Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 23, 2018

Harold Maass
President Trump at the White House
Win McNamee/Getty Images


Trump warns Iranian leader to 'NEVER, EVER THREATEN' U.S. again

President Trump tweeted an all-caps warning to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday night in an apparent direct response to a threat Rouhani made hours earlier. Rouhani declared during a meeting of Iranian diplomats that "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars." Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year, responded: "To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!" [Twitter, The Associated Press]


Gunman kills 1, injures 13 in Toronto

A gunman opened fire in Toronto's east end on Sunday night, killing one person and injuring at least 13 others, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said. The attacker, who was dressed in black, was killed "in an exchange of gunfire," Saunders told reporters. One of the wounded victims was a girl around the age of 8 or 9 who was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The shooting took place on "one of the busiest streets in the country," Saunders said. Toronto Mayor John Tory told reporters police have "not drawn any conclusions about what happened here or why." [The Washington Post]


Trump reverses course again, calling Russian meddling a 'hoax'

President Trump on Sunday revived a week of controversy by referring to Russian election interference as "a big hoax." "So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election," Trump tweeted. "Why didn't he do something about it? Why didn't he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax." The tweet came after Trump spent days reassuring Americans that he accepts intelligence agencies' conclusion that Moscow meddled in the 2016 campaign, despite indicating after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he believed Putin's denials over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence services. Earlier Sunday, Trump argued without evidence that newly released documents confirm "that the Department of 'Justice' and FBI misled the courts" that approved warrants to wiretap his onetime campaign adviser Carter Page. [The Associated Press]


Accused Russian agent met with Fed, Treasury officials in 2015

Accused Russian agent Mariia Butina participated in meetings three years ago between a visiting Russian official and two senior Federal Reserve and Treasury Department officials, Reuters reported Sunday, citing several people familiar with the sessions and a report from a Washington think tank that arranged them. Butina traveled to the U.S. with then-Russian Central Bank deputy governor Alexander Torshin, and sat in on separate meetings involving Stanley Fischer, who was Fed vice chairman at the time, and Nathan Sheets, then Treasury undersecretary for international affairs. The revelations indicated that Butina had wider high-level contacts than previously known. Fischer said in an email to Reuters that he met with Torshin and his interpreter, and discussed "the state of the Russian economy" and Torshin's role as deputy central bank governor. [Reuters]


1 dead in shooting at Mormon church in Nevada

A gunman fatally shot one person and injured another Sunday at a Mormon church in the small town of Fallon, Nevada. Police arrested John K. O'Connor, 48, and said he had attended the church services and fled to his home after the shooting. O'Connor surrendered after police called his home, authorities said. Investigators believe the attack targeted individuals, not the church members in general. The injured victim was expected to survive. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R) tweeted that he was "deeply saddened by the act of senseless violence in Fallon today." [Las Vegas Review-Journal, CBS News]


Suicide bombing kills 14 in Kabul

A Sunday suicide bombing near Kabul's international airport left at least 14 dead and 40 injured. Police said the blast happened near an airport entrance where supporters of exiled Afghan Vice President Rashid Dostum were waiting to see him drive by in his motorcade. Dostum was back in Afghanistan after more than a year in Turkey, and was in an armored vehicle when the bombing took place; he was not hurt. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing. Dostum has been accused of human rights abuses stretching back to 2001, and last year, his guards allegedly seized political rival Ahmed Eshchi and tortured him; Dostum denies the allegations. [Al Jazeera, CBS News]


Mexican leader urges Trump to collaborate on NAFTA, migration

Mexico's president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, sent President Trump a letter earlier this month calling for renewed NAFTA negotiations and a joint U.S. effort with Mexico and Central American countries to stem migration. On Sunday, Lopez Obrador's proposed foreign minister read the letter during a press conference. Lopez Obrador urged Trump in the letter to join him for an initiative to combat poverty and violence in Central America, two of the issues that cause people to flee to the United States, and discussed setting up a fund for development in the region. Lopez Obrador will be inaugurated on Dec. 1. [Bloomberg]


Duck boat victims mourned in Branson, Missouri

Mourners on Sunday honored the 17 people killed when a tourist duck boat sank in a lake near Branson, Missouri. "Today we honor the 17 lives that were lost," said Branson Mayor Karen Best. "We honor the 14 survivors. And we honor the many heroes who did everything in their power to save lives." The service, attended by about 200 people, took place at a college near the site of the accident, which occurred when high winds and waves turned over the amphibious boat. The service came as federal investigators examine the boat's black box and on-board video to determine what information the captain had when making the decision to go out despite looming bad weather. [CBS News]


Papa John's board approves 'poison pill' to keep away controversial founder

The Papa John's board of directors on Sunday adopted a "poison pill" to block founder John Schnatter from regaining a controlling interest in the pizza chain, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. An announcement is expected Monday. Boards can use shareholder-rights plans, also known as poison pills, to prevent hostile takeovers by activist investors or others. Schnatter, who owns 29 percent of the company, stepped down as chairman on July 11 after it was revealed that he had used a racial slur during a May conference call. Schnatter has suggested he still wants some control over the company. [The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch]


Tiger Woods comeback gains strength at British Open

Tiger Woods spent part of Sunday at the top of the leader board in the final round of the British Open, only to unravel starting with a double bogey on the 11th hole. Woods was chasing his 15th major title, and his first in 10 years. He wound up with a 71 for the round, good enough to finish tied for sixth place in what was still one of his strongest efforts in his long comeback effort. Rory McIlroy, who tied for second just two strokes behind Francesco Molinari, said he could relate to Woods' struggle to withstand the pressure at golf's top level. "Even though he's won 14, you have to learn how to get back," said McIlroy, who has four major titles but hasn't had any since 2014. "It's still great to have him back. It's still great for golf." [The New York Times]