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Published: Monday, November 27, 2017 @ 1:41 AM
Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017 @ 1:39 AM
KARANGASEM, Indonesia — The Latest on a rumbling volcano on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali (all times local):
Thousands of tourists remain stuck on Indonesia's island of Bali after its airport was closed for a second day due to hazards created by clouds of ash from an erupting volcano.
The word "cancelled" lit up every slot on large flight information boards at the Ngurah Rai International Airport. Some passengers stood in line at help desks hoping for more information, while others sat waiting patiently.
"I don't know, we can't change it," said German tourist Gina Camp, who is supposed to fly Tuesday afternoon. "It's the nature and we have to wait until it's over."
She decided to look on the bright side, saying she planned to go back outside to enjoy another day on the island.
Mount Agung, which has a history of violent eruptions, began waking up two months ago and prompted mass evacuations near the mountain. Its last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people.
Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency says the airport on the tourist island of Bali is closed for a second day due to the threat from volcanic ash.
Mount Agung in the northeast of the island, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the airport, has continued erupting Tuesday, sending plumes of smoke and ash about 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) above the crater.
Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the airport closure is in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday. He said the airport on neighboring Lombok has reopened after being closed on Monday night.
More than 400 flights were canceled and nearly 60,000 passengers stranded Monday on the first day of its closure.
Ash from Bali's volcano is disrupting life on parts of the tourist island that are outside the immediate danger zone.
At Buana Giri village, some residents said they were leaving because the area is now inhospitable for their livestock.
Villager Made Kerta Kartika said ash has covered the area since Sunday and made farming difficult.
"Ash that covered the trees and grass is very difficult for us because the cows cannot eat," he said. "I have to move the cows from this village."
The eruption of Mount Agung has forced the closure of the island's airport and authorities have ordered 100,000 people to evacuate from areas close to the volcano.
China says there were 17,000 Chinese tourists on Bali before the latest eruption of Mount Agung.
The Chinese consulate on the Indonesian island said on its website that airlines and travel services were arranging 100 buses to take tourists to catch ferries to neighboring Java.
The Chinese foreign ministry issued a statement urging travelers to be "vigilant about safety" when deciding whether to visit Bali.
China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's biggest carriers, canceled flights Sunday and said passengers due to fly any time between then and Dec. 10 could obtain refunds.
The closure of Bali's airport due to volcanic ash is having a disruptive effect on flights around Indonesia and the region.
Bali is a hub airport in Indonesia with many flights transiting there for domestic as well as international destinations. Planes that would have flown other routes Monday are now stuck on the tarmac in Bali.
Human Rights Watch Indonesia researcher Andreas Harsono said he was waiting two hours at Jakarta's terminal 3 for his delayed flight to a domestic destination.
He said other flight delays have been announced at the terminal, which serves national carrier Garuda, and the departure area is filling up with many waiting passengers.
Spokesman for Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency says lava is welling up in the crater of the Mount Agung volcano on Bali "which will certainly spill over to the slopes."
Volcanologists say the lava's presence is sometimes reflected in the ash plume which takes on a reddish-orange glow even in daytime.
Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said bigger eruptions than those currently happening are possible based on the information the disaster agency is receiving from the volcano monitoring center.
He said that "since yesterday there were explosive eruptions whose sound was heard up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) away."
Nugroho said officials are responding based on a worst-case scenario occurring because Agung has a history of violent eruptions. Its last major eruption in 1963 killed about 1,100 people.
He said "We cannot be sure whether this time eruptions will be the same with 1963."
Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency says as many as 100,000 villagers need to leave the expanded danger zone around the Mount Agung volcano on Bali, but that less than half that number have left.
Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told a news conference in Jakarta that the extension of the danger zone to 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the crater in places affects 22 villages and about 90,000 to 100,000 people.
The volcano's alert was raised to the highest level earlier Monday and ash clouds have forced the closure of Bali's international airport.
Nugroho said about 40,000 people have evacuated but others have not left because they feel safe or don't want to abandon their livestock.
He said that "authorities will comb the area to persuade them. If needed, we will forcibly evacuate them."
Indonesia's Directorate General of Land Transportation says 100 buses are being deployed to Bali's international airport and to ferry terminals to help travelers stranded by the eruption of Mount Agung.
Bali's international airport was closed early Monday after ash from the volcano reached its airspace. Hundreds of flights were canceled and tens of thousands of travelers affected.
The agency's chief, Budi, said major ferry crossing points have been advised to prepare for a surge in passengers and vehicles. Stranded tourists could leave Bali by taking a ferry to neighboring Java and then travel by land to the nearest airports.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:58 PM
— David and Louise Turpin, the California couple who were charged with torture and child abuse after authorities accused them of holding their 13 children captive in dire conditions, previously lived in Texas, several news outlets have reported.
ABC News reported Thursday that it had acquired pictures from inside the family’s former Texas home, near Fort Worth. The pictures were submitted by the home’s current owner, who took the pictures after he bought the foreclosed property about 18 years ago.
