Top News Stories For Today – Dec 5, 2017
Native Americans to sue Trump
Native American tribes on Monday said they will immediately file a lawsuit against President Trump, who signed a executive order shrinking two national monuments on land in southern Utah which tribes consider to be sacred.
The order calls for cutting and dividing Bears Ears National Monument, currently about half a million hectares, into two units to be called Shash Jaa (Navajo for “Bears Ears”) and Indian Creek, which together will total fewer than 93,000 hectares. The order will also modify the three-quarters-of-a-million-hectare Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument into three units, cutting the total size to just over 400,000 hectares. The Navajo Nation, together with the Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni and the Ute Indian Tribe Native Americans, say the president doesn’t have the constitutional authority to make the cuts, and they are set to challenge him in what will likely be a drawn-out a test of Trump’s legal powers. VOA
UN officials visit North Korea
A high-ranking UN official has arrived in North Korea to help lower tensions over it’s nuclear and ballistic missile testing programs. Jeffrey Feltman, the world body’s undersecretary-general for political affairs, left for Pyongyang Tuesday after a stopover in Beijing the day before. Feltman is the first UN official holding that rank to visit the isolated regime since his predecessor, Lynn Pascoe, in 2010.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that Feltman will discuss “issues of mutual interest and concern” with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and Vice Minister Pak Myong Guk during his visit, which ends on Friday. Dujarric would not say if Feltman would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during his trip. VOA
Turkey could cut diplomatic ties with Israel if US recognize Jerusalem as capital
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the US about a number of issues Tuesday, including its pending recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and its underhanded dealings with the Daesh terror group.
“Jerusalem is the red line for all Muslims. We could go as far as cutting diplomatic ties with Israel over the issue,” Erdoğan said in response to the US’s stated intentions during the parliamentary group meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Daily Sabah
Russia designates US media outlets as foreign agents
Russia’s justice ministry on Tuesday designated nine US media outlets, including the Voice Of America, as “foreign agents.” The ministry also listed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and several of its affiliates, after warning last month they could be affected.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law in November empowering the government to designate media outlets receiving funding from abroad as “foreign agents” and impose sanctions against them. The US State Department has condemned Russia’s law, saying it obstructs press freedom. VOA
Yemen’s former President killed
Yemen’s former President was killed by Houthi rebels as he tried to flee the capital. The death of Ali Abdullah Saleh means there’s a very real prospect of further bloodshed in a conflict that’s already killed thousands — and has left 8.4 million Yemenis at risk of starvation.
Just two days ago, Saleh said he was ending an alliance with the Iranian-backed Houthis and seeking a new relationship with the Saudi-led coalition that’s been battling the rebels and maintaining a partial blockade. But for Saleh, that gamble turned out to be fatal. So, this proxy war in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and Iran will continue. CNN
Trump’s travel ban approves by Supreme Court
The third time just may be the charm for President Trump’s travel ban. The Supreme Court will allow this latest version of the ban to take effect while the legal fight over it winds through the lower courts.
This ban places restrictions on foreign nationals from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen. It’s the first time justices have allowed any edition of the ban to go forward in its entirety, and some observers see this as a sign the Supremes are more likely in the future to rule in its favor. CNN
RNC reinstates support for Roy Moore
When several women came forward last month accusing Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s, the Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee withdrew from their joint fundraising agreement with his campaign, but now that Moore has been formally endorsed by President Trump, Moore once again has the full backing of the RNC.
An RNC official told Business Insider Moore has the committee’s support in the form of money and staff working to get him elected in the Dec. 12 special election. Trump tweeted in favor of Moore on Monday, and later called him to offer his endorsement, with Moore revealing that Trump told him, “Go get ’em, Roy!” Business Insider, The Week
Thousands forced to evacuate in South California fire
Strong winds in Southern California whipped up an explosive wildfire that forced thousands of homes to evacuate and could soon threaten a city of more than 100,000. The wildfire broke out Monday and grew wildly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed.
The winds were pushing it toward Santa Paula, a city of some 30,000 people about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Most of the evacuated homes were in that city. Authorities said that the city of Ventura, which is 12 miles southwest and has 106,000 residents, was likely to feel the effects soon. One person was killed in an auto accident associated with the fire, officials said. They gave no further details. Thousands of homes were without power in the area. VOA
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