MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas (Reuters) – Hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas on Monday, killing at least five people and inundating homes with floodwater ahead of its expected advance on the U.S. coast, where more than a million people were ordered evacuated. Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, had been hovering over Grand Bahama Island for 36 hours by early Monday evening and was expected to stay put until at least Tuesday morning, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory at 5 p.m. EST (2100 GMT). It warned residents not to leave shelters until the eye of the hurricane passes. The stormâ€™s strongest winds are usually close to the eye. At least five people were killed in the Abaco Islands, in the northern Bahamas, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told a news conference on Monday. â€œWe are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of our northern Bahamas,â€ Minnis said. â€œOur mission and focus now is search, rescue and recovery.â€ He added that the U.S. Coast Guard was on the ground in Abaco and had rescued a number of injured individuals. Critically injured people were being taken to hospitals on New Providence, the countryâ€™s most populous island. A Reuters witness staying in the hotel at the Abaco Beach Resort on the island of Great Abaco said winds tore off the shutters and part of the roof, and the site was surrounded by a lake of water. Dorian threatened to unleash a storm surge that could raise water levels by as much as 12 to 18 feet (4-5 meters) above normal on Grand Bahama Island, the NHC said. As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said. Houses in a neighborhood in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island were engulfed by 6 feet (1.8 m) of water. â€œIt looks like theyâ€™re boats on top of the water,â€ said Rosa Knowles-Bain, 61, a resident who fled two days ago to an emergency shelter. The hurricane, which was downgraded late Monday morning to Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, packed maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (240 kph), the NHC said. Dorian was expected to drift to the northwest late on Tuesday and stalk the coasts of Florida, South Carolina and Georgia, it said. Strong gusts and high surf were already being reported along Floridaâ€™s east coast as the hurricane was about 105 miles (170 km) from West Palm Beach, the NHC said. At the White House, staff members reviewed hurricane planning with state and local officials. President Donald Trump was being briefed hourly, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said. EVACUATIONS Nine counties in Florida have issued mandatory evacuations. They included parts of Duval County, home to Jacksonville, one of Floridaâ€™s two biggest cities, and some areas in Palm Beach County, home to Trumpâ€™s Mar-a-Lago resort. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged coastal residents to heed evacuation orders. â€œGet out now while thereâ€™s time and while you have fuel available,â€ he told a news conference from the stateâ€™s emergency operations center in Tallahassee. Among those being evacuated was Sue Watson, a 93-year-old resident of a retirement community in Kissimmee in central Florida. An “Emergency shelter” sign points to the Pedro Menendez High School ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in St. Augustine, Florida, U.S., September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Belloâ€œI was all set to stay home until they had to turn the water off,â€ said Watson, who added she was not worried for her personal safety but hoped the storm spared the retirement community. The storm was causing havoc for travelers on Floridaâ€™s east coast, where some airports and gasoline stations were closed. Orlando International Airport, one of the largest in the state, planned to cease commercial operations at 2 a.m. on Tuesday because of the storm, it said in a statement. Walt Disney World Resort (DIS.N) in Orlando will close early on Tuesday, it said in a statement. Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) said it canceled 55 flights scheduled for Monday and Tuesday after airports in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Melbourne and Daytona Beach closed. American Airlines (AAL.O) said operations had been suspended at seven airports in Florida and the Bahamas, and a travel alert issued for more than 20 airports including in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuations for parts of eight coastal counties effective at noon on Monday. More than 830,000 people were under evacuation orders in Charleston and other coastal communities in the state, emergency management officials announced. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered evacuations in six coastal counties, including all of Savannahâ€™s 150,000 residents, also effective at noon on Monday, Kempâ€™s office said on Twitter. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in his state on Monday, his office said, anticipating the southeast coast could be hit by the storm on Thursday. Dorian was tied with Gilbert (1988), Wilma (2005) and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, based on maximum sustained winds. Allen in 1980 was the most powerful, with 190 miles (306-kph) winds, the NHC said. Slideshow (11 Images)Scientists have warned that climate change is making hurricanes more intense. As global warming heats up the ocean surface temperature, storms gather more energy, which can lead to greater rainfall and stronger winds as they make landfall. â€œWhen scientists put the pieces together, they project that in general, hurricanes will become more intense in a warming world … much like weâ€™ve seen recently with Hurricanes Harvey, Michael and Florence,â€ the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, said in a blog post about Dorian. Reporting by Dante Carrer in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, Gabriella Borter in Titusville, Florida, Peter Szekely and Kenneth Li in New York, Steve Holland in Washington, Rebekah F. Ward in Mexico City, Rich Mckay in Atlanta, Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Matthew Green in London and Ankit Ajmera and Philip George in Bengaluru; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Nick Zieminski, Richard Chang and Peter Cooney
A timeline of Breonna Taylor’s case since police broke down her door and shot her
