They’re out of time. Much of the federal government has shut down as of early Saturday morning, exactly one year after President Trump took office. Lawmakers were unable to pass a bill through the Senate in time with the required supermajority, with many Democrats refusing to vote for something that doesn’t reflect their constituents’ priorities. It’s the first government shutdown that’s happened while a single party controls both houses of Congress and the White House. Congressional leaders are still scrambling for a deal, which could happen within hours — or not.
The Presidential Daily Brief
This delivery’s going to take a while. Last year 238 cities applied to become the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, complementing its current Seattle base and potentially creating as many as 50,000 jobs. Now the company’s narrowed that list down to 20 cities, including Toronto, New York, Boston, and Columbus, Ohio. While the details of the decision-making process are a well-kept secret, the cities are already jockeying even more forcefully to attract the tech giant, which is set to choose the lucky winner later this year.
Something had to give. After White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Wednesday on Fox News that President Donald Trump’s views on a border wall were initially “uninformed” and were now “evolving,” Trump reportedly grew irate, angrily tweeting a rebuttal. He later accused the media of taking Kelly’s comments out of context. Meanwhile, a Hungarian arrest warrant against former White House aide Sebastian Gorka — forced out by Kelly — has come to light, leading some to question why the White House employed a fugitive for seven months.
Money can’t buy everything. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants a special deal for Britain’s robust financial services sector that would allow it to enjoy the advantages of Europe’s single market after Brexit. But French President Emmanuel Macron says that’s a non-starter, indicating Britain must abide by the same rules as other nations. Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly suggested that the U.K. should build a massive bridge over the English Channel in order to facilitate post-Brexit trade and tourism between Britain and Europe.
Know This: The Trump administration has announced the creation of a new government office focused on defending medical professionals who refuse to provide care on religious grounds, including those who oppose abortion, birth control and LGBT rights. Officials in Gabon say they’ve busted a major network of ivory smugglers. And Pope Francis performed a marriage for two flight attendants in the air over Chile.
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Blood will tell. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say they’ve developed an experimental liquid biopsy test that detected about 70 percent of eight different types of cancer in more than a thousand people with the disease. It was particularly effective for liver, pancreatic and ovarian cancer, which currently don’t have adequate screening tests. A larger study is already underway in the general population, and scientists say they’re hopeful. The test as it stands is predicted to cost about $500, but can’t be used widely until further studies are carried out.
She has it all. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who made the announcement via Facebook today, will be the first leader to give birth in office since Benazir Bhutto had a daughter in 1990 while serving as Pakistan’s prime minister. Ardern, 37, is the youngest female leader in the world — and will be the first to take maternity leave, though she says her partner, TV and radio host Clarke Gayford, will stay home with the baby. Ardern’s already taking on critics, saying that she is “by no means the first woman to multitask.”
They’re fighting on multiple fronts. The wave of exposing perpetrators of sexual assault has swept through entertainment, business and politics, and now America’s women in uniform are joining the battle. This week female veterans gathered outside the Pentagon for the #MeTooMilitary Stand Down to protest what they call a culture of retaliation and denial in the armed forces. While sexual assaults in the military have decreased — and the percentage of incidents that get reported is on the rise — the Pentagon still estimates that nearly 15,000 service members were victims in 2016.
No soap. That’s the message Facebook and YouTube are hoping to broadcast by removing clips of people taking part in the “Tide Pod challenge.” Citing what they call a public health threat, the sites are cracking down on the bizarre phenomenon, which entails teens posting videos of themselves eating the toxic detergent capsules. Of the 37 detergent poisoning cases so far this year — as many in two weeks as in the whole of 2016 — the Association of Poison Control Centers says half were ingested intentionally.
Nobody’s going back to the ranch. USA Gymnastics announced it’ll find a new training facility, just days after Olympian Simone Biles expressed dismay that she — and other gymnasts who say they were molested by former team doctor Larry Nassar — would have to train at the same Huntsville, Texas, facility where they were abused. After facing dozens of his victims at sentencing hearings this week, Nassar penned a six-page letter to the court complaining that it’s too difficult listening to their statements. The judge dismissed his complaints as “delusional.”