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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2018

Bonnie Kristian
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1.

Trump expresses new skepticism of Saudi account of Khashoggi's death

One day after telling reporters he found credible Saudi Arabia's "fist fight" explanation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, President Trump expressed greater skepticism of the account. "Nobody has told me [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is] responsible" for ordering Khashoggi's death, Trump told The Washington Post. "Nobody has told me he's not responsible. We haven't reached that point ... I would love if he wasn't responsible." The president dubbed the Saudi prince an "incredible ally," but conceded "obviously there's been deception, and there's been lies" about how Khashoggi died. [The Washington Post, CNN]

2.

Trump says U.S. will exit nuclear treaty with Russia

President Trump said Saturday evening he intends to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Reagan-era arms control agreement with Russia (originally the Soviet Union) that eliminated thousands of short- and intermediate-range nuclear missiles. "Russia has violated the agreement. They've been violating it for many years," Trump said. "And I don't know why President Obama didn't negotiate or pull out. And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to." NATO has confirmed Russian missile tests in the past decade likely violate the treaty. [Reuters, CNN]

3.

Trump considers 5 candidates for new U.N. ambassador

President Trump said Saturday he is reviewing a list of five candidates to replace outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and he expects to announce a decision soon. Two of the candidates are men, and three are women, Trump said, telling reporters he "might prefer" to have a woman in the role. "I think it's become maybe a more glamorous position than it was two years ago," he said. "Maybe, I wonder why, but it is. [Haley has] made it a very glamorous position." [The Associated Press, The Hill]

4.

Trump pledges new tax cuts at Nevada rally

President Trump said at a campaign rally in Nevada Saturday his administration is working on new tax cuts for the middle class and expects to reveal the plan before the midterms. "We are going to be putting in and are studying very deeply right now, around the clock, a major tax cut for middle-income people," he said. "Not for business at all. For middle-income people." He described the timeline for the new cuts as "sometime just prior, I would say, to November." Congress is in recess until after the midterm elections and cannot pass any new tax law before November begins. [Reuters, Chicago Tribune]

5.

Migrant caravan stalls at southern Mexican border

A massive caravan of mostly Honduran migrants stalled over the weekend at Mexico's southern border on their way to the United States. Mexican authorities say those who meet entry requirements will be allowed through, but so far only a trickle — many women and children — have made it past the bridge checkpoint over the Suchiate River where hundreds waited overnight. Police in riot gear have used tear gas and smoke to control the crowd. President Trump has threatened to close the southern border to keep the migrants out, but he agreed Thursday night to evaluate their asylum claims. [CNN, CBS News]

6.

Trump says immigration reform would take 'less than one hour' if Democrats cooperated

"If the Democrats would stop being obstructionists and come together," President Trump tweeted Saturday, "we could write up and agree to new immigration laws in less than one hour. Look at the needless pain and suffering that they are causing. Look at the horrors taking place on the Border." He concluded with an invitation for Democratic congressional leaders to contact him. In past negotiations about specific immigration reform proposals, Trump has proven mercurial, taking a variety of rapidly changing and inconsistent positions and drawing critique from within his own party. [Donald J. Trump, The Week]

7.

Major march in London demands new Brexit vote

An estimated 700,000 protesters assembled for the "People's Vote" march in London Saturday to demand a new referendum on the United Kingdom's planned exit from the European Union, known as Brexit. In the original vote in 2016, the "leave" option won by 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent for "remain," with 71.8 percent turnout. Prime Minister Theresa May has said there will not be another vote. "The only options on the table now from the prime minister are a bad Brexit deal or no deal whatsoever," said London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who joined the march. "That's a million miles away from what was promised." [BBC News, CBS News]

8.

Afghan election extended another day

Afghanistan's parliamentary election was extended for a second day Sunday after Saturday's voting was marred by violence, technical difficulties and, in some places, polling stations that did not open at all. This is the first such election since 2010, and it employs a biometric tracking system to avoid fraud that has not been widely tested. The Taliban, which remains powerful particularly in rural regions, has told Afghanistan's 8.8 million eligible voters to stay away from the polls, but despite these obstacles, more than 3 million voted Saturday. [Al Jazeera, The Associated Press]

9.

Apartment clubhouse floor collapses, injuring 30

Some 30 people were injured and taken to nearby hospitals for treatment after the floor of a clubhouse room in an apartment building near Clemson University suddenly collapsed early Sunday morning. The building is just 14 years old, but the first floor gave way, plunging partygoers into the basement below. Police reported no one was trapped in the rubble, but it is not yet clear if any injuries were critical. An investigation is ongoing as to the cause of the building's structural failure. [Fox Carolina, CNN]

10.

Dodgers to face Red Sox at World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers bested the Milwaulkee Brewers 5-1 Saturday evening, securing their spot against the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 World Series. The Dodgers and Red Sox are two of the oldest teams in Major League Baseball, each boasting more than a century of history, and they last met at the World Series in 1916, when the Dodgers were known as the Brooklyn Robins. This year, the Red Sox are favorites to win, and their strong regular season record means they'll host the first game of the championship, which is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:09 p.m. Eastern. [Fox News, CBS Sports]