Connect with us

News

7 Benefits Of A Vegan Diet You Didn’t Know About

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
google news

A vegan diet has been proven to be beneficial in many ways, not just in terms of animal welfare, but also in your own health and the environment, too. Many people who have adopted this lifestyle and way of eating have reported experiencing positive changes in their overall well-being, from physical improvements to mental ones. However, there are still many myths about what it means to be vegan or go on a vegan diet that you may have heard from others or even have yourself believed—until now! Here are seven benefits of being vegan that you didn’t know about.

1) Plant-Based Protein

Many people think that you need to eat meat to get protein, but that’s not the case. There are plenty of plant-based sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, tofu, and quinoa. Not only are these sources of protein just as good for you as meat, but they’re also usually lower in calories and fat.

2) Healthier Heart

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
A vegan diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease. That’s because it’s naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fiber and antioxidants. All of these things work together to keep your heart healthy and functioning properly.

3) Keeps Blood Sugar Levels Low

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
A vegan diet can help keep blood sugar levels low. This is because vegan diets are typically high in fiber and low in sugar. Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. This can be beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes, as well as those who are trying to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

4) Gut Health

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
The vegan diet is rich in fiber which is beneficial for gut health. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system clean and free of toxins. In addition, fiber aids in the production of short-chain fatty acids which are important for gut health.

5) Better Digestion

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
When you cut out animal products, you’re also cutting out a lot of unhealthy saturated fats. This can lead to better digestion and less bloat. In addition, plant-based foods are packed with fiber which helps keep things moving along smoothly.

6) No Animal Cruelty

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
The biggest benefit of a vegan diet is that it doesn’t involve any animal cruelty. Animals raised for food are often kept in cramped, dirty conditions and are fed a diet that makes them sick. They’re also subjected to painful procedures, such as debeaking and castration, without any painkillers.

7) Plastic and Environmental Impact Reduction

The Vegan Diet Is Good For You And The Environment. Here Are Seven Benefits Of The Vegan Diet That You Might Not Know About. Vegan Diet, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegan Food, Vegetarian, Healthy Food, Cruelty-Free, Go Vegan, Organic,
It takes a lot of water and resources to produce meat, dairy, and eggs. In fact, animal agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of water consumption in the US. It’s also a leading cause of deforestation and habitat destruction. Going vegan is one of the most impactful things you can do for the environment.

A vegan diet can have some pretty incredible benefits – both for your health and for the environment. If you’re thinking about making the switch, be sure to do your research to make sure it’s the right fit for you. And if you need some inspiration, there are plenty of delicious vegan recipes out there waiting to be tried!

The post 7 Benefits Of A Vegan Diet You Didn’t Know About appeared first on MEWS.

google news
Advertisement

News

The Loop Fantasy Football Report Week 4: Cook’s injury could put Vikings’ Mattison in spotlight

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Detroit Lions Running Back Jamaal Williams (30) Tries To Break A Tackle By Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) During The Second Half Of An Nfl Football Game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, In Minneapolis. (Ap Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
google news

You’ll never see this position noted on an NFL roster, but fantasy football owners know one of the most important positions in their game is The Handcuff.

That’s the immediate backup to a star running back, often an up-and-comer who could post winning numbers if thrust into the spotlight. And in Minnesota, that handcuff goes by the name of Alexander Mattison.

When Dalvin Cook went down with a shoulder injury last Sunday, Mattison came in and racked up 44 total yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ comeback win over Detroit. He could be called on to start Sunday morning in London when the Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints.

Mattison often excels in this role. Last season, in three games in which he had major duty, Mattison averaged more than 100 rushing yards. If Cook can’t go, we could see a repeat performance.

Mattison isn’t the only significant handcuff you should keep your eye on this week and beyond. Here are five more:

Jamaal Williams (Lions) — D’Andre Swift mavens were already seeing red before his injury against the Vikings. That’s because Williams has been vulturing most of the goal-line carries. That’s why he’s tied for the NFL lead with four touchdowns, a total that will likely go up this week if Swift is unable to go against Seattle.

