2019-02-15

Headlines:

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

Exclusive: U.S. may trim over 1,000 troops from Afghanistan in belt-tightening – general – (Reuters)
Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.

US: Time to expand the international coalition against IS – (Associated Press)
MUNICH, Germany (AP) — The top Pentagon official said Friday he foresees a “bigger and stronger” American-led international coalition combatting the Islamic State group globally as the U.S. withdraws its troops from Syria.Pat Shanahan, on his first trip abroa…

Mexico to pump $3.6 billion into ailing oil firm Pemex in relief plan – (Reuters)
Mexico’s government will inject $3.6 billion into ailing state-owned oil company Pemex, including by reducing taxes paid, company officials said on Friday, a move aimed at improving the firm’s balance sheet and preventing a further downgrade to its credit rat…

China, US announce more trade talks next week – (Associated Press)
BEIJING (AP) — With a deadline looming, U.S. and Chinese negotiators will hold more talks in Washington next week aimed at ending a battle over Beijing’s technology ambitions.The announcement Friday came after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told …

Massachusetts ex-governor Weld to challenge Trump for Republican presidential nomination: Washington Post – (Reuters)
Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts who ran on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, said he will challenge U.S. President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 election, the Washington Post reporte…

Explainer: Scenic Kashmir at the heart of India-Pakistani animosity – (Reuters)
The Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir has been at the heart of more than 70 years of animosity, since the partition of the British colony of India into the separate countries of Muslim Pakistan and majority Hindu India.

Deal or delay? Wall Street doesn’t believe no-deal Brexit threat – (Reuters)
As the United Kingdom’s Brexit crisis deepens, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have differing views of the ultimate outcome but the two titans of Wall Street agree on one thing: They don’t believe there will be a no-deal Brexit.

Britain could accept Brexit backstop fix outside divorce deal: EU, UK sources – (Reuters)
Britain could accept legally-binding assurances on the disputed Irish border backstop that would not require reopening of the EU-UK Brexit deal, diplomatic sources said, signaling a possible shift from Prime Minister Theresa May’s official line.

Risk of U.S. corporate recession rises as earnings outlook dims – (Reuters)
The outlook for Wall Street earnings has deteriorated significantly in recent months, data shows, raising the risk that companies in the United States may slip into recession before its economy does – with Europe close behind.

More Brexit embarrassment for May as parliament defeats her again – (Reuters)
Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday that undermined her pledge to European Union leaders to get her divorce deal approved if they grant her concessions.

UK rapper in US ‘didn’t know what visa was’ – (BBC News)
21 Savage has given his first interview since being arrested by US immigration officials.

Kashmir suicide bomber radicalized after beating by troops, parents say – (Reuters)
A suicide bomber who killed 44 paramilitary policemen in Indian-controlled Kashmir joined a militant group after having been beaten by troops three years ago, his parents told Reuters on Friday.

Trump will sign border deal but will also declare emergency – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress lopsidedly approved a border security compromise that would avert a second painful government shutdown.But a new confrontation has been ignited — this time over President Donald Trump’s plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a nationa…

How the world votes: 2019 – (Al Jazeera English)
Nearly two billion voters in 50 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

As Democrats lean left, will voters follow? – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — What is happening to the Democrats?Captivated by a handful of liberal superstars, they are venturing where the party has long feared to tread: Steep taxes on the rich. Abolishing an immigration enforcement agency. And proposing a sweeping Gr…

Working towards food sovereignty in Palestine – (Al Jazeera English)
In the West Bank, agroecology farms and initiatives are established by Palestinians, for Palestinians.

AP Interview: Maduro reveals secret meetings with US envoy – (Associated Press)
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A month into Venezuela’s high-stakes political crisis, President Nicolas Maduro revealed in an Associated Press interview that his government has held secret talks with the Trump administration. He also predicted he would survive an …

India’s PM Modi warns Pakistan of strong response to Kashmir attack – (Reuters)
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan on Friday to expect a strong response to a bomb attack in the disputed region of Kashmir that killed 44 paramilitary policemen, ratcheting up tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Meg Ryan on Romantic Comedies, Celebrity and Leaving It All Behind – (The New York Times)
“The feeling with Hollywood was mutual. I felt done when they felt done.”

