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Published: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 1:41 PM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Two C-17 Globemaster III cargo jets based at Wright-Patterson were flying to Texas today to aid relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey unleashed high winds and devastating floods that have forced thousands to flee.
The first flight was due to land at Biggs Army Air Field near El Paso, Texas, to pick up 35 tons of equipment for transport to Kelly Field, Texas, near San Antonio, according to 445th Airlift Wing spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris.
A second flight was scheduled to the same bases to transport food, generators and power equipment, she said. “We’re always on standby to support,” she said. “We’re here to support the people of Texas.”
At least one C-17 flight from Wright-Patterson was scheduled on both Thursday and Friday to aid relief efforts, but additional details were not immediately available.
The Air Force Reserve unit flew relief missions in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy that churned into New York and New Jersey off the Atlantic Coast in 2012.
In the biggest relief effort in recent decades, the Wright-Patt wing flew C-141 Starlifters to evacuate more than 400 patients in New Orleans, La., and southwest Texas after Katrina and Rita.
Katrina, a monster storm, caused a widespread path of destruction, killing more than 1,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless in Mississippi and Louisiana. New Orleans was extensively flooded after a levee holding back water was breached.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 6:14 AM
PITTSBURGH — People flooded the streets of Pittsburgh for the third straight night Friday, protesting the police shooting death of a teenager during a traffic stop earlier in the week.
Residents were angry over Tuesday’s death of Antwon Rose, 17, who was unarmed.
The Homestead Grays Bridge was closed for approximately an hour Friday night, and protesters gathered outside PNC Park, where the Pittsburgh Pirates were hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Reportedly, a Mercedes-Benz drove through protesters near the ballpark, but no injuries were reported. “Someone tried to drive through us,” one person tweeted.
All of the gates, except one near home plate, were reopened to allow fans to leave the stadium after Arizona won 2-1 in 13 innings.
Allegheny County police officials said that Rose was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in East Pittsburgh around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday because it fit the description of a car seen fleeing the area of a shooting in the nearby borough of North Braddock. As an officer handcuffed the driver of the car, which investigators said had bullet damage to the back window, Rose and a second passenger got out of the car and ran.
Rose, who police officials said was shot three times, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:36 AM
— Isolated showers this morning with temperatures rising heading into the afternoon. Lingering clouds will make for a breezy day, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydghas.
Today: Mostly cloudy with a few isolated showers around in the morning. Temperatures will be rising out of the 60s. Clouds will linger through the day and become breezy. As an area of low pressure departs to the northeast, the flow wrapping around the low may spark a few passing showers or an isolated storm this afternoon. Highs expected in the upper 70s. Drying out later tonight with some breaks in the clouds. Overnight temperatures will drop into the lower 60s.
Sunday: Partly sunny and warm with the slight chance of a passing shower. Most of the area will remain dry with highs in the lower 80s.
Monday: Sun and a few clouds, dry with highs in the lower 80s.
Tuesday: Partly cloudy and warmer. Humidity will slowly begin to climb with highs in the middle 80s. Chance of a few showers may develop into the evening and night.
Wednesday: Partly sunny skies with showers and a few storms developing. A very warm and muggy day with temperatures climbing into the upper 80s.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:15 AM
As President Donald Trump this week threatened $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports, and then warned Europe that he would slap a 20 percent tariff on imported automobiles, members of both parties Congress accused the administration of starting a trade war which could cause collateral economic damage across the United States.
The differences were on display at a hearing Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who took a bipartisan tongue lashing on a recent round of tariffs levied on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and Europe.
“We’re picking winners and losers,” argued Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said those tariffs were already hurting businesses in his home state.
“Probably resulting – in my view – in far more jobs being lost than being gained,” Toomey told Ross, citing a very well-known Pennsylvania company that could find it less expensive to move jobs from the U.S. to Canada.
Almost every Senator on the panel had a story of a small business that was feeling the pinch due to Trump Administration tariffs, impacting all sorts of agricultural products, as well as manufacturing, big and small.
“Do you think we’re in a trade war right now?” asked Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “Because I do,” as Cantwell rattled off farm products that were losing markets because of retaliatory tariff measures.
Ross downplayed the cost of higher imported steel and aluminum, basically making the case that economic hardships were being overplayed.
“It’s a fraction of a penny on a can of Campbell’s soup, it’s a fraction on a can of Budweiser, it’s a fraction on a can of Coke,” Ross said.
That did not please the Senator from the state of Coca-Cola.
“Although a couple of pennies on a can is not much, a couple pennies times a billion is lots,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).
“We’re hit harder than any other state by the Canadian retaliatory tariffs,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), warning the Trump Administration against tariffs on imported automobiles, as GOP Senators labeled such actions a tax on consumers.
“Steel prices are going up – not just for foreign steel subject to tariffs, but also for U.S. steel,” complained Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
“Mexico’s buying their wheat from Argentina and their corn from Brazil,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), as he told Ross that Kansas wheat exports were encountering troubles because of new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, bringing bad economic news on the farm report.
Ross simply told Senators if other countries put new tariffs on U.S. exports, that was out of his control.
“We have no control over what another country does in retaliation,” Ross said.
The bipartisan complaints clearly had no impact, as by Friday, President Trump was on Twitter, issuing new threats against European auto imports.
As Democrats registered their opposition, they also couldn’t help but note the oddity of a Republican President going against what’s been a bedrock belief of the GOP.
“I feel like I’ve gone down a rabbit hole,” said Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), who said she found it hard to believe the party of free trade now had a President in office who was doing the exact opposite.
“In a chaotic and frankly incompetent manner, you’re picking winners and losers,” McCaskill told Ross.
But for the President, this is about re-setting trade deals, which he says were tilted against the United States.
“As far as trade is concerned with other countries, we want fair and reciprocal trade, we don’t want stupid trade like we had for so long,” the President said at a rally in Minnesota.
“Remember the world reciprocal,” Mr. Trump said. “We have been ripped off by almost every country on Earth, our friends and our enemies.”
“But those days are over,” the President said to cheers from the crowd.
But while they’re cheering Mr. Trump on the stump, at the U.S. Capitol, they’re worried about a trade war.
“We’re getting into a war that’s going to cost lots of billions of dollars,” Isakson warned.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 4:37 AM
— Veterinarians in Australia are conducting tests to determine whether kangaroos that appear to be drunk have actually suffered neurological damage because of a strain of grass, The Guardian reported.
The veterinarians, from the University of Melbourne, said Phalaris aquatica -- a common pasture crop in central Victoria -- have caused the suffering among eastern gray kangaroos, the Guardian reported. Wildlife officials said the kangaroos were suffering from Phalaris “staggers,” which is common among sheep and cattle that graze in Australia.
“A kangaroo with full-blown toxicity is just horrible,” Manfred Zabinskas from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue told Guardian Australia. “Their head flies around like they have got a broken neck; they summersault; they crash into fences and trees … they look like they are drunk.”
Phalaris, also known as canary grass, is a tall grass common to southeastern Australia. Some farmers have avoided planting the species because the “staggers” can cause heart failure among animals, the Guardian reported.
In domestic animals, the condition can be controlled by adding copper into their diet. But in kangaroos, the condition is believed to be irreversible, the Guardian reported.