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A New York man who was admitted to hospital with a high fever and stomach problems after travelling through West Africa has tested negative for Ebola.

The patient in New York had been isolated shortly after arriving at Mount Sinai hospital on Monday.

An outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 900 people and a state of emergency has been declared in Liberia.

The US infectious disease agency is now operating at its highest emergency response in order to free up resources.

Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases known to humans, with a fatality rate in this outbreak of between 50% and 60%.

The Ebola suspected patient has been isolated shortly after arriving at Mount Sinai hospital photo

The Ebola suspected patient has been isolated shortly after arriving at Mount Sinai hospital

It is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of Ebola patients showing symptoms.

Two other Americans infected with Ebola were flown this week from Liberia to a hospital in Atlanta to receive treatment.

They are reportedly improving after receiving an experimental drug called ZMapp, produced by a firm in San Diego, but it is unclear if the drug is responsible for their improving health.

At least one country involved in the outbreak is interested in the drug.

Nigeria’s health minister, Onyenbuchi Chukwu, said at a news conference that he had asked US health officials about access. Nigeria has seen seven confirmed cases.

Officials said the manufacturer would have to agree. A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said director Dr. Tom Frieden “conveyed there are virtually no doses available”.

Dr. Tom Frieden was expected to testify in front of Congress about the outbreak on Thursday.

The treatment, tested only in animals, boosts the immune system’s ability to fight off Ebola through antibodies made by lab animals exposed to elements of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has planned to convene a panel of medical ethicists next week to discuss the ramifications of using an untested drug.

In a statement, it said the use of ZMapp “has raised questions about whether medicine that has never been tested and shown to be safe in people should be used in the outbreak and, given the extremely limited amount of medicine available, if it is used, who should receive it”.

Some public health officials were wary of ramping up production of the drug at the expense of traditional isolation and testing measures.

Peter Piot, who co-discovered the virus in 1976, and two other Ebola experts, urged the drug be made more widely available.

The FDA has separately given the US defense department an emergency authorization to use an Ebola diagnostic test overseas.

It will be used in labs designated by the defense department to respond to the Ebola outbreak.

Thunderstorms with powerful winds have hit northern New York killing at least 4 people and leaving more than 70,000 people without electricity.

Four residents of the rural town of Smithfield were found dead after several homes were destroyed by the fast-moving storms.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley told a local broadcaster investigators were searching for others in the rubble.

A boy at summer camp in Maryland was also killed when a tree fell.

Four residents of the rural town of Smithfield were found dead after several homes were destroyed by the fast moving storms 640x359 photo

Four residents of the rural town of Smithfield were found dead after several homes were destroyed by the fast-moving storms

Six of his friends were injured in the same accident, which happened as they were moving to shelter.

Forecasters said winds from the storms in New York state were at least 60mph.

The National Weather Service said they were sending investigators to Smithfield to see if a tornado touched down.

Town Supervisor Rich Bargabos told the Syracuse Post Standard a mother and her four-month-old baby, a relative of the family and an unrelated neighbor had been killed.

“The houses are obliterated,” Rich Bargabos said.

“There is not a piece of framework together.”

Three small tornadoes touched down in Ohio, forecasters said, and another was spotted in Pennsylvania.

At the height of the outages on Tuesday, more than 300,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in the north-west area of the state.

The body of an eighth victim has been found by rescue teams trapped beneath the rubble of the apartment blocks that collapsed following an explosion in East Harlem, New York City.

Firefighters are trying to find further victims, with the death toll expected to rise.

Police believe a handful of people remained unaccounted for.

More than 60 people were injured after the devastating blast sent debris flying through the air on Wednesday.

Residents were said to have complained recently about “unbearable” gas smells.

Firefighters are trying to find further victims with the death toll expected to rise at the Harlem explosion site photo

Firefighters are trying to find further victims, with the death toll expected to rise at the Harlem explosion site

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rushed to the scene in Upper Manhattan, said preliminary information showed the explosion was caused by a gas leak.

A fire at the site of the blast on Park Avenue and 116th Street hampered the initial search and a sinkhole created by a broken water main caused further difficulties.

But firefighters worked through the night on Wednesday, as temperatures dropped to near freezing, to sift through the rubble, using a bulldozer to help clear the site.

Rescue workers pulled three bodies out of the debris in the early hours of Thursday morning, and a seventh death was confirmed just before 08:00 local time.

No details have yet been given of the eighth victim.

Rescuers are now about halfway through clearing the rubble.

The blast shattered windows a block away and rained debris on to nearby railway lines, which closed Grand Central station for several hours on Wednesday.

At least six people are dead, several are missing and dozens are injured in East Harlem buildings collapse after a gas leak sparked a powerful explosion leveled the New York City blocks.

Rescue crews began searching the debris on Wednesday evening for victims after the fire was finally put out.

Train services to and from Grand Central Terminal have been restored after a complete halt earlier.

As the search-and-rescue operation continued under floodlights on Wednesday night, the emergency services confirmed that the death toll had risen first to four, then to five and to six, with several people still missing.

Earlier, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference from the scene that the gas leak had been reported to the utility company 15 minutes before the blast on Wednesday morning.

Bill de Blasio said the “major explosion” had destroyed two buildings and heavily damaged other structures.

East Harlem explosion destroyed two buildings and smashed nearby windows photo

East Harlem explosion destroyed two buildings and smashed nearby windows

As night fell, rescue crews were finally able to search for victims in the debris after the fire raged for most of the day.

Heavy equipment, including a bulldozer, helped clear the remnants of two multi-storey buildings. Thermal imaging cameras were brought in to identify bodies or pockets of fire inside the mountain of debris.

The New York fire department said 22 people had been hurt, but a tally of local hospitals by ABC News found that 64 had been admitted with injuries as a result of the incident.

That figure included seven children, one of whom was in a critical condition.

The utility company, Con Edison, says a resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion.

Streets and pavements around the site were littered with broken glass from shattered windows.

The blast scattered debris across nearby rooftops, correspondents say, destroying adjoining five-storey buildings in a largely Latino working-class neighborhood.

Witnesses reported the powerful blast knocked items off shelves in nearby stores.

According to New York City authorities, three people have died and nine are missing after a gas leak sparked an explosion which leveled two buildings in East Harlem.

Scores of others have been injured in the incident, which sent smoke billowing into the city sky.

More than 250 firefighters tackled the blaze at the scene near 116th Street and Park Avenue.

Train services to and from Grand Central Terminal have been restored after a complete halt earlier.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a news conference from the scene that the gas leak had been reported to the utility company 15 minutes before the blast on Wednesday morning.

Bill de Blasio said the “major explosion” had destroyed two buildings and heavily damaged other structures.

The mayor’s office confirmed to the Associated Press news agency that nine people were still missing by early Wednesday evening.

Three people have died and nine are missing after a gas leak sparked an explosion which leveled two buildings in East Harlem 640x426 photo

Three people have died and nine are missing after a gas leak sparked an explosion which leveled two buildings in East Harlem

The New York fire department elevated the incident to the highest threat level possible.

The department said 22 people had been hurt, but a tally of local hospitals by ABC News found that 64 had been admitted with injuries as a result of the incident.

That figure included seven children, one of whom was in a critical condition.

The utility company, Con Edison, says a resident in a nearby building reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion.

Streets and pavements around the site were littered with broken glass from shattered windows.

Witnesses reported the powerful blast knocked items off shelves in nearby stores.

Authorities in the area were said to be handing out medical masks to residents due to the thick white smoke at the scene.

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Tens of thousands of people whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in, New York’s political leaders have warned.

Homes without heat would become uninhabitable as temperatures fell, state Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put the figure at 30,000-40,000 people.

At least 106 US deaths – 40 of them in New York City – have been blamed on Superstorm Sandy, which struck on 29 October.

Residents who had so far refused to leave their homes would have no other option, Andrew Cuomo told a news conference on Sunday.

He also said there would be increasing pressure on public transport on Monday, as more people returned to work and the schools re-opened.

Fuel shortages were easing, but Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers not to hoard petrol, saying more supplies were on their way.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in 350x221 photo

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in

New York City opened warming shelters in areas without power and handed out blankets to residents who insisted on staying in homes without power.

But Michael Bloomberg urged those without heating to leave their homes if necessary.

“You can die from being cold. You can die from fires started when you use candles or stoves to heat your apartment,” he said.

“If you don’t know where to go, stop a cop on the street and say, please tell me where to go. They’ll help you. But we have to make sure that you are safe for a few days and that you have food and water for a few days.”

Temperatures fell to 39 F (4 C) on Sunday and are forecast to go as low as 30 F (-1C) on Monday.

About 730,000 people in New York state still do not have electricity, including more than 130,000 in New York City, the governor said.

Nearly a million people in the neighboring state of New Jersey remain without power, and petrol is being rationed.

Hundreds of runners who had been planning to take part in the New York marathon – cancelled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday – joined impromptu runs to raise funds or deliver aid.

The storm damage from Sandy is also affecting preparations for voting in Tuesday’s elections.

New Jersey residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be able to vote by email or fax, the state’s chief election official has decided.

They will be designated as “overseas voters” and can apply for mail-in ballots up until 17:00 on Election Day.

Michael Bloomberg said New York officials would do “anything we can” to help the board of elections, saying “they have real problems”.

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Millions of New Yorkers will still be without power for another 10 days as city’s power supplier ConEd continues to fix overhead power wires.

Electricity is expected to be restored to the main island of Manhattan by Saturday, however, since the area is largely run by an underground power network that is easier to fix than the downed electrical lines.

While utility company Consolidated Edison, commonly known as ConEd, are on track to uphold their original plan of returning power to all of Manhattan island on either Friday or Saturday, they said that the outer boroughs will have to wait until November 10th or 11th for their power.

The delay in reaching the outer boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx was attributed to the difficulties of fixing or replacing the downed overhead lines.

Throughout the week, the company has been gradually restoring power to portions of the city, and has reached at least 2,000 people in lower Manhattan so far.

While helpful, that is only a sliver of the 227,000 homes and businesses in Manhattan that went dark Monday.

In order to avoid permanent damage from rising sea waters, the company preemptively took two underground electrical networks out of service and the latest restored power areas were a result of those networks being reactivated.

While that reactivation was relatively easy, the bigger problems came from a massive explosion at one of the ConEd power plants in Manhattan’s East Village.

The explosion came after the plant was overwhelmed by floodwater.

Millions of New Yorkers will still be without power for another 10 days as citys power supplier ConEd continues to fix overhead power wires 350x176 photo

Millions of New Yorkers will still be without power for another 10 days as city’s power supplier ConEd continues to fix overhead power wires

Regardless, the East and West Villages, Financial District, Chelsea, Chinatown and the Lower East Side will be up and running by the weekend, Con Edison said.

The island’s wiring system is largely underground so workers have been able to asses and repair it faster than above ground wiring of the outer boroughs.

Outages in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were not expected to be repaired for another week, the power company said.

For New Yorkers living in the vertical city, a loss of power means much more than spoiled cold cuts and frozen dinners.

Electricity is needed to pump water to upper floors. Many New Yorkers prepared for the storm by stocking up on bottled water. But without power, there’s no way to flush the toilet.

For others, the outage had graver consequences.

“I have several hundred dollars’ worth of insulin in the refrigerator,” said Joan Moore of New York’s Staten Island, who is diabetic.

There were encouraging acts of kindness, gestures made by the lucky ones with electricity.

“I have power and hot water. If anyone needs a shower or to charge some gadgets or just wants to bask in the beauty of artificial light, hit me up,” Rob Hart, who also lives on Staten Island, wrote on Facebook.

In New York City and along the New Jersey and Connecticut coasts, flooding knocked out substations and switching yards, the vertebrae of the electric distribution system.

Hurricane Sandy blacked out some of the nation’s most densely populated cities and suburbs, instantly taking away modern conveniences from Virginia to Massachusetts and as far west as the Great Lakes.

For power companies, the scale of the destruction was unmatched – more widespread than any blizzard or ice storm and worse than the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“It’s unprecedented: fallen trees, debris, the roads, water, snow. It’s a little bit of everything,” said Brian Wolff, senior vice president of the Edison Electric Institute, a group that lobbies for utilities.

Initially, about 60 million people were without power in 8.2 million homes and businesses. By Wednesday night, that number had fallen to roughly 44 million people in 6 million households and businesses.

Even as power slowly returned to some pockets, a new headache emerged: Backup batteries and generators running cellphone towers were running out of juice. One out of every five towers was down, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

New Yorker Vildia Samaniego traveled four miles uptown to a bar, the Blarney Stone, to watch the Boston Celtics play the Miami Heat.

“I really needed to watch the basketball game,” she laughed.

“The place was packed. It’s amazing how much you miss television.”

President Barack Obama declared that a “major disaster” exists in New York state following Superstorm Sandy, freeing up federal aid for victims.

The declaration came after the massive storm battered the east coast of the United States, flooding lower Manhattan and leaving a half million people in New York City without power.

Hurricane Sandy swept a wall of churning sea water and driving rain onto a vast swathe of the coastline, flooding the heart of New York and leaving at least 13 dead and millions without power

The huge storm stretched over hundreds of miles and paralyzed several major cities as it brought coastal flooding and hurricane-force winds to the densely-populated East Coast and blizzards to the mountainous interior.

Seawater coursed between the iconic skyscrapers of New York’s financial district in lower Manhattan, flooding subways and road tunnels and shorting out the power grid, plunging more than six million households into darkness.

Further south, the sea surged over vast swathes of the eastern seaboard, turning coastal cities into ghost towns as the high winds grounded airplanes and shut down rail links, public transport and government offices.

The catastrophe completely overshadowed the US election race, forcing a halt to campaigning a week before Americans are due to go to the polls to choose between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.

