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Old October 28th, 2012, 09:19 PM   #301
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Hurricane Sandy moves in: New York City braces for storm with mandatory evacuations as Gov. Cuomo orders MTA to suspend subway, bus, rail service

Last subway and rail trains will be Sunday at 7; last bus at 9pm

By Jennifer H. Cunningham , Vera Chinese AND Shane Dixon Kavanaugh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012, 10:26 AM

Updated: Sunday, October 28, 2012, 3:08 PM

Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News

Sand bags are delivered to NYU Hospital in Manhattan.

City and state officials braced Sunday for a brutal beating by Hurricane Sandy, ordering all public transportation to shut down, city schools to shutter and all residents living low-lying neighborhoods to evacuate for higher ground.
Gov. Cuomo ordered the MTA to suspend all subway, bus and commuter rail service beginning Sunday evening and urged people to stay at home.



In addition, Mayor Bloomberg ordered all residents of flood-prone areas — known as Zone A — to evacuate their homes by Sunday afternoon, adding that all public schools would close Monday.

Ken Blevins/Wilmington Star-News via AP

Waves pound Carolina Beach pier in Carolina Beach, N.C., Saturday, Oct 27, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy churns in the Atlantic Ocean.

Allison Joyce/Getty Images

A man surfs at Rockaway Beach as Hurricane Sandy approaches on Sunday.

“When there’s no mass transit, and with weather as bad as it’s going to be, we don’t want to put children’s lives at risk,” Hizzoner said from the Office of Emergency Management in downtown Brookyn. “We need cooperation of the public. Please listen to the evacuation order.”

Subway and train service will come to a grinding halt by 7 p.m., the governor said, while bus service will begin its shutdown at 9 p.m.
It is unclear how long mass transit will remain out of service, the governor said.

The violent squall — already being dubbed “Frankenstorm” because it will combine with a storm system from the west and cold air from Canada — is expected to wreak true havoc on the New York region starting Monday morning.

Norman Y. Lono for New York Daily News

Signs at the George Washington Bridge bus station at Broadway and 178th St. inform riders that buses to Atlantic City have been cancelled.

Weather forecasters predict gusts of wind to top 80 miles per hour and storm surges to reach 11 feet when the killer ‘cane makes landfall along the central New Jersey coast Monday night--right at high tide.

“Unfortunately, this sort of storm in the worst case scenario for our region,” said Sean Potter, a National Weather Service spokesman.

Hurricane Irene battered New York City for 12 hours last year, but this “Frankenstorm” is expected to pummel the area relentlessly for 24 to 36 hours, forecasters said.

Jefferson Siegel for New York Daily News

The line stretched down the block all the way to 3rd Ave. at the Trader Joe's supermarket on East 14th St. as people stocked up in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday.

"This is nothing to play with," said Cuomo. "This is nothing to take lightly.

"You want to stay at home, be prepared, enjoy the family, read a book," Cuomo added.

But such a luxury will not exist for the 375,000 people living in Brighton Beach, Battery Park, Broad Channel and other low-lying “Zone A” neighborhoods Bloomberg ordered evacuated by Sunday afternoon.

“I’m going home to my mother’s in Staten Island,” said Jeffrey Stainback as he loaded clothes and blankets into an SUV near his fourth-floor apartment at the Coney Island houses. Stainback, 27, said he’d also pack food and playpen for his wife and three kids while they waited out the perfect storm.

“The essentials,” he said.

The city has also set up 72 shelters across the city to house Zone A evacuees and their pets, but some neighborhood residents near the water said they’re staying put.

Debbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

Diane Perrotta paints "Shove it Sandy" on a wooden boar den up window on her house in Breezy Point as people in the Rockaways prep for the coming of Hurricane Sandy.

“I’m getting prepared and we are going to stick it out,” said Marilyn Harris, 63, whose Richards St. apartment is four blocks from the Red Hook, Brooklyn, waterfront.

High wind warnings will go into effect at 6 a.m. Monday morning and last through 6 p.m. Tuesday. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood warning from 6 a.m. Monday to 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Amtrak announced Saturday that it would halt train service to parts of the East Coast, including trips between Washington and New York. Airlines have started adding Sunday flights out of New York in preparation for flight cancellations on Monday.

Meanwhile, Nassau and Suffolk county officials have urged residents of low-lying areas to evacuate. Officials have ordered a mandatory exodus from Fire Island.

Dozens of people wheeled suitcases and pet carriers off the Ocean Beach Ferry Terminal at Bay Shore, L.I.,just one hour before Fire Island’s mandatory 2 p.m. evacuation curfew.

Stephen Barcelo For The New York Daily News

Fire Island residents are evacuated.

Frazzled residents said the storm surge has already brought the ocean to the dunes and some roads are already a foot under water.

"When you get off the boat, it's 18 inches deep," said Ilene Patrick, 56, who owns two homes and a business on the island.

She had winterized her homes and boarded up the house closest to the ocean.

"We're off. There's nothing we can do now," she said.

Others were already preparing to come back to ruined homes.

"We actually kind of said little good byes to the house," said Dumbo, Brooklyn mom of two, Carolina Della Valle. "You just never really know."

Officials are also activating 1,100 National Guard members, 400 on Long Island and 200 in the city.

The state Department of Health is ordering that all adult nursing homes be staffed at 150 percent of standard levels and that staff is prepared to stay for 48 to 72 hours, the governor said.

Utility companies across the state will also be on standby to help with power outages.

"In a situation like this you prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Cuomo said.

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Old October 29th, 2012, 06:26 AM   #302
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US Economy Advances 2 Percent in 3rd Quarter

A new home is under construction in Edmond, Oklahoma, September 21, 2012.

October 26, 2012

The United States says its economy grew by 2 percent in the July-to-September period, a slightly faster pace than economists had projected.

The government said Friday that increased consumer spending, accounting for 70 percent of the world's largest economy, led the advance. American economists had projected growth of 1.8 percent in the third quarter, up from the 1.3 percent figure recorded in April, May and June.

In addition, the U.S. said increased spending on defense projects and renewed residential construction pushed the economy ahead. That helped offset flat spending by businesses for new equipment and software, the weakest reading in that category in three years, and the economic effects of last summer's severe drought in the country's vast farmlands.

The U.S. has struggled to recover from the depths of the recession in 2008 and 2009, the country's worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. More than 12 million workers remain unemployed, and the modest growth has not been robust enough to significantly cut the high jobless rate.

The state of the U.S. economy, and voters' perception of it, is a central issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, leading to the November 6 election.

U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, says the economy is on a path to recovery. But his Republican challenger, wealthy businessman Mitt Romney, says his policies would boost job growth and lead to a faster advance.

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Old October 29th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #303
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Insurers nervous over prospect of Romney victory

