Iowa apartment block collapse: Tenants complained of “cracks in the wall” in century-old building – National & International News – WED 31May2023



Iowa apartment block collapse: Tenants complained of “cracks in the wall” in century-old building.

Debt ceiling bill faces tight vote in House this evening.

Biden’s sex assault accuser seeks Russian citizenship.



Iowa apartment block collapse: Tenants complained of “cracks in the wall” in century-old building

On Sunday in Davenport, IA, a city of 100,000 on the Mississippi River, a 116-year-old brick and steel with 53 residents in 80 apartment units partially collapsed. Rescue operations quickly got underway using thermal engineering and trained dogs. Over a 48-hour period, 9 people were pulled from the building alive.

Prior to the 9th person being rescued, the city had announced plans for a controlled demolition as the rest of the building is unstable. But authorities have acknowledged that 5 residents remain unaccounted for and two of them may still be in the building. Family of residents are calling on the city to halt demolition plans and conduct a more thorough search. Authorities say the building is too unstable to search safely.

For months before the collapse, residents and commercial tenants had complained of cracks in the wall and other structural defects. The owner of the building, Andrew Wold, has received numerous citations from the city after the building was declared a nuisance for overflowing dumpsters.

Bricks from the exterior have been seen falling from the building in recent months. This is a serious problem because the building is designed in such a way that the steel frame in the building and the brick exterior support one another. Wold hired an engineering firm in January that had declared the building “safe” but repairs were ongoing. The city is seeking to fine Wold $300 for failing to maintain the building “in a safe, sanitary, and structurally sound condition”.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Debt ceiling bill faces tight vote in House this evening

The bill to raise the debt ceiling passed its first major test yesterday when the House Rules Committee narrowly voted to advance it. Today, the bill will face a full floor vote in the House. There are just 5 days until the Treasury says the US will default on its debts without Congressional action.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus, who previously forced House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to make untenable compromises to win leadership, have spoken out against the bill. They say it does not do enough to cut spending and does not include enough of the policies they wanted. This could be mean tonight’s vote won’t be plain sailing. Under the rules McCarthy agreed to in his compromise with the Freedom Caucus, just one member of Congress can call a vote to oust McCarthy from the Speakership. This could hold up approval of the debt ceiling bill for days.

More objections from both parties

Meanwhile, even some mainstream Republicans have raised objections about the bill. Yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said that the new eligibility rules for foodstamps will actually increase the cost of the program by $2.1 billion. Although the deal will impose new work requirements for beneficiaries between 50 and 54, it creates new exemptions for young people leaving foster care, veterans and the homeless. 

Climate activists and some Democrats have also raised objections about a provision that will decrease environmental regulation for new energy projects. As part of the deal, a new pipeline in West Virginia will have all its pending permits approved. The pipeline has long been a pet project of the state’s Senator Joe Manchin (D). Fossil fuel lobbyist are among Manchin’s biggest political donors.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Biden’s sex assault accuser seeks Russian citizenship

During the 2020 Presidential campaigns, Tara Reade came forward with sexual assault allegations against then-candidate Joe Biden. The allegations dated back to 1993 when Reade was an aide to then-Senator Biden. Reade claimed that Biden had assaulted her in a hallway in the Capitol, shoving her against a wall and putting his hands up her shirt and skirt.

Biden vociferously denied that anything improper had taken place between Reade and himself. Reade claims that she had filed a complaint at the time. But those records were transferred to the archives of the University of Delaware and the relevant filing has never been located. 

Reade now says she will be seeking citizenship in Russia. She says she left the US after a Republican politician told her she was in danger. In an interview, Reade said “When I got off the plane in Moscow, for the first time in a very long time I felt safe, and I felt heard and felt respected”. She said she would “like to apply for citizenship in Russia, from the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin… I do promise to be a good citizen”. Reade added that she hopes to keep her American citizenship.  

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.