Hurricane Sandy had killed 67 people as it tore through the Caribbean, and reports of more deaths began to arrive after it made landfall at 8:00 p.m. in New Jersey and began to wreak havoc in the United States.

Local officials in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 13 dead in storm related incidents, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris.

Authorities warned the threat to life and property was “unprecedented” and ordered hundreds of thousands of residents in areas from New England to North Carolina to evacuate their homes and seek shelter.

The National Hurricane Center said wind speeds inside Sandy dropped as the storm became a post-tropical cyclone, but remained hurricane-force at 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) after it made landfall near casino resort Atlantic City.

President Barack Obama declared that a major disaster exists in New York state following Superstorm Sandy 350x276 photo

President Barack Obama declared that a “major disaster” exists in New York state following Superstorm Sandy

Falling trees tore down power cables, plunging what weather experts said were millions of homes into darkness, while storm warnings cut rail links and marooned tens of thousands of travelers at airports across the region.

A nuclear power plant in New Jersey declared an alert as waters rose.

The Oyster Creek nuclear power plant, just north of Atlantic City, was already on a scheduled outage as Sandy made landfall, and the industry regulator said there was no immediate danger.

The hurricane sent a record storm surge of 13.7 feet (4.15 meters) into lower Manhattan, flooding seven major subway tunnels used by hundreds of thousands of daily commuters and swamping cars in the financial district.

“The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night,” city transport director Joseph Lhota said early Tuesday.

Hours earlier, a power sub-station exploded in a burst of light captured by amateur photographers as a massive blackout left much of Manhattan, and some 500,000 homes across New York City, in darkness.

The flood waters had begun to recede early Tuesday, but the Con Edison power company said it could take a week to completely restore power.

Disaster estimating firm Eqecat forecast that Sandy would affect more than 60 million Americans, a fifth of the population, and cause up to $20 billion in damage.

Refineries closed and major arteries such New York’s Holland Tunnel were shut to traffic. The operator of two major New Jersey nuclear plants said they might have to be closed, threatening half the state’s power supply.

The New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the futures markets in Chicago were closed for Monday and Tuesday, along with federal government offices and the entire Amtrak rail network on the eastern seaboard.

Barack Obama urged Americans to heed local evacuation orders as he stepped off the campaign trail and spent the day in the White House helping to coordinate the response to the disaster.

“The election will take care of itself next week,” Barack Obama said.

“Right now, our number one priority is to make sure that we are saving lives… and that we respond as quickly as possible to get the economy back on track.”

Both the Democratic incumbent and his Republican rival Mitt Romney were keen to display resolute leadership in the face of the storm, given the memory of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mitt Romney also canceled some appearances.

Former president George W. Bush was widely seen as having bungled the handling of Katrina, which devastated New Orleans. The failure of authorities in the ensuing emergency response tainted the rest of his presidency.

Barack Obama has signed emergency declarations to free up federal disaster funds for New York state, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia.

New York City looks like the set of a disaster movie this morning after a night of being battered by Superstorm Sandy.

It hit the mainland at 6:30 p.m. local time last night having laid waste to large parts of the coast during the day. The US city shut its mass transit system, schools, the stock exchange and Broadway, and ordered hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to leave home to get out of the way as Sandy zeroed in.

A 13 ft wall of water caused by the storm surge and high tides resulted in severe flooding to subways and road tunnels. Torrents of water poured into building works at Ground Zero, cars were swept down streets and power was cut across lower Manhattan in a bid to minimize damage to infrastructure.

Superstorm Sandy knocked out power to at least 6.2 million people across the US East, and large sections of Manhattan were plunged into darkness by the storm, with 250,000 customers without power as water pressed into the island from three sides, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads.

New York City’s 911 dispatchers were receiving 20,000 calls per hour. An extraordinary 24 hours saw what was originally classed as a hurricane close in and converge with a cold-weather system that turned it into a superstorm – a monstrous hybrid consisting not only of rain and high wind, but also snow.

Cars were swept down streets and power was cut across lower Manhattan in a bid to minimize damage to infrastructure 350x232 photo

Cars were swept down streets and power was cut across lower Manhattan in a bid to minimize damage to infrastructure

Hurricane Sandy smacked the boarded-up big cities of the Northeast corridor, from Washington and Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York and Boston, with stinging rain and gusts of 85 mph. Sixteen deaths were reported in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Seven New York City subway tunnels were flooded by the morning. At least five deaths were reported in New York. Some of the victims were killed by falling trees and at least one death was blamed on the storm in Canada

Storm damage was projected at up to $18 million, meaning it could be one of the costliest natural disasters in US history. Nineteen workers were trapped inside a Consolidated Edison power station in east Manhattan by rising floodwaters, with a rescue worker saying it had suffered an explosion inside.

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Labor Day is one of the oldest holidays in the United States, and is a part of the “big six” federal holidays.

Here you can find some ideas on how to spend your Labor Day weekend in New York:

Concerts:

• Journey – 9/2 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs

• Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – Anderson Center for the Arts – Binghamton

• Aloe Blacc – 9/2 – Highline Ballroom – New York

• Electric Zoo Festival – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Randalls Island – New York

• Incubus – 9/3 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh

• Elton John – 9/3 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts – Bethel

• Rock The Bells – 9/3 – South Island Field at Governors Island – New York

• Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – 9/3 – Belleayre Music Festival – Highmount

• Darius Rucker – 9/3 – NYCB Theatre at Westbury – Westbury

• Elton John – 9/4 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs

• Stevie Nicks – 9/4 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh

• Toby Keith – 9/4 – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center – Darien

• Manu Chao – 9/4, 9/5 – Terminal 5 – New York

New York Labor Day Weekend 2012 350x246 photo

New York Labor Day Weekend 2012

Sports:

• 2011 U.S. Open – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4, 9/5 – Billie Jean King National Tennis Center – Flushing

• Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Yankee Stadium – Bronx

• Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees – 9/5 – Yankee Stadium – Bronx

Theater:

• The Book of Mormon – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Eugene O’Neill Theater – New York

• Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Foxwoods Theatre – New York

• Lion King – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Minskoff Theatre – New York

• Jersey Boys – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – August Wilson Theater – New York

• Wicked – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Gershwin Theatre – New York

• Billy Elliot – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Imperial Theatre – New York

• Anything Goes – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Stephen Sondheim Theatre – New York

• Blue Man Group – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Astor Place – New York

• Avenue Q – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4, 9/5 – New World Stages: Stage 3 – New York

Miscellaneous:

• Cirque Du Soleil Zarkana – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4 – Radio City Music Hall – New York

• Saratoga Horse Racing – 9/2, 9/3, 9/4, 9/5 – Saratoga Race Course – Saratoga Springs

• Chris Tucker – 9/3 – Palace Theatre – Albany

• Chris Tucker – 9/4 – NYCB Theatre at Westbury – Westbury

 

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The 11th edition of the annual No Pants Subway Ride event took place on Sunday in New York and other major cities and the males got the chance to show if they are boxer or Y-front guys.

