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Navigating Trump's first 100 days

Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Welcome to day 100 of Trump's presidency. A lot has happened in a short amount of time, so we took a look back to the moments the defined some of the most memorable days.

Photos: Carolyn Kaster, Ryan Kang, David J. Phillip, Win McNamee, Wong Maye-E, Susan Walsh, Andrew Harnik, Kathy Willens / AP; Zhu, VeryBusyPeople / Flickr
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Trump's latest executive order targets trade abuse

Andrew Harnik / AP

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters Friday that the Trump Administration — under a new trade executive order — will issue a report aimed at finding the violations and abuses of U.S. trade agreements with other countries, especially those that are covered by the World Trade Organization.

What's next: The review will take place over an 80-day period, at the end of which the U.S. hopes to renegotiate some of its key trade deals. Ross emphasized the word "renegotiate," as withdrawing from WTO and other agreements would be the "last resort."

Why this matters: The White House has tried to skirt around a series of its trade agreements with other countries, as they feel that the deals enable them to treat the U.S. unfairly. The issue has been compounded by the nation's ballooning trade deficit, which is relatively large compared to other countries.

Goals of the order, named "Addressing trade Agreement Violations and Abuses":

  • The order will be aimed at modifying trade agreements, rather than dealing with the behaviors of individual countries.
  • The largest portion of the review will deal with the countries that follow WTO rules, as opposed to countries covered with individual free trade agreement — WTO "doesn't really deal very much with non-tariff trade barriers, and it doesn't deal very effectively with intellectual property rights, or with the whole digital economy," said Ross.
  • "The U.S. is the least protectionist country," and many goods "come in totally free" whereas other countries charge much higher tariffs.
  • Reciprocal tax: Trump is a big proponent of this type of tax. "For countries that have many trade barriers against us, we should logically have similar trade barriers against them," said Ross.
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Another North Korean missile-test fails

Wong Maye-E / AP

South Korea and the U.S. report that North Korea has test-fired yet another missile that has failed. It was fired this time from the western part of the country in Pukchang, which is near Pyongyang, according to the AP. The missile broke apart within minutes of launch over land and did not make it to the Sea of Japan, U.S. Navy Commander Dave Benham told CNN.

The missile was likely a medium-range missile according to a U.S. official. South Korea couldn't confirm whether the missile had exploded minutes after launch.

The context: Earlier today Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for more sanctions on the North and a tightening of existing sanctions, while China said its commitment to the North's denuclearization "rock firm" even though tensions are at a "critical point" in the region.

Trump's reaction: "North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!"

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4 legal alternatives to lethal injection in the US


Dave Martin / AP

This afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he would not call for an investigation into lethal injection procedures, despite yesterday's execution when the prisoner convulsed for several minutes, according to eye witnesses. (Why Arkansas rushed several executions this week, here.)

Despite recent botched executions and problems getting the drugs, lethal injection is the primary means of execution in the 31 states that impose the death penalty. However, several states offer alternative methods of execution. Here they are in order of popularity, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

1. Electrocution

  • # of executions since 1976: 158
  • Legal in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
  • Time until death: 2-15+ minutes, according to NBC News
  • Why it phased out: There were two negatively publicized executions in the late '90s — one prisoner's head burst into flames and photos of another's bloody face post-execution surfaced online.

2. Gas Chamber

  • # of executions since 1976: 11
  • Legal in: Arizona, California, Missouri, Wyoming and Oklahoma
  • Time until death: 10-18 minutes

3. Hanging

  • # of executions since 1976: 3
  • Legal in: Delaware, New Hampshire and Washington
  • Time until death: 4-11 minutes

4. Firing squad

  • # of executions since 1976: 3
  • Legal in: Oklahoma, Utah
  • Time until death: Less than a minute
Worldwide: Despite it's low ranking in the U.S., hanging is the most popular execution method world-wide, followed by firing squad, beheading, lethal injection and electrocution, according to Al Jazeera. The U.S. is the only country to use electrocution.
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Verizon exec blasts net neutrality defenders

Mel Evans / AP

Verizon's top lawyer blasted advocates fighting against the FCC's proposal to dismantle net neutrality rules, suggesting they peddling misleading information to raise money.

"So how do you fundraise? You stir people up with outrageous claims. " — Craig Silliman, Verizon's general counsel in a video sent to company employees

Why it matters: This debate is already turning into a brawl. In a speech this week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai went after Free Press, a group rallying progressives against his plan, as a "spectacularly misnamed Beltway lobbying group."

Key context: Internet service providers who support unwinding net neutrality rules say they're all for the broad principle of net neutrality, but disagree with the legal underpinning of the 2015 rules that subjects ISPs to more regulation. Silliman said that it's "not sexy to say they're changing the legal foundation for this, it's only sexy if they say they're killing the open internet."

The FCC proposal also considers paring back the prohibitions against blocking, throttling and prioritizing web traffic and content.

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These Google Play apps are a hacker's dream

Bram.Koster via Flickr CC

Tens of thousands of Android smartphone users are left open to hacks due to a backdoor vulnerability in the Google Play app store. Hackers can use that backdoor in the apps, including Wifi File Transfer and AirDroid, to wiggle into these smartphones with one of the most basic hacking techniques.

How it works: Apps in Google Play essentially turn the phone into a server, which allows users to connect to their phone from their computer via a "port."

Why it matters: That "port" is also open to hackers who can steal data, like contacts or photos. Hackers can also install malware. And it's not just one or two apps; University of Michigan researchers found 1,632 apps opening this kind of port.

The kicker: As one of the researchers, Yunhuan Jia, put it: "The user can do nothing. Google can do nothing."

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Ikea is betting on artificial intelligence

Alan Diaz / AP

Ikea is betting on artificial intelligence, but not until it knows exactly what AI features its customers prefer.

The future: Ikea's innovation lab, Space10, has created a survey to determine the characteristics that people prefer in artificial intelligence, per Fast Co.Design.

Where it stands: It launched today in Barcelona and will head to Copenhagen next, but you can share your thoughts online.

What customers want in AI: Humanlike, a male presentation, reflective of one's values and worldview, the ability to detect and read emotions, non-religious, and the ability to collect data to improve user experience.

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NSA delays collecting Americans' emails

Blogtrepreneur via Flickr CC

A court has delayed the reauthorization of the National Security Agency's practice of collecting Americans' emails that get caught in surveillance of foreigners, according to the NYT.

The old argument is that the because foreigners under surveillance for links to terrorism or espionage knew the email addresses or phone numbers of certain Americans, those Americans were viewed as suspicious.

What warranted the change: Internet companies that assisted in the monitoring sometimes packaged suspect communications and shared them as a unit, even if not all were relevant to the surveillance. Even though a court issued a rule in 2011 that would limit NSA employees' access to those bundles, employees were accessing the bundled communications in unauthorized ways and the NSA brought this bungle to the court's attention. The court has reportedly delayed the reauthorization of the program.

Privacy advocates will rejoice: They've long argued dragging Americans into this surveillance is more likely based on what is said in conversations than who has sent or received communications.

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Elon Musk says Trump meetings let him push positions on climate change, immigration

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Elon Musk defended his interactions with the Trump administration on Friday, saying he has been able to use his position on two advisory councils to raise issues such as climate change and immigration.

"That wasn't on the agenda before," he said, speaking at the TED conference in Vancouver. "Maybe nothing will happen but at least the words were said."

Not a big deal: Musk said his role is limited to his participation on two advisory councils. "Theres a meeting every month or two," he said. "Thats the sum total of my contribution."

What else?: Musk used most of his appearance at TED to offer new details on his many projects, including traffic-avoiding tunnels, self-driving cars.

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"Massive turmoil" at Heritage Foundation

Cliff Owen / AP

Jim DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation and former Tea Party firebrand senator from South Carolina, is on the rocks at the Heritage Foundation, according to Politico, which reports the organization plans to force him out.

The quote: An unnamed GOP operative told Politico there is "massive turmoil over there right now..."

What it means: Heritage, via its political arm, has leaned into primary battles against moderate Republicans under DeMint's leadership. Judging by the quotes in the Politico piece, Heritage board members and advisers are ready to dial it back.