Wednesday Top Headline Summary
Brexit, California death penalty, Obama DOJ, college cheating scheme, transgender troop policy, Planned Parenthood, and more.
According to Reuters, “British lawmakers crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting Britain deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay.” The vote was 391-242 and represented the second such rebuke, though the margin this time around was more respectable. Reuters adds, “The vote puts the world’s fifth largest economy in uncharted territory with no obvious way forward; exiting the EU without a deal, delaying the March 29 divorce date, a snap election or even another referendum are all now possible. May might even try a third time to get parliamentary support.”
“Gov. Gavin Newsom is putting a moratorium on the death penalty in California, sparing the lives of more than 700 death-row inmates,” The Sacramento Bee reports. An effort to repeal the death penalty was thwarted by voters three years ago, but Newsom is issuing an executive order to circumvent and defy that reproach. As the Bee notes, “While campaigning for a measure to repeal the death penalty in 2016, he told The Modesto Bee editorial board he would ‘be accountable to the will of the voters,’ if he were elected governor. ‘I would not get my personal opinions in the way of the public’s right to make a determination of where they want to take us’ on the death penalty, he said.”
“Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe last summer that ‘the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information,’ the congressman alleged … Tuesday, citing a newly unearthed transcript of Page’s closed-door testimony. … Page’s testimony was perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department improperly interfered with the FBI’s supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton’s criminal culpability, Ratcliffe alleged.” (Fox News)
Higher-ed corruption: “Hollywood actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among 50 people charged in a $25 million college entrance exam cheating scheme, according to court documents unsealed in Boston on Tuesday. The alleged scam focused on getting students admitted to elite universities as recruited athletes, regardless of their athletic abilities, and helping potential students cheat on their college exams, according to the indictment.” (NBC News)
“A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge has ruled Baltimore City Schools ‘knowingly and willfully’ violated the law,” FOX45 reports, adding: “In December 2017, FOX45 sued Baltimore City Public Schools on behalf of parents and taxpayers who say children are being pushed through the system without the education they need. But City Schools has refused to release important documents about how some students are graduating. Now, a judge is making them.” This is an important case because it’s happening to some extent in every inner city across the nation.
“The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender,” according to the Associated Press. “It falls short of the all-out transgender ban that was initially ordered by President Donald Trump. But it will likely force the military to eventually discharge transgender individuals who need hormone treatments or surgery and can’t or won’t serve in their birth gender. The order says the military services must implement the new policy in 30 days, giving some individuals a short window of time to qualify for gender transition if needed. And it allows service secretaries to waive the policy on a case-by-case basis.” Of course, gender transition is never “needed.”
“More than a dozen Republican senators introduced legislation on Tuesday that would make it easier for Congress to terminate future national emergency declarations, days before the chamber will vote on President Trump’s. The legislation, spearheaded by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), would require that Congress pass a resolution extending an emergency declaration after 30 days for it to continue; otherwise the declaration would be terminated. … Lee’s legislation would not impact Trump’s current emergency declaration on the wall but, if passed, would impact any future emergency declarations.” (The Hill)
“North Korea is covertly developing and testing nuclear arms and ballistic missiles at civilian facilities in a bid to prevent a ‘decapitation’ military strike against its weapons plants and storage depots, according to a report by a UN panel of experts. Additionally, the Security Council panel stated in the experts’ latest report that North Korea engaged in ‘massive’ illegal transfers of oil and coal in violation of sanctions designed to punish Pyongyang for nuclear and missile development. … National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday said the Trump administration is taking a wait and see approach to the activities.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
“A federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood Tuesday. The 2016 law bars state funding to any healthcare organization that performs or promotes abortions. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, had sued over the law claiming that it violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 11-6 Tuesday to overturn a previous decision by a three-judge panel in the same appeals court that said the law was unconstitutional.” (Townhall)
Humor: Elizabeth Warren leaves brutal 1-star review for Ancestry.com (The Babylon Bee)
Policy: Daniel J. Mitchell says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “not only reduce long-run growth by distorting the allocation of capital, they also bear considerable responsibility for last decade’s financial crisis since they played a major role in fueling the housing bubble.” As such, they should be shuttered. Read more at the Foundation for Economic Education.
Policy: In light of the college admissions scandal, The Heritage Foundation’s Mary Clare Amselem advises “all Americans to rethink the system they are paying into. Celebrities such as Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were able to cheat the system because of their elite celebrity status and high financial capital.”
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.