Hacker delays firework show in town

ALBURGH, Vt. (WCAX) – An explosive event in Alburgh Saturday night.

Green Mountain Fireworks hosted a drive-in display set to tunes. Unfortunately, the company says a hacker jammed the frequency, putting the show hours behind schedule.

Families could pay $100 per car to attend.

The first $10,000 raised goes directly to the Alburgh Family Clubhouse to help build a new childcare center at the town’s K-8 school.

Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.

Brexit DISASTER: US trade talks hit by MAJOR blow – delays could change everything for UK

The two sides have now agreed to postpone meetings, due to take place in Boston, until next spring due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. 

Talks were also hit by delays due to US tariffs on UK products entering America, in particular on whiskey. 

With the November election fast approaching, negotiations have also been stalled due to the prospect of Democrat Joe Biden taking over from Donald Trump. 

Although Mr Trump has been a staunch supporter of the UK’s exit from the EU, his rival’s position is not yet completely known. 

He was, however, Vice President in Barack Obama’s administration who stated the UK would not see preferential trade terms with the US post Brexit. 

Although the two sides have agreed to continue talks throughout the autumn, the delay represents a major blow to International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss’ hopes of a quick deal. 

More to follow…

Mail delays hurting local small business owners

GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you’ve been receiving less mail or late packages, you’re not alone. The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing delays all over the country.

“I’ve had a couple packages that have not shown up yet. It’s been over two weeks now,” said Alex Pegg, a Greensboro resident.

Olivia Byrd paid extra to send old photos to a family member in Georgia. 

“I was told that they would receive it on Saturday. Saturday came and went, and it wasn’t received. The following Saturday came and went, and it wasn’t received,” Byrd explained.

The USPS attributes the delays to shortages in transportation and staffing from COVID-19. 

 “We are trying to get people to write as many letters as possible,” said Steve Mitchell, co-owner of Scuppernong Books.

Mitchell oversees the bookstore in downtown Greensboro. He’s encouraging people to write Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“He’s our neighbor. He lives in our community. We often think of politicians or people who make these kinds of decisions living far away. He doesn’t. He lives right here,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell’s felt the effects of recent postal delays, and it’s starting to hurt his bookstore. Sending books through the USPS saves money.

“Lots of small businesses rely on certain postage rates that are considerably cheaper. Every commercial business that’s not like a restaurant on this street uses the postal service to mail out product. Every single one,” Mitchell said of Elm Street. 

He’s worried if these delays stick around, small business owners could be losing even more sales during the pandemic.

“You can’t afford to send things through other carriers if you’re just a small business sending one or two things at a time,” Mitchell said.

Postmaster General DeJoy announced earlier this week he would be restructuring how the postal service operates.

Until mail service returns to normal, Mitchell says he remains skeptical. 

“People in rural communities get medicines by mail, who get important things by mail that they need and can’t have a 10-day delay,” Mitchell said.

The new postal service model will be based on three core business strategies: retail and delivery, logistics and processing and commerce and business.

FOX8 tried reaching out to DeJoy for comment and were referred back to his statements made in Friday’s news release

'Ready, set, test!': Berlin's long-delayed airport undergoes dress rehearsal for October opening

Never mind, it’s just another delay in the 9-year-old saga of the German capital’s new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which has long been a national punchline for planning errors and technical problems. This time though, the delay was only for six weeks rather than nine years.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the dress rehearsal of operations, scheduled for June, had to be postponed until July 28, and contrary to original plans only about 400 volunteers participated, instead of 20,000 envisioned earlier this year.

“Safety and health take the highest priority,” the CEO of Berlin airport operator FBB, Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, said, noting that the decision had been taken in light of social-distancing rules in place to curb coronavirus infections.

But Daldrup insisted that the revised trial plan still provided plenty of time for the airport to be ready before its planned opening on October 31.

A volunteer tester takes her suticase from a luggage belt during the trial run.

Pandemic rules have limited the number of participants in the BER trial run, but social distancing wasn’t easy to maintain

‘Ready, set, test!’

The official slogan for the trial runs is “Ready, set, test!”, according to the FBB operator’s website advertising for the tests, and anyone “who loves airports or is just curious” can apply to take part as long as they are over the age of 18. Until the official opening in October, a total of 28 test runs are slated. 

On Tuesday, the testing routine for the volunteers started at 9:30 a.m. with individual registration and distribution of face masks to protect them from infections during the day-long exercise. They were also given some food and a personal briefing assigning each of them to their specific tasks.

After they’d received suitcases, the hot testing phase began two hours later with the volunteers slipping into the roles of normal passengers, who were supposed to check in, undergo security checks or line up for boarding.

What was missing though, were real planes on the tarmac that could fly them to destinations like Lake Constance or Mallorca, which were being flashed on the huge flight schedule screens. Instead, there were buses waiting for the “fake passengers,” taking them on a short tour of BER’s sprawling 1,470-hectare (3,632-acre) site.

The trial run ended at around 4 p.m. when the volunteers were asked to fill in feedback questionnaires on how they’d found their way around or if they’d discovered potential areas for improvement.

Aerial photo of The airport site, with the main terminal building sitting between the two runways.

The airport is U-shaped and the main terminal sits between the two runways making it a so-called ‘midfield airport’

‘Long-distance’ airport

The new airport’s main check-in area is located on Level 1 of the six-floor terminal building and houses 118 counters in eight clusters. Volunteer Bernadette Handschug found the distances to walk between the gates “really incredible.”

“All they have is a kind of ‘fun’ moving walkway that takes you no further than 50 meters, which is complete nonsense. I think they should have installed more of those walkways,” she told reporters from local RBB television after her day of testing.

Gudrun Bauer, another volunteer, wholeheartedly agreed: “Halls without an end. Before you reach a moving walkway, you already feel like having walked 3 kilometers. For someone who’s not good at walking, this is a struggle,” she said.

During the day, the volunteers were expected to complete two rounds of testing, each encompassing a full flight cycle from arrival at the airport until the plane’s departure.

Bernandette Handschug later said she had missed her second flight scheduled for Dubrovnik because the gates were too far apart and she’d lost her way due to “bad signage.” 

A group of volunteers walk past rows of suitcases.

Long walks to flights annoyed most volunteer testers, as moving walkways are few and far between at the new airport

FBB chief Daldrup argues the operators had received some “very valuable” hints from the volunteers at what needed to be improved, adding: “The second important outcome was that our staff and those of our partners such as airlines, ground services, federal police and customs officials, were given the possibility to drill their own procedures,” he told reporters.

All’s well that ends well?

Strictly speaking, Tuesday’s rehearsal of operations wasn’t the first at BER. Back in the spring of 2012, thousands of volunteers were already testing the airport’s infrastructure, and airlines were preparing to move their operations from the capital’s other airport, Tegel, also known as TXL.

That year a Lufthansa A380 superjumbo was scheduled to depart to Frankfurt as the first flight from the new airport on June 3. Other airlines had already begun selling tickets to and from BER.

A fire-alarm box displaying that the system is out of order.

An investigation into delays documented more than 10,000 technical flaws, with the fire safety system being the most curcial

However, just 26 days before BER’s official opening, the airport operators were forced to stop the move due to major technical difficulties, primarily concerning issues of fire safety. While a malfunctioning automatic sprinkler system turned out to be the airport’s biggest and most complex problem over the following years, it was also found that the airport’s lights could not be switched off, escalators were too short and rooms were misnumbered.

Since then, there have been only more delays. A number of project leaders have been replaced amid legal battles, and charges of mismanagement and corruption. BER’s building costs have more than tripled over time, from the roughly €2 billion ($2.35 billion) initially budgeted to more than €7 billion to date.

Apart from a toilet that kept flushing and a lack of soap in the restrooms, the volunteers didn’t uncover any major technical flaws in the airport infrastructure, FBB officials said. So, with more than three months to go until official opening, there should be enough time to fix this … shouldn’t there be?  

