Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Expanding 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund

MATTHEW DALY / AP (WASHINGTON) — The Senate gave final legislative approval Tuesday to a bill ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money. The 97-2 vote sends the bill to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it. The vote came after Democratic senators agreed to allow votes on amendments sponsored by two Republican senators who had been blocking the widely popular bill. The Senate easily defeated the amendments proposed by GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Lee and Paul voted against the bill’s … Continue reading Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Bill Expanding 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund

Libel Trial Opens Of Maria Ressa, Philippine Journalist Critical of President Duterte

Julia Webster A libel trial against Maria Ressa, the editor of the Philippines-based news site Rappler, began Tuesday, the latest step in what is widely seen as an attempt from the Philippine government to intimidate journalists. Ressa, the editor of influential news site Rappler, was arrested for cyber libel in February but later released on bail. She faces years in prison if convicted. Rappler has been critical of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s government, and in particular of what Amnesty International has called its “murderous war on drugs” that possibly amount to crimes against humanity. Ressa was among four journalists and … Continue reading Libel Trial Opens Of Maria Ressa, Philippine Journalist Critical of President Duterte

How NASA’s Chris Kraft Conducted the Symphony That Put Men on the Moon

Jeffrey Kluger Chris Kraft scared the hell out of me — in all the right ways, yes, but still. During the Apollo program, Kraft, who died at age 96 on July 22, was NASA’s Director of Flight Operations, and later ran the Johnson Space Center in Houston. I first met him in the early 1990s, when I was writing Apollo 13, and I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I’d heard he was blunt, profane and brilliant and did not suffer fools easily. What I actually found was that he was, well, blunt, profane and … Continue reading How NASA’s Chris Kraft Conducted the Symphony That Put Men on the Moon

5 Key Parts of Robert Mueller’s Report That Will Probably Come Up During His Testimony

Tessa Berenson Robert Mueller has said he won’t say anything beyond what’s in his report when he testifies before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday. But that still gives House members plenty to work with when they question the former special counsel. House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee plan on highlighting five key incidents in the obstruction section of Mueller’s report, members and aides say, including President Donald Trump directing his then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller and telling his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to threaten to fire former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. These moments … Continue reading 5 Key Parts of Robert Mueller’s Report That Will Probably Come Up During His Testimony

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed in South Carolina Prison Riot That Killed 7 Inmates

MEG KINNARD / AP (COLUMBIA, S.C.) — Two lawsuits filed Tuesday allege that South Carolina corrections officials violated prisoners’ constitutional rights by failing to prevent a riot in which seven inmates were killed last year. In the lawsuits, advance copies of which were provided to The Associated Press before they were filed, representatives for the estates of two male inmates killed in the April 2018 insurrection at Lee Correctional Institution say security officers and agency personnel knew about dangerous problems at the prison but did nothing to fix them, violating the men’s due process rights and subjecting them to cruel … Continue reading Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed in South Carolina Prison Riot That Killed 7 Inmates

How Controversy Over the Census and Immigration Caused a Crisis 100 Years Ago

Abigail Abrams After months of headlines, presidential tweets and a Supreme Court decision, the 2020 Census will not ask people about their citizenship status. President Donald Trump and his advisers tried to add the question, claiming it was necessary to help enforce the Voting Rights Act, while Census Bureau officials, civil rights advocates and a coalition of dozens of states and cities argued the real intent was to scare immigrants and prevent a growing portion of the U.S. population from being counted. The Supreme Court ultimately blocked the citizenship question and ruled the Administration’s justification was “contrived” — but the … Continue reading How Controversy Over the Census and Immigration Caused a Crisis 100 Years Ago

The Pentagon Finally Has a Permanent Defense Secretary. Here’s What to Know About Mark Esper

W.J. Hennigan For the first time in nearly seven months, the Defense Department has a Senate-confirmed Secretary of Defense, officially ending the longest period in the nation’s history that the Pentagon went without a permanent leader. Mark Esper, the former Raytheon executive and Army Secretary, received overwhelming bipartisan support Tuesday in the Senate with an 90-8 vote. He’s scheduled to be formally sworn-in Tuesday evening at the Pentagon. Esper’s confirmation culminates a rocky 204-day period in which the Defense Department went through three Acting Defense Secretaries after James Mattis stepped down from the job on Dec. 31. The leadership vacuum … Continue reading The Pentagon Finally Has a Permanent Defense Secretary. Here’s What to Know About Mark Esper