Sen. Murkowski on health care bill: ‘I don’t have enough information’

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Monday that she doesn’t “have enough information” to vote for on the Senate GOP’s health care bill.

“I don’t have enough data in terms of the impact to my state to be able to vote in the affirmative,” the Alaska lawmaker told CNN’s Dana Bash. “So I’m trying to get the information. … This is big stuff, and so making sure that we get it right is something that I have said is an imperative.”
Murkowski’s comments come just hours after the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the Senate bill’s impact, prompting multiple Republicans to express doubts about the legislation or reiterate that they would not vote for the bill in its current form.
    The report determined the Senate Republican health care bill would leave 22 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. The Senate proposal would reduce deficits by $321 billion over the next decade. By comparison, the CBO said that the House’s bill to “repeal and replace” Obama’s health care law, which passed in May, would leave 23 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2026 than under Obamacare.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pressing for a vote this week before lawmakers leave town for the July 4 recess. There are 52 Republican senators, and the bill needs 50 “yes” votes to move through Senate.
    Republican senators, many of whom are still undecided on whether to vote for the bill later this week, struggled to defend the legislation.
    Murkowski, a key player in deciding the fate of health care, argued senators should have time to look over the CBO numbers.
    “I don’t think it’s asking too much to say give us the time to fairly and critically analyze these numbers,” Murkowski told Bash. “And if you say, well, CBO numbers don’t matter, let’s look at the numbers that you don’t think matter. But it really does make a difference. And these numbers that we’re talking about, these are men and women, these are our families that are being impacted. So let’s please get it right.”

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    Hack that plants ISIS message hits another state government website

    (CNN)A government website in the state of Washington is the latest victim of a hacking attack that plants what appears to be pro-ISIS propaganda.

    David Johnson, a spokesman for the Washington state Department of Health, confirmed parts of the department’s website were hacked Monday morning, with a message similar to what appeared on other municipal sites across the country earlier Monday and on Sunday.
    A screen shot provided by the spokesman shows the same Arabic logo and claim that the hack was carried out by “Team System DZ,” the same language that appeared on hacked sites in Ohio, Maryland and New York.
      All the hacks include the message: “You will be held accountable, Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.”
      The bottom of the hacked pages read, “I Love Islamic state.”
      It was not immediately clear who the group purportedly behind the hack is — or whether it is genuinely affiliated with ISIS.
      Johnson said the health department’s website was restored within an hour. He said he wasn’t aware of law enforcement being contacted over the hack.
      The FBI’s field office in San Francisco is spearheading a federal investigation into the hacks that happened across the country, a spokesman for the office told CNN.

      Ohio: Servers ‘taken offline’

      The same hack apparently struck several state government websites in Ohio on Sunday, including Gov. John Kasich’s official page and the sites of first lady Karen Kasich and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
      The Ohio sites were back to normal by Monday morning. Kasich’s staff members said Sunday they had been working on the Corrections site when they were alerted to their own site being hacked.
      In a later statement, Tom Hoyt, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, said all affected servers were “taken offline” and an investigation had been launched to see how the hack had happened.
      “We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened,” Hoyt said.
      State Treasurer Josh Mandel posted about the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections website on Facebook. “Wake up freedom-loving Americans,” he said. “Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland.”
      The FBI’s Ohio field office would not say whether Team System DZ was known to them.

      Howard County, Maryland

      ISIS propaganda content also appeared on the Howard County, Maryland, government website Sunday. The county is in central Maryland, near Baltimore and Washington.
      It was restored to normal by Monday morning.
      “There was no breach of data and no personal information was compromised,” according to a statement from Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Howard County government is working with law enforcement agencies and an investigation is underway. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

      Brookhaven, New York

      The official website for the town of Brookhaven, New York, also was hacked, according to Jack Krieger, Brookhaven communications director.
      Website visitors saw the same black background and logo found on the other hacked sites, with the same words about being held accountable and blood in Muslim countries.
      Town officials took the site down as soon as they learned of the problem and were working Monday morning to restore it to normal.

