Back to overview,Home naval-today US aircraft carrier loses aircraft en route to North Korea US aircraft carrier loses aircraft en route to North Korea April 23, 2017 View post tag: US Navy View post tag: USS Carl Vinson A U.S. Navy pilot flying from the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier crashed while attempting to land during routine flight operations in the Celebs Sea.The pilot ejected and was quickly recovered by an embarked helicopter.The navy said the incident, which took place April 21, was under investigation, adding that the crash occurred as the F/A-18E was on final approach to the carrier.USS Carl Vinson is en route to the Korean Peninsula on a deployment that has attracted a lot of media attention. The deployment first drew attention when U.S. officials announced the carrier would head to Korean waters where in fact it was moving in the opposite direction.U.S. Pacific Command announced on April 8 that USS Carl Vinson set sail from Singapore to North Korean waters. U.S. Navy photos from a week later revealed that the aircraft carrier was nowhere near North Korea and actually sailed south sparking various interpretations and speculations.Vinson is now finally heading north and the North Korean government reacted on Sunday, April 23, saying that it was ready to sink the U.S. aircraft carrier which was approaching the Korean Peninsula together with Japanese warships. View post tag: North Korea Authorities Share this article
Vermont Law School,When my students first begin to study law, they have a tendency to focus on the holding of the case, such as ‘Preliminary Injunction Denied.’ It’s like reading the headlines in a newspaper. But any good lawyer knows that the most important part of the decision is often found in the footnotes. And in Judge Murtha’s decision denying Entergy a preliminary injunction, the footnotes say far more than the headline.But let’s start with the headline: Yes, Judge Murtha ruled no preliminary injunction because Entergy did not convince him that it would suffer irreparable harm between now and the September 12 hearing on the merits. Judge Murtha essentially called Entergy’s bluff. To paraphrase the decision: ‘You’re really going to shut the plant down in the next two months if I don’t grant the injunction? Really? I don’t think so.’ The decision to either order new fuel rods or suspend operation is a business decision made difficult by litigation, but any harm to Entergy is neither likely nor imminent. Judge Murtha went out of his way to state that he is not making any ruling on the likelihood Entergy will ultimately prevail.Entergy didn’t get the preliminary injunction, but it also didn’t lose the case. If you read the footnotes, you will see that Judge Murtha has tipped his hand about the merits of the case. Or at least he has signaled to the state that it better have some answers to some hard questions he’ll be asking.Let’s start with footnote #2: Here it is (and I have taken the liberty of highlighting the important stuff) :Defendants argue the Vermont Senate’s February 23, 2010, 26-4 vote against reading Senate bill S. 289 for a third time amounts to ‘no legislative action’ on Vermont Yankee’s petition. (Prelim. Inj. Hr’g Tr. at 130:3-21, June 24, 2010 (Doc. 83).)The ‘Legislative Policy and Purpose’ section of Act 160 suggests ‘the general assembly,’ which comprises two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, ‘shall grant the approval or deny the approval’ of a petition for operation and storage of spent nuclear fuel beyond March 21, 2012. 2006 Vt. Laws 160 § 1(f) (LexisNexis). The substantive provision of the enactment speaks only of ‘approval’ and appears to allow inaction by the Senate to prohibit continued operation. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 30, § 248(e)(2). The State’s position is that Vermont’s statutes do not require a final determination of a petition and Acts 74 and 160 themselves amount to a decision to prohibit continued operation. (Hr’g Tr. 132:19-24, 134:22-24, 135:2-13 (’a decision was made in Act 74 and Act 160â ³ although the legislature is ‘always free to take it up’).) Vermont Yankee’s petition for a renewed license, filed March 3, 2008, is in a suspended docket before the Public Service Board. Entergy argues that because this legislative inaction, which amounts to a one-house ‘pocket veto,’ is to be given significant executive effect, this Court may consider events in 2010 in determining Entergy’s claim that Act 160 is preempted as applied. Id. at 62:9-13, 40:8-11, 68:25-69:2. The arguments on this question may warrant further development at trial. It is also unclear to the Court how a legislative scheme that does not require final determination of a renewal petition for a nuclear plant is compatible with the safe decommissioning of a plant. Cf. 10 C.F.R. § 2.109(c).Translation: The Court is concerned that the statute giving the Legislature the power shut down Vermont Yankee by simply doing nothing, thereby placing VY in legal limbo, may be seriously flawed. And if Vermont loses because the statute does not have the proper checks and balances among the branches of government, nor the proper due process requirements, then the Court never has to get to the harder legal question of field preemption.Now