5 things for Wednesday, March 8, 2017: Women's Day, health care, CIA leaks

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1. Health care

The Republican-backed health care plan that rolled out Monday is catching a lot of flak. Dems don't like it, some Republicans don't like it -- c'mon, AARP doesn't like it! Some think it doesn't change enough, calling it "Obamacare Lite." More liberal critics think it changes too much.
    Regardless, President Trump reportedly told House GOP members it needs to pass, or the party would see a "bloodbath" in the 2018 midterms that could break up its stronghold on federal government power. That's a huge endorsement that could sway GOP members who were on the fence.

    2. International Women's Day

    Today is International Women's Day, and in the US, women are planning to celebrate ... with a strike. On this "Day Without a Woman," female workers across the country will strike to call attention to professional inequities like wage disparity and harassment. Some school districts are even closing to let their staff participate. If that seems like a giant inconvenience, that's kind of the idea.
    Oh, and for the record, the Statue of Liberty went dark last night, and people were giddy over the symbolism. She wasn't striking, though -- just getting some repairs.

    3. CIA leaks

    WikiLeaks has released a trove of documents it says reveals methods the CIA uses to hack into smartphones, TVs and other electronic devices to spy on people around the world. Which is great, because we could all use some more intense feelings of dystopian paranoia. Big tech companies like Samsung and Microsoft say they're looking into the matter. At least one member wants Congress to investigate.
    How worried should you be? Experts say keeping your devices up to date and using some security precautions could help keep your privacy private. But the bottom line is, if the CIA is targeting you, it's going to be hard to outwit them.

    4. Bomb threats

    The disturbing spate of bomb threats against Jewish centers and schools across the country is not letting up. A new wave of threats was just reported in Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. The number of total reported threats? An astounding 140 since January, according to the Anti-Defamation League. In response, all 100 US senators have signed a letter urging President Trump to step up security at Jewish community centers, day schools and synagogues.

    5. Afghanistan

    A military hospital in the Afghan capital of Kabul was attacked this morning. A purported suicide bomber set off an explosion outside, and two more attackers made their way into the facility. At least three people are dead. This incident is particularly concerning because the facility is the biggest and most well-equipped hospital in the country. It's also very, very close to the US embassy.


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