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Westlake Legal Group > New York City

Bloomberg’s Blunt Defense of Stop-and-Frisk Policy Draws Scrutiny

Westlake Legal Group 11-live-getzfred-0923-facebookJumbo Bloomberg’s Blunt Defense of Stop-and-Frisk Policy Draws Scrutiny Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Minorities Bloomberg, Michael R

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A recording of Michael R. Bloomberg in 2015 offering an unflinching defense of stop-and-frisk policing was circulating widely on social media Tuesday, signaling that the former New York City mayor is about to face more intensive scrutiny as he rises in the polls as a Democratic presidential candidate.

While Mr. Bloomberg apologized for his administration’s law-enforcement tactics in November just before he entered the race, he had previously spent years insisting that the policy was justified and effective, showing no indication that he had developed serious misgivings about stop and frisk. The policing tactic was used disproportionately against black and Latino people across New York City for years.

He offered a particularly blunt defense at the Aspen Institute in 2015: The Aspen Times reported then that Mr. Bloomberg said that crimes were committed overwhelmingly by young, male minorities, and that it made sense to deploy police in minority neighborhoods to “throw them up against the wall and frisk them” as a deterrent against carrying firearms.

An audio clip of those comments was posted on Twitter Monday by Benjamin Dixon, a progressive podcaster, who highlighted it with the hash tag #BloombergIsARacist.

“Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.,” Mr. Bloomberg said in the recording. “You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every every city.”

He went on, “We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes. That’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign did not immediately comment on the audio. Material like this is certain to continue surfacing as the campaign advances: Mr. Bloomberg has not been shy about expressing his views since leaving office in 2013, often at elite conferences before friendly audiences.

But he is seeking to win over a different audience now, making significant inroads among Democratic primary voters thanks to a massive and largely unanswered blitz of television advertising. It remains to be seen whether the appeal he has demonstrated so far can survive a more searching examination of his record.

President Trump, who has supported the stop-and-frisk policing tactic and who has been criticized for statements widely criticized as racist, on Tuesday tweeted the audio recording of Mr. Bloomberg’s remarks. In a Twitter post that he pinned to the top of his feed, Mr. Trump wrote, “Wow, Bloomberg is a total racist!” He deleted the post a short time later, but his campaign manager and his son, Donald Trump Jr., aggressively pushed the recording on social media.

In Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign for president, he endorsed Mr. Bloomberg’s past use of stop-and-frisk and said it was an effective tool.

The highlighting of Mr. Bloomberg signals a change in approach for the broader Trump apparatus, which has mostly ignored Mr. Bloomberg even as the president has fretted about the billionaire’s profligate spending. Mr. Bloomberg rose to third place in a national poll of the Democratic primary released yesterday by Quinnipiac University.

Mr. Bloomberg’s 2015 remarks were far from the most recent occasion when he stood foursquare behind stop-and-frisk: As late as the fall of 2018, when he was laying the groundwork to run for president as a Democrat, Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times that the policy had deterred crime without violating anyone’s civil rights, ignoring a court ruling to the contrary.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Bloomberg’s Blunt Defense of Stop-and-Frisk Policy Draws Scrutiny

Westlake Legal Group 11-live-getzfred-0923-facebookJumbo Bloomberg’s Blunt Defense of Stop-and-Frisk Policy Draws Scrutiny Presidential Election of 2020 police New York City Minorities Bloomberg, Michael R

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A recording of Michael R. Bloomberg in 2015 offering an unflinching defense of stop-and-frisk policing was circulating widely on social media Tuesday, signaling that the former New York City mayor is about to face more intensive scrutiny as he rises in the polls as a Democratic presidential candidate.

While Mr. Bloomberg apologized for his administration’s law-enforcement tactics in November just before he entered the race, he had previously spent years insisting that the policy was justified and effective, showing no indication that he had developed serious misgivings about stop and frisk. The policing tactic was used disproportionately against black and Latino people across New York City for years.

He offered a particularly blunt defense at the Aspen Institute in 2015: The Aspen Times reported then that Mr. Bloomberg said that crimes were committed overwhelmingly by young, male minorities, and that it made sense to deploy police in minority neighborhoods to “throw them up against the wall and frisk them” as a deterrent against carrying firearms.

An audio clip of those comments was posted on Twitter Monday by Benjamin Dixon, a progressive podcaster, who highlighted it with the hash tag #BloombergIsARacist.

“Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O.,” Mr. Bloomberg said in the recording. “You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every every city.”

He went on, “We put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes. That’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them.”

Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign did not immediately comment on the audio. Material like this is certain to continue surfacing as the campaign advances: Mr. Bloomberg has not been shy about expressing his views since leaving office in 2013, often at elite conferences before friendly audiences.

But he is seeking to win over a different audience now, making significant inroads among Democratic primary voters thanks to a massive and largely unanswered blitz of television advertising. It remains to be seen whether the appeal he has demonstrated so far can survive a more searching examination of his record.

President Trump, who has supported the stop-and-frisk policing tactic and who has been criticized for statements widely criticized as racist, on Tuesday tweeted the audio recording of Mr. Bloomberg’s remarks. In a Twitter post that he pinned to the top of his feed, Mr. Trump wrote, “Wow, Bloomberg is a total racist!” He deleted the post a short time later, but his campaign manager and his son, Donald Trump Jr., aggressively pushed the recording on social media.

In Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign for president, he endorsed Mr. Bloomberg’s past use of stop-and-frisk and said it was an effective tool.

The highlighting of Mr. Bloomberg signals a change in approach for the broader Trump apparatus, which has mostly ignored Mr. Bloomberg even as the president has fretted about the billionaire’s profligate spending. Mr. Bloomberg rose to third place in a national poll of the Democratic primary released yesterday by Quinnipiac University.

Mr. Bloomberg’s 2015 remarks were far from the most recent occasion when he stood foursquare behind stop-and-frisk: As late as the fall of 2018, when he was laying the groundwork to run for president as a Democrat, Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times that the policy had deterred crime without violating anyone’s civil rights, ignoring a court ruling to the contrary.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Is Greater Than in SARS Outbreak

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168269907_7a8a0d95-abac-45af-813d-e18cb2360abc-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Is Greater Than in SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Construction on the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Sunday. The hospital was built in just 10 days as part of China’s efforts against the new coronavirus.Credit…Getty Images

The death toll from the coronavirus has now exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But nationwide, the number of people who have recovered has risen in recent days, suggesting that the fatality rate of the virus is relatively low.

China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.

Health experts say they were encouraged by the steady rise in the number of recoveries and took it as evidence that the treatments meted out have been effective and showed that the virus does not appear to be as deadly as SARS.

SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, and about 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died.

China first announced an outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia in the city of Wuhan on Dec. 31. It has been 12 days since the authorities began to place the city and much of the surrounding province of Hubei — home to tens of millions of people — under lockdown on Jan. 23.

Westlake Legal Group china-coronavirus-contain-promo-1580431440996-articleLarge-v4 Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Is Greater Than in SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors

Here’s what early research says about how the pathogen behaves and the factors that will determine whether it can be contained.

