May 18, 2017

BLOOMBERG

Roger Ailes, a former U.S. presidential adviser who started the Fox News Channel to promote a Republican agenda and built it into the most-watched U.S. cable news network before resigning amid sexual harassment allegations, has died. He was 77.

The U.S. Trade Representative office has indicated to lawmakers that it will officially inform Congress on Thursday about its intention to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, according two people familiar with the plans.

Brazil was plunged back into a political crisis reminiscent of last year's impeachment saga following reports that President Michel Temer was embroiled in an alleged cover-up scheme involving the jailed former speaker of the lower house of Congress.

The United Nations Security Council held consultations on the political turmoil in Venezuela that has left at least 43 dead as U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged the global body to focus on the crisis before it escalates further.

U.S. anti-terrorism officials met for four hours Wednesday in Brussels with their European counterparts who are resisting a proposed expansion of a laptop ban in airline passenger cabins. U.S. officials called the threat critical but stopped short of any new action.

Turkey called on President Donald Trump to get rid of Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy for the global coalition to counter Islamic State, over his backing for Kurdish groups it views as its top national security threat.

The U.S. imposed new measures aimed at punishing Iran for developing ballistic missiles while continuing to suspend sanctions linked to its nuclear program, in a reflection of the Trump administration's difficult balancing act toward the Islamic Republic.

Saudi Arabia is putting on a show for Donald Trump on his first overseas trip as U.S. president. Muslim leaders will assemble in Riyadh, and there'll be an exhibition of classic American cars as well as sports matches and concerts. An online clock counts down the seconds until the big day.

The world's richest people lost $35 billion Wednesday when global equity markets were rocked by political turmoil in the U.S., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The U.K. may have to pay as little as $6.5 billion or no more than 30 billion pounds to leave the European Union, according to a study by the country's chartered accountancy industry that's sure to thrill Prime Minister Theresa May's government.

AP Top Stories

In the 100 days since President Trump signed an executive order outlining U.S. immigration enforcement priorities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested nearly 40 percent more undocumented immigrants than during the same period a year ago - whether or not they had criminal records, immigration officials said Wednesday.

The former head of Mossad's intelligence directorate has contradicted Donald Trump's claim that he has the "absolute right" to share secret information with foreign officials. Israel is believed to be the source of classified intelligence on Isis allegedly passed by the President to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak in a closed-door meeting last week.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday there was a "high possibility" of conflict with North Korea, which is pressing ahead with nuclear and missile programs it says are needed to counter U.S. aggression.

Russia's GDP grew 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017, the state statistics agency said Wednesday, as the country's economy slowly recovers from a crippling crisis.

The Japanese emperor's granddaughter, 25-year old Princess Mako, is set to marry a commoner - specifically, "an ocean-loving legal assistant who can ski, play the violin and cook." Once Mako marries Kei Komuro, the legal assistant in question, she'll become a mere commoner, as female royals must after getting married in Japan. Conservatives fear that changing the law to allow women to remain royal after marriage might lead the Japanese down the slippery slope toward allowing women to inherit the throne (there actually have been Japanese empresses, but conservatives argue their reigns were temporary and not a reason to allow a woman on the throne, as was made official in the 1889 Imperial House Law).

On May 19, Endangered Species Day, the National Geographic Society and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association for the out of home (OOH) advertising industry, launched a groundbreaking OOH campaign aimed at saving species at risk in the wild.

BBC

More than 3,000 prisoners are believed to have escaped the main prison in Democratic Republic of Congo. The authorities say only around 50 prisoners got away when armed men attacked the prison on Wednesday.

A top UN court has ordered Pakistan not to execute a former Indian navy officer convicted on charges of spying until it has had time to hear a case brought by India.

A schoolgirl who was abducted by Nigeria's militant Islamists in 2014 has escaped from captivity. The girl was found by government troops while she was escaping, .

Turkey has opened a vast center dedicated to housing and educating orphans from war-torn Syria. The complex will house 990 children in what Turkish media say is a cozy, home environment.

WND

Another large-scale, stealthy cyberattack is underway on a scale that could dwarf last week's assault on computers worldwide, a global cybersecurity firm told AFP on Wednesday.

Employees increasingly are testing positive for marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines at work, driving the rates of positive drug tests in the United States to the highest level in 12 years.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said Wednesday he would leave office next month to accept a federal appointment as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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