The last day of June is here, and as we usually do, my family is getting ready to head to Wells Beach, Maine, for the Fourth. Therefore, I am jumping right into the headlines for the day, and then finishing packing up the car.
Let’s do this.
1) As the continent of Europe reopens to international visitors today, the United States is not one of the allowed 14 countries to enter. The European Union made the final decision as the morning dawned on the day following another bump in Arizona cases that forced more shutdowns and as officials mandate face coverings in public across the political divide.
Many of the new outbreaks are occurring in the locations that pushed the issues to re-open for the good of their economic health – and now face surges of COVID-19 attacking their resident’s actual health.
Also banned from entering Europe by the EU is anyone from countries where there is a high rate of infection – including Brazil, China, India, and Russia. No longer in the EU, Britain is enforcing a 14-day voluntary quarantine for visitors. There is not much many politicians can say about the move, as President Donald Trump restricted or suspending in entirety the entry of the majority of Europeans back in March.
Many shopkeepers in Europe are not happy about this ban, as Americans are a considerable percentage of the tourism industry that helps their economy boom – over 15 million Americans make the trek across the Atlantic every year. According to Parisian shop owner Paola Pellizzari, 50 percent of the Saint-Louis Island shop’s summer-time clientele is American, and that is a number that simply can’t be substituted with other nationalities.
On July 6, The Louvre is re-opening – and the largest group of foreign visitors is usually made up of Americans.
Britain is also seeing a resurgence of COVID infections. It is headed back into shutting down businesses because of it, causing concern, especially in Leicester, a city with a population of approximately 330,000 people. According to tope British health experts, Leicester was responsible for 10 percent of the new cases last week.
Worldwide, over 500,000 deaths are attributed to the novel coronavirus. Approximately 130,000 of those have been in the US. Over the past month, the confirmed cases per day have steadily risen to be about 40,000 a day. The majority of the cases lately have come from the South and West and appear to be among younger people who are frequenting bars and eating establishments.
California, Florida, and Texas are among the states walking back their openings, shutting down public gathering places, or reimposing stricter restrictions.
2) The states among the Gulf of Mexico can expect more Shara dust to hit later on this week. With the dust comes hazy conditions and poor air quality – but on the upside, you may just see a gorgeous sunrise/set. The Caribbean and Mexico should expect the dust to remain.
According to Judson Jones, a meteorologist for CNN said that the amount of dust last week was historic. Though there is some Sahara dust that comes to the States each year, this year’s was by far the worst in many decades. The dust gets lifted into the atmosphere in Africa by storms and then travels to the Caribbean and US – a trip of over 5,000 miles.
Once here, the dust can cause a lot of issues, include limited vision due to white-outs and an increase in poor quality in the air. Experts do not expect the round of dust this week to be as bad as last week, but it can still cause issues for anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma and can affect people without those issues as well. The dust is an irritant that can cause problems with eyes, noses, and throats.
With both benefits and liabilities, the dust is on its way again but should clear by the end of the week.
3) Another officer from the Buffalo Police made headlines today after a post went viral, where he called a woman identified as Ruweyda Ahmed Salim, a vulgar word and attempts to intimidate her.
Lieutenant Mike DeLong of the BPD is currently suspended without pay as there is an internal affairs investigation into the events leading up to and depicted in the video. The video showed DeLong and nine other officers arresting a man in front of a 7-Eleven on Sunday. A bystander filmed the arrest, wondering why such a force was needed to arrest the suspect who appeared to be affected by drugs and “not in his right mind.”
According to DeLong, the suspect had been violent before they got on scene, and had allegedly attacked his mother. HE also said that they had found two crack pipes. During the exchange, the woman asked DeLong to back off from her and give her space, and he refused.
“Move me,” DeLong said. “You’re a disrespectful little f—ing c—, that’s what you are.”
“You’re going to be viral,” she said.
“I don’t care if I go viral,” he responded.
During the approximately five minute video, DeLong also asks which one is her car, tells her to not stand on a public sidewalk, asks where she works, threatens to come to her work to film her, and repeatedly puts her down. Nine other cops were there and did nothing to stop him.
DeLong later followed Salim and her friends and pulled them over. Though she stated they were pulled over for valid reasons, she is alarmed that he followed them just to continue his intimidation and dominance of them.
Bryon Lockwood is the BPD Commissioner and said that DeLong is the third BPD officer to be suspended in June. The first two were the ones involved in the incident involving pushing a 77-year-old protester to the ground.
According to local news stations, DeLong was suspended last in 2014, without pay, for a domestic incident.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also spoke about the incident, supporting the quick reaction from the BPD commissioner.
”As soon as Commissioner Lockwood became aware of the incident, he immediately opened an investigation and suspended the officer involved. I fully support the commissioner’s swift actions. There is no place for that type of reprehensible conduct in the Buffalo Police Department and it will not be tolerated.”
-Byron Brown, Mayor of Buffalo, NY
4) Yesterday at around 12:30 a.m., a male, 16, approached a woman driving in Troy and asked for a ride, claiming he couldn’t walk. The driver was left with severe injuries and no car. Now the Troy Police Department has arrested and charged a teen suspect.
While in the car, the woman drove him to the area where he said he lived around Massachusetts Avenue. There, according to TPD, the woman exited the car as the teen said he was getting her payment. That is when he turned on her and hit her with a blunt object around the face and hands.
According to the TPD, she tried to get back into the car, but he pulled her out and drove off with her can and cell phone. A bystander called 911, and the victim was transported to the hospital. She was treated for severe lacerations and broken bones.
The carjacker was caught in the Catskill area with an assist from the State Police. He is charged as a juvenile with assault, grand larceny, and robbery. As he is a minor, the name is being withheld.
5) Tomorrow, we are all set to enter into Phase Four of re-opening. However, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, there will be no malls or gyms re-opening yet, as more work needs to be done to get them to the right place to re-open.
A requirement that the NYS government intends to impose on malls is that to re-open in NYS, they must have a filtrations system that can handle filtering COVID out of the air. For a list of what is included in Phase Four and requirements, please go here.
NYC is supposed to enter Phase Three next Monday, but Gov. Cuomo says there may be altered allowances due to the issues in other states with eat-in dining and spikes in infections.
That is all for today. Stay steady, stay strong, stay safe. Stay woke.
Photo credit: George Fazio.