Thursday Top News Executive Summary
Barr contempt vote, border apprehensions, new fencing, Export-Import Bank, Vatican overhaul, and more.
BARR IN CONTEMPT: “The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress. … Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said it was disappointing that members of Congress ‘have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics.’” (Associated Press)
TRIPLE-DIGIT BORDER APPREHENSIONS: “Apprehensions and denials of migrants at the nation’s southern border hit 109,144 in April, the highest number in a single month since 2007. … A majority of those apprehended were traveling in family units, showing a sustained pattern of Central American family migration to the United States.” (The Hill)
MORE FENCING: “The Pentagon said Wednesday that it has enough funding to build 256 more miles of border wall in the near future, and will start construction at a rate of about a half mile a day over the next six months.” (National Review)
REPUGNANT: “The United Nations decided it would be a good idea to elect several countries with terrible track records on women’s rights to sit on boards that promote… women’s rights. Somalia was elected to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lebanon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone were among those elected to the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.” (Townhall)
TRUMP’S TARIFF THREAT, EXPLAINED: “The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies. … In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war.” (Reuters)
EX-IM REVIVED: “The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm three board members for the Export-Import Bank, reviving — over the objections of conservatives — a controversial federal agency that allows foreign countries to borrow taxpayer dollars.” (The Daily Signal)
TAXPAYERS ON HOOK FOR STUDENT LOANS: “Student loans, already a hardship for many young borrowers, now are projected to be a burden for another class of people: U.S. taxpayers. The federal student loan program will cost the federal government $31 billion over the next decade, according to recent estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That’s a shift from past CBO forecasts that the government would profit from the program.” (Bloomberg Government)
LONG-AWAITED CHANGES: “Pope Francis on Thursday issued a sweeping new law aimed at holding leadership more accountable while overhauling how the Roman Catholic Church deals with accusations of abuse and coverup. … When the rules come into force June 1, priests and nuns will be required for the first time to report abuse accusations to church authorities.” (The Washington Post)
FALSE NOTIONS ON VOTER SUPPRESSION: “It just so happens that two weeks ago the Census Bureau released a report on voter turnout in 2018, which climbed 11 percentage points from the last midterm election, in 2014, and surpassed 50% for the first time since 1982. Moreover, the increased turnout was largely driven by the same minority voters Democrats claim are being disenfranchised. Black turnout grew around 27%, and Hispanic turnout increased about 50%.” (Jason L. Riley, WSJ)
SETTLED SCIENCE: “A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication. … The study … centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people.” (Reason)
HUMOR: While cracking down on fringe conspiracy theorists, Facebook accidentally bans CNN (The Babylon Bee)
POLICY: The U.S. is hurtling toward sequestration and no one seems to care (RealClearPolitics)
POLICY: This could be the year of regime change in Iran (Issues & Insights)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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