Daily Edition Top 10 (July 30, 2018)
Heather Chin / August 3, 2018
The first trial to result from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation began Tuesday with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in the hot seat. He faces several charges ranging from money laundering and tax fraud, and has been accused of working as a foreign agent while working for the campaign.
Ongoing efforts to monitor and prevent Russian interference in U.S. elections also led to Facebook announcing that they had identified, deleted and banned 32 pages and fake accounts from their social media platform, reportedly for pushing politically divisive rhetoric through an “influence campaign.”
Another fire erupted in northern California, joining the still-spreading Carr Fire in destroying thousands of acres of land and homes, sparking widespread evacuations, threatening more lives, and depleting the state’s annual wildfire budget.
CBS CEO Les Moonves has been accused of sexual misconduct against employees over the years. The CBS board of directors declined to take any action during their review, but has hired two law firms to conduct an independent investigation.
The Trump administration announced plans to end fuel efficiency standards for new automobiles, reversing an Obama-era effort at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and setting up a legal battle with states such as California that have fuel standards of their own.
The detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson on allegations of espionage has sparked an international conflict between the United States and Turkey, where Brunson has lived and worked for over two decades. The U.S. issued sanctions against the Mediterranean nation and called for Brunson’s release. In response, Turkey accused the U.S. of being undiplomatic and disrespectful.
3D-printing has quickly become a popular and cost-efficient way to produce everything from toys to artificial hearts, but plans to distribute a blueprint for 3D-printed guns have sparked public debate and a legal battle over the impact to public safety if untraceable weapons could be mass-produced.Pope Francis declared the death penalty to be “inadmissible” in all cases, changing Catholic Church teaching with his announcement.
Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as they appeared in The Daily Edition.
1. Live: The Manafort trial – CNN, Meg Wagner, Brian Ries, Veronica Rocha and Sophie Tatum
Top line: “The prosecution shifted yesterday from describing Manafort’s lavish lifestyle to the core of their case: alleged tax and banking crimes committed when he desperately needed money.”
Topic to follow: Paul Manafort
2. Facebook Identifies an Active Political Influence Campaign Using Fake Accounts – The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Kevin Roose
Top line: “Facebook said on Tuesday that it had identified a political influence campaign that was potentially built to disrupt the midterm elections, with the company detecting and removing 32 pages and fake accounts that had engaged in activity around divisive social issues.
The company did not definitively link the campaign to Russia. But Facebook officials said some of the tools and techniques used by the accounts were similar to those used by the Internet Research Agency, the Kremlin-linked group that was at the center of an indictment this year alleging interference in the 2016 presidential election.”
Topic to follow: Facebook
3. Apple just hit a $1 trillion market cap – CNBC, Sara Salinas
Top line: “Apple hit a market cap of $1 trillion on Thursday — and hung onto the record valuation at market close — as the iPhone maker became the first publicly traded U.S. company to reach $1 trillion. Amazon had also been approaching the threshold, surpassing $900 billion in market value in July. Apple had quite the head start, though, hitting $900 billion in November. Many on Wall Street noted earlier this week that Apple was firmly on the path to $1 trillion.”
Topic to follow: Apple
4. New fire erupts in Northern California; homes threatened – Associated Press, Janie Har, Brian Skoloff
Top line: “Firefighters struggling to contain destructive Northern California wildfires found themselves facing a new blaze that erupted Tuesday and drove through a rural area near a national forest. About 60 homes in an old ranching and farming area near Covelo, which is about 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of San Francisco, were ordered evacuated as the blaze erupted late in the afternoon. Gusty winds quickly drove it through about a square mile of brush and grasslands, oak, pine and timber near Mendocino National Forest, Mendocino County Undersheriff Matthew Kendall said.”
Topic to follow: California Wildfires
5. CBS hires law firms to probe CEO Moonves misconduct allegations – Reuters, Shubham Kalia
Top line: “CBS Corp (CBS.N) said on Wednesday it retained two law firms for a full investigation into the allegations about Chairman and Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, CBS News and cultural issues in the company. The board has also set up a special committee to help the probe, and Moonves will have no role in the investigation, CBS said in a statement. Moonves, who joined CBS in 1995 and has been CEO since 2006, earlier said he “may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances”, which he called mistakes that he regretted immensely, but that he understood “‘no’ means ‘no'” and had never used his position to harm anyone’s career.”
Topic to follow: Les Moonves
6. Trump administration to freeze fuel-efficiency requirements – The Washington Post, Brady Dennis, Michael Laris and Juliet Eilperin
Top line: “The Trump administration announced plans Thursday to freeze fuel-efficiency requirements for the nation’s cars and trucks through 2026 — a massive regulatory rollback likely to spur a legal battle with California and other states, as well as create potential upheaval in the nation’s automotive market. The proposal represents an abrupt reversal of the approach during the Obama administration, when regulators argued that requiring more-fuel-efficient vehicles would improve public health, combat climate change and save consumers money without compromising safety. President Trump’s plan also would attempt to revoke California’s long-standing legal ability to set its own, more stringent tailpipe standards and restrict the ability of other states to follow its lead.”
Topic to follow: Fuel Efficiency
7. Donald Trump threatens billions more in China trade tariffs; Beijing says it won’t respond to U.S. ‘blackmail’ – USA Today, John Fritze
Top line: “President Donald Trump’s administration threatened Wednesday to more than double tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, escalating a trade war hours after a Chinese official warned Beijing would not respond to U.S. “blackmail.” Even as many Republicans on Capitol Hill have grown increasingly wary of Trump’s trade policies, Trump asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to increase tariffs on the Chinese goods to 25 percent, up from the 10 percent announced earlier this year, according to a statement from the USTR office.”
Topic to follow: Trump Tariffs
8. Turkey demands removal of sanctions over pastor Andrew Brunson – NBC News, Alastair Jamieson
Top line: “Turkey demanded Thursday that the U.S. immediately reverse a decision to impose sanctions over the treatment of detained American pastor Andrew Brunson. Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the Trump administration’s decision was “incompatible with the most simple diplomatic courtesy and mutual respect” and risked regional instability. Relations between the countries have plummeted after Brunson, 50, was arrested in 2016 on charges of “committing crimes on behalf of terror groups without being a member” and espionage. He was recently released from prison and put under house arrest but still faces a sentence of up to 35 years if he is convicted at his ongoing trial.”
Topic to follow: Andrew Brunson
9. The battle to stop 3D-printed guns, explained – Vox, German Lopez
Top line: “With 3D printers, getting a gun could be as easy as downloading it. A person could find a schematic for a firearm online, plug it into a 3D printer with the right materials, and boom — a gun is created on the spot. No background check required, no serial number to trace the gun if it’s used in a crime. Some policymakers, however, are trying to prevent 3D-printed guns from going mainstream. On Tuesday, they landed a big victory: US District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle issued a restraining order that effectively halted a company’s plans to release 3D-printed gun designs online, arguing, “There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made.”
Topic to follow: 3D Printing
Top line: “Pope Francis has changed the teachings of the Catholic faith to officially oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, the Vatican has said. The Catechism of the Church, a codified doctrine which sums up teachings, had previously stated that the death penalty could be used in some cases. It now says it is “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”. Pope Francis has spoken out against executions in the past. Last October, he had said the Church’s policy on the death penalty was one area where teaching was not static and could change with modern concerns.”
Topic to follow: Catholic Church
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