The FDNY for the first time in its history will allow someone who failed its crucial physical-fitness test to join the Bravest. Rebecca Wax, 33, is set to graduate Tuesday from the Fire Academy without passing the Functional Skills Training test, a grueling obstacle course of job-related tasks performed in full gear with a limited air supply, an insider has revealed. "They're going to allow the first person to graduate without passing because this administration has lowered the standard," said the insider, who is familiar with the training. read more
The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted Friday that "Black Spring has begun" and called on the protesters to know their rights.
The Gray case is the latest in a string of high-profile killings of black men by police that include Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, neither of which resulted in charges against the lawmen.
Unlike Brown and Garner, Gray's death happened in a majority black city where black elected officials hold the reins of political power and oversee the justice system. The police department is 48 percent black. Even the officers charged are racially split -- three white, three black.
communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.
During the century measured, more people died as a result of communism than from homicide (58 million) and genocide (30 million) put together. The combined death tolls of WWI (37 million) and WWII (66 million) exceed communism's total by only 9 million.
It gets worse when you look at the lower right of the chart -- The Natural World -- which includes animals (7 million), natural disasters (24 million), and famine (101 million). Curiously, all of the world's worst famines during the 20th century were in communist countries: China (twice!), the Soviet Union, and North Korea.
Iran has fired at a U.S. cargo ship and has directed it to Bandar Abbas port on the southern coast of Iran, Al Arabiya News Channel reported Tuesday. Up to 34 American sailors are believed to be onboard the ship. A Pentagon spokesman told Reuters Iranian forces boarded a Marshall Island-flagged vessel, the MV Maersk Tigris, in the Gulf. He said the boarding occurred after Iranian patrol boats fired shots across the vessel's bow and ordered it deeper into Iranian waters.
The United States is poised to flood world markets with once-unthinkable quantities of liquefied natural gas as soon as this year, profoundly changing the geo-politics of global energy and posing a major threat to Russian gas dominance in Europe. "We anticipate becoming big players, and I think we'll have a big impact," said the Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Energy Secretary. "We're going to influence the whole global LNG market." Moniz said four LNG export terminals are under construction and the first wave of shipments may begin before the end of this year or in early 2016 at the latest. "Certainly in this decade, there's a good chance that we will be LNG exporters on the scale of Qatar, which is today's largest LNG exporter," he said, speaking on the margins of the IHS CERAWeek energy summit in Texas. read more