Study Indicates Money Counts More than Family Structure

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Income level, rather than family structure, has the greatest impact on whether parents read to their children, eat dinner together, or engage in any number of positive parenting practices, according to a new report put out today by the nonpartisan Council on Contemporary Families.

For years, studies have suggested that single parents lag behind married couples when it comes to providing children the sort of enrichment activities that child development experts say have long-term impact on kids’ emotional and cognitive health, such as monitoring media access and facilitating participation in extracurricular activities. But it turns out that those differences all but disappear when income disparities are taken away, according to today’s report.

In other words, single moms are less likely to shuttle their children to sports practices not because they are parenting solo, but because they have fewer resources, explains Sandra Hofferth, professor of family science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, who authored the paper.

“With a single parent, there’s only one earner…. When it comes to ferrying children to lessons or sports, they just can’t do it,” she says. “We found that parenting differs mostly because of resources – more so than by family structure.”

The finding is particularly noteworthy, given the high level of child poverty in the United States, researchers say.  More than a quarter of all children under age 6 live in families with incomes below the poverty line, which last year the US government set at $23,850 a year for a family of four. That number grows even higher in single-parent families; nearly 41 percent of children growing up with only one parent are poor, compared with 14 percent of children in married-couple families.

All of this, Professor Hofferth and other say, means that parenting would be most improved by poverty alleviation and child care policies, rather than initiatives, such as marriage promotion programs, that seek to change family structure.

Indeed, she found that despite the substantial difference in affluence, single parents seem to be working extra to engage in beneficial parenting practices. Single parents, for instance, are only slightly behind their married counterparts when it comes to time spent reading to children. Young children of single parents are read to an average of six times a week, compared with children of married parents, who are read to 6.8 times a week.  And a slightly higher proportion of teenagers living with a single parent (35 percent) than living with two married parents (32 percent) report eating dinner as a family at least five days of week. (Researchers say this correlates with the lower number of teenagers of single parents who participate in those extracurricular activities that tend to break up family dinner.)

“Overall, I took away the message that parents are really doing a great job,” Hofferth says. “And many in difficult circumstances.”

Her research also suggest that American parents, as a group, have adopted similar values when it comes to child rearing, says Virginia Rutter, a sociologist at Framingham State University in Massachusetts.

“When I looked at this I thought, ‘Wow, we’re all after really similar things for children,’ ” Professor Rutter says. “We want to read to them, to get engaged and involved. When you take into account how much material resources people have, you see that parents are doing really similar things to help their children live their best lives.”

Universities getting tough on accused Rape Violators

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, ex-Vanderbilt football players, have been charged with sexual assault for an incident that occurred in 2013.

By Sheila Burke, Associated Press

2 ex-Vanderbilt football players convicted in 2013 rape
WSMV – Nashville, TN

A jury convicted two ex-Vanderbilt football players on Tuesday of raping a former student, rejecting claims that they were too drunk to know what they were doing and that a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex should be blamed for the attack.

The jury deliberated for three hours before announcing that Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey were guilty. Batey was stoic, staring ahead and Vandenburg shook his head “no,” appearing stunned. His father had an outburst and abruptly left the courtroom.

The victim, who was a 21-year-old neuroscience and economics major at the time of the 2013 attack, cried as each guilty verdict was announced.

Both men were convicted of four counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. They face decades in prison when they are sentenced March 6.

Despite the photos and video, and witnesses seeing the woman unconscious and at least partially naked in a dorm hallway, no one reported it.

The trial played out amid a national conversation about rape on college campuses. In Nashville, where the prestigious private university is located, hundreds of officials from colleges across the state are meeting this week for a two-day summit on how to reduce sexual assaults.

Vandenburg and Batey were on trial together, but represented by different attorneys. Attorneys for Vandenburg, who had been seeing the woman, said he did not assault her but he was recorded on video laughing and encouraging his teammates. Batey’s attorneys said the images didn’t show him assaulting the woman.

Defense lawyers argued that Vandenburg and Batey were too drunk to know what they were doing and that a college culture of binge drinking and promiscuous sex should be partly to blame.

During closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman told jurors that the college culture argument was a “red herring” and that the athletes thought the law didn’t apply to them.