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      Nestle Targeted by Activist Third Point With $3.5 Billion Stake

      Nestle SA is being targeted by activist investor Dan Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point, which has built a stake of more than $3.5 billion in the the world’s biggest food company.

      Daniel Loeb

      Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

      Loeb owns about 40 million shares and some options in the Vevey, Switzerland-based company, according to an investor letter released Sunday after Bloomberg first reported the activist stake. The fund intends to encourage management to “pursue change with a greater sense of urgency” by selling its stake in L’Oreal SA, increasing leverage for share buybacks and reviewing its portfolio, among other suggestions.

      “Despite having arguably the best positioned portfolio in the consumer packaged goods industry, Nestle shares have significantly underperformed most of their US and European consumer staples,” Third Point wrote in the letter. “It is rare to find a business of Nestle’s quality with so many avenues for improvement.”

      Nestle owns about 23.2 percent of cosmetics giant L’Oreal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, a stake with a market value of about $27 billion. In addition to selling that holding, Third Point wants Nestle to scour its portfolio of more than 2,000 brands for possible sales and consider “accretive, bolt-on acquisitions in high growth and advantaged categories.” The firm also called on Nestle to set a formal operating margin target of 18 percent to 20 percent by 2020.

      A representative for Nestle was unable to immediately comment.

      European Targets

      Third Point, better known for targeting U.S. and Japanese companies, has recently been drawn to European investment opportunities, according to the firm’s first-quarter investor letter.

      “We are seeing more opportunities in Europe because of strong and improving economic data, a trend that will likely continue now that the French elections have passed without incident,” Third Point wrote in that April 27 letter.

      The move comes as Nestle’s new Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider aims to boost the company’s health strategy as well as focus on the businesses that are growing fastest, such as coffee and pet food. Food companies are under pressure to reduce costs after Kraft Heinz Co.’s unsuccessful bid for Unilever earlier this year showed that even the largest players could become targets.

      Chocolate makers especially are grappling with weak U.S. consumption as Americans increasingly turn their backs on sugar. Nestle said this month it may sell its U.S. sweets unit, which includes brands such as Butterfinger and BabyRuth.

      Consumer companies have been popular targets for activist shareholders because of their bloated expenses and lackluster growth. So far, activist investors have predominantly targeted U.S. companies, putting pressure on them to boost margins.

      In 2015, billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman amassed a $5.6 billion stake in snack giant Mondelez International Inc. and called for management to improve the company’s performance, leading to cost cuts. Procter & Gamble Co. has also attracted an activist: Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP revealed a new stake in the consumer-products maker in February and has amassed a stake valued at about $3.3 billion, according to its latest regulatory filing.

      Third Point

      Third Point has targeted European companies before. Vitamin maker Royal DSM NV also attracted the activist, and went on to sell its majority stake in a basic plastics and resins unit to CVC Capital Partners after facing calls to break up. The hedge fund also said in April it had invested in UniCredit SpA, the second largest listed bank in Italy which has a significant presence in Germany and Austria, drawn by its low valuation and €13 billion rights issue in March.

      Third Point also invested in German utility operator E.On, which spun off its generation assets into Uniper last year, arguing the remaining regulated grids and renewables business “is currently misunderstood by the market and attractively priced.”

      Founded in 1995 by Loeb, Third Point in April said it took a stake in Honeywell International Inc. and called for the industrial manufacturer to spin off its aerospace business. The firm has also focused much of its recent activism in Japan, where investments have included Seven & i Holdings Co. and Sony Corp.

      “Third Point intends to play a constructive role to encourage management to pursue change with a greater sense of urgency,” the firm wrote of Nestle in Sunday’s letter. “We have offered our views in productive conversations with management, which we expect will continue.”

