Buckle up 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Hope your coffee is extra strong, because there is a LOT to get through this morning. Here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By AJ Willingham.

1. White House

President Donald Trump shared highly classified information last week with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador to the US in a White House meeting, The Washington Post first reported Monday. Two former officials knowledgeable of the situation confirmed to CNN that the main points of the Post story are accurate: The President shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister. Trump administration reps have denounced the story. Dina Powell, the White House deputy national security adviser for strategy who was at the meeting, called it “false.” 

By the way, the President is legally allowed to declassify information by sharing it, if that’s what he thinks is best. The big concern here is that, by knowing bits and pieces of classified intelligence, the Russians could put together the bigger picture, namely who the US worked with to get the info and how they got it. Political concerns also are bouncing around inside the Beltway, with Republicans in Congress worried this latest crisis will sideline their agenda.

2. Syria 

The Syrian government has built a large crematorium near a notorious military prison in an effort to hide mass atrocities carried out there, the State Department said. Newly declassified photos and information show the regime may be killing as many as 50 detainees a day, then getting rid of the bodies. The claim represents yet another horrifying facet of the Syrian civil war, and the State Department is calling upon Russia to help end the devastation.

3. Cyberattack

Businesses around the world are recovering from a massive cyberattack that crippled computer networks over the weekend and on Monday, but there are still more questions than answers, namely: Who was responsible for the attack? Was it North Korea?

Yes, it apparently could be North Korea. Security researchers found similarities between the malware code used in this attack and malware used by a notorious hacking group with ties to North Korea. Meanwhile, police are saying you should NOT pay the ransom the hackers demand if your computer is infected. That just proves to the hackers their plan is working, and you may not get all of your information back anyway. 

4. Mexico

He reported extensively on drug trafficking and how it destroys communities. Now he’s dead. Mexican journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas was shot in Sinaloa, the home base of the savage cartel run by kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman. He is the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico this year. Valdez never let up on telling the stories of what drugs were doing to his country. Despite the risk, his paper was one of the only ones that kept covering El Chapo, even when the world thought he was dead. Valdez once told CNN his staff lived in fear — but would never back down from its coverage.

5. al Qaeda

What do you do when your terrorist organization starts losing its global appeal? You try to refresh your image. That’s what it looks like al Qaeda is doing with a new propaganda video featuring Osama bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden. The younger bin Laden is thought to be in his 20s, and in the video he calls for attacks on several groups including Jews, Westerners and Russians. Experts say Hamza bin Laden’s profile is rising within the organization, and he is probably trying to emulate his dad with his messages and way of speaking. 
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Breakfast Browse

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Millionaire to millennials: Stop buying avocado toast if you want a house
It’s a house or 30,000 avocado toasts, kid. There’s NO OTHER OPTION
Air Force lifting weight requirements for F-35 pilots
Fun fact: Even the previous 136-pound cutoff is 10 pounds heavier than the maximum weight of a jockey at the Kentucky Derby.
Celebrities offer advice to college graduates 
“Become rich and famous, and if that doesn’t work, write email newsletters.”
‘This is Us’ cast surprises fans with sob-worthy video

Isn’t everything on that show sob-worthy

Delta testing a face-scanning kiosk for baggage check 
If it saves us from having to talk to an actual person, then bring it on. 
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20,000
The number of jobs Ford reportedly will cut worldwide due to declining industry sales and the company’s move to invest in long-term priorities.

And finally …

Everything can get pretty heavy sometimes, so turn up the volume and watch this horse play with a rubber chicken. 
Yes, I know, it’s the second horse video this week. Sue me. (Click to view)
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The snooze button is way too overused. What’ll get you out of bed is a slap in the face … by an alarm clock.
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