Six months after Sandy ripped through the East Coast, it’s National Volunteer Week. Jill Iscol of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service on what volunteers meant to the recovery.
Is volunteer work worth less than paid work? My answer is no. Volunteers roll up their sleeves every day to make New York a stronger and better place to live.
Volunteers at Camp Bulldog serve a meal to those in need after Hurricane Sandy. (Courtesy of Camp Bulldog)
If you want something done when the going gets tough, ask a volunteer. Earlier this month, I traveled to the south shore of Long Island to talk with some of the volunteers who put self-interest aside as Hurricane Sandy devastated communities and destroyed homes.
The birds have returned to the beach for their annual nesting—and the uncommon people never left. Michael Daly reports.
The government-protected shorebirds of Rockaway have begun their annual nesting, just as they would if Hurricane Sandy had never swept through there six months ago.
Some of the birds have nested on an 11-block stretch of beach that the urban park rangers close off each spring as a breeding sanctuary. Others have settled in a debris-strewn patch of sand outside the preserve and just across the street from a huge housing development that was begun when such a storm as Sandy had not seemed possible.
Torturous force feedings and hunger strikes at Guantánamo Bay are a sign of just how desperate the men there are. Baher Azmy on why the situation must be fixed—now.
Last week President Obama stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his predecessor to help celebrate the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the legacy of President Bush’s eight years in office. A central part of that legacy—much criticized by candidate Obama—was the creation of Guantánamo, an offshore prison in violation of our most basic constitutional and human rights principles. Now in his fifth year in office, Obama has only perpetuated Guantánamo as a symbol of human rights denied by abandoning his promise to close the prison. Today its continued existence is literally a matter of life and death.
U.S. military guards move a detainee inside the American detention center for "enemy combatants" on September 16, 2010, in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. (John Moore/Getty)
For nearly three months, a majority of the 166 men imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay have been on hunger strike. Men have lost over 30 and 40 pounds. Some are skeletal and too weak to move. At least 17 men are being “saved” by being strapped into chairs and force fed through a tube inserted through their noses, down their throats and into their stomachs. In the words of Tariq Ba Odah, one of the Center for Constitutional Rights’ clients, “I am tortured in the restraining chair when they fill my belly with Ensure. All my limbs are restrained and my clothes soaked from vomiting the formula mixed with water and laxatives.”
TSA has shelved its plan to allow small knives on planes. Air crews are happy, but ultimately this is a debate that requires getting out from under the emotions of 9/11, writes Patrick Smith.
Back in March, the Transportation Security Administration announced it would rescind its longstanding prohibition against the carriage of small knives in airplane cabins. Beginning in mid-April, passengers would be allowed to carry implements with blades of up to 2.36 inches* onto planes.
Well, it's mid-April, and it's not happening. The announcement triggered strong backlash from flight attendant groups, pilot groups, and airlines, and in response the TSA has postponed the changes until further notice.
The first sitting U.S. president to do so.
In a passionate speech delivered to Planned Parenthood on Friday, President Obama assured the women's group that—despite Republican efforts to strike it down—the organization is "not going anywhere." Becoming the first sitting U.S. president to address the organization, the president told the estimated 1,000 gathered that he plans to fight GOP-led efforts to restrict access to abortion and contraceptives. "When it comes to a woman's health, no politician should get to decide what's right for you," he said. "As long as we've got a fight to make sure women have access to affordable, quality health care ... I want you to know that you've also got a president who's going to be right there, fighting every step of the way."
The FBI found that imprisoned gang members infiltrated staff, allegedly impregnated four guards, and sipped on Grey Goose. Gary Maynard is tasked with restoring order.
To call Gary Maynard embattled doesn’t do full justice to the word.
Gary Maynard of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said other arrests may be made. At left is Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. attorney, and at right is Gregg L. Bernstein, Baltimore city state’s attorney. The press conference, at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Baltimore, announced the indictments of several members of the Black Guerilla Family (a prison gang) as well as some correctional officers at the Baltimore City Detention Center. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post,via Getty)
The secretary of Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services watched this week as the agency he has run for the last six years turned into a national laughingstock after federal officials indicted 13 women who, as guards at the Baltimore City Detention Center, acted like little more than underlings for members of a dangerous prison gang, the Black Guerrilla Family. Four of the correctional officers became reportedly pregnant by the leader of the gang, and two of them had his name tattooed onto their bodies—one on her neck, the other on her wrist.
