Federal officials from the United States Food and Nutrition Service warned on Tuesday of a possible cut to funding for a state food assistance program after issues with the program’s computer system. After continued struggles in implementing a new operating system for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), including payment issues and wait times, the Food and Nutrition Service wrote that the state risks losing federal funding if the problems are not addressed. The department also wrote that the barriers to access caused by the computer system are in need of “urgent corrective action,” including an action plan and substantive progress.
In the Presidential Election on Tuesday, voters in the State of Rhode Island voted to approve all five bond initiatives on the ballot. The five initiatives, bonds for Veterans’ housing, University of Rhode Island building projects, port improvements, environmental projects and housing development, will result in over $220 million in borrowing. Also, voters approved a motion to reinstate the authority of an ethics commission over the state’s legislature and approved a new casino in Tiverton, which is still awaiting local approval.
In state ballot measures on Tuesday, voters across the country have enacted significant changes. Four states, Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington, have raised their state’s minimum wage to at least $12 an hour. Recreational marijuana use was legalized in California, Nevada and Massachusetts, while Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota have approved the drug for medical use- although it remains federally prohibited.
Pulse Nightclub, the site of a shooting massacre in Orlando, Florida, will be purchased by the city and turned into a permanent memorial. In June of 2016, 49 people were killed by shooter Omar Mateen in the then-popular gay nightclub. The plan to create the memorial, which will cost the city just over $2 million to purchase the former nightclub, is being reviewed by Orlando’s city council.
According to German officials, five notorious recruiters for ISIS were arrested this week. The suspects were reportedly recruiting and transporting people from Germany to join in militant activity in Syria, according to a German prosecutor. Officials also said that this recruitment and “radicalization” is part of a larger terrorist threat from ISIS going on inside Germany’s borders, as many ISIS recruiters return to the country with military training.
Haiti has begun the most comprehensive campaign of cholera vaccination in history. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the impact of cholera has dramatically increased, along with a huge number of new cases each day. The campaign aims to vaccinate nearly a million people who live in areas affected by the hurricane and are at greater risk for the disease. The WHO said that, since 2010, the spread of cholera in Haiti has been one of the most severe instances of the disease ever.