HURRICANE IRMA LEAVES 4.5 MILLION FLORIDIANS WITHOUT POWER: Nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses across Florida have lost power as Hurricane Irma moves over the state. And utility officials say it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. Farther north, more than 100,000 are in the dark in Georgia. Much of eastern Alabama and coastal South Carolina are under tropical storm warnings as Irma pummels Florida, weakening on its march northward.The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was in effect for a large rural area including the cities of Albany and Valdosta. Rain already is falling in parts of the state, including metro Atlanta, early Monday.
CARIBBEAN RESORT ISLANDS DEVASTATED BY IRMA AND JOSE: The wild isolation that made St. Barts, St. Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands vacation paradises has turned them into cutoff, chaotic nightmares in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which left 22 people dead, mostly in the Leeward Islands. Looting and lawlessness were reported Saturday by both French and Dutch authorities, who were sending in extra troops to restore order. The Category 5 storm snapped the islands' fragile links to the outside world with a direct hit early Wednesday, pounding their small airports, decapitating cellphone towers, filling harbors with overturned, crushed boats and leaving thousands of tourists and locals desperate to escape. The situation worsened Saturday with the passage of Category 4 Hurricane Jose, which shuttered airports and halted emergency boat traffic through the weekend.
US PUSHES UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR HARSH SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA: The draft circulated by the United States called for imposing the toughest-ever U.N. sanctions on North Korea, including a ban on all oil and natural gas exports to the country and a freeze of all foreign financial assets of the government and its leader, Kim Jong Un. The U.S. is also seeking to ban all countries from hiring workers from North Korea and from importing textiles from the northeast Asian nation — two key sources of foreign currency. In another key measure, the U.S. draft identified nine ships that have carried out activities prohibited by previous U.N. sanctions resolutions. The draft would authorize the 192 other U.N. member states to stop these ships on the high seas to check their cargo without their consent. It would permit the use of "all necessary measures," which in U.N. language includes force, to carry out an inspection and direct the vessel to a port.
ROHINGYA MAY BE SUFFERING ETHNIC CLEANSING FROM MYANMAR'S MILITARY: Bangladesh's official human rights watchdog says the atrocities by Myanmar authorities against Rohingya must be prosecuted. "This genocide needs to be tried at international court," National Human Rights Commission Chairman Kazi Reazul Haque told a news conference in Cox's Bazar. "The killing, arson, torture and rape . by the Myanmar's military and border guards is unprecedented," he said. He said stronger action was needed from the international community, including the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He also called on China and India to play a larger role in mitigating the crisis. The U.N. human rights chief says violence and injustice faced by the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar, where U.N. rights investigators have been barred from entry, "seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."
TRUMP SET TO BUNGLE HIS WAY THROUGH 9/11 COMMEMORATION CEREMONIES: President Donald Trump is preparing to preside over his first 9/11 commemoration in office, a solemn and nonpartisan occasion in which he will be joined by first lady Melania Trump. The Trumps plan to observe a moment of silence at the White House on Monday in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Trump and his wife also are to pay their respects at a Pentagon ceremony led by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The observances come as Trump grapples with the death and destruction caused by two hurricanes in three weeks.