Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The next to be indicted? “Days after he predicted the president’s eldest son would soon be indicted, longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone is appealing for contributions to a legal defense fund, saying he expects to be charged with a crime.”
* The president’s favorite tabloid: “[Donald Trump] and his lawyer at the time, Michael D. Cohen, devised a plan [before the 2016 election] to buy up all the dirt on Mr. Trump that the National Enquirer and its parent company had collected on him, dating back to the 1980s, according to several of Mr. Trump’s associates.”
* This would be a very bad idea: “The Trump administration is weighing a plan to send hundreds of captured ISIS fighters to an Iraqi prison after other countries refused to take them, and to send several of the highest-value fighters to the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, according to five U.S. officials and two European diplomats.”
* NAFTA: “President Trump is telling Canadian officials they have until Friday to sign on to his major new North American trade deal, threatening to leave them behind… But according to Congress, foreign officials and even members of Trump’s own administration, Friday isn’t the drop-dead deadline for Canada that the president is suggesting.”
* Detroit: “When public school students in Detroit return to their classrooms next week for the first day of the school year, the water fountains will be dry. Since 2016, water testing in the district has found elevated levels of lead or copper in dozens of schools. And while it is unclear how many of the district’s 106 schools currently have water quality issues, the drinking water will be turned off in all of them, Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti said on Wednesday.”
* According to David Farenthold, who knows of what he speaks, Trump used to have 19 companies paying a licensing fee to use his name on their products. This year, only two of those companies remained, and it looks like one of them recently closed its doors.
* This was a misguided rescission fight the White House was likely to lose anyway: “The administration has dropped a proposal to cut billions of dollars in foreign aid after bipartisan resistance from members of Congress who considered it a backdoor effort to hijack spending they had already approved.”
* Stories like these make me nervous: “For over a year, the Chinese government has withheld lab samples of a rapidly evolving influenza virus from the United States – specimens needed to develop vaccines and treatments, according to federal health officials. Despite persistent requests from government officials and research institutions, China has not provided samples of the dangerous virus, a type of bird flu called H7N9. In the past, such exchanges have been mostly routine under rules established by the World Health Organization.”
* A school teacher in Texas had a heart attack last year and ended up with nearly $109,000 in medical bills, despite having insurance. Then his story generated national media attention. Then his local hospital said that it “was willing to accept $782.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.