5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • During rally in Phoenix, Trump defends his Charlottesville remarks

  • New U.S. troops to arrive in Afghanistan within 'days or weeks'

  • Report: Navy to remove Seventh Fleet commander after several collisions

  • Trump accuses Pakistan of being a safe haven for terrorist organizations

  • Powerball jackpot climbs to $700 million, the second-largest in history

As thousands of protesters stood outside, President Trump spoke to supporters Tuesday night in the Phoenix Convention Center about his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville; hinted that he'll soon pardon Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff convicted of criminal contempt of court; and said the wall would be built along the U.S.-Mexico border "even if we have to close down our government." Trump spent the first 30 minutes of his speech decrying the criticism he received from "dishonest" people who thought he took too long to comment after Charlottesville, and re-read his remarks, omitting the part where he equated white supremacists to protesters. He also accused the media of "trying to take away our history and our heritage" and giving hate groups "a platform." While most of the protesters were peaceful, Phoenix police said after the rally they had to deploy pepper spray and stun grenades into the crowd, as some people started throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

Source: The Week, Arizona Republic

America's top commander in the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, announced Tuesday that more U.S. troops will be deployed to Afghanistan within a matter of "days or weeks." Votel's news came just one day after President Trump's speech outlining his military strategy for the country, which includes never revealing the number of troops on the ground, announcing upcoming military actions, or setting a timetable for withdrawal. The U.S. is "not nation-building again," Trump declared. "We are killing terrorists." Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that Trump's strategy is meant to convey to the Taliban that they "will not win a battlefield victory. We may not win one, but neither will you."

Source: The Associated Press, The Week

The U.S. Navy is planning on relieving Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin from duty as commander of the Seventh Fleet, following four crashes, two deadly, in Asia since January, U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday. Aucoin is a three-star commander, and will be removed on Wednesday, the officials said; the Navy declined to comment to the Journal. The Seventh Fleet is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and the most recent collision took place early Monday, when the USS John S. McCain and a tanker crashed in the waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca; 10 sailors were reported missing, and the bodies of some of the sailors were recovered on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters

While discussing his strategy for the war in Afghanistan, President Trump on Monday had sharp words for Pakistan, saying the United States could "no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond." The country has "much to gain" by working with the U.S. in Afghanistan, and "much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists." The United States has been paying Pakistan "hundreds of millions" at the same time they are housing "the very terrorists we are fighting," and that "has to change immediately," Trump added. Because both Pakistan and India have nuclear arms, their "tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict," Trump said, and it is in everyone's best interests to come together to fight "agents of chaos, violence, and terror."

Source: The Week

The estimated jackpot for Wednesday night's Powerball drawing has reached $700 million, the second-largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history. Tickets are $2 each, and the odds of winning are 1 in 292.2 million. If anyone matches all six numbers, they can choose an annuity option, receiving the jackpot in 30 payments over 29 years, or take the cash, which significantly reduces the amount of money (in this case, it would be $443.3 million). The game is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: CBS News
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