Earthquake In North Korea Sets Off Alarm And Speculation

News of the earthquake in North Korea is reported at the Seoul railway station in South Korea on Saturday.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

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Ahn Young-joon/AP

News of the earthquake in North Korea is reported at the Seoul railway station in South Korea on Saturday.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

Numerous scientific agencies on both sides of the Pacific detected an earthquake Saturday near the site where North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb earlier this month, at first prompting speculation

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North Korea says strike on US is ‘inevitable’ as Pentagon flies bombers off coast

North Korean foreign minister rebukes Trump at UN

Greg Palkot reports from South Korea

North Korea’s foreign minister called U.S. President Donald Trump “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania” and promised a strike on the American mainland was “inevitable” in a blistering speech to the United Nations General Assembly Saturday.

The address by Ri Yong Ho began as the Pentagon announced that it had flown bombers and fighter escorts to the farthest point north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone by any such American aircraft this century.  

“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” Defense Department spokesman Dana White said in a statement.

“North Korea’s weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community. We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland and our allies,” White said.

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle takes off from the Kadena runway Sept. 23, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

 (Senior Airman Quay Drawdy/U.S. Pacific Command)

The Pentagon said B-1B bombers from

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Trump picks fights with the NFL and the NBA — and top athletes fight back

President Trump has picked fights with two of the nation’s most popular professional sports leagues, setting off a Twitter war with top athletes who were quick to fight back in an extraordinary display of political trash-talking with thinly veiled racial undertones.

Even National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell jumped into the fray Saturday, criticizing Trump for “divisive comments” as some players responded on social media with much harsher language.

The battle began Friday night, when Trump publicly criticized African American football players, following an example set last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who have been kneeling during the national anthem to protest the nation’s racial disparities.

Trump urged NFL owners to fire the players and encouraged fans to walk out of games in their own protest.

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Trump Blasts Warriors’ Curry. LeBron James’s Retort: ‘U Bum.’

Mr. Strange is facing Roy Moore in a Republican primary runoff.

The president often uses freewheeling campaign speeches and Twitter to berate and insult critics in unvarnished language. In the past week, he branded North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, as “rocket man” and criticized Senator John McCain of Arizona for opposing Republican attempts to dismantle the health care law.


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But Mr. Trump’s broadsides this time focused on some of the most prominent African-American athletes in the country, who have international followings and have called out the president for his lack of tolerance and divisive views on race.

At the rally for Mr. Strange on Friday night, Mr. Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these N.F.L. owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.’”

He said the protests would stop if fans left games when players did not stand for the anthem. “The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium,” he said.

The comments, along with others about the safety of the game, drew criticism from the league, the union and players. Some people urged more players to kneel or sit during the anthem at football stadiums on Sunday as a way to reinforce their First Amendment rights. Others urged more white players to stand with black players who

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Trump’s Travel Ban to Be Replaced by Restrictions Tailored to Certain Countries

“The Trump administration will ensure that the people who travel to the United States are properly vetted and those that don’t belong here aren’t allowed to enter,” said Jonathan Hoffman, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department.

Mr. Trump must still approve the new plan, but it appears to be similar to the kind the president tweeted about a week ago.

“The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific,” Mr. Trump wrote after a crude bomb exploded on a London Underground train last Friday.

Mr. Trump’s original ban blocked all travel to the United States by refugees as well as nationals of seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Iraq was later deemed to have improved its screening of potential travelers and was taken off the banned list.

The ban — put in place just days after the president’s inauguration and without advance notice — caused chaos at airports around the country and prompted a torrent of criticism from immigrant rights activists, lawmakers in both parties, business executives, academic leaders and diplomats from around the world.

A furious legal assault on the president’s travel ban delayed its implementation for months, as federal judges agreed with immigrant rights groups that the original ban unconstitutionally targeted a particular religion or exceeded the president’s statutory authority to block immigration. In June, the Supreme Court allowed the travel ban to

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The former FBI director spoke at Howard University. It did not go well.

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds.

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Facebook’s Frankenstein Moment

Facebook is fighting through a tangled morass of privacy, free-speech and moderation issues with governments all over the world. Congress is investigating reports that Russian operatives used targeted Facebook ads to influence the 2016 presidential election. In Myanmar, activists are accusing Facebook of censoring Rohingya Muslims, who are under attack from the country’s military. In Africa, the social network faces accusations that it helped human traffickers extort victims’ families by leaving up abusive videos.

