TORONTO — Ontario residents still in the dark due to superstorm Sandy will likely see power restored by the end of the day, though authorities warn continuing rain and wind could cause delays in some areas.
Energy Minister Chris Bentley says hydro crews have restored power to the vast majority of homes affected by outages as the massive weather system whipped through the province.
By Agence France-Presse – The company behind “Angry Birds” said Wednesday it would open its first theme park in Asia next year at a site near Shanghai as it builds on the brand of the hugely popular game.
“Angry Birds Land” will be located in Haining city in China’s Zhejiang province, next to the commercial hub of Shanghai, and will be the firm’s third theme park after one in Finland and another in Britain.
“People in China want to get out and spend their free time at a leisure destination,” Rovio Entertainment’s general manager for China, Paul Chen, told AFP.
“We’re hoping to open (the theme park) by Chinese New Year next year, February,” he added as the Finnish company launched a playground on the campus of Shanghai’s Tongji University.
The first China theme park, featuring an interactive playground and rides, would welcome up to 400 visitors a day paying admission of 60 yuan ($9.50).
China has the world’s second-highest number of downloads for Angry Birds at 190 million, trailing only the United States.
The mobile game involves using slingshots to launch birds at fortresses built by green pigs — an addictive challenge that became the world’s most-downloaded app and spawned a franchise of merchandise and media tie-ins. Raw Story
Six days until Americans hit the polls, much of the Northeast is still under water and tens of millions of Americans are left to suffer in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Does that mean next week’s presidential election could be postponed?
In short, yes. While there are legal routes to reschedule Election Day — albeit complicated, convoluted and practically impossible ones — Americans will still likely have only until November 6 to cast a ballot for the next president of the United States. As millions are still assessing the damage caused by Sandy, though, this week’s storm could greatly impact who can make it to the voting booths and how likely they’ll be able to cast a ballot without complications.
By Tuesday, the New York Times reported that 8.2 million households were left without electricity, with more than a fifth of those powerless residing in the crucial swing states that can make or break the election. But while Congress can, in theory, order the presidential election to occur on a day that isn’t “the Tuesday after the first Monday in November” as declared by federal law, most experts agree things are likely to continue as planned.
For starters, lawmakers in Washington are currently on recess, likely either campaigning for their own re-election bids or buying support from voters by aiding in the aftermath of Sandy. Even if they were to reconvene on Capitol Hill in the coming days and introduce a change, however, it could very likely only cause further complications: Congress can only make adjustments to the presidential election schedule, leaving state and local offices to either independently make new dates for smaller-scale contests or else require voters to make two separate trips to the polls.
Not only would postponing votes in some states mean more than just scrambling to find a second, fair and agreeable Election Day, though. Locales across America would also be left to find ways to fund another full day of operating polling places, and employers in those districts would likely have to let workers stay home so they could get to the polls, potentially devastating an economy already suffering from damage brought by the storm.
Even if one state flooded out by Hurricane Sandy wanted to make changes, the result could alter the election for the rest of the country, too.
“If voting were disrupted and postponed in one state, then we will likely know the results in all the other states before voting can resume in the affected state,” election expert John Fortier tells NBC News. “If the affected state or states are determinative of the Electoral College outcome, the pressure and focus on that one state would be enormous.”
Weighing in with National Public Radio, Fortier opines, “It is not a good thing to postpone an election.”
“Obviously if there’s a necessity, you can’t do it, there has to be some accommodation. But how that accommodation is done is murky territory,” he tells NPR. “You don’t want to go down that road unless you absolutely have to.”
Steven Huefner, professor at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law, adds to ABC News that any states that decide to postpone the election, though possible, would be posed with even bigger fish to fry.
“For those states that don’t already have an election emergency process in place, any departure from the established election process could easily give rise to court challenges about the legitimacy of the election,” Huefner says. “Even states with an emergency plan might find themselves facing litigation over specific ways in which they’ve implemented their emergency plan.”
When President Barack Obama was asked if he was concerned about the fate of the election only hours after Sandy touched down on the East Coast, he told reporters, “The election will take care of itself next week.” RT
The New York Stock Exchange (NYX) opened on time by running on backup power from generators following the longest weather-related shutdown in more than a century. Brokers on the NYSE floor experienced limited Internet and mobile-phone connections while still being able to trade from the exchange.
Trading went “very smoothly, everything opened fairly quickly,” Duncan Niederauer, the chief executive officer of NYSE Euronext, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Matt Miller. “Participation has been a lot more active than we thought,” he said. “For some it was business as usual, for some they were using their backup site.”
NYSE Euronext, on backup power after Hurricane Sandy flooded parts of Lower Manhattan and cut electricity, announced yesterday that trading would resume. It planned to operate the floor with at least 100 designated market makers and floor personnel, Larry Leibowitz, the chief operating officer, said in a phone interview yesterday. The exchange will run on backup power tomorrow and the next day, Niederauer said.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed at 13,106.79 at 11:44 a.m. New York time, with all 30 constituents showing opening prices within two minutes of the opening bell. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) swung between gains and losses near the Oct. 26 close of 1,411.94. The benchmark gauge has declined 2 percent in October after four straight months of gains.
“There is some sigh of relief to see that the worst scenario didn’t unfold,” Eric Teal, chief investment officer at First Citizens Bancshares Inc., which manages $4.5 billion in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in a phone interview.
Volume in the S&P 500 was 0.4 percent higher than its 30- day average at this time of day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was about 13 percent lower, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“The exchange did an extraordinary job in unbelievably severe conditions to get the floor up and running,” Doug Cifu, president and chief operating officer of market-maker Virtu Financial LLC, which represents NYSE and NYSE MTK companies on the Big Board’s floor, said in a phone interview. “We’re fulfilling our quoting obligations and are very, very happy the markets are back to normal.”
Virtu has had no systems, trading or connectivity problems on NYSE’s floor, Cifu said. NYSE kept the New York-based company informed of plans to open the market through as many as half a dozen conference calls a day, he said. The main problem Virtu’s designated market makers faced was where they’d park in lower Manhattan and the exchange arranged for that, he said.
“I am pleased that the nation’s securities markets were able to open today despite the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy,” Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said in a statement. “Since the weekend, the staff of the SEC and I have been in constant communication with the exchanges, market participants and other regulators assessing the situation and coordinating with the relevant parties.”
The SEC will monitor developments over the next few days, she said.
While Ben Willis, a managing director with Albert Fried & Co., said Internet and mobile phone services were limited for traders on the floor of the exchange, those buying and selling Big Board stocks have access to the NYSE’s broker booth support system and landline telephones, said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners Inc.
“There are two ways clients send orders to the floor,” Corpina said. “One is through the exchange network, BBSS, and that is fully functioning,” Corpina said. “The other is the order management system, which is connected to the outside world via the Internet. So for those, clients have been calling us with orders that we are able to generate electronically and trade them on the internal NYSE network. It’s just adding one extra step.”
Rosenblatt Securities Inc. is trading from the NYSE floor and off exchange, according to Joe Gawronski, president and CEO.
“We have connectivity to all markets from both the floor and our upstairs desk,” he said in an e-mail. “BBSS, the basic order entry system, is available floor-wide, and we have some phone lines available so we are operational on the floor. Our upstairs desk is based at 20 Broad and there is no power in that building, so those upstairs guys are working remotely.” Business week
The death toll from superstorm Sandy is up to 62 and expected to keep climbing as workers comb through floodwaters, rubble and fallen trees in the more than a dozen states affected by the 900-mile-wide weather system.
As the cleanup began, stories of tragedy and heroism emerged. An 8-year-old Pennsylvania boy was crushed by a falling tree when he went out to check on the family’s newborn calves. A New York police officer saved seven members of his family before drowning in raging floodwaters invading the family’s basement. A Brooklyn couple died together when a tree fell on them as they walked their dog – which survived.
