"The Trump administration — which has made a signature achievement of eluding accountability for all manner of lawless and corrupt conduct — is headed for a high-stakes showdown with a federal judge who has some very powerful cards to play," writes Harry Litman. "U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan presides over the case of President Donald Trump’s fired national security adviser Michael Flynn. Sullivan has signaled that he is, at a minimum, skeptical about the motion from the Department of Justice to dismiss the charges against Flynn, who has twice pleaded guilty to lying to federal officers about his contacts with Russian officials."
"Another virus is infecting the world in the wake of COVID-19 and it is hitting the United States with particular virulence. A plague of conspiracy theories is attacking scientific facts about the pandemic, and replacing them with fake theories that will undermine efforts to tame it. Social media permits such misinformation to spread online, globally, with the speed of a virus, whether pushed by lone individuals, groups or governments," writes Trudy Rubin. "What makes these conspiracy theories particularly dangerous in this country is that some of the worst are amplified by far-right talking heads — and by President Donald Trump."
“'Trump’s an idiot' — or even the more verbose formulation 'Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and doesn’t care' — strikes me as the obvious take on a lot of the Trump statements that drive commentators to distraction," writes Michael McGough. "Alas, neither of those formulations takes up much space on the editorial or op-ed pages, which is why it’s tempting for people in my line of work to treat every Trump comment as if it’s a serious policy proposal. But such overinterpretation runs the risk of giving Trump too much credit."
Locusts, COVID-19 and deadly flooding pose a "triple threat" to millions of people across East Africa, officials warned Thursday, while the World Bank announced a $500 million program for countries affected by the historic desert locust swarms.
Coroner's reports for the 34 victims who died in a scuba boat fire off the Southern California coast last year show they died of carbon monoxide poisoning before they were burned, authorities said Thursday. All thirty-three scuba divers and one crew member died in the Sept. 2 fire aboard the Conception, anchored off Santa Cruz Island. The only survivors were the captain and four other crew members, who were asleep above deck.
Many Central Michigan residents remained cut off from their homes Thursday even as floodwaters receded, with senior citizens among the scores of displaced people staying in shelters after flooding overwhelmed two dams, submerged homes and washed out roads. President Donald Trump, who was in Michigan to visit a Ford production plant, signed an emergency declaration authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts.
India authorities on Friday began assessing damage and clearing roads in the wake of Cyclone Amphan that killed more than 90 people and left millions displaced after barreling through the coastal communities of eastern India and neighboring Bangladesh.
People living along two lakes and a river in mid-Michigan rushed to evacuate Tuesday after the breach of a dam following days of heavy flooding across parts of the Midwest. Two schools were opened for evacuees in the Midland area, about 140 miles north of Detroit, after the breach of Edenville Dam, which holds back Wixom Lake.
A strong cyclone was moving toward India and Bangladesh on Tuesday as authorities were trying to evacuate millions of people while maintaining social distancing. Amphan is expected to make landfall on Wednesday morning, and forecasters warned of extensive damage from high winds, heavy rainfall, tidal waves and some flooding in crowded cities like Kolkata.
The cracked main highway between Las Vegas and Reno reopened Friday, 10 hours after a predawn magnitude 6.5 earthquake that a researcher called the largest to strike the remote area of western Nevada in 65 years. No injuries were reported, but officials said goods tumbled from market shelves, sidewalks heaved and storefront windows cracked shortly after 4 a.m. People from Salt Lake City to California’s Central Valley tweeted that they felt shaking.