News Briefs – National and International



GOP Unable to Pull Off Obamacare Repeal

President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare fell flat on its face, as the proposed legislation was pulled from consideration by the House of Representatives just before it went to a vote. According to Trump, the GOP was only a handful of votes away from passing the repeal. This comes after weeks of Trump, along with several members of his cabinet, trying to appeal with congressional conservatives who were still not on board with the bill. This fallout was greatly due to opposition by the Freedom Caucus, which is composed of approximately three dozen hardline members. House Speaker Paul Ryan conceded defeat, saying, “Obamacare is the law of the land,” but added that he feels that Obamacare will progressively get worse, allowing the next repeal attempt to be successful.


Confirmation Hearings Begin for SCOTUS nominee

Confirmation hearings began for President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, last Monday. Gorsuch, who currently sits on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, faced four days of questioning in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearings consisted mostly of Republicans praising Gorsuch’s nomination and record as a judge while Democrats continuously pressed the nominee on issues such as Roe v. Wade and torture, as well as concern over how he interprets the Constitution. Gorsuch said that he is an originalist in terms of judicial philosophy, but assured Democrats that he is not looking to return to the “horse-and-buggy days.” Following the conclusion of the hearings, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for a filibuster on the part of Democrats, but Republicans seem certain that they will be able to confirm Gorsuch to the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Antonin Scalia.


86-Year-Old Raises Over $400,000, Gives it Away

CNN reported that an 86-year-old Georgia man has accumulated more than $400,000 over the past thirty-two years and donated every penny to charity. Johnny Jennings says that he has raised the money by recycling over nine million pounds of newspapers and magazines, which began as a way to teach his son about healthy money habits. Jennings says that he collects paper each week, and then recycles it at a local center. Once a year, Jennings presents a check to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries which is usually in the area of $10,000 to $35,000. Jennings says that his message is simple: “If you got it to give, give it away.”



Terror Attack in front of British Parliament

Four people were killed in the deadliest terror attack to hit Britain in twelve years. The attack occurred last Wednesday on the Westminster Bridge, in front of the British Parliament building. Police have arrested a 52-year-old British man named Khalid Masood as the perpetrator of the attack. Masood allegedly was the one who rammed a rental car onto the sidewalk by the bridge, killing two. Following this, Masood stabbed an unarmed police officer, who later died. In total, four people died and twenty-nine others were injured. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to a news agency ties to the terror organization. British Prime Minister Teresa May announced that Britain is not afraid of ISIS and said that, “Our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism.”


Al Qaeda Continues to Grow in Syria

Affiliates of the terrorist organization Al Qaeda have been gaining ground in Syria, per a report by the Washington Times. According to the report, the fighters are taking advantage of Syria’s focused efforts to combat the Islamic States in the country’s northern territories. These efforts have resulted in Al Qaeda overrunning government forces in the Syrian cities of Qomhana and Ma’an. These developments have prompted the U.S. government to issue a ban on all electronics inside the cabins of U.S. bound commercial aircraft traveling from several Middle Eastern countries.


Peruvian Floods, Mudslides Continue as Death Toll Reaches 72

The country of Peru continues to be plagued by floods and mudslides resulting from weeks of continuous rain, resulting in a death toll of 72 so far. According to authorities, more than half a million people in and around the country capital of Lima have been affected and several cities have declared states of emergency. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has continued to ask his citizens to remain calm and used Twitter to thank Pope Francis and the government of Ecuador for their support. The continuous rain could last up to two more weeks.