“That’s the culture that you really saw here . their mindset that they can get away with anything,” Thurman said.

Earlier, one of the defense attorneys conceded that Vandenburg took “deplorable” photos, but shouldn’t be convicted of rape because he didn’t take part in it.

“He took photographs that he never should have taken,” attorney Fletcher Long said.

Batey, of Nashville, turned 21 on Tuesday. Vandenburg, 21, is from Indio, Calif.

Vandenburg’s roommate at the time testified that he had been on the top bunk and saw the woman face down on the floor. He said he heard one of the players say he was going to have sex with her, but didn’t do anything because he was afraid.

Rumors about what happened quickly spread around campus, and the assault might have gone unnoticed had the university not stumbled onto the closed-circuit TV images several days later in an unrelated attempt to learn who damaged a dormitory door. They were shocked to see players carrying an unconscious woman into an elevator and down a hallway, taking compromising pictures of her and then dragging her into the room.

School authorities contacted police, who found the digital trail of images.

The woman said Vandenburg told her that she had gotten drunk and passed out and that he had helped her.

Also taking the stand was Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who is also charged in the case. He said he did not touch the woman but also took pictures. No trial date has been set for him and Brandon Banks, the fourth former player accused in the assault. Banks did not testify.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

convicted in 2013 rape

WSMV – Nashville, TN








Greek Poor and Rich Idealistic Put Charasmatic Tsipras over the top.

Greek elections: Syriza’s Tsipras faces great expectations

Alexis Tsipras lays wreath to murdered communistsAlexis Tsipras’s first act after being sworn in was to lay a wreath for communists murdered by the Nazis

As he climbed on an elevated stage in central Athens to give his victory speech on Sunday night, Alexis Tsipras looked more like a rock star than Greece’s newly-elected prime minister.

“Our people too have a right to joy and celebration. For five years, they had taken both away from us,” he told thousands of ecstatic supporters gathered to celebrate a historic victory for the left.

The magnitude of the challenges Mr Tsipras and his Syriza party face are daunting, however, and sustaining this enthusiasm inside Greece may prove even more difficult than convincing Europe to end austerity and forgive part of the nation’s debt.

Exit poll analysis showed that Syriza not only triumphed among unemployed and working Greeks, but even penetrated the core of conservative voters, with one-in-three housewives and pensioners turning to the party.

Debt-cancellation promisesSyriza officials insist Alexis Tsipras is no Harry Potter-like magician and that the Greek people are realistic about what he can achieve.

And indeed, people in Athens say they do not expect Syriza to fulfil all their promises completely and immediately, as long as they carry out the policies that are most relevant to them.

The unemployed may not care too much about a hated property tax known as “Enfia”, which Syriza has pledged to abolish, but they are expecting to find a job or, in the very least, have their benefits increased.

Take a look at the background of Greece’s charismatic new leader

Talk to the propertied classes in Athens’s leafy, rich, northern suburbs who voted for Syriza, and they will tell you that the promise of the abolition of the tax was one of the main reasons they voted for the left for the first time in their lives.

And all Greeks are expecting Syriza to deliver on their promise and demand debt-cancellation and growth policies from the EU.

Fulfilling those promises will take nothing short of Harry Potter-like powers, some analysts warn.

Mr Tsipras, the youngest political leader in modern Greek history, was instrumental in transforming Syriza from an also-ran to a potential ruling party.

His background is starkly different to that of his predecessors, all of them members of political dynasties.


Alexis Tsipras and the 700-euro generation

Alexis Tsipras celebrates victory with Peristera (R) (25 Jan 2015)Alexis Tsipras celebrates victory with his wife, Peristera Baziana (R)

Alexis Tsipras was not schooled at the usual private schools that most politicians in Greece with a pedigree prefer, but graduated from a state school in Ampelokipoi, a middle-class area in central Athens.

It was at school that he met Peristera “Betty” Baziana, who was to become his wife. They were both active in the Communist Party of Greece’s youth wing and shared the same world view.

Although they went to university in different cities, their relationship flourished. They chose a civil wedding instead of a traditional religious ceremony.

The couple now live in the middle-class Athens neighbourhood of Kypseli, and have two sons – Pavlos, 7, and 5-year-old Orpheas Ernesto (after Ernesto “Che” Guevara). Ms Baziana has rarely appeared in public and the couple have a very low-key social life, avoiding the paparazzi.

