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Daily News Digest – December 24, 2018

Good morning and happy Christmas Eve! Here’s your Daily News for Monday, December 24.


1. Where we are.

  • Negotiations between the White House and Senate Democrats for how to fund border security continue amid a partial government shutdown.
  • There are two updates that can give you an idea of where things stand…
  • FIRST, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney says President Trump is willing to come off the $5 billion number hoping to meet Democrats in the middle.
  • “We moved off of the five and we hope they move up from their 1.3,” Mulvaney said.
  • SECOND, Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Democrats would be willing to support a lot more funding for border security upgrades so long as it’s not for the proverbial “wall.”
  • Asked whether he’s willing to increase the price tag as long as the money is not spent on a wall, Durbin responded: “Absolutely.”
  • So, essentially President Trump is okay with less money as long as he can call it a wall, and Democrats are okay with more money as long as they don’t have to call it a wall.
  • Read more HERE.


2. Trump hastens Mattis’ exit.

  • Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will leave his post on January 1 instead staying on until the end February as originally planned.
  • That’s what President Trump has asked, or at least that’s what he asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to tell Mattis.
  • Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will become Acting Defense Secretary until a full-time replacement can be nominated and confirmed.
  • Shanahan is a longtime Boeing Co. executive who came to the Pentagon in early 2017. He was Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems and of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. In a March 2016 report, the Puget Sound Business Journal called Shanahan a Boeing “fix-it” man who was central to getting the 787 Dreamliner on track after production problems in the program’s early years.
  • The early departure came after a few days of criticism that clearly bothered the president. In a series of tweets, Trump appeared to question why he had put Mattis in his Cabinet in the first place and said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will take over as acting secretary on Jan. 1 to cover the accelerated departure.
  • “If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!” Trump tweeted.
  • “When President Obama ingloriously fired Jim Mattis, I gave him a second chance. Some thought I shouldn’t, I thought I should. Interesting relationship-but I also gave all of the resources that he never really had. Allies are very important-but not when they take advantage of U.S.” he continued.
  • Full story HERE.


3. Galleria has had enough.

  • Riverchase Galleria has banned 25-year-old Carlos Chaverst Jr., the leader of an ongoing protest of a police shooting last month.
  • Police issued a warning for Chaverst on Sunday night and told him he would be arrested if he returns to the property for a year.
  • Activists have been protesting the shooting death of 21-year-old Emantic Bradford Jr., who authorities mistook for the suspect in a shopping mall shooting on Thanksgiving night. A police officer who heard the initial shots fatally wounded Bradford moments later after seeing him with a gun.
  • Chaverst said Sunday night the trespass warning is part of what he called the “overall cover-up” of what happened to Bradford.
  • Meanwhile, the investigation into that shooting continues at the state level.
  • The victim’s family joined some activists to criticize Attorney General Steve Marshall for assuming control of the investigation amid an apparent conflict of interest from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr.
  • Reporting for Birmingham Watch, Mary Sell dove deepinto the question of AGs assuming local cases and found it is a pretty standard occurrence, particularly if there appears to be a conflict.
  • More than 90 cases have been assumed by the state in the less than two years Marshall has been AG, she found.
  • Mary’s story is well worth your time this morning.


4. Matthew Stokes: Story of the Magi is a gift to us.

  • ADN Columnist Matthew Stokes has a touch of the poet in him this week.
  • Specifically, he takes inspiration from the “Coming of the Magi,” T.S. Eliot’s classic retelling of the journey of the Three Wise Men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.
  • Many stories and traditions get papered over during the joy and excitement of the holiday season, he writes. But the journey of the Magi is a story of struggle that we couldn’t ignore.
  • If fact, it can serve as a helpful lesson during a time that some find especially lonely and difficult.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Life is hard, even at time with material abundance like we have never seen. We should not forget that life is hard for those around us, and we should not feel ashamed to confront that our lives are often difficult. We often hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but at Christmas we are reminded that really isn’t true. 
“Instead, there is a star above a stable, and as we journey there with the Wise Men of old, we find redemption and forgiveness, and the everlasting promise that all wrongs will one day be set right.”
  • Read Matthew’s full Christmas column HERE.


5. Gerald Dial: Points of Wisdom for New (And Old) Lawmakers.

  • Gerald Dial was first elected to the Alabama Legislature in 1974. He started in the House and then moved to the Senate, where he built a long and legendary career.
  • All told, Dial spent 40 years representing his area in the State House. And from that time, he’s learned a lot of lessons.
  • In a special op-ed today, Dial, who is retiring, conveys those lessons he has learned and passes them along to lawmakers new and old.
  • There are seven points of wisdom, though if you read closely you can glean a lot more than that.
  • Something tells me there might be some competition for Chairman of the Parking Committee this term.
  • Read his full column HERE.


News Briefs.

Facebook suspends accounts
  • Facebook has suspended five accounts linked to the disinformation scam in Alabama’s 2017 Senate special election.
  • The New York Times and Washington Post revealed a covert operation to use Russian-style tactics to confuse voters, depress turnout and help Sen. Doug Jones defeat Roy Moore.
  • Suspensions include Jonathon Morgan, a social media researcher who has compiles a report on Russian activities for the U.S. Senate.
  • “We take a strong stand against people or organizations that create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing,” Facebook said.
  • Full story HERE.
Stock jitters
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the CEOs of six major banks Sunday in an apparent attempt to reassure jittery financial markets coming off a turbulent week.
  • Mnuchin disclosed the calls with the heads of Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo in a tweet about the private conversations.
  • Mnuchin said the CEOs all assured him they have ample money to finance all their normal operations, even though there haven’t been any serious liquidity concerns rattling the market.
  • Worries about slowing economic growth and rising interest rates saddled the U.S. market with its worst week in more than seven years.
  • Wall Street was poised for a higher opening today.
  • Full story HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: Story of the Magi is a gift to us
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gerald Dial: Points of Wisdom for New (and Old) Lawmakers.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mattis leaving Pentagon sooner than planned, Shanahan tapped
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – White House: Trump would accept less money for border wall
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mall bans Alabama mall shooting protest organizer
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Treasury Secretary talks to bank CEOs amid Wall Street jitters
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Montgomery to have state’s first conversion charter schools.
AL.COM – Protest organizer Carlos Chaverst Jr. banned from Riverchase Galleria for one year
AL.COM – Alabama’s top business stories for 2018
AL.COM – ‘Addicted for life’: A surge of vaping among teens alarms Alabama
AL.COM – Boeing invests $250K to train high schoolers
AL.COM – Columnist Dana McCain:  My kid made me care about Syria
AL.COM – Columnist Cameron Smith:  Take another look at your Christmas tree
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Prattville senior will join All-America cheer team in London for New Years parade
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Kick-start 2019: Bowl win fuels Troy Trojans toward next year
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Hair’s flare: Autauga’s Carr mops up in Generals’ big year
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – VIDEO: U.S. bails on Syria, Alabama AG Steve Marshall is cleared by the ethics commission, Senator Doug Jones benefited from dirty tricks and more on Guerrilla Politics …
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Facebook suspends five accounts for ‘Russian tactics’ in Doug Jones’ election
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Homecoming: Wickles Pickles returning production to Alabama
BIRMINGHAM WATCH – Not Just Galleria Shooting, AG Takeover of Local Cases Common
LAGNIAPPE – Judge says Alabama judicial system is ‘dead-ass broke’… again
LAGNIAPPE – Columnist Jeff Poor:  ‘Deep state’ 1, Donald Trump 0
DOTHAN EAGLE – Parkinson’s patients trained to move big to achieve normal movement
