Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 15, 2018

Haley says the U.S. 'is locked and loaded' for more Syria strikes, Comey says his assumption Clinton would win 'was a factor' in email probe choices, and more

1

Haley says the U.S. 'is locked and loaded' for more Syria strikes

The Trump administration is prepared to launch further strikes on Syria if chemical weapons are used again, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Saturday at a Security Council meeting. "The time for talk ended last night," she announced. "The United States is locked and loaded. When our president draws a red line, our president enforces a red line." President Trump ordered the attack Friday in response to what Washington believes was chemical weapons use by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last week.

2

Comey says his assumption Clinton would win 'was a factor' in email probe choices

Former FBI Director James Comey said in an interview excerpt released by ABC News Saturday his assumption that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election played a role in his decision-making about investigating the private email server she used as secretary of state. "I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. I'm sure that it was a factor," Comey said. "That she's going to be elected president, and if I hide this from the American people, she'll be illegitimate the moment she's elected." President Trump responded by accusing Comey of ingratiating himself to Clinton to get a job in her administration.

3

Trump slams Comey again in Sunday tweetstorm

President Trump attacked former FBI Director James Comey and his forthcoming book in a series of tweets Sunday morning, pausing only to critique the media for connecting his "Mission Accomplished" tweet about Syria to former President George W. Bush's use of the phrase about Iraq. The president called Comey "slippery" and stupid, accusing him of lying, manipulating national events for personal gain, hiding Clinton family corruption, and fabricating information. "I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty," Trump raged in one tweet. "I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His 'memos' are self serving and FAKE!"

4

Pentagon: 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls since Syria strikes

There "has been a 2,000 percent increase in Russian trolls in the past 24 hours," chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said Saturday, accusing Moscow of ramping up a "disinformation campaign" against the U.S.-led strikes on Syria ordered by President Trump Friday night. She did not detail how the Defense Department calculated that number, but told assembled reporters the Pentagon would supply them with "the facts, moving forward." Like President Trump, White spoke of the strikes as an unqualified success. She said they do not "represent a change in U.S. policy" or "an attempt to depose the Syrian regime."

5

Philly police under scrutiny for Starbucks arrest

Philadelphia police are under national scrutiny after arresting two black men who were waiting in a Starbucks for a business meeting. The men reportedly had not yet purchased drinks when they asked to use the bathroom. Store employees said no, according to policy for non-customers, and told them to leave the store. When they did not leave, a Starbucks employee called the police. At least six officers arrested the men for "defiant trespassing" while other patrons protested the men had done nothing wrong. Several minutes of the arrest were caught on camera and went viral online. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Saturday the officers "did absolutely nothing wrong," but the mayor's office has opened a separate investigation.

6

Advocacy lawyer self-immolates to protest fossil fuels

An advocacy lawyer named David Buckel, who was known for his work on LGBT and environmental causes, killed himself Saturday in New York City to protest the environmental damage done by fossil fuel use. Buckel used an accelerant to set himself on fire near Prospect Park West. Police found his body shortly thereafter. Buckel emailed a note to media outlets including The New York Times explaining his protest suicide early Saturday. He wrote that his "early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves."

7

Gun rights advocates rally at state capitals

Demonstrators supporting gun rights rallied at state capitals across the country Saturday, three weeks after the larger March for Our Lives demonstrations called for more gun control. The pro-Second Amendment rallies reportedly varied in size from about 100 to 800 attendees, some of whom carried their weapons with them in states where it is legal. "Gun owners have been portrayed in a negative way," said Maine organizer Dave Gulya, "and it is our hope that this peaceable rally will show that we are safe, law-abiding individuals that happen to take our constitutional rights very seriously."

8

Salmonella risk recalls 207 million eggs

An Indiana farm is voluntarily recalling some 207 million eggs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced, due to possible salmonella contamination. The eggs were sold in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia before the recall order was issued. They are offered under multiple brand names, including Walmart and Food Lion store brands, and can be identified using a list on the FDA website. This is the largest U.S. egg recall since 2010.

9

Spring storm buffets central U.S.

A spring storm system has hit much of the cental United States with extreme weather this weekend, bringing blizzard conditions in the upper Midwest and tornadoes, heavy rain, and hail further south. At least three people have been killed in connection to the storm, and hundreds of flights have been grounded in Minneapolis-Saint Paul thanks to about a foot of snow. The storm is expected to continue through Monday as it moves east toward New England and the Mid-Atlantic states. Parts of Wisconsin and Michigan could get significantly more snow.

10

Beyoncé headlines Coachella

Beyoncé became the first black woman to headline the Coachella music festival in California on Saturday, performing with guest appearances from her husband, Jay Z, her sister, Solange Knowles, and a reunited Destiny's Child. The performance included a brass band, which Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who represents Beyoncé's home district of Houston, said was "giving us HBCU vibes," using the abbreviation for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Beyoncé's set featured selections from her most recent album, Lemonade, as well as songs dating back to the start of her career in the late 1990s.

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