Monday, Apr 21st

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Gas explosion in NYC's East Harlem kills 2, injures 22 — a dozen feared missing

NYC building collapseA thunderous explosion in East Harlem sent "people flying out the windows," killing two women, injuring 22 and leveling two buildings Wednesday morning, the Fire Department and witnesses said.

Mayor de Blasio said the search continued for people still unaccounted for three hours after the blast at 9:31 a.m.

An NYPD source said nine to 12 people were missing.

Two people suffered life-threatening injuries, five had serious injuries that did not appear life-threatening, a Fire Department spokesman said. “It’s a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication in time to save people," said de Blasio at the scene, adding there was no indication of foul play. "We know we've lost two people already."


Feds Withdraw Subpoena Of Top Christie Appointee At Port Authority

david samsonFederal prosecutors in New York on Monday withdrew a subpoena related to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman David Samson, according to The Bergen Record.

The subpoena was received by the Port Authority on Friday, and it was withdrawn before media outlets like the Wall Street Journal published stories about it Monday afternoon, according to the Record. The subpoena reportedly concerned Samson's "involvement in Port Authority actions," as the Record put it.


Kentucky Southern Baptists Draw Crowds With Gun Giveaways

kentucky babtist gun give awayIt's an hour before suppertime, and the line outside Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, Ky., is wrapped around the building. The people are waiting for more than a Bible sermon; there's a raffle tonight. Twenty-five guns are up for grabs.

There's nothing new about gun raffles in Kentucky, even at a church. Last year, there were 50 events like this one in the state. The Kentucky Baptist Convention says it's a surefire way to get new people through church doors.


George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show

George ZimmermanGeorge Zimmerman was shaking hands, smiling and signing autographs at a central Florida gun show Saturday.

Zimmerman greeted people and autographed photos of him posing with his dog. He appeared at a scaled-down version of the New Orlando Gun Show at the Arms Room store on East Colonial Drive.

The show was originally set to be held at the Majestic on John Young Parkway, but organizers said the venue canceled late Thursday after getting negative feedback about Zimmerman's planned appearance.


6.9 earthquake shakes Northern California

california earthquakeA very strong earthquake rattled the Northern California coast and was widely felt across the region, but authorities said early Monday that there were no reports of any injuries or damages.

The magnitude-6.9 quake struck at 10:18 p.m. PDT Sunday and was centered 50 miles west of Eureka and about four miles beneath the Pacific seabed, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed by about a half-dozen aftershocks, including one of magnitude 4.6.


Deades of Disability Abuse in Iowa Turkey Plant

Henry's Turkey ServiceFor more than 30 years, [Clayton Berg] and a few dozen other men with intellectual disabilities — affecting their reasoning and learning — lived in a dot of a place called Atalissa, about 100 miles south of here. Every morning before dawn, they were sent to eviscerate turkeys at a processing plant, in return for food, lodging, the occasional diversion and $65 a month. For more than 30 years.

Their supervisors never received specialized training; never tapped into Iowa ’s social service system; never gave the men the choices in life granted by decades of advancement in disability civil rights. Increasingly neglected and abused, the men remained in heartland servitude for most of their adult lives.


Apartheid Wall in Arizona? Israeli Company Contracted to Build U.S.-Mexico Border Fence

Apartheid wall in Arizona?This week, the Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that its subsidiary won a contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection to produce and install surveillance systems along the U.S.-Mexico border. The company is famous for providing "intrusion detection systems” and other infastructure support for the Israeli West Bank barrier.

The subsidiary was awarded a $145 million contract for a project called the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT), which is to be built on the Mexico-Arizona border over the next year. The contract also guarantees eight years of infrastructure support from Elbit Systems.


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