2018-12-13

Headlines:

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

Ahead of Yemen Vote, Trump Officials Warn of Harming Ties With Saudi Arabia – (The New York Times)
The Senate is reconsidering American military support to Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s crown prince was accused of ordering the murder of a dissident journalist.

Maria Butina Admits to Being Part of a Russian Effort to Influence the N.R.A. and Republicans – (The New York Times)
The Russian national has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors about attempts to shift conservatives’ views to see Russia as a friend, not a foe.

Russian in US spy case pleads guilty – (BBC News)
Accused in the US of acting as agent for the Kremlin, Maria Butina has signed a deal with prosecutors.

Yemen’s contested port city of Aden shows challenge of peace – (Associated Press)
ADEN, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s government nearly saw itself pushed into the sea by advancing rebels here three years ago. Now the port city of Aden shows the challenges that will likely still plague the nation following any potential peace agreement. Bursts of he…

U.S. labor market tightening; inflation pressures muted – (Reuters)
The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits tumbled to near a 49-year low last week, which could ease concerns about a slowdown in the labor market and economy.

Mexico will pay for wall with trade, Trump says after call with Mexican president – (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Mexico is paying for a border wall through trade and he did not mention the subject on a call with his Mexican counterpart, as he focuses on getting the U.S. Congress to fund the project.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic reaches space – (BBC News)
The latest test flight by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic makes it to space and back safely.

Apple plans new $1 billion campus for Austin, Texas – (Reuters)
Apple Inc said on Thursday it would spend $1 billion to build a second campus in Austin, Texas, that will house up to 15,000 workers as part of a broader push by U.S. companies to create more domestic jobs.

Stocks edge up on trade hopes; Euro dips after ECB – (Reuters)
A gauge of world equities climbed for a third straight session on U.S. trade hopes on Thursday and the pound and the euro eased after the latest bout of Brexit drama and ECB announcement.

Democrats in New Jersey Have a Firm Grip on Power. They Want Even More. – (The New York Times)
Democrats want to make Republicans a permanent minority in the state by essentially writing gerrymandering into the State Constitution.

What Pelosi Has Promised to Win Speaker Votes – (The New York Times)
The next speaker will be elected on Jan. 3. To muster enough support, Nancy Pelosi is striking deals with members of her caucus. Here are some of those bargains.

Recall after tampons ‘unravel’ during use – (BBC News)
Women reported irritation and injury after some tampons came apart inside their bodies.

Trump Says Cohen Failed Him as His Lawyer and Blames Him for Campaign Finance Violations – (The New York Times)
Mr. Trump again dismissed the campaign violations that Mr. Cohen is accused of committing at his behest and said they were civil violations at best.

Lost Indonesian girls among 61k missing in global migration – (Associated Press)
FATUKOKO, Indonesia (AP) — The stranger showed up at the girl’s door one night with a tantalizing job offer: Give up your world, and I will give you a future. It was a chance for 16-year-old Marselina Neonbota to leave her isolated village in one of the poore…

Scientists scour WWI shipwreck to solve military mystery – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A hundred years ago, a mysterious explosion hit the only major U.S. warship to sink during World War I. Now the Navy believes it has the answer to what doomed the USS San Diego: An underwater mine set by a German submarine cruising in waters…

Virgin Galactic crew reaches edge of space in flight milestone – (Reuters)
A Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space on Thursday, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first U.S. commercial human flight to reach space since America’s shuttle program ended in 2011.

Long-time GE bear ditches negative view, shares jump – (Reuters)
A JP Morgan analyst who has long held a negative outlook on General Electric Co shares as they have tumbled upgraded his view on the conglomerate’s stock on Thursday.

Police hunt Strasbourg market gunman, dead or alive – (Reuters)
Armed French police launched an operation in Strasbourg’s Neudorf neighborhood on Thursday as they pursue the hunt for a gunman who killed three people in an attack on a Christmas market.

