Countries Around The World Move To Repeal 'Marry Your Rapist' Laws

A veiled woman rides a bicycle with a child past white wedding dresses displayed as a desecrated symbol by the Lebanese nongovernmental organization Abaad. The group is part of an effort against article 522 in Lebanon’s penal code, which stipulates that a rapist is absolved of his crime if he marries his victim.

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Hussein Malla/AP

Many countries are moving to repeal long-established laws that allow rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victims.

A handful of places have recently repealed these laws, including Tunisia, Morocco and, just last week, Jordan.

But these laws are still on the books in countries as far apart as the Philippines, Lebanon and Tajikistan. Purna Sen, policy director for UN Women, tells NPR’s Ari Shapiro these laws were enacted in order to normalize illicit sexual contact by categorizing this conduct as part of the institution of marriage.


These laws enable societies to make sexual relations more respectable, as it is often considered problematic in some cultures, Sen said. The penal codes in these countries do not approach rape as violence or abuse, but focus more on the idea that sexual contact occurred outside of marriage.

“It’s not been really distinct as rape, as force and abuse and violence, the way we think about it predominantly now; it’s been more thought about [as] illicit sexual contact,” Sen said. “And so the way to make that respectable is to put it within the institution of marriage.”

Unlike other laws that were enacted years ago, Sen said these “marry your rapist” laws remain enforced around the world.

The repeal of these laws can be attributed to a growing global consensus that rape and sexual abuse is unacceptable. Sen said it is a significant trend that has taken off over the past 20 years.

Sen said this is a result of women’s organizing and increased awareness among policymakers, most notably marked by a United Nations goal to remove all violence against women by 2030.

While the legal system allows rapists to find immunity, many women also feel pressure from their families to marry the men who abused them.

Sexual relations outside of marriage, even if they are forced, are “often interpreted as a slight or as a stain on a collective honor or integrity,” Sen said.

“So it’s often actually from their own families that women … feel under pressure to marry the man who has abused them,” she said. “They don’t want to be dragged through court. They don’t want it known that woman has become … ‘impure’ in any way because that will then damage the prospects for her having a marriage that has some respectability for her family.”

Sometimes women take their own lives rather than submit to this kind of a relationship. The suicide of a 16-year-old girl in Morocco prompted that country to rescind its law in 2014.

“Unfortunately, it was [at] the cost of that young girl’s life, but for others who followed, it will hopefully be a much better situation,” Sen said.

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North Korea: Final Plan By Mid-August For Firing Missiles Near Guam

A man watches a TV screen showing a local news program reporting on North Korea’s missiles at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.

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North Korea said it would finalize plans for missile launches near Guam by the middle of this month and then wait for a green light from leader Kim Jong Un before carrying them out.

The statement, disseminated by state-run news agency KCNA, comes amid an increasingly tense tit-for-tat between Pyongyang and Washington, as well as reports that U.S. intelligence has determined that North Korea can now fix nuclear warheads onto its ballistic missiles, including an ICBM thought capable of reaching the United States.

On Tuesday, President Trump promised “fire and fury like the world has never seen” against North Korea if it didn’t stand down from its threats against the United States. That prompted North Korea to announce that it was considering plans to fire four intermediate-range missiles into an area about 18-25 miles from the U.S. territory of Guam.

On Wednesday, Pyongyang’s military said Trump “let out a load of nonsense about ‘fire and fury,'” adding that “sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said North Korea “should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”

Quoting “several people with direct knowledge of what unfolded,” The New York Times reported that Trump’s latest remarks on North Korea were improvised and that the wording had not been discussed with advisors ahead of time.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday sought to clarify that the president “is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong Un would understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language.”

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47 Hospitals Slashed Their Use Of Two Key Heart Drugs After Huge Price Hikes

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, based in Bridgewater Township, N.J., bought two specialty heart drugs used in emergency treatment from Marathon Pharmaceuticals in 2015, and then dramatically increased each drug’s price.

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Even before media reports and a congressional hearing vilified Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for raising prices on a pair of lifesaving heart drugs, Dr. Umesh Khot knew something was very wrong.

