Nor’easter blasts New York, Boston while snow buries northern New England


Important Takeaways:

  • Winter has some tricks left up its sleeve as millions of people across the region brace for a nor’easter that’s impacting cities like Boston and New York City with wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy rain, while areas farther north are preparing for the possibility of feet of snow
  • More than 116,000 customers lost power in Maine as of Thursday morning while 48,000 New Yorkers were left in the dark
  • This comes after the Midwest and Great Lakes region saw their fair share of winter weather, with portions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula under a Blizzard Warning while other areas of the state, as well as parts of Wisconsin, remain under Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories.
  • Flooding a concern due to heavy rain, melting snow

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Time to leave: America’s biggest cities too dangerous, too expensive, too dirty to stay

Revelations 13:16-18 “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Important Takeaways:

  • New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., are all seeing a net exodus of college graduates (as is San Jose). Those four cities were typically the finish line for those seeking jobs in media, politics, entertainment, finance, or tech. As New Yorkers used to boast, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” For many college graduates, the goal was to make it in one of those four big brand cities
  • No longer. All four are plagued by a crime crisis that has bled out from those icky poor areas of the cities that college graduates avoided and into the rest of the city. New York City’s public transportation isn’t safe. San Francisco is plagued by homelessness. Los Angeles actively refuses to keep violent criminals and gang members off the streets. Washington can’t even guarantee the safety of members of Congress in their own apartments.
  • Combine that with the stupidly expensive cost of housing in those cities, and you have the least desirable professional destinations imaginable. You can hardly blame the college graduates who are making their way to Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Sioux Falls, South Dakota, among the many cities seeing an increase in working-age college graduates. Arizona, Florida, and Texas are also winners…

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Temporary Restraining Order granted to Orange County blocking NYC Mayor Eric Adams from sending migrants outside his borders

NYC Mayor Eric Adams

Deuteronomy 28:43-53 43 “Foreigners who live in your land will gain more and more power, while you gradually lose yours. 44 They will have money to lend you, but you will have none to lend them. In the end they will be your rulers. 45 “All these disasters will come on you, and they will be with you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and keep all the laws that he gave you. 46 They will be the evidence of God’s judgment on you and your descendants forever. 47 The Lord blessed you in every way, but you would not serve him with glad and joyful hearts. 48 So then, you will serve the enemies that the Lord is going to send against you. You will be hungry, thirsty, and naked – in need of everything. The Lord will oppress you harshly until you are destroyed. 49 The Lord will bring against you a nation from the ends of the earth, a nation whose language you do not know. They will swoop down on you like an eagle. 50 They will be ruthless and show no mercy to anyone, young or old. 51 They will eat your livestock and your crops, and you will starve to death. They will not leave you any grain, wine, olive oil, cattle, or sheep; and you will die. 52 They will attack every town in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and the high, fortified walls in which you trust will fall. 53 “When your enemies are besieging your towns, you will become so desperate for food that you will even eat the children that the Lord your God has given you.

Important Takeaways:

  • New York state supreme court judge grants restraining order temporarily blocking NYC mayor from sending more asylum seekers to Orange County
  • “New York City should not be establishing a homeless shelter outside of its borders
  • The city is a self-proclaimed sanctuary city; Orange County is not.
  • We should not have to bear the burden of the immigration crisis that the Federal government and Mayor Adams created
  • The pushback comes as New York City scrambles to house a crush of migrants arriving in the city – some of them bused to New York by Republican governors and local officials from southern states.

