Friday, January 21, 2005
No - Not Boston! Please God - No!
Though I have never resided there, I have been to Boston many times, have relatives who have resided in the heart of it (and now are settled around it)... AND all the pleasant memories of the city and its rich history have combined to make this blogger a staunch supporter of all of that fair city's pro sports franchises - Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots... and yes - in that order too...! I feel, thus, like countless others do (members of the Red Sox Nation - are you "hearing" me?), as if I was a Bostonian without being a Bostonian... And no one wants to see their hometown becoming the target of this sort of thing.
Hopefully, it will be aborted, like other post-9/11 threats reportedly have been...
It is bad enough already that the WTC tragedy's plane hijackers boarded their planes in Boston's Logan Airport... More of this sort of thing Boston does not need - nor merit. They should get more championships rather - another one for the Sox next year, as Theo candidly predicted... Another one for the Pats... Maybe, finally, another one for the B's... (yeah... right. See comments for more on THAT...).
But more tragedy? Say no to that, Beantown.
Stifle the would-be terrorists' plans in the bud I say!
Godspeed - Boston
By DENISE LAVOIE
BOSTON (AP) - Authorities have launched a manhunt across the Northeast for four Chinese nationals described by the FBI as potential terror suspects who may be heading for Boston.
Authorities insisted that there was no confirmed threat.
Federal law enforcement officials said they had received a tip Wednesday about an unspecified threat against Boston, and released photographs of the two Chinese men and two women they were seeking.
The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire decided to skip President Bush's inauguration Thursday and returned to their states from Washington.
"To assure the people of Boston and Massachusetts that it is safe to be at home, I am going to be sleeping in my bed in Massachusetts tonight and I feel perfectly safe doing so," said Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. "In the very remote circumstance that my attention is needed, I will be able to respond on an immediate basis."
Bruce Cheney, director of New Hampshire Emergency Services, said Massachusetts authorities asked his agency to be ready with radiological testing technicians in case Massachusetts needed them.
"Based on the information we have received from federal officials, it does not appear that there is any cause for alarm," New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch said. "The tip received by the FBI is unconfirmed and uncorroborated. Massachusetts officials have asked us to be prepared to offer support if it is needed, and we have made the necessary preparations."
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and Kenneth Kaiser, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, identified the suspects as Zengrong Lin, Wen Quin Zheng, Xiujin Chen, Guozhi Lin.
Authorities said none of the names had appeared on previous watch lists of terror suspects, and their whereabouts aren't immediately known.
A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter remains under investigation, told The Associated Press that the FBI's joint terrorism task force has not yet corroborated a tip that the suspects entered the United States through Mexico in recent days, possibly bound for Boston.
The official stressed the tip is one of many from across the country that routinely are forwarded to local task forces for further investigation. No credible, specific terror threat has been identified.
The news of the FBI search quickly ballooned into a frenzy of media reports that the suspects planned a dirty bomb attack in Boston.
Mayor Tom Menino, at a news conference, said there was "a lot of misinformation out there," adding there was no credible basis for those reports. Attorney General Thomas Reilly wouldn't confirm the dirty bomb reports, and stressed "it's important for people not to be unduly alarmed."
Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, said representatives from six or seven state agencies would be on duty throughout the night at the state emergency bunker in Framingham - far fewer than the 30 or 40 agencies present during a full-blown emergency activation.
"We'll stay active through the night tonight, until this thing resolves itself," Judge said.
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This year figures to be the first time since 1919 that the NHL Stanley Cup will not be awarded as the season is CANCELLED... It was cancelled in 1919 due to the outbreak of influenza which killed millions...
First 1918... and the Red Sox...
Now 1919... and the cancellation of the NHL season.
The 1910s were a dreadful decade stricken with a World War and a most deadly epidemic too...
Is this to say that these two plights are what's in store for the world next... as the first decade of the new millennium seems bent on emulating the 1910's for some reason...?!? One can find synchronicity -a.k.a. meaningful coincidence- anywhere, if one tries hard enough to find it... What, with Iran and the USA not "collaborating" in any way... and the war on terrorism being such a Don Quixotan lost cause... How can someone wide-eyed awake not see the words "world war three" spelling themselves out more and more with each passing day...?!?
NHL Labor Talks Stretch Into Second Day
Jan 20, 1:21 PM (ET)
By IRA PODELL
NHL labor talks resumed Thursday as the league and the players' association met for the second straight day in an attempt to end the four-month lockout and save the hockey season.
After a five-hour get-together Wednesday in an airport lounge in Chicago, the sides took the traveling road show to Toronto for another airport meeting Thursday.
Again, discussions were held without NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Bob Goodenow. Each side had a three-man team in place on Wednesday, and the only change to that Thursday was the absence of Calgary Flames part-owner Harley Hotchkiss.
Union president Trevor Linden spoke with Hotchkiss on Wednesday, and enough progress was made to quickly schedule a second meeting.
"We engaged in good dialogue," Linden said.
It was just the third time the league and players' association have had face-to-face talks since the lockout was imposed Sept. 15. Neither side appeared ready yet to break the ice and put forth a new proposal that could put an end to the lockout that has reached 127 days.
More than half of the regular season - 671 of 1,230 games through Thursday - has been wiped out so far, plus the All-Star game.
NHL chief legal officer Bill Daly joined Hotchkiss, and outside counsel Bob Batterman in representing the NHL on Wednesday; Linden, NHLPA senior director Ted Saskin, and outside counsel John McCambridge were there for the players.
"The parties had a good, candid dialogue," Daly said.
Hotchkiss didn't go to Toronto because he was attending the funeral in Calgary of J.R. (Bud) McCaig, another member of the Flames' ownership group who died last week. Saskin took part in Thursday's meeting, despite the death of his mother a day earlier.
(AP) Vancouver Canucks forward and NHL Union President Trevor Linden, right, walk with NHLPA senior...
Linden reached out to the owners and invited Hotchkiss to talk. The Vancouver Canucks center hoped that by holding general discussions without Bettman and Goodenow, some of the acrimony could be removed from the negotiating process.
"We credit Trevor Linden's initiative in requesting this session, which was informal, open and professional and which resulted in a constructive exchange of viewpoints," Hotchkiss said Wednesday.
These are the first talks since Dec. 14. That was when the sides broke three months of silence by sitting down in Toronto for the second time in six days, but any optimism was lost quickly.
Since then, other than rhetoric, there had been silence.
If this round of talks doesn't move the sides to a settlement, the season probably will be lost. That would mean the Stanley Cup wouldn't be awarded for the first time since 1919, when a flu epidemic canceled the final series between Seattle and Montreal.
********** 1918 was revisited... thanks to the Boston Red Sox...
and now 1919 will be... hmm... why all this déjà-vu all of a sudden... indeed... hmm? ***************
No major North American sports league has missed an entire season because of a labor dispute.
What a dubious distinction Canada's sport will garner now... (though only since fully assimilated by the USA and americanized...!!!).