Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 24, 2017

Flynn's lawyers signal possible cooperation with special counsel, at least 155 killed in Egyptian mosque attack, and more

1

Flynn lawyers stop talking with Trump's, suggesting cooperation with special counsel

Lawyers for President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, have ended an agreement to share information with Trump's lawyers about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing four people involved in the case. Trump's lawyers reportedly believe the move could mean Flynn is cooperating with Mueller's team. Lawyers sometimes pull out of such information-sharing agreements when their clients start negotiating deals with prosecutors. Flynn had ties with Moscow before he joined Trump's campaign, and the White House has been preparing for his possible indictment since Mueller's team filed charges in October against Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, campaign aide Rick Gates, and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.

2

At least 155 killed in Egyptian mosque attack

At least 155 people were killed Friday and more than 100 others injured when Islamist militants attacked a Sufi mosque in Egypt's Sinai province, state news agency MENA reports. The attackers reportedly planted bombs inside the mosque, then fired on worshipers as they tried to flee. Extremists in the region have targeted Christian churches in the past, but attacks on mosques remain relatively rare. The worshipers at the mosque attacked Friday were Sufi Muslims, who are considered heretical by Sunni extremists.

3

Trump talks up achievements in Thanksgiving message

President Trump delivered a Thanksgiving message on Thursday, tweeting: "HAPPY THANKSGIVING, your country is starting to do really well. Jobs coming back, highest stock market EVER, military getting really strong, we will build the WALL ... lowest unemployment in 17 years...!" During the day, Trump handed out sandwiches at a Coast Guard mess hall near his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he spent the holiday with his family. Trump thanked members of the Coast Guard for their service, saying, "You folks are fighting so hard, and working so hard. And it's nice that you're working for something that's really starting to work." Trump later shared similar messages with members of other military service branches via video feed and visited his local golf course.

4

Navy ends search for 3 missing crew members after plane crash

The Navy on Thursday announced that it had ended the search for three crew members lost in the crash of a U.S. Navy aircraft in the Philippine Sea near Okinawa, Japan. "Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families," said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton in a statement. The twin-engine, propeller-driven C-2A Greyhound was carrying 11 crew and passengers to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it went down. The Navy said an investigation was ongoing. The crash came after the U.S. 7th Fleet, based in Japan, had several deadly collisions involving ships in the Pacific.

5

Amazon expected to hog sales growth as Black Friday kicks off holiday shopping

The holiday shopping season kicked off as Americans started snapping up Black Friday deals as soon as Thanksgiving meals were over — and in some cases, before. The rush at brick-and-mortar stores could come with a twist this year, though, as more Americans are expected to shop online than in department stores for the first time, according to the National Retail Federation. "Black Friday has lost its luster," said David McCombs of Alabama, who traditionally camps out on Thanksgiving for the best in-store deals. "It's just another day of sales now that you can buy everything online." Online retail giant Amazon is expected to snag half of this year's holiday sales growth. "The retailers are in survival mode. It's about stealing each other’s market share," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD. "Amazon is the Grinch. They're stealing the growth."

6

Underwater explosion detected around time Argentine sub went missing

Argentina's navy announced Thursday that a loud underwater noise, believed to have been an explosion, occurred near the time and place when an Argentine submarine went missing with 44 people on board. The explosion appeared to have been "singular, short, violent, and non-nuclear," navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said. Relatives of crew members who had gone to Argentina's Mar del Plata naval base for psychological counseling burst into tears at the news. "If a submarine goes below its crush-depth, it would implode, it would just collapse," said James H. Patton Jr. a retired U.S. Navy captain. "It would sound like a very, very big explosion to any listening device."

7

Texas woman jailed on charges of mailing explosives to Obama and others

A Texas woman, Julia Poff, has been charged with mailing former President Barack Obama, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and a federal office in Maryland packages that were designed to explode. Poff, 46, was indicted on several criminal charges, including mailing the potentially deadly packages and transporting explosives, according to court documents. She was ordered to be held in jail last week. A package with explosives was mailed to Obama in October 2016, when he was still president. It contained cat hairs that an FBI crime lab matched to one of Poff's cats. Poff defended herself to the Houston Chronicle, saying that investigators had taken trash from her home and used it to frame for "some serious crimes that we did not commit and know nothing about."

8

Franken vows to win back constituents' trust

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Thursday apologized after several women accused him of improperly touching them, telling his constituents he was "committed to regaining their trust." Radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franklin of forcibly kissing her and fondling her without her permission while they were on a 2006 USO tour entertaining military service members. Three other women said he improperly touched them while posing for photos. Franken said he was a "warm persona" who often hugs people during photo ops. "In some of those encounters, I crossed a line for some women," Franken said, "and I know that any number is too many."

9

South African appeals court doubles Oscar Pistorius' sentence

A South African court on Friday doubled Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius' prison sentence for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, to 13 years and five months. Prosecutors challenged the double amputee's initial sentence of six years as being too lenient, and the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that it should be increased to 15 years, minus just over a year and a half for the time Pistorius has served. Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp in his home on Valentine's Day in 2013. He said he thought she was an intruder when he shot her through a bathroom door. He was originally convicted of manslaughter, but the appeals court upgraded the conviction to murder.

10

As successor steps up, Mugabe vows to stay in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's longtime president, Robert Mugabe, will continue to live in the country with his wife, Grace, after being replaced on Friday. "He's Zimbabwean," Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, said. "Where else would he live?" The military put Mugabe, 93, under house arrest last week as critics accused him of trying to pave the way for his wife to succeed him. Former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Mugabe's interim president on Friday. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa weeks ago, but he returned from exile on Thursday. Mnangagwa, known as "the Crocodile" for his political cunning, has been accused of involvement in massacres in the 1980s, which he denies.

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