(Above: The University of Southern California)
Health Care is still right at the forefront of American news. Yesterday, the Senate voted on yet another revision of the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. It did not pass. However, Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to send the bill towards a series of debates that will attempt to revise, rectify, and pass the bill. Senator John McCain, back to vote only two weeks after receiving brain surgery, urged the two sides to seek bipartisan solutions.
As usual, President Trump is also prominent in news headlines. He announced today that he would not allow transgender people to serve in the military, citing medical costs as his fairly nebulous reasoning.
He also chastised attorney general Jeff Sessions for being 'weak.' Trump, who once found an early ally in Sessions, has been critical of the attorney general recently for recusing himself in the Russia investigation (Sessions cited a possible conflict of interest, and many political scientists have agreed that he acted properly). Trump's criticism of Sessions may lead to conflict in the Conservative party, as many there found an ally and a representative in Sessions.
United States intelligence agencies have revised previous estimates about North Korea's military capability. They now estimate that the North will be able to develop a missile capable of reaching the continental United States within a year, much sooner than previously estimated.
In sports, a shocking study was published yesterday with regards to the NFL. After studying the brains of 111 former players, it was found that 110 of them had CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a degenerative brain disease thought to be the result of many concussions or repeated blunt head trauma. What this spells for the future of American football is as of yet unclear.
And finally, in college news, a scandal is rocking the University of Southern California after the dean of the medical school was forced to step down (it was found he was linked with drug users and potential criminals). The head of the university is under fire, as some wonder whether or not he disregarded knowledge of this because of the medical school dean's prolific fundraising ability.
Have a great Wednesday!
Johannes Brahms' "Symphony No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 98: 4. Allegro energico e passionato"
Dexter Gordon's "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry"
Pop and Rock:
Willie Nelson's rendition of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
Have a great Wednesday, all!
(Above: Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's Son in law and a top adviser to the president.)
Jared Kushner, the son in law and top adviser of President Donal Trump, will testify in front of a Senate committee today. The issue at hand will be whether or not Kushner knowingly colluded with Russian officials to meddle in the United States Presidential Election, a questions raised by the news earlier this month that he had met with Russian lawyers (along with Donald Trump Jr.) in 2016 to receive dirt on Hillary Clinton. Kushner has denied any prior knowledge to the meeting's agenda and has vehemently denied that he colluded.
The White House recently announced that President Trump would accept new legislation to curtail and limit his ability to lift sanctions on Russia--this is a move that could potentially hurt his agenda and Vladimir Putin. It reveals that lawmakers from both parties distrust the Russian government in some capacity.
The FDA is set to approve gene therapy for fighting cancer in the next few months--a move that could substantially change the way that cancer is treated. Currently, the drug only really works against blood cancers (such as leukemia), but researchers are attempting to apply it to solid tumors as well.
Nine migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer in Texas late Sunday. This is another example of the terrors of the human trafficking industry.
The president of Poland, in a surprise move, vetoed legislation that would give the far-right government there more power.
In sports, Jordan Spieth won the British Open, his third major golf championship. Chris Froome won the Tour de France, his fourth victory in the major cycling event.
That's all for today!
Have a good one!
Edvard Grieg's 'In the Hall of the Mountain King'
This piece is famous for its prestissimo finale which gets increasingly hectic. It was originally composed as incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's play, Peer Gynt. The theme is also notable for its appearance as one of the first sonic leitmotifs in cinema (and also one of the first instances of diegetic music--that is, music that appears because it is an explicit part of the narrative), appearing as the whistled sound-tag of the villain in German director Fritz Lang's M.
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald's performance of 'Summertime,' written by George Gershwin
Rock and pop:
The Kinks' 'Waterloo Sunset'
Have a great day all! Hope your weeks are off to a fantastic start!
(Above: Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died last month from wounds sustained in a North Korean prison)
President Trump recently disclosed that he is conducting an investigation against those who are investigating him and his campaign, citing potential conflicts of interest as the reason.
In other US political news, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he will remain in the position "as long as that is appropriate."
After an incident in which an American college student was killed, and with diplomatic tensions continuing to rise, the United States has said that it will ban its citizens from traveling to the autocratic country for tourism.
Two large internet black markets, Hansa Market and Alpha Bay, were shut down yesterday. These markets sold many illicit items, including opioids.
The lead singer of rap-rock group Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, died yesterday. He was 41.
Yesterday also marked the 48th anniversary of a human being's first steps on the moon, with the arrival of the Apollo 11 mission to the lunar surface, and Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on another world. Check out this NASA documentary on the event: Moonwalk One
Have a great Friday and an even better weekend, folks!
Chopin's "Waltz No. 9 in A-Flat Major"
Brian Friel semi-famously referred to this waltz as the 'bed-time waltz' in his minor play, Aristocrats.
Bobby Hutcherson's rendition of "Stardust"
Rock and Pop:
David Bowie's "Heroes"
Have a stupendous weekend, everyone!
(Above: A major tourist destination in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.)
In a fairly quiet domestic news day, President Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the ongoing Russia investigation. He remarked that had he known Sessions would not conduct the investigation himself, he would never have selected him. This issue raises questions of conflict of interest and other matters.
Arizona Senator John McCain (who was also the Republican Nominee for president in 2008, later losing to Barack Obama) has been diagnosed with glioblastoma, an incredibly malignant type of brain cancer. Those diagnosed with this type of cancer generally live for 12-18 months, so the prognosis is not wonderful. McCain has been a senator for over three decades.
Myanmar, which has been attempting to quell insurgencies within the country, has now turned to Beijing for assistance. Beijing's new influence in the area comes at a contrast to the USA's more isolationist foreign policy under President Trump.
Financial records show that Paul Manafort was over $17 million in debt before joining Trump's campaign as his campaign manager.
On top of this, several hundreds of millions of dollars worth of loans from Deutshe Bank to Trump industries are currently under scrutiny.
That's all for today! Have a great Thursday all!
Franz Schubert's "String Quintet in C, D. 956: 2. Adagio
The Bill Evans Trio's " Young and Foolish"
Rock and pop:
Billy Joel's "Piano Man"
Have a great Thursday, everyone!
Bedfich Smetana's "Ma Vlast (My Fatherland): No. 2. Vltava (Moldau)"
Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing"
Rock and Pop:
Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
(Above: The Afghan girls robotics team.)
President Trump has started to champion a new attitude towards healthcare reform: "Let Obamacare fail." He has a fair amount of ability and leverage to do so, and could cut off subsidy payments to insurers and take other measures in enforcing the mandatory clause that all Americans must have health insurance. Why he would want an industry that is 1/6 of the American economy and helps millions of sick Americans each year to fail remains a mystery.
In other Trump news, it was confirmed by the White House that the president had a second dinner meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 earlier this month. There is no official American record of this meeting.
Also, another name has been added to the list of people involved in the meeting Donald Trump Jr. took with Russian informants. Read the Times' briefing on that below:
In developing news, it seems that Mohammed Bin Salman became the heir to the throne of Saudi Arabia through coercion and pressure towards the previous heir. Allegedly, the previous heir was taken to a palace in Mecca and held against his will until the transfer of rights to the throne was complete.
A Britain Advertising Regulator said yesterday that too many advertisements in the country objectify women or reinforce traditional gender roles--something the country is attempting to move away from in its push towards social progressivism.
Six Afghan teenage girls who were initially denied visas to come to the United States to participate in a robotics competition became the stars of the show at the First Global, an international robotics contest. It took great public outcry and personal intervention from President Trump, but the six participants were eventually able to come and compete.
That's all for today!
Have a fabulous Wednesday!