Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 13, 2017

Trump ends ObamaCare subsidies for the poor, death toll in California's wildfires continues to rise, and more


Trump to scrap key ObamaCare subsidies

President Trump is cutting off payments to insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans get health care, the Trump administration said Thursday. Experts warn the move could throw health insurance marketplaces into turmoil. Earlier in the day, Trump announced that he was "starting that process" of replacing ObamaCare, signing an executive order easing some insurance requirements. "The competition will be staggering," Trump said. "You'll get such low prices for such great care." The unilateral moves came after Republicans in Congress failed to repeal former President Barack Obama's signature reform law. ObamaCare supporters say Trump is merely allowing "junk" insurance — cheaper policies with fewer benefits — that healthy people will buy instead of more comprehensive coverage, likely leading to sharp premium increases for older, sicker people.


More bodies found in deadliest week of wildfires in California history

Authorities on Thursday confirmed the discovery of more bodies in areas burned as wildfires rage mostly uncontrolled across Northern California's wine country. The death toll rose to at least 31 people, making it the deadliest week of wildfires in California's history. Local officials are searching for victims in the charred remains of thousands of homes destroyed in Sonoma, Napa, and Yuba counties. "So far, in the recoveries, we have found bodies that were almost completely intact and bodies that were nothing more than ash and bone," Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano said. With hundreds of people still unaccounted for, Giordano said it would be "unrealistic" not to expect the death toll to rise.


Trump to decertify Iran deal and ask Congress for sanctions 'trigger points'

President Trump is expected to declare his intention to decertify Iran's compliance with the landmark Obama-era nuclear deal in a Friday afternoon speech. Trump reportedly will stop short of scrapping the 2015 agreement, which exchanged the lifting of sanctions for curbing Tehran's nuclear program. Instead, he plans to ask Congress to come up with a list of "trigger points" Iran might violate that could prompt the U.S. to reimpose sanctions. The White House said in a summary released Thursday night that Trump would outline a strategy for dealing with Iran that "focuses on neutralizing the government of Iran's destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants." Iran has said it will not renegotiate the deal.


Trump warns Puerto Rico federal hurricane recovery aid won't last 'forever'

President Trump said via Twitter on Thursday that Puerto Rico could not expect open-ended federal help in the Hurricane Maria recovery effort. "Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend," he tweeted. "We cannot keep FEMA, the military, and the first responders ... in P.R. forever!" San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has feuded publicly with Trump over the speed of the federal response, responded with a scathing letter to Trump, calling him "incapable of empathy" and saying he was condemning Puerto Ricans to a "slow death." On Thursday, the House passed by a 353-69 vote a $36.5 billion disaster relief package for areas affected by hurricanes and wildfires that includes $5.05 billion in loans for Puerto Rico.


U.S. announces plan to quit UNESCO over 'anti-Israel bias'

The U.S. withdrew from UNESCO on Thursday, citing "continuing anti-Israel bias" and the need for fundamental reform at the United Nations cultural agency. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later praised the U.S., calling its decision "brave and moral," and announced that Israel would leave, too. The U.S. departure could hurt UNESCO, as Washington is supposed to provide a fifth of its funding. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova expressed disappointment. "It is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack," she said. "This is a loss to the United Nations family. This is a loss for multilateralism."


2 prison workers killed in inmates' failed escape attempt

Inmates killed two North Carolina prison employees and injured 10 other people in an unsuccessful escape attempt at Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City. Three of the injured employees were hospitalized in critical condition. One of the workers who died, Justin Smith, was a correctional officer who provided security in the Correction Enterprises Specialty Sewing Plant. The other, Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden, 50, supervised inmates making uniforms for prisoners in the plant. The escape attempt started when inmates started fires inside the plant.


Amazon Studios chief placed on leave after sexual harassment report

Amazon announced Thursday that it had put Amazon Studios chief Roy Price on leave after a producer accused him of sexual harassment. Isa Hackett, an executive producer of Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, told The Hollywood Reporter that Price repeatedly propositioned her using explicit language in July 2015. Hackett is the daughter of author Philip K. Dick, whose work is the basis for the series. She said she reported the incident to Amazon. Price's suspension came as actress, director, and producer Rose McGowan tweeted that she had told the head of Amazon Studios that disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had raped her, and warned against an Amazon bailout of Weinstein's company, but she was told her story was not credible.


Pakistan frees kidnapped American-Canadian family

Pakistan's military said Thursday that soldiers, acting on U.S. intelligence, had rescued a kidnapped American woman, her Canadian husband, and their three children born during the couple's five years in captivity. The couple, Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network while backpacking in neighboring Afghanistan. President Trump, who has been critical of Pakistan's counterterrorism cooperation, praised the rescue as "a positive moment" for U.S.-Pakistan relations. Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, said the family had been liberated from a cruel ordeal. "They've been essentially living in a hole for five years," Kelly said. "That's the kind of people we're dealing with over there."


Police review Weinstein allegations

Police in New York City and London are reviewing past sexual assault allegations against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein. New York Police Department spokesman Peter Donald said Thursday that investigators also are searching for any new complaints following reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker of allegations of sexual abuse and harassment dating back three decades, including several settlements Weinstein paid to keep his behavior secret. More than two dozen women, including subordinates and actresses such as Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, and Gwyneth Paltrow, have said that Weinstein made lewd unwanted advances, and at least one woman said Weinstein raped her. Weinstein's own company fired him on Sunday. He has apologized for his behavior, but denied raping anyone.


Cubs beat Nationals to advance to National League Championship Series

The Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 9-8 in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, advancing to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, starting Saturday. The Cubs, defending World Series champs, took the lead after a disastrous fifth inning for the Nationals. Ace pitcher Max Scherzer, a reigning Cy Young Award winner, took the mound with a 4-3 Nationals lead and recorded two outs before things unraveled, starting with a two-run double by Addison Russel and ending with the Nationals in a 7-4 hole. In the American League Championship Series, the New York Yankees are facing off against the Houston Astros.


Thailand daycare massacre leaves 37 dead, including children
Police guards daycare

Thailand daycare massacre leaves 37 dead, including children

Brittney Griner is 'very afraid' and at her 'weakest moment,' wife says
Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner is 'very afraid' and at her 'weakest moment,' wife says

The uneven effects of climate change

The uneven effects of climate change

Study: Climate change made summer droughts 20 times more likely
Part of the Guadiana River in Spain has dried up.
global warming strikes again

Study: Climate change made summer droughts 20 times more likely

Most Popular

Survey reveals less than half of Americans plan to get flu shot this season
influenza vaccine syringe photo
Masks trump flu vax

Survey reveals less than half of Americans plan to get flu shot this season

Lizzo invited for an encore flute performance at James Madison's home
play it again sam?

Lizzo invited for an encore flute performance at James Madison's home

Russian war bloggers warn Ukraine is threatening Kherson defensive lines
Ukraine inroads in Kherson
War on the Rocks

Russian war bloggers warn Ukraine is threatening Kherson defensive lines