Miami: Residents evacuate condo near site of last year’s deadly collapse. California crafts gun-control bill based on Texas abortion law. World food prices shooting up due to Ukraine war.
Miami: Residents ordered to evacuate a condo near the site of last year’s deadly collapse
Nearly a year after the collapse of a condo building in Surfside, FL, killed 98 people, residents of another Miami condo building have been ordered to evacuate. The 5-storey building in North Miami Beach contains 60 units and is home to 55 families. The building was undergoing construction as part of its 50-year recertification process.
Bronislaus P. Taurinski Structural Engineers sent a letter to the city of North Miami Beach on Friday, April 1, condemning the building due to a problem with the building’s floor slabs. The letter declared the building “structurally unsafe” and advised an immediate evacuation. However, city officials did not order an evacuation until Monday. This was because they hadn’t seen the letter since they received it after work hours on Friday.
Officials gave residents little warning and told them to grab only what they needed. Residents received 3-day hotel vouchers. The city’s mayor said the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust and the American Red Cross would help residents with housing.
Last month, residents of the Surfside condo that collapsed last year reached an $83 million settlement with the building’s administrators, inspectors and developers. There has been no official determination as to the cause of that collapse. However, some reports have suggested that saltwater intrusion into the building’s foundations could be responsible.
Shortly after that deadly collapse, residents in another nearby building were forced to evacuate and have not been permitted to return since. State officials in Florida have failed to pass meaningful legislation to prevent another tragedy.
California crafts gun-control bill based on Texas abortion law
Following the deadly shooting in Sacramento this weekend, California lawmakers are reviving efforts to write a citizen-enforced gun-control bill. Like Texas’ “Heartbeat Act”, which empowers citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after 6 weeks, the law would encourage private citizens to sue anyone they suspect of violating it. Citizens could sue anyone who distributes illegal assault weapons, parts used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .50 caliber rifles. A successful suit would result in a $10,000 fine per weapon.
California already has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws. But Democratic state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, one of the bill’s sponsors, says the state’s existing laws “are clearly not tough enough”. One of the weapons used in the deadly Sacramento shooting was stolen. Last month, a man used an unregistered homemade weapon to kill his three daughters, a chaperone, and then himself during a supervised visit.
World food prices shooting up due to Ukraine war
While the US and the rest of the world is already feeling the bite of high gas prices due to the Ukraine conflict, another global crisis is brewing. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and corn, with its biggest markets being Africa and the Middle East. That supply has abruptly ceased due to a Russian blockade in the Black Sea. As a result, Lebanon, Somalia and Egypt are already experiencing widespread food shortages and price hikes. However, there are already signs that supplies in the rest of the world will soon be stretched thin. China has bought up a massive supply of US corn, and other wealthy countries are building up their stockpiles. This may be good news in the short term for US farmers, but this could soon translate to even higher food prices for American consumers.
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