They weren’t alone. Enrique Marquez has been taken into custody by the FBI and is being charged with multiple counts, according to a U.S. Marshals Office official. The 24-year-old purchased two rifles that were used by Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik in their December 2 mass shooting that left 14 dead. He’s expected to face charges of material support for terrorism, straw purchase, and visa and marriage fraud. Officials say Marquez has told them he didn’t know the weapons were going to be used in the attack.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Janet Yellen has earned herself some new fans across the globe. The Federal Reserve chair announced a historic interest rate hike yesterday, moving away from seven years at near zero and lifting the benchmark to between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. Markets across Europe and the Americas cheered, followed by rallies in Asia. But today, things looked less rosy — Wall Street fell at the opening bell, dampening Europe’s cheer even as some investors applauded the upward move, which Yellen says will continue gradually over the next three years.
Are the rich about to get richer? Donald Trump, already atop most national polls, is about to get more monetary support from a new super PAC promising to steer “unconventional Republican voters” to the ballot box. And, really, whose supporters are less traditional than the Donald’s? Seth Weathers, in an OZY exclusive, insists his super PAC isn’t for any one candidate — especially since election law prohibits him from spending directly on behalf of Trump. But a source close to the campaign said this could be “great for Trump” as he pulls into primary season.
He doesn’t want to let it go. During his annual news conference, Russia’s president blasted Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who’s been unrepentant over shooting down a Russian combat jet that he claims violated Turkey’s airspace while crossing over Syria. Vladimir Putin said Russian-Turkish relations can’t be repaired, and warned Erdogan to keep his planes out of Syrian airspace — a threat that will certainly leave a cloud over talks scheduled for Friday in the U.S. that aim to discuss a coherent global strategy in Syria.
It’s a “temporary bump on the road to justice,” the family’s lawyer said. After three days of deliberations, Judge Barry Williams declared a mistrial in the case of Officer William Porter, one of six Baltimore cops charged with involuntary manslaughter following the April death of 25-year-old Gray in police custody. The jury deliberated for over 16 hours but couldn’t reach a unanimous decision. The city remains on alert for possible unrest over the non-verdict, and a new trial date could be set as early as today.
Some said it would never fly … but commercial flights are set to resume between the U.S. and its island neighbor. Officials from both countries announced yesterday that they’d reached an understanding — on the eve of today’s first anniversary of the historic détente — to establish plane routes. Since reopening diplomatic channels, American visits to Cuba have increased 50 percent, but travelers have had to rely on pricey charter flights. Now, with a formal agreement pending and expected within days, major carriers are set to soar into Havana within months.
EU’s final 2015 summit focuses on refugees and Britain’s possible exit. (DW)
U.S. sells $1.83 billion worth of weapons to Taiwan, despite Chinese objections. (CNN)
Dutch town riots over proposed plan for migrant center. (BBC)
House passes $680 billion in tax cuts. (Politico)
Defense Sec. Ashton Carter used private email for government business. (NYT)
Spain’s prime minister punched in the face while campaigning. (USA Today)
Germany launches new anti-terror unit. (DW)
Sanders nabs endorsement from powerful union (MSNBC)
He’s living the American dream. The son of immigrants and Wall Street wunderkind gained widespread infamy after his pharmaceutical company bought a decades-old drug that treats parasitic infections and inflated the price by more than 500 percent. Now, federal prosecutors say Shkreli’s been working a complicated con, complete with secret payoffs and stolen stock from a company he founded and has since been ousted from. Some are wondering if the government can use asset forfeiture procedures to liberate the one-copy-only Wu-Tang clan album Shkreli bought for $2 million last summer.
Gooooooooo! The man who’s regarded as one of the best soccer coaches in the world has been let go by his club after his team, which won the League Cup last year, only won four of their first 16 games. He’s also had some personal issues: Spats with team doctors and a $74,000 fine for insulting team referees in October. Nobody expects the 52-year-old to stay unemployed for long, but his firing raises questions about his ability to keep a team winning for the long haul.
It was supposed to unify. Wheaton College’s Larycia Hawkins is wearing a headscarf in solidarity with Muslims throughout Advent. In a Facebook post, the political science professor noted how both religions worship the same God. Some members of the clergy are supporting her, but administrators at the private evangelical school took issue with her religious commentary, suspending her through the spring semester. While some Muslim women have decried such “hijab tourism,” the suspension sparked protests on the Illinois campus yesterday, along with demands for the school to apologize and reinstate Hawkins.
The car can do the driving, but a human must be behind the wheel. That’s the proposed preliminary rule on autonomous cars in the Golden State. They stipulate that cars must have a brake pedal, a steering wheel and a licensed driver inside before hitting the open road. Disappointed, Google is accusing the state of putting the brakes on innovation. The rules are yet to be approved — and the DMV says more are still to come — but restrictions on driverless technology may steer Google toward other states.
Don’t pack your bags just yet. Australian scientists have discovered the closest planet yet — just 14 light-years away — that may have the right ingredients for supporting life. Wolf 1061c orbits its red dwarf star in the potentially habitable “Goldilocks zone,” though at first glance it’s not much like Earth. It’s hotter, four times bigger and a year lasts just 17.9 days. Astronomers are understandably eager to study its atmosphere, but must now wait for Wolf 1061c to cross in front of its star and into better view.
He’s still knocking them off their feet. Plenty of records go platinum, but the RIAA says Michael Jackson’s classic has reached uncharted territory as the first ever to net 30 million sales in America. The 1982 album — which has sold 100 million worldwide — went platinum in just two months, and by 1984 had reached the 20 million milestone. Thriller took another 30 years to hit the platinum-times-30 mark, prompting Epic Records’ CEO to proclaim that Jackson “will forever remain … the King of Pop.”
She took a parting shot. The all-time leading international goal-scorer left her final match, a friendly against China in New Orleans, to an emotional standing ovation. But earlier, the 35-year-old had criticized U.S. men’s coach Jurgen Klinsmann for relying on “foreign guys” to build his squad. She’s earned her right to an opinion, having collected 255 international caps, two Olympic golds, a World Cup title and a farewell tweet from Obama. On her way out, she encouraged future players to “forget me” and create their own legends.