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Harvey's death toll rises to 20 as Texas sheriff confirms more fatalities

Harvey's death toll rises to 20 as Texas sheriff confirms more fatalities | 30 Aug 2017 | A sheriff's official north of Houston says two men died this week in separate drownings, bringing the number of confirmed Harvey-related deaths to 20. Montgomery County sheriff's Capt. Bryan Carlisle said Wednesday that 33-year-old Joshua Feuerstein of Conroe died when he disregarded a barricade and drove his pickup into standing water Monday. Separately, an unidentified man died as he tried to swim across a flooded roadway Monday.

Trump visits Texas, hailing officials' Harvey response and promising federal aid

Trump visits Texas, hailing officials' Harvey response and promising federal aid | 29 Aug 2017 | President Trump on Tuesday assured Texans slammed by Tropical Storm Harvey that "we are here to take care of you" and promised a "better than ever before" relief effort, as he visited the state while rescuers continued to pull people from submerged homes. During visits first to Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast, southwest of the worst-hit areas of Houston and its environs, and then to the state capital of Austin, Trump repeatedly praised federal, state and local officials. "The world is watching and the world is very impressed with what you are doing," Trump told officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety operations center in Austin who were coordinating rescue and shelter operations as rain continued to fall and water continued to swell in flood zones.

Houston under curfew: Residents banned from the streets between midnight and 5am

Houston under curfew: Residents banned from the streets between midnight and 5am to prevent looting as 14 are arrested and homeowners warn 'you loot, I shoot' --Prosecutors promise harsh penalties for anyone caught looting during storm | 30 Aug 2017 | Houston has imposed an overnight curfew for an indefinite period amid incidents of looting, armed robberies and people impersonating police officers, city officials said. The curfew will run from midnight until 5pm starting Tuesday, Mayor Sylvester Turner told a news conference. The city is also bringing additional police from other regions. 'You cannot drive, nor be in any public place. We have had problems with armed robberies, with people with guns and firearms,' said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. Curfew violators will be stopped, questioned, searched and arrested, the police chief said.

People are urging donations for Harvey relief efforts - just not to the Red Cross

People are urging donations for Harvey relief efforts - just not to the Red Cross | 28 Aug 2017 | People were urging donors [to help Texas] Monday to seek out churches and local organizations, saying, "Please don't donate money to the Red Cross! Houston will never see it." ...Over the weekend, Dan Gillmor, author and professor at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, also advised people on Twitter not to give money to the organization. As The Washington Post's Peter Holley reported last year, a 2015 NPR and ProPublica investigation revealed that the Red Cross had only built six permanent homes in Haiti even though it had collected almost a half-billion dollars in donations. The year before, the news organizations published a report about Red Cross's response to hurricanes Isaac and Sandy.

Norway fines tourist guide for scaring polar bear

Norway fines tourist guide for scaring polar bear --Svalbard is home to nearly 1,000 polar bears, a protected species since 1973. | 25 Aug 2017 | In the Norwegian far-north, an Arctic tourist guide has been fined 1,300 euros ($1,500) for scaring off a polar bear. When a group of tourists on a snowmobile expedition in May spotted a bear standing still, 900 metres (2,950 ft) away, their guide decided to approach the predator to take a closer look. The animal, spotted on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, fled the scene. "The regulations say that it is forbidden to approach polar bears in such a way that they are disturbed, regardless of the distance," the Svalbard governor's office said in a statement. [That is awesome!]

 

House explosion near restaurant in Belgium wounds at least five as emergency services rush to the scene

House explosion near restaurant in Belgium wounds at least five as emergency services rush to the scene | 29 Aug 2017 | At least five people are believed to have been injured after a house exploded in the Belgian city of Bastogne. The home, near the Luxembourg border, exploded from a suspected gas leak at around 9pm local time (8pm BST). Several people were inside at the time and at least two are still missing, Belgian media is reporting.

Tropical Storm Harvey breaks record for rainfall on U.S. mainland

Tropical Storm Harvey breaks record for rainfall on U.S. mainland | 29 Aug 2017 | Tropical Storm Harvey continued to deluge southeast Texas with rain and surging floodwater Tuesday, breaking the record for the most extreme rainfall on the U.S. mainland. Since Harvey made landfall Friday night as a hurricane, some areas of Houston have seen up to 50 inches of rain -- more than they usually receive in a year. Authorities said the death toll had risen to 11, including that of a Houston police officer who drowned in his car on the way to work.

The Red Cross's Secret Disaster

Flashback: The Red Cross's Secret Disaster | 29 Oct 2014 | The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR...What's more, Red Cross officials at national headquarters in Washington, D.C. compounded the Red Cross's inability to provide relief by "diverting assets for public relations purposes," as one internal report puts it. Distribution of relief supplies, the report said, was "politically driven." During Isaac, Red Cross supervisors ordered dozens of trucks usually deployed to deliver aid to be driven around nearly empty instead, "just to be seen," one of the drivers, Jim Dunham, recalls. "We were sent way down on the Gulf with nothing to give," Dunham says. The Red Cross's relief effort was "worse than the storm."

American Red Cross collected $500M in Haiti earthquake donations, built just six homes

Flashback: American Red Cross collected $500M in Haiti earthquake donations, built just six homes | 03 June 2015 | The American Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the [January 2010] earthquake in Haiti, nearly half a billion dollars...The Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success. The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
 

No end in sight: Pentagon awards $727mn contract to support Afghan Air Force

Insanity! Instead of rebuilding Houston and/or US infrastructure: No end in sight: Pentagon awards $727mn contract to support Afghan Air Force | 29 Aug 2017 | The Pentagon has awarded a contract worth over $727 million in support of the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing unit. It comes after Donald Trump's recent "fight to win" commitment to the nation's longest war [to protect the CIA's poppy fields and opium routes], which has already cost over $780 billion. Leidos Innovation Corp [received the contract], a unit of Leidos Holding Corp, is a major contractor for the Pentagon and the National Security Agency (NSA). The US Department of Defense has spent over $76 billion on weapons and equipment for Afghan 'security' forces since 2002, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said earlier this month.

North Korea missiles: Trump warns 'all options' on table

North Korea missiles: Trump warns 'all options' on table | 29 Aug 2017 | US President Donald Trump has said North Korea's latest missile launch signals "contempt" for its neighbours and the UN. He said the North would only increase its isolation and that "all options" were on the table. The missile flew over northern Japan's Hokkaido island before crashing into the northern Pacific Ocean. Pyongyang says it is being provoked by US-South Korea military exercises which it says are a rehearsal for invasion.

North Korea fires missile through Japan's airspace

North Korea fires missile through Japan's airspace | 29 Aug 2017 | Pyongyang has launched a missile which, according to the Japanese and South Korean governments, passed through northern Japan's airspace. The Japanese government activated its J-Alert warning system after North Korea fired an unidentified missile early Tuesday morning. The North Korean missile passed over Japanese territory around 6:06am local time. The Japanese government announced the missile fell into the Pacific ocean just 14 minutes after the launch, some 1,180 km east of Hokkaido's Cape Erimo, the Japan Times reports.

Bill de Blasio may remove statue of Christopher Columbus in New York City

Bill de Blasio may remove statue of Christopher Columbus in New York City --The statue, which is over 100 years old, sits atop is a traffic circle in Manhattan --Officers belonging to the NYPD Columbia Association oppose the statue's removal | 28 Aug 2017 | A statue honoring Italian explorer Christopher Columbus may soon be removed from Manhattan's Columbus Circle if the city's top elected official has his way. New York City Mayor Bill Bill de Blasio is reportedly considering the move, according to CBS News, after ordering a review in the wake of the deadly events in Charlotesville, Virginia, earlier this month. The statue, which is over 100 years old, sits atop is a traffic circle in Manhattan, located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park West and Central Park South.

Chemical leak emergency east of Houston as residents are urged to take cover and and remain indoors

Chemical leak emergency east of Houston as residents are urged to take cover and and remain indoors --Authorities in Texas are urging residents of two small coastal towns east of Houston to remain indoors --Residents are also being told to close all windows and doors | 28 Aug 2017 | Authorities in Texas are urging residents of two small coastal towns east of Houston to remain indoors due to a possible chemical leak, it was learned on Monday. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management tweeted on Monday that residents of Shoreacres are being told to shelter in place and remain indoors. Residents are also being told to close all windows and doors and to turn off air conditioning and ventilation. Meanwhile, KPRC-TV is reporting that a chemical spill has taken place in nearby LaPorte.

