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5 things for August 16: John Brennan, the Pope, Turkey & Qatar, migrants, overdoses


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President Trump made good on his threat to strip away the security clearances of his critics in the intelligence community. The security clearance of ex-CIA Director John Brennan was revoked, an unprecedented use of presidential power to hit back at detractors. Brennan’s been brutal in his takedowns of the administration’s actions, but Trump, in a statement, said Brennan is a liar whose “frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets.”
    Brennan responded by saying Trump is trying to muzzle free speech and punish critics. “I will not relent,” he tweeted. The White House provided no evidence that Brennan has misused his security clearance since leaving government. Trump is still considering pulling the security clearances of several others, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former national security adviser Susan Rice. Top national security officials typically keep their clearances after leaving government so they can consult current officials on national security issues.
    Catholic Church

      Clapper: I don’t plan to stop speaking

    2. Clergy sex abuse

    Pressure is mounting on Pope Francis to respond to the Pennsylvania grand jury report that details decades of sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests and bishops in the state, along with various cover-ups. The Vatican hasn’t commented on the explosive report yet. A Villanova theology professor called the Vatican’s silence “disturbing.” The clergy sex abuse scandal is a growing crisis, with the Catholic Church forced to deal with abuse allegations around the globe that for many have meant lifetime trauma.

      Priest abuse victims share emotional stories

    3. Turkey and Qatar

    Turkey’s getting some economic help in its spat with the US. The country nabbed a $15 billion investment from Qatar that will reportedly go toward economic projects, investments and deposits. It’s a big lifeline that could bolster Turkey’s economy as it tries to endure a rapidly growing trade tiff with the US. Relations between the US and Turkey — a pair of NATO allies — soured over Turkey’s detention of an American pastor, whose second appeal for release was just rejected, his lawyer said. The diplomatic spat has led to dueling tariffs that have hurt the lira, the Turkish currency.

      US sanctions Turkey over detention of pastor

    4. Migrant crisis

    A rescue ship filled with migrants docked in Malta after being stuck in the Mediterranean for days while European countries fought over what to do about it. The 141 migrants left the ship, named the Aquarius, in a jubilant mood. France, Portugal, Luxembourg, Spain and Germany have agreed to take them in. They had been rescued late last week off the coast of Libya by the Aquarius. Despite a deal reached in June by EU nations to more widely share the burden of taking in refugees, Europe remains deeply divided over the migrant crisis.

      Hundreds of migrants left trapped at sea in June

    5. Connecticut overdoses

    Dozens of people overdosed on drugs at a downtown park in New Haven, Connecticut. Police said as many as 71 people overdosed on K2, a synthetic cannabinoid similar to marijuana. It’s also often laced with other drugs. No one died, thankfully, though two people are in serious condition. Others who were treated and released from the hospital ended up needing treatment again — because they had another overdose. The patients were of different ages and demographics. A police spokesman said this a nationwide drug problem that’s “not going away.”
    national security adviser

      Deaths from synthetic opioids on the rise


    The number of people killed after days of severe flooding in the state of Kerala in southern India. Kerala’s under a red alert, the highest alert level, as tens of thousands have been forced from their homes and more heavy rain is expected in the coming days.

      Heavy flooding in India kills dozens


    Class act
    Teachers often have to buy their own classroom school supplies. Not these teachers in Kentucky, who were gifted $100 each by an anonymous donor.
    southern India
    Homeward bound
    A Buddha statue stolen almost six decades ago is being returned to India, thanks to a CEO with a sharp eye.
    Wonder women
    India’s first all-female SWAT team — armed with assault rifles and martial arts training — has hit the streets of New Delhi.
    Susan Rice
    Eye of the beholder
    Her doctor told her the swelling and pain in her eyelid was caused by a cyst. Turns out it was actually a 28-year-old contact lens. Yikes!


    Land of the free (press)
    Editorials in about 350 newspapers across the country today will make statements supporting the free press and criticize President Trump’s attacks on the media.
    Catholic Church

      Will these editorials make a difference?


    “We’re not going to make America great again. It was never that great.”
    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, trying to make an argument about gender equality and taking a swipe at Donald Trump’s famous catchphrase. The President, and a Republican rival hoping to unseat Cuomo in November, blasted him over it.

      Gov. Cuomo: America was never that great

    “Bees were after him the whole time, he said, so he killed them and ate them.”
    Linda Matheny, explaining how her son Matthew survived six days on Mount St. Helens after he got lost while hiking

      Lost hiker survived on bees, berries for days


    Rapid rescue
    Her dog decided those little ocean waves weren’t safe enough for his little human, so he got her out of there. And she loved every second of it. (Click to view.)

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/16/us/five-things-august-16-trnd/index.html

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