Mr Tsipras cut his professional teeth while working as a civil engineer and was one of the “700-euro generation”, a term coined in 2007 to describe young people who struggled to advance beyond the average Greek salary.

Syriza slogan "Hope is on its waySyriza campaigned under the slogan: “Hope is on its way”

In 2008, his political career took a significant step forward when he took on the leadership of Syriza, founded in 2004 as a coalition of groups and parties ranging from Maoists to Greens.

He was elected to parliament the following year and by 2011 had transformed the party from a marginal alliance into a major political force.

Known for his rhetorical skills, his dislike of neckties and his youthful looks, Mr Tsipras’s colleagues see him as quite unlike any of Greece’s traditional political grandees.

“He is just different. He is just like you and me,” a member of Mr Tsipras’s entourage at Syriza’s headquarters told the BBC.

Syriza prepares for power under Tsipras

Profile: Alexis Tsipras


Pragmatism“The economic crisis and the collapse of traditional parties certainly helped Syriza grow its influence, but it was Alexis Tsipras who catapulted the party,” says Christoforos Vernardakis, professor of political science at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and founder of the public opinion survey company VPRC.

“This happened because Tsipras is young and knows no fear. He took a defensive left and turned it into a credible choice for government.”

Some of his first actions as Greek leader appear designed to show he aims to maintain a careful balance.

He was Greece’s first prime minister to take a civil rather than a religious oath, and yet his first visit after he was elected was to the head of the Church of Greece.

In his victory speech, Alexis Tsipras said Greece had rewritten history

Although he told the German government he was not looking for a fight, his first act after being sworn in was to pay his respects to a monument honouring the communists executed by Nazi occupation forces in 1944.

He has also shown an unemotional pragmatism that may alienate ideological purists in his party but will prove valuable in his dealings with creditors.

Lacking an absolute majority in parliament, he chose to form a coalition with a right-wing populist party, the Independent Greeks.

Some Syriza voters and party members are already disillusioned by the choice. But others see it as proof of the coming of age of both Syriza and Mr Tsipras.

Alexis Tsipras is hugged by a supporter (26 Jan)No ties allowed: Alexis Tsipras enters the prime minister’s offices in Athens

His choice of finance minister is also telling.

Economics professor Yanis Varoufakis has been arguing for years in his classes and opinion pieces about the non-viability of austerity and the unsustainability of Greece’s debt burden.

But he believes he can win the argument by reasoning with creditors.

Yanis Varoufakis (C)Yanis Varoufakis (C) has long argued against the sustainability of austerity measures imposed on Greece

In an interview shortly before the election, he told the BBC that far from being destructive, Syriza’s political proposals offered a reasonable way out of austerity and a chance to replace existing bailout laws with new ones.

“The first priority is renegotiating with creditors,” he said.

“Syriza needs to speak the language of truth about the continuing triple bankruptcy of the country – public debt, banks, private sector – something no Greek government has done so far.”

Then, he pointed out, the party had to put forward proposals that would be reasonable to the average German.

Three Russians Charged as Spies in New York City

“His life here, your honor, really is a deception,” the Assistant US Attorney said of Yevgeny Buryakov, who had been working at a Russian bank in Manhattan.

By Tom Hays, Associated Press

A Russian Spy ring operating in New York City to collect economic intelligence and recruit other potential spies was broken up by the FBI, who arrested one of the men today.

Three Russian citizens were charged Monday in connection with a Cold War-style Russian spy ring that spoke in code, passed messages concealed in bags and magazines, and tried to recruit people with ties to an unnamed New York City university, authorities said.

The defendants were directed by Russian authorities to gather sensitive economic intelligence on potential U.S. sanctions against Russian banks and efforts here to develop alternative energy resources, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors say one defendant, Yevgeny Buryakov, posed as an employee in the Manhattan branch of a Russian bank. He was arrested on Monday in the Bronx, where he lived with his Russian wife and two children.

Recommended: How well do you know the world of spying? Take our CIA and NSA quiz.

At an initial court appearance, Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Fee portrayed Buryakov as a professional spy skilled at duplicity.

“His life here, your honor, really is a deception,” the prosecutor said.

Buryakov, 39, arrived in the United States in 2010 and had a work visa. His lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, lost an argument for bail after a magistrate judge agreed with the government that he had an incentive to flee since his cover was blown.

The two others named in the complaint, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy — described as Buryakov’s handler — held low-level diplomatic positions. They were protected from prosecution because of their diplomatic status and are believed to have returned to Russia.

Between March 2012 through as recently as mid-September 2014, the FBIobserved Buryakov and Sporyshev meeting 48 times in outdoor settings, the complaint says. Several of the meetings “involved Buryakov passing a bag, magazine or slip of paper to Sporyshev,” it says.

In intercepted telephone calls made to set up the meetings, the pair spoke about sharing tickets to movies or sporting events, or needing to deliver items like books or hats but were never observed doing that, the complaint says.

They also “discussed their attempts to recruit U.S. residents, including several individuals employed by major companies, and several young women with ties to a major university located in New York City,” it says.

The investigation recalled a 2010 case resulting in the arrest of 10 covert agents who infiltrated suburban America using fake names. All 10 pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to conspiracy charges and were ordered out of the country as part of a spy swap for four people convicted of betraying Moscow to the West.

The case was announced Monday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and FBI officials.

The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service could not immediately be reached for comment on the case. Alexey Zaytsev, spokesman for Russia’s U.N. Mission, said: “We don’t have any comment now.”

The new case demonstrates “our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States,” Holder said in a statement.

Bharara added that the charges “make it clear that — more than two decades after the presumptive end of the Cold War — Russian spies continue to seek to operate in our midst.”

Strong Dollar Cuts Profits of Large U.S. Corporations; Rattling Investors

Procter & Gamble, maker of Tide detergent and other consumer products, said currencies could reduce its profits by $1.4 billion this year.
Procter & Gamble, maker of Tide detergent and other consumer products, said currencies could reduce its profits by $1.4 billion this year. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS
Jan. 27, 2015 2:23 p.m. ET
The stronger dollar is suppressing sales and profits at America’s big companies, prompting them to put renewed emphasis on cost cutting and adding pressure on the broader U.S. economy.

The currency effects are hitting a wide swath of companies that had expanded aggressively overseas in search of growth and hurting stocks and rattling investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 203 points, or 1.1%, midday at 17475.

Consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble Co. was hammered as currencies in its markets around the world weakened against the dollar, pushing its profit down 31% and its sales down 4%. The company said currencies could reduce its profits by $1.4 billion this year, a hit it will try to offset with a cost cutting program that includes layoffs and cuts to its huge marketing budget.


Stocks Drop on Weak Data, Earnings
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Dollar’s Rise Squeezes U.S. Firms
Pharmaceuticals company Pfizer Inc. said unfavorable moves in currencies over the last year will take a $2.8 billion bite out of its 2015 revenue. Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc., already wrestling with the plunge in oil markets and weaker prices for copper, coal and iron ore, said a stronger dollar is adding another weight on sales and promised further cost cutting in 2015.

The dollar also led Microsoft Corp. to issue a financial forecast that was weaker than analysts had expected, sending the company’s stock down nearly 10% midday and wiping out more than $30 billion in market value.


“The rising dollar will not be good for U.S. manufacturing or the U.S. economy,” Doug Oberhelman , chief executive of Caterpillar Inc., told analysts.

Expectations for the quarter, already low among investors and analysts, have worsened as the results have rolled in. Analysts now expect companies in the S&P 500 index to post a scant 0.5% in sales growth, with per-share profit gains of 3.3%, according to financial data firm Thomson Reuters. The figures reflect actual results for 119 companies and analysts’ estimates for the rest of the index’s members. As recently as Jan. 1, analysts were expecting sales growth of 1.3% and earnings growth of about 4.2%.

The bad news on the earnings front comes as economists are grappling with mixed signals about the health of the U.S. economy. While broad data on economic growth and jobs creation were strong going into the end of the year, more recent data has been less certain.

Demand for big-ticket manufactured goods tumbled by 3.4% last month, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, a sign U.S. businesses remain cautious about spending despite the economy’s recent momentum. Factories are getting a boost from higher demand for cars and other consumer items, but orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—a proxy for business spending on equipment and software—dropped 0.6% from November.

