Five in a Flash – September 7, 2017

AP News

In today’s news: Hurricane Irma, the Trump/Democrat alliance, the Menendez Trial, South Korea, Facebook, and a tiger in Atlanta.

TOP FIVE

Hurricane Irma kills eight as it roars toward Florida (CBS News) – “Irma blacked out much of Puerto Rico, raking the U.S. territory with heavy wind and rain while staying just out to sea, and it headed early Thursday toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti. To the east, authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands devastated by the storm’s record 185 mph winds earlier Wednesday, while people in Florida rushed to get ready for a possible direct hit on the Miami area.”

Trump sides with Democrats in debt limit, funding, Harvey deal (Politico) – “Republicans left the Oval Office Wednesday stunned. Trump had quickly sided with Democrats on a short-term debt ceiling increase, even overruling his own Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to concur with ‘Chuck and Nancy,’ as he later called them on Air Force One. . . . [E]ven after [Treasury Secretary] Mnuchin, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back on the Democratic demands in the meeting, Trump agreed to the three-month deal that will also head off the possibility of a government shutdown until mid-December.”

Prosecutor: Sen. Bob Menendez did favors for friend (NPR) – “Justice Department prosecutor Peter Koski began his opening arguments in federal court in Newark with a seemingly innocuous story: ‘A few years ago, a man sent an email requesting a hotel room for a long weekend in Paris.’ But it was hardly a harmless ask, at least in the eyes of the prosecution. . . . During opening remarks in the Democrat’s corruption trial Wednesday, prosecutors said the Paris hotel room was just one instance in a long-standing bribery scheme between the two men, in which they traded lavish trips and gifts for official government favors.”

South Korea deploys U.S. anti-missile launchers amid clashes with protestors (Reuters) – “Protesters clashed with thousands of police at a South Korean village on Thursday as Seoul deployed the four remaining launchers of the U.S. anti-missile THAAD system designed to protect against mounting threats from North Korea. . . . The decision to deploy THAAD, designed to shoot down short- to medium-range missiles mid-flight, has drawn strong objections from China. It believes the system’s radar could be used to look deeply into its territory and will upset the regional security balance.”

Facebook sold over $100k in political ads to Russian company during 2016 election (TechCrunch) – “According to Stamos, the “vast majority” of the ads in question did not explicitly mention candidate names or the presidential race itself. Instead, they focused on a spectrum of wedge issues that were particularly hot leading into the election, including gun rights, immigration, LGBT rights and race. Roughly one quarter of these ads were targeted to particular geographic regions, particularly the ads that ran in 2015. Facebook’s more recent findings mesh with the insights around political misinformation campaigns that it published in April of this year. Perhaps most interesting is the revelation that bots aren’t actually responsible for most of this stuff – the bulk of it appears to be non-automated, coordinated campaigns by human actors.”

ITEM OF INTEREST

Mystery of the tiger that terrorized Atlanta is solved (NY Post) – “The tiger gunned down in a wild police chase through suburban Atlanta had escaped unnoticed from an entertainment company truck, authorities said. Feld Entertainment Inc., which produces Disney on Ice and Monster Jam, was transporting the Bengal tiger Wednesday from Florida to Tennessee when the big cat broke free.”

FROM THE SITE

Decoding divided America (The Right)

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Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at the University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a contributor at Merion West and the curator of "Five in a Flash," a weekday newsletter. His work has been featured at The Federalist, SB Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, The Dallas Morning News, and The New Americana.

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