Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti, Nearly Three Years After the Earthquake

first_img Water, food, medicine, blankets and tents. Haiti lacked all of it at first, when chaos and surprise seized the people of Haiti during the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. Afterward, supplies were abundant. Aid arrived by the tons from every corner of the planet, but little by little it started to accumulate, because Haiti did not have official distribution channels or proper mechanisms in place to deliver the assistance. It did not have a contingency plan for emergencies. No one knew where they should be distributing the necessary products, and there was no organized manner to respond to the people still crying out for help. On August 25, 2012 everything was different. When Tropical Storm Isaac started to hit the Haitian coast, more than 14,000 people across the country, mainly in the western and eastern parts of the island, were already evacuated thanks to the Haitian government and its international partners, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which anticipated the possible damage. In the history of the country, this was the first preventive evacuation led by the Haitian government. The evacuees were already identified as members of vulnerable groups, such as refugees residing in camps, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities, according to a statement from the Haitian government. These planned and organized evacuations were held throughout the day on August 24, a day before the storm made landfall. Additionally, many urgent evacuations were made during the night and early morning of August 25, while the weather conditions worsened. After the storm, a prompt and accurate damage assessment identified the most serious problems, and gave immediate assistance to people whose lives were at the greatest risk and required urgent attention. On August 26, the United Nations (UN) reported a toll of 19 deaths and 2,350 homes destroyed. Though these are not small, they are a stark contrast to the toll left by the earthquake of 2010, which took the lives of more than 200,000, and about 2.5 million homeless, according to figures from the UN. To assess Tropical Storm Isaac, the Haitian government and USAID used a team of experts in disaster response; all of which helped in the preparation of the storm, and are now determining the damages it caused, as well as where and what kind of humanitarian aid is needed. Preliminary reports indicate that the impact of the storm was more significant in Port-au-Prince and the southeastern departments of the country. From day one, humanitarian organizations were distributing emergency supplies to the needy, including water, food, personal hygiene packs, blankets, and plastic sheeting, among other items and necessities. The difference now is that all these resources were already in-country, ready to be used in incidents like this. Due in large part to the professional response and organization of the Haitian government before, during, and after Tropical Storm Isaac, countless and priceless lives have been saved. Lesson learned. By Dialogo August 30, 2012last_img read more

Revised Florida Stand-Your-Ground law is unconstitutional

first_imgPhoto Courtesy of Google On Monday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that Florida legislators reached beyond their authority by amending the state’s Stand-Your Ground-Law earlier this. The change in the law would give prosecutors authority to disprove a defendant’s self-defense claim in attacking someone during a pre-trial hearing. According to Judge Hirach only the Florida Supreme Court has the authority to effect changes to the law. The law “cannot be legislatively modified” the judge wrote in his ruling.Since its inception under the administration of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2005, the law which gives residents in the state the right to defend themselves by deadly force, usually by the gun, if they believe they are being attacked in or out their home has been controversial.The controversy peaked in 2013 when community watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting death of North Miami teenager Trayvon Martin. Martin was on his way from a convenience store and walking to his father’s home in a Sanford, Florida, residential community when he was accosted by Zimmerman who assumed he was a criminal. Zimmerman’s defense claimed he shot Martin in self-defense because he felt his life was threatened by the teenager.Most state prosecutors opposed the law seeing it as a means for those accused of murder and other gun-related charges to be acquitted by claiming they were defending their lives by the act of violence.It is believed by the opponents of the law that the ruling by Judge Hirsch’s could be the beginning of other courts in Florida ruling likewise resulting in an appeal for the revised law to be reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court.Since the Travyon Martin shooting, and Zimmerman’s acquittal several attempts have been made by Florida Democratic legislators to repeal or change the law, arguing that it gives people with guns the right to shoot a victim indiscriminately, with a chance to be acquitted. However, Governor Rick Scott has remained adamant in not repealing the law.The Florida Supreme Court previously ruled that defendants in shooting cases who seek immunity from criminal prosecution under the law must offer solid proof they were acting in self-defense.Despite strong opposition from prosecutors and gun-control advocates, the Florida Legislature amended the original law to place the burden on state prosecutors to prove through convincing evidence that a defendant was not acting in self-defense. If prosecutors succeed in disproving the self-defense claim at the pre-trail hearing they would need to do this again at the actual trial.last_img read more

