3 Bolton allies resign from Trump administration

WASHINGTON – Three top allies of John Bolton resigned from President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday, departing the White House a day after the former national security adviser left amid disputes with the president over a range of policy issues.

Garrett Marquis and Sarah Tinsley, who ran the National Security Council’s press operation as senior directors for strategic communications, worked their last day at the White House on Tuesday, according to two people familiar with their decision who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters. Christine Samuelian, who served as Bolton’s personal assistant, also opted to depart the White House, according to one person familiar with the matter.

“It was an honor to serve my country, and I wish the president and the administration success moving forward,” Marquis said Wednesday.

The departure of Marquis and Tinsley thrusts the press operation of the National Security Council, responsible for communicating the White House’s positions on a range of foreign policy issues, back onto uncertain ground. White House Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney sought to ease concerns among members of the NSC staff in a meeting after Bolton’s resignation on Tuesday, saying there would be no mass firings.

Bolton has been replaced temporarily by Charlie Kupperman, a deputy national security adviser and Bolton confidant who has counseled the former national security adviser for more than 30 years.

Still, it was expected that aides closest to Bolton would not be able to remain in the administration after Trump said he and his former national security adviser disagreed “strongly” on many issues.

 

Odds increase as next tropical storm could form from wave targeting Bahamas, then Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – A tropical wave in the Southwestern Atlantic has highly increased chances of developing into an organized storm and possibly Tropical Storm Humberto over the next two days as it heads toward the Bahamas and Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The wave, over the Turks and Caicos, has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression as early as Friday over the Bahamas or South Florida.

The NHC also forecast a 60% chance of the wave developing in the next five days.

Should the system organize into a tropical depression it will be the ninth recorded depression of the year, and if it then grows to maintain at least 39 mph sustained winds, it would become Tropical Storm Humberto.

The system is expected to bring heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over the Bahamas Friday, the NHC reported.

Tropical storm-force wind gusts have been reported in some of the heavier squalls.

A tropical depression could form as the system moves through the Florida Straits where environmental conditions are expected to become more favorable for tropical transformation this weekend.

There two other systems with low chance of experiencing tropical maturity in the next two-to-five days, the NHC showed.

The first is located in the mid-Atlantic, 650 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. This system is expected to move west and into unfavorable wind conditions giving it only a 10% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next 48 hours and another 10% within the next five days.

The second is located just off the Cabo Verde Islands and is quickly moving west. The NHC expects to see slow development over the weekend where it has a 30% chance of tropical development.

 

Al-Qaida leader urges attacks against the West on Sept. 11 anniversary

CAIRO – Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks against Israel and its allies around the world, in a recording released on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

“My Mujahid brothers in Palestine and in the rest of the Muslim Ummah (nation)! The interests of Israel and its American, British, French, Russian and European allies are spread all over the world,” Al-Zawahiri said in a video recording aired on Wednesday by al-Qaida media arm As-Sahab.

He added that Israel and its allies were “suffocating jihad” in the Palestinian territory.

“So just as they conspire and join forces against us everywhere, we must chase them down everywhere at a time and place of our choosing. Be inventive and creative in your methods,” he added.

Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon-turned-terrorist, was named the head of al-Qaida in 2011 after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special operations forces at his hideout in Pakistan.

The elderly al-Qaida chief is believed to be hiding in Pakistan’s tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan.

Al-Zawahiri defended the 9/11 attacks, which left nearly 3,000 people dead when al-Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked passenger jets in New York, Washington and a field in Pennsylvania.

“I would like to ask them that if they believed that we had killed innocents in the World Trade Center – and this is a false assumption to begin with – were those killed in the Pentagon also innocent?” he asked.

He urged jihadists to attack Western forces across the globe, mainly in the Muslim world. “So attack them as reprisal for their crimes in Palestine and their support to Israel,” he said.

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