Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 1, 2017

A driver kills eight people in suspected New York terror attack, Trump calls for tougher "extreme vetting" of immigrants, and more

1

8 killed by driver who plowed down Manhattan bike path

A driver plowed a pickup truck the wrong way down a bike path in lower Manhattan in New York City on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 11 others. Witnesses said the driver got out of the truck after slamming into a school bus, waving a pellet gun and a paintball gun and shouting, "Allahu akbar," Arabic for "God is great," before being shot by a police officer and arrested. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the rampage as a "cowardly act of terror." Investigators found a handwritten note near the truck expressing allegiance to the Islamic State. Police identified the suspect as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, an immigrant from Uzbekistan who came to the U.S. in 2010.

2

Trump orders stepping up of 'extreme vetting' after New York attack

President Trump tweeted Tuesday night that he was ordering the Department of Homeland Security to "step up our already Extreme Vetting Program" in the wake of the New York City truck attack. "Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!" Trump wrote. He made the announcement hours after police arrested a 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan police said drove a truck down a busy bike path in lower Manhattan, killing eight people. The suspect came to the United States in 2010, law enforcement officials said. The Trump administration has called for a travel ban against citizens from seven countries; Uzbekistan is not on the list.

3

Trump dismisses Papadopoulos as minor campaign figure

President Trump on Tuesday belittled former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who has admitted to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians, dismissing him as someone who played an insignificant role in his campaign. "Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar," Trump tweeted. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents last year to cover up his discussions with Russians promising "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from hacked emails. Trump also dismissed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, saying that Manafort's alleged attempts to hide money he made lobbying for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine had nothing to do with Trump.

4

Kelly faces backlash over Civil War comments

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), criticized White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Tuesday for defending Confederate statues. Kelly said "history is history," and that the Civil War happened because "men and women of good faith on both sides" failed to "compromise." Richmond said Kelly "needs a history lesson" about the South's defense of slavery. The Civil War "was a struggle for the soul of this country," Richmond said in the statement. Civil War historians also slammed Kelly's comments, calling them "sad," "strange," and "dangerous." White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Kelly's remarks, saying he "was simply making the point because history isn't perfect doesn't mean it's not our history."

5

Tech giants say Russian election disinformation broader than first reported

Representatives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill that Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election were more extensive than initially believed. Lawyers for the tech giants said the number of Americans exposed to bogus information disseminated by Russian operatives is now estimated at more than 100 million. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, said social media is widely used and has "enriched" America, "but the bottom line is these technologies also can be used to undermine our democracy and put our nation at risk."

6

House GOP delays unveiling of tax plan by one day

House Republicans delayed the release of their sweeping tax-cut proposal by one day, moving it from Wednesday to Thursday as they try to make last-minute changes. "We are very close," Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said late Tuesday when he announced the delay. President Trump is pushing for approval of the legislation by Christmas, hoping to score a major legislative victory following the failure of GOP efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare. GOP tax-writers are working on adjustments to address objections expressed by rank-and-file Republicans to proposals to pay for corporate and individual tax cuts, such as deficit spending and reductions to allowable pre-tax contributions to 401(k)s. Democrats have complained the plan gives too many breaks to the wealthy.

7

Police: Parent who took teacher hostage killed at California school

SWAT officers on Tuesday shot and killed a parent who allegedly took a teacher hostage at an elementary school in Southern California. Officers stormed the room after a seven-hour standoff because crisis negotiators made contact with the parent, identified as Luvelle Kennon, 27, but not the teacher, Linda Montgomery, police said. The incident started when the parent, whose daughter is in first grade, forced his way into Castle View Elementary School. A male teacher confronted the intruder, who punched the teacher in the face, breaking his nose, and pulled Montgomery into an empty classroom. She suffered scrapes during the scuffle. Police safely evacuated all students.

8

Puerto Rico seeks help paying Whitefish

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is asking FEMA to pay $10 million to help pay Whitefish Energy Holdings for work it has done to repair power lines damaged by two hurricanes, CNN reported Tuesday. The news came hours after FEMA Administrator Brock Long said in a congressional hearing that the agency had not reimbursed PREPA for any of the money it has paid under a controversial $300 million contract with Whitefish, a tiny company based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Puerto Rico authorities this week said they were scrapping the contract and requesting help from utilities on the U.S. mainland to restore power.

9

Netflix halts production of

Netflix suspended filming of the sixth and final season of the hit drama House of Cards on Tuesday in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against star Kevin Spacey. A day earlier, the streaming service had said it would drop production of the show after Season 6 was finished. Netflix and show producer Media Rights Capital said they decided to pause work on the show "to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew." Actor Anthony Rapp said that in 1986 when he was 14 Spacey made inappropriate advances. Spacey said he didn't remember the incident, but if it happened as Rapp described, he owed him the "sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior."

10

Dodgers beat Astros to force Game 7 of World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 Tuesday night in Game 6 of the World Series, forcing the first World Series Game 7 in Dodger Stadium history. George Springer hit a solo home run in the third inning to give the Astros an early lead, but the Dodgers came back in the sixth inning with two runs. Joc Pederson gave the Dodgers a bigger edge with a solo home run in the seventh. It was Pederson's third homer over six games, and the 24th of the series for both teams, a record. Game 7 is set for Wednesday, with the first pitch at 8:20 p.m. ET.

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