It’s crunch time. Congress must pass a spending bill by Friday in order to avoid a shutdown, but a fight over extending DACA protections could doom any potential deal. While Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, may find themselves blamed for being unable to pass legislation, Democrats in red states running tough re-election campaigns this year might be motivated to reach across the aisle. Meanwhile, the GOP — still embroiled in questions over President Donald Trump’s racially charged language — is reportedly looking at short-term spending deals.
The Presidential Daily Brief
What they discovered shook them. Police found 13 siblings living in dark and putrid conditions, with some chained to beds, in a Perris, California, home on Monday. They were alerted by a 17-year-old girl — who was so emaciated police thought she was 10 — who managed to escape the house and call 911. The malnourished siblings range in age from 2 to 29 years old. While the victims recover in hospitals, their parents have been arrested on suspicion of torture and child endangerment.
The arms race is back on. A Pentagon plan reportedly calls for two new sea-based atomic weapons, which military advocates say are necessary to update U.S. battle capabilities and keep up with arms programs in Russia and China. It’s one of several recommendations in the Defense Department’s Nuclear Posture Review, which has yet to be formally released or approved by the president. Still, insiders expect the nuclear components of the recommendations to go forward, despite critics who fear that no good can come from increased nuclear capabilities.
“Our hearts are still open to you.” So said European Council President Donald Tusk, adding that Britain is welcome to remain in the European Union should it change its mind. Meanwhile, EU Brexit negotiators appeared to harden certain positions: With Britain in urgent need of a trade deal, and the bloc under pressure from some member states, Brussels may demand that immigration rights remain the same for all Europeans during the transition. The EU could also require that Britain get permission for any transition-era trade deals with third countries.
Know This: A California city has charged 12 people who defied a ban on giving food and socks to the homeless. Mitt Romney criticized President Trump on Twitter for his alleged crude comment about African and Caribbean nations, saying such distinctions are “antithetical to American values.” And Japanese consumers have been warned that multiple packages of blowfish were accidentally sold without their toxic organs removed, putting anyone eating them in danger of poisoning and death.
Read This: A British chain of pubs has banned swearing — but can incivility be reversed?
Talk to Us: Tell us how you really feel. Our electrifying TV show, Third Rail With OZY, is shelving the PC and whipping up debates. Each week we’re posting a provocative question, and we want you to weigh in. This week: Has the movement against sexual harassment gone too far? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, and we might feature your answer next week.
#HerToo. Biles, winner of four gold medals at the 2016 Olympics, posted, “I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar.” She adds her name to a list of over 140 women, including gold medalists Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney, accusing the former team doctor of sexual abuse. Nassar is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to multiple counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Biles, who is training for the 2020 Olympics, promised, “My story will be much greater than this.”
They’re planting the seeds. Badly in need of more greenery — only 10 percent of England is covered by woodlands — the British government has revealed plans to help restore an environment ravaged by industrialization by creating a 62,000-acre forest that will span 120 miles from Liverpool to Hull. Expected to eventually hold 50 million new trees, it will be England’s second man-made forest in 30 years. The project’s just taking root, though: The government’s only pledged $7.9 million of the $689 million needed to develop the Northern Forest.
Jackpot. The fifth-largest diamond ever discovered has been found in the small nation of Lesotho, surrounded on all sides by South Africa. The 910-carat stone, roughly the size of two golf balls, was found in the Letseng mine, which boasts the world’s highest average selling price due to the size and quality of its gems. The largest diamond ever discovered was the 3,106-carat Cullinan, unearthed near Pretoria, South Africa, in 1905. It’s unclear how much this new gem will sell for but initial estimates are around $40 million.
Stay where you are. While young adults move around more than the average American, they’re doing it much less these days: People aged 18 to 24 are 33 percent less mobile than they were two decades ago. That’s a surprising statistic for experts, who suggest the United States may simply be settling into place after a long period of geographic relocation powered by the 20th century’s urban development and economic growth. These days, they say, millennials just don’t have the economic incentives (or wherewithal) to roam around.
We wish she could have lingered. O’Riordan, lead singer of the Irish rock band, was found dead in London Monday during a recording session trip, according to her band, who didn’t reveal her cause of death. The Cranberries sold over 40 million albums, with O’Riordan’s powerful lyrics taking on topics from adolescent woes to political violence. The band had canceled tour dates in 2017 due to her health. Irish President Michael Higgins joined fans around the world in expressing grief, citing O’Riordan’s ”immense influence” and calling her sudden death “a big loss.”