2019-02-08

Headlines:

From Al Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC News, Reuters, The Globe and Mail, New York Times, and Wired

Wall Street opens lower on trade woes – (Reuters)
U.S. stocks fell at open on Friday, with technology stocks leading losses as investors were skeptical that a U.S.-China deal would be reached before the March deadline, adding to nerves over slowing global growth.

Khamenei’s ‘Death to America’ aimed at leaders not population – (Al Jazeera English)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come as Iran marks the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution.

Virginia Democrats try to thread the needle on crisis – (Associated Press)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Confronted with a three-ring scandal in the party’s top ranks, Virginia Democrats are trying to thread the needle, demanding anew that Gov. Ralph Northam resign but giving the benefit of the doubt — for the time being — to the lieutenant …

Acting U.S. attorney general won’t discuss Trump communications at hearing – (Reuters)
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Friday he would decline to answer questions about his communications with President Donald Trump at a congressional hearing expected to focus on his oversight of a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 e…

Exclusive: Once spoiler, Pakistan starts behind-scenes aid to U.S.-Taliban talks – (Reuters)
Pakistan, long at odds with the United States over the war in Afghanistan, has begun to play a behind-the-scenes but central role in supporting U.S. peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, including by facilitating travel to negotiations, U.S. officials and Tali…

Whitaker to defend Russia probe handling in U.S. hearing: testimony – (Reuters)
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will defend his handling of the U.S. special counsel’s Russia probe before a U.S. House of Representatives panel on Friday, but will not discuss his communications with President Donald Trump, according to his pre…

Actor Albert Finney dies aged 82 – (BBC News)
Oscar-nominated British actor Albert Finney has died aged 82 after a short illness

Virginia governor survives scandal by staying out of sight – (Associated Press)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — He promised to start an honest conversation about race and how to heal the lingering wounds of Virginia’s painful past. Then he disappeared.For the past week, Gov. Ralph Northam has defied widespread calls for his resignation after a raci…

Anyone but Bibi: In Israel, ex-general stirs hope of change – (Associated Press)
JERUSALEM (AP) — Former military chief Benny Gantz has burst onto Israel’s political scene as the great hope of the country’s shrinking “peace camp” with a message that is anything but dovish.The retired general, who wants to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Ne…

Hotel that launched Trump to Manhattan fame to be torn down – (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — The building that helped Donald Trump make a name for himself in his first big deal in Manhattan is being sold to developers who plan to tear it down.Developer TF Cornerstone said Thursday that it and a group managing billionaire Michael Dell’…

Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion clinic law – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Supreme Court stopped Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views on abortion rights.The justices said by a 5-4 vote late Thursday that they will not allow the state to p…

Darkening ‘global economic skies’ pull stocks lower – (Reuters)
Global stocks fell for a third straight day on Friday, and were set for their first weekly loss in seven, as investors worried about a broadening global economic slowdown and the lack of any sign of a resolution to the U.S.-China trade row.

Acting U.S. attorney general will testify before House panel – (Reuters)
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has agreed to testify on Friday before the House Judiciary Committee, the Justice Department said on Thursday, after he threatened to not show up following the panel’s warning that it could subpoena him.

Acting U.S. Attorney Gen Whitaker to testify before House panel on Friday – (Reuters)
U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on Thursday that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will testify on Friday, after he threatened not to show up following the panel’s warning that it could subpoena him.

Bezos tells of Enquirer threats to publish revealing pics – (Associated Press)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he was the target of “extortion and blackmail” by the publisher of the National Enquirer, which he said threatened to publish revealing personal photos of him unless he stopped investigating how the tabloid obtain…

White House report tries to shift Trump health care rhetoric – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report from the White House tries to shift the Trump administration’s combative rhetoric on health care, suggesting changes to the Affordable Care Act under President Donald Trump do not fundamentally undermine the health law.Due out F…

John Dingell, longest serving member of Congress, dies at 92 – (Associated Press)
DETROIT (AP) — Dubbed “Big John” for his imposing 6-foot-3 frame and sometimes intimidating manner, former Rep. John Dingell bolstered that reputation with the head of a 500-pound wild boar that greeted visitors to his Washington office. The story behind it a…

Fifty years on, Boeing’s 747 clings to life as cargo carrier – (Reuters)
Boeing’s 747 jumbo jet, an aircraft that democratized global air travel in the 1970s but fell behind modern twin-engine passenger jets, has bounced back from near death to mark its 50-year flying anniversary on Saturday, thanks to a cargo market boom fueled b…

Australia and US in record meth bust – (BBC News)
Six people have been arrested after an investigation uncovered a haul worth A$1.29bn ($910m; £705m).