Retail sales also fell in December, posting a 0.9% drop that underscored the limits of relying on cheaper gasoline to fuel growth in spending. Wall Street will be watching closely as earnings reports arrive.

“We have nearly 140 companies to get through this week,” said Gina Martin Adams, equity strategist for Wells Fargo . “We’ll have a much better idea as to how things are going at the end of this week.”

The strong dollar can hurt U.S. companies in a variety of ways. The most typical is the so-called translation effect: Companies’ sales in overseas markets may keep growing in local terms, but they look smaller when converted back into stronger dollars. It also can lead to big mismatches between costs and revenues and make it harder for export oriented companies to compete.

P&G fell victim to a number of those impacts. The company, for instance, is heavily exposed to Russia, where it sells razors and blades that are made at its Gillette plant in Germany. The slumping ruble means it has to jack up prices in Russia to cover the spread, but prices aren’t increasing fast enough to cover the difference. Meanwhile, the Russian unit’s bills for those razors get bigger while they are in transit, which will force the company to make adjustments to its balance sheet, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller told analysts Tuesday.

The company is also exposed to the soaring Swiss franc. P&G’s headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is in Geneva. As such it is a large employer in Switzerland, leaving its costs in the country much bigger than its sales there.

P&G said currencies will reduce its sales by 5% in the year that ends in June and its profit by 12%. The impact is largely concentrated in six countries: Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Argentina, Japan and Switzerland. The decline in the Russian ruble alone is projected to account for a $550 million hit to the company’s annual profit.

The blow from currency is an outgrowth of P&G’s successful expansion into overseas markets over the years. The company sells more than $8.8 billion in products in those six troubled countries.

To offset the impact, the maker of Gillette razors and Pampers diapers is relying on cost cuts, including reduced headcount and cutbacks in spending on marketing. That will involve shifting more of advertising to digital channels, which already account for more than 30% of the total.

Pfizer said unfavorable moves in currencies over the last year will take a $2.8 billion bite out of its 2015 revenue. Above, multivitamins on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal. ENLARGE
Pfizer said unfavorable moves in currencies over the last year will take a $2.8 billion bite out of its 2015 revenue. Above, multivitamins on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal. PHOTO: GRAHAM HUGHES/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The company is also raising prices and building about 20 new manufacturing plants, largely concentrated in the faster growing markets, to more closely match its costs and sales. The moves take time, however.

“We have many things at our disposal, which we are obviously engaged in,” P&G’s Mr. Moeller said on conference call with the media. But, he added, “most of them come with some time lag.”

One area where it has more control is with job cuts. P&G’s long running plan to slim down called for reducing non-manufacturing jobs between 16% and 22%. Through the end of January, the company was at 18%. Mr. Moeller said cuts will likely be closer to the top of that range by the end of this fiscal year in June.

Other companies are feeling the effects as well. DuPont Co. gave a disappointing outlook for 2015, warning its profit would take a significant hit from the strengthening U.S. dollar and weakness in its agricultural-seed business. The company said it would reach its goal to cut $1 billion in costs well ahead schedule.

Late Monday, Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said hiccups in Japan and China, as well as the U.S. dollar’s growing strength compared to foreign currencies, depressed revenue from Microsoft’s commercial-software products. Microsoft said the strong dollar would carve four percentage points off its revenue growth rate for the quarter ending in March.

Also late Monday, United Technologies Corp. cut its 2015 sales and profit forecasts, blaming currencies. The company said 62% of its sales are overseas, leaving it very exposed to a sudden change in the value of the U.S. dollar.

Some industrial manufacturers cut 2015 forecasts because of the strengthening dollar. W.W. Grainger Inc., which makes everything from generators to power tools, lowered its 2015 sales and earnings forecasts that were made in November, citing further weakening of the Canadian and Japanese currencies. Danaher Corp. , which makes dental equipment and disinfection systems, also lowered its full year forecasts citing the strengthening of the U.S. dollar since December. The company has tried to offset that drag with productivity improvements.

Emerson Electric Co. , a maker of factory automation equipment and heating and cooling systems, said orders in the three months through December fell from a year ago in part because of the stronger dollar. The company forecast a drop in sales of four to five percentage points this year because of the dollar’s strength.

