National News at a Glance
Posted May 22, 2018 9:28 p.m. EDT
Why Shootings Are So Shocking: School Is the ‘Safest Place’ for Children
In the days after a school shooting, like the one Friday in Santa Fe, Texas, parents hug their children tighter in the morning and students consider hiding places in their classrooms, wondering if such tragedies are inevitable. Amid the trauma, heartbreak and anxiety is a key piece of data, one that makes campus shootings all the more shocking when they do happen: School is one of the safest places for an American child. According to the most recent federal data, between 1992 and 2015, less than 3 percent of homicides of children ages 5-18 occurred at school.
Texas Governor Gathers Leaders to Talk Gun Violence
Four days after the latest school shooting left 10 people dead at a Texas high school, Gov. Greg Abbott — torn between his state’s reluctance to pass new gun control laws and his own frustration at the growing tally of young deaths — convened on Tuesday the first in a series of round-table discussions on ways to help protect schools from gun violence. During the afternoon-long session, school experts and law enforcement officials found broad agreement on a host of preliminary ideas, some of which could be put into place without legislative approval before the start of school, in August.
Paul Ryan Is Speaker Until January, but Can He Last That Long?
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan pledged to “run through the tape” and finish out his term when he announced last month that he would retire from Congress. But with Republicans in revolt on both his right and his left, Ryan is increasingly facing questions about whether he can manage to stumble across the finish line. Ryan’s fractious conference has always been a management headache. But now moderates and conservatives are engaged in open warfare over one of the toughest issues before Congress — immigration — and the speaker is stuck in the middle.
Cohen’s Partner in Businesses Pleads Guilty in Deal, And Will Aid Inquiry
A significant business partner of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has agreed to cooperate with the government, a development that could be used as leverage to pressure Cohen to work with the special counsel examining Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Under the deal reached with the New York attorney general’s office, Evgeny A. Freidman specifically agreed to assist government prosecutors in state or federal investigations, according to a person briefed on the matter. The broadened scope of Freidman’s cooperation may prove worrisome not only to Cohen, but also Trump.
200 Professors Call for Ouster of USC President
Two hundred professors at the University of Southern California have demanded the resignation of the school’s president, C.L. Max Nikias, saying that he no longer had the “moral authority to lead." The letter was addressed to the board of trustees and signed by senior faculty members, who said they wanted to express "outrage and disappointment” over how Nikias handled reports that a gynecologist at the campus health center had mistreated students for decades. Although an investigation in 2016 found that the doctor had conducted pelvic exams inappropriately and made offensive remarks to patients, officials chose to settle the matter quietly.
Congress Approves Bill Giving Patients a ‘Right to Try’ Experimental Drugs
Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that would allow patients with serious illnesses to try unproven experimental treatments, sending the measure to President Donald Trump, a strong supporter of the legislation. By a vote of 250-169, the House passed the same “right to try” bill that was approved in August by nearly unanimous consent in the Senate. The bill would, in effect, allow dying patients to bypass the Food and Drug Administration and obtain an “investigational drug” with the approval of their doctors, if the drug manufacturer agrees to supply it.
Sinkhole Forms on White House Lawn. Blame the Swamp. Really.
A sinkhole has formed on the North Lawn of the White House, and predictably, the temptation was too great for many on social media, who filled the void with all the “drain the swamp” jokes and metaphors one could imagine. But the saying has some geological merit. There is a “legitimate swamp” around the White House, Jess Phoenix, a volcanologist and geologist said Tuesday. Some sinkholes, Phoenix said, can be huge — “tens of meters across, swallowing cars and buses” — but for now, the one at the White House is relatively small.