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Raul Castro Fast Facts


Birth date:
June 3, 1931Birth place: Biran, CubaBirth name: Raul Modesto Castro RuzFather: Angel Castro, a wealthy Spanish landownerMother: Lina Ruz, a cook and maid to Angel Castro's first wifeMarriage: Vilma Espin (1959-2007, her death) Children: Mariela, Nilsa, Deborah, AlejandroEducation: Attended the University of HavanaTimeline:
1953 –
Attempts, along with his older brother Fidel Castro, to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, after which both are sentenced to 15 years in prison. They are released less than two years later as part of an amnesty for political prisoners. Both go into exile in Mexico. January 1, 1959 – The Castros successfully overthrow the Batista government. January 1959 – Three weeks after taking power, Fidel Castro states that his brother is to be his successor, telling supporters, "Behind me are others more radical than I."October 1959 – Fidel Castro appoints Raul to several prominent roles in his government including defense minister.April 1961 – Raul Castro's troops defeat the CIA-led Bay of Pigs invasion. 1962 – Becomesdeputy prime minister.July 1962 – In a visit to the Soviet Union, Raul Castro is promised missiles. This development leads to the US-Cuban Missile crisis. 1970s – Is involved in the military conflicts in Angola and Ethiopia. 1972 – Appointed first deputy prime minister (later called vice president).1991 – Helps Cuba navigate a severe financial crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. October 1997 – Cuba's Communist Party officially designates Raul Castro as Fidel Castro's successor should he die or be unable to perform his duties. 2001 – In an interview with Cuban state television, Raul Castro says he'd like to see Cuba improve its relationship with the United States: "I am among those who believe that it would be in imperialism's interest to try, with our irreconcilable differences, to normalize relations as much as possible during Fidel's life." July 31, 2006 –Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to Raul while undergoing intestinal surgery.February 19, 2008 –Fidel Castro, in a letter, resigns from office. This paves the way for the National Assembly to select Raul as Cuba's new leader.February 24, 2008 – Raul Castro is chosen by Cuba's National Assembly to be the country's new president.April 28, 2008 – Announces that many death row prisoners will have their sentences commuted as part of a reform agenda.December 2008 – Makes first international trip as president, visiting Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez. March 2, 2009 –Reorganizes his Cabinet, replacing long-time aides to Fidel Castro.April 6, 2009 – Meets with visiting members of the US Congressional Black Caucus.April 19, 2011 –Elected to succeed Fidel Castro as first secretary of the Communist Party. March 2012 –Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba and meets Castro. The pontiff prays for "those deprived of freedom" and talks about human rights throughout his tour of the country. February 24, 2013 – After being reelected by the National Assembly, Castro announces he will step down in 2018, at the end of his second five-year term. December 17, 2014 – Cuba and the United States announce plans to renew diplomatic relations after a half-century of tension. April 12, 2015 – Castro meets with President Barack Obama during the Summit of the Americas in Panama.May 10, 2015 – Meets Pope Francis for the first time. They talk for 50 minutes at the Vatican. Castro thanks the Pope for facilitating talks between Cuba and the United States. He later says he may rejoin the Catholic Church.March 20-22, 2016 – During a historic trip to Cuba, Obama visits Raul Castro to discuss human rights and ending the economic embargo. Obama is the first sitting president to visit Cuba since 1928, when Calvin Coolidge traveled to the island via boat. November 25, 2016 – Announces the death of Fidel Castro on Cuban state-run media.December 21, 2017 –Cuban officials announce that Castro will not retire as planned when his presidential term ends on February 24, 2018. Due to ongoing issues related to recovery from Hurricane Irma, the naming of Castro's successor will be delayed until April 19, 2018, according to Cuban state-run media.

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Alleged Drunk Crane Driver Obliterates Cars on LIE: Police


What to Know

  • Police say a drunk driver operating a construction crane hit four cars on the Long Island Expressway Tuesday evening[hhmc]

  • Brian Sinclair, 47, of Riverhead, was arrested after an officer leaped into the crane and demanded him to stop[hhmc]

  • The officer and three of the four drivers of the cars hit suffered minor injuries[hhmc]

Police say a drunk man driving a construction crane left a trail of destruction on the Long Island Expressway, hitting four cars and completely obliterating one of them.