U.S. officials say 450,000 in Texas likely to seek disaster aid

U.S. officials say 450,000 in Texas likely to seek disaster aid | 28 Aug 2017 | U.S. emergency management officials said on Monday they were expediting federal resources to Texas to help with rescue efforts after Hurricane Harvey swamped coastal areas of the state and forced 30,000 people to seek refuge in temporary shelters. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said more than 450,000 people were expected to seek disaster assistance due to flooding after Harvey made landfall during the weekend before weakening to tropical storm status. President Donald Trump approved an emergency request on Monday for Louisiana, where severe flooding also was expected.

Houston TV station is evacuated as it starts to flood live on air during coverage of Hurricane Harvey

Houston TV station is evacuated as it starts to flood live on air during coverage of Hurricane Harvey | 27 Aug 2017 | A Houston TV station was forced to evacuate when its building's first floor was flooded during its live news coverage of Hurricane Harvey. News anchors were at their desks when water began to seep into the building, forcing them to a second level before the staff fled the building entirely on Sunday. From the field, one reporter carried on with the hurricane coverage for 30 minutes, with the journalist saving the life of a man who was trapped in his truck. The station is still abandoned as KHOU continues its broadcast coverage from a makeshift studio in a bank and with the help of another station in Dallas.

Hillary Clinton Allies Are Working From Within White House to Ruin Trump - Sebastian Gorka

Hillary Clinton Allies Are Working From Within White House to Ruin Trump - Sebastian Gorka | 27 Aug 2017 | Donald Trump is being undermined by White House insiders who would rather have worked for Hillary Clinton, according to former deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka. Gorka, who disputed reports he was asked to leave his role and insisted he resigned shortly after the departure of Steve Bannon, slammed West Wing insiders in an interview with Radio 4 on Sunday.

Violence breaks out at Berkeley protest

Violence breaks out at Berkeley protest | 27 Aug 2017 | Thousands of demonstrators, carrying signs with slogans like "Stand Against Hate," descended on Berkeley's Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park on Sunday for what many hoped would be a peaceful march against bigotry and President Trump. But it was soon punctuated by tear gas and a scattering of violent skirmishes. Some "anti-fascist" protesters, wearing black and with their faces covered, chased or beat Trump supporters and organizers who had scheduled and then canceled the "anti-Marxist" rally, citing concerns over safety.

Black-clad anarchists storm Berkeley rally, assaulting 5

Black-clad anarchists storm Berkeley rally, assaulting 5 | 27 Aug 2017 | Black-clad anarchists on Sunday stormed into what had been a largely peaceful Berkeley protest 'against hate' and attacked at least five people, including the leader of a politically conservative group who canceled an event a day earlier in San Francisco amid fears of violence. The group of more than 100 hooded protesters, with shields emblazoned with the words "no hate" and waving a flag identifying themselves as anarchists, busted through police lines, avoiding security checks by officers to take away possible weapons.

California first-grader sent to principal's office for misgendering classmate

California first-grader sent to principal's office for misgendering classmate | 23 Aug 2017 | An elite charter school in California has been rocked by scandal since the end of the last school year, when a kindergarten teacher read her class a pair of books advocating transgender ideology, and a male kindergartener was reintroduced to the class as a girl. Now first-graders at Rocklin Academy Gateway risk a trip to the principal's office if they refer to their transgender classmate by the wrong name or gender pronoun, said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, a pro-family group based in Sacramento...The controversy at Rocklin is just the latest example of the transgender movement's increasing emphasis on spreading its ideology through early education.

Rainfall from Harvey Could Reach 50 Inches in Some Spots, Highest Ever Recorded in Texas

Rainfall from Harvey Could Reach 50 Inches in Some Spots, Highest Ever Recorded in Texas; Catastrophic Flooding to Continue for Days --One location northeast of Houston near Dayton logged more than 27 inches of rain in 48 hours. | 27 Aug 2017 | Tropical Storm Harvey has stalled over Texas where extreme rainfall has occurred in the Houston metro area, leading to record-breaking, catastrophic flooding. Days of drenching downpours are ahead along with the potential for tornadoes and lingering coastal flooding. Localized rain amounts of 40-50 inches are not out of the question once Harvey's rain is finished later this week. This may end as being one of the worst flood disasters in U.S. history.

Ben Taub Hospital in Houston Evacuated Due to Flooding - Harris County Judge

Ben Taub Hospital in Houston Evacuated Due to Flooding - Harris County Judge | 27 Aug 2017 | Ben Taub Hospital in Houston's Texas Medical Center was being evacuated due to flooding after Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in central Texas last week, County Judge Ed Emmett said on Sunday. Flooding has caused power outages.

