Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 28, 2017

Senate Republicans delay the health-care vote as opposition rises, another massive cyberattack causes global disruptions, and more 

1

Senate GOP leaders put off health-care vote as opposition grows

Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday postponed plans for a vote on their proposal to replace ObamaCare as they faced rising opposition from members of their own party. Five Republican senators — more than enough to spell defeat for the bill — stated publicly that they planned to vote against the measure if the leadership went through with a plan for a vote before the Senate breaks for the week-long July 4 recess. The push for a quick vote also hit a major obstacle on Monday when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released an assessment predicting that 22 million fewer Americans would have health insurance coverage under the plan over the next decade, compared to the coverage level under the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. The CBO score fueled opposition from moderates who have criticized the plan over its cuts to Medicaid. Some conservatives have said they oppose the plan because it would provide a new array of premium subsidies and continue some other elements of the old health-care law.

2

Massive cyberattack causes global disruptions

Hackers struck Europe, South Asia, and the U.S. with a powerful cyberattack on Tuesday, using highly virulent "Petya" malicious data-scrambling ransomware to disrupt companies' and governments' computer systems. Tens of thousands of computers were affected. Ukraine was hit particularly hard. Officials in Ukraine said the attack affected the power grid and government offices, although the country's prime minister said "vital systems" weren't affected. Russia's Rosneft oil company and Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk said they narrowly escaped major damage. As with the WannaCry attacks in May, the hackers took over computers, apparently using a program from the National Security Agency, and demanded digital ransom in exchange for returning control. It was not immediately clear who was behind the latest attack.

3

Manafort registers retroactively as a foreign agent

Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump's campaign chairman for part of last year, retroactively filed forms on Tuesday showing that his consulting firm received $17.1 million between 2012 and 2014 from a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine. The paperwork did not detail how much Manafort made personally from the work. The move made him the second senior Trump associate to register retroactively as a foreign agent. Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, filed a disclosure in March acknowledging that he worked for a politically active Turkish businessman last year. Both men are among Trump associates whose activities are being examined by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

4

Police helicopter attacks Venezuela's Supreme Court

Rogue Venezuelan police officers in a helicopter attacked their South American nation's Supreme Court in Caracas on Tuesday, dropping hand grenades on the building in what embattled President Nicolas Maduro called a "terrorist attack" aiming to drive him out of power. No deaths were reported in the incident, which marked a rare defection of government personnel in months of protests against Maduro's socialist government. In a video posted on social media, a uniformed man identified as Oscar Pérez took responsibility for the attack. Flanked by masked, heavily armed and uniformed men, he said he represented a coalition of military, police, and civilian "nationalists, patriots, and institutionalists" fighting against the "tyranny" of Maduro's "criminal government."

5

EPA says it will roll back Obama water rule

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed rolling back the 2015 "waters of the United States" regulation, criticized by Republicans and business groups as threatening farmers and developers with costly permitting requirements for routine work. The Trump administration is working on a replacement regulation with a definition of federal authority over waterways that is more friendly to business. "We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. The Obama rule asserted federal Clean Water Act authority over ponds, headwaters, wetlands, and other water bodies that flow into larger waterways, saying that drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans would be protected under the rule.

6

Alton Sterling's children file lawsuit against police

The five children of Alton Sterling, a black man fatally shot by Baton Rouge police as he sold CDs outside a convenience store, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against East Baton Rouge Parish, the Baton Rouge Police Department, Police Chief Carl Dabadie, and the two police officers involved in Sterling's death. The children are minors, so they are suing through their mothers. The lawsuit accuses the officers of excessive force, negligent homicide, and violating Sterling's constitutional rights, and the department of tolerating a racist culture that viewed black people as "animals." The officers have said they thought Sterling, 37, was reaching for a gun, and feared for their lives.

7

Scottish leader puts off plan for second independence referendum

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon told lawmakers on Tuesday that she was putting off plans for a second independence referendum until after the U.K. has negotiated the terms of its exit from the European Union. The first referendum failed, but a majority of Scottish voters supported staying in the EU in last year's Brexit referendum, so Sturgeon in March called for holding a second independence referendum between late 2018 and early 2019 to give Scots an alternative to Brexit. Her party lost seats to pro-union parties in June legislative elections, however, so she conceded that she needed to "reset" her timetable.

8

FARC rebels lay down last arms in Colombia

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, officially handed over their last weapons on Tuesday, completing their disarmament under a peace deal with President Juan Manuel Santos. "Farewell to war. Farewell to arms, welcome to peace!" Rodrigo Londoño, the FARC leader known as Timochenko, shouted. The agreement, which won Santos a Nobel Peace Prize last year, came after 52 years of war but proved controversial. Voters narrowly rejected the original accord last year, but Santos got lawmakers to approve a revised deal without putting it to a new referendum. Next the government must set up special tribunals to settle cases involving allegations of war crimes.

9

Dozens suffer minor injuries in New York subway derailment

Dozens of people were injured when two cars of a crowded New York City subway train jumped off the tracks on Tuesday. The derailment sparked a panic as about 800 passengers evacuated the train and walked through a tunnel to the nearest station. It took more than an hour to get everybody out, authorities said. Joseph J. Lhota, the new leader of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the train veered off the tracks after an emergency brake was deployed. Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said 34 people suffered minor injuries, including smoke inhalation. Seventeen were taken to hospitals. The southbound A train's accident in Harlem increased concerns about the city's aging infrastructure.

10

Sarah Palin sues New York Times for defamation

Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, claiming the paper "violated the law and its own policies" in a June 14 editorial that accused the former governor of Alaska of "political incitement" before the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the New York Post reports. Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was severely injured, and six people were killed after Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at an event. The editorial was written after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). Under fierce criticism, the paper issued a correction. Palin is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial.

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