Daily Edition Top 10 (Week of April 8)
Heather Chin / April 11, 2019
A personnel shake-up took place this week at the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. First, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned after being forced out by President Donald Trump, who has been critical of her work in implementing his immigration policies along the U.S.-Mexico border. Then Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was ousted from his position, which reports directly to Nielsen’s. Nielsen’s successor, acting deputy secretary Claire Grady, also resigned, making room for Trump’s preferred nominee, Kevin McAleenan, to fill the role on an acting basis.
Meanwhile, over in the halls of Congress, Attorney General William Barr testified to House and Senate legislators on budget issues for the Justice Department, but also fielded questions about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe report. Barr said he would release the full report within a week and was still adding redactions. He also said he was launching an investigation into whether the FBI “spied” on the Trump campaign in the process of investigating its potential communications with Russia and Russian agents.
British police arrested Julian Assange, who founded the online information collective WikiLeaks, after seven years of hiding inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. His asylum status was revoked by officials, leading to his arrest. Assange was evading various criminal charges in Sweden and the United States. While the U.S. promptly filed charges of conspiracy to hack government computers and sought his extradition, Sweden said they may reopen rape charges against the 47-year-old Australian national.
Elsewhere in the world, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eked out a victory to win a fifth term in a tight election despite facing corruption charges, and British Prime Minister Theresa May was granted a deadline extension for the impending exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union trade bloc.
Also, the Sudanese army ousted President Omar al-Bashir, who has led the country for nearly 30 years and stands accused of committing war crimes and genocide, and U.S. President Trump designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization.
In other news, ride-sharing company Uber released its long-awaited IPO filing, Oscar nominee Felicity Huffman joined 13 other parents in pleading guilty to mail fraud charges in the country’s largest college admissions scam while fellow actress Lori Loughlin refused a plea and was hit with additional money laundering charges, and the Virginia Cavaliers triumphed over Texas Tech to win the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball championship.
Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as they appeared in The Daily Edition.
1. Secret Service director out less than 24 hours after DHS secretary resigns – ABC News, Katherine Faulders, Alexander Mallin
Top line: “Secret Service Director Randolph Alles is leaving his position at the direction of President Donald Trump,according to two administration officials familiar with the decision. It was unclear what prompted his firing, but the news comes less than 24 hours after Trump forced out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The Secret Service director reports direct to the Homeland Security secretary. Two other top officials, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are also expected to depart soon, according to one official — raising the prospect of a much broader cleaning of house among the Homeland Security leadership ranks.””
Topic to follow: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
2. Julian Assange Arrested, Faces U.S. Charges Related To 2010 WikiLeaks Releases – NPR, Sasha Ingber, Philip Ewing
Top line: “The Justice Department announced Thursday that it is charging Julian Assange, setting the stage for a historic legal showdown with the controversial founder of WikiLeaks. The unsealing of an indictment dated more than a year ago followed a whirlwind reversal of fortune for Assange, who was ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he confined himself for years, and then hauled into custody by officers of the Metropolitan Police. British authorities have received a request to extradite Assange, they said. He is expected to appear at a hearing on May 2.”
Topic to follow: Julian Assange
3. Israel election: Netanyahu set for record fifth term – BBC News
Top line: “Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu looks all but certain to stay in office for a record fifth term after his biggest election challenger, Benny Gantz, admitted defeat on Wednesday. With almost all votes counted, both men’s parties are neck and neck. But a coalition between Mr Netanyahu’s Likud and smaller right-wing and religious parties could form a 65 seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset. US President Donald Trump has already offered his congratulations. If he forms a new governing coalition, Mr Netanyahu would be on course to become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, overtaking the country’s founding father David Ben-Gurion. However, he could be indicted in three corruption cases in the coming months. Mr Gantz’s deputy in the centrist party has vowed to make the government’s life difficult after the close result.”
Topic to follow: Benjamin Netanyahu
4. Theresa May agrees to October Brexit as Tusk warns UK: ‘don’t waste this time’ – The Guardian, Daniel Boffey, Rowena Mason
Top line: “Britain will remain as a member state of the EU until 31 October, with the option to leave earlier if Theresa May can secure Commons support for the Brexit deal, after a Franco-German carve-up of the UK’s future. A marathon six-hour debate among the EU leaders concluded with the prime minister being offered a longer extension than she had sought but providing a new Halloween no deal cliff-edge to focus minds in Westminster. The EU would also hold a symbolic June summit to review the UK’s behaviour as a member state following an outspoken intervention by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, about the need to avoid a “rogue” Britain undermining the European project.”
