Sep 18, 2017

Pence picks Freedom Caucus spokeswoman as press secretary

Vice President Pence whispers to President Trump during a meeting with Kuwaiti officials. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Alyssa Farah, the spokesperson and a senior advisor for the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has been tapped as Vice President Mike Pence's new press secretary, Axios can confirm. The news was first reported by Politico.

  • One big thing: Farah's move gives the Trump administration a direct line of communication to one of the more obstinate wings of the GOP, just as the Freedom Caucus looks set to put up a fight over tax reform.

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Wall Street falls into correction territory as coronavirus rout intensifies

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

The S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq all entered correction territory on Thursday, down 10% from their recent record highs amid a global market rout that began earlier this week.

The big picture: Stocks fell 3% for a time on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world, according to CNBC.

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.

Faith in government plummets around the world

People around the world have grown far more cynical about the idea their governments have their best interests at heart, according to polling from Pew.

By the numbers: When Pew last asked this question in 2002, majorities in nearly all countries polled believed their government was run to benefit all people. Amid the current populist wave, there is far more doubt.

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