Wednesday Morning Briefing
(Reuters) – The police investigation into the Las Vegas shooting has turned to the gunman’s girlfriend, U.S. President Donald Trump said natural disasters are straining the U.S. budget and a special report explores a network of informers in Mosul.
The quest by police to comprehend why retiree Stephen Paddock shot 58 people to death in Las Vegas has turned to his girlfriend, who has flown back to the United States from the Philippines facing investigators’ questions about what she knew of his motives. Law enforcement authorities were hoping to obtain some answers from the woman identified as Paddock’s live-in companion, Marilou Danley, who Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo called a “person of interest” in the investigation.
Trump expressed satisfaction with the federal response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico, despite criticism that the government was slow to address the crisis. Trump, who has grappled with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the past six weeks, said at a briefing that the disasters were straining the U.S. budget.
Trump’s tax reform plan came under new criticism from two towering Wall Street figures, including billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who called into question a Republican drive to slash the U.S. corporate rate. With the White House and top Republicans in Congress already on the defensive over claims the plan would not cut taxes for many middle-class Americans, Buffett and BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink suggested in separate interviews that the corporate rate may not have to be cut as deeply as proposed.
Catalonia will move on Monday to declare independence from Spain, a regional government source said, as the European Union nation nears a rupture that threatens the foundations of its young democracy and has unnerved financial markets.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said U.S. officials had broken into residences at Russia’s consulate in San Francisco, and threatened retaliation over what it called an illegal act. Russian staff left the consulate last month, after Washington ordered Moscow to vacate some of its diplomatic properties, part of a series of tit-for-tat actions during a thorny phase in bilateral relations.
Iraqi military officials say that a network informers including taxi drivers, former Iraqi soldiers, and disenchanted Islamic State fighters, helped hasten the campaign that would have dragged on for longer, snared in Mosul’s narrow alleys. Read the special report and find out about the people who risked their lives to pass on information that led to the recapturing of Mosul.
Global stock markets hit a record high with investors in exuberant mood in the United States overnight and in Asia later, but sentiment in Europe was soured by a political crisis gathering steam in Spain.
Allowing foreign governments to require reviews of software secrets of technology products built by U.S. companies is “problematic,” the top White House cyber security official said, adding that the increasingly common arrangements presented both security and intellectual property risks.