Officials: Student killed confronting shooter at high school

Officials: Student killed confronting shooter at high school

Shooting At Washington State School Leaves One Dead
Inform

ROCKFORD, Wash. (AP) — A student who opened fire in a hallway at a Washington state high school killed a classmate who confronted him Wednesday and wounded three others before being stopped by a custodian, authorities said.

The suspect, who a classmate described as being obsessed with previous school shootings, was taken into custody. The wounded victims were seriously injured but expected to survive, officials said.

The shooter brought two weapons to Freeman High School in Rockford, south of Spokane, but the first one he tried to fire jammed, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told reporters.

“He went to his next weapon,” Knezovich said. “A student walked up to him, engaged him, and that student was shot. That student did not survive.”

The sheriff said the shooter fired more rounds down the hallway, striking the other students, before a school custodian approached the shooter and ordered him to surrender, Knezovich said.

Knezovich called it a courageous act that prevented further bloodshed.

The sheriff said a deputy who works as a school resource officer arrived shortly thereafter and took the shooter into custody.

Elisa Vigil, a 14-year-old freshman, told The Associated Press that she saw one male student shot in the head who janitors covered with a cloth and another female student wounded in the back.

Michael Harper, a 15-year-old sophomore, said the suspect had brought notes in the beginning of the school year, saying he was going to do “something stupid” and might get killed or jailed. Some students alerted counselors, the teen told AP, but it wasn’t clear what school officials did in response.

A call to the school was not immediately returned.

Harper said the shooter had many friends and was not bullied, calling him “nice and funny and weird” and a huge fan of the TV show “Breaking Bad.” He also said the suspect was obsessed with other school shootings.

Students say the shooter was armed with a pistol and rifle and had carried a duffel bag to school. After shots were fired, students went running and screaming down the hallways, Harper said.

Authorities didn’t release the suspect’s identity or a possible motive. The victims also were not named.

Luis Prito, an assistant football coach at Freeman High, called the shooting devastating. A vigil took place Wednesday evening at a nearby church.

“This is a real close-knit community,” he said.

A two-lane road into the town of about 500 people near the Idaho border was clogged as worried parents sped to the school. Some people abandoned their cars on the street to make it to their children.

Cheryl Moser said her son, a freshman, called her from a classroom after hearing shots fired.

“He called me and said, ‘Mom, there are gunshots.’ He sounded so scared. I’ve never heard him like that,” Moser told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. “You never think about something happening like this at a small school.”

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital received three pediatric patients, spokeswoman Nicole Stewart said. They were in stable condition and surrounded by family, she said.

Stephanie Lutje told AP she was relieved to hear her son was safe after his high school near Freeman High was put on lockdown. She commended the school district for its communication.

“It’s been amazing, within probably 15-20 minutes of hearing about it, I’d already received a phone call, I’d already received a text message saying that their school is OK,” she said.

She still worried for others she knew, including a co-worker who had yet to hear from her son, a sophomore at Freeman.

“My stomach’s in knots right now,” she said.

Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that “all Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families, and are grateful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe.”

 

Supreme Court Weighs in on Travel Ban, Refugees

Supreme Court Weighs in on Travel Ban, Refugees

The justices sided with the Trump administration, blocking a lower-court ruling to ease the refugee ban.

By Joseph P. Williams, Staff Writer |Sept. 13, 2017, at 9:39 a.m.

CBS Los Angeles

The legal saga of President Donald Trump’s travel ban took another turn late Tuesday when the Supreme Court granted the administration a partial win, blocking a lower-court order that would have allowed refugees from Muslim-majority countries into the United States and allowing the ban to continue until the issues are sorted out in court.

In a one-sentence order issued by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the high court agreed with a White House argument that the ban should continue until states who sued the administration over the ban submit their arguments to the court.

It takes a vote of five justices to grant a stay application.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has allowed the government to keep in place the protections for the Nation’s safety and security provided by the Executive Order,” Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, told Breitbart.com. “We look forward to full argument on October 10th.”

But Naureen Shah, a senior official with the human rights group Amnesty International, said the high court has dealt “yet another devastating blow to vulnerable people who were on the cusp of obtaining safety for themselves and their families.”

Refugees from the nations affected by the ban “continue to be subjected to unimaginable violence and fear while their lives are in limbo,” Shah said in a statement. “This ban is inherently cruel and no part of it should be allowed to stand.”

At issue is a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week, in which the court found that a relationship between refugees and resettlement agencies who want to bring them in is “bona fide,” as defined by the Supreme Court in an earlier ruling.

The White House ban allowed only some close relatives of U.S. residents to enter the country while excluding others, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles.

In last week’s opinion, however, the 9th Circuit ruled the government couldn’t deny entry to extended family members. Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said the administration had decided not to fight the “close-family aspect of the district court’s modified injunction.”

But advocates suggested that the relationship between a resettlement agency and a refugee family fits the definition of “bona fide.” If it had been allowed, the designation based on the appellate court ruling would have given the green light to as many as 24,000 refugees who want to enter the U.S.

Tuesday’s order, however, isn’t the Supreme Court’s last word on the travel policy that Trump rolled out in January as his first major national-security initiative. And as the case winds its way through the federal court system, it’s not clear what will be left for the court to decide.

On Oct. 10, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the legality of the ban, which keeps out travelers from six mostly Muslim countries and refugees anywhere in the world. The 90-day travel ban, however, lapses in late September and the 120-day refugee ban will expire a month later.

In a series of district- and appellate-court rulings earlier this year, judges have found that the bans violate the Constitution and federal immigration law. The Supreme Court has agreed to review those rulings and the ban writ large; in the meantime, the high court has been called upon to evaluate what parts of the policy can take effect in the meantime.

The White House hasn’t said if it would try to renew the bans, take action make them permanent or expand the travel ban to other countries.

Supreme Court temporarily upholds Trump refugee ban
Inform News

Irma Weakens to a Tropical Depression

 

National News

Irma Weakens to a Tropical Depression

Alexa Lardieri | Sept. 12, 2017

Though weakened, the storm continues to devastate the Caribbean and parts of the Southeast.

Hurricane Irma: Cops warn looters they’re making ‘fairly bad life choice’

Hurricane Irma: Cops warn looters they’re making ‘fairly bad life choice’

Police in Fort Lauderdale said nine were arrested in connection to a sportswear store burglary. The group, which was filmed by a local news staton, allegedly stole sneakers.

Police Chief Rick Maglione warned people in the statement that “Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice” and residents should instead “Stay home and look after your loved ones and be thankful they are all safe.”

The Miami-Dade Police Department also said on Twitter that there were 28 arrests for looting.

Similar warnings were issued by other police departments across the state. “Any looters who come to Pembroke Pines will be greeted by our officers. Choose wisely and stay home,” wrote the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, wrote: “ATTENTION LOOTERS; Every incident will be investigated. Evidence collected will be used to pursue charges after the fact.”

Irma Heads Toward Florida

Irma Heads Toward Florida

Hurricane Irma, downgraded to a Category 4 storm, is expected to hit the Bahamas Friday and continue moving westward to Florida.

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer |Sept. 8, 2017, at 8:23 a.m.

Hurricane Irma battered the Turks and Caicos Islands early Friday as the fearsome Category 5 storm continued a rampage through the Caribbean that has killed a number of people.

Hurricane Irma has destroyed homes and left thousands without power in Barbuda. (Anika E. Kentish/AP)

The devastating Hurricane Irma, which was once one of the strongest storms the Atlantic had ever seen, has been downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane, with winds as strong as 155 mph. Despite its downgrade, the National Hurricane Center still classifies Irma as “extremely dangerous.”

