National News

National News at a Glance

Posted May 9, 2018 9:53 p.m. EDT

Haspel Vows She Will Not Allow Torture if Confirmed to Run CIA

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the lead the CIA, defended the agency’s torture of terrorism suspects as her confirmation hearing Wednesday served as another reckoning of the extraordinary measures the government employed in the frantic hunt for the Sept. 11 conspirators. Haspel, a 33-year CIA veteran who oversaw a secret prison in Thailand in 2002 while a Qaida suspect was waterboarded there, said that she and other spies were working within the law. Though the CIA should never resume that type of work, she said, its officers should also not be judged for doing it.

Mormon Church Ends Partnership With Boy Scouts of America

The Mormon church and the Boy Scouts of America formed a partnership 105 years ago based on shared beliefs in God, country and the necessity of teaching morals and responsibility to boys. Now that arrangement is coming to an end. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday that it was severing ties with the Boy Scouts and would design its own youth programs that could be implemented in its congregations around the world. The decision, which was made jointly with the Boy Scouts, will take effect at the end of next year.

House Republicans, Defying Leaders, Move to Force Immigration Votes

More than a dozen House Republicans defied Speaker Paul Ryan and moved to force a vote on immigration in the House, aiming to settle the uncertain futures of young immigrants brought to this country illegally as children. The group is gathering signatures for a discharge petition, that could be used to circumvent Ryan by bringing legislation to the House floor with the support of a majority of members. The party out of power often uses such petitions, but they rarely succeed because a signature from a member of the party in power is seen as a betrayal of leadership. This time, 17 Republicans had signed as of Wednesday afternoon.

Eric Schneiderman Falls. Trump Allies Gloat. Democrats Seethe.

The moment of political reckoning began a day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, when millions of marchers protested his policies and treatment of women. If Trump’s election ignited this national conflagration, the president has largely escaped consequences for his behavior. Trump and his advisers have reveled openly in the #MeToo-era downfall of prominent Democrats, most recently Eric T. Schneiderman, the Democratic attorney general of New York state who cast himself as a heroic opponent of Trump and a crusader for women’s rights. After four women accused him of physical abuse, Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s chief political aides, tweeted: “Gotcha.”

Woman Who Accused Trump of Sexual Assault Wins Legislative Primary

A woman who accused Donald Trump during the presidential race of forcibly kissing her at Trump Tower more than a decade ago won an uncontested Democratic primary on Tuesday for a seat in the Ohio state Legislature. Three weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Rachel Crooks was among several women who came forward to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct. But her story did not have a sizable effect on his campaign, a frustrating development that helped spur Crooks’ political ambitions. On Tuesday night, Crooks took a step closer to becoming the first Trump accuser to hold public office, winning an unopposed Democratic primary for an Ohio House of Representatives seat.

DeVos Moves to Loosen Restrictions on Federal Aid to Religious Colleges

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a lifelong advocate of Christian education, moved Wednesday to loosen federal regulations on religious universities, after a Supreme Court decision that restricted states from denying some kinds of aid to religious institutions. The measure is part of a sweeping deregulatory agenda for the Education Department announced Wednesday by the White House budget office, which outlined several rules and regulations for the department to scrap or amend. Among those are rules that restrict faith-based entities from receiving federally administered funding. The administration may be adopting an expansive interpretation of the Supreme Court decision: The funding at issue in the decision was for a nonreligious activity.

To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad

President Donald Trump, poised on Friday to unveil his strategy to lower prescription drug prices, has an idea that may not be popular abroad: Bring down costs at home by forcing higher prices in foreign countries that use their national health systems to make drugs more affordable. “We’re going to be ending global freeloading,” Trump declared at a meeting with drug company executives in his first month in office. Foreign price controls, he said, reduce the resources that U.S. drug companies have to finance research and develop new cures. Trump is expected to criticize brand-name drug manufacturers for high list prices and maneuvers that delay the marketing of lower-cost generic drugs.