Few of these issues stem from willful malice on the company’s part. It’s not as if a Facebook engineer in Menlo Park personally greenlighted Russian propaganda, for example. On Thursday, the company said it would release political advertisements bought by Russians for the 2016 election, as well as some information related to the ads, to congressional investigators.

But the troubles do make it clear that Facebook was simply not built to handle problems of this magnitude. It’s a technology company, not an intelligence agency or an international diplomatic corps. Its engineers are in the business of building apps and selling advertising, not determining what constitutes hate speech in Myanmar. And with two billion users, including 1.3 billion who use it every day, moving ever greater amounts of their social and political activity onto Facebook, it’s possible that the company is simply too big to understand all of the harmful ways people might use its products.

“The reality is that if you’re at the helm of a

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The Health 202: Cassidy-Graham’s abortion ban workaround


Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council, a group that has pushed for antiabortion language in the Republican health-care bills. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Want the inside scoop on health care? Get more stories like this.

Abortion opponents believe they’ve built an impenetrable firewall between taxpayer dollars and abortion coverage in the latest Obamacare overhaul plan known as Cassidy-Graham.

The trick: Funnel the money through an existing health-care program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Now, they just have to make sure the Senate parliamentarian agrees with them.

Bear with me, as this gets a little wonky and complicated. The issue is a major pressure point for antiabortion groups, who have long insisted that no government funds should be used to cover elective abortions. And those groups have a big influence on how conservatives vote — especially in the House. 

Antiabortion groups like the Family Research Council and Susan B. Anthony List care about a few things in revamping the Affordable Care Act. A big one is ensuring the Hyde amendment — which prohibits taxpayer funds from paying for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or if the woman’s life is at stake — is now part of the legislation. That means that federally subsidized plans on ACA marketplaces could no longer cover the procedure.

The current language in Cassidy-Graham — which the Senate may vote on next week — complies with conservatives’ litmus test. But activists acknowledge the Senate parliamentarian will probably strip the Hyde language from the measure altogether, meaning that federally subsidized plans could keep covering abortions.

In the last

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Trump administration rescinds Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault

The Trump administration on Friday withdrew Obama-era guidance on how schools should respond to sexual violence complaints, giving them flexibility to use a higher standard of evidence when judging sexual misconduct cases.

The action followed through on a pledge Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made on Sept. 7 to replace what she called a “failed system” of civil rights enforcement on matters related to campus sexual assault. In her view, the government failed under President Barack Obama to find the right balance in protecting the rights of victims and the accused.

Under Obama, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights had declared in 2011 that schools should use a standard known as “preponderance of the evidence” when judging sexual violence cases that arise under the antidiscrimination law known as Title IX.

Common in civil law, the preponderance standard is lower than the “clear and convincing evidence” threshold that had been in use at some schools. Victim advocates viewed the April 2011 letter as a milestone in efforts to get schools to heed the longstanding problem of campus sexual assault, punish offenders and prevent violence.

Now, under President Trump, the Office for Civil Rights is declaring that schools may use either standard while the government begins a formal process to develop rules on the issue.

“This interim guidance will help schools as they work to combat sexual misconduct and will treat all students fairly,” DeVos said in a statement. “Schools must continue to confront these

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Dotard? How about crapulous, gormless or snoutband? Our guide to underused insults.

Yes, dotard is a real word.

Thanks to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who used the word to describe President Trump as “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard” this week, Americans rediscovered an arcane English insult long forgotten.

This was a comeback after Trump called the North Korean leader “Rocket Man.”

Sorry, Trump, you were trumped.

Kim Jong Un insult level: Expert.

It’s a fun word to say, kind-of naughty, rhyming with the schoolyard word we all know not to use, but perfect as a way to describe someone as weak and senile.

We know our president is the king of nicknames, but our rich language provides us with barbs far more sophisticated than “loser terrorists.”

So here are a few forgotten, archaic insults for us to use, excavated especially for this administration. Enjoy.

DORBEL, noun, a scholastic pedant, a dolt, from the Dictionary of the Scots Language. Also used interchangeable with the word “dunce”

DRUXY: adjective, usually referring to wood or timber, having decayed spots in the heartwood, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, but once used to describe people who may seem good on the outside but are rotten within.

CRAPULOUS: adjective, debauched, marked by intemperance, especially in eating or drinking, from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

FOPDOODLE: noun, a stupid or insignificant fellow; a fool; a simpleton, from Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary.

GORMLESS: adjective, lacking intelligence, stupid, from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

GROAK: verb, to look at someone with a watchful or suspicious eye, from Merriam-Webster Dictionary.


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