Russia decried new “draconian” American sanctions and denied using the Novichok nerve agent to poison ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter on British soil last March. “We grew accustomed to not hearing any facts or evidence,” its embassy in Washington complained. The sanctions, announced by the U.S. State Department yesterday, target trade of national security-regulated goods and are expected to take effect later this month. Observers believe they’ll allow President Donald Trump to claim he’s still tough on Russia amid the ongoing probe into potential collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin.
The Presidential Daily Brief
Can he rep with this rap? New York Republican Chris Collins promised supporters he’ll run to keep his Buffalo-area congressional seat after being charged Wednesday with insider trading. Federal prosecutors say Collins, an early Trump supporter and board member for Innate Immunotherapeutics, phoned knowledge of a failed FDA drug trial to his son, whose associates sold company stock. “I look forward to being fully vindicated,” Collins said, calling the charges “meritless.” The Office of Congressional Ethics previously found it had “substantial reason” to believe Collins had used his position to help the firm.
After a debate lasting more than 15 hours, the country’s Senate narrowly voted down legislation that would have legalized the elective procedure during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Argentina’s lower house had approved the bill, and President Mauricio Macri pledged he’d sign it. But activists accused the Roman Catholic Church — which still wields considerable power in Argentina — of pressuring lawmakers in Pope Francis’ homeland. Abortion will remain legal only in cases of rape and life-threatening circumstances, and legislators must wait another year before submitting a new bill.
The Big Apple became the first American city to limit permits for ride-hailing firms like Uber and Lyft after its city council voted on Wednesday to pause licensing for a year while it studies the industry’s impact on the city. The new legislation, celebrated by Mayor Bill de Blasio, also allows New York to set a minimum wage for those drivers. Uber sharply criticized the measure, saying the Silicon Valley firm, which plans to go public next year, will do “whatever it takes” to compete in its top market.
Know This: Rick Gates, former deputy to Paul Manafort, has wrapped up three days of testimony in the case against President Trump’s ex-campaign manager. Indonesia was rocked by a strong aftershock as the official death toll from last Sunday’s magnitude 7.0 quake surpassed 300. Thailand has granted citizenship to three stateless soccer players and their coach after the four were among those rescued from a cave last month. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Algeria: Find out why the North African country spends so much on defense.
Listen to This: OZY Politics Editor Daniel Malloy joins the Beyond the Bubble podcast as co-host this week to talk all things U.S. politics.
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Agents detained more than 130 undocumented workers Wednesday in multiple raids on farms, restaurants, stores and factories in Nebraska and Minnesota. Part of a 15-month investigation into a “criminal conspiracy to exploit illegal alien laborers for profit, fraud, wire fraud and money laundering,” the raids originally targeted 17 alleged conspirators for arrest. While some of the workers were later released for humanitarian reasons, critics slammed the move as part of the Trump administration’s “war on immigrants,” spreading panic while “they tear apart hard-working families.”
Can you gig it? New research from Oxford University suggests the estimated 70 million employees registered on remote work platforms are worse off than their on-site colleagues. While a majority of the study’s more than 750 participants from Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa said they enjoy the flexibility to perform tasks as they see fit, they also lack collective bargaining, experience social isolation and face an increased risk of exhaustion. The findings coincide with a broader push by governments to reassess employment laws in their countries to protect this evolving breed of worker.
While the illness killed a staggering 8.8 million people in 2015, every cancer is unique. That’s why new treatment methods employing each patient’s DNA are emerging as oncologists’ most promising weapon. Cheaper and better genome sequencing now enables personalized immunotherapy tailored to a patient’s specific disease-fighting capabilities. There are 20 times more public and private entities focused on this discipline than a decade ago, say experts, who credit such work with increased breast and brain cancer survival. Treatments can be exorbitant, but researchers are battling that condition, too.
She succumbed to “a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose” in May, a coroner in Montana announced. Best known for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman films, Kidder, 69, was found dead in her home near Yellowstone National Park, but at the time, her manager said only that the actress died peacefully in her sleep. “It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” said Kidder’s daughter, Maggie McGuane. The actress, who attempted suicide at age 14, had long suffered from bipolar disorder and advocated for mental health awareness.
The college athletics association has unveiled policy changes aimed at minimizing “the leverage of harmful outside influences” and giving players more flexibility. The new rules — announced amid an FBI probe into several college basketball programs accused of corruption and bribery during the recruitment process — will allow NBA-bound student athletes to return to school if undrafted and provide “elite” high school and college athletes with an NCAA-certified agent, among other measures. Meanwhile, the NBA was reportedly caught off guard by the announcement and said it needs to assess the new rules.