The Journal Gazette
 
 
Friday, May 22, 2020 1:00 am

Nation/World

Sailor hurt, gunman killed in Texas attack

Associated Press

A shooting at a Texas naval air station that wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead early Thursday was being investigated as “terrorism-related,” the FBI said, but divulged few details as to why.

The suspect was identified as Adam Alsahli of Corpus Christi, according to three officials familiar with the investigation who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

At about 6:15 a.m., the gunman tried to speed through a security gate at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, opening fire and wounding the sailor, a member of base security, U.S. officials told The Associated Press. But she was able to roll over and hit the switch that raised a barrier, preventing the man from getting onto the base, the officials said.

Other security personnel shot and killed the man. The injured sailor was discharged from a hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries, according to a statement from the command.

Senate approves intelligence chief

A sharply divided Senate confirmed John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence on Thursday, with Democrats refusing to support the nomination over fears that he will politicize the intelligence community's work under President Donald Trump.

All Democrats opposed Ratcliffe, making him the first DNI to be installed on a partisan vote since the position was created in 2005. The tally was 49-44.

Ratcliffe will take over the agency at a tumultuous time. The nation faces threats from Iran and North Korea, Russian disinformation campaigns to interfere in the U.S. elections and tensions with China over rising competition and the spread of the coronavirus. At the same time, Trump has viewed the intelligence agencies with distrust and ousted or fired multiple officials.

Cyclone kills 80 in Bangladesh, India

Wide swaths of coastal India and Bangladesh were flooded and millions were without power Thursday as Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit the region in more than a decade, killed over 80 people and cut a path of destruction that is still being assessed.

Many parts of the Indian metropolis of Kolkata, home to more than 14 million people, were under water, and its airport was closed briefly by flooding. Roads were littered with uprooted trees and lamp posts, electricity and communication lines were down and centuries-old buildings were damaged.

Officials in both countries said the full extent of the damage caused by the cyclone was not known because communications to many places were cut. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the storm, a process complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan flooding ebbs; woes linger

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.

Much of the area remained underwater, including in Midland, the headquarters of Dow Chemical Co. And floodwaters continued to threaten downstream communities. No flood-related deaths or injuries have been reported.

US plans to exit overflight treaty

President Donald Trump said Thursday that Russian violations make it untenable for the U.S. to stay in a treaty that permits 30-plus nations to conduct observation flights over each other's territory, but he hinted it's possible the U.S. will reconsider the decision to withdraw.

Trump's announcement comes as the U.S. begins new nuclear arms control talks with the Kremlin aimed at replacing an expiring weapons treaty with a modern and potentially three-way accord that brings China into the fold.

The Trump administration informed other members of the treaty that the U.S. plans to pull out in six months – which is after the presidential election – because Russia is violating the pact. The White House also says that imagery collected during the flights can be obtained quickly at less cost from U.S. or commercial satellites.

China mulls limits on Hong Kong

China's ceremonial parliament will consider a bill that could limit opposition activity in Hong Kong, a spokesperson said Thursday, appearing to confirm speculation that China will sidestep the semi-autonomous territory's own lawmaking body in enacting legislation to crack down on activity Beijing considers subversive.

Such a move has long been under consideration but was hastened by months of anti-government protests last year in the former British colony that was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997.

East Africa faces trio of threats

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.

A new and larger generation of the voracious insects, numbering in the billions, is on the move in East Africa, where some countries haven't seen such an outbreak in 70 years. Climate change is in part to blame.

The added threat of COVID-19 imperils a region that already was home to about 20% of the world's population of food-insecure people, including millions in South Sudan and Somalia.


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