Top News Stories for Today – June 29, 2017
Vatican cardinal facing sexual assault charges
Cardinal George Pell, the third-ranking official in the Vatican, responsible for the Holy See’s finances, is facing at least three criminal sexual assault charges related to years-old allegations, Australian police said Thursday. At the Vatican, Pell said he would take a leave from his position as the top Vatican official, but not step down, and return to Australia to fight the charges, saying he is “innocent” and looking forward to answering the charges in court after months of “relentless character assassination.”
He will appear in court July 18. Police say there are “multiple complainants,” but would not reveal the allegations; The Sydney Morning Herald reports he is being charged with at least one count of rape. Pell, 76, was made a cardinal in 2003, and served as archbishop of both Sydney and Melbourne. The Sydney Morning Herald, The Associated Press, The Week
McConnell will submit revised health bill to CBO
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is hoping to submit a revised draft of Senate Republicans’ health-care bill to the Congressional Budget Office as soon as Friday. McConnell decided Tuesday to delay a vote on the first draft of the GOP bill, titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act, until after the July 4th recess due to a lack of support.
It’s not yet clear what the revisions may be, but McConnell is operating on a quick timeline in the hopes of securing a new CBO score in time for a vote before the August recess. The CBO score on the first draft of the bill, released Monday, predicted an additional 22 million people would be uninsured by 2026 under the BCRA than under ObamaCare. The Washington Post, The Week
Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to leave prison early
The parole board of Israel’s Prison Service Thursday granted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert early release from his 27-month corruption sentence, in perhaps the final chapter of a stunning fall from grace that forced him from office amid the last serious round of peace talks with the Palestinians.
Barring any unforeseen developments, Olmert will walk free July 2, said Prison Service spokesman Assaf Librati. VOA
GOP health bill struggling among Republican voters
Two polls released Wednesday show the Senate Republicans’ health-care bill faltering among Republican voters. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that just 35 percent of Republicans support the bill, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, while 21 percent oppose it. Fifty-five percent of overall respondents disapproved, the NPR poll found. In a separate USA Today/Suffolk University poll, only 26 percent of Republicans said they supported the Senate bill, while 17 percent opposed it.
Just 12 percent of Americans overall supported the Republican health-care proposal in the USA Today poll. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday delayed a vote on the embattled bill until after the July 4th recess due to a lack of support among Republican senators. NPR, USA Today, The Week
G20 to focus on Paris climate deal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said this year’s G20 summit will focus on furthering the aims of the Paris climate deal – putting her on a direct collision course with Donald Trump. Merkel told the German parliament she was aware it may be difficult following Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the accord. However, she said, tackling climate change remained a priority for Europe.
The summit of the world’s largest economies takes place next week. As host, it is up to Mrs Merkel to set out the priorities of the annual meeting, which is being held in Hamburg. BBC
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