Daily Edition Top 10 (Week of May 20, 2019)
Inside Flipboard / May 24, 2019
By Heather Chin
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will resign effective June 7 after failing to unite the nation behind a Brexit plan, while in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was re-elected for a second five-year term.
In the United States, negotiations on infrastructure policy stalled after President Trump refused to discuss it until Congressional Democrats dropped investigations into him and his presidential campaign. But a $16 billion bill to provide farm aid to states and businesses hurt by the ongoing trade war is moving forward.
The Senate also passed a bipartisan bill to provide $19.1 billion in disaster relief to states, including Puerto Rico, but the House won’t take it up until June after a GOP congressman objected to it not including border funding.
Trump also ordered a troop surge of 1,500 servicemembers to the Middle East as tensions continue to escalate with Iran.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted by the U.S. on multiple charges related to the release of government secrets. Assange is currently serving prison time in the U.K. and is also being investigated in Sweden on a nine-year-old sexual assault case.
Meanwhile, U.S. citizen John Walker Lindh, dubbed “American Taliban,” was released from federal prison after 17 years.
Missouri and several other states were devastated by deadly tornadoes which killed at least three people.
In other politics news, former White House Counsel Donald McGahn followed the president’s directions to defy a Congressional subpoena to testify, but the House Judiciary Committee proceeded to issue subpoenas for his deputy, Annie Donaldson, as well as President Trump’s former trusted aide Hope Hicks.
Read more about these stories and the other biggest news of the week, as they appeared in The Daily Edition.
1. Theresa May announces she will resign on 7 June – The Guardian, Heather Stewart
Top line: “Theresa May has bowed to intense pressure from her own party and named 7 June as the day she will step aside as Conservative leader, drawing her turbulent three-year premiership to a close. Speaking in Downing Street, May said it had been “the honour of my life” to serve as Britain’s second female prime minister. Her voice breaking, she said she would leave “with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love”. The prime minister listed a series of what she said were her government’s achievements, including tackling the deficit, reducing unemployment and boosting funding for mental health. But she admitted: “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.””
Topic to follow: Theresa May
2. Trump to Send 1,500 More Troops to Mideast as Iran Tensions Rise – Bloomberg, Margaret Talev, Anthony Capaccio
Top line: “President Donald Trump has ordered the deployment of about 1,500 additional U.S. troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, according to two people familiar with the matter. Trump confirmed the deployment as he departed the White House on Friday for Japan, calling the troops “mostly protective.” The troops are meant to bolster forces already in the region working on missile defense, surveillance, and keeping shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf open, according to a Pentagon notice sent to congressional defense committees and obtained by Bloomberg. It wasn’t immediately clear where in the region the troops would be sent.”
Topic to follow: Iran
3. Trump Gives Farmers $16 Billion in Aid Amid Prolonged China Trade War – The New York Times, Ana Swanson, Glenn Thrush
Top line: “On Thursday, the administration took another step to help insulate farmers, with the Agriculture Department saying it would provide up to $16 billion in aid to farmers hurt by Chinese trade retaliation. The new program will make $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers, channeled through the Commodity Credit Corporation, a program that helps shore up American farmers by buying their crops. The payments will be made to agricultural producers for a wide range of products, from soybeans and cotton to chickpeas and cherries, in up to three tranches, beginning in late July or early August. The government will also implement a $1.4 billion program to purchase surplus commodities affected by the trade war and distribute them to food banks, schools and other programs for the poor, as well as put another $100 million toward developing new export markets for American farmers.”
Topic to follow: Trade War
Top line: “Texas House Republican Rep. Chip Roy blocked an attempt to pass the $19.1 billion disaster aid bill by unanimous consent, likely stalling passage of the legislation until Congress returns in June. The Senate approved the measure Thursday 85-8 and House Democrats hoped to rush the legislation through in a special session on Friday, skipping the regular voting process because lawmakers already left town to begin a weeklong Memorial Day recess. The procedural vote required the consent of every House member and Roy did not approve. The Texas Republican objected to the bill because it “spends $19 billion of taxpayer money without members of Congress being present in our nation’s Capitol to vote on it.” He also said the package should include money for the Department of Homeland Security to address immigration issues a the southwest border.”
