British Prime Minister Theresa May announced suspension of high-level contacts with Russia and expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats following Moscow’s refusal to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used to poison a former double agent and his daughter. The diplomats, identified as ‘undeclared intelligence officers,’ have a week to leave. Russia denies attempted murder.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced, Wednesday, the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the International Criminal Court (ICC), following the ICC’s investigation into Duterte and deaths linked to his campaign against drug users and dealers. Duterte defended his campaign saying the acts committed ‘are neither genocide nor war crimes.’
In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the Senate voted, Wednesday, to pass legislation lessening restrictions on areas of the banking industry, reflecting the most significant changes to policies put into place after the 2008 financial crisis. Critics say the bill negates measures to prevent another meltdown. The bill faces an uncertain fate in the House.
Toys ‘R’ Us announced, Wednesday, it will close or sell all its remaining stores in the US, after they filed for bankruptcy protection in September. The store closings will leave more than 30,000 American jobs at risk. The company, which was started in 1948 in Washington, struggled to compete in the age of internet retailing.
Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of US start-up, Theranos, which promised to revolutionize blood testing, agreed to settle to charges that over $700 million was raised fraudulently for the firm. Holmes agreed to a 10-year ban on serving as officer or director of a public company and a $500,000 penalty, without admitting or denying guilt.
Scientists from the State University of New York in Fredonia analyzed bottled water and found that 90% of popular brands contain pieces of plastic. The investigation was the largest of its kind and tested 250 bottles of water from nine different countries. The particles found were larger than the width of a human hair.
Students in Washington, D.C., and across the US staged walkouts, Wednesday, to push for tougher gun control following the Parkland, Florida high school shooting. The student-led demonstrations were ‘unprecedented in recent American history.’ Amid the walkouts and calls for gun control, the House approved legislation to strengthen school security but did not touch upon US gun laws.