Daily Edition Top 10 (Week Of March 25, 2019)

Heather Chin / March 29, 2019

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and his wife Ann, departs St. John’s Episcopal Church, across from the White House, after attending a service, Sunday, March 24, 2019 in Washington. Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election ended. The results? No collusion, but no decision on whether or not Trump obstructed justice. However, the full Mueller report has not been released and the public only knows what Attorney General William Barr summarized in a four-page brief. Congressmembers from both sides of the aisle are now pushing to see the full report.

The Trump administration called for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to be completely overturned, but without any replacement in the works. This was a change from the Justice Department’s previous stance that only some parts of the health care law were objectionable.

Another Trump victory came when House Democrats failed to get enough votes to override his veto, thus upholding his national emergency declaration at the U.S.-Mexico border. And his bump stock ban on guns was upheld by the Supreme Court in a case filed by a gun rights group.

In international news, Britain’s planned exit from the European Union — also known as Brexit — hit yet another bump in the road. Parliament voted for a third time to reject the divorce plan crafted by Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU.

And President Trump made official last week’s declaration that the United States would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, land that they seized from Syria decades ago. The policy shift sparked outrage from the Syrian government and praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tech giant Apple had a good week with the unveiling of three new subscription services — TV, gaming and magazines — and a branded credit card. But Facebook had a tougher time of it, with the social media company facing charges of housing discrimination by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, allegedly for allowing advertisers to target audiences based on race and other factors. HUD is also reviewing Google and Twitter for similar alleged transgressions.

Meanwhile, Boeing said they would stop charging airlines for safety features and announced that new upgrades were on the way to all 737 Max model planes, which have faced global backlash after two deadly crashes in five months.

Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as they appeared in The Daily Edition.

1. No collusion: Key takeaways from Mueller’s Russia findings – Associated Press, Chad Day

Top line: “Special counsel Robert Mueller spent 22 months examining whether Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election. His conclusion? No collusion. But the question of whether Trump obstructed justice wasn’t so clear cut. In laying out Mueller’s findings , Attorney General William Barr said the special counsel didn’t weigh in on the question. Instead, Barr ultimately made the call that Trump didn’t violate the law, a move that quickly drew criticism from House Democrats who say the president is hardly in the clear.”

Magazine to follow: Mueller Probe’s End: How We Got Here by The Washington Post

2. Trump administration now says entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down – CNN, Ariane de Vogue, Tami Luhby

Top line: “The Trump administration on Monday said the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down, in a dramatic reversal. In a filing with a federal appeals court, the Justice Department said it agreed with the ruling of a federal judge in Texas that invalidated the Obama-era health care law. It’s a major shift for the Justice Department from when Jeff Sessions was attorney general. At the time, the administration argued that the community rating rule and the guaranteed issue requirement — protections for people with pre-existing conditions — could not be defended but the rest of the law could stand. Trump and the administration repeatedly promised — particularly leading up to the midterm election — to protect people with less-than-perfect medical histories. But this shift doubles down on stripping away all the protections that were a hallmark of the landmark health reform law.”

Topic to follow: Health Care Law

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May answers questions in the Parliament in London, Britain, March 27, 2019 in this screen grab taken from video. (Reuters TV via REUTERS)

3. MPs reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal by 58 votes – The Guardian, Heather Stewart

Top line: “MPs have rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time, by 344 votes to 286, despite the prime minister’s offer to her Tory colleagues that she would resign if it passed. A string of Brexit-backing Conservative backbenchers who had rejected the deal in the first two meaningful votes, including the former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, switched sides during the debate to support the agreement. But with Labour unwilling to change its position, and the Democratic Unionist party’s 10 MPs determined not to support it, it was not enough to secure a majority for the prime minister.”

Magazine to follow: Brexit: Latest News

4. Trump recognizes Golan Heights as Israeli, boosting Netanyahu and angering Syria – Reuters, Steve Holland, Jeff Mason

Top line: “U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday recognized Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights in an election boost for visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, prompting a sharp response from Syria, which once held the strategic land. With Netanyahu looking over his shoulder at the White House, Trump signed a proclamation officially granting U.S. recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory – a dramatic shift from decades of U.S. policy. Israel captured the Golan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally. Netanyahu, who faces an election on April 9, earlier on Monday said he was cutting short his U.S. visit after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, blamed on Hamas, wounded seven people near Tel Aviv. Israel launched retaliatory air strikes in Gaza.”

Topic to follow: Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Tim Cook unveiling a premium subscription tier to its Apple News app. (Michael Short/Getty Images)

5. Here’s everything Apple announced on Monday – CNBC, Kif Leswing

Top line:Apple announced three new subscription services, including a TV service, gaming bundle, and all-you-can-read magazine subscription on Monday at its campus in Cupertino, California. Apple also announced an Apple-branded credit card in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Apple stock was down almost 2 percent during intraday trading on Monday after the event. The iPhone giant is focusing on subscription services at a critical time for the company as it searches for new areas of revenue growth to compensate for stalling iPhone sales.”

Magazine to follow: Latest Apple News

6. Facebook charged with housing discrimination by US government – The Verge, Russell Brandom

Top line: “The Department of Housing and Urban Development has filed charges against Facebook for housing discrimination, escalating the company’s ongoing fight over discrimination in its ad targeting system. The charges build on a complaint filed in August, finding that there is reasonable cause to believe Facebook has served ads that violate the Fair Housing Act. ProPublica first raised concerns over housing discrimination on Facebook in 2016, when reporters found that the “ethnic affinities” tool could be used to exclude black or Hispanic users from seeing specific ads. If those ads were for housing or employment opportunities, the targeting could easily violate federal law. At the time, Facebook had no internal safeguards in place to prevent such targeting.”

Topic to follow: Facebook

7. Boeing announces fixes for its 737 Max aircraft – BBC News

Top line: “Boeing has issued changes to controversial control systems linked to two fatal crashes of its 737 Max planes in the past five months. But it is still not certain when the planes, which were grounded worldwide this month, will be allowed to fly. Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accidents. As part of the upgrade, Boeing will install an extra warning system on all 737 Max aircraft, which was previously an optional safety feature. Neither of the planes, operated by Lion Air in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines, that were involved in the fatal crashes carried the alert systems, which are designed to warn pilots when sensors produce contradictory readings. Boeing said that airlines would no longer be charged extra for that safety system to be installed.”

Topic to follow: Aviation Safety

8. House fails to override Trump veto on border emergency – POLITICO, Melanie Zanona

Top line: “The House failed on Tuesday to override President Donald Trump’s veto of legislation blocking his national emergency declaration at the border, capping off a months-long congressional battle over the president’s signature issue. Fourteen Republicans joined all Democrats on the 248-181 vote, far short of the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the first veto of Trump’s presidency. Now the fight over Trump’s unilateral move to build a border wall will fall to the courts, where its fate is uncertain. Democrats are expected to either file or join an existing lawsuit to stop Trump’s action, though leadership has been mum about their next legal steps. Their effort to overturn the emergency declaration, however, could help establish the will of Congress and bolster any legal challenges.”

Topic to follow: Immigration

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019. (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)

9. Trump says FBI, DOJ will review ‘outrageous’ Jussie Smollett case – NBC News, Allan Smith

Top line: “President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday morning that the FBI and Department of Justice would review the decision by Illinois prosecutors to drop all charges the actor Jussie Smollett faced for allegedly fabricating a hate crime against himself. Trump called the prosecutors’ decision “an embarrassment to our Nation!” Federal officials confirmed to NBC News that the Justice Department is reviewing the Smollett case and how it was handled, though expectations were low Thursday that any federal action would be taken. Smollett attorney Tina Glandian said on “Today” that “we have nothing to be concerned about” regarding the potential federal probe.”

Topic to follow: Jussie Smollett

10. Supreme Court Refuses to Block Ban on Bump Stocks – The New York Times, Adam Liptak

Top line: “The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to block a Trump administration initiative banning bump stocks, the attachments that enable semiautomatic rifles to fire in sustained, rapid bursts. The court’s action, in a one-sentence order, means that the regulation will remain in force while challenges to it move forward in the courts. There were no noted dissents. The case concerns executive power, not the Second Amendment. The lead plaintiff, Gun Owners of America, which describes itself as “the ‘no compromise’ gun lobby,” argued that the administration had exceeded its authority by banning bump stocks under federal laws that largely ban machine guns. Bump stocks work by harnessing a firearm’s recoil energy to allow it to keep firing after a single pull of the trigger. The Justice Department has said this transforms semiautomatic weapons into fully automatic machine guns.”

Topic to follow: Gun Control

Check out The Daily Edition throughout the week for your news updates.

~ HeatherC is reading My Label and Me by Metro UK