2017 Archives

CA WILDFIRES
--Firefighters were still battling 22 wildfires in multiple California counties Wednesday. Intensified by strong winds, the flames have charred about 170,000 acres of land, damaged or destroyed at least 3,500 structures and forced nearly 20,000 residents to evacuate, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The causes of the fires are unknown. At least 8,000 firefighters and support personnel and 124 aircraft are battling the fires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties in Northern California.
--Over the next few days, several weather systems will bring gusty winds lowering humidity for the fire zones from northern to southern California. Red flag warnings have been issued across northern and southern California. An air quality alert has also been issued for central California as air quality continues to worsen. Saturday afternoon will bring some of the strongest gusts to southern California with gusts up to 45mph.


IRAN NUCLEAR
President Trump said Wednesday night the Iran nuclear agreement was "a badly negotiated deal." He is expected to announce "very shortly" a decision on the fate of the deal.  A decision not to certify the agreement would give Congress 60 days to re-impose sanctions against Iran that were suspended in 2015 as part of the agreement. Republican lawmakers briefed by the administration say Mr. Trump is expected to announce his decision in a speech Friday.

LAS VEGAS
--There's more on the timeline of the Las Vegas massacre. According to a person who has reviewed the records, Mandalay Bay Hotel staff did not call Las Vegas police until after Stephen Paddock had already begun firing on concertgoers below. That would mean police were not called when a security guard was shot on the 32nd floor, six minutes before the rampage is said to have begun. In a statement the hotel says the most recent timeline from police "may not be accurate." Police say they will have a new version Friday.
--
Jason Aldean will play his first concert since the shootings Thursday night... in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

PUERTO RICO
--Puerto Rico's governor says the death toll from Hurricane Maria has risen to 44. And fewer people have electricity...a restored power plant went offline again...now only 10-percent of the island has power.
--There are reports that some Puerto Rico residents are so desperate for drinking water, they have been breaking into hazardous waste EPA Superfund sites to get available well water there.  The EPA issuing is a warning not to break into those sealed and locked wells saying drinking that water could make someone very sick.
--A Thursday vote in the House is expected on a 36-billion dollar emergency funding bill for Puerto Rico and for parts of northern California impacted by wildfires. The Senate is in recess until next week.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN
--The Manhattan District Attorney defends his decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein. Cy Vance says prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to prove a model's claim movie producer Harvey Weinstein groped her in 2015. Police investigated Ambra Battilana Gutierrez's allegation as a possible case of forcible touching. Gutierrez said the movie magnate grabbed her breasts during a meeting in his Manhattan office on March 27, 2015.
--Harvey Weinstein pleaded his case for getting a second chance in Hollywood on his way out of town. Weinstein left his daughter's L.A. home shortly after 3 PM Wednesday. Weinstein made it clear in video captured by Backgrid that he's not in a good place, admitting, "I gotta get help, guys."

  TRUMP
--
President Donald Trump spoke in Harrisburg, PA Wednesday on his tax reform plan to America’s truckers.  With an 18 wheeler parked behind his podium, Trump listed all the way his Administration has slashed regulations that drive up the costs for middle-class workers.
--Starbucks' executive chairman, Howard Schultz, said lowering the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent would “a mistake” without overhauling the entire tax system. 
- President Trump will be signing an executive order on Thursday on health care that’s expected to increase options for consumers but could also potentially destabilize Obamacare markets even more. 
- President Trump was again tweeting attacks against network news outlets Wednesday night  - saying that licenses of networks should be challenged or revoked if appropriate.  Critics on Twitter reminded the President networks - unlike local news outlets - have no licenses.

DHS
Two senior sources tell ABC News President Trump will nominate Kirstjen Nielsen for Secretary of Department of Homeland Security. Elaine Duke is the acting DHS secretary. 
Nielsen was John Kelly’s number 2 when he led the department and followed him to the White House.

CLIMATE CHANGE
NASA holds a news conference on research to be published this week on changing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as measured by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory and other satellites.

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