His and Her Xbox XBox Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of All Your Gaming Needs

11Oct/170

Wildfires Burn Out of Control Across Northern California; 15 Are Dead

“We always thought the alert system would give us time, but there was no notice, no warning,” said Maureen Grinnell, 77, who lived in the hills north of Napa with her husband, Sheldon, 89, who uses a walker. “I was watching a movie with my 19-year-old granddaughter and I smelled smoke, and I looked out the window to see flames approaching.”

From that moment, they stayed with the house seven to 10 minutes, she said — just long enough to load the three of them, a dog and a handful of belongings into a car.

Before and After: Fires Tear Through California’s Wine Country

Images, including before and after views, reveal the scale of the devastation.


“By the time I started to back the car out of the garage, the house was already on fire,” Ms. Grinnell said. “I drove down the road through smoke with flames on both sides. It almost looked like the burning of Atlanta in ‘Gone With the Wind.’”

Pamela Taylor, 66, at first watched the fire from the mobile home park in Santa Rosa where she lived, thinking it was not near enough to pose a threat — and then, suddenly, it was. “A gigantic fireball jumped across the freeway to the trees around the trailer park,” she said, and within minutes, trailers and cars were ablaze, and people were fleeing.

“There was no turning the gas off, there was just running,” she said.

James Harder and his friends managed to save his business, James Cole Winery, a small-scale maker of high-priced cabernets, even as the nearby Signorello Estate winery burned. Mr. Harder said he saw a wall of flame 20 to 30 feet high descending a hillside toward his property, embers whipping toward him, and formed a bucket brigade with six other people, working through the night, scooping water from a 10,000-gallon tank meant to irrigate his vines.

“We just thought, ‘Keep working, keep working,’” he said. “We would have lost everything if not for our friends.”

All around them, in some of the most expensive real estate in the country, they could see neighbors’ houses going up in flames, their propane tanks exploding with ground-shaking force.

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Next door, the gate to the Signorello property was open on Tuesday and a sign said “Open,” but no one was there. The reception area was destroyed, fires still burned from gas pipes there, and ash covered an infinity pool with a commanding view of the valley. But in the bar area, a refrigerator held a wheel of manchego cheese, beer bottles and soda cans, still intact.

How much of the season’s grape harvest was destroyed remains unclear.

Across the state, 17 large wildfires were still burning Tuesday, covering 115,000 acres, Chief Pimlott said. An unusually wet winter produced ample brush, and the state’s hottest summer on record dried it to tinder, setting the stage for a rough October, a month usually marked by dry air and high winds from the north and east.

Photo

The pool at the Journey’s End Mobile Park in Santa Rosa, where a fire burned most of the park.

Credit
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The entire American West has experienced a particularly brutal wildfire season, even as people in the Southeast have suffered the floods and winds of hurricanes. As of Oct. 6, wildfires had raced through 8.5 million acres, well above the last decade’s average of six million per year.

Most of the current California wildfires are in the north, including a large one in Mendocino County and several others in the Sierra Nevada, the north coast and the San Joaquin Valley. But in Southern California, a fire that broke out Monday in the Anaheim Hills burned through thousands of acres and about a dozen homes, sending smoke pouring into Orange County and closing the 91 freeway, the main route into the county from the east.

The winds whipping the flames in the area north of San Francisco Bay came from the north, and thousands of firefighters labored to build fire breaks on the southern flanks of the blazes to hold them back from populated areas. Supported by aircraft dropping water and fire retardant — ranging from helicopters to a Boeing 747 tanker — fire crews used bulldozers, chain saws and shovels to clear trees and brush, hoping to create fire breaks and starve the blazes of fuel.

A thick layer of smoke shrouded the region, and the Environmental Protection Agency rated the air quality as “unhealthy,” “very unhealthy,” and even “hazardous” in places. Many of the people taken to area hospitals were treated for smoke inhalation, and people walked through their neighborhoods and evacuation centers wearing paper masks, in hopes of protecting their lungs.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/us/california-fires.html

8Oct/170

Hurricane Nate weakens to a tropical storm after making US landfall twice

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/08/us/hurricane-nate-landfall/index.html

6Oct/170

Las Vegas Shooting: NRA Supports New Rules on ‘Bump Stock’ Devices

Washington appears to be moving closer to new gun rules.

On Capitol Hill, support appeared to grow for a ban on the bump stock devices, either through regulation or legislation, as Republicans — who for decades have rejected any form of gun restrictions — began increasingly to speak out. Several leading Republicans, including Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, have raised serious questions about the devices.

In the House, Representative Carlos Curbelo, Republican of Florida, has drafted a measure banning bump stocks, which he said he planned to introduce on Thursday. He said his office had been “flooded” with calls from dozens of fellow Republicans who wanted to sign on.

“I think we are on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to sensible gun policy,” Mr. Curbelo said.

His comments followed those of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who during an interview with MSNBC also raised questions about the conversion kits, and said he was open to legislation. “Clearly that’s something we need to look into,” Mr. Ryan said.

Separately, Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, is circulating a letter among his colleagues, calling on the A.T.F. to re-evaluate bump stocks, which he said had “no place in civilized society.”

Interactive Graphic

What Is a Bump Stock and How Does It Work?

Twelve of the rifles the gunman had in his hotel room were outfitted with a “bump stock,” an attachment that enables a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster.


The fire chief wondered, ‘Are we under a Mumbai-style attack?’

Chief Greg Cassell of the Clark County Fire Department said on Thursday that several factors complicated the department’s response to the mass shooting, but he praised the emergency responders as heroic.

“We had a lot of challenges with this event,” Mr. Cassell said at a news conference. Wounded concertgoers fled to various hotels and called 911 from there, he said. “By the time it got relayed, it was ‘There’s a shooter at this location,’” he said. “It was, ‘People were shot.’”

Typically, all 911 calls from a single event would be linked, he said. But because of the confusion on Sunday night, operators logged the calls as coming from 32 separate incidents, each of which needed to be investigated. Mr. Cassell said they wondered, “Are we under a Mumbai-style attack, where we’ve got multiple things going on at multiple properties?”

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He was referring to a group of coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, when gunmen stormed two hotels, a railroad station, a restaurant, a hospital and a Jewish center; 160 people were killed.

Mr. Cassell said that as crews were heading to the concert area in Las Vegas, they encountered injured people in every direction, so they stopped, aided those patients and called for more help, rather than continuing to the site of the shooting.

He said a total of 160 members of local fire departments responded to the emergency. Only one was hurt, suffering a minor injury from a fall.

“We’ve been somewhat planning on a major event in our valley for an awful, awful long time along these lines,” he said. “We never planned on what happened the other night.”

The gunman’s girlfriend said she was unaware of the plan.

In her first public statement since the shooting, the gunman’s girlfriend said on Wednesday that he had sent her on a trip to the Philippines and wired her money there, but that she did not know he had been planning to harm anyone.

The statement from the woman, Marilou Danley, which was read by her lawyer, Matthew Lombard, came after Ms. Danley went to the Los Angeles offices of the F.B.I. for questioning, according to a law enforcement official. It was released as the authorities sought her insight into what prompted a man with no evident criminal history to become a mass murderer.

She stressed that she returned to the United States voluntarily, “because I know that the F.B.I. and the Las Vegas police department wanted to talk to me, and I wanted to talk to them.”

Ms. Danley said she never believed her “kind, caring, quiet” boyfriend was capable of killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more.

“He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of, that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,” she said.

The gunman booked accommodations near another festival.

The gunman’s motive remains unknown, Sheriff Lombardo said on Wednesday. Despite the meticulous planning that went into the attack, the gunman left behind few obvious traces, with no social media footprint to examine or manifesto to be pored over, he said.

The sheriff indicated that Mr. Paddock may have blended in intentionally, hiding the urge to violence that drove him to one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern United States history.

“Anything that would indicate this individual’s trigger point, that would cause him to do such harm, we haven’t understood it yet,” the sheriff said. “Don’t you think the concealment of his history, of his life, was well-thought-out?”

Investigators continue to piece together the life and mind-set of a gunman who had no apparent history of violence. “What we know is Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood,” the sheriff said.

Graphic

Inside the Las Vegas Gunman’s Mandalay Bay Hotel Suite

His suite held more than 20 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.