Irma “will continue to bring life-threatening winds, storm surge, and rainfall hazards to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas through Saturday,” the center said Friday in a forecast discussion.

Irma is expected to remain a Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall in Florida Saturday. Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged residents to evacuate and not try to ride out the storm. Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis ordered evacuations for six southern islands — Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island, CNN reported.

The hurricane, which had record-breaking winds of 185 mph, has left at least 11 people dead, hundreds of thousands without power, and tens of thousands without water. More than half of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico was without power Thursday and President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for the island, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  
Irma ‘Downgraded’ To Category 4 Storm
WTVF – Nashville, TN

Solar Storms May Ignite South-Reaching Auroras

Solar Storms May Ignite South-Reaching Auroras

Skygazers in the northern United States may be able to witness the extraterrestrial light show.

A general view of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights on the Stokkedalsvelen E6 between Rafsbotn and Alta on March 30, 2017, in Finnmark, Norway. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

A general view of the northern lights on the Stokkedalsvelen E6 between Rafsbotn and Alta on March 30, 2017, in Finnmark, Norway. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Eyes to the sky, Hoosiers! Northern lights may be visible in Indiana Wednesday night

A geomagnetic storm headed from the sun toward Earth will crash into the atmosphere overnight Wednesday, triggering an extraterrestrial light show across the night sky, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The sun emitted a huge cloud of super-heated plasma, known as a coronal mass ejection, on Monday, NOAA reported. The plasma, traveling at a speed of about 200 miles per second, is expected to crash into the Earth’s atmosphere Wednesday, triggering strong geomagnetic storms. Exciting oxygen and hydrogen atoms in the atmosphere to release their photons in green, red and orange colors, the geomagnetic storms are expected to trigger auroras, the ghostly light shows also known as the northern and southern lights.

The storms are expected to light up unusually south-reaching auroras, observable from parts of the northern United States. The auroras might be visible from northeast Montana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, northeast South Dakota, Illinois and Oregon. People living in Canada are expected to get the best views, but those living in Scotland, northern England and Scandinavia will also likely be able to see the display, according to NOAA.

On Wednesday, space weather forecasters issued a watch for the G3-level (strong) geomagnetic storm, the middle classification on the five-level geomagnetic storm scale, above ‘moderate’ and below ‘severe.’ The storms could affect spacecraft operation or power grids, but the effects are expected to be minor. They may also impact migratory animals, such as sperm whalesbirds and honey bees, by temporarily altering the Earth’s magnetic fields.

Auroras are best seen in extremely dark skies with minimal light pollution. A full moon will rise Wednesday night, though, which may limit skygazers’ visibility.

The solar storm is projected to ignite the night skies as Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, on track to make landfall in the U.S. early next week.

Trump Administration Announces End to DACA

Trump Administration Announces End to DACA

But in rescinding the program, the president gave Congress wide latitude to step in and save it.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration at the Justice Department Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Sessions announced that the Trump Administration is ending the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protect those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, with a six-month delay for the Congress to put in replacement legislation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration at the Justice Department on Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Trump administration confirmed Tuesday that it will rescind an Obama-era program that had granted some 800,000 young people in the country illegally work permits and a temporary reprieve from deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke formally announced that President Donald Trump will end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA program will not be fully rescinded for six months, effectively forcing on Congress the final say over whether to provide a long-term fix that would stave off deportation for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Introduced in 2012 as a stop-gap measure, the program had allowed people who had arrived in the country at age 16 or youngerto obtain two-year work permits and a reprieve from deportation.

It was instituted in the wake of a pair of high-profile failures by Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, stoking fierce criticism by conservative Republicans and immigration hard-liners that DACA amounted to executive overreach – including from Sessions, a former Republican senator from Alabama, who lambasted DACA in announcing its end Tuesday in remarks at the Justice Department.

“This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens,” the attorney general said. “The executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”

 Sessions, though harshly critical of the program itself, also framed the administration’s decision as one spurred in large part by legal concerns: Republican leaders in 10 states sent a letter July 29 threatening to expand an ongoing lawsuit if the Trump administration failed to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to rescind DACA.

The letter set a deadline of Tuesday to act. The states had previously sued to challenge a companion program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA, a program that a federal court blocked in 2015.

“Our collective wisdom is that the policy is vulnerable to the same legal and constitutional challenges that the courts recognized with respect to the DAPA program, which was enjoined on a nationwide basis in a decision affirmed by the 5th Circuit,” Sessions said. “If we were to keep the Obama administration’s executive amnesty policy, the likeliest outcome is that it would be enjoined just as was DAPA.”

The attorney general did not take questions at the briefing.

Under the guidance issued by the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security, DHS agencies that oversee immigration enforcement will immediately stop considering any new DACA applications.

However, those currently enrolled in DACA whose benefits are set to end within the six-month period that ends March 5, 2018, have a one-month period to apply for renewal ending Oct. 5.

Additionally, people who have already submitted an application – either to obtain new DACA status or to have their current benefits renewed – will have their paperwork considered on a case-by-case basis, DHS officials said. All other applications will be rejected.

The president’s decision to end DACA has stoked fears of a crackdown on those enrolled in the program. Applicants are required to submit a raft of personal information to authorities and attest that they are in the country illegally, which has spurred some advocates to question whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will now simply turn to the records they already have on hand to track down people for deportation.

 A senior administration official, speaking during a background DHS press call ahead of the attorney general’s remarks, confirmed that ICE is not barred from working with its sister agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, to obtain people’s immigration records and personal information.

However, the official added that such requests would likely be reserved for higher priority cases, such as when ICE officers are searching for people accused of felonies, serious misdemeanors or when they pose a potential threat to national security, as opposed to simply losing their DACA status.


RELATED CONTENT

Michael Claros, 8, of Silver Spring, Md., attends a rally in favor of immigration reform, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at the White House in Washington. The eight-year old is a U.S. citizen whose parents would have been eligible for DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, an Obama era policy memo that the Trump administration has since formally revoked. The protesters are hoping to preserve the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The Trump administration has said it still has not decided the DACA program's fate.

The GOP’s DACA Disgrace


“Out of all the people that we are targeting in the cases that we are working, that’s a very baseline charge. And with our limited resources, we’re usually focused on higher level targets,” the official said.

That said, the official continued, “I think the thing that they should focus on is following the instructions that have been put out here today and that have continued to be put out by USCIS and go from there.”

A broad range of groups and lawmakers, including some Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, lambasted the administration’s decision to rescind DACA, portraying it as a betrayal of trust for immigrants who volunteered their information to authorities.

“President Trump’s action today is an affront to who we are as Americans,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “He is needlessly targeting children who know no other country as home than America. This does not make our communities safer or our economy stronger. In fact, it does just the opposite.”

 Gillibrand called on lawmakers to once again take up the issue of immigration reform. Congress already has a full agenda this fall, with major issues like tax reform, raising the debt ceiling and passing relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Nonetheless, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced plans to hold a press briefing to promote their immigration bill hours after Sessions’ remarks Tuesday afternoon. The House passed a version of the so-called DREAM Act in 2010, but it stalled in the Senate, falling eight votes shy of the 60 needed to pass.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who led the coalition of states that threatened to expand its lawsuit to halt DACA, said he was pleased with the Trump administration’s decision.

“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA. As the Texas-led coalition explained in our June letter, the Obama-era program went far beyond the executive branch’s legitimate authority,” Paxton said in a statement. “Had former President Obama’s unilateral order on DACA been left intact, it would have set a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to bypass Congress and change immigration laws.”

