Category Archives: PND News

Senate GOP unveils ObamaCare overhaul

Source: ABC News

“Senate Republicans launched their plan for shriveling Barack Obama’s health care law Thursday, edging a step closer to their dream of repeal with a bill that would slice and reshape Medicaid for the poor, relax rules on insurers and end tax increases on higher earners that have helped finance expanded coverage for millions. Four conservative GOP senators quickly announced initial opposition to the measure and others were evasive, raising the specter of a jarring rejection by the Republican-controlled body. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated he was open to discussion and seemed determined to muscle the measure through his chamber next week.” (06/22/17)

Trump says he doesn’t have tapes of Comey conversations

Source: Los Angeles Times

“President Trump chose the day that secretive Senate Republicans released their much-anticipated healthcare bill to finally end some suspense of his own making: No, he hasn’t been surreptitiously recording conversations in the White House. In Twitter messages posted just before a scheduled White House news briefing Thursday, the president did not entirely rule out the possibility that recordings of his private conversations — with fired FBI Director James B. Comey or anyone else — exist. But, he wrote, ‘”I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.'” (06/22/17)

MS: Court lifts injunction on state law allowing government officials to refuse to do their jobs

Source: Raw Story

“A U.S. appeals court on Thursday lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi law allowing businesses and government employees to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people by citing religious beliefs. Opponents said they would likely seek to overturn the decision, arguing that the measure allowed for sweeping discrimination against the LGBT community. A three-judge panel at the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that blocked the 2016 law, known as House Bill 1523 and backed by Christian groups, from taking effect. The panel said the plaintiffs, who included ordained ministers who have married same-sex couples and same-sex couples seeking to marry, did not have standing to bring the lawsuit.” (06/22/17)

UK: After Grenfell Tower fire, tests show other high-rises have suspect panels


Source: CNBC

“Tests so far have found that at least seven high-rise apartment buildings in England have combustible external panels like the ones believed to have contributed to a fire that killed 79 people in London, Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said Thursday. Downing Street said 600 buildings in the country have ‘similar cladding’ to that of Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, which was destroyed by the June 14 blaze. The Department for Communities and Local Government later said that figure refers to buildings with all types of cladding and that not all of them necessarily have cladding made from the same aluminum composite material as Grenfell Tower. Landlords are being asked to check what the cladding on their buildings is made from.” (06/22/17)

Stephen Hawking wants humanity to leave Earth as soon as possible

Source: Fox News

“Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has been extremely vocal in recent months about his feelings that humanity needs to get off of Earth as soon as possible. With a troubled climate, ever growing population, and mounting risks of apocalypse at our own hands, Hawking has taken the stance that we’ll need a new place to live as soon as 100 years from now. Now, the 75-year-old scientist is pushing for a return trip to our closest cosmic neighbor: the moon. Speaking via live stream this week at the Starmus Festival, Hawking claimed that now is the time to start planning moon colonies, and that Mars should be the immediate successor once we’ve accomplished that. ‘We are running out of space, and the only place we can go to are other worlds,’ Hawking remarked. ‘It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth.’ Hawking also took the opportunity to lay out what he sees as the biggest risks for mankind’s ultimate survival. Global warming, resource shortages, and overpopulation were all included, and while the award-winning scientist admitted that the idea of venturing to new star systems is not possible at this time, he maintained that Earth is simply not enough for humanity.” (06/22/17)

UK population rise of 538,000 is biggest for 70 years

Source: BBC [UK state media]

“The population of the UK has increased by more than half a million (the biggest rise in 70 years) according to official figures. There were 65,648,000 people in the UK in June 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS said that was a rise of 538,000 on the figure in 2015, equivalent to a city the size of Bradford. Net migration of 336,000 accounted for 62.4%, while the difference between birth and death rates made up 35.8%. There was also an increase of 9,500 in armed forces personnel based in the UK.” (06/22/17)

CA: Judge says San Francisco can subpoena Uber for driver information

Source: Reuters [UK]

“A California state judge said on Thursday that San Francisco can demand from Uber records containing the ride-hailing company’s driver contact information, the city attorney said. San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera last month sought a court order compelling Uber Technologies Inc to comply with the city’s demands for information about the company’s drivers. The city Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office wants the names, addresses and driver’s license numbers of Uber’s drivers. Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer in San Francisco said in court that he will rule that the tax office has the authority to subpoena Uber for the information, Herrera said in a statement. The official ruling was expected as early as late Thursday. Uber had provided the city with the driver information for more than two years, but stopped in December. The company argues that the request violates driver privacy and could endanger drivers’ safety.” (06/22/17)

Big banks pass first round of Fed’s annual stress tests

Source: Fox Business News

“Thirty-four of the biggest U.S. banks have the financial strength to survive the next global recession, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday. The results were the first of two rounds of annual stress tests conducted by the central bank to assess how well financial institutions with $50 billion or more in consolidated assets could cope with shocks to financial markets and the economy. The most severe hypothetical scenario assumes $383 billion in loan losses at the firms over nine quarters amid a ‘severe’ global recession, a 10% unemployment rate in the U.S. and stress in the corporate loan market and commercial real estate. Additionally, under the scenario, the industry’s common equity tier 1 capital ratio (a cushion against shocks that measures core equity capital against total risk-weighted assets) would fall to 9.2% from 12.5%. However, some banks would come out of such a crisis with less capital than others.” (06/22/17)

Trump proposes a law that’s existed for 20 years

Source: USA Today

“President Trump called for a new law barring immigrants from receiving welfare for at least five years at a rally on Wednesday. But neither Trump nor nearly 6,000 of his die-hard supporters seemed to realize that the law has already existed for more than 20 years. Trump received a standing ovation and pledged his administration would put the legislation into effect ‘very shortly.’ … ‘I believe the time has come for new immigration rules which say that those seeking admission into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,’ Trump told the crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As The Hill reported, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. The law prevents immigrants from receiving federal benefits, such as food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security for five years after entering the country. There are some exceptions, however, for children and pregnant women, refugees, and active duty military or veterans. It’s possible Trump could introduce tougher limitations and regulations on top of the existing law.” (06/22/17)

SCOTUS limits regime’s power to revoke citizenship

Source: The Hill

“The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a naturalized immigrant can’t be stripped of their citizenship for making false statements during the naturalization process that are irrelevant to an immigration official’s decision to grant or deny citizenship. A unanimous court said the government must establish that an immigrant’s illegal act during the naturalization process played some role in acquiring citizenship. When the underlying illegal act is a false statement, the justices said a jury must decide whether the false statements altered the naturalization process and influenced the immigration official’s decision.” (06/22/17)