Latest Headlines

‘The death toll following the devastating Mexico earthquake now stands at 216, according to the country’s civil protection agency.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong had earlier said the total was at least 226, but this was quickly revised up to 248 on Wednesday morning, before coming back down.

Central Mexico was struck by a 7.1 magnitude quake yesterday evening and a citywide recovery operation is currently underway in the capital.

Some 86 people are thought to have died in the city itself. Among those killed were at least 20 children in a school where buildings collapsed.

A mix of neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their bare hands to search through the school’s rubble. Reports swept through the crowd of anxious parents outside the gates that relatives in two families had received Whatsapp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.’

Read more:Mexico City earthquake: At least 216 people dead after huge 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes capital

Puerto Rico’s cities were ghost towns as the country braced for Hurricane Maria’s landfall after the category five storm wreaked ‘mind-boggling’ devastation on the Dominica.

Maria hit the US Virgin Islands early Wednesday as the US National Hurricane Center warned of a ‘potentially catastrophic’ impact from a storm that has already killed at least two people in the Caribbean.

On St John Island, locals reported seeing trees swirling in the wind, with rain pouring ‘sideways’ as Maria continued on its path of destruction after battering the island of Dominica and other territories in the eastern Caribbean.

The storm barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado.

As rains began to lash Puerto Rico, Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that Maria could hit ‘with a force and violence that we haven’t seen for several generations.’

Read more: ‘Evacuate or die’: US Virgin Islands are lashed by 175mph Hurricane Maria as Puerto Rico declares state of emergency after Category 5 storm caused ‘mind-boggling’ devastation in Dominica

‘Donald Trump says that Iran is a “murderous regime” and that the nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor with the country is an “embarrassment”.

Mr Trump gave the harsh assessment of the Persian nation during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly as President.

“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the US has ever entered into,” Mr Trump said. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me.”

The President characterised Iran as a violent and oppressive regime, and called on the country to release US and other foreign citizens currently held in prisons there.

“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Mr Trump said. “It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.”‘

Read more: Donald Trump calls Iran a ‘murderous regime’ in surprisingly hostile UN speech

‘US President Donald Trump urged nations to “embrace their sovereignty” in his first address at the UN General Assembly in New York, but promised that the US would challenge North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela for behaving in ways the US disapproves of.

“The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else.”

“In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather, to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch… In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty.”‘

Read more: ‘US doesn’t seek to impose its way of life on anyone’: Eight key quotes from Trump’s UN speech

‘A US carrier group led by the USS Ronald Reagan will join US-South Korean naval drills that will take place near the Korean Peninsula in October, Japanese media report, citing the South Korean Defense Ministry.

On Monday, the ministry revealed its plans in a report it submitted to the National Assembly, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reports. According to the report, Seoul asked Washington to send the USS Ronald Reagan from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, based in the Japanese town of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, to join the exercises scheduled for October.

The ministry also planned to conduct joint missile defense exercise together with the US and Japan later in September or in October. The drills are expected to be another demonstration of force by the US and its allies as tensions around the peninsula continue to rise following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on September 3.

Following the test, Seoul held massive live-fire naval drills in the Sea of Japan on September 5 and then conducted a separate joint anti-submarine drill with the US just days later.’

Read more: US aircraft carrier group to be dispatched to Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions

‘The editors at the Wall Street Journal have settled on a plan for ending the crisis in North Korea. Starve them to death.

I’m not kidding. In an article titled “Options for Removing Kim Jong In” the WSJ’s editorial board suggests that the US use “all of its tools to topple the North Korean regime” including, of course, vital food imports which keep women and children from facing an agonizing death by starvation.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“The North is especially vulnerable to pressure this year because a severe drought from April to June reduced the early grain harvest by 30%. If the main harvest is also affected, Pyongyang may need to import more food while sanctions restrict its ability to earn foreign currency….

While the regime survived a severe famine in the 1990s, today the political consequences of a failed harvest would be severe. …. The army was once the most desirable career path; now soldiers are underpaid and underfed. North Koreans will not simply accept starvation as they did two decades ago.

Withholding food aid to bring down a government would normally be unethical, but North Korea is an exceptional case. Past aid proved to be a mistake as it perpetuated one of the most evil regimes in history. The U.N. says some 40% of the population is undernourished, even as the Kims continue to spend huge sums on weapons. Ending the North Korean state as quickly as possible is the most humane course.”’

Read more: Starve Them to Death: Wall Street Journal’s Solution to North Korea

‘Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a framework deal for military cooperation, Saudi state media said on Tuesday, just two days after Gulf rival Qatar signed a deal to buy jet fighters from the European nation.

The agreement came after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed security ties with visiting British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, the Saudi Press Agency said without disclosing details of the agreement.

“During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations particularly the mechanism… joint coordination in the field of defense. They also discussed… efforts to combat terrorism,” SPA said.

The agreement comes as Britain seeks to explore lucrative trade deals outside Europe, including energy-rich Gulf monarchies, after voting to leave the European Union.’

Read more: Britain and Saudi Arabia sign military cooperation deal

‘At least nine civilians have been killed when Saudi military aircraft carried out an airstrike against a residential area in Yemen as the Saudi regime presses ahead with an atrocious military campaign against its crisis-hit southern neighbor.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four women and five children lost their lives on Tuesday, when Saudi fighter jets bombarded a residential building in the Kushar district of the northwestern province of Hajjah, located approximately 130 kilometers northwest of the capital Sana’a, Arabic-language al-Arabi news website reported.

The sources identified the victims as members of the same family.’

Read more: Nine civilians dead as Saudi warplanes bomb North-West Yemen

1