Howard Buffett explains how tougher border security can fight drugs
Since he started working for the sheriff’s department in a rural county in Illinois a few years ago, Howard Buffett, the son of billionaire Warren Buffett, has seen drug addiction lead to poverty, prostitution, overdoses and suicide. As he told Axios over dinner, he believes tougher border security is a key solution:
"You think about 65,000 people died last year from drug overdoses, and about 50% of them came from illegal drugs out of Mexico… If it happened any other way, people would go nuts."
— Howard Buffett
Trump’s budget "undo" button
President Trump may try to hit "undo" on a slice of the $1.3 trillion spending bill that he signed last month after threatening a veto, and now regrets.
The big picture: Republican aides in the House and Senate tell me they’re working with the White House on a possible plan to rescind billions of dollars — and perhaps tens of billions.
Trump calls out Putin by name for "backing Animal Assad"
President Trump responded on Twitter to the alleged chemical attack by Syrian government forces that left dozens dead, calling out Russian President Vladimir Putin by name for his backing of the Assad regime.
This tweet is important. So far, Trump has avoided at all costs saying anything negative or confrontational about Putin. Trump has let his administration take tough actions against Russia — like sanctions, sending lethal arms to Ukraine, expelling Russian diplomats — but his red line has been criticizing Putin. As we’ve reported previously, the president is loath to criticize Putin by name or call him out in one-on-one conversations.
Alleged chemical attack kills dozens in Syria
"A chemical attack on a [Syrian] rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta has killed dozens of people, medical services reported, and Washington said the reports — if confirmed — would demand an immediate international response," per Reuters: "A joint statement by the medical relief organization Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the civil defense service … said 49 people had died in the attack late on Saturday. Others put the toll at 150 or more."
Who’s to blame: Per the N.Y. Times: "Medical and rescue groups blamed President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the assault on the suburb east of the capital, Damascus."
Trump: "Xi and I will always be friends" despite trade issues
President Trump tweeted on Sunday that the burgeoning potential trade war between the United States and China won’t get in the way of his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who he hosted at Mar-a-Lago and visited in Beijing.
The details: China and the U.S. have been hitting each other with tit-for-tat tariff announcements for the past two weeks, and the stock market has been caught in the crossfire. And China filed a case with the World Trade Organization last week accusing the U.S. of violating global trade rules.
Trump brands WashPost "more fiction than fact" after Kelly report
President Trump started his Sunday morning with a tweet calling The Washington Post "made up garbage" in response to a story the Post published on Saturday describing Chief of Staff John Kelly’s frustrations in the West Wing.
The backdrop: Axios’ Jonathan Swan kicked things off yesterday with his report that Kelly threatened to quit on March 28 after blowing up at the president in an Oval Office meeting.
Trump: Scott Pruitt "is doing a great job!"
1 person dead in Trump Tower fire
Trump blasts DOJ over its response to House Judiciary subpoena
President Trump criticized the Department of Justice and FBI for failing to meet a Thursday subpoena deadline from the House Judiciary Committee for documents related to the FBI’s actions in events surrounding the 2016 presidential election, including alleged FISA abuses and the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
What’s going on: Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that he was doubling the staff working on Judiciary’s request, which could require the Bureau to review and redact over a million documents. Judiciary’s subpoena gave the DOJ and FBI just two weeks to respond. Per The Hill, DOJ says that it has been in "ongoing communication" with Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) regarding the request.
Bus crash in Canada leaves 14 dead, 15 injured
Fourteen people were killed on Friday in Canada’s Saskatchewan province after a collision between a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior league hockey team and a tractor-trailer, CNN reports.
The details: The team was heading to a playoff game when the crash occurred. At least 15 others sustained injuries, and three were in critical condition, per CNN. It hasn’t yet been confirmed if the victims are players.
John Kelly blew up at Trump in Oval Office meeting, threatened to quit
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly threatened to quit on March 28, according to sources familiar with the events.
What I’m hearing: Kelly blew up at Trump in an Oval Office meeting that day, and while walking back to his office muttered he was going to quit. Sources said it was not related to the David Shulkin firing that happened the same day.
Helicopter crash during training mission leaves two U.S. soldiers dead
Two soldiers are dead after their AH-64E Apache helicopter crashed on Friday night during a training mission at Fort Campbell, which sits on the Kentucky-Tennessee line, according to a Facebook post by U.S. Army Fort Campbell.
