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North Korea carried out its strongest-ever nuclear test Sunday, just days after the U.S. and South Korea wrapped up their massive joint military drills on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has long objected to the annual drills, which include tens of thousands of troops. North Korea claims it tested a hydrogen bomb, although experts have disputed this claim.
On Monday, the U.N. Security Council met to address the test. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley accused North Korea of “begging for war.” President Trump tweeted, “The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” Experts say this proposal is next to impossible, since ceasing trade with China, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and other countries would be an economic catastrophe for the U.S.
Trump also blasted South Korea for being open to initiating peace talks with the North, tweeting, “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump is also preparing to withdraw from a trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea.
On Monday, protesters gathered in Los Angeles, Atlanta and other U.S. cities to demand President Trump not cancel the program DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives nearly 800,000 young people permission to live and work in the United States. The protests came amid reports President Trump is considering canceling DACA in six months, a window designed to allow Congress to legislate the issue between now and then. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to make an announcement about DACA today at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. This is DACA recipient Juliana Nascimento at a protest in Los Angeles.
Juliana Nascimento: ”DACA means a lot to me, because it actually supports me to keep going to school to prepare myself to become someone in the future. And if the president does not sign the paper to support that, it’s going to take away a lot of beneficials for me and my sisters. I am a family of eight girls, and it has helped us out through a lot. It gives us a permit to work, to go to school, because it is expensive, and and we do need that support. And for him to do it, it is really important for us to feel support from our president and from our country.”
In Texas, the devastation from Hurricane Harvey continues. At least 63 people have died, more than 40,000 homes have been lost, and as many 1 million cars have been destroyed. The Center for Biological Diversity says flooded oil refineries and chemical plants have released as much as 5 million pounds of pollutants into the air. Among those who have died were volunteer rescuers Alonso Guillén—a DACA recipient—and Tomas Carreon. The two drove more than 100 miles from Lufkin, Texas, in order to help rescue people. Their bodies were found on Friday, after their boat capsized days earlier. Guillén’s mother told the Houston Chronicle she tried to come from Mexico to the U.S. to bury her son but was turned away by Border Patrol agents. She said, “When we are with God, there are no borders.” After headlines, we’ll spend the rest of the hour bringing you voices from the ground in Houston.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County Sunday morning, as more than 1,000 firefighters battled the largest wildfire in Los Angeles history. The La Tuna fire erupted on Friday and quickly grew to encompass more than 7,000 acres just north of Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the United States. The fire shut down the 210 Freeway and forced hundreds of people to evacuate.
The Caribbean and southern coast of the United States are preparing for Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 5 storm currently churning west across the Atlantic Ocean. Both Puerto Rico and Florida have declared states of emergency. The storm is expected to make landfall on the island of Anguilla on Wednesday and then continue toward the U.S. coast.
In more climate-related news, more than 100,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes in Nigeria because of widespread flooding in the center of Nigeria. In South Asia, the historic flooding that has killed more than 1,200 people has also destroyed as many as 18,000 schools, leaving as many as 1.8 million children unable to go to class.
President Trump is slated to nominate Republican Oklahoma Congressmember Jim Bridenstine to head NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Bridenstine has no science credentials and has repeatedly denied the human impact on climate change. NASA conducts a significant amount of global climate change research. In 2013, Bridenstine took to the House floor to demand President Obama apologize for funding climate change research.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine: “Global temperatures stopped rising 10 years ago. Global temperature changes, when they exist, correlate with sun output and ocean cycles. … Here’s what we absolutely know. We know that Oklahoma will have tornadoes when a cold jet stream meets the warm Gulf air, and we also know that this president spends 30 times as much money on global warming research as he does on weather forecasting and warning. For this gross misallocation, the people of Oklahoma are ready to accept the president’s apology, and I intend to submit legislation to fix this.”
In Yemen, data from the World Health Organization says more than 600,000 people have now been affected by a devastating cholera epidemic. The ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign has destroyed Yemen’s health, water and sanitation systems. The U.N. says less than half of Yemen’s health facilities are operational. The founder of the Red Crescent in Yemen, Abdullah Alkhamesi, died Thursday because of a shortage of materials required for a heart surgery. He was barred from traveling abroad for treatment because of Saudi-imposed travel restrictions that have forced the main airport in Sana’a to close.
In Syria, the local journalistic monitoring group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently reports shelling by the U.S.-led coalition killed 14 civilians on Saturday in Raqqa, amid the ongoing battle to seize control of the city from ISIS. Among those killed was Issa al-Hilal, who worked as a pharmacist, as well as his wife and brother.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Chechnya’s capital Grozny on Monday in support of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma, which is facing widespread violence and persecution from the Burmese military. This is Hasan Mazhiev.
Hasan Mazhiev: “It is unacceptable for modern civilized world to stay silent when genocide is happening, ethnic cleansing of the whole people. We must not be silent. We must call on society, leaders of states, governments—everybody—to stop that outrage.”
Hundreds of Rohingya have been killed, and tens of thousands forced into neighboring Bangladesh, amid the ongoing state violence.
Back in the United States, shocking police body camera video has surfaced of police arresting a nurse in Utah for refusing an officer’s demand that she draw a blood sample from an unconscious car crash patient. The police attacked nurse Alex Wubbels, arrested her, and forced her out of the hospital and into an unmarked car on July 26. After the footage surfaced last Thursday, the hospital says police will no longer be permitted in patient-care areas, such as the burn unit where Wubbels was working that day.
Hundreds of fast-food workers walked off the job on Monday for a nationwide day of action to demand a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. Workers and their supporters gathered in Boston; Los Angeles; Pittsburgh; Durham, North Carolina; Tampa Bay, Florida; Des Moines, Iowa; Richmond, Virginia; and other U.S. cities. McDonald’s workers also went on strike at two stores in Britain, marking the first-ever strike by McDonald’s workers in British history.
In San Diego, hundreds of people gathered in Chicano Park on Sunday to protest against a planned white nationalist rally. White nationalists have been demanding the park remove its iconic murals celebrating Chicano, Mexican-American and Latino history and social movements. But on Sunday, the counterprotesters in support of the murals far outnumbered the dozen or so white supremacists who showed up.
On Monday, Indian Country Today Media Network announced it has temporarily ceased operations. The network is the publisher of both the daily website and the magazine “Indian Country,” first founded in 1981 by Oglala Lakota journalist Tim Giago under the name “Lakota Times.” The website and magazine have won numerous awards and produced groundbreaking coverage about violence against Native women, challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act, the achievements of Native artists, activists and intellectuals, and the resistance at Standing Rock.
And in Minnesota, a group of Native American youth have finished a three-week-long, 250-mile canoe voyage across northern Minnesota to highlight the ecological threat posed by Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 tar sands pipeline. The proposed line would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Opponents say the pipeline would cross through Minnesota’s lakes, wild rice region and the territory covered by the 1855 Ojibwe treaty.