Wednesday morning news – September 16, 2020

Hurricane Sally slows, set to make landfall today » Hurricane Sally slowed to crawl on Tuesday over Gulf waters. The storm did not slam the coast last night as expected. But outer rain bands and tropical storm force winds still lashed barrier islands in Alabama. 


Instead, it will make landfall today. It’s now expected to move ashore as a Category 1 hurricane, rather than a Cat 2, as earlier forecasts predicted. 

That means top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour when it strikes land, likely somewhere around the Alabama shoreline. 

But while the storm has been downgraded, wind is not the biggest concern. National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham…

GRAHAM: There is even a core in here over 20 inches of rain, so a very dangerous situation, that is torrential rainfall, flash flooding and big issues here from the Florida Panhandle to the Alabama Coast.

And Graham noted that the slower this storm moves, the more rain it will drop as it pushes to the north. Flash flood watches and warnings are now in effect as far inland as north Georgia. 

Israel, UAE, Bahrain sign historic pact at White House » A historic moment at the White House on Tuesday, as leaders from Israel and two Gulf Arab nations signed diplomatic pacts. 

President Trump introduced the leaders to a socially distanced crowd on the South Lawn. 

TRUMP: We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East. 

The foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in formalizing the new agreements. 

NETANYAHU: Those who are with us today and those who will join us today and those who will join us tomorrow I say … peace unto thee. Shalom to all of Israel’s friends in the Middle East.  

The new  pacts do not address the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The UAE, Bahrain, and other Arab countries support the Palestinians. But the Trump administration has persuaded the two countries not to let that conflict keep them from making mutually beneficial alliances. 

Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that in fact, he sees the agreements as a step toward broader peace in the region. 

Al NAHYAN: A just, comprehensive and enduring two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be the foundation and the bedrock of such peace. 

He added—quote—“Today, we are already witnessing a change in the heart of the Middle East—a change that will send hope around the world.”

Trump warns Iran following reports of assassination plot » The Arab nations and the world’s only Jewish state have found common ground in their common opposition to Iran.

And on Tuesday, President Trump issued a stern warning to Iran on Twitter. He said—quote—“Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!”

His warning follows reports that intelligence officials have warned about a possible plot by Iran to assassinate a U.S. ambassador. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News…

POMPEO: The Islamic Republic of Iran is engaged in assassination efforts all across the world. They’ve assassinated people in Europe and in other parts of the world. We take these kinds of allegations seriously. We’ll do everything that’s within our means to protect any one of our officials. 

The plot is said to involve U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks.

Iran’s alleged plans could be in retaliation for the January U.S. strike that killed Irianian General Qasem Soleimani, who commanded terrorist operations for Iran.

Louisville reportedly paying millions in Breonna Taylor settlement » The city of Louisville, Kentucky, will pay millions to the mother of Breonna Taylor months after she was killed by police. WORLD’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: A person who has seen the settlement told The Associated Press it is the largest sum paid by the city for a police misconduct case. 

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, filed the lawsuit in April. It alleges the police used flawed information when they obtained a “no-knock” warrant to enter the 26-year-old woman’s apartment in March. 

Taylor and her boyfriend were roused from bed by police, and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has said he fired once at the officers thinking it was an intruder. Investigators say police were returning fire when they shot Taylor several times. Investigators found no drugs at her home.

The state’s attorney general is still investigating the incident. The city has since banned the use of the no-knock warrants.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Navalny posts hospital photo and greeting to supporters » Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday posted a picture of himself from his hospital bed. He’s still recuperating in Germany from being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent. 

The photo shows him with his wife and two children as he sits upright in his bed in a hospital gown.

He posted the photo while wryly joking about his recovery and being able to breathe on his own. 

On Monday, the hospital said he had been removed from a ventilator and was able to leave his bed for “short periods of time.”

A spokesperson for Navalny says the 44-year-old plans to return to Russia soon.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, President Donald Trump, Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan react on the Blue Room Balcony after signing the Abraham Accords during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Washington. 

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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