Mark Your Calendars
We will all get the same text message…on the same day…from the President of the United States.
We will all get the same text message…on the same day…from the President of the United States.
FEMA testing a “Presidential Alert” – an announcement from the President for use only in the event of national emergencies.
The “text test” was scheduled for THIS Thursday Sept. 20 at 2:18 p.m. EST, but will instead go out on October 3rd because FEMA says it’s focusing on Hurricane Florence recovery.
Some argue this is a great tool for communicating with the public during dire times; others say it presents a risk for hacking or abuse. Either way, this will be the first wireless emergency alert directly from an American President.
Public Hearing Set For Accuser AND Supreme Court Nominee.
Why an allegation from his high school days now haunts Judge Brett Kavanaugh and how it may impact the future of our nation’s highest court.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself…”
“It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way.”
On Monday, Sept 24th, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing, during which Judge Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will both appear one after the other and testify under oath.
Tensions between Iran & America heat up overseas.
Meanwhile, Fmr. Sec. of State John Kerry admits to meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister and discussing matters of great national importance to the United States.
Why some say he belongs in jail.
Sec. Kerry on a radio show last week promoting his new book admitted to meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister after he left office:
“I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.”
“I’ll leave the legal determinations to others. But what Secretary Kerry has done is unseemly and unprecedented. This is a former secretary of state engaged with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and according to him – right? You don’t have to take my word for it….He was talking to them. He was telling them to wait out this administration.”
Important: During his presser, Sec. Pompeo squarely blamed Iran for firing rockets at America’s embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in Basra.
What’s Happening: Iran backs some Iraqi politicians, we support others. Iran blames the U.S. for stirring up dissent against the officials they support.
Kerry admitted to speaking to the Iranian Foreign Minister about Yemen, Syria, and Iranian backed terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah, and beyond. He says he has every right to speak to Iranian officials because past public officials, like Henry Kissinger, have done the same.
Move over Russia & Saudi Arabia, the U.S. is now the largest global oil producer.
And we have Texas to thank.
“It’s a historic milestone and a reminder: Never bet against the US oil industry.”
On the 17th memorial of Sept. 11th, Russia launches its largest military drills since The Cold War.
And invites China to play.
“The giant drill is clearly meant as a show of strength by Vladimir Putin and his military, a demonstration that – despite Western sanctions, including against the defence sector – the country remains defiant.”
The U.S. participates in smaller "war games" with NATO & with South Korea. By preparing to work with allies, we rehearse what would happen in a crisis. Some note Russia/China together could challenge U.S. military dominance.
Some of America’s most dangerous enemies live there.
Will peace talks make us safer?
Unstable country provides home for terrorists to fester & launch attacks.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Penniusula” (AQAP) calls Yemen home.
AQ cleric Anwar al-Awlaki found refuge in Yemen, as did al-Qaeda’s lead bomb maker who helped launch the so-called underwear bomber.
A civil war rages inside Yemen: “Houthi” Rebels vs. Yemeni gov’t.
U.N.-led talks between the 2 sides take place in Geneva this week.
Rebels backed by Iran; Saudis back the Yemeni gov’t (as does U.S.).
Big Question: Do talks help the 4-year conflict or make situation worse?
The U.N. described the conditions in Yemen as an "apocalypse." Millions don't have basic needs. U.S. Defense Secretary recently said America's support of Saudi Arabia has to include an effort to avoid civilian casualties.
American airstrikes target
al-Qaeda in Africa at a record pace as strikes drop near Afghanistan.
“They’ve been able to kill very high numbers and you didn’t see that five years ago. They’ve been able to actually overrun bases at times. The danger is as African Union forces draw down, they may retake major urban areas. I think there’s a good chance of that.”
While U.S. airstrikes against al-Qaeda increased over the last 2 years in Africa (al-Shabaab in Somalia, & al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen), they have dropped against al-Qaeda in Pakistan, a key area for America’s longest war: Afghanistan.
The U.S military reportedly dropped thousands more bombs inside Afghanistan in 2017 than in 2016, as U.S. military defends against the Taliban & ISIS. Keep An Eye On This Story: China denies reports its building a military base in Afghanistan.
Harvard University’s last all-female Greek sisterhood goes co-ed.
