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Violence: 2 Killed in Gaza, 4 Injured in Israel, Intense Fighting Since 2014 War

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2 Palestinians were eliminated in an Israeli airstrike and 4 Israelis were injured by mortar fire from Gaza on Saturday as combating around the Gaza Strip intensified to exactly what the Israeli prime minister called the most extreme level considering that the 2014 war.

Hamas and allied Islamic militant groups fired almost 100 projectiles at Israeli area throughout the day, the majority of them mortar rounds, though rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon.

Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense batteries obstructed more than 20 of those that had the possible to do damage, the armed force stated, however some survived. A mortar struck the yard of a Sderot synagogue, inning accordance with the Israeli armed force, and regional news media reported that a home in Sderot was likewise struck, injuring 4 members of a household.

Violence: 2 Killed in Gaza, 4 Injured in Israel, Intense Fighting Since 2014 War

” All your house was smoke and glass,” stated one member, Aharon Buchris, from his healthcare facility bed in Ashkelon, where he was dealt with for head and leg injuries. His better half and 2 children were likewise harmed. “There was a great deal of blood. The tv took off, the fish tank took off.”

Azzat Magirov, 45, a next-door neighbor, informed Ynet that she had actually accompanied the household’s 2 children, ages 14 and 15, to the healthcare facility. She explained hearing “a boom” and after that screaming from the next-door neighbors’ house, prior to running over and discovering them all bleeding. The rocket had actually blown up outside their living-room window, and a fish tank inside your house had actually shattered.

” Dead fish, glass and blood covered the flooring,” she stated. “The mom remained in the cooking area and remained in shock.”

She included, “I hugged the kids and after that I was covered in blood.”

Another Sderot homeowner, Refael Yifrah, informed Kan Radio that she heard a frightening blast around 6: 15 p.m., about 15 seconds after getting a text alert of inbound fire, however that parked vehicles bore the impact of the shrapnel.

” It’s much better to be in Gaza where they get cautioning that they’re going to be bombarded in one area or another and they leave,” Ms. Yifrah stated. “Here, there’s an alert, nobody understands where it’s going to land.”

The signals kept coming all day, and Israeli airplane pounded at ratings of exactly what it called strictly military targets, consisting of tunnels in addition to storage websites for helium utilized to pump up incendiary balloons. The balloons, together with flaming kites, have actually sweltered countless acres of Israeli farmland in current months.

The structure, in Al Katiba Square, sits within a block of Al Azhar University, different Hamas federal government workplaces and a grassy square that is a popular picnic area for Gaza households. A mosque next door appeared mainly unharmed aside from some damaged windows.

Muhammad Abdelaal, 30, a guard at the ministry of spiritual affairs, stated he raced to the top of the training center after the preliminary drone strikes and assisted bring the 2 teens, who suffered head injuries, down to ambulances, then went back to his post to secure. Simply then, he stated, another rocket struck near to him, and he was filled with shrapnel. He was talked to at Shifa Health center while soaked with blood and being dealt with for his injuries.

Israel stated it cautioned Palestinians in Arabic to avoid Hamas places and centers of militant activity. The preliminary drone strikes came more than an hour prior to the structure was exploded, stated Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a representative for the Israel Defense Forces.

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Ask Amy: Uber dispute becomes uber permanent

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Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: “Glenda” and I have been friends for 43 years. Glenda and her sister “Brenda” are twins — and I’m friends with both of them!

Glenda’s 60th birthday was coming up. After months of deliberation and pandemic restrictions we decided on a small group going to a local casino for brunch and fun.

Glenda, Brenda and I were in on the plan. Glenda wanted to invite two friends but didn’t want her sister to invite anyone. However, Brenda and I have a mutual friend we wanted to include. (All of these people were in my wedding, and we all have been friends over 35 years).

We were going to get an Uber to take us so we could have more fun, but with Covid we were going to have to take two Ubers and meet at the venue. No problem, right?

Well, Glenda said that would NOT work. She insisted on going together and celebrating on the way over.

Well, you can’t drink in Ubers, so partying on the way over was out of the question.

We got in a huge fight over the phone about the extra person that her sister and I invited.

She threw out the comment, “I thought you were MY friend and it’s MY birthday you are ruining.”

She kept forgetting that she is a twin and that I am friends with both!

Amy, she said our friendship is over! Our friendship is over because of an Uber ride?

I miss Glenda, and I am still great friends with Brenda, but Glenda and I have a longer history.

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Biden pushes ‘historic middle-class tax cut’ for more than 50 million families, says corporations and super wealthy need to ‘pay your fair share’

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Biden pushes ‘historic middle-class tax cut’ for more than 50 million families, says corporations and super wealthy need to ‘pay your fair share’

President Biden on Thursday pitched his economic plan that he says would cut taxes for more than 50 million families, while reiterating that big corporations and the super wealthy need to “pay your fair share.”

“Not only will no one making under $400,000 see their taxes go up, the middle class are going to get some tax cuts, some breaks,” Biden said about his plan from the White House.

“My plan benefits ordinary Americans, not those at the top who don’t need the help,” he added. “It’s a historic middle-class tax cut, cutting taxes for over 50 million families.”

Congress is now mulling over a $3.5 trillion spending bill.

The president supports higher taxes for those earning at least $400,000, even as some progressives would like to see a lower threshold for higher taxes to kick in.

“We’re not going to raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000,” Biden said. “That’s a lot of money. Some of my liberal friends are saying it should be lower than that.”

Biden noted that 55 of the largest corporations paid zero dollars in federal income taxes last year, and that the top 1% evade an estimated $160 billion in taxes each year.

“Big corporations and the super wealthy have to start paying their fair share of taxes,” Biden said. “It’s long overdue. I’m not out to punish anyone. I’m a capitalist. … All I’m asking is you pay your fair share.”

“By asking big corporations and the very wealthy to pay their fair share, it makes it possible to invest in America, to invest in the American people,” the president later added.

His plan would create jobs, grow the economy and lessen inflation, he said. It would lower the cost of day care and help people go back to work, lower health care premiums for millions of families, lower prescription drug costs, and extend a tax cut for families with kids.

“All of this will mean thousands of dollars in savings for the average American family on some of the toughest and most important bills they have to pay every month,” Biden said.

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National Guard to help with bus driver shortage in Massachusetts

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National Guard to help with bus driver shortage in Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) — Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Monday that he is activating the National Guard to help schools that are facing a bus driver shortage.

Starting on Tuesday, 90 members of the state’s National Guards were tasked with helping school districts in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn. Baker’s executive order came after dozens of schools in the Commonwealth complained that they couldn’t find enough people to shuttle students to and from school.

The governor’s order makes up to 250 guard members available to school districts across the state and more could be called into action if necessary. “The goal here is to try to make sure if we have vehicles, we put people in them who are qualified to drive them,” Baker said. “And do what we can to make sure kids can get to school, because obviously, the driver shortage is creating some real issues.”

The governor added that many National Guard members already have CDL licenses, however, they will have to go through training in order to drive students to and from school. And right now, support is only being offered to four school districts, all of which are located in the eastern part of the state. In the western part of the state, some parents worry that the driver shortage means more kids on the bus.

“I think it’s pretty dangerous,” said Derek Washington of Springfield. “Not just for the COVID, but just for the fact if there’s an accident on a school bus, or if there’s a fight.”

Baker said he is open to expanding the program out west. Local bus companies also say they’re hiring. At a job fair in West Springfield last week, Patty Miolla from the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative said, “Through the pandemic, we had drivers that didn’t drive. And now, we are coming back into the bus season and we do need drivers.”

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Wu, Essaibi-George clash on MBTA ‘fiscal calamity’ heading inbound

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Battenfeld: Is Boston ready to become another Cambridge?

The city’s two mayoral finalists are on opposite tracks when it comes to running the MBTA — as one watchdog group warns the transit system is heading for “fiscal calamity” in fiscal 2024.

Michelle Wu says the T should be free, adding “public transit should be a public good — just like libraries or parks.”

Annissa Essaibi-George, however, argues that making public transit free will only worsen the crisis.

“We can’t save a crucial transit system from the brink of ‘fiscal calamity’ by making everything free,” she said in a statement, adding the city instead needs a more “thoughtful” approach.

Wu added in her statement to the Herald that Boston needs “federal, state and local investments in transit improvements at the same time as we fight for a fare-free T to supercharge neighborhood economies and connect our communities.”

A report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation projects that the MBTA will face a budget gap of nearly $200 million in fiscal 2024, which could balloon up to $500 million in fiscal 2026, “leaving the Authority with few options other than layoffs and service cuts,” the report states. It noted that increased calls for reduced fares could worsen the situation.

The report notes that the pandemic has deepened an existing revenue crisis for the MBTA by sharply decreasing fare revenues while maintaining the same service and operating costs.

On top of this, the report mentions the competing needs for capital funds for basic maintenance, $25 billion over the next 10 years, along with the costs of addressing the growing threats of climate change, with a $7 billion price tag.

Although nearly $2 billion in federal aid allowed the MBTA to balance its operating budgets for now, the report says, “the MBTA will soon hit insurmountable operating gaps that expand each year as expenses continue to outpace revenue growth.”

