Top News Stories for Today – Sept 14, 2017
21 killed in Malaysia school fire
At least 21 children and two teachers were killed when a fire broke out at a religious school in Kuala Lumpur. Witnesses reported hearing cries for help from inside the burning building and seeing children unable to escape because of metal grills on windows. Renovations to the building had reportedly blocked a fire exit. Officials are examining whether an electric short circuit caused the fire.
When emergency responders first arrived on the scene, “almost 90% of the building was already on fire,” a Fire and Rescue department official told reporters. Two adults also died in the the blaze, while four other victims suffered serious injuries. Malaysia’s Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Noh Omar, said there have been 29 similar incidents in the past involving fires at religious schools.
US Federal agencies to remove Kaspersky
US security officials on Wednesday ordered government agencies to get rid of products and services from Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm. The department said the key concerns were ties “between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies.”
Kaspersky has repeatedly denied it helps Russia with espionage efforts. On Tuesday, company founder Eugene Kaspersky took to Twitter to try to calm fears. VOA
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a joint statement Wednesday saying they had reached an agreement with President Trump to protect unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the US. by their parents. “We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president,” the leaders said.
“The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides. We also urged the president to make permanent the cost-sharing reduction payments, and those discussions will continue.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that “while DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.” The Associated Press, The Week
Trump denies DACA agreement
President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday morning to dispute House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (N.Y.) claim they’d agreed with Trump to “enshrine the protections of DACA into law” in return for a border security package that didn’t include his wall. “No deal was made last night on DACA.
Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent,” Trump said, adding: “The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.” Trump, who had received fierce pushback from his anti-immigration supporters, also asked why anyone would want to “throw out good, educated, and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military” who were “brought in by parents at young age.” Twitter, The Week
We now know why Susan Rice ‘unmasked’ the IDs of senior Trump officials during the transition. The former national security adviser told House investigators she wanted to know why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, sources told CNN. Foreign dignitaries usually notify the US government of visits, and the UAE hadn’t mentioned that Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan was in town. This New York trip preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.
Rice’s previously undisclosed revelation shines new light on a practice that had come under sharp criticism from House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes and the President, who previously accused Rice of committing a crime. But her explanation appears to have satisfied some influential Republicans, undercutting Nunes and Trump, and raising new questions about whether any Trump associates tried to arrange back-channel discussions with the Russians. CNN
8 dead at Florida nursing home
Officials in Hollywood, Florida, said eight elderly people living at a nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, leaving them with no air conditioning. At least 115 people have been evacuated from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, with some in respiratory distress.
The center, which sits across the street from a hospital with full air conditioning, has a backup generator, but that doesn’t power the air conditioner, a faculty administrator said, and the residents were left in stifling heat. Broward County said the facility notified the county on Tuesday that it had lost power, but did not ask for help. Officials in Florida are now visiting other assisted living facilities to look for anyone who might need help. Sun Sentinel, The Week
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