Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 18, 2017

The U.S. says time is running out on North Korea, St. Louis police arrest 80 in third night of protests, and more


White House escalates warnings on North Korea

The White House on Sunday warned that time is running out to find a peaceful solution to the threat of North Korea's weapons program, escalating its rhetoric ahead of President Trump's Tuesday address to the United Nations General Assembly. "If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed," Nikki Haley, America's U.N. ambassador, said on CNN's State of the Union. Trump referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Rocket Man" on Twitter. Trump also claimed that "long gas lines" were forming in North Korea due to new U.N. sanctions on North Korea's oil imports.


80 arrested in third night of protests in St. Louis

Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown St. Louis on Sunday in a third day of demonstrations over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man. The crowd passed near police headquarters and later walked through the St. Louis University campus. About 100 people stayed around near the police building, chanting, "the whole damn system is guilty as hell." The former officer, Jason Stockley, had been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011, but was acquitted on Friday. Small groups of people turned violent for the third straight night after the larger, peaceful protests were completed, and police arrested 80 people.


Maria strengthens into hurricane, threatening islands hit by Irma

Maria strengthened from a tropical storm to become the seventh hurricane of the 2017 season on Sunday. Hurricane Maria had top sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, but was expected to continue strengthening as it headed west toward the Lesser Antilles, including islands that were devastated when Hurricane Irma plowed through the northeast Caribbean. Local authorities issued a hurricane warning for St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, as well as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and a tropical storm warning was issued for Antigua and Barbuda, which was flattened by Irma. Forecasters said the storm could hit Guadeloupe and Dominica with top sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph Monday night and Tuesday.


Trump administration mulls closing embassy in Cuba

The Trump administration is considering closing the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Cuba over the mysterious medical problems faced by 21 American diplomats and their family members in Havana, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday. "It's a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered," Tillerson said. "We've brought some of those people home. It's under review." The victims have suffered hearing loss, in some cases permanent, or concussions, as well as nausea, headaches, and ringing ears. Investigators are looking into whether someone might have targeted Americans in a "sonic attack."


Advisers say Trump still leaving Paris climate accord, but open to new deal

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday denied that President Trump is considering reversing his decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord, as The Wall Street Journal and Agence France-Presse reported a day earlier. "That's a false report," McMaster said on Fox News Sunday. "The president decided to pull out of the Paris accord because it's a bad deal for the American people and it's a bad deal for the environment." A White House spokesman on Saturday also denied the report, saying there had been "no change." McMaster said the door was open to negotiating a better environmental agreement, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump is "open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others" on the issue.


Georgia Tech police kill school LGBT leader who apparently had knife

Georgia Tech police fatally shot the president of the Pride Alliance student group over the weekend as the 21-year-old computer engineering student, Scout Schultz, approached officers who repeatedly told Schultz to put down a small knife. The encounter was captured on video by a witness. The video shows Schultz advancing a step or two at a time as an officer points a gun and shouts, "Come on, man. Let's drop the knife." Schultz continues walking toward the officers, at one point, saying, "Shoot me!" The officer keeps backing up and says, "Nobody wants to hurt you, man." Then Schultz turns and approaches another officer, who shouts, "Drop it!" then fires.


Four Americans sprayed with acid in France

A woman sprayed hydrochloric acid at four American tourists on Sunday at a train station in the city of Marseille on France's Mediterranean coast. A 41-year-old woman was arrested as a suspect in the attack, The Associated Press reported. At least two of the victims — Boston College students in their 20s — were hurt and have been hospitalized with face and eye injuries. A spokeswoman for the Marseille prosecutor's office said the attacker made no extremist comments. The suspect has "a psychiatric history," a Marseille police spokeswoman said. "For now, nothing suggests that this was a terrorist attack."


Cuomo to unveil new rules for credit reporting agencies after Equifax breach

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to propose new regulations on credit reporting agencies on Monday in response to the massive security breach at Equifax. The proposal would require credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to register with the state's Department of Financial Services, as banks and insurance companies must do. The department's leaders will have broad powers to strip the agencies of their authorization to operate in the state if they fail to follow state rules protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive, or predatory practices. Equifax announced last week that hackers had accessed the personal information of 143 million consumers. Cuomo called the breach "a wake-up call."


Rolling Stone to be put up for sale

Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner's company is putting its majority stake in the magazine up for sale, The New York Times reported Sunday. Wenner said he and his son Gus Wenner — Wenner Media's president and chief operating officer — decided selling is "just the smart thing to do" in a changing media landscape. The magazine was launched in 1967 and became a counterculture icon, but its fortunes have faded as the publishing industry struggled in the digital age. A botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia damaged the magazine's credibility. Wenner Media recently sold Us Weekly and Men's Journal, and last year sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies of Singapore.


Big Little Lies, The Handmaid's Tale, Veep win big at Emmys

HBO's Big Little Lies and Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale were big winners at Sunday's 2017 Emmys. The Handmaid's Tale won for Best Drama Series, lead actress (Elisabeth Moss), and supporting actress (Ann Dowd). It also won for writing and directing. Big Little Lies won for limited series, lead actress (Nicole Kidman), supporting actress (Laura Dern), actor (Alexander Skarsgard), and director (Jean-Marc Vallee). Julia Louis Dreyfus of HBO's Veep won for lead comedy actress for a record sixth straight time. Donald Glover became the first black director to win for comedy direction (FX's Atlanta). He also won for lead actor in a comedy. Saturday Night Live took several Emmys, including supporting actor awards for Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, who portrayed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in SNL sketches, respectively.


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