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00:00: I escaped with students building my apartment building.
00:06: One of them passed away.
00:07: That's two-thirds of the population.
00:10: All the parties are floating around us.
00:12: Fast-moving wildfires across the island of Maui have killed dozens of people, destroyed the community of Lahaina,
00:19: and continued to endanger the lives of locals and visitors.
00:23: All the places that are tourist areas that are Hawaiian history are gone.
00:28: And that can't be replaced.
00:30: I'm daily wire editor-in-chief John Bickley with Georgia Howe.
00:33: It's Friday, August 11th, and this is Morning Wire.
00:40: The Biden administration reportedly moves to unlock $6 billion in funds to Iran as the
00:45: two countries negotiate a potential prisoner swap.
00:49: What do we know about the deal and what comes next in the negotiations?
00:53: And Massachusetts and New York declare states of emergency as both run out of space to house new migrants.
01:00: How severe is the problem and how realistic are the unorthodox strategies being suggested.
01:06: Thanks for waking up with Morning Wire, stay tuned.
01:08: We have the news you need to know.
01:15: Thousands have been displaced and dozens are dead after a massive wildfire unexpectedly
01:20: ripped through the Hawaiian island of Maui.
01:23: Thursday fires were also reported on the big island.
01:27: Here with more on the deadly blaze and the franx search for survivors as daily wires senior
01:31: editor cabbage Phillips, cabeta, a real tragedy in Hawaii.
01:35: What's the latest?
01:36: Yeah, this is one of the deadliest wildfires to strike the US in the last few decades.
01:41: The fire started on Tuesday and ripped through the island, fueled by 80 mile-prower winds
01:45: from distant hurricane Dora in the Pacific.
01:48: While level two drought conditions on large parts of the island further contributed to the ferocity of the place.
01:53: Those high winds grounded firefighting helicopters and planes
01:56: and also knocked out power on Tuesday as the fire worsened,
01:59: making it difficult for many residents to even learn about the danger coming their way.
02:03: As the flames pushed towards the coast,
02:05: dozens of tourists and residents were left with no option but to jump into the ocean,
02:09: where they were later rescued by coast guard ships in the area.
02:12: This woman survived by running out into the waters with others from her apartment.
02:15: We were on the wrong path for about $800 and so.
02:18: In the water.
02:19: In the water.
02:20: We started to get hypothermia, so at some point we had to, we were actually kind of going
02:24: back and forth between being in the water and trying to cool down from the inverse burning
02:29: off the carbon burns, my face is covered in burns.
02:33: Others attempt to do escape by car, driving through smoke-filled streets as buildings all around them were consumed by flames.
02:39: In one, especially herring video posted on social media, a group of men recorded themselves
02:43: attempting to drive to safety as smoke and flames filled the road around them.
02:47: At one point the video shows a woman laying motionless in the road in front of them.
02:51: Just a warning, this audio is very difficult to listen to.
02:54: Somebody's down right now.
02:56: Somebody's down right now.
02:58: Just go that we cannot do nothing for her.
03:00: Oh my God, bro.
03:01: Just go.
03:03: We cannot do nothing for her.
03:05: In another instance, a group of five young people were stranded in their car.
03:08: I'll set a once bustling out the mall.
03:10: Text messages show them frantically messaging EMS with their location.
03:14: Telling them, quote, fire is all around us.
03:16: Vision blocked cannot reach ocean.
03:18: Car is super hot.
03:20: Thankfully, they were rescued half hour later,
03:22: but dozens of others were never brought to safety.
03:24: Here's Maui County Mayor Richard Visson Jr.
03:27: We are grieving with each other during this inconsolable time.
03:31: In the days ahead, we will be stronger as a kaya ulu or community,
03:36: as we rebuild with resilience and aloha.
03:41: So tell us about the areas that were the hardest hit by this fire.
03:45: Yeah, the community of Lahaina bore the brunt of the fire.
03:48: Lahaina is the cultural hub of Maui, it was once the state's capital and the residents of Hawaii's king.
03:53: Hundreds of homes and buildings there were destroyed,
03:55: including a number of historic and cultural sites that had been there for centuries.
03:59: Thousands of residents living in Lahaina
04:01: are currently staying in shelters on the island,
04:03: while thousands more tourists have been ferried to other islands.
04:06: Here's Adam Waintrov, a spokesperson for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, speaking on ABC.
04:11: These were to warn and fast-moving fires
04:15: and it's only recently that we've started to get our arms around them and contain them.
04:19: So we're hoping for the best that we're prepared for the worst.
