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Catch up on 5 big national news stories from the past week

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Last week, Senate Republicans revealed their plans to replace the Affordable Care Act

Health care bill revealed

Senate Republicans revealed on Thursday the 142-page bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act if passed.

While a majority of the party is pushing to get the bill passed as soon as next week, four GOP senators have taken a different stance on the bill and intend to vote against it less there be changes made to it. According to The New York Times, Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., released a joint statement saying the bill does not fulfill their promises to repeal Obamacare or lower health care costs. Without the votes of these senators, the bill may not be passed as it is currently written.

Former President Barack Obama voiced his concerns on the proposed bill on his Facebook page, saying the bill transfers wealth to the richest people in America and makes tax cuts to the rich and drug and insurance companies.

 

Karen Handel wins Georgia special elections

Republican Karen Handel, who was former secretary of state of Georgia, won the special election in Georgia’s 6th District this past week, beating Democrat Jon Ossoff with a 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent victory.

This election was particularly important for the Democratic Party after losing the vote to Republicans in several other special elections this year. According to NPR, “Handel’s win shows that even Republican voters who may have been reluctant to embrace Trump will still come home to vote for more traditional GOP candidates.”

President Donald Trump celebrated the victory on his personal Twitter account by stating “Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0.”

With the 2018 midterm elections just around the corner, this win proved to be a major victory for Republicans who hope to maintain strong ties with their base.

 

Police officer found not guilty in the death of Philando Castile

Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile in a traffic stop, was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter. Yanez was also acquitted of two counts of intentional discharge of firearm that endangers safety.

Castile’s death began to gain traction in the media after his girlfriend, a passenger in the vehicle alongside their 4-year-old daughter, posted a video of his death on Facebook live. According to CNN, Castile’s family and friends were outraged by the verdict, his mother Valerie Castile expressing her disappointment after the verdict was announced.

“The system continues to fail black people,” she said. “My son loved this city and this city killed my son and the murderer gets away! Are you kidding me right now?”

 

Death of Otto Warmbier

After being held as a prisoner in North Korea for 17 months, Otto Warmbier returned to the United States. in a coma and died last week at the age of 22.

According to a statement released by his parents, his death was the result of “the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans.” Warmbier was arrested and tortured after allegedly stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel room in North Korea, which he had been visiting on a tour. According to The Guardian, Trump offered his condolences to Warmbier’s parents in a statement.

 

Murder of Nabra Hassanen

Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Sterling, Virginia, was assaulted and murdered this past weekend when she was approached by a motorist as she was walking back to mosque with a group of her friends.

According to local authorities, there is not enough proof to determine whether or not the incident was a hate crime. Instead, her murder is being treated as road rage. The suspect, Darwin Martinez Torres, was said to have beaten Hassanen with a bat after engaging in an argument with one of the teenagers. Hassanen’s father believes she was targeted for wearing a traditional Muslim cloak, he told CNN.

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