It’s Friday, and here are five things to know for your New Day.
America’s longest war will go on a little longer, but President Trump, in a prime-time address to the nation, didn’t say how much longer that will be. Nor did the President say how many more troops will be sent to Afghanistan, where the US has been fighting for 16 years, sacrificing the lives of thousands of American men and women and spending more than $800 billion. What Trump did say is that the US will “fight to win,” focus on beating back the Taliban and other terrorists groups and not engage in nation-building. Trump campaigned on getting the US out of Afghanistan, but now he’s taking his generals’ advice.
First, the nation saw Teleprompter Trump soberly announce a new strategy on Afghanistan. Next up: Freewheelin’ Trump, during a rally Tuesday night in Arizona, and so… much… happened. Where should we begin?
2. Tax reform
The US Navy is going to hit pause, briefly, as it tries to get to the bottom of a slew of ship collisions that have left sailors dead and missing. The chief of Naval operations is expected to order a one-day safety stand-down across the entire Navy, with units taking turns suspending their work over a couple weeks.
The order comes after the destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore. Ten sailors are missing, and divers are searching flooded areas of the ship for them. It’s the Navy’s second major collision in three months. The USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship in June near Japan, killing seven sailors. The ship’s leadership was removed from duty.
More fallout from the spate of ship collisions this year: The Navy is dismissing the 7th Fleet commander. Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin has been removed “due to loss of confidence” as the investigation continues into the collision of the destroyer USS John S. McCain and a merchant ship near Singapore. Ten sailors are missing in the wreck, and the Navy said divers found some remains in the McCain’s sealed compartments. One body has been found at sea, and officials are trying to determine if it is one of the missing. It’s believed the McCain suffered a steering failure of some kind, but no one yet knows why.
3. Sanctuary cities
The man suspected of driving the van used in the Barcelona terror attack is dead. Police shot and killed Younes Abouyaaqoub in a town west of Barcelona. He was wearing an explosive belt and armed with knives when he was killed. Police say Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan national, was at the wheel when a van plowed through a crowd in a tourist district, killing 13 people.
The planned execution of a Missouri inmate is on hold while new DNA evidence in the case is reviewed. Marcellus Williams was set to be executed for the stabbing death in 1998 of a former St. Louis newspaper reporter. But his attorneys say DNA evidence not available during his trial in 2001 proves his innocence. So, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens issued a stay of execution and ordered a new panel to look at the case. The state attorney general’s office says the DNA evidence “does not come close” to proving Williams’ innocence.
4. Russia investigation
Well, here we go again. There’s apparently a third body-camera video out that allegedly shows a Baltimore police officer engaged in “questionable activity.” The video appears to show an officer re-enacting the seizure of evidence. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is investigating and says at least 43 criminal cases will be tossed out as a result of the footage. Two other videos out this summer appear to show Baltimore officers planting or manufacturing evidence. That’s resulted in more than 100 cases being delayed or dismissed.
We’ve got a little more clarity on the Trump administration’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan. New US troops – we still don’t know how many – could start arriving there in the next few “days or weeks,” said Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the top US commander in the Middle East. Votel said the hope is the troops will be available to take part in the current fighting season – the warmer months in Afghanistan when the Taliban usually conducts more attacks. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the administration’s goal is to put enough pressure on the Taliban to force its leaders to the negotiating table.
5. Frankfurt evacuation
The Secret Service is having problems paying some of the agents who protect the President and his family. The agency’s director told USA Today that more than 1,000 agents have already hit caps for salary and overtime for 2017. Director Randolph “Tex” Alles told the newspaper part of the problem is that Trump has a large family that travels a lot, but he later seemed to walk that back a bit, telling CNN it’s a problem that pre-dates the Trump era. Alles has met with members of Congress to talk about boosting the caps for agents.
So, you looked at the eclipse, and now you’re worried you’ve ruined your eyesight? You’re not alone. Google searches for “my eyes hurt” and “eyes hurt eclipse” spiked pretty much right after the event. Lots of folks posted to social media about headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light – all possible signs of a problem, ophthalmologists told CNN. Other symptoms to watch out for: blurred vision, “wavy” vision, difficulty discriminating colors and seeing “spots” or “holes” in your vision. If that’s the case, get an eye exam, ophthalmologists say.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
That’s how much a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a California woman who said she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using the company’s baby powder. Johnson & Johnson says it will appeal.
People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Taylor Swift hasn’t dropped new music in a couple of years (hard to believe, right?), but a cryptic video snippet may mean T-Swizzle is back.
If you want to hear Big Ben chime over the next four years, this video will have to do, because the London icon is officially out of commission for repairs.
Flip it and reverse it
If Missy Elliott’s fans get their way, they’ll topple a Confederate monument and replace it with a statue of the rapper/dancer.
Who writes the songs?
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH
Here’s what’s happening later.
Another Trump rally is set for tonight. This time it’s in Arizona, which just happens to be the home of two of the President’s biggest GOP critics, as well as immigration lightning rod ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
AND FINALLY …
Just doing his part
Check the technique