Delaware activist could become first ever transgender state senator

Washington (CNN)Transgender activist Sarah McBride announced Tuesday that she’s running for a Senate seat in her home state of Delaware. McBride said the experience of caring for her late husband through a battle with cancer shaped her focus on health care, particularly her charge to increase access to paid family medical leave. “I don’t want anyone to go through that experience, but I also know that thousands of people are going through it every day,” McBride said. The incumbent for the 1st District, Democratic state Sen. Harris McDowell, announced on July 1 that he will retire at the end of his term in 2020. “I’ve long looked to the Delaware state legislature as a place where real change is possible,” …

Pompeo unveils human rights commission, critics suggest it may rollback protections

Washington (CNN)US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new commission to examine the role of human rights in US foreign policy and which rights should be “honored,” raising fears that the Trump administration may be trying to roll back protections for women, LGBTQ groups and minorities. Pompeo argued that the definition of human rights has grown fuzzy, that the concept is now sometimes used to defend “gross violations” and that the US has to be “vigilant that human rights discourse not be corrupted or hijacked or used for dubious or malignant purposes.” Critics worry commission will ‘weaken human rights’ But many see the commission as “a new body designed to weaken human rights,” as New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, …

Lack of soap, filthy onesies and too few beds have created a ‘health crisis’ at border detention facilities, monitors warn

(CNN)A team of doctors, lawyers and advocates are warning of what they say are major health and hygiene problems at several US Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas. The allegations, first reported by The Associated Press, come weeks after a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions at another El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol facility. Gialluca and Long said they didn’t have a chance to see the areas where migrants were being held when they visited the facilities, but were part of a team of 10 doctors, lawyers and advocates that interviewed detainees at three Texas facilities this week. CNN has not independently verified the conditions the team is reporting. The …

Fact-checking Trump’s ABC interview

Washington (CNN)In an extensive interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday evening. President Donald Trump made several factual blunders and repeated many of his favorite incorrect claims. “The vets– the VA was in horrible shape,” said Trump. “Now, they have choice. And nobody could get choice. John McCain couldn’t get it. Nobody could get it. They tried for years. They couldn’t get it.” Facts First: Trump is rewriting history. The Veterans Choice Program was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014 and was co-sponsored by Senator John McCain. Trump signed a bill to continue the program and eventually consolidated other programs under the new Veterans Community Care Program. Veterans Choice aimed to expand veteran’s access to health …

Walk the line: behind the story of Michael Gove’s cocaine use

Tory leadership hopeful revealed he had taken drug in mock-media interview for 2016 campaign In the run-up to his 2016 campaign to be Tory leader, Michael Gove was being subjected to a mock media interview by his team, as they tried to anticipate what questions he could face from journalists. In his soon-to-be published biography, Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry, the journalist Owen Bennett writes that the then justice secretary was asked if he had ever taken drugs. Yes, cocaine, he replied, according to someone described as having intimate knowledge of the event. According to Bennett: He was firmly instructed not to give that answer in public, and told instead to fall back on the words [David] Cameron …

Trump’s family holiday to UK Disneyland makes for painful viewing | John Crace

With sketch writers banned from his press conference with Theresa May, I was forced to endure it on TV Monday Sometimes I worry I am more psychically connected to Tottenham Hotspur than is healthy. Having done my two events at the festival, I went back to the friends I was staying with to watch the Shoulder to shoulder with the president, negotiating a new trade deal. Instead, she cut a forlorn, diminished figure as she was both patronised and ignored by Trump, who made no secret that he was 75th anniversary commemorations profoundly moving, especially the handful of surviving veterans and letters from the dead. But theyve also generated some anger, because politicians may talk a good game about the …

It just got harder for Democrats not to impeach Trump

Washington (CNN)Robert Mueller ended his two-year stint as special counsel with a bang disguised as a whimper: In a 10-minute statement announcing his resignation and the closure of the special counsel’s office, the former FBI director sent a very clear message to anyone listening: I didn’t charge Donald Trump with obstruction because I couldn’t. Mueller says the special counsel’s hands were tied by the OLC opinion when it came to charging Trump with obstructing the Russia probe. Mueller notes that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” Oh, whatever could he mean???? To date, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held off the increasing number of voices within the House …

Trump’s ‘religious conscience’ rule for health care providers draws court challenge

Washington (CNN)A broad coalition of women’s reproductive rights groups and LGBT health organizations is asking a court to strike down a new rule issued by Trump administration that excuses religious and moral objectors from participating in or paying for services such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide. Richard B. Katskee, legal director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the rule was “unconstitutional in at least four ways” — including violating the Equal Protection Clause by targeting marginalized communities. Genevieve Scott, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the rule is “intentionally confusing and unworkable.” “Even EMTs and administrative staff are encouraged to deny care,” she said. “The rule is extremely broad and contains …