In the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, 80 patients had recovered on Sunday, compared with 56 deaths. On Saturday, 49 patients had left the hospitals, while 45 people had died.

But the number of infections from the new coronavirus is still climbing and has far exceeded that of SARS, suggesting that it could take a while before China declares an end to the outbreak. China had 17,205 confirmed infections as of Sunday. During the SARS outbreak, China had 5,327 cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Stocks in China plunged in Monday trading as investors returned from a long holiday to the prospect of the world’s No. 2 economy virtually shut down by the coronavirus epidemic.

Stocks in Shanghai dropped 7.7 percent by midafternoon, while shares in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen fell 8.4 percent. The markets had been closed since Jan. 23 for the Lunar New Year holiday, and government officials extended that closure until Monday while the authorities dealt with the outbreak.

Other markets in the region, which have already digested much of the impact, opened lower as well. Shares in Tokyo and Australia were down about 1.5 percent in early Monday trading. Stocks in Hong Kong opened about half a percent lower.

The damage could be confined to Asia. Futures markets that predict the performance of stocks in the next day forecast a positive opening for Wall Street and a mixed day for shares in Europe.

Separately, China’s central bank moved to pump $173 billion into its financial system on Monday in an emergency move to help government efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v7 Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Is Greater Than in SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 17,300 people in China and 23 other countries.

Hong Kong’s government said Monday that it would close four more border crossing points with mainland China, leaving open just three, as the number of coronavirus cases in the city continues to grow.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s top official, has been under increasing pressure from hospital employees, the business community and even some pro-government lawmakers to further tighten border controls with mainland China.

More than 2,400 medical workers in Hong Kong went on strike Monday morning to pressure the government to bar entries from mainland China, a number that was expected to grow if the government did not relent.

The medical workers, who are members of a newly formed union, said they were worried that hospitals will be overwhelmed by a surge of coronavirus cases as mainland Chinese seek to use Hong Kong’s well-respected health care system.

Mrs. Lam announced measures last week to cut arrivals from mainland China, including the closure of some border checkpoints, halting cross-border trains and cutting inbound flights. The government also said it would not allow entry by residents of Hubei Province, the center of the outbreak, or people who acknowledged that they had traveled there recently.

But she has resisted a complete closure, calling such a move “a discriminatory approach” and not in line with recommendations from the World Health Organization. Hong Kong has 15 confirmed cases of infection.

Members of the newly formed Hospital Authority Employees Alliance picketed outside of public hospitals on Monday morning. The union called for nonemergency personnel to strike on Monday, but asked for all its members to join in starting Tuesday if the government does not respond.

The union has about 18,000 members, including 9,000 who have signed pledges to strike. The Hospital Authority of Hong Kong has about 80,000 employees in total.

Signaling concerns among business executives, three-quarters of American business leaders questioned said they wanted to see the Hong Kong government shut down the border with the mainland, according to a survey of 156 executives by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

From Amy Qin, a China correspondent, and Elsie Chen, a researcher, on the ground in Wuhan:

People desperate for treatment started descending on a new hospital in Wuhan on Monday that was built in just 10 days after the outbreak of the new coronavirus. But with workers still trying to finish construction on it for Monday’s opening, many were turned away.

Multiple road checkpoints had been set up to screen cars heading to the hospital. A sign at one checkpoint said: “Huoshenshan Hospital does not have an outpatient facility. Only diagnosed patients transferred from other hospitals can be admitted.” Officers at the checkpoint were telling the sickly arrivals and their relatives to instead call 120, China’s emergency number.

One man named Xue Ying was driving toward the hospital with his cousin, who had recently been tested for the coronavirus but had not yet received the results.

Mr. Xue believes his mother died from the coronavirus, but they could not secure a bed in a hospital and she was never tested for it. His aunt and uncle were also in a hospital. He said he was desperate to find help for his cousin.

“I can’t afford to lose anyone else,” he said, sitting dejectedly in the car with his sick cousin.

About 1,400 military medics will begin working at the new hospital, which covers roughly 365,000 square feet and has been fitted with 1,000 beds. A second facility in Wuhan, with 1,500 beds, is expected to be completed this week.

From Amy Qin, a China correspondent, and Elsie Chen, a researcher, on the ground in Wuhan:

Weak with fever, An Jianhua waited in line for seven hours outside the hospital in the cold, hoping to get tested for the new coronavirus, which doctors suspected she had contracted.

Ms. An, 67, needed an official diagnosis from a hospital to qualify for treatment, but the one she and her son raced to last week had no space, even to test her. The next hospital they were referred to here in Wuhan, the city of 11 million people at the center of the outbreak, was full, too, they said. They finally got an intravenous drip for Ms. An’s fever, but that was all.

Since then, Ms. An has quarantined herself at home. She and her son eat separately, wear masks at home and are constantly disinfecting their apartment. Ms. An’s health is declining rapidly, and even keeping water down is a struggle.

“I can’t let my mom die at home,” said her son, He Jun. “Every day I want to cry, but when I cry there are no tears. There is no hope.”

For some people, like Gan Hanjiang, the city’s new hospitals for treating the coronavirus cannot be built fast enough.

Last month, his father came down with a severe fever and cough. He was tested for the coronavirus, but the results were negative. Ten days after the onset of symptoms, however, his father died, Mr. Gan said.

The hospital classified the cause as “severe pneumonia,” Mr. Gan said, but he believes it was the coronavirus. Several experts have recently conceded that several rounds of testing may be needed for an accurate diagnosis of the virus.

On the day his father died, Mr. Gan began to show the same symptoms, he said. But without a car, he has not been able to go to one of the designated hospitals to get tested for the coronavirus.

“Getting treatment is so difficult,” he whispered slowly by telephone from a small hospital near his home where he was being treated for viral pneumonia. “We can’t get admitted to the hospitals. And there’s not enough medicine.”

The turnaround time for receiving the results is usually at least 36 hours, but often longer. Local health departments are not yet able to test for the new illness themselves.

But based on a number of factors — the type of symptoms. the patients’ recent travel in China and the exclusion of influenza and some other common illnesses through testing — the New York City health authorities are taking quite seriously the possibility that these patients may have the virus.

Three more cases were confirmed in California on Sunday, bringing the total in the United States to 11.

Hundreds of Australian citizens and permanent residents became the latest evacuees from Wuhan on Monday, after a complicated debate over who would pay for the flights that highlighted the challenge and cost of global containment efforts.

Australia’s foreign minister, Marise Payne, said the evacuation prioritized “vulnerable and isolated Australians,” including 89 passengers under 16 years old and five passengers younger than 2 years old.

In all, 243 passengers were flown out of the coronavirus epicenter by Qantas to an air force base in Western Australia. From there, Australian officials said, they will be transported by military planes to Christmas Island, a location previously used to house detained asylum seekers, where they will be separated into their families and quarantined for two weeks.

The process has been tainted from the start by criticism and errors. Human rights advocates questioned the use of Christmas Island, and Australian citizens were initially told they would have to pay 1,000 Australian dollars ($670) for the flight, causing many to reject the offer of repatriation.

