This are the stories read on The Morning Brew for November 27 and 28 of 2017. Links to the source are under each story.
Trump’s Thanksgiving Message
President Trump delivered an address to the troops who are overseas. He praised their progress in Afghanistan and the fight against ISIS. He told them they were fighting for “something real” and “big, beautiful fat tax cuts”. He continued to call them “brave, incredible fighters”. He took another dig at the mainstream media, acknowledging the press in the room, he added, “Better me than you, believe me fellas, better me than you.” He went on to talk about boosting military spending.
Though he spoke positively about the tax reforms, Trump is still looking for his first definitive legislative victory.
Blogger Murder in Bangladesh
Back in 2015, a US Blogger, who was critical of religious extremism, was found dead. Saturday, Bangladesh police stated they arrested an Islamic militant who is wanted in connection with the murder. Twenty-four-year old Arafat Rahman was identified by the Deputy Police Commissioner Masudur Rahman.
Avijit Roy, the victim, was a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin. He was found hacked to death in February of 2015. The murder weapon was identified as a machete. His wife Rafida Ahmed was seriously wounded in the attack. Arafat was arrested by counter-terrorism police on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital, Friday night. The police went on to state the Ansar Ullah Bangla Team militant group is behind this murder and the murders of more than a dozen bloggers and gay rights activists.
Iran Points Finger at US for Yemen
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition which is fighting Tehran-backed Huthi rebels. This has lead to strife and conflict in the region, and Iran is pointing fingers at the US. Bahram Ghassemi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying:
“clearly and without question proves America’s participation and responsibility in the atrocities committed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.”
In response, Washington said it was “committed to supporting Saudi Arabia… against the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps aggression and blatant violations of international law.”
Iran and Saudi both back opposing factions from Syria to Yemen. Diplomatic communications were ended in January 2016. This is when Riyadh executed a prominent Shiite cleric. Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi diplomatic mission in response. Both parties are in danger of neglecting civilian safety.
Bannon is making House Republicans Nervous
Even though Bannon has stated he will not come for mainstream Republicans in the same way he is targeting senators, many house republicans are nervous just the same. The ousted strategist is making no effort to hide his attempt to topple Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and incumbents who back him. Bannon and his supporters have said McConnell is “the embodiment of an insufficiently conservative, unproductive party establishment.”
Twenty-four Republicans and seven Democrats say they are not running for re-election.
FBI Leaves Many in the Dark
The FBI have failed to alert many US officials of a security breech involving Russian hackers and their personal Gmail accounts. This is after having evidence of such for a minimum of one year. After almost 80 interviews with Americans who were targeted, there were only two cases showing the FBI had given any kind of warning. The targeting was done by a Russian-aligned hacking group known as “Fancy Bear”.
The FBI has declined to discuss its investigation into Fancy Bear’s spying campaign: “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.” A senior FBI official says the bureau has been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of attempted hacks.
This is the self-same hacking group that disrupted the 2016 election, causing a shadow to be cast over Trump’s presidency. The Russian government denies any interference.
Trump May be Stopped Trying to Name Acting Director of CFPB
President Donald Trump wants to appoint his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to be the acting chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This has prompted Leandra English, who is the interim director, to file a lawsuit Sunday night in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. She is asking for a declaratory judgment and a temporary restraining order to block the president’s appointment. English cited Dodd-Frank, saying the law does not support the appointment of Mulvaney to the position.
This overshadows one fact, the future of the CFPB itself. The bureau was created after the 2008 financial crisis as a watchdog for consumers when dealing with banks and credit card companies. Senator John Thune wants to eventually see “reforms to the agency, which has essentially very little accountability to the Congress or anybody else.”
US top Court Says no to Maryland Assault Weapons Ban
Guns rights supporters, like the National Rifle Association, suffered a blow by the US Supreme court on Monday as it refused to hear a challenge to a Maryland assault weapons ban after a Connecticut school shooting. The court said no to an appeal by several Maryland residents who argued the ban goes against the US Constitution’s Second Amendment. The same court also declined a challenge to a Florida ban on open carry.
Though the Supreme court has tried avoiding ruling on any gun issue, the recent shootings at a Texas church and Las Vegas have spurred them to do so. Sandy Hook has also been mentioned. The challengers of this law sued Maryland’s Governor in 2013, and they also appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia which stood behind the law. The 4th circuit called the assault weapons, actually semi-automatic rifles, “weapons of war” and found little evidence supporting the weapons as a method of self-defense.
The Supreme Court left in place two semi-auto rifle bans in both New York and Connecticut.
Keystone Pipeline to resume Construction
TransCanada, after reviewing its repair and restart plans, stated it will be resuming the pipeline operations at reduced pressure and increase the flow slowly. This comes almost two weeks after the line leaked 5k barrels of crude in the rural parts of South Dakota. The pipeline, which shunts 590,000 barrels per day, was shut down after the spill. Through their efforts, the Calgary-based company has been able to clean up 1,065 barrels of oil so far. Brian Walsh, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of SD, says the cleanup “is going as fast as we would hope, they are working 24 hours a day.”
The spill happened after Nebraska put its stamp of approval on the XL Keystone to go through their state.
Volcano in Bali shoots Ash 2 1/2 Miles in the Sky
Mount Agung, a volcano known to have a dubious history, continued its eruption as it spit ash 4,000 meters (2 1/2 mi) high, stranding thousands of tourists for another day. The eruption started Monday. The lava is welling in the crater and experts cannot say how long it will last. Hundreds of thousands of people have been told to leave an area 10 Km (6 mi) from the volcano’s crater. The last time it erupted was in 1963, and it killed approximately 1,100 people.
This has prompted officials to extend the closure of the Bali airport another day for fear the ash could choke the jet engines. Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded as they watched more then 440 flights be cancelled. At last count, the cancellations have stranded almost 60k people in Bali.
source: AP News app for Windows
To see these stories read and a little more, here are the links to the videos:
Until next time, Question everything,
Categories: Morning Brew Archives