The Iran Deal, Somalia Bombings, and the Latest Executive Order in :60

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Trump Seeks to Terminate Iran Deal

Giving remarks on Iran strategy on Friday, Donald Trump said, “the Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” He cited Iran’s multiple violations of the pact as the reason he cannot certify the deal. However, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, no such violations have taken place. Trump concluded his remarks by stating unless Congress and US allies can reach a new resolution, he would terminate US involvement.

The international response to Trump’s statement was varied. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani stated that Iran fully intends to comply with the deal, but if other nations “refuse to abide by their commitments, Iran will not hesitate” to respond. British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron issued a statement reaffirming their commitments to the enforcement of the deal and warning the US against steps that would undermine the deal. Both Saudi Arabia and Israel praised the President’s remarks.

On Sunday, Rex Tillerson appeared to backpedal Trump’s remarks in an interview. He suggested the deal could be improved through some secondary agreement, rather than a complete renegotiation of the 2015 deal. Other members of the administration echoed the idea of an additional agreement.

Bombing in Mogadishu Kills At Least 230 

A truck bombing in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, killed at least 230 people on Saturday, with hundreds more injured. The bombs were detonated in two trucks amidst heavy traffic near a number of government offices, restaurants, and a popular hotel. While no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Somali government has already accused the al-Shabab extremist group, an affiliate of al-Qaeda responsible for a series of East African terror strikes. President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, whose 2017 campaign platform emphasized the defeat of al-Shabab, declared three days of national mourning as an opportunity to “unite against terror.”

The United States has ramped up military strikes against al-Shabab since March of 2017, when President Trump granted a new authorization to carry out such strikes in support of the Somali military. This latest attack, the deadliest terror bombing in Somali history, comes within a week of the nation’s defense minister and army chief resigning from their posts after al-Shabab launched a series of attacks against Somali military bases.

Trump Deals Blow to Obamacare

President Trump, after failed GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, is using alternate methods to keep his campaign promise. On Thursday, he signed an executive order that is encouraging the sales of low-cost and low-coverage policies. Following that, he disclosed his plan to cut cost-sharing-subsidies to insurance companies that reduce out-of-pocket expenses for low-income buyers. Approximately 7 million people qualify for cost-sharing-reductions (CSRs), and these cuts seem to primarily benefit the wealthy.

Supporters from the right have commented on the illegality of CSRs as these subsidies are not guaranteed within the text of the Affordable Care Act. No legislation has been passed to appropriate these funds. Critics from the left say these new hits may cripple Obamacare and the insurance industry. Despite funding cuts, insurance companies are still required to cover low-income customers. Without federal funds, health policy experts say that premiums will increase for buyers who do not rely on federal assistance. This could potentially damage the state of the insurance market.

DPR Highlight of the Week

“North Carolina has a big problem, and it isn’t unsweetened tea. Hog waste lagoons—smelly, sludgy pools of hog feces—may be unfamiliar to most, but to the residents who live near them, they’re an everyday reality. The lagoons pose a serious hazard to the environment, economy, and health of nearby North Carolinians.”

Check out Bailey Bogle’s analysis of a major local issue happening right under our very noses!

In Other News…

The People’s Party is projected to win the Austrian legislative election, which would make 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz the world’s youngest national leader.

President Trump was dealt a subpoena stemming from Summer Zervos’ allegations of sexual assault.

California’s deadly wildfires continue, and death toll has hit 40.

NBC News discovered Wednesday that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had business dealings of $60 million with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Hurricane Ophelia is gathering force in the Northern Atlantic and threatens to hit the British Isles on Monday.

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