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2011 01:32 Written by admin Monday, 18 July 2011 01:32
BEIJING (Reuters) – China stepped up its criticism of Washington on Monday right after President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama, but stopped quick of threatening retaliation, indicating Beijing was keen to stay away from escalating tensions among the world’s largest economies.
Obama satisfied the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader for 45 minutes on Saturday, praising him for embracing non-violence even though reiterating that the United States did not support independence for Tibet.
Beijing, which accuses the Dalai Lama of staying a violent separatist, responded with predictably vehement words on Monday by way of its tightly managed state media, though without mentioning any broader retaliation that could deepen strains.
“Generally, the Chinese feel that the U.S. authorities meets with the Dalai Lama either to appease its domestic hardliners or to vent its dissatisfaction with China in other fields,” wrote the World-wide Instances, a well-liked tabloid printed by Communist Celebration mouthpiece the People’s Every day.
The Nobel Peace laureate is “a drop of spittle on China from the West”, the newspaper said in its editorial.
The People’s Daily warned the meeting “will undoubtedly negatively impact the development method of Sino-U.S. relations”, which have endured several setbacks of the prior couple of months with arguments over trade, Taiwan and the Internet.
The Dalai Lama denies seeking independence for Tibet, stating he wishes a peaceful transition to correct autonomy for the remote Himalayan area, which China has ruled with an iron fist given that 1950, when Chinese troops marched in.
CONFINED TO Indignant Words
But the indignant rhetoric echoed numerous past statements about the Dalai Lama’s encounters with foreign political leaders, suggesting that China’s leaders will confine their response to angry phrases.
The Foreign Ministry, which published two predictably angry statements in the early hours of Sunday, has manufactured no more comment on the meeting.
“The Chinese protest over Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama is regimen and not likely to have any real consequences,” stated Minxin Pei, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna School, in emailed feedback to Reuters.
“As a matter of principle, China should make its displeasure known to the U.S., as it has carried out so for several decades,” he extra.
“But the Chinese are also quite pragmatic and recognize that this meeting is symbolic. So they will not want to damage the substantive Sino-American partnership since of this incident. They will not consider any retaliatory measures.”
Although the latest spat has took place although leaders in Washington are at odds more than how to elevate the $ 14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling in time to prevent default, China is very not likely to dump its U.S. Treasury bills to punish the United States.
China, the United States’ greatest foreign creditor, retains more than $ 1 trillion in U.S. Treasury personal debt and has warned Washington to be responsible in safeguarding investors’ interests.
Offering U.S. Treasury expenses “would be a relatively dangerous move, and a single which is openly hostile if explicitly framed as a ‘response,’” mentioned Scott Harold, an associate political scientist with the RAND Corporation.
“It would dramatically worsen US-China ties, and for what? Following all, what, especially, is the influence of the President’s meeting with the Dalai Lama that harms China’s actual handle on the floor in Tibet? Zero.”
Analysts explained Washington choreographed the meeting to make it show up as lower-key as possible, taking into account China’s sensitivity to the issue.
Like the earlier meeting among Obama and the Dalai Lama in February 2010, Saturday’s get-collectively took area in the White Property Map Space fairly than the more official Oval Office and the White Residence issued only one particular photograph of the meeting.
Zhu Feng, a professor of Peking University, explained the way Obama hosted the Dalai Lama shows that Washington was hoping to lessen the detrimental impact.
Although Beijing and Washington bicker regularly, ties have improved drastically adhering to President Hu Jintao’s pay a visit to to the United States in January, and equally perform intently on troubles like the world-wide economic recovery, North Korea and Iran.
Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama coincides with Vice President Xi Jinping’s check out to Tibet to mark sixty a long time given that the region’s “peaceful liberation.” Xi is commonly anticipated to become president in 2013.
Exile groups say Tibet is beneath even tighter protection than typical, and foreign visitors have been banned.
Tibetans in China expressed their support for the Obama meeting and disseminated pictures of the meeting on Twitter.
Beijing-centered Tibetan author Woeser wrote on Twitter on Monday that the “slander and assault” by some Celebration leaders on the Dalai Lama has “deeply offended many Tibetans”.
(Further reporting by Sally Huang Modifying by Ben Blanchard and Miral Fahmy)