Milley feared Trump might order China strike; Newsom survives GOP-led recall; remembering Norm Macdonald

Today is Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

Here are today’s top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:


TOP STORIES

Book: Top US officer feared Trump could order China strike

WASHINGTON — Fearful of Donald Trump’s actions in his final weeks as president, the United States’ top military officer twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the two nations would not suddenly go to war, a senior defense official said after the conversations were described in excerpts from a forthcoming book.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that the United States would not strike. One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that defeated Trump. The second call was on Jan. 8, 2021, just two days after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of the outgoing chief executive.

Trump said Milley should be tried for treason if the report was true.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom beats back GOP-led recall

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday emphatically defeated a recall aimed at kicking him out of office early, a contest the Democrat framed as part of a national battle for his party’s values in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and continued threats from “Trumpism.”

Newsom bolted to a quick victory boosted by healthy turnout in the overwhelmingly Democratic state. He cast it as a win for science, women’s rights and other liberal issues, and it ensures the nation’s most populous state will remain in Democratic control as a laboratory for progressive policies.

“‘No’ is not the only thing that was expressed tonight,” Newsom said. “I want to focus on what we said ‘yes’ to as a state: We said yes to science, we said yes to vaccines, we said yes to ending this pandemic.”

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Norm Macdonald remembered as hilarious and unique

NEW YORK — Reactions to the death of Norm Macdonald, who died of cancer Tuesday at age 61.

“I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald. Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.” — Conan O’Brien on Twitter.

“Every one of us loved Norm. Some of the hardest laughs of my life with this man. Most fearless funny original guy we knew. An incredible dad. A great friend. A legend. Love u pal.” — Adam Sandler on Instagram.

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Click on the links below for full version of today’s top stories. Keep scrolling for a look back at this day in history and today’s celebrity birthdays:

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

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TODAY IN HISTORY

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …