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10 things you need to know today: November 19, 2017

Zimbabwe's ruling party prepares to oust Mugabe, general would resist 'illegal' nuclear strike orders from Trump, and more


Zimbabwe's ruling party prepares to oust Mugabe

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party prepared Sunday to remove President Robert Mugabe from office nearly four decades after he first took power. The decision comes after the Zimbabwean military put Mugabe, 93, and his wife, Grace, under house arrest earlier this week, prompting thousands of Zimbabweans to take to the streets over the weekend demanding an end to Mugabe's regime. Zanu-PF has removed Mugabe as party leader and expelled Grace, a would-be successor, from the party as well. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who served as Zimbabwe's vice president until Mugabe fired him this month, was chosen as the new party head. Mugabe has so far refused resignation deals offered by the military, announcing by proxy his willingness "to die" rather than leave office.


General would resist 'illegal' nuclear strike orders from Trump

Air Force General John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), on Saturday at a national security conference in Canada said there are circumstances under which he would resist obeying a nuclear strike directive from President Trump. "I provide advice to the president," Hyten replied to a question about a nuclear order scenario. "He'll tell me what to do, and if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm gonna say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.' Guess what he's going to do? He's going to say, 'What would be legal?' And we'll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works. It's not that complicated."


Clinton says Trump is Putin's 'puppet' and 'obsessed' with her

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leveled a fresh round of criticism at her campaign rival, President Trump, in two sets of comments this weekend. In an interview published Friday, Clinton said Trump is Russian President Vladimir Putin's "puppet," calling the president "naive" for believing Putin's denials of election meddling. Then, at an appearance in Arkansas on Saturday, Clinton said Trump "is obsessed with my speaking out." "Apparently there was another, somebody told me, tweet today," she added. "Honestly, between tweeting and golfing, how does he get anything done?" The tweet in question was a Saturday post in which Trump called Clinton "the worst (and biggest) loser of all time."


Alabamians split over Moore's alleged misconduct

With less than a month to go before the special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Alabamians are split over how to respond to the sexual misconduct allegations against Senate candidate Roy Moore (R). Dozens of religious leaders gathered to register their dissent at a Baptist church in Birmingham Saturday, saying Moore is "infected with" a "false religious virus." However, many prominent Alabama Republicans remain loyal partisans. "I believe in the Republican Party, what we stand for, and most important, we need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on things like the Supreme Court justices," said Gov. Kay Ivey (R), conceding she finds the accusations troubling.


State Department threatens to close Palestinian office in Washington

The State Department said Friday it will demand the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) outpost in Washington unless the group agrees to peace talks with Israel. The agency said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas triggered a provision in U.S. law that allows the secretary of state to shut down the PLO office if Palestine acts against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Abbas called for an ICC investigation of Israeli settlements in a September speech. The PLO said Saturday it would not be blackmailed and expressed surprise at the strong-arm tactic after amicable meetings between Abbas and President Trump.


Argentina loses contact with submarine

The Argentine navy has been unable to make contact with one of its submarines, a diesel-powered craft carrying 44 crewmembers, since Wednesday, Argentine officials confirmed Saturday. The ARA San Juan was on a routine trip up the eastern coast of South America to its home port of Mar del Plata when communications capabilities apparently failed without warning. The submarine crew did not send an SOS signal before going silent. Later Saturday, seven calls were detected that are thought to have come from the sub, which is due in port Sunday per its original schedule.


U.S. warship collides with Japanese tugboat

The USS Benfold, a guided-missile destroyer in the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, collided with a Japanese tugboat Saturday. The ships were in Japan's Sagami Bay near Tokyo when the tugboat lost propulsion power and drifted into the side of the warship. No injuries were reported on either vessel, and the damage to the USS Benfold is believed to be minimal. This is the latest of multiple 7th Fleet mishaps, including a different destroyer collision in August that left 10 sailors dead.


AC/DC's Malcolm Young dies at 64

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young died Saturday, three years after he was diagnosed with dementia and retired from the band. He was 64. "With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band," said a statement posted on AC/DC's Facebook page. Born in Scotland and raised in Australia, Young co-founded AC/DC in 1973 with his brother Angus Young as lead guitarist. "As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special," Angus wrote in the Facebook post.


Patridge Family actor David Cassidy in critical condition

Actor David Cassidy, best known for his role as Keith Partridge on the 1970s musical sitcom The Partridge Family, is in critical but not "imminent" condition and suffering from organ failure, his representative reported Saturday. Cassidy is being treated at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he is "conscious" and "surrounded by family." The actor is seeking liver and kidney transplants, and his doctors plan to "keep him as well as they can until they can find another liver," his spokesperson said.


SNL takes on Al Franken allegations

Saturday Night Live censured SNL alum Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) over a reporter's allegation that in 2006 he kissed her without her consent and took a picture groping her while she slept. "I know this photo looks bad, but remember: It also is bad," said Colin Jost in a Weekend Update segment on the subject. "And, sure, this was taken before he ran for public office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school. It's pretty hard to be like, 'Oh, come on. He didn't know any better. He was only 55.'" Michael Che chimed in to note President Trump's selective condemnation of Franken, a Democrat, while refraining from comparable comment about Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.


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