Month: October 2017

WWI Australian battle re-enacted in Israel on centennial

October 31, 2017 8:58 PM BEERSHEBA, Israel A century to the day after Australian troops broke through Ottoman defenses in a daring World War I victory, nearly 200 horsemen — including descendants of the soldiers — paraded through streets of an Israeli city in a memorial to those killed in a battle that helped turn the tide of the war and shape the modern Middle East. With leaders from Israel, Australia and New Zealand in attendance Tuesday, Australian and Israeli military marching bands led the way through the flag-festooned route in Bersheeba, flanked by several thousand onlookers in a tribute to the 171 British and Commonwealth troops killed that day. Some 175 members of the Australian Light Horse Association participated. Australian military veteran Ian Dunlop, whose grandfather fought at Beersheba, wore his ancestor’s four military medals on his chest and said he was “very proud” to have come from his native Melbourne. The battle was a crucial, if largely forgotten, victory in the Mideast campaign that enabled the Allies to break the Turkish line in what is now southern Israel and capture Jerusalem weeks later. The victorious campaign redrew the map of the Middle East. In the fall of 1917, Allied forces with Gen. Sir Edmund Allenby’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force advanced on Gaza as part of a campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire, Germany’s ally, out of the war....

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Rubio presses Trump administration on Lake Okeechobee dike pledge

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio near a map of Lake Okeechobee during a 2016 visit to the South Florida Water Management District headquarters in West Palm Beach. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is pressing President Donald Trump’s administration to put some money behind the president’s recent pledge to accelerate repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee. Trump — heeding the pleas of Florida Gov. and key political ally Rick Scott — endorsed a speeding up of renovations, which are now scheduled for completion in 2025. But the White House statement on the dike was short on...

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Traffic Q&A: Freight trains and turbo lanes

Doctor Detour answers your transportation questions. Q: In 2014, we were told that, with the opening of the new Intermodal Center at Port Everglades, freight trains would no longer block traffic on State Road 84. Yet, it still happens. What gives? Shawn Michaelson, Fort Lauderdale A: Prior to 2014, the trains were assembled across State Road 84. Most Florida East Coast freight trains are now put together at the new Intermodal Container Transfer Facility next to Port Everglades. The FEC trains still cross S.R. 84 at slow speed every morning going into the facility. But, the number of trains has been reduced from about 40 to 14 per day. The train is never stopped on S.R. 84 unless there is a problem, according to FEC. There are occasional situations where drivers encounter trains that are stopped or slowly moving back and forth. This happens when the train is longer than 9,000 feet — more than the capacity at the ICTF. Sometimes, engines assembling trains will trigger track sensors that close the crossing gates momentarily even though no train is crossing S.R. 84. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun Sentinel Westbound State Road 84 to get “turbo lane” at Davie Road Westbound State Road 84 to get “turbo lane” at Davie Road (Wayne K. Roustan, Sun Sentinel) Q: Who can I contact to suggest a modification that might lessen traffic congestion on...

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Boats salvaged after Hurricane Irma: Nearly 1,500 and the job's not done

One by one, hundreds of boats shipwrecked by Hurricane Irma are being salvaged from the bottom of lakes and waterways across the state. That is welcome news to people like Brent Spechler, a Hollywood resident whose lakeside dock was destroyed when a runaway boat slammed into it during the storm. “I’m grateful that it’s getting done,” Spechler said. “I’m very concerned about the next storm. Irma was a Category 1 storm at best. If it’s a Cat 5, the boats could end up in people’s living rooms.” The storm that swept through South Florida on Sept. 10 upended more than 1,000 vessels, leaving a massive job for salvage crews that may end up costing taxpayers $20 million based on early estimates, a U.S. Coast Guard official said. As of Monday, 1,492 boats have been salvaged by both government agencies and vessel owners: — 1,101 from the Florida Keys. — 69 from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. — 265 from St. Petersburg area. — 57 from the Jacksonville region. Responders are prioritizing vessels based on which pose the biggest environmental threat. “Vessels that are actively leaking are our top priority,” Coast Guard Cmdr. JoAnne Hanson said. The cost so far: $12.5 million, with FEMA paying 75 percent of the tab and the state picking up the rest, said Elizabeth Bordelon, petty officer with the Coast Guard. The job is...

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