Previous Daily News Headlines

Daily News Digest August 17, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

Chance Democrats win control (69.0%)

The Senate took a rhetorical shot on Thursday at President Trump's attacks on the media, passing a resolution affirming that the press is "not the enemy of the people."

The nonbinding resolution, which cleared the chamber by unanimous consent, also touts the "indispensable role of the free press" and says an attack on the media meant to "systematically undermine the credibility of the press as a whole [is] an attack on our democratic institutions."

At first, Ocasio-Cortez’s refusal to respond to Shapiro was treated as news (at least at Shapiro’s Daily Wire). Then, after Ocasio-Cortez explained why she ignored the offer, it became news again as Shapiro wronglyaccused her of “slandering” him. “Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions. And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one,” she tweeted. Shapiro and others on the right were quick to misread Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet as her literally accusing Shapiro of catcalling, which suggests that she was right to brush off his offer as coming from a place of bad intentions. That, and the fact that both Daily Wire articles featured cherry-picked, unflattering images of her, might lead one to think this was less about having a good-faith discussion of ideas and more just a setup.

As you know, in 2006, Judge Kavanaugh told the Committee under oath that he was “not aware of any issues” regarding “the legal justifications or the policies relating to the treatment of detainees”;[1] was “not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants”[2]; had nothing to do with issues related to rendition;[3] and was unaware of, and saw no documents related to, the warrantless wiretapping program conducted without congressional authorization.[4]

However, at least two documents that are publicly available on the Bush Library website from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as Staff Secretary suggest that he was involved in issues related to torture and rendition after 9/11.  In one, just days after the existence of the Office of Legal Counsel “torture memos” was publicly revealed, then-Deputy White House Chief of Staff Harriet Miers forwarded to Judge Kavanaugh a set of talking points addressing the memos and U.S. torture policy.[5]  The forwarded email makes clear that then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley had personally asked for Judge Kavanaugh’s review.  Similarly, another email shows that Judge Kavanaugh was included on an email chain circulating talking points on rendition and interrogation.[6]  These emails and talking points demonstrate why we need access to Judge Kavanaugh’s full record as Staff Secretary.

A bomb threat was reported at The Boston Globe on Thursday, the same day the newspaper spearheaded a campaign to publish coordinated editorials at multiple papers condemning President Trump's attacks against the press. 

Officials from the Boston police told Boston 7 News that they do not believe the threat was "super serious" but that they have increased patrols around the building.

Now, nearly eight years later, it appears that the agency botched the communication system it used to interact with its sources, according to five current and former intelligence officials. The CIA had imported the system from its Middle East operations, where the online environment was considerably less hazardous, and apparently underestimated China’s ability to penetrate it.

“The attitude was that we’ve got this, we’re untouchable,” said one of the officials who, like the others, declined to be named discussing sensitive information. The former official described the attitude of those in the agency who worked on China at the time as “invincible.”

Daily News Digest August 16, 2018

The New York Times has a nifty widget for seeing the "Free Press" editorials from around the country. You can sort them by state.

Answering a call last week from The Boston Globe, The Times is joining hundreds of newspapers, from large metro-area dailies to small local weeklies, to remind readers of the value of America’s free press. These editorials, some of which we’ve excerpted, together affirm a fundamental American institution.

This Week's Headlines: 

FBI agents in California and Washington, D.C., have investigated a series of cyberattacks over the past year that targeted a Democratic opponent of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). Rohrabacher is a15-term incumbent who is widely seen as the most pro-Russia and pro-Putin member of Congress and is a staunch supporter of President Trump.

The hacking attempts and the FBI’s involvement are described in dozens of emails and forensic records obtained by Rolling Stone.

On a frigid December day in 2017, Oleg Kalugin opens the door of his house in Rockville, Maryland, an upper-middle-class suburb of Washington, D.C., to meet me. Nothing in particular distinguishes his split-level suburban home from those of the other professionals in the neighborhood, but the man who lives there is very much out of the ordinary, a former KGB spymaster who is now an American citizen.