04:23: By Thursday morning, the fire had been largely contained, leaving rescue crews to search the
04:27: ashes for survivors. But those who did survive now face another set of challenges.
04:32: Now, this hospital system is relatively small and officials say they do not have the resources
04:36: to treat vast numbers of burn victims, meaning many patients will need to be
04:40: transported to other islands for emergency treatment.
04:42: Yeah, on Thursday, President Biden signed off on a disaster declaration, offering funding
04:47: and other help, including helicopters for search and rescue and firefighting operations.
04:51: At the moment, officials say they're still not sure exactly how or when the blaze started,
04:55: the wildfires on the island are fairly calm and starting to dry areas of grassland before
05:00: being whipped up by winds coming off the water.
05:02: So we'll be keeping an eye on the investigation and the potential cause of the blaze.
05:05: Hopefully we'll get some answers in the coming days.
05:07: Yeah, devastating situation and a lot of prayers for all those affected.
05:11: Thanks for reporting. Anytime.
05:17: The United States has reportedly negotiated the return of five Americans jailed in Iran.
05:23: The prisoners have been released to house arrest as they await next steps.
05:27: Daily wire reporter Tim Pierce is here to discuss the prisoners and what Biden will be
05:31: giving up in return for their release.
05:33: Item first off, what do we know about these prisoners?
05:37: There's five in total, three we know, and two who are staying private.
05:41: Four of the prisoners released Thursday from a vene prison in Tehran.
05:45: The prison is notorious for human rights abuses that go on inside,
05:49: as well as the high number of political prisoners that wind up inside.
05:52: The fifth prisoner, an American woman, was apparently already on house rest.
05:56: The three prisoners we know are all dual citizens of Iran in the United States.
06:01: C.M.A.K. Namazee, Ahmad Shargi, and Marad Tabaz, who also holds citizenship in the UK.
06:08: Namazee has been held the longest. He was arrested in October 2015 while on a business
06:12: trip and charged with working for a hostile government. Shargi is also a businessman.
06:16: He was jailed in 2018 and two years later handed a 10-year sentence for alleged espionage.
06:23: Tabaz is an environmentalist who was also arrested in 2018 and given a 10-year sentence
06:27: for supposed spying. The U.S. maintains that all these restaurants are nonsense and that these people are political prisoners.
06:33: All right. So all political according to U.S. officials, what are we trading to free them?
06:38: The Biden administration has apparently agreed to a prisoner swap. So Iran will get back
06:43: a few of its own, though it's unclear as of yet who that will be. Iran will also reportedly
06:47: get access to $6 billion in oil revenue that it's been unable to access because of sanctions.
06:53: money will be moved to a bank in Qatar and Iran can access it only for humanitarian
06:57: supplies such as food and medical equipment. The deal is supposed to block Iran a known
07:02: sponsor of terrorism from using the funds for any other purpose. According to reports,
07:06: the funds will be held by the Qatar government. And when Iran makes a request, Qatar will
07:11: pay the vendor directly from the account and Iran will receive the goods.
07:14: But of course, that would just free up funds for Iran to direct that to other unsanctioned
07:19: efforts. How long did it take to work this deal out? Months, at least. NBC News reported
07:25: back in February that talks on a deal were taking place quietly behind the scenes and were
07:29: being mediated by Switzerland. The Swiss have mediated most talks between the US and Iran,
07:34: and since the two countries broke off diplomatic relations over 40 years ago. In fact, the deal
07:39: also serves a dual purpose of softening the tension between the US and Iran.
07:43: One of President Biden's foreign policy priorities since taking office has been to revive
07:47: the highly controversial Iran nuclear deal. Former President Trump killed the deal over concerns
07:52: that it wasn't strong enough. Trump officials thought the Iran deal actually made the potential
07:56: for a nuclear armed Iran much greater. Right. When can we expect these prisoners to be returned?
08:03: In the next few weeks, no hard timeline has been set, and there seems to be some hesitation
08:07: about celebrating too soon. An attorney for one of the prisoners said that this was only a first step,
08:12: and caution that there are simply no guarantees about what happens from here.
08:16: All right, so skepticism there about Iran following through.
08:20: What's the response been to this deal so far?
08:24: Republicans have been pretty critical of it.
08:26: A few have said that assuming Iran is given access to $6 billion, the U.S. has just agreed
08:31: to pay the largest terrorist ransom ever.
08:33: Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton issued a pretty strong statement against the deal.