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        Mother of boy with rare genetic disorder tweets hospital bill

        (CNN)As lawmakers push to get a health care bill through the Senate, one New Jersey mom is speaking out.

        “Heterotaxy syndrome literally means different arrangement,” Chandra told CNN. “Any of the internal organs can be malformed, missing, multiplied or misplaced.”
        “Ethan was born with nine congenital heart defects and he has two left lungs. Five or so spleens of dubious function, his liver and his gallbladder are down the middle of his body along with his heart, and then his stomach is on the right instead of the left side,” she said.
          On Friday, she tweeted her son’s latest hospital bill and it went viral.
          “It seems fitting that, with the #TrumpCare debate raging, I got this bill in the mail today from Ethan’s most recent open heart surgery,” she wrote
          With lawmakers pushing a new health care bill to the Senate floor, the health care debate has become personal for Chandra.
          “I didn’t follow politics before November. I was overseas for both of President Obama’s elections,” Chandra said. “I have been shocked at how loudly each side yells about their specific talking points. It paints these issues as black and white when they are anything but that.”
          “It seems like our kids are being reduced to a line in a budget,” Chandra said. “No one seems to realize there are real people behind it.”
          The new bill also raises some fears for Chandra and her family.
          “My fear is that this bill comes into play and suddenly essential health benefits are no longer covered, like hospitalization, prescription medications,” said Chandra. “He will rely on prescription medications for the rest of his life. He is functionally asplenic and will need to take prophylactic antibiotics the rest of his life to prevent and protect against sepsis, a huge risk of death for our kids in the heterotaxy community.”
          Since posting Ethan’s medical bill on Friday, the tweet has been viewed over 73 thousand times.
          “That is why I like to tell our story. Maybe you hadn’t thought of this side before. You don’t picture a 3-year-old with all these fees.”
          “Never in a million years did I think this would happen,” Chandra said of her posts. “As a mother with a kid who has disorder you feel alone. I have now found a community of other heterotaxy families and the community is just so excited that heterotaxy is a word that is being spoken about on a national level. I am really hopefully this will lead to more awareness and maybe that mom who receives a heterotaxy diagnosis won’t feel so scared.”
          But the mother of two says at the end of the day, the medical bills mean so much more.
          “To see him go from a kid who lost his breath after going up a few steps to a kid who can hike by myself, be able to keep up with his sister and his friend, that is what that medical bill gave us and that is priceless to me.”
          “We just want him to be a kid.”
          You can find out more about heterotaxy syndrome here.

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          Trump upbeat about passing ObamaCare overhaul, amid GOP senators’ concerns

          President Trump expressed optimism Sunday about GOP congressional leaders being close to overhauling the dead carcass of ObamaCare, but acknowledged more deal-making is needed to get enough votes, as Republican senators appeared to put their chambers legislation in further doubt.

          “We have a very good plan,” Trump told Fox News Fox & Friends in an interview taped Friday.

          The president said the GOP leaders are not that far off from getting an ObamaCare overhaul bill to his desk. However, he acknowledged the five Republican senators who publicly opposed the bill after it was released last week are likely seeking some changes in exchange for their support.

          “They want to get some points, Trump said. I think they’ll get some points.”

          Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., needs support from at least 50 of his 52 senators to pass the bill, perhaps as early as this week.

          Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, one of the five opposing GOP senators, on Sunday suggested waiting.

          “I would like to delay. These bills aren’t going to fix the problem. They’re not addressing the root cause,” he told NBCs Meet the Press, referring to rising health care costs. They’re doing the same old Washington thing, throwing more money at the problem.”

          Meanwhile, Maine Sen. Susan Collins told ABCs This Week that she and at least seven other GOP senators were troubled by provisions in their chambers bill that could possibly cut Medicaid even more than the House version.

          GOP leaders argue they are not cutting Medicaid, just slowing the growth of an entitlement program that has become financially unwieldy.

