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Erdogan defends his actions after failed coup in PBS NewsHour interview

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it is wrong for the United States to deny the sale of guns to his guards in response to his crackdown on terrorist organizations. He sat down with PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Monday.

Congress withdrew a proposal allowing Turkish guards to buy $1.2 million in American-made weapons after his security guards were filmed beating protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., on May 16.

A failed coup in July 2016 prompted Erdogan to ramp up arrests of perceived opponents, including thousands of police and civil servants, which put a further strain on U.S.-Turkish relations.

“I think it’s wrong for the United States to fight terrorism with YPG (an acronym for the People’s Protection Units) or PYD (an acronym for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, a Syrian affiliate of the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party). This is something I’ve shared with the higher echelons of the United States. We need to fight these terrorists with the United States. We are not able to acquire those weapons from the United States. ‘Why are you giving these weapons to terrorists?’ is the question that we ask our friends in the United States,” Erdogan said in Monday’s interview.

“Democracy is quite strong in Turkey,” he said, pointing to his election. “We are receiving the full support of our people and we are continuing down our path.”

READ MORE: Turkey continues crackdown one year after failed coup

Woodruff previews the first part of the interview on Monday’s broadcast. You can watch the full interview on Tuesday.

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2 devastating earthquakes have hit Mexico in as many weeks. Here’s why.

Damages are seen after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. Photo by Claudia Daut/REUTERS

Damages are seen after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. Photo by Claudia Daut/REUTERS

A powerful earthquake shook Mexico City Tuesday afternoon, crumbling buildings in the nation’s capitol. The event comes 11 days after the most powerful earthquake to hit the nation in decades killed around 100 people and destroyed more than 45,000 homes.

What happened? The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 7.1 quake struck near the town of Raboso in Puebla, approximately 76 miles southeast of Mexico City, at a depth of 35 miles. This USGS reading is preliminary, but Mexico’s National Seismological Service released similar numbers for the earthquake’s strength.

A USGS official told the Associated Press that Tuesday’s earthquake was not an aftershock of the disaster that struck near Chiapas on Sept. 8, due to the large distance between the two events.

Map of the epicenter (star) of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit near the town of Raboso in Puebla, Mexico. Map by
         U.S. Geological Survey

Map of the epicenter (star) of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit near the town of Raboso in Puebla, Mexico. Map by U.S. Geological Survey

Damage report: The governor of Morelos, a state in central Mexico, said 42 people died there, while eight more deaths were reported in Mexico State, which borders Mexico City. The interior department of Puebla, where the quake hit, reported 11 deaths. By Tuesday evening, 104 people had died from the earthquake, according to the AP, which didn’t provide a breakdown by region.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said at least 20 buildings had collapsed, with reports of people being trapped inside.

Social media posts from Mexico City show cracked facades and toppled buildings in populated areas, as locals fill the streets. Gerardo Lazos, a journalist with Patito Television, filmed his home in Mexico City shaking during the quake. But the event likely caused devastation throughout much of central Mexico.

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“DF” stand for Distrito Federal or Mexico City.

Why so many quakes in Mexico? Mexico is part of the Ring of Fire, the rim where the tectonic plates of the Pacific Basin jam into those propping up North America, South America and Asia. The Ring of Fire accounts f or 90 percent of the planet’s earthquakes.

But Mexico is especially seismic because it sits on three giant tectonic plates. Moreover, the nearby oceanic crust — the Cocos plate — is denser than the landmass carrying the central portion of the country. As the two plates collide, Mexico’s softer earth crumples, which explains why mountain ranges line the eastern part of the nation.

The Chiapas earthquake in early September also struck an area that seismologists have been watching closely for several years, as Lizzie Wade explained in Science Magazine:

The epicenter of the quake, which struck just before midnight local time, was just southeast of the Tehuantepec gap, a 125-kilometer-long stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast that has been seismically silent since record-keeping began more than a century ago. All along that coast, the ocean’s tectonic plates meet the continental North American plate and are forced underneath it. Violent earthquakes mark the release of built-up pressure between the grinding plates. But the ruptures have somehow avoided the Tehuantepec gap and the Guerrero gap, more than 500 kilometers to the northwest.

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WATCH: At UN, Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the “total destruction'” of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons.

Trump, who has ramped up his rhetoric throughout the escalating crisis with North Korea, told the murmuring crowd at the U.N. that “it is far past time for the nations of the world to confront” Kim Jong Un and said that Kim’s “reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons” poses a threat to “the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life.

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” Trump said about the North Korean leader. He said of the U.S.: “If it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Trump, who has previously warned of “fire and fury” if Pyongyang does not back down, claimed that “no one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea.” And he scolded nations that he said have enabled and traded with North Korea, seeming to slight China, though he did not mention it by name.

Elected on the nationalist slogan “America First,” Trump argued that individual nations should act in their own self-interest, yet rally together when faced with a common threat. In addition to North Korea, Trump urged nations to join together to stop Iran’s nuclear program — he declared the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” for the United States — and defeat the “loser terrorists” who have struck violence across the globe.