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (30) tries to break a tackle by Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Khalil Herbert (Bears) — After Houston tacklers rolled up on David Montgomery’s ankle in Week 3, Herbert came in and immediately proved his worth. Two touchdowns and 169 total yards. With Montgomery questionable, Herbert could be starting this Sunday against a mediocre New York GIants run defense.

Chicago Bears Running Back Khalil Herbert (24) Is Tackled By Houston Texans Safety Jonathan Owens (36) During The First Half Of An Nfl Football Game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, In Chicago. (Ap Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) is tackled by Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens (36) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

Tony Pollard (Cowboys) — The Loop has both of Dallas’ top RBs and usually starts the least effective one. Their time-share was frustrating again Monday night, as Ezekiel Elliott ran for 73 yards and a TD, while Tony Pollard managed 105 yards on only 13 carries. We still have a sneaking suspicion that, were Zeke to go down, Pollard would be The Next Big Thing.

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Tony Pollard (20) Runs The Ball Against The New York Giants During The Second Quarter Of An Nfl Football Game, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, In East Rutherford, N.j. (Ap Photo/Adam Hunger)
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the ball against the New York Giants during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Mark Ingram (Saints) — Alvin Kamara has been banged up and scoreless this season, and he’s falling way short of his usual numbers (111 total yards). So the 32-year-old Ingram has played a bigger role, tallying 100 total yards and a touchdown. The former Heisman winner could get the majority of goal-line looks on Sunday in London.

New Orleans Saints Running Back Mark Ingram Ii (22) Celebrates A Touchdown During An Nfl Football Game Against The Carolina Panthers On Sunday, Sep. 25, 2022, In Charlotte, N.c. (Ap Photo/Rusty Jones)
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram II (22) celebrates a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Sep. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Brian Robinson (Commanders) — The rookie from Alabama appeared on track to supplant Antonio Gibson in the starting lineup until he was shot in the knee in an attempted carjacking. But Robinson is reportedly on track to return next week, and Gibson’s hold on the No. 1 RB job looks temporary with just 124 yards rushing through three games..

Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) Stops To Greet Washington Commanders Injured Running Back Brian Robinson Jr., At The End Of An Nfl Football Game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, In Landover, Md. Eagles Won 24-8. Robinson Was Shot Twice During An Attempted Carjacking In Washington On August 28Th And Has To Miss The First 3 Games Of The Season. (Ap Photo/Alex Brandon)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) stops to greet Washington Commanders injured running back Brian Robinson Jr., at the end of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. Eagles won 24-8. Robinson was shot twice during an attempted carjacking in Washington on August 28th and has to miss the first 3 games of the season. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SITTING STARS
Chargers QB Justin Herbert looked decidedly unwell in their blowout loss to Jacksonville, so we’d be hesitant to count on him in Houston. … The Bengals are still not protecting Joe Burrow, so find another QB for the Thursday nighter against unbeaten Miami. … It was tough to watch Sunday night’s slog in Denver, but we saw enough to know the Broncos’ defense will be problematic for Raiders RB Josh Jacobs. … Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire hasn’t faced a run defense like Tampa’s. … Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson and TE Mark Andrews are the only Ravens we’d be comfortable starting against an angry BIlls team … We’ve personally suffered through the inadequacy of Carolina WR D.J. Moore, but we may have no choice but to keep starting him against Arizona.

Los Angeles Chargers Quarterback Justin Herbert (10) Passes Against The Jacksonville Jaguars During The Second Half Of An Nfl Football Game In Inglewood, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (Ap Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football game in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

MATCHUP GAME
Jacksonville’s James Robinson has been a first-round level running back through three weeks, and he’ll still be a must-start against the 3-0 Eagles.… We’ve got a feeling this is the week Jets RB Breece Hall breaks out in PIttsburgh. .. Philadelphia WR Devonta Smith is finally showing his Heisman Trophy form and is a great starting option against the Jaguars. … Green Bay WR Romeo Doubs is fast earning trust from Aaron Rodgers, so start him against New England. … San Francisco needs more from WR Deebo Samuel, and they might just get it against the arch-rival Rams. … Seattle journeyman Geno Smith looked like an all-pro quarterback against Atlanta’s meager defense, and the same might happen this week for Cleveland journeyman Jacoby Brissett.

