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Trump piles on new economic sanctions against North Korea

Trump piles on new economic sanctions against North Korea

President Donald Trump has added economic sanctions to his fiery military threats against North Korea, and renewed his rhetorical offensive against Kim Jong Un on Friday, calling the reclusive leader 'obviously a madman.' Trump's move to punish foreign companies that deal with the North was the latest salvo in a U.S.-led campaign to isolate and impoverish Kim's government until his country halts its missile and nuclear tests. Trump announced the measures Thursday as he met leaders from South Korea and Japan, the nations most immediately imperiled by North Korea's threats of a military strike. 'North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,' Trump said as he joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for lunch. 'Tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now.' Hours later, Kim branded Trump as 'deranged' and warned that he will 'pay dearly' for his threat to 'totally destroy' the North if it attacks. The rare statement from the North Korean leader responded to Trump's combative speech days earlier where he not only issued the warning of potential obliteration for the isolated nation, but also mocked the North's young autocrat as a 'Rocket Man' on a 'suicide mission.' Returning insult with insult, Kim said Trump was 'unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country.' He described the president as 'a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire.' He characterized Trump's speech to the world body on Tuesday as 'mentally deranged behavior.' The volley of insults continued Friday, as Trump sent out a predawn Twitter post berating Kim. 'Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!' the president tweeted. Trump's executive order expanded the Treasury Department's ability to target anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea, and to ban them from interacting with the U.S. financial system. 'Foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated supporters,' the order says. It also issues a 180-day ban on vessels and aircraft that have visited North Korea from visiting the United States. Trump also said China was imposing major banking sanctions, too, but there was no immediate confirmation from the North's most important trading partner. China's central bank would not take questions by phone Friday and did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment. Trump praised China for instructing its banks to cut off business with Pyongyang, but neither the Chinese nor Trump officials were ready to say so. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he had spoken at length Thursday with the head of China's central bank but 'I am not going to comment on confidential discussions.' If enforced, the Chinese action Trump described could severely impede the isolated North's ability to raise money for its missile and nuclear development. China, responsible for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade, serves as the country's conduit to the international banking system. Trump said the China action he described 'was a somewhat unexpected move and we appreciate it.' China remains leery of pressuring North Korea into collapse and has resisted cutting off its critical oil supplies, not wanting chaos on its border. Along with Russia, China wants the U.S. to seek dialogue with the North. American officials say the time isn't right for any formal diplomatic process. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that negotiations are the 'only way out' of the nuclear standoff. Several news outlets this month have reported Chinese steps to restrict banking transactions, but the government hasn't made a formal announcement. Asked for comment last week, the Foreign Ministry said China has always fully implemented U.N. sanctions on North Korea but opposes 'unilateral' restrictions imposed by another country on Chinese entities. China's embassy in Washington declined to comment Thursday. ___ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report. ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@mattpenn_99 and Lemire at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire

President Trump heads to Alabama to boost Sen. Luther Strange

President Trump heads to Alabama to boost Sen. Luther Strange

Ahead of a Tuesday Republican runoff, President Donald Trump is fully inserting himself in a U.S. Senate race in Alabama, holding a rally Friday night for Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who faces a spirited challenge from former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, in a race that has strained GOP alliances in the Yellowhammer State. The President will stop tonight in Huntsville, Alabama – not far from there, Mr. Trump had a gigantic rally back in late February of 2016, as he drew some 30,000 people to a football stadium in Madison. “I am supporting “Big” Luther Strange because he was so loyal and helpful to me!” Trump wrote in one of a number of tweets about the Alabama race. Senator Luther Strange has gone up a lot in the polls since I endorsed him a month ago. Now a close runoff. He will be great in D.C. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2017 Behind in the polls, Strange used a Thursday night debate with Moore to repeatedly remind Alabama voters who the President was supporting. “The first question is, who does the President support? The President supports me,” Strange said. As for Moore, he has drawn support from a number of conservative Republicans, but now finds himself pitted against someone who has the backing of the President, something that Strange mentioned several times at a debate on Thursday night. “This race is not me against the President,” Moore said. Moore would seem to be a perfect ally for the President – someone who rails against the GOP Establishment, focusing much of his ire on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – but Mr. Trump has stuck with “Big Luther,” who has trailed in the polls leading up to the runoff. “If they believe in Trump’s agenda – Moore is the clear choice,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA), “but if they follow the cult of personality – then Strange.” Both US Senate Candidates have delivered their opening statements. pic.twitter.com/ogDS7MlRRT — Jalea Brooks (@JaleaBrooks) September 21, 2017 Strange was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat of Jeff Sessions, who left the Senate to become U.S. Attorney General – Sessions was the first Senator to support Mr. Trump, but that has not earned him any loyalty from the President, who has castigated Sessions repeatedly. While the President has backed Strange, Moore has received the backing of Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who ran third in the original primary. But the big voice on Friday will be that of President Trump, who has certainly been putting his political capital on the line for Strange. Alabama is sooo lucky to have a candidate like 'Big' Luther Strange. Smart, tough on crime, borders & trade, loves Vets & Military. Tuesday! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017

FEMA Disaster Survival Assistance Teams canvassing Nassau County on Friday

FEMA Disaster Survival Assistance Teams canvassing Nassau County on Friday

Their goal is to make sure everyone has equal access to assistance and a complete understanding of the assistance process in the wake of disasters. Nassau County Emergency Management says FEMA's Disaster Survival Assistance Teams (DSAT) will be arriving Friday, September 22.  We're told these teams will be going door-to-door canvassing areas affected by Hurricane Irma.  DSAT provides information directly to survivors and circulates information on how to register with FEMA for disaster aid, the location and operation hours of Disaster Recovery Centers, mitigation options, and more.  With recent reports of people impersonating FEMA representatives in the area, Nassau County has released photos of varying FEMA identification.  They also encourage you to call the Nassau County Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at (904) 225-5174, if you're unsure whether or not someone is a legitimate member of FEMA.

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President Trump heads to Alabama to boost Sen. Luther Strange

Ahead of a Tuesday Republican runoff, President Donald Trump is fully inserting himself in a U.S. Senate race in Alabama, holding a rally Friday night for Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who faces a spirited challenge from former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, in a race that has strained GOP alliances in the Yellowhammer State.

The President will stop tonight in Huntsville, Alabama – not far from there, Mr. Trump had a gigantic rally back in late February of 2016, as he drew some 30,000 people to a football stadium in Madison.

“I am supporting “Big” Luther Strange because he was so [More]