Zion Williamson injury update: Duke expects star back Thursday for ACC Tournament

first_imgProjected by many to be a top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson has been averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 68.3 percent from the field in 2018-19.Duke (26-5, 14-4 ACC) went 23-2 while Williamson was healthy, but fell 3-3 in the nearly six full games he missed. Krzyzewski also indicated he doesn’t think it will take a long time for Williamson and the rest of the Blue Devils to get acclimated to having the forward back in the lineup.”These guys will react quickly,” he said. “It depends on Zion, his shape, but I think they’ll respond real quick.” Williamson initially suffered the knee injury within the first 40 seconds of the Blue Devils’ first matchup against the Tar Heels on Feb. 20. “I think we’ll get Zion back for Thursday,” Krzyzewski told reporters after his team’s loss to No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday. “He worked out this morning — again, no contact — but Monday, there will be. Hopefully, we’ll get a couple good days of practice where he can be 5-on-5, and then see how that goes. But the way he looks right now, I think it’s just a matter of getting in shape, getting in game shape, and going forward.” Related News Zion Williamson is one step closer to his return. After missing his fifth full game with a knee sprain, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is confident his star player will return Thursday to open the ACC Tournament. Three takeaways from No. 3 North Carolina’s sweep of No. 4 Dukelast_img read more

‘Battlefield 6’ release: What to know about the new game, future ‘Battlefield 5’ updates

first_imgEA Dice has confirmed it would release a new “Battlefield” game in 2021, its first fresh release since November 2018.While the company said it will continue to support “Battlefield V,” it won’t provide any more core updates after this summer. Could elements of ‘Battlefield 6’ be free?After Activision took the leap and released the free to play “Call of Duty: Warzone” to positive reception, it’s now up to other legacy FPS studios such as EA DICE to decide whether to follow the trend or stick with what’s worked in the past. The benefit of free Battle Royale modes for companies is the continued cash flow of DLC cosmetics. Activision has also done a good job using “Warzone” to promote its paid “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” title.There is not yet any indication one way or the other what EA DICE will do here.When will ‘Battlefield 5’ updates stop?In a recent announcement, EA DICE said the final major update for “Battlefield V” will come in June. It will continue to address bugs, though, and still provide attention to the title for the forseeable future. Attention, then, will turn to the next iteration for the franchise, which will be critical in keeping EA DICE afloat in the FPS space. “Battlefield V” is viewed as a sales disappointment, and the FPS genre has evolved significantly since its release, particularly in terms of Battle Royale popularity.Still, the devout following of the game among hardcore fans gives it hope for a strong rebound, especially with the imminent release of next-gen consoles potentially playing up its renowned aesthetics.MORE: What’s new in “Call of Duty: Warzone” updateDetails remain sparse for Battlefield 6, but we do have some hints of what’s to come.Here is the latest on Battlefield 6, as well as the implications of the new game on Battlefield V:When is the ‘Battlefield 6’ release date?EA DICE has confirmed the game will be released in 2021, and we can narrow it down further than that based on prior reports. According to Niko Partners, it will be shipped sometime after April 1.”Battlefield V” was a November release, putting it up against other prominent FPS titles and perhaps harming its sales numbers. As a result, it’s possible (though not yet reported) that EA DICE will select a different part of the year, such as summer or earlier in the fall, to put it on the market.It’s unclear whether the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on the development timeline.What details are known about ‘Battlefield 6’?EA DICE has kept mum on details of the game, but that hasn’t stopped fans from speculating what could be ahead.Among those fan-driven ideas: A greater focus on multiplayer over campaign, the introduction of Battle Royale and a more modern or futuristic era setting. While “Battlefield” has long been popular because of its differences from other FPS titles, it may feel pressure from competitors to mimick certain aspects of breakout games.One thing EA has discussed is the expanded capabilities provided by the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.”You should assume the power of those consoles is much more than existing consoles,” said Blake Jorgenson, the CEO and CFO of EA, on an earnings call earlier this year. “We can do a lot more. You will start to see things over the next couple of years that will blow people’s minds.”last_img read more