March 4, 2014

Facebook is reportedly eyeing the purchase of a drone manufacturer to expand its initiative. The social media network could spend $60 million on Titan Aerospace, a company that makes solar-powered flying robots that can float in the sky for up to five years. To help jumpstart Facebook's ambitious plan in connecting parts of the world that lack internet connectivity, the company wants to shoot 11,000 drones up into the African sky.

Titan Aerospace manufactures the Solara 60, a lightweight drone that shoots 12.5 miles into the sky and siphons the sun's rays for energy. But the part that Facebook is most impressed with is that the gizmos can be equipped with high-tech communication software that can beam the internet to the land below.

Facebook has yet to confirm confirm the news, which was first reported by TechCrunch. Jordan Valinsky

4:31 a.m. ET

Sean Spicer's short tenure as White House press secretary didn't break any records for its brevity, but it was as memorable as it was fleeting. For all he lacked in verbal precision, before he resigned on Friday in apparent protest of President Trump appointing Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director, Spicer was, for the time when he allowed cameras in the briefing room, must-watch TV for the political set, at times outdrawing scripted soap operas. So The Daily Show's brief in memoriam video for Spicer's briefings, posted online, had a lot of material to work with. And maybe it's the sad piano music, or the fact that Spicer is out of our lives, or the presumption that Sarah Huckabee Sanders just isn't as good for comedy, but there is something almost wistful in this brief look back at Spicer's "alternative facts," catch phrases, mispronunciations, and those haunted eyes. Watch below. Peter Weber

3:36 a.m. ET
Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump's average job approval rating for his second quarter in office, from April 20 to July 19, was 38.8 percent, according to Gallup, a drop from the already historically low 41.3 percent Trump notched in his first quarter and inaugural 45 percent number. The lowest previous second-quarter approval rating for a president was Bill Clinton's 44 percent, and every other president since John F. Kennedy was above 55 percent at this point in his presidency, usually in the 60s, according to Gallup's data; Barack Obama was at 62 percent, and as CNBC's John Harwood notes, Obama never polled lower than 40 percent in any week of his presidency.

More broadly, Trump's second quarter ranks 250th out of the 287 president quarters Gallup has polled back to 1945. Most of the 12 percent of quarters worse than Trump's were for troubled presidents — Richard Nixon, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush — near the end of their administrations. And Trump probably should expect things to get worse, not better, at least over the next year, Politico says, based on its analysis of four decades of Gallup's extensive presidential polling data.

That's partly because of growing political polarization and historical trends — Trump's six immediate predecessors saw their approval rating drop an average of 9 points from the six-month mark to 18 months, according to Gallup data — but also because of the nature of the objections to Trump. Among the majority who disapprove of Trump, most cite his character and personality, not his policies, a departure from previous presidents and a situation that would make it harder for Trump to win over skeptics. Trump is also much more unpopular among independents than his predecessors.

From his first to his second quarter, Trump lost 2 points among Republicans, versus 3 points for independents and 1 point among Democrats, but he is still at 85 percent approval in his party — Republicans and conservatives are the only groups that give him above 50 percent. Still, for Trump to get above 50 percent overall, he would have to get the support of almost 100 percent of conservatives, Politico finds, or double his supports among moderates of quadruple his backing by liberals. You can play with various groups to try to get Trump above 50 percent support at Politico. Peter Weber

2:24 a.m. ET
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President Trump continues to push for a big infrastructure bill, on Twitter and in interviews, but his administration is divided over how Trump's $1 trillion proposal should be structured, Republicans have put the plan on the back burner after a series of other difficult and high-stakes legislative priorities, and Democrats, who also support infrastructure projects, are increasingly unwilling to work with the Trump administration after months of mutual animus, Glenn Thrush reports at The New York Times, citing "two dozen administration officials, legislators, and labor leaders involved in coming up with a concrete proposal."

In April, Trump said his administration had the $1 trillion infrastructure plan "largely completed and we'll be filing over the next two or three weeks — maybe sooner." By late July, Trump hasn't named anybody to the infrastructure board he said would have the authority to approve big projects — and the panel will be advisory and not actually have green-light powers, an administration official tells Thrush — or set out a general outline for what he wants.