Mr. Lombardo said that a few days before the shooting, the gunman took another set of rooms in a high-rise building near another music festival. Through Airbnb, he rented a unit in the Ogden, a condominium building in downtown Las Vegas with a view of the Life Is Beautiful festival, held from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25.

At least three of the rifles Mr. Paddock had in his luxury suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino were equipped with scopes.

Reporting was contributed by Jennifer Medina, Mitch Smith and Mark Landler from Las Vegas; Miriam Jordan from Los Angeles; Jonah Engel Bromwich, Richard Pérez-Peña, Sheri Fink and Matthew Haag from New York; and Russell Goldman from Hong Kong.


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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/las-vegas-shooting.html

3Oct/170

The Daily 202: 10 ways politics may — or may not — change after the Las Vegas shooting

With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve

THE BIG IDEA: The horror in Las Vegas may not dramatically change the debate about guns. But the response to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, which has left at least 59 dead and hundreds more wounded, reveals a great deal about our politics.

Here are 10 takeaways:

1. No new gun laws will pass.

The National Rifle Association deserves more credit than any other outside group for Donald Trump’s victory, and the president knows it. “You came through big for me, and I am going to come through for you,” he said at the NRA’s April convention in Atlanta.

Virtually no Republican in Congress, and certainly no one in leadership, is willing to cross the powerful gun lobby. Even if Trump decided he wanted to act, which he will not, his party would block him.

2. But Vegas makes it much harder for Republicans to roll back existing gun laws.

In the wake of the attack, House Republican leaders have decided to table a bill that would loosen restrictions on purchasing gun silencers. At least for now. “That bill, introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), has been approved by the Natural Resources Committee and was expected to be on the House floor soon, though it had not yet been scheduled for a vote,” Politico reports. “Consideration of the bill was (already) postponed earlier this year after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was shot in June at a congressional baseball practice.”

Rep. Richard Hudson's (R-N.C.) proposal to allow concealed-carry permit holders to take their guns with them across state lines also faces new political problems,” per John Bresnahan, Heather Caygle and Burgess Everett. “The Duncan legislation includes a provision revising federal regulations on silencers, which currently have tougher purchasing requirements than other guns. A different provision in the Duncan bill makes it more difficult for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to classify certain ammunition as ‘armor piercing.’ Regulations on interstate transportation weapons would be revised as well.”

3. There will be at least some new converts for gun control. After spending the night fearing for his life, the lead guitarist for the Josh Abbot Band — a Texas-based country group — announced that he has changed his position. “I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [Concealed Handgun Licenses], and legal firearms on the bus,” Caleb Keeter wrote in a statement. “They were useless. … We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.”

4. Gun control will be a litmus test for Democrats in 2020.

It is inconceivable that Democrats will nominate someone for president who is not an outspoken proponent of tough new gun laws. Bernie Sanders was on the defensive throughout the 2016 Democratic primaries over his moderate record on guns, which reflects the culture of his home state of Vermont. Hillary Clinton successfully used this as a wedge issue to squeeze him from the left.

Many presidential aspirants, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), quickly moved past the normal niceties after a tragedy and were agitating for tough laws within hours of Vegas. They know nothing will pass, but they are laying a marker.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who represents Newtown, has become the most forceful advocate for action in the 2020 field. “It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something,” he said. (Read Murphy’s op-ed in today’s Post.)

Many rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers are beginning to boycott “the predictable moments of unification that commonly occur in the hours after mass shootings — hoping their refusal to participate will call attention to the inaction,” the Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey reports. “To have only a moment of silence where there never is action taken, tragedy after tragedy, that is not something I want to be a part of,” said Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), who led the sit-in on the House floor after the shooting in Orlando.

5. The Vegas attack has pushed gun control to the front burner of the neck-and-neck race for Virginia governor. “At a previously scheduled forum in Vienna … Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie offered condolences. But the partisan divide over guns in Virginia, a Southern state with a strong gun tradition that was shaken by the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, was immediately evident,” Fenit Nirappil reports. “Northam, a former Army doctor who has an F rating from the National Rifle Association, decried what he called ‘a proliferation of guns’ in society and urged gun-control measures. Gillespie, who has an A rating and an endorsement from the NRA, asked for a moment of silence, later telling reporters that it was too soon to discuss policy. … Gillespie is opposed to further restrictions on guns and promised to reverse an executive order signed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) that bans guns in state government buildings.”

  • Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who has crusaded for new gun laws since barely surviving a 2011 assassination attempt at a public event in her district, canceled plans to campaign for Northam on Monday in Virginia: “Americans for Responsible Solutions, Giffords’s gun-control group, has pledged to spend $150,000 on pro-Northam mailings. Northam is also backed by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, a group bankrolled by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) that is spending at least $700,000 on his campaign.”
  • The NRA, which planned to run political advertising in Virginia starting Tuesday through Election Day on Nov. 7, delayed its commercials for one week: “The gun rights group plans to spend more than $750,000 on commercials in the Richmond and Roanoke markets.” (The group is headquartered in the commonwealth.)

The debate about guns could help Gillespie bring home Trump supporters who backed his rival, Corey Stewart, in the June Republican primary. Conservatives who may not like the former RNC chairman will vote for him if they believe Northam wants to restrict their rights. The back-and-forth might also nationalize the race, which works against Gillespie in an environment where Trump remains unpopular.

-- Sneak peek: Speaking of the Trump dynamic, Northam will unveil a new ad today that touts his willingness to stand up to the president. “As a doctor, nobody ever asks if I’m a Democrat or a Republican. They just want my help,” the lieutenant governor says to camera. “So if Donald Trump is helping Virginia, I’ll work with him. But Donald Trump proposed cutting Virginia’s school funding, rolling back our clean air and water protections, and taking away healthcare from thousands of Virginians. … I’ve stood up to Donald Trump on all of it. Ed Gillespie refuses to stand up to him at all.”

6. The paranoid style in American politics is alive and well.

Televangelist Pat Robertson suggested yesterday that disrespect for Trump was a factor behind the shooting. “Violence in the streets, ladies and gentlemen,” he said on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club.” “Why is it happening? . . . The fact that we have disrespect for authority. There is profound disrespect of our president. All across this nation, they say terrible things about him. It’s in the news. It’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system. All the way up and down the line: disrespect. … Until there is Biblical authority, there has to be some controlling authority in our society and there is none. … When there is no vision of God, the people run amok. We have taken from the American people the vision of God.”

Wayne Allyn Root, a columnist for the Sheldon Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal who warmed up crowds during Trump rallies in 2016, pushed the theory on Twitter that the shooter must be Muslim. After police announced that he was not, Root refused to back down or apologize.

“[G]overnment restrictions will not stop psychopaths from harming people. They will find a way,” former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly wrote on his blog. “This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are. The Second Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons.

-- To be sure, there are extreme views on both sides. CBS announced that it fired a company lawyer who wrote on Facebook yesterday that she was “actually not even sympathetic” to the shooting victims because “country music fans often are Republican gun toters.” “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing,” she wrote.

7. The fever swamps of the Internet have powerful megaphones, even when what’s being yelled is false. “Geary Danley was not the gunman … But for hours on the far-right Internet, would-be sleuths scoured Danley’s Facebook likes, family photographs and marital history to try to ‘prove’ that he was,” Abby Ohlheiser reports. “Danley, according to an archived version of a Facebook page bearing that name, might have been married to a Marilou Danley. Police were looking for a woman by that name in the hours after the shooting, but later said they did not think she was involved. The briefest look at the viral threads and tweets falsely naming Geary Danley as the attacker makes it easy to guess why a bunch of right-wing trolls latched on to him: His Facebook profile indicated that he might be a liberal …

That phony story quickly embedded itself into the algorithms of Google and Facebook, where sites promoting the rumor remained at the top of the results for anyone searching for Danley’s name. … For a time on Monday morning, one of those 4chan threads falsely naming Danley as the shooter was promoted by Google as a ‘top story’ for searches for his name … The right-wing news site Gateway Pundit [which the White House has given press credentials to] also picked up these rumors as fact in a now-deleted article. … And on Facebook, a search for articles about Geary Danley promoted seven links leading to inaccurate stories about him. The eighth result is a debunking.” (BuzzFeed debunks 19 other hoaxes that spread online after the shooting.)

These are many of the same people that promoted Pizzagate, and the fact that the fake stories got as much visibility and traction as they did suggests that search giants and social media platforms still have a lot of work to do before they can be considered responsible corporate actors.

