Top News Stories for Today – Aug 29, 2017
North Korea fires missile over Japan
North Korea conducted a missile test early Tuesday morning that flew over Japan, one that analysts say was similar to Pyongyang’s recently aborted plan to fire a missile near the US territory of Guam, and which prompted sharp reaction from Japanese and other leaders. The launch is believed to be the second successful test of the Hwasong 12 intermediate-range ballistic missile that can reach distances between 1,800 to 3,100 miles. The first successful Hwasong 12 test occurred in May.
Trump slammed North’s Korea’s latest missile launch, saying Pyongyang has “signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.” “Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table,” Trump added in a statement Tuesday.
The South Korean air force conducted live-fire drills Tuesday, hours after North Korea flew a ballistic missile over Japan. Four F-15 fighter jets practiced a drill against the North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, dropping eight MK-84 bombs against a simulated target at the Pilsung training range. The test was meant as a warning signal in response to North Korea’s latest provocation. VOA, Newsweek
Harvey maintains strength will make landfall again
Harvey’s havoc continued to pour down, three days after the storm rammed Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, unleashing a torrent of rain, turning streets into rivers, and leaving thousands of residents stranded in flooded homes. Four people have died as a result of the catastrophic storm, and thousands of Texans are believed to have sat in darkness overnight Monday amid rising floodwaters.
“The Coast Guard is continuing to receive upwards of 1,000 calls per hour,” US Coast Guard Lt. Mike Hart said on Monday. The Coast Guard rescued more than 3,000 people on Monday, he said. Many tried to help each other, and some guided seniors through the submerged street. And the water won’t stop rising anytime soon. Swollen rivers in east Texas aren’t expected to crest until later this week, and federal officials are already predicting the deadly storm will drive 30,000 people into shelters and spur 450,000 people to seek some sort of disaster assistance. CNN
Harvey may be soggy sign of future storms
By the time the rain stops, Harvey will have dumped about 1 million gallons of water for every man, woman and child in southeastern Texas — a soggy, record-breaking glimpse of the wet and wild future that global warming could bring, scientists say.
While scientists are quick to say that climate change didn’t cause Harvey and that they haven’t determined yet whether the storm was made worse by global warming, they do note that warmer air and water mean wetter and possibly more intense hurricanes in the future. “This is the kind of thing we are going to get more of,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer. “This storm should serve as warning.” VOA
Louisiana braces as Harvey moves east from Houston
After dumping nearly 3 feet of rain in many parts of Houston, Tropical Storm Harvey is starting to move east. “In all likelihood, the worst is yet to come for Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said at a press conference Monday.
New Orleans is under flash flood and tornado watches until Thursday, and the area is expected to get between 5 to 10 inches of rain over the next four days. Rain is also expected to continue through Thursday in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday activated the entire Texas National Guard as Houston battles the worst flooding in its history. Texas officials said at least 10 people have died. President Trump says he will visit Corpus Christi and Austin on Tuesday. The Times-Picayune, The Washington Post
Trump to visit Texas for Harvey updates
President Trump is headed to Texas on Tuesday to check on the recovery efforts from Tropical Storm Harvey. Joined by first lady Melania Trump and probably Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Trump will head first to Corpus Christi, about 30 miles south of where Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm, and then Austin, where he will tour the Emergency Operations Center and get a briefing from state officials.
Rain is still falling in Houston on Tuesday, where parts of the city have already been deluged with 43 inches of rain since Friday, and flood levels are still rising. So far, at least 10 people have died from hurricane-related incidents, and shelters are filling up across Texas. The Texas Tribune, Houston Chonicle, The Week
Trump lawyer sought Putin assistance for Moscow tower
The New York Times revealed Monday that during the presidential campaign, a business associate of President Trump’s pushed a potential real estate deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, asserting a Trump Tower in Moscow would “get Donald elected.” The Times acquired a series of emails between Felix Sater and Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, that show Sater telling Cohen, “Our boy can become president of the USA. and we can engineer it … I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this.”
Also Monday, The Washington Post revealed that Cohen emailed Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s personal spokesman, in January 2016 to ask for help moving forward the stalled project. In the missive, Cohen explicitly requested “assistance,” as well as help “arranging meetings with the appropriate individuals.” The project was reportedly abandoned later that month. The Washington Post, The New York Times
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