Detention of Canadians raises stakes in China-US-Canada row – (Associated Press)
BEIJING (AP) — China confirmed Thursday that it has detained two Canadian men, raising the stakes in a three-way dispute over a Chinese technology executive facing possible extradition from Canada to the United States. Entrepreneur Michael Spavor and former d…

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer – (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump has now been abandoned by two of his most powerful protectors — his longtime lawyer and the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid — bringing a perilous investigation into his campaign a step closer to the Oval …

***

From various sources

Netanyahu to increase West Bank security and settler building after attac – (The Jerusalem Post)
Two soldiers were killed and nine people were injured in those attacks, mostly civilians.

Security Council to convene on Hezbollah tunnels at Israeli request – (The Jerusalem Post)
Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, requested the Security Council meeting as part of a larger push to pressure Hezbollah diplomatically amidst Operation Northern Shield.

Gun attacks in West Bank bring back memories of worse to come – (The Jerusalem Post)
The latest wave of attacks has included shootings, but there are other attempted attacks that take place in the background, and have continued to take place over the years, often hidden from view.

Bennett vows to raise bill allowing expulsion of terrorists after attacks – (The Jerusalem Post)
The bill had been stymied in the past by legal experts, who said it would be disqualified by the Supreme Court.

Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina admits to conspiracy against U.S. – (Vice News)
“Butina sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics.”

Warhammer: Chaosbane: Elontir (High Elf) Gameplay – WARHAMMER DIABLO-LIKE – IGN.com – (IGN)
Chris from the Warhammer: Chaosbane development team walks you through gameplay of Elontir, the high elf class from the upcoming Diablo-style Warhammer game.

Vasilevskiy to start for Lightning against Maple Leafs – (NHL News)
Andrei Vasilevskiy will start for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Amalie Arena on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVAS, SUN, SNO, NHL.TV), his first game back after missing 14 games with a broken left foot.

Anthem: Legion of Dawn Edition Trailer – IGN First – IGN.com – (IGN)
Get a look at Anthem’s Legion of Dawn Edition, including the exclusive armor pack. As a bonus, this trailer gives a bit of story background on the Legion of Dawn too!

Everything you need to know about Huawei, Meng Wanzhou and her possible extradition | CBC News – (CBC News)
A global firestorm was set off with the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. As she awaits extradition hearings on $10 million bail, CBC answers some frequently asked questions about the case.

Toronto, Vancouver most ‘vulnerable’ to interest rate hikes: CMHC | CBC News – (CBC News)
Canadians living in the country’s two largest cities may find themselves more “vulnerable” to interest rate increases as personal debt levels in Toronto and Vancouver continue to hit record levels, warns a Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation report.

IPT – Image Perspective Transformation – (Hacker News)

Threatened with Tory insurgency, Theresa May’s survival streak continues | CBC News – (CBC News)
In blocking a Tory coup, May has managed to sidestep her party’s brutal family feud, the same one that started the U.K. down the bumpy Brexit road in the first place. But getting through that challenge was only one obstacle on a road still crowded with obstac…

Ingraham: Immigration truths the Democrats denied – (Fox News)
Democratic leaders Pelosi and Schumer disagree with Trump during meeting over border wall and funding for it.

Maria Butina pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy – (Fox News)
Russian agent Maria Butina changes her plea to guilty on charges she tried to influence American politicians as part of plea deal; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports.

Maria Butina Pleaded Guilty To Conspiring To Act As A Russian Agent In The US – (Buzzfeed)
Butina pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, and will delay sentencing while she cooperates with the government.

Report: Iran hackers trying to infiltrate US gov’t emails – (Fox News)
A bombshell new report from the AP uncovers efforts by Iran hackers to infiltrate the U.S. Treasury Department; Gillian Turner has the details.

Strasbourg market attack death toll rises to 3 amid manhunt | CBC News – (CBC News)
The death toll in an attack on Strasbourg’s Christmas market rose to three on Thursday as police searched through eastern France and manned checkpoints on the German border in a hunt for a fugitive alleged to be the gunman.

Mrs. Trump travels to Children’s National Hospital – (Fox News)

Google Assistant can now do British and Australian accents in the US – (TechCrunch)
Even the old smart assistant needs a fresh coat of paint, from time to time. For those looking to switch things up a touch, Google announced today that Assistant is now capable of speaking in a couple of additional accents for U.S.-based users. Head to the Se…

Ahead of Yemen Vote, Trump Officials Warn of Harming Ties With Saudi Arabia – (The New York Times)
The Senate is reconsidering American military support to Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s crown prince was accused of ordering the murder of a dissident journalist.

