5 things for September 27: Roy Moore, Puerto Rico, Russia probe, Iraq, Saudi Arabia

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Roy Moore won Alabama’s GOP Senate primary runoff, in a blow to President Trump and the GOP establishment, who supported his opponent. Moore has been a lightning rod of controversy for more than a decade. He was removed as state Supreme Court chief justice after he refused to take down a Ten Commandments monument. He was re-elected to the job, only to resign after he refused to follow the US Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. He also has a history of homophobic comments. He’ll face Democrat Doug Jones in a December general election.
    Meanwhile, there will be a Senate seat up for grabs in Tennessee, now that Sen. Bob Corker says he won’t run for re-election next year.
    And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate won’t vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill, ending (for now, at least) the GOP drive to repeal Obamacare. “We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system. We are not going to be able to do that this week,” he said.

      Graham: Coming back to health bill after taxes

    2. Puerto Rico

    A week after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans are struggling to survive and pleading for more help. They need food, water and especially gas to power generators since the island’s electrical grid will take months to repair. At least 16 people are dead (including two who died in an intensive care unit after it ran out of diesel fuel). Many people both inside and outside the US territory have criticized President Trump’s response, saying it’s inadequate compared with what the government did after hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Trump brushed that off and said he’ll visit the island next week.

      Grandmother rations crackers in Puerto Rico

    3. Russia investigation

    The IRS is now sharing information with special counsel Robert Mueller about key Trump campaign officials, after the two entities clashed this summer over both the scope of the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and a raid on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home, people briefed on the matter tell CNN.
    Part of the concern centered on the far-reaching and broad requests from Mueller’s team. In the case of Manafort, Mueller’s investigators are reaching back 11 years as they investigate possible tax and financial crimes, according to search warrant documents. Mueller is bound by a written order issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May which allows the special counsel to investigate “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

      IRS shares info with special counsel in Russia probe

    4. Iraq

    Iraqi Kurds have voted for independence from Iraq in a referendum, Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani says. Iraq and Turkey (which also has a large Kurdish minority) opposed the advisory referendum because they fear it will spark more independence movements. And Iraq’s parliament has OK’d the use of force against the Kurds. So what happens now? The Kurds say the referendum results give them a mandate to start secession talks, but the Iraqi government says that’s not going to happen.

      Iraqi Kurds casting votes on independence

    5. Saudi Arabia

    Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be able to get behind the wheel, now that the conservative religious kingdom will let them drive. They’ll have to wait just a little bit longer, though, since the royal decree enacting the change won’t go into effect until next June at the latest. And while Saudi women will finally get to step on the gas pedal, there are still lots of things they can’t do, like travel without the permission from a male relative or spouse.

      Saudi King issues decree allowing women to drive


    A rocket attack hit outside the airport today in Kabul, Afghanistan, hours after Defense Secretary James Mattis landed there on an unannounced visit. It’s Mattis’ first trip to the country since Trump announced a new Afghan strategy.


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    Double up
    Twitter’s doubling the character count for tweets (for some of us) from 140 to 280, because we obviously don’t have enough tweeting in our lives.
    TV time
    “This Is Us” is back (so get those tissues ready), but “Fixer Upper” is going away (so get those tissues ready).

      ‘Fixer Upper’ will end after season five

    Reunited and it feels so good
    After his homecoming flamed out in Chicago, NBA star Dwyane Wade’s teaming back up with King James in Cleveland.
    A vacuum with vroom?
    Yes, building supercool vacuums and fans is nice, but Dyson knows that the electric car game is where it’s at. It plans on launching one by 2020.


    That’s the tariff the Commerce Department wants to slap on airliners delivered to the US from a Canadian plane maker.

      Five new planes you may fly soon


    “I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward”
    Equifax CEO Richard Smith, who is retiring after the company’s epic data breach


    Go go gadget
    From Marty McFly’s hoverboard to James Bond’s rocket belt, check out the 100 greatest gadgets in movie history. (Click to view)

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/27/us/five-things-september-27-trnd/index.html