Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

“Hurricane” Irene or just a severe tropical storm in New York: What was the fuss about?

August 28, 2011

That it was a storm and caused some damage – as storms are wont to do – seems clear.

But was all the fuss really justified? Emergencies declared, mass evacuations, whole cities shut down!!

Perhaps I am missing something but the reports of wind speeds for New York city that are forecast here are stormy but they do not seem all that remarkable (perhaps upto about 80km/h (50 mph) for an hour or two.

New York City forecast Sunday

Hourly Forecast 6AM 12 Noon 6PM 12 Midnight
Temp. | Dew Point 22 | 21 22 | 20 22 | 15 18 | 12
Wind 73 km/h East 78 km/h North 44 km/h WNW 27 km/h West
Humidity 94% 88% 65% 70%
Chance of Precip. 100% 100% 100% 10%
Cloud Cover 100% 100% 85% 35%
Conditions Thunderstorm Thunderstorm Chance of Rain Partly Cloudy
Sunrise & Sunset
6:18 AM
7:35 PM
New York seems to have faced (or is facing) a severe tropical storm — but this is no hurricane.
The New York Times story goes over the top. Maybe this is the precautionary principle at work but it seems like alarmism to me and the so-called “fury” seems to have been somewhat muted!!

New York Wakes to Hurricane’s Fury

DSK case collapsing: Was this just French politics to kill his Presidential aspirations?

July 1, 2011
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (L) ...

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde (L) talks with International Monetary Fund's Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (R):Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times broke this story and it makes me wonder if the anti- DSK faction in France were behind all of this just to get him out of the running for French President and – incidentally – to replace him with a Sarkozy-friendly Christine Lagarde at the IMF. With the internecine nature of French politics  reality is often much more convoluted than the most fanciful conspiracy theories. Perhaps Sarkozy  – who loves devious political machinations – was behind all of this?

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials. …. 

Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said. Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and provided details about their findings, and the parties are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges. Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering. …. 

The revelations are a stunning change of fortune for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was considered a strong contender for the French presidency before being accused of sexually assaulting the woman who went to clean his luxury suite at the Sofitel New York.

Prosecutors from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who initially were emphatic about the strength of the case and the account of the victim, plan to tell the judge on Friday that they “have problems with the case” based on what their investigators have discovered, and will disclose more of their findings to the defense. The woman still maintains that she was attacked, the officials said.

“It is a mess, a mess on both sides,” one official said.

According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.

That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.

The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.

In addition, one of the officials said, she told investigators that her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application. She also told them that she had been subjected to genital mutilation, but her account to the investigators differed from what was contained in the asylum application.

New York is easy to love — and hate

May 20, 2011

After a rainy week in New York I am moving on to Boston today. Apart from the obvious about the vibrancy of the city, the variety of its residents, the convenience of the delis, diners and restaurants of every shape colour and cuisine, the steepness of the subway steps, the juxtaposition of luxury and dirt, the ridiculous stretch limousines, the fatigue of the subway travellers, a few other reflections crossed my mind:

  • Time itself seems to move to a faster beat,
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art is fantastic and enormous and why can’t the ticket be valid for at least 2 or 3 days to give the visitor a chance,
  • Most people are friendly but don’t have time to show it,
  • The ethnic origin of taxi drivers is changing and could be quite revealing about the development of the City. Russians, Serbs and Bosnians have joined the ranks. (This is a subject that is probably being studied in depth already)
  • The pavements (sidewalks) are uneven and play havoc with my ankles
  • Rubbish piled on the streets waiting for collection is no doubt a sign of a functioning infrastructure, but it does not enhance walking.
  • Image always wins at the expense of substance
  • Size is everything and quality is of dubious value
  • If it looks good it must be good
  • The bucks stop here

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