Daily Edition Top 10 (September 2, 2019)

Heather Chin / September 6, 2019

Boats litter the area around a marina in the Bahamas after they were tossed by Hurricane Dorian. The storm pounded away at the islands in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and chased others from one shelter to another. At least five deaths were reported. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater)

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas over two days as a historic Category 5 storm, killing dozens of people before slowly moving on to the U.S. coastline, where it is currently flooding the Carolinas and Virginia as a Category 1 storm.

A tragedy in Southern California claimed the lives of 34 people on a scuba diving expedition when their boat caught fire while they slept. An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the blaze.

In the United Kingdom, lawmakers repeatedly voted to reject Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s threats of a “no-deal” Brexit—pulling the nation out of the European Union without a trade deal—as well as his attempt to hold early elections. The tensions led to more resignations and Johnson expelled 21 members of his own party.

In U.S. politics news, 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates discussed their plans to tackle climate change in a televised town hall, the Trump administration proposed a housing overhaul plan that would reduce regulation of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Trump also halted a Bush- and Obama-era plan to expand the use energy efficient light bulbs.

In business news, Walmart announced they will no longer sell handguns, short barrel rifles and ammunition for any of those weapons, and that they are changing their open-carry policy following public backlash after two mass shootings in their stores. Also, Google and YouTube were fined a record $170 million by the Federal Trade Commission for not providing ample oversight of online videos marketed to children.

Robert Mugabe, the former Zimbabwe president who liberated the country only to then commit human rights violations, died at the age of 95.

And in Hong Kong, leader Carrie Lam formally withdrew the Chinese extradition bill that sparked months of protests.

Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as they appeared in The Daily Edition.

1. Hurricane Dorian, already responsible for 20 reported tornadoes, lashes North Carolina coast – The New York Times, Morgan Winsor, Emily Shapiro

Top line: “Hurricane Dorian battered the North Carolina shore early Friday morning as it continued its northward trek up the coast. The deadly storm fell early Friday from a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 100 mph, down to a Category 1, with winds of 90 mph, as it passed by Wilmington, North Carolina. On Thursday night the storm passed southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, pummeling the South Carolina coastline with winds, storm surge and heavy rain. Both North Carolina and South Carolina have already seen more than 10 inches of rainfall in some areas, and a tornado watch is in effect for Eastern North Carolina and parts of Virginia. Power was knocked out to more than 200,000 homes and businesses across South Carolina Thursday and at least 20 tornadoes have been reported in the Carolinas. Before reaching the United States, Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on Sunday afternoon as a Category 5 storm, the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record. The death toll in the Bahamas reached 30 on Thursday, but Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told a local radio station that the final death count will be “staggering.””

Magazine to follow: Hurricane Dorian 

Ventura County Fire Department personnel respond to a boat fire on a 75-foot (23-meter) vessel off Santa Cruz Island, California, U.S. September 2, 2019. Ventura County Fire Department/Handout via REUTERS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. THIS IMAGE WAS PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO ENHANCE QUALITY. AN UNPROCESSED VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

2. California boat fire: Authorities say victims likely died of smoke inhalation, not burns – USA Today, Grace Hauck, Olivia Sanchez

Top line: “Victims in the tragic dive boat fire likely died of smoke inhalation, not burns, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Friday. All the passengers and one crew member had been sleeping in tight quarters beneath the deck, and all had signs of smoke inhalation. A preliminary examination shows they died before being burned. Just four days after the Labor Day tragedy that left 34 people dead, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office also released the names of nine victims. Authorities said Friday they had identified 18 victims and contacted the next of kin for nine of the. Brown told reporters the families of all 34 victims have been contacted to collect DNA samples. He said there is no criminal probe at this point, but multiple investigations are underway into different aspects of the fire.”

Magazine to follow: California Dive Boat Fire

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during debate in the House of Commons in London, Britain September 4, 2019. (©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS)

3. Brexit: Opposition parties to reject PM election move – BBC News

Top line: “UK opposition parties have agreed not to back Boris Johnson’s demand for a general election before the EU summit in mid-October. Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and Plaid Cymru say they will vote against the government or abstain in Monday’s vote on whether to hold a snap poll. Meanwhile, a bill designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit has been approved by the House of Lords and will pass into law. It will force the prime minister to ask the EU for the Brexit deadline to be extended beyond 31 October if no deal is agreed by the UK and Brussels by 19 October. Mr Johnson wants an election to take place on 15 October, ahead of that date and the EU summit on 17 and 18 October. He argues that a snap poll will allow the government to “get on” with delivering Brexit by the end of October. But opposition MPs – who, along with Conservative rebels, have already defeated one attempt by the government to bring in an early election – say Mr Johnson is trying to push through a no-deal exit. During the past week the prime minister has suffered several defeats over Brexit in Parliament, expelled 21 of his own MPs for rebelling and seen his younger brother, Jo Johnson, resign from government.”

Magazine to follow: Brexit: Latest News

4. What happened during CNN’s climate town hall and what it means for 2020 – CNN, Stephen Collinson

Top line:CNN’s marathon town hall Wednesday night put the climate crisis closer to the center of a presidential election than ever before. Ten Democratic candidates took to the stage as Hurricane Dorian menaced the East Coast and at a time when the impact of a warming Earth is no longer just a vision of a catastrophic future but is increasingly visible. At times, candidates waged a bidding war to show liberal activists their plan was the most audacious — and even expensive. But with an eye on November 2020, others warned against throwing the economy out of the window. The contenders, who all embrace the science of climate change, offered voters an alternative to a President who views climate change as a “hoax” and slams their “dreams and windmills.” But Donald Trump’s mocking tweets and GOP rapid response attacks during the event reflected the risks Democrats run: While going big on climate is the price of entry in their presidential race, it’s yet to be proven as a shrewd general election strategy. Here’s how it all unfolded.”

