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April 7, 2017: What to Know


  • Bingo Barnes
  • As expected, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called the U.S. strike of a Syrian military base "unjust and arrogant aggression." This is the same Assad who has used chemical weapons against citizens that oppose his regime, which has been at the center of a years-long civil war. According to the governor of the Syrian province of Homs, at least 13 people were killed in the missile strikes. The Washington Post reports those figures could not be independently confirmed. The Atlantic's Andrew Exum writes this morning that the bombings have "strengthened" the hand of the Trump administration in any possible negotiations over the fate of Assad; but, he added, the fight against the Islamic State just got harder. "For the past two years, U.S. and coalition aircraft have flown in and around one of the world's more robust air defense systems without the Syrian regime harassing the pilots," he wrote.
  • The number of fatalities was still unclear this morning after a stolen truck rammed into a crowded shopping area in Stockholm, Sweden. The Daily Mail reports hundreds of shoppers "were seen fleeing for the lives after the articulated truck rammed into the corner of a building." The incident took place near the Ahlens Mall in the Stockholm neighborhood of Klarabergsgatan.

  • The U.S. Labor Department revealed the latest job numbers early today and the robust payroll increase seen during the first quarter has apparently lost steam. According to NPR, a net increase of only 98,000 jobs were reported in March—significantly lower than the 180,000 predicted by economists. That said, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent, which is the lowest level since May 2007.
  • The mayor of Seattle is embroiled in a sex scandal. A lawsuit was filed Thursday accusing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of raping and sexually molesting a male high-school dropout in the 1980s. The Seattle Times reports that two other men are also claiming they were abused by Murray. The mayor has denied the allegations. According to a statement issued by the mayor's spokesman: "It is not a coincidence that this shakedown effort comes within weeks of the campaign filing deadline. These unsubstantiated assertions, dating back three decades are categorically false."
  • With more rain the coming weekend forecast, much of the Boise Greenbelt remains off limits. Boise River managers said Wednesday the current was running at 8,500 cubic feet per second. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated they will increase the amount of water flowing from the Lucky Peak Reservoir beginning Tuesday, April 11 "due to an extremely large mountain snowpack and continued above-normal precipitation in the Boise River drainage." According to the city, all but 11 miles of the greenbelt are closed effective immediately, and dangerous conditions "are expected to remain into June, at least."

  • Football fanatics will make their way to Albertson's Stadium on Saturday, April 8, to get a rare public peek at the incoming 2017-2018 Boise State University football team (which will sport new helmets). Saturday's spring game gets underway at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10.