Jordan Candler / May 19, 2020

Tuesday News Executive Summary

Rubio takes the helm, al Qaeda still a threat, colleges face meltdown, and more.

Above the Fold

  • Last week, Richard Burr provisionally stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. His eventual fate rests entirely upon the outcome of the federal government’s probe into whether Burr et al. engaged in insider trading. In the meantime, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Monday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will serve as the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee,” Axios reports. In the words of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “Senator Rubio was the natural choice for this temporary assignment on the basis of accumulated committee service. His proven leadership on pertinent issues only made the decision easier.” We couldn’t agree more.

  • Recall that, last December, a Saudi national brutishly murdered three people and injured even more at Naval Air Station Pensacola (Florida). Attorney General William Barr provided an update on the incident in a press conference yesterday in which he revealed, “The FBI finally succeeded in unlocking [Mohammed Saeed] Alshamrani’s phones. The phones contain information previously unknown to us that definitively establishes Alshamrani’s significant ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — not only before the attack, but before he even arrived in the United States.” Columnist Gary Bauer observes, “While COVID is dominating the headlines, it’s important to recognize that radical Islam remains a threat to our homeland.”

Government & Politics

  • “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others”: William Barr says he does not expect a criminal investigation of Barack Obama or Joe Biden as a result of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe (Fox News)

  • President Trump, citing the organization’s “alarming lack of independence from the People’s Republic of China,” threatens to make WHO funding freeze permanent (NBC News)

  • Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine to protect against coronavirus (The Washington Post)

  • On the heels of Katie Hill’s “throuple,” Democrat Rep. Steven Horsford admits to decade-long affair with former intern (The Washington Free Beacon)

Business & Economy

  • They’ve been through riots, protests, and natural disasters — but America’s colleges have never seen anything like the financial meltdown the coronavirus is about to bring to their campuses (The Washington Free Beacon)

  • China slaps an 80% tariff on drought-affected Australian exporters as brutal punishment for push for COVID-19 inquiry — just hours after saying it’ll support inquiry when pandemic is over (UK Daily Mail)

  • Japan has slipped into a recession as its economy sank for a second straight quarter (UPI)

  • Hope for producers as oil clears $30 a barrel (Washington Examiner)

Culture & Heartland

  • Oregon’s coronavirus restrictions ruled “null and void” after governor failed to get approval from legislature (Fox News)

  • Democrat-imposed coronavirus orders face lawsuits across the nation (Fox News)

  • Gov. Charlie Baker announces Massachusetts reopening plan (The Hill)

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio warns beach swimmers will “be taken right out of the water” (The Daily Wire)

Other Notables

  • Not-so-mission accomplished: Over 100 million in China’s northeast face renewed lockdown (Bloomberg)

  • Good news: Early data show Moderna COVID-19 vaccine generates immune response (STAT)

  • Four ways the 1957 H2N2 pandemic resembles, and differs from, COVID-19 (The Daily Signal)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: How blind faith in scientific expertise wrecked the economy (The Federalist)

  • Policy: The public health crisis means cities need to reevaluate transit projects (The Hill)

  • Humor: Mayor Bill de Blasio lays naval minefield to deter swimmers (The Babylon Bee)

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

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