By Robert A. Vella
Theresa May resigns
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her resignation over the prolonged impasse of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The ruling Tories will probably choose a more radical replacement increasing the likelihood of a hard, no-deal Brexit which economists fear would cause havoc on both sides of the English Channel.
Theresa May on Friday announced a timetable for her departure. This is what we know so far:
- She will resign as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7.
- The Conservatives will then pick a new leader, who will become the next prime minister.
- Her resignation comes after she tried — and failed — three times to get lawmakers to pass the Brexit withdrawal deal she negotiated with the European Union.
- Former foreign secretary and Brexit hard-liner Boris Johnson is leading in opinion polls and betting markets.
Last month, she turned to opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to help break the Brexit impasse. Those talks collapsed last week. Corbyn said he could not negotiate with a leader on her way out.
Today’s U.S. political news
President Trump’s former ghostwriter says writing “The Art of the Deal” is the biggest regret of his life and wishes the 1987 bestseller “weren’t even in print.”
“I knew this was a bad guy when I did the book,” Tony Schwartz told CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast. The pair sat down for lunch at New York’s ViceVersa restaurant.
“Trump is not only willing to lie, but he doesn’t get bothered by it, doesn’t feel guilty about it, isn’t preoccupied by it,” Schwartz said. “There’s an emptiness inside Trump. There’s an absence of a soul. There’s an absence of a heart.”
President Donald Trump’s lone Republican primary challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, ratcheted up his attacks on the president Tuesday night.
Speaking at the first in a series of Kennedy Institute events focused on the 2020 election cycle, Weld levied a number of his harshest verbal jabs yet, saying earlier this week that the president preferred an “Aryan nation.”
“I celebrate that America has always been a melting pot,” Weld said at the speaking event on Tuesday. “It seems he would prefer an Aryan nation.”
The Trump administration Friday scrapped an Obama-era policy that prohibited health care providers from discriminating against transgender patients, in its latest rollback of federal protections for transgender people.
The health department is rewriting an Obamacare regulation that barred health care discrimination based on sex. The Obama administration had issued a rule asserting that the provisions covered gender identity, but a federal judge blocked those protections in 2016 following a lawsuit from religious groups.
The new rule says HHS will repeal the Obama-era definition of sex protections in order to make its regulations “more consistent” with other agencies. This week the Department of Housing and Urban Development moved to allow discrimination against homeless transgender people.
Senate lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly voted in support of a $19.1 billion disaster aid package after months-long delays that stalled critical federal funding in aid for farmers and parts of the country still recovering from a brutal onslaught of natural disasters over the last two years.
The final tally was 85-8.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, secured the president’s commitment to support the multi-billion dollar disaster package even though it doesn’t include additional funding for the U.S.-Mexico border, which the White House had requested.
The proposed new inspection system transfers some responsibilities that traditionally have been handled by USDA inspectors to employees of pork plants. The USDA says it has studied the new inspection system for 20 years and that pork products from the test plants are at least as safe as those produced by traditional inspection. They say federal inspectors will spend less time visually assessing pork and more time ensuring sanitary conditions are maintained throughout the plant.
Several food safety lawyers, Democratic members of Congress and a former agriculture official say that the USDA is using sleight-of-hand tactics to get around legal mandates that have been in place for more than a century. Those mandates require federal regulators to inspect — and either pass or condemn — every live hog that arrives at a slaughterhouse and every hog carcass on the slaughter line.
“They are playing these linguistics games,” said Rena Steinzor, a food safety expert who teaches law at the University of Maryland. “What they are doing is illegal. If they have a problem with the statute because they think it’s a waste of energy for federal inspectors to eyeball every single animal, they could go to Congress. . . . The Constitution requires them to do that, not gut the law by regulation.”
Today’s other stories
How San Francisco broke America’s heart [how unrestrained capitalism and gentrification destroyed a unique and adored urban culture]