Breaking World News

Breaking World News

Flynn was warned by Trump transition officials about contacts with Russian ambassador
“Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by senior members of President Trump’s transition team about the risks of his contacts with the Russian ambassador weeks before the December call that led to Flynn’s forced resignation, current and former U.S. officials said…” (Washington Post)

Health care is now set to be a defining issue in the next election cycles
“With one hasty and excruciatingly narrow vote, House Republicans have all but guaranteed that health care will be one of the most pivotal issues shaping the next two election cycles — including congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races in the 2018 midterms and President Trump’s likely reelection bid in 2020…” (Washington Post)

Matthew Fisher: How Canadian commanders will use hockey to keep soldiers safe from Russian ‘honey pots’
“ADAZI, Latvia — As Canada prepares to stand up a multi-national NATO battle group here this summer, army commanders have come up with a plan to prevent their soldiers being exploited by the Kremlin via “honey pots,” “gentlemen’s clubs”and other such temptations: hockey, hockey and more hockey…” (National Post)

Attacker who killed soldier in 2014 was ‘living in delirium’ and needed psychiatric help: Quebec coroner
“Martin Couture-Rouleau was “living in delirium” when he drove his car at three soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. in 2014, killing one of them, Quebec’s coroner concluded in a report released Friday…” (National Post)

Russia says has stopped bombing proposed Syria safe zones
“Russia on Friday said it had already stopped bombing in areas of Syria set to be designated safe zones under an agreement it inked with Iran and Turkey…” (Al Arabiya)

ISIS leader warns Muslims to avoid Christian gatherings in Egypt
“ISIS leader warned Muslims in Egypt to avoid Christian gatherings, posing a threat of further attacks against Christians in the country following two suicide bombings that targeted two churches last month…” (Al Arabiya)

Does the FN have an economic strategy?
“The FN has campaigned on national rather than class consciousness, a cultural more than economic classification, which pundits have interpreted as anything from Marxism to local capitalism…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

The creation of Emmanuel Macron
“Macron rose to presidential frontrunner against Le Pen helped by new celebrity status in France. It was enthusiastically crafted for him by friends, allies and contacts in the media…” (Le Monde diplomatique)

50,000 in Hanover prep for second biggest post-war bomb defusal
“Experts were able to confirm the existence of five unexploded Second World War bombs out of 13 possible locations within the Lower Saxon capital, the fire department said on Thursday. Seven care and elderly homes are among the buildings to be evacuated, along with a clinic, and a Continental tire plant…” (The Local de)

German ‘refugee’ soldier case lays bare asylum chaos
“Posing as a Damascus fruit seller, army lieutenant Franco Albrecht, 28, had managed to gain asylum in his home country, obtaining a space in a shelter and monthly benefits of €409 ($447) even though he speaks no Arabic, investigations found…”
(The Local de)

 

Photo: By DonkeyHotey (Michael Flynn – Caricature) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

House Republicans pass Health Care Legislation; Bill Heads to Senate

House Republicans pass Health Care Legislation; Bill Heads to Senate

Donald Trump had a reason to celebrate as House Republicans carried the day, after a long fight, voting by a narrow margin for the bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare. This was one of the President’s prime campaign promises, and has proven much harder than he first anticipated during the campaign.

The bill, laden with compromises and provisions to win the support of the more extreme conservatives in the House, like members of the far-right Freedom Caucus, who had blocked a previous effort, must now face scrutiny in the Senate, which will be a tough road to travel.

Democrats presented a unified front, with no defectors, voting 293 against the republican bill, and 0 for it, while republicans voted 217 for, 20 against, permitting the bill to pass by 217 to 213 (with one abstention)—-a victory by a very narrow 4 vote margin.

Since the bill must still pass through a skeptical Senate, with only a narrow 2 seat majority for republicans, and since there are several republican Senators publicly critical of the bill, there’s no guarantee that repeal and replace will become the law of the land.

Republicans have long bristled at the notion that Americans must purchase insurance products under a government mandate of any kind, which is how they viewed the Affordable Care Act. The new legislation affords a number of opt-out opportunities to quell this concern.

But if the bill does pass, democrats and concerned citizens fear that 24 million Americans will lose health insurance coverage over the next decade. In addition, many fear that protections for patients with pre existing conditions, one of the strengths of the Affordable Care Act, will be greatly weakened, potentially endangering the lives of many sick and injured Americans.