(CNN)More than six months ago, Louisville, Kentucky police broke open Breonna Taylor’s front door and then fatally shot the 26-year-old EMT in her home.Since then, the killing has spurred national Black Lives Matter protests and placed a greater focus on how policing impacts Black women. Locally, her death led to the passage of “Breonna’s Law,”…
(CNN)More than six months ago, Louisville, Kentucky police broke open Breonna Taylor’s front door and then fatally shot the 26-year-old EMT in her home.Since then, the killing has spurred national Black Lives Matter protests and placed a greater focus on how policing impacts Black women. Locally, her death led to the passage of “Breonna’s Law,” banning no-knock warrants, and the hiring of a new interim Louisville police chief.On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted former detective Brett Hankison on three charges of first-degree wanton endangerment for allegedly firing blindly into the apartment and endangering neighborsTwo other officers who shot at Taylor, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were not indicted. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said they were justified in shooting out of self-defense because Taylor’s boyfriend fired first. As such, no charges were directly connected to Taylor’s death.Here’s a look at what’s happened in the nearly six months since her death.The shootingOn March 12, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge approved five search warrants for locations linked to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, a convicted felon suspected of supplying a local drug house. One of those locations belonged to Taylor.Hours later, in the early morning of March 13, officers arrived at Taylor’s apartment and began pounding on the door, an officer later told investigators.Taylor was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III, who said he heard banging at the door just after midnight. Concerned there might be trouble, he grabbed his gun, which his attorney said he legally owns. They yelled to ask who was at the door but got no response, he said afterward.The officers used a battering ram to break in the door, and Walker then fired one shot at who he believed were intruders. Mattingly, who was first through the door, was shot in the leg. He and two other officers — Hankison and Cosgrove — then returned fire throughout the home.Walker was unharmed, but Taylor was shot multiple times and died in the shooting. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Walker said in a 911 call.Walker was taken away in handcuffs and a grand jury later indictment him on attempted murder of a police officer.No drugs were found in the apartment. There is no police body camera footage of the incident.The aftermathMattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove were placed on administrative leave.Taylor’s family and their attorney have maintained she was not involved in her ex-boyfriend’s alleged drug deals.In May, Walker’s defense attorney filed a motion to have the indictment dismissed, saying the prosecution’s presentation to the panel “completely mischaracterizes” what took place that night. A day later, the Louisville area’s top local prosecutor agreed to have the indictment against Walker dismissed. Two months after the shooting, Taylor’s mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers involved, and prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump joined the family’s legal team. To settle the suit, Louisville agreed in September to pay $12 million to Taylor’s family and enact several police reforms.On May 21, the FBI’s Louisville office announced they were opening an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death. That same day, the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department announced it would require all sworn officers to wear body cameras. The LMPD also said it would change how the department carries out search warrants in response to Taylor’s death.The death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis brought renewed attention to police killings across the country. In Louisville and elsewhere, Black Lives Matters protesters marched for justice in the name of Floyd, Taylor and others.A week later, Louisville police officers fatally shot a local Black business owner, David McAtee, during a protest. Video released by police appeared to show McAtee firing at officers before he was fatally shot. Police Chief Steve Conrad was fired after officials learned that the officers had not activated their body cameras. In late June, more than three months after Taylor’s death, Hankison was fired for “blindly” firing 10 rounds into her apartment that night.”I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote in a letter announcing the termination. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.”In the months since, Taylor’s plight has been taken up not only by demonstrators but by celebrities like NBA star LeBron James and Oprah Winfrey, who put the EMT on the cover of her namesake magazine.In July, protesters marched to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s front lawn, and 87 people were arrested for criminal trespass, among other charges.On August 12, Cameron met with Taylor’s family for the first time, more than 150 days after Louisville Police killed her in her home. Cameron’s office said in a statement he was “grateful” to hold the meeting, which included Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, sister, aunt, family attorneys and a local activist.The police department had another shakeup this month. Yvette Gentry, a longtime police officer who worked as chief of community building in city government, was appointed interim police chief on September 7. She replaces Schroeder, who is retiring, and is the first Black woman to serve as police chief in Louisville.”This is going to signal some change,” she said in an opening press conference. “A new day is coming.”Cameron said Wednesday that his office’s investigation took so long because of its thoroughness, and interviews continued up to September 18. He presented the case to the grand jury this week, the grand jury returned the indictment on Wednesday, and Cameron spoke at a press conference shortly afterward.”I know that not everyone will be satisfied,” he said of the decision. “Our job is to present the facts to the grand jury, and the grand jury then applies the facts.”CNN’s Christina Carrega, Elizabeth Joseph, Scott Glover, Collette Richards, Curt Devine and Drew Griffin contributed to this report.
