Trump Rejects Ending Saudi Arms Sales over Journalist’s Disappearance

Oct 15, 2018
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Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul Monday afternoon, nearly two weeks after prominent journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi entered the consulate on October 2 and has not been seen since. This news comes amid mounting international demands that Saudi Arabia explain the shocking disappearance, after Turkish officials accused the Saudis of assassinating Khashoggi, dismembering him and smuggling his body parts out of the consulate. In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Trump said Saudi Arabia would suffer “severe consequences” if it was found responsible. But Trump repeatedly said over the weekend he opposes ending U.S. weapons sales to the kingdom, which he claims are worth $110 billion to U.S. companies.

President Donald Trump: “Well, there are many other things we could do. But when we take away $110 billion of purchases from our country, that hurts our workers, that hurts our factories, that hurts all of our companies. You know, you’re talking about 500,000 jobs. So, we do that, we’re really hurting our country, a lot more than we’re hurting Saudi Arabia.”

Over the weekend, Dick Durbin, the Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, called on Trump to cancel the U.S. arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Some Republicans appear open to the idea. This is Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Sen. Marco Rubio: “If this is proven to be true, there is going to be a response from Congress. It’s going to be nearly unanimous, it’s going to be swift, and it’s going to go pretty far. And that could include arms sales, but it could include a bunch of other things, as well.”

Corporate Executives Pull Out of Saudi Investment Summit

Oct 15, 2018
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Top executives at JPMorgan Chase, Ford, Uber, Viacom, The New York Times and other companies have pulled out of a planned investors’ conference in Saudi Arabia next week nicknamed “Davos in the Desert.” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, whose department enforces U.S. sanctions, still plans to attend. We’ll have more on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after headlines.

Yemen: U.S.-Backed, Saudi-Led Airstrike Kills 19 and Injures 30

Oct 15, 2018
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In Yemen, at least 19 people were killed and another 30 people injured Saturday, as a U.S.-supported, Saudi-led airstrike struck a convoy of buses full of civilians fleeing an assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah. Among the dead were women and children, including five members of the same family. A similar U.S.-supported assault on Yemen in August killed 51 people, including 40 children. The United Nations has warned the Saudi-led bombing campaign has brought 13 million people to the brink of starvation, as Yemen’s food crisis could soon become the world’s worst famine in a century.

U.S. Death Toll from Hurricane Michael at 19 as Dozens Remain Missing

Oct 15, 2018
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Back in the United States, President Trump is traveling to Georgia and Florida today to tour devastation left behind after Hurricane Michael hit the Florida Panhandle last week as one of the most powerful storms ever to strike the U.S. mainland. The hurricane left 13 people dead in Central America. The death toll in the U.S. has reached 19, with another 46 people missing and unaccounted for in Mexico Beach, Florida, where entire blocks of houses were flattened by the storm.

Trump Doubles Down on Climate Change Denial on “60 Minutes”

Oct 15, 2018
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On Sunday, President Trump once again questioned the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is driving global temperatures higher and leading to more powerful storms. This is Trump being questioned by Lesley Stahl of CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

Lesley Stahl: “Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?”

President Donald Trump: “Look, I think something’s happening, something’s changing, and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs. I don’t want to be put at a disadvantage.”

Last week, a U.N.-appointed panel of climate scientists warned in a landmark report that humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate climate change or face global catastrophe—with severe droughts, floods, sea level rise and extreme heat set to cause mass displacement and poverty.

Senate Confirms Former BP Oil Defender as Top Environmental Lawyer

Oct 15, 2018
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The Senate has confirmed the lawyer who defended oil giant BP from lawsuits over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill as the Trump administration’s top environmental lawyer. Jeffrey Bossert Clark was approved on a 52-45 vote Thursday after Democrats Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill sided with Republicans to confirm him as assistant attorney general for environment and natural resources. Clark has repeatedly challenged the science of climate change, calling it “contestable.”

