Tropical Storm Fay forms off East Coast

first_imgABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Tropical Storm Fay has developed along the East Coast on Thursday evening.The low-pressure system was sitting 40 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at the time of its forming about 5 p.m.There is currently a tropical storm warning in effect from from Cape May, New Jersey, north to Watch Hill, Rhode Island, including Long Island and Long Island Sound.By Friday morning and early afternoon, this system will move north, up the East Coast with heavy rain and gusty winds. Flash flooding will be possible in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.The storm will move into the Northeast from New Jersey to Vermont through Saturday morning. It will bring heavy rain and gusty winds and flash flooding will be possible in the area.Locally, 3 to 5 inches of rain could fall from this system in the Mid-Atlantic and over 3 inches of rain is possible from New Jersey to upstate New York and into parts of New England.More than 260 damaging storms were reported from Colorado to Maine Wednesday. There were also 25 reports of tornadoes throughout Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois.The tornadoes destroyed homes and resulted in one death in western Minnesota.Severe storms are now expected Thursday from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago and down to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City.The biggest threat Thursday will be damaging winds and large hail. The only area that has a tornado threat will be in the western Plains around Nebraska.Another big story around the country is this scorching heat. From California to New Hampshire, heat advisories and warnings have been issued.East of the Rockies, it will be all about heat and humidity. With temps in the 90s and with high humidity, it will feel like its near or over 100 degrees from Texas to New York.West of the Rockies, wildfires continue to burn and with the increasing heat, they will be difficult to battle.Excessive heat watches have been issued for California, Nevada and Arizona. Temperatures will approach 120 degrees by the weekend in some spots.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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New Campaign to Warn of Dangers of Balloons to Wildlife

first_imgEnvironmentalists say mass balloon releases can lead to litter and harm wildlife. (Photo courtesy Tumblr) Environmentalists say mass balloon releases can lead to litter and harm wildlife. (Photo courtesy Tumblr)By Donald WittkowskiOcean City’s Environmental Commission is planning a new public awareness campaign to warn of the dangers posed by balloons to shore birds, turtles and other wildlife.Instead of advocating for a new law to ban mass balloon launches, the commission hopes that a kinder, gentler approach will be a more effective way to educate the public about the environmental hazards.“Everyone thinks it’s neat to release balloons, not realizing that they can do harm to animals. But what goes up, must come down,” said Marty Mozzo, the commission chairman.The commission has drafted what Mozzo called a simple, one-page fact sheet that describes just how dangerous deflated or popped balloons can be to wildlife. It includes photos of animals killed by balloons after they ate them, he noted.Voting unanimously, the commission approved the fact sheet at its board meeting Tuesday. Mozzo next will show it to Mayor Jay Gillian and City Business Administrator Jim Mallon for their approval before it is made public.Mozzo said he prefers to educate the public about the environmental threat posed by balloons instead of pushing for a new law that would ban their mass release.“We felt that a simple facts sheet on balloon releases would have more of a far-reaching impact,” he said.He believes the public education campaign would be particularly effective during the summer tourism season, when the city’s population swells from around 11,000 year-round residents to an estimated 150,000 visitors.“Those people who come to town as summer tourists don’t know what our laws are,” Mozzo said. “They’re here to have fun. They don’t want to sit down and read our ordinance book.”Recently, members of City Council have debated whether Ocean City should join the neighboring seashore communities of Atlantic City, Margate, Ventnor and Longport in banning the mass release of balloons.Ocean City Councilwoman Karen Bergman said there is public confusion over whether mass launches of balloons and floating lanterns – and even more exotic things such as butterflies – are safe and legal. She believes regulations would clarify the issue, as well as help protect the environment.Bergman stressed she has no desire to crack down on the incidental release of a small number of balloons, particularly if children are involved.At a Council meeting in March, the mayor promised Bergman that his administration will “do some homework” and get back to the governing body with more information about balloon launches.After getting those assurances from Gillian, Bergman said she is content for now to wait for more details about the city’s education program in collaboration with the Environmental Commission.Doug Bergen, a spokesman for Gillian, indicated that “the consensus seems to be education” rather than passing a new law banning mass balloon releases.“Education can be as effective as the law,” Bergen said. “Any time you pass a law, there’s a question of enforcement.”In the meantime, Ocean City has already taken steps to protect the environment by “totally discouraging” the use of balloons during one of its major tourist attractions, the annual Night in Venice boat parade, Bergen said.Night in Venice contestants are instructed in an application form not to use balloons to decorate their homes or boats, according to Bergen.However, members of the environmental group Surfrider Foundation of South Jersey want the city to do more. They have appeared before City Council in recent months to lobby for a complete ban on mass balloon releases in Ocean City.They explained that turtles and other sea creatures often mistake deflated balloons floating on the water as jellyfish and try to eat them, which can block their digestive systems and cause them to starve to death.Birds can become entangled in the ribbons or strings attached to balloons, similar to the way they are snarled in discarded fishing line. Deflated balloons can also end up as litter, clogging bird nets or covering the birds themselves, including the chicks, according to the Surfrider Foundation.City Council has debated in recent months whether to impose a ban on mass balloon releases in Ocean City.The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service also has warned the public about the harm balloons can do to the environment. On its website, the agency tells the public: “Please don’t release your balloons.”“Balloons are great at birthdays, weddings, graduations and more, but once they get loose, balloons can pose a threat to many animals,” the Fish & Wildlife Service says.last_img read more

