Speaking in Rome today, Pope Francis called on his followers to become "Custodians of Creation," reported ThinkProgress.
The church's first Argentinean pope took his name from Saint Francis of Assisi, famous for his love of all animals. Pope Francis noted that love in his address today, saying God has charged humanity with caring for the created world — and each other.
"Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude," Francis said. "Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!"
The Vatican held a five-day summit earlier this month addressing sustainability initiatives; the summit welcomed experts from fields including microbiology and astronomy, along with legal scholars and economists, to advise the Catholic church on climate change issues. Sarah Eberspacher
During a speech to the National Petroleum Council, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he thinks 30 percent of his department's employees are not loyal to him or President Trump.
There are 70,000 employees, and Zinke told the oil industry group that "30 percent of the crew" isn't "loyal to the flag. We do have good people, but the direction has to he clear and you've got to hold people accountable." Without giving away many details, Zinke said he wants to reorganize the department because he "can't really change the culture without changing the structure."
Zinke made several remarks that were likely well-received by the audience, including the fact that he wants to make it easier for companies to get permits for oil drilling and logging and he thinks the Endangered Species Act has been "abused" by environmental groups and bureaucrats, The Associated Press reports. When it comes to energy development, "the president wants it yesterday," he said. "We have to do it by the law." Catherine Garcia
At least six of President Trump's top advisers — including Reince Priebus, his former chief of staff, and former chief strategist Stephen Bannon — on occasion used private email accounts to talk about White House matters, several current and former officials told The New York Times on Monday.
On Sunday, a lawyer for Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner confirmed that Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, created a domain in December called IJKFamily.com for their personal email, and "fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House" from his account. Officials told the Times that in addition to Priebus, Bannon, Kushner, and Ivanka Trump — who reportedly used private emails to conduct business when she was both an unpaid adviser and later a formal adviser — chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and senior adviser Stephen Miller sent or received "at least a few emails on personal accounts." It isn't known if any of the emails contained confidential information, or how many emails were sent and received from the private accounts.
For oversight reasons, government officials are supposed to use their work emails to conduct business, and if they do use private email accounts, they must forward any work-related emails to their government accounts for preservation purposes. During the campaign, Trump spent much of his time blasting Hillary Clinton for using a private email account during her tenure as secretary of state, leading his supporters at rallies in cries of "Lock her up!" Catherine Garcia
Pittsburgh Steelers starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva said Monday he's "embarrassed" when he sees photos showing him standing alone during the anthem before Sunday's game at Soldier Field.
"This national anthem ordeal has sort of been out of control, and there's a lot of blame on myself," Villanueva said. "I made Coach [Mike] Tomlin look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only. I made my teammates look bad, and that is my fault." Following President Trump's Friday comments — in which he called players taking a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality against blacks "sons of bitches" and said they should be fired — Tomlin said the Steelers would not take to the field during the anthem as a way to remain unified. "We're not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda," he added.
Villanueva, a West Point grad and Army Ranger who deployed to Afghanistan three times, said he had gone out to look at the flag before the game, and when the anthem started, he didn't want to move, and put his hand over his heart. "Unfortunately, I threw [my teammates] under the bus, unintentionally," he said. "Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed. We as a team tried to figure it out. Obviously, we butchered it…I'm not gonna pretend I have some kind of righteous voice."
Villanueva said he has no problems with players kneeling during the anthem, and many of the same players who take a knee have thanked him for his service, adding, "I will support all my teammates, and all my teammates and all my coaches have always supported me." Likely due to people thinking Villanueva was somehow protesting his team's decision not to come out on the field, his No. 78 jersey has been the top seller on NFLShop.com and Fanatics.com since yesterday, USA Today reports. Catherine Garcia
Late-night host and unlikely voice of the health-care debate Jimmy Kimmel was quick to tweet his support of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine Monday evening, following her announcement that she won't vote for the the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill, the GOP's latest attempt to repeal ObamaCare.
"Thank you @SenatorCollins for putting people ahead of party," he tweeted. "We are all in your debt." Kimmel publicly entered the health-care debate earlier this year, after his son Billy was born with a heart condition and had to undergo emergency surgery when he was just three days old. Kimmel said he doesn't want anyone in the United States to worry about having to pay for life-saving care, and along with his wife, Molly McNearney, has tweeted his thanks to Republicans who have come out against the recent health-care bills — last week, after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he wouldn't vote for Graham-Cassidy, McNearney tweeted a photo of Billy in a robe with boxing gloves and thanked McCain for "fighting for kids like me." Catherine Garcia
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced Monday evening she is opposed to both versions of the health-care bill sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that aims to repeal ObamaCare.
In a statement, Collins said she has three major concerns about the proposal Graham and Cassidy authored last week and the newest version they came up with over the weekend: both make "sweeping changes and cuts in the Medicaid program," "open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions," and "would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans." Collins said there are "many flaws" with the Affordable Care Act that need to be fixed, and her "focus will remain on remedying these problems."
Her decision effectively kills the bill, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said last week he did not support it, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he's a "no," although he did make a list of demands that, if met, would change his mind. Catherine Garcia
The Senate Finance Committee was forced to briefly delay its hearing on the Republican health-care bill on Monday after police were called in to remove loud protesters, many of whom were representing the disability rights group ADAPT, The Hill reports. The demonstrators chanted "no cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty" and "kill the bill, don't kill me," and could still be heard in the hallways after they'd been removed from the room.
This is Colleen of ADAPT.
I have no idea what this country is supposed to be pic.twitter.com/de86rRuLiM
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) September 25, 2017
Growing frustrated with the noise, panel chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) snapped: "If you want a hearing, you better shut up."
On Sunday, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) released a new draft of their bill designed to win over a small handful of holdout GOP senators.
Update: A spokesperson for Capitol Police released a statement Monday night saying a total of 181 protesters were arrested. "Fifteen demonstrators were arrested and charged with disruption of Congress," Eva Malecki said. "143 individuals were arrested after refusing to cease and desist with their unlawful demonstration activities in the hallway. Twenty-three individuals were charged with crowding, obstructing, or incommoding and resisting arrest." Jeva Lange
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reassured Americans that President Trump did not actually declare war on North Korea via tweet.
Sanders' statement ran contrary to claims made earlier in the day by North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho. Ri claimed Pyongyang now has the right to shoot down U.S. bombers in international airspace after Trump said Saturday that North Korea "won't be around much longer" if it keeps intimidating America.
"We've not declared war on North Korea," Sanders said. "And frankly the suggestion of that is absurd."
She went on to add: "It is never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country's aircraft when it's over international waters. Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That's our focus." Watch below. Jeva Lange
North Korea said one of Trump's tweets was a declaration of war, but the White House says that's "absurd." pic.twitter.com/xjyljfhrHn
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 25, 2017