By CB Online Staff
cbnews@caribbeanbusinesspr.com; cb.pr@gmail.com

WASHINGTON — You'd think health insurance CEOs would be chilling the bubbly with Republican Mitt Romney's improved election prospects, but instead they're in a quandary.Although the industry hates parts of President Barack Obama's health care law, major outfits such as UnitedHealth Group and BlueCross Blue Shield also stand to rake in billions of dollars from new customers who'll get health insurance under the law. The companies already have invested tens of millions to carry it out.
Were Romney elected, insurers would be in for months of uncertainty as his administration gets used to Washington and tries to make good on his promise repeal Obama's law. Simultaneously, federal and state bureaucrats and the health care industry would face a rush of legal deadlines for putting into place the major pieces of what Republicans deride as "Obamacare."
Would they follow the law on the books or the one in the works? What would federal courts tell them to do?
The answers probably would hinge on an always unwieldy Congress.
Things could get grim for the industry if Republicans succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act's subsidies and mandates, but leave standing its requirement that insurers cover people with health problems. If that's the outcome, the industry fears people literally could get health insurance on the way to the emergency room, and that would drive up premiums.
"There are a lot of dollars and a lot of staff time that's been put into place to make this thing operational," G. William Hoagland, until recently a Cigna vice president, said of the health care law.
Insurers "are not going to be out there saying, 'Repeal, repeal, repeal,'" added Hoagland, who oversaw public policy at the health insurance company. "They will probably try to find the particular provisions that cause them heartburn, but not throw the baby out with the bath water."
The Romney campaign isn't laying out specifics on how the candidate would carry out his repeal promise, other than to say the push would begin on his first day in office. Romney has hinted that he wants to help people with medical conditions, doesn't say what parts of the health care law he'd keep.
Likewise, America's Health Insurance Plans, the major industry trade group, isn't talking about what its members are telling the Romney campaign, though informal discussions are under way through intermediaries. Insurers like Romney's plan to privatize Medicare, and some point out that it looks a lot like Obama's approach to covering the uninsured.
Robert Laszewski, an industry consultant and blogger, says the tension is becoming unbearable.
"I spend a lot of time in executive offices and board rooms, and they are good Republicans who would like to see Romney win," said Laszewski. "But they are scared to death about what he's going to do."
There is no consensus among Republicans in Congress on how to replace Obama's law, much less anything like a bipartisan middle ground on health care, a necessity if the House retains its GOP majority and the Senate remains in Democratic hands.
In contrast, Obama's law is starting to look more and more like a tangible business opportunity. In a little over a year, some 30 million uninsured people will start getting coverage through a mix of subsidized private insurance for middle-class households and expanded Medicaid for low-income people. Many of the new Medicaid recipients would get signed up in commercial managed care companies.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study estimated the new markets would be worth $50 billion to $60 billion in premiums in 2014, and as much as $230 billion annually within seven years.
Under the law, insurance companies would have to accept all applicants, including the sick. But the companies also would have a steady stream of younger, healthier customers required to buy their products, with the aid of new government subsidies. That finally could bring stability to the individual and small-business insurance markets.
At a time when employer coverage has been eroding, government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and now Obama's law are becoming the growth engines for the industry's bottom line. The trend seems too big to derail, says Morningstar analyst Matthew Coffina, who tracks the health insurance industry.
"I think it's limited what they'll be able to accomplish in terms of repeal," said Coffina. "We have to remember that Romney implemented very similar legislation" as governor of Massachusetts.
If Romney wins he's more likely to reduce the scope and scale of the law, Coffina added. Possibilities include delaying all or parts of the new coverage, particularly a Medicaid expansion that GOP governors don't like.
The industry has three items in particular it wants stripped out: cuts to Medicare Advantage private insurance plans; a requirement that insurers spend 80 percent of premiums on medical care or rebate the difference to their customers; and new taxes on insurance companies. But CEOs don't share the visceral objection that many Republicans have to a bigger government role in health care.
Industry executives "are Republicans in the sense that they're worried about the bottom line and they want to retain private sector involvement," said Hoagland, the former Cigna vice president. "But some of their bottom line is now driven by Medicare and Medicaid. So it's not like they're red or blue. It's more like purple."
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Old October 29th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #304
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Hurricane grounds thousands of flights

By : The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Hurricane Sandy grounded thousands of flights in the U.S. northeast Monday and upended travel plans across the globe, stranding passengers from Hong Kong to Europe. The massive storm threatens to bring a near halt to air travel for at least two days in a key region for both domestic and international flights. Major carriers such as American Airlines, United and Delta cancelled all flights into and out of three area airports in New York, the nation's busiest airspace. According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, nearly 10,000 flights had been canceled for Monday and Tuesday, almost all related to the storm.
Delays rippled across the U.S., affecting travelers in cities such as San Francisco to Chicago. Disruptions spread to Europe and Asia, where airlines canceled or delayed flights to New York and Washington from cities that are major travel hubs including London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
About one-quarter of all U.S. flights travel in or out of New York airports each day. So cancellations here can dramatically impact travel in other cities.
Businessman Alan Shrem was trying to return home to Boca Raton, Fla. His Monday morning Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to New York's Kennedy airport was canceled.
He learned he could be stuck in Hong Kong for nearly a week because the next available seat was Nov. 4. He was put on a waiting list for seats that could become available earlier.
"They just say: Yeah, it's a pretty big waiting list," said Shrem, throwing up his hands. In the meantime, he'll have to fork out $400 a night to continue staying at a nearby hotel. The airline won't pay for accommodation for stranded passengers if delays are weather related.
Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is about 310 miles (505 kilometers) southeast of New York City, and the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday night. The National Hurricane Center said early Monday that the storm has top sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph), with higher gusts. Sandy is on track to collide with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic.
Airports in the metropolitan New York City area are open, but air carriers are not operating.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday that travelers shouldn't even try to go to Kennedy, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia and Stewart airports
Air travel in the Northeast started getting complicated on Sunday, when passengers were reporting multi-hour wait times at airline call centers.
Eileen Merberg, 50, was booked on a United flight from her home in Rochester, N.Y. to New Orleans, connecting at Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport.
She received an email saying the Washington flight was canceled. United rebooked her first on a flight through Newark and, when that flight was also canceled, on another flight through Chicago.
By that point, she already had told the higher education conference that she was scheduled to speak at that she wouldn't be coming. She tried to cancel her flight over the phone. After two lengthy waits — her cell phone battery ran out during the first one — she just hung up.
JetBlue Airways Corp. expects its cancellations from Sunday through Tuesday to total about 1,200. The airline has hubs at Kennedy airport and Boston's Logan. Rob Maruster, chief operating officer of JetBlue, hopes to resume New York flights on Wednesday morning. But he's worried about flooding of JFK's runways since they are all basically at sea level and near bodies of water.
Delta Air Lines Inc. has canceled 2,100 flights over the three days. American Airlines has scrapped 1,000 flights, including 260 on regional affiliate American Eagle.
International travelers would have to wait to get to the East Coast of the U.S. All flights from Paris to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington — a total of 14 — were canceled. Air France has canceled four into JFK and two departures.
Frankfurt airport canceled 12 flights, with German carrier Lufthansa scrapping three to the Northeast and one out of Newark. British Airways had to cancel all its flights to and from New York, Newark, Baltimore, Washington DC, Boston and Philadelphia — a total of 20.
Eight flights out of Tokyo's Narita International Airport to New York, Newark and Washington were canceled Monday.
Hong Kong's Cathay canceled its two daily flights to New York for Monday and Tuesday and Air India said its daily flights to Newark and JFK had halted since Sunday.
South Korean flag carrier Korean Air delayed a flight scheduled to leave Incheon International Airport for JFK on Monday by 22 hours. Asiana Airlines delayed its JFK flight from Seoul by 26 hours.

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Old October 30th, 2012, 10:21 AM   #305
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Lo peor ha pasado. Manhattan esta aún a oscuras. Yo perdi el cable, el internet y el servicio de data del móvil. Ahora empezo a funcionar el data. Ha sido espantoso.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 10:29 AM   #306
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Sabes algo del incendio en Queens? Me alegra saber que al menos estas bien.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #307
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Si en Breezy Point, una comunidad cerrada, más de 50 casas estan ardiendo en estos momentos. 100 bomberos estan dando la batalla. Esto ha sido devastador. Ya volvio el cable y el internet. Ahora me voy para la calle a ver como esta la 4X4. Y Gracias Jaykar.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #308
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Northeast Suffers Huge Damage in Storm’s Path; Millions Without Power

  • Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times

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Haley Rombi, 3, was rescued from flooding on Staten Island.


Published: October 30, 2012 401 Comments

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which left a trail of deadly destruction, devastating power failures and extensive flooding, millions of people in the New York metropolitan region spent Tuesday assessing the damage and preparing for the possibility that it could be days or even weeks before life returned to normal.