8. More than ever, in a polarized and fragmented country, comedians are emerging as prominent voices of moral authority.

Every late-night TV comedian except Jimmy Fallon opened his show last night with a serious monologue about what transpired in Vegas. Emily Yahr writes up what each of them said: “Trevor Noah and James Corden were in disbelief over American gun culture. Conan O’Brien was devastated to realize how many times he’s had to talk about mass shootings. Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers urged Congress to take action on gun control.”

Jimmy Kimmel has clearly been emboldened by the role he played in stopping the Cassidy-Graham health-care bill from passing last week. The ABC host was in tears on his show last night as he spoke about the “terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy” in his hometown of Las Vegas. Kimmel choked up several times during a 10-minute speech. He called out Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan by name. “They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy,” he said. (Read a full transcript of the monologue here.) Click below to watch:

Watch Conan:

Watch Noah:

Watch Meyers:

Watch Corden:

9. The polling on guns is much more complicated and nuanced than most of the mainstream media’s coverage might lead you to believe. “Democrats are fond of pointing out that 8 in 10 or 9 in 10 Americans favor expanded background checks for gun purchases. That's true, but it also masks another important reality: Republicans just don't think legislation is the answer, period,” Aaron Blake writes on The Fix. “In June 2016, Quinnipiac University asked whether people supported a ban on ‘assault weapons’ — a.k.a. semiautomatic ones. About 6 in 10 Americans (59 percent) supported it, including 4 in 10 Republicans (40 percent). But when the pollster asked whether such a ban would be effective in reducing gun violence, Americans actually disagreed by a small margin, 49-47. Just 24 percent of Republicans thought it would be effective, while 70 percent said it wouldn't.

“The story was similar on background checks: While 93 percent of all people and 90 percent of Republicans said they supported background checks for all gun purchases, only 62 percent overall and 42 percent of Republicans thought it would actually reduce gun violence. A majority of Republicans (53 percent) again felt it wouldn't help at all. … And if you don't think these address the problem, you're more likely to believe specific proposals overreach into ‘gun grabs.’”

“And in fact, multiple polls have shown a large percentage of Americans think the answer is more guns, not fewer. A Washington Post-ABC News poll that same month showed that 54 percent would encourage more people to carry guns legally for self-defense. Just 42 percent discouraged it.”

10. Regardless of the polling, the truth is that America’s deadliest shooting incidents are getting much deadlier. Philip Bump charts how the death toll of these massacres has grown over time:

WHAT HAPPENED:

-- “Under the neon glow and glitz of the Vegas Strip, thousands of concertgoers who had gathered for a three-day music festival dove for cover or raced toward shelter when the gunfire began at about 10 p.m. Sunday,” Heather Long, Mark Berman and Derek Hawkins report. “Police said more than 22,000 people were at the concert when Paddock began firing round after round, shooting from an elevated position that left those on the ground effectively helpless. The typical advice for reacting to an active shooter — ‘run, hide or fight’ — was rendered moot, as many in the packed crowd could not easily run or hide, nor were they able to fight back at someone firing from so far away.”

  • In video footage, concertgoers can be seen screaming and running for cover — though they did not immediately know from what. “We thought it was fireworks at first or trouble with the speakers,” said Kayla Ritchie, 21. “[Then] everything went dark.”
  • It wasn’t until [singer Jason] Aldean fled the stage and the lights came on that 21-year-old Taylor Benge said he realized that “about five feet to the left of me, there was a man with a bullet wound to his chin.” “He was just lifeless on the ground,” Benge said.

-- “Outside, The Strip, always a blizzard of dazzling lights and honking horns, almost instantly turned into a frenzied hive of pulsing police lights and sirens,” Michael Lyle, Heather Long and Marc Fisher report. “People fled every which way, many taking cellphone video of their run to safety. [Former minor league baseball player Todd Blyleven, who traveled from Dallas for the concert with his wife and friends], helped carry out the lifeless body of a young woman. He saw a police officer who looked like he had taken a bullet in the neck. ‘Young girls and guys, older folks, just people walking out of a country concert with bullet holes,’ Blyleven said.”

-- “Aldean was barely five measures into ‘When She Says Baby,’ when the shots started,” Avi Selk and Amy B Wang report. “’Is that gunfire?’ [Singer Jason] Owen remembered thinking[.] The gunfire continued, steady against the beat of the song … Shot after shot, faster and faster. Aldean sprinted off the stage. Owen ran, too. So did other singers, workers and all the thousands of spectators — fleeing and screaming, falling and dying.”

-- A fire alarm triggered by gun smoke let first responders zero in on the shooter’s location. SWAT team members then used explosives to get inside, where they found [Paddock] dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry,” the sheriff said. (Cleve R. Wootson Jr.)

-- “I realized people were dying": Photographer David Becker spoke to The Post's photo editor MaryAnne Golon about witnessing the attack and capturing some of the most haunting images from the night: “ It had been so dark outside I couldn’t see the details. I just saw a lot of people laying on the ground thinking they were playing possum, but now I could see people covered in blood and I thought, this is real. When I saw the image of the woman lying on the ground covered in blood, that was when the impact of what I was experiencing hit — when I realized people were dying.” 

Jessica Klymchuk was among the victims. (Social media/Reuters)

THE VICTIMS:

-- Only a handful of the 59 victims so far have been identified. They range in age from 20 to nearly 60 and came from across the country for the music festival. They included a single mother of four, a registered nurse and a Las Vegas police officer. The Post will keep updating this running list as more names are released.

  • One of the victims was a 29-year-old celebrating his first wedding anniversary: "Heather Melton said her husband [Sonny] saved her life while gunfire was hitting the crowd. ‘He saved my life. He grabbed me and started running when I felt him get shot in the back,’ she said. ‘I want everyone to know what a kindhearted, loving man he was, but at this point, I can barely breathe.’” (WSMV of Nashville)
  • Sandy Casey, a special-education teacher, had recently gotten engaged. She was attending the concert with her fiance, Christopher Willemse, and friends when she was struck in her lower back. She died in Willemse’s arms as he attempted to carry her to safety. 

  • Angie Gomez was just 20 and went to the festival to celebrate her new job as a certified nursing assistant. Her boyfriend of five years and several strangers attempted to get her to a hospital, but she died before receiving medical attention.

  • John Phippen, 57, traveled to Las Vegas from California with his son Travis. As the gunshots first rang out, Phippen jumped on top of his son and saved his life. Travis, who has experience as a medic, went on to treat more than a dozen of the injured, despite taking a bullet to the arm.

THE HEROES:

-- Jonathan Smith was shot in the neck while helping dozens to safety. Heather Long reports: “Smith was focused on saving his young nieces, but they separated in the crowd. … He grabbed people and told them to follow him toward a handicapped parking area in the direction of the airport, away from Las Vegas Boulevard. It was a large field with several rows of vehicles. Smith and the others crouched down behind one of the last rows of cars. … A few young girls weren’t fully hidden. He stood up and moved toward them to urge them to get on the ground. That’s when a bullet struck him in the neck. … ‘I don’t see myself [as a hero],’ he said. ‘I would want someone to do the same for me. No one deserves to lose a life coming to a country festival.’”

THE SHOOTER:

-- Stephen Paddock, 64, was described as a high-stakes gambler who mostly kept to himself at a quiet retirement community outside Las Vegas. Neighbors said he would disappear for “days at a time,” frequenting casinos with his longtime girlfriend, Marilou Danley. William Wan, Sandhya Somashekhar, Aaron C. Davis and Barbara Liston have more:

Relatives expressed bewilderment and told authorities they were not aware of any mental illness or substance abuse problems: “Eric Paddock said he knew of five guns his brother kept in his safe but was shocked that a rapid-fire weapon was used in Sunday’s shooting. He said his brother didn’t hunt, barely shot his guns and once took Eric Paddock’s children on a skeet-shooting trip paid for by the casinos.”

He liked to wager tens of thousands of dollars in a single sitting: “He owned homes in four states but preferred staying in casino hotels, sometimes for weeks at a time . . . He was worth more than $2 million, relatives said. At various points of his life, Stephen Paddock worked for defense contractor Lockheed Martin and as an accountant and property manager. As a retiree, he had no children and plenty of money to play with. So he took up gambling. ‘It’s like a job for him. It’s a job where you make money,’ said Eric Paddock, adding that his brother could lose $1 million and still have enough to live on.’”

