News Daypop Archives

U.K.’s Senior Official In Charge Of Brexit, David Davis, Resigns

Britain’s senior official in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union resigned Sunday. David Davis’ resignation comes days after Prime Minister Theresa May secured the cabinet’s backing for her Brexit plan. Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties. On Friday, Davis and the rest of May’s fractious Cabinet agreed on a plan for ties with the EU after the U.K. leaves next year.  On Monday, May is due to brief lawmakers on the plan agreed by the Cabinet during its 12-hour meeting. It seeks to keep the U.K. and the EU in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products. Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019. The EU has warned Britain that time is running out to seal a divorce deal. ...Read more

Puerto Rican Mayor And Two Other Government Officials Arrested On Corruption Charges

A mayor and two former government officials in Puerto Rico face public corruption charges in separate cases that involve a total of $8 million in federal and local funds, authorities said Thursday. The suspects are the mayor of the southwest town of Sabana Grande and the former directors of finance for the northern town of Toa Baja. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told reporters that the former officials from Toa Baja are accused of using nearly $5 million worth of federal funds to pay the town’s public employees and municipal contractors. Toa Baja’s former interim finance director, Angel Roberto Santos Garcia, is accused of making similar transactions worth $650,000 using funds from those two federal agencies. A spokeswoman for Ortiz could not be immediately reached for comment. The arrests come as Puerto Rico struggles to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and tries to restructure a portion of its $70 billion public debt load. ...Read more

Scott Pruitt Resigns As EPA Administrator Amid Ethics Scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies, citing “the unrelenting attacks” on himself and his family, which “have taken a sizable toll on all of us.” President Donald Trump first tweeted the news Thursday that Pruitt had resigned. “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump tweeted. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.” Pruitt’s resignation follows months during which the EPA administrator has been embroiled in controversy. Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt’s recently Senate-confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA. ...Read more

Protester Climbs Statue Of Liberty On July 4 Shutting Down Liberty Island

A protest against U.S. immigration policy forced the evacuation of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July, and a woman held police at bay for hours after she climbed the base and sat by the statue’s robes. The woman’s climb forced thousands of visitors to leave the iconic American symbol on the nation’s birthday. About 100 feet above ground, the woman engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her.  She and the officers edged around the statue toward a ladder, and she climbed down about 25 feet to the monument’s observation point and was taken into custody. The woman, Therese Okoumou, told police she was protesting the separation of immigrant children from parents who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Jay W. Walker, an organizer with Rise and Resist, arranged the demonstration and said the other demonstrators had no idea the woman would make the climb, which wasn’t part of the planned protest. “We don’t know whether she had this planned before she ever got to Liberty Island or whether it was a spur-of-the-moment decision,” Walker said.  Visitors were forced to leave Liberty Island hours before its normal 6:15 p.m. closing time. ...Read more

Two Critically Ill From The Same Nerve Agent That Poisoned Ex-Russian Spy

Tests on two Britons found unconscious in their home determined that they were poisoned by the same nerve agent used against a former Russian spy and his daughter earlier this year, British police said Wednesday. The discovery triggered new security precautions in the area of Amesbury, England, where the couple were sickened. The town is seven miles from Salisbury, where former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok in March. The British government blamed Russia for the attack. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement. The man and the woman, both in their mid-40s, remain in critical condition. Investigators are now focusing on how and where the man and the woman came into contact with Novichok. ...Read more

12 Boys, Soccer Coach Found Alive in Flooded Cave In Thailand After More Than 1 Week

Rescuers found 12 boys and their soccer coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late Monday, more than a week after they disappeared and touched off a desperate search that drew international help and captivated the nation. Video released early Tuesday showed the boys in their soccer uniforms sitting on a dry area inside the cave above the water as a spotlight, apparently from a rescuer, illuminated their faces. Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the 13 were in the process of being rescued, but he cautioned that they were not out of danger yet.  The discovery of the boys was captured on video and posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page. The youths appeared alert, chatty even and seemed anxious to see daylight again. Officials said the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach need to first be examined by navy doctors and fed before they can be extricated from the partially flooded cave, and even that could pose difficulties if the water level begins to rise, as it did earlier in the search. ...Read more

Evacuations Ordered As Fast-Growing Northern California Wildfires Spread

A wildfire burning out of control in rural Northern California sent a stream of smoke over 70 miles south into the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend.  The County Fire in Yolo and Lake Counties has burned at least 50 square miles northwest of San Francisco, and is only 2 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. No injuries have been reported so far, but the blaze fueled by hot air and dry winds threatens more than 100 structures. Smoke from the fire drifted south, contributing to poor air quality across the Bay Area The agency said there was a “yellow” air quality alert due to the fires. “People with heart/lung disease, older adults, and children should consider reducing prolonged/heavy exertion,” the agency said. ...Read more

Plan In Place To Dismantle Korean Nuclear Program Within A Year

The United States has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year, U.S. National security adviser John Bolton said today, although U.S. intelligence reported signs that Pyongyang doesn’t intend to fully give up its arsenal. Bolton said top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo will be discussing that plan with North Korea in the near future. Bolton added that it would be to the North’s advantage to cooperate to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan start to flow. Bolton’s remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation” appeared to be the first time the Trump administration had publicly suggested a timeline for North Korea to fulfill the commitment leader Kim Jong Un made at a summit with President Donald Trump last month for the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. ...Read more

Housing Assistance Extended For Nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican Hurricane Evacuees

A judge has ordered federal emergency officials to extend vouchers for temporary hotel housing for nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees, saying ending the program could cause irreparable harm. The decision came shortly after civil rights group LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed a lawsuit seeking relief for the Puerto Ricans, whose federal housing assistance vouchers were set to expire at midnight Sunday, meaning the evacuees could have been evicted from the hotels. The order says the agency cannot end its Transitional Sheltering Assistance program until at least midnight on Tuesday. The organization is pushing to let families stay another six months. U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin of Massachusetts wrote that ending the program would drain other public resources.  In a statement, FEMA said it was “aware of the Judge’s ruling regarding the end of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program for Puerto Rico and is working with its vendor and notifying hotels that the TSA program has been extended until 5 July to comply with the Court’s order.” ...Read more

5 People Dead In Shooting At Maryland’s Capital Gazette Newsroom

Five people are dead and several others are injured after a shooting at a building where the Capital Gazette is located in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday afternoon. The gunman, a Maryland man in his late 30s, targeted the Capital Gazette in the Annapolis shooting that killed five people, police said, and is now in custody. Police have not identified the man at this time, but he is currently being interrogated, Anne Arundel County police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said at a press conference shortly after 5:30 p.m., about three hours after police first received reports of multiple gunshots fired. Officials did not have exact numbers of how many people were injured, around three people are being treated for injuries. The wounded are being treated at two local medical centers, including Anne Arundel Medical Center. ...Read more