Tuesday morning news: September 4, 2018

Tropical storm threatens southeast » Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday.

Gordon formed off the coast of Florida in the early morning hours, forcing holiday beachgoers to higher ground and knocking out power in some places. But it’s where the storm is heading next that has many concerned.  

BLAKE: By late on Tuesday, Gordon could reach the central Gulf Coast. There’s a tropical storm warning in effect from the Alabama, Florida border westward to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Eric Blake with National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane watch was also issued for the central Gulf Coast. While Gordon may not officially reach hurricane status, the storm could whip up hurricane force wind gusts in some places.

Officials also warn of “life-threatening” storm surge, issuing a warning from Louisiana to Alabama. The region could see waters rise three to five feet.

Major rainfall could also cause some flooding further inland in Gulf Coast states.

President Trump steps up attacks on attorney general » President Trump is stepping up his attacks on his own attorney general, voicing displeasure over criminal charges filed against two GOP lawmakers. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Justice Department recently indicted two of President Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress on separate charges.

Congressman Duncan Hunter of California is accused of spending campaign funds for personal expenses. And Congressman Chris Collins of New York was arrested last month on insider trading charges.

The president tweeted Monday, “two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……”

He went on to say “The Democrats, none of whom voted for Jeff Sessions, must love him now.”

Trump took criticism from his own party for the remarks. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said Collins and Hunter both face charges based on evidence, not their endorsements of the president.

Sassed added—quote—“Instead of commenting on ongoing investigations and prosecutions, the job of the President of the United States is to defend the Constitution and protect the impartial administration of justice.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

U.S. service member killed in Afghanistan » An apparent insider attack in Afghanistan has killed one American service member while wounding another.

The attack came one day after U.S. Army General Scott Miller assumed command of NATO’s Resolute Support operation on Sunday. Miller called the service member’s death “a tragic loss for all who knew and all who will now never know him.”

He was the sixth U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

The American wounded in the attack is in stable condition.

Reporters jailed in Myanmar » A court in Myanmar—also known as Burma—has sentenced two Reuters journalists to seven years in prison for illegal possession of official documents.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had pleaded not guilty to violating the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. They say they were framed by police, as they reported on the government’s brutal crackdown against Rohingya Muslims.

Phil Robertson with Human Rights Watch said the courts in Myanmar are still under the thumb of the military.

ROBERTSON: This verdict is clearly meant to intimidate other Burmese journalists. It is a way of the military and the government saying if you investigated certain things that are sensitive in our country, we are gonna come after you. 

He added that the court ignored a police witness that confirmed the reporters were in fact set up.

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Monday she was “shocked” by news of the sentence.

BACHELET: I think the information they gave on the massacre was of public interest. And I think also that all the process of the trial was a travesty of justice. So I will urge the Myanmar government to release them as soon as possible, immediately.

The U.S. State Department also issued a statement Monday saying “the clear flaws in this case raise serious concerns about rule of law and judicial independence in Myanmar.”

The statement also called the conviction “a major setback to the Government of Myanmar’s stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms.”

Fire in Brazil destroys 200-year-old museum » A 200-year-old museum, up in flames in Rio de Janeiro. The fire at Brazil’s National Museum destroyed priceless relics late Sunday and early Monday.  

AUDIO: [Sound of Rio fire]

Firefighters and museum workers were able to save some of the artifacts. Those included collections related to Brazil’s history as well as pieces from Egypt, Greco-Roman art, and some of the earliest fossils found in Brazil.

Firefighters got off to a slow start because the two hydrants closest to the museum weren’t functioning and they had pull water from a nearby lake.

The main building, which was once to the Brazilian royal family, housed a collection of 20 million items.

Critics blasted the government for drastically cutting the museum’s budget, while spending millions to host the 2013 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

I’m Kent Covington. Up next—the Liberty University story causing a stir. And one of Paul Harvey’s most famous commentaries. This is The World and Everything in It.

(NOAA via AP) In this image released by NOAA’s GOES-16 on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, Tropical Storm Gordon appears south of Florida. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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