1. FBI Director Wray pressured to fire Deputy Director McCabe
It has been reported by the New York Times and others that Andrew McCabe plans to retire in March.
He is under fire for his mis-handling of the Clinton email investigation, including failing to turn over 450,000 emails, instead sending them to a private contractor.
Axios now reports that Christopher Wray is under pressure from AG Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump to fire McCabe before his retirement.
Not sure what practical result that could have, unless there are concerns that McCabe is not going to leave his post. We wrote last year that Christopher Wray would be unlikely to upset the status quo.
This is an ongoing story.
2. Pres. Trump approves new tariffs on solar panels and washing machines
With the stated intent of level the playing field for US manufacturers to compete with Chinese industry, Donald Trump approved two new tariffs recommended by the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The tariffs were sought last year by Suniva Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection in April, who claim that as many as 30 US solar factories have closed in the past 5 years and that China is planning to “flood the market.” We will need to follow up on that to check the veracity of such claims.
No word yet who requested the tariff on heavy washing machines.
3. Alaska earthquake sets off tsunami warnings
At this point, there are no reports of damages nor tsunamis striking the US coast.
4. Russian spy ship current sits off the coast of North Carolina
As reported last week, a Russian observation vessel is making its way up the East Coast of the United States, possibly in advance of the US Navy training operations scheduled early this year. While routine in nature, 2018 has seen tensions rise among the world’s most powerful nations over North Korea and the Middle East.
5. Hazardous volcano eruption imminent say Phillipine authorities
Philippine authorities raised the alert level for the Mayon volcano that has been emitting massive plumes of smoke and ash for some time now. By lifting the warning level from three to four on Monday, authorities are indiciating that a “hazardous eruption is imminent.” Massive evacuations have been taking place for some time now.