5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • 10 sailors missing after tanker, Navy destroyer collide near Singapore

  • Trump expected to up U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan

  • Americans get rare chance to view solar eclipse

  • GOP committees paid Trump-owned entities $1.3 million this year

  • University of Texas removes Confederate statues late Sunday night

The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said 10 sailors are missing and five others hurt after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and a tanker collided early Monday in the waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. The destroyer sustained damage on its left rear side. The ship is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and has 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers, and 291 enlisted sailors. On Sunday night, Trump tweeted out his "thoughts and prayers" to the sailors on the destroyer; earlier, when he was asked about the collision upon returning to the White House, Trump said, "That's too bad."

Source: The Associated Press, The Washington Post

In a nationally televised address on Monday night, President Trump will lay out his new strategy for the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, and the strategy is expected to include sending over several thousand more U.S. troops. There are currently about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan as part of the 13,000-strong NATO force that's training and advising the Afghan military, plus another 2,000 or so U.S. troops conducting counterterrorism operations. Trump gave Defense Secretary James Mattis the authority in June to deploy up to 3,900 more troops to Afghanistan, but Mattis has declined to do so without a broader strategy in place. On Sunday night, Mattis told reporters, "I am very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous and did not go in with a preset position."

Source: The New York Times, Axios

Millions of Americans are heading to spots in a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch a total eclipse of the sun on Monday — the first one visible in the U.S. from coast to coast in 99 years. With 200 million people within a day's drive of the path of totality, the event is expected to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history. Communities and schools have organized eclipse-watching parties from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. "It's one of those 'check the box' kind of things in life," said Hilary O'Hollaren, who drove 30 miles from Portland with her two teenagers to camp out and watch the moon completely blot out the midday sun.

Source: The Associated Press

So far this year, Republican committees have paid close to $1.3 million to companies owned by President Trump, new Federal Election Commission records show. The Washington Post analyzed the records, and found that at least 25 congressional campaigns, state parties, and the Republican Governors Association have spent more than $473,000 combined at hotels or golf resorts owned by Trump, and his companies have received $793,000 from the Republican National Committee and Trump's campaign committee. These payments have helped properties like Trump's private club in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, which otherwise lost business because of Trump; in response to his reaction to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, 10 of the 16 galas and dinners planned for next winter at the club have been cancelled.

Source: The Washington Post

Late Sunday night, work crews removed four statues from a main mall on the University of Texas campus in Austin, three of them Confederate leaders and the fourth a former Texas governor. UT Austin President Greg Fenves said the three Confederate statues — two generals, Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, and Confederate postmaster general John Reagan — "run counter to the university's core values." The events in Charlottesville last weekend, he added, "make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism."

Source: The Texas Tribune
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