Top News Stories for Today – Aug 15, 2017
Trump denounces white supremacists
Speaking at the White House on Monday, President Trump called racism “evil,” two days after the violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. Trump’s earlier response to the event, during which one woman died after a man drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, had been widely criticized because he declined to name white supremacists directly; neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer championed Trump for not “attack[ing] us.”
On Monday, Trump called “the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists” out by name, but some remained unconvinced: “[Bloomberg’s senior White House correspondent Margaret Talev] notes on CNN that Trump made no specific outreach to non-white groups that may have felt victimized,” tweeted The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman. “Bare minimum.” CNN , CBS News, Theweek
3 CEOs quit Trump’s manufacturing council after Charlottesville response
Frazier resigned from the council following Trump’s refusal to single out white supremacists following the deadly white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying it was his “responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism,” while Krzanich wrote in a blog post he is stepping down to “call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing.” Plank said in a statement he’s leaving in order to “focus on inspiring and uniting through power of sport.” Twitter, Intel, Theweek
N Korean ICBMs may be linked to Russia
North Korea’s sudden success in its nuclear weapons development program may be linked to “black-market” parts with ties to Russia, The New York Times reported Monday. After years of failures in developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, North Korea may have used “black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines, probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia’s missile program,” the Times revealed.
Expert analyst Michael Elleman told the Times that it’s “likely” North Korea’s parts “came from Ukraine,” judging from photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting new missiles; the photos appear to depict rocket engines whose design is based on a motor used by the former Soviet Union, and some Soviet engines were produced at a factory in Ukraine. The New York Times, Theweek
Iran could abandon nuclear agreement within hours
“If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time — not a week or a month but within hours — to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations,” Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television. VOA
Hundreds killed after massive landslide in Sierra Leone
More than 300 people were killed after a hillside collapsed Monday in Freetown, the capital of the west African nation of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leonean Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh called the tragedy “so serious that I myself feel broken,” the BBC reports. Heavy rains caused Monday’s mudslide, which buried dozens of people in their homes.
An estimated 2,000 people throughout the capital will be left homeless from the flooding and waist-deep “churning rivers of mud,” The Telegraph reports. “The capacity at the mortuary is too small for the corpses,” said Sinneh Kamara, the coroner technician for the local hospital. Emergency responders are still attempting to rescue survivors who might be trapped in their homes. BBC, Agence France-Presse
Trump orders China trade investigation
Donald Trump ordered his trade office Monday to investigate whether China is stealing American intellectual property, but Beijing warned in advance that both countries would end up losers in a trade war.
Trump took a break from his working vacation at his golf resort in New Jersey to return to Washington to sign an executive order directing US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to investigate the alleged Chinese theft of American technology and intellectual property. Trump wants trade officials to look at Chinese practices that force American companies to divulge their proprietary intellectual information in order to do business in China. “We will defend our workers…protect our innovations,” Trump said. VOA
Trump greeted by protesters in New York
President Trump’s first official visit to his hometown since January’s inauguration got off to a bumpy start Monday evening, with thousands of protesters and a giant inflatable rat in his likeness waiting for him outside Trump Tower.
Many demonstrators carried anti-racism and anti-Nazi signs, and there were chants of “New York hates you” and “You have blood on your hands.” NBC News spoke with several people who said they came out to protest Trump’s Saturday response to the violent events in Charlottesville, when he did not call out white supremacists, instead blaming “many sides.” NBC News, CNN
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