For several years, the gunman lived with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, in a retirement community in Reno: “[Neighbors] said they interacted with Danley but not with Paddock, whom they described as extremely standoffish. . . . Harold Allred, who lives up the street from the couple, said his wife often ran into Danley in exercise classes or social gatherings. Allred said he and his wife found Danley unremarkable, though perhaps a little odd, and didn’t know Paddock. ‘He was reclusive,’ said Allred, 66. ‘We never met him.’”

“Paddock’s father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, described on a 1969 wanted poster as ‘psychopathic’ with suicidal tendencies. He escaped from prison that year and, according to news accounts, was not captured until 1978, when he was nabbed while running a bingo parlor in Oregon.”

THE WEAPONS:

-- Even after searching his home, investigators are still trying to figure out Paddock’s motive. "[Authorities] said hotel staff had been in and out of the two-room suite, which Paddock had stayed in since Sept. 28, and spotted nothing ‘nefarious,’ though he had more than 10 suitcases,” Matt Zapotosky, Devlin Barrett and Mark Berman report.

-- Authorities said Paddock had a cache of 23 firearms in his possession. Michael S. Rosenwald, Devlin Barrett and Alex Horton report: “One of the weapons Paddock apparently [used] was an AK-47 type rifle, with a stand to steady it for firing[.] … Investigators believe at least one of the guns functioned as if it were fully automatic and are now working to determine whether he modified it or others to be capable of spitting out a high volume of fire just by holding down the trigger[.] But video from the attack suggests Paddock may have used at least one fully automatic rifle, marking the first time such a weapon has been wielded by a public mass shooter in the United States.”

THE TRUMP RESPONSE:

-- The White House repeatedly insisted yesterday that it was not appropriate to talk about policy on the day of a tragedy. “There will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment,”  said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

-- But Trump selectively politicizes events, whenever they work to his advantage. “Time and time again, he has capitalized on terror to advance his agenda,” write Michael Scherer and Philip Rucker. “After a bomb attack on a train in London in September, Trump called for a ‘far larger, tougher and more specific’ travel ban … well before London authorities had declared that terrorism was the cause. When an indebted gambler assaulted a Manila casino in June, killing dozens by starting a fire, Trump called the event ‘terrorism’ at the White House, even though local police later said the attack was a robbery attempt unconnected to terrorism. During his campaign, Trump made the shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. … a centerpiece of his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. And Trump reacted to the shooting at an Orlando nightclub with self-praise, suggesting that the incident was a symptom of weak Democratic policies.

“The Las Vegas massacre was different, both because investigators have found no evidence linking the shooter to a terrorist organization and because he was a white American, as opposed to a Muslim immigrant,” Scherer and Rucker write. “The emerging facts prevented Trump from following his typical playbook — to rally his supporters against Islamic extremism while speaking and tweeting in a combative, even belligerent tone to try to project strength and resolve. Rather, Trump uttered just 574 words on Monday and tried to play the role of uniter.”

-- “Mass shootings are so frequent in America that the political responses to them have become ritualized to the point of parody,” Ryan Lizza writes in the New Yorker. “Trump … read haltingly from a teleprompter in the Diplomatic Reception Room, where F.D.R. once calmed Depression- and Second World War-era America with his fireside chats. It was not Trump’s worst public performance. He stayed on script, and read a short and well-crafted statement without making any bizarre Trumpian asides. But it was a classic of the ‘thoughts and prayers’ model in that it offered no promise of a policy response whatsoever. … Near the end of his speech, Trump said that ‘even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.’ If your hope was that Washington would start to grapple with a response to the crisis of mass shootings, the President didn’t offer a single ray.”

-- David Frum, who was a speechwriter in George W. Bush’s White House, says Trump’s comments were “steeped in hypocrisy”: “He is the least outwardly religious president of modern times, the president least steeped in scripture. For him to offer the consolations of God and faith after mass bloodletting is to invite derision. ‘It is love that defines us,’ said President Trump, and if we weren’t heartbroken, we would laugh. Those who praised the speech, as CNN’s John King did, are reacting on reflex. This is the kind of thing we are used to hearing from Republican politicians; Trump is a Republican politician; therefore this is what he should say…

“But whereas Vice President Pence could have pronounced those words with sincerity, or a convincing simulacrum thereof, Donald Trump looked shifty, nervous, and false,” Frum writes in The Atlantic. Speeches are watched as well as heard, and the viewer saw a president who wished he were somewhere else because he had been compelled to pretend something so radically false to his own nature. For once, Trump read the speech exactly as written. Perhaps his aides talked him into it. Because Trump is not a good reader, he read the speech wrong. And because it sounded wrong, he looked bad.”

-- POSTPONED: The Daily 202 Live with Mick Mulvaney. My sit-down with the OMB director, which was set for tomorrow, has been postponed. Follow @PostLive on Twitter or sign-up here to receive updated scheduling info.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:

-- Legendary rocker Tom Petty died at the age of 66. He went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to a hospital, leading some outlets to erroneously report his death earlier on Monday. Petty’s longtime manager confirmed the sad news last night.

Harrison Smith and Adam Bernstein with his obituary: “Mr. Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, released their self-titled debut in 1976 and soon drew comparisons to the bluesy, guitar-heavy rock of the Rolling Stones and the Byrds. Their music was unabashedly sentimental, seeming to speak to striving, everyday Americans no less than the songs of fellow rocker Bruce Springsteen[.] … The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Mr. Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2002. ‘I’d like to see us break some new ground and leave some sort of mark on the music,’ Mr. Petty once said … ‘If you could make some little dent in rock, where that little area is yours — that’s what I’m striving for now.’”

-- Americans Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne won the Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of gravitational waves. “This year’s prize is about a discovery that shook the world," a Nobel representative said when announcing the winners. (Ben Guarino)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during the daily briefing at the White House. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The Interior Department’s inspector general has launched an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s travel, including his use of chartered jets and his mixing of official business trips with political appearances. (Lisa Rein)
  2. U.S. intelligence operatives in Havana were among the first and most severely hit by the bizarre string of health attacks, which started within “days” of Trump’s election. (AP)
  3. Catalonia’s independence referendum is sure to be challenged in court, and Madrid has declared the results — which showed 90 percent of voters favored independence — to be illegitimate. (William Booth)
  4. The Australian government finished its report on the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014, but its conclusions are likely to be very unsatisfying in what is one of the greatest aviation mysteries. “’The reasons for the loss of MH370 cannot be established with certainty until the aircraft is found.’ And that is unimaginable, the report said.” (Kyle Swenson)
  5. The Palestinian prime minister visited the Gaza Strip in an attempt to make amends with Hamas. (Loveday Morris and Sufian Taha)
  6. The Supreme Court began its new session by considering workers’ collective bargaining rights. The case concerns whether companies can force employees into individual arbitration over wage disputes and other conflicts. (Robert Barnes)
  7. Two unnamed people’s personal information was exposed in the SEC’s 2016 security breach, the agency acknowledged in a statement. The revelation follows the SEC’s disclosure that the breach may have allowed hackers to profit from illegal stock sales. (Renae Merle)
  8. A USC faculty member was detained for a mental evaluation after she told students that there was an active shooter on campus. The campus locked down, but police found no evidence of a shooter. (Susan Svrluga)
  9. Barack and Michelle Obama could be moving to the Big Apple. Page Six’s Emily Smith reported that the former president and first lady are eyeing a white-glove, full-service building on the Upper East Side. Originally built in 1930, the prewar building now boasts 15 floors, an indoor basketball court and long list of notable tenants. A spokeswoman for the Obamas declined to comment.

Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention. (Matt Rourke/AP)

THERE’S A BEAR IN THE WOODS:

-- Trump associates have given investigators documents showing two previously unreported contacts with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman and Adam Entous report: “In one case, Trump’s personal attorney and a business associate exchanged emails weeks before the Republican National Convention about traveling to an economic conference in Russia that would be attended by top Russian financial and government leaders, including [Vladimir Putin] … In the other case, the same Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, received a proposal in late 2015 for a Moscow residential project from a company founded by a billionaire who once served in the Russian Senate[.]”

