web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 145)

10 clever things you never knew your iPad could do

iPads are everywhere now. Workers carry them around offices. Patrons order food on iPads in restaurants. Entire stores have traded their cash registers for iPads. The flagship Apple tablet isn’t just a novelty item for watching movies on the sofa; it has become a major workhorse, transforming our domestic and professional lives.

Add the power of Siri, and your iPad becomes a full-on virtual assistant, especially with a few little-known features.

For those of us who already have iPads, there are tons of hidden tricks that make owning this magical little gadget even more fun – no apps required. These shortcuts can accelerate your workflow, enhance your browsing, and protect your privacy, all with a few taps of your fingers.

While you’re fiddling with your device, you may also want to make sure it’s clear of malware, since even Apple devices are susceptible.

Whether you use your iPad for work or play, you won’t want to miss these handy iPad secrets.

1. Scroll faster and easier

One of the biggest differences between a tablet and a traditional laptop is the lack of “mouse.” Your finger is clumsy compared to a trackpad, which gives you surgical precision on the screen.

Editing text can be tedious on the iPad, but fortunately, Apple has enabled “trackpad mode” for the first time on iOS 12. With trackpad mode, you can quickly scroll through text that you’ve typed and instantly jump from the top to the bottom of a page (or vice versa).

To enable trackpad mode, hold the space bar down on the keyboard until all the keys go gray. As long as you don’t remove your finger, you can quickly scroll through the entirety of your content.

2. Secret setting extends battery life

iPads are known for maintaining long battery life, but sometimes you’ll notice an abrupt drain. This annoyance usually happens because of apps that run in the background and continue to use data and power.

While it can be useful to have Apple’s “Background App Refresh” downloading and preparing the latest updates to your Twitter timeline, turning the feature off can help you save critical battery life for when you need it most.

To disable the Background App Refresh, navigate to your Settings app, and select General. Then, select Background App Refresh and turn the feature off from the top. Your apps may take a few seconds longer to load when you first open them, but the extra battery life is well worth that nominal wait.

3. Hide private photos from view

When families get together and trade photos, they often pass around an iPad. But we might not want everyone to see all of our business in one place. Thankfully, there’s a way to instantly hide your private photos by default into an album that’s separate from your current camera roll.

To hide photos, open your Photos app and tap Select in the upper right-hand corner. Next, tap the photos you want to hide and select the Share button from the bottom left of the screen (it looks like a box with an arrow coming out). Select Hide from the menu that appears at the bottom of your screen.

Now, your photos are hidden in a separate album for you to access at your convenience.

4. Go instantly to the top of any webpage

This one is simple: When you’re neck-deep in a website, tap the title bar of the app or web page. This one motion will send you zooming right back to the top.

Since it was designed to make browsing easier, all you need to do is touch the black bar at the top of your display (where the time shows), and you’ll find yourself at the very beginning. Nice.

5. Scan documents like a pro

Scanners have largely disappeared, and most of us say, “Good riddance.” Unless you work in an office environment, you probably won’t need to use one again, thanks to the Notes app on your iPad.

If you have something that needs to be scanned, you can use your iPad’s camera to take a photo of your document and add it directly to your Notes. You’ll never need to use a separate scanning app. Notes works.

To use it, open the Notes app and tap the plus button in the bottom center of the display. Then, choose Scan Documents. Also, options like black and white, grayscale, or color can help make the document stand out for easier reading whether its typed, handwritten, or printed.

6. Show two apps at once on your screen

One of the iPad’s biggest successes recently has been its ability to multitask apps. All this means is that your tablet can run more than one app side by side.

To start, open the Home Screen of your iPad and make sure both apps you want to use are stored in the Dock at the bottom center of the screen. Then, open the first app you want to use.

From the bottom of the display, swipe up to reveal the Dock again. Then, tap and hold the icon of the second app you wish to use.

While continuing to hold on to the app icon, drag it into either the right or left side of the display. This will open the app right next to the first one.

One more step: To even the screen-space each app is taking, touch and drag the dividing line between the two apps towards the center of the screen.

Now, you can get more power out of your device with much less effort than it takes to keep switching apps. Your fingers will thank you.

7. Type like you do on your phone

The iPad’s size is one of its biggest strengths, but we don’t always want to set it on our lap or on a desk to type. What if we could type with our thumbs like on a smartphone?

By default, you can easily split the keyboard of the iPad, so each side retreats to the bottom corners of the device. This makes it possible to type with your thumbs as if your iPad was a giant smartphone.

To split your keyboard, hold the keyboard icon on the bottom right of the screen until a menu pops up. Without lifting your finger from the screen, move it up to Split, and the keyboard will immediately separate. To put it back to normal, the process is the same except you’ll select Merge instead.

8. Charge your iPad faster with this little known tool

It’s no secret that iPads can take a long time to charge. But there’s a reason for this: the battery is massive. iPads require this large core in order to power that gorgeous display properly.

Even still, there is a way to get your iPad in fighting shape much faster than usual. Apple’s USB-C charging block is designed for its laptops, but with a lightning adapter, your iPad can enjoy increased charging speeds with zero additional effort.

Have somewhere to go? Just drop your iPad on the USB-C charger and give it a go. You’ll be back to green in no time.

The USB-C charging accessory can be found on Apple.com, as well as the compatible Lightning adapter.

9. Show others what you’re doing on your screen

Sometimes, sharing what you’re doing with your friends and loved ones goes beyond a simple photo or screenshot. Let’s say you’re playing a game on Facebook like Words With Friends and you really want to show your family across the country your winning epic combination. A photo isn’t going to cut it. What you want is a screen recording.

Luckily, iOS12 gives you the ability to record your screen by default.

On your iPad, swipe down from the upper right corner of the display to bring up the Control Center. Then, tap the icon shaped like a target. Then, hit Start Recording. While you’re recording, a red band will appear at the top of your screen so you’ll know if you’re recording. To stop, tap the red bar and hit Stop.

10. Search like a pro

Did you know your iPad comes with a built-in search engine that can help you locate anything stored on your device or the cloud?

To access the Spotlight tool, touch the center of your display, and pull down. You’ll see a menu appear with a search bar, Siri Suggestions of apps to use, and some recommendations based on previous activity. From here, type to search for your query, and touch the results to open them.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

###

Westlake Legal Group 542866-apple-ipad-pro 10 clever things you never knew your iPad could do The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/companies/apple fnc/tech fnc article 54b8df86-2429-58b0-b740-630236a9781f   Westlake Legal Group 542866-apple-ipad-pro 10 clever things you never knew your iPad could do The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech/companies/apple fnc/tech fnc article 54b8df86-2429-58b0-b740-630236a9781f

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

Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Ship Island Excursions has survived hurricanes, global recessions, a world war and a host of economic challenges since the ferry company began taking passengers to the barrier islands that dot coastal Mississippi in the 1920s. But this year, a new threat has emerged: an explosion of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that has shut down virtually all of Mississippi’s beaches since July 4. 

No one knows when the algae will disappear, and many wonder how many businesses that operate in the region will survive the hit. 

“Beach vendors have been wiped out,” said Louis Skrmetta, operations manager for Ship Island Excursions. “I’ve never seen something so dramatic. It’s very similar to the BP oil spill…people are frightened to just walk in the sand.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d7291a1230000500051262c Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore An empty beach in Waveland, Mississippi on Sept. 6, 2019.

Scientists have never seen anything like this before in the ocean off’s Mississippi coast ― blue-green algal blooms are normally confined to fresh-water species. Mississippi officials say the bloom is the result of record flooding this year in the Midwest, which has pushed a deluge of polluted, nitrogen-rich water down the Mississippi River. It has forced state officials to issue water and health advisories warning people to stay out of the water and to avoid contaminated seafood

Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s particularly dangerous for pets; dogs in several southern states have died after exposure to blue-green algae in freshwater environments this summer. 

Mississippi business and fishery experts say they’ve never seen such a massive algal bloom spread in coastal waters. Many blame the record ten trillion gallons of Mississippi River water that the Army Corps of Engineers diverted from the flooding New Orleans area. The Corps opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway twice for a record 123 days, pouring fertilizer and industrial waste-laden river water into Lake Pontchartrain, which drains into the Mississippi Sound. 