Born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), Kalugin, at 83, now lives just half an hour’s drive from the White House, which for decades was dead center in the crosshairs of the KGB, the dreaded secret security forces he served as head of counterintelligence. A genial host, Kalugin gives a guided tour of his sprawling library spread over three rooms and reveals himself to be a man of history, a veritable Zelig of the Cold War.

President Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan due to "erratic conduct and behavior," according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at today's press briefing.

Why it matters: Sanders said that Trump was using his "constitutional authority" as president to revoke Brennan's clearance — something that has never been done before, according to Lawfare. Trump is also "evaluating action" regarding the current and former clearances of several other former intelligence and law enforcement officials like James Comey, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

A mysterious Russian satellite displaying "very abnormal behaviour" has raised alarm in the US, according to a State Department official.

"We don't know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it," said assistant secretary Yleem Poblete at a conference in Switzerland on 14 August.

She voiced fears that it was impossible to say if the object may be a weapon.

It was an angry Paul who last month called for Brennan’s clearance to be yanked, after Brennan called Trump’s appearance at a news conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin “nothing short of treasonous.”

Paul assailed Brennan in a Fox News interview as “completely unhinged” and a “Trump hater” and in a series of tweets on July 23, said he planned to meet with Trump at the White House and tell him that “John Brennan and other partisans should have their security clearances revoked.”

Daily News Digest August 15, 2018



This Week's Headlines: 

Primaries in four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont

Josh Norman, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins, says that NFL teams and owners should ignore President Trump’s ongoing criticism of the league and players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

When asked in an interview published by The Ringer on Tuesday how the league should react to the president’s repeated attacks, Norman said they shouldn’t do anything at all. 

The Center For International Policy issued a report back in May that examined the military budget. (You will note how many items are budgeted at more money than was requested.) Besides continuing to fund the increasingly pointless war in Afghanistan, and military operations everywhere from Mali to Yemen, the JSMNDAA of 2019 includes 13 new warships, the purchase of 77 more of our favorite boondoggle, the F-35 Flying Swiss Army Knife, and a new low-yield nuke for...something. There's also another aircraft carrier tucked away in there, because having more than the rest of the world combined is never enough. We're also getting a new Stealth bomber. Some poor schlub at the Pentagon is going to have to explain to the president* that the plane isn't really invisible.

“He is such a f--- up,” the president allegedly said, according to Manigault Newman, after he saw his son had posted screenshots of emails setting up the meeting. “He screwed up again, but this time, he’s screwing us all, big-time!”

"These were coordinated arrests," Matthew Segal, a lawyer with the ACLU, told the Boston Globe. "And the marriage interviews that our clients had to go through were in fact set-ups."

In the documents, ICE official Andrew Graham is shown writing to CIS employees telling them to hold meetings at specific times, warning that multiple arrests at once carry the "potential to be a trigger for negative media interests, as we have seen in the past."

President Donald Trump objects to an effort by Congress to prevent his administration from recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.

Crimea is a region in Ukraine that has been occupied by Russia for several years, with the Russian Federation having claimed to have annexed the region in March 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the territorial matter is settled, but many in Washington disagree.

Daily News Digest August 14, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

An 11-year-old boy on Friday was able to hack into a replica of the Florida state election website and change voting results found there in under 10 minutes during the world’s largest yearly hacking convention, DEFCON 26, organizers of the event said.

Thousands of adult hackers attend the convention annually, while this year a group of children attempted to hack 13 imitation websites linked to voting in presidential battleground states.

“We’re in a fight to save the soul of America, so we’re not going to turn our eyes away from the most important truth in our country … which is that the president has no respect for our country, no respect for the Constitution and no respect for the American people,“ Steyer said Monday at an event in Lansing, Michigan, that was webcast live. “The biggest task in this country today is to return power to the American people.”

A GoFundMe for former FBI agent Peter Strzok has raised more than $120,000 in the hours since his firing was announced Monday.