  • “Cohen declined the invitation to the economic conference [and] rejected the Moscow building plan. But the new disclosures add to an emerging picture in which Trump’s business and campaign were repeatedly contacted by Russians with interests in business and politics.” Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen have been revealed to have fielded such inquiries from Moscow in the weeks before or after Trump accepted the Republican nomination.
  • “The June 2016 email to Cohen about the economic conference came from Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer and former Trump business associate. Sater encouraged Cohen to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, with Sater telling Cohen that he could be introduced to [Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev], top financial leaders and perhaps to Putin …. At one point, Sater told Cohen that Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, could help arrange the discussions …”

-- The Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe and Franklin Foer obtained the full emails exchanged between Manafort and an international intermediary to get a message to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, which were first reported by The Post. “[T]he full text of these exchanges … shows that Manafort attempted to leverage his leadership role in the Trump campaign to curry favor with a Russian oligarch close to [Putin]. Manafort was deeply in debt, and did not earn a salary from the Trump campaign. There is no evidence that Deripaska met with Manafort in 2016, or knew about Manafort’s attempts to reach him. Yet the extended correspondence between Manafort and [the intermediary] paints a more complete portrait of Manafort’s willingness to trade on his campaign position.

-- The top legal counsel on Robert Mueller’s team, Michael Dreeben, has reportedly been researching the limits of presidential pardons. Bloomberg’s Greg Farrell reports: “Pre-emptive pardons are a distinct possibility now that current and former Trump advisers are under Mueller’s scrutiny. Trump himself has tweeted that everyone agrees the U.S. president has ‘complete power to pardon.’ … [T]he legal territory is largely uncharted over pardons of a president’s own campaign workers, family members or even himself -- and how prosecutors’ work would then be affected. What Dreeben brings to the question, say those who know him, is a credibility that comes from parsing how criminal prosecutions have played out across the country.”

-- Freshman Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.) booked a basement room in the Capitol for former congressman Connie Mack (R-Fla.) to hold a sham hearing for his Ukrainian lobbying client. The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff and Andrew Desiderio report: “[T]he fake ‘hearing’ was broadcast in full on Ukraine’s NewsOne and described to viewers as the ‘U.S. Congressional Committee on Financial Issues.’ But not a single member of Congress attended. The network teased the ‘shocking details’ about the ‘highest levels of corruption in the NBU,’ referring to the National Bank of Ukraine. … A pamphlet handed out to attendees was evaluated by a Ukrainian fact-checking website as having ‘mostly correct’ data about the NBU but ‘manipulated in almost all occasions.’” Mack lobbies on behalf of Interconnection Commerce — which was implicated in the Pentagon Papers — as well as Hungary’s Putin-allied political party.

-- The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), said that the CIA denied the committee’s request to review information about Russian meddling that has already been seen by the chamber’s intelligence committee. (Politico)

Russian President Vladimir Putin drives a motor boat at the cascade of mountain lakes in Siberia. (European Pressphoto Agency/Nikolsky/Sputnik) 

MOSCOW IS USING OUR OWN TECH TOOLS  AGAINST US:

-- By using Facebook’s powerful “Custom Audience” tool to identify American voters susceptible to propaganda — and then targeting them with messages designed to influence their voting behavior — Russian operatives exploited a system used frequently by U.S. corporations. Elizabeth Dwoskin, Craig Timberg and Adam Entous report: “The Web sites and Facebook pages displayed ads or other messages focused on such hot-button issues as illegal immigration, African American political activism and the rising prominence of Muslims in the United States. The Russian operatives then used a Facebook ‘retargeting’ tool, called Custom Audiences, to send specific ads and messages to voters who had visited those sites.”

  • One Russian-bought ad featured photographs of an armed black woman “dry-firing” a rifle, or pulling the trigger without a bullet in the chamber, which investigators believe may have been designed to stoke racial tensions. Another showed an image of Hillary Clinton behind what appear to be prison bars.
  • “The conclusions of investigators fit those of several independent researchers, who say that the Russian disinformation campaign exploited the core advertising and tracking technologies that Silicon Valley has honed over a decade … and which are widely available, with few if any restrictions, to political actors in the United States and abroad.”
  • Facebook delivered more than 3,000 ads to congressional investigators on Monday: “[Facebook] is also sharing information on which users those ads were designed to target, how many users viewed or clicked on those ads, and the payment methods used by the Russians. The company said Monday that modeling shows these ads were seen by roughly 10 million users. An estimated 44 percent were seen before the Nov. 8 election, and the rest were seen afterward.”

-- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he hopes to make public a sampling of Russia-linked Facebook ads that were turned over to Congress on Monday “as soon as possible.” “The American people deserve to see the ways that the Russian intelligence services manipulated and took advantage of online platforms to stoke and amplify social and political tensions, which remains a tactic we see the Russian government rely on today,” said Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

-- HP Enterprise allowed a Russian defense agency to scrutinize the cyberdefense system used by the Pentagon to guard its computer networks, potentially helping Moscow identify weaknesses in the software. Reuters’s Joel Schectman, Dustin Volz and Jack Stubbs report: “The HPE system, called ArcSight, serves as a cybersecurity nerve center for much of the U.S. military, alerting analysts when it detects that computer systems may have come under attack. ArcSight is also widely used in the private sector. The Russian review of ArcSight’s source code, the closely guarded internal instructions of the software, was part of HPE’s effort to win the certification required to sell the product to Russia’s public sector, according to the regulatory records … Six former U.S. intelligence officials, as well as former ArcSight employees and independent security experts, said the source code review could help Moscow discover weaknesses in the software, potentially helping attackers to blind the U.S. military to a cyber attack.” 

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner talk before a joint news conference with Donald Trump and the Lebanese prime minister. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

THE TRUMP EMAILS:

-- White House officials are looking into a THIRD email account on Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s private domain, which received hundreds of messages from White House addresses. Politico’s Josh Dawsey and Andrea Peterson report: “The emails — which include nonpublic travel documents, internal schedules and some official White House materials — were in many cases sent from Ivanka Trump, her assistant Bridges Lamar and others who work with the couple in the White House. The emails to the third account were largely sent from White House accounts but occasionally came from other private accounts[.] … The existence of additional accounts on the family domain … raises new questions about the extent of personal email use by the couple during their time as White House aides.” (This may violate the Presidential Records Act.)

HURRICANE MARIA FALLOUT:

-- Trump will visit Puerto Rico today. Arelis Hernández, Dan Lamothe and Joel Achenbach report on how the island’s situation became desperate: “When things went bad during Hurricane Maria, they went bad all at once, across this entire island. Suddenly, everything was dysfunctional, including the power grid, the cellphone towers, the banking system. … The difficulty in responding to Maria has revealed how unique each disaster is — and how resistant to a one-size-fits-all approach. … For Maria, numerous Coast Guard and FEMA urban-search-and-rescue teams were on hand or arrived quickly. But it soon became clear that what people needed most were life-sustaining provisions — including water, food and diesel fuel for generators — that the search-and-rescue teams didn’t have.”

-- During his visit, Trump may see San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, his most recent Twitter target. Abby Phillip reports: “[T]he White House seemed to be downplaying his harsh criticism of Cruz, saying she had been invited to participate in the official visit. ‘Look, right now our focus is to bring the mayor into the coordination efforts,’ said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. ‘This administration, as well as other members on the ground, have reached out to her.’ ‘We hope that she will join with us in those efforts and be part of things,’ she added.”

-- Meanwhile, the Trump administration is planning to ask Congress for another $10 billion in relief funding. Ed O’Keefe reports: “[O]fficials [in Puerto Rico] and some lawmakers on the mainland are clamoring for legislation that would provide tens of billions of dollars in relief and address Puerto Rico’s long-simmering fiscal crisis, shore up its bankrupt electric company and plug a shortfall in Medicaid funding. … [Carmelo] Ríos, the Puerto Rico Senate’s majority leader, warned that Congress should act quickly. If it doesn’t, he expects 100,000 to 200,000 island residents to relocate, at least temporarily, to the mainland United States in the coming weeks.”

-- Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are proposing to combine $1 billion in extra Medicaid funding to Puerto Rico with the renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Paige Winfield Cunningham reports: “[The proposal] would be paid for with a bucket of items, including raising Medicare rates for wealthier seniors, redirecting dollars from the Affordable Care Act’s prevention fund and shortening a grace period for enrollees who don’t pay their premiums. … The funding, which would be provided to Puerto Rico over a two-year period, would be part of a package to fund [CHIP], community health centers and other health-care extenders.”