On Sunday, Australia’s treasurer, Josh Frydenberg said no Australians would be charged. The government is subsidizing the cost, and Qantas is covering the rest, including flying people back to their home cities after the two-week quarantine.

“We needed to get them out of Wuhan,” said Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas. He said that after the flight, the plane will undergo two or three days of “deep cleaning.”

While the world’s attention is focused on China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, medical experts worry about looming problems in Southeast Asia, which now has the largest cluster of patients with the new coronavirus outside China.

The Times’s Southeast Asia bureau chief, Hannah Beech, reports that some governments there have either played down the threat of the epidemic or openly expressed worry about offending China, a superpower whose economic heft can propel their economies.

On Sunday, the first overseas death from the virus, a 44-year-old Wuhan resident who had died a day earlier, was reported in the Philippines. The virus has spread to about two dozen countries.

Medical experts worry that a delayed response to the coronavirus in Southeast Asia could hasten the spread of the disease.

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director general.

In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a packed news conference last week that he would kick out anyone who was wearing a surgical mask because such measures were creating an unwarranted climate of fear. And in Indonesia, Terawan Agus Putranto, the health minister, advised citizens to relax and eschew overtime work to avoid the disease, saying, “to prevent it is very easy as long as your immunity is good.”

Reporting was contributed by Sui-Lee Wee, Alexandra Stevenson, Austin Ramzy, Carlos Tejada, Cao Li, Gerry Mullany, Amy Qin, Joseph Goldstein, Damien Cave and Hannah Beech.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168269907_7a8a0d95-abac-45af-813d-e18cb2360abc-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Construction on the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Sunday. The hospital was built in just 10 days as part of China’s efforts against the new coronavirus.Credit…Getty Images

The death toll from the coronavirus has now exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But nationwide, the number of people who have recovered has risen in recent days, suggesting that the fatality rate of the virus is relatively low.

China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.

Health experts say they were encouraged by the steady rise in the number of recoveries and took it as evidence that the treatments meted out have been effective and showed that the virus does not appear to be as deadly as SARS.

SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, and about 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died.

China first announced an outbreak of a mysterious pneumonia in the city of Wuhan on Dec. 31. It has been 12 days since the authorities began to place the city and much of the surrounding province of Hubei under lockdown on Jan. 23.

Westlake Legal Group china-coronavirus-contain-promo-1580431440996-articleLarge-v4 Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors

Here’s what early research says about how the pathogen behaves and the factors that will determine whether it can be contained.

In the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, 80 patients had recovered on Sunday, compared with 56 deaths. On Saturday, 49 patients had left the hospitals, while 45 people had died.

But the number of infections from the new coronavirus is still climbing and has far exceeded that of SARS, suggesting that it could take a while before China declares an end to the outbreak. China had 17,205 confirmed infections as of Sunday. During the SARS outbreak, China had 5,327 cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Stocks in China plunged in early Monday trading as investors returned from a long holiday to the prospect of the world’s No. 2 economy virtually shut down by the coronavirus epidemic.

Stocks in Shanghai opened 8.7 percent lower, while shares in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen fell 9 percent. The markets had been closed since Jan. 23 for the Lunar New Year holiday, and government officials extended that closure until Monday while the authorities dealt with the outbreak.

Other markets in the region, which have already digested much of the impact, opened lower as well. Shares in Tokyo and Australia were down about 1.5 percent in early Monday trading. Stocks in Hong Kong opened about half a percent lower.

The damage could be confined to Asia. Futures markets that predict the performance of stocks in the next day forecast a positive opening for Wall Street and a mixed day for shares in Europe.

Separately, China’s central bank moved to pump $173 billion into its financial system on Monday in an emergency move to help government efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v7 Coronavirus Live Updates: China Death Toll Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 17,300 people in China and 23 other countries.

From Amy Qin, a China correspondent, and Elsie Chen, a researcher, on the ground in Wuhan:

People desperate for treatment started descending on a new hospital in Wuhan on Monday that was built in just 10 days after the outbreak of the new coronavirus. But with workers still trying to finish construction on it for Monday’s opening, many were turned away.

Multiple road checkpoints had been set up to screen cars heading to the hospital. A sign at one checkpoint said: “Huoshenshan Hospital does not have an outpatient facility. Only diagnosed patients transferred from other hospitals can be admitted.” Officers at the checkpoint were telling the sickly arrivals and their relatives to instead call 120, China’s emergency number.

One man named Xue Ying was driving toward the hospital with his cousin, who had recently been tested for the coronavirus but had not yet received the results.

Mr. Xue believes his mother died from the coronavirus, but they could not secure a bed in a hospital and she was never tested for it. His aunt and uncle were also in a hospital. He said he was desperate to find help for his cousin.

“I can’t afford to lose anyone else,” he said, sitting dejectedly in the car with his sick cousin.

About 1,400 military medics will begin working at the new hospital, which covers roughly 365,000 square feet and has been fitted with 1,000 beds. A second facility in Wuhan, with 1,500 beds, is expected to be completed this week.

A day after New York City’s health authorities said that a woman hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital Center might have the new coronavirus, the authorities on Sunday announced that two more patients might also have the virus.

Samples from all three patients must first be tested at a laboratory in Atlanta that is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether any of the patients do in fact have the new coronavirus.

The turnaround time for receiving the results is usually at least 36 hours, but often longer. Local health departments are not yet able to test for the new illness themselves.

But based on a number of factors — the type of symptoms. the patients’ recent travel in China and the exclusion of influenza and some other common illnesses through testing — the New York City health authorities are taking quite seriously the possibility that these patients may have the virus.

Three more cases were confirmed in California on Sunday, bringing the total in the United States to 11.

While the world’s attention is focused on China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, medical experts worry about looming problems in Southeast Asia, which now has the largest cluster of patients with the new coronavirus outside China.

The Times’s Southeast Asia bureau chief, Hannah Beech, reports that some governments there have either played down the threat of the epidemic or openly expressed worry about offending China, a superpower whose economic heft can propel their economies.

On Sunday, the first overseas death from the virus, a 44-year-old Wuhan resident who had died a day earlier, was reported in the Philippines. The virus has spread to about two dozen countries.

Medical experts worry that a delayed response to the coronavirus in Southeast Asia could hasten the spread of the disease.

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director general.

In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a packed news conference last week that he would kick out anyone who was wearing a surgical mask because such measures were creating an unwarranted climate of fear. And in Indonesia, Terawan Agus Putranto, the health minister, advised citizens to relax and eschew overtime work to avoid the disease, saying, “to prevent it is very easy as long as your immunity is good.”

Reporting was contributed by Sui-Lee Wee, Alexandra Stevenson, Carlos Tejada, Cao Li, Gerry Mullany, Hannah Beech and Joseph Goldstein.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168269907_7a8a0d95-abac-45af-813d-e18cb2360abc-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Construction on the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Sunday. The hospital was built in just 10 days as part of China’s efforts against the new coronavirus.Credit…Getty Images

The death toll from the coronavirus has now exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But nationwide, the number of people who have recovered has risen in recent days, suggesting that the fatality rate of the virus is relatively low.