The fundraising campaign, which is seeking to raise $150,000, says the money will go to a trust to cover Strzok’s “hefty — and growing” legal costs and loss of income after he was fired for sending texts critical of President Trump while involved in multiple politically relevant investigations.

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Daily News Digest August 13, 2018

Headline recap:

  1. The Nazis had a poor showing at their "Unite the Right" rally in DC and ended up disbanding early.
  2. Despite 45's bromance with Putin, the ruble fell to its lowest level in years.
  3. Oh, Lordy, there are tapes! and Omarosa has some. (Illegally obtained? Maybe.)
This Week's Headlines: 

A year after the race-fueled violence in Charlottesville, Va., a small group of white nationalists marched through downtown Washington on Sunday on their way to a rally in front of the White House.

It was over almost as soon as it began.

The white supremacists were met along their march route and at the rally site by thousands of counterdemonstrators denouncing racism and white supremacy. The white nationalists, who numbered about two dozen, stayed in Lafayette Square, a park just north of the White House, for a short time and left before 6 p.m.

It was vintage Putin, showcasing his seizure of any opportunity to divide the West.

But at the same time, the Western sanctions he hoped to get lifted have only been tightened this past week, pushing the ruble down to its lowest levels in years.

On the recording, Mr. Kelly says Ms. Manigault Newman could be facing “pretty significant legal issues” over what he alleged was misuse of a government car. She denied misusing it.

“I’d like to see this be a friendly departure,” Mr. Kelly says on the tape. “There are pretty significant legal issues that we hope don’t develop into something that, that’ll make it ugly for you.”

Daily News Digest August 12, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

Just a few examples from Wine-Banks’s bursting jewelry box: On August 4, she donned a goose pin—because the president’s erstwhile campaign director (now on trial for financial chicanery) Paul Manafort’s goose is cooked; on August 1, she wore a tiny ball of yellow-topped orange yarn (get it?) to signify that Donald Trump is unraveling; on July 29, Pinocchio himself made an appearance, to point out all the fibs told by the president and Rudy Giuliani. (A pants-on-fire brooch on July 27 made the same case.) And this past Monday, she rocked a burst of blue and purple stones, to signify the importance of Democrats and swing voters coming out for last night’s special elections.

The Trump administration reunited some migrant families, but many are still healing from the separation. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Mircy, a woman who fled Guatemala and was reunited with her son.

The good news is they spotted the whale Saturday and said she appeared “active and energetic” — though still emaciated.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association had loaded live chinook salmon on two boats to feed the three-year-old orca, identified as J50, or Scarlet, on Friday. But they failed to spot her in U.S. waters and were not authorized to feed her in Canadian territory, The Seattle Times reported.

Ige beats Hanabusa and Tulsi wins her primary.

Daily News Digest August 11, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

“I pretty much had heat exhaustion after the rally because we like to wear our black uniforms, and I drank a big Red Bull before the event. And I was hurting and she was trying to make sure I was OK,” Parker said.

Parker said he began to have doubts about his neo-Nazi beliefs the more time he spent with Khan.

And yet protecting President Donald Trump seems to be the strict role Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, has made for himself. That came into new relief this week with the leak of audio captured at a fundraiser in Washington state at which Nunes was a speaker. It was made crystal clear that Nunes is choosing the role of party leader over his constitutional role of legislative oversight. That’s not right.

That scheduling tees up the GOP to meet its goal of getting President Donald Trump's pick seated on the high court by the time its term begins in early October, barring unforeseen obstacles or a breakthrough by Democrats who are pushing to derail Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Circle Brewing said their "Election Pale" ale is meant to promote O'Rourke's campaign and to "help rally more people to go to the polls and drive an increase in voter participation."

Senior American national security officials, seeking to prevent President Trump from upending a formal policy agreement at last month’s NATO meeting, pushed the military alliance’s ambassadors to complete it before the forum even began.

