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10 things you need to know today: September 14, 2017

Harold Maass
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1.

8 elderly people die at Florida nursing home that lost power in Irma

Eight elderly people died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, where Hurricane Irma had knocked out the power, leaving the facility without air conditioning in near 90-degree heat. At least 115 other people were evacuated from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after sweltering for several days, some of them in respiratory distress. The center is located across the street from a hospital with a backup generator and air conditioning. Broward County authorities said the facility on Tuesday notified them it had lost power, but did not ask for help. Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the incident is under "criminal investigation," and state officials have started visiting other assisted living facilities. [Sun-Sentinel]

2.

Democrats claim to strike deal with Trump on DACA

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President Trump to push legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Democrats said the deal includes tighter border security but not funding for Trump's promised border wall. Trump tweeted that there was no final deal, and that the wall was being built. Trump recently said he was rescinding the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program that had blocked deportation of immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. The deal would restore protections for these "DREAMers." Immigration hardliner Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said if the report is true Trump's "base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair." [The Washington Post, The Associated Press]

3.

Report: Flynn used White House post to lobby for Mideast nuclear project

President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, lobbied for a controversial Middle East nuclear plant project during his brief service in the White House, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The project, which once involved Russian companies, was to include building and operating dozens of plants in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region. Flynn's security forms said his involvement ceased in December 2016, but he reportedly pushed National Security Council staff to meet with companies tied to the project and advocated for former senior U.S. military officers who were also involved. Earlier Wednesday, it was revealed that Flynn had omitted a trip to the Middle East to explore this project from his security clearance forms. [The Wall Street Journal, The Hill]

4.

Sen. Tim Scott meets with Trump to discuss Charlottesville response

Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the Senate's only black Republican, met with President Trump on Wednesday to express his disappointment with Trump's response to the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last month. The South Carolina conservative said Trump's comments blaming "both sides" for the violence were "sterile." Trump invited Scott to the Oval Office to discuss the matter in what Trump aides said was an example of Trump's commitment to "positive race relations." After the meeting, Scott said he had tried to explain to Trump that the fact that there were two sides at the rally did not mean they were equally at fault, because you have to consider "the last three centuries of challenges from white supremacists, white nationalists, KKK, Nazis." [The New York Times]

5.

Student arrested for shooting that left 1 classmate dead, 3 injured

A 10th-grade student opened fire at a high school near Spokane, Washington, on Wednesday, killing one student and injuring three others. Witnesses said the attacker rode a bus to school, carrying a rifle and handgun in a duffel bag. Three injured girls were rushed to a hospital in stable condition. The boy who was killed, Sam Strahan, was shot in the head as he urged the shooter, whose first gun had jammed, to stop firing. A staffer was credited with tackling the armed boy, identified by students as Caleb Sharpe, before police arrived. The attacker's "face was completely passive," said Elisa Vigil, a 14-year-old freshman. "I crouched down in the hall. I looked up and a girl screamed, 'Help me, help me, help me.' ... She was shot in the back." [The Spokesman-Review, Reuters]

6.

L.A. and Paris officially named as Olympic hosts

The International Olympic Committee formally announced Wednesday that Los Angeles has been chosen to host the 2028 Summer Olympics. It will be the city's third time hosting the Olympics and the first time the Games have been hosted in the U.S. since Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002. The last Summer Games to be held in the U.S. were the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The event is expected to cost Los Angeles $5.3 billion, which city officials say sponsorships, ticket sales, and other revenue sources will cover. The IOC also announced that Paris will host the 2024 Olympics — its third turn as host, too. [Sports Illustrated]

7.

Homeland Security bans Kaspersky Lab software over fear of Russian spying

The Homeland Security Department on Wednesday announced that it was banning the use of security software from the Russian company Kaspersky Lab on government computers due to concerns it could be used for spying. The FBI is investigating the prominent Russian cybersecurity firm for evidence of possible links to Russian security services. DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke directed all federal agencies to find any Kaspersky products over the next 30 days, and start getting rid of them within 90 days. Kaspersky Lab said it was disappointed with the decision, and that it has no "inappropriate ties with any government." The company's founder, Eugene V. Kaspersky, attended a high school that trained Russian spies, and wrote software for the Soviet Army before starting the company in 1997. [TechCrunch, The New York Times]

8.

Trump visits Florida for first-hand look at Irma damage

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence visited Naples and Fort Myers on Florida's southwest coast Thursday to see damage from Hurricane Irma and hear from people affected by the storm. Sixty-six percent of homes and businesses in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, remained without power Wednesday, and 80 percent in Collier County, which includes Naples, remained in the dark. About a third of the state's population, about 6.8 million people, still have no electricity in the state's late-summer heat.

9.

Russia starts joint military exercise with Belarus

Russia on Thursday launched large-scale joint military exercises with its ally Belarus that were expected to escalate tensions with NATO. Russia said parts of its First Tank Army had been "put on alert" and moved into Belarus for the war games. Airborne units in Russia also were preparing to join the drills. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned that the exercises, called Zapad-2017 (Russian for "West"), could mark a step toward an invasion of Ukraine. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union-led Warsaw Pact used the Zapad drills to prepare for a possible war with the West. Russia said the exercise is "of an entirely defensive nature and is not aimed at any other states." [BBC News, The Washington Post]

10.

Fire kills 23 at Malaysian religious school

A fire killed at least 23 people at a Muslim religious school in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday. The flames reportedly blocked the only exit from a boys' dormitory upstairs, trapping students inside. Fire officials said it appeared that the victims tried to escape out of second floor windows, but they couldn't get out because the windows were barred with metal grates. "It is one of the country's worst fire disasters in the past 20 years," Khirudin Drahman, director of the fire and rescue department, told AFP. Police said 22 of those killed were boys between the ages of 13 and 17. Another 10 people were taken to hospitals. [BBC News]