They were members of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault.) Acting senior commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, said: "This is a day of sadness for Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne…Our thoughts and prayers are with the families during this difficult time." The cause of the accident is under investigation.
30 civilians killed by increased air raids in Douma
At least 30 civilians, including women and children, were killed by air raids on Friday in the rebel-held town of Douma, near Syria’s capital of Damascus, Al Jazeera reports.
The big picture: Per Al Jazeera, there have been more than 50 air raids on Douma in the last 24 hours, and civilians have experienced suffocation after being attacked with poison gas. This comes a day after civilian evacuations were suspended. Douma is "the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta," which has been described as hell on earth.
Vatican arrests monsignor who was recalled over possible child porn
The Vatican arrested a former U.S. embassy diplomat on Saturday, after he was recalled from the U.S. last year following the State Department saying "he may have violated child pornography laws," Reuters reports.
The details: The Vatican didn’t specify the charges Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella was arrested on, but this adds to numerous of sex abuse scandals from the Catholic Church. If Capella is indicted, he will stand trial in the Vatican, per Reuters. When the State Department notified the Holy See of the possible violation last year, the Vatican "refused" to allow him to be prosecuted in the U.S. by waving diplomatic immunity.
Gaza unrest escalates after journalist in "PRESS" vest killed
One of six Palestinian journalists shot during a protest at the Israeli border died on Saturday, The Washington Post reports; he was wearing a marked "PRESS" protective vest at the time.
The big picture: Unrest in Gaza has escalated over the last week, leaving 31 dead. Per the Post, residents began "what has been billed as six weeks of demonstrations against Israel" last week. The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza reported 491 Palestinians sustained gunshot wounds during Friday’s Hamas-backed protest; WashPost reports that the Israeli military "has maintained that the shooting…is carefully targeted." Israel says "it is forced to use live ammunition" as Hamas is using the protests to cover up attacks.
2 dead after vehicle crashes into group of people in Germany
Two people have been killed and at least 20 injured, after a van crashed into a group of people outside a popular bar in Muenster, Germany, on Saturday, the AP reports. Police had earlier stated that three bystanders had died in the incident.
The details: The driver of the vehicle, a German citizen, shot and killed himself after the crash. Police said that they are "investigating in all directions," but said that "nothing speaks for there being any Islamist background."
Trump drives surge in protests, activism
"Rallying nation: In reaction to Trump, millions of Americans are joining protests and getting political," by WashPost’s Mary Jordan and Scott Clement:
- "Tens of millions of Americans have joined protests and rallies in the past two years, their activism often driven by admiration or outrage toward President Trump, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll showing a new activism that could affect November elections."
Trump’s freak-out moment
We can’t overstate the severity of President Trump’s buyer’s remorse from signing last month’s spending bill. It could even be a turning point in his presidency, on the issue of immigration and his level of cooperation with Republican leaders; Sources who’ve discussed it with Trump say it freaked him out to see the array of usually friendly faces on Fox News’ opinion shows ripping into him for signing a bill that spent a ton of money, but gave lots away to liberal priorities and did little for his signature promise to build a wall.
Why this matters: Truth is that Trump had little clue what was in the largest spending bill ever passed. Conventional wisdom on Capitol Hill has been that nothing will happen on immigration after the early failure to cut a deal this year. Republican leadership sources were telling us that the court decision to keep DACA alive took away Trump’s deadline and removed the pressure on Congress to act. But now some of those sources are nervous, realizing that Trump won’t let the issue fade into the background.
Kushner set to buy out partner in 666 Fifth Avenue property deal
The New York Times reports, citing an SEC filing, that the Kushner family appears to have "struck a deal to buy out" Vornado Realty Trust’s stake in the "troubled" 666 Fifth Avenue, a primary piece of its "real estate empire."
Why it matters: How they got the money is unclear. Questions had been raised about Kushner meetings with foreign big shots like Qatar as part of securing the financing. Per the Times, negotiations with foreign entities drew scrutiny because of Jared Kushner’s role in his father-in-law’s White House.
Trump’s trade war changes China’s calculus on North Korea
Part of the reason China was willing to take a harder line against North Korea was to curry favor with the U.S., but Trump has proposed tariffs on Chinese exports anyways, ratcheting up trade tensions.
Why it matters: Beijing is now reassessing its priorities when it comes to North Korea, according to Jenny Town, managing editor of 38 North, and may be less willing to keep up the pressure.
via Axios http://bit.ly/2nsh1qB
April 8, 2018 at 06:41AM