Monday Morning Memo – November 6, 2017
Nation Mourns for Sutherland Springs
On Sunday, a gunman entered First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and opened fire. The murderer killed 26 people and injured at least 20 others. The 14 year old daughter of the church’s pastor is among those who lost their lives. Victims range in age from 5 to 72. The town of fewer than 1,000 people has been devastated by this loss.
The shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, was a 26 year old man who enlisted in the Air Force after graduating high school. He was court-martialed in 2012 and dishonorably discharged in 2014, making it a felony for him to own a gun. An armed citizen confronted Kelley, and Kelley later died (though the exact cause of death is unclear).
Suspicious Activity in Saudi Arabia
The future King of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, started a brutal crackdown on his enemies within his own family. On bin Salman’s orders, Saudi authorities arrested 11 princes and at least 24 current and former ministers. Among those arrested is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a billionaire royal and businessman accused of bribery and money laundering. Bin Salman also removed the former head of the National Guard, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, on suspicion of embezzlement.
Prince Mansour bin Moqren was killed on Sunday in a plane crash near the Saudi-Yemen border. 8 other high-ranking officials were also killed. The cause of the crash has not been released to the public.
Saudi defense systems intercepted a missile over Riyadh, the kingdom’s capital city. The government has announced that it blames Iran for launching the missile from Yemen, saying this “may be considered an act of war.”
Trump Talks Trade
Trump landed in Japan, the first country on his five-country tour of Asia, on Saturday. He then met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for formal talks, likely about the North Korea threat and international trade. In a public speech, Trump called for “free and open trade” in the region, likely putting isolationist China on notice. He will visit both China and Russia during this 13-day tour.
Administration officials have hinted that Trump may decide whether or not to declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror during this trip. Standvocates have been pushing for this decision for weeks. You can join them by signing the petition.
Shalane Flanagan Wins NYC Marathon
American runner Shalane Flanagan won the NYC marathon on Sunday in the women’s division. This is the first time in 40 years that an American woman has taken the top spot at this event. Flanagan had to withdraw from the Boston Marathon earlier this year due to a lower back fracture, and made her emotional and triumphant return to racing in New York City.
Sen. Rand Paul Attacked
Senator Rand Paul was in his home this weekend when a neighbor broke in and assaulted him. Paul suffered 5 fractured ribs and at least two lung contusions during the attack. The neighbor, Rene Albert Boucher, admitted to tackling the Senator. Police had not yet released a motive as of Sunday night.