Top News Stories For Today – Oct 13, 2017
Trump ends ObamaCare subsidies for low-income
On Thursday night, the White House said it cannot lawfully make subsidy payments to insurers who rely on funding to reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income ObamaCare customers. The subsidies are paid monthly, and are estimated to be worth $7 billion this year.
Under the law, insurers must provide cheaper rates to members even if they no longer receive federal funding. Over the last several months, Trump has threatened to cut off the payments, which he called a “bailout” for insurance companies. The Department of Health and Human Services said it will cease paying the cost-sharing subsidies immediately. Politico, The Week
Trump on Iran nuclear deal
On Friday, President Trump will largely wash his hands of the nuclear deal reached with Iran, Russia, China, and three European countries, according to a summary released by the White House late Thursday. Trump has long railed against the deal, grudgingly certifying Iran’s compliance two times, and by announcing he is neither certifying it again nor trying to amend it for now, he will leave it up to Congress whether to impose deal-wrecking sanctions.
Trump is encouraging Congress to establish “trigger points” for reintroducing sanctions, but it is unclear if Congress will muster agreement to do anything. The new Iran strategy is a compromise between Trump and his national security officials, who favored sticking with the Iran deal. The New York Times ,The Week
Google to invest $1 billion to train American workers
Google is investing an unprecedented $1 billion in the future of American jobs, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Thursday. Pichai unveiled the initiative, called Grow With Google, which aims to prepare the US workforce for a transforming job market.
Grow with Google will provide resources for Americans to learn and teach new technology skills, and Google will provide $1 billion in grants to nonprofits focused on building the in-demand traits. Google employees will also volunteer 1 million hours to help make that happen. USA Today notes the program is the company’s biggest philanthropic move to date. TechCrunch, USA Today,The Week
Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. A CNN investigation of a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokémon Go.
One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the Black Lives Matter movement used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Pokémon Go and even contacted some reporters in an effort to exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans, CNN has learned. The campaign, titled “Don’t Shoot Us,” offers new insights into how Russian agents created a broad online ecosystem where divisive political messages were reinforced across multiple platforms. CNN
Taliban freed hostage family
A family of five held captive by the Taliban for almost five years has been freed. An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three children were freed by the Pakistani army. The wife and husband — Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle — were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Coleman was pregnant at the time. They had two more children while in captivity.
Pakistan was able to free the family after their kidnappers moved them from Afghanistan over the border into Pakistan. It’s unclear when the family will head home; Boyle refuses to board a US military plane over fears he’ll be arrested. Boyle was previously married to the sister of Omar Khadhr, a Canadian who was imprisoned for 10 years at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and later sued the Canadian government. CNN
Harvey Weinstein Sex scandal
The furor over the sex assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is growing. Police in both New York and London are investigating him. And now he faces another public accusation of rape. Actress Rose McGowan, via several Twitter posts, accused Weinstein of raping her.
She also alleged she told the head of Amazon Studios about the matter, but nothing came of it. Amazon did not respond to requests for comment from CNNMoney. Amazon and the Weinstein Co. are partners on two forthcoming streaming TV series. CNN
China’s imports from N Korea fall sharply
China’s imports from North Korea fell 37.9 percent in September from a year earlier, marking the seventh consecutive month of decline, the customs office said Friday. China-US ties have been strained by Trump’s criticism of China’s trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea over Pyongyan’s nuclear and missile programmes.
China’s exports to North Korea in September dropped 6.7 percent from a year ago, a spokesman for the General Administration of Customs told a briefing, adding no seafood imports from North Korea were recorded last month. China’s imports from North Korea fell 16.7 percent on-year to $1.48 billion in Jannuary-September, while exports to North Korea rose 20.9 percent to $2.55 billion in the same period. That created a trade surplus with North Korea at $1.07 billion in the first nine months of this year. VOA
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