Wednesday April 5, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

Wednesday April 5, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

1. Tuesday, a chemical gas attack took the lives of at least 58 people including 11 children in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. According to witnesses in the area of the devastation, and the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), who are the main opposition group to the regime in Syria, said planes from President Bashar al Assad’s military carried out the airstrikes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, (SOHR) have stated that those affected by the chemical attack fell while choking then fainting after the attack, with many seen foaming at the mouth. SOHR also stated that within hours of the attack a small field hospital in the region was struck and destroyed. Russia is placing the blame of the chemical attack on those rebels who want the regime of President Bashar al-Assad toppled. The United States has stated that the attack has all the earmarks of an attack by the regime, once again, on civilians in Syria. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Syrian ruler had acted with “brutal, unabashed barbarism.”

2. The Trump Administration continued their campaign to prove that the Obama Administration did in fact wiretap President Trump while he was a candidate for President. Those in the administration are now pointing to Susan Rice, former Obama national security adviser, as the one who had asked for the unmasking of names, those in the Trump transition team or were a part of the Trump campaign, that appeared in intelligence intercepts. Tuesday, Rice appeared on NBC News and stated that “I leaked nothing, to nobody, and never have and never would.” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in an interview with Fox News. “I think every American should know whether or not the national security adviser to President Obama was involved in unmasking Trump transition figures for political purposes.” Rice continued to deny any wrongdoing stating that, “Russian involvement in our electoral process are very important, they’re very serious, and every American ought to have an interest in those investigations going wherever the evidence indicates they should. I have an interest as an American citizen, as a former official and I would want to be helpful in that process if I could.”

3. The New York Times reported on Sunday that the popular Fox News host, Bill O’Reilly, had created settlements totaling $13 million had been reached with five women who accused O’Reilly of inappropriate behavior including sexual harassment. Tuesday, the story of O’Reilly and Fox News past of women who had been sexually harassed had caused 21 different advertisers to pull their companies ads from the Bill O’Reilly show. Social media users began to pressure other companies to follow suit with companies such as Allstate stating that it was “concerned about the issues surrounding the program” and that “inclusivity and support for women” are important company values. According to Fox, “The O’Reilly Factor,” reportedly generated about $446 million in ad revenue between 2014 and 2016.

4. Tuesday, North Korea, once again, fired a medium-range ballistic missile into its eastern waters in ahead of a critical meeting between President Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated Wednesday about the launch that, “the United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.” Meanwhile President Trump issued China with an ultimatum if it fails to pressure North Korea to scrap its nuclear program, saying Washington is ready to take action unilaterally stated that” if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

5. On the Hill, the vote for the Supreme Court is gearing up to be an outright verbal war between the GOP and the Democrats. The Democrats are staging a filibuster but the GOP is calling for the “nuclear option” meaning they will change the law to enable the passing of Neil Gorsuch to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Democrats are protesting that anyone is being processed for the Court when the current administration is under FBI investigation. They are still smarting also from what they call a stolen seat on the court because President Obama’s nomination of Garland Merrick was not even allowed to be brought forward to confirmation.

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