National News at a Glance
Posted May 18, 2018 9:38 p.m. EDT
10 Dead in Santa Fe, Texas, School Shooting; Suspect Used Shotgun and Revolver
A teenager carried out a brazen assault on a southeast Texas high school Friday, killing 10 people and wounding 10 more, authorities said. Explosives were found in various locations, on and off campus, officials said. The suspect is Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at the school. During a brief court appearance Friday, a Texas judge refused bond for Pagourtzis. He appeared to have obtained a shotgun and a .38 revolver from his father, who legally owned them, authorities said. It was the deadliest attack on an American school campus since February, when 17 people were killed in Parkland, Florida.
After Deadly New Jersey Crash, Scrutinizing the Safety of School Buses
Stepping onto a yellow bus in the morning has long been part of a daily routine, as rote as brushing teeth and pouring a bowl of cereal, with parents relying on it to arrive like clock work to safely carry their children to school. But the New Jersey crash that killed two and injured dozens on Thursday has prompted many to focus on school bus safety, and whether more measures can be taken to protect passengers. Transportation officials say that school buses are, by far, the safest way to carry students.
Running Uphill: The Challenge of Unseating Feinstein
Kevin de León is one of the most prominent Democratic figures in the nation’s most Democratic state. He has drawn national attention for a spirited challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. But these days, de León is struggling for a toehold as he tries to negotiate the fraught and complicated terrain of trying to topple someone widely seen as a California institution. De León, 51, represents what many party members see as one of the leading faces of the next generation of California Democratic leadership amid calls for Feinstein to step aside to make room for the next class of leaders.
FBI Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims
President Donald Trump accused the FBI on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.” In fact, FBI agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia. The role of the informant is at the heart of the newest battle between top law enforcement officials and Trump’s congressional allies. Law enforcement officials have said that handing over documents about the informant would imperil the source’s anonymity and safety.
Trump Says He Will Nominate Acting Secretary to Lead VA
President Donald Trump said Friday that he intended to nominate Robert Wilkie, the acting secretary of Veterans Affairs, to take over the sprawling agency — a move the president said would surprise even Wilkie because he had not told him. The president slipped the announcement into remarks on prison reform. He praised several members of his Cabinet who had worked on the issue, including Wilkie who, “has done an incredible job at the VA and I’ll be informing him in a little while — he doesn’t know this yet — that we’re going to be putting his name up.”
House Farm Bill Collapses Amid Republican Disarray
The factional rancor threatening Republicans heading into the midterm elections this fall erupted into the open Friday when a slugfest among moderates, hard-line conservatives and House leaders over immigration and welfare policy sank the party’s multiyear farm policy bill. The twice-a-decade measure — which would have imposed strict new work requirements on food aid recipients while maintaining farm subsidies important to rural lawmakers — failed on a 213-198 vote. It was a rebuke of Speaker Paul Ryan by a key bloc of conservatives over his refusal to schedule an immediate vote on a restrictive immigration bill.
White House Keeps Details of Melania Trump’s Health Under Wraps
This week, the first lady, Melania Trump, underwent a procedure for what the White House called a benign kidney condition. Four days into her recovery for the procedure, which experts say typically has a one-day recuperation period, there has been no update on the first lady’s condition. The West Wing would not say whether she remained at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington. Neither would the East Wing. Trump’s recovery has been shrouded in secrecy by protective aides, citing patient privacy laws. But the silence comes amid an unusually long recovery period for a successful procedure.