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Less than 24 hours after it made landfall along the Northeast coast on Monday night, the storm started to weaken. But the force of the violent winds and lashing rains that transformed the landscapes of New York City and the wider region into tableaus of destruction was stark and unprecedented.
Roughly six million people, including many in a large swath of Manhattan, were without electricity. Streets were littered with debris, and buildings were damaged. Seven subway tunnels under the East River were flooded. While several bridges over the river were set to reopen, other mass transit service, including commuter rail, was still suspended.
In New York State, the deaths of at least 15 people were linked to the storm, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, with about 10 victims reported in New York City alone. Although some deaths were still being investigated, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that at least one person died when stepping into a puddle where a power line had fallen; another occurred when a tree fell onto a house.
“We had a storm of unprecedented proportions,” he said in a news conference.
President Obama, who is planning to visit New Jersey’s ravaged coast on Wednesday with Gov. Chris Christie, promised on Tuesday “to do everything we can do to get aid” to those affected by the storm, saying there would be “no bureaucracy, no red tape.”
“America is with you,” the president said. “Obviously this is something that is heartbreaking for the entire nation.”
There were at least 38 deaths in eight states over 48 hours, when the storm toppled trees, whipped up destructive winds and sparked fires in several areas, government officials and emergency authorities said.
Falling limbs became deadly bludgeons in three of the New York deaths and two in Morris County, N.J., where The Associated Press reported that a man and a woman were killed when a tree fell on their car Monday evening.
At the same time, there were reports of heroic rescues. In Seaside Heights, N.J., the police plucked two people from a tree in the middle of the storm after their home was swamped with water and they tried to swim to safety.
Most businesses and schools were closed from Cape May, N.J., to New London, Conn., and life ground to a halt as residents hunkered down with stocks of food and water. There was no clear timetable for a resumption of services, like transportation.
By Tuesday evening, many people were somewhat dazed, taking in the totality of the damage and searching for information on basic services, a search complicated by the fact that without power, many people were also without cellphone and television service.
Mr. Bloomberg said that schools would remain closed for a third day on Wednesday and that the authorities would try to restore subway service in about four days, but he did not provide an exact date.
By sending brackish water into so many subway tunnels, the storm became the most destructive in the 108-year history of New York’s subway system, said Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in an early morning statement. “We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery,” he said.
One of the most striking symbols of the scope of the challenge in New York City was visible 80 stories overhead, where a wind-tossed construction crane atop one of Manhattan’s tallest buildings still dangled over West 57th Street, after coming loose during the storm.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey called the damage to his state “incalculable” and said the Jersey Shore had been “devastated.” As he spoke on a series of morning talk shows on Tuesday, rescue teams were rushing to the aid of those stranded in Atlantic City and in areas of Bergen County where, he said, tidal waters had overwhelmed a protective natural berm.

As the storm made its way across the Atlantic this week, the authorities ordered mandatory evacuations in many low-lying areas of states along the coast to clear residents from the anticipated surge and powerful winds. At one point, hurricane-force winds extended up to 175 miles from the center of the storm; tropical-storm-force winds spread out 485 miles from the center.

Forecasters tracked the storm’s path shifting well to the west, with the prediction models suggesting it would run up through central Pennsylvania and western New York and to enter southern Ontario by Wednesday, said Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Rain levels are expected to diminish as the storm continues to move inland and loses contact with the ocean — its source of moisture — though wind damage is still probable across a broad stretch of the country, Mr. Blake said. “You’ve got rain or snow extending from Georgia through Maine and Michigan,” he said. “When you have something over Pennsylvania, and Lake Michigan is seeing gale-force winds, you’ve got a very large storm.”
Airline flights were canceled at the three major airports in the New York City area.
In Breezy Point on the Rockaways in Queens, nearly 200 firefighters were still battling a blaze on Tuesday morning that destroyed about 80 tightly packed homes in the beach community. A Fire Department spokesman said the area was “probably the most flooded part of the city, so there are all sorts of complications.”
The surging water also caused extensive complications at NYU Langone Medical Center when a backup power system failed on Monday night, forcing the evacuation of patients to other facilities. Backup power also failed at Coney Island Hospital in southern Brooklyn, though critical patients had been evacuated in advance of the storm.
Officials said the deaths included a 30-year-old man who was killed when a house fell in Queens, the police said. About the same time, two boys, ages 11 and 13, were killed in North Salem, in northern Westchester County, when a tree fell on the house they were in, according to the State Police. The storm was tied to another three deaths in Maryland, two in Connecticut and one in West Virginia, state authorities said.
Officials in Pennsylvania said two deaths, of a boy in Susquehanna County and of a 62-year-old man in Berks County, were being investigated but that the county coroner had not yet confirmed them as related to the storm. In North Carolina, a man was killed when his vehicle hit a tree that was crashing down in Surry County, said an official with the state emergency offices.
In New Jersey, the wind-driven rain lashed sea walls and protective barriers in places like Atlantic City, where the Boardwalk was damaged as water forced its way inland. Foam was spitting, and the sand gave in to the waves along the beach at Sandy Hook, N.J., at the entrance to New York Harbor.
In New York City, streets turned into rivers on Monday. Waves topped the sea wall in the financial district in Manhattan, sending cars floating down streets, and swamped West Street, along the western edge of Lower Manhattan. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel flooded “from end to end,” the transportation authority said, hours after Mr. Cuomo had ordered it closed to traffic. Officials said water also seeped into seven subway tunnels under the East River.
But some of the bridges linking Manhattan to other boroughs were set to open again on Tuesday, and business could start moving again too. The New York Stock Exchange intended to reopen on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. but it was testing its contingency plan “just in case,” Larry Leibowitz, the company’s chief operating officer, said according to Reuters.
Consolidated Edison said that as of 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, 634,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County were without power. Con Ed, fearing damage to its electrical equipment, shut down power pre-emptively in sections of Lower Manhattan on Monday evening, and then, at 8:30 p.m., an unplanned failure, probably caused by flooding in substations, knocked out power to most of Manhattan below Midtown, affecting about 250,000 customers. Later, an explosion at a Con Ed substation on East 14th Street knocked out power to another 250,000 customers.
Much of Manhattan could be without electricity for several days after the explosion, a spokesman for Con Ed said Tuesday morning. More than 240,000 customers — and many more people — were without power more than 12 hours after the explosion; a customer can represent a single family or an entire building, utility officials said.
The blast knocked out electricity for all of Manhattan below 39th Street on the East Side and 31st Street on the West Side — with the exception of a few pockets, including Battery Park City.

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Old November 5th, 2012, 06:19 AM   #309
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Lack of power, gas rationing and bitter cold next up for Sandy storm victims

Published November 04, 2012
Associated Press

  • People line up at a gas station waiting to fill up, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in Newark, N.J. In parts of New York and New Jersey, drivers lined up early Friday for hours at gas stations that were struggling to stay supplied. The power outages and flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy have forced many gas stations to close and disrupted the flow of fuel from refineries to those stations that are open. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (2012 AP)
Shivering victims of Superstorm Sandy went to church Sunday to pray for deliverance as cold weather settling in across the New York metropolitan region -- and another powerful storm forecast for the middle of the week -- added to their misfortunes and deepened the gloom.

With overnight temperatures sinking into the 30s and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses still without electricity, New York City officials handed out blankets and urged people to go to temporary warming shelters set up during the day at senior citizen centers.
At the same time, government leaders began to grapple with a daunting, longer-term problem: where to find housing for the tens of thousands of people whose homes could be uninhabitable for weeks or months because of a combination of storm damage and cold weather.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 30,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers may need to be relocated -- a monumental task in a city where housing is scarce and fiercely expensive -- though he said that number would probably drop to 20,000 within a couple of weeks as power is restored in more places.

In a heavily flooded Staten Island neighborhood, Sara Zavala spent the night under two blankets and layers of clothing because the power was out. She had a propane heater but turned it on for only a couple of hours in the morning. She did not want to sleep with it running at night.
"When I woke up, I was like, `It's freezing.' And I thought, `This can't go on too much longer,"' said Zavala, a nursing home admissions coordinator.
On a basketball court flanked by powerless apartment buildings in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, volunteers for the city handed out bagels, diapers, water, blankets and other necessities. Genice Josey filled a garbage bag until it was bulging.
"Nights are the worst because you feel like you're outside when you're inside," said Josey, who sleeps under three blankets and wears longjohns under her pajamas. "You shiver yourself to sleep." She added: "It's like we're going back to barbaric times where we had to go find food and clothing and shelter."

