ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
79°
Mostly Clear
H 88° L 68°
  • cloudy-day
    79°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Clear. H 88° L 68°
  • clear-day
    88°
    Today
    Mostly Clear. H 88° L 68°
  • clear-day
    88°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 88° L 68°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

World News

    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday the Iranian people are waiting for an apology from U.S. President Donald Trump for his 'extremely offensive' rhetoric and 'unfounded' allegations about his country. Rouhani told a news conference that the Trump administration is seeking 'an excuse' to pull out of the nuclear agreement that caps Iran's nuclear activities which is supported by his government and the five other parties — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. If the U.S. decides to break the agreement, Rouhani said, 'any choice and any option' are open for Iran 'that we see as beneficial to our country' — but he dismissed Trump's 'baseless accusation' that the nuclear deal may be providing cover for Iran's eventual construction of nuclear weapons. 'The option that we say we have at our disposal ... will never be going towards nuclear weapons,' Rouhani said. 'Iran has never sought nuclear weapons, will never seek nuclear weapons, is not now seeking nuclear weapons.' 'An option may be to start enrichment,' he said, 'not building an atom bomb.' Rouhani said Iran's 10-year agreement to purchase fuel for its nuclear reactor at Bushehr is coming to an end and it may want to produce its own enriched uranium for fuel, but 'never, ever, at all nuclear weapons.' Trump was sharply critical of Iran, urging world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday to join the U.S. 'in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction.' He called the country 'a corrupt dictatorship' and 'murderous regime' whose oil profits 'fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.' And he said the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, was 'an embarrassment to the United States' and strongly hinted the U.S. would pull out. Rouhani responded to a question on whether his government would be willing to talk to the Trump administration about issues other than the nuclear deal saying, 'we wouldn't be able or willing to talk to them about other issues.' 'I do believe that if the United States of America breaks the commitment under the JCPOA no other government in the future will be ready and willing to talk or negotiate with the United States of America,' he added. That's because 'a government that chooses to trample upon her legal and legitimate international commitments — a conversation or negotiation with such a government would be a waste of time.' Rouhani added that Trump on Tuesday 'was extremely offensive to the people of Iran and before anything, we are waiting for Mr. Trump to issue an apology to the people of Iran.' The Iranian leader told reporters that 'if the United States government exits the agreement, undoubtedly it will be condemned by the American people themselves, and before that by the European Union and all countries throughout the world.' And if the Trump administration believes its pullout 'will bring pressure on Iran, then you can say they are completely and absolutely mistaken,' he said. 'The exiting of the United States of America from the JCPOA will not benefit them in the slightest,' Rouhani said. 'The position of Iran throughout the world will be stronger and better than before, and the government of the United States, under the pressure of public sentiments from throughout the world, will not see any benefit.' Rouhani also repeated several times that 'there will be absolutely no changes — no alterations' to the agreement. And he said Iran will not accept any 'preconditions or conditions' to keep the United States in the deal which was reached in 2015 after two years of negotiations. It was later ratified by the UN Security Council. Asked whether the agreement could survive without the U.S., he said 'it's a bit early or premature to hold discussions about such questions,' adding that the 'Europeans want to preserve it.' 'If it cannot be preserved what will happen then is a very important question that we are analyzing as well as (is) the European Union,' Rouhani said, and 'other partners' are also analyzing and discussing scenarios. 'One important aspect will be the type of reaction of the European Union should this come to pass,' he said. As for accusations that Iran is supporting terrorists, Rouhani responded with a question asking which governments created al-Qaida, formed the Taliban, supported the Islamic State extremist group and bought the oil and antiquities they are selling. 'So whomever brings their armies to our region, whomever sparks war in our region, whomever has formed and supported terrorist groups in our region is in no position to levy such accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran,' Rouhani said.
  • The United Nations has proposed a new approach to solve the Libyan crisis, by amending a current political agreement, holding a constitutional referendum and general elections. U.N. envoy Ghassan Salame said in a statement Wednesday after a 'high-level event on Libya' on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York that Libyans deserve 'an end to uncertainty and unpredictability.' Salame says he didn't design the 'Action Plan for Libya,' but that it was drafted in consultation with Libyans he met across the country and that it therefore is 'in essence, a synthesis of their hopes and goals.' Libya sank into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. It is split between rival parliaments, governments and militias in the east and west.
