World in Brief: June 15, 2017
Rick Findler/ PA
Fire service personnel are inside Grenfell Tower today in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building Wednesday morning. A London fire commissioner says it will take weeks for the building to be searched and cleared.
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
A view of the charred facade of the Grenfell Tower in London. A massive fire raced through the 24-story high-rise apartment building in west London early Wednesday.
Congress seeks normalcy, heads back to work after shooting
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The business of the House was resuming a day after a rifle-wielding attacker opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game, critically wounding House GOP Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and hitting aides and Capitol police. The assailant, who had nursed grievances against President Donald Trump and the GOP, fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died. Colleagues said Scalise, who had been fielding balls at second base, dragged himself away from the infield, leaving a trail of blood before they rushed to his assistance. He was listed in critical condition Wednesday night at a Washington hospital, which said he will require several more operations. The shooter was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspector from Illinois who had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called Terminate the Republican Party.
Capitol Police officers who were in Scalise s security detail wounded the shooter, who was taken into custody. He later died of his injuries, Trump told the nation from the White House.
Everyone on that field is a public servant, Trump said, his tone somber, America s acrimonious politics set aside for the moment. Their sacrifice makes democracy possible.
London inferno extinguished; firefighters search for victims
LONDON London firefighters traumatized by the devastation they witnessed in a high-rise apartment blaze that killed at least 12 people worked today to make the building safe so they could continue the search for more victims. Entire families are missing, and the death toll is certain to rise after flames tore through the 120-unit Grenfell Tower in the early hours of Wednesday when most people were asleep. Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said it would be a miracle if anyone were to be found alive. It is unsafe for firefighters to go to all parts of the 24-story tower, so the fire department is working with structural engineers to shore up the building so they can complete a finger-tip search of the entire structure, Cotton said.
I spoke to one of my officers who was very near when someone came out the window, and he was in tears and he is a professional fire officer, Cotton told Sky News. We like to think of ourselves as roughty, toughty and heroes they are heroes but they have feelings, and people were absolutely devastated by yesterday s events.
More than 200 firefighters worked through the night and parts of the building were still seen as being unsafe. Now that the smoke has cleared, the public could only gape at the huge burned-out hulk in the working class, multi-ethnic neighborhood.
AP-NORC poll: Most in US think Trump meddled in Russia probe
WASHINGTON A clear majority of Americans believe President Donald Trump has tried to interfere with the investigation into Russia s alleged election meddling and possible Trump campaign collusion, a new poll shows. Just one in five support his decision to oust James Comey from the FBI. Following Comey s blockbuster appearance before Congress, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll shows 68 percent of Americans are at least moderately concerned about the possibility that Trump or his campaign associates had inappropriate ties to Russia. Almost half of Americans saying they re very concerned. Only 3 in 10 say they re not that concerned. Americans largely view the issue along partisan lines. Sixty-two percent of Republicans say they re not very concerned or not at all concerned about any Russia ties. Though just over half of Americans say they disapprove of Trump s firing of Comey, the number grows to 79 percent among Democrats. Overall, only 22 percent of Americans support Comey s dismissal.
For Sandra Younger, a 50-year-old from San Diego, Comey s exit reinforced her suspicion something fishy was going on with the president and Russia. She said it was inappropriate to fire Comey given that he was overseeing the Russia investigation.
If I had nothing to hide and someone wanted to investigate, I would say, Go ahead, do your thing, I don t care, because you won t find anything, said Younger, a Democrat who imports jewelry supplies. She added of Trump: He seems to be buddy-buddy with these epic creeps.
Nike to slash 1,400 jobs, cut sneaker styles in shakeup
NEW YORK Nike wants to be more nimble on its feet and sell more shoes directly to customers online as part of a restructuring in which it plans to cut about 1,400 jobs and reduce the number of sneaker styles it offers by a quarter. The company announced several changes to its business structure today, saying the moves will help it offer more products to customers faster. Nike, which is based in Beaverton says the jobs cuts represent about 2 percent of its 70,000 employees around the world.
It also says a main focus will be the 12 key cities in 10 countries that it expects to represent more than 80 percent of its projected growth through 2020. Shares of Nike Inc. fell more than 2 percent to $53.35 today.
Boeing to move hundreds of Seattle area jobs to Arizona
SEATTLE Boeing plans to shift another work group away from the Puget Sound region. The Seattle Times reports the company confirmed Wednesday the work shifting to Mesa, Arizona, could involve hundreds of jobs.
The changes will affect Boeing s Shared Services Group, which employs about 3,000 people and provides support services to Boeing s corporate and production units. The unit s leadership has initiated a review and has started to tell specific groups that their jobs could be moving. The move is part of Boeing s drive to cut costs, which is largely responsible for the loss of more than 18,300 Boeing jobs in the state since the most recent employment peak in fall 2012.
Boeing aims to complete the reorganization by 2020. Group president Beverly Wyse says it s too early to know how many jobs will be moved.
Reports say Mueller probe now examining possible obstruction
WASHINGTON The special counsel appointed to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential campaign is now examining whether President Donald Trump tried to obstruct justice, it has been reported. Accusations of obstruction arose last month when Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey testified in a Senate hearing last week that he believed he was fired because of the Russia investigation.
Comey also testified he had told Trump he was not under investigation. The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Mueller was seeking interviews with three Trump administration officials who weren t involved in Trump s campaign: Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence; Michael Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency; and Richard Ledgett, the former NSA deputy director. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump s personal lawyer, responded Wednesday evening to the Post report by saying: The FBI leak of information regarding the president is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal.
UPS gunman who killed 3 had filed overtime grievances
SAN FRANCISCO A United Parcel Service driver who opened fire during a meeting with co-workers had filed a grievance that he was working excessive overtime and appeared to specifically go after the three drivers he killed before fatally shooting himself. Jimmy Lam, 38, filed the grievance in March complaining of too much overtime and requesting that the package delivery company relieve him of working extra hours going forward, Joseph Cilia, an official with a Teamsters Union local that represents UPS workers in San Francisco, told The Associated Press. During a Wednesday morning meeting, Lam walked up to driver Benson Louie and shot him. As his co-workers frantically fled the room, he shot Wayne Chan in the back, and then walked up to him and finished him. Mike Lefiti was fleeing from the building when Lam went out onto the street and shot him, Cilia said witnesses told him.
It s senseless. I can t think of anything. Why him? Why them? Cilia asked. I can t put it together.
Officials late Wednesday confirmed San Francisco residents Louie, 50, and Chan, 56, and 46-year-old Lefiti, of Hercules, were killed in the shooting.
Somali survivors tell of restaurant siege by rebels; 17 dead
MOGADISHU, Somalia At least 17 people were killed in the night-long siege of a popular Mogadishu restaurant by al-Shabab Islamic extremists that was ended this morning by security forces. Somali survivors early described harrowing scenes in which attackers hunted patrons of the popular Pizza House restaurant. The injured were taken by ambulances. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility as the restaurant was under siege.
Soldiers surrounded the restaurant building and used guns mounted on the backs of vehicles to neutralize the militants. Troops entered the ground floor while the insurgent snipers held positions upstairs. All five attackers were killed and after dawn the soldiers secured the building, said senior Somali police office Capt. Mohamed Hussein. The troops efforts to take control of the restaurant were slowed by the darkness of night, forcing them to wait until morning, said Hussein.
Family of freed student adjusting to different reality
WYOMING, Ohio The father of an American college student who was imprisoned in North Korea and was returned to his home state of Ohio in a coma says the family is adjusting to a different reality. Fred Warmbier told Fox News Tucker Carlson on Wednesday that his son, Otto, was terrorized and brutalized during his 17-month detention and has been in a coma for more than a year.
The day after he was sentenced, he went into a coma, the father said in an interview scheduled to air tonight. He said he and his wife, Cindy, only learned of their son s condition last week.
The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was medically evacuated from North Korea and arrived in Cincinnati late Tuesday. He was then taken by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman did not provide an update on his condition, but said his parents planned to hold a news conference today. Their public appearance will be at Wyoming High School, one of Ohio s top-rated schools. Warmbier graduated from there in 2013 as class salutatorian and had played soccer.
Rodman gives Kim the gift of Trump: The Art of the Deal
PYONGYANG, North Korea Dennis Rodman has delivered a message from President Donald Trump to North Korea sort of. Today, the former NBA player gave the country s sports minister a copy of Trump s book The Art of the Deal, a present intended for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
It wasn t signed by Trump, who was Rodman s boss for two seasons of the Celebrity Apprentice reality TV show. Rodman has said his visit has nothing to do with the White House.
Some other highlights of what has so far been a low-key Pyongyang trip for the often flamboyant celebrity, who has visited the North four times before:
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