Safety deficiencies suspected in deadly dive boat fire; Dorian weakens as ‘Sharpiegate’ rages

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Safety deficiencies suspected in dive boat fire after preliminary investigation: report
A preliminary investigation into a Southern California dive boat fire that killed 34 people off the coast of Santa Barbara is raising concerns over safety flaws on the vessel, according to a report. The Conception lacked a “roaming night watchman” who would stay awake to warn sleeping passengers of hazards, multiple law enforcement sources who spoke on condition of anonymity reportedly told the Los Angeles Times. The investigation also questioned whether the crew was adequately trained in case of fire or if the passengers were given a safety briefing. The preliminary investigation’s findings come as the owners of the boat filed a lawsuit Thursday to avoid liability in the case. Click here to read more on our top story.

Floodwaters swirl around a storm drain as heavy rain falls from Hurricane Dorian, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

Floodwaters swirl around a storm drain as heavy rain falls from Hurricane Dorian, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

Hurricane Dorian weakens, North Carolina’s Outer Banks prepare for direct hit
Hurricane Dorian has weakened to a Category 1 storm as North Carolina’s Outer Banks prepare for a possible direct hit Friday. The National Hurricane Center forecast as much as 15 inches of rain for the coastal Carolinas, with flash-flooding likely. On Thursday, Hurricane Dorian sideswiped the Carolinas with shrieking winds, tornadoes and sideways rain. At least four deaths in the Southeast were blamed on the storm. Dorian swamped roads in historic downtown Charleston, S.C., and knocked down some 150 trees and toppled power lines.

And about ‘Sharpiegate’ …
Meanwhile, “Sharpiegate,” the controversy over the Hurricane Dorian map President Trump presented in the White House that included a marking near Alabama of the storm’s projected path, has generated considerable debate. Trump has been criticized for tweeting Sunday morning that Alabama was among the states expected to be affected by the hurricane. Forecasts at the time from the National Weather Service, however, projected that the state would be spared. Still, Trump repeatedly has defended his tweet. And CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday defended his network’s coverage of “Sharpiegate,” saying “this is a news story” and not petty.

DOJ sends gun legislation package to White House as debate rages over mass shootings
The Department of Justice has sent a package of legislative proposals on gun violence to the White House, a person familiar with the matter told Fox News, as the debate rages over how lawmakers and the president should respond to a recent spate of deadly mass shootings. The White House has had the proposals for two weeks, according to the source, but has not yet sent anything along to Capitol Hill. It was not immediately clear what proposals are included in the DOJ package.

As the White House grapples with the gun debate, CVS and Walgreens on Thursday became the latest retailers to ask shoppers to leave their guns at home. The drugstore chains join Walmart and Kroger who earlier this week released a similar policy. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association was defended, perhaps surprisingly, by two columnists from newspapers not known for their defense of gun rights. Both Los Angeles Times columnist Michael McGough and Henry Olsen of the Washington Post panned San Francisco’s recent branding of NRA as a terror organization.

In this Aug. 15, 2019, photo a "Now hiring" sign is displayed on the front door of a Staples store in Manchester, N.H. On Thursday, Sept. 5, payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in August. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In this Aug. 15, 2019, photo a “Now hiring” sign is displayed on the front door of a Staples store in Manchester, N.H. On Thursday, Sept. 5, payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in August. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

August jobs report to be released Friday
All eyes will be on the Labor Department’s August jobs report early Friday morning, as investors look for insight about the strength of the employment market amid signs of creeping weakness in other pillars of the U.S. economy. As the U.S. continues the longest economic expansion on record, analysts surveyed by Refinitiv expect the economy to have created 158,000 jobs in August, a healthy number that’s just below average growth of 165,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, is expected to remain steady at 3.7 percent for the third consecutive month, near a 50-year low. Click here for more on what to expect from Friday’s jobs report.

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, file photo Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe arrives for the burial of a prominent member of his party, Misheck Chando, in Harare. On Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his predecessor Robert Mugabe, age 95, has died. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, file photo Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe arrives for the burial of a prominent member of his party, Misheck Chando, in Harare. On Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said his predecessor Robert Mugabe, age 95, has died. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File)

Robert Mugabe, longtime ruler of Zimbabwe, dead at 95
Robert Mugabe, the controversial president of Zimbabwe who was forced to resign in 2017 after decades in power, has died at age 95. Mugabe’s death was confirmed Friday by Emmerson Mnangawa, who succeeded Mugabe as leader of the East African nation. Mugabe, who took power after white minority rule ended in 1980, blamed Zimbabwe’s economic problems on international sanctions and once said he wanted to rule for life. But growing discontent about the southern African country’s fractured leadership and other problems prompted a military intervention, impeachment proceedings by the parliament and large street demonstrations for his removal.

FOOTBALL’S BACK: The Green Bay Packers topped the Chicago Bears 10-3 Thursday night as the NFL kicked off its 100th season. Be sure to check out our Fox News Digital Exclusive – Our 2019 NFL Season Outlook, with a team-by-team breakdown of the season ahead.

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TODAY’S MUST-READS
Buttigieg says those who eat burgers, use plastic straws are ‘part of the problem’ on climate change.
Two health care providers, dozens of people charged in alleged $115M Medicare kickback scheme.
Jennifer Lopez’s pole dancing for ‘Hustlers’ sparks fitness craze.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Target tells suppliers to cover costs of China tariffs so consumers won’t have to: report.
Trump administration releases plan to end Fannie, Freddie conservatorship.
Why Bill de Blasio is pushing for a ‘robot tax.’

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on “This Day in History.”

SOME PARTING WORDS

Laura Ingraham says the “new” Democratic Party has become a parody of itself. 2020 Democrats, she said, like to call President Trump a dictator, but they are “dictators in training.”

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