“We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.” So said President Donald Trump in last night’s address laying out new strategy for America’s longest war. The commander in chief didn’t specify troop numbers, but the Pentagon’s expected to add 4,000 to the 8,000 already in Afghanistan — mainly to train Afghan troops. While he was initially inclined to withdraw, he said terrorists would fill that vacuum. Trump also said he’d pressure Pakistan to eliminate terrorist “safe havens” while continuing Afghan economic aid contingent on controlling government corruption, but stressed there’d be no “blank check.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Not so fast, sweetheart. India’s high court has suspended the practice of “triple talaq” separation — allowing Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by saying the word “talaq” three times — after years of lobbying by women’s rights groups. Most countries with major Muslim populations, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, have already banned the practice, which doesn’t appear in the Koran or sharia law. Opponents of the decision say such cases should be dealt with by the community, but a recent survey found that 92 percent of Muslim women support ending the practice.
It’s a protection racket. With 42 Trump family members and administration officials on far-flung and busy schedules while under round-the-clock security, the Secret Service says it’s swiftly reaching salary and overtime caps for many of its 6,800 agents. The president’s regular weekends at his golf clubs in New Jersey and Florida, for example, require security infrastructure at each. The Secret Service, which has reportedly paid $60,000 for golf cart rentals alone so far in 2017, is seeking more money from Congress to last past Sept. 30.
They’ve a sporting chance. Fiat Chrysler says it hasn’t been approached by China’s Great Wall Motor Company about an offer for Jeep, but the Chinese SUV maker says it’s interested. Fiat’s sought a merger partner for years, while considering spinning the Jeep brand off on its own as it did with Ferrari. Jeep’s valued at $20.7 billion, compared to Great Wall’s $16 billion, so it could have trouble financing such an acquisition — or getting regulatory approval, as the Trump administration has talked tough about foreign companies buying American brands.
Know This: Following multiple collisions, the Navy has announced it’ll briefly suspend operations for a global safety check. Despite recent controversy over neo-Nazi rallies, 54 percent of Americans polled say Confederate statues should remain. And two people have died in an earthquake on the Italian island of Ischia.
Look at This: Photos streamed in from across the U.S. yesterday as hordes trooped outside to watch the moon pass in front of the sun. It was the most-watched eclipse and the biggest movement of people for tourism in recorded history.
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Mark your calendars. Those who missed yesterday’s total solar eclipse — the first one to have hit both coasts of United States in nearly 100 years — needn’t worry. It turns out Americans will have another shot in just seven years. On April 8, 2024, an eclipse will be visible from Texas to Maine. Then, 20 years later, another can be seen from Montana. It’s a waiting game: NASA predicts it’ll take about 1,000 years for every spot on the U.S. map to get a glimpse.
This may chafe. A California jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a 62-year-old woman who claimed the 123-year-old powder’s talc caused her terminal ovarian cancer over decades of feminine hygiene use. It’s the largest award yet among 5,500 talc claims, following $300 million awarded by four Missouri verdicts against the firm’s signature commodity. As the multinational appeals, the plaintiff’s lawyer, who showed the jury 53-year-old documents as evidence the company suspected carcinogenicity, is calling for warnings on the product.
It’s far from rock bottom. In part thanks to the online videos of subterranean explorers, abandoned mines in North America and beyond are returning to the forefront of the public’s imagination. What, people are asking, do we do with them now? In Canada, extensive mining areas with minimal public facilities are largely open to exploration, and in Australia, more than 60,000 mines reportedly sit unused. While experts warn that entering an abandoned shaft is risky, many are still drawn to the chance to be a pioneer, bringing forgotten tunnels to light.
It doesn’t toll for thee. As London’s chief landmark fell silent on Monday for the next four years during maintenance work, some lawmakers held a vigil — complete with bowed heads — to honor the iconic tower’s world-famous bongs. But their silence earned boos from others, who accused some of mourning Big Ben more than victims of June’s Grenfell Tower fire, which killed dozens of people. Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, for one, sounded off: “Let’s just get a life,” he said, “and realize there are more important things around.”
They messed with the wrong man. Conservative website Breitbart has issued an apology and correction after using a photo of vacationing German soccer star Lukas Podolski to illustrate an article titled, “Spanish Police Crack Gang Moving Migrants on Jet-Skis.” The subsequent correction at the end of the article may have added insult to injury, sneering that there was “no evidence” Podolski was “a gang member, nor being human trafficked.” The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner, who now plays for Japanese club Vissel Kobe, is reportedly considering legal action over the error.