The Wider World

Officials knew of Beirut danger


THE EXPLOSION at a Beirut port last week killed over 160 people and injured over 6,000 (Shutterstock photo).

Top Lebanese officials were warned last month about the dangers posed by a huge cache of volatile ammonium nitrate in Beirut’s port, according to Reuters news service.

The agency reports that security officials in that country told government leaders of the threat by the fertilizer, which is blamed for the Aug. 5 explosion that killed more than 160 people, injured over 6,000 people and destroyed about 6,000 buildings.

That event was the latest blow to a nation that is suffering from deep economic difficulties, religious and political chasms, widespread corruption and difficulties in providing basic services such as electricity.

President Michel Aoun’s government resigned in the wake of the outrage that followed the deadly explosion, but will stay on in a “caretaker” role until a new government is organized.

No word yet on VP from Joe, but …

A week before the 2020 Democratic National Convention, the vice presidential selection of presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden is still pending or under wraps, but the list of speakers has been revealed. In addition to Biden and his pick for veep, the lineup will include former President Barack Obama, his wife and former First Lady Michelle Obama and 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Others slated to speak are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile speculation about Biden’s selection for a running mate continues. He has promised to select a woman, and among the most prominent candidates are California Senator Kamala Harris and former security adviser Susan Rice.

The convention is said to be in Milwaukee, but it will a be “virtual” event, with delegates casting ballots by mail. Platform details were ironed out in meetings held online.

In The News: Looting chaos in Chicago

  • The shooting of a man by police in Chicago early Monday led to a melee in the city’s business and shopping district. A caravan of protesters was followed by vandals and thieves who smashed windows and stole merchandise, ATMs and other items. Over people 100 were arrested and 13 officers were injured. A security guard and civilian were in critical condition from gunshot wounds.
  • THE WHITE HOUSE (White House Photo)

    Democratic Congressional leaders are still deadlocked with the White House about another major coronavirus relief package. President Donald Trump has ordered several actions regarding unemployment assistance and evictions protections but legal and financial issues remain. Some legal scholars question whether the Constitution permits the presidents’ actions, and the Department of Labor has informed states that they must pay $100 of the promised $400 benefit.

  • A man who approached the White House grounds on Monday was shot by Secret Service agents. The breach took place while President Trump was giving a press conference, which was interrupted for about 10 minutes. The intruder and one Secret Service officer were hospitalized. Their conditions were not immediately known.
  • The Spanish Flu of 1918 “probably ended the Second World War,” President Donald Trump said at a press conference on Monday. The flu raged from 1918 to 1920. World War Two lasted from 1939 to 1945. The war ended after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan by American bombers.
  • Monday’s scores
    • MLB: Angels 10, Athletics 9: Mike Trout hit two home runs as the Halos battled back in this slugfest with 14 hits. The team is now 6-11, good for fifth place in the AL West.
    • MLB: Padres 2, Dodgers 1:  LA had a power failure in Chavez Ravine, gathering only four hits in the loss. The Dodgers are 11-6 and in second place in the NL West, a half-game behind the first place Colorado Rockies (11-5).
    • NBA: Lakers 124, Nuggets 121: Kyle Kuzma scored the game-winning three-pointer as LA bested the Denver team. LeBron James led the team with 29 points, followed by Anthony Davis with 27 points and Kuzma with 25. The Lakers are 52-18 and are in first in the NBA Pacific and Western Conference.


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