Some White House officials, like Trump and his National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn, are open to putting more than $200 billion into the proposed public-private partnerships and combining the plan with another must-pass bill; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin opposes combining the infrastructure and tax-cut legislation; White House budget director Mick Mulvaney reportedly opposes adding new federal money to the plan. Congressional Republicans, still struggling over health-care legislation, are waiting for a White House plan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is skeptical "of any deal that would require him to compromise with Democrats," Thrush reports, and "has suggested a more modest Republicans-only package."

"Right now, it doesn't appear that they have a plan," said AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. "The president doesn't know what his own party wants, and he's not sure what he wants." White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said the White House will release its proposal in late summer or early fall, arguing that was always the timetable. You can read more about Trump's stalled effort at The New York Times. Peter Weber

2:11 a.m. ET

A retired nurse teaching a first aid class was saved by a retired nurse taking his course as a refresher.

David Knowles, 77, was just starting the first CPR class he was instructing at his church in Essex, England, when he started to feel horrible. He fell to the floor, and not knowing how much time he had before he might pass out, started instructing the class on what to do to help him. "The whole group was up on its feet, looking like they weren't doing very well, either," Knowles told Thursday.

Once the students knew this wasn't part of the lesson, they rallied to help him. Karol Chew, a retired nurse taking the class as a refresher course, gave Knowles CPR after he stopped breathing, and called Knowles' wife. Knowles was placed in a medically induced coma because the damage to his heart was so great, and when he woke up more than two weeks later, he couldn't remember much — except that Chew's CPR is likely what saved his life. Catherine Garcia

1:35 a.m. ET
Daniel Berehulak/AFP/Getty Images

At least 24 people were killed and dozens more injured after a car bomb exploded in Kabul Monday morning, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

A Toyota Corolla was used in the attack, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told CNN, and authorities do not yet know who was being targeted. No group initially claimed responsibility for the bombing, the latest in a string of attacks in the capital.

Update 3:55 a.m. ET: The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was aimed at the Afghan intelligence service and its employees. Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahed said the bomb-laden car rammed into a minibus carrying government employees at the mines and petroleum ministry during rush hour, destroying the bus and three other cars, plus nearby shops. Catherine Garcia

1:18 a.m. ET
Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

A 16-year-old girl who left Germany to join the Islamic State has been captured in Mosul, Iraq, and told authorities there she is sorry for joining the terrorist organization and wants to be with her family again, the German magazine Der Spiegel reports.

The teen, Linda Wenzel, is in a Baghdad prison, and she's receiving consular support, said Lorenz Haase, the senior public prosecutor in Dresden. She is from the small town of Pulsnitz, near Dresden, and went missing last summer. Several German media outlets say they have interviewed Wenzel, and she told them she wants to "get away from here. I want to get away from the war, from the many weapons, from the noise."

Wenzel also told the media she was shot in the left thigh and her right knee was injured during a helicopter attack, and she is prepared to cooperate with police. Catherine Garcia

12:43 a.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will ask the Senate as early as Tuesday to begin debate on a bill to gut the Affordable Care Act, but not even Senate Republicans know what bill they will be asked to vote on. It isn't entirely clear they will know before voting to open debate, either. Some senators said that McConnell has assured them they would be told before voting on the "motion to proceed" whether they would be proceeding to a vote on one of the versions of a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare or just to repeal much of the law. The No. 2 Senate Republican, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), said late last week that letting senators know what bill they would be voting on is "a luxury we don't have."

McConnell's current strategy "is to lean heavily on lawmakers to at least vote to allow debate on the bill, in the hopes that amendments and other tweaks could yield an agreement," The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. That strategy carries some risk, as do all the others. McConnell put together his version of the bill with no public hearings or deliberation in committee. On Friday, the Senate parliamentarian issued a preliminary ruling that some two dozen provisions in the GOP bill would require 60, not 50, votes, throwing a new wrinkle in McConnell's plans to pass the bill using the budget reconciliation process.

On Saturday, President Trump urged Senate Republicans to "step up to the plate" and "vote to repeal and replace" ObamaCare.

When CBS News political director John Dickerson asked Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) what's going on with the legislation on Sunday's Face the Nation, she said that was a good question. "It appears that we will have a vote on Tuesday," she said. "But we don't know whether we're going to be voting on the House bill, the first version of the Senate bill, the second version of the Senate bill, a new version of the Senate bill, or a 2015 bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act now and then said that somehow we'll figure out a replacement over the next two years. I don't think that's a good approach to facing legislation that affects millions of people and one sixth of our economy." The part on health care begins at the 4-minute mark. Peter Weber

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