Ab(Above: A photograph of a war-torn Mosul.)
As the fight rages on in Mosul, Iraq, ISIS recently destroyed the centuries old Al Nuri mosque. With it's famous leaning minaret, the Al Nuri mosque was a symbol of cultural history. Its destruction marks another way in which the Iraqi city is suffering from the damages of the conflict. Below is a brief history of the fight for Mosul, from the BBC. Pictured in the header image is the Al Nuri mosque.
In U.S. politics, G.O.P. Senate leaders revealed their health bill, which is pretty similar to the one proposed by the house recently. The bill will implement a new system of tax credits to help people buy health insurance, while also drop benefits carried by Obama's Affordable Health Care Act such as maternity coverage and mental health treatment. The bill is somewhat more moderate than the previous health bill, offering more financial assistance to lower income citizens.
One issue that is sure to be debated is the method by which health care will now be paid for. The Obama legislation did this through tax increases on the wealthy. However, this bill proposes tax cuts for these mostly affluent citizens, and replacing these funds through a cut in Medicaid funding (Medicaid is a program for providing health care to low income families https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicaid). Medicaid provides, according to NYT statistics, health care for 1/5 of Americans, and not just those living in poverty, but also 2/3 of those who live in nursing homes.
Whether the bill will have enough votes to pass is unclear at this point. Democrats, united in opposition to this repeal of Obamacare, only need to convert 2 to 3 Republican senators to stop the bill from going through. Vice President Mike Pence would be the tie-breaking vote. Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wants to have a vote on the bill before July 4th.
Abortion politics also figure in to affect the reception of this bill.
Democrats are currently worried about their 'brand' after the lost special elections in Georgia and elsewhere. There is some dissatisfaction among Democratic camps with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
Two psychologists who helped design C.I.A. interrogation methods that have been described as torture are being sued by prisoners their methods were used on.
In science, this study below analyzes the increase in 95+ degree days (Farenheit, of course!) due to anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change.
And to leave you with some art, here is a piece on Radiohead's OK Computer, 20 years old this recent May and oft hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time.
Have a great Thursday all!