Top News Stories for Today – March 24, 2017
London attacker identified
Police have identified Khalid Masood as the man who carried out the Westminster attack, as the death toll rose to five. Masood, 52, was born as Adrian Elms in Kent and was shot dead by police. He had not been the subject of any current police investigations.
PC Keith Palmer, 48, Aysha Frade and US tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, were killed on Wednesday, while a 75-year-old man died on Thursday evening. The so-called Islamic State group has said it was behind the attack. Three women and five men were arrested in London and Birmingham on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts following Wednesday’s attack.
The Met Police says detectives are continuing to search a number of addresses, including one in Carmarthenshire, three in Birmingham and one in east London. Addresses in Brighton and south-east London have also been searched. BBC
Revised CBO for GOP health care bill even worse
The Congressional Budget Office on Thursday released a revised report on the American Health Care Act, the Republican proposal to replace ObamaCare, indicating changes made to the bill would result in “smaller savings” without improving coverage. The CBO’s new estimate considers revisions made to the GOP health bill since the original report issued two weeks ago, though it does not account for Wednesday night’s concession to the conservative House Freedom Caucus to eliminate essential health benefits.
The CBO’s original report estimated the American Health Care Act would leave 52 million uninsured by 2026, compared to just 28 million under ObamaCare. Thursday’s report leaves that number unchanged, but says the revised bill would reduce the federal deficit by $150 billion, a decrease from the initially projected $337 billion in savings. Congressional Budget Office, The Week,
Pass GOP healthcare or let Obamacare stay
Trump has threatened his fellow Republicans with leaving Obamacare in place and focusing on other issues, if they do not support a vote Friday on new health care legislation, a signature campaign promise of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said President Trump is demanding a vote on Friday.
Mulvaney also said that should the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act fail, Trump is ready to move forward and leave ObamaCare in place. In order for the plan to pass, House Speaker Paul Ryan can only lose 22 votes on the floor, and more than two dozen members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, as well as some moderate Republicans, have already said they will vote no. Politico, VOA
Canada’s largest school board halts US travel
Canada’s largest school board is indefinitely canceling all future trips to the US over fears that some students could be stopped at the border as President Donald Trump tries to impose border and travel restrictions on visitors.
The Toronto District School Board, which oversees about 245,000 students across 584 schools, said the uncertainty surrounding the temporarily blocked travel restrictions prompted the “difficult decision” to stop booking trips to the US. The board books dozens of trips to the US every year, meaning hundreds of its students will no longer participate in sporting events, performances, and academic conferences in cities like Boston, New York, and California, for the 2017-2018 school years. BuzzFeedNews
People who critic Vladimir Putin
It’s really dangerous to be a vocal critic of the Russian President. An ex-Russian lawmaker who slammed Putin over Russia’s annexation of Crimea was gunned down in broad daylight in Ukraine. Ukraine’s President called it a “state terrorist act.” Russia called that absurd.
There have been other unfortunate ends for Putin critics through the years: in 2015 a deputy prime minister was shot in the back; last month an anti-Putin activist landed in a coma after a suspected poisoning; in 2013 a businessman who’d had a falling out with the Russians was found with a noose around his neck.
Bad luck mutations increase cancer risk than behavior
Overall, 66% of the genetic mutations that develop into cancer are caused by simple random errors occurring when cells replace themselves, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Environmental factors contribute 29% of mutations, while the remaining 5% are inherited, say Cristian Tomasetti and Dr. Bert Vogelstein, both of Johns Hopkins University.
Cigarette smoking undoubtedly leads to more genetic mutations than might normally happen, yet where the DNA defects occur on a smoker’s genome is completely accidental. In other words, mutations caused by smoking, just like random mutations, can affect either cancer driving genes or stretches of DNA that are irrelevant to cancer. Lifestyle factors still matter for cancer prevention. CNN, Science
Democrats to filibuster Neil Gorsuch
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday that he will vote no on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and encourage his fellow Democrats to filibuster. “[Gorsuch] will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be ‘no’ and I urge my colleagues to do the same,” Schumer said, adding that Gorsuch is “not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology.”
Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) — who is politically vulnerable, facing re-election next year in a state President Trump won — has agreed to vote against Gorsuch as well. Senate hearings on Gorsuch’s nomination concluded Thursday, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is eyeing an April 3 vote to confirm Gorsuch. The Washington Post, The Week
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