Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 13, 2018

Trump derails immigration talks with vulgar comments, Trump signs waiver to uphold the Iran deal for 120 more days, and more


Trump derails immigration talks with vulgar comments

President Trump faced widespread condemnation Friday for reportedly referring to Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations as "shithole countries" during an immigration meeting with senators Thursday. Trump denied the report, but Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), who was at the meeting, said he "personally heard" the "hate-filled, vile, and racist" comments. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), also present, reportedly confirmed the report privately. Trump's comments also derailed further immigration talks concerning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which addresses the situation of immigrants illegally brought to the United States as children. Trump on Saturday tweeted blame for Democrats "doing nothing to fix DACA," claiming they do not really want a deal.


Trump signs waiver to uphold the Iran deal for 120 more days

President Trump signed a waiver Friday to uphold the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, setting a deadline of 120 days for European partners to overhaul the pact or else the U.S. will reimpose deal-breaking sanctions. Trump is reportedly pressuring signatories to make uranium enrichment restrictions on Iran permanent, to allow for the inspection of Iranian facilities, and to formally consider Iran's long-ranging missile program part of its nuclear program. "This is the last time [Trump will] issue waivers [on sanctions] unless they reach an agreement," said top White House officials.


Iran condemns Trump's 'hostile and illegal' new sanctions

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a statement slamming President Trump's Friday announcement of 14 new U.S. sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities, most notably the head of the country's judicial system, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani. The statement labels Larijani's inclusion a "hostile and illegal act," accusing the Trump administration of going "way beyond all internationally accepted behavior red lines." The sanctions were leveled in connection to the Iranian government's treatment of anti-regime demonstrators at protests in recent days. They are separate from the sanctions addressed by the Iran nuclear deal.


Trump lawyer allegedly paid adult film star for silence on 2006 affair

President Trump's lawyer arranged a $130,000 payment to former adult film star Stephanie "Stormy Daniels" Clifford to ensure she not speak publicly about an alleged sexual encounter she had with the president at a 2006 golf tournament, The Wall Street Journal reports. The payment was allegedly coordinated in October 2016. The encounter was reportedly consensual, although another adult film star, Jessica Drake, claimed in October 2016 that Trump kissed her and two other women without consent at the same tournament. "Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false," Clifford wrote in a statement to the Journal.


U.S. ambassador to Panama resigns, citing Trump

U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley has decided "to retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 of this year," the State Department said Friday, but in a retirement letter shared with CNN, Feeley said his decision was actually informed by longstanding differences with the Trump administration. "As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion," Feeley wrote, "even when I might not agree with certain policies." Because he can no longer honor that oath, Feeley continued, it is time to resign.


Kentucky becomes first state with Medicaid work requirement

Kentucky on Friday became the first state to make use of Thursday's guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services permitting states to test work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Kentucky applied for permission to do this in 2016, and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said the "community engagement and employment initiative" will be gradually phased in later this year. The rules require able-bodied adult Medicaid recipients to engage in at least 80 hours of "employment activities" each month, a category including jobs, community service, education, and training. Some exemptions tied to health, family commitments, and personal history will apply.


White House doctor says Trump is in 'excellent health'

White House physician Ronny Jackson issued a brief statement after President Trump's annual medical exam on Friday, saying it "went exceptionally well" and Trump is in "excellent health." Jackson, who also conducted former President Obama's final physical in office, said he looks "forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday," at which point he will take questions about the exam from the press. Trump bucked convention on the campaign trail by declining to share much of his medical history, though his personal doctor claimed he would be the healthiest president ever.


Court unseals document trove in Las Vegas shooting case

A judge on Friday unsealed documents connected to the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded 500 more in October. The search warrant affidavits date from the immediate aftermath of the attack by gunman Stephen Paddock and may not provide a current account of investigators' thinking. Emails included in the disclosure see Paddock talking about bump stocks, a modification device he used to allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more quickly. The documents also show Paddock's girlfriend, Marilou Danley, was deemed a person of interest despite her claim of no knowledge of his plot.


MSNBC's Chris Matthews joked about giving Hillary Clinton a 'Bill Cosby pill'

Before interviewing Hillary Clinton in January of 2016, MSNBC's Chris Matthews joked about slipping the then-Democratic candidate a date rape drug, The Cut reported Friday with video of the remark. In response, Matthews said he is deeply sorry about the "terrible comment [he] made in poor taste during the height of the Bill Cosby headlines," referring to Cosby being charged with sexual assault using drugs to render his victims unconscious. The Daily Caller's Amber Athey then said on Twitter "six former employees and guests" at MSNBC told her "these types of comments were par for the course for Matthews."


Police chase down Greyhound bus in Illinois

Police pursued a Greyhound bus across the Wisconsin-Illinois border late Friday night after hearing reports that one passenger was behaving in a disorderly manner and possibly armed with a gun. A suspect was taken into custody around midnight, and about 40 other passengers were removed from the bus unharmed. An ABC affiliate reported Saturday morning that the chase occurred because the subject hijacked the bus and threatened to kill his fellow passengers. The report quotes law enforcement saying they used spike strips to forcibly stop the Greyhound.


New chancellor at Kabul University bans women from campus
An Afghan girl sits in an empty classroom.
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New chancellor at Kabul University bans women from campus

South Korean military says North Korea fired 'unidentified projectile' into sea
File footage of a North Korean missile launch airs on South Korean TV.
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Germany's next governing coalition could be determined by 3rd- and 4th-place parties
Annalena Baerbock.
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Germany's next governing coalition could be determined by 3rd- and 4th-place parties

Other countries are besting even the most vaccinated U.S. state
Burlington, VT.
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Democrats are governing like Republicans
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