Dec 24, 2017

Trump admin. to expand flawed ​missile defense system

A truck carrying parts of U.S. missile launchers and other equipment. Photo provided by U.S. forces in Korea via Getty Images

"Citing North Korea's ... threat, the Trump administration is moving to vastly expand the problem-plagued homeland missile defense system despite warnings that the planned upgrades may not succeed," the L.A. Times reports in its lead story:

Why it matters: "[G]overnment reports and interviews with technical experts suggest the planned upgrades ... are unlikely to protect the United States from a limited-scale ballistic missile attack ... One concern is the administration's rush to expand the system."

  • "Immediate plans call for building two $1-billion radar installations and adding 20 rocket interceptors to the 44 already deployed in underground silos at Ft. Greely in Alaska and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California."
  • "The expected cost is about $10.2 billion over five years, on top of more than $40 billion already spent for the system."

P.S. "The Marine Corps commandant told about 300 Marines in Norway [Thursday] that they should be prepared for a 'bigass fight' to come," the WashPost reports, citing Military.com:

  • Gen. Robert Neller told the Marines: "I hope I'm wrong, but there's a war coming."
  • "[H]is spokesman later said [the comments] were not in reference to any specific adversary but rather intended to inspire the troops."

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Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.