Iceberg larger than New York City breaks off the Brunt ice shelf

Washington: A large iceberg about 20 times the size of Manhattan broke off the Brunt ice shelf in the Weddell Sea section of Antarctica in the past day, following the expansion of a large crack in the floating ice during the past decade. The iceberg is about 1270 square metres and 150 metres thick, according to the British Antarctic Survey, or BAS.

The iceberg is large, but not as huge as one that in 2017 calved from the Larsen C Ice Shelf and recently threatened to run aground on South Georgia Island.

Field guide Andy Hood is seen at the Brunt ice shelf in Antarctica in January 2020.Credit:BAS

The BAS maintains a research station, the Halley Research Station, on the ice shelf that will be unaffected by the calving, the organisation said. In 2016, the BAS moved the station, which is built on skis, to protect it from spreading cracks that could have left it marooned, floating out to sea aboard an iceberg.

The past decade has seen three major cracks develop through the floating ice shelf, according to BAS.

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New York City’s highest-ranking uniformed police officer is retiring

An announcement is expected as soon as Thursday afternoon.

New York City’s highest-ranking uniformed police officer, Terence Monahan, who memorably took a knee with George Floyd protesters in Washington Square Park, is retiring.

The announcement was made Thursday — NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison will take over as chief of department

“Rodney is a great friend of mine, we’ve worked together many many years, back to our time in the Bronx. without a doubt, he is the right man for the job,” Monahan said.

“Leaving the NYPD is probably the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life,” he said, adding he was already jealous because he was in a suit now and Harrison was still in his police uniform

Monahan will transition into to a new role, working for Mayor Bill de Blasio as his senior advisor for the city’s recovery, safety and planning.

“This role is so important. It is about answering one of the central questions everyone needs answered. Keeping this city safe … determining what concerns need to be addressed,” de Blasio said. “I choose always people who are known for that incredible energy, and work ethic.”

Monahan joined the NYPD in 1982 and was named chief of department in January 2018.

He spearheaded the department’s neighborhood coordination officer program, but recently came under fire in a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James over his treatment of protesters last summer.

Monahan was named in a lawsuit last month from James that accused him, and others, of failing to address “a pattern of excessive, brutal and unlawful force against peaceful protesters.”

Monahan was among the defendants who “knowingly deployed thousands of insufficiently trained NYPD Officers to police the Protests,” according to the lawsuit. Monahan has not commented on the lawsuit.

At one point during the protests, Monahan took a knee to indicate the NYPD’s solidarity with demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The announcement of his retirement came as a surprise since it was thought Monahan planned to remain in his post through the end of de Blasio’s term.

Earlier this month the mayor announced “cutting-edge reform” to police discipline guidelines and pledged a break from past practices.

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New York congressman Zeldin: ‘If we want to save our state, Cuomo’s got to go’

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political tactics are “to bully” and to “be filled with revenge and spite and backstabbing,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told “Hannity” Friday during a discussion of the nursing home scandal that has battered Cuomo’s administration.

“You know you’re in trouble when you’re Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat governor of New York, and you got AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and Alec Baldwin and members of your own party who smell the blood in the water and they’re coming after him,” chimed in former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who joined Zeldin, Fox News contributor Charles Hurt and host Jason Chaffetz.

“His bullying has finally caught up with him and people are no longer pretending they’re afraid of him, and they’re speaking out,” Huckabee added. “I think his time is limited, he may finish his term, but I think this is the last thing he’ll do politically.”

CNN and the governor’s brother, Chris Cuomo, have deflected and downplayed Cuomo’s controversies, with the far-left network giving its developments little to no airtime — and giving host Chris Cuomo, the governor’s little brother, free rein to conduct friendly, comical interviews with his older sibling.


“I still say from 30,000 feet up, the far worst crime is the cover-up by the media,” Hurt argued. “The degree to which the media is treating him like some kind of hero, treated him like some kind of hero from the beginning … We’re talking about thousands of people who died because of a directive he issued forcing COVID patients — highly-transmissible, infectious COVID patients — into nursing homes, into rooms with our most vulnerable people in the country.”