An MBTA spokesperson acknowledged the MBTA’s financial challenges and said it’ll invest “billions” into infrastructure upgrades and new vehicles to make the T more reliable and draw people back.

Transportation for Massachusetts echoed the report’s findings that “we do not yet have a dedicated, adequate state funding plan to support the public transit investments and operations needed to serve the public,” and advocated for swift action from Gov. Charlie Baker, the Legislature and the MBTA.

Raise Up Massachusetts, another advocacy group, said the crisis could be solved with the Fair Share Amendment, or the proposed millionaire’s tax in the state.

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Car show and picnic this weekend in Pittsfield

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Car show and picnic this weekend in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — There will be a free community-wide car show and picnic on September 18 in Osceola Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a variety of vintage cars and trucks on display.

Trophies will be given out to the “Best in Show” vehicle and “Attendees Pick” vehicle. There will be raffles for various items. Bring your own food, drink, chairs for the picnic. Some canopy tents and tables will be set up.

This gathering will also be a celebration of the very first reunion of Osceola Park “alumni.” Several alumni and nearby residents of the park will be volunteering at the event.

Organizers are hoping that attendees will encourage the Pittsfield Parks Commission to proceed with needed upgrades and improvements at the park.

The rain date is September 19. No alcohol is allowed in the park.

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Elizabeth Warren introduces bipartisan bill to honor 13 soldiers killed in Afghanistan

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Elizabeth Warren introduces bipartisan bill to honor 13 soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Bay State Sen. Elizabeth Warren is reaching across the aisle to honor the 13 service members who lost their lives last month in a terrorist attack in Kabul, including U.S. Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo of Lawrence.

“These individuals demonstrated incredible courage throughout their careers, and we owe it to them to pass legislation to recognize their heroic service with the Congressional Gold Medal,” Warren said in a statement.

Warren introduced legislation in Congress along with U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, a Republican, to award those who died on August 26 in an attack at the Kabul airport with the honor, which is Congress’s “highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions,” according to the Senate’s website.

Senators from both sides of the aisle have cosponsored the bill. Congresswoman Lisa McClain, R-Mich., introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hundreds, including Gov. Charlie Baker, turned out for Rosario Pichardo’s wake and funeral in Lawrence earlier this week to pay their respects.

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Jennings, Bialik hosting Jeopardy! through end of year

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Jennings, Bialik hosting Jeopardy! through end of year

CULVER CITY, Ca. (WROC/AP) — Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik will host Jeopardy! shows that will air through the end of 2021, Sony Television officials announced Thursday.

According to a press release, Bialik will serve as interim host for several weeks of episodes from September 20 through November 5. Afterward, Bialik and Jennings will split hosting duties as their schedules allow. No on-air auditions of other potential hosts were announced.

It was previously announced that Bialik would host new prime-time and spinoff series, including a new college championship. Jennings, the record-holder for the longest “Jeopardy!” winning streak, is a consulting producer on the show.

Thursday’s announcement comes after Mike Richards was ousted as executive producer of “Jeopardy!” days after he exited as the quiz show’s newly appointed host when past misogynistic and disparaging comments surfaced. Richards is also no longer an executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” according to a memo to staff that was confirmed by Sony, which produces both of the shows.

“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened,” said Suzanne Prete, a Sony executive, in the memo.

Alex Trebek, the beloved national icon and longtime host,l died last November of cancer. “Jeopardy!” had a series of guest hosts, including Richards, taking turns at the lectern this past season for shows filmed after his death. They included LeVar Burton, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and Dr. Oz. Donations of nearly $3 million—equaling contestant’s cumulative winnings—were made to each host’s preferred charity.

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California wildfires threaten famous giant sequoia trees

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California wildfires threaten famous giant sequoia trees

THREE RIVERS, Calif. — Multiple forest fires on Thursday were threatening groves of gigantic sequoias in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains that are home to some of the world’s largest trees.

Flames are likely to reach the famous Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park, where two fires have been burning since lightning ignited them on Sept. 9, according to a briefing for fire crews. It comes after a wildfire killed thousands of sequoias, some as tall as high-rises and thousands of years old, in the region last year.

Experts fear the latest conflagration could be catastrophic for the already endangered giant trees, which for many years were believed to be nearly impervious to fire.

“In a climatological sense, we are in uncharted territory,” said Crystal Kolden, a fire scientist at UC Merced who has been tracking the KNP Complex’s march toward the critically dry forest. “It’s just really not the type of conditions that you want to see fire burn under.”

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks Superintendent Clay Jordan stressed the importance of protecting the massive trees from high-intensity fire.

A national interagency fire management team took command of efforts to fight the 11-square-mile Paradise Fire and the 2.5-square-mile Colony Fire, which was closest to the grove.