Wanton endangerment charge: What it means in the Breonna Taylor case
(CNN)A grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March. The charges drew immediate criticism from demonstrators who wanted more serious charges, as well as the arrests of the three officers involved.Hankison is not…
(CNN)A grand jury indicted former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in March. The charges drew immediate criticism from demonstrators who wanted more serious charges, as well as the arrests of the three officers involved.Hankison is not charged with causing the death of Taylor. Rather, the police department said, he “wantonly and blindly” fired into her apartment — shooting 10 rounds.According to the Kentucky statute, someone “is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.”It is a Class D felony, the lowest of four classes of felonies. The maximum sentence is five years; the minimum is one year.If convicted, Hankison faces five years imprisonment for each count, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a press conference Wednesday. A Class A felony — for example, a murder charge — carries a sentence of up to 50 years or life, and a minimum sentence of 20 years.Hankison’s shots came “from outside a sliding glass door and through a bedroom window,” according to a statement from the attorney general’s office. Some of the bullets went through Taylor’s apartment and into one next door, where three people were inside, including a pregnant woman and a child.”There is no conclusive evidence that any bullets fired from Detective Hankison’s weapon struck Ms. Taylor,” the statement said. Taylor was shot multiple times in her home by police carrying out a drug investigation. Her death sparked months of protests and has garnered attention across the country. Cameron told reporters that the officers were “justified in their use of force” because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at officers first.Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove were not charged.”This is the latest miscarriage of justice in our nation’s long history of denying that Black lives matter,” the ACLU of Kentucky said in a tweet. “Once again, a prosecutor has refused to hold law enforcement accountable for killing a young Black woman.”CNN’s Delano Massey contributed to this report.
Lukashenko’s surprise inauguration is a ‘thieves’ meeting’ and a ‘farce,’ Belarus opposition says
The country’s state press service released images of the unannounced ceremony, which took place in the capital, Minsk, on Wednesday. The embattled Belarusian president assumed office during a ceremony at Minsk’s Palace of Independence. No prior notice was given of the event, which took local journalists and opposition activists by surprise.Opposition politicians described the ceremony…
The country’s state press service released images of the unannounced ceremony, which took place in the capital, Minsk, on Wednesday.
The embattled Belarusian president assumed office during a ceremony at Minsk’s Palace of Independence.
No prior notice was given of the event, which took local journalists and opposition activists by surprise.
Opposition politicians described the ceremony as a “thieves’ meeting” and a “farce.”
The opposition Coordination Council, set up to facilitate a transfer of power, urged members of the international community Wednesday to support its members and denounce Lukashenko’s appointment.
“This morning Alexander Lukashenko appointed himself the President of the Republic of Belarus…the Belarusians did not vote for him in the election, though this farce can hardly be called an election,” the Board of the Coordination Council said Wednesday in a statement.
“We call on the European Union, Great Britain, the USA, Canada, China, [and] Russia to take a clear position on recognising Lukashenko [as] illegitimate and to consider recalling your ambassadors for consultations,” the statement added.
Lukashenko was declared the landslide winner of the vote in August, but critics have publicly accused him of rigging the poll, and have since disappeared from the country.
Tens of thousands of protesters have also taken to the streets in mass demonstrations across Belarus for weeks.
Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is coordinating the protests from exile in Lithuania, said that “this so-called inauguration is, of course, a farce.”
“Lukashenko’s attempt to preserve his legitimacy only points to the fact that his previous authority has ended, but Belarusian citizens did not give him a new mandate,” Tikhanovskaya posted on her Telegram feed.
Another opposition politician, Pavel Latushko, accused Lukashenko of holding a “special operation on self-inauguration.”
“Under the protection of riot police, in the atmosphere of secrecy, in a narrow circle of hastily brought officials. Where are the jubilant citizens? Where are the diplomatic corps? To be honest, it looks more like a thieves’ meeting for the coronation of another thief-in-law,” Latushko wrote on social media.
Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, assumed the office for his sixth consecutive term after taking an oath, state press service Belta reported.
“Assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Belarus, I solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of the Republic of Belarus, respect and protect the rights and freedoms of man and citizen, observe and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, sacred and conscientiously fulfil the high duties entrusted to me,” the oath read.
Several hundred people were invited to Wednesday’s ceremony, according to the press service.
Belta said that senior officials, deputies of the House of Representatives, heads of state bodies, scientists, culture and sports figures were invited.
Over recent weeks, Lukashenko and the Belarusian state security apparatus has been forcibly removing from the country or detaining leading opposition figures.
The Coordination Council reiterated its willingness to negotiate with authorities on Wednesday.
The opposition body also called on citizens to continue mobilizing against the government.
“We are ready to start immediate negotiations with the Prime Minister of Belarus and with the Chairmen of commissions at the Chamber of Representatives about setting the date of a new election and about temporary governance during the transition period,” the Coordination Council said.
“We support the infinite peaceful civil disobedience, ignoring any and all instructions from the illegal authorities, peaceful actions in the streets of cities and towns,” it added.
Meanwhile, demonstrations have continued across the country, particularly at weekends. On Saturday, 430 people were detained in protests across the country, according to the Interior Ministry. Of those, 415 were in the capital Minsk. Some 385 people had been released as of Sunday morning, the Ministry said.