State marine officials say the diversion has killed sensitive oyster reefs, wiped out brown shrimp and crab catches, and altered the salinity levels of the entire Mississippi coastal estuarine area. While salinity levels are finally returning to normal, water health advisories for blue-green algae remain on state beaches. 

Hotels, restaurants and other coastal businesses who depend on summer tourism to get through the year are facing big losses, said Coastal Mississippi, an organization that tracks business development. 

Beach vendors, fishing charters, and other beachfront establishments that are reliant upon the health of the Mississippi Sound have seen “devastating losses” in revenue, the group said in an email, “seeing decreases in business of up to 70 percent” from last year.

It could be the new normal. … It would be a tourist season killer. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University

Commercial fishermen also have been hit hard. Oyster reefs are particularly vulnerable to salinity changes, and these areas already were dealing with the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the BP oil spill in 2010, and other freshwater dumps by the Bonnet Carre Spillway after other storms. Fishermen fear this years’ record flood could wipe out Mississippi oysters for good. 

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources reports that 90 to 100% of the state’s oyster reefs are dead. The reefs will take years to rebuild ― and that’s assuming the river water flooding stops, experts say. Mississippi residents say when they go out for oysters in local restaurants, their oysters come from Washington State, a shock when they consider Mississippi was home to one of the worlds’ most productive oyster fisheries just 15-20 years ago.

Mississippi shrimp, crab and finfish catches are all down this year, according to state officials. Fishermen say the ocean is just as deserted as the beaches, as many boat captains want to avoid burning fuel while getting nothing in return. Some described spotting dead sea turtles lined up on the barrier islands, and running through unusual masses of dead fish and hyacinth grass floating in the water. 

“I’ve never seen this before,” said Tommy O’Brien, a fisherman from Pascagoula, Mississippi. A recent nine-day trip brought in red snapper catch worth less than $8,000, he said, which is a quarter of what he usually gets. 

“When the blue-green algae die, there will be another fish kill,” he said. “The in-shore fish could take years to recover.” 

Ryan Bradley, executive director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, said it’s a “dire situation” in the Gulf. After several decades of disasters, this one may be the worst because no one knows when the algal bloom will end, he said. 

Bradley, a fifth-generation fisherman, worries the industry may be doomed by state actions. He said many people stopped buying seafood from state waters after the Department of Environmental Quality warned against eating seafood from areas with algal blooms. 

“That really put a damper on our seafood sales,” Bradley said, noting that state testing has yet to find dangerous levels of algae in any actual seafood. “These fishermen and communities really need direct emergency assistance. If we don’t take care of people now, they won’t be around forever. It’s a direct threat to our food security.” 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and other federal officials have backed an emergency federal fisheries disaster declaration to compensate fishermen and other businesses. But Bradley said it could take years for the money to get to them since some fishermen never got compensated after the BP disaster and flooding nearly a decade ago. Bradley blames an ineffective bureaucracy that ignores people who need help the most. “The process is broke.” 

As fishermen battle the new stigma of algal blooms, scientists in the Gulf are tracking another ongoing ocean disaster: annual “dead zones,” or vast areas of oxygen-depleted water, that plague the Gulf each year. The zones are toxic to marine life and blossom in gulf waters each summer as nutrients and fertilizers pour down the Mississippi River. 

Louisiana State University research professor Nancy Rabalais leads annual trips to measure the offshore areas of low oxygen, which was expected to reach a record size this year. But then July’s Hurricane Barry stirred up the Gulf waters and improved oxygen levels. When Rabalais and her team measured the Gulf in July, they found this year’s dead zone was nearly 7,000 square-miles, which made it the 8th biggest ― although she suspects it may be larger now in the calm, still warmer-than-normal temperatures of the Gulf. 

Scientists have been trying to get farmers and communities across the Midwest to change practices and avoid dumping massive amounts of fish-killing nutrients into the Mississippi. Rabalais says as the climate warms and areas like the Midwest experience more rainfall, the dead zones will only get worse. 

Meanwhile, tracking it is getting harder, as Rabalais says her research budget has been slashed to a third of what it used to be. “I can’t speak without data,” she said, “but more rainfall means more water is poured into the Gulf with lots of nutrients.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5d72769b240000fb1777c54b Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore A sign at a beach in Waveland warns against swimming due to algae blooms along the MIssissippi coast.

Although the dead zone is different from the blue-green algae disaster, scientists say elevated levels of polluted Mississippi River water entering the Gulf seem to be the cause in both cases. That has many experts worried about the impact of new algal blooms on marine life, which has suffered huge losses this summer due to the tidal wave of polluted river water that invaded the environment.  

It’s unclear if the algal blooms have played a role in the deaths of 300 dolphins found along the northern Gulf coast this year, including at least 143 in Mississippi alone. Experts say these numbers are a fraction of the dolphins that have likely died, and a federal investigation of marine mammal deaths is ongoing. 

Moby Solangi, president and executive director of the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, says the algal bloom is an indication the marine environment is unhealthy. The worst outcome, he said, would be if toxic organisms like algae actually evolve into something more persistent and constant ― a nightmare situation for the marine species that live there and the people who depend on them.

If it’s true that toxic algae are adapting to marine environments, that’s bad news for the Mississippi tourist industry and for its fisheries, and something Solangi says scientists are investigating. 

“There are multiple factors at work here,” Solangi said. “You’ve got polluted river water being poured into an area that’s not used to it, and organisms are feeling the pain… it’s like an aquatic hurricane.” 

Scientists say anything is possible in a rapidly warming aquatic world. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University and expert on algal blooms, said it would be disastrous if these blooms become more common. 

“It could be the new normal, and it will impact fisheries and the economy if it continues,” Lapointe said. “It would be a tourist season killer.” 

Repeated calls and emails last week to top Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials, including its executive director, Gary Ricard, and communications director, Robbie Wilbur, went unanswered. Rick Burris, deputy director of marine fisheries at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said his agency is not sure what threat blue algae poses to marine life, but he says so far agency officials have not detected dangerous levels of algae in seafood. 

But Burris said what they are seeing is unusual. “The salinity levels are almost back to normal, but we’re not seeing the algal bloom recede as expected,” said Burris. “We are in unchartered territory.” 

Meanwhile, residents and businesses along the Mississippi coast are fed up with state officials who seem to have few weapons to fight the algal bloom. At a community meeting of about 200 residents last week in Gulfport, there were a lot of questions but few answers, according to people who attended. 

“How can you be mad at something you don’t know,” said Waveland resident Janet Densmore, who lives a few hundred yards from shore and has walked empty beaches this summer wondering what’s in the water. “They’re just trying to keep a lid on it and hope they don’t get blamed by the voters.” 

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

Saudi King Appoints a Son, Prince Abdulaziz, as Energy Minister

Westlake Legal Group 08saudi-sub-facebookJumbo Saudi King Appoints a Son, Prince Abdulaziz, as Energy Minister Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia Salman, King of Saudi Arabia Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Appointments and Executive Changes Abdulaziz bin Salman, Prince of Saudi Arabia

BEIRUT, Lebanon — King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Sunday named his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman as energy minister, putting a member of the royal family for the first time in one of the kingdom’s most important roles, as part of a wider shake-up of top energy-sector jobs.

The appointment of Prince Abdulaziz, an older half brother of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, brings to an end a long line of commoner technocrats charged with overseeing energy policy for the world’s largest oil exporter.

Prince Abdulaziz, who has been minister of state for energy affairs since 2017, replaces Khalid al-Falih, who was removed last week as board chairman of Aramco, a company that he once ran as chief executive. The move announced on Sunday is likely to surprise oil market participants, who had mostly assumed that the departing energy minister would retain that portfolio, which includes sway over Saudi production policy.

Mr. al-Falih was perhaps the most closely watched figure in the oil industry, and his words are carefully weighed by the markets. He was long seen as a key player in the kingdom’s reform plans, but his removal from the Aramco board has prompted speculation that Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, believed he had failed to make sufficient progress on the reforms.

Last month, the king created a new ministry to oversee mining and industry, removing those sectors from the control of the Energy Ministry.

The moves come as Saudi Arabia struggles with low oil prices while seeking to make the country less dependent on oil. It is also seeking to publicly sell shares of the state-owned oil giant, Saudi Aramco, to raise money to pay for a sweeping overhaul of the kingdom.

Until Prince Abdulaziz was named energy minister, the task of overseeing energy policy for the world’s largest oil exporter had traditionally fallen to commoner technocrats. Members of the Saudi royal family tended to stay out of the oil business, the thinking being that it was better to leave it to the professionals and not risk oil policy getting tied up in royal intrigue.

Prince Abdulaziz was an exception. He earned a master’s degree in industrial management from the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, and served as an adviser to a previous energy minister, Ali al-Naimi.

A veteran oil diplomat, Prince Abdulaziz has long been a fixture at O.P.E.C. meetings and other energy gatherings. He is well regarded by people in the industry, including officials from countries like Iran that are at odds with Saudi Arabia.

Because of his long experience in the oil and energy sector, analysts did not expect him to significantly change the kingdom’s energy policies.

Mr. al-Falih was replaced by Yasir al-Rumayyan, who lacks significant experience in the oil sector but who is close to Prince Mohammed and leads the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund.

The removal of Mr. al-Falih appears to indicate dissatisfaction on the part of the Saudi leadership with oil prices, but analysts say that Prince Abdulaziz will have a difficult time improving on the performance of his predecessor.

“The challenge for the new minister is the same as for the old minister,” said Bill Farren-Price, a director at RS Energy, a market research firm. “The leadership may want to see prices much higher than they are at the moment, but it is difficult to see how to achieve that without Saudi Arabia cutting a lot more.”

Since becoming oil minister, Mr. al-Falih orchestrated production cuts with Russia and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that did help boost prices, which had fallen below $30 a barrel for Brent crude, the international benchmark. to the current levels of around $$62 per barrel.

Strong production growth from the United States has offset the cutbacks from Saudi Arabia and other producers. In addition, worries about a weakening global economy that might reduce demand for oil have weighed on prices in recent months.

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

Hong Kong Protesters Appeal To Trump To ‘Liberate’ City From China

Westlake Legal Group 5d74d2573b00002a74d0c1e9 Hong Kong Protesters Appeal To Trump To ‘Liberate’ City From China

HONG KONG, Sept 8 (Reuters) ― Thousands of Hong Kong protesters on Sunday sang the Star Spangled Banner and called on U.S. President Donald Trump to “liberate” the Chinese-ruled city, the latest in a series of sometimes violent protests to rock the territory.

Police stood by as protesters, under a sea of umbrellas against the sub-tropical sun, waved the Stars and Stripes and placards demanding democracy.

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong,” they shouted before handing over petitions at the U.S. Consulate. “Resist Beijing, liberate Hong Kong.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Saturday urged China to exercise restraint in Hong Kong, a former British colony which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Esper made his call in Paris as police in Hong Kong prevented protesters from blocking access to the airport but fired tear gas for a second night running in the densely populated district of Mong Kok.

Last month Trump suggested China should “humanely” settle the problem in Hong Kong before a trade deal is reached with Washington. Earlier Trump called the protests “riots” that were a matter for China to deal with.

Sunday’s protest was peaceful. Police have responded to violence over 14 weeks with water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Riot police cleared the Central MTR metro station, near Sunday’s march, where activists smashed a long glass panel at a station entrance and other windows and daubed graffiti on the walls outside. Several arrests were made.

Hundreds of others milled about in surrounding streets lined with banks, jewelry shops and top-brand shopping arcades.

MTR stations have been attacked recently because of televised scenes of police beating protesters on a train on Aug. 31 as they cowered on the floor. Protesters are demanding theMTR hands over CCTV footage of the beatings.

“With the U.S. locked in a trade war with China at this point in time, it’s a good opportunity for us to show (the United States) how the pro-China groups are also violating human rights in Hong Kong and allowing police brutality,” said Cherry, 26, who works in the financial industry, as protesters marched towards the nearby U.S. Consulate.

“We want the U.S. administration to help protect human rights in Hong Kong.”

Hong Kong returned to China under a “one country, two systems” formula that guarantees freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. Many Hong Kong residents fear Beijing is eroding that autonomy.

‘FOMENTING UNREST’

China denies the accusation of meddling and says Hong Kong is an internal affair. It has denounced the protests, accusing the United States and Britain of fomenting unrest, and warned of the damage to the economy.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced concessions this week aimed at ending the protests, including formally scrapping a hugely unpopular extradition bill, which ignited the unrest inJune. Many protesters said it was too little, too late.

The bill would have allowed the extradition of people to mainland China to stand trial in courts controlled by theCommunist Party. Hong Kong has an independent judiciary dating back to British rule.

But the demonstrations have long since broadened into calls for democracy.

U.S. legislation addressing China’s actions in Hong Kong will be among the top priorities pushed by Senate Democrats when Congress returns to work after a recess next week, their leader,Senator Chuck Schumer, said on Thursday.

Schumer urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican who sets the floor agenda, to bring up a bipartisan bill that would require an annual justification of the special treatment afforded by Washington to Hong Kong, including special trade and business privileges, under the U.S. Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.

The legislation, called the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, would also mandate that officials in China andHong Kong who have undermined the city’s autonomy are vulnerable to sanctions.

Protesters, in their petition, urged that it be passed in full.

Trump alternates between praising Chinese President XiJinping as a great leader and casting him as an enemy, while excoriating China for taking advantage of U.S. businesses.

Beijing announced that top officials would head toWashington in early October to hold talks aimed at ending the tit-for-tat trade war, now in its second year, which has roiled markets and hammered global growth.

Joshua Wong, one of the leaders of the pro-democracy”Umbrella” movement five years ago, was re-arrested at the airport on Sunday on return from Germany and the United States for breaching bail conditions, he said.

He had been charged with inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly outside police headquarters on June 21 and released on bail.

“Preliminary legal advice suggested that the court had acknowledged and approved my trips to Germany and the U.S. when it granted bail on Aug. 30,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, it is believed that there are some mistakes have been made on the bail certificate.”

He said he thought he would be freed on Monday.

(Additional reporting by Twinnie Siu, Jessie Pang, Sumeet Chatterjee and Tyrone Siu; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Michael Perry)

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

Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Ship Island Excursions has survived hurricanes, global recessions, a world war and a host of economic challenges since the ferry company began taking passengers to the barrier islands that dot coastal Mississippi in the 1920s. But this year, a new threat has emerged: an explosion of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that has shut down virtually all of Mississippi’s beaches since July 4. 

No one knows when the algae will disappear, and many wonder how many businesses that operate in the region will survive the hit. 

“Beach vendors have been wiped out,” said Louis Skrmetta, operations manager for Ship Island Excursions. “I’ve never seen something so dramatic. It’s very similar to the BP oil spill…people are frightened to just walk in the sand.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d7291a1230000500051262c Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore An empty beach in Waveland, Mississippi on Sept. 6, 2019.

Scientists have never seen anything like this before in the ocean off’s Mississippi coast ― blue-green algal blooms are normally confined to fresh-water species. Mississippi officials say the bloom is the result of record flooding this year in the Midwest, which has pushed a deluge of polluted, nitrogen-rich water down the Mississippi River. It has forced state officials to issue water and health advisories warning people to stay out of the water and to avoid contaminated seafood

Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s particularly dangerous for pets; dogs in several southern states have died after exposure to blue-green algae in freshwater environments this summer. 

Mississippi business and fishery experts say they’ve never seen such a massive algal bloom spread in coastal waters. Many blame the record ten trillion gallons of Mississippi River water that the Army Corps of Engineers diverted from the flooding New Orleans area. The Corps opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway twice for a record 123 days, pouring fertilizer and industrial waste-laden river water into Lake Pontchartrain, which drains into the Mississippi Sound. 

State marine officials say the diversion has killed sensitive oyster reefs, wiped out brown shrimp and crab catches, and altered the salinity levels of the entire Mississippi coastal estuarine area. While salinity levels are finally returning to normal, water health advisories for blue-green algae remain on state beaches. 

Hotels, restaurants and other coastal businesses who depend on summer tourism to get through the year are facing big losses, said Coastal Mississippi, an organization that tracks business development. 