***

All about Trump

Ingraham: Immigration truths the Democrats denied – (Fox News)
Democratic leaders Pelosi and Schumer disagree with Trump during meeting over border wall and funding for it.

Mrs. Trump travels to Children’s National Hospital – (Fox News)

Ahead of Yemen Vote, Trump Officials Warn of Harming Ties With Saudi Arabia – (The New York Times)
The Senate is reconsidering American military support to Saudi Arabia after the kingdom’s crown prince was accused of ordering the murder of a dissident journalist.

Pelosi mocks Trump claim on Mexico paying for wall: ‘The Oval Office is an evidence-free zone’ – (The Hill)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at a press briefing on Thursday mocked&

Pro Rata podcast: The Trump Show, season two – (Axios)
President Trump’s first two years were marked by chaos and consequence. The next two might look very different.

Mexico will pay for wall with trade, Trump says after call with Mexican president – (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Mexico is paying for a border wall through trade and he did not mention the subject on a call with his Mexican counterpart, as he focuses on getting the U.S. Congress to fund the project.

Lanny Davis: Michael Cohen’s claims have been corroborated – (Fox News)
Michael Cohen’s former attorney, Lanny Davis, responds to claims that the testimony of President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen cannot be trusted, says prosecutors from the Southern District of New York presented witnesses and documents that corroborat…

Comey admits decision to send FBI agents to interview Mike Flynn was not standard – (Fox News)
Former FBI director James Comey admitted in a recent interview that he personally made the decision to send a pair of agents to interview President Trump’s national security adviser Mike Flynn in 2017, and acknowledged the arrangement was not typical for deal…

Trump tweets that Michael Flynn got a “great deal” – (Axios)
“They gave General Flynn a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated.”

Trump Says Cohen Failed Him as His Lawyer and Blames Him for Campaign Finance Violations – (The New York Times)
Mr. Trump again dismissed the campaign violations that Mr. Cohen is accused of committing at his behest and said they were civil violations at best.

Trump claims Flynn got ‘great deal’ because prosecutors ’embarrassed’ – (The Hill)
President Trump on Thursday claimed that prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s office gave his former national security adviser Michael Flynn “a great deal” because they felt badly about how he had been treated in the investigation.

Trump’s new Africa strategy aims to counter China, Russia – (Axios)
China has been the dominant trade partner for a decade.

The Cost Of Trump’s Political Incompetence – (The American Conservative)
The president’s ineptness is going to be a disaster for his biggest supporters

Bolton says no plans to reschedule Trump-Putin meeting – (The Hill)
National Security Adviser John Bolton said Thursday there are no plans to reschedule a meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

President Trump Renews Claim He Didn’t Tell His Former Lawyer Michael Cohen to Break the Law – (Fortune)
Trump claims hush money payments to a porn star were personal and not campaign expenses, and therefore legal.

Byron York: Why Republicans ‘shrug off’ the Michael Cohen case – (Google News)
Democrats and media commentators are noting that many Republicans are “shrugging off” the fact that Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to felony campaign finance violations which prosecutors say President Trump directed him to commit. The president, they say, is “i…

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer – (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump has now been abandoned by two of his most powerful protectors — his longtime lawyer and the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid — bringing a perilous investigation into his campaign a step closer to the Oval …

FCC considers slashing regulations on “Big 4” broadcast networks – (Axios)
The FCC and Trump think deregulation is the best way to allow legacy media to compete with Big Tech.

House won’t vote on government funding, wall until next week – (The Hill)
House Republicans are putting off a vote on a bill that would fund the government and provide $5 billion in funding for President Trump’s border wall. A vote schedule released by the House GOP does not

AP Exclusive: Iran hackers hunt nuke workers, US officials – (Associated Press)
LONDON (AP) — As U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran last month, hackers scrambled to break into personal emails of American officials tasked with enforcing them, The Associated Press has found — another sign of how deeply …

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