As the outrage toward Cuomo grows, Huckabee says the Democratic governor’s arrogance will do him in.

“Cuomo is simply unwilling to be accountable for his decisions … ” he claimed.

“His arrogance is so overwhelming that he refuses to say, ‘I was wrong.’ People will forgive you for being wrong, they will not forgive you for being arrogant and unwilling to accept responsibility when you have that job,” Huckabee added.

As for what happens next, Zeldin predicted Cuomo would be stripped of his emergency powers, which are due to expire April 30. 


“The Republicans in the New York State Assembly are pushing for impeachment …  it seems like there might be some Democratic support for that, we’ll see where that goes …

“There are a lot of different components here as to why Governor Cuomo needs to go …,” Zeldin concluded. “I’m a proud New Yorker. If we want to save our state, Cuomo’s got to go.”

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Amazon sues New York attorney general to preempt COVID-19 lawsuit

FILE PHOTO: An Amazon truck exits the company’s JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid./File Photo

February 15, 2021

By Jeffrey Dastin

(Reuters) – Inc on Friday sued New York’s attorney general to stop the state from filing its own lawsuit over the online retailer’s early response to COVID-19, including its firing of activist Christian Smalls.

In a complaint in Brooklyn federal court, Amazon accused Attorney General Letitia James of overstepping her bounds by threatening to sue unless it met several demands including surrendering some profit and slowing down operations.

Amazon said federal labor and safety laws take precedence over New York’s, and is seeking an injunction to block James from suing.

The Seattle-based retailer had drawn scrutiny 10 months ago when workers protested conditions at a Staten Island warehouse, and Amazon fired Smalls for violating a paid quarantine.

James said at the time that Amazon may have broken the law. New York City announced its own probe, and senators questioned Amazon’s actions.

In a statement, James said she is still reviewing her legal options.

She called Amazon’s lawsuit “a sad attempt to distract from the facts and shirk accountability for its failures to protect hardworking employees from a deadly virus. Let me be clear: We will not be intimidated by anyone, especially corporate bullies that put profits over the health and safety of working people.”

It is rare for companies to file preemptive lawsuits to short-circuit threatened regulatory actions.

The lawsuit shows Amazon’s belief it was unfairly maligned despite its many COVID-19 precautions, most recently tests and plans for vaccine administration, and how it will not back down from criticism of its workplace conditions.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon passed an unannounced city inspection of its Staten Island facility on March 30, 2020, the day of the protest, with the lead inspector concluding that complaints about safety were “completely baseless.”

Amazon also accused James of ignoring evidence of its safety-related reasons for acting against Smalls, including photos of him not social distancing.

Smalls has said he would keep protesting until workers were protected. In November, he filed a class action lawsuit seeking damages for Black and Hispanic workers.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Diane Craft)

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Powerful Earthquake Strikes Japan – The New York Times

TOKYO — A large earthquake shook a broad area across eastern Japan late Saturday night, with its epicenter off the coast of Fukushima, near where three nuclear reactors melted down after a quake and tsunami nearly 10 years ago.

The earthquake left nearly a million households without power across the Fukushima region and forced the closure of roads and suspension of train services. While rattled residents braced for aftershocks, a landslide cut off a chunk of a main artery through Fukushima Prefecture.

Japan’s meteorological service reported the quake’s magnitude as 7.3, up from the initial assessment of 7.1, but said there was no danger of a tsunami.

Coming a little less than a month before the 10th anniversary of what is known as the Great East Japan earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster, the quake rattled an area that stretched as far north as Hokkaido to the Chugoku region in western Japan.

The greater Tokyo area felt the quake for about 30 seconds starting at 11:08 p.m., but the shaking was felt most powerfully in Fukushima and Miyagi.

The strong quake was an unnerving reminder of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, killing more than 16,000 people. After the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima, 164,000 people fled or were evacuated from around the plant.

Saturday’s quake struck as Tokyo and nine other large prefectures are under a state of emergency to contain the coronavirus. Residents are encouraged to work from home and avoid going out at night, while restaurants and bars are closed at 8 each night.

