Tornados in New York
Last weekend’s weather in New York felt like it was straight out of the Hollywood blockbuster “The Day After Tomorrow,” with severe thunderstorms, and several tornados touching down, including one in New York City. The climax was a storm system over New York City area that produces a tornado, which made landfall in Queens.
Luckily no one was injured, but the tornado caused moderate property damage, destroying several cabanas at the Breezy Point Beach Club in Queens.
Army-Navy Store in Pearl River Gets a New Owner
Opened in 1955, Mel’s Army-Navy Center has become an institution in downtown Pearl River, an institution that will continue into the future with new owner and local resident Chris Frawley. Frawley, who attended Albertus Magnus High School and worked at the store for 12 years, says he’s excited to continue the tradition of this Pearl River landmark.
The founder and original owner Mel Liebmann is retiring, but says he will stay on to help with the transition over the next six months to a year. The Army-Navy Center is a unique business, still maintaining its independence in the age of corporate chains and mini malls. It offers an eclectic mix of items, everything from short sleeve sweatshirts to fishing licenses can be bought there.
To celebrate the transition the store will be hosting an open house on Saturday September 15 from 10 a.m. to noon. Local officials are expected to be in attendance.
Hackers Shut Down Internet Hosting Giant “Go Daddy”?
Those hosting their website through the internet hosting service Go Daddy woke up to a nasty surprise on Monday, finding their websites down.
Early reports said that Go Daddy was the victim of a Denial of Service Attack, or DoS attack. During a DoS attack hackers attempt to overwhelm the servers of their target website with a large number of requests for information. Every time you visit a website your computer is requesting information from the server that hosts the website. That is to say the server, where the website lives, so to speak.
A hacker trying to disrupt that website will use create a flood of bogus requests for information, usually using illegal software. Suddenly, the server must respond to say 10 or 100 times the amount of requests for information it normally receives. This in turn slows down the website so significantly as to render it useless or shuts it down completely.
DoS attacks were what brought down websites like PayPal in December 2010. Hackers aligned with the “Anonymous” movement attacked PayPal in response to its decision to freeze the account of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. Later in the day on Monday, “Go Daddy” said that it was a experiencing a separate problem with its servers, and was not the victim of a DoS attack. However a rogue member of the “hactivist” group Anonymous claimed via Twitter that they were responsible shutting down the Go Daddy servers.
As of Tuesday morning Go Daddy says all of its servers are back online, and no customer data was compromised. In a statement, Go Daddy CEO Scott Wagner said that company has identified the problem and put systems in place to prevent it from happening again.
Court of Appeals affirms dismissal of effort to dissolve Village of Kiryas Joel
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling that dismissed an effort by a group of dissent residents of the Hasidic Village of Kiryas Joel to dissolve the municipality.
They claim the village is a theocracy with the same leaders of the government and the majority synagogue. They also alleged they have been discriminated against, harassed, and in some cases assaulted.
In an 11 page decision, the Court of Appeals wrote that “although the village’s formation and constitution are undoubtedly unusual, and were reasonably questioned in the past, we are not persuaded. As the district court determined, plaintiffs’ current allegations about the overlapping leadership in the village and Congregation Yetev, standing alone, are insufficient to state an Establishment Clause claim.”
The Court of Appeals also wrote that allegations regarding selective enforcement of certain laws as they relate to the plaintiffs “were properly dismissed” by the district court.
Aid to Pakistan in Question Over Fate of Key Source
Doctor Shakil Afridi supplied key information to the United States in the lead up to the raid that killed terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden. On May 23, 2011, mere weeks after the raid, the Pakistan’s intelligence agency (ISI) arrested Afridi, supposedly for his involvement. Since then Afridi has been subjected to brutal forms of mental and physical torture at the hands of the ISI.
Senator Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, son of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, finds it unacceptable that someone who helped the U.S. kill Osama Bin Laden is being tortured. Paul says he wants to force a vote on a bill suspending all aid to Pakistan, unless Afridi is released, even if that means disrupting other Senate business.
Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a senior fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies criticized the CIA for not taking Afridi out of the country after the death of Osama Bin Laden. However in an interview with Afridi on Fox News, he said that the CIA had advised him to flea the country, but he chose not, believing he was not in any danger.
Shaffer echoed Paul’s sentiments of dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s handling of the situation, but said that the U.S. cannot simply cut off all aid citing the country’s nuclear capability. But, he said, the White House should start putting conditions on its aid.
Lottery Ticket Swindlers
Three men are currently under investigation by the Rockland County District Attorney for allegedly swindling another man out of a $3 million scratch off lottery ticket. Elfido Delaroca bought the fated ticket in February 2011 at a convenient store in Spring Valley. After discovering he had won, Delaroca showed the store clerk Atif Ali, 28, of Spring Valley.
From there, prosecutors contend that Ali used Delaroca’s illegal immigration status to blackmail him into signing the winning ticket over to him. Allegedly, Ali told Delaroca that the state would never give him the money and he would be deported and never see his family again if he attempted to collect it.
The prosecution then says that Ali along with several accomplices cashed in the winning ticket, took the first annual payment, and then brought the ticket to a payment company and received $600,000 in advanced payments. Ali’s lawyers say that Delaroca signed a legitimate contract with his client to split the money from the ticket and now he is trying to back out. It is not illegal for someone to sign over a lottery ticket, but it still seemed odd to lottery officials.
However Ali is accused of blocking Delaroca from speaking to lottery officials, and withholding the money from him, saying that the lottery had still not paid his winnings. That was when Deloaroca went to the police. The case is set to go to trial sometime in the next week. If convicted, Ali and his accomplices could face up to 25 years in prison for first-degree grand larceny.
The White House Snubs Israel
Conservatives are interpreting the refusal of an offer to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by President Obama as a snub towards Israel. Republicans eagerly seized on the opportunity to criticize the president. Netanyahu will be conducting an official visit the United States this week until Sunday. The prime minister has offered to meet President Obama in New York City to continue their collaboration over the issue with Iran’s nuclear problem.
Due to schedule issues, President Obama turned down the offer to meet with Netanyahu. The White House instead offered meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials. This latest scheduling snafu comes on the heels of harsh criticism by Netanyahu over the United States’ handling of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Netanyahu accused the United States of not taking a harsh enough stand against Iran. He also emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself if the international community, in his words, “refuses to put red lines before Iran.”
Community Comes Together to Aid Crash Victim’s Family
In the early morning hours of September 3, Daniel McWeeney, 25, of Garnerville, was killed in a car crash on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Alpine, N.J. McWeeney was working his last shift as a waiter at the restaurant Colicchio and Sons in Manhattan. McWeeney’s was trading his job in the city for a job managing Unoodles Snack Bar, in the Village of Haverstraw.
Now in the wake of this tragedy McWeeney’s family has created a website to raise donations for his 11-month-old daughter, Madison Rae. Since launching last weekend, the website had already raised $6,400 with the ultimate goal of raising $50,000 for her future.
It is not yet known what exactly caused McWeeney to crash his car, but his father suspects he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The toxicology report is expected next month. To make a donation visit http://www.gofundme.com/supportmadison