Tens of Thousands March in Europe Demanding Action on Climate

Oct 15, 2018
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Tens of thousands of people marched in Paris and in other major cities across France on Saturday demanding meaningful action on climate change. Thousands more marched in Geneva, Switzerland. This is Greenpeace Switzerland spokesperson Mathias Schlegel.

Mathias Schlegel: “Each time the climate gets warmer, even by one-tenth of a degree, it has a lot of consequences. For example, if the climate gets warmer by just 1.5 degrees, we can save certain glaciers in Switzerland; if it gets warmer by 2 degrees, we can’t save any. If the climate gets warmer by just 1.5 degrees, we can save up to a third of the oceans’ coral reefs; if it gets warmer by 2 degrees, we can’t.”

Somalia: Al-Shabab Suicide Bombers Kill 20, Injure 40

Oct 15, 2018
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In Somalia, a pair of suicide bombers struck in the southern Somali city of Baidoa on Saturday, killing 20 people and wounding 40 others. The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the blasts, which targeted two restaurants frequented by government soldiers.

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Nigeria: Anti-Boko Haram Militia Releases Children It Held Captive

Oct 15, 2018
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In Nigeria, a militia fighting Boko Haram has released 833 children from its ranks as part of a deal signed last year to end the group’s recruitment of child soldiers. This comes as the International Committee of the Red Cross released an urgent appeal for two aid workers who are being held captive by Boko Haram and could be killed on Monday according to a deadline issued by the militant group.

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Gaza: Israeli Forces Kill 7 Palestinians, Injure 250 at Friday Protest

Oct 15, 2018
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In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces shot and killed seven Palestinians Friday as they protested near Israel’s heavily militarized separation barrier. Gaza’s Health Ministry reported more than 250 others were wounded as Israeli troops opened fire with live ammunition on some 15,000 Palestinians who joined weekly “Great March of Return” protests. The latest deaths bring the number of Palestinians killed to over 200 since the protests began in March.

Turkey: 22 Migrants Killed in Truck Accident While Fleeing to Greece

Oct 15, 2018
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In western Turkey, at least 22 migrants died and 13 others were injured Sunday after a truck they were riding in crashed through a barrier and landed in an irrigation canal. The migrants had reportedly arranged for traffickers to take them by boat to the nearby Greek island of Samos, where they hoped to apply for asylum in the EU.

Germany: Merkel’s Party Loses Power, Greens and Far-Right Party Gain

Oct 15, 2018
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In Germany, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered losses in Bavarian regional elections Sunday that saw big gains for the Green Party, while the far-right AfD, or Alternative for Germany, party won enough votes to enter the state assembly for the first time. The election threatens Merkel’s 13-year hold on power as German voters increasingly polarize over whether to allow in refugees and asylum seekers. The Bavarian elections came as nearly a quarter-million people rallied in the German capital Berlin on Saturday, protesting against racism, xenophobia and the rise of the AfD party.

Pope Francis Canonizes Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero

Oct 15, 2018
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At the Vatican, Pope Francis has named Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero a saint, 38 years after he was murdered by a right-wing death squad at the beginning of the brutal U.S.-backed campaign in El Salvador. Only weeks before his assassination, Romero wrote a letter to President Jimmy Carter, calling on him not to provide military aid to the right-wing Salvadoran military government. In the archbishop’s final and now-famous sermon, he made a direct appeal to Salvadoran soldiers to lay down their weapons.

Archbishop Oscar Romero: “In his name and in the name of our tormented people who have suffered so much and whose laments cry out to heaven, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: Stop the repression!”

The next day, Romero was fatally shot from a car at the church where he was giving mass. We’ll have more on Óscar Romero’s canonization later in the broadcast.

