Today's Intel

May 22, 2019

REUTERS

U.S. officials who briefed Congress about Iran on Tuesday sought to convince lawmakers that President Donald Trump's administration wants to deter Tehran's aggression, not attack the Islamic republic, members of Congress said.

Democrats in Congress will press U.S. President Donald Trump at a White House meeting on Wednesday for details on how to pay for a massive boost in U.S. infrastructure spending after agreeing in April to try to win approval of a $2 trillion package.

The House Intelligence Committee pulled back on Wednesday from threats to enforce a subpoena against Attorney General William Barr after the Justice Department agreed to turn over materials relating to an investigation into Russian election interference.

Abortion-rights campaigners, including Democrats seeking their party's 2020 presidential nomination, rallied at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to protest new restrictions on abortion passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states.

Demonstrations over the outcome of last month's presidential election gripped the heart of Indonesia's capital on Wednesday after an overnight face-off between police and protesters in which Jakarta's governor said six people were killed.

New allegations the Syrian government is using chemical weapons must be looked into, the French foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

China must prepare for difficult times as the international situation is increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in comments carried by state media on Wednesday, as the U.S.-China trade war took a mounting toll on tech giant Huawei.

The Trump administration is studying how proposed tariff increases on Chinese imports will affect consumers and is at least a month away from enacting them, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Ford Motor Co said on Wednesday it is partnering with walking robots maker Agility Robotics to assist self-driving delivery vans drop packages at the doorsteps of people's homes.

Half of all Americans believe that the United States will go to war with Iran "within the next few years," according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Tuesday amid increased tensions between the two countries.

AP Top Stories

A major Texas border station has been temporarily closed due to a fever outbreak, officials said, one day after a Guatemalan teenager diagnosed with flu at the facility died in immigration custody.

U.S. officials who briefed Congress about Iran on Tuesday sought to convince lawmakers that President Donald Trump's administration wants to deter Tehran's aggression, not attack the Islamic republic, members of Congress said.

Some 22 million people are in the path of the severe weather system that was expected to move across Texas and Louisiana into Alabama and as far north as Iowa and Nebraska on Tuesday. A second storm system was brewing and could hit the same southern region of the country later this week. "The whole area is in the bull's eye, with more rounds of severe storms possible."

The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing's control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war.

Libya is on the brink of a civil war that could "lead to the permanent division of the country," a top U.N. official warned the Security Council on Tuesday as he urged the world body to stop countries that were fueling the conflict with weapons.

Iraq is planning to send urgent delegations to the United States and Iran, its prime minister said Tuesday, as Baghdad seeks to rein in soaring tensions between its top allies.

Serbia introduced new prison sentences of life without parole, drawing criticism from the opposition and human-rights advocates who say they violate European norms.

Gunmen have cut off the main water pipeline to Libya's besieged capital, Tripoli, spelling more misery for residents already reeling from weeks of fighting. The United Nations said the water blockage was a possible war crime.

Islamic extremists exploded a suicide car bomb and killed at least nine people, including Somalia's former foreign minister, near the presidential palace in the capital on Wednesday, police said.

The United Nations human rights office called on U.S. authorities on Tuesday to ensure that women have access to safe abortions, saying bans lead to risky underground abortions that can endanger a woman's life.

BBC

Six people have been killed and 200 injured during mass rallies in Jakarta against the re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

US Democrats have demanded an inquiry after a 16-year-old migrant died on Monday at a detention center on the border with Mexico. Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vásquez is the fifth child to die after being held since December.

WND

Judicial Watch, which has obtained thousands of government documents exposed Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information, now is going to court to obtain a copy of the FBI's list of possible "statutory violations" by the former secretary of state.

A school district in Washington state has dropped its special policy promoting Ramadan, according to a legal team that sent officials a cease-and-desist letter regarding the specialized accommodations for Muslims.

A new survey finds that about 3 in 4 prefer traveling by car than by plane - even if it means a painstakingly longer trip.

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