October 9, 2019

At least two people are dead after a gunman reportedly opened fire near a synagogue in eastern Germany.

Police in the German city of Halle said Wednesday that "several shots were fired" and "the suspected perpetrators fled in a vehicle," The New York Times reports.

One suspect is now in custody, and several injuries have been reported, CNN reports. One person was killed on the street near the synagogue, while another was killed in a kebab restaurant, The Wall Street Journal reports. A German newspaper reports a suspect threw a grenade into the synagogue’s cemetery, The Washington Post reports, but police have not confirmed that explosives were used.

A witness told CNN they saw a man wearing army clothing and a steel helmet with what seemed to be a machine gun, with video apparently of the gunman being posted on social media. Additional information about the shooting and the detained suspect is not yet available, but Halle police say the are currently "investigating" and "stabilizing the situation."

Police haven't provided information about the target of the attack, The Associated Press notes, but it comes on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Last year, anti-Semitic crime rose nearly 20 percent in Germany, Reuters reports. Germany's federal prosecutor is investigating the shooting, the Times reports, writing this is "a step indicating that the authorities were treating the attack as politically motivated." Brendan Morrow

4:17 p.m.

It's not Facebook's job to keep false information off your timeline.

At least that's the perspective of Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, which he shared with shared with The Washington Post ahead of a speech at Georgetown University on Thursday. While Zuckerberg says he's worried about "the erosion of truth" in society, he's just not ready to root out falsehoods on his platform altogether.

Zuckerberg and Facebook have been criticized for letting false news stories and even claims from politicians stand on the site. That issue was even the focus of an experimental ad from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in which she claimed Zuckerberg endorsed President Trump for re-election just to see if the site would take it down. Facebook didn't, and on Thursday, Zuckerberg gave a reason why. "I don't think people want to live in a world where you can only say things that tech companies decide are 100 percent true," he said, adding that he fears "potentially cracking down too much" on free expression even if it can lead to confusion.

Still, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the power Facebook has on political systems is very much on his mind. He even considered banning political ads on Facebook altogether, he said Thursday at Georgetown. But that would result in a site that "favors incumbents and whoever the media covers," Zuckerberg added. Read more of Zuckerberg's political thoughts at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:14 p.m.

President Trump just created an "enormous headache" for himself with his plan to hold the 2020 Group of Seven summit at his Florida resort, according to Fox News' Andrew Napolitano.

The network's legal analyst reacted Thursday after the White House announced the 2020 meeting of world leaders would be held at the president's Doral golf resort, calling this a violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits the president from accepting "any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

After quoting from this clause, Napolitano noted its purpose is to "keep the president of the United States of America from profiting off of foreign money," and so Trump holding the summit at his private resort is "about as direct and profound a violation of the emoluments clause as one could create."

The White House has claimed the resort was simply the best venue for the event and that Trump will not profit from it. Napolitano, however, dismissed this defense.

"The president owns shares of stock in a corporation that is one of the owners of this, along with many other investors," Napolitano said. "He also owns shares of stock in the corporation that manages it. Those corporations will receive a great deal of money from foreign heads of state because this is there. That's exactly what the emoluments clause was written to prohibit."

Fox host Neil Cavuto also sounded fairly baffled by Trump's decision, saying he'd think Trump would "bend over backwards to avoid" holding the event at a location with his name on it. "You would think so," Napolitano responded. "But you know the president. He loves a fight, and he just picked another one." Brendan Morrow

3:31 p.m.

The riddle of who will help Warner Bros. flesh out its villainous The Batman cast has just been solved.

Paul Dano has landed the role of the iconic villain the Riddler in The Batman, which stars Robert Pattinson in the title role, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Jonah Hill was reportedly being considered to play the Riddler or the Penguin in the movie, but Hill recently dropped out of talks, and Variety reports the studio "had an offer ready to go out to Dano once Hill passed on the role."

The Riddler was previously brought to life by Jim Carrey in 1995's Batman Forever, as well as by Cory Michael Smith on Fox's Gotham. Dano's casting comes just days after Zoe Kravitz also boarded the project as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright is reportedly set to play Commissioner Gordon.

The Batman will see Pattinson take over as the caped crusader after Ben Affleck portrayed him in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, also having a cameo in Suicide Squad. Affleck was originally set to both star in and direct The Batman, but he said earlier this year he "couldn't crack" the movie and decided it was "time to let someone else take a shot at it." He was replaced as director by War for the Planet of the Apes' Matt Reeves.

Reeves has confirmed The Batman will feature a "rogues gallery" of villains, so prepare for the bat signal to be lit up as many more members of the cast are announced in the coming months. The film hits theaters in 2021. Brendan Morrow

2:48 p.m.

The G7 at Doral might be the only thing President Trump can look forward to right now.

After announcing that the Group of Seven summit would be held at Trump's Miami resort next year, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney took Trump's impeachment inquiry to a place he certainly didn't want it to go. Mulvaney essentially admitted to a quid pro quo agreement with Ukraine over security funding, and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) says it has made things "much, much worse" for Trump and company.

When asked why the Trump administration withheld security aid to Ukraine earlier this year, Mulvaney didn't just say it was because Trump wanted the country to probe the DNC email hack it likely had nothing to do with. And he didn't just let his comments stand when ABC News' Jon Karl said Mulvaney had just described a quid pro quo. Mulvaney suggested withholding aid was something the U.S. does "all the time with foreign policy," and that the press should "get over it."

Schiff, who is currently leading the House's impeachment investigation into Trump's urging of Ukraine to investigate his political rival, kept his response to Mulvaney's admittance simple. "Mr. Mulvaney's acknowledgment means that things have gone from very, very bad to much, much worse," Schiff said, not saying whether he'd like to bring Mulvaney in for congressional testimony and letting his comments stand from there. Kathryn Krawczyk

2:40 p.m.

President Trump plans to hold next year's Group of Seven summit at his golf resort, and former President George W. Bush's press secretary isn't happy.

Ari Fleischer, who served as Bush's press secretary from 2001 through 2003, slammed Trump Thursday after the White House announced the 2020 Group of Seven summit will be held at Trump's Doral golf resort in Miami, as The Washington Post reports.

This, Fleischer tweeted, is "one of the most foolish, unseemly things the [White House] could do."

During a press briefing Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney defended the choice by saying the Trump-owned property is "the best physical facility for this meeting" and saying that Trump wouldn't profit in "any way, shape or form." But when asked if the White House would share documents showing how they arrived at this decision, he said, "absolutely not." Brendan Morrow

2:22 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that Turkey has agreed to a ceasefire in Syria.

Pence after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a press conference Turkey will "pause" its operation in Syria "in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours." Turkey's offensive, Operation Peace Spring, will be "halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal," Pence also said.

This announcement comes after Trump pulled back troops from northern Syria last week, clearing the way for Turkey's military to enter Kurdish-held zones in a decision that drew bipartisan criticism. A senior Turkish official told CNN after the announcement, "we got exactly what we wanted." Kurds worked with the U.S. in northern Syria to fight the Islamic State; Turkey considers Kurds terrorists. Kurdish troops will now have a brief period to vacate the area, where dozens of Kurds have died in recent days upon Turkey's incursion.

As part of the agreement, the United States won't impose additional sanctions on Turkey, Pence said, with Trump planning to withdraw the Turkish sanctions put into effect this week once the ceasefire is permanent.

Trump tweeted after Pence's announcement that "this deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago" and "there needed to be some 'tough' love in order to get it done." He added, "This is a great day for civilization." Brendan Morrow

2:09 p.m.

The quid pro quo didn't just happen. It happens "all the time."

During a Thursday press conference, Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Ukraine's disproven involvement with the 2016 DNC email hack played a role in why the U.S. withheld security aid for Ukraine. And when ABC News' Jon Karl explained that Mulvaney had just admitted to a quid pro quo, he simply responded with "we do that all the time with foreign policy."

Trump's camp has claimed there was "no quid pro quo" in his call with Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky, and that security aid for Ukraine wasn't held up because Zelensky didn't move to probe former Vice President Joe Biden. But the administration has still neglected to answer just why that aid was withheld — until Mulvaney's admission Thursday.

"The look-back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about" when deciding whether to release aid to Ukraine earlier this year, Mulvaney said, referring to Trump's belief that Ukraine had something to do with the DNC hack. He later said it had nothing to with Biden, and then told the gathered reporters to "get over it" when it came to the admitted quid pro quo. Kathryn Krawczyk

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