Top News Stories for Today – July 19, 2017
ObamaCare repeal without replace plan already in jeopardy
After Senate Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare collapsed Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced a new strategy of voting to repeal ObamaCare without a replacement in hand. Already, however, that back-up plan is in danger: On Tuesday, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) announced that she would not support McConnell’s proposal, explaining that she “did not come to Washington to hurt people.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also said Tuesday that she “cannot vote to proceed to repeal [ObamaCare] without reform,” and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced her opposition while noting she voted against a similar proposal in 2015. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has also raised concerns. Three opposing votes would defeat the effort. NBC News, The Week
Robert Mueller is investigating Trump Jr. Russia scandal
Ike Kaveladze has been named as the eighth attendee at the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in June 2016. Kaveladze is an American-based employee of Emin and Aras Agalarov, Russian developers who hosted the 2013 Miss Universe pageant at one of their properties. Trump Jr.’s meeting was arranged by Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who represents Emin Agalarov.
An attorney for the Agalarovs told The Washington Post that Kaveladze’s identity was requested over the weekend by “a representative of Special Counsel Robert Mueller,” who is probing Russia’s interference in the election and whether the Trump campaign was involved. “The request is the first public indication that Mueller’s team is investigating the meeting,” the Post writes. The Washington Post, The Week
US sanctions Iranians
The US slapped sanctions Tuesday on 18 Iranian individuals and groups it accused of supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile program and weapons deals, a day after it again certified that Iran is complying with the 2015 international accord on its nuclear development program.
“The United States remains deeply concerned about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East, which undermine regional stability, security, and prosperity,” the State Department said in announcing the sanctions. VOA
Trump, Putin undisclosed meeting during G-20
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a second, previously undisclosed meeting during a dinner at the G-20 summit earlier this month, a White House official confirmed Tuesday. In the middle of the meal, Trump left his seat to sit down next to Putin, The Washington Post reports.
The White House never announced this meeting took place, or what they discussed. Ian Bremmer, president of the international consulting firm Eurasia Group, first reported on the meeting, and said it lasted an hour, was within sight of other diners but not listening distance, and was also attended by Putin’s translator. Trump tweeted that the media was making “a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany … look sinister!” NBC News, The Washington Post, The Week
Martyrs’ day in Myanmar
Long lines wrapped around the block of downtown Yangon’s historic Secretariat building on Wednesday, with schoolchildren, adults and groups of friends waiting to get a rare glimpse of Myanmar’s history. Closed to the public almost 70 years, the sprawling red-brick edifice was built by the British and turned over to the Burmese during independence in 1948. But months before, on July 19, 1947, Political rivals gunned down nine people, including Aung San, the father of future Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, within its walls.
Seventy years later the killings are enmeshed in the national psyche. July 19 is “Martyrs’ Day.” This year visitors can see items preserved after the assassination and stored away at the National Museum. A ring from one of the deceased, unsmoked cigarettes, they have never been displayed to the public for 70 years. VOA
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