Tag: Coast to Coast

‘Human error’ result in false missile emergency alert in Hawaii

Chris Allen BrownAssociate Editor

Ever wondered what would happen if an emergency official pressed the wrong button?

Look no further than Hawaii’s direction.

Last weekend, a civil defense employee in the United States’ 50th state pushed the wrong button and sent out an emergency alert to residents’ cellphones about an incoming missile threat. The alert read “BALLISITC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” This threat, however, was later deemed false.

“Even after learning it was a mistake I felt maybe they were just saying that so we all wouldn’t

panic,” Lori Citro of Newark, Delaware told CNN. Citro’s daughter, Kelsey, lives in Hawaii. “I feel like if they are practicing this drill it’s because it’s a possibility. Maybe they were really expecting an attack and it was thwarted at the last minute … I am still afraid.”

With threats from North Korea, Hawaii, according to CNN, started a monthly testing of a nuclear warning siren system in December to alert residents of possible nuclear missile strikes. The state is 4,661 miles from North Korea and would only have roughly a 20-minute warning before a strike would hit the islands. The tests are the first of their kind for Hawaii, which are home to 1.4 million people, since the Cold War concluded.

It took Hawaii emergency officials 38 minutes to notify the state’s residents that the alert was

a false alarm.

“It’s a human error we are going to fix,” said Vern Miyagi, the administrator for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, in a press conference. “The threat is there. If this goes out, there will be a 12-14-minute warning for an actual event.”

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, told CBSN last Saturday, “We’re taking a deep breath knowing that it was a false alarm. What I am hearing, and I don’t know for sure, is that it was a human error. Regardless of whether it was human error, a glitch or a hack, whatever it was, it is totally unacceptable.”

The alert was particularly poignant in Hawaii because of Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, was the destination of a surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7,

  1. The attack resulted in more than 2,400 American deaths and 1,000 more people were wounded. The action resulted in President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking Congress to declare war on Japan. Thus, entering the U.S. into World War II.

Paradise Lost: the House tax plan in the shadow of the Paradise Papers

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The International Consortium for Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released information that accused several high-profile politicians and celebrities of  avoiding taxes (photo by Rocco Fazzari/ICIJ)

JoAnna Mitchell, Staff Writer

Recently, a cooperative effort involving over 380 investigative journalists worldwide uncovered an expansive trove of documents exposing how the wealthiest people in the world, alongside large multi-national corporations, manage to avoid paying taxes on their vast collections of wealth. The papers, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how the elite maneuver their finances and store obscene amounts of money in offshore accounts in order to dance around paying taxes that should be going back to benefit the communities they profit from.

Many large international companies such as Nike and Apple, have been exposed as tax dodgers, as well as members of President Donald J. Trump’s administration. The administration has been pushing Trump’s new tax plan, claiming that it will help working class citizens and “make America great again.” This new tax plan will, in fact, cut taxes to the wealthiest, including many members of the Trump administration, and potentially Trump himself.

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Over a dozen of President Trump’s advisers, Cabinet members and major donors were, like Secretary of Commerce Wibur Ross, were accused in the Paradise Papers (photo via Fox News).

According to the New York Times, the plan “will deliver a significant tax cut for corporations.” The bill favors businesses over the citizens of the United States, with $1 trillion in cuts going to corporations, over two-thirds of the total. The plan also proposes a permanent 15% tax cut for businesses, bringing them from 35% to 20%. This change is estimated to reduce federal revenue by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

To make up for the loss of revenue from the business cuts and those to the wealthier citizens, lawmakers want to repeal tax breaks for things like medical expenses, moving expenses, student loan interest and adoption. The bill also proposes to cut Medicaid and Social Security to help recover lost revenue from corporate tax cuts.

According to the Washington Post, “Mr. Trump, in particular, might benefit from the elimination of the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which prevents taxpayers from using deductions and loopholes to avoid paying at least a minimum amount to the federal government.”

According to CNBC, a recently amended version of the plan would “effectively repeal the Obamacare individual mandate, which requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Senators say doing so will save more than $300 billion to give Republicans more budget flexibility. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it will lead to 13 million more people uninsured by 2027 and increase average Obamacare premiums.”

The New York Times states that the bill “repeals certain tax credits, including a 15 percent credit for individuals aged 65 or over or who are retired on disability. Right now, those individuals can claim up to $7,500 for a joint return, $5,000 for a single individual, or $3,750 for a married individual filing a joint return.”

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Among the high-profile people mentioned in the Paradise papers were Queen Elizabeth II (above) and pop stars Madonna and Bono (Alastair /AP)

This would see a tax decrease for 76% of American families, but it would increase taxes on a large portion of middle class Americans. While some within the socio-economic class will see some modest cuts, many will see an increase, while they lose tax breaks that cushion some larger expenditures.

In a nation with a shrinking middle-class and growing income inequality, ultra-rich individuals and corporations are receiving cuts that will allow them to gain more wealth while the meat of the American populace will shoulder the burden.

 

Las Vegas shooting now deadliest in modern U.S. history

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Survivors of the Las Vegas shooting gather amidst the chaos in search of loved ones and medical attention (photo via ABC News)

JoAnna Mitchell, Staff Reporter

Late on the night of Sunday, October 1, on the last day of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on throngs of unsuspecting concertgoers from his 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, 500 yards away from the concert venue.

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Stephen Paddock, 64, shot and killed 59 people and injured over 500 others in Las Vegas before taking his own life (photo via Fox News)

The three-day country music festival came to a screeching halt as bullets from what appeared to be an automatic rifle rained down and sent those in attendance scrambling for safety. According to NPR,  the death toll has reached 59 as of Tuesday with the number of those injured at a staggering 527, making this the deadliest mass-shooting in modern U.S. history.

Las Vegas police quickly made contact with Paddock but came under fire, backed off and called for SWAT. The hotel room was breached using explosives, and police entered to find Paddock dead from an apparent suicide along with “more than 10” weapons and “hundreds” of rounds of ammunition.

Although the international terrorist organization known as ISIS, or Da’esh, claimed to have inspired the attack, there is no evidence that the gunman was influenced by any group, and it is believed that Paddock acted alone. Police are searching a residence belonging to Paddock in Reno, Nev., but his motives are still unknown at this time.

“We are completely dumbfounded,” aid Erick Paddock, Stephen’s younger brother. “We can’t understand what happened.” According to the LA Times, neighbors and other people familiar with Paddock viewed him as “completely normal”.

The victims identified so far include Sonny Melton, a 29-year-old nurse from Nashville, TN who died while shielding his wife, Heather, from the barrage; 33-year-old Rachael Parker, a records technician for the Manhattan Beach police department; Sandra Casey, a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, Cal.; a California kindergarten teacher, Jenny Parks; mother of three, Neysa Tonks; a 53-year-old elementary school employee, Susan Smith and many more whose identities have yet to be announced. You can see the victims’ profiles on CNN, here.

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Sandra Casey, another victim, was a special education teacher in Manhattan Beach, Cal. (photo via the LA Times)
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Sonny Melton (right) was on of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. He died shielding his wife, Heather (left) (photo via CBS News)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Donald Trump issued a statement following the shooting.

“Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada,” Trump said. “He brutally murdered more than 50 people and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil. I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous and prevented further loss of life.”

The Chanticleer will follow the case and provide updates as they are available.