Here are the biggest stories at the start of the week:
1. Government Shutdown enters Day 3
Senate Majority Leader has set a 12:00pm EST vote on a continuing resolution meant to keep the government funded until February 8, 2018. Talks were on again, off again yesterday, with DACA and “The Wall” dominating discussions.
In the meantime, Federal agencies continue to “lose” evidence involved in current investigations.
2. Turkey continues military operations in Afrin area of Syria
Called Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish action is claimed to be aimed at Kurdish separatists in the Afrin area, known as the PKK or the YPG, depending on who is reporting. Bashar al-Assad had promised to defend all Kurds living in the area, but cannot risk attacking a NATO member, so has been unable to fulfill those promises.
Turkey claims to have “cleared” 11 villages, and airstrikes continue along the border.
— Guy Elster (@guyelster) January 20, 2018
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) January 21, 2018
3. AT&T cuts jobs after two major victories at the Federal level
AT&T talked about how the new tax cuts would help its workers, and the “net neutrality” ruling additionally helps the telecom behemoth in the future.
Despite the twin victories, the company announced major layoffs in its management divisions. The cuts are estimated at around 4,600 employees. These cuts follow on the heels of the 10,000 workers that are being shed over the next three years that was announced late last year.
4. New “Person of Interest” in Las Vegas Shooting investigation
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo announced that while Stephen Paddock is still considered the only shooter on October 1, 2017, and Marilou Danley is not expected to be charged, there is yet another “person of interest” in the case.
“The FBI has an ongoing case against an individual of Federal interest.”
The Sheriff was not willing to give any indications to the identity of the “person,” but when asked if formal charges could be expected in under 60 days, Sheriff Lombardo replied, but if the FBI is involved, we can expect information to come out soon.
Recent reports showed that Paddock had sent some emails to an unknown other concerning the sale of weapons. This could be the topic of interest, as there is no published evidence that Mr. Paddock was a licensed arms dealer.
5. Wealth inequality continues to grow at a rapid pace
Oxfam released a new report today that shows that the “Top 1%” has amassed 82% of all new wealth created since 2010, while the bottom half was completely shut out. The report goes on to say that billionaires’ wealth has grown six times faster than the average worker.
The report, titled “Reward Work, not Wealth“, used data from Credit Suisse to evaluate changes in wealth in the last decade.
“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system,” Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement.