10 things you need to know today: November 4, 2017
Trump visits Pearl Harbor en route to Japan, ISIS claims New York City attacker as a 'soldier of the Caliphate,' and more
Trump visits Pearl Harbor en route to Japan
President Trump made a stop in Hawaii Friday to visit the Pearl Harbor memorial on his way to Japan, the first stop in his 12-day tour of Asia. The president and first lady Melania Trump viewed the USS Arizona Memorial, where they tossed flower petals in the water, and Trump met with leaders of the U.S. Pacific Command. On arriving in Japan, Trump will speak to U.S. and Japanese troops at the Yokota air base, golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and meet the imperial family. The Asia tour is viewed as an opportunity to clarify U.S. trade goals and foreign policy in the region, particularly where North Korea is concerned.
ISIS claims New York City attacker as a 'soldier of the Caliphate'
The Islamic State claimed the suspected New York City attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, as a "soldier of the Caliphate" Thursday night. The claim was "uncharacteristically late" for the group, which usually releases a statement within the first 24 hours, and it was not carried by the militants' official Amaq News Agency, The New York Times reports. Saipov, taken into custody after allegedly using a truck to kill pedestrians in Manhattan, said he was inspired by ISIS. President Trump responded on Twitter Friday, writing, "Based on that, the Military has hit ISIS 'much harder' over the last two days."
Trump laments limits of power to prosecute political enemies
President Trump complained Thursday and Friday of the limits of executive power as it relates to his desired prosecution of campaign rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. "I'm not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department; I'm not supposed to be involved with the FBI; I'm not supposed to be doing the kinds of things I would love to be doing; and I'm very frustrated by it," he said in a radio interview Thursday. "Why aren't they going after Hillary Clinton with her emails and with the dossier and the kind of money?" Trump reiterated that frustration on Twitter Friday, calling an FBI investigation of Clinton "right and proper."
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to face no jail time over 2009 desertion
U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will not serve prison time for deserting his post in Afghanistan in 2009, a military judge ruled Friday. Instead, Bergdahl will be dishonorably discharged with his rank reduced to private, as well as fined $1,000 a month for 10 months. Bergdahl was held captive and tortured by the Taliban for five years after his desertion and was recovered in 2014 by former President Obama in exchange for five Guantanamo Bay detainees. He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. President Trump said the ruling was a "complete and total disgrace to our country and to our military."
ISIS suffers twin territory losses
The Islamic State lost two key territorial battles Friday, ceding control of the cities of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria and Qaim in western Iraq. The terrorist organization has now lost 96 percent of the territory controlled at the height of its self-proclaimed "Caliphate." After the fall of Raqqa, Syria, earlier this fall, Deir el-Zour had become "the headquarters of [ISIS] leadership, and in losing it, they lose their capacity to direct terrorist operations" in the area. Qaim was valuable to ISIS because it contains a crossing of the Euphrates River.
Federal climate report emphasizes human-caused change
A major federal report published by 13 agencies Friday names humans as the primary cause of global climate change. "This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century," the document says, adding that "there is no convincing alternative explanation." This runs afoul of the Trump administration's stance on the subject. A White House response emphasized "remaining uncertainty" and access to "affordable and reliable energy needed to grow economically."
Lawmakers propose sexual harassment training in Congress
After four current and former female members of Congress reported experiencing sexual harassment by fellow lawmakers, leaders from both major parties have called for sexual harassment training in Congress. "Each of us has a responsibility to ensure a workplace that is free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation," wrote House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in a letter to colleagues Friday that urged them to undergo training and require it of their staff. Also Friday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced a forthcoming proposal to update how sexual misconduct is handled on the Hill.
Reports reveal campaign by Russian agents to bait reporters
Russian agents worked to bait reporters into covering stories aimed at swinging the 2016 presidential election, The Associated Press reported Friday. The entity Guccifer 2.0, an alias that took credit for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign staff, "airbrushed" a batch of emails released in June 2016 to falsely say they were "CONFIDENTIAL," making them more appealing to journalists trawling for a story. Separately, Recode reports outlets like The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, and Vox "were duped into citing ... nefarious tweets in their coverage, perhaps unwittingly amplifying the reach of Russian propaganda."
NFL owners reportedly asked to turn over documents in Kaepernick collusion case
The owners of the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Houston Texans football teams will reportedly be "deposed and asked to turn over all cell phone records and emails in relation to [former San Francisco 49ers quarterback] Colin Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL," ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday. Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March and has remained a free agent ever since. He claimed in a grievance filed in October that NFL owners are colluding to keep him from being signed as "punishment" for his high-profile protests of racial inequality and police brutality.
Netflix cuts ties with Spacey
Netflix has cut ties with House of Cards star Kevin Spacey as sexual assault allegations against him snowball. Show insiders told Variety they are considering killing off Spacey's lead character, Frank Underwood, halfway through the final season so production can resume without him, focusing the end of the story on Robin Wright's Claire Underwood. Allegations against Spacey began Sunday evening, when an interview published in which actor Anthony Rapp accused him of sexual assault in 1986. Since then, multiple other men have reported similar experiences, and eight House of Cards staffers said Spacey exhibited sexually "predatory" behavior on set.