Cleveland Browns Quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) Reacts After Running For A First Down During An Nfl Football Game Against The Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, In Cleveland. (Ap Photo/Kirk Irwin)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) reacts after running for a first down during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Kirk Irwin)

INJURY WATCH
There are a bunch of top receivers on the medical list. Two Saints (Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry) have injuries that, while not considered major, could sideline or limit them in London. … Tampa Bay will get MIke Evans back from suspension, but Chris Godwin and Julio Jones could miss Sunday’s night’s showdown with Kansas City. … The Chargers hope Keenan Allen’s hamstring allows him to play in Houston. … Giants WR Sterling Shepard is done for the year after blowing out his knee Monday night. … New England quarterback Mac Jones will be out a while with his high-ankle sprain, so grab the best available free agent QB you can find. … Others listed as questionable include two Thursday night notables: Cincinnati RB Joe MIxon and Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa. … And we’d really hate to see Detroit phenom Amon-Ra St Brown miss any time after injuring his ankle against the VIkings.

New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Michael Thomas (13) Makes The Reception Around Carolina Panthers Cornerback Myles Hartsfield (38) During An Nfl Football Game On Sunday, Sep. 25, 2022, In Charlotte, N.c. (Ap Photo/Rusty Jones)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) makes the reception around Carolina Panthers cornerback Myles Hartsfield (38) during an NFL football game on Sunday, Sep. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

THE DEEPEST SLEEPER
Mack Hollins (Raiders WR) – This journeyman from North Carolina is pushing 30, and he had only 54 catches in his first five seasons bouncing between Philadelphia and Miami. But he suddenly became Derek Carr’s favorite last week with Hunter Renfrow sidelined. Eight catches for 158 yards and a touchdown, and his 10 targets tied all-world Davante Adams for the team lead. Even if Renfrow returns from the concussion protocols this week, Hollins could continue to have the hot hand for Las Vegas against the Broncos.

Las Vegas Raiders Wide Receiver Mack Hollins (10) Makes A Catch As He Is Defended By Tennessee Titans Defensive Back Terrance Mitchell (39) In The Second Half Of An Nfl Football Game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, In Nashville, Tenn. (Ap Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Mack Hollins (10) makes a catch as he is defended by Tennessee Titans defensive back Terrance Mitchell (39) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

THE THURSDAY PICK
Dolphins at Bengals (-3½):
Pick: Dolphins by 3

Miami Dolphins Punter Thomas Morstead (4) Punts The Ball Into The Back Of Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Trent Sherfield (14) During An Nfl Football Game Against The Buffalo Bills, Sunday, September 25, 2022 In Miami Gardens, Fl. The Dolphins Defeat The Bills 21-19. (Peter Joneleit Via Ap)
Miami Dolphins punter Thomas Morstead (4) punts the ball into the back of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Trent Sherfield (14) during an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, September 25, 2022 in Miami Gardens, FL. The Dolphins defeat the Bills 21-19. (Peter Joneleit via AP)

BREAKING NEWS
We’ll be updating our column, based on the latest injuries and innuendo, right up until Sunday’s kickoff. Go to TwinCities.com/theloop.

You can hear Kevin Cusick on Wednesdays on Bob Sansevere’s “BS Show” podcast on iTunes. You can follow Kevin on Twitter — @theloopnow. He can be reached at [email protected]

google news
Continue Reading

News

Hurricane Ian nears Florida landfall with 155 mph winds

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Hurricane Ian Nears Florida Landfall With 155 Mph Winds
google news

By CURT ANDERSON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified as it neared landfall along Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state, and the heavily populated Naples to Sarasota region was at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday, stressing that people in Ian’s path along the coast should rush to the safest possible shelter and stay there.

“If you are in any of those counties it is no longer possible to safely evacuate. It’s time to hunker down and prepare for the storm,” DeSantis said. “Do what you need to do to stay safe. If you are where that storm is approaching, you’re already in hazardous conditions. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly. So please hunker down.”

The massive storm appeared on track to slam ashore somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the bay area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The Fort Myers area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn to pristine white sandy beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters said could be completely inundated.