-- School districts along the entire East Coast are preparing to take on an influx of new Puerto Rican students as some families leave the island. The Wall Street Journal’s Joseph De Avila and  Arian Campo-Flores report: “The Miami-Dade County school district has enrolled about a dozen Puerto Rican children. ‘I think that number will grow exponentially,’ said Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools. … Boston schools, which have a 42% Hispanic population out of about 57,000 students, are setting up one-stop centers with nonprofit groups where families will be able to enroll students, get language assessments and obtain winter clothing[.] … Officials with New York City schools, the largest district in the U.S., with 1.1 million students, have been meeting regularly to prepare for the arrival of Puerto Rican evacuees[.]”

THE AGENDA:

-- The fight over the GOP's tax plan begins, with friendly fire from both Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). Kelsey Snell reports: “Neither Paul nor Corker said he was firmly against the bill, but any GOP split over the tax framework creates a potentially perilous negotiation in the Senate[.] … Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said plans to finance tax cuts by adding to the deficit could be a problem for some Republicans but he is confident that economic growth will more than compensate for short-term losses.”

-- Trump is considering an executive order that would trigger a review of the American welfare system. Politico’s Andrew Restuccia reports: “[T]he draft order calls on agencies to review existing regulations and propose new rules that conform to a set of broad welfare principles, including tighter work requirements that encourage recipients to shift back into the labor force … Administration backers of the welfare executive order hope he signs it before Thanksgiving, one of the officials said. But another official cautioned that the conversations about the order are ‘very preliminary at this stage,’ adding that the final outcome is uncertain.”

-- Since taking office, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has had numerous meetings with top energy executives and almost none with environmental groups. The New York Times’s Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman reports: “In just the first 15 days of May, Mr. Pruitt met with the chief executive of the Chemours Company, a leading chemical maker, as well as three chemical lobbying groups; the egg producers lobby; the president of Shell Oil Company; the chief executive of Southern Company; lobbyists for the farm bureau, the toy association and a cement association; the president of a truck equipment manufacturer seeking to roll back emissions regulations for trucks; and the president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. … Mr. Pruitt also has made frequent, government-funded trips to his home state of Oklahoma, even when the journeys included only a bit of official business.”

Left: Doug Jones chats with constituents before a Democratic Senate candidate forum. (Jeronimo Nisa /Decatur Daily/AP) Right: Roy Moore during his election party. (Brynn Anderson/AP)

OFF TO THE RACES:

-- Democrats are debating whether to commit extensive resources to Doug Jones’s Senate race against Roy Moore in Alabama, where they haven't competed in a serious Senate battle since 1996. The New York Times’s Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns report: “Democrats here and in Washington believe that their nominee … is the most formidable candidate they have fielded for the Senate in this state in over two decades. … Some in the party believe that they simply cannot write off the South if they expect to regain control of Congress — and that they will never recover here if they abandon high-quality candidates such as Mr. Jones. But the Democratic brand has become so toxic in states such as Alabama that if the national party rallies behind Mr. Jones and turns his candidacy into a liberal cause célèbre, it could only doom him by pushing Republicans reluctant to support Mr. Moore back to their partisan corner. …

“But in the eyes of many Democrats, opposing Mr. Moore is as much a moral imperative as a political one. As [David] Axelrod put it, [Moore], who has a decades-long record of making incendiary comments about gays, African-Americans and Muslims, is so offensive to Democrats that it makes him ‘hard to ignore.’ … [James] Carville added, ‘if you can’t run against Roy Moore, then what kind of party you got?’

-- A group of pro-Trump figures is launching a new super PAC seeking to take aim at the Republican establishment. The Atlantic’s Rosie Gray reports: “Jeff Giesea, Mike Cernovich, and Jack Posobiec, organizers of the ‘Deploraball’ party to celebrate President Trump’s inauguration earlier this year, are behind the super PAC, which is being called #Rev18."

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Former congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) offered her thoughts on Las Vegas:

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama weighed in:

From Canada:

From the senator who represented the Sandy Hook victims:

From the lawmaker who was the victim of a different shooting:

From former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum:

Prominent Democrats called for more gun control:

Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham responded this way:

Kentucky’s Republican governor accused gun control advocates of exploiting a tragedy:

Democrats on the Hill also pushed for action on guns:

Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.), who has repeatedly called for Trump’s impeachment, postponed his campaign:

A Wired writer had this to say when responding to Fox News's host Howard Kurtz's comment that Democrats should wait before "plunging in" to gun control debate:

Against the backdrop of Hurricane Maria recovery efforts, San Juan recognized the tragedy:

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) donated blood for those injured:

From an NPR reporter:

The Onion has had to reuse this headline many times:

Michael Flynn arrives at the Trump Tower with his son Michael G. Flynn. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:

-- “How Mike Flynn Jr. Is Dealing with Being Trapped Inside the Mueller Investigation,” by GQ's Ben Schreckinger: “That the younger Flynn — a man whose résumé is devoid of political experience—would end up on Mueller's radar speaks to a crazy truth in the widening Trump/Russia investigation. For every sophisticated operator like Paul Manafort, who has spent a lifetime in the trenches of political warfare … there's also a guy like Mike Flynn Jr. — a pretty average dude swept into a roiling case of monumental importance. That means that not only do Trump and his team have to worry about the potential misdeeds perpetrated by the president's men, but they must also fret about the president's dudes — and whatever malfeasance these amateurs may have committed out of sheer ignorance. . . . The myriad legal hassles the Flynns now face stem not from nefarious intent, [one] official argued, but from the fact that Flynn Jr. was in charge of the Flynn Intel Group's paperwork and was unqualified for his position. … ‘I wouldn't expect him to know who Farrah Fawcett is, let alone a FARA filing,’ said the official.”

 

DAYBOOK:

Trump and the first lady are traveling to Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan today. They will visit with victims of Hurricane Maria and meet with officials from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They will also later greet Navy and Marine Corps servicemembers.

Pence is traveling to Phoenix to promote overhauling the tax code with Gov. Doug Ducey (R). He also has an evening political reception.

 

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

-- It will be another comfortable day in the District, before we return to hotter temperatures tomorrow. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “It’s two-for-Tuesday as we replicate Monday’s fantastic weather with mostly sunny skies, comfortably low humidity, and afternoon temperatures up into the 70s again. … Afternoon temperatures might be just a slight bit warmer than yesterday.”

­-- The Redskins lost 29-20 in the final moments of last night’s game against the Chiefs. (Liz Clarke)

-- Laurene Powell Jobs is buying a big stake in the Wizards and Capitals. Powell’s investment in Monument Sports Entertainment would be about 20 percent, giving her the second-largest stake behind owner Ted Leonsis. (Thomas Heath)

-- Capital Bikeshare plans to add 100 new stations next year as part of a larger expansion across the city. (Luz Lazo)

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

One couple at the concert turned their truck into a makeshift ambulance to transport the injured to the hospital:

Country music stars Maren Morris and Vince Gill released a new song entitled “Dear Hate,” with proceeds going toward the Vegas victims:

The Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee fact-checked Sen. Bill Cassidy’s (R-La.) claim that most Planned Parenthood clinics are in urban centers where women have adequate access to health services:

And The Post's Carlos Lozada recalled this special performance from the late Tom Petty:

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/10/03/daily-202-10-political-takeaways-from-the-las-vegas-shooting/59d2e8a130fb0468cea81d17/

30Sep/170

Trump Lashes Out at Puerto Rico Mayor Who Criticized Storm Response

She pointed to comments made on Friday by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who is leading the response effort and who said on Friday that he did not have enough troops and equipment. “So who am I?” Ms. Cruz asked. “I’m just a little mayor from the capital city of San Juan. This is a three-star general telling the world that right now he does not have the appropriate means and tools to take care of the situation.”

The attacks on the mayor generated a backlash from those who noted that the president was spending the weekend in the comfort of his golf club while the mayor was struggling to help her constituents on an island with no power. “She has been working 24/7,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” the hit Broadway musical, wrote on Twitter. “You have been GOLFING. You’re going straight to hell. Fastest golf cart you ever took.”

Russel L. Honoré, the retired lieutenant general who took over the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 after an initially inadequate federal effort, also noted the president’s weekend retreat. “The mayor’s living on a cot, and I hope the president has a good day at golf,” he said on CNN.

