A single parking space is on sale in New York City for $1 million. The space, in a condo building, has its own real estate broker. "The reality of New York City," says realtor Robert Knakal, "is that people are willing to pay more for a parking spot than the average person in the country pays for a home." As the New York Post points out, the spot's price tag is actually six times the cost of the average U.S. single-family home — and the equivalent of paying a $115 parking ticket every day for the next 24 years.
The Transportation Security Administration on Monday put into practice new screening requirements for cargo loaded from five majority-Muslim nations: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to regular security screening, airlines will now be asked to provide information like the origin, contents, and recipient of each item.
"These countries were chosen because of a demonstrated intent by terrorist groups to attack aviation from them," an unnamed TSA official told CBS. "This is all intel driven." The officials who spoke with CBS did not cite any specific intel that occasioned the change, with one commenting that the agency has not "necessarily seen anything 'brand new' in terms of a new threat." Rather, the official said, the TSA is "seeing things and want to stay ahead of the threat that we've seen over the past nine months or so."
The targeted nations are not the same as those listed in the latest iteration of President Trump's travel ban, though six of those eight countries are also majority-Muslim. They are, however, on the list of nations where passengers departing for nonstop flights to the United States were banned from bringing laptops and similar electronic devices into the cabin last year. Bonnie Kristian
Trump is allegedly 'known to affect an Indian accent' to imitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
It has been just over a week since President Trump dismissively referred to certain African nations as "shithole countries," and he is already on track to offend an additional 1.3 billion people in India, The Washington Post reports:
I read this sentence three times to make sure I was getting it right. Came out of nowhere.
“Senior administration officials said that the president [Trump] has been known to affect an Indian accent and imitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi....”https://t.co/Z5LGzBbFs1 pic.twitter.com/hragT3Fk4h
— Arif Rafiq (@ArifCRafiq) January 22, 2018
If the reports are true, it is not the first time Trump has used a fake Indian accent. During an April 2016 rally, Trump told a story about asking a call center employee "where are you from?" and then assumed a fake accent to impersonate the employee, replying: "We are from India."
Although Trump decries P.C. culture, his imitations of other people are often criticized as being mean-spirited, such as when he mocked a disabled journalist at a campaign rally. Watch Trump attempt to speak actual Hindi below. Jeva Lange
After President Trump declared himself "like, really smart" and "a very stable genius," the enterprising pollsters at ABC News and The Washington Post took it upon themselves to ask voters if they agree. The results are unlikely to please the president: Three in four respondents said they do not consider Trump a genius, and about half do not believe him to be mentally stable.
Only Republicans specifically are confident in Trump's stability — just 14 percent say he is not mentally stable — but they are less convinced of his genius, as only 50 percent of GOP voters agree with that claim.
The same survey found white women, whose votes were key in securing Trump's victory in 2016, now favor Democrats by a large margin when presented with a generic ballot. Read The Week's breakdown of that part of the poll, including what it means for Democrats' chance to retake Congress this year, here. Bonnie Kristian
"Everyone admits and acknowledges the president did not want this shutdown, actively worked to prevent this shutdown," said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in a Monday appearance on CBS This Morning.
His assessment of Senate Democrats was rather less positive. Mulvaney argued immigration policy should be settled separately from spending, and that Democrats' insistence on addressing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before backing a funding bill puts them in the strange position of opposing a bill whose provisions they support.
"This is something the likes of which Washington has never seen before. This is a bill that Democrats support. Yet they are still not voting for it. They oppose the bill but they don't really oppose the parts of it," Mulvaney said. "Maybe it speaks to how bad the dysfunction is within the Senate Democrats." Watch his comments in context here. Bonnie Kristian
Arab lawmakers were expelled from Mike Pence's speech at the Knesset for protesting the Jerusalem decision
Vice President Mike Pence's address before the Israeli parliament Monday was interrupted by protests, The Times of Israel reports. As Pence took his place in front of the Knesset, ministers from Israel's Joint Arab List — a coalition of Israeli-Arab lawmakers — held up signs that read "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine," protesting the Trump administration's decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's rightful capital. Security scrambled to remove the protesting ministers from the chamber as most of the other lawmakers in the Knesset applauded loudly:
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) January 22, 2018
After the commotion died down, Pence reportedly made note of Israel's "vibrant democracy." Later in the speech, the vice president reaffirmed the decision to recognize Jerusalem and announced that the U.S. would relocate its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by the end of next year.
Palestinians want Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, and some experts believe the Trump administration's policies are a barrier to peace efforts between Israel and Palestine. Read more about the Joint Arab List protests at Haaretz. Kelly O'Meara Morales
President Trump's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is officially on hold due to the government shutdown, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told NBC News. Trump is not likely to be particularly missed at the conference, though, where the theme of the year is "Creating a Shared Future in Fractured World" and where Trump had planned to bring his "America First" message, The Associated Press reports.
"I find it quite sad he's coming to the WEF, but I imagine nothing can be done about it," said Buddhist monk and Dalai Lama disciple Matthieu Ricard ahead of Trump's decision to put his visit to the forum on hold. WEF founder Klaus Schwab had said earlier Monday that it would be "good to have the president here, if the snow conditions and the situation in Washington allow us."
The United States' 12-person delegation to the forum was to include two women, not an entirely surprising number when considering that just 21 percent of the WEF's attendees are women. Still, the conference is making history this year with an all-woman team of co-chairs, NDTV reports, including "a union boss, a nuclear physicist, two company heads, a financial organization leader, an economist, and the prime minister of Norway."
Depending how the week goes in Washington, Trump could potentially still make it to the conference, which runs Tuesday through Saturday. He is scheduled to speak at the forum Friday, although getting Trump to Switzerland gets "more and more logistically challenging every day," Marc Short, the White House legislative affairs director, told CNN. Jeva Lange
When President Trump announced a new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office and hotline in last year's joint address to Congress, he said he would be "providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media and silenced by special interests." Almost a year later, VOICE, run by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has improperly released private and legally protected information about people who call into the hotline and the people they are calling about, potentially undermining the trust of crime victims. Callers are additionally improperly treating the hotline as a crime tip line, The Arizona Republic reports.
Last year, ICE posted summaries of call logs on its website that included names, addresses, and phone numbers of crime victims and immigrants accused of being in the U.S. illegally or crimes, plus identification numbers and employers of the immigrants. The Arizona Republic said that for its part, it filed a Freedom of Information Act request for "any and all criminal activity" called in to the VOICE line in July, received a spreadsheet with 643 callers on Sept. 8, then got a "clawback response" letter on Oct. 4 saying the September release inadvertently contained "personally identifiable information of third parties, law enforcement sensitive information, and potentially deliberative information."
The Republic illustrated the problems with the case of Elena Maria Lopez, who called the VOICE hotline to improperly report that her Dutch ex-husband had married her for a green card and then threatened her; was told that there was nothing VOICE could do; then received a call informing her that the information she had provided in confidence was released to the newspaper. "The same agency that claimed it had to protect my ex-husband's rights just destroyed my privacy and my safety," Lopez told the Republic. David Bier, an immigration analyst at the Cato Institute, called this a predictably "serious problem" that has undermined trust in the government on immigration issues. Peter Weber