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Busted: DOJ along with other federal agencies arrest two individuals accused of establishing illegal Chinese police station

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Alleged Chinese Agents Arrested for ‘Operating a Police Station in the Middle of New York City’
  • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), along with law enforcement officials from other federal agencies and the state of New York, announced the arrest of two individuals accused of establishing and operating an illegal Chinese regime police station in New York City.
  • The arrests are the first in America since the revelation in September by the NGO Safeguard Defenders that China has established dozens of illegal police stations around the world in America, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Spain, among other locations. The police stations were reportedly used to intimidate and silence dissidents or threaten Chinese nationals considered to dissent from Communist Party orthodoxy to return to China and face the brutal repressive apparatus there.
  • New York appears to have been targeted for the creation of an illegal “police station” and other illicit activities due to both the presence of a Chinese consulate there and a large population of dissidents. New York is home to a significant Cantonese-speaking population from Hong Kong, home to a massive protest movement the Communist Party crushed during the coronavirus pandemic, and to sizable communities of Tibetans.

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It’s a mad, mad world; Michael Snyder reminds us of where our true hope is

Trump Criminal Court NYC

Isiah 3:3-5 “the commander of fifty and the dignitary, the counselor, the cunning magician, and the clever enchanter. 4“I will make mere lads their leaders, and children will rule over them.” 5The people will oppress one another, man against man, neighbor against neighbor; the young will rise up against the old, and the base against the honorable.

Important Takeaways:

  • This Is What You Need To Remember When It Seems Like The World Has Completely Gone Mad…
  • On Tuesday, the entire nation was focused on the unprecedented events that were unfolding in New York City…
  • Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty in a New York City court Tuesday after being charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.
  • Bragg alleged that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”
  • They are really going down this road.
  • They are actually going to try to put Trump in prison for a long time…
  • No matter what you think of Trump, we should all be able to agree that the law should be applied equally to everyone. Bill Clinton? Biden?
  • When asked about why he is doing this, Alvin Bragg stated that it is important not to “normalize serious criminal conduct”…
  • But of course Bragg has repeatedly released extremely violent criminals back into the streets where they have committed even more crimes
  • Even in the midst of all the chaos and all the darkness, there is one thing that you must remember.
  • God is still in control, and you can trust Him…

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Antisemitism largely ignored by Civil Rights Groups as Anti-Semitic crimes spike 409%

Romans 12:17-21 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Important Takeaways:

  • Anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City surge by 409%
  • Antisemitic hate crimes in New York City have recently increased by 409%, representing more than half of all hate crimes citywide.
  • Many of these incidents targeted Orthodox people dressed in distinctive clothing
  • When will civil rights organizations take antisemitic hate crimes as seriously as they do other hate crimes? When will they focus on the perpetrators of those crimes? Until there is a re-centering of efforts, antisemitic acts will remain an uncomfortable fact of life that will be ignored whenever possible by those who are unwilling to look beyond rightwing extremist movements.

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U.S. immigration agents to pilot use of body-worn cameras

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is rolling out a pilot program to test the feasibility of requiring immigration agents to wear body cameras, a senior agency official said on Tuesday, a move that could aid criminal investigations as well increase oversight of agents’ activities.

The cameras are expected to be rolled out first only among specialized teams in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division to around 55 agents in offices in New York City, Newark, New Jersey and Houston, Texas, the official told reporters.

The HSI officers, who target transnational criminal organizations for money laundering, drug trafficking, smuggling, terrorism and other crimes, would use the cameras only in pre-planned operations.

The official said the pilot program will be expanded to immigration agents at ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division in the near future, without giving a specific date. The agency said the timing is dependent on negotiations with the division’s union.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported on a plan to equip thousands of border agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with body-worn cameras as well.

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have called on expanded use of the cameras in law enforcement to provide a record of potential abuses. ICE has been criticized by some advocates for some of its agents’ tactics arresting immigrants in the country illegally.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whose agency oversees ICE, said in a statement that with the pilot, the agency “is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe.”

Under U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who promised a more humane approach to immigration enforcement than his hardline predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, ICE arrests have dropped, with the agency focusing on those who pose national security or public safety risks.

The senior official said the pilot program would be “test driving” the cameras to assess their operational utility and financial costs.

The footage collected would be subject to freedom of information laws and could also potentially be used in criminal prosecutions.

The official said the cameras, which will be mounted on agents’ vests, shirts or helmets, would be provided by Axon Enterprises Inc, which also contracted to outfit the border agents.

The company declined to comment on the pilot program.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Rise of Omicron dashes New York’s Christmas cheer as COVID surges

By Maria Caspani and Gabriella Borter

NEW YORK (Reuters) -COVID-19 cases surged in New York City and around the United States over the weekend, dashing hopes for a more normal holiday season, resurrecting restrictions and stretching the country’s testing infrastructure ahead of holiday travel and gatherings.

The spike is alarming public health officials, who see the Omicron variant of the coronavirus fast becoming dominant in the United States and fear an explosion of infections after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

With the new variant in circulation, COVID-19 cases are now doubling in one and a half to three days in areas with community transmission, the World Health Organization said on Saturday.

Lines for COVID-19 tests wrapped around the block in New York, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities over the weekend as people clamored to find out if they were infected before celebrating the holidays with family.

“I just want to make sure before seeing my wife’s 70-year-old mom that I’m negative,” said David Jochnowitz while waiting for a test in Washington.

With a rapid rise in infections, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday reinstated an indoor mask mandate until the end of January and required government workers to get vaccinated, including a booster shot.

“I think we’re all tired of it,” Bowser told reporters. “I’m tired of it too, but we have to respond to what’s happening in our city and what’s happening in our nation.”

In New York City, COVID-19 cases rose 60% in the week that ended on Sunday as the Omicron variant spread rapidly around the U.S. northeast. New York has set records for the most new cases reported in a single day since the pandemic started for three consecutive days.

“It is a predictor of what the rest of the country will see soon, and the minimum – since NYC is highly vaccinated – of what other parts of the country will experience in under-vaccinated cities and states,” said Georges Benjamin, executive director for American Public Health Association.

Many Broadway productions canceled performances as cast and crew have become infected. The popular “Hamilton” production on Monday extended cancellations until after Christmas due to breakthrough COVID-19 infections.

Breakthrough infections are rising among the 61% of the country’s fully vaccinated population, including the 30% who have gotten booster shots.

Omicron appears to be causing milder symptoms in vaccinated populations, and health experts remain optimistic this wave might not cause the same spikes in hospitalizations and deaths as previous surges.


New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi on Monday said that while new COVID-19 cases have “increased sharply,” hospitalizations have not jumped at the same rate. He credited vaccinations and booster shots, which help prevent severe illness, and urged that more were needed to build a “sea wall” against the variant.

The rise of Omicron prompted Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday to require all students, faculty and staff to get a COVID-19 booster shot for the upcoming spring semester.

On Monday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced he tested positive for COVID-19. U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren said the same on Sunday. All three said they had been vaccinated and boosted.

Nationally, cases rose 9% in the past week but are up 57% since the start of December, according to a Reuters tally. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients have increased 26% this month, with hospitals in some areas already strained by the Delta variant.

While cases climbed in the U.S. Northeast, Midwest hospitals are still dealing with a surge in patients from a Delta wave this fall. Michigan, Indiana and Ohio have the nation’s most hospitalized COVID patients per 100,000 residents, a Reuters tally found.

In New York City, the daily test rate reached an average of 130,000 per day, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Monday, more than double three weeks ago.

With demand for tests exceeding capacity, de Blasio said the city was working with the White House and private sector to help increase testing availability.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Monday she was ramping up the state’s testing program, with 1 million kits arriving this week and the same amount in each of the next two weeks.

“More and more people are going to be testing positive from this,” she said. For those who do, she advised: “Just stay home, do not go out. Don’t go to work. Don’t go see your family.”

Omicron’s arrival is a headwind for an economic revival in New York that already lags the rest of the country, especially where employment is concerned.

