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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 15, 2017

Harold Maass
REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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1.

North Korea fires another missile over Japan

North Korea fired another missile on Friday, its 15th test this year, according to South Korea's military. Like its last test, on Aug. 28, the projectile flew over Japan. The Japanese government issued an alert via TV and cellphones, warning people to take shelter. Japan said the missile landed in the sea 1,200 miles east of the island of Hokkaido. The test came after a wave of relief last weekend, when a launch South Korea said Pyongyang was preparing failed to occur. The latest test came days after the United Nations Security Council unanimously imposed the toughest economic sanctions yet aiming to punish North Korea for its refusal to rein in its missile and nuclear weapons programs.

2.

Police call explosion and fire in London Underground a terror attack

An explosion and fire on a subway train at Parson's Green station in southwest London injured at least 18 people on Friday. British police classified the incident as a terrorist attack. The blast occurred during rush hour, when the Underground system is crowded with commuters. Witnesses said they heard an explosion and saw flames coming from a white bucket in a grocery bag on the floor of the car. "It happened just as we were pulling up to the Tube station so everyone just sort of piled out of the Tube and there was a distinct smell of burning," one witness said. "I certainly saw some burning injuries." [USA Today, BBC News]

3.

Trump visits hurricane-damaged southwest Florida

President Trump got a first-hand look at damage from Hurricane Irma in southwest Florida on Thursday, viewing hard-hit neighborhoods by helicopter and by car before visiting a devastated mobile-home community. Trump passed out hoagies and shook hands with locals and promised federal support. "We are there for you 100 percent," he said. "I'll be back here numerous times." Trump also praised the teamwork of federal and state leaders in leading the storm response in Fort Myers, Naples, and other areas in the region that took a direct hit. Many Florida residents will have to endure late summer heat and humidity for days without air conditioning, as about 2.7 million homes and businesses, about a quarter of the state's customers, still had no power Thursday. [Orlando Sentinel]

4.

Trump says immigration deal with Democrats near

President Trump said Thursday he was close to a deal with Democrats on a bill to restore protections against deportation for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children. Congress' Democratic leaders, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said hours earlier that they had reached an agreement with Trump at a Wednesday White House dinner. Both said the deal excluded money for Trump's proposed border wall. "I think we're fairly close but we have to get massive border security," Trump said. Some Republicans reportedly were furious about reports of a deal with Democrats. Trump said the GOP leadership was "on board." [Reuters]

5.

HHS slashes ObamaCare 'navigator' funding

The Trump administration reportedly has slashed funding for groups that help people sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act by as much as 92 percent. Health and Human Services announced two weeks ago that money for the program providing "navigators" to consumers would be reduced by 41 percent, and that ObamaCare advertising spending would be reduced from $100 million to $10 million because the outreach wasted taxpayer money. Congressional Democrats and some Republicans in rural states said Thursday, however, that the cuts would hamper efforts to help people get insured when open enrollment starts Nov. 1. [The Washington Post]

6.

Report: Trump berated Sessions for Russia investigation recusal

President Trump berated Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia election-meddling investigation in May after learning that a special counsel had been appointed to lead the inquiry, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing current and former administration officials. Trump accused Sessions of "disloyalty" and said he should resign, the sources told the newspaper. Sessions reportedly later told associates the encounter was his most humiliating experience in decades of public service, but he told Trump he would quit and submitted a resignation letter, which Trump rejected after senior aides argued that would compound his problems. [The New York Times]

7.

U.S. extends waivers on Iran sanctions for now

The Trump administration on Thursday extended waivers on nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, but imposed new ones against 11 companies and individuals linked to Tehran's ballistic-missile program and cyberattacks on U.S. companies. The new sanctions were seen as a sign of President Trump's desire to address actions by Iran that the U.S. sees as destabilizing to the Middle East. Administration officials said the extension of the waivers on oil and banking sanctions suspended under the landmark 2016 nuclear deal were a "holding action" until Trump decides in October whether to declare that Iran is complying with the deal. "The administration seeks to bring a change in Iran's behavior," one senior administration official said. [The Washington Post]

8.

Harvard's Kennedy School rescinds Chelsea Manning's visiting fellow offer

The Harvard Kennedy School of Government early Friday rescinded an invitation to Chelsea Manning to serve as a visiting fellow after facing an intense backlash. On Thursday, Michael Morell, a former acting CIA director, announced that he was resigning as a senior fellow at the Kennedy School over the offer to Manning, a former Army intelligence specialist who was convicted of six counts of espionage for leaking military secrets to WikiLeaks. Morell said it was "wholly inappropriate" to honor "a convicted felon and leaker of classified information." Douglas W. Elmendorf, dean of the Kennedy School, said that designating Manning a visiting fellow "was a mistake," and that the school had not intended to honor her. [Editor's note: This news item originally misstated Manning's former Army rank. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.] [The Boston Globe, NBC News]

9.

3 women file gender pay lawsuit against Google

Three women who used to work for Google filed a lawsuit against the company on Thursday, accusing it of paying female employees less than their male counterparts and keeping them in low-ranking jobs. The three plaintiffs — a software engineer, a communications specialist, and a manager — resigned over what they described as discrimination. The class-action suit came after the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs surveyed all 21,000 employees at Google's headquarters and found that women made less in nearly all job categories. Google spokesperson Gina Scigliano said the company would review the complaint, "but we disagree with the central allegations." She said Google "checks to make sure there is no gender bias" in hiring and promotion decisions. [The Verge]

10.

Cleveland beats Kansas City, extending winning streak to record 22 games

The Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in 10 innings on Thursday to win their 22nd game in a row, setting the record for the longest Major League Baseball winning streak in the modern era. The Indians trailed in the sixth inning for just the second time in their streak, tying the game in the ninth. In the 10th, the Indians' Jose Ramirez stretched a single into a double, nearly getting tagged out at second, and Jay Bruce drove him home with a double down the right-field line for the win. The Indians broke a record set by the Chicago Cubs in 1935. The 1916 New York Giants won 26 straight games, but they had one tie, although they won the make-up game. [Cleveland.com, Yahoo Sports]