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Fallen sailor's return home moves airplane passengers to tears

The touching moment a sailor’s body was taken to home her family moved an airplane full of passengers to tears as they watched the emotional scene unfold.

>> Watch the video here

The U.S. Navy Aviation Boatswains Mate Handler on board the plane was Brooke Newton, 25, who died in San Diego on Aug. 30, according to an obituary published in the Edmond Sun.

>> Read more trending news

Mike Helms, who was on the plane, said that when the craft touched down, the pilot asked passengers to remain on board while the fallen hero was removed.

They were at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City on Thursday night when Helms wrote on Facebook, “This moment hit me hard for some reason. I couldn’t hold back tears. As I looked around the plane, I was hoping nobody would see my moment of weakness … But to my surprise, damn near everyone on the plane was crying.”

>> See the post here

When Helms and the rest of the passengers looked out the window, they watched as Newton’s family was given the casket containing their daughter’s body.

Haley: Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ comment ‘not an idle threat’

Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that President Donald Trump's “fire and fury” comment last month about North Korea's nuclear program was not an empty threat.

>> Read more trending news 

If the U.S. exhausts diplomatic options on North Korea, the U.S. military would "take care of it," Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program Sunday morning. She added that Defense Secretary James Mattis has “an army of options” to destroy North Korea..

“We wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first,” Haley said. “If that doesn't work, General Mattis will take care of it.”

Haley warned that a war would mean the destruction of North Korea.

“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” Haley told CNN. “And we all know that, and none of us want that.”

One dies, 7 injured in explosion on training field at Fort Bragg

One soldier has died after a training exercise accident at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He was identified Thursday evening as Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Mass.

Another seven people were injured in the explosion.

>> Read more trending news

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Air Force sends doctors, nurses to Orlando for Irma recovery

More than 300 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals were sent to Orlando with the help of the U.S. Air Force ahead of Hurricane Irma.

>> Read more trending news

Three C-17s from South Carolina’s Joint Base Charleston and Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base flew the group to Florida on Saturday.

"When the world presents a challenge, our airmen adjust to meet need and do what it takes to accomplish the mission,” said Gen. Carlton Everhart II, commander of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. “Our airmen are mission ready and prepared to help others impacted by Hurricane Irma while meeting worldwide needs." 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott made a plea Saturday for volunteer nurses to help at shelters across the state. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has coordinated the medical efforts to Florida to assist with the needs following Hurricane Irma. 

The hurricane made landfall in Marco Island just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Bomb test a ‘deliberate poke in the eye’ to China

North Korea’s test of a hydrogen bomb Sunday was a “deliberate poke in the eye” to China, its only real ally.

>> Read more trending news

Chinese officials said North Korea “disregarded universal opposition of the international community,” CNN reported.

"We strongly urge North Korea side to face up to the firm will of the international community on the denuclearization of the peninsula, abide by relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, stop taking wrong actions that exacerbate the situation and are not in its own interest, and return to the track of resolving the issue through dialogue," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

>> North Korea confirms hydrogen bomb test

Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S.-China Institute, said North Korea’s timing was a “deliberate poke in the eye.” The Chinese are currently hosting an economic summit with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, CNN reported.

>> Hydrogen bomb test: 5 things to know

"The Chinese have been pressing North Korea very hard not to stage a nuclear test," Chinoy told CNN. "It's a deliberate gesture of non-respect. And I think what it shows is that Kim Jong Un is extremely confident that he can provoke and push across the board without risking the kind of sweeping retaliation that would inflict enough pain upon him and his system that would force him to change his tactics."

North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test: 5 things to know

As tensions continue to build between the United States and North Korea, here are five things to know in the aftermath of Sunday’s hydrogen bomb test:

  • North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, said the test was conducted to “examine and confirm” using the hydrogen bomb as a payload for an intercontinental ballistic missile. "It also marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force," KCNA said.

  • The security chiefs for the United States and South Korea spoke in a 20-minute emergency telephone call after North Korea’s test. U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with South Korea’s Chung Eui-yong, about an hour after the detonation.

  • North Korea tested two nuclear weapons in 2016, including one in September that occurred close to the country’s Foundation Day holiday.

  • South Korea’s weather agency said Sunday’s test appears to have been several times stronger than previous ones. The Korea Meteorological Administration estimated that the nuclear blast yield Sunday was between 50 to 60 kilotons. That is five to six times stronger than North Korea’s fifth test last September.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that it was a mistake to try to pressure Pyongyang into halting its nuclear missile program, Reuters reported.

