MIAMI: Tropical Storm Karen churned towards the US Gulf Coast yesterday, with forecasters warning of weekend flooding and heavy rainfall in several states, including Louisiana and Florida. As the system swirled about 405km south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, authorities urged residents to stock up on essentials.
Florida Governor Rick Scott even declared a state of emergency in 18 counties to enable the potential deployment of resources as needed — despite a federal government shutdown.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our citizens,” he said in a statement. A hurricane watch that could be downgraded later Friday was in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to west of Destin, Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
A tropical storm watch, meanwhile, was issued for areas including metropolitan New Orleans, battered by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Karen’s center was expected to be near the coast Saturday night. Set to become the first named system to strike the United States this year, Karen was packing maximum sustained winds of near 50 miles per hour at 1500 GMT.
British mother gets 15 years over ‘mummified’ son
LONDON: A British mother who starved her four-year-old son to death — and whose body was discovered two years later in a mummified state in his cot —was jailed for 15 years yesterday.
Amanda Hutton, a 43-year-old alcoholic, was told her conduct had been “wicked” as she was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court in northern England for the manslaughter of her son, Hamzah.
The court had heard that Hamzah’s decomposed and insect-infested body was found in a cot in the squalor of Hutton’s bedroom almost two years after he died in December 2009. Photographs of the house showed clothes and waste piled up in several rooms.
Police also found five of Hamzah’s siblings, aged between five and 13, living among the knee-deep pizza boxes, used nappies, vodka bottles and cat faeces.
Hutton was convicted of manslaughter by a jury on Thursday.
“The details of your wicked conduct have been displayed in such awful detail over the past three weeks in the trial,” judge Roger Thomas told her.
He spoke of her “terrible failures to fulfil the most basic responsibilities that you, as a mother, should have fulfilled”.
Thomas said the manslaughter of Hamzah involved “failing to provide him with anything like adequate nourishment over a long period of time -- in short, you starved him to death”.