Five in a Flash – September 21, 2017

NBC News

In today’s news: Hurricane Maria, the Mexico earthquake, the Fed, the SEC hack, Paul Manafort, and human DNA.


All power out as Hurricane Maria’s winds, floods crush Puerto Rico (NBC News) – “Hurricane Maria is likely to have ‘destroyed’ Puerto Rico, the island’s emergency director said Wednesday after the monster storm smashed ripped roofs off buildings and flooded homes across the economically strained U.S. territory. Intense flooding was reported across the territory, particularly in San Juan, the capital, where many residential streets looked like rivers. Yennifer Álvarez Jaimes, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s press secretary . . . [said] that all power across the island was knocked out.”

Mexico death toll rises as volunteers search for quake survivors (The Guardian) – “Rescue workers backed by an army of untrained volunteers searched for survivors buried under mounds of rubble as the death toll from Tuesday’s powerful earthquake climbed to at least 230 across central Mexico. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake left a chess board of destruction across the country’s capital, where almost a hundred deaths have been confirmed so far.”

Fed to shrink assets next month, boost rates by year’s end (Bloomberg) – “The Federal Reserve moved to dismantle a pillar of crisis-era support for the world’s biggest economy and stuck with its forecast to raise interest rates again this year, saying hurricane damage won’t derail an otherwise healthy expansion. . . . In the statement, the Fed set October for the start of their previously announced plan to shrink its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. As expected, policy makers left the benchmark interest rate unchanged in a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.”

SEC discloses cybersecurity breach (Politico) – “The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday said its ‘EDGAR’ public-company filing system had been hacked. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement that last month ‘the Commission learned that an incident previously detected in 2016 may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading. . . . We believe the intrusion did not result in unauthorized access to personally identifiable information, jeopardize the operations of the Commission, or result in systemic risk,’ he said.”

Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign (Washington Post) – “Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions. Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.”


UK scientists edit DNA of human embryos (BBC) – “The blueprint for life – DNA – has been altered in human embryos for the first time in the UK. Understanding what happens after a sperm fertilises an egg could lead to ways of improving IVF or explain why some women miscarry. The embryos were modified shortly after fertilisation and allowed to develop for seven days.”


How 2016 was the counter-reaction to identity politics (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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