McConnell unveils bill to combat youth tobacco use by raising purchase age to 21

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally introduced legislation Monday to raise the age for buying tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21, a move designed to combat the health effects of tobacco addiction across the country and help his home state of Kentucky move off production of the crop that has sagged in popularity for decades. Both senators pointed to figures from the Centers for Disease Control that show an alarming spike in teen vaping since the recent advent of e-cigarettes. “Kentucky farmers don’t want their children to get hooked on tobacco products while they are in middle school or high school any more than any parent anywhere wants that to happen,” McConnell said. “Kentucky is proud of what we make but …

Fifth child dies after arriving at US border from Guatemala since December

(CNN)A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in government custody Monday morning, Customs and Border Protection said. Vasquez crossed into the US with a group of about 70 people and was transported to the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, to await transfer to the custody of the Health and Human Services Department, as is customary for unaccompanied minors. Six days after being apprehended, he indicated to staff at the Central Processing Center that “he was not feeling well,” at which time he was seen by a contracted nurse practitioner. “He was assessed and determined to have influenza A,” the official said. The prescribed treatment was Tamiflu, which Border Patrol agents picked up at a local pharmacy, according to the official. The …

Trump offers deals where only he can win

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump’s ambitious plans to fix the immigration system, forge Middle East peace and coax Iran to the table might work — but only if his negotiating partners agree to utter capitulation. Iran tensions spotlight Trump’s questionable credibility And the plans adopt an unrealistic assessment of the starting point for any talks — in some cases just ignoring impediments that do not fit the White House vision of a solution to these problems and conflicts — some of the most intractable issues that previous administrations have failed to solve. So the prospects for success on any of these fronts are hardly promising, if Trump is looking for political victories to showcase to voters in the 2020 election. The …

Lawmakers rush to introduce bipartisan measures to combat surprise medical bills

(CNN)Less than a week after President Donald Trump called on Congress to address surprise medical bills, lawmakers in both the House and Senate unveiled bipartisan measures to protect Americans from this costly and frustrating issue. “We must ensure that patients are not responsible for these outrageous bills, which is why our discussion draft removes patients from the middle,” said Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, and Republican Leader Greg Walden of Oregon, in a joint statement. Trump, who has made health care a top political issue, has turned his sights on surprise medical billing, which he also mentioned in the State of the Union. Along with lowering drug prices, it’s seen as an area of potential bipartisan …

Chelsea Manning released from Virginia jail after 62 days

(CNN)Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been released from federal custody after spending about two months in jail for refusing to testify about her disclosure of military and diplomatic secrets to WikiLeaks in 2010, according to a statement from her legal team. The second subpoena would have her appear before a different grand jury next week, “but for (the) same questions,” according to a tweet posted on Manning’s Twitter account Thursday night. “It is therefore conceivable that she will once again be held in contempt of court, and be returned to the custody of the Alexandria Detention Center, possibly as soon as next Thursday, May 16,” Manning’s team said in the statement. “Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer …

Hillary Clinton says economy isn’t the only reason to elect a president ‘or in this case retire one’

(CNN)Hillary Clinton on Saturday acknowledged the state of the economy is good, but cautioned that other factors should go into selecting a president. The comments come in the wake of new CNN polling last week that showed 56% of Americans approve of President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy. The previous high-water mark for Trump on this issue came in March 2017 when 55% approved. “A good economy is not the be-all and end-all to elections,” Princeton political historian Julian Zelizer said when asked about the 1960s vs. today. “That was a period when the economy was still doing very well — even better than today in many ways.” Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, also weighed in on …

How the Trump administration won a major policy shift from the Chinese on fentanyl

Washington (CNN)Officials from the Office of National Drug Control Policy were preparing a briefing for President Donald Trump late last year ahead of his meeting with the Chinese President at the G20 summit when they decided they needed a visual aid to drive home their point. The move, which came as the two countries grappled in an escalating trade war, was the product of months of lobbying by the Trump administration after a turn towards a harder line on the topic in 2017, multiple officials involved in the process told CNN. Over the next year and a half, negotiators chipped away at Chinese recalcitrance towards policy change to their drug market, and their belief that fentanyl enforcement was only a …

A 16-year-old immigrant boy died in US custody. Officials are investigating

(CNN)A 16-year-old Guatemalan immigrant has died in US custody, days after arriving at an Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter. Guatemala’s foreign ministry said Wednesday the boy had undergone an emergency operation at the hospital after presenting with a severe infection in his frontal lobe. The infection did not improve, the foreign ministry said, even after surgery to relieve pressure in the boy’s skull. The boy’s death comes months after the deaths of two other immigrant children who fell ill in government custody: 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, who both died in December in the custody of US Customs and Border Protection. Those cases spurred sharp criticism from immigrant rights advocates over the care children receive while …