Magazine to follow: The Trump Administration
5. ‘Julian Assange is no journalist.’ Feds charge WikiLeaks founder for revealing U.S. government secrets – USA Today, Bart Jansen
Top line: “WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was charged Thursday under the Espionage Act with conspiring to reveal national security secrets in what prosecutors have described as one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history. Federal prosecutors revealed 18 charges against Assange. They include allegations that he aided and abetted former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s efforts to leak classified documents to the anti-secrecy group. Prosecutors alleged that Assange did so with reason to believe that the information would be used to injure the United States or help a foreign country. While Assange has argued that he should be immune from prosecution as a journalist, authorities said he was charged for releasing a narrow class of documents that dealt with people who provided the United States with intelligence in war zones.”
Topic to follow: Julian Assange
6. ‘American Taliban’ Lindh released from U.S. prison amid concerns – Reuters, Andrew Hay, Jonathan Allen
Top line: “John Walker Lindh, the American captured in Afghanistan in 2001 fighting for the Taliban, was freed early from federal prison on Thursday after serving 17 years, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said. Lindh, who was 20 years old when he was captured, was released amid concerns about his rehabilitation. Lindh, now 38, left the prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, Thursday morning. He had been sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty in 2002 to charges of supplying services to the Taliban and carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony. Lindh is among dozens of prisoners to be released during the next few years after being captured in Iraq and Afghanistan and convicted of terrorism-related crimes following the attacks on the United States by al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001.”
Topic to follow: Taliban
Top line: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the people of India for giving him a “historic mandate” of five more years in office, after a landslide victory in the general election. “We all want a new India. I want to bow down my head and say thank you,” he said in a victory address to supporters of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is projected to get about 300 of the 543 seats in parliament. It is likely to take a larger share of the vote than in the 2014 elections. The main opposition alliance, which is headed by Rahul Gandhi’s Congress party, has admitted defeat. The general election was widely viewed as a referendum on the prime minister’s Hindu nationalist politics, and the victory was won despite growing unemployment, fears of a recession and a slump in industrial production.”
Topic to follow: Narendra Modi
8. Missouri’s capital was hit by an EF-3 tornado that ‘felt like an earthquake’ – CNN, Madeline Holcombe, Steve Almasy, Dakin Andone
Top line: “A preliminary review by the National Weather Service found that the powerful tornado that ravaged Missouri’s capital Wednesday night rated at least an EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, indicating maximum wind speeds of 160 mph. Only about 5% of all tornadoes are rated EF-3 or higher, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. The tornado touched down in Jackson City, Missouri, around 11:40 p.m. local time, ripping buildings apart and overturning cars. As residents woke Thursday morning they struggled to comprehend the extent of the tornado’s strength and the damage it left in its wake. Elsewhere in Missouri, a husband and wife were killed Tuesday when their SUV skidded across the center lines of US 160 and struck a semi.”
Topic to follow: Extreme Weather
9. New York legislature approves bill giving Congress access to Trump’s state tax records – The New York Times, Jeff Stein
Top line: “New York state’s legislature on Wednesday approved a bill to allow the state to give Congress President Trump’s state tax returns, which could allow U.S. House members to review portions of the president’s financial records. The bill now heads to New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D), who has expressed support for the effort and is expected to sign it into law. The push comes as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin faces new pressure over Trump’s personal tax returns, which Trump refused to release in the 2016 presidential campaign in a break with decades of precedent. Mnuchin rejected a subpoena from the Ways and Means Committee for the returns, setting the stage for a likely court fight over the documents. Mnuchin also faced questions on Wednesday from lawmakers about an internal Internal Revenue Service draft memo contradicting his basis for denying access to Trump’s returns.”
Topic to follow: Donald Trump
10. House Judiciary Committee subpoenas Hope Hicks, Annie Donaldson – POLITICO, Kyle Cheney
Top line: “House Democrats on Tuesday issued subpoenas for Hope Hicks, the president’s former adviser and confidante, and former White House deputy counsel Annie Donaldson. The House Judiciary Committee subpoenas request documents from Hicks and Donaldson by June 4, and they request Hicks testify on June 19 and Donaldson on June 24. The White House is sure to try to keep Hicks and Donaldson from complying with the committee’s requests, which come on the same day Donaldson’s former boss, ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, followed President Donald Trump’s request that he defy a Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify.”
Topic to follow: Hope Hicks
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