China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.

Health experts say they were encouraged by the steady rise in the number of recoveries and took it as evidence that the treatments meted out have been effective and evidence that the virus does not appear to be as deadly as SARS.

SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, and about 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died.

Westlake Legal Group china-coronavirus-contain-promo-1580431440996-articleLarge-v4 Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors

Here’s what early research says about how the pathogen behaves and the factors that will determine whether it can be contained.

In the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, 80 patients had recovered on Sunday, compared with 56 deaths. On Saturday, 49 patients had left the hospitals, while 45 people had died.

But the number of infections from the new coronavirus is still climbing and has far exceeded that of SARS, suggesting that it could take a while before China declares an end to the outbreak. China had 17,205 confirmed infections as of Sunday. During the SARS outbreak, China had 5,327 cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Stocks in China plunged in early Monday trading as investors returned from a long holiday to the prospect of the world’s No. 2 economy virtually shut down by the coronavirus epidemic.

Stocks in Shanghai opened 8.7 percent lower, while shares in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen fell 9 percent. The markets had been closed since Jan. 23 for the Lunar New Year holiday, and government officials extended that closure until Monday while the authorities dealt with the outbreak.

Other markets in the region, which have already digested much of the impact, opened lower as well. Shares in Tokyo and Australia were down about 1.5 percent in early Monday trading. Stocks in Hong Kong opened about half a percent lower.

The damage could be confined to Asia. Futures markets that predict the performance of stocks in the next day forecast a positive opening for Wall Street and a mixed day for shares in Europe.

Separately, China’s central bank moved to pump $173 billion into its financial system on Monday in an emergency move to help government efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Westlake Legal Group china-wuhan-coronavirus-maps-promo-articleLarge-v7 Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Exceeds That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak

The virus has sickened more than 17,300 people in China and 23 other countries.

The turnaround time for receiving the results is usually at least 36 hours, but often longer. Local health departments are not yet able to test for the new illness themselves.

But based on a number of factors — the type of symptoms. the patients’ recent travel in China and the exclusion of influenza and some other common illnesses through testing — the New York City health authorities are taking quite seriously the possibility that these patients may have the virus.

Three more cases were confirmed in California on Sunday, bringing the total in the United States to 11.

While the world’s attention is focused on China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, medical experts worry about looming problems in Southeast Asia, which now has the largest cluster of patients with the new coronavirus outside China.

The Times’s Southeast Asia bureau chief, Hannah Beech, reports that some governments there have either played down the threat of the epidemic or openly expressed worry about offending China, a superpower whose economic heft can propel their economies.

On Sunday, the first overseas death from the virus, a 44-year-old Wuhan resident who had died a day earlier, was reported in the Philippines. The virus has spread to about two dozen countries.

Medical experts worry that a delayed response to the coronavirus in Southeast Asia could hasten the spread of the disease.

“Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director general.

In Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen told a packed news conference last week that he would kick out anyone who was wearing a surgical mask because such measures were creating an unwarranted climate of fear. And in Indonesia, Terawan Agus Putranto, the health minister, advised citizens to relax and eschew overtime work to avoid the disease, saying, “to prevent it is very easy as long as your immunity is good.”

Reporting was contributed by Sui-Lee Wee, Alexandra Stevenson, Carlos Tejada, Cao Li, Gerry Mullany, Hannah Beech and Joseph Goldstein.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Surpasses That of SARS Outbreak

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168269907_7a8a0d95-abac-45af-813d-e18cb2360abc-articleLarge Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Surpasses That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

Construction on the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on Sunday. The hospital was built in just 10 days as part of China’s efforts against the new coronavirus.Credit…Getty Images

The death toll from the coronavirus has now exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China. But nationwide, the number of people who have recovered has risen in recent days, suggesting that the fatality rate of the virus is relatively low.

China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.

Health experts say they were encouraged by the steady rise in the number of recoveries and took it as evidence that the treatments meted out have been effective and evidence that the virus does not appear to be as deadly as SARS.

SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, and about 2 percent of those reported to have been infected with the new coronavirus have died.

In the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the outbreak, 80 patients had recovered on Sunday, compared with 56 deaths. On Saturday, 49 patients had left the hospitals, while 45 people had died.

But the number of infections from the new coronavirus is still climbing and has far exceeded that of SARS, suggesting that it could take a while before China declares an end to the outbreak. China had 17,205 confirmed infections as of Sunday. During the SARS outbreak, China had 5,327 cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Stocks in China plunged in early Monday trading as investors returned from a long holiday to the prospect of the world’s No. 2 economy virtually shut down by the coronavirus epidemic.

Stocks in Shanghai opened 8.7 percent lower, while shares in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen fell 9 percent. The markets had been closed since Jan. 23 for the Lunar New Year holiday, and government officials extended that closure until Monday while the authorities dealt with the outbreak.

Other markets in the region, which have already digested much of the impact, opened lower as well. Shares in Tokyo and Australia were down about 1.5 percent in early Monday trading. Stocks in Hong Kong opened about half a percent lower.

The damage could be confined to Asia. Futures markets that predict the performance of stocks in the next day forecast a positive opening for Wall Street and a mixed day for shares in Europe.

Separately, China’s central bank moved to pump $173 billion into its financial system on Monday in an emergency move to help government efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Westlake Legal Group china-coronavirus-contain-promo-1580431440996-articleLarge-v4 Coronavirus Live Updates: Death Toll in China Surpasses That of SARS Outbreak World Health Organization SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) New York City Infections Hubei Province (China) Hong Kong Far East, South and Southeast Asia and Pacific Areas Epidemics Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bellevue Hospital Center

How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors

Here’s what early research says about how the pathogen behaves and the factors that will determine whether it can be contained.

A day after New York City’s health authorities said that a woman hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital Center might have the new coronavirus, the authorities on Sunday announced that two more patients might also have the virus.

Samples from all three patients must first be tested at a laboratory in Atlanta that is run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether any of the patients do in fact have the new coronavirus.

The turnaround time for receiving the results is usually at least 36 hours, but often longer. Local health departments are not yet able to test for the new illness themselves.

But based on a number of factors — the type of symptoms. the patients’ recent travel in China and the exclusion of influenza and some other common illnesses through testing — the New York City health authorities are taking quite seriously the possibility that these patients may have the virus.

Reporting was contributed by Sui-Lee Wee, Alexandra Stevenson, Carlos Tejada, Cao Li, Gerry Mullany and Joseph Goldstein.

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A $750,000 Taxi Medallion, a Driver’s Suicide and a Brother’s Guilt

Westlake Legal Group author-brian-m-rosenthal-thumbLarge A $750,000 Taxi Medallion, a Driver’s Suicide and a Brother’s Guilt Yu Koon Chow Uber Technologies Inc Taxicabs and Taxicab Drivers Suicides and Suicide Attempts New York City Melrose Credit Union Lyft Inc Depression (Mental) Credit and Debt City Council (NYC) Chow, Yu Mein

Dec. 23, 2019

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00taxisuicidesNEWtop-articleLarge A $750,000 Taxi Medallion, a Driver’s Suicide and a Brother’s Guilt Yu Koon Chow Uber Technologies Inc Taxicabs and Taxicab Drivers Suicides and Suicide Attempts New York City Melrose Credit Union Lyft Inc Depression (Mental) Credit and Debt City Council (NYC) Chow, Yu Mein

Fliers asked the public for help finding Kenny Chow, a cabdriver, when he went missing. Credit…Kholood Eid for The New York Times

Richard Chow discovered his younger brother’s taxi abandoned outside Carl Schurz Park, a 15-acre Manhattan oasis overlooking the East River. He began to panic.

For months, he had watched his brother and fellow cabdriver, Kenny, struggle under enormous debt. Kenny had grown distant and despondent. Now he had disappeared.

Richard searched the taxi and then the park, scouring around the gardens, the playgrounds and a bronze statue of Peter Pan. Finally, he called the police.

An economic crisis has swept over New York City’s taxi industry, spreading financial ruin and personal despair, especially for owners of medallions, the permits that let people operate cabs. More than 4,000 drivers used their life savings to buy medallions. Richard and Kenny were among them.

For more than a decade, as The New York Times has reported this year, taxi industry leaders artificially inflated medallion prices and channeled purchasers into exploitative loans that they could not afford. The medallion bubble began to collapse in late 2014. Prices plummeted. But the drivers remained stuck with massive loans.

Thousands of owners, almost all born outside the United States, have lost all of their savings. More than 950 have filed for bankruptcy. And several have died by suicide.

Richard, then 59, and Kenny, 56, immigrants from Myanmar, had survived difficult times in three countries, always living in the same city and working in the same business. In New York, Richard had gotten Kenny into the taxi industry and persuaded him to buy a medallion, a move they believed would secure their futures.

Richard had looked after Kenny their entire lives. His first memory was of a soccer game when his brother got into an argument and he intervened to protect him from getting beaten up.

Myanmar was then called Burma, and its capital, where they grew up, was called Rangoon. Richard was Yu Koon Chow; Kenny was Yu Mein Chow. Their family was from China.

The family — Richard, Kenny, their parents, their grandparents and their eight other siblings — lived in one ground-floor room with no running water. They slept on plywood on the floor. Sometimes they did not eat for days.

The family moved to Taiwan in 1980. The brothers got jobs at the same factory, dyeing wool for sweaters. They saved most of their earnings, but occasionally they splurged on a trip to the movies to see the latest American action film.

Eventually, they pursued their own American adventure. After an older sister married a Taiwanese American, they got green cards.

“We wanted to go to United States because we heard it was the best place,” another brother, Jojo, said in an interview. “We heard about it in movies, in books. We dreamed of going there.”

One night in late September 1987, several of the siblings boarded the last flight of the day from Taipei to New York. Richard and Kenny sat next to each other.

When the Chows landed at Kennedy Airport, they did not speak any English.

At first, the siblings lived with their mother in a two-bedroom apartment in Chinatown. Soon, they forged their own paths. Jojo moved to California. A sister moved to Philadelphia.

But for years, Kenny followed Richard.

They began as restaurant deliverymen, fighting the rain and snow to deliver Chinese food. Then they joined the jewelry business, as diamond setters.

In 1996, Richard and his new wife, whom he had met in Taiwan, had their first child, a girl. Three months later, Kenny and his new wife, whom he had met at his jewelry job, had their first child, also a girl.

In 2000, Richard bought a small house in Staten Island. Five months later, Kenny bought a small house in Fresh Meadows, Queens.

“I’m the older brother,” Richard said in an interview. “He looking at me. It’s Chinese tradition. The older brother takes care of young brother.”

The older brother entered the taxi industry first, too. He started driving for a fleet in 2005, after a friend suggested it. He liked the job, but he hated waking before sunrise for his shift. So the next year, when the city sold medallions at auctions, he bid.

Richard said he planned to bid about $360,000 until he met with Pearland Brokerage, run by Neil Greenbaum, an influential industry leader. He said a medallion broker with Pearland said the fleet owner Gene Freidman recently had paid $477,000. Richard bid $410,000. He won.

To pay, Richard agreed to a common financing plan. He borrowed $75,000 from family for fees and a down payment, and he signed a $358,200 loan from Pearland. The deal required him to repay within four years. He did not have a lawyer, records show.

Mr. Greenbaum and Pearland did not respond to requests for comment.

A few years later, when Kenny’s company moved overseas and laid him off, Richard recommended the cab business. Kenny became a driver and, in a few months, started asking about buying a medallion.

“I took him to Pearland,” Richard said.

By then, medallion prices were skyrocketing. Large fleet owners like Mr. Freidman were intentionally overpaying for medallions to increase the value of their portfolios. Lenders were issuing reckless loans, and as in the housing bubble, the easy money inflated prices more.

The younger brother could not secure a conventional loan. But he later told friends that a broker helped him to leverage the equity in his house for a down payment to make it work.

Kenny bought his medallion at a private sale on Aug. 5, 2011. It was only a few years after his brother’s purchase. But including the taxes and fees, it cost more than $750,000.

In the beginning, the Chow brothers loved being medallion owners. They set their own hours, and they made a stable salary for the first time in their lives.

Richard bonded with other owner-drivers over breaks in Chinatown, where drivers parked and ate dinner together. He took on a paternal role, mentoring drivers from China and its neighboring countries.

Kenny did not socialize as much, but he earned respect. He made the driver Safety Honor Roll three years in a row. In 2015, when Augustine Tang, then a physical therapist aide, unexpectedly inherited a medallion, Kenny helped him. “He taught me everything,” Mr. Tang said in an interview.

As medallion prices soared, Richard did as many others did — he used the value to refinance and take out more money.

After his loan hit the four-year mark, when he was supposed to repay everything, the nonprofit Melrose Credit Union called and offered to extend his loan and lend him an additional $150,000. He agreed. He said he used the money to repay the family who had covered his down payment. Melrose issued the check in less than an hour, he added.

When medallion prices passed $1 million, the wives implored the brothers to sell.

“I’m not scared,” Kenny said, his brother recalled. “Are you scared?”

“No,” Richard said. “I trust the city.”

Soon after, the medallion bubble burst.

The brothers worked seven days a week, and they made only a little more than they needed for their monthly loan payments. Richard’s was $3,500; Kenny’s was more than $4,000.

The math got tougher as ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft grew in popularity, reducing their riders and revenues.

Richard said he and Kenny asked for leniency on their loan payments and were rebuffed. Instead, records show, Melrose moved to tighten its grip on the Chows.

Kenny’s original loans listed him as the sole borrower, and his medallion as the only collateral. But in 2016, Melrose added Kenny’s wife as a co-debtor and expanded the collateral to include everything they owned or would ever own. Kenny signed, although it is unclear if he understood the change. He did not have a lawyer.

Melrose, under pressure from its regulator, the National Credit Union Administration, also threatened to sue many medallion owners in 2017.

A review by the city in response to The Times’s series found that Melrose was one of the industry’s least forgiving lenders. The National Credit Union Administration eventually closed it, citing unsafe and unsound practices.