  • Fifty countries on Wednesday signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, a pact that the world's nuclear powers spurned but supporters hailed as a historic agreement nonetheless. 'You are the states that are showing moral leadership in a world that desperately needs such moral leadership today,' Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said as a signing ceremony began. Before the day was out, 50 states as different as Indonesia and Ireland had put their names to the treaty; others can sign later if they like. Guyana, Thailand and the Vatican also have already ratified the treaty, which needs 50 ratifications to take effect among the nations that back it. They would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons 'under any circumstances.' Seven decades after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during World War II — the only use of nuclear weapons — there are believed to be about 15,000 of them in the world today. Amid rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile tests, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War. 'This treaty is an important step towards the universally held goal of a world free of nuclear weapons,' he said Wednesday. Supporters of the pact say it's time to push harder toward eliminating atomic weapons than nations have done through the nearly 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Under its terms, non-nuclear nations agreed not to pursue nukes in exchange for a commitment by the five original nuclear powers — the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China — to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee other states' access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy. More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July over opposition from nuclear-armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations. The U.S., Britain and France said the prohibition wouldn't work and would end up disarming their nations while emboldening 'bad actors,' in U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley's words. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called the treaty 'wishful thinking' that is 'close to irresponsible.' The nuclear powers have suggested instead strengthening the nonproliferation treaty, which they say has made a significant dent in atomic arsenals. Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban Wednesday, followed by nations from Algeria to Venezuela. 'Those who still hold nuclear arsenals, we call upon them to join this date with history,' Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis said as he prepared to sign.
  • A 10-year-old boy was killed and 10 others injured in Togo's capital as hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters demonstrated Wednesday against a vote by the West African nation's parliament on a bill they fear will allow the president to run for more terms, the security minister said. Togo's security minister Col. Damehame Yark blamed opposition members for the violence, saying they brought weapons to the demonstrations. Thousands of people across the small West African nation have been demonstrating since last month for term limits on President Faure Gnassingbe, who has been in power since his father died in 2005. The Gnassingbe family has ruled the small West African nation for 50 years. Security forces killed at least two people and injured several others in demonstrations in August, and used tear gas to break up another peaceful protest this month. The ruling party voted Tuesday in favor of a draft bill that the opposition says does not include a sentence outlining term limits for the president. The bill will need be submitted for a referendum vote by the people next month before it is enforced as a law, parliament chair Dama Dramani said. Opposition lawmakers have demanded the reinstatement of Togo's 1992 Constitution in its original form, which only allowed a president to serve two terms. Patrick Lawson, a spokesman of the main ANC opposition party, said the bill introduced two weeks ago did not take into account the amendments the opposition wanted. 'The country's voting list is not credible. Besides, the electoral commission and the constitutional court have allegiance to the ruling party. So we don't approve the idea of a referendum,' Lawson said. Christophe Tchao, a spokesman for the ruling party, said the party has showed openness. Thousands of ruling party supporters also were in the streets Wednesday. Some wore white T-shirts that read 'Don't touch my president.' While Gnassingbe has not said he would run again in 2020, the opposition has said it suspects he will not step down unless compelled to either through reforms in parliament or citizen protests Gnassingbe's father ruled for 38 years. Before his death, he modified the Constitution to extend his rule.
  • Japan urged international unity Wednesday in pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, even as another key U.S. ally pushed back against President Donald Trump's threat to 'totally destroy' the rogue nation if it attacked. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe devoted his entire speech at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations to North Korea, which has launched two ballistic missiles over its eastern neighbor in the past three weeks. Abe told the U.N. General Assembly the 'gravity of this threat is unprecedented.' He appealed for nations to fully implement U.N. sanctions that were tightened last week after the North's most powerful nuclear test to date. 'North Korea's nuclear weapons either already are, or are on the verge of becoming, hydrogen bombs,' he said, predicting they could 'sooner or later' deliver them by intercontinental ballistic missiles. Abe voiced support for the U.S. stance that 'all options are on the table' and echoed the Trump administration's position that aid-for-disarmament negotiations with Pyongyang in the past two decades have failed. He concluded that what's needed is 'not dialogue, but pressure.' This year's annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. has drawn myriad condemnations of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he accelerated the pace of weapons testing while seeking to perfect a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the continental U.S. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is not attending the General Assembly, told a German broadcaster that she 'clearly' disagrees with Trump's threat Tuesday to destroy North Korea if the U.S. is forced to defend itself or its allies. Instead, she offered help in negotiating a solution with North Korea, noting that Germany played a role in talks with Iran to limit its nuclear program — a 2015 agreement that Trump described as an 'embarrassment' heightening expectation he plans to walk away from it. Merkel told broadcaster Deutsche Welle said that sanctions must be vigorously implemented, but also said consideration of a military solution was 'absolutely inappropriate.' Vice President Mike Pence reiterated Wednesday American willingness to use military force if required. He said the U.S. was will continue 'to bring the full range of American power to bear' on North Korea, marshalling economic and diplomatic pressure to demand it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 'If we are forced to defend ourselves and our allies, we will do so with military power that is effective and overwhelming,' Pence told the Security Council. British Prime Minister said that despite the adoption of the toughest U.N. sanctions yet on Sept. 11, North Korea continues to defy the international community and threaten its neighbors. She said members of the council — the U.N.'s most powerful body — should be prepared to take 'all necessary measures' and 'work together to exert the pressure we know is necessary to force Kim Jong Un to change his ways.' May's comments appeared to be directed at China, which accounts for 90 percent of North Korea's external trade and supplies most of its oil. Beijing opposes the North's nuclear program but fears more economic pressure could cause its wayward neighbor to collapse. Along with Russia, it is urging the U.S. to launch dialogue with Pyongyang.
