Tuesday morning news – September 15, 2020

Hurricane Sally set to slam Gulf Coast today » Hurricane Sally will make landfall on the Gulf Coast today, quite possibly as a Category 2 storm, packing winds of more than a hundred miles per hour. 

Storm tracks on Monday placed Gulfport, Mississippi in the storm’s crosshairs. But communities from New Orleans to Pensacola, Florida are bracing for impact. 

Dave Roberts with the National Hurricane Center said storm surge is a major concern. 

ROBERTS: Excess of 7 feet up to possibly 11 feet, and that’s within the storm surge area. Further toward the east, you’re still looking at 5 to 8, all the way up to the Mississippi-Alabama border. 

He said even parts of the Florida Panhandle could see 4 to 6 feet. 

As of this morning, Sally is spinning just off the Gulf Coast and could officially roar ashore sometime around 7 p.m. Central Time. 

Sally’s arrival comes less than three weeks after Laura struck southwestern Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane.

Trump visits California amid wildfire crisis » President Trump met with fire officials and lawmakers in California on Monday as wildfires continue to rage along the West Coast. 

Speaking in suburban Sacramento, the president praised first responders and Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. 

TRUMP: Together we’ll keep the people safe. I want to thank the governor for the job he’s done. We’ve had great coordination, great relationship. I know we come from different sides of the planet, but we actually have a very good relationship; good man. 

But the president blamed poor forest management in California, Oregon, and Washington for the wildfires. 

Governor Newsom conceded that—quote—“we have not done justice on our forest management.” But he said the government can’t ignore climate change. 

NEWSOM: We come from a perspective, humbly, where we submit the science is in and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real. And that is exacerbating this. 

The fires have reportedly charred more than 3 million acres and destroyed some 4,000 structures in California. 

Police continue search for gunman in shooting of deputies » Elsewhere in the state, police continued their hunt Monday for a gunman who shot two LA County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in their squad car Saturday.

Both were seriously wounded and remain hospitalized. The 31-year-old female deputy and 24-year-old male deputy underwent surgery after the shooting. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said both officers are likely to recover.

Rochester mayor fires police chief after probe of officer-involved death » Meantime, the mayor of Rochester, New York has fired the police chief amid upheaval over the death of a black man in police custody.

Mayor Lovely Warren told reporters Monday that she has fired Police Chief Le’Ron Singletary. 

Singletary announced his retirement last week, saying he felt his response to Prude’s death had been misrepresented and politicized. But he said he would stay on through the end of the month. Mayor Warren initially defended him, but she said after reviewing the findings of an internal probe, she felt she had to act. 

WARREN: This initial look has shown that we have a pervasive problem in the Rochester Police Department, one that views everything through the eyes of the badge and not the citizens we serve. 

The fallout stems from an incident in March. Officers found Daniel Prude running naked down the street. They handcuffed him and put a hood over his head to stop him from spitting, then held him down for about 2 minutes. During that time, he stopped breathing. Video of the incident surfaced months later. 

Warren also suspended her top lawyer and communications director without pay for violations of policy. And she said she shares blame for not releasing details of the case to the public sooner.

TikTok chooses Oracle over Microsoft in deal to keep app running in U.S. » The Chinese owner of the popular video app TikTok has chosen Oracle over Microsoft to be its “trusted technology provider” in the United States. 

The Trump administration has flagged Tik Tok as a national security risk over worries about funneling user data to Chinese authorities. And it has threatened to ban TikTok by September 20th unless it sells its U.S. business.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC, the next step is for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States—or CFIUS for short—to review the deal.

MNUCHIN: There is also a commitment to create Tik Tok global as a U.S.-headquartered company with 20,000 new jobs. I’m not going to go into the entire proposal. We will be reviewing that at the CFIUS committee this week, and then we’ll be making a recommendation to the president and reviewing it with him. 

TikTok denies it is a national security risk and is suing to stop the administration from enacting the threatened ban.

Much remains unclear about the proposed deal with Oracle, which is pointedly not referring to it as a sale or acquisition.

Nalvany’s health improves as French, Swedish labs confirm Novichok poisoning » The condition of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is improving, as labs in two more countries confirm he was poisoned with a Russian nerve agent. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: German doctors say Navalny is now able to breathe on his own and briefly leave his hospital bed.

The 44-year-old was flown to Berlin for treatment two days after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia last month. 

German scientists later concluded that Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. And on Monday, Germany announced that French and Swedish labs have confirmed those findings.

The New York Times reported Monday that, according to a German security official, Nalvany is “fully aware of what happened.” But “He’s not planning to go into exile in Germany.” Instead, “he wants to go home to Russia and he wants to continue his mission.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

(NOAA via AP) This satellite image provided by the NOAA shows five tropical cyclones churning in the Atlantic basin at 5:20 p.m. GMT on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. 

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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