2019-02-16

Headlines:

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

Trump’s Attempt to Circumvent Congress Leaves Uneasy Senate Republicans With Hard Choice – (The New York Times)
It remains to be seen whether Senate Republicans will act collectively to try to stop the president or how far into unchartered territory they are willing to follow him.

Dismissed employee kills five co-workers in Illinois factory shooting – (Reuters)
A gunman opened fire at an Illinois factory just after receiving notice of termination from his job there on Friday, killing five fellow workers and wounding five policemen before he was slain by police, authorities said.

Nigeria’s candidates blame each other in surprise vote delay – (Associated Press)
YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s top candidates on Saturday condemned the last-minute decision to delay the presidential election for a week until Feb. 23, blaming each other but appealing to Africa’s largest democracy for calm.The decision, announced just five…

Exclusive: McCarrick defrocking shows ‘bishops not above the law’ – top Vatican investigator – (Reuters)
The defrocking of former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick is a “very important signal” to the Catholic Church hierarchy that no one is above the law, the Vatican’s top sexual crimes investigator said on Saturday.

Nigerian presidential poll postponed, opposition slams decision – (Reuters)
Nigeria’s president and the leading opposition candidate urged people to remain calm after a national election scheduled for Saturday was postponed by a week just five hours before polls were due to open.

Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick over sex abuse – (Associated Press)
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing confession and of sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Holy See said Saturday.McCarrick…

Merkel defends Iran deal, multilateralism but Pence resists – (Associated Press)
MUNICH (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel robustly defended European nations’ decision to stand by the Iran nuclear deal in a spirited backing Saturday of her multilateral approach to global affairs, but U.S. Vice President Mike Pence promptly accused Eur…

A Mother Learns the Identity of Her Child’s Grandmother. A Sperm Bank Threatens to Sue. – (The New York Times)
The results of a consumer genetic test identified the mother of the man whose donated sperm was used to conceive Danielle Teuscher’s daughter. Legal warnings soon followed.

Isolated and Adrift, an American Woman Turned Toward Iran – (The New York Times)
Monica Witt’s defection to Iran appears to have been part of a radicalization that began in military service and accelerated in graduate school.

Nigeria commission says transport delays behind vote postponement – (Reuters)
Nigeria’s presidential election was delayed by a week due to delays in transporting electoral material and was not a result of external pressure, the chairman of the electoral commission said on Saturday.

Climate change means more floods, great and localized – (Associated Press)
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — When he took the job 15 years ago, Horry County Emergency Manager Randy Webster figured his biggest disasters would be wind and surge rolling over his county’s beaches, South Carolina’s top tourist destination.Instead, his worries have s…

Pence presses Merkel over Nordstream, Iran deal – (Reuters)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday he told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Europe and the United States need to stand together against Iran and he reiterated Washington’s opposition to the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline.

Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, star of ‘Downfall,’ dies at 77 – (Associated Press)
BERLIN (AP) — Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who played Adolf Hitler cooped up in his Berlin bunker in “Downfall” and an angel in Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire,” has died. He was 77.German news agency dpa reported that Ganz’s management said Saturday he died in Zuri…

Appeal for calm after Nigeria poll delay – (BBC News)
Political parties vent anger at the election commission after voting is postponed at the 11th hour.

Iran says Pakistan to ‘pay high price’ over attack, warns Saudi – (Reuters)
Iran warned neighboring Pakistan on Saturday it would “pay a heavy price” for allegedly harboring militants who killed 27 of its elite Revolutionary Guards in a suicide bombing near the border earlier this week, state television reported.

Nigeria: Opposition parties lambast delayed presidential poll – (Al Jazeera English)
Delay to presidential poll prompts concerns among opposition politicians, supporters over possible rigging.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s skewed picture of border perils – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump describes drugs flowing across the hinterlands from Mexico, a federal prison population laden with criminals who are in the U.S. illegally and a Texas city transformed by a border barrier into a safe place to live. It’…

Nine rescued from flooded Zimbabwe mine – (BBC News)
Hope had faded for dozens trapped underground after a dam burst nearby.

Islamic State’s ‘caliphate’ on brink of defeat in Syria – (Reuters)
U.S.-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Islamic State’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat.

‘Many civilians’ still trapped with IS – (BBC News)
Kurdish fighters suggest IS will not be defeated on Saturday, despite President Trump’s claim.

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From various sources

Histadrut chief Avi Nissenkorn joins Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party – (The Jerusalem Post)
Nissenkorn said he is leaving his post “with a heavy heart,” but said his priorities will remain the same.

Pence, Merkel trade jabs over which is emboldening Iran – (The Jerusalem Post)
“We cannot strengthen the West by becoming dependent on the East,” Pence said.

Iran rejects antisemitism allegation by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence – (The Jerusalem Post)
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander in January threatened Israel, which Iran does not recognize, with destruction if it attacks Iran, state media reported.

Trump and Coulter trade blows over Twitter in regard to state of emergency – (The Jerusalem Post)
Trump said in a Rose Garden speech this morning that he did not and does not take Coulter’s views into account when making his political decisions.

The cycle of inaction after mass shootings – CNN Video – (CNN)
When tragedy strikes in the form of a mass shooting, families grieve, politicians react, and no further action is usually taken.

Aurora police chief: Those who died did not deserve this – CNN Video – (CNN)
The gunman at the Illinois manufacturing business where five employees were killed and five police officers were wounded was being let go by the company, according to Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.

Merkel attacks US isolationism – (Financial Times)
German chancellor warns against American troop withdrawals

Laura Muir records third fastest indoor mile at Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix – BBC Sport – (BBC Sport)
Laura Muir sets the third fastest indoor mile of all time, smashing the British record in the process, at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

Saturday’s EFL: Norwich heading top of the Championship; Sheff Utd and West Brom in control – (BBC Sport)
Follow live text coverage of Saturday’s games in the Championship, League One and League Two.