let’s look at footnote #3 (I have again highlighted the important parts):The Court is aware the challenged statutes contain words that may or may not permit consideration of preempted grounds for granting or denying certificates of public good, and that the legislative history of the challenged enactments contains numerous references to ‘safety,’ some of which may be problematic, some of which may merely reflect legislators’ responsible recognition that Vermont cannot regulate radiological health and safety. Act 189 commissioned a study of ‘reliability,’ which initiated ongoing oversight at Vermont Yankee that appears to examine numerous aspects of radiological safety affecting reliability. It is not clear if reliabilityoversight pursuant to that enactment is still ongoing. The Court believes the parties’ arguments warrant further development on full evidence offered at a trial on the merits.Translation: Vermont must convince this Court that the statutes in question were not enacted because of radiological concerns. The Court is not yet convinced. This is critically important and the crux of Entergy’s case. If Vermont can’t convince Judge Murtha that the Legislature was regulating for reasons other than safety, then, again, the Court never has to reach the harder legal question of field preemptionHere’s what is NOT in any footnote or in the decision: the Memorandum of Understanding. Not even a passing reference. Judge Murtha told the parties in footnotes #2 and #3 the issues on which the case will proceed ‘ the procedural integrity of the law, and the rationale behind the legislature’s actions. The argument that Entergy waived the right to bring this lawsuit or that it has breached its contract with Vermont is MIA (missing in action), and DOA (dead on appeal).Bottom line from the footnotes: Judge Murtha hasn’t yet made up his mind on the merits, but he strikes me as skeptical about Vermont’s case. As one of my colleagues noted after reading the opinion, the state better get its act together for the trial. But given the actions of the Vermont Legislature that lead to this case, it may be too late.  Just a final thought: My colleagues and I have often suggested that this case could ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. I am not so sure of that anymore. If Entergy ultimately prevails on the issues from footnotes #2 or #3, then there is really no pressing legal issue for the highest Court to address. If the trial Court finds as a matter of fact that the statutes have some fatal flaws, the Second Circuit is likely to give deference to those findings. It is only if Vermont wins the case on the merits that the Supreme Court would have to address whether a state that refuses to issue a certificate of public good because of concerns other than safety is still preempted from doing so because Congress has occupied the field and never intended states to have such power. In light of Judge Murtha’s opinion, it is just not clear to me that any Court will reach that question. Of course, like any good unpaid talking head, I reserve the right to change my opinion. July 19, 2011. Cheryl Hanna is a lawyer and professor at Vermont Law School.
In September, the district’s school board voted to continue with remote learning for most students through the end of the semester, citing health concerns, despite Ms. Felder’s recommendation to implement a combination of in-person and online classes.To help students connect, the district has distributed over 1,500 hot spots, often several to each family. Yellow buses outfitted with Wi-Fi regularly rumble outside apartment complexes and housing developments. And for weeks, shuttered school cafeterias, once redolent with the scent of chicken nuggets and quesadillas, functioned as internet hubs.But with no child care provided, few parents brought their children, prompting the district to close them last month.Today, many parents use a map of public Wi-Fi locations to help their children get online, and students can often be seen hunched over laptops in cars parked within the invisible range of wireless routers. “It just adds insult to injury when you’re forced to sit in a McDonald’s parking lot to learn,” Ms. Felder said.For months, Ms. Felder and other local officials have been lobbying the state for systemic solutions, rather than Band-Aid fixes like hot spots. “We need cell towers and broadband,” she said. “That’s something we cannot build ourselves. We need the government to step in and make this happen.” The challenge of closing the digital divide can be particularly daunting in states like North Carolina, home to the nation’s second-largest rural population and a geography that spans mountains, swamps and barrier islands.About 100,000 of the state’s 1.5 million K-12 students were unable to connect to online services in August, according to the Department of Information Technology. More than 75,300 cellular hot spots were provided to schools by late October, and the state is trying to connect other students with public Wi-Fi locations and community grants for broadband infrastructure.But politics has also hampered the state’s connectivity. In 2016, Republican state lawmakers won a legal battle to halt the spread of municipal broadband providers, which had increased competition