News Daypop Archives

Justice Department Plans Appeal Of AT&T-Time Warner Merger Approval

According to a court filing, the Justice Department filed an appeal challenging its loss in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial on Thursday, July 12. AT&T completed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner a few weeks ago after a federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the deal would be anti-competitive. AT&T is one of the country’s biggest telecom providers and its purchase of Time Warner allowed it to pick up some of the biggest media brands in the U.S., including HBO and CNN. AT&T said in a statement Thursday that the U.S. District Judge Richard Leon correctly decided the case.... [Read Full Story]

Comcast Offers $34 Billion For Sky TV, Topping A Bid From Fox

The bidding war for Sky TV, the European pay-TV service, heated up Wednesday when Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox upped it’s offer, but then later in the day Comcast Corp. countered with an even higher offer. Independent directors of the London company initially approved Fox’s $32.5-billion bid, but they withdrew their support and accepted Comcast’s offer, which valued Sky at $34 billion. Martin Gilbert, Sky’s deputy chairman, said in a statement, “The Independent Committee welcomes this increased offer which presents an attractive premium for Sky shareholders. We have long recognized the unique position that Sky occupies in the European direct-to-consumer landscape and unanimously recommend this offer by Comcast.” It was unclear late Wednesday whether Fox would bid again. ... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Issues Harsh Attack On Germany At NATO Summit

President Donald Trump launched a sharp public attack on Germany on Wednesday for supporting a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russia, saying Berlin had become “a captive to Russia” and he criticized it for failing to raise defense spending more. Trump met reporters with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, before a NATO summit in Brussels, said it was “very inappropriate” that the United States was paying for European defense against Russia while Germany, the biggest European economy, was supporting gas deals with Moscow.... [Read Full Story]

Federal Judge Warns Trump Administration To Meet Deadline On Family Reunification

A federal judge on Tuesday told the Trump administration to adhere to the deadline for reuniting children separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” policy, even as officials have said they’ll be unable to meet it. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw stuck to his Tuesday deadline for the youngest children to be returned to their parents, despite government officials indicating they’d be unable to meet the target.  “These are firm deadlines; they are not aspirational goals,” Sabraw said. “I would like the process to continue as expeditiously as it has been with paramount focus on the children’s welfare.”  The judge additionally asked for an update from the government on the reunification process by Thursday. Government lawyers said that U.S. officials will only be able to reunite 75 of 102 children under the age of 5 in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The others are not eligible to be reunited because their parents have criminal records, haven’t been verified or have been otherwise ruled unfit.... [Read Full Story]

Facebook Faces First Fine Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

On Tuesday, Facebook was hit with its first fine related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the data firm obtaining personal information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a privacy and data watchdog office in the United Kingdom, announced Tuesday that it would fine Facebook the maximum allowed penalty of $664,000 for what it said was improperly overlooked warning signs and for lacking overall privacy protections that could have prevented Cambridge Analytica from obtaining the sensitive data. In a statement, Facebook responded to the findings by acknowledging it “should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015.”  Facebook admitted back in April that as many as 87 million people could have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica has maintained that none of the data obtained without the knowledge of Facebook users was shared with or used for the purposes of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. ... [Read Full Story]

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson Resigns Over Brexit Plan

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has become the second cabinet minister to quit, as divisions over Brexit deepen a political crisis threatening Prime Minister Theresa May’s government. Johnson’s departure on Monday came a day after David Davis, the British minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, also stepped down amid disagreement’s over the country’s strategy. The two resignations raise questions over whether May will stand firm in her commitment to pursuing Brexit, or will be faced with more resignations and calls to quit herself. “This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary,” May’s spokesman said in a statement. “His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.”... [Read Full Story]

Thai Cave Rescue: Seven Boys Now Freed As Mission To Save Others Continues

Four more youngsters have reportedly been freed from the flooded Thai cave – a day after four boys were pulled from the complex. The second phase of the dangerous operation to rescue the youth football team began on Monday. It was confirmed at 11am BST that a fifth boy had been freed. An hour later, two more were reportedly taken to safety. And an eighth was seen on a stretcher at around 1pm BST, a witness said.  Four boys and their coach remain trapped amid a race against time and water. Those rescued so far are said to be in “good health”. Rescuers have been rushing to save the boys – aged 11 to 16 – and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province. Authorities said heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels in the cave, where workers continue to pump water out. Local official Narongsak Osottanakorn said: “Today we are ready like before. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain.”... [Read Full Story]

U.K.’s Senior Official In Charge Of Brexit, David Davis, Resigns

Britain’s senior official in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union resigned Sunday. David Davis’ resignation comes days after Prime Minister Theresa May secured the cabinet’s backing for her Brexit plan. Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties. On Friday, Davis and the rest of May’s fractious Cabinet agreed on a plan for ties with the EU after the U.K. leaves next year.  On Monday, May is due to brief lawmakers on the plan agreed by the Cabinet during its 12-hour meeting. It seeks to keep the U.K. and the EU in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products. Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019. The EU has warned Britain that time is running out to seal a divorce deal.... [Read Full Story]

Puerto Rican Mayor And Two Other Government Officials Arrested On Corruption Charges

A mayor and two former government officials in Puerto Rico face public corruption charges in separate cases that involve a total of $8 million in federal and local funds, authorities said Thursday. The suspects are the mayor of the southwest town of Sabana Grande and the former directors of finance for the northern town of Toa Baja. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told reporters that the former officials from Toa Baja are accused of using nearly $5 million worth of federal funds to pay the town’s public employees and municipal contractors. Toa Baja’s former interim finance director, Angel Roberto Santos Garcia, is accused of making similar transactions worth $650,000 using funds from those two federal agencies. A spokeswoman for Ortiz could not be immediately reached for comment. The arrests come as Puerto Rico struggles to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and tries to restructure a portion of its $70 billion public debt load.... [Read Full Story]

Scott Pruitt Resigns As EPA Administrator Amid Ethics Scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies, citing “the unrelenting attacks” on himself and his family, which “have taken a sizable toll on all of us.” President Donald Trump first tweeted the news Thursday that Pruitt had resigned. “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump tweeted. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.” Pruitt’s resignation follows months during which the EPA administrator has been embroiled in controversy. Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt’s recently Senate-confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA.... [Read Full Story]

Protester Climbs Statue Of Liberty On July 4 Shutting Down Liberty Island

A protest against U.S. immigration policy forced the evacuation of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July, and a woman held police at bay for hours after she climbed the base and sat by the statue’s robes. The woman’s climb forced thousands of visitors to leave the iconic American symbol on the nation’s birthday. About 100 feet above ground, the woman engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her.  She and the officers edged around the statue toward a ladder, and she climbed down about 25 feet to the monument’s observation point and was taken into custody. The woman, Therese Okoumou, told police she was protesting the separation of immigrant children from parents who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Jay W. Walker, an organizer with Rise and Resist, arranged the demonstration and said the other demonstrators had no idea the woman would make the climb, which wasn’t part of the planned protest. “We don’t know whether she had this planned before she ever got to Liberty Island or whether it was a spur-of-the-moment decision,” Walker said.  Visitors were forced to leave Liberty Island hours before its normal 6:15 p.m. closing time.... [Read Full Story]

Two Critically Ill From The Same Nerve Agent That Poisoned Ex-Russian Spy

Tests on two Britons found unconscious in their home determined that they were poisoned by the same nerve agent used against a former Russian spy and his daughter earlier this year, British police said Wednesday. The discovery triggered new security precautions in the area of Amesbury, England, where the couple were sickened. The town is seven miles from Salisbury, where former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok in March. The British government blamed Russia for the attack. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement. The man and the woman, both in their mid-40s, remain in critical condition. Investigators are now focusing on how and where the man and the woman came into contact with Novichok.... [Read Full Story]

12 Boys, Soccer Coach Found Alive in Flooded Cave In Thailand After More Than 1 Week

Rescuers found 12 boys and their soccer coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late Monday, more than a week after they disappeared and touched off a desperate search that drew international help and captivated the nation. Video released early Tuesday showed the boys in their soccer uniforms sitting on a dry area inside the cave above the water as a spotlight, apparently from a rescuer, illuminated their faces. Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the 13 were in the process of being rescued, but he cautioned that they were not out of danger yet.  The discovery of the boys was captured on video and posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page. The youths appeared alert, chatty even and seemed anxious to see daylight again. Officials said the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach need to first be examined by navy doctors and fed before they can be extricated from the partially flooded cave, and even that could pose difficulties if the water level begins to rise, as it did earlier in the search.... [Read Full Story]

Plan In Place To Dismantle Korean Nuclear Program Within A Year

The United States has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year, U.S. National security adviser John Bolton said today, although U.S. intelligence reported signs that Pyongyang doesn’t intend to fully give up its arsenal. Bolton said top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo will be discussing that plan with North Korea in the near future. Bolton added that it would be to the North’s advantage to cooperate to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan start to flow. Bolton’s remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation” appeared to be the first time the Trump administration had publicly suggested a timeline for North Korea to fulfill the commitment leader Kim Jong Un made at a summit with President Donald Trump last month for the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.... [Read Full Story]

Housing Assistance Extended For Nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican Hurricane Evacuees

A judge has ordered federal emergency officials to extend vouchers for temporary hotel housing for nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees, saying ending the program could cause irreparable harm. The decision came shortly after civil rights group LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed a lawsuit seeking relief for the Puerto Ricans, whose federal housing assistance vouchers were set to expire at midnight Sunday, meaning the evacuees could have been evicted from the hotels. The order says the agency cannot end its Transitional Sheltering Assistance program until at least midnight on Tuesday. The organization is pushing to let families stay another six months. U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin of Massachusetts wrote that ending the program would drain other public resources.  In a statement, FEMA said it was “aware of the Judge’s ruling regarding the end of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program for Puerto Rico and is working with its vendor and notifying hotels that the TSA program has been extended until 5 July to comply with the Court’s order.”... [Read Full Story]

5 People Dead In Shooting At Maryland’s Capital Gazette Newsroom

Five people are dead and several others are injured after a shooting at a building where the Capital Gazette is located in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday afternoon. The gunman, a Maryland man in his late 30s, targeted the Capital Gazette in the Annapolis shooting that killed five people, police said, and is now in custody. Police have not identified the man at this time, but he is currently being interrogated, Anne Arundel County police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said at a press conference shortly after 5:30 p.m., about three hours after police first received reports of multiple gunshots fired. Officials did not have exact numbers of how many people were injured, around three people are being treated for injuries. The wounded are being treated at two local medical centers, including Anne Arundel Medical Center.... [Read Full Story]

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Announces Retirement; President Trump Will Make His Second Supreme Court Pick

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday. The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights. Kennedy said he had informed his colleagues and President Trump of his plans, and that his retirement will take effect at the end of July. President Trump praised Kennedy as a man of “tremendous vision” and said his search for a new justice would begin “immediately.” Without Kennedy, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. Trump’s first high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017. It is likely that the President will name a nominee within weeks, setting in motion a process that could allow confirmation by the time the court reconvenes in early October. Trump already has a list of 25 candidates — 24 judges and Utah Sen. Mike Lee — and has said he would choose a nominee from that list.... [Read Full Story]

Federal Judge Orders Separated Families To Be Reunited Within 30 Days

A judge in California ordered United States border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days. If children are younger than 5, they must be reunified within 14 days of the order issued by US District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. Judge Sabraw, an appointee of former President Bush, also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations, unless the parent is deemed unfit or doesn’t want to be with the child. He also requires the government to provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days. More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents in recent weeks and placed in government-contracted shelters – hundreds of miles away, in some cases – under a now-abandoned policy toward families caught illegally entering the US.... [Read Full Story]

Supreme Court Rules For Anti-Abortion Clinics’ First Amendment Rights

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that California cannot require “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide information about the availability of abortion services elsewhere in the state, a move that rules in favor of anti-abortion clinics that claimed state law violated their First Amendment rights. The case was brought by two “crisis pregnancy centers” and challenged a California law called the “California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act”, otherwise known as the FACT Act. The law required the clinics to notify pregnant women seeking services that California provides free or low-cost abortion services and tell the women if staff at the center are licensed healthcare professionals. The clinics argued the California law limited their right to free speech by requiring them to provide information on abortion, which they opposed.... [Read Full Story]

Supreme Court Upholds President Trump’s Travel Ban, Rejects Muslim Bias Claim

A divided Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several mostly Muslim countries Tuesday, the conservative majority taking his side in a major ruling supporting his presidential power. One liberal justice said the court was making a historic mistake by refusing to recognize the ban discriminates against Muslims. The 5-4 decision was a big victory for President Trump in the court’s first substantive ruling on one of his administration’s policies. The ruling came on an issue that has been central for President Trump through his presidency. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion for the five conservative justices, including President Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch. Roberts wrote that the travel ban was well within U.S. presidents’ considerable authority over immigration and responsibility for keeping the nation safe. He rejected the challengers’ claim of anti-Muslim bias.... [Read Full Story]

FDA Approves First Drug Derived From Marijuana Plant

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant, as a treatment for rare forms of epilepsy that primarily afflict children. The drug, called Epidiolex, is an oral solution containing highly purified cannabidiol (CBD), which is one of scores of chemicals in the cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana. The drug contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive element THC and does not induce euphoria. Epidiolex was approved for patients age 2 and older who suffer from Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes. Both cause uncontrolled daily seizures and put patients at high risk for other physical and intellectual disabilities, injury and early death. The disorders afflict fewer than 45,000 people in the United States, but experts expect Epidiolex to be prescribed for other types of epilepsy as well. The drug is the first treatment approved for Dravet syndrome. The medication, tested in three randomized, placebo-controlled trials with more than 500 patients, was effective in reducing seizures, the FDA said.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Has Harsh Words For Rep. Maxine Waters After Restaurant Controversy Involving Kirstjen Nielsen And Sarah Sanders

On Monday, President Donald Trump called Rep. Maxine Waters “an extraordinarily low IQ person” in response to a weekend speech in which the Los Angeles Democrat urged people opposed to the administration’s policies to confront cabinet members. Monday’s presidential tweet was apparently prompted by comments that Waters made Saturday, alluding to the heckling of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was dining at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., last Tuesday when she was confronted by protesters, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders being asked last Friday to leave a Lexington, Virginia, restaurant by its owner. Rep. Waters had said: “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”... [Read Full Story]

U.S. Still Working On Reuniting Over 2,000 Children with Families

A total of 500 were reunited with their families and 2,053 left to go, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported this weekend. They also announced plans to partner with agencies in order to quickly return the remaining minors with their parents. The DHS assured it had a “well-coordinated” process in place to return the thousands of children separated from their guardians per the “zero tolerance” policy which until days ago was in full force along the U.S. southern border. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has implemented a tracking mechanism which they say will work to “”every minor and parent or guardian.” The DHS said  “The United States government knows the location of all children in its custody and is working to reunite them with their families.” These new details came after more than two months of confusion over how detained migrant parents, who are shuttled from facility to facility run by different government agencies, would ever reunite with their children, who are sent to shelters and foster homes scattered across the country.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Calls For Immediate Deportation Of Undocumented Immigrants With ‘No Judges Or Court Cases’

President Donald Trump said on Sunday that people who enter the United States illegally should be sent back immediately to where they came from without any judicial process, likening them to invaders who are trying to “break into” the country. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump said: “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”  He then said, “Cannot accept all of the people trying to break into our Country. Strong Borders, No Crime!” It was unclear if Trump was advocating an expansion of the provision that allows expedited removals of illegal immigrants at or near the U.S. border, a policy his administration has encouraged since he took office. The President did not differentiate between illegal immigrants and people who entered the United States to seek asylum protection.... [Read Full Story]

Koko, The Gorilla Who Knew Sign Language, Dies At 46

Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died. The Gorilla Foundation said the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in her sleep at the foundation’s preserve in Northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains on Tuesday.  Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language as part of a Stanford University project in 1974. The foundation said “Koko’s capacity for language and empathy opened the minds and hearts of millions.” Koko appeared in many documentaries and twice in National Geographic magazine. The gorilla’s 1978 cover featured a photo that the animal had taken of herself in a mirror. The foundation said it will honor Koko’s legacy with a sign language application featuring Koko for the benefit of gorillas and children, as well as other projects.... [Read Full Story]

First Lady Melania Trump Visits Immigrant Children At Texas Detention Center

Melania Trump visited two Texas facilities yesterday, which are housing some of the more than 2,300 migrant children sent by the U.S. government after their families entered the country illegally. The first lady visited the Upbring New Hope Children’s Center in McAllen, Texas on Thursday.  This comes after President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating families. However, his policy of criminally prosecuting illegal border-crossers remains. ... [Read Full Story]

Ex-Archbishop Of Washington, D.C. Suspended From Ministry After Sex Abuse Claims

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former head of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has been removed from public ministry by the Vatican following a “credible and substantiated” allegation of sexual abuse involving a teenager from nearly 50 years ago. Roman Catholic Church officials in New Jersey revealed that McCarrick, 87, also had been accused of sexual misconduct by adults three times in the past, and two of those accusations resulted in secret settlements. In a written statement, McCarrick said he was “shocked” when he learned of the allegation involving a minor some months ago and supported a thorough investigation by the police and the Archdiocese of New York, where he was working as a priest when the abuse allegedly occurred. McCarrick said, “While I have absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, and believe in my innocence, I am sorry for the pain the person who brought the charges has gone through, as well as for the scandal such charges cause our people.” ... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Signs Executive Order To Keep Families Together At Border

Under growing pressure to act unilaterally to address the immigration crisis, on Wednesday President Donald Trump signed an executive order that he said would keep immigrant families at the border together. Trump said he didn’t like the sight of families being separated, but said the “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting everyone who tries to cross the border illegally would continue. “It’s about keeping families together,” Trump said, “while ensuring we have a powerful, very strong border.” I think the word ‘compassion’ comes into it,” he said. “My wife feels strongly about it. I feel strongly about it. Anybody with a heart would feel this way,” he added. Vice President Mike Pence added that they are calling upon Congress to change the laws. Trump adds that the word “compassion” comes into it. Trump has been trying to win over congressional support on immigration amid a crisis along the border involving the separation of immigrant children from their families.... [Read Full Story]