Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: April 23, 2015

Harold Maass
The Clinton Foundation comes under scrutiny.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


Senators clear the obstacle to Loretta Lynch's confirmation vote

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a sex-trafficking bill that was holding up a confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch, whom President Obama nominated in November to replace Attorney General Eric Holder. Compromise amendments satisfied Democrats who feared the bill would be used to expand the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayers' money from being used to fund abortions. Clearing the impasse paved the way for a vote on Lynch's nomination early Thursday. She is expected to be confirmed. [The New York Times]


Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation scrutinized over uranium deal

The Clinton Foundation received several million dollars in donations from 2009 to 2013 from people involved in a Canadian uranium company, Uranium One, that was being slowly taken over by a Russian company owned by state atomic energy agency Rosatom, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Uranium One controls about 20 percent of America's uranium deposits, and the final deal had to be approved by a cabinet-level committee, which included the office of Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state. The Times showed no direct connection between the Clinton Foundation donations and the approval of the deal. [The New York Times]


Brown family filing wrongful death lawsuit in Ferguson

The parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black teen fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. Lawyers said Wednesday night that family members would announce the civil suit in St. Louis on Thursday. A grand jury and the Justice Department declined to prosecute the officer, Darren Wilson, who resigned in November. The Justice Department, however, last month released a report slamming Ferguson police and the city's municipal court for unfairly targeting African Americans. [The Associated Press]


Carly Fiorina reportedly plans to join the GOP presidential field

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is preparing to launch a campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The paper said Fiorina plans to make the announcement online on May 4, although a Fiorina spokesperson declined to confirm the report. Fiorina's low-key plans contrast with the higher profile launches of the three GOP candidates who have already entered the race, Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul. [The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post]


Google debuts its Project Fi wireless service

Google on Wednesday launched its long-awaited Project Fi, a service that shifts users from Wi-Fi to the cellular networks of Sprint or T-Mobile, depending on who has the strongest signal. Project Fi initially will only be available via invitation to people using the Nexus 6 smartphone. The service starts at $20 per month, plus $10 for every gigabyte of data. The service will offer automatic connectivity with encrypted data connections to over a million open, public hotspots. [Mashable, The Verge]


Investments slow Facebook's revenue growth

Facebook posted its slowest quarterly revenue growth in two years on Wednesday. The company, which operates the largest online social network in the world, said its profits were reduced by heavy investments in research and development. Still, Facebook increased its active monthly users to 1.44 billion, an increase of 13 percent since the same time last year. "It's a generally solid quarter," said Macquarie Research analyst Ben Schachter. "The trends are all going in the right direction." [Reuters]


Volcano erupts in Chile

Chile's Calbuco volcano erupted Wednesday for the first time in 40 years, sending a thick cloud of smoke and ashes more than two miles into the sky. About 4,000 people were forced to evacuate an exclusion zone in a 12-mile radius of the volcano. Authorities issued a red alert for the nearby southern Chile towns of Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, which are popular with tourists. There were no immediate reports of deaths, injuries, or property damage. [Reuters, CNN]


Petraeus faces sentencing for leaking military secrets

Former CIA Director David Petraeus is expected to be sentenced in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday for giving classified material to his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he had an extramarital affair. Under a plea agreement, Petraeus could get up to a year in prison, but prosecutors have recommended two years of probation and a $40,000 fine. The scandal derailed the career of the retired four-star Army general, who led U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. [The Associated Press]


Secret Service took over a year to fix alarm at George H.W. Bush's house

The Secret Service, already rattled by recent security glitches at the White House, took 13 months to fix a broken alarm system at former President George H.W. Bush's home, according to a government report expected to be released Thursday. The delay raised concerns at the agency about the safety of the Bush family at the Houston residence. An agency expert had warned in 2010 that the 20-year-old system could fail, but his request to replace it was denied. The system stopped working three years later. [The Washington Post]


Model for Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter dies at 92

Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell's iconic World War II era Rosie the Riveter painting, has died at the age of 92. The painting became a symbol for the contributions of millions of women in the war effort. Keefe, a 19-year-old telephone operator and neighbor of Rockwell's at the time, is shown in the painting wearing overalls, a sandwich in one hand and a rivet gun in the other, with her feet resting on a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf and an American flag behind her. The image appeared on the May 1943 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. [Hartford Courant]