Tag Archive: mark j shuster insurance


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A string of suicides by New York City taxi drivers in the last several months has advocates concerned about the impact of Uber and Lyft, as well as the loans cabdrivers have relied on to purchase taxi medallions.  Taxi medallions are permits that cities issue to cap the number of cabs on the road. Until the past several years, the value of the medallions seemed to keep rising as large taxi companies, individual operators and other investors bought them up.

The latest suicide that has shaken the cab industry is that of fifty-nine-year-old Abdul Saleh, a Yemeni immigrant who had been a taxi driver for 30 years. He was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment on Friday morning.  On March 16, Nicanor Ochisor, a 65-year-old yellow cab driver, took his own life in his Queens home. According to his family and friends, he had been drowning financially as his prized taxi medallion, on which he had hoped to retire, plummeted in value. In February, driver Douglas Schifter shot himself outside City Hall after posting a lengthy statement to Facebook blaming politicians for letting the streets get so saturated.

Another driver, Yu Mein Chow, 56, disappeared on May 11 and his body was found floating in the East River about nine miles south, near the Brooklyn Bridge, on May 16th.  Chow, had taken out a loan seven years ago to buy a $700,000 medallion that gave him the right to operate a cab.  It’s believed that he jumped to his death after being unable to make a payment on the $700,000 medallion loan.  According to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, at least two other drivers have killed themselves since December in response to mounting financial pressures.

Many saw securing a taxi medallion as the fulfillment of their American Dream, and they financed them as they would a mortgage, assuming they would only grow in value over time.  In 2014, the price of a New York City medallion topped $1 million. That year, they went for $700,000 in Boston, $400,000 in Philadelphia, and $300,000 in Chicago.  As competition from ride-hailing services intensified, loans for medallions have dried up across the country and their values have plummeted.   In January, seven medallions in NYC sold for under $200,000 each at auction-leaving many drivers deeply in debt.  Though New York City had used taxi medallions to cap the number of yellow cabs at just over 13,600, it doesn’t limit the number of drivers for Uber, Lyft, or other services.  The lack of regulation has led to rapid growth.   Uber launched in the city in 2011 with just 105 cars on the road and grew to to 20,000 by 2015.  Today, there are more than 63,000 black cars providing rides through various ride-hailing apps, 60,000 of which are affiliated with Uber.

John Boit, spokesman for the national group, Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, said operators like Uber aren’t solely to blame for undermining what had been a respectable living for generations of drivers.  He said New York’s City Hall also deserves blame for not protecting those who had invested in driving careers.  “The city enriched itself with billions of dollars in medallion sales and then allowed a massive influx of new drivers, clogging the streets and bringing down income industrywide,” he said. “The current situation makes it impossible for many to repay their debts. What the drivers need now is a fair solution for their investment in city medallions and a level playing field for the future.”

The New York City Taxi Workers Alliance, the local yellow cab union, has also called for changes including capping the number of for-hire vehicles operating in the city.  The New York City Council is considering several bills that would curb the expansion of ride-sharing services — by charging annual fees to drivers, limiting how many apps one person can drive for or limiting the number of cars each company can have in operation.

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The off-duty FBI agent who accidentally shot a man while doing a back flip on the dance floor of a Denver bar has been charged.  Chase Bishop, 29, whose gun went flying out of his holster at Mile High Spirits bar in Denver, was charged with second-degree assault. The incident was captured in a viral video with many outraged that he had not been charged by the Denver Police.  Police had initially released Bishop to an FBI supervisor while awaiting toxicology results before deciding whether to charge him.

A spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office said Bishop turned himself in after a warrant for his arrest was issued on Tuesday.  He was being held in Downtown Detention Center in Denver but jail records say Bishop posted a $1000 bond and was released.  Additional charges could be filed based on the results of a blood alcohol content test, which has not yet been received, authorities have said.  Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said the assault charge was filed before that report comes back “because sufficient evidence has been presented to file it.  If an additional charge needs to be filed after further evidence is received, we can file those charges then.”  Results from the BAC test are expected within a week.