  • President Donald Trump has made airlines' longtime goal of privatizing air traffic control a key part of his agenda to boost America's infrastructure. But his prospects for closing the deal with Congress appear slim. A House bill that would put the aviation industry in charge of air traffic control has repeatedly stalled and prospects appear even worse in the Senate, where there has been no effort to take up the issue. While the White House and airline lobbyists have pushed for privatization, there has been fierce opposition from private pilots, corporate aircraft owners and others who fear they will have to pay more to use the system and would lose access to busy airports. Airlines have pushed for getting the government out of air traffic operations for decades and seemed to have the brightest prospects after meeting with Trump early this year. Trump embraced the idea as part of his overall plan to boost infrastructure — a big part of his campaign promise to create jobs. While Trump has offered few other specifics about his overall infrastructure plans, he put the spotlight on air-traffic privatization at a White House infrastructure event in June. Three weeks later, the House transportation committee approved a bill by its chairman, Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster, to spin off air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration and place it under the authority of a private, non-profit corporation run by aviation interests, including airlines. But the bill still hasn't come to the House floor. Trump's special assistant for infrastructure policy, D.J. Gribbin, told an airline industry conference last week that House leaders are planning a vote in early October. But the bill's supporters acknowledge the vote would have already happened if there was enough support to pass it. 'We're working on it,' Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Michigan, told reporters. 'We don't have all the votes yet.' Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concern about Congress losing oversight of such an important, traditionally government-run function. The handover of about 300 airport towers and other flight tracking centers would be one of the largest transfers of U.S. government assets ever. About 35,000 workers would be affected. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the senior Democrat on the Commerce Committee, which oversees the FAA, called the House plan 'a classic case of a costly solution looking for a problem.' 'It's an idea that went nowhere in the Senate last year and is destined to meet the same fate this year,' he said. Airlines say the FAA has shown itself incapable of executing its plan to use technology to transform America's air traffic system, saving time, fuel and money and increasing the system's capacity to handle more planes as air travel grows. Part of the FAA's problem is that the vagaries of the government's budget process have limited the agency's ability to commit to long-term contracts and raise money for major expenditures. Placing the system under a corporation that can borrow money against future revenue would lead to greater efficiency and more reliable funding, airlines say. Many countries have separated air-traffic operations from their safety regulator in recent years, with most creating government-owned corporations, independent government agencies or quasi-governmental entities. The House bill is modeled after Canada's air traffic corporation, Nav Canada, the only clearly private nonprofit air-traffic corporation. Privatization supporters say Nav Canada has made smart decisions that have enabled it to adopt more advanced technology while reducing fees to airlines and other users. But opponents fear privatization will give airlines too much power over the aviation system. 'This is a monopolization bill,' said Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana. The corporation's 13-member board, as outlined in the bill, 'is definitely stacked to favor the big airlines,' he said. The airline industry has faced the lobbying muscle of private pilots and other 'general aviation' users in the past, and lost. People who can afford their own plane tend to be well-heeled and know how to get lawmakers' attention. They are an especially important constituency in rural districts and states, where people depend more on small aircraft. Opponents also have enlisted the support of several aviation heroes, including astronaut Jim Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13. Retired Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, the pilot who landed an airliner in the Hudson River without the loss of a single life made a commercial for opponents, saying not to trust 'the keys to the kingdom' to 'the people who make your airline seats smaller.' White House and airline officials have pushed hard, but say offers to adjust the bill to address opponents' concerns have been rebuffed. General aviation groups have told bill proponents they fear that any protections in the legislation would be inadequate. 'We could literally never get past that concept,' said the White House's Gribbin.
