The debate over the ethics of drone use has been launched back into the spotlight by the United Kingdom's revelation that, like the United States, it has a "kill list" of drone targets, including some of its own citizens. But it is still America — specifically, President Barack Obama — who leads the world in drone use.
While Obama's predecessor George W. Bush conducted about 50 drone strikes, the current president has launched 10 times that number. Most American drone strikes have targeted Pakistan, though drone use has declined there in recent years while it continues in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen.
The one American Washington admits to assassinating is al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, though several other U.S. citizens have been killed as well. One of them was al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was killed in a targeted strike two weeks after his father's death. He was not suspected of any terrorist activity. Bonnie Kristian
On July 7, the state of California will add glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer, but the maker of the product, Monsanto, is vowing to fight it out in court.
When a chemical is listed as being a known carcinogen, companies selling the product in California must add warning labels to their packaging. Monsanto has filed an appeal, saying the chemical doesn't cause cancer and labels would harm business, The Associated Press reports. "This is not the final step in the process," Monsanto Vice President of Global Strategy Scott Partridge said. "We will continue to aggressively challenge this improper decision."
The chemical is sprayed on 250 types of crops in California, and has no color or smell. Catherine Garcia
David Jolly won a special House election in Florida in 2014 as a staunch critic of the Affordable Care Act, but then lost his seat to Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) in November. On Monday night, he told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell that when he was unexpectedly unemployed in January, with a pre-existing condition, he realized that he was glad ObamaCare was the law of the land.
"While I ultimately chose a private-sector plan, I also knew in 2017, ObamaCare provided an exchange that was a safety net that wasn't there before," he said. "And that's why the politics of ObamaCare in 2017 are different than in 2013. I lost my doctor and I lost my plan in 2013, and I was angry about ObamaCare, and I ran for Congress. But in 2017, as an unemployed person with a pre-existing condition, I knew ObamaCare was there as a safety net if me and my wife needed it."
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) June 27, 2017
Jolly apparently isn't alone in his newfound appreciation, if not love, for the 2010 law. In its latest ObamaCare tracking poll, released Friday, the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation found that 51 percent of U.S. adults had a favorable opinion of the law, "the first month that favorability has tipped over the 50 percent mark since Kaiser Family Foundation began tracking attitudes on the law in 2010," while the GOP replacement plan has become increasingly unpopular, with 55 percent disapproving versus 30 percent who approve. Senate GOP leaders hope to pass their replacement plan as early as this week, after the House GOP passed its version in May.
Also on MSNBC Monday night, GOP strategist Steve Schmidt and host Chris Hayes puzzled over why Republicans are not making a public case for their ObamaCare replacement bill, with the Senate version written behind closed doors before its rush toward a floor vote. Watch below. Peter Weber
The bride carried a bouquet made of hot sauce packets, while the groom smelled of chalupas, as is expected when a couple marries inside a Taco Bell.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) June 25, 2017
On Sunday, Dan Ryckert and Bianca Monda became the first people to get married inside Taco Bell's Las Vegas Cantina on the Strip. After they exchanged their "I dos," they dined on quesadillas, burritos, and some Cheesy Gordita Crunches, and toasted with their champagne flutes filled with alcohol-spiked Freezes. They then cut the cake together, a two-tiered masterpiece surrounded by Cinnabon Delights.
Starting August 7, the cantina's wedding chapel will be available to the nacho-loving public, and $600 covers an officiated ceremony, garter, bow tie, bouquet, "Just Married" T-shirts, and a 12-pack of tacos. These Taco Bell touches meant the world to Ryckert and Monda, who met online two years ago and found out early on that they shared a love of casual Mexican fast food. "It was actually one of the first conversations we ever had," Ryckert told People. "She told me that she'd pick Taco Bell over a fancy Mexican place any day of the week, and I knew then that we were going to be a great fit." Catherine Garcia
Following the retraction of an article on a Wall Street financier and ally of President Trump allegedly meeting with a Russian investment fund, three investigative journalists at CNN are leaving the network.
On June 22, CNN published a story its website about Senate investigators looking into a meeting between SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci and an executive for the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which invests in Russian companies, the Los Angeles Times reports. Late Friday, CNN removed the story from its website, saying the article did not meet its editorial standards, and the network also apologized to Scaramucci. Scaramucci said Friday the story was false, and on Saturday, accepted CNN's apology, tweeting: "Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on."
In the wake of the retraction, the article's writer, Thomas Frank, and editors Eric Lichtblau and Lex Harris have all resigned from CNN, the network announced Monday night. CNN did not say that the story was false, just that the facts were "not solid" enough for publication. Harris, who started at CNN in 2001 and oversaw the investigative unit, said in a statement CNN is a "news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else. I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go." Catherine Garcia
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer released a blunt statement Monday night about Syria, claiming the United States has "identified potential preparations for another chemical attack by the [Bashar al-] Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children."
The White House says it has seen activities "similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017, chemical weapons attack." The U.S. is in Syria to "eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," the statement continued. "If, however Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price." Catherine Garcia
Tennis superstar Serena Williams is not to be messed with, on or off the court.
Over the weekend, John McEnroe, while promoting his new memoir, But Seriously, told NPR he believes Williams is the best female player ever. When asked why he didn't refer to her, like others have, as the best player in the world, McEnroe responded that while she is "incredible," if Williams "played the men's circuit, she'd be like 700 in the world."
Williams waited until Monday to tweet a message right to McEnroe. "Dear John," she wrote. "I adore and respect you but please, please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based." That wasn't all; Williams went on to add, "I've never played anyone ranked 'there' nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I'm trying to have a baby. Good day, sir." Williams is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and they are expecting their first child. Catherine Garcia
Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, was questioned by FBI agents five times in March regarding his contacts with Russians and communications with the Trump campaign, several people with knowledge of the investigation told The Washington Post.
When asked about claims that he acted as a middleman between the campaign and Russian officials, Page denied any wrongdoing, a person familiar with the case said. Page told the Post he had "extensive discussions" with FBI agents in March, but would not say if he has had any follow-up meetings. He did reveal that he met with the agents without an attorney, and said he wasn't concerned about not having a representative with him because he told the truth.
The Post reports Page was also asked about the claims made against him in a dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer, which came to light earlier this year. The dossier states that Page met in July 2016 with Igor Sechin, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official, and he was part of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between [Trump associates] and the Russian leadership." Page said he never met Sechin, and hadn't heard of Divyekin until the dossier came out. Catherine Garcia