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Storm forces GOP to cancel 1st-day convention   2012-08-27 08:17:00
U.S. Republicans on Saturday canceled prepared events for next Monday, the opening day of its party convention, as Tropical Storm Isaac has been strengthening and approaching the state of Florida.

The Republican National Committee released a statement Saturday evening saying that due to concerns related to Tropical Storm Isaac, events for next Monday were canceled.

The first priority "is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention and local citizens," the party's chairman Reince Priebus announced, following consultation with Florida Governor Rick Scott and emergency management authorities.

Priebus said the Republican National Convention will convene next Monday in Tampa, Florida and "immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon."

But he stressed that the organizers remained optimistic that "we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket."

Republican Governor Scott canceled his plans to participate in the opening day of the party's convention to focus on the state's preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac. He was expected to give a speech at the convention on Monday night, kicking off the four-day convention during which Mitt Romney will be formally nominated by the party.

He declared a state of emergency in Florida on Saturday morning and urged local residents to get prepared for the worst scenario Isaac might cause.

Local officials in Tampa, a city on west coast of Florida and venue of the RNC, have been informed on issues that may occur due to Isaac and delegates to the convention have been informed on how to remain safe during a storm.

According to information given by the National Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration near Saturday noon, Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane Sunday as the storm approaches the Florida Keys and parts of Florida.

A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for the Florida Keys, the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach southward to Ocean Reef, and for Florida Bay. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.

While tropical storms are unpredictable, the agency encourages residents in the possible path of the storm to prepare now.

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa from Monday to Thursday. Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including delegates, journalists and other guests, while thousands of protesters are also said to come along.
source : Xinhua     editor:: Alice
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