10 things you need to know today: March 26, 2017
1 dead and 14 injured in Cincinnati nightclub shooting, health-care bill blame game begins, and more
1 dead and 14 injured in Cincinnati nightclub shooting
At least one person is dead and another 14 injured after gunfire broke out in a Cincinnati, Ohio, nightclub around 1 a.m. local time on Sunday. Police are actively investigating the incident at the Cameo Night Club and say they have no reason to suspect terrorism. "It's a large and complicated homicide scene," said Cincinnati Police Department Sgt. Eric Franz. "At this point we have multiple witnesses we're interviewing and we have nobody in custody." Early reports suggested multiple shooters, but police later indicated there may be just a single attacker. Several victims are undergoing emergency surgery.
Health-care bill blame game begins
Following Friday's canceled vote on the American Health Care Act, the GOP plan to reform ObamaCare which failed significantly because of intra-party opposition, the finger pointing has begun. President Trump has blamed Democratic leadership and, to a lesser extent, the House Freedom Caucus that organized conservative resistance in Congress. Privately, he is believed to share the critique of House Speaker Paul Ryan's leadership which other Republicans have begun to publicly level. Outside of Washington, the AHCA was generally unpopular, but its demise — coupled with Trump's assertions that ObamaCare will now "explode" on its own — has produced widespread uncertainty.
Trump-recommended show calls for Ryan to resign
"Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.," President Trump tweeted Saturday — hardly an unusual post for a president known for his love of cable news shows. But in that evening's episode, Judge Jeanine Pirro kicked off her program with a demand for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to resign. "He failed to deliver the votes on his health-care bill," she said, insisting the de facto demise of the bill "is not on President Trump" because "no one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances ... of Washington." Pirro said she did not discuss her message with the president before the show. While Trump has not explicitly blamed Ryan, the House speaker is in a difficult position after alienating the most conservative and moderate wings of his party alike.
EU affirms unity on eve of Brexit trigger
Leaders of the 27 European Union nations that will remain in the organization following the United Kingdom's forthcoming exit met Saturday in Rome on the occasion of the 60-year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome that established the European Economic Community, an EU forerunner. The conference adopted the Rome Declaration, a brief statement affirming mutual "pride in the achievements of the European Union," including "common institutions and strong values, a community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, a major economic power with unparalleled levels of social protection and welfare." British Prime Minister Theresa May, who did not attend the meeting in Rome, is expected to begin the formal Brexit process Wednesday by triggering Article 50.
Fights erupt at pro-Trump rally in California
Violence broke out at a Make America Great Again rally south of Los Angeles on Saturday as supporters of President Trump scuffled with counter-protesters. About 2,000 Trump fans were gathered in Huntington Beach, California, when multiple fights erupted in the crowd. At least one Trump supporter was pepper-sprayed by a Trump opponent wearing a black mask, who was then tackled, punched, and kicked by multiple rally attendees. Four counter-protesters were arrested, local law enforcement said, three of them for illegal pepper spray use. Attendees described the event as a celebration of Trump plus Vice President Mike Pence, veterans, first responders, and patriotism in general. "Thanks you for all of the Trump Rallies today," Trump tweeted Saturday night. "Amazing support. We will all MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
U.S. military acknowledges Mosul airstrike with alleged high civilian casualties
The U.S. military on Saturday took responsibility for a March 17 airstrike in the Islamic State-occupied portion of Mosul, Iraq, that is alleged to have killed as many as 200 civilians. The strike is part of a pattern of high civilian casualties which led U.S.-supported Iraqi troops to announce a pause in their assault on Mosul to reassess tactics. U.S. Central Command has launched an investigation into "the validity of the allegation of civilian casualties." If local reports are accurate, this strike would be the single "greatest loss of civilian life since the United States began strikes" against ISIS in 2014, The Washington Post reports.
Top Trump surrogate Boris Epshteyn expected to resign his post
Boris Epshteyn, a Trump administration official who manages several media surrogates for the president and is a high-profile surrogate himself, is expected to resign his post, perhaps for a less prominent role in the White House, multiple reports suggested Saturday evening. The reason for Epshteyn's departure from his current position is unknown, though the former campaign staffer reportedly has a combative relationship with press contacts. "We are discussing opportunities within the Administration," an unnamed senior administration official told Politico.
Vegas strip weathers pig-masked robbery, active gunman
The Las Vegas Strip was the scene of two dramatic but apparently unconnected crimes on Saturday. The first, which took place at the Bellagio hotel and casino around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, was an armed robbery attempt at a jewelry store perpetrated by at least one suspect wearing a rubber pig mask and wielding a sledgehammer. Later that morning, a man opened fire on a double decker bus, killing one person and injuring another before initiating a lengthy standoff with law enforcement. The Strip was shut down while the attacker hid in the stopped bus until mid-afternoon, at which point he surrendered to police without incident.
Hong Kong chooses Beijing-backed candidate amid contentious political climate
Hong Kong's chief executive election on Sunday ended with a victory for Carrie Lam, formerly the semiautonomous city's second-highest official and the favored candidate of Chinese leadership in Beijing. Lam was chosen with 67 percent support from a 1,194-member committee, which democratic activists in Hong Kong allege is illegitimate because it precludes a direct vote by the city's 7.3 million people and is stacked with pro-Beijing elites. Lam will be Hong Kong's first female chief executive. "Hong Kong, our home, is suffering from quite a serious divisiveness," she said in her victory speech. "My priority will be to heal the divide."
Uber suspends self-driving car program after crash
A crash in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday has led ridesharing company Uber to suspend its self-driving car program. No one was seriously hurt in the incident, but the self-driving Volvo was flipped on its side after another vehicle "failed to yield" appropriately at a left turn. "There was a person behind the wheel" of the Volvo at the time of the crash, said an Uber representative, and it "is uncertain at this time if they were controlling the vehicle at the time of the collision."