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Flooding expected to worsen as Florence passes through Carolinas

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Flooding across the Carolinas in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which has killed 36 people, was expected to worsen over the next couple of days, forecasters said.

Twenty-one flood gauges showed major or moderate flooding early on Thursday in southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina, where major waterways, well above their flood stages, were forecast to rise through the weekend before they crest, the National Weather Service said.

“People in flood prone areas or near waterways need to remain alert as rivers crest and stay above their banks in coming days,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a written statement. “Stay alert, and stay safe.”

Florence dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain in parts of North Carolina, and many areas remained cut off by floodwaters and inundated roads. The slow-moving storm, which made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane, has since been downgraded to a tropical depression and moved into the U.S. northeast.

The deaths of at least 36 people have been attributed to the storm, including 27 in North Carolina, eight in South Carolina and one in Virginia. The latest victims were two women in South Carolina who drowned on Tuesday when a sheriff’s department van in which they were riding was swept away by flooding.

Some 2,600 people had been rescued by boat or helicopter in North Carolina alone since the storm hit land, according to the state Department of Public Safety. About 10,000 remained in shelters and over 160,000 customers were without power across North Carolina, the department said. As floodwaters continue to rise concerns are growing over the environmental and health dangers lurking in the water. The flooding has caused 21 hog “lagoons,” which store manure from pig farms, to overflow, creating a risk the standing water will be contaminated with bacteria like salmonella, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality. North Carolina is one of the leading hog-producing states in the country.

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Several sewer systems in the region have also released untreated or partly treated sewage and storm water into waterways over the last week, local media reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned South Carolina that “water is coming your way” as he toured the area on Wednesday.

“Now it looks nice, but it’s really the calm before the storm,” Trump said.

Experts have said that climate change has increased the likelihood of more massive, sluggish storms like Florence, capable of dropping record amounts of rain and touching off catastrophic flooding.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Ernest Scheyder; additional reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in North Carolina, Roberta Rampton in Washington, Bernie Woodall in Miami; Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Jessica Resnick-Ault and Barbara Goldberg in New York and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; writing by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Bill Tarrant, Lisa Shumaker and Larry King

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Iran and US trade barbs after drone incident and ahead of new sanctions

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The United States on Monday was due to tighten sanctions on Iran as the two countries traded barbs in a tense standoff sparked by Washington's withdrawal from a nuclear deal.

Both nations say they want to avoid going to war, but tensions have spiralled as a series of incidents, including attacks on tankers and the shooting down of a US drone by Iran in the Gulf, raised fears of an unintended slide towards conflict.

On Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a US-made MQ9 Reaper "spy drone" -- also widely used for carrying out military strikes -- had encroached his country's airspace on May 26.

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John Oliver warns Trump didn’t have an ‘Ebenezer Scrooge moment’ deciding to be ‘good’ — he’s still Trump

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John Oliver Trump hair

The best thing you can say about Donald Trump is that he "maybe hasn't eaten a dolphin before," John Oliver joked on his Sunday episode of "Last Week Tonight."

Oliver warned people that while Trump had a "change of heart" about Iran it was only about Iran. "He didn't have an Ebenezer Scrooge moment, threw open a window and yelled, 'I'm going to be good from now on!'" the host explained. "No, he just didn't bomb some people."

As Fox News explained, the drown that Iran shot down was not simply one from Amazon. Oliver said it wasn't like Trump said, "Alexa, send a drone to surveil Iran." According to Fox's genius analysis, those drones cost actual money.

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Donald Trump’s biggest regret is choosing Jeff Sessions as his attorney general

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In an interview that aired on Sunday, President Donald Trump told "Meet the Press" that his biggest regret is choosing Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.

"If you could have one do-over as president, what would it be?" NBC host Chuck Todd asked Trump during their interview.

This article first appeared at Salon.com.After the president replied that his do over would involve "personnel," he elaborated that "I would say if I had one do over, it would be, I would not have appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general." When Todd asked Trump to clarify if he thought appointing Sessions was his "worst mistake," the president reiterated "yeah, that was the biggest mistake." He added that Sessions is "very talented" but was cut off by a new line of questioning from Todd before he could elaborate.

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