Five in a Flash – September 22, 2017

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In today’s news: North Korea sanctions, Graham-Cassidy, Tom Price, Hurricane Maria, Aaron Hernandez, and college football.

TOP FIVE

Trump announces new sanctions against North Korea (LA Times) – “After threatening earlier this week to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea if it uses its nuclear weaponry against U.S. territory or allies, Trump told reporters he was issuing a new executive order, adding more sanctions to those that the United States and allies already have imposed. . . . Under the executive order, the U.S. Treasury Department will be able to blacklist any businesses and individuals trading or doing financial work with North Korea. That could force other nations and foreign businesses to make a choice: ‘Do business with the United States . . . or the lawless regime of North Korea,’ Trump said.”

Federal estimate shows states’ big win-loss gap by 2026 under Graham-Cassidy bill (Washington Post) – “An internal analysis by the Trump administration concludes that 31 states would lose federal money for health coverage under Senate Republicans’ latest effort to abolish much of the Affordable Care Act, with the politically critical state of Alaska facing a 38 percent cut in 2026. The report, produced by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, focuses on the final year of a block grant that states would receive under the Cassidy-Graham legislation. It shows that government funding for such health insurance would be 9 percent lower overall in 2026 under the plan than under current law.”

Inspector general reviewing requests to probe HHS Secretary Tom Price’s private jet travel (ABC News) – “The inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing requests to investigate the private jet travel of the agency’s chief, Tom Price, who reportedly chartered five flights last week, drawing widespread criticism from congressional Democrats. Price’s travel . . . comprised trips to Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania aboard private planes estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars per flight.”

Puerto Rico cleans up as Turks and Caicos brace for Hurricane Maria (CNN) – “The core of Maria, a major hurricane, is forecast to pass just east of the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas early Friday. The Category 3 storm has sustained winds of 125 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said. In just 24 hours, Maria dumped almost 40 inches of rain on parts of Puerto Rico, where millions of residents won’t have power for months. Most of the island saw more than a foot of precipitation as Maria turned streets into raging rivers.”

Advanced stages of CTE found in Aaron Hernandez’s brain (ESPN) – “Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez had a severe case of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, researchers said on Thursday. His lawyer announced a lawsuit against the NFL and the team, accusing them of hiding the true dangers of the sport. Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the CTE Center at Boston University, said Hernandez had stage 3 (out of 4) of the disease, which can cause violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive disorders. ‘We’re told it was the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron’s age,’ attorney Jose Baez said.”

ITEM OF INTEREST

Your Watch Grid guide to the Week 4 college football schedule (SBNation) – “OK, hear me out: I think Week 4 might have the best college football schedule of 2017 so far. Not the biggest, but the most enjoyable. Weeks 1 and 2 had far bigger games, sure. Week 4 doesn’t have anything close to that, with only two ranked-vs.-ranked games. But it also has some nice balance to it, with a pretty loaded early Saturday slate (by nooner standards) and at least multiple games on each weeknight, both of which are improvements on previous weekends. And it’s not like the primetime spot is bad at all. I can talk you into that part just fine.”

FROM THE SITE

Country music has lost its way (Culture)

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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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