tl;dr – top stories for the week
- Hurricane Matthew’s effects still felt in Haiti and the United States
- Second Presidential Debate featuring Clinton and Trump
- Wikileaks releases thousands of emails from John Podesta
- US Navy and Houthi rebels trade missile fire in Yemen
- Bombings in Iraq and Turkey
- Ethiopia state of emergency
- Sudanese civil war
- Colombian protests
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7 still explodes, even replacements
- World’s longest-reigning monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej, dies
“Hurricane Matthew’s torrential rains triggered severe flooding in North Carolina on Sunday as the deteriorating storm made its exit to the sea, and thousands of people had to be rescued from their homes and cars. The death toll in the U.S. climbed to at least 15, nearly half of them in North Carolina.” (AP)
“The Obama administration on Friday further lifted restrictions on Cuba, announcing that U.S. travelers can now bring back an unlimited amount of Cuban cigars and rum.” (TH)
Thousands of people lost power or needed assistance as strong storms struck the northwest.
The United States Attorney’s Office has declined to prosecute an EPA employee over a wastewater spill that contaminated waters in three states. The EPA took responsibility in 2015 for the 3 million gallon spill after it was revealed they ignored warnings about the danger at Gold King Mine. The EPA has also been sued by the Navajo Nation for negligence.
united states politics
The second Presidential Debate took place between Trump and Clinton. Clinton was generally considered the winner of the first debate, but the outcome of the second debate wasn’t as clear. Most opinions appeared divided among party lines.
Wikileaks has released thousands of emails from John Podesta, campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff during his second term. Emails included 3 speeches to Goldman Sachs, via doc attachments. An email chain detailed how the Clinton campaign planted information and discussed how to play the media to their advantage, including creating advance stories. “[O]ne hacked Podesta email turned out to include an 80-page list of what the campaign viewed as potentially damaging excerpts from Clinton’s paid speeches.” (TI)
“The most important revelation in the WikiLeaks dump of John Podesta’s emails has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. The messages go all the way back to 2008, when Podesta served as co-chair of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team. And a month before the election, the key staffing for that future administration was almost entirely in place…” (NR)
As Britain prepares to leave the European Union (Brexit), Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the country intends to hold another referendum for independence. Their previous attempt failed in September 2014, with 55.3 percent of voters electing to stay in the United Kingdom.
“A Saudi-led coalition warplane bombed a crowded funeral hall in Yemen’s capital Sanaa last week. The airstrikes killed at least 140 people and wounded at least 600, and a Saudi investigation now says they were a result of incorrect information.” (NPR) “Multiple bomb fragments at the scene appear to confirm the use of American-produced MK-82 guided bombs.” (TI) “British and American military officials are in the command and control center for Saudi airstrikes on Yemen,” according to the Saudi Foreign minister. As a result, the United States and United Kingdom have been accused of participating in war crimes in Yemen.
“The US officially entered the conflict in Yemen with a salvo of cruise-missile strikes on three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthi rebels, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a US Navy destroyer….” (BI) (TI)
“At least 32 people have died in a suicide attack targeting Shia in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, officials say. More than 60 were injured in the blast, carried out on a tent in a crowded market in a northern district of the city. So-called Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack.” (BBC)
A car bombing in Turkey killed 9 soldiers and 8 civilians, with almost 30 other people wounded in the blast.
“The UN’s newly-elected Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he will make ending Syria’s civil war his top priority.” (BBC)
“Theresa May has ‘no plans’ to extend the UK’s military action in Syria, her spokesman has said.” (BBC)
“Turkish-backed Syrian rebels are advancing on Dabiq, a symbolic stronghold of so-called Islamic State.” (BBC)
“A secret internment camp for former Islamic State militants and their families has been established in Syria.” (BBC) The camp, which holds about 300 people, is operated by the rebel group Jaish al-Tahrir.
Russian and Syrian forces resumed air strikes on rebel-held positions, particularly in Aleppo.
“The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency effective immediately following a week of anti-government violence that resulted in deaths and property damage across the country, especially in the restive Oromia region.” (AP)
“Hunger is sweeping South Sudan, even as the government spends almost half of its budget on military and security, and a civil war devastates the country’s ability to function.” (AP)
“Thousands of farmers, indigenous activists and students marched in cities across Colombia on Wednesday to demand a peace deal between the government and leftist rebels not be scuttled.” (AP) The President, Juan Manuel Santos, announced that he would donate the money from his Nobel Peace Prize to victims’ families of the Colombian civil war.
“King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam shortly after World War II and held it for more than 70 years, establishing himself as a revered personification of Thai nationhood, died on Thursday in Bangkok. He was 88 and one of the longest-reigning monarchs in history.” (NYT) “The government has declared a year of mourning and asked everyone to wear black or white, and to cancel any outdoor festivities, for the first 30 days.” (TT)
“Haiti started burying some of its dead in mass graves in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, a government official said on Sunday, as cholera spread in the devastated southwest and the death toll from the storm rose to 1,000 people.” (Reuters) “Hurricane-ravaged Haiti, still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake, has suffered the highest number of disaster deaths of any country in the past two decades, the UN said.” (AFP)
technology and space
“A paper published in Nature Photonics and co-authored by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, details the first experiments with quantum teleportation in a metropolitan fiber cable network. For the first time, the phenomenon has been witnessed over long distances in actual city infrastructure.” (NASA)
Samsung continues to have issues with its Galaxy Note 7. Replacements have been canceled after finding that they’re also defective, and the device has ceased production. The United States officially banned the Note 7 from all airplanes.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order saying that the United States needs to coordinate and prepare for space weather events such as solar flares. He assigned roles and responsibilities to the Secretaries of Defense, the Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security, along with the Administrator of NASA and the Director of the National Science Foundation.