The US House of Representatives voted on Thursday night to reject a sweeping bill that would have enacted most of the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission. The draft was similar to a Senate bill backed by President George W. Bush and the commission's leaders. \nThe vote, 213-203, appeared to clear the way for passage on Friday of a related bill being offered by House Republican leaders that includes many contentious law-enforcement provisions that were not recommended by the Sept. 11 commission and have been strongly criticized by Democrats and civil liberties groups. \nThe Republican bill would create the post of national intelligence director, in keeping with the commission's central recommendation, but would provide the intelligence director with significantly less budgetary and personnel authority than the commission recommended and than is offered in the Senate bill. \nCommission members and congressional Democrats have warned that by pursuing a bill so different from its popular Senate counterpart, House Republicans may have made it impossible for Congress to agree on a final bill this year, perhaps ending any hope for the intelligence overhaul recommended by the bipartisan commission. \n"The Republican leadership insists on pursuing a highly partisan process," said Representative Jane Harman. "The American people want us to defend our country, not our turf." \nHouse Republican leaders acknowledged that their bill did not incorporate major recommendations of the commission. \nThe defeated bill incorporated many of the central provisions of the bipartisan bill adopted on Wednesday in the Senate, 96-2, including creation of a powerful national intelligence director to direct all of the spy agencies. \n"Why would the House want to adopt a bill which falls so short of the reforms identified as urgently necessary and adopted unanimously by the bipartisan commission and by the Senate?" asked House leader Nancy Pelosi. \nThe House vote was a second disappointment Thursday for members of the Sept. 11 commission. The other came in the Senate, which voted 74-23 to reject the most important of the recommendations made by the panel for overhauling how Congress conducts oversight of intelligence issues. The commission described congressional intelligence oversight as "dysfunctional."
As thousands of Hong Kongers and expatriates return to the territory, many are seeking refuge in hotels, fearful that cramped apartments in one of the world’s most expensive property markets could put their families or friends at risk. Social distancing is tough in Hong Kong, where most of the territory’s 7.4 million population live in apartments that on average are no bigger than 46m2. The concerns have triggered a spike in occupancy rates for those Hong Kong hotels prepared to take guests undergoing quarantine, even as most of the industry grapples with a devastating slump due to COVID-19. One expatriate who has lived
SOUTH KOREA Arrivals to be quarantined Every person arriving from overseas would be required to undergo two weeks of quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said yesterday. The country confirmed 105 new cases as of Saturday, bringing the total to 9,583, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday. Of the new cases, 41 were travelers arriving from overseas, including 40 South Korean citizens and one foreigner, the agency said. The new mandatory isolation for all arrivals would go into effect on Wednesday, Chung said at a government meeting. The policy would also apply to
The Duchess of Sussex is to narrate a Disney film that documents the journey of a family of elephants across the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, which is to launch three days after she and Prince Harry “step back” from being senior royals. Meghan is to voice the Disneynature documentary Elephant, which would be available on Disney+ from Friday next week and is her first major acting role since becoming a royal. A trailer says that the film is to follow “one family’s extraordinary 1,000-mile journey across Africa on an adventure that will change their lives.” IGER SANCTION At the London premiere of Disney’s
They have been hailed India’s COVID-19 “heroes,” but doctors, nurses, delivery drivers and other front-line workers have been attacked and in some cases evicted from their homes. Some e-commerce giants have even halted deliveries partly due to the harassment of staff, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that abuse of hospital workers had become a “huge issue.” Reports of attacks and abuse have come from across India, increasing with the imposition this week of a nationwide lockdown. In at least one case, police were accused of beating a delivery driver carrying medicines. Sanjibani Panigrahi, a doctor in the western city of Surat, described