Khot is a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, which prides itself on its outstanding heart care. The health system’s internal monitoring system had alerted doctors about the skyrocketing cost of the drugs, nitroprusside and isoproterenol. But these two older drugs, frequently used in emergency and intensive care situations, have no direct alternatives.

“If we are having concerns, what is happening nationally?” Khot wondered.

As it turned out, a lot was happening.

Following major price increases, use of the two cardiac medicines has dramatically decreased at 47 hospitals, according to a research letter Khot and two others published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The number of patients in these hospitals getting nitroprusside, which is given intravenously when a patient’s blood pressure is dangerously high, decreased 53 percent from 2012 to 2015, the researchers found. At the same time, the drug’s price per 50 milligrams jumped more than 30-fold — from $27.46 in 2012 to $880.88 in 2015.

The use of isoproterenol, key to monitoring and treating heart-rhythm problems during surgery, decreased 35 percent as the price per milligram rose from $26.20 to $1,790.11.

The two drugs, which are off patent, have long been go-to medicines for doctors.

“This isn’t like a cholesterol medicine; these are really, very specialized drugs,” says Khot, who is lead author on the peer-reviewed research letter. When patients get the drugs, he says, “they are either sick beyond sick in intensive care or they’re under anesthesia [during] a procedure.”

Valeant bought the drugs in early 2015 from Marathon Pharmaceuticals.Last year, Valeant announced a rebate program to lower the price hospitals paid for the drugs.

And Valeant’s Lainie Keller, a vice president of communications, says the company is committed to limiting price increases.

“The current management team is committed to ensuring that past decisions with respect to product pricing are not repeated,” Keller says.

Erin Fox, who directs drug information at the University of Utah Health Care, said the findings by Khot and his colleagues reveal “exactly what a lot of pharmacists have been talking about. When prices are unsustainable, you have to stop using the drug whenever you can. You just can’t afford it.”

Fox says her Utah health system has removed isoproterenol from its bright-red crash carts, which are stocked for emergencies like heart attacks. But Nitroprusside is more difficult to replace.

“If you need it, you need it,” Fox says. “That’s exactly why the usage has not gone down to zero, even with the huge price increases.”

Cleveland Clinic leaders spent months investigating each drug’s use and potential alternatives, Khot says.

“We’re not going to ration or restrict this drug in any way that would negatively impact these patients,” Khot says, adding that he hopes to do more research on how the decreased use of both drugs has affected patients.

Dr. Richard Fogel is a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at St. Vincent, an Indiana hospital that’s part of Ascension, a large nonprofit chain with facilities in 22 states and the District of Columbia. He told a Senate committee last year that the cost of the two drugs alone drove a nearly $12 million increase in Ascension’s spending over one year.

“While we understand a steady, rational increase in prices, it is the sudden, unfounded price explosions in select older drugs that hinder us in caring for patients,” Fogel told the committee.

The NEJM letter also analyzed the use of two drugs that remained stable in price over that time period, as a control group — nitroglycerin and dobutamine. The number of patients treated with nitroglycerin, a drug used for chest pain and heart failure, increased by 89 percent. Khot warns that the drugs can’t always be used as substitutes.

Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Belgian And Dutch Officials Point Fingers Amid Egg Contamination Scare

Eggs are being progressively reintroduced in Dutch markets, including this one in Alkmaar, after a contamination scare prompted supermarkets in several European countries to pull their supplies of eggs.

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One thing, at least, is not in dispute: Supermarkets in several countries across Europe have pulled eggs from their shelves for fear they were contaminated with Fipronil, an insecticide that’s typically used to kill lice and ticks — and that has the potential to harm humans. The contamination became a public scandal earlier this month.

That’s about where the agreement ends, however.

At an emergency parliamentary hearing Wednesday, Belgian Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme placed the blame for the contamination with the Netherlands. The minister told lawmakers that Dutch authorities had been aware of the contamination since last November and failed to alert others.

“When a country like the Netherlands, one of the world’s biggest exporters of eggs, does not pass on this kind of information, that is a real problem,” Ducarme said, according to The Guardian.

“If we had seen this information communicated to our respective agencies, vigilance concerning Fipronil would have been greatly increased,” Ducarme added.

