November 6, 2017 Last Updated 7:08 am

The New Normal: Flynn charges near; US Commerce Secretary’s Russian business ties exposed; Yet another mass shooting

Morning Brief: Leisurely Sundays are a thing of the past as news reports of corruption and death become so familiar that most newsrooms now have established protocols for handling the flood of news

The weekend used to be a time when Americans could concentrate on sports rather that politics, but since the two have merged (as have media and politics) it has been harder to get away from the news. Sunday was simply incredible — and tragic.

The cable news networks had a hard time concentrating as each news story broke: 1) Mueller is closing in on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and his son; 2) newly released documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross mislead senators aabout his business ties to Russian figures under US sanctions; and 3) yet another mass shooting took place, this time in a church in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, resulting in 26 dead.

It was, in other words, another day in Trump’s America. But it is also another day in the world, as the information dug up in the Paradise Papers will have consequences in many national capitols as the details are reported.

It is good to remind ourselves that this is not supposed to be normal. Our representatives, and those selected to serve as cabinet officers in the White House are not supposed to be exposed as corrupt agents of a foreign government; are not supposed to live our lives fearful that we will be shot up in hour houses of worship, at outdoor concerts, or run over while biking along the water. This not what normal is supposed to look like.

Yet, we are told over and over again, this is what freedom in America looks like.

NBC News, Julia Ainsley, Carol Lee and Ken Dilanian:

Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation

Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists:

Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia Links And Piggy Banks Of The Wealthiest 1 Percent

A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.

The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.

One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

CNN, Madison Park, Dakin Andone and Kaylee Hartung:

Texas church shooting leaves 26 dead, including 8 members of one family

At least eight members of the same family were among the 26 people killed Sunday when a man armed with a rifle burst into the sanctuary of a church in Texas and began firing.

The massacre left about 20 others wounded in the small town of Sutherland Springs, located about 30 miles east of San Antonio.



Elsewhere in the world…

The New York Times: Saudi Crown Prince’s Mass Purge Upends a Longstanding System

Daily Mail: Trump says Japan will be able to shoot ‘menace’ North Korea’s missiles ‘out of the sky’ once it completes its purchase of ‘massive’ amounts of US military equipment
Catalan News: More roads blocked in Catalonia to protest imprisonment of officials



Rupert Murdoch is oh-so-close to fulfilling his dream of taking complete ownership of pay-TV platform Sky so he can spread his Fox News brand beyond the US borders.

News that Bill O’Reilly paid out $32 million over sexual harassment claims, then Fox News renewed his contract do not seem to be worrying regulators. But Sky acted by taking Fox News off its UK channel line-up.

Now Ofcom has concluded that Fox News programs that featured Murdoch mouthpieces Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson violated U.K. broadcasting impartiality rules. Will it have an effect, or is what Fox News does simply the new normal?

Variety, Stewart Clarke:

British Media Regulator Censures Fox News for Breaking Impartiality Rules

Regarding “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Ofcom evaluated highly critical statements made on the program about British government and police officials in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing in May, including “accusations that particular individuals and public bodies had done nothing to: counter terrorism; stop radicalization; protect citizens from terrorism; or protect ‘thousands of underage girls’ from rape and abuse.”

…In the case of “Hannity,” Ofcom investigated the outspoken presenter’s monologue in January regarding President Trump’s proposed travel ban. An opening segment of the show had video clips of public figures opposed to the order, which saw those individuals “repeatedly dismissed or ridiculed” by Hannity, Ofcom said.

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