Australia moves to decriminalize small amounts of illicit drugs

Important Takeaways:

  • ACT government agrees to decriminalize small amounts of illicit drugs, such as ice, heroin and cocaine
  • Users of small amounts of illegal drugs would be fined rather than charged under the proposed law
  • Police would continue to target dealers and try to end the supply of harmful drugs
  • The ACT also legalized the personal use of cannabis in 2019
  • The legislation will cover most common illicit substances, including LSD (acid), MDMA (ecstacy) and psyilocybin  (magic mushrooms).
  • The ACT was also the first — and remains the only — state or territory to legalize the personal use of cannabis, another of Mr. Pettersson’s bills.
  • Drug use a ‘health issue’, not a criminal matter

Read the original article by clicking here.

200 Million in Path of Two Storms

1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Important Takeaways:

  • Two snowstorms expected to barrel from California to the Northeast and affect up to 200m begin: More than 800 flights scheduled for Wednesday are canceled
  • Forecasters warned that driving will be treacherous during the evening commute as blowing snow will make roadways slick and reduce visibility.
  • Sleet and ice were also in the forecast for northern Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas while a region from Alabama up through Ohio and into New York was expecting heavy rains that could cause flooding, forecasters warned.
  • Temperatures will be 20 to 30 degrees below average in the Northern Rockies, Great Plains and parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley, with some spots seeing record and dangerously cold readings, the NWS said.

Read the original article by clicking here.

Here come storms Nancy and Oaklee bringing snow, ice and gusty wind

Important Takeaways:

  • A tale of two storms: Millions of Americans across the Northeast are warned to brace for a polar plunge as Storm Nancy blows in sending temperatures plummeting by up to 30 degrees before Storm Oaklee is due to batter the area days later
  • Storm Nancy will send temperatures plummeting by up to 30 degrees in the Midwest and Northeast could bring over a foot of snow in some places
  • Oaklee is expected to make landfall in California on Tuesday but will gather strength as it sweeps eastwards
  • The storms represent yet more misery for millions who were battered by brutal weather late last week
  • Alabama Power customers were without electricity on Thursday and Friday in the state amid tornadoes, while further north, 13,000 were without power in Tennessee; 14,000 in Kentucky; 16,000 in darkness in Ohio and 18,000 in Pennsylvania.
  • Meanwhile, 40mph gusts in Illinois whipped up blizzards which caused a pile-up of more than 100 cars and trucks on Interstate 39

Read the original article by clicking here.

Landon to bring snow and ice to central and eastern U.S.

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Winter Storm Landon a Major Snow, Ice Threat to Intensify by Groundhog Day in Central, Eastern U.S.
  • Snow, sleet and freezing rain will spread from the Rockies to the Plains, Midwest and Northeast.
  • Icing could be heavy enough to knock out power and cause tree damage in some areas.
  • To compound all this, the fresh cold air sweeping in during and behind the storm could leave roads treacherous well after the storm is over, given forecast lows into at least the teens into parts of north Texas and the single digits or colder in the central Plains and Midwest.

Read the original article by clicking here.

Winter weather alert for 80 million

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • More than 80 million under winter weather alerts across the East Coast with snow and heavy winds on the way
  • Sunday, roughly 3,000 flights were canceled.
  • Air travel is still snarled by the wintry conditions, with more than 1,200 US flights canceled as of Monday
  • There are currently 217,089 customers without power in 11 states, according to PowerOutage.US.
  • Eight to 12 inches of snow could fall Monday in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, New York, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said
  • Buffalo could see wind gusts up to 45 mph, while New York City may get 55-mph gusts, and some parts of Maine could get gusts up to 65 mph.
  • Virginia State Police responded to nearly 1,000 traffic crashes and disabled vehicles
  • One twister was an EF2 tornado with maximum winds of 118 mph. It may have completely destroyed 30 mobile homes of the 108 mobile homes damaged near Fort Myers
  • An EF1 tornado with winds of 110 mph left behind a path of destruction, according to the weather service.

Read the original article by clicking here.

The biggest winter storm so far this year is set to slam the eastern U.S.

Luke 21:25, 26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Storm to unleash dangerous snow, ice from Atlanta to Raleigh
  • A winter storm will plunge from the Midwest into the Southeast over the holiday weekend, threatening to create dangerous to impossible travel conditions and the potential for lengthy power outages.
  • A weather event that could evolve into an all-out ice storm for cities along the Interstate 85 corrido
  • The ice could also contribute to power outages and significant tree damage, Porter added.

Read the original article by clicking here.

