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Tears, Smiles Mark Marines Homecoming

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK — The sense of anticipation was palpable, as families and other loved ones gathered at the Monmouth Armed Forces Reserve Center last Thursday to await the arrival of their loved ones.The mood at the Reserve Center was celebratory because these mothers and fathers, husbands, wives, children and well-wishers knew that these Marines were coming home safe.The crowd was awaiting approximately 38 U.S. Marines, who were on the last leg of their journey home from a seven-month deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, as members of the Corps’ 6th Motor Battalion, headquartered at the reserve center.“I know he’s coming home and he’s here and he’s safe. I can hold him,” said Debbie Foley, Howell, whose smile said it all, as she anxiously awaited the return of her son, Lance Corporal Russell Peter Surdi Jr.Foley, who waited with many family members, said Surdi had been wounded while serving in Afghanistan and had been awarded the Purple Heart. He turned 23 while on deployment. But “He’s OK,” she quickly added.Latisha Robinson, who lives in Mulllica Hills, in South Jersey, said the welcome home gathering was “ the complete opposite,” of the atmosphere when her husband, Sergeant Markee Robinson left for his deployment.“When he’s coming home, you’re happy because you don’t have to worry about the stress.”When her husband returned, from what was his second tour, Latisha said she would, “love him, tell him I missed him,” and tell him he’s “staying home this time.”The Marines were reservists assigned to the battalion and serving at Camp Leatherneck, where they were responsible for providing transportation for personnel and materiel, often through strife-ridden areas and some real hot spots laden with improvised explosive devises (IEDs), said Lt. Col. Peter Mahoney, the battalion’s inspector instructor.When the bus arrived, with a police escort, and the Marines stepped off, the cheers were deafening.“It was a tough time. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what’s going to happen?’” said Rahway resident Luciana Pires, as she waited for her son, Corporal Valter Pires.Valter said he was equally happy to be home and had immediate plans. “I’m going to eat some Portuguese food and ride my motorcycle around the block,” he said.When Andrea Kunak finally saw her son, Sergeant John T. Sharkey, she said, “I don’t have the words to express myself.”Sharkey’s grandmother, Martha Szaro said, “I’m so happy he’s home,” as it was his third tour.Szaro’s granddaughter and the granddaughter’s husband have also served in combat, with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. “We got a lot of them,” serving, she said of her family. “I’m proud, I’m proud of them all.”When Surdi was finished hugging and kissing and being hugged and kissed he said, “It feels amazing, it really does.”His next mission was, “go have a beer,” he said.“I can sleep and not worry now,” with her son home safely, Foley said. But then she thought for a moment and added, “except for all the sons and daughters still over there.”last_img read more

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‘Let Us Emulate His Legacies’

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said the passing of the former Chairman of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), Charles Gyude Bryant calls for all political affiliations in the country to institute new programs that would enable all Liberians to emulate his legacy.The Liberian leader described the late Chairman, who helped restore peace after 14 years of instability in the country, as “Peaceful, but mentally dynamic, astute and engaging, kind and resourceful, a gentleman in every sense of the word, with a penetrating mind, even in the most difficult of times.”President Sirleaf made these assertions when she delivered a Panegyric last week on behalf of her government and people of Liberia at the funeral service of the former fallen NTGL Chairman. The service was held Wednesday, May 14 at the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church in Monrovia.The Liberian government was requested by family members not to give the late statesman a state funeral. Family members said it was willed by Chairman Bryant that government has nothing to do with his funeral.The Liberian President told the audience that the late Bryant was a winsome personality of deep, unpretending humility, foresight and concentration, which portrayed nobility of character and strength of conviction.She noted, “His instincts served him and his country very well, and in trying or vexing situations, he was tolerant in a generous way, allowing the gush of fresh wind to blow through the halls of misunderstanding, shortcomings and obstacles.”President Sirleaf, whom the late chairman peacefully guided in leading to the process of her ascendancy, said he demonstrated vast knowledge of national affairs, underpinned by patience, understanding and a sympathetic attitude to the problems, and willingness to be of assistance when convinced of the necessity that justifies it.  She said these attributes that the fallen NTGL Chairman had, inspired the nation.She said the people of Liberia shared a deep sense of grief occasioned by the death of this pre-eminent Statesman who served and led his country from the shackles of destruction and bore the torch of the democratic order; who served his country magnificently as a business icon with great understanding and zeal to propagate and restore the image of his beloved nation.“The sorrow of the Liberian people at the passing of so great a man, who signified to the world a new air of hope and peace, is being expressed by this celebration of his home going,” she pointed out.As a mark of last respect and a tribute to the late Chairman Bryant’s memory, President Sirleaf called upon all to give due reverence and reflection to this memory.“Let it be celebrated throughout the length and breadth of Liberia by its people at home and abroad, as a day of rejoicing and happy recompense, as well as a day of fondest familiarity and family hood,” she said Liberians should be reminded of how Chairman Bryant superbly navigated the tumultuous sea of self-destruction to bring Liberia into the harbor of national reconciliation.The Bishop Jonathan B. B. Hart, in his funeral discourse, said that membranes of the former chairman will forever remain in the hearts of every Liberian because he was the one who heal the wounds of the nation after over years of brutalities in the country.Bishop Hart noted that the late chairman risked his life in ensuring that peace and tranquility returned to his mother land; a country he loved so dearly.One of the three children of the late chairman, Charles Mleh Bryant, said that their father thought them the sense of humility, respect for others and the fear of God. “I will really miss my daddy because he was a true friend to all of us,” he said with tears rolling down his eyes.Meanwhile, the Trinity Cathedral was the scene of massive turnout of sympathizers including government officials, fraternity brothers and sisters, old friends, former schoolmates, business partners, among others.Following the funeral service, the late chairman’s remains were taken on a cortege with appropriate military escort to its final resting place in the township of Crozierville, Montserrado County where internment took place in the old churchyard of the Christ Episcopal Church.Charles Gyude Bryant, born January 17, 1949, died on April 16, 2014 in his 65th year. As Chairman of the NTGL from October 2003 to January 2006, Chairman Bryant is credited for fully implementing the mandate of the government as outlined in the Accra Peace Accord.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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RPAL Seeks US$70K to Construct National Headquarters

first_imgMadam Siaway: “We hope to raise money through the farmers to build this office as it is in their best interest to have a place of their own instead of renting.” Gets full membership at International Rubber Research and Development BoardOfficials of the Rubber Planters Association of Liberia (RPAL) on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, announced immediate plans to construct the future home of the association in the country.The cost of the building is estimated at US$70,000, and will be erected near Kakata, Margibi County where the leadership acquired three plots of land.RPAL’s President Wilhelmina G. Mulbah-Siaway, informed journalists at a press conference in Monrovia that when constructed, the home will train farmers the requisite skills in their line of work.She said the essence of constructing the RPAL’s headquarters is to also serve as a resource hub for members and provide relevant information on the (rubber) commodities.The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction is slated for April 15, 2019.“We hope to raise the money through the farmers to build this office as it is in their best interest to have a place of their own instead of renting.”Majority (two-thirds) of the Executive Committee approved of the headquarter’s construction.An elevation design of the RPAL’s proposed headquarters.Madam Siaway used the occasion to inform rubber farmers that the RPAL is now admitted into the International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB).The IRRDB is a research and development network, which brings together natural rubber research institutes in virtually all the natural rubber producing countries, covering 95 per cent of world natural rubber production.She said membership to the IRRDB will enable RPAL to join forces with other countries on a flexible and deliberate on an informal basis.Madam Siaway said the membership also affords Liberia the opportunity to share their experiences and problems and to avoid wasteful duplication of work.According to her, this will help the RPAL to pool their financial resources, where appropriate to perform activities, which are too large or expensive for a single institute.“IRRDB’s scientists have developed, and are developing very high yielding, medium gestation period and stress resistant clones that are making lots differences in the cultivation and production of the commodity crop in IRRDB member countries. Since we have now become member, we stand to tremendously benefit from these scientific breakthroughs in terms of having access to the best performing clones as well as a state of the art pest management in natural rubber production,” Madam Siaway said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Claims and Objections easiest way to move forward – Opposition Leader

