Five in a Flash: October 13, 2017

LA Times

In today’s news: California wildfires, the ACA, UNESCO, the Iran deal, Ezekiel Elliott, and college football.


Death toll from Northern California fires jumps to 31 (LA Times) – “Fire crews began to make slow progress against wildfires that have killed at least 31 people in Northern California’s wine country as officials continued the grim search for more bodies amid the ashes. In Santa Rosa, the hardest hit by the fires, officials said they were stunned by the scale of the destruction. An estimated 2,834 homes were destroyed in the city of Santa Rosa alone, along with about 400,000 square feet of commercial space[.]”

Trump to end key ACA subsidies (Washington Post) – “President Trump is . . . choosing to end critical payments to health insurers that help millions of lower-income Americans afford coverage. The decision follows an executive order on Thursday to allow alternative health plans that skirt the law’s requirements. The White House confirmed late Thursday that it would halt federal payments for cost-sharing reductions, although a statement did not specify when. According to two people briefed on the decision, the cutoff will be as of November. The subsidies total about $7 billion this year.”

U.S., Israel quit UNESCO, citing bias (Reuters) – “The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.’s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias. The withdrawal of the United States, which is meant to provide a fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a major blow for the Paris-based organisation, founded after World War Two to help protect cultural and natural heritage around the world.”

President Trump expected to decertify Iran deal (ABC News) – “President Donald Trump is expected to announce Friday that the Iran nuclear deal no longer serves U.S. national security interests. This decision, which has been referred as ‘decertification,’ would be a significant declaration but would put Congress in charge of whether or not to follow up with action, triggering a 60-day window for lawmakers to re-impose sanctions against Iran that were suspended in 2015 as part of the agreement.”

Ezekiel Elliott suspension reinstated after court ruling ( – “The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of the NFL that the district court did not have subject matter jurisdiction in Elliott case after hearing oral arguments from the league and NFL Players Association lawyers earlier this month. The decision vacated the preliminary injunction and directed an order to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss the case. . . . [The league wrote in a statement:] ‘As a result, Elliott’s suspension will begin effective immediately. Elliott is eligible to return to the team on Friday, November 24 following the Cowboys’ Thursday, November 23 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.'”


Your watch grid guide to a really weird Week 7 of college football (SB Nation) – “For like the fifth weekend in a row, college football’s got a light-looking schedule. We’re really piling up big games for the latter half of the season, it seems! That’s OK, though, because we’ll keep having fun along the way. Week 7 also feels totally out of order, and not just because Oklahoma-Texas/Texas-Oklahoma/the Red River Rivalry/the Red River Shootout/the Red River Showdown/etc. isn’t an 11 a.m. local kick. Most of the best games are in Saturday’s early half, so be sure to clock in early.”


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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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