10 things you need to know today: April 29, 2017
Trump signs short-term spending bill to delay shutdown, North Korean ballistic missile test fails, and more
Trump signs short-term spending bill to delay shutdown
President Trump signed a one-week spending bill Friday night after both houses of Congress voted to approve the measure just hours before the midnight deadline to avert a government shutdown. The stopgap measure had been put in jeopardy by a White House push to pass health-care reform before the administration's 100th day Saturday, but House leadership chose to delay a health-care vote until at least next week, paving the way for the bipartisan spending bill. The federal government is now funded through May 5, by which point lawmakers expect to pass a $1 trillion spending bill financing Washington through the end of September.
North Korean ballistic missile test fails
North Korea unsuccessfully tested a ballistic missile on Friday, South Korea's military confirmed. The missile was reportedly fired from a site north of Pyongyang, landing in the Sea of Japan. President Trump tweeted in response, "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!" Trump on Wednesday hosted all 100 senators at the White House to offer an update on the "major threat" posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons program. North Korea's missile test earlier this month also failed.
Trump marks 100 days in office
President Trump hit the 100-day mark of his presidency Saturday, a milestone he enthusiastically hailed in his weekly address the afternoon before. "I truly believe that the first 100 days of my administration has been just about the most successful in our country's history," Trump said in the brief video. "Our country is going up, and it's going up fast. Our companies are doing better. They just announced fantastic profits all because of what's happened in this rather short period of time, and that's just the beginning." Trump will spend his 100th day signing a new executive order, this one ordering a study of the effects of current U.S. trade agreements.
Thousands to gather in Washington for People's Climate March
About 50,000 people are expected to gather Saturday in Washington, D.C., for the 2017 People's Climate March. Activists are hailing the event as an opportunity to promote clean energy and fight for climate protections the Trump administration has threatened to roll back. The march will begin in front of the Capitol, and protesters are expected to make their way to the White House. This will be the second science-related march in two weeks in D.C., following last weekend's March for Science, which coincided with Earth Day.
Trump speaks at NRA convention
President Trump spoke Friday at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, becoming the first sitting president since the 1980s to address the NRA. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end," the president said in his talk. "I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Trump also speculated about the 2020 election, suggesting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) might run against him, "and she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you."
Trump signs executive order targeting off-shore drilling bans
President Trump on Friday signed an executive order seeking to lift bans on offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans put in place by former President Barack Obama. The order tasks Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke with studying an Obama mandate to block offshore drilling in those waters through 2022, and calls for a repeal of a permanent ban on drilling in Arctic and Atlantic areas Obama enacted in December 2016. "This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job-creating energy exploration," Trump said, though any drilling will be prefaced by a lengthy legal battle.
Trump transition team reportedly vetted Flynn, contra president's claim
Sources told NBC News that "both the Trump transition and the White House did do a background check" on ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Friday night, a screening Maddow said was done "in addition to his already-approved security clearance." That report runs contrary to President Trump's Friday statement that his team "didn't vet" Flynn because he "was approved at the highest level of security by the Obama administration." Flynn took more than $500,000 from groups tied to the Russian and Turkish governments after being told not to do so without specific approval.
Ex-Fox News boss Roger Ailes may launch new TV network
With Fox News in turmoil after the ousting of Bill O'Reilly, a person familiar with private talks among conservative media bigwigs says there is "serious" discussion of launching a rival news network, Mediaite reported Friday. Fox News founder Roger Ailes, like O'Reilly, was pushed out by the network amid sexual harassment allegations, and New York's Gabriel Sherman says two people close to Ailes claim he is actively exploring a new TV venture. The new network would reportedly put "the old band" back together as a response to the perception that Fox is moving too far to the left.
Turkey blocks access to Wikipedia
The Turkish government has blocked access to Wikipedia, watchdog organizations said Saturday. "After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website," said a statement from the Turkish Information and Communication Technologies Authority, which did not provide a reason for the block. The law the statement cited permits the government to ban websites deemed obscene or threatening to national security. This move comes two weeks after a referendum vote gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expansive new powers.
Pope Francis gives Mass in Cairo
Pope Francis on Saturday celebrated Mass with a crowd of about 15,000 in Cairo, Egypt, a visit made at the invitation of Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar and a leading moderate cleric and academic of Sunni Islam. The trip follows the Palm Sunday bombings of two Coptic Orthodox churches in Egypt that claimed at least 45 lives. "God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity!" Francis said in his homily. "Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him."