Top News Stories for Today – Sept 17, 2017
London train explosion arrest
UK police on Saturday arrested an 18-year-old in possible connection with an explosion in a London Underground train that injured at least 29 people Friday. “We have made a significant arrest in our investigation this morning,” Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu said.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred during the morning rush hour at the Parsons Green station. “This was a detonation of an improvised explosive device,” top counterterrorism official Mark Rowley said at a Friday press conference. British Prime Minister Theresa May has raised the terrorism threat level in the UK to “critical,” the highest possible level, indicating a threat is “expected imminently.” ABC News, The Associated Press, The Week
North Korea nuclear goals
North Korea’s military force will soon reach “equilibrium” with that of the United States, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasted Saturday. “We should clearly show the big power chauvinists how our state attain the goal of completing its nuclear force despite their limitless sanctions and blockade,” Kim said, as reported by the country’s state media.
The statements came one day after North Korea fired another ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, which traveled 2,300 miles, farther than any other North Korean ballistic missile. The launch prompted the UN Security Council to accuse the nation of undermining regional peace and security. BBC, The Associated Press
Sanctuary state bill in California
California lawmakers on Saturday voted in favor of a so-called “sanctuary state” bill aimed at improving protections for immigrants. The bill, known as SB54, bans law enforcement officials from asking about the immigration status of people under arrest, and prevents local police from being “deputized as immigration agents,” The Associated Press reports.
There are an estimated 2.3 million undocumented immigrants in California, and Republicans opposed to the measure say it will protect criminals. This month, President Trump announced his plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which offered protection for some 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children. SB54 now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who is expected to sign it. The Associated Press, Reuters
Three storms raging in Atlantic
Three storms are spinning in the Atlantic, with one already a hurricane and another one strengthening and forecast to threaten areas battered by Hurricane Irma last week. Tropical Storm Maria formed Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean and is expected to be a hurricane by late Monday and a major hurricane by Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says.
By Sunday morning, Maria was about 460 miles southeast of the Lesser Antilles. The storm is moving toward the Caribbean at 15 mph, according to the center. “Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria will likely become a hurricane later today,” it said. CNN
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he is prepared to intervene militarily if a referendum held by the nation’s Kurdish population results in violence. Speaking to the Associated Press Saturday, Abadi said the Kurdish vote on independence is “a dangerous escalation” that will invite violations of Iraqi sovereignty.
Abadi also told an Iraqi news agency that the Kurds would be “playing with fire” by continuing with plans for the referendum, which is scheduled for September 25 in the three governorates that make up the Kurdish autonomous region. The vote is also expected to be held in areas controlled by Kurds but claimed by the Baghdad government. VOA
Christians in Britain
Only 6 percent of British adults are practicing Christians, a new survey commissioned by the Church of England has found, defining the term as those who read the Bible, pray, and attend church on a regular basis. The ComRes survey found that the reported decline of Christian believers in the UK might be even steeper than suggested, as 55 percent of the faithful admitted they never read the Bible. Another 33 percent said they never attend church, while 29 percent said they never pray.
The poll interviewed 8,150 adults in the UK between March 17 and March 31, and summarized in its findings that close to half, or 51 percent of adults, identified as Christians. Rachel Jordan, the Church of England’s National Mission and Evangelism adviser, said in an article for The Telegraph on Thursday that the results convey “a real sense of the scale of the task ahead.” The Christian Post
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