Japan is also preparing to host the summer Olympics, postponed by a year from 2020. The Games are scheduled to open on July 23.

The prime minister’s office immediately set up a crisis management office and the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, which operates the nuclear plants, said it was checking its monitoring posts in Fukushima to ensure that there were no radiation leaks.

Shortly after midnight, the public broadcaster NHK reported that Tepco had detected “no major abnormalities” at any of the Dai-ichi reactors where the meltdowns occurred in 2011 or at the Dai-ni plant a few miles away in Fukushima.

There was no immediate information about the hundreds of tanks filled with contaminated water stored on the Dai-ichi site. The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant on the west coast had suffered no damage, NHK reported.

According to Katsunobu Kato, chief cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, about 950,000 households were left without power across the affected areas. He said that two thermal power plants in Fukushima Prefecture had been taken offline. Several bullet train lines were suspended. People in dozens of households were evacuated to shelters in several cities in Fukushima.

In brief comments to reporters just before 2 a.m., Mr. Suga advised residents not to go outside and to brace for aftershocks.

Aftershocks: What the hours and days ahead may hold.

Speaking on NHK, Takashi Furumura, a professor at the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, warned that a quake of this size could be followed within two or three days by another of similar scale.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake’s epicenter was about 60 kilometers — or about 37 miles — off the coast of Fukushima and about 34 miles deep. On land, the strongest magnitude felt was 6-plus.

Speaking at a news conference, Noriko Kamaya, an official for the meteorological agency, said residents should be prepared for aftershocks as strong as magnitude 6 in the coming days. He described Saturday night’s earthquake as itself an aftershock of the 2011 quake.

In Minami Soma, one of the Fukushima villages evacuated after the nuclear disaster in 2011, NHK reported that severe shaking lasted for about 30 seconds on Saturday.

Yu Miri, the author of “Tokyo Ueno Station,” winner of the National Book Award for translated literature, posted photos on Twitter showing bookshelves in her nearby home downed and the floors strewn with books.

Kyodo News reported that 30 people had been injured in the Fukushima and Miyagi regions, both on Japan’s east coast.

Japan has endured a history of devastating earthquakes.

Roughly a dozen powerful earthquakes have struck Japan in the past decade, several of them triggering tsunamis and landslides that have shaken parts of the country and destroyed countless buildings.

In 2016, more than 40 people died after two earthquakes rocked the southern island of Kyushu. The largest of the two registered a magnitude of 7.0, close to the intensity of the quake felt on Saturday, and several died in fires and landslides in the mountainous region.

In 2018, dozens died and millions lost power in their homes after a powerful quake in the northern island of Hokkaido triggered landslides. The quake that summer came just days after the largest typhoon recorded in 25 years struck Japan.

Makiko Inoue, Hisako Ueno, Hikari Hida and Elian Peltier contributed reporting.

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New York will reopen stadiums with limited capacity

FILE PHOTO: The 8th avenue entrance to Madison Square Garden is pictured after it was announced that the famous arena would serve as both an early voting site and an Election Day voting site in New York City, New York, U.S., August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

February 10, 2021

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state will allow large stadiums and arenas, such as Citi Field and Madison Square Garden, to reopen for sports and concerts later this month, with sharply limited capacity and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Any stadium that can fit more than 10,000 people can stage events beginning on Feb. 23 at 10% capacity so long as the state’s Department of Health signs off on its safety plans, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has already won approval for a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Sacramento Kings on that day, Cuomo said.

Some venues, including Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, have already been redeployed as mass vaccination sites. State officials said they would discuss with venue managers how to continue vaccination efforts once sports and concerts return.

The venues must enforce all COVID-19 prevention measures, such as the mandatory wearing of face masks and social distancing, Cuomo said. Attendees must show evidence that they had tested negative for the novel coronavirus within 72 hours prior to the event’s start.

In January, Cuomo allowed a limited number of spectators at a Buffalo Bills NFL playoff game, the team’s first in 24 years.

It was the first time spectators were at a professional sporting event in New York state since the coronavirus brought sports to a halt in mid-March.

