Today's Intel

Jan. 17, 2018

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump is "fit for duty" and should remain so through his presidency, according to presidential physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, who examined the president last week amid criticism that the 71-year-old commander-in-chief may be unfit for office.

North and South Korea will march jointly under one unified flag during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, the biggest sign yet of a detente after months of tensions over Kim Jong Un's nuclear program.

House Republicans are coalescing around a plan to try and force the Senate to accept a short-term spending bill this week that doesn't address immigration issues and other demands from Democrats in order to avoid a government shutdown after Jan. 19.

The threat of large-scale cyberattacks and a "deteriorating geopolitical landscape" since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump have jumped to the top of the global elite's list of concerns, the World Economic Forum said ahead of its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Turkey warned the U.S. that the deployment of an American-backed, Kurdish-led force in northern Syria along the Turkish border could cause irreparable harm to the countries' ties.

The U.S. has told the United Nations agency that aids Palestinians that it will contribute only about half of a $125 million payment to the body, while demanding a "fundamental reexamination" of the social-service agency's mission and funding before deciding whether to pay the rest.

Venezuela's plan for its own cryptocurrency include paying public workers in the digital token and using tax incentives to encourage its use, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News.

Five officers involved in two Navy ship collisions last year that killed a total of 17 sailors are being charged with negligent homicide, the Navy said Tuesday.

Bitcoin tumbled below $10,000, bringing its loss to almost 50 percent from a record set only a month ago, as increased scrutiny from regulators around the world weighs on the digital-coin craze.

U.S. factory production rose for a fourth straight month in December, capping the strongest quarter since 2010 and underscoring a resurgence in manufacturing that's primed for further advances, Federal Reserve data showed Wednesday.

AP Top Stories

This is a record not to be coveted: Donald Trump is wrapping up a year in office with the lowest average approval rating of any elected president in his first term. That's according to polling by Gallup, which shows that Trump has averaged just a 39 percent approval rating since his inauguration. The previous low was held by Bill Clinton, whose first-year average stood 10 points higher than Trump's, at 49 percent.

At least nine construction workers were killed and five injured when a partially-constructed bridge collapsed in central Colombia on Monday, the disaster response agency said.

Nine of the 12 board members of the National Park Service Advisory Board have tendered their resignation over frustrations with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, The Washington Post reports.

China on Tuesday dismissed an international meeting on the North Korean nuclear crisis hosted by Canada and the United States as illegitimate, as major players like Beijing were not present.

Glowing-red lava spurted in a fountain and flowed down the Philippines' most active volcano on Tuesday in a stunning display of its fury that has sent more than 34,000 villagers fleeing to safety and prompted police to set up checkpoints to stop tourists from getting too close.

A leading Serb politician was shot to death Tuesday near his political party's offices in northern Kosovo, an attack that raised ethnic tensions in the Balkans and prompted the suspension of EU-mediated talks between Kosovo and Serbia.

BBC

The Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, the country's most populous, is at risk of yellow fever, the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning.

Divers in Mexico have discovered the 'world's longest' cave. The discovery of a 216 mile long cave by the Gran Acuifero Maya project could shed light on Mayan history.

Police in Guinea say they have arrested a healer for conning hundreds of women into believing they were pregnant. N'na Fanta Camara gave women who had been unable to conceive a mixture of leaves, herbs and other medicines that caused them to bloat and look pregnant. For her services, patients paid $33, in a country where the average monthly wage is around $48. Police believe Ms. Camara made thousands of dollars a month, though she says she was only trying to help.

A previously unknown drawing by Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has gone on display in the Netherlands. The monochrome sketch called The Hill of Montmartre with Quarries dates from 1886, shortly after the artist moved to Paris.

A woman who says she was abducted in Belgium has been found after locating herself on her smartphone and sharing the address with her brother. The 19-year-old student said five men kidnapped her in front of a nightclub in the capital Brussels on Friday. The alleged kidnappers had taken the woman's device but on Monday she managed to recover it.

WND

Residents of southeast Michigan were left a bit shaken Tuesday night after a big bright flash lit up the sky and the ground beneath them shook. The National Weather Service eventually solved the mystery, tweeting "USGS confirms meteor occurred around 8:10 pm, causing a magnitude 2.0 earthquake."

With the reading of their own version of a Declaration of Independence, founders of the state of New California took the first steps to what they hope will eventually lead to statehood. To be clear, they don't want to leave the United States, just California.

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