The work to preserve the North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreement, which is usually subject to intense 11th-hour negotiations, came just weeks after Mr. Trump refused to sign off on a communiqué from the June meeting of the Group of 7 in Canada.

Daily News Digest August 10, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

Several residents within California’s 22nd Congressional District filed a petition in Sacramento Superior Court on Thursday morning, asking the court to remove “farmer” from Rep. Devin Nunes’ description on California ballots.

Officials in Washington, D.C., are implementing tight security measures in anticipation of Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” rally and ensuing counter-protests marking the one-year anniversary of a deadly white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Va. 

"Disclosing the identified transcript portions would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing investigation ... In addition, sealing will minimize any risk of prejudice from the disclosure of new information relating to that ongoing investigation," the special counsel's team wrote in a court filing Thursday. "The government's concerns would continue until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur."

"I’m exploring a run for the presidency of the United States, and I wanted to come to Iowa and listen to people and learn about some issues that are facing the citizens of Iowa and do my homework," Avenatti told the Des Moines Register in an interview Thursday.

“The panel held that there was no justification for the EPA’s decision in its 2017 order to maintain a tolerance for chlorpyrifos in the face of scientific evidence that its residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children,” Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote in the court’s opinion.

Daily News Digest August 9, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

For the most part, the justices face allegations that they used state resources and money to line their pockets and fund their lifestyles, it added.

Russian operatives have “penetrated” some of Florida’s election systems ahead of the 2018 midterms, Sen. Bill Nelson said Wednesday, adding new urgency about hacking.

“They have already penetrated certain counties in the state and they now have free rein to move about,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times. He said something similar a day earlier in Tallahassee but declined to elaborate.

Democrats submitted the FOIA requests to the CIA, the National Archives, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security for documents tied to Kavanaugh's three-year period as staff secretary for President George W. Bush.

"Yellow jackets have their place. Although they can be seen as pests due to their attraction to our food when we are dining outdoors, in typical scenarios they are beneficial insects, feeding on insects such as caterpillars that might otherwise damage your garden," said Heather Stoven, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. 

"So if we actually vote to impeach, OK, what that does is that triggers the Senate then has to take it up," he said on the recording. "Well, and you have to decide what you want right now because the Senate only has so much time.”

He continued: "Do you want them to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court justice, the new Supreme Court justice?"

Daily News Digest August 8, 2018

This Week's Headlines: 

The ACLU is arguing against “expedited removal” policies, put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that it says “generally” deny claims of violence of that nature.

“This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” Jennifer Chang Newell, managing attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. “It’s clear the administration’s goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”

“I thought it was a compliment,” Ryan told The New York Times. 

But Ryan said after the several bills were passed by the Republican-controlled Congress, the president told him that he would stop referring to him with the nickname.

"So I guess he meant it as an insult all along,” the Speaker said. “I didn’t realize.”

Mattis, 67, has been weighing a run for the presidency since May of this year, when he began bankrolling the efforts of a presidential exploratory committee.

That effort has thus far stayed under the radar through the use of non-disclosure agreements with vendors, solidarity among the Mattis loyalists involved and because exploratory committees are not required to file any paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

Vladimir Putin presented President Donald Trump with a series of requests during their private meeting in Helsinki last month, including new talks on controlling nuclear arms and prohibiting weapons in space, according to a Russian document obtained by POLITICO.

A page of proposed topics for negotiation, not previously made public, offers new insights into the substance of the July 16 dialogue that even Trump's top advisers have said they were not privy to at the time. Putin shared the contents of the document with Trump during their two-hour conversation, according to a U.S. government adviser who provided an English-language translation.

O’Rourke treated the email as an order, but Moskowitz is not his boss. In fact, he is not even a government official. Moskowitz is a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain high-service “concierge” medical care.

More to the point, he is one-third of an informal council that is exerting sweeping influence on the VA from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida. The troika is led by Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, who is a longtime acquaintance of President Trump’s. The third member is a lawyer named Marc Sherman. None of them has ever served in the U.S. military or government.