The U.S. Senate has passed a bill that would require cellphones to work on other carriers’ networks during natural disasters.
The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, pushed by Sen. Chuck Schumer, which aims to shore up phone networks that often break down during emergencies from Superstorm Sandy in New York to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida.
The bill would also establish a system for 911 calls to be transmitted over Wi-Fi.
“The Senate rightly answered the call by putting the SANDy Act on speed dial,” Schumer said. “Dependable and redundant cellphone service is a necessity for emergency workers and a lifeline for residents left without power.”
CHICAGO — Asdrubal Cabrera has been making his case. The Mets veteran infielder who demanded to be traded when he was moved off of shortstop in June, is looking to prove he is a viable infielder for next season. He’s been steady at third base, pretty good at second base and his bat of late is speaking volumes.
Cabrera was hitting .417 with six doubles, two home runs and six RBI in the 10 games he has played in September. Since Aug. 25, Cabrera was batting .390 with three homers and 13 RBI in 17 games.
“He didn’t hit the homers he hit last year but the one thing – he’s a good hitter, he’s a good baseball player,” Terry Collins said before Wednesday night’s game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. “He’s a knowledgeable guy, he’s on top of the game. You watch balls in the dirt he seems he gets as good a jump as anybody off the bases. I think there was a time when he was a little upset with the status and that might have taken a little bit of the starch out of him for a while but I think he realizes he has to get back and ready to play and help the club. That’s what he’s done.
“He’s played very well at third, he’s played very well at second and now he’s swinging the bat,” the Mets manager continued. “I think he’s certainly, as people watch and try to analyze what he is, he’s a guy that can help you win baseball games. His versatility right now is really, really important.”
The 31-year old is hitting .272 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI this season in 118 games. Cabrera hit 23 home runs in 2016. He missed time with a thumb injury twice this season and recently missed a game after his left glute tightened up in a game.
The Mets are certainly considering picking up the $ 8.5 million option on Cabreras contract for 2018. That was a sticking point for Cabrera earlier this season when they asked him to play third base. When the Mets refused to discuss his option, he told reporters he had asked for a trade. Ironically, he was one the two veterans that the Mets didn’t move in their salary dump.
The Mets see him as possible insurance at third base, considering David Wright just underwent shoulder surgery and has not played in nearly a year and a half. His versatility could help them since they have holes at third and second base heading into 2018.
Noah Syndergaard played an extended game of catch, working on his delivery and mechanics, on flat ground in the outfield of Wrigley Field Wednesday afternoon. The big righthander had been scratched from a simulated game Sunday because of “general soreness,” after making a rehab start on Thursday.
This was a last test before Syndergaard gets back up on the mound and continues what he and the Mets hope is a comeback.
“If he comes out of this fine, he’ll throw a pen,” Collins said. “I don’t know which day, but the next thing is to go out and get on the mound.”
Syndergaard is trying to come back from tearing his right lat muscle on April 30. He and the Mets would like him to pitch in another game this season so they all can go into the offseason with peace of mind. The plan now is to tentatively use him in a “piggyback” situation, meaning he’d split a start with another starter. The Mets were eying a chance to have Syndergaard come in and pitch after Matt Harvey pitched at some point.
Erik Goeddel, who had been experiencing dizziness and blurred vision for several days, was cleared by team doctors to begin limited baseball activities back in New York Wednesday. The right-handed reliever was prescribed medication for the symptoms, according to the team.
Collins was not sure if Goeddel would be back this season.
T.J. Rivera will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Thursday in Gulf Breeze, Florida. The surgery will be at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. The Bronx native was shut down July 27 after experiencing discomfort in the elbow and an MRI showed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. He did not respond to a platelet-rich-plasma injection and therapy, which meant he needed the surgery.
He was hitting .290 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI in 214 at-bats for the Mets this season.
Prosecutors said he had a blood alcohol level of .266 — over three times the legal limit — when he slammed his Dodge Caravan into a group of bike riders waiting at a red light in Borough Park, injuring five people.
One of the cyclists, 55-year-old Nancy Pease, was severely injured and left in a coma after being pinned under the minivan.
Pease and the others were riding in the NYC Century Bike Tour.
The annual ride is organized by Transportation Alternatives, which advocates for safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Ecuadorian construction worker’s glum demeanor as he sought forgiveness and sat in jail scrubs was a far cry from his antics immediately after the crash.
On Sunday morning, as Pease was clinging to life and being rushed to Maimonides Medical Center, Pina-Morocho sat in the back of a police car, his eyes half-closed, sticking his tongue out at a News photographer.
Pina-Morocho is facing charges of vehicular assault, drunken driving and driving without a license.
The undocumented immigrant said his experience behind bars has been sobering and led to fears he could be deported if convicted. He’s lived in the U.S. for 18 years.