Supreme Court blocks restrictive Louisiana abortion law – (Reuters)
A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday stopped a Louisiana law imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics from going into effect in its first major test on abortion since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last summer.

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From various sources

The truth about big oil and climate change – (The Economist)
Even as concerns about global warming grow, energy firms are planning to increase fossil-fuel production. None more than ExxonMobil

The disappearance of Norwegian would be bad news for consumers – (The Economist)
Three airline groups would be left dominating the market for transatlantic flights

A royal rumour upends Thai politics – (The Economist)
Could the king’s older sister become a candidate for prime minister?

Radical Web: Israeli Arab indicted for aiding Hamas via Islamic web – (The Jerusalem Post)
Allegedly, Houari was recruited online by a Hamas agent and joined various Hamas related discussion groups.

Trump immigration policy is severely hurting Iranian Jews – (The Jerusalem Post)
Trump’s policies may be aimed at curbing immigration from Muslim countries, but also harm the Baha’i and Jewish communities.

Israeli watchdog to Facebook: Remove Abbas’ party’s page – exclusive – (The Jerusalem Post)
“We strongly request that Facebook immediately close and delete Fatah’s Facebook page and ensure that no similar page is reopened.”

Susan Lucci falls down while walking the runway at an American Heart Association event – (Fox News)
After undergoing an emergency heart procedure, soap opera star Susan Lucci had a little mishap at an event meant to advocate for women with heart issues. The star was strutting her stuff in red on the runway when she took a little spill.

Empowered Dems flex muscle with host of new tax proposals – (Fox News)
Newly empowered Democrats in Washington and statehouses across the country are flexing their legislative muscle with a host of tax proposals that would affect billionaires and blue collar alike.

British actor Albert Finney dies at 82 – (ABC News)

Storm Erik causes ‘risk to life’ warnings and rush hour chaos – (Daily Mail)
The first storm of the year is currently raging across the Atlantic and is expected to track east across Northern Ireland, northern England and Scotland throughout today and into Saturday.

Fraud squad investigates wedding photographers – (Daily Mail)
Darren and Adele McDonagh, who ran Treasured Moments Photography in Leeds, are at the centre of an investigation after more than 200 newlyweds came forward about the pair.

Anti-Brexit Cambridge academic appears naked on BBC Radio 4’s Today – (Daily Mail)
Dr Victoria Bateman, a fellow in economics at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, was grilled on her unconventional approach in opposing Brexit on BBC Radio 4’s Today show.

AMI defends ‘good faith negotiations’ with Jeff Bezos but will investigate blackmail allegation – (TechCrunch)
It’s the morning after the night before for AMI. And what a night it was. The company is officially in damage control mode after it released a short statement defending its communication and behavior with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who published evidence of black…

Alfie Lamb is seen on CCTV ‘having to run to keep up with his mother’ – (Daily Mail)
Jurors were shown CCTV of 3ft tall Alfie appearing to run to keep up with his mother and her friends in Sutton. He later died and his mother’s boyfriend is accused of crushing him behind a car seat.

Libby Squire: Sister of man arrested insists he’s innocent – (Daily Mail)
Detectives have sealed off Paweł Rełowicz’s house, took away his computers and towed away his silver Vauxhall Astra after they arrested him on suspicion of abducting the Hull student, 21.

NYT: Saudi Crown Prince said he would use ‘a bullet’ on Khashoggi – (CNN)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told a top aide in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a New York Times report citing US and foreign officials with direct knowledge of intelligence reports.

National Enquirer publisher believes it ‘acted lawfully’ with Bezos – (The Hill)
The company that owns the National Enquirer said Friday that it believes the tabloid “acted lawfully” in its dealings with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, but has vowed to investigate the matter in light of Bezos’ accusations of attempted extortion.

Family want action after girl, 15, found hanged in “chaotic” care facility – (Mirror)
Sophie Bennett was found in a bathroom in Lancaster Lodge in Richmond, west London

‘I screamed and told him to stop’ – UCT VC on parking lot threat – (News24)
UCT Vice-Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng says she had to scream to get rid of a man “charging” at her in a parking lot.