Beach vendors, fishing charters, and other beachfront establishments that are reliant upon the health of the Mississippi Sound have seen “devastating losses” in revenue, the group said in an email, “seeing decreases in business of up to 70 percent” from last year.

It could be the new normal. … It would be a tourist season killer. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University

Commercial fishermen also have been hit hard. Oyster reefs are particularly vulnerable to salinity changes, and these areas already were dealing with the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the BP oil spill in 2010, and other freshwater dumps by the Bonnet Carre Spillway after other storms. Fishermen fear this years’ record flood could wipe out Mississippi oysters for good. 

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources reports that 90 to 100% of the state’s oyster reefs are dead. The reefs will take years to rebuild ― and that’s assuming the river water flooding stops, experts say. Mississippi residents say when they go out for oysters in local restaurants, their oysters come from Washington State, a shock when they consider Mississippi was home to one of the worlds’ most productive oyster fisheries just 15-20 years ago.

Mississippi shrimp, crab and finfish catches are all down this year, according to state officials. Fishermen say the ocean is just as deserted as the beaches, as many boat captains want to avoid burning fuel while getting nothing in return. Some described spotting dead sea turtles lined up on the barrier islands, and running through unusual masses of dead fish and hyacinth grass floating in the water. 

“I’ve never seen this before,” said Tommy O’Brien, a fisherman from Pascagoula, Mississippi. A recent nine-day trip brought in red snapper catch worth less than $8,000, he said, which is a quarter of what he usually gets. 

“When the blue-green algae die, there will be another fish kill,” he said. “The in-shore fish could take years to recover.” 

Ryan Bradley, executive director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, said it’s a “dire situation” in the Gulf. After several decades of disasters, this one may be the worst because no one knows when the algal bloom will end, he said. 

Bradley, a fifth-generation fisherman, worries the industry may be doomed by state actions. He said many people stopped buying seafood from state waters after the Department of Environmental Quality warned against eating seafood from areas with algal blooms. 

“That really put a damper on our seafood sales,” Bradley said, noting that state testing has yet to find dangerous levels of algae in any actual seafood. “These fishermen and communities really need direct emergency assistance. If we don’t take care of people now, they won’t be around forever. It’s a direct threat to our food security.” 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and other federal officials have backed an emergency federal fisheries disaster declaration to compensate fishermen and other businesses. But Bradley said it could take years for the money to get to them since some fishermen never got compensated after the BP disaster and flooding nearly a decade ago. Bradley blames an ineffective bureaucracy that ignores people who need help the most. “The process is broke.” 

As fishermen battle the new stigma of algal blooms, scientists in the Gulf are tracking another ongoing ocean disaster: annual “dead zones,” or vast areas of oxygen-depleted water, that plague the Gulf each year. The zones are toxic to marine life and blossom in gulf waters each summer as nutrients and fertilizers pour down the Mississippi River. 

Louisiana State University research professor Nancy Rabalais leads annual trips to measure the offshore areas of low oxygen, which was expected to reach a record size this year. But then July’s Hurricane Barry stirred up the Gulf waters and improved oxygen levels. When Rabalais and her team measured the Gulf in July, they found this year’s dead zone was nearly 7,000 square-miles, which made it the 8th biggest ― although she suspects it may be larger now in the calm, still warmer-than-normal temperatures of the Gulf. 

Scientists have been trying to get farmers and communities across the Midwest to change practices and avoid dumping massive amounts of fish-killing nutrients into the Mississippi. Rabalais says as the climate warms and areas like the Midwest experience more rainfall, the dead zones will only get worse. 

Meanwhile, tracking it is getting harder, as Rabalais says her research budget has been slashed to a third of what it used to be. “I can’t speak without data,” she said, “but more rainfall means more water is poured into the Gulf with lots of nutrients.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5d72769b240000fb1777c54b Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore A sign at a beach in Waveland warns against swimming due to algae blooms along the MIssissippi coast.

Although the dead zone is different from the blue-green algae disaster, scientists say elevated levels of polluted Mississippi River water entering the Gulf seem to be the cause in both cases. That has many experts worried about the impact of new algal blooms on marine life, which has suffered huge losses this summer due to the tidal wave of polluted river water that invaded the environment.  

It’s unclear if the algal blooms have played a role in the deaths of 300 dolphins found along the northern Gulf coast this year, including at least 143 in Mississippi alone. Experts say these numbers are a fraction of the dolphins that have likely died, and a federal investigation of marine mammal deaths is ongoing. 

Moby Solangi, president and executive director of the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, says the algal bloom is an indication the marine environment is unhealthy. The worst outcome, he said, would be if toxic organisms like algae actually evolve into something more persistent and constant ― a nightmare situation for the marine species that live there and the people who depend on them.

If it’s true that toxic algae are adapting to marine environments, that’s bad news for the Mississippi tourist industry and for its fisheries, and something Solangi says scientists are investigating. 

“There are multiple factors at work here,” Solangi said. “You’ve got polluted river water being poured into an area that’s not used to it, and organisms are feeling the pain… it’s like an aquatic hurricane.” 

Scientists say anything is possible in a rapidly warming aquatic world. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University and expert on algal blooms, said it would be disastrous if these blooms become more common. 

“It could be the new normal, and it will impact fisheries and the economy if it continues,” Lapointe said. “It would be a tourist season killer.” 

Repeated calls and emails last week to top Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials, including its executive director, Gary Ricard, and communications director, Robbie Wilbur, went unanswered. Rick Burris, deputy director of marine fisheries at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said his agency is not sure what threat blue algae poses to marine life, but he says so far agency officials have not detected dangerous levels of algae in seafood. 

But Burris said what they are seeing is unusual. “The salinity levels are almost back to normal, but we’re not seeing the algal bloom recede as expected,” said Burris. “We are in unchartered territory.” 

Meanwhile, residents and businesses along the Mississippi coast are fed up with state officials who seem to have few weapons to fight the algal bloom. At a community meeting of about 200 residents last week in Gulfport, there were a lot of questions but few answers, according to people who attended. 

“How can you be mad at something you don’t know,” said Waveland resident Janet Densmore, who lives a few hundred yards from shore and has walked empty beaches this summer wondering what’s in the water. “They’re just trying to keep a lid on it and hope they don’t get blamed by the voters.” 

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

Tulsi Gabbard says Trump impeachment would ‘tear our country apart’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078905843001_6078897905001-vs Tulsi Gabbard says Trump impeachment would 'tear our country apart' fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/tulsi-gabbard fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 2a3e727c-c640-519e-bd66-25bc1f22e215

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said in a new interview airing Sunday that she opposes an impeachment inquiry into President Trump because it would “tear our country apart.”

Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, told Greta Van Susteren on her new show “Full Court Press” that it’s “important for us to think about what is in the best interest of the country and the American people, and continuing to pursue impeachment is something that I think will only further tear our country apart,” The Hill reported.

IMPEACHMENT FEVER RISES AS DEMS FACE SUMMER-RECESS PRESSURE TO GO AFTER TRUMP

Several other 2020 hopefuls, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, have said they support impeachment.

Gabbard said that voters should be the ones to get Trump out of office, not Congress.

“Make no bones about it: We need to defeat Donald Trump,” she said. “But I think it’s important for our country’s sake and our future that the voters in this country are the ones who do that, and I believe that we will.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

A minority of House members, 135 Democrats (including 17 members of the House Judiciary Committee), support impeachment, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is against it.

Van Susteren’s show will appear on the Gray Television network on Sundays. Check local listings.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078905843001_6078897905001-vs Tulsi Gabbard says Trump impeachment would 'tear our country apart' fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/tulsi-gabbard fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 2a3e727c-c640-519e-bd66-25bc1f22e215   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6078905843001_6078897905001-vs Tulsi Gabbard says Trump impeachment would 'tear our country apart' fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/tulsi-gabbard fox news fnc/politics fnc Brie Stimson article 2a3e727c-c640-519e-bd66-25bc1f22e215

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

Justin Haskins: De Blasio’s ‘robot tax’ sounds like a joke – but hopeless presidential candidate is serious

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6083910566001_6083906659001-vs Justin Haskins: De Blasio’s ‘robot tax’ sounds like a joke – but hopeless presidential candidate is serious Justin Haskins fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/economy fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bill-de-blasio fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 02be0744-e123-520b-9f0f-bc9d9bbf42cd

Far-left New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is getting less than 1 percent support in polls, wants to create a “robot tax” and a massive new government bureaucracy to slow the progress and innovation that have made America the world’s economic powerhouse.

