Top news stories for today – August 3, 2016
N Korean missile lands in Japanese waters
North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile which landed in Japanese waters, South Korea and Japan say. The missile was launched off the North’s east coast early on Wednesday and travelled about 1,000km (620 miles), one of the North’s longest launches to date.
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe said it was a “grave threat” to his country. The North is barred from developing nuclear and ballistic missile technology by UN resolution. But it had vowed a “physical response” after the US and South Korea agreed plans to deploy an advanced US missile defence system in South Korea. The North has carried out repeated missile tests in recent months. BBC
Home-grown Zika cases in Miami
Florida health officials say there are now 15 people in the Miami area with Zika virus that they apparently contracted locally. The mosquito-borne virus causes microcephaly and other birth defects, and pregnant women are being told to stay away from a one-square-mile area north of downtown Miami where “active transmission” of the virus is ongoing.
On Friday, the first four cases of Zika contracted from mosquitoes in the United States were confirmed in Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are also 336 people with Zika in Florida who traveled to the state from elsewhere. Epidemiologists expect to see more cases emerge in the coming days. NBC News, The Week
6 killed in Philippines’s drugs war
Earlier this week, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to have Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. “shot on sight” for protecting his son, a suspected drug dealer. Espinosa surrendered himself to national police on Tuesday, though his son, Erwin, a suspected drug lord, did not.
According to regional police chief Elmer Beltejar, the bodyguards fired upon police first, and the police returned fire, killing six of them. Police also seized at least 17 firearms found inside the compound. Duterte ran for president on the promise that, if elected, he would eliminate the drug dealers and violence that has plagued the country. Since he won the election in May, police claim to have killed more than 400 suspected drug dealers. VOA
Emirates plane crash-lands at Dubai airport
An Emirates airline flight from India has crash-landed at Dubai International Airport with some 300 people on board, officials say. Images posted online show thick black smoke coming from the plane, with no landing gear visible.
The Dubai government media office said all passengers were evacuated safely and no injuries have been reported. It said all departures and arrivals from the airport have been suspended until further notice. The Boeing 777 was reportedly flying in from the southern Indian city of Trivandrum. BBC
Straddling bus hits the road in China
China’s long-awaited ‘straddling bus’ received its inaugural test run in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province this week. The Transit Elevated Bus, to give it its official title, is designed to help combat gridlock by letting passengers soar over the tops of cars on the increasingly-congested roads of China’s major cities.
Vehicles can pass underneath the bus whether it is moving or stationary, according to the designs, and it is powered purely by electricity. Each bus would replace about 40 conventional buses, Song Youzhou, the project’s chief engineer, claims, saving more than 800 tonnes of fuel.
US Presidential election
Donald Trump is now refusing to endorse Paul Ryan: In an interview Tuesday with The Washington Post, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump refused to endorse his party’s top-ranking figure, House Speaker Paul Ryan, in Ryan’s GOP primary race in Wisconsin. “I’m not quite there yet,” Trump told the Post when asked about a potential endorsement of Ryan. “I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country.” Back in May, as pressure was mounting on Ryan to unite his party and issue his own endorsement of Trump, Ryan said, “I’m not there right now.” Ryan eventually endorsed Trump in June. Trump also told the paper that he would not be supporting Arizona Sen. John McCain’s re-election bid this fall, and called New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte “a weak and disloyal leader.” The Washington Post, The Week
Republican Meg Whitman voting for Hillary, not ‘dangerous’ Donald Trump: Meg Whitman, the president and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a onetime California gubernatorial candidate, and prominent GOP fundraiser, says she is supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “I will vote for Hillary, I will talk to my Republican friends about helping her, and I will donate to her campaign and try to raise money for her,” she told The New York Times. Whitman said she does not agree with Clinton on every issue, but that it’s time for Republicans to “put country first before party.” Donald Trump is a “dangerous demagogue,” she said, who could take the country on a “very dangerous journey” and has already “undermined the character of the nation.” The New York Times, The Week
Trump counters ‘unfit’ comment by calling Obama worst President ever: Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that Barack Obama “will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States” after Obama called Trump “unfit” to lead. “I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said that last week and he keeps on proving it,” Obama said Tuesday at the White House. VOA
Polls give Clinton higher marks than Trump on handling public policy: The latest CNN/ORC poll showed Clinton gained ground on all four issues over Trump. CNN said Clinton is ahead, 52 percent to 43 percent, a 12-point swing from a week ago before the Democrats became the first major US political party to name a woman as its presidential candidate. CBS News shows Clinton with a 46-39 edge, while NBC News/Survey Monkey pegged her advantage at 50-42. VOA
Trump’s employees have sued over sexual harassment: Two female employees at Donald Trump’s companies have alleged that they were fired in recent years after complaining about sexual harassment at work, a review of court records shows.
In an interview with a USA TODAY columnist, Trump stirred controversy when he said he would advise his daughter Ivanka to “find another career or find another company” if she faced the same harassment as alleged in the allegations against former Fox chief Roger Ailes. Former anchor Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes in a lawsuit of serially harassing her and forcing her out after declining his advances. On Tuesday, Eric Trump, vice president of the Trump Organization, told CBS This Morning that Ivanka wouldn’t “allow herself to be subjected to that” and that Ivanka would take those allegations to human resources.
An ongoing USA TODAY Network review of more than 4,000 legal actions involving Trump and his companies showed two related to sexual harassment. They were among about 130 labor disputes involving Trump and his sprawling business empire over the past three decades. USA Today
Trump’s mental state Is becoming a campaign talking point: As Trump’s verbal gaffes have mounted and his penchant for lashing out at his political opponents has continued to escalate, it’s become in vogue for critics to earnestly raise questions about Trump’s temperament and his mental stability.
Terms like “narcissist” and “sociopath” have been attached to his name as routinely as Trump attaches that name to his buildings. Many of Trump’s GOP allies have been publicly apoplectic about his unorthodox (some have argued virtually non-existent) campaign, his contradictory statements regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin and his critical remarks about the Muslim-American parents of a slain Iraq War hero. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson even wrote a column this week asking: “Is Donald Trump just plain crazy?” NBC News
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