Six days after Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline in an assault that killed more than 100 people in 10 states, gasoline shortages persisted across the region, though odd-even rationing got under way in northern New Jersey in an echo of the gas crises of the 1970s. More than 900,000 homes and businesses were still without power in New Jersey, and nearly 700,000 in New York City, its northern suburbs and Long Island.
With more subways running and most city schools reopening on Monday, large swaths of the city were getting back to something resembling normal. But the coming week could bring new challenges, namely an Election Day without power in hundreds of polling places, and a nor'easter expected hit the area by Wednesday, with the potential for 55 mph gusts and more beach erosion, flooding and rain.
"Well, the first storm flooded me out, and my landlord tells me there's a big crack in the ceiling, so I guess there's a chance this storm could do more damage," John Lewis said at a shelter in New Rochelle, N.Y. "I was hoping to get back in there sooner rather than later, but it doesn't look good."

Voting machines in hundreds of locations will be operating on generator power, some polling stations are being moved and there are likely to be delays in reporting election results in a few closely contested races because of extended deadlines for counting ballots cast by mail.
Churchgoers packed the pews Sunday in parkas, scarves and boots and looked for solace in faith.
At the chilly Church of St. Rose in Belmar, N.J., its streets still slippery with foul-smelling mud, Roman Catholic Bishop David O'Connell assured parishioners: "There's more good, and there's more joy, and there's more happiness in life than there is the opposite. And it will be back."
In the heart of the Staten Island disaster zone, the Rev. Steve Martino of Movement Church headed a volunteer effort that had scores of people delivering supplies in grocery carts and cleaning out ruined homes. Around midday, the work stopped, and volunteer and victim alike bowed their heads in prayer.

In the crowd was Stacie Piacentino. After a singularly difficult week, she said, "it's good to feel God again."
After the abrupt cancellation of Sunday's New York City Marathon, some of those who had been planning to run the 26.2-mile race through the city streets instead volunteered their time, handing out toothbrushes, batteries, sweatshirts and others supplies on Staten Island.
Thousands of other athletes from around the world ran anyway inside Central Park, where a little more than four laps around it amounted to a marathon. "A lot of people just want to finish what they've started," said Lance Svendsen, organizer of a group called Run Anyway.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York state is facing "a massive, massive housing problem" for those whose neighborhoods or buildings are in such bad shape that they won't have power for weeks or months.
"I don't know that anybody has ever taken this number of people and found housing for them overnight," Bloomberg said. "We don't have a lot of empty housing in this city," he added. "We're not going to let anybody go sleeping in the streets. ... But it's a challenge, and we're working on it."

The mayor and the governor gave no details of where and how the victims might be housed. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita smashed the Gulf Coast in 2005, hundreds of thousands of victims were put up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in trailers, hotels, cruise ships and apartments across several states for months and even years.
On Staten Island, emergency management officials distributed leaflets urging people to take shelter from the cold. But "people are apprehensive and don't want to leave their houses. It's a definite problem," said Fred Melendez, who helped run a shelter at Tottenville High School that was nearly empty of storm victims Sunday afternoon.
Fearing looters, Nick Veros and his relatives were hoping to hold out in their storm-damaged Staten Island home until power was restored. He figured the indoor temperature would plunge into the 40s.
"If we get two consecutive below-freezing days, I'm probably going to have to drain the water out of the pipes," he said, "and then we'll have to get out of the house."

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On election eve, President Obama has a slim edge in polls

President Obama travelled to Madison, Wisconsin and Columbus, Ohio on the final day of the 2012 presidential campaign trail on Monday, November 5.

By David A. Fahrenthold and Robert Barnes, Published: November 5

President Obama held a slim advantage in national and battleground polls going into Election Day as the candidates made their last mad dashes across swing-state America and their campaigns braced for a day of intense battle — and the legal fights that may follow.
A Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll showed Obama at 50 percent to Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s 47 percent. That is Obama’s best showing since July and a reversal of the three-percentage-point edge Romney held last month.


Explore the 2012 electoral map and view historical results and demographics

Poll: Still a margin of error contest

Jon Cohen, Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement NOV 5
THE FIX | Obama hits 50 percent in the final Post-ABC tracking poll before Election Day.

Biggest Pinocchios of Election 2012

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Election Night Viewers Guide

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THE FIX | We break down all of the major races, hour by hour, so you know what to expect and when.

An analysis of key races in all 50 states

Elsewhere, new polls showed the president up by small margins in Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire, three swing states that could give Obama the last electoral votes he needs to win.
For both campaigns, Monday was filled with the hard work — and the head fakes, rumors and spun-up bravado — that are traditional on an election eve. Volunteers called numbers they’d already called. They rapped on doors they’d already knocked on.
Romney announced that he would campaign into Election Day, visiting Pennsylvania and Ohio, in a gesture of either confidence or concern.
“If anyone wants to know where the energy is — if anyone out there that’s following American politics wants to know where the energy is — just come right here in this room and you’ll see it,” the Republican told a crowd at George Mason University in Fairfax County.
Obama finished his campaign on Monday with rallies in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa. His traveling aides wore fleeces with his 2008 campaign logo and talked confidently of the president’s multiple paths to winning 270 electoral votes a second time.
In Madison, Wis., Obama rallied a crowd of 18,000 in front of the state Capitol, saying the time was nigh for his supporters to help keep him in the White House.
“If you’re willing to work with me again, and knock on some doors with me, make some phone calls for me, turn out for me, we’ll win Wisconsin,” Obama said. “We’ll win this election. We’ll finish what we started.”
In two key swing states, the parties spent Monday battling over voting procedures. In Florida, the state Democratic Party asked a judge to order an extension of early voting, after an early-voting center near Miami shut down temporarily on Sunday with a line outside.
Afterward, Florida Democrats said, election officials in South Florida made it easier to cast in-person absentee ballots. The party said officials in the heavily Democratic counties of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade were allowing voters to cast absentee ballots Monday.
In Ohio, there were ominous signs that the election might not be settled for days. On Monday, a federal judge there set a hearing for Wednesday to decide how the state should count certain provisional ballots.
These ballots, which are issued to voters whose eligibility is in question, are set aside and counted later. If Ohio’s vote comes down to these ballots, the outcome will be delayed during a 10-day review period.

Early-voting numbers

A look at early-voting data in key swing states seems to show a Democratic advantage — although not nearly as big as the one Obama enjoyed four years ago.

n Iowa, Democrats won the early vote by 18 points in 2008. This year, they lead it by 10. In Florida, Democrats’ four-point edge is less than their nine-point margin of four years ago.
The pattern repeats in many key states, where Democrats’ early-vote edge is four to eight points less than it was in 2008. Given that Obama won the popular vote in 2008 by about seven points, that would suggest a neck-and-neck race.

By Monday, the most expensive general election in U.S. history was winding down. In some states, political commercials were airing at a rate of more than 50,000 spots a day, according to media tracking data. In some places, in fact, there was no more room on the air.
So, without ad slots to buy, conservative groups began placing commercials in deep-blue states such as California and New York.
On Tuesday, the country’s first polls will open at 6 a.m. in some East Coast states, including Virginia (they open an hour later in Maryland and the District). The last ones will close 19 hours later, at 8 p.m. local time in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
By then, we might finally know the outcome. This is the basic math of the race: Seven states are considered tossups. To win the White House, Romney needs to win at least four of them, including the biggest, Florida.
Obama has more options. He could secure reelection with just one of these states — Florida. Or he could win with several combinations of two, such as Ohio and Wisconsin, or Ohio and Virginia. This assumes Romney doesn’t pull off an upset somewhere unexpected, such as Pennsylvania.
“We’ve said we see many different paths to 270 [electoral votes], and all those different paths are still there today that we saw a year ago,” David Axelrod, a top strategist for Obama’s campaign, told reporters Monday. “That’s the difference between the campaigns.”

