After healthcare loss, Trump moves forward on Obama-era environmental rules

Last week, the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, the previous president’s signature policy achievement, failed to receive a vote in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said that Obamacare is the “law of the land.”

President Donald Trump and his administration had fully supported the bill until it failed under complete opposition from the minority Democrats and from the conservative Republican Freedom Caucus. Despite that major defeat, the Administration seems to be moving forward on rolling back more of former President Barack Obama’s policies and implementing Trump’s agenda elsewhere.

Trump signed an extensive executive order on Tuesday which will shift the federal government’s environmental policy away from focusing on climate change and towards a focus on increasing jobs in the energy industry.

The executive action rescinds a number of Obama-era executive orders that regulated carbon emissions, reviews the legally-troubled Clean Power Plan, which was intended to reduce pollution, and ends a moratorium on new federal coal-mining leases.

Despite this fundamental shift in focus away from climate and towards economic concerns, there has yet been no decision from the Administration on the 2016 Paris Agreement which was intended to coordinate an international response to climate change.

…From Local News

In Cranston, after a controversial city ordinance which prohibits panhandling or so-called “fundraising” from people in vehicles on a major street was passed last month, protesters against the ordinance gathered at busy intersections on Monday. Many protesters received citations for being in violation of the new ordinance.

Radio Shack, the long-struggling electronics retailer, is in the process of closing more than 500 of their stores this week, having already closed thousands in recent years. Four Radio Shack locations in Rhode Island will close as part of the move, including stores in North Kingstown, Newport, Cranston and Providence.

Senator Dominick Ruggerio, the newly elected president of the RI State and a Democratic Senator since 1985, quickly rearranged some Senate committees on Tuesday. He replaced Senator Daniel Da Ponte as chairman of the Senate finance committee with Senator William Conley and chose Senator Erin Lynch Prata to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.

…From National News

Around the country, and around the world, people have been watching an online livestream of April the pregnant giraffe at Animal Adventure Park, a petting zoo in New York, since it was posted in February. April is more than a month past-due of her expected birth date, as fans continue to watch the livestream with anticipation on social media, with periodic updates from zoo staff on Facebook.

New York City’s Fearless Girl statue, having been due to be removed this week, will remain in place until March of 2018, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. The bronze figure that depicts a girl staring down Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull statue has become a popular icon for tourists, New Yorkers and others across the world as an inspirational symbol.

…From World News

Amid the fight in Mosul between United States and Iraqi government forces and the Islamic State, airstrikes from mid-March seem to have killed a large number of civilians, possibly over 100. Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend has admitted that there is a “fair chance” a U.S. airstrike resulted in the civilian deaths.

Just a few years after a failed referendum on Scotland’s secession from the United Kingdom in 2014, Scottish parliament has voted in favor of a second referendum on independence. However, Theresa May, prime minister of the UK, has refused to consider such a vote during the ongoing “Brexit” process of triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and the UK’s leaving the European Union, which May formally began this week.

Ahmed Kathrada, a South African anti-apartheid activist and friend of Nelson Mandela, died after a brain surgery on Tuesday at the age of 87. Compared to Mandela, he was not as well-known worldwide, but was revered in South Africa, known to many as “Uncle Kathy.”