Trump considers diverting billions more in Pentagon funds to build border wall
The Trump administration is considering diverting around $7.2 billion in additional Pentagon funding for border wall construction, five times what Congress authorized, sources told CNN.
The additional funds would allow the government enough money to complete approximately 885 miles of new fencing by the spring of 2022, according to an administration official.
The Washington Post first reported on the administration plans to divert additional funds.
Citing internal planning figures obtained by the Post, the Trump administration will pull $3.7 billion in funding from military construction projects and $3.5 billion from counterdrug program funding for the southern border wall, which Trump hopes to tout in his reelection campaign.
“The Department of Defense has no new announcements with regard to border wall construction,” said Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell.
17 children injured after a plane dumped jet fuel over their playground
More than a dozen elementary school children are being treated after a plane dumped jet fuel over a school playground near Los Angeles.
The incident happened at Park Avenue Elementary in Cudahy, California, just after noon on Tuesday, Sean Ferguson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told CNN. A total of 17 children received minor injuries from the dump, and six adults were also injured.
The department confirmed the substance was in fact jet fuel in a tweet.
While the children were playing, a plane approaching Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) dumped the fuel, which fell over the group. The victims were treated by dozens of firefighters and paramedics at the school, which is located about 19 miles east of the airport.
Video posted on YouTube shows the plane flying overhead. Alan De Leon, who shot the video, told CNN he heard a loud whistle, smelled jet fuel and felt irritation in his eyes.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that Delta Flight 89 bound for Shanghai, China, declared an emergency shortly after takeoff and returned to LAX. The agency could not immediately confirm the reports that fuel was dumped from the jet.
Schumer believes Iran war powers resolution will pass Senate
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that he believes Democrats have the 51 votes necessary to pass a war powers resolution limiting President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran without congressional approval.
“The Senate will soon consider Senator (Tim) Kaine’s war power resolution, which would prevent further escalation of hostilities with Iran,” the New York Democrat told reporters after Senate policy lunches.
“Senator Kaine sat down with Senators Paul and Lee and they came up with a resolution, which ripens Sunday, and we believe will get 51 votes that is needed to pass,” Schumer said, referring to Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah as well as Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia.
Schumer said the timing for a vote on the resolution still needs to be worked out and that they will have to figure out “how it intersects with impeachment.”
Ex-Navy SEAL and Harvard doc is the first Korean-American headed to space
Graduating from Harvard Medical School and being a part of the Navy SEALs must not have been enough accomplishments for Jonny Kim. The 35-year-old is now the first Korean-American to become a NASA astronaut.
Kim, along with 12 others, graduated last week from NASA’s Artemis program, allowing the astronauts to be eligible to participate in missions to the International Space Station, to the moon and even Mars.
Two of the candidates were from the Canadian Space Agency, but the 11 others, including Kim, were selected from an initial pool of more than 18,000 applicants, NASA said.
Former VP of drug company sentenced to 33 months for pushing opioid prescriptions
The former vice president of Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company, was sentenced to almost three years for pushing doctors to prescribe unnecessary opioids on patients, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Michael Gurry, 56, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was sentenced to 33 months plus three years of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy to bribe medical practitioners to prescribe Subsys, a powerful fentanyl-based medication, the release said.
Gurry is one of five employees of Insys Therapeutics convicted of racketeering conspiracy in the scheme.
“The drug was expensive, and while bribes paid to prescribers succeeded in generating new prescriptions, insurers were reluctant to approve payment when Subsys was prescribed for patients without cancer,” the release said.
—From wire reports
The former vice president of the company was responsible for creating and overseeing the Insys Reimbursement Center which was dedicated to obtaining prior authorization of payment for Subsys prescriptions, according to the release. He told employees of that center to misrepresent themselves as employees of the prescribing office in order to obtain prior authorization of payment from insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.
Gurry authorized employees to use a script, referred to in the release as “the spiel” in order to trick insurers into thinking the patient had been prescribed Subsys for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, the release said. Part of that script included saying the patient had been diagnosed with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, as well as saying that the patients had histories of cancer in order to obtain authorization.
Gurry has also been ordered to pay approximately $3.6 million in forfeiture, the release said.
CNN has reached out to attorneys listed for Gurry for comment.
CNN’s Rebekah Riess and Connor Spielmaker contributed to this report.