A few words from people involved in the chaos and aftermath of hurricane Florence, and how you can help.
It is still naive to think that the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba are now on a nice glideslope with respect to trade and tourism between the two countries. Similar naive assumptions were made regarding Russia, thinking that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia would naturally take its place in the community of nations. Things did not really pan out that way.
While Cuba is opening its door to the free world, there is still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done. Cuba refused humanitarian assistance from the Archdiocese of Miami to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew rebuilding in Eastern Cuba, while accepting aid from Japan. Flights to Cuba on American carriers are half full. And American businesses report they are still preparing to do business with Cuba, not actually doing business. Cuba’s economic growth remains slow, with Venezuelan subsidies decreasing and the “peace dividend” from improved relations with the U.S. hasn’t happened yet. The U.S. – Cuba relationship is not a full blown one yet in the economic, diplomatic, or cultural sense, the lifting of the limit on Cuban cigars notwithstanding.
Florida will soon be home to a 515-mile interstate natural gas pipeline that will bring “affordable, clean natural gas supplies to Florida.” Of course, this is immediately suspicious because there is nothing “clean” about natural gas.
“Problematically, natural gas is prone to leaking from pipelines, wellheads, and the nooks and crannies of processing and storage facilities. ‘Accounting for methane leakage throughout the supply chain of natural gas, natural gas might actually be worse for the climate than coal,’ said Lena Moffitt, director of the Sierra Club’s Stop Dirty Fuels Campaign, at a panel on energy hosted by Politico.
A Florida appeals court yesterday denied permission for an elderly British businessman to appeal his life sentence.
On Thursday, the Florida Court of Appeals blocked a challenge to the conviction of 77 year old British national Kris Maharaj, who has spent nearly three decades in prison, with 16 of those years on death row, for a double murder he did not commit.
The court declined to write an opinion as to why Mr Maharaj should be denied a new trial, and refused to refer the case to the full court for review.
Reports of a Florida alligator dragging a 2-year-old boy into a lagoon at a Disney Resort in June 2016 have left media organizations and the public questioning how such a tragedy could have occurred. Meanwhile, state wildlife officials and animal experts have tried to explain the habits and characteristics of these large, predatory creatures to help audiences understand both the rarity of such an encounter and the dangers of humans being in or near gator habitats at night and during the summer, when alligators are more active.
A 2014 primer from the University of Florida provides a research-based overview of alligator behavior and outlines safety-related information. Academic research can also help put attacks and related incidents into a broader context. A 2005 study published in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, “Alligator Attacks on Humans in the United States,” reviews data gathered from state wildlife offices and newspaper reports from 1948 to 2004. The author, Ricky L. Langley of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, notes the following about the nature of attacks: