National News at a Glance
Posted May 28, 2018 9:59 p.m. EDT
On Memorial Day, Trump Honors ‘Our Heroes’ at Arlington
President Donald Trump paid tribute to and mourned the loss of fallen soldiers Monday with a traditional Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, vowing that “we will never forget our heroes.” After laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Trump addressed a crowd that included Gold Star families, honoring “the men and women who laid down their lives for our freedom.” Trump spoke of the soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who came from “every generation, from towering cities and windswept prairies, from privilege and from poverty,” but were united in arms and in their sacrifice.
North Korea Nuclear Disarmament Could Take 15 Years, Expert Warns
As the Trump administration races to start talks with North Korea on what it calls “rapid denuclearization,” a top federal government adviser who has repeatedly visited the North’s atomic complex is warning that disarmament could take up to 15 years. Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, argues that the best the United States can hope for is a phased denuclearization that goes after the most dangerous parts of the North’s program first. The steps are laid out in a report that Hecker compiled at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Black Defendants Get Longer Sentences From Republican-Appointed Judges, Study Finds
Judges appointed by Republican presidents gave longer sentences to black defendants and shorter ones to women than judges appointed by Democrats, according to a new study that analyzed data on more than half a million defendants. “Republican-appointed judges sentence black defendants to three more months than similar nonblacks and female defendants to two fewer months than similar males compared with Democratic-appointed judges,” the study found. The study was conducted by two professors at Harvard Law School, Alma Cohen and Crystal S. Yang. They examined the sentencing practices of about 1,400 federal trial judges over more than 15 years.
A Push for Affordable Prices for Taxpayer-Funded Drugs
On Aug. 30, the Food and Drug Administration approved a radical new cancer treatment that harnesses a patient’s immune system to attack tumor cells. The drug, known as Kymriah, grew out of research conducted and supported by the National Institutes of Health. And it costs $475,000 for a one-time treatment. As President Donald Trump vows to lower prescription drug prices, consumer advocates and health policy experts are increasingly saying that the government should insist on reasonable prices for drugs developed with taxpayer funds. New pharmaceuticals can seem miraculous, but they are useless if unaffordable, patient advocates say.
With ‘Spygate,’ Trump Shows How He Uses Conspiracy Theories to Erode Trust
As a candidate, Donald Trump claimed the U.S. government had known in advance about Sept. 11. And for years, Trump pushed the notion that President Barack Obama had been born in Kenya rather than Honolulu. None of that was true. Last week, Trump promoted unconfirmed accusations that a “criminal deep state” element within Obama’s government planted a spy inside his presidential campaign to help Hillary Clinton win. It was the latest indication that a president who has for decades trafficked in conspiracy theories has brought them from the fringes of public discourse to the Oval Office.
Virginia Republican, Seeking Alcohol Treatment, Won’t Run Again for House Seat
Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., announced Monday that he is an alcoholic and that he will not run for re-election in November in order to seek treatment. “I am a good man and I’m an alcoholic,” Garrett said in a video statement released by The Washington Post. He added: “This is the hardest statement that I have ever publicly made by far.” The announcement followed a week of rumors about Garrett’s congressional office and plans for re-election. Several unidentified former staff members accused Garrett and his wife of requiring personal favors from employees, such as grocery shopping, according to Politico.
Subtropical Storm Alberto Makes Landfall as Florida Braces for Rain
The first named storm of the season — Subtropical Storm Alberto — made landfall on Florida’s Panhandle on Monday evening, officials said. Emergency management officials in Florida said the storm struck Laguna Beach just before 5 p.m. Eastern time with wind speeds of about 45 mph. And although some gusts were said to have been stronger, officials have signaled that they are more worried about the potential for torrential rain and severe flooding. With the heavy toll of Hurricane Irma in the state’s rearview mirror, Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in all 67 Florida counties.