WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – Residents and businesses in Central Michigan communities that were submerged when two dams failed this week on Friday sued the operator of the dams and two state agencies charged with overseeing the structures. The lawsuit came as yet more residents were forced to evacuate their homes after being overwhelmed by flooding along the Tittabawassee River and conjoining waterways.
About a dozen people have left their homes in Spaulding Township where some roads and fields are under 4 to 5 feet of floodwater, but some refused to leave despite warnings, Fire Chief Tom Fortier said Friday. Water stood 2 to 3 feet deep in some houses, Fortier said.
The Tittabawassee became engorged late Tuesday when the aging Edenville and Sanford dams failed after heavy rain. The river crested Wednesday in Midland – about 20 miles upstream from Spaulding Township – leaving the small city and surrounding areas under several feet of water and forcing about 11,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Hard-line clerics praised by shooter
The suspect killed during what the FBI is calling a “terrorism-related” attack at a Texas naval air base voiced support for hard-line clerics, according to a group that monitors online activity of jihadists.
The attack Thursday at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi wounded a sailor and left the gunman dead. The gunman was identified on Friday by the FBI as 20-year-old Adam Salim Alsahli of Corpus Christi. He had been a business major at a local community college.
Social media accounts matching Alsahli's profile on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp featured support for hardline clerics, mostly from Saudi Arabia, and jihadi figures such as Ibrahim al-Rabaysh, who had been a spokesman for the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda and who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in 2015, according to Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group.
Wray orders look at work on Flynn
FBI Director Christopher Wray has ordered an internal review into possible misconduct in the investigation of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, the bureau said Friday.
The after-action review will examine whether any current employees engaged in misconduct during the course of the investigation and evaluate whether any improvements in FBI policies and procedures need to be made.
In announcing the review, the FBI, a frequent target of President Donald Trump's wrath, is stepping into a case that has become a rallying cry for Trump supporters – and doing so right as the Justice Department pushes back against criticism that its recent decision to dismiss the prosecution was a politically motivated effort to do Trump's bidding.
U of California drops SAT, ACT
The University of California will drop the SAT and ACT tests as admission requirements through 2024 and eliminate them for California residents after that, a landmark decision by the prestigious university system.
The UC's governing body, the Board of Regents, voted 23-0 Thursday to approve a proposal by UC President Janet Napolitano that phases the tests out over five years, at which point the UC aims to have developed its own test.
The regents met in a teleconference that lasted several hours, with expert presentations and lengthy debates that echoed a national conversation about whether the tests discriminate against disadvantaged students or help admissions offices find the most qualified applicants. “I think this is an incredible step in the right direction,” Regents Chairman John Perez said.
Khashoggi family forgives his killers
The family of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi announced on Friday they have forgiven his Saudi killers, giving legal reprieve to five government agents who had been sentenced to death for an operation that cast a cloud of suspicion over the kingdom's crown prince.
“We, the sons of the martyr Jamal Khashoggi, announce that we forgive those who killed our father as we seek reward from God Almighty,” wrote one of his sons, Salah Khashoggi, on Twitter. Salah Khashoggi, who lives in Saudi Arabia and has received financial compensation from the royal court for his father's killing, explained that forgiveness was extended to the killers during the last nights of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in line with Islamic tradition to offer pardons in cases allowed by Islamic law.
The Saudi court's ruling in December that the killing was not premeditated paved the way for Friday's announcement by leaving the door open for reprieve. Additionally, the finding was in line with the government's official explanation of Khashoggi's slaying that he was killed accidentally in a brawl by agents trying to forcibly return him to Saudi Arabia.
Syrian court bans Assad kin's travel
A Syrian court has ordered a travel ban on the cousin of the country's president and one of its wealthiest businessmen in the latest measure to contain a financial dispute that has pried open divisions in the Assad family.
The decision was published on the Syrian Justice Ministry's Facebook page late on Thursday. The court said Rami Makhlouf would be temporarily banned from leaving Syria until a dispute over outstanding financial dues is settled.
There has recently been a quick succession of government measures against Makhlouf, including confiscating his assets earlier this week and warning that more financial claims would be made against the man, once believed to be at the heart of the economy of Syria.