Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 6, 2018

The Dow's record plunge fuels a global stock sell-off, a House panel approves releasing Democrats' rebuttal memo, and more

1

Dow's record dive fuels global stock sell-off

The Dow Jones Industrial Average made its biggest single-day point drop ever on Monday, falling by 1,176 points, or 4.6 percent, and fueling a similar sell-off overseas. U.S. stock futures were swinging wildly early Tuesday, plunging before climbing briefly into positive territory, then falling again in a battle to stabilize. The S&P 500 dropped by 4.1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite lost 3.8 percent on Monday, erasing their 2018 gains. The sell-off started Friday after strong wage and hiring data pointed toward quickening inflation that could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster. Analysts note that economic fundamentals remain strong, and many felt a correction was overdue. "Last month the market went up by 6 percent," said Donald Selkin of Newbridge Securities Corp. "That's unsustainable."

2

House panel approves release of Democrats' rebuttal memo

The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Monday night to release Democrats' rebuttal to a GOP memo that accused the FBI and the Justice Department of improperly getting a secret court warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Democrats harshly criticized the committee's Republican majority, and specifically Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), for releasing the GOP memo, which Democrats criticized as intentionally misleading. The Democratic document now goes to the White House. President Trump will have five days to decide whether to block its release. White House spokesman Raj Shah said Trump "will consider" the Democratic memo just as he did the Republican one, which he allowed to be made public despite objections from the FBI.

3

Supreme Court declines to block Pennsylvania anti-gerrymandering ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to stop their state's highest court from requiring them to redraw their congressional map due to partisan gerrymandering. The ruling by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, who did not refer the case to the full court, was expected, because Pennsylvania's court based its ruling on the state Constitution. State supreme court rulings on matters of state law are considered final. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the state's congressional map, ruling that it "clearly, plainly, and palpably" violated the state Constitution by giving Republicans unfair advantages. The Supreme Court has stopped similar rulings made by federal courts in Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

4

Trump rejects bipartisan immigration proposal as 'total waste of time'

President Trump on Monday rejected a bipartisan immigration plan proposed by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), calling it a "total waste of time." McCain and Coons are pushing a bill seeking to protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children. Their legislation also calls for boosting border security by 2020, although it doesn't specifically offer funding for Trump's promised wall on the Mexican border. Trump said Democrats "seem not to care" that protections under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will start phasing out if Congress doesn't restore them by the March 5 deadline he has set.

5

Trump uses U.K. protests to slam Democrats on health care

President Trump resumed his criticism of Democrats over health-care policy on Monday, tweeting that they "are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working." The broadside ran counter to his campaign goal of "insurance for everybody," and, British commentators noted, it appeared to show that Trump wasn't clear what the demonstrators in the U.K. wanted. Organizers said participants were trying to show that they "love" their country's National Health Service, and want the government to spend more on it. British Prime Minister Theresa May's office said she is "proud" of the NHS.

6

Trump calls Democrats 'treasonous' for failing to applaud

President Trump on Monday called Democratic lawmakers "un-American" and "treasonous" for failing to applaud him when he mentioned positive jobs numbers during his State of the Union address last week. "Shall we call that treason? Why not?" Trump said in a speech focused on touting the benefits of the GOP tax cuts. "I mean, they certainly didn't seem to love our country very much." Democrats have accused Trump of taking undue credit for employment gains, particularly for blacks and Hispanics, that started under former President Barack Obama. Critics also noted that Trump was boasting about economic gains since he took office a year ago while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was taking its biggest one-day point dive in history.

7

Report: Trump lawyers advise him to avoid Mueller interview

President Trump's lawyers are urging him not to agree to a wide-ranging interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, The New York Times reported Monday, citing four people briefed on the matter. Trump has said publicly that he is eager to talk to Mueller to move past questions about Russia's election meddling and possible collusion by Trump associates. The president's lawyers, however, reportedly are concerned that he could make false or contradictory statements and be charged with lying to investigators. Attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow reportedly want Trump to avoid an interview and think Mueller won't subpoena him, but Ty Cobb wants Trump to cooperate and has been dealing with Mueller in trying to set up an interview.

8

American ivory investigator killed in Kenya

American ivory-trade investigator Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, was fatally stabbed Sunday in his home in a Nairobi suburb, according to Monday media reports. Bradley Martin led early efforts to fight elephant and rhino poaching, playing a key role since the 1970s in calling attention to the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn that has resulted in a sharp drop in wildlife populations. He persuaded China to close its legal rhino trade 25 years ago. Initial reports suggested the murder might have been the result of a botched robbery, but some in the conservation world feared that the killing was related to his work. Police said they could not immediately determine the motive for the murder.

9

Nassar sentenced to 40 to 125 years in second Michigan molestation case

A Michigan judge on Monday sentenced former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar to 40 to 125 years in prison for sexually molesting girls in Eaton County under the guise of medical care. The sentence ended Nassar's third and final prosecution for sex crimes over two decades. He received a separate 60-year sentence in December for possessing child pornography, and 40 to 175 years on seven molestation charges in another Michigan county. "The depth and the tragedy is incomprehensible," Judge Janice Cunningham said. "You are a doctor, and you took an oath to do no harm, but you harmed more than 250 young women." USA Gymnastics and MSU still face numerous lawsuits accusing them of ignoring red flags of Nassar's abuse.

10

Actor John Mahoney, Frasier's Martin Crane, dies at 77

John Mahoney, a prolific actor best known for playing the curmudgeonly father on Frasier (1993-2004), died in hospice care in Chicago on Sunday, his manager said Monday. He was 77. Mahoney, who moved to the U.S. from his native England at age 19, quit his job as a medical magazine editor and started acting full-time in his late 30s at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, after meeting cofounder John Malkovich in 1977. Along with his stage career, Mahoney's film credits include Moonstruck, The American President, In the Line of Fire, Tin Men, Reality Bites, and Say Anything, where he was the father of John Cusack's love interest. Mahoney's awards include a Tony and a SAG Award, along with two Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations.

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