Top News Stories For Today – Oct 23, 2017
Abe’s coalition won majority in Japan
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition won a resounding victory in Sunday’s snap election, securing a two-thirds majority in the Lower House that raised his chances of achieving a historic third term and his longtime ambition of revising the pacifist Constitution.
Media tallies showed the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito bloc won 312 seats in the 465-member Lower House, power that would help it call a referendum on amending “pacifist” constitution, in which Article 9, drafted by the United States government in the wake of World War II, prohibits the maintenance of armed forces. The Japan Times
John McCain and Trump
Two days after implicitly criticizing President Trump’s “half-baked spurious nationalism” in a speech, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took another thinly veiled shot at Trump in a Vietnam War documentary for C-SPAN that aired Sunday night.
McCain first discussed the strategic failings of Vietnam and the social upheaval it unleashed in the US, then pointedly criticized economic disparities in the draft, saying it was wrong “that we drafted the lowest-income level of America, and the highest-income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur.” Trump says a doctor’s diagnosis of temporary bone spurs gave him a fifth draft deferment after four academic deferments were used up. McCain was a POW in Vietnam. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Week
Taiwan steps up Asia business to reduce dependence on China
Taiwan is offering visa waivers and setting up overseas investment offices across a swathe of countries to its south, the latest moves to deepen a rebalancing of economic relations away from political foe China. In the latest phase of Taiwan’s effort, called the New Southbound Policy, Philippine citizens may visit Taiwan visa-free for 14 days during a trial period that starts next month and ends in July. Taiwan offered waivers to citizens of Brunei and Thailand in August 2016. Those efforts complement new investment offices, growth in the number of university students in Taiwan and more Taiwanese development aid.
“The purpose of the New Southbound Policy is for us to hold a more advantageous position in international society,” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said in a National Day speech earlier this month. VOA
US bipartisan health bill scheduled to vote
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CNN Sunday he is prepared to call a vote on the bipartisan health-care proposal negotiated by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) if President Trump is prepared to sign it.
The proposal would appropriate funds for two years of the insurance subsidies Trump recently ended while loosening some ObamaCare rules. The Alexander-Murray bill has the support of all 48 Senate Democrats plus 12 Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on NBC Sunday. Trump has sent mixed signals about the plan, calling it both “a good start” and “a short-term fix.” Politico, NBC News,The Week
More sexual harassment cases in US
Fidelity Investments dismissed two high-level executives — portfolio manager C. Robert Chow, who resigned, and tech fund manager Gavin Baker — in the past few weeks amid sexual harassment complaints, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported Sunday.
The Los Angeles Times and The Times-Picayune also published reports of serial sexual harassment against a Hollywood writer/director, James Toback, and New Orleans celebrity restaurateur John Besh and his associates. The investigations of sexual misconduct in some cases predated the revelations of alleged sexual assault by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but they were published after a Weinstein-prompted #MeToo campaign in which women shared their harassment stories over social media. The Washington Post, The New York Times
JFK assassination documents
Are we about to learn long-suppressed secrets about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Probably not. President Trump tweeted over the weekend he’ll allow the release of classified documents about the assassination — including FBI and CIA files.
Historians don’t think there are any bombshells in the files, although they do believe it will shed light on assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s mystery trip to Mexico City just weeks before the shooting. CNN
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