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Media Editors / April 25, 2019

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Biden dives in, William Barr to testify, measles quickly metastasizing, Trump’s border threat, and more.

  • BIDEN DIVES IN: “Former Vice President Joe Biden formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, declaring the ‘soul of this nation’ at stake if President Donald Trump wins re-election. … The 76-year-old Biden becomes an instant front-runner alongside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is leading many polls and has proved to be a successful fundraiser. Biden has legislative and international experience that is unmatched in the Democratic field, and he is among the best-known faces in U.S. politics.” (Associated Press)

  • SWAMP OVERFLOW: “The Democratic field contesting the right to challenge President Trump for the White House next year will be a record 20. Hundreds file each cycle, but only a sliver receive sustained media attention, raise significant amounts of money and are included in televised debates. For the 2020 Democratic presidential nod, 20 people can be listed as viable contenders.” (Washington Examiner)

  • BARR IN THE HOT SEAT: “Attorney General William Barr will testify next week on Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee and answer questions about special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, released last week. Barr will appear at 10am on May 1 before the Senate committee, chaired by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, according to a press release from the committee. He is expected to testify to the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee the next day.” (National Review)

  • MEASLES WATERSHED: According to Reuters, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “has confirmed 695 measles cases so far this year, the highest level since the country declared it had eliminated the virus in 2000. The resurgence, which public health officials blamed in part on the spread of misinformation about the safety of vaccines, has been concentrated mainly in Washington state and New York with outbreaks that began late last year.” Reuters also reports that “New York City has issued civil summonses to 12 people it said were not complying with a mandatory measles vaccination order as the number of recorded cases in the city’s worst outbreak since 1991 rose to 390.”

  • NEW BORDER ULTIMATUM: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday again threatened to close part of the southern border and send more ‘armed soldiers’ to defend it if Mexico did not block a new caravan of migrants traveling toward the United States. … U.S. officials … said they are expecting a request from the Department of Homeland Security in the coming days for additional troops, although that number is expected to be in the low hundreds. About 5,000 active duty and National Guard troops already are at the border.” (Reuters)

  • PHONE SURVEILLANCE ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK? “The National Security Agency has recommended the White House drop the controversial phone surveillance program that was secretly launched during the George W. Bush administration following the 9/11 attacks… The program, which collects metadata on U.S. phone calls and text messages, was started without a court order, and its existence wasn’t known until former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked information to journalists about it in 2013. … If the White House follows the NSA’s recommendation, the program’s legal authority will expire in December.” (The Week)

  • HISPANICS BENEFIT FROM TRUMP ECONOMY: “Latinos are finding their economic legs under the Trump administration, leading the surge in home ownership and income growth and record low poverty rates, according to two comprehensive new surveys. While they remain far behind whites in income, they have seen their third consecutive year of income growth and have a higher workplace participation rate, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Hispanic Wealth Project.” (Washington Examiner)

  • FACEBOOK PAYS BIG FROM PRIVACY DISLIKE: “Facebook said on Wednesday that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. The penalty would be a record by the agency against a technology company and a sign that the United States was willing to punish big tech companies. … Facebook has been in negotiations with the regulator for months over a financial penalty for claims that the company violated a 2011 privacy consent decree. That year, the social network promised a series of measures to protect its users’ privacy after an investigation found that its handling of data had harmed consumers.” (The New York Times)

  • LEGAL TROUBLE FOR ILLINOIS GOVERNOR: “In a state known for its history of political scandals and corruption, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is the latest official reportedly under federal investigation. The 54-year-old Democratic governor, his wife, and his brother in law are all being investigated … over a tax break appeal. Pritzker and his wife advocated for a property tax break after they purchased a 126-year-old mansion. According to a Cook County inspector general’s report, first lady M.K. Pritzker told workers at the home to remove toilets in the residence in order to declare it ‘uninhabitable’ so that they could get a substantial tax break. The inspector general’s report says Pritzker’s brother-in-law Thomas Muenster and M.K. Pritzker’s personal assistant were involved and the alleged scheme cost taxpayers more than $330,000.” (Washington Examiner)

  • MORE IRS BUNK: “The Satanic Temple has been officially recognized as a church by the Internal Revenue Service, three months after taking Sundance by storm as the subject of the documentary ‘Hail Satan?’ According to an announcement from ‘Hail Satan?’ distributor Magnolia Pictures, the temple is now eligible for the tax-exempt status given to other religious institutions.” (The Wrap)

  • HUMOR: Liberal makes it through entire day without being offended (IMAO)

  • POLICY: After 20 years of reform, are America’s schools better off? (National Review)

  • POLICY: Banning fetal-tissue research isn’t bad for science. It’s an opportunity. (The Daily Signal)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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