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Daily Brief: Irma Heads Inland Following Florida Destruction

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September 11, 2017

Daily News Brief

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TOP OF THE AGENDA

Irma Heads Inland Following Florida Destruction

U.S. President Donald J. Trump declared a major disaster in Florida (Miami Herald) on Sunday following Hurricane Irma's sweep through the state, guaranteeing complete federal reimbursement for all emergency measures there over the next month. 

At least four people died in the storm in Florida, in addition to the twenty-seven reported dead across the Caribbean. Insurers estimate the damage from Irma could cost up to $65 billion (FT). Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm Monday as it continues inland over Florida (NYT) and heads to Georgia, before moving toward Tennessee and Alabama. 

ANALYSIS

"Forecasting has improved dramatically over the past century, as has the quality of construction. We have a much better idea of who should leave when a massive storm is coming, and they have more time to get out," James Hohmann, Breanne Deppisch, and Joanie Greve write for the Washington Post.

"Recent events demonstrate the largest challenges facing the world will be parallel trend lines of disasters: one quick and devastating, such as earthquakes and hurricanes/typhoons; the other far slower and perhaps even more destructive, including persistent drought, fires, or exceptional seasonal flooding," writes the Soufan Group.

"Florida was ravaged in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, cost insurers $15 billion and caused more than a dozen insurers to fail," Kara Scannell writes for the Financial Times

PACIFIC RIM

UN: Myanmar Conflict Appears to Be Ethnic Cleansing

The UN human rights chief said a recent crackdown by Burmese security forces on members of the Muslim Rohingya minority seems to be "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" (Al Jazeera). A government spokesman rejected a cease-fire (DW) called for by insurgents, saying it does not "negotiate with terrorists." 

CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick says that U.S. Congress should do more to address the crisis in Myanmar.

CHINA: China's vice minister of industry announced the country will ban the production and sale of diesel and petrol vehicles (BBC), but did not specify when such a ban would come into force.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

Red Cross Employee Shot Dead in Afghanistan

An employee of the International Red Cross was killed in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif when a hospital patient who apparently concealed a weapon in a wheelchair (Reuters) opened fire. 

CFR's James M. Lindsay discusses Trump's plans for the war in Afghanistan on this episode of the President's Inbox.

PAKISTAN: A new militant group at odds with the self-proclaimed Islamic State is behind several recent attacks on Karachi police (VOA), according to Pakistani authorities. The group was reportedly founded by two former al-Qaeda members.  

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Dozens of Syrians Believed Dead in Russian Strikes

Russian air strikes on ferries crossing the Euphrates river near Syria's Deir ez-Zour city (Al Jazeera) have killed thirty-four civilians, including nine children, according to a UK-based monitoring group.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at who's who in Syria's civil war.

LEBANON: Lebanon is expected to file a complaint to the United Nations saying Israel violated its airspace Sunday (Reuters) when it flew jets over the country's south, causing sonic booms that damaged buildings.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Al-Shabab Attack Kills Ten Somali Soldiers

Fighters from the militant group al-Shabab detonated a bomb and stormed a military base near the Somali border with Kenya, leaving at least ten soldiers (Al Jazeera) and seven militants dead.

ANGOLA: Three opposition parties have asked the country's constitutional court to annul the results of an August 23 election (Africa News), in which the ruling People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola won. They allege there were widespread irregularities in the vote.

EUROPE

Former Georgian President Enters Ukraine

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili entered Ukraine from Poland on Sunday by breaking through a line of border guards (RFE/RL). Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, once Saakashvili's ally, stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship in July (NYT)

NORWAY: Norwegians vote Monday in an election pitting the country's ruling Conservative Party (DW) against the opposition Labor Party. Neither group is expected to win a majority in parliament, setting the stage for coalition negotiations (AP) following the vote. 

AMERICAS

Death Toll From Mexico Quake Rises to Ninety

A government spokesperson said at least ninety people have died following an 8.1-magnitude earthquake Thursday (BBC), the strongest Mexico has felt in a century.

BRAZIL: Brazil's supreme court has ordered the temporary arrest of Joesley Batista (FT), head of the meatpacking company JBS. Batista revealed in May that he taped a conversation with President Michel Temer in which they discussed bribes.

This CFR Backgrounder looks at Brazil's corruption fallout.

UNITED STATES

Netanyahu Says Will Meet Trump in September

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will meet U.S. President Donald J. Trump after a meeting of the UN General Assembly (Reuters) in New York later this month. The White House did not comment on the reported meeting.

 
 
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