News briefs 2/16/2020

Residents of Canton Club Circle subdivision on Saturday in Northeast Jackson, Mississippi, use a boat to get to flooded homes.

Mississippi braces for floods amid cresting river

JACKSON, Miss. | Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency Saturday amid predictions that a river running in the area around the state capital of Jackson could burst its banks and spark widespread flooding.

Forecasters believe the Pearl River will crest at 38 feet Sunday evening to levels not seen in decades, following days of torrential rains across the Southeast. Reeves said the state should prepare for “the third worst flood” in its history.

“This is a historic, unprecedented flood,” Reeves said via Twitter.

Parts of Jackson and suburban Ridgeland were under evacuation orders, and some people had already filled trucks with furniture and other belongings to get out. Reeves said more than 2,400 homes and other structures in and near Jackson could either be inundated or isolated by the rising waters.

Macron urges improvement in relations with Russia

MUNICH | Europe needs to strive for better relations with Russia in the long term, French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday, adding that while he isn’t proposing lifting sanctions they have changed nothing about Russia’s behavoir.

Macron told the Munich Security Conference that a “credible” approach to dealing with Russia would be to take the line that “we are demanding, we are giving no ground in our principles on frozen conflicts, but will re-engage in a strategic dialogue — which will take time.”

Relations between European Union countries and Moscow have been strained since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and fighting broke out between Kyiv and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. That festering military conflict has left over 14,000 dead since then. The U.S. and the European Union slapped sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

U.K. faces another storm;

2 found dead in rough seas

LONDON | Rescuers pulled two male bodies from rough seas off the coast of southeast England and military personnel mobilized to help build flood barriers Saturday as a second straight weekend of stormy weather wreaked havoc across Britain.

The fourth named storm of the season, dubbed Dennis by Britain’s Met Office weather service, prompted widespread travel disruptions and had the potential to cause more damage than last weekend’s Storm Ciara given the already saturated ground in much of the country.

The body of one man was pulled out of the sea by a lifeboat from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and followed a seven-hour search that involved a Royal Navy vessel.

In a separate incident, the body of a second man was pulled from the sea in the afternoon. Authorities said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Teen charged with Barnard College student death

NEW YORK | A 14-year-old has been arrested in the fatal stabbing of a Barnard College student in a park during a robbery in December, a crime that rattled New York City residents, authorities said Saturday.

Rashaun Weaver has been indicted by a grand jury and was taken into custody Friday night without incident, New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a news conference.

Weaver, charged with second-degree murder and robbery, is the second teenager to be charged in the attack on 18-year-old Tessa Majors in a Manhattan park.

“We are confident that we have the person in custody who stabbed her,” Shea said. “And that person will face justice in a court of law.”

Iran: Trump wrong if he thinks Tehran will collapse

MUNICH | Iran’s foreign minister said Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump is receiving bad advice if he believes an American “maximum pressure” campaign against his country will cause the government in Tehran to collapse.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a group of top defense officials and diplomats at the Munich Security Conference that the information provided to the president has dissuaded Trump from accepting offers from other leaders to mediate between Washington and Tehran.

— From AP reports