Tuesday morning news: October 9, 2018

Hurricane Michael takes aim at Florida » Another major hurricane is taking aim at the United States. This time, the Florida panhandle.

Hurricane Michael is now gathering strength over the Gulf of Mexico. It was upgraded from a tropical storm Monday and could slam the panhandle as a Category 3 hurricane tomorrow.

Florida Governor Rick Scott:

SCOTT: Hurricane Michael is forecast to be the most destructive storm to hit the Florida panhandle in decades. This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous. 

Scott urged citizens to prepare for the storm and heed evacuation orders.

He has declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties and activated 500 members of the Florida National Guard.

Dennis Feltgen with the National Hurricane Center said in addition to winds that could top 110 miles per hour…

FELTGEN: Very heavy inland flooding is a potential with this, as well as deadly storm surge.

It could bring as much as 12 inches of rain to some areas and 8 to 12 feet of storm surge along the coast.

After making landfall on the panhandle, the storm is forecast to track to the northeast, bringing heavy rain to the Southeastern U.S.

Trump: No plans to fire Rosenstein » President Trump said Monday he has no plans to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The president met with Rosenstein yesterday aboard Air Force One and he told reporters…

TRUMP: I actually have a good relationship other than there’s been no collusion, folks, no collusion.

It was Rosenstein who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to head the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

Last month The New York Times reported that Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Trump or using the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare him unfit for office. He denied those reports, but since then rumors circulated that Trump would fire Rosenstein.

Sec. of State Pompeo visits Beijing amid stained U.S.-China relations » Following meetings in Pyongyang, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Beijing on Monday.

Pompeo briefed his Chinese counterpart on progress in nuclear talks with North Korea. But on other matters, the frosty relationship between the two nations was on full display as the top diplomats traded jabs.

China’s foreign minister said “U.S. actions have damaged China’s rights and interests” and “cast a shadow over China-U.S. relations.”

Pompeo, conversely, admonished China for cancelling a planned meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last week amid rising tensions over a range of issues.

POMPEO: I regret that this strategic dialogue between our two countries was something that you all chose not to undertake. 

Pompeo called that a missed opportunity.

Interpol chief resigns as China admits to holding him » Meantime, Chinese officials on Monday confirmed they are holding former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei on suspicion of bribery and other charges. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Chinese government says Meng Hongwei had connections with former security chief Zhou Yongkang, who is serving a life sentence on corruption charges.

Meng’s wife, Grace, said she hadn’t heard from her husband since September 25th, when he left France for his native China. Meng also serves as China’s vice minister for public safety.

In an emotional press conference in France this week, Grace Meng said her husband sent her an emoji of a knife on the WhatsApp messaging app, which she viewed as a sign he was in danger.

MENG: [Speaking in Mandarin]

She said “From now on, I have gone from sorrow and fear to the pursuit of truth, justice, and responsibility toward history.”

Interpol in a Sunday statement said Meng resigned as the agency’s president “with immediate effect.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Investigators trying to recreate NY limo crash that killed 20 » Investigators are trying piece together what caused the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade.

New York State Police Major Robert Patnaude told reporters Monday…

PATNAUDE: We investigate fatal crashes all the time, year ‘round. But the magnitude of this one is different for us. 

The National Transportation Safety Board is doing its best to recreate the limousine crash that took the lives of 20 people in upstate New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the owner of the limousine will have a lot to answer for. First of all, the driver of the stretched 2001 Ford Excursion did not have the proper license and…

CUOMO: That vehicle was inspected by the New York Department of Transportation last month and failed inspection. 

He said it was not supposed to be on the road.

The crash happened at an apparently dangerous intersection that has concerned locals for years. The limo was full of adult siblings, friends, and relatives on their way to a birthday party when it came over a hill and went through a stop sign, hitting an unoccupied SUV parked at a cafe.

The crash killed all 18 people inside the car as well as two pedestrians.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Jim Long discusses Part 4 of WORLD’s investigative series on pot legalization. Plus, a conversation with singer/songwriter Fernando Ortega. This is The World and Everything in It.

(Patti Blake/News Herald via AP) Bobby Smith boards up the windows at Jani’s Ceramics in Panama City, Fla., on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Michael.

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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