They came, they saw, they confiscated. Agents from the FBI appeared today at the Manhattan office of Michael Cohen, the personal attorney for President Donald Trump, and seized of variety of documents — including those pertaining to a payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump. Cohen’s own lawyer called the search, which was recommended by special counsel Robert Mueller but unrelated to his probe into Russian meddling, “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Syria and Russia have blamed Israeli forces for an air base bombing in Syria that killed 14 people today. Syria initially suspected the U.S., after President Donald Trump promised a “big price to pay” for an apparent chemical attack over the weekend in Douma, a rebel-held area near Damascus. Volunteer rescuers say at least 70 people died in that attack, which Trump — who promised a response within 48 hours — called an “atrocious” incident. He also tweeted blame at Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran for backing Assad, who denied responsibility.
Euroskeptic Viktor Orban will serve a third term after his Fidesz party’s landslide victory yesterday — despite high turnout, which many believed would favor smaller parties. Orban’s been fanatical about stopping immigration, building a fence on the country’s southern border and telling supporters, “Migration is like rust that slowly but surely would consume Hungary.” His win is expected to spark further clashes with the EU over immigration. Meanwhile, an international election-monitoring group is expected to hold a press conference today about the Orban government’s handling of the election.
Todd Brassner, a 67-year-old art dealer, died Saturday after being rushed to the hospital in critical condition when his apartment caught fire, and six firefighters were also injured in the blaze. The cause of the fire is still undetermined. While modern New York City high rises are required to have sprinklers, older buildings — like Trump Tower, built in 1983 — were grandfathered in after developers, including Trump, lobbied against having to install sprinklers. Meanwhile, Trump praised the firefighters and his “well built building” on Twitter without mentioning Brassner.
They’re playing it safe. After weeks in crisis, Germany’s largest lender has replaced CEO John Cryan — who closed hundreds of branches and cut tens of thousands of jobs in a bid to overhaul the business model — more than two years before his contract was set to expire. That’s good news for retail banking executive Christian Sewing, who takes charge after working for Deutsche Bank since his teens. The bank’s stock has plummeted in recent years, but jumped 4.5 percent as trading began today.
Data on gun violence is already available to those who dig through FBI reports, but Garden State Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Friday to make that information easier to find. Starting next month, authorities will compile monthly reports on firearm-related crimes, as well as quarterly rundowns revealing the origins of the guns involved. New Jersey, which already has some of the country’s toughest gun laws, claims 80 percent come from out of state. “As painful as that may be,” Murphy said, “we’re gonna shine a light on the data.”
Houston-based startup Orion Span said its Aurora Station will be accepting civilian guests by 2022 — a time frame many consider optimistic, since the facility that will build the station isn’t even finished yet. For $9.5 million each, guests would get a three-month training program, 12 days in low orbit and transportation to and from Earth, though Orion Span hasn’t yet made any deals with space travel companies for shuttle service. Meanwhile, space startups have attracted $7.9 billion in investment since 2015 as launch costs continue to decrease.
Since the 19th century, Belgium’s political landscape has been dominated by three groups — the Socialists, Christian-Democrats and Liberals — that offered a range of services to keep voters loyal for life. But now those partisan divides are disappearing as Belgians are crossing party lines and civil society groups are loosening their affiliations with the major political factions. While these pillars were once crucial to bolstering Belgian democracy, they also kept citizens ideologically constrained. Now a diverse new generation, bolstered by immigration, is helping to undo those old patterns.
An ongoing squabble between the late-night talk show host and the Fox commentator started with Kimmel mocking Melania Trump’s accent, but soon escalated into accusations of sexism and harassment. Hannity referred to Kimmel as “Mr. Weinstein” while Kimmel suggested a relationship between President Trump and Hannity in a quip some decried as homophobic. On Twitter Kimmel apologized for his remarks, saying, “The level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone.” Hannity said he will respond to Kimmel on his show today.
It was a stroke of luck. The 28-year-old American finished his fifth competition at Augusta National at 15 under par — just one stroke ahead of Rickie Fowler and two ahead of Jordan Spieth — for his first green jacket and the $1.98 million prize. But although Reed won, Spieth wowed: The crowds roared as he made a spectacular rebound after starting the last round trailing by nine. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods didn’t end up as a contender after early talk of a comeback, but he noted, “Things are progressing.”