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February 1, 2017

The Pentagon has identified the Navy SEAL killed in last Saturday's raid on a militant compound in Yemen as Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36. Between three and six other U.S. personnel were injured in the chaotic raid. President Trump, who authorized the intelligence-gathering mission, has called Owens' family and expressed his condolences; it's the first U.S. combat fatality of Trump's term. Also killed in the raid were al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) senior leader Abdulraoof al-Dhahab and at least 13 other militants. Yemeni officials say at least 10 women and children were also killed, including the 8-year-old daughter of U.S.-born AQAP leader Anwar al-Awlaki, himself slain in a 2011 drone strike.

Things started going wrong for U.S. forces immediately, The Washington Post reported Tuesday night. They encountered fierce resistance as soon as they landed in the village of Taklaa, outside a heavily guarded AQAP compound. Officials called in backup, and helicopter gunships and Harrier jets struck the compound, before a Special Ops team arrived to evacuate the U.S. commandos and their wounded. Owens died from his injuries after being pulled out, The Post says. In the evacuation, one of the MV-22 Osprey helicopters lost power and landed hard, wounding two service members; a U.S. missile destroyed the Osprey so it wouldn't fall into enemy hands. Sources tell ABC's Martha Raddatz that AQAP seemed to know the Americans were coming:

The mission was to detain Yemeni tribal leaders working with AQAP, one of the most aggressive al Qaeda branches, and to gather intelligence to help prevent terrorist attacks. The U.S. hadn't launched any ground raids in Yemen since late 2014, before a Saudi-led Arab coalition started attacking Houthi rebels, with limited U.S. support. The fighting withered U.S. intelligence-gathering on AQAP, and a small Special Ops outpost was established on coastal Yemen last year, with United Arab Emirates troops, to start filling the counterintelligence hole, The Post reports.

Planning for the Yemen raid began in the final weeks of the Obama administration, and a former senior defense official said to expect more such raids in the future. "We really struggled with getting the White House comfortable with getting boots on the ground in Yemen,” the former official told The Washington Post. "Since the new administration has come in, the approvals [at the Pentagon] appear to have gone up." Trump called the raid a success, citing the slain militants and seized intelligence. Peter Weber

12:36 p.m. ET

Former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to a sexting scandal involving a 15-year-old girl. The emotional moments afterward were captured on paper by the courtroom sketch artist:

Weiner had reportedly sought probation on the grounds that he needs therapy, calling himself "a very sick man for a very long time." After the sentencing he "remained behind, crying and talking with lawyers," the New York Daily News writes. "He appeared crushed." Jeva Lange

12:18 p.m. ET
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Chelsea Manning tweeted Monday that she has been "permanently banned" from Canada due to violations of the Espionage Act stemming from her leak of thousands of classified and unclassified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. "[Canadian immigration] denied entry [because] of convictions similar to 'treason' offense," Manning wrote.

The letter indicates that Manning was rejected "on grounds of serious criminality" that "if committed in Canada ... would equate to an indictable offense, namely Treason." Manning had her sentence commuted by President Obama in 2016 and she was released earlier this year.

Manning said she would challenge Canada's denial of entry at a future date:

Earlier this month, Harvard's Kennedy School announced that it had rescinded its invitation to Manning to be a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics after CIA Director Mike Pompeo canceled his appearance at the school, citing Manning as being a "traitor to the United States of America." Jeva Lange

11:59 a.m. ET

While serving as editor of Breitbart in 2016, Stephen Bannon reportedly plotted to infiltrate Facebook to learn if there was a liberal bias in its hiring process, BuzzFeed News reports. Bannon expressed interest in an emailed proposal sent to him from Chris Gacek, a former congressional staffer, who included links to openings at the tech company that could serve as possible inroads for the investigation:

"There is one for a DC-based 'Public Policy Manager' at Facebook's What's APP [sic] division," Gacek, the Senior Fellow for Regulatory Affairs at the group, wrote on August 1, 2016. "LinkedIn sent me a notice about some job openings."

