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Champlain Towers Death Toll Quadruples Friday as Building’s Prior Condition Examined

Are there clues emerging as to why this building collapsed?

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For citizens in Surfside, Florida, a late-night tragedy’s aftermath continues to consumer their every moment, as rescue crews work to clear the rubble and find any survivors that they can.

This work, while frantic in purpose, is metered and calm on the surface.  The are is still an extremely dangerous one, not only for crews looking to be out of the way of any future structural failures, but also for those still trapped in what could be an undulating void of concrete, rebar, glass, and wood.

On Friday morning, three additional bodies had been recovered from the disaster, bringing the fatality count to four.

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Investigators have cautioned that they won’t have any definitive theory on why the building collapsed for months, but there is information being made public already that has speculation on the rise.

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An April 2020 study by Florida International University professor Shimon Wdowinski and University of Padua professor Simone Fiaschi found that the area where the building collapsed showed signs of land subsidence. That’s a term use to describe settling or sinking of the Earth’s surface, and it has a variety of causes.

The study noted that areas with subsidence are increasingly likely to experience serious effects of rising sea levels.

Wdowinski and Fiaschi found that in the 1990s, Miami Beach experienced subsidence at the rate of 1 to 3 millimeters per year, which the former said could add up to a few inches of over the course of a decade.

But according to a press release from the university, Wdowinski said land subsidence would not be the sole cause of the building’s collapse.

Others have pointed to the atmosphere around the building.

Greg Batista, an engineer who specializes in concrete repair projects, told the Heraldhe suspects concrete spalling, a process whereby saltwater seeps into concrete and ultimately causes support beams to rust, expand and weaken, to be a factor in the building’s collapse.

“If you have one column subjected to spalling, the No. 1 suspect here, it could fail,” Batista told the paper. “That one beam could bring down the whole building like a domino effect.”

The latest estimates show that 159 people are still unaccounted for in the tragedy.

Opinion

Fleeing Texas Democrat Now Facing Arrest Warrant

Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

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Instead of accepting defeat in the state legislature, the Democrats of the Texas statehouse decided that they’d simply whisk themselves away to Washington DC to prevent a vote on an election integrity bill to occur. This was the second time they had pulled a stunt like this in less than a year, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has now said that these lawmakers will be arrested upon their reentry to Texas, and taken to the legislature to make certain that the vote occurs. Now it seems as though members of the Texas GOP are making good on Abbott’s promise. Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) signed a civil arrest warrant on Monday for State Representative Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) for his failure to return to the House of Representatives, the Texas Tribune reported. Cortez abandoned his fellow Democrats late last week when he unexpectedly returned to Texas. Cortez claimed he returned to Austin to attempt to engage in a “good faith dialogue” on the matter of House Bill 3, the election law reform bill. After receiving harsh criticism from fellow Democrats for returning to Austin without consulting them, Cortez returned to Washington, D.C. The San Antonio Democrat currently serves as chairman of the House Urban Affairs Committee. Speaker Phelan issued a statement saying, in part, that Cortez had “irrevocably broken my trust and the trust of the chamber.” The speaker added that Cortez “represented to me and his fellow members that he wanted to work on policy and find solutions to bring his colleagues back to Texas.” The bill in question has been criticized by Texas Democrats as unfairly prohibitive to communities of color, while the GOP says that the law would simply strengthen the security of the election itself, in an effort to prevent fraud from occurring.

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News

Swastika Found Engraved at State Department Draws Condemnation

The Secretary of State was LIVID.

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There’s nothing funny about the Nazi regime, and everyone knows it, except for a certain breed of adolescent dolt who’s simply looking to appear edgy and dangerous as some hormonal ploy to attract a mate. These are the kids that would draw toothbrush mustaches on the faces in the magazines, or throw up a sig heil behind the teacher’s back for a laugh. But this phase almost always fades as the years climb on, and most of these young idiots looks back at themselves in a perpetual state of cringe. This leaves us to assume that anyone continuing to exude such Hitleresque nonsense into adulthood is doing so very purposefully, and not with the naïveté of their younger years. At the State Department, this reality is causing a bit of concern. A swastika carved into an elevator car has been discovered at the State Department in Washington—in a location within the building’s security perimeter. The elevator is close to the office of the special envoy charged with monitoring and opposing anti-semitism, Axios reports. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emailed all employees Tuesday about the discovery. Blinken was livid. “The hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated,” he wrote. Blinken is the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, per the Washington Post, and has emphasized the threat of anti-semitism, which he wrote “isn’t a relic of the past.” Officials have said President Biden will nominate an ambassador-at-large to deal with the problem; the Jerusalem Post called for such a position in an editorial this month. Hate has been on the rise in America in recent years, as white supremacist groups continue to recruit and spread their message online, and then, often violently, in real life.

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