I grew up in tornado alley and of course there is quite a bit of difference between the two. One major difference that keeps coming to my mind is the length of time. Tornadoes are “wham bam thank ya ma’am,” whereas Sandy (which is no longer being called a hurricane) is like the Eveready Bunny… just keeps going and going and going…. I’ll take my tornadoes.
The top of the world…
Photo credit: Unknown
A New York City judge says the head of the International Monetary Fund must remain jailed at least until his next court hearing for attempted rape and other charges. A tired and grim-looking Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared Monday before a judge. (May 16)
New York (CNN) — The head of the powerful International Monetary Fund arrived Monday at New York’s Rikers Island jail complex, dispatched there after a judge denied him bail for allegedly chasing and sexually assaulting a hotel employee.
At least until his next court appearance on Friday, he will be in protective custody, staying in an 11-by-13 foot cell by himself and having no contact with other inmates — steps taken because he is considered a high-profile detainee, the spokesman said. His new neighbors will include 14,000 men and women who are being held or have been convicted for a host of violent and other crimes committed in New York City.
His arrest rattled the financial world, given his leadership directing multi-billion-dollar loans and financial policy that regularly affect tens of millions of people. But its impact was most felt in France, where Strauss-Kahn had been not only a leading contender to be the Socialist party’s presidential nominee but a favorite to unseat incumbent President Nikolas Sarkozy.
Prosecutors argued Monday, during the IMF chief’s arraignment, that they believed Strauss-Kahn would right now be there in France, living “open and notoriously,” if two plainclothes Port Authority police officers had not detained him in the first-class cabin of an Air France plane Saturday minutes before take-off.
About midday Saturday, Strauss-Kahn was in his suite in the 30-story hotel when the housekeeping employee came in to clean it, said New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. He shut the door, preventing the woman from leaving, according to a criminal complaint released by prosecutors.
Strauss-Kahn emerged from a room naked, according to Browne, and ran after her down the hallway of the suite.
“He grabbed the victim’s chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose” and forcibly grabbed her between her legs, the complaint said. He also forced her to perform oral sex on him, Assistant District Attorney John McConnell said at Monday’s arraignment.
The 32-year-old woman said Strauss-Kahn pulled her into a bedroom and started attacking her, police said. She fought him off, she told investigators, but he then dragged her into the bathroom and forced himself on her.
Afterward, the employee ran to the front desk, Browne said. Hotel staff alerted New York police.
By the time officers arrived, Strauss-Kahn had left, leaving his cell phone behind at the hotel, according to Browne.
He departed in a hotel limo, according to the law enforcement source. He called the hotel to say he had left his phone behind and asked if it could be brought to him. That call came in about the same time police arrived to investigate the alleged sexual assault, the source said. Investigators told the hotel staff to advise him the phone would be taken to him and went to the airport. Two plainclothes Port Authority police detectives led him off the plane, the source said.
As if further proof were needed that New York is not the center of the universe.
The United States Postal Service has issued a new stamp featuring the Statue of Liberty. Only the statue it features is not the one in the harbor, but the replica at the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas.
You might think that the post office would have just gone with the original, the one off the tip of Lower Manhattan that for 125 years has welcomed millions of New York’s huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Instead, they accidentally used the 14-year-old statue that presides over thousands of weary gamblers a week.
The post office, which had thought the Lady Liberty “forever” stamp featured the real thing, found out otherwise when a clever stamp collector who is also what one might call a superfan of the Statue of Liberty got suspicious and contacted Linn’s Stamp News, the essential read among philatelists.
But the post office is going with it.
“We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway,” said Roy Betts, a spokesman. Mr. Betts did say, however, that the post office regrets the error and is “re-examining our processes to prevent this situation from happening in the future.”
The service selected the image from a photography service, and issued rolls of the stamp bearing the image in December. This month, it issued a sheet of 18 Lady Liberty and flag stamps. Information accompanying the original release of the stamp included a bit of history on the real Statue of Liberty. Las Vegas was never mentioned. The whole mess was exposed by the stamp magazine, which this week ran photographs of both statues.
To the average tourist, there are obvious differences. The Las Vegas statue is half the size of the real Statue of Liberty. And of course, they are in different cities. But it takes a real student of Lady Liberty to notice the contrasts in a stamp-size photo of her head. The hair is different. The replica’s eyes are much more sharply defined. A rectangular patch — a plaque, maybe? — is on the replica’s center spike.
The post office, while perhaps chagrined, is standing by the stamp but changing its informational material about it.
At the New York-New York casino, where a permanent Sept. 11 memorial is positioned in front of the fake New York Harbor in which the fake Statue of Liberty sits, there is nothing but pride.
“Everyone thought the post office was honoring just one great American institution when in reality they were honoring two — the Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas,” said Gordon Absher, spokesman for MGM Resorts International.
Meanwhile, back in the real New York, Edward I. Koch, who declared that the city was the center of the universe when he was mayor, offered some insight into what it all means: “It simply means the post office is doing a stupid thing.”
A version of this article appeared in print on April 15, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition.
This Lady Liberty Is a Las Vegas Teenager
By KIM SEVERSON and MATTHEW HEALEY
Published: April 14, 2011