          Collins, who also opposes proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood, said she would await an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before taking a final position on the bill.

          But she said it will be “extremely difficult” for the White House to be able to find a narrow path to attract both conservatives and moderates.

          “It’s hard for me to see the bill passing this week,” Collins said.

          Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told Fox News Sunday that Republican leaders in Washington are talking with every one of the wary GOP senators.

          Conversations are ongoing, he said. Thats what were working on this week. Thats the legislative process. Its a thin needle to thread.

          No Senate Democrat supports the GOPs ObamaCare repeal-and-replace efforts, though many acknowledge the 2010 law is struggling under rising premium costs while offering Americans fewer premium choices.

          Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, another of five GOP senators opposed to the bill, has already felt the heat. A super PAC run by former campaign staffers for Trump and Vice President Pence is planning to run ads against him in Nevada and on Saturday previewed the effort on Twitter.

          Trump did not indicate what types of changes may be in store in Senate negotiations, but affirmed to Fox News that he indeed described the House-passed version as “mean.”

          “I want to see a bill with heart,” he said, confirming a switch from his laudatory statements about the House bill at a Rose Garden ceremony with House GOP leaders last month. “Health care’s a very complicated subject from the standpoint that you move it this way, and this group doesn’t like it.”

          “And honestly, nobody can be totally happy,” Trump said.

          McConnell has said he’s willing to make changes to win support.  And in the week ahead, plenty of backroom bargaining is expected. He is seeking to push a final package through the Senate no later than Congress July 4 recess.

          The Senate bill resembles the House legislation. The Congressional Budget Office analysis of the House measure predicts an additional 23 million people over the next decade would have no health care coverage, and recent polling shows only around one in four Americans views the House bill favorably.

          The legislation would phase out extra federal money that more than 30 states receive for expanding Medicaid to additional low-income earners. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.

          Conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., openly opposes the Senate bill because, he says, its not anywhere close to repealing ObamaCare.

          He told ABC the bill offers too many tax credits that help poorer people to buy insurance, but left open the possibility of compromise.

          “If we get to impasse, if we go to a bill that is more repeal and less big government programs, yes, I’ll consider partial repeal,” he said. “I’m not voting for something that looks just like ObamaCare.”

          Trump said he thinks Republicans in the Senate are doing enough to push through the bill and criticized Democrats for their opposition.

          “I don’t think they’re that far off. Famous last words, right? But I think they’re going to get there,” Trump said on Fox News about Republican Senate leaders. “We don’t have too much of a choice, because the alternative is the dead carcass of ObamaCare.”

          Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, said Democrats will be working hard to defeat the bill, having already made clear they would cooperate with Republicans if they agree to drop the full repeal effort and instead work to improve the 2010 law.

          Still, Schumer acknowledged it was too close to call as to whether Republicans could muster enough support on their own to pass the bill.

          He said they had “at best, a 50-50 chance,” he told ABC.

          The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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          Saudi student now US fugitive after skipping on bail posted by government

          A young Saudi national facing charges stemming from a fatal hit-and-run incident in Oregon in 2016 removed a court’s monitoring device last week and fled. 

          Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah, 21, was arrested last August and indicted for first-degree manslaughter, hit-and-run, reckless endangerment and reckless driving after allegedly killing 15-year-old Fallon Smart in Portland.

          However, on Sept. 11, 2016 what would have marked Fallons 16th birthday Noorah’s $100,000 bond was posted by the consulate of Saudi Arabia, according to court records. Earlier this month, police say Noorah removed his monitoring device bracelet and his current whereabouts are now unknown.

          He is depicted as being Saudi Arabian, 150 pounds and 6 feet tall and was last seen near the Southeast 106th Avenue and Division of Portland. Investigators are said to be concerned that Noorah poses mental health issues and are offering a reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

          Noorah, a Saudi national who had been in Oregon since 2014 and enrolled at Portland Community College, was awaiting trial on charges that he struck and killed the young teenage girl while speeding down Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, before running and later returning to the scene. Her relatives have called the latest development in the case as having broken (their) hearts again.