  • Green has been declared the color of Milan Fashion Week, with the fashion chamber promoting sustainability in the trend-driven world of ready-to-wear. Eleven awards will be handed out Sunday evening to honor Italian designers, fashion houses and suppliers that 'champion community and social justice, traditional craftsmanship, responsible supply chain management and innovation and technological transformation.' Milan Fashion Week previews for womenswear looks for next spring and summer, the highlight of the annual fashion calendar, feature 159 collections. The weeklong fashion celebration kicked off with Gucci, No. 21 and Fausto Puglisi and Angel Chen. Some highlights from Wednesday's first day of shows: ___ GREEN FASHION AWARDS Livia Firth, the wife of actor Colin Firth, is presiding over the first Green Fashion Awards, fittingly dubbed the Fashion Oscars, later in the week at the La Scala opera house. Asked what consumers can do to promote sustainability in fashion, she candidly said: 'Buy less,' short for eschew fast-fashion for quality. Italian Fashion Chamber president Carlo Capasa has been promoting sustainability, urging fashion houses to adopt a code that addresses such issues as water use and green investments. He acknowledged that the industry in general is 'not at all' sustainable at the moment. 'That is why we are promoting this,' he said. The uphill image battle was evident at a protest outside the city's main Duomo Cathedral, where animal rights activists demonstrated against the use of animal fur in Milan collections. _____ GUCCI'S ROCKET MAN In a news cycle dominated by U.S. President Donald Trump's threats against North Korea and references to its leader as 'Rocket Man,' it was certainly prescient that Alessandro Michele not only included a suit fitting of a rocket man for his latest Gucci collection, but dedicated a capsule collection to Elton John, whose hits include the pop song of the same name. For the rocket man, there were oversized teardrop-shaped shoulders on a pink jumpsuit with yellow stars. Since his Gucci solo debut in 2015, Michele has maintained a profile as the Milan fashion world's darling and innovator. Marco Bizzarri, the brand's towering CEO, said backstage that 'Alessandro has the capacity to evolve while always maintaining a very clear line.' 'There is a lot of joy. A lot of energy. That is the best part,' he said. ___ MICHELE'S 'DISSENTING SPIRIT' Michele's collections have had in common a growing element of self-consciousness. The designer inserts alienating elements in the same way that the German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht sought to remind audiences that they were witnessing a stage production and not be swept away by fantasy. Judging by the crowd in attendance, the philosophy is winning not just fans but adherents. One male fashionista wore a golden mask echoing a previous season's masked alien. The collection, combining both men's and women's looks, was shown under strobe lights and amid copies of classic statuary including from ancient Egypt, the Mayans and the Greeks. Michele says he wanted to underline that his view of the contemporary derives from myriad stories of the past. The strobe lights helped narrowed the focus to shapes and sparkles: A disco-inspired handkerchief skirt with a golden and silvery sequin top, and red-white-and-blue satiny jumpsuit that could help power an Evel Knievel-wannabe It's a collection, as the notes assert, for 'the dissenting spirit.' ____ AUSPICIOUS 21 AT No. 21 Alessandro Dell'Acqua celebrated his 21 years in the fashion business with 21 sheer opening looks for his No. 21 fashion brand. Dell'Acqua gorgeously combined sheers, feather elements and athletically accented knitwear to project a feminine strength, underlining the mood by closing to the sound of Pat Benatar's 'Love is a Battlefield.' The designer characteristically included masculine elements such as the checked patterns on skirts, jackets and slim knee-length trousers. The accessory of choice: An unattached hood for all occasions. A range of neatly gathered, draped and tiered dresses and skirts accented with sheer sequins or feathery wisps — and done up in a color palette of sheer pinks, nudes and yellows — underlined the prettiness of the collection. Cropped sweaters lent an edge, as did stronger color combos of light blue, red and black with some leopard accents on sleeker silhouettes, including pencil skirts and bra tops. ____ TWO BY TWO FOR ANGEL CHEN Shanghai-based designer Angel Chen combines Asian storytelling with technical prowess and materials in her latest collection. It was the 25-year-old designer's second collection for her unisex brand to preview during Milan Fashion Week. This time, it was part of the main lineup with the support of the Italian fashion chamber. 'We want to break boundaries,' the designer said backstage. Inspired by a futuristic Noah's Ark tale, Chen's masterful two-by-two pairings included a women's suit with flared cropped trousers alongside a man's trench — both made out of bespoke Korean technical fabric that gave the impression of a shiny baby pink but on closer inspection was a combination of tones. The designer referenced a host of animals destined for the ark, including tigers, cranes and insects that appeared in the shape of large backpacks. Many of the looks were sporty — black and red body suits — or technical, as in the diaphanous floor-length anoraks. Prints that featured tigers and crocodiles among other animals represented Asian allegories, Chen said. 'I would say the shape is contemporary, but the meaning is more cultural,' she said. _____ FEMININITY REFUGE AT PUGLISI Fausto Puglisi took a nostalgic view of femininity for his latest collection, showing black and white lace and linen combinations that harkened back to another era. Puglisi's focus was less on seduction and more on an intimate fragility. 'She doesn't need to show off her strength with her look,' the designer said. 'Because she thinks true strength is to take refuge in a book.' The collection was strong on white with black and floral accents, including long linen dresses with lace inserts, or shorter slip dresses with long, ruffle cuffs. Silky robe dresses finished in trailing fringe, while pale tulle skirts created a feminine silhouette.
