US declares NKorea a terror sponsor; new sanctions expected
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Monday the U.S. is putting North Korea's "murderous regime" on America's terrorism blacklist, despite questions about Pyongyang's support for international attacks beyond the assassination of its leader's half brother in February.
Trump said the designation as a state sponsor of terror was long overdue, and he promised a new wave of sanctions as part of a "maximum pressure campaign" over North Korea's development of nuclear weapons that could soon pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland.
North Korea will join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the blacklist. The North had been designated for two decades until 2008 when it was removed in a bid to salvage international talks aimed at halting its nuclear efforts. The talks collapsed soon after and haven't been revived since.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the designation was a "very symbolic move" with limited practical effects although it could close a "few loopholes" in a tough sanctions regime that was starting to bite in Pyongyang. He said anecdotal evidence and intelligence suggests the North is suffering fuel shortages, with queues at gas station, and its revenues are down.
Still, Tillerson also acknowledged a two-month pause in the North's rapid tempo of nuclear and missile tests and said there was still hope for diplomacy. With tougher sanctions in the offing, he warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, 'This is only going to get worse until you're ready to come and talk."
CBS suspends Rose, PBS halts his show following allegations
NEW YORK (AP) — Charlie Rose is the latest public figure to be felled by sexual misconduct allegations, with PBS halting distribution of his nightly interview show and CBS News suspending him Monday following a Washington Post report with the accusations of eight women.
The women, who all worked for Rose or tried to work for him, accused the veteran newsman of groping them, walking naked in front of them and telling one that he dreamed about her swimming nude.
Rose, 75, said in a statement that he was "deeply embarrassed" and apologized for his behaviour.
"PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations," the public broadcasting service said in a statement. "We are immediately suspending distribution of 'Charlie Rose.'"
Three women went on the record in the Post's deeply-reported story. Reah Bravo, a former associate producer for Rose's PBS show who began working for him in 2007, told the newspaper: "He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim." She said Rose groped her on multiple occasions and once, during a business trip to Indiana, called her to his hotel room where he emerged from a shower naked.
10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
1. HOW TRUMP IS SQUEEZING PYONGYANG
The president announces that the U.S. is putting North Korea on America's terrorism blacklist. He also promises a new wave of sanctions.
2. CHARLIE ROSE HIT WITH HARASSMENT CLAIMS
Eight women reportedly accuse the veteran newsman of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behaviour
Manson has endured as the face of evil for nearly 50 years
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Other killers snuffed out far more lives than Charles Manson did in 1969. Yet he has endured for nearly a half century as the personification of evil, even in an age in which mass shootings leave dozens dead at a time.
Manson, the hippie cult leader who died Sunday at 83, horrified America more than a generation ago with the way he seemed to have turned young people murderously against everything their parents cherished. That horror continued long after he had been locked up, in large part because of the demonic image that crime experts say he cultivated with his bizarre behaviour and his searing, wild-eyed gaze.
"He had that maniacal look that was always so striking," said James Alan Fox, a criminology professor at Northeastern University in Boston, calling Manson the most notorious killer of all time. "Manson was memorable: his voice, his appearance, his mannerisms, as well as his crimes and the 'crazy Charlie' act he put on."
Manson was convicted of orchestrating the slaughter of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people over two successive August nights in Los Angeles. Prosecutors said he was trying to foment a race war, an idea he supposedly got from a misreading of the Beatles song "Helter Skelter."
He was sentenced to death, but that was commuted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.
Warming to make thunderstorms larger and more frequent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Summer thunderstorms in North America will likely be larger, wetter and more frequent in a warmer world, dumping 80 per cent more rain in some areas and worsening flooding, a new study says.
Future storms will also be wilder, soaking entire cities and huge portions of states, according to a federally-funded study released Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The U.S. in recent years has experienced prolonged drenchings that have doused Nashville in 2010, West Virginia and Louisiana in 2016 and Houston this year. The disasters cost about $20 billion a year in damage.
By the end of century if emissions aren't curbed, these gully washers will be much worse because they will get bigger, said Andreas Prein, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study.
Prein and colleagues used high-resolution computer simulations to see how global warming will likely change the large thunderstorms that are already daily summer events in North America. Previous studies projected more frequent and wetter storms, but this is the first research to show they likely will be more widespread, covering an entire city instead of just half of it, Prein said.
Before elephants, US loosened limits on lion trophies
WASHINGTON (AP) — One month before the Trump administration sparked outrage by reversing a ban on trophies from threatened African elephants, federal officials quietly loosened restrictions on the importation of heads and hides of lions shot for sport.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began issuing permits Oct. 20 for lions killed in Zimbabwe and Zambia between 2016 and 2018. The agency is also currently studying whether to add three additional countries to the list — Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania.
