Nation and world news briefs
Trump administration returns $3.4 million taken from ailing 9/11 FDNY program in errorWASHINGTON — The New York City Fire Department's World Trade Center Treatment Program just got its pilfered millions back from the federal government — $3,363,931.72, to be exact.That news comes from a letter sent to Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., from Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Wednesday night, finally ending a saga that began years ago with the federal government mysteriously docking payments meant to fund health care for firefighters and EMTs who got sick from serving at ground zero.Earlier this month, M...
Tribune News Service
Commentary: As 2020 winds down and Election Day nears, waiting. Patience is a virtue that doesn't always seem very American
Feel that?That heaviness?That’s the barometric pressure of an incoming election, and the anxiety of not knowing how it will turn out. See that other thing, off in the distance? That’s calm and clarity at the end of an impossible year — that’s the thing that T.S. Eliot called “the still point of the turning world.” That’s a ways off. So we wait. And while we wait, in line to vote on Nov. 3, for the results of an election that may not be decided on Nov. 3, for a vaccine, to return physically to classrooms, to enter a movie theater, for justice for Black Americans killed by police, to see loved o...
Hurricane Zeta makes landfall in Louisiana as Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Hurricane Zeta, which has been increasing in intensity and speed all day, is making landfall in southeast Louisiana as a Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds, according to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.Zeta, which is traveling at a brisk 24 mph, is almost a Category 3 hurricane, which is considered a major hurricane. A Category 3 hurricane has winds between 111 and 129 mph. Zeta was 1 mph from becoming the fifth major hurricane of the year joining Laura, Teddy, Delta and Epsilon.Zeta made landfall near Cocodrie, Louisiana, according to the NHC.Ze...
Report released by Sen. Maria Cantwell slams Google and Facebook for decimating local news outlets
“Unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices” by tech giants Google and Facebook have suffocated local news outlets, contributing to a critical deficit of trustworthy local journalism, according to a new minority report from the Senate Commerce Committee released by ranking member Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.The report, echoing a landmark antitrust suit filed last week against Google by the Justice Department, concludes that Google and Facebook have used their sheer heft to dominate the digital advertising market, to the detriment of local media outlets and an informed public.“These trillion-doll...
The Seattle Times
Q&A: With Spike Carlsen, author of 'A Walk Around the Block'
Spike Carlsen wrote a book about awe walking. That was before he’d even heard the term.His new book, “A Walk Around the Block,” is about noticing and maybe even appreciating all the amazing things right in front of you.Of course, you may not think the wastewater system beneath the street — or the street itself — is all that amazing. But Carlsen does. And if you read the Minnesota author’s deeply researched, breezily written book (his seventh), it’s likely that his infectious curiosity will rub off on you. As he promises in his introduction, “knowing the inner workings of the world outside your...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Arrivederci, Little Italy? Adio, Greektown? Two of Chicago's global dining destinations struggle to save their souls.
CHICAGO — Red sauce and wine still flow on Little Italy’s Taylor Street, and the saganaki still flames on Greektown’s strip of Halsted.But there is less Italian and Greek heritage on the menu these days on two of Chicago’s best-known dining corridors.“We have tourists come in and ask, ‘Where is Little Italy?’ ” said Ralph Davino, third-generation owner of Pompei, one of a handful of Italian restaurants that remain on Taylor Street. “I have to tell them it’s gone.”The Italian and Greek flair that distinguished those neighborhoods has been ebbing for years, a result of changes in demographics an...
Album reviews: Black Thought, Melody Gardot, NRBQ
Black Thought“Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able”(Republic ***)The Roots haven’t put out a new album since 2014. Six years! True, they’ve hardly been idle: They’ve got a night job with Jimmy Fallon and host their annual Picnic — and DJing, podcasting, book-writing drummer Questlove has a hardest-working-man-in-showbiz brand.Thankfully, his partner has filled the void by releasing new music. Black Thought has always been considered a true master of rhyme among hip-hop cognoscenti, but he resisted putting out solo music until 2018, when he released two “Streams Of Thought” EPs.Each of those...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial: Congress should let Puerto Ricans' vote count on statehood
There’s a massive get out the vote campaign in the United States, with both major political parties stressing that every vote should count.Contrast that to Puerto Rico. It also has an election Nov. 3, but none of the votes will really count on the major issue:Should the U.S. territory become a U.S. state?Millions of island residents will weigh in on that question. The problem is that question has been asked repeatedly and the answer has never carried any actual weight.The U.S. does not have to abide by the decision. The referendum is just another show vote, the third in the past eight years.It...
Tropical Storm Zeta puts 2020 hurricane season in the record books; path includes part of Florida Panhandle
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A portion of the Florida Panhandle is in the latest forecast track for Tropical Storm Zeta, the storm that put the 2020 hurricane season in the record books as only the second year in history to see 27 named storms.Zeta formed in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, just south of western Cuba, from the former Tropical Depression 28, which emerged Saturday evening in the western Caribbean.In rain-battered South Florida, the one-two punch of recent king tides and heavy rainfall has already caused coastal flooding woes and rough seas for boaters. Although Zeta remains hundreds of mi...
Pope Francis calls for civil union laws for same-sex couples: 'They are children of God and have a right to a family'
Pope Francis says same-sex unions need to be legally protected in a stunning departure from the Vatican on the issue.“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family,” Francis said in a new documentary that premiered in Rome Wednesday.“Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” he added.According to the Catholic News Agency, the remarks came as the documentary, “Francesco,” touched on how the church should care for LGBTQ people.“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the 8...
New York Daily News