Really.

The unpopular mayor is terrified of robots, computers with artificial intelligence and other advanced machines that will eventually be able to do things only people can do today, eliminating millions of jobs. He neglects to mention the obvious fact that technological advances also create new jobs – like auto workers replacing blacksmiths, airline pilots replacing stagecoach drivers, and photographers replacing portrait painters.

MAYOR DE BLASIO’S ‘ROBOT TAX’ AIMS TO SAVE WORKERS FROM THE ‘THREAT OF AUTOMATION’

Under de Blasio’s proposed “robot tax,” companies that replace jobs with automation would have to pay the equivalent of five years of payroll taxes for each employee whose job is lost, making cost-saving innovations far less attractive.

According to a news release from the de Blasio campaign, money collected from this massive tax increase and from “closed tax loopholes” for businesses would be used to create “new, high-paying union jobs in crucial fields such as green energy, health care, and early childhood education. Workers displaced by automation would go to the front of the line for these new positions at comparable salaries to their previous jobs.”

De Blasio’s fear of progress harkens back to the Luddites, a radical group of English textile workers in the early 1800s who smashed textile machinery that was reducing the number of workers needed to produce fabrics.

This is nothing but an anti-progress crusade. It could give the unpopular mayor and presidential candidate a new campaign slogan that turns around the title of the “Back to the Future” movie about time-traveling. De Blasio’s new slogan? “Forward to the Past!”

Warning to the mayor: taking this slogan could raise copyright questions, because “Forward to the Past” was the title of the third episode of the “Back to the Future” cartoon series in 1991, dealing with time travel to the age of the dinosaurs. Fortunately, de Blasio doesn’t want to turn back progress that far.

De Blasio’s fear of progress harkens back to the Luddites, a radical group of English textile workers in the early 1800s who smashed textile machinery that was reducing the number of workers needed to produce fabrics.

Today de Blasio isn’t afraid of job losses created by machinery that became commonplace 200 years ago. He’s afraid of kiosks at restaurants replacing waiters and waitresses, new technological advancements at factories that allow far fewer workers to build far more goods, and self-driving vehicles that could ultimately replace cab drivers and truckers.

According to the Luddite mayor, “current automation practices are an existential threat to our nation’s workforce that destroys good jobs and directs more and more of the profits only to the wealthiest Americans.”

De Blasio has a decidedly dystopian view of the future. He thinks that millions of American workers will soon lose their jobs at breakneck speed and will be rendered useless in society. He clearly has no faith in the free-market system to create new jobs, as it always has.

To combat supposedly dangerous technological innovations, de Blasio wants to put government in charge of huge swaths of the economy by creating a new federal agency whose primary responsibility would be to slow the growth of technology in the workplace.

According to his campaign news release, a President de Blasio would create a new Federal Automation and Worker Protection Agency (FAWPA), which would have “broad authority to regulate the widespread growth of automation and oversee its impact on working people.”

The news release goes on to say: “Any major company seeking to increase automated operations would be required to seek a permit from FAWPA with approval conditioned on the company’s plans to protect existing workers, either by ensuring they receive new jobs with similar pay or severance packages that reflect their tenure of service to the company.”

In other words, under President de Blasio, whenever a company like McDonald’s decides to replace a worker with a self-ordering kiosk station, it would not only have to grovel for permission from the bureaucrats at FAWPA – regardless of whether customers want the kiosks – it would have to find another job for all the displaced workers, even if no new jobs were needed.

Additionally, de Blasio’s campaign promised, “FAWPA would also oversee consumer protections and public safety regulations that would result from automation in fields such as driverless vehicles.”

Translation: Under the guise of “safety,” FAWPA would stop companies from innovating and providing people with the goods and services they want.

But President de Blasio wouldn’t be satisfied to simply create a bloated new government agency that would be funded with millions (billions?) of your tax dollars to keep America’s businesses shackled to the 20th century while the rest of the world passes us by.

No, President de Blasio would also institute the aforementioned robot tax, further discouraging innovation and technological advancements.

De Blasio’s ridiculous plan to restrain innovation serves as additional proof that all of the ideas being advanced by the socialists and progressives running for president in the Democratic Party boil down to two basic ideas.

First, have government seize control of the economy. This certainly would succeed in creating jobs – for a huge number of new federal employees, funded by our taxes.

Second, raise taxes. And then raise them again when government needs money to control the economy. Repeat frequently.

Under the distorted view of the far-left Democrats, the only way anything gets done is through more government regulations and higher and higher taxes – not as a result of the hard work and creative ideas of entrepreneurs, businesses and technological innovators.

There’s no question that the U.S. economy is evolving because of technology, and it’s true that more people will likely lose their jobs in the future as a result of new technological achievements.

But rather than be terrified of technology, Americans should embrace innovation. Automation not only improves safety in the workplace and economic efficiency, it dramatically lowers costs, allowing people to buy more products for less. It also frees up huge segments of the economy to shift their focus to more enjoyable kinds of work.

I realize some people might be scared that they could soon be replaced by automation or artificial intelligence, but they should rest assured that this sort of technological revolution has happened numerous times throughout human history, including here in America, and the results have always been positive.

Some 400 years ago, most people worked seven days each week on farms, and if they failed to grow enough crops, their families could starve to death. Some 100 years ago, many people worked seven days each week in factories under terrible conditions. Thirty years ago, as increasingly more factory jobs left the United States, many workers wondered if there would be any work left for them.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

Yet despite all of these transitions, working conditions today are better than they have ever been. In fact, thanks to technology, millions of Americans even work from home now. And Americans’ quality of life is better than it has ever been.

Just a few decades ago, it was unheard of for people to have computers in their homes. Today people walk around with powerful computers in their pockets or purses, and they can order virtually anything they want online and have it shipped to their home for a fraction of the cost of what was charged just 20 years ago.

And despite all of the talk by de Blasio and others about shrinking job opportunities, figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that throughout 2019 there have been more than 7 million job openings in the United States – more than at any other time in U.S. history. Innovation is actually creating jobs faster than Americans can fill them.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

As hard as it might be for de Blasio to admit, you can’t fight innovation. All you can do is stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that it’s happening and watch as the rest of the world takes advantage of the emerging technologies that de Blasio and other Luddites are afraid of.

Sorry, Mr. Mayor, but traveling back in time is a fun premise for movies and cartoons, but it doesn’t work in real life. Maybe once you’re out of office you can read up on history and learn its lessons. Or knit clothing by hand to protest the machinery in textile mills.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JUSTIN HASKINS

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6083910566001_6083906659001-vs Justin Haskins: De Blasio’s ‘robot tax’ sounds like a joke – but hopeless presidential candidate is serious Justin Haskins fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/economy fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bill-de-blasio fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 02be0744-e123-520b-9f0f-bc9d9bbf42cd   Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_6083910566001_6083906659001-vs Justin Haskins: De Blasio’s ‘robot tax’ sounds like a joke – but hopeless presidential candidate is serious Justin Haskins fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/economy fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bill-de-blasio fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 02be0744-e123-520b-9f0f-bc9d9bbf42cd

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

Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Ship Island Excursions has survived hurricanes, global recessions, a world war and a host of economic challenges since the ferry company began taking passengers to the barrier islands that dot coastal Mississippi in the 1920s. But this year, a new threat has emerged: an explosion of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that has shut down virtually all of Mississippi’s beaches since July 4. 

No one knows when the algae will disappear, and many wonder how many businesses that operate in the region will survive the hit. 

“Beach vendors have been wiped out,” said Louis Skrmetta, operations manager for Ship Island Excursions. “I’ve never seen something so dramatic. It’s very similar to the BP oil spill…people are frightened to just walk in the sand.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d7291a1230000500051262c Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore An empty beach in Waveland, Mississippi on Sept. 6, 2019.

