Weekly news round-up: Feb. 26

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Weekly news round-up: Feb. 26

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

By Matthew Farr

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This week was a draining one for news in the U.S. and around the world. Here are some of the top stories:

Lt. General H.R. McMaster chosen as National Security Advisor

President Donald Trump has chosen the U.S. Army Lt. General H.R. McMaster as his new National Security Advisor, replacing Michael Flynn, who resigned from his post after misleading Vice President Mike Pence, according to the administration.  McMaster has been described as outspoken and intelligent, but he has little experience navigating Washington politics. A West Point grad with a doctorate in military history from UNC Chapel Hill, McMaster spent decades in the Army, and commanded tank units during the Persian Gulf War. McMaster becomes the third high ranking military official in Trump’s Cabinet, the other two being Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Homeland Security head John Kelly.

For more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/us/politics/mcmaster-national-security-adviser-trump.html?_r=0

7 earth-size planets that could be habitable for life discovered

A team of Belgian and NASA scientists announced discovery of a large batch of Earth-like planets in the right temperature which could sustain life. The system of seven planets resides in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system 40 light years from Earth. Based on the densities of the planets, scientists believe the planets could be rocky in nature, with the furthest planet in the system likely an “ice world,” like the Jupiter moon Europa, NASA reported. The TRAPPIST-1 star is considerably weaker than the earth’s sun, meaning liquid water is possible on planets much closer to the star.

For more: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-telescope-reveals-largest-batch-of-earth-size-habitable-zone-planets-around   

White House shuts out several major news outlets from press briefing

The White House shut out CNN, The New York Times, Politico and several other news outlets from attending a Gaggle in Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s office, an impromptu, less formal press briefing. The decision alarmed several veteran reporters and first amendment watchdogs. The decision also raised red flags because conservative outlets like One America News, were allowed access, while The New York Times was not. Several news networks have spoken out saying they would not attend press briefings if the ban is maintained and in the meantime will share notes with the banned news organizations.      

For more: http://cnnmon.ie/2mtBffr

Intel reports dispute threats posed by 7 travel ban nations

In a report, Homeland Security assessed that citizens from the seven countries in President Trump’s travel ban do not pose a specific risk for terror in the United States. The president has repeatedly used the threat of terrorists from the countries listed to justify the ban. When asked to comment, a DHS spokesperson said that this report is just part of a more comprehensive investigation. Trump announced last week that his administration is working on a new travel ban that will pass legal scrutiny, which the other did not.

For more: http://politi.co/2muq7io

Nerve agent used in assassination of Kim Jong-Un’s half brother, authorities said

Officials in Malaysia said they believe that VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim Jong-Nam, half brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, at a Kuala Lumpur airport this week. VX is officially listed as a banned chemical weapon and can cause death within minutes if it makes skin contact. South Korea has said it believes that Kim Jong-Un ordered the assassination.

For more: http://nyti.ms/2lxoXVD

This Week in Trump’s Tweets:

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