People throughout New York City stripped to their underwear as part of a worldwide practical joke organized by prankster group Improv Everywhere.

On 2012 of the annual ride, according to the group’s website, all you had to do to take part was “be willing to take pants off on subway” and “be able to keep a straight face about it”.

Participants are asked just to act like they would on any other subway by chatting to each other, using their iPod or reading.

People throughout New York City stripped to their underwear as part of the worldwide practical joke No Pants Subway Ride organized by prankster group Improv Everywhere photo

People throughout New York City stripped to their underwear as part of the worldwide practical joke No Pants Subway Ride, organized by prankster group Improv Everywhere


The event was not confined to New York, cities including London, Washington and Mexico City also took part.

In London the event was called the No Trousers Tube Ride, where about 150 people divided into groups for the various lines on the underground.

In Toronto they did for the 5th year running, with many people dressing up in fancy costume.

In Madrid it would appear the police and security weren’t in on the joke. The No Pants brigade reportedly had to change their starting point when police prevented them from entering their original starting station.

Improv Everywhere was born in 2001 in New York.

The idea was to put together groups to pull off pranks and get laughs.

This year Improv Everywhere invited people to take part through Facebook, with more than 6,300 people accepting, the New York Daily News reports.

The 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took the streets of Manhattan in its spectacular style in front of 3 million spectators who watched the fourteen giant helium balloons, including Buzz Lightyear and SpongeBob SquarePants.

The US biggest singing stars also came to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 to entertain the crowds, including award-winning singers Cee Lo Green, Mary J.Blige and Neil Diamond.

At a 40 F temperatures, the crowd was entertained by the helium-filled balloons, including Clumsy Smurf, Kermit the Frog – and some newcomers, as Julius The Monkey.

Paul Frank’s sock puppet-inspired monkey Julius made its debut as a 41-foot-tall balloon. The crowds chanted “Jul-i-us! Jul-i-us!” as it passed.

Julius The Monkey was followed by “B”- a spooky character covered in stitches created by filmmaker Tim Burton.

And making their first appearance at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were a pair of bike-powered balloons, one featuring a large green elf designed by Queens resident Keith Lapinig, who won a nationwide contest with more than 10,000 entries.

But there were also some much-loved favourites, including video game character Sonic the Hedgehog, who returned after an 18-year absence, and a navel-themed Mickey Mouse.

They were joined by SpongeBob SquarePants, Snoopy, Spiderman and Kermit the Frog.

With a 40 ft Sonic the Hedgehog at its helm the 85th annual Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in spectacular style photo

With a 40-ft Sonic the Hedgehog at its helm, the 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in spectacular style


As the balloons, held up by scores of rope-bearers, snaked along the route, crowds were also entertained by the top vocal talents, including Cee Lo Green, Country singer Rodney Atkins and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery.

Canadian singer Avril Lavigne sat on a float featuring a giant fattened turkey as she sang, followed by a musical set from the colourful cast of Sesame Street.

Brass bands from high schools and colleges around the country also marched along the route, such as the Nation Ford High School from South Carolina, which included sixteen sets of siblings.

Macy’s Great American Marching Band, with trombones, tubas and booming drums, led the march.

Ana Santiago, 34, a said receptionist from Park Slope, Brooklyn said:

“The parade makes you enjoy life.”

“You see the kids cheering and celebrating, and that makes the day.”

“It’s a tradition,” Ana Santiago added.

“New Yorkers should take advantage of it. You never know what you’ll see.”

The parade followed high-energy performances from glitzy cheerleaders and characters from Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, including Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.

In total, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade boasted more than 40 smaller balloons, 27 floats, 800 clowns and 1,600 cheerleaders as an estimated 50 million people watched the television coverage from home.

Floats included a mini version of Mount Rushmore from the South Dakota Department of Tourism. The grey granite structure also featured Black Hills National Forest and Badlands National Park in an effort to drive more visitors to the state.

Grammy winner Neil Diamond performed on the float as it moved through the streets.

The crowd on Seventh Avenue started singing “Sweet Caroline! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” as the singer waved.

Ronald McDonald, joined by scores of waving children, drove a large red shoe float. It pulled along a giant helium float of the food chain’s grinning ambassador.

Another float featured popular cartoon character Dora the Explorer alongside children dressed as Christmas presents. Olympian ice skater Johnny Weir waved to the crowds as he rode on a white horse float.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 started at 77th Street and headed south on Central Park West to Seventh Avenue, before moving to Sixth Avenue and ending at Macy’s Herald Square.

Despite fears that stormy weather would batter the balloons, the balloons floated under blue skies.

Joe Sullivan, a balloon handler, who has been volunteering at the parade for more than 15 years, held a line securing a huge floating pumpkin.

“When it’s windy it’s a struggle,” Joe Sullivan said.

“But today is great weather. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Thousands of children flocked to the event, which closed with Santa Claus riding on a sleigh float and waving to the spectators.

“We’ve been up since two o’clock in the morning,” said Jodi Caplan, 40, of Westtown, in upstate Orange County, who brought her two kids to witness the festivities.

“It’s their first parade. This is the perfect day – perfect weather.”

The giant balloons were created at Macy’s Parade Studio, and each undergoes testing for flight patterns, aerodynamics, buoyancy and lift.

The helium heavies were inflated on Wednesday across the street from the western side of Central Park.

Thousands of people, many families with children in tow, were drawn to the spectacle of the balloons lying as if asleep on the streets, held down by weighted nets.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got its start in 1924 and included live animals such as camels, goats and elephants. It was not until 1927 that the live animals were replaced by giant helium balloons. The parade was suspended from 1942 to 1944 because rubber and helium were needed for World War II.

Since the beginning, the balloons have been based on popular cultural characters and holiday themes.

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Many of New York’ Starbucks stores employees are in open revolt after being forced to clean messes in bathrooms that have become the city’s de-facto public toilets.

An angry Starbucks employee wrote on the StarbucksGossip blog:

“I have personally cleaned up almost every humanly fluid and plenty that didn’t seem human.”

As a result, managers at some New York Starbucks stores locked bathrooms and put up “Employees Only” signs so the public could no longer used them.

Bosses from the Seattle company visited at least two of the coffee chain’s shops in Manhattan, and ordered managers to re-open the restrooms, the New York Times reported.

This doesn’t solve the complaint that lines of New Yorkers and tourists that cycle in and out of Starbucks bathrooms bring a host of nuisances, along with their full bladders.

Many of New York Starbucks stores employees are in open revolt after being forced to clean messes in bathrooms that have become the citys de facto public toilets photo

Many of New York' Starbucks stores employees are in open revolt after being forced to clean messes in bathrooms that have become the city's de-facto public toilets

“I am continually amazed by what people will do when given a few square feet of privacy,” an anonymous barista said on the StarbuckGossip blog.