Learn more about what the new health care bill faces in the Senate (The New York Times)

 

Photo: By Peter Larson/Medill News Service – Detail from http://www.flickr.com/photos/medilldc/5431598714/, CC BY 2.0, Link

Police Officer fired for killing unarmed teenager in Dallas Suburb

Police Officer fired for killing unarmed teenager in Dallas Suburb

A terrible, unnecessary tragedy has struck Balch Springs, Texas (a suburb of Dallas). A police officer shot and killed Jordan Edwards, a 15-year-old boy sitting in the front passenger seat of a car leaving the vicinity of a party. The four boys in the car were unarmed.

Most telling, the explanation that the cops gave at the scene didn’t match video footage shot at the scene. The police officers said that the teens were driving in reverse towards the officers, but the video evidence clearly showed the teens driving away from the police when Officer Roy Oliver discharged multiple rounds from a rifle into the car, hitting Edwards in the head, and killing him.

Edwards was never in trouble with the law, and reports indicate he was both a good student and a star athlete. The shooting appears to be completely unjustified, and joins a long list of police shootings of young black men and boys, many of whom were unarmed. Officer Oliver was fired from the Dallas police force, and department officials indicated that he violated multiple departmental policies.

Officer Oliver fired for killing unarmed Jordan Edwards (Huffington Post)

 

Photo: screen capture

Breaking World News

Breaking World News

Who was Jordan Edwards? Teen killed by police called a good student, athlete
“He might be the last person you’d expect to die in a police shooting.

Straight-A student. Talented athlete. Product of a two-parent home.
Yet 15-year-old Jordan Edwards is dead — the latest unarmed black male to be killed during an encounter with the police…” (CNN)

What’s inside the Republican health care bill?
“House GOP lawmakers have made some more changes to their bill aimed at repealing Obamacare … or major portions of it.
Leaders from the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party hashed out a deal over the April recess to try to get more votes for the legislation, which was shelved in late March after failing to get enough votes to pass. No vote has been scheduled yet on the revised bill…” (CNN)

N. Korea nuclear test site shows continued activity
“Recent satellite imagery showed continued activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site, such as water pumping from a test tunnel and personnel playing volleyball games, a website monitoring the North said…” (The Korea Times)

Parents allowing ‘hagwon’ to beat their kids for better grades
“Some parents are still condoning “hagwon,” or private academies, beating their children to achieve better grades, according to Korea’s private education industry…”
(The Korea Times)

Native Tribe in Brazil Attacked with Guns and Machetes
“SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Authorities in Brazil are still trying to piece together what exactly happened in the rural area of Viana, in the Northeastern state of Maranhão on Sunday, as members of the Gamera indigenous tribe clashed with men armed with machetes and firearms, according to CIMI (Indigenous Missionary Council)…” (The Rio Times)

Brazil Ex-Minister Dirceu Released from Prison by Supreme Court“SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Supreme Court in Brazil voted three to two yesterday (May 2nd) to release former Minister José Dirceu from jail. Dirceu was arrested in August of 2015 by federal court judge Sérgio Moro in connection with Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash)…” (The Rio Times)

Jordan welcomes UNESCO vote in favour of Palestine
“AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday said UNESCO’s vote in favour of a Jerusalem item in the draft resolution “Occupied Palestine” reasserting previous decisions, shows growing world commitment to this very important issue…” (The Jordan Times)

King meets with EU representative over region, relations
“AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Wednesday discussed partnership between Jordan, France and the EU with Rapporteur of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Josette Durrieu, according to a Royal Court statement…” (The Jordan Times)

Theresa May declares war on Brussels, urging: ‘Let me fight for Britain’
“Theresa May has launched an extraordinary attack on Brussels, accusing European Union politicians and officials of seeking to disrupt the general election and willing Brexit to fail in a combative address delivered from Downing Street…” (The Guardian)

Hospital waiting lists ‘will rise above 5 million’ as targets slide
“The number of people in England forced to wait more than 18 weeks for a non-urgent operation could more than double as a result of the NHS’s decision to relax the obligation on hospitals to treat 92% of them in that time, a leaked document has revealed…”
(The Guardian)

 

Photo: By Дмитрий Ванькевич, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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