WaPo: White House Considering New Plan to Separate Immigrant Families

Oct 15, 2018
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Back in the United States, the Trump administration is considering plans to resume forcibly separating migrant children from their families along the U.S.-Mexico border. On Friday, The Washington Post reported senior White House adviser Stephen Miller is advocating for tougher measures in response to thousands of people who continue to seek asylum in the United States after fleeing violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

One White House plan would see asylum-seeking families detained together for up to 20 days, after which parents would be forced to decide whether to stay detained together for months or years while their immigration cases proceed, or to allow their children to be taken to a government shelter where their relatives or others could seek custody.

NYT: Jared Kushner May Have Paid Almost No Federal Income Tax

Oct 15, 2018
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The New York Times reports that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes over the past several years, even as his net worth quintupled to more than $320 million. The Times reports the tax dodge appears to have been legal, based on Kushner’s claims of depreciation on millions of dollars of real estate holdings that in fact gained market value. Last year, the Republican-led Congress approved a sweeping tax bill that expanded benefits to real estate investors, including the Trump and Kushner families.

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Ethics Watchdog Says Press Secretary’s Kanye Tweet Broke Federal Law

Oct 15, 2018
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A government accountability watchdog says White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders violated federal law when she posted a photo of rapper Kanye West on her official White House Twitter account. In the photo, Sanders is seen smiling as she poses next to West, who’s wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat. In March, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said that any official White House communication promoting Trump’s signature campaign slogan is a clear violation of the Hatch Act, which restricts employees from using their official government positions for partisan political purposes.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Releases Evidence of Native American Ancestry

Oct 15, 2018
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Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has released a DNA test that provides “strong evidence” of partial Native American lineage in her family tree dating back six to 10 generations. Warren released the test results Monday along with a video about her family heritage. The move comes in response to President Trump’s mocking of Senator Warren’s previous statements on her Native American heritage. Trump has repeatedly referred to her as “Pocahontas,” including as recently as last week. Last month, Warren said at a town hall meeting that she would “take a hard look” at a 2020 presidential run after the midterms.

National Parks Service Plan Would Make Organizers Pay for WH Protests

Oct 15, 2018
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The Trump administration is considering new restrictions on free expression outside the White House that could see demonstrators forced to pay to hold protests. A proposal filed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would see the National Parks Service close 80 percent of the sidewalks around the presidential mansion—including the entire sidewalk north of the White House—while requiring protest organizers to cover the cost of police and support services. Today, October 15, is the last day open to public comment on the proposal.

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Senate Democrats Agree to Confirm 15 of Trump’s Judicial Nominees

Oct 15, 2018
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Senate Democrats have agreed to a Republican plan to fast-track the approval of 15 of President Trump’s nominees to lifetime appointments on federal courts. The agreement, made in a closed-door meeting late Thursday between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell, will allow vulnerable Senate Democrats to return to their home states to campaign for November’s midterm elections. Critics say Democrats could have fought the nominations and forced 30 hours of debate on each candidate.

New York: White Supremacists Unleash Violence on Manhattan Street

Oct 15, 2018
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In New York City, members of the white supremacist group known as the Proud Boys violently attacked people on a Manhattan street Friday night, after attending a talk by the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes, at the Metropolitan Republican Club. In video captured of the incident, dozens of members of the extremist group can be seen kicking and punching anti-fascist protesters while shouting homophobic expletives.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed Trump and Republicans for the violence, calling it part of an effort to “fire up their base” for the midterm elections. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group, and some of its members joined in the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last August.

Ashes of Murdered Gay Student Matthew Shepard Interred at National Cathedral

Oct 15, 2018
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And in Washington, D.C., Episcopal Church leaders have interred the ashes of gay college student Matthew Shepard in the National Cathedral. In 1998, Shepard, who was just 21 years old, was lured from a Laramie, Wyoming, bar, robbed for $20 cash, lashed to a fence, bludgeoned in the head with a pistol and left to die on the prairie. His killing shocked the conscience of the nation and spurred the LGBTQ rights movement. In 2009, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded hate crimes laws to cover those targeted over their sexual orientation.

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