“Why do you want to have sex in a bathroom? I think the toilet would be kind of a mood killer.”

Current and former Starbucks employees reported homeless people who use the bathrooms as their own personal showers.

An anonymous New Yorker calling himself “Mister PeePee” has vowed to pleasure himself in every Starbucks bathroom in the city and rate the experience.

Starbucks coffee shops are some of the few stores in New York that don’t sport a form of a “bathrooms are for customers only” sign. Even some tourist manuals recommend Starbucks for a convenient place for visitors to empty their bladders.

New York has only 20 paid, public toilets. By contrast, Starbucks has 109 stores in Manhtattan alone.

Jesus Diaz, an assistant shift manager at the store at 87th Street and Lexington Avenue, told the New York Times employees don’t necessarily appreciate the chain’s status as a public convenience.

“Starbucks is definitely New York’s public bathroom,” Jesus Diaz said.

“It’s a little too much.”

Starbucks came in for criticism from New Yorkers after a New York Post report last week that quoted an unnamed company source saying: “Starbucks cannot be the public bathroom in the city anymore.”

Starbucks officials denied the New York Post report, saying: “We’re not closing public bathrooms at all.”

In response, corporate managers swooped in and re-opened several bathrooms, including the one at 45th Street near Avenue of the Americas that had been marked “Employees Only”, according to the New York Times.

At that store, the bathroom door has a bare spot where the sign was clearly removed.

“I have to use the bathroom, too — and we’re selling coffee!” Matthew Shakespeare, a shift supervisor, told the Times.

“There’s no place that the city provides.”

 

 

Apple is opening its next New York City store today – which is believed to be the tech giant’s biggest store in the world – in Manhattan’s Grand Central Station.

According to new reports, a 23,000-square-foot space in Grand Central Station will top the corporation’s 25,000-square-foot Regent Street location in London.

An online video appears to give a walk-through tour of the site, which Apple’s executives are expected to uncloak today ahead of an official opening on America’s biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday.

According to 9to5mac, a five-minute clip uploaded to on YouTube on October 22, entitled Apple Store Grand Central, was shot before construction began in mid-August.

The behind-the-scenes glimpse indicates there is substantial work to be done between two stories on the north and northeast balconies of the terminal’s main concourse to get the store in shape for shoppers.

An online video appears to give a walk through tour of the site which Apples executives are expected to uncloak today ahead of an official opening on Americas biggest shopping day of the year Black Friday photo

An online video appears to give a walk-through tour of the site, which Apple's executives are expected to uncloak today ahead of an official opening on America's biggest shopping day of the year - Black Friday

9to5mac reports Apple’ store will be the workplace of 300-plus employees.

Workers are expected to arrive tomorrow to remove several black boards that currently obstruct the store’s façade, preventing outsiders from evaluating what progress has been made – or speculating if an Apple Store is in the making at all.

It is likely the Grand Central Terminal store – Apple’s fifth in Manhattan and 358th in the world – will likely be one of its busiest.

The historic transportation and shopping hub, which opened in 1871, sees about 750,000 people each day.

But numbers can explode to one million daily visitors during the holiday season, with many commuters and tourists lurking around to dine or shop at its approximately 70 restaurants and retail stores.

The International Business Times suggests that Apple will forego its well-known all-white design to compliment the look and feel of Grand Central’s 19th century architecture.

“Tables and chairs resemble the train station’s sepia stones, while soaring ceilings and bright chandeliers give the space a luxurious feel,” reports the International Business Times.

New York City is facing now major disruption as tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are expected to flood into Manhattan as the movement celebrates its two-month anniversary.

Occupy Wall Street activists began amassing in lower Manhattan shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday to begin a “day of action” in which they are expected to try to paralyze New York City’s subway system.

Wednesday night Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, was arrested on a charge of making a terrorist threat after he was caught on video threatening to attack Macy’s with a Molotov cocktail during today’s protest.

In the footage posted on YouTube after police evicted protesters from their encampment, Nkrumah Tinsley was recorded telling the crowd: “On the 17th, we’re going to burn New York City to the ground!”

Later in the video, Nkrumah Tinsley exclaims: “No more talking. They’ve got guns, we’ve got bottles. They’ve got bricks, we’ve got rocks… in a few days you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”

In the footage posted on YouTube after police evicted protesters from their encampment Nkrumah Tinsley was recorded telling the crowd On the 17th we%E2%80%99re going to burn New York City to the ground photo

In the footage posted on YouTube after police evicted protesters from their encampment, Nkrumah Tinsley was recorded telling the crowd: "On the 17th, we’re going to burn New York City to the ground!"


What’s the Occupy Wall Street protesters plan for today?

7:00 a.m.: Gathering at Zuccotti Park and marching to confront Wall Street before the opening bell at 9:30 a.m.

3:00 p.m.: Meeting at 16 subway hubs across the city, including 125 St, Union Square and 23 St in Manhattan, as well as stations in the other four boroughs.

5:00 p.m.: Gathering at Foley Square to support labourers then marching to Brooklyn Bridge to mark the protest’s two-month anniversary.

A police spokesman said they were concerned enough about the threats to want Nkrumah Tinsley in custody.

However, police say it wasn’t clear if Nkrumah Tinsley had any bomb-making materials. There was no telephone number at his last known address.

Nkrumah Tinsley was also arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer on October 26 during another protest.

With the number of Occupy Wall Street protesters left in Zuccotti Park dwindling after police cleared the camp on Tuesday, a posting on the Occupy Wall Street website attempts to hush critics questioning how much longer the movement can survive.

“We will no longer tolerate the oppression of the 1% who do not want to see a creative movement, based on inclusiveness and tolerance, triumph over a system deeply rooted in social inequality,” read the statement.

“This is why we’re fighting back tomorrow during #N17. We will shut down Wall Street and we will #occupy all of New York City with our bodies, voices and ideas.”

The passage, entitled #N17 Global Day Of Action!, calls for activists to meet this morning in Liberty Square, followed by an occupation of the New York City subway system at 3:00 p.m.

A nighttime march to Foley Square will be followed by a march to the Brooklyn Bridge to mark the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, reports CBS News.

Their plans were addressed during a briefing at City Hall today, where Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said preparations are being made to ensure the city is able to function in the event of a mass disruption.

“Everything that we have seen and heard suggests that we may have tens of thousands of people tomorrow protesting,” Howard Wolfson said.

“The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city.”

The Occupy movement is also calling on demonstrators around the world to make their voices heard.

A planned protest in Spain coinciding with International Student Day will see a strike on the education system “as a reaction to the capitalist logic that denies free education”.

There are also planned rallies and occupations in Germany, Belguim, Italy, Egypt, Indonesia, Poland, Nigeria and Bulgaria.

Which 16 subway stations do protesters say they want to occupy?