Memphis theater pulls Gone with the Wind after complaints that the Civil War classic is 'racially insensitive'

Memphis theater pulls Gone with the Wind after complaints that the Civil War classic is 'racially insensitive' --The motion picture has become part of a ever-growing list of historical references that are up on public chopping block --Movie won eight Academy Awards and was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book with the same title, by Margaret Mitchell. | 26 Aug 2017 | 'Gone with the Wind' has been pulled from a Memphis theater after patrons complained the 1939 Civil War classic is racially insensitive. The Orpheum Theatre Group made the decision after patrons took issue with the screening of the movie starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara on August 11. 'As an organization whose stated mission is to 'entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves', the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population,' the theater's operators said in a statement according to News Ch. 3.

Man arrested after 'brandishing 4ft sword and shouting Allahu Akbar' outside Buckingham Palace

Man arrested after 'brandishing 4ft sword and shouting Allahu Akbar' outside Buckingham Palace | 26 Aug 2017 | A man allegedly brandishing a four-foot sword shouting 'Allahu Akbar' at police officers outside Buckingham Palace has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism. Two officers were injured after tackling the 26-year-old alleged attacker near the Queen's official London residence on Friday night. The suspect, who is from Luton, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault on police. He was further arrested under the Terrorism Act this morning, and is now being questioned by counter-terror officers.

Several treated after roof collapse at Rockport senior home

Several treated after roof collapse at Rockport senior home | 26 Aug 2017 | The city manager in Rockport, Texas, says multiple people have been taken to the county's jail [Aransas County Detention Center] for assessment and treatment after the roof of a senior housing complex collapsed. KIII-TV reports that 10 people have been treated in Rockport since Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast city Friday night...Earlier Friday, Rockport Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Rios offered ominous advice, telling KIII-TV those who chose to stay put "should make some type of preparation to mark their arm with a Sharpie pen," implying doing so would make it easier for rescuers to identify them.

U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashes off Yemen coast

U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashes off Yemen coast | 26 Aug 2017 | A U.S. Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen on Friday during training, with a search underway for one U.S. service member, the U.S. military said. U.S. Central Command said in a statement that five other service members aboard the aircraft had been rescued and the crash took place about 20 miles (32 km) off the southern coast of Yemen at 7 p.m. local time on Friday.

Trump signs Texas hurricane disaster declaration

Trump signs Texas hurricane disaster declaration | 25 Aug 2017 | President Donald Trump on Friday signed a presidential disaster declaration to make federal funds available to Texas as Hurricane Harvey bears down on the coast. The president issued the declaration in response to a request by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, saying it "unleashes the full force of government help!" The declaration would more quickly make federal money available to respond to any damage the hurricane may cause, a statement from Abbott's office said.

Sebastian Gorka resigns from White House

Sebastian Gorka resigns from White House | 25 Aug 2017 | Sebastian Gorka has resigned from his position as a top counterterrorism adviser to President Donald Trump, a White House official tells CNN. Gorka was also a member of the White House's Strategic Initiatives Group, which he described as a focal point for task forces collaborating with people outside government...A CNN K-File review of Gorka's public comments throughout the presidential campaign shows that even after his work for Trump, the former Breitbart national security editor offered stinging critiques of his future boss's rhetoric on key foreign policy issues from terrorism to Russia and China.

Trump Signs Sanctions Aimed Squarely at Venezuelan Government

Trump Signs Sanctions Aimed Squarely at Venezuelan Government | 25 Aug 2017 | President Trump is imposing a new round of economic sanctions that are aimed squarely at choking off money to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government but "carefully calibrated" to preserve U.S. oil imports from the South American country, according to the White House. The latest sanctions -- the fourth round in recent weeks -- are the first to move beyond freezing the assets of individuals and target the government itself. The executive order signed by Trump bars U.S. institutions from buying new debt issued by the Venezuelan government or from the state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA.

Trump pardons ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio - White House

Trump pardons ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio - White House | 25 Aug 2017 | U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday granted a pardon to former Arizona lawman and political ally Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff in America," less than a month after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving his department's racial profiling policy. Trump had signaled this week that the first presidential pardon of his administration would go to Arpaio, 85, whom he has frequently praised for his hardline immigration stance...Arpaio had been scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and faced a fine and maximum sentence of six months in jail.

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