The president was out of sight on Saturday, secluded at his club in Bedminster, N.J., miles away from the pool of journalists who follow him, and aides would not say whether he was golfing.

But the seemingly slow response to the hurricane in Puerto Rico, an American commonwealth — especially compared with the federal response to storms in Texas and Florida — threatened to become a political disaster for Mr. Trump as critics compared it to President George W. Bush’s handling of Katrina. Mr. Trump has alternated between expressions of resolve and concern on the one hand and angry recriminations against critics on the other.

It was not the first time that Mr. Trump had gone after other leaders even as they were dealing with a crisis. In June, the president accused the mayor of London of being soft on terrorism after assailants killed eight people.

Ms. Cruz became a powerful voice of grievance on Friday when she went on television to plead for help and reject assertions by the Trump administration about how well it was responding. She was incensed by comments made by Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, who had said on Thursday that it was “really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths” from the hurricane.

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“This is, damn it, this is not a good news story,” Ms. Cruz said on CNN. “This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a ‘life or death’ story. This is ‘there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people’ story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.”

Ms. Duke traveled to Puerto Rico on Friday and tried to smooth things over, agreeing that the situation on the ground was “not satisfactory.”

General Buchanan, who arrived in Puerto Rico on Thursday to take over the hurricane response, said on Friday that he needed more personnel and resources. “The answer is no, it’s not enough and we’re bringing more in,” he said on CNN.

General Buchanan said more helicopters, medical units and other resources would arrive soon, but declined to say whether the assistance should have been there earlier. “It’s all coming,” he said. “It’s just going to take time to build up.”

Ms. Cruz, a member of the Popular Democratic Party, which advocates maintaining the island’s commonwealth status, was unmollified and went back on CNN on Friday night to continue her pleas for help.

“People are drinking out of creeks here in San Juan,” Ms. Cruz, wearing a black T-shirt that said, “Help Us, We Are Dying,” told the host Anderson Cooper. “You have people that are in buildings, and they’re sort of becoming caged in their own buildings — old people, retired people that just don’t have any electricity.”

At least 16 people have died in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria, which came soon after Hurricane Irma, although that number could rise. The island has a population of 3.4 million people, roughly the same as Connecticut. In addition to appointing General Buchanan, the Trump administration has waived the Jones Act, a maritime commerce statute that was seen as a hindrance to relief efforts.

“We’re dying here,” Ms. Cruz said. “We truly are dying here. And I keep saying it, SOS. If anyone can hear us, if Mr. Trump can hear us, let’s just get it over with and get the ball rolling.”

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Mr. Trump plans to travel to Puerto Rico with his wife, Melania, on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the hurricane slammed into the island but the earliest he said he could get there without diverting resources from the rescue and recovery efforts. He said on Saturday that he would also “hopefully be able to stop at the U.S. Virgin Islands,” where 100,000 American citizens are also struggling to recover from storm devastation.

The president dismissed complaints about the federal response as distortions from the news media. “Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump,’” he wrote. “Not fair to FR or effort!”

A few hours later, he added, “Despite the Fake News Media in conjunction with the Dems, an amazing job is being done in Puerto Rico. Great people!”


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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/30/us/politics/trump-puerto-rico-mayor.html

28Sep/170

With Tax Cuts on the Table, Once-Mighty Deficit Hawks Hardly Chirp

This month, the majority of Republicans in the House and the Senate voted to raise the debt limit without doing anything to rein in spending.

Republican lawmakers are pushing to increase military spending by tens of billions of dollars, topping even Mr. Trump’s request for a beefed-up military. Democrats are sharing in the fiscal intemperance, lining up behind a “Medicare for all” proposal despite having no definitive plan for how to pay for universal, government-provided health coverage.

And as Congress mulls large tax cuts, the tabs for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria keep rising.

When Mr. Bush took office and pushed for a big tax cut, the fiscal outlook was strong. The Congressional Budget Office in 2001 was projecting $5.6 trillion in budget surpluses over 10 years.

Now, the budget office forecasts that deficits will total $10.1 trillion over the next decade. The deficit is expected to top $1 trillion a year in 2022 and keep growing from there. Federal debt held by the public is at the highest level since shortly after World War II, at 77 percent of the gross domestic product.

“I think the greatest threat to our nation is us,” warned Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “The way we handle our finances, we as a nation are the greatest threat to our nation. It’s not ISIS. It’s not North Korea. It’s not ascendant China. It’s not Russia. We are the greatest threat.”

But such voices are strangely quiet these days in Washington. Even Mr. Corker seems accommodating.

Last week, he reached a deal with another Republican on the budget panel, Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, to allow a tax cut of up to $1.5 trillion over a decade, helping pave the way for the overhaul of the tax code that is a top goal for Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans. He did say he will not vote for a final tax plan if it would add to the deficit.

The mantra now is economic growth.

“Every Republican I know of is concerned about the deficit,” said Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana. “Every Republican I know of is concerned about tepid growth, too.”

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While Republicans denounced the ballooning debt when President Barack Obama was in office, they have much less of a political incentive to dwell on the issue now that their party controls the government.

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“There’s been less talk about it this year with a Republican-led administration than there has been the last seven or eight years,” said Mr. Walker, who bristled at the Senate’s plan for tax cuts that would add to the deficit and said it was imperative that lawmakers pay attention to the debt.

Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said it seems like “fiscal responsibility is more about playing defense than it really is caring about the issue.”

“The party that is the minority, you hear them talk about fiscal responsibility so much more to try to stop the other party from implementing their agenda,” she said. “But then when that party gets in power, and you’re seeing that now, they’re more likely to throw those fiscal concerns to the wayside in order to implement their agenda without having to face any of the hard choices about how to pay for things.”

Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, said his party deserves blame. He warned that the United States could wind up facing an economic collapse akin to that in Venezuela, adding that Republicans in the House and Senate had not demonstrated that they possess “the intellectual understanding of the dangers posed by these deficits and accumulated debt.”

Mr. Trump, who has called himself “the king of debt,” may be setting the tone.

During his presidential campaign, he insisted that he could eliminate the national debt in eight years, even as he promised to protect Social Security and Medicare, programs that are projected to consume an ever larger share of federal spending as the country’s population ages.

After Mr. Trump struck a deal with Democrats on a short-term debt limit extension, Representative David Schweikert, Republican of Arizona, asked, “In this entire discussion, how many members have you heard, how many from the White House said, ‘We’re in the middle of a demographic crisis that’s going to crush us in just a few years; let’s get to work on it’?”

He left unsaid the answer to his question: Not many.

The change in tone on fiscal matters has been swift. This spring, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, asserted that the tax overhaul needed to be revenue neutral, citing the nation’s debt and invoking Mr. Trump’s Democratic predecessor.

“We added an enormous amount of debt during the Obama years,” Mr. McConnell said.

Now, Republican lawmakers are betting that economic growth will fix the nation’s fiscal woes with no pain and a lot of gain.

“The only way we’re going to solve our long-term debt and deficit issue to allow the federal government to have the revenue it’s going to need to fund all these promises made is with strong — and I mean strong — economic growth,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin and a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “You’re not going to achieve that with an awful tax system.”

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Mr. Kennedy, another member of the budget panel, said Americans have to have faith.

“If we do it right, then the economy will be stimulated appropriately and tax revenues will go up and the deficit won’t increase,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Now, I can’t prove to you that that will happen. But neither can anybody else.”


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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/us/politics/trump-tax-cuts-deficit-republicans-congress.html

25Sep/170

North Korea asserts a right to shoot down US bombers

North Korea’s foreign minister on Monday asserted that the pariah state has the right to defend itself by shooting down U.S. planes, even if they are not in the country’s airspace.

Ri Yong Ho, speaking to reporters at a hotel across from the United Nations, said President Trump’s comments at the General Assembly last week and again Saturday on Twitter constituted a declaration of war.

“The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,” he said. “Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to make countermeasures, including the right to shoot down United States strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”

“The question of who won’t be around much longer will be answered then,” Ri added, responding to Trump’s weekend tweet warning that if Ri “echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” Trump was referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, recalling an epithet he has used repeatedly.

North Korea has made similarly bellicose threats in the past against South Korea. But coming at a time when tensions are already high because of the war of words between the U.S. and North Korean leaders, Ri’s remarks further stoked fears that a simple miscalculation could end in military confrontation.