“The global economies are clearly in a transition period with a significantly lower cost of oil, a stronger U.S. dollar and continued weakness in Europe,” the company said Monday.

Meanwhile 3M Co. , maker of Scotch tape and Post-it notes, reinforced its reputation as a steady performer in turbulent times by posting a 6.9% increase in profit for the fourth quarter and promising further growth in 2015.

The decline of the euro, yen and other currencies is hurting results at the St. Paul, Minn.-based industrial conglomerate in dollar terms. But the company is gaining from lower raw material costs, especially on plastics and other oil-derived materials used in making 3M’s adhesives and films.

The company said it will look for opportunities to buy materials from suppliers in countries whose currencies have weakened. 3M may also export more products from factories in Europe that make medical and industrial supplies.

—Kate Linebaugh, James R. Hagerty and Shira Ovide contributed to this article.

Write to Paul Ziobro at and Theo Francis at

Chevron Crowned the World’s Worst!

Chevron Crowned World’s Worst!

Back in 2006 Amazon Watch traveled to Davos, Switzerland to accept the Public Eye Award on behalf of Chevron. At the doors of the World Economic Forum, this shaming award was created to call out corporations responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights or the environment. Chevron won on both counts. At the time, the trial in Ecuador was still under way, but the saga of this epic pursuit for justice by the affected communities in Ecuador was already over a decade old.

Last Friday Amazon Watch returned to Davos to attend the 16th and final Public Eye Award ceremony where the international web community awarded Chevron the Lifetime Award for its disaster in Ecuador and subsequent efforts to evade responsibility. Nominees for this prestigious title were chosen from previous Public Eye recipients. Chevron was the clear “winner” however, having broken new ground in efforts to suppress free speech, attack critics and devote millions to a campaign of retaliation against its own victims.

It’s hard for many to fathom just how long this tragic case has been unfolding. Chevron (then operating as Texaco) began its deliberate and systematic pollution of the Amazon and poisoning communities only months after JFK was shot. Since that time close to a thousand toxic waste pits were created over an area the size of Rhode Island, affecting 30,000 people and creating a death toll that has already crossed well over a thousand lives (and is expected to cause up to 10,000 more). Chevron has had 18 years of litigation to defend itself, but because of the overwhelming evidence still visible today, it’s failed time and again. Chevron’s leadership has made a conscious decision to never pay and has declared that regardless expense (now estimated at $2 billion), it will continue to fight “until hell freezes over.”

That approach and the dirty tactics to crush critics, vilify suffering communities and demonize human rights lawyers has earned Chevron this award. The bogus RICO action in the United States – with no basis in law and soon to be overturned – is nothing more than a PR stunt to draw out the narrative that Chevron is the victim. The conspiracy theory espoused by Chevron and its lawyers would actually rival some of the wackiest JFK assassination theories.

Worse still is the fact that Chevron’s ability to continue dragging out this fight for justice is a threat to the fabric of our society. The ability to litigate in perpetuity must never be an effective path to evade justice. Chevron is hoping to outlast everyone, and it has the means to do it, unless we unite to prevent that from happening.

Fortunately for the Ecuadorians, the story of Chevron’s RICO attack on it does not play outside of the US, where Chevron has the favor of business press to tell its side of the story. The Public Eye Award serves as a reminder that the global community has never been fooled by Chevron. The affected communities will continue to seek justice outside the US and seek to enforce the legitimate Ecuadorian verdict in Canada, Argentina, Brazil and perhaps even Europe. It will continue to find a supportive global community who knows Chevron to be the worst example of corporate greed and arrogance.

Amazon Watch is honored to take the Public Eye Lifetime Award to Chevron’s HQ in San Ramon, CA, where we will remind the corporation and the world that it has been globally recognized as the worst corporate actor on the planet. Twice. The Ecuadorians continue to suffer from toxic pollution, but the rest of the world will not swallow PR lies and bogus legal attacks. Chevron has declared itself a threat to the environment, human rights and the pursuit of justice itself. Enough is enough.

