Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 25, 2017

The CBO says 23 million will lose coverage under GOP health bill, the U.K. targets network linked to Manchester bombing, and more


CBO says 23 million would lose health coverage under GOP bill

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the bill repealing and replacing key elements of the Affordable Care Act that narrowly passed the Republican-controlled House would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026. The number of people projected to lose health coverage over a decade due to insurance reforms and Medicaid cuts was slightly lower than previous estimates. The CBO said the bill would result in a $119 billion reduction in the federal budget deficit between 2017 and 2026, smaller than the $150 billion in savings over a decade under an earlier version of the health-care reform bill that GOP leaders withdrew when they failed to muster enough support to pass it. "Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums," the CBO concluded.


U.K. detains suspects in network possibly linked to Manchester suicide bomber

British authorities on Wednesday detained several people believed to be linked to the U.K.-born ethnic Libyan identified as the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. "I think it's very clear this is a network we are investigating," said Chief Constable Ian Hopkins in Manchester, where police raided properties associated with the suspected bomber, 22-year-old Salman Abedi. British authorities have arrested five people, including one of Abedi's brothers, and Libyan investigators detained Abedi's father and a younger brother who allegedly was planning an imminent attack in Tripoli, and confessed that he knew about the planned Manchester terror attack. He also reportedly said that he and his brother were linked to the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the bombing.


Montana GOP candidate cited with assault on day before special House election

Republican Greg Gianforte, who held a single-digit lead over Democrat Rob Quist in late polls ahead of Thursday's special election for Montana's open congressional seat, received a citation for misdemeanor assault on Wednesday after allegedly body-slamming Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. The incident took place at Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman, and was witnessed by a Fox News crew setting up for a story to air on Special Report with Bret Baier. Jacobs was asking Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office score for the House GOP health bill, which Gianforte supports. Gianforte said he would answer later, then, when Jacobs persisted, Gianforte referred Jacobs to his staff, Fox News correspondent Alicia Acuna wrote. "At that point," she continued, "Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him" and punched him. Gianforte's campaign said the candidate merely grabbed Jacobs' wrist, and that they both fell to the ground as the candidate spun to leave. Three Montana newspapers withdrew their endorsements of Gianforte.


FBI declines to give House committee memos on Comey-Trump talks

The FBI has notified the House Oversight Committee that it won't be turning over memos and other materials on talks between former FBI Director James Comey and President Trump now that the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel to handle the Russia investigation, the committee's chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told CNN on Wednesday. The special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, was tasked with overseeing the federal investigation into Russia's attempts to influence last year's presidential election, and possible collusion with Trump associates. In the latest in a series of revelations on the case, The New York Times reported Wednesday that U.S. intelligence services obtained information during the campaign detailing conversations among senior Russian officials about how to influence Trump through his campaign advisers.


CNN: Sessions failed to disclose Russia contact in security clearance application

Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose meetings he had with Russian officials in his application for security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN on Wednesday. Sessions met with Russia's U.S. ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, twice in 2016, but said on his application form that he had not had any contact with any representatives of any foreign government in the past seven years. A DOJ spokeswoman said Sessions initially listed meetings with foreign officials that he had as a senator, but was told by an FBI employee helping with the forms that he did not have to list meetings with foreign ambassadors that he had as a senator. Senators already have criticized Sessions for failing to mention his Russia contacts during his confirmation hearings this year. He has defended the omission by saying that he had spoken to Kislyak as a U.S. senator, not as a representative of Trump or his presidential campaign.


Trump meets European leaders in Brussels

President Trump met in Brussels with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, on the fourth stop on Trump's first overseas trip since taking office. During Trump's visit to the city where both NATO and the European Union have their headquarters, European leaders are hoping that Trump will endorse Article 5 of the defense alliance's founding treaty, in which members agree that an attack against one is an attack against all. NATO this year announced it would formally join the war against the Islamic State after Trump accused the alliance of not doing enough to fight terrorism. Ahead of Trump's arrival in the Belgian capital, which Trump once called a "hellhole," thousands of people demonstrated in the streets holding placards with such messages as, "Get the hell out of our hole," and "Mr. Trump, you are not welcome."


Fed minutes suggest June rate hike possible

Federal Reserve policy makers agreed in May that they should wait for signs that a recent economic slowdown was over before raising interest rates again, according to minutes of the meeting released Wednesday. The Fed leaders were nearly unanimous in favoring reductions to the central bank's massive holdings in Treasury debt and mortgage back securities, which it bought up to stimulate the economy and help speed the recovery from the Great Recession. Markets and analysts are predicting a likely rate hike at the Fed's next meeting in June, but the minutes indicated that the decision would depend on whether economic data showed the economy was gaining strength after the first-quarter slowdown. U.S. stocks closed with their fifth straight day of gains after the minutes were released, with the S&P 500 index reaching a record high.


Duterte suggests he could expand martial law nationwide to fight Islamist extremists

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte followed up his declaration of martial law on the southern island of Mindanao by warning Wednesday that he might impose military rule nationwide to confront the threat posed by Islamist insurgents. "It is our constitutional duty to ensure that every family, every community, all Filipinos, are assured to live in peace and harmony," he said. Duterte, who has faced harsh criticism for a deadly crackdown on drug suspects, promised there would "be no abuses." A day earlier, Duterte cut short a trip to Russia and announced that he was imposing military control on Mindanao after Abu Sayyaf extremists, aided by members of another insurgent group, torched buildings in the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi to stop soldiers from capturing a rebel leader.


China warns U.S. Navy ship to leave disputed waters

China on Wednesday warned a U.S. warship to leave an area near a reef it claims in disputed South China Sea waters. The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey cruised on patrol in the Spratly islands near Mischief Reef, where China has a newly constructed outpost with an airfield. China said the American ship was trespassing on territory where it has "indisputable sovereignty," and undermining regional security. China has been increasing its military presence in the area in recent years. Numerous other countries maintain claims on parts of the disputed area, and the U.S. has been pushing back against China by asserting its right to freedom of navigation in the area, sending in naval ships to show that the U.S. is committed to keeping critical sea lanes open in the South China Sea.


Ariana Grande cancels world tour after Manchester attack

Singer Ariana Grande suspended her "Dangerous Woman" world tour on Wednesday due to the suicide bombing that killed 22 people and injured dozens more at her concert in Manchester, England. Her next shows were to be in London on Thursday, followed by concerts in Belgium, Poland, Germany, and Switzerland through June 5. All of the shows have been called off to "further assess the situation and pay our proper respects" to the victims, the pop star's managers said in a statement.


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