BERLIN (AP) — German police are investigating an attack on a pro-democracy vigil outside the Iranian embassy in Berlin in which three people were injured early Sunday morning.
Police said an officer guarding the embassy saw three men with face coverings tear down banners and flags from a recreational vehicle parked near the building. Despite calls by the officer for them to stop, the assailants opened the door to the RV and attacked the four men inside, police said.
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Three of occupants were injured in the ensuing fight, it said. The assailants fled by car.
German news agency dpa reported that the RV sported banners reading “Iranians want democracy” and “Women Life Freedom,” a slogan widely used in recent anti-government protests in Iran.
There have also been large solidarity protests in Germany and other European countries protesting the Iranian government’s treatment of women and dissenters.
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One of the country’s biggest manufacturers of recreational vehicles is still struggling with the aftereffects of a cyber attack.
Quebec-based BRP Inc., better known as Bombardier Recreational Products, said Monday it had been hit by “malicious cybersecurity activity.”
This morning Biliana Necheva, the company’s senior media relations advisor, said it won’t give interviews with more details “until the situation is resolved.”
“At this time, we have mobilized our internal network of IT professionals and retained the services of cybersecurity experts to assist in securing our systems and support our internal investigation,” she said in an email.
UPDATE: On Thursday, Aug. 11th BRP said there’s been progress restoring some of its servers. It hopes to resume our Valcourt manufacturing operations on Monday, August 15th. However, the rest of its operations remain suspended temporarily, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.
BRP makes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and Can-Am on and off-road vehicles.
When the company announced the attack Monday it said operations had been suspended temporarily, which may delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers.
BRP has manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Finland, Austria and Australia, with a total workforce of more than 20,000 people.
In March the company announced annual revenue of C$7.6 billion for the fiscal year ending January 31st, with a profit of $794 million.
Distribution partner attacked; OCS warehouse closed
Separately, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the Ontario Crown corporation that distributes marijuana products across the province to stores and sells them online, said Tuesday it still can’t fulfill or deliver new orders after a cyber incident at the U.S. parent company of its distribution partner, Domain Logistics. As a result of the incident OCS has had to close its warehouse.
Domain Logistics, based in Brampton, Ont., is a unit of Legacy Supply Chain of Indiana.
“Since the investigation began, we have been working urgently in lockstep with Domain to plan the steps necessary to clear the backlog of orders as quickly and efficiently as possible,” OCS said in a statement. “As part of this plan, OCS will focus on fulfilling orders for its wholesale customers first. Clarity on each store’s delivery schedule will be communicated once operations resume.
“The OCS continues to manually accept deliveries of inventory from licensed producers, which will only be entered into the system once Domain Logistics is operational. If required, OCS will reach out directly to licensed producers if adjustments need to be made on future inventory shipments.”
For its part, Legacy said in a statement that it detected unusual activity on its network on August 5th and immediately implemented the corporate protection protocol. This included taking the IT network and a number of applications offline and engaging external experts to investigate and remedy the situation. “Unfortunately, this is impacting our ability to conduct regular order processing for a small number of Legacy customers, and we apologize for any inconvenience. We hope to have our systems back online very soon,” the statement says.
“While the company maintains system connectivity with some clients to support shipping activities, the information it has access to is limited to end customers’ names and physical shipping address. The company does not have access to end customers’ personal financial data or credit card information. However, should the company’s investigation into this matter find evidence that personal or commercially sensitive data may have been illegally accessed, we will notify those affected immediately.”
Joseph “Pepe” Fields ’67 has an MIT degree in chemistry, but he’s spent his career working all over the world in international management. And recently, he’s been driving a recreational vehicle around the US to build affordable housing with a Habitat for Humanity program called RV Care-A-Vanners.
RV owners who join the program drive to where they’re needed and work as volunteer builders, constructing houses from scratch using all new materials, doing everything except licensed trade jobs.
For Fields, it’s the latest expression of a passion for volunteer service that’s shaped his life. He discovered his zeal for volunteering at age 15, working for his local Red Cross chapter and volunteer fire department and rescue squad.
Although he originally planned to go into medical research, his volunteer work inspired a change of direction. “I found I had a knack for working with people,” he says. “I spent a couple of summers working with the Mexican national Red Cross society, helping them develop programs for youth.” That led him to stop and rethink his plans.