Equine flu: Three more horses diagnosed as positive – (BBC Sport)
Three more horses have tested positive from trainer Donald McCain’s stables in horse racing’s equine flu crisis.

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All about Trump

Trump immigration policy is severely hurting Iranian Jews – (The Jerusalem Post)
Trump’s policies may be aimed at curbing immigration from Muslim countries, but also harm the Baha’i and Jewish communities.

Michael Knowles: Trump and those self-obsessed, frivolous Democratic Congresswomen – (Fox News)
As the 116th Congress begins, service has never looked so selfish.

Acting U.S. attorney general won’t discuss Trump communications at hearing – (Reuters)
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Friday he would decline to answer questions about his communications with President Donald Trump at a congressional hearing expected to focus on his oversight of a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 e…

Trump picks golf club, Mar-a-Lago members as ambassadors – (USA Today)
Presidents have long named friends and political allies to government posts; Trump is the first modern president to also appoint his paying customers.

Kellyanne Conway says she was assaulted at a restaurant last year – (The Guardian (UK))
Trump adviser said a woman approached her in a Mexican restaurant ‘screaming her head off’ in October 2018

Whitaker to defend Russia probe handling in U.S. hearing: testimony – (Reuters)
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will defend his handling of the U.S. special counsel’s Russia probe before a U.S. House of Representatives panel on Friday, but will not discuss his communications with President Donald Trump, according to his pre…

Acting AG Whitaker Faces Questions Over Russia Probe – (The Wall Street Journal)
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says he will answer lawmakers’ questions at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Friday, but he won’t discuss talks with President Trump.

Ivanka Trump says she knew ‘almost nothing’ about Trump Tower Moscow project – (Google News)
Ivanka Trump says in a new interview that she knew “literally almost nothing” about the Trump Tower Moscow project that’s become a central focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, adding that she has “zero concern” about the probe or the possi…

Hotel that launched Trump to Manhattan fame to be torn down – (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — The building that helped Donald Trump make a name for himself in his first big deal in Manhattan is being sold to developers who plan to tear it down.Developer TF Cornerstone said Thursday that it and a group managing billionaire Michael Dell’…

Republican congressmen send letter pleading for Dems to stop hunt for Donald Trump’s tax returns – (Newsweek)
The two congressmen said releasing the president’s returns would threaten the privacy of all American taxpayers.

Ivanka Trump: ‘Zero concern’ about Mueller investigation – (The Hill)
White House adviser Ivanka Trump says in a new interview that she isn’t concerned about the possibility of members of her family being indicted under the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

Sheriff Lashes Donald Trump’s Lies About ‘Dangerous’ El Paso Before Border Wall – (The Huffington Post)
Local officials said Trump’s made-up narrative is hurting the border city, long considered one of the safest in the nation.

Democrats’ surge of socialism could be Trump’s 2020 lifeline – (Axios)
The GOP is thrilled many of Trump’s potential 2020 opponents are endorsing the Green New Deal.

‘Death to America’ Means ‘Death to Trump,’ Iran’s Supreme Leader Says – (Google News)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has reflected on the slogan repeatedly as Iran prepares for the 40th anniversary of its revolution and struggles with renewed U.S. sanctions.

Late night comics go after Trump’s tax returns – CNN Video – (CNN)
Late-night hosts had a field day with President Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.

Cooper roasts Trump’s skewed SOTU poll to supporters – CNN Video – (CNN)
CNN’s Anderson Cooper reacts to President Trump’s poll sent to supporters asking for feedback on the President’s State of the Union address.

How Roger Stone Entangled Himself in the NFL’s Concussion Settlement – (The Wall Street Journal)
Trump’s former campaign adviser Roger Stone surfaced in an unusual conflict between lawyers representing players in a $1 billion settlement to compensate former NFL players for head injuries.

Trump has done everything he can to avoid implicating the Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi’s killing. Today, the Senate could force him to act – (Google News)
Senators in October imposed a 120-day deadline for Trump to identify and punish those behind Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. The deadline is Feb 8.

White House report tries to shift Trump health care rhetoric – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report from the White House tries to shift the Trump administration’s combative rhetoric on health care, suggesting changes to the Affordable Care Act under President Donald Trump do not fundamentally undermine the health law.Due out F…

Eye Opener: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos strikes back – (CBS News)
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos claims the National Enquirer’s owner tried to blackmail and extort him. Also, House Democrats will question Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker today in the first big faceoff between Congress and a member of the Trump Cabin…

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