Nonetheless, while the president’s decision may have staved off one court challenge, others appear to be on the horizon: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, have said that New York will sue to stop DACA from being rescinded.

Sessions: Dreamers Program is “being rescinded”
Inform Raw

Trump Administration Announces End to DACA

Trump Administration Announces End to DACA

But in rescinding the program, the president gave Congress wide latitude to step in and save it.

Sept. 5, 2017, at 12:32 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks on immigration at the Justice Department on Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

 The Trump administration confirmed Tuesday that it will rescind an Obama-era program that had granted some 800,000 young people in the country illegally work permits and a temporary reprieve from deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke formally announced that President Donald Trump will end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The DACA program will not be fully rescinded for six months, effectively forcing on Congress the final say over whether to provide a long-term fix that would stave off deportation for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Introduced in 2012 as a stop-gap measure, the program had allowed people who had arrived in the country at age 16 or youngerto obtain two-year work permits and a reprieve from deportation.

It was instituted in the wake of a pair of high-profile failures by Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, stoking fierce criticism by conservative Republicans and immigration hard-liners that DACA amounted to executive overreach – including from Sessions, a former Republican senator from Alabama, who lambasted DACA in announcing its end Tuesday in remarks at the Justice Department.

“This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens,” the attorney general said. “The executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”

 Sessions, though harshly critical of the program itself, also framed the administration’s decision as one spurred in large part by legal concerns: Republican leaders in 10 states sent a letter July 29 threatening to expand an ongoing lawsuit if the Trump administration failed to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to rescind DACA.

The letter set a deadline of Tuesday to act. The states had previously sued to challenge a companion program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA, a program that a federal court blocked in 2015.

“Our collective wisdom is that the policy is vulnerable to the same legal and constitutional challenges that the courts recognized with respect to the DAPA program, which was enjoined on a nationwide basis in a decision affirmed by the 5th Circuit,” Sessions said. “If we were to keep the Obama administration’s executive amnesty policy, the likeliest outcome is that it would be enjoined just as was DAPA.”

The attorney general did not take questions at the briefing.

Under the guidance issued by the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security, DHS agencies that oversee immigration enforcement will immediately stop considering any new DACA applications.

However, those currently enrolled in DACA whose benefits are set to end within the six-month period that ends March 5, 2018, have a one-month period to apply for renewal ending Oct. 5.

Additionally, people who have already submitted an application – either to obtain new DACA status or to have their current benefits renewed – will have their paperwork considered on a case-by-case basis, DHS officials said. All other applications will be rejected.

The president’s decision to end DACA has stoked fears of a crackdown on those enrolled in the program. Applicants are required to submit a raft of personal information to authorities and attest that they are in the country illegally, which has spurred some advocates to question whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will now simply turn to the records they already have on hand to track down people for deportation.

 A senior administration official, speaking during a background DHS press call ahead of the attorney general’s remarks, confirmed that ICE is not barred from working with its sister agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, to obtain people’s immigration records and personal information.

However, the official added that such requests would likely be reserved for higher priority cases, such as when ICE officers are searching for people accused of felonies, serious misdemeanors or when they pose a potential threat to national security, as opposed to simply losing their DACA status.


RELATED CONTENT

Michael Claros, 8, of Silver Spring, Md., attends a rally in favor of immigration reform, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at the White House in Washington. The eight-year old is a U.S. citizen whose parents would have been eligible for DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, an Obama era policy memo that the Trump administration has since formally revoked. The protesters are hoping to preserve the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The Trump administration has said it still has not decided the DACA program's fate.

The GOP’s DACA Disgrace


“Out of all the people that we are targeting in the cases that we are working, that’s a very baseline charge. And with our limited resources, we’re usually focused on higher level targets,” the official said.

That said, the official continued, “I think the thing that they should focus on is following the instructions that have been put out here today and that have continued to be put out by USCIS and go from there.”

A broad range of groups and lawmakers, including some Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, lambasted the administration’s decision to rescind DACA, portraying it as a betrayal of trust for immigrants who volunteered their information to authorities.

“President Trump’s action today is an affront to who we are as Americans,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “He is needlessly targeting children who know no other country as home than America. This does not make our communities safer or our economy stronger. In fact, it does just the opposite.”

 Gillibrand called on lawmakers to once again take up the issue of immigration reform. Congress already has a full agenda this fall, with major issues like tax reform, raising the debt ceiling and passing relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Nonetheless, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced plans to hold a press briefing to promote their immigration bill hours after Sessions’ remarks Tuesday afternoon. The House passed a version of the so-called DREAM Act in 2010, but it stalled in the Senate, falling eight votes shy of the 60 needed to pass.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who led the coalition of states that threatened to expand its lawsuit to halt DACA, said he was pleased with the Trump administration’s decision.

“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA. As the Texas-led coalition explained in our June letter, the Obama-era program went far beyond the executive branch’s legitimate authority,” Paxton said in a statement. “Had former President Obama’s unilateral order on DACA been left intact, it would have set a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to bypass Congress and change immigration laws.”

Nonetheless, while the president’s decision may have staved off one court challenge, others appear to be on the horizon: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, have said that New York will sue to stop DACA from being rescinded.

US Will Sanction 4 Countries For Refusing Deportations
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Report: Prison security concerns unheeded before deadly riot

Report: Prison security concerns unheeded before deadly riot

FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2007 file photo, Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del., remains on lockdown following a disturbance. An independent review team is releasing its final report on a deadly inmate uprising and hostage-taking at Delaware’s…

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Independent investigators say prison administrators dismissed warnings of trouble brewing at Delaware’s maximum-security prison in the days leading up to a deadly inmate uprising and hostage-taking.

Investigators said in a report released Friday that after some inmates at Vaughn Correctional Center became unruly in January, correctional officers told supervisors the instigators should be moved to another building for security reasons. The request was dismissed by higher-ranking officials.

Among those asking that the troublemakers be moved was correctional officer Steven Floyd, who was killed during the uprising two weeks later.

The independent review ordered by Gov. John Carney suggests that dismissal of the security warnings was indicative of a prison plagued by mismanagement, a lack of communication, a culture of negativity and adversarial relationships among prison staff, administrators and inmates.

Copyright © 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Texas Chemical Plant Explodes In the wake of flooding from Hurricane Harvey, explosions are reported at Arkema chemical plant.

Texas Chemical Plant Explodes

In the wake of flooding from Hurricane Harvey, explosions are reported at Arkema chemical plant.

By Alexa Lardieri, Staff Writer |Aug. 31, 2017, at 8:42 a.m.

Texas Chemical Plant Explodes
The Arkema Inc. chemical plant is flooded from Tropical Storm Harvey, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Crosby, Texas.

Two explosions were reported at the Arkema chemical plant. (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Explosions Rip Through Arkema’s Texas Chemical Plant
TheStreet.com

Two explosions were reported at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, near Houston, Thursday morning following “unprecedented flooding,” according to a press release from the plant. Arkema explained the overwhelming flood waters caused its primary and secondary power sources to break down and the facility lost vital refrigeration of various products, which caused them to burn.

 Shortly after the explosions around 2 a.m. CDT deputies responded to the scene and were exposed to a “non-toxic irritant.” One deputy was hospitalized and nine others drove themselves to the hospital as a precaution, the sheriff’s office said.

The facility closed and was being closely monitored leading up to Harvey’s arrival and the surrounding area was evacuated. However, “the high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it [the fire],” Rich Rowe, Arkema’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

The company also warned that these two explosions may not be the only ones. The organic peroxides that caused the fires are stored in multiple locations and there is a risk for additional explosions. Arkema is urging residents not to return to the area until authorities can announce that it is safe to do so.