After graduation, followed by military service in Vietnam, Fields married, got a master’s degree in international management from UC Berkeley, and spent much of his career helping to start and run manufacturing facilities around the world. On his return to the US, he began working as a management consultant and part-time teacher.
Fields and his wife, Alma, started volunteering for Care-A-Vanners shortly after purchasing a small motor home in 2014 and have been building two to four months a year ever since. They have been involved in 25 builds, with projects in California, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Florida—each lasting a week or two.
The work offers multiple rewards. “One of the fun things about being a volunteer builder is that you are a wide-spectrum worker,” he says. “You don’t just do carpentry work or just lay floor. I’ve set cabinets, put in countertops, put in tile in the bathroom, set trusses. I’ve put roofs on, made fences, laid sod, swept the floors—just about everything you can think of.”
But the best part, he says, is being able to go back to a home they’ve helped build and see kids playing in the yard. “So many of the families come from housing situations where the kids don’t dare go outdoors,” he says. “And all of a sudden, here they are—they’ve got their tricycles, they’re screaming up and down the street, they’re playing with their dogs. That to me is the most rewarding.”
Doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are often afraid to go home and risk infecting their loved ones. Now, a Facebook group is connecting medical workers with RV owners who are renting out their campers for free to medical workers who want to isolate themselves from their families. Mireya Villarreal reports.
A North Texas woman got a helping hand when she turned to the internet in a desperate bid to help her husband, an ER doctor, find somewhere to rest without the risk of exposing his family to the coronavirus. She turned her experience into a movement called “RVs for MDs,” a Facebook group which connects people in the medical profession needing to quarantine with nearby volunteers who are willing to lend theirs campers to them.
“I have a high chance of getting exposed, and I think my wife came up with the best solution,” Dr. Jason Phillips told CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal. “I really didn’t want to stay in a hotel full time and be separated from them.”
Emily Phillips said she and her husband “just were throwing things out there” when they posted online to ask if anybody in the area had an RV or a camper they could borrow, not expecting the immediate response she received.
Now, Phillips runs the “RVs for MDs” Facebook group with over 100 volunteers, including Holly Haggard — the first person to offer up her RV to the Phillips family. The group has over 22,000 online members and has made at least 345 matches so far, with hundreds more pending.
“It doesn’t matter who you vote for. It doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are. None of that matters. Everybody has just come together,” Haggard said.
One volunteer and family came together despite being a three-hour drive apart, when a woman named Tonya Sheets took her camper van to meet Dena Chretien.
Chretien, whose husband John is an ER physician, said her “stomach sank” when she read about the first emergency doctor to die from the coronavirus. She turned to the Facebook group and found help from a total stranger.
“We knew that he was on the front lines taking care of these patients, putting himself at risk. We had to jump in to do something,” Sheets said.
Sheets said she may not know how long the arrangement would last, but it would not be over until she knows “he is safe” and that things could “go back to normal.”
The group even reaches as far as Atlanta, Georgia, where ICU nurse Yhaneek Douglas-Mattis worked on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic while fearing for her husband and three young children at home.
“I called my husband, I was like, ‘I don’t think I can come home,'” she said. “‘The babies- I think I could get them sick.'”
Her friend alerted her to the RVs for MDs group, so Douglas-Mattis was able to stay near her family at a safe distance, with a camper in their backyard. Douglas-Mattis said she was “filled with gratitude” that she could be nearby but still keep them safe.
“Whether it’s kindness that connects us, or love that connects us… we will come out of this entire situation much better,” she said.
By “Sunday Morning” contributing videographer Judy Lehmberg.
If you see bleachers you normally think sports; you usually don’t think of bird watching. You would if you were in the Houston Audubon Society’s Boy Scout Woods in High Island, Texas in April. They have bleachers facing a water drip and surrounded on three sides by fruiting mulberry trees. Sit there for a few minutes, and you will hear people quietly calling out birds they’ve spotted: Summer tanager in the mulberry on the left, right side, lowest branch; male rose-breasted grosbeak in the right mulberry dead center above the V notch; chestnut-sided warbler at the water; Oh look! There’s a painted bunting at the drip! That’s a lifer for me!
Many North American songbirds – especially warblers, vireos, thrushes, tanagers, buntings and orioles – reproduce in our hemisphere, but winter in Central and South America. They begin their northern migration in March, their numbers peaking in April, with some still migrating in early May.
I’ve been bird watching during spring migration in High Island, Texas, where both Boy Scout Woods and Smith Oaks are located, since the mid-1970s, well before the Houston Audubon Society purchased both properties.
High Island isn’t really an island; it is a small town located between Port Arthur and Galveston only a few hundred yards from the coast. Because it is on a salt dome almost 40 feet high – the highest point between Mobile, Alabama and the Yucatan Peninsula – it supports the growth of trees unlike the surrounding area which is coastal prairies and salt marsh. The trees are a magnet for migrating birds who leave Mexico just after sunset and fly nonstop over 600 miles to the Texas coast. That normally takes about 18 hours. If the wind is strong out of the south, they may continue their journey north, but if it changes to out of the north, particularly after the birds have left Mexico, they stop in the High Island trees to rest, refuel and drink fresh water. That is why this habitat is so essential for their survival.
A north wind is deadly for migrating birds. No one knows the exact number, but many don’t make it across the Gulf when the wind is blowing hard out of the north. But it is a different matter for bird watchers: Although they are mindful of the stress it causes the birds, a “fall out” is an amazing spectacle for bird watchers. For as many years as I have been visiting High Island I’ve never seen the numbers I’ve heard about when the beach, the school parking lot and every patch of grass is covered with bright blue indigo buntings, red summer tanagers, warblers in every shade of black, blue, yellow and white, as well as many other species. My record so far is 22 species of warblers in one day. Although I felt bad for the birds, it was a spectacle I will never forget.
There is always a predictable order to spring migration. Hummingbirds are some of the first to show up in Texas. Usually the males come first (the scouts, as a friend of mine calls them), then the females. They always seem to know when flowers begin blooming, and that’s when they magically appear.
Then comes a long procession of warblers and vireos. White-eyed vireos, northern parulas and prothonotary warblers are usually the first in our part of southeast Texas. When they show up we know the migration is on.
They are quickly followed by worm-eating Louisiana waterthrush (which, despite its name, is a warbler), Kentucky, and hooded warblers. By mid-April chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, blue-winged and golden-winged warblers have become more numerous, and that is usually about the time the mulberries begin to ripen, so the orioles, tanagers and grosbeaks become more common.
Over the years the Houston Audubon Society has added land to both Boy Scout Woods, now 60 acres, and Smith Oaks, which is now 177 acres. Smith Oaks has a great bird rookery, some beautiful large oak trees, photography and observation platforms to view the rookery birds, and this spring a canopy walkway will be available. I can’t wait to experience that. They also own five other preserves in High Island as well as Bolivar Flats, a great place to view shorebirds in breeding plumage. If you get a chance to visit you will find some very friendly volunteers at both of the above locations who can direct you to other bird watching spots.
For more info:
If you would like to learn more about spring migration and/or plan a trip to High Island, the Houston Audubon Society’s website is a good place to start. High Island is a small town with very little infrastructure. There is a gas station/convenience store and a campground with RV hookups that fills up fast in April. There are hotels and restaurants in Winnie, twenty miles north.
A number of years ago it was discovered that migrating birds can be seen on weather radar. Over the last 20-plus years scientists’ ability to see migrating birds this way has led to a number of discoveries. Most bird migration happens at night. Cornell Lab of Ornithology along with other researchers and donors have created BirdCast, where each night’s radar is summarized in a dynamic map which includes arrows showing the direction in which birds are moving; an estimate of the number of birds per hour in all areas of the U.S.; and the areas with high migration rates. Now they even have a migration forecast that combines weather forecasts with over twenty years of spring migration data – a real boon for serious birders.
Another Cornell site, eBird, provides lists of birds seen in a particular area on specific dates and BirdCast actually allows you to plan trips based on when bird migration will be the heaviest.
Judy Lehmberg is a former college biology teacher who now shoots nature videos.
America is a land of vast, open spaces, best explored one mile at a time. But while we’ve long romanticized the open road, very few of us would want toliveon it.
But then consider the Schannep family: Robin, Robert and their four kids, all under the age of 10. Until recently, Robin was a stay-at-home mom, and Rob worked long hours as a financial planner in Orange County, California: “Working at a very good office, very good people. We owned a home,” he said.
