Trump drops another drug pricing proposal after court blocks TV ad plan

(CNN)The Trump administration is backing down from a controversial effort to lower drug prices, only days after its first major industry reform was overturned by a federal judge. The increase in premiums is what ultimately doomed the proposal, according to a person familiar with the matter. “Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. “The Trump administration is encouraged by continuing bipartisan conversations about legislation to reduce outrageous drug costs imposed on the American people.” Axios first reported on the pulling of the rule. Trump made controlling health care costs a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, but has yet to succeed in reshaping the American …

House expected to vote Friday to extend 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

Washington (CNN)House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Tuesday that the House will vote Friday on legislation to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. 9/11 first responder John Feal told reporters at the end of last month that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell committed to holding a vote to extend the fund, after sitting down with Feal and other 9/11 first responders on Capitol Hill. “Mitch McConnell made a commitment to the 9/11 community and my team leaders that he is going to help us get a piece of legislation that is going to be passed in the House in July, for an August vote in the Senate,” Feal said at the time. The Kentucky Republican has also publicly vowed …

9th Circuit rules in DOJ’s favor in sanctuary cities case

(CNN)The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled in favor of the Trump administration, saying the Department of Justice could give preference in awarding grants to cities that would use the money to focus on illegal immigration, as the federal government prepares to seek out undocumented immigrants in raids this weekend. The court’s decision comes ahead of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids scheduled for Sunday in nine major cities, including Los Angeles. City officials have come out against the impending raids — the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that it “does not and will not participate in the enforcement of civil administrative law,” and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted suggestions Friday for how to deal with …

Delaware activist could become first ever transgender state senator

Washington (CNN)Transgender activist Sarah McBride announced Tuesday that she’s running for a Senate seat in her home state of Delaware. McBride said the experience of caring for her late husband through a battle with cancer shaped her focus on health care, particularly her charge to increase access to paid family medical leave. “I don’t want anyone to go through that experience, but I also know that thousands of people are going through it every day,” McBride said. The incumbent for the 1st District, Democratic state Sen. Harris McDowell, announced on July 1 that he will retire at the end of his term in 2020. “I’ve long looked to the Delaware state legislature as a place where real change is possible,” …

Pompeo unveils human rights commission, critics suggest it may rollback protections

Washington (CNN)US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced a new commission to examine the role of human rights in US foreign policy and which rights should be “honored,” raising fears that the Trump administration may be trying to roll back protections for women, LGBTQ groups and minorities. Pompeo argued that the definition of human rights has grown fuzzy, that the concept is now sometimes used to defend “gross violations” and that the US has to be “vigilant that human rights discourse not be corrupted or hijacked or used for dubious or malignant purposes.” Critics worry commission will ‘weaken human rights’ But many see the commission as “a new body designed to weaken human rights,” as New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, …

Fact-checking night two of the first Democratic presidential debate

(CNN)The second night of the first 2020 Democratic presidential debate continued with 10 candidates, including three of the top polling leaders in former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Kamala Harris of California. Here are the facts.

Joe Biden throws own campaign into turmoil after Harris attacks his record on race

Washington (CNN)Joe Biden stumbled into a potential campaign-defining moment Thursday that pitched his effort to win the Democratic nomination onto suddenly shaky ground. The immediate impressions left after a debate are often not how things appear a few days later. So it may be that Biden’s bad night does not end up being as damaging as it first appeared. It’s even possible that some voters might have been offended at the audacity of the attack by Harris on a man who has been a devoted servant of the Democratic Party for decades. And Biden — who served as vice president to the nation’s first black President, Barack Obama — enjoys strong support among African American voters, a crucial Democratic constituency. …

Tory leadership race: Stewart out as Johnson extends lead

MPs suggest Johnson backers lent previous votes to Stewart to eliminate Brexiter rival Raab Rory Stewart has been ousted from the Conservative leadership contest after losing 10 votes since the last round, sparking MPs speculation that Boris Johnsons operatives may have previously pushed fellow supporters to vote for the outsider to help eliminate his Brexiter rival Dominic Raab. Stewart was leapfrogged by Sajid Javid, who increased his support by five votes to stay in the race. The home secretarys team insisted the momentum was now with him as the insurgent after his defeated rival underperformed in the TV hustings on Tuesday night. Saj has always had a funny habit of defying the odds, one campaign ally said. One former cabinet …

Pence punts to Congress for action on border facility conditions for children

(CNN)Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday acknowledged “a heartbreaking scene” for children held at US detention facilities on the southern border, but punted to Congress to “provide additional support” when pressed on the Trump administration’s inaction on the issue. “So why aren’t we?” Tapper asked. “My point is it is all a part of the appropriations,” Pence said. “Congress needs to provide additional support to deal with the crisis at the southern border but we have to get to the root causes and close the loopholes that human traffickers as we speak are using to entice vulnerable families to take the long and dangerous journey north.” Pence broke with lawyers from the Trump administration in stating “of course” toothbrushes, blankets …