          Shane Smart, Fallon’s uncle, expressed his anger in a Facebook post.

          “From Day 1, our family objected to a bail because of things known about Abdulrahman Noorah that made us believe he was a flight risk,” Shane Smart wrote on Facebook. “The deputy district attorney representing the state’s case against Abdulrahman Noorah expressed our objection of allowing a bail and house arrest to the presiding Judge.”



          Local reports also unveiled last week that Noorah was already considered to be a high flight risk, but authorities had no power to prevent him from fleeing due to Oregon bail legislation and the entanglement of a foreign government.

          The Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles, which reportedly paid the bail and hired two prominent criminal defense lawyers to represent him, has yet to comment on the matter.

          The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has on several occasions made bail for its nationals including for a man accused of rape in Utah in 2015, who also fled and was subsequently convicted, and for a Missouri resident in 2013 who was accused but later acquitted of murdering a bar owner. That same year the government put up the $5 million bail for a Saudi princess charged with human trafficking in California, yet those charges, too, were let go.

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          Church leaders in power-sharing plea to NI politicians – BBC News

          Image copyright Reuters
          Image caption Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing executive since March

          Church leaders have urged Northern Ireland’s politicians that “the most vulnerable are at greater risk” if they cannot strike a power-sharing deal.

          The parties have until 29 June to reach agreement.

          The deadline was set by Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire.

          Talks aimed at restoring the Northern Ireland Executive are due to take place at Stormont on Monday.

          The parties have been warned that if they cannot reach agreement, direct rule could follow.

          The appeal is made in a letter signed by Church of Ireland Primate Richard Clarke, the Catholic Primate of All-Ireland Eamon Martin, Laurence Graham, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Bishop John McDowell, President of the Irish Council of Churches and Noble McNeely, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

          The letter was sent to DUP leader Arlene Foster, Sinn Fin’s leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, Ulster Unionist Robin Swann, as well as Mr Brokenshire and Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.

          The church leaders said they pray and hope that all political leaders will do what is necessary to end uncertainty.

          ‘Continued concern’

          They encourage all the political leaders involved in the talks to “go the extra mile” to reach an accommodation “which establishes a sustainable administration that will work for the common good of all in our society”.

          “While we acknowledge the complexities involved in reaching an agreement, we want to express our continued concern that without an agreed budget and with no executive ministers in place, the most vulnerable are at greater risk, while crucial decisions on education, health and welfare are not being taken,” they wrote.

          “At the same time, I am sure you are aware that small voluntary and community groups – who play such a vital role at the heart of our villages, towns and cities – face mounting uncertainty and are finding it increasingly difficult to support those most in need.

          “Furthermore, with no executive there has been comparatively little co-ordinated local input into the Brexit discussions and even less detailed preparation for what lies ahead for Northern Ireland and the island as a whole.”

          Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January.

          The institutions collapsed amid a bitter row between the DUP and Sinn Fin about a botched green energy scheme.

          The late deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, stood down, in a move that triggered a snap election.

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          How tech companies are recognizing Pride Month

          In the month of June, tech companies celebrated Pride in the best way they know how: small, quirky product updates.

          With San Francisco and New Yorks annual Pride event hitting this weekend, its a good time to reflect on just how far LGBTQ visibility in the tech community has come in a few short years. While theres still plenty of work to be done, were happy to celebrate some of the fun ways that companies are showing their solidarity with the queer community while also holding them to task on the stuff that really matters.


          Apple may often lead the charge in Silicon Valleys LGBTQ advocacy efforts, but its Pride Edition Apple Watch($49) band proves it can make superficial yet delightful shows of queer solidarity too. TechCrunch hardware editor and official pride angel Brian Heater sent me one and either my cute new haircut or the rainbow watch band has been turning heads all pride month, but im pretty sure its the band.

