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TDB Top 5 International Stories: Friday 5th May 2017

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5: The House Just Voted to Repeal Obamacare
3: ‘Le Pen’s party a living expression of anti-Semitism’
2: Fla. Lawmakers Apologize to Families of “Groveland Four,” Black Men Falsely Accused of Rape in 1949
1: EU’s Donald Tusk says May needs to show moderation and respect

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5: The House Just Voted to Repeal Obamacare

After the American Health Care Act died in March, the House of Representatives voted to pass a revised bill Thursday.

Despite facing a slim margin of error, Republicans in the House were successful Thursday in passing a new healthcare bill that would effectively repeal portions of Obamacare, Politico reports. The bill passed after a 217–213 vote and will head to the Senate next.

The first version of the American Health Care Act, also known as “Trumpcare,” crashed and burned in March after it was pulled last minute before a scheduled vote. Lawmakers then finagled a few changes to update the bill and try to appeal to more Republicans who had issues with the original version. By Thursday morning, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed that Republicans would have enough votes to push the bill through.

Last week, the group of hardline House conservatives, known as the Freedom Caucus, decided to launch its support behind the bill thanks to a new amendment that would allow states to opt out of certain benefit requirements, like coverage for maternity care and preventative visits. Fred Upton and Billy Long, two moderate Republican representatives, decided to support the bill after securing an extra $8 billion to help cover people with preexisting conditions. It also would defund Planned Parenthood and would allow insurers to charge older people five times as much as younger people.

Vice News


THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT, which squeaked through the House of Representatives on Thursday, is terrible for many Americans in many ways. But what’s gotten almost no attention is the horrendous effect it could have on Americans in nursing homes.

Daniel Webster, a Republican representative from the 11th Congressional District in central Florida, acknowledged this when he announced he would vote for the AHCA.

“I have been very concerned about Florida’s Medicaid-funded nursing home beds,” Webster said. “These are critical to the access some of our senior population has to our nursing homes.”

Webster explained he was only willing to vote yes because President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and the House of Representatives’ GOP leadership promised that they would find some way to deal with the potential disaster created by the bill. It will now go to the Senate, and if some version of it is passed there, will then have to be reconciled with the House bill for a final vote.

Many middle-class Americans are unaware that the huge cost of nursing home care – which in some areas can run over $100,000 a year — is not covered by Medicare. Those who need it and cannot pay for it themselves can generally receive coverage from Medicaid, though they usually must spend down all their savings first.

When all is said and done, Medicaid pays the bills for over 60 percent of nursing home residents — people who cannot care for themselves and without Medicaid would have literally nowhere to go.

But the AHCA slashes $880 billion dollars from Medicaid spending over the next ten years, or about one-sixth of the $5 trillion it would otherwise cost the federal government. (While these seem like enormous numbers, the U.S. economy is so big that even $5 trillion will be just about two percent of the gross domestic product over the next decade.)

The Intercept

3:  ‘Le Pen’s party a living expression of anti-Semitism’

Paris, France – On July 16 and 17, 1942, French police rounded up 13,152 Jews – including 4,000 children – and held them at an indoor cycle-racing track not far from the Eiffel Tower.

Later, they were moved to an internment camp in Drancy, a northeastern suburb. From there, they were shipped in rail cattle cars to Auschwitz for their mass murder.

Deportations continued for two more years after the so-called “Vel’ d’Hiv roundup”, until the end of the German occupation. In total, at least 77,000 Jews living in France were swept to their deaths in concentration camps – most in Auschwitz, some on French soil.

It was not until 53 years later in 1995 that a French leader recognised France’s role in the massacre, which took place under the collaborationist Vichy regime – the common name of the official French state headed by Marshal Philippe Petain during World War II.


2: Fla. Lawmakers Apologize to Families of “Groveland Four,” Black Men Falsely Accused of Rape in 1949

Florida lawmakers have apologized for what happened to four young African-American men in Groveland, Florida, nearly 70 years ago in 1949. The men, known as the Groveland Four, were falsely accused of raping a 17-year-old white girl. Before going to trial, one of the four men, Ernest Thomas, was hunted down and murdered by a mob of 1,000 men led by the local sheriff, Willis McCall. He was killed in a hail of gunfire. The other three men were tortured in jail until two of them gave false confessions. Charles Greenlee was sentenced to life. Walter Irvin and Samuel Shepherd were condemned to death. Just recently, Florida lawmakers passed a resolution saying, “We’re truly sorry.” For more, we speak with Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America.”

Democracy Now

1: EU’s Donald Tusk says May needs to show moderation and respect

The European council president, Donald Tusk, has called on Theresa May to show “moderation and respect” in the increasingly heated Brexit negotiations, a day after the prime minister launched an extraordinary broadside accusing Brussels of trying to meddle in the UK election.

Tusk warned that talks over the terms of Britain’s exit would fail before they even began if emotions continued to run wild. Appealing for a ceasefire, he also appeared to chide the team around the European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for leaking an account of a dinner in Downing Street where the two sides clashed over Britain’s divorce bill.

“These negotiations are difficult enough as they are,” he told reporters at a press conference in Brussels. “If we start arguing before they even begin, they will become impossible. The stakes are too high to let our emotions get out of hand because at stake are the daily lives and interests of millions of people on both sides of the Channel. We must keep in mind that, in order to succeed. we need today discretion, moderation, mutual respect and a maximum of goodwill.”

The Guardian 



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