Mar 29, 2018

Judge tosses Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss 9/11 lawsuits

Familes of victims commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site in New York City. Photo: Allan Tannenbaum-Pool / Getty Images

A U.S. judge in New York on Wednesday dismissed a motion by Saudi Arabia to revoke lawsuits claiming the kingdom is behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and demanding billions in damages to victims, per Reuters. Judge George Daniels' decision reportedly covers claims made by the relatives of those killed or injured, as well as businesses and insurers.

The backdrop: The Saudi government had denied involvement, and it long had immunity from Sept. 11 legal challenges. However, that ended in 2016 when Congress overrode a veto by then-President Obama, allowing families of those killed in the attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the event. Obama at the time said he feared the law could flood the U.S. with lawsuits by people from other countries.

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.