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5 things for Thursday, June 29: Catholic Church, travel ban, health bill, France, Venezuela
A senior adviser to Pope Francis is taking leave from the Vatican to fight sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia. Police are not detailing the charges Cardinal George Pell faces but say there are "multiple complainants." Pell maintains he's innocent and the victim of "character assassination."
This is, of course, extremely bad news for the Catholic Church and all of its followers, especially since Pell was one of several Cardinals tasked in 2013 with finding ways to reform the Church. Also, a yearslong investigation recently revealed more than 4,000 children had been abused by priests in the Australian Catholic Church over the past six decades.
Today's the day. The revised version of President Trump's travel ban will go into effect tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Remember, the big provision in this version of the order is whether a traveler from a "banned" country has a "credible claim of bona fide relationship" with an entity (like a school or a job) or a person living in the US (such as a spouse). If you can't prove that kind of relationship, you are banned for 90 days if you are from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan, and 120 days if you are a refugee from any country. US citizens, legal permanent residents, current visa holders and dual nationals are good to go.
As if following the newest version of the GOP health care bill hasn't been enough of an emotional roller coaster, President Trump just promised a "big surprise," a "great, great surprise" regarding its passage. No one really knows what that means, but it struck a surprisingly optimistic tone, given that since GOP leaders delayed a Senate vote on the bill, it has lost even more Republican support. Rep. Pete King was the latest to say he doesn't want to rush, telling CNN's Don Lemon, "If it takes it two, three, four, five years to do it, fine. If we don't repeal all of it, hey, that's democracy."
Quelle surprise! President Trump announced he will visit France -- and his handshake rival, French President Emmanuel Macron -- on July 14. That's Bastille Day and the first anniversary of the Nice attack that claimed 86 lives. The trip comes at Macron's invitation, and it will be a chance for both leaders to practice some much-needed diplomacy. It will also give Trump the opportunity to counter a growing narrative about his unpopularity abroad.
Turmoil and uncertainty continue to grip Venezuela following a helicopter attack on the Supreme Court in Caracas. The stolen police helicopter involved in the attack has been found, but the man suspected of piloting it is still on the run. Separately, Venezuela's Supreme Court banned Attorney General Luisa Ortega from leaving the country, and froze her assets ahead of a July trial. Ortega recently accused President Nicolas Maduro's government of "state terrorism" by stripping citizens of their right to protest, trying them in military courts and carrying out raids without consulting courts. All this comes as Venezuela continues its devastating economic downward spiral.
Number of people who died last year under California's new right-to-die law
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California says chemicals in Roundup weed killer can cause cancer
Monsanto, the maker of the lawn product, say the research is flawed.
Boaty McBoatface has returned!
The world's favorite little research vessel has learned some exciting things.
Obama's jeans game is improving
Then again, after those "Dad" jeans, there's really nowhere to go but up.
Eminem looks ... different?
No no, it's not BAD. But the beard is an alarming change.
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WHAT. IS. THIS. THING?!
Summer is the time for lemonade, much to the chagrin of puppies everywhere. (Click to view)