iStock/WoodysPhotos(NEW YORK) -- The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) suspended all service to the Hamptons and Montauk for Saturday after an overnight work train derailment, the New York Metropolitan Train Authority (MTA) said.
The disruption to eastbound service is bound to cause problems for holiday travelers over Memorial Day Weekend, the official start of the summer season for urban beach goers from New York City as well as commuters.
A Montauk-bound train that left Manhattan's Penn Station at 1:09 a.m. Saturday sideswiped a non-revenue train as part of a passing maneuver, the MTA told WABC, suspending train service to the Hamptons and Montauk for at least all of Saturday, LIRR officials said.
LIRR service east of Patchogue, including to the Hamptons and Montauk, will be suspended all day – customers should not go to Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal, Jamaica or their local station expecting service to resume east of Patchogue, although regular service to Patchogue and Riverhead remain in effect.
The Montauk train traveling at approximately 30 miles per hour sideswiped a non-revenue train on a side track east of Speonk as part of a passing maneuver, MTA officials said.
It was due to arrive in Montauk at 4:09 a.m. ET.
The engine of the Montauk train and the last car of the non-revenue train derailed, causing extensive damage to the tracks, the MTA said.
None of the commuter train's 32 passengers or LIRR employees suffered any injuries.
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Amid roiling trade tensions, the crowded 2020 Democratic candidate field now finds itself divided on a path forward on the tricky terrain of American trade – a path made all the more difficult by President Donald Trump's protectionist stance and hardline tone on getting "fair deals" for the U.S.
Democrats staking out more trade-friendly views contrast themselves with the Trump administration’s hard-line; some have assumed the attack stance that isolationist trade policies hurt farmers rather than achieve fairer deals. It’s a tricky tap dance for Democrats seeking to contrast themselves with President Trump yet not alienate key Rust Belt or progressive grassroots voting blocks.
The growing interparty divide on trade could set the stage for the first Democratic debate next month, as progressive leaning candidates hope to set themselves apart from their centrist rivals in hopes of winning blue-collar voting blocks in the 2020 election.
There are those who have spoken strongly for free trade: former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado recently released his plan proposing more cooperation and to “re-energize trade with the world.”
During his first foreign policy address at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Monday, the centrist presidential contender criticized Republicans and his fellow Democrats for limiting U.S. trade.
“Today politicians in both parties are pushing to restrict America’s trading opportunities," Hickenlooper said. "Mr. Trump launched tariff wars. Protectionists on the left seek to block new trade agreements. This belligerence toward trade is self-destructive. It undermines our diplomatic leverage. At a time when 95% of the world’s consumers live outside our borders, we cannot have economic growth, economic justice, or full security without expanding trade. We need open and fair trade, so our people can benefit from trade rather than hide from it,” he added.
Hickenlooper told George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that backing away from open trade impacts the U.S. economy and national security.
“Almost all the other Democrats, not all, but many of the other Democrats feel that we should back away from fair and open trade,” Hickenlooper said on "This Week." Only through "constant engagement and building up that trade are we going to get to full security. And I think as we revive U.S. leadership, we’re able to not only make our country safer but as I said, we’re going to be able to be more prosperous at the same time."
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, like a number of 2020 candidates has focused on rural crop communities on his several trips to early voting states such as Iowa. They've positioned themselves as fighting for farmers where Trump’s tariffs have hurt the agricultural community.
In an op-ed on CNN timed with his Tuesday town hall, O'Rourke said President Trump's tariffs lead America's trading partners to turn elsewhere – leaving farmers holding the bag.
"People are hurting with this biblical-strength flooding," Geoff Burgan, O'Rourke's Iowa communications director, told ABC News. "Farmers out here have regularly told [O'Rourke] ‘We want trade, not aid.’ And the future of rural America is something you can't get away from."
O’Rourke’s recently unveiled climate proposal – a sweeping $5 trillion plan – specifically folds in initiatives focused on Midwestern agricultural communities - agenda items like expanding federal crop insurance and investing in flood infrastructure.
Others, such as former Vice President Joe Biden find themselves himself in a complicated position on trade.
