Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 6, 2017

Macron campaign hacked on eve of French runoff, Trump signs $1.2 trillion spending bill, and more


Macron campaign hacked on eve of French runoff

French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is the subject of a "massive and coordinated hacking operation," his campaign said Friday evening, an attack timed in advance of Sunday's runoff vote between Macron, the centrist frontrunner, and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. Some 14.5 gigabytes of content in about 70,000 files were leaked, including emails, business documents, and more. The Macron campaign says falsified files were mixed among the real ones "to create confusion and misinformation," comparing the attack to allegations of Russian attempts to manipulate the U.S. presidential election. Le Pen's staff said they have also been subject to "regular and targeted attacks," a claim that has not been independently confirmed.


Trump signs $1.2 trillion spending bill

President Trump signed the bipartisan $1.2 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through September, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Friday afternoon, after he arrived at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is working for the weekend. Trump had until midnight to sign the bill or face a government shutdown. Though the bill — which The Associated Press noted is Trump's "first piece of major legislation" — does not fund Trump's promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, it does add $15 billion for defense spending and $1.5 billion for border security.


House-approved GOP health bill moves on to tough Senate battle

The American Health Care Act is in the Senate's hands after the House narrowly passed the GOP health-care bill Thursday, voting 217-213. Thursday's vote was held before the bill could be scored by the Congressional Budget Office, so its specific effects are unknown; a White House spokeswoman claimed the plan wasn't scored ahead of time because its complexity makes it "impossible to score." The legislation is expected to see significant changes in the upper chamber, with Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R) saying senators will "see how much of [the House bill] we can incorporate." Twelve GOP senators are reportedly working on a new bill.


Russia, Iran, Turkey implement de-escalation zones in Syria

Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed on May 4 to organize four "de-escalation zones" in Syria, documents released by the Russian foreign ministry on Saturday revealed, maintaining the areas for at least six months. The zones are mostly in opposition-held territory and are intended to offer some respite from the brutal violence of Syria's six-year civil war. The largest zone is expected to include Idlib province, the site of last month's chemical weapons attack, though maps will be finalized in the coming month. If successful, the zones will facilitate humanitarian aid and a degree of normalcy for civilians.


Flynn was warned against contacting Russian ambassador

Ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was warned by ranking members of President Trump's transition team that he should not communicate with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, The Washington Post reported Friday evening, citing unnamed former and current U.S. officials. Flynn was reportedly told by transition staff Kislyak was under U.S. surveillance, guidance Flynn did not heed when he discussed easing U.S. sanctions on Russia with Kislyak in advance of President Trump's inauguration. Flynn is now entangled in multiple federal investigations, scrutiny from the Pentagon's inspector general, as well as congressional intelligence committees.


North Korea accuses the CIA of plotting to assassinate Kim Jong Un

North Korea announced Friday it believes the CIA and South Korea's intelligence service are conspiring to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un. In a statement via state media, Pyongyang suggested the two countries "hatched a vicious plot" involving "biochemical substances" to take out the "supreme leadership." North Korea claimed it uncovered the "plot" after detecting an alleged spy who had been "ideologically corrupted and bribed." The statement arrives amid rising tensions in the region, as the Trump administration warns North Korea about its nuclear weapons program. North Korea says this "plot" is akin to a "declaration of war."


Second candidate for Army secretary withdraws from consideration

Mark Green, President Trump's second nominee for Army secretary, withdrew his bid Friday amid dogged controversy over past comments, including his opposition to same-sex marriage and his assertion that government-assisted health care is an "injustice" that turns people away from God. In a statement Friday, Green lamented that his "life of public service and [his] Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain." Trump previously nominated Army veteran and billionaire Vincent Viola to this position, but Viola withdrew from consideration due to ethics concerns.


Police officer who shot Jordan Edwards arrested for murder

The police officer who fatally shot Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old black boy from Dallas, Texas, turned himself in for arrest on a murder charge Friday night. The officer, Roy Oliver, who is white, was released on bail set at $300,000. Oliver was one of three officers called to investigate underage drinking at a party Edwards was attending with his two brothers. The officer repeatedly fired at a car leaving the party, and one of his bullets struck Edwards in the head, killing him. Oliver initially claimed the car was aggressively reversing in his direction, but body camera footage revealed it was driving away from him. All the teenagers inside were unarmed.


Navy SEAL killed in Somalia during raid against al Shabab

One Navy SEAL was killed and two others were wounded during a raid Thursday in Somalia against al Qaeda affiliate al Shabab, the Pentagon confirmed Friday. The U.S. military's Africa Command reported the SEAL was killed when troops "conducting an advise and assist mission alongside members of the Somali National Army" unexpectedly came under fire. BuzzFeed News reports this is "the fourth U.S. troop death this week," after two Army Rangers were killed in Afghanistan and a U.S. service member was killed in Iraq.


Kentucky Derby starts Triple Crown season Saturday

Three-year-old Thoroughbreds will race Saturday in the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports." The annual horse race, held at Churchill Downs, spans one and a quarter miles of track and is the first of three races in the Triple Crown series. Experts anticipate this year's race pace won't be blisteringly fast, but a wide-open field means there will be plenty of room for intrigue; 2-year-old Classic Empire is the favorite, but could be plagued by recent injuries. Coverage of the Derby begins at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC, with undercard action beginning at 12 p.m. ET.


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