BRONX

* Fordham Rd

* 3rd Ave, 138th St

* 163rd and Southern Blvd

* 161st and River – Yankee Stadium

BROOKLYN

* Broadway Junction

* Borough Hall

* 301 Grove St

* St Jose Patron Church,185 Suydam St

QUEENS

* Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave

* Jamaica Center/Parsons/Archer

* 92-10 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights

MANHATTAN

* 125th St (A,B,C,D)

* Union Square

* 23rd St and 8th Ave

STATEN ISLAND

* St. George, Staten Island Ferry Terminal

* 479 Port Richmond Avenue, Port Richmond

 

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Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City remained in their tents overnight despite snowstorm and low temperatures which plunged below 40 degrees F.

In the footage from thermal imaging cameras taken late on Friday night in New York, the presence of body heat from humans is represented by yellow and red inside the tents.

On Friday, NYC authorities took away the generators they were using to keep warm and power electronic devices.

According to an Occupy Wall Street spokesman, this was “a pretext to make the protest less sustainable and more difficult for us”. But authorities insisted they had to remove the equipment for safety reasons.

Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City remained in their tents overnight despite snowstorm and low temperatures which plunged below 40 degrees F photo

Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York City remained in their tents overnight despite the snowstorm and low temperatures which plunged below 40 degrees F

 

A blanket of cold air that brought the first flurries of the season to Colorado on Wednesday is continuing to spread south and east, bringing the lowest temperatures to the Northeast since spring.

The unusually early snow is bad news for those camping in city centres across the country, as critics speculate that the days of the Occupy movement may now be numbered.

In the footage from thermal imaging cameras taken late on Friday night in New York the presence of body heat from humans is represented by yellow and red inside the tents photo

In the footage from thermal imaging cameras taken late on Friday night in New York, the presence of body heat from humans is represented by yellow and red inside the tents

It was reported that several Occupy Denver protesters had to be taken to hospital on Thursday night to be treated for hypothermia.

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have erected tents and tarpaulins over parts of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, but appeared to be failing in their battle to keep warm and dry.

It seems that authorities will welcome the dramatic weather forecast. Law enforcement officials in some cities such as Oakland, California, have cleared out protests.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there is little he can do about the New York protest until the owners of the park where the camp is located, Brookfield Office Properties, file a complaint.

Meteorologists said that temperatures will plummet with some areas of the north east such as Syracuse reaching lows of 27 at night. In major cities such as New York and Boston overnight temperatures will remain in the 30s.

Snow this heavy this early is highly unusual along and near I-95 in the Northeast. In Philadelphia, the average date for the first accumulating snow is December 18.

Volunteers are being vigilant and do nightly checks for signs of hypothermia among the faithful.

The cold weather will add to the Occupy movement’s existing problems. On Tuesday, police evicted activists in Oakland using used tear gas and stun grenades.

In New York mediation is under way between demonstrators and some of the movement’s musicians, who were drumming up to 10 hours a day.

Protesters staffing the camp’s kitchen, which Occupy Wall Street says feeds up to a 1,000 people daily, have downsized their menu to deter the homeless and freeloaders who have been taking advantage of the hospitality.

 

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Forecasts for north eastern US have changed in the last couple of days and the prospect of a snow-free Halloween weekend have now gone.

October has been relatively mild so far but now north eastern states are suddenly braced for snow this weekend.

Low pressure will track up the East Coast on Saturday possibly bringing significant amounts of the white stuff across the tri-state area, Pennsylvania and New England.

New York has received measurable snow before Halloween only three times since 1869 – and never more than one inch, which is what some experts are predicting.

It would be the earliest one-inch snowfall in New York since the Civil War.

Forecasts for north eastern US have changed in the last couple of days and the prospect of a snow free Halloween weekend have now gone photo

Forecasts for north eastern US have changed in the last couple of days and the prospect of a snow-free Halloween weekend have now gone

The heaviest snow falls are expected between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Saturday night, although the temperatures could bring light snow throughout the night.

Temperatures in the 30s and 40s and wind chills in the 20s will make it feel like winter has truly arrived.

Forecasters at weather.com say the heaviest amounts of snow will fall in parts of Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, upstate New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

These areas could see between two to four inches late on Saturday.

Weather.com said: “Precipitation will start as rain in these locations, but may change over to snow. How quickly this occurs and how much snow falls is dependent on the availability of enough cold air, which is difficult to forecast early in the season.”

Early season snows, when the leaves are still on the trees, are notorious for causing tree damage and power outages and this storm will be no exception.

The biggest impact from the weekend’s storm will not come from snow accumulation, but from the rain and melted snow freezing on bridges and overpasses.

Sunday morning could be particularly treacherous on the roads.

Overnight freeze warnings are in effect across the north east region.

The forecast for the country is mostly dry, though a few disturbances could bring some showers to parts of Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

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An apparently healthy Central Park carriage horse collapsed and died in the street of New York yesterday.

The beautiful white horse collapsed during the early morning commute, from its stables in western Manhattan to Central Park, to begin its shift yesterday morning.

The horse death will fuel the argument for the carriage animals to be taken off the streets permanently.

The horse collapsed and died on West 54th Street near Eighth Avenue at about 9.30 am photo

The horse collapsed and died on West 54th Street near Eighth Avenue at about 9.30 am


The horse collapsed and died on West 54th Street near Eighth Avenue at about 9:30 am, according to the ASPCA.

The famous Central Park carriage horses, which number around 220 in New York, work nine hour shifts, after making the two mile journey to the park, where they pick up tourists.

According to activists, the stress of the work and the inadequate stabling causes the horses to live short miserable lives.

Campaigners also claim that the number of collisions also makes the cost of the industry unacceptable.

Contrary to popular belief the Central Park carriage horses do not live in the park, but in four stables in western Manhattan.

The four stables are located on 37th, 38th, 45th and 52nd street, all between 10th and 11th avenue.

After the horrific incident, animal rights campaigners have called for an investigation.

“The life of a carriage horse on New York City streets is extremely difficult and life threatening and the ASPCA has long believed that carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban setting,” said Stacy Wolf of the ASPCA.

Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages representative, Elizabeth Forel said:

“Healthy horses do not drop dead on the street.

“The drivers always like to profess that they are such horse experts.

“If that is so, then shouldn’t the driver have been more sensitive to this horse and noticed that something was wrong.”

Speaking to New York Daily News, a spokesman for the Horse and Carriage Association of New York said that the unexplained death was “a tragedy.”

“It’s not something that happens regularly. … Our horses are taken care of.”

According to ASPCA, the horse dead body was transported to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy to determine the cause of death. Results are expected tomorrow morning.

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Earlier this month it was claimed Demi Moore’s weight had plummeted to around 100 lbs (45 kg) after allegations emerged that her husband Ashton Kutcher had been unfaithful with Texan Sara Leal.

Last night, it appears Demi Moore has lost even more weight in the last weeks, when the actress has showed her skinny figure at the premiere of her new movie Margin Call in New York.

Demi Moore, 48, looked shockingly thin at the Margin Call premiere, which will no doubt raise further concerns about how she is coping.

