Five in a Flash: October 5, 2017

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In today’s news: Marilou Danley, Trump visits Las Vegas, Niger, Rex Tillerson, Google, and Santa Claus.

TOP FIVE

Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend says no advance knowledge of massacre (Reuters) – “Marilou Danley, who returned late on Tuesday from a family visit to the Philippines and is regarded by investigators as a ‘person of interest,’ said through a lawyer that the carnage Stephen Paddock unleashed while she was abroad caught her completely unaware. ‘He never said anything to me or took any action that I was aware of that I understood in any way to be a warning that something horrible like this was going to happen,’ Danley, 62, said in a written statement read to reporters by her attorney in Los Angeles, where the FBI was questioning her.”

Trump visits Vegas, says ‘America is truly a nation in mourning’ (The Hill) – “President Trump met with victims and first responders of the nation’s worst-ever mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday, marking the second consecutive day the president has dealt with Americans impacted by national tragedy. Trump struck a somber tone reading a statement at the Las Vegas police department, where he recounted stories of ‘tremendous bravery’ and tragedy from Sunday night’s shooting, which left 58 dead and more than 500 wounded.”

Three U.S. troops killed in ambush in Niger (CNN) – “Three members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed and two others were wounded in southwest Niger near the Mali-Niger border when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked Wednesday . . . The US military has maintained a small presence in the northwest African country with small groups of US Special Operations Forces advising local troops as they battle two terrorist groups, the ISIS affiliated Boko Haram and al Qaeda’s North African branch, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.”

Rex Tillerson denies reports he plans to resign and pledges support for Trump (LA Times) – “In an unusual statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson forcefully denied persistent reports Wednesday that he planned to resign over foreign policy differences with President Trump, and instead pledged strong support for the president. . . . Tillerson, a former CEO of Exxon Mobil, said news reports about his differences with Trump were the work of people trying to sow dissension. Asked about an NBC News report that said Tillerson had called Trump a ‘moron’ at a Pentagon meeting this summer, Tillerson dismissed the question, but did not deny it.”

Everything Google announced at its big hardware event (Business Insider) – “Google unveiled a slew of new hardware on Wednesday. At its event in San Francisco, Google launched two new smartphones, a hybrid laptop, wireless headphones, and two smart speakers. While some products, like the new Pixel phones, are updates from products Google released this time last year, others — like the Google Home Max, a new high-end smart speaker – are new.”

ITEM OF INTEREST

Santa dead, archaeologists say (Washington Post) – “First the good news: Whoever told you that Santa Claus was an impostor with a fake beard collecting a Christmastime check at the mall or a lie cooked up by your parents to trick you into five measly minutes of quiet was, at minimum, misinformed. The bad news: Santa Claus is definitely dead. Archaeologists in southern Turkey say they have discovered the tomb of the original Santa Claus, also known as St. Nicholas, beneath his namesake church near the Mediterranean Sea.”

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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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