Tuesday, September 15, 2020
On. The president has been quiet about the west coast wildfires. Until now, what did he say in California? It'll start getting cooler. You just watch climate experts warned that the worst is yet to come David Greene with Rachel Martin, and this is the first from NPR news. Hurricanes Sally, makes its way to Florida Mississippi and Alabama huge area of the Gulf coast is under hurricane warning and the storm is expected to bring a dangerous storm surge. This water will come through here and sweetness place away like it was never here and Israel's prime minister will be at the White House today to sign deals establishing diplomatic relations with both the UAE an Bahrain. It's not the big piece in the Middle East deal the president wanted, but is it a step in the right direction see with us we've got the news you need to start your day. This message comes from NPR sponsor, Twi- Leo a customer engagement platform trusted by millions of developers enabling you to reinvent how you connect with customers whatever your use case. Twi- Leo has your back. It's time to build visit Willy Dot Com. Support also comes from better health online counseling by licensed professional counselors specializing in isolation depression, stress and anxiety visit better health dot com slash up first to learn more and get ten percent off your first month. Ash and smoke still fill the skies from Los Angeles over to Fresno and up to San Francisco more than three million acres are burning in over twenty separate fires across the state, of California, the bobcat fires actually less than fifty miles from where I am in La that has been raging for over a week. Now, it is barely contained and that is the case with so many of the fires in California and Oregon, and in Washington state yesterday president trump paid a visit to California and California officials were pleading with him to acknowledge the reality of climate change. Kick Ud's Katie or joins us now from the California state capital of Sacramento Katie Good Morning. Thanks for being here. Can you just start by telling us the status of the fires? Sure. We have twenty eight major fires burning throughout the state right now with more than sixteen thousand firefighters working to contain them and we have people who've gone through these fires are waking up to A. Landscape marked by worry my colleague in Fresno Abbot's hall spoke with Lee Zero Suwa and her husband David. They feared their house had burned down. What can you say it's scary. Especially, the first couple of days the fire was moving. So quickly that you know we had no idea if the house would survive. So I think that's how everyone feels and I know there are several houses. On the next street on very road that were completely destroyed. They later learned their house was intact today though more than forty, two, hundred structures throughout the state have burned down. So David mentioned president trump was in California yesterday with state officials and the press and climate change is a big issue. Right tell us what happened. Right, I actually asked the president what role he thinks climate change plays in these fires he insisted as he has for years that it's all about forest management that years of leading the forest became overgrown and not well tended have turned them into tinder boxes. The president's argument though was met with resistance from officials here on the ground including California Governor Gavin Newsom who the president to reconsider his stance in light of what the state's experienced in recent years. Hottest August ever history state the ferocity, these fires, the drought five plus years losing one, hundred, sixty, three, million trees to that drought. Something's happened to the plumbing of the world, and then how did President Trump responded that? He didn't seem to appreciate it in one exchange California's Natural Resources Secretary Wade crow fit made repeated the central role of climate change in these fires and trump pretty much dismissed him. As we can hear, it'll start getting cooler. I. Wish just you just watch I wish science degree. I don't think signs knows actually and it's interesting. We're less than two months from the presidential election Joe Biden was addressing this yesterday to calling it a problem that requires action and quote not denial. But the president's comments we're not really intended for voters in California, and that's for two reasons. Everyone assumes California will vote Democratic in November and here in the state pretty much across the political. Spectrum climate change and the science behind it are not in dispute by politicians or by voters. The president's message that California is itself to blame for the massive wildfire seems more directed at his supporters in other states, and by the way it's worth noting that governor newsom pointed out the federal government owns close to sixty percent of the forest land in. California. While the State owns just three percent. Katie or of K. Cutie. Thank you. We so appreciate your reporting on this. You're welcome. So, let's stay with the effects of climate change for another few minutes because there are historic fires in the West and there are an unprecedented number of hurricanes in the southeast near. That's right the four storms brewing in the Atlantic basin communities along the Gulf of Mexico right now are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Sally. It is forecast to make landfall either late today. Or maybe in the overnight hours somewhere near the Alabama Mississippi state line, we've got NPR's Debbie Elliott with us now from orange. Beach Alabama Debbie thanks for being here. What are the conditions right now? Well, we're starting to feel the outer bands of the hurricane sally is just offshore. That means you know some gusty winds waves of heavy rain that come through over and over. Already, Bay waters have been rising and of overtop some peers and flooded some roadways here in my neighborhood. I spent a little bit of time yesterday as the storm was approaching at the Public Beach in Gulf shores, Alabama, and there were a lot of people outside seeing including Mary Bell. She was on vacation from Tennessee and she she was amazed to see just how fast the water was coming. Well. The surface churning and we watched the levels rise