Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 11, 2019

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Harold Maass
Bolivian ex-president Evo Morales.
JORGE BERNAL/AFP via Getty Images

1.

Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns after protests

Bolivian President Evo Morales resigned Sunday after facing mass protests over his attempt to hold onto power by bending laws to run for a fourth term, then claiming victory in a vote marred by allegations of fraud. Morales came to power more than a decade ago in a surge by leftist leaders in Latin America. The South American nation's first indigenous president, he was once popular and led the country through a period of economic growth and falling inequality. His attempt to extend his presidency, however, triggered widespread protests and cost him the support of many allies and the military. Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera, who also stepped down, said they had been pushed out in what amounted to a "coup." [The New York Times]

2.

Haley says in memoir that Tillerson, Kelly undermined Trump

Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley says in her new memoir, With All Due Respect, that two of President Trump's senior advisers undermined and worked around their boss, saying they were trying to "save the country." Haley wrote that the pair, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, tried to recruit her to help them, but she refused, The Washington Post reported Sunday, citing a copy of the book obtained before its Tuesday release. Tillerson did not respond to the Post's request for comment. Kelly said if providing Trump with "with the best and most open, legal and ethical staffing advice from across the [government] so he could make an informed decision is 'working against Trump,' then guilty as charged." [The Washington Post]

3.

General: U.S. to leave 600 troops in Syria

The U.S. will leave up to 600 troops in northeastern Syria to continue fighting the Islamic State, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday. Milley did not provide a precise figure, but before President Trump ordered U.S. withdrawal last month ahead of Turkey's incursion, Milley said less than 1,000 U.S. troops would be left operating in the area along the Turkish border. Trump, under pressure from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and other supporters, later said he would leave a few hundred soldiers in the region to "secure the oil" so Syria or militants wouldn't take it over. Milley, speaking on ABC News' This Week, did not mention the oil fields. "The footprint will be small, but the objective will remain the same — the enduring defeat of ISIS," Milley said. [The Washington Post]

4.

Protests intensify in Hong Kong after police shoot protester

Thousands of protesters clashed with Hong Kong police on Monday after police shot a pro-democracy protester. The shooting occurred as demonstrators attempted to block a busy street. The chaos began when a traffic officer started tussling with a protester. Another demonstrator then began to approach them, and the officer fired a live round into the person's stomach. Two more rounds were then fired at another protester. Tensions soared after the shooting, with protesters and officer workers jamming streets, some shouting, "Disband the police!" Later, a pro-Beijing supporter was doused with liquid and set on fire. [The Washington Post, BBC News]

5.

Spain's Socialists win national elections, but far-right still surges

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's Socialists won the country's Sunday national elections, but the far-right Vox party made big gains that threatened to worsen political deadlock. The Socialists took 120 seats, three fewer than they won in the last elections in April. That left them even further from the 176 seats necessary for the absolute majority they would need to govern without forming a coalition. Vox, led by 43-year-old Santiago Abascal, surged to 52 seats from 24 after breaking into Parliament for the first time in the spring. Abascal called the quick success of his party "the greatest political feat seen in Spain," and vowed to fight the "progressive dictatorship" as congratulations poured in from right-wing populist and anti-immigrant leaders across Europe. [The Associated Press]

6.

Iran discovers oil field that could expand reserves by a third

Iran has found a new oil field with 53 billion barrels of crude, President Hassan Rouhani announced Sunday. If the discovery is proven, it could increase Iran's proven oil reserves by just over a third. Rouhani said the new field is located in the oil-rich southern Khuzestan province. The find comes as Iran is struggling to find ways to sell its crude internationally amid renewed sanctions by the U.S., which is withdrawing from the landmark nuclear deal that exchanged curbs on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Iran currently has the world’s fourth largest proven oil reserves and the second biggest natural gas deposits. [The Associated Press]

7.

14-term GOP Rep. Pete King declines re-election run

Rep. Pete King, a moderate New York Republican now in his 14th congressional term, will not run for re-election in the fall, he announced Monday. King, while "in good health," decided with his wife that he'd like to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, he said in a statement. That makes King the 20th Republican in the House to say they won't run for re-election next year, as opposed to only eight Democrats who have declined to run. King won his district in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote, meaning it's possible a Democrat could take over the spot next year.

8.

4 more protesters killed in Iraq

The semi-official Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights said Monday that four protesters had been killed in the latest clashes between security forces and protesters in the southern city of Nasiriyah. Another 130 people were wounded, some seriously. The human rights organization called the Sunday incidents "regrettable." The violence came as security forces used tear gas to disrupt protesters trying to prevent employees from entering the education directorate. More than 320 protesters now have been killed by police and military personnel since protests broke out last month against corruption, unemployment, and inadequate public services despite the country's huge oil reserves. [The Associated Press]

9.

Alibaba's Singles Day sales jump

Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba said Monday that sales reached $22.63 billion in the first nine hours of its annual Singles Day shopping event. That total marked a 25 percent increase over the same period last year. The event started in 2009 and has grown into the biggest online sales event in the world. The Singles Day total of $30 billion last year far surpassed Cyber Monday in the U.S., which had $7.9 billion in sales. Citic Securities said in a note over the weekend that it expected Alibaba's Singles Day sales to rise by up to 25 percent this year, held back from an even bigger jump by slowing overall online sales growth in China. [Reuters]

10.

Trump to speak in New York City at Veterans Day event

President Trump is scheduled to give a speech in Manhattan to kick off New York's Veterans Day parade. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill de Blasio, both of whom have traded criticism with Trump recently, plan to join the march. De Blasio urged Trump not to politicize the event. "It should not be turned into a spectacle," he said. "If he's coming here to truly honor veterans, God bless him." Cities around the country will hold their own events to honor the nation's veterans. Businesses and restaurants are joining in by offering veterans and active-duty military personnel discounts, free meals, and other perks to show appreciation for their service. The National Parks Service is waiving entrance fees for the federal holiday. [The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News]