Top News Stories for Today – Aug 9, 2017
Trump’s 200th day with high disapproval and little trust
CNN released a poll to gauge the nation’s views of President Trump at 200 days into his presidency. Only 38 percent of respondents approved of Trump’s job performance, including 24 percent who strongly approved and only 59 percent of Republicans, while 56 percent disapproved and 47 percent strongly disapproved.
At 200 days, 59 percent consider Trump’s presidency a failure, 36 percent call it a success, and 62 percent said Trump’s actions and statements have made them less confident in his presidential abilities. Only 30 percent of respondents said they admire Trump, 34 percent said they are proud to have him as president, 55 percent said he has lowered the stature of the presidency, and 36 percent of respondents found Trump honest and trustworthy, versus 60 percent who say he isn’t. CNN, The Week
N Korea successfully miniaturizes nuclear warheads
North Korea is now capable of making a nuclear warhead compact enough to put inside a missile, US analysts determined in a confidential assessment completed last month. “The IC [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” the assessment says, debunking beliefs that North Korea could not yet accomplish the feat.
The assessment also projected that North Korea has 60 bombs in its arsenal, a marked increased from previous estimates. The Washington Post noted the development of missile-ready warheads crosses “a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power,” deepening existing concerns about North Korea’s nuclear activity. The Washington Post, The Week
6.5-magnitude quake strikes China’s Sichuan province
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck the remote and mountainous Sichuan province of China Tuesday night, the US Geological Survey said. Up to 100 people are feared dead and thousands more injured in the quake, the Chinese government said. At least four people have been confirmed dead and 30 injured so far.
The epicenter of the quake was in Ngawa prefecture, sparsely populated mostly by Tibetans, many of whom are nomadic herders, near a well known national park. Tremors from the quake were felt as far away as the provincial capital, Chengdu, 284 kilometers from the epicenter. Earthquakes are fairly common in China, especially the mountainous southwestern province. VOA
Myanmar steps up efforts against nationalist monks
One of the Buddhist nationalists in Myanmar who joined an anti-government protest encampment outside Yangon’s famed Shwedagon Pagoda late last week has vowed that he and other demonstrators were in it for the long haul. “If we get three demands, we will stop our boycott,” the monk, Pyinyar Wuntha, told journalists on Friday, two days into the sit-in. “Otherwise we will keep fighting until the government steps down.” By Sunday evening, however, they had abandoned their position.
The office of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi expressed “heartfelt thanks” to members of the public for not joining the action, and the appreciation was later published on the front page of the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar. VOA
N Korea threatens missile strike on Guam
North Korea’s state-run news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un is “carefully examining” a plan to hit Guam with missiles. KCNA shared statements from two separate military spokesmen, with one saying the plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” and the other announcing that if the US. shows signs of provocation, North Korea will carry out a pre-emptive strike.
Trump promises N Korean threat would be met with fire and fury
In light of a harrowing Washington Post report on North Korea’s growing nuclear threat, President Trump on Tuesday vowed to fight fire with fire. The Washington Post revealed Tuesday that US. intelligence analysts have assessed that North Korea has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead so that it could fit inside a missile — a great expansion of Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities.
In response, while attending a meeting of his opioid commission, Trump said that North Korea “best not make any more threats to the United States.” Dictator Kim Jong Un has been “very threatening,” Trump said, adding that if Kim’s threats continue, “they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.” PBS, The Washington Post
Trump privately sent messages of appreciation to Mueller
President Trump has privately sent messages of “appreciation” to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, USA Today reported Tuesday. Trump’s chief legal counsel John Dowd confirmed in an interview that he has “been in contact with Mueller’s office” on Trump’s behalf to send the president’s “greetings” because he “appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing.
He asked me to share that with him and that’s what I’ve done.” Dowd added that the communications with Mueller have been “proper” and “constructive.” On Twitter and in public statements, Trump sings a different tune; he has called Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling and the Trump team’s potential ties to it a “witch hunt.” USA Today
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