10 things you need to know today: February 4, 2017

Judge temporarily blocks Trump immigration order, Trump administration imposes new sanctions on Iran over missile test, and more

Americans protest President Trump's immigration order
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

1. Judge temporarily blocks Trump immigration order

A federal judge in Seattle on Friday night issued a temporary restraining order against President Trump's executive order suspending all U.S. entrance from seven majority-Muslim nations. U.S. District Judge James Robart's order came in response to a suit from the states of Washington and Minnesota; it indicates that the states do have standing to sue and is explicitly applied on a national basis. Robart is a George W. Bush appointee. "At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this outrageous order," the White House said. Though Homeland Security employees were told late Friday to immediately comply with the block, airlines and U.S. embassy employees in the seven nations are uncertain of how to proceed.

Reuters The Associated Press

2. Trump administration imposes new sanctions on Iran over missile test

The Trump administration announced Friday it is imposing sanctions on 13 individuals and 12 companies in response to Iran's ballistic missile test last Sunday. Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, earlier said the U.S. has put Iran "on notice" over the test, although the White House has not accused Tehran of violating the Iran nuclear deal, with which the new sanctions do not interfere. On Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis called Iran "the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world," while Iran defiantly promised "roaring missiles will fall on [Iranian enemies'] heads" if the nation is under threat.

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The Associated Press Reuters

3. President Trump signs executive order to begin rollback of Dodd-Frank

President Trump signed an executive order Friday telling the Treasury Department to review current financial regulations with an eye to rolling back the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulatory law, first put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. The order lays out a series of core principles, including "prevent[ing] taxpayer-funded bailouts" and "enabl[ing] American companies to be competitive with foreign firms," which the Trump administration says the regulatory climate should foster. Friday morning, Trump said he plans to "be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank, because frankly I have so many people, friends of mine, who have nice businesses [but] who can't borrow money." White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said the rollback would give Americans more choices and banks more freedom.

The Wall Street Journal The Hill

4. Mattis rejects 'dramatic military moves' in Asia on diplomacy tour

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis took his first overseas trip in office to South Korea and Japan this week, in Tokyo on Saturday assuring both American allies they can expect stable U.S. relations for the foreseeable future. "At this time, we do not see any need for dramatic military moves at all," Mattis said, suggesting President Trump will not follow through with campaign comments about requiring the Asian countries to pay for more of their own defense. Mattis took an aggressive attitude toward China, accusing Beijing of "shredding the trust of nations in the region," but he sharply rejected military measures as a means of settling competing Japanese and Chinese territory claims in the South China Sea.

CNN Reuters

5. More than 100,000 visas were revoked by Trump's immigration order

President Trump's immigration executive order caused more than 100,000 visas to be revoked, government lawyer Erez Reuveni revealed Friday in a federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia. The visas were not "just deemed unusable for 90 days," which is how long the order prohibited people from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff reported on Twitter. Per Reuveni, she tweeted, the visas "no longer exist." White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer previously said just over 100 people were "temporarily inconvenienced."

The Washington Post The Week

6. Economy exceeds expectations by adding 227,000 jobs in January

The U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January, the biggest increase in four months of solid gains. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast 197,000 new jobs, on average. The unemployment rate inched up from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent as more people entered the workforce. Average wages rose by 0.1 percent to $26 an hour, the weakest such gains since August. "Today's report reflects the consumer confidence that the Trump presidency has inspired," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday. Trump has promised to create another 25 million jobs over the coming decade.

MarketWatch The Hill

7. Trump's Army secretary nominee withdraws from consideration

Vincent Viola, President Trump's nominee for secretary of the Army, withdrew his name from consideration Friday night citing trouble divesting from his business interests. The West Point graduate is a billionaire founder of several companies who owns the Florida Panthers, a professional hockey team. "I am deeply honored to have been considered for this post, and appreciate the confidence President Trump showed in me," Viola said in a statement. "I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration." Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to recommend a replacement candidate soon.


8. Louvre reopens 24 hours after Egyptian machete attack

The Louvre in Paris reopened to the public Saturday, just 24 hours after a man armed with at least one machete and carrying two bags violently tried to enter the museum's gift shop and was shot by French soldiers on guard. The Egyptian government confirmed Saturday the attacker was Egyptian-born Abdullah Reda Refaie al-Hamahmy, 28, and a French prosecutor said he was a resident of the United Arab Emirates who came to Paris on a tourist visa in late January. Both of al-Hamahmy's bags were searched and no explosives were found; he is currently hospitalized in a stable condition. No one else was seriously injured in the foiled attack.

The Associated Press The Week

9. Kellyanne Conway calls Bowling Green snafu an 'honest mistake'

In an interview Thursday night on Hardball, Kellyanne Conway defended Trump's immigration ban by pointing to an attack by Iraqi refugees that never happened. The White House counselor claimed former President Barack Obama imposed a ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two "radicalized" Iraqi refugees were "the masterminds behind the Bowling Green Massacre." Though in 2011 police did arrest two Iraqi men in Bowling Green, Kentucky, they were not charged with plotting any domestic attack and there was no massacre. "Honest mistakes abound," Conway tweeted on Friday, noting she meant to say "Bowling Green terrorists" rather "massacre." Her tweets did not prevent widespread criticism for the remark Friday, including from former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

The New York Times The Guardian

10. Politics expected to shape Super Bowl ads, halftime performance

Halftime performer Lady Gaga is expected to make a bold statement at Super Bowl LI this Sunday. The singer has indicated her show will "uphold" her beliefs in "a passion for inclusion" and "the spirit of equality." Advertisers have avoided directly weighing in on America's tumultuous political climate, though Budweiser will run an ad showing founder Adolphus Busch being told to "go back home" after emigrating from Germany to the U.S., and carmaker Audi will run an ad advocating for equal pay. Construction company 84 Lumber nixed an ad featuring a Spanish-speaking mother and daughter at a U.S.-Mexico border wall because it was deemed "too controversial." The New England Patriots will face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday's game, with kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

The New York Times NBC News

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