Biden voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and permanent normal trade relations with China. He and O’Rourke also supported former President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a sweeping multinational trade proposal that included Pacific Rim nations, which a number of unions opposed out of concerns about labor protections and that it would cost the U.S. jobs.
Some rival 2020 campaigns have hammered Biden on this perceived vulnerability.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, who opposed NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, attacked Biden’s voting record on trade, attempting to draw a sharp contrast between himself and his front-running presidential opponent.
“Joe voted for NAFTA and permanent trade relations, trade agreements with China. I led the effort against that. Joe voted for the deregulation of Wall Street, I voted against that," Sanders told White House Chief Correspondent Jonathan Karl during an interview on "This Week" in Des Moines, Iowa earlier this month.
It’s not the first time Sanders has spoken out strongly on trade; he has vigorously opposed policies like NAFTA from its inception, calling out his 2016 primary opponent Hillary Clinton for her support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“I was on the picket line in opposition to NAFTA,” Sanders said during the New Hampshire primary debate during the last election. “We heard people tell us how many jobs would be created. I didn't believe that for a second.”
For those on the front lines weathering the storm of trade wars and climate change alike, farmers at the center of the conflict will scrutinize candidates’ positions and past voting record closely for who will prioritize their interests.
Biden recently defending his vote on NAFTA, telling the Associated Press he supported not free trade, but fair trade. "I think that back in the time during the Clinton administration, it made sense at the moment," the former vice president said.
Candidates like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., join Sanders in being long-time skeptics of free trade.
She vehemently opposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling it “a rigged process” producing “a rigged outcome” for 40 percent of the U.S. economy, urging Congress in 2015 to reject the trade plan “tilt the playing field even more in favor of big multinational corporations and against working families.”
She opposed the United States Mexico Canada Trade agreement (USMCA), Trump’s renegotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada, calling it “NAFTA 2.0” and voting against the plan in 2018. Stumping in Iowa, her speech has fiercely denounced big agro, calling for the breakup of industry mergers, charging “consolidation is choking family farms.”
For those on the front lines weathering the storm of trade wars and climate change alike, the price of tea in China and hundreds of other items is front and center this election cycle. Farmers feeling tariffs’ sting, and surging Davenport, Iowa floodwaters will scrutinize candidates’ positions and past voting record closely for who will prioritize their interests.
As things stand, farmers who spoke with ABC News expressed frustration.
"When we take China off the table for a demand for our products, we suddenly have a huge amount of supply and the price collapses," Matt Russell, a fifth-generation farmer in Iowa, who owns a 110-acre farm of produce, heirloom tomatoes and grass-fed beef told ABC News' Senior Washington Reporter, Devin Dwyer. "The biggest thing is the loss of trade. That's the big story."
CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There’s a familiar face in town and it’s covering America’s seventh president’s face on a number of $20 bills: Harriet Tubman.
New York artist Dano Wall said he has decided to take matters into his own hands with an unofficial revision of the bill since the Trump administration has indicated they are in no rush to put the noted abolitionist and Union spy onto currency. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a congressional panel this week that the administration is looking at 2028 as a possible date.
“We’ll see about that,” Wall tweeted shortly after news broke of the secretary’s decision.
The U.S. Department of Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing, states that "any mutilation, cuts, disfigurements or perforation is defamation of currency — a prohibition of law."
Advocates have long sought to have Tubman — a woman born into slavery on a plantation in Dorchester County, Maryland and would later escape to guide over 300 other slaves to freedom – replace Andrew Jackson’s on the $20 bill by 2020. The Obama administration proposed placing Tubman’s face on the $20 bill in 2020 as part of an effort to have women on U.S. currency.
At a 2016 town hall on NBC's "The Today Show," Trump called the move to redesign the bill with Tubman's face "pure political correctness" and suggested putting Tubman on the $2 bill.
Wall has been manufacturing stamps with Tubman’s face since 2017, according to the Washington Post, which first reported the story.
“There has understandably been a sudden flood of interest in Harriet Tubman stamps since Steven Mnuchin’s announcement this week – I immediately sold out of everything I had in stock,” Wall said in a Facebook post. “I am working on increasing production to meet demand and will get more in stock in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on the Etsy shop.”
Tubman fled from Maryland and found freedom after traveling about 90 miles utilizing the Underground Railroad – a diverse network of escaped slaves, free blacks and abolitionists who provided safe housing and secret transportation routes to the North.
After getting a taste of freedom, Tubman decided to help hundreds of others experience the same. She became widely known as the “Moses of her people.”
“Putting Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill would have constituted a monumental symbolic change, disrupting the pattern of white men who appear on our bills," Wall told the Washington Post, "and, by putting her on the most popular note currently in circulation, indicates exactly what kind of a life we choose to celebrate; what values we, as a country, most hope to emulate. Harriet Tubman’s unparalleled grit, intelligence, and bravery over the course of her long life certainly make her worthy of such an honor.”
Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of director Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi film classic, Alien.
The film, about a blue-collar crew aboard a deep space mining vessel who answer a distress call on a derelict planet and inadvertently bring aboard a killer alien, was a box office smash. It earned $80.9 million domestically -- that's nearly $285 million in 2019 dollars -- against a budget of $11 million, and was the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year.
Alien also made an unlikely action star out of 29-year-old actress Sigourney Weaver. Her portrayal of the steely, resourceful Ellen Ripley proved a woman could be an action hero, and set the stage for subsequent films featuring strong female leads, most recently Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel.
Weaver starred in Alien alongside Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, Ian Holm and John Hurt -- the latter of whom who unwillingly and fatally "birthed" the alien as it burst out of his chest in a shower of blood. The surprise on the cast's faces was real: they intentionally hadn't been told specifically what to expect in the scene, which remains one of cinema's most memorable.
The acid-bleeding alien quickly grows and eliminates the entire crew, save for Ripley. In the end, she alone is left to kill the nearly indestructible beast.
Alien spawned three sequels, including director James Cameron's Aliens in 1986, as well as two spinoffs and two prequels, the most recent 2017's Alien:Covenant. Earlier this year, New Jersey's North Bergen High School staged a charming DIY stage adaptation that drew praise from Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver herself, who even attended a performance.
iStock/MicroStockHub(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration on Friday said it would sell $7 billion-worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with getting congressional approval, citing Iran as an urgent threat.
The move has sparked bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are promising to block the sales and calling out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for what they see as an illegal decision made in a shady manner.
"The excuse that this is somehow an emergency is just flat out false, and they know it. But they're still going ahead and doing it, which is beyond the pale," said a congressional aide, speaking anonymously to discuss the details of these deals, which the State Department has not yet released publicly.
The State Department authorizes the sale of weapons to foreign countries, but Congress has the authority to block a given sale by vote within 30 days of being notified by the administration. In 2017, the Senate came within four votes of blocking a $510 million sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia, which is fighting alongside UAE and an Arab coalition against Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen.
The conflict, which began as a civil war and has raged for over four years now, pits the Saudi-backed government against the Houthis, who are increasingly supported by Iran. It's set up a proxy war between the region's two major powers that has killed tens of thousands and created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, including a devastating cholera outbreak and pervasive starvation.
With growing calls for the U.S. to withdraw its support for the Saudi and Emirati coalition, especially in Congress, the Trump administration is now invoking an emergency clause in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with these sales. The 22 separate sales include precision-guided munitions, mortars, anti-tank missiles, and equipment and spare parts, including fighter jet engines, according to documents that the State Department provided to Congress and ABC News obtained.
The State Department has not responded to requests for comment. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said earlier this week that the department does not comment on potential pending arms sales.
Pompeo formally notified Congress Friday of the sales, which also allow UAE to sell precision-guided munitions to Jordan, in a series of memos and letters.
"Current threat reporting indicates Iran engages in preparations for further malign activities throughout the Middle East region, including potential targeting of U.S. and allied military forces in the region," he wrote. "The rapidly-evolving security situation in the region requires an accelerated delivery of certain capabilities to U.S. partners in the region."
