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Americans Jailed After Failed Coup in Turkey Are Hostages to Politics

But American officials have appeared powerless to secure their release, and it has become increasingly clear that the detainees are potential bargaining chips in a long-running effort by Turkey to force the American government to extradite Mr. Gulen.Mr. Erdogan himself seemed to confirm the suspicion last month, when he told a gathering of police officers in Ankara that he would hand over an American pastor, Andrew Brunson, once the United States gave him Mr. Gulen.“They say, ‘Give us this certain pastor,’” he said, recounting his meeting with American officials. “You have another pastor in your hands; give him to us,” he railed.If Mr. Gulen were handed over, the president said, he would sort out Mr. Brunson’s judicial case. “Give him to us and we will put yours through the judiciary; we will give him to you,” Mr. Erdogan said.At the same time, Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that the detainees are charged with serious crimes of terrorism and trying to overthrow the state, and that if they are not guilty, the courts will release them in due course.A presidential aide said in a recent interview that the government had been surprised by the scale of the Gulen network, and believed it had infiltrated nearly every major institution of power […]

‘This Is Like in War’: A Scramble to Care for Puerto Rico’s Sick and Injured

On the ground, Puerto Rico remains a patchwork of desperate fixes, with 3.4 million people improvising ways to get much-needed medicine, diesel for their generators, food for their shelves and water to either drink or bathe in. With no choice, people wait and wait, some as long as a day for gas or hours for food at local supermarkets, which are letting in 25 people at a time to avoid mayhem.There is some progress. The governor said Tuesday that 450 of the island’s 1,100 gas stations are now working. Two days ago, that number was 181.Health scares are mounting […]

Facebook to Turn Over Russian-Linked Ads to Congress

In a statement, Twitter did not address illicit Russian activity on its platform but said it “deeply respects the integrity of the election process, a cornerstone of all democracies” and vowed to “continue to strengthen our platform against bots and other forms of manipulation.”Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.Representative John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat and the chairman of a group called the Democracy Reform Task Force that is tracking the Russian interference, said it was urgently necessary to understand Russia’s actions and prevent a repeat in future campaigns.“We’re telling the F.E.C., let’s get going on this, because the 2018 election is bearing down on us,” he said. “I think it’s fair to expect the companies to have a higher level of vigilance and catch this stuff on the front end, instead of after the fact.”The New York Times reported this month that Russian intelligence appeared to have been behind an infestation of Twitter with automated accounts, called bots, that spread messages against Hillary Clinton last year. The cyber security company FireEye identified what it called “warlists” of hundreds of fake accounts that fired off identical political messages.The Times also found Facebook accounts that appeared to have been created by ordinary Americans but were actually concocted by Russian agents […]

Harvey Victims Face Hurdles, and Maybe Bills, in Getting Aid

PhotoA home in Spring, Tex., north of Houston, was still inundated on Tuesday, more than three days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall.Credit Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York TimesAs a brutal storm continues to pound the Gulf Coast, tens of thousands of homeowners are turning to the government for help in repairing and rebuilding. Much of the aid they receive will require taking on debt — an unpleasant surprise to those who may lack the income to pay it back.And as victims of past disasters can attest, that aid may be cumbersome to obtain, insufficient to cover the cost of reconstruction, and take years to fully pay out.Government officials emphasize that the federal programs are meant to supplement, not replace, insurance and other financial buffers against catastrophe […]

Port Arthur Faces Harvey Flooding Disaster: ‘Our Whole City Is Underwater’

VideoIn Port Arthur, Harvey Continues Path of DestructionHomes and shelters were flooded and the largest oil refinery in the U.S. was shut down after heavy rains flooded Port Arthur, east of Houston, overnight Tuesday.By MALACHY BROWNE, BARBARA MARCOLINI and CHRIS CIRILLO on Publish Date August 30, 2017.Photo by Beulah Johnson, via Associated Press.Watch in Times Video »embed Even as the sun began to show in Houston on Wednesday, signaling a small measure of hope after days of devastating rainfall from Tropical Storm Harvey, a region east of the city faced disaster anew after it was pummeled by rain overnight.Residents of cities in Jefferson County, Tex., about 100 miles east of Houston, were desperate for help Wednesday morning after rain there caused floodwaters to rise precipitously and lightning made things particularly difficult for those responding to the storm.Many, finding emergency services unresponsive, sought assistance on social media, where their calls were amplified by digital onlookers seeking to help from afar.Port Arthur’s mayor, Derrick Freeman, said on Facebook early Wednesday morning that rescue teams were contending with fires while trying to get residents to safety.“Our whole city is underwater right now,” he wrote, in a message of encouragement that nonetheless communicated the distress the city was facing.The mayor of Beaumont, Becky Ames, told NBC that the flooding was like nothing she had ever seen before.“Every single body of water around us is at capacity and overflowing and the rain is still coming down,” she said.About 254,000 people live in Jefferson County, which Brock Long, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Wednesday had been “slammed with 20 inches of rainfall” overnight.As news reports teemed with images from Port Arthur showing flooded homes and shelters, the city’s name began to trend on Twitter early Wednesday morning as dozens of residents posted their addresses and conditions, saying that they were trapped in their houses with children and older people in dire need of assistance. Even the city itself used Twitter to call for help.A judge in Jefferson County, Jeff Branick, told a local news reporter that hundreds if not thousands of people were stranded on their roofs, on top of cars and in attics.Sites that may have been able to withstand less forceful weather gave way to the pouring rain. […]

Houston’s Hospitals Treat Storm Victims and Become Victims Themselves

He and others also said that a new federal rule stemming from Katrina — which requires a wide range of health providers to establish emergency plans — had led to significantly better preparedness among nursing homes. Federal health officials also analyzed Medicare claims to provide Texas officials with the likely addresses of homebound people who rely on power-dependent ventilators, oxygen concentrators and electric wheelchairs, among other needs. Responders also used the state’s voluntary registry to locate them and offer assistance. Mr. […]

Trump to Travel to Texas With Torrential Rain Still in the Forecast

Mr. Trump also used the hurricane to soft-pedal a bit of unrelated political business, announcing late on Friday night that he had pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff. The timing seemed anything but coincidental: With cable news channels switching to wall-to-wall storm coverage, the fierce criticism of Mr. Trump’s action, from Republicans as well as Democrats, was largely lost in the howling winds.There were other off-key moments throughout the weekend. At times, Mr. Trump’s tweets conveyed an unabashed excitement about the historic nature of the storm, even as it became clear that Houston and other cities faced a grinding crisis.“Wow,” he tweeted on Sunday morning. “Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood! We have an all out effort going, and going well!” An hour earlier, he noted, “Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen […]