threats
February 24, 2020

The FBI is investigating threats made against 18 Jewish Community Centers in New York on Sunday.

Jewish Community Centers offers social, educational, and athletic programs for adults and kids. The anonymous threats were not specific, but did mention bombs. New York State Director of Emergency Management Michael Kopy would not reveal which centers were targeted, but did say the threats were sent to people with Jewish Community Center email addresses. Similar threats were also sent to Jewish Community Centers in other parts of the country, The Associated Press reports.

On Sunday morning, about 100 people were evacuated from the Albany Jewish Community Center, which was searched by police officers and dogs. "These types of situations are so ugly and so unfortunate," Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said. "What's worse is we're seeing more and more of them. We've had about 42 incidents of anti-Semitism in this state this past couple of months, so it's not getting better. It's only getting worse." Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday told his party's lawmakers it is "only a matter of time" before he launches a new military intervention in neighboring Syria's Idlib province if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not withdraw his forces from the area.

"An operation in Idlib is imminent," Erdogan said. "We are counting down; we are making our final warnings. ... We will not leave Idlib to the [Syrian] regime, which does not understand our country's determination." His goal, he announced, is to secure the region near the Turkish-Syrian border "at any cost."

The statement received prompt pushback from Russia, an Assad ally. "If we are talking about an operation against the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Republic and armed forces of the Syrian Republic this would, of course, be the worst scenario," said Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov. Moscow and Ankara are in contact in hopes of preventing escalation, Peskov added.

About 900,000 people, including 500,000 children, have been displaced in the last three months as the Assad regime ramped up fighting in the Idlib area. Syria has dealt with civil war, foreign military intervention, terrorist insurgency, and a severe refugee crisis since 2011.

Humanitarian organizations have called for de-escalation in Idlib, especially given the winter weather. "Children and families are caught between the violence, the biting cold, the lack of food, and the desperate living conditions," said Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF. "It is time for the guns to go silent and for the violence to stop once and for all." Bonnie Kristian

December 3, 2018

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Monday said the White House wants to put an end to subsidies for electric cars and renewable energy sources.

Under federal law, consumers who purchase plug-in electric vehicles receive tax credits worth $2,500 to $7,500, and "as a matter of our policy, we want to end all of those subsidies," Kudlow said. "And by the way, other subsidies that were imposed during the Obama administration, we are ending, whether it's for renewables and so forth." The plan is to end the subsidies by 2020 or 2021, he added.

The subsidies already end after a manufacturer hits 200,000 vehicles. Last week, after General Motors announced it was closing several North American facilities, President Trump threatened to end electric car subsidies, but the company is already expected to reach the cap by the end of this year. GM and Tesla, which hit the threshold in July, have been calling on Congress to lift the cap, and once Democrats take control of the House in January, it's unlikely they will end the subsidies, as many have been calling for more incentives, Reuters reports. Catherine Garcia

November 8, 2017

A proposed $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner is apparently being held up by the Justice Department until the two companies sell off parts of their portfolios, Politico reported Wednesday.

The deal apparently hinges on Turner Broadcasting, The New York Times reported — and CNN specifically. Citing "people briefed on the matter," the Times said that the Justice Department wants Time Warner to sell off Turner Broadcasting, CNN's parent company, before it will approve the merger. Alternately, AT&T could sell off DirecTV for the sale to be approved, the Times reported.

The Wall Street Journal noted last week that vertical mergers like the one between Time Warner and AT&T rarely face legal challenges because of the difficulty of proving potential consumer harm. One anonymous source who spoke to CNN called the DOJ's alleged request for Time Warner to offload Turner Broadcasting a "fig leaf for threatening CNN."

When the deal for AT&T to buy Time Warner was announced last October, former FCC commissioner Michael Copps cautioned against its approval. "The sorry history of mega mergers shows they run roughshod over the public interest," Copps warned. During the final weeks of 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Donald Trump said that if elected, his administration would block the proposed merger, which he called "concentration of power in the hands of the few."

The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment to Politico. In July, The New York Times reported that White House advisers saw "a potential point of leverage over [CNN]" in the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. President Trump, meanwhile, has made a habit of calling CNN "fake news" and tweeted disparagingly about the news organization five times in the month of October alone. Kelly O'Meara Morales

November 29, 2015

Citing "recent tragic events at other campuses across the country," University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer announced Sunday that after receiving information from the FBI about an online threat, the school was canceling all Monday classes and activities on its Hyde Park campus.

In a statement, Zimmer wrote that counterterrorism officials informed the university that "an unknown individual posted an online threat of gun violence against the University of Chicago, specifically mentioning 'the campus quad' on Monday morning at 10 a.m." Students, non-essential staff, and non-medical faculty are being asked to stay off campus, and there will be an "increased police and security presence on and around campus, including police personnel with visible weapons and other additional measures." The FBI is continuing to investigate the threat, Zimmer said. Catherine Garcia

October 5, 2015

A threat made online against "an unspecified university near Philadelphia" is being monitored by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Drexel University sent alerts out notifying students and faculty about the threat on Sunday, USA Today reports. On the University of Pennsylvania's Division of Public Safety website, a message said the ATF warned that the threat included a "specific date of Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, 1 p.m. Central time/ 2 p.m. Eastern time." Although the FBI and ATF said they have "no knowledge of any specific threat," the university said, in an "abundance of caution" it is monitoring the situation and has increased police, security officer, and CCTV patrols. Drexel University said on its website that the threat was posted on social media after Thursday's shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, USA Today reports. Catherine Garcia

March 18, 2015

Japanese and U.S. authorities are investigating death threats against U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and Alfred Magleby, the U.S. consul general in Okinawa.

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo received the telephone threats last month, the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reports, and they were made by an English-speaking man. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not confirm any specific threats, but said in a statement: "We take any threats to U.S. diplomats seriously. We are working with the Japanese government to ensure the necessary measures are in place." The warnings come two weeks after Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, was attacked by a man with a knife during an event in Seoul. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads