Senate overturns Trump’s emergency declaration, O’Rourke, Mob boss killed – 12 News Stories You Need to Know

1. Senate overturns Trump’s national emergency declaration


The Senate voted to pass a bipartisan resolution that overturns President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border wall. The 59-41 vote delivers a sharp disapproval to the national emergency declaration issued by Trump in February, which allowed the president to use an extra $3.6 billion to fund the building of the border wall. The resolution has already passed in the House and will head to President Trump, where he is expected to veto the measure. However, both the House and Senate are expected to assemble a two-thirds majority vote to override the veto. The Senate resolution passed with the help of 12 key Republican senators like Mitt Romney (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).


2. O’Rourke 2020


Beto O’Rourke has jumped into the 2020 race for president, joining the crowded field of Democratic contenders vying to succeed Trump. O’Rourke gained nationwide recognition during the 2018 election season for campaigning against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a bid for the Senate, in which he narrowly lost in the Republican stronghold of Texas. O’Rourke, 46, is a former 3-term congressman from El Paso, Texas, and earned a reputation as a charismatic, eloquent, and passionate grassroots candidate while on the campaign trail in 2018. He is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party after he proved popular on social media, with young voters and attracted a large following both in the state of Texas and across the country. He won more votes than any other Democrat in Texas history during the 2018 mid-term election and raised over $80 million in donations. O’Rourke is distinguished from the field of Democratic presidential candidates as a more moderate option, but recent polls show he has a lower name recognition than some of his competitors.


3. House votes to make Mueller report public


The House of Representatives voted unanimously to make the final report in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation be made public when it reaches its conclusion. The rare, overwhelmingly bipartisan move was passed in a 420-0 vote. The vote is largely a symbolic gesture and not legally binding, but is aimed at pressuring Attorney General William Barr into releasing Mueller’s final report when the investigation is finalized. Attorney General Barr has the authority to make public any portion of Mueller’s classified report which he is required by law to submit to the Justice Department. The resolution’s passage exemplifies lawmakers’ curiosity and desire to know the full scope and outcome of Mueller’s lengthy investigation that has already resulted in criminal charges for more than 30 individuals and entities. The resolution was blocked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from being voted on in the Senate.


Legal win for Sandy Hook families


The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that firearm manufacturer Remington can be sued for liability by the families of victims who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Remington is the maker of the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle that Adam Lanza carried when he opened fire at an elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, killing 20 children and 6 teachers and faculty. The Court ruled that the gun was marketed in a way to appeal to young people and promoted the firearm as a dangerous weapon.


Mob boss killed


The New York crime boss of the Gambino organized crime family was killed outside his home on Staten Island Wednesday night. Francesco “Frank” Cali, 53, who died after being found with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso was suspected of being the acting boss of the Gambino family. Reports indicate that Cali was shot outside his home by an unknown assailant and run over by a blue pickup truck that was seen fleeing the scene around 9:15 PM. Suspiciously, his assassination came on the same day that Joseph Cammarano Jr., the rumored crime boss of the Bonanno crime family, was acquitted at trial.


Attacks in Israel


The Israeli military has launched two airstrikes in Gaza in retaliation for two rocket attacks on Tel Aviv Thursday night. Israel’s Air Force targeted “terror sites” in Gaza City after it accused Hamas of launching rockets at the country’s largest city. Israel was placed on “red alert” as its missile defense system intercepted one of the rockets. The number of causalities or scope of the damage in Gaza is unknown as of Thursday night EDT, but witnesses described “powerful explosions from the air strikes,” according to The Jerusalem Post. The incident marks the first attack since the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.


Brexit delayed


The U.K. Parliament voted in favor of extending the process of withdrawing from the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May will ask for an extension from EU leaders next week but must provide a satisfactory basis for the granting the delay for it to be approved. The United Kingdom is slated to leave the EU on March 29.


Hallmark Channel drops Lori Loughlin


In the wake of the college admissions scandal, actress Lori Loughlin has been fired by the Hallmark Channel after she was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Both Loughlin and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 to guarantee their daughters admission to the University of Southern California by posing as members of the rowing team. Crown Media, parent company of Hallmark, said in a statement that the network has “stopped development of all productions…involving Lori Loughlin.” Loughlin also appears on Netflix’s Fuller House but the streaming service did not comment on her status on the show.

Additionally, TMZ reports that Loughlin’s two daughters, who were fraudulently granted acceptance to USC, have decided to drop out of the University, fearing they would be “viciously bullied.” Olivia Jade Giannulli, the youngest daughter, also lost her business partnerships with companies like Sephora and TRESemmé on her YouTube channel and Instagram page. As of Thursday evening, Sephora had removed its Olivia Jade makeup collaboration products from its website.


Jussie Smollet pleads ‘not guilty’


Empire actor Jussie Smollett has pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct on Thursday at a Chicago courthouse. Smollett maintained his innocence against accusations that he orchestrated a possible hate crime against himself in January. He is due back in court on April 17.


Boeing halts delivery of 737 MAX jets


Boeing has paused delivery of 737 MAX planes amid the temporary grounding of the aircraft around the world. “We continue to build 737 MAX airplanes, while assessing how the situation, including potential capacity constraints, will impact our production system,” the company said. Boeing has yet to identify the issue on the 737 MAX that is likely responsible for two deadly commercial airline crashes in less than 5 months.


Drought-free California


For the first time in 7 years, California is drought-free. The U.S. Drought Monitor said that more than 93% of the state is free of drought for the first time since December 20, 2011, bringing an end to the state’s 376 straight weeks of drought. Wet winter storms are responsible for ending the long-time abnormal dryness in the state as unusually heavy weather systems have covered much of the state with rain and snow in the last two months.


Apple Developer Conference


Apple has announced that its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference will be held June 3-7 in San Jose, California. WWDC19 is expected to possibly reveal some new Apple products and the latest features and developments for iOS and macOS. At last year’s event, the company released iOS 12, watchOS 5, macOS Mojave, and numerous other features to enhance user experience with Apple products. WWDC is open only to developers with tickets for the event priced at $1,599 each.


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