Finally! New 60mph motorway speed limit past roadworks to ease delays

Highways England announced that the typical 50mph restriction where work is being carried out will rise to 60mph. The Government-owned company responsible for motorways and major A roads in England made the decision after carrying out trials over the past 18 months which showed the safety of motorists and road workers can be maintained despite the 10mph increase. It found that more drivers stay within the limit when it is 60mph.

Average time savings ranged from 8eight per cent to 14 per cent at the eight sites tested.

At one pilot scheme – the M1 between junctions 13 and 16 – drivers typically shaved 68 seconds off their journeys due to the increased limit.

For several years motorways such as the M1, M4, M6 and M20 have had stretches where the standard 70mph limit has been reduced to 50mph for roadworks due to the roll-out of smart motorways.

However, the change in policy does not mean limits will be immediately increased at every set of roadworks.

Depending on the road layout and the work being done, 40mph and 50mph restrictions will continue to be used in places.

Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: “All of our research shows that road users benefit from 60mph limits in roadworks. They have shorter journey times and feel safe.

“Road users understand that roadworks are necessary, but they are frustrated by them.

“So testing 60mph has been about challenging the norm while ensuring the safety of our people working out there and those using our roads.

“We have a huge programme of work planned, so being able to use 60mph where safe will continue to improve everybody’s experience of our roads.”

Anthony Smith, chief executive of watchdog Transport Focus, said the introduction of 60mph limits as “a welcomed step”.

He added: “We know road users want speed limits in roadworks to be no lower than necessary to maintain safety.”

AA president Edmund King said being able to reach 60mph in roadworks “is often safer than driving at 50mph”.

He explained: “Sticking at 50mph often leads to other drivers tailgating in order to try to force vehicles to pull over.

“The speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tons travelling on dual carriageways or motorways is also 60mph.

“So sometimes this leads to tailgating in 50mph limits.

“Plus we have very long stretches of roadworks such as the 32 miles being converted to smart motorway on the M4 between junctions 3 and 12, where 60mph would seem much more appropriate.”

Man donates kidney to father after pandemic delays surgery

FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A lot of surgeries were put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but now many of them are getting back on track.

In New Jersey, one son helped give the gift of life to his own dad.

Sitting in his own pizzeria, Jimmy Missiris enjoyed a fresh slice with his surgeon and his son, the two men who saved him.

For the past few months, the longtime owner of Linwood Pizza in Fort Lee was not only struggling to keep his business alive, the 64-year-old was fighting to survive himself.

“It was difficult,” Missiris told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “I tried to balance everything as much as I could.”

In need of a kidney transplant, his oldest child, Ross, turned out to be a perfect match.

“I was very happy and grateful that I did have a match, but on the other hand, I felt guilty. I didn’t want to put my son through that,” Jimmy Missiris said.

“I reassured them that I never thought twice about it, I wasn’t scared about it. They would do this for me, I would do it for anyone in the family,” Ross Missiris said.

But as the coronavirus pandemic hit, hospitals were forced to put surgeries on hold. Jimmy’s transplant was one of them. It was pushed back more than a month.

“The surgery getting delayed was probably the worst part of it, but we held it together,” Ross Missiris said.

Thanks in part to the support of Dr. Michael Goldstein, of Hackensack University Medical Center.

“We had to put our transplant waiting list on hold for a short period of time just to make sure that it was safe to actually transplant people in this area,” Goldstein said.

For the Missiris family, that time came right around Father’s Day.

“It’s an indescribable feeling of being able to save someone’s life, never mind it being your father,” Ross Missiris said.

“I owe him. He tells me, too, that I owe him,” Jimmy Missiris said, laughing.

On the mend, he is anxious to get back to working in the restaurant, but that won’t be for another three months — doctor’s orders.

“Jimmy needs to be extra cautious because of his immuno-suppressed state,” Goldstein said. “I think most importantly he needs to enjoy the gift that he received.”

His selfless son will see to it. After all, it was his gift to give.

“I’m happy that it was me,” Ross Missiris said.