Daniel CormierReinstated as UFC ChampAfter Jon Jones Steroid Scandal
9/13/2017 5:40 PM PDT
Daniel Cormier has been reinstated as the UFC’s Light Heavyweight Champion after his loss to Jon Jones at UFC 214 was officially changed to a “no contest” in the wake of JJ’s positive steroid test.
TMZ Sports broke the story … Jones was flagged for Turinabol — a banned anabolic steroid. The results from Jones’ B sample were made public Tuesday — confirming the bad news for Jones. As a result, the California State Athletic Commission overturned Jones’ victory and now has it ruled as a “no contest.”
Cormier appeared on “UFC Tonight” and said he’s already been contacted by Dana White … who informed him that the belt will be returned to him.
“Once again, I’m the UFC champion,” Cormier proclaimed.
As for Jones … his UFC career is in serious jeopardy — he could get hit with a 4-year ban.
A day after the sleep-inducing primary election that five out of six registered city Democrats avoided Tuesday, the hangover has set in. Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese said the lesson was “money matters” — but low turnout did too.
Here are some takeaways:
*On Tuesday the Board of Elections preliminary estimate found just 439,963 people voted — a mere 14% of the city’s 3.07 million registered active Democrats.
That’s close to the pathetic 11% turnout of 2009, the worst showing in modern memory. Supporters of Mayor de Blasio point to the Hizzoner’s big margin of victory over Albanese and others — he won 74% of the vote, the biggest percentage in decades — but then-city controller Bill Thompsons tallied 71% in 2009, without the advantage of being an incumbent.
While there have been periodic spikes in turnout for Democratic mayoral primaries, the trend in New York City has been dismal of late.
There have been exceptions. In 1989, turnout was 50% when David Dinkins bested incumbent Ed Koch. In 2001 it hit nearly 30%, when 785,365 Democrats showed up for a primary delayed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
*Tuesday featured record spending by a Bronx city council candidate who barely won but could be accused of spending like Paris Hilton with little to show in return.
Retiring Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj spent a mind-bending $ 716,000 to get just 3,326 votes — that’s $ 215 per vote. This got him just 368 votes more than his main rival, Marjorie Velazquez, who spent $ 164,000 ($ 55 per vote).
*Tuesday also left city taxpayers covering the bill for two high profile losers with sordid pasts.
In Corona, Queens, ex-convict Hiram Monserrate spent all of the $ 61,000 he’d raised in donations, so whatever else he owes after losing to Assemblyman Francisco Moya will be picked up by the $ 100,100 he got in public matching funds.
In Harlem, Thomas Lopez-Pierre, who has a history of anti-Semitic comments, lost badly to incumbent Councilman Mark Levine. Lopez-Pierre raised just $ 17,000 but spent $ 57,000. That required him to dip into the $ 99,180 in public funds he received.
Both Lopez-Pierre and Monserrate will have to return any public money they don’t spend and must back up all spending with documentation to the city Campaign Finance Board.
*Tuesday produced losers who now face the sobering prospect of paying off tens of thousands of dollars in loans for campaigns that netted only a few votes.
That includes Ronnie Cho, who owes $ 55,000 and got 1,139 votes — far short of the 8,140 picked up by winner Carlina Rivera for the Lower East Side district.
Candidate Moreen King got 915 votes and owes $ 40,000, losing to Alicka Amprty-Samuel for the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn seat. Candidate Delvis Valdes got 285 votes and owes $ 50,000, losing to Brooklyn incumbent Carlos Menchaca.
*There were no major surprises at the polls, but that didn’t stop virtually every outside organization involved in the race from taking credit for wins everyone expected.
The Hotel Trades Council, which took out the largest independent expenditure of the primary campaign, saw wins in all 26 of the races in which it endorsed, including the six candidates it spent on behalf of. While some of their picks faced what were expected to be tough races — including Moya and Laurie Cumbo in Brooklyn — none were quite underdogs.
They weren’t alone in netting a sweep: New Yorkers for Clean and Livable Streets (NYCLASS) noted every candidate it endorsed won, as did six that it spent money on through an independent expenditure.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which also spent on the race, noted that the “majority” of candidates it backed won. Union 32BJ crowed about wins for its endorsed candidates, and a potential win for Diana Ayala, whose race to take Melissa Mark-Viverito’s Council seat remained too close to call. The Working Families Party, too, got in on the action, saying wins for its candidates in “competitive open-seat race” showed that the “progressive tide in New York is still rising.”
Josep Bou, the president of ‘Entrepreneurs of Catalonia’ warns that the secessionist process has meant that Catalan companies have stopped earning 1 billion euros.
He warns that if Catalonia achieves independence the region would undergo an exodus of business personnel.
And GDP would fall between 16 and 20 percent while unemployment would soar to 42 percent.
Mr Bou said: “We know perfectly well that this would become an exodus, Catalonia would go into an economic collapse.”
He added that foreign investment “is working well” because the independence process has “no credibility” abroad.
However, he pointed out that foreign investment is half in Catalonia compared to the investment in Madrid.
Authorities in Catalonia pledge that they will hold a binding referendum on October 1 on whether the powerful region in Spain’s northeast should break away from the rest of the country.
But the Spanish government says the referendum violates the country’s constitution and vows it won’t take place.
Whatever happens on the day, no one seems set to win without heavy losses.
Catalonia is one of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions. Its capital is the dynamic, touristic and cultural Mediterranean port city of Barcelona.
The region has 7.5 million inhabitants and is one of Spain’s main economic powerhouses, generating a fifth of the country’s 1.1 trillion-euro economy ($ 1.31 trillion).
It has its own language, which was suppressed during the 1939-1975 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, and cultural traditions. It is also home to one of the world’s greatest soccer teams, FC Barcelona.
The region runs its own police and has considerable powers in health and education. Key areas such as taxes, foreign affairs, defense, ports, airports and trains, however, are in the hands of the Spanish government.
While many Catalans have long stressed the region’s differences from the rest of Spain, the current push for independence began in earnest 2010 when Spain’s Constitutional Court struck down key parts of a groundbreaking charter that would have granted Catalonia greater autonomy and recognized it as a nation within Spain.
The court’s rejection was felt bitterly in the region and has since driven hundreds of thousands of residents out onto the streets every September 11, a Catalan holiday, to demand independence.
Thomas will join celebrities including Serena Williams, Martha Stewart, Ludacris and Bradley Cooper who have made cameos on the long-running show, which currently stars Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza and Peter Scanavino.
Frank Vincent, who was best known for his role on “The Sopranos” as eventual Lupertazzi family boss Phil Leotardo, died Wednesday during open heart surgery, TMZ reports. He was 78.
The Massachusetts-born, New Jersey-bred actor made a name for himself playing notoriously tough characters, like Billy Batts in “Goodfellas” and Frank Marino in “Casino.”
But his most famous role came as Leotardo, the nemesis of Tony Soprano on HBO’s hit crime drama. Vincent portrayed the ruthless Leotardo for 31 episodes, starting in Season 5 and wrapping up with the show’s 2007 finale.
Vincent said in 2009 that he understood that with his Italian-American heritage came the tendency for stereotypes, which were reinforced with his role as a mobster on “The Sopranos.”
In memoriam: Remembering the famous figures we lost in 2017
“I think ‘The Sopranos’ probably solidifies the misconception that people have about New Jersey to begin with,” he told NJ.com. “Because you’re from Jersey, and everybody has an accent, you are perceived a certain way… (Hollywood) needs a gangster, they call me or Joe (Pesci). An Italian-American? Frank or Joe… It is who you are.”
Pesci and Vincent famously shared the screen in, among others, “Raging Bull” and “Goodfellas,” where Vincent’s character Batts was whacked in a notoriously brutal beat down.
Vincent Pastore, who appeared on “The Sopranos” as Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero, reportedly took to Facebook to mourn the loss of his friend, praising Vincent as an “inspiration” and his mentor.
Maureen Van Zandt, who appeared on “The Sopranos” with her real-life husband Stevie Van Zandt, took to Twitter to grieve Vincent, writing, “We lost one of our family today. Frank Vincent. Wonderful actor and lovely man. Rest In Peace, Frankie.”
Vincent also had notable roles in films like “Do The Right Thing” and “Raging Bull,” and enjoyed a career as a drummer before tackling acting. During the ’60s, he played in a band called Frank Vincent and the Aristocats at New York clubs like the Peppermint Lounge.
He put his hard-earned wisdom to good use in 2006 with a nonfiction how-to book, “A Guy’s Guide to Being a Man’s Man.”
According to TMZ, Vincent died in a New Jersey hospital during surgery after suffering a heart attack last week.
Al SharptonWe’ll Boycott ESPNIf Jemele Hill Gets Fired
9/13/2017 4:21 PM PDT
Al Sharpton says he’s got Jemele Hill‘s back — and if ESPN fires her over her anti-Trump tweets, he’ll lead a boycott against the network.
The Rev. tells TMZ Sports he’s furious with the White House and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for saying Hill’s tweets are a “fireable offense.”
FYI, Hill strongly tweeted against Trump on Sept. 11 … calling him a “white supremacist” and “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.”
Sharpton says Hill has every right to express her political views without fear that the government will call for her job.
“Let’s not forget, ESPN is regulated by the FCC. The FCC commissioners are appointed by the White House so it’s a whole different level of intimidation on media outlets when you have the press secretary [calling for a reporter’s job].”
Sharpton says he has a message for Hill — “Stand strong. If they take you out, many of us in the civil rights community will stand up for you and take ESPN off our service.”