          The best part of this particular pride indulgence is that some of the proceeds go to groups like GLSEN and the Trevor Project.


          Facebook added a well-received Pride reaction this year, though reports suggest the opt-in featureisnt available globally. In spite of ongoing tensions between the platform and the LGBTQ community, Facebooks queer users are already pretty attached to the little rainbow reaction so hopefully it sticks around.


          Instagram added a special LGBTQ sticker set for Pride 2017 and launched a global Pride-inspired photo project. The stickers are cute and include a trans flag-inspired design.


          In 35 cities, Pride parade routes will show up on Google Maps for iOS and Android. According to Google, a special Pride icon will display additional events in those cities, which include Seattle, New York and San Francisco.


          Ubers local markets seem to be all kind of doing their own thing for Pride, but they apparently will deliver on-demand drag shows in Seattle for the second year running. Unfortunately, wed expect that a delivery drag queen performance is even harder to score than a delivery kitten.


          Putting its money where its cute UI features are, Lyft announced that it would donate $100,000 over the next 12 months to LGBTQ causes. It kicked that pledge off with a Human Rights Campaign partnership called Round Up and Donate which invites riders to opt in from the Settings menu in order to round their fares up to the nearest dollar for a good cause. Anecdotally, I can confirm that Lyft cars along Pride parade routes show up in rainbow colors which was a nice touch.

          For the month of June, Twitter introduced a nice little hashtag icon that manages to combine a rainbow pride flag with the pink and blue transgender flag, which is a lot of colors in not a lot of pixels. To summon the new icon, try the hashtags #Pride2017, #PrideMonth and #LoveisLove.


          Shout out to Salesforce for the gayest looking lobby weve ever seen.


          Skype introduced some rainbowy stickers and a colorful gradient text background, for getting very gay points across.


          Not settling for rainbows alone, Spotify curated acollection of music so robust that might actually last for the whole month. Or at least one really, really sleep-deprived Pride weekend.


          For 2017, Snapchat launched a rainbow emoji brush, a new sticker set, Pride-themed geofilters and Pride-specific stories so users can get a glimpse of celebrations around the world, including in Paris, Toronto and Mexico City this upcoming weekend. Props to Snapchat for its inclusion of the trans flag.

          While its nice to see these kind of fun Pride-themed product tweaks during the month of June, using its power and platform for good old-fashioned advocacy remains the best way that Silicon Valley can express its solidarity with the LGBTQ community.

          That means signing onto legal briefs for queer issues that affect the tech community, contributing to organizations that have been quietly doing the hard work for years, crafting policies that include and enrich members of the queer community and making sure that LGBTQ employees are extended workplace protections and health insurance benefits that can help them not just live, but thrive.

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          Brexit Fight Looms Over Role of European Court, U.K. Warns

          Britain is ready to “fight” the European Union’s demand that judges on the continent hold sway in the U.K. after Brexit, as Theresa May’s government warns that a final deal with the bloc is not certain. 

          Brexit Secretary David Davis, in a direct challenge to officials in Brussels, said the European Court of Justice won’t have a role protecting the rights of 3.2 million EU nationals living in U.K. after the country leaves in 2019.

          David Davis on June 25.

          Photographer: Jeff Overs/BBC

          Some other arbitration body may need to be set up to rule on disputes over the rights of EU citizens, “but it’s not going to be the European Court of Justice,” Davis said in an interview with the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” on Sunday. “That’s where the fight comes in.”

          Davis also said he is “pretty sure” a Brexit deal will be reached before time runs out but added: “I’m not 100 percent sure — it’s a negotiation.”

          The minister gave his assessment after he began talks with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier in Brussels last week. With the clock ticking down to Britain’s departure on March 29, 2019, the U.K. is under pressure to reach agreements quickly.

