Trump tweet on California wildfires ‘demeaning’ and ‘Ill-informed,’ firefighters union boss says


The leader of a union that represents a majority of California’s firefighters responded forcefully Saturday after President Trump threatened earlier in the day to cancel federal financial relief as deadly wildfires continued to ravage parts of the state.

While in Paris, Trump claimed that “gross mismanagement” of the state’s forests was to blame for three “massive, deadly and costly” fires.

In October, Trump made similar statements where he blamed California’s management of its forests for a horrific fire season, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters union, released a statement condemning Trump’s “shameful attack on California” was misguided.

“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines,” the statement read.

“At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires,” he added.

Rice also said the notion that California mismanages its forests isn’t true. He reminded Trump that 60 percent of California’s forests are managed by the federal government.

“Natural disasters are not ”red” or “blue” – they destroy regardless of party. Right now, families are in mourning, thousands have lost homes, and a quarter-million Americans have been forced to flee.”

The Pasadena Fire Association also chimed in Saturday, saying the president was “wrong” and that  “the fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management.”

Trump, who was in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World World I, later sent two more tweets that were more subdued in tone and urged people to listen to evacuation orders.

“Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all,” Trump wrote.

The Camp Fire in Northern California has resulted in at least 23 deaths and 105,000 acres charred since it began Thursday, according to a Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) incident page.

On Saturday, officials in Southern California announced two deaths in the Woolsey and Hill fires. More than 250,000 people, including the city of Malibu, have been ordered to evacuate and around 150 homes have been destroyed.

The devastation from the fires prompted the International Association of Firefighters to issue a statement Saturday, calling Trump’s remarks “reckless and insulting to the fire fighters and people being affected.”



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Trump tweet on California wildfires ‘demeaning’ and ‘Ill-informed,’ firefighters union boss says


The leader of a union that represents a majority of California’s firefighters responded forcefully Saturday after President Trump threatened earlier in the day to cancel federal financial relief as deadly wildfires continued to ravage parts of the state.

While in Paris, Trump claimed that “gross mismanagement” of the state’s forests was to blame for three “massive, deadly and costly” fires.

In October, Trump made similar statements where he blamed California’s management of its forests for a horrific fire season, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Brian Rice, president of the California Professional Firefighters union, released a statement condemning Trump’s “shameful attack on California” was misguided.

“The president’s message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is Ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines,” the statement read.

“At a time when our every effort should be focused on vanquishing the destructive fires and helping the victims, the president has chosen instead to issue an uninformed political threat aimed squarely at the innocent victims of these cataclysmic fires,” he added.

Rice also said the notion that California mismanages its forests isn’t true. He reminded Trump that 60 percent of California’s forests are managed by the federal government.

“Natural disasters are not ”red” or “blue” – they destroy regardless of party. Right now, families are in mourning, thousands have lost homes, and a quarter-million Americans have been forced to flee.”

The Pasadena Fire Association also chimed in Saturday, saying the president was “wrong” and that  “the fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management.”

Trump, who was in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World World I, later sent two more tweets that were more subdued in tone and urged people to listen to evacuation orders.

“Our hearts are with those fighting the fires, the 52,000 who have evacuated, and the families of the 11 who have died. The destruction is catastrophic. God Bless them all,” Trump wrote.

The Camp Fire in Northern California has resulted in at least 23 deaths and 105,000 acres charred since it began Thursday, according to a Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) incident page.

On Saturday, officials in Southern California announced two deaths in the Woolsey and Hill fires. More than 250,000 people, including the city of Malibu, have been ordered to evacuate and around 150 homes have been destroyed.

The devastation from the fires prompted the International Association of Firefighters to issue a statement Saturday, calling Trump’s remarks “reckless and insulting to the fire fighters and people being affected.”



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Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union welcome ‘miracle baby’: ‘Welcome to the party sweet girl!’


NBA star Dwyane Wade on Thursday took to social media to announce the birth of a baby girl with his wife, actress Gabrielle Union.

The newborn’s arrival came on Wednesday, Wade said on Instagram. He also shared sweet photos of the family in the hospital, showing the couple cradling their daughter, who was sporting a hat with a pink pompom on top.

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“We are sleepless and delirious but so excited to share that, our miracle baby, arrived last night via surrogate and 11/7 will forever be etched in our hearts as the most loveliest of all the lovely days,” the Miami Heat player wrote. “Welcome to the party sweet girl!”

The Heat also took to Twitter, offering their congratulations to the couple and promising a gift for their “ViceViceBaby.” A photo in the tweet showed a black baby onesie with the team’s logo on the front.

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This is the first child the couple has had together.

The NBA guard has three sons and the couple is also raising one of his nephews, according to The Associated Press.

In the past, Union has been open about her difficulty in having a child, the outlet reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





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Boston hotel union blasts Dodgers for staying in hotel where employees are on strike


The head of a Boston hotel workers’ union on Monday blasted the Los Angeles Dodgers — not for the matchup against the Red Sox in the World Series — but because the players crossed a picket the line and stayed in a hotel where workers are on strike.