The incident happened at 12:45am on June 2.  Bishop’s gun discharged and struck fellow patron Tom Reddington in the leg.  Bishop immediately picked up the weapon but accidentally squeezed off a single round. He then placed the gun in his waistband and walked off the dance floor with his hands in the air, the video shows.  Reddington said “We sat down at one of those picnic tables — I heard a loud bang and I thought some idiot set off a firecracker.  Then I looked down at my leg and see some brown residue… All of a sudden from the knee down it became completely red. Then it clicked that I’ve been shot.”  Reddington told “Good Morning America” that he asked for someone to call 911 before blacking out. A security guard and fellow club-goers applied a tourniquet to his leg.  “I soaked through several blankets, several towels, a few gauze pads,” Reddington said.  Reddington is expected to fully recover.

Though Bishop offered no assistance to Reddington on the night of the shooting, his attorney said his client would like to meet with the man who was injured and is praying for his recovery.  Attorney David Goddard asked that Bishop be allowed to travel because he lives and works in Washington, D.C. Prosecutors did not object, and Denver County Court Judge Andrea Eddy gave Bishop permission to travel.  Chase Bishop, 29, made his first appearance in a Denver courtroomon Wednesday, where a judge issued a standard protection order stating that he must have zero contact and stay at least 100 yards away from the victim, Tom Reddington.

Bishop did not enter a plea and declined to answer any questions as he left the courthouse.  The FBI field office in Denver declined to comment on the incident “to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation,” said Amy Sanders, a spokeswoman.  Sanders said the field office would fully cooperate with Denver police and prosecutors “as this matter proceeds through the judicial process.”

 

 

 

 

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A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the University of Southern California (USC) and a former gynecologist there, Dr. George Tyndall, who is accused of sexually harassing and molesting dozens, and potentially hundreds, of students during his nearly 30 years at the university.  The attorneys who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Tyndall’s accusers, wrote that USC “actively and deliberately concealed Tyndall’s sexual abuse for years.”  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven women who claim Tyndall used racist and inappropriately sexual language during consultations and conducted pelvic examinations with his fingers without gloves.

After an LA Times piece published in May exposed the allegations, the Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into the allegations, USC president C.L. Max Nikias has resigned, and the rest of the university faculty has been scrambling to address the school’s shortcomings in regard to issues of sexual misconduct.

Tyndall had a history of allegedly inappropriately touching female students during gynecological examinations, making lewd comments about their bodies, and taking pictures of their genitals. USC acknowledged it had received complaints against Tyndall as early as 2000.  Authorities say school administrators received reports of sexual abuse during pelvic exams dating back to the early 1990s but failed to investigate these reports until 2016. The doctor wasn’t fired until 2017, when his colleagues discovered a box full of pictures of female genitalia in his office.

They finally parted ways with him last June, but only after the university conducted an internal investigation and found out about the ignored complaints.  University officials said the school reached a settlement with the doctor and did not report him to law enforcement or state medical authorities at the time.  Authorities say fifty-two former patients of a Tyndall, who treated thousands of women at the University of Southern California have reported they may have been victims of inappropriate and possibly criminal behavior.  Police estimate Dr. George Tyndall may have seen 10,000 patients and they think there could be more victims among women who were examined by him.

The 71-year-old reportedly admitted that his exams were “extremely thorough” but claimed he never did anything inappropriate. Several former co-workers spoke to the LA Times “They felt like they were violated,” explained one nurse, who spoke with at least five women in 2013 and 2014 who refused to be seen by Tyndall.  “They felt like he was inappropriately touching them, that it didn’t feel like a normal exam.”  Other co-workers claim he was improperly taking pictures of students’ genitals and making inappropriate remarks during pelvic exams.  Tyndall would often commend patients on their “flawless” and “creamy” skin, while also making comments about their bodies, the employees said.  A nurse recalls an exchange where she watched him compliment a student on her “perky breasts.”  “They stand right up there, don’t they?’” she recalled him telling the patient.

In 2013, eight different medical assistants who were in exam rooms during exams, voiced their concerns about Tyndall to long time nurse Cindy Gilbert, but nothing was done about his behavior.  Gilbert reported the complaints to then-executive director Dr. Lawrence Neinstein who instead chose to handle the situation “independently.”

 

 

 

 

 

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NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room without penalty if they prefer.   The vote was made by team owners without involvement from the NFL Players Association.  The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.