He says that after Belgian officials discovered traces of Fipronil in June, they addressed their concerns to their Dutch counterparts — and had to wait a full month for a reply.

“One month,” Ducarme said. “One month without the slightest information from the Dutch agency.”

The head of that agency quickly disputed this account, though.

Rob van Lint, inspector general of the Dutch food watchdog NVWA, released a statement acknowledging the group had received an “anonymous tip-off” in November that Fipronil had been used in a cleaning agent on some poultry farms. As NPR’s Merrit Kennedy noted, the chemical is “banned from use with animals used to produce food for humans.”

But “at that time there was no indication of an acute danger to food safety,” van Lint said. “There was not a single indication that Fipronil could also be present in eggs.”

In other words, he said: “The allegations that we knew about Fipronil in eggs in November 2016 are untrue.”

Dutch and Belgian investigators believe they’ve identified two companies at the heart of the problem, the BBC reports — but for now, fears remain that the contaminated eggs have spread beyond the two countries and Germany, where a major supermarket chain pulled all of its eggs last week.

Food safety agencies in the U.K., France, Switzerland and Sweden have also been alerted to the risk.

For now, though, the European Commission’s head of health and food safety is striking a neutral tone in the dispute.

Vytenis Andriukaitis is “committed & determined to make every effort to enhance the transparency, coordination and cooperation between Member States,” he tweeted Wednesday. It is of “utmost importance such criminal activity on European level is fully disclosed, penalties applied for those who perpetrate it.”

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Fired At 52, Jersey Shore Lifeguard Wins Age-Discrimination Suit

Surfers gather on the beach in Ocean City, N.J., in June of last year. A 52-year-old lifeguard who was fired by Ocean City has won a $130,000 age-discrimination suit.

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A lifeguard who sued a New Jersey beach town for age discrimination after he was fired at age 52 has won a nearly $130,000 jury award.

Paul McCracken was sacked in June 2011 by Ocean City, N.J., after the physical requirements for the job were raised in what he alleged was an effort to force out older lifeguards.

McCracken said in the suit, which was filed in 2013, that he had passed the re-qualification fitness test but narrowly failed the tougher swimming test. says:

“McCracken alleged Ocean City officials required he and other administrative lifeguards to take the tests as part of a scheme to force them to retire or face reduced hours, which would cut their salaries and ultimately affect their pensions.

“Before changing the requirements a tiered system was in place in which supervisory lifeguards didn’t have to complete a timed run or swim, the suit said. Bergen said the test was changed to require all guards to meet the same qualifications. The spokesman added that while McCracken was a ‘senior lifeguard,’ his responsibilities included working on the beach protecting swimmers.”

New Jersey radio station 101.5 adds:

“The supposed targeting of the older lifeguards began in 2008 when the cash-strapped city took $53,000 from the budget used to pay senior lifeguards and transferred it to the fire department. The city then cut the hours for senior lifeguards, forcing them to retire so they could avoid taking a hit on their pensions. Pension payments are calculated using the salary paid to a worker in the years immediately before retirement.”

“The city believes the plaintiff’s claims are frivolous and therefore pursued a jury verdict rather than settling this case,” Ocean City spokesman Doug Bergen wrote in a statement. “With all due respect to the judicial process, we disagree with this verdict.”

“For obvious reasons, the city maintains that it is not good practice to employ ocean lifeguards who are unable to pass the swimming test. The same standard applies to all returning guards who work on the beach,” he said.

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There's No Easy Answer For Why 'The Great Comet' Is Closing

Okieriete Onaodowan had to learn both accordion and piano to play the role of Pierre in Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812. He ends his run on the show in mid-August.

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Chad Batka/Courtesy of Matt Ross PR

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 was supposed to be the next Hamilton. It was going to invigorate Broadway and attract younger and more diverse audiences — and it almost succeeded. Instead, it’s closing on Sept. 3, in part because of a controversy over casting and race.

The Great Comet is based on the Russian novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It received rave reviews and 12 Tony Award nominations, including one for its male lead, recording star Josh Groban, and one for its female lead, Broadway newcomer Denée Benton. Benton is African-American, and nearly half of the cast is nonwhite, a fact the show was praised for.