The pictures, which can be seen here, show stained carpets and walls. The current owner told ABC it required an “extensive cleanup” and that he and his wife “believed that the previous occupants destroyed the house because it was being foreclosed on.”
The anonymous owner also told ABC that feces were smeared all over the walls of every room at the time that he bought the home.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
— A Comal County judge said God told him to intervene in jury deliberations to sway jurors to return a not guilty verdict in the trial of a Buda woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex.
Judge Jack Robison apologized to jurors for the interruption but defended his actions by telling them, “When God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it,” according to the Herald-Zeitung, in New Braunfels.
The jury went against the judge’s wishes, finding Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of continuous trafficking of a person and later sentenced her to 25 years in prison. They found her not guilty of a separate charge of sale or purchase of a child.
Robison, who also presides in Hays County, did not respond to a message left with his court coordinator, Steve Thomas, who said the case is pending.
The Herald-Zeitung reported that Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase and was replaced by Judge Gary Steele. The defendant’s attorney asked for a mistrial but was denied.
Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which has disciplined Robison in the past.
In 2011, the commission slapped Robison with a private reprimand for improperly jailing a Caldwell County grandfather who had called him a fool for a ruling Robison made in a child custody case involving the man’s granddaughter.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:35 PM
— The fight over a border wall, the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, and the wrangling over the funding of an insurance program for children could force a U.S. government shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass legislation that would keep the government up and running.
While negotiations on a temporary spending bill, called a continuing resolution, are ongoing, House Republican leaders said late Wednesday that they lacked the votes to prevent a shutdown, but that they are pressing members to back Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), on the temporary spending bill.
“I think it passes,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, (R-North Carolina), told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it passes.”
What would happen if no bill is passed and the government “shuts down?” Here’s what to expect:
First, a government shutdown doesn’t mean the government completely shuts down. Employees and services deemed “essential” would remain in place. About half of the federal employee workforce, however, could be furloughed – sent home without pay.
Government agencies would shut down because of the lack of a bill that funds services those agencies provide. What Congress will be considering Thursday night and Friday is a continuing resolution, a way to temporarily fund the government.
What is a continuing resolution?
A continuing resolution, or “CR,” is legislation that funds government operations at the current spending level. In normal years, a bill that funds government operations is signed by Oct. 1, which is the end of the fiscal year. That didn’t happen this year.
CRs can fund the government for days, weeks or months. The CR that could be considered Thursday would fund the government through Feb. 16.
Here is a list of services and how they would be affected if a CR is not passed by Friday night:
Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place.
For about two weeks, federal courts would continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential.
The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted.
Patients in the National Institutes of Health would continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place.
You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.
The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn't be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home.
You would still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.
Active-duty military personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed.
All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
School lunches, SNAP and WIC
School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government would not be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, would continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather.
Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed.
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs would continue.
Sources: The Associated Press; Politico; the Congressional Research Service
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 2:36 PM
— Far-right extremists – particularly white supremacists – were responsible for more than half of the deaths attributed to extremists in the United States last year, according to a report issued this week by the Anti-Defamation League.
Twenty of the 34 extremist-related killings in 2017 were carried out by far-right extremists, more than double the number that group was responsible for in 2016, according to the ADL’s annual report on extremist-related killings in America.
Eighteen of those 20 deaths were caused by white supremacists, according to the ADL.
Murders committed by white supremacists in 2017 included several killings linked to the alt-right. As the alt-right expands its operations from the internet into the real world, it raises the possibility of more violent acts in the future: https://t.co/wfybEQB1kY pic.twitter.com/pseQzRWSEF— ADL (@ADL_National) January 17, 2018
The incidents noted by the ADL included the August 2017 death of Heather Heyer, 32, who was protesting a rally organized by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, when authorities said she was mowed down by a vehicle driven by James Alex Fields, 20.
“We cannot ignore the fact that white supremacists are emboldened, and as a society we need to keep a close watch on recruitment and rallies such as Charlottesville, which have the greatest potential to provoke and inspire violence,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a news release.
The deadliest incident of last year, however, was carried out by an Islamic extremist. Eight people died in October when a man identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, plowed a pickup truck into bicyclists and pedestrians on a path in New York City.
Including the October killings, a total of nine deaths were attributed to Islamic extremists, according to the ADL. Black nationalists were responsible for five of the killings reported in 2017, according to the ADL.
“These findings are a stark reminder that domestic extremism is a serious threat to our safety and security,” Greenblatt said. “We saw two car-ramming attacks in the U.S. last year -- one from an Islamic terrorist and another from a white supremacist in Charlottesville -- and the number of deaths attributed to white supremacists increased substantially. The bottom line is we cannot ignore one form of extremism over another. We must tackle them all.”
The ADL urged officials to “use their bully pulpit to speak out against racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry at every opportunity” to mitigate the extremist threat. The ADL also recommended that federal and state officials create programs to help those trying to leave extremist movements and to “thwart (the) recruitment of disaffected or alienated Americans.”