DOTHAN EAGLE – Government Oversight: Dothan’s effort to widen Denton Road now headed to court hearing
DOTHAN EAGLE – Answer Man: Waddell House moved to Landmark Park 40 years ago
DOTHAN EAGLE – Daleville High band to perform at halftime of Outback Bowl
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – 96-year-old veteran nabs 8-point buck in one shot
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – 2 little pigs ‘pardoned’ ahead of Miami Christmas Eve feasts
TUSCALOOSA NEWS – 2 GBI workers resign after taking photo with dismembered man
DECATUR DAILY – Myers’ impact went beyond basketball
DECATUR DAILY – Morgan man dies after Decatur shooting; police seek suspect
TIMES DAILY – City adds a dozen businesses
TIMES DAILY – Commissioners discuss issues with legislators
TIMES DAILY – Christmas for Kids program in final push
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Westview’s Walk to Bethlehem
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – FLORALA TAKES TOURNEY TITLE: Lady Wildcats down Bethlehem for crown
ANDALUSIA STAR NEWS – Ministers: Real meaning of Christmas found in Bethlehem
TROY MESSENGER – Trojans make history with Dollar General Bowl victory
TROY MESSENGER – Photos: Troy vs. Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl
TROY MESSENGER – Photos: Trojan Walk
THE ANNISTON STAR – Last-minute holiday shoppers pack Oxford businesses Saturday afternoon
THE ANNISTON STAR – UPDATED: Plane makes emergency landing on I-20 near Eastaboga
THE ANNISTON STAR – Toys for Tots serves more than 1,600 children in Calhoun and nearby counties
GADSDEN TIMES – Nordgren named chair of Economic Development/Tourism committee
GADSDEN TIMES – Medical researchers fear wider spread of paralysis linked to mysterious polio-like virus
GADSDEN TIMES – County jail renovations move slowly
GADSDEN TIMES – Retiring Etowah County probate judge looks back on legacy of service
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Light up the night: Auburn teen makes Christmas light show
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Firehouse Subs gives grant to Opelika Fire Department
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS – Animals need foster homes for the holidays
SELMA TIMES JOURNAL – As city shrinks, Selma schools feel the pinch
CULLMAN TIMES – Distemper sparks 30 Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter dogs to be euthanized
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – County has 19 players named to 2018 All-State team
SHELBY COUNTY REPORTER – Columbiana Christmas Parade award winners recognized
THE MADISON RECORD – All-State Football Teams Feature Local Players
THE MADISON RECORD – Devan Davis to present concert at VBC
THE MADISON RECORD – LaBryan Ray Making A Statement At Alabama Football
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Reed secures $100,000 to improve security at Walker County Courthouse
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – SMS Holiday Kids program a ‘blessing’
DAILY MOUNTAIN EAGLE – Sights of the season
ATHENS NEWS COURIER – Alabama history gets boost from retired history professor
NEW YORK TIMES – Trump, Angry Over Mattis’s Rebuke, Removes Him 2 Months Early
NEW YORK TIMES – Roberts, Leader of Supreme Court’s Conservative Majority, Fights Perception That It Is Partisan
NEW YORK TIMES – Stock Market Rout Has Trump Fixated on Fed Chair Powell
WASHINGTON POST – Trump forces Mattis out two months early, names Shanahan acting defense secretary
WASHINGTON POST – Patrick Shanahan, Trump’s pick for acting defense secretary, steps into spotlight after Mattis’s ouster
WASHINGTON POST – Treasury secretary startles Wall Street with unusual pre-Christmas calls to top bank CEOs
USA TODAY – Government shutdown, day 2: White House makes ‘counteroffer,’ asks for less than $5B for border wall funding
USA TODAY – Shocking revelation in NY limo crash: Federal investigators can’t access vehicle
USA TODAY – ‘Bambi’ is deer poacher’s punishment after hundreds of trophy bucks slaughtered illegally
POLITICO – Trump owns the shutdown. And he’s OK with that.
POLITICO – Chief Justice Roberts issues stay in case of unknown subpoena
POLITICO – Murphy staffer discussed job with Democratic State Committee member after governor courted his support



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