  • The Security Council backed reforms Wednesday to reduce inefficiencies, corruption and abuse in the U.N.'s far-flung peacekeeping operations, a key priority of the Trump administration at the U.N. General Assembly. Vice President Mike Pence cast the approval vote for the United States, saying the U.N. must be more aggressive in evaluating the effectiveness of its operations. He said all peacekeeping missions must be deployed in support of a political solution to conflicts and have exit strategies. 'In short, when a mission succeeds, we must not prolong it. When a mission underperforms, we should restructure it. And when a mission consistently fails to fulfill a mandate of this council, we should end it,' Pence said. While many peacekeeping missions have been hailed as successful — Sierra Leone most recently — others have been criticized for sexual abuse violations and corruption, especially in the Central African Republic and Congo. The joint U.N.-African Union mission in Sudan's Darfur region has been widely criticized for inefficiency. An Associated Press investigative series on the U.N's peacekeeping crisis uncovered roughly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation during a 12-year period. It found that the U.N. often lost track of the victims and that only a fraction of the perpetrators were held accountable. Adding to the challenges is the changing nature of conflicts around the world. Often the main players are rebel groups and fighters who act outside of international law, rather than conflicts between different countries. As a result, U.N. peacekeepers have increasingly been killed, injured or kidnapped. The Security Council asked for annual briefings from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his initiative to reform peacekeeping. Guterres shares U.S. concerns that peacekeeping missions often get bogged down in ever-evolving conflicts without sufficient resources or an adequate political strategy. But the Trump administration stoked alarm in the U.N. with a proposal to cut U.S. funding for U.N. peacekeeping by $1.3 billion, over 50 percent. The United States currently pays 28.57 percent of the peacekeeping budget, nearly triple the second-largest contributor, China. U.N. officials have pushed back on the idea that its peacekeeping operations are not cost-efficient. Guterres pointed to 55 operations that have wrapped up over the years, achieving peace in countries around the world. There are currently 16 U.N. peacekeeping operations under way, with more than 100,000 personnel, at an annual cost of nearly $8 billion. The U.N. has said that, adjusted for inflation, the cost to member states has decreased by 17 percent in the past decade by one measure. Three missions — Haiti, Ivory Coast and Liberia — are scheduled to end by March 2018, which will save hundreds of millions of dollars. 'Peacekeeping remains a highly cost-effect instrument,' Guterres told the council. Still, he outlined plans for reform with four goals in mind. The first, he said, is ensuring that 'peace operations are deployed in support of active diplomatic efforts, not as a substitute.' To that end, Guterres has changed the structure of the U.N. secretariat to consolidate the management of both peacekeeping operations and large political missions. The second challenge is ensuring that peacekeepers are properly equipped. Guterres said there are critical gaps in technology, transportation, intelligence and other capabilities. The Security Council resolution called on member states to fulfill pledges to provide those capabilities and asked Guterres to provide a report within 90 days on a mechanism to fill the gaps. The third goal is to stamp out corruption and abuses that have tarnished the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping, particularly sex abuse scandals. Guterres said he has taken 'strong steps' to fight the problem, which he says has haunted him. He pointed in particular to the appointment of a victims' rights advocate and a requirement that member states certify prior to deployment that none of their personnel has a history of misconduct. However, a major challenge is that the U.N. lacks legal jurisdiction over its peacekeeping force and relies on member states to prosecute crimes by their own troops, making justice elusive in many cases. The Security Council was divided over a fourth goal, that of strengthening partnerships with regional entities, especially the African Union, which has taken the helm of various peacekeeping operations. Council members disagreed on whether to help finance AU operations on a case-by-case basis with U.N. contributions. In the end, the Security Council resolved to consider steps toward establishing a mechanism through which AU operations could be partly financed by the U.N.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May must be asking herself: How do you solve a problem like Boris Johnson? Britain's undiplomatic chief diplomat has thrown British politics into turmoil by thrusting himself to the front of the Brexit debate at the worst possible time for the country's leader. The insurrection has left friends and foes scrambling to determine his motives. Is he about to resign, get fired, mount a coup? Is he trying to push May into adopting his free-market vision of life outside the European Union? The one certainty is that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is exactly where he likes to be: at the center of attention. 'Everyone asking, 'What the hell is going on with Boris?' is sort of the end goal for Boris,' Manchester University political science professor Rob Ford said. 'He wants people to be talking about Boris. So mission accomplished.' Johnson is one of Britain's best-known politicians, a Conservative whose rumpled exterior — affable, flaxen-haired upper-class eccentric — covers a core of steely ambition. His latest political move came in a 4,000-word Daily Telegraph article on Saturday outlining his vision of a 'glorious Brexit.' It was published days before the prime minister travels to Florence, Italy on Friday to make a speech intended to unblock log-jammed divorce talks with the EU. Johnson's article called for the U.K. to adopt a low-tax, low-regulation economy outside the EU's single market and customs union. Seemingly written without consulting May, it was widely seen as an act of insubordination that would get most ministers fired. But pro-EU Conservative lawmaker Ken Clarke said that May, weakened after losing her parliamentary majority in June's snap election, 'is not in the position easily to sack him.' Political scientist Ford said Johnson's actions could be interpreted as a dare for May to fire him. 'It's almost like he is saying to Theresa May: 'Go ahead, punk, make my day,'' he said. The response from May and her allies was noticeably muted. 'Boris is Boris,' May said, insisting that 'the U.K. government is driven from the front, and we all have the same destination in our sights.' Johnson, meanwhile, denied planning to quit or maneuvering to oust May. Cornered — in his jogging clothes — by British reporters in a New York hotel lobby on Tuesday, he insisted that the government was a harmonious 'nest of singing birds.' That's unlikely. The Cabinet is split between Brexit true believers, including Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who want a sharp break with the EU, and those such as Treasury chief Philip Hammond who want to soften the economic impact through a long status-quo transition period. May is trying to keep the warring sides from tearing her government apart. Johnson's article helps position him as figurehead of the 'hard Brexit' faction. 'He is trying to create an alternative base for himself in the Conservative Party and portray Theresa May as a lame duck — which in essence she is,' said Victoria Honeyman, a lecturer in politics at the University of Leeds. Honeyman said becoming prime minister is Johnson's ultimate goal, 'though I think Boris Johnson generally is someone who travels in zigzags, rather than in a straight line.' His career bears out that description. The 53-year-old has been a journalist (and was once fired for fabricating a quote), a magazine editor, a member of Parliament, the mayor of London between 2008 and 2016 and a leading campaigner to quit the EU during last year's referendum campaign. When David Cameron resigned as prime minister after the referendum, Johnson planned to run to replace him. But he was abandoned by a key Conservative ally and outmaneuvered by May. She made him foreign secretary, one of the most important posts in government. But Johnson's remit does not include Brexit, which is consuming most of the government's time and energy — and getting most of the attention. In March, Britain triggered a two-year countdown to departure from the 28-nation EU. Since then, negotiations have made little progress on key issues including the status of the Ireland-Northern Ireland border and the amount Britain must pay to settle its financial commitments to the bloc. Increasingly frustrated EU officials insist the talks can't move on to a future trade deal with Britain until those key divorce terms have been agreed upon. Some speculate May will make a multi-billion pound offer to the bloc in her Florence speech to break the stalemate. That would annoy hard-core euroskeptics, who insist Britain doesn't owe a penny — a sentiment echoed by Johnson in July, when he said the bloc could 'go whistle' if it made extortionate financial demands. EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, who is from Ireland, said Johnson's statements suggested 'that he is completely out of the loop' about the hard realities of exit negotiations. 'Mr. Johnson is behaving and acting and speaking strangely,' Hogan told the Evening Standard newspaper. 'It's clear that his reputation is not good and he is a diminished figure in the government.' __ An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that Johnson's article was in the Sunday Telegraph. ___ Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
  • A massive magnitude-7.1 earthquake in Mexico City has killed more than 200 people as of Wednesday morning. >> Read more trending news Volunteer rescue workers, along with officials and other ordinary citizens, dug through the debris of collapsed buildings, including a three-story primary and secondary school, where they found students dead after Tuesday’s quake. “We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from above or below, from the walls above (crumbling), or someone below calling for help,” volunteer rescue worker Dr. Pedro Serrano told the Associated Press. >> Related: Buildings damaged following large earthquake in Mexico City Tuesday’s earthquake is the deadliest in Mexico since the 1985 quake, which took place on the same date and left thousands dead. It is also the second devastating earthquake to hit the region in less than two weeks. A week and a half ago, a magnitude-8.1 quake killed about 90 people. Here’s how to help Mexico and those affected by the earthquake: 1. Donate clothes, water and food If you’re nearby the tragedy, donate canned goods to relief or collection centers listed here at Elfinanciero.com. You can also donate goods to nonprofits on the ground, including UNICEF Mexico, Red Cross Mexico, Save the Children Mexico, Oxfam Mexico, La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico or Project Paz. 2. Make a monetary donation Consider donating to those nonprofits listed above (UNICEF Mexico, Red Cross Mexico, Save the Children Mexico, Oxfam Mexico, La Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico or Project Paz). Topos Mexico, a Mexican rescue brigade, is also accepting PayPal donations.  3. Use social media to spread awareness A simple retweet could get the right person where they need to be or the right information where it needs to go. While you’re on social media, consider retweeting aid accounts or locals to connect them to the appropriate resources. For example, Topos Mexico has been sharing lists of areas where they need professional medical care. Locals are also tweeting photos of areas where help is needed. Here, someone calls for help on Twitter for a collapsed building in Coquimbo, where many were trapped. Some have even tweeted about open hospitals and where victims can receive free treatment, such as the emergency room at Hospital Ángeles Pedregal below. There is also a Google spreadsheet of rescued individuals that’s being shared on social media.  4. If you’re around, volunteer Mexico City officials have put together a volunteer coordination site, asking those interested to head to the Emergency Rescue Squad (ERUM) building in Chimalpopoca. But officials warn volunteers to stick to their nearest disaster zones and avoid entering other zones.

