NEW YORK NEWS
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has once again called for federal assistance in dealing with the influx of tens of thousands of migrants arriving from the southern border, estimating a staggering cost of $12 billion over three years to house and care for them. The city anticipates spending around $5 billion this fiscal year alone on migrants, which equals the combined annual budgets of several major departments. The situation has prompted Mayor Adams to ask for a federal state of emergency declaration and a “decompression” strategy to slow the influx. Governor Kathy Hochul pledged $1 billion in state aid to address the issue, as the city’s shelter system struggles to accommodate the influx of migrants.
Howard Redmond, the former head of security for ex-mayor Bill de Blasio, has pleaded guilty to charges related to tampering with evidence and obstructing an investigation into de Blasio’s misuse of city funds. Redmond, a former inspector who led the NYPD’s Executive Protection Unit, admitted to deleting text messages and refusing to provide his cellphone to investigators during a probe into de Blasio’s actions. He pleaded guilty to felony tampering charges as well as misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and obstructing governmental administration. The charges stem from an investigation into the misuse of mayoral security for political and personal purposes, including during de Blasio’s presidential campaign in 2019.
Police are searching for an unidentified man in his mid-20s who vandalized a display screen outside an Upper East Side synagogue with anti-Semitic graffiti. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue. The suspect, described as having a slim build and short black hair, was wearing a white tank top, camo shorts, and white sneakers. After defacing the screen, he fled the scene on East 85th Street. The graffiti was quickly removed, and the Hate Crimes Task Force of the NYPD is investigating the incident.
Soft Serve On The Go kosher ice cream, a product of the Brooklyn-based Real Kosher Ice cream, has been recalled due to the presence of listeria after state testing. The product is available in 8-ounce plastic cups and distributed across 19 states and the District of Columbia. Two individuals in New York and Pennsylvania were hospitalized as a result. The recall encompasses various flavors, including Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla Caramel, Parve Vanilla Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Razzle, and Sorbet Strawberry Mango. Listeria is a serious concern, causing illness and even fatalities, particularly among vulnerable groups such as senior citizens, pregnant women, and young children. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, fever, headaches, and more.
A potential school bus driver strike in New York City, currently under negotiation with the Amalgamated Transit Union, could impact around 150,000 students as the first day of classes for public schools approaches on September 7, according to schools Chancellor David Banks. The city's contingency plans include providing MetroCards and potential reimbursement for alternative transportation, such as free ride-share services, in case of a strike. The union is advocating for improved conditions and a fair contract for all members. The strike, if it occurs, would be the first since January 2013 and could disrupt thousands of students' transportation to school.
A prisoner receiving medical treatment at a New York City hospital escaped by using tied-together sheets to rappel from a fifth-floor window and then hailed a taxi, according to police. The 44-year-old man, initially arrested for drug possession on July 31 and brought to Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital on August 4, escaped while being taken for a shower. He descended using bedsheets, reaching the street after going through a rooftop, and managed to flee in a taxi.
A devastating wildfire struck Lahaina, a historic Hawaiian town on Maui, causing widespread destruction and leaving scenes reminiscent of a war zone. The fires began on Tuesday, ravaging the western part of the island and spreading to other areas, consuming thousands of acres and resulting in the loss of numerous structures and lives. The U.S. Coast Guard and military deployed resources to rescue stranded individuals and aid in firefighting efforts. The town’s rich historical significance, including a heritage museum, an ancient banyan tree, and other landmarks, now faces irreparable damage. Evacuation of tourists is underway as the community grapples with the aftermath of the disaster.
President Joe Biden has issued a federal disaster declaration in response to devastating wildfires in Hawaii’s Big Island and Maui, resulting in dozens of fatalities and significant damage. Biden pledged swift federal assistance, including grants, low-cost loans, and other aid programs for those affected. He highlighted the coordination of various federal agencies, including FEMA, the US Coast Guard, Navy Third Fleet, and US Army, to aid local emergency response efforts. The president emphasized his commitment to providing immediate help to individuals who have lost loved ones or homes, and he instructed FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to expedite assistance processes. Biden’s declaration was warmly received by Hawaii’s Governor Josh Green, who noted the positive impact it had on the state’s spirit. The White House affirmed its close collaboration with Hawaii, deploying military assets and FEMA personnel to address the crisis and deliver essential supplies. The disaster declaration is set to augment ongoing federal efforts to mitigate the wildfire aftermath.
A Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury has issued a 41-count, 98-page indictment as part of a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. The indictment charges 19 individuals, including Trump and Rudy Giuliani, with Georgia’s RICO Act being applied by prosecutors to link various crimes towards a shared objective, making it challenging for defense attorneys to formulate a coherent trial strategy. This strategy could lead to significant sentences upon conviction, incentivizing co-defendants to seek deals in exchange for new evidence. Notably, Georgia’s governor lacks pardon power, and the trial can be televised for public viewing. The Trump campaign responded by criticizing the indictment as baseless, alleging political motives and characterizing Trump’s actions as exercising his First Amendment rights in challenging the election’s integrity.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has designated Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss as a “special counsel” to investigate President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, in an effort to ensure an independent and thorough examination. Weiss, who requested the special counsel status due to the advanced stage of his investigation, will maintain authority and responsibility for overseeing the inquiry and deciding on charges, free from day-to-day supervision by the Department of Justice. Garland emphasized that the appointment reinforces Weiss’s autonomy to make decisions based solely on facts and the law, facilitating swift and unbiased progress in the investigation. Critics argue that this appointment is Garland’s attempt to hamper the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the president’s son.