“We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times — by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet.”
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“We will get through the days ahead by doing what we always do in tough times — by standing together, shoulder to shoulder, ready to help a neighbor, comfort a stranger and get the city we love back on its feet,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Perhaps no story captured the drama and tragedy of Sandy better than that of NYPD police officer Artur Kasprzak. The 28-year-old drowned Monday night after rescuing seven members of his family, including his 15-month-old son, from the flood waters filling the basement of his Staten Island home. After getting them to safety by ushering them into the attic, Kasprzak went to the basement one more time but never returned, according to an NYPD news release.
Police responded to his family’s desperate 911 call, but scuba divers who arrived in inflatable Zodiac boats and jet skis couldn’t reach the home because of downed power lines snaking through the water.
“He was really a great guy, well-liked, very professional and hard working,” Kasprzak’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Edward Winski, told the Daily News. “It was very difficult this morning when I had to tell everyone. It’s heart-breaking, to be honest with you.”
A majority of deaths were caused by falling trees, surging floodwaters and downed electrical wires, especially in New York City, where at least 24 people have been found dead since Monday.
- Couple Jacob Vogelman, and Jessie Streich-Kest were walking their dog in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn on Monday evening when a tree fell on them.
- In Queens, a 70-year-old woman was found floating inside her home early Tuesday morning by police after relatives were unable to reach her. Also in Queens, Lauren Abraham, a 23-year-old makeup artist went to the end of her driveway to take pictures during the height of the storm on Monday and stepped into a puddle electrified by a downed wire.
- On Staten Island, officials were checking homes Tuesday afternoon when they found the bodies of John Filipowicz Sr., 50, and his 20-year-old son, John Filipowicz Jr. Both men were crushed by debris in their basement.
- Thirteen-year-old Angela Dresch was found dead after a massive wave slammed into her family’s home on the south shore of Staten Island. her father, George is still missing, and her mother Patricia is clinging to life at Staten Island University Hospital.
- A 54-year-old man from Yonkers, N.Y., was killed instantly when his car struck a tree that had fallen on the Sprain Brook Highway in Westchester County. The impact caused his car to careen into the center embankment, knocking down several other trees.
Sandy took the lives of many in other states as well.
In the town of Pasadena, Md., near Annapolis, a man was killed after a tree fell on his house late Monday evening, just as the monster storm was making landfall.
Near Boston, in Peabody, Mass., a passenger in an SUV was killed after he was thrown from the vehicle as it rolled over and slammed into a guardrail. Two other passengers were ejected, but they and the driver survived.
In Franklin Township, Pa., 8-year-old Matthew Stahl went outside onto his family’s farm to check on the calves. His father told him to run inside, but a falling tree killed the boy before he could reach safety.
In Hawthorne, N.J., a 77-year-old man was killed instantly when a tree crashed into his house.
Sandy’s lethal reach even extended to Canada, where a woman was struck and killed by a sign that fell from a Staples store amid 40 mph winds.
The earliest casualties of superstorm Sandy were crew members of the “HMS Bounty” tall ship off the coast of North Carolina. Claudine Christian, 42, was knocked off the replica ship, which had been featured in several movies, and was found in the turbulent waters of the Atlantic four hours later. Search crews are still hunting for the ship’s captain, Robin Walbridge, who is believed to be wearing a survival suit that can keep him afloat.
The 14 other members of the crew were safely rescued as the ship sank. foxnews.com
By Senior Producer Mike Mount
The U.S. Navy moved three ships toward New York and New Jersey in case the storm-struck states ask for help, officials said on Wednesday
Navy spokesman Lt. Commander Chris Servello said there has been no official request for assistance from the amphibious landing ships that can launch helicopters, make fresh water and haul critical supplies and other aid.