Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 17, 2017

Second arrest made in London train blast investigation, violent protests continue in St. Louis, and more


Second man arrested in connection with London train blast

A second man has been arrested in connection with an explosion in a London Underground train that injured at least 29 people Friday. Police say they arrested a 21-year-old man Saturday night in west London. An 18-year-old man was also arrested Saturday, near the port of Dover on the English Channel, where he may have been trying to board a ferry to leave the U.K. The multiple arrests indicate the blast was part of a coordinated attack rather than committed by a lone wolf. The U.K.'s terror threat was lowered from "critical" to "severe" on Sunday. "We are still pursuing numerous lines of enquiry and at a great pace," Neil Basu, counter-terrorism coordinator of the London police, said.


St. Louis violent protests continue after ex-cop's acquittal

A second night of violent protests gripped the St. Louis area Saturday as angry people took to the streets in response to a judge's Friday decision to acquit former police officer Jason Stockley, who shot and killed a black motorist, Anthony Lamar Smith, in 2011. A few dozen demonstrators attacked riot police and shattered windows of local businesses. Nine people were arrested, The Associated Press reports. The violence followed a day of relatively peaceful protests by roughly 300 people, who shouted "black lives matter" and "no justice, no profits." Similar violent protests erupted Friday, and more than 30 people were arrested. Rock band U2 and musician Ed Sheeran both canceled planned St. Louis performances due to security concerns.


Bangladesh struggles under worsening Rohingya refugee crisis

Bangladesh is struggling to keep up with an influx of Rohingya Muslim refugees entering the country from Myanmar. Some 400,000 Rohingya, who are seen as illegal immigrants in Myanmar, have crossed into Bangladesh in the last three weeks, seeking refuge from what the United Nations calls a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing." The aid group Save the Children warns many of the refugees could starve as Bangladesh struggles to provide food and housing. "The humanitarian response needs to be rapidly scaled up," Mark Pierce, Bangladesh country director for the Save the Children, said in a statement. Most of those fleeing are women and children, and more than 400 babies have been born along the border of the two countries in the past 15 days, The Guardian reports.


Trump reportedly considering remaining in Paris Agreement

The Trump administration is reportedly considering not pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing officials at a Montreal global warming summit. Instead, White House senior adviser Everett Eissenstat suggested the U.S. was open to revising the terms of the agreement. The White House quickly refuted the report. "There has been no change in the U.S.'s position on the Paris Agreement," said Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters, adding a caveat: "As the president has made abundantly clear, the U.S. is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country." President Trump announced his plan to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, in June.


Dueling rallies, including Juggalos, descend on Washington

On Saturday, three very different protests took place in the nation's capital: the Pro-Trump "Mother of All Rallies"; the "Protect American Democracy" rally; and perhaps strangest of all, the "Juggalo March." The latter was made up of fans of the "horror-rap" group Insane Clown Posse, known for their "horror clown" black-and-white face paint. In 2011, the FBI listed Juggalos as a gang, a label the ICP rejects. The march was described on the group's website as "a collective statement from the Juggalo Family to the world about what we are and what we are not." Some worried the dueling protests would turn violent, but by all accounts, they remained calm.


Hurricane Maria upgraded to a Category 1 storm

Wind projections for Tropical Storm Maria

Maria was upgraded from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday, and could threaten areas like the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, which are already reeling from Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Jose, a Category 1 storm, also intensified on Sunday, with the National Hurricane Center saying it could cause "dangerous surf and rip currents" along the U.S. East Coast for the next few days. The third storm currently churning in the Atlantic, Lee, was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression Sunday, and is expected to weaken further over the next several days.


In move toward Palestinian unity, Hamas ends Gaza administrative committee

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Sunday said it had dissolved its Gaza administrative committee and would instead allow for general elections to be held and a unity government to be put into place. The move is seen as a tentative peace offering between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, and could possibly open the door to cooperation between Gaza and the West Bank for the first time in 10 years. Hamas has been in control of Gaza since 2007, but Abbas' Palestinian Authority has put pressure on Hamas by reducing electricity flow. A senior Fatah official said the latest development was a positive sign. "We in Fatah movement are ready to implement reconciliation," he told Reuters.


2 Equifax executives resign amid cyberattack fallout

Two Equifax executives — chief information officer David Webb and chief security officer Susan Mauldin — are retiring immediately, the credit reporting agency announced Friday. The news comes after the company revealed that a massive cyberattack may have compromised the Social Security numbers, addresses, birthdays, and drivers license numbers of 143 million Americans. Both executives have been replaced by interim employees. The company also elaborated on the extent of the attack, saying that 209,000 Americans may have had their credit card information compromised. The cyberattack happened between May and July of this year, and the attackers have not been identified. Equifax said it "continues to work closely with the FBI in its investigation."


Trump refuses to release Mar-a-Lago visitor list

The Justice Department on Friday refused to release the full list of names of people who visited President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort between January 20 and March 8 of this year, despite being ordered to do so by a federal court, The New York Times reported. Instead, the department released just 22 names, all of which were foreign dignitaries and staffers related to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited the resort in February. "The government believes that presidential schedule information is not subject to FOIA [Freedom of Information Act]," Chad A. Readler, acting assistant attorney general, wrote. Since his inauguration, the president has spent 25 days at his "winter White House" in Palm Beach, Florida, where membership costs $200,000 and frequent guests include financiers and real estate developers.


New Jennifer Lawrence film mother! tanks at opening weekend box office

Darren Aronofsky's new film, mother!, earned exceptionally low ratings from viewers during its opening weekend. The film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, received an "F" on the rating site CinemaScore, a rare honor given to just a handful of other films, ever. The horror film cost $33 million to make and was projected to rake in a dismal $8 million at the box office on opening weekend. Reviewers have been hard on the film. "Nothing about mother! makes one lick of sense," writes Observer's Rex Reed, who also called the film "two hours of pretentious twaddle" and gave it zero out of four stars.


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