About 6,700 fans attended the game at the 72,000-seat Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, a suburb of Buffalo in western New York.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Storm Brings Dangerous Travel Conditions to New York City

Heavy snow blanketed New York City on Monday, February 1, with National Weather Service forecasters expecting the wintry conditions to continue throughout the day. The weather service for New York City said the storm could dump up to 24 inches of snow across the region, with “near blizzard conditions” in some areas. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio restricted “all non-emergency travel” after 6 am on Monday in anticipation of heavy snow and strong winds. This footage shows a mail truck revving its engine as it navigates a snow-covered street in Long Island City in Queens. It also shows people attempting to move a van that became stuck at the intersection. Credit: Storyful via Storyful

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For the first time it’s a full house at AFL Cape York House

Like any house the week school goes back, it’s a flurry of activity and anticipation. And at AFL’s Cape York House, it’s no different.

100 young people, who hail from remote parts of Far North Queensland, are settling into their home away from home and starting the first day of the school year.

From the Cape and Torres Strait to the Gulf and Northern Territory, for some they’re now hundreds of kilometres from their family and community, making the role AFL Cape York House plays in providing a positive life experience all the more important.

Greeting the young people with open arms is General Manager, Rick Hanlon, who says it’s a monumental year for AFL Cape York House; two purpose-built boys and girls boarding houses in central Cairns.

“This year we welcome 100 Indigenous youth, who represent 25 different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities into our boys and girls houses. It’s the first time in our history we’re at capacity, every bed is taken,” he said.

“Our goal is to give the young people an opportunity to fulfil their potential in a culturally appropriate, safe and secure residential environment.

“While the young people will call AFL Cape York House home, they’ll all attend high-school locally at one of our 9 partner schools*.”

AFL Cape York House has a dedicated team of tutors, mentors, and support staff, who work hard to assist in the student’s transition.

“Imagine moving away from country, community, culture and family as an 11 year old?” says Boys House Manager, Kane Richter.

“It’s a big change transitioning from the local primary school in a regional community to attending high-school in Cairns.

“We do our best to place the students into the right school. Every school is different and different young people fit in better at different schools.

“Outside of schooling, we’ve got a wellbeing program to keep the young people’s bodies and minds healthy.

“Another important part of AFL Cape York House is preparing the young people to move into the world of work. We help them get their driver’s licence and part-time employment.

“And of course there’s no escaping household chores – they are shared amongst everyone at the boarding houses!”

So where does the footy come in?

“AFL provides teamwork, develops attitudes and commitment, and it improves your wellbeing physically and mentally. That’s where footy fits in,” said Mr Hanlon.

“Aside from our Foundation and boarding houses, we have an AFL game development team. They work remotely and are responsible for growing and developing Australian Football and striving to ensure the game of AFL is a way of life for every community.

“This year, we’ll visit more than 42 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from across the Cape and Torres Strait. And we’ll engage over 12,000 participants through one of our many programs we deliver remotely.

For more information, visit:

*Partner schools include;
1. Bentley Park College
2. Cairns State High School
3. Redlynch State College
4. Smithfield State High School
5. Woree State High School
6. St Mary’s Catholic College
7. Freshwater Christian College
8. St Andrew’s Catholic College
9. Trinity Bay State High School

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‘You Need to Back Up’: New York State Cop Has Conversation With Chatty Turkey

The Ramapo Police Department in New York’s Rockland County shared footage of one of its officers having a conversation with a turkey on January 22. Police said the footage shows a turkey approaching Officer Robert Navarro’s window on Pascack Road in Chestnut Ridge. Navarro tells the turkey, “I don’t care what he did. We’re not taking a report for that. You need to go away.” The department said Officer Navarro “was attempting to clear several parties from the roadway, when he was met with some resistance.” Credit: Town of Ramapo Police Department via Storyful

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Flurry of Snow Falls in Queens, New York

A snow shower hit Queens on Wednesday morning, January 20. Footage taken by Rhona Tarrant shows the flurry in full swing in the Long Island City neighborhood. According to the National Weather Service, the area may experience snow again on Friday. Credit: Rhona Tarrant via Storyful

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