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Puerto Rico in Crisis: A Race Against Time to Evacuate the Infirm

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Maribel Casas was in the middle of a dialysis treatment when she got an unexpected text message from her sister saying she had to be at Isla Grande Airport, a small airfield in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by 2 p.m. Her relatives in Miami had managed to get her a seat on a humanitarian flight off the island.

Casas ended her treatment two hours early. “I told the nurse: ‘I have to go. I’m leaving,'” she said.

Only after she landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, did she learn that the private plane she had traveled on belongs to the rapper Pitbull, who lent his jet to evacuate cancer patients and others like Casas, who need constant treatment to live.

 

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Image: Evacuees arrive in Miami Elderly and ill evacuees from Puerto Rico arrive at Opa Locka Executive Airport in Miami. Their evacuation was coordinated by Fundacion Stefano. Courtesy Fundacion Stefano

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Click link below for article and videos:

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/puerto-rico-crisis/puerto-rico-crisis-race-against-time-evacuate-infirm-n810686

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Trump Refuses To Blame Himself For GOP ‘Not Getting The Job Done’

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President Donald Trump on Monday refused to take any blame for legislative failures and fingered Republican senators for “not getting the job done.”

“Despite what the press writes, I have great relationships with, actually, many senators, but, in particular, with most Republican senators,” Trump told reporters during a meeting with his Cabinet. “But we’re not getting the job done. And I’m not going to blame myself. I’ll be honest, they are not getting the job done.”

The president specifically blamed Senate Republicans for failing to follow through on a years-old GOP pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Senate leaders shelved their repeal bill last month after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and at least two other Republicans said they’d vote against it.

“We’ve had health care approved, and then you had the surprise vote by John McCain,” said Trump. We’ve had other things happen and they’re not getting the job done.” 

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Image: Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-blame-senate-republicans_us_59e4e142e4b0a52aca19b31b?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

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Workers laid off at now-closed Florida nursing home where 12 died

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A Florida nursing home where a dozen patients died after Hurricane Irma knocked out power has closed and laid off its 245 employees, according to a notice to state officials.

The patients, between the ages of 57 and 99, died last month after The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills failed to evacuate them from the sweltering facility in the days after the storm, state officials said.
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The nursing home informed state officials in a letter dated September 27 that the facility had closed seven days earlier and its employees were out of jobs.
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“A 60-day notice could not be provided due to unforeseen business circumstances that occurred after the impact of hurricane Irma,” the letter said.
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The 245 workers included occupational, speech and physical therapists, nurses and dietary aids, according to the letter.

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Click link below for article and video:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/07/us/florida-hollywood-nursing-home/index.html

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Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats

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At the start of this decade, the Arab Spring blossomed with the help of social media. That is the sort of story the tech industry loves to tell about itself: It is bringing freedom, enlightenment and a better future for all mankind.

Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, proclaimed that this was exactly why his social network existed. In a 2012 manifesto for investors, he said Facebook was a tool to create “a more honest and transparent dialogue around government.” The result, he said, would be “better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.”

Now tech companies are under fire for creating problems instead of solving them. At the top of the list is Russian interference in last year’s presidential election. Social media might have originally promised liberation, but it proved an even more useful tool for stoking anger. The manipulation was so efficient and so lacking in transparency that the companies themselves barely noticed it was happening.

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 Facebook, Google and others positioned themselves as bettering the world. But their systems and tools have also been used to undermine democracy. Credit Ali Asaei for The New York Times

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Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats – The …

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Motion Picture Academy Ousts Harvey Weinstein Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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Embattled movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was expelled Saturday from the ranks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the latest show of solidarity by Hollywood against a onetime titan of the industry.

The academy’s 54-member board said in a statement that they had “voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority” to oust Weinstein, who has seen a wave of Hollywood actresses in recent days accuse him of sexual misconduct over the past three decades.

Members of the board include well-known stars such as Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Dern, Michael Mann, Steven Spielberg and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Nearly half of the members of the academy’s board of governors are women.

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The Academy Expels Harvey Weinstein Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims

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Click link below for article and video:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/motion-picture-academy-expels-harvey-weinstein-amid-sexual-harassment-allegations-n810736

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Bananapocalypse: The race to save the world’s most popular fruit

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In a hot, dry field near a place called Humpty Doo in Australia’s Northern Territory, scientists are racing to begin an experiment that could determine the future of the world’s most popular fruit, the lowly banana.

Dodging the occasional crocodile, researchers will soon place into the soil thousands of small plants that they hope will produce standard Cavendish bananas — the nicely curved, yellow variety representing 99 percent of all bananas sold in the United States. But in this case, the plants have been modified with genes from a different banana variety.

An insidious fungus known as fusarium wilt has wiped out tens of thousands of acres of Cavendish plantations in Australia and Southeast Asia over the past decade. And the fungus recently gained a foothold in Africa and the Middle East, hitching a ride on the boots of workers helping to establish new plantations. Scientists say Latin America, the source of virtually all the bananas eaten in the United States, is next.

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The Australian lab of James Dale is trying to develop more-nutritious and disease-resistant bananas. (Mike Kuhn/Queensland University of Technology) (Photographer: Mike Kuhn/Queensland University of Technology)

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Bananapocalypse: The race to save the world’s most popular fruit

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‘We’ve got to go!’ A California couple awoke to flames crackling. They couldn’t flee. So they jumped in their pool.

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Daniel Pomplun jolted awake. It was 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, and he heard the crackling of flames. He noticed the power was out, and he rose from bed and went to the window.

They had been fast asleep, and Daniel and his wife, Cindy, had missed the warnings. The residents of Santa Rosa, Calif., had been evacuating for more than three hours already as the rapidly spreading wildfire approached. The red glow through the window told Daniel it was too late. The fire was here.

“Cindy! Wake up!” Pomplun, 54, shouted, shaking her. “We’ve got to go!”

They threw on the closest clothing: for Cindy, a light T-shirt and cargo pants, and for Daniel, a Minnesota Vikings sweatshirt and University of Minnesota sweatpants. They grabbed the car keys and ran to the front door.

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The swimming pool at the Pomplun home, where they took refuge as the Tubbs fire burned through their neighborhood, destroying their home. (Stuart Palley/For The Washington Post)

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‘We’ve got to go!’ A California couple awoke to flames crackling. They …

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