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This ‘dangerous sleeping giant’ volcano near Mt. St. Helens could imperil half a million people

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Mount St. Helens is “recharging” with magma, setting off more than 100 earthquakes in recent weeks — but scientists warn a nearby “sleeping giant” may pose a bigger threat.

More than 130 earthquakes have been detected beneath the northwest’s most active volcano since March 14, although none of them have been bigger than magnitude 1.3, as molten rock moves into its magma chamber five or six miles below the surface, reported the Seattle Times.

“What’s going on at the volcano is nothing that new,” said Seth Moran, scientist-in-charge of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory.

He said the seismic activity isn’t powerful enough or close enough to the surface to suggest an eruption is imminent, but the volcano is preparing for another blast — which is likely years away.

Volcanoes can recharge for years before erupting — as Mount St. Helens did before eruptions in 1980 and 2004.

However, some experts warn that Mt. Rainier, about 90 miles northeast of Mount St. Helens and closer to Tacoma and Seattle, might also be preparing to erupt.

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Mt. Rainier last erupted in 1820 and 1854, although smaller eruptions were reported over the next five decades.

It has also been experiencing an increase in volcanic activity — although its long dormancy has given it the perception of being “too big to fail,” according to some experts.

“Mt. Rainier is a dangerous, dangerous sleeping giant within immediate reach of 80,000 people and another indirect half million in and around the Puget Sound,” wrote John Pennington, a former official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and an emergency services consultant.

Statistics show that volcanic eruption happen in the Cascades — of which Mt. Rainier is the tallest mountain — two to three times per century.

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“This is just an impermanent piece on our landscape,” geologist Carolyn Driedger told KUOW-FM. “Our lifetimes are just too short to appreciate how much change can happen.”

An eruption of Mt. Rainier could set in motion catastrophic events — such as lava flow, avalanches of hot rocks and gas, and flooding caused by melted snow from the mountaintop.

The lava would likely stop flowing near the boundaries of the national park, Driedger said, but flash flooding would carry boulders hurtling from the mountain and pull down trees as it turned into a nightmarish mudflow called a lahar.

It’s not certain how far a lahar could flow from Mt. Rainier, but scientists fear a mudflow could carry devastation as far away as Tacoma and create food shortages if trucking routes were blocked.

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The lahar could also carry sediment into ports in Tacoma and Seattle that would cost billions to dredge, the radio station reported, and mud could also wreck the region’s hydroelectric dams and water sources.

Pennington also warned that Glacier Peak, about 40 miles north of Mt. Rainier, might also erupt in the coming years, although researchers have only recently begun to closely its seismic and volcanic activity.

“There are numerous volcanic peaks other than Mt. St. Helens that are seeking our attention,” Pennington wrote. “Many are considered more dangerous and they are lurking much, much closer to our own homes and the atmospheric transportation system of our jet stream.”

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Trump biographer mocks president for humiliating foreign policy ‘triple fail’

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Trump biographer Timothy O'Brien on Monday published a column for Bloomberg in which he mocked the president for suffering a humiliating foreign policy "triple fail" that exposed his presidency's biggest weaknesses.

In his column, O'Brien pointed out that Trump's threats of major actions against Mexico and Iran never amounted to anything, while also noting that the president backed off his plans to begin the mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

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How the New York Times creates credibility for Trump

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There’s a good reason why the Times decided against running on its front page news of the latest woman to accuse the president of rape. The Times still does journalism the way it always has. It gives people in power the never-ending benefit of the doubt.

When you are willing to give people in power the benefit of the doubt no matter how many times they have proven they are unworthy of that benefit, it’s not all that important when the 16th person comes forward credibly to accuse Donald Trump of anything, even if, in the case of columnist E. Jean Carroll, the allegation is rape.

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Ex-Trump aide Jason Miller forced out of posh legal job after profane rant against House Judiciary chair

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Another former advisor to President Donald Trump is being "retired" from their position after a social media rant about House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Daily Beast reported.

Miller was working as a managing director at a prominent Washington, D.C. consulting firm before the rant, but after it is "parting ways."

“I have parted ways with Teneo by mutual consent and look forward to formally announcing my next move in the coming weeks,” Miller said in a statement. “Teneo is an incredible firm and without a doubt the premier CEO consultancy on the planet. They have always been great to me and I’m proud to have called them teammates for the past two and a half years.”

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