“Jackie Robinson is rolling over in his grave right now that members of his team are crossing the picket line,” said Brian Lang, president of Unite Here Local 26, invoking the name of the first black baseball player, who’s a former Dodger. “The Dodgers ought to take his number down … He stood up for justice.”

Union members employed at seven Marriott properties in Boston have been on strike for three weeks to demand better pay, benefits and more job security, the Boston Herald reported.

“Marriott is finally starting to listen to us,” Lang said after weeks of picketers chanting and waving signs.

Similar worker strikes by bellmen, cooks, housekeepers and other Marriott hotel employees have recently broken out in other cities, such as San Francisco, Oakland and Chicago.

The Dodgers arrived at the Marriott-owned Ritz-Carlton and entered through the back door to avoid publicity, Lang said. He said he contacted Major League Baseball to try and set up accommodations at a non-striking hotel.

“It was turned down because there were not enough suites,” Lang said. “For millionaires to hold their desire for luxury over people struggling paycheck to paycheck — I think it’s shameful.”

The Dodgers and the Major League Baseball Players Association, the union that represents most ballplayers in the league, did not return requests for comment.

In a statement, Marriott said “while we respect our associates’ rights to voice their opinions and participate in demonstrations and this work stoppage, we are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike. We continue to believe that the best place to resolve these issues is at the bargaining table.”

The Dodgers are in town to take on the Red Sox on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading back to Los Angeles. Both teams will return to Boston if the best-of-seven series isn’t decided in five games.

The New York Yankees, who were bested by the Red Sox in this year’s playoffs also angered union officials when the team crossed picket lines. The Houston Astros, who lost to Boston in the American League Championship series, stayed in a non-striking hotel.



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Brexit Talks In Crisis Over Irish Border Ahead Of European Union Summit


The issue has emerged as a threat to Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership (File)

Brussels: 

Last-ditch talks between London and Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiators failed to agree a draft divorce settlement on Sunday, still blocked on the issue of the Northern Irish border just days before a make-or-break European Union summit.

Britain’s Brexit pointman Dominic Raab made an unannounced trip to the EU capital for talks with his opposite number Michel Barnier, briefly raising hopes that a deal might be in the offing.

But negotiations ended without a breakthrough, including on the issue of trade to and from Northern Ireland, which has emerged as a possible deal breaker and even a threat to Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership.

Diplomatic sources in Brussels confirmed to AFP that negotiations have been suspended until Wednesday, when the leaders of the other 27 EU member states will be in town on the eve of their October summit, which had already been billed as a “moment of truth”.

“We met today Dominic Raab and UK negotiating team. Despite intense efforts, some key issues are still open, including the backstop for IE/NI to avoid a hard border,” Barnier tweeted, referring to EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

Diplomatic sources confirmed that a meeting of the “diplomatic sherpas” — senior officials representing the leaders of EU members — that had been planned for Monday to review a draft deal has been cancelled.

“The commission informed the ambassadors that no deal was reached today. There will be no further negotiations until the summit,” one source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Other sources familiar with Barnier’s meeting with EU ambassadors confirmed this, and one added that “certain countries insisted that preparations for a ‘no deal’ be accelerated.”

With Britain set to leave the bloc at the end of March, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker had demanded “substantial progress” this week, and Raab’s visit stoked optimism.

“With several big issues still to resolve, including the Northern Ireland backstop, it was jointly agreed that face-to-face talks were necessary ahead of this week’s October European Council,” Raab’s ministry said.

A senior British government source played down initial reports a deal had already been done, saying there are still some “big issues” to be resolved and “Dominic has gone out there to try to resolve the outstanding issues”.

– ‘Hell week’ –

Sunday’s flurry of activity came as May prepared to face what one newspaper cartoon dubbed “hell week”.

On Tuesday, she will rake over the Irish border issue with her cabinet, amid speculation that more ministers could resign if she ploughs on with her proposals.

David Davis, who quit as Brexit secretary in July over May’s broad blueprint, wrote in The Sunday Times newspaper her plans were “completely unacceptable” and urged ministers to “exert their collective authority” this week.

Then on Wednesday, May goes to Brussels, still facing the issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Neither London, Dublin nor Brussels wants to see checks imposed on the border, but the problem persists of finding a way to square that aim with Britain’s decision to leave the European single market and the customs union.

Britain has proposed sticking with EU customs rules after Brexit as a fallback option to keep the border open, until a wider trade deal is agreed that avoids the need for frontier checks.

May says this will only be temporary, but her spokeswoman was forced to clarify the point after media reports that the final “backstop” arrangement will have no legal ending date.

The EU’s suggestion would see Northern Ireland remain aligned with Brussels’ rules, thus varying from the rest of the United Kingdom.

– Pro-Brexit fury –

May’s plans have infuriated the pro-Brexit core of her centre-right Conservative Party — not to mention her Northern Irish allies in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

The minority Conservative government relies on the DUP, Northern Ireland’s biggest party, for a thin majority in parliament,

The DUP are staunchly pro-UK, pro-Brexit and fiercely opposed to any moves that could put distance between Northern Ireland and the British mainland.

They have threatened to vote down the British government’s budget if May gives way to Brussels.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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