Oct 24, 2017

Cities aren't prepared for disasters 5 years after Sandy

A proposed flood-mitigation design for Manhattan, part of the Rebuild by Design competition. Illustration: The BIG Team / Rebuild by Design via AP

Sunday is the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy landfall. "[D]isaster planning experts say there is no place in America truly prepared for climate change and the tempests it could bring," AP's Frank Eltman and Wayne Parry write: "That is true even in New York and New Jersey, where cities and towns got slammed by deadly floodwaters that rose out of the Atlantic on the evening of Oct. 29, 2012."

Why it matters: "While billions have been spent to repair the damage, protecting vulnerable infrastructure, people and property across the nation from the more extreme weather that climate change could bring is going to require investment on a staggering scale, easily costing hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions." And some "experts worry also that the ascendance of a climate-change skeptic to the White House may put the brakes on coastal protection efforts."

New warning for NYC: "Within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the New York City area only once every 500 years could occur every five years, according to a new scientific study," AP's Frank Eltman writes:

  • "The study, performed by researchers at several universities and published [yesterday] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, primarily blames the predicted change on sea-level rise caused by global warming."
  • "Many of the models had a dose of good news for the nation's largest city: Climate changes may mean that storms are more violent, but are also likely to swing further off-shore, meaning storm surge heights aren't likely to increase substantially through 2300."
  • Why it matters: "[R]ising sea levels could mean that floods of 7.4 feet ... or more that struck the New York city area roughly once every 500 years before 1800, and which occur roughly every 25 years now, could happen once every five years between 2030 and 2045."

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CDC issues travel warning as South Korea coronavirus cases near 1,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The CDC warned travelers in an alert to avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea, as the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country rose to 977 on Tuesday morning.

The big picture: WHO has expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,703 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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Trump says RBG and Sotomayor should recuse themselves from his cases

President Trump at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted during his India visit late Monday that Supreme Court justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should "recuse themselves" from cases involving him or his administration.

Why it matters: The president's criticism of the liberal justices comes after he attacked the judge overseeing the case of his longtime advisor Roger Stone, who was sentenced last Thursday to 4o months in prison for crimes including lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi as Trump visits India

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — as President Trump and members of the U.S. first family are in Delhi as part of a two-day visit to India, though it's away from the violence.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive