TL;DR – TOP STORIES FOR THE WEEK
- Obamacare prices to increase by an average of 20-25%
- North Dakota Pipeline protests continue
- Trump Hollywood star destroyed in California
- FBI reopening investigation into Hillary Clinton over new emails
- Calais migrant camp “The Jungle” cleared out
- Fighting continues in Iraq and Syria
- Pakistani college attacked, leaving 150+ dead or injured
- South Korean “Choi-Gate” scandal
- Some African countries will leave the International Criminal Court
- Large marine sanctuary will be established in Antarctica’s Ross Sea
Further information and more stories:
“Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday.” (AP) “The price of the most popular plan under ObamaCare will increase by an average of 25 percent…. This year’s increase — which is more than triple that of last year’s — is the sharpest jump yet since the launch of HealthCare.gov.” (TH)
“A tour bus crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer on a Southern California highway before dawn on Sunday, killing 13 people and injuring 31, authorities said.” (Reuters)
“Native American leaders vowed on Saturday to protest through the winter against a North Dakota oil pipeline they say threatens water resources and sacred lands, and are weighing lawsuits over police treatment of arrested protesters.” (Reuters) Hundreds have been arrested over the past week.
“The Pentagon is suspending its debt collection program to claw back bonuses paid to thousands of California National Guard soldiers who re-enlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Defense Secretary Ash Carter calling the current situation ‘unacceptable.'” (NPR)
Airlines had a rougher-than-normal week:
- A FedEx plane caught fire in Florida after its main landing gear collapsed during a landing.
- An American Airlines jet was seen on fire at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after an engine failure. 170 people were on board, and safely evacuated without serious injuries.
- At LaGuardia Airport in NYC, a plane carrying VP candidate Mike Pence and 39 others slid off the runway during a landing. Inclement weather was thought to be the cause, and no injuries were reported.
UNITED STATES POLITICS
With just over a week before the 2016 presidential election, polls have not shown either major candidate with a commanding general-election lead (overall).
Wikileaks continued to release emails which could be viewed as damaging to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Politico ran a story on one email titled “Hacked memo offers an angry glimpse inside ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’” Wikileaks announced on Friday that they’ve published 35,594 emails for the Podesta Leaks, with an additional 50,000 coming.
“The FBI on Friday said it is reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, a stunning and unexpected move that comes over a week before the presidential election.” (TH) “The major U.S. stock indexes flipped from positive to negative on the news.” (WSJ)
Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed was a man with a sledgehammer and pickaxe. He filmed the destruction, saying his original plan was to remove the star and sell it. “He was reportedly getting ready to hold a news conference to brag about his vandalism when the LAPD moved in.” (TH) The suspect, Jamie Otis, was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism.
“A journalist posing as representative for a Chinese client wanting to donate $2 million to the top pro-Trump super PAC was reportedly directed by the group’s co-chairman to funnel the cash through a non-profit so that the source could not be traced.” (TH)
“Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton personally OK’d outside groups to follow Donald Trump on the campaign trail in a Donald Duck costume, according to reports… in a possible violation of federal election law.” (TH)
“Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been sentenced to 10 to 23 months in prison for perjury, obstruction of justice and abuse of office charges. Kane, the first Democrat to be elected to Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement position, resigned in August after being convicted on all nine counts.” (TH)
“Almost 2,000 migrants have been bussed away from the ‘Jungle’ in Calais as French authorities clear the camp.” (BBC)
A 2.5 billion euro bailout fund was approved for Greece.
“Spain was close to turning the page on a 10-month political crisis Saturday as lawmakers readied to vote the conservatives back into power, although at the head of a government with unprecedented opposition.” (AFP)
iraq and syria
The fight to retake Mosul from the Islamic State continued. As many as 200,000 civilians may be displaced by the conflict in under a month. The Islamic State has been accused of taking civilians hostage and using them as human shields.
“With the battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul under way — and a similar effort across the Syrian border in Raqqa planned soon — Islamic State militants are making aggressive use of small drones to survey Iraqi and U.S. forces and drop explosive devices, the top U.S. general in Iraq said.” (Bloomberg)
“Rebels in Syria have announced a big offensive aimed at breaking the government siege of east Aleppo.” (BBC)
“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Thursday for an immediate investigation of an attack on a school in Syria’s Idlib province that the U.N.’s children’s agency is calling one of the deadliest of its kind in the country’s six-year war. UNICEF raised its toll for Wednesday’s attack to 28 dead, among them 22 children and six teachers.” (AP)
The country has been consumed with a series of scandals, and people are calling for the President to resign. She admitted to repeatedly giving government documents to a long-time friend, who often told the President what to do and say. This friend is not a government employee and may have organized secret meetings to “help” run state affairs. Additional allegations of cronyism and corruption have surfaced over the past few weeks.
“Venezuela’s opposition-majority legislature declared Sunday that President Nicolas Maduro’s government had committed a coup d’etat by blocking a referendum on removing him from power, vowing mass protests and international pressure.” (AFP) “Venezuelan lawmakers Sunday said they would begin impeachment proceedings against President Nicolás Maduro in a raucous session that briefly had to be halted after pro-government protesters stormed the halls of parliament.” (WSJ)
“Until last week, no country had withdrawn from the International Criminal Court. Now, three African states — South Africa, Burundi and Gambia — have made official decisions to leave.” (AP) More countries are expected to exit the ICC. Gambia’s Information Minister lamented “Not a single Western war criminal has been indicted.”
“Libya navy spokesman: 90 migrants believed dead after their rickety boat was damaged hours after leaving Libyan shore.” (AP)
technology and environment
“A group of maritime archaeologists studying sea levels in the Black Sea have uncovered over 40 shipwrecks this year as a ‘complete bonus.'” (QZ)
“After years of negotiations, nations have reached an agreement to establish the world’s largest marine sanctuary in Antarctica’s Ross Sea.” (NPR)
“Federal regulators have approved unprecedented new rules to ensure broadband providers do not abuse their customers’ app usage and browsing history, mobile location data and other sensitive personal information generated while using the Internet.” (WP)
“A Chinese electronics maker has recalled millions of products sold in the U.S. following a massive cyberattack that briefly blocked access to websites including Twitter and Netflix.” (TIME)
Twitter announced that it would shut down Vine and lay off 9 percent of its global workforce.