Five in a Flash – August 31, 2017

Houston Chronicle / AP

In today’s news: explosions in Houston, tax reform, the Russia investigation, Texas’ immigration law, gene therapy, and college football.

TOP FIVE

Explosions reported at flooded Houston chemical plant (CNN) – “Two explosions and plumes of black smoke were reported at a flooded chemical plant in Crosby, Texas on Thursday, officials said. One deputy has been taken to the hospital after he inhaled fumes from the Arkema peroxide plant, the Harris County sheriff’s office tweeted. Nine others drove themselves to the hospital as a precaution, the sheriff’s office said. The explosions were reported around 2 a.m. (local time). . . . The scope of the explosions is still unknown.”

Trump speaks on tax reform (The Hill) – “President Trump on Wednesday launched his efforts to sell tax reform, urging both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to get behind his plans for an overhaul of the code. ‘This is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver real tax reform for everyday hardworking Americans, and I am fully committed to working with Congress to get this job done, and I don’t want to be disappointed by Congress,’ Trump said in a speech at a manufacturer in Springfield, Mo.”

Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe (Politico) – “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, according to several people familiar with the matter. The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.”

Judge temporarily blocks Texas immigration enforcement law (Texas Tribune) – “A federal district judge on Wednesday ruled against the state of Texas and halted major provisions of a controversial state-based immigration enforcement law just days before it was scheduled to go into effect. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s key legislative priorities that seeks to outlaw ‘sanctuary’ entities, the common term for governments that don’t enforce federal immigration laws.”

US clears breakthrough gene therapy for childhood leukemia (ABC News) – “Opening a new era in cancer care, U.S. health officials on Wednesday approved a breakthrough treatment that genetically engineers patients’ own blood cells into an army of assassins to seek and destroy childhood leukemia. The Food and Drug Administration called the approval historic, the first gene therapy to hit the U.S. market. Made from scratch for every patient, it’s one of a wave of ‘living drugs’ under development to fight additional blood cancers and other tumors, too.”

ITEM OF INTEREST

College football Week 1: What to watch, when (SBNation) – “Below, every FBS game scheduled to be televised (or, in spots where nothing else is going on at the time, a few FCS-only games), sorted according to a subjective assessment of watchability. TV times and streaming info are included for each. Hope you like college football, because here comes a heckload of it.”

FROM THE SITE

Mr. President, talk less (The Left)

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Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at the University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a contributor at Merion West and the curator of "Five in a Flash," a weekday newsletter. His work has been featured at The Federalist, SB Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, The Dallas Morning News, and The New Americana.

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