Worker who sent false Hawaii missile alert reassigned

Hawaii officials said Monday an employee has been reassigned after mistakenly hitting the live alert button of the state’s missile warning system, creating a wave of panic.

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Rapoza said in an email Monday that the worker has been temporarily moved to a job without access to the system amid an internal investigation.

He said no other personnel changes have been made.

The agency has said that it changed protocols to require that two people send an alert and made it easier to cancel a false alarm — a process that took nearly 40 minutes Saturday.

The blunder caused more than a million people in Hawaii to fear that they were about to be struck by a nuclear missile.

The 911 system for the island of Oahu was overwhelmed with more than 5,000 calls. There were no major emergencies during the false alarm, Mayor Kirk Continue reading “Worker who sent false Hawaii missile alert reassigned”

Palestinian leader rebukes Trump

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian president railed at President Donald Trump in a fiery, two-hour-long speech on Sunday, saying “shame on you” for his treatment of the Palestinians and warning that he would have no problem rejecting what he suggested would be an unacceptable peace plan.

The speech by Mahmoud Abbas ratcheted up what has been more than a month of harsh rhetoric toward Trump since the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Relations between Washington and the Palestinians have sunk to a new low, boding poorly for a peace plan the White House has promised to present.

Speaking to the Palestinian Central Council, a decision-making body, Abbas repeated the Palestinians’ opposition to Trump’s Jerusalem recognition and censured Trump for accusing the Palestinians of refusing to negotiate.

“He [Trump] said in a tweet: ‘We won’t give money to the Palestinians because they rejected the negotiations,’” Abbas said. “Shame Continue reading “Palestinian leader rebukes Trump”

Iran rejects Trump’s demand for changing nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Saturday it won’t accept any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after President Donald Trump vowed to pull out of the accord in a few months if European allies did not fix its “terrible flaws.”

In a statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency, the Foreign Ministry said Iran “will not accept any change in the deal, neither now nor in future,” adding that it will “not take any action beyond its commitments.”

It also said Iran would not allow the deal to be linked to other issues, after Trump suggested that the sanctions relief under the deal be tied to Iran limiting its long-range ballistic missile program.

Trump on Friday extended the waivers of key economic sanctions that were lifted under the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program. But he said he would work with European allies to remove Continue reading “Iran rejects Trump’s demand for changing nuclear deal”

John Tunney, ex-U.S. senator from California, dies at 83

LOS ANGELES — John V. Tunney, whose successful campaign for a California seat in the U.S. Senate became the basis for the 1972 Robert Redford film "The Candidate," has died. He was 83.

Tunney died Friday afternoon in Santa Monica, California, his brother, Jay Tunney, told The Associated Press. John Tunney had been suffering from prostate cancer and died in a temporary home that family members were converting into a hospice for him, his brother said.

Tunney was among the youngest people elected to the U.S. Senate in the past century when he won his seat in 1970 at age 36. He then became one of the youngest in recent history to lose a Senate seat when he was defeated after just one term.

The charismatic young Democrat, who was often compared to the Kennedy brothers, had to quiet some of his idealism and swing to the center Continue reading “John Tunney, ex-U.S. senator from California, dies at 83”

Immigration agents raid 7-Elevens

LOS ANGELES — Seven immigration agents filed into a 7-Eleven store before dawn Wednesday, waited for people to go through the checkout line and told arriving customers and a driver delivering beer to wait outside. A federal inspection was underway, they said.

Within 20 minutes, they verified that the cashier had a valid green card and served notice on the owner to produce hiring records in three days that deal with employees’ immigration status.

The well-rehearsed scene, executed with quiet efficiency in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, played out at about 100 7-Eleven stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia, a rolling operation that officials called the largest immigration action against an employer under Donald Trump’s presidency.

The employment audits and interviews with store workers could lead to criminal charges or fines. And they appeared to open a new front in Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement, which has already brought Continue reading “Immigration agents raid 7-Elevens”

Seoul says both Koreas have agreed to hold talks

The rival Koreas agreed Friday to revive their first formal dialogue in more than two years next week to find ways to cooperate on the upcoming Winter Olympics in the South, a sign of easing animosities that followed a period of rising nuclear tension that saw fears of war on the Korean Peninsula.

The announcement by Seoul’s Unification Ministry came hours after the United States said it has agreed to delay annual joint military exercises with South Korea until after the Winter Olympics. The exercises have been a major source of tension because North Korea considers them an invasion rehearsal, although South Korea and the United States have repeatedly said the drills are defensive in nature.

On Friday morning, North Korea sent a message saying it would accept South Korea’s offer to meet at the border village of Panmunjom next Tuesday to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall Continue reading “Seoul says both Koreas have agreed to hold talks”

Putin voices hope for cooperation with U.S. in letter to Trump

In a New Year telegram to President Donald Trump, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says a constructive dialogue between the two nations is essential for global stability.

The Kremlin said Saturday that Putin emphasized in his Seasons Greetings to Trump that Russia and the U.S. could develop a "pragmatic cooperation aimed at long-term perspective" on the basis of "equality and mutual respect."

Putin noted that "the development a constructive Russian-U.S. dialogue is particularly important for strengthening strategic stability in the world and finding the optimal answers to global threats and challenges."

Ties between Moscow and Washington sank to a post-Cold War low following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the allegations of its meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year.