U.S.Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration For California As Deadly Wildfires Rage On
President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for California, unlocking funds and other resources from federal agencies to help the tens of thousands of people affected by the deadly wildfires raging in the state. “Wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on,” Trump wrote in a Monday tweet. “I am with you all the way.” Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump I just approved an expedited request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of California. Wanted to respond quickly in order to alleviate some of the incredible suffering going on. I am with you all the way. God Bless all of the victims and families affected.Gov. Jerry Brown (D) had requested the declaration on Sunday as the record-breaking Camp fire incinerated swaths of Butte County in Northern California and the Woolsey and Hill fires continued to burn in Southern California.At least 42 people have died in the blazes. In his request to Trump, Brown described the “extraordinary” devastation the fires have wreaked. “We know tens of thousands of residents will be displaced and many will be left homeless,” he wrote in his letter to the president.A major disaster declaration will help Californians hurt by the fires get access to additional federal resources, including housing, unemployment assistance and crisis counseling. The declaration will also help state and local governments with their ongoing emergency and recovery efforts.Brown’s request had come a day after Trump posted a Twitter message in which he blamed the wildfires on California’s “gross mismanagement of the forests” and threatened to cut off federal funding to the state.The president’s assessment was lambasted by state officials and fire experts as “uninformed” and “dangerously wrong.” The governor’s office dismissed the president’s tweet as “inane.” The fires, experts pointed out, have been fueled by dry conditions and extreme winds, and the conditions have been exacerbated by climate change.Additionally, most of the lands affected by the wildfires were managed by the federal government. The Woolsey fire did not start on forested land.
Twitter Explodes After Donald Trump Hits Emmanuel Macron With Learning German Taunt Lee Moran•Trump taunts Emmanuel Macron and Twitter users respond President Donald Trump left Twitter users indignant early Tuesday with a tweet taunting French President Emmanuel Macron about France’s role in World War I and World War II.Trump doubled down on his weekend criticism of Macron’s call for a European army to protect the continent from “China, Russia and even the United States” with this confusing post:Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!“But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two ― How did that work out for France?” Trump asked. “They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”One tweeter called Trump’s statement “jibberish.” Others called him out for mocking the leader of a historic American ally. Another suggested France was “doing the right thing” aligning itself with other European allies.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!Anonymous White House Official@dvorakoelling ICYMI, homefry, the entire world is referring to you as a modern day Hitler, so by your own analogy France is doing the right thing by aligning itself with other allies.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump · Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!John Woodward@kitizensane Just learned about the two world wars and can’t wait to tell everyone.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump · Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!SFerg@HistryNerd America’s first ally: France. They are literally a major reason why we exist today. PS, you have absolutely no idea what it’s like to fight for existence, as they did in both world wars, you nationalist armchair quarterback.
Melania Trump publicly calls for White House aide’s firing DARLENE SUPERVILLE•WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary move, Melania Trump called publicly Tuesday for the deputy national security adviser to be dismissed.After reports circulated Tuesday that President Donald Trump had decided to remove Mira Ricardel from her post at the National Security Council, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman, released a statement that said: „It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”Shortly before the statement was issued, Ricardel was among a group of administration officials and other individuals who stood behind President Trump at a White House ceremony celebrating Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the first lady’s staff and Ricardel had clashed during Mrs. Trump’s visit to Africa in October over such things as seating on the airplane and requests to use the council’s resources.A White House official told The Associated Press that Ricardel wanted to travel to Africa with the first lady but was denied seating on the airplane because there was no room for her and several others who initially expected to make the trip. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss White House personnel matters, said Ricardel then threatened not to send any NSC staff.Ricardel also is known to have clashed with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis over Pentagon political appointee choices since early in his tenure. And Pentagon officials have said privately they believe Ricardel had a hand in spreading rumors this year about Mattis falling from favor with the White House and perhaps departing.Asked by a reporter today about Mrs. Trump’s office saying Ricardel no longer deserves to work in the White House, Mattis said, „I don’t comment on other people’s staffing issues.”A spokesman for the National Security Council had no immediate comment.Mrs. Trump is very protective of her husband and is considered to be an influential adviser, as many first ladies have been with their spouses.She is also one of the most private first ladies in recent memory, which made the public announcement about her displeasure with a top West Wing official all the more surprising.In an interview with ABC News during the five-day trip to Ghana, Mali, Kenya and Egypt last month, the first lady said there are people in the White House whom she and the president cannot trust. She declined to name anyone but said she had let the president know who they are.”Well,” she said, „some people, they don’t work there anymore.”Asked if some untrustworthy people still worked in the White House, Mrs. Trump replied, „Yes.”Anita McBride, who was chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, said there’s a lesson in the current first lady’s public pronouncement.”The president supports Mrs. Trump’s activities and her work, which should be the signal to the rest of the staff to support her, too,” McBride, who has worked for three Republican presidents, said via email._AP Writer Bob Burns contributed to this report._Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that members of his country’s intelligence community had listened to Turkish audio recordings of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Trudeau’s comments, made in Paris during a peace forum to honor the anniversary of World War I, were the first acknowledgment by the leader of a Western country of receiving the intelligence from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.