Previously, only wild lions killed in South Africa were eligible to be imported.
In a pair of recent tweets, President Donald Trump said he will delay the new policy on allowing elephant trophies, but he made no mention of lions. Trump, whose adult sons are avid big-game hunters, also expressed skepticism about his own administration's claim that killing threatened animals could help save them by helping raise money for conservation programs.
"Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal," the president tweeted on Sunday.
Justice Dept. sues to stop AT&T's $85B Time Warner deal
NEW YORK (AP) — The Justice Department is suing AT&T to stop its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, setting the stage for an epic legal battle with the telecom giant.
It could also create a new headache for President Donald Trump, whose public statements have raised suspicions that he might have interfered with the department's decision, potentially undermining its legal case. DOJ's antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, has said the president did not tell him what to do. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday she wasn't aware of any specific action related to the case taken by the White House.
In a press release, Delrahim said that a combined AT&T-Time Warner would "greatly harm American consumers" by hiking television bills and hampering innovation, particularly in online television service. The DOJ said AT&T would be able to charge rival distributors such as cable companies "hundreds of millions of dollars more per year" for Time Warner's programming — payments that would ultimately get passed down to consumers through their cable bills.
In an emailed statement Monday, AT&T general counsel David McAtee said the lawsuit is a "radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent" and that the company is confident that it will prevail in court.
AT&T runs the country's second largest wireless network and is the biggest provider of traditional satellite and cable TV services. Time Warner owns HBO, CNN, TBS and other networks, as well as the Warner Bros. movie studio.
US ending temporary permits for almost 60,000 Haitians
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Monday it is ending a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States since a 2010 powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean nation.
The Homeland Security Department said conditions in Haiti have improved significantly, so the benefit will be extended one last time — until July 2019 — to give Haitians time to prepare to return home.
"Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 per cent," the department said in a press release. "Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens."
Advocates and members of Congress from both parties had asked the Trump administration for an 18-month extension of the program, known as Temporary Protected Status. Haitian President Jovenel Moise's government also requested the extension.
Rony Ponthieux, a 49-year-old Haitian nurse with temporary residency who has lived in Miami since 1999, told The Associated Press, "This isn't over, this is time we get to fight for renewal, not to pack our bags." She has a daughter and a son born in the United States and another son in Port-au-Prince.
Nebraska gives long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline new life
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska regulators Monday approved a Keystone XL oil pipeline route through the state, breathing new life into the long-delayed $8 billion project, although the chosen pathway is not the one preferred by the pipeline operator and could require more time to study the changes.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission's vote also is likely to face court challenges and may require another federal analysis of the route, if project opponents get their way.
"This decision opens up a whole new bag of issues that we can raise," said Ken Winston, an attorney representing environmental groups that have long opposed the project.
Environmental activists, American Indian tribes and some landowners have fought the project since it was proposed by TransCanada Corp in 2008. It would carry oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska to meet the existing Keystone pipeline, where it could move as far as the U.S. Gulf Coast. Business groups and some unions support the project as a way to create jobs and reduce the risk of shipping oil by trains that can derail.
President Barack Obama's administration studied the project for years before finally rejecting it in 2015 because of concerns about carbon pollution. President Donald Trump reversed that decision in March.
Shootings put semi-automatic rifles ads under new scrutiny
ATLANTA (AP) — The ads leap out from the pages of almost any gun magazine: Soldiers wearing greasepaint and camouflage wield military-style rifles depicted as essential to the American way of life. A promotional spot by the Mossberg brand boasts of weapons "engineered to the specs of freedom and independence."
The ad campaigns by major gun makers did not pause after mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a Texas church, and the slick messages are big drivers of sales ahead of Black Friday, by far the heaviest shopping day each year for firearms.
But the marketing tactics for the semi-automatic weapons known as AR rifles are under new scrutiny following the recent attacks. Gun-control activists say the ads risk inspiring the next shooter, while gun-rights advocates insist the weapons are being blamed for the works of deranged individuals.
"Guns are not sold on the basis of being just tools," said gun industry expert Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law and author of a book about the Second Amendment. "They're being sold as an embodiment of American values."
The advertisements have become a focal point in the court case against a gun company over the 2012 massacre at a Connecticut elementary school where gunman Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to kill 20 children and six adults. Bushmaster has advertised its AR weapons with the slogan "consider your man card reissued."