Topic to follow: Climate Change

5. YouTube plans sweeping changes to kids videos after $170M fine – CNET, Joan E. Solsman, Richard Nieva

Top line:YouTube Wednesday announced massive changes to how it treats kids videos, as the US Federal Trade Commission hit Google with new rules and a record $170 million penalty to settle a probe into the privacy of children’s data on giant video site. It’s the largest penalty ever levied for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. YouTube is the world’s biggest online video source, with 2 billion monthly users, and a huge number of the billions of videos viewed on the site are aimed at kids. One study suggests kids content may be the most-watched video category on YouTube overall. But YouTube has come under fire for a range of scandals involving children. Wednesday’s $170 million penalty addressed the data YouTube collects, without a parents’ consent. But YouTube has also faced scandals involving videos of child abuse and exploitation, nightmarish content in its YouTube Kids app and predatory comments that sexualized clips of young children.”

Topic to follow: YouTube

An exterior view of a Walmart store on September 03, 2019 in San Leandro, California. Walmart, America’s largest retailer, announced that it will reduce the sales of gun ammunition that can be used in handguns and assault style rifles, including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber bullets. The move comes one month after a gunman opened fire on customers at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

6. Walmart to stop some ammo sales, ask to not open carry guns – Associated Press, Anne D’Innocenzio

Top line: “Walmart says it will stop selling handgun and short-barrel rifle ammunition, while requesting that customers not openly carry firearms in its stores, even where state laws allow it. The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas, and follows back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter said Tuesday it will stop selling handgun ammunition as well as short-barrel rifle ammunition, such as the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used in military style weapons, after it runs out of its current inventory. It will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska. Walmart stopped selling handguns in the mid-1990s, with the exception of Alaska. The latest move marks its complete exit from that business and allows it to focus on hunting rifles and related ammunition only.”

Topic to follow: Walmart

7. White House to Relax Energy Efficiency Rules for Light Bulbs – The New York Times, John Schwartz

Top line: “The Trump administration plans to significantly weaken federal rules that would have forced Americans to use much more energy-efficient light bulbs, a move that could contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The proposed changes would eliminate requirements that effectively meant that most light bulbs sold in the United States — not only the familiar, pear-shaped ones, but several other styles as well — must be either LEDs or fluorescent to meet new efficiency standards. The rules being weakened, which dated from 2007 and the administration of President George W. Bush and slated to start in the new year, would have all but ended the era of the incandescent bulb invented more than a century ago. Eliminating inefficient bulbs nationwide would save electricity equivalent to the output of at least 25 large power plants, enough to power all homes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to an estimate by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The actions are the latest by the Trump administration to weaken a broad array of rules designed to fight climate change.”

Topic to follow: Energy Efficiency

8. Trump administration unveils plan to revamp the housing market – The Washington Post, Renae Merle

Top line: “The Trump administration released a sweeping plan Thursday that could remake the U.S. housing market, starting with ending more than a decade of government control of two massive companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that back half of the nation’s mortgages. The long-awaited plan from the Treasury Department features nearly 50 proposals, including many technical changes to financial regulations, and is aimed at shrinking the government’s role in the housing market. The cornerstone of the plan would resolve the fates of the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, which 11 years ago this week were put into government conservatorship during the global financial crisis. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a critical part in the housing market, buying mortgages from lenders, then packaging them into securities to sell to investors. The government seized control of both companies in 2008 as the housing market unraveled and the firms’ losses piled up. The housing giants back half of the United States’ mortgages, and housing experts have warned that allowing them too much freedom again could lead to higher mortgage costs for consumers while enriching Wall Street investors.”

Topic to follow: Housing

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe looks on during a press conference at his private residence nicknamed “Blue Roof” in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 29, 2018. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

9. Robert Mugabe: death of a liberation ‘icon’ who crushed his foes as Zimbabwe unraveled – Reuters, MacDonald Dzirutwe

Top line: “Robert Mugabe, the bush war guerrilla who led Zimbabwe to independence and crushed his foes during nearly four decades of rule as his country descended into poverty, hyperinflation and unrest, died on Friday. He was 95. Declared a national hero within hours of his death by the long-serving aide who succeeded him as president, Mugabe was one of the most polarizing figures in his continent’s history – a giant of African liberation whose regime finally ended in ignominy when he was overthrown by his own army. He died in Singapore, where he had long received medical treatment.”

Topic to follow: Robert Mugabe

10. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says extradition bill will be fully withdrawn – CNBC, Grace Shao

Top line:Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said in a pre-recorded announcement on Wednesday that she will fully withdraw a contentious extradition bill that has sparked months of mass protests. A full withdrawal of the bill is one of five demands that protesters have been fighting for. The proposed bill would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland China for trial. Despite Lam’s suspension of the bill in June, protesters continued to rally. On Sunday, the city saw its most violent day since mass protests first broke out earlier this year. The bill can only be fully withdrawn after the parliament resumes in the fall. Lam said on Wednesday that the government had responded to each of the demands but admitted that it “may not be able to address all the grievances of people in society.””

Topic to follow: Hong Kong Protests

Check out The Daily Edition throughout the week for your news updates.

~ HeatherC is reading Traveling the Globe – Responsibly by The Washington Post