Fact-checking Trump’s ABC interview

Washington (CNN)In an extensive interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday evening. President Donald Trump made several factual blunders and repeated many of his favorite incorrect claims. “The vets– the VA was in horrible shape,” said Trump. “Now, they have choice. And nobody could get choice. John McCain couldn’t get it. Nobody could get it. They tried for years. They couldn’t get it.” Facts First: Trump is rewriting history. The Veterans Choice Program was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2014 and was co-sponsored by Senator John McCain. Trump signed a bill to continue the program and eventually consolidated other programs under the new Veterans Community Care Program. Veterans Choice aimed to expand veteran’s access to health …

Sajid Javid knocked out in fourth round of Tory leadership contest

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove will face fifth vote to decide final two candidates later on Thursday Sajid Javid has become the latest candidate to exit the Conservative party leadership race, with the home secretary coming last in the fourth round of voting by Tory MPs, behind Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt. With all 313 MPs again casting votes, Johnson was once more the clear winner, on 157 votes, with Gove overtaking Hunt into second place, with 61 votes to 59. Javid was fourth on 34 votes. All 313 MPs voted but two ballots were spoiled. The focus now shifts to a fifth and final round of votes, in which the final two will be selected, …

Judge orders key Mueller witness facing child porn charge be held in jail until trial

(CNN)A federal judge on Friday ordered George Aref Nader to stay in jail until his trial for transporting child pornography, citing the danger the former witness to Robert Mueller’s probe poses to the community. During a contentious hearing, Nader’s defense attorneys unsuccessfully pleaded with the judge to release him from jail, so he could move to a long-term medical facility. Nader recently had open-heart surgery and is dealing with a “very serious health condition,” his lawyers said. Nader’s lawyers said he was prepared to tap into his $3 million net worth and hire a private security firm to provide around-the-clock armed guards outside his hospital room. The judge balked and suggested that Nader could just stop paying the guards, allowing …

American Medical Association opposes ‘Medicare for All.’ Students, nurses and activists want to change that

(CNN)The American Medical Association is coming under increasing fire for opposing “Medicare for All.” The rally comes as the AMA doubles down on its opposition to universal health care. After being pressed to review its position by its medical students caucus at last year’s meeting, the association recently reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening the Affordable Care Act and making coverage more affordable, in part by increasing the eligibility and amount of federal subsidies for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. “Instead of abandoning the ACA and threatening the stability of coverage for those individuals who are generally satisfied with their coverage, the council believes that now is the time to invest not only in fixing the law, but improving it,” the AMA …

Joe Biden’s rift with progressives on display as he skips California Democratic convention

(CNN)The tensions between former Vice President Joe Biden and liberal progressives were on full display this weekend in California, where most of the Democratic Party’s presidential contenders were campaigning. Biden’s leading challengers won those audiences over by using him as a punching bag. They didn’t say Biden’s name, but they made clear references to his campaigning on the notion that Trump’s four years will be treated as an “aberration,” his calls for a return to normalcy in Washington and his prediction that Republicans will have an “epiphany” once Trump leaves the White House. “Some Democrats in Washington believe the only changes we can get are tweaks and nudges. If they dream at all, they dream small,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren …

Joe Biden unveils education platform that boosts funding for low-income districts

Houston (CNN)Former Vice President Joe Biden is unveiling a set of education policy proposals Tuesday that would increase funding for schools in low-income areas, help teachers pay off student debt and double the number of health professionals working in schools. The plan would prioritize competitive pay for teachers, access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and districts offering rigorous coursework. After those, Biden’s plan would leave it to school districts to identify their biggest needs to address with the remaining funding bump. Biden’s plan also calls the existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program — which discharges federal student loan debt after 10 years of payments — to be “fixed” and “simplified” so that it “actually helps teachers.” And it calls …

Northern Ireland prison bans book about Irish republicans

Maghaberry in County Antrim contains several republican paramilitaries A Irish prison that holds some of the most dangerous republican paramilitary prisoners has banned a new academic book about dissident Irish republicans. Unfinished Business: the Dissident Irish targets Lyra McKee during rioting in Derry. Police hunting McKees killer have warned of a Good Friday agreement supposedly drew a line under the Troubles. McGlinchey said she was taken aback when a prisoner notified her about the ban: It must be because of the subject matter but this is an academic work. She visited Maghaberry five or six times to conduct interviews, she said. The book has been endorsed by the life peer Paul Bew and Richard English, professors at Queens University Belfast …