A spokesman for the credit union agency said he could not comment on the Chows.

In the fall of 2017, the family received another blow. Doctors diagnosed Kenny’s wife with Stage 4 colon cancer.

Kenny continued driving and paying off his medallion loans, which still totaled $600,000. But he fell far behind on his mortgage and other expenses. He also could no longer help pay his daughter’s college tuition, and she decided to drop out to help the family, a decision that deepened Kenny’s agony.

“He got depressed,” said Wain Chin, an owner-driver and family friend. “He couldn’t sleep. He couldn’t work. He had to go to the hospital all the time. He had always been quiet, but he got even quieter.”

Privately, Richard hatched a plan to save his brother. He had heard that Melrose was willing to forgive loans if borrowers forfeited their medallions and paid about $100,000. So he contacted his siblings and persuaded them to scrape together the money. Then, during Chinese New Year, in February 2018, he invited Kenny to his house.

With the help of Jojo, who was visiting from California for the holiday, Richard urged Kenny to take the money. But he refused. He did not want to burden his family.

Instead, records show, Kenny refinanced his loan again, taking out more money and using it to make his monthly payments. It was a desperate move that buried him further in debt.

Kenny also called two bankruptcy lawyers. They offered to help, but both warned he would lose his home if he filed for bankruptcy.

In early May 2018, Kenny tried to use his credit card to pay a $550 annual medallion city fee. The online system rejected the payment, Richard said, because the card was maxed out. Kenny managed to make the payment on May 8.

The last time Richard saw his brother was at a Kennedy Airport lot where cabdrivers line up for lucrative fares. It was the same place they had landed three decades earlier. Kenny looked exhausted and skinny. Richard gave him a set of Buddhist meditation beads to calm his mind.

On the night that Kenny disappeared, May 11, 2018, Richard clung to hope. He knew driving could be exhausting, so he thought his brother had lain down and fallen into a deep slumber. Or maybe he went on a meditation retreat, or on a hunt for extra money.

After a week, Richard led a news conference to publicize the case. He distributed posters: “MISSING: 5 feet 6 inches tall. Weight about 140 lbs. Last seen wearing white T-shirt and khaki pants.”

The next day, a television reporter knocked on Kenny’s door and asked his wife if she thought he was alive. “I have no idea,” she said through tears. “I’m very scared.”

On May 23, someone spotted a body in the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge, six miles south of the park where Kenny’s cab had been abandoned. It took the authorities three days to confirm the body was Kenny’s, using dental records.

At a vigil, Richard could barely speak. “I loved my brother,” he said as he wept. “He was very hard-working. He loved his family. That’s all I want to say.”

Because of the change listing Kenny’s wife as a co-debtor, she inherited his loan when he died. But it did not torment her for long. She died a few months after her husband. Their daughter, who did not get entrapped in the loan, has returned to college. She is now 23.

It is impossible to know why anyone takes his or her own life. But friends believe Kenny was overwhelmed by his loans and by competition from ride-hailing. They do not think it was a coincidence that he left his cab two blocks from Gracie Mansion, the traditional home of the mayor, in a city that had ignored bad lending practices and allowed Uber and Lyft to encroach.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio noted he did not take office until 2014. “One of our first actions was halting medallion sales, and we were one of the first and most ardent voices for curbing the rapid growth of corporations like Uber,” she said.

Bill Heinzen, who has been the acting head of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission since March, released a statement that mentioned that his own brother had died by suicide. “The death of Kenny Chow and other drivers deeply affected us,” Mr. Heinzen said.

In the days after Kenny’s death, taxi industry leaders seized on the brothers’ story. One group tapped Richard to headline an event for reporters called “How Many More Have to Die?” Another made him the voice of a television ad that asked the New York City Council to cap Uber and Lyft. (The council approved the cap in August 2018.) Even after other drivers died, the Chows continued to serve as the symbol of the devastation.

Richard has attended hearings on the crisis in Manhattan, Albany, N.Y., and Washington, each one a painful reminder. He usually sits in the front row. He often cries.

“He is a tireless warrior for our movement,” said Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents cabdrivers. “He has turned his grief into armor to protect fellow drivers.”

In a series of interviews this year, Richard said he believed that he owed it to Kenny to share their story to try to prevent more suicides.

But he also said he had begun feeling the weight of carrying the industry’s collective sorrow. He said he had decided to stop answering calls from reporters. He added that his publicity had created tension with friends and angered some of his siblings.

During one conversation, at a taxi stand in Chinatown, Richard said he sometimes wondered whether the death was his fault. He had encouraged his brother to join the taxi industry, to buy a medallion, to sign the loans.

He also wondered if he could have done more when Kenny started becoming sad. Should he have lent him money? Or forced him to go to therapy? Or reported him to the city?

“I didn’t have any experience with the depression,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Today, Richard is still struggling to pay his own loan. He owes $402,000, and he said it is hard to make the $2,766 monthly payments. He cannot support his daughter and his son, 19, who are both in school.

If officials do not bail out medallion owners, as they are considering, he plans to declare bankruptcy.

For now, Richard works seven days a week, typically from 10 a.m. until midnight.

Every day, to get to work, he takes the Brooklyn Bridge, driving over the river where his younger brother took his last breath.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

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90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way?

Westlake Legal Group 00packagetheft1-facebookJumbo 90,000 Packages Disappear Daily in N.Y.C. Is Help on the Way? Shopping and Retail Robberies and Thefts Postal Service and Post Offices Postal Service (US) New York City Fedex Corporation E-Commerce Delivery Services Amazon.com Inc

Online deliveries to an apartment building in northern Manhattan are left with a retired woman in 2H who watches over her neighbors’ packages to make sure nothing gets stolen.

Corporate mailrooms in New York and other cities are overwhelmed by employees shipping personal packages to work for safekeeping, leading companies to ban packages and issue warnings that boxes will be intercepted and returned to the senders.

A new start-up company is gambling that online shoppers who are worried about not getting their packages will be willing to pay extra to ship them to a home-based network of package receivers in Brooklyn.

With online shopping surging and another holiday season unfolding, customers’ mounting frustration and anger over stolen packages are driving many to take creative and even extreme measures to keep items out of the hands of thieves.

In New York City, where more orders are delivered than anywhere else in the country, over 90,000 packages a day are stolen or disappear without explanation, up roughly 20 percent from four years ago, according to an analysis conducted for The New York Times.

About 15 percent of all deliveries in urban areas fail to reach customers because of package theft and other less frequent issues, like deliveries to the wrong house, according to transportation experts.

In suburbs and rural areas, thieves often follow delivery trucks and snatch just-delivered packages from homes, often out of sight of neighbors.

Now online shoppers are turning to a variety of strategies to stymie thieves. Some are installing video doorbell cameras or, at the urging of postal workers, replacing outdated mailboxes from a bygone era of postcards and letters with models that can accommodate large packages.

Online retailers and shipping services, recognizing the scope of the problem, are trying to help customers. Amazon has launched a real-time tracking service so shoppers can arrange to be home when a delivery arrives. UPS is working with a technology company to enable drivers to deposit orders for apartment buildings in locked package rooms.

