Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 20, 2016

Harold Maass
EgyptAir planes on the tarmac


Egypt's military reports finding debris from missing jet

Search crews have found passenger belongings and debris from EgyptAir Flight 804 in the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt's military said Friday. The news came after a confusing day of searching, when officials reported wreckage had been spotted, then corrected themselves and said no debris had been spotted and the search was continuing. The Airbus A320 disappeared from radar en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board. It was too early to conclude why the plane crashed, but early suspicions focused on a terrorist bomb. [ABC News, CNN]


60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer dies at 84

Legendary 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer died of pneumonia Thursday in New York City. He was 84. The CBS newsman first stood out for his reporting during the Vietnam war, changing the way Americans saw the conflict when he showed GIs burning the huts of Vietnamese villagers. Safer then spent 46 years on 60 Minutes — the longest run ever on primetime network TV. Safer had been in declining health, and announced his retirement only last week. In a CBS News tribute broadcast Sunday, 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager called Safer's stories "works of art almost." [CBS News, The New York Times]


San Francisco police chief resigns after deadly officer-involved shooting

San Francisco's embattled police chief Greg Suhr resigned Thursday at the request of Mayor Ed Lee, after police fatally shot an apparently unarmed African-American woman in a suspected stolen car. Suhr had been under pressure to step down after two other controversial police shootings in six months, and revelations that several officers had exchanged racist and homophobic texts. Lee stood by Suhr through the previous scandals, but said progress was not coming fast enough and it was time to "heal the city." [San Francisco Chronicle, CNN]


DNC nears agreement on concessions to Bernie Sanders

The Democratic National Committee reportedly is near an agreement to give Bernie Sanders' supporters more seats on a key convention platform committee, a concession aiming to ease tensions between the DNC and Sanders. Both Sanders and his rival, frontrunner Hillary Clinton, are calling for greater inclusion at the party's Philadelphia convention. Negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of the week, although Sanders plans to push for platform concessions that could meet resistance at the convention. [The Washington Post]


Oklahoma lawmakers approve bill to make performing abortions illegal

Oklahoma's Senate on Thursday passed legislation seeking to make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. Physicians punished under the law also could lose their medical licenses. The bill now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin (R), and becomes law in five days unless she vetoes it. State Sen. Nathan Dahm, who proposed the bill, said he hoped it would help reverse the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. State Sen. Ervin Yen, who voted against the bill, called it "insane" and said a court challenge was certain. [USA Today]


Judge orders Dennis Hastert to report to prison in one month

A federal judge on Thursday ordered former House Speaker Dennis Hastert to report to prison on June 22. Hastert was sentenced in April to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to breaking federal banking laws to cover up past sexual abuse. The judge in April called the Illinois Republican a "serial child molester." Hastert apologized, saying he had "mistreated" several former athletes when he was a high school wrestling coach, before his election to Congress. [The Hill]


Colorado jury finds movie theater not liable for Aurora shooting rampage

A Colorado jury found Thursday that the Cinemark movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora could not have prevented a 2012 shooting that left 12 people dead. Victims said in the civil case that the theater should have foreseen the possibility of such a tragedy in an era of common mass shootings. Cinemark countered saying no security it could have provided would have prevented James Holmes from bursting in throwing gas canisters and firing with a shotgun, an assault rifle, and a semi-automatic pistol. [The Associated Press]


Paris attack suspect refuses to talk in first meeting with French anti-terror judges

Paris terrorist attack suspect Salah Abdeslam refused to talk on Friday during his first questioning by anti-terror judges since his extradition from Belgium last month. Abdeslam, who is believed to be the last survivor of the team that carried out the deadly November attacks, said last month that he was prepared to cooperate with investigators. It was not immediately clear why he changed his mind, but his lawyer, Frank Berton, said Abdeslam, 26, was upset over the 24-hour video surveillance in his maximum-security cell. [USA Today]


House limits display of Confederate flag in national cemeteries

The House of Representatives voted Thursday to limit the display of the Confederate battle flag in national cemeteries in the latest sign of growing opposition to the controversial symbol. A similar measure last year led to an impasse, but this time nobody spoke against the ban on the House floor. The flag's proponents say it stands for Southern pride, but opponents say it is a racist reminder of slavery. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), who sponsored the amendment, said their was no place for "this hateful symbol" in national cemeteries. [The Hill, The Christian Science Monitor]


Poll finds Native Americans not offended by Washington Redskins name

Nine in 10 Native Americans polled by The Washington Post said they were not offended by the Washington Redskins name. The results were similar to those of a 2004 poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Team owner Daniel Snyder said the Redskins were "gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community." A leader of the name-change movement said the poll only showed that Native Americans "have not allowed the NFL's decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image." [The Washington Post]