first_imgConstitutionally-mandated elections/H2HThe path forward is clear for any unbiased Guyanese to see, according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, who stressed the need for a Claims and Objections exercise to be immediately commenced, as a time tested means of producing a voters’ list to allow for elections to be held within the constitutionally mandated timeframe.At his last news conference, he said, “Claims and Objections is [a] tested method. The easiest way to move forward is to use Claims and Objections….it is what we can do in a short time and it is not alien to the GECOM Secretariat”.He underscored the fact that there is a deadline for General and Regional Elections to be held in Guyana – that is by September 18, 2019.The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) made clear that the three-month election clock started on June 18, 2018, when it ruled that the No-Confidence Motion was validly and successfully passed – a final ruling after months of legal challenges. GECOM was also named by the CCJ in its consequential orders and the Court made it clear that GECOM must comply with the Constitution.Referring to a work plan produced by the GECOM Secretariat in March 2019 – one that has not been disavowed – he said two viable options were advanced in March 2019 – Claims and Objections, running for 119 days to result in an Official List of Electors and a new national House-to-House Registration, running for 290 days.H2H RegistrationThe House-to-House Registration option, he explained, if adjusted for delays, will move Guyana long past the three-month election deadline – to sometime in February 2020 – just to arrive at a new National Register of Registrants. He pointed out that the field exercise alone will be completed on October 20, 2019 – one month after the constitutional deadline for elections to be held.According to him, the last House-to-House Registration, done under different circumstances, took almost two years to be completed and still ended with some flaws that were identified. As such, he reasoned that the February 2020 end date may very likely have to be extended further.He added too that Guyanese will have to wait until 2020 to get back to the position we are currently at – that is, having a valid National Register of Registrants.The Opposition Leader pointed out too that the move to House-to-House Registration was done on the basis of the secretary gazetted June 11, 2019, order which was overtaken by the June 18, 2019, ruling of the CCJ, as well as its consequential orders issued on July 12, 2019.Jagdeo lamented the fact that in addition to pushing Guyana months past the constitutional deadline for elections to be held, House-to-House Registration will result in the de-registration of countless numbers of Guyanese – Guyanese students who are studying abroad and Guyanese working overseas and persons in the hinterland who are not at their place of abode at the time GECOM officers visit, among others – and it is currently the subject of a court challenge. Guyana’s Constitution only requires that to be registered as a voter, you must be a Guyanese and are 18 years and older. There is no residency requirement.The Opposition Leader pointed out that the legal challenge to House-to-House Registration before the High Court could end up all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice. He charged that if House-to-House Registration goes forward, and an election is held on a voters’ list generated through that process, that election could be invalidated if the CCJ rules that the House-to-House Registration, as currently being done, is unconstitutional.Jagdeo said too that currently, a major stakeholder, the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), was not invited and is not participating in the ongoing House-to-House Registration.“Why go a route that will create more problems for [the] country? Why go a route that is vastly inferior and will take longer?” he questioned.No complaintsCurrently, Guyana has a National Register of Registrants – which is used to produce a Preliminary List of Voters that is then finalised as the Official Voters’ List to be used at elections. The current National Register of Registrants has not expired.Jagdeo stated that there were also no complaints about the National Register of Registrants by GECOM’s Commissioners or the former GECOM Chairman, who was illegally appointed by President David Granger.The Opposition Leader stated that the very National Register of Registrants was used for the recently concluded Local Government Elections and the voters’ list, not the National Register of Registrants, only expired on April 30, 2019 – weeks after the March 21, 2019, deadline when the CCJ said elections should have been held by.He noted that the only argument being made to justify House-to-House Registration by the APNU/AFC coalition is that the voters’ list is bloated and young people are not registered. Jagdeo dubbed these as weak arguments. He noted that any such matter can be addressed through a Claims and Objections exercise.For these reasons, Jagdeo stressed that there must be a move to Claims and Objections.GECOM has said that a Claims and Objections exercise will:1. Allow any eligible Guyanese who has reached the age of 18 years old to beregistered if their name is not on the voters’ list.2. Allow any eligible Guyanese to get a transfer from one voting district to another, in the event that they changed their place of residence.3. Allow any eligible Guyanese to do a name change.4. Allow for the removal of a dead person from the voters’ list.5. Allow for objections to be made to the name of someone not eligible to be on the voters’ list.Notably, despite these facts, Granger is holding on to the line that the voters’ list is flawed – bloated by some 200,000. This is a position that has been publicly rejected by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, on July 23, 2019. When asked to comment on Granger’s assertion that the voters’ list is bloated by about 200,000 names, Lowenfield, on July 23, 2019, said, “You are saying my list is bloated….bloat is not a word I would affix to it [the list].” The Chief Elections Officer also stated that Granger’s claims are based on speculation. Lowenfield said, “It’s speculative. I will want to do an exercise to determinethat amount and that exercise can be done,” he said.UNDP positionFurther, the Report of the United Nations (UN) Electoral Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) – May 7-11, 2018 – made clear that a voters’ list will not have more credibility.The report said: “It is the view of the NAM that there is no certainty that a new voters’ list will have more credibility than the current list and that stakeholders will trust it more.Furthermore, any list created close to the elections will likely be criticised as politically motivated.”Reason must prevailThe Opposition Leader added that moving forward, reason must prevail. He said, “If the President listens, he would understand that House-to-House Registration will not allow for compliance with the Constitution or the ruling and orders of the CCJ….the concerns he had raised about the voters’ list can be addressed by a Claims and Objections period.“…if the President is interested in credible election, then work with us…it doesn’t matter which part of the political divide you are on, it is plain pure logic. This is where our arguments are, logic.”Despite the continued calls by the parliamentary Opposition, the Granger-led Government has not significantly changed its position on the way forward – even as Guyana is weeks away from the September 18, 2019, deadline.last_img read more

