Monday Top News Executive Summary
Iran saber-rattling, China trade talks, new border chief, Trump's approval rating, Israel-Palestinian cease-fire, and more.
IRAN SABER-RATTLING ELICITS RESPONSE: “The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to ‘clear indications’ Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, a U.S. official said. Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified ‘troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.’” (ABC News)
TRADE TALKS IN LIMBO: “Talks between the U.S. and China to resolve their year-long trade standoff appeared to be on life-support Monday, with Beijing struggling to respond to tweets by President Donald Trump that threaten an escalation of tariffs by the end of the week. China’s foreign ministry said that officials were still planning to travel to the U.S. for the next round of talks — but was unable to confirm when amid signs that a delay is now being considered. … Trump on Sunday raised pressure on Beijing to strike a trade deal by announcing he would increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports Friday to 25 percent from 10 percent. He also floated the possibility of extending a new 25 percent duty on another $325 billion of imports not already covered.” (Bloomberg)
BORDER CHIEF GEARS UP FOR SECOND TENURE: “President Donald Trump announced Sunday that former Obama-era border chief Mark Morgan will lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, filling an important role in the Trump administration as it seeks to curb immigration at the Southern border and tighten border security. … Morgan has publicly supported Trump’s border wall, and has been critical of Congress’ progress on the issues of immigration and border security. A former FBI agent, Morgan led Border Patrol during the final months of the Obama administration.” (ABC News)
TRUMP’S APPROVAL RATING ON PAR WITH OBAMA’S: “A new Gallup poll shows Donald Trump’s presidential job-approval rating hitting a new high of 46 percent. The survey was conducted from April 17 to April 30, almost entirely following the public release of the Mueller report on April 18. … On one hand, polling below 50 percent still isn’t a good place to be for an incumbent, especially given the strong economy, and the president currently trails Joe Biden by 7 points and Bernie Sanders by 3 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. On the other hand, Barack Obama’s job-approval rating was 44 percent in Gallup polling at the same point in his presidency (April 2011), and he still managed to find a way to win re-election in 2012.” (National Review)
PELOSI’S SMOKE AND MIRRORS: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said in a new interview she fears President Donald Trump won’t accept an electoral defeat in 2020 unless it’s overwhelming. In a discussion with the New York Times … Pelosi said she worried that unless Democrats win a ‘big’ victory against Trump, he will challenge its legitimacy. ‘We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,’ she said.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
GRAHAM’S STRATEGIC PLAY: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham sent a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller Friday afternoon. In it, Graham invited Mueller to testify in front of the Committee if he believes Attorney General William Barr has somehow misrepresented his investigation.” (Townhall)
MUELLER’S LEFTMEDIA COUNCIL: “Special counsel Robert Mueller relied on the media to feed his Russian election interference report, citing scores of stories mostly from news outlets that promoted the debunked Trump-Kremlin election conspiracy. Mr. Mueller’s staff of Democrat-aligned prosecutors favored The New York Times over other publications. The 448-page report cited The Times more than 60 times, mostly in footnotes for articles that weave through the report’s main narrative. The report refers to The Washington Post, another Trump-critic news site, at least 40 times. CNN, principally an anti-Trump network, has about a dozen citations. NBC News has about 10 story mentions, and its anchor, Lester Holt, is the lone journalist to appear in the report’s personalties glossary for his May 2017 interview with President Trump.” (The Washington Times)
BOEING MUM ON SAFETY ISSUE: “Boeing said Sunday that it discovered after airlines had been flying its 737 Max plane for several months that a safety alert in the cockpit was not working as intended, yet it didn’t disclose that fact to airlines or federal regulators until after one of the planes crashed. The feature was designed to warn pilots when a key sensor might be providing incorrect information about the pitch of the plane’s nose. But within months of the plane’s debut in 2017, Boeing said, its engineers realized that the sensor warning light only worked when airlines also bought a separate, optional feature.” (Associated Press)
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CEASE-FIRE: “Israeli and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza reached a cease-fire on Monday, according to multiple reports, following a burst of violence over the weekend that left close to two dozen Palestinians and four Israeli civilians dead. The New York Times reported that Arab news reports said Egypt and the United Nations helped broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two Palestinian groups that fired hundreds of projectiles over the weekend. … Militants had fired about 600 rockets toward Israel as of Sunday, with Israel launching 260 airstrikes in response, according to the Israeli Defense Forces.” (The Hill)
MEMBERSHIP OF RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS IN FREE FALL: “A new survey shows that the percentage of Americans who belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque has fallen 20 points since 1999 to an average of 50%. In addition, among Millennials, only 42% say they belong to a church. In the survey, Gallup asked, ‘Do you happen to be a member of a church, synagogue or mosque?’ Fifty percent of Americans answered yes. Back in 1999 that percentage was 70%.” (CNSNews.com)
HUMOR: Democrat candidates promise relief to Americans sick and tired of working all these plentiful jobs (The Babylon Bee)
POLICY: The Trump economy continues to defy the “experts” (Issues & Insights)
POLICY: Why billionaires are good for us (Foundation for Economic Education)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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