Rep. Steve Scalise Returns to Capitol Hill-
House majority whip, Steve Scalise, who was shot in June by left-wing terrorist and Bernie Sander’s supporter James Hodgkinson, returned to his work as a U.S. Representative on Thursday amid a huge round of applause from his fellow lawmakers.
“I’m back.” He tweeted after arriving at the Capitol.
Scalise, who doctors had initially said wouldn’t survive the shooting, was one of three people wounded in the June incident when Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they were holding a congressional baseball practice in a D.C. park.
“You have no idea how great it feels to be back here at work in the people’s house.” Scalise said in a moving speech to lawmakers on his return Thursday.
He is expected to be a crucial part of GOP led efforts on several issues including tax reform, healthcare, and border security.
Trump Makes Huge Donation to Storm Relief Efforts-
The Inaugural Committee for President Trump will donate $3 million split equally among organizations currently on the ground in the Puerto Rico trying to provide support and services to its residents after the devastating Hurricane Maria.
The organizations set to receive the money are The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and The Samaritan’s Purse and will go to providing medical care, clothing, food, water and gas for the islands 3.5 million residents.
Price Apologizes For Excessive Use of Charter Flights-
Health and Human Secretary, Tom Price, issued an official statement on Thursday apologizing for repeatedly taking costly charter flights at the expense of taxpayers.
Some of the flights, based on official travel records, were to and from destinations that were in neighboring states, including a flight from Dulles International Airport in D.C. to Philadelphia International in Pennsylvania.
Price has said he plans to reimburse the government for the flights, a cost of more than $400,000 to taxpayers, and has rejected speculation that he will be fired by President Trump as a result of the controversy.
President Trump however, has left the door open to the possibility of removing Price, saying numerous times on Wednesday that he “was not happy” about the news of Price’s waste, and “we’ll see” when asked if he would fire the former Georgia Senator by reporters.
International Flight Ban Put in Place on Kurdistan-
An international ban on air travel into and out of Kurdistan has been put in place as the officials in Baghdad retaliate against the Kurds over their vote for autonomy from Iraq.
The ban also comes as regional powers, such as Iran and Turkey, have issued official statements promising of retaliation of their own over the vote, and have both initiated military drills on their borders with Iraq.
The governments in Iraq, Iran and Turkey have all historically opposed the Kurdish movement for independence and statehood, and have also been the perpetrators of horrific genocide against the Kurdish people.
Those nation’s governments maintain however, that current opposition to this week’s independence referendum by the Kurds is to “protect” their own borders and fear that the vote will lead to “ethnic unrest”, between Arabs and Kurds in the area known as Kurdistan, that could put the region in danger of spiraling in to chaos.
Something Kurdish officials vehemently deny will happen.
Islamic Militant Group Gaining Ground in Somalia-
The Africa-based Islamic extremist group, al-Shabab, has overrun a military base a few hours from the Somali capitol of Mogadishu, killing 16 soldiers and allowing the extremist group to capture army vehicles and supplies the Somalian government said on Friday.
According to Col. Mohamed Mumin, 60 militants and a suicide car-bomber launched an attack on the base starting on Thursday night, and had captured the base by the early morning hours on Friday.
The base was housing trucks, gasoline, and munitions for the Somali army, and is just one of the numerous military bases targeted by the group in recent months.
North Korea Says “Devoted” Recruits are Flocking to Join Fight Against ‘Imperialists’-
North Korean sate-run media issued several reports on Thursday stating that just under 5 million citizens have sought to join the North Korean Army for the “impending” conflict with the U.S. and its allies.
The Korean Central News Agency said that 4.7 million “devoted students and workers” were enthusiastically ready to join the fight, and that over 1 million “strong and intelligent” women were also among the ranks of North Koreans looking to join the fight against “American aggression.”
“They are ready to defend the great leader and socialism while crushing U.S. imperialists who are running amok to ‘totally destroy’ the DPRK.” The KCNA said in the statements Thursday.
The KCNA reports come after news that the latest round of U.N. sanctions were being enforced in China who was giving all North Korean businesses in the country to close within 120-days. A move that essentially shuts down the North’s economy.
Many experts point to the fact that in the past military members in North Korea and their families were always provided housing, food and clothing may be driving the huge surge in new recruits more so than an overwhelming support of the regime, especially with shortages of every basic essential in the country.