The hurricane center warned of catastrophic storm surges raising the water level as much as 12 feet (3.6 meters) to 16 feet (4.9 meters) above ground level for coastal areas straddling Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, which are between Naples and Sarasota.

More than 2.5 million people were under mandatory evacuation orders, but by law no one could be forced to flee. The governor said the state has 30,000 linemen, urban search and rescue teams and 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida and elsewhere ready to help once the weather clears.

“The assets we have are unprecedented in the state’s history and, unfortunately, they’ll need to be deployed,” DeSantis said.

Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars away from the shore.

“You can’t do anything about natural disasters,” said Vinod Nair, who drove inland from the Tampa area Tuesday with his wife, son, dog and two kittens seeking a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando. “We live in a high risk zone, so we thought it best to evacuate.”

Winds exceeding tropical-storm strength of 39 mph (63 kph) reached Florida by 3 a.m. and the first hurricane-force winds were recorded by 6 a.m., well in advance of the eyewall moving inland, the Miami-based center said. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Overnight, Hurricane Ian went through a natural cycle when it lost its old eye and formed a new eye. The timing of this is bad for the Florida coast because it means the storm got stronger and larger hours before it was set to make landfall, making it even more of a menace. Ian went from 120 mph (193 kph) to 155 mph (250 kph) in just three hours, the second round of rapid intensification in the storm’s life cycle.

“With the higher intensity you’re going to see more extensive wind damage. The larger wind field means that more people will experience those storm-force winds,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said. And “it will really increase the amount of storm surge.”

Ian’s forward movement slowed over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger, and its predicted path shifted slightly southward. That would likely spare Tampa and St. Petersburg their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Instead, the most damaging winds could hit a rapidly developing coastline where the population has jumped sevenfold since 1970, according to the U.S. Census, which shows Lee County has seen the eighth largest population growth among more than 180 Atlantic and Gulf coast counties in the past 50 years.

There were 250,000 people in the Fort Myers/Lee County mandatory evacuation zones, and authorities worried ahead of the storm that only 10% or so would leave.

Gil Gonzalez wasn’t taking any chances. He boarded the windows of his Tampa home with plywood and laid down sandbags to guard against any flooding. He and his wife packed their car with bottled water, flashlights, battery packs for their cellphones and a camp stove before evacuating.

“All the prized possessions, we’ve put them upstairs in a friend’s house,” Gonzalez said.

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed, as did Disney World theme parks and Sea World in Orlando ahead of the storm.

A couple from England on vacation in Tampa found themselves faced with riding out the storm at a shelter. Glyn and Christine Williams of London were told to leave their hotel near the beach when evacuations were ordered. Because the airport shut down, they could get no flight home.

“Unfortunately, all the hotels are full or closed, so it looks as though we’re going to be in one of the shelters,” Christine Williams said.

Her husband insisted all would be fine. “You know, you got to go with the flow,” Glyn Williams said. “So we’re quite happy doing what we’re doing.”

The precise location of landfall was still uncertain, but with Ian’s tropical storm-force winds extending 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center, flash floods were possible across the whole state. Parts of Florida’s east coast faced a storm surge threat as well, and isolated tornadoes were spinning off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without electricity. As a precaution, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals also were moving some patients.

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops onto standby to respond as needed.

Before turning toward Florida, Ian struck Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and causing destruction in the island nation’s world-famous tobacco belt. No deaths were reported.

Local government station TelePinar reported heavy damage at the main hospital in Pinar del Rio city, tweeting photos of collapsed ceilings, widely flung debris and toppled trees. Some people left the stricken area on foot, carrying their children, while buses tried to evacuated others through waterlogged streets. Others opted to stay at their damaged houses.

“It was horrible,” said Yusimi Palacios, a resident of Pinar del Rio inside her damaged house. “But here we are alive, and I only ask the Cuban revolution to help me with the roof and the mattress.”

___

Associated Press contributors include Christina Mesquita in Havana, Cuba; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Man killed in Douglas drive-by shooting – NBC Chicago

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Man Killed In Douglas Drive-By Shooting – Nbc Chicago
google news

A man was fatally shot while driving in Douglas on Tuesday evening, police said.

