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The 10-Point: My Guide to the Day's Top News

The Wall Street Journal
Good morning,
The Comey Files
President Trump weighed in publicly for the first time on his firing of James Comey, saying Wednesday that the FBI director “wasn’t doing a good job.” The White House sought to elaborate on the reason for Mr. Comey’s dismissal, which had prompted the president’s critics to accuse him of seeking to interfere in a probe Mr. Comey was leading into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. We report that Mr. Comey last week sought more resources for the investigation, requesting additional personnel from Rod Rosenstein, recently installed as deputy attorney general. Democrats on Wednesday called for a special prosecutor, and in protest sought to slow the workings of Congress, while some senior Republicans also expressed unease with the timing of Mr. Comey’s ouster. As Capitol Hill absorbed the news, Mr. Trump stoked Democratic protests by meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian diplomat Sergei Kislyak at the White House. And a congressional investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election picked up steam as the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed documents from the president’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn.

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Cold Snap
In its first quarterly report as a public company, Snap showed it struggled to maintain strong user growth for its Snapchat disappearing-message app. The results, which sent shares tumbling, sparked worries about the company’s ability to challenge social-media titan Facebook. Snap, whose core business relies on selling advertising on Snapchat, reported 166 million daily users in the past quarter, up 8 million from the previous period and up 44 million from a year earlier—its slowest year-over-year growth rate in at least two years. Last month, Facebook’s Instagram, a major Snap competitor, reported it had 200 million daily users of Instagram Stories, a feature of the photo-sharing app that mimics Snapchat’s popular function. Snap’s shares plunged 23% in after-hours trading, hovering just above the $17 price at which it went public in March.
Organic Change
Whole Foods Market is dramatically reshaping its board in an effort to show it is open to change after an activist investor last month publicly urged the organic-grocery chain to explore a sale and accelerate its turnaround efforts. The Austin-based company Wednesday named a new board chairman and said five directors would step down immediately, replaced by nominees with a broad range of retail and financial experience at companies such as Panera Bread and Foot Locker. The shake-up, which comes during one of the rockiest periods in Whole Foods’ nearly 40-year history, wasn’t enough to appease its second-largest shareholder, activist hedge fund Jana Partners, which Wednesday raised the possibility of seeking a shareholder vote on more board changes as soon as this summer.
Trans-Atlantic Deals
Many of the biggest bargains for U.S. travelers this summer will require a passport. While domestic airfares are rising for the coming months, international ticket prices are dropping. The average price of air tickets sold so far for summer travel to Europe is down 15% from a year earlier. Discount European airlines are having a big impact on prices, as established competitors cut fares to compete, as is reduced demand from Europe for tickets to the U.S. Also, global events and politics are affecting travel significantly this year. The State Department issued a Europe travel alert earlier this month urging caution because of a continuing terror threat that could target large tourist crowds this summer. However, with the dollar remaining strong and airlines adding lots of seats, many travelers are taking advantage of bargains: The number of tickets sold in the U.S. for trips to Europe is up 26%. Our Middle Seat columnist Scott McCartney shares what you need to know.
TODAY'S VIDEO
Firing Fallout
That Was Painless
President Trump’s dismissal of Mr. Comey triggered a blizzard of reactions Wednesday from lawmakers and the White House. Tanya Rivero has three takeaways from the day after the bombshell announcement.
TOP STORIES
U.S.

Robots Aren’t Destroying Enough Jobs

Six-Figure Payouts for Sick Leave Spur Outrage, Calls for Overhaul
WORLD

U.S. to Expand Intelligence Cooperation With Turkey

U.S. to Boost Surveillance for Russian Exercise
BUSINESS

Power Company Calpine Explores Sale

Peanuts Characters Acquired by Teletubbies Owner DHX Media
MARKETS

AIG Plans to Name Brian Duperreault as Next CEO

Barclays Chair Backs Embattled Staley Over Whistleblowing Probe
NUMBER OF THE DAY
$3.1 billion
The approximate amount Verizon will pay in stock for Straight Path Communications, after beating rival AT&T in an unusually intense bidding war for the wireless-spectrum holder. Straight Path, which had only nine employees as of October, was valued at about $400 million two months ago.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
One doesn’t paint the house in a little black dress ... Detroit is trying to make us work in a tuxedo.
Doug Cooper, a rancher north of Casper, Wyo., on refusing to buy a new truck. As auto makers load up their vehicles with gizmos and gadgets, they are leaving some drivers dazed, confused and frustrated.
TODAY'S QUESTION
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on Snap’s results? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to 10point@wsj.com. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Margaret Rawson
READER RESPONSE
Responding to yesterday’s question on Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey, Carol Teig of Missouri said: “If you have nothing to hide, and agree that you are subject to the rule of law, you welcome an investigation. You don’t fire the policeman. Congress will stand or fall with Mr. Trump depending on their agreement with this statement.” Cameron Hollingshead of New York wrote: “I am sure that Mr. Trump had not expected Mr. Comey to be a good boy for much longer, since the turnout of the election. The mere fact that Mr. Comey reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server may have convinced Mr. Trump that he could be a trustworthy holdover. In light of news that Mr. Comey had personally taken active steps toward investigating Russian influence in the U.S. election, he proved himself otherwise.” Joseph A. Ferry of Pennsylvania opined: “Mr. Comey should have been fired at 12:00:01 January 20, 2017.” And Gordon de Lang of California weighed in: “Mr. Comey became the news. He lost support on both sides of the aisle. It happened fast and without leaks to the press this time. Time to move on to issues important to the American people.”

This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.

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