Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is telling the House that it must accept the Senate's version of a bill to provide $4.5 billion for aid to the southern border. McConnell said the bill pending in the Republican-controlled Senate will have a better chance of earning President Donald Trump's signature than the one passed by the Democrat-led House.
Members of the United Nations Security Council on Monday decried the recent spate of attacks on tanker ships in the Persian Gulf, calling them a threat to international peace and urging all parties in the region to reduce tensions. The United States pushed for talks with Iran, but Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran's UN ambassador, says there can be no talks while the US continues to try to intimidate Iran.
The global community must unite against the hated and discrimination that are "casting a shadow over our common humanity," writes United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The UN will work to combat hate speech with coordinated efforts across all agencies and will develop a plan to help protect religious sites against discriminatory attacks, he says.
Governments around the world must take steps to reduce austerity, income inequality and job insecurity to address the increasing prevalence of mental illness, warns Dr. Dainius Puras, the United Nations special rapporteur on health. "The best way to invest in the mental health of individuals is to create a supportive environment in all settings, family, the workplace," Puras says.
Close to 20% of women between 15 and 49 have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused by a former or current partner, according to a report from UN Women. "We have seen great progress on eliminating discrimination against women in laws, however it is no accident that family laws have been the slowest to change," says UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Extreme weather driven by climate change is increasing the risk of a new kind of apartheid in the world, where the wealthy pay to escape its effects and the poor are forced to migrate or starve, warns Philip Alston, United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Alston warns that a warming planet will affect basic human rights as well as civil rights, democracy and the rule of law.
United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concerns this week that civilians are bearing the brunt of ongoing violence in Syria's Idlib region. Lowcock asked Russia to clarify how it was using hospital location data in the country, noting there has been a recent string of attacks on health care facilities.
Acting secretary of defense Mark Esper on Monday urged all DOD employees to "always do the right thing" in his initial all-staff memo. "The National Defense Strategy remains our guiding document and everything we do should support its stated objectives," he wrote.
Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson became the Army National Guard's director in a ceremony Friday at the Herbert R. Temple Army Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va. His predecessor, Army Lt. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, will become vice chief of the National Guard Bureau if confirmed by Congress.
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., have introduced a bill that would make it easier for disabled veterans to go through airport screenings. The Veterans Expedited TSA Screening (VETS) Safe Travel Act would extend the free TSA PreCheck benefits, which are already offered to National Guard, Reserve and active-duty service members, to wounded veterans.
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