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Jail time likely to just boost Paris’ star power even more

first_imgFacing a 45-day jail sentence – and perhaps her first brush with accountability – could be a reality check for Hilton. But regardless of how she handles it, it may make her more popular than ever. “It will actually increase her star appeal in a very sick and demented way,” longtime publicist Michael Levine said. “There’s a segment of our society that’s somehow engaged in the soap opera that is Paris Hilton, and this a very compelling plot line in the soap opera.” A judge ordered the socialite to report to a county jail by June5 to serve 45 days for violating the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. Her attorney has said he will appeal. That only prolongs the publicity, said Roger Gillott, whose public relations company, Gillott Communications, specializes in crisis management. “If she wants to put this behind her and come off looking remorseful or repentant, then she should just serve her time as quietly as possible,” he said. “The more she protests, the more she claims she was innocent and doesn’t know what she’s doing, that she never reads her legal papers, the more she portrays an image of someone who doesn’t pay close attention and thinks they are above being held accountable.” The 26-year-old hotel heiress, who parlayed her party lifestyle into worldwide fame, told the judge Friday that she didn’t have time to talk with her attorneys about her probation. That dismissive attitude is part of her appeal, veteran publicist David Brokaw said. “The premise of her fame is being naughty,” he said. “This is a career move for her. It simply fuels the fascination. She can only win with this.” Some celebrities have fared well after a stay in the graybar hotel. Martha Stewart started a TV show after her stint behind bars. Robert Downey Jr. rebounded with a recurring TV role that led back to the big screen. Others, including Bobby Brown, Heidi Fleiss and Fatty Arbuckle, weren’t as fortunate. Bad behavior means big publicity for Hilton, Levine said, noting that she wasn’t maligned when her homemade sex tape surfaced on the Internet. Instead she became more famous than before. “This is a girl who has total disregard for the rules of our society,” Levine said. “And she’s been rewarded for it.” Time behind bars isn’t likely to impart any lessons for Hilton, West Hollywood psychologist Jeremy Ritzlin said. Jail time doesn’t equal rehabilitation, and the club-hopping Hilton would need extensive therapy to make lasting changes in her life, he said. “It’s going to make her very unhappy because she’s not used to this. She couldn’t buy her way out of it,” he said. “But one 45-day trip to jail is not going to change her behavior.” Hilton’s plethora of professional pursuits – which include a namesake perfume and handbag line, a fledgling music career and a starring role in the reality show “The Simple Life” – can probably survive 45 days without her. Hilton’s fans filled her MySpace page with words of support over the weekend. Her spokesman, Elliot Mintz, declined to comment. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Paris Hilton is so pampered she doesn’t read her mail. “I have people who do that for me,” she told a judge. Legal documents and traffic citations elude her. “I just sign what people tell me to sign,” she testified. last_img read more

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THOUSANDS TO CONVERGE ON LETTERKENNY FOR NORTH WEST 10K TODAY

first_imgDermot Hannigan with his grandson Liam McKinney signing on for the North West 10K and proving it spans the generations.Up to 3,000 walkers and runners are expected to converge on Letterkenny today for the hugely-popular North West 10K.The fun event, which has helped dozens of needy charities over the years, will start at 2pm from the community centre on the Pearse Road.And don’t worry if you haven’t registered yet for the Donegal Daily/Brian McCormick Sports sponsored event, because there is still plenty of time. Registrations continue from 10am this morning so there is still plenty of time to get your hands on those famous North West 10K t-shirts.With the weather forecast giving a dry afternoon runners and walkers are asked to enter early as the registrations office will be closing at 1pm sharp.With traffic restrictions in place the run and walk must start at 2pm sharp.Runners start as usual from McGinley Motors. Walkers are asked to note their start line is down at the bottom of the Community Centre Car Park on the track side. There will be a walkers banner on display there.Those taking part are asked to listen to stewards as there will be a lot of people taking part as well as watching the event so safety is the key priority.The best of luck to everyone who is walking or running the event.Don’t worry about your time – just turning u on the line, paying your entry fee and supporting all the charities means that you are a winner.THOUSANDS TO CONVERGE ON LETTERKENNY FOR NORTH WEST 10K TODAY was last modified: May 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brian McCormick SportsdonegalDonegal DailyletterkennyNorth West 10klast_img read more