          Britain has agreed that talks on a new trading relationship can’t begin until sufficient progress has been made on issues such as citizens’ rights and the U.K.’s financial settlement, with every day’s delay making a final trade deal more difficult.

          Dispute Arbitration

          A key sticking point is the role of European judges in arbitrating disputes, which the EU sees as an essential protection for its citizens. The U.K. has ruled out giving any powers to the ECJ after Brexit — a position Davis underlined on Sunday.

          May outlined her broad offer on citizens’ rights at a summit of EU leaders last week and her government will publish a 15-page document setting out the details on Monday.

          “What we have set out to do is to create a status almost equivalent to the same as British citizens,” Davis said. “They get the same residence rights, the same employment rights, the same health rights, the same welfare rights, the same pension rights.”

          Britain is ready to make unilateral guarantees on the indexation of EU nationals’ pensions, while also promising free healthcare to Europeans living in Britain, Davis said.

          These rights will be protected for those living legally in the U.K. at least before the prime minister triggered the start of the Brexit process on March 29, he said. The final cut-off date will be subject to negotiation, Davis added, as the EU wants to protect the rights of all nationals residing in Britain on the day the country leaves in 2019.

          In the interview, Davis also gave a candid description of Barnier. “He’s very French,” he said. “He is very grand” and also “very elegant,” the minister added. “He wants a deal as much as we want a deal, I think.”

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            Transgender firefighter marches as NYC Pride Parade grand marshal

            (CNN)When Brooke Guinan joined the New York City Fire Department in 2008 she publicly presented herself as a man. She had no idea that on Sunday she’d be one of the NYC Pride Parade’s grand marshals while identifying as a transgender woman.

            Guinan began identifying as a transgender woman in 2011, three years into her firefighting career at FDNY. She first came out as a gay man at a young age, but began to question her gender identity in college.
            Before joining the department, Guinan was unsure what her professional life would look like.
              Despite being a third generation firefighter Guinan did not think there was a place for LGBTQ people in the male-dominated fire department.
              But Guinan’s love of public service ultimately drove her to continue her family legacy in the fire department. There was no LGBTQ training in the beginning.
              During her first few years in the department, she served in both firefighting and administrative capacities.
              For the past two years, Guinan has stepped out of the firehouse and has served the FDNY as its LGBTQ outreach coordinator.
              In this role she has directed and produced training tools and services to better equip the FDNY to understand and work with the LGBTQ community.
              “The firehouse can be fun, but I am so enamored with my community and I am very pleased and grateful to do a different kind of lifesaving work in the fire department,” Guinan said.
              The FDNY has promoted LGBTQ experiences through their social media pages and has also produced its own video in support of the “It Gets Better” campaign, highlighting the stories of LGBTQ public safety employees.
              James Fallarino, spokesperson for NYC Pride, said Guinan appears to be the first openly transgender member of the FDNY. She is the first transgender public safety employee to serve as an individual grand marshal. In 2002, two organizations — the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) and FireFLAG — served as grand marshals after 9/11.
              Guinan participated in the Pride parade for years before being invited to be a grand marshal.
              “It is an amazing honor to be the Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride parade,” she said. “I have always found inspiration in other people’s voices and it is an honor to be given an opportunity for my voice to be heard.”
              She was one of four grand marshals. The others are Krishna Stone, the director of community relations at Gay Men’s Health Crisis; Geng Le, a leader of the LGBTQ equality movement in the People’s Republic of China; and the American Civil Liberties Union.
              “Our 2017 Grand Marshals are a snapshot of the numerous organizations, individuals, and philanthropists that will leads us through this unprecedented time in our nation,” noted NYC Pride March Director Julian Sanjivan in a press release.
              The NYC Pride March is the largest pride parade in the United States and is meant to celebrate the LGBTQ community and bring awareness to issues the community faces. The parade originated 48 years ago in the wake of the Stonewall riots, a series of protests by the LGBTQ community against a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

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