Daily Brief 10/04/2017: GOP Passes Children’s Health Plan, Hoax Terror Attack and a Finalized Disaster Relief Funding Proposal

U.S. News: 

GOP Set to Pass Children’s Healthcare Legislation This Week-

House and Senate Republicans have put forth legislation to continue funding for a widely popular healthcare plan for almost 9 million low-income children for the next five years.

The proposal that is set to be taken up by the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee as early as today, and is also expected to be passed through the Senate by the end of the week as well.

Both versions of the bill are expected to pass with overwhelming bi-partisan support.

Mattis Tells Lawmakers Afghans Are “Fully Engaged”-

Defense Secretary Mattis told lawmakers on Tuesday that the Afghan government and security forces are “fully engaged” in the U.S.-backed fight against the Taliban n that country and have made significant improvements to the leadership structure and and fighting capability of Afghan forces.

Mattis told members of the Senate’s Armed Service’s Committee that the Trump administration is taking the “best approach” to the conflict in Afghanistan by shifting command decisions to military leaders on the ground, while at the same time empowering the Afghan government by re-affirming American commitment to “following through” on the conflict and a revamped air campaign against Taliban strongholds by coalition forces.

White House to Finalize Disaster Relief Package Request Today-

According to White House sources, the Trump administration plans to release its finalized version of a request for $29 billion in disaster relief for parts of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico who were devastated by the summer’s trio of powerful hurricanes.

The funding package request combines the $16 billion for government-backed flood insurance programs with $13 billion in new relief funding being sought by officials to assist with the overwhelming devastation left behind by some of the Atlantic’s most powerful storms in over a half-century.

The request is expected as soon as today and should be passed by both chambers of Congress by next week.

World News:

U.S President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Set to Hold Phone Talks Today-

The two leaders are expected to hold phone talks in which the Japanese leader wishes to convey condolences to the American people after Sunday’s massacre, and discuss the latest set of  sanctions against North Korea and the impact that they are having on the rogue nation, if any yet.

The phone call comes after yet another slew of provocative insults and rhetoric from the despot North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un, in which the Korean dictator called Abe a “heartless chicken” and vowed to destroy Japan in “a cloud of nuclear fire.”

RAF Jets Escort Commercial Flight After”Terror Hoax”-

Royal Air force Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept a Myanair flight originally out of Lithuania after authorities a “suspected hoax threat” made to security officials, although it wasn’t immediately clear as to where the threat came from.

The flight was diverted to an airport outside of London that is specifically designated to handle such situations away from busier airports.

UK officials issued a statement saying that the incident “was not believed to be a hijack situation or terror attack.”

The investigation to the original threat is currently underway by international authorities.

Iranian Nuclear Deal Negotiator Receives Prison Term-

The semi-official Iranian news agency, with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, reported on Tuesday that a member of Iran’s nuclear negotiation team has received a 5-year prison sentence for various charges relating to “espionage.”

The report failed to identify the person who was sentenced to the prison term, but according to sources, the only member of the team that was facing any kind of criminal charges was Canadian-Iranian citizen Abdolrasoul Dorri Esfani.

The Canadian government has not immediately responded to inquiries about the situation.

Since 2015, Iranian hard-liners within the government have targeted dual citizens on charges that range from subversive actions against the state to espionage fro foreign governments. An official number is unknown, but Tehran has confirmed a number of the cases.



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