Groban is a big star, and he sold a lot of tickets — on average the show made about $1 million a week. But, as often happens on Broadway, he never planned to play the drunk and depressed Pierre forever. In early July, Groban ended his run; his replacement was Okieriete Onaodowan, an African-American actor from the original cast of Hamilton.

When NPR interviewed Onaodowan in May, he was thrilled to join the show. “It’s important to see yourself represented,” he said, “and this is such a diverse cast … even the voices, all the voices are completely different.”

But ticket sales dropped during Onaodowan’s run as Pierre. To boost the box office, the show’s producers invited Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Mandy Patinkin to take the part. Patinkin had seen The Great Comet both on and off Broadway, and he was a fan.

But the decision to replace a black actor with a white one lead to a Twitter storm. The website Broadway Black wrote that “the abrupt replacement of [Onaodowan’s] role to boost ticket sales raises questions about how Black actors are valued and supported within Broadway.”

Broadway Black editor Andrew Shade says it was disrespectful to Onaodowan, and all too common. “People of color in the community don’t want to get the short end of the stick; they don’t want to get the crumbs. And that’s what it sort of feels like at the moment.”

On Twitter, Tony Award-winning actress Cynthia Erivo called the decision “distasteful and uncouth.”

Patinkin responded to the criticism by cancelling his Great Comet run. And then there was a backlash to the backlash: Great Comet fans and cast members took to social media to defend the show. In an open letter, cast member Azudi Onyejekwe wrote that, while mistakes were made, he found the show’s white creators to have a “thorough, nuanced, pragmatic approach to diversity.”

Diep Tran covered the controversy for American Theatre Magazine. She says, “The fans of the show rightfully pointed out: This show is the most diverse on Broadway, so why are you making it a target?”

In the end, Tran says, The Great Comet both proved and disproved some of the misconceptions about what is commercially viable on Broadway. “There is still that bias that only white voices can make money. That show was very diverse, but at the same time that show also had a white lead as its selling point.”

And Josh Groban was a very hard act to follow.

Rose Friedman edited this story for broadcast, and Nicole Cohen adapted it for the Web.

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Some Tuna Can Carry Up 36 Times The Toxins of Others. Here's Why

When it comes to pollutant levels, researchers now say where your tuna was caught matters.

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A new study may prompt hand wringing among you tuna poke and sushi lovers. When it comes to pollutant levels, researchers now say where your tuna was caught matters.

In a first-of-its-kind global study, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego analyzed 117 yellowfin tuna taken from 12 locations worldwide, measuring the contaminant levels of each. They found yellowfin tuna caught closer to more industrialized locations off North America and Europe can carry 36 times more pollutants — including pesticides, flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — than the same species caught in more remote locations, like in the West Pacific Ocean.

“Every fish [we tested] had some level of pollutants,” says Sascha Nicklisch, a postdoctoral researcher and lead author of the study, published in the June issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Most of the tuna analyzed would be considered safe under current EPA/FDA joint consumption advice, but there were concerns. The study found that 90 percent of tuna caught in the northeast Atlantic Ocean — and more than 60 percent of yellowfin samples caught in the Gulf of Mexico — contained pollutant levels that would have triggered health advisories in some segments of the population, including pregnant and nursing women.

“I don’t want to be the bad guy here. I love to eat fish. I love tuna,” says Nicklisch. “It’s good to know most are safe to eat, but we need to make more information available so people can make their own choices.”

While the current study looked at persistent organic pollutants (or POPs) in yellowfin, the same group also measured mercury and released that data in a separate report in May. As with the POPs, researchers found mercury levels in yellowfin could also vary significantly by catch site.

Yellowfin, often sold as ahi at the retail level, is the second-most harvested tuna species after skipjack, and is commonly found on menus across the U.S. More than 1.3 million tons of it are caught annually. Unlike highly migratory bluefin tuna, yellowfin tend to spend their lives in the same general region, which meant researchers could determine if geographic location made a difference. And because yellowfin tuna can be found globally, scientists were able to compare toxin levels within the same species of fish caught in vastly different locations.

