disaster relief

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Divided Libyans Seek Unity in Flood's Wake

Disaster's pain has been felt around the country, one man says

(Newser) - Zahra el-Gerbi wasn't expecting much of a response to her online fundraiser, but she felt she had to do something after four of her relatives died in the flooding that decimated the eastern Libyan city of Derna. She put out a call for donations for those displaced by the...

Biden Seeks $40B in Emergency Spending

Proposal will run up against government shutdown threat

(Newser) - President Biden sent a funding request to Congress on Thursday for emergency spending totaling about $40 billion. The proposal includes $24 billion for aid to Ukraine and other international causes, $12 billion to restock federal disaster relief funds, and $4 billion for needs at the border with Mexico, Politico reports....

Man Blew $60K in COVID Funds on a Pokemon Card

Vinath Oudomsine was stripped of 'Charizard' on his way to prison

(Newser) - A 31-year-old Georgia man will spend three years in prison after using $57,789 of his $85,000 COVID-19 disaster relief loan to buy a Pokemon card. Vinath Oudomsine, 31, of Dublin applied to the Small Business Administration for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan around July 2020, claiming he operated...

Haiti Crews 'Can Hear People Screaming' in the Rubble

Death toll reaches 304 from magnitude 7.2 earthquake

(Newser) - Crews in Haiti were trying Saturday to reach people trapped in the rubble after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck in the morning, killing at least 304 people. At least 1,800 are injured, the government said. As rescuers worked, at least six aftershocks shook the region, one of which...

Abbott Calls Biden's Move 'Partial Approval'

Disaster declaration could be added for other counties later, White House says

(Newser) - President Biden approved a major disaster declaration for Texas on Saturday, an action that will send federal money to 77 of the state's 254 counties. Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed the announcement but pointed out that he'd requested the declaration for all Texas counties. "While this partial approval...

No Disaster Aid, Administration Tells California
Trump Reverses on Aid
After Call With Governor

Trump Reverses on Aid After Call With Governor

State requests for disaster relief are seldom turned down

(Newser) - President Trump has reversed course and approved a previously rejected California application for disaster relief funds to clean up damage from six recent wildfires. Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Friday that he had talked to Trump on the phone and that the president approved the major disaster declaration,...

As Puerto Rico Again Suffers, an Outrageous Find

A warehouse full of disaster relief supplies from 2017 discovered in island's south

(Newser) - People in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots, and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake. With anger spreading in the US...

Trump Officials Divert FEMA Funds to Border

Disaster relief cash pulled to pay for courtrooms

(Newser) - The Trump administration is shifting money from disaster relief to immigration enforcement—even with Tropical Storm Dorian threatening a direct hit on Puerto Rico. Officials confirmed Tuesday that $271 million in Homeland Security funding is being diverted to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to pay for detention beds and temporary courtrooms,...

Congress Finally Approves $19B Disaster Aid Bill

Trump deletes tweet after calling for Senate to approve bill it passed 2 weeks ago

(Newser) - A long-delayed $19.1 billion disaster aid bill sailed through the House on Monday and headed to President Trump for his expected signature, overcoming months of infighting, misjudgment, and a feud between Trump and congressional Democrats. Lawmakers gave the measure final congressional approval by 354-58 in the House's first...

A Republican Again Prevents House From Passing Disaster Aid

John Rose calls spending 'irresponsible'

(Newser) - A House Republican lawmaker on Thursday prevented the House from sending a multibillion-dollar disaster relief bill to President Trump. This time, it was John Rose of Tennessee who objected when the package came up for unanimous consent—the only way legislation can pass when the House is on recess, CNN...

Again, One Lawmaker Blocks Disaster Aid Passage

Kentucky Republican stalls $19B package

(Newser) - For the second time in less than a week, a House Republican has prevented a $19.1 billion federal disaster aid package from passing Congress. That makes it more likely that the measure won't be approved until the House returns from recess next Monday, the Hill reports. When the...

Lawmaker Single-Handedly Blocks Disaster Relief Bill
Lawmaker Single-Handedly
Blocks Disaster Relief Bill
the rundown

Lawmaker Single-Handedly Blocks Disaster Relief Bill

Conservative Rep. Chip Roy of Texas objects and scuttles $19B in aid, temporarily

(Newser) - Chip Roy is a freshman congressman from Texas who just blipped onto the national political radar with a controversial move. The conservative Republican single-handedly blocked approval of a $19.1 billion relief bill Friday for regions around the US recovering from hurricanes and other disasters. The details of what happened,...

Puerto Rico Donations Found Rotting in Trailers

National Guard, elections office swap quotes in the media

(Newser) - Several trailers' worth of donated water, food, and other supplies designated for victims of Hurricane Maria have been found rotting in a Puerto Rico parking lot, the New York Times reports. A local radio station posted a video of at least 10 rat-infested trailers outside a state elections office Friday...

They're FEMA's Elite Rescuers, Yet Some Do Little Rescuing

Bureaucracy, too much gear, and other inefficiencies are marring response efforts

(Newser) - They're called the "national Swiss Army knife of emergency response," teams of highly trained first responders sent by FEMA across the US when disaster strikes. But when hurricanes pummeled Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico last summer, many of the thousands deployed via the agency's National Urban...

Trump Talks Pulling FEMA Amid Struggle to Help Puerto Rico

Chuck Schumer says FEMA's work is 'not even close to done'

(Newser) - President Trump is warning that hurricane relief for Puerto Rico has an end date even as federal officials acknowledge a massive food shortage on the island three weeks after Hurricane Maria. "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult...

Tyler Perry Gives Houston $1M, With Some of It for Joel Osteen

A quarter of the money goes to Osteen's church

(Newser) - Tyler Perry is donating $1 million to relief efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey, and a full 25% of that amount is going to Joel Osteen's Houston megachurch. Perry announced the donations in a video on Facebook , People reports, and he insisted that though people were upset when the...

Red Cross VP Squirms in Interview on How Donations Are Distributed

I 'really don't' know, exec admits to NPR on Harvey relief efforts

(Newser) - In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many have criticized the American Red Cross, with Facebook and others even directing those who want to help to donate to a different charity . The criticism isn't new: As NPR notes, there have long been reports that ARC misstates how donor dollars are...

Want to Help After Harvey? Don't Donate to the Red Cross

Jonathan M. Katz argues that the organization is flawed

(Newser) - Hurricane Harvey has devastated Texas, and it's natural to want to help. But don't try to help by donating money to the American Red Cross, journalist and author Jonathan M. Katz writes on Slate . The disaster relief organization may be iconic, but it's far from effective,...

Red Cross Calls Sandy Spending 'Trade Secret'

Won't say how it spent the $300M it raised

(Newser) - The Red Cross raised more than $300 million for Superstorm Sandy disaster relief, but it is refusing to say how it raised or spent the cash. After ProPublica filed a public records request for the information, the Red Cross hired a law firm to block the release of some documents....

US Carrier Arrives in Philippines Amid Logistics Nightmare

Volunteer surgeons working by flashlight in disaster zone

(Newser) - Help is finally beginning to reach hundreds of thousands of people struggling to survive in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. The USS George Washington and two US cruisers have arrived in the Philippines and will distribute food, water, and medicine, as well as assist search and rescue operations in what...

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