Amazon, UPS and FedEx also offer an expanding network of secure delivery sites for packages when no one is home. Amazon has over 100 “Hub Lockers” in Manhattan alone. Today, a growing number of bodegas, supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores and florists are acting as makeshift package holding centers.

Package theft has become so rampant in an apartment building in Brooklyn Heights that one resident, Julie Hoffer, says she now avoids shipping anything to her home that cannot fit in a mailbox.

She sends large boxes to a nearby UPS store, or to a relative in Manhattan. “It’s an issue every time I have to order anything,” Ms. Hoffer, said. “Do they offer tracking? Is it too big for a mailbox? Do I have it diverted?”

“I can’t have my medications delivered here or anything that is essential,’’ she said. “I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that it’s getting worse.”

Around the country, more than 1.7 million packages are stolen or go missing every day — adding up to more than $25 million in lost goods and services, according to an analysis for The Times by José Holguín-Veras, an engineering professor and director of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems.

In a new survey by insuranceQuotes.com, an online insurance service, nearly 1 in 5 respondents nationally reported having had a package stolen.

“The internet economy has brought tremendous efficiencies but it has also created unintended consequences,” Professor Holguín-Veras said. “Human history shows that new technology solves some problems, but in doing so, it creates others.”

Yet the extent of package theft has been largely underestimated because most cases are not reported to the police. Customers have little incentive to do so when online retailers typically refund or replace items for free, often with few questions.

Most police departments do not track package thefts, but those that have examined the problem have reported notable increases.

The Denver Police Department started compiling data on package thefts in 2015, and has seen a 68 percent increase in reported cases, to 708 last year, from 421 four years ago.

In Washington D.C., 1,846 cases of package theft were reported as of mid-November, already exceeding last year’s total of 1,546 cases, according to police records.

In New York, the police do not break out stolen packages into a separate category. Instead, these cases generally fall under grand larceny if an item is valued at more than $1,000, or petit larceny if valued at less.

Even so, package theft has become a concern in some police precincts. The 77th Precinct in Brooklyn recently posted a reminder on Twitter: “Don’t let your purchase become a steal for someone else.”

Package horror stories have become so common that some state lawmakers are taking aim at thieves. In Texas, package thieves could face up to 10 years in prison under a new law. A South Carolina bill, called the Defense Against Porch Pirates Act, would make package theft a felony.

Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, did not respond to repeated questions about how often its packages are stolen, saying only that the “vast majority of deliveries” arrive without an issue.

UPS and FedEx also declined to share numbers about pilfered packages.

FedEx and UPS offer delivery options that allow customers to leave instructions where to leave packages and UPS drivers have been trained to leave parcels in inconspicuous locations like behind bushes.

Concerns about package theft have helped push video doorbell camera sales to about 1.2 million cameras nationally this year from less than 100,000 cameras sold in 2014, according to Jack Narcotta, a senior analyst for Strategy Analytics.

“It’s a sense of, ‘I’m going to protect what’s mine — even if I have to get my camera,’” Jason Hargraves, managing editor of insuranceQuotes.com, said of the concerns about package theft.

Still, many New Yorkers have little, if any, package security. Parcels are routinely left outside brownstones and houses in crowded neighborhoods with heavy foot traffic.

In apartment buildings without doormen, residents — and anyone else passing through — can pick through boxes piled in lobbies or hallways in a kind of honor system.

Mercedes Alonte, 26, a wardrobe stylist who gets shipments of clothing for work, had packages disappear last fall from her Brooklyn building, which she has since moved out of. “It made me really on edge,” she said. “I can’t do my job if I can’t trust the packages are going to be there when I get home.”

Shane Reidy, 30, an architectural designer, used to ship packages to his Manhattan office. But he grew tired of carrying his orders — one was a 30-pound exercise bar — home on the subway, so now he takes his chances at his building in Queens.

Some companies that have become inundated with personal packages are telling their employees to find other options. JPMorgan Chase has asked its workers not to have shipments sent to the office, while Warner Media warns that packages will be returned to the sender.

Assuaging the anxiety of online shoppers has provided a new source of income for some businesses.

One mailbox store, the Brooklyn Postal Center, receives about 100 packages a day for residents who pay $5 for each delivery. “People used to come in for mailboxes,” said Suhaib Ali, the owner. “Over time, more and more people were signing up for mailboxes but didn’t actually want them for mail. They just wanted to receive their packages.”

Gabriel Cepeda, 23, came up with the idea for a start-up company built around collecting packages, called Pickups Technologies, after his own Amazon order of computer hard drives was stolen last year outside of his parents’ home in New Jersey. He spent hours on the phone trying to get his order replaced. “It was bad enough to motivate me to brainstorm,” he said.

Now Mr. Cepeda’s company connects online shoppers with a network of about 30 residents in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg who will accept packages at their homes at all hours, for fees ranging from $4.99 for a single delivery, to $9.99 for a monthly service. The company plans to expand to more neighborhoods.

In East Harlem, Miriam Cruz, a retired nurse’s aide, is almost always home so a couple of neighbors asked her to keep their packages for safekeeping. Soon, word spread around the building, and over the past five years she has opened her door to thousands of packages.

Nothing has been stolen on her watch — unlike the box of Nike sneakers that disappeared recently from outside another apartment. “Put Nikes in front of anyone’s door, of course they’re going to take it,” she said.

Ms. Cruz, 69, said her family did not want her to do it at first because of worries about strangers showing up at her door. She did it anyway. Now, during the holidays, she has boxes filling her hallway and spilling into her bedroom. If neighbors do not pick them up, she posts reminder notes on their doors.

Ms. Cruz, who is known as “Ma” to her neighbors, refuses to take money so they have thanked her with cake and chocolates.

“This is something I do,’’ she said, “because I love my neighbors and I want to pay it forward.’’

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Second Amendment Case May Fizzle Out at the Supreme Court

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-scotus-facebookJumbo Second Amendment Case May Fizzle Out at the Supreme Court washington dc Supreme Court (US) Second Amendment (US Constitution) New York City gun control firearms Decisions and Verdicts

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade may not end up changing anything, judging from questioning at arguments on Monday that focused largely on whether the repeal of a New York City law made the case challenging it moot.

“What’s left of this case?” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked. “The petitioners have gotten all of the relief they sought.”

The other three members of the court’s liberal wing made similar points. “The other side has thrown in the towel,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told a lawyer for the challengers.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a member of the court’s conservative majority, asked questions that seemed aimed at making sure that the case was truly moot. But two other conservatives, Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch, seemed ready to decide the case, saying that the repeal of the law did not settle every question before the court.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett M. Kavanaugh asked no questions.

The law had limited city residents who had “premises licenses” from transporting their guns outside their homes. It allowed them to take their guns to one of seven shooting ranges within the city limits, but it barred them from taking their guns anywhere else, including second homes and shooting ranges outside the city, even when they were unloaded and locked in a container separate from any ammunition.

Three city residents and the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association sued to challenge the law but lost in Federal District Court in Manhattan and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A unanimous three-judge panel of the Second Circuit ruled that the ordinance passed constitutional muster.

