Today's Intel

Mar. 24, 2017

BLOOMBERG

After more than 8 years of political haggling over both its future and its benefits, the Keystone XL oil pipeline running from Canada to America's heartland has been approved by President Donald Trump. The battle, though, is not over yet. Environmental foes have vowed to press legal challenges against the $8 billion project and to vocalize their opposition in congressional town meetings. At the same time, TransCanada Corp., the pipeline's builder, still needs state approvals to begin work.

Brazil and the U.S. signed a military agreement that paves the way for the joint development and sale of defense products, the Brazilian defense ministry said. The accord does not require congressional approval.

Indian students think twice about attending U.S. universities. They worry about anti-Indian violence and getting a U.S. job after graduating.

Ending the U.S. free-trade deal with Mexico, as Donald Trump threatened during his presidential campaign, would hand a significant victory to China, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said.

Former President Obama marked the seventh anniversary Thursday of his signing of the Affordable Care Act with a defense of the law's accomplishments as House Republicans prepare to vote on their own health-care bill rolling back key pieces of the 2010 measure.

Orders for U.S. durable goods increased more than forecast in February, a sign companies are confident about the outlook for the economy. Bookings for goods meant to last at least three years rose 1.7 percent after a 2.3 percent advance the prior month that was larger than previously estimated.

Venezuela's state oil company was rushing to replenish gasoline supplies in various neighborhoods of Caracas on Thursday as drivers lined up at filling stations amid a worsening shortage of fuel. While Petroleos de Venezuela SA says the situation is normalizing and blamed the lines on transport delays, the opposition says the company has had to reduce costly fuel imports as it tries to preserve cash to pay its foreign debt.

British Airways is rolling out technology that will allow passengers to go through boarding gates at its main London Heathrow Airport hub using facial recognition.

China's Zhonghong Zhuoye Group Co. agreed to acquire a 21 percent equity stake in SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. from Blackstone Group LP, becoming the embattled U.S. theme-park operator's largest shareholder.

AP Top Stories

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its revised estimate for the Republican healthcare bill on Thursday, and it could put House GOP leaders on even worse footing than the office's original assessment.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the man in charge of America's supply of nuclear weapons, took the time Wednesday to criticize Texas A&M's election for student body president. Perry's complaint was about the process by which Bobby Brooks, who would become the first openly gay student president in the university's history, won the election last month. Brooks finished 750 votes behind Robert McIntosh, the son of a prominent GOP fundraiser, but McIntosh was disqualified after he was found to violate a campaign finance rule over some glow sticks used in a campaign video.

Contrary to the common belief that corruption is on the rise within the U.S. government. Prosecutions of corrupt officials fell markedly in the first five months of fiscal year 2017, accelerating a general two-decade decline, according to a report released Wednesday.

Turkey fired into Kurdish-controlled Syria on Wednesday after saying one of its soldiers was killed by a sniper from across the border, risking deeper conflict with a Kurdish militia backed by the United States and building ties to Russia.

One girl's Sweet 16 cost her dad a sweet $6 million! Texas Attorney Thomas Jay Henry hired celebrity performers, makeup artists, and former First Lady Michelle Obama's own photographer to celebrate daughter Maya's birthday. 600 guests awaited the birthday girl's arrival in a fleet of Rolls Royce's, complete with police escort.

The U.S. Secret Service has asked for $60 million in additional funding for the fiscal 2018 budget, a request, which has resulted from the increasing lifestyle costs of the Trump family in the White House.

BBC

More than 200 migrants are feared dead after five bodies were discovered off the Libyan coast, a Spanish aid organization said. Proactiva said the bodies were found floating near two capsized boats which could each hold more than 100 people.

A panel of judges at Taiwan's top court are hearing a case that could make the island the first place in Asia to introduce gay marriage.

A judge in Argentina has ruled that the former president, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, should stand trial on charges of financial mismanagement.

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been freed from detention, six years after being overthrown.

A man who drove at a crowd in Antwerp has been charged with attempted terrorism. No-one was injured but shoppers were forced to dive out of the way in Thursday's incident.

WND

New documents from WikiLeaks point to an apparent CIA program to hack Apple's iPhones and Mac computers using techniques that users couldn't disable by resetting their devices.

Immigration arrests and border-related cases have swamped the federal government, the Justice Department said Thursday, pointing to new statistics that show half of all arrests made by federal authorities in 2014 were for immigration offenses.

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