Weekly news round-up: Jan. 16

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

Graphic by Charlotte Alden.

By Matthew Farr

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Last week was packed full of news. Here were some of the biggest stories that we saw:

House and Senate begin dismantling Affordable Care Act

This week, Congress began to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The first step involved passing a budget that makes it difficult for Democrats to stop a looming repeal of the controversial law. The vote was mostly on party lines, passing with 227-198 votes in the House and 52-48 votes in the Senate. Democrats are strategizing to save the legislation, which is seen as a cornerstone of President Obama’s legacy. President-elect Donald Trump praised the votes, tweeting: “The ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act will soon be history!.”

For more: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/congress-takes-first-step-dismantle-affordable-care-act/

Russia may have compromising information on Trump: report

U.S. intelligence agencies revealed to President Obama and President-elect Trump that there are allegations that the Russian Government has compromising information about Trump and his campaign. The allegations come, mainly, from a former British Intelligence operative who is considered credible by the CIA. The report was published by Buzzfeed News this week and is so far uncorroborated by other news sources.

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Trump plan to recall dozens of ambassadors worries experts

Donald Trump plans to remove dozens of politically appointed ambassadors immediately when he takes office. The action worries experts who believe he risks months of uncertainty in sensitive parts of the world. Usually when a new administration comes into office, the process is staggered, and ambassadors are given a so-called “grace period,” while the successor is confirmed. Up to 80 ambassadorships, including for China, Saudi Arabia and India, will be vacant come the afternoon of Jan. 20.

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Ringling Brothers circus to close after over 100 years

The famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will close this May after over 100 years, according to a press release from the owner. A decline in ticket sales, exacerbated by the retirement of the circus’ famed elephants, and high operating costs doomed the circus. Animal rights groups such as PETA have rejoiced at the news, as the circus has been using Asian Elephants, Lions and Bengal Tigers for years in their circus.

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