In 2016, Harvard said it would prevent Class of 2021 members of single-gender groups from holding student leadership roles, receiving endorsements for fellowships, & becoming varsity captains.
Accordingly, Alpha Phi, Harvard’s last remaining Greek sorority, has become the co-ed group, “The Ivy.”
“It is with deep sadness that we accept Iota Tau’s decision to cease activities. New sanctions put in place by Harvard University placed our members in an untenable conflict – to choose between their supportive, empowering women-only space and external scholastic and leadership opportunities.”
9 male-only groups, including 3 fraternities, remain. 4 formerly male-only groups are now coed.
The more established history of Harvard’s male-only organizations (and their powerful alumni) are believed by some to carry more weight in resisting the sanctions, according to the Harvard Crimson.
Harvard isn't alone. Recently, Wesleyan University and Trinity College mandated their fraternities & sororities be co-ed. Trinity's mandate lasted 3 years. Wesleyan's was also short-lived after a fraternity sued the school over it and won.
Fresh off a visit to Ireland, the Pope faces new allegations he knew about the latest clergy abuse scandal for years while offering no concrete measures to end or punish it.
Total payouts for U.S. victims are just a fraction of money collected at Sunday Mass each year.
Often quoted the Catholic Church has paid out $3B to U.S. victims.
BUT that data hasn’t been updated since 2011 & doesn’t include smaller settlements since 2002.
Bishop Accountability, which compiles the data, says $3B is an “underestimate.”
“I really worry about a loss to credibility, a loss of trust. There’s no use denying it. We can’t sugarcoat it, this is disastrous.”
“For the billions it has cost the Catholic Church, it does not compare to the cost of (traumatic) lives that many have suffered over the years,”
Missouri's AG Josh Hawley, a Republican running for Senate, has launched an investigation into Catholic Church sexual abuse making it the 1st state to publicly do so. Archdiocese of St. Louis promises "unfettered access."
“We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always.”
Earned the nickname “Maverick” in recent years for his willingness to vote against his party.
The six term Arizona Senator ran for President in 2000 & 2008, securing the GOP nomination in 2008.
McCain spent 5½ years in captivity as a POW in North Vietnam after his Skyhawk dive bomber was shot down in 1967.
“I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s…. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for… I wasn’t my own man anymore. I was my country’s.”
McCain is a father to 7 children
“Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We’re dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that.”
In his newly released memoir, "The Restless Wave," he wrote: "It’s been quite a ride. I’ve known great passions, seen amazing wonders, fought in a war, and helped make a peace. I made a small place for myself in the story of America and the history of my times.”
Despite being an island paradise in the middle of wide open ocean, hurricanes rarely hit Hawaii.
“You’re a pretty small spot in a large ocean, and to have something hit you takes a bit of an unfortunate alignment of things.”
- June 1 – November 30th.
- May 23 NOAA forecast predicted average / above average cyclone activity (3-6 storms) this season in the Pacific. One warning?
“It is very important to remember that it only takes one landfalling tropical cyclone to bring major impacts to the State of Hawaii.”
NOAA forecasts suggest a "normal" hurricane season for the Atlantic (0-2 major hurricanes). Want to see how rare it is for Hawaii to have a hurricane? Check out an amazing graphic from NOAA on our source page as well as an update on the Kilauea Volcano eruptions.
Estimated costs to date in direct/indirect expenses of the “Mueller” Special Counsel investigation.
Here’s what we’ve learned from the investigation aimed at protecting America’s democracy.
Manafort’s convictions have ZERO to do with Pres. Trump or election.
Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 felonies, incl 2 campaign finance charges related to 2016 election. Prosecutor said he “worked to pay money to silence two women who had information that he believed would be detrimental to the 2016 campaign…”
MANAFORT: faces up to 80 years behind bars. He also faces another trial in D.C. next month.
COHEN: sentencing slated for December. He faces 3 – 5 yrs in prison.
What it means for President Trump? TBD
“Cohen … is more than happy to tell the Special Counsel all that he knows – not just about the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American democracy system in the 2016 election…”
Pres. Trump called the Manafort trial a "witch hunt and disgrace." He has yet to speak publicly about Cohen's case. Meanwhile, the Special Counsel's investigation is entering its sixteenth month as WSJ reports of Russian hacking ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.