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Storm Harvey’s rainfall likely linked to climate change: UN

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The volume of rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey is probably linked to climate change associated with global warming that increases the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, the U.N. weather agency said on Tuesday.

The slow-moving storm has brought catastrophic flooding to Texas, killed at least nine people, led to mass evacuations and paralyzed Houston, the fourth most-populous U.S. city.

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“Climate change means that when we do have an event like Harvey, the rainfall amounts are likely to be higher than they would have been otherwise,” Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization, told a United Nations briefing in Geneva.

“Climate change does very likely increase the associated rainfall,” she said, adding in some locations Harvey’s rainfall may approach 50 inches, or 1.2 meters, and that the U.S. National Weather Service had to introduce a new color on its graphs to deal with the volume of rain.

“Climate change doesn’t cause tropical cyclones. They’ve always been there. The relationship between climate change and the frequency of hurricanes and tropical cyclones is not clear, there’s still a lot of research going on into that,” Nullis said.

U.S. President Donald Trump plans to visit Texas on Tuesday.

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In June, Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate change pact, drawing international condemnation. This month he rolled back environmental regulations on government-funded building projects in flood prone areas as part of his proposal to spend $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. infrastructure.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Janet Lawrence)


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Judge rules against NC man who says lynching ‘threat’ to Muslim candidate is ‘free speech’

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A federal appeals court ruled this week that a North Carolina man must face trial after he allegedly threatened a Muslim candidate with lynching.

Attorneys for Joseph Cecil Vandevere, 52, argued that charges against their client should be dropped on the grounds of freedom of speech, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Vandevere is charged with interstate communication of a threat to injure a person. He allegedly used anonymous social media accounts to communicate lynching threats.

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Kavanaugh book authors battle The View’s Meghan McCain over New York Times uproar

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The authors of a new book about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh appeared on "The View" to explain some of the controversial aspects of an excerpt published by the New York Times.

Co-host Meghan McCain pressed authors Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, whose book The Education of Brett Kavanaugh was published Tuesday, to explain an editor's note that conservatives have argued invalidates some of their bombshell reporting about sexual misconduct allegations against the justice.

Thank you for the question," Kelly explained. "We're eager to clear the air on this. First of all, there was no desire to withhold important information from our readers. We have all of it in the book and the essay is an adaptation of the book that of course we had to edit for length and clarity."

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BUSTED: Trump-loving sheriff tried to murder deputy who caught him on tape making racist remarks

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A North Carolina Sheriff and Trump supporter reportedly plotted to murder a man who had a tape of him making racially offensive remarks, reports the Raleigh News and Observer.

Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted Monday, based on a recording of Brindell advising a man on how to kill a former deputy who accused him of racist language.

According to court records, the sheriff told another person to “take care of it” and “the only way you gonna stop him is kill him.”

He instructed him to get rid of the weapon. “You ain’t got the weapon, you ain’t got nothing to go on,” Wilkins said. “The only way we find out these murder things is people talk. You can’t tell nobody, not a thing.” The conversation took place in 2014.

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