News Roundup

Senate opens debate on immigration today

  • Led by Chuck Grassley, GOP Senators have introduced a bill similar to the White House’s immigration proposal: it also includes a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million eligible immigrants, in exchange seeking upwards of %25 billion for border security and limiting family-based visas only to spouses and children under 18
  • Dreamers’ temporary deportation protections are expiring March 5th

Today Pres. Trump will unveil budget for next fiscal year

  • It calls for more than $700 billion in defense, will reduce expenditures in the EPA and the State Department, and increases spending on immigration issues and the opioid crisis
  • The President will be asking for $200 billion in infrastructure spending to spur a total of $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years

Pres. Trump sent the Democratic memo back to committee

  • After the House Intelligence Committee voted last Monday to release the Democratic memo on FBI requests for FISA authorizations, Trump blocked it
  • He said in a tweet that “Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency”

Pre-trial hearings start today in war court for Saudi bombing mastermind

  • The current defense attorney for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is reportedly extremely unqualified: an inexperienced Navy Lieutenant who said that on “another day, I could have easily taken my client out”
  • Previous defending prosecutors quit after finding they were being surveilled
  • In related news, Sec. of Defense Jim Mattis recently fired the top official overseeing the trials of five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks and other alleged war criminals at Guantanamo

Attorney General files sexual harassment suit against Weinstein Co.

  • The $500-million deal to sell the company to former Obama admin official Maria Contreras-Sweet is on hold as New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman sued the Weinstein Co. and its co-founders, Harvey and Bob Weinstein
  • The suit claims that Weinstein’s “assistants were exposed to and required to facilitate” his “sex life as a condition of employment”
  • Harvey Weinstein has faced accusations of sexual misconduct, including rape, from more than 70 women

In Olympic news: US wins its second gold, and the second day of heavy winds prevents some winter sports

  • The US has won four medals total – two gold, on silver, one bronze
  • Norway has won eight medals total: one gold, four silver, and three bronze medals. They’re followed by Germany – with three gold and silver medals, and one bronze – and The Netherlands, who have two gold, two silver, and one bronze.
  • The United States’ Jamie Anderson won the gold in women’s snowboard slopestyle after the event had been delayed by heavy winds, winds which are currently also delaying the women’s alpine skiing giant slalom
  • The United States also won their first ever medal in the men’s luge, a silver

South Korean President has been invited to Pyeongyang

  • North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has invited Pres. Moon of South Korea to Pyongyang
  • Kim Yo-jong made a strong impression, with CNN claiming that she was “stealing the show
  • Pence said that the sanctions against North Korea would be maintained, but also said that America was willing to “sit down and talk” with the North Koreans

Tillerson is starting a five-nation trip by meeting officials in Egypt today

  • Tillerson will also be visiting Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey
  • Tillerson is expected to face numerous difficulties as he addresses issues in the Middle East, including active conflicts between Israel and Iran which launched over the weekend

Angela Merkel has vowed to serve another four-year term

  • This comes despite dissent within her party over the coalition she built with the Social Democrats (SPD)
  • She said that she understands “the disappointment” but is “a person who keeps what they have promised”

Plane that crashed near Moscow killed all 71 passengers, and helicopter crash in Grand Canyon killed three

  • Investigators have found a black box on the plane, and are looking into a number of possible causes for the crash, including bad weather, technical failure, and human error
  • Three people were killed and four critically injured when a helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon National Park and exploded in a fireball

South Africa’s government is expected to call for the resignation of its president Jacob Zuma today

Top Stories

New York Times: Abuse Claims Against Aide Further Roil White House

Washington Post : Scott Pruitt’s travel practices — secretive, costly and frequent — distinguish his EPA tenure

Drudge Report : Israel Warns Iran

The Daily Caller : ‘Full-Blown Meltdown’ | America Still Has No Ambassador To Germany — And It’s The Senate’s Fault

Breitbart News : Six Ways the GOP Is Trying to Lose the Amnesty and Immigration Fight

Slate : The Bronze Medalist Winning the Olympics

HuffPost : The Next Recession: It. Will. Be. Bad.

BuzzFeed : All The President’s Men