Scientists have never seen anything like this before in the ocean off’s Mississippi coast ― blue-green algal blooms are normally confined to fresh-water species. Mississippi officials say the bloom is the result of record flooding this year in the Midwest, which has pushed a deluge of polluted, nitrogen-rich water down the Mississippi River. It has forced state officials to issue water and health advisories warning people to stay out of the water and to avoid contaminated seafood

Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s particularly dangerous for pets; dogs in several southern states have died after exposure to blue-green algae in freshwater environments this summer. 

Mississippi business and fishery experts say they’ve never seen such a massive algal bloom spread in coastal waters. Many blame the record ten trillion gallons of Mississippi River water that the Army Corps of Engineers diverted from the flooding New Orleans area. The Corps opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway twice for a record 123 days, pouring fertilizer and industrial waste-laden river water into Lake Pontchartrain, which drains into the Mississippi Sound. 

State marine officials say the diversion has killed sensitive oyster reefs, wiped out brown shrimp and crab catches, and altered the salinity levels of the entire Mississippi coastal estuarine area. While salinity levels are finally returning to normal, water health advisories for blue-green algae remain on state beaches. 

Hotels, restaurants and other coastal businesses who depend on summer tourism to get through the year are facing big losses, said Coastal Mississippi, an organization that tracks business development. 

Beach vendors, fishing charters, and other beachfront establishments that are reliant upon the health of the Mississippi Sound have seen “devastating losses” in revenue, the group said in an email, “seeing decreases in business of up to 70 percent” from last year.

It could be the new normal. … It would be a tourist season killer. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University

Commercial fishermen also have been hit hard. Oyster reefs are particularly vulnerable to salinity changes, and these areas already were dealing with the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the BP oil spill in 2010, and other freshwater dumps by the Bonnet Carre Spillway after other storms. Fishermen fear this years’ record flood could wipe out Mississippi oysters for good. 

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources reports that 90 to 100% of the state’s oyster reefs are dead. The reefs will take years to rebuild ― and that’s assuming the river water flooding stops, experts say. Mississippi residents say when they go out for oysters in local restaurants, their oysters come from Washington State, a shock when they consider Mississippi was home to one of the worlds’ most productive oyster fisheries just 15-20 years ago.

Mississippi shrimp, crab and finfish catches are all down this year, according to state officials. Fishermen say the ocean is just as deserted as the beaches, as many boat captains want to avoid burning fuel while getting nothing in return. Some described spotting dead sea turtles lined up on the barrier islands, and running through unusual masses of dead fish and hyacinth grass floating in the water. 

“I’ve never seen this before,” said Tommy O’Brien, a fisherman from Pascagoula, Mississippi. A recent nine-day trip brought in red snapper catch worth less than $8,000, he said, which is a quarter of what he usually gets. 

“When the blue-green algae die, there will be another fish kill,” he said. “The in-shore fish could take years to recover.” 

Ryan Bradley, executive director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, said it’s a “dire situation” in the Gulf. After several decades of disasters, this one may be the worst because no one knows when the algal bloom will end, he said. 

Bradley, a fifth-generation fisherman, worries the industry may be doomed by state actions. He said many people stopped buying seafood from state waters after the Department of Environmental Quality warned against eating seafood from areas with algal blooms. 

“That really put a damper on our seafood sales,” Bradley said, noting that state testing has yet to find dangerous levels of algae in any actual seafood. “These fishermen and communities really need direct emergency assistance. If we don’t take care of people now, they won’t be around forever. It’s a direct threat to our food security.” 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and other federal officials have backed an emergency federal fisheries disaster declaration to compensate fishermen and other businesses. But Bradley said it could take years for the money to get to them since some fishermen never got compensated after the BP disaster and flooding nearly a decade ago. Bradley blames an ineffective bureaucracy that ignores people who need help the most. “The process is broke.” 

As fishermen battle the new stigma of algal blooms, scientists in the Gulf are tracking another ongoing ocean disaster: annual “dead zones,” or vast areas of oxygen-depleted water, that plague the Gulf each year. The zones are toxic to marine life and blossom in gulf waters each summer as nutrients and fertilizers pour down the Mississippi River. 

Louisiana State University research professor Nancy Rabalais leads annual trips to measure the offshore areas of low oxygen, which was expected to reach a record size this year. But then July’s Hurricane Barry stirred up the Gulf waters and improved oxygen levels. When Rabalais and her team measured the Gulf in July, they found this year’s dead zone was nearly 7,000 square-miles, which made it the 8th biggest ― although she suspects it may be larger now in the calm, still warmer-than-normal temperatures of the Gulf. 

Scientists have been trying to get farmers and communities across the Midwest to change practices and avoid dumping massive amounts of fish-killing nutrients into the Mississippi. Rabalais says as the climate warms and areas like the Midwest experience more rainfall, the dead zones will only get worse. 

Meanwhile, tracking it is getting harder, as Rabalais says her research budget has been slashed to a third of what it used to be. “I can’t speak without data,” she said, “but more rainfall means more water is poured into the Gulf with lots of nutrients.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5d72769b240000fb1777c54b Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For Two Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore A sign at a beach in Waveland warns against swimming due to algae blooms along the MIssissippi coast.

Although the dead zone is different from the blue-green algae disaster, scientists say elevated levels of polluted Mississippi River water entering the Gulf seem to be the cause in both cases. That has many experts worried about the impact of new algal blooms on marine life, which has suffered huge losses this summer due to the tidal wave of polluted river water that invaded the environment.  

It’s unclear if the algal blooms have played a role in the deaths of 300 dolphins found along the northern Gulf coast this year, including at least 143 in Mississippi alone. Experts say these numbers are a fraction of the dolphins that have likely died, and a federal investigation of marine mammal deaths is ongoing. 

Moby Solangi, president and executive director of the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, says the algal bloom is an indication the marine environment is unhealthy. The worst outcome, he said, would be if toxic organisms like algae actually evolve into something more persistent and constant ― a nightmare situation for the marine species that live there and the people who depend on them.

If it’s true that toxic algae are adapting to marine environments, that’s bad news for the Mississippi tourist industry and for its fisheries, and something Solangi says scientists are investigating. 

“There are multiple factors at work here,” Solangi said. “You’ve got polluted river water being poured into an area that’s not used to it, and organisms are feeling the pain… it’s like an aquatic hurricane.” 

Scientists say anything is possible in a rapidly warming aquatic world. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University and expert on algal blooms, said it would be disastrous if these blooms become more common. 

“It could be the new normal, and it will impact fisheries and the economy if it continues,” Lapointe said. “It would be a tourist season killer.” 

Repeated calls and emails last week to top Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials, including its executive director, Gary Ricard, and communications director, Robbie Wilbur, went unanswered. Rick Burris, deputy director of marine fisheries at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said his agency is not sure what threat blue algae poses to marine life, but he says so far agency officials have not detected dangerous levels of algae in seafood. 

But Burris said what they are seeing is unusual. “The salinity levels are almost back to normal, but we’re not seeing the algal bloom recede as expected,” said Burris. “We are in unchartered territory.” 

Meanwhile, residents and businesses along the Mississippi coast are fed up with state officials who seem to have few weapons to fight the algal bloom. At a community meeting of about 200 residents last week in Gulfport, there were a lot of questions but few answers, according to people who attended. 

“How can you be mad at something you don’t know,” said Waveland resident Janet Densmore, who lives a few hundred yards from shore and has walked empty beaches this summer wondering what’s in the water. “They’re just trying to keep a lid on it and hope they don’t get blamed by the voters.” 

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

Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For 2 Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Ship Island Excursions has survived hurricanes, global recessions, a world war and a host of economic challenges since the ferry company began taking passengers to the barrier islands that dot coastal Mississippi in the 1920s. But this year, a new threat has emerged: an explosion of blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, that has shut down virtually all of Mississippi’s beaches since July 4. 

No one knows when the algae will disappear, and many wonder how many businesses that operate in the region will survive the hit. 

“Beach vendors have been wiped out,” said Louis Skrmetta, operations manager for Ship Island Excursions. “I’ve never seen something so dramatic. It’s very similar to the BP oil spill…people are frightened to just walk in the sand.”

Westlake Legal Group 5d7291a1230000500051262c Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For 2 Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore An empty beach in Waveland, Mississippi on Sept. 6, 2019.

