February 11, 2019 / 12:57 PM / 5 months ago

Monday Morning Briefing

Talks collapse on border deal as U.S. government shutdown looms, Qatar revamps investment strategy after Jared Kushner building bailout and Iran marks the 40th anniversary of the Shi’ite cleric who toppled the Shah. Catch up on the latest headlines.

Top News

“The talks are stalled right now,” Republican Senator Richard Shelby told Fox News Sunday. Efforts to resolve the dispute over border security funding collapsed after Democratic and Republican lawmakers clashed over immigrant detention policy as they worked to avert another U.S. government shutdown, the Republican senator said. This long view shows illegal apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border are down from peaks in the early 2000s.

It has been difficult for many to come to terms with the trauma of Feb. 14, 2018, when a former Stoneman student with an assault gun massacred 17 people at the Parkland, Florida campus. A year after the deadliest high-school shooting in U.S. history, students from Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School look back with pride on the network they have built to stem the country’s epidemic of gun violence through the ballot box.

A draft resolution calling for the impeachment of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, has been circulating among Virginia Democrats over allegations of sexual assault, and might be introduced as soon as Monday.

When news emerged that Qatar may have unwittingly helped bail out a New York skyscraper owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser, eyebrows were raised in Doha. This is because Kushner was a close ally of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - a key architect of a regional boycott against Qatar, which Riyadh accuses of sponsoring terrorism. Doha denies the charge.

Saudi Arabia had “absolutely nothing to do” with the National Enquirer’s reporting on an extramarital relationship involving Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, the kingdom’s minister of state for foreign affairs said. “This is something between the two parties, we have nothing to do with it,” Adel al-Jubeir told CBS’ “Face the Nation”

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order asking federal government agencies to dedicate more resources and investment into research, promotion and training on artificial intelligence (AI), a senior administration official said. Under the American AI Initiative, the administration will direct agencies to prioritize AI investments in research and development, increase access to federal data and models for that research and prepare workers to adapt to the era of AI.

World

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Tehran, Iran, February 11, 2019. Official President website/Handout

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians marched and some burned U.S. flags to mark the 40th anniversary of the triumph of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Shi’ite cleric who toppled the Shah in an Islamic Revolution that rattles the West to this day.

Venezuela’s most successful financial operations in recent years have not taken place on Wall Street, but in primitive gold-mining camps in the nation’s southern reaches. With the country’s economy in meltdown, an estimated 300,000 fortune hunters have descended on this mineral-rich jungle area to earn a living pulling gold-flecked earth from makeshift mines.

The 2016 Brexit vote spurred British companies into increasing investment in European Union countries sharply, likely at the expense of spending at home, an academic study showed. According to researchers from the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, the referendum result led to a 12 percent increase in foreign direct investment transactions from Britain into the EU between mid-2016 and September 2018.

Sustainability

Some of the world’s major palm oil users, including Nestle, Unilever, and Mondelez, are trying out new satellite technology to track deforestation, as pressure grows on them to source the ingredient responsibly. Critics say it may boost a corporation's green credentials, but does little to stop mass deforestation.

Swiss voters rejected a proposal to limit urban sprawl by freezing the size of construction zones, rebuffing a plea from environmentalists to protect open spaces from the advance of bulldozers.

Climate change is the top security concern in a poll conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, followed by Islamist terrorism and cyber attacks while respondents in a growing number of countries worried about the power and influence of the United States.

Reuters TV

Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ makes history at the Grammy awards by winning both record and song of the year, a first for rap. The night also celebrated girl power with top prize Album of the Year going to country artist Kacey Musgraves.

Rap scores a breakthrough at the Grammy awards
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