by serving residents where commercial networks had been unwilling to go.In Orange County, which is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and just west of some of the state’s biggest cities, more than 5,200 households lack broadband internet access, including an estimated 1,100 students in the local school district, said Monique Felder, the superintendent.She noted with frustration that the district is just a few miles away from the state’s prominent Research Triangle Park, where IBM, Cisco and dozens of other information technology companies employ thousands of people. The strain is even more profound two hours’ drive south in Robeson County, where coronavirus test positivity rates have consistently been more than double the state’s 5 percent benchmark for reopening, leading the school board to extend remote learning through December, a district spokesman said. “It’s un-American,” said Ms. Felder, who pointed to unaffordable pricing and a lack of cell towers as having contributed to the problem. “I can’t wrap my head around the fact that we live in a place where you have all this technology, yet we have families who can’t access the internet in the comfort of their home.” The technology gap has prompted teachers to upload lessons on flash drives and send them home to dozens of students every other week. Some children spend school nights crashing at more-connected relatives’ homes so they can get online for classes the next day. “It’s not fair,” said Shekinah, 17, who, after weeks trying to stay connected to classes through her cellphone, was finally able to get online regularly again last month through a Wi-Fi hot spot provided by the school. “I don’t think just the people who live in the city should have internet. We need it in the country, too.”Millions of American students are grappling with the same challenges, learning remotely without adequate home internet service. Even as school districts like the one in Robeson County have scrambled to provide students with laptops, many who live in low-income and rural communities continue to have difficulty logging on.About six million K-12 students lived in households without adequate online connectivity in 2018, according to a study of federal data by Common Sense Media, an education nonprofit that tracks children’s media use.- Advertisement – Sherry Park, the principal of South Robeson Intermediate School, said about 60 of her 310 students live in cell service “dead zones.” Every two weeks, their parents come to the school to exchange drives filled with completed schoolwork for new ones, uploaded with lesson videos and assignments.Sharon Hunt works 12- to 14-hour days teaching eighth-grade math at the school. In a voice frayed by exhaustion, she described a grueling schedule: teaching online in an empty classroom from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., after which she returns home to spend several more hours compiling flash drive presentations before grading assignments.Most of her students live in rural areas, and half of the students in one of her classes have no internet access. One family has to walk to the nearest crossroad to get cellphone reception. Ms. Hunt said she tries to answer their questions over the phone, but both teacher and students know it’s not the same.“You can tell in their voice that they’re struggling, but once we’ve kind of talked through some things, they sound better,” she said. “That’s all I have to go on until I get their work.”The lack of internet access has reshaped the home lives of some students. Clarissa Breedan, an unemployed cosmetologist, lives with her parents and two children in a double-wide trailer home outside the small town of Roland. This fall, her four nieces have also stayed there during the week, so they can get online for classes, only going home to their parents on weekends. In Baltimore, where a recent study found that nearly 20,000 households with school-aged children lacked broadband internet or computers, the public school system is providing internet connectivity to an estimated 44,000 students, or 55 percent of the district’s total enrollment, officials said. Josie Hunt lives on the outskirts of Roland; the only internet access there is via satellite for $140 per month. But she canceled her subscription in September after a barrage of extra charges incurred from remote classes made the service unaffordable. And a broadband provider said laying a cable to her home would cost $12,000.“I’d rather not ever have internet if I have to pay that much,” said Ms. Hunt, who is disabled and whose husband works odd jobs.Without it, her son Nehemiah, 14, has been forced to rely on flash drives to do his school work, with devastating results. “In school I made all A’s and B’s,” he said. “Now I’m failing.” All the companies gave the same answer: Service is not available in your area.The response is the same across broad stretches of Robeson County, N.C., a swath of small towns and rural places like Orrum dotted among soybean fields and hog farms on the South Carolina border. About 20,000 of the county’s homes, or 43 percent of all households, have no internet connection. – Advertisement – Before the coronavirus, that was mainly an obstacle for students doing homework, and it was an issue that state