Daily briefing

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

NRA backs banning "bump stocks" after Las Vegas massacre, Trump reportedly decides to decertify Iran nuclear deal, and more


NRA backs banning 'bump stocks' after Las Vegas mass shooting

The anti-gun-control National Rifle Association said Thursday that it supports a push to regulate so-called bump stocks, the devices police say the gunman in the Las Vegas massacre used to make his semi-automatic rifles fire continuously, like fully automatic weapons. "The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president and chief executive, said in a joint statement with another NRA leader. The NRA stand was expected to boost Republican support for an effort spearheaded by Democrats to ban the devices. "Clearly that's something we need to look into," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said.


Trump reportedly plans to decertify Iran nuclear deal

President Trump plans to "decertify" Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal next week, and declare that the Obama-era pact is not in U.S. interests, several news outlets reported Thursday. Trump reportedly does not plan to scrap the agreement entirely, as he has repeatedly indicated he would like to do. Trump has said the agreement, which exchanged the lifting of sanctions for Iran's promise to curb its nuclear program, was a terrible deal for the U.S. and for security in the Middle East. Decertifying the deal will put the matter in the hands of Congress, giving lawmakers two months to determine the next move. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump had reached a decision on the issue and planned to announce it "soon."


Mueller's team interviews ex-spy who compiled dossier on Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators reportedly recently interviewed a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier of alleged personal and financial dirt Russia had collected on President Trump. The meeting with Steele took place in Europe in recent weeks. Steele looked into Trump's Russian ties for a private U.S. firm, and his report was circulated in Washington last fall. President Trump has dismissed Steele's findings as "phony stuff," although the FBI is investigating to see whether it can corroborate Steele's claims. Mueller's team is investigating Russia's attempt to influence last year's election in Trump's favor, and possible collusion by Trump associates.


Las Vegas gunman reportedly scouted other music festivals

Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed 58 people on the Las Vegas Strip before killing himself, rented two rooms at Chicago's Blackstone Hotel overlooking the Lollapalooza music festival in August, but did not check in, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday, citing a law enforcement source. The two rooms Paddock reserved had a clear view of the outdoor festival, which took place two months before he fired down on a country music festival crowd from a 32nd-floor room at a Las Vegas hotel. The four-day Lollapalooza event attracted hundreds of thousands of people, including former President Barack Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha. Paddock also reportedly reserved rooms overlooking the Life Is Beautiful show near the Vegas Strip late last month.


Anti-abortion Republican resigns after allegedly urging mistress to get abortion

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) told House leaders on Thursday that he would step down from his seat. The married eight-term congressman, an outspoken proponent of abortion restrictions, announced a day earlier that he would not seek re-election after a news report claimed that he had urged a woman with whom he had an affair to get an abortion. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Murphy had sent him a letter of resignation, effective Oct. 21. "It was Dr. Murphy's decision to move on to the next chapter of his life, and I support it," Ryan said in a statement.


House approves $4.1 trillion budget in party-line vote

The House of Representatives passed a $4.1 trillion budget Thursday along party lines, 219-206. Eighteen Republicans voted against the resolution, as did all the Democrats. The legislation primes the GOP for a tax-code rewrite: "We need to pass this budget so we can help bring more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for people across this country," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said. The Senate is not expected to accept the $200 billion in required federal spending cuts from the House budget; the upper chamber's proposal would allow $1.5 trillion to be added to the deficit over the next decade, but the House plan requires a tax proposal that doesn't add to the deficit.


Harvey Weinstein takes leave of absence after harassment reports

Film studio executive Harvey Weinstein has paid at least eight settlements to women who accused him of sexual harassment, The New York Times reported Thursday. The allegations against him span nearly three decades. Women, including actress Ashley Judd and former Weinstein employees, say he invited them to hotel rooms and made unwanted advances, sometimes appearing naked in front of them. One former employee said he promised to advance her career if she had sex with him. Judd said he asked her to watch him shower or let him massage her. In a statement, Weinstein said he "came of age … when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different" and that he is "trying to do better." He will take a leave of absence from his company.


Tropical Storm Nate kills at least 20 in Central America en route to U.S.

Tropical Storm Nate formed and quickly strengthened in the Caribbean, killing at least 20 people in Central America as it pushed north. At least 11 of the deaths occurred in Nicaragua, where thousands evacuated their homes due to flooding. The storm is expected to strengthen as it continues over warm waters toward Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. National Hurricane Center forecasters said Nate could reach the Gulf Coast, possibly in Florida's panhandle near Pensacola, as a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 85 miles per hour on Sunday. "The threat of the impact is increasing, so folks along the northern Gulf Coast should be paying attention to this thing," the NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.


International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced Friday. The international consortium of nongovernmental organizations was selected for its "work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons," and its "groundbreaking efforts" toward a treaty prohibiting them, said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair. "We live in a world where the risk of nuclear weapons being used is greater than it has been for a long time," she said, citing the crisis over North Korea's nuclear program as an example. In July, 122 United Nations member states signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons pushed by ICAN, but so far no nuclear powers have signed on.


Netflix raises subscription rates ahead of new season of Stranger Things

Netflix shares jumped by 4 percent to an all-time high on Thursday after the video-streaming company announced that it was hiking its monthly subscription fee by $1 to $10.99. New customers will take the hit right away, and existing customers will see their fee rise over the next few months. Netflix's premium, four-stream "family plan," which also offers some content in Ultra HD 4K format, also will go up, from $11.99 to $13.99 per month. Hikes have been expected as Netflix increases its spending on programming, which will rise by $1 billion to $7 billion in the coming year. The second season of Netflix hit Stranger Things debuts later this month.


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U.S. to crack down on guns going south, Mexico works to stop fentanyl heading north
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