Top News Stories for Today – Sept 22, 2017
GOPs’ health-care bill
Republicans have just days left to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on a simple majority vote in the Senate, leading the bill’s sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), to reportedly consider “buying” the support of wavering Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). One proposal would reportedly allow Alaska and Hawaii to keep ObamaCare benefits while elsewhere the bill would convert ObamaCare’s subsidies and Medicaid payments to block grants to states, plus cut Medicaid sharply.
Graham was overheard on the phone telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that while he knew the bill wasn’t ideal, “despite its imperfections” he still urged his colleagues to support it. “We’re going to vote,” Graham added to Hannity. “Everybody will be held accountable.” Independent Journal Review, The Associated Press, The Week
Words of War between Kim and Trump
Late Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un responded to President Trump’s threat on Tuesday to “totally destroy North Korea” with a very rare personal statement saying Trump’s “unprecedented rude nonsense” has “convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct.”
The colorful statement ends with Kim threatening to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire,” and hours later, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters that Pyongyang might test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific as a retaliatory action. Friday morning, Trump responded, tweeting: “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” BBC News, Korean Central News Agency, The Week
Facebook to release Russians ads
Facebook will give Congress copies of the more than 3,000 ads purchased through Russian accounts during the 2016 election, Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch announced Thursday in a blog post. “We believe the public deserves a full accounting of what happened in the 2016 election, and we’ve concluded that sharing the ads we’ve discovered … can help,” Stretch wrote.
Though Facebook gave the ads to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the social networking site took back ads shown to congressional investigators before they could be thoroughly examined, citing privacy concerns. The move sparked complaints from government officials and the public. In a Facebook Live event after the announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to “make sure that Facebook is a force for good ahead in democracy.” BuzzFeed News, The Washington Post
London kicks out Uber
On Friday, Transport for London, the British capital’s transportation regulator, said it had declined to renew ride-hailing service Uber’s license to operate in London, effective Sept. 30. Uber “is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license,” the regulator said in a statement.
The transportation regulator said its “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” including its use of Greyball software to avoid regulation and its “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed the decision, saying any operator of taxi services “needs to play by the rules.” Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision. The Associated Press, BBC News
Trump approval rate up to 40%
President Donald Trump’s approval rating has once again reached 40%, while earning high marks for his handling of the government’s response to recent hurricanes, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
A broad 64% of Americans say they approve of how Trump’s government reacted to the recent storms, including two in three independents (66%). Nine in 10 Republicans support his reaction (90%), and even Democrats are evenly divided on Trump’s response to the crises, with 44% both approving and disapproving. CNN
France considers skipping Olympic
French Sports Minister Laura Flessel said Thursday it is possible France will skip the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, due to security concerns. According to Reuters, Flessel told RTL radio that if “our security cannot be assured, the French team will stay at home.” Worldwide tension continues to mount as the United States and North Korea engage in concerning rhetoric regarding nuclear capabilities.
Flessel made it clear no decision has been made at this point, saying, “We’re not there yet.” CNN
US drug overdoses set record in 2016
US deaths from drug overdoses set a record of more than 64,000 in 2016, driven by an intractable opioid crisis, US Attorney General said Thursday. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data, it was up 21 percent from 52,898 the year before.
Opioids such as heroin and the synthetic drug fentanyl were responsible for most of the fatal overdoses, killing more than 33,000 Americans — quadruple the number from 20 years ago. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said that no declaration was necessary to combat the crisis, but White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said Trump was taking the idea “absolutely seriously.” VOA
You may like
- 17 best places to travel in 2017
- A Famous island nobody knows
- A U.S. Strategy beyond the Cold War
- Britain and the European Union after Brexit