The actress was dressed in a demure red dress which sat just below her knee, emphasizing her tiny frame. The V-neckline highlighted her collarbones and the capped sleeves showed how Demi Moore has barely any body fat on her sinewy arms.

Demi Moore looked even thinner at her movie Margin Call premiere in New York photo

Demi Moore looked even thinner at her movie Margin Call premiere in New York

Demi Moore tried to bravely smile on the red carpet and she was still wearing her wedding ring.

According to Grazia magazine comments earlier this month, Demi Moore’s weight was “hovering around the seven stone mark” which given her five foot five height would make her significantly underweight.

Since Grazia magazine wrote the article, it appears that Demi Moore has shed even further pounds, ones she simply cannot afford to lose.

At the last night event in New York, Demi Moore joined her Margin Call co-stars on the red carpet and she chatted with Kevin Spacey and Paul Bettany.

Other Margin Call co-stars are Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley and Star Trek star Zachary Quinto, who revealed he was gay this week. Margin Call is a thriller that documents the events within an investment bank during the early stages of the financial crisis.

Demi Moore joined her Margin Call co stars Paul Bettany and Kevin Spacey on the red carpet photo

Demi Moore joined her Margin Call co-stars, Paul Bettany and Kevin Spacey, on the red carpet

Demi Moore’s appearance has quickly deteriorated since news of Ashton Kutcher’s alleged affair with 22-year-old Texan Sara Leal broke at the end of September.

Ashton Kutcher is accused of cheating on Demi Moore with blonde Sara Leal after a hot tub party at Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, on the weekend of their sixth wedding anniversary.

Demi Moore is said to have contacted a divorce after the scandal broke, but she was seen with Ashton Kutcher visiting a Kabbalah camping on Yom Kippur. Sources said the couple has been apart in recent weeks.

In the recent months, Ashton Kutcher has been working on Two And A Half Men in Los Angeles and Demi Moore has been in New York promoting her latest projects.

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Rayon McIntosh, a New York McDonald’s cashier used a metal rod to viciously beat two women, who were restaurant customers, during an argument on Thursday morning.

Rayon McIntosh is said that was freed from prison after being jailed for killing a school classmate.

The terrifying attack, which took place at McDonald’s restaurant in Greenwich Village, New York, on Thursday morning, was recorded on a camera by one of the customers.

 

The video clip shows Rayon McIntosh a Greenwich Village McDonald’s cashier viciously beating two women with a metal rod photo

The video clip shows Rayon McIntosh, a Greenwich Village McDonald’s cashier, viciously beating two women with a metal rod

 

The video clip shows McDonald’s cashier Rayon McIntosh beating the two women with a metal rod, which he had fetched moments earlier from the back of the restaurant.

Minutes before the attack, the two women appear to provoke the cashier, swearing at him and getting behind the counter, after Rayon McIntosh questions a $50 note they have given him. After beginning the assault, the cashier’ stunned colleagues try in vain to restrain him.

One of Rayon McIntosh victims required surgery after suffering a fractured skull and a broken arm and the other required hospital treatment for a gash.

Rayon McIntosh, who is said to have spent a decade in jail after shooting dead a high school classmate in 2000, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Rayon McIntosh is now being held in police custody on $40,000 bail.

Police say that the two women have been arrested too, on charges, including menacing.

McDonald’s representatives were available to comment.

Warning: this video contains explicit language and violence.

Brooklyn Labor Day Parade 2011: 7 deaths among 49 gunshot victims at West Indian Carnival.

 

During the Labor Day weekend in New York the number of shot people has risen to 43, after violence started at the annual West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.

In the 24 hours, from Saturday 6 a.m. to Sunday 6 a.m., 24 people were shot, the victims were shot during 15 separate incidents, and so far no arrests have been made.

The latest shooting, left a police officer wounded and a civilian dead just a few blocks off the route where revelers had earlier filled the streets in colorful costumes.

During the Labor Day weekend in New York the number of shot people has risen to 43 after violence started at the annual West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn photo

During the Labor Day weekend in New York the number of shot people has risen to 43, after violence started at the 2011 West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn

The police officer was hit in the arm and hospitalized but expected to recover, the civilian died at the scene and at least two others were wounded.

According to police, earlier in the day four people were shot and wounded during the parade along its route. A 15-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet nearby.

Charles Walters, 53 – who’s 11-year-old son was one of the victims on Sunday – to the New York Daily News:

“These people come with guns and shoot at anyone.

“They don’t care if there are children around.”

Shaquan Walters, his son, was the youngest of eight shot in the early hours of Sunday as he partied in his Bronx back yard.

At the same event, a 14-year-old girl was hit in the back, while a 13-year-old girl was hit in the left thigh during the 3:39 a.m. shooting.

In the Williamsbridge shooting, there were five young men wounded, aged 17, 18, 19, 21 and 24.

According to police, Oneil Dasilva, 17 could be the suspect in connection with the incident.

After Brooklyn violence at the Labor Day Parade, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on politicians in Washington to enact stricter gun laws.

Speaking at the Christian Cultural Centre in Brooklyn yesterday Mayor Bloomberg said:

“It is just unconscionable.We cannot tolerate it.

“There are just too many guns on the streets and we have to do something about it.

“We need the federal government to step up. Both ends of Pennsylvania Ave., both sides of the aisle.”

Michael Bloomberg is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and has rallied Washington for tighter gun laws in the past.

Bloomberg added:

“We cannot continue to have these guns in the hands of kids who don’t understand the value of life.”

The Labor Day weekend’s shootings began at around 6 a.m. on Saturday when a 35-year-old woman was wounded in Brooklyn.

Monday at 2 a.m., a 30-year-old died from bullet wounds to the head and back in Flatbush.

From 2:12 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Sunday five men were shot in three separate incidents.

Hurricane Irene: death toll more than 15 and 6 million power outages.

 

Hurricane names: how and why scientists named hurricanes?

 

North Carolina: hurricane Irene hit Atlantic beach and killed one person.

 

New York: 370,000 residents get evacuation order ahead of Irene.

 

Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people, including two children, as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia. More than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power as the giant 580-mile-wide storm brought widespread flooding and high winds that knocked down power lines.

 

Meanwhile Irene’s power was downgraded to category 1, but as it approached New York, forecasts warned it would hit the city at or near hurricane strength.

According to the National Weather Service, conditions were ripe for tornadoes in the city, Long Island and southern Connecticut, as twisters were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.

In Maryland, officials warned of a potential dam failure late on Saturday, they warned “may cause significant flooding that could threaten people, homes and roads downstream from the St. Mary’s Lake Dam”.

Hurricane Irene path along East Coast photo

Hurricane Irene path along East Coast

 

St Mary’s County Government urged residents in the immediate downstream area to move family and pets upstairs or to a high place with a means of escape.

 

Deaths due to hurricane Irene included two children, an 11-year-old boy in Virginia, killed when a tree crashed through his roof and another child from North Carolina, who died in a crash at an intersection where traffic lights were out.

