Top News Stories for Today – Aug 30, 2017
Hurricane Harvey made landfall again Wednesday morning, near Cameron, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing more rainfall to Louisiana after causing unprecedented flooding in Texas. 3 new deaths were confirmed in Houston on Tuesday night, raising the official storm death toll to 18.
In Houston, the main shelter for flood refugees, the convention center, has almost 10,000 evacuees, double its capacity, so the city has opened shelters at the nearby Toyota Center and NRG Park for another 10,500 people. More than 13,000 people in Houston and surrounding counties have been rescued. Harvey has dumped at least 51.88 inches of rain in Cedar Bayou, Texas, marking the highest rainfall of any single storm in the continental US. The Associated Press, The Times-Picayune
Iran rejects inspection of its military sites
Last week, Haley US’s ambassador to the UN, demanded the United States wants inspections of Iranian military and nonmilitary sites to determine its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. Iran on Tuesday dismissed the demand, shrugging off a request by America’s ambassador to the UN as only a dream.
Iran’s government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht told reporters that the demand by Ambassador Nikki Haley wasn’t worth any attention. Iran will not accept any inspection of its sites and “especially our military sites,” he said. VOA
Iraq’s Kurdish independence referendum
Iraq’s oil-producing Kirkuk region will vote in a referendum on Kurdish independence on September 25, its provisional council decided Tuesday, a move that could increase tension with Arab and Turkmen residents. The ethnically mixed region is claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq. Baghdad said the referendum was unconstitutional.
The United States and Western nations fear the vote could lead to conflicts with Baghdad and neighboring Turkey and Iran, which host sizable Kurdish populations, diverting attention from the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. A senior Kurdish official has said Iraq’s Kurds could consider postponing the referendum in return for financial and political concessions from the central government. VOA
Next target is Guam N Korea says
North Korea’s launch of a missile over Japan was a prelude to more military operations directed at the American territory of Guam, North Korean state media warned Wednesday. The country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency reported leader Kim Jong Un presided over the dawn launch Tuesday of the “ultra-modern rocket system,” the first missile ever fired from the capital Pyongyang.
North Korean officials told CNN in Pyongyang that Kim was “very satisfied with the performance of the missile.” Early Wednesday, the US conducted a test intercept of a medium range ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii, according to a statement from the US Missile Defense Agency. A US official told CNN the test was planned for a long time, before North Korea’s launch. CNN
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued subpoenas to a former lawyer for Paul Manafort and to Manafort’s current spokesman, an aggressive tactic that suggests an effort to add pressure on the former Trump campaign chairman. The subpoenas seeking documents and testimony were sent to Melissa Laurenza, an attorney with the Akin Gump law firm who until recently represented Manafort, and to Jason Maloni, who is Manafort’s spokesman, according to people familiar with the matter.
Manafort is under investigation for possible tax and financial crimes, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. The allegations under investigation largely center on Manafort’s work for the former ruling party in Ukraine, which was ousted amid street protests over its pro-Russian policies. CNN
Poll on how Trump behaves
Only 16 percent of Americans “like” how President Trump “conducts himself as president,” a new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday revealed. A notable 58 percent of Americans reported they did not like Trump’s conduct, while 25 percent said they have “mixed feelings” about it.
Republicans approved of Trump’s conduct more than Democrats did, but still only 34 percent of Republicans reported liking the president’s behavior. Meanwhile, 46 percent of Republicans reported having “mixed feelings,” and 19 percent flat out said they disliked Trump’s conduct. Just 2 percent of Democrats reported liking the president’s conduct, while a whopping 89 percent said they did not. Pew Research Center, The Washington Post
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