Mattis Disputes Reports Of Being At Odds With Trump

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is disputing reports that he is distancing himself from President Donald Trump on issues like North Korea and domestic social tensions.

In an impromptu exchange with reporters at the Pentagon, Mattis said it is “ludicrous” for people to conclude from his recent remarks that he is in conflict with Trump.

He mentioned, as an example, his comments to American troops during a visit to Jordan last week. He told the troops to “hold the line” until the rest of the country gets back to treating each other with civility. Some interpreted the remarks as a critique of Trump’s leadership following recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mattis says he was simply striking a theme Trump himself had voiced just hours earlier in a speech on Afghanistan.

(AP)

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Washington – US Commander: IS Leader Al-Baghdadi Probably Still Alive

Washington — Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top U.S. military commander said Thursday, contradicting Russia’s claims that it probably killed the top counterterror target months ago. “Do I believe he’s alive? Yes,” said Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who commands the coalition forces fighting IS in Iraq […]


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Maran Rav Shteinman And HaRav Kanievsky Instruct Degel MKs To Work To Convene 3 Torah Councils

Degel Hatorah faction MKs visited the home of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita on Thursday 9 Elul to discuss the issue of increasing state-approved Chilul Shabbos. From Rav Shteinman, they went to the home of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita.

They discussed the weekly Chilul Shabbos by Israel Railways, Chilul Shabbos approved by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, despite threats by chareidi elected officials to bring down the coalition over the matter.

Rav Shteinman was informed they plan to convene all three Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael together to address the matter. This includes the Councils of Agudas Yisrael, Degel Hatorah and Shas.

It is reported that Rav Shteinman approved convening all the Councils. It is added that Rav Kanievsky asked if they believe doing so will accomplish something, to which they responded, “it will”. Rav Kanievsky then joined in with Rav Shteinman, supporting the move as they continue battling to preserve the Shabbos status quo.

After visiting with Rav Kanievsky they MKs visited with Ponevezh Rosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita to discuss the matter as well.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Rescuers Seek Anyone – Alive or dead – Left in Harvey Floodwaters

Rescuers began a block-by-block search of tens of thousands of Houston homes Thursday, pounding on doors and shouting as they looked for anyone — alive or dead — who might have been left behind in Harvey’s fetid floodwaters, which have now damaged more than 87,000 homes and destroyed nearly 7,000 statewide.

Elsewhere, the loss of power at a flood-crippled chemical plant set off explosions and a fire, and the city of Beaumont, near the Texas-Louisiana line, lost its public water supply. The remnants of the storm pushed deeper inland, raising the risk of flooding as far north as Kentucky.

More than 200 firefighters, police officers and members of an urban search-and-rescue team fanned out across the Meyerland neighborhood for survivors or bodies. They yelled “Fire department!” as they pounded with closed fists on doors, peered through windows and checked with neighbors. The streets were dry but heaped with soggy furniture, carpet and wood.

“We don’t think we’re going to find any humans, but we’re prepared if we do,” said District Chief James Pennington of the Houston Fire Department.

The confirmed death toll stood at 32, though it is expected to rise. But by midday, the temporary command center in a J.C. Penney parking lot had received no reports of more bodies from the searches, which are expected to take up to two weeks.

Unlike during Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in New Orleans, crews used GPS devices to log the homes they checked rather than painting neon X’s on the outside. That avoided alerting potential thieves to vacant homes.

The blasts at the Arkema Inc. plant northeast of Houston also ignited a 30- to 40-foot flame and sent up a plume of acrid black smoke that stung the eyes and lungs. The blaze burned out around midday, but emergency crews held back because of the danger that eight other trailers containing the same compound could blow, too. No serious injuries were reported.

The latest statewide damage surveys revealed the staggering extent of the destruction. The figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety indicated that nearly 50,000 homes sustained minor damage and 37,000 sustained major damage. At least 6,800 homes were destroyed.

About 325,000 people have already sought federal emergency aid in the wake of Harvey. More than $57 million in individual assistance has already been paid out, FEMA officials said.

Rescues continued apace, as did the search for shelter among people made homeless by the storm. Emergency officials reported 32,000 people in shelters across Texas.

The Harris County FEMA director said the agency was looking for ways to house people who lost their homes to Harvey. The priority is to get them into some form of temporary housing, with hotels being one option, he said.

“Right now nothing is off the table,” Tom Fargione said. “This is a tremendous disaster in terms of size and scope. I want to get thinking beyond traditional methodologies you’ve seen in the past.”

Although it has been downgraded to a tropical depression, Harvey was still expected to dump heavy rain on parts of Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky through Friday. Forecast totals ranged from 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters), with some places possibly getting up to a foot.

As the water receded in the nation’s fourth-largest city, the greatest threat of damage shifted to a region near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

Some residents in Beaumont, Texas, began to get anxious after the city of nearly 120,000 lost water service when its main pump station was overwhelmed by the swollen Neches River. Officials said they were having difficulty bringing in enough bottled water to set up distribution stations because of flooded roads.

