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china rushes to surpass u.s. in decoding citizens’ genes

chengdu, china—in this western chinese city famed for panda conservation, scientists are advancing the world’s most ambitious effort to save a far-less-endangered species: humans.their goal is to collect and analyze vast amounts of genetic data from chinese citizens to help unearth the causes of diseases from cancer to schizophrenia, and pave the way for novel treatments. scientists here hope to identify mutations, or...





top kenya court blames electoral commission for vote problems

nairobi, kenya—kenya’s top court on wednesday lambasted electoral officials in a detailed account of the reasoning behind its unprecedented annulment of last month’s presidential election, casting doubt on whether a repeat vote can go ahead when expected.incumbent president uhuru kenyatta was declared the winner of the aug. 8 elections, but the result was challenged by his long-time opponent raila odinga, who maintained there were...





born on the trail: myanmar refugees scramble for food, shelter

teknaf, bangladesh—rashida, 20 years old, stood in the driving monsoon rain, trying to shelter her 10-day-old son with the end of her head scarf. she jostled with a crowd of about 100 people trying to reach a truck where volunteers were handing out packets of food.she had no chance of getting close while cradling the infant. “i won’t be able to eat today,” she said. “if i can’t get those packets, i have to go hungry.”rashida...





the secret of angela merkel’s longevity: strategic flip-flops

berlin—martin schulz, who is running to unseat german chancellor angela merkel, drew loud applause at his party’s convention in june when he unveiled a core campaign promise: “we will achieve marriage equality in the next government!”one day later, ms. merkel dropped her yearslong opposition to a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, stripping her opponent of campaign ammunition.it was just the kind of calculated...





trump says ‘i’ll let you know’ if u.s. will keep iran deal

new york—president donald trump told reporters wednesday that he has reached a decision about whether the u.s. will continue to adhere to the iran nuclear deal, although he declined to reveal what the decision is.at the outset of a meeting with palestinian leader mahmoud abbas, mr. trump, who on tuesday criticized the 2015 agreement between...





hurricane maria slams into puerto rico

by updated sept. 20, 2017 12:37 p.m. et san juan, puerto rico—hurricane maria slammed into puerto rico early wednesday, pounding the island with huge waves, massive rain and lashing winds as the storm buzz-sawed its way through the mountainous island.maria made landfall on the island’s southeast section early wednesday as a category 4 storm with sustained-winds of 155 miles an hour, the most powerful hurricane to hit puerto rico since a 1928 storm that killed more than 300 people.read more august and september mark peak hurricane season in the atlantic basin. here's why the conditions in these months make them more likely to form there. photos: nasa/noaa maria could dump as much as 18 inches of rain on the island and is likely to trigger flash floods and mudslides. more flooding is likely to come in coastal areas hit by a storm surge, predicted to be up to 9 feet, accompanied by large and destructive waves.puerto rico gov. ricardo rosselló said wednesday morning that conditions on the island were deteriorating rapidly.“this is clearly going to be the most devastating storm in the history of our island,” mr. rosselló said in an interview on nbc.the national weather service said wednesday morning that several rivers in puerto rico have begun to overflow, leading to flash-flood emergencies for several municipalities on the island.michael brennan, a senior hurricane specialist with the national hurricane center, said puerto rico was facing “very ...





death toll in mexico earthquake reaches 227

mexico city—soldiers, rescue workers and volunteers worked early wednesday to find the living and the dead beneath rubble left by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that destroyed scores of buildings in mexico’s capital and surrounding states.by dawn on wednesday, the death toll had risen to 227 people, the mexican civil defense agency said. the toll was expected to rise as an unknown number of people remain trapped in collapsed...





italy’s upstart 5 star movement looks to candidate with mainstream appeal

rome—italy’s antiestablishment 5 star movement is picking a new standard-bearer with a key qualification: he looks and talks like a mainstream politician. the 5 star movement—one of europe’s largest upstart political parties—is set to choose luigi di maio, the 31-year-old deputy speaker of the lower house of parliament, as its candidate for prime minister in italy’s next general election, which must occur by may. he is running in...





hurricane maria slams into puerto rico

by updated sept. 20, 2017 8:22 a.m. et san juan, puerto rico—hurricane maria slammed into puerto rico early wednesday pounding the island with huge waves, massive rain, and lashing winds as the storm buzz-sawed its way through the mountainous island.hurricane maria, now a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 miles an hour, is the most powerful hurricane to hit puerto rico since a 1928 storm which killed more than 300 people. maria could dump as much as 18 inches of rain on the island and is likely to trigger flash floods and mudslides. more flooding is likely to come in coastal areas hit by a storm surge predicted to be up to 9 feet accompanied by large and destructive waves.read morehours before the storm even made landfall, its winds knocked out power throughout the island whose electricity grid had already been hit hard as hurricane irma passed off puerto rico’s north coast two weeks ago. at the time, irma knocked out power for more than 1 million puerto ricans. many thousands never had power restored before maria hit. the national hurricane center said maria made landfall near the southeastern town of yabucoa at 6:15 a.m. wednesday with wind gusts of us to 113 miles an hour. the national ocean service also reported swelling ocean levels.before dawn wednesday, maria’s howling winds pelted san juan with driving rain. the conditions knocked down street signs and decapitated streetlights in the historic old city in two.before hitting puerto rico, hurrica...





death toll in mexico earthquake reaches 227

mexico city—soldiers, rescue workers and volunteers worked early wednesday to find both the living and the dead beneath rubble left by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in mexico’s capital and surrounding states.by dawn on wednesday, the death toll had risen to 227 people, according to the mexican civil defense agency. the toll was expected to rise as an unknown number of people remain trapped in...





