3.8 magnitude quake startles western New York; region's strongest quake in 40 years

News Network
February 6, 2023

Washington, Feb 6: A small earthquake rumbled through western New York early Monday, alarming people in a region unaccustomed to such shaking but apparently causing no significant damage.

The US Geological Survey preliminarily reported a 3.8 earthquake centered east of Buffalo in the suburb of West Seneca at about 6:15 a.m. Seismologist Yaareb Altaweel said it was the region's strongest quake in at least 40 years.

The shaking lasted a few seconds and sent residents first to their windows and then to social media in search of an explanation.

“It felt like a car hit my house in Buffalo. I jumped out of bed,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted. County emergency services officials confirmed the earthquake was felt in at least a 30-mile radius, including in Niagara Falls, about 20 miles north of Buffalo, he said.

Earthquake Canada, which measured a 4.2 magnitude event, reported it was felt slightly in southern Ontario.

Small earthquakes are not unusual in upstate New York but are rarely felt as strongly. The earthquake comes on the heels of two record-breaking weather events in the region: A snowstorm that dropped as much as 7 feet of snow in November and a blizzard in December that is blamed for 47 deaths.

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News Network
April 12,2024

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Bengaluru, Apr 12: The two men who allegedly plotted and executed the blast that rocked Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru last month have been arrested from Kanthi in Bengal's East Midnapore district, the National Investigation Agency said Friday morning. 

Mussavir Hussain Shazeb and Abdul Matheen Taha were caught after a joint operation by central intelligence agencies and police from Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, and Kerala, and are en route to Kolkata, the anti-terror agency said in a statement.

The available evidence indicates Shazeb planted the explosive device, placed inside a backpack, at the popular eatery. Taha was responsible for planning the attack and for their disappearance.

These are the second and third arrests in this case; last month Muzammil Shareef, who extended logistical support to the Shazeb and Taha, was taken into custody.

Residents of Karnataka's Shivamogga district, Shazeb and Taha were traced to Kanthi after officials conducted searches at 18 locations across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and even Uttar Pradesh.

The blast at Bengaluru's Rameshwaram Cafe on March 1 injured 10 people, customers and staff.

Fortunately there were no deaths; the bag containing the explosives was placed in a relatively less crowded area and against a large pillar that absorbed the brunt of the explosion.

After the blast, the NIA released photos and videos of the accused, as seen on CCTV cameras across Bengaluru. In one such clip, the accused - wearing a face mask - was seen boarding a bus.

The agency had declared a reward of ₹ 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of each accused. The agency had also questioned their acquaintances, including college and school friends.

The Rameshwaram Cafe, which suffered extensive damage after the blast, reopened eight days later, with enhanced security measures including metal detectors.

BJP’s reaction

The Karnataka BJP on Friday attacked the Siddaramaiah government after the arrest of two men by the NIA in the Bengaluru cafe blast case, saying that the terrorists were 'brothers' of the Congress.

Taking to social media, Karnataka BJP stated, “National Investigation Agency (NIA) detains ‘Brothers’ of Congress in Rameshwaram Blast case. Ever since Jihadi Tipu Sultan’s admirers came to power in Karnataka, terrorists have got a free ride.”

“Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s ‘Ease of Doing Terror’ Policies have prompted ISIS to now set up its shop in Karnataka. The only guarantee that CM Siddaramaiah has fulfilled is converting prosperous Karnataka into a terror hub,” the BJP stated.

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News Network
April 17,2024

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Dubai: Dubai was slapped by heavy floods as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was hit by extremely heavy rains on Tuesday. The desert city received over a year and a half's worth of rain in just a day even as heavy thunderstorms lashed other parts of the UAE.

Roads turned into rivers as they were filled up with water. Shopping centres like Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates were also seen flooding.

Schools across the UAE have been shut and are expected to remain closed on today as well.

According to a report by India Today, Dubai airport received about 100 mm of rain in just 12 hours on Tuesday and a total of 160 mm in the last 24 hours.

On average, Dubai receives about 88.9 mm of rain in a year, which concludes that the city received more than a year's rain in a day.

Dubai International Airport said on Wednesday it was experiencing significant disruption due to bad weather and was working to restore normal operations as quickly as possible.

Flights have been delayed or diverted and impacted by displaced crew, the airport said in a statement, adding that recovery would take some time.

Dubai's Emirates airline said that it was suspending check-in for passengers departing the airport from 8 am (0400 GMT) on Wednesday until midnight due to operational challenges caused by the bad weather and road conditions.

