Connect with us

General

Explosion knocks out power to more than 2 million people in Puerto Rico

Published

on

I only saw one tweet replying to a news report noting this:

Using “700,000” does not have the same visceral impact as “more than two million,” which is probably why LUMA Energy, and the Puerto Rican government who gave them the contract, would prefer that framing. However, that does not excuse reporters for reinforcing this perception.

As with past blackouts on the island, reporters have depended on users of social media to report what is going on in their neighborhoods and homes.

Primera Hora reported this:

Entre los municipios con sectores sin luz -reportados por los usuarios de las redes sociales- se encuentran: San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Dorado, Vega Alta, Carolina, Bayamón, Fajardo, Toa Alta, Loíza, Caguas, Culebra, Guaynabo, Naranjito y Canóvanas, entre otros.

Translation: Among the municipalities with sectors without electricity -reported by users of social networks- are: San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Dorado, Vega Alta, Carolina, Bayamón, Fajardo, Toa Alta, Loíza, Caguas, Culebra, Guaynabo, Naranjito and Canóvanas, among others.

The LUMA outage map, as of this 5:30 Thursday morning, reported “45,000 clients” without power, which they posted to their Twitter account. 

x

Here are some of the reports posted to Twitter when the news broke:

x

x

Dánica Coto, reporting for the Associated Press, spoke with the mayor of San Sebastián:

“This has turned into chaos,” said Javier Jiménez, mayor of the western town of San Sebastián, which had established its own brigade of workers to make repairs after Hurricane Maria largely destroyed the U.S. territory’s electrical grid in 2017, leaving some people without electricity for nearly a year.

Jiménez said he was forced to activate that brigade once again this week because Luma Energy, which took over the transmission and distribution system of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority on June 1, told him it did not have enough manpower to restore electricity to the more than 1,000 families left in the dark over the weekend in his town.

“I could not believe it,” he said. “A company that has been here just days…”

Jiménez also noted that Puerto Ricans have complained that when they call the company, they are placed on hold for hours with no response.

Since the government in power negotiated and signed a contract to privatize Puerto Rico’s power grid, there have been ongoing protests on the island and here on the mainland.

Unfortunately, some clickbait headlines linked a LUMA reported story about denial of service attacks to the explosion and outages, with no evidence of a connection, like this story from NPR. Yet in the story:

The fire and blackout were not the only crises facing Luma on Thursday.

Earlier that day, the company announced its client portal and mobile app fell victim to a cyber attack that disrupted customer access to its online services.

The DDoS attack, or distributed denial of service attack, generated 2 million visits per second to the client portal and mobile app, impacting many customers’ ability to access account information, according to Luma.

The company said in a statement that it “regrets that its customers experienced the inconvenience the attack may have caused and looks forward to continuing to provide them with an exceptional customer service experience.”

It’s unclear if the fire and DDoS attack are connected.

There were many more, like this one:

I have not found an official statement yet, from the FBI.

x

Stay tuned, I’ll update when more news becomes available.


https://www.emultimediatv.com

General

One woman killed and three people injured as vehicle rams into protesters in Minnesota

Published

on

Police said that alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the driver’s actions, but this must not be treated as an isolated incident: Last summer, according to USA Today, there were “at least 104 incidents of people driving vehicles into protests from May 27 through Sept. 5.” In eight of those cases, police were the drivers.

And Republican lawmakers have rushed to offer protections to drivers who injure protesters in this way. Iowa, Oklahoma, and Florida have all reduced or abolished penalties for such drivers, with the Iowa and Florida laws offering civil immunity and the Oklahoma law protecting drivers from criminal penalties when they “unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual” while “fleeing from a riot” and “under a reasonable belief that fleeing was necessary to protect the motor vehicle operator from serious injury or death.” Which just means every driver who does this will claim they were fleeing under a reasonable belief that their life was at risk. 

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump likens such laws to “stand your ground” laws, writing, “A Rand Corp. study found that states with ‘stand your ground’ laws allowing residents to use firearms in self-defense were states that had more firearm homicides. Allowing people to use guns to kill in some circumstances correlated with more people using guns to kill.”

The laws letting drivers off the hook for injuring or even killing protesters came amid a wave of state-level legislation targeting protesters in other ways. In a sense it’s similar to the Republican push to ban the teaching of “critical race theory” (by which they mean “anything about racism”) from schools. Republicans are trying to criminalize any effort to change U.S. culture and society to make it less racist or less unjust. In this case, they are actively encouraging murder.


https://www.emultimediatv.com

Continue Reading

General

Federal judge dismisses anti-vaxxers’ lawsuit, sides with Texas hospital

Published

on

Despite the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission supporting policies that employers could require “all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19,” at least 117 employees of the company attempted to sue the hospital claiming it violated state policy and made them “human guinea pigs.” 

According to the plaintiffs, federal law prohibits employees from being required to get vaccinated without full U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the vaccines. While the lawsuit was filed in Texas state court, it was moved to federal court at Houston Methodist’s request. As a result, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ruled Saturday that federal law does not prevent employers from issuing that mandate because the law in question did not apply to private employers. 

“The hospital’s employees are not participants in a human trial,” Hughes wrote. “They are licensed doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and staff members. The hospital has not applied to test the COVID-19 vaccines on its employees.”

He continued that the mandate was a way to make the environment safer for both employees and patients. “This is not coercion. Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the Covid-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients and their families safer.”

Hughes’ ruling addressed each and every one of the plaintiffs’ arguments including the vaccination requirement violating Texas law and a comparison to forced medical experiments in Nazi Germany. “Equating the injection requirement to medical experimentation in concentration camps is reprehensible,” Hughes wrote. “Nazi doctors conducted medical experiments on victims that caused pain, mutilation, permanent disability, and in many cases, death.”

Ultimately Hughes concluded that the plaintiffs “misconstrued” the law and “misrepresented the facts” and “will take nothing” from the hospital. If they had an issue with the policies in place, they should seek employment elsewhere, he wrote.

Upon hearing the ruling, lead plaintiff Jennifer Bridges noted that she would continue to fight her case. “This doesn’t surprise me,” she told USA Today. “Methodist is a very large company, and they are pretty well-protected in a lot of areas. We knew this was going to be a huge fight, and we are prepared to fight it.” Bridges has also started a petition against mandatory vaccinations by employers.

In response to the ruling, attorney and conservative activist Jared Woodfill who represents her and the other 116 plaintiffs said: “We took the position that it shouldn’t be dismissed for a whole host of reasons and we believe that forcing an individual to participate in a vaccine trial is illegal.”

“This is the first battle in a long fight,” Woodfill continued. “There are going to be many battles fought. Not just in this courtroom, but in courtrooms all across the state. There are battles that are going to be fought in the higher courts, the 5th Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, even the United States Supreme Court. So this is just one battle in a larger war. It’s the first round, if you will.”

Woodfill confirmed that they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court “if necessary.”

So despite the judge noting and clearly addressing that they had no case, the plaintiffs refuse to back down.

The employees who were suspended from their roles made up only 1% of the hospital’s total number of employees, according to Houston Methodist CEO Marc Boom. Boom noted that many other hospitals are working on similar initiatives but were only waiting on this case’s verdict to take action. “We can now put this behind us and continue our focus on unparalleled safety, quality, service and innovation,” Boom said after the ruling. “Our employees and physicians made their decisions for our patients, who are always at the center of everything we do.”

According to CBS News, as of this report, nearly 25,000 Houston Methodist employees had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and at least two employees who worked in management chose to leave rather than receive the vaccine.


https://www.emultimediatv.com

Continue Reading

General

Distress signals already emerging within GOP over sticking with Trump

Published

on

Nothing but unicorns and rainbows, folks. 

But the truth is, Trump’s toxic effect on party politics at the state and federal level is already roiling the GOP, and we’re starting see signs of that everywhere. Just over a week ago, Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri reverted to a practice that Republicans developed during the Trump-era amid efforts to reach a leader who never listened to his advisers—he made an entreaty to Trump on the airwaves.

“He could be incredibly helpful in 2022 if he gets focused on 2022 and the differences in the two political parties,” Blunt said of Trump, on NBC’s Meet The Press.

And who could miss Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week telling Fox News that Trump “has his own agenda” when it comes to the midterms?

Then there’s the GOP candidates who are clearly scared out of their wits over what Trump could do to the party’s electoral hopes in 2022 given that he continues to be obsessed with relitigating his 2020 election loss, which he called “the crime of the century” just last month.

“He should have learned from what happened in Georgia,” said one GOP lawmaker, who represents a purple district but obviously didn’t want to risk Trump’s ire by going on the record. “He cost us Georgia by focusing on the election.”

The words “should have” appear to be the operative part in that sentence.

“If Trump focused on Pelosi and Biden’s policy failures, he would help us. If it’s about election fraud and sour grapes from 2020, it will hurt us,” the GOP lawmaker added. 

Again, the word “if” is telling and not particularly hopeful from a Republican lawmaker who was likely speaking more frankly based on being granted anonymity. 

The lawmaker acknowledged that Trump’s 2020 grievances animate the base, but said it’s not particularly helpful when it comes to retaking the majority—presumably in more swingy districts.  

“We may be able to still win the majority, but I think it makes the hill harder to climb.”

In other words, in the eyes of a purple-district House Republican, Trump could be more of a liability to the GOP in the midterms than a boon.

Not exactly unicorns and rainbows, folks.


https://www.emultimediatv.com

Continue Reading

Recent Post

Advertisement Enter ad code here

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Emultimediatv.