Friday, August 21, 2020

In the News: Severe drought recorded; another ex-Trump aide arrested

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"About a quarter of Massachusetts is now experiencing a severe drought that threatens crops, diminishes air quality, makes trees more susceptible to insects and could lead to widespread water conversation measures.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday morning that while all of Massachusetts is at least abnormally dry, about 60% is experiencing a moderate drought and another 25% — most of Bristol and Plymouth counties and the southern parts of Norfolk, Worcester and Hampden counties — is going through a severe drought.

“In the Northeast, anomalously warm temperatures and below-normal precipitation during the past 90-day period have led to deterioration in drought-related conditions in parts of New England — including Massachusetts where state officials declared a Level 2 drought on August 14 for all regions of the state,” David Simeral of the Western Regional Climate Center wrote in the Monitor’s weekly summary. “Average temperatures for the week were 2-to-10 degrees above normal. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), the Northeast Climate Region experienced its warmest (+4.6° F anomaly) July on record.”

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Severe drought recorded
Severe drought recorded

"President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was pulled from a luxury yacht and arrested Thursday on allegations that he and three associates ripped off donors trying to fund a southern border wall, making him the latest in a long list of Trump allies to be charged with a crime.

The organizers of the “We Build The Wall” group portrayed themselves as eager to help the president build a “big beautiful” barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, as he had promised during the 2016 campaign. They raised more than $25 million from thousands of donors and pledged that 100% of the money would be used for the project.

But according to the criminal charges unsealed Thursday, much of the money never made it to the wall. Instead, it was used to line the pockets of group members, including Bannon, who served in Trump’s White House and worked for his campaign. He allegedly took over $1 million, using some to secretly pay co-defendant Brian Kolfage, the founder of the project, and to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses."

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