Dubai International was temporarily diverting arriving flights on Tuesday evening because of a storm, and operations were suspended for 25 minutes earlier in the day.

According to India Today, the airport stopped flight operations and issued a warning earlier today on X.

The Dubai International Airport requested the passengers to check their flight status.

Employees in Dubai have been told to work from home.

The UAE Government took to X and said, "Based on the directives of the Council of Ministers, it was decided to extend remote work until tomorrow, Wednesday, April 17, for all federal government employees, with the exception of jobs that require presence at the workplace, taking into account the weather condition that the country is going through."

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News Network
April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: A striking feature in the candidates list for the April 26 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is the presence of members of Janata Dal (Secular)'s first family.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy, son-in-law C N Manjunath and grandson Prajwal Revanna are all in the fray.

While state JD(S) chief and former Chief Minister H D Kumararaswamy is contesting from Mandya, Prajwal Revanna is seeking reelection from Hassan.

However, Manjunath, an eminent cardiologist, is contesting from Bangalore Rural on a BJP ticket, as per the arrangement between the alliance partners.

With the entry of cardiologist Manjunath into the poll arena, at least nine members of Gowda's immediate family are or have been in electoral politics.

Gowda is a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, while Kumaraswamy is an MLA from Channapatna, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency.

Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha had represented Ramanagara as MLA in the previous assembly, and Nikhil, who is the JD(S) youth wing leader, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandya and 2023 assembly polls from Ramanagara.

Gowda's elder son and former Minister H D Revanna -- father of Prajwal -- is MLA from Holenarsipura, his wife Bhavani Revanna was a member of the Hassan Zilla Panchayat. Their other son, Suraj, is an MLC.

The Gowda family currently has its representation in all the four major houses of public representatives- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

This will be for the second consecutive time in the Lok Sabha elections, when three members from Gowda's family are in the fray from constituencies of the old-Mysore region (south Karnataka), which is considered to be the party's stronghold, because of the dominance of the Vokkaliga community here, to which they belong to.

Gowda (Tumkur), Prajwal Revanna (Hassan), and Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil (Mandya) had contested the Lok Sabha poll in 2019, but only Revanna emerged victorious. In fact, he was among the only two candidates from the then ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, who won; the other being D K Suresh of Congress from Bangalore Rural.

As part of the seat-sharing deal in this Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the BJP would contest in 25 constituencies and the JD(S) in the remaining three -- Mandya, Hassan and Kolar. JD(S) has fielded M Mallesh Babu from Kolar.

In the 2023 assembly polls, three members of the Gowda family had contested - Kumaraswamy (Channapatna), H D Revanna (Holenarasipur), and Nikhil Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). In the 2018 assembly polls, both Kumaraswamy and Revanna had won.

Kumaraswamy, who had then won from two seats - Ramanagara and Channapatna - vacated Ramanagara, which his wife Anita Kumaraswamy subsequently won in the bypolls.

According to some political observers, the perception in some quarters about JD(S) being too family-centric is one of its major drawbacks.

James Manor, University of London professor, who has been a keen observer of Karnataka's politics, during a webinar ahead of assembly polls last year had said, family-centred politics is causing discontent and leading to desertion. 'JD(S) suffers from over-centralisation and dictatorial leadership.'

However, Kumaraswamy has time and again defended family members contesting polls stating that , '....our family members will contest where we don't have a capable candidate, to protect the interest of our party and its workers.'

However, the JD(S)'s dynastic party image has always been used by its political opponents to target it.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president D K Shivakumar, had a dig at Gowda for fielding his son, grandson, and son-in-law, and asked 'Were there no other candidates (in JD(S))?'

'None of them is going to win...JD(S) is a party that has lost strength. If it is really strong, why did they make their son-in-law contest on a BJP ticket?' he said.

Some political analysts held the view that JD(S)' inability to grow beyond the Vokkaliga dominated old-Mysore region -- other than certain select pockets of north Karnataka -- is seen as among its other key drawbacks.

Speculations are already rife in JD(S) circles that Nikhil is most likely to be the party candidate from Channaptna assembly segment, in case Kumaraswamy wins in Mandya.

Ahead of assembly polls last year, differences in the Gowda family had come out in the open with H D Revanna's wife Bhavani wanting to contest from Hassan, but Kumaraswamy had opposed it and finally gave the ticket. 

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