1 Lebanon’s Government Has Resigned
The massive explosion that leveled much of Lebanon's capitol city, Beirut. More than 160 people died when a warehouse fire ignited 27-hundred tons of ammonium nitrate. The country's prime minister responded to the outrage yesterday, blaming the tragedy on a level of corruption "bigger than the state." And now? He and his entire cabinet stepped down, agreeing to stay on until a new government is formed. “Today we follow the will of the people,” Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a speech announcing the resignation. “(They are) demanding to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years.” While Diab isn’t saying he or his team had a hand in the incident, he says the disaster happened because of endemic corruption and said those responsible should be ashamed because their actions had led to a catastrophe “beyond description.”
2 President Trump’s Briefing With Reporters Cut Short By Nearby Shooting
President Trump's news conference was interrupted for a brief time yesterday. After speaking for a few minutes, the President was escorted out by a Secret Service member. Soon, it was revealed that a shooting incident had taken place near the building, but more on that in a minute. Once the briefing resumed, the President discussed a range of topics including mail-in voting, the stock market and more. Among them: President Trump is once again slamming mail-in voting. He noted a story in Virginia where incorrect information was printed on absentee ballot applications and mailed to over half a million voters. He called it an "unprecedented mailing flub" and added it raises concerns about the integrity of expanding mail-in voting. He praised the state of the stock market despite economic hardships brought by the coronavirus pandemic – and said the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are 50-percent above levels in March. He added the Nasdaq is setting new records. Trump also noted the U.S. has created nine-million jobs in the last few months. Speaking about the ‘current state of affairs’ in the country, Trump said he’s considering expanded tax cuts – adding that a capital gains tax cut is being discussed. He added the measure would help start mass job creation. Trump also noted an income tax cut for middle-class families “is possible.” As for the shooting, the Secret Service says a 51-year-old man approached a uniformed officer near the White House Complex, told him he had a weapon and took a shooting stance – running towards the officer and taking something out of his clothing in a drawing motion. The Secret Service officer then fired his weapon, hitting the man in the torso. Both the suspect and officer were taken to the hospital. The suspect’s condition was unclear at press time.
3 Trump Administration Says Stimulus Deal Is Still Possible
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration is open to more stimulus talks with Democratic leaders. In an interview with CNBC, Mnuchin tells says the President is even "prepared to put more aid money on the table" to strike a deal. Not only that? Mnuchin says a deal could happen this week “if we can get a fair deal." How does that square in Congress? Depends whom you ask, as once again, both sides of the aisle are blaming each other for no forward movement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opened the Senate blaming Democrats, saying they’re are stubbornly sticking with an “expensive wish list.” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer accused Republican leaders of refusing to "meet in the middle" and among other things, said President Trump's latest executive orders are “weak” and “pathetic.”