1-20-17 Trump’s Schedule Packed for Today

WASHINGTON (AP) — Before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office this afternoon, he will make several appearances.

First, Trump and his wife will attend services at St. Johns Church where he’ll attend with his family this morning.  The service is expected to last an hour.

Then he’ll meet President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for tea at the White House.  That should be around 9:30 and will last again about an hour.

The Trumps and the Obamas will then travel together in the presidential limousine for the short trip to the Capitol for the noon swearing-in ceremony.

A parade will follow.  It’s not known if the President will walk any portion of the parade route.

Afterwards, there will be a luncheon hosted by the new President.


President Barack Obama and his wife are expected to depart the White House around 12:30.

1.19.17:  At least 30 firefighters died as building collapsed



TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — State media in Iran are reporting that at least 30 firefighters have been killed and some 75 people are injured after a high-rise building on fire collapsed.

Onlookers wailed in grief as the iconic structure called the Plasco building crumbled to the ground today in Tehran.

Firefighters had battled the fire for several hours before the building collapsed.


1.19.17:  Avalanche buries hotel



MILAN (AP) — Crews have been working to find survivors following an avalanche in Italy.  It buried a mountain hotel in central Italy and at one point at least 30 people were missing.

A man staying at the hotel says he escaped when he went outside to get something out of his car.  His wife and two children were buried inside.  Some guests have been texting messages saying they are trapped inside.


That mountainous region of central Italy has been struck by a series of quakes since August.

1.18.17:  3 large earthquakes hit central Italy in an hour




ROME (AP) — Three earthquakes hit central Italy in the space of an hour Wednesday, with tremors felt in the capital.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The first quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 hit the region north of Amatrice at about 10:25 a.m. (0925 GMT), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A second quake with a magnitude of 5.7 hit the same area about 50 minutes later, and ten minutes later a third was measured at magnitude-5.3.

The mountainous Amatrice region was shaken by three quakes last year, killing nearly 300 people and causing significant damage to older buildings.

The region is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Rome.

Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician who is president of the European Parliament, said tremors were “felt as far as Rome (but it) appears there are no victims.”


1.17.17:  Istanbul & Orlando attack suspects in custody



ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish officials have been questioning the suspect in the New Year’s attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people.

Istanbul’s governor says the man captured last night is an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan and had carried out the attack for the Islamic State group.

He also says the man has confessed to the attack.




SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal court hearing is scheduled today in California following the arrest of the widow of Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen.

Florida officials say Noor Salman faces charges including obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

The attack killed 49 people and Mateen was also killed.


1.4.17:  2016 saw highest natural disaster losses in 4 years





BERLIN (AP) — A leading insurer says that last year saw the highest costs from natural disasters since 2012, with a pair of earthquakes in Japan in April accounting for the heaviest losses.

Munich Re says in an annual survey today that losses from natural disasters totaled $175 billion last year, some $50 billion of which was covered by insurance.

The earthquakes on Japan’s southern Kyushu island caused $31 billion worth of damage, with $6 billion of the costs covered by insurance. Floods in China in June and July caused $20 billion in costs, only $300 million of which was insured.

Hurricane Matthew, which hit the Caribbean and the eastern United States in August, incurred losses totaling $10.2 billion, of which $3.8 billion was covered by insurance.


1.2.17:  Islamic State claims Istanbul nightclub attack




ISTANBUL (AP) — A statement from the Islamic State group describes Turkey as “the servant of the cross” and says the Istanbul nightclub attack came because that’s where “Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.”

In claiming responsibility for the attack that killed 39 people, the statement says it was in “revenge for God’s religion and in response to the orders” of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”


The Islamic State group claims responsibility.  39 people died in the attack and another 70 were wounded.

The gunman is still on the loose and authorities believe he comes from a Central Asian nation.


12-29-16 Russian Plane Crash Investigation Progressing

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian military official says an analysis of a flight recorder from the Russian military plane that crashed into the Black Sea on Sunday has shown that there was no explosion on board. All 92 people on board were killed when the plane crashed just minutes after taking off from the Russian city of Sochi. The plane was headed to Syria with dozens of members of the world-famous Russian army choir.

12.28.16:  Turkey, Russia agree on Syria cease-fire plan




ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s state-run news agency says Turkey and Russia have reached an agreement on a plan for a cease-fire comprising the whole of Syria.

The Anadolu Agency, quoting unnamed sources on Wednesday, said the two countries were working to ensure that the cease-fire would come into effect after midnight.

It said however that terror organizations would be kept outside of the cease-fire agreement, without elaborating on which insurgent groups would be considered terror organizations. It said a peace process in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana would go ahead under Russia and Turkey’s leadership if the cease-fire holds. Anadolu said the two countries would act as “guarantors” of the peace process.

There was no immediate confirmation from Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.


12.27.16:  Rescuers find flight recorder from Black Sea plane crash




MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s defense ministry says rescue teams have found a flight recorder from the plane that crashed into the Black Sea over the weekend.

The ministry said in a statement that the flight recorder was found a mile from the shore early Tuesday morning. State television showed footage of rescue workers on an inflatable boat carrying a container with a bright orange object covered in water.

All 92 people aboard the Russian military’s Tu-154 plane are believed to have died Sunday morning when it crashed two minutes after taking off from the southern Russian city of Sochi.

The 84 passengers included dozens of singers from Russia’s world-famous military choir who were going to Russia’s base in Syria to perform at a New Year’s concert.