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Devin Nunes, Flu Season, Groundhog Day: Your Friday Evening Briefing

The area is a magnet for migrants from many countries because it serves as a gateway to England, and local officials are worried that tensions could spin further out of control.Separately, 90 people were feared drowned after a migrant smuggler’s boat capsized off the coast of Libya. Most of the victims appear to have been from Pakistan.____PhotoCredit European Pressphoto Agency4. […]

After Saving Many From Fire, Soldier Died Trying to Rescue One More

Private Mensah, a decorated soldier who had been awarded a medal for marksmanship and was planning to join the military police, got that family to safety, then pulled out four more people, his uncle said, before returning to the building.He never emerged; the authorities said he died of smoke inhalation.The fire cut a deadly path through the building, with four children among the victims.Maria Batiz was at home with her 8-month-old granddaughter when the fire swept up the stairs. Maris Orellana, who works at the Bronx Zoo Deli down the street, said Ms. Batiz was a regular customer and that this was her first grandchild.PhotoPrivate Emmanuel Mensah, was killed trying help people escape the furiously burning fire.On a GoFundMe page asking for support, Ms. Batiz’s daughter, Christine Batiz, said that while she was at work her mother watched the girl, a tiny child with big brown eyes. On Thursday night, she frantically called her daughter.“She told me there was a fire in the building and she was trapped,” Christine Batiz wrote. “I never heard from her again. Later on, at around 1 a.m., I heard the news I never thought I would hear. I lost my angel baby and my best friend, my mother. The lady who birthed and would do anything for me is gone […]

After a Dozen Hurricanes and 40 Years, Familiar Dangers With Higher Stakes

Years ago, banks and other businesses gave customers paper hurricane maps so that they could plot the latitude and longitude of developing storms. Now nearly everyone is glued to their phones and computers, watching projected storm tracks play out in real time.Still, many things have remained the same: Hurricanes often confound the forecasters. They don’t totally surprise anymore, but they drift past expected targets and, worst of all, they sometimes quickly become much stronger than expected. […]

9 fruits and vegetables with a poisonous side

We know to avoid mysterious mushrooms, but some unassuming crops also pack a wallop of harmful toxins when eaten under certain conditions. […]

Blue Mountains National Park and My Alma Mater Offer Respite from ‘Kakistocracy’

When was the last time you were in a place so quiet that you could hear a hummingbird’s wings as it buzzed past you? Have you ever had a living jewel in the form of a Doctor Bird come close and inspect you? By extreme good fortune, I had the privilege of returning to my native land Jamaica, to keynote the 75th anniversary service of my high school February 2. I met the hummingbirds in our friend’s lavish gardens that make up the bulk of her estate where we stayed. I relished the opportunity to remove myself from the kakistocracy (government in which the worst persons are in power) that my adopted country unfortunately resembles at this point. I took refuge in the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and sojourned among the orioles and tanagers zooming down from the treetops in the dense forest. I communed in feelings of timelessness, evolution and the natural order of things.Capturing a moment with Ranger Ryan Love at the Holywell entrance to the Blue Mountains National Park on our birding tour last Saturday […]

National Parks in the Battle for Soul of America

Whoever said you can’t go back home again was wrong. On a 10-day retreat to my Jamaican homeland in celebration of my 65th birthday I rediscovered the places and the ethos of the people that made me a fierce defender of Nature, our National Parks and public lands system, and a believer in Rep. John Lewis’ “Beloved Community” where all are as one. Our friend Sheena invests her days maintaining her lavish estate and gardens so luminous that they attract visitors from across the country and was featured in Health Home & Garden Jamaican Magazine, Fall/Winter 2015. In a deliberate digital detox, I put my phone on airplane mode, did not get on my computer and watched no TV. Frank and I, our daughter Lisa from Atlanta, friends including Carolyn Hartfield of Hartsfield Hikers entered the mystical garden retreat nurtured by my high school friend Sheena, and surrendered to beauty and harmony. Other friends privileged to still live in Jamaica came to our party and we ate by candlelight on the lawn. A nationwide power blackout was broken just in time for the dancing to start, and I danced to the carefree song I loved most as a teenager, “Wash all my troubles away,” by Prince Busta. […]

Applying for Housing at a Trump Property in the ’60s

By NATALIA V. OSIPOVA | Aug. 27, 2016 | 1:22In the 1960s, Mae Wiggins and her friend Maxine Brown applied for housing at the Wilshire Apartments in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Ms. Wiggins recalled her experience.Related: article: ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias […]