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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • The Pentagon remains undecided about how to fund the border wall

  • Trump asks Europe to take back 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria

  • Heather Nauert withdraws her name as U.N. ambassador nominee

  • Background check failed to detect Aurora shooter's record

  • Chicago police say probe of Empire's Jussie Smollett's assault case has 'shifted'

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Saturday he has yet to choose which military projects may have funding reallocated to pay for border wall construction following President Trump's national emergency declaration. The Trump administration reportedly identified $3.6 billion from the military construction budget and $2.5 billion from a Defense Department drug interdiction fund, but Shanahan has ultimate approval on how much can be taken from which programs. "Very deliberately, we have not made any decisions," Shanahan said. The Pentagon is also still reviewing whether the wall is necessary to support the use of armed forces.

Source: CNN, Reuters

"The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany, and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial," President Trump tweeted late Saturday. "The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them," Trump added. "The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe." The fighters in question are Europeans who traveled to the Mideast to back the Islamic State. While France will repatriate and, in some cases, prosecute them, the United Kingdom has been less willing to do so.

Source: NBC News, The Guardian

Heather Nauert, Trump's pick to replace Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, withdrew her name from consideration Saturday. The State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News anchor said that it was in the best interest of her family that she remove her name from the process, citing a "grueling" two months. "I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary [Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me," Nauert said in a statement. The State Department said Trump will select a new nominee soon.

Source: Fox News, CNN

The man who fatally shot five people and wounded six more in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday was armed with a handgun he should not have been able to purchase, local authorities have revealed. The shooter, identified as Gary Martin, was convicted of aggravated assault in Mississippi in 1995, said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman. That felony conviction should have been detected by the background check Martin underwent to purchase his gun. It was not. Though a second background check for Martin's concealed carry permit application did alert to his record, he already had the weapon in his possession by that point.

Source: The Associated Press, CNN

Police in Chicago on Saturday said their investigation of the alleged assault against Empire actor Jussie Smollett has changed focus following the interview of two brothers linked to the case. "We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation," said a police statement. "We've reached out to the Empire cast member's attorney to request a follow-up interview." An unnamed police source told NBC the new information suggests Smollett hired two men to stage the attack. Smollett's lawyers vehemently denied that report.

Source: NBC News, The Associated Press
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