Official calls plan "aspirational at best."
Authorities are learning new details from Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in his hospital room, where he is reportedly "lucid" and answering questions clearly. Discrediting reports that he and his brother planned to head to Manhattan to simply "party" after the bombing, Dzhokhar told authorities that they had, in fact, discussed detonating the explosives there. (Police discovered at least one pressure cooker bomb and four pipe bombs in the hijacked car the two boys left behind.) Despite the alarming report, authorities continue to assure the nation that no specific plan to attack Times Square was in place, with one source calling their NYC attack plan: "aspirational at most."
The air-traffic-controller furloughs have led to a crisis at airports nationwide, but even if it doesn’t last long, it’s completely unacceptable, writes Patrick Smith.
When I landed in Los Angeles this past Sunday evening, the terminal had the look and feel you'd expect during a snowstorm: long, sullen faces, unusually heavy crowds, agents rushing around in an obvious state of fluster. The departure screens were striped with red: CANCELED, CANCELED, CANCELED. But outside it was in the high 60s and balmy.
Travelers stand in line at Los Angeles International Airport on April 22. (Damian Dovarganes/AP)
Welcome to the wequester. Mandatory budget cuts are kicking in. The FAA has been forced to furlough hundreds of controllers—up to 10 percent of its tower and en route radar facility staff—and the nation's airline passengers are feeling it.
Sources say he was questioned for 16 hours before hearing them.
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was read his constitutional rights—but not until 16 hours into the investigation, two U.S. law-enforcement sources said Thursday. The officers, who were present during the private interrogation, said Dzhokhar immediately went silent upon hearing his Miranda rights. The 19-year-old suspect, they say, had already relinquished many details of the attack to police—including that his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, had “recruited him” to assist in the attack and that they had been self-radicalized from the Internet. Late Wednesday officials announced that Dzhokhar was unarmed when police fired at a boat in which he was hiding.
Could a mind-boggling vendetta be behind the ricin letters sent to Obama and Wicker? Winston Ross travels to Tupelo, Mississippi, to find out about the body parts and Mensa fraud that might have driven the latest suspect.
As the sun set Wednesday on the birthplace of the king of rock and roll, federal agents in hazmat suits wrapped up their daylong scouring of a tae kwon do studio on the edge of town, a watchful throng of reporters standing vigil, waiting to see what the hell could possibly happen next.
J. Everett Dutschke (left) and Paul Kevin Curtis. (Landov; AP)
It’s been quite a week here in Tupelo, what with the arrest last week of a 45-year-old Elvis impersonator on suspicion of sending letters laced with ricin to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), and a local judge, Sadie Holland. Then came the stunning announcement Tuesday that Paul Kevin Curtis was free to head back to Heartbreak Hotel and shake his exonerated pelvis all over Mississippi again. Then news broke that another man—a 41-year-old blues singer, karate master, insurance salesman, Mensa member, accused child molester, and one-time GOP candidate for the Mississippi House of Representatives named J. Everett Dutschke—had become the focus of the investigation. Then stories spread that this Curtis fella and this Dutschke fella had it out for each other and were trading nasty emails about body parts allegedly found at a hospital and fraudulent Mensa memberships and snarky comments left on each other’s YouTube pages about all that. Then rumors swirled Wednesday that Dutschke had skipped town, and the cops had a BOLO (be on the lookout) for his van. Then Dutschke showed up at the studio—in the van!—and the men in the white suits searched that, too, as the karate master, who has not been named a suspect or charged with any terrorism-related crime, shifted his public-relations strategy from talking to any reporter within earshot to pacing beneath the green awning of a tattoo parlor across the street. Then Curtis, the Elvis impersonator, hopped on a plane to New York City with his lawyers in tow, set to celebrate his independence Thursday morning on Good Morning America, among other places.
If we do say so ourselves. Sex scandal be damned, the disgraced former congressman is now officially running for mayor of New York City. But what is Anthony Weiner really saying in his new campaign video?