"This seems perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you / Milo with INTEL about the job application process over at FB," he continued.

"Milo" is former Breitbart News Tech Editor Milo Yiannopoulos, to whom Bannon forwarded Gacek's email the same day.

"Can u get on this," Bannon instructed his staffer. [BuzzFeed News]

There is no evidence that Breitbart's efforts advanced much past the email conversation (the job discussed by Bannon and Gacek ultimately went to Christine Turner, a National Security Council staffer under President Obama, BuzzFeed News reports), but the report of an attempted infiltration arises amid separate concerns of the use of the social media website as a pro-Trump political manipulation tool. Read the full report at BuzzFeed News. Jeva Lange

11:20 a.m. ET

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Monday that President Trump's recent threats and provocations are "clearly a declaration of war." Speaking from the United Nations in New York City, Ri added that North Korea has the right to shoot down American bombers even if they are not in North Korea's airspace.

Last week, Trump vowed to "totally destroy" North Korea if it continues to menace the U.S. and its allies. He has also threatened the country on Twitter:

On Saturday, a group of U.S. bombers and fighter escorts flew well north of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, staying over international waters but making a clear show of force toward Pyongyang. The Pentagon characterized the flight as a demonstration "that the president has many military options to defeat any threat." Jeva Lange

10:54 a.m. ET
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a sexting scandal involving a 15-year-old girl, Newsday reports. "I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse," he told the court in tears this spring.

Weiner, 53, is in the process of getting divorced from top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who did not appear in court for the sentencing. After The Daily Mail published the news last year that Weiner exchanged sexually explicit messages with a high school sophomore whom he knew was underage, the FBI got involved, seizing Weiner's laptop. That resulted in the discovery of emails on the laptop from Hillary Clinton to Abedin, a top aide to Clinton, reopening the (ultimately unchanged) FBI investigation into Clinton's handling of classified emails — which Clinton has blamed in part for her election loss.

Weiner had reportedly sought probation on the grounds that he needs therapy, calling himself "a very sick man for a very long time," NBC New York reports. Prosecutors argued Weiner's actions "[suggest] a dangerous level of denial and lack of self-control." Jeva Lange

10:54 a.m. ET
BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images

On Sunday, the Trump administration rolled out a new iteration of its much-critiqued travel ban, a version that targets a slightly different set of countries and has no expiration date. The new ban may also differ from its predecessors by posing a more difficult challenge to those who would try to fight it in court, as Reuters detailed Monday in dialogue with several legal experts.

"The greater the sense that the policy reflects a considered, expert judgment, the less the temptation (by courts) to second-guess the executive," Saikrishna Prakash, a University of Virginia law professor, told Reuters. To the extent that this version "looks less like a matter of prejudice or a desire to fulfill a campaign promise," Prakash said, the safer from legal contest it will be.

Because the new ban adds North Korea and select government officials from Venezuela to its no-entry list, the White House can more easily argue it is not excluding Muslims on the basis of their religion rather than measurable security risks.

That each of the eight nations targeted are subject to slightly different guidelines will also help the administration's case in court, as will the ban's reliance on a multi-month review by the Department of Homeland Security. The review "at least arguably attenuates the link between the president’s alleged bias and the policy," said Margo Schlanger, a law professor at the University of Michigan. Bonnie Kristian

10:37 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Sunday talk news shows on ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, and NBC all failed to discuss or only briefly touched on reports of widespread devastation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, Media Matters reports. In total, the left-leaning media watchdog estimates that ''the five major Sunday political talk shows dedicated less than one minute in total to covering the growing humanitarian emergency."

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has warned of "complete destruction of the power infrastructure" in the territory as well as "severe destruction of the housing infrastructure." Also of serious concern is the damage to the island's crops: "There will be no food in Puerto Rico," Jose A. Rivera, a farmer, predicted to The New York Times. "There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won't be any for a year or longer."

More than 3.5 million Americans live in Puerto Rico, although the crisis was not covered at all by ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, or Fox's Fox News Sunday. Read more about the coverage at Media Matters. Jeva Lange

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