Record Snow in Store for the North East Coast


2006: The snowiest storm in the city’s history.  Central Park reported 26.9 inches of snow.CreditFrances Roberts for The New York Times

Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Sunday that the storm approaching on Monday was likely to be one of the biggest to ever strike New York City, and he urged people to stay indoors to avoid powerful winds, low visibility and “treacherous” road conditions.

The National Weather Service, which issued a blizzard watch for the greater New York City area, forecast gusts of wind up to 50 miles per hour and snow accumulation of “at least one to two feet.”

But Mr. de Blasio said the storm could bring up to three feet of snow, beginning with flurries late Monday morning, and that the heaviest snowfall would probably come Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Schools will be open on Monday but are likely to close on Tuesday, Mr. de Blasio said. Alternate side of the street parking was canceled, along with the city’s annual count of the homeless population, which had been scheduled for Monday night.

“My message to New Yorkers is to prepare for something worse than we have seen before,” the mayor said on Sunday afternoon at a Sanitation Department garage near West 14th Street. “Now is the time to get ready for this extreme weather.”

Officials described the storm as gathering force and said that it could topple power lines and disrupt transportation. On Sunday evening, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that the storm could close the New York State Thruway and the Long Island Expressway, and that train service on Metro-North, PATH and Long Island Rail Road lines could be halted before Monday’s evening commute.

While saying that he was confident that city agencies would be ready to handle the storm, Mr. de Blasio emphasized the potentially hazardous nature of the snowfall and repeatedly warned those living in New York City not to underestimate it, saying: “Whatever safety precautions you take in advance of a storm take even more, be even more cautious.” He added: “Expect a lot of challenges and delays.”

Mr. de Blasio said the Sanitation Department had scheduled 12-hour shifts, with 2,400 employees on each shift, working from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Nearly 500 salt spreaders will go out before the snow. After two inches of snow have fallen, the city will deploy plows to clear about 6,000 miles of road. The sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, said that 2,000 plows from her agency would be available, along with 242 from other agencies.

In other preparations, nearly 500 Department of Transportation workers began treating bridges and overpasses, and emergency crews filled more than 1,000 potholes. And the city’s Office of Emergency Management was coordinating with dozens of local, state and federal agencies.


1888: A blizzard brought 21 inches of snow to city streets. CreditThe New York Times

The agency would be ready to open temporary shelters and had arranged for the use of “high-axle” vehicles owned by the National Guard that could be used to assist emergency medical technicians navigating snow drifts.

All city buses will be equipped with snow tires or chains by Monday afternoon, Mr. Cuomo said. Bus service will proceed on Monday morning as usual, but Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials may make scheduling adjustments as the storm progresses.

The authority will begin storing subway cars underground on Monday night, the statement added. De-icers and snow throwers will be deployed and extra crews will be on duty.

Metro-North and L.I.R.R. officials were preparing for the possibility of altering or halting service, an M.T.A. spokeswoman said on Sunday. In addition, she said, all L.I.R.R. waiting rooms would be kept open 24 hours for the duration of the storm.


2010: The city’s most recent heavy snowfall, when 20 inches fell.CreditJoshua Bright for The New York Times

Other state agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the State Police and the National Guard will be on alert, Mr. Cuomo said.

Both the governor and the mayor acknowledged that public transportation could be slowed or halted. “This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of New York City so, yes, there could be delays of everything,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters.

Hazards could persist even after the abatement of “blizzard-type conditions.” Mr. de Blasio said people should avoid the city’s parks in the immediate aftermath of the storm because the weight of snow could snap tree branches and send them plunging to the ground.

According to a list displayed by the mayor, the snowiest storm in the city’s history, measured by accumulations in Central Park, came in 2006, when 26.9 inches of snow fell. A blizzard in 1947 dropped just over 26 inches, and one in 1888 brought 21 inches.

The most recent heavy snowfall came on the day after Christmas in 2010, when 20 inches fell, paralyzing the L.I.R.R., stranding ambulances and trapping commuters for hours on an A train that was stuck on an icy section of elevated track in Queens.

This blog is dedicated to bringing back the commitment of professional journalism. As a former network news editor, major market news director and anchor, BILL DEANE gives you the inside story often missed by media more interested in Hollywood gossip. OUR MISSING NEWS gets into the WHY of the day's significant events.