‘Very personal for me’

On Monday, the two campaigns did what they had been doing for months: calling and canvassing. They weren’t giving up.
“After the ninth, 10th, 11th call, I really feel for them,” said Antonette Smith, a volunteer in Colorado for the conservative group Americans for Prosperity who had been dialing up beleaguered swing-state voters all morning. It was Smith’s last day at an “action center” in a suburban office park. She said she came as much for her own sanity as anything else.
Smith, 50, who was laid off in May from a health-care marketing group, said it was too hard to sit home alone for the campaign’s final hours. She thinks this election could turn the economy around.
“I want to be with people. This is very personal for me,” Smith said, her eyes filling with tears. “My daughter needs a new pair of jeans.”
In Wisconsin, Romney volunter Dick Farrell went looking for votes in the oldest-fashioned way: knocking on doors. He had a clipboard with the names of likely Romney voters. And he had a script in which he was supposed to ask whether someone had voted, and if not, what time Tuesday they planned to head to the polls.
As the day went on, Farrell knocked a lot, and the homeowners answered only a little. He didn’t seem convinced that this was a great use of time.
“There isn’t much to this, is there?” he asked, squinting at house numbers, looking for the next one on his list. But campaign workers “say this is really important,” Farrell said, “and I’m taking their word for it.”
Then, in one of the last houses on Stardust Street in Waukesha, he found one: an actual undecided voter. After 523 days and $3 billion worth of campaigning, the gray-faced man behind the door hadn’t made up his mind.
He told Farrell that he’d voted for Obama last time. This time, however, he wasn’t sure if he’d do it again. Wasn’t sure, actually, if he’d vote at all.
“There’s too much to know,” the man told Farrell, “and I don’t know it.”
“Well,” Farrell said as a spitting rain began to fall on the quiet street, “I think about the debt, and I’d encourage you to vote for Romney . . . either way, I hope you vote.”
The man thanked him, and Farrell made another mark on his clipboard.

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Old November 6th, 2012, 09:39 PM   #311
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After grueling campaign, Election 2012 rests with the voters

View Photo Gallery — Election Day 2012: After a grueling campaign, polls open across the country.

By Debbi Wilgoren, Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 1:19 PM

Americans of all political persuasions made their way to voting booths Tuesday to choose the next president of the United States, the climax of a contentious, costly and long-fought campaign.
After more than $2 billion in campaign spending, unprecedented hours of television ads and record high early voting turnout, the mechanics of Election Day 2012 seemed surprisingly simple: one voter, one ballot and the freedom to decide.

Voters lined up before dawn in many places, holding tight to hot cups of coffee and their political convictions, waiting to cast ballots even if it meant showing up late for work or rejiggering other plans.
Some were inspired by the rhetoric of President Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney, or motivated by the conviction that one of the two — if elected — would lead the country down the wrong path. Others said neither candidate really appealed to them, but the idea of not voting at all seemed even worse.
And while the crowds had eased at some polling stations by mid-morning, others reported near-record turnout, a sign that the country had listened when both candidates told them that this election represented a crucial choice between two starkly different visions at a critically important time.
“This is unusual. Usually you’re out in 20 minutes,” said Patty Hicks, who faced an hour-long wait at 10:30 a.m. at a school in the swing state of New Hampshire. “I think people realize how important this election is.”
Bonnie Argeropoulos, an exit poller stationed at the school, said she didn’t know what she would do if the lines continued. “I’m going to run out of surveys,” she said. “I’ve never seen it like this.”
Obama holds a slim edge in both national and battleground state polls, and seems to have gained ground over Romney in the final days of the campaign. But with the nation’s economic recovery proceeding at a slow pace and continued battles in key states over how provisional and absentee ballots will be counted, analysts say the results of Tuesday’s voting may not be known until long after the polls close.
“I definitely feel we’re headed in the wrong direction,” said Cindy Foister, a 55-year-old federal government employee, who was one of a dozen people waiting outside a polling station in Crystal City, Va., as of 5:30 a.m. She voted the straight Republican ticket.
Charren Brooks, 44, who works for an architectural engineer, showed up just as early at the same precinct to cast her vote for Obama. “I want to see what he will do in his second term,” Brooks said. “Me personally, I’m in a better place than I was” before Obama became president.
Scattered problems were reported around the country, including a spat between tea party-affiliated poll watchers and local Ohio elections officials in Columbus, and the breakdown of the only electronic voting machine at Oyster Elementary School in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Woodley Park.
In storm-ravaged New Jersey, voters displaced by superstorm Sandy were initially told they could cast mail-in ballots by fax or e-mail, raising concerns about possible hacking and fraud. Officials later said voters would also have to submit paper ballots along with the electronic filings. Dozens of polling stations in New Jersey and New York had to be relocated because of storm damage.

In Massachusetts, the White House race and a high-profile and tightly contested U.S. Senate contest between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican incumbent Scott Brown was driving heavy turnout. Lines crawled down hallways of schools, outside firehouses and around community centers in the Boston suburbs of Cambridge, Somerville and Braintree.
“I just totally buy into her message of wanting to work for the little people and make sure working families get a fair shake,” said Emily Kathan, 41, a Warren supporter in Somerville.

At a polling place at a community center in the suburban town of Braintree, voters spoke of Brown’s charm and willingness to vote with Democrats as reasons for going red in a very blue state. “Brown’s a regular guy driving a truck — he relates to everybody,” said Ron Bonigli, 71. “I think Warren leans way too Democrat.”
In Washington’s Maryland suburbs, Latino voters turned out in force to support the state’s Dream Act, which would qualify illegal immigrants in the state to pay in-state college tuition.
“God gives us this freedom to contribute to change,” said Francisco Javier Mercado, 42, a Salvadoran immigrant who was voting for the first time. “As a citizen, I feel for the thousands of young people who came here looking for opportunity and have difficulties affording a college education.”
Tiny Dixville Notch, N.H., where voters make their choices just after midnight and the result is immediately broadcast to the nation, saw its first tie in a general election presidential vote. Obama and Romney each received five votes — an outcome that seemed emblematic of the grueling, mostly deadlocked campaign. Moments later, in the hamlet of Hart’s Location, N.H., Obama beat Romney 23 to 7.
In Iowa, some voting stations saw long lines but nothing like the hours-long waits reported in other swing states — perhaps because so many Iowans took advantage of the state’s early voting program.
As of the end of the day on Monday, 673,124 Iowans had cast their ballots, a nearly 25 percent increase from the 2008 election. Final turnout for that election was around 1.5 million.
The 2012 election is the first in which an incumbent president cast his vote before Election Day, and the second presidential election in a row in which record-setting numbers of voters across the country cast early ballots.

In Florida, a near must-win for Romney, 4.5 million people voted in advance, a total that represents almost 40 percent of the state’s 12 million registered voters and about half of those likely to vote.
Mitt and Ann Romney voted Tuesday morning in their home town of Belmont, Mass., where they were greeted by a large crowd. One woman held a sign that read: “Mitt and Ann enjoy your new White House.”
The GOP hopeful told reporters he feels “very, very good” about his overall chances and “great about Ohio.” He then flew to Cleveland to meet running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for a campaign event. Romney will also stop in Pittsburgh, before returning to Boston to watch the election returns.
Ryan cast his ballot at a library near his home in Janesville, Wis., accompanied by his wife and three children. After Cleveland, he will campaign in Richmond before joining Romney in Boston.
Vice President Biden and his wife Jill Biden voted in Greenville, Del., just after 7 a.m. Biden held his young granddaughter’s hand as he walked into the polling station. Asked whether he thought he was casting a ballot for himself for the final time, he grinned and said, “No, I don’t think so.”
Biden will join Obama in Chicago later Tuesday to watch the results come in, after a late-morning stop in Cleveland. His plane touched down in Cleveland just 22 minutes after Romney’s, while Romney was still on board waiting for Ryan.
Obama, who arrived home in Hyde Park shortly after 1 a.m. Central time (2 a.m. EST), went to a Chicago hotel Tuesday morning to give a series of local media interviews, after visiting a field office and greeting campaign workers. Later, he will indulge in his traditional Election Day pickup basketball game, organized by Reggie Love, his former personal aide.
At an emotional rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday night, Obama thanked his supporters for sticking with him through two presidential campaigns and implored them to get the job done.
“It all comes down to you,” Obama said in Des Moines, his voice hoarse and sometimes breaking. “It’s out of my hands now. It’s in yours.”

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Old November 7th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #312
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Obama Wins New Term as Electoral Advantage Holds

Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama greeted a volunteer during a visit to a local campaign office in Chicago.


Published: November 6, 2012

Barack Obama was re-elected president on Tuesday, as The New York Times projected that he had won Virginia, a key swing state that helped him defeat Mitt Romney after a long, hard-fought campaign that centered on who would heal the battered economy and on what role government should play in the 21st century.

