Thursday June 29, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day
1. Wednesday, Cardinal George Pell, of Australia, one of the highest-ranking Roman Catholic Church officials and confidante of Pope Francis, was charged with multiple historical sex crimes. These charges bring the ongoing sexual abuse claims right to the heart of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican. Cardinal Pell has been granted a leave from his position with Pope Francis, stating that he will fight the charges as “I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.” According to police in the Australian state of Victoria, Pell is facing “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences” from multiple complainants, and that the charges stem from his time as a priest in the 1970’s.
2. Wednesday, the Department of Defense’s budget proposal blocks the use of the computer security company Kaspersky Lab due to concerns that the company “might be vulnerable to Russian government influence.” The ban of Kaspersky products comes on the heels of the FBI interviewing employees of the firm in Washington D.C in the last week. The founder of the security company, Eugene Kaspersky, has also offered to testify in front Congress.
3. Infighting has erupted between members of the Republican Senate over the proposed GOP healthcare plan. Senators in states where Medicaid was expanded under the Affordable Care Act, are facing challenges from the voters but also from the governors of said states. In a first, members of a Pro-Trump PAC organized ads against fellow Republican Senator Dean Heller, which did air Tuesday in Nevada, but have since been pulled. The ads attacked Heller as a Pro-Obamacare and more importantly, Pro-Nancy Pelosi. These ads were a first. Attacking members of your own political party, especially when you only have a 2-vote majority, is unheard of. Democrats such as Senator Chuck Schumer, are now pleading with the GOP to work together to create a healthcare plan that will improve the current healthcare plan.
4. In strange but true news, the New Mexico Department of Health, announced Wednesday, that they have confirmed two cases of plague in Santa Fe County. The plague is transmitted to people through bites from infected fleas or contact with infected rodents and other wildlife. Dr. Paul Ettestad, public health veterinarian for the Department of Health, said in a press release that “pets that are allowed to roam and hunt can bring infected fleas from dead rodents back into the home, putting you and your children at risk. Keeping your pets at home or on a leash and using an appropriate flea control product is important to protect you and your family.” The symptoms of the plague are sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness. In most cases, there is also a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas in humans. In pets the symptoms are fever, lethargy and loss of appetite.
5. Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee asked 21 state election officials to make public information about Russian efforts to hack their elections systems during the 2016 elections. Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), the panel’s chairman and vice chairman, respectively, wrote letters to each state asking for the information. The committee is also asking for the 21 states to be publicly identified so as Senator Warner stated, “I do not see how Americans are made safer when they do not know which state elections systems Russia tried to hack.”
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