The 30-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, was driving east around 10:15 p.m. on the 200 block of East 31st Street when someone in a white sedan fired the shots, Chicago police say .

The man was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

There is no one in custody and Area One detectives are investigating.

Police did not give further details.

NBC Chicago

google news
Continue Reading

News

Other voices: Alex Jones again demonstrates the depths of his depravity

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Other Voices: Alex Jones Again Demonstrates The Depths Of His Depravity
google news

Poisonous gasbag Alex Jones has already lost the defamation suit brought by families of children and educators killed at Sandy Hook Elementary; the only purpose of a Connecticut trial is to determine the damages he’ll pay for defaming them by saying the murder of 20 first graders and six educators was staged.

On the stand last Thursday, questioned by an attorney for the families, Jones demonstrated his contempt for the entire exercise: “You’re unbelievable,” he spat: “You switch on emotions on and off when you want. It’s just ambulance-chasing.”

“Why don’t you show them respect?” replied the lawyer. “You have families in this courtroom that lost children, sisters, wives, moms.”

Retorted Jones: “Is this a struggle session? Are we in China? I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry. I didn’t progenerate this. I wasn’t the first person to say it. American gun owners didn’t like being blamed for this as the left did, so we rejected it mentally and said it must not be true, but I legitimately thought it might have been staged. And I stand by that and I don’t apologize for it.”

The reptile whose words smeared murdered kids and their loved ones as crisis actors remains incapable of remorse. Meanwhile, his website Infowars continues mocking the proceedings. Soak the snake.

— The New York Daily News

google news
Continue Reading

News

Ian just shy of a Category 5 hurricane as it nears Florida

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Ian Just Shy Of A Category 5 Hurricane As It Nears Florida
google news

By CURT ANDERSON

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday. “This is going to be a rough stretch.”

The massive storm appeared on track to slam into the Florida’s southwestern Gulf coast somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles (201 kilometers) south of Tampa, sparing the bay area from a rare direct hit from a hurricane. The Fort Myers area is popular with retirees and tourists drawn to pristine white sandy beaches and long barrier islands, which forecasters said could be completely inundated.

The hurricane center warned of catastrophic storm surges raising the water level as much as 12 feet (3.6 meters) to 16 feet (4.9 meters) above ground level for coastal areas straddling Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, which are between Naples and Sarasota.

More than 2.5 million people were under mandatory evacuation orders, but by law no one could be forced to flee. Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars away from the shore.

“You can’t do anything about natural disasters,” said Vinod Nair, who drove inland from the Tampa area Tuesday with his wife, son, dog and two kittens seeking a hotel in the tourist district of Orlando. “We live in a high risk zone, so we thought it best to evacuate.”

Winds exceeding tropical-storm strength of 39 mph (63 kph) reached Florida by 3 a.m. and the first hurricane-force winds were recorded by 6 a.m., well in advance of the eyewall moving inland, the Miami-based center said. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Overnight, Hurricane Ian went through a natural cycle when it lost its old eye and formed a new eye. The timing of this is bad for the Florida coast because it means the storm got stronger and larger hours before it was set to make landfall, making it even more of a menace. Ian went from 120 mph (193 kph) to 155 mph (250 kph) in just three hours, the second round of rapid intensification in the storm’s life cycle.

“With the higher intensity you’re going to see more extensive wind damage. The larger wind field means that more people will experience those storm-force winds,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said. And “it will really increase the amount of storm surge.”

Ian’s forward movement slowed over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger, and its predicted path shifted slightly southward. That would likely spare Tampa and St. Petersburg their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Instead, the most damaging winds could hit a rapidly developing coastline where the population has jumped sevenfold since 1970, according to the U.S. Census, which shows Lee County has seen the eighth largest population growth among more than 180 Atlantic and Gulf coast counties in the past 50 years.

There were 250,000 people in the Fort Myers/Lee County mandatory evacuation zones, and authorities worried ahead of the storm that only 10% or so would leave.