Magazine to follow: Brexit: Latest News
5. Uber releases its long-awaited IPO filing – CNBC, Sara Salinas, Lauren Feiner
Top line: “Uber released its long-awaited IPO prospectus. The company will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UBER.” The company has self-reported unaudited financials for several quarters — one of the few tech giants expected to debut this year to do so. That means the public S-1 serves less as the typical first look into financials and acts more as a contextualized official record. The filing comes about two weeks after rival Lyft debuted on the public markets. The two ride-hailing companies had been racing toward the public markets practically in tandem, though Uber’s offering is likely to be significantly larger, and one of the largest offerings this year. The company was previously reported to be seeking a valuation of up to $120 billion. Uber is expected to provide a price range for its shares later this month and go public in May.”
Topic to follow: Uber
6. Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman: 1 Scandal, 2 Actresses, Diverging Paths – The New York Times, Jennifer Medina
Top line: “When Ms. Huffman announced this week that she would plead guilty to the crime she’s accused of, she issued a long, hand-wringing apology and her appearances in court have been somber — lips pursed and eyes avoiding the dozens of news cameras all around. Ms. Loughlin, who so far has not opted to enter a plea, has seemed to approach her courthouse visits with an affect more common on the red carpet — she has repeatedly been photographed smiling, at one point signing autographs for fans before she walked into federal court. On the same week that Ms. Huffman announced that she would plead guilty to a single criminal count against her, Ms. Loughlin was indicted on a count of conspiracy to commit fraud as well as an additional count, of money laundering conspiracy.”
Topic to follow: College Admissions Scandal
7. Barr says spying on Trump campaign ‘did occur,’ but provides no evidence – CNN, Laura Jarrett, Evan Perez
Top line: “Attorney General William Barr suggested to lawmakers Wednesday that Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign was spied on, saying he will be looking into the “genesis” of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation that began in 2016 of potential ties between the campaign and the Russian government. He did not provide evidence for his claims. The news will likely be viewed as a welcome development to the President, who has regularly called for an investigation and, as recently as last week, told reporters more should be done to examine the origins of the Russia probe. It will also likely raise concerns of politicization of the Department of Justice’s work at an already tense time, as Democrats worry that Barr is bending to the President’s demands and have called on Barr to release an unredacted version of the special counsel’s confidential report on the Russia investigation to Congress.”
Topic to follow: William Barr
8. Virginia wins OT thriller against Texas Tech to claim first national championship – NBC Sports, Travis Hines
Top line: “Virginia has completed its historic comeback. The Cavaliers, a year removed from suffering the worst loss in NCAA tournament history, are national champions after winning a thrilling title game, 85-77 in overtime, against Texas Tech at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday night. De’Andre Hunter’s 3-pointer with just over 2 minutes left in overtime put the Cavaliers up a pair, and Texas Tech went on nearly a 2-minute scoring drought as Virginia exorcised the ghost of UMBC with the first championship in school history. The Cavaliers led by as many as 10 in the second half, but the Red Raiders knotted things up with just over 3 minutes to play in regulation.”
Magazine to follow: March Madness 2019
9. Sudanese army says it holds president, won’t extradite him – Associated Press, Maggie Michael
Top line: “The Sudanese army will not extradite deposed President Omar al-Bashir but will put him on trial at home, the military said Friday as it defended its seizure of power after ousting the longtime ruler. The ouster of al-Bashir after months of escalating street protests against his rule has sparked calls for him to be handed over to the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his deadly campaign against insurgents in Darfur. In the Darfur conflict in the 2000s, up to 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million driven from their homes by militias backed by al-Bashir’s government. Notably, the military council that has taken power after removing al-Bashir is led by Defense Minister Awad ibn Ouf, a veteran establishment insider who himself is under sanctions by the United States for his alleged role in supporting those militias. Protesters have rejected the military’s announcement that it will rule the country for the next two years, calling it a continuation of al-Bashir’s regime.”
Topic to follow: Sudan
10. In unprecedented move, U.S. names Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group – Reuters, Lesley Wroughton, Parisa Hafezi
Top line: “President Donald Trump said on Monday he would name Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on U.S. forces. The action by Trump, who has taken a hard line toward Iran by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposing broad economic sanctions, marks the first time the United States has formally labeled another nation’s military a terrorist group. The U.S. step, which takes effect on April 15, prompted an immediate response from Iran, whose Supreme National Security Council in turn designated U.S. military forces as a “terrorist organization,” Iranian state-run TV reported.”
Topic to follow: Iran
Check out The Daily Edition throughout the week for your news updates.