Congressional Vote Puts the Trump-Putin Bromance on Ice
Russian revenge. Russian President Vladimir Putin is forcing the U.S. diplomatic missions in Moscow and elsewhere in the country to trim their staffs by 755 people. About 1,200 employees currently work at the U.S. embassy and consulates in Russia. The bromance between Putin and Trump appears to be on ice, at least for now. Trump is reportedly planning to sign the veto-proof legislation on tougher sanctions against Russia that was recently approved by the Senate. Russia is also seizing two diplomatic properties, a dacha and a warehouse. The reductions, which are expected to take effect Sept. 1, are comparable to the number of American diplomats who left Russia after the Communist revolution of 1917.
Subsidies. Trump is expected to decide soon whether he will block subsidies that help low-income people in our nation pay for their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Trump tweeted that Republican senators should keep trying to kill off Obamacare. The federal government sends out about $600 million a month in subsidies to insurance companies. Ending that could cause premiums to soar, and the insurance markets to collapse.
More missiles. North Korea test-fired another ballistic missile Friday that experts said put the continental United States in the range of a strike. The U.S. tested its missile defense Sunday in Alaska. The U.S. also sent two B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula and asked China to pressure North Korea economically.
Flying fish. A long-awaited report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Asian carp that was supposed to be released in February is now expected to be released Aug. 7. The report is being released after the Senate Appropriations Committee included a measure in its Energy and Water funding bill to ensure its release. Republican lawmakers, mostly from Illinois and Indiana, had tried to bottle up the report to help the barge industry. The report is expected to address how to prevent silver carp and bighead carp from getting in the Great Lakes.
Featured Photo: Video grab from Russian TV of President Vladimir Putin discussing new restrictions on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia (RT).