Van Noy: Rams didn’t try ‘one wrinkle’ in Super Bowl loss – (NFL News)
Kyle Van Noy was surprised that the juggernaut Rams had failed to surprise the adaptable Patriots with any schematic surprises or changes in Super Bowl LII.

Bruno Ganz, who famously played Hitler in <em>Downfall</em>, dies at 77 – (Entertainment Weekly)
Ganz, also known for ‘Wings of Desire,’ was diagnosed with colon cancer last summer.

The Best Nintendo Switch Deals and Bundles 2019 – IGN – (IGN)
If you’re looking to pick up a new Nintendo Switch and save a few bucks, you don’t have a lot of options.

Travis Kalanick quietly lays the foundation for his post-Uber second act – (Axios)
Kalanick is launching CloudKitchens, a global network of commercial kitchens for delivery-only restaurants.

Appeal to trace two men missing from Dublin – (RTE)
Gardaí have appealed for help in locating two men missing from Dublin.

– (Fox Sports)

Ramaphosa knows SA doesn’t trust ‘foolish’ ANC – Holomisa – (News24)
Special courts to investigate and prosecute those in the public and private sector involved in corruption will become a reality if the UDM should come to power, says the party’s president Bantu Holomisa.

A Panicked Stampede At A “Hamilton” Performance Injured 3 After A Medical Emergency Was Confused For A Shooting – (Buzzfeed)
According to audience members, “people were screaming, ducking down, crawling on the floor” and “shouts of ‘gun’ could be heard.”

Aurora Police Department holds presser following shooting – (Fox News)

40 Of The Best Baby Shower Gifts, According To Parents – (Buzzfeed)
*Shower* your baby-having pals in gifts you can be sure they’ll love.

Trump’s Attempt to Circumvent Congress Leaves Uneasy Senate Republicans With Hard Choice – (The New York Times)
It remains to be seen whether Senate Republicans will act collectively to try to stop the president or how far into unchartered territory they are willing to follow him.

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All about Trump

Trump and Coulter trade blows over Twitter in regard to state of emergency – (The Jerusalem Post)
Trump said in a Rose Garden speech this morning that he did not and does not take Coulter’s views into account when making his political decisions.

Trump’s Attempt to Circumvent Congress Leaves Uneasy Senate Republicans With Hard Choice – (The New York Times)
It remains to be seen whether Senate Republicans will act collectively to try to stop the president or how far into unchartered territory they are willing to follow him.

House Democrats take first steps to obtain notes from Trump-Putin meetings – (Axios)
Committee chairmen Adam Schiff and Eliot Engel met with the House counsel to discuss legal options.

Trump Takes Off To Mar-A-Lago After National Emergency Declaration – (The Huffington Post)
The trip marks the president’s 223rd day on one of his properties.

National Border Patrol Council president on backlash over Trump’s national emergency declaration – (Fox News)
Brandon Judd has long-supported President Trump’s efforts to secure the southern border.

Trump neglects to answer Acosta’s immigration question – CNN Video – (CNN)
President Trump gets contentious with CNN’s Jim Acosta and another reporter during a press conference in which he declared a national emergency.

2020 Democrats are entering the race as angry fighters or optimistic pragmatists – (Axios)
They ultimately have to choose between someone who’s the mirror image of Trump — or the opposite.

Emergency declaration is clearest sign Donald Trump and Republicans are divided going into 2020 campaign – (USA Today)
Trump’s decision to declare a “national emergency” to help build his border wall comes over the objections of many congressional Republicans.

‘I didn’t need to do this.’ Critics say Trump quote undercuts national emergency for border wall – (USA Today)
Thirty minutes into an off-the-cuff defense of his national emergency, President Trump made an admission that handed ammunition to his opponents.

Trump’s Venezuela policy isn’t a case of right versus left. It’s a case of right versus wrong. – (MSNBC)
The president has built an international coalition, engaged in typical diplomatic pressure tactics and is supporting the human rights of Venezuelans.

Pence hails ‘remarkable, extraordinary’ Trump tenure in attack on US allies – (The Guardian (UK))
Vice-president tells European and Asian allies they should follow the US in quitting the Iran deal and recognizing Juan Guaido

Four False Assumptions About Trump’s Wall Emergency – (Bloomberg)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s skewed picture of border perils – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump describes drugs flowing across the hinterlands from Mexico, a federal prison population laden with criminals who are in the U.S. illegally and a Texas city transformed by a border barrier into a safe place to live. It’…

2 coal plants to be shuttered as Trump loses power fight with Tennessee Valley Authority – (Axios)
Coal-fired power is steadily losing market share to gas and renewables, despite the White House’s efforts.

Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown – (The Hill)
President Trump departed Washington to travel to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday after signing a spending package to avert another government shutdown.

Trump keeps trying to win a base he’s already won, while forgetting everyone else – (Google News)
First things first: The theme song of the week is Law & Order theme song by Mike Post.

‘Many civilians’ still trapped with IS – (BBC News)
Kurdish fighters suggest IS will not be defeated on Saturday, despite President Trump’s claim.

Trump’s national emergency declaration slammed by conservative groups – (Newsweek)
“No president looks at the powers left by his predecessor as a ceiling,” said FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon.

What To Know About The Mueller Investigation Into Russian Election Interference – (The Huffington Post)
Here’s where things stand with the special counsel’s look into Trump and the Kremlin.

Fact-checking Trump’s speech declaring a national emergency – (CNN)
President Donald Trump on Friday signed a national emergency declaration to address “an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.” He also spoke about a wide variety of issues, including trade with Chin…

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