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Port Authority Explosion: Suspect in Custody After ‘Attempted Terrorist Attack’

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Mayor Bill de Blasio, FDNY update media on explosion in East Village, New York (Photo Credit: BreakingNews.com)

One male suspect has been taken into custody after an explosion earlier Monday morning at the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Authorities said a low-tech device was detonated in the New York City subway in an incident that the mayor called an “attempted terrorist attack.” The blast resulted in serious injuries to the suspect and minor injuries to at least three others, according to reports at a morning news conference.

The suspect, who was identified as Akayed Ullah, reportedly sustained burns and lacerations to his hands and abdomen. Police said the suspect Ullah was taken to Bellevue Hospital for treatment and then taken into custody.

Three other people also suffered minor injuries caused by being in the vicinity of the explosion, including ringing in the ears and headaches, police said.

The blast was reported in Midtown Manhattan in the area of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, at 42nd St. and 8th Ave., occurring in an underground passageway at the Port Authority subway station, at 42nd Street between 7th and 8th avenues, authorities said.

The suspect was reportedly walking eastbound in the passageway at the time, during what would have been peak morning commute hours.

“When we hear of an attack in the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. “And let’s also be clear, this was an attempted terrorist attack. Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) described the bomb as “an effectively low-tech device” and said he was grateful the only injuries were minor.

“The first news this morning was obviously very frightening and disturbing,” Cuomo said. “When you hear about a bomb in the subway station, it is in many ways one of our worst nightmares. The reality turns out to be better than the initial expectation and fear.”

The NYPD is investigating the explosion as a possible terrorism incident, according to law enforcement officials.

The suspect was armed with a homemade explosive device described by authorities as a pipe bomb of some kind. Investigators are trying to determine if the device may have detonated prematurely, or partially, when it exploded inside a subway station at 8th Avenue and 42nd street, officials said. The suspect, who was injured in the explosion but was expected to survive, was described as an immigrant from Bangladesh, officials said.

The explosion Monday came just weeks after a man driving a truck plowed through pedestrians and bicyclists on a path along the west side of Manhattan, killing eight people and wounding a dozen others. That driver, who survived, was taken into custody and told authorities that he carried out the attack in the name of the Islamic State.

The Port Authority Bus Terminal, which bills itself as the world’s busiest bus terminal, is not far from Times Square. The incident occurred in the subway, a police spokesman said.

Details on how the suspect was apprehended were not immediately available, but the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, a union representing Port Authority police officers, said on Twitter that the department’s officers took down the suspect at gunpoint.

According to the police, three subway lines — the A, C and E — were evacuated as a result of the blast. All subway trains were bypassing the Port Authority and Times Square stations, officials said.

President Trump was briefed on the incident Monday, according to the White House, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was briefed as well, his office reported.

As of 8:35 am local time the NYPD reported there were no injuries to anyone but the suspect. A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed to that one male suspect was in custody, but could not provide any details about his injuries. A police official told the Associated Press that the suspect had a pipe bomb strapped to him when it went off.

The explosion occurred at approximately 7:25 am. The Port Authority building was evacuated and several subway lines were bypassing the neighboring Times Square and Port Authority subway stations.

A small pipe bomb went off near the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Monday, and the suspect was immediately taken into custody, police sources said.

The blast happened in an underground subway passage just 200 feet from the terminal at West 42nd St. and Eighth Ave., the sources said.

Port Authority cops immediately arrested the suspect, who was injured in the explosion. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital and is expected to survive, sources said.

Four people in total were wounded at the scene, the FDNY confirmed, all of whom have non-life-threatening injuries.

This photo confirmed by CBS News shows a suspect after his explosive device detonated in an underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City Dec. 11, 2017.

Police found an explosive device on the suspect, who had wires attached to his body, one source added. Authorities evacuated the A, C and E trains, but didn’t find any structural damage. “It’s pretty chaotic over there right now,” said a law enforcement source with knowledge of the situation.

Police and firefighters arrive on the street outside of the Port Authority Bus Terminal after an explosion on Monday morning

Gov. Cuomo was photographed with MTA Chair Joe Lhota inside the Times Square subway station being briefed on the situation. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has been added to the team investigating the explosion.