Scientists have never seen anything like this before in the ocean off’s Mississippi coast ― blue-green algal blooms are normally confined to fresh-water species. Mississippi officials say the bloom is the result of record flooding this year in the Midwest, which has pushed a deluge of polluted, nitrogen-rich water down the Mississippi River. It has forced state officials to issue water and health advisories warning people to stay out of the water and to avoid contaminated seafood

Exposure to the algae can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney and liver damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s particularly dangerous for pets; dogs in several southern states have died after exposure to blue-green algae in freshwater environments this summer. 

Mississippi business and fishery experts say they’ve never seen such a massive algal bloom spread in coastal waters. Many blame the record ten trillion gallons of Mississippi River water that the Army Corps of Engineers diverted from the flooding New Orleans area. The Corps opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway twice for a record 123 days, pouring fertilizer and industrial waste-laden river water into Lake Pontchartrain, which drains into the Mississippi Sound. 

State marine officials say the diversion has killed sensitive oyster reefs, wiped out brown shrimp and crab catches, and altered the salinity levels of the entire Mississippi coastal estuarine area. While salinity levels are finally returning to normal, water health advisories for blue-green algae remain on state beaches. 

Hotels, restaurants and other coastal businesses who depend on summer tourism to get through the year are facing big losses, said Coastal Mississippi, an organization that tracks business development. 

Beach vendors, fishing charters, and other beachfront establishments that are reliant upon the health of the Mississippi Sound have seen “devastating losses” in revenue, the group said in an email, “seeing decreases in business of up to 70 percent” from last year.

It could be the new normal. … It would be a tourist season killer. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University

Commercial fishermen also have been hit hard. Oyster reefs are particularly vulnerable to salinity changes, and these areas already were dealing with the impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the BP oil spill in 2010, and other freshwater dumps by the Bonnet Carre Spillway after other storms. Fishermen fear this years’ record flood could wipe out Mississippi oysters for good. 

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources reports that 90 to 100% of the state’s oyster reefs are dead. The reefs will take years to rebuild ― and that’s assuming the river water flooding stops, experts say. Mississippi residents say when they go out for oysters in local restaurants, their oysters come from Washington State, a shock when they consider Mississippi was home to one of the worlds’ most productive oyster fisheries just 15-20 years ago.

Mississippi shrimp, crab and finfish catches are all down this year, according to state officials. Fishermen say the ocean is just as deserted as the beaches, as many boat captains want to avoid burning fuel while getting nothing in return. Some described spotting dead sea turtles lined up on the barrier islands, and running through unusual masses of dead fish and hyacinth grass floating in the water. 

“I’ve never seen this before,” said Tommy O’Brien, a fisherman from Pascagoula, Mississippi. A recent nine-day trip brought in red snapper catch worth less than $8,000, he said, which is a quarter of what he usually gets. 

“When the blue-green algae die, there will be another fish kill,” he said. “The in-shore fish could take years to recover.” 

Ryan Bradley, executive director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, said it’s a “dire situation” in the Gulf. After several decades of disasters, this one may be the worst because no one knows when the algal bloom will end, he said. 

Bradley, a fifth-generation fisherman, worries the industry may be doomed by state actions. He said many people stopped buying seafood from state waters after the Department of Environmental Quality warned against eating seafood from areas with algal blooms. 

“That really put a damper on our seafood sales,” Bradley said, noting that state testing has yet to find dangerous levels of algae in any actual seafood. “These fishermen and communities really need direct emergency assistance. If we don’t take care of people now, they won’t be around forever. It’s a direct threat to our food security.” 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and other federal officials have backed an emergency federal fisheries disaster declaration to compensate fishermen and other businesses. But Bradley said it could take years for the money to get to them since some fishermen never got compensated after the BP disaster and flooding nearly a decade ago. Bradley blames an ineffective bureaucracy that ignores people who need help the most. “The process is broke.” 

As fishermen battle the new stigma of algal blooms, scientists in the Gulf are tracking another ongoing ocean disaster: annual “dead zones,” or vast areas of oxygen-depleted water, that plague the Gulf each year. The zones are toxic to marine life and blossom in gulf waters each summer as nutrients and fertilizers pour down the Mississippi River. 

Louisiana State University research professor Nancy Rabalais leads annual trips to measure the offshore areas of low oxygen, which was expected to reach a record size this year. But then July’s Hurricane Barry stirred up the Gulf waters and improved oxygen levels. When Rabalais and her team measured the Gulf in July, they found this year’s dead zone was nearly 7,000 square-miles, which made it the 8th biggest ― although she suspects it may be larger now in the calm, still warmer-than-normal temperatures of the Gulf. 

Scientists have been trying to get farmers and communities across the Midwest to change practices and avoid dumping massive amounts of fish-killing nutrients into the Mississippi. Rabalais says as the climate warms and areas like the Midwest experience more rainfall, the dead zones will only get worse. 

Meanwhile, tracking it is getting harder, as Rabalais says her research budget has been slashed to a third of what it used to be. “I can’t speak without data,” she said, “but more rainfall means more water is poured into the Gulf with lots of nutrients.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5d72769b240000fb1777c54b Mississippi Beaches Have Been Vacant For 2 Months As A Toxic Algae Bloom Lurks Offshore

Janet Densmore A sign at a beach in Waveland warns against swimming due to algae blooms along the MIssissippi coast.

Although the dead zone is different from the blue-green algae disaster, scientists say elevated levels of polluted Mississippi River water entering the Gulf seem to be the cause in both cases. That has many experts worried about the impact of new algal blooms on marine life, which has suffered huge losses this summer due to the tidal wave of polluted river water that invaded the environment.  

It’s unclear if the algal blooms have played a role in the deaths of 300 dolphins found along the northern Gulf coast this year, including at least 143 in Mississippi alone. Experts say these numbers are a fraction of the dolphins that have likely died, and a federal investigation of marine mammal deaths is ongoing. 

Moby Solangi, president and executive director of the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, says the algal bloom is an indication the marine environment is unhealthy. The worst outcome, he said, would be if toxic organisms like algae actually evolve into something more persistent and constant ― a nightmare situation for the marine species that live there and the people who depend on them.

If it’s true that toxic algae are adapting to marine environments, that’s bad news for the Mississippi tourist industry and for its fisheries, and something Solangi says scientists are investigating. 

“There are multiple factors at work here,” Solangi said. “You’ve got polluted river water being poured into an area that’s not used to it, and organisms are feeling the pain… it’s like an aquatic hurricane.” 

Scientists say anything is possible in a rapidly warming aquatic world. Dr. Brian Lapointe, a research professor at the Florida Atlantic University and expert on algal blooms, said it would be disastrous if these blooms become more common. 

“It could be the new normal, and it will impact fisheries and the economy if it continues,” Lapointe said. “It would be a tourist season killer.” 

Repeated calls and emails last week to top Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials, including its executive director, Gary Ricard, and communications director, Robbie Wilbur, went unanswered. Rick Burris, deputy director of marine fisheries at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, said his agency is not sure what threat blue algae poses to marine life, but he says so far agency officials have not detected dangerous levels of algae in seafood. 

But Burris said what they are seeing is unusual. “The salinity levels are almost back to normal, but we’re not seeing the algal bloom recede as expected,” said Burris. “We are in unchartered territory.” 

Meanwhile, residents and businesses along the Mississippi coast are fed up with state officials who seem to have few weapons to fight the algal bloom. At a community meeting of about 200 residents last week in Gulfport, there were a lot of questions but few answers, according to people who attended. 

“How can you be mad at something you don’t know,” said Waveland resident Janet Densmore, who lives a few hundred yards from shore and has walked empty beaches this summer wondering what’s in the water. “They’re just trying to keep a lid on it and hope they don’t get blamed by the voters.” 

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

Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s Rasputin, Is Feeling the Heat of Brexit

LONDON — In the melee that was the British Parliament last week, at least one person seemed to revel in the brutal politics of the Prime Minister Boris Johnson era.

In his customary crumpled white shirt, Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief aide, could be heard cursing over the phone at lawmakers and seen prowling the corridors of Parliament, laying waste to the careers of Conservative politicians who stood in the way of an abrupt withdrawal from the European Union.

He saved some opprobrium for the opposition, too, interrupting a tipsy, late-night stroll to goad the opposition Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, into backing an early election, a Labour lawmaker recounted publicly. “Don’t be scared!” Mr. Cummings screamed.

Throughout the first weeks of Mr. Johnson’s leadership, Mr. Cummings was a shadowy figure, depicted as the Rasputin directing his boss’s scorched-earth strategy to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31, with or without a deal governing future relations, “come what may.”

To his fans he was a genius, the man who directed the successful Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum and was sure to chain saw his way through the political underbrush to achieve Brexit. To his opponents, he was a genius, but an evil, unprincipled one who would go to any lengths, even subverting the democratic process, to accomplish his goals.

Yet, since Mr. Johnson began unspooling his Brexit strategy, and particularly in this first real week tangling with the reality of Brexit’s complex politics, the mantle of genius has begun to slip from Mr. Cummings’s shoulders.

In a matter of days, Mr. Johnson has been accused of subverting the country’s uncodified constitution by suspending sittings of Parliament, and of fracturing the Tories by banishing 21 lawmakers — including Winston Churchill’s grandson — who voted to try to stop him leaving the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31, if necessary.

That decision drove one of Mr. Johnson’s biggest remaining moderate allies, Amber Rudd, out of his cabinet and the Conservative Party this weekend, with Ms. Rudd saying that leaving the European Union with a deal was no longer “the government’s main objective.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160313886_41e01921-fe42-4eb9-823c-677963c46586-articleLarge Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s Rasputin, Is Feeling the Heat of Brexit Labour Party (Great Britain) Johnson, Boris Grieve, Dominic (1956- ) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain Dominic Cummings Corbyn, Jeremy (1949- ) Conservative Party (Great Britain)

Mr. Cummings in 2001. The son of an oil rig project manager and a special-needs teacher, he attended Oxford, like so many protagonists of the Brexit saga.CreditDavid Levenson/Getty Images

The prime minister lost his working majority in Parliament and, more worrying for Mr. Cummings, his fallback plan of holding a mid-October general election to secure a mandate for Brexit is looking like a non-starter after opposition parties came together on Friday to say they could not support it.

That would spell defeat for the government on Monday, when it will hold a second parliamentary vote on elections, adding to the prime minister’s troubles just as a bill averting a no-deal Brexit is set to become law.

The resulting chaos has left Britain’s government enfeebled, and its path to leaving the European Union more inscrutable than ever. Lawmakers are now demanding Mr. Cummings’s resignation. Protesters are waving placards with his visage, but embellished with small red horns. Rumors of his imminent firing are gaining traction in Westminster.

Mr. Cummings is said to be plotting a radical response, with Mr. Johnson preparing to defy the law averting a no-deal Brexit by refusing to ask Brussels for a delay, ministers said on Sunday. That could draw the courts into the dispute as the clock ticks down to Oct. 31., a spectacle that Mr. Cummings reckons will only burnish the prime minister’s credibility with pro-Brexit voters far from London.

But it could also drive more moderate voters from the Conservatives for decades. And British news reports said that even Mr. Johnson was concerned that the hardball tactics have backfired.

A serial provocateur, talented strategist and political assassin, Mr. Cummings has built his career on the outrage of the so-called blob, as he calls parts of the establishment. He has no known political affiliation, concentrating his energies on shaking up Britain’s political system.

“Dom has so far been very effective in running campaigns against things,” said David Laws, a former lawmaker from the Liberal Democrats who worked with Mr. Cummings in the Education Department. “Now we’ll see whether he can make the transition into government and create things, rather than smash them up.”

If it seems to the British political class like he has overreached, it is not clear whether Mr. Cummings himself has reached the same conclusion. Some ex-colleagues believe he will be losing little sleep about his pariah status.

Mr. Johnson with the cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill at 10 Downing Street in July. Mark Spencer is at left and Mr. Cummings is at far right.CreditPool photo by Stefan Rousseau

“We are in absolute chaos and Dominic loves chaos,” said Matt Sanders, who shared an office with Mr. Cummings for three years in the Education Department. “He has exploded this virtual hand grenade in Westminster and everyone is talking about him. If moderate members of Parliament and voters are screaming about him he will be thinking: ‘I must be doing something right.’”

Mr. Cummings demonstrated many of the same qualities on display lately in the ruthless, no-holds-barred and factually suspect 2016 referendum campaign. (He was later found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to answer lawmakers’ questions about the campaign.)

Resisting right-wing activists who wanted to focus solely on immigration, he appealed to middle-class voters with a message of sovereignty and independence, coining the slogan “Vote leave, take back control.”

His mystique looms so large in the British imagination that, in a recent television drama about Brexit, “The Uncivil War,” he was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrayed a tortured genius intent on detonating Britain’s stodgy political elite.

The son of an oil rig project manager and a special-needs teacher, Mr. Cummings attended Oxford, like so many protagonists of the Brexit saga. But unlike the patrician circle that has tended to surround prime ministers, Mr. Cummings did not immediately leap into the crucible of Westminster politics.

Instead he went to Russia, where he tried and failed to launch an airline in a venture so mismanaged that, so the story goes, the one customer it managed to attract was left behind by the aircraft. In Britain, he also helped out as a nightclub doorman.

Mr. Cummings entered politics without any of the party loyalty or the ambition about becoming a lawmaker that drives most young aides. But he soon made a name for himself and, as the chief of staff to a Conservative minister, Michael Gove, at the Education Department starting in 2010, embarked on a reign of fear.

“Politics is a brutal business, but even in that world, Dom’s approach is highly unusual,” Mr. Laws said. “It sort of makes everyday politics look like a very cozy, consensual affair, because this is brutalism plus-plus-plus.”

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Cummings at Downing Street on Tuesday. A serial provocateur and political assassin, Mr. Cummings has built his career on the outrage of the so-called blob, as he calls parts of the establishment.CreditHenry Nicholls/Reuters

He viciously undermined the Liberal Democrats who were then in a coalition with the Conservatives, but did not spare his own. “The Conservative Party for him was a useful tool in destroying things and then rebuilding them,” Mr. Sanders said.

That disdain for the political establishment served him well during the 2016 campaign, when Mr. Cummings clashed with Tory veterans of the anti-Europe crusade. Mr. Cummings fashioned himself a futurist, intent on unshackling Britain from the European Union so it could attract talent and build a more efficient, technically advanced society.

His approach attracted the attention of Mr. Johnson, one of the highest-profile Brexit backers.

“They both have sort of magpie eyes for any shiny new idea which might or might not work, and they’re prepared to go well beyond the bounds of the usual conventions,” said Andrew Gimson, who wrote a biography of the prime minister.

But analysts now wonder whether his disdain for lawmakers, coupled with Mr. Johnson’s own unfamiliarity with parliamentary negotiations, may now be a liability.

“He doesn’t know them as individuals,” Mr. Gimson said of Mr. Cummings. “He probably thinks most of them are rather third-rate.”

Many are furious with him, particularly those who have been thrown out of the Conservative Party, such as Dominic Grieve, one of the 21 now former Tory members of Parliament expelled by Mr. Johnson.

“Mr. Cummings is a bashi-bazouk,” said Mr. Grieve, citing the Ottoman Empire’s shock troops, who were renowned for their ferocity. “It is going to be a very difficult period because Cummings doesn’t respect any rule at all.”

Downing Street declined to comment for this article.

Mr. Cummings is not one to easily admit error, and does not waste time worrying about his image. But analysts say he has made himself vulnerable by committing one of the cardinal sins for advisers in the Westminster firmament: raising their profile so high that they risk putting themselves in the firing line.

Then again, he never planned to stay long in the job.

“In his view he is there to deliver Brexit by 31 October or an election victory, he is not there for the long haul,” said Lucy Thomas, a leading figure in the anti-Brexit campaign in 2016. “That makes it easier to stick doggedly to that objective and do anything to get there.”

The next few weeks will tell whether he will succeed, but it is certain to be a bumpy ride.

“Dominic Cummings has an insatiable appetite for risk,” said Mr. Sanders. “He is totally happy taking a gamble.”

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