Today's Intel

Sep. 18, 2017

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump, who derided the United Nations as a "club for people to get together, talk and have a good time" after his election, is surprising veterans of the global body by leaning on it to help carry out his foreign policy agenda.

Four American college students were attacked with acid Sunday at a train station in France, but French authorities so far do not think extremist views motivated the 41 -year-old woman who was arrested as the alleged assailant, the local prosecutor's office and the students' school said.

Obama is coming to Wall Street less than a year after leaving the White House, following a path that's well-trod and well paid. While he can't run for president, he continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power. His new work with banks might suggest which side of the debate he'll be on and disappoint anyone expecting him to avoid a trap that snared Clinton.

The Trump administration is considering closing down the recently reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana following a string of unexplained incidents harming the health of American diplomats in Cuba, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.

France is "vigilant" about Iran's compliance with its nuclear accord but "all signs are that it's respecting its commitments," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The U.S. seeks a peaceful resolution but is prepared to use military force if diplomatic efforts fail to end the nuclear standoff with North Korea, said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that six of 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration be reduced in size, with changes to several others proposed.

India is poised to emerge as an economic superpower, driven in part by its young population, while China and the Asian Tigers age rapidly, according to Deloitte LLP.

Saudi Arabia is considering a plan to phase out subsidies for gasoline and jet fuel in November at the latest, as the world's biggest oil exporter pushes a program to curtail spending after a global slump in prices. At current levels, this could result in a hike of about 80 percent.

AP Top Stories

Hurricane Maria strengthened into a Category 2 storm on Monday and pushed toward the Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean, as forecasters warned it was expected to become a major hurricane by early Tuesday.

Thousands of Florida residents are being urged to evacuate a week after Hurricane Irma's rains are overflowing the Withlacoochee River.

As the devastated Florida Keys began reopening to residents who fled Hurricane Irma, officials warned the returning islanders to bring enough supplies to sustain them for a while, because no one yet knows when water and power will be fully restored.

Texas Representative Joe Barton, a Republican politician who opposed funding for Hurricane Harvey relief is now in charge of Congressional efforts to help Texas recover from the storm.

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act is back on the agenda, with Republicans suddenly talking about a bill that, until recently, few people in either party had taken all that seriously.

Hamas has agreed to dissolve the administration that runs Gaza, it said on Sunday, a major step towards handing control of the enclave to a Palestinian unity government after a decade of bitter rivalry with President Mahmoud Abbas.

British police made progress Sunday in their frantic pursuit of suspects and evidence connected to the bomb that partially exploded on a packed London subway, leading counter-terrorism officials to lower the country's threat level because they no longer considered a fresh attack to be imminent.

A Catholic priest kidnapped by Islamic State supporters when they occupied parts of a southern Philippine city nearly four months ago smiled and called for prayers Monday after escaping.

BBC

In a strongly-worded statement, North Korea has warned that more sanctions and pressure will only make it accelerate its nuclear program.

US credit report giant Equifax has replaced two senior staff after revealing last week it had suffered a massive data breach.

A Chinese company offering sex dolls for rent has withdrawn its services just days after launching.

China and India may have defused a potential border conflict but the stand-off seems to have led to dispute over another contentious issue: water.

The prime minister of Serbia has become the first head of government in a Balkan country to take part in a gay pride march. Ana Brnabic is the first gay person, as well as the first woman, to lead Serbia.

WND

ISIS has involved children in war like no other movement in recent years. It has been known to sell Iraqi children as sex slaves and routinely conducts mass executions of children. Now the Jerusalem Post reports that the Islamic supremacist movement's practices mean any children it deploys for war could be considered targets by opposing forces. "If children are holding a gun then direct participation in hostilities rules apply to children … children might be targets and not just victims."

One of the biggest critics of the after-school Satanist clubs that have been promoted to schools around the country says a club in Tacoma, Washington, was a dismal flop, attracting the interest of only one person, and has been shut down.

The revelation of a massive data breach at credit giant Equifax is a a textbook example of poor protection and even worse public relations, but a leading cybersecurity expert says it leaves tens of millions of people vulnerable to fraud and identity theft for the rest of their lives.

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