Top News Stories for Today – Aug 8, 2017
Scientists fear Trump will bury climate change report
A climate change report drafted by scientists from 13 federal agencies will not be released until the Trump administration signs off on it, but the report does not line up with the views of President and some members of his Cabinet, The New York Times said Monday.
The Times has obtained a copy of the report, which states that since 1980, the average temperature in US has risen dramatically, that Arctic warming will very likely result in sea-level rises threatening coastal communities, and that it is “extremely likely” that more than half of the global mean temperature increase since 1951 can be linked to humans. One scientist who worked on the report told the Times they are worried it will be suppressed. The New York Times
N Korea vows to seek revenge against US
North Korea on Monday threatened the US with “thousands-fold” revenge for tough new US-drafted sanctions approved by the United Nations Security Council over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. President Trump said Sunday night that he spoke with South Korean President Moon Jae-in about the sanctions, approved Saturday.
Trump tweeted the pair were “very happy and impressed with 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions.” The resolution bans North Korea from exporting coal, seafood, lead, lead ore, iron, and iron ore and prohibits countries from starting new joint ventures with North Korea. The sanctions are expected to cut North Korea’s $3 billion annual export revenue by a third. USA Today, Twitter, Theweek
USDA censors use of the term ‘climate change’
Staffers at the Department of Agriculture have been directed to “avoid” using the term “climate change” in their written correspondence, The Guardian reported Monday. Staff have received very specific instructions about which words are acceptable and unacceptable to use when writing about climate change-related work, and “‘climate change’ is in the ‘avoid’ category, to be replaced by ‘weather extremes.’
” Other climate change-related phrases, including “reduce greenhouse gases,” have also been blacklisted. The instructions were included in an email sent in February by Bianca Moebius-Clune, the USDA’s director of soil health. President Trump has repeatedly expressed doubts about the science of climate change, and his top pick for the USDA’s chief scientist, Sam Clovis, has called climate research “junk science.” The Guardian
Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Benjamin Netanyahu must reveal phone call logs with US casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and a former editor of his free newspaper in Israel, as police press ahead with investigations into corruption cases involving the prime minister. The decision Monday came after an appeal by investigative journalist Raviv Drucker of Channel 10 TV. Netanyahu backer Adelson owns the pro-government daily Israel Hayom.
Police are investigating Netanyahu in two cases. One reportedly concerns Netanyahu’s alleged attempts to strike a deal with the publisher of the Yediot Ahronot newspaper group to weaken Israel Hayom — Yediot’s main competitor — in exchange for more favorable coverage of Netanyahu by Yediot. Israeli police revealed last week that Netanyahu is suspected of crimes involving fraud, breach of trust and bribes. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. VOA
Trump company applies for casino trademark in Macau
A Trump Organization company has applied for four new trademarks in the Asian gambling hub of Macau, including one for casinos, public records show. The new applications highlight the ethical complexity of maintaining the family branding empire while Donald Trump serves as president, and are likely to stoke speculation about the organization’s future business intentions in Macau, where casino licenses held by other companies come up for renewal beginning in 2020.
The applications for the Trump brand were made in June by a Delaware-registered company called DTTM Operations LLC. They cover gambling and casino services, as well as real estate, construction and restaurant and hotel services. The applications were first reported by the South China Morning Post. VOA
Pentagon considering airstrikes against ISIS in the Philippines
The Pentagon is mulling over a plan to give the military authority to launch airstrikes against Islamic State targets in the Philippines, two defense officials told NBC News on Monday. If the plan is approved, armed drones would carry out the strikes, which would hit targets considered threats to US allies in the region, the officials said.
The authority could be granted as early as Tuesday. The US has a small military presence in the Philippines, supporting the country’s forces that are fighting ISIS in the southern islands. “We are providing them some training and some guidance in terms of how to deal with an enemy that fights in ways that are not like most people have ever had to deal with,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday. NBC News
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