Hurricane Sandy devastated the Atlantic coast last week, wreaking havoc across much of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland, and northern Virginia. In Manhattan, the maximum storm surge was reported to have hit a record of 13.88 feet, besting the previous record of 10 feet. The total losses caused by the storm are estimated at roughly $50 billion and economists are cautioning that this could result in a one-half percent drop in the nation’s growth this quarter.
As of last Friday, FEMA has distributed nearly $20 million in aid to over 85,000 victims of Hurricane Sandy. Initial expenditures also include $29 million to fund highway reconstruction, and $16 million to pay for temporary workers to clean up the mess. After last year, the Federal Government set aside roughly $12 billion for disaster relief.
Last week saw the arrest and incarceration of a Chinese national who spoke out against the ruling Chinese Communist Party. The man spoke of establishing an opposition party, to be called the Chinese Republican Party. He was convicted of “subversion of state power” for trying to oppose the ruling party. He will serve an eight-year sentence.
Both the republican and democratic parties will be mustering thousands of lawyers to enter polling places next week to carefully observe how the polling is going. Based on what these scouts see, they will inform their superiors of any suspicious behavior. If the higher-ups in Chicago or Boston think that there is any voter fraud taking place at any of the nationwide voting locations, then they will pursue legal action to counteract any illegal behavior.
One man accused of planning to blow up the pentagon and the U.S. capitol was arrested and sentenced to 17 years in prison last week. Rezwan Ferdaus admitted to making plans to load F-86 Sabre drones with C-4 high explosive, and send them into the capitol building and the pentagon. Ferdaus worked with undercover FBI agents whom he believed were Al Qaeda operatives.
The death toll for Hurricane Sandy is pushing nearly 100, according to recent reports. The storm left many low-lying areas in Staten Island, the area probably hit the hardest by the storm and its 14-foot surge, totally destroyed. Even days after the storm moved out of the area, there are still many neighborhoods without power and running water. Gasoline shortages in the area have complicated things further, as even those with generators cannot use them. People throughout the country are hoping for a quick recovery.