In our news wrap Friday, the fallout from the political feud over the nation’s war dead continued as Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., rejected John Kelly’s accusation that she was eavesdropping on the president in a condolence call to a soldier’s widow. Also, suicide bombers in Afghanistan killed at least 72 people Friday in the latest deadly attack this week.
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Congressional Republicans shifted their focus today to cutting taxes, after the Senate passed a budget bill overnight. The vote was 51 to 49, with Kentucky’s Rand Paul the only Republican to vote no. The House already passed its version of the budget.
The spending plan provides for tax cuts that would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. We will get details on the budget and tax plans right after the news summary.
There’s more fallout in the political feud over the nation’s war dead. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson is rejecting an accusation by retired General John Kelly, the White House chief of staff. Yesterday, he accused her of eavesdropping on President Trump’s condolence call to a soldier’s widow, a call she criticized as insensitive.
Today, the Florida Democrat answered.
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.:
I wasn’t listening in. I was in a car where a call was being taken on a speakerphone. I wasn’t listening in. Don’t — please don’t characterize it as that.
Kelly had also charged that, in a 2015 speech, Wilson falsely claimed credit for getting funds for an FBI building. In fact, she didn’t mention the funding.
But, at the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Kelly was right, and Wilson was grandstanding.
And she also had quite a few comments that day that weren’t part of that speech and weren’t part of that video that were also witnessed by many people that were there, what General Kelly referenced yesterday
In turn, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today defended Wilson as a — quote — “wonderful, kind person.”
On the broader issue of honoring the war dead, Pelosi said — quote — “Let’s just take down the heat on this.”
In Afghanistan, suicide bombers killed at least 72 people today, the latest in a string of bloody attacks this week. One of the bombers blew himself up in a Shiite mosque in Kabul after it filled with Friday worshipers. The other struck in the central part of the country.
The death toll in last Saturday’s bombing in Somalia has risen to 358. More than 200 others were wounded when a powerful truck bomb exploded in Mogadishu. The Somali prime minister said late today the country’s president will announce a state of war against the Al-Shabaab militant group.
Government troops in Iraq traded shelling and rocket fire today with Kurdish forces at the Kurds’ last enclave near Kirkuk. The clash came just outside the autonomous Kurdish region. The Iraqi army advanced on Kirkuk and its oil fields in the wake of a Kurdish vote for independence.
A major new study finds pollution is killing an estimated nine million people a year worldwide. That’s more than war, disease and natural disasters. The medical journal “The Lancet” reports that India led the way with more than 2.5 million deaths from pollution in 2015.
Scientists in New Delhi said today the situation will get worse, despite legal action to clean the nation’s air.
Because, as the pollution level is not going to decrease soon, and even with the various supreme court orders, we are seeing that a lower peak is coming, but then again, all the other sources are negating the effects of the supreme court orders that have come in place.
The study was based at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York.
Back in this country, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., blocked an undocumented immigrant girl from getting an abortion. The 17-year-old is being held in Texas. She’s 15 weeks pregnant, and Texas law bars abortions after 20 weeks. Federal officials have refused to assist, so the judges allowed until October 31 for a government-approved adult sponsor to assist her getting an abortion if she’s released.
Otherwise, they may reconsider the ruling.
The number of American adults with no health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year. That’s according to a Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index released today. The increase comes amid rising premiums and political turmoil over Obamacare.
On Wall Street today, banks and tech stocks kept pushing the market higher. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 165 points to close at 23328. The Nasdaq rose nearly 24 points, and the S&P 500 added 13. For the week, the Dow gained 2 percent. The S&P 500 rose nearly 1 percent. The Nasdaq added a fraction.
And first lady Melania Trump presented her inaugural gown to the Smithsonian today. It took place at the National Museum of American History. The gown will join an exhibit of inaugural ball outfits worn by all of the nation’s first ladies.
Meanwhile, Jackie Robinson’s rookie jersey from the 1947 rookie season is on the auction block. Online bidding runs through November 19. The jersey could fetch more than $3 million.