In particular, Pompeo detailed the threat of consistent Houthi rocket fire into Saudi Arabia and UAE, saying these weapons were needed urgently for both countries to defend themselves.
But Congress calls that "bogus," as a second congressional aide told ABC News.
"It frankly seems they're just trying to find anything that has a Saudi and UAE connection and cut Congress out of it and go forward -- actual legal, substantive policy details be damned," they said.
Congress has approved defensive military sales, such as anti-ballistic missile systems, to both countries in the past, the aide added, but this is about continuing to arm the coalition as it bombs Yemen, despite reports from the United Nations that it has indiscriminately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and utility services.
"There hasn't been a problem with [defensive weapons], and that's demonstrable. What they're doing here, however, is they're wanting to sell immediately -- without Congressional oversight, review, or possibility of a vote -- offensive weapons that have always been represented to us as being available to be used and have been used in Yemen," the second aide said.
It's also an open question whether or not the administration has the authority to bypass Congress in this way. The Arms Export Control Act allows the president to declare an "emergency" that requires a sale to be made immediately. President George H.W. Bush used it to arm regional allies in the lead-up to the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and George W. Bush expedited weapons to Israel during the 2006 war with Lebanese Hezbollah.
But the law allows for the emergency clause to be invoked in certain circumstances, including only for Australia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, New Zealand, and NATO allies, so it may not apply in the case of Saudi Arabia and UAE.
"They're citing a legal authority that they don't have," said the second aide.
Lawmakers' offices were briefed on the decision by Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper, and when he was challenged on that question, he said it was an issue of "semantics," prompting an outraged response, according to both Congressional aides.
"It just erupted. This is law, it's not semantics," said the first aide.
Some of the proposed sales are also weapons systems that take years to produce and deliver, potentially undermining the administration's argument of an emergency.
There are already discussions on capitol Hill on how "to act in a unified way to stop this," according to the first aide, adding, "There's pretty universal outrage here right now."
That will mean legislation that somehow blocks the sales or stripes the administration of certain authorities, although it's unclear yet what it would specifically look like.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Women's National Team is just days away from heading to France for the 2019 Women's World Cup, a tournament they hope will inspire young girls.
"I just want girls to feel like they can believe in themselves and like they have a path to success," Alex Morgan said Friday on Good Morning America. "Whether they want to become a professional soccer player or not, I think that they can draw inspiration from us this summer on that."
Team USA is fighting to win a second consecutive World Cup title at the tournament, which starts June 7 in France.
"For me, growing up, soccer was my passion, something that I wanted to do," Morgan's teammate, Carli Lloyd, said. "I didn’t know if that dream was attainable."
"I think being able to watch the ’99 team capture their gold medal, winning the World Championship then, really inspired me," added Lloyd, who, like Morgan, was a member of the 2015 World Cup winning team. "If you believe in yourself and work hard, any dream is attainable."
The U.S. women will play their final game in the U.S. before the World Cup on Sunday against Mexico. Then they travel to France to play their first 2019 World Cup game on June 11.
Megan Rapinoe, a star forward also played on the 2015 team, said the team this year "feels like a new vibe."
"We have the one in the back from before," she said of the 2015 victory. "It doesn’t really feel like we’re defending that one, we’re trying to get something else."
The U.S. Women's National Team is defending their World Cup title just months after they sued the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) for gender discrimination.
The team filed the lawsuit in California in March, on International Women's Day, after years of public battles with the USWNT for equal pay and conditions. The players blasted the sport's governing body for allegedly paying mere "lip service" to gender equality and dishing out markedly more pay to the decidedly less successful men's team.
The players said earlier they had no plans to boycott the World Cup while the lawsuit plays out.
"We know in our hearts, and we know with the facts that we have, that we’re on the right side of this," Rapinoe told GMA in March. "I don't think anyone can argue that there's gender inequities in this world, that there’s a pay gap, that there's pay discrepancies."
kuppa_rock/iStock(NEW YORK) -- As the weather warms up, more people are heading outside for both fun and exercise. But with warm weather comes a greater risk of heat-related illnesses, which is why it’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you’re practicing high-intensity activities, such as running.
