Daily briefing

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

A gunman kills at least 26 at a Texas church, Trump blames mental illness for shooting, and more


Gunman kills at least 26 at Texas church

A gunman dressed in black and wearing a ballistic vest opened fire with a Ruger military-style rifle at a small Baptist church in southern Texas on Sunday, killing at least 26 people. Police said the killer shot and killed the first victims outside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, then went inside and massacred parishioners attending services. An armed neighbor shot the gunman as he left the church. The killer then drove off in his own vehicle. The alleged gunman was identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, who was discharged from the Air Force in 2014 after being court martialed for assault. He was chased by witnesses and crashed, and was found dead in his vehicle. The dead at the church ranged in age from 5 to 72.


Trump blames church massacre on mental health problems

President Trump expressed his condolences to those affected by the shooting at a Texas church that left 26 dead, tweeting Sunday shortly after the attack that he was "monitoring the situation from Japan." "May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas," he tweeted. Vice President Mike Pence also issued a statement on Twitter, writing, "Karen & I send prayers to victims & their families in TX. We grieve w/ you & stand w/ resolve against evil. Thank you to the first responders." When asked whether tighter gun-control laws could help prevent such shootings, Trump said, "Mental health is your problem here." He said the initial investigation indicates the killer was a "very deranged individual."


Mueller reportedly has evidence to charge Flynn

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has collected enough evidence to bring charges against ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, along with Flynn's son, NBC News reported Sunday morning, citing multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling. Some had predicted Flynn would be Mueller's first indictment, instead of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was charged with money laundering last week. Since then, NBC says, Mueller has been "applying renewed pressure on Flynn," while his "investigators are speaking to multiple witnesses in coming days to gain more information surrounding Flynn's lobbying work, including whether he laundered money or lied to federal agents about his overseas contacts." Mueller's office declined to comment.


Belgian judge grants conditional freedom to exiled Catalonia leaders

A Belgian judge released ousted Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont and four separatist allies from custody on Sunday, hours after they turned themselves in to face possible extradition to Spain for illegally plotting to break away from Spain. The secessionist politicians fled Spain and sought shelter in Belgium on Monday after Spain's central government removed Puigdemont and his regional government after regional lawmakers declared independence after an illegal referendum. On Friday, the Spanish government issued European arrest warrants against the separatist leaders for rebellion, sedition, and embezzlement of public funds, crimes punishable with up to 30 years in prison. Puigdemont said from exile that he would not receive a fair trial in Spain.


Saudi crown prince cracks down on royals and ministers to consolidate power

Authorities in Saudi Arabia made a flurry of arrests targeting ministers, investors, and even members of the royal family in what the government called a crackdown on corruption. The arrests were ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in what was seen to be a show of force to consolidate his power. Among those detained without formal charges or any legal process were billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the kingdom's most prominent businessmen. Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king, owns the investment firm Kingdom Holding 4280.SE. Ten other princes, four ministers, and dozens of former ministers also were arrested, as was the head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah.


Trump tells Japan it's time to reduce U.S. trade deficit

President Trump, hailing the U.S.-Japan alliance but calling for reducing America's trade deficit with its ally, urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday to buy "massive amounts of military equipment" from the U.S. "It's a lot of jobs for us and a lot of safety for Japan," Trump said. Earlier, Trump told business leaders that Japan had an unfair advantage in trade with the U.S. In a joint press briefing with Abe, Trump also promised to counter North Korea's "dangerous aggressions, saying that "the era of strategic patience is over." Abe said Japan supports Trump's earlier assurance that "all options are on the table" with respect to North Korea, and that stepping up pressure on Pyongyang is better than continuing dialogue.


'Paradise Papers' reveal ties between commerce secretary and Putin allies

A trove of more than 13.4 million documents, the "Paradise Papers," has leaked from the Bermuda law firm Appleby, a year after the Panama Papers exposed how many wealthy individuals and corporations have hidden money in offshore tax havens. Appleby helps big corporations and super wealthy individuals hide ownership of assets from yachts to companies. The Paradise Papers, like the Panama Papers, were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Among the revelations: After joining the Trump administration, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross retained investments in Navigator Holdings, a shipping firm he once controlled that has ties to a relative of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a Russian oligarch facing U.S. sanctions.


Paul's injuries more severe than thought, with 5 broken ribs

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suffered five fractured ribs in a weekend assault at his home that police said was committed by a neighbor. "This type of injury is caused by high velocity severe force. It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying," Paul's chief political strategist, Doug Stafford, said in a statement Sunday. Investigators say Paul's neighbor, Rene Boucher, tackled Paul from behind while the senator was mowing his lawn on Friday afternoon. Boucher, 59, has been charged with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor punishable with up to one year in prison.


Anthony Weiner to start 21-month sentence for sexting a teenager

Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, is scheduled to report Monday for the start of his 21-month sentence for sexting a 15-year-old girl. The judge who sentenced Weiner in September said the crime stemmed from a "very strong compulsion." A tearful Weiner said he had been "a very sick man for a very long time," and he said he was receiving treatment. In 2011, he resigned from the House after revelations of his sexting with several women, and more allegations sank his 2013 campaign for mayor in New York City. Last year, the FBI's criminal investigation into his sexting reverberated in the presidential campaign, after agents found emails between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Weiner's wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin.


Shalane Flanagan becomes first U.S. woman to win New York Marathon since 1977

Shalane Flanagan on Sunday became the first American woman since 1977 to win the New York City Marathon, winning her first major marathon and beating Mary Keitany, who had won the New York race three straight times. "It's indescribable," said Flanagan, 36. "It's a moment I'm trying to soak up and savor." Flanagan beat Keitany by a minute, finishing in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 53 seconds. Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya won the men's race, also his first major victory. He beat countryman Wilson Kipsang by just 3 seconds.


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