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Supporters of President Obama reacted to results at an election night watch party in Chicago.

The president’s official Twitter account quickly posted: “This happened because of you. Thank you.”
CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News all projected that Mr. Obama would defeat Mr. Romney after concluding that he would win Ohio, netting him the necessary 270 electoral votes. As of midnight, The Times had not yet declared a winner in Ohio. But its projection that Mr. Obama had narrowly won Virginia’s 13 electoral votes gave him the margin he needed to win the election.
Mr. Obama carried New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and was projected by television networks to win Wisconsin, three states Mr. Romney had pursued to block Mr. Obama’s re-election.
As a succession of states fell away from Mr. Romney, a hush fell over his Boston headquarters. Advisers sounded uncharacteristically pessimistic about what they acknowledged were dwindling chances of winning an Electoral College majority.
The mood at the Obama campaign in Chicago was optimistic as the outcome of the race was dependent on Mr. Romney’s running the table in the rest of the competitive battleground states.
Americans delivered a final judgment on a long and bitter campaign that drew so many people to the polls that several key states extended voting for hours. In Virginia and Florida, long lines stretched from polling places, with the Obama campaign sending text messages to supporters in those areas, saying: “You can still vote.”
The state-by-state pursuit of the 270 electoral votes was being closely tracked by both campaigns, with Mr. Romney winning North Carolina and Indiana, which Mr. Obama carried four years ago. But Mr. Obama won Michigan, the state where Mr. Romney was born, and Minnesota, a pair of states that Republican groups had spent millions of dollars trying to make competitive.
The contests were hanging on the outcome of only a few key counties in the battleground states. In Florida, for example, the two candidates were separated by only thousands of votes out of more than six million ballots cast, with nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting.
The top issue on the minds of voters was the economy, according to interviews, with three-quarters of those surveyed saying that economic conditions were not good or poor. But only 3 in 10 said things were getting worse, and 4 in 10 said the economy was improving.
Mr. Romney, who campaigned aggressively on his ability to reverse the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression, was given a narrow edge when voters were asked which candidate was better equipped to handle the economy, the interviews found.
The electorate was split along partisan lines over a question that has driven much of the campaign debate: whether it was Mr. Obama or his predecessor, George W. Bush, who bore the most responsibility for the nation’s continued economic challenges. Roughly half of independent voters said that Mr. Bush should be held responsible.
Americans went to the polls in makeshift voting sites in East Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy and traditional voting booths set up in school gyms, libraries and town halls across the rest of the country. Even though more than 30 million Americans had already voted before Election Day, many people said they waited for hours to cast their ballots on Tuesday.
At one precinct in Prince William County, Va., election officials expected lines to remain until 10 p.m. or later. Tony Guiffre, the secretary of the elections board in the county, said hundreds of voters in line when the polls were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. were ushered inside the school and the doors were closed.
Four years after Mr. Obama drew broad support across so many categories of voters, the national electorate appeared to have withdrawn to its more familiar demographic borders, according to polls conducted by Edison Research. Mr. Obama’s coalition included support from blacks, Hispanics, women, those under 30, those in unions, gay men and lesbians and Jews.
Mr. Romney’s coalition included disproportionate support from whites, men, older people, high-income voters, evangelicals, those from suburban and rural counties, and those who call themselves adherents of the Tea Party — a group that had resisted him through the primaries but fully embraced him by Election Day.
It was the first presidential election since the 2010 Supreme Court decision loosening restrictions on political spending, and the first in which both major party candidates opted out of the campaign matching system that imposes spending limits in return for federal financing. And the overall cost of the campaign rose accordingly, with all candidates for federal office, their parties and their supportive “super PACs” spending more than $6 billion combined.

The results Tuesday were certain to be parsed for days to determine just what effect the spending had, and who would be more irate at the answer — the donors who spent millions of dollars of their own money for a certain outcome, or those who found a barrage of negative advertising to be major factors in their defeats.

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Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Ryan Salke, center, a cadet at the Citadel, made phone calls for Mitt Romney at a field office in Virginia Beach.

While the campaign often seemed small and petty, with Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama intensely quarreling and bickering, the contest was actually rooted in big and consequential decisions, with the role of the federal government squarely at the center of the debate.
Though Mr. Obama’s health care law galvanized his most ardent opposition, and continually drew low ratings in polls as a whole, interviews with voters found that nearly half wanted to see it kept intact or expanded, a quarter wanted to see it repealed entirely and another quarter said they wanted portions of it repealed.
Even after such a bruising campaign, the interviews showed that a narrow majority of voters approved of Mr. Obama’s job performance. In an indication that his handling of the response to Hurricane Sandy helped his standing, three-fifths of those surveyed said it was a factor in their vote, and two-fifths said it was an important one.
The interviews with voters found that Mr. Obama had an edge on empathy, with somewhat more voters saying he was more in touch with people like them. A plurality said his policies generally favored the middle class, while more than half said Mr. Romney’s favored the rich.
Mr. Romney’s campaign was intently focused in the final weeks of the campaign on shaving down Mr. Obama’s at times considerable advantage among female voters, running ads emphasizing, for example, that his opposition to abortion did not extend to cases of rape or incest.
But the interviews showed that women and men continued to have starkly different views of the candidates. A majority of men said they were angry or dissatisfied with Mr. Obama’s administration; a majority of women said they were enthusiastic or satisfied with it.
As ballots were counted into the night on Tuesday, the contests in Florida, Virginia and Ohio were exceedingly close, according to early tallies and interviews with both campaigns. The 18 electoral votes of Ohio remained the central focus of the race, a key to the strategies of both sides.
As Mr. Romney gained steam and stature in the final weeks of the campaign, the Obama campaign put its hopes in one thing perhaps above all others: that the rebound in the auto industry after the president’s bailout package of 2009 would give him the winning edge in Ohio, a linchpin of his road to re-election.
Early interviews with voters showed that just over half of Ohio voters approved of the bailout, a result that was balanced by a less encouraging sign for the president: Some 4 in 10 said they or someone in their household had lost a job over the last four years.
A final and frenetic get-out-the-vote drive took place on Tuesday.
Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, cast his vote Tuesday morning near his home in Belmont, Mass. When a reporter asked him for whom he had voted, Mr. Romney replied, “I think you know.”
Both campaigns continued trying to grind out votes on Tuesday, with Mr. Romney joining his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, in Cleveland. They crossed paths with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who also wedged in one final visit to Ohio, where the 18 electoral votes are at the center of both campaigns’ strategies.
Mr. Obama had voted Oct. 25 in Chicago, becoming one of more than 31 million people who voted early this year. The president visited a campaign office in Chicago on Tuesday morning, where he called and thanked several startled volunteers in Wisconsin and then spoke briefly to the reporters who were traveling with him, congratulating Mr. Romney for his campaign.
“I also want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign,” Mr. Obama said. “I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. We feel confident we’ve got the votes to win, that it’s going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out.”
As he waited to learn his fate on Tuesday, Mr. Obama conducted a round of satellite television interviews with local stations to urge his supporters to cast their ballots. Then, he continued a tradition he started four years ago of playing basketball on the afternoon of Election Day.

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Obama gana la reelección

Martha Nunez, del Bronx, reacciona ante el anuncio de la reelección del presidente Barack Obama en Times Square, Nueva York.

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Última actualización hecha el: 07.11.2012 00:28

La mayoría de los estadounidenses decidieron renovar este martes la confianza en el presidente Barack Obama para que los continúe guiando por los próximos cuatro años, obteniendo un resultado cómodo aunque que volvió a dejar en evidencia la división ideológica del electorado.

El presidente ganó en la mayoría de los estados clave con lo que virtualmente ganó la elección, pero muchos de esos resultados fueron por márgenes estrechos.

De hecho el voto popular se dividió casi de manera absoluta, obteniendo ambos candidatos el 49% de la votación nacional, equivalente a un poco más de 49 millones de votos por bando.

El suspense se despejó hacia las 11 de la noche (04H15 GMT), cuando las televisoras le dieron el triunfo a Obama en la gran mayoría de estados clave.

