Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 30, 2019

Tim O'Donnell
London Bridge.
NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images


London Bridge attacker was previously imprisoned on terrorist charges

A 28-year-old man who had previously been jailed for his role in a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange in 2012 carried out a stabbing attack at London Bridge that resulted in the deaths of a man and a woman Friday and injuries to three others. Police believe that Usman Khan, who is affiliated with an al-Qaida-inspired terrorist group, acted alone in the attack, which is considered a terrorist incident. Khan was shot dead by police after civilians restrained him. Khan was reportedly wearing a GPS police tag and was out on parole. Police are now investigating how he was able to launch the attack despite authorities monitoring his movements. Police confirmed that, prior to the attack, Khan was attending a Cambridge University conference on prisoner rehabilitation. [BBC, The Guardian]


Trump given deadline to send counsel to impeachment hearings

President Trump has until Dec. 6 to alert the House Judiciary Committee if his counsel intends to call witnesses and introduce evidence in the committee's upcoming impeachment hearings as the inquiry transitions away from the House Intelligence Committee to the judiciary panel. Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) set the deadline in a letter sent to the president Friday. Nadler also set the same deadline for Republican lawmakers on the Democrat-led committee to let him know about any intended witnesses and evidence they wish to involve in the hearings. The lawmakers will then have a meeting on Dec. 9. Trump has also been invited to attend the committee's initial hearing scheduled for Dec. 4. He must decide by Sunday evening if he will accept. It is unclear how Trump or his counsel will respond to either request. [Reuters, The Washington Post]


Afghan government, Taliban don't back up Trump's claims about cease-fire

Neither the Taliban nor the Afghan government indicated the sides were close to a cease-fire agreement, despite President Trump's assertion while visiting U.S. troops in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving on Thursday that the Taliban was ready to strike a deal. "We are ready to talk, but we have the same stance to resume the talks from where it was suspended," the Taliban said in a statement in response to Trump's announcement. Talks between Washington and the Taliban sputtered in September without any formal conclusion. Sediq Seddiqi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, said "it is too early to comment on any changes or any perceived changes" in negotiations. [The Washington Post, The New York Times]


Republican challenger banned from Twitter after Omar tweets

Danielle Stella, a Republican challenging Rep. Ilhan (D-Minn.) for her Congressional seat, had her Twitter account permanently suspended for repeatedly violating the social media platform's rules, a Twitter spokesperson said. Most notably, Stella wrote Tuesday that Omar should be tried for treason and "hanged" if a baseless claim that the congresswoman passed sensitive information to Iran was proven to be true. She reportedly later added a link to a blog post that included a drawing of a stick figure being hanged. Omar said Stella's tweets are the "natural results of a political environment where anti-Muslim dogwhistles and dehumanization are normalized by an entire political party and its media outlets." [CNN, Fox News]


Students, elderly join together for peaceful Hong Kong protest

About 1,000 secondary school students and senior citizens joined together for a peaceful march Saturday in Hong Kong as part of the city's pro-democracy, anti-government movement. It was the first of several rallies planned for the weekend, as protesters continue to push back against what they consider to be police brutality and unlawful arrests. The demonstration was reportedly organized to show that Hong Kong's demands for freedom and democracy are cross-generational. Police authorized the march, which took place a week after the pro-democracy movement dominated the polls in Sunday's elections, taking 17 of the city's 18 district councils. One student said it was "inspiring to see that we are all striving for the same ideologies" despite the age gap. [The South China Morning Post, Reuters]


3 teenagers injured in Black Friday stabbing in the Netherlands

Two 15-year-old girls and a 13-year-old boy were injured Friday by a male suspect in a stabbing attack Friday in the Dutch city, The Hague. The victims have since been released from the hospital. The attack took place in the city's main market square while shoppers were out during Black Friday, which led to unusually large crowds. Police are still hunting for the suspect, and the motive remains unclear. An earlier description of the suspect was later rendered incorrect. Police have asked for patience and said that the complexity of the case means it will take time. [BBC, Deutsche Welle]


Saudi Aramco bids hit $44.3 billion

The initial public offering from Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco has drawn total bids of $44.3 billion so far from retail and institutional investors, about 1.7 times the amount the kingdom plans to reel in. The sale is on pace to be the world's largest listing when it formally prices next week. Most of the bids came from Saudi investors, however, hinting that international investors are wary about the state-owned company's valuation of $1.6 to $1.7 trillion set by the government. The Saudi government is aiming to sell a 1.5 percent stake and raise $25.6 billion, which would beat out Alibaba's $25 billion IPO in 2014. The IPO is a central part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's plan to diversify the Saudi economy. [Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal]


Iraqi prime minister to resign amid protests

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Friday announced his resignation following Wednesday's firebombing of the Iranian consulate in Najaf and weeks of antigovernment protests that have left hundreds dead. In a statement, Mahdi said that his decision would allow Iraq to "preserve the blood of its people, and avoid slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos, and devastation," although his successor has not been named. At least 400 protesters have been killed since the beginning of October, with 40 shot dead by security forces in three cities Thursday and early Friday. [The New York Times]


Gigantic storm to wreak havoc on post-Thanksgiving travel

A massive winter storm that has already prompted warnings from Arizona to Wisconsin will be lumbering east in coming days, almost certainly interfering with Thanksgiving return-travel plans for millions. By the time it's finished, the storm, created by the same conditions that caused the "bomb cyclone" in California and Arizona earlier in the week, could pummel an area stretching from the Sierra Nevadas to New England — where a nor'easter is predicted to begin on Sunday night. [The Washington Post]


NFL player suspended for betting on football

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Josh Shaw received an indefinite suspension from the NFL that will at least last through the 2020 season for betting on NFL games multiple times this season. Shaw has not played for the Cardinals this season after landing on injured reserve in August following a shoulder injury. As a result, he reportedly hasn't been around the team very much during the season. The league did not find that Shaw used any inside information to bet on games or that any game was compromised. Shaw's teammates and coaches were also reportedly unaware of his gambling and were not involved. Betting on football is prohibited for anyone who works for the NFL in any capacity. Shaw is the first player to be suspended for gambling by the league in 36 years. [ESPN, CBS Sports]