While Americans increased their seafood consumption to 15.5 pounds of fish and shellfish per person in 2015 — the largest increase in 20 years — we’re still only eating about 4.77 ounces of seafood a week. That’s far less than the 8-12 ounces recommended in the nation’s current Dietary Guidelines.

Some are worried the study’s findings will further discourage Americans from eating enough seafood.

“The study suggests the potential need to institute recommendations to limit some fish consumption, but they’re making that assumption based on an idea that a consumer would be eating that one type of fish exclusively and exceeding the already recommended amount,” says Gavin Gibbons, a spokesperson with the National Fisheries Institute.

If the findings have you concerned about where exactly your tuna was caught, unfortunately another hurdle remains: Seafood labeling is notoriously murky.

“At the retail level right now, it’s only country of origin that’s required,” says Dick Jones, president of Ocean Outcomes, a Portland, Ore.-based NGO focused on improving fisheries. “The only time we see more a detailed description of where the fish was caught is when [companies] want to take advantage of the marketing opportunity.”

And seafood fraud is an ongoing issue. A 2016 report by Oceana found that as many as 1 in 5 seafood samples tested worldwide are mislabeled, and that fraud can occur in every sector of the seafood supply chain: retail, wholesale, distribution, import/export, packaging/processing and landing. Traceability is a hot topic across the food industry as a whole, but it’s especially pressing when it comes to seafood.

But for some, opportunity abounds.Tracking food from farm (or sea) to plate is an emerging sector expected to reach $14.1 billion by 2020. That’s fueling entrepreneurs at companies like Pelagic Data Systems and Shellcatch that are working on seafood traceability solutions.

Fraud isn’t the only factor driving seafood-traceability efforts. Human rights abuses and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing are also creating demand for reliable tracking. But so far, those efforts haven’t focused on tracking fish that might contain contaminants.

“I think we’re still too early for that,” says Jones. “The seafood industry is doing a much better job than they did several years ago, but as technology evolves, traceability will be the answer, not just for IUU and fraud, but for social issue and pollutants.”

Clare Leschin-Hoar is a journalist based in San Diego who covers food policy and sustainability issues.

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Transgender Service Members Sue Over Planned Ban On Trans People In Military

On Twitter on July 26, President Trump declared that transgender individuals would not be allowed to serve in the military, contrary to a policy announced by the Pentagon last year. Now 5 trans service members have sued over the announcement.

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Five openly transgender members of the U.S. military are suing President Trump and other leaders of the U.S. government over Trump’s declaration, over Twitter, that trans people will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. The suit alleges that Trump’s directive is “arbitrary and capricious,” unconstitutionally depriving the service members of due process.

Trump’s tweets have not yet been translated into a change in policy — the Department of Defense says it is “awaiting formal guidance from the White House.” However, after the announcement the Pentagon did decide to defer the enlistment of new transgender members of the military until Jan. 1, 2018.

Meanwhile, the trans service members suing the government — identified in their suit as Jane Does, out of fear of retribution — say that Trump’s decision and proclamation have already been harmful.

Trump’s tweet came more than a year after the Pentagon announced that trans people could openly serve in the military, and would not be discharged on the basis of their gender identity.

That announcement was in June 2016, after months of research and planning. “Since that time,” the service members’ lawsuit states, “Plaintiffs, along with thousands of servicemembers, have followed protocol in informing their chain of command that they are transgender. They did so in reliance on the United States’ express promises that it would permit them to continue to serve their country openly.”

The five plaintiffs are in different branches of the military (the Coast Guard, the National Guard, the Army and the Air Force) and have collectively served for “decades,” the suit says. Two were deployed overseas, in Afghanistan and Iraq. One plaintiff in the Army and the plaintiff in the Air Force have served for 17 years and “nearly 20 years,” respectively.

If enforced, the directive will end their service, they note. Even before it’s enacted, the tweets have “resulted in immediate, concrete injury to Plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs’ reasonable expectation of continued service,” the plaintiffs allege.

They’re asking a court to provide injunctive relief, blocking the U.S. government from enforcing Trump’s declared policy change.

NPR’s Greg Myre reports that there are several thousand transgender service members, according to estimates.

The suit, filed by GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, identifies Trump as the defendant as well as the secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, the Army and the Air Force, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the departments of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, and the United States government as a whole.

The Pentagon “had no immediate comment,” The Associated Press reports.

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Trump, McConnell Point Fingers Over Health Care Failure

President Trump speaks as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., looks on during a meeting with House and Senate leadership at the White House back in June.

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When it comes to health care legislation, the finger pointing between President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is continuing almost two weeks after GOP efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed.

The top Republican in the Senate was the first to throw down the gauntlet this week, saying back home in Kentucky that it was Trump’s political inexperience that led to him setting “excessive expectations” over wanting to speedily repeal Obamacare.

“Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven’t done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point,” McConnell said on Monday, according to ABC News.

“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” the Senate majority leader continued. “So part of the reason I think people feel we’re underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines — unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating — may not have been fully understood.”

Unsurprisingly, that explanation didn’t sit well with the commander in chief, and he took to Twitter on Wednesday to fire back, asking “After 7 years of Repeal & Replace, why not done?”

Senator Mitch McConnell said I had “excessive expectations,” but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017

Dan Scavino, Trump’s social media director, had shared similar sentiments earlier from his personal account.

More excuses. @SenateMajLdr must have needed another 4 years – in addition to the 7 years — to repeal and replace Obamacare…..

— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) August 9, 2017

And Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, a fervent Trump backer, called McConnell “weak” and “spineless.”

. @SenateMajLdr No Senator, YOU are a WEAK, SPINELESS leader who does not keep his word and you need to Retire!

— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 9, 2017

The escalating tension between the president and McConnell has the potential to jeopardize the rest of the Republican legislative agenda in the Senate when Congress returns to Washington, D.C., next month — a daunting list that includes a tax overhaul, raising the debt ceiling and more.

But it wasn’t just the White House that was, at least initially, pressing for an ambitious legislative agenda.

“The two biggest issues we’re moving forward with in the first half of the year obviously are repeal and replacing Obamacare and tax reform,” McConnell said back in January at the GOP congressional retreat.

The latest jab from the president toward the majority leader comes just after Trump gave McConnell a political win on Tuesday night when the president threw his support behind Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., ahead of a primary next week in a special election race.

Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017

Strange, who was appointed to fill now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat, has the backing of McConnell, the majority leader’s super PAC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The endorsement was a blow to Rep. Mo Brooks, who’s fighting to earn a spot in a runoff as a result of Tuesday’s voting — with both Brooks and Strange likely to finish behind Roy Moore, a controversial former Alabama Supreme Court justice best known for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments memorial from a state judicial building. Brooks was critical of Trump last year during the presidential campaign, pointing to his “serial adultery”, and, more recently, the congressman slammed the president for his “public waterboarding” of Sessions on Twitter.

On Wednesday though, in the wake of Trump’s own escalating feud with McConnell, Brooks tried to seize an opening, urging the president to reconsider his endorsement since Brooks wants to oust McConnell from GOP leadership.

I agree completely, Mr. President. McConnell & Strange don’t support your agenda. I do. Reconsider endorsement @realDonaldTrump? #DitchMitch

— Mo Brooks (@mobrooksforsen) August 9, 2017

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Episode 399: Can You Patent a Steak?

Eugene Gagliardi, inventor of Steak-Umm

Joshua Marston

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Joshua Marston

Note: This episode originally ran in 2012.

Tony Mata is a meat inventor; his job is figuring out new things to do with meat. We first talked to Mata when he had discovered a new steak — a novel way to cut up a chunk of beef that otherwise wasn’t worth much. Mata was so excited about his discovery that he wanted to patent it.

This raises a basic question: Can you patent a steak?

On today’s show, we talk to Mata. We visit the workshop of Gene Gagliardi, the inventor of Steak-Umm and KFC’s popcorn chicken. And we try to figure out what meat inventors tell us about patents and innovation.

Also: Here’s a video of Gene Gagliardi cutting chicken:

By Joshua MarstonYouTube

Music: “Nerd Disco,” “Lift me Higher,” and “Crash Landing.” Find us: Twitter/ Facebook.

Subscribe to our show onApple Podcasts or PocketCast.

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