September 27, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
Puerto Rico hurricane damage
- Terrifying torrents of water in Puerto Rico after dam fails, forcing 70,000 to evacuate as Hurricane Maria continues to ravage the island (Daily Mail)
- Hurricane Maria halts crucial drug manufacturing in Puerto Rico, may spur shortages (USA Today)
- If anyone can help us…Puerto Rico’s mayors describe widespread devastation from Hurricane Maria (Washington Post)
- In Puerto Rico, Residents Scramble for Supplies a Week After Hurricane Maria (NPR)
- How to help Puerto Rico (Reporting San Diego)
Other national news
- Trump tax plan cuts corporate rates, nearly doubles standard deduction (Hill)
- Governments turn tables by suing public records requesters (AP)
- Goodbye for now, to a vital source of Native American news (NPR)
- How Sudan got off Trump’s travel ban list (Intercept)
- Endangered species, and the wall that could silence them (USA Today)
- For the first time, the Marines plan to have a female infantry officer among its ranks (Washington Post)
- Congress questions SEC chairman on security of files after Equifax hacking (CS Monitor)
- Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in federal prison (Washington Post)
- A conservative-leaning court just issued a surprise ruling on climate change and coal mining (Vox)
- Merkel hangs onto power but bleeds support to surging far right (Reuters)
- Kurds stick with independence vote: ‘Never going back to Baghdad’: Barzani (Reuters)
- Saudi Arabia Announces It Will Lift Ban and Allow Women to Drive (NPR)
- Thousands evacuated in Ukraine as ammunition depot explodes (Reuters)
- Countering the US, Iran test-fires new ballistic missile (Jerusalem Post)
- Hamas speaks highly of deadly shooting attack that killed 3 Israelis (Jerusalem Post)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
Puerto Rico hurricane damage
A terrifying torrent of water swept through Puerto Rico after a dam failed at Lake Guajataca in the northwest region. Water was seen sweeping through the municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas after the dam sustained structural damage from Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico's pharmaceutical industry came to a halt after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Drug companies ranging from Eli Lilly to AstraZeneca rushed to assess damage and braced for the possibility of months of downtime. The catastrophic storm, which wiped out electricity for the entire island, raises the prospect of short-term drug shortages if the industry can't quickly and temporarily shift manufacturing capacity off the U.S. territory.
In the northern Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja, the floodwaters reached more than 10 feet. Stranded residents screamed “save me, save me,” using the lights in their cellphones to help rescue teams find them in the darkness, the town’s mayor said. In Loiza, a north coastal town that already had been ravaged by Hurricane Irma, 90 percent of homes — 3,000 — were destroyed by Hurricane Maria just days later. In communities across the island, bridges collapsed and highways were severely damaged, isolating many residents.
Aid has yet to arrive in many Puerto Rican communities even though nearly a week has passed since Hurricane Maria hit the island hard. Residents are scrambling for water and gasoline.
How to help Puerto Rico (Reporting San Diego)
While we have been concentrating on the Mexico quakes since many in San Diego have family in the affected area, we have compiled a list of organizations you can help Puerto Rico as well. Damage in Puerto Rico has been described by some as biblical, the flooding is very bad, and their electric grid is down, and will be for the foreseeable future. Estimates range from four to six months.
Other national news
The Republicans’ long-awaited tax framework would cut the top tax rate for the wealthy, drastically slash taxes for businesses and eliminate most itemized deductions, according to a copy obtained by The Hill.
Government bodies are increasingly turning the tables on citizens who seek public records that might be embarrassing or legally sensitive. Instead of granting or denying their requests, a growing number of school districts, municipalities and state agencies have filed lawsuits against people making the requests — taxpayers, government watchdogs and journalists who must then pursue the records in court at their own expense…the recent trend has alarmed freedom-of-information advocates, who say it’s becoming a new way for governments to hide information, delay disclosure and intimidate critics.
… the journalists at Indian Country Today Media Network wrote about some of the most pressing issues rocking Indian Country, from the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to presidential politics to murdered and missing indigenous women. They also celebrated indigenous communities by profiling Native athletes, doctors and actors. But on Sept. 4, Halbritter announced the network was ceasing active operations. The business model, he says, was too expensive to be sustainable.
How Sudan got off Trump’s travel ban list (Intercept)
… For the past decade, Sudan has repeatedly been named as one of the world’s worst human rights violators, giving it a strong incentive to ally with countries close to the United States, in order to blunt such criticism.
No one but the camera ever sees them. They come at night, slinking across the border in camouflage. Then they vanish, retreating south into Mexico. But occasionally the cameras catch them on U.S. soil, and a biologist later checks the shots and confirms their entry into the country. … Biologists say jaguars cannot survive in the U.S. without a connection to Mexico’s population. Building a wall on the border would sever that connection.
In a historic first, the Marine Corps plans to assign a female officer to the infantry following her anticipated graduation from its grueling training program, service officials said Thursday. The woman is a lieutenant.
Senate hearing seeks to answer if the SEC breach held the potential for insider trading and how long the SEC knew about the security breach before disclosing it.
Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in federal prison (Washington Post)
“The defendant did far more than exchange typed words on a lifeless cellphone screen with a faceless stranger,” prosecutors wrote in sentencing papers. “With full knowledge that he was communicating with a real 15-year-old girl, the defendant asked her to engage in sexually explicit conduct via Skype and Snapchat, where her body was on display, and where she was asked to sexually perform for him.”
In a rebuke to Trump, the federal court said greenhouse gas emissions need to be considered in lease approvals.
Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term in office on Sunday but will have to build an uneasy coalition to form a German government after her conservatives hemorrhaged support in the face of a surge by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).
Iraq’s Kurds will go ahead with a referendum on independence on Monday because partnership with Baghdad has failed, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani said on Sunday. Iraq’s Kurds will seek talks with the Shi‘ite-led central government to implement the expected ‘yes’ outcome of the referendum, even if they take two years or more, to settle land and oil sharing disputes ahead of independence…
Saudi Arabia announces it will allow women to drive by June 2018, overturning one of many obstacles faced by women in the kingdom.
Massive explosions and a blaze at a military ammunition depot in central Ukraine forced authorities to evacuate 24,000 people and close airspace over the region, officials said on Wednesday.
Countering the US, Iran test-fires new ballistic missile (Jerusalem Post)
The missile is capable of reaching Israel, and it can be armed with several warheads.
Hamas speaks highly of deadly shooting attack that killed 3 Israelis (Jerusalem Post)
Islamic Jihad blessed Tuesday’s attack, saying it “embodies the living conscience of the Palestinian people and cause.”