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Two stories you should know about the Trump administration
Domestically: The Justice Department reversed its position on a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act. At first, the administration argued that only some of the act is unconstitutional. Now the department says the whole act should be thrown out.
Why you should care: Throwing out the whole act means ending popular bipartisan provisions, like the ban on denying health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. Democrats are thrilled that Trump is reigniting this fight.
Internationally: The State Department will expand a rule that withholds US funding from any international nongovernmental organization that “provides or promotes abortion as a method of birth control.” Now the rule will apply to any local organizations those international organizations support.
Why you should care: International health organizations say this worsens an already devastating policy for women’s health.
Criminal charges against Jussie Smollett have been dropped
The Empire actor’s story gripped the internet with its many wild turns, so let’s add one more twist: Smollett was facing more than a dozen felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report — and all criminal charges were dropped.
It was not immediately clear why the charges against the actor were dropped, but the State’s Attorney’s Office stood by the police investigation and its original decision to pursue charges.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is furious with Smollett and lashed out at the prosecutors who dropped the charges against him.
NASA canceled a historic all-women spacewalk because it could only offer one suit that fit the women. Wild that humanity can land people on the moon but can’t make two medium spacesuits available at the same time.
A New York county is banning unvaccinated children from public spaces to fight a measles outbreak. Rockland County declared a state of emergency. Its outbreak, which has dragged on for six months and infected 153 people, is the largest since measles was formally declared eradicated in the US in 2000.
Yale has rescinded admission for a student whose family allegedly paid $1.2 million to get her in. This is believed to be the first such move by a US college since the admissions scandal broke. Former Yale women’s soccer coach Rudy Meredith was charged with accepting bribes to designate two applicants as soccer recruits to get them admitted.
An Arby’s manager allegedly shot and killed a customer after he threatened and spit on her. Deionna Young was charged with first-degree murder after Tulsa police said she shot and killed a man who repeatedly threatened her and spat on her face, and then returned to finish her shift.
Cardi B is defending herself after a video showed her saying she used to drug and rob men. In a lengthy Instagram post, she shot back against critics, saying, “I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”
This 95-year-old man took several buses to join a march against racism in New Zealand. John Sato told a really moving story about why he was so motivated to join the march.
The White House and federal scientists are pushing the myth that marijuana is laced with fentanyl
As the US continues to grapple with an opioid overdose crisis, the idea that deadly amounts of fentanyl are tainting the marijuana market has persisted. This is a myth, but now it has boosters who are senior leaders in the White House and elsewhere in government.
Kellyanne Conway, the White House’s opioid crisis czar, warned of the risks of illicit fentanyl turning up in other drugs, including marijuana. The risk exists for some drugs, but there’s little evidence it applies to marijuana.
Experts are concerned about misinformation spreading on a topic where it’s already hard for the public to access accurate information.
A couple got engaged on American Idol and Katy Perry’s reaction was the opposite of chill
I totally missed the memo that Perry is one of the judges on American Idol, and this was a delightful way to find out.
A couple got engaged onstage on the show, and their story is very lovely. But what really caught the internet’s eye was Perry’s reaction to the engagement.
I will leave you to enjoy the whole spectacle, but here’s just a tiny little taste of the full-blown collapse at the sight of love.