coming closer on the beach in places where the water has gone and made its own little canal through between the condos. Now, this is repeating itself all up and down the Gulf coast a large stretch from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Florida panhandle is going to feel the effects of this very large hurricane sally. Are People, taking the threat seriously sounds like at least the government's making some restrictions. Yes. Definitely officials are all the Gulf states affected of declared states of emergency some of the low lying areas, barrier islands and the like have evacuated shelters have been opened. The National Guard is standing ready to help with search and rescue with needed and distributing emergency provisions all along the coast people have been trying. To sort of secure their property getting things in that might become projectiles with hurricane. Force winds moving boats to save harbor that type of thing here in Orange Beach yesterday owner. David Schwartz had a small crew putting up aluminum storm shutters on his restaurant doc seafood because it's just across the road from the Roiling Gulf. Of Mexico I'm not really worried about wind or anything I'm. Worried about storm surge. This water will come through here and sweetness place away like it was never here and it's just scary when you think about it. Hearing that Debbie from other people the storm surge is the biggest threat. Yeah and forecast will tell you that water is the biggest issue up to nine feet of storm surge expected. That's essentially a wall of water that can move on shore with a destructive for also flash flooding is going to be a real problem here because sally is moving so slowly. So it's just soaking the Gulf coast. It's been dumping rain on Florida for days now and forecasters say some areas could get up to two feet of rain. That is a very significant flood risk even well inland. So we're just watching to see what will happen, and of course, we just had Hurricane Marco Hurricane. Laura. These are two historic storms that came through the Gulf of Mexico last month can you just put all this into perspective for us? What kind of year suspend? It's certainly a very busy season and there are a lot of people. Eighteen thousand in Louisiana still displaced from Hurricane Laura. So it's very troublesome. NPR's Debbie Elliott we appreciate it. Thank you. All right today at the White House Israel will sign diplomatic deals with two Arab nations, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Year and the trump administration is framing this as a diplomatic breakthrough reshaping the Middle East for decades most Arab states have refused to recognize Israel and establish ties until the Israeli. Palestinian. Conflict was settled. Well, that's changing now here's really Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before he departed for the United States we're witnessing. Of History. A pivot towards peace. So is that true? Let's talk about with NPR's Daniel. Estrin joining us from Jerusalem Good Morning Daniel. This is not the big piece in the Middle East result that the trump administration one it right? Yeah. That's right. The administration spent years developing an Israeli Palestinian peace deal and they presented it in January and it went nowhere The Palestinians refused to engage because the administration has just been taking steps siding with Israel and against the Palestinians. So then the US pivoted. To a completely different kind of peace plan entirely a peace between Israel and Arabs in the Gulf and this is actually something that the administration and Israel have been pushing for a long time is real in the Gulf have had covert ties for a long time, and you know that all these countries want county run. So they're now coming out in the open with their ties and and they WANNA start commercial flights, open trade open cooperation so it is really a big change. So Palestinians aren't in this deal, right? I mean how how are they viewing us? The Palestinians are pretty stunned. There had been this longtime pact between nearly all of the Arab states that you don't make peace with Israel, until our resolve its own conflict with the Palestinians. But now you've got these two new deals with Israel, even the Arab League has refused to condemn this. So Palestinian leaders feel betrayed, and now the trump administration is hoping the Palestinians see all this happening and cave and strike a deal with Israel, it's clear. The Palestinians are not going to do anything until they see if Joe Biden wins the election but Palestinian officials I've been speaking with say. We're not totally abandoned in the world. They still have support from socially justice minded Americans they say, and and a lot of Arab societies even if their governments are changing. So. Why not just keep the status quo I mean, what's in it for the UAE in Bahrain to us? They. Both want curry favor with the US they want to align with Israel against Iran. Specifically, the Emirates is hoping that the US is going to reward them and sell them. F. Thirty five's the advanced fighter jets, which is a controversial thing in Israel. Bahrain is a smaller country but what's important is that they would not be doing this without support from Saudi Arabia. So that could be a hint of where the Saudis are eventually headed, and that's what is really wants peace with the Saudis. and. Of course, there's an election here in a signing ceremony at the White House makes for good campaign at. That's right. Trump and the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu both need huge achievements and Netanyahu facing a huge crisis back home one of the biggest new covert outbreaks in the world. Are Eight Daniel Estrin reporting for us from Jerusalem on the signing ceremony that's supposed to take place today at the white. House. Israel the UAE and Bahrain all sending a new diplomatic deal. Daniel thanks we appreciate it. You're welcome. And that is up I for this Tuesday September fifteenth. I'm Rachel Martin and I'm David Greene. You Hope you start your day back with us right here tomorrow and we know the news doesn't stop when the PODCAST is over. So you can follow us on twitter at verse that is where you can keep up with more NPR stories and we appreciate you. 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