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Goalkeeper leaves club ahead of expected move to Leeds United

first_img Sheytanov has been capped at Under-17 level by Bulgaria 1 Leeds United finally look set to confirm the signing of goalkeeper Dimitar Sheytanov following his departure from Levski Sofia.Sheytanov, the goalkeeper, was linked with a move to Elland Road back in June by Bulgarian news outlet Top Sport, who claimed he was unwilling to agree a new deal with Levski because they wouldn’t write a clause in his contract guaranteeing him a certain amount of game time in the new campaign.center_img With no terms agreed, Sheytanov looked to be leaving the club, and Top Sport report that he has now officially departed Sofia.There is no confirmation the 19-year-old has officially signed for Leeds as of yet, though the report claims Elland Road is his most likely destination.Sheytanov, the teenager is a Bulgarian youth international, who has never made a senior appearance for Levski.Though Leeds were on the lookout for a senior glovesman this summer, the signing of Jamal Blackman suggests Sheytanov is being bought to join Carlos Corberan’s Under-23 side.last_img read more

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Manchester United’s leopard print ‘fourth kit’ is now available to buy

first_img 5 This will certainly make you stand out from the crowd 5 The unusual looking strip is featured on FIFA 19 on the the popular game’s Ultimate Team mode.A United statement read: “Manchester United has teamed up with adidas Football and Electronic Arts to reveal the stunningly unique Manchester United EA Sports Jersey – a digital shirt, that will be granted in EA SPORTS FIFA 19 to players who are fans of the club, along with obtaining them through FIFA ULTIMATE TEAM (FUT) packs and weekly objectives.Every 2018/19 Premier League home kit rated and ranked“The shirt features a bold, radical leopard print design. Although the shirt will not be worn by the team on the pitch, a special limited edition physical version, designed in collaboration with EA SPORTS™, will be available for fans to buy in retail outlets including the Megastore at Old Trafford and adidas stores, as well as online at United Direct and adidas.com.”United’s kit is one of four designed specially for the FIFA game and released on sale, with only a limited number available. The back’s not much better 5 5 5center_img Manchester United’s digital ‘fourth’ kit is now available to buy.The garish leopard print jersey, which will never be worn by the team, is for sale on the adidas website for £64.95. The same as above pretty much, but blue adidas It looks out of this world… literally How many times? Keep your pink pants out of the white wash basket From 🎮 to 👕.Introducing the all new limited-edition @FCBayern, @juventusfc, @ManUtd and @realmadrid @EA SPORTS Jerseys, available in game and in store now: https://t.co/4HAIVfvhBY. pic.twitter.com/WblmNWLpsL— adidas Football (@adidasfootball) November 29, 2018Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid – also sponsored by adidas – are the other clubs to have joined forces with the game’s makers, EA Sports, to design a digital kit.Bayern and Real Madrid have gone for an outer space look, while Juventus’ strip looks like a once white shirt that’s been mistakenly thrown in the washing machine with a pair of coloured pants.last_img read more