"Esto sucedió gracias a ustedes. Gracias", tuiteó Obama inmediatamente, mientras que Romney mantenía silencio.

Viendo en retrospectiva, la estrategia republicana intentó hacer de la elección un referéndum sobre el gobierno de Obama –duramente golpeado por casi cuatro años de crisis económica, anémico crecimiento y un alto índice de desempleo–, mientras que los demócratas trataron de poner en la balanza las capacidades de liderazgo y la experiencia del presidente por encima de Romney para hacerse cargo de la recuperación económica, las guerras en Afganistán e Irak y las reformas de salud y migratoria.

Al final, la elección parece haber sido una mezcla de ambas ideas, en la que los electores, aun sabiendo las limitaciones del presidente Obama, decidieron darle, cuando menos, el beneficio de la duda.

Aunque todavía es temprano para tener un panorama completo de los factores que incidieron en el triunfo demócrata, las preferencias de los hispanos, las mujeres, los afroestadounidenses y los activistas gay estuvieron abrumadoramente a favor de presidente.

Romney parecía haberse sobrepuesto a una serie de errores en la estrategia y durante la ejecución de la misma, con los que sembró dudas sobre sus verdaderas ideas además de que permitió durante mucho tiempo que fueran los demócratas quienes lo definieran políticamente en una andanada de comerciales negativos que lo presentaron como un candidato inconsistente, protector de los ricos, insensible a los problemas de la clase media y desconectado con la realidad.

Sus extraordinarias intervenciones en el primer y segundo debate mejoraron su imagen y sus posibilidades de ganar, pero al final se quedó corto en su segundo y probablemente último intento por llegar a la presidencia de Estados Unidos. Romney tiene 65 años.

Obama, quien hizo historia en 2008 al ser electo como primer presidente negro del país pidió a los estadounidenses cuatro años más para acabar de dejar atrás la crisis económica, llevar a feliz término su reforma de los servicios de salud y retirar las tropas de Afganistán para 2014.

La agotadora campaña que le reabrió las puertas de la Casa Blanca, considerada como la más costosa en la historia del país, mantuvo movilizados a los candidatos hasta el último minuto.

La tónica de los comicios la marcaron los primeros resultados del sufragio reportados en el país, desde el pequeño poblado de Dixville Notch, en New Hampshire, con sólo 10 electores (dos demócratas, tres republicanos y cinco independientes) La mitad votaron por Romney y la otra mitad por Obama.

Entre los primeros grandes retos que aguardan al nuevo presidente está la necesidad de lograr un acuerdo bipartidista sobre la reducción a largo plazo de la deuda nacional o de lo contrario la incertidumbre sobre el futuro de la ecuación impuestos-gastos gubernamentales mantendrá estancados los negocios por tiempo indefinido.

Obama aseguró que si era reelecto, los republicanos no tendrían más remedio que pactar con él acuerdos de gran alcance sobre la deuda y la reforma fiscal. Ahora está por ver si lo consigue.

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Old November 8th, 2012, 06:05 AM   #315
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América Latina felicita a Obama

La reelección del presidente de EE.UU. ha generado reacciones positivas en muchos países latinoamericanos

Gobiernos latinoamericanos expresaron felicitaciones a Obama por su reelección.

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La ciudad que lo vio hacerse político y convertirse en el primer presidente negro de EE.UU. se prepara para celebrar su eventual reelección a otro mandato de cuatro años en la Casa Blanca.

Voz de América - Redacción
Última actualización hecha el: 07.11.2012 14:18

Con el deseo de que las relaciones con EE.UU. se fortalezcan para solucionar los conflictos, los jefes de gobiernos y líderes mundiales felicitan al reelecto presidente Barack Obama.

El presidente electo de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, felicitó a Obama y dijo que “los ciudadanos le han refrendado su confianza y me dará mucho gusto felicitarlo personalmente en mi próxima visita”.

Peña Nieto tiene previsto viajar a Washington el próximo 27 de noviembre.
Por su parte, el actual mandatario mexicano, Felipe Calderón, envió una carta a su homólogo estadounidense y aplaudió el proceso democrático.

La presidenta de Brasil, Dilma Rousseff, también felicitó a Obama y lo hizo durante la apertura de la 15a Conferencia Internacional contra la corrupción.

A su turno, el gobierno ecuatoriano instó al presidente Barack Obama, a no olvidar la importancia del voto de los inmigrantes hispanos, al felicitarlo por su reelección en los comicios del martes.

"Ecuador felicita al presidente Barack Obama por su triunfo y le pide que siempre recuerde lo trascendental del voto latino", señaló el vicecanciller Marco Albuja en su cuenta de Twitter.

"El gobierno del presidente Rafael Correa felicita al pueblo norteamericano por la decisión electoral democrática y soberana que asumió", añadió el diplomático.

También el gobierno de Paraguay destacó la importancia que el voto latino ha tenido en la reelección de Barack Obama como presidente de Estados Unidos.

El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, pidió a Obama, suspender el embargo económico a Cuba como reconocimiento el apoyo a su reelección recibido de los hispanos.

"Gracias a los latinos es presidente reelecto. Por lo menos, yo diría, que levante o acabe con el bloqueo económico a Cuba”, dijo Morales y agregó además que si Estados Unidos quiere honrar a su gente, debe extraditar al ex presidente Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, acusado en Bolivia de la muerte de más de 60 personas durante una represión en 2003.

El expresidente de Honduras, Ricardo Maduro, dijo que ahora Obama debe volcar la mirada hacia el sur, refiriéndose a América Latina.

El ex presidente de Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, escribió en su cuenta de Twitter que felicitaba al presidente Obama y deseaba “éxitos a los Estados Unidos”.

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Old November 8th, 2012, 09:48 PM   #316
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Gracias Ultramatic por siempre postear y compartir todas estas noticias con nosotros.

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Old November 8th, 2012, 10:45 PM   #317
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De nada Terick, es un placer.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 04:57 AM   #318
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Obama's Next Campaign: More Taxes for Rich Americans

President Barack Obama hosts bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders, Roosevelt Room of White House, November 16, 2012.

Kent Klein
November 17, 2012

WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama's re-election campaign may be over, but his economic campaign continues. The president is appealing to business and labor leaders, lawmakers and the public to press Republicans in Congress to go along with his plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. In his successful re-election campaign, Obama made relentless calls to middle class Americans to support his program of higher taxes for the rich and continued tax cuts for everyone else.

"Our fight goes on because this nation cannot succeed without a growing and thriving middle class," Obama said over and over again.

Since winning a second term on November 6, the president has been using a similar strategy to push for increased taxes for high income Americans while preserving the existing rate for the middle class. In a news conference this past Wednesday, Obama mentioned the middle class 21 times.

"We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. We should at least do what we agree on, and that is to keep middle class taxes lower."

The president, along with the top Democrats and Republicans in Congress, have begun negotiations, hoping to avert what is being called the "fiscal cliff."

The Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is holding firm in his demand for an agreement to cut spending on some social programs, but says he is willing to compromise on taxes.

"To show our seriousness, we have put revenue on the table, as long as it is accompanied by significant spending cuts," Boehner said.

To shrink the U.S. budget deficit, the White House wants an additional $1.6 trillion in revenues over 10 years, about twice what the president sought in the previous negotiations, in 2011. Under that agreement, deep government spending cuts would take effect and tax breaks would expire January 1, 2013.

Stan Collender works with clients in the financial industry at the Washington-based public relations firm Qorvis Communications. He says Obama's re-election and the urgency of the impending fiscal cliff give the president a political advantage in the talks.

"The tax increases will go into effect automatically, and the spending cuts will go into effect automatically," Collender said. "These are things the Republicans would like to stop, but the only way they can stop is by having legislation that the president will sign."

Nonetheless, the president is taking no chances. He has hosted meetings with numerous influential Americans, seeking their support. The president is most interested in gaining the backing of major corporate executives, many of whom are Republicans, said Collender.

"The president would love to get the business community to say to the Republicans, 'Look, we agree at this point that tax increases are needed. Let’s stop messing around with this, because you are going to hurt the economy, hurt our sales, hurt our stock prices,''' he said.

