Top news stories for today – September 2, 2016
Hurricane Hermine hits Florida
Hurricane Hermine made landfall early Friday morning in the Gulf Coast, just east of St. Marks. Not long after landfall, Hermine was downgraded to a tropical depression, from a Category 1 hurricane. Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari said the storm surge is “going to be the scariest part of Hurricane Hermine,” and the National Weather Service warns of “life-threatening inundation within the next 12 to 24 hours” along the Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Longboat Key.
The hurricane is expected to weaken more as it makes its way up the coast to the Carolinas on Friday and Saturday. This is the first hurricane landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005. Gov. Rick Scott (R) has put 51 counties under a state of emergency. NBC News, The Associated Press, The Week
Samsung recalls all Galaxy Note 7
Samsung on Friday recalled its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones over a battery problem that can cause the devices to catch fire. The company has sold 2.5 million of the waterproof phones, which only made their debut on Aug. 19.
Samsung said it had found 35 cases of faulty devices globally. The South Korean company’s stock plunged on Thursday on reports a battery problem would delay future deliveries. The recall and its cost will be so big, said Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung’s handset division, “it almost breaks my heart.” BBC News, The Associated Press
Exploded SpaceX rocket a blow to Facebook
The explosion of a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket Thursday morning during a pre-launch fueling operation is a setback to Elon Musk‘s commercial operations, NASA’s plan to use SpaceX and Boeing to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station, and Facebook’s push to bring internet connectivity to sub-Saharan Africa.
Nobody was reported injured during the dramatic explosion, but the payload included a $200 million Israeli communications satellite that Facebook planned to use in CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s internet.org initiative. On Facebook, Zuckerberg said he is “deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite”; on Twitter, Musk said the blast “originated around [an] upper stage oxygen tank,” and the “cause [is] still unknown.” SpaceX promised a full investigation. The New York Times, Faceboook
Putin denies hacking DNC
“I don’t know anything about it,” Putin said, adding “and on a state level Russia has never done this.” Putin also denied in the Bloomberg interview allegations the hack was an attempt by Russia to influence the outcome of the upcoming US presidential election. Putin beat back that accusation, saying that move would require a subtle understanding of American politics. “To do that you need to have a finger on the pulse and get the specifics of the domestic political life of the US,” he said. “I’m not sure that even our Foreign Ministry experts are sensitive enough.” VOA
Missing student was kidnapped by N. Korea
An American student reported missing during a 2004 hiking trip in China was actually kidnapped and forced to teach English to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, authorities say. David Sneddon, a Brigham Young student, disappeared at the age of 24 in Yunnan Province in what Chinese police said was likely a hiking accident. But the body of Sneddon – who spoke fluent Korean – was never found and his parents were suspicious.
According to Choi Sung-yong, the head of South Korea’s Abductees’ Family Union, Sneddon has been found living in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, where he works as a school teacher. He is reportedly married and has two children. It remained unclear why Sneddon never reached out to his parents or American officials.
US Presidential election
Donald Trump hires Citizens United head as deputy campaign manager: Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has hired David N. Bossie, a conservative operative and, until this week, president of Citizens United, as deputy campaign manager. Trump called Bossie a “friend of mine for many years. Solid. Smart. Loves politics, knows how to win.” Bossie is taking a leave of absence from Citizens United, the conservative advocacy group best known for the Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a ruling that ended many restrictions on political spending for corporations and unions. The latest addition to Trump’s team came as several members of his National Hispanic Advisory Council quit after his fiery Thursday speech on illegal immigration. The Washington Post, The Week
Clinton camp pounces on Donald Trump’s immigration comments: On Thursday, Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine drew a comparison between Donald Trump’s remarks on Mexican immigrants Wednesday night and discriminatory stances on Irish, Italian, and European Jewish immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. “Pretty much any group that’s come into this country … faced a few people who were saying bad things about them, who said ‘no Irish need apply,'” Kaine said. “That was the speech that Donald Trump gave last night.” Clinton on Wednesday said Trump “failed his first foreign test,” referring to his meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday. After leaving Mexico, Trump traveled to Arizona, where he outlined a 10-point immigration plan that included deporting millions of undocumented immigrants and building a border wall. BuzzFeed
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