5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Trump slams Cohen recording as 'totally unheard of & perhaps illegal'

  • Missouri boat accident kills 17, including 9 from a single family

  • CIA official: China is waging a 'cold war,' does 'not want conflict'

  • Trump reportedly unhappy with intelligence chief

  • Hamas agrees to ceasefire deal in Gaza

President Trump on Twitter Saturday lashed out against his former attorney, Michael Cohen, for reportedly making recordings of Trump two months before the 2016 election discussing payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to silence her about an alleged affair. "Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of," he wrote. "Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!" Lawyers familiar with the case say the FBI seized the recordings when agents raided Cohen's office earlier this year.

Source: The New York Times, Donald J. Trump

Nine of the 17 people killed when a duck boat capsized near Branson, Missouri, on Thursday were members of the same family, Governor Michael Parson said Friday. There were 31 people on the tourist boat which sunk in Table Rock Lake. Parson said a sudden storm created "extremely dangerous conditions" and made it too "turbulent" even for the experienced driver, who also died in the accident. Two vigils were held for the victims Friday night, and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) said she would consider "legislative solutions" to prevent future such tragedies.

Source: Mercury News, CNN

"By their own terms and what [Chinese President Xi Jinping] enunciates, I would argue by definition what they're waging against us is fundamentally a cold war," Michael Collins, deputy assistant director of the CIA's East Asia mission center, said of China in a security summit speech Friday. Collins defined cold war as a "country that exploits all avenues of power licit and illicit, public and private, economic and military, to undermine the standing of your rival relative to your own standing without resorting to conflict," adding, "The Chinese do not want conflict." The United States must decide whether to treat China as a "true adversary or a legitimate competitor," Collins advised.

Source: CNN, The Associated Press

President Trump is "exasperated" with his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, Politico reported Friday night, after the intelligence chief publicly chuckled Thursday at the idea of another Trump summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "That's going to be special," Coats said of Trump's invitation to Putin to visit Washington this fall, indicating he did not know of the meeting plan in advance. A former Trump administration official described the administration as in "meltdown" about Coats' comments, and Reuters reports White House staff are alarmed Coats was kept in the dark.

Source: Reuters, Politico

Hamas on Saturday announced it has accepted a ceasefire deal in the contested Gaza Strip after fighting on Friday left four Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead. The temporary peace was brokered by Egypt and the United Nations. Israel has yet to confirm its acceptance of the agreement, but the Israeli military said in a statement Saturday it has "decided to maintain a full civilian routine in the communities close to the Gaza Strip," suggesting a cessation in hostilities. This is the second ceasefire in a week, punctuating the worst conflict in Gaza since 2014.

Source: Al Jazeera, The Associated Press
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