2018-12-24

Headlines:

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

Explainer: ‘Plunge Protection Team’ to convene amid Wall Street rout – (Reuters)
The Trump administration is arranging a phone call on Monday with top regulators to discuss financial markets amid a rout on Wall Street.

Walmart heirs promote charter schools among black community – (Associated Press)
Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune have been working to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community. The Walton family, as one of the leading sup…

Court says Justice Ginsburg up and working after surgery – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is up and working as she recuperates from cancer surgery. A spokeswoman for the court, Kathy Arberg, also says that Ginsburg remained in New York at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Sunday. …

Etna erupts amid dozens of tremors – (BBC News)
Europe’s most active volcano erupts, with reports of more than 130 earthquakes.

How a year of ‘endless storms’ battered Argentina’s economy – (Reuters)
Argentine government worker Fabián Pennella lost his job on Aug. 17, just as his country plunged deeper into economic crisis. On the same day, President Mauricio Macri acknowledged in a news conference that more Argentines were living in poverty.

Militants storm government building in Afghan capital, take hostages – (Reuters)
Militants stormed a government building in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Monday, taking civilians hostage as they fought a gun battle against Afghan soldiers, officials said.

White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides in the long-running fight over funding President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall appear to have moved toward each other, but a shutdown of one-fourth of the federal government entered Christmas without a clear resolution in…

Mnuchin to convene ‘Plunge Protection Team’, markets slide – (Reuters)
The Trump administration is arranging a phone call on Monday with top U.S. regulators to discuss financial markets as stocks fell again amid concern about slowing growth, the government shutdown and the independence of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Depart…

Wall Street falls for fourth straight day, with no Santa in sight – (Reuters)
Technology stocks led a broad selloff on Wall Street on Monday, as the U.S. government shutdown threatens to spill into the next year and the White House moves into fire-fighting mode amid what is already the S&P 500’s worst December since the Great Depressio…

Indonesia searches for tsunami victims; death toll hits 373 – (Associated Press)
TANJUNG LESUNG, Indonesia (AP) — Efforts to collect hundreds of bodies and save the injured were stepped up in Indonesia on Monday following the country’s latest tsunami, as scientists collected evidence on how a volcanic eruption triggered the weekend traged…

Israeli government falls, early elections called for April – (Associated Press)
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government agreed Monday to hold early elections in April after the ruling coalition appeared to come up short on votes needed to pass a contentious piece of court-ordered legislation. Netanyahu sai…

Indonesia hunts for survivors as volcano tsunami toll nears 400 – (Reuters)
Indonesian military and rescue teams fanned out across a stretch of coastline on Monday, hoping to find survivors of a tsunami triggered by a landslide from a volcano that killed at least 373 people.

Images of ‘missing’ Dubai princess released – (BBC News)
Sheikha Latifa was reportedly kidnapped earlier this year during an apparent escape effort.

LeBron apologises for ‘Jewish money’ post – (BBC News)
The basketball star was called out after he shared a lyric with his Instagram followers.

Pakistan’s former PM sentenced to 7 years for corruption – (Associated Press)
ISLAMABAD (AP) — An anti-graft tribunal sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison for corruption on Monday, drawing criticism from his party, which said the decision was a “black stain” on the justice system. The verdict came after…

Indonesian Officials Warn of New Tsunami Risk as Volcano Rumbles – (The New York Times)
At least 373 people were killed and more than 1,459 injured when a 10-foot tall tsunami struck on Saturday.

‘Fix-it’ man Shanahan working to streamline defense spending – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — The sooner-than-expected departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shifts the focus to President Donald Trump’s appointment of an acting Pentagon chief and plans for a permanent replacement. It also signals an acrimonious end to a tense rela…

Gunmen storm Kabul government compound, gun battle ensues – (Al Jazeera English)
Attackers detonate car bomb outside Ministry of Public Works as they enter the building triggering gun battle.

Indonesia tsunami death toll rises – (BBC News)
The country’s disaster mitigation agency says at least 373 people died and 128 remain missing.

Mattis signs order withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria – (Reuters)
Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has signed an order withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria, a Defense Department spokesman said on Monday, following through on a decision by President Donald Trump that helped trigger Mattis’ resignation last week.

***

From various sources

How will the elections affect in Trump’s peace plan – (The Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu has reportedly requested a delay, and the administration’s desire to get on with its peace process may have factored in to his call for elections seven months earlier than necessary.

How much will elections cost Israel’s economy? – (The Jerusalem Post)
Like many Western countries, Israel provides substantial state funding for political parties and their campaigns.

Thousands flock to Bethlehem for Christmas Eve – (The Jerusalem Post)
Beginning in the morning Bethlehem’s preparations for Christmas Eve were set in motion as barricades and checkpoints were put up around the old port of the city leading to Manger Square.

Israel Air Force receives C-130J transport plane – (The Jerusalem Post)
“The aircraft improves the capabilities of the Air Force and the heavy transport division,” read a statement released by the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit.

Election because of graft, not draft – (The Jerusalem Post)
“Do you expect your legal investigations to be frozen during the election,” Netanyahu was asked.

In stock market meltdowns like this one, look to buy ‘babies that get tossed out with the bathwater,’ Oppenheimer says – (Business Insider)
In stock market meltdowns like this one, look to buy ‘babies that get tossed out with the bathwater,’ Oppenheimer says

In stock market meltdowns like this one, look to buy ‘babies that get tossed out with the bathwater,’ Oppenheimer says – (Business Insider (UK))
In stock market meltdowns like this one, look to buy ‘babies that get tossed out with the bathwater,’ Oppenheimer says

Christmas is about ‘bringing light to the people around us,’ Trudeau says in annual message | CBC News – (CBC News)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians to stand together as they reflect on the year gone by and look ahead to the New Year.

Sussex Police backtrack on claims there may never have been a drone – (Daily Mail)
Paul Gait, 47, and his wife Elaine Kirk, released a statement outside their home near Gatwick today in which they said they have been receiving medical care due to stress.

On Christmas Eve, Chevrolet drivers can track Santa from their cars – (TechCrunch)
North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has been tracking Santa’s progress around the globe every Christmas Eve for more than 60 years. Even a government shutdown won’t prevent NORAD from completing its once-a-year mission. Now, General Motors is …

How is Christmas celebrated in Korea? With condoms, motels and the pill – (Newsweek)
For a nation that has a substantial number of Christians, Christmas is not so much about the birth of Christ as a romantic holiday for lovers.

Returning trio will help Manchester City bounce back – Delph – (FourFourTwo)
Fabian Delph is confident Manchester City will bounce back from their defeat to Crystal Palace now they have a fully-fit squad.

Remembering the startups we lost in 2018 – (TechCrunch)
There are few things in this world more difficult than launching a successful startup. It takes talent, know-how, money and a hell of a lot of good timing and luck. And even with all of those magical components in place, the odds may still be against you. At …

A Christmas Day of two halves! Britain’s weather split down the middle – (Daily Mail)
The Met Office has already issued yellow weather warnings for fog in Northern Ireland and central and south-west Scotland for dense fog and freezing fog patches.

Trump rips ‘Little Bob Corker,’ US envoy McGurk over Iran deal – (The Hill)
President Trump on Monday attacked outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Brett McGurk, the envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), over the Iran nuclear deal.

Explainer: ‘Plunge Protection Team’ to convene amid Wall Street rout – (Reuters)
The Trump administration is arranging a phone call on Monday with top regulators to discuss financial markets amid a rout on Wall Street.

No end in sight to the government shutdown as negotiations between Trump and Democrats stall over holidays – (Newsweek)
The House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene for regular business Thursday at 4 p.m. and resume the process of hashing out a deal on border wall funding.