“We were normal,” Robin laughed.
That is until, Robin said, “We kind of started questioning the mentality that just because you have kids everything is put on hold. We love to travel, and we thought, ‘Well, why can’t we just bring our kids with us?'”
Now the family of six eats, sleeps, and lives in a converted school bus – 250 square feet of home sweet home, in which you can just barely stand up.
Correspondent Tony Dokoupil caught up with them in rural Tennessee.
“We see what we’re doing, too, as a large part of our kids’ education,” said Robin. “I mean, they’re pretty young. And they’veseenthe Declaration of Independence. They’ve seen the Bill of Rights. They’ve seen the Lincoln Memorial. They’ve seen a lot.”
Robin home-schools the kids, and Rob is still a financial planner.
Dokoupil asked, “Do you ever have clients say, ‘I don’t wanna take money advice from a guy living in a bus’?”
“Yes, a few,” Robert laughed. “And then they became clients.”
It is, they note, a lifestyle choice, not a consequence.
Jessica Bruder, who chronicled van life in her recent book, “Nomadland,” said that the movement accelerated during the housing crisis of 2008, and hasn’t stopped a decade later.
“I consider a lot of these people conscientious objectors to the culture we’re in right now, which is really, ‘Get on this work treadmill with no guarantee of any sort of safety net and yet you should still pledge allegiance to the culture of the endless work week,'” she said.
“The millennials I met on the road said, ‘Look at this, I can’t pay back my student debt or I don’t want to go into debt. I can afford to do this, I should do it while I’m healthy and spry,’ and they’re out there doing it.”
And these days, either by choice or circumstance, more and more people are making America’s highways and scenic byways “home” – thanks, at least in part, to Bob Wells.
Dokoupil said, “For most people I think the archetypal failed character in American life is the guy in the van down by the river.”
“That’s it!” Wells laughed. “You wanna say you’re a loser? That’s how you would describe it.”
And the first night Wells slept in his van, he felt like a loser: “I had just gotten a divorce, something I swore I would never do. We were fighting over the kids. I faced losing them. And now I’m living in a van.”
But as the months rolled by, he said, “Every step of the way, you just answer every problem as it comes up.”
Wells started to feel less lost, and more like a man who had found a road map to happiness – and 20 years later, he’s sure of it.
He says although he has enough money to live in a home today, “Why would I torture myself? Why would I make myself miserable?”
“Oh, you must dream of that lever on the recliner,” Dokoupil said.
“Arggh, you got me – I do miss my recliner! But it’s not worth the sacrifice.”
This former grocery store clerk from Alaska now runs a website,cheaprvliving.com, and more recently a Youtube channel, to spread the gospel of van dwelling – equal parts frugality, simplicity and freedom.
Wells also covers van life 101, like, is this legal? Mostly; depends on where you park and for how long.
Doesn’t everyone need a permanent address? Sure, but there are mail forwarding services.
What about work? If you have a cell signal, you can work anywhere.
And of course, the biggie: how do you … uhm .,.
You can find out that answer yourself online, where Wells’ videos are approaching 50 million views.
Dokoupil said, “I think the average person might come into a van like this and think, ‘It’s a little cramped.'”
“I thinkanybodyin their right mind would come into this and say, ‘This is a little cramped,'” Wells laughed.
“All right, I was trying to be polite.”
“You’re being diplomatic. But I sleep in here, and I live out there.”
Wells says today’s van dwellers are a little different from the retirees that have long spent their golden years in RVs.
“There are a lot of RVers who live a normal, happy life. Well, they transferred their average same life that they’ve always had, and put it in an RV, and lived exactly the same life.
“I see van dwellers as rejecting, to some degree, something about society. It could be the nine-to-five grind. Whatever it is, it’s not just the transfer of the same life they’ve always lived with the last 50 years into a different home, shape, on wheels. It’s a rejection of some element of it.”
And speaking of wheels, a rolling home can be as varied as any other home, from the cozy to the contemporary. One old airport shuttle has its own music studio. Clearly living in a van does not have to mean what it used to.
Still, you’re right if you think van life is not an easy life. Which Dokoupil found out when he tried to make a rented minivan a mini-home, even with Wells as his neighbor.