Operations to burn away vegetation and other fuel that could feed the flames were planned for that area.

The fires forced the evacuation of the park this week, and additional areas in the town of Three Rivers outside the main entrance were ordered evacuated Thursday.

To the south, a fire on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in Giant Sequoia National Monument grew significantly overnight to more than 6 square miles, and crews had no containment of it, a Sequoia National Forest statement said.

The Windy Fire, also started by lightning, has burned into part of the Peyrone Sequoia Grove in the national monument, and other groves were threatened.

“Due to inaccessible terrain, a preliminary assessment of the fire’s effects on giant sequoia trees within the grove will be difficult and may take days to complete,” the statement said.

The wildfires are among the latest in a long summer of blazes that have scorched nearly 3,550 square miles in California, destroying hundreds of homes.

A 50-year history of using prescribed burns — fires set on purpose to remove other types of trees and vegetation — in the parks’ sequoia groves was expected to help the giant trees survive by lessening the impact if flames reach them.

Giant sequoias grow high on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. They are adapted to fire, which can help them thrive by releasing seeds from their cones and creating clearings that allow young sequoias to grow.

But the extraordinary intensity of fires — fueled by climate change — can overwhelm the trees, a scenario that happened last year when the Castle Fire killed many sequoias in the region.

Studies estimate that 7,500 to 10,600 large sequoias died in that fire, according to the National Park Service.

Kolden said that if any of the giant sequoia trees burn, it would be yet another “casualty of climate change.”

“A lot of these trees are over 3,000 years old, and that’s a long history to lose,” Kolden said. “How can you be Sequoia National Park if you don’t have any sequoia left?”

 

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Veterans mental health summit on Friday

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Veterans mental health summit on Friday

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Saratoga County is holding a mental health summit for veterans on September 17 at 1 p.m. at the Saratoga County Veterans Service Agency Office in Ballston Spa. The summit is open to all veterans and family members.

Representatives from Veterans Affairs programs and community organizations will provide information and resources to people who attend.

The Saratoga County Veterans Service Agency has been offering resources to veterans throughout September. On Tuesdays, veterans can meet up for coffee at Saratoga Coffee Traders at 5 p.m.

The agency also has a mentorship program, where local veterans are paired with returning veterans who are experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other re-acclimation challenges. These pairings help to ease the transition from combat to civilian life.

Additional resources that may be helpful to veterans:

  • Veterans Crisis Line – 800-273-8255
  • Saratoga County Mental Health – 518-584-9030
  • Albany Vet Center – 518-626-5130
  • VA Rapid Access Clinic – 518-626-5339
  • Saratoga County Veterans Service Agency – 518-884-4115
  • VA Caregiver Support – 1-855-260-3274
  • Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes Hotline – 202-249-7170

More information about the mentorship program can be found on the Veterans Peer Connection website.

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Family of Boston University professor who died in staircase accident: His death was ‘preventable’

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Family of Boston University professor who died in staircase accident: His death was ‘preventable’

The family of the Boston University professor who plummeted to his death in a staircase accident near an MBTA station last week said it was “preventable” as authorities continue to investigate the tragedy.

David Jones, 40, of Milton, was out for a run on Saturday when he fell through a gap in a set of rusted-out stairs that have been closed for nearly two years near the JFK/UMass MBTA station in Dorchester.

“Our lives were changed forever last weekend with the sudden, tragic, and preventable passing of our beloved father, husband, son, brother David Kline Jones,” his family wrote to the BU School of Public Health community.

“Our hope is that this unimaginable tragic loss will foster a renewed commitment to create safe and healthy environments for all people,” the family added.

Jones, a father of three children, was an associate professor in Boston University’s Department of Health Law, Policy and Management.

On Saturday, Massachusetts State Police detectives responded to the scene near the JFK/UMass station. The state-controlled stairs have been closed since the start of 2020, and State Police have not specified how Jones was able to access the stairs.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the death.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday was asked about the incident. The governor said the staircase was “barricaded on both ends” about 20 months ago.

“Our folks are obviously working with the DA’s Office and others to investigate what happened here and why,” Baker said on GBH News. “And once that investigation is completed, we’ll make a decision about doing something about it.”

The structure was fenced in and a cement barricade was installed at the start of 2020. Also, the MBTA put up a sign that said the stairs would be closed.

Following last week’s fatal incident, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation responded by further cutting off access to the dilapidated stairs.

The Herald this week found nearby stairs that are rusting out. Rust pieces are being swept into piles under the stairs.

All MBTA stairs are “routinely inspected” by the MBTA and reviewed by a third party, according to the agency.

“Patch repair work has been performed from time to time, and the steel treads have been deemed stable in recent inspections,” the MBTA said.

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