LBN – Monday, September 18th, 2017

Forecasters: Maria Could Hit Puerto Rico as Cat 4 Hurricane

Another powerful hurricane is brewing in the Caribbean, less than two weeks after Category 5 Irma smashed the region and then slammed into Florida. Hurricane “Maria is expected to become a major hurricane as it moves through the Leeward Islands,” said a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center early Monday, and it will be marked by “rapid strengthening” during the next 48 hours. Now at Category 3 strength, Maria is approaching the Lesser Antilles and is expected to rip into the Leeward Islands—home of the already-devastated U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and St. Martin/St. Marteen—on Mondaynight. Ominously, it is forecast to ramp up to Category 3 or 4 strength and hit several islands, including Puerto Rico. Just a week ago, Hurricane Irma—one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic—killed at least 84 people in the Caribbean and U.S.

Sean Spicer Responds to Emmy Criticism

Asked following Sunday night’s Emmy Awards if he had considered the negative reactions that might follow his cameo appearance during Stephen Colbert’s opening monologue,Sean Spicer replied, “Not so much.”  The former White House press secretary told The Hollywood Reporter, “I was more worried about the logistical reactions,” he said. “I’ve never wheeled a podium before. The one I’m used to is pretty stationary.” Calling the chance to appear on the Emmys stage “an honor,” Spicer said Colbert “came up with a concept” and he “thought it was kinda funny” so he decided to do it. Spicer was spotted snapping selfies with celebrities at the Governors Ball afterparty later Sunday night.

Pentagon’s Interim Guidance on Trans Policy: Treat Them With ‘Dignity and Respect’


Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Monday released interim guidance regarding the Pentagon’s new policy for transgender troops. At the outset, the Pentagon declares: “First and foremost, we will continue to treat every Service member with dignity and respect.” The policy will be in effect until at least Feb. 21, 2018, when the Pentagon is expected to provide guidance to President Trump on the implementation of his transgender ban. In the meantime, the military will no longer accept new transgender individuals into its ranks, though current service members will be allowed to re-enlist, continue their service, and receive treatment for gender dysphoria. The guidelines, however, also provide a deadline for new sex-reassignment surgeries.

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Three Killed and Dozens Injured in New York City Bus Crash

A New York City MTA bus and a Dahlia charter bus collided in Queens on Monday morning, killing three people and injuring more than a dozen others, DNA Info reported. The buses were reportedly moving so quickly that they “spun around” upon impact and ran over the curb, according to MTA ChairmanJoseph Lhota. The buses killed one pedestrian and crashed into a nearby Kennedy Fried Chicken. The charter-bus driver and an MTA bus passenger were also killed in the crash. “It’s a tragic morning here in Flushing, Queens. It’s hard to compare to anything I’ve ever seen—the sheer destruction from the impact of this collision,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. Dahlia buses have a history of driving at excessive speeds and have been involved in numerous accidents.


Bureau of Consular Affairs


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