An expert in emergencies describes what aid groups do after disaster strikes. Tornado or earthquake, the script is the same, says AmeriCare’s Kate Dischino.
Last Monday afternoon, while preparing a shipment of tetanus vaccine for a town recently struck by a tornado, I received the first hair-raising alert about a massive tornado that had just leveled a suburb of Oklahoma City.
AmeriCares emergency response worker Kate Dischino, center, works with survivors in Oklahoma. (Dru Nadler/AmeriCares )
Having responded to many emergencies for AmeriCares, a global health and emergency response group providing humanitarian aid to 164 countries since 1982, I knew right away what this would mean for potentially thousands of families and individuals in the tornado’s path. There was no question that our disaster team would respond—and we knew it was vital to respond quickly. Experience says that when an EF5 tornado hits a metropolitan area, local clinics and shelters need emergency medical and relief supplies. Fast.
The I-5 disaster in Seattle reflects the dire state of our bridges and highways. But it may never be cheaper to replace these aging arteries than it is now. By David Cay Johnston.
The people on the Interstate 5 bridge that abruptly collapsed Thursday evening north of Seattle got lucky. They survived because their vehicles were entangled in the heartless embrace of twisted steel girders, which saved them from drowning in the cold waters of the Skagit River.
A collapsed portion of the Interstate 5 bridge lies in the Skagit River on May 24, 2013, in Mount Vernon, Wash. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
We all drive on bridges, overpasses, and viaducts that we assume must be safe because, surely, somebody inspected them and determined that they are safe. We pay taxes so somebody makes sure the bridges and roads are safe, right?
Taco bars, boardwalks, and tons and tons of freshly-sifted sand. Along the East Coast, towns hard hit by Superstorm Sandy are kicking off summer. By Eliza Shapiro and Josh Dzieza
In Far Rockaway, Queens, the beloved Rockaway Taco is open again, peddling $3 fish tacos and fresh watermelon juice. Some 75 miles south, in Belmar, New Jersey, a new 1.3 mile boardwalk sports a fresh coat of “spiced rum” colored paint, courtesy of Captain Morgan. And in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, the rickety Jet Star rollercoaster, dramatically submerged in the ocean after Superstorm Sandy, has been demolished to make room for swimming and surfing.
Repairs and construction of building at Beach 97th that houses concessions, public restrooms and offices in Rockaway Beach. (Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks )
It’s the official kickoff of summer, and up and down the East Coast, tourism-dependent towns devastated by Sandy are declaring themselves back in business. But while a great deal of money and time has been spent to make the beaches appear normal again, from enormous new lifeguard towers tugged in by barges to food carts set up where storefronts remain shuttered—some things will be noticeably different. In Rockaway, for example, only the concrete supports remain from its once-busy boardwalk. Elsewhere—and you might not notice this at first—the sand itself could look a little off.
Following Obama’s speech on drones.
President Obama’s speech on drone reform Thursday ushered in a new era of restraint for the Central Intelligence Agency, one that Director John O. Brennan has the challenge of implementing. The change is a throwback of sorts—returning the CIA to its roots as a sophisticated spy service, rather than a targeted killing machine. While large clandestine operations—built over the past decade in Kabul and Baghdad—will help smooth the transition, U.S. officials worry that the shift in focus will take years. The CIA, although still in the “business of killing,” will have a diminished role in deciding who, exactly, can be killed.
Nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria was one of the seven children who died in Moore’s Plaza Towers Elementary Schools. Why didn’t the school have a shelter? Michael Daly reports.
A thunderstorm was sweeping through the Oklahoma City area, and the mourners had to travel through driving rain, hailstones, and flooded roads. They were going to the first funeral for the victims of the latest killer tornado.
Mourners leave a funeral service for Antonia Candelaria, 9, a student at Towers Plaza Elementary school who was killed by Monday's tornado. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)
Country music with a Christian theme was playing inside the South Colonial Chapel, where an easel held an enlarged photo of a smiling little girl in a pink-fringed bonnet. Nine year-old Antonia Lee Candelaria was known as “Tonie” or “Ladybug,” loved to paint and draw, and had just auditioned as a singer for an upcoming talent show.
