In the News this Week
Debra Brown | Wednesday October 4th 2017
In case you’ve missed these headlines, we’ve recapped them for you here. Also, check out our monthly series “F*ck Donald Trump” where we keep you updated with everything happening with his administration. Stay Woke.
Mass Shooting in Las Vegas, One of the Largest in U.S History.
Mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip was one of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, which left 59 people dead, including the gunman and about 500 others injured. Twelve rifles the gunman had in his hotel suite on Sunday were outfitted with a “bump stock,” a device that would enable them to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, according to law enforcement. All but three of the victims have been identified as of Tuesday morning. The shooters motives are still unknown.
You can help by donating to a victims fund and blood donation centers and then calling your representative about gun laws in your state and nationwide. In Nevada, for example, gun owners don’t have to have licenses and can open carry their firearms without a permit. Nationally, Republicans said Tuesday they had halted plans, at least temporarily, to advance a bill that would make it easier for Americans to buy gun silencers, which law enforcement officers argue could make it harder to identify the suspect during mass shootings.
Donald Trump Touches Down in Puerto Rico for the First Time Since Hurricane Maria.
Nearly two weeks after Category 4 storm Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump touched down for the first time. Trump tossed paper towels at hurricane victims and told Puerto Rican officials Tuesday they should be “very proud” that hundreds of people haven’t died after Hurricane Maria as they did in “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that the death toll had risen to 34. As of today, the island is still grappling with the damage caused by Hurricane Maria and deeply plunged in recovery efforts.
Only 47 percent of the island’s water customers have access to potable water, according to the office of Puerto Rico’s governor, and just 7 percent of the island has power back.
Here is how you can help.
Catalonia’s Independence Vote Descends Into Chaos and Clashes.
Spain is facing its most serious constitutional crisis since its modern democracy began in the late 1970’s. In a referendum on Catalan independence Sunday, about 90% of the nearly 2.3 million votes cast were in favor, and about 8% were against, according to the Catalan regional government. Spain’s King Felipe VI said, “They have systematically violated legally and legitimately approved rules, showing an inadmissible disloyalty toward the powers of the state.” The Catalan government said it wanted to avoid a “traumatic break” from Spain and appealed to the EU to help mediate with Madrid.
Program that Provided Low-Cost Health Care to 9 Million Children Expired.
Congress just allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program to expire. The program, created under a 1997 law passed with bipartisan support during the administration of President Bill Clinton, provided coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes as well as to pregnant women. States still have some CHIP money available, but if Congress does not act quickly to restore the program, they will start to run out. The Senate Finance and the House Energy and Commerce committees have scheduled votes Wednesday on legislation to extend CHIP funding. If both approve their individual bills, floor votes could come quickly.
Health Secretary Tom Price Resigns Under Pressure.
Tom Price resigned as secretary of Health and Human Services Friday, amid a controversy over spending more than $1 million in taxpayer money on private and military jets. Price’s departure came as he’s being investigated by the department’s inspector general for using private jets for multiple government business trips, even to fly distances often as short as from Washington to Philadelphia. The cost for the trips ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Federal Appeals Court Requires Immigration Authorities to Consider Financial Resources When Setting Bond.
In a major legal victory for immigrants’ rights, a federal appeals court today ruled that the government cannot set unreasonable bonds for detained immigrants, including asylum seekers, by failing to consider their financial resources.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stems from a class-action lawsuit, Hernandez v. Sessions, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Southern California, and pro bono attorneys from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
Before this ruling, the Department of Homeland Security and immigration judges were not required — unlike in non-immigration cases — to consider ability-to-pay when setting bond for individuals facing deportation. Many immigrants remained incarcerated for months or even years simply because they could not afford the bond.