Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 26, 2017

GOP leaders face mounting health-care opposition, the White House blames Obama for failing to stop Russian meddling, and more


GOP leaders face rising opposition over health-care vote

Republican Senate leaders scrambled on Sunday to muster support for their proposal to replace ObamaCare as opponents of the plan gained momentum. President Trump acknowledged that it will be "very, very tough" to pass the bill, and said "the alternative is the dead carcass of ObamaCare." Numerous reluctant conservative and moderate Republicans said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's vow to hold a vote before Congress leaves for the week-long July 4 recess does not leave enough time to hammer out a consensus. "It's hard for me to see the bill passing this week," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). The GOP, with 52 seats, can only afford two defections — no Democrats or independents are expected to back the plan, which would cut the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and let states opt out of some ObamaCare coverage requirements. The Congressional Budget Office is expected to tell senators that the proposal will leave 15 to 22 million more Americans uninsured, potentially fueling moderate opposition.


White House blames Obama for not stopping Russia's election meddling

The White House on Sunday blamed the Obama administration for failing to prevent Russian attempts to interfere with last year's U.S. presidential election. The criticism, which followed comments by a former Obama administration official who called the response last year inadequate, marked a shift in the Trump administration's response to the investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion by President Trump's campaign. "It's the Obama administration that was responsible for doing absolutely nothing from August to January with the knowledge that Russia was hacking into our election," Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told ABC's This Week. "They did absolutely nothing. They're responsible for this." The top Democrat on the U.S. House Intelligence Committee echoed the sentiment, saying on CNN's State of the Union, "The Obama administration should have done a lot more."


Trump, India's Modi to meet Monday in Washington

President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Monday in Washington, D.C., for their first face-to-face talks. Trump and Modi disagree on several major issues. Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" theme, has criticized the growing U.S. trade deficit with India, and accused the country of underhandedly pushing for the Paris climate agreement to collect billions of dollars in aid. Indian officials have rejected accusations that Modi's "Make in India" platform is protectionist, and complain that U.S. regulations hinder some Indian exports. A Trump administration official told Reuters that the two leaders' shared affinity for social media — both have more than 30 million Twitter followers — show they have much in common, and could form a bond. Another senior White House official said the administration is "very interested in making this a special visit. We're really seeking to roll out the red carpet." An Indian official told Reuters "if the chemistry is good, everything else gets sorted."


Turkish police arrest 20 at banned gay pride march

Turkish police broke up Istanbul's 2017 LGBTI+ parade on Sunday using tear gas and plastic bullets. Organizers went ahead with the march even though Istanbul's governor banned it for the third year in a row, citing safety concerns. Police set up check points and kept people from entering the streets on the planned parade route, but at least 100 protesters gathered in a nearby neighborhood, beating drums and chanting, "Don't be quiet, shout out, gays exist!" and "Love, love, freedom, state, stay away!" Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said that an estimated 20 people were detained because the group had no permit and the participants refused to disperse. Pride celebrations across the U.S. mixed celebration with politics, as many activists and protesters warned of new threats to gay rights in the Trump era.


Trump declines to hold dinner marking end of Ramadan in break with tradition

President Trump broke a 20-year tradition over the weekend by declining to hold a dinner to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly rejected a request for a reception recognizing the Eid al-Fitr feast that ends Ramadan, something every White House has done since Bill Clinton's presidency. Trump, who has been criticized for what some perceive as anti-Muslim rhetoric, issued a statement expressing "warm greetings to Muslims" celebrating Eid al-Fitr. "During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill," Trump said. "With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values. Eid Mubarak."


Report: Russia to recall ambassador

Russia plans to recall its ambassador in the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, BuzzFeed News reported Sunday, citing three people familiar with the decision. Kislyak has been a central figure in stories about Russian efforts to interfere in last year's presidential election because he met with several associates of President Trump — Attorney General Jeff Sessions and adviser Jared Kushner — but they failed to disclose the meetings to congressional and administration officials. Bringing Kislyak home to Moscow after 10 years as Russia's top diplomat in the U.S. would mark a shift in plans for the Russian government. Previous reports indicated that Kislyak would move from the embassy to a senior position at the United Nations in New York. "He could use some time away," a U.S.-based diplomat said.


At least 6 die when party boat sinks in Colombia

A party boat filled with tourists sank Sunday in the Guatape reservoir near Medellín in northwest Colombia, killing at least six people. Another 31 people were missing. Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, said the other 122 people who had been on the boat were either rescued or swam to shore. Videos witnesses posted on social media showed panicked passengers scrambling to the top deck as the ferry, named El Almirante (The Admiral), sank and people on recreational boats and jet skis rushed to the scene. Naval officials are investigating. "Nobody really knows what happened," Santos said.


Pro-ISIS message appears on Ohio government websites

Pro-Islamic-State messages appeared on the website of Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) and nearly a dozen other state websites on Sunday. Kasich's website and others contained a message that read, "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries. I love Islamic state." The message also said the site had been "hacked by Team System Dz." A spokeswoman for Kasich said as soon as they heard about what happened, "we immediately began to correct it, and will continue to monitor until fully resolved." Law enforcement agencies are investigating how the sites were hacked. State authorities said 10 websites and two servers were affected. The same message, along with music, reportedly appeared on the website for the town of Brookhaven, New York.


Troubled air bag maker Takata files for bankruptcy

Japanese auto-component maker Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection late Sunday, after failing to bounce back from its massive air bag inflator recalls. The company's defective inflators, which can explode and blast shrapnel into vehicle interiors, have been blamed for 16 deaths and 180 injuries, setting off the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. More than 100 million inflators have been recalled — 69 million of them in the U.S. — affecting 42 million vehicles. A Chinese-owned U.S. rival, Key Safety Systems, plans to buy most of Takata's assets in a $1.6 billion deal. Key Safety Systems will take over Takata's production of seat belts, air bags, and other safety devices.


Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Remy Ma win big at BET Awards

Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, and Remy Ma won some of the most coveted prizes at the 2017 BET Awards on Sunday. Lamar won Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, and Chance The Rapper took Best New Artist and the BET Humanitarian Award for helping public schools in his hometown of Chicago. Remy Ma won Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, taking a prize that rival Nicki Minaj won the last seven years. Ma last won the award in 2005, but was sentenced to prison three years later for shooting a former friend after accusing her of theft. Ma was released in 2014. "I wanna thank God first and foremost," said Ma. "You can make mistakes and come back." Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones hosted the event, which featured musical performances by Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Big Sean, Trey Songz, French Montana, and others.


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