MIAMI — At least five people have contracted Zika virus from mosquitoes in Miami’s Little River neighborhood, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday, identifying a one-square-mile zone where the disease is spreading.
Scott’s office issued a news release identifying the area after the Florida Department of Health confirmed that two women and three men had contracted Zika. Three of the people live in the square-mile area, and two either work there or recently visited, according to the governor’s announcement.
The new zone — between Northwest 79th and 63rd Streets from Northwest 10th Avenue to North Miami Avenue — is the second in Miami-Dade County where mosquitoes are known to be spreading Zika. The other is a 4.5-square-mile area of Miami Beach covering most of South Beach and Middle Beach.
In his announcement, Scott said he was requesting the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work with Miami-Dade mosquito control to contain the virus’s spread.
“We have seen that aggressive mosquito control efforts have worked in areas like Wynwood,” Scott said in the statement, “and we hope the county also aggressively sprays in this area so we can limit the spread of this virus and protect pregnant women and their growing babies.”
Florida health officials have confirmed 1,021 Zika infections statewide this year, with 174 mosquito-borne cases and 842 travel-related cases, including 106 pregnant women. An additional five cases are labeled “undetermined” after health department investigators failed to identify the area of exposure.
Miami-Dade has the most Zika infections of any county, with 237 travel-related cases and 163 mosquito-borne cases this year. Of Miami-Dade’s local infections, 65 are linked to exposure in Miami Beach and 36 to mosquitoes in Wynwood.
NTSB: Air brakes were functional on NJ Transit train that sped up before crash
HACKENSACK, N.J. — The NJ Transit train that slammed into Hoboken Terminal on Sept. 29, killing one person and injuring about 110, had air brakes that appeared to have been functional at the time of the crash, federal crash investigators wrote in a report issued Thursday.
As the train pulled into Hoboken Terminal, 38 seconds before the crash, the train’s engine accelerated rapidly, from 8 miles an hour to 21 by the time it hit the station. The collision caused a large flash of light at the head of the train, and then the video camera attached to the lead car stopped working, according to the report.
The report, by the National Transportation Safety Board, is preliminary, and includes no findings about the cause of the crash.
The crash caused so much damage to the lead car of the train that its electrical communication systems could not be tested, including the throttle controls and brakes. Instead, the brakes were tested by hooking them up to the locomotive, which was attached to the rear of the train, and which sustained less damage in the crash.
Thursday’s report reiterated facts about the crash that the safety board already has announced. The train’s engineer, identified as Thomas Gallagher, arrived to work at 6:46 a.m. The morning of the crash, and he was well-rested, according to the report. Neither he nor the train conductor noticed anything unusual about each other or the performance of the train during pre-trip inspections or along the route, which traveled the Pascack Valley line.
—The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)
No injuries after bomb threat at Legoland Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. — Legoland Florida Resort was evacuated Thursday afternoon after receiving a bomb threat, officials say.
Adrian Jones, the resort’s general manager, said park officials received the anonymous bomb threat and “quickly made the decision to evacuate our theme park and hotel according to our established safety protocols.”
The threat, which was received just before noon, was found on a note inside the park, said Winter Haven Deputy Police Chief David Brannan. He did not go into detail of what was written in the note.
It took approximately 20 minutes to clear the 150-acre theme park built for children ages 2-12. Park officials would not say how many people were evacuated from the park and hotel.
Police K9s from a multitude of agencies, including the FBI, scouted the park for any possible bomb materials.
Police spokeswoman Jamie Brown said there weren’t any reported injuries.
“Everyone’s fine,” she said.
Theme park guests were asked to leave the resort entirely when they were evacuated while hotel guests were asked to wait in the parking lot until the hotel was searched by law enforcement.
The hotel reopened shortly before 5 p.m., as soon as park leaders “received the all-clear” from the police department, said a Legoland spokesman.
Law enforcement authorities are determining the validity of the threat.
Guantanamo board says prisoner is too dangerous to release
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — The interagency parole board has declared the younger brother of an alleged 9/11 plotter too dangerous to release, essentially rebranding Hassan Bin Attash as Guantanamo’s 24th “forever prisoner.”
“The detainee refused to acknowledge that he was affected by his extremist upbringing and indoctrination at an early age,” the six-agency U.S. government board said in its Oct. 11 decision declaring Bin Attash, 31 or 34, ineligible for release.
“The Periodic Review Board, by consensus, determined that continued law of war detention of the detainee remains necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States,” it also said.
The two-paragraph decision described the Saudi-born Bin Attash as an explosives specialist and an aide to several senior al-Qaida members, who was responsible for “supporting numerous plots against the U.S. and other Western targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East, and North Africa.”
Left unsaid was that he is the younger brother of Walid Bin Attash, who is awaiting a death-penalty trial as an alleged deputy in the 9/11 plot. The brothers have never seen each other here, according to their lawyers; they are held in two different prison buildings — the older brother in Camp 7, reserved for “high-value detainees,” and Hassan in Camp 6, a medium-security prison building where captives live communally.
Hassan Bin Attash was captured in Pakistan on Sept. 11, 2002, with another alleged Sept. 11 conspirator, Ramzi Binalshibh, and according to the so-called Senate torture report, was held for 120 days or more by the CIA. He was brought to the prison camps in September 2004.
His lawyer, David Remes, calls Bin Attash Guantanamo’s youngest detainee, a man who left home in Saudi Arabia around age 13, was captured in his teens and probably got to the prison in Cuba at age 19. A leaked 2008 prison profile said he was born in 1985. His latest profile put his date of birth at some time in 1982. It also said he was either a Yemeni or Saudi citizen.
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