North Korea's Ambassador to the U.N., Ja Song Nam, leaves his seat prior to the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump
         to address the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

North Korea’s Ambassador to the U.N., Ja Song Nam, leaves his seat prior to the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump to address the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Addressing the General Assembly is a milestone moment for any president, but one particularly significant for Trump, a relative newcomer to foreign policy who has at times rattled the international community with his unpredictability. He has pulled the Unites States out of multinational agreements, considered shrinking the U.S. military footprint in the world and deployed bombastic language on North Korea that has been criticized by other world leaders.

Trump frequently belittled the U.N. as a candidate and some within his White House believe the U.N acts as a global bureaucracy that infringes on the sovereignty of individual countries. But the president stood before world leaders and a global audience and declared that U.N. members, acting as a collection of self-interested nations, should unite to confront global dangers.

“I will always put American first. Just like you, the leaders of your countries, should and always put your countries first,” said Trump, who assured the U.N. that the United States would not abdicate its leadership position in the world but needed other countries to contribute more.

“The U.S. will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies,” the Republican president said. “But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal in which the United States gets nothing in return

World leaders, many of whom will be seeing Trump in person for the first time, are bound to take the measure of the man and parse his every word for clues on how he views the U.S. role in the world and within the U.N.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity because the world wants to work with the United States if there’s any way to do so,” said Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “He has an opportunity to show surprising openness.”

Trump tipped his hand Monday as he riffed on his campaign slogan when asked to preview his central message to the General Assembly: “I think the main message is ‘make the United Nations great’ — not ‘again.’ ‘Make the United Nations great.'”

“Such tremendous potential, and I think we’ll be able to do this,” he added.

In brief remarks to the U.N. on Monday, Trump chastised the world body’s bloated bureaucracy and budget, saying, “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”

But even with that scolding, Trump pledged to the U.N. that the United States would be “partners in your work” to make the organization a more effective force for world peace.

He praised the U.N.’s early steps toward change and made no threats to withdraw U.S. support. The president’s more measured tone stood in sharp contrast to the approach he took at NATO’s new Brussels headquarters in May, when he upbraided member nations for not paying enough and refused to back its mutual defense pact explicitly.

While running for office, Trump had labeled the U.N. weak and incompetent. He has suggested it was “not a friend” to the United States or democracy while deriding it as “a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”

He thundered often about putting “America first,” and has withdrawn from what he considered multilateral agreements that he found unfavorable to the United States, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. He also announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which would leave the U.S. one of only three countries outside the pact. Aides have since suggested Trump would be willing to renegotiate terms of the deal but European leaders have dismissed that approach.

Trump has also frequently questioned the value of a robust American presence around the world. When briefed on the government’s diplomatic, military and intelligence posts, the new president would often cast doubt on the need for all the resources.

Some aides have suggested that Trump employs “principled realism” — making global decisions based on the best outcome for the United States. The administration has also shied away from talk of nation-building or creating democracies through the use of the U.S. military.

But Trump has softened his rhetoric about the United Nations since taking office and cheered the recent Security Council resolution that approved new sanctions against North Korea. Potentially foreshadowing a Trump argument, Brian Hook of the State Department said Monday that the U.N. could be useful as a “force multiplier” to “bring a global approach to global threats.”

“The president has been working very well with the U.N. Security Council,” said Hook, who praised Trump’s ability to deal with the world body and “leverage it for the purposes the U.N. charter created, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”

Associated Press reporters Jonathan Lemire and Darlene Superville wrote this story.

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WATCH: Trump delivers his first address to the U.N. General Assembly

President Donald Trump will deliver his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, an address that could offer some insight into how the “America first” candidate will handle the international body he frequently criticized during his campaign.

World leaders will begin addressing the assembly at 9 a.m. ET. Mr. Trump is expected to address the U.N. around 10:30 a.m. ET. Watch live in the player above.

Leaders from 193 member states began gathering Monday for meetings in New York. In brief remarks Monday morning, Trump criticized what he called the U.N.’s inefficiency and called for reform, though he did not threaten to withdraw funding, as he had during his 2016 campaign for president.

“In recent years, the United Nations has not reached its full potential due to bureaucracy and mismanagement,” Trump said. “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”

It’s also the first summit for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who previously ran the U.N.’s refugee agency for 10 years. The odds of reform rely heavily on his relationship with Trump, Stewart Patrick, a senior fellow and director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the PBS NewsHour.

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BBC News

Mexico: Strong earthquake topples buildings, killing scores

The tremor toppled buildings in the capital with many feared trapped in the rubble.

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"Evacuate," Puerto Rico's safety commissioner warned residents. "Otherwise, you're going to die."

Trump's first UN speech met with criticism from some leaders

The US president's first key speech at the UN was denounced by some member nations he had singled out.

FBI wiretapped Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort - reports

Paul Manafort's home was raided by agents probing Russian influence on the US election