Today's Intel

Feb. 24, 2017

BLOOMBERG

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May demonstrated her dominance of Britain's political landscape in a by-election that saw her Conservative Party score a historic win from its main rival, Labour.

Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday.

A preliminary report showed that VX Nerve Agent was used in the murder of North Korea's Kim Jong Nam, Malaysian police said. The substance, listed as a chemical weapon under the Chemical Weapons Convention Act 2005, was found on the victim's face and eyes, the police said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. The eldest son of late leader Kim Jong Il was murdered in a Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13.

Billionaire Kelcy Warren, who faced months of protests over the Dakota Access oil pipeline, said his company followed every law and still fell into a "mess." Warren "underestimated the power of social media" during the standoff with environmental and Native American-rights activists.

Across America's orchards and crop fields, a shrinking supply of migrants has already driven pay up faster than in the broader workforce. President Donald Trump's immigration policy may turbocharge that trend. Wages for U.S. fieldworkers rose 36 percent over the past decade through the conclusion of last year's harvest in October, compared with 27 percent among non-farm employees.

Republican lawmakers expect that their Obamacare replacement will result in fewer Americans covered by health insurance, a fact that's likely to increase blowback amid growing support for the program.

According to a study by Credit Suisse Group AG and the London Business School, the best equity markets over the past 117 years were commodity-rich nations such as South Africa, Australia, the U.S. and Canada, while Denmark and Sweden yielded the highest bond returns.

Investors adopted a cautious tone as European stocks pared a third straight week of gains before a major speech from U.S. President Donald Trump. Gold headed for a three-month high as the dollar weakened.

Montana lawmakers pushed forward with a measure that would effectively ban all abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of the medical risks to a woman, by requiring doctors to deliver the fetus and try to save it.

AP Top Stories

The Philippines' top diplomat said Thursday any move by China to transform a Manila-claimed shoal into an island would be a "game-changer" in blossoming relations, although he added that Beijing has pledged not to undertake any construction in the strategically located area of the South China Sea.

The United States is not carrying out mass roundups or deportations under its tough crackdown on undocumented migrants, but it is determined to "gain control" of its southern border, its domestic security chief said Wednesday. "We are not going out and doing mass deportations," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a news conference.

Russia has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop his bombing campaign while peace talks take place this week, but a political breakthrough on the six-year war remains unlikely, the UN's envoy said Wednesday.

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon told conservatives to expect a daily fight as President Trump pushes through his agenda despite a US media in "opposition" to every move.

When Maryanne and Tommy Piling were married, the bride's mother received ugly comments about the union of two people with Down syndrome. "I've never seen love like it among any other couple." The Pilings' marriage has lasted more than two decades. This summer, the couple will celebrate 22 years of living together as husband and wife.

Students applications for the California Dream Act, which allows undocumented students to receive state financial aid and pay in-state tuition, has gone down by more than 60 percent this year compared to last year amid growing concerns over federal immigration policy changes.

BBC

A car bomb has killed at least 41 people in a rebel-held village near the Syrian town of al-Bab, sources in the region and monitors said.

The Guatemalan army says it will block the activities of a non-profit "abortion boat" docked on its shores.

Eastern Libya has banned men and women between the ages of 18 and 45 from travelling abroad without permission.

South African officials will inspect workplaces to see if firms are employing undocumented foreigners, the home affairs minister said.

WND

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed an executive order blocking state law enforcement agencies from detaining undocumented immigrants at the request of federal officials, days after the Trump administration began ramping up immigration enforcement actions.

A US appeals court has ruled that military-style assault weapons are not protected under the US Constitution, dealing a blow to gun rights activists.

A Christian mother is accusing the social media giant Facebook of censorship after her account was suspended over posts on what the Bible says about homosexuality and sin.

CNN editorial staff discussed using outdated information to influence viewers, according to audio secretly recorded by an insider that was released Thursday by Project Veritas.

A billboard between Winston-Salem and Greensboro caught the eye - and the ire - of some who think it is a slam on gender equality. It reads, "Real men provide, Real women appreciate it."

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