The pandemic delivered an even larger body blow to the city than the country because of the outsized role played by tourism, leisure and hospitality, which suffered the worst under lockdowns and travel restrictions. New York’s jobless rate topped out at 20% in the spring of 2020 – more than 5 percentage points above the U.S. average, and is still 9%, more than twice the national rate.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York, Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Additional reporting and writing by Gabriella Borter in Washington and Peter Szekely in New York; Additional reporting by Carl O’Donnell in New York and and Greg Savoy in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

New York City set to ban natural gas in new buildings

By Scott DiSavino

(Reuters) -The New York City Council is expected to vote on Wednesday to ban natural gas in new buildings, following in the footsteps of dozens of other smaller U.S. cities seeking to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy.

Should the law pass, new buildings in the city of 8.8 million residents – biggest in the United States – will have to use electricity for heat and cooking.

In the near-term, the new law will do little to reduce carbon emissions in the Big Apple, as numerous older buildings will not be affected, and the new structures would use electricity generated with fossil fuels anyway. Longer-term, however, the state plans to stop using fossil fuels to generate power.

The law would apply to new buildings under seven stories high at the end of 2023 and those over seven stories in 2027. Until now, the most populated U.S. city that has banned natural gas in new buildings is San Jose in California with about 1 million residents.

There are exceptions for some buildings used for certain activities, including manufacturing, hospitals, commercial kitchens and laundromats.

In 2020, U.S. carbon emissions from fossil fuels fell to their lowest since 1983, but were expected to rise about 7% in 2021 because power providers were burning more coal to generate electricity due to a sharp increase in natural gas costs.

New York’s move could mean a higher price tag for buildings using electricity for heat than those relying on natural gas. This winter, the average household in the U.S. Northeast is expected to pay $1,538 to heat their home with electricity, compared with natural gas at about $865.

“Using gas to produce power and then subsequently heat buildings is less efficient than using gas for heating directly,” analysts at energy consultancy EBW Analytics Group said.

Almost half of the power generated in New York State so far this year came from burning fossil fuels – 45% from gas and 4% from oil – with another 24% from nuclear power and 22% from hydropower, according to federal energy data.

The power sector’s carbon emissions in New York State should decline in the future because the state passed a law in 2019 requiring all electricity to come from clean, carbon-free sources of energy like renewables and nuclear by 2040.

Burning fuels for space and water heating in buildings accounts for nearly 40% of the city’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to environmental advocacy group RMI, which evaluated city greenhouse gas data.

“Burning fracked gas to power buildings is a main driver of climate change and air pollution, which leads to catastrophic climate events and the premature death of an estimated one thousand New York City residents per year,” Food & Water Watch and other environmental groups said in a statement.

The oil and gas industry, which opposed the proposal, said using gas for space heating would keep customer costs lower and reduce emissions especially when combined with clean fuels like hydrogen and renewable natural gas from landfills.

“Energy-efficient, low-carbon buildings could be powered by an innovative combination of natural gas and renewable energy (such as hydrogen) to both lower emissions and utility bills,” the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas lobby group, said as part of the city council hearings on the bill.

In Europe, meanwhile, where natural gas shortages have caused energy prices to spike to record highs in recent months, the European Union is considering whether to label gas-fired power plants as a green investment in efforts to reach climate goals.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Incoming New York mayor to appoint first woman to lead city’s police department

(Reuters) – New York Mayor-elect Eric Adams will appoint a woman to serve as commissioner of the city’s police department for the first time in its 176-year history, local media reported on Tuesday.

Adams, himself a former New York City police captain, will introduce Keechant Sewell at a news conference in Queens on Wednesday, New York’s Daily News reported.

“Keechant Sewell is a proven crime fighter with the experience and emotional intelligence to deliver both the safety New Yorkers need and the justice they deserve,” Adams said in a statement published by the newspaper.

The New York Times reported that Sewell is a 23-year veteran of the police department in Nassau County, New York, where she is chief of detectives. She would be New York City’s third Black police commissioner.

The current commissioner, Dermot Shea, was appointed in 2019 by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We welcome Chief Sewell to the second-toughest policing job in America,” Patrick Lynch, president of the city’s major police union, said in a written statement. “The toughest, of course, is being an NYPD cop on the street.”

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney)