Remember when they decriminalized drugs? Oregon Governor declares state of emergency

Legal-Crack-Portland

Important Takeaways:

  • Dem-led Portland declares state of emergency over fentanyl crisis: Oregon Governor wades into turmoil three years after woke city decriminalized drugs that has caused ‘economic and reputational harm’
  • Oregon leaders have declared a 90-day state of emergency in Portland to battle the city’s debilitating fentanyl crisis three years after decriminalizing possession of all drugs.
  • Governor Tina Kotek, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson made the declaration and are directing their agencies to work with first responders in connecting people addicted to the synthetic opioid with resources including drug treatment programs and to crack down on drug sales.
  • Fentanyl addicts who interact with first responders in Portland’s downtown in the next 90 days will be triaged by this new command center. Staff can connect people with various resources from a bed in a drug treatment center to meeting with a behavioral health clinician to help with registering for food stamps.
  • ‘Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond,’ Kotek said.
  • Oregon became the first state in the country to decriminalize the possession of all drugs including heroin and cocaine in 2020.
  • But residents have since demanded for politicians to take action on the open-air drug markets that surfaced and fueled a homelessness crisis.
  • Opioid deaths in Oregon more than tripled from 280, before the de-criminalization of drugs was voted in, to 955 in 2022.

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Is this just a coincidence: Putin calls for a national emergency alert on Wednesday

Putin-at-desk

Important Takeaways:

  • Putin ordered a national nuclear alert for Wednesday; exercises will be held in 11 time zones
  • They are preparing for the fact that 70 percent of the country will be destroyed in a Western nuclear attack, and a general state of emergency will have to be ordered
  • Before, there was never such a comprehensive preparedness, extending from the Ukrainian border to Kamchatka, only region-by-region tests simulating a nuclear attack were held, reports the British newspaper Metro
  • The test also models the secondary threat of damage to nuclear power plants and other key facilities.
  • State and regional authorities must organize emergency rescue teams to provide food and health care and to protect against radioactive radiation.
  • The population must be permanently relocated from the zone that has become life-threatening, similar to Chernobyl, which means an internal population exchange on an unprecedented scale.
  • Meanwhile, Putin is moving away from nuclear Armageddon to one of his nuclear bunkers in various parts of the country, and he also has at his disposal a fleet of “Doomsday” Il-80 Maxdome aircraft that can act as an air control center.
  • The exercise is being held four days before Putin’s 71st birthday.

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State of Emergency issued for NYC from heavy rain, flooding

NYC-flooding

Important Takeaways:

  • Heavy rain and flooding on Friday making for an extremely challenging and dangerous Friday morning commute and led to subway and rail service suspensions and the closure of a terminal at LaGuardia Airport.
  • Parts of New York City have already seen five inches of rain as of 11 a.m.
  • Flash flood warnings were issued for much of NYC and surrounding counties in New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and into Connecticut into the early afternoon, and were likely to be extended further.
  • Flooding is possible for much of the tri-state area as a result of the heavy rain, which comes as the ground is already water-logged due to the remnants of Ophelia that drenched the region last weekend.

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Expected Hurricane could bring 11ft storm surge as Governor DeSantis declares State of Emergency

Idalia Storm-Surge-Forecast

Important Takeaways:

  • Tropical Storm Idalia update: Florida declares state of emergency as storm is expected to make landfall as Category 2 hurricane with 100mph winds and 11ft storm surges
  • A state of emergency has been declared in more than 30 Florida counties as Tropical Storm Idalia is expected to barrel into the coast as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday – with forecasters warning of storm surges, landslides and mass power outages.
  • Idalia looks set to develop into a hurricane on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico and then curve northeast toward the west coast of Florida, where it could make landfall with winds of up to 100mph.
  • Along a vast stretch of Florida’s west coast, up to 11 feet of ocean water could surge onshore, raising fears of destructive flooding.
  • DeSantis’ declaration covers the Gulf coast from the southwestern city of Fort Myers north through Panama City in the Panhandle.
  • Thirty-three of the state’s 67 counties are covered in the declaration.

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South Florida in a State of Emergency after receiving over 25 inches of rain

25 Inches Rain

Luke 21:25 ““And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves

Important Takeaways:

  • An epic deluge with over 25 inches of rain hit the Fort Lauderdale area on Wednesday, forcing a closure of the Fort Lauderdale Airport and leaving many parts of the region underwater.
  • On Thursday morning, the city of Fort Lauderdale issued a state of emergency declaration due to the flash flooding.
  • “Large parts of the city have been underwater because of the unprecedented amount of rainfall,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis wrote in an update. “I give my heartfelt thanks to the police officers, firefighters, public works employees and other city staffers that worked hard through the storm.”
  • Flooding on Interstate 95 was evident early in the afternoon hours.
  • Over a 48-hour period that ended late Wednesday night, Fort Lauderdale received 25.95 inches of rainfall, with nearby Dania Beach recording 21.42 inches.
  • These threats are forecast to spread across parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas into Friday evening.

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Many in California running out of food, water as Governor Newsom declares State of Emergency

Luke 21:25 ““And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘There are roofs collapsing everywhere’: Thousands of Californians are running low on food and water as California Governor Newsom declares state of emergency in 13 counties after historic winter storms dump seven feet of snow
  • Newsom deployed the national guard on Wednesday to assist residents, especially in San Bernardino County, where some have been trapped in their homes for days
  • Wind, freeze and winter storm warnings were issued by The National Weather Service throughout the sunny state effective until Thursday as temperatures hit sub-freezing lows down to 26 degrees Fahrenheit in certain areas.
  • Southern California mountain ranges have been hit by several feet of snow and residents are begging the governor for help to clear the roads as food and water supplies run low.
  • The counties named in the emergency declaration include Amador, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Sonoma and Tulare.
  • The storm left about 100,000 homes and businesses in the state without power as of Wednesday.

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Ecuador’s president extends state of emergency for prisons

By Alexandra Valencia

QUITO (Reuters) – President Guillermo Lasso renewed a state of emergency throughout Ecuador’s prison system on Monday, extending it for 30 days as the country grapples to control jail violence which has left scores of inmates dead.

Lasso first imposed a state of emergency in penitentiaries at the end of September due to violence at the Penitenciaria del actions.Litoral prison, where fighting between criminal gangs in the last two months has left more than 180 prisoners dead.

Ecuador’s armed forces will continue to support police in controlling prisons.

Following the most recent incident at the Penitenciaria del Litoral, located in the city of Guayaquil, a combined force of 1,000 police officers and soldiers entered the prison.

The Constitutional Court has questioned the measures rolled out across prisons, saying that the crisis will require more than temporary emergency actions.

The gangs operating inside prisons are linked to drug trafficking, authorities say.

The decree to extends the state of emergency includes a ban on prisoners receiving mail that has not been read by security forces first, among other measures.

Ecuador’s prison system counts more than 37,000 inmates behind bars, with just 1,646 security staff, according to the government.

Lasso is pushing a plan to reduce prison violence, which includes pacifying gangs, pardoning criminals in special cases, repatriating foreign prisoners, and legal reform.

A week ago Lasso also extended a state of emergency to combat crime across the country.

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia,; Writing by Oliver Griffin, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Ethiopian leader, marking year of war, says he will bury foes ‘with our blood’

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged on Wednesday to bury his government’s enemies “with our blood” as he marked the start of the war in the Tigray region one year ago.

Abiy, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, was speaking a day after a state of emergency was declared in the country and with Tigrayan forces threatening to advance on the capital Addis Ababa.

“The pit which is dug will be very deep, it will be where the enemy is buried, not where Ethiopia disintegrates,” he said in a speech at an event at the military’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“We will bury this enemy with our blood and bones and make the glory of Ethiopia high again,” said Abiy, who won the Nobel prize for settling Ethiopia’s longtime conflict with Eritrea.

A moment of silence was observed at the candle-lit ceremony to commemorate those killed on Nov, 3, 2020, when forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – including some soldiers – seized military bases in Tigray. In response, Abiy sent more troops to the northern region.

The TPLF led Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for nearly 30 years but lost control when Abiy took office in 2018 following years of anti-government protests.

Relations with the TPLF soured after they accused him of centralizing power at the expense of Ethiopia’s regional states – an accusation Abiy denies.

The conflict in Africa’s second most populous country has killed thousands of people, forced more than two million from their homes, and left 400,000 people in Tigray facing famine.

A joint investigation by the United Nations and Ethiopia’s state-appointed human rights commission published on Wednesday found that all sides fighting in the war had committed violations that may amount to war crimes.

The African Union said on Wednesday that AU chair Moussa Faki Mahamat was following the escalation in Ethiopia with deep concern. He urged the parties to engage in dialogue.

Ethiopia’s neighbor Kenya, meanwhile, said its police had heightened security along the border.

Will Davison, senior analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank, said the Tigrayan forces’ gains had increased the pressure on Abiy government, as reflected by the State of Emergency.

“Right now, it looks difficult for the federal coalition to hold off the Tigray forces’ advance, and some of their leaders have recently said that at this late stage they are not looking to negotiate with Abiy,” he said.

TPLF spokesperson Getachew Reda did not respond to calls to his satellite phone on Wednesday.

A regional analyst in touch with the parties to the war and who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters the TPLF was likely to hold off on any advance on Addis Ababa until they secure the highway running from neighboring Djibouti to the capital.

That requires seizing the town of Mille. On Tuesday, Getachew told Reuters that Tigrayan forces were closing in on Mille.

ARRESTS

Abiy’s government imposed a six-month state of emergency on Monday with immediate effect.

The order came after the TPLF claimed to have captured several towns in recent days and said it might march on Addis Ababa, about 380 km (235 miles) to the south of their forward positions.

The state of emergency enables the government to order citizens of military age to undergo training and accept military duty.

It also allows authorities to arbitrarily arrest anyone suspected of collaborating with “terrorist groups” with a court order and detain them for the duration of the state of emergency, according to the proclamation.

The government designated the TPLF a terrorist group in May.

After the emergency was announced, there were scattered reports of arrests of ethnic Tigrayans in the capital.

A woman at a private health clinic in the city told Reuters she had witnessed four doctors and one nurse, all ethnic Tigrayans, taken away by the police on Tuesday evening.

A resident told Reuters he saw police in the central Bole district randomly stopping people on the street and asking them to show their government IDs, which list ethnic identity.

“I saw three people arrested,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

Another woman told Reuters that her husband, an engineer, was arrested by police while walking in the street speaking on his phone in his native Tigrinya language.

Two other people told Reuters there had been a number of arrests of Tigrayans on Tuesday in the districts of Bole and Lemi Kura.

The Addis Ababa police and a government spokesperson did not respond to phone calls requesting comment.

Two Addis Ababa residents told Reuters that they would heed Abiy’s call to join the military’s fight against the Tigrayan forces.

“We all want to have a country, so we all should respond to the call,” said Merkeb Shiferaw, 28, an engineer. Some people in Addis Ababa were panicking over the situation but the city remained peaceful, he said.

(Reporting by Addis Ababa newsroomAdditional reporting and writing by Maggie FickAdditional reporting by Ayenat Mersie and Duncan MiririEditing by Angus MacSwan and Mark Heinrich)

Poland almost doubles troop numbers on Belarus border

WARSAW (Reuters) – Almost 6,000 Polish soldiers are now guarding the country’s border with Belarus in stepped up security measures in the face of a surge in migration, the defense minister said on Tuesday.

The deployment of fresh troops marks a significant expansion of the military presence on the border as only on Saturday Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak had put the number of soldiers at more than 3,000.

“Almost 6,000 soldiers from the 16th, 18th and 12th divisions are serving on the Polish-Belarusian border,” Blaszczak said in a tweet.

“The soldiers provide support to the Border Guard by protecting the country’s border and not allowing it to be illegally crossed.”

The Border Guard said that on Monday there were 612 attempts to cross the border illegally.

The European Commission and Warsaw say the flow of migrants has been orchestrated by Belarus as a form of hybrid warfare designed to put pressure on the European Union over sanctions it imposed on Minsk. Belarus has denied this.

Poland has declared a state of emergency in the region and plans to build a wall on the border.

Parliament has also passed legislation that human rights advocates say aims to legalize pushbacks of migrants across its borders in breach of the country’s commitments under international law.

As of Sunday, there had been around 9,600 attempts to illegally cross the border in October, the Border Guard said.

An increasing number of migrants have also been arriving in Germany and Polish media reported that the head of the German Police trade union has asked the interior minister to temporarily restore border controls with Poland to stop the flow of migrants.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer offered to send border control officers to Poland to help the country manage the influx of migrants along the border between the two EU countries, adding that Germany could also offer logistical support in a letter to his Polish counterpart.

Authorities in Brandenburg, the eastern German state that is housing most of the new arrivals, are calling for tougher action against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s government.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Joanna Plucinska in Warsaw, Thomas Escritt in Berlin; Editing by Angus MacSwan, William Maclean)

Ecuador’s president declares 60-day state of emergency over rising crime

By Alexandra Valencia

QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso late on Monday declared a state of emergency in the Andean country as part of a crackdown on the consumption and trafficking of drugs.

Lasso, a conservative who took office in May, said the move was a response to rising homicide figures nationwide and other crimes related to narcotic seizures, which total 147 tonnes so far this year.

“In the streets of Ecuador there is only one enemy: drug trafficking,” Lasso said in a television broadcast. “When drug trafficking grows so do assassinations and homicides, robberies of homes, vehicles, goods and people.”

“Our military and police forces will be felt strongly in the streets,” he said.

The 60-day state of emergency will allow the military to join drug and arms confiscation operations in nine of the country’s 24 provinces, including Guayas, home to major city Guayaquil, Lasso said. Patrols will take place 24 hours a day.

In the rest of the country, police will increase patrols and control efforts in public places.

More than 70% of violent deaths in the province of Guayas are “in some way” related to drug trafficking, Lasso said.

Violent deaths have also risen within prisons. Last month 119 people were killed in disturbances in a prison in Guayaquil, which the government has blamed on fighting between drug gangs.

Lasso said he would sponsor legislation to support security forces in efforts to combat crime and create an entity to defend officers prosecuted for “simply doing their duty.”

“This government will pardon all those who have been unjustly convicted for doing their job,” the president said, asking judges to “guarantee peace and order, not impunity and crime.”

(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia,; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb, Editing by Steve Orlofsky)