 

Harvey: Thousands waiting for rescue, estimated 30,000 – 40,000 home destroyed in Houston area

Harvey: Thousands waiting for rescue, estimated 30,000 – 40,000 home destroyed in Houston area

PHOTO: Residential neighborhoods near the Interstate 10 sit in floodwater in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Aug. 29, 2017.Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/Polaris
COMING UP:  Harvey expected to move north after hitting Louisiana

Thousands of people likely remain stranded and an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 homes have been destroyed in the Houston area as Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, continues to batter the Gulf Coast region with torrential rains, flooding and strong winds, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told ABC News.

Harvey made its third landfall just west of Cameron, Louisiana, at 4 a.m. CT Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service. As of 7 a.m. CT, the slow-moving storm had picked up some speed moving north and its center was about 25 miles away from Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Ahead of that, it battered the Port Arthur area in southeast Texas, dumping as much as 2 feet of rain in some parts.

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PHOTO:
.&lid=view[Slideshow]” target=”_blank”>SLIDESHOW: Slideshow: Hurricane Harvey devastates Gulf Coastmore +

“We have people who are on the second flood of their homes; they’re riding it out and they’re waiting for the waters to go down,” Emmett said today in an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”

“We’ve got probably 30-40,000 homes that have been destroyed,” Emmett added.

Although the storm has begun to shift the brunt of its impact to western Louisiana, Emmett said Texas’ Harris County must now help residents return to their homes.

“The biggest challenge is going to get people back in their homes,” he said. “We’ve got to get those people back into their normal lives as soon as possible.”

Harvey, which first came ashore last Friday in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, dumped more than 51 inches of rain on some parts of the state, according to preliminary reports from the National Weather Service. The storm is responsible for at least 11 deaths, all in Texas, over the past four days.

The tropical storm is expected to weaken and continue moving to the north and east across the Lower Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley through Thursday. But the National Weather Service said Harvey still has the potential to cause “life-threatening flooding.”

“Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana,” the National Weather Service warned in its advisory Wednesday morning. “Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low-lying spots.”

The situation became serious in eastern Texas in the early hours of Wednesday. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for parts of southeast Texas, including Beaumont and Port Arthur, which received as much as 2 feet of rain in some areas during the early morning hours.

Port Arthur Mayor Derrick Freeman urged residents to get to higher ground in a Facebook post early Wednesday.

“Our whole city is underwater right now but we are coming!” Freeman wrote in one post. “Please get to higher ground if you can, but please try stay out of attics.”

Officials were forced to evacuate the shelter at the Bob Bower Civic Center in Port Arthur on Wednesday morning after it began to fill with water. One witness, who was forced to relocate, said some areas of the center had almost 4 feet of water inside. Displaced residents were taken to a secondary evacuation site at the Carl Parker Center, ABC affiliate KBMT said.

The flash-flood warning for Port Arthur was in effect until 9:15 a.m. CT. The National Weather Service was forecasting 1 to 2 inches of additional rainfall in the region Wednesday morning.

Relief Efforts at Capacity as Harvey Turns to Louisiana

Relief Efforts at Capacity as Harvey Turns to Louisiana

The tropical storm continues to wreak havoc several days after making landfall.

By Katelyn Newman , Digital Producer, Staff Writer Aug. 29, 2017, at 9:21 a.m.

A home is surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Spring, Texas. Experts say only two of ten homeowners living in Harvey’s path of destruction have flood insurance. (AP/David J. Phillip)

A home is surrounded by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday in Spring, Texas. (DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP)

 All eyes remain on southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana as Tropical Storm Harvey moves northeast and continues to bring rain, causing extreme flooding, mass evacuations and damage beyond established federal, state and local relief capacities.

Originally making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Aug. 25, Harvey downgraded to a tropical storm Aug. 26, maintaining 45 mph winds as of Tuesday. It is expected to produce 7 to 13 inches more of accumulated rain through Friday over parts of the upper Texas coast and southwestern Louisiana, the National Weather Service reported. Some isolated storms may cause areas of the upper Texas coast, like the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area, to reach storm totals of 50 inches of rain – surpassing state records and causing catastrophic flooding.

At least 10 people have lost their lives in relation to the storm, though that number is expected to rise in the next few days, local officials announced Monday.

Damage inflicted by Harvey has been initially estimated to cost up to $30 billion, well above the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s allotted $3.8 billion budget. The cost for Texans is further compounded by the fact that less than a third of property owners in Texas have flood insurance on their homes and businesses.

About 30,000 are expected to seek emergency shelter and more than 450,000 people are likely to seek federal aid, which will be needed for years, FEMA said Monday. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump plan to fly to Texas Tuesday, visiting Corpus Christi and then traveling to Austin for multiple briefings on the damage and ongoing relief efforts.

 Elsewhere, Harvey is expected to yield 5 to 15 inches of rain across south-central Louisiana as well as 5 to 10 inches across southeast Louisiana, coastal Mississippi and Alabama through Friday, the National Weather Service reported.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price declared a public health emergency in Texas on Saturday and in Louisiana on Monday in response to the storm. His department has so far deployed about 550 personnel to help state and local authorities respond to communities’ medical needs, according to a press release.

“As Louisiana and Texas contend with the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, HHS is committed to doing all that we can to ensure that those affected by this storm receive the vital assistance and support they need,” Price said in a statement.

NASA astronauts are also keeping an eye on the storm, tweeting images of the incredible storm from the International Space Station as well as sending well wishes to those affected.

“#Harvey – still a menace! Hearts & prayers go out to families, friends, & fellow Texans dealing with this storm. #TexasStrong #HoustonStrong,” Astronaut Randy Bresnik wrote Monday evening.

More than 30000 people expected in shelters after Harvey

Calif. National Guard soldiers to keep $190M in mistaken bonuses: Pentagon

Calif. National Guard soldiers to keep $190M in mistaken bonuses: Pentagon

More than 17,000 California National Guard soldiers won’t have to payback more than $190 million in enlistment bonuses and other payments that had been handed out in error between 2004 and 2010, the Pentagon said.

The decision comes several years after an audit revealed the Guard was overpaying bonuses as it faced pressure to hit enlistment goals during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

California lawmakers in Congress successfully pushed for the Pentagon to waive any repayments unless it could provide evidence a solider knew or should’ve known they weren’t eligible for the money.

“I am pleased that an overwhelming majority of the service members affected by the California National Guard’s bonus clawback will be able to get their bonuses back,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement. “These enlistment bonuses and other benefits were accepted in good faith and were given in exchange for serving the nation.”

A report by the Pentagon found that a vast majority of the 17,485 soldiers that got bonuses or loan aid won’t have to repay it or will be refunded if they already did. The report, given to the U.S. House and Senate Armed Services Committees on July 31, was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The Guard paid out $194.6 million in bonuses and $6.4 million in student loan repayments between 2004 and 2010 to California soldiers, the report found. More than 1,400 soldiers had been asked to pay back the debt when former U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter suspended the recoupment plan in late 2016. An additional 16,000 who were given bonuses during the same time period were included in the Pentagon’s review.

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, who helped craft the legislation requiring the Pentagon evaluation, criticized the U.S. Department of Defense for taking so long to “admit their mistake.”

“The men and women who wear the cloth of this nation deserve the security of knowing that the country they swore an oath to protect has their back at the end of their service,” Denham told the Times.

The “overwhelming majority” of soldiers given bonuses — a total of 17,092 — won’t be asked to pay back any money or will receive a refund.