Brian Sinclair, 47, of Riverhead, was arrested by exit 63 on the LIE after a highway patrol officer spotted him driving erratically and gave chase, according to Suffolk County police. When the crane Sinclair was driving slowed down, the officer leaped into the passenger seat and demanded he stop, which he did near exit 63, police said.

Officials say Sinclair was driving a 2000 Liebherr crane on the LIE in Ronkonkoma on Tuesday evening when he hit a Nissan Altima, then smacked into a Jeep Cherokee, and then barreled into a Honda Civic before striking a Toyota RAV4 and driving off. It was a short time later when the officer spotted the crane and got it to stop.

Three drivers in the cars that were hit along with the officer who got the crane to stop suffered minor injuries and were taken to an area hospital to be treated, authorities said.

Sinclair is charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident, Suffolk County cops said. The crane was impounded.

Attorney information for Sinclair wasnt immediately clear. He will be arraigned in a Long Island courtroom on Wednesday.

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How to Watch Macy’s Fireworks Show Live Wherever You Are


What to Know

  • Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular airs Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on NBC[hhmc]

  • The 42nd annual show over the East River will feature an incredible pyrotechnic spectacle[hhmc]

  • It'll be one of America's largest fireworks display in more than a decade, with tens of thousands of shells launched from seven barges[hhmc]

The 42nd annual Macy's 4th of July fireworks show over the East River promises to be another spectacular display, with seven barges launching tens of thousands of shells into the air during a two-hour special broadcast on NBC.

Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin and Keith Urban join the star-studded roster for the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular special on NBC, airing Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET with an hour-long encore presentation to follow. Akbar Gbajabiamila and Matt Iseman are the hosts for this year's event.

You can livestream the show on on your desktop or laptop computer or your mobile device by clicking on this link. ( You can also watch the coverage on our free app — download it from iTunes here or from Google Play here. All you need is your TV service providers username and password.

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Teachers shouldn’t be armed because ‘most are women,’ says Alabama lawmaker


A state lawmaker from Alabama knew exactly how to add fuel to an already controversial issue, saying that teachers shouldn't be armed because… most of them are women. The Twittersphere had a few things to say about that.

Republican State Rep. Harry Shiver (64th District) said Alabama lawmakers need to protect "our ladies" by not arming teachers because most of them are females who are "scared of guns."

"I'm not saying all [women], but in most schools, women are [the majority] of the teachers," he told "Some of them just don't want to [be trained to possess firearms]. If they want to, then that's good. But most of them don't want to learn how to shoot like that and carry a gun."

The comments were made while Shiver was discussing a bill sponsored by fellow Republican state lawmaker Will Ainsworth (District 27), which would allow school districts in the state to arm trained, certified teachers on school campuses.

"I've heard…that 75 percent of Republicans support [the bill], but I was there live and in person and I know what it is like in the schools," said Shiver. "Most women wouldn't like to be put in that position. I know from South Alabama, they wouldn't."

It didn't take long for Twitter to respond to Shiver's remarks, calling them outdated, sexist, and stereotypically Alabaman. One person responded with an "are you f**king kidding me" and a "hey Alabama, where do you get these guys?"

So the best reason for teachers not to carry guns that Alabama Rep Harry Shiver could come up with is “because most teachers are women!” Are you f’ing kidding me. Hey Alabama, where do you get these guys? #GunControlNow

— MDMD (@MDabides311) March 16, 2018

"Alabama state representative Harry Shiver stated that teachers shouldn't be armed because most teachers are women…well, I guess that should be considered progress for Alabama," one person wrote.

Alabama state representative Harry Shiver stated that teachers shouldn’t be armed because most teachers are women…

Author Visits 40 NY Neighborhoods to Interview Dogs


Some people say that city dogs are “unhappy.” Ken Foster is on a mission to prove them wrong.

In his new book "City of Dogs," Foster interviews dogs and their people from the five boroughs of New York. Along with photographer Traer Scott, Foster visited 40 neighborhoods to get the dogs side of the story.

