President Trump failed to heed advice from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis when deciding to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, The Hill reports.
Mattis and Tillerson told Trump that the move would endanger American troops and diplomats, The Associated Press reported. But Trump forged on, and the plan to move the embassy — announced Wednesday — has already sparked outrage in the region that may result in protests. Tillerson released a statement after Trump's Wednesday announcement that said the State Department had “implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions."
Mattis and Tillerson avoided questions from reporters after the president's announcement, though The Hill reports both told the press that they had spoken with the president about the move and made their opinions known. Neither confirmed or denied opposition to the action. Elianna Spitzer
The cells in our body are constantly changing and mutating, and it's specific harmful types of mutations that can cause cancer. Logic would suggest that larger organisms, which have larger volumes of cells, should develop cancer a lot more often than smaller ones.
This does not hold true for elephants.
Elephants have a remarkable ability to avoid cancer, CNN reported; only about 5 percent of elephants die of cancer, compared to about 25 percent of humans. That's why researchers are studying the massive mammals for clues into how they manage to fight back against cancer so well, in the hopes that some of their findings can be applied to treat cancer in humans, too.
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Cell Reports, scientists reveal the discovery of a gene in elephants that might explain their resilience. Called a "zombie gene," it can detect cancer as soon as it develops in a cell, and kill that cell off before it can divide and create more cancerous cells. By observing the "zombie gene" at work in elephants, the researchers were able to learn that its self-destruct button is triggered by damaged DNA — which is why it responds to the mutations in cancer cells.
There's a long road ahead before the "zombie gene" can be used as a treatment for humans with cancer, but it's "one piece of a larger puzzle," study author Vincent Lynch said. Read more at CNN. Shivani Ishwar
You might want to keep a close eye on your bank accounts, because something wicked this way comes.
The FBI recently warned banks that cybercriminals are preparing to perform a global ATM heist. Within the "coming days," criminals plan to infiltrate banks or payment card processors and withdraw millions of dollars from ATMs using fake cards, per an FBI notice reported by cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs. The advisory came from a "confidential alert the FBI shared with banks privately on Friday," Krebs added.
Referred to as an "unlimited operation," the choreographed scheme will seek to access customers' bank card information with the help of malware. Once the hackers have gained access to accounts, they'll be able to manipulate a number of features, such as withdrawal amounts, limits on ATM transactions, and account balances. Per The Verge, the card data will then be sent to accomplices who can reprint it "onto reusable magnetic strip cards" to be used at individual ATMs, where they can quickly withdraw the maximum amount of money available from the compromised accounts.
The FBI alert sent to banks Friday explained that "historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities," per Krebs' report. The breaches also tend to occur on holidays when banks are closed, or on Saturday evenings when banks are beginning to close.
Paul Manafort's lawyers on Tuesday opted not to present a case nor call any witnesses, resting the defense for the former Trump campaign chairman just one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team finished two weeks of prosecution, reports CNN.
Manafort has been charged with tax evasion, money laundering, and bank fraud, among other charges. He is also accused of failing to report millions of dollars he earned while working as a political consultant in Ukraine ahead of joining the Trump campaign. Manafort's former bookkeeper and accountant testified against him, as did his former deputy, Rick Gates, who said Manafort used offshore accounts to hide money.
Manafort did not take the stand. The Washington Post reports that both sides will get two hours to present closing arguments tomorrow, and then the verdict will be in the hands of the jury. Summer Meza
If former FBI agent Peter Strzok had any money problems, the #resistance has almost certainly helped solve them.
Strzok was fired from the bureau Friday, after the FBI's inspector general found he had sent text messages to FBI lawyer Lisa Page that revealed antipathy toward President Trump. Strzok's lawyer announced the dismissal Monday, and by midday Tuesday, a GoFundMe online fundraiser had already rounded up more than $290,000 to cover Strzok's "hefty — and growing — legal costs and his lost income."
The fundraiser, set up by the "friends of special agent Peter Strzok," characterizes Strzok's firing as "highly politicized," saying "he needs your help" to overcome the difficulties of his dismissal, though it's unclear exactly what legal costs have been incurred. Strzok tweeted his thanks for the "extraordinary outpouring of support" from "thousands of fellow everyday citizens." Those everyday citizens poured more than 7,000 donations into Strzok's legal fund, with many donors contributing between $5 and $25.
Strzok, as a 22-year veteran of the bureau, was likely making a six-figure salary. But the GoFundMe notes that he's "not a wealthy lobbyist and he's not interested in using his notoriety for personal gain," so he apparently doesn't have the "deep pockets" he'll need to defend himself. His pockets have certainly been deepened now — the fundraiser already exceeded its original goal of $150,000, and is well on its way to surpassing the new $350,000 goal. Summer Meza
The conservative radio host appeared on Trump's favorite morning show Tuesday, where co-host Steve Doocy asked him this month's trending question: Do you believe the media is the enemy of the people?
"They're not the enemy of the people, but they are the enemy of the president," Carr responded, and asserted that Trump's attacks on the press are just responses "to the insane attacks against him." Former President Barack Obama deserved hate after blocking Fox News from a presidential interview, Carr said, but Trump is "like King Lear: a man more sinned against than sinning."
Carr's comparison invites a quick refresher on the full plot of Shakespeare's King Lear. The titular monarch is growing old and wants to split his kingdom between his three daughters — or two sons and a favorite daughter, if you will. One might also hear Carr's comparison and note the similarities between Lear's descent into madness and the recent charge from a former top aide that Trump is "mentally declined." Kathryn Krawczyk
There's a new argument in the Apple vs. Android rivalry. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged Turks to stop using iPhones as a way to stick it to the U.S., reports The Guardian.
Erdogan argued that Turkish citizens should boycott American electronic products in order to protest the sanctions imposed last week. President Trump doubled tariffs on steel and aluminum after Erdogan declared "economic war." Turkey's detention of an American pastor angered U.S. evangelicals, reports The Guardian, pushing Trump to punish the nation with strict sanctions that have contributed to the Turkish lira's downward spiral. Now, Erdogan wants revenge.
"We will boycott U.S. electronic products," he said. "If they have iPhone, the other side has Samsung." Erdogan additionally encouraged citizens to use Turkish smartphone brands. Turkey's president dug his heels in on his theory that the economy is suffering as a result of a larger conspiracy against the nation. "They do not refrain from using the economy as a weapon against us, as they tried in the areas of diplomacy, military, or efforts for social and political instability," he said.
Erdogan didn't offer any other details about his proposed boycott, but his defiance makes it clear that he's not ready to ease the diplomatic tensions between him and Trump. The lira recovered slightly Tuesday, but the nation still faces an economic crisis that could worsen before it improves. Read more at The Guardian. Summer Meza
Pennsylvania set to release unprecedented report naming 300 Catholic priests accused of child sex abuse
The names of more than 300 Catholic priests facing child sex abuse allegations in Pennsylvania will be revealed Tuesday — and some of them are still in service.
Pennsylvania's attorney general launched an investigation into six of the state's eight Catholic dioceses after separate probes into the other two dioceses revealed rampant abuse, per The Associated Press. Now, two years and hundreds of allegations later, the 900-page report is ready to be released.
The report contains more than 90 names from Pittsburgh's diocese, including priests Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik said were still in ministry, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "There is no priest or deacon in an assignment today against whom there was a substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse," Zubik said Friday, implying that those facing unsubstantiated claims may still serve. Zubik acknowledged he'll have to meet with concerned parishioners whose priests appear on the list.
Decades of abuse allegations will appear in Tuesday's report, which was set to be released six weeks ago but was delayed by priests' petitions, per The Morning Call, a local Pennsylvania newspaper. Names of priests currently challenging the accusations will also be redacted in Tuesday's report.
Still, the Tuesday report will be one of the world's largest collective records of church sexual abuse, the Morning Call says. One piece of the report, which was kept largely secret until its impending release, damningly declares that "priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing: They hid it all." Kathryn Krawczyk