The remaining 393 cases involved soldiers who did not complete their enlistment terms, because they were absent without leave, failed to show up for basic training or had a substance abuse problem, the report said. Those soldiers can appeal their cases.

Texas Braces for Hurricane Harvey

Texas Braces for Hurricane Harvey

The major hurricane is expected to make landfall late Friday night.

By Katelyn Newman , Digital Producer, Staff Writer Aug. 25, 2017, at 8:26 a.m.

Texas Braces for Hurricane Harvey

A sign reading “Be Nice Harvey” was left behind on a boarded up business Thursday in Port Aransas, Texas. (ERIC GAY/AP)

Residents and officials on the east coast of Texas are making last-minute efforts Friday to prepare for Hurricane Harvey ahead of its pending landfall.

As of 8 a.m. EDT, the storm was categorized as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, with maximum wind speeds reaching 110 mph. It is 140 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, moving northwest at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A sign reading "Be Nice Harvey" was left behind on a boarded up business, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Port Aransas, Texas. Port Aransas is under a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Harvey. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas Braces for Hurricane Harvey


Weather models predict that Harvey will drench east Texas with 15 to 25 inches of rain, with up to 35 inches in some isolated areas along the middle and upper Texas coast through Wednesday. Storm surge warnings and watches have also been issued along the majority of Texas’ eastern shores, with the largest surge, estimated between 6 to 12 feet, expected to impact land stretching from the north entrance of Padre Island National Seashore to Sargent.

Slowing down closer to the coast, Harvey is expected to make landfall late Friday night or early Saturday morning as a Category 3 hurricane. It will be the first hurricane to hit Texas’ coastline since 2008 and the first major hurricane to slam into the U.S. in 12 years, since Hurricane Katrina.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pre-emptively declared a state of disaster for 30 counties Wednesday. On Thursday, he discussed hurricane preparedness with President Donald Trump, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long, according to the governor’s office. Trump told Abbott that the federal government will assist the Lone Star state in preparations as well as rescue and recovery efforts as needed.

Abbott also activated 700 members of the Texas National Guard ahead of the hurricane and has military helicopters on standby in Austin and San Antonio if needed for rescues and emergency evacuations.

Officials in Calhoun, Victoria, Jackson, San Patricio and Refugio counties north of Corpus Christi issued evacuation orders Thursday, along with the cities of Portland, Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Ingleside and Robstown. All residents of Brazoria County who live on the Gulf side of the Intracoastal Canal have been ordered to evacuate as well.

Corpus Christi’s Mayor Joe McComb strongly advised residents to evacuate the city Thursday, but did not implement an evacuation order.

“We could mandate it, but people need to make a decision of their own. I’m not going to risk our police and fire people going to try and drag somebody out of the house if they don’t want to go,” McComb said at a press conference.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, issued a statementThursday asking Texans in the hurricane’s path to remain vigilant as they brace for the storm.

“As Texas prepares for the potential impact in the Gulf Coast region from [Hurricane] Harvey, I urge all Texans in the path of the storm to heed warnings from local officials, know your evacuation route, and avoid all high water areas,” Cruz said.

Tropical Storm Harvey Expected To Pound Texas With Heavy Rainfall
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Tags: TexasLouisianahurricanesweatherfloodsemergency planningGulf of MexicoUnited States

Navy Commander Relieved of Duties After Collisions

Navy Commander Relieved of Duties After Collisions

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin’s exit comes amid the search for 10 missing sailors of the USS John S. McCain.

By Katelyn Newman , Digital Producer, Staff Writer Aug. 23, 2017, at 8:38 a.m.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, speaks during a press conference, with damaged USS Fitzgerald as background at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, on June 18, 2017. (AP/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

U.S. officials said that U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, is being relieved of duty after a series of ship accidents in the Pacific. (EUGENE HOSHIKO/AP)

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, has been relieved of his duties following two fatal ship collisions within two months under his command, U.S. officials announced Wednesday.

Aucoin was expected to retire in a few weeks, but Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, relieved him prematurely “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the Navy said in a short statement Wednesday. He will be replaced immediately by Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, who was already confirmed to take over the position following Aucoin’s exit.

Aucoin’s removal was the latest official step after a Navy destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, was traveling to a port in Singapore Monday morning when it was struck by the Alnic MC, a Liberian oil tanker. The destroyer was damaged near its rear on the left-hand side. Ten sailors remain missing, though divers found and are working to identify the remains of some of the sailors.

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers located some remains during an ongoing search-and-rescue effort into sealed compartments and other damaged parts of the ship, Swift said Tuesday. The Malaysian Navy also reportedly found a body 8 nautical miles northwest of the crash, and is working to identify it. It is expected to send the remains to the U.S. Navy Wednesday.

The collision came two months after a separate U.S. destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, crashed into a freighter off the coast of Japan. Seven American sailors were killed in the incident, and two officers as well as the senior enlisted sailor were relieved of their dutiesFriday following an investigation into the fatal strike.

The Navy announced a rare pause in operations Monday to allow fleet commanders, leaders, command officials and sailors to assess safety measures as investigations continue into the causes of both accidents.

Aucoin, a navy flight officer who received his commission in 1980 from the University of North Carolina Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, has served as a pilot and commander on a number of aircraft carriers and worked for the Pentagon throughout his tenure. He became the commander of the Seventh Fleet in September 2015, according to the Navy.

The 7th Fleet commands as many as 70 ships, 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors at a time. Headquartered in Japan, it operates from bases in Japan, South Korea and Singapore, “providing security and stability” to a 48 million-square- mile area in the Indo-Asia Pacific.

Australia Locates Submerged U.S. Aircraft
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Chelsea Clinton Defends 11-Year-Old Barron Trump

Chelsea Clinton Defends 11-Year-Old Barron Trump

A conservative news outlet criticized the 11-year-old for dressing like he’s on “a trip to the movie theater.”

By Megan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media Aug. 22, 2017, at 10:03 a.m.

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron, walk to board Air Force One prior to departure from Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, August 20, 2017, as Trump returns to Washington, DC, following a 17-day vacation at his property in Bedminster, New Jersey. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The Daily Caller criticized 11-year-old Barron Trump for wearing a T-shirt and shorts alongside his parents, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, on Sunday. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is defending President Donald Trump‘s youngest son Barron after he was the subject of online attacks.

Conservative news outlet The Daily Caller on Monday published a story titled “It’s High Time Barron Trump Starts Dressing Like He’s In the White House” that criticized the 11-year-old for the way he dresses. The story included multiple photographs of Barron dressed in a T-shirt and shorts while boarding Air Force One for the White House on Sunday.

“I’ve been on the Barron Trump train from the start, but it’s about time the president’s son starts dressing the part,” reporter Ford Springer wrote.

He went on to say Barron looked as if he was headed to the movies and not as if he was in a public appearances with his parents, who Springer said were dressed in “their Sunday best.” Barron wore a red T-shirt with the words, “On your mark tiger shark,” khaki shorts and loafers.

Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, promptly stood up for Barron as the story drew attention on Twitter.

 “It’s high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves,” Clinton tweeted Monday evening with the link to the article.
 Clinton hasn’t always gotten along with the Trump family, often sparring with the president over social media. But when it comes to the privacy of first children, she draws a firm line.

Clinton also defended Barron’s right to a typical childhood in January when he was again the subject of internet attacks.

“Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids,” she wrote.

 Clinton was just two years older than Barron in 1993 when she moved into the White House.

