Palestinians vow to suspend talks if US closes PLO mission
The Palestinians threatened Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump’s bid for Mideast peace – a mission he has handed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was “very unfortunate and unacceptable,” and accused Washington of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal.”
In a video statement on social media, Erekat said: “We will put on hold all our communications with this American administration.”
There was no immediate reaction from the Trump administration. Netanyahu’s office said the closure was “a matter of U.S. law.”
US general says a nuclear launch order can be refused
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia
The top officer at U.S. Strategic Command said Saturday an order from President Donald Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal.
Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday that he and Trump have had conversations about such a scenario and that he would tell Trump he couldn’t carry out an illegal strike.
“If it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen. I’m going to say, ‘Mr President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’” Hyten said.
In the event that Trump decided to launch a nuclear attack, Hyten would provide him with strike options that are legal.
FBI report on black ‘extremists’ raises new monitoring fears
An FBI report on the rise of black “extremists” is stirring fears of a return to practices used during the civil-rights movement, when the bureau spied on activist groups without evidence they had broken any laws.
The FBI said it doesn’t target specific groups, and the report is one of many its intelligence analysts produce to make law enforcement aware of what they see as emerging trends. A similar bulletin on white supremacists, for example, came out about the same time.
The 12-page report, issued in August, says “black identity extremists” are increasingly targeting law enforcement after police killings of black men, especially since the shooting of Michael Brown roiled Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. The report describes cases in which “extremists” had “acted in retaliation for perceived past police-brutality incidents.” It warned that such violence was likely to continue.
Black leaders and activists were outraged after Foreign Policy revealed the existence of the report last month. The Congressional Black Caucus, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, said the report “conflates black political activists with dangerous domestic terrorist organizations” and would further erode the frayed relationship between police and minority communities.
Honda recalls 900,000 Odyssey minivans; 2nd-row seat may tip
Honda is recalling about 900,000 of its Odyssey minivans because the second-row seats may tip forward if not properly latched.
The recall announced Saturday covers vehicles from the 2011-17 model years. About 800,000 of the affected minivans were sold in the United States.
Honda says it has received 46 reports of minor injuries related to the issue.
It says the Odyssey’s second-row seat may tip forward during moderate to heavy braking if it isn’t properly latched after adjusting it side-to-side or reinstalling a removed seat.
The company is working on a way to repair the issue and says it will notify owners when one is available. It will be free.
‘Faithful’ Detroit priest beatified by Catholic church
A priest known for his steadfast devotion to the needy cleared a threshold on the way to possible sainthood Saturday as the Roman Catholic Church beatified Solanus Casey, who is credited with the miraculous cure of a woman with a chronic skin disease.
More than 60,000 people attended a Mass in Detroit where Father Solanus, as he was known, has an extraordinary following, decades after his death in 1957. Many insist their prayers to him have led to remarkable changes in their lives. Some of their stories were told on the scoreboard screens at Ford Field.
Pope Francis said Father Solanus met the requirements to earn the rank of “blessed,” especially after Paula Medina Zarate of Panama was instantly cured while she prayed at his tomb in 2012.