Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 7, 2018

States send 400 troops to border as feds order 4,000, markets rattled by renewed trade war jitters, and more


States send 400 troops to border as feds order 4,000

A Pentagon memo signed by Defense Secretary James Mattis and released Friday night approves up to 4,000 National Guard members for a "southern border security mission" through the end of September. To start the deployment, Arizona will send 150 National Guard members to police the southern border beginning next week, the state government announced Friday, and Texas will send 250. This is not the first time recent presidents have sent troops to do border patrol; President George W. Bush deployed 6,000 National Guard forces in 2006, and President Obama sent 1,200 in 2010, both claiming the same legal authority President Trump cites now.


Markets rattled by renewed trade war jitters

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 700 points, more than 2 percent, Friday afternoon as trade war jitters set in once again. The index eventually closed the day down more than 570 points. The tremors come as President Trump has said his administration may impose tariffs on another $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to China's "unfair retaliation" against other new import duties. Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday "this is a moderate, temperate approach that we are taking." A Chinese official said Beijing would "definitely fight back."


Kelly reportedly advised Trump to fire Pruitt over ethics scandals

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has advised President Trump to fire Scott Pruitt, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Friday, as the Environmental Protection Agency chief's mountain of ethics scandals grows ever higher. Also Friday, The Associated Press reported Pruitt has spent millions of EPA funding on a full-time, 20-person security team for himself, a detail about three times larger than his Obama administration predecessor's part-time team. Pruitt is already under scrutiny for a rental arrangement with an energy lobbyist, raises for favored EPA employees, and reassignments for unfavored employees.


Trump ends 'catch and release' policy

President Trump signed a memo Friday evening ordering the end of a policy colloquially known as "catch and release," in which some illegal immigrants are not detained while they await asylum or deportation hearings, a process that can take years. The U.S. only has facilities to detain 40,000 immigrants at a time, and the order directs the Pentagon to determine whether there are military facilities that could be used for this purpose. Immigrants released under this program were those not deemed to be dangerous or a flight risk, including children and people seeking asylum. The White House described the change as a necessary security measure.


Trump imposes new sanctions on Russian targets

The Trump administration imposed new sanctions Friday on Russian targets including seven oligarchs, 17 senior government officials, 12 companies, and one state-owned company and its subsidiary bank. The measures are intended to punish Russia for "a brazen pattern of worldwide malign activity," an unnamed administration official told The New York Times. The targets are considered beneficiaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration. The sanctions are authorized by legislation passed by Congress last year, and they are expected to heighten U.S.-Russia tensions.


Manafort accuses FBI of illegal search and seizure

Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who was indicted for financial crimes in connection to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, on Friday in court filings accused the FBI of searching his property in violation of Fourth Amendment protections. Shortly after Mueller was appointed, agents visited a storage locker belonging to Manafort's company. They were given access by an employee who did not have authorization to grant it, Manafort's attorneys allege, and returned the following day to take files wielding a warrant secured using information based on that initial access.


GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold resigns

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) abruptly announced his resignation from Congress Friday afternoon. In December, Farenthold publicly apologized after reports that he was verbally abusive to his staffers; at the time, he also dropped his plans to run for re-election this fall. "While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it's time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve," Farenthold said in a statement Friday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) will likely call a special election to fill Farenthold's seat until January.


DOJ seizes Backpage.com

The Department of Justice on Friday seized Backpage.com, a classified ads website. While many of the site's listings are similar to what one would find on Craigslist, the DOJ says Backpage also hosts ads facilitating sex trafficking and prostitution. Backpage was previously under congressional investigation, after which it edited its listing policies. Visitors to the site and its affiliates will now see a notice of seizure from the FBI, the IRS, and several other agencies. The statement describes the seizure as part of an "enforcement action" but provides no further details.


Facebook announces crackdown on political advertising

Facebook on Friday announced it will begin verifying the purchasers of political ads on its platform. The social network will require a confirmation of advertisers' identities and locations, and it will also label political ads with their purchasers' names. "This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He is set to testify about data privacy before Congress next week.


Canadian junior hockey team bus crash kills 14

At least 14 people were killed and another 14 critically injured when a bus carrying a junior hockey team crashed in Canada's Saskatchewan province Friday evening. The bus was hit by a truck while heading to a playoff game. Junior hockey is for players aged 16 to 20, and the bus was carrying 28 people, including the driver. "I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


Air New Zealand to weigh international passengers as part of safety survey
An Air New Zealand plane takes off from Sydney, Australia.
Step on the Scale

Air New Zealand to weigh international passengers as part of safety survey

China just sent its first civilian astronaut to space
Three Shenzhou-16 astronauts.
Blast off

China just sent its first civilian astronaut to space

Can the U.S. stop Chinese cyberattacks?
A picture of a computer with code and a Chinese flag in the background
Today's big question

Can the U.S. stop Chinese cyberattacks?

China plans to land astronaut on the moon by 2030, official says
Chinese astronauts Gui Haichao, Jing Haipeng and Zhu Yangzhu
race to the moon

China plans to land astronaut on the moon by 2030, official says

Most Popular

Disney hits back against DeSantis
Entranceway to Walt Disney World.

Disney hits back against DeSantis

What the shifting religious landscape means for American politics
Ballot box
Talking point

What the shifting religious landscape means for American politics

South Korean man facing prison time after opening airplane door in midair
An Asiana Airlines flight that had its emergency door opened midair.
Problems in the Sky

South Korean man facing prison time after opening airplane door in midair