The solar eclipse is here

The solar eclipse is here

Story highlights

  • Think of the eclipse as the moon’s day in the sun
  • “This will be like Woodstock 200 times over”
  • A once-in-375-years chance of seeing an eclipse where you live

For complete coverage of the Eclipse of the Century go to cnn.com/eclipse. Watch live, in virtual reality, as the eclipse moves coast to coast Monday.

(CNN)It’s not fake news; it’s good news. It’s a story that could eclipse all other stories.

There is no way you can stop today’s total solar eclipse from happening. It is celestial, and we have no control over it. The only way to stop it would be to extinguish the sun or knock the moon or Earth out of orbit.
Over the past few millennia, people who knew nothing about eclipses couldn’t explain the natural phenomena. Many cultures thought it was a sign from their sun god; it is even known to have ended full-flung battles.
Today, we understand how it works and how it looks. People chase eclipses like storm chasers chase weather.
But don’t try to keep up with the eclipse. You can’t catch it unless you’re in a jet traveling beyond the speed of sound — which NASA plans on doing.
Science geeks have been counting down to the millisecond for today’s eclipse.
Eighties music lovers have been humming “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for weeks.
Scientists are making last-minute preparations for experiments they have been planning for years, even decades.
Professional photographers and amateur astronomers have bought and tested special solar filters for their cameras.
Even the surfers at surfline.com have gone along the Oregon coast and cleaned the lenses off their surf cameras so they can catch the first glimpses of the moon’s shadow reaching the western shore.
Now, the day is here. And the rest of the country is joining in the excitement.

Sunrise, sunset and a starry night, all in the same sky

“The hair on the back of your neck is going to stand up, and you are going to feel different things as the eclipse reaches totality. It’s been described as peaceful, spiritual, exhilarating, shocking,” said Brian Carlstrom, deputy associate director of the National Park Service Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Directorate.
If you don’t believe, stop, watch and listen.

On mountaintops and in open fields, in the middle of America’s vast wilderness, people will stand together. They will stand on rooftops and city sidewalks. From big surf on beaches on the West Coast to wide-open sweeping beaches on the Eastern Seaboard, the moon’s shadow will fall. Towns in the path of totality that normally have 200 people will multiply by the thousands.
Millions are forecast to flock to the very narrow — 70 miles wide — swath that hugs the country like a belt.
“This will be like Woodstock 200 times over — but across the whole country,” said Alex Young, solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Federal Highway Administration is calling this a “planned special event for which there has been no recent precedent in the United States.”
The moon, which many of us often take for granted, will quite literally have its day in the spotlight.
In this celestial dance, the moon moves perfectly in between the Earth and the sun. During a total solar eclipse, the moon and the sun both appear to be about the same size from the ground.
According to NASA, this is a “celestial coincidence,” as the sun is about 400 times wider than the moon and about 400 times farther away. From certain vantage points on Earth, the moon will completely block the sun. This is called totality.
Then, it is just basic geometry. When the Earth, moon and sun line up just right, the moon blocks the sun’s entire surface, creating the total eclipse.
Even if you’re not in totality, everyone in North America will experience some version of a partial eclipse. Just make sure that you don’t look directly at the sun without your eclipse glasses.
If you pay close attention, you may notice that things you walk every day all of a sudden look a little bit different.
In New York, for example, stop by a tree in Central Park. Watch the shadows underneath the big oak trees and look for the small crescent shapes that the moon will leave fluttering on the ground.
No matter where you live in the United States, the environment around you is likely to change.
Some animals will go into their bedtime routines, while nocturnal animals will jump up from deepaily slumber. Streetlights will come on, and the stars will come out. It will be like you have sunrise, sunset and the night sky all at the same time.

Do you have FOMO? Experts say ‘don’t miss it!’

Just like you count on the sun to rise every morning and set every night, you can rely on this happening precisely, down to the millisecond. In fact, NASA has made those calculations for us.
You have now probably realized that the science geek in your office asked for a day off on this random August Monday over a year ago. Now, you are stuck covering for them.
People look into the sky near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Look at your calendar and block out the hours from 1 to 3 p.m. EST. Cancel your meetings, or have them outdoors. Take a break or have a late lunch.
According to NASA, experiencing a total solar eclipse where you live happens about once in 375 years. So unless modern medicine advances considerably in the next few years, you might not make it to the next one.
The last time anyone in the United States witnessed a total solar eclipse was almost 40 years ago, on February 26, 1979. It’s been even longer — 99 years — since a total solar eclipse crossed the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The total eclipse on June 8, 1918, passed from Washington to Florida.
It is an event made for sharing. This evening, we can all sit around the dinner table and say, “this is what it looked liked where I was.”
It is one of the first eclipses since the beginning of our recent technological advances. Most everyone in the path will have a phone capable of taking a photo of their surroundings.
Could this eclipse be the biggest thing on social media ever? No one really knows. But it could be the biggest social media event since the presidential election in November.
If you have FOMO (fear of missing out) — don’t. We have your back. If you’re not in the path of totality, still take in everything you can where you are. Or if you’re in the path but socked in with clouds that won’t dissipate, see how the world around you still is maybe a little bit different.
And no matter where you are in the world, you can immerse yourself in totality with us by watching the first ever live virtual reality broadcast that starts at 1 p.m.

Precision timing

The lunar shadow first crosses the West Coast at 9:05 a.m. PDT.
People in Lincoln City, Oregon, will be the first in the continental United States to see the total solar eclipse, beginning at 10:15 a.m.
A total solar eclipse can sometimes take as long as 7½ minutes. The longest eclipse duration for this event will occur near Carbondale, Illinois, and will clock in at two minutes, 43 seconds, beginning at 1:20 p.m. CDT.
Eventually, all good things must come to an end, and the lunar shadow will depart the East Coast at 4:09 p.m. EDT.
This will be the last total solar eclipse in the United States until April 4, 2024.
It’s not quite as long of a wait as you might have thought, but the next one won’t stretch the width of the country. Instead, it will move from Mexico to Maine and then traverse New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
For another eclipse similar to this year’s, one that moves from coast to coast, you will have to wait until August 12, 2045.

Lincoln Memorial Vandalized With Spray Paint

Vandals used red spray to write an expletive on the historic monument.

Lincoln Memorial Vandalized With Spray Paint

The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized early Tuesday, according to the National Park Service. (EMILIE SOMMER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized with red spray paint early Tuesday morning, and preservation crews are working to restore the historic monument, officials said.

Graffiti was found at about 4:30 a.m. on a column at the memorial, the National Park Service said in a statement. The writing was difficult to read, but “[expletive] law” appeared to have been scrawled across the pillar’s stone, according to the statement.


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The Lincoln Memorial was vandalized with red spray paint. (THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE)


Additional graffiti was discovered in silver spray paint on a Smithsonian wayfinding sign in the 1400 block of Constitution Avenue, but officials said they couldn’t read what was written.

Members of the National Mall and Memorial Parks monument preservation crew had begun to remove the graffiti by Tuesday afternoon using “a mild, gel-type architectural paint stripper that is safe for use on historic stone,” according to the Park Service. The paint stripper is applied to the stone, left to set for about an hour and then rinsed clean with water.

Crew members are expected to apply treatments as necessary until the graffiti is entirely removed.

 The Park Service is not unfamiliar with cleaning graffiti from vandalized memorials on the National Mall. In February, the Washington Monument and the World War II, Lincoln and D.C. War memorials were vandalized with unexplained messages written in black marker, like “Jackie shot JFK,” in apparent reference to President John F. Kennedy’s death.

Crews also turned off an drained the water from a Dupont Circle fountain to remove graffiti and conserve the fountain, according to a Monday tweet from the Park Service.