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GOVERNMENT HITTING LOW PAID WORKERS WITH CROKE PARK II – SINN FEIN

first_imgSinn Féin Donegal TDs Pearse Doherty and Pádraig MacLochlainn have described Croke Park II as an attack on frontline workers.In a joint statement the Donegal Deputies said the worst off in the public sector are being hid the hardest.“This agreement, which the government seeks to force workers into accepting under threat of a worse outcome if it legislates, heaps pain on low and middle income workers. It does little more than tinker with excessive pay at the top,” the said. “Even after the 10% cut to high pay those at the top of the public sector will still earn more than the French President and British Prime Minister.“Labour – the party of Connolly and Larkin – is attacking workers. It is a Labour minister who has split the trade union movement, torn up the Croke Park Agreement and is now set to force through pay cuts across the public sector.“Frontline workers have been unfairly targeted. Nurses, gardaí, firefighters, the emergency services deliver a 24/7 service keeping us safe and well. They are the workers who are being hit hardest.“These workers have mortgages to pay; children to feed and clothe; school books to buy, and bills to pay. None of their outgoings are going to be cut, just their income. “Their pay has been significantly reduced over recent years while the cost of living has risen. Far from protecting workers on low and middle incomes the government has aggressively gone after their increments and unsocial hours pay.“The fact is that frontline workers did not cause this crisis. The Fianna Fáil leadership and the other elites – the golden circle – caused this crisis.“There are alternatives. The government could have brought in a wealth tax. It could have also introduced a third band of tax on those earning more than €100,000.“Instead those who will be hit hardest will be the nurses, the fire services, the ambulance services, the gardaí. Nurses in our overcrowded hospitals will work extra hours, lose unsocial hours payments, have reduced Sunday pay and will have increments frozen. They face a pay cut of eight per cent. That means a nurse on €35,000 will lose €2,800.“That is not fair. The government’s approach is about imposing a higher and disproportionate burden onto those on low and middle incomes.” GOVERNMENT HITTING LOW PAID WORKERS WITH CROKE PARK II – SINN FEIN was last modified: March 7th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GOVERNMENT HITTING LOW PAID WORKERS WITH CROKE PARK II – SINN FEINlast_img read more

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N.Y. goes on the alert

first_img The law enforcement official said the threat was “specific to place,” and that the window for the attack was anywhere from today through at least the weekend. Bloomberg called it the most specific terror threat New York officials had received to date. No one in the city has been arrested or detained, he said. “We have done and will continue to do everything we can to protect this city,” he said. “We will spare no resource, we will spare no expense.” Gov. George Pataki said the state would call up hundreds of National Guard troops while seeking help from law officers in Connecticut and New Jersey to patrol commuter trains. Some commuters took the threat in stride. Paul Radtke, 45, of Hoboken, N.J., said he has heard similar warnings before and found it hard to take them all seriously. “Unless it’s something dramatic that’s happening, I’ve got to go to work,” Radtke said after getting off a subway train at Penn Station. He said the only travel habit he is changing is trying not to make eye contact with police officers so they won’t search his bag. An estimated 4.5 million passengers ride the New York subway on an average weekday. The system has more than 468 subway stations. In July, the city began random subway searches following the London train bombings. Leila Fullerton was about to board a subway for Brooklyn after leaving work, where she had gotten word of the threat. “I’ll think about it, but I’m not scared, really,” she said. But she added that since the London bombings, she has felt nervous at times and found herself scanning the subway car at times looking for suspicious characters. “It’s a terrible feeling going down there sometimes,” she said, gesturing at the subway stairwell. New York City has been on high alert — or code orange –on the nation’s terror threat advisory system since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. There are no plans to raise its alert level in wake of the threat, Knocke said, nor are authorities considering changing the nationwide elevated threat level, or code yellow. Bloomberg said there was no indication the threat was linked to this month’s Jewish holidays.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 But in Washington, Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said, “The intelligence community has concluded this information to be of doubtful credibility. We shared this information early on with state and local authorities in New York.” Knocke did not elaborate. A counterterror official, who was briefed about the threat by Homeland Security authorities, said the intelligence was considered doubtful because it did not reflect “on-the-ground, detailed” information. Rather, the official, who also insisted on anonymity, said the intelligence was similar to “what can be found on the Internet and a map of New York City.” The law enforcement official in New York said that city officials had known about the threat at least since Monday, but held the information until two or three al-Qaida operatives were arrested in Iraq within the past 24 hours. Once the arrests were made, officials felt they could go public, the official said. Authorities are concerned, the official said, that there might be al-Qaida operatives in New York City connected to the plot. They have no hard evidence of that, but are investigating. The U.S. military spokesman’s office in Baghdad had no information on the operatives’ arrests. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he had seen no indication of a U.S. military operation to round up al-Qaida suspects. NEW YORK — Authorities stepped up security Thursday after receiving what city officials called a credible threat that the New York subway could be the target of a terrorist attack in coming days. But Homeland Security officials in Washington downplayed the threat, saying it was of “doubtful credibility.” The threat involved the possibility terrorists would pack a baby stroller with explosives, among other potential subway bombing methods, a law enforcement official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. New York officials responded by mobilizing police officers to begin looking through commuters’ strollers, bags, brief cases and luggage. “This is the first time we have had a threat with this level of specificity,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a nationally televised news conference alongside police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, adding that he still felt secure enough to take the subway home Thursday night.last_img read more

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