Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 3, 2019

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Tim O'Donnell
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1.

Judge temporarily blocks Trump's immigrant health care rule

A federal judge granted a 28-day temporary restraining order Saturday preventing the Trump administration from implementing a policy that would have required immigrants to prove they either had U.S. health insurance or the ability to pay for medical costs upon entry into the country. It was set to go into effect Sunday, but Judge Michael Simon of the Federal District Court in Portland, Oregon, issued the ruling, which he justified by stating it would cause "irreparable harm" to immigrants and their families. Seven U.S. citizens and an advocacy organization filed the lawsuit, noting that the policy "rewrites our immigration and healthcare laws by Presidential fiat" and could potentially keep hundreds of thousands of immigrants from entering the U.S. The Trump administration has defended the policy by arguing insuring immigrants is too much of a financial burden on Americans. [The New York Times, Reuters]

2.

Saudi Aramco launches IPO

Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian state-owned oil giant, announced its initial public offering Sunday. The company intends to list shares on the local stock exchange in Riyadh, and trading is expected to begin in December. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the launch after nearly four years of delays since the plan was initially brought to the table. Aramco will reportedly next hold investor meetings to get a sense of international and domestic demand and publish a prospectus on Nov. 9. "Today is a profoundly important day for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Aramco Chair Yasir al-Rumayyan said at a press conference. The offering is part of the crown prince's vision of diversifying the Saudi economy. [The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg]

3.

Buzzfeed obtains Mueller memos

In response to a court order, the Justice Department released the first installment of summaries of FBI interviews after Buzzfeed pursued five separate Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. The department turned over hundreds of pages, which Buzzfeed posted on its website. They include summaries of interviews with President Trump's former deputy campaign chair Rick Gates and former presidential adviser Stephen Bannon, as well as email exchanges between Bannon and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. Among the notable revelations in the memos is Gates' recollection that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was pushing the unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the Democratic National Committee hacking. [BuzzFeed News, The Guardian]

4.

UAW president takes leave of absence amid corruption probe

United Automobile Workers President Gary Jones is taking a leave of absence effective Sunday, just one day before voting on a new contract begins for Ford's UAW employees. Jones' paid leave is related to a federal corruption probe into the union's leadership. Jones has been accused of splitting up to $700,000 in union funds with another union official. In a statement, Jones said he does not want "anything to distract from the mission" to "ensure our members have a brighter future." UAW Vice President Rory Gamble, who led the recent negotiations that brought about a tentative agreement with Ford, will serve as the union's acting president. [The Detroit Free Press]

5.

Suspected knife attack leads to injuries during Hong Kong protest

Six people were injured in Hong Kong amid the city's pro-democracy, anti-Beijing protests Sunday by a man who was reportedly wielding a knife and arguing with protesters over politics. The suspected attacker was reportedly beaten up by the angry crowd, but not before he reportedly bit the ear of local councilor Andrew Chiu Ka-yin. Local news media reported the attacker was a pro-Beijing supporter who was targeting pro-democracy protesters gathered at the Cityplaza mall in the Tai Koo district. One man who was injured was reportedly trying to protect the suspected attacker. Elsewhere during the 22nd straight weekend of protests, police once again fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowds. [The South China Morning Post, BBC]

6.

Firefighters make progress with California blazes

Firefighters have been able to put a dent in the wildfires that have been raging across California, with most now over 70 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has announced. The Kincade fire, which has burned 77,000 acres and destroyed 350 structures in Northern California, was 72 percent contained Saturday, while the Easy fire in Simi Valley near the Ronald Reagan Presidential library in Southern California was 95 percent contained after burning 1,845 acres. The Maria fire, however, which only broke out Thursday remains at just 30 percent contained after burning 10,000 acres in Ventura County and it reportedly remains the state's biggest concern with hundreds of firefighters still on the scene. [The Los Angeles Times, NPR]

7.

Car bomb kills at least 13 near Turkey-Syria border

A car bomb went off in the Turkish-held border town of Tal Abad in northeast Syria on Saturday, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 20 others, including pro-Turkey fighters and civilians. Tal Abad is one of several Kurdish-controlled towns that have been seized by Turkey since Ankara launched an invasion of the region in October and it has seen some of the most intense fighting since the conflict began. The blast occurred despite a cease-fire agreement. No group has taken responsibility for the bombing, but Turkey has blamed Kurdish forces, including the PKK and the YPG. In Qamishli, Syria, meanwhile, thousands of Syrian Kurds marched in protest of the Turkish invasion while brandishing the flags of their once semi-autonomous region. [Al Jazeera, France 24]

8.

At least 1 killed, 200 more injured as protests continue in Iraq

Mass anti-government protests continued in Baghdad, Iraq, and elsewhere in the country this weekend, as Iraqi security forces reportedly killed at least one protester Saturday and wounded at least 200 more. Demonstrators reportedly blocked the main thoroughfares Sunday in Baghdad by parking cars at key junctions, although police reportedly did not intervene. The protesters have also continued to defy a curfew set in October. Tens of thousands of citizens have joined the rallies since the protests began, and 250 people have been killed as a result of the demonstrations, many of them by security forces who were deemed to have used excessive force. The protests began in response to the government failing to introduced promised reforms. [Fox News, BBC]

9.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actor Brian Tarantina dies at 60

Brian Tarantina, an actor known for his portrayal of Jackie in Amazon Prime's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel died in New York at the age of 60, his manager Laurie Smith told CNN on Saturday. Tarantina was found unconscious in his Manhattan apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. Smith said Tarantina had been "quite ill recently" and was recuperating at home, though an official cause of death has not yet been determined. Tarantina also appeared in films such as Uncle Buck, Summer of Sam, and BlacKkKlansman, as well as TV shows including Gilmore Girls, Law & Order, and NYPD Blue. [CNN, Variety]

10.

Nationals celebrate World Series title with parade

The Washington Nationals paraded their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., on Saturday in celebration of the franchise's first ever World Series title and the city's first since 1924, when the now-Minnesota Twins were still the Washington Senators. Thousands of fans reportedly showed up for the festivities, as the Nationals cruised on buses up Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues. The Nationals defeated the American League Champion Houston Astros in a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday night, in what turned out to be one of the strangest World Series in history. The road team won every game for the first time in a best-of-seven series in any major American sport. The parade caps off a successful run for long-suffering D.C. sports fans, who in the last two years have also seen the NHL's Capitals and the WNBA's Mystics win their respective championships. [The Washington Post]