Political news is essential, and there are no exceptions to this rule. Not only do you need to be well-informed about the goings-on in your own country and worldwide, but you also need to be aware of what’s happening in the political arena. Here are the week’s top five political news stories: 1. President Trump Signs Executive Order on Energy Independence 2. Initial Reports Suggest President Trump Has Fired FBI Director James Comey 3. Russian Hackers Target U.S. Political Organizations 4. North Korea Announces Plans To Launch A Satellite Into Earth’s Orbit 5. White House Press Secretary Defends President Trump’s Recent Comments On Russia
The GOP’s Plan to Repeal and Replace Obamacare
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that would repeal and replace Obamacare. The statement has been criticized by both the left and the right, with many arguing that it does not go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The AHCA would reduce funding for Medicaid by $800 billion over ten years, which critics say would cause millions of people to lose their health insurance. It would also allow states to opt out of specific provisions of the ACA, such as requiring insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and providing affordable coverage for children.
The AHCA still needs Senate approval, but if it becomes law, it could mean significant changes for Americans with health insurance through Obamacare.
North Korea Tests Another Missile
North Korea tested another missile this week, claiming it could reach the United States. The rocket appears to be a new design, and some experts are worried that it could be able to carry a nuclear payload.
Meanwhile, in Syria, a suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people. The Syrian government is widely believed to have carried out the attack, highlighting the ongoing conflict in that country.
And finally, Trump faces backlash after siding with white nationalists in Charlottesville. Members of his party are calling for him to step down, and he faces increasing pressure from the international community to do more to address racism in America.
Trump Signs Executive Order to End the National Emergency with Cuba
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to end the national emergency with Cuba. The move was criticized by some who argued it weakened the Cuban embargo. Trump says he is ending the crisis because it is no longer necessary for national security purposes.
The order will allow for unspecified travel and business dealings by American citizens with businesses in Cuba and changes to regulations governing trade with Cuba. It also allows for more contact between the two countries militaries, though there are still restrictions on travel to the island by Americans.
White House Announces New Strategy for Afghanistan
On Monday, the White House announced a new strategy for Afghanistan that calls for more troops and more focus on air power. The new design replaces the Obama-era plan, which called for a limited number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014. According to the Associated Press, the new program would allow up to 4,000 more troops to be stationed in Afghanistan by late 2020 and up to 10,000 by 2024. President Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to bring America’s military presence in Afghanistan down to “zero.” The new strategy is expected to be debated by Congress.
The announcement of the new strategy comes as the Taliban continues its push into significant cities across Afghanistan. Last week, Afghan security forces retreated from Kunduz after being pushed out by Taliban fighters. In May, Kunduz was the first city in over 15 years to fall under Taliban control. Meanwhile, fighting continues in other parts of the country: on Tuesday morning, an attack killed at least 14 people and injured 30 others near Ghazni City.
In addition to troop numbers, the new strategy calls for increased funding for infrastructure projects and counterterrorism operations.
The Mueller Investigation Leads to Indictments
This week saw a slew of newsworthy indictments as the Mueller investigation led to arrests and revelations. Here are the top political stories of the week:
- Robert Mueller’s team announced charges against 13 Russian nationals for involvement in the 2016 presidential election interference campaign. This includes six individuals who were indicted on conspiracy charges, three individuals who were indicted on money laundering charges, and three individuals who were indicted on hacking charges. The indictment alleges that these Russian nationals worked to “sow discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy” by spreading disinformation online and through social media platforms. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a press conference that these indictments serve as “a warning to others” that Russia will not be allowed to interfere in future U.S. elections.
- In addition to the indictments mentioned above, another individual was indicted this week on charges of obstruction of justice and making a false statement to investigators. That individual is President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Cohen is accused of lying to Congress about talks he had with Russian officials regarding potential construction deals during the 2016 presidential campaign. The indictment also contains allegations that Cohen tried to tamper with witnesses to protect his client Trump.
- Another prominent figure caught up in the Mueller investigation is Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, who was recently convicted of eight financial crimes unrelated to his work on the Trump