New York Adds ‘texting Zones’ To Distracted-driving Arsenal

New York Giants: Acquiring Jon Beason a Step in the Right Direction

Hes a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro. Beason also compiled at least 120 combined tackles in each of his first four seasons in the league. However, recently, Beasons performance and career has been in a bit of a downward spiral. Because of injuries and their lingering aftermath, Beason has only played in seven games in the last three years. He hasnt been able to return to the form that previously made him a force in this league. His rapid descent was topped off this season when he lost his starting job to former Giant Chase Blackburn. The Giants brought Beason in an effort to bolster their linebacker unit, which is riddled with inexperience. Starters Spencer Paysinger, Keith Rivers and Mark Herzlich would be reserve players on most teams; their struggles, in both the passing and rushing game, are a prime reason for New Yorks defensive failures. Acquiring Beason is an excellent move from the Giants front office. Its not going to cure the Giants right away, but it should strengthen their defense. Sometimes it takes the flash and attention of a big city like New York to help re-energize a player. The Giants are hoping Beason can still be the player he was just a few years ago. New York only surrendered a late-round draft pick, so there isnt much of a bust factor here. Beason shouldnt feel pressure to save the Giants, he should just provide some much-needed relief. The Giants dont want to enter a rebuilding stage while they still have so much talent, and a move like this can help Big Blue get back on their feet. Undercover Video: Texting While Driving Rampant Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the measure that will give motorists a pull-off area in which to park and use their mobile devices. According to a Sept. 23 news release from the New York Governor’s Office, 91 texting zones initially will be designated across the state, identified by nearly 300 roadway signs. The zones will use existing infrastructure, including Park-n-Ride facilities, rest stops and parking areas along the New York State Thruway and state highways. “With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next Texting Zone,” Cuomo said in a statement. The texting zones are just the latest effort in New York’s ongoing crackdown on distracted driving. State police also have been using undercover enforcement vehicles — SUVs with higher-sitting platforms that allow officers a better visual vantage into vehicles in order to catch texters in the act. The state also has increased penalties for distracted driving. Police the past summer ratcheted up enforcement of distracted-driving laws nearly four times over, ticketing 21,580 drivers in 2013 compared with 5,208 during the same period the previous year. These new pull-off areas and signage won’t be free, of course, and perhaps the revenue from the tickets can help offset the costs. New York isn’t the only state getting serious about distracted driving. In August, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a statewide ban on using hand-held devices behind the wheel, joining more than a dozen other states with similar laws, according to the Chicago Tribune. Motorists are still permitted to use hands-free technology, but face fines of $75 for a first offense and $150 for subsequent offenses, and possible license suspension after three such violations.

New York Times Public Editor Questions Al Qaeda Leak Story With ‘Unacceptable’ Headline

In early August, the U.S. government took the unprecedented step of closing 19 embassies abroad because of a terrorist threat, a move that set off a media frenzy and raised questions about the specificity of the plot. The Times reported on Aug. 2 that the U.S. had intercepted communications between senior al Qaeda operatives, a story which added to the public’s understanding of the threat. But the Times, like CNN, withheld the names of the al Qaeda leaders at the U.S. government’s request. However, McClatchy revealed the names on Aug. 4, and James Asher, the newspaper chains Washington bureau chief, defended the move. It is not unusual for CNN or the NYT to agree not to publish something because the White House asked them, Asher told HuffPost. And frankly, our democracy isn’t well served when journalists agree to censor their work. Given McClatchys decision to publish the names, some journalists who cover national security saw the Times Monday story as a swipe at a competitor and an attempt to rationalize the papers decision to withhold details because the government had raised national security concerns at the time. The journalists questioning the article — who were not permitted to speak on behalf of their employers — suggested to HuffPost that the Times didnt put McClatchys reporting in context, considering it came days after the embassies were shut down and amid several leaks from U.S. officials talking up a possible terrorist attack. These prior moves would have likely already made Al Qaedas leadership aware their communications had been compromised, they said.