National News

National News at a Glance

Posted May 16, 2018 10:04 p.m. EDT

In Rebuke of Trump, Tillerson Says Lies Are a Threat to Democracy

In a veiled rebuke of President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned on Wednesday that American democracy was threatened by a growing “crisis of ethics and integrity.” “If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom,” he said in a commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. He cut to the heart of the most significant criticisms of the president, that Trump exaggerates and constructs his own truths and has undermined ethical standards in Washington.

For Women With Early Breast Cancer, Herceptin Treatment Can Be Much Shorter

During the past 20 years, hundreds of thousands of women with breast cancer have taken the drug Herceptin, typically for a year or more. The medicine, used to treat an aggressive form of the disease, is credited with saving many lives, but it also has some tough side effects, particularly damage to the heart. A new study that followed thousands of women with early-stage breast cancer for a median of more than five years has found those treated with Herceptin for only six months did just as well as those who got it for a year — and suffered fewer side effects.

Turkish Banker in Iran Sanctions-Busting Case Sentenced to 32 Months

A Turkish banker who was convicted in a billion-dollar conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran was sentenced to 32 months in prison Wednesday in Manhattan. The high-profile federal trial of the banker, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, depicted high-level corruption in Turkey, riveted the Turkish public and strained that country’s relations with the United States. Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and other Turkish officials have denounced the case. They claim the evidence was fabricated by followers of an Islamic cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of fomenting a failed coup in 2016. Erdogan even raised the issue with President Donald Trump.

94 Percent of U.S. Teachers Spend Money on School Supplies, Survey Finds

According to a U.S. Department of Education survey released Tuesday, 94 percent of public school teachers in the United States reported paying for supplies without reimbursement in the school year that straddled 2014 and 2015. It made little difference whether they taught in cities, suburbs or rural areas, or whether or not their students were poor — virtually every public schoolteacher said they had used their own money for their classrooms. The teachers who reported spending their own money on supplies shelled out $479 each on average, according to the survey. Seven percent reported spending more than $1,000.

Ozone-Harming Gas Is Detected, Despite Ban

Government scientists have detected an increase in emissions of an outlawed industrial gas that destroys ozone, potentially slowing progress in restoring the atmosphere’s protective ozone layer. The scientists say the increase is likely a result of new, unreported production of the gas, known as CFC-11, probably in East Asia. Global production of CFC-11, which has been used as a refrigerant and in insulating foams, has been banned since 2010 under the Montreal Protocol. The protocol was adopted in the late 1980s in response to studies that showed CFC-11 and similar gases, collectively known as chlorofluorocarbons, depleted atmospheric ozone.

Trump Discloses Cohen Payment, Raising Questions About Previous Omission

President Donald Trump’s financial disclosure, released Wednesday, revealed he repaid a debt of more than $100,000 to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in 2017, raising questions about whether his sworn filing from a year ago improperly omitted the transaction. The disclosure, released by the Office of Government Ethics, did not specify the purpose of the payment. However, Cohen has paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, who has said she had an affair with Trump. Cohen has said he made the payment shortly before the 2016 election as hush money for Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels.

Democrats Sharpen Focus as Pruitt Testifies Again on Capitol Hill

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, told a Senate panel Wednesday that one of his employees had worked without pay on her personal time to find him a place to live, a service that Democrats said amounted to a violation of federal law. He also confirmed that he had established a legal-defense fund to defray the costs of defending himself against 12 federal investigations into his spending and management decisions. The acknowledgments came amid increasing allegations of legal and ethical misconduct by Pruitt that have led some lawmakers, including in his own party, to call for his resignation.