Inside Daily Brief - January 20th, 2018 |

Inside Daily Brief (Jan 20th, 2018)

Government shutdown / Turkey military air strikes / Winter Olympics / Women's March

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The federal government shut down on Saturday after Congress failed to reach a spending bill deal. Lawmakers likely will renew negotiations on Saturday in an effort to keep the shutdown short-lived. The 50-49 vote fell short of the 60 votes necessary to pass the Senate. Four Republicans sided with the Democratic majority in keeping the measure from passing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also voted no, but did so as part of a procedural maneuver to make it easier to bring the bill up again. In a statement, the White House blamed Democrats for the shutdown, calling them "obstructionist losers, not legislators." While mail will continue to be delivered, several federal agencies will be forced to scale back operations. Thousands of government workers will be placed on temporary leave. Military personnel must report for duty, but won't be paid until a spending bill is approved. — REUTERS

More than 1,000 accounts linked to a Russian agency were suspended by Twitter, the company announced Friday. The company made the announcement Friday as part of an "ongoing review" of the 2016 presidential election. Twitter has found more than 3,800 accounts potentially linked to the Internet Research Agency — a Russian government-connected organization promoting propaganda. Those accounts posted nearly 176,000 tweets during the 2016 campaign. Since Twitter’s previous public update on the bot issue, the company had found an additional 13,500 Russian government linked accounts, bringing the total to 50,258. — THE HILL

Turkey's military launched air strikes on Saturday on Kurdish positions in northern Syria. War planes reportedly struck areas held by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which the United States and Turkey consider to be a terrorist group. Turkey's military also reportedly struck positions held by a group of Syrian Kurdish fighters who were allied with forces opposing ISIS. This story is developing. — THE HILL

North Korea will send 22 athletes — 15 women and seven men — next month to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the International Olympic Committee said Saturday. North Korean athletes will compete in skating and skiing competitions, and will partner with South Korea for a joint women's ice hockey team. The two nations also will march together under a unified flag during the opening ceremony. North Korea's athletes will be joined by 24 coaches and 21 media representatives for the Winter Games that start Feb. 9. — BBC

One year into his term, President Trump still has hundreds of vacant key positions in his administration. Of 633 key roles requiring Senate confirmation, only 241 have been filled. There are about 1,200 total positions requiring Senate approval. Many of the positions are being filled with interim workers, but the tenures of these employees are passing their legal limits. A president has 300 days to fill political appointment positions, based on the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Failing to do so could allow for an interim employee's work to be challenged in court. Among the positions to be filled are administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, director of the Census Bureau, director of the National Park Service and undersecretary for benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs. — MIC

Thousands of people are expected to join marches across the country on Saturday — the one year anniversary of the Women's March. In New York City, Metro North commuter trains that usually empty on weekends, were packed with people headed to the Women's March in Manhattan. “People were pretty damn mad last year and they’re pretty damn mad this year,” said Women's March board co-President Tamika Mallory said. Organizers of the march aim to register 1 million new voters and elect candidates who they say will be advocates for women's rights. — CNN

A woman is expected to appear in court Saturday after police said she sneaked onto a plane at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Monday and flew to London. Transportation Security Administration officials said they are investigating how Marilyn Hartman, 66, made her way through security without a passport or boarding pass and onto a plane. She was detained by British Customs officials at Heathrow Airport and sent back to Chicago on a return flight. — CHICAGO TRIBUNE

In a leaked memo, Snap Inc. threatened to fire employees who leaked memos. The Jan, 8 memo was leaked to Cheddar. In it, the company said employees who leak memos could "face personal financial liability even if you yourself did not benefit from the leaked information. The government, our investors, and other third parties can also seek their own remedies against you for what you disclosed. The government can even put you in jail." Snapchat reportedly laid off 22 workers recently. — FORTUNE

Police in Florida charged a man with driving under the influence after he attempted to order a burrito from a Bank of America drive-thru. Police said a bank manager knocked on 28-year-old Douglas Francisco's window after the man was found unconscious. When he regained consciousness, Francisco reportedly thought he drove to Taco Bell and attempted to order a burrito. In a police report, an officer wrote that Francisco “made several statements that were differing from reality” and denied attempting to order a burrito. — TAMPA BAY TIMES


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