The previous policy required players to be on the field for the anthem but only that they “should” stand. When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016 as a protest against racial injustice in the United States, the league had no rule it could use to prevent it.  The movement grew with other players kneeling and drew increasing criticism with many who believed it was a sign of disrespect toward the flag and country.  As the movement grew, the negative responses included suggestions that players who protest should be fired.

Others displayed their disapproval of players’ protests by leaving the stadium immediately after the protests or refusing to watch games at all.  Owners had been divided on how to extricate the league from criticism. Some owners, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and the Houston Texans’ Bob McNair, wanted all players to stand. Others, such as the New York Jets’ Christopher Johnson, wanted to avoid any appearance of muzzling players.  Some suggested clearing the field prior to the anthem but the idea was rejected by some owners who thought it would be interpreted as a mass protest or a sign of disrespect.

After spending months in discussions, and another three hours over two days at the leagues spring meetings, owners said they found a compromise that will end sitting or kneeling with an edict that stops short of requiring every player to stand.  In a statement accompanying the announcement, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league wanted to eliminate criticism that suggested the protests were unpatriotic.  “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic,” Goodell said. “This is not and was never the case.”

Goodell added “All 32 clubs want to make sure that during the moment of the anthem and the flag,that that is a very important moment to all of us, as a league, as clubs, personally and to our country, and that’s a moment that we want to make sure is done in a very respectful fashion. And that, that was something that was very strongly held in the room.”

As for the man who started the movement, on March 3, 2017, Kaepernick officially opted out of his contract with the 49ers, becoming a free agent at the start of the 2017 league year.  Kaepernick went unsigned through the offseason and 2017 training camps, leading to allegations that he was being blackballed because of his on-field political actions as opposed to his performance.  Many players, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and former teammate Alex Smith, have stated that they believe his sporting ability is competitive in the NFL and they are incredulous of his prolonged unemployment.  Kaepernick and former 49ers safety Eric Reid have both filed collusion cases against the league after failing to find jobs as free agents.

 

 

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Eight members of the Milwaukee Police Department have been disciplined in connection with the arrest of the NBA player Sterling Brown, who in January was subdued with a stun gun over a parking violation.  The Milwaukee Police Department has apologized to Brown, after a newly released police body cam video showed Brown’s violent arrest on January 26. Brown, a 22-year-old rookie player on the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, was assaulted and arrested shortly after exiting a Walgreens store for parking in a disabled space.  The charges against him were later dropped

Footage of the arrest, was captured using a body camera worn by one of the officers, confirms that Brown was not “combative”—as police initially claimed.  However, it does show Brown being confronted by an officer for the parking violation.  The officer tells him to step back and keep his hands out of his pockets just before a group of officers tackled him to the ground and electrocuted him with a Taser.   Brown did not struggle with officers when tackled, tased or handcuffed.  In the video, Brown is shown surprisingly calm and never even raising his voice while standing with his hands cuffed behind his back as an officer says to him “Sorry I don’t follow the Bucks, I didn’t recognize you.  I didn’t recognize your famous name.”   Brown responds, “It isn’t famous, it’s legit.”  The officer then replies “I wanted to talk to you about it” and Brown responds “ You could’ve talked, you didn’t have to touch.”

Brown has since said he plans to file a lawsuit, writing in a statement, “What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tazed and then unlawfully booked.  This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.”

He told “Good Morning America” that he aimed to hold “the officers accountable, hold future officers accountable.”  Brown said that his hands were behind his back at the time the stun gun was used and described becoming mad every time he watched the footage.  “I was defenseless, pretty much,” he said.  “This happens from coast to coast, you know, it’s something that’s being shown more now that technology has advanced,” he said. “It’s something that’s been happening for years, and people’s stories have not been told, and people’s stories have not been heard. And I feel like, you know, me doing this, it helps a lot.”

Speaking shortly after the release of the body cam footage, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said he was sorry the incident “escalated to this level”, declaring certain officers had “acted inappropriately” and had been disciplined. Three officers recieved unpaid suspensions, including a 15-day suspension for a police sergeant who has served for more than 11 years. Another sergeant, with 12 years of service, received a 10-day suspension. An officer with two and a half years on the force received a two-day suspension. Those officers and five others will receive policy review instruction and remedial training in professional communications.

 

 

 

 

 

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On May 18th, 2018, a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas ended with ten people dead and thirteen injured.   Eight students and two teachers were killed.  The suspected shooter was taken into custody and later identified by police as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at the school.  He is charged with capital murder of multiple persons and aggravated assault against public servant.  He is being held without bail and if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of 40 years to life.

The incident occurred in the school’s art complex which consists of four rooms connected to one another with interior hallways, and other rooms.  Witnesses said the two targeted classrooms are connected by a ceramics room the shooter accessed by damaging a door window.  The shooting began around 7:30 a.m., when Pagourtzis entered the school armed with a shotgun and a .38 revolver, both guns legally belonged to his father.  Witnesses say the shooter entered the art classroom first where he fatally shot students.  One wounded victim told reporters the shooter walked into the classroom and pointed at another person, saying “I’m going to kill you”.

According to a witness, students barricaded themselves in the art classroom storage closet and the shooter shot through the door with a shotgun. He left the art room briefly, causing students to leave the closet and attempt to barricade the art room door but he pushed the door open. Upon spotting a student he knew, he said “Surprise!” and shot the student in the chest.

Law enforcement received the first calls at 7:32 a.m., according to an affidavit filed in Galveston County court and officers engaged him within four minutes and allowed for the safe evacuation of other students and faculty.  The first one to confront Pagourtzis was the school’s police officer John Barnes, who tried entering the art complex looking for the shooter.  Pagourtzis appeared to be ready for Barnes and fired at him, hitting him in the upper arm.  Barnes was listed in stable but critical condition at University of Texas Medical Branch.  Other law enforcement officers arriving at the scene exchanged a volley of gunfire with the suspect.

Authorities say at around 8:02 a.m. — 30 minutes after the shooting started — Pagourtzis exited one of the art classrooms and surrendered after being injured during the shoot-out with police.  It’s unclear how long Pagourtzis was actively shooting students and teachers inside the school.  Authorities recovered several homemade explosive devices at the school, inside Pagourtzis’ vehicle and in his home.

Investigators offered no immediate motive for the shooting but said the shooter stated he intended to kill everyone he shot and wanted to spare the students he liked, so he could “have his story told.”  He also stated to police that he had planned to kill himself but he did not have the courage to take his own life.  Eight students and two teachers were killed in the shooting.  The victims were identified as Jared Black, 17; Shana Fisher, 16; Christian Riley Garcia, 15; Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15; Angelique Ramirez, 15; Christopher Stone, 17; Kimberly Vaughan, 14; Sabika Sheikh, 17; Cynthia Tisdale, 63 and Glenda Anne Perkins, 64.

The mother of 16 year old victim Shana Fisher said her daughter had repeatedly turned down the shooter’s advances in the last four months, including a public confrontation that occurred one week before the shooting.  The high school junior allegedly told her parents Pagourtzis told her he was going to kill her after the confrontation.

 

 

 

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U.S. officials have identified a former CIA software engineer as the primary suspect in a massive leak of the spy agency’s documents last year. Joshua Adam Schulte, who designed computer code to spy on foreign adversaries for the CIA, is believed to have leaked thousands of documents last year revealing CIA programs and tools that are capable of hacking into both Apple and Android cellphones. WikiLeaks published over 8,000 pages of documents in March 2017 under the name “Vault 7,” calling it the largest leak of secret CIA documents in history.

The loss of hacking tools to WikiLeaks was one of the most damaging breaches in modern history, experts have said, and includes hacking tools that can be used against private companies.  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange crowed that the CIA had “lost control” of its entire arsenal of cyber weapons, and experts said the leak has done major damage to U.S. intelligence gathering.

The suspect, Joshua Adam Schulte, a 29-year-old New York resident, is currently in a Manhattan federal jail on child pornography charges, which he denies. Prosecutors have not brought charges against Schulte for the leak despite months of investigation.   Schulte was originally charged in August 2017 with the receipt, possession, and transportation of child pornography.  According to the charging document, Schulte had a 54GB encrypted section of a hard drive that depicted children — possibly as young as two years old — involved in sex acts. His lawyer Jacob Kaplan has argued that others had access to the drive.