Authorities continue to investigate the Lincoln Memorial vandalism, and anyone with additional information is asked to call U.S. Park Police at 202-610-7515.

 
Graffiti spray painted on Lincoln Memorial
WTTG – Washington, DC

Megan Trimble ASSOCIATE EDITOR, SOCIAL MEDIA

Megan Trimble is an associate editor of social media for the News division at U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn or send her an email at mtrimble@usnews.com.

Texas A&M Cancels White Nationalist Rally

Texas A&M Cancels White Nationalist Rally

The rally, which headlined alt-right speaker Richard Spencer, was to take place on Sept.11.

By Lauren Camera, Education Reporter Aug. 15, 2017, at 8:06 a.m.

White nationalist Richard Spencer speaking to select media in his office space.

Texas A&M University canceled a white nationalist rally scheduled to take place on campus Sept. 11, citing safety concerns in the wake of the rally organized by alt-right groups in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one dead.

“Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus,” the school said in a statement.

The event at Texas A&M, titled “White Lives Matter,” was organized by Preston Wiginton, described by the Texas Tribune as a “Texan with deep ties to white nationalist movements,” who says he was inspired by the events in Charlottesville.

“Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M,” read the announcement for the event, which headlined Richard Spencer, a white supremacist and one of the founders of the alt-right movement, who previously spoke on campus in December at an event also organized by Wiginton.

The statement released by Texas A&M cites a new school policy adopted after Spencer’s visit, which sparked outrage and protests. The new rules require outside speakers to be sponsored by a university-sanctioned group to reserve campus facilities.

“None of the 1,200-plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events in December 2016 or on September 11 of this year,” the school said.

Violent campus protests largely against conservative speakers highlight the recent struggle colleges and universities are having walking a line between preserving free speech and acting as a space that showcases a variety of ideas, while at the same time protecting students – particularly those in demographic groups who may feel marginalized or threatened by the ideas espoused by a group or speaker.

“Texas A&M’s support of the First Amendment and the freedom of speech cannot be questioned,” the school’s statement read. “However, in this case, circumstances and information relating to the event have changed and the risks of threat to life and safety compel us to cancel the event.”


Photos: White Nationalist Rally Turns Violent


PHOTO GALLERY
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists march through the University of Virginia Campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - AUGUST 11: Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 11, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A counter demonstrator uses a lighted spray can against a white nationalist demonstrator at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.   Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Former Louisiana State Representative David Duke arrives to give remarks after a white nationalist protest was declared an unlawful assembly, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. (Shaban Athuman /Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
A white nationalist demonstrator walks into Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.  Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Virginia. At least one person was arrested.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
State Police in riot gear guard Lee Park after a white nationalist demonstration was declared illegal and the park was cleared in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.  Hundreds of people chanted, threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other Saturday after violence erupted at the white nationalist rally. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" clash with police as they are forced out of Lee Park after the "Unite the Right" rally was declared an unlawful gathering August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-facist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them.   /The Daily Progress via AP)
People fly into the air as a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  Rescue workers move victims on stretchers after car plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The car plowed through the crowed following the shutdown of the "Unite the Right" rally by police after white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" and counter-protesters clashed near Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  A Virginia State Police officer in riot gear keeps watch from the top of an armored vehicle after car plowed through a crowd of counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The car plowed through the crowed following the shutdown of the "Unite the Right" rally by police after white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" and counter-protesters clashed near Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  A man makes a slashing motion across his throat twoard counter-protesters as he marches with other white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
White nationalist demonstrators clash with a counter demonstrator  as he throws a newspaper box at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and police dressed in riot gear ordered people to disperse after chaotic violent clashes between white nationalists and counter protestors. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  Rescue workers and medics tend to many people who were injured when a car plowed through a crowd of anti-facist counter-demonstrators marching through the downtown shopping district August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The car plowed through the crowed following the shutdown of the "Unite the Right" rally by police after white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" and counter-protesters clashed near Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, USA - August 12: A counter protestor strikes a White Nationalist with a baton during clashes at Emancipation Park where the White Nationalists are protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Va., USA on August 12, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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Aug. 11, 2017 | Charlottesville, Virginia | The night before the “Unite the Right” rally, a demonstration against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, scores of white nationalists march with lit torches through the University of Virginia campus. (SAMUEL CORUM/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES)


Students turns their backs on DeVos at graduation
Reuters

Lauren Camera EDUCATION REPORTER

Lauren Camera is an education reporter at U.S. News & World Report. She’s covered education policy and politics for nearly a decade and has written for Education Week, The Hechinger Report, Congressional Quarterly, Roll Call, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She was a 2013 Spencer Education Fellow at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, where she conducted a reporting project about the impact of the Obama administration’s competitive education grant, Race to the Top.


Arctic Voyage Shows Global Warming Impact

Arctic Voyage Shows Global Warming Impact

Arctic voyage finds global warming impact on historic Northwest Passage’s sea ice, wildlife, native communities.

Aug. 14, 2017, at 6:16 a.m.

Researcher Tiina Jaaskelainen points out a possible sighting of wildlife aboard the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica as it traverses the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Saturday, July 22, 2017. As the icebreaker entered Victoria Strait, deep inside the Northwest Passage, those onboard looked for a shadow moving in the distance or a flash of pale yellow in the expanse of white that would signal the presence of the world's largest land predator.

Researcher Tiina Jaaskelainen points out a possible sighting of wildlife aboard the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica as it traverses the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

VICTORIA STRAIT, Nunavut (AP) — The email arrived in mid-June, seeking to explode any notion that global warming might turn our Arctic expedition into a summer cruise.

“The most important piece of clothing to pack is good, sturdy and warm boots. There is going to be snow and ice on the deck of the icebreaker,” it read. “Quality boots are key.”

The Associated Press was joining international researchers on a month-long, 10,000 kilometer (6,200-mile) journey to document the impact of climate change on the forbidding ice and frigid waters of the Far North. But once the ship entered the fabled Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, there would be nowhere to stop for supplies, no port to shelter in and no help for hundreds of miles if things went wrong. A change in the weather might cause the mercury to drop suddenly or push the polar pack into the Canadian Archipelago, creating a sea of rock-hard ice.

So as we packed our bags, in went the heavy jackets, insulated trousers, hats, mittens, woolen sweaters and the heavy, fur-lined boots.

Global warming or not, it was best to come prepared.

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Learn more about the Arctic and read dispatches sent by a team of AP journalists as they traveled through the region’s fabled Northwest Passage last month, click here.

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If parts of the planet are becoming like a furnace because of global warming, then the Arctic is best described as the world’s air-conditioning unit. The frozen north plays a crucial role in cooling the rest of the planet while reflecting some of the sun’s heat back into space.

Yet for several decades, satellite pictures have shown a dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice that is already affecting the lives of humans and animals in the region, from Inuit communities to polar bears. Experts predict that the impact of melting sea ice will be felt across the northern hemisphere, altering ocean currents and causing freak weather as far south as Florida or France.

“Things are changing in the Arctic, and that is changing things everywhere else,” said David ‘Duke’ Snider, the seasoned mariner responsible for navigating the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica through the Northwest Passage last month.

Researchers on the trip sought a first-hand view of the effects of global warming already seen from space. Even the dates of the journey were a clue: The ship departed Vancouver in early July and arrived in Nuuk, Greenland on July 29th, the earliest transit ever of a region that isn’t usually navigable until later in the year.

As it made its way through the North Pacific — passing Chinese cargo ships, Alaskan fishing boats and the occasional far-off whale — members of the expedition soaked up the sun in anticipation of freezing weeks to come.

