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Ash threatens Hawaii communities after volcano explosions

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Rockfalls and explosions at the summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano shot ash into the air on Tuesday as residents for the first time in the 12-day eruption got text messages from county officials warning them the ash could cause eye and breathing irritation.

A plume of gray ash and smoke rose several thousand feet above Kilauea’s summit and drifted southwest to the Ka’u district and further downwind, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

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“Excessive exposure can cause eye/breathing irritation. Motorists advised to drive with caution,” said the County of Hawaii Civil Defense text message.

 The ash threatened Ka’u district, which is about 30 miles southwest of Kilauea. To the east of the summit, toxic gas emanating from steaming gashes around 25 miles (40 km) toward the coast added to the danger facing residents, whose escape routes are threatened with closure because of lava flows, officials said.
 
Dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide gas and other emissions prompted state health officials to urge residents to stay indoors or leave the eastern end of Hawaii’s Big Island, which has been ravaged by volcanic activity since May 3.
A 20th fissure releasing lava and gases has opened on Kilauea’s side, state officials said Tuesday.

Lava oozing out of fissures have hit the island’s lower Puna area especially hard, tearing through farmland some 25 miles (40 km) east of the volcano’s smoking summit, destroying 37 homes and other structures and posing a risk of blocking one of the last exit routes, state Highway 132.

There have been no major injuries or death reported from the eruption. Officials have ordered around 2,000 residents to evacuate the Leilani Estates area in the eastern Puna district where fissures first appeared. No evacuations have been ordered from Ka’u district.

Lava from one of the fissures has been moving toward a coastal dirt road that is also a key access route for some 2,000 residents in the southeastern area of the Big Island, home to around 200,000 people.

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Mass evacuations would be triggered if either highway is hit by lava, Hawaii National Guard spokesman Major Jeff Hickman said.

 
President Donald Trump on Friday approved a disaster declaration that makes federal relief available to the state.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has a team in place on the Big Island, said it would assist the state with at least 75 percent of emergency measures and replacing damaged infrastructure.

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The U.S. Geological Survey has warned that pent-up steam could cause a violent explosion at the volcano crater, launching a 20,000-foot (6,100-meter) plume that could spread debris over 12 miles (19 km).

Scientists had expected such explosions by the middle of this month as Kilauea’s lava lake fell below the water table. But water may not be entering the crater, as feared, and gas and steam may be safely venting, scientists said.

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Reporting by Terray Sylvester in Pahoa; additional reporting by Jolyn Rosa in Honolulu and Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Writing by Peter Szekely; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft


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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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Lindsey Graham leveled by Jim Clyburn for ‘out of touch’ comments on police brutalizing African-Americans

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In response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had this to say: "I've come to believe that young black men rightly or wrongly perceive the police to be a threat when many times they're not, and we've got to deal with that problem."

On Saturday's edition of MSNBC's "AM Joy," Graham's fellow South Carolina lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, laid into Graham for his comments. "He is from Seneca, South Carolina," said Clyburn. "I know the history of Seneca, South Carolina. Where has he been?"

"You know, I've been really interested, we had some foolishness the other day," said Clyburn. "Drew Brees has gotten himself in some difficulty with his teammates, how his grandfather and father thought about anybody kneeling would be disrespecting the flag as if these, his teammates, did not have parents and grandparents who fought for this country and came back to this country with all kinds of indignities. One of which has just been written about in a great book from South Carolina. Isaac Woodard was in his uniform, coming home from the war, when he was stopped by a sheriff, a law enforcement officer who beat him, punched his eyes out with a night stick. That's the thing that led Harry Truman to sign the executive order to integrate the armed services, because of the in indignities charged to a black man by a law enforcement officer, and that black man was in his uniform coming home from a war we had just won."

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Can it happen here? Bill Moyers says it’s happening right before our very eyes

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At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures.

Fascist bullies and threats anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India theater where Japanese warlords were out to conquer Asia. Bernie remembers them, too.

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