Foster likes going on walks during his interviews. He says that, while a person might be telling one story, their dog is telling a totally different story simply by the direction in which he/she is walking. According to Foster, New York dogs are more “savvy” than those from quieter places.

Foster first discovered his love for dogs while living on a farm in Costa Rica for three months. He fell in love with a dog who always visited him during lunch and slept outside his door each night to protect him. When he returned home, he got a dog of his own and was inspired to write about the dogs he encountered.

"City of Dogs" was published on October 9th, 2018. Foster has written many other books about dogs including "The Dogs Who Found Me," "Im a Good Dog," and "Dogs I Have Met."

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NYC Street Closures for the 2018 Fourth of July Fireworks


The following streets will be closed Wednesday for the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show:


  • FDR Drive between the Brooklyn Bridge and East 63rd Street
  • FDR Drive Service Roads between Montgomery Street and 63rd Street
  • Montgomery Street between Cherry Street and FDR Drive
  • Delancey Street between Lewis Street and FDR Drive
  • East Houston Street between Baruch Place and FDR Drive
  • Avenue C between 13th Street and Avenue C Entrance Ramp to FDR Drive
  • Avenue C Entrance Ramps
  • East 6th Street between Avenue D and FDR Drive
  • 14th Street between Avenue C and Avenue B
  • Avenue C between East 16th Street and East 23rd Street
  • East 20th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C
  • East 23rd Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue C
  • East 26th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 30th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 30th Street Entrance Ramps
  • East 33rd Street between 1st Avenue and 3rd Avenue
  • East 34th Street between 2nd Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 34th Street Entrance Ramps
  • East 37th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 38th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 41st Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 42nd Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • 42nd Street Entrance Ramps
  • East 48th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 49th Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 53rd Street between 1st Avenue and FDR Drive


  • Area bounded by 44th Drive on the North; Borden Avenue on the South; Vernon Boulevard on the East; East River on the West (All Inclusive)
  • Center Boulevard between Borden Avenue and 54th Avenue
  • 2nd Street between Borden Avenue and Newtown Creek/Dead End
  • Vernon Boulevard between 54th Avenue and Newtown Creek/Dead End
  • 54th Avenue between Center Boulevard and Vernon Boulevard

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NYC Could Experience Coldest Thanksgiving in 117 Years


What to Know

  • Temperatures on Thanksgiving could set record lows [hhmc]

  • The mercury is expected to stay in the 20s and a wind chill will make it feel like the teens, forecasters say[hhmc]

  • But on the bright side, it should be clear and sunny for travelers [hhmc]

The turkey isn't the only thing that will need to thaw out on Thanksgiving.

Storm Team 4 is expecting temperatures in the mid 20s on Thursday with a wind chill making it feel like the teens, which would make it the coldest Thanksgiving since 1901. On that day, over a century ago the city saw a record low of 19 degrees and a high of 26 degrees.

Brrr! Take a Closer Look at the Chilly Thanksgiving ForecastBrrr! Take a Closer Look at the Chilly Thanksgiving Forecast

Thursday's high is projected to be 28 degrees. Prolonged exposure to cold can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. The city's Office of Emergency Management has issued an alert for the extreme cold.

"This Thanksgiving Days weather is expected to be frigid and potentially very dangerous," said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "Take care to bundle up warmly if you are planning on attending the parade, and if you or your loved ones have symptoms of hypothermia, like intense shivering or dizziness, seek medical attention or call 911."

The City of Newark also activated a "Code Blue" for Wednesday night and opened warming centers for residents.

Winds could also ground some parade balloons if they meet the threshold. Parade organizers will make the decision on the morning of the parade. The last time the balloons were grounded was in 1971.

Winds May Ground Some Thanksgiving Day Parade BalloonsWinds May Ground Some Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons

Those attending the parade in New York City can get alerts and updates on weather, road closures, traffic delays and more by texting THXGIVING18 to 692692 (NYCNYC), the city says. More than 3.5 million spectators are expected to attend this year.

New Security Measure for Thanksgiving Day ParadeNew Security Measure for Thanksgiving Day Parade

‘Pharma-bro’ Shkreli’s ex-lawyer convicted of helping him to defraud shareholders


A New York lawyer who advised pharmaceutical businessman Martin Shkreli may be heading to prison after a federal jury convicted him of helping his client to defraud shareholders to pay back previously defrauded investors.

Evan Greebel, who served as outside counsel to Retrophin Inc., the biopharmaceutical company formerly run by Shkreli, was convicted Wednesday on two conspiracy charges to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. The jury found Greebel guilty on both counts after three days of deliberations.

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Greebel conspired with Shkreli from 2011 and 2014 to steal millions of dollars from Retrophin in order to pay off defrauded investors in two failed hedge funds run by Shkreli, MSMB Capital Management LP and MSMB Healthcare Management LP.

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The jury was presented with evidence that Greebel negotiated “settlement” agreements with the defrauded MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare investors. Retrophin reimbursed the investors with more than $2 million in cash and stock for their lost investments, even though the company had nothing to do with their losses.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that Greebel had arranged for certain investors to enter into sham consulting agreements with Retrophin as a way to pay them back.

According to the 2015 indictment, Retrophin did not receive “any legitimate consulting services based on these sham agreements,” but the company paid the defrauded investors more than $7.6 million in cash and stock for their consulting services.

In total, Shkreli and Greebel caused Retrophin and its investors to lose more than $11 million through their settlement and sham consulting agreements, according to the indictment.

The jury was also presented with evidence that Greebel and Shkreli attempted to illegally control the price and trading volume of Retrophin’s stock by concealing the fact that Shkreli controlled the majority of Retrophin’s free-trading shares. Prosecutors presented evidence that Greebel used his law license and training to file false documents with government regulators to hide the fact that Shkreli controlled those shares.

Metro-North Worker Dies Month After Violent Car Explosion


What to Know

  • A Metro-North employee who was injured when a car exploded in a train yard parking lot in October has died, Metro-North officials confirm[hhmc]

  • Gerald Schroeder, a 67-year-old White Plains resident, died on Nov. 24[hhmc]

  • Schroeder and another worker were injured when one of their personal cars exploded on Oct. 19 in parking lot North White Plain train yard[hhmc]

A Metro-North employee who was injured when a car exploded in a train yard parking lot in October has died, Metro-North officials confirm.

Gerald Schroeder, a 67-year-old White Plains resident, died on Nov. 24.

Schroeder and another employee were injured when one of their personal cars exploded on Oct. 19 in the parking lot of the train yard in North White Plains.

Chopper 4 video from the scene that day showed a car completely blown apart and debris scattered around the lot.

Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

The two workers were taken to Westchester Medical Center for injuries they suffered. Their injuries weren't originally thought to be life threatening.

Following the immediate investigation that ensued after the explosion, the MTA said that flammable materials were being stored in that employees car.

Metro-North did not confirm if the death was related to October's incident. According to the obituary in The Journal News, Schroeder died following the injuries he sustained.

Deep state takedown? Fan fury after Sean Hannity’s Twitter account disappears


Fox News broadcaster Sean Hannity disappeared from the Twittersphere overnight – and all he left behind was one cryptic ‘clue.’

The account of the conservative television host was apparently removed from the platform late on Friday or in the early hours of Saturday morning. Hannity’s last tweet, which read “Form Submission 1649 #Hannity,” was reportedly taken down and reposted three times.

The disappearance of the broadcaster’s profile has sparked a hysterical reaction online, with fans taking to the platform to decry what they believe to be the malign influence of the deep state.

Make no mistake, Sean Hannity’s Twitter is down because he is extremely close to blowing up the whole deep state and DNC linked plan to prevent Trump from being President and currently remove him from the Presidency. Fight for Sean, he is a deplorable, just like us.#FreeHannity

— Mike (@mike_Zollo) January 27, 2018

protect sean hannity at all costs

— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) January 27, 2018

WOW! Sean Hannity’s Twitter account has been deactivated.

The Left is getting VERY scared, folks. We are getting closer and closer to the truth!

In the end, WE WILL PREVAIL!#Releasethememo

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