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Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 2, 2018

Bonnie Kristian
Mourners sign a remembrance book the George Bush Presidential Library on December 1, 2018 in College Station, Texas.
Suzanne Cordeiro/Getty Images
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1.

Bush to lie in state at Capitol Rotunda

Former President George H.W. Bush will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda this week, a schedule released Saturday evening indicated. An Air Force One plane will transport Bush's casket from Houston to Washington, and both houses of Congress will participate in an arrival ceremony at the Capitol building Monday. Wednesday morning, a funeral service will be held at the nearby National Cathedral, after which Bush will be transported back to Texas for a second memorial service in Houston Thursday. He will be interred Thursday afternoon in College Station, Texas. [NPR, The Hill]

2.

Trump and Xi agree to 90-day trade truce

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at a dinner meeting Saturday to a 90-day break from further escalating the U.S.-China trade war. U.S. tariffs currently set at 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods now will only increase to 25 percent if negotiations progress is not made during the 90-day period. "It's an incredible deal," Trump said. "What I'll be doing is holding back on tariffs. China will be opening up. China will be getting rid of tariffs. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us." [CNBC, Fox News]

3.

Government shutdown likely delayed over Bush funeral

Funding for part of the federal government is set to run out at midnight Friday. However, Congress is expected to pass — and President Trump to approve — a brief stopgap spending measure to delay a likely partial shutdown until after former President George H.W. Bush's funeral events are completed. "If they come to talk about an extension because of President Bush's passing, I would absolutely consider it and probably give it," Trump told reporters Saturday. He has threatened a shutdown to pressure Congress into allocating billions for border wall construction. [CBS News, CNN]

4.

Alaska shaken by 194 quakes in 2 days

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that caused serious infrastructure damage in and around Anchorage, Alaska, on Friday has been attended by at least 193 other quakes in the state over the course of two days, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Saturday. Though tremors are common in Alaska, Friday's major quake was unusual. "It was very clear that this was something bigger than what we normally experience," said Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. No deaths have been reported in connection to the weekend's earthquakes, and the effects of the big one were likely muffled by its depth of about 25 miles below the surface. [CNN, NBC News]

5.

Saudi crown prince reportedly texted implicated adviser during Khashoggi killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) sent at least 11 text messages to his "closest adviser" — who directed the team that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi — while the murder took place, The Wall Street Journal reported early Saturday, citing a classified CIA assessment. The CIA also reportedly found MBS told associates last year he "could possibly lure [Khashoggi] outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements" if the dissident journalist did not change his behavior. The CIA assessment concludes MBS "personally targeted" Khashoggi but cannot present "direct reporting of the crown prince issuing a kill order." [The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera]

6.

Hundreds arrested in Paris as tax protesters riot

More than 220 people were arrested in Paris Saturday as "yellow vest" protesters assembled for the third straight weekend. Authorities say around 100 people were injured when some demonstrators rioted, vandalizing the Arc de Triomphe, attacking police, and damaging and looting cars and stores. The French government may impose a state of emergency. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to initiate a dialogue with the yellow vests, but a government representative said policy changes are not being considered. The demonstrators are angry about Macron's presidency, rising taxes, and high costs of living more broadly. [The Associated Press, Reuters]

7.

Top U.S. naval officer in Mideast found dead

Vice Adm. Scott Stearney, the United States' top naval officer in the Middle East, was found dead Saturday in his home in Bahrain. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Bahraini Ministry of Interior will investigate Stearney's death, but defense officials say suicide, not foul play, is suspected. "This is devastating news for the Stearney family, for the team at 5th Fleet, and for the entire U.S. Navy," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. "Scott Stearney was a decorated naval warrior. He was a devoted husband and father, and he was a good friend to all." [Al Jazeera, CBS News]

8.

New Mexican president takes office

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as Mexico's new president Saturday, taking over for former president Enrique Peña Nieto. Lopez Obrador marks a major swing to the left for Mexico, and he has sworn to fight corruption and work for the country's poorest people. "We are going to govern for everyone, but we are going to give preference to the most impoverished and vulnerable," he said Saturday. He promised a "peaceful and orderly" transition, but one marked by "profound and radical" change so the "corruption and impunity that has impeded the rebirth of Mexico will end." [Los Angeles times, The Associated Press]

9.

Israeli police recommend indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli police and the Israel Securities Authorities on Sunday called for an indictment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as his wife, Sara, on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. There is sufficient evidence to prosecute the couple, officials say, for trading regulatory favoritism to the Bezeq telecom company in exchange for favorable media coverage. The decision about whether to bring charges will be made by Israel's attorney general. Netanyahu denies all accusations, and some suspect he may call a snap election in an effort to demonstrate public support and ward off legal trouble. [BBC News, Reuters]

10.

Neil deGrasse Tyson denies sexual misconduct allegations

Science entertainer Neil deGrasse Tyson on Saturday posted a lengthy statement on Facebook denying a trio of sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him. He decried presumption of guilt in #MeToo accusations, pledged to cooperate with an impartial investigation, and offered a competing account of each scenario. One accuser says Tyson groped her at a professional event; another says he exhibited a pattern of "predatory tendencies" when they worked together; and a third alleges he drugged and raped her in 1984. The allegations are under investigation by Fox Entertainment and National Geographic, which air Tyson's show. [The A.V. Club, CNN]