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Furloughed employees miss a paycheck; Mike Pompeo gives a speech in Egypt.
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- It’s payday for federal workers — but 800,000 aren’t getting a paycheck today due to the partial government shutdown. It shutdown has lasted three weeks so far, but this is the first payday federal workers have missed. Thousands have begun applying for unemployment or taking part-time positions. [Vox / Li Zhou]
- Congress left for the weekend without reaching a resolution to end the shutdown, now officially the longest in history. On Thursday, the Senate approved a back pay bill, which would ensure federal workers get paid after it ends. [Politico / Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and Burgess Everett]
- “Pay the workers, furlough Trump,” said furloughed workers at a rally in Washington, DC, yesterday. Federal employee unions are already suing the Trump administration or preparing cases. [Washington Post / Marissa J. Lang]
- The promise of back pay isn’t enough for workers living paycheck to paycheck. About 40 percent of Americans have said in surveys that they can’t handle a surprise $400 expense — let alone a mortgage or rent bill with no income to cover it. [NPR / All Things Considered]
- Why bother coming into work? Federal workers are prohibited by law from striking, but the law’s authors didn’t envision a situation where they’d have to work for weeks without pay. [Atlantic / Russell Berman]
- A deal in Congress seems increasingly unlikely — although Senate Republicans could end the shutdown if enough of them join with Democrats to pass a funding bill with a veto-proof majority. [PBS Newshour / Alan Fram via Associated Press]
Pompeo outlines US policy in Middle East
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday outlining the Trump administration’s approach to the Middle East. In summary: Obama’s approach to the Middle East was a failure, Iran is to blame for the region’s problems, and the US is not going to neglect its Middle Eastern friends. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
- The message of increased US involvement contradicted Trump’s most recent action in the region: pulling US troops out of Syria. Pompeo also said that Iran’s presence in Syria would be completely erased, but did not clearly state how that would happen. [Politico / Aaron David Miller]
- Pompeo then complimented Saudi Arabia for containing Iran without mentioning the killing of journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi last year in a Saudi consulate. He also praised Egypt for promoting religious freedom and forgot to mention the country’s 60,000 political prisoners. [NYT / Declan Walsh and David E. Sanger]
- Pompeo tried to reassure global leaders who were confused by Trump’s decision to retract from Syria, but the message made the administration look divided. [NPR / Daniella Cheslow]
“But if you are replacing Justice Ginsburg with a Trump appointee, that would be akin to replacing Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas. … It would mark a large shift in the direction of the court.” [John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation to Politico, via Vanity Fair]
Watch this: How humans disrupted a cycle essential to all life
How one animal dug up carbon and put it back into the atmosphere at an astounding pace. [YouTube / Alvin Chang]