In our news wrap Tuesday, the city of Houston continues to recover from Hurricane Harvey as its mayor lifted an overnight curfew and a major oil pipeline returned to near-full operations. Also, President Vladimir Putin said his government could make further cuts in the U.S. diplomatic presence in Russia and has threatened to sue the U.S. for seizing Russian diplomatic property.
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And in the day’s other news: Houston’s mayor lifted most of an overnight curfew imposed during Hurricane Harvey. Meanwhile, a major pipeline carrying oil from Houston to the East Coast returned to near full operations. Still, whole communities remain underwater, and the governor of Texas warned that it could be days before the flooding ends.
From Russia’s President Vladimir Putin today, a new warning to Washington. He says Moscow could force additional cuts in the number of U.S. diplomats working in Russia. He also threatens to sue the U.S. for seizing Russian diplomatic property. Putin spoke about the tit-for-tat during a summit in China.
He was asked about his feelings now toward President Trump.
President Vladimir Putin,
Russia (through interpreter): As for being disappointed or not disappointed, your question sounds very naive. He is not my bride, and I am not his bride or groom. We both are working for the state. Every country has its own interests. Trump is guided in his activities by the national interests of his country, and I am guided by those of mine.
Putin also warned the U.S. against supplying Ukraine with heavier weapons. He said it would only fuel the existing conflict there with pro-Russian separatists.
The army of the government of Syria says that it’s broken a siege of a key eastern city after three years of ISIS control. Thousands of soldiers and civilians had been encircled in Deir el-Zour since 2014. But government forces fought their way in today. Islamic State forces still hold much of the surrounding province.
International aid groups warned today that they’re being overwhelmed by the wave of Rohingya Muslims pouring out Myanmar. The United Nations Refugee Agency said that at least 123,000 have fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the past 11 days. They tell of brutality at the hands of Myanmar’s army.
United Nations Refugee Agency: Some reported that their family members were burnt or shot or slashed to death. During their flight, many fled into the jungles or mountains, and some of them also told us that they have been walking for three days, and they didn’t have anything to eat, other than the rainwater or the water on grounds.
Army officials in mostly Buddhist Myanmar say they’re responding to attacks by Rohingya insurgents.
In Kenya, opposition leader Raila Odinga threatened today to boycott a new presidential election set for October 17. He demanded changes in the electoral process. President Uhuru Kenyatta won the original election in August, but the Kenyan Supreme Court voided the results, citing irregularities.
Wall Street opened today for the first time since North Korea’s nuclear test on Sunday, and stocks reacted badly. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 234 points to close at 21753. The Nasdaq fell 59, and the S&P 500 slipped 18.
And in deep space today, an anniversary. It’s been 40 years since the launch of Voyager 1. The robot explorer blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1977, and did flybys of Jupiter and Saturn. In 2012, it became the only spacecraft to enter interstellar space. Voyager 2 also launched in 1977 and went on to explore Uranus and Neptune. Both spacecraft are still communicating with Earth from their respective distances of almost 13 billion and 10.5 billion miles away.