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5 things for Friday, March 24, 2017: Health care, Putin, ICE, London
President Trump threw down an ultimatum to House GOP members: pass the health care bill or be stuck with Obamacare. This is a huge gamble. If it works, Trump will cement his control over the Republican Party. If it fails, the "deal maker" President will have to explain why he couldn't close the deal.
There's a risk for House Republicans too. If they vote against the bill, they'll have to explain why they passed on their best opportunity to get rid of Obamacare, the law they've railed against for years. By the way, the revised bill is costlier and insures even fewer people.
Police investigating the deadly terrorist attack are focusing closely on how the perpetrator became radicalized, as they battle to piece together his identity and connections. They say the 52-year-old British man Khalid Masood had multiple aliases. We know more about some of the victims too. One man who was killed, Kurt Cochran of Utah, was in London celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary when he was run over on Westminister Bridge. Cochran's wife was injured as well. And a teacher, British national Aysha Frade, also died in the attack.
It's really dangerous to be a vocal critic of the Russian President. An ex-Russian lawmaker who slammed Putin over Russia's annexation of Crimea was gunned down in broad daylight in Ukraine. Ukraine's President called it a "state terrorist act." Russia called that absurd. There have been other unfortunate ends for Putin critics through the years: in 2015 a deputy prime minister was shot in the back; last month an anti-Putin activist landed in a coma after a suspected poisoning; in 2013 a businessman who'd had a falling out with the Russians was found with a noose around his neck.
Is ICE targeting "sanctuary cities?" A senior government official says yes, ICE has stepped up operations in places that won't cooperate with the feds on immigration. The idea is that increased raids will force cities to work with feds to enforce immigration laws. Just this week, a federal judge in Texas said a raid in Austin was retaliation for a local sheriff's decision to not work with ICE. ICE denies that.
Whether or not you develop cancer may have more to do with bad luck than lifestyle. A study in the journal Science says 66% of genetic mutations that turn into cancer are caused by simple random errors that occur when cells replace themselves. Lifestyle and environmental factors contribute to about 29% of the mutations.
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An 86-year-old raises $400,000 and then gave it all away.
Look! Up in the sky!
You might be thinking you're under a roiling, stormy sea. But you're actually staring at a new type of cloud.
No laptop, no problem
For those long flights in this electronics ban age, Royal Jordanian has some suggestions: "Engage in primitive dialogue from the pre-internet era."
What's cooler than a portrait of Mother Teresa? A portrait made out of more than a million staples!
"I guess I can't be doing so badly because I'm President and you're not"
President Trump, offering a simple and absolute defense of his controversial claims.
My little buddy
Cuteness alert! Watch the world's most patient Great Dane put up with the hyper antics of a dachshund puppy.