Alex Acosta to address his role in Epstein sexual abuse scandal

Washington (CNN)Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is expected to make a statement Wednesday afternoon amid renewed scrutiny of his role securing a sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago. Earlier Wednesday, a top administration official suggested Acosta would address the matter and provide more information amid the uproar. “I think that Alex will probably be sharing more information with you all,” Marc Short, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “And as you heard Alex say yesterday, we welcome the fact that there’s additional evidence that can be prosecuted, the crimes and atrocities, and certainly should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” President Donald Trump …

Seattle Times: DOJ’s Boeing investigation expands to 787 Dreamliner

(CNN)Federal prosecutors have expanded their probe beyond the Boeing 737 Max aircraft to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, The Seattle Times reported Friday, citing two sources familiar with the investigation. The update comes as the probes into the 737 Max continue, following crashes involving the aircraft in Ethiopia and Indonesia. This week saw the discovery of a new flaw in the 737 Max computer system that could push the plane downward, two sources told CNN. Boeing engineers are now trying to address the flaw, which has led to another delay in recertifying the aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration has identified similarities between the two Boeing crashes that killed 346 people, specifically involving the plane’s automatic safety feature known as MCAS. That …

Mike Pence won’t say if he views climate crisis as threat to US

Washington (CNN)Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday wouldn’t say if he views the global climate crisis as a threat to the United States. When pressed again on whether he believes the climate crisis is a threat, Pence said, “I think the answer to that is going to be based upon the science.” “Well the science says yes,” Tapper said. “I’m asking you what you think.” “Well, there’s many in the science that debate that,” Pence said. Tapper responded, “The science community in your own administration — at (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), at the (Director of National Intelligence) — they all say it’s a threat. But you won’t, for some reason.” Pence said, “What we’ve said is that we are …

Louisiana sends ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban bill to governor’s desk

(CNN)Louisiana lawmakers voted Wednesday to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detectable — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — with no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill does not make exceptions for instances of rape or incest. Democratic state Rep. Ted James introduced an amendment to include those exceptions, arguing that “we are not that important to make that decision for a woman who’s been raped,” but the move failed 35-67. The bill would allow for abortions preventing a pregnant woman’s death or “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” and would require doctors who perform abortions under such circumstances to specify their eligibility in writing. Abortions on “medically …

McConnell unveils bill to combat youth tobacco use by raising purchase age to 21

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally introduced legislation Monday to raise the age for buying tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21, a move designed to combat the health effects of tobacco addiction across the country and help his home state of Kentucky move off production of the crop that has sagged in popularity for decades. Both senators pointed to figures from the Centers for Disease Control that show an alarming spike in teen vaping since the recent advent of e-cigarettes. “Kentucky farmers don’t want their children to get hooked on tobacco products while they are in middle school or high school any more than any parent anywhere wants that to happen,” McConnell said. “Kentucky is proud of what we make but …

Senior Tories press May to abandon Brexit deal talks with Labour

PMs Brexit adviser reportedly heads to Brussels to break deadlock as PM told to reject any Labour deal involving customs union Theresa May is under intense pressure to abandon cross-party Brexit talks, after a group of senior Conservative figures, including leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, issued a strongly worded warning against any deal that involved a customs union. Mays cabinet, and Jeremy Corbyns shadow cabinet, are both due to take stock of the talks on Tuesday, with neither side optimistic about the prospects for an agreement that could secure a majority in parliament. Meanwhile, the prime ministers Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, was said to be travelling to Brussels for talks with EU officials on sacked earlier this month …

Senior Tories press May to abandon Brexit deal talks with Labour

PMs Brexit adviser reportedly heads to Brussels to break deadlock as PM told to reject any Labour deal involving customs union Theresa May is under intense pressure to abandon cross-party Brexit talks, after a group of senior Conservative figures, including leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab, issued a strongly worded warning against any deal that involved a customs union. Mays cabinet, and Jeremy Corbyns shadow cabinet, are both due to take stock of the talks on Tuesday, with neither side optimistic about the prospects for an agreement that could secure a majority in parliament. Meanwhile, the prime ministers Brexit negotiator, Olly Robbins, was said to be travelling to Brussels for talks with EU officials on sacked earlier this month …

Melania Trump’s ‘Be Best’ pushes for kids’ well-being but she’s silent on vaccines

Washington (CNN)When first lady Melania Trump unveiled her “Be Best” platform last year, a key pillar of her signature initiative was promoting the “well-being” of children. But as a measles outbreak threatens the well-being of some US children, the first lady herself has yet to weigh in on vaccinations, thus far declining to speak out on a critical topic. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states from January 1 to May 3 of this year, marking “the greatest number of cases reported in the US since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.” The highly contagious disease can spread among those who are unvaccinated, …