5 Things for Tuesday, June 27: Syria, Health Bill, Travel Ban, Kislyak, Hail
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 6/27/2017, 7:02 a.m.
By Doug Criss
(CNN) -- Millennials use public libraries the most, a new report says. Who knew? Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
Is the Trump administration setting up a new "red line" for the Syrian regime? A late-night White House statement says Bashar al-Assad's government may be prepping for another chemical weapons attack on civilians. There would be a "heavy price" to pay if Syria launched such an attack, warns the statement, which offers no other details. It was an April 4 chemical attack on a Syrian village -- which left close to 90 people dead -- that prompted the US military to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase. Former President Barack Obama issued a similar "red line" warning to Assad's regime five years ago that Syria pretty much ignored.
2. Senate health care bill
The GOP-led bill was already on life support before the Congressional Budget Office's analysis came out. It's struggling even more now that the CBO's score found the bill would leave 22 million more people without health insurance by 2026. Moderate Republicans who were already on the fence about the bill are even more skittish about it now, and a White House official admitted, "We're right on the threshold" of losing. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still planning a vote on it before lawmakers leave town for the Fourth.
3. Travel ban
President Trump's controversial travel ban is back ... sort of. The Supreme Court partially reinstated parts of it and agreed to hear the case in the fall. The ban goes back in effect for foreign nationals from six majority-Muslim countries who don't have a "bona fide relationship" with a person or entity in the US. In other words, if you have family, business or school connections in the US, you can come on in; if not, sorry. President Trump called the court's decision "a clear victory" for his policy. Many wonder if it will lead to chaos again at airports, as officials hash out who has a bona fide relationship and who doesn't.
His name has come up again and again in the Russia investigation, but now Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is going back to Moscow. His encounters with members of Team Trump -- before and since the election -- have fed the political firestorm, but Russia says Kislyak's move has nothing to do with that and has been planned for some time. Kislyak's communications with Michael Flynn helped get Flynn fired, and the his meetings with Jeff Sessions forced the attorney general to recuse himself from the Russia probe. Kislyak is also considered by US intelligence agencies to be one of Russia's top spies.
5. Climate change
As the climate changes, we'll probably see fewer hailstorms in North America. That's good news, right? Yeah, but don't cancel that insurance policy just yet, because hail stones are going to get bigger, probably leading to more damage to your roof and vehicles. A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change says as the planet warms, we're having fewer, but heavier, rainstorms -- and the same thing is happening with hailstorms.