Heat-related illness is more likely to affect people who are 65 years old and above, however, other age groups can also be affected. From 2001 to 2010, there were 28,000 heat-related hospitalizations in the United States, with the highest rates occurring in the Southeast and Midwest, according to the latest figures from the Environmental Protection Agency. From 1979 to 2014, over 9,000 people died from heat-related causes.
During that same time period, however, sports-related heat strokes more than doubled, with more deaths reported between 2005 and 2009 than any other five-year period in the preceding 30 years, according to a 2014 study.
The good news is these complications are preventable if you take the right precautions.
Here’s what you should know about heat-related illnesses and staying hydrated. Why is hydration important?
Water is a fluid that’s necessary for carrying nutrients to our cells, preventing constipation and improving mental and physical performance.
It’s also essential for sweating, one of the main mechanisms the body uses to cool down. When we sweat, the heat that our bodies produce is transferred into the water within our bodies, which is then expelled as sweat. Without proper hydration, the body is unable to cool down properly. Dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heatstroke.
For the average person each day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women drink 2.7 liters of water (from all beverages and foods and men drink 3.7 liters). What are some warning signs of dehydration?
Common symptoms include feeling light-headed, dizzy, nauseous or tired and having headaches. These are often the first signs of heat exhaustion. Urine is also a good way to determine your hydration levels — the lighter it is, the more hydrated you are. If it appears dark yellow or amber, then it’s more concentrated, and you’re most likely dehydrated.
If these symptoms become more severe, they can lead to shock, a condition where the body’s tissues are unable to maintain adequate blood flow. What are some complications of dehydration?
When symptoms of dehydration become more severe, they can lead to major complications if left untreated. Dehydration occurs when the body has lost its stores of salt and water. If these stores aren’t replenished, painful, involuntary muscle spasms known as heat cramps can occur.
In cases of severe dehydration, a person can go into shock due to inadequate blood flow throughout the body’s tissues and muscle tissues can break down — a condition known as rhabdomyolysis. This, in turn, can progress into life-threatening complications such as heat stroke, which occurs when the body overheats and sweating and other cooling mechanisms fail. Is it possible to overhydrate?
Though rare, it is possible to drink water to the point that it’s dangerous. This is because too much water can lead to a low sodium level, known as “hyponatremia.”
Exercise-associated hyponatremia is the term used for people who have low blood sodium levels that occur during or immediately after strenuous exercise. Exercise-associated hyponatremia was noted in 13 percent of the 488 finishers who participated in the 2002 Boston Marathon, according to one study.
The biggest risk factor for the condition is drinking too much water too quickly — more than 1.5 liters per hour — which leads to fluid overload. Other risk factors, according to one review, included a longer race time — such as in marathons — a lower body mass index, and being a woman.
Despite sports drinks with added carbs or electrolytes providing sodium to those who drank them, a 2006 study found that they were still not effective at preventing exercise-associated hyponatremia in older, active adults ages 54 to 70.
How can I stay properly hydrated?
The American College of Sports Medicine has provided key tips for hydrating yourself before, during and after an intense workout. Here they are: Before exercise:
· Hydrate. Drinking fluids with meals will help replace the ones you lose during exercise and reduce your risk of dehydration.
· Checking your daily weight can be a helpful tool to track fluid loss. Postexercise and day-to-day changes are likely from losing fluid.
· Consider drinking 16 to 20 fluid ounces four hours before you exercise, especially if your weight is on the lower end pre-exercise.
· Allow your body to recover after exercise for at least eight to 12 hours to help with fluid replacement. During exercise:
· Drink to thirst. No more, no less.
· Drink no more than 0.8 liters of fluids per hour because anything more could put you at risk for hyponatremia.
· Adjust for the weather. Hotter temperatures mean more fluid loss, so you will need to drink more.
· Consider drinking something with 6% to 8% carbohydrates for longer events. After exercise:
· Drink 16 to 24 fluid ounces for every pound lost relative to your pre-workout weight.
· After exercise, you should drink beverages with your meal.