The Federal Debt Is Rising. Concern Is Not. – (The New York Times)
The United States government now owes more than $22 trillion, but debt reduction is no longer a top issue in Washington.

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From various sources

The Catalan issue pushes Spain to the brink of yet another election – (The Economist)
The prime minister failed to pass his budget this week

Egypt thwarts bomb attack on Cairo security forces – ministry – (The Jerusalem Post)
Security forces have been waging a campaign against Islamist militants over the past year which is focused on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Judge orders Labor to stop ‘Shabbat bus’ ahead of election – (The Jerusalem Post)

Prepare for a legal crisis if Trump calls a national emergency over the border wall – (Vice News)
“Even just the act of doing it is really an assault on our constitutional, democratic system.”

Hannity: We are dealing with the deep state and a huge abuse of power – (Fox News)
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe confirms meeting were held at the DOJ over ousting President Trump.

Bodycam footage shows alleged ISIS-tied Arizona man’s confrontation with officer – (Fox News)
A man who pledged allegiance to the ISIS terror group was shot by an Arizona police officer in January after the terrorist-wannabe charged the cop with a knife, newly released bodycam footage shows.

Login – (Axios)
Ina Fried, our expert on tech, illuminates the news shaping Silicon Valley and tech products. Weekday mornings

Youth Strike 4 Climate protests take place across Britain – (Daily Mail)
Youth Strike 4 Climate organisers say strikes are taking place in 60 towns and cities from Cornwall to the Highlands, in the face of ‘an alarming lack of Government leadership’ on climate change.

Man fighting for his life after being run over by his own car – (Daily Mail)
The victim saw his car – a red Citroen C1, registration number MV18 OSB – being driven away in Ashton-under-Lyme when the thugs mowed him down and drove away from the scene.

Claim Barclay told Barnier Britain does NOT need to re-open the deal – (Daily Mail)
Mr Grieve (pictured) said Tory rebels including six Cabinet members could walk out to join the fight against no deal on February 27, when the UK House of Commons is due to vote again on Brexit.

‘Hen party punch-up’ forces Ryanair flight to Malaga to be diverted – (Daily Mail)
The plane, which had been heading from Glasgow Prestwick to the southern Spanish city of Malaga, was forced to divert to Madrid.

Murder suspect a ‘father in row over a cigarette’ is remanded – (Daily Mail)
Jahmel Michael Riley, 24, from Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, has been charged with the murder of Dennis Anderson, 39, from Lewisham.

Exclusive: U.S. may trim over 1,000 troops from Afghanistan in belt-tightening – general – (Reuters)
Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.

Chicago cops blast reports that they think Smollett attack was STAGED – (Daily Mail)
ABC Chicago reported Thursday that police were investigating whether last month’s attack was staged. A CPD official responded by calling the claims ‘uninformed and inaccurate’.

Man crashes friend’s R12m Lamborghini – (News24)
A man who borrowed his friend’s Lamborghini – worth about R12m – for a Chinese New Year spin has written off the supercar after it caught fire and burnt to a crisp following a crash.

JANET STREET-PORTER: Why can’t young people protest on their own time? – (Daily Mail)
A series of so-called Youth Strikes by school students globally this Friday signal that young people are thinking and behaving like adult workers on a wage, writes JANET STREET-PORTER.

How to decarbonize America — and the world – (TechCrunch)
Ramez Naam Contributor More posts by this contributor The Ultimate Interface Is Your Brain The Green New Deal has burst onto the American stage, spurring more conversation about – and aspiration for – ambitious climate policy than at any point in at least a d…

Ben Affleck and his boys are back in town in Netflix’s <em>Triple Frontier</em> trailer – (Entertainment Weekly)
Jimmy Kimmel helped debut the new look at J.C. Chandor’s film.

What to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy S10 event – (Engadget)
We’re mere days away from Samsung’s next Unpacked event, so the Korean conglomerate is all but ready to dish the details on the Galaxy S10 smartphone family…

Former soldier, 40, pleads guilty to killing nurse ex-lover, 31 – (Daily Mail)
Desmond Sylva, 40, pleaded guilty to stabbing 31-year-old Simonne Kerr to death in her home in Battersea, south-west London this morning at the Old Bailey.

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All about Trump

Prepare for a legal crisis if Trump calls a national emergency over the border wall – (Vice News)
“Even just the act of doing it is really an assault on our constitutional, democratic system.”

Hannity: We are dealing with the deep state and a huge abuse of power – (Fox News)
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe confirms meeting were held at the DOJ over ousting President Trump.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld looking to challenge Trump in 2020 Republican primary – (CNN)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld said he’s launching a presidential exploratory committee to run in 2020 as a Republican.

Former Mass. governor takes step toward Trump primary challenge – (The Hill)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R) on Friday announced he was launching an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 White House bid, becoming the first Republican to take a significant step to challenge President Trump.

Massachusetts ex-governor Weld to challenge Trump for Republican presidential nomination: Washington Post – (Reuters)
Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts who ran on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, said he will challenge U.S. President Donald Trump for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 election, the Washington Post reporte…

National emergencies are common; declaring one for a border wall is not – (USA Today)
When Trump declares a national emergency to free up funding for his wall he will follow in a long line of presidents dating back to George Washington.

Dow Futures, Bitcoin Price Teeter as US Stock Market Digests Trump’s Shutdown Deal – (Crypto Coins News)
The Dow and bitcoin price continue to teeter on the brink of their previous-day closes. What’s spooking traders in the US stock market?

Trump to declare national emergency to free up billions for border wall – live – (The Guardian (AU))
Trump to speak at 10am in White House Rose Garden as Democrats and some Republicans attack expected declaration as unconstitutional

Trump to declare national emergency to free up billions for border wall – live – (The Guardian (UK))
Trump to speak at 10am in White House Rose Garden as Democrats and some Republicans attack expected declaration as unconstitutional

Republican Bill Weld will challenge Trump in 2020 presidential election – (Axios)
The former Massachusetts governor ran as a Libertarian in 2016.

Trump’s border emergency: The president plans a 10 a.m. announcement in the Rose Garden – (The Washington Post)
Unsatisfied with funding in a bill passed by Congress, President Trump will try to secure about $6.5 billion more for his long-promised wall without its approval.

Trump policy requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico challenged in court – (Vice News)
“Asylum seekers who are attacked, kidnapped, or killed in Mexico will be wholly unable to pursue their asylum applications.”

Live updates: Trump to declare national emergency to fund the wall – CNNPolitics – (CNN)
President Trump would deliver remarks at 10 a.m. ET today, the White House announced late Thursday night. The White House said the speech will be on “the National Security and Humanitarian Crisis on the Southern Border.”

Live updates: Trump to declare national emergency to fund the wall – CNNPolitics – (CNN)
President Trump is expected to declare a national emergency today, in order to reallocate money for a total of $8 billion in government money to fund the wall.

Marco Rubio On Trump’s Emergency Plan: ‘No Crisis Justifies Violating The Constitution’ – (The Huffington Post)
Rand Paul, John Cornyn, Susan Collins and other Republicans have also raised concerns about the plan.

Amazon dumps NYC, shocking developers who had rushed to be near its new HQ2 – (Recode)
Plus: Trump will declare a national emergency to get money for his wall; JPMorgan Chase creates its own cryptocurrency; meet Australia’s first tech billionaires.

Cooper: Trump on path that could lead to Dem showdown – CNN Video – (CNN)
CNN’s Anderson Cooper questions the timing of a possible national emergency after news that President Donald Trump is considering declaring a national emergency to get funding for a border wall.

Trump will sign border deal but will also declare emergency – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress lopsidedly approved a border security compromise that would avert a second painful government shutdown.But a new confrontation has been ignited — this time over President Donald Trump’s plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a nationa…

Stanley McChrystal: ‘I think I am at peace’ – (Financial Times)
The ‘snake-eating’ general on Trump, war movies — and the Rolling Stone interview that got him fired

Trump Organization Halts Its Red State Hotel Expansion Plans – (Fortune)
The two mid-priced hotel chains, Scion and American Idea, were to start in Mississippi and eventually total 39 properties.

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