Schulte fell under suspicion a week after WikiLeaks published the documents and authorities seized his passport and later searched his Manhattan apartment. The search “failed to provide the evidence that prosecutors needed to indict Schulte with illegally giving the information to WikiLeaks.” Instead, the Justice Department charged him with possession of child pornography, allegedly discovered on a server he built in 2009 while attending University of Texas.  His attorneys described him as a computer scientist and analyst who interned at the National Security Agency and the CIA.  He was later employed there for more than five years, focusing on combating “domestic and international terrorism.”

Schulte’s brother Jason said that “what the government is doing to him is wrong. They are screwing him over.”  Jason Schulte said he and his brother had planned to go to Cancun together on vacation, but then the FBI raided Joshua’s apartment.  The FBI searched Schulte’s apartment in New York last year and seized personal computer equipment, notebooks, and hand-written notes, court records say.  Jason said that the porn images on the computer were not his brother’s and were put there by someone else. He said others had access to the server.

Authorities also found images on Schulte’s phone of an unnamed woman being sexually assaulted while “passed out on the floor” of his bathroom. The photos were reportedly taken in April 2015 in Loudoun County, Virginia, and the woman was identified as a former roommate of Schulte’s.

Kaplan argued that the information the government used to obtain the warrant was inaccurate.  “What I think is important for the Court is, in April or May 2017, the government had full access to his computers and his phone, and they found the child pornography in this case, but what they didn’t find was any connection to the WikiLeaks investigation,” he said.  A federal prosecutor told the court that Top Secret material was found on Schulte’s computer.

 

 

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A New York City lawyer has found himself in hot water after his racist tirade went viral.  The footage shows a man now identified as Aaron Schlossberg – dressed in a white dress shirt and gray slacks, berating an employee at the Fresh Kitchen eatery in midtown Manhattan because the staff was speaking Spanish.  In the video, Aaron Schlossberg, a lawyer in Midtown Manhattan makes racist remarks to Spanish-speaking patrons and threatens to call immigration enforcement after overhearing customers and staff speaking Spanish.

“Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” he says. “Every person I listen to: He spoke it, he spoke it, she’s speaking it.”  “My guess is they’re not documented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country,” he said. “If they have the balls to come here and live off my money — I pay for their welfare. I pay for their ability to be here. The least they can do — the least they can do — is speak English.”

Since the video went viral, Schlossberg has lost his office space and is now at risk of being disbarred.   Corporate Suites, who rented an office space to Schlossberg, released a statement saying it had terminated an agreement to provide meeting space, mail handling and telephone services to Schlossberg.  “Corporate Suites has a diverse and global community of business professionals working in a rich environment with mutual respect,” spokesman Hayim Alan Grant said in a statement. “We found Mr. Schlossberg’s statements offensive and contrary to our community norms.”

New York Congress member Adriano Espaillat has said he’s filed a grievance against Aaron Schlossberg and several other videos have now surfaced showing Schlossberg in a handful of other politically charged videos.  In one video, at a protest against a Muslim activist last year, rallier’s held signs and icons connected to a alt-right, the far-right movement associated with racism, sexism and anti-Semitism.  A man that appears to be Schlossberg, is heard cursing at the person taking the video and chanting, “Milo,” for right-wing media personality Milo Yiannopoulos.

Another video allegedly shows Schlossberg yelling at protesters outside of Trump Tower in a “Make American great again,” hat.  YouTube vlogger Willie Morris drew even more attention when he posted a video of what he said was a random encounter with Schlossberg in New York in 2016.  Morris said the Fresh Kitchen video jolted his memory about the incident.  “I let it go and pretty much forgot about it until I was scrolling through Twitter yesterday and randomly saw a thumbnail and thought, ‘No freaking way!'” Morris said.

According to Morris, he was walking down the street when a man coming from the opposite direction made eye contact, walked faster toward him and shoved him with his briefcase.  Morris included his own commentary to the video he posted.  In it he said, “He immediately … starts yelling mostly racist and xenophobic stuff.  I was so shocked, I’ve lived in NYC for five years and have never had anything like this happen. I was waiting for someone to jump out and scream, ‘Gotcha!’ ”  In the video, a man can be seen asking Morris, “What country are you from?” and then saying: “I’m going to call the police. You don’t run into me. I’m a citizen here, you’re not. You’re an ugly f***ing foreigner. F*** you.” Morris, who was born in Massachusetts, holds up his passport at the end of his commentary.

