Top News Stories for Today – Sept 4, 2017
Trump to end DACA
President Trump has decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, but will delay its dismantling for six months, Politico reported, citing two people familiar with Trump’s thinking. DACA is an Obama-era program that grants work permits to young immigrants brought into America illegally as children, and currently benefits roughly 800,000 “DREAMers.”
The president has faced criticism from leaders in his own party for mulling ending the program, but Politico reported it was Attorney General Jeff Sessions who finally helped persuade Trump to “kick the issue to Congress.” On Friday, Trump told reporters “We love the DREAMers. We think the DREAMers are terrific.” He is expected to officially announce his decision on Tuesday. Politico, The Washington Post, The Week
N Korea tests hydrogen bomb
North Korea claimed Sunday it has tested a “missile-ready” hydrogen bomb with “perfect success,” the last stage in developing a “state nuclear force.” The thermonuclear test claim has not been independently verified. However, strong tremors were detected near the area of previous North Korean nuclear tests.
Sunday’s announcement was met with broad condemnation, including from the United States and North Korea’s ally, China, which issued a statement saying Beijing “resolutely opposes” and “strongly condemns” North Korea’s actions. South Korea President Moon Jae-in labeled the test “an absurd strategic mistake,” and Japan, which believes the test to be authentic, called it “absolutely unacceptable” and a “grave and urgent” threat. CNN, BBC News, The Week
S Korea holds missile drills
South Korea on Monday fired a series of missiles into the Sea of Japan in response to North Korea’s testing of what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb on Sunday. The South Korean military said its bombing drills, conducted at dawn, involved having F-15 fighter jets practice dropping ballistic missiles on a North Korean nuclear test site “to send a strong warning to North Korea for its sixth nuclear test,” The Washington Post reported.
The South also said it believes the North is planning to launch more intercontinental ballistic missiles in the coming days. On Sunday, President Trump confused some South Koreans by criticizing the country’s “talk of appeasement” with North Korea. He then said he would consider “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” The Washington Post, BBC
Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston
At least 13 “Superfund” toxic waste sites in Houston have been flooded or otherwise damaged by Hurricane Harvey, adding a new element of risk to clean-up efforts. Superfund sites are designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); they are “the nation’s most contaminated land.”
Since Harvey flooding occurred, the EPA has made aerial assessments of 41 Superfund locations in and around Houston and identified 13 in bad shape. It will take about two weeks for waters to fully recede at these locations, which are contaminated with industrial waste, pesticides, and more. The Associated Press, CNN
Kate Middleton expecting third child
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced, a little brother or sister for 4-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte. Unfortunately, as with her two first pregnancies, Kate Middleton is suffering from something called “Hyperemesis Gravidarum,” an extreme form of morning sickness.
Still, “the queen and members of both families are delighted with the news,” the palace said in a statement. The little prince or princess will be fifth in line to the throne, which bumps Prince Harry “down to sixth place.” Bookies are already making predictions about what the child will be named: Alice, Alexandra, and Victoria are favorites for a baby girl; James, Philip, Arthur, and Henry are favorites for a baby boy. The Guardian, TIME
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