Gil Gonzalez wasn’t taking any chances. He boarded the windows of his Tampa home with plywood and laid down sandbags to guard against any flooding. He and his wife packed their car with bottled water, flashlights, battery packs for their cellphones and a camp stove before evacuating.

“All the prized possessions, we’ve put them upstairs in a friend’s house,” Gonzalez said.

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed, as did Disney World theme parks and Sea World in Orlando ahead of the storm.

A couple from England on vacation in Tampa found themselves faced with riding out the storm at a shelter. Glyn and Christine Williams of London were told to leave their hotel near the beach when evacuations were ordered. Because the airport shut down, they could get no flight home.

“Unfortunately, all the hotels are full or closed, so it looks as though we’re going to be in one of the shelters,” Christine Williams said.

Her husband insisted all would be fine. “You know, you got to go with the flow,” Glyn Williams said. “So we’re quite happy doing what we’re doing.”

The precise location of landfall was still uncertain, but with Ian’s tropical storm-force winds extending 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center, flash floods were possible across the whole state. Parts of Florida’s east coast faced a storm surge threat as well, and isolated tornadoes were spinning off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without electricity. As a precaution, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals also were moving some patients.

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops onto standby to respond as needed.

Before turning toward Florida, Ian struck Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and causing destruction in the island nation’s world-famous tobacco belt. No deaths were reported.

Local government station TelePinar reported heavy damage at the main hospital in Pinar del Rio city, tweeting photos of collapsed ceilings, widely flung debris and toppled trees. Some people left the stricken area on foot, carrying their children, while buses tried to evacuated others through waterlogged streets. Others opted to stay at their damaged houses.

“It was horrible,” said Yusimi Palacios, a resident of Pinar del Rio inside her damaged house. “But here we are alive, and I only ask the Cuban revolution to help me with the roof and the mattress.”

___

Associated Press contributors include Christina Mesquita in Havana, Cuba; Cody Jackson in Tampa, Florida; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein in Washington and Bobby Caina Calvan in New York.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Other voices: Reforming the Electoral Count Act should not be controversial

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Other Voices: Reforming The Electoral Count Act Should Not Be Controversial
google news

The U.S. House of Representatives this month passed a bill to reform how Congress certifies electors after a presidential election. That bill (or a similar but slightly weaker Senate one) needs to pass the Senate now.

After the November general election, Congress’ focus will turn to the 2024 presidential race. Good luck getting any meaningful election reforms passed then.

Ostensibly, the Presidential Election Reform Act is a response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and its aftermath. When Congress reconvened, 147 Republican representatives and senators voted against certifying that President Joe Biden had won. There also were desperate machinations to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to throw out the election result.

Jan. 6 is only the impetus of the hour, though. The need for reform has been clear for decades. It just took a near-complete collapse of the process and democratic-norms to prompt action.

The problem goes back to the 1887 law known as the Electoral Count Act. Historians, lawyers and Constitutional law scholars for decades have argued that it was so poorly written, vague and ambiguous that it was only a matter of time until some lawmakers tried to abuse it.

Indeed, Republicans in 2021 weren’t the first to object to certifying presidential electors, though they took it further than anyone before. Some Democrats objected to certifying electors in 2001, 2005 and 2017 when Republicans won the White House. The difference was that those were just protests after a candidate had already conceded, not an outright attempt to overturn a fair election.

The House bill would clean up the Electoral Count Act. It would raise the bar for members of Congress to object to certification and would make it explicit that the vice president’s role is strictly ceremonial. It also would establish clear rules for who in the states certifies electors.

None of this should be controversial. Establishing well-defined ground rules for elections and the transfer of presidential power benefits everyone. Yet only nine Republicans in the House joined Democrats in passing the bill. Most of the nine also had voted to impeach Trump after Jan. 6 and won’t return to Congress after this year’s election.

The Senate should act without delay, though whether it can overcome a Republican filibuster is uncertain. If it cannot, senators should vote on a similar Senate bill that does have bipartisan support. That one doesn’t go quite as far, but something is better than nothing. The alternative is heading into 2024 with the same broken law that led to a riot and members of Congress trading their honor for fealty to a losing presidential candidate.

— The Seattle Times

google news
Continue Reading

Trending