Obama also met with labor leaders, such as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, whose support is more assured.

"We’re committed to making sure that the middle class and workers don’t end up paying the tab for a party that we didn’t get to go to," Trumka said.

In addition, the president met with the leaders of civil rights organizations, such as the National Urban League and the National Council of La Raza, rallying their support.

And some of those who worked on the president's reelection campaign are now pressuring lawmakers, mainly Republicans, to back the president's tax proposal.

"I think we are all aware that we have some urgent business to do," said Obama. Negotiations are set to resume the last week in November.

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Old November 21st, 2012, 05:22 AM   #319
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Many Americans unaware of health-care law changes

View Photo Gallery — Health-care reform: Major moments in history: From Teddy Roosevelt to the high court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s health-care law, here are some of the most significant moments in the history of health-care reform.

By Sarah Kliff, Tuesday, November 20, 8:38 PM
After surviving a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election, the Obama administration’s health-care law faces another challenge: a public largely unaware of major changes that will roll out in the coming months.
States are rushing to decide whether to build their own health exchanges and the administration is readying final regulations, but a growing body of research suggests that most low-income Americans who will become eligible for subsidized insurance have no idea what’s coming.


Part of the problem, experts say, is that people who will be affected don’t realize the urgency because the subsidies won’t begin for another year. But policy decisions are being made now that will affect tens of millions of Americans, and the lack of public awareness could jeopardize a system that depends on having many people involved.
Low enrollment could lead to higher premiums, health policy experts say. Hospitals worry that, without widespread participation, they will continue getting stuck with patients’ unpaid medical bills. And advocates say the major purpose of the Affordable Care Act — extending health insurance to more Americans — will go unmet if large numbers of vulnerable people don’t take advantage of it.
But because “Obamacare” has been so controversial, and its fate caught up in the presidential campaign, there has been little public discussion about the specifics of putting it into action. States such as Texas and Florida, where opposition to the legislation was strong, have been slow to embrace the law and critics have been loath to promote it. Initial White House efforts at outreach caused congressional Republicans to accuse the administration of using taxpayer money for political gain.
In mid-November, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) subpoenaed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, demanding information about how her agency has used federal money to promote the Affordable Care Act. The administration is preparing a final budget for an outreach program focused on the opening of the exchanges in October.
“People hear it’s going to come in 2014, which makes it not very relevant to their lives,” said Tevi Troy, a top Health and Human Services official under President George W. Bush. “If you don’t have an understanding of the law, that’s when you’re going to have real take-up problems.”
Seventy-eight percent of the uninsured Americans who are likely to qualify for subsidies were unfamiliar with the new coverage options in a survey by Democratic polling firm Lake Research Partners. That survey, sponsored by the nonprofit Enroll America, also found that 83 percent of those likely to qualify for the expansion of Medicaid, which is expected to cover 12 million Americans, were unaware of the option.
In separate October polling data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 41 percent of voters described themselves as “confused” about the health-care law.
Even in Maryland, one of the states that has most aggressively implemented the Affordable Care Act, awareness is low. A survey released Monday found that 30 percent of likely Maryland voters describe themselves as knowing “a lot” about the coming changes.

“Most Maryland voters don’t fully understand the law,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president of the Horizon Foundation, the nonprofit based in Howard County that sponsored the study. “The people who stand to benefit the most know the least about it.”
Even as Congress was finishing the debate that led to the law, a coalition of health-care advocates formed to help promote it. Led by Families USA co-founder Ron Pollack, the group started Enroll America, a nonprofit largely funded by health-care industry and philanthropy groups.

In the coming months, the group will begin an advertising campaign meant to encourage Americans to sign up for the health-care law’s subsidized insurance coverage. Still in its planning stages, it is likely to start in the summer or fall of 2013, just before the state-based insurance marketplaces open for enrollment.
The still-unnamed campaign is likely to put more intensive resources toward a handful of key states. Those could include Florida and Texas, which have a combined 10 million uninsured residents, and have made little effort to do such outreach.
The group has raised $6 million from a coalition that includes the American Hospital Association, pharmacy chain CVS-Caremark, physician groups and individual health insurance companies. Although that initial funding has covered survey research and the hiring of seven staff members, board chairman Pollack said the group hopes to raise “tens of millions” more for the outreach campaign.
“We know now that the Affordable Care Act has to be implemented,” said Rachel Klein, Enroll America’s executive director. “It’s imperative that the people who will benefit hear about the new coverage available and learn how to sign up.”
Currently, 48.6 million U.S. residents lack health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 30 million will gain coverage. That would leave nearly 19 million uninsured.
About a quarter of those are illegal immigrants, who aren’t eligible for the reform law’s subsidies. Two million, the CBO projects, live in states that will opt out of the Medicaid expansion.
The rest, however, probably are eligible for new benefits. The CBO, for example, expects that nearly 6 million of those newly eligible for Medicaid just won’t sign up for the program.
Even though the subsidies for currently uninsured people won’t go out until Jan. 1, 2014, the state exchanges that will offer health plans are being set up now, and participants will need to start signing up next Oct. 1. Supporters of the health-care law say the plan won’t be a success without a massive public relations campaign to build awareness.
“That part is a going to be a real challenge,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, one of Enroll America’s funders. “If we want to see high enrollment achieved, we have to figure out how to get the word out.”
Enroll America held focus groups in Philadelphia in mid-November, working exclusively with those who probably would qualify for benefits. Looking to understand how much public education will be needed, the researchers came back with a simple answer: a lot.
Participants’ hands shot up when researchers asked whether they had heard about a requirement to buy health insurance.
But when asked about whether they had heard about any provisions that might make insurance more affordable, none of the 31 participants in the four groups answered yes.
“They might find a way to reject or judge me,” said Tim Perot, 30, a focus group participant.
Perot lost his insurance two years ago after he was laid off from a job as a cook. He said he lost welfare benefits in his early 20s, after he gained a full-time job, and the drug and alcohol treatment those benefits covered. He fears a similar situation with the health-care law.
“I don’t think I’m going to be accepted or approved for it,” Perot said. “I’ll supposedly have too much money, and I’ll get denied.”
Other participants questioned the quality of the benefits. That included Marina Sokolvosky, 26, who has not had insurance since she was 17 and makes about $1,500 a month by selling jewelry online. A bike accident last year, in which Sokolvosky broke her collarbone, left her with a $6,000 emergency room bill she has not paid.
“All I know is not having health insurance, and then needing it,” she said. “There wasn’t anything affordable. For how complicated insurance is, it would be very difficult to create something functional. I don’t think it’s possible.”

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Old November 21st, 2012, 01:38 PM   #320
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Chef puertorriqueña entre las mejores

Carmen González recibe importante reconocimiento para su restaurante en Portland


Por Cristina Fernández / cfernandez@elnuevodia.com

La chef puertorriqueña radicada en Oregon, Carmen González, tiene múltiples motivos para celebrar.

Esta semana, recibió la noticia que su más reciente restaurante Carmen at the Danforth, fue escogido como el restaurante del año en el estado de Maine en los premios 2012 Eater Awards.
“Apenas abrimos hace cinco meses y que nos pase esto es fantástico", explicó González a El Nuevo Día
The Eater Awards es el nombre de la premiación que concede la publicación Eater's a restaurantes en Estados Unidos a nivel nacional y por estado. Los editores de la edición de la publicación en 19 ciudades nominaron a los candidatos en cinco categorías.
En el caso de la chef boricua, su restaurante resultó ganador en una categoría en la que estaban nominados los restaurantes Eventide Oyster Co. y Petite Jaqueline en Portland, y Earth at Hidden Pond en Kennebunkport.
González también resultó finalista en la categoría Chef del Año en la que resultó vencedora Cara Stadler del restaurante Tao en Brunswick.
Carmen at the Danforth es el más nuevo proyecto de esta destacada creadora culinaria.
Con 25 años de experiencia, González ha tenido importantes éxitos como Carmen The Restaurant en Coral Gables, Florida, varios proyectos en la ciudad de Nueva York. Hace dos años fue invitada a participar en el programa de la cadena Bravo Top Chef Masters donde midió sus talentos junto a importantes nombres de la industria.

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