Another man in Onslow County, North Carolina, suffered a heart attack and died while boarding up his windows, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people including two children as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia and more than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power photo

Hurricane Irene killed last night at least ten people, including two children, as the storm hit North Carolina and Virginia, and more than 2 million people from South Carolina to Maryland were without power

A man in Nash County was killed outside his house after he was struck by a tree limb picked up by the strong winds.

An identified man, who went to feed his animals outside his Nashville, North Carolina home, was killed by a tree or branch which fell on him.

In Florida, a surfer was killed when he was knocked off his board at New Smyrna Beach, where surfers had flocked to take advantage of 10-foot waves.

Other two people died in car accidents in North Carolina on Saturday night as a result of the hurricane.

Another man died in Chesterfield County, Virginia, after a tree fell on his home.

In Queenstown, Maryland, a woman died after a tree knocked a chimney through the roof of her home, crushing her.

Sandbags laid down in Manhattan which will be used to control possible floods photo

Sandbags laid down in Manhattan which will be used to control possible floods

 

Tornadoes were reported touching down in Delaware and Maryland.

In Lewes, Delaware, Governor Jack Markell said at least 17 homes had been damaged by a twister. In total, up to 40 houses were damaged in the town because of the storm.

The National Weather Service reported a tornado touching down in Nassau Station, Delaware, and Maryland State Police said there was an apparent tornado on the lower Eastern Shore of the state.

Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor raised the number of National Guard soldiers deployed to New York City to 1,900.

The soldiers, who have been mobilized from across the state, will assist with traffic control on bridges and tunnels, sandbagging operations at the World Trade Center site, evacuation shelter operations in New York, the construction of barriers for railway yards and train tunnels, and other hurricane emergency efforts.

Hurricane Irene came ashore near North Carolina’s Cape Lookout around 7:30am EDT, and then chugged up the coast on a north-northeast track.

Irene stirred up 7 feet waves, and forecasts warned of storm-surge danger on the coasts of Virginia and Delaware, along the Jersey Shore and in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.

Hurricane Irene: 10 deaths and millions of power outages.

 

Hurricane names: how and why scientists named hurricanes?

 

New York: 370,000 residents get evacuation order ahead of Irene.

 

Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic beach of North Carolina and one man was killed outside his home this morning.

 

The man was hit by a tree limb that blew down while he was walking around his house this morning in a rural area of Nash County, where winds were roaring at more than 60 mph, county Emergency Management Director Brian Brantley told the Associated Press.

Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic Beach, Cape Fear and the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Category 1 winds and rain and made landfall in Nags Head, North Carolina.

Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic Beach Cape Fear and the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Category 1 winds and rain and made landfall in Nags Head photo

Hurricane Irene hit Atlantic Beach, Cape Fear and the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Category 1 winds and rain and made landfall in Nags Head

The center of hurricane hit the coast of North Carolina near Cape Lookout with Category 1-force winds of 85 mph.

Hurricane warnings for the next 48 hours have been issued for North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Until now, eastern North Carolina has already seen three tornadoes in the past few days, and the majority of the state and areas of Maryland and Virginia are under tornado watches through Sunday.

Stacy town, on the coast of North Carolina, is seeing 93 mph wind gusts this morning.

The far end of the fishing pier in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina collapsed overnight.

The 100-foot long pier is still standing, but its end has disappeared into the ocean.

About 200,000 homes in North Carolina are experiencing power outages, according to Power Energy.

Winds up to 85 mph have ripped power lines from their poles, causing many of the shortages.

“Our crews are restoring service as quickly as possible, where it is safe to do so,” Power Energy tweeted.

The hardest hit areas were Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Hurricane names: how and why scientists named hurricanes?

 

North Carolina: hurricane Irene hit Atlantic beach and killed one person.

 

New York City authorities issued an unprecedented order on Friday for the evacuation of about 370,000 residents of low-lying areas at the city’s edges ahead of hurricane Irene.

[googlead tip=”patrat_mare” aliniat=”centrat”]

 

New York residents will be evacuated from the expensive apartments in Battery Park City to the roller coaster in Coney Island to the dilapidated boardwalk in the Rockaways, as evacuation order warnings that Hurricane Irene was such a threat that people living there simply had to get out.

New York officials also announced plans to shut down the city’s entire transit system Saturday — all 468 subway stations and 840 miles of tracks, and the rest of the nation’s largest mass transit network: thousands of buses in the city, as well as the buses and commuter trains that reach from Midtown Manhattan to the suburbs.

President Barak Obama approved a request from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York to declare a federal emergency in the state while the hurricane was still several hundred miles away.

“The hurricane, 290 miles of fury dancing angrily across the Atlantic Ocean toward the coast, was actually advancing more slowly than most late-summer storms,” the National Weather Service said.

New York City hurricane evacuation zones 790x1024 photo

New York City hurricane evacuation zones.

 

[googlead tip=”patrat_mic” aliniat=”dreapta”]Friday night Weather Service forecast said rain associated with the storm would begin in Manhattan after 11 a.m. Saturday with conditions worsening into Sunday.

“You only have to look at the weather maps to understand how big this storm is and how unique it is,” New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference on Friday at City Hall.

The increasingly ominous announcements from officials — and the wall-to-wall coverage — sent New Yorkers hurrying to buy staples like canned food and candles.

Shoppers in places found that the shelves had been cleaned out. In shore towns in New Jersey and on Long Island, touristss waited in lines at gas stations and watched as bulldozers built berms on low-lying beach roads.

The announcement about the transit shutdown and the evacuation of what the city called Zone A low-lying areas prompted a cascade of cancellations for Saturday and Sunday: Broadway shows, the Mets’ games against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field, the performances by the Dave Matthews Band on Governors Island and the outdoor showing of opera movies at Lincoln Center, among others. Even the New York Aquarium and the Bronx, Central Park and Prospect Park Zoos closed for the weekend.

[googlead tip=”lista_mare” aliniat=”stanga”]Starting at noon Saturday, all three major airports in the New York region will be closed to arriving flights.

 They will remain open for departures, pending changes in the weather, but most of those scheduled departures have already been canceled, according to Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman.

Authorities announced the subway shutdown was prompted mainly by wind estimates that suggested the hurricane could rock subway cars in places where they run above ground. The commuter rail lines that serve Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut will also be shut down, as will New Jersey Transit operations. New Jersey Transit will suspend train service at noon Saturday and will stop bus service six hours later.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that 91 evacuation centers and shelters opened on Friday for people who could not stay in their homes. The Nassau County executive, Edward P. Mangano, said 20 shelters would be open by the time the storm hit.

Consolidated Edison warned that it would have to cut off power to some customers if underground pipes and cables became submerged in water. To be ready for repairs, Consolidated Edison said it was bringing in 800 additional workers from as far away as Texas.

Mayor Bloomberg said no one would be fined for violating the city’s evacuation orders. “Nobody’s going to go to jail,” he said, but he warned that the storm’s consequences could be fatal.