“My short-term plan is to find a shower,” Dokoupil laughed, “and a basin I can wash and shave with. I guess maybe I’m not cut out for the van life.”
Wells says he’s committed to helping everyone find their own answers, out on the not-so-lonesome road.
“It is a story of desperation and of ecstatic victory,” he said.
Dokoupil asked, “Do you feel like your message is chipping away at the model of America that exists today?”
“I hope so!” he laughed. “I do. I hope so. That’s my goal. “
Los Angeles– A woman is in custody after leading police on a wild chase through a California neighborhood in a stolen RV. It was just after rush hour Tuesday evening when authorities in Santa Clarita chased a stolen motor home with a huge gash. Behind the wheel was a female driver with two dogs inside, reports CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas.
During the pursuit, you could see a dog leap from the RV, somehow walking to safety. The driver maneuvered her way through several streets and sped through intersections, slamming into cars.
One woman’s vehicle was totaled after colliding with the RV.
“Oh my God, I was practically pulling my hair out,” one witness said. “It’s the most craziest thing I ever seen.”
“I’m just like, whoa, what’s going on? I hear a kaboom,” another witness said.
It all came to a violent end, injuring a driver in the process. She jumped out of the RV with one of her dogs running behind her. But she didn’t get far before police tackled her in front of a home.
“Charges that we’re looking at right now would be felony hit and run, felony evading, and also we’re investigating driving under the influence at this time,” California Highway Patrol’s Weston Haver said.
At least three people were hurt, all with minor injuries. Officials said both dogs are safe with animal control.
Paradise, Calif.— It’s been six months since theCamp Fireraced through northern California, the deadliest and most destructive fire in state history. Eighty five people were killed and it caused more than $11 billion in damage.
On the surface, children from Paradise Elementary School appear perfectly fine. But shortly into CBS News’ interview with 8-year-old Ellie Wrobel and her mom Kylie, six months of trauma flooded through. Ellie and her mother’s home was among those reduced to ash by the fire. They’ve been on the move ever since, recently settling down in a donated RV.
More than 18,000 buildings were lost in the fire, including Paradise Elementary. At the temporary school, a few towns south, children silently battle their fears so their parents can worry a little less.
“All of them have had a turn feeling sad and needing to talk to somebody,” said Katy Schrum, Ellie’s second grade teacher.
She said students not only miss home, but their friends too. The district lost 40 percent of its students following the fire. So Schrum developed a questionnaire to help get children talking. The last time everyone said they were happy was “a couple of weeks ago.”
Despite the upheaval, students are improving and time is healing. That resilience took center stage at a recent recital celebrating survival, where Ellie and her classmates sang about a few of their “favorite things.”
In six months these kids’ world has changed. Their courage is a lesson in strength for us all.
Parts of Northern California are coping with the worst flooding there in more than two decades.Floodwaters from the Russian Rivercarried away vehicles in the resort town of Guerneville north of San Francisco. Thousands of people are trapped.
The Russian River crested Wednesday night at 45 feet — 13 feet over flood stage. CBS News’ Meg Oliver reports from Hacienda, California, an area completely cut off by the flooding. The river has risen so high, we won’t know the full extent of the damage until floodwaters begin to recede.
The only way to get in and out of Guerneville is by kayak or canoe. When the Russian River overflowed, it inundated the small town, surrounding homes with water, submerging cars and trapping anyone who didn’t get out.
More than two dozen towns along a 25-mile stretch of the river were evacuated. Along with Guerneville, Monte Rio is now also essentially an island and nearly 100 roads in Sonoma County are closed. An area weather station recorded more than 20 inches of rain over the past three days.
Floodwaters stranded at least 2,000 people in Guerneville, where the water came up so high it reached the roof of an RV.
Emergency crews have been forced to prioritize those who are in immediate danger.
“We are not going to be rescuing people unless there is an imminent life safety threat. So people are just going to have to be patient,” said Sonoma County emergency manager Chris Godley.
Rachel Vasquez didn’t think the floodwaters would reach her home. Now she’s waiting out the disaster with her four kids. She said she and her family should hopefully be OK.
Sonoma County has urged the governor of California to declare a state of emergency. While the water is beginning to recede, even more rain is expected later this week.