Will the Scouts reverse their ban on gay members? A vote today will decide whether loyal Scouts like Pascal Tessier will stay or quit the organization. Winston Ross reports.
Since he was 7 years old, Pascal Tessier has been a Scout. Before he hit middle school. Before he realized he was gay.
Jennifer Tyrrell carries a petition to the Boy Scouts national offices for a meeting with representatives of the organization in 2012 in Irving, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)
He figured that out in the sixth or seventh grade, and he came out in the eighth, to his family and friends at school. He had no idea at the time that the Boy Scouts of America had a policy banning him from the organization he’d already spent six years in. By then he’d graduated from Cub Scout to Boy Scout, with an eye on Eagle. On Wednesday he finds out whether he’ll earn that rank or be forced to quit the most important extracurricular activity in his life, as some 1,400 local leaders vote on a proposal to reverse its 103-year-old policy banning openly gay boys at a national annual meeting at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. Banning Pascal Tessier.
Thirty-six tornado warnings rang out through Moore, Oklahoma. Within 16 minutes, the twister touched down. Within an hour, the town was destroyed.
THEY HAD heard the sirens before.
The sudden wail that silenced Moore, Oklahoma, at 2:40 p.m. local time on May 20, 2013, echoed the alarm that had rung out 14 years earlier, a few minutes before a historic tornado, formed of the fastest winds ever measured near the earth’s surface, touched down in nearby Amber, whipped northwest along I-44, and leveled parts of Moore, killing 36 people, decimating 8,000 homes, and causing $1.1 billion in damage.
The May 20 tornado was one of the most powerful on record. (Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman/AP)
Beware: the clock is ticking.
IF YOU’RE in your 20s and you think you’ve got, like, a decade before you have to get serious about your future, you’d better think again. Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist at the University of Virginia, is reaching out to that drifting generation of young Americans who imagine they can take a sort of decade-long gap year. In her book The Defining Decade and in a recent TED Talk, Jay argues that 30 is definitely not the new 20. All sorts of clocks are ticking, and 20-somethings may wake up to discover they are 30-nothings if they haven’t built up decent foundations in work and relationships. Jay warns that people who “huddle together with like-minded peers limit who they know, what they know, how they think, how they speak, and where they work.” You’ve got to be open to strangers and strangeness, and paradoxically the online world can make that less likely, not more—something that’s the subject of another TED Talk by Maria Bezaitis of Intel. Jay says being in your 20s is like taking off in an airplane for a long-haul flight: just a little course correction in the beginning can make the difference between heading for Alaska or landing in Tahiti.
Mike Daisey is not apologizing: the whole fabrication scandal is the industry’s fault, or something. The fabulist seems to want only to rant in his new monologue. Winston Ross asks, Can anyone stop this man?
Mike Daisey confessed at the outset that he had little idea what he was going to say for the next two hours, in a first-ever monologue titled “Journalism” at the Tiffany Center on Tuesday night in downtown Portland. The question was whether anyone could believe him.
Stan Barouh/The Public Theater/AP
This, after all, was the guy who took on the Cult of Apple and in dramatic monologues across America appeared to expose its shoddy treatment of its underaged and overworked and malformed and poisoned workers, only to find himself the subject of exposure, for the embellishments and outright fabrications he repeated on This American Life, eventually forcing the radio program to issue an unprecedented retraction of an entire show.
Says job posting from PA ad agency.
Need a job? Hurry, hipster yourself. An ad agency in Pennsylvania called Pavone is getting up close and personal with its job posting: it wants hipsters. “We’re outside New York and DC so we don’t have Hipsters,” the company confesses. “All we have is an office with major clients, real opportunities and easy commutes.” While the job description neglects to include what the actual work entails, it makes sure to again clarify that the current employees are not “actual Hipsters” (yeah, we got it). The company is at least smart enough to admit that finding hipsters will be tough, considering that “Hipsters never admit they're Hipsters.” Ready, set, Catch-22.
When it comes to the topic of abortion in politics, there is no shortage of controversy. In reference to the major abortion bill being discussed by the House, watch these conservative politicians share their much-disputed viewpoints.