The Hit List: March 15, 2019

  1. What emergency? The Senate has blocked the president’s southern border national emergency order. For his part, Trump tweeted “VETO!” upon hearing the news.
  2. British Parliament has voted 412 to 202 to delay the country’s departure for the European Union, but the move is clearly cosmetic, until clear plans can be put into place. Prime Minister Teresa May says there’s a “clear majority” against no-deal Brexit … even though a majority previously voted to leave the European Union.
  3. Morrie Tobin can be blamed — or credited — for opening the probe into corrupt admissions practices at universities. The stock trader was being investigated for “pump and dump” schemes, “in which people conspire to inflate the price of a stock so they can sell it at a profit,” Wall Street Journal reports. But in order to get leniency, Tobin tipped investigators off that the Yale head women’s soccer coach solicited a bribe to help get his daughter into the Ivy League school. The rest … is unfolding history.
  4. Phil Mickelson admitted on Twitter his family worked with admissions consultant Rick Singer, who’s at the center of the growing controversy. But Mickelson said he’s shocked by the allegations, and never committed any fraud.
  5. NASA Administrator Jim Birdenstine said the space agency is pursuing using privately made rockets for future missions, instead of its own. This is a major departure from the status quo, but reflects a shift toward embracing free enterprise to more quickly and efficiently get to the Moon again. While private enterprises continue to innovate space capabilities, NASA’s SLS rocket system has constantly been behind schedule.
  6. Facebook is back after one of its worst outages ever. The 24-hour down-time has been blamed on an internal system change. Facebook reps say it was not due to attack or outside forces.
  7. And as Facebook returns, Apple was having trouble with its iCloud service on Thursday as users couldn’t connect to email, calendar of “Find My Phone” services. Apple says it’s looking into the source of the problem.
  8. 39 tons of Butterball turkey have been recalled over fears of Salmonella. The company says the tainted products were packaged nine months ago and have likely all sold through, though customers may still have affected packages in their freezers.
  9. Experts say the US economy is cooling off. Growth estimates in a Wall Street survey revise economic output to jump 1.3%, down from the 2% expected late last year. Economists say trade policy is the biggest factor in the slowdown.
  10. Flipping off a cop is protected by the First Amendment, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The case stems from a woman who was first pulled over for speeding, given a more lenient non-moving violation, then flips the bird to the officer. In response, the cop pulled her over again and tacked on a moving ticket violation. The court says she has every right to show her dismay with the officer, who needed more probable cause to make the second stop.