Are Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth married? Fans speculate after pics emerge from party – (USA Today)
After Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s friend posted a photo and video on Instagram, fans are speculating that the couple got married.

Walmart heirs promote charter schools among black community – (Associated Press)
Amid fierce debate over whether charter schools are good for black students, the heirs to the Walmart company fortune have been working to make inroads with advocates and influential leaders in the black community. The Walton family, as one of the leading sup…

Met Office Christmas Day weather warning issued for most of the country – (Mirror)
We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story

***

All about Trump

How will the elections affect in Trump’s peace plan – (The Jerusalem Post)
Netanyahu has reportedly requested a delay, and the administration’s desire to get on with its peace process may have factored in to his call for elections seven months earlier than necessary.

Trump rips ‘Little Bob Corker,’ US envoy McGurk over Iran deal – (The Hill)
President Trump on Monday attacked outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Brett McGurk, the envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), over the Iran nuclear deal.

Explainer: ‘Plunge Protection Team’ to convene amid Wall Street rout – (Reuters)
The Trump administration is arranging a phone call on Monday with top regulators to discuss financial markets amid a rout on Wall Street.

No end in sight to the government shutdown as negotiations between Trump and Democrats stall over holidays – (Newsweek)
The House and Senate are scheduled to reconvene for regular business Thursday at 4 p.m. and resume the process of hashing out a deal on border wall funding.

US commander in Afghanistan says no orders to pull out – (RTE)
The top US commander in Afghanistan has not received orders to pull forces out of the war-torn country, NATO has confirmed, days after US President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw 7,000 troops was leaked.

Trump removes Mattis two months early after rebuke – (Financial Times)
President enters the new year increasingly at odds with his own officials

US stocks extend losses as downside risks compound – (Australian Financial Review)
US stocks extended their sell-off amid a lengthening list of downside risks, in particular those sparked by the Trump administration.

Wesley Clark on Trump’s Syria withdrawal: ‘Did Erdogan blackmail the president?’ – (The Hill)
Wesley Clark on Monday questioned whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blackmailed President Trump into his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.

Trump resumes attack on the Fed as markets sink again – (CNBC)

White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides in the long-running fight over funding President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall appear to have moved toward each other, but a shutdown of one-fourth of the federal government entered Christmas without a clear resolution in…

Michael Goodwin: Don’t expect Trump to stop being Trump in 2019 – (Fox News)
So the border remains open while the government shuts down. And the Mideast will have to fight its bloody wars without the sacrifice of more American soldiers.

Mnuchin to convene ‘Plunge Protection Team’, markets slide – (Reuters)
The Trump administration is arranging a phone call on Monday with top U.S. regulators to discuss financial markets as stocks fell again amid concern about slowing growth, the government shutdown and the independence of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Depart…

U. S. markets continue sharp sell-off, ignoring efforts by the Trump administration to stabilize stock prices – (The Washington Post)
Stock market fall comes after worst week in a decade

China imported zero U.S. soybeans in November – (Axios)
For the first time since Trump’s trade war began.

Donald Trump, Walled Off From Reality – (The Huffington Post)
Will two fresh crises be enough for congressional Republicans to act?

Donald Trump, Walled Off From Reality – (Google News)
Will two fresh crises be enough for congressional Republicans to act?

On Christmas Eve, Trump airs more grievances – (NBC News)
The president is making a list, and checking it twice: the people who have wronged him this year.

Trump says unlike Mattis he sees countries taking ‘total advantage’ of US as a problem – (Google News)
President Trump on Monday criticized outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis, claiming he doesn’t see countries that “take total advantage of the U.S.” as “a problem.”

White House slams Democrats who called for increased border security but are unwilling to provide funds for border wall – (Fox News)
Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications, says it is up to Senate Democrats to step up plate and end the government shutdown by funding President Trump’s border wall.

In Syria and Afghanistan, Trump at odds with his own past views – (NBC News)
Analysis: Trump’s newfound approach bears striking similarities to Obama-era policies that he said made America look weak.

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