The early morning blast sent a wave of panic through the busy area, as commuters scrambled to safety.  Witnesses recalled a stampede of people out of the subway and the sprawling bus terminal, with reports of more people injured in the rush.

 

The explosion was reported at the bus terminal, seen in 2016, on Manhattan’s West Side. (Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News )

As of this report, no group has taken responsibility for the attack, and the NYPD hasn’t confirmed a motive.

The New York City blast comes amid calls from ISIS to attack the Big Apple during the Christmas season.

 

LeNora Millen        12-11-17

 

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Lifestyle

Tire Safety Tips for Winter When Temperatures Drop

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The same temperature you can begin to see your breath at 45 F—is also when the all-season tires on your car can start to lose traction and grip.

As temperatures drop, drivers should remember that if you can see your breath, you should think about winter tires. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek or simply driving to and from work daily, exposing your vehicle’s tires to colder weather could lead to potential trouble on the road.

Snow and ice may be fun to play in, but they make for dangerous driving conditions. Winter tires are built for cold-weather conditions and deliver improved starting, stopping and steering control in temperatures 45 F and below. The difference is the tread compound of winter tires, which stays soft and pliable in colder temperatures for superior traction. Add the tread design of winter tires with thousands of extra gripping edges and you get as much as a 25-50 percent increase in traction over all-season tires.

To help stay safe on the road this winter, the experts on tires and winter driving recommend following these four tire safety tips:

  • Get ready now. It is important to replace all four of your vehicle’s all-season tires with winter tires if you regularly drive in temperatures 45 F or below, snow or no snow. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber that allows the tires to stay pliable and maintain better contact with the road through winter weather conditions.
  • Don’t forget the wheels. Having a set of wheels specifically for your winter tires can save you money in the long run. Pairing a separate set of wheels with your winter tires can eliminate certain changeover costs and save your everyday wheels from the wear and tear brought on by ice, slush, snow, and salt during the winter months.
  • Know your numbers. Check your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure tires are at the appropriate inflation level. Temperature changes affect tire pressure – for every 10 degrees of temperature change, tire air pressure changes 1 pound per square inch. Low tire pressure can lead to decreased steering and braking control, poor gas mileage, excessive tire wear and the possibility of tire failure. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tire.
  • Rotate, rotate, rotate. To help increase tread life and smooth out your ride, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or sooner if irregular or uneven wear develops.

Your safety is important, that’s why drivers should make it a point to beat the rush by getting winter ready before the first snowstorm or cold streak of the season hits.

Photo: Getty Images

Source: Discount Tire

 

@LeNoraMillen        01-19-18

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Business

Amazon Reveals ‘20 Cities’ That Could Be The Home Of Its Next Headquarters

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Amazon has revealed 20 cities that could be the next home of its second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

The candidates, selected out of 238 applicants, will move to the next round of Amazon’s selection process, the company said Thursday. Amazon will make a final decision on the site of its next headquarters this year.

The list of candidates includes Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Washington, DC, and Columbus, Ohio.

Amazon said it will work with each city to “dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community.”

Amazon has promised a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that wins its selection process.

“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, head of public policy for Amazon. “Through this process, we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”

Here are all the potential candidates:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Nashville, TN
  • Newark, NJ
  • New York City, NY
  • Northern Virginia, VA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington DC

 

Source: Business Insider

@LeNoraMillen     01-18-18

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Lifestyle

Why Some African Americans are Moving to Africa

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Accra, Ghana – They have come from the big cities of San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Thousands of them. And many refuse to return.

A new wave of African Americans is escaping the incessant racism and prejudice in the United States. From Senegal and Ghana to The Gambia, communities are emerging in defiance of conventional wisdom that Africa is a continent everyone is trying to leave.

It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 African Americans live in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. They are teachers in small towns in the west or entrepreneurs in the capital and say they that even though living in Ghana is not always easy, they feel free and safe.

Take Muhammida el-Muhajir, a digital marketer from New York City, who left her job to move to Accra.

She says she moved because, despite her education and experience, she was always made to feel like a second-class citizen. Moving was an opportunity to fulfill her potential and avoid being targeted by racial violence.

She told Al Jazeera her story:

On life as a second-class citizen in the US…

“I grew up in Philadelphia and then New York. I went to Howard, which is a historically black university. I tell people that Ghana is like Howard in real life. It felt like a microcosm of the world. At university, they tell us the world isn’t black, but there are places where this is the real world. Howard prepares you for a world where black people are in charge, which is a completely different experience compared to people who  have gone to predominantly white universities.”

“I can’t say what’s happening in America today is any worse than what’s been happening at any other time.”  MUHAMMIDA EL-MUHAJIR

On her first trip to Africa…

“The first country I went to was Kenya. I was 15 and traveled with a group of kids. I was one of two black kids. I saw early that I could fit in and wasn’t an outsider. Suddenly it switched, I came from America where I was an outsider, but in Africa, I no longer felt like that. I did graduate school in Ghana in 2003 and went back to New York and then moved to Ghana in 2014.

“I have no connection to Ghana. Some people in my family did tests, and we found ties to Senegal and The Gambia, but I don’t think you can ever figure it out. No matter where you were sold or left the port, Senegal or Ghana, no one can be certain where you came from.”

“No matter where you were sold or left the port, Senegal or Ghana, no one can be certain where you came from.”  MUHAMMIDA EL-MUHAJIR

Market in Agbogbloshie, a district in Accra, Ghana’s capital [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images

On leaving New York for Accra…

“Even when you live in a place like New York as a black person, you’re always an outsider.

“You hear stories about the richest black people, like Oprah Winfrey, getting shut out of a store or Jay-Z not being allowed to buy [an apartment]. Those things happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re a celebrity, you’re a second-class citizen. This was the biggest issue for me.

“In America, you’re always trying to prove yourself; I don’t need to prove myself to anyone else’s standards here. I’m a champion, I ran track and went to university, and I like to win, so I refuse to be in a situation where I will never win.”

“You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.” 

MUHAMMIDA EL-MUHAJIR

On moving to Ghana…

“There are amenities that I am used to at home in New York – like parties, open bars and fashion, so when I realised I could do the same things in Africa as I could back in the US, I was sold. There is also a big street art festival here, and that was the difference from when I came [as a student]. I saw the things that I love at home here, so I decided that now is the time.”

On Ghanaian reactions…

“When Ghanaians find out that I live here, they’re usually confused about why I chose to live here as an American. There is definitely certain access and privilege being American here, but it’s great to finally cash in on that because it doesn’t mean anything in America.

“There are also plenty of privileged Ghanaians; if you take away race there’s a class system.”

Modern architecture in Ghana’s capital [Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images

“In my documentary, I chose five people that I’ve met since I’ve been here and every one of them went to a black college in the US. It’s something that prepares you mentally to realize you aren’t a second-class citizen. Something like that can help you make a transition to living in Africa.

On the ‘Blaxit’ documentary…

“I made Blaxit because of this wave of African-Americans moving to Africa. This trend started to happen around the independence of African countries, but the new wave [comprises] people who come to places like this. This new group has certain access in America and comes here to have that lifestyle in Africa.

“Unbeknown to us, we’re living out the vision that [Ghanaian politician and revolutionary] Kwame Nkrumah set out for us, of this country being the gateway to Africa for the black diaspora.

“I don’t want people to think that Africa is this magic utopia where all your issues will go away. It’s just that some of the things you might face in America as a black person – you won’t have to suffer with those things here.

“You might not have electricity, but you won’t get killed by the police either.

“I want people to understand that they have options and alternatives. Most black people in America don’t know that these options exist; they think they have to suffer because there’s nowhere else to go. But no, there are other places.”

On the prospect of more African-Americans moving…

“I think more will come when they begin to see it as a viable alternative. But it’s not easy and it’s not cheap. I can’t say what’s happening in America today is any worse than what’s been happening at any other time. I think now is the time that people are starting to see they can live somewhere else.”

Source: Al Jazeera

@LeNoraMillen      01-18-18

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