Orthodox Jewish mayor of Surfside Shlomo Danzinger and his family are under police protection following a death threat received via email containing a Nazi reference. The threat, sent by an individual affiliated with the Fourth Reich, alluded to potential harm to Danzinger’s family and his house. The email, deemed credible, was reported to law enforcement agencies including the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The mayor and his family spent time secluded in their home, with Danzinger emphasizing the anti-Semitic and anti-official nature of the threat. The incident occurred amid a controversy involving Danzinger at a town commission meeting and ongoing disruptions aimed at discrediting him ahead of the 2024 mayoral election.
Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of Congress at 90 years old, briefly went to the hospital after a minor fall in her home, according to her office. The 90-year-old California Democrat, who has been facing concerns about her health and ability to fulfill her senatorial duties, had clear scans and returned home after the hospital visit. Feinstein has faced health issues in the past, including a hospitalization for the shingles virus and side effects earlier this year. Since her return to work, she has been seen in a wheelchair and appeared disoriented at times. Feinstein announced she will not seek reelection in 2024, sparking a competitive race among Democrats to replace her.
A 75-year-old man named Craig D. Robertson was fatally shot by an FBI agent in Provo, Utah, after being charged with threatening to assassinate President Biden and other elected officials, including Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg. Robertson, armed at the time of the shooting, had a history of making threats on social media and was linked to posts indicating his intent to carry out assassinations. The incident highlights the heightened polarization in American politics and the concerns about threats to law enforcement. The FBI has been increasingly vigilant about such threats, with this incident occurring just hours before President Biden’s scheduled speech in nearby Salt Lake City.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Monique Worrell, the state attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, accusing her of dereliction of duty and incompetence. DeSantis cited instances where Worrell’s policies resulted in reduced sentences for violent offenders, dangerous drug traffickers, and juvenile offenders, leading to public safety concerns. Worrell, who was backed by a group linked to Democrat billionaire George Soros, criticized DeSantis’s actions as dictatorial and accused him of destroying democracy in the state. Worrell’s suspension comes after several controversial cases, including releasing an offender who later shot two police officers and failing to act on charges against individuals who went on to commit serious crimes. DeSantis’s office listed examples of cases that they believe illustrate the negative impact of Worrell’s policies. This is the second time DeSantis has removed a Soros backed prosecutor from office.
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has been sent to jail after a federal judge in New York revoked his bail, accusing him of attempting to influence witnesses in his upcoming trial. Bankman-Fried, who had been under house arrest, was alleged to have interfered with witnesses by providing documents to reporters. The judge’s decision came after prosecutors argued that Bankman-Fried’s actions could negatively impact the trial. His trial, related to fraud charges stemming from FTX’s collapse, is set to begin in less than two months. The move to jail marks a significant downfall for Bankman-Fried, once a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency industry.
An Iranian Jew was arrested by Israel’s Shin Bet on suspicion of spying for Iranian security forces. The individual, who has relatives in Israel, was apprehended upon arrival in Israel and confessed to gathering intelligence and taking photos for Iranian authorities. Before arriving, the suspect received a covert tissue box from Iranian officials for hiding camera equipment, phones, chargers, and money. He was instructed to monitor addresses in Israel on behalf of his Iranian handler. After investigation, the suspect was denied entry to Israel and returned to Iran. This incident is part of Iran’s broader efforts to establish espionage and terror networks in Israel, aiming to widen social divides. The arrest follows the exposure of an Iranian phishing campaign targeting Israeli citizens and officials. This development occurred shortly after the acquittal of Israelis accused of involvement with an alleged Iranian spy who contacted them via social media.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced opposition to a preliminary deal between the US and Iran involving the release of five American detainees in exchange for the release of frozen Iranian assets. Netanyahu’s office stated that such arrangements without dismantling Iran’s nuclear infrastructure could fund terrorist elements supported by Iran. The deal, which has yet to specify money transfer details and timing, aims to convert frozen Iranian assets held in South Korea from won to euros, with the funds held in Qatar for humanitarian use. Some Iranian officials dispute the US claim of restricted use. While the exchange isn’t explicitly tied to Iran’s nuclear program, it occurs amid broader negotiations.
A Jerusalem court has ordered the release of Yehiel Indore, an Israeli suspected of killing a Palestinian during a clash in the Judea and Samaria, to house arrest, rejecting law enforcement's request for custody. Indore, who claims self-defense, had been seriously injured during the incident. Police argued for an extension of his remand, but the court ruled against it. The court's decision has been praised by Indore's lawyers, while police had arrested two Palestinians from Burqa, suspected of assault and stone-throwing during the altercation. The case highlights tensions and settler-perpetrated violence in the Israeli-Palestinian context, drawing international attention.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed most governors in the West Bank, responding to calls for political change amid growing dissatisfaction with the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority. Abbas’s decree removed governors from eight provinces, including restive areas like Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarem, where recent Palestinian militancy has challenged the authority’s leadership. Although this move may not have an immediate impact, it highlights Abbas’s acknowledgment of the authority’s waning popularity and his attempt to address mounting challenges. The decision comes as Fatah, the ruling party, faces internal and external crises, including Israeli sanctions and settler violence. The authority’s security coordination with Israel has led to perceptions of corruption and collaboration, eroding public trust and services. The decree also affected governors in the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas since 2007, though those positions are largely symbolic.
Ecuadorian right-wing presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was assassinated by organized crime, as confirmed by President Guillermo Lasso, who expressed shock and vowed that the perpetrators would face consequences. Villavicencio, a former journalist, had been vocal about exposing links between organized crime and government officials in Ecuador, a nation grappling with a surge in foreign drug trafficking and high homicide rates. The suspected killer died in police custody. Villavicencio, an opponent of former President Rafael Correa, had faced legal troubles before and accused the government of misusing public resources. He campaigned on building safety through various pillars and contributed to uncovering corruption in sectors like oil, mining, and telecommunications.