Subcontractors busted for $100K in Sandy fraud

Two subcontractors who removed debris during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy have been indicted for cheating the city out of nearly $100,000 in billed work that was never performed. see also Richard Griffin and Frank Gillette — who each owned their own companies — are charged with mail fraud and

All the things in 2017 we want to forget

Goodbye to 2017 — and good riddance! Last year was a hot mess of terror, toxic political fights, subway disasters, nuclear dread and mass killings — and New Yorkers couldn’t wait to see the end of it. Here are some things we’re all hoping to leave behind in 2018: 1.

The cost of natural disasters nearly doubled in 2017

The world was hit by a wave of disasters in 2017 — and it cost us big time. The financial losses from this year’s earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires amount to $306 billion, nearly double the $188 billion lost in 2016, according to insurance firm Swiss Re. The reinsurance giant calculates

Walmart shares jump on better-than-expected sales

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, reported better-than-expected quarterly sales at established US stores on Thursday, boosted by hurricane-related purchases and soaring online sales, sending its shares up 6 percent. The retailer has recorded more than three straight years of comparable sales growth, despite slow demand and a tough retail

Schumer calls on Trump to appoint Puerto Rico recovery chief

Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday called on President Trump to appoint a recovery chief to oversee relief efforts for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The New York Democrat said the “chief executive of response and recovery” would have direct access to the president, Cabinet​ secretaries​, Congress​ members​ ​and ​Puerto Rico ​government officials ​to

5 former US presidents attend hurricane relief concert

America’s five living ex-presidents made a joint appearance Saturday night at a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for victims of the hurricanes that hit Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Barack Obama, 56, said, “When they see strangers in need, Americans step up.” George W. Bush,

Stuck without power, Puerto Rican studio dances on

Owners of a San Juan studio left without power in the wake of Hurricane Maria are urging students to come back to class, even if it means dancing in the dark. “Parents came to us to say thank you because, even if they took a road that had trees in the

Governor of Puerto Rico wants “equal treatment’ from Trump

The governor of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico said he’ll tell President Trump when he meets with him later Thursday that “we need equal treatment” like other US citizens who are recovering from the destruction of recent storms. “Recognizing that we’re in this together – US citizens in Texas, US citizens in Florida,

Trump to meet with Puerto Rican governor in the Oval Office

President Trump will meet with the governor of Puerto Rico at The White House on Thursday as the US territory struggles to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Trump will welcome Governor Ricardo Rosselló for a meeting in the Oval Office, according to a schedule released by administration. “We will be

Hurricane Ophelia threatens UK, Ireland with strong winds

LONDON — Authorities in Britain and Ireland say the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia could bring disruption and damage as the work week gets underway. Ophelia was a category 2 hurricane Sunday as it moved northeast across the Atlantic, with sustained winds of 105 mph. It is expected to weaken to a storm

Death toll in Puerto Rico jumps to 48

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Authorities in Puerto Rico raised the death toll from Hurricane Maria by 3 to 48 on Saturday based on a review of medical records. The medical examiner concluded that the hurricane was the deciding factor in the three newly disclosed deaths, Secretary of Public Security Hector

Zuckerberg sorry for tone-deaf Puerto Rico VR presentation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized after inserting a smiling cartoon likeness of himself into images of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to show off a new virtual-reality platform. In a bizarre Facebook Live video on the social network’s VR app Spaces, Zuckerberg and Facebook social VR chief Rachel Franklin gave a virtual

Zuckerberg sorry for tone-deaf Puerto Rico VR presentation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized after inserting a smiling cartoon likeness of himself into images of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico to show off a new virtual-reality platform. In a bizarre Facebook Live video on the social network’s VR app Spaces, Zuckerberg and Facebook social VR chief Rachel Franklin gave a virtual

AIG could lose $3.1B thanks to recent natural disasters

Insurance giant AIG warned Wall Street on Monday of what could be its largest-ever quarterly catastrophe loss — as much as $3.1 billion following hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and earthquakes in Mexico. AIG is set to lose as much as $1.2 billion from Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston and

Jones Act waiver expires for Puerto Rico, won’t be renewed: DHS

The Jones Act waiver that suspended shipping restrictions to aid hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico expired on Sunday and the Department of Homeland Security will not extend it, Reuters reported on Monday. DHS issued the waiver on Sept. 28 after a request by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello and other lawmakers, including Rep.

Trump: “I was having fun’ throwing paper towels in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON — President Trump blasted the “fake” media for criticizing his response to Hurricane Maria and said Puerto Ricans actually loved it when he lobbed “these beautiful, soft paper towels” into the crowd. In a friendly interview with Mike Huckabee for the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Trump said he’s done a “great

Hurricane Nate makes landfall as Category 1 storm

Fast-moving Hurricane Nate roared ashore near the mouth of the Mississippi on Saturday night, lashing the northern Gulf Coast with 85-mile-an-hour winds. Nate had been swamping roads in coastal Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama hours before the Category 1 hurricane made landfall at around 7 p.m. A state of emergency was declared for

Hurricane Nate makes second landfall in Mississippi

NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Nate came ashore along Mississippi’s coast outside Biloxi early Sunday, the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm had maximum sustained winds early Sunday near 85 mph with weakening expected as it moves inland, the U.S. National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Nate is now expected to be a Category 2 at landfall

Strengthening Hurricane Nate is now expected to be a Category 2 hurricane at landfall on the central Gulf Coast in coming hours. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Nate’s top sustained winds have recently risen to 90 mph and the core is now about 180 miles  south-southeast of the mouth

Unemployment drop has nothing to do with hurricane season

The US unemployment rate fell sharply in September — to 4.2 percent from 4.4 percent in August — but the decline had nothing to do with the hurricanes that battered parts of the southeast and Texas. The storms, Harvey and Irma, did adversely affect the number of jobs created in the

New Orleans starts evacuations as deadly storm Nate approaches

MANAGUA – New Orleans evacuated some residents from areas outside its levee system as Tropical Storm Nate swirled toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday after killing at least 25 people in Central America. Nate is set to become a Category 1 hurricane, the weakest on a five-category scale used by

Tropical Storm Nate blamed for 22 deaths; threatens US coast

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Newly formed Tropical Storm Nate was blamed Thursday for at least 22 deaths across Central America as it dumped rain across the region on a path that would carry it toward a potential landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane over the weekend. Louisiana officials ordered

Hurricanes set to wreak havoc on September jobs report

Hurricanes also do major damage to economic statistics. It just takes a little longer for the wreckage to appear. On Friday, the Labor Department will announce the number of jobs that were created in September, which was affected by three major hurricanes — Harvey, Irma and Maria. The consensus on Wall Street

Puerto Rico’s health care system “is on life support’

Two weeks after Hurricane Marie slammed Puerto Rico, medical officials say the health care system on the beleaguered island “is on life support” — with only one cardio-thoracic surgeon still operating in the US territory. Dr. Orlando Lopez de Victoria of the Auxillo Mutuo Hospital in San Juan said before Hurricane

All 5 living ex-presidents to attend a hurricane relief concert

WASHINGTON — All five living former U.S. presidents will attend a hurricane relief concert at Texas A&M University later this month. That’s according to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, which issued a statement Wednesday saying “all ticket sales and other proceeds” from the October 21 event will go to

Cuomo partnering with UNICEF for Puerto Rico relief

New York State is sending additional aid to Puerto Ricans desperate for basic care and necessities after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s infrastructure, Gov. Cuomo announced on Tuesday. “There are about 67 hospitals on the island. About 50 of those hospitals are actually operating on generator. Many of them are running

Trump praises “massive’ US response to Puerto Rico crisis

Facing mounting criticism of his administration’s response to the disaster in Puerto Rico, President Trump on Friday praised the US response to a hurricane he described as perhaps the worst in history. “People have never seen anything like this,” the president said, addressing a group of manufacturers in Washington. “We’ve undertaken a

Trump lifts shipping restrictions for Puerto Rico relief

President Trump on Thursday waived shipping restrictions to help get fuel and supplies to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, the White House announced. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that the president, at the request of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, “has authorized the Jones Act be waived for Puerto Rico. It

Trump admin won’t let politicians travel to storm-ravaged islands

Lawmakers hoping to visit Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are marooned on the mainland — because the government is restricting its planes for actually helping the storm-battered islands, according to a new report. The White House and Pentagon are denying politicians’ requests to hitch rides to the devastated isles on