Top News Stories for Today – Sept 18, 2017
London train blast arrest
A second man has been arrested in connection with an explosion in a London Underground train that injured at least 29 people Friday. Police say they arrested a 21-year-old man Saturday night in west London. An 18-year-old man was also arrested Saturday, near the port of Dover on the English Channel, where he may have been trying to board a ferry to leave the UK.
The multiple arrests indicate the blast was part of a coordinated attack rather than committed by a lone wolf. The UK’s terror threat was lowered from “critical” to “severe” on Sunday. “We are still pursuing numerous lines of enquiry and at a great pace,” Neil Basu, counter-terrorism coordinator of the London police, said. The Associated Press, ABC News, The Week
Trump open to stay in climate accord
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday said President Trump is “open” to remaining in the Paris climate accord under the right conditions. “The president said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue,” Tillerson said on CBS’s Face The Nation.
The comments came one day after the White House denied a Wall Street Journal report that made similar claims. Also on Sunday, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Fox News Sunday that Trump is absolutely not reconsidering pulling out of the climate accord. “That’s a false report,” he said. Face The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, The Week
2017 Emmy award
The Handmaid’s Tale was the big winner at Sunday night’s Emmy awards in Los Angeles, coming into the night with 13 nominations. The show won for Outstanding Drama Series; Elisabeth Moss won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama; Ann Dowd won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a drama; Alexis Bledel won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a drama; Reed Morano won Best Director in a drama series; and Bruce Miller won for writing for a drama series.
Other winners include Sterling K. Brown of This Is Us for Best Lead Actor in a drama; Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Best Lead Actress in a comedy (the show also won for Best Comedy); and Big Little Lies for Best Limited Series. Atlanta’s Donald Glover also made history by becoming the first black person to win for Outstanding Director, and also picked up the award for Best Actor in a comedy.
St. Louis protests
More than 80 people were arrested after a third night of demonstrations in St. Louis over the acquittal of a former police officer who had been charged with first-degree murder. In December 2011, then St. Louis officer Jason Stockley shot and killed motorist Anthony Lamar Smith, 24, after a police chase over a suspected drug deal. Stockley argued that before firing he had ordered Smith to show his hands and believed the suspect was reaching for a handgun.
He said he entered Smith’s car to locate the weapon and render it safe. Prosecutors argued that a revolver found in Smith’s car had been planted by Stockley to justify the shooting. In Friday’s ruling acquitting Stockley, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson said the prosecution’s argument was “not supported by the evidence.” The gun was too large, Wilson said, for Stockley to hide it from the cameras at the scene. The city had been on edge for days during the trial and demonstrations began soon after the acquittal was announced. On Friday some protesters locked arms and prayed together, but within hours others smashed the windshield of a police vehicle and threw water bottles, rocks and bricks at law enforcement. CNN
Beijing bans winter construction
Beijing will suspend construction of major public projects in the city this winter in an effort to improve the capital’s notorious air quality, official media said on Sunday, citing the municipal commission of housing and urban-rural development. All construction of road and water projects, as well as demolition of housing, will be banned from Nov. 15 to March 15 within the city’s six major districts and surrounding suburbs, said the Xinhua report.
The period spans the four months when heating is supplied to the city’s housing and other buildings. China is in the fourth year of a “war on pollution” designed to reverse the damage done by decades of untrammeled economic growth and allay concerns that hazardous smog and widespread water and soil contamination are causing hundreds of thousands of early deaths every year. VOA
US may close embassy in Cuba
The US is considering closing its embassy in Cuba after diplomatic staff reported health problems which Washington blames on a “sonic attack”. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said a decision whether to shut to the mission in Havana was “under evaluation”.
More than 20 staff suffered conditions ranging from mild brain trauma and hearing loss to dizziness and nausea. US officials believe some kind of device was used to undermine their health. Cuba denies any involvement. At least two Canadians have also been affected by similar symptoms. BBC
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