He’s making sure there are many more celebratory selfies and shared slices.

Motorists can ‘cut road delays’ and avoid traffic jams with DfT’s brand new roadworks app

Journey planning will be revolutionised with drivers able to avoid key traffic delays such as roadworks and utility street repairs. The new innovative digital system went live yesterday in a drastic bid to reduce traffic levels as motorists switch public transport for their own cars. 

The new service will provide data on every utility street works programme and local authority road work scheme in an area.  

The data is added to the app utility companies and highway authorities in a bid to help motorists slash journey times. 

Posting the announcement on Twitter, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the service would help coordinate journeys based around existing works to help get the country moving. 

He said: “To cut road delays & jams just as the country starts to get moving again, Street Manager has gone live today.

READ MORE: RAC breakdown experts urge motorists to check cars

The new tool will replace an out of date system which will allow authorities to share information about urgent works.

Recent research from INRIX found commuters spent an average of 149 hours in traffic jams in London last year. 

Belfast saw the second highest traffic levels with commuters spending 122 hours each year sat in their cars 

Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester were also high offenders as Cardiff, Lincoln and Aylesbury all recorded over 80 hours of traffic jams per commuter each year. 

With around 2.5million individual roadworks projects in England every year, the new device could be revolutionary for daily travellers. 

Speaking at the announcement of the project in 2018, previous Roads Minister Jesse Nornan said the service would allow drivers to “avoid works” and get to their destinations “more easily”. 

He said: “Roadworks can often be frustrating for motorists, especially when they cause hold-ups at busy times and delay journeys.

“We want to reduce this disruption and delay, and Street Manager is just one of a number of actions we are taking so that local authorities and utility companies can better plan and manage their roadworks.

“The data opened up by this new digital service should enable motorists to plan their journeys better, so they can avoid works and get to their destinations more easily.”

The Department for Transport is believed to have invested up to £10million in the new app which was expected to launch last year. 

The DfT had hoped to introduce the system by 1 April 2020 but this was further delayed after concern from local councils.  

There were concerns the system did not have all of the functionality of the previous system which is being removed. 

It is believed there was no historical data being transferred onto the new system due to budgetary concerns. 

This caused chaos among councils who would either need to carry out the process of manually inputting data or find a way around the new technology. 

SpaceX delays satellite launch to allow for more Falcon 9 rocket checks

A launch of the Starlink satellites and two BlackSky satellites had been due to take place from Florida tonight. A new date has not yet been set. SpaceX tweeted: “Standing down from today’s Starlink mission; team needed additional time for pre-launch checkouts, but Falcon 9 and the satellites are healthy.

“Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range.”

The ‘Range’ is understood to refer to the Eastern Range.

This is part of the United States Space Force and oversees launches from Florida.

Another SpaceX launch is scheduled for June 30.

A different Falcon 9 will carry an upgraded GPS satellite from Space Launch Complex 40.

Falcon 9 rockets are powered by the Merlin engines, also developed by Space X.

The first Falcon 9 launch occurred in 2010.

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have been customers of previous Falcon 9 launches.

READ MORE: SpaceX on brink: Starship’s horror collapse under pressure exposed

“I kept waiting, year after year.

“A friend asked me what I wanted to do after PayPal.

“I said I was always curious about space.”

“I went to NASA’s website to see when we were going to Mars, but I couldn’t find that out.

“So then I thought perhaps this is a matter of will.

“Is there a sufficient will to [go to Mars]?

“The first idea I had was to send a small greenhouse to Mars — the first life on another planet, the furthest life has ever travelled.

“That would get people excited.

“The whole purpose of that was to get people excited about sending people to Mars and increase NASA’s budget.”

M25 traffic: Severe delays after truck fire causes CLOSURE of M25 in Epping

Essex Traffic tweeted: “M25 clockwise – CLOSED at J27 (M11) because of a lorry fire between J27 and J28 (A12) which has damaged the surface of the carriageway. Queues back towards J26 (Waltham Abbey) and also southbound queues on M11 approaching the M25.”