Twelve days after the ship had left Vancouver, the ice appeared out of nowhere.

At first, lone floes bobbed on the waves like mangled lumps of Styrofoam. By the time Nordica reached Point Barrow, on Alaska’s northernmost tip, the sea was swarming with ice.

Snider recalled that when he started guiding ships through Arctic waters more than 30 years ago, the ice pack in mid-July would have stretched 50 miles farther southwest. Back then, a ship also would have encountered much thicker, blueish ice that had survived several summer melts, becoming hard as concrete in the process, he said.

He likened this year’s ice to a sea of porridge with a few hard chunks — no match for the nimble 13,000-ton Nordica.

Since the first orbital images were taken in 1979, Arctic sea ice coverage during the summer has dropped by an average of about 34,000 square miles each year — almost the surface area of Maine or the country of Serbia. More recent data show that not only is its surface area shrinking, but the ice that’s left is getting thinner too. Snider said he has seen the ice cover reduced in both concentration and thickness.

The melting ice is one reason why modern ships have an easier time going through the Northwest Passage, 111 years after Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen achieved the first transit. Early explorers found themselves blinded by harsh sunlight reflecting off a desert of white, confused by mirages that give the illusion of giant ice cliffs all around, and thrown off course by the proximity of the North Pole distorting their compass readings.


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Modern mariners can get daily satellite snapshots of the ice and precise GPS locations that help them dodge dangerous shallows. But technology can be fickle. After two weeks at sea the ship’s fragile Internet connection went down for six days: no emails, no Google, no new satellite pictures to preview the route ahead.

The outdoor thermometer indicated a temperature of 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 Celsius), but in the never-setting sun of an Arctic summer it felt more like 60 F. Days blurred into nights. Distant smoke from Cape Bathurst signaled slow-burning shale fires, while giant white golf balls indicated the remains of Cold War radar stations.

At one point a row of shacks appeared on a hill. As the ship passed by Cambridge Bay — home to Canada’s High Arctic Research Station— a brief cellphone signal flickered to life, allowing one homesick sailor to make a tearful call to his family.

The Finnish crew, meanwhile, took solace in the creature comforts of home, such as the on-board sauna and reindeer roast on Saturdays.

Even in their bunks, those on board heard the constant churning of ice as the ship plowed through the debris rolling beneath the hull, thundering like hail on a tin roof.

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As the icebreaker entered Victoria Strait, deep inside the Northwest Passage, we looked for a shadow moving in the distance or a flash of pale yellow in the expanse of white that would signal the presence of the world’s largest land predator.

At last, a cry went out: “Nanuq, nanuq!”

Maatiusi Manning, an Inuit sailor, had spotted what everyone on board was hoping to see — the first polar bear.

The 1,000-pound predators are at the top of a food chain that’s being pummeled by global warming because of the immediate impact vanishing sea ice has on a range of animals and plants that depend on it.

“If we continue losing ice, we’re going to lose species with it,” said Paula von Weller, a field biologist who was on the trip.

No Arctic creatures have become more associated with climate change than polar bears. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated in January that about 26,000 specimens remain in the wild. Population counts of polar bears are notoriously difficult, and researchers are unsure how much their numbers have changed in recent years. But the Fish and Wildlife Service warned that melting sea ice is robbing the bear of its natural hunting ground for seals and other prey.

While some polar bears are expected to follow the retreating ice northward, others will head south, where they will come into greater contact with humans — encounters that are unlikely to end well for the bears.

Still, being the poster child of Arctic wildlife may help the polar bear. Sightings are a highlight for adventure tourists who are flocking to Arctic cruises in increasing numbers.

Last year, the hottest on record in the Arctic, the Crystal Serenity took 1,100 high-paying guests on a cruise of the Northwest Passage, prompting environmentalists to warn of an Arctic tourism rush that could disrupt wildlife habitat. Crystal Cruises says it works closely with local guides, marine biologists and conservationists to ensure wildlife isn’t harmed.

Von Weller said there are benefits to people seeing the region and its animals themselves.

“People are so far removed from the Arctic that they don’t understand it, they don’t know it and they don’t love it,” she said. “I think it’s important for people to see what’s here and to fall in love with it and have a bond and want to protect it.”

That love may need to extend further down the food chain if the fragile ecosystem in the Arctic continues to fall apart. Some of the animals highly associated with the ice are not going to be able to adapt in a reasonable amount of time to keep up with climate change, Weller said.

“The walrus, for example, may spend more time on the mainland. They’re very prone to disturbance so that’s not a good place for walrus to be,” said von Weller.

Research published four years ago rang alarms bells about the future of the red king crab — a big earner for Alaska’s fishing industry — because rising levels of carbon dioxide, a driver of global warming, are making oceans more acidic. Scientists found that juvenile crabs exposed to levels of acidification predicted for the future grew more slowly and were more likely to die.

Algae that cling to the underside of sea ice are also losing their habitat. If they vanish, the impact will be felt all the way up the food chain. Copepods, a type of zooplankton that eats algae, will lose their source of food. The tiny crustaceans in turn are prey for fish, whales and birds.

Meanwhile, new rivals from the south are already arriving in the Arctic as waters warm. Orca have been observed traveling further north in search of food in recent years, and some wildlife experts predict they will become the main seal predator in the coming decades, replacing polar bears.

Humans are also increasingly venturing into the Arctic in search of untapped deposits of minerals and fossil fuels — posing a threat to animals. The potential for oil spills from platforms and tankers operating in remote locations has been a major cause for concern among environmentalists since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska killed a quarter of a million seabirds, as well as hundreds of seals and sea otters. Simply getting the necessary emergency response ships to an Arctic spill would be a challenge, while cleaning oil off sea ice would likely take months.

Last month, Canada’s supreme court ruled in favor of the Clyde River community of Baffin Island, which is fighting the proposed seismic blasts used by oil companies to map the sea floor. The Inuit fear that the loud underwater noise caused by the blasts could disorient marine mammals such as whales that depend on sound to communicate, and affect the reproductive cycles of fish and shrimp stocks.

The Inuit and other local peoples are already feeling the impact of global warming because they rely on frozen waterways to reach hunting grounds or relatives on other islands. But some say it will not be all bad: Cruise ships offer potential revenue to those Inuit communities willing to engage with tourists.

The absence of sea ice for longer periods each summer, meanwhile, will allow boats to supply villages and mines for longer periods of the year. Where it used to be a hard and fast rule that ships had to be out of the Northwest Passage by Sept. 28, the operating season now stretches beyond October.

Tiina Jaaskelainen, a researcher at the Hanken School of Economics in Finland who was on board the icebreaker, said responding to these changes will require a better understanding of the social impact rather than just the science of climate change.

“Inuit communities need to be involved in planning each use of the passage and the Arctic in general,” she said. “It’s important they can play an active role in the region’s economic development, while good governance may enable local communities to also maintain their traditions.”

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Upon entering the Atlantic, the FM radios aboard Nordica began picking up local stations again, including one that played David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust.’ Nordica reached Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, after 24 days.

“The fact that we were able to plan and execute this transit so efficiently says something about the changes in the ice,” said Scott Joblin, an expert on maritime and polar law from Australian National University in Canberra who studies the legal implications of climate change in the Arctic.

Scientists believe there is no way to reverse the decline in Arctic sea ice in the foreseeable future. Even in the best-case scenario envisaged by the 2015 Paris climate accord, sea ice will largely vanish from the Arctic during the summer within the coming decades.

In the end, the route that foiled countless explorers claimed little more than a camera and a drone.

But we did get a taste of the warming Arctic: Those heavy fur-lined boots never got used.

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