Today's Intel

Feb. 15, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump was poised on Friday to declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, a move that Democrats vowed to challenge as an unconstitutional attempt to fund his proposed border wall without approval from Congress.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to avert another partial government shutdown with bipartisan spending legislation that funds new barriers for part of the U.S.-Mexico border, but not the $5.7 billion that President Donald Trump sought for a wall.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in NATO ally Iceland's capital Reykjavik and said he would be discussing security relations as well as China and Russia's growing presence in the Arctic.

Italy will have to leave the European Union unless the upcoming European Parliament elections show a decisive shift toward populist parties, a prominent member of the ruling League party said on Friday.

Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, said he will challenge U.S. President Donald Trump for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2020, saying the country was in "grave peril," media outlets reported on Friday.

Even before any peace push-related drawdowns, the U.S. military is expected to trim troop levels in Afghanistan as part of an efficiency drive by the new commander, a U.S. general told Reuters on Friday, estimating the cuts may exceed 1,000 forces.

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time on Thursday in calling Amazon's decision to scrap plans to build a major New York outpost with nearly $3 billion in city and state incentives a big victory for progressive politicians.

AP Top Stories

Nearly 200 Cameroonians who were members of Nigeria's Boko Haram jihadist group have returned home and surrendered to the authorities after breaking with the organization, the government said Thursday.

The U.S. Navy has ordered from Boeing four huge robotic submarines, potentially signally an effort to deploy a large number of crewless undersea boats alongside traditional, manned submarines.

Malaysian authorities said on Friday they have arrested six people, including four foreigners, suspected of planning attacks or being members of militant groups.

A white man who killed a black man with a sword in the hopes of starting a race war was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday in New York, multiple media accounts said.

California's suspension this week of a high-speed rail project underscores the up-hill battle the modern mode of transport faces in the United States -- including myriad cultural, political and economic obstacles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to agree on military action to oust militants who've seized control of a key region of Syria, amid continued divisions over Ankara's demand for a security zone inside the Middle Eastern country.

Iran is planning a "new Holocaust" to destroy Israel, US vice president Mike Pence claimed at a summit on peace and security in the Middle East. "The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and seeks the means to achieve it," he told delegates at the conference, which was co-hosted by the US and Poland in Warsaw.

Ethiopia is assisting 541 nationals stranded in Tanzania to obtain travel documents and return home, the foreign ministry said Friday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was ready to accept the dismantlement and inspection of a high-profile nuclear plant, a South Korean presidential adviser said, suggesting a possible point of compromise in upcoming talks with President Donald Trump.

American Airlines says it will need to move more than 700 Phoenix-based flight attendants to other hub airports now that it has integrated the systems used to manage flight-attendant scheduling after the airline's merger with US Airways. The airlines merged in 2013, but the flight-attendant management systems did not.

The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran hailed the planned US withdrawal from Syria as they met for talks Thursday on how to work more closely together in the country's long-running conflict.

The 2018-2019 flu season has been a relatively mild one - and a pretty effective flu shot is part of the reason why. Mid-season estimates suggest that the flu shot has reduced the risk of illness by around 47% in vaccinated people.

BBC

As President Donald Trump is due to declare the end of Islamic State (IS), the top US general in the Middle East says he disagrees with the decision. Gen Joseph Votel told CNN that IS militants were still active in Syria and US-backed forces were not yet capable of handling the threat alone.

China has closed the base camp on its side of Mount Everest to visitors who don't have climbing permits. Authorities have resorted to the unusual move to deal with the mounting waste problem at the site.

The US Senate has voted 54-45 confirming President Donald Trump's attorney general pick William Barr to serve in the role for a second time.

Earlier this week, an Instagram account which posted comic strips depicting the struggles of gay Muslims in Indonesia vanished from the social media site.

WND

Students at Georgetown University are considering paying reparations for slaves that Georgetown University sold more than 180 years ago. A campus-wide student referendum will ask students to establish a fund for the descendants of these 272 slaves. A fee of $27.20 per student would be collected each semester, starting in the fall of 2020.

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