BEIRUT — They fled Kasab at daybreak, amid the clamor of artillery and word that Islamist rebels were advancing toward them from Turkey.
About 2,500 residents, most of them ethnic Armenians, gathered documents and what few possessions they could carry. They piled into cars and minibuses that carried them 40 miles down mountain roads to the government-held city of Latakia. Only some elderly remained behind, residents said.
“We escaped with the clothes on our back,” said one of those who eventually made it to Lebanon.
Many had heard reports of atrocities committed in August by other rebels elsewhere in Latakia province. Armenian Christians have lived in Kasab since the days of the Ottoman Empire, but they feared for their lives if they remained.
The most treacherous storm in a decade paralyzed much of the country on Tuesday, climaxing with the shutdown of Israel’s main highway in both directions for nine hours due to flooding.
Power outages were reported, the entrance to Tel Aviv was all but blocked and residents of some city neighborhoods braced for possible evacuation.
On Tuesday, the Ayalon Highway - the main traffic artery in Tel Aviv - reopened only at about 4 P.M. after closing before the morning rush hour. It was the first time in 20 years that the Ayalon has been closed for such a long time..
Two people are being reported as having drowned due to floods in the West Bank. Last night also saw the Israeli Navy called in to evacuate residents in the cities of Hedera and Beit Hefer due to severe flooding.
In the past few hours, heavy snow has been falling in the city of Jerusalem, after previously falling in the northern regions of the country.
The storm by now is considered to be the most intense since the one that hit in the winter of 1992-1993. Such events are something of a rare thing in a region that is generally characterized by dry weather and “weak” rain periods.
Naturally, what also made headlines was how some folks got around the problems. In the city of Netanya, a few residents got around the problem of flooded streets by using kayaks to paddle around the streets, and in Tel Aviv, with most the Ayalon Highway closed, a trio of (potentially insane) Israelis crossed a part of it on water ski tubes..
Gun Owners Compare Themselves to Holocaust Victims After Newspaper Publishes Their Public Information
An interactive map showing the names and addresses of all handgun permit holders in New York’s Westchester and Rockland counties has infuriated many readers since it was posted Saturday on a newspaper’s website.
The map, published by The Journal News, allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents are licensed to own pistols or revolvers. It had prompted more than 1,700 comments as of Wednesday morning.
Blue dots indicate permit holders who “have purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years.”
“So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??” one commenter wrote.
“This is crazy!” wrote another.
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Some of those responding threatened to cancel their subscriptions or boycott the publication.
“I hope you lose readers now,” one wrote.
But the newspaper says it wanted to publish even more information.
“We were surprised when we weren’t able to obtain information on what kinds and how many weapons people in our market own,” Michael Meaney, morning local editor, said in a statement.