Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: February 11, 2018

Trump takes heat for 'mere allegation' tweet, Senate preps for immigration debate amid Trump uncertainty, and more


Trump takes heat for 'mere allegation' tweet

President Trump came under fire over the weekend for a Saturday tweet apparently posted in response to the resignation of two White House staffers, Rob Porter and David Sorensen, accused of domestic abuse by their ex-wives. "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," Trump wrote. "Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?" As critics quickly noted, the president consistently defends men accused of abuse or assault against women but displays no concern for due process in other cases.


Senate preps for immigration debate amid Trump uncertainty

The Senate is preparing for an open debate on immigration Monday, a process complicated by the uncertainty of President Trump's position on the subject. Though Trump's campaign rhetoric favored hard-line policy, most vividly the border wall proposal, in office he has both promised to sign any "bill of love" Congress creates and rejected multiple congressional proposals. The White House said Saturday the administration is working with Senate allies on a plan to approve 4 million stalled green card applications while making a path to citizenship for 1.8 million people illegally brought to the U.S. as children. In a tweet Saturday, Trump accused Democrats of using the latter group of immigrants for political gain.


Olympics confirm cyberattack during opening ceremony

Organizers of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, confirmed Sunday they were subject to a cyberattack during Friday's opening ceremony. The wifi and television in the Games facilities stopped working for about 12 hours, as did the official website. All were restored to normal by Saturday morning local time. "We are not going to comment on the issue. It is one we are dealing with. We are making sure our systems are secure, and they are secure," said International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Mark Adams, who indicated he did not know the source of the attack and would not share it if he did. The Guardian reports Russia is rumored to be responsible.


Kim Jong Un's sister leaves South Korea

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, returns to Pyongyang Sunday at the close of her visit to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. While in South Korea, Kim was subject to intense scrutiny, her pleasant personal manner presenting a marked contrast to her family's dictatorial regime. Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the Kim family to visit South Korea since her grandfather took power in North Korea. She was accompanied by North Korean officials and invited the South Korean president to visit Pyongyang for direct talks.


Russian passenger jet crashes near Moscow

A Russian passenger jet carrying 65 passengers and six crew members crashed shortly after takeoff from Moscow on Sunday. All 71 people on board are believed to be dead, though investigation is ongoing. The flight was operated by Saratov Airlines, which mostly flies within Russia. It was headed for the city of Orsk, near the border of Kazakhstan. Fragments of the plane have been discovered in fields about 50 miles southeast of Moscow. The cause of the crash is not yet known.


Hong Kong bus crash kills 18, injures dozens

At least 18 people were killed and about 60 more injured, 10 critically, when a double-decker bus flipped on its side in Hong Kong on Saturday. The cause of the crash is unconfirmed, but a local news outlet reported the bus was behind schedule, and the driver was speeding to make up lost time. One passenger said it felt as if the driver were piloting an airplane every time he took a corner. A judge will lead an independent investigation into the crash.


Grand Canyon helicopter crash kills 3

Three people were killed and another four injured when a sightseeing helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon Saturday evening. The helicopter was about a mile deep in the canyon when it "crashed under unknown circumstances," taking "substantial damage," said Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representative Allen Kenitzer in a statement. "Local authorities say that at least seven people were on board the helicopter," Kenitzer added. The FAA will conduct an investigation in cooperation with the Hualapai Nation police.


Police officers fatally shot in Ohio

Two police officers were killed in Westerville, Ohio, on Saturday while responding to a 911 call. Officers Anthony Morelli, 54, and Eric Joering, 39, were dispatched to respond to a domestic disturbance and were "immediately met with gunfire" at the scene. Joering was pronounced dead at the location of the crime, while Morelli died at a hospital shortly thereafter. A male suspect was arrested. "My thoughts and prayers are with the two police officers, their families, and everybody at the @WestervillePD," President Trump tweeted.


Midwest snowstorm kills 2, grounds 1,500 flights

A major Midwest snowstorm blanketed parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio with around a foot of snow over the course of the weekend. Snowfall with an accumulation rate of about one inch per hour grounded some 1,500 flights in the region, and at least two people have been killed in connection to the storm, one by a car crash and the other by a heart attack brought on by the exertion of shoveling deep snow. Wind chill alerts are also in place for the Dakotas and parts of Montana and Minnesota, while the Southeast deals with heavy rain.


Snowboarder Red Girard takes home first U.S. gold at Pyeongchang

Colorado snowboarder Red Gerard took home the first gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Saturday in the men's snowboard slopestyle competition. At just 17, Gerard is among the youngest competitors at this year's Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. His winning run included a backside triple cork 1440-degree spin on the final jump and made use of course elements other competitors did not incorporate. "If we're not in jail," said Red's brother Brendon Gerard of his family's plan to celebrate the win, "then something didn't go right."


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