FROM Emma Green
What were antiquities from Iraq doing at Hobby Lobby? In 2010, Hobby Lobby’s owners bought thousands of ancient Middle Eastern artifacts with religious significance. Those items had been illegally smuggled out of Iraq through the United Arab Emirates and Israel. That’s according to a settlement the company reached with the U.S. Justice Department earlier this week. Hobby Lobby has agreed to forfeit all the antiquities and pay $3 million to settle the charges.
Trump and the GOP take White House victory laps HOUSE REPUBLICANS PASS BILL TO REPEAL OBAMACARE Recovering from an embarrassment just six weeks ago, House Republicans today barely managed to pass a new bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. It was 217 to 213 with no votes to spare. In a Rose Garden celebration Speaker Paul Ryan gave President Trump credit for what the GOP calls "the beginning of the end of Obamacare." But Democrats jeered the measure, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark." We hear more from Margot Sanger-Katz, who reports for the New York Times . TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDER STOPS SHORT ON "RELIGIOUS LIBERTY" President Trump today made a gesture toward his base of support, which includes some 81% of white, evangelical Christians. At a National Prayer Day Celebration in the White House Rose Garden, he signed yet another executive order , announcing, "Under my administration, free speech does not end at the steps of the cathedral, or the synagogue – or any other house of worship. We are giving our churches their voices back." Staff writer Emma Green, who covers religion and culture at the Atlantic , says the executive order addresses two basic issues but does not change the law.
The coming fight over 'religious liberty' Get ready to hear more a lot more about religious issues in 2017. White religious voters in large part helped Donald Trump win the White House. Early this year, the Trump Administration, backed by a Republican Congress, will take up pending religious liberty questions in all three branches of government. That’s according to Emily Green of The Atlantic .
Regulating porn in California Fans of pornography would get new power under a measure on California's statewide ballot. All it takes to get a proposed new law on California's statewide ballot is a filing fee and enough signatures. Proposition 60 , up for a vote on Tuesday, would require porn stars to wear condoms. But the porn stars themselves are opposed -- along with the Republican and Democratic Parties. Emma Green, staff writer for the Atlantic , says the opposition is comprised of a coalition of strange bedfellows.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.