and federal officials struggled to address. But the pandemic turned the lack of internet connectivity into a nationwide emergency: Suddenly, millions of schoolchildren were cut off from digital learning, unable to maintain virtual “attendance” and marooned socially from their classmates. Some of the girls sleep in reclining chairs because there aren’t enough beds. “We have to do what we have to do,” Ms. Breedan said. – Advertisement – Shekinah and Orlandria Lennon were sitting at their kitchen table this fall, taking online classes, when video of their teachers and fellow students suddenly froze on their laptop screens. The wireless antenna on the roof had stopped working, and it couldn’t be fixed.Desperate for a solution, their mother called five broadband companies, trying to get connections for their home in Orrum, N.C., a rural community of fewer than 100 people with no grocery store or traffic lights.- Advertisement – The Trump administration has done little to expand broadband access for students, both before and during the pandemic, said James P. Steyer, the chief executive of Common Sense Media. “There was no federal strategy, and it was left to the individual states to come up with a patchwork of solutions,” he said.When Congress passed a coronavirus relief package in March, it provided billions of dollars for emergency education needs, but none specifically for closing the digital divide. Despite advocacy from groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Steyer said, Republican leaders in Congress blocked efforts to add such funds.“The tragedy is this is not a Democratic or Republican problem,” Mr. Steyer said. “It is simply not fair that a poor family in a rural area or a low-income urban area does not have the resources to send their kids to school in this pandemic.”Desperate for workarounds, schools across the country have scrambled to distribute mobile hot spots and internet-equipped iPads. Districts everywhere from Wisconsin to Kansas to Alabama have transformed idle school buses into roving Wi-Fi vehicles that park in neighborhoods so students can sit nearby and log in to classes.
The Lacrosse building in Melbourne which caught fire in 2014 raised concerns about the safety of exterior cladding in Australian buildings.BRISBANE strata managers could be sleepwalking into a Grenfell type disaster unless experts take a close look at cladding on local buildings.That was the warning from Lannock CEO Paul Morton as he gets ready to meet with the strata industry to talk about the potential for problems.His company deals with financing strata loans and in the last few months he has warned strata owners across Australia of the dangers of a “she’ll be right attitude” on cladding risks.Since the devastating Grenfell Tower fire claimed 71 lives in London last year which was believed to have been spread by the building’s exterior cladding, questions have been asked about if Australian buildings could be at risk.The problem according to Mr Morton was that determining the type of cladding on a building was often much more complicated than checking up on some paperwork. “Because of building companies going out of business and because of fraud you cannot rely on being able to find the documents you need,” Mr Morton said.“The only real way of determining the type of cladding (on a building) is to do an invasive test.”Not everyone in the strata industry was getting on the front foot, something he put down to the immediate financial cost.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoPaul Morton, Lannock CEOBut he warned that ignoring the problem was not only dangerous, but would also be costly if insures hike premiums due to the uncertainty over the type of cladding on a building. “There is no point of view in getting angry at insurers increasing premiums, you need to prove you are innocent,” he said.In many cases he said that scientifically testing a building’s cladding in a lab could be the only way to determine if a building’s exterior was not a significant fire risk. “Clearly high rises are going to be a big problem but fire safety in general affects all strata buildings,” he said. Lannock Strata Finance is hosting a public forum in Brisbane this afternoon with other strata industry leaders to discuss the fire safety problem this afternoon.Panellists include president Strata Community Australia (QLD) Simon Barnard, associate fire engineer at Omnii Andrew Brennan and Jason Carlson from Grace Lawyers. It goes from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Rydges South Bank Brisbane at 9 Glenelg St in South Brisbane.To register, click here.
Investigators are trying to figure out the cause of a Monday evening garage fire in Greensburg.Firefighters responded to the scene of a fire at a detached garage on West Central Avenue. The blaze reached an adjacent power pole causing a brief power outage. No injuries were reported as fire crews put out the fire.According to the Greensburg Daily News, the initial call to police may have been reported as arson. Officials have not ruled out foul play in the blaze that caused an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 in damage.Fire and police officials are investigating the cause of the fire.
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