It’s a risky move. President Trump informed Middle Eastern leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, that he will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The provocative and largely symbolic move, which changes decades of U.S. policy, will likely stoke tensions in the region. Jordanian King Abdullah II as well as King Salman of Saudi Arabia warned the action would provoke Muslims and threaten peace. A formal announcement is expected on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Trump said the U.S. embassy, currently in Tel Aviv, will be moved to the new capital.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’re paying the price. The International Olympic Committee announced it’s banning Russia from taking part in next year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, a response to what a recent investigation found to be a state-sponsored doping program. Invited Russian athletes who can prove they’re clean in targeted exams will be allowed to compete, but only under the Olympic flag as neutrals. The IOC’s decision is sure to provoke anger in Moscow, where officials — including President Vladimir Putin — have strongly contested claims that Russia pursued widespread doping.
He’s on his way out. Facing allegations that he sexually harassed former staffers, U.S. Representative John Conyers said Tuesday he’s retiring from Congress and endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to take his place. “My legacy will continue through my children,” the 88-year-old Democrat told a Michigan radio station from a local hospital. First elected in 1964, Conyers — the longest-serving current House member — has denied the claims against him, which include rubbing a woman’s thighs in church. He’s also faced calls from colleagues in both parties to resign.
They’re cleared for takeoff. The Supreme Court has ruled the latest version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries can go into effect while legal challenges proceed. The ruling, which included multiple dissenting opinions, indefinitely blocks most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad — as well as some from Venezuela and North Korea — from traveling to the United States. Appeals courts in San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia, will hear arguments over the ban later this week.
For a conservative, he’s not conserving much. President Trump signed proclamations yesterday that cut two federally preserved monuments in Utah by more than half, eliminating protections on 2 million acres — the largest rollback in U.S. history. The monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, were created by past Democratic administrations using the Antiquities Act to guard against drilling and mining. Trump argued that he was merely correcting previous overreaches and promised future “wonder and wealth.” Several environmental groups and five Native American tribes have already filed lawsuits in response.
No luck. The Irish border has been one of the most contentious Brexit issues, as a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland could undermine peace agreements. Prime Minister Theresa May forged a deal that would allow for cross-border “regulatory alignment” post-Brexit, thus avoiding a guarded border. But the hard-line Democratic Unionist Party, which rules in coalition with May’s Conservatives, rejected the proposal. Meanwhile, Scottish and Welsh officials said if Northern Ireland could operate with the EU customs union, surely their regions could do the same.
How low can you go? While congressional Republicans are expected to reconcile tax bills hastily passed through the House and Senate, some issues remain: The Senate slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, but failed to repeal the corporate alternative minimum tax rate, which is still set at 20 percent. Businesses are demanding it be changed to remain competitive, but lawmakers may have trouble making up the resulting $40 billion shortfall over a decade, adding to the $1 trillion deficit increase already expected from the bill.
Know This: President Trump has officially endorsed accused child molester Roy Moore in his campaign for Senate. Thousands of people have evacuated the path of a wildfire that’s already ripped through 10,000 acres north of Los Angeles. And two amateur explorers have found a massive underground passage beneath the city of Montreal.
Don’t Do This: Prosecutors with Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election say former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, charged with money laundering and conspiracy, violated the terms of his bail by penning an op-ed piece. He reportedly worked on the unpublished article with a Russian colleague who has ties to the Kremlin.
Talk to Us: Tell us how you really feel. Our electrifying TV show, Third Rail With OZY, is shelving the PC and whipping up debates. Each week we’re posting a provocative question, and we want you to weigh in. This week: Is foreign aid a waste of money? Why or why not? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, and we might feature your answer next week.
Times, they aren’t a-changin’. Malaysia may be gripped by scandal and economic turmoil, but young adults there aren’t expected to rush to the polls demanding new leadership. A new survey suggests 71 percent of Malaysians aged 21 to 30 believe they can’t influence politics, and election authorities say two-thirds of unregistered voters are under 30. A lack of political alternatives to embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak may be to blame, but the trend doesn’t necessarily mean the kids aren’t all right: They’re turning to social and environmental causes instead.
Don’t overcook that bun in the oven. Stanford researchers have found that people exposed to just one day of 90-degree heat — an average temperature for the day, not the peak — while in utero or during their first year earned $430 less over their lifetimes. It’s not clear why, though the heat may affect lifetime health or cognitive development. And while the average American only experiences one such day per year, scientists warn that by the end of the century climate change might send that number soaring to 43.
It’ll save you headaches. Migraine-sufferers have long had two types of medications to choose from: sleep-inducing beta-blockers or antidepressants. Now researchers have developed antibody-based drugs that directly target a pain-modulating system in the brain, aiming to make attacks less frequent and muffle symptoms like nausea, pain and light sensitivity. The drugs reportedly reduced migraines for nearly half of patients studied, without significant side effects. However, doctors predict that if they’re approved by the FDA next year, the drugs are likely to cost thousands per month.
He bit the dust. Singer, director of The Usual Suspects and films in the X-Men franchise, has been fired from his latest film, the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Production was halted last week after Singer reportedly failed to show up on set multiple times, causing tension with stars Rami Malek and Tom Hollander. Singer says both he and a “gravely ill parent” have health issues he needs to focus on. Two weeks of filming remain, but 20th Century Fox has yet to name a new director.
“He wasn’t punished this bad in China.” That’s how the outspoken basketball dad explained his decision to withdraw his son LiAngelo from school without playing a single game. The middle Ball brother was given an indefinite suspension as punishment for being caught shoplifting in China while traveling for an exhibition game. Now youngest Ball brother LaMelo’s verbal commitment to attend UCLA in two years is under scrutiny. LaVar said LiAngelo won’t transfer to another school: Instead he’ll focus on the June 2018 NBA draft.