News

  • As more information becomes available about the Equifax breach scandal, U.S. consumers are still searching for answers on whether they are vulnerable to identity fraud.  So that is why WSB Radio, Channel 2 Action News, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Consumer Adviser Clark Howard teamed up Monday morning to answer your questions.   Clark Howard was joined by Channel 2 Action News anchor Craig Lucie LIVE in Team Clark Howard's Consumer Action Center. They fielded questions and talked about the breach for over an hour.   The Facebook Live of the event reached more than 400,000 people worldwide:
  • A sweet -- and very large -- feline could be classified as a Hurricane Irma victim, but instead she’ll probably become famous as she goes viral.  Faye, weighing in at a whopping 24 pounds, was dropped off at the Jacksonville Humane Society in Jacksonville, Florida, and is up for adoption Wednesday. >> Read more trending news A Facebook post about the cat went up Tuesday night and had already been shared more than 600 times by Wednesday.  According to the shelter, the 12-year-old cat is an attention hound and needs a loving home where someone will help her cut back on food and treats.  “Faye loves attention and likes when you scratch right above her nubby tail,” the post said. “She will need a loving home to help her lose weight at a slow and steady pace outlined by our veterinarian.” Faye was brought in after Hurricane Irma, but her owner contacted them before the storm for help, so shelter officials aren’t totally blaming the storm. Those interested in adopting Faye or other pets at the North Florida shelter can visit the Jacksonville Humane Society website. 
  • Want to request a credit from Comcast for missed Xfinity cable, internet and phone service due to Hurricane Irma? The company has set up two ways to ask for it. Customers can either call its customer service line at 1-800-391-3000 or fill out a short online form at xfinity.com/florida-form. The online way is likely faster, since it doesn’t require customers to log in. >> Read more trending news Those without internet at home may be able to use their smartphone or find a place with available Wi-Fi.  A Comcast employee will respond, and credits may take one to two billing cycles to be posted to your account, according to the company. As of Monday, there were nearly 900,000 cable customers without service in Florida. That number includes a number of internet provider, not just Comcast. A Comcast spokeswoman said Tuesday that 97 percent of its customers have had their service restored. AT&T’s U-verse cable service has also been hit hard by outages, but the company has been mum about whether they will offer credits. It’s not mentioned on AT&T’s Irma support page. When reached for comment about the issue last week, a spokeswoman never responded to Palm Beach Post. “Unfortunately our equipment that services internet and TV took a hit,” a post on the AT&T support forum said. Due to the nature of the equipment, it can take time to replace or repair depending on the damaged caused by the water. Also power may not have been restored to our equipment as residential areas take priority. Just because you have power at your home, does not mean power has been restored in other areas that push the signal to your home. “We do have many crews out there trying to restore service to get everyone back up. I know this is a stressful time for everyone out there. Please know that AT&T is doing what we can to help. “ U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., asked the CEOs of America’s largest cell service and cable providers last week to waive late fees and issue rebates for victims of Irma. Hardly any of the companies responded. Comcast is also waiving a variety of fees, including late payment fees, early termination fees and fees for requipment that has not been returned.
  • President Donald Trump has made airlines' longtime goal of privatizing air traffic control a key part of his agenda to boost America's infrastructure. But his prospects for closing the deal with Congress appear slim. A House bill that would put the aviation industry in charge of air traffic control has repeatedly stalled and prospects appear even worse in the Senate, where there has been no effort to take up the issue. While the White House and airline lobbyists have pushed for privatization, there has been fierce opposition from private pilots, corporate aircraft owners and others who fear they will have to pay more to use the system and would lose access to busy airports. Airlines have pushed for getting the government out of air traffic operations for decades and seemed to have the brightest prospects after meeting with Trump early this year. Trump embraced the idea as part of his overall plan to boost infrastructure — a big part of his campaign promise to create jobs. While Trump has offered few other specifics about his overall infrastructure plans, he put the spotlight on air-traffic privatization at a White House infrastructure event in June. Three weeks later, the House transportation committee approved a bill by its chairman, Pennsylvania Republican Bill Shuster, to spin off air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration and place it under the authority of a private, non-profit corporation run by aviation interests, including airlines. But the bill still hasn't come to the House floor. Trump's special assistant for infrastructure policy, D.J. Gribbin, told an airline industry conference last week that House leaders are planning a vote in early October. But the bill's supporters acknowledge the vote would have already happened if there was enough support to pass it. 'We're working on it,' Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Michigan, told reporters. 'We don't have all the votes yet.' Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concern about Congress losing oversight of such an important, traditionally government-run function. The handover of about 300 airport towers and other flight tracking centers would be one of the largest transfers of U.S. government assets ever. About 35,000 workers would be affected. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the senior Democrat on the Commerce Committee, which oversees the FAA, called the House plan 'a classic case of a costly solution looking for a problem.' 'It's an idea that went nowhere in the Senate last year and is destined to meet the same fate this year,' he said. Airlines say the FAA has shown itself incapable of executing its plan to use technology to transform America's air traffic system, saving time, fuel and money and increasing the system's capacity to handle more planes as air travel grows. Part of the FAA's problem is that the vagaries of the government's budget process have limited the agency's ability to commit to long-term contracts and raise money for major expenditures. Placing the system under a corporation that can borrow money against future revenue would lead to greater efficiency and more reliable funding, airlines say. Many countries have separated air-traffic operations from their safety regulator in recent years, with most creating government-owned corporations, independent government agencies or quasi-governmental entities. The House bill is modeled after Canada's air traffic corporation, Nav Canada, the only clearly private nonprofit air-traffic corporation. Privatization supporters say Nav Canada has made smart decisions that have enabled it to adopt more advanced technology while reducing fees to airlines and other users. But opponents fear privatization will give airlines too much power over the aviation system. 'This is a monopolization bill,' said Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Louisiana. The corporation's 13-member board, as outlined in the bill, 'is definitely stacked to favor the big airlines,' he said. The airline industry has faced the lobbying muscle of private pilots and other 'general aviation' users in the past, and lost. People who can afford their own plane tend to be well-heeled and know how to get lawmakers' attention. They are an especially important constituency in rural districts and states, where people depend more on small aircraft. Opponents also have enlisted the support of several aviation heroes, including astronaut Jim Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13. Retired Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, the pilot who landed an airliner in the Hudson River without the loss of a single life made a commercial for opponents, saying not to trust 'the keys to the kingdom' to 'the people who make your airline seats smaller.' White House and airline officials have pushed hard, but say offers to adjust the bill to address opponents' concerns have been rebuffed. General aviation groups have told bill proponents they fear that any protections in the legislation would be inadequate. 'We could literally never get past that concept,' said the White House's Gribbin.
  •   It’s one of a woman’s worst fears, to attend a party or event and run into someone else wearing the same thing. >> Read more trending news That not only happened at a wedding on Saturday, it happened to six women, who all showed up at the reception wearing the same dress.  One of the women, Debbie Speranza, posted a photo of the women on Facebook saying, “Imagine the odds.”  'My cousin and I walked into the reception and saw each other [in the same dress] and started laughing, but then another walked in … then another one … and another one,” Speranza told the Telegraph. The group was photographed with the bride at one point and actually looked like they could be her bridesmaids. The dress was sold by Forever New for $160, and Speranza had some advice for the company. “You really should start a bridal registry so that your customers can inquire whether anyone else has purchased one of your dresses for the same event,” she said on Facebook.  
  • When it comes to scary things in the Upside Down, it turns out that a Demogorgun is no match for intellectual property lawyers. >> Read more trending news “The Upside Down,” A “Stranger Things”-themed pop-up bar in Chicago, has been hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Netflix after it was found in violation of intellectual property laws because it never received Netflix’s blessing. But Netflix didn’t sent just any cease-and-desist letter. No, they got in on the spirit of the show with a nerdy, yet firm, directive for the bar’s owners: The bar, designed by the same folks that created the Windy City’s Emporium Arcade Bar, debuted on Aug. 18 in Logan Square. According to Eater Chicago, patrons of “The Upside Down” can order show-themed drinks, such as “Eleven’s Eggo’s,” served with a waffle wedge; and a drink named for the Demogorgun, the show’s big monster. Fans of the show’s theme music from Austin band S U R V I V E can indulge in a few kegs of Goose Island’s GI5-5538, a red ale that was brewed specifically for the band.  The bar is also decorated with a ton of “Stranger Things” memorabillia, including a huge mural of Eleven, the Byers family couch, Christmas lights (complete with the alphabet), an A/V rig and some props designed to look like the Hawkins Energy Department. Check out photos of the bar here. As one might guess, having all of this out in the open without permission would be cause for some concern from Netflix. The bar was originally scheduled to close after a six-week run, with plans for an extension if it was profitable. As it stands now, the bar will close on Oct. 1. Nevertheless, this looks like a win-win for the bar and the streaming service. The second season of “Stranger Things” debuts next month, and the letter does leave future pop-ups open to consideration, so both groups get publicity. So, Chicago, start pedaling your bikes over to the bar before the portal to the Upside Down closes. And Austinites, you’ve got 10 days to get yourself a flight to Chicago.