U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flying with F-35B fighter jets and South Korean Air Force F-15K fighter jets fly over the Pilsung Firing Range on Sept. 18, 2017, in Gangwon-do, South Korea. (Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images) (Handout/South Korean Defense Ministry Vi)

Army Col. Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday that North Korea’s threat to shoot down American warplanes will not change U.S. military operations. The U.S. bomber flights conducted this weekend off the Korean Peninsula’s east coast occurred in international airspace, where the Pentagon has the right to fly, he said.

“North Korea is a grave threat,” Manning said. “It’s one that we take very seriously.”

The State Department rejected Ri’s characterization that the two countries are in a state of open war.

“The United States has not ‘declared war’ on North Korea,” said Katina Adams, a spokeswoman for the department’s East Asia bureau. “We continue to seek a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. No nation has the right to fire on other nations’ aircraft or ships in international airspace or waters.”

Ri’s comments were the latest in a rising tide of pugnacious rhetoric since Trump gave a combative address to the General Assembly last week in which he said the United States was ready, willing and able to “totally destroy” North Korea.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said.

Since then, the hostile comments have flown back and forth almost daily. Kim made a rare TV appearance in which he called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” Trump responded with mockery, calling Kim “little rocket man.”

Ri, who said North Korea was prepared to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, told the United Nations on Saturday that Trump’s disrespect toward Kim made it “inevitable” that rockets would “visit” the U.S. mainland. North Korea released doctored videos showing North Korean missiles shooting down U.S. planes and scoring a direct hit on an aircraft carrier.

North Korea has accelerated its missile tests. And on Sept. 3, it detonated a nuclear device it claimed was a hydrogen bomb that could be placed on a missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

But many experts say North Korea’s military capability does not match the potency of its spiraling bravado.

“They do an excellent job of trying to deter by bluster,” said Bruce Bennett, a North Korea expert with the Rand Corporation. “They’ve been very successful convincing a lot of people it’s too dangerous to take them on when they’re such a weak country militarily in many ways.”

Despite Trump’s own military threats against Pyongyang, his administration has stepped up its economic pressure. Last week, he signed an executive order allowing the Treasury Department additional authority to impose more sanctions on people and entities related to North Korea’s dwindling international trade, which helps fund its nuclear and ballistic missile testing.

Michael Green, an Asia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said North Korea’s goal is to instill enough fear over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to win sanctions relief.

“North Korea is trying to raise the level of crisis and panic to the point where other U.S. allies will pressure the United States to enter negotiations and make concessions on easing sanctions,” he said.” They’re like Mafia gangsters driving a pickup through a store window and saying, ‘Pay us protection money.’ It’s for the purpose of blackmail.”

Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-asserts-its-right-to-shoot-down-us-bombers/2017/09/25/74da66c4-a204-11e7-8cfe-d5b912fabc99_story.html

23Sep/170

Looks like John McCain just killed Obamacare repeal, again

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Article source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/22/politics/mccain-graham-cassdy/index.html

20Sep/170

Mexicans Dig Through Quake Rubble as Death Toll Passes 200

At one site, Santiago Borden, 10, was straining to help, carrying a heavy jug of water over his shoulder. Eventually he gave up and passed the burden to his father.

“You’re a kid so you can’t expect to do everything,” his father, Abraham Borden, a lawyer and local politician, said to comfort him.

“I want to show solidarity,” Santiago said.

His father replied: “Of course you do. You’re Mexican, after all.”

The work has been nonstop since the earthquake struck. Overnight, whirring generators powered floodlights to illuminate the disaster scenes. And almost always, accompanying the rescue workers were volunteers clearing debris and distributing water, surgical masks and mustard-colored work gloves.

The scene at a collapsed building on Laredo Street took a grim turn shortly after dawn, as two bodies were unearthed from the wreckage. Still, work continued.

Graphic

Buildings Across Mexico City That Toppled in the Earthquake

Photographs and maps reveal the intensity of Tuesday’s earthquake and the extent of the damage.


“We will continue to work to try and rescue everybody who lives in the building,” said Karen Piña, a doctor in charge of distributing medicine for the area.

Five people had been rescued, but there was still no word of Gabriela Jaén Pimienta, 43. Her uncle, Miguel Ángel Pimienta, had fainted with exhaustion as he waited for news on Wednesday morning.

His face covered by a surgical mask against the dust raised by the debris, he wept as he acknowledged the grim truth behind the wait.

“With every hour that passes, there is less possibility,” he said.

The work was taking its toll on rescue workers, pushing many to the breaking point. As dawn broke over two collapsed residential buildings in the middle-class neighborhood of Del Valle, rescue workers paused to rest as they waited for replacements. They believed 40 people were still trapped inside.

“There’s a breaking point, and we’re of no help like this,” said one government rescue worker with tears in his eyes. He asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly.


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“I’ve been doing this 20 years, but it’s difficult to find people who almost made it out but didn’t,” he added. “There was a mother and daughter in a door frame and they were so close.”

But even where the daily routine returned, as dog walkers emerged in the early light and cafes opened to people scanning the news and messages on their phones, the unfolding tragedy, sometimes just blocks away, was evident.

Ambulance sirens interrupted the silence, and police trucks rumbled by. Volunteers carrying shovels headed to the rescue sites ready to take over from those who had been working all night.

Social media ricocheted with messages: photos of missing people, appeals for aid.

“Poor neighborhoods in Xochimilco and Iztapalapa without much help,” wrote Ricardo Becerra, an economist, on Twitter, referring to areas in the city’s south and east. “Come with picks and shovels.”

Over and over, variations on the list of supplies were repeated. Hammer drills, work gloves, helmets, electrolytes, IV fluid, adrenaline, insulin.

And through it all, there were notes of hope: “Found,” read one message on Twitter. “Leonardo Farías from the Enrique Rebsámen school.”

But the anguish was never far away. Leonardo, pictured in happier time wearing his knapsack and waving, was in the hospital. “He is in delicate condition,” the message said.

Video

Strong Earthquake Strikes Near Mexico City

A deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck close to Mexico City. It comes less than two weeks after the most powerful earthquake in Mexico in a century.


By CHRIS CIRILLO on Publish Date September 19, 2017.


Photo by Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/world/americas/mexico-earthquake-death-toll.html

18Sep/170

China, Russia begin naval drills near North Korea

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and Russia began naval drills near North Korea on Monday amid continuing tensions over the isolated state’s nuclear ambitions and ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting this week, where North Korea is likely to loom large.

North Korea launched a missile over Japan last Friday, its second in the past three weeks, and conducted its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, in defiance of international pressure.

The official Xinhua news agency said the joint exercises will take place between Peter the Great Bay, just outside of the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, not far from the Russia-North Korea border, and into the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan.

The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which took place in the Baltic in July. The report did not directly link the drills to current tensions over North Korea.

Both China and Russia have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the issue.

The international community must remain united and enforce sanctions against North Korea after its repeated launch of ballistic missiles, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an editorial published in the New York Times on Sunday.

Such tests are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and show that North Korea can now target the United States or Europe, Abe said.

Diplomacy and dialogue will not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire international community is essential to tackle the threats posed by North Korea, Abe wrote.

A week ago, the 15-member U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted its ninth sanctions resolution since 2006 over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

On Monday, the official China Daily said sanctions should be given time to bite but that the door must be left open to talks.

“With its Friday missile launch, Pyongyang wanted to give the impression that sanctions will not work. Some people have fallen for that and immediately echoed the suggestion, pointing to the failure of past sanctions to achieve their purpose,” it said in an editorial.

“But that past sanctions did not work does not mean they will not. It is too early to claim failure because the latest sanctions have hardly begun to take effect. Giving the sanctions time to bite is the best way to make Pyongyang reconsider.”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday the U.N. Security Council has run out of options on containing North Korea’s nuclear programme and the United States may have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.

China has urged the United States to refrain from making threats to North Korea. Asked about President Donald Trump’s warning last month that the North Korean threat to the United States will be met with “fire and fury,” Haley said, “It was not an empty threat.”

Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles as it accelerates a weapons programme designed to provide the ability to target the United States with a powerful, nuclear-tipped missile.

North Korea said on Saturday it aimed to reach an “equilibrium” of military force with the United States.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Michael Perry

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles/china-russia-begin-naval-drills-near-north-korea-idUSKCN1BT0CK?il=0