Weather Alert  

AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM TO 11 PM EDT THURSDAY The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx... Westchester...Rockland...Nassau...Suffolk. from 11 AM to 11 PM EDT Thursday. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5.

US Embassy Closures Extended Through End of the Week

LongIsland.com

What had initially been a one-day closure of over 20 US embassies has grown to a week-long break from normal operations.

Print Email

A total of 22 United States Embassies throughout the Middle East and Central Asia were closed yesterday due to evidence of a potential terrorist threat. Americans abroad were urged to tread carefully as the State Department revealed “al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.”

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki has now announced that most of those embassies will remain closed through August 10th. In accordance with local custom during the end of Ramadan and “out of an abundance of caution, we've decided to extend the closure of several embassies and consulates including a small number of additional posts,” said Psaki.

While posts in Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah, and Erbil have been reopened today, 14 others remain closed and 5 different embassies in Africa have been shut down for the remainder of the week, keeping a total of 19 inactive.

“Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antananarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to close for normal operations Monday, August 5 through Saturday, August 10” according to the State Department. No explanation was offered as to why the five African embassies have now been shuttered, or why those that reopened have been allowed to do so.

Representative Peter King of New York’s 2nd District said of the closures “There’s very little doubt, if any, that something serious is being planned,” adding “It is not just trying to connect the dots. That is very specific information about the fact that there is a plot, that attacks are planned, but again it’s not certain as to where.”

The precautionary closings come just weeks after al-Qaeda successfully broke hundreds of detainees out of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in a bloody battle during which several guards on duty aided the terrorist group.

[Source: Peter King, State Department]