Newsweek has fired its top two editors as well as two senior reporters. According to reports, Bob Roe, the editor-in-chief, and Kenneth Li, the executive editor, were both let go, along with senior politics writer Celeste Katz and senior writer Josh Saul. In the wake of the above events, the company’s chair and finance director both stepped down last week. Hours after the firings went public, the company announced in an internal staff email that cofounder Jonathan Davis would return as interim Chief Content Officer, and that Nancy Cooper, the managing editor of IBT, is now acting editor of Newsweek.
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A top aide to President Trump has resigned amid allegations of abusive behavior from his two ex-wives. White House staff secretary Rob Porter had been accused in multiple media reports published earlier in the week of choking and dragging his wives. Although White House aides had defended Porter in statements to the media, Porter submitted his resignation on Wednesday as scrutiny of his past relationships intensified. “He is going to be leaving the White House. It won’t be immediate,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Wednesday. Sanders also read a statement from Porter that described the allegations as “outrageous.” “I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign,” Porter said in the statement Sanders read. Porter is reported to be in a romantic relationship with White House communications director Hope Hicks. His last day in the West Wing has not yet been set.
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Senate leaders announced Wednesday they have sealed agreement on a two-year budget pact that would provide both the Pentagon and domestic programs with almost $300 billion above existing limits. The agreement is likely to be added to a stopgap spending bill that passed the House on Tuesday, aimed at averting a government shutdown Thursday at midnight. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the Senate agreement “a genuine breakthrough.” However, it would not resolve the plight of immigrant “Dreamers” who face deportation after being brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California held the floor in the House, declaring she would oppose the measure unless her chamber’s GOP leaders promised a vote on legislation to protect the younger immigrants.
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation Tuesday that would reform the way lawmakers’ offices handle cases sexual harassment. The bill, born in the wake of the #MeToo movement, would overhaul aspects of the Congressional Accountability Act, the decades-old law that put in place the system through which sexual harassment, discrimination and other workplace-related claims on Capitol Hill are handled. But the bill would weaken the authority of the independent entity currently probing lawmakers’ behavior, according to some. The legislation had been worked on for months by a bipartisan group of lawmakers as a direct response to a series of allegations, resignations and retirements that have rocked Capitol Hill in recent months regarding lawmakers from both parties making inappropriate comments or sexually harassing female staffers.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he welcomes a government shutdown if congressional leaders do not agree to a deal to keep the government open later this week. “I’d love to see a shutdown,” he said during a roundtable with legislators and law enforcement officials on immigration, adding that Democrats need to agree to his demands for immigration restrictions. “Shut it down.” Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who was attending the roundtable, told Trump: “We don’t need a government shutdown over this.” Lawmakers in both parties have said they hope to avoid another government shutdown like the one that occurred after talks broke down last month.
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to block a lower court ruling requiring Republican-drawn congressional districts in Pennsylvania to be reworked immediately, boosting Democratic hopes of winning control this year of the U.S. House of Representatives. Justice Samuel Alito denied an emergency application filed by Republicans to stop the immediate reworking of the electoral district boundaries. The Jan. 22 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling gives Republican legislators until Friday to submit a revised map to Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, who would have until Feb. 15 to sign off on the changes. In a statement, the state’s top Republican lawmakers, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati and House Speaker Mike Turzai, said they still believe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court exceeded its authority.
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Wall Street continued a broad selloff Monday, as the Dow plunged a record 1,175 points amid inflation fears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,345. The S&P 500 fell 113 points to 2,648. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 273 points to 6,967. The Dow fell as much as 1,597 points in afternoon trading, the largest intraday drop in history. The blue-chip index’s 4.6% decline reflected its worst day since at least Aug. 10, 2011. Coming off its worst week in two years, the Dow wiped out its 2018 gains with its pullback Monday.
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Thousands are expected to descend on the Space Coast for Tuesday’s inaugural SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch to witness the rocket lift off from Kennedy Space Center. The demonstration mission from pad 39A, which includes a 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. launch window, has already generated remarkable buzz online for an un-crewed mission. SpaceX announced late Saturday that when it conducts its first test launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket this Tuesday, it will also attempt to land all three of the giant rocket’s first-stage cores. Two will aim for landings at Cape Canaveral in Florida, while one, the center core, will attempt to land on a drone ship at sea.
An Amtrak passenger train slammed into a freight train parked on a side track in South Carolina early Sunday, killing two Amtrak employees and injuring more than 110 people, authorities said. It was the third deadly wreck involving Amtrak in less than two months. Amtrak’s Silver Star was on its way from New York to Miami with eight crew members and about 140 passengers around 2:45 a.m. when it plowed into the CSX train at an estimated 59 mph. The wreck took place around a switchyard about 10 miles south of Columbia.
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President Donald Trump is expected to approve the release of a controversial congressional memo alleging surveillance abuses by the FBI, after the White House agreed to some redactions at the bureau’s request, but the document may not be made public before Friday, according to senior administration officials. The redactions were the result of a review of the memo’s classified contents by White House and intelligence community officials. The memo suggests that the early origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election were tainted by political bias. Once Trump approves its release, the White House will transmit the memo back to the House Intelligence Committee, which has the authority to release it to the public.
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