 

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During a historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in at the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries, Kim Jong-un told Moon Jae-in that North Korea would be willing to denuclearize in return for a commitment that the U.S. will not invade the country. During the meeting, which was broadcast live on the Korean Peninsula and around the world, the two leaders held hands and pledged to work for peace and replace the 1953 armistice with a formal peace treaty. The two countries have been involved a tense standoff on the Korean Peninsula that’s been in place since fighting in the Korean War ended 65 years ago.
The meeting was aimed at paving the way for Kim’s upcoming summit with President Trump. During the meeting, Kim signed a joint declaration affirming a “complete denuclearization” and “a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” According to the South Korean government, the North Korean leader said he would invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the U.S. to witness the closing of the country’s only known underground nuclear test site. Kim announced an end to nuclear and long-range missile testing last week.
The Trump administration has been firm that complete denuclearization is required for the lifting of economic sanctions that have been placed on the country for years. U.S. officials spoke cautiously about the chances of reaching a deal and laid out a plan for the dismantling of the North’s nuclear program over a two-year period. National security adviser John R. Bolton said That would be accompanied by a “full, complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear program with a full international verification.”
The two countries have recently taken other steps toward peace since the meeting with the South Korean military beginning to dismantle loudspeakers that have been blaring propaganda into the North since 2016. North Korea has announced it will shift its clocks forward 30 minutes to align with South Korea’s time zone. South Korean leader Moon Jae-in has also convinced North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to hold an upcoming summit with President Trump at the Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ.
Skeptics warn that North Korea previously made similar pledges of denuclearization on numerous occasions, with little or no intention of abiding by them. Kim’s could turn out to be nothing more than empty promises aimed at lifting sanctions on his isolated country. They say the closing of the nuclear site could be symbolic since the site may already be too unstable for further testing. They also question the honesty of Kim’s intentions siting the practicality of monitoring and inspections of supposedly closed sites.
The Denuclearization announcement came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke for the first time about a “good conversation” he had with Mr. Kim during his secret visit to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, over Easter weekend. “We had an extensive conversation on the hardest issues that face our two countries. I had a clear mission statement from President Trump. When I left, Kim Jong-un understood the mission exactly as I described it today” Mr. Pompeo said. Pompeo added that the administration’s objective was “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” with North Korea, and that Mr. Kim was prepared to “lay out a map that would help us achieve” denuclearization.

 

 

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The crude oil spill from the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota last November has turned out to be nearly twice as big as first reported.  Around 407,000 gallons spilled onto farmland when the pipeline broke near Amherst in Marshall County on Nov. 16th.  TransCanada had originally put the spill at 210,000 gallons but the new number would make the spill the seventh-largest onshore oil spill since 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

TransCanada had shut down the 590,000 barrel-per-day pipeline, one of Canada’s main crude export routes linking Alberta’s oil fields to U.S. refineries, immediately following the spill.  Repairs were made and TransCanada resumed using the pipeline 12 days after the leak.  Immediately after the leak was reported South Dakota regulators said they could revoke TransCanada’s permit for the Keystone Pipeline if an investigation concludes that the company violated its terms. If that happens, the company would have to correct any issues—in the worst case, even replace part of the pipeline—before oil shipments could resume.

A preliminary report indicated that the pipeline might have been damaged during its’ construction in 2008, though the investigation is ongoing. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is expected to release its final report on the leak in the next few weeks. The federal agency has estimated that the leak cost TransCanada $9.57 million.  The Keystone Pipeline carries oil more than 2,600 miles from Alberta, Canada, to Oklahoma and Illinois.

In February, TransCanada Corp. reported that the cleanup of the massive oil spill was halfway finished.  TransCanada spokeswoman Robynn Tysver said work at the Amherst site has transitioned from excavation to remediation. She stated that all of the excavation work has been completed and most of the impacted soil has been removed.  In late March, Tysver said the company had replaced the last of the topsoil and have seeded the impacted area.”   The company also agreed to restore the roads used by trucks transporting equipment and soil.

A spill and activity report on the agency’s website shows that TransCanada has installed groundwater monitoring systems, which haven’t yet detected any contamination.

The pipeline runs through both Dakotas and two other states and drew fierce resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, the tribe’s allies and environmentalists.  Opposition to the pipeline sparked month’s long protests, with as many as 10,000 people participating during the peak of the demonstrations.