After the Supreme Court granted review, the city repealed its law, apparently fearful of a loss that could sweep away other gun-control regulations, too. For good measure, New York State enacted a law allowing people with premises licenses to take their guns to their homes and businesses and to shooting ranges and competitions, whether in the city or not.

Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for the challengers in the case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, No. 18-280, said the restrictions imposed by the ordinance were at odds with the Second Amendment.

Richard P. Dearing, a lawyer for the city, responded that the ordinance was no longer on the books, meaning that there was nothing left for the court to decide.

The larger question in the case, one the court may not address, is whether lower courts have been faithfully applying its key precedent, District of Columbia v. Heller, which was decided by a 5-to-4 vote in 2008. The decision revolutionized Second Amendment jurisprudence by identifying an individual right to own guns, but it ruled only that the right applied inside the home, for self-defense.

Proponents of gun rights have been frustrated by lower-court rulings that have generally upheld various kinds of gun-control laws, often relying on a passage in the Heller decision that said some restrictions were presumptively constitutional.

“Nothing in our opinion,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority in a passage that was apparently the price of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s fifth vote, “should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

Justice Scalia died in 2016, and Justice Kennedy retired last year.

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Watch 4 Decades of Inequality Drive American Cities Apart

Westlake Legal Group city-inequality-chart-1574810823920-facebookJumbo Watch 4 Decades of Inequality Drive American Cities Apart Wages and Salaries United States Economy New York City Labor and Jobs Income Inequality Economic Conditions and Trends Binghamton (NY)

In 1980, highly paid workers in Binghamton, N.Y., earned about four and a half times what low-wage workers there did. The gap between them, in a region full of I.B.M. executives and manufacturing jobs, was about the same as the gap between the workers near the top and the bottom in metro New York.

Since then, the two regions have diverged. I.B.M. shed jobs in Binghamton. Other manufacturing disappeared, too. High-paying work in the new knowledge economy concentrated in New York, and so did well-educated workers. As a result, by one measure, wage inequality today is much higher in New York than it is in Binghamton.

Ratio of 90th-percentile wages to 10th-percentile wages in 195 metro areas

↑ More inequality
Metro population →
Dots represent metro areas; names are shortened for clarity.·Analysis of census and American Community Survey data by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

What has happened over the last four decades is only partly a story of New York’s rise as a global hub and Binghamton’s struggles. Economic inequality has been rising everywhere in the United States. But it has been rising much more in the booming places that promise hefty incomes to engineers, lawyers and innovators. And those places today are also the largest metros in the country: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Houston, Washington.

This chart, using data from a recent analysis by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz of the New York Fed, captures several dynamics that have remade the U.S. economy since 1980. Thriving and stagnant places are pulling apart from each other. And within the most prosperous regions, inequality is widening to new extremes. That this inequality now so clearly correlates with city size — the largest metros are the most unequal — also shows how changes in the economy are both rewarding and rattling what we have come to think of as “superstar cities.”

In these places, inequality and economic growth now go hand in hand.

Back in 1980, Binghamton’s wage inequality made the region among the most unequal in the country, according to the Fed analysis. It ranked 20th of the 195 metros shown here as measured by comparing the wages of workers at the 90th percentile with those at the 10th percentile of the local wage distribution, a measure that captures the breadth of disparities in the local economy without focusing solely on the very top. In 1980, New York City was slightly less unequal, ranking 44th by this measure.

Forty years ago, none of the country’s 10 largest metros were among the 20 most unequal. By 2015, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington had jumped onto that list, pulled there by the skyrocketing wages of high-skilled workers. Binghamton over the same period had become one of the least unequal metros, in part because many I.B.M. executives and well-paid manufacturing workers had vanished from its economy.

In effect, something we often think of as undesirable (high inequality) has been a signal of something positive in big cities (a strong economy). And in Binghamton, relatively low inequality has been a signal of a weak economy. (The Fairfield-Bridgeport, Conn., metro stands out in either era because the deep poverty of its urban core is surrounded by particularly rich suburbs.)

These patterns are hard to reconcile with appeals today for reducing inequality, both within big cities and across the country. What are Americans supposed to make of the fact that more high-paying jobs by definition widen inequality? Should New Yorkers be O.K. with growing inequality in New York if it’s driven by rising wages for high-skilled workers, and not falling wages for low-skilled ones?

“That’s more of a political question,” said Nathaniel Baum-Snow, an economist at the University of Toronto. “That’s a question of what we decide our values should be as a society.”

Tom VanHeuvelen, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota who has also researched these patterns, said: “It seems obvious to me that it doesn’t need to be the way that it is right now. This isn’t the only inevitable outcome we have when we think about the relationship between cities, affluence and inequality.”

Economists say that the same forces that are driving economic growth in big cities are also responsible for inequality. And those forces have accumulated and reinforced each other since 1980.

High-skilled workers have been in increasing demand, and increasingly rewarded. In New York, the real wages for workers at the 10th percentile grew by about 15 percent between 1980 and 2015, according to the Fed researchers. For the median worker, they grew by about 40 percent. For workers at the 90th percentile, they nearly doubled.

That’s partly because when highly skilled workers and their firms cluster in the same place today, they’re all more productive, research shows. And in major cities, they’re also tied directly into the global economy.

“If you’re someone who has skills for the new economy, your skills turn out to be more valuable in bigger cities, in a way that wasn’t true 30 to 40 years ago,” Mr. Baum-Snow said.

It’s no surprise, then, that high-skilled workers have been sorting into big, prosperous cities, compounding the advantages of these places (and draining less prosperous places of these workers).

At the same time, automation, globalization and the decline of manufacturing have decimated well-paying jobs that once required no more than a high school diploma. That has hollowed out both the middle class in big cities and the economic engine in smaller cities. The result is that changes in the economy have disproportionately rewarded some places and harmed others, pushing their trajectories apart.

Add one more dynamic to all of this: Inequality has been rising nationally since the 1980s. But because the Bay Area and New York regions already had more than their fair share of one-percenters (or 10 percenters) in 1980, the national growth in income inequality has been magnified in those places.

“We’ve had this pulling apart of the overall income distribution,” said Robert Manduca, a Ph.D. student in sociology and social policy at Harvard who has found that about half of the economic divergence between different parts of the country is explained by trends in national inequality. “That overall pulling apart has had very different effects in different places, based on which kinds of people were already living in those places.”

Mr. Manduca says national policies like reinvigorating antitrust laws would be most effective at reducing inequality (the consolidation of many industries has meant, among other things, that smaller cities that once had company headquarters have lost those jobs, sometimes to big cities).

It is hard to imagine local officials combating all these forces. Increases to the minimum wage are likely to be swamped — at least in this measure — by the gains of workers at the top. Policies that tax high earners more to fund housing or education for the poor would redistribute some of the uneven gains of the modern economy. But they would not alter the fact that this economy values an engineer so much more than a line cook.

“If you brought the bottom up, it would be a better world,” said Richard Florida, a professor at the University of Toronto who has written extensively about these trends. “But you’d still have a big rise in wage inequality.”

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