“Canada has been fully briefed up on what Turkey had to share,” Trudeau said. When asked if he had heard the recordings, Trudeau said no, but that members of Canadian intelligence had.“We continue to be engaged with our allies on the investigation into accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and we are in discussions with our like-minded allies as to next steps towards Saudi Arabia,” he added.Saudi Arabia has drawn heavy criticism over the abduction and murder of Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was highly critical of the country’s leadership in recent years.Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month to obtain some marriage documents but never emerged. Turkey later said it had evidence that a kill squad had lain in wait for him to enter the building.After denying its involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance for weeks, the Saudi government admitted last month that he was killed inside the consulate during a fistfight. The government initially tried to paint his death as an accident, but later said it was “premeditated.”Eighteen men have been arrested in the case; however, Khashoggi’s body has not been found. Last week, Erdogan said Turkey had given an audio recording of Khashoggi’s murder to several Western countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Germany.On Monday, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was not aware of anyone in the French government having access to the recordings.“If the Turkish president has information to give to us, he must give it to us,” Le Drian told France 2, a local television network.On Tuesday, The New York Times appeared to link Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman directly to Khashoggi’s slaying. A recording collected by Turkish intelligence reportedly includes audio of a member of the kill squad informing someone to “tell your boss” — believed to be the crown prince — that they had finished their mission. That audio was allegedly played for CIA Director Gina Haspel last month, although the agency has not confirmed that she listened to such a recording.The Times also noted last month that at least nine of the 15 men who were sent to Istanbul just before the murder have some connection to the crown prince.
North Korea’s hidden missile bases identified by US analysts as nuclear talks stall
And a spokesman for South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in said it would be wrong to characterise the missile bases as a “deception” on North Korea’s part, saying that neither declaring them nor shutting them down was a part of an agreement reached between the two countries in September.The sites identified in the CSIS report are scattered in remote, mountainous areas across North Korea and could be used to house ballistic missiles of various ranges, the largest of which is believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the United States.”Missile operating bases are not launch facilities,” the report said. „While missiles could be launched from within them in an emergency, Korean People’s Army operational procedures call for missile launchers to disperse from the bases to pre-surveyed or semi-prepared launch sites for operations.”None of the missile bases has been acknowledged by North Korea and analysts say an accurate disclosure of nuclear weapons and missile capabilities would be an important part of any denuclearisation deal.Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent MindsSakkanmol, the site closest to the border with South Korea and its capital, Seoul, appears to be „active and being reasonably well maintained”, the report found.North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and the US’s president Donald Trump declared they would work towards denuclearisation at a landmark summit in Singapore in June. Since that summit, Pyongyang says it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility.But the CSIS report warned: “North Korea’s decommissioning of the Sohae satellite launch facility, while gaining much media attention, obscures the military threat to US forces and South Korea from this [Sakkanmol] and other undeclared ballistic missile bases.”Since the June summit, which was light on specific commitments from either side, talks on denuclearisation have stalled and meetings between senior US and North Korean officials have been characterised by frustration and last-minute cancellations.There has been more success in inter-Korean talks, following a key meeting between Mr Moon and Mr Kim on 19 September, with both sides scaling back some border defences and exchanging shipments of prized regional products.Mr Trump and North Korean state media continue to talk up the prospects of a breakthrough in denuclearisation talks.A State Department official – asked if the hidden sites identified by CSIS went against the spirit of the Trump-Kim summit – told the Reuters news agency Mr Trump had made clear that „should Chairman Kim follow through on his commitments – including complete denuclearisation and the elimination of ballistic missile programmes – a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people”.Meanwhile, during a stop in Japan on his way to two summits in Singapore and Papua New Guinea on behalf of Mr Trump, US vice president Mike Pence agreed with Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe to keep sanctions on North Korea in place.The pair reaffirmed the need for sanctions to achieve the goal of denuclearisation, as they showcased their bilateral alliance.Last week the US took part in the largest naval war exercises ever conducted off the coast of Japan, drawing the ire of North Korean state media.Mr Pence said the US will continue to put diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea and urged all Indo-Pacific nations to do likewise until the complete denuclearisation of North Korea is achieved. Mr Abe said Japan and the US would continue to work together to get North Korea, which has hard-working people and rich resources, to realise it has a bright future if it keeps its promises.Additional reporting by agencies