08:37: He said he hoped the Americans arrived safely back in the U.S., but called the agreement
08:41: with Iran a craven act of appeasement that will only embolden the IOTO as to take more
08:46: hostages and use these ill-gotten gains to attack our troops, fun terrorism and arm
08:50: Russia.
08:51: Yes, strong words indeed.
08:52: Tim, thanks for joining us.
08:53: Thanks for having me.
09:00: Officials in Massachusetts are asking citizens to consider taking illegal migrants into their
09:05: homes as the state scrambles to confront a dire shelter shortage.
09:09: The plea to residents came just a day after the governor declared a state of emergency over
09:14: the migrant crisis. Daily wire investigative reporter Maraid Alority is here with the details.
09:20: So Maraid Massachusetts is asking residents to consider housing migrants in their homes.
09:25: Hi Georgia, yes exactly. This was Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll on Wednesday.
09:31: Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family.
09:37: A day earlier, Massachusetts Governor Mara Healy, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency on the migrant crisis.
09:50: She touched on residents potentially stepping up to help during a press conference in Boston on Tuesday.
09:55: Healy said the state is calling on everyone in Massachusetts to come together and ask
09:59: Bay Staters to help us meet this moment in our state and offer a helping hand.
10:04: Now is there a process in place for people to actually do that?
10:07: It's not clear yet how the hosting process would work whether people would have to apply
10:11: to host a family or whether the state would compensate hosts.
10:15: Now what led up to this?
10:16: We've heard a lot about New York being overwhelmed with migrants.
10:19: What's the status in Massachusetts?
10:21: It's pretty serious.
10:23: Dozens of migrants arrive in the state every day.
10:25: About 50 migrant families arrived by plane from other states in the span of 48 hours earlier this week according to Governor Healey.
10:32: Healy said the state is currently housing nearly 20,000 people, many of whom are migrants.
10:37: More than 5,600 families are being sheltered on the state's dime up from 3,100 families a year ago.
10:43: This is more people than the state has ever served through its emergency assistance program according to the governor.
10:48: Those in need of shelter include babies, young children, and pregnant women.
10:52: Many of the migrants are from Haiti and headed to Massachusetts, likely because Boston has a large Haitian population.
10:59: An interesting point here is that Massachusetts has a 1983 right to shelter law on the books
11:03: that requires the state to immediately house eligible families with children, regardless of shelter availability.
11:10: This puts the state in an extremely difficult position.
11:13: The law was written long before the migrant crisis and was intended for Massachusetts citizens
11:17: in crisis, but it doesn't include any language prohibiting non-citizens from taking advantage of the generous benefit.
11:24: So, now that the governor has declared a state of emergency, what does that actually mean?
11:28: Well, the state of emergency will expedite the process for creating or renting more migrant
11:33: housing and allow the National Guard to quickly step in if necessary.
11:37: Governor Healey blamed the slow pace of work authorizations, which she said can take
11:40: months as a big driver of the crisis.
11:43: Healey wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking that migrants be
11:47: clear to work and ask for financial help from the federal government as well.
11:52: But this situation has been building for a while.
11:54: this year, migrants of Massachusetts started showing up at emergency rooms because they had
11:58: nowhere to sleep for the night. And leading up to the state of emergency declaration,
12:02: Massachusetts took several other drastic steps to house migrants.
12:06: Last year, the state housed migrants in motels, empty college dorms, two new welcome centers,
12:12: and on Cape Cod's military base, which received the 49 migrants who arrived in Martha's Vineyard
12:17: from Florida last fall. Well, and as we've reported before, other states and cities are also
12:22: buckling under very similar pressure. What's the latest to New York?
12:26: Well, New York City's homeless shelters are bursting at the seams. There are 55,000 migrants
12:31: currently being housed on the city's dime. On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams announced a plan to
12:35: house up to 2,000 adult migrants in a tent city on Randall's Island in the East River,
12:41: saying it has become a herculane effort to find enough shelter beds every night.
12:45: We have to make sure we have a real decompression strategy after border,
12:50: and we have to ensure that we have real immigration reform because it's going to continue.
12:55: It's not sustainable. When you look at 10,000 a month, the math just does not add up.
13:02: Both Massachusetts and New York have pleaded with the Biden administration for financial help
13:06: with the migrant crisis. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see how these Northeastern
13:10: states adapt to now being border states. Well, as a Massachusetts native myself, I'm watching this very closely.
13:17: Marade, thanks for reporting.
13:18: Thanks, Georgia.
13:23: Thank you for listening to Morning Wire.
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13:37: That's all the time we've got this morning.
13:39: Thanks for waking up with us.
13:41: We'll be back later this afternoon with more news you need to know.