A procession of about 10 vehicles tailed a pickup towing a trailer packed with bottled water meant for emergency workers. The truck circled a downtown Beaumont block before Letorisha Hollier hopped out of the closest car.

“Give us a case!” Hollier shouted. Her persistence paid off. A firefighter handed her the water. She was the only tailgater to score a case.

Beaumont police spokeswoman Carol Riley said there were “some disturbances” in supermarkets because people were concerned about water.

The lack of water forced Baptist Beaumont Hospital to bring in ambulances and helicopters to move patients to other facilities, including some who had already been removed from flooded nursing homes. Hospital spokeswoman Mary Poole said other patients were able to be discharged.

In nearby Port Arthur, the Coast Guard used baskets and harnesses to pull people out of a neighborhood with chest-deep water. Many residents of second-floor apartments decided to stay.

Economists said the storm shut down everything from plastics plants to oil refineries to the Houston port — the second-busiest in the nation — which could affect the nation’s economy.

With widespread reports of gas shortages, the head of the Texas agency that regulates the oil and gas industry urged drivers to wait three or four days to fill up their tanks. Panic buying is causing a run on gas and empty fuel pumps, Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton said.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said he would release 500,000 barrels of crude oil from an emergency stockpile in a bid to prevent gasoline prices from spiking in the wake of disruptions caused by Harvey.

Also Thursday, Houston public schools pushed back the start of classes by two weeks. The nation’s seventh-largest district had been scheduled to reopen Monday but will now begin school on Sept. 11 because of Harvey.

Health experts warned that sewage in the floodwater could make people sick and that mosquito populations could explode in the coming weeks because stagnant water offers abundant breeding grounds.

With temperatures likely to climb in to the low 90s over the weekend, residents were warned about the dangers of heat exhaustion, especially for people who lost power or must toil outdoors.

Houston’s two major airports were slowly resuming full service. Limited bus and light rail service had also been restored, as well as trash pickup.

Harvey initially came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane in Texas on Friday, then went back out to sea and lingered off the coast as a tropical storm for days, inundating flood-prone Houston.

The storm brought five straight days of rain totaling close to 52 inches (1.3 meters), the heaviest tropical downpour ever recorded in the continental U.S.

(AP)

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New York – Repairs Done, Normal Service To Resume At NYC’s Penn Station

New York — Amtrak has completed the track work at New York City’s Penn Station that forced the railroads that share the busy transit hub to curtail service for eight weeks, officials said Thursday. Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman said the repairs were completed “on time, on budget and most importantly, safely.” Normal service into and […]


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White House: Trump Will Donate $1 Million To Harvey Relief

President Donald Trump is pledging $1 million in personal money to Harvey storm relief efforts.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement at a briefing Thursday. She said Trump is calling on reporters to help decide which specific organization he should give to.

But Trump could also take a cue from his own re-election campaign. Earlier this week, his 2020 political committee blasted out emails and texts to more than 10 million supporters encouraging people to donate to Harvey efforts. The messages provided links to several specific charities: the Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way and local animal rescue operations.

Trump used a similar “reporters decide” gimmick at the beginning of his administration, that time with his presidential salary, which he is declining to accept. Then-press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a March briefing that Trump “has kindly asked you all determine where that goes.”

A few weeks later, the White House announced that Trump had decided to give his first three months of salary to the Interior Department; his second three months worth went to the Education Department.

Trump has been criticized in the past for giving far less of his income to charitable causes than many other multi-billionaires. And he hasn’t followed through on previous charity pledges.

In one high-profile example last year, he failed to give a promised $1 million of his own money — plus another $5 million he said he’d raised — to veterans’ organizations until reporters asked questions months later about who had received the charity.

Harvey’s flood waters have heavily damaged tens of thousands of homes across Texas and killed at least 30 people. The storm is now threatening the region near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

(AP)

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Milwaukee – Milwaukee Sheriff, Trump Supporter Clarke Resigns

Milwaukee — The tough-talking sheriff of Milwaukee County, David Clarke, resigned without explanation Thursday, capping a tumultuous year for the divisive, provocative lawman whose unabashed support for President Donald Trump and in-your-face personality earned him a national following among some conservatives. Clarke submitted his resignation in a one-sentence letter to the county clerk that gave […]


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Pushing School Start Times To 8:30 A.M. Could Add Billions To The US Economy

A new study has discovered a simple way to add billions of dollars to the US economy: delay school start times.

A study from the RAND Corporation and RAND Europe found delayed start times could add $83 billion to the US economy by 2027.

The increases would come from improved high school graduation rates leading to better jobs and fewer costs associated with sleep-related car crashes, obesity, and mental illness.
Schools may need to make short-term investments, but the long-term upsides could be worth it. Read more at Business Insider.

{Matzav.com}

 

 

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The Complete TGI Chareidi Media Survey

The TGI survey for the chareidi sector published Wednesday morning 8 Elul shows that the Kol Chai radio station continues to maintain its status as the leading radio station in the chareidi sector, with a significant gap compared to Kol Berama radio station.

In the daily newspaper sector, a change took place, with Hamodia taking first place and Yated Neeman taking second place in the percentage of exposure. In the freebies sector, the ‘Kav Etonut’ is gaining strength in the percentage of exposure, and is again in first place compared with the ‘Merkaz Inyanim’, which has weakened in the current survey.

The current survey shows once again that while the Internet market is constantly growing, where the “Kikar Shabbos ” site leads safely in the first place and the printed chareidi press is unable to rise, and in part it even decreases in percentage of exposure.

Sources in the communications market explain that even in the current survey one can see that the chareidi media, and the Internet sector, which has gained a significant boost in recent years, is the engine that attracts the entire chareidi press market, as can be seen in leading the agenda every day.

The present survey presents the exposure data for July 2016 to June 2017, compared to the previous survey that presented the exposure data for January-December 2016 (the survey a year ago, presented the exposure data from July 2015 to June 2016).

Radio stations

The Kol Hai radio station drops from 30.2 percent in the previous survey (31.5 percent in a survey a year ago) to 26.9 percent in the current survey, but maintains its position in the chareidi sector, with a considerable margin ahead of the competition.

The Kol Brahma radio station rises slightly from 20.1 percent in the previous poll (22.3 percent in a survey a year ago) to 20.5 percent in the current survey, but remains in second place.

The daily newspapers

The newspaper Hamodia ranks first in the daily newspaper sector, rising from 17.0 percent in the previous survey (16.3 percent in a survey a year ago) to 18.1 percent in the current survey.

The Yated Neeman newspaper ranked second, down from 19.8 percent in the previous survey (24.1 percent in a survey a year ago) to 17.1 percent in the current survey.

The HaMevaser newspaper maintains stability from the previous survey, which received 11.1 percent of the exposure (10.2 percent in the survey a year ago), with 11.0 percent exposure in the current survey.

The HaPeles newspaper is growing from 10.4 percent in the previous survey (14.1 percent in a survey a year ago) to 13.7 percent in the current survey

The weekend papers

The Mishpacha magazine recorded a slight increase from 21.1 percent in the previous survey (24.1 percent in the survey a year ago) to 21.3 percent in the current survey, and remained in first place in the weekend newspapers sector.

The Hamodia newspaper reported a decline from 18.3 percent in the previous survey (16.2 percent in a survey a year ago) to 16.8 percent in the current survey, enough to take second place.

Yated Neeman’s exposure in the previous survey (21.0% in the survey a year ago) was 16.0% in the current survey.

The BaKehilla newspaper is growing from 8.0 percent in the previous survey (8.1 percent in a survey a year ago) to 8.9 percent in the current survey.

The newspaper HaMevaser records a decline from 7.7 percent in the previous survey (8.8 percent in a survey a year ago) to 6.6 percent in the current survey.

The Sha’ah Tova newspaper is growing from 1.8 percent in the previous survey (2.2 percent in the survey a year ago) to 2.5 percent in the current survey.

The daily Yom L’Yom newspaper, which experienced changes in ownership in recent months, recorded a decline from 4.5 percent in the previous survey (4.0 percent in a survey a year ago) to 3.3 percent in the current survey.

The freebies

The free daily newspapers —

The Yated Ne’eman newspaper, which is distributed free on Tuesdays, records a slight drop from 50.1 percent in the previous survey (44.9 percent in a survey a year ago) to 49.9 percent in the current survey.

The Friday paper, which is partly free and partly free, is slightly stronger than the 11.8 percent in the previous survey (14.0 percent in a survey a year ago) to 13.6 percent in the current survey.

The freebies distributed on weekends —

The Kav Etonut network is strengthened from 24.4 percent in the previous survey (24.6 percent in a survey a year ago) to 26.1 percent in the current survey.

The Merkaz Inyanim network is down from 25.3 percent in the previous survey (24.1 percent in the survey a year ago) to 20.1 percent in the current survey.

Magazines

The weekly Katifa magazine records an increase from 12.8 percent in the previous survey (14.6 percent in a survey a year ago) to 13.2 percent in the current survey.

The monthly Zman magazine, which is published once a month, is up from 19 percent in the previous survey (20.3 percent in the survey a year ago) to 21.3 percent in the current survey.

The Te’imot magazine, which also comes out once a month, is up from 10.3 percent in the previous survey (6.7 percent in a survey a year ago) to 11.2 percent in the current survey.

The TGI marketing database is conducted by Kantar Media Research Ltd. and under the professional supervision and supervision of the Research Committee of the Association of Advertising Companies.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Rome – Rabbis Seek Pope Francis’ Cooperation In Fighting Islamic Extremism

Rome — Meeting at the Vatican, an international delegation of rabbis sought the pope’s cooperation in combating Islamic extremism. At the audience Thursday with Pope Francis, the rabbis presented a document calling for the two faiths to work together on Islamic extremism and other issues. The document was drafted last year by the Conference of […]


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