china rushes to surpass u.s. in decoding citizens’ genes

chengdu, china—in this western chinese city famed for panda conservation, scientists are advancing the world’s most ambitious effort to save a far less-endangered species: humans.their goal is to collect and analyze vast amounts of genetic data from chinese citizens to help unearth the causes of diseases from cancer to schizophrenia, and pave the way for novel treatments. scientists here hope to identify mutations, or...





u.s. demands changes to iran nuclear deal, tillerson says

new york—secretary of state rex tillerson said the u.s. would remain a part of the 2015 iran nuclear agreement only if it is modified, a position that could heighten tension at a planned meeting wednesday of countries that are part of the accord, including iran.mr. tillerson’s demand for modifications, made in an interview on fox news on tuesday night, was the most specific such u.s. demand yet and comes as european officials have...





death toll from mexico earthquake surpasses 200

mexico city—soldiers, rescue workers and volunteers worked late into the night tuesday, searching for the living and the dead beneath rubble left by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in mexico’s capital and surrounding states.the mexican civil defense agency said early wednesday that 217 people had died, lowering the toll from an earlier figure without explanation, the associated press reported.in...





spanish police detain catalan officials ahead of independence vote

madrid—spanish police arrested 13 people in the region of catalonia and madrid for their alleged involvement in planning a vote to secede from spain, the boldest move yet by spanish authorities to stop the oct. 1 ballot.early wednesday morning, spain’s civil guard police forces searched 22 properties, including offices of catalonia’s regional administration in barcelona, and arrested an official in charge of the region’s economy,...





hurricane maria bears down on puerto rico after battering dominica

by updated sept. 20, 2017 7:14 a.m. et san juan, puerto rico—hurricane maria thrashed the eastern caribbean, killing at least two people on guadeloupe and devastating the tiny island nation of dominica before making a beeline for puerto rico.the storm weakened before making landfall in puerto rico early wednesday, according to the national hurricane center.it said some fluctuations in maria’s intensity could occur but maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane as it passes over puerto rico. the u.s. territory was largely spared by hurricane irma, which tore through nearby islands nearly two weeks ago.the eye of the storm tore into dominica on monday night with maximum sustained winds near 160 miles an hour, ripping away roofs, knocking out electricity and inundating streets and mountainsides with heavy rain.hours after the storm hit, dominica’s prime minister roosevelt skerrit found himself in trouble after the “merciless” wind tore the roof off his home and he had to be rescued, according to a post on his facebook account.“so far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person i have spoken to or otherwise made contact with,” mr. skerrit wrote, saying initial reports were of widespread devastation on the island of 74,000 people.later he wrote: “so far we have lost all what money can buy and replace.”the prime minister had posted no additional news by early afternoon tuesday, and calls to the island were unsuccessful.mari...





first refugees off to u.s. in deal that triggered trump tirade

canberra, australia—the first refugees from australia’s offshore detention centers will soon arrive in the u.s. under a resettlement deal that president donald trump blasted as “dumb,” before his administration reluctantly agreed to honor it. immigration minister peter dutton said about 50 refugees from australian-backed detention camps in the south pacific nations of papua new guinea and nauru would receive confirmation letters...





death toll from mexico earthquake surpasses 200

mexico city—soldiers, rescue workers and volunteers worked late into the night tuesday, searching for the living and the dead beneath rubble left by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in mexico’s capital and surrounding states.the mexican civil defense agency said early wednesday that 226 people had died, with more than half in the capital, the associated press reported.in the south of the capital,...





macron issues sharp rebuttal to trump at u.n.

united nations—french president emmanuel macron delivered an emphatic defense of multilateral diplomacy at the united nations general assembly on tuesday, disagreeing with earlier comments by u.s. president donald trump that nations should put their own interests first.“we have allowed the idea to proliferate that multilateralism is a kind of game, a game for diplomats sitting around a table,” mr. macron said. “”today, more than...





hurricane maria bears down on puerto rico after battering dominica

by updated sept. 20, 2017 4:48 a.m. et san juan, puerto rico—hurricane maria thrashed the eastern caribbean on tuesday, killing at least two people on guadeloupe and devastating the tiny island nation of dominica before making a beeline for the virgin islands and puerto rico.the eye of the category 5 storm tore into dominica on monday night with maximum sustained winds near 160 miles an hour, ripping away roofs, knocking out electricity and inundating streets and mountainsides with heavy rain.the storm continued to pick up speed, packing sustained winds of 175 miles an hour tuesday night as the storm’s eye closed in within 60 miles of st. croix in the u.s. virgin islands, according to the national hurricane center. st. croix was largely untouched by hurricane irma, which tore through its sister islands of st. john and st. thomas nearly two weeks ago.hours after the storm hit, dominica’s prime minister roosevelt skerrit found himself in trouble after the “merciless” wind tore the roof off his home and he had to be rescued, according to a post on his facebook account.“so far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person i have spoken to or otherwise made contact with,” mr. skerrit wrote, saying initial reports were of widespread devastation on the island of 74,000 people.later he wrote: “so far we have lost all what money can buy and replace.”the prime minister had post...





powerful quake kills scores in mexico

mexico city—soldiers, rescue workers and volunteers worked late into the night tuesday, searching for the living and the dead beneath rubble left by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that collapsed scores of buildings in mexico’s capital and surrounding states.officials say the quake has killed at least 149 people, a toll that was rising by the hour. in the south of the capital, a heart-wrenching scene played out at a primary...