National Weather Service issuing advisories for Winter Storm Izzy

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Winter Storm Izzy to Spread Snow, Ice from Midwest into South and East into MLK Weekend
  • An expansive storm will spread a wintry mess across several regions.
  • Named Winter Storm Izzy by The Weather Channel, this sprawling storm is likely to produce major travel headaches from North Dakota down to northern Georgia and up to Maine.
  • Winter storm warnings, winter storm watches and winter weather advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of the Midwest.

Read the original article by clicking here.

Severe weather has many looking for refuge

Important Takeaways:

  • Northwest weather forces many into shelters.
  • Severe weather sweeping parts of the U.S. brought frigid temperatures to the Pacific Northwest and heavy snow to mountains in Northern California and Nevada. 
  • The region continued to break daily cold records. The National Weather Service said the low was 17 degrees F in Seattle on Monday, breaking a record set in 1968.
  • Utilities reported about 5,000 customers without power Tuesday morning, mostly in southwestern Oregon. 
  • Officials with the University of California, Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory on Monday said recent snowfall has smashed the snowiest December record of 179 inches, set in 1970. The record is now 193.7 inches as more snow is expected.
  • The storms that have been pummeling California and Nevada in recent days also brought rain and snow to Arizona. A record inch of rain in one day was reported at the airport in Phoenix.

Read the original article by clicking here.

U.S. immigration agents to pilot use of body-worn cameras

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is rolling out a pilot program to test the feasibility of requiring immigration agents to wear body cameras, a senior agency official said on Tuesday, a move that could aid criminal investigations as well increase oversight of agents’ activities.

The cameras are expected to be rolled out first only among specialized teams in ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division to around 55 agents in offices in New York City, Newark, New Jersey and Houston, Texas, the official told reporters.

The HSI officers, who target transnational criminal organizations for money laundering, drug trafficking, smuggling, terrorism and other crimes, would use the cameras only in pre-planned operations.

The official said the pilot program will be expanded to immigration agents at ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division in the near future, without giving a specific date. The agency said the timing is dependent on negotiations with the division’s union.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported on a plan to equip thousands of border agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with body-worn cameras as well.

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have called on expanded use of the cameras in law enforcement to provide a record of potential abuses. ICE has been criticized by some advocates for some of its agents’ tactics arresting immigrants in the country illegally.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whose agency oversees ICE, said in a statement that with the pilot, the agency “is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe.”

Under U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who promised a more humane approach to immigration enforcement than his hardline predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, ICE arrests have dropped, with the agency focusing on those who pose national security or public safety risks.

The senior official said the pilot program would be “test driving” the cameras to assess their operational utility and financial costs.

The footage collected would be subject to freedom of information laws and could also potentially be used in criminal prosecutions.

The official said the cameras, which will be mounted on agents’ vests, shirts or helmets, would be provided by Axon Enterprises Inc, which also contracted to outfit the border agents.

The company declined to comment on the pilot program.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Dan Grebler)

U.S. judge blocks Biden’s limits on immigrant arrests, deportation

By Daniel Wiessner

(Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing its guidance limiting who can be arrested and deported by U.S. immigration agents, siding with two Republican-led states – Texas and Louisiana – that had challenged it.

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, in Corpus Christi, Texas, ruled that the February guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency violated a federal law requiring that the government “shall detain” people who commit certain crimes or are otherwise deemed eligible for deportation.

“Put simply, the Government has instructed federal officials that ‘shall detain’ certain aliens means ‘may detain’ when it unambiguously means must detain,” Tipton wrote.

ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden, a Democrat, has sought to roll back some of the hardline immigration policies of his Republican predecessor Donald Trump.

The Biden administration guidelines unveiled in February, the month after Biden took office, instruct agents to focus on immigrants deemed national security and public safety threats and those who entered the United States after Nov. 1, 2020.

Under the guidelines, agents must seek pre-approval from a senior manager if they want to arrest someone who does not fall into one of those categories.

Trump had allowed ICE agents to pursue low-level offenders and non-criminals, as well as people with long ties to the United States.

The Republican attorneys general of Texas and Louisiana in an April lawsuit said dozens of convicted criminals had been released into their communities as a result of the Biden administration’s guidance, placing burdens on local law enforcement and social service programs.

The judge’s ruling blocked ICE from enforcing the guidance pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

Tipton, a Trump judicial appointee, in January blocked the Biden administration’s 100-day moratorium on deportations. In a decision last week, Tipton also ordered the administration to reinstate a Trump-era policy requiring that asylum applicants be sent to Mexico to await legal proceedings.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)