North Korea: Mattis warns of ‘massive military response’ if North threatens U.S.

Sept. 3, 2017 4:45 PM EDT, WASHINGTON

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a warning to North Korea Sunday afternoon following the North’s testing of a powerful nuclear bomb, vowing a “massive military response” if the rogue nation threatens the U.S., CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“Any threat to the United States or its territories including Guam or our allies will be met with a massive military response," Mattis said in a statement outside of the White House after a meeting with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of Trump’s security team. 

Mattis said Trump asked for a briefing on the “many militay options” available for  addressing the escalating threat from North Korea.

“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely, North Korea,” Mattis said after underscoring that the United Nations Security Council agrees North Korea is a threat, and is committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

SEPT. 3, 2017 1:30 PM EDT, WASHINGTON

The Trump administration is drafting new economic sanctions against North Korea, following the North’s overnight testing of a powerful nuclear weapon, in its first test of a hydrogen bomb since President Donald Trump took office. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox News Sunday  that he is handling the new sanctions.

"I am going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us,” Mnuchin said.

"People need to cut off North Korea economically. This is unacceptable behavior," he said.

Trump responded to the North’s saber rattling with a series of tweets Sunday morning, calling North Korea  “a rogue nation” that has become “a great threat and embarrassment to China.”

He also backed up Mnuchin’s comments.

“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” the president said in a tweet.

Trump said he’s meeting with his national security staff Sunday afternoon to discuss North Korea’s latest actions.

The president also tweeted that North Korea’s words and actions “continue to be very hostile and dangerous” to the United States.

>> Related: North Korea nuclear test: What was tested; what is a hydrogen bomb; what happens next?

“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump tweeted.

SEPT. 3, 2017 6:15 AM EDT

North Korea, in a broadcast on its state-run television network, confirmed it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb meant for intercontinental ballistic missiles, several media outlets reported Sunday. 

Seismological data from the United States Geological Survey showed that an explosion caused a 6.3-magnitude tremor in the northeastern section of North Korea, close to its Punggey-ri nuclear test site.

South Korea’s meteorological agency called it a "man-made" earthquake.

>> Hydrogen bomb test: 5 things to know

South Korea will hold a National Security Council meeting Sunday to discuss the incident, according to South Korea's Presidential office. The meeting will be presided over by President Moon Jae-in,  CNN reported.

U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and South Korean National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong held a 20-minute phone call to discuss North Korea's nuclear test, the Yonhap news agency reported, citing South Korea's presidential office. 

Chung Eui-yong, the chief security advisor for South Korean president Moon Jae-in, said his country will seek diplomatic measures to “completely isolate” North Korea.

“North Korea today ignored the repeated warnings from us and the international society and conducted a stronger nuclear test than before,” Chung told reporters.

Earlier, the Japan Meteorological Agency had observed a magnitude-6.1 tremor in North Korea, which showed a different waveform from a natural quake.

>> What you should know about North Korea

"The government confirms that North Korea conducted a nuclear test after examining information from the weather agency and other information," said Taro Kono, Japan’s foreign minister.

Lassina Zerbo, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), says data from North Korea's nuclear test indicates that the country's nuclear program is "advancing rapidly."

"It constitutes yet another breach of the universally accepted norm against nuclear testing; a norm that has been respected by all countries but one since 1996," Zerbo said. "It also underlines yet again the urgent need for the international community to act on putting in place a legally binding ban on nuclear testing once and for all. I urge the DPRK to refrain from further nuclear testing and to join the 183 States Signatories who have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.”

China’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday urged North Korea to stop its “wrong” actions, Reuters reported. In a statement, the ministry said on its website that China “resolutely opposed” and “strongly condemned” North Korea’s actions. The ministry urged North Korea to respect U.N. Security Council resolutions, Reuters reported.

Russia’s foreign ministry said North Korea’s action “deserves the strongest condemnation.”

In a statement Sunday, the ministry urged “immediate dialogue and negotiations.” It added that Russia is ready to participate in negotiations, “including in the context of the Russian-Chinese road map.”

Under that proposal, North Korea would suspend nuclear and missile tests in exchange for the U.S. and South Korea suspending their joint military exercises, CNN reported.

