U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: April 2, 2017


Jim Watson/Getty Images


1. Flynn did not disclose income from Russia-linked firms
Ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did not reveal income he received from three Russia-linked firms in a personal financial disclosure he made before being pressured to resign from his post, documents released by the White House on Saturday reveal. He listed speeches for the companies as “sources of compensation exceeding $5,000 in a year” in a financial disclosure form signed on March 31, but he did not mention them in a similar form he signed in February, when he was still White House staff. A source familiar with the process told The Washington Post the February form may have been a draft that was not corrected because the process was suspended by Flynn’s resignation.

Source: The Washington Post, Reuters

2. Trump critiques NBC and cites Fox for surveillance allegation coverage
President Trump attacked NBC News and touted a Fox News report in tweets about his surveillance allegations on Saturday. “When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story,” he complained in an initial post. Later, Trump favorably referenced a Fox report citing an unnamed congressional source. “Source: ‘Official behind unmasking is high up. Known Intel official is responsible. Some unmasked not associated with Russia. Trump team spied on before he was nominated,'” Trump summarized. Unmasking means revealing the names of U.S. citizens whose communications were swept up in mass surveillance. Who requested the names be unmasked is a key question of the surveillance story investigation by House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Source: The Hill, The Week

3. Venezuelan top court reverses ruling to strip congressional power
The Venezuelan supreme court on Saturday reversed its decision to strip the country’s legislature of power after widespread foreign and domestic protest. The court’s review came at the request of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who couched his critique of the original ruling in terms of “maintain[ing] institutional stability and the balance of powers.” Maduro’s move was labeled disingenuous by the opposition party, which controls the legislature, as the supreme court is pro-Maduro and the first ruling would have further consolidated his power. Venezuela continues to suffer a serious economic crisis under Maduro’s socialist regime; food shortages are rampant and inflation is high.

Source: CNBC, The Washington Post

4. Hundreds dead in Colombian, Indonesian landslides
More than 250 people were killed and dozens more injured by a landslide in southwest Colombia on Saturday. Heavy rain in the Putumayo province caused rivers to overflow and left the provincial capital of Mocoa, a city of about 40,000, “totally isolated” without electricity or running water. Many people remain missing, including entire neighborhoods and families. A second landslide happened in Indonesia on Saturday as well. At least one person was killed, 17 injured, and about two dozen remain missing.

Source: BBC News, i24 News

5. ISIS second-in-command reportedly killed
Iraqi state television and Rudaw, the media arm of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, both report that Ayad al-Jumaili, believed to be second-in-command to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed near the Iraq-Syria border. He was reportedly killed by an Iraqi army strike on a town called al-Qaim, an attack that also killed two other high-ranking ISIS leaders: Turki Jamal al-Delaimi, who led a local ISIS base, and Salim Muthdafar al-Ajami, an administrator. The previous ISIS second-in-command was Abu Muhammad al-Adnani; he was killed in a U.S. airstrike in August.

Source: Reuters, Rudaw

6. Federal judge rules lawsuit alleging Trump incited violence can proceed
A federal judge in Louisville, Kentucky, ruled Friday that President Trump cannot use a free speech defense to quash a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence at a campaign rally last year, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Saturday. Trump was speaking in Louisville in March of 2016 when he pointed to protesters and repeatedly told his supporters, “get ’em out of here.” Judge David J. Hale ruled the injuries three protesters suffered while being removed by event attendees are a “direct and proximate result” of Trump’s comments, which can be plausibly interpreted as “an order, an instruction, a command” for use of force. The lawsuit will proceed.

Source: The Washington Post, Louisville Courier-Journal

7. 20 murdered in Sufi shrine in Pakistan
The custodian of a Sufi shrine in Pakistan tortured and murdered 20 worshippers in a house next to the shrine on Sunday, local authorities said. The attack took place in Sargodha, in the northeastern region of the country. The custodian, Abdul Waheed, was arrested along with his four accomplices and told law enforcement “he killed the people because they had tried to kill him by poisoning him in the past, and again they were there to kill him,” said Zulfiqar Hameed, a police officer. Waheed called the devotees to the shrine and killed them as they arrived. Authorities say he is mentally unstable.

Source: The Associated Press, Reuters

8. Fox, O’Reilly paid millions to settle harassment accusations
Fox News and Bill O’Reilly paid around $13 million to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse accusations made by five women since 2002, The New York Times reported Saturday. All five women either worked for or appeared as guests on O’Reilly’s show. The popular host denies wrongdoing. “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline,” he said in a statement. “I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children,” he added.

Source: NY Mag, Reuters

9. Ford recalls trucks that could roll away while in park
Ford Motor Company has recalled about 53,000 F-250 trucks because they could roll away while in park. The recall applies to 2017 models built in Louisville, Kentucky, and sold in the United States and Canada. Ford is also in the process of recalling more than 400,000 vehicles to repair faulty door latches and a fire risk in the engine compartment. There are no known injuries from the F-250 problem, and Ford recommends use of the parking break to prevent roll away in recalled vehicles until they are repaired.

Source: The Fast Lane Truck, Reuters

10. Gonzaga, UNC advance to NCAA men’s championship game
Teams representing Washington State’s Gonzaga University and the University of North Carolina triumphed in the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four games Saturday evening. Gonzaga bested South Carolina 77-73, while UNC beat Oregon 77-76. This is the first time the Gonzaga Bulldogs have made it to the championships; the North Carolina Tar Heels are five-time championship winners, most recently in 2009. The final March Madness game of 2017 is scheduled for Monday at 9:20 p.m. ET on CBS.

Source: CBS Sports, Bleacher Report

2 thoughts on “10 things you need to know today: April 2, 2017

  1. Nunes certainly fits smoothly into the Trump organization, but with Nunes, Mike Flynn, Rex Tillerson, and “The Donald’s” Big Mouth, the Trumpetters may have a powder-keg.sitting in the back of their limo…..


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