In an inauspicious start to talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Geneva on Thursday, Ukrainian troops killed three masked pro-Moscow militants during a Wednesday night attack on a Ukrainian National Guard base in Mariupol, a Black Sea port town in eastern Donetsk province, not far from the border with Russia. According to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the Guardsmen also wounded 13 of the roughly 300 attackers and captured 63. No Ukrainian troops were reported killed.
"After the attackers threw fire grenades and Molotov cocktails into the territory of the unit and opened fire on soldiers on guard, the National Guard troops opened warning fire and then... as the attack was repeated they began shooting to kill," Avakov wrote. Speaking to parliament on Thursday, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said the pro-Russia gang tried to take the base three times, with some of the attackers carrying automatic weapons.
Earlier Wednesday in Kramatorsk, about 100 miles due north of Mariupol, a unit of Ukrainian paratroopers surrendered several armored vehicles after being surrounded by unarmed protesters, then armed pro-Russia militants. "After the shocking setbacks in Kramatorsk," Dmitry Tymchuk, head of the Kiev-based Center for Military and Political Research, tells the Los Angeles Times, "the actions of our soldiers in Mariupol demonstrate that the anti-terrorist operation in the Donetsk region is still continuing and may yet gain momentum." Peter Weber
Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, who moved think tank closer to Trump, set to be ousted by board
Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint is set to be ousted by board members who believe the think tank has become "too bombastic and political" during his tenure, Politico writes.
DeMint served as a South Carolina senator between 2005 and 2013, where he was a prominent Tea Party leader. He quit office to join the Heritage Foundation in 2013. "He has been a congressman and senator," one board member anonymously told Politico. "They are solo performers. When you are in the Senate, life is all about the senators. CEO skills are different than senator skills. I think it boils down to attributes. I don't think it is particularly personal."
Tensions reportedly arose during DeMint's contract negotiations, "which are expected to be cut short," Politico writes. Former Heritage President Ed Feulner is expected to serve as interim president following DeMint's ousting, which could come as soon as Friday.
Over the past year, DeMint moved the organization closer to President Trump, including a promise made last July that Heritage's policy experts would be at the disposal of Trump's transition team if he won. Heritage has continued to express its opinions to the Trump administration, including public opposition to the proposed Republican health-care bill. "Jim brought everyone in from the Senate to Heritage and made it hyper-political," complained one board member. "Heritage is also about civil society and culture. He's taken that off of the table."
Another operative said: "If Heritage pushes Jim DeMint out it was because a few board members, who are close to the Republican establishment, never wanted him to be president and have been working to push him out ever since. DeMint is one of the most respected and selfless conservative leaders in the country and pushing him out would be a big mistake." Read the full scoop at Politico. Jeva Lange
In a recent survey of nearly 1,000 CEO candidates, researchers found that 45 percent had made at least one mistake in their career that either ended in them losing their job or was extremely costly to their business. However, more than 78 percent of those people ended up getting the top job. They also found that educational pedigree in no way correlated with performance.
Only 7 percent of high-performing CEOs went to an Ivy League college for their undergraduate degree — and 8 percent of them never graduated from college at all. The survey's results indicated, strangely, that traits that make a board more likely to choose a candidate as CEO, such as high confidence, might not even correlate to better job performance in the role.
Sleep deprivation costs American businesses about 1.2 million employee workdays and roughly $411 billion in revenue a year, according to a report from the RAND Corp. That lost productivity in the form of sleepy workers shaves an estimated 2.3 percent off the country's GDP each year.
Though sleep deprivation is a worldwide problem, it's especially bad in the United States, where employment regulation and working culture might not be as sleep-friendly as European Union countries, for example. While a lack of sleep can lead to lower productivity, the reverse is also true: Getting more sleep helps productivity, and in return, being more productive can lead to better sleep. So it's in businesses' best interest to encourage their workers to work hard and also sleep well, for the sake of the employees as well as the company. Shivani Ishwar
John Kasich thinks the best way to solve America's problems with North Korea is to 'eradicate the leadership'
Ohio Gov. John Kasich's (R) suggestion for handling mounting tensions with North Korea sounds suspiciously similar to the plot of The Interview, the 2014 satirical film that enraged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "How do you deal with this? I think there might be a way, and that has to do with taking out the North Korean leadership," Kasich said Friday while talking to reporters in Washington about North Korea's nuclear weapons activity. "I believe the best way to solve this problem is to eradicate the leadership. I'm talking about those who are closest to making the decisions that North Korea's following now."
The Interview followed two pseudo-journalists (played by James Franco and Seth Rogen) who were assigned by the CIA to assassinate North Korea's dictator. But there is one notable difference between Kasich's plan and The Interview's: Kasich doesn't actually recommend assassinating Kim — and he isn't trying to send Franco and Rogen to do it. The Washington Post reported that Kasich "stopped short of explicitly recommending that U.S. forces assassinate North Korea's leaders, but what he described would be a military and intelligence exercise."
Kasich, who ran in the Republican presidential primary, said that if he were president he'd be asking military commanders if they were "staging raids" and if they knew "how to land" their helicopters there. "The North Korean top leadership has to go and there are ways in which that can be achieved," Kasich said. "But you have to have very good intelligence. You have to have an ability to do things very quickly. And, you know, I think that is not beyond our capability to achieve that." Becca Stanek
With Fox News in turmoil after the recent ousting of its biggest ratings star, Bill O'Reilly, a person familiar with private talks among media bigwigs says there is "serious" discussion of launching a rival conservative news network, Mediaite reports.
The new network would put "the old band" back together as a response to the perception that Fox is moving too far to the left. The "pitch is that the network could immediately reach at least 85 million homes," Mediaite writes.
There are certainly plenty of (out-of-work?) conservative powerhouses to pick from that could star on a new network, and perhaps even some executives from within Fox News who might be lured by the new opportunity. Could the new channel include stars like the ousted Bill O'Reilly, who didn't waste much time hitting the podcast waves after he was fired amid a sexual harassment scandal? Could Tomi Lahren, the conservative mega star, who was recently sidelined at The Blaze also take on a prominent role? [Mediaite]
Fox News founder Roger Ailes was ousted from the network last year after sexual harassment allegations; adding to the intrigue, New York's Gabriel Sherman reports that two people close to Ailes claim he is actively exploring a new TV venture. Read the full scoop at Mediaite. Jeva Lange
Congress on Friday passed a stopgap spending bill, keeping the government funded through May 5 and dodging a looming government shutdown on President Trump's 100th day in office Saturday. The spending extension easily passed the House, 382-30, and it passed the Senate in a voice vote. The bill will now go to Trump's desk.
Lawmakers were staring down a deadline of Friday at midnight to either pass a spending bill or see a partial government shutdown. Now that the stopgap bill has passed Congress, legislators on Capitol Hill will have an additional week to negotiate a $1 trillion spending bill financing government agencies through the end of the federal government's fiscal year. Becca Stanek
Either White House aide Sebastian Gorka has a budding hobby, or there's something he needs to tell us. Business Insider's Natasha Bertrand noticed Friday that Gorka has been on somewhat of a rampage lately following knife companies on Twitter:
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 28, 2017
Recently, Gorka followed AKTI-Am Knife & Tool (Twitter handle @SaveOurKnives), Cold Steel, Knife Thursday, SOG Knives, Benchmade Knife Co, Spyderco Knives, Kershaw Knives, Emerson Knives, Inc., Blade Show, Knife Depot, Knife Center, Blade HQ, Boker Knives, and Knife Informer.
It appears Gorka has yet to comment on his following spree. Becca Stanek