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Dutch, German associations criticise pan-European pension proposal

first_imgPGGM, asset manager for Dutch healthcare pension fund PFZW, and Robeco recently threw their support behind the concept of a standard cross-border plan.According to the Dutch Pensions Federation, however, EIOPA’s plan would create an “uneven playing field” between EU-regulated providers and IORPs providing occupational pension schemes.It said the European Commission should focus instead on second-pillar pensions, which encourage “solidarity, risk-sharing and the participation of all participants in governance”.This, it said, has “clear advantages” over purely commercial products, which “place risk and the drive for accrual with the consumer”.The aba agreed, arguing that “we need more funded pensions in Europe but with the focus on occupational pensions”, as this pillar offered “good value for money”.It said existing systems should be “further developed and enhanced” before new systems were set up.The Dutch Pensions Federation expressed concerns that cross-border product providers would be unable to offer sufficient service locally.“It would be difficult for a Danish provider of a PEPP to advise a participant in Italy correctly about how to deal with his pension rights during a divorce, unless the provider has a local subsidiary,” it saidIt said EIOPA put too much emphasis on pension products’ accrual phase, when the payment phase was “crucial for the quality of the product”.The aba, meanwhile, highlighted the challenge of pinning down the term ‘pensions’, on which “an EU consensus has not yet been reached”.This will cause taxation problems, as “equal tax treatment for different quality requirements may not appear justifiable by all member states”.It added that an equal tax treatment for products of the same quality “already exists in Germany”. The Dutch Pensions Federation has criticised a proposal by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) for a pan-European personal pensions product (PEPP). Responding to EIOPA’s consultation on the introduction of a standard, cross-border, third-pillar product, the industry organisation argued that demand for such plans would come only from the “happy few”, and fail to encourage workers to save more for pensions.Germany’s pension fund association (aba) was also critical of EIOPA’s proposal, describing it as “unconvincing” and arguing that many questions “remained unanswered”.EIOPA, at the European Commission’s request, is exploring the possibility of a standard third-pillar scheme.last_img read more

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Inauguration marks new beginnings

first_imgTuesday night’s USG meeting, which featured the swearing in of President Andrew Menard, Vice President Rini Sampath and the 2014 USG Senators, marked the end of the road for USG’s 2013 representatives and a new beginning for student government at USC.Mr. President · USG presidential elect Andrew Menard is sworn in as USG student body president during Tuesday’s USG meeting. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanIn a crowded gallery of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, incoming officials took oaths “to uphold the undergraduate constitution, by laws and code of ethics to perform any tasks and duties which they are delegated.”After Vice President Ryan Park gave a farewell to the old USG senators, the new Senate had a brief meeting, overseen by Sampath.The lone item on the agenda was a speech by Menard, in which he thanked his running mate and those who elected him.“I’m truly humbled by the task before us, and honored by the trust the student body has placed before Rini and me,” Menard said.Menard outlined numerous goals for his term, all of which rest on his pledge to faithfully represent USC student concerns, in dialogue with campus administration and elsewhere.“The role of student government has always been to represent the voice of the student body,” Menard said. “As president I will initiate, coordinate and guide student efforts aimed at improving student life activities, and I will always fight for the preservation of student rights.”Along with defending the interests of students, Menard wants to cultivate a greater sense of community on campus. He promised that his administration will work to reach out to students and form a more cohesive atmosphere at USC.Lest one think these are empty promises, Menard says that changes he proposed are already taking place. Chief among these is a recently passed amnesty policy, designed to protect students who report medical emergencies from repercussions.Though the vision expressed in Menard’s speech was expansive, it was checked by a basic sense of responsibility toward fellow students. During his time at USC, Menard said he has recognized a simple truth: the need for students to be kind and supportive of one another.“Every day I believe that we are called to do small things with great love and intention for our fellow classmates,” he said. “We are all part of the Trojan Family, and together we will strive to improve our great university.”last_img read more

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Can Shelly Sterling sell the Clippers on her own? Judge weighs in today

first_imgShelly Sterling struck a deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after Donald Sterling’s racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as owner.In court filings, Donald Sterling’s attorneys argued that Sterling submitted to medical examination “under false pretenses,” and that the examination and letters regarding his mental capacity were defective and incomplete. They say he should be able to call his own experts at a trial set for July 7.Because their main expert will be out of town then, the judge will also determine whether he can be deposed on video or if the trial will be postponed as requested by Sterling’s attorneys.An expedited trial date was provided because of the urgent timing of the deal. The NBA’s owners are scheduled to meet July 15 to vote on the deal, which they must approve. And if the sale isn’t completed by Sept. 15, the league could seize the team and put it up for auction. LOS ANGELES — With a $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers hanging in the balance, a judge is set to determine Monday if the terms of a family trust alone are enough to confirm Donald Sterling was properly removed as trustee and allow his estranged wife to sell the team without his consent.Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas will hear arguments from attorneys representing each of the co-owners, Donald and Shelly Sterling, a week after he suggested in comments to the court that the terms alone seemed so unambiguous and clear that “I could decide this case in five minutes.”In May, two doctors who examined the 80-year-old Sterling declared he was mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.The trust’s terms say incapacitation can be determined by two licensed doctors without ties to the family who are specialists in their field. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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