MTV VMAs: Transgender service members walk red carpet, speak out about military ban

Just days after President Donald Trump issued guidance on his transgender military ban, trans service members walked the red carpet Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards.

>> PHOTOS: Stars arrive for the 2017 MTV VMAs

According to Billboard, MTV invited Air Force Airman 1st Class Sterling James Crutcher, Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan B. Ireland, Army Capt. Jennifer Peace, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Akira Wyatt, Army veteran Laila Ireland and former Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brynn Tannehill to the awards show. They joined Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.

>> PHOTOS: 2017 MTV VMAs

"Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV and to young people everywhere," MTV President Chris McCarthy said in a statement, Billboard reported.

In a pre-show interview with MTV, Peace offered some advice to young trans people pursuing a military career in the wake of Trump's ban.

>> Read more trending news

"It doesn't matter who you are; our nation is only safe if we have the best and brightest in our country serving the military," Peace said. "There was a time where blacks couldn't serve, where women couldn't serve, where gays and lesbians couldn't serve, and there was a time when trans people couldn't serve. But today, the Armed Forces are open to everyone, regardless of your race, gender, religion or anything else. If you're willing to serve our country and you're among the most qualified in the nation, you should be welcome in the United States Armed Forces just like everyone else."

>> Watch the clip here

Tannehill spoke to CNN about what's next for the trans service members.

"Our people are naturally concerned about what's going to happen next, but we're going to continue to do our jobs day-in, day-out, the way we've done before and the way we'll continue to do."

>> Watch the clip here

Navy recovers remains of 10 sailors killed in USS John S. McCain crash

Update 9:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said on Sunday that officials have recovered the bodies of all 10 sailors killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship on Aug. 21 near Singapore.

Officials continue to investigate the collision.

Original report: The U.S. Navy on Thursday identified a sailor whose remains were found after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship near Singapore earlier this week.

>> Read more trending news

Divers recovered the remains of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, officials said.

Nine other sailors remain missing. Navy officials identified them as:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Missouri
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois 

Crews searched a 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore after the Liberian-flagged Alnic MC and the USS John S. McCain collided on Monday. Five sailors were injured.

>> Related: 10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker

Divers continued Thursday to search the flooded compartments of the USS John S. McCain, although officials said the efforts had shifted from a rescue to a recovery mission.

Monday’s crash was the second major collision involving a U.S. Navy warship from the 7th Fleet in two months, according to The Navy Times. It is the fourth accident involving a naval vessel in the Pacific this year, according to The Washington Post.

Monday’s accident prompted officials to launch an investigation of the 7th Fleet. Navy Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, said the Navy will take a one-day operational pause in response to the accident, to “ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world.”

>> Related: Navy plans operation pause, calls for review of collisions in the Pacific

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the commander of the 7th Fleet was dismissed in the aftermath of the crash.

Military to get guidelines for Trump transgender ban 'soon,' reports say

The White House is expected to give the Defense Department the authority to bar transgender people from enlisting in the U.S. military in the coming days, one month after President Donald Trump announced the ban on Twitter, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

The White House memo would also give Defense Secretary James Mattis discretion over whether transgender troops can stay in the military, based on a service member’s ability to deploy, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Journal was the first to report on the memo Wednesday night.

The guidelines would give Mattis six months to enforce the ban, The New York Times reported. An unidentified source told the newspaper that the contents of the memo were not finalized as of Wednesday night.

In a statement obtained by CNN, Pentagon officials said they had yet to receive formal guidance from the White House on how Trump’s announced ban would work.

"The (Defense) Department continues to focus on our mission of defending our nation and ongoing operations against our foes, while ensuring all service members are treated with respect," the statement said.

>> Related: Joint Chiefs: Transgender policy won't change until Pentagon gets it in writing from Trump

Gay and lesbian service members have been able to openly serve in the military since 2011, according to NPRCurrent Department of Defense policy allows for transgender people to serve openly and says individuals “can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military solely for being transgender individuals.”

Trump announced the ban in a series of tweets last month.

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” Trump wrote on July 26. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

The announcement came as a surprise to military leaders and politicians. In a letter to top military officials, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, wrote that there would be “no modifications to the current policy until the president’s direction has been received by the secretary of defense and the secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

>> Related: Trump: Transgender people won't be allowed in the military

Estimates on the number of transgender troops in the military vary, although a 2016 report from the Rand Corp. estimated that as many as 6,300 transgender service members are on active duty.

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