Top News Stories For Today – Nov 27, 2017
Pope Francis visits Myanmar
Pope Francis arrived in Myanmar this morning. Francis, the first pope to ever visit the nation, will be focused on the Rohingya crisis. The Pope has previously decried the unspeakable violence against the Rohingya and referred to them as his persecuted “brothers and sisters.”
But he’s been advised not to say the word ‘Rohingya’ out of fear that could start anti-Muslim protests in staunchly Buddhist Myanmar. The ethnic group is not a recognized minority in the country. The government, instead, refers to them as “Bengalis,” and claims they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh. CNN
Senate tax bill hurts low-income families
The Congressional Budget Office on Sunday released its analysis of Senate Republicans’ proposed tax overhaul, estimating that it would increase the federal deficit by about $1.4 trillion over 10 years. The CBO said the bill would be worse for Americans earning less than $75,000 than an earlier analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation projected, factoring in the changes to Medicaid and Medicare, and zeroing out the Affordable Care Act individual mandate.
Under the CBO analysis, Americans earning up to $30,000 a year would be worse off by 2019, and Americans earning $75,000 or less would be worse off by 2027. Americans earning $100,000 to $500,000 a year would generally fare the best until 2027, when millionaires would reap the most benefits. Congressional Budget Office, The Washington Post
Cuba starts process to end Castro era
Cuban President Raul Castro on Sunday voted alongside thousands of people in municipal elections that kick off the process to end his family’s hold on the island nation. The Communist Party-supervised process comes a day after the first anniversary of Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s death.
The municipal vote, Cuba’s only direct election, is the beginning of a strictly controlled process to eventually choose leaders in higher government positions. A February election for provincial and national assembly deputies is expected to decide who will succeed Raul Castro as president. VOA
Dueling claims about head of consumer watchdog
Late Sunday, Leandra English, one of two officials who will show up on Monday to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, filed suit in US District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the other claimant, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, from taking control. The fight began Friday, when CFPB director Richard Cordray resigned and appointed English deputy director and thus, under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, acting director.
President Trump then named Mulvaney, a severe critic of the CFPB, acting director, citing a more general law. English is asking for a temporary restraining order. Until the courts settle the dispute, all CFPB actions will likely be subject to legal challenge. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Week
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle engaged
Prince Harry and his girlfriend, American actress Meghan Markle, are engaged, and will marry next spring, the British royal family announced Monday. Clarence House said Prince Charles, Harry’s father, was “delighted” to make the news official.
Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne, and Markle started dating just over a year ago, and quietly got engaged earlier this month. Markle, a co-star in the USA Network legal drama Suits, will be the first American, the first actress, and the first biracial person welcomed into the British royal family, probably as a royal duchess. Time, USA Today
Bali volcano alert raised to highest level
About 100,000 people near Bali’s Mount Agung have been ordered to evacuate as officials fear a major eruption. Indonesian authorities have raised the state of alert to its highest level, and expanded the exclusion zone around the rumbling volcano. The island’s airport has now closed, leaving thousands stranded in the tourist hotspot.
Authorities say dark gas and ash have been billowing up to 3,400m (11,150ft) above the mountain’s summit. Officials have warned residents to stay away from rock and debris flows known as lahars, which have been spotted flowing down from the mountain. Mount Agung’s volcanic tremors first began in September. BBC
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