Daily briefing

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

Senate health-care bill faces broad opposition, Koch network leader pans health-care bill for not being conservative enough, and more


Senate health-care bill faces broad opposition

Conservative opponents of the GOP's health-care proposal in the Senate labeled the ObamaCare replacement package "ObamaCare lite," but the bill is taking fire from the center and left, too. A group of moderate Republican senators are raising concerns about proposed Medicaid changes that would decrease federal funding for their states, while progressive critics warn the legislation could produce a "death spiral" in insurance markets. President Trump fired back on Twitter Saturday, noting ObamaCare premium hikes and writing that he "cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!"


Koch network leader pans health-care bill for not being conservative enough

The proposal to replace ObamaCare expected to come to a vote in the Senate this week is insufficiently conservative, said Tim Phillips, president of Americans For Prosperity, a political outfit in the Koch brothers' network, in an Associated Press report published Sunday. Phillips said the Koch network is "disappointed that movement has not been more dramatic toward a full repeal or a broader rollback of this law, ObamaCare," calling the Senate bill "a slight nip and tuck" of current law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is willing to alter the health-care legislation to make it viable but faces incompatible demands.


Oil tanker explosion in Pakistan kills 148

An oil tanker overturned and exploded in Pakistan Sunday, killing 148 people and leaving dozens more injured, including around 50 in critical condition. About 20 children are among the dead. The truck tipped over on a highway after it blew out a tire, local officials said. A crowd gathered to collect the spilling fuel, putting them close to the truck when it exploded nearly an hour later. "I have never seen anything like it in my life," said Abdul Malik, a police officer involved in rescue efforts. "Victims trapped in the fireball. They were screaming for help."


U.K. Parliament hit with cyberattack

The U.K.'s Houses of Parliament were hit with a cyberattack Friday evening consisting of "unauthorized attempts to access parliamentary user accounts," a representative of Parliament said Saturday. Members of Parliament were informed of the situation Friday night when they had difficulty accessing their email accounts remotely. "We are continuing to investigate this incident and take further measures to secure the computer network," the representative said. It is unclear how many MPs were affected or who is responsible for the attack.


Qatar rejects Arab states' demands

Qatar on Saturday rejected a list of 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia and other neighboring Arab states Thursday as a condition for restoring diplomatic ties. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in a statement the demands should have been "reasonable and actionable" as well as "measured and realistic," quoting comments from top U.S. and U.K. diplomats. The Saudi-led group of countries isolating Qatar claims the nation is supporting terrorism, an allegation Qatar denies. Qatar on Sunday asked the U.S. to diplomatically intervene on its behalf.


Former Obama official calls Russian meddling 'the political equivalent of 9/11'

Russian interference in the 2016 election "is really the political equivalent of 9/11 — it is deadly, deadly serious," said former Undersecretary of Defense Michael Vickers, who served in the Obama administration, in an NBC News interview Saturday. "The Russians will definitely be back, given the success they had," he added. "I don't see much evidence of a response." Vickers' comments come one day after The Washington Post's comprehensive report detailing former President Obama's inaction in response to Russian election interference in 2016. President Trump and congressional Democrats have also criticized the Obama administration's "inadequate" response.


SCOTUS Justice Kennedy's retirement rumored

Monday begins the Supreme Court's final week before its current term ends, and the day could also see a retirement announcement from Justice Anthony Kennedy. "Sources close to Kennedy say that he is seriously considering retirement," CNN reported Saturday, though "they are unclear if it could occur as early as this term." Kennedy's departure would give President Trump his second SCOTUS nomination after the successful appointment of Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia. Kennedy, 81, is a swing-voting Reagan appointee.


White police officer shoots off-duty black police officer in St. Louis

A black St. Louis police officer was shot by a colleague while off duty this week, an encounter in which the injured officer's lawyer says race was a factor because "a black man is automatically feared." The off-duty officer was at home when he heard commotion outside and took his police-issued firearm to investigate. When two cops pursuing a suspect saw him, they "ordered him to the ground." He complied, and was recognized by his coworkers, who told him "to stand up and walk toward them." At that point a fourth officer arrived and immediately shot the off-duty cop in the arm.


18 wildfires burn in West, Southwest

No less than 18 large wildfires are burning in the West and Southwest regions of the U.S., aggravated by extreme heat and lack of rain. The two largest blazes are in Utah and Arizona, but there are also fires in California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon. Wildfires have burned more than 2.5 million acres in the United States in 2017 alone, about 1 million acres more than is typical for this time of year. In Utah, 800 people have been evacuated, and 13 homes have burned. That fire began June 17 and is only 5 percent contained.


Trumps, Pences attend Mnuchin's wedding

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump attended the wedding of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Saturday evening along with Vice President Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Mnuchin married Scottish actress and producer Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington. The nuptials are Linton's second and Mnuchin's third and were officiated by the vice president.


Ukraine blames Russia for cyberattack
Ukrainian military drill
virtual warfare

Ukraine blames Russia for cyberattack

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Ash